On Friday, both NBC's Today and CBS This Morning dutifully promoted quotes from Hillary Clinton's new memoir leaked to Politico of the former Secretary of State blasting critics of her mishandling of the Benghazi terrorist attack. Today co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: "If there was any doubt Hillary Clinton's clearly ready to go on offense on this." Political director Chuck Todd agreed: "There's no doubt at all. In fact, there's a concerted campaign effort." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On CBS This Morning, correspondent Nancy Cordes declared: "...the former Secretary of State strikes a defiant tone about the attack and all the investigations into it..." Moments later, Cordes observed: "Democrats are going to see this as a kind of template for how to talk about the Benghazi attacks. In fact, the Clinton team is reportedly meeting with Democratic groups to explain her tone in the book so that everyone is on the same page."
CBS journalists on Thursday morning investigated the latest details of the expanding Veterans Affairs scandal. Yet despite calling the newest revelation "ugly," correspondent Nancy Cordes somehow managed to avoid using Barack Obama's name or to discuss the White House. Instead, she focused on congressional culpability: "But the Inspector General's report points out Congress and the VA have known about similar manipulations and delays for nearly a decade." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Cordes talked to a GOP House member and pressed: "Florida Republican Jeff Miller is the chair of the House VA committee. If you've known about problems like this for years why are you only now calling on the V.A. Secretary to resign?" NBC skimped on discussing how much this issue could hurt the President personally. At the very end of a Nightly News discussion, Kelly O'Donnell briefly noted, "From the White House, NBC's Kristen Welker reports the President considers Secretary Shinseki to be on probation."
NBC, ABC, and CBS all hailed First Lady Michelle Obama attacking Republicans for trying to make her draconian school lunch mandate more flexible. At the top of Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams proclaimed: "Food fight. Michelle Obama as we've rarely heard her before, returning to her campaign by accusing Republicans in Congress of playing politics with children's health." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On ABC's World News, anchor Diane Sawyer cheered the First Lady as "an unlikely gladiator" who "entered an arena" after having "carefully stayed out of the fray." Sawyer gushed at how Obama "came out swinging today about an issue close to her heart."
Although the journalists at Good Morning America on Tuesday found no time to discuss what NBC called a "potentially dangerous mistake" by the White House, reporter Jon Karl devoted a report to promoting Michelle Obama's latest efforts on healthy lunches. Co-anchor George Stephanopoulos touted it as a "a rare political move now from First Lady Michelle Obama." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Stephanopoulos hyped the First Lady's "full-scale campaign against the food industry and members of Congress who are trying to roll back the healthy school lunch standard she fought so hard to pass." Karl insisted, "Well, the First Lady believes passionately that school lunches simply have to be healthier and she is prepared to wage a big political fight over this issue." He added, "She is going to be speaking out against this effort for Republicans to roll back standards that were put in place in 2010."
At the time when the country is remembering the ultimate sacrifice veterans have given this country ABC’s (World News) evening and (Good Morning America) morning shows didn’t devote a second to the VA scandal over this Memorial Day weekend. However, those shows did spend time on President Barack Obama receiving “cheers” during his surprise visit to Afghanistan.
While ABC didn’t offer a second on its newscasts (from Friday evening through Monday night) on the VA scandal CBS devoted a total of 8 minutes, 39 seconds on its (Evening News) evening and (CBS This Morning) morning shows during that same time period. NBC spent 3 minutes, 34 seconds on its (Nightly News) evening and (Today) morning shows over the long weekend.
However ABC did find a story it wanted to trumpet.
All three morning shows on Tuesday deemed it news worthy to listen to audio excerpts from Hillary Clinton's upcoming book. On the same day that Good Morning America ignored the leaking by the White House of a CIA station chief in Afghanistan, news reader Amy Robach parroted Democratic talking points: "In the book's audio version, Mrs. Clinton describes making choices with her head and her heart." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Robach made sure to advertise a one hour interview Diane Sawyer will conduct with Clinton on June 9th. The primetime special will be followed by yet more promotional time with the Democrat on the June 10th GMA. On CBS This Morning, Tuesday, Anthony Mason assured viewers that the "upcoming memoir has nothing to do with politics." He added that in an author's note, "the potential presidential candidate says the book will not engage in political finger pointing."
On Tuesday, only NBC's Today reported on the White House accidentally leaking the name of the CIA station chief in Kabul, Afghanistan, which correspondent Peter Alexander described as "an incredibly embarrassing and actually potentially dangerous mistake." Neither ABC's Good Morning America nor CBS This Morning mentioned the administration screw-up that occurred during President Obama's trip to Afghanistan over the weekend to visit the troops. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
ABC and CBS did find time to promote other favorable White House stories. GMA did a full segment on First Lady Michelle Obama defending school lunch standards against criticism and This Morning devoted a full report to the White House holding a science fair for girls.
