Good Morning America

By Kyle Drennen | August 11, 2014 | 12:30 PM EDT

Eager to defend President Obama from criticism of his vacation in Martha's Vineyard amid multiple international crises, both Sunday's ABC Good Morning America and Monday's NBC Today used false spin to downplay the bad optics. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

On GMA, co-host Dan Harris tried to deflect from Obama's time on the golf course by claiming that "George W. Bush played his fair share of golf during the Iraq war as well," an assertion that NewsBusters' Mark Finkelstein promptly disproved.

By Jeffrey Meyer | August 10, 2014 | 9:55 AM EDT

On Thursday, August 7, Senator John Walsh (D-Mont.) formally announced that he will not run for a full term in the Senate following revelations that he plagiarized large portions of his master’s thesis from the Army War College.  

Despite Walsh’s announcement, the “Big Three” (ABC, CBS, NBC) have yet to cover the story during their 19 hours of air time from Thursday night through Sunday morning. In fact, CBS has been the only network to even cover the initial plagiarism story, giving it a mere 31 seconds during its CBS This Morning broadcast on July 24. 

By Curtis Houck | August 8, 2014 | 3:25 PM EDT

During Friday morning’s coverage of the 72-hour cease-fire ending in Gaza, ABC and CBS refused to explicitly acknowledge Hamas as the party responsible for ending the cease-fire with Israel. Instead, those two networks referred to those responsible only as “militants” or “Palestinian militants” firing rockets at Israel.

NBC’s Today did cite Hamas as the side responsible for terminating the truce, but it came during a news brief in the 8:00 a.m. hour after a one-minute-and-17 second report aired during the 7:00 a.m. hour. News reader Natalie Morales stated during the news brief that: “The three-day truce between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza expired overnight. Israel says it responded to Hamas rocket fire with air strikes of its own. The new fighting has cast a shadow over negotiations being held in Egypt aimed at reaching a longer truce.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]

By Kyle Drennen | August 8, 2014 | 2:49 PM EDT

Of the three network morning shows on Friday, only NBC's Today made any mention of President Obama being criticized over his slow response to the terrorist group ISIS taking over Iraq. Co-host Savannah Guthrie raised the issue to chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd: "Listen to the President last night, his reluctance to get into Iraq is palpable. But on the other hand, he's facing criticism, I think you're reporting from all quarters, that maybe he waited too long to do anything and now we see ISIS in an even more dangerous position." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Todd replied: "For months, some could argue for more than a year, there has been pressure on him from the intelligence community, from military commanders, to say, 'You have to do something about ISIS, they're marching'....he's been dragged into this. He doesn't want to do it."

By Curtis Houck | August 7, 2014 | 3:20 PM EDT

On Thursday, the al Qaeda spinoff group the Islamic State seized numerous towns in northern Iraq that are home to much of the country’s minority Christian population, sending tens of thousands of them fleeing further into the Kurdish-dominated region to avoid the unforgiving and deadly extremist group. When it came to the major broadcast networks covering this story on their Thursday morning news shows, neither ABC, CBS, or NBC provided their viewers with information on this story.

Meanwhile, CNN and its morning show, New Day, did cover the story with not one but two stories during its three-hour show. First, it aired a full, 3-minute-and-1-second report from CNN senior international correspondent Nic Robertson at the top of the 6:30 a.m. half hour and then a 21-second news brief during the 8:00 a.m. hour. [MP3 audio here; Video below]

By Jeffrey Meyer | August 6, 2014 | 9:53 AM EDT

On Wednesday, August 6, USA Today reported that the federal website USASpending.gov which is tasked with tracking government money, can’t find $619 billion from different agency budgets.  

Despite the government losing track of hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars, CBS This Morning was the only network morning show to cover the report on Wednesday morning. ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today ignored the story altogether. [See video below.] 

