Not a media bias item, but a reflection of how the media coverage of the VA Tech massacre is evolving . . .
Good Morning America's Chris Cuomo gave VA Tech a rough going-over today regarding its failure to have removed Cho from campus before he murdered 32 people. Cuomo introduced the segment, entitled "Were Warning Signs Missed on Campus," this way:
CHRIS CUOMO: Now students, their parents and friends are left with many questions of whether or not the university did everything it could to prevent all this.
Cuomo then played a video clip of Anne Atkinson, the parent of a VA Tech student, asking: "why did they allow him to stay? I think this could have been prevented."
On Wednesday’s "Good Morning America," Sam Champion, ABC weatherman and liberal environmentalist, escalated his campaign to encourage Americans to fight global warming. In addition to lecturing viewers about their contribution to climate change, he, once again, engaged in identification bias.
Champion’s segment featured a representative from the Natural Resources Defense Council, a liberal environmental group. The organization’s ideology, not surprisingly, went completely unmentioned. However, the weatherman began the piece by standing in front of a bank of televisions and scolding viewers for their energy output:
Sam Champion: "For example, did you know that even with the flip of a switch, we all contribute to global warming? Well, I know it sounds a little intense. But there are some small things you can do to change that, like paying attention to your carbon footprint...If you think you have nothing to do with global warming, think again. From the car you drive, to the house you live in, it all contributes to the problem."
Yes, "Good Morning America" did let us hear from a member of the VA Tech gun club saying he wished he could have had a concealed carry permit and "that I would not have felt that I was totally just a helpless victim at the mercy of this lunatic." But when it came to people in positions of authority, GMA, during it's first half-hour this morning, aired only the views of anti-gun advocates in a segment on how Cho got his guns. And a senior ABC reporter passed along the lament of those opposing the right to bear arms.
Narrating the segment, ABC investigative reporter Brian Ross [file photo] rolled a clip of Josh Horwitz of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, who complained: "Virginia's [attitude] is let's sell it and not find out anything about them and that may have led to a tragedy in this case."
On Saturday’s "Good Morning America," correspondent Christianne Klein hyped this past weekend’s global warming rallies by reporting hyperbolic and misleading information on the subject of rising sea levels. Reporting from lower Manhattan before a gaggle of environmental activists, she said of the protesters, "Now, where they will stand represents where the Manhattan coastline could be if the sea level rises just 10 feet, actually, a moderate estimate for global warming standards."
A 10 feet increase is a moderate estimate? Not quite. As the CATO Institute's Patrick Michaels noted, the much hyped U.N. report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggested a rise of inches, not feet, is likely:
Under the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's medium-range emission scenario for greenhouse gases, a rise in sea level of between 8 and 17 inches is predicted by 2100....Even 17 inches is likely to be high, because it assumes that the concentration of methane, an important greenhouse gas, is growing rapidly.
During Thursday’s "Good Morning America," ABC ran a promo previewing a day-long push for liberal environmental action. The event, which takes place on April 20, will encompass ‘Good Morning America,’ ‘Nightline’ and ‘World News.’ The ad’s narrator promises a "call to action," and notes that the proceedings be hosted by GMA’s Diane Sawyer and will culminate in a hour long special at 10pm:
ABC ad: "Mother nature is sending us a message and we hear it. [Video of falling glaciers, animals and pollution] In eight days, an extraordinary global event. Travel live to all seven continents with ABC News and Diane Sawyer, revealing first hand the real changes in our planet. This is a call to action."
Diane Sawyer: "On Friday, April 20th, ABC News will show you how and what you can do to help. Then, starting at 10 pm, don’t miss the landmark special: ‘Planet Earth 2007.’"
Touchy, touchy! Diane Sawyer is in the business of dishing out tough questions and challenging people's answers. But when a guest on today's "Good Morning America" politely corrected her on a First Amendment matter, the GMA host was quick to accuse him of "attacking" her.
Los Angeles-based radio talk show host Larry Elder was Diane's guest, in to discuss the Imus matter. Sawyer introduced him as a "conservative radio host" though on his own site Elder describes himself as a "libertarian" and "a blend of fiscal conservative and social liberal." Of course we all know how many times the MSM has described Al Sharpton as a "liberal" in the course of his innumerable appearances over the last week or so: that would be precisely zero, at last count.
