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.
John Cusack appeared on the June 15 edition of "The Early Show" to discuss his new movie "1408." At the very end, host Russ Mitchell brought up his upcoming film "Grace is Gone." Cusack claimed the film is about Iraq and "some of the issues the families have when the coffins come home because...the Bush administration banned photos of the dead," which Cusack believes is a "very egregious political act."
RUSS MITCHELL: You’ve got a movie coming out later this year, "Grace is Gone," that you're very proud about, very proud of.
JOHN CUSACK: I produced a film called "Grace is Gone" coming out about -- it's about the Iraq conflict and some of the issues that the families have when the coffins come home because, you know, the Bush administration banned photos of the dead. So I thought that was a very egregious political act –
It seems that Rosie did more on “The View” than lame Donald Trump imitations, belittle Elisabeth Hasselbeck (as well as Republicans in general) and advance ridiculous conspiracy theories that defy logic, not to mention physics. Rosie also controlled the issues discussed on the “The View,” and while she was on the show, certain issues were off limits...like heterosexual sex.
According to the TV Guide, during a June 13 appearance on the popular LA-based radio show “On-Air with Ryan Seacrest,” Barbara Walters revealed the control that Rosie wielded over the show's daily discussions. From the TV Guide (bold mine throughout):
Filmmaker Michael Moore’s appearance on Wednesday’s edition of "Nightline" wrapped up a two day, two show tour of various ABC programs. Between "Nightline and "Good Morning America," the network gave the outspoken leftist almost 21 and a half minutes of air time to promote his new health care documentary, "Sicko."
In addition to looking at the softer side of Moore and asking about his faith, co-anchor Terry Moran offered a generally friendly interview. For the most part, the ABC host only challenged the filmmaker when he made truly outrageous comments, such as asserting that Cuba is a country of "artistic freedom":
Michael Moore: "They have an excellent health care system, probably the best in the Third World. There is not religious persecution. There's artistic freedom. I went–"
Terry Moran: "There's artistic freedom in Cuba?"
Moore: "Oh, yeah. I hung out with artists who are critical of Castro and, and, and very freely speak their minds."
An interesting discussion ensued on Tuesday’s “Scarborough Country” surrounding ABC’s “The View” and some of the anti-Catholic positions taken by the various co-hosts.
MSNBC general manager Dan Abrams, sitting in for Joe Scarborough, had Catholic League president Bill Donohue on to discuss his ad placed in Tuesday’s New York Times complaining about the behavior of folks like Rosie O’Donnell and Joy Behar while pointing a finger at Barbara Walters for allowing such antics on her program.
Does "Good Morning America" have a masochistic streak? On Wednesday, GMA host Chris Cuomo allowed liberal filmmaker Michael Moore to claim that due to the failure of journalists in challenging President Bush’s claims about pre-war Iraq intelligence, ABC and other networks are "complicit" in the deaths of American soldiers:
Was it the most important speech of President Reagan’s life?
Who knows? But, on the 20th anniversary of the moment many historians believe signaled the beginning of the end of the Cold War, none of the broadcast evening news programs bothered to even mention it.
Instead of covering the anniversary of President Reagan’s demands in front of the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin, Germany, for Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall” (video and transcript of the speech available here), ABC’s “World News with Charles Gibson” reported:
Bush is officially a lame duck, well at least that's what the Big Three network morning shows would have you believe. This morning White House spokesman Tony Snow appeared on NBC's Today, ABC's Good Morning America and CBS' The Early Show and was hit with one common question: is Bush a "lame duck?"
First up on NBC's Today show, co-host Matt Lauer threw the following questions at Snow:
Lauer: "Tony if he, if he can't convince the skeptics, if he can't accomplish this, if he can't get immigration reform passed, you know what they're saying, is it time for him to concentrate full-time on his presidential library?"
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," Chris Cuomo conducted part one of a mostly softball interview with "Sicko" filmmaker Michael Moore. (Another segment will air on Wednesday.) But despite a flowery introduction where the GMA anchor asserted "[Moore’s] critics are struggling to fight his basic premise that America's health care system is in trouble," Cuomo still found himself backpedaling after labeling the liberal filmmaker’s Cuba trip a stunt. The ABC host, son of Mario Cuomo, quickly exclaimed, "Look, I like your stunt."
The stunt in question, Moore’s escorting of 9/11 Ground Zero workers to Cuba for treatment, resulted in this retort from the director:
Can you remember the last time you heard "Today" or other MSM outlets describe, in terms such as "over the top," rabid anti-Bush protests by the likes of the Cindy Sheehan crowd, the Code Pink girls, or the folks pictured below ? Neither can I. Conversely, when Bill Clinton receives enthusiastic receptions overseas, the MSM breaks out the "rock-star" analogies, with no sarcasm in sight.
But let President Bush receive a warm welcome from Eastern European crowds who appreciate his leadership on behalf of their freedom, and "Today" just can't take it.
