Despite a combined eight available hours of programming on Friday, all three network morning shows avoided the news that a scandal-plagued Democratic senator from Montana dropped a reelection bid. This move leaves the seat as a likely Republican takeover in the 2014 midterms. But viewers wouldn't know that on ABC's Good Morning America, NBC's Today and CBS This Morning.
John Walsh left the race on Thursday, two weeks after the New York Times reported that the Democrat plagiarized extensive sections of his master's degree from the Army War College. With the networks avoiding the story, it was left to CNN's New Day to offer a brief amount of coverage. John King wondered if the seat will "most likely" go to the GOP. Maggie Haberman of Politico retorted, "Oh, yeah...I mean, most Democrats that I talked to believe Montana is not winnable anymore." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Thursday, the al Qaeda spinoff group the Islamic State seized numerous towns in northern Iraq that are home to much of the country’s minority Christian population, sending tens of thousands of them fleeing further into the Kurdish-dominated region to avoid the unforgiving and deadly extremist group. When it came to the major broadcast networks covering this story on their Thursday morning news shows, neither ABC, CBS, or NBC provided their viewers with information on this story.
Meanwhile, CNN and its morning show, New Day, did cover the story with not one but two stories during its three-hour show. First, it aired a full, 3-minute-and-1-second report from CNN senior international correspondent Nic Robertson at the top of the 6:30 a.m. half hour and then a 21-second news brief during the 8:00 a.m. hour. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
On Thursday, August 7, CBS This Morning’s coverage of President Obama’s Africa Summit consisted of a glowing puff piece on how being First Lady was like being in a sorority.
Rather than acknowledge the existence of President Obama’s news conference from Wednesday night, Major Garrett, CBS News Chief White House Correspondent, played up how “Michelle Obama and Laura Bush shared the summit stage with moderator Cokie Roberts and talked candidly about the hard knocks of political criticism.” [See video below.]
Here’s something you don’t see every day, a donor for President Obama admitting that America’s corporate tax rate is too high.
Mellody Hobson appeared on CBS This Morning on Thursday, August 7 to discuss pharmacy chain Walgreens’ decision to keep its headquarters in the United States. The CBS News contributor opined that even though she agreed with the company’s decision she acknowledged that in America “it's still the highest tax rate of any developed nation.” [See video below.]
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]
For the second consecutive night, Wednesday night’s NBC Nightly News with Brian Williamscontinued its refusal to cover the findings in the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll in which President Obama’s job approval rating hit a record low. 54 percent of Americans disapprove of how Obama is doing his job, while merely 40 percent approve in what is his lowest percentage since he took office in January 2009.
As the Media Research Center’s Kyle Drennen reported on Wednesday morning, NBC’s morning news show Today did discuss the poll, but NBC News political director Chuck Todd ignored Obama’s job approval/disapproval numbers. Instead, his takeaway from this polling data was that an “exasperated public” is “fed up with Washington” and not Obama in particular. Drennen reported that “[t]he only mention of Obama during the segment when Todd briefly noted that many Republicans would be willing to hold up a protest sign for a day that read: ‘Impeach Obama.’”
After NBC Nightly Newscompletely ignored the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll on Tuesday, political director Chuck Todd appeared on Wednesday's Today to promote the survey but skipped the finding that President Obama's job approval rating sank to 40%, with 54% disapproval. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd framed the poll results as evidence of an "exasperated public" being "fed up with Washington," rather than with Obama. The only mention of Obama during the segment came when Todd briefly noted that many Republicans would be willing to hold up a protest sign for a day that read: "Impeach Obama."
On Wednesday, August 6, USA Today reported that the federal website USASpending.gov which is tasked with tracking government money, can’t find $619 billion from different agency budgets.
Despite the government losing track of hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars, CBS This Morning was the only network morning show to cover the report on Wednesday morning. ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today ignored the story altogether. [See 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.
It’s a horrible time to be a civilian in Gaza, as ABC, NBC and CBS never tire of telling audiences. But it’s not a good time to be Jewish in Europe, either – maybe not even in America. In the month since the fighting in Gaza began, anti-Semitism has been surging across Europe, as protests against the IDF offensive drop any pretense of being about Israel and turn into orgies of anti-Semitic hate. The response from the U.S. broadcast networks: silence.
In Athens, Greece, a Holocaust memorial was vandalized, as was one in Sevastopol, Crimea. There have been at least nine attacks on French synagogues since the fighting began, and a Jewish-owned shop was burned in Paris. The cars of Jewish families have been vandalized in Amsterdam. Scores of anti-Semitic incidents have occurred in Italy, Britain and Germany. A synagogue was vandalized in Miami, and #HitlerWasRight trended worldwide on Twitter. Oh, and just the other day a Hamas official trotted out the old blood libel that Jews used to kill Christians and use their blood to bake matzos.
All three network morning shows on Monday eagerly touted the Obama administration denouncing Israel after an attack on Hamas targets in Gaza led to civilian deaths. On NBC's Today, correspondent Richard Engel proclaimed: "After another attack on Palestinians taking shelter at a U.N.-run school on Sunday, Washington issued its strongest condemnation yet of its ally. The U.S. State Department said it was 'appalled by the disgraceful shelling.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Engel continued: "U.N. officials were shocked Israel chose to attack where it knew so many civilians would be in danger....The U.N. secretary general called the Israeli strike 'a moral outrage and a criminal act.'"