In early May, CBS's morning and evening newscasts spotlighted congressional Democrats' vehement opposition to the formation of a select committee to investigate the September 11, 2012 Islamist attacks on the U.S. government facilities in Benghazi, Libya during 10 minutes and 14 seconds of reporting.
However, when Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi named five Democrats to the committee on Wednesday, the CBS news programs minimized their coverage of the development. Wednesday's CBS Evening Newsset aside 23 seconds to the story, while Norah O'Donnell gave a 14-second news brief on Thursday's CBS This Morning about the story: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
A day after President Obama finally reacted to the Veteran's Affair scandal after weeks of silence, NBC's Today could only manage a couple news briefs on the development, totaling forty-seven seconds. Meanwhile, the morning show devoted one minute and nineteen seconds to First Daughter Malia Obama learning to drive this summer.
ABC's Good Morning America at least provided a full report on the VA scandal, but edited out any criticism of Obama. On Wednesday's World News, correspondent Jim Avila included a soundbite from a family member of a veteran who died waiting for care who accused the President of "lying" about the scandal. However, that clip vanished from Avila's GMA report Thursday morning.
NBC and CBS on Wednesday hyped a win by Senator Mitch McConnell as an example of a major setback to the Tea Party movement. But it was only ABC's Good Morning America that highlighted the "big loss" suffered by Bill and Hillary Clinton as their candidate went down to defeat. CBS This Morning co-anchor Charlie Rose lectured, "Tea Party backers are reeling this morning from primary election results in six states." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
He added, "Tea Party favorites lost in all of the most important Republican races heading into the November midterms." The journalist trumpeted, "...A CBS News poll out this morning show that Tea Party support fell over nine point this past year." Surprisingly, it was former Clinton operative George Stephanopoulos on GMA who exposed a "House race in Pennsylvania that was a big loss for both Clintons."
The idea that Good Morning America is a superficial show is not in doubt. On Tuesday, the show's hosts devoted 12 minutes and 22 seconds to full reports on a college student stripper, a super model trying to lose weight and Dancing With the Stars. But the frivolous nature of the program often masks its liberal bias. GMA on May 20 completely ignored the revelation that Barack Obama was warned five years ago of the substandard conditions at Veterans Affairs medical facilities and that soldiers were struggling to obtain decent treatment.
That development was also avoided on ABC's World News, Monday night. What did the hosts of GMA cover instead? Juju Chang played footage of an exotic dancer and breathlessly informed: "This is how she pays her tuition. Essentially, you're a student by day and stripper by night?" Robin Roberts highlighted the efforts by super model Molly Sims to lose weight. [See below for a video montage of the morning show's most insipid news stories. MP3 audio here.]
On Tuesday's NBC Today, chief White House correspondent and political director Chuck Todd proclaimed that a series of congressional primary races were evidence "the ongoing family feud between the Tea Party and the establishment wings of the GOP festers." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd detailed how Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell "waged a ruthless campaign" against his Tea Party challenger, then announced: "As tough as Kentucky's been, it's even nastier and more personal in other GOP primaries."
Good Morning America is a profoundly superficial show. The ABC program on Monday devoted air time to Full House star Jonathan Stamos responding a blogger's criticism of the '90s show. So, what does it take for the program to cover the 2014 midterm elections? A Republican scandal helps. GMA reporter Mara Schiavocampo highlighted the revelation that Oregon GOP Senate candidate Monica Wehby's ex-boyfriend in 2013 called police, accusing her of stalking.
Referring to her former boyfriend, Andrew Miller, Schiavocampo made sure to note: "The millionaire timber executive claiming the rising Republican star is a stalker..." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] To underline the point, the journalist reiterated, "So far, Wehby has been leading her Republican opponent in the polls."
On Sunday, May 18, ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today hyped President Obama’s selection of Julian Castro, Democratic Mayor of San Antonio, to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Both NBC’s Jenna Wolfe and ABC’s Ron Claiborne beamed at how Castro is a “rising star in the Democratic Party” with Wolfe praising how “there’s been speculation that he could be vice presidential pick in 2016.” [See video below.]
Despite the rise in deaths from preventable childhood diseases, the networks spent the last 15 years fueling speculation that vaccines cause autism. Just in the past seven years more than 1,300 died from such diseases, according to CDC data.
