On Tuesday's "Nightline," ABC gushed over Michelle Obama with the enthusiasm and objectivity usually reserved for "Access Hollywood" reporters. Correspondent Yunji de Nies lauded the "rock star" first lady for her fashion sense and for speaking openly about balancing work and family. "Nightline" co-anchor Cynthia McFadden asserted that "with her muscular arms and outfits, she's become, well, a model first lady."
De Nies talked with liberal Washington Post journalist Sally Quinn, who has written for years about D.C. style. Asked about a recent Michelle Obama spread in Vogue magazine, Quinn enthused, "Well, for one thing, I think she's a sexual person. The pictures are attractive. They're womanly. They're sexy, but not in an overt way." She then went on to assert that Washington has often tried to force women to downplay their sexuality. This prompted de Nies to breathlessly wonder, "Is Washington and the world ready for such a modern first lady?"
Despite calling for massive new spending on education, universal health care and more money for bailing out banks, no ABC anchor on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning used the word liberal in describing Barack Obama's February 24 address to Congress. In contrast, ABC host Terry Moran on February 27, 2001 anticipated that a similar speech by President George W. Bush would be "conservative."Following that address, he spun it as "hard core conservatism: fiscal restraint; deep, across-the-board spending and tax cuts; the privatization of part of Social Security."
And yet, on Tuesday's post-speech coverage, on that evening's "Nightline" and on Wednesday's "Good Morning America," no anchor applied the liberal label to Obama's address. The same Moran who saw "hard core conservatism" in Bush's appearance before Congress, described a "big and bold speech" from the current President. He also enthused that "President Barack Obama didn't sugarcoat it, he found bad guys on Wall Street and in Washington." Regarding the President's obviously liberal plans on the economy and health care, Moran reiterated, "The answer, the President argued, go big, big plans, big changes."
"Nightline" co-anchor Terry Moran gave an interview on Friday to the Media Bistro's "Morning Media Menu" podcast and compared Barack Obama to George Washington. Talking to host and editor Steve Krakauer, Moran gushed, "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." (For those who have forgotten, George Washington defeated the strongest military power in the world. Barack Obama was a community organizer.) [Full interview audio available here.]
Moran continued, "I mean, from visionary leader of a giant movement, now he's got an executive position that he has to perform in, in a way." [MP3 audio of just this answer, 26 seconds]
On his Twitter page later, the ABC journalist attempted to explain his over-the-top comparison. Moran, who can be seen in the above file photo, contended, "I said like only Washington, Obama came to office as more than a politician, a visionary leader for many. Now's he's got a job."
"Nightline" reporter David Wright on Monday inserted a gratuitous slam of Sarah Palin into a seemingly innocuous segment covering the 50th anniversary of the Barbie doll. Recounting the various versions of the Mattel toy, he set up the attack: "[Barbie's] been an astronaut and a rock star. Pop icons Beyonce and Shakira. She's won 'American Idol' too." Right after footage of the "President Barbie" doll appeared onscreen, the segment cut to various clips of a stylish-looking Palin. Wright derided, "Some would argue she also ran for vice president in 2008."
During the 2008 presidential election, Wright would occasionally throw in a out-of-left field shot at Palin or the Republican ticket. Reporting for "Good Morning America" on October 22, he discussed the Republican vice presidential candidate's attacks on Barack Obama and editorialized, "Her own glass house notwithstanding, Sarah Palin has thrown some stones on the issue, too, even though she's not above making gaffes of her own."
"Nightline" co-anchor Terry Moran on Tuesday interviewed Barack Obama and pressed him from the left, wondering why he didn't simply fire the executives who the journalist blamed for "wreck[ing] these banks in the first place." The two were discussing the stimulus bill and the current economic problems on Wall Street. As the MRC's Brent Baker already noted in a previous blog, Moran also seriously wondered, "Why not just nationalize the banks?"
After the President suggested that such an idea was unworkable and didn't make sense, the host persisted. Moran challenged, "People are angry." Going further, the ABC journalist queried, "Why shouldn't you just fire the executives who wrecked these banks in the first place and tanked the world's financial system in the process?"
In excerpts aired on Tuesday's World News, of Terry Moran's interview with President Barack Obama for Nightline, Moran was as sycophantic toward Obama as he was during the campaign, lamenting Obama “got no honeymoon” and bemoaning the new President had been “too nice” to Republicans. “Mr. President,” Moran rued in overlooking the ongoing honeymoon from the media, “you got no honeymoon. Not a single Republican vote in the House on your first major piece of legislation.” Moran speculated: “I wonder in coming into the presidency, maybe you were too nice? If I'm a Republican Senator or a Republican Congressman, I think you're a very nice guy but maybe I don't have enough reason to fear you.”