Elder opined that Imus' punishment did not fit the crime. Imus' comment was offensive, sexist and racist, said Elder, "but he apologized, apologized again, did the obligatory beatdown tour à la Michael Richards by appearing on the Al Sharpton show, and as far as I'm concerned, that should have been enough. In the grand department store of life, Don Imus operates in the toy section and I think that those remarks should have been taken with some perspective, but they weren't."
On Thursday’s “Good Morning America,” reporter Kate Snow hosted a segment on whether the Duke lacrosse players will be able to get their reputations back. In so doing, she discussed Reverend Al Sharpton’s role in falsely accusing New York prosecutor Steven Pagones of raping then 15-year-old Tawana Brawley in 1987.
Though this segment was not specifically related to the unfolding Don Imus story, GMA has thus far been the only network morning show to interview Pagones and, by implication, seriously question Sharpton’s role as moral arbiter in the Imus case. (In fairness, “Today” has mentioned the Tawana Brawley case in general as has MSNBC.) After discussing the Duke case, Snow segued into other high profile, false accusations:
Kate Snow: "Steven Pagones knows exactly how that is. 20 years ago, he was very publicly accused of raping 15-year-old Tawana Brawley."
Al Sharpton [file footage of Sharpton]: "Six white men, one named Steve Pagones. I repeat it again! The assistant district attorney of Dutchess County, were among those that attacked her."
On Monday’s "Good Morning America," weatherman and left-wing environmental activist Sam Champion took his global warming lobbying to the next step. Champion appeared at Southern Methodist University in Texas with liberal celebrity activist Laurie David and noted anti-Bush singer Sheryl Crow for the start of the "Stop Global Warming College Tour."
It’s rather amazing that ABC is allowing on-air talent to kick off a political campaign with specific policy agendas. Would Champion appear at the commencement of a nationwide "Stop Abortion" tour? ABC even let David, wife of "Seinfeld" co-creator Larry David, and Crow introduce the 8:30am hour. Co-host Robin Roberts, ignoring David’s liberal activism, referred to the celebrity wife simply as a "global warming activist":
Laurie David: "Hi, I'm Laurie David."
Sheryl Crow: "And I'm Sheryl Crow. And we're here in Dallas, Texas at SMU!"
David: "To kick off the Stop Global Warming College Tour. Good morning, America!"
If George Allen turned up on Good Morning America to protest an incident of alleged anti-white bigotry, what are the odds the GMA host wouldn't mention Allen's macaca moment? I'd say they'd be a Dylanesqe "Love Minus Zero."
But when GMA aired a clip this morning of Al Sharpton expressing his outrage over Don Imus' recent comments about the Rutgers women basketball players, not a discouraging word was heard about Sharpton's history of racially-charged statements and actions that go far beyond the former senator's gaffe.
You might think that Easter would be an occasion for an MSM outlet like ABC to invite in a serious Christian theologian or minister to discuss issues of death and resurrection. Please. I did say "an MSM outlet." ABC's Good Morning America decided the best way to celebrate Easter today was to devote one segment to an anti-war activist who had organized a "cluster bomb hunt" to parallel the White House's Easter egg hunt, and another segment to a mocking examination of the Easter bunny.
In the first segment, GMA's Kate Snow interviewed Brian Hennessey, organizer of the "cluster bomb hunt" outside the White House to protest the use of the weapons. Small children were shown constructing the mock bombs, and later would be sent out to search for them. Claimed Hennessey "we're not trying to politicize kids in any way." Right. When he later mentioned that the kids' parents would be "looking for weapons of mass destruction which of course aren't there," Snow didn't bother to suppress a laugh. Not surprising. This is the same Snow who a couple weeks ago who was moved to laughter by a painting that depicted Christ and his disciples as dogs.
Members of the media are working environmental bias into the oddest segments. "Good Morning America" weatherman Sam Champion reported this week on the trendy new concept of "green weddings." According to Mr. Champion, "more and more Americans" are embracing ideas such as not using electricity during their wedding and holding the reception in a barn. Sounds great, right ladies?
On the same topic, the "Today" show’s Martin Savidge worried that climate change could have a negative effect on the nation’s pets. (Presumably, this includes Savidge’s dog "Girlfriend.") On Friday, the aforementioned Mr. Champion plugged a global warming study that predicted overly warm spring temperatures. This was right after his early April forecast of brutal cold for the Northeast.