On this morning's "Today" at 7:04 am EDT, NBC's Kelly O'Donnell reported from Bulgaria on the president's European trip, in which crowds in Bulgaria and notably in Albania greeted him very enthusiastically.
NBC CORRESPONDENT KELLY O'DONNELL: We've seen the president get a warm, sometimes over-the-top reaction here in Eastern Europewhere countries send troops to Iraq and also generally back the president. So he may not be all that anxious to get back to Washington."
Are you sick and tired of Paris Hilton and all the attention given to this wealthy debutant when there are so many more important issues facing the nation?
Well, if so, you’re in good company, for in a commencement address at Williams College last Sunday, CBS “Evening News” anchor Katie Couric accurately stated that this “fluff…can rot your mind and distort your values.”
Yet, just four days later, Couric actually gave more airtime to Paris Hilton’s brief departure from jail than every other story that evening with the exception of the opening piece about growing tensions between Russian President Vladimir Putin and George W. Bush and the final segment dealing with a retirement home for champion racehorses.
To set this up, here is the relevant text from Couric’s commencement speech:
From print to television, the formal declaration published by the group of eight most developed nations emanating from their summit in Germany was depicted as a winner for the host country’s chancellor Angela Merkel, while George W. Bush was the big meanie standing in the way of progress against the liberal bogeyman known as global warming.
For instance, NBC’s David Gregory said the following on Thursday’s “Nightly News”:
While past ABC reports have mourned the hardship facing the American auto industry, ABC aired liberal support for higher fuel efficiency standards that would make competition more difficult and manufacturing more expensive.
But reporter Dean Reynolds gave almost no time to the auto industry in his June 7 “World News with Charles Gibson” story.
Reynolds cited left-wing Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Phyllis Cuttino of Pew’s Campaign for a Fuel Efficient America.
“We have better cup holders in cars, we have better music systems in cars – that’s all good,” Dorgan said, “But the fact is we need cars that are more efficient.”
On Friday’s "Good Morning America," co-anchor Chris Cuomo, the son of former Democratic Governor Mario Cuomo, slammed conservative immigration hawk Tom Tancredo for using "scary" words and wondered why he chose to "rip" down the Senate’s immigration bill. The GMA anchor slyly asked if the Congressman was "driving anti-immigrant sentiment."
Cuomo’s overall tone fit the very definition of loaded questions and a liberal agenda. The ABC anchor, whose brother is the Democratic Attorney General of New York, began the segment by aggressively inquiring, "Why did you feel the need to rip a bill like this down?"
On Thursday’s “Good Morning America,” reporter Claire Shipman portrayed the simmering tensions between Russia and the United States as a replay of the Cold War and also took President Bush, who is meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at this week’s G8 summit, to task for missing a “critical diplomatic opportunity” to cooperate with the Russians over the placing of a proposed missile defense system in Poland.
Additionally, Shipman, while noting Putin’s rollback of democracy, contended that Russia’s president is “wildly popular at home” and hyperbolically claimed that “everybody is very happy with Vladimir Putin there.” While it’s true that Putin’s autocratic nature appears to have done him no harm in the polls, it’s quite silly to say that “everybody” is happy in a country where journalists and spies continue to die mysteriously.
On Tuesday's edition of The View on ABC, comedienne Kathy Griffin really seemed to be auditioning for the Rosie O'Donnell Chair in Conservative-Bashing. ABC's Barbara Walters began by deploring how two new Hillary biographies are "both nasty," spurring Griffin to accuse the authors of "good, old-fashioned, garden variety sexism." She also accused men of "taking down" vice-presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, growled about "women eating their own" over an anti-Hillary letter in Newsweek, and said Condoleezza Rice is "not a pro-woman woman" because she "follows everything white men say....Any African American woman who is a Republican does not understand that she's not a part of their agenda. Wake up!" Walters told Griffin she was "so bigoted." Joy Behar cracked that Margaret Thatcher was a "woman with a penis." Only token non-liberal Elisabeth Hasselbeck insisted that Hillary ought to endure scrutiny like any other presidential candidate.
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program devoted two segments to promoting the religiosity of the 2008 Democratic contenders. At the same time, a graphic hopefully asked, "Are evangelicals embracing Democrats? New party of God?"
Recapping a CNN sponsored event on Monday night where '08 contenders talked about their faith, ABC featured two liberals who were making the Democratic case for Christian voters. GMA co-host Robin Roberts interviewed Jim Wallis, the left-wing editor of Sojourners magazine. Neither Roberts, nor the ABC graphic made any mention of his liberal slant. Additionally, a segment hosted by reporter Dan Harris featured this quote from one Mara Vanderslice:
Mara Vanderslice (Sr. Partner, Common Good Strategies): "This year, I think the Democrats are more comfortable talking about religion and values."
Vanderslice just happens to have strong ties to the Democratic Party, is the former Director of Religion for the 2004 John Kerry campaign and had past associations to extreme left wing groups. Perhaps GMA viewers should have been apprised of those facts in relation to Vanderslice’s contention that Democrats are "more comfortable" with religion.