There are two ways to interview potential presidents. You can pepper them with tough questions, and why not? They’re going to apply for the job of Leader of the Free World. Hillary Clinton is used to the other way: Shameless pap. Softballs to be knocked out of the park.
She has been a media darling since forever. This is a typical soft pitch just offered to Hillary Clinton on national television. It came just the other day: “Mitch McConnell said at one point that 2016 will be the return of The Golden Girls.”
UPDATE: On the June 10 Evening News, CBS’s Vicente Arenas reported: “The influx of children is being blamed on poverty and drug-related violence in Central America. It’s also thought some parents wrongly believe policy changes made by President Obama prohibit young, illegal immigrants from being deported.”
Late last week, detention centers along the U.S.-Mexican border were crushed with a new surge of unaccompanied illegal immigrant children, yet two of the Big Three networks have barely touched this new headache for the Obama administration.
And not a single reporter or anchor on ABC, CBS or NBC have cited Barack Obama’s extension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) as cause for a humanitarian crisis that has led to children as young as 9-years-old illegally crossing the border without their parents. (video after the jump)
After giving Hillary Clinton a chance to clean up her "dead broke" gaffe in the first part of a live interview on Tuesday's Good Morning America, ABC host Robin Roberts saved all of her softball questions for part two of the exchange later on the broadcast: "You and your husband have very intense schedules, how much quality time – let's say how many days in the month are you actually able to be together as a family?...You're going to be a grandmother in the fall. Have you offered any names to Chelsea?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Telling the possible 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, "You're known for your sense of humor," Roberts decided to hit Clinton with a "lightening round" of frivolous questions: "Who is your favorite Republican in Congress?...who is the person living that you admire the most?...Politician you'd let babysit your future grandchild?...Game three of the NBA finals. Heat or Spurs? So you gotta go with Texas or Florida. That's tough."
New EPA coal regulations could kill half a million jobs and cost more than $1 trillion. Rather than focusing on these enormous consequences, ABC, CBS and NBC spent 85 percent of their time ignoring the economic impact. The networks instead touted the proposals as an "ambitious” plan to combat “Earth-warming pollution.”
On June 2, the EPA unveiled regulations that require states to cut carbon emissions 30 percent by 2030. The announcement resulted in swift opposition from conservatives and coal advocates.
In a live interview with Hillary Clinton on Tuesday's ABC Good Morning America, co-host Robin Roberts actually pressed the former first lady on claims that she and Bill Clinton left the White House "dead broke": "The reaction has been very strong about what you said to Diane [Sawyer]....using the words 'struggling' and that it wasn't easy, when many Americans are in the same situation but they know they don't have a book and the opportunities that you have. Any regrets in how you phrased that?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Clinton tried to clean up her gaffe: "Well, let me just clarify that I fully appreciate how hard life is for so many Americans today. It's an issue that I've worked on and cared about my entire adult life. Bill and I were obviously blessed. We worked hard for everything we got in our lives and we have continued to work hard."
Not even Diane Sawyer could refrain from gently pushing back at former Secretary of State and prospective presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s claim that she and her husband were “dead broke” when they left the White House in January 2001. Talking about the huge fees both Clintons now rake in for speaking engagements, Sawyer wondered: “Do you think Americans are going to understand five times the median income in this country for one speech?”
But Sawyer could easily have gone to ABC’s own videotape library to show how preposterous Mrs. Clinton’s claim of poverty was. Back on December 15, 2000 — more than a month before the Clintons left the White House — ABC’s World News Tonight suggested the massive book advance for Hillary Clinton’s post-White House memoir was astonishing and perhaps corrupt for an incoming United States Senator. [Video and transcripts after the jump.]
In clips of her interview with Hillary Clinton aired on Monday's Good Morning America, World News anchor Diane Sawyer was surprisingly tough on the issue of Benghazi: "Is there anything you personally should have been doing to make it safer in Benghazi?...I wonder if people are looking for a sentence that begins from you, 'I should have...' 'I should have...'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
After the clip, Sawyer explained to GMA co-host George Stephanopoulos: "So many questions on Benghazi because we know a lot of people think it's a central question of leadership if she runs for president."
