The ombudsman for PBS on Thursday chastised anchor Gwen Ifill for mocking Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Twitter. After it became clear that the Senate could not override a presidential veto of the Iran deal, Ifill tweeted, "Take that, Bibi." PBS Ombudsman Michael Gelter derided the comments by the NewsHour host as "inexcusable."
Catching up on Wednesday's PBS NewsHour, a report filed by PBS political director Lisa Desjardins on the debate over Planned Parenthood funding featured several soundbites of a University of California at Davis professor who, although not presented as a biased source, put forth a mostly liberal slant on the issue as he tagged GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz as the "most radical" on the issue, and warned that Hillary Clinton may benefit in the general election.
On Friday's PBS NewsHour, during a discussion of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's sagging poll numbers, host Judy Woodruff seemed unfazed by Clinton's incendiary claim that Republicans have similar views toward women as terrorists as she cited the charge as evidence that her campaign may be bouncing back.
Woodruff's suggestion came after liberal columnist and PBS regular Mark Shields warned that it is "a real problem" and "a killer" for a Democratic candidate to have poll numbers as weak as Clinton's when it comes to whether voters view her as someone who "cares about people and the needs of someone like you." After recounting that Democrats like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama had scored highly on this measure before their electoral victories, Shields fretted over her numbers:
Our Media Research Center counts of Planned Parenthood coverage have not counted PBS, since we like to focus first on ABC, CBS, and NBC. But coverage on the PBS NewsHour matches the general trend of scandal coverage. Only the first video mattered much.
On July 17, the NewsHour beat the regular networks by airing a thorough 4-minute, 25-second review by political editor Lisa DesJardins, followed by two minutes and 39 seconds of analysis by Mark Shields and David Brooks. But since those seven minutes, there’s been only 64 seconds of coverage as six other videos came out.
During a discussion Friday about the GOP debate, PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff strongly rejected the premise that she was “part of the liberal media.” When Mark Shields suggested Donald Trump had th wrong target in Megyn Kelly, arguing "it is not like you're attacking Chuck Todd or Judy Woodruff or some of the liberal elite establishment. You're attacking the mother church when you go after Fox," Woddruff countered: “Let's make a distinction here, please. I’m not part of the liberal media.”
On Tuesday night, the decision by the major broadcast network to erase the Planned Parenthood scandal from their newscasts continued with the release of a sickening third video by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) that again discussed the selling of body parts from aborted babies. As the “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC were ignoring this third video, the trio spent six minutes and 26 seconds teasing and reporting on the shooting death of a high-profile African lion in Zimbabwe by an American dentist.
Appearing on Friday’s PBS NewsHour, New York Times columnist David Brooks reacted to the tragic shooting at a Louisiana movie theater last week by immediately calling for “doing all the gun control you can think of.”
Following the release on Tuesday of a second video by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) depicting a Planned Parenthood executive discussing the selling of body parts from aborted babies, ABC’s World News Tonight and NBC Nightly News teamed with the top Spanish-language networks to completely ignore the video. Stepping out from behind ABC and NBC and Spanish-language networks MundoFox, Telemundo, and Univision, the CBS Evening News offered a two-minute report on CMP’s second video.
During an appearance on Friday’s PBS NewsHour, liberal columnist Mark Shields questioned Scott Walker’s readiness to be president as he argued “there’s a lingering sort of “I can see Alaska from my front porch” of Governor Palin with him.” Shields played up liberal criticism of the Wisconsin governor and asked “Is he really ready for prime time?…So, I think Scott Walker has a great story to tell, but there is a question, is he going to be able to hit big league pitching?”
On Friday’s PBS NewsHour, pseudo-conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks offered disbelief that Donald Trump’s anti-amnesty position on immigration would win the day with Republicans. They’re not “complete idiots,” he suggested. Brooks insisted the “talk radio part” of the Republican party is “waning, frankly,” and that the platform of Dole, McCain, and George W. Bush would return.
The PBS anchor was having trouble believing the Republicans weren’t doomed already.
During Hillary Clinton’s first national interview on CNN Tuesday, the Democratic presidential candidate was pressed about her use of a private e-mail server during her time as Secretary of State, but both PBS and NPR ignored the topic during their post-interview coverage on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
When it came to assessing Rupert Murdoch’s decision to cede more control of his empire to his sons James and Lachlan, PBS and NPR turned to David Folkenflik, who as NPR’s media reporter is a Murdoch obsessive and author of the book Murdoch’s World.
On Thursday’s PBS NewsHour, Folkenflik floated the idea that eventually Fox News would move to the center and be “a little more measured” in its point of view. He also suggested Fox News made Murdoch look “pugilistic and mean-spirited."