Good Morning America

By Scott Whitlock | November 21, 2011 | 5:06 PM EST

The three network morning shows, which have been mostly ignoring crimes at the Occupy Wall Street protests, hyped the "ugly" and "disturbing" "outrage" of students at the University of California, Davis campus being sprayed with pepper. Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos interviewed the school's chancellor and repeatedly berated her about resigning.

On NBC's Today, Ann Curry warned, "And also this morning, some disturbing video. Take a look at this, two police officers have been placed on administrative leave for using pepper spray on seated protesters at an Occupy demonstration on the campus of a California university." The Today show, as well as GMA made sure to push the protest as "peaceful," but only GMA pointed out that the students had encircled the police.

By Scott Whitlock | November 21, 2011 | 12:53 PM EST

Good Morning America's Josh Elliott on Monday repeated White House talking points in regard to the booing of Michelle Obama at a NASCAR event on Sunday. News reader Elliott played a clip of the booing and then parroted, "The White House says it was a chaotic event. It was not clear, perhaps, what the boos were specifically for."

The Today show didn't cover the event at all. On the Early Show, Jeff Glor linked, "Some people booed [Michelle Obama and Jill Biden] when they showed up last night. They were on hand to honor military troops and their families." [See video of the booing here.]

By Matthew Balan | November 18, 2011 | 4:40 PM EST

On Friday, CBS's Early Show was the only Big Three morning show to cover Energy Secretary Steven Chu's testimony before a congressional hearing on the $528 million loan to the bankrupt solar panel company Solyndra. NBC previewed the hearing on Thursday's Today show, but avoided it the following morning. ABC's GMA completely ignored it both days.

Fill-in news anchor Betty Nguyen gave a 44-second news brief during the 7 am half hour of The Early Show, noting how Secretary Chu "made no apologies for the loan of more than $500 million to Solyndra back in 2009" during the hearing. However, the CBS morning show didn't air a full report on the controversy until the top of the 8 am hour.

By Geoffrey Dickens | November 17, 2011 | 4:45 PM EST

According to Politico, Barack Obama's "lazy" gaffe is "catching fire," but you wouldn't know that if you got your news from the major networks. The President's remark, made at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference in Hawaii on November 12, that "We've been a little bit lazy" in attracting "new business into America" received a grand total of just 36 seconds on the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) morning and evening news shows. In contrast, Herman Cain's long pause -- when answering a question about Libya on November 15 -- generated 11 segments on the Big Three networks in just two days. This, of course, was on top of the Big Three's frenzy over women accusing Cain of sexual harassment.

The tiny bit of coverage of Obama's "lazy" remark came during Kelly O'Donnell's report on Monday's Today show. O'Donnell initially played a soundbite of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney criticizing the President and then offered the official Obama campaign response.

By Scott Whitlock | November 17, 2011 | 4:34 PM EST

The network morning shows on Thursday took a mostly light-hearted look at clothing company Benetton's ad campaign featuring the Pope kissing a Muslim cleric. The ads, which have now been pulled under legal pressure, were summarized by Good Morning America's Josh Elliott. He parroted, "It was part of Benetton 's Unhate campaign, challenging people to have the courage not to hate."

Elliott described the company's removal of the ad as "bowing to pressure from the Vatican." None of the networks, however, mentioned any possible negativity from Muslims. Only NBC's Today referred to them as "very, very controversial," with fourth hour co-host Hoda Kotb blanching, "Put your breakfast down. Because you're going to want to."

By Scott Whitlock | November 17, 2011 | 1:08 PM EST

ABC's World News on Wednesday and Good Morning America on Thursday both reported on the revelation that Newt Gingrich received almost $2 million while consulting for Freddie Mac over an eight year span. Yet, the network ignored the fact that the company (with a Democratic President) is still giving massive bonuses and will now be asking the federal government for an additional $6 billion.

On World News, Jon Karl highlighted only the Gingrich connection, highlighting attacks by Michele Bachmann. Yet, while ABC focused on this, NBC's Kelly O'Donnell explained, "So, here's what set off the latest round of outrage. $13 million in bonuses for the two mortgage giants that had to be bailed out by taxpayers. Now these bonuses come after Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac actually lost $4 billion last quarter."

