Both Wednesday's CBS Evening News and Thursday's NBC Today offered full reports on President Obama being criticized for attending Democratic Party fundraisers at a time of international crises. ABC continued to remain silent on the growing controversy.
On Evening News, White House correspondent Major Garrett reported: "President Obama arrived late today in Los Angeles for his fifth meeting with big donors in two days." A clip played of Garrett challenging Press Secretary Josh Ernest: "Could you address what many Americans believe is either the trivial or unnecessarily-distracting obligation of presidents – including this one – to raise money in the course of conducting important matters of state?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Over the last 15 days, the world has been rocked by two troubling and growing international crises: the shootdown of a civilian airliner over the Ukraine; and the intense fighting between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. While the three evening newscasts have offered considerable coverage of the unfolding events, CBS, NBC and ABC have made almost no attempt to evaluate the performance of Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry or the administration generally, and critics of the administration have been ignored.
Since July 8, the broadcast evening newscasts have aired 79 stories (169 minutes) on the Gaza fighting; only 45 seconds of that included criticism of the administration. Since July 17, the three evening newscasts have aired 96 stories (209 minutes) on the jet shootdown; just 10 seconds of that coverage has included criticism of Obama or his team.
With less than two weeks until Congress departs Washington, D.C. for its summer break, Republicans and Democrats are battling over how to best stop the flood of illegal immigrants from Central America crossing over the Texas-Mexico border.
On Thursday, July 24, CBS This Morning was the only network morning news show to spotlight how “Congress is taking new action to solve the immigration crisis. Republicans in the House and Democrats in the Senate are pushing new plans to deal with the influx of children from Central America.” ABC and NBC’s morning shows were nowhere to be found on the border crisis on Thursday. [See video below.]
On Thursday, July 24, the New York Times revealed that Senator John Walsh (D-Mont.) plagiarized his masters thesis from the United States Army College and that at least 25 percent of his paper “was either taken without attribution from other authors’ works or improperly sourced.”
Despite the embarrassing revelation, CBS This Morning was the only network morning news show to report on the plagiarism scandal whereas NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America ignored the story. [See video below.]
Wednesday's NBC Nightly News was the sole Big Three evening newscast to notice the criticism of the Obama administration banning U.S. airliners from traveling to Israel. Prominent politicians from both sides of the political spectrum, including Senator Ted Cruz and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, have denounced this move by the FAA. Senator Cruz accused the administration of using the "federal regulatory agency to launch an economic boycott on Israel."
Anchor Brian Williams zeroed in on Bloomberg's blunt critique of the travel ban, as he introduced a report from correspondent Richard Engel: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The Big Three networks' morning and evening newscasts have yet to cover the Government Accountability Office's investigation of ObamaCare's sign-up process that uncovered that fraudulent documents were able to procure federal health plans and subsidies. On Wednesday, Amy Goldstein of the Washington Post reported that "undercover GAO investigators tried to obtain health plans for a dozen fictitious applicants....All but one of the fake applicants ended up getting subsidized coverage — and have kept it."
Brian Williams glossed over this GAO investigation on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, but set aside 21 seconds of air time to tout the latest enrollment numbers for ObamaCare: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today continued to ignore President Obama’s fundraising trips across the country Wednesday morning as he spent Tuesday raising money for Democrats in California and Washington state. While CBS This Morning did mention that Obama was on the West Coast for fundraisers and that it has drawn criticism from Republicans, it lasted for only 27 seconds.
Among the news stories covered at the top of the 8:00 a.m. hour, co-host Gayle King read a news brief in which she stated that “President Obama faces criticism this morning for following through with a fund-raising trip to the West Coast.” King mentioned that Obama made stops in two states to raise money for Democrats and added that: “Many Republicans say that his priorities should be focused on the tensions with Russia and the turmoil in the Middle East.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
On Tuesday, July 22, Robert McDonald, President Obama’s nominee to take over as Secretary for the embattled Department of Veterans Affairs, appeared before the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, yet his testimony received a minuscule 24 seconds on ABC, CBS, and NBC.
In fact, the only “big three” coverage of McDonald’s testimony came on Tuesday morning, before the actual hearing occurred, courtesy of NBC’s Today. None of the network newscasts covered the actual nomination proceedings on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.
On Tuesday, July 22 ObamaCare was dealt a mixed bag via two different rulings from federal appeals courts. At issue is the constitutionality of IRS tax subsidies given to individuals who purchase health insurance through the federal exchange rather than through their state-run exchange.
The conflicting rulings means that ObamaCare is likely headed back to the Supreme Court and could put the entire Affordable Care Act in jeopardy but NBC has yet to acknowledge the case on both its Nightly News and Today show broadcasts. [See video below.]
On Tuesday, July 22, two federal appeals courts ruled in different directions over the constitutionality of tax subsidies given to individuals who purchase health insurance through the federal ObamaCare exchange. At issue, was language in the law where subsidies would be given to individuals who purchased health insurance in an exchange “established by the state.”
In a 2-1 ruling, the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled that the IRS went too far by providing subsidies to individuals on the federal exchange but a separate ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld those same subsidies. Despite the contradictory rulings and the likelihood that the Supreme Court will take up the case, ABC was the only network evening news show to cover the story on Tuesday night. [See video below.]
Monday's CBS Evening News was the only Big Three morning or evening newscast to cover the conviction of Azamat Tazhayakov, who was found guilty of obstructing the investigation into the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Jurors also convicted Tazhayakov of taking part in a "conspiracy with his off-campus roommate to hide incriminating evidence in the days immediately after the attack," as reported by the Boston Globe on Monday.
Anchor Scott Pelley gave a 19-second news brief to the conviction of the former student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
ABC’s Good Morning America and CBS This Morning both ignored the news Tuesday morning that President Obama’s nominee to become the next Secretary of the scandal-ridden Department of Veterans Affairs will testify today on Capitol Hill in his confirmation hearing.
NBC’s Today did cover the news, but only in the form of a 24 second news brief during the 7:00 a.m. hour from news reader Natalie Morales. Morales reported that: “VA Secretary nominee Robert McDonald will be in the spotlight today when he goes before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee for a nomination hearing. The former Proctor and Gamble Chairman, President, and CEO was nominated by President Obama last month as the permanent replacement for Eric Shinseki. Shinseki resigned in May in the scandal for long waits of appointments and secret waiting lists at VA medical centers.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
All three morning shows on Tuesday worried about Governor Rick Perry's "controversial," expensive move to send the National Guard to the Texas border. But it was ABC's Good Morning America on Tuesday that offered the most annoyed commentary. GMA correspondent Jim Avila began his report by lecturing, "But the border patrol says [National Guard troops are] not needed because federal law prohibits the military from enforcing civilian laws."
Avila also highlighted that Operation Strong Safety comes "with a hefty price tag of $12 million per month." The journalist continued his critique, deriding, "The head of the border patrol telling ABC News he has other needs. It's not about detaining the child immigrants. They're giving themselves up." An irritated Avila added, "It's about where to put them and neither Governor Perry or the Guard has offered any help with that." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Appearing as a guest on ABC's The View on Monday, CNN Crossfire co-host S.E. Cupp – who is reportedly in talks to join the daytime talk show – told the hosts it was justified for CNN correspondent Diana Magnay and NBC correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin to be removed from reporting in the Gaza Strip after both expressed Anti-Israel bias. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
After Cupp noted the social media comments made by Magnay and Mohyeldin, she observed: "Look, you're a reporter and your job, no matter how passionate you are about this issue, everyone has strong feelings, your job is to be objective." Co-host Jenny McCarthy asked: "So do you think it's okay for them to lose their job?" Cupp replied: "You know, discipline was necessary. Yeah, it was."
On Monday, IRS deputy associate chief council Thomas Kane told the House Oversight Committee that he is unsure whether or not backup tapes of the lost Lois Lerner emails exist.
Despite the potential bombshell surrounding the investigation into the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups, all three network evening news shows, ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer, CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley and the NBC Nightly News, ignored the revelations on Monday, July 21.
As the border crisis in Texas intensifies, only one network on Monday bothered to cover Governor Rick Perry sending the National Guard to the border. CBS This Morning allowed 20 seconds to the latest development. NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America avoided the story.