On Friday’s "Good Morning America," weatherman and liberal environmental activist Sam Champion hyped a new global warming study released on April 6. The ABC anchor also featured a representative from a left-wing environmental group and failed to identify the organization’s political slant.
Only minutes after reporting on the "arctic blast" of unusually cold temperatures that much of the country is facing, Champion touted a new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that noted "we’re already facing earlier springs."
Two days ago NewsBusters documented how ABC's "Good Morning America"
is hyping the "latest trend" for couples tying the knot this year,
so-called green weddings. Of course, weatherman/reporter Sam Champion
left out for his audience how the bride featured in his story, Anna
Swinson, is a Sierra Club official in Atlanta, but what's a covert
liberal agenda among friends?
ABC is not the only network pushing the phenomenon as a tactic to combating global warming. "Days of Our Lives"
addicts will be treated to the earth-friendly nuptials of characters
Sami and Lucas. Of course the NBC.com Web site doesn't just plug the
liberal-friendly story arc, it also insults the intelligence
of its readership by insisting that having a "green wedding" isn't just a matter of taste, it's a matter of life and death (yes, even if green is just not the bride's color):
When Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton announced she had taken in $26 million in campaign donations on Monday, "Good Morning America" focused on the "historic," "staggering," and record shattering nature of the total. But on Tuesday, April 3, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney received only suspicion over his equally impressive announcement of a $23 million fund-raising total.
GMA host Robin Roberts repeatedly asked Romney questions such as "where is the money coming from, Governor?" Ms. Roberts also wondered how the candidate’s Mormon faith factored into his fund-raising. She even challenged the Republican hopeful to take a page from John Kennedy and address his faith:
Robin Roberts: "Many are wondering if you will do, take a page from former President Kennedy, who had addressed the nation about his Catholic upbringing. Do you anticipate, anticipate doing the same?"
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program featured a segment on the growing feud between "View" host Rosie O’Donnell and FNC anchor Bill O’Reilly. Although reporter Taina Hernandez did highlight some of Ms. O’Donnell’s more extreme statements, the segment mostly portayed the back-and-forth as simply a celebrity squabble.
And one topic that GMA left out? Any reference to Rosie’s recent on-air touting of 9/11 conspiracy theories. Co-host Robin Roberts previewed the segment with a tease that offered moral equivalence between the FNC host and the woman who recently suggested that the kidnapping of British Marines was a modern day Gulf of Tonkin incident. Roberts wondered, "Has Rosie gone too far this time?" But she quickly covered herself by asking, "Maybe O’Reilly’s crossed the line? We’ll let you be the judge and weigh in on that."
On Monday’s "Good Morning America," ABC weatherman Sam Champion again promoted the liberal environmental agenda. This time, he hosted a segment on the phenomena of green weddings that, according to Champion, "more and more Americans" are embracing.
Additionally, the piece featured footage of such an event. One of the participants in this green wedding just happened to be an employeeof the Sierra Club, a left wing environmental organization:
Sam Champion: "Weddings are, of course, about celebrating a couple's love for one another. And now some couples are taking that just a little step further, not just sharing their love for one another but also sharing their love for the world around them and the environment. It's the latest trend more and more Americans are finding. And a way to go green, making a commitment and a statement with style."
Over at Opinion Journal, Mark Lasswell has an article about how ABC seems to be competing with The Daily Show for political comedy, at least when George Stephanopoulos talks about U.S. Attorney firings:
How else to explain those hilarious skits when Chief Washington Correspondent George Stephanopoulos reports on the brouhaha over the Justice Department's firing of eight U.S. attorneys while the proverbial elephant in the room is lurking just off-camera?
Mr. Stephanopoulos doesn't mention his own valuable expertise on the subject of fired federal prosecutors, the kind of expertise that might help place the current mess in context. Mr. Stephanopoulos was the Clinton White House communications director in 1993 when the Justice Department cleaned its slate of all 93 U.S. attorneys, and he was central to the administration's finessing of the episode--just the sort of insider experience, presumably, that prompted ABC News to hire Mr. Stephanopoulos fresh out of the White House in 1996.
This week, the Media Research Center celebrated 20 years of busting news bias. At the annual MRC 20th Anniversary Gala, Conservative legend Rush Limbaugh brought down the house with his closing speech on the success of the alternative media.
