Nightline

By Scott Whitlock | April 2, 2013 | 4:59 PM EDT

It's not often that media outlets ignore their own scoops, but that's what ABC is doing. The network has (thus far) relegated to its website the latest details on the decision by the Obama Defense Department to deny Purple Hearts to the victims of the Fort Hood massacre. The rest of the networks have also skipped this story. ABC "obtained" a Pentagon position paper on the subject, but still failed to give it network coverage.

It was ABC alone that highlighted the story back in February. On February 12, Brian Ross explained the impact of the decision to deny Purple Hearts: "...Former Staff Sgt. Shawn Manning, who still has bullets lodged in his body, says he has lost almost $70,000 in benefits otherwise available to those with combat-related injuries." So far, World News, Nightline and Good Morning America (as well as NBC and CBS) have failed to cover the newest details of the story. In fact, ABC has done nothing since February.

By Scott Whitlock | March 12, 2013 | 4:06 PM EDT

George Stephanopoulos, a former Democratic operative turned journalist, has scored an "exclusive" interview with Barack Obama. According to TV Newser, the taped conversation will appear on Tuesday's World News, Wednesday's Good Morning America and Nightline. If it's anything like Stephanopoulos's past interviews, it will contain a number of softball questions. [See a video montage below. MP3 audio here.]

On September 09, 2010, Stephanopoulos worried about how the job was impacting the President's family life: "You know, when you're going through these hard times, how much of it bleeds through to them? And how do you protect them from it?" He also highlighted a pastor in Florida who threatened to burn copies of the Koran. The anchor sympathized, "You're President of the United States. You have to deal with the fallout. And here's a pastor who's got 30 followers in his church. Does it make you feel helpless or angry?" In total, Stephanopoulos devoted 16 minutes to Obama.

By Brent Bozell | March 9, 2013 | 8:30 AM EST

Sometimes it’s hard to measure the distance between the supposedly establishment, respectable press and the seediest corners of hardcore pornography. On March 1, ABC’s "Nightline" celebrated a porn star named "James Deen" (real name: Bryan Sevilla). The apparent "news" hook is his role in a forthcoming movie with the evermore pathetic Lindsay Lohan.

ABC reporter Cecilia Vega sold Deen as a 27-year-old hazard to teenaged girls. They’re boasting he’s found a new frontier of porn consumers, "some of them so young we couldn't even interview them on camera. Their parents had no idea that secretly they have a crush on a porn star. It is a phenomenon that not even the man at the center of it fully understands, but it's one that he fully defends." Insert ooooh-ahhhh track here.

By Scott Whitlock | February 14, 2013 | 11:56 AM EST

ABC's Nightline on Tuesday night uniquely highlighted the "betrayal" of Fort Hood victims by Barack Obama, exposing how the President "used" survivors as props for the 2010 State of the Union address. After 13 people were murdered by Nidal Hasan, the government labeled the shooting an example of "workplace violence" (instead of terrorism) and the Army decided not to award Purple Hearts to the victims. This has led to skyrocketing recovery costs for those who lived through the violence.

Talking to one of the heroes, Kimberly Munley, Ross explained, "A hero betrayed? Her courage saved lives during a massacre on a Texas Army base. So why is she now claiming President Obama and other victims?" He informed viewers that Munley believes "the President broke the promise made to her that all the victims and her families would be well-taken care of." ABC alone covered this angle of  the survivors' suffering. NBC and CBS have, thus far, skipped it. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Tom Blumer | February 12, 2013 | 8:19 PM EST

Former Fort Hood police sergeant Kimberly Munley, one of two officers who helped stop Major Nidal Hasan's deadly shooting spree at Fort Hood, Texas in November 2009, and who was a guest at President Obama's 2010 State of the Union address (something the Politico chose to remind everyone of just yesterday), now says, according to ABC News, that "Obama broke the promise he made to her that the victims would be well taken care of."

Excerpts from ABC's web story in anticipation of a Nightline report tonight follow the jump (bolds are mine):

By Scott Whitlock | February 1, 2013 | 12:43 PM EST

ABC on Thursday and Friday either downplayed or outright ignored the "bruising day" Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel endured in Washington. Friday's Good Morning America skipped the topic entirely, thus avoiding the tough questions by Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain. Nightline, which now airs after midnight, didn't get to the story until 1:05am.

Thursday's World News did cover the contentious hearings, but Diane Sawyer minimized Hagel's poor performance, which even liberal writer Peter Beinart mocked as "making Biden look rhetorically sure-footed." Sawyer solemnly opened the show: "...One man entered the arena. Chuck Hagel, the purple heart recipient from the Vietnam War, the former senator nominated to be Secretary of Defense. His former colleagues met him with a fuselage of critical questions..." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Scott Whitlock | January 30, 2013 | 4:05 PM EST

As if comparing Hillary Clinton to Thomas Jefferson wasn't hyperbolic enough, ABC's Cynthia McFadden on Wednesday practically begged the Secretary of State to run for president. The Nightline co-anchor lobbied Clinton, lecturing her about the "obligation" she has to "break through that glass ceiling." Yet, the reporter could only manage the most gentle probing into the issue of the terrorist attack in Libya.

McFadden pressed the Democrat to run in 2016, asking the question no less than four times. If it appeared, the journalist wondered, "that you might be the person who could actually break through that glass ceiling and become the first female president of this country, would you feel a certain obligation to seize that mantle?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Any answer other than yes seemed not good enough.

By Scott Whitlock | January 30, 2013 | 12:54 PM EST

Over three programs and two days, ABC devoted 15 minutes to a fawning profile of Hillary Clinton. On Wednesday's Nightline, Cynthia McFadden even compared the outgoing Secretary of State to Thomas Jefferson, hinting that Clinton could follow his footsteps to the White House.

McFadden lauded, "There was a time not so very long ago when Hillary Clinton was seen as one of the most divisive figures in American politics." Noting Clinton's high approval rating, she announced this view was "changing." In an interview that, just coincidentally occurred in front of a statue of Jefferson, the reporter embarrassingly hyped, "As Jefferson looks over our shoulder, who I would only point out, was Secretary of State who went on to become president." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Scott Whitlock | January 23, 2013 | 4:48 PM EST

Nightline co-anchor Terry Moran lashed out at Rand Paul on Twitter, deriding the senator for daring to bluntly question Hillary Clinton over her role in the Benghazi scandal. Moran mocked, "Curious: What is Rand Paul's foreign policy background? Did he serve in the military? Did he study, live, do business or charity overseas?"

Of course, what qualifies Paul to question Clinton is that he's a United States senator and Moran isn't. Over the years, Moran, a journalist, has offered his liberal slant on numerous topics, including business and economics. In 2009, the reporter fawned over Michael Moore's left-wing film Capitalism: A Love Story, gushing, "[Moore is] an American populist in the grand tradition, a provocateur, a comic, a rhetorical bomb thrower." What qualifies Moran, who has never run a business, to seriously discuss a film about capitalism?

By Scott Whitlock | January 22, 2013 | 5:19 PM EST

Nightline co-anchor Terry Moran on Tuesday could barely contain his excitement on Inauguration Day, extolling the "President with a purpose" and his "history-making call to action." Moran, who has a long history of fawning over Barack Obama, gushed, "He was weaving the new tapestry of America as he sees it."

Moran hyped the "new American progressivism unleashed." The journalist continued, "He is a president renewed in office by the votes of 65 million Americans. He is a president with a purpose." Regarding the aggressively liberal speech, Moran enthused, "More than half a million Americans stream into Washington to watch President Barack Obama take the oath of office once more and deliver a history-making call to action."

By Jeffrey Meyer | December 27, 2012 | 1:09 PM EST

ABC’s Barbara Walters' "interview" with the Obamas on Thursday's Nightline ran much more like a celebrity infomercial. Walters was her usual self, asking questions void of substance and fawning over every detail of the First Family.

With the fiscal cliff looming just weeks after the interview originally took place, Walters had no questions on any matter of political significance. She did find time to discuss the family's dog Bo, pressing Mrs. Obama, "Does he follow you around all day?" and "What is Bo getting for Christmas?"  [See video after jump.  MP3 audio here.]

By Brent Baker | December 27, 2012 | 10:21 AM EST

ABC News had to wait two weeks to get on air Barbara Walters’ interview with the Obamas -- and then the network’s evening newscast decided to focus on her asking Barack and Michelle Obama about their sex life.

“An ABC News exclusive,” fill-in World News anchor David Muir teased, “Barbara Walters at the White House, asking Michelle Obama if she’ll run for office next. And a personal question, too.” Viewers were then treated to a clip of Walters with the Obamas: “How do you keep the fire going?” The two laughed as Mrs. Obama giggled: “That’s a good question!”