On Thursday, September 18, a strange thing happened: ABC actually covered President Obama’s plummeting poll numbers. No, not ABC News, but the daytime ABC program The View which spent nearly four minutes discussing his falling poll numbers. Moderator Whoopi Goldberg proclaimed that President Obama “might be afraid…the latest approval ratings seemed to have sunk lower than George Bush's levels. Partly because more than half of Americans are disapproving of the way he seems to be handling terrorism.”
Good Morning America
A government report claiming that there was no conclusive proof that long wait times led to deaths at Veterans Affairs hospitals was altered. Yet, for the second day in a row, NBC ignored this revelation. ABC's Good Morning America on Thursday allowed a scant 21 seconds, despite news reader Amy Robach hyping the "stunning admission."
The mother of ISIS beheading victim James Foley told CNN’s Anderson Cooper, on September 11, that she was “embarrassed and appalled” by the White House’s handling of her son’s kidnapping. On September 8 a spokesman for the family of ISIS victim Steven Sotloff claimed that both families were “bullied and hectored” by the administration.
So how many Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) network stories have been devoted to helping these families tell their shocking stories of a White House that let them down and even intimidated them? Just three (CBS 2, ABC 1, NBC 0).
When a Washington Post-ABC News poll ends up finding the "Best News for Republicans," the Post tries to find other findings to highlight in their headlines.
"Majority of Americans find Obama presidency a failure" wasn't going to be bolded on the front page. They went with "Support widens for air strikes" instead. ABC News, their polling partner, never found it.
On Friday, all three network morning shows seized on reports that Sarah Palin and her family were "caught in a massive brawl" during a house party in Anchorage, Alaska. ABC's Good Morning America opened with substitute co-host Lara Spencer declaring: "One witness saying it was like an episode of Jerry Springer, her kids throwing punches. What sparked this rumble in the tundra?" The song Eye of the Tiger was heard playing in the background. [Listen to the audio]
In the full report that followed on GMA, correspondent Paula Faris pushed the tabloid story: "According to the Washington Post, Palin, along with her husband Todd and kids Bristol, Willow, and Track, arriving in a stretch Hummer. The Post also reporting that as the beer started flowing, that's when the fighting started." Supposed eyewitness Eric Thompson proclaimed: "I heard Sarah Palin scream out, 'You know who we are, don't you?' It was like we were just on a Jerry Springer episode."
On this 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, ABC, CBS, NBC and MSNBC appropriately devoted time to commemorating that tragic day in our history. But today also marks the second anniversary of the Benghazi attacks that led to the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, foreign service officer Sean Smith and two CIA contractors, Tyrone Woods and Glenn Doherty.
So how much time did the Big Three and MSNBC, on Thursday morning, devote to their memories and the surrounding controversy around the attack? Zero seconds.
All three network morning shows on Thursday highlighted Barack Obama's primetime speech from the night before, promoting his talk of a "broad coalition." Yet, Germany and Britain have announced that they won't take part in the President's planned air strikes. In 2003, ABC, NBC and CBS hit George W. Bush for "going it alone" with a coalition of 18 countries.
On Tuesday, ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today, offered mere seconds on President Obama's approval rating hitting "near record lows" amid his reluctance to aggressively combat ISIS terrorists. CBS This Morning skipped any mention of the dismal poll numbers for the commander-in-chief.
On Good Morning America, after touting broad public support for the kind of military action against ISIS that Obama would likely announce in a Wednesday night address to the nation, co-host George Stephanopoulos noted: "It comes at a time when he's facing some real popularity problems. We see 56% of the country disapproving of how the President's handling foreign policy." [Listen to the audio]
Wendy Davis, the Texas Democrat who is currently running to replace Rick Perry as the state’s next governor, spoke with Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts for an interview that aired on Monday, September 8. Davis appeared on ABC to hawk her memoir “Forgetting to Be Afraid” in which she revealed how she had two abortions in the mid-1990s.
Throughout the two segments, Roberts treated the Texas Democrat to a fawning interview in which she played up how Davis “isn’t shying away from tough issues, both personal and political” before asking “why are you sharing so much right now? So personal.”
Following President Obama’s decision to delay any executive action on immigration reform, ABC’s Good Morning America did its best to hit the president from the left for failing to offer legal status to potentially millions of illegal immigrants currently living in this country.
On Sunday, September 7, co-host Dan Harris played up how “there is anger this morning in the Hispanic community over a decision made by President Obama. He had promised to take action soon on immigration reform, protecting families from the threat of deportation. But now he's saying he’s going to wait until after the elections in November.”
The major broadcast networks continued their month-long plus streak of not covering the IRS scandal on Friday night and Saturday morning as ABC, CBS, and NBC all omitted from their evening and morning newscasts two major developments. The new details on the scandal involving the agency that targeted conservative groups include the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) informing congressional staffers that a possible 760 IRS computer servers exist that could contain lost e-mails from Lois Lerner.
While both NBC's Today and CBS This Morning on Thursday highlighted Republicans and Democrats in Congress taking President Obama to task for failing to have a strategy to combat the ISIS terror network, ABC's Good Morning America skipped any mention of the growing bipartisan frustration with the White House.
On This Morning, correspondent Nancy Cordes reported: "Lawmakers from both sides tell us they believe the President has the authority to act right away....they want to see signs that he is crafting a plan and they want the White House to share that plan with them as soon as possible....[they] want more than just promises. They want evidence that a strategy is taking shape."