The NBC, ABC, and CBS morning shows on Monday all touted President Obama seemingly calling for more gun control during a Sunday night vigil for the victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting. NBC's Today provided the most hype as correspondent Lester Holt proclaimed: "While he offered words of comfort, he also laid down a political gauntlet....sketching the outlines of what amounted to a policy statement on gun violence."
Holt acknowledged: "He did not utter the words 'gun control,' but his message could set the stage for such a debate." Speaking to co-host Savannah Guthrie later on the broadcast, Holt observed: "He didn't talk specifics, Savannah. But you got the sense that he was laying down a political gauntlet, saying perhaps it's time now to look at this issue of gun violence from all perspectives, political risks laid to the side." Guthrie replied: "Well, we'll see what happens when lawmakers get started in January with the new term."
Good Morning America on Friday offered a fawning preview of Barbara Walters' exclusive interview with Barack and Michelle Obama. Walters gushed over the "touching," "charming" couple and asked the President softballs such as "What's your favorite app?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The journalist couldn't get over just how adorable the two Democrats are, fawning, "Together, she teases him. He teases her. It's a whole other look." Quite pleased with herself, Walters declared that such moments are what's "charming about this interview."
Apparently, Barbara Walters's idea of balance is grilling Chris Christie about being too fat and unhealthy to be president. Yet, during the same 10 Most Fascinating People of 2012 program, she conducted a girl talk session with Hillary Clinton, laughing with the Secretary of State about her hair. Walters appeared on Wednesday's Good Morning America to promote the show. Talking to Christie, she derided, "I feel very uncomfortable asking this question when I'm sitting opposite you. But you are a little overweight." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
After Christie retorted, "More than a little," Walters actually wondered, "Why [are you overweight]?" To this, the governor reminded, "If I could figure that out, I'd fix it." The journalist interrogated, "There are people who say you couldn't be president because you're so heavy. What do you say to them?" In contrast, Walters gently asked Clinton: "So, I have to ask you this very personal question. Your hair?" After Clinton chuckled, the host enthused, "Nobody asks the men that." The two then shared another laugh.
All three networks on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning ignored the violent assaults by union protesters in Michigan, instead vaguely insisting that activists were simply "voicing their anger" at the "showdown raging in the heartland." The morning shows on Wednesday allowed little coverage of Michigan at all, a mere 72 seconds out of eight hours of programming. (On Tuesday, the nightly newscasts offered eight minutes out of a possible 90 total.)
On Tuesday, World News reporter Alex Perez put the focus not on out of control violence, but on the fact that Michigan's right-to-work bill actually passed. He began, "The anger boiling over. Officers turning to pepper spray to control the crowd at least 10,000 deep. But it wasn't enough." One might think the journalist was speaking of the attack on Fox News contributor Steven Crowder. No. Perez kept the attention on the new law: "Michigan Republican lawmakers approving landmark legislation, lifting the requirement that workers in unionized workplaces pay union dues." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Apparently, ABC can't tell the difference between opponents of gay marriage and hateful, anti-American bigots. As World News reporter Terry Moran on Friday highlighted the Supreme Court's decision to consider the legality of same-sex marriage, video of Westboro Baptist picketers appeared onscreen to visually represent "opponents." [See video below. Listen to MP3 audio here.]
Members of the small and extreme Westboro Baptist Church have disrupted the funerals of American military personal who were killed defending this country. Yet, Moran announced, "For opponents of gay marriage, the very fabric of our society is at stake." During this voice-over, video showed Westboro protesters with signs reading "God hates America." After that footage, the segment immediately cut to a Family Research Council representative (FRC).
In what ABC News deemed a "major blow to union rights," Michigan became the 24th right-to-work state on Thursday. Yet, NBC and CBS totally ignored this development. ABC allowed a scant 14 second news brief on Friday's Good Morning America.
What did the networks cover instead? Over a three minute segment, CBS This Morning highlighted the deeply important news that Justin Bieber endured a snub from the Grammys. On NBC's Today, the hosts donated four minutes and 43 seconds to watching Obama operative David Axelrod shave his moustache for charity. Good Morning America's brief report aside, the program lavished five and a half minutes on Catherine Zeta-Jones' new film.
One year ago, Barack Obama backed a budget solution that would not "hike" tax rates. Now, the President rejects this plan, an apparent flip-flop only ABC's Jake Tapper reported. House Speaker John Boehner has proposed a plan that increases revenues though the closing of loopholes and the elimination of deductions.
On Wednesday's Good Morning America, Tapper reminded that "what the Republicans are offering sounds a lot like what the President wanted during last year's budget showdown." He then played a 2011 clip of Obama requesting, "Give us $1.2 trillion in additional revenues, which could be accomplished without hiking tax rates by eliminating loopholes, eliminating some deductions." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] CBS This Morning and NBC's Today both ignored this quote.
