While the Big Three (ABC, CBS and NBC) networks have all done stories on the Obama administration's seizure of Associated Press (AP) reporters phone records, what is striking is their reluctance to attach Barack Obama's name to the controversy. In seven total stories aired on their evening and morning shows, since the story broke on Monday afternoon, Obama's name was used only six times. Reporters were much more likely to use the generic term "government." For example, CBS's Bob Orr on Wednesday's This Morning described the controversy this way: "The government just simply came in, got the subpoenas, took the phone logs and then notified the AP after the fact."
The reluctance to put Obama's name in these stories is important because it allows the low-information voter to write off the scandal as one caused by faceless government bureaucrats.
While sparring with Bill O'Reilly on Tuesday, George Stephanopoulos channeled his inner Hillary Clinton on the issue of the terrorist attack in Benghazi. On the subject of who, specifically, told United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice to use faulty talking points, the Good Morning America co-anchor asserted, "Well, what difference will that make if the White House has already put out the talking points and said that they were written by the CIA with the input of other agencies? " [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
In comparison, on January 23, 2013, while testifying in front of Congress about Libya, Hillary Clinton said of the details of the attack: "Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night and decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference – at this point, what difference does it make?" Stephanopoulos, a former Democratic operative, attempted to turn the President into the victim.
Fifty six days after the grisly trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell began, ABC broke its self-imposed blackout and finally offered coverage. World News anchor Diane Sawyer belatedly told viewers that Gosnell was convicted on three counts of first degree murder against newborn babies, as well as on a slew of other charges. Terry Moran explained, "For two months, jurors heard often shocking, grisly testimony." He described the details as a "house of horrors." A house of horrors that ABC took 56 days to notice.
As the Media Research Center has aggressively documented, ABC went from March 18, 2013 (the trial's start) through Monday afternoon with no coverage. Yet during the same time, the network devoted a staggering 187 minutes (or 70 segments) to other shocking criminal cases, such as Jodi Arias and Amanda Knox.
Jurors found abortionist Kermit Gosnell guilty on Monday of three first degree murder charges. In the eight weeks since the trial began, ABC has completely ignored the case, offering no coverage, discussion or mention of Gosnell and the gory details. It's not as though the network lacks interest in shocking criminal trials. In that same 56 day period, Good Morning America has devoted a staggering 187 minutes-- or 70 segments-- to sensational trials such as the Jodi Arias and Amanda Knox cases.
Over eight weeks, GMA featured Arias, who was convicted of slitting the throat of her ex-boyfriend, 38 times, more than 50 percent of the network's criminal trial coverage. Yet, World News, Nightline and GMA skipped Gosnell "snipping" the necks of newborn babies. Will ABC break the news blackout and cover the verdict?
Good Morning America's Jon Karl on Monday exposed new details about the growing scandal involving the Internal Revenue Service targeting conservatives. The correspondent revealed, "I've obtained a soon-to-be released investigative report that shows the IRS started targeting Tea Party groups more than three years ago." He added that this was "despite [the IRS] publicly claiming otherwise."
According to the journalist, phrases such as "limiting government," "educating on the Bill of Rights" and "criticizing how the country is being run" were enough to have the IRS start tracking them. However, Karl steered clear of culpability when it came to the Obama administration. He explained, "The White House said it had no idea that the IRS was targeting Tea Party groups." [MP3 audio here. See video below.]
Britain's Prince Harry arrived in Washington on Thursday, but ABC declared the Obamas to be "Washington's royalty." On Friday's Good Morning America, reporter Lama Hasan recounted the prince's visit to the White House and an event with Michelle Obama.
She hyped, "And then there was this: A clandestine visit with the First Lady that brought a little British glamour to Washington's royalty. " The segment then cut to a clip of the First Lady. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
ABC journalist Jon Karl actually followed up on Wednesday's Benghazi hearings, exposing that CIA talking points on the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack were "dramatically edited" a total of 12 times by the administration. In a report airing on Friday's Good Morning America, Karl explained to viewers that, between the first version and the last, "all references to al Qaeda and all references to CIA warnings before the attack about the terror threat in Benghazi" were removed. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
An ABC graphic went so far as to wonder, "Benghazi Statements Not True? White House Statements contradicted." Karl quoted from Hillary Clinton's State Department spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland. Playing politics, Nuland said of the information in the warnings, "[It] could be abused by members of Congress to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings, so why would we want to feed that?" An online version of Karl's story showcased a full paragraph that was removed.
The network morning shows on Thursday went into tabloid overdrive for the Jodi Arias verdict and an abduction case in Ohio, offering a staggering 56 minutes of coverage. In contrast, NBC, CBS and ABC allowed just under seven minutes combined to hearings on the 2012 terrorist murder of a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Libya. This is a disparity of eight-to-one.
Good Morning America proved to be the least interested in the national security issues raised by Benghazi. The morning show devoted 19 minutes to the Arias conviction and the kidnapping of three women in Ohio. Yet, whistleblower testimony in Washington D.C. warranted a mere 53 seconds. The four hour-long Today show on NBC spent 27 minutes on the two cases and a scant two and a half minutes on Libya. The most balanced network turned out to be CBS.
The extent of the media's influence to shape public opinion was on full display in a new Pew Research Center poll that shows, even though gun crime has dropped by half since its peak in the mid '90s, most Americans (56 percent) wrongly think gun violence has increased.
In anL.A. Timesarticle that highlighted the poll, Emily Alpert posited "It's unclear whether media coverage is driving the misconception that such violence is up. The mass shootings in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo., were among the news stories most closely watched by Americans last year, Pew found."
Covering New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's secret weight loss surgery, Good Morning America's Paula Faris couldn't help but make fat jokes. The reporter on Wednesday began her segment by wryly asserting, "Chris Christie is wasting no time devouring his critics." She continued, "The no-holds-barred New Jersey Governor known for his healthy appetite...sounded off" at reporters. [See video below. MP3 audio below.]
Faris found clips of liberal comedians mocking the Republican governor. She included one of David Letterman joking, "Bring it, fat boy!" In another snippet, Jimmy Fallon sneered, "Christie hopes to visit the site of the Last Supper. You know, see if there's any leftovers." This isn't the first time the ABC morning show has joined in on fat jokes about Christie.
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.]
CBS used its Sunday evening and Monday morning newscasts to keep the spotlight on the question of a "possible cover-up" surrounding the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. Jeff Glor led CBS Evening News with the scoop from earlier in the day on Face the Nation – that a "career U.S. diplomat is raising new questions" about the Obama administration's claim that the attack spontaneously erupted in response to an early protest in Egypt.
Monday's CBS This Morning also aired a report on this latest development on the September 11, 2012 attack. Meanwhile, ABC and NBC have yet to pick up on the veteran diplomat's allegations, despite the fact that he is set to testify publicly to Congress on the issue on Wednesday.
ABC reporters over the weekend huffed that the National Rifle Association took a "victory lap" and sneered that the gun group was "using" the Boston bombing at their recent convention. Reporter Reena Ninan on Sunday chided, "NRA leaders found a way to use the recent bombings in Boston, even shooting tragedies, to expand support for their organization."
On Monday's Good Morning America, correspondent Jon Karl worried, "When it comes to guns, don't expect this crowd to give in on anything." He then parroted Ninan, insisting that the NRA "even invoked the manhunt for the Boston bombers." What Vice President Wayne LaPierre actually said in reference to Boston was this:
Good Morning America's Jeff Zeleny on Friday hyped a Senator being "slammed" by pro-gun control voices at a town hall. Yet, the same network back in 2009 worried about Tea Party town halls "getting ugly." Highlighting a New Hampshire event with Republican Kelly Ayotte, Zeleny featured multiple snippets of Americans impacted by gun violence and summerized that they are "trying to understand how so many senators voted against something eight in ten Americans support."
In comparison, on the August 7, 2009 edition of World News, Charles Gibson lectured the Tea Party: "...In meeting after meeting, there's been a pattern of disruption - opponents of change shouting at members of Congress so loud that at times police are called in." He fretted, "White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said today, 'We can discuss these issues without being uncivilized. It's the same thing I tell my six-year-old.'"
Forty six days after the grisly trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell began, ABC still has not uttered one word about the case. Gosnell is charged with the murder of four infants and one patient, yet the network has conducted a total blackout. During the same period, ABC's Good Morning America has aired 53 segments and 148 minutes– almost two and a half hours– of coverage for other sensational criminal trials.
Although GMA hasn't found time to discuss the shocking details of the Gosnell case, the morning program on Thursday did tout the story of two rival Sno-Kone truck operators in upstate New York, the deeply irrelevant criminal complaints of "Sno Kone Joe vs. Mr. Ding-A-Ling." [See a picture below.] The other networks have given the Gosnell story minimal coverage, but ABC is alone in completely ignoring it.
Thursday's CBS This Morning singled out the FBI's pursuit of three persons of interest who could provide information on the September 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Margaret Brennan touted how "what happened that night is still the topic of debate in Washington", and noted that members of Congress "want to speak to those Americans evacuated from Benghazi, but claim the White House won't release the names."
ABC devoted a news brief to the FBI's investigation on Wednesday's World News, but didn't cover the development the following morning on Good Morning America. NBC apparently didn't find the story newsworthy, as they failed to cover it on their evening and morning newscasts.
NBC's Today on Thursday completely skipped the violence associated with May Day protests in Seattle. CBS This Morning and ABC's Good Morning America covered the riots briefly, but ignored the socialist connection to the protest. GMA news reader Josh Elliott explained, "What started as a peaceful May Day protest in Seattle turned into violence and chaos as the march was winding down."
He added that "demonstrators suddenly began throwing rocks, bottles and metal pipes at police smashing windows." On Wednesday, however, Elliott blandly previewed, "May Day, May 1st is often a holiday used to focus attention on workers' issues." Yet, as the poster for the May Day rally in Seattle explained, the purpose was to "honor the history of May Day" and fight "against capitalism, all nation-states and borders!"
ABC's blackout of the gruesome charges against abortionist Kermit Gosnell continued on Tuesday, 43 days after the trial began. This came one day after a Media Research Center study found that the network's Good Morning America has devoted 109 minutes and 41 stories to other shocking criminal trials. Apparently, ABC's disinterest extends only to cases that might put the pro-abortion agenda in a negative light.
Instead of covering the Gosnell trial, which went to the jury on Monday, GMA offered a full report on the Michael Jackson wrongful death case, another story on the case of a Utah doctor charged with murdering his wife and a third segment on the Amanda Knox retrial. This amounted to another eight minutes and 20 seconds of focusing on high profile court stories not involving an abortionist accused of murdering babies.
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.
The journalists at Good Morning America gushed over Barack Obama's performance at the White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday. On Sunday and Monday's program, the reporters enthused over the "hilarious" "comedian-in-chief" who was "on fire."
On Monday's program, former Democratic operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos fawned over a mock video that Obama participated in: "He did this film, a take-off on Lincoln, where he plays Daniel Day Lewis playing Obama...which was hilarious." Correspondent Lara Spencer hyped, "[Obama] was on fire." Jon Karl lauded, "He's always been pretty good at this. I think he's gotten better."
Forty two days ago, on March 18, 2013, abortionist Kermit Gosnell went on trial, charged with the grisly murder of multiple babies and a patient. Yet, in the seven weeks that followed, ABC News has permitted no coverage, discussion or mention of the case, not even a single utterance of Dr. Gosnell’s name.
But that’s not due to lack of interest in shocking criminal cases. Over the same 42 days, the Media Research Center found that ABC’s Good Morning America has aired 41 stories — about one per day — on other sensational criminal cases, including the Amanda Knox re-trial and the Jodi Arias case, totaling 109 minutes of coverage.
Josh Elliott, ABC’s news anchor at Good Morning America, is heartbroken. The NFL has failed his political correctness test and failed to draft openly gay kicker Alan Gendreau of Middle Tennessee State. Then again, only two kickers were drafted, ruining what Elliott hoped “could be a watershed moment.”
In a typically one-sided Friday morning story pushing Gendreau as a barrier-breaker, Elliott – who goes to gay-left dinners and boasts of ABC's record of "advocacy journalism" for the Left – insisted emphatically, “There is a barrier that is ready to be broken.” Robin Roberts suggested kickers are rarely drafted. Elliott shot back: “Again, I think the time is now.” John Schriffen had the story:
CBS This Morning stood out on Friday for devoting a 18-second news brief to the newly-released security camera footage of Floyd Corkins II's attempted mass shooting at the Family Research Council in August 2012. Charlie Rose identified Corkins as a "domestic terrorist" who targeted the social conservative organization for "being anti-gay" [audio available here; video below the jump].
The morning newscast actually played a clip from the video, which shows the admitted felon pulling a handgun on security guard Leo Johnson and the subsequent physical altercation between the two. By contrast, ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today both ignored the footage, which FRC uploaded onto YouTube on Thursday.
ABC stubbornly stuck to its talking points on Friday, portraying the furloughs of Federal Aviation Administration employees as "airport armageddon." Despite the fact that even liberal outlets such as Politico spun the ending of the furloughs as a loss for the Democrats, Good Morning America's David Kerley failed to do so. A network graphic trumpeted, "Airport Armageddon Ending? Congress Acting to End Delays." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Kerley adopted an everybody-is-to-blame tone, lecturing, "We say Washington is dysfunctional. But when members hear complaints and it's going to affect them, it's amazing how fast they can act." Yet, Politico announced, "Democrats blink first on aviation cuts." Writers Kathryn A. Wolfe and Burgess Everett concluded, "Democrats caved in and agreed to allow the Federal Aviation Administration to keep air traffic control towers running at close to full capacity." This type of analysis didn't make it to ABC.
CBS is putting its Big Three competitors to shame in actually covering the capital murder trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, but that's not saying much, as Thursday's CBS This Morning devoted a paltry 11 seconds to the latest development in the case. Norah O'Donnell highlighted that the abortionist's defense attorney rested his case without calling his client or any other witness to testify. [audio available here; video below the jump]
It was the second straight day that the morning show devoted air time to the news story. On Wednesday, O'Donnell gave a 13-second news brief on the Gosnell trial judge dismissing some of the murder charges against the abortionist.
The Obama administration has flushed almost $200 million of the American taxpayer's money down the drain on another green company failure but ABC and NBC have yet to report on it. On Monday, the electric car company Fisker Automotive failed to make a $10 million payment on a $192 million federal government loan, bringing it closer to bankruptcy. Only CBS, on Thursday's This Morning, mentioned it - and then only gave it 15 seconds.
Fisker joins Solyndra in what has turned into a long list of Obama administration supported green companies that have turned into boondoggles for the American taxpayer that the Big Three networks have virtually ignored.
For the first time in over a week, CBS covered the murder trial of abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell on Wednesday's CBS This Morning. But instead of a full report, as on April 15, Norah O'Donnell read a news brief that lasted just 13 seconds on the trial judge dismissing three of the murder charges against the Philadelphia physician [audio available here; video below the jump].
ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today on Wednesday failed to cover this noteworthy development in the case. Neither broadcast network has aired one second of reporting on the Gosnell trial on their morning and evening newscasts.
NBC and ABC completely skipped a scathing new report that singles out Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for blame after the September 11 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. CBS, in contrast, offered full reports on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Evening News anchor Scott Pelley announced, "House Republicans fired off a blistering report today criticizing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
On CBS This Morning, Norah O'Donnell trumpeted, "House Republicans issued a scathing report on the Benghazi attack. U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed last September." Yet, the ABC programs World News, Nightline and Good Morning America ignored the development. GMA, however, found time to promote important topics, such as "dancing babies" and the "secrets" behind America's favorite game shows. NBC's Nightly News and the Today show also avoided the subject.
ABC managed to take a book full of juicy gossip about the morning show wars and ignore all the interesting information. Good Morning America's Dan Harris on Tuesday talked to Brian Stelter, author of Top of the Morning. Yet, Harris spent more time talking about the rise of Stelter, offering such dull questions of the author as "Do you ever sleep?" and "What made you pick this subject for your book?"
Perhaps Harris didn't want to talk about how Stelter quoted an NBC executive deriding the "the crap on ‘G.M.A.'" In the book, the writer condescendingly described the ABC program: "The cast was more bubbly and the stories more gossip-laden. And short: If you didn't like what they were covering, you could just wait 45 seconds and the cast would be on to a Chihuahua playing pool." Harris made no mention of the upheaval at NBC after Ann Curry's removal from the Today show.
ABC won't let reality get in the way of good hype. Good Morning America on Tuesday doubled down on the "airline apocalypse" allegedly caused by sequester. Reporter Matt Guttman actually lumped in weather delays with a shortage of Federal Aviation Association (FAA) air traffic controllers. On Monday, George Stephanopoulos warned of an "airport armageddon." The next day, Gutman seemed to contradict this, admitting, "[We] didn't really find an airline apocalypse." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
However, using a slight of hand, he quickly moved on: "But all those little delays, either caused by a shortage of FAA controllers or by the weather, started to snowball into delays of four and five hours." Using hyperbole almost identical to Stephanopoulos, Gutman hyperventilated, "But Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood warns ABC News, we might yet see an airplane apocalypse." Airport armageddon? Airplane apocalypse? The GMA journalists offered such over-the-top alliteration, despite this concession from Gutman: "So far, several hundred flights delayed. Far less than the agency's prediction of 6,700 daily flight delays."