According to CBS This Morning host Gayle King on Monday, unless an illegal alien is doing something "illegal," Americans should leave him or her alone. Mike Hogan from Vanity Fair appeared on the program to discuss a new poll about ethical dilemmas and how people respond. Guest host Vinita Nair wondered, "Who's more likely to report an illegal immigrant living next door?"
Hogan discussed the responses of Republicans, Democrats and independents. He then quoted an off-air discussion: "I think Gayle [King] in the green room said, 'As long as they're not doing anything illegal, you know, let them live.'" Standing by her comments, King reiterated, "That's right. That's right." Hogan added, "Leave them alone." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Monday morning, broadcast networks ABC and NBC and cable news outlet CNN continued their blackout of the investigation into New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) and his shuttering of his own anti-corruption commission. Since the story broke on July 23 in The New York Times, neither one of these three news operations have covered the story.
CBS This Morning, which previously reported on the story on both July 31 and August 1, provided an update on the scandal Monday morning in the form of a 23-second news brief regarding Cuomo’s top aide agreeing to speak with federal prosecutors who are looking into allegations the commission was steered away from anyone with ties to the governor. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
From 2009 to 2014, every year of Barack Obama's presidency, the networks have observed his birthday, often wishing him a special day. A graphic for CBS This Morning on Monday touted, "Happy Birthday, Mr. President." Co-host Charlie Rose enthused, "President Obama is waking up a year older. The President turns 53 today, but his birthday weekend began Saturday." He reiterated, "Happy birthday, Mr. President." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Guest co-host Vinita Nair parroted, "Happy birthday." Over on NBC's Today, Savannah Guthrie reminded, "By the way, we should mention it's President Obama's 53rd birthday. So, happy birthday to him." Fill-in host Carson Daly offered, "Happy birthday." On America This Morning, the very early ABC show, co-host Devin Dwyer cheered, "Well, happy birthday wishes going out this morning to President Obama."
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]
Appearing on CBS's Late Show with David Letterman on Wednesday, former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney asserted that he had been a completely objective reporter for Time magazine before becoming a spin doctor for the Obama administration: "Right after the election in 2008, I was the Washington bureau chief for Time. And I was an old-fashioned journalist, not an advocate, didn't take sides in my job. But I was extremely excited personally about the Obama-Biden victory." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In 1993, the "old-fashioned" Carney described then-First Lady Hillary Clinton as a "polite but passionate American citizen – strangely mesmerizing because of how she matched the poise and politics of her delivery with the power of her position." In contrast, during the 2000 presidential campaign, he slammed George W. Bush as a "pit bull let loose in a slaughterhouse."
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.
Over the past week, Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) has been embroiled in a political scandal following his decision to cancel his own Moreland Commission, created to expose political corruption in the state capitol. On July 23, the New York Times reported “that the governor’s office deeply compromised the panel’s work, objecting whenever the commission focused on groups with ties to Mr. Cuomo or on issues that might reflect poorly on him.”
Since the news broke on July 23, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan has threatened to investigate the Cuomo administration for “possible obstruction of justice or witness tampering.” Despite the potential damning investigation against the New York Democrat, CNN — where Governor Cuomo’s brother Chris Cuomo is employed as anchor of New Day — has yet to acknowledge its existence. [See video below.]
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 Wednesday, July 30, CBS This Morning was the only network morning show to report on how President Obama is considering bypassing Congress and issuing a series of executive actions to legalize potentially millions of illegal immigrants. ABC and NBC ignored the potential executive orders altogether.
CBS News Political Director John Dickerson highlighted how President Obama is seeking to “to take executive action to deal with the immigration problem. This is not going to be comprehensive immigration reform of the kind we've heard about for the last seven years that will deal with those 11.5 million undocumented workers, but it's going to be as much as he can do.” [See video below.]
In the wake of Speaker of the House John Boehner’s impending lawsuit against President Obama, CBS This Morning did their best to minimize its merits and instead promote Democratic efforts to raise money off of impeachment.
On Wednesday, July 30, co-anchor Gayle King introduced a report by Nancy Cordes by highlighting how “Democrats are using the lawsuit debate to raise campaign cash and now the White House says it's worried about impeachment.” [See video below.]
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.]
Tuesday's CBS This Morning broke out the kid gloves for Laverne Cox, and zeroed in on how the Orange is the New Black actor is "the first openly-transgendered woman ever nominated for an acting Emmy." Charlie Rose spotlighted how "there are people contacting you saying, my God – thank God for you being there, because they've been struggling with identity. And all of a sudden, you give them hope."
When Norah O'Donnell touted how her guest's Time magazine cover was "second to the Pope, in terms of interest online," Cox underlined the apparent divine plan behind this success, but then asserted that his biological identity was foisted upon him: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
CBS This Morning correspondent Bill Plante on Tuesday hyped a new report about Barack Obama's "telephone diplomacy" as an example of just how the President is focused on the multiple foreign policy crises exploding around the world. Charlie Rose trumpeted, "President Obama is spending more time talking with foreign leaders than he has in years." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Promoting phone logs analyzed by USA Today, reporter Bill Plante touted, "President Obama made at least four calls in July to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, three to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu." The segment featured White House Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken who praised "the 50th call or video conference the President has had with European counterparts since the beginning of this crisis."
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.]