The journalists at World News on Monday and Good Morning America on Tuesday ignored the results of their own poll, a survey finding Democrats in deep trouble for the 2014 midterms. It's not as though GMA was packed with hard news and there was no available time. The morning show devoted an astonishing 18 minutes to promoting the new season of Dancing With the Stars. ABC News labeled this a "GMA dance party."
According to the ABC News/Washington Post poll, "...Republicans [are] in a stronger position than Democrats in the states with Senate races this fall and more than holding their own in the battle for control of the House." Writers Dan Balz and Scott Clement explained, "In the 34 states with Senate races, 50 percent of voters say they favor Republicans and 42 percent favor Democrats."
No one should ever argue that when a morning show like ABC's "Good Morning America" doesn't cover serious news events -- from Obama scandals to boring debates about the farm bill -- it's because it has too many important stories to cover.
In the second hour of Thursday's show, ABC wasted three minutes promoting its own Oscar show for Sunday night with parody trailers of the Best Picture nominees. They plopped George Stephanopoulos into "The Wolf of Wall Street," but most of the time was devoted to the film "American Hustle," with anchor Josh Elliott in the Bradley Cooper role and badly man-dressed Lara Spencer in the Christian Bale role:
Perhaps because President Obama is looking pitiably weak in his mano a mano with Vladimir Putin over the Ukraine, ABC News chose to bury the story during today's Good Morning America. Incredibly, the show-opening teaser didn't mention the Ukraine--but did highlight the latest on The Real Housewives of New Jersey. As the program unfolded, and before saying a word about the Ukraine, GMA inexcusably chose to air segments on rain in California, snow in the North, a laser being shined into a plane's cockpit, an airplane bird strike, the arrest of a Mexican drug lord, the cause of Philip Seymour Hoffman's death, and Mardi Gras in Brazil.
When GMA finally got around to the most serious story in the world right now, it did its best to protect President Obama. Two nights ago on FNC, Charles Krauthammer did a devastating take-down on President Obama's feeble statement, saying “the Ukrainians, and I think everybody, is shocked by the weakness of Obama’s statement. I find it rather staggering.” So how did GMA's reporter Alex Marquardt describe the Obama statement? As a "harsh warning." Gag me with a kalashnikov, and view the video after the jump.
On Friday, the NBC, ABC, and CBS morning shows all happily touted a White-House-produced video of President Obama and Vice President Biden jogging through the executive mansion to promote the fourth anniversary of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign. This was the same week that the networks refused to cover an Obama administration report showing two-thirds of small business employees would see a spike in health care premiums under ObamaCare. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Introducing the video on NBC's Today, co-host Tamron Hall explained: "When the First Lady was on with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show, she actually made the pledge that if everyone uploaded videos and pictures of themselves moving around, that perhaps she could have some influence and get the President and the Vice President to show us how they get moving. Well, overnight, developing news, take a look."
After spending days denouncing a religious freedom bill in Arizona as "anti-gay," all three network morning shows on Thursday hailed protester celebrations following Governor Jan Brewer vetoing the proposed legislation. Fill-in co-host Lara Spencer led off ABC's Good Morning America by excitedly announcing: "Vetoed! Protesters cheering the Arizona governor's decision to strike the controversial bill that would have given businesses the right to deny service to gay people for religious reasons." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, correspondent Cecilia Vega described the joyous atmosphere: "Boy, a lot of celebrating here overnight....And that very moment outside Arizona's capitol, from cheers to tears." Vega talked to one protester who compared the vetoed bill to segregation: "Nobody rides at the back of the bus and everybody sits at the lunch counter. We fought that battle once and that's what this battle is. We shouldn't have to do this again and I hope this is the last time."
On Tuesday, all three network morning shows touted "pressure mounting from all sides" for Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to veto an "anti-gay" bill designed to protect religious freedom. On NBC's Today, correspondent Mike Taibbi declared: "Governor Brewer actually has until the end of the week to make her decision. But the pressure has been mounting to finally kill the bill that at the very least has reignited the culture wars." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On ABC's Good Morning America, co-host Robin Roberts announced: "Governor Jan Brewer, under a lot of pressure to veto the measure that would give businesses the right to refuse service, citing religious beliefs. Protests overnight right outside the Governor's office..." In the report that followed, correspondent Cecilia Vega stood amongst those protestors and proclaimed: "...they promise to be out here every night until this bill is vetoed."
