Diane Sawyer granted an interview for the May issue of Reader’s Digest. In it, Sawyer said she is eager to interview North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il, and would jump at the chance to interview Osama bin Laden. The interviewer, Sara Davidson, did not press Sawyer on the question of whether she was too soft or light in her interviews with anti-American heads of state (as with asking Syrian dictator Bashar Assad whether he has Shania Twain on his iPod). But Sawyer did use the words "fanatic extremists" and "horrific terrorists," which doesn’t always emerge first in journalistic conversations.
RD: Who else are you most eager to interview? Sawyer: Kim Jong-il. I think he is unlike anyone else in a leadership position in the world right now, and North Korea is such an intriguing country.
For two straight days, "Good Morning America" featured interviews with Dina Matos-McGreevey, the ex-wife of former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey. For both segments, co-host Diane Sawyer peppered Mrs. McGreevey with questions about homophobia and whether people should feel sorry for her former, now publically gay, spouse.
During Wednesday’s interview, Sawyer mentioned a subject that arose in custody hearings for the couple’s children. Apparently Jim McGreevey, who resigned after his homosexual affairs and hiring of grossly unqualified individuals became public, kept a rather large photograph of a naked man in his apartment where the children could see, much to the horror of his ex-wife. Sawyer prefaced this by calling the issue one where people "will come down, maybe, on two sides of it." She also wondered if homophobia could be a reason the governor’s wife reacted so negatively:
On April 25, 2007 the Dow soared to another record close, this time above 13,000. As Newsbusters reported here, here and here, the networks did anything but cheer. In fact, network broadcast reporting of the Dow's recovery since 2003 has been marked by pessimism.
Katie Couric introduced the April 25, 2007 CBS "Evening News" report with this dismal statement:
"Even as investors are making money in the market, Anthony Mason reports there are concerns tonight about the rest of the U.S. economy."
Mason made good on Couric's tease, with a class warfare remark that "Wall Street and Main Street appear to be headed in different directions" because of housing and gas prices.
On Wednesday’s "Good Morning America," weatherman Sam Champion, once again, touted a celebrity’s support of liberal environmental policies. In a brief segment discussing actor Robert Redford’s new TV series, the ABC host attempted to portray the activism of the famously liberal celebrity as something new.
An onscreen graphic hyperbolically asserted, "Redford Goes Green: Hollywood Legend Saves The Planet" and Champion said of the actor, "But now, he’s a pioneer for the environment." Redford goesgreen? Now, he’s a pioneer for the environment? It’s more than a little disingenuous for the GMA anchor to try and pass Redford’s liberalism as something new.
ABC News apparently sees its role not merely as reporting the news, but acting as advocates on a highly-charged political issue being promoted by a left-wing Democratic presidential candidate.
Check out the graphic from this morning's Good Morning America: "GMA Gets It Done: Taking on Medicaid. Fighting to Treat Tooth Decay."
The screencap shows a palpably emotional GMA co-host Chris Cuomo literally pointing his finger at the head of the federal Medicaid program. The moment came during the course of a segment this morning recounting the sad case of 12-year old Deamonte Driver, who died after infection from an abscessed tooth spread to his brain. The boy and his family were in fact covered by Medicaid, the government health care insurance program for poor people. But the boy's mother [pictured below] had never before taken him to a dentist, and when the abscess occurred it was reportedly difficult to find a dentist willing to provide care, given Medicaid reimbursement rates.
GMA CO-HOST CHRIS CUOMO to the Medicaid official: Why am I wrong to place the blame on the federal government? We give you our tax dollars to take care of kids exactly like Deamonte Driver: the most vulnerable, the most at risk, make sure they get care, and you didn't. This is your fault, don't pass the buck.
On the Tuesday edition of "Good Morning America," the ABC program used the fourth anniversary of President Bush’s "Mission Accomplished" speech to slam the "Bushian bravado" of an event that "this administration will never live down."
