This week marks the unhappy milestone of Black Monday for Wall Street, which had some journalists warning “it could” happen again. Even if it doesn’t, the media hammered home the prospect of a possible recession.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average nosedived Oct. 19, 1987, when panicked selling cost investors 22.6 percent in one day of panicked selling. But do investors in 2007 need to be worried about another crash?
"Good Morning America" co-host Diane Sawyer hosted a serious debate on Wednesday about whether Maine middle school students, children as young as 11, should have access to birth control pills. The ABC program engaged in a classic example of labeling bias with a graphic that identified talk show host Glenn Beck as a "conservative commentator." In contrast, Sawyer referred to the other guest, Logan Levkoff, not as a liberal, but simply a "sexual educator." This is despite the fact that the "educator" advocated not only for birth control for 11-year-olds, but wouldn't rule out giving it to elementary-aged children. Additionally, Levkoff has blogged about her distaste for President Bush and joy that the Democrats won Congress in 2006.
Despite a few tough questions to Levkoff, Sawyer clearly sympathized with her position. After explaining that a middle school in Portland is considering distributing the pill as well as the patch, she opened the debate by lecturing Beck: "You may not like it. You may want parents to go in and take care of their own children and make sure that they're not sexually active that young, but it's happening. It's happening." When Beck asserted that state law made sex under the age of 14 a crime, the GMA host retorted, "Well, but that's a legislative issue, what about these actual girls?"
The news media “eagerly reported” comments from General Ricardo Sanchez, the former top commander in Iraq, “calling the war in Iraq a quote 'nightmare with no end in sight,'” FNC's Brit Hume noted Monday night before pointing out how “there has been considerably less reporting of his harsh criticism of the press in the same speech.” Indeed, in his Friday address to a group of journalists, Sanchez regretted how “tactically insignificant events have become strategic defeats for America because of the tremendous power and impact of the media” and scathingly asserted that reporters “are perpetuating the corrosive partisan politics that is destroying our country and killing our service members who are at war.” Sanchez also charged: “For some of you, just like some of our politicians, the truth is of little to no value if it does not fit your own pre-conceived notions, biases and agendas.”
Not surprisingly, that deprecatory view of the media did not interest journalists over the weekend. The NBC Nightly News, for instance, ran a full story Friday night on Sanchez's comments critical of Bush officials, but didn't mention what he said about the news media. CNN's Wolf Blitzer led the 7pm EDT hour of Friday's The Situation Room with how “Ricardo Sanchez says 'America is living a nightmare with no end in sight.' That's a direct quote. And he's sharply critical of U.S. strategy with stinging judgment of government officials.” The critique of the media didn't come up in the segment with Pentagon reporter Jamie McIntyre. Saturday's front page New York Times article, “Ex-Commander Says Iraq Effort Is 'a Nightmare,'” ignored the media angle while front page story in Saturday's Washington Post, "Ex-Commander In Iraq Faults War Strategy," didn't refer to the scolding of the media until the very last paragraph.
ABC host Diane Sawyer and 2008 Republican contender John McCain engaged in a friendly conversation on Monday about who would be the most conservative GOP candidate, certainly a rare sight on network television. Amazingly, the interview, which took place on "Good Morning America," didn't frame the quest to be the most right-leaning contender as a bad thing. Sawyer began by asking McCain about this "verbal brawl" among Republicans for the conservative crown. She then quizzed McCain over his contention that Mitt Romney isn't authentic in his current positions and wondered, "Is he a con artist? Is that what you were saying?"
Sawyer allowed McCain ample time to question Romney's pro-life credentials and to bring up past disparaging remarks the former Massachusetts governor made about Ronald Reagan. The GMA host even laughed at McCain's joke that "Time flies when you're having fun" on the campaign trail. On Monday, Sawyer did question some of McCain's attacks on Romney, but, in general, the show's coverage of the former governor has been harsher in tone. In June, reporter Dan Harris wondered if "uncomfortable questions" about the candidate's Mormonism would torpedo his White House Bid. In April, co-host Robin Roberts grilled Romney about the source of his fund-raising and fretted about how much money was coming from Utah.
