Good Morning America

By Scott Whitlock | October 3, 2012 | 12:08 PM EDT

In September, Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos hyped Mitt Romney's "47 percent" tape as sending "shock waves" through the presidential race. ABC analyst Matt Dowd called it a "six or seven" on the Richter scale of political controversies. Yet, when damaging video surfaced of Barack Obama discussing race, Stephanopoulos offered no hyperbolic language and Dowd insisted that Romney would make a "mistake" if he brought it up at the debate.

On Wednesday, Stephanopoulos calmly opened the show my noting, "And just hours before the first debate, the new release of a five-year-old Obama speech." He wondered, "What's behind it and will the speech make any difference tonight?" In contrast, on September 18, the host excitedly touted, "Breaking now, Mitt Romney caught on tape at a private fund-raiser. His candid comments causing shock waves." Stephanopoulos hyped, "The campaign rushing to contain the damage. Romney responds in a late night press conference." [See video contrast below. MP3 audio here.]

By Rich Noyes | October 2, 2012 | 8:50 AM EDT

Leading into tomorrow’s presidential debate, journalists are busy setting expectations for the candidates. On Sunday’s Good Morning America, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos argued that Mitt Romney is under “huge, huge” pressure: “He is behind right now. He is behind nationally, he’s behind in all of the battleground states. This is the last big audience that Mitt Romney is going to have with about four and a half weeks left to go.”

But more undecided voters will be swayed by the media’s post-debate spin about who won and who lost than by any pre-debate expectations. Reviewing the last several campaigns, MRC analysts have found a clear trend of network reporters fawning over the performance of liberal candidates, while harping on any perceived weaknesses or gaffes from conservatives.

One of the most reliable pro-Democratic pundits is none other than George Stephanpoulos — not especially surprising, given his track record as a loyal operative for Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign, but hardly the objective, unbiased voice touted by ABC News. MRC has documented how, in eight out of the last nine general election presidential debates (every one since he joined ABC News in 1997), Stephanopoulos has gone on his network’s airwaves to claim victory for the Democratic candidate, all in the guise of offering impartial analysis. [Video review below the jump.]

By Geoffrey Dickens | October 1, 2012 | 4:06 PM EDT

UPDATE: Still no ABC, CBS, NBC coverage of Univision's Fast and Furious report on Monday's evening newscasts or Tuesday's morning shows.

Over the weekend the Univision network broke major news in the Fast and Furious gunwalking scandal. They found 57 previously unreported guns used in crimes by Mexican cartels, but ABC, CBS and NBC have yet to report the Spanish-language network’s findings.

There were zero mentions on Sunday night’s ABC's World News and CBS's Evening News (NBC's Nightly News was pre-empted by Ryder Cup coverage) or on any of Monday’s morning shows. The blackout on ABC’s broadcasts is particularly confounding since they have an excerpt from Univision's September 30 report on ABC's official Web site. (video after the jump)

By Matthew Balan | September 28, 2012 | 5:22 PM EDT

ABC's Jake Tapper's Thursday report on World News stands alone as the only Big Three coverage so far of what The Daily Beast's Eli Lake reported on Wednesday - that U.S. intelligence officials had "strong indications" within a day that Islamist terrorists were behind the September 11, 2012 attack on the American consulate in Benghazi - not a mob enraged at a controversial Internet video.

By contrast, former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw tried to point the finger at Mitt Romney on Friday's Today show for the media's apparent lack of curiosity at the inconsistencies in the Obama administration's narrative about the terrorist attack. Otherwise, NBC only aired two reports on the story since Wednesday - twice running the same Ann Curry interview of Libyan President Mohammed Magarief.

By Matt Vespa | September 28, 2012 | 3:56 PM EDT

It’s been four years since Barack Obama beat John McCain to become the 44th President of the United States, but that hasn’t stopped some in the media from putting McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin, in the crosshairs.  In this morning’s broadcast of Good Morning America, ABC News’ David Muir detailed the dynamics related to the home stretch of the presidential campaign.  It was here that he snuck in a gratuitous swipe at Gov. Palin:

By Scott Whitlock | September 28, 2012 | 11:45 AM EDT

Economic growth grew at an incredibly sluggish 1.3 percent in the second quarter, revised down from 1.7 percent. According to business writer Jim Pethokoukis, this is "dangerously slow." However, NBC skipped the bad news for Barack Obama entirely. ABC allowed it a mere 21 seconds. CBS was the only network to allow the story a full report.