Earlier, Moran cued up Obama: “How close do you think the country is to the kind of economic catastrophe that you're warning about?” In the ABCNews.com transcript, which does not include the “honeymoon” lament, the tri-anchor of Nightline suggested the banks should just be nationalized: “There are a lot of economists who look at these banks and they say all that garbage that's in them renders them essentially insolvent. Why not just nationalize the banks?” (That did not air on World News, but was part of what Nightline ran later.)
Audio:MP3 clip which matches the video (45 secs, 275 Kb)
Journalist George Stephanopoulos appeared on Monday's "Nightline" to offer high grades for Barack Obama's first primetime press conference. He awarded the President an A for overall performance at the event and a B for Obama's bipartisan efforts. During the presidential campaign, Stephanopoulos was consistent in giving high marks to the then-Democratic candidate, announcing that Obama won all his debates against Republican John McCain and that Joe Biden bested Sarah Palin.
Speaking to "Nightline" anchor Terry Moran, the "This Week" host enthused, "Well, I think he got an A on this, Terry...He had the long answers, five-minute mini-essays or speeches all about the economy, able to explain from his perspective how bad the situation is, how we got into this mess and how his stimulus package will fix it." On the subject of reaching out to Republicans, Stephanopoulos asserted, "I think on that you give him a B." After allowing that the President hasn't been able to obtain GOP support for the stimulus bill, he spun, "He was able to make his points tonight, how, basically, that isn't his fault. That's what he was trying to say tonight. He has reached out, he hasn't had a response from the Republican side."
According to "Nightline" co-anchor Cynthia McFadden, during the 2008 presidential campaign "many in the media" saw Barack Obama as a "bright hope in the distance." The ABC journalist made that admission during a "Morning Media Menu" podcast interview with TV Newser editor Steve Krakauer on Tuesday. In a justifying tone, she quickly added, "It's also clear that a lot of Americans thought that." McFadden didn't explain if she felt it was the role of journalists to simply reflect public will. [click play button in embed at right for audio excerpt]
The discussion on Obama media bias was prompted by Krakauer's mention of the new Bernie Goldberg book on the same subject, "A Slobbering Love Affair." Defending fellow co-anchor Terry Moran, McFadden asserted, "Anyone who knows Terry and his work would say there's nothing slobbering about him. I mean, he's as tough as they come. I think he brought a very jaundiced eye to the campaign." In actuality, with a few notable exceptions, Moran frequently slobbered over Barack Obama.
On November 6, 2006, he famously gushed that Obama was "an American political phenomenon" and, perhaps hopefully, he wondered, "Is Barack Obama the man, the black man, who could lead the Democrats back to the White House and maybe even unite the country?"
Liberal pastor and civil rights leader Joseph Lowery’s strange benediction prayer hoping that one day "white will embrace what is right" wasn’t ignored on the Tuesday night news, but it wasn’t portrayed as at all controversial. CBS skipped over it. But ABC, NBC, and PBS’s NewsHour all featured it, often without interrupting their gauzy promotional tone. Here’s a brief tour of how it unfolded.
ABC: In the first half-hour of a 60-minute World News, Charles Gibson recalled a legend praying:
GIBSON: The Reverend Joseph E Lowery, the legendary civil rights leader, delivered the benediction.
Rev. JOSEPH LOWERY: We ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man and white will embrace what is right. That all those who do justice and love mercy say amen.
GIBSON: As hundreds of thousands on the Mall savored what they had just seen.
The inauguration of the first African-American president is an historic affair, one that should be properly celebrated by all. But when the so-called "objective" network anchors begin comparing a routine political ceremony to a spiritual awakening, have they gone too far?
"Sacred." "Majesty." "Sacrament." "Pilgrimage." These are words loaded with religious and spiritual meaning. And they're words used to describe the inauguration of President Barack Obama by CBS, NBC and ABC anchors on their evening and mornings news shows.
Nightline's slug for its Tuesday night story about President Obama's inauguration: “America the Beautiful.”