Saturday’s Good Morning America kept up the applause for Al Gore’s Nobel Peace Prize award, featuring a completely one-sided report from correspondent Bill Blakemore -- who said that scientists were “joyous” over the award to Gore because “scientists have been far more worried than anyone about global warming, finding it's far more dangerous, coming much quicker, than they expected” -- followed by an equally slanted interview with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who lectured an admiring Bill Weir that the media have failed to suppress any disagreement with his liberal views “because of a massive propaganda campaign by the Exxon corporation.”
Kennedy claimed: “In the scientific community, there was literally zero dissent. But at the same time, in the United States press, over 60% of the newspaper stories and, particularly, the television stories published, expressed some doubt about this issue. Why is that? The reason is because of a massive propaganda campaign by the Exxon corporation and by others -- but largely funded by Exxon -- that has been very, very successful at persuading the media not to cover this issue seriously and reporters simply don't go read the science.”
Appearing on Wednesday's "Good Morning America," media critic Howard Kurtz and co-host Chris Cuomo marveled at the media's ability to turn Americans against the war in Iraq. Kurtz, who has a new book on the subject, claimed that the top three network anchors kept "framing the story in such a way" that the bad news finally had an impact. While Cuomo and Kurtz discussed the declining ratings of the network newscasts, somehow, media bias never came up as a reason. Over on FNC's "O'Reilly Factor," however, anchor Bill O'Reilly did broach the subject with Kurtz. Asked to name a conservative at either CBS or NBC, the media critic came up with the name of that well known right-winger, Brian Williams.
Who would be the best candidate to help conservative Republican primary voters pick their nominee? That answer is, of course, obvious: Chris Matthews. The liberal anchor presided over a Republican debate this week and asked such insightful questions as whether the U.S. would "have gone to war in Iraq if we weren't so dependent on Middle East oil?" Chris, why not just chant, "No blood for oil"?
The principle that there is a presumption of innocence in favor of the accused is the undoubted law, axiomatic and elementary, and its enforcement lies at the foundation of the administration of our criminal law -- U.S. Supreme Court, Coffin v. United States .
Was [there] enough evidence to find that they were not guilty? -- ABC News, Matter of Martin Lee Anderson .
Forget that musty old 19th-century Supreme Court stuff. According to ABC, there's a new legal standard in criminal cases; at least those in which the MSM is rooting for a conviction. Henceforth, the presumption of innocence is abolished. There shall be a presumption of guilt, and the burden will be on the accused to produce enough evidence to acquit himself.
"Good Morning America" anchors and reporters effusively lauded Al Gore on Friday after he won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on global warming. Diane Sawyer opened the program by breathlessly declaring, "Former Vice President Al Gore wins the Nobel Peace Prize for helping awaken the world to global warming. Now is it time to run for president again?" In her introduction to a piece on the subject, Sawyer gushed that the ex-VP is receiving the award for "for educating the world."
Reporter Kate Snow was no less laudatory. She asserted, "For Al Gore, winning the Nobel Peace Prize is a personal milestone, vindication of a sort." The ABC contributor also claimed that the victory is "a new entry for the history books." To be fair, Snow did inform her viewers that the American politician beat out some very worthy individuals, such asa 97-year-old woman who saved Jewish children from the Holocaust. However, the GMA correspondent never questioned whether there was a political element to Gore receiving the Peace Prize or about the film's factual inaccuracies. She simply labeled the win not just a personal victory for the former vice president, but also "a symbolic victory for his cause."
On Tuesday's "Good Morning America," co-host Chris Cuomo and media critic Howard Kurtz ignored the role that liberal bias has played in the decline of ratings for the network evening newscasts. At the same time, Cuomo and Washington Post reporter seemed to be proud of the media's ability to turn Americans against the war in Iraq. Kurtz, who has written a book on the subject, asserted, "I believe that these newscasts in 2005 and 2006 played the biggest single role in helping to turn public opinion against the war."