By Matthew Balan | August 5, 2014 | 5:16 PM EDT

As of Tuesday morning, ABC's morning and evening newscasts have yet to cover the Associated Press report that revealed the Obama administration's covert program in Cuba that attempted "recruit young Cubans to anti-government activism" on the communist-dominated island. The AP outlined that "over at least two years, the U.S. Agency for International Development...sent nearly a dozen neophytes from Venezuela, Costa Rica and Peru to gin up opposition in Cuba."

By contrast, both CBS This Morning and NBC's Today set aside air time to the scoop. NBC's Natalie Morales gave a 32-second news brief on the clandestine program: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

By Kyle Drennen | August 4, 2014 | 4:50 PM EDT

All three network morning shows on Monday eagerly touted the Obama administration denouncing Israel after an attack on Hamas targets in Gaza led to civilian deaths. On NBC's Today, correspondent Richard Engel proclaimed: "After another attack on Palestinians taking shelter at a U.N.-run school on Sunday, Washington issued its strongest condemnation yet of its ally. The U.S. State Department said it was 'appalled by the disgraceful shelling.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Engel continued: "U.N. officials were shocked Israel chose to attack where it knew so many civilians would be in danger....The U.N. secretary general called the Israeli strike 'a moral outrage and a criminal act.'"

By Curtis Houck | August 4, 2014 | 12:20 PM EDT

On Monday morning, broadcast networks ABC and NBC and cable news outlet CNN continued their blackout of the investigation into New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) and his shuttering of his own anti-corruption commission. Since the story broke on July 23 in The New York Times, neither one of these three news operations have covered the story.

CBS This Morning, which previously reported on the story on both July 31 and August 1, provided an update on the scandal Monday morning in the form of a 23-second news brief regarding Cuomo’s top aide agreeing to speak with federal prosecutors who are looking into allegations the commission was steered away from anyone with ties to the governor. [MP3 audio here; Video below]

By Kyle Drennen | August 4, 2014 | 10:51 AM EDT

On Monday's Good Morning America, hosts Dan Harris and Amy Robach seized on Pope Francis advising against proselytization in a Sunday interview with Argentinian magazine Viva. Harris observed: "...he talks a lot about respecting other people's believes and not proselytizing." Robach gushed: "That's fantastic....there's a reason why he's the people's pope." George Stephanopoulos chimed in: "A lot of wisdom." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

The morning show anchors skipped the Pope's full quote, in which he commented on the best method by which to draw people to the Church but didn't abandon the effort to gain converts: "We can inspire others through witness so that one grows together in communicating. But the worst thing of all is religious proselytism, which paralyzes. 'I am talking with you in order to persuade you.' No. The Church grows by attraction, not proselytizing."

By Scott Whitlock | August 1, 2014 | 3:58 PM EDT

Secret Service agents dread finding Joe Biden swimming in the nude, according to a new book featuring quotes from agents. That juicy tidbit made Good Morning America on Friday. What didn't seem newsworthy? The allegation from the same book that Bill Clinton's latest mistress is referred to as "the energizer." Perhaps this could have something to do with the fact that the ABC program is co-hosted by former Clinton operative George Stephanopoulos?

GMA news reader Amy Robach revealed, "The Vice President of the United States apparently likes to go skinny dipping...This is all according to a new book which quotes Secret Service agents saying the VP can often be found in his pool, in his birthday suit." She added, "Some agents admitting they'd rather cover their eyes or cover someone else, just hoping that he'll cover himself up." [See Video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Scott Whitlock | August 1, 2014 | 11:55 AM EDT

Former Bill Clinton operative turned Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos on Friday spun for his ex-boss in the wake of newly released audio about Osama bin Laden. In the recording from September 10, 2001, Bill Clinton justified not ordering the killing of the terrorist mastermind: "I could have killed him, but I would have had to destroy a little town called Kandahar in Afghanistan and killed 300 innocent women and children and then I would have been no better than him." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

Talking to Brian Ross, Stephanopoulos touted that the administration "could never be sure bin Laden was there." He highlighted, "And number two, as President Clinton talked about in that tape, the risk of killing innocent civilians." At no time in the segment did Stephanopoulos or Ross offer any criticism of Clinton's decision or question if the Democrat could have stopped 3000 deaths on September 11, 2001.