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]
According to Nightline co-anchor Juju Chang, Diane Sawyer's interview with the President on Thursday was "exclusive and candid." Although Sawyer didn't find time for questions about scandals such as Solyndra or Fast and Furious, she did manage to squeeze in queries about the Super Bowl and the President's singing.
At one point, the World News anchor enthused, "And speaking of sports teams, we asked the fan-in-chief, what is it, Giants/Pats?" After wasting one question on this topic, she followed-up: "Two years ago, we talked. You had the Saints [as Super Bowl winners]."
The journalists on ABC often sound like they are plagiarizing Barack Obama's talking points. On Tuesday night, this was literally true. During live coverage after the State of the Union, George Stephanopoulos informed, "...Vice President Biden just before the speech gave a call to Democrats. And he summed up the speech with this phrase, Bin Laden is dead, General Motors is alive." [See video of the two clips below. MP3 audio here.]
On the same day's Nightline, with no explanation that he was stealing Biden's line, co-anchor Terry Moran parroted, "Osama bin Laden is dead. General Motors is alive. Those points folded neatly into another of the President's goals, to wrap himself in the American flag." Good thing the Democrats, Stephanopoulos and Moran are all coordinating.
Barack Obama’s invitation to Warren Buffett’s secretary, Debbie Bosanek, to tonight’s State of the Union Address is bound to please not only Bosanek’s boss but also the liberal media that has allied with Buffett in his mission to raise taxes on the rich. For over 10 years the Berkshire Hathaway CEO has campaigned to sop the wealthy with burdensome taxes, and his friends in the media have been all too willing to advance his myth that secretaries pay more in taxes than their boss.
The following articles from the MRC’s archive represent just a few of the more recent and obnoxious examples of Buffett and Obama’s friends in the media carrying water for their crusade to soak America’s job creators:
ABC trotted out the "best of" Newt Gingrich slams on Thursday, finally revealing the results of an exhaustive Brian Ross interview with Marianne Gingrich, the former Speaker's ex-wife. Ross boasted that his scoop could be seen as a "January surprise" to harm Gingrich. Recycling old attacks, Ross eagerly prompted the ex-Mrs. Gingrich: "You know his secrets. You know his skeletons." [UPDATED: See video below. MP3 audio here.]
How bereft of new information was the segment? According to reports that broke on Wednesday, Ross sat down with Marianne Gingrich for two hours. In the eight minute segment, ABC only used two and a half minutes of actual footage from that interview. But Ross breathlessly hyped, "And we begin tonight with a story at the white-hot intersection of presidential politics, private lives and character."
Nightline co-anchor Terry Moran on Tuesday huffed that Rick Perry's "controversial" ad, combined with a presidential campaign that could be seen as "denigrat[ing]" "non-Christians" and "gay veterans," might spell doom for the Republican candidate. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The program's other anchor, Cynthia McFadden, teased the segment by proclaiming, "Plus, God and country. Who would Jesus vote for? Rick Perry's on the campaign trail casting himself as the populist Christian candidate."
Nightline co-anchor Terry Moran delivered a surprisingly positive assessment of Tim Tebow on Monday night, lauding the Christian quarterback as "inspired," "lifted up" and "strengthened" by "a power beyond his understanding."
Moran also highlighted, "Psychologists are increasingly finding that the very fact that a person has religious faith can help lead to the kind of success Tim Tebow has had." It wasn't all complimentary, however, the program's journalists repeatedly went out of their way to assert just how "controversial" Tebow is.
ABC's John Berman on Thursday continued his habit of trying to force stale, anti-conservative jokes into his reporting, mocking the pronunciation habits of former President George W. Bush. In a segment on subliminal ads that "mess with your brain," the correspondent rehashed Bush's 2000 "rats" ad.
While playing the 11-year-old spot, which featured the word fragment "rats" on-screen for 1/30th of a second, Berman narrated, "You may have missed it, but this Republican ad for George W Bush in 2000 seemed to label Al Gore a rat. Now, that's subliminal, even if George Bush wouldn't admit it." Offering a not-at-all fresh joke, the ABC reporter added that Bush "couldn't pronounce [subliminal]."
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?"
ABC's Jake Tapper on Tuesday pressed Barack Obama on the Fast and Furious gun scandal, but his network didn't allow the question to appear on Nightline, World News or Good Morning America. (All played clips of the interview.) Instead, ABC found time to air Tapper and the President playfully discussing children's books and the greatness of Dr. Seuss.
During the two-segment long Nightline interview, Tapper hyped, "At the school where we spoke, the President showed off his personal knowledge of children's books." The journalist informed Obama, "I'm a big Dr. Seuss guy." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
"Good Morning America's" George Stephanopoulos on Thursday invited retired Supreme Court Judge John Paul Stevens to bash the audience of a GOP presidential debate. The ABC host repeatedly offered up softballs to the liberal Stevens, asking at one point, "I don't know if you saw it, but there was actually a moment in one of the presidential debates where's the number of executions in Texas was cited and the crowd cheered."
After cutting to a clip from the debate, Stephanopoulos prompted the ex-justice of the nation's highest court to offer a critique on a political party: "What did you think?" The segment also aired on Wednesday's "Nightline."
In what can only be described as ABC's attempt to show endless shots of large breasts, Nightline on Wednesday investigated the growing number of women in Venezuela who are having surgery to become more well endowed. In fact, it was the outcry of the country's socialist leader who brought the story to their attention.
Reporter Matt Gutman explained, "Five years ago yesterday, he called President George W Bush the devil in an appearance at the United Nations. But now [Hugo] Chavez has managed to say something that's got him in real hot water on his own turf, in his own country."
For more than a month now, the nation has buzzed with controversy about the first transgender “star” to appear on “Dancing With the Stars,” Chaz Bono. ABC’s “Nightline” ran a segment on Chaz Bono on September 19, also the same night as the Season 13 premiere of DWTS, highlighting the controversy and featuring commentary from MRC’s Culture and Media Institute Vice President, Dan Gainor.
Nearly ten years ago, Elizabeth Smart became a household name when she was abducted from her family's home in Utah and sparked a nationwide media frenzy. As a 23-year-old, she has just inked a deal with ABC to cover missing person cases on a number of programs, including "Good Morning America" and "Nightline."