Cuomo agreed and complimented the journalist's analysis. He enthused, "It's easy to say, 'Oh, well. The war was unpopular. People were looking for the unpopularity of it. At some point, the networks gave that to them.' But you have a more penetrating look at it. You take a look at it in terms of the role of the nightly newscasts in shaping the ideas about the news..." According to Kurtz, the top three network anchors kept "framing the story in such a way" that the bad news finally had an impact. And while the two reporters wondered about the effect the iPod and internet are having on network low ratings, at no time did they discuss liberal bias or salient facts such as that journalists backed John Kerry over George Bush by a two-to-one margin.
On Tuesday's "Good Morning America," ABC contributor Brian Ross chose the day of Fred Thompson's first debate to slam the 2008 candidate for his work as a lawyer on the Watergate hearings 34 years ago and also play clips questioning the then-attorney's intelligence. The investigative correspondent intoned that although Thompson has touted his role in the hearings, "a much different, less valiant picture of Thompson emerges from listening to the White House audiotapes made at the time as President Nixon plotted strategy with his aides in the Oval Office." Ross proceeded to play several clips of Richard Nixon calling Thompson "dumb as hell" and of administration associates alleging that the lawyer will help the White House.
As all of this information is old news, the Ross report is clearly timed to injure Thompson on the day of his big debate. The New York Times reported the same allegations way back on August 27, 2007. The article, by Jo Becker, used many of the same Nixon quotes. (And, in fact, a report by ABC's own Jake Tapper preceded the NYT article and also mentioned Nixon's "dumb as hell" line.) Ross closed his October 9 segment by snidely noting, "We tried to get a response from Thompson but his staff did not return our phone calls and he walked right by us when we tried to put the question to him in person." However, the ABC reporter also referenced other Thompson associates, such as former Senator Howard Baker, who appointed Thompson to the Watergate investigation. And although Baker is very much still alive, did Ross seemed unable to find anyone of that era who would go on record and say something positive about Thompson.
On Monday's "Good Morning America," co-host Chris Cuomo conducted a sycophantic interview with former President Jimmy Carter. In the introduction alone, the ABC anchor glowingly described Carter as someone who is " waging peace, fighting disease and building hope." A few seconds later, he again cheerfully enthused that Carter is a "a man who is all about peace."
Cuomo even went so far as to tell the one-term president that, given some hindsight, America would now appreciate Carter's leadership during the hostage crisis. He described Carter's handling of the 444 day long spectacle of American hostages being held in Iran as the philosophy of saying, "'We will negotiate. We will not just go in and bomb and see what happens.'" To make it perfectly clear that Cuomo was praising Carter and simultaneously slamming President Bush, the ABC host elaborated, "It just seems that today in our political climate, restraint is seen as strength, because we've seen what happens when we use force." After a brief discussion of the 2008 campaign, Cuomo, the son of the former liberal governor Mario Cuomo, gushed that he hoped the Democrats pay "attention to your message. It certainly serves well with the current political situation."
On Monday's "Good Morning America," co-host Diane Sawyer reported live from Mexico and repeatedly blamed U.S. rage for much of the controversy over illegal immigration. After introducing a segment on the problem, Sawyer lectured, "So a lot of Americans are erupting in anger. While others say, 'Who are we kidding? It's too late to complain.'" Sawyer then opined that efforts to stem the tide of illegals, such as building a 700 mile fence, are "fueled by anger."
Sawyer continued this theme of out of control, emotional Americans into an interview with Mexican President Felipe Calderon. She informed the GMA audience that "Felipe Calderon says it's time to stop yelling at each other and face the facts." Later, she described him as "urging less emotion, more strategy." And although Sawyer found time to describe Calderon as the "new action president" and mention that he went to Harvard University, she didn't ask him about the estimated $10 billion a year illegal immigration costs American taxpayers. (Although, the host did touch on the subject in the segment's introduction.)
