At the top of Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams seized on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office revoking the trademark of the Washington Redskins as part of the liberal crusade to force the team to change it's name: "Taking a hit. The feds go after the Redskins where it hurts the most, money from team merchandise, as the controversy over the team's name takes a surprise turn." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Introducing the later report, Williams proclaimed: "The pressure just increased on the Washington Redskins to change their team name. Starting with the fact that they may no longer have the exclusive use of their own name in the lucrative business of NFL merchandise." Correspondent Kristen Welker touted the government abuse of power as "A victory for Native Americans who say the name should go, calling it just as racist as the 'N' word."
All three networks on Wednesday morning skipped a gaffe by a possible 2016 Democratic presidential candidate. In an interview with National Journal, former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer asserted that Republican Congressman Eric Cantor set off his "gaydar" and that southern men are "effeminate." The silence contrasts greatly to how the networks pounced on a gaffe by Todd Akin in 2012.
Only CBS This Morning offered the story any attention. Co-host Norah O'Donnell noted that Schweitzer may have "put his foot in his mouth." She explained, "The former Montana governor lashes out at California Senator Dianne Feinstein for criticizing the CIA. Schweitzer accuses her of being, quote, 'a nun' when it comes to spying." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The slams against southerners and the GOP majority leader went unmentioned. CBS's entire story lasted 15 seconds.
As of June 19, 2014, it's been 400 days since Nightline, the once-serious news program, has covered the growing scandal involving the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of Tea Party organizations. This includes the new revelation that the IRS has "lost" former director Lois Lerner's e-mails and the hard drives have been destroyed. In fact, Lerner's name has never been uttered on Nightline.
What have these ABC journalists been covering instead? On June 18, Dan Abrams promoted a story on "real male strippers." He enthused, "They're revealing more than just their muscles...We go behind close doors as they expose their dirty secrets." Continuing the tabloid theme, on June 12, Juju Chang suggestively profiled, "Almost naked. They're spornosexuals, a combustible mix of sporty, sexy, metrosexuals. Meet the stars taking the World Cup by storm." [To see a montage of the superficial stories reported on Nightline, see below. MP3 audio here.]
Former Vice President Dick Cheney co-authored a blistering op-ed, deriding Barack Obama's handling of Iraq. But you wouldn't know it from the network coverage. ABC's Good Morning America completely ignored Cheney speaking out. Yet, the program devoted three minutes to the deeply irrelevant story of jump suits and fanny packs making a comeback.
On NBC's Today, Savannah Guthrie managed a scant 13 seconds as she introduced a separate story. The co-host chided, "Well, as President Obama weighs his decision here, Dick and Liz Cheney are out with a new op-ed this morning blasting the Obama administration's positions during wartime." She noted that Cheney and daughter Liz slammed, "Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many." CBS This Morning offered the most coverage fo the op-ed, 48 seconds. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
CBS This Morning was the only broadcast network news show that covered the latest discovery in the IRS scandal on the morning of June 18. Meanwhile, all three networks devoted at least two minutes to report on Dr. Oz’s appearance before the Senate’s Consumer Protection Committee to discuss the unconsented use of his image to endorse diet products online.
While CBS devoted only 30 seconds to the revelation that the emails of six more IRS employees have been reported lost, the network spent 2 minutes and 32 seconds describing how the celebrity doctor was berated by Democratic Senators for peddling diet products on his show that may not actually work. (See video below. Click here for MP3 audio)
On Wednesday, June 17 Bloomberg reported that Bill and Hillary Clinton are taking advantage of financial planning strategies to avoid paying a hefty estate tax, even though the Clintons are prominent supports of the tax.
Despite the report, ABC, CBS, and NBC have all ignored the story on both their morning and evening newscasts. According to Bloomberg: “The Clintons are using financial planning strategies befitting the top 1 percent of U.S. households in wealth. These moves, common among multimillionaires, will help shield some of their estate from the tax that now top out at 40 percent of assets upon death.”
While all three network morning shows covered the ongoing terrorist invasion of Iraq on Tuesday, only CBS This Morning made the connection between President Obama's foreign policy and the chaos in the country. In an interview with former U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, This Morning co-host Charlie Rose wondered: "Has the United States and the Obama administration failed to pay sufficient attention to Iraq since American troops left?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Later on the broadcast, correspondent Jan Crawford talked to Iraq war veterans upset by seeing their hard-fought accomplishments being lost. Crawford explained: "When he campaigned for president in 2008, then-Senator Obama made bringing the troops home a priority.... But the U.S. withdrawal came at a cost, leaving an opening for radical terror groups."
Despite the damning new revelations in the IRS scandal, ABC and NBC have failed to cover the story as of Monday June 16, and only CBS This Morning reported on the emails on Monday but their evening news program ignoring the IRS alongside ABC's World News with Diane Sawyer and NBC Nightly News.
The journalists at ABC and NBC on Monday couldn't manage to cover the revelation that the IRS lost two years-worth of Lois Lerner's e-mails. Yet, reporters on all three networks mourned the loss of a parking garage connected to the four decade-old Watergate scandal. Sunday CBS Evening News anchor Jeff Glor pronounced, "The world's most famous parking garage will be destroyed." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Just how many "famous" parking garages are there?
Glor explained that the county board in Arlington, Virginia "voted this weekend to demolish the garage where Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward met secretly with his Watergate source Deep Throat, Mark Felt." However, he reassured viewers that a "historical marker will remain." The story was also covered on Sunday's World News, Monday's Today show and CBS This Morning.
Well, ABC and NBC are acting to type, ever reluctant to call evil by its name when doing so is politically incorrect (and possibly dangerous).
Consider both networks’ reporting on the story of the school girls kidnapped last month in Nigeria, and a second, smaller group kidnapped last week. To date, NBC identified the kidnappers of hundreds of Christian girls as Islamist less than 33 percent of the time (12 mentions in 37 reports). ABC’s record is particularly shameful – just 22 percent (eight of 36 total reports) of stories mentioned that Boko Haram, the terrorist gang that abducted the girls, are radical Muslims.
Donna Brazile, who served as campaign manager for Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign and is the current Vice Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, had some surprisingly kind words to say about the Tea Party during a TV appearance on Sunday, June 15.
Brazile appeared on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos during its “Powerhouse Roundtable” segment to discuss Congressman Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) loss in the Republican Primary. The Democratic strategist remarked that “The Tea Party is the energy inside the Republican Party. You ignore them, you ignore the base.” [See video below.]
Some facts are too convenient for the media to check, or retract.
Earlier this week Newsbusters reported that the media hyped a statistic about school shootings that originated from Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun group “Everytown for Gun Safety.’ There have been, according to the widely reported stat, 74 school shootings since Sandy Hook. The media dutifully repeated the number until it was debunked.
While CNN later retracted and amended their reporting of the questionable count to a much lower number, 15, NBC and ABC did not bother to correct their stories using that statistic. On last night’s ‘The Five’ Fox host Greg Gutfeld took issue with the media’s blatant blindness to the true data. Video after the jump.
Officials inside the Mormon Church have chosen to expel two activists from its ranks “One who is pushing for women priests. The other targeted for questioning church doctrine” and ABC’s Good Morning America did it's best to hype the supposed “controversy inside the Mormon Church.”
On Friday, June 13, ABC’s Mara Schiavocampo promoted how “It's a shocking move by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which in recent years has worked to make itself appear more open and inclusive including an advertising campaign highlighting its diverse membership.” [See video below.]
Thursday's World News on ABC led with the rapid advance of an Islamist group into the heart of Iraq, but glossed over how correspondent Jonathan Karl grilled outgoing White House Press Secretary Jay Carney over how this development casts doubt on two of President Obama's supposed "top foreign policy accomplishments: ending the war in Iraq and decimating and destroying core al-Qaeda."
Terry Moran noted during how "President Obama today, resisting pleas from the Iraqi government for immediate U.S. air strikes to turn the tide, tread cautiously." Martha Raddatz later underlined that "Obama said himself today that these fighters could end up being a significant threat to our homeland." But neither journalist mentioned how their colleague sparred with Carney about the President's past boasts about Iraq and al Qaeda: [YouTube.com video of the exchange below the jump]
Al Qaeda-affiliated militants have seized control of two cities in Northern Iraq, including Mosul the nation’s second largest and Tikrit, the hometown of Sadaam Hussein. Despite the increased violence, all three network morning shows did their best to downplay or ignore the Obama Administration’s Iraq policy for potentially contributing to the violence.
On Thursday, June 12, ABC, CBS, and NBC all provided extensive coverage on the latest violence on and the danger of the radical Jihadists taking over parts of Iraq. However, only NBC briefly noted President Obama’s decision to quickly withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq. ABC didn't use the word "Obama," and the only CBS reference to the president was to fret that the administration has "no current idea" on whether or not to send in military support to aid the Iraqi government. [See video below.]
CBS Evening News was the only Big Three evening newscast on Wednesday to report that the FBI has opened a criminal investigation into the V.A. scandal. Neither ABC's World News nor NBC Nightly News covered this latest development in the ongoing controversy. Instead, both programs devoted air time to the 20th anniversary of O.J. Simpson's slow-speed run from the police, after the murder of his wife and her friend.
Anchor Scott Pelley gave an 18-second news brief on the federal agency's new probe into the cover-up of long patient wait times at the Department of Veterans Affairs: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Monday, the House Oversight Committee investigating the IRS targeting scandal released new e-mails that showed Lois Lerner sent a database of tax exempt organizations to the FBI right before the 2010 midterm elections.
So what was the reaction of anchors and reporters at the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC ) networks to the release of federally protected confidential taxpayer information? A big fat yawn. So far no one at the Big Three evening or morning shows have reported on this most recent development in the IRS-Tea Party targeting scandal.
After Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's stunning primary defeat Tuesday night, the broadcast networks Wednesday morning wrung their hands over the loss and fretted that immigration reform, which Cantor supported, was doomed. On NBC's Today, political director Chuck Todd declared: "...this, by the way, means immigration reform during the rest of the Obama presidency, the idea that it's gonna happen, is dead. It is not going to happen in 2016." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Co-host Savannah Guthrie worried: "Is anything going to happen? I mean, I guess the question is whether Republicans will be so spooked by someone in such a strong position of leadership being vulnerable that they won't want to compromise even one bit." Todd replied: "They're going to be afraid to do anything the rest of this legislative cycle. Anybody that might be facing a primary, no matter how underfunded their challenge, forget it. I think legislating is done."
What do you suppose it costs to run a 60-second ad in major markets during the NBA playoffs on ABC? And can you think of something better to do with the “significant investment” a California Indian tribe has made than to register disapproval of a sports mascot?
The Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation isn’t saying how much it paid for the spots, airing in New York, D.C., Chicago, Dallas, L.A. San Francisco, Sacramento and Miami. It is saying that it ponied up for the anti-Redskins ad because, “It’s just a time to get people thinking about putting an end to outward hatred and using sports as a tool to focus on racism,” according to tribe spokesman Marshall McKay. Video after the jump.
On Tuesday morning a high school student in Oregon open fire in a high school killing another student before taking his own life. Following the tragedy, all three morning network news shows played up President Obama’s reaction and promoted his call for action.
While ABC, CBS, and NBC all promoted Obama’s statement, NBC’s Today was the most enthusiastic with Savannah Guthrie noting the president “had some pretty strong words” and hyping “pretty extraordinary moment” following the shooting. [See video below.]
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.]