On Wednesday's NBC Today, news reader Natalie Morales touted a "Today exclusive" with Michelle Obama, playing a clip of a "wide-ranging conversation" between the First Lady and Kelly Wallace of the NBC-owned iVillage website that amounted to little more than a friendly chat about current events and Obama's 2012 book, American Grown.
On CBS's Sunday Morning, correspondent Lee Cowan conducted an identical fawning exchange with Michelle Obama, putting special emphasis on her White House garden: "This is the garden's second term as well....Ever since ground was broken four years ago, kids from all over the country have come to play and plant in the dirt, everything from peas and carrots, to a new crop this year: wheat."
CBS Sunday Morning decided to slip in a rather egregious Cinco de Mayo segment about the Mexican-American War (1846-48), in which most of the Western part of the United States was acquired under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Apparently, the occasion requires a seminar on how Cinco de Mayo is ruined by American imperialism.
On Thursday, Mollie Hemingway of the GetReligion blog pointed out CBS's "major mistake" on the March 31, 2013 edition of Sunday Morning. On the Easter Sunday broadcast, Martha Teichner confused two biblical figures with the same name when she stated that "only one of the Gospels places Mary at the crucifixion, alongside the so-called 'beloved disciple' – possibly John the Baptist." Actually, the prophet was beheaded many months before Jesus' arrest.
During her report, Teichner also spotlighted the Broadway adaptation of Irish author Colm Toibin's novella "The Testament of Mary," which perverts the biblical Mary of Nazareth into an angry woman bitter over her son Jesus' execution and openly disdainful of His followers. [audio available here; video below the jump]
CBS's Barry Petersen slanted in favor of dissenters agitating for the repeal of the Catholic Church's centuries-old practice of celibacy for priests on the March 10, 2013 edition of Sunday Morning. Petersen hyped how "many American Catholics wonder how long celibacy will be a part of today's Church, or perhaps, how soon it may become a fading tradition."
The correspondent also failed to mention that Bill Wisniewski, one of his talking heads, is a board member for a dissenting group headed by Sister Christine Schenk, who was also featured during his report.
CNN's Dana Bash fact-checked President Obama's falsehood about the sequester on Friday, but the major networks didn't exactly follow CNN's lead in reporting the distortion that Capitol Hill janitors and police would receive a pay cut because of the sequester.
In his Friday press conference, Obama claimed, "They're going to have less pay, the [Capitol Hill] janitors, the security guards. They just got a pay cut." Shortly after that, CNN's Bash obtained from the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms that the workers would not receive a pay cut, just a limit on overtime pay. NBC ignored the distortion on its weekend newscasts, while CBS and ABC reported it one time each.
Imagine you're getting ready to head to church one fine Sunday morning and on your television you hear a man say, "Let's give up on the Constitution."
Such actually happened when CBS News Sunday Morning aired a rather inflammatory commentary by a Georgetown University law professor teased by host Charles Osgood asking, "Is the U.S. Constitution truly worthy of the reverence in which most Americans hold it?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
During a retrospective on 2012 on the December 30, 2012 edition of CBS's Sunday Morning, Charles Osgood ludicrously oversimplified the continuing scandal over the September 11, 2012 Islamist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Osgood conspicuously omitted U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice's Sunday show appearances five days after the assault, which conflicted with intelligence agencies' early conclusion that the attack was pre-planned.
The journalist's 14-second look at the story merely consisted of two sentences noting who died in the American installation and one of the most recent developments [audio available here; video below the jump]:
Once a day for 25 days, NewsBusters is showcasing the most egregious bias the Media Research Center has uncovered over the years — four quotes for each of the 25 years of the MRC, 100 quotes total — all leading up to our big 25th Anniversary Gala on September 27. (Click here for ticket information)
So far, we’ve published the worst quotes from 1988 through 1992 (you can check those out here). Today, the worst bias of 1993, including the Washington Post smearing Christian conservatives as "poor, uneducated and easy to command," Dan Rather fawning over Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Helen Thomas disavowing any tilt, saying she does not “know what a liberal bias is.” [Quotes and video below the jump.]
