All three morning shows on Thursday ignored the House vote to repeal Obamacare. Despite finding time for such important topics as women who are addicted to tanning, Good Morning America, as well as Today and CBS This Morning, skipped the latest on the President's unpopular legislation.
In contrast, all three evening newscasts on Wednesday did cover the story. Both CBS and ABC whined about Republicans holding yet another vote on Obamacare. World News anchor Diane Sawyer complained, "As ever, the vote now goes to the Senate, where it will almost certainly, once again, be voted down if it is even voted on at all." On the CBS Evening News, Scott Pelley lamented "how much it cost taxpayers for the House to repeal the law again and again."
Good Morning America's Jon Karl on Wednesday hyped the boos Mitt Romney received at Wednesday's NAACP conference as the "most hostile reception Mitt Romney has received from any group during this campaign." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Karl actively misled while comparing John McCain's 2008 reception at the NAACP to Romney's appearance.
Karl huffed, "...[McCain] received a standing ovation." The only problem with this? Romney also got one. Garrett Haake of NBC News tweeted, Wednesday, "Standing ovation for Romney as he finishes his remarks to NAACP." So, what's the point? Karl focused only on the difficult moments: "The boos went on and on. More boos came when he slammed President Obama's record. " An ABC graphic proclaimed those few seconds could be a "key moment in [Romney]'s White House run."
The very early returns are in for Savannah Guthrie's debut as the new co-anchor at NBC's Today show and so far they're not great. According to TV Newser's Chris Ariens, ABC's Good Morning America beat its morning show competitor in the ratings on Guthrie's first day in the co-anchor chair. Ariens reported that GMA won Monday morning's showdown among both total viewers and younger viewers:
ABC on Wednesday finally reported on the mysterious disappearance of Democratic Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. from Capitol Hill. Good Morning America's Jon Karl explained that the Representative "has been missing in action for more than a month, skipping some 80 votes and prompting speculation about where he is and what's wrong with him." CBS and NBC also covered the story on Wednesday. Unlike ABC, however, this wasn't their first report.
Having finally gotten to the story, Karl actually labeled Jackson as "one of the more outspoken liberals on Capitol Hill." He also noted that the Congressman's disappearance comes "days after his former fundraiser was arrested by the FBI for allegedly paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to doctors." On Tuesday's Today, news reader Natalie Morales mentioned the latest, but skipped any reference to the ethics investigation against Jackson.
Good Morning America co-anchor George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday finally noticed the Obama campaign's sketchy attacks against Mitt Romney for supposedly being an outsourcer while running Bain Capital. Stephanopoulos actually pressed Obama strategist David Plouffe, highlighting Factcheck.org's assertion that there's "no evidence to support the claim that Romney, while he was running Bain Capital, shipped American jobs overseas."
Stephanopoulos even forced Plouffe to respond to Republican talking points, reminding, "The RNC chief is going to be in Iowa today making that case, basically calling you all a liar." In contrast, on the July 1World News, Rick Klein uncritically touted the Obama outsourcing attacks: "Democrats are definitely breaking through by calling into question what Romney wants to be his biggest strength."
NBC, which shamefully ignored the "Fast and Furious" controversy for months, failed to cover on their newscasts Monday evening and Tuesday morning the FBI offering a combined $1 million reward for the capture of four suspects in the murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
ABC devoted a full report to the FBI reward on Monday's World News, but omitted mentioning Attorney General Eric Holder's part in the controversy. On Tuesday, ABC's GMA and CBS This Morning both devoted news briefs to the new development in the Terry case, but like World News, the two programs didn't mention Holder's name in their stories. Anchor Diane Sawyer introduced correspondent Pierre Thomas's report on the reward, and got a detail wrong out of the gate:
It may have looked like a Bill Clinton reunion tour, but it sounded like a Jimmy Carter pity party. Former Democratic operative George Stephanopoulos interviewed current Democratic operatives James Carville and Stan Greenberg on Tuesday's Good Morning America. All three did their very best to avoid gloomy predictions for Barack Obama or to blame the President for the reeling economy. In fact, the name of the current Democrat in the White House came up only once.
Stephanopoulos generically complained, "...A lot of people [are] losing faith that the politicians can make any difference at all." Pollster Greeberg preposterously insisted, "And, you know, people don't care about the last four years. They want to know what are you going to do to make a difference for my life?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Carville, without mentioning Obama, reminded, "[Americans] have lost 40 percent of net wealth in the...last four years."
If you were a television news anchor reporting on falling gas prices, why would you say "the best news" was that a gallon of gasoline "might drop another 50 cents by Halloween, just in time for the election?"
Believe it or not, ABC's Paula Faris, appearing on Monday's Good Morning America, actually said exactly that (video follows with transcript and commentary):
When Bill Clinton went to Africa in 2007 to fight AIDS, ABC hyped his important work "to save a continent." Diane Sawyer interviewed the ex-President and Kate Snow followed him to Africa. However, the same network has, thus far, skipped former President George W. Bush's efforts to fight cancer in the same area.
On the July 24, 2007, Good Morning America, Kate Snow excitedly related, "In Africa, they seem to be on a first-name basis with the former president, shouting 'Bill! Bill!'" On the July 20th GMA, Diane Sawyer hyped, "And President Bill Clinton weighs in, speaking out on the war, his work to save a continent..." Instead of praising Bush's work, Tuesday, the morning show devoted two segments to the divorce of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.
The hosts of Good Morning America on Monday fawned over Congressman John Lewis, who once compared Republicans to Nazis. GMA co-anchor Robin Roberts gushed that the liberal Democrat is a "living legend." Weatherman Sam Champion described him as a "true hero." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Lewis appeared on the show to promote his new book on the civil rights era, but at no time did he face any tough questions. Roberts ignored the issues of the day, such as Eric Holder (who the Congressman has been vocal about). Some parts of Roberts' interview didn't even qualify as questions: "You write, 'Don't give in, don't give up.'"
In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling that ObamaCare is constitutional as a tax, a number of media outlets played the now-embarrassing clip of Barack Obama insisting the law isn't a tax. Despite the footage coming from a 2009 interview on This Week, ABC's journalists studiously avoided highlighting their own footage.
CBS, however, played it. Even The Daily Show on Comedy Central highlighted the September 20, 2009 interview. On CBS This Morning, Jan Crawford played the clip of Obama telling George Stephanopoulos: "For us to say that you've got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] On Friday's Good Morning America, Jake Tapper tried to remind Stephanopoulos of the moment.
Good Morning America's Terry Moran on Friday highlighted how Chief Justice John Roberts "saved" Obamacare, featuring voices that lauded the "statesman" and only one clip of Mitt Romney condemning the ruling. In comparison, CBS showcased an interview with Republican Congressman Eric Cantor.
Instead of allowing much conservative opposition, Moran delicately spun, "Roberts's opinion reframed the law to make it constitutional...And that's how Roberts saved it." He included a clip of Dahlia Lithwick of the liberal Slate website. She hyped, "I think [Roberts] made everybody a little bit angry and made many people very happy and looked like a statesman."
Good Morning America's Terry Moran on Thursday hyped Democratic talking points, parroting fears that if ObamaCare was struck down, women would suffer more. Moran ran through the President's complaints.
He fretted, "And, finally, a lot of people haven't paid much attention to this: Women will pay more. Right now, women pay more for health care than men." (Moran didn't mention how much Americans would, overall, pay more in taxes, should the law stand long term.) The journalist added, "Insurance companies charge them more. This bill outlawed that. If it goes, that goes."
Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) broke party lines on Tuesday and announced that he will vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. Matheson is the first Democrat to come out and publicly condemn Holder. Neither ABC's Good Morning America, CBS's This Morning, nor NBC's Today noted the development today.
NBC's Today kept up its complete omission of the Fast and Furious gun-running controversy on Wednesday, even as a House committee prepared to vote later in the day on whether to find Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. CBS This Morning stood among the Big Three morning newscasts in devoting a full report to the issue. ABC's Good Morning America gave only a 20-second news brief on the controversy.
Overall, NBC has punted on the story since December 2010, when the scandal first emerged. NBC Nightly News had its own blackout on Fast and Furious until June 12, 2012, when correspondent Kelly O'Donnell finally mentioned "Congress's investigation of a failed operation that sent U.S. guns into Mexico" during a 30-second news brief. The issue hasn't been mentioned since on the evening newscast.
ABC offered rising Republican Marco Rubio an extended interview for Monday's Nightline, but pressed the Senator on briefly attending a Mormon church as a child and on a misstatement over when his parents left Cuba. In contrast, the same network and show gushed over Barack Obama in 2008, thrilling that his rallies were like "Springsteen concerts."
Reporter David Muir on Monday highlighted that in Rubio's newly released autobiography, the Republican references his "journey to Las Vegas, where for a time, the family switched to the Mormon church." Muir probed, "You were baptized in the Mormon church?"
NBC's Nightly News on Friday offered a one-sided segment touting Barack Obama's decision to lift the threat of deportation to young people who came to America illegally. The Pete Williams report featured six clips of individuals or groups thrilled by the reaction, only two against and one nuanced response by Mitt Romney.
Williams began by touting, "Young people covered by the new policy cheered the announcement outside the White House." An unidentified woman enthused, "I can't describe it. It's so amazing. I'm so happy." A crowd in front of the White House chanted, "Yes, we did! Yes, we did! Yes, we did! Yes, we did!"
On Sunday's Good Morning America, anchors Dan Harris and Bianna Golodryga defended Bristol Palin as they plugged a report on a man suing Bristol for including in her reality show a clip of herself confronting him as he berated her mother, Sarah Palin.
After playing a clip of the exchange which took place in a bar, Harris observed:
ABC and NBC on Friday both excitedly touted Barack Obama's "star-studded" celebrity fund-raisers in New York City, gushing over the "Prez in the City." Neither network wondered if $40,000 per plate dinners with millionaire celebrities might make the President seem out of touch, a charge often leveled at Republican Mitt Romney.
On Good Morning America, reporter Jon Karl enthused, "Call it Prez in the City, a star-studded, big city Obama fund-raiser at the Manhattan home of Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker." "The A-list evening didn't end there," Karl added, highlighting Obama's follow-up party with Mariah Carey at the Plaza hotel.
As Newsbusters reported yesterday, the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) network news shows have been stunningly slow to report on the Eric Holder hearings on the Fast and Furious scandal. NBC news hasn’t even reported once on the gunwalking controversy, until last night. On Tuesday’s NBC Nightly News, at the very end of her report, Kelly O’Donnell finally told viewers about “a failed operation that sent US guns into Mexico.” O’Donnell awkwardly attempted to explain the controversy, in 30 seconds, since no one on Nightly News or Today had previously done it.
The only other mention of the Holder hearings came on Wednesday’s edition of CBS's This Morning. ABC skipped the story entirely.
Good Morning America, hosted by former Democratic operative George Stephanopoulos, highlighted panic, Wednesday, about Barack Obama's reelection campaign. GMA's Jake Tapper warned, "Top Democrats are sounding the alarm. They are worried that President Obama's economic message is tone-deaf."
The segment featured James Carville, who worked with Stephanopoulos in the Clinton administration. Carville fretted that when the White House talks, "people take that as a signal that [the Obama administration] thinks things are fine." Carville and other Clinton operatives have produced a memo on Obama's precarious situation. CBS and NBC have not highlighted this.
The news that the House Oversight Committee will vote next week on whether to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, for refusing to turn over subpoenaed documents in the Fast and Furious investigation, was met with silence from the Big Three (ABC, NBC, CBS) network news shows. There was no mention of the Holder hearings on Monday’s evening news shows or Tuesday’s morning shows.
The blackout of the Holder hearings continues a stunning trend. Since December 2010, when the Fast and Furious scandal first broke, there have been zero stories about the gunwalking scandal on NBC Nightly News and Today show. On ABC there was only one brief aired on Good Morning America. Only CBS has truly covered the story, mainly due to the work of one reporter, Sharyl Attkisson. Since Attkisson broke the gunwalking story, there have been a total of 30 full stories and 1 brief aired on CBS’s Evening News and This Morning programs.
Curiously, Attkisson’s stories on the gunwalking scandal have screeched to a halt.
Over a three year period, from 2007 to 2010, Americans saw their average net worth drop by 39 percent. CBS, however, wasn't interested in this dire economic news. The network skipped the new report by the Federal Reserve, ignoring it on Monday's Evening News and Tuesday's This Morning.
In contrast, NBC and ABC did cover it. But both made sure to avoid any mention of Barack Obama or how this grim revelation might impact his reelection campaign. In a news brief, Good Morning America's Josh Elliott vaguely explained, "Meanwhile, some stunning new information this morning on just how much the great recession has, in fact, cost us." On Monday's Nightly News, Anne Thompson fretted over the "stomach-churning" drop.
ABC, CBS, and NBC stayed true to their liberal slant and ignored the 164 rallies across the United States on Friday against the federal government's abortifacient/birth control mandate under ObamaCare. Religious leaders and conservative politicians, like former GOP presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, addressed the tens of thousands of pro-religious freedom activists who attended the rallies. But the Big Three apparently didn't think this was worthy of coverage on their morning and evening newscasts.
By contrast, CBS played up the supporters of a group of left-leaning Catholic nuns during four on-air segments between May 30 and June 1, 2012. Correspondent Wyatt Andrews hyped how "hundreds of Catholics have rallied behind the sisters," and that "protests in support of the nuns have been held in almost 50 cities."
Since last Thursday, when Democratic members of Congress joined Republicans in denouncing the leaking of classified information which is suspected to have been divulged by members of the Obama administration, CBS has been dragging its feet compared to ABC and NBC in filling in viewers on the developments.
If an extraterrestrial had tuned into Good Morning America today and watched ABC News's report on national security leaks, he would have come away thinking the Obama administration was valiantly, aggressively pursuing the leakers. ET wouldn't have learned that there is good reason to suspect that the source of the leaks . . . is the Obama administration itself.
An attentive viewer might have noticed that the screen graphic referred to the White House and Congress being investigated. But the report by ABC's Pierre Thomas never hinted that the Obama administration was itself being accused of being the source of the leaks. To the contrary, Thomas framed the issue this way: "freedom of the press and the public's right to know is now on collision course with the government's desire to protect national security secrets." Translation: the Obama admin is, even at the risk of impinging on other values, leading the fight to protect national security. Gag us with a background briefing! View the video after the jump.
The Big Three networks certainly have their priorities straight. ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning shows on Wednesday dedicated more time to entertainment news than the results of the Wisconsin recall election. On CBS This Morning, Disney's new ban on junk food ads from its kids programming received a minute and a half more than the political story. The same gap occurred on ABC's Good Morning America, but instead of junk food, the Miss USA pageant got the extra time.
NBC's Today, however, one-upped its competitors, as they devoted over six minutes to former Hannah Montana star Miley Cyrus getting engaged, while Republican Governor Scott Walker's victory received under four and a half minutes. Today also spent over five minutes on the Miss USA story.
Searching for an excuse to explain what went wrong for Democrats in Wisconsin, the broadcast networks blamed "a record-shattering $64 million poured into" the recall election by "conservative out-of-state groups" supporting Republican Governor Scott Walker.
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, correspondent Bill Plante promoted Obama campaign talking points on the major Democratic loss: "...what it called the 'massive spending gap'. Governor Walker's supporters raised $31 million to $4 million for the challenger, Tom Barrett....with most of that money coming from out of state – a huge chunk of it from the super-PACs." On Tuesday's CBS Evening News, correspondent Dean Reynolds proclaimed: "Their efforts resulted in an avalanche of ads attacking Walker's Democratic opponent..."
Former Clinton operative George Stephanopoulos threw Bill Clinton's recent attack on Republicans at guest Bill O'Reilly on Tuesday's Good Morning America, but O'Reilly would have none of it. "He [Clinton] says it’s Romney and the Republicans are going to bring European economics to America," Stephanopoulos revealed.
O'Reilly laughed off the remark. "How many drinks did he have? I mean this is insane," he blurted out. Stephanopoulos pressed on, though, correcting his guest that Clinton meant austerity measures and not European socialism. O'Reilly still didn't take that claim seriously. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
NewsBusters senior editor and Media Research Center director of media analysis Tim Graham appeared on the June 4 O'Reilly Factor to discuss the role that the broadcast network morning shows play in influencing the electorate with their liberal-leaning narratives about the issues this election season.
The morning shows have strong ratings, "have become the profit centers for [broadcast networks'] news divisions and they reach a lot of female voters in particular," Graham noted. "[O]ne of the reasons we pay so much attention to the morning shows... is just a dramatic bias in terms of favoring Obama, favoring the Democrats." [you can watch the full segment in the video embedded below the page break]