Veteran ABC journalist Diane Sawyer has interviewed Hillary Clinton for a one-hour special that airs Monday night. Will the World News anchor grill the potential Democratic presidential candidate like she did Ken Starr or Mel Gibson? It doesn't seem likely that the reporter, who linked Clinton to Jesus Christ, will offer much in the way of hard-hitting questions. However, talking to then-special prosecutor Starr on November 25, 1998, she demanded, "Are you part of a right-wing conspiracy?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Previewing the special 20/20 interview with the man who investigated President Bill Clinton, an announcer proudly asserted, "The tables are turned. Now it's the prosecutor's turn to be grilled." During a special on The Passion of the Christ, Sawyer hammered film director Gibson: "Are you anti-Semitic?" She even linked the film to Nazism: "Hitler went to a passion play and came away saying that, you know, this is a precious tool in the fight against Judaism."
With the exchange of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl for the release of five Taliban detainees held at Guantanamo Bay complete, ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos used the opportunity to promote the possibility of Gitmo closing its doors.
On Sunday, June 8, Byron Pitts, ABC’s Chief National Correspondent peddled the line that “700 men have come through Gitmo since the beginning of the war on terror when these pictures of shackled and hooded men shock the world. Some say past allegations of waterboarding and hunger strikes have turned this place into a terrorist recruiters dream.” [See video below.]
ABC is running a promo strangely claiming no topic is “off limits” in Diane Sawyer’s Hillary Clinton interview. “No questions off limits,” promised substitute anchor David Muir on Friday’s World News.
But in an excerpt shown on Friday night, Sawyer sticks to questions so short they barely count as sentences. She’s not an interviewer. She’s just a facilitator. It’s another puff job, even if Diane keeps a dour face on (video, transcript by Matthew Balan below):
Friday's World News on ABC paid tribute to the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy with an emotional look at one of the remaining veterans who survived the hellish landings on Omaha Beach. However, the Big Three newscast made a historical gaffe during anchor David Muir's introduction to the segment.
Muir directed his audience's attention to a black-and-white photo of troops landing on June 6, 1944, and contrasted it with a photo taken Friday morning supposedly at the same place: Omaha Beach. But the 70-year-old picture was actually of British and Canadian troops landing at Juno Beach miles to the east: [video below the jump]
The women of The View are sick and tired of people picking on Hillary Clinton. On Thursday’s episode the entire cast of Whoopi Goldberg, Jenny McCarthy, Sherri Shepherd and guest host Roseanne Barr all took turns defending the former First Lady from Monica Lewinsky, Rand Paul and Vladimir Putin.
Whoopi Goldberg, setting up the segment, noted Clinton was asked about Lewinsky in her People magazine interview and then complained that Clinton can’t get away from the Lewinsky questions: (video after the jump)
Hot-headed climate alarmists continue to make wilder and wilder claims about the effects of global warming, but they often desert the actual evidence.
On June 2, the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a new plan to restrict carbon emissions in an attempt to combat climate change. This move came less than a month after the White House released a high-profile report fear-mongering over the impacts of climate change, including wild fires and droughts.
The Veterans Affairs scandal engulfing the Obama administration has spread into Kansas, Missouri, Illinois and Indiana, but only ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday found time to cover the latest developments. GMA news reader Amy Robach revealed, "We're learning those secret waiting lists were also kept at ten facilities in these four Midwestern western states with nearly 100 veterans waiting more than three months for treatment." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Despite the eight hours of air time available to the three network morning shows, CBS and NBC avoided the story. ABC allowed 21 seconds. Obviously, the prisoner swap involving a U.S. soldier and five Taliban terrorists has rightly dominated the news. However, The four-hour-long Today show still found time to devote five minutes and 13 seconds on the subject of "six months to six pack" abs. CBS This Morning offered three minutes and 50 seconds to the phenomenon of "urban farming." Clearly, time was available.
On Tuesday, June 3 the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 51 percent of Americans support the formation of a select committee to investigate the terrorist attack in Benghazi.
Despite the new polling, the June 3 ABC World News with Diane Sawyer ignored the poll completely but had time to run a full story on the strength of different cell phone cases. [See video of MSNBC's Chris Matthews commenting on the poll below.]
On the Monday, June 2 edition of The View, in a rare moment, the notably liberal hosts took to blasting liberal actresses Gwyneth Paltrow and Charlize Theron for the ludicrous, offensive comments they each made recently which seemed to minimize the real trials and hardships of military veterans and rape victims respectively.
Theron lamented that when someone like herself starts reading negative comments about herself online “you start feeling raped.” while Paltrow compared negative online comments to suffering through combat, because in war “you go through this bloody, dehumanizing thing.” The ladies of The View were not amused and spent some time warning Paltrow, specifically, of comparing her posh life as an actress to the rigors of battle.
In a brief on Tuesday's NBC Today, news anchor Natalie Morales portrayed a minimum wage hike in Seattle as the first step toward a nationwide increase: "Well, with talks across the country ongoing about boosting the minimum wage, workers in Seattle are soon going to be seeing a big boost....The Seattle city council passed an ordinance Monday that bumps the minimum wage up to $15 an hour. That's the highest in the nation." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The headline on screen declared: "Landmark Minimum Wage Hike; Seattle's $15 an Hour Could Set New Standard." In a later news brief, Morales proclaimed the policy to be "A historic victory for workers in Seattle that could have a big impact nationwide."
On Monday, June 2 the Environmental Protection Agency formally announced a slew of new regulations aimed at reducing carbon emissions by coal plants by 30 percent over the next 15 years.
Despite the potential damaging impact the new regulations will have on the economy, ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer spend twice as much time on hedgehogs becoming popular pets instead of providing a full report on the new EPA regulations.
On the May 30 edition of ABC’s What Would You Do?, per usual, John Quiñones set out to expose Americans as racist and homophobic.
The veteran reporter began by traveling to Memphis, Tennessee, a town with a “painful, lasting scar” due to its connection to Martin Luther King Junior’s April 1968 assassination. After setting up a scenario in a hair salon in which a white hair stylist expressed her disgust at an interracial couple and other customers continually spoke up to defend the African American girlfriend, Quiñones was forced to admit that “folks in the South”(no less) were “condemning racism,” just as people had in the North. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Liberal ABC reporter John Quiñones admitted in an interview with Katie Couric on Friday that his What Would You Do? program often has him and his crew “in tears” as they set up ludicrous hidden-camera scenarios to see how everyday Americans would react.
CBS and NBC's morning shows on Monday avoided any mention of the potential job killing-harm that new Environmental Protection Agency rules will create. The three networks spent a scant 61 seconds total on the global warming regulations, but it was only Amy Robach on Good Morning America who raised a red flag. She pointed out: "The new rules will require power plants to cut Earth-warming pollution by 30 percent. Opponents say this will drive up energy costs and kill thousands of jobs."
On CBS This Morning, co-host Amy Robach cheered, "This morning, the EPA announces a groundbreaking plan to cut power plant emissions blamed for global warming." She allowed that "carbon dioxide limits are a hot political issue," but the journalist quickly added, "This is America's first ever policy to limit those emissions and the EPA says power plants are the largest source of greenhouse gases in the U.S." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
As of June 2, 2014, it's been 200 days since Nightline, the once-vaunted news program, covered ObamaCare. In the 28 and a half weeks since November 14, 2013, the show has continued its descent into tabloid oblivion, focusing on topics such as celebrities, weight loss and pop culture. As a consequence, the program has skipped the myriad of problems associated with ObamaCare.
When the White House quietly announced on May 20 what amounted to a bailout for insurance companies that might lose money on the new health care law, Nightline didn't notice. When the Associated Press on May 16 reported a new "cost control strategy" called reference pricing that would put a limit on what health plans pay for expensive surgeries, the ABC program avoided the story. On April 24, Vox explained that the administration was trying to "stamp out" certain health plans, "a decision that industry officials say could trigger yet another wave of cancellation notices." Again, Nightline was silent. But what were the show's hosts covering instead? See a video montage below to find out. [MP3 audio here.]
Susan Rice, former U.N. Ambassador and current National Security Advisor for President Obama, sat down with CNN’s Candy Crowley and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, June 1 to discuss a variety of foreign policy topics, yet Stephanopoulos refused to ask his guest about the latest surrounding the Benghazi investigation.
Rice appeared on both This Week and State of the Union to talk about the decision by the United States to release 5 prisoners from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for the Taliban releasing an American soldier held captive and only CNN's Candy Crowley brought up Benghazi to Ambassador Rice.
Bill Kristol, editor of the conservative magazine The Weekly Standard dismantled liberal PBS host Tavis Smiley on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos.
Appearing as a guest on Sunday, June 1, Kristol left Smiley speechless surrounding how to solve the VA scandal when he asked his fellow panelist: “If they got a generous voucher to use to purchase the health insurance they need or the health care they need how would that be failing veterans?” [See video below.]
On Saturday, May 31, both the CBS Evening News and ABC World News with David Muir failed to report that President Obama may have violated U.S. law by failing to notify Congress prior to the release of five terrorists from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for a U.S. soldier held captive by the Taliban.
While CBS and ABC ignored the controversy in their coverage of the release of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl on Saturday, on Sunday June 1, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos provided the first coverage of the potential violation of U.S. law by spinning for the Obama Administration.
The United States negotiated the release of five Afghan prisoners at Guantanamo Bay in exchange for the Taliban freeing an American sergeant from captivity yet President Obama may have violated U.S. law by failing to notify Congress of his actions.
Despite the potential legal problems with releasing prisoners without notifying Congress, NBC Nightly News was the only evening news program on Saturday, May 31 to mention the controversy or the GOP's criticism. [See video below.]
On Thursday, the day before a double resignation at the White House, ABC's Jon Karl grilled Jay Carney over Barack Obama's confidence in Eric Shinseki. Less than 24 hours later, the press secretary and Veterans Administration head had both quit. During the back-and-forth, Karl pressed, "But does the President right now have confidence in Sec. Shinseki, yes or no? It's a very simple yes or no question. You told us last week he did have confidence, does he have confidence now?" [See video below.]
Carney dodged and responded, "Jon, the President addressed this question from the podium." The journalist pointed out, " But he wasn't asked directly if he had confidence in him." The now-ex-press secretary dismissed this as "word play." Karl continued to push, insisting, "It's a basic question. It's not wordplay. Its a central question: Does he have confidence in a member of his cabinet?"
Much of the network coverage on the Veterans Affairs scandal has been light on questioning Barack Obama. It took former football player Michael Strahan to come up with a tougher query for the President. During an interview on Live With Kelly and Michael, Strahan lectured, "But a lot of the soldiers haven't been given the treatment, veterans, that they should have got when they come home." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Strahan continued, "And there's been calls for resignations and Shinseki... says he's not going to resign. Do you think that he should and if he doesn't, would you be inclined to remove him?" (Just hours after the interview aired, Eric Shinseki quit as head of the VA.) Obama first shifted topics, insisting, "Well, let me first say that the greatest honor I have is serving as commander in chief."
On Friday, both NBC's Today and CBS This Morning dutifully promoted quotes from Hillary Clinton's new memoir leaked to Politico of the former Secretary of State blasting critics of her mishandling of the Benghazi terrorist attack. Today co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: "If there was any doubt Hillary Clinton's clearly ready to go on offense on this." Political director Chuck Todd agreed: "There's no doubt at all. In fact, there's a concerted campaign effort." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On CBS This Morning, correspondent Nancy Cordes declared: "...the former Secretary of State strikes a defiant tone about the attack and all the investigations into it..." Moments later, Cordes observed: "Democrats are going to see this as a kind of template for how to talk about the Benghazi attacks. In fact, the Clinton team is reportedly meeting with Democratic groups to explain her tone in the book so that everyone is on the same page."