The network morning shows all hyped up the recent remarks from Republican Senator Richard Lugar that the war in Iraq is not going well. ABC’s "Good Morning America" ran a brief story and noted that Republican Senator George Voinovich followed as well.
The CBS "Early Show’s" "Capitol Bob" segment focused mainly on the Lugar remarks. Host Harry Smith discovered admiration for the Indiana Senator exclaimed he is a "smart guy" and is "not fickle." Bob Schieffer forecasted "I think we’re going to begin a withdrawal," claimed the troops are in "the middle of this civil war," and editorialized "the policy as we know it is not going to work." Schieffer also claimed inside sources tell him Republicans are "not enthusiastic" about the president’s Iraq strategy.
On Wednesday’s "Good Morning America," co-anchor Chris Cuomo portrayed the previous day’s on-air debate between Elizabeth Edwards and Ann Coulter as a one sided lecture from the ‘08 contender’s wife. The ABC program edited out or didn’t play either of Coulter’s best verbal barbs.
The conservative author’s zinger, that John Edwards’ use of her name to raise money is better"than giving $50,000 speeches to the poor," was bluntly cut out. And although GMA found time to play Mrs. Edwards’ denunciation of the conservative commentator as hateful, the program skipped over a retort by Coulter that described Mr. Edwards’ law practice as "bankrupting doctors by giving a shyster, Las Vegas routine."
In a related note, MSNBC’s "First Read" page now admits that the ambush by a 2008 candidate’s wife was a preplanned event between the network and the John Edwards campaign:
Two days after ABC correspondent Liz Marlantes suggested that the Bush administration engages in abuses that are worse than illegal CIA activities from decades ago, on Tuesday's World News with Charles Gibson, ABC's Terry Moran made his own comparison between the past when the CIA was "running amuck" and modern times. Moran: "But many experts say [the documents] also shed light on this era, on the question of what the agency should and shouldn't be doing at a time when the CIA is running secret prisons, using coercive interrogation techniques like waterboarding and expanding its role in the war against al-Qaeda and other terrorists.
Below is a complete transcript of Moran's report from the Tuesday June 26 World News with Charles Gibson, with the critical portion in bold:
Assume for a moment that you were a co-host on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” and you were given the assignment to interview outspoken conservative writer Ann Coulter.
With everything going on in the world – from Iraq, to immigration, even to Gore-made global warming – what would be the first topic you would ask Coulter to address?
Well, ABC’s Chris Cuomo Monday chose none of those issues, and instead decided to ask his guest about a joke she made several months ago regarding Democrat presidential candidate John Edwards' sexual preference (video available here):
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," reporter David Wright narrated a sarcastic segment about Vice President Dick Cheney and his refusal to hand over classified documents to the National Archives. In order to amplify the portrayal of Cheney as dark and scary, Wright featured clips from liberals such as Jon Stewart, left-wing blogger Ana Marie Cox and the Comedy Central program "Lil Bush." The GMA reporter helpfully added that "the Vice President's noncompliance plays right into the perception that he's some sort of shadowy super villain." Video: Real (1 MB) or Windows (1.25 MB) plus MP3 (176 KB)
Of course, Wright never identified the liberal, anti-Cheney leanings of the above individuals. Instead, he framed the Vice President’s refusal to hand over the documents as indicative of an out of control politician who won’t listen to anyone:
David Wright: "Quick civics quiz for you: Is the Vice President part of the executive branch of government? You might think the answer is obvious, but apparently not to the Vice President. The man who is a heartbeat away from the Oval Office thinks that some of the rules that apply to everyone else who works here do not apply to him."
On Monday’s "Good Morning America," for the second time in less than two months, the ABC program featured a gushing segment on a liberal environmentalist’s "noble experiment" of forgoing toilet paper and all other modern amenities in order to have "no impact" on the Earth.
GMA weatherman Sam Champion, who is himself a promoter of extremist environmental beliefs, touted how the year-long project could be "fun." Co-anchor Chris Cuomo marveled at how Colin Beavan, or No Impact Man, as he likes to be called, is trying to "do nothing to hurt the environment." "Ooh, respect that," he murmured in a tease for the segment. In an unintentionally funny moment, when Cuomo noted that he couldn’t "go without" toilet paper, this exchange followed:
Chris Cuomo: "Can’t go without [toilet paper]. Can’t be that green, Sam. Can’t be that green."
On ABC's World News Sunday, during a story about the release of classified information regarding the CIA's "cloak and dagger" past, correspondent Liz Marlantes suggested that the Bush administration engages in abuses that are worse than the illegal activities detailed in the documents. Marlantes: "But this all comes when the CIA is under fire for an alleged array of current abuses, including the use of secret prisons and torture. Some say the activities of the past may look mild by comparison."
As anchor Dan Harris set up the report, he conveyed that the documents "detail 30 years of illegal CIA operations, from assassination plots to experiments on humans." Marlantes listed some of the activities that included "assassination conspiracies against foreign leaders like Fidel Castro, the infiltration of anti-war groups, and screening of private mail, including letters to actress and antiwar activist Jane Fonda," and "putting journalists under surveillance." (Transcipt follows)
Barbara Walters, who sometimes plays an objective journalist on TV, chose this week to endorse "Sicko," Michael Moore’s left-wing screed about the health care industry. The veteran news anchor enthused, "Everyone should see it." Conservatives shouldn’t be surprised by this type of propagandizing, however. Last year, Walters endorsed Al Gore’s "An Inconvenient Truth." (See blog for link.)
Speaking of the "The View," an ex-host from that program, Meredith Vieira, gushed on Monday’s edition of "Today" that Hillary Clinton is "unbeatable" and a "teflon candidate." Later in the week, Matt Lauer, a co-anchor on the NBC program, touted Mrs. Clinton’s "Sopranos" parody. He declared it "a hit" and "clever." The other network morning shows were similarly impressed.
On June 22, all three networks covered the Senate bill mandating higher automobile fuel efficiency. NBC's "Today" only ran an anchor brief on the story, but ABC's "Good Morning America" and CBS's "The Early Show" both ran short stories on the news.
On "Good Morning America" David Kerley spun it in a positive fashion hypothesizing the bill "should save you some money." They then played the clip of Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) hailing passage of the bill implying the United States will be less dependent on Middle Eastern oil. GMA did play a clip of General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner stating "we think there are ways to do it that are smarter," but there was no mention of the potential increased danger of automobile accidents as documented by the CATO Institute.
When it was announced Tuesday that China surpassed the United States as the world’s leading emitter of carbon dioxide, NewsBusters asked, “Will Media Notice?”
In reality, the answer is a mixed windbag, with most press outlets totally ignoring the revelation, and a few actually blaming the problem on – wait for it! – the United States. I kid you not.
However, before we address that stupidity, it first must be relayed that not one of the television news outlets bothered reporting the Chinese CO2 data at all. It appears that television news divisions only feel CO2 is a problem if it’s emitted by American corporations or citizens.
As for the print media, the few that did cover this story either gave it very little attention, or made some fairly predictable excuses for why it’s okay as the planet nears its seemingly inevitable doom at the hands of greenhouse gases for China to be the leading “polluter.”
For instance, the New York Times devoted a total of 83 words to this story in its “World Briefing Asia” section Thursday on page A12 (no link available):
On the June 21 edition of "The View" the ladies discussed President Bush’s veto of the embryonic stem cell veto funding bill. On what may be a positive trend, the co-hosts split evenly on the issue with Gayle King and Joy Behar for the funding and Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Sherri Shepherd opposed.
Joy Behar exclaimed it violates the "separation of church and state" because some religious organizations morally oppose the practice. Behar, who considers the title "fringe liberal" "name calling," opined that Bush "listens to the extreme religious right in this country."
When Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who articulated her points very well, noted the she does not want her tax money to go to something she considers unethical, Behar dragged in the Iraq War and said that argument "pisses me off." When Behar said abortion is legal, Hasselbeck responded "it is not a question of banning. It’s a question of funding at this point."
On this morning's GMA, a classic bit of MSM advocacy for more government regulation of business that will drive up costs and drive out jobs. The occasion is the hearings today before the House Workforce Protections Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), on a proposal to expand family and medical leave and impose mandatory sick leave.
Introducing the segment, ABC's David Wright lamented that "it's something that every parent struggles with: how to balance work and family. And the U.S. lags far behind other countries in helping parents to cope. Here on Capitol Hill today, Congress will take the first baby steps to try to address that situation."
For the third time in 2007, ABC has used its "Good Morning America" program to deride the United States for not being generous enough in providing paid leave for employees. On the Thursday edition of the show, reporter David Wright complained that "the U.S. doesn't make it easy" for working parents. He used a 2007 study to claim that, on this issue, America is no better then several Third World nations.
At no point did the ABC reporter mention that countries who provide generous leave, such as France, also have extremely high taxes and high unemployment. (The French are currently at 8.7 percent.)
After an introduction by host Robin Roberts that explained how Congress is considering legislation to expand federal and medical lave, Wright cited a recent Harvard-McGill study that lumps the U.S. in with third world countries such as Swaziland:
Environmentalism is hip, green celebrities are “very sexy” and saving the planet is “simple,” according to the media.
It is certainly not “extreme” as far as journalists are concerned. The deluge of celebrity books, films and even rock concerts is making green look good – because journalists leave out the cost to individuals, businesses and the economy.
“Going green” is all the rage – from Live Earth to “green” weddings and interior decorating. The problem is, media reports imply that people won’t have to make enormous sacrifices to do what is right for the environment. That downplays the reality of environmentalism, which is anti-business and anti-economic growth; even, at times, anti-human rights.
But the truth is, like the recent Dilbert comic pointed out, environmentalism is extreme, inconvenient, and costly. In one recent case, environmentalists have even limited people’s right to travel in their own country.
When Hillary faked a Southern accent in Selma, Alabama the major network morning news shows, *for the most part, ignored her blatant and awkward pandering but when Hillary and Bill played like Tony and Carmela Soprano in a campaign ad, meant to humanize Hillary, it drew widespread praise on those very same shows.
On this morning's Today show, co-anchor Matt Lauer declared it, "a hit" and "clever" while fellow anchor Meredith Vieira exclaimed she "loved" it. On ABC's Good Morning America, George Stephanopoulos called it "effective" in "showing that she's also a human being who can laugh at herself." Over on CBS's The Early Show, Bob Schieffer called the ad, "hilarious," and cheered: "I think it's one of the cleverest things I've seen in a long, long time."
ABCNews.com's The Blotter has an update on their exclusive story of the recent Taliban "graduation ceremony":
The Taliban military commander [Mansoor Dadullah] who led the "graduation ceremony" for 300 suicide bombers was one of five men released from an Afghanistan prison earlier this year in exchange for a kidnapped Italian journalist.
Journalist Daniel Mastrogiacomo was kidnapped along with his interpreter and driver by Taliban fighters in early March.
A hostage trade was negotiated, in part by an Italian-run hospital organization, for his release in exchange for the release of five senior Taliban commanders that were in the custody of the Afghan federal government.
In the June 25 edition of People magazine, Ozzy Osbourne's wife Sharon takes part in a "Q&A" surrounding her new job as a judge on NBC's "America's Got Talent." People poured some gasoline with a Rosie question, and Mrs. Osbourne lit a match:
PEOPLE: As an ex-talk show host, thoughts on the The View's Rosie O'Donnell-Elisabeth Hasselbeck feud?
OSBOURNE: Elisabeth needs a lobotomy! How can she defend the Bush administration? Being pregant doesn't [screw] with your head that much.