ABC News continued to hype the Democratic position on the fiscal cliff, Sunday. World News Reporter David Kerley touted the White House as "confident with the stronger hand in talks with House Republicans, demanding and believing tax rates for the wealthy are going up."
The reporter did play a clip of Boehner rejecting tax increases, but Kerley made sure to point out the Speaker "hasn't outlined possible cuts." In one of multiple clips of Tim Geithner, the Treasury Secretary lectured, "They have to come to us and tell us what they think they need. What we can't do is to keep guessing. "
A week after the staff of Good Morning America joked about the impending closure of Hostess and the loss of 18,000 jobs, the crew at GMA switched to bashing the Hostess executives and sympathizing with the recently laid off employees, ignoring the role unions played in the collapse.
On Friday’s GMA, co-host Josh Elliott introduced the segment by reporting on new data showing corporate profits have hit an all-time high of $1.75 trillion, then smugly commenting that, “of course not everyone sharing in that wealth.” This led into Elliott bringing in the bankruptcy proceedings at Hostess where he said, “unlike the rank and file, the company's executives are about to score a major payday.” [See video below page break. MP3 audio here.]
Good Morning America on Thursday allowed a scant 23 seconds to the latest on Susan Rice's possible Secretary of State nomination and her troubled role in providing false information on the Libya. Yet, the same program devoted over two minutes of the precious 7am half hour, supposedly the time for hard news, to the claim that Bigfoot is "real." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Guest co-host Amy Robach opened the show by enthusing, "Part-human, part-primate. Is Bigfoot real, after all?" Co-anchor George Stephanopoulos hyped "a prominent veterinarian who says she can prove Bigfoot exists and that he's related to all of us." Reporter Nick Watt could barely contain himself: "Oh my goodness, I want to believe. Can you imagine if Bigfoot is actually real?" Contributor Laura Spencer declared, "Yeah, I believe. I totally believe."
Good Morning America's reporters on Wednesday continued to fret about the fate of Susan Rice, lamenting the GOP "buzz saw" the UN Ambassador ran into on Tuesday. ABC's Martha Raddatz hyped all the pressing issues in the world as a possible reason to just confirm the potential Secretary of State nominee quickly.
Martha Raddatz worried, "You have got Iran that is trying to acquire a nuclear weapon. You have got North Korea. There's satellite photos just out showing that North Korea would like to test another long-range ballistic missile." She then reminded that this is "such a critical time in Afghanistan." GMA co-anchor George Stephanopoulos referenced the fall of David Petraeus and hyped that all of these vacancies are "happening when there's a lot of hot spots in the world bubbling up."
For the second time in less than 24 hours, ABC's Jon Karl on Tuesday hyped a "newfound willingness" by Republicans to compromise on raising taxes and a possible abandonment of "anti-tax enforcer" Grover Norquist. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Yet, this didn't appear enough for Karl who lamented that "even Republicans who say they are willing to violate the pledge say they will only do so by closing loopholes, not by doing what the President wants to do, which is raising tax rates." Talking to Norquist on Good Morning America, the journalist quizzed the founder of Americans for Tax Reform on pledges his organization encourages politicians to sign: "If somebody signed this 10 years ago, 18 years ago, 20 years ago, are they still bound by it?"
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham on Sunday fought back against attempts by George Stephanopoulos to cover for the Obama administration's handling of the terrorist attack in Libya. The This Week anchor and former aide to Bill Clinton pushed Graham, a vocal critic of the President, to retreat on opposing the elevation of UN Ambassador Susan Rice's elevation to Secretary of State.
Stephanopoulos pushed, "All of the evidence is that Ambassador Rice was using the information given to her by the intelligence community." After playing a clip of Rice insisting she was only repeating intelligence information, Stephanopoulos cajoled, "Do you accept the explanation of Ambassador Rice?" Graham aggressively fought back against's Stephanopoulos' spin: "There was an al Qaeda storm brewing for months. I blame the President above all others! And we'll get to the bottom of this." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Israel was attacked by more than 200 rockets on Nov. 15 by a known terror organization – known by everyone but ABC, CBS and NBC.
Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, was declared a “foreign terrorist organization” more than 15 years ago by the United States. But not one rocket attack story on the network morning or evening news shows called the terrorists anything other than “militants.”
In 61 percent of the stories (8 out of 13) in 2012, the three networks wemt to great pains to avoid calling Hamas terrorists. Instead, they were “militants” with “militant Islamic leaders”
New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow isn’t even a starter, but the media still can’t resist taking potshots at him. “Good Morning America” ran a chirpy segment about Tebow – the backup quarterback for the New York Jets – being anonymously ripped by his teammates.
In the opening segment of Friday's Good Morning America, Amy Robach teased a Nov. 15 segment on the Jets quarterback by questioning: “Tim Tebow’s fall from grace? Celebrated for his dramatic last-minute touchdowns and praised for his faith. Now, being torn apart by his teammates behind his back. Why is the most popular man in football no longer hailed as a hero?”
The cast of Good Morning America on Friday treated the bankruptcy of Hostess and the loss of 18,500 jobs as a hilarious joke. Josh Elliott, George Stephanopoulos and others guffawed as they handed out Twinkies and ate them on set. [See video below. MP3 audio here.] This is the same program that repeatedly spun Republican Mitt Romney as out of touch with the average American.
News anchor Josh Elliott highlighted the report for his final update of the 8am hour, a segment usually saved for humorous stories about puppies or funny videos. After referring to the mass firing as "troubling," the crew handed out treats. Elliott joked, "You know, I'm just going to save mine for 12 years when it will still be good." Co-host George Stephanopoulos mused, "So this is, like, one of our final Twinkies." Amy Robach mocked, "A toast to Twinkies."
The journalists at ABC News on Wednesday and Thursday hyped the President for "coming out swinging" and showing "presidential anger" by defending his United Nations Ambassador, Susan Rice, over Libya. These World News and Good Morning America reporters downplayed the issue of what the Obama White House knew and when.
During the November 14 White House press conference, Fox News' Ed Henry spoke of the families of the four Americans who died during the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya. He directly pressed, "...[They] have been waiting for more than two months. So I would like for you to address the families, if you can. On 9/11, as Commander-in-Chief, did you issue any orders to try to protect their lives?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Instead of highlighting this angle, World News anchor Diane Sawyer began her program by exclaiming "...[Barack Obama] came out swinging in defense of one member of his team and ABC's Jonathan Karl was right there in that room asking questions."
For the second time this year, one of Good Morning America's hosts will be promoting the left-wing Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). The organization announced on its website that GMA weatherman Sam Champion will be anchoring a fund-raiser in New York City.
Champion, who is gay, will be the event co-chair with Rubem Robierb. In October, ABC announced, the two were engaged. This isn't the first time the stars of the ABC morning show have promoted GLAAD. On March 24, news anchor Josh Elliott appeared at an event for the organization. He enthused, "I'm proud to work at a place that believes in advocacy journalism!"
ABC journalist Jonathan Karl on Wednesday lectured Paul Ryan about Barack Obama's reelection "mandate" and grilled the Republican about raising taxes. On Good Morning America, he declared, "If there was one issue that the President campaigned on, it was raising taxes on the wealthy." He added, "Doesn't he have a mandate there?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
When Ryan declined to support tax increases, the reporter hectored, "Butcould you see yourself supporting a plan that raises tax rates on the top two percent?...So you don't support a plan?" The Congressman retorted, "I don't want to get into negotiating with the media." In another version of the interview that aired on Tuesday's World News, Karl played a clip of Saturday Night Live "poking fun" at the former vice presidential candidate.
According to exit polling of the 2012 election, just 5 percent of voters who turned out were gay. Yet voters said their states should legalize same-sex marriage by 49 percent to 46 percent. Indeed, social issues like gay marriage and the media-concocted “war on women” probably gave President Obama his margin of victory.
Consider another figure: According to a May 2011 Gallup poll, most U.S. adults “estimate that 25 percent of Americans are” gay or lesbian. In reality, the number of people who identify themselves that way is just 3.4 percent, according to a Gallup survey released in October 2012. But it’s understandable that so many people might overestimate the number.
The alarmist journalists at Good Morning America on Sunday hyped a new report that fretted over whether global warming will spell the end of coffee. Reporter John Muller warned, "...The coffee bean may be going to way of the dinosaur. We're talking about extinction if you believe this new study..." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Painting a dark picture, Muller worried, "Scientists from the Kew Royal Botanical Gardens ran computer models on global warming, finding that if their worst estimates come true, in 68 years, there would be nowhere on Earth suitable for wild coffee growth." To compliment the fear-mongering, the journalist included on-the-street interviews with people offering concerns such as "I don't think I could live if I didn't have coffee."
MSNBC host Chris Jansing on Monday found the "parallels" between Abraham Lincoln and the newly reelected Barack Obama to be "fascinating." The anchor interviewed Gloria Reuben, liberal actress and co-star of the just-released Steven Spielberg biography of the 16th president. Jansing compared, "...You have a president who is newly elected, who faces a divided divided Congress and a divided country." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Couldn't such a vague analogy be made of many presidents, including George W. Bush? Jansing introduced the Lincoln actress by pointing out, "You're a social activist. You've been very big in [the] pro-choice [cause]. You've been a supporter of Barack Obama and the AIDS movement." She added, "You must find these parallels fascinating." It's unclear how supporting abortion can be connected to Lincoln.
