Nightline

By Scott Whitlock | January 7, 2015 | 12:00 PM EST

ABC's Good Morning America has endured an increasing amount of criticism for ignoring real news in favor of vacuous, irrelevant stories. That trend continued on Wednesday as the two-hour-long program offered no time to the convening of the new Republican Senate and House or of the GOP agenda. Instead, GMA reporters featured a full report on the "new way to fight frizzy hair." 

By Rich Noyes | January 2, 2015 | 1:25 PM EST

There is no right-of-center politician who has become a hero to journalists for their passionate rhetoric on behalf of conservatism, but former New York Governor Mario Cuomo was a hero to reporters precisely because of his ideology and the capability with which he espoused it.

By Scott Whitlock | November 6, 2014 | 5:34 PM EST

Covering the midterms on election night, Nightline anchor Dan Harris huffed that Senator-elect Joni Ernst's 2014 campaign commercial was "downright bizarre." As the returns rolled in and it became clear that Democrats had suffered massive losses, Harris recapped the year's political commercials and the money behind them: "Most of it spent on a barrage of political ads that ranged from terrifying...to downright bizarre." 

By Scott Whitlock | November 3, 2014 | 12:14 PM EST

Considering that ABC's World News failed to cover the midterm elections from September 1 to October 26, one might think the network isn't interested in a possible Republican wave. ABC journalists reinforced that belief by promoting their election night coverage: Seven hours of coverage. But six of those hours will be online only. 

By Matthew Balan | October 23, 2014 | 4:47 PM EDT

On the early Wednesday edition of Nightline, ABC's Byron Pitts zeroed in on how Adam Daniels, the organizer of a Satanic ritual in Oklahoma City, claims to be a "religious leader," and is yet a "convicted sex offender." The correspondent bluntly turned to Daniels and said, "You get how, for most people, those two things don't line up." Pitts also pointed out another controversy that the Satanic leader is involved in: his plan to build an altar to Satan that incorporates debris from the Oklahoma City bombing.

By Scott Whitlock | September 10, 2014 | 10:10 AM EDT

As of September 10, 2014, it's been 300 days since Nightline, a once serious news program, covered ObamaCare. In the 43 weeks since November 14, 2013, the show has avoided problems with the health care law and instead focused on extremely superficial topics, such as nude reality shows and the royal baby. 

By Scott Whitlock | July 29, 2014 | 5:45 PM EDT

Nightline co-anchor Dan Harris on Monday night mocked Sarah Palin for her new internet channel and falsely identified the conservative as "the woman who says she can see Russia from her house." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] No, she didn't. It was Saturday Night Live's Tina Fey in 2008 who uttered this line. 

In the tease for the report, Harris played the actual quote: "You can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska." So what is the point of misleading viewers with something Palin didn't say? Making his contempt clear, Harris derided the Republican as the "former half-term governor of Alaska." He then went on to deride Palin's new channel as too expensive. 

By Scott Whitlock | June 19, 2014 | 12:19 PM EDT

As of June 19, 2014, it's been 400 days since Nightline, the once-serious news program, has covered the growing scandal involving the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of Tea Party organizations. This includes the new revelation that the IRS has "lost" former director Lois Lerner's e-mails and the hard drives have been destroyed. In fact, Lerner's name has never been uttered on Nightline.

What have these ABC journalists been covering instead? On June 18, Dan Abrams promoted a story on "real male strippers." He enthused, "They're revealing more than just their muscles...We go behind close doors as they expose their dirty secrets." Continuing the tabloid theme, on June 12, Juju Chang suggestively profiled, "Almost naked. They're spornosexuals, a combustible mix of sporty, sexy, metrosexuals. Meet the stars taking the World Cup by storm." [To see a montage of the superficial stories reported on Nightline, see below. MP3 audio here.]

By Matthew Philbin | June 19, 2014 | 9:43 AM EDT

An American teenager, along with two Israeli teens, has been kidnapped in Israel. “[T]wo jihadist groups had posted claims of responsibility for kidnapping the teens,” according to The Washington Post. Israel is in an uproar as the government tries to find them.

But in America, the broadcast networks are breathlessly covering the new movie “22 Jump Street.” In fact, ABC, CBS and NBC have devoted more than 10 and a half minutes to the sophomoric slapstick movie comedy. That’s more than twice what they’ve given to the kidnapping.

By Scott Whitlock | June 2, 2014 | 8:20 AM EDT

As of June 2, 2014, it's been 200 days since Nightline, the once-vaunted news program, covered ObamaCare. In the 28 and a half weeks since November 14, 2013, the show has continued its descent into tabloid oblivion, focusing on topics such as celebrities, weight loss and pop culture. As a consequence, the program has skipped the myriad of problems associated with ObamaCare.  

When the White House quietly announced on May 20 what amounted to a bailout for insurance companies that might lose money on the new health care law, Nightline didn't notice.  When the Associated Press on May 16 reported a new "cost control strategy" called reference pricing that would put a limit on what health plans pay for expensive surgeries, the ABC program avoided the story. On April 24, Vox explained that the administration was trying to "stamp out" certain health plans, "a decision that industry officials say could trigger yet another wave of cancellation notices." Again, Nightline was silent. But what were the show's hosts covering instead? See a video montage below to find out. [MP3 audio here.]

By Scott Whitlock | April 21, 2014 | 12:05 PM EDT

Since word broke on Thursday night that Chelsea Clinton will be having a baby, ABC has fixated over the news, devoting 12 minutes and 47 seconds of coverage to the arrival of America's new "royal" child. Yet, the same network totally ignored the latest delay of the Kyestone XL pipeline by the Obama administration (and the political ramifications that go with it). 

On Friday morning, ABC reporter Bianna Golodryga hyped, "Move over, Prince George, though. This morning, Americans have their own royal, or, rather, presidential baby, to look forward to." On Sunday, This Week avoided Keystone, yet the ABC program opened with an announcer hyping, "Chelsea Clinton's surprise announcement. Has a Clinton dynasty begun?" Host Martha Raddatz brought the baby up to her panel and fawned, "Very important question, what do you think Hillary Clinton should be called as a grandma?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.] 

By Scott Whitlock | April 4, 2014 | 5:38 PM EDT

As of April 3, 2014, it's been 140 days since the once-vaunted Nightline covered ObamaCare or any of the problems associated with it. Instead, the ABC News program has mostly avoided hard news, focusing on tabloid-heavy topics such as a city in Brazil that has become known as the "model factory." [See below for a video montage of the frivolous topics covered instead. MP3 audio here.]

On Monday, the open enrollment for ObamaCare ended, the website had more problems and the administration announced seven million sign-ups. Rather then discuss this or question how many of those previously had health care and lost it, Nightline skipped these stories. It was way back on November 14, 2013 that journalists on the show covered ObamaCare. Twenty weeks of silence followed.