The medical community widely refuted such claims and the medical journal that once published the study later retracted it. But for years the broadcast networks continued to report on the alleged connection between vaccines and autism.
Earlier this week,, The New York Post reported that Karl Rove recently made comments questioning Hillary Clinton’s health in the event she runs for president in 2016, and the Wednesday, May 14 ABC and CBS morning shows predictably rushed to defend Secretary Clinton from Rove’s criticism.
CBS This Morning’s Charlie Rose promoted the “backlash following Karl Rove’s comments about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton” while ABC’s George Stephanopoulos played up the “hard-edged dustup over Hillary Clinton's health.” [See video below.]
Tim Geithner appeared on Good Morning America, Monday, to promote his new book. While co-host George Stephanopoulos avoided negative comments about the Obama administration, he made sure to tout praise of Hillary Clinton and to lobby for an endorsement. After the former Treasury Secretary explained how he recommended Clinton as a possible replacement, the GMA anchor enthused, "Is she your candidate for president next time around?"
Geithner dodged and the host repeated, "Is she your candidate for president next time around?" Stephanopoulos also pressed the ex-cabinet official from the left, wondering, "So, what's the simple answer, then, to critics like Elizabeth Warren, the senator from Massachusetts, who say you focused too much on big financial institution, not enough on family?"
Despite the overwhelmingly positive reaction to Michael Sam being drafted by the St. Louis Rams as the first openly gay player in the NFL, the Big Three network morning shows on Monday all hyped a negative one-word tweet from another NFL player as evidence of a social media "backlash" against Sam, where "every creep and cretin" could attack him. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
At the top of ABC's Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos touted Sam "making history," but fretted over "the backlash that blew up over his celebration sealed with a kiss," referring to Sam embracing his boyfriend as he got the news. In a later report, correspondent Mara Schiavocampo warned that "not everyone is celebrating the news," proclaiming: "It's sports history sealed with a kiss, and this morning, a little controversy."
The House on Thursday voted to create a select committee to investigate Benghazi, but NBC's Today, a four hour program, on Friday totally ignored the story. In contrast, the show spent two minutes on the topic of how many times a week should people shower. ABC's Good Morning America allowed a mere 12 seconds for the latest details. News reader Amy Robach emphasized, "Republicans on Capitol Hill are opening an eighth investigation into the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi." She added, "Today, Democrats are meeting to decide whether to boycott the new investigation, calling it election year politics."
CBS This Morning offered a scant 15 seconds. Co-host Charlie Rose quickly derided, "Thursday's vote to create the committee stayed mostly along party lines with 225 Republicans voting in favor. Only seven Democrats backed the probe." On Thursday, CBS's Nancy Cordes featured Democrats such as Congressman Gerry Connolly complaining, "For political reasons, to keep the base fired up between now and the midterm elections." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Not even a full vote by the House of Representatives to hold Lois Lerner in contempt can shake the networks out of their slumber in covering the IRS scandal. On Wednesday the House voted 231-178 (all Republicans voted yes with six Democrats) to hold Lerner in contempt for refusing to testify about the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups. Total coverage by ABC, CBS and NBC? Just a 15-second brief on Thursday’s edition of ABC’s Good Morning America.
However the Big Three networks did find the 110x more time this week to tout the “dire” and “alarming” findings from the White House climate change report.
ABC on Thursday morning highlighted more of Robin Roberts’ fawning interview with Hillary Clinton. On the issue of Benghazi and the revelation that the White House had a direct hand in creating false talking points about the 2012 terrorist attack, Roberts could only manage this lame effort: “Benghazi. The new investigation. Are you satisfied with the answers and are you content with what you know what [sic] happened?” [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
That was it. No follow-up. No interrogation about Clinton’s handling of the incident that left four Americans dead, including a U.S. ambassador. Instead, Roberts moved right on to this 2016 gossip: “And the question I took straight from the audience, were you to run for president in 2016, would you consider Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren or San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro as a running mate?” Continuing the softball questions, the Good Morning America host wondered, “You're going to be a grandma?”
If an NFL team ends up taking Michael Sam in a late draft round – or not at all – don’t blame the media. The Missouri defensive end came out of the closet to near universal media adulation (coincidentally timed with the NFL Combine in February). Now, with the draft looming on May 8, ESPN and ABC are doing their parts to make sure Sam is picked.
ESPN announced May 7 that it’s bestowing Sam with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. The ceremony doesn’t take place until July, but it’s never too early to remind NFL coaching staffs that Sam had the courage to join society’s most trendy and celebrated grievance group.
