After spending days denouncing a religious freedom bill in Arizona as "anti-gay," all three network morning shows on Thursday hailed protester celebrations following Governor Jan Brewer vetoing the proposed legislation. Fill-in co-host Lara Spencer led off ABC's Good Morning America by excitedly announcing: "Vetoed! Protesters cheering the Arizona governor's decision to strike the controversial bill that would have given businesses the right to deny service to gay people for religious reasons." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, correspondent Cecilia Vega described the joyous atmosphere: "Boy, a lot of celebrating here overnight....And that very moment outside Arizona's capitol, from cheers to tears." Vega talked to one protester who compared the vetoed bill to segregation: "Nobody rides at the back of the bus and everybody sits at the lunch counter. We fought that battle once and that's what this battle is. We shouldn't have to do this again and I hope this is the last time."
On Tuesday, all three network morning shows touted "pressure mounting from all sides" for Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to veto an "anti-gay" bill designed to protect religious freedom. On NBC's Today, correspondent Mike Taibbi declared: "Governor Brewer actually has until the end of the week to make her decision. But the pressure has been mounting to finally kill the bill that at the very least has reignited the culture wars." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On ABC's Good Morning America, co-host Robin Roberts announced: "Governor Jan Brewer, under a lot of pressure to veto the measure that would give businesses the right to refuse service, citing religious beliefs. Protests overnight right outside the Governor's office..." In the report that followed, correspondent Cecilia Vega stood amongst those protestors and proclaimed: "...they promise to be out here every night until this bill is vetoed."
While CBS and ABC have awoken to the "embarrassing" performance of Barack Obama's wealthy donors turned ambassadorial nominees, NBC is still skipping the details of the men and women who have flubbed confirmation hearings. Even Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos, a former Democratic operative, admitted on Wednesday: "Critics say that too many of the plumb jobs are going to political cronies who have more cash than competence..." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Just prior to playing clips of multiple Obama nominees, all of whom donated at least $500,000 to the President, reporter Jon Karl marveled, "Sometimes it can be downright embarrassing. President Obama's pick to be ambassador to Argentina has never set foot in the place." Footage included the nominee to Hungary, former soap opera producer Colleen Bell, appearing baffled after being asked about America's strategic interest in the country.
At the Associated Press on Friday, Chris Tomlinson wrote a story of national significance ("State officials investigating Democratic activists") which the wire service appears not to have ever carried at its national site.
It is nationally significant because the establishment press, both in print and over the airwaves, has chosen to make the Lone Star State gubernatorial candidacy of Democrat Wendy Davis a national matter. However, continuing a pattern going back several months (examples here and here), when negative matters relating to her campaign or to those assisting it surface, all of a sudden we're supposed to believe nobody outside of Texas cares.
On Tuesday's Nightly News, NBC's Brian Williams outright framed the Arizona bill protecting the religious freedom of business owners as akin to segregation and Jim Crow laws. CBS and ABC at least gave the supporters' view, reporting the fight as between religious freedom and gay rights.
"Good evening," Williams began the news cast. "It's just one state out of our 50, but tonight what's happening in Arizona is being compared by some to the epic battles this nation has fought over lunch counters, separate drinking fountains and restrooms." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
View co-host Barbara Walters kissed the "superb" Joe Biden during an interview on Tuesday. Whoopi Goldberg swooned, "The most fabulous man came in. He gave us gifts. Walters praised, "I don't think there's much doubt that you're a superb Vice President." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Walters began the segment by touting the presents Biden brought. She awkwardly wondered, "Is one allowed to kiss a Vice President?" Biden enthused, "Oh, I'd love that." The audience whooped it up as the two shared an embrace. Walters then touched his cheek and insisted, "I don't want you to come home to Jill with my lipstick."
Thanks to ObamaCare, about two-thirds of Americans who work at small businesses will see a spike in their health insurance premiums. Reaction at ABC, CBS and NBC to this devastating news for employees across the nation? A big fat yawn.