With that iconic song title on screen over images of Barack Obama being sworn in as President, President Obama and Michelle Obama walking during the parade and views of the crowd, at the top of the program ABC's Terry Moran plugged a segment:
America the Beautiful: The nation and the world pause to witness an extraordinary milestone as nearly two million people come together to hail the new chief and celebrate an era of change.
On Wednesday's "Nightline," co-anchor Terry Moran could barely restrain his amusement over the shoe throwing incident on Sunday involving an Iraqi journalist and President Bush, asserting that it had become an "instant pop culture classic." He later touted the shoe attack, which occurred at a press conference in Baghdad, as "a dramatic act of contempt and disapproval." [audio available here]
Reporting on the story, correspondent David Wright smugly spun the event as some sort of final judgment on President Bush's Iraq policy. As video played of the 2003 toppling of the Saddam Hussein statue, Wright sneered, "Surely, President Bush must have wanted the most memorable image from Iraq to be this: When Iraqis beat the toppled statue of Saddam with their shoes." Then, to footage of Bush having shoes tossed at him, Wright opined, "Instead, the final image of his long Iraq journey is this. The shoe is on the other foot now."
"Nightline" anchor Cynthia McFadden and ABC reporter John Donvan on Monday gushed over the possibility that Caroline Kennedy could replace Hillary Clinton as the senator from New York. McFadden (see file photo at right) teased the segment by cooing, "So, is another chapter in the Camelot story about to be written?"
Donvan repeatedly mentioned that Caroline Kennedy wouldn't have much experience for such a post. But, he didn't seem bothered at all by this, at one point stating, "All she will have at first is that name. But, at least she has kept it the way it was remembered, as part of a story that so many wanted to believe in." Contrast this with the coverage vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin received over a perceived lack of experience. Certainly, the media were not as forgiving for a non-Kennedy such as the governor of Alaska.
Donvan contributed the requisite vapid reminiscing of the Kennedy years. The ABC journalist described Washington D.C. as a place "where, when her dad was the president, we first came to know the little girl, riding his shoulders, saddled up on ponies."
"Nightline" co-host Terry Moran on Monday fawned over every detail of Barack Obama's White House meeting with President Bush and insisted that that since the President-elect arrived in Washington D.C. wearing sunglasses, this was an example of the "Obama cool on display." Moran, who has regularly gushed over every aspect of Obama's election and transition, narrated the Democrat's interactions with the current president. As video of Bush and Obama played, he breathlessly related, "You could see the power shifting though. Look at Obama putting his arm on Bush's back, letting the President go first."
Moran awkwardly brought up the issue of past commanders in chief who owned slaves and asked, "And you had to wonder that if in fact the [White House] is haunted, what the spirits of those former presidents, many of whom were slave owners themselves would have made of what happened there today?" (An aside: 12 of 43 presidents owned slaves. Is that "many?")
"Nightline" reporter Terry Moran extolled Barack Obama's victory celebration on Wednesday's program and insisted that "so many people greeted this election as a human rights milestone and a repudiation of the deeply unpopular President George W. Bush." Reporting from Chicago, the site of Obama's victory celebration, Moran reflected on "the echoes of this moment when America astonished itself and the world again."
Musing about the night, the journalist cooed, "No one who was in Grant Park in Chicago last night will ever forget it. The jubilation. The emotion. The pride." Moran, who has been fawning over Obama for two years, described the election as "a political earthquake, and a moment in American history that millions of people around the world celebrated." He later glowingly elaborated, "People across the world joined the party, seeing in the triumph of Barack Obama, the American capacity to achieve the unthinkable."
Is it any wonder that polls revealed a 17 percent increase in Palin's unfavorability ratings in just one month?
After examining the TV news coverage of Palin from September 29 to October 12, CMI found that ABC, NBC and CBS news shows ran 69 stories about Palin. 2 stories were positive, 37 were negative and 30 were neutral. The 2 positive stories were a two-part interview with Palin's parents on the CBS Early Show. Not one of the major network evening news programs - ABC's World News, NBC's Nightly News, and CBS's Evening News - ran a single positive story about Palin.
ABC was hardest on Palin, as 60 percent of its stories on Palin were negative. NBC came in second, as 54 percent of its stories were negative. CBS also ran 54 percent negative stories, but also ran the only two positive stories (8 percent).
CMI found that the networks promoted three major narratives about Palin:
"Nightline" reporter David Wright on Thursday negatively spun John McCain campaigning in Florida as an "admission of weakness" and knocked the Arizona senator's "angry rant" on the issue of taxes. The liberal journalist gleefully attempted to portray the state as a lost cause for the Republican. He asserted that in the ad war in Florida, "Obama's message is drowning McCain out." He editorialized, "McCain can't seem to catch a break, especially here in Florida."
Wright visited a McCain campaign headquarters and described supporters as "trying to scrounge up more volunteers." He then appeared at the Miami Obama HQ, where "there were a lot more people and they were busier." Despite Wright's scenario of doom and gloom, the Real Clear Politics average for Florida is only a 2.2 percent lead, with an October 21 NBC poll gave the Republican a one point advantage.
"Nightline" anchors Martin Bashir and Terry Moran sarcastically investigated "the Palin problem" on Wednesday's edition of the program. And while Moran did offer Sarah Palin some positive analysis, he often mixed that with snarky, condescending remarks about her falling poll numbers. At one point, the ABC journalist asserted, "The hockey mom, a woman dubbed the killa' from Wasilla, and then the blunda [sic] from the tundra, she just might be here to stay." After playing a clip of General Colin Powell claiming the Republican vice presidential nominee isn't qualified, Moran opined, "Ouch!"
Moran, who just last week asked Senator Joe Biden if Palin's rhetoric made him concerned about his safety, pronounced the candidate's downfall: "When McCain nominated her, she was just incandescent and it looked for a while like it was one of the most brilliant and daring political moves in recent times. Now, well, not so much."
On Tuesday's "Nightline," co-anchor Cynthia McFadden conducted her second interview this week with Hillary Clinton and, once again, offered no policy questions and focused only on pushing the New York senator to bash Governor Sarah Palin. The liberal journalist repeatedly questioned, five times in total, variations on whether or not Palin is qualified or good for women. At one point she even asserted, "But it must rankle you, I mean, to be compared to Sarah Palin."
Below are McFadden's (unsuccessful) attempts to get Clinton to slam the Republican vice presidential nominee.
CYNTHIA MCFADDEN: Is Sarah Palin good for women?
MCFADDEN: I feel like you're bending over backwards. I mean, I feel in some ways as if a man with the qualifications that Sarah Palin brings to this role, you'd have no problem with taking the gloves off and saying, hold it just a second.
MCFADDEN:Is she ready to serve as commander in chief, senator?
MCFADDEN: Does she deserve, does she have the right to stand on your shoulders in this regard?
"Nightline" co-anchor Cynthia McFadden on Monday used the opportunity of the first dual interview with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to gush over the two Democrats and offer no challenging questions. Speaking to the senators after a campaign rally in Florida, she fawned, "You looked pretty good up there together." The co-anchor also excitedly tossed this softball to Clinton and Obama: "Are you going to win? Are you going to win down here?"
Fully embracing Democratic talking points that the two once-bitter rivals are now friendly, McFadden fawned, "...Two weeks before the presidential election, they genuinely seemed to have bonded over their singular mission to put a Democrat in the White House." (Is that McFadden's mission too?)
Offering amateur psychology, the ABC host wondered, "How does it feel today? Still a little awkward or have we gotten over the awkward period in the relationship?" McFadden presented no questions about Obama running mate Joe Biden's assertion on Sunday that the Illinois senator would be tested by a major international crisis in the first six months of his potential presidency. In addition, there were no questions about terrorist bomber William Ayers or any other serious issue.
Despite featuring the story on its "Political Radar" blog on Monday morning, the ABC network ignored for almost 24 hours the claim by Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden that Barack Obama will be tested by a major international crisis in the first (potential) six months of his presidency. Monday's "Good Morning America" skipped the story, as did that evening's "World News With Charles Gibson" and "Nightline."
In fact, "Nightline" co-anchor Cynthia McFadden actually conducted an interview with Senator Obama after a campaign rally in Florida. Despite the fact that she had nabbed the first joint interview with Obama and Clinton since the Illinois senator won the nomination, she didn't address the issue. Rather than ask what his running mate meant when he said, "Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy," McFadden chose to limit her questions to how the relationship between Obama and Clinton had changed.
ABC Nightline co-host Terry Moran has been supportive of Barack Obama. His syrupy report of November 6, 2006 is legendary for its gush: "You can see it in the crowds. The thrill, the hope. How they surge toward him. You're looking at an American political phenomenon....Everywhere he goes, people want him to run for President, especially in Iowa, cradle of presidential contenders. Around here, they're even naming babies after him."
Now, in the final weeks of the campaign, Moran suggested that Sarah Palin's comments about Obama's friendship with radical-left bomber Bill Ayers could be endangering Obama's life. On the October 13 Nightline, Moran spent a day on the campaign trail with Obama running mate Joe Biden. After running Palin's "pal around with terrorists" line, Moran darkly characterized: "Attacks that stoked the anger at Republican rallies, where there have been reports of attendees yelling things like ‘terrorist' and ‘kill him.'"
Continuing the mainstream media's dogged pursuit of the truth, Thursday's "Nightline" breathlessly asserted that Joe "the plumber" Wurzelbacher isn't really named Joe. In a segment on the Ohio man who quizzed Senator Barack Obama about his tax plan, co-anchor Martin Bashir derided, "But his name's not Joe and he's not a registered plumber. And those are only half his problems."
Of course, his middle name is Joseph. Continuing to harp on this subject, reporter Jake Tapper alerted, "And it turns out Joe the plumber is not even technically named Joe...His name is Sam, Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher." Now, although it took the media almost a year to report on Jeremiah Wright, Obama's radical preacher, Bashir announced that in the case of Wurzelbacher, "It wasn't long before the media pounced. But with the spotlight has come some scrutiny." Before launching into an investigation of Joe the plumber, Tapper chided, "The McCain campaign did not necessarily vet Joe, it seems." (Do voters need to be vetted before they're allowed to ask Obama a question?)
Though he decided “this was John McCain's best debate,” Democratic operative-turned ABC News journalist George Stephanopoulos made it a “clean sweep for Barack Obama” as he declared on Nightline after Wednesday's third and final presidential debate: “He has won every debate.” Add in the VP debate, which Stephanopoulos gave to Joe Biden over Sarah Palin, and Stephanopoulos has awarded all four debates this year to the more liberal candidate. He justified his latest assessment:
He won tonight by staying cool under pressure. He won tonight by parrying the attacks of John McCain. The only thing that John McCain could have really done tonight to change the tenor of this campaign was to get under Obama's skin, to force him into an error. That did not happen tonight. Another win for Barack Obama.
Anchor Terry Moran predicted “you're going to get some heat for this, George, you called all three presidential debates and the vice presidential debate for Obama-Biden.” But instead of suggesting that just might show some bias on the part of Stephanopoulos, Moran presumed it meant Stephanopoulos' evaluations presage the electorate: “Does that mean this thing is over?” Stephanopoulos replied: “I don't know if it's over. Right now, Barack Obama would win, I think, more than 300 electoral votes, if the election were held today. He's well ahead right now.”
ABC journalist David Wright on Friday derided John McCain's attacks against Barack Obama as a "fear and loathing strategy" that "seems to be working among some voters." Reporting on the two presidential candidates and their economic plans, the liberal reporter also highlighted an exchange between McCain and a supporter where the Republican asserted that Obama was a decent man who just has bad ideas.
Contrasting the remark with past McCain attacks and ads, Wright huffed that this might be an example of the candidate "realizing, perhaps, that Americans already have enough to be afraid of." Friday capped off a week of David Wright aggressively criticizing the Arizona senator. On Thursday's "Good Morning America," he hyperbolically complained that the McCain campaign has suggested Obama is "yellow, disloyal and doesn't belong." Wright also darkly intoned, "But in the past couple of days, the Republicans have been laying it on thick. Chumming the waters. And, not surprisingly, ugly reactions are beginning to surface."
In a gushing look at a day on the campaign trail with Democratic VP nominee Joe Biden for Monday's "Nightline," ABC's Terry Moran charged Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin's rhetoric about Barack Obama has “stoked the anger at Republican rallies, where there have been reports of attendees yelling things like 'terrorist' and 'kill him.'" After that setup, an earnest Moran asked Biden if he now fears for Obama's “safety,” and he pressed Biden to denigrate Palin: “Is she up to the job in your judgment?”
Moran clearly suggested to Biden that Palin's criticism of Obama (“someone who sees America as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists who targeted their own country”) endangers the Democratic nominee as he followed that clip: “Are you at all concerned in this home stretch for Senator Obama's safety?”
Deciding “Obama is two for two,” ABC's George Stephanopoulos, who last Friday called Joe Biden the winner over Sarah Palin, declared Barack Obama “definitely won” over John McCain in the second presidential debate, just as he had determined following the first one -- and that makes it three times out of three debates the Democratic operative turned ABC journalist has picked the liberal Democrat. In Tuesday's “Nightline Report Card,” Stephanopoulos trumpeted Obama's performance:
He definitely won tonight. I think, again, he showed over the course of this debate, over the course of the two debates, he is answering the number one question Americans have about him. Does he have the experience it takes to serve effectively as President? Over the course now of three hours of debates, he is answering that question minute by minute.
Issuing his grades, Stephanopoulos awarded Obama an A and two A-minuses while he presented McCain with one A-minus and two grades of B+. Stephanopoulos contended “where I really think Barack Obama won the debate tonight in strategy is on foreign policy. He took the debate to John McCain, took it to John McCain's judgment, jujitsued the line that John McCain used in the last debate about how Barack Obama doesn't understand foreign policy.”
For the second time on Monday, ABC reporter David Wright continued to spin and justify Barack Obama's relationship with former terrorist bomber William Ayers. On the October 6 edition of "Nightline," he compared the McCain campaign's comments about the ex-domestic terrorist with the Obama team's new ads centering on the Arizona senator and the Keating 5 scandal. Wright (see file photo at right) wondered, "Which is worse, a radical terrorist who wanted to blow up the Pentagon 40 years ago or a crooked banker whose failed savings and loan had to be bailed out by the taxpayers 20 years ago?"
While discussing Ayers, a member of a violent '60s radical group that participated in 30 bombings, including the Pentagon, Wright made sure to point out: "Ayers was an early supporter of Obama's, but Obama has never condoned Ayers' politics." He even closed the segment by referring to the man, who said after 9/11 that he didn't do enough bombings, as "A former domestic terrorist who's now a respected professor." When discussing the Keating 5 savings and loan scandal, in which five senators were accused of intervening on behalf of businessman Charles Keating, Wright left out the fact that McCain was exonerated by the Senate Ethics Committee.
Six days after declaring Barack Obama the winner of the first presidential debate, following Thursday's VP debate George Stephanopoulos again decided the liberal Democrat in the debate, this time Joe Biden, was the winner -- but in assigning his “Nightline Report Card” grades he gave both Biden and Sarah Palin the same overall assessments: each got one A, one A-minus and one B. Asked by anchor Terry Moran to name “the winner,” Stephanopoulos argued:
Joe Biden, but boy, was this close. I think that Governor Palin did an awful lot to help herself tonight. There is no question that she beat expectations, that she was fluent, that she showed she could stand up there on the stage. She laid a couple of attacks there against Barack Obama, but going back to my first point on overall strategy, right now, this is a race where if John McCain cannot convince the country that he's going to take it in a different direction from President Bush, he simply cannot win...
The grades from ex-Democratic operative Stephanopoulos. On “Strategy,” an A for Biden and an A-minus for Palin; on “Style,” an A-minus for Biden and an A for Palin; and on “Accuracy,” a B for both.
It was eight years ago this week that France 2 TV introduced the world to Mohammed al-Dura, the Palestinian boy who was allegedly shot and killed during a gunfight between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen, in a video whose authenticity has increasingly been called into question years after it inspired anti-Semitic violence around the world. The American news media not only highlighted the story -- as the ABC, CBS and NBC evening and morning newscasts collectively aired the video at least 28 times between September 30, 2000, and June 30, 2003 -- but the networks also showed other clips depicting Palestinians involved in fighting, supposedly with Israelis, that have been challenged by some media analysts, calling into question how many of the scenes shown by American media during times of Israeli-Palestinian conflict may be faked video that were passed off to international media as genuine. ABC's Good Morning American notably seems to have ignored the al-Dura story.
Boston University Professor Richard Landes has been a leader in delving into the practice by some Palestinian cameramen of staging scenes of violence to be used as propaganda against Israel. Landes notably took on CBS’s 60 Minutes in the film Pallywood, the first in a series of short documentaries produced by the Boston University professor. On his Web site, theaugeanstables.com, Landes recounts his unsuccessful attempts to convince the American news media to help expose the Pallywood hoax video phenomenon. While he recounts that American journalists he spoke with did generally agree with him that the deceptive practice likely exists, they were reluctant to be perceived as breaking neutrality by siding with Israel over the Palestinians, as he encountered a view that it would not be “even-handed” to relay such unflattering activities by one side without finding similar examples from the other side. Professor Landes also cited an unnamed journalist at ABC as contending that there would be little “appetite” for the subject at his network. On his Web site, theaugeanstables.com, Landes recalls these conversations: