On Friday, while all three network morning shows covered Secretary of State John Kerry arriving in Paris to offer U.S. condolences following the recent terrorist attacks, none of the broadcasts mentioned one of the most embarrassing moments in American diplomatic history that occurred during the visit – Kerry bringing musician James Taylor to a press conference to sing "You've Got A Friend" to the French people.
Good Morning America
Former Democratic operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos on Friday fawned over Jimmy Carter. Though much of the interview with the "heroic" ex-president focused on his humanitarian work, Stephanopoulos also prompted Carter to push his liberal agenda.
Of the three networks, only ABC on Thursday reported that Barack Obama has transferred five more detainees out of Guantanamo Bay. The network allowed a scant 16 seconds to the news, but CBS and NBC totally skipped it.
On Thursday, ABC’s Good Morning America and CBS This Morning eagerly promoted President Obama’s latest proposal that would require all private companies provide their employees with “at least seven days of paid sick leave.” NBC’s Today did not cover President Obama’s initiative on their Thursday morning broadcast. During the network coverage of Obama’s initiative, GMA co-host Robin Roberts cheered on the program and insisted that “studies have shown again and again and again that paid sick leave, not only benefits workers and their families but employers, as well, because productivity goes up.”
Reporting on the release of Charlie Hebdo's first issue since the January 7 terrorist attack, NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday refused to show the cover of the satirical magazine that depicted a cartoon image of Mohamed. Despite such censorship, both networks touted the publication as "a triumph for free speech" and "a kind of declaration of defiance against terror."
On Monday, all three network morning shows surprisingly devoted full reports to President Obama being strongly criticized for not attending – or not at least sending a top official to attend – an anti-terror march in Paris on Sunday. At the top of NBC's Today, co-host Matt Lauer announced: "While world leaders join millions for a massive anti-terror rally in Paris, the President is under fire for not taking part."
On Sunday, Governor Chris Christie (R-N.J.) will attend the Green Bay Packers/Dallas Cowboys playoff game with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. Christie’s decision has drawn the ire of many football fans in New Jersey for not supporting either the Philadelphia Eagles or New York Giants, both of which have large fan bases in New Jersey. During their Sunday morning broadcasts, ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today did their best to play up the alleged football controversy, giving the story nearly six minutes of coverage. NBC’s Kristen Welker went so far as to insist despite Christie’s long support for the Cowboys “fans in the New Jersey region are crying foul. Some even saying the presidential contender has lost their vote.”
All three networks on Friday hyped Barack Obama's call for "free community college," but CBS, NBC and ABC offered very little in the way of skepticism about the cost or feasability of such a proposal.
ABC's Good Morning America has endured an increasing amount of criticism for ignoring real news in favor of vacuous, irrelevant stories. That trend continued on Wednesday as the two-hour-long program offered no time to the convening of the new Republican Senate and House or of the GOP agenda. Instead, GMA reporters featured a full report on the "new way to fight frizzy hair."
While Republicans officially took control of both the House and the Senate on Tuesday, NBC, ABC, and CBS all touted GOP setbacks. NBC's Today led the way, with correspondent Peter Alexander seizing on comments from the top Senate Republican: "Among incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's main goals for his party: don't be scary."
Good Morning America's keys to success: Replace hard news with tabloid news and viral videos, that according to Baltimore Sun critic David Zurawik. The columnist appeared on Fox News, Sunday, and derided an obsession with superficial topics.