No one at the Big Three networks have reported on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) report, issued on Friday, that anticipates 65 percent of small businesses will see their health insurance premiums rise. This isn’t what the President promised on the 2012 campaign trail:
All three network morning shows on Tuesday continued the push against an Arizona bill [SB 1062] that aims to protect the religious freedom of business owners who oppose gay marriage. According to CBS This Morning co-host Charlie Rose, "Hundreds protested at the state capitol last night. They say the bill legalizes discrimination."
Today's Savannah Guthrie hyped, "Mounting pressure. From John McCain to Apple, even concern from Super Bowl organizers, a growing chorus calling on Arizona's governor to veto a bill that would let businesses turn away gay customers." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Journalist Natalie Morales muttered, "Really big decision, very controversial." None of the networks featured voices in support of the legislation.
The plan by Barack Obama's government to "dramatically" shrink the size of the Army to its lowest level since World War II warranted a scant one minute and 56 seconds of total coverage on Monday's morning shows. Yet, CBS, NBC and ABC devoted 19 and a half minutes to such topics as TV shows, makeup and viral videos. [See video of ABC's coverage below. MP3 audio here.] None of the networks mentioned the President, shifting the responsibility solely to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
The Today show allowed the least amount of coverage, a mere 21 seconds. This despite the program's four hour running time. Natalie Morales revealed, "Under the plan, the Army would shrink to its smallest force since the World War II build-up." She asserted that "the proposal is likely to face fierce opposition on Capitol Hill." If that's true, why devote less than 30 seconds and allow no debate? Instead, the Today anchors spent almost nine minutes on the subject of makeup and body image.
Despite openly gay NBA player Jason Collins only spending 10 minutes on the court during a game Sunday night, all three network morning shows on Monday hailed his non-scoring time off the bench as a momentous occasion. On ABC's Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos proclaimed: "A history-making moment in the NBA. Jason Collins broke through a big barrier last night when he suited up for the Brooklyn Nets against the Lakers, becoming the first openly gay player in any of the four major pro-leagues." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On NBC's Today, co-host Matt Lauer announced: "History was made...last night in a basketball game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers." In the report that followed, 9 a.m. co-host Willie Geist gushed: "History on the basketball court Sunday night, when 35-year-old Jason Collins became the first openly gay male athlete to play in any of the four major professional U.S. sports."
The Arizona legislature just passed legislation allowing private businesses to be protected from legal action for practicing their religion. The bill, the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act, allows private businesses the right to practice their religious beliefs and refuse service to anyone, such as a gay couple, if they believe it would violate their religious conscience.
On Saturday February 22, both ABC and NBC framed the new legislation in opposition of religious freedom, with NBC’s Lester Holt calling the bill “controversial” and how “opponents dubbed it the right to discriminate bill.” [See video below.]
ABC, CBS, and NBC have largely punted in covering the protests against the leftist government in Venezuela. Since Monday, only NBC Nightly News has devoted a full report on the demonstrations in the South American country. Altogether, NBC has aired just over two minutes of reporting on the story. Brian Williams also stood out for explicitly mentioning the political ideology of the regime: "Many...are feeling increasingly let down by the socialist government." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The network's Big Three competitors trail far behind in their coverage, with CBS only mentioning the protests during a 24-second news brief on Wednesday's CBS This Morning. The network's evening newscast, CBS Evening News, has yet to cover the story. ABC has devoted three news briefs on its morning and evening newscasts since Wednesday, for a total of 52 seconds of air time.
It’s bad enough that ObamaCare is taking its toll on private sector jobs but you would think liberal network reporters would be upset that it’s now cutting into their precious public sector positions too. But so far the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks have yet to mention the news, published in one of their favorite liberal print organs The New York Times, that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is also hurting public employees.
In an article headlined “Public Sector Cuts Part-Time Shifts to Bypass Insurance Law” (that appeared online on Thursday and in the print edition on Friday), Robert Pear reported the following:
Good Morning America's Bianna Golodrygra on Thursday promoted the anti-Catholic film Philomena as a "touching," "true story." The ABC journalist spun the movie as largely uncontroversial and a "clear winner with audiences everywhere." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Golodryga downplayed the film's harsh anti-Catholic plot points and soft-peddled the movie's fictional elements, parroting, "Philomena is based on a true story about an Irish woman played by Judi Dench who travels to the U.S. to track down the son she was forced to give up for adoption when she was a teenager." In fact, the New York Times reported on November 29, 2013, "...Much of the movie is a fictionalized version of events. Ms. [Philomena] Lee, for instance, never went to the United States to look for her son...a central part of the film."
Despite the disturbing news on Wednesday that the Federal Communications Commission had developed a controversial plan to investigate television and radio newsrooms across the country, the broadcast networks of NBC, ABC, and CBS completely ignored the potential threat to press freedom.
In a February 10 Op/Ed for the Wall Street Journal, current FCC commissioner Ajit Pai warned: "Last May the FCC proposed an initiative to thrust the federal government into newsrooms across the country. With its 'Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs,' or CIN, the agency plans to send researchers to grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run."
After Vice President Joe Biden admitted on Wednesday that the goal of getting 7 million people signed up for ObamaCare by March 31 would not happen, only Thursday's CBS This Morning made any mention of it, and then only giving the news a mere 29 seconds. Neither NBC nor ABC bothered to cover the acknowledgment of failure. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
This Morning co-host Charlie Rose reported: "This morning the Obama administration is lowering expectations for the Affordable Care Act. In Minneapolis, Vice President Joe Biden acknowledged Wednesday the goal of signing up 7 million Americans will likely fall short....Biden blames the troubled rollout of the health care website." The headline on screen read: "Short of Goal; Biden: Health Care Sign-Ups May Not Meet Target."
While all three broadcast networks happily promoted President Obama's crusade to hike the minimum wage following his State of the Union address, NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America only managed to provide a scant 42 seconds of coverage on Wednesday to a new Congressional Budget Office study showing such a move would cause 500,000 people to lose their jobs.
Wednesday's CBS This Morning did offer a 2-minute report on the news, while Tuesday's CBS Evening News provided a 1-minute news brief. NBC Nightly News and ABC's World Newscompletely ignored the topic Tuesday night.
Is simply retelling the story of Jesus Christ "anti-Semitic?" That's the question that Nightline's David Wright hinted at on Monday night. Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, the producers of the History Channel Bible miniseries, appeared on the program to promote their new Son of God movie adaption.
Wright described Christ's death and resurrection as a "story that everyone knows" and hinted at possible peril: "Mel Gibson went out of his way to make what he thought was the definitive movie and he got into some hot water from the Jewish community over allegations of anti-Semitism." He added, "Were you worried about that?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Appearing on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told host David Gregory that former President Bill Clinton had "embarrassed the nation" while in office. However, of the three network morning shows on Monday, only CBS This Morning mentioned the political headline. ABC's Good Morning America ignored it and even NBC's Today skipped the scoop from it's own network. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
George Stephanopoulos, a former operative to Bill Clinton turned journalist, had one question he wanted to ask actor Kevin Spacey about his diabolical character from the political TV series House of Cards: "What would Frank Underwood's advice be to Hillary Clinton on whether to run for president?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Spacey, appearing on Tuesday's Good Morning America to promote the new season of his Netflix series, adopted a Bill Clinton impersonation and joked, "Oh, run." He continued, "Sorry, I did that as Bill. 'Run, baby, run.'" Showing up on the Today show in 2012 to promote season one of House of Cards, Spacey compared fiction to real life, smearing Mitt Romney was a "murderous politician."
In the last couple of weeks ObamaCare has been dealt two serious setbacks: yet another delay in the employer mandate, and a devastating CBO report that claimed it will cost the equivalent of two million jobs. However, the reaction of Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) network reporters to these latest ObamaCare failures has been to blow them off as just a little “hiccup.”
When the White House announced another delay in the enforcement of the employer mandate to buy health insurance, the networks couldn’t even cover the story for a full day. The first reports arrived on the February 10 evening news, with the final stories filed on the February 11 morning shows. In total the Big Three networks spent just 4 minutes and 26 seconds on the delay. ABC spent the least amount of time on the mandate extension (41 seconds) followed by NBC (53 seconds) with CBS (2 minutes, 53 seconds) devoting the most time to the topic. (videos after the jump)
In 2014, one wealthy Obama donor after another has been rewarded with ambassadorships to strategically important countries. Yet, NBC has skipped the embarrassing details of these men and women and their unfamiliarity with the places they are to serve. ABC's World News and CBS This Morning investigated the high profile donors.
This Morning guest co-host Anthony Mason spun it as a "growing controversy over gaffes by some of President Obama's picks." Correspondent Margaret Brennan recounted the messy details: "Senator John McCain appeared frustrated that hotel owner George Tsunis, nominated to serve in Norway, was confused about which political party makes up its government." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Brennan also noted that the number of donors selected to serve by the President is higher than President Clinton, George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush.
CBS News host Charles Osgood rarely catches our attention at NewsBusters, but every now and then he does something that makes us shake our heads in dismay.
During his weekly Sunday morning program CBS News Sunday Morning, Osgood touted a recent speech by Secretary of State John Kerry in which Kerry “likened deniers of climate change to those who once believed Earth is flat.” [See video below.]
On Friday night’s World News, ABC’s Cecilia Vega gave a sympathetic portrayal of a polygamist family featured on TLC’s Sister Wives.
Although Vega gave voice to critics of the Brown family, she spent most of her report interviewing the family and allowing them to defend their way of living. “They maintain theirs is a healthy lifestyle,” Vega reported. She allowed the family to distance themselves from the abuse of children and women in other polygamist families. [video below the jump]
ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning and evening newscasts have so far punted on reporting the strong critique of the Obama administration's "disturbing retreat from democratic practices" with regard to the freedom of the press, according to Reporters Without Borders. The U.S. fell 13 places in the international group's annual "World Press Freedom Index" for the federal government's "increased efforts to track down whistleblowers and the sources of leaks."
The organization spotlighted the controversial leaks from Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden as examples, but also included the Department of Justice's seizure of the Associated Press' phone records as a "reminder of the urgent need for a 'shield law' to protect the confidentiality of journalists' sources at the federal level." Fox News' Shannon Bream devoted a brief to the Reporters Without Borders report on Wednesday's Special Report: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Is it really shocking for commercials to use actors? According to ABC News, yes. A headline for the ABCNews.com article trumpeted, "Koch Brothers Ad Attacking [Democratic Senator] Mary Landrieu Uses Paid Actors." Rather than investigate the continued failings of ObamaCare, writer Jordyn Phelps hyped the fact that the commercials sponsored by the Koch brothers feature stand-ins, writing, "But the people in the emotion-evoking ad are not Louisianans at all; they are paid actors."
Phelps continued, "The ad shows a number of people, who appear to be Louisianans, opening their mail to find a letter stating that their health care policy has been cancelled because of the Affordable Care Act." The commercial features scenes of children running to a mailbox. It seems fairly obvious that such images were filmed and weren't caught accidentally.
While all three broadcast networks provided some amount of coverage to Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai releasing 65 dangerous Taliban insurgents from prison on Thursday despite explicit U.S. objections, none of the reporting suggested President Obama's handling of the war in Afghanistan was to blame for the "tattered U.S. relations" with Karzai's government. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
At the top Thursday's ABC World News, anchor Diane Sawyer declared "American outrage" over the release, followed by White House correspondent Jonathan Karl proclaiming: "It's another low-point for already tattered U.S. relations with President Karzai, who has been trying to get his own peace deal with the Taliban."
The co-hosts of The View on Tuesday applauded Hillary Clinton for new revelations from the so-called “Hillary papers,” a journal of a deceased friend. The then-First Lady is quoted as questioning how she could have prompted her husband’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. Sherri Shepherd touted, “I have to applaud Hillary Clinton because she's not taking responsibility for it, but I think that shows a sign of maturity.” [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
She continued, “It's very, very easy to say, ‘100 percent he was a jerk. He did it all.’ It takes two people.” According to Shepherd, Mrs. Clinton “wondered, “What’s my accountability?” Barbara Walters sympathetically spun, “One other thing that Hillary said “because bill's mother had died, that this was maybe one of the reasons that he” had an affair.