Correspondent Claire Shipman marveled at "how naive that banner looks four years later." The day after the President landed on the USS Lincoln aircraft carrier, however, GMA wasn't so prescient. ABC Anchor George Stephanopoulos labeled the speech an "A++," "well done" and seemed impressed with the "small poster that said ‘Mission Accomplished.’"
On the heels of his award-winning destruction of Congressman Mark Foley over inappropriate instant messages to teenaged House pages, ABC investigative reporter Brian Ross is on the sex beat again. On Monday's Good Morning America, Ross highlighted ABC’s plans to rummage through a D.C. madam’s list of prostitution clients for "people in the Bush administration." But in 1996, when the tabloid newspaper The Star found Bill Clinton’s chief political guru Dick Morris had a relationship with a prostitute, ABC News (and especially anchor Peter Jennings) found it ugly, distasteful business. On the August 26, 1996 World News Tonight, as President Clinton prepared for his convention’s acceptance speech, Jennings began with a complaining tone:
Good evening, we begin tonight with the sweet and the sour of the Presidential campaign. Here in Chicago today the President has been fine tuning as they say, the speech he will be giving to this convention and to the country tonight. And he has a lot to be pleased about. A very upbeat convention. A very successful train trip here with rising poll numbers to accompany it. And very important set of statistics about the economy today, which he will certainly point to as evidence that the country should re-elect him. And then along comes a nasty little scandal to take the edge off the good news at least for the day. The President’s chief political strategist, a man named Dick Morris, resigned from the campaign today, after a story in a supermarket tabloid that he has been having, he’s a married man, a lengthy relationship with a prostitute and talking about his job.
On Monday’s "Good Morning America," anchor Chris Cuomo grilled returning White House Press Secretary Tony Snow over the new book by George Tenet, the former director of the CIA. Citing Tenet’s criticisms of the White House’s pre-war activity, Cuomo asked this loaded question: "Is it time for the administration to come clean?"
The ABC anchor wondered if Bush was "out of touch" and asserted Tenet’s claims means "the administration was not straight with Americans, not about weapons of mass destruction, not about 9/11."
Additionally, Mr. Cuomo, who is both the son of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo (D) and the brother of that state’s current Democratic Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo, also failed to ask Snow about Tenet’s claim that aggressive interrogation has been very important to fighting the war on terror.
According to MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani committed "terrorism" when he suggested that the country would be "playing defense" if a Democrat was elected president in 2008. And this is the network that’s hosting a Republican presidential debate?
On Monday, an ABC graphic provided a shining example of media bias. Co-host Diane Sawer was discussing the recent surge by the stock market. During the segment, a graphic below her read, "Will Dow Hit 13,000 Today? Is Unstoppable Market Good or Bad?"
"Good Morning America" reacted to the departure of Rosie O’Donnell this week by claiming that the left-wing comedienne was a pioneer for women. (The morning program also ignored her 9/11 conspiracy theories.)
On Thursday’s "Good Morning America," ABC reporter Lama Hasan asserted that, according to a new study, generous welfare and low expectations make the people of Denmark the happiest in the world.
In addition to paying "astronomical taxes," Hasan noted that "psychologists say Denmark’s secret lies in a culture of low expectations." Hasan also compared the Danes to status seeking Americans:
Hasan: "So, any pleasure on any day seems like a kind of gift, a sweet surprise. Unlike Americans, Danes are not always comparing themselves to others and asking for more. It seems that everywhere you go in Copenhagen, you stumble on the satisfied. Having a generous welfare system that provides security and comfort doesn’t hurt."
On Thursday’s "Good Morning America," Dr. Tim Johnson proved, yet again, that even ABC’s medical expert can spout liberal talking points. Johnson appeared on GMA to tout a universal health care plan by the "two old war horses," Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy and Democratic Congressman John Dingell. (ABC didn’t mention their party affiliation.)
Johnson described the plan as "bold" and "politically brilliant." Additionally, he rhapsodized about its liberal sponsors, saying that Dingell and Kennedy are "trying to do what I think is the right thing." GMA co-host Robin Roberts introduced Johnson by noting just how excited the medical expert was over the legislation:
On Thursday’s "Good Morning America," ABC reporter John Berman discussed Rosie O’Donnell’s departure from "The View" and described the comedienne as "something of a pioneer."