On Friday's "Good Morning America," reporter Claire Shipman fretted over the fact that local governments are aggressively fighting illegal immigration. An ABC graphic worried, "Crackdown on Illegal Immigrants: Have Communities Gone Too Far?" Discussing the efforts by a Texas town to stop the influx of illegals, Shipman claimed, "...Neighbors suddenly find they can't help themselves. The immigration debate exploding without the niceties." She also lamented the tone of the debate, saying that since the defeat of the Senate immigration bill, "...What had once been a lofty political debate has now become a gritty, explosive reality."
At no point did it occur to ABC to wonder if illegals had "gone too far" in breaking American laws. Rather, Shipman highlighted sympathetic stories of terrified immigrants. She asserted that in the small town of Irving, Texas, "Latino parents have grown so nervous, they're keeping their kids out of schools." The GMA reporter also talked to an anonymous illegal immigrant in Virginia who recounted the ordeal of having a child who "comes home and asked me, 'Why do they hate us?'"
On Friday's "Good Morning America," ABC reporter David Wright narrated a sympathetic look at Barack Obama's decision not to wear an American flag lapel pin and asserted that this country's "obsession with flag pins isrelatively new." To further defend the Democratic presidential candidate, Wright pointedly noted that liberal bogeyman Richard Nixon wore such a pin. He observed, "Ike didn't wear one. JFK either. Nixon did wear the flag as he told the American people he had nothing to do with Watergate."
Of course, Wright himself was not wearing a pin with the U.S. flag on it. As the MRC has previously noted, ABC President David Westin banned on-air talent from having such pins adorn their lapels. In 2003, he deemed it the "patriotic duty" of reporters not to display the flag. At a journalist conference, he elaborated that "after 9/11, the question came up and we, as a matter of policy at ABC News, tell our people on the air, you shall not wear an American flag or any other symbol on the air."
I wonder how the media will pretend this is bad news? The latest employment numbers are in and not only are they solid, but last month wasn't the catastrophe first reported.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced 110,000 jobs were created in September and 89,000 were created in August. The August number replaces the 4,000 jobs lost that were first reported. If you flash back to last month, you'll remember how much the media screamed about this. ABC was declaring the August numbers a sign of "new fears this morning about the state of our economy," said Bill Weir on September 8. That's how he lead off a downbeat "Good Morning America" story entitled "Road to Recession? Bleak Signals from Job Report."
It only got worse. "And now many are asking whether the disappointing employment figures, coupled with the housing crisis, may head us, have us headed for a serious economic downturn or even recession," worried Weir.
Assume for a moment that a new study by NASA proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that manmade global warming was indeed responsible for the recent ice melts in the Arctic. Think media would have reported it?
In reality, that's a bit of a trick question, for in the past several weeks, television newscasts, papers, and magazines have been filled with hysterical assertions about decreasing Arctic ice levels destined to cause imminent flooding to coastal regions around the world.
As such, it certainly was no surprise when NASA released a report Monday claiming "the rapid decline in winter perennial ice the past two years was caused by unusual winds," virtually no media outlets shared the information with the citizenry, and those that did still blamed the melting ice on - you guessed it - global warming.
The largely boycotted announcement out of NASA stated no such thing (emphasis added):
On Wednesday’s "Good Morning America," co-host Robin Roberts, for the second day in a row, intimated that Clarence Thomas was guilty of sexually harassing Anita Hill. Interviewing Anucha Brown-Sanders about her successful harassment lawsuit against New York Knicks coach Isiah Thomas, Roberts gratuitously segued, "Yesterday, sitting where you are right now, Anita Hill, who was here to talk about what happened 16 years ago when she was brought before the Judiciary Committee, with Clarence Thomas being a nominee for the Supreme Court..." Roberts then asked Browne-Sanders, "Do you think your decision in your court case can have a similar impact?"
Implicit in this question is the idea that Hill’s claims against the now-Supreme Court justice are true. Would Roberts use Clinton-accuser Paula Jones as a similar comparison to a modern case? On Tuesday’s GMA, the ABC host employed the same tactic in the interview with Anita Hill. Roberts sympathetically questioned, "Is it better now in the workplace for women?" Again, this leaves the assumption that for things to be "better," Thomas must have been guilty of making them worse for Hill.