On the July 22 CBS Sunday Morning show, correspondent Lee Cowan highlighted criticism of gun rights by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, using a soundbite of the liberal mayor scurrilously remarking that gun rights advocates "think that the right to bear arms allows you to go out and kill people at random," before adding, "And that's not overstating it very much."
The report, which focused primarily on details of the Aurora theater massacre and its victims, digressed for a moment into the gun control issue, but only included the side that supports more gun control:
Charlie Rose did his best to avoid asking any tough questions during an interview of President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle that aired on Sunday's CBS Sunday Morning and Monday's CBS This Morning. Rose devoted over four straight minutes to the couple's summer vacation, family life, and marriage. He also touted the Democrat's ObamaCare law as "enormously successful," and wondered if it was his "proudest achievement in the first four years."
Rose, who hounded House Speaker John Boehner over Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan during a April 2012 interview, harkened back to the 2008 Obama campaign and early presidency by showing off a 2009 issue of Newsweek with a picture of the President taking the oath of office. He then asked, "This was also a time of 'yes, we can'; hope and change. What happened to that, because that's not the narrative today?"
On Monday's CBS This Morning, correspondent Erin Moriarty and legal analyst Jack Ford wrote off the campaign finance case against former Democratic V.P. candidate John Edwards. Moriarty and Ford agreed that "even if [Edwards is] convicted, it will be overturned on appeal; that he'll never spend a day in prison." The network did devote 12 minutes total to the upcoming Edwards trial on Sunday and Monday.
Both reports on the Sunday Morning and CBS This Morning programs played sound bites from Hampton Dellinger, but failed to mention that he ran for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor in North Carolina in 2008. The Sunday report also featured Melanie Sloan, the president of the liberal-leaning organization CREW, without mentioning her past work for Democrats John Conyers, Chuck Schumer, and Joe Biden.
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].
CBS's Nancy Giles on Sunday scolded women's groups for giving former President Bill Clinton a pass for his transgressions with White House aide Monica Lewinsky.
This strangely came during a Sunday Morning piece about Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's troubles with the media over his own marital infidelity (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CBS's Barry Petersen lined up three radicals who back feminist and other left-leaning ideologies inside the Catholic Church on the December 4 edition of the Sunday Morning program, letting only one bishop speak in support of the Church's teachings on abortion and the role of women. The correspondent omitted the dissenting beliefs of his guests, labeling one as merely an "outspoken critic of the Church."
Petersen led his report with the case of Sister Mary McBride, who incurred automatic excommunication in 2009 after she sanctioned the abortion of a eleven-week-old unborn child, as a member of the ethics committee of St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. After turning to St. Joseph's chief medical officer, who spoke in favor of the "respected nun," as the correspondent labeled Sister McBride, he played a clip from Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmstead, who argued that the excommunicated woman didn't show "an equal concern for the mother and for the child."
As he introduced a review of the movie Margin Call about a group of corrupt characters on Wall Street, regular CBS movie reviewer David Edelstein held up a "Thanks" sign directed at Occupy Wall Street protesters as he declared that "I'm not here as a political pundit, so I can't speak to them directly," and then suggested that the protesters "deserve some R & R" and so should see the film.
During a prerecorded commentary on CBS Sunday Morning, left-wing CBS commentator Nancy Giles complained about the "bloodlust" of GOP audience members who applauded Texas's use of capital punishment at the recent MSNBC debate and a small number of audience members who applauded at Monday's CNN debate after moderator Wolf Blitzer asked if someone who chose not to purchase insurance should be allowed to die.
CBS played a clip of the exchanges but notably left out Rep. Ron Paul's answer to Blitzer's question as he argued that organizations like churches used to help provide health care before Medicaid existed, leaving Giles to give the impression that Rep. Paul had been unconcerned about the uninsured dying. Giles:
On CBS's Sunday Morning, CBS's Anthony Mason bizarrely compared top Republicans to Soviet autocrats during an interview of President Obama. After claiming that there was a "Cold War chill" between the two parties in Washington, Mason asked Obama, "Margaret Thatcher famously said when Gorbachev took power in Russia, 'I can do business with this man.' Can you do business with the Republican leadership?" [audio clip available here; video can be downloaded here]
The journalist asked mostly softball questions in the excerpts of the interview shown during the lead segment of the 9 am Eastern hour program. He first asked about the Democrat about his new armored bus: "How do you like your new bus?" The correspondent followed up by stating that the vehicle had a "slightly Darth Vader quality to it."