The piece, which was extremely favorable to Ms. O’Donnell, omitted her well documented 9/11 conspiracy theories and also portrayed Rosie as someone who broke ground for women:
John Berman: "Plenty of people didn't like her opinions, not to mention her behavior. But she was provocative in a way that, in the past, that had been the domain of male shock jocks."
Linda Stasi (Columnist, New York Post): "I think she’s a pioneer for television, because we're not used to bad girls. We're not used to bad girls who are bad in a smart way, as opposed to bad because they're taking off their clothes."
Following the tragedy at Virginia Tech, the media found someone other than Seing-Hui Cho to blame -- legal businesses like Roanoke Firearms, Glock and eBay.
Roanoke Firearms' owner John Markell was treated as an accomplice to the horrific crime by ABC's Brian Ross:
“The Roanoke Firearms store where Seing-Hui Cho bought his murder weapon has a history of selling guns involved in murders. It is the fifth time a gun sold in this store has been used in a homicide, according to gun shop owner, John Markell,” said Ross on the April 18 “Good Morning America.”
On the Sunday edition of "Good Morning America," co-host Ron Claiborne narrated a celebratory piece on the origins of Earth Day. He noted how the opinions of Americans on environmental issues have changed and asserted, "at least some of the credit goes to former Vice President Al Gore."
Additionally, Claiborne interviewed the founder of Earth Day, Denis Hayes. Labeled as simply the first event’s "coordinator" by an onscreen ABC graphic, the GMA host never mentioned Hayes’ radical agenda or any of this incendiary comments. After claiming that "green has gone mainstream," Claiborne discussed the origins of Earth Day:
Considering that "Good Morning America" has repeatedly adopted left-wing solutions to environmental issues, it’s not surprising that the program acted as a press agent for singer Sheryl Crow on Tuesday’s program. (After all, ABC allowed Crow to kick off her global warming tour on GMA.) Anchor Chris Cuomo claimed that Crow’s assertion (she called for a limit to the amount of toilet paper Americans can use), was meant as a "comment about the environment."
Reporter Bianna Golodryga alternated between calling the statement, which has been widely mocked in much of the country, a joke and also a "quirky solution."
Sunday’s Philadelphia Inquirer story on the troubles at the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric — a story bulging with anti-Couric quotes from anonymous CBSers — included a revealing window into the news network’s intolerant liberal mindset, with the newsroom in “an uproar” after the father of a slain high school student was given roughly 60 seconds to condemn the lack of morality in public schools and said the culture of abortion devalues human life.
“‘There's a difference between free speech and responsible speech,’ an embarrassed correspondent says,” according to Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Gail Shister.
On the Friday edition of ABC’s “20/20,” Diane Sawyer stood in front of an ABC generated visual aid: A gigantic mound of plastic bags and paper towels.
With no sense of irony, the ABC host then proceeded to lecture viewers on waste and the need to use cloth bags at the supermarket. Referring to plastic bags as “plastic flowers,” Sawyer intoned, “They can take up to 1,000 years to degrade in landfills. So tomorrow, use a cloth bag at the grocery store, and let the trees have some real flowers.”
Of course, the ABC host offered this helpful advice right after another segment on inefficient Americans and the amount of paper towels and plastic bags they dispose of:
On Monday’s "Good Morning America," an ABC graphic about soaring stock prices proved, yet again, that there’s no positive economic story the media can’t spin downward:
ABC Graphic: "Will Dow Hit 13,000 Today? Is Unstoppable Market Good or Bad?"
The graphic ran underneath co-host Diane Sawyer and GMA financial contributor Mellody Hobson’s discussion over whether or not the Dow, which has been breaking records recently, is headed for a downturn.
Sawyer certainly seemed to think so. She began the program with this pessimistic tease:
ABC’s weatherman, Sam Champion, continued his crusade to get every American to adopt liberal environmental polices. While standing in front of a massive bank of televisions, he lectured viewers on their contribution to global warming: "If you think you have nothing to do with global warming, think again. From the car you drive, to the house you live in, it all contributes to the problem."
New York Times columnist Tom Friedman appeared on the "Today" show to announce that America’s best shot at winning the war on terrorism is by going green. NBC, of course, promoted the segment as "save energy, save the world."
If in the wake of the Imus incident the Rutgers women's basketball players had spurned an invitation to meet with President Bush, do you think ABC might have told us about it? Natch. But when those same players blew off a chance to meet Hillary Clinton, ABC managed to put a positive spin on matters.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton finally dropped by Rutgers to meet with the school's women's basketball coach -- but the players themselves skipped the half-hour meeting, citing their studies and Imus fatigue.
"Many of the players were in study hall from eight to noon and some had finals," explained a Rutgers source who said the players were "tired" of all the attention. "These young women need to do their classes, and wrap their spring semester."
It's enough to give a guy flashbacks to co-eds shooting him down for a Saturday-night date because they had to study.
ABC's Good Morning America and World News on Friday displayed disappointment that liberals and Democrats have not pursued gun control in the wake of the mass murders at Virginia Tech. GMA's on-screen graphic for a 7am half hour story demanded, “Politicians and Gun Control: Why Aren’t They Outraged?” Co-host Robin Roberts rued: “After every major shooting in the U.S., without fail, there has been a heated debate about gun control on Capitol Hill. But not this time. In fact, most politicians have been running away from the debate on guns. So, why is this happening?” Reporter Jake Tapper echoed the theme: “It was the worst school shooting in American history, and yet what some liberals are referring to as a deafening silence from Democrats on Capitol Hill. After reciting how Democrats fear the electoral impact of the agenda, Tapper concluded by relaying how “in the rest of the world, of course, gun rights in the United States are viewed somewhat oddly.”
Just over 12 hours later, World News anchor Charles Gibson recalled how “when I spoke to President Bush at Virginia Tech, he told me he thought the killings at that college would spark new debate on gun laws. So far, it hasn't. The discussion, in fact, has been surprisingly muted.” (Naturally, Gibson had prompted that answer: “After Columbine, there was ignited a national debate on guns. Do you think this is going to rekindle the national debate?”) In Friday's story, Tapper highlighted how “for gun control activists...the Democrats' silence was deafening.” He went on to explain that “many Democratic strategists think Al Gore's liberal gun control stance cost him key states like West Virginia and Tennessee in the 2000 election” and “Democrats recaptured the Congress last November partly because of pro-gun Democrats.” Tapper showcased how “this weekend a TV ad campaign begins airing that faults the Democratic Congress for not backing a gun control measure.”
[UPDATE: PBS's Gwen Ifill: “Have the Virginia tech shootings changed the debate” about gun control? "Not so much. But why not?”]
Al Gore has complained that the media are biased against the inconvenient truth of global warming. "I believe that is one of the principal reasons why political leaders around the world have not yet taken action," Gore told a "Media Ethics Summit" at Middle Tennessee State University back in February. Gore lectured journalists that any coverage of views opposed to his own was irresponsible, calling it "balance as bias."
It's impossible to imagine the big TV networks actually accepting an edict from a conservative politician to report only their side of a major public policy issue, but a new Media Research Center study of ABC, CBS and NBC's global warming coverage finds the networks are giving Gore practically everything he demanded. Not only does nearly every global warming story exclude any contrary voices, but the coverage of Al Gore personally has been exceptionally positive as well.
In addition to asking ABC's chief climate alarmist Sam Champion about the snow-laden wind farm he
surveyed today and what it says about "global warming," NewsBusters would love to
hear the "Good Morning America" personality chalk 100 trapped sealing boats in Canada up to Americans who use too much fossil fuel and thereby warm the planet.
Here's just a few news sources covering the story:
As part of ABC’s Earth Day "celebration," the Friday edition of "Good Morning America" featured another segment on just how wasteful Americans are. GMA anchor Diane Sawyer hosted a piece on the destruction Americans create simply by existing. The piece repeatedly hit the United States for producing so much trash. What follows is a sampling of some of Sawyer’s comments about her wasteful compatriots:
Diane Sawyer: "Well, think of Americans with all our waste."