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," ABC host Robin Roberts sympathetically interviewed Anita Hill and asserted that her 1991 testimony in front of the Senate resulted in the law professor enduring "withering scrutiny from the press." Roberts also pointedly noted that Hill "passed a polygraph test. Clarence Thomas refused to take one. You passed one." An ABC graphic defiantly observed, "Anita Hill: ‘I Stand by my Testimony’"
The segment on GMA stood in stark contrast to the mostly positive and fair coverage Thomas received on Monday’s "Good Morning America" and "Nightline." (The Supreme Court justice has been promoting his new autobiography.) Reporter Jan Crawford Greenburg allowed Thomas to tell his side of the story and attack accusers, such as when Greenburg noted, "Thomas says he faced more racism in the confirmation fight than he did as a child in the segregated south."
As the MRC’s Tim Graham wrote on Monday, Hill, who accused then Supreme Court nominee Thomas of sexual harassment, hardly suffered through "withering scrutiny" from many media outlets, especially in the wake of the hearings. In early 1992, "60 Minutes" reporter Ed Bradley gingerly asked Hill, "When someone looks at you and sees Anita Hill, what do you want that to mean?"
On Monday’s "Good Morning America," ABC reporter Kate Snow rose to the defense of Hillary Clinton and the fact that she’s been seen manically giggling in many interviews. Referencing the mocking that the Democratic presidential candidate has taken on "The Daily Show" and other places, Snow asserted that either Hillary Clinton is either "having a really good time out on the campaign trail, or she's the master of a shrewd political skill, disarming her critics with a gleam in her eye and a roar straight from the belly." So, the former First Lady is vibrant and fun-loving or brilliant in a good natured way? Those are the only two options?
During the segment, only Democratic operatives or Clinton campaign officials were asked to explain the candidate’s recent outburst of giggles (except for a brief "Daily Show" clip). According to Snow, "Her inner circle insists her laugh is not calculated. It's natural." Clinton operative Capricia Marshall found Hillary’s laughter to be "contagious." Democratic strategist Chris Lehane glowingly described the cackling as "smart and pretty adroit." What else would ABC and Kate Snow expect them to say?
ABC may have set a loathsome new MSM low in insulting traditional Christians. On today's "Good Morning America," the network lumped the "Christan right" with the 9-11 Islamic terrorists as driving people to atheism.
Keying off an atheists convention being held this weekend, GMA ran a segment on the "Rise in Atheism." Seeking to explain the phenomenon, as images rolled first of the WTC in flames and then of a man placidly holding a sign that simply read "One Nation Under God" and of a display at a demonstration of the Ten Commandments, ABC's Liz Marlantes stated:
On Friday’s "Good Morning America," ABC host Diane Sawyer interviewed actress Sally Field and again indicated that the TV star's edited anti-war tirade at the September 16 Emmys was simply no big deal. The GMA anchor dismissively observed, "Again, we were saying at the time, everybody in Canada heard the whole thing, sat at home and watched it." Agreeing with the implication of American provincialism, the "Brothers and Sisters" star fragmentedly noted, "And in London. A friend of mine in London." Sawyer added that the cultured British must have been "thinking probably nothing much of it."
Field also furthered the idea that Fox censored her as part of some pro-war agenda. According to the "Flying Nun" star, "...When it has to do with war at all on Fox, I think they all ran around like a bunch of chickens and started pulling wires, you know, ‘Get her off the air!’" Of course, the actual reason her comments were edited was because Fox feared being fined by the FCC. Other edits that night included a profanity and a Ray Romano’s use of the word "screwing." In fact, Fox allowed several conservative-slamming, non-vulgar jokes to air unimpeded.
On Friday’s "Good Morning America," for the fourth time this year, the ABC program skewered America for not being generous with paid leave and openly lobbied viewers to support a Democratic, big government initiative. After lumping the U.S. in with countries such as Liberia and Lesotho, as being one of only five countries that don’t provide paid maternity leave, GMA contributor Tory Johnson appeared with Democratic presidential candidate Chris Dodd to promote his legislation.