On Monday, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton received a gift from "Good Morning America": A 30 minute "town hall" infomercial where a GMA host lauded the New York Senator for being ahead of her time.
On Monday, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) got a "town hall" meeting with a hand-picked audience on "Good Morning America."
But the royal treatment Clinton receives in the mainstream media isn't shared by even some staunch liberals who make ink in the nation's newspapers everyday. Including at least one who pays the bills with the cartoonist's pen, generally liberal artist and blogger Darrin Bell, creator of "Candorville."
It's not the first time Bell has lampooned Clinton, but check out the March 30 installment, where he makes fun of Hillary's penchant for trying to be all things to all constituents, envisioning Clinton trying to pander to a Palestinian-American and an Israeli-American at the same time.
Bell's cartoon follows two days after the March 28 "'South Park," in which Clinton was portrayed unflatteringly, sporting rather large hips (calling to mind radio host Mark Levin's label "Her Thighness" ) and speaking in a faux Southern drawl.
On Wednesday’s "Good Morning America," co-anchor Chris Cuomo interviewed GOP presidential candidate John McCain. In the piece, Cuomo quoted a congressional colleague who called the Arizona Senator’s position on Iraq "arrogant and self delusional."
The ABC host also wondered if McCain needed "rose colored glasses" to see progress in the war and prompted the ‘08 contender to choose which Democrat he’d like to see in the White House. All of this stood in stark contrast to the fawning, sycophantic "town hall" meeting that "Good Morning America" hosted with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Monday.
During that event, GMA co-host Robin Roberts told Clinton her plan for universal health care was ahead of its time and generally tossed softball questions. And she certainly didn’t ask the New York Senator if she’d prefer Mitt Romney or John McCain in the White House.
Who says the long sound bite is dead? According to an MRC analysis, "Good Morning America" devoted over 26 minutes of its two hour time slot on Monday to a fawning town hall meeting with Senator Hillary Clinton.
On Monday’s "Good Morning America," co-anchor Robin Roberts hosted a fawning town hall meeting with presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. During the opening segment, which encompassed much of the program’s first half hour, Roberts didn’t bother challenging the New York Senator and, instead, asked her softball questions.
She even told the former Fist Lady that "many people" felt her 1993 universal health care proposal was "ahead of its time." This lead to a question by an audience member who, in ‘93, just happened to have been on the Clinton’s universal health care task force:
Robin Roberts: "What you said then in, in ‘93, many people felt it was just, in some ways, ahead of its, ahead of its time. Somebody that was there, and wants to ask you what is different now, between what happened then, and he is Dr. Steve Eckstat. He is, he works at the free clinic of Iowa. Doctor?"
Town hall or pep rally? Hard to tell, judging from the first half-hour of Hillary's appearance on Good Morning America today. Host Robin Roberts lavished praise on Hillary, suggested there's unanimous support for the Dem Iraq policy, and fielded only one audience question -- which came from someone who worked on Hillarycare in 1993 and beseeched Clinton to try it again as president.
GMA today kicked off its series of Town Hall meetings with the presidential candidates. This one, featuring Hillary, was located in Des Moines, Iowa. During the opening schmooze, Hillary, speaking of Iraq, stated: "I'm very proud that all the Democrats are saying the same thing and that's what we should all be working toward, and that's to begin to change this policy and get us on the right track."
ROBERTS: That is something that I think the country completely agrees on, on both sides about that.
Can you believe it? ABC displayed a painting depicting Mohammed as a dog, and then had the temerity/stupidity to ask if Muslims would find it offensive. Actually, you can't believe it. ABC did no such thing -- nor is it conceivable it would do so.
But displaying a painting depicting Christ as a dog, and wondering whether anyone would find it offensive? Sure. Happened today on Good Morning America. The show ran a segment on a painting by someone named Ron Burns who has recreated da Vinci's Last Supper with dogs substituted for Jesus and his disciples. Even more than the image itself, some will surely find the title that the "artist" gave to his work offensive: "Dinner and Drinks with Son of Dog."
Introducing Burns, weekend co-host Bill Weir said "it's a riff on the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. A whimsicial riff, perhaps? Others, blasphemy."
GMA CO-HOST KATE SNOW: People are calling it blasphemous, anti-Christian, anti-God. One person we talked to said it crossed the line. Did you expect any of that? Did you think when you were doing this piece that maybe you'd ruffle some feathers?"
