All three networks on Friday continued to highlight the controversy over Chick-fil-A, but Good Morning America's Steve Osunsami adopted the most confrontational tone, insisting that "for years," Chick-fil-A has "donated millions" to "fight against gay Americans." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Fill-in host Laura Spencer simplified the debate: "How the battle over gay marriage is now all about a chicken sandwich."
Osunsami promoted Friday's counter protest by homosexuals who are outraged over Chick-fil-A founder Dan Cathy's public support for traditional marriage. Of the proposed "kiss-in," he promised, "At Chick-fil-A restaurants today, customers will get an eyeful, along with their nuggets and waffle fries."
The CBS and NBC morning shows on Thursday both highlighted a massive show of support for Chick-fil-A, but failed to explain one of the underlying reasons for the protest: An expression of solidarity by many Americans for free speech against government bullying.
While ABC's Good Morning America completely ignored the sizable effort that saw long lines at Chick-fil-As around the country, CBS This Morning anchor Charlie Rose simplified, "For many religious conservatives, Chick-fil-A was the place to be Wednesday. Thousands went there to eat and to make a statement - a statement against same sex marriage." Many Americans did go as a show of support for traditional marriage, but some went to protest mayors in Chicago, Boston and San Francisco who threatened or bullied the conservative chain.
On its Wednesday evening and Thursday morning newscasts, CBS didn't file one report or news brief on the controversial federal abortifacient/contraception mandate going into effect. Even worse, the only mention of religious liberty scandal over the regulation was CBS This Morning playing a clip of liberal comedian Stephen Colbert making fun of it.
ABC's Diane Sawyer heralded the mandate taking effect as "an important day for women's health" on Wednesday's World News, and forwarded the White House's talking points on the regulation: "Religious employers, like Catholic charities and hospitals, do not have to directly include free birth control under their health plans." On NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams lamented that "simply by taking effect, it started up the health care fight all over again."
The Big Three networks enthusiastically paid tribute to leftist author Gore Vidal on their Wednesday morning newscasts, but not one mentioned his political ideology. NBC's Today devoted two briefs to the "sardonically witty" Vidal, who died late Tuesday. The morning show also labeled him a "cultural icon." ABC's Good Morning America played up his "outsized personality and scathing wit."
However, CBS This Morning surpassed its competitors, with anchor Charlie Rose's retrospective on the "brilliant essayist and a commentator on America."
Good Morning America's hosts and reporters on Tuesday eagerly pushed Democratic talking points about Mitt Romney's overseas trip, deriding it five times as either a "misstep" or a "gaffe." Guest host Josh Elliott blamed the Republican's campaign for an altercation between a journalist and a staffer: "And new this morning, Mitt Romney's aide gets nasty with the press, swearing at reporters asking questions about the candidate's recent missteps."
As Romney walked back to his motorcade in Poland, just after visiting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, reporters screamed questions. Elliott reminded, "Reporters were asking about the recent missteps made by Mitt Romney on his overseas trip." Journalist David Muir continued the media narrative, asserting that "the press pool began asking about his latest perceived misstep." [See a video montage below. MP3 audio here.]
The same networks that piled on Mitt Romney for highlighting questions about security for the Olympics have now rediscovered serious problems at the London games. Last Friday, CBS and NBC played up tabloid coverage of Romney as "Mitt the Twit." On Monday, however, Good Morning America's Amy Robach briefly noted, "Well another embarrassment for security at the Olympics. Someone lost a set of keys for Wembley Stadium, which is hosting soccer matches."
Over on Today, Meredith Vieira explained that a woman, who wasn't part of India's delegation, somehow crashed the opening ceremonies and marched with that country. Co-host Savannah Guthrie didn't take it too seriously, quipping, "I guess she just got caught up in the spirit of it all."
The same networks that hyped a "humiliating" "fiasco" leading up to the 2012 Olympic games have now turned around and mocked Republican "Mitt the Twit" Romney for pointing out the same thing. NBC's Today, ABC's Good Morning America and CBS This Morning all played up comments by the presidential candidate questioning "disconcerting" problems leading up to Friday's opening ceremonies (the same problems they were previously pointing out).
Holding up a newspaper, NBC's Peter Alexander derided, "Here is a headline from one London tabloid. It reads 'Mitt the Twit.'" Alexander deemed the comments a "political firestorm" and played a clip of an unidentified British reporter snidely noting, "If he's here to make friends, he has got a funny way of showing it." Over on CBS, Jan Crawford eagerly held up the same tabloid and lectured, "Can you see it? 'Mitt the Twit.' That's not the type of headline you want."
Within hours of the horrible massacre at the Aurora, Colorado movie theater, liberal reporters hijacked the tragedy to advance their anti-gun rights agenda. As they did in the wake of school shootings like Columbine (Back in 2000 the MRC documented, stories advocating gun control outnumbered those in favor of gun rights by a 10 to 1 ratio), the media were quick to heap blame on the NRA and Second Amendment supporters in their quest for more restrictions on guns.
On the very day of the Aurora shooting Time’sMichael Grunwald justified the oncoming push for gun control by the media when he pronounced: “There is nothing wrong with politicizing tragedy....Gun control and the Second Amendment are issues, too, and now seems like a pretty good time to talk about them.” (videos after the jump)
ABC kicked off Mitt Romney's visit to London, Thursday, by hyping "controversial" comments from the candidate's advisers. A Good Morning America graphic adopted the worst possible interpretation for remarks by anonymous Romney aides that the President doesn't respect the "Anglo-Saxon heritage." The network graphic blasted, "Romney Takes London: Advisor Quote Questions Obama Heritage."
Saying that Romney aides "questioned Obama's heritage" hints at birtherism or other charges that the operatives clearly did not make. Reporter David Muir included the quote from one adviser who suggested that the White House "doesn't fully appreciate the shared history" Britain and America have. Other remarks, not mentioned by Muir, include attacking Obama as a "left-winger" and promising to return the bust of Winston Churchill. How, exactly, do these comments question Obama's heritage?
Even as Democratic officials like Rahm Emanuel promise to use their government power to punish Chick-fil-A, Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos and Ron Claiborne on Thursday derided the fast food chain's president for speaking out against gay marriage, chiding the "firestorm" and food fight" the company has created. [See video below. MP3 here.] In contrast, the same program in 2006 praised the "spirited" and "unbowed" Dixie Chicks for expressing their First Amendment rights by trashing then-President Bush.
Co-anchor George Stephanopoulos insisted that CEO Dan Cathy's comments in support of traditional marriage have "sparked a firestorm across the Internet." Reporter Ron Claiborne mocked, "This food fight, George, is very rapidly turning into a full scale culture war." Claiborne listed Roseanne Barr, as just another celebrity, along with Ed Helms, who has spoken out against Chick-fil-A. He failed to mention Barr's deranged rants, including tweeting that "anyone who eats S--t Fil-A deserves to get the cancer."
Liberal actor Zach Galifianakis appeared on Good Morning America, Wednesday, to whine about the "gross amount of money being spent" on American elections. While promoting The Campaign, his new movie, the comic derided the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling and lamented, "Something's wrong."
Galifianakis first insisted that The Campaign, which showcases two southerners fighting for a congressional seat, isn't "either left or right." He then insisted, "The one thing I think that most citizens would be able to agree on in this movie is the gross amount of money that is being spent on these elections." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
ABC on Tuesday dropped any pretense of objectivity and defended the President over his "you didn't build that" attack on business. In an online article, ABCNews.com writers Amy Walter, Elizabeth Hartfield and Chris Good dropped this spin into a supposedly straight news report: "Republicans have seized on the line 'you didn't build that' to falsely claim that Obama was speaking directly to business owners about their businesses."
The ABC writers whined that the Mitt Romney campaign and the Republican National Committee have "been relentless in pushing" the attack." Walter, Hartfield and Good then cheered, "The Obama campaign, it seems, is not going to take it anymore."
One hundred and six people died in Iraq on Monday, a bloody milestone that CBS's morning show ignored. Good Morning America's Josh Elliott recounted, "And oversees, this has been the deadliest day in Iraq since U.S. troops withdrew last year." CBS This Morning skipped the story. ABC provided the fullest context.
On his Political Punch blog, Jake Tapper recounted, "President Obama Praises Self for Ending War in Iraq on Bloodiest Day of the Year in That Country." He wondered, "Is it bad timing or irrelevant?" Tapper featured a video that the Obama campaign released touting the end of the war.
Good Morning America Sunday co-host Bianna Golodryga played up calls by liberal Mayor Michael Bloomberg for more gun control in the wake of Friday's mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado. This occurred even as George Stephanopoulos conceded that no new gun control legislation would be passed.
Golodryga touted, "One person who is very outspoken about it, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that no other developed country in the world has this issue that we do." Stephanopoulos parroted, "That's exactly right." This segment occurred just two days after Stephanopoulos and Brian Ross smeared the Tea Party as possibly being connected to the mass killing.
As NewsBusters previously reported, ABC's Brian Ross on Friday falsely accused a Tea Party member of being the "James Holmes" that orchestrated the movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado.
On CNN's Reliable Sources Sunday, National Review's Ramesh Ponnuru said Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos shares some of the blame for not challenging Ross about his "awfully thin" assertion (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters previously reported, ABC's Brian Ross, during a Good Morning America segment with co-host George Stephanopoulos, wrongly accused a Tea Party member of being Friday's Aurora, Colorado, mass murderer.
Later that day, conservative talk radio host Mark Levin said, "If ABC News corporate had an ounce of integrity it would fire both of them right now" (video follows courtesy Right Scoop with transcript and commentary):
Brian Ross is not the only blameworthy party in the irresponsible smear of a 52 year-old Tea Party activist as the possible perpetrator of the Aurora, Colorado theater massacre early Friday. Everyone on the set of ABC's Good Morning America could have said "wait, this is premature and irresponsible" -- and didn't.
GMA co-host and former Bill Clinton advisor George Stephanopoulos's response to Ross's identification of 52 year-old "Jim Holmes" as perhaps the same "James Holmes" who had been arrested earlier that morning arguably added legitimacy to Ross's speculation: "OK, we'll keep looking at that. Brian Ross, thanks very much." As if they would actually find more of a tie-in, which of course they didnt. In his column yesterday, the underappreciated John Kass at the Chicago Tribune succinctly described Stephanopoulos's likely mindset, as well as how ABC was originally hoping to blame "social media" for Ross's GMA team-assisted smear (bolds are mine):
This morning, in the aftermath of the unspeakable Colorado massacre that claimed at least 12 innocent American lives and injured dozens more, ABC "news" investigative reporter Brian Ross appeared on ABC's Good Morning America and made the outrageous, irresponsible, and completely unfounded claim that the alleged gunman, 24-year-old Jim Holmes, is a member of the Tea Party. Apparently Ross has learned absolutely nothing from the media's disgraceful rush to judgment and dissemination of misinformation following the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in January 2011.
That's twice now that the "news" media have falsely implicated the Tea Party in murder.
ABC’s Brian Ross's disgusting attempt to link Friday morning’s tragic shooting to a Tea Party member is just the latest example of the liberal media’s knee jerk reaction to impugn conservatives in the immediate wake of horrific crimes. After the shooting of former Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords liberal reporters were quick to condemn the Tea Party and conservatives like Sarah Palin and Mark Levin.
Just two hours after the attack on Giffords, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman pulled a similar Brian Ross-like assumption without the facts when he wrote in a January 8, 2011 blog that “We don’t have proof yet that this was political, but the odds are that it was. She’s been the target of violence before....Her father says that ‘the whole Tea Party’ was her enemy.” During MSNBC’s live coverage of the Giffords shooting Luke Russert blamed Obamacare opponents when he theorized: “Remember, this is the deepest fear that was in the back of everybody's mind going through the health care debate. A lot of members were threatened...It looks sadly like it's come to fruition today." (quote compilation and videos after the jump)
Three hours after reporter Brian Ross attempted to connect a mass killing in Colorado to the Tea Party, ABC News admitted that the story on Good Morning America was "incorrect." The retraction was added to the top of an existing online article about the murders.
The story conceded, "An earlier ABC News broadcast report suggested that a Jim Holmes of a Colorado Tea Party organization might be the suspect, but that report was incorrect." [Update: Ross has now admitted his error on live ABC coverage. See video and more updates below.]
[Developing -- Updates and video after the jump. MP3 audio here.] Hours after mass murder at a 12am showing of the new Batman film, ABC News reporter Brian Ross went on Good Morning America and speculated that the killer could be a Tea Party member.
Ross appeared Friday morning during live coverage and told viewers, "There is a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado page on the Colorado Tea Party site as well. Talking about him joining the Tea Party last year. Now, we don't know if this the same Jim Holmes." Co-host George Stephanopoulos eagerly touted Ross' accusations: "You've been looking- investigating the background of Jim Holmes here. You've found something that might be significant."
Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts, who has conducted a number of fawning interviews with Barack and Michelle Obama, pushed Ann Romney in an exclusive interview on Thursday to release more tax documents. She needled, "Your husband has been adamant about only the two years that will be released. Why will he not follow the example of others on both sides of the aisle?"
After Mrs. Romney reiterated that her husband wouldn't release more than two years and that they had nothing to hide, Roberts hectored, "Why not show that then? Why not release the- because then it's a moot point and people move on." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
All three evening newscasts on Tuesday and two out of the three morning shows on Wednesday skipped the dramatic story of an elderly Florida man who saved a cafe full of people from gun-wielding robbers. Only Good Morning America covered the story of seventy-one-year-old Samuel Williams using his own weapon to fend off attackers.
News reader Josh Elliot lauded the "gun-toting senior citizen" for his quick action and for "not taking it anymore." Co-host George Stephanopoulos narrated the video: "There he is right there. Takes them on. Saves the whole cafe." Elliott praised it as "remarkable." He misleadingly described, "Williams does have a gun license and is not expected to be charged." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
All three networks on Tuesday absolutely gushed over Barack Obama kissing his wife at a men's Olympic basketball game on Monday night. CBS This Morning guest anchor Norah O'Donnell thrilled, "Whoo-hoo-hoo! Hot in here!" Good Morning America news reader Josh Elliott cheered on the President's ability to kiss his wife in public: "[Obama] is showing the world he's got a little game off the court as well!" [See a video montage below. MP3 audio here.]
Today's Natalie Morales recounted how the President, after being spotted by the Kiss Cam, at first refused to kiss Mrs. Obama. Morales hyped, "...They got a second chance when the "Kiss Cam" found them again. So this time he delivered, planting a very presidential pucker on the First Lady and the crowd went wild." Weatherman Al Roker joked, "Mr. President, get a stadium."
ABC on Sunday aggressively pushed liberal talking points, hyping Barack Obama's call for Mitt Romney to release more tax documents. Over a span of just three minutes and 32 seconds, the anchor and reporters of World News played nine clips of people lobbying Mitt Romney to "show the American people" what's going on. Only one person, the candidate, appeared in a snippet to argue for the other side.
David Kerley played a montage of Democratic operatives Stephanie Cutter, Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod. They berated Romney: "Show us. Show the American people....[Romney] can clear this up. Just make it public...We don't know all the loopholes he might have taken advantage of." Analyst Rick Klein gloated, "Mitt Romney's work at Bain was supposed to be his biggest strength. And the Obama campaign has made it into, perhaps, his biggest weakness." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Good Morning America on Monday hyped the liberal "barrage" on Bain Capital and the push to get Mitt Romney to release more tax records. Over the span of three minutes, ABC featured Barack Obama's attacks three separate times for 35 seconds. Reporter Jake Tapper showcased two more right-leaning talking heads chiding Romney. That's a total of five voices piling on the candidate. Only a single clip of conservative Mary Matalin appeared as a rebuttal.
Former Democratic operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos probed for weakness from Romney, telling Tapper that "conservatives like George Will, Bill Kristol" are "saying he has to do more on these tax returns. You sensing any give on the Romney team?" Informed by Tapper that only the last two years will be released, Stephanopoulos lamented, "But no more than those first two years?"
Occupy violence erupted in Los Angeles on Thursday with protesters using slogans such as "Kill the cops." NBC skipped the story on Friday's Today. CBS This Morning and ABC's Good Morning America offered a combined 31 seconds.
GMA news reader Amy Robach explained that police had to break up a crowd of "200 angry protesters." She briefly added, "It started when Occupy L.A. activists joined a street art event and then taunted police by drawing chalk pigs and slogans like 'Kill the cops.'" One police officer was injured and a dozen people were arrested. CBS This Morning offered even less information, allowing a mere seven seconds out of two hours.
All three morning shows on Thursday ignored the House vote to repeal Obamacare. Despite finding time for such important topics as women who are addicted to tanning, Good Morning America, as well as Today and CBS This Morning, skipped the latest on the President's unpopular legislation.
In contrast, all three evening newscasts on Wednesday did cover the story. Both CBS and ABC whined about Republicans holding yet another vote on Obamacare. World News anchor Diane Sawyer complained, "As ever, the vote now goes to the Senate, where it will almost certainly, once again, be voted down if it is even voted on at all." On the CBS Evening News, Scott Pelley lamented "how much it cost taxpayers for the House to repeal the law again and again."