Despite appearing on ABC's Good Morning America Monday, former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather canceled his scheduled interview on Fox News's O'Reilly Factor later in the day.
With this in mind, political commentator Bernie Goldberg told Bill O'Reilly Monday night that Rather is "more comfortable with sitting down with a murderer like Saddam Hussein than sitting down with you" (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
Over a combined total of nine and a half hours of programming, CBS, NBC and ABC allowed a mere 72 seconds of coverage to the news, Monday, that Social Security will go bankrupt three years earlier than previously expected. ABC's World News and NBC's Nightly News skipped the subject entirely.
The same networks that offered copious amounts of stories to a vague threat of future global warming disaster, found little interest in the coming problems of Social Security. Scott Pelley briefly explained on Monday's Evening News: "Medicare will run out of money in 2024. Social Security retirement benefits run out in 2033. But Social Security disability benefits will be exhausted long before that, in 2016."
CBS's Bill Plante on Friday downplayed graphic photos of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan posing with severed body parts of suicide bombers as a GOP "distraction," insisting that Republicans were "somehow" trying to portray this (and other issues) as a failure of leadership. None of the networks wondered if this reflected poorly on Barack Obama.
Since the Los Angeles Times first reported the 2010 pictures, ABC has only offered one report, airing on World News. CBS allowed a lone segment on the April 18 Evening News and a brief mention by Plante on Friday's This Morning. He spun, "...Republicans keep pointing out several recent distractions: this incident, the troops posing with body parts in Afghanistan, and the big party that the General Services Administration threw itself in Las Vegas." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
NBC and CBS's evening and morning shows on Thursday and Friday finally discovered the ugly comments made by a Democratic operative against Ann Romney. After skipping the story Thursday morning, CBS Evening News reporters did their best to minimize it. Correspondent Nancy Cordes insisted that Hillary Rosen, who knocked Mrs. Romney for "never working," made sure to stress that the woman "is not connected to the Obama campaign, but Republicans called out the campaign anyway."
Anchor Scott Pelley offered a similarly dismissive attitude: "Democrats and Republicans tripped over one another to see who could denounce with the most force what most everyone agrees was a dumb comment from a single pundit." Cordes pointed out an 18 point lead Barack Obama enjoys among women over Romney in one poll. On Friday's Good Morning America, reporter John Berman stressed this theme: "...Mitt Romney trails the President by 19 points among women. 19 points."
Actually, it’s not news. Romney was a Mormon as governor of Massachusetts and high-profile turn-around manager of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. Romney ran for the GOP nomination in 2008 and he was a Mormon then. He’s pretty much been running ever since. As a Mormon. But somehow, the networks can’t help reminding viewers at every turn that Romney is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints.
Just since Oct. 31, ABC, NBC and CBS have made 57 specific references to Romney’s faith. That’s on top of the more than 100 times they talked about it from Jan. 1-Oct. 31, 2011.
The President on Tuesday made a major campaign offensive against his likely Republican opponent, but four out of the six network evening news and morning shows ignored it. Barack Obama's call to raise taxes only appeared on Tuesday's CBS Evening News and a brief sentence on Wednesday's Today.
CBS reporter Norah O'Donnell parroted, "Mr. Obama says making wealthier Americans pay more in taxes is an issue of fundamental fairness." At no point in the Evening News segment did O'Donnell feature any clips of someone opposing the so-called Buffett rule. She didn't even try to summerize opposition to the bill.
As the broadcast network evening newscasts recounted Pope Benedict XVI's trip to Cuba, ABC's Christiane Amanpour on World News and NBC's Andrea Mitchell on the NBC Nightly News both noted reports that dissidents had been detained and prevented from meeting the Catholic leader, while the CBS Evening News failed to mention their plight.
When Nancy Pelosi was asked in a 2009 press conference about where in the Constitution Congress has the authority to order Americans to buy health insurance, she responded: “Are you serious?” That week, none of the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) network news programs deemed Pelosi’s ludicrous response to the question from CNSNews.com worthy of coverage. The news blackout of the then House Speaker’s response isn’t surprising, given that the liberal news media, as documented in this recent MRC compilation, pushed at every point in the debate process for ObamaCare.
The following are the relevant portions from CNSNews.com’s Matt Cover’s October 22, 2009 article about Pelosi curtly dismissing the Constitution’s relevance to ObamaCare:
CBS's Allen Pizzey completely whitewashed the struggling European economy on CBS Sunday Morning to bash the Republican presidential candidates' attack on President Obama's economic policies. Pizzey zeroed-in on Germany's lower unemployment rate and cited left-leaning Professor James Walston, who claimed that "the candidates are dealing in caricatures of Europe that are about 90% wrong."
The journalist played clips from Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, who defended the U.S. Constitution and ripped "European socialism." He condescended in reply, "If you're a candidate who wants to move to the White House, why worry about details?" Pizzey also turned to a European woman who insulted the Republican candidates' intelligence: "I just hope that most Americans are just more intelligent than those politicians" [audio clips available here; video below the jump].
Perhaps the year-over-year metric is an unfair comparison, because during the same week in 2011 the Japanese tsunami drew in ordinarily uninterested viewers. Compared to two years ago, the combined audience was slightly higher (by 2.1%). NBC and ABC were both down slightly, while CBS, recovering from the Katie Couric era and still in a distant third place, showed a double-digit gain. But the three networks were down in the advertiser-prized 25-54 demographic, with CBS eking out a much smaller gain which did not offset losses at NBC and ABC. Here are the numbers:
Next week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on the constitutionality of ObamaCare, but if the media were the judges, the Court would rule 9-0 in favor of it. During its coverage of the health care debate, the liberal press never permitted questions about ObamaCare’s legality to interfere with their dream of a government takeover of the health care sector.
Starting even before Barack Obama became President, the press has been campaigning hard for passage of the most liberal version of health care reform as a cure-all elixir to all of America’s health problems. First, they pitched the public on the desperate need to, as ABC’s Dr. Tim Johnson demanded, fix America’s “national shame” of no universal coverage. (Worst of the Worst quote compiliation with videos after the jump)
On Thursday's CBS Evening News, Elaine Quijano touted a charge from Pennsylvania Democrats that the new voter I.D. law there "targets poor and elderly voters." Quijano also spotlighted that, according to unnamed "Pennsylvania court officials," there were no cases of "voters convicted of fraud in the last five years." However, in late 2010, the AP reported on a credible allegation of voter fraud in the state.
Anchor Scott Pelley introduced the correspondent's report by trumpeting how "Pennsylvania has just enacted one of the toughest voter I.D. laws in the country. It will require voters to provide a photo I.D. at the polls this November. Republicans say it's about preventing voter fraud. Democrats say the real target is the poor."
Obama administration officials in the Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday they would pull all of Medicaid’s funding for Texas’ Women’s Health Program because the state decided to no longer pass those funds along to abortion providers, such as Planned Parenthood. Instead of holding the Obama officials accountable for putting the interests of a favored liberal group ahead of the poor women of Texas, right on cue the CBS Evening News turned it into another tale of woe with women as victims in the loss of “free” services provided by the sacrosanct Planned Parenthood.
“A fight over Planned Parenthood could leave thousands of women without health services,” anchor Scott Pelley ominously teased Thursday night, before introducing the report on how the “a growing dispute...could leave thousands of Texas women without access to health care.”
CBS This Morning on Tuesday highlighted a recent Pew Research poll that "says politics is now making the Internet very unfriendly....nine percent of social networking users say they've un-friend...or blocked someone whose politics they disagree with." But the morning show failed to mention that the poll explained that "liberals are the most likely...to block, unfriend, or hide."
During her news brief, anchor Erica Hill noted how the left-leaning Daily Beast website reported on the blocking phenomenon. After citing the nine percent figure, Hill added, "Can't we just have a discussion anymore?" It is the left, however, that seems less likely to have that discussion, as the Monday poll found. Researchers Lee Rainie and Aaron Smith noted that "28% of liberals have blocked, unfriended, or hidden someone on SNS [social networking sites]...compared with 16% of conservatives and 14% of moderates."
Almost a month after touting on-air their poll finding that 61% of Catholics supposedly backed President Obama's controversial birth control mandate, CBS failed to mention their most recent poll that found that 57% are now against the regulation. The network devoted an article to the new poll statistic on their website, but failed to cover it on their morning and evening newscasts Monday into Tuesday.
Instead, CBS Evening News and CBS This Morning did some damage control on behalf of the President, downplaying his "all-time low" approval number and claiming that "there's little that he [Obama] can do...in the short term to affect gas prices, and gas prices hurts his political chances," as anchor Charlie Rose put it. Their poll partners at the New York Times also buried the finding in their front-page article on the poll, and spun it by suggesting that women were "split" on the controversy.
Charlie Rose and Bob Schieffer were President Obama's Amen corner on the issue of gas prices on Tuesday's CBS This Morning. Rose shamelessly claimed, "The President has a point...There's little that he can do...in the short term to affect gas prices, and gas prices hurts his political chances." Schieffer replied, "That's right on all counts...the problem is...people think there are things he can do about it."
It’s been nearly three weeks since President Obama faced a political backlash over his plan to force religious institutions to bow to government bureaucrats when it came to supplying birth control coverage to their employees. Since then, the liberal media — led by the broadcast networks — have helped re-script the story to suit the President’s political needs. Instead of a story about the overreach of big government and violation of religious freedom, the networks are now spinning the birth control story as one about out-of-control conservatives, to the point of ignoring broad and continuing opposition — including a lawsuit by seven state attorneys general — to the President’s power grab.
The MRC reviewed coverage from the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts starting with Obama’s February 10 declaration of a unilateral “compromise” meant to end the controversy. Our analysis shows how the networks re-framed the story from one that was damaging to Obama into one that reporters thought would hurt his opponents:
The Big Three networks all recognized the 50th anniversary of John Glenn's historic orbital spaceflight on their evening newscasts on Monday. Both NBC and CBS highlighted how there's "no certainty when the U.S. will launch astronauts again, [and] Glenn worries America may be losing its edge." But the networks failed to mention that President Obama put the decades-old endeavor in limbo, which led to the unemployment of thousands of technicians.
Brian Williams concluded his report on NBC Nightly News by noting how "it irks Senator Glenn that the manned space program is now idle. The Shuttle program is over, and the only ride available into space for American astronauts is the Russians, the former enemy that [he] was chasing into space 50 years ago today."
In anticipation of Michigan's GOP primary the liberal media have been playing up Barack Obama as the savior of Detroit and turning Mitt Romney into its villain. Even though the auto bailout has cost taxpayers $14 billion the liberal media have been championing Detroit's "comeback" as a victory for the Obama administration.
On Thursday's CBS Evening News, Dean Reynolds practically crowed, as he asked GM Chairman Daniel Akerson: "Did President Obama save General Motors?" Reynolds then pointed out how Romney "argued the bailout was unnecessary, and that the regular bankruptcy process would have made GM and Chrysler stronger companies" and asked, "Would that have happened?" Akerson, dutifully responded that if not for the bailout: "you could have written off this company, this industry and this country." (video after the jump)
“Did President Obama save General Motors?” CBS’s Dean Reynolds asked General Motors Chairman and CEO Daniel Akerson as both sat inside a GM plant. On Thursday’s CBS Evening News, Akerson affirmed he did and “the Obama administration did a good job.”
Reynolds pointed out how Mitt Romney “argued the bailout was unnecessary, and that the regular bankruptcy process would have made GM and Chrysler stronger companies. Would that have happened?” Akerson rejected the notion, insisting if not for the bailout “you could have written off this company, this industry, and this country.”
When ABC, CBS, and NBC finally got around to covering -- after two weeks of silence -- the controversy over the Obama administration's mandate that religious institutions provide health insurance for abortifacients, sterilization, and birth control, the networks downplayed the religious freedom component to the story, casting it instead as a political dogfight between liberals and conservatives.
MRC analysts studied all 36 stories, interview segments and mentions of the HHS mandate story on the Big Three broadcast networks from January 30 through February 15. Out of the 91 talking heads who appeared as soundbites on their morning or evening programs (or a small number of guests on the morning shows), politicians far outnumbered Church officials, by a margin of 60 to 9.
On its Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning newscasts, CBS played up its most recent poll with the New York Times, which found that 61% of Catholics approve "President Obama's contraception policy," as a graphic on the CBS Evening News spun the recent federal government mandate that forces religious institutions to cover sterilization and birth control without a co-pay.
The left-leaning outlets' poll question, however, completely glossed over the religious liberty component to the controversy over the policy, asking only, "What about for religiously-affiliated employers, such as a hospital or university? Do you support or oppose a recent federal requirement that their health insurance plans cover the full cost of birth control for their female employees?"
On Monday, uniquely among the broadcast network evening newscasts, ABC's World News skipped the news that Israeli diplomats were the targets of simultaneous assassination attempts in two different countries, most likely from Iranian sources.
Saturday's CBS Evening News ran a piece highlighting the complaints of a Catholic Democrat - Michael Sean Winters of the National Catholic Reporter, recounting his opposition to President Obama's attempt to force Catholic employers to provide contraception coverage to their employees. Winters asserted that he is "very angry about this," and substitute anchor Elaine Quijano noted that, although he voted for President Obama in 2008, he plans not to vote this year. (Video below)
Quijano used a soundbite of Winters giving a warning to Obama during the show's opening teaser:
Appearing as a guest on Thursday's Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN, former CBS News anchor expressed agreement with GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul in opposing U.S. involvement in the civil war in Syria to protect the civilian population from the terror regime of authoritarian ruler, President Bashar Assad. After describing what he believes should be done to put pressure on Assad, he brought up Congressman Paul's left-leaning views on the Middle East:
The idea that marriage is a sacred institution is apparently a joke to Jay Leno and CBS.
Leno declared that those who wish to defend the sanctity of marriage should "ban Kardashian weddings." CBS apparently thought that Leno's crack was too good to pass up, highlighting Leno's quote on at the start of its February 8 "CBS This Morning" show.
After 19 days of controversy, CBS Evening News on Tuesday finally got around to covering the growing dispute between the Obama administration, who wants to impose a mandate for sterilizations and birth control on religious institutions, and the Catholic Church and its allies, who see it as a violation of religious liberty. All of the Big Three networks' evening newscasts on Tuesday covered the issue.
On Wednesday morning, CBS This Morning was actually the only network morning show that devoted a segment to the "hot-button issue," as anchor Gayle King labeled it. NBC's Today show gave a mere news brief on the "uproar" over the new federal policy, while ABC's Good Morning America ignored it.
Deaths, guns, whistle-blowers and the highest law officer in the land stonewalling a congressional investigation are the juicy ingredients of a story network news reporters would love to cover – if a Republican were in office. However, when Attorney General Eric Holder testified on Thursday (February 2) before a House oversight committee investigating Operation Fast and Furious, the news was completely ignored by NBC and ABC (there was one full story on Friday’s CBS This Morning). The virtual blackout of Holder’s testimony continues an overall trend of ABC and NBC burying one of the Obama administration’s biggest scandals, despite continual coverage by their competitors at CBS, CNN and Fox News.
MRC analysts reviewed the Big Three network evening and morning news shows and found that while CBS aired 29 stories and 1 brief on Fast and Furious, ABC aired only one brief on the June 15, 2011 edition of Good Morning America. That was still better than what NBC did on their morning and evening news programs, as the gunwalking story has never been mentioned on either NBC Nightly News or the Today show. NBC’s Miguel Almaguer, in a report primarily about a Mexican mother accusing border patrol agents of killing her 17-year old son as he tried to scale a wall, did note that “In December, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in a shootout with bandits.” However, Almaguer never tied the Terry killing back to the gunwalking scandal.
ABC, CBS, and NBC spotlighted the Komen foundation's about-face on funding Planned Parenthood on their Friday evening newscasts, and played up the apparent role of social media in getting the charity to reverse its earlier decision. On World News, ABC's Diane Sawyer trumpeted the "dramatic day for people power," while on Nightly News, NBC's Lester Holt concluded, "score one for the power of social media."
The Big Three outlets also covered the 180 by the breast cancer organization on their Saturday morning shows. Altogether, the networks added seven more reports to the 13 from the first 60 hours or so of the controversy, bringing the total to 20 since February 1, versus only three on the face-off between the Catholic Church and the Obama administration since January 20 (the MRC documented and highlighted this imbalance in a report on Friday; ABC and NBC added mentions on their Sunday morning political shows).
The Big Three networks continued their blackout on covering the controversy involving the Obama administration trying to force Catholic institutions to include coverage of abortifacients and contraception in their health plans without a co-pay. Instead, Diane Sawyer on Wednesday's ABC World News highlighted Pfizer's recall of birth control pills that could "raise the risk of accidental pregnancy."
The same evening, both CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News aired reports on Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation discontinuing its funding of abortion perpetrator Planned Parenthood, with NBC's Brian Williams hyping how "thousands of women...[may] pay the biggest price" for the move.