Good Morning America

By Matthew Balan | November 28, 2011 | 5:39 PM EST

The Big Three network morning shows on Monday all reported on the possible showdown between Occupy L.A. protesters and the LAPD. NBC's Today and CBS's Early Show highlighted that the left-leaning demonstrators held a "block party" as they defied law enforcement. All three media outlets also played up the supposedly "peaceful" nature of the protest, while ignoring other media reports of violence.

On Saturday's Good Morning America, ABC's Ron Claiborne claimed that "unlike other cities, the ['Occupy'] protests there in L.A. have been peaceful." However, Kate Linthicum of the Los Angeles Times noted in a November 5, 2011 article that "police were called to two violent incidents at Occupy Los Angeles on Friday, adding to questions about the protest and its future."

By Scott Whitlock | November 28, 2011 | 3:46 PM EST

Good Morning America's David Kerley on Sunday ran down the attempts of various Republican candidates to become the "anti-Romney" choice, decrying the "disastrous" debate performance of Rick Perry and mocking Michele Bachmann's "historical flubs."

Speaking of efforts by Iowa conservatives to solidify behind one candidate, Kerley dismissed, "But each of them have their weaknesses. Newt Gingrich, the baggage of his lifestyle and work with government agencies. Michele Bachmann, who has made serious historical flubs. Rick Perry, with his disastrous debate performances." All of these candidates may have flaws, but this is the same program that hyped the Clinton/Obama battle in '08 as one of a "hot factor" vs. "fluid poetry."

By Matthew Balan | November 23, 2011 | 5:16 PM EST

CBS's Early Show on Wednesday boosted a claim by Democrats that a recent Mitt Romney ad takes a line from a 2008 speech by then-candidate Barack Obama out of context. However, CBS noted at that time that Obama was using that line to counter a McCain campaign ad which played up the Democrat's association with left-wing terrorist Bill Ayers.

Anchor Erica Hill raised the controversy over the Romney ad towards the end of a segment with political correspondent Jan Crawford about the most recent Republican presidential debate. After playing the relevant part of the commercial, which includes a clip of Obama stating that "if we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose," Hill asked, "A lot of controversy over that ad, Jan. Why?"

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."