Nightline

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!”

By Noel Sheppard | December 27, 2012 | 7:59 AM EST

The anti-gun Obama isn't so anti-gun when it comes to protecting his own family.

During a predictably gooey interview with Barbara Walters on ABC's Nightline Wednesday, the President joked about his daughter Malia dating boys saying, "I always talk about how one of the main incentives for running again was continuing secret service protection so there are men with guns around at all times" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Jeffrey Meyer | December 26, 2012 | 12:27 PM EST

ABC’s Good Morning America barely talked about the upcoming fiscal cliff on Wednesday but found time for another Obama-promoting fluff piece. Previewing Barbara Walters's upcoming interview with Mr. and Mrs. Obama on Wednesday evening’s Nightline, GMA picked a clip of Walters fawning over the couple's romance.

Walters touted "the most-shared photograph in the history of Twitter" of the President and his wife hugging. She later asked, "How do you keep the fire going?"  [See video below jump.  MP3 audio here.]

By Ryan Robertson | November 29, 2012 | 11:06 AM EST

You may recall when CBS fired Charlie Sheen early last year from the popular Two and a Half Men series for a string of "felony offenses involving moral turpitude." In the weeks and months that preceded this decision, an increasingly erratic Sheen received an inordinate amount of media attention for his drug-induced rants. To this day however, Sheen's bad boy persona is received warmly by the media, and he's been rewarded for it with ad spots for Fiat and DirecTV and even another show on the FX network that jokingly plays off his history of reckless hedonism.

By contrast, Sheen's former co-star, Angus T. Jones, the titular "half man" on the sitcom, has been castigated by the media for his recent religious conversion and subsequent YouTube testimonial in which he urged folks to avoid his popular TV series. Perhaps pressured by producers, Jones has since apologized for coming across as indifferent and unappreciative for the lucrative opportunity, but that hasn't stopped the media for characterizing Jones's video as another celebrity meltdown. [ video below the page break ]

By Scott Whitlock | November 15, 2012 | 4:22 PM EST

Nightline co-anchor Terry Moran on Wednesday couldn't be bothered with spending much time on the scandal in Libya that left four Americans dead. Instead, he thrilled over the President's performance during a White House press conference. "An Obama smackdown," proclaimed the unabashed fan of the Democratic president. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

Moran enthused, "The 44th President, today, was ready to rumble. You heard and saw it most emphatically when he leapt to the defense on Susan Rice." Moran explained that the United Nations ambassador is "under fire for claiming the deadly attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya was not a terrorist attack but a riot sparked by outrage over an anti-Muslim film." But the journalist quickly moved on to the battle between Senator John McCain and Obama. Declaring a winner, he cheered, "Today, an Obama smackdown."

By Scott Whitlock | November 8, 2012 | 5:23 PM EST

A sneering Terry Moran on Wednesday night slammed an out-of-touch Republican Party in the wake of Barack Obama's reelection. According to Moran, Rush Limbaugh showed "contempt" for the President's voters and "slandered" them as "moochers." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

In contrast, Moran extolled Obama as "grayer and maybe wiser." He cheered, "But in the America of the 21st century, he gets something, he embodies something that more and more voters see as the country's destiny."