This Morning co-host Charlie Rose explained, "The Republican will announce today his plan to mobilize some 1000 members of the Texas National Guard. Their mission is to beef up security." Rose added that the move came "amid the growing problem of immigrant children crossing into the southern states." He added, "Perry told Republicans in Iowa this weekend if the federal government won't secure the border, Texas will." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
While NBC, ABC, and CBS have provided wall-to-wall coverage since midday Thursday on Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 being shot down over Ukraine and Israel sending ground forces into Gaza, none of the broadcast networks have made a single mention of President Obama being criticized for attending political fundraisers that night.
Of the three network morning shows on Friday, only CBS This Morning even noted that Obama had just "returned to Washington late last night after a political trip to New York." Though it was never explained the trip was to raise campaign funds for the Democratic Party. NBC's Today didn't bother to mention the fundraisers, but did find time to promote Al Roker's upcoming interview with First Lady Michelle Obama. ABC's Good Morning America didn't even mention Obama's name in its coverage of the crises.
NBC Nightly News stood out on Wednesday as the only Big Three morning or evening newscast to notice the 45th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11, the mission that landed the first men on the Moon. During his 41-second news brief, Brian Williams paid tribute to Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins as "the living embodiment of the right stuff."
Williams also pointed out that "Apollo 11 was the culmination of the space race – a dead sprint against the Russians for a decade, who, these days, ironically, offer the only ride to space for our American astronauts." However, the anchor did not go into the detail about the decisions by President Obama and his predecessor that led to the U.S. not currently having a manned spaceflight program.
Both CBS This Morning and NBC’s Today chose to ignore the latest news in the IRS scandal Thursday morning that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will be investigating the disappearance and destruction of emails pertaining to former IRS official Lois Lerner.
Meanwhile, ABC’s Good Morning America did cover the news, but only devoted 22 seconds to the story in the form of a news brief during the 7:00 a.m. hour. News reader Amy Robach reported “[a]nd in Washington, a major development in the IRS targeting scandal. The agency is accused of targeting conservative groups. Well now there is word the Justice Department will investigate the disappearance of e-mails the agency claims were lost when a computer crashed. The e-mails were to and from Lois Lerner, a key former IRS official who has refused to testify.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
The growing threat of pneumonia, influenza and other serious diseases at the border has not been a concern for ABC. Since June 8, the network completely ignored the potentially grave threat as illegals stream into America. Yet, on Thursday, Good Morning America's Jim Avila warned, "...Some children are leaving border patrol processing centers with high fevers, flu-like symptoms and other contagious diseases." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Highlighting children flown from a screening center in California, Avila noted that the youths were sick with "fevers and coughing." He added, "Others had chicken pox and Coxsackie virus." Ominously, the journalist revealed, "ABC News has learned of one confirmed case and two probable cases of the H1N1 influenza strain commonly known as swine flu linked to the unaccompanied children."
Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) visited Iowa on Wednesday to help raise money for Governor Terry Branstad (R-IA) and test the 2016 political waters but the “big three” networks did their best to diminish his visit to the Hawkeye state.
Starting with NBC Nightly News on Wednesday night, anchor Brian Williams introduced a story on Christie by playing up how “the New York Times calls the trip a delicate post lane closing political strategy for the governor who has been hurt by the G.W. Bridge scandal back home in New Jersey.” [See video below.]
Wednesday's CBS Evening News unsurprisingly spotlighted a recent study that asserted that turbulence will become more common due to climate change during a news brief about the injuries on an international flight that encountered such unsettled air. Anchor Scott Pelley played up how "one British study predicts that this kind of turbulence will increase significantly in the future because of climate change" [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump].
By contrast, Brian Williams used his brief on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News to remind his viewers of the safety recommendation flight attendants regularly cite in order to prevent such injuries:
After days of censoring any mention of the latest congressional hearings on the ongoing Veteran's Affairs scandal, Wednesday's NBC Today finally found time to report on the topic, providing two news briefs amounting to a paltry 27 seconds of airtime. 27 seconds out of a 4-hour broadcast. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
By contrast, the network morning show devoted a full 3-minute story to Yankee captain Derek Jeter playing his final MLB Allstar Game Tuesday night. That's over six times the amount of coverage given to the VA developments.
On Wednesday, all three network morning shows eagerly promoted Hillary Clinton's friendly chat with Jon Stewart on Tuesday's Daily Show. On NBC's Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie praised Stewart for finding a "creative way" of pleading for Clinton to announce her 2016 presidential bid. Following a clip of the softball exchange, Guthrie declared: "Well played, Jon Stewart, well played." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On CBS This Morning, fill-in co-host Margaret Brennan teased the story by portraying Stewart's show as a hostile environment for Clinton: "Hillary Clinton enters the lion's den with Jon Stewart. Can a fake news anchor get real answers about 2016, finally?" Fellow co-host Gayle King later introduced the segment by proclaiming that Clinton had "sat down last night with another important political player" in Stewart.
ABC News chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross on Wednesday looked into a corruption probe that is now connected to Harry Reid. But rather than air the story, the network relegated it to the website. Writing on ABCNews.com, Ross explained that two Utah attorneys general have been charged with bribery and that one of the men "accepted payments to try and help an embattled local businessman make his case to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid."
In a front page story for the Washington Times, editor John Solomon noted that the "court filing that makes tantalizing references to a possible pay-to-play influence scheme involving U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid." ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday devoted two and a half minute to picking the best potato chip flavor, but ignored the ongoing criminal investigation. Similarly, CBS and NBC have (thus far) skipped it.
Government officials restricting reporter access to illegal immigrants at detention centers. Border patrol agents being infected with diseases “not seen in decades.” The general in charge of the U.S. Southern Command warning that terrorists and gang members could be hiding among the new influx of immigrants. These are just some of the startling new border crisis stories the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) have refused to tell their viewers about.
From June 8 through July 15 the networks have run a total of 133 border crisis stories on their evening and morning shows (CBS 54, NBC 53, ABC 26), yet not one of them has mentioned any of the following explosive reports from recent weeks:
Jose Antonio Vargas, a 31-year-old illegal immigrant, was detained by border patrol agents while trying to board a plane from McAllen, Texas without proper documentation. Following his arrest, the “big three” networks did their best to promote his cause on their Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning broadcasts.
ABC’s Good Morning America did the most to cheerlead for Vargas, with reporter Jim Avila declaring him “America’s most famous undocumented immigrant” without ever referring to him as an illegal immigrant. To their credit, both CBS This Morning and NBC’s Today correctly labeled Vargas as “illegally” living in the United States. All three networks did play up the fact that Vargas was a “Pulitzer Prize winning journalist.” [See video below.]
As many as 90,000 of France’s 350,000 Jews – more than one fourth – were murdered in the Holocaust, within living memory. So when Jewish synagogues and businesses are attacked in Paris by mobs chanting “Death to the Jews,” (on Bastille Day, no less) it ought to be news.
Not to the U.S. broadcast networks – at least not when the mob is Muslim. In Paris on Sunday, three Jews were hospitalized after a violent attack on a synagogue by pro-Palestinian demonstrators. According to the Jerusalem Post, “‘The attackers splintered off an anti-Israel demonstration and advanced toward the synagogue when it was full,’ said Alain Azria, a French Jewish journalist who covered the event.”
A “bizarre cold snap” is hitting the U.S. and the media have already begun to draw comparisons to the polar vortex. It is only a matter of time before the networks resume panic over “extreme weather.”
Use of the phrase “extreme weather” in news stories has exploded in recent years. Almost a decade ago, before former Vice President Al Gore’s film “An Inconvenient Truth” was released, the broadcast news networks rarely used the term. Gore’s 2006 movie and book of the same name used the phrase “extreme weather” and linked the hurricanes, floods, drought and other natural disasters to global warming. The networks have lauded Gore and his film for years.
Attorney General Eric Holder granted an exclusive interview to ABC’s “This Week” from London, where he was portrayed by ABC as deeply concerned about the global terrorist threat. What stands out from this very rare session – Holder hasn’t been on Sunday network television in four years – is that Holder pulled out the oldest, lamest card in the Obama political deck: Obama and he are opposed by people who should be suspected of racism.