ABC on Thursday and Friday either downplayed or outright ignored the "bruising day" Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel endured in Washington. Friday's Good Morning America skipped the topic entirely, thus avoiding the tough questions by Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain. Nightline, which now airs after midnight, didn't get to the story until 1:05am.
Thursday's World News did cover the contentious hearings, but Diane Sawyer minimized Hagel's poor performance, which even liberal writer Peter Beinart mocked as "making Biden look rhetorically sure-footed." Sawyer solemnly opened the show: "...One man entered the arena. Chuck Hagel, the purple heart recipient from the Vietnam War, the former senator nominated to be Secretary of Defense. His former colleagues met him with a fuselage of critical questions..." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
As if comparing Hillary Clinton to Thomas Jefferson wasn't hyperbolic enough, ABC's Cynthia McFadden on Wednesday practically begged the Secretary of State to run for president. The Nightline co-anchor lobbied Clinton, lecturing her about the "obligation" she has to "break through that glass ceiling." Yet, the reporter could only manage the most gentle probing into the issue of the terrorist attack in Libya.
McFadden pressed the Democrat to run in 2016, asking the question no less than four times. If it appeared, the journalist wondered, "that you might be the person who could actually break through that glass ceiling and become the first female president of this country, would you feel a certain obligation to seize that mantle?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Any answer other than yes seemed not good enough.
Over three programs and two days, ABC devoted 15 minutes to a fawning profile of Hillary Clinton. On Wednesday's Nightline, Cynthia McFadden even compared the outgoing Secretary of State to Thomas Jefferson, hinting that Clinton could follow his footsteps to the White House.
McFadden lauded, "There was a time not so very long ago when Hillary Clinton was seen as one of the most divisive figures in American politics." Noting Clinton's high approval rating, she announced this view was "changing." In an interview that, just coincidentally occurred in front of a statue of Jefferson, the reporter embarrassingly hyped, "As Jefferson looks over our shoulder, who I would only point out, was Secretary of State who went on to become president." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Nightline co-anchor Terry Moran lashed out at Rand Paul on Twitter, deriding the senator for daring to bluntly question Hillary Clinton over her role in the Benghazi scandal. Moran mocked, "Curious: What is Rand Paul's foreign policy background? Did he serve in the military? Did he study, live, do business or charity overseas?"
Of course, what qualifies Paul to question Clinton is that he's a United States senator and Moran isn't. Over the years, Moran, a journalist, has offered his liberal slant on numerous topics, including business and economics. In 2009, the reporter fawned over Michael Moore's left-wing film Capitalism: A Love Story, gushing, "[Moore is] an American populist in the grand tradition, a provocateur, a comic, a rhetorical bomb thrower." What qualifies Moran, who has never run a business, to seriously discuss a film about capitalism?
Nightline co-anchor Terry Moran on Tuesday could barely contain his excitement on Inauguration Day, extolling the "President with a purpose" and his "history-making call to action." Moran, who has a long history of fawning over Barack Obama, gushed, "He was weaving the new tapestry of America as he sees it."
Moran hyped the "new American progressivism unleashed." The journalist continued, "He is a president renewed in office by the votes of 65 million Americans. He is a president with a purpose." Regarding the aggressively liberal speech, Moran enthused, "More than half a million Americans stream into Washington to watch President Barack Obama take the oath of office once more and deliver a history-making call to action."
ABC’s Barbara Walters' "interview" with the Obamas on Thursday's Nightline ran much more like a celebrity infomercial. Walters was her usual self, asking questions void of substance and fawning over every detail of the First Family.
With the fiscal cliff looming just weeks after the interview originally took place, Walters had no questions on any matter of political significance. She did find time to discuss the family's dog Bo, pressing Mrs. Obama, "Does he follow you around all day?" and "What is Bo getting for Christmas?" [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
ABC News had to wait two weeks to get on air Barbara Walters’ interview with the Obamas -- and then the network’s evening newscast decided to focus on her asking Barack and Michelle Obama about their sex life.
“An ABC News exclusive,” fill-in World News anchor David Muir teased, “Barbara Walters at the White House, asking Michelle Obama if she’ll run for office next. And a personal question, too.” Viewers were then treated to a clip of Walters with the Obamas: “How do you keep the fire going?” The two laughed as Mrs. Obama giggled: “That’s a good question!”
The anti-gun Obama isn't so anti-gun when it comes to protecting his own family.
During a predictably gooey interview with Barbara Walters on ABC's Nightline Wednesday, the President joked about his daughter Malia dating boys saying, "I always talk about how one of the main incentives for running again was continuing secret service protection so there are men with guns around at all times" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
ABC’s Good Morning America barely talked about the upcoming fiscal cliff on Wednesday but found time for another Obama-promoting fluff piece. Previewing Barbara Walters's upcoming interview with Mr. and Mrs. Obama on Wednesday evening’s Nightline, GMA picked a clip of Walters fawning over the couple's romance.
Walters touted "the most-shared photograph in the history of Twitter" of the President and his wife hugging. She later asked, "How do you keep the fire going?" [See video below jump. MP3 audio here.]
You may recall when CBS fired Charlie Sheen early last year from the popular Two and a Half Men series for a string of "felony offenses involving moral turpitude." In the weeks and months that preceded this decision, an increasingly erratic Sheen received an inordinate amount of media attention for his drug-induced rants. To this day however, Sheen's bad boy persona is received warmly by the media, and he's been rewarded for it with ad spots for Fiat and DirecTV and even another show on the FX network that jokingly plays off his history of reckless hedonism.
By contrast, Sheen's former co-star, Angus T. Jones, the titular "half man" on the sitcom, has been castigated by the media for his recent religious conversion and subsequent YouTube testimonial in which he urged folks to avoid his popular TV series. Perhaps pressured by producers, Jones has since apologized for coming across as indifferent and unappreciative for the lucrative opportunity, but that hasn't stopped the media for characterizing Jones's video as another celebrity meltdown. [ video below the page break ]
Nightline co-anchor Terry Moran on Wednesday couldn't be bothered with spending much time on the scandal in Libya that left four Americans dead. Instead, he thrilled over the President's performance during a White House press conference. "An Obama smackdown," proclaimed the unabashed fan of the Democratic president. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Moran enthused, "The 44th President, today, was ready to rumble. You heard and saw it most emphatically when he leapt to the defense on Susan Rice." Moran explained that the United Nations ambassador is "under fire for claiming the deadly attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya was not a terrorist attack but a riot sparked by outrage over an anti-Muslim film." But the journalist quickly moved on to the battle between Senator John McCain and Obama. Declaring a winner, he cheered, "Today, an Obama smackdown."
A sneering Terry Moran on Wednesday night slammed an out-of-touch Republican Party in the wake of Barack Obama's reelection. According to Moran, Rush Limbaugh showed "contempt" for the President's voters and "slandered" them as "moochers." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
In contrast, Moran extolled Obama as "grayer and maybe wiser." He cheered, "But in the America of the 21st century, he gets something, he embodies something that more and more voters see as the country's destiny."
Reporter and Barack Obama acolyte Terry Moran on Monday attended the President's last rally as a candidate, wistfully recalling the "magic" of the Democrat's past campaigns. Moran reminisced, "Looking at Barack Obama today, on the last day of his last campaign, it is impossible not to think back to what seemed a hinge of history." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Perhaps speaking of himself, the Nightline co-anchor looked back: "The crowds were bigger, more rapturous, more hopeful. For so many people it was magic." After all, it was Moran who, in February of 2009, hyperbolically declared, "I like to say that, in some ways, Barack Obama is the first President since George Washington to be taking a step down into the Oval Office." He added that the politician went from a "visionary leader" to just the president.
Nightline correspondent Dan Harris on Thursday profiled an organization fighting voter fraud, suggesting that the non-partisan group might have a racial motive for targeting certain neighborhoods. Talking to True the Vote founder Catherine Engelbrect, Harris offered this loaded question: "Is your goal really to end voter fraud or is your goal really to intimidate voters who disagree with you politically and scare them away from the polls?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Harris followed up, "You are not in any way directly targeting these communities?" Except for Engelbrect, everyone the correspondent talked to backed up this notion. Harris highlighted Teresa Sharp, a woman who had her right to vote challenged: "But Teresa and other Democrats say it's not about voter integrity but about voter suppression, specifically, trying to intimidate low-income people, minorities and students who might vote for President Obama."
Al Gore is concerned about Mother Nature. In a statement he released on his blog on Oct. 30 2012, he hyped the imminent doom of global warming. “Hurricane Sandy is a disturbing sign of things to come,” the Goricle stated. No big surprise that Gore would immediately link Sandy to global warming. After all, he’s gotten very rich claiming the sky is falling. Unfortunately, Gore wasn’t the only one.
Martha Raddatz boosted President Obama on ABC after the final presidential debate on Monday evening, just as she did during the earlier vice presidential debate that she moderated. Raddatz asserted that Obama "humanized what he was talking about. He talked a lot about the troops; he talked about the survivors from 9/11; he talked about the people in Israel. So if, in fact, he was going towards the female vote, he probably got their attention with that sort of approach." [audio available here; video below the jump]
In the fourth and final part of ABC's 20 minute-long interview with Michelle Obama, Nightline co-anchor Cynthia McFadden on Wednesday praised the First Lady's skill at "the art of the cut that doesn't draw blood." After playing a clip of Mrs. Obama at the Democratic National Convention, McFadden cued, "Do you think Mitt Romney is the kind of guy that slams the door behind himself [when it comes to allowing opportunity for others]?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The journalist hyped that the First Lady turns her husband's "cool persona just a little bit warmer." After three days of softball questions, McFadden's attempts at getting tough mostly fell flat. While talking about hopes for Barack Obama's presidency, the reporter wondered, "Have you had to pull back some of your own expectations; what was possible from even this perch?"
Tuesday's Nightline featured the second part of an exhaustive, three part interview with Michelle Obama. Once again, co-anchor Cynthia McFadden failed to ask any tough questions to the First Lady, instead offering only softballs and repeating White House spin.
McFadden followed Mrs. Obama as she did events promoting higher employment for returning veterans. Co-anchor Bill Weir teased the latest segment as yet another celebrity puff piece (complete with clips from Sesame Street and Extreme Makeover): "We got a little taste of Michelle Obama at home last night. Tonight, you two go on the road." Since military issues were the topic, where were the questions about the 2000th death in Afghanistan?
Nightline co-anchor Cynthia McFadden continued her fawning, multi-part profile of Michelle Obama on Monday night, worrying about the "extra responsibilities" that Mrs. Obama faces as an African American First Lady. She then offered this softball: "Is it different to be a black child growing up in America today than it was four years ago?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Fellow co-anchor Bill Weir bragged that his colleague had been "granted rare access" to Mrs. Obama. McFadden wondered if the President is "a bit intimidated, a little bit afraid" of his wife. The journalist then pushed Mrs. Obama to brag about the impact she's had.
ABC's Cynthia McFadden was dripping with sugary admiration on Monday for President Obama's "not-so-secret weapon," First Lady Michelle Obama. She touted Obama as a big hugger" and "very warm in person."
Obama made statements like this that went unchallenged by McFadden: "I rarely step foot in the West Wing. In fact, people are shocked when they see me there." That sentiment of a hands-off policy flatly contradicts Jodi Kantor's reporting in the New York Times of definitive friction between the First Lady and the President's staff. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
NewsBusters continues to showcase the most egregious bias the Media Research Center has uncovered over the years — four quotes for each of the 25 years of the MRC, 100 quotes total — all leading up to our big 25th Anniversary Gala one week from tonight.
Click here for blog posts recounting the worst of 1988 through 2005. Today, the worst bias of 2006: ABC’s Terry Moran gets a thrill for Barack Obama (“Is he the one?”); AP touts the “comforts” of Castro’s communist dictatorship; and daytime talk show host Rosie O’Donnell declares: “Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam.” [Quotes and video below the jump.]
Jim Avila may not be a household name, but he has become one of the most prominent news correspondents on television – averaging 130 reports a year since 1997. But he’s done much more than just report the news, Avila has become an activist.