Although Nightly News correspondent Chuck Todd couldn't find time to mention the scant amount of growth, he did hype the fact that the President is trying "a new line." Todd then played a clip of the President calling "for a new economic patriotism." The journalist helpfully parroted that the President's "idea of economic patriotism includes tax hikes on the wealthy and more government spending on infrastructure."

By Matthew Balan | September 27, 2012 | 4:11 PM EDT

ABC's Good Morning America hasn't once reported on U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice's claim on the September 16, 2012 edition of This Week that the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya was "a spontaneous - not a pre-meditated - response to what had transpired in Cairo." Even worse, the morning show hasn't reported on the subsequent developments on the consulate attack over the past 12 days that cast doubt on Ambassador Rice's statement.

NBC's Today show also hasn't covered Rice's talking points on the attack, after she appeared on Meet the Press on the same day as her This Week appearance. News reader Natalie Morales merely reported on September 19 that "the White House says there is currently no evidence that last week's deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya was planned and pre-meditated. Officials say it appears that the violence was sparked by that anti-Islam film made in the U.S." Two days later, Morales gave an update on how "the White House is now classifying the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya as a terrorist attack....But intelligence officials now believe it was a planned attack in the guise of a protest."

Both of those programs provided voluminous coverage of Romney's "47%" tape, but have no time to scrutinize the Obama administration's public statements about an incident that claimed the life of an American ambassador?

By Scott Whitlock | September 27, 2012 | 12:24 PM EDT

ABC's David Muir on Thursday hyped the presidential election as "slipping away" from Mitt Romney and pushed the idea that next week's presidential debate is "do-or-die" for the Republican.

Talking to the candidate, Muir pressed, "I'm curious what you would say to some of your supporters tonight, your donors who might be concerned this could be slipping away?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Trying ro raise expectations for the former governor, Muir insisted, "In fact, some are already calling [the October 3 presidential] debate a do-or-die moment."

By Scott Whitlock | September 26, 2012 | 4:27 PM EDT

ABC News found scant time for the just-passed political conventions, coming in dead last according to a Media Research Center study. But the network on Tuesday did manage to, yet again, obsessively focus on John F. Kennedy, a man whose presidency ended 49 years ago.

Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos interviewed Caroline Kennedy about newly released tapes of her father. He played clips of JFK discussing serious issues and also playing with his daughter. Stephanopoulos marveled, "But here's the president on the one moment talking about the Cuban Missile Crisis, – boom – complete switching of gears." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Scott Whitlock | September 26, 2012 | 12:23 PM EDT

Good Morning America on Wednesday touted "stunning" new polls out of Ohio that show Mitt Romney trailing. ABC reporter David Muir pushed a minor comment by the Republican as a "sudden shift." Muir hyped, "After repeatedly saying President Obama raised taxes during his first term...suddenly Romney appeared to be saying the President hasn't raised taxes." [See MP3 audio here. Video below.]

Romney's remark that Obama "did not" raise taxes was in reference to income taxes. Yet, this slight change in phraseology led Muir to position himself as a surrogate for the President, defending, "Romney's comments made immediate headlines. In fact, the President has not raised income tax rates in his first term." But, of course, Obama has increased taxes. As Forbes.com pointed out, Obamacare is now a tax that applies to the middle class. Additionally, the President has promised more taxes in his second term.

By Scott Whitlock | September 25, 2012 | 1:47 PM EDT

George Stephanopoulos and Barbara Walters on Tuesday fawned over the "fun," loving marriage of Barack and Michelle Obama. Walters appeared on Good Morning America to promote the President's appearance on The View.

Stephanopoulos, a former Democratic operative, hyped Walters' "lighter stuff." He gushed, "The President seemed to mix politics and fun, when he talked about coaching his daughter's basketball team." Walters was positively impressed with the couple: "He's funny. She says she's funnier. But he's very relaxed with her."  [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Matthew Balan | September 24, 2012 | 3:52 PM EDT

On Monday, ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today failed to air any full reports on the continuing inquiry into the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and mentioned the issue only in passing. CBS This Morning did devote a full segment to the dispute between the State Department and CNN over their use of a Ambassador Chris Stevens' personal journal, but didn't mention President Obama or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by name.

Matt Lauer vaguely referenced the "new wave of anti-Americanism" in the Islamic world during an interview of Tony Blair, but it took the former British prime minister to specifically point out the "tragic death of your ambassador" in Libya. During a report on the presidential race, ABC's Jake Tapper did briefly note how the President "described some of the events as bumps in the road. The Romney campaign saying that the death of four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador in Libya, is far worse than a bump in the road."