While CBS and ABC have awoken to the "embarrassing" performance of Barack Obama's wealthy donors turned ambassadorial nominees, NBC is still skipping the details of the men and women who have flubbed confirmation hearings. Even Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos, a former Democratic operative, admitted on Wednesday: "Critics say that too many of the plumb jobs are going to political cronies who have more cash than competence..." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Just prior to playing clips of multiple Obama nominees, all of whom donated at least $500,000 to the President, reporter Jon Karl marveled, "Sometimes it can be downright embarrassing. President Obama's pick to be ambassador to Argentina has never set foot in the place." Footage included the nominee to Hungary, former soap opera producer Colleen Bell, appearing baffled after being asked about America's strategic interest in the country.
All three network morning shows on Tuesday continued the push against an Arizona bill [SB 1062] that aims to protect the religious freedom of business owners who oppose gay marriage. According to CBS This Morning co-host Charlie Rose, "Hundreds protested at the state capitol last night. They say the bill legalizes discrimination."
Today's Savannah Guthrie hyped, "Mounting pressure. From John McCain to Apple, even concern from Super Bowl organizers, a growing chorus calling on Arizona's governor to veto a bill that would let businesses turn away gay customers." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Journalist Natalie Morales muttered, "Really big decision, very controversial." None of the networks featured voices in support of the legislation.
The plan by Barack Obama's government to "dramatically" shrink the size of the Army to its lowest level since World War II warranted a scant one minute and 56 seconds of total coverage on Monday's morning shows. Yet, CBS, NBC and ABC devoted 19 and a half minutes to such topics as TV shows, makeup and viral videos. [See video of ABC's coverage below. MP3 audio here.] None of the networks mentioned the President, shifting the responsibility solely to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
The Today show allowed the least amount of coverage, a mere 21 seconds. This despite the program's four hour running time. Natalie Morales revealed, "Under the plan, the Army would shrink to its smallest force since the World War II build-up." She asserted that "the proposal is likely to face fierce opposition on Capitol Hill." If that's true, why devote less than 30 seconds and allow no debate? Instead, the Today anchors spent almost nine minutes on the subject of makeup and body image.
Despite openly gay NBA player Jason Collins only spending 10 minutes on the court during a game Sunday night, all three network morning shows on Monday hailed his non-scoring time off the bench as a momentous occasion. On ABC's Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos proclaimed: "A history-making moment in the NBA. Jason Collins broke through a big barrier last night when he suited up for the Brooklyn Nets against the Lakers, becoming the first openly gay player in any of the four major pro-leagues." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On NBC's Today, co-host Matt Lauer announced: "History was made...last night in a basketball game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers." In the report that followed, 9 a.m. co-host Willie Geist gushed: "History on the basketball court Sunday night, when 35-year-old Jason Collins became the first openly gay male athlete to play in any of the four major professional U.S. sports."
ABC, CBS, and NBC have largely punted in covering the protests against the leftist government in Venezuela. Since Monday, only NBC Nightly News has devoted a full report on the demonstrations in the South American country. Altogether, NBC has aired just over two minutes of reporting on the story. Brian Williams also stood out for explicitly mentioning the political ideology of the regime: "Many...are feeling increasingly let down by the socialist government." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The network's Big Three competitors trail far behind in their coverage, with CBS only mentioning the protests during a 24-second news brief on Wednesday's CBS This Morning. The network's evening newscast, CBS Evening News, has yet to cover the story. ABC has devoted three news briefs on its morning and evening newscasts since Wednesday, for a total of 52 seconds of air time.
Good Morning America's Bianna Golodrygra on Thursday promoted the anti-Catholic film Philomena as a "touching," "true story." The ABC journalist spun the movie as largely uncontroversial and a "clear winner with audiences everywhere." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Golodryga downplayed the film's harsh anti-Catholic plot points and soft-peddled the movie's fictional elements, parroting, "Philomena is based on a true story about an Irish woman played by Judi Dench who travels to the U.S. to track down the son she was forced to give up for adoption when she was a teenager." In fact, the New York Times reported on November 29, 2013, "...Much of the movie is a fictionalized version of events. Ms. [Philomena] Lee, for instance, never went to the United States to look for her son...a central part of the film."
While all three broadcast networks happily promoted President Obama's crusade to hike the minimum wage following his State of the Union address, NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America only managed to provide a scant 42 seconds of coverage on Wednesday to a new Congressional Budget Office study showing such a move would cause 500,000 people to lose their jobs.
Wednesday's CBS This Morning did offer a 2-minute report on the news, while Tuesday's CBS Evening News provided a 1-minute news brief. NBC Nightly News and ABC's World Newscompletely ignored the topic Tuesday night.