Economist Ben Stein had some harsh words for Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry on "CBS Sunday Morning."
Responding to comments the Texas governor made earlier in the week concerning Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Stein said, "I hope he'll get some moderation in his speech, and some lessons in economics, and soon" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
During a commentary aired on CBS Sunday Morning, supposedly right-leaning actor and economist Ben Stein blamed the "folly of supply side economics" - singling out President George W. Bush’s tax cuts in addition to President Obama’s spending - for the current federal budget deficit. The CBS contributor also complained that some Republicans have an "inflexible belief" that "low taxes were an American birthright."
He also complained that the Tea Partiers "insisted on the basically impossible, an immediate cut in federal spending, large enough to balance the budget without tax increases. In this age of Medicare and Medicaid, two wars, massive federal debt, interest payments, staggering Social Security obligations, that was simply impossible."
On CBS's Sunday Morning program, as he reviewed the film Bad Teacher, starring Cameron Diaz, film critic David Edelstein applauded the raunchy film for having "no redeeming social value" as he derided "all the hypocritical moralists out there."
The film critic - who also contributes to New York magazine and NPR - recounted that Diaz’s character is "a conniving, druggy, drunken middle school instructor who’ll do anything for money to buy herself bigger boobs so she can marry rich and not have to do the job at which she’s, yes, bad," and then described himself as being "in awe" of the movie.
He then continued: "The beauty part of Bad Teacher is it has no redeeming social value. Let me clarify: With all the hypocritical moralists out there, a movie honest about having no redeeming social value has redeeming social value."
On CBS’s Sunday Morning show, during his regular commentary, right-leaning CBS contributor Ben Stein gave a pessimistic view of the "Arab Spring" movement to topple authoritarian governments in the Middle East, charged that America would regret allowing Hosni Mubarak lose power in Egypt, and predicted that the radical Muslm Brotherhood would take over there.
He also gave rare attention to the Muslim Brotherhood’s history of alliance with Nazi Germany during World War II. Stein:
The most potent political force in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood, hates the U.S., loathes Israel, condemns the killing of bin Laden whom they praise as a martyr, and they've been wedded to terror for their entire existence. Oh, P.S., they were closely connected with Adolf Hitler. They'll probably take over Egypt completely sooner or later.
As NewsBusters previously documented, Nazi Germany helped build up the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1930s to spread anti-Jew hatred in the Middle East.
CBS News on Sunday morning managed to examine incongruities in the U.S. tax system, highlighting those – including a former New York Times reporter – who think the wealthy aren’t paying enough, but without bothering to point out the disproportionate share of the income tax paid by those at the top nor how more than a third of those who file an income tax return pay nothing or even get more back than they put in.
Reporter Seth Doane lamented the declining top tax rate: “It declined slowly through the '60s and '70s until 1982 under Ronald Reagan when it fell to 50 percent, eventually working its way down to the current rate of 35 percent.”
In his CBS News Sunday Morning piece, Doane turned to ex-New York Times reporter David Johnston for the usual liberal clap-trap: “All the data are overwhelmingly showing that for the last 30 years money has been flowing upward. It's not trickle down economics. It's Niagara up.” Including the FICA tax, Johnston complained: “If you're a single person making $500 a week, your total federal tax burden is significantly higher than someone who makes a million dollars a day.”
During a pre-recorded commentary aired on CBS’s Sunday Morning show, right-leaning actor and economist Ben Stein - also a CBS contributor - blamed "excessive tax cuts" enacted by former President Bush and congressional Republicans for "starting the problem" of the current federal budget deficit, and advocated raising taxes on the wealthy in addition to "major spending cuts" and changes in Medicare and Social Security to get the deficit under control. Stein: "The Republicans who started the problem with excessive tax cuts in the Bush years will have to agree to raise taxes at least upon the truly rich of whom there are plenty."
And, while ignoring the presence of a Republican Congress that helped restrain spending growth during the Clinton administration, and the spike in tax revenue fueled by an unsustainable tech bubble, Stein concluded his commentary praising former President Bill Clinton and former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin as "grown-ups," awarding them credit for the balanced budget of the late 1990s.
Stein: "The grown-ups like Bill Clinton and Robert Rubin - his Treasury Secretary who actually balanced the budget - left the federal fiscal scene more than 10 years ago. Now it's time to live within our means. No more voodoo economics. We can do it. The first step is back through the looking glass into reality. We've got to do it."
On CBS's Sunday Morning, left-wing commentator Nancy Giles managed to attack Rush Limbaugh while condemning a UCLA student's internet video rant against Asians: "Her monologue was straight out of the Rush Limbaugh playbook from a few months ago....And Rush is a cartoon. In my humble opinion."
In an interview with 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl for CBS's Sunday Morning, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin made his latest attack against Sarah Palin, ranting: "I have a big problem with people who glamorize dumbness. And demonize education and intellect. And I'm giving a pretty good description of Sarah Palin right now." [Audio available here]
Stahl made no effort to challenge Sorkin's vicious personal attacks, simply remarking: "He seems to be having a second career these days, going after Sarah Palin. In an essay for The Huffington Post, he called her a 'witless bully.'" Given the media's concern with civility and harsh political rhetoric in the wake of the Tucson shooting, one wonders why Stahl did not condemn such language.
On CBS's Sunday Morning, 'Fast Draw' cartoonist Josh Landis commented on people believing in false claims despite evidence to the contrary and warned: "Some false beliefs might make you laugh but others are dangerous, like the belief, debunked again this month, that vaccines cause autism."
But CBS News didn't admit to viewers that while that belief has been repeatedly disproved by scientific studies, CBS has often presented the idea as a possible credible cause of autism in children. A report on the disease on the July 14, 2005 broadcast of the CBS Evening News featured a sound bite from left-wing environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who argued that a chemical once widely used in vaccines was a cause of autism: "The science connecting brain damage with thimerosal is absolutely overwhelming."
On Saturday's Early Show fill-in co-host Russ Mitchell saw passage of the tax deal as a possible "turning point for Mr. Obama's presidency" and speculated that it was "perhaps setting the stage for another victory as the Senate takes up the repeal of the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' law."
In the report that followed, correspondent Whit Johnson declared that with the deal "President Obama could finally declare victory." The headline on screen read: "The President's Big Win; More Success Before The Holiday Break?" Johnson explained "that after months of debate, they [Democrats] finally have the votes to repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'" In a report on Sunday Morning, Johnson touted the eventual repeal of the policy on Saturday as a "major victory" for Democrats.
At the top of a report on CBS's Sunday Morning, correspondent Whit Johnson proclaimed: "In San Francisco yesterday, they celebrated the end of an era. After nearly two decades, the policy of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' which bans gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military, is all but history." The one-sided segment focused almost exclusively on supporters of repeal.
Of the ten sound bites featured throughout the story, only one, that of Arizona Republican Senator John McCain, was critical of the policy being overturned. Johnson described how "Opponents of repeal...pleaded that such a dramatic change during a time of two wars would put troops in harm's way." However, after the clip of McCain was played, Johnson dismissed critics of repeal: "Democrats got a boost from a recent Pentagon study in which two-thirds of U.S. troops said changing the controversial law would have little impact, a feeling shared by most of America."
During an interview with former President George W. Bush and Laura Bush on CBS's Sunday Morning, correspondent Jim Axelrod wondered: "In terms of how you understand how you are perceived is there a liberal bias in the media?" Mrs. Bush quickly replied: "Yes. He doesn't have to answer, but I will."
Axelrod seemed surprised by her response: "Why do you jump in so quickly?" Mrs. Bush laughed and backed off slightly: "No, I'm only kidding. I really don't know." However, she observed: "I will say that I really do see for most Americans a great feeling of affection for George that you don't read about. Yes, I think there's sort a conventional wisdom that's put out by the press." Axelrod was still skeptical: "And that conventional wisdom tilts left?" Mrs. Bush replied: "Yes."