"First and most important is to make your voice heard, Johnson exclaimed. Openly advocating this government expansion, she added, "On the GMA website, we have links to all the senators’ and congressmen’s offices. Call them. E-mail them. Let them know where you stand." Would GMA promote legislation for family friendly television that a Republican presidential candidate was sponsoring? Also, there was almost no mention of the expensive cost of providing eight weeks of paid maternity leave and how that would effect the U.S. taxpayer. Instead, co-host Robin Roberts mentioned that unpaid leave is already available and wondered, "What's stopping the government from making the law truly family friendly?" Johnson alternatively described paid leave as "government’s relief" and "great benefits" without much consideration of where these "benefits" are coming from.
On Thursday’s "Good Morning America," ABC host George Stephanopoulos provided another example of the close relationship that the "This Week" host has with Bill and Hillary Clinton. After playing a debate clip of the New York Senator publicly disagreeing with her husband over a question about torture, Stephanopoulos revealed to co-host Robin Roberts, "My e-mail started going off the minute after that exchange happened. All the Clinton people."
Stephanopoulos, a former top aide to Bill Clinton, explained that Mrs. Clinton’s operatives "were thrilled" with the retort and "they like any moment where she can show that, actually, she's the one in charge. He's not pulling the strings." In other words, the Clinton camp e-mailed the ABC anchor, told him the debate moment they most appreciated and Stephanopoulos dutifully highlighted it the next day on "Good Morning America." This isn’t the first time the veteran journalist has touted his continuing ties to the Clintons. In March of 2005, he boasted to (then) MSNBC host Don Imus that he talked with liberal political operative James Carville "every day."
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program once again demonstrated the template for GOP figures to receive air time: Trash your fellow Republicans. GMA featured former Congressman J.C. Watts questioning whether top 2008 GOP presidential candidates are racist for skipping a PBS debate on minority issues. Continuing the theme, co-host Robin Roberts asked former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, "...Why are Republicans so reluctant to talk to minorities?"
In a piece setting up the Gingrich interview, Roberts intoned that the absence of Republican front-runners at the event is "raising questions about the message it sends to some voters." GMA co-host Diane Sawyer teased the segment by not-so-subtlety asking, "...Are the Republican candidates snubbing minority events?" Roberts and Sawyer never bothered to mention that Thursday’s PBS debate will be moderated by liberal host Tavis Smiley who, for instance, wondered in May, "Why shouldn’t we be outraged" at George Bush. Perhaps the Republican front-runners simply don’t want to go into a hostile, left-wing event. Would "Good Morning America" insist that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton attend a forum hosted by the NRA?
CORRECTION: 2007-09-25 14:20:00 -0400 [An earlier version misidentified Jake Tapper as saying the event is "raising questions about the message it sends to some voters." This was actually said by co-host Robin Roberts.]
On Monday’s "Good Morning America," co-anchor Chris Cuomo conducted a mostly softball interview with Columbia University President Lee Bollinger about his decision to host Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the prestigious school. Rather than grill the University president about the unpopular decision, Cuomo offered friendly questions, such as when he wondered, "What value do you think Ahmadinejad's comments will add to the debate in this country?"
The ABC host also appeared to have left an actually compelling question on the cutting room floor. At the end of what was apparently a pre-taped piece, Cuomo observed to co-host Diane Sawyer that Bollinger would consider inviting Osama bin Laden. He claimed, "Even when we brought up Osama bin Laden for an invitation, it wasn't dismissed. No one was dismissed." And yet, that query isn’t actually in the segment at all. Wouldn’t such a shocking answer be big news? At the very least, one would assume, that quote would be included in the interview. It should also be noted that Sawyer responded defensively to Cuomo even referencing the missing bin Laden question. She quickly added, "Yes, but [Bollinger] says the invitation has not gone to Osama bin Laden."
Sometimes, the truth is obvious to everyone. During a discussion with fellow MSNBC host Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann wondered why Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards found it necessary to buy commercial time following a speech by President Bush. Marveling at Edwards’s actions, he revealed, "I don't think I'm saying anything unknown to the audience, I don't think he would have gotten a hard time from this particular network."
