Nightline

By Scott Whitlock | September 5, 2013 | 5:37 PM EDT

Nightline, the show born out a crisis in the Middle East, has devolved into a superficial, tabloid-heavy program that has hardly bothered with the growing crisis in Syria and Barack Obama's handling of it. Since August 21, the program has allowed a mere four segments (18 minutes and eight seconds).

In contrast, Nightline has devoted over 24 minutes to light-weight topics such as the Amish Mafia TV show, a full report on the best summer songs of all time. Other stories include a look at "color runs" (a "fun" race in which joggers have paint thrown at them.) Another segment profiled James Dyson, the man who made vacuum cleaners "sexy."

By Scott Whitlock | August 2, 2013 | 3:43 PM EDT

Nightline co-anchor Cynthia McFadden on Wednesday spent the entire show investigating the possible closing of the last remaining abortion clinic in Mississippi. For a series that's devolved into a celebrity-obsessed tabloid, it was a surprising return to the Nightline of old. However, McFadden still tilted towards the pro-abortion side.

After being bluntly told by a pro-life protester that unborn babies are dismembered during abortions, McFadden lectured on the remark itself: "That doesn't sound loving." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The anchor also referred to those who demonstrate outside clinics as "hard-core," not a term she used for the other side. However, McFadden and Nightline should be commended for doing an entire program on this topic and for giving time to both sides of this issue.

By Scott Whitlock | June 19, 2013 | 12:26 PM EDT

Terry Moran, co-host of the liberal Nightline, will be leaving the show this summer, according to TV Newser. The program, which lost half its audience since being demoted to 12:35 at night, has downplayed and minimized Barack Obama recent scandals in favor of superficial, light-weight segments.

Moran has relegated much of his serious journalism to Twitter. On May 10, the reporter used the social media site to question the Obama administration's "Nixonian abuse of power" in the wake of the IRS scandal. On May 11, his program ignored the breaking story. By May 15, the show had allowed a scant 28 seconds to the topic. While Moran tweeted away on the IRS controversy and Benghazi, his show covered the latest on plastic surgery and other topics. On Monday night, Nightline featured a story on ten-year-old rapper Lil' Poopy.

By Scott Whitlock | May 17, 2013 | 12:44 PM EDT

On Wednesday night, the journalists at Nightline allowed a mere 31 seconds to the exploding scandal involving the Internal Revenue Service targeting conservatives. This was after anchor Terry Moran introduced stories on O.J. Simpson's latest trial, one on determining your "Klout score" and the new reality TV show Ice Cold Cold. On Thursday night, the program focused on pop singer Demi Lovato's problems and clowns.

The disinterest Nightline is showing towards Barack Obama's scandals, including the IRS, the AP controversy and Benghazi, contrasts to how the show's journalists viewed scandal when Ronald Reagan was in the White House. On November 17, 1987, then-correspondent Jeff Greenfield lectured the media for not covering Iran-Contra enough. Speaking of a report on the controversy, Greenfield huffed, "It is, after all, not about a sex or drug scandal or dramatic crime. It is instead about how a great nation defends its vital interests while keeping faith with its highest values."  Obsessed only with crime? Sounds like a good critique of ABC and Nightline in 2013.

By Scott Whitlock | May 15, 2013 | 4:09 PM EDT

Where would a Nightline viewer go for important political news? It wouldn't be the late night ABC show. This week, the program has focused on topics such as Angelina Jolie's mastectomy and the latest plastic surgery operations. Co-anchor Terry Moran saves most of the hard news for his Twitter page.

Except for a mere 28 seconds that aired at 1:05am in the early morning hours of Tuesday, the program's hosts have ignored the growing scandal involving the IRS targeting conservative groups for audits and harassment. Yet, while Nightline focused on Prince Harry's visit to America, co-anchor Terry Moran tweeted: "It keeps getting worse: IRS office that targeted Tea Party also disclosed confidential docs from conservative groups."

By Scott Whitlock | May 11, 2013 | 9:30 AM EDT

On Friday morning, Nightline co-anchor Terry Moran took to Twitter to slam the Obama administration for news that the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative groups in 2012 for reviews. Yet, the powerful journalist and his television program avoided the subject. (Bill Weir hosted on Friday.) Moran tweeted, "A truly Nixonian abuse of power by the Obama administration: IRS Apologizes for Targeting Conservative Groups."

He followed up with another tweet, explaining, "IRS targeted 'about 75' groups because they had the words 'tea party' or 'patriot' in their applications for tax-exempt." Yet, when given the opportunity to take his journalistic outrage beyond the internet, his show skipped it (at least so far).

By Scott Whitlock | May 7, 2013 | 12:30 PM EDT

This past April, celebrity Obama donors Beyonce Knowles and husband Jay-Z took a controversial trip to the communist country of Cuba. Knowles appeared on Monday's Good Morning America and Nightline, but ABC continued to offer no skepticism about the details of the visit. Instead, reporter Amy Robach discovered her inner-entertainment journalist, wondering, "What did you make of the controversy?"

That was the extent of Robach's questions on the topic. No mention of the fact that Knowles and her husband raised over $4 million for Obama in 2012, prior to being given special permission to make the trip.  (American tourists are barred from traveling there.) Robach simply summarized, "But the busy star took a break last month, traveling to Cuba with her husband Jay-Z for their fifth wedding anniversary, igniting a firestorm from lawmakers." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Matthew Philbin | April 30, 2013 | 11:42 AM EDT

ABC is nothing if not clear about its priorities. For a month and a half, the network has steadfastly refused to cover the multiple murder trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell, devoting 109 minutes to other trials, along with important revelations about the original names of fictional characters. But when a little-known journeyman basketball player announces he’s gay, ABC’s elite news squad swings into action, lavishing resources and broadcast time on the story.

On Monday Anchor Diane Sawyer led “World News” breathlessly talking of “an act of personal courage.” “Jason Collins,” Sawyer said, “a powerhouse player in the NBA, a veteran of the court, today told the world he is gay.Video after the break.

By Matt Vespa | April 25, 2013 | 9:03 PM EDT

Did anyone notice anything missing during Diane Sawyer’s interview with President Bush last night?  She didn’t mention his surge in the polls, which was conducted by ABC News.  Yes, ABC decided to omit their poll in order to have Sawyer bait President Bush with left-leaning questions, like his views on gay marriage.  The American people are now giving the forty-third president a second look, and it seems to be driving liberals crazy.

On April 23, the Washington Post’s Fix blog reported that Bush’s approval ratings have hit a seven-year high.  They are equal to that of President Obama’s at 47%.

By Scott Whitlock | April 24, 2013 | 4:35 PM EDT

Nightline co-anchor Bill Weir on Tuesday belatedly celebrated Earth Day by touting a left-wing environmentalist who is pushing for new carbon taxes and opposing the construction of the Keystone oil pipeline. Weir failed to label Bill McKibben as a liberal. Instead, the journalist simply referred to him as an "organizer," an "agitator" and a "lobbyist."

Weir lectured his audience, "So, how does [McKibben] convince a nation of oiloholics to dry out? Well, he organizes and agitates and lobbies for a tax on carbon. He gets arrested for protesting that big new pipeline from Canada and tries to convince colleges to dump their oil company stock." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Unlike Weir, McKibben's own website has no problem with ideological labels. One post begins, "So you’re a progressive and you’ve been sitting on the sidelines of the Keystone XL fight. Sure, you’ve heard about the pipeline but you haven’t yet drawn your sword and taken up the struggle."

By Matt Vespa | April 21, 2013 | 2:53 PM EDT

On April 18, a new Washington Post/ABC News poll that showed 51% of Americans feel that guns in the home make it safer, compared to 29% who think otherwise. More telling is that fact that 51% of white middle class women agree with the sentiment about firearms making homes safer.  Additionally, a Nexis search detailed that ABC News has yet to report this poll, and, with the exception of the Fix blog online, the Post's print edition avoided the “guns make a home safer” findings.

So, will there a correction to Jill Filipovic, Amanda Marcotte, and Co. for trying to smear the NRA as the “domestic abuse lobby? The article by New York Times’ Michael Luo that set off this meretricious commentary on guns looks like to have been a smear too far.  After all, it wasn’t “intense pressure” the gun lobby that killed Obama’s anti-gun agenda.  It was white middle-class women, who liked their Second Amendment rights to be left untouched by big government.

By Scott Whitlock | April 12, 2013 | 4:04 PM EDT

Journalists have been almost entirely silent on the gruesome trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell. The networks have ignored the story. Into this vacuum came Terry Moran, the anchor of ABC's Nightline. On Friday, he provocatively tweeted, "Kermit Gosnell is probably the most successful serial killer in the history of the world." 

One assumes that his program from the previous night would have been all over this "serial killer," right? Moran offered a complete expose of the stomach-twisting horrors allegedly perpetrated by Gosnell? No. This is how the journalist opened the April 11 program: "Hot Moms Inc. From Gisele to Gwyneth. New celebrity moms are losing the baby weight faster than ever. But can anyone do it? Tonight, how their workout secrets are becoming a big business." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Clearly, Moran doesn't have time for Gosnell when there are "hot moms" to cover.