After enthusiastically promoting an upcoming White House climate change report on Tuesday, all three network morning shows on Wednesday happily touted interviews with President Obama on the subject and continued to hype the "dire" and "alarming" findings. Meanwhile, critics were dismissed as an anti-science minority. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
At the top of NBC's Today, co-host Matt Lauer proclaimed: "Millions coping with the first record-breaking heat wave of the season, while the White House issues a dire warning about the nation's climate change." In the report that followed, weatherman Al Roker dutifully parroted White House talking points: "This report has taken years to complete with input from hundreds of scientists and technical experts. The President saying the report's conclusion is clear: If we want to stop climate change, the time to act is now."
After a big promotional push by ABC and NBC, Democratic House candidate Clay Aiken leads his primary opponent by 372 votes out of 28,000 cast on Tuesday. According to Good Morning America on Wednesday, the "American Idol congressional candidate" may pull out a razor thin victory. Co-host Lara Spencer enthused, "Clay Aiken in the public eye for almost a decade, making headlines for his songs, his personal life and now a run at the United States Congress." [MP3 audio here.]
Spencer stated the obvious, noting, "He was considered by many the underdog. [Primary opponent Keith] Crisco outspent him by nearly a half million dollars." However, the liberal candidate has had a lot of help from journalists. On February 6, Mara Schiavocampo enthused, "Well, simply put, he is a long shot but that hasn't stopped Aiken from throwing his hat in the ring."
Summary: After a partisan report last June absurdly suggested that progressive groups were just as likely to be scrutinized as conservative ones, ABC, CBS and NBC essentially abandoned their coverage of the IRS targeting scandal which broke one year ago this week. After producing 136 stories on their morning and evening news show during the first seven weeks of the scandal, broadcast news coverage dried up, with just 14 more reports over the next 10 months, as the Big Three ignored numerous damning developments in the case.
In another example of censoring a Barack Obama scandal, NBC has ignored the brewing controversy impacting American veterans and a shocking lack of access to hospital care. Though the news of up to 40 patients dying in Arizona has been going on for months, ABC finally covered the story on Tuesday's Good Morning America, offering a scant 29 seconds. Reporter Amy Robach informed that the President is "standing by his Secretary of Veterans Affairs," despite a call by the American Legion on Monday for his ouster. CBS This Morning gave it 18 seconds.
Robach explained that the nation's largest veterans group has accused "Secretary Eric Shinseki and his top aides of, quote, 'poor oversight and failed leadership,' after reports that as many as 40 patients in Phoenix may have died because of delays in care and allegations that hospitals have tried to cover up other delays." Despite the controversy, this was the first time Shinseki's name has been uttered on ABC since his nomination on December 6, 2008. Fox News and CNN have both covered the scandal, but NBC has avoided it. [See video of CNN's coverage below. MP3 audio here.]
On Tuesday, the NBC, ABC, and CBS morning shows all seized on a new climate change report being released by the White House ahead of a slate of interviews with President Obama conducted by network meteorologists. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On NBC's Today, weatherman Al Roker stood in front of the White House holding up a draft copy of the report and proclaimed: "This is why we're here. This document, the National Climate Assessment Report, it comes out later this morning, and once it does, there are going to be administration officials, scientists around, we'll be talking with them. And then this afternoon we interview the President of the United States about this report."
On Monday, the three network morning shows provided 12 minutes 24 seconds to Saturday night's White House Correspondents' Dinner but only CBS This Morning reported House Speaker John Boehner on Friday announcing a new investigation into Benghazi – a news brief that totaled a mere 47 seconds. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
This Morning co-host Charlie Rose noted: "Both parties on Capitol Hill are sniping over new a investigation of the deadly Benghazi attack." After a soundbite of Republican Senator Lindsey Graham discussing the scandal on Sunday's Face the Nation, Rose added: "House Speaker John Boehner is calling for a new investigation based on a White House memo released last week. Republicans say the document proves the Obama administration tried to spin the attacks for political gain." NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America completely ignored the story on Monday.
ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning and evening newscasts have yet to set aside any air time to a mass abduction of over 200 schoolgirls from a school in northern Nigeria on April 16, 2014. Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram raided the government-run institution and forced the students into vehicles. On Thursday, the girls' parents and their supporters led a demonstration to pressure the government into action.
The last time the Big Three networks covered the ongoing insurgency in Nigeria was on the April 14, 2014 edition of NBC Nightly News. Anchor Brian Williams gave a 26-second news brief about Boko Haram's bombing in the capital of Abuja, which took place mere hours before the jihadist group kidnapped the students. Nine days later, CNN's Wolf Blitzer devoted a full segment on his Wolf program to the school incident with correspondent Vladimir Duthiers: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]