Burns actually denied that the thought had occurred to him.
Wednesday’s "Good Morning America" continued its hyperbolic, Democratic-friendly coverage of the scandal revolving around the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys and President Bush’s announcement that White House officials such as Karl Rove would not be testifying under oath on the subject.
An ABC graphic described the disagreement between the White House and Congress as a "constitutional showdown." Co-host Diane Sawyer asserted that Bush was "double-daring the Democrats in Congress," while fellow host Robin Roberts wondered if the White House could even survive more revelations.
The first report, which aired at 7:02am on March 21, featured ABC reporter Jessica Yellin derisively using the "decider" nickname to describe President Bush:
On Tuesday morning's Good Morning America, ABC co-host Robin Roberts announced they would be airing a special town hall meeting about health care and veterans care with Hillary Clinton next Monday, March 26. In 1999, as First Lady Hillary Clinton prepared to run for the Senate, GMA handed over most of their broadcast to gun control and kids on June 4. This special included 45 minutes with Bill and Hillary talking to high-schoolers town hall-style about the horrors of school violence. Hillary's Senate opponents, Rudy Giuliani and then Rep. Rick Lazio, were never awarded comparative feasts of free air time. Roberts promoted their new broadcast gift to Hillary like this:
“And we want to tell everybody about a special event on ‘Good Morning America’ that’s coming up this Monday. It’s the first in our series of GMA town hall meetings leading up to next year’s election. And Senator Hillary Clinton will be here live to answer questions about health care and veterans care in a live town hall meeting that actually will be held in Des Moines, Iowa. That’s next Monday, only on GMA.”
As already noted on NewsBusters, Tuesday’s "Good Morning America" defensively investigated an anonymous new attack ad against presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Co-host Diane Sawyer even referred to the commercial as "drive-by ad-ing." The spot plugs fellow Democrat Barack Obama’s ‘08 bid at it’s conclusion, but ABC wasn’t buying the Illinois Senator as the culprit.
Reporter Claire Shipman helpfully observed that since the commercial puts both Clinton and Obama in a bad light, "some Democrats think a Republican operative" is responsible:
Claire Shipman: "Now, there still are no real clues about the author, but, Robin, the ultimate conspiracy theory? Some Democrats think a Republican operative could be responsible because it not only makes Hillary Clinton look bad, but Barack Obama look bad since it’s an attack ad."
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," anchor Chris Cuomo used a none-to-subtle visual aid to continue the program’s campaign to have Attorney General Alberto Gonzales fired over the Justice Department’s dismissal of eight U.S. Attorneys. Early in the 7am hour, co-host Robin Roberts introduced Cuomo, who stood at the news desk with stacks of paper, meant to represent the 3000 pages of documents released on the case, piled half way to his shoulders:
Roberts: "Look at all that you have there, Chris." [Roberts points to a huge stack of papers that Cuomo has piled on his news desk.]
Chris Cuomo: "You see this stack of paper? Very relevant today. Good morning to you and good morning, everyone. The number of the day is 3,000. That's how many pages, just like this, the Justice Department handed out overnight. They offer an up-close look inside the controversial firing of eight federal prosecutors."
MSM-think: when you have no facts on a controversy, offer up the Democrats' anti-GOP conjecture. That was ABC's modus operandi this morning.
Being the astute observers of the political scene they are, most NewsBusters readers have surely watched the YouTube-based anti-Hillary campaign ad that has been making the rounds. It is a take-off on the famous Apple computer ad, which in turn was inspired by George Orwell's anti-authoritarian epic "1984." In the current version, an ominous Hillary, appearing on a wide screen to an audience of automatons, represents Big Brother in the same way IBM did in the Apple original. Barack Obama, represented by a woman athlete of a certain age, plays the hero, hurling a hammer into the screen to smash the state and free the prisoners.
On the fourth anniversary of the U.S. invasion, "Good Morning America" anchor Diane Sawyer interviewed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice about Iraq's progress. Sawyer chose to cite the liberal, America-bashing British paper The Guardian as a source for a question and also indicated that it was the United States, not insurgents, that was responsible for Iraq’s declining electricity supply.
Early in the interview, Sawyer quoted from a Guardian article that claimed the United States occupation is worse than Stalin: