Despite a tragic shooting at Fort Hood, a major Supreme Court ruling and developments on Benghazi, all three morning shows on Thursday devoted time to Bill Clinton's discussion of aliens on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Yet, NBC's Today, ABC's Good Morning America and CBS This Morning ignored a profoundly dumb question from the comic regarding Clinton running for vice president. [See video of the question below. MP3 audio here.]
Instead, GMA's Amy Robach enthused, "And finally, former President Bill Clinton isn't ruling out a possible alien invasion here on Earth. He visited Jimmy Kimmel last night and revealed that he did, in fact, look into the possibility when he was president." Talking to co-host and former Democratic operative George Stephanopoulos, she wondered, "George, was it the common topic of conversation in the Clinton administration?"
There is a jobs crisis in the U.S. that is going virtually unnoticed by the broadcast networks. The unemployment rate for African Americans towers over the national average, upsetting conservatives and liberals.
In spite of bipartisan outrage, the three broadcast networks gave just 10 seconds combined to the black unemployment rate around the monthly jobs reports in the past year. Liberal Rev. Jesse Jackson was one of many frustrated people. He has complained that “the media [is] dismissing it as not important.”
While ABC, NBC, and CBS all hyped President Obama slamming Republican opposition to ObamaCare during his Tuesday "victory lap" in the White House Rose Garden, the network coverage that evening and Wednesday morning did not include a single GOP sound bite on the topic. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Tuesday's ABC World News, White House correspondent Jon Karl proclaimed: "It looked like a victory celebration, and the beginning of a new campaign." A clip ran of Obama asserting: "The debate over repealing this law is over. The Affordable Care Act is here to stay."
As the networks reported on President Obama's Tuesday "victory lap" over ObamaCare's new enrollment numbers, CBS played right into the administration's hands by highlighting the "peace of mind" of a young adult who signed up for health care.
In what could have passed for a White House commercial, CBS's Ben Tracy interviewed an uninsured 33 year-old who "felt like a ticking time bomb" before he signed up for ObamaCare at the deadline. He told CBS "now I have it, so it's – it's sort of a peace of mind thing for me." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
After President Obama's victory lap Tuesday over the rollout of his health care law, ABC's Matthew Dowd told Republicans to let Obama celebrate and stop trying to repeal ObamaCare.
"You have to give the President ground to have some celebration," Dowd insisted. "A little bit of dancing in the end zone. I think Republicans would be really smart, let him have the touchdown, don't ask for instant replay." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
All three morning shows on Tuesday hyped an "eye-popping" surge on the final day of ObamaCare sign-ups, but NBC's Today minimized the latest problems for those attempting to meet the deadline. Despite two segments on the topics, the four-hour program covered this angle for a scant 22 seconds.
In contrast, Jon Karl on ABC's Good Morning America threw cold water on the celebration. Ignoring co-host George Stephanopoulos's claim that "all signs point to an eye-popping surge in sign-ups for health insurance," Karl warned of "big, unanswered questions." He explained, "One of the biggest is how many of those have signed up were previously uninsured? Remember, this was about expanding insurance coverage." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] He added that "we don't know how many people signed up here...simply had their previous plans cancelled."
The networks all hyped the new United Nations report on climate change on Monday evening, touting it as a dire call for action and an "urgent new warning."
NBC's Brian Williams gave by far the most dramatic take on the report, even starting the Nightly News with the story. "Good evening, the world has never been spoken to quite this way," he soberly began. [See video below.]
Hours before ObamaCare's enrollment deadline, the networks provided an overall positive take on the law and allowed the White House to defend its signature legislation, leaving no room for a Republican response.
CBS highlighted the last-minute rush to sign up on the exchanges but when it reported that the final enrollment numbers would fall short of the White House's original prediction, it turned to President Obama who downplayed the shortfall. At least NBC and ABC noted that questions still need answering, like how many enrollees actually paid their first premium.