Appearing on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told host David Gregory that former President Bill Clinton had "embarrassed the nation" while in office. However, of the three network morning shows on Monday, only CBS This Morning mentioned the political headline. ABC's Good Morning America ignored it and even NBC's Today skipped the scoop from it's own network. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
George Stephanopoulos, a former operative to Bill Clinton turned journalist, had one question he wanted to ask actor Kevin Spacey about his diabolical character from the political TV series House of Cards: "What would Frank Underwood's advice be to Hillary Clinton on whether to run for president?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Spacey, appearing on Tuesday's Good Morning America to promote the new season of his Netflix series, adopted a Bill Clinton impersonation and joked, "Oh, run." He continued, "Sorry, I did that as Bill. 'Run, baby, run.'" Showing up on the Today show in 2012 to promote season one of House of Cards, Spacey compared fiction to real life, smearing Mitt Romney was a "murderous politician."
In the last couple of weeks ObamaCare has been dealt two serious setbacks: yet another delay in the employer mandate, and a devastating CBO report that claimed it will cost the equivalent of two million jobs. However, the reaction of Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) network reporters to these latest ObamaCare failures has been to blow them off as just a little “hiccup.”
When the White House announced another delay in the enforcement of the employer mandate to buy health insurance, the networks couldn’t even cover the story for a full day. The first reports arrived on the February 10 evening news, with the final stories filed on the February 11 morning shows. In total the Big Three networks spent just 4 minutes and 26 seconds on the delay. ABC spent the least amount of time on the mandate extension (41 seconds) followed by NBC (53 seconds) with CBS (2 minutes, 53 seconds) devoting the most time to the topic. (videos after the jump)
ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning and evening newscasts have so far punted on reporting the strong critique of the Obama administration's "disturbing retreat from democratic practices" with regard to the freedom of the press, according to Reporters Without Borders. The U.S. fell 13 places in the international group's annual "World Press Freedom Index" for the federal government's "increased efforts to track down whistleblowers and the sources of leaks."
The organization spotlighted the controversial leaks from Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden as examples, but also included the Department of Justice's seizure of the Associated Press' phone records as a "reminder of the urgent need for a 'shield law' to protect the confidentiality of journalists' sources at the federal level." Fox News' Shannon Bream devoted a brief to the Reporters Without Borders report on Wednesday's Special Report: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
While all three broadcast networks provided some amount of coverage to Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai releasing 65 dangerous Taliban insurgents from prison on Thursday despite explicit U.S. objections, none of the reporting suggested President Obama's handling of the war in Afghanistan was to blame for the "tattered U.S. relations" with Karzai's government. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
At the top Thursday's ABC World News, anchor Diane Sawyer declared "American outrage" over the release, followed by White House correspondent Jonathan Karl proclaiming: "It's another low-point for already tattered U.S. relations with President Karzai, who has been trying to get his own peace deal with the Taliban."
All three morning shows on Wednesday hyped Barack Obama's elaborate state dinner with French President Francois Hollande, but only ABC's Good Morning America wondered about the dinner's cost. Instead, NBC's Today and CBS This Morning gossiped over Michelle Obama's dress and the newly single French leader. CBS's Garrett sounded like something out of a fashion magazine as he announced, "With a musical flourish, a slow descent down the grand staircase. Michelle Obama's dress a liberty blue Carolina Herrera."
Garrett informed viewers that "Hollande's infidelity-fueled break-up" prompted a need to seat the dateless President between Mrs. And Mrs. Obama. Today's Natalie Morales excitedly related, "Everybody's talking about the big state dinner at the White House last night. And Francois Hollande didn't have a date..." It was left to ABC, often the most superficial network, to question the extravagance. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The left’s push to increase the federal minimum wage was renewed in January, even being promoted by the president. The networks’ covered the topic from the left, ignoring concerns about wage hikes the vast majority of the time.
ABC, CBS and NBC news programs ignored conservative objections to minimum wage proposals 89 percent of the time (17 of 19 stories), immediately undermining these views when they were mentioned.
All three network morning shows on Wednesday cheered House Republicans giving up on trying to attach conditions to raising the nation's borrowing limit. On NBC's Today, news reader Natalie Morales proclaimed: "America is one step closer to being able to pay its bills next month." None of the coverage acknowledged that the move actually meant adding to the nation's massive $17 trillion debt without making any effort to reduce government spending. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On ABC's Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos touted "some good news coming out of Washington" as the "debt limit finally passed without real controversy." White House correspondent Jon Karl gushed: "Yeah, this was a really big deal. Republicans completely backed down on this. No strings attached, did exactly what President Obama asked them to do..." Stephanopoulos added: "First time in three years."
Nothing to see here, according to ABC's Jon Karl. The Good Morning America correspondent on Tuesday told viewers that the so-called "Hillary papers," a treasure trove of quotes and documents, are a "positive portrayal" and "none of this appears to be politically damaging." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] In contrast, Monday's NBC Nightly News worried that the papers are "brutal" and include "inflammatory excerpts."