Speaking of Chris Matthews, one has to admire the host’s creativity. On Tuesday, while discussing the tasering of a University of Florida student, the cable news anchor blamed it on, you guessed it, Iraq. Matthews also decried the "fascistic notion" of American troops "forcing" democracy on Iraqis. Only a day earlier, the MSNBC host wondered, "Should we put Exxon signs up over Arlington Cemetery and Mobil signs up there, like they have at baseball stadiums?"
On Thursday’s morning shows and Wednesday’s evening newscasts, CBS and ABC discussed a possible visit to Ground Zero by Iran’s President and, at the same time, ignored Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s connections to terror and also his statements about wiping out Israel. On "Good Morning America," Chris Cuomo briefly mentioned the upcoming U.S. trip and only cited construction at New York’s Ground Zero and "security concerns" as reasons to deny the man a visit. On CBS's "Early Show," reporter Russ Mitchell filed a similarly bland report. Neither mentioned that the Iranian leader in 2005 called for Israel to be wiped from the map and Iran is a state supporter of terrorism.
Only on NBC’s "Today," did Ahmadinejad’s extreme statements and actions warrant a reference. Reporter Andrea Mitchell labeled the attempted visit to Ground Zero a "PR stunt" and pointedly observed, "[Bush] Administration officials called it appalling. Presidential candidates condemned the visit and one 9/11 widow said it's like letting Osama Bin Laden visit Ground Zero." With a series of anchor briefs, Wednesday night’s news broadcasts featured a similar pattern. NBC’s "Nightly News" host Brian Williams proclaimed that the request had been rejected because of security and the fact that "Iran is, as the U.S. said today, among the world’s leading sponsors of terrorism." However, "World News" host Charles Gibson provided no reason at all. In a news brief, he simply asserted, "[Ahmadinejad] told New York police he’d like to visit Ground Zero. The New York City police department has said no." "Evening News" anchor Katie Couric didn’t cover the subject at all.
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," ABC anchors and reporters spun the editing of Sally Field’s profanity laced anti-war rant at Sunday’s Emmys as an example of political censorship by Fox, a right-wing network. Reporter Dan Harris ominously observed, "Some saythe Fox network, owned by well known conservative Rupert Murdoch, was engaged in political censorship."
However, during the ceremony, "Sopranos" creator David Chase, extolled the values of gangsters. In a halting speech, he asserted, "And hell, let’s face it, if the world and this nation was run by gangsters-- [Pause] Maybe it is." Mr. Chase’s political statement was not censored, nor were any of the numerous anti-Bush and Republican-slamming jokes that aired on the awards show. But rather than accept the explanation that Field’s comments were cut because she used an expletive, Harris claimed, "...It’s the Sally Field case that is provoking the real cries of political censorship because Fox cut off not only her expletive but also her entire thought." The argument is somewhat self defeating because, as Harris noted, Fox also censored comedian Ray Romano’s off-color joke. In fact, the ACLU is attacking the edit on the grounds of vulgarity, not politics.
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," Diane Sawyer interviewed Hillary Clinton about health care and recycled campaign talking points that her fellow 2008 Democrat, John Edwards, has been peddling. According to Sawyer, upon his election, Edwards will "cut off health care for Congress so that they don't have health care while the rest of America doesn’t." The ABC anchor earnestly followed up by wondering, "Would you do that or is that a gimmick?" Clinton responded by observing the implausibility of the concept. She patiently explained to Sawyer that Edwards would "have to get Congress to vote for that, of course."
The Sawyer interview did contain some surprises, however. The GMA host featured two clips from the 2008 Republican hopefuls challenging Mrs. Clinton. But the eight minute and 19 second segment also continued GMA’s habit of offering generous amounts of time to the New York senator. In March, the ABC program featured Hillary for over 30 minutes during a town hall style infomercial. During Sawyer’s interview on Tuesday, she also asked Clinton emotional, softball queries. Over video of Clinton at a ‘93 health care event, the morning show host wondered, "What do you wish this woman we're looking at now on the screen had known then that you now know, since it went down in flames?"