After 20 years of activist journalism at ABC, it was announced on Thursday that Cynthia McFadden is leaving the network for NBC. The Nightline co-anchor has fawned over many Democratic politicians, but shows a particular affinity for Hillary Clinton.
Over the decades, McFadden has compared Clinton to Thomas Jefferson and praised her as a "rock star." On another occasion, she worried about the toll the 2008 campaign took on the Democrat: "There's never a night, when you go back to whatever hotel room, whatever city you're in that night, and crawl in a ball and say...this just hurts too much?'" With a 2016 candidacy looming, it's time to count down the top five worst examples of McFadden gushing over Clinton. [See below for videos.]
While Monday's NBC Today began its 7 a.m. ET hour coverage of the ObamaCare enrollment deadline by noting the healthcare.gov website had crashed yet again, it took an hour for ABC's Good Morning America and CBS This Morning to notice the malfunction and mention it in their reporting. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Good Morning America's initial coverage was particularly stunning in that it touted how well the website was supposedly working. Co-host George Stephanopoulos proclaimed: "After all those early problems with the website, the White House now saying things are now back on track." White House correspondent Jon Karl declared: "That's right, George. They say they saw a huge increase of traffic to the website over the weekend....And so far, the website seems to be handling it without any major problems."
ABC’s Rachael Ray hosted Vice President Joe Biden for a pre-taped interview which aired on Monday March 31 to push people to sign up for ObamaCare before the midnight deadline.
Ray began the segment by beaming that Biden had “The most glowing, perfect skin of any person I’ve ever seen” before telling the Vice President “I really want to know what moisturizer you use.I love moisturizers, my husbandis a moisturizer as well. Would you tellme what moisturizer you use?” [See video below.]
While young and aspiring fashion models are rarely known to shy away from publicity and recognition, last night's episode of ABC's new Nightline Prime (Sat., 3/29/14) may have revealed personal information that most young girls do not want to divulge to the entire world - information that could theoretically jeopardize their safety.
The episode was about the cut-throat world of young, aspiring models and how model scouts in Brazil are on the hunt for the "next top model," ala Gisele Bundchen and Alessandra Ambrosio, two Brazil natives.
ABC News Political Analyst and former Bush/Cheney advisor Matthew Dowd attempted to downplay the impact ObamaCare will have in the 2013-midterm elections. Appearing on This Week w/ George Stephanopoulos on March 30, Dowd asserted, “2014 is going to be about the direction of the country, the economy, and how people feel in their lives. It's not going to be about ObamaCare.”
Despite the bizarre prediction from the ABC analyst, conservative editor of "The Weekly Standard" Bill Kristol slapped down Dowd’s ridiculous claim and shot back that “I’m happy to have a referendum on ObamaCare… and will be good for Republicans.” See video below.]
Friday's CBS Evening News picked up where the Big Three morning shows left off earlier in the day and trumpeted how "visitors have been surging to [HealthCare.gov] – about one-and-half million a day." Scott Pelley did give a bit of slightly bad news during his 16-second news brief, noting that "today, the ObamaCare website was taken down for about 20 minutes, to fix a problem that affected log-ins." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
However, the CBS evening newscast, along with Friday's NBC Nightly News and ABC's World News, glossed over the latest Associated Press poll, which found record-high disapproval of the controversial law: "[S]upport for President Barack Obama's health care law is languishing at its lowest level since passage of the landmark legislation four years ago...26 percent of Americans support the Affordable Care Act." This omission continues a nearly three-month-long trend by the Big Three networks to paper over bad news about ObamaCare.
The network evening news casts have yet to report an estimate by the Congressional Budget Office that President Obama's proposal to hike the minimum wage would cost the private sector $15 billion and raise the deficit.
The CBO report came out on Wednesday, but as of Friday evening the networks have ignored it. As the Washington Free Beaconpointed out, the CBO says that Obama's minimum wage would raise the deficit by $5 billion over 10 years and cost private employers $15 billion.
On Wednesday Fox News reported that House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa threatened to hold the IRS commissioner in contempt of Congress if he didn’t hand over emails from Lois Lerner and other IRS officials.
So far none of the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) network evening or morning shows have mentioned the latest development in the ongoing investigation of the IRS targeting Tea Party groups.
While the CBS Evening News on Thursday and Good Morning America on Friday allowed mere seconds to explain a court ruling upholding "tough" "new abortion restrictions" in Texas, only Fox News fully detailed what the decision and law actually do. [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Evening News guest anchor Sharyn Alfonsi briefly informed, "A federal appeals court today upheld Texas' new abortion restrictions, among the toughest in the nation. Many abortion clinics have closed since the law was passed."
On Friday's GMA, Amy Robach did a little better, noting, "The law requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and then restricts the availability of abortion-inducing drugs." But GMA offered a mere 18 seconds and CBS a scant 15 seconds. In contrast, Fox and Friends covered the story three times. Plus, Fox and Friends First co-host Heather Childers described it as "a win for pro-lifers in Texas."
On Thursday evening and Friday morning, ABC, NBC, and CBS all touted a "surge" in sign-ups for ObamaCare ahead of Monday's March 31 deadline. What none of the networks mentioned was that the percentage of young, healthy enrollees was still short of the minimum necessary to sustain the health care law.
On ABC's World News on Thursday, anchor Diane Sawyer hailed the enrollment numbers as an "achievement" for President Obama as she proclaimed: "ObamaCare has hit a new milestone. More than 6 million people have now signed up. That's almost the original goal of 7 million. They have seen a surge in this final sprint before the deadline on March 31st..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
To accompany ABC's tough interview of New Jersey governor Chris Christie, Friday's Nightline quoted New Jersey Democrats slamming him as a vengeful "bully."
World News anchor Diane Sawyer noted that "critics remember the lure of Christie's brash personal style" before airing clips of Democrats pounding him. Sawyer pressed Christie repeatedly over New Jersey's bridge closure scandal, but she barely mentioned Benghazi in an October 2012 interview with President Obama, a month before the election.
All three network evening newscasts on Thursday found time to cheer the JFK Library Foundation announcing former President George H. W. Bush would the 2014 recipient of its annual Profile in Courage award. So what specific accomplishment did the organization cite from the Republican's decades of public service? His decision to hike taxes in 1990 that cost him re-election and paved the way for Bill Clinton to become president. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On NBC Nightly News, fill-in anchor Lester Holt proclaimed: "Bush had famously said, 'Read my lips. No new taxes.' His decision to break that promise not only took courage, as the award says, it also may have cost him re-election."
All the networks gave positive coverage on Wednesday evening to President Obama's meeting with Pope Francis, but ABC left out the elephant in the room, the massive conflict between the Obama administration and the U.S. Catholic Bishops over the birth control mandate.
Each network reported a happy meeting; both ABC and NBC called it "historic." All the networks highlighted the consensus between the two men on fighting poverty, as ABC noted a "bond" between the two men.
Thursday's network morning shows tripped over themselves in their rush to fawn over President Obama meeting Pope Francis for the first time at the Vatican. At the top of ABC's Good Morning America, co-host Robin Roberts touted how the President "feels a special bond with the Pontiff." On NBC's Today, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd spoke of an "ideological comfort level" between the two leaders, while on CBS This Morning, White House correspondent Major Garrett described their "genuine connection." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
While ABC, NBC, and CBS provided a combined 14 minutes 30 seconds of coverage to the papal meeting on Thursday, only 2 minutes 21 seconds of that air time referred to the fundamental disagreements between Obama and the Pope on a host of issues. Instead, the morning broadcasts chose to play up the "common ground" between the two men on issues of "income inequality" and "social justice."
ABC, CNN, MSNBC and PBS on Wednesday and Thursday all covered the "shocking" corruption involving the Democratic mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina. Yet, while talking about the tens of thousands of dollars in bribes he sought, none of these networks identified Patrick Cannon's political party. Only a Fox News host referred to him as a Democrat.
On ABC's Good Morning America, Amy Robach asserted, "Well, the mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina has resigned after being arrested during an FBI sting." On CNN's New Day, Christine Romans informed that undercover FBI agents "got the mayor to take almost $50,000 in bribes in exchange for favorable treatment by the city." In contrast, Fox News's Jamie Colby revealed, "There's another Democrat in trouble over accusations of corruption." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
If a government program signed into law by former President George W. Bush was causing cancer patients to go broke, brain tumor victims to pay more for their insurance, and was leaving HIV/AIDS patients in the lurch - you can bet the Big Three news networks would’ve packed their shows with these tragic tales.
But these horrific stories and more, all caused by ObamaCare, have yet to be given even one second of airtime on ABC, CBS or NBC’s evening and morning shows in 2014. [Video after the jump]
Both ABC and NBC ignored the latest delay for ObamaCare on Wednesday evening's news casts, and CBS whitewashed any controversy until the end of its report.
The Obama administration announced Tuesday that it would extend ObamaCare's enrollment deadline until mid-April for anyone who would have trouble signing up at the last minute. Not only was the administration changing its long-established deadline, but it would only use the "honor system" to verify those who had legitimate problems enrolling. CBS was the only network to report this big delay on Wednesday evening.
On Wednesday, all three network morning shows repeated the White House line that the reason for delaying the March 31 ObamaCare enrollment deadline was due to a last-minute "surge" of people signing up. In a 20-second news brief on NBC's Today, fill-in news reader Tamron Hall announced "a reprieve this morning for people who've been trying to sign up for ObamaCare," before noting that "the Health and Human Services Department says there has been a last-minute surge in demand." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
During a 17-second news brief on ABC's Good Morning America, fill-in news reader Amy Robach gently described the law's new setback as a sign-up "grace period" and declared: "...the White House predicts a crush of applicants in the final hours could cause a computer traffic jam."
While on Tuesday evening the networks hyped President Obama "talking tough" to Russia and "belittling" them, only ABC pressed him on whether he was wrong about Russia during the 2012 campaign.
ABC's White House correspondent Jonathan Karl asked the President, "In the light of recent developments, do you think Mitt Romney had a point when he said that Russia is America's biggest geopolitical foe?" The World News aired the clip, as well as Obama's response that Russia is only a "regional power."
On Tuesday's CBS This Morning, co-host Gayle King adopted liberal spin on the ObamaCare contraception mandate being challenged in the Supreme Court: "It pits the rights of a woman's access to contraception against a company's religious freedom." That description of the case was nearly identical to the false framing of the issue in Monday's New York Times. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed on This Morning, correspondent Jan Crawford teed up the faulty argument: "Women's rights groups and doctors say the cases are about women's health." A clip ran of American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists president Jeanne Conry ranting: "As a physician, I need a number of ways to treat women, and treat them appropriately. And I don't need an employer coming into my exam room and telling me how to treat a patient."
Unquestionably, ObamaCare is the central political issue of 2014. As the midterm election campaign moves forward, liberal politicians will have to justify their support for a program that has cost millions of individuals their insurance; will raise premiums for most small businesses; imposes hundreds of billions of dollars in new taxes; and will cost, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the equivalent of two million jobs over the next three years.
But so far this year, the three network evening newscasts have minimized, spun or ignored every negative development about ObamaCare, while at the same time touting staged pro-ObamaCare publicity stunts, such as the President’s appearance on a Web-based comedy show in March.
With only a week to go before ObamaCare's sign-up deadline, the networks ignored the law entirely on Monday evening even though the latest estimate has the administration one million sign-ups short of its revised goal.
As NewsBusters reported, the networks skipped the story on Monday morning as well. That continues their trend of shelving bad news for ObamaCare, including the low enrollment numbers among young people and the administration's latest delay that let many keep their current insurance plans that the White House once called "shoddy."