That's funny. How can a woman married to crazy Ozzy Osbourne attack defenders of George Bush as defending the indefensible? AP's Erin Carlson suggested Sharon Osbourne could be Rosie's replacement on The View. But the oddest part of that story is Entertainment Weekly's Ken Tucker, who thinks Joy "Republicans Cause Cerebral Hemorrhages, Don't They?" Behar is a voice of reason:
ABC’s Brian Ross broke an exclusive story Monday, first at his blog “The Blotter,” and then on “World News with Charles Gibson,” concerning teams of well-trained al Qaeda suicide bombers supposedly heading to the United States and Europe.
Barbara Walters, who plays an objective journalist on TV, loves to offer her ringing endorsements for left wing films. About a year ago, in June of 2006, Walters, upon interviewing Al Gore, asserted "it’s very important to see [‘An Inconvenient Truth’]." On the June 19, 2007 edition of "The View" Walters spoke with Michael Moore and again endorsed his new socialist advocating film "Sicko."
"A lot of the film is about, is about the insurance companies and the condemnation of them. I just have to say, I don't usually give opinions, but whatever you're Republican or Democrat or whatever you are, this is an amazing film. I thought it was -- I think everybody should see it. When it premiered last night, you got a standing ovation. That's unusual for you. Everybody loved you."
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program used an attack by an aide to presidential candidate Sam Brownback on fellow contender Mitt Romney to delve into the former Massachusetts governor’s religious beliefs and whether bigotry will derail his campaign.
Comparing the treatment of Romney’s religion to past campaigns, Dan Harris asserted that this sort of thing "happened for orthodox Jews when Joe Lieberman ran for vice president in 2000."
But unlike in 2000, when Joe Lieberman ran for vice president on a liberal Democratic ticket, Mitt Romney is running a social conservative. And thus, Harris alternated from wondering if "a resurgence of the type of bigotry the church has faced since it was founded 177 years ago" might torpedo Romney’s bid, to speculating on the "uncomfortable questions" about Mormon beliefs:
During a World News report on American options in the aftermath of Hamas’ violent takeover of Gaza last week, ABC’s Dean Reynolds on Monday got out the ten-foot pole to describe the group whose suicide bombers have killed numerous Americans in Israel as well as hundreds of Israeli civilians: “Now that Hamas, considered a terrorist organization by Washington, has taken command in Gaza, some things are becoming painfully clear about the Bush administration’s course of action up to this point.”
“Considered a terrorist organization by Washington”?! That’s an echo of the formula favored by the late Peter Jennings, who in 2002 referred to the group that blew up the Marine barracks in Beirut this way: “The Bush administration says Hezbollah is a terrorist organization.” As if it’s only our government’s biased opinion.
Last night, ABC “World News” sounded a $50 billion call to expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
The June 17 program gave the common media prescription: more money, more government.
“Child advocate believe this problem [uninsured children] could be fixed is the federal government shells out $50 billion over the next five years. But, that is 10 times what the Bush administration wants to spend,” said ABC’s Dan Harris.
The Politico reports that former ABC News reporter Geoff Morrell is going to be named the new spokesman for the Pentagon. The Politico’s Mike Allen reports that the idea of picking a working journalist like Morrell was that of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, “in an effort to improve press relations at a time when the administration is under pressure to show progress in Iraq.”
Back in 1993, the Clinton administration also selected an ABC journalist, Kathleen deLaski, as its on-air Pentagon spokesman. At the time, an MRC review found deLaski’s reporting for ABC was “in step with Clintonite thinking that ‘tax and spend’ equals caring.” For more, see “deLaski’s Defensive Detail” in the August 1993 MediaWatch.
When President Bush wanted a media professional to boost his White House publicity machine, he hired Tony Snow, a polished performer with solid conservative credentials. Geoff Morrell is no Tony Snow.
According to Coalition for Urban Renewal and Education's (CURE) website, community activist and conservative columnist Star Parker will guest co-host "The View" Tuesday, June 19. Parker will appear with the show's long time token non-liberal Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Parker's name is not on "The View's" website, but confirms Michael Moore and Toby Keith are two of the show's guests.
Star Parker is the current president of CURE and a former welfare mother. Parker converted to Christianity and began her life as an activist. Her recent columns included attacking Senator Clinton over her changing stances on Iraq and hailing the Supreme Court for upholding the federal partial birth abortion ban.
“World News Sunday” on June 17 used Gibson’s very extreme situation to heap more blame on lenders without asking questions about her payment plan, loan consolidation or any other options that could lower her payments. The report also left out key facts such as where Gibson lives, how much debt she has, and what type of loan or loans she has.
On Monday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program shifted into full advocacy mode as anchor Chris Cuomo investigated the health insurance industry. A week after the network promoted Michael Moore’s new documentary "Sicko" for over 21 minutes, co-host Diane Sawyer announced that, regarding health care, the program was demanding "some answers" with a new segment. According to Sawyer, the series is "for you, for all of us." At the close of the report, the ABC anchor even pleaded with the audience for examples of nefarious health care companies:
Diane Sawyer: "...If you have an insurance company policy, a question that you want to raise, you want us to tackle something that you think the insurance companies are doing, you write to us. You let us know about it. ABCNews.com. We are on the case."
And while Cuomo was "on the case" of a woman who had difficulty getting her insurance company to approve a much needed eye surgery, there has been no similar look at Canadian horror stories where government run health care made one woman with breast cancer wait three months for radiation treatment.
At this point, the answer to the latter is a resounding “No.” The answer to the former is “Not much.”
To be more specific, extensive searches of Google News and LexisNexis have identified that no major American media outlet with the exception of the New York Daily News bothered to report the theft of Yasser Arafat’s Noble Peace Prize:
On Friday's Good Morning America, ABC reporter Dan Harris relayed the news that Bill Clinton and Al Gore are now very rich men. But he couldn't do it without mangling a fact or two. Harris began:
"Think about it, when Bill Clinton and Al Gore both left the White House, they both had some serious financial problems. Now they both have some serious cash. President Clinton left power in 2001 dogged by legal bills. But last year, he made more than $10 million in paid speeches, according to new federal filings released by his wife’s presidential campaign."
When Bill Clinton left the White House, his wife had already agreed to an $8 million book advance. If the Clinton marriage means their assets are held in common, it couldn't accurately be said Clinton "had some serious financial problems" with the legal bills. Harris also ignored the Clintons had a multi-million-dollar legal defense fund to defray costs. Listen to NBC's Andrea Mitchell touting Bill's big $12 million book deal in August 2001:
On Thursday's The O'Reilly Factor, during his show's regular "Talking Points Memo," FNC's Bill O'Reilly attacked NBC News/MSNBC for its Iraq war coverage, listing several examples he found worthy of criticism, and defended himself against accusations that some of his recent comments about his show's level of war coverage were insensitive to U.S. troops. O'Reilly: "The latest NBC News indignity is trying to convince their few viewers that Fox News is negligent because we don't cover every terrorist incident in Iraq. Somehow we're insulting military families if we don't run in the explosion du jour."
The FNC host was likely responding to comments MSNBC general manager Dan Abrams made while guest hosting on Tuesday's Scarborough Country in which Abrams took exception with the way O'Reilly worded his rationale for not covering the violence in Iraq more throughly. Abrams: "But today's big loser, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, who insulted our troops and our intelligence today when he said that it does not, quote, 'mean anything,' when a bomb goes off in Iraq. It was part of a horrible effort to undermine a new study that shows Fox covers the Iraq war far less than MSNBC." (Transcripts follow)
On June 12, all three morning shows parroted DNC talking points and declared President Bush a "lame duck." "Good Morning America" solemnly noted that the phrase would likely follow Bush throughout his trip to Capitol Hill. (Apparently this is the theory that if the networks say something enough, everyone will believe it.)
Speaking of "Good Morning America," co-anchor Chris Cuomo conducted a groveling interview with Michael Moore in which he backtracked from calling the liberal filmmaker’s new movie a stunt. "Look, I like the stunt," he corrected.