Sawyer: "Toss in some other emblems of consumption, American style. Like all those cell phones in your life, TVs and computers and cars. "
Sawyer: "And let's be honest with each other about the way Americans squander water."
Friday’s "Good Morning America" kicked off Earth Day with a push for liberal solutions to environmental issues such as climate change. And while weatherman Sam Champion reported on global warming in snow covered New York, GMA co-host Chris Cuomo appeared live from France to tout how far ahead that country is compared to America's envrionmental progress. In Paris, he noted approvingly, "the price of gas here is $6 a gallon to discourage guzzling."
Later in the piece, Cuomo agan touted the superior Europeans:
Chris Cuomo: "Europe does have a lot of significant issues it has to deal with, like the United States. But they're much more innovative here in terms of figuring out what to do."
Mother Nature must have a wicked sense of humor. She forced ABC's Sam Champion to report on anti-global warming initiative . . . . while standing in a field of snow in late April.
Champion was there as part of Good Morning America's "Planet Earth 2007" segment, in which reporters chimed in from around the globe on various environmental initiatives. Diane Sawyer [badly alarmed by a warm spell in January] introduced the segment with a little bit of enviro-alarmist cheerleading, declaring it was "good news" that as per a recent Stanford poll 94% are ready to make a change to help the planet and that 73% are already taking steps to reduce energy consumption.
"There's many simple, even money-saving ways that we can actually give our little bit of help in our own lives and in our own homes and make a little bit of a difference," said weatherman Sam Champion on April 19 "Good Morning America."
But when it came to cost, the April 19 USA Today contradicted Champion:
“Products that help people use less energy – or leave a smaller ‘environmental footprint,’ as green advocates say – often are more costly than their alternatives, causing some to argue that going green is only for those who can afford it,” said USA Today.
Champion's segment focused on a special energy-efficient home built by BASF The Chemical Company that is 80 percent more energy efficient than other houses.
Not a media bias item, but a reflection of how the media coverage of the VA Tech massacre is evolving . . .
Good Morning America's Chris Cuomo gave VA Tech a rough going-over today regarding its failure to have removed Cho from campus before he murdered 32 people. Cuomo introduced the segment, entitled "Were Warning Signs Missed on Campus," this way:
CHRIS CUOMO: Now students, their parents and friends are left with many questions of whether or not the university did everything it could to prevent all this.
Cuomo then played a video clip of Anne Atkinson, the parent of a VA Tech student, asking: "why did they allow him to stay? I think this could have been prevented."
On Wednesday’s "Good Morning America," Sam Champion, ABC weatherman and liberal environmentalist, escalated his campaign to encourage Americans to fight global warming. In addition to lecturing viewers about their contribution to climate change, he, once again, engaged in identification bias.
Champion’s segment featured a representative from the Natural Resources Defense Council, a liberal environmental group. The organization’s ideology, not surprisingly, went completely unmentioned. However, the weatherman began the piece by standing in front of a bank of televisions and scolding viewers for their energy output:
Sam Champion: "For example, did you know that even with the flip of a switch, we all contribute to global warming? Well, I know it sounds a little intense. But there are some small things you can do to change that, like paying attention to your carbon footprint...If you think you have nothing to do with global warming, think again. From the car you drive, to the house you live in, it all contributes to the problem."
Yes, "Good Morning America" did let us hear from a member of the VA Tech gun club saying he wished he could have had a concealed carry permit and "that I would not have felt that I was totally just a helpless victim at the mercy of this lunatic." But when it came to people in positions of authority, GMA, during it's first half-hour this morning, aired only the views of anti-gun advocates in a segment on how Cho got his guns. And a senior ABC reporter passed along the lament of those opposing the right to bear arms.
Narrating the segment, ABC investigative reporter Brian Ross [file photo] rolled a clip of Josh Horwitz of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, who complained: "Virginia's [attitude] is let's sell it and not find out anything about them and that may have led to a tragedy in this case."