CBS This Morning on Tuesday was the only network program to show an interest in the "massive" spending of the "seriously flawed" farm bill. Not only did reporter Sharyl Atkisson investigate the legislation moving through the Senate, she repeatedly featured Tom Schatz of the Citizens for Government Waste.
Attkisson explained how the group has identified spending in the bill which will "actually hurt consumers." The journalist mentioned the "new 15 cent fee on every live cut Christmas tree sold to create a board to promoting Christmas trees." She continued, "The bill also increases spending to $200 million a year for a program to promote agriculture and past years's tax dollars were used to pay for a reality TV show in India to promote cotton." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Neither NBC's Today, nor ABC's Good Morning America found time for this story.
In spite of the massive half-trillion dollar price tag, the farm bill didn’t get much attention from the broadcast network news shows, although a compromise version may get congressional approval very soon.
Since Jan. 1, 2013, when they reported that the nation was facing a “milk cliff” in which dairy prices would skyrocket if a farm bill wasn’t passed, ABC, CBS and NBC network news programs only mentioned “farm bill” in 20 reports. The vast majority (16 stories) of those reports aired on CBS.
ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning newscasts have yet to report about the bilateral squabble between the Obama administration and Israel over Secretary of State John Kerry's warning on Saturday that the U.S. ally faces "an increasing delegitimization campaign that has been building up....There are talks of boycotts and other kinds of things."
The war of words comes days after actress Scarlett Johansson ended her eight-year affiliation with Oxfam due to their opposition to Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Johansson appeared in a Super Bowl ad for SodaStream, a company based in Israel that runs a large facility on the West Bank. On Monday, CNN anchor Michaela Pereira devoted a news brief on New Day to Kerry's remark and the Israeli government's reaction: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
All three network morning shows on Monday promoted President Obama's attempts to deflect tough questions on a several administration scandals during a pre-Super Bowl interview with Fox News host Bill O'Reilly on Sunday. On NBC's Today, news reader Natalie Morales described how during the "sometimes contentious interview" the President "said he tries to focus not on the fumbles, but on the next plan." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
ABC's news reader Josh Elliott touted the same line on Good Morning America: "The President said he tries not to focus on the fumbles in his administration, but rather, on the next plan."
On Friday's NBC Nightly News, Andrea Mitchell slanted towards left-leaning environmentalists who are still opposed to the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, despite a new report from the State Department that indicated that the environmental impact of the project would be minimal. Mitchell played three soundbites from environmentalists protesting or speaking out against the pipeline, versus only one clip from a supporter.
The correspondent also forwarded an allegation from unnