This winter the networks have seized on all sorts of extreme weather, making it appear new, exciting or unusual. In the case of the California drought the broadcast networks have been hot and bothered claiming it is “historic.”
ABC, CBS and NBC evening news shows hyped the California drought, describing it as unprecedented and the “worst drought on record.” But Dr. Martin Hoerling, a federal climate researcher, disagrees with that assessment. He said that the drought was consistent with previous California droughts.
On Tuesday, all three broadcast network evening newscasts devoted full reports to President Obama honoring 24 members of the military – only three still living – with the Medal of Honor. CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley trumpeted how the President "righted a historic wrong. He presented the nation's highest military award to 24 Americans, after a review determined that they had been passed over because they were Hispanic or African-American or Jewish." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
However, during the fifth year of former President George W. Bush's presidency, the Big Three channels furiously covered the allegations against several U.S. Marines, who were accused of killing civilians in Iraq in November 2005. Between May 17 and June 7, 2006 – a three week period – ABC, CBS, and NBC devoted three and a half hours of air time to the accusations of misconduct. These same networks aired only 52 minutes of reporting on 20 military heroes from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq during a five-year period between September 2001 and June 2006.
As of Monday evening, ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning and evening newscasts have yet to cover North Korea's firing of 25 short-range missiles into the Sea of Japan on Sunday. NBCNews.com did post an unsigned article from Reuters on Sunday about how the "missiles flew for 45 miles before splashing into the sea," and ABC News' website went with AP's write-up on the development, but neither outlet devoted any air time to the story.
By contrast, CNN's New Day on Monday devoted a 20-second news brief to the Obama administration's reaction to this latest instance of North Korean sabre-rattling: [video below the jump]
Veteran investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson resigned from CBS News after 20 years with the network, expressing frustration at being unable to get her stories on air. Following Attkisson’s resignation, the folks at Fox News’ “Media Buzz” expressed dissatisfaction at the state of journalism in America’s newsrooms and the culture of liberal bias that exists.
Appearing on the program on Sunday March 16th, the entire panel acknowledged the disturbing trend of journalists putting their politics above journalism with host Howard Kurtz observing that Attkisson felt it “was almost impossible to get these tougher pieces on the air.”
NBC, ABC, and CBS marked the one-year anniversary of Pope Francis being elected leader of the Catholic Church with positive stories about the Pontiff's personal style while impatiently pleading for him to reject the moral values he swore to uphold. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Thursday's NBC Today, correspondent Anne Thompson summed up a discussion she had with a group of students at Loyola University by proclaiming: "Now, these young Catholics don't expect change on the divisive issues of contraception, gay marriage, or abortion. But they are thrilled that that's not all the Pope talks about." She added that they were happy avoiding such social issues and "getting back to the original message of Jesus Christ."
This week, anchors and reporters practically fell over themselves laughing at Barack Obama’s Funny or Die collaboration with comedian Zach Galifianikis as they hailed the ObamaCare promotional video was “great” and urged viewers “you gotta check it out!”
The Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks devoted a total of 16 and a half minutes to the fake interview, but the reason Obama had to do the video? The horrible ObamaCare enrollment numbers, particularly among millenials? How much time did that get? [Video after the jump]
After a Republican won a bellweather election in Florida on Tuesday night, the networks made no mention of it on Wednesday evening. That came after they gave a pittance of coverage to the victory on Wednesday morning.
CBS was the only network to report on the race Tuesday evening, but even they were nowhere to be seen the night after. Correspondent Nancy Cordes had made it clear Tuesday that the race had serious implications: "Both parties see this race as a referendum on the President's health care law."
CBS was the only network on Wednesday evening to report President Obama's plan to bypass Congress and force businesses to pay employees extra for overtime work. NBC and ABC both ignored the news.
Yet CBS reported the news in a positive manner, noting how "an estimated 10 million workers stand to benefit from the President's plan." White House correspondent Major Garrett said it was "part of President Obama's push to reduce income inequality."
On Wednesday, the network morning shows gave a combined 53 seconds of air time to Democrats losing a bellwether congressional election in Florida and just 37 seconds to bad poll numbers for President Obama. Meanwhile, Obama shopping at the Gap and pushing regulations to force businesses to pay employees overtime wages got 3 minutes and 36 seconds of coverage. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On NBC's Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie gushed: "You're at the Gap, you're trying to decide between the cranberry or maybe the indigo t-shirt, you look over and who is sizing up the same items but the leader of the free world....It happened to a store full of shoppers here in New York on Tuesday, President Obama popped in."
On Tuesday evening, the networks continued relaying the White House's plea to young voters to sign up for ObamaCare, touting President Obama's mock interview with comedian Zach Galifianakis where Obama plugged for his own health care law. ABC's Diane Sawyer called it a "bold move" and both CBS and NBC hailed the interview as a success. CBS's Scott Pelley said, "it worked. The video became the number one reason people visited HealthCare.gov today."
The networks ignored, however, the bad news of the day for the law, that enrollment numbers for young people are still far below what is needed.
In a nakedly political move designed to ease election year pressure on Democrats the Obama administration has delayed, yet again, another aspect of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and again the Big Three networks have barely covered it.
The White House’s March 5 announcement that they would allow insurers to keep offering health plans that don’t meet ObamaCare standards was granted a total of just four minutes and 33 seconds on the ABC, CBS, NBC evening and morning shows. And while all three networks commented on the election-year timing of the announcement, not a single anchor or reporter depicted the move as the unconstitutional end-around Congress that it is. [video after the jump]
Viewers of ABC's morning and evening newscasts on Friday would have been left unaware of President Obama's gaffe of elementary proportions during a White House concert on Thursday evening. Both Good Morning America and World News omitted how the Democrat left out the first "E" in the title of Aretha Franklin's most famous song: "When Aretha first told us what R-S-P-E-C-T meant to her."
By contrast, the network's competitors at CBS and NBC covered the President's trip-up on their morning shows and evening news broadcasts. NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams even mentioned a infamous spelling flub by a former Republican vice president: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Like a simple parlor trick, the networks are able to make skeptical scientists vanish, at least from the eyes of their viewers.
In some cases, the broadcast networks have failed to include such scientists for years, while including alarmist scientists within the past six months. ABC, CBS and NBC’s lengthy omission of scientists critical of global warming alarmism propped up the myth of a scientific consensus, despite the fact that many scientists and thousands of peer-reviewed studies disagree.
Although President Obama's former IRS chief refused to answer questions about the IRS scandal she is at the center of, NBC's Brian Williams instead lamented the behavior of GOP congressman Darrell Issa at Wednesday's hearing.
"In Washington today, a public and startling example of the kind of behavior Congress has become known for and Congress has become gridlocked over," Williams began. NBC played a clip of the fiery exchange between Issa and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Mary.) where Cummings cried foul over the hearing followed by Issa cutting his microphone.
President Obama will be enacting yet another delay for ObamaCare, but the networks were silent about the prospect of it on Tuesday night. The administration is set to allow insurers to keep offering health plans that don't meet ObamaCare standards, and the delay will be tailored around the November Congressional elections.
The Hillclearly saw the move as political – "easing election pressure on Democrats" – since it would avoid the "firestorm" of many health plans being cancelled right before the November elections. CBSNews.com reported the news, but none of the network evening news casts touched the story on Tuesday.
Steve Hartman had trouble holding back his own tears on Friday's CBS Evening News, as he profiled the beyond kind act of an eight-year-old boy in Ohio. Myles Eckert, whose father was killed in Iraq when he was just a baby, enclosed a $20 bill he found in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel restaurant in a note, and gave them to a member of the Ohio Air National Guard who was having lunch there.
Hartman interviewed both Eckert and Lieutenant Colonel Frank Dailey, who received the heartfelt message from the Gold Star son (text of Eckert's note, and CBSNews.com video of Hartman's report below the jump):
All three networks boosted President Obama's image on Thursday evening by touting his new program for young minorities and his "personal and emotional" testimony at its launch.
"A personal and emotional event at the White House for the President today, as he spoke before a star-studded East Room audience and launched a program aimed at giving young men of color a shot at success," NBC's Brian Williams reported on the Nightly News. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
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.]
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.
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.
CBS was the only network on Tuesday evening to highlight a CBO report that President Obama's proposal to hike the minimum wage would cost 500,000 jobs.
The CBO report was released Tuesday afternoon and estimated that the wage increase would boost 900,000 Americans above the poverty line but would also result in the loss of half a million jobs. CBS was the only network to report the news; neither NBC nor ABC touched on the CBO report.
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)
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]
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."
None of the network evening newscasts identified ex-New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin as a Democrat when reporting on his conviction of 20 counts of corruption on Wednesday.
The ABC World News called him "the face and voice of a city in ruins" post-Katrina, and joined CBS in simply labeling him the "former mayor" of New Orleans without the Democratic label. As NewsBusters reported last year, all the same evening newscasts dropped the Democratic label at Nagin's indictment.
The left’s push to increase the federal minimum wage was renewed in January, even being promoted by the president. The networks’ covered the topic from the left, ignoring concerns about wage hikes the vast majority of the time.
ABC, CBS and NBC news programs ignored conservative objections to minimum wage proposals 89 percent of the time (17 of 19 stories), immediately undermining these views when they were mentioned.
Reporting on Tuesday's White House state dinner featuring French president Francois Hollande, the CBS Evening News ignored the plummeting approval rating for his socialist policies.
CBS touched on the controversy of Hollande's affair and subsequent break-up with his partner, but ignored a poll showing over 70 percent of the French believing his taxes to be "excessive" and 80 percent calling his economic policy "misguided" and "inefficient." In addition, Hollande's approval rating has fallen below 20 percent for the first time.
Thursday's CNN Newsroom spotlighted how President Obama "called for promoting religious freedom – quote, 'a key part of U.S. foreign policy," at the annual National Prayer Breakfast, but glossed over his administration's controversial birth control/abortifacient mandate under ObamaCare, which is being challenged in an ongoing Supreme Court case. The cable network still stood out, however, as none of the Big Three networks aired reports on Obama's speech.
John King zeroed in on the President's "very moving tribute to the Americans held in prison in North Korea and in Iran because of their faith-based beliefs." Instead of mentioning the HHS mandate, anchor Carol Costello played up the Democrat's encounter with a conservative politician as a supposed glimmer of hope for bipartisanship: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]