CBS This Morning on Tuesday also offered a different take than ABC. In fact, co-host Norah O'Donnell hyped the 40 pages of notes and journals by a deceased Clinton confidant this way: "...A powerful Republican calls it a roadmap to beating Hillary Clinton in 2016." Yet Karl soothingly told viewers, "All told, the papers offer a positive portrayal of Hillary Clinton from one of her closest friends, none of this appears to be politically damaging."
Between Monday's network evening newscasts and Tuesday's morning shows, NBC, ABC and CBS failed to provide a single full report on President Obama unilaterally issuing another ObamaCare mandate delay for businesses. In addition, only a single sentence on Tuesday's CBS This Morning described the controversial move as the President "rewriting the law."
On Tuesday's NBC Today, Natalie Morales offered a 29-second news brief in which she downplayed the development: "Well, another hiccup this morning on the ObamaCare front." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump] Later in the show, co-host Matt Lauer and weatherman Al Roker found time to air a 2-minute segment they did on unusual outfits at the Sochi Olympic games.
Whether it’s beef, tuna or Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, the networks love to scare people away from their dinner plates.
The latest attack was on Subway restaurant’s sandwiches. Food blogger Vani Hari made another appearance on the networks to hype her claim that Subway uses the same chemical to whiten its bread that is used to make some yoga mats.
After University of Missouri football player and NFL draft prospect Michael Sam came out as gay in interviews over the weekend, all three network morning shows on Monday veered into gay rights activism as they celebrated the announcement. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On CBS This Morning, co-host Norah O'Donnell described the development as "a potential watershed moment in American sports." Later on the show, fellow co-host Charlie Rose asked CBS Sports correspondent Jim Brown to confirm that it was a "watershed moment." Brown replied: "There's no question about that, Charlie, for sure. I think anytime you have a first in any segment of society, it's a watershed moment."
Thursday's CNN Newsroom spotlighted how President Obama "called for promoting religious freedom – quote, 'a key part of U.S. foreign policy," at the annual National Prayer Breakfast, but glossed over his administration's controversial birth control/abortifacient mandate under ObamaCare, which is being challenged in an ongoing Supreme Court case. The cable network still stood out, however, as none of the Big Three networks aired reports on Obama's speech.
John King zeroed in on the President's "very moving tribute to the Americans held in prison in North Korea and in Iran because of their faith-based beliefs." Instead of mentioning the HHS mandate, anchor Carol Costello played up the Democrat's encounter with a conservative politician as a supposed glimmer of hope for bipartisanship: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The reporters at Good Morning America want their audience to know that Clay Aiken's chances for making it to Congress are iffy because of the "conservative district" and "very conservative area" in which he's running. [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Reporter Mara Schiavocampo on Thursday labeled the former American Idol runner-up a Democrat, as well as pointing out the Republican-leaning nature of North Carolina. But at no time did the journalist call Aiken a liberal.
Schiavocampo began the story by bluntly declaring, "...Simply put, [Aiken] is a long shot."She added, "Aiken, an openly gay single dad, is running in a conservative district in a state with a Republican governor and a GOP-run state legislature." The reporter praised Aiken for being "authentic" and having a "great life story." But to underline the odds he faces, Schiavocampo reminded, "We'll see how it plays out. Very conservative area." Co-host Robin Roberts fretted, "Very much so."
With rapidly rising debt and an unprecedented credit downgrade, Puerto Rico is facing a looming default with terrifying implications on American bond markets, though you would never know about it watching broadcast news.
The leading credit rating firm Standard & Poor’s Rating services downgraded Puerto Rican debt to “junk” status on Feb. 5, with further downgrades likely. Despite Puerto Rico having more than three times as much debt as Detroit did before bankruptcy, the broadcast networks paid no attention to this looming crisis in the six months before Feb. 1, 2014.
Puerto Rico, with $70 billion in debt and 14.7 percent unemployment, edges closer to a default. Regardless, ABC, CBS and NBC did not air a single story covering this crisis between Aug. 1, 2013 and Feb. 1, 2014.
Wednesday's Good Morning America on ABC ballyhooed the "breaking news" that Pope Francis shook hands with the real-life inspiration for the anti-Catholic movie "Philiomena" at the Vatican. George Stephanopoulos trumpeted the "moving journey for the woman portrayed by Judi Dench in the Oscar-nominated film" and her "remarkable story."
Cynthia McFadden slantingly gushed that "a woman, once shamed by the Catholic Church for having a baby out of wedlock, was invited today to meet Pope Francis," and mouthed the caption of Rolling Stone's recent cover featuring the pontiff: "The times – they are a-changin'." McFadden did her best to boost the movie and failed to mention conservative objections to the production. She also went out of her way to spotlight the United Nations' ideologically-tinged attack on the Church: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]