On Tuesday night, both the CBS and NBC evening newscasts did their best to play up Texas Governor Rick Perry’s appearance at an Austin courthouse following his indictment on corruption charges. The Texas Republican was indicted after vetoing funding for the state’s Public Integrity Unit after its leader, Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, refused to resign following her DWI arrest.
The CBS and NBC’s evening news anchors highlighted Perry being photographed for his mugshot with NBC’s Brian Williams proclaiming that Perry was “fingerprinted, had his mugshot taken. A humiliating experience for a once and potentially future presidential candidate.” [See video below.]
The indictment case against Republican Governor Rick Perry, that even liberals have described as “weak,” is just the latest GOP controversy that the networks have jumped on to taint Republicans in this midterm election year. In the 2014 campaign season, the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks have filled their programs with one GOP scandal after another. Congressman Trey Radel’s drug possession, the “kissing congressman” Vance McAllister’s affair, Oregon GOP Senate candidate Monica Wehby’s alleged stalking of an ex-boyfriend and of course Governor Chris Christie’s Bridgegate were all controversies these networks made sure their viewers heard about.
But curiously, there have been other political scandals the networks have chosen to either bury or outright ignore. It just so happens the politicians in trouble, in those cases, are Democrats.
Following the indictment of Governor Rick Perry (R-TX) for threatening to veto funding for the state’s public integrity unit after a Democratic District Attorney refused to resign for a drunk driving incident, ABC and CBS did their best to play up the charges against the Texas Republican.
CBS reporter Manuel Bojorquez provided the most hyperbolic commentary by proclaiming “even if he is eventually cleared of these charges, he may have to deal with the political embarrassment of a mugshot.”
NBC Nightly News was the sole Big Three evening newscast on Friday to cover ISIS's ongoing rampage against non-Muslims in northern Iraq. Chris Jansing filed a full report on the heartbreak for a Yazidi community in Nebraska, who have lost family to the Islamist group's campaign of terror. By contrast, ABC's World News and CBS Evening News both found time to air news briefs on the historical gaffe in a photo promoting the new season of PBS's Downton Abbey.
Jansing interviewed several Yazidis for the segment, who detailed the atrocities that ISIS is inflicting on their minority community: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
It has been over three weeks since The New York Timespublished a front-page investigation unmasking the actions of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) shuttering an anti-corruption commission. In reaction, the U.S. Attorney has now begun investigating Cuomo’s administration for possible “witness tampering and obstruction of justice,” according to The New York Post.
Despite these serious allegations, CNN has all but ignored the story. The cable news outlet completely ignored the Cuomo scandal until it aired a single tease and report on August 7 during The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.
The Big Three networks' evening newscasts on Wednesday failed to notice the Obama administration's latest revelation about ObamaCare: that more than 300,000 people who signed up for health plans under the controversial law could lose them because they failed to prove they were legal residents of the U.S. Instead, ABC's World News aired a full report on a "beauty queen's" insurance scam, while CBS Evening News gave 19-second news brief on the Perseid meteor shower.
Elizabeth Hartfield detailed the federal government's admission in an online report for CNN.com's Political Ticker blog on Wednesday. CNN anchor Michaela Pereira summarized this reporting during a 18-second news brief on Wednesday's New Day: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Tuesday, August 12, Politico’s Byron Tau reported how the Obama White House is planning to “reverse a key part of its ban on registered lobbyists serving in government.”
Despite yet another major flip-flop from the Obama Administration regarding its relationship with lobbyists, none of the “big three” networks (ABC, CBS and NBC) covered the story on their Tuesday evening newscasts.
On Thursday, August 7, Senator John Walsh (D-Mont.) formally announced that he will not run for a full term in the Senate following revelations that he plagiarized large portions of his master’s thesis from the Army War College.
Despite Walsh’s announcement, the “Big Three” (ABC, CBS, NBC) have yet to cover the story during their 19 hours of air time from Thursday night through Sunday morning. In fact, CBS has been the only network to even cover the initial plagiarism story, giving it a mere 31 seconds during its CBS This Morning broadcast on July 24.
The Big Three networks steered clear of labeling the Islamist group ISIS "terrorists" on their evening newscasts on Friday. Instead, ABC's World News and CBS Evening News labeled the genocidal radicals "militants." NBC Nightly News used the more benign "rebels" in their coverage of the group's latest attacks on the Kurdish part of Iraq.
The closest that a journalist at ABC, CBS, or NBC got to using the "terrorist" label was Scott Pelley's teaser at the very top of CBS Evening News: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On August 6, Cliff May of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies charged that while the media have filled their stories on the current conflict in Gaza with “pictures of neighborhoods reduced to rubble, with Palestinian men, women and children in desperate circumstances,” they have been negligent in telling their audiences that Hamas has been “deploying civilians as human shields, storing missiles in mosques and UN schools, setting up command posts in hospitals, using ambulances to ferry terrorists to battle, and children to dig tunnels.”
One reason for this bias, according to May, is Hamas’ intimidation of journalists. May relayed that when one Spanish journalist was asked why TV viewers weren’t seeing more footage of Hamas fighters the reporter responded: “It’s very simple, we did see Hamas people there launching rockets, they were close to our hotel, but if ever we dared pointing our camera on them they would simply shoot at us and kill us.”
On Wednesday night’s CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, CBS News correspondent Manuel Borjorquez reported along the U.S. and Mexico border in Texas where one county’s police force includes help from officers in neighboring counties as volunteers to assist in stopping smugglers of illegal immigrants. When it came to interviewing one of the volunteers in Brooks County, Texas, Borjorquez raised a number of concerns of why anyone would do so without compensation.
Borjorquez spoke with Reserve Deputy Gustavo Cabos, who told him that he and his fellow police officers are “all brothers” and that “[w]e're all out there to help each other out.” As Cabos was saying that, Borjorquez interjected to tell him: “But you're not getting paid for this. You don't even have health insurance in case you get hurt. You're taking a big risk.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
As of Tuesday morning, ABC's morning and evening newscasts have yet to cover the Associated Press report that revealed the Obama administration's covert program in Cuba that attempted "recruit young Cubans to anti-government activism" on the communist-dominated island. The AP outlined that "over at least two years, the U.S. Agency for International Development...sent nearly a dozen neophytes from Venezuela, Costa Rica and Peru to gin up opposition in Cuba."
By contrast, both CBS This Morning and NBC's Today set aside air time to the scoop. NBC's Natalie Morales gave a 32-second news brief on the clandestine program: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Monday night, only the CBS Evening News covered what anchor Scott Pelley described as an "emerging genocide" in Iraq. In a 48-second news brief, Pelley reported: "The Islamic army known as ISIS has seized vast territory in Syria and Iraq....Now, have a look at what they're doing to the minority Shiite Muslims....In this video, Shiite men are herded together and executed in mass graves. Here, Shiite men are shot in the head one by one and dumped into a river." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Edited footage of men being executed ran on screen, in addition to clips of ISIS blowing up Shiite mosques. Pelley wrapped up the brief segment by noting: "The slaughter is spreading. The Iraqi government is battling ISIS with limited success." No mention was made of the Obama administration's handling of the growing crisis.
Released on Friday morning, the latest jobs report from the Labor Department touted a net growth of 209,000 jobs in July. On Friday evening, the report was promoted on all three of the major broadcast networks, ranging from news briefs by ABC and NBC to a full report from CBS. While there was plenty of praise and even an ounce of positive news, the networks mostly failed to note that the economy still has a long way to go.
Over on the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, substitute anchor James Brown provided a neutral outlook that while “[e]mployers added 209,000 jobs last month,” it was “not enough to meet demand” due to the fact that “[a]s more workers enter the job hunt, the unemployment rate ticked up to 6.2%.” His summary was followed by a report from CBS News senior business correspondent Anthony Mason in which Mason profiled a woman who recently found a job after being laid off in 2011. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
On Friday night, the major broadcast networks all covered the latest developments in the conflict between the Israelis and Hamas as a three-day cease-fire collapsed after an Israeli solider was captured during an ambush while the two sides fought in an underground tunnel. In their coverage, the networks used some harsh language in describing the Israeli offensive to seek out those responsible and two networks touted Palestinians praising the capture.
Anchor Diane Sawyer said on ABC World News described Israel’s actions after “one of their soldiers was apparently captured by Hamas” as “[a] pounding response.” In a report from ABC News chief foreign correspondent Terry Moran, he noted how, at the start of the cease fire, there “was quiet in Gaza” as “[y]ou could hear the birds chirp” before noting that, not long after, “it was on again.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
All three broadcast network evening shows reported the higher than expected 4 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate for the second quarter on July 30. However, ABC and NBC evening shows previously skipped the three prior GDP announcements that showed the economy shrinking in the first quarter.
ABC and NBC evening news programs ignored the Commerce Department’s announcement of negative 0.1 percent GDP growth on April 30 and the revision to negative 1.0 percent growth on May 29. Again, on June 25 when the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) said the economy actually shrank by 2.9 percent in Q1, both “World News” and “Nightly News” remained silent.
ABC's World News stood out as the sole Big Three evening newscast on Wednesday to not cover the release of Lois Lerner's e-mails, where the former top IRS official slammed conservatives as "a**holes" and "crazies." Instead, the news program devoted full reports to the water main that burst on the campus of UCLA and the controversy over usage charges on cell phone bills.
By contrast, NBC Nightly News and CBS Evening News on Wednesday both set aside about two minutes each of air time to Lerner's "salty language," as NBC's Kelly O'Donnell put it: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
What will it take for the networks to start covering the IRS scandal again? How about the central figure emonstrating her personal bias against conservatives? On Wednesday CNSNews.com reported the following bombshell: “A newly discovered email exchange from Lois Lerner’s official IRS email account ‘directly demonstrates Ms. Lerner’s deep animus towards conservatives, which she refers to as ‘---holes,’ House Ways and Means Committee Chair Dave Camp wrote in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday.”
Will the venomous language Lerner used be enough to get the networks to notice the IRS targeting scandal again? If recent history is any guide, probably not.
On July 29, the Senate confirmed Robert McDonald by a vote of 97-0 to be the next Secretary of Veterans Affairs but that evening only the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley covered the story whereas ABC and NBC were nowhere to be found.
Fill-in host James Brown introduced the report on the V.A. by explaining how “the first job for the former CEO of Procter & Gamble will be cleaning up the scandal at the V.A. A new internal audit obtained by CBS News shows it was even bigger than we knew.” [See video below.]
On Tuesday, July 29, NBC Nightly News was the only network evening newscast to highlight criticism of Secretary of State John Kerry following his inability to broker a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.
While CBS and ABC ignored the criticism of Secretary Kerry, Andrea Mitchell, NBC’s Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, did her best to cast the Secretary of State as a victim of anonymous Israeli criticism. During a press conference earlier in the day, Mitchell sympathetically asked Kerry if such criticism was “hurting your ability to be a mediator here, to have Israel -- with these blind quotes from Israeli officials attacking you so vociferously?” [See video below.]
On Saturday, July 26, federal judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr. ruled that Washington D.C.’s ban on carrying a gun in public was unconstitutional and since the decision the “big three” networks have remained virtually silent on the Second Amendment victory.
Beginning Saturday night and continuing through the evening of Monday, July 28, only ABC’s Good Morning America has acknowledged the ruling. ABC’s Ron Claiborne gave the story a scant 18 seconds on Sunday morning whereas all of the CBS and NBC morning and evening newscasts, as well as ABC’s World News have ignored the story altogether. [See video below.]
On Monday, July 28, the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley used a new study showing that high fives are five times more hygienic than shaking hands as a way of promoting President Obama's use of the fist bump.
Fill-in anchor James Brown, who hosts The NFL Today on CBS, gushed at how “in his line of work, President Obama does a healthy amount of handshaking but a study out today says high fives will be more hygienic. They transfer only about half as many bacteria.” [See video below.]
The saga of Lois Lerner’s missing emails took a bunch of twists and turns this past week, but you wouldn’t know that if you only got your news from the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks. On July 21, it was reported that even more IRS officials had their hard drives crash on them, including employees who “routinely corresponded” with Lerner. What a coincidence! On that same day it was revealed that a top IRS official was uncertain if backup tapes of Lerner’s lost emails still existed. The next day the story changed again when it was reported that Lerner’s hard drive was only “scratched” and the data was recoverable.
Then on July 23 the head of the IRS testified that the back up tapes had finally been discovered but stressed he does not “how they found them” or “whether there’s anything on them or not.” So how many of these intriguing nuggets were reported on any of the network evening or morning shows last week?
The CBS Evening News reported Thursday night on the issue of children fleeing from Central America and crossing into the United States illegally and included an interview with an Fulbright scholar who conducts research on why these children are leaving in large numbers for the U.S. However, an important detail left out by CBS News correspondent Manuel Borjorquez was that the scholar has scores of fans in the liberal media.
Borjorquez interviewed Elizabeth Kennedy, who refers to herself as “an activist scholar,” and asked her if the Obama “administration coming out and saying, ‘you can't stay here we're going to deport you,’ will actually decrease the flow.” Kennedy said that it would not and responded by saying that: “Until root causes are addressed, until people can feel safe at home, until they are not afraid for their lives, people are going to keep migrating because it is a human instinct to want to survive.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
Both ABC World News with Diane Sawyer and NBC Nightly News failed to mention a new, troubling report from the Census Bureau on Thursday night that sales of new homes decreased by 8.1% in June and that May’s originally reported double-digit increase was revised lower, from almost 19% to only 8%.
The CBS Evening News did cover this story, but it only was in the form of a 12-second news brief from anchor Scott Pelley. Pelley grimly reported that: “Today's report on the housing market is raising concerns about the economic recovery. Sales of new homes dropped sharply last month, more than 8%, and that's the largest decline in nearly a year.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning and evening newscasts have yet to cover the dire situation of Christians in Iraq, particularly after ISIS's takeover of the key city of Mosul. The Islamic extremist group drove most of the Christians out of the city, and issued an ultimatum to those who remained: covert to Islam, pay a hefty tax, or face death. Refreshingly, the New York Times spotlighted the crisis in a Thursday op-ed, and noted that the Christian community in Mosul has lived there for nearly 2,000 years.
The patriarch of the Syriac Catholic Church, Ignatius Yousef Younan III, along with Fox News Channel's Father Jonathan Morris, detailed ISIS's anti-Christian pogrom on Wednesday's Fox and Friends: [video below the jump]
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.
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]