He made that name for himself and sullied the term “lean beef” early in 2012 with a series of stories repeatedly calling the beef “pink slime.” On Sept. 13, Beef Products Inc. filed a 1.2 billion lawsuit against ABC for the coverage of “pink slime.” Avila is specifically named in this lawsuit for his part in the anti-meat attacks. “Avila knowingly or recklessly made multiple false and disparaging statements regarding BPI and LFTB during ABC broadcasts, in ABC online reports and social media postings,” read the lawsuit. That was just one of four separate anti-meat topics Avila has pursued in 2012 alone.
Soda was demonized by the media and food police groups for years, long before New York City’s Board of Health voted Sept. 13, overwhelmingly approving Michael Bloomberg’s controversial ban on certain sizes of soda.
The act, which Bloomberg claimed “will save lives,” will prevent the “sale of sweetened drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces, smaller than the size of a common soda bottle” at certain establishments. It does not prevent people from merely buying multiple drinks if they choose, something Bloomberg admitted on MSNBC in May 2012.
Nightline reporter David Wright on Wednesday night profiled the new conservative documentary 2016: Obama's America, but warned that the film was a "conspiracy" movie that included "disingenuous" ideas.
D'Souza asserted that he takes Obama and his words seriously, prompting him to believe that the President is pushing an anti-American agenda. Wright scolded, "That's a little disingenuous though." The ABC reporter knocked the film as unreliable, downplaying, "D'Souza spins out the conspiracy theory that, by 2016, the U.S. economy will collapse and there will be a United States of Islam led by a nuclear armed Iran and that Obama wants it."
ABC’s Terry Moran was caught on-screen Sunday laughing as Barack Obama surrogate Martin O’Malley (D-Md.) bashed presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
When the Nightline host filling in for This Week’s vacationing George Stephanopoulos realized he was on camera, he tempered his glee and put on a more serious face (video follows with transcript and commentary):
ABC offered rising Republican Marco Rubio an extended interview for Monday's Nightline, but pressed the Senator on briefly attending a Mormon church as a child and on a misstatement over when his parents left Cuba. In contrast, the same network and show gushed over Barack Obama in 2008, thrilling that his rallies were like "Springsteen concerts."
Reporter David Muir on Monday highlighted that in Rubio's newly released autobiography, the Republican references his "journey to Las Vegas, where for a time, the family switched to the Mormon church." Muir probed, "You were baptized in the Mormon church?"
Since that awful Sunday in Sanford, Florida, back in February, the media have shown time and time again they don't understand how the American justice system works.
Take ABC legal analyst Dan Abrams who on Thursday's Nightline said, "So even if Zimmerman was on his back, even if he was losing a fight, he still has a lot of explaining to do and is going to have to prove that Trayvon Martin was the initial aggressor" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
ABC, the same network that provided softball interviews with Barack Obama on such subjects as singing and Abraham Lincoln, featured an aggressive, hard-hitting segment with Mitt and Ann Romney, recycling the President's talking points. On Monday's World News, Diane Sawyer parroted, "President Obama threw down a kind of gauntlet to you over the weekend. And he said, release 12 years of your tax returns." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
After the Republican presidential candidate refused, Sawyer pushed, "Release 12 years. If you have nothing to hide, why not release 12 years as your father [Governor George Romney] did?" Sawyer brought up Romney's Mormon faith, prompting, "Would you sit down sometime and really talk the two of you about something that holds a lot of curiosity for people?"
ABC broadcasted two completely one-sided reports on Thursday's World News and Nightline on the supposed "huge spike in the number of Americans operating in the shadows, trying to take down the U.S. government even with violence," as anchor Diane Sawyer put it. Correspondent Dan Harris's main external source for his reports was a media favorite, the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center [audio clips available here].
As she introduced Harris's first report on World News, Sawyer trumped that "a new study finds there are now nearly 1,300 militias and other extremist groups in this country, an increase from 149 groups in 2008. And one of the fastest-growing groups is called 'sovereign citizens.'" However, an examination of the SPLC's report in question find that many of these supposed "extremist" groups have been around for longer than four years, and the only change is that the leftist organization recently designated them as such.
[Update, 09:27 pm Eastern: audio added above; video below the jump]