By Ken Shepherd | November 16, 2011 | 12:05 PM EST

The Washington Post, no conservative paper it, gave front-page coverage today to the latest development in the Solyndra scandal: E-mail records show that the Obama White House urged the solar energy company to postpone layoffs until after the 2010 midterm elections.

"The announcement could have been politically damaging because President Obama and others in the administration had held up Solyndra as a poster child of its clean-energy initiative," Post staffers Carol Leonnig and Joe Stephens noted in the November 16 paper. Sure enough Solyndra publicly announced a round of layoffs on November 3, "immediately following the Nov. 2 vote."

While this development broke yesterday afternoon, ABC, CBS, and NBC have ignored the development in their November 15 evening newscasts as well as their November 16 morning programs.

By Geoffrey Dickens | November 15, 2011 | 1:55 PM EST

Through the month of October, as this MRC study found, the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks completely ignored the numerous charges of sexual assaults at OWS protests on their evening and morning news shows. In fact, it wasn’t until this weekend that one and only one network, ABC reported on the rape of a woman in Philadelphia, and that was only after that city’s Democratic Mayor Michael Nutter expressed concern about safety.

On the November 13 edition of ABC’s World News reporter Cecilia Vega mentioned: “In Occupy Philadelphia, an arrest after a woman was dragged into a tent and sexually assaulted.” Vega then threw it to a soundbite from Nutter charging: “Occupy Philly has changed. We’re seeing serious health and safety issues playing out on an almost daily basis. The people of Occupy Philly have also changed and their intentions have changed.”

By Scott Whitlock | November 15, 2011 | 12:02 PM EST

All three morning shows on Tuesday and the evening newscasts on Monday pounced on an "awkward" Herman Cain interview that questioned the Republican's "readiness to be commander in chief." Combined, the programs offered 11 segments on the subject. The same networks have yet to investigate Barack Obama's arrogant assertion that America has gotten "lazy" in regard to foreign investments.

Good Morning America's John Berman on Tuesday played a clip of Cain struggling to answer a question about Libya and how he would have handled the uprising there. Berman gloated, "You know, just when you thought you've seen the last epic video moment of this campaign. Herman Cain is taking his turn on the highlight or lowlight reels."

By Rich Noyes | November 15, 2011 | 11:07 AM EST

Four years ago, the ABC, CBS and NBC morning shows celebrated the “rock star” Democrats running to replace George W. Bush, and no candidate set journalists’ pulses racing faster than Barack Obama. Now, after three years of high unemployment, trillion dollar deficits and an onerous new health care law, how are those newscasts covering Obama’s re-election campaign and the candidates vying to replace him?

To find out, the MRC’s Geoff Dickens and I (with a huge assist from Scott Whitlock, Kyle Drennen and Matthew Balan) examined all 723 campaign segments, including 101 interviews, which aired on the three broadcast network weekday morning programs from January 1 to October 31, 2011, using the same methodology we employed to study campaign coverage on those same programs for the same time period in 2007. Excerpts following the jump; read the full report here. (or download the printer-friendly PDF version)
 

By Scott Whitlock | November 14, 2011 | 5:14 PM EST

Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts bashed her own network, Monday, decrying GMA's obsession with tabloid stories. In a Daily Beast article, she lamented, "I’ll be honest, it’s been an adjustment for me, the lighter fare...I want to be No. 1. I don’t want to sell my soul to the devil to be No. 1."

The Howard Kurtz piece contained several gossipy nuggets, including a possible icy relationship between Roberts and co-host George Stephanopoulos. Kurtz related that the two "almost never chat during the show when the cameras are off, with Stephanopoulos usually tapping on his BlackBerry."

By Brad Wilmouth | November 13, 2011 | 10:18 AM EST

On the Sunday, November 13, Good Morning America, ABC co-host Bianna Golodryga declared that "it seems Americans still can't forget" GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry's "53-second brain freeze" from last week's debate as she and This Week host Christiane Amanpour discussed Saturday night's GOP debate hosted by CBS News.

Golodryga then played a clip of NBC's Saturday Night Live making fun of Perry's memory lapse using an impersonator, and then followed up by asking if Perry "will ever be able to live down those 53 seconds?"

After bringing aboard Amanpour, Golodryga began the segment: