NBC and ABC in their evening and morning newscasts completely ignored the grilling Eric Holder received on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, over his role in the Fast and Furious scandal. Senate Republicans forced Holder to admit his initial statements to Congress about his department’s role in gunwalking were "inaccurate," and that he never apologized to the family of a Border Agent killed by a Mexican drug cartel that used guns from the Fast and Furious operation. Only Sharyl Attkisson, in two full reports aired on Tuesday’s Evening News and Wednesday’s The Early Show, relayed the testimony that ABC and NBC blacked out on their broadcasts.
Attkisson, who was berated by the Obama White House and even momentarily benched by CBS, for her role in covering the story, ran down the pertinent details in the following story aired on the November 8 edition of CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley:
On Wednesday, all three network morning shows found time to tout the defeat of an Ohio law curbing union power in Tuesday's election, while ignoring passage of another ballot initiative that made the ObamaCare heath insurance mandate illegal in the state.
On NBC's Today, news anchor Natalie Morales declared: "In Ohio, voters rejected a new law that would limit the collective bargaining rights of some 350,000 unionized public workers. Labor unions there are calling the news their biggest victory in decades." On ABC's Good Morning America, Josh Elliott similarly announced the "big victory for labor unions." On CBS's The Early Show, Jeff Glor described how "voters handed union workers a victory."
The CBS and NBC morning shows on Tuesday both ignored an embarrassing gaffe committed by Barack Obama: Being caught on an open mic, mocking Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Only ABC's Good Morning America covered it with a single news brief.
News anchor Josh Elliott explained, "At last week's G20 summit, the BBC reports that President Sarkozy was overheard calling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a liar. In response, President Obama told Sarkozy, and I quote, 'You may be sick of him, but I have to deal with him every day.'"
The same networks that ignored sexual allegations against Democrats for months all leaped on Tuesday to interview Sharon Bialek and her liberal advocate Gloria Allred on the morning after she came forward. Between them, ABC, CBS, CNN, and NBC devoted over 21 minutes to Bialek, who accused GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain of groping her over a decade ago. CNN had Bialek on for eight and a half minutes, and played up how Rush Limbaugh apparently said "not so nice things" about her [audio clips available here; video below the jump].
CBS's The Early Show gave the softest interview, failing to mention the accuser's past bankruptcies or Allred's liberal political leanings, something the other three at least mentioned. Anchor Jeff Glor asked Bialek if she would still vote for Cain if he became the GOP presidential nominee, only after her attorney, Gloria Allred, mentioned that her client was a registered Republican. None of the interviewers raised why Bialek had been fired by the National Restaurant Association before her meeting with Cain (correspondent Jan Crawford noted the firing in a setup piece on CBS).
In only eight and a half days, NBC, CBS and ABC have devoted a staggering 99 stories to sexual harassment charges against Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain. In comparison, eight days into Bill Clinton's scandal's with Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and Juanita Broaddrick, there were a combined eight reports.
Additionally, the three network newscasts on Monday offered scant information about the fact that Cain's accuser, Sharon Bialek, has hired the extremely liberal lawyer Gloria Allred. On NBC's Nightly News, reporter Kelly O'Donnell described Allred as a "high profile attorney." On CBS's Evening News, Jan Crawford referred to her as a "celebrity lawyer."
ABC, CBS and NBC have continued their overly positive coverage of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protestors, devoting a massive number of stories (81 in just the month of October) to the leftist, anti-capitalist movement. This is a far cry from the coverage they initially gave the Tea Party protest, granting them a scant 13 stories all of 2009. More troubling, the radicalism and criminal acts at some of the protests have been virtually ignored by the Big Three networks.
This was bound to happen given the overwhelming disparity in the number of soundbites (19 to 1 ratio) devoted to those who were sympathetic to the OWS cause. A staggering 190 (80%) soundbites were given to those who were in favor of the Occupiers, only 10 (4%) soundbites featured those who were critical of the movement, 38 (16%) were neutral. In addition, nine guests on the morning shows appreciated the OWS crowd, to just one against (Newt Gingrich).
From Friday night through Monday morning, the big three networks devoted an additional 21 stories to the Herman Cain sexual harassment story, bringing the networks' grand total to 84 in one week.
Even as they continued to pile on, these same networks defensively chided Cain for daring to criticize their coverage. On Sunday's Good Morning America, David Kerley hit Cain for "lashing out" at journalists. On Sunday's Today, David Gregory indignantly suggested Cain has "created this alternate universe" where he says to supporters, "You see...this is what the media does..."
The unrelenting network coverage of the Herman Cain sexual harassment story continued on Thursday and Friday with an additional 13 stories. That brings the total number of reports to a staggering 63 stories in just four and a half days.
Good Morning America offered up three stories on Friday, including a Brian Ross report tinged with anonymous allegations and rumor-mongering. Ross speculated, "Former employees tell ABC News, Cain was a regular on Washington's after-work bar scene, often with young women who worked with him at the restaurant association." Ross hinted, "Some say it was just Cain being personable and gregarious."
Over a period of just three and a half days, NBC, CBS and ABC have developed an insatiable hunger for the Herman Cain sexual harassment story, devoting an incredible 50 stories to the allegations since Monday morning. In contrast, over a similar period these networks mostly ignored far more substantial and serious scandals relating to Bill Clinton.
This pattern continued on Wednesday night and into Thursday as the evening newscasts and morning shows highlighted the story 19 times. On Good Morning America, Brian Ross offered innuendo and slung gossip, recounting, "But behind the scenes, several of the campaigns are still urging reporters to continue to dig, George, saying, there's more to be found in the private life of Herman Cain." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The network evening newscasts on Tuesday and the morning shows on Wednesday continued to hype the Herman Cain "firestorm," creating 12 more stories in less than 24 hours. Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos led the show on Wednesday by trumpeting, " Republican front-runner Herman Cain changes his story again as one of his accusers now says she wants to go public on charges of sexual harassment."
On NBC's Today, Chuck Todd hyperbolically announced, "Struggling to move beyond the firestorm that is engulfing his candidacy, Herman Cain again denied he sexually harassed anyone." On that same program, guest Chris Matthews recklessly speculated that the Republican harassed women while drunk.
On Tuesday, the morning shows of the Big Three networks omitted the party affiliation of Jon Corzine as they reported on the federal investigation into his brokerage firm, something that even the liberal New York Times gave in their coverage of the story. ABC's Good Morning America also failed to include Corzine's name during their news brief on the investigation.
News anchor Josh Elliott noted in a 13-second brief that "a Wall Street brokerage firm run by New Jersey's former governoris filing for bankruptcy. Regulators say some $700 million belonging to MF Global's customers is apparently missing." Apparently, the name of the Democrat's firm is newsworthy at ABC, but his name and his party ID isn't.
All three network morning shows on Tuesday led with Herman Cain's response to allegations of sexual harassment in the 1990s and even speculated the scandal could end his candidacy, with NBC Today co-host Ann Curry proclaiming: "Damage control. Herman Cain changes his story....Will the controversy and his reaction to it derail his presidential campaign?"
On ABC's Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos announced: "24-hour flip-flop. Republican front-runner Herman Cain now admits he's been accused of sexual harassment and settlements were paid. His bizarre series of conflicting interviews.... what will it mean for his campaign?"
All three morning shows on Monday hyped a "bombshell blast" against Herman Cain, playing up a story in Politico charging the Republican presidential candidate with sexual harassment back in the 1990s. ABC's Good Morning America led with the allegations.
Co-host George Stephanopoulos, whose former boss, Bill Clinton, repeatedly faced sexual harassment claims, touted, "And this morning, bombshell blast. Major allegations against front-runner Herman Cain. Two former female colleagues accuse him of sexual harassment."
Thursday was Bash Republicans Day on Good Morning America. Reporter Jon Karl highlighted past Mitt Romney statements to spin the candidate as a flip flopper. In a follow up segment, Democrat James Carville appeared to dismiss Herman Cain as a "national distraction" and urge Rick Perry to drop out of the race.
Stephanopoulos, a former Democratic operative and longtime friend of Carville, offered his colleague free rein. Carville excoriated an ad featuring Cain's campaign manager smoking. He berated, "I saw him smoking a cigarette. If that guy wasn't drunk, I haven't taken a drink in my life. He was as high as he could be." (It should be pointed out that, just ten days ago, Pew Research found that Barack Obama was getting far worse coverage than any of his Republican rivals.) [MP3 audio here. Video can be downloaded here.]
According to the network morning shows, violent Occupy Wall Street protesters are fighting back against government officials who are trying to rein them in. Early Show's Erica Hill highlighted "this growing crackdown on the anti-Wall Street protests around the country." She added, "In Oakland, California, the protesters are pushing back."
The "pushing back" came in the form of throwing rocks and bottles at police officers who attempted to remove them from a public encampment.
All three network morning shows on Wednesday cheered President Obama's Tuesday appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. At the top of ABC's Good Morning America, co-host Robin Roberts declared: "Comedian in chief. The President hits late-night TV talking about all the people taking swings at him right now. And why what he's really worried about is what the First Lady's giving out for Halloween."
Later, fellow co-host George Stephanopoulos noted how Obama was "trying to warm up his image with a few laughs on Jay Leno's couch." White House correspondent Jake Tapper described how the President "made certain to have a few laughs" at the expense of the Republican presidential candidates. A clip followed of Leno asking if the commander in chief had been watching the GOP debates, with Obama replying: "I'm going to wait until everybody's voted off the island."
The morning shows of ABC, CBS, and NBC on Tuesday devoted just 19 seconds to the arrests of 75 people in northern California, after police evicted Occupy Oakland from their encampment in front of city hall there. The Early Show devoted a news brief to the story during its last half hour, noting the violent reaction from some of the protesters. Good Morning America and the Today show both punted.
News anchor Jeff Glor gave the news brief 35 minutes into the 8 am Eastern hour, and reported that "police are confronting 'Occupy Oakland' protesters this morning in northern California...Officers were sent before dawn to kick out about 300 demonstrators who have been camped out in downtown Oakland. Some protesters threw rocks and bottles. Police responded in some cases by making arrests, tearing down tents, and firing tear gas."
ABC's Brian Ross on Friday investigated a $500 million government loan to a car company that is now operating in Finland. Ross highlighted how Vice President Joe Biden in 2009 claimed this would create jobs in America. Yet, the Good Morning America reporter left out a key component for the network version of the story: Fisker, the European car company involved, have ties to big Obama campaign bundlers.
Ross began the segment by explaining to viewers: "[Henrik] Fisker got a federal loan two years ago of more than $500 million, with Vice President Joseph Biden saying the company would employ auto workers in his home state, Delaware." Yet, the 500 jobs created are in Finland, not the United States. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Hundreds of Coptic Christians traveled to Washington D.C. yesterday "from as far as New York and Chicago" to call on President Obama to push Egypt's government to protect their brothers and sisters from persecution.
Kudos are in order for the Washington Post for devoting a 14-paragraph story on page B3 of the October 20 paper. Editors also published a large photo from the demonstration, headlined, "At the White House, Coptic Christians demand an end to 'horrible nightmare,'" on the front page of the Post to direct readers to the Metro section story.
Add the CLASS Act to the ever growing list of damaging stories (Solyndra, Fast and Furious) to the bungling Obama administration that the media are, for the most part, whistling by. The news last Friday that a key part of Obamacare, the Community Living Assistance Services and Support Act (CLASS), meant to provide long-term care for the elderly – was deemed not sustainable by the Obama administration itself, drew a total of just 40 seconds on the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) broadcast network news shows.
ABC's Good Morning America, on Saturday, included just a 20 second brief by Ron Claiborne who alerted viewers that the "Obama administration is killing a key part of its signature health care overhaul" because it was not "financially viable." Then, later that evening CBS Evening News -- seen by few since college football meant it did not air in the Eastern and Central time zones -- also aired a 20 second brief with weekend anchor Anthony Mason notifying viewers: "The Obama administration has scrapped the long-term care component of the health care reform law before it even took affect." NBC has yet to cover the topic on either NBC Nightly News or the Today show. There wasn't even a word of it on the political roundtable Sunday shows (ABC's This Week, CBS's Face the Nation, NBC's Meet the Press).
The network newscasts over the weekend proved that no occasion is too small to fawn over "rock star" Bill Clinton. Over the course of three days, the morning shows and evening newscasts donated six segments to hyping Clinton's birthday celebration and the "sultry" serenade he received from Lady Gaga.
On Sunday's Today, reporter Richard Liu could barely restrain himself, lauding, "It was Bill Clinton's 65th and this diplomatic rock star celebrated with rock and roll royalty." He included a clip of comedienne Ellen Degeneres enthusing, "In a world where people look for heroes who make a difference, none is bigger than Bill Clinton."
The Big Three networks' seeming desperation to report on "Occupy Wall Street" reached a new level on Friday, after they led their morning shows with New York City's decision to not clear the park where the protesters are camped. NBC touted how the demonstrators were "proclaiming victory" in response to the move. ABC highlighted the "celebratory" atmosphere, while CBS played up the "mood of jubilation" there.
Today show anchor Ann Curry noted that a "showdown [was] averted at the site of the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement here in New York." She then turned to correspondent Maria Schiavocampo, who reported live from Zuccotti Park, the home base of the left-leaning protesters for about a month. The correspondent immediately zeroed-in on how one could "hear the celebrations taking place behind me here as protesters are proclaiming victory in their showdown with the park's owners."
Texas Governor Rick Perry conducted interviews with all three network morning shows on Friday and all used controversial comments made by Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress as a line of attack. This despite Perry having already distanced himself from the pastor's remarks labeling Mormonism a "cult."
On NBC's Today, co-host Matt Lauer led the charge by leveling this accusation against the Perry campaign: "...the issue of faith was really introduced – the can of worms was opened by a surrogate of your own campaign..."
On ABC's Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos wouldn't let the issue go: "The Romney campaign...have called on you to repudiate him and his comments. Will you do that?...do you want his support, or will you repudiate that?...do you repudiate Reverend Jeffress?"
ABC's Good Morning America welcomed Herman Cain to the top tier of the Republican presidential field on Thursday with a video of him being stumped by a New Hampshire voter over whether or not there was a sales tax in the state.
Co-host George Stephanopoulos reported that "Pizza mogul Herman Cain" was "now at the top of the pack," according to a new poll, and ABC News White House correspondent Jake Tapper affirmed Cain's status as top-dog in a "very, very volatile Republican race." Then Tapper ran a segment which began with a gaffe from Cain. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
The Occupy Wall Street protestors have received overwhelmingly positive coverage from the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) news networks, as they used their airtime to publicize and promote the aggressively leftist movement. In just the first eleven days of October, ABC, CBS and NBC flooded their morning and evening newscasts with a whopping 33 full stories or interview segments on the protesters. This was a far cry from the greeting the Tea Party received from the Big Three as that conservative protest movement was initially ignored (only 13 total stories in all of 2009) and then reviled.
Where the Tea Party was met with skeptical claims of their motivations -- with some reporters claiming they were merely corporate backed puppets and others implying they were spurred on by their racist opposition to the first black president – the Occupy Wall Street crowd was depicted as an almost genial “grassroots” movement.
Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday continued his streak of having a top Obama operative discuss a Republican presidential debate. Rather than talk to any of the contenders, Stephanopoulos turned to top White House strategist David Plouffe.
Speaking of the Occupy Wall Street protest, Stephanopoulos indicated that the rallies seem to "be growing every day." He blandly speculated, "Is this the liberal version of the Tea Party? And is that a good thing for the White House?" This is in stark contrast to the hard-hitting, derisive questions the former Democratic operative turned journalist had for the Tea Party.
While morning and evening newscasts from all three broadcast networks in the last few days have focused on anti-Mormon sentiment within the Republican Party that may hinder Mitt Romney's bid for the presidency, FNC's Special Report with Bret Baier on Monday noted that self-identified Republican voters are substantially more willing to accept a Mormon President compared to Democrats.
FNC correspondent Carl Cameron observed that Democrats are "least tolerant" compared to Republicans and independents as he recounted the findings of a Quinnipiac poll:
Good Morning America and the Today show on Monday fretted about the "ugly turn" the 2012 presidential race has taken in the wake of a pastor at a conservative conference decrying Mitt Romney's Mormonism as a "cult." Yet, these same programs promoted the "edgy" Book of Mormon play back in the spring.
On Monday, GMA's correspondent Jon Karl asserted, "The race for the Republican nomination has take an ugly turn with some now openly questioning whether Mitt Romney's Mormon faith should disqualify him from being president." Karl added that when Romney spoke at the Value Voters Summit, he "tried to take the high ground."
ABC's Robin Roberts tossed softballs to Anita Hill on Monday, wondering what the "legacy" will be for the "quiet" law professor who accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment 20 years ago. The Good Morning America co-host only once challenged Hill about skepticism of her charges.
Although co-host George Stephanopoulos teased the segment by calling the 1991 Supreme Court nomination hearings "controversial," Roberts' questions didn't indicate that at all. She prompted, "Take us back. What were your emotions?...Are you still angry?" Later, Roberts fawned, "I know there's still many books to be written, but [what's] your legacy?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
ABC's Brian Ross on Friday investigated the alleged misdeeds of "billionaire boosters" to the Tea Party and even used a liberal documentary to attack the conservative group. Appearing on "Good Morning America," Ross touted a Bloomberg report hitting the "secret sins" of Koch Industries and whether the corporation traded with Iran.
An ABC graphic linked, "Billionaire Boosters of the Tea Party: Donors' Company Under Fire." Ross used a clip of businessman David Koch and simply added, "...A documentary filmmaker was rolling [sic], as David Koch appeared before Tea Party leaders and spoke of American values." There was no information that "(Astro)Turf Wars" is a liberal documentary trashing the Tea Party, in addition to David and Charles Koch. See video below. MP3 audio here.