ABC journalist Barbara Walters took to the airwaves on Wednesday to assail the Republican Party for being "behind" on social views. Walters and her View co-hosts looked to analyst Matt Dowd for post-election spin. Per usual, he spent his time lecturing the Republican Party, repeating an assertion that the GOP represents "Mad Men" and not "Modern Family" America.
Walters, who sometimes pretends she's still an objective journalist, derided, "You look at their platform. You looked at things that were said about rape – I mean they were behind in their social views." [See video below. Mp3 audio here.] Earlier, replying to Dowd's gloomy predictions, she wondered, "So does that mean that Democrats are going to win and win and win?"
Now that the 2012 presidential election is over and Barack Obama has been safely reelected, the journalists at ABC's Good Morning America woke up to the fact that the President has "refused" to provide details the terrorist attack in Libya and that the administration "didn't want to talk about it." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Fill-in host Elizabeth Vargas blithely announced, "In the meantime, the Libya issue has been overhanging this election. Allegations of a, quote, massive cover-up, by Senator John McCain about this administration's, really, refusal to really put to rest this issue before voting day." Martha Raddatz, who moderated the vice presidential debate, agreed, saying, "They didn't want to talk about it. Everybody tried to pin them down on that. They did not want to talk about it." "Everybody" tried to pin them down on Libya?
In the aftermath of Barack Obama's reelection, the lecturing and advice from the liberal media began on Wednesday's Good Morning America. ABC analyst Matt Dowd mocked the GOP as a "Mad Men party in a Modern Family America." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] (The Mad Men reference is to the AMC series set in the 1960s. Modern Family is a gay-friendly sitcom on ABC.)
According to Dowd, "And it doesn't work anymore. And it just doesn't fit anymore." Host George Stephanopoulos insisted the results indicate that "this is a changing America, which makes it a changing electorate." In a follow-up segment on females, Stephanopoulos asserted Republicans have "got to be thinking, what are we going to do in the future?"
Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos and analyst Matt Dowd on Tuesday offered one more day of doom and gloom for the Republican presidential ticket. Discussing the prospect of Mitt Romney winning Virginia, Stephanopoulos insisted, "But it's not even enough. He really has to sweep the whole east coast." (Of course, the east coast includes states such as Maine and Massachusetts, areas he doesn't need to win.)
Dowd, who has worked for both Democrats and Republicans, piled on: "[Romney has] a very narrow path to an electoral college victory...It's as if he has to draw an inside straight in this campaign today in order to win this tonight." For emphasis, he added, "He has got to do all those things and the path is still narrow for him to win this."
As the Big Three's evening newscasts ignored the latest in the controversy over the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya for seven straight days, their morning shows aren't doing much better. On Friday, ABC's Good Morning America and CBS This Morning together devoted less than two minutes of air time - 1 minute, 50 seconds - to the ambush that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three American military veterans.
NBC's Today show mentioned the Libya attack only in passing, when Tom Brokaw noted it as one of a "series" of supposed October surprises in the presidential race, including "the President not showing up for the first debate, Benghazi", and Hurricane Sandy.
Good Morning America's Matt Dowd, who is often billed as a down-the-line analyst, again predicted doom for Mitt Romney, agreeing with George Stephanopoulos's question that the presidential race is "breaking for [Barack] Obama." Appearing on Friday's program, Dowd touted, "I think the trajectory of this race has now slowly moved to the President over the last few days, especially how he's handled [Hurricane] Sandy." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
According to a November 1 Rasmussen national poll, however, the race is deadlocked at 48-48. The political operative, who has worked for Democrats and Republicans, also dismissed Romney's push into Pennsylvania, oddly suggesting it was a "Hail Mary pass for him, because he knows the map has shrunk." Despite a Rasmussen poll showing the former governor up two in Ohio, Dowd deemed it "very difficult" for Romney to win the state.
Up or down, the media often hype changing gas prices, in spite of a long track record of incorrect predictions. But the most recent forecast stands to benefit media favorite: President Barack Obama.
In recent months, all three broadcast news networks and the USA Today have offered predictions ahead of the presidential election, saying prices would be much lower by late November: after the election.
Presidential elections have been won or lost due to the economy. Herbert Hoover lost to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Jimmy Carter lost to Ronald Reagan. This election season is no different as polls, including a recent one from NBC News/Wall Street Journal, continue to show the economy is the top concern of voters.
But the network news media often skew economic coverage in favor of liberal candidates and against conservatives. In September 2012, President Barack Obama continued to face a barrage of poor economic news including a GDP downgrade to 1.3 percent, an unemployment rate still above 8 percent and “record” high gas prices. But media coverage of economic issues from that month did not accurately reflect that turmoil. When President George W. Bush sought re-election in 2004, during the exact same time period, broadcast coverage criticized him on the economy despite a GDP of 3.3 percent, an unemployment rate of just 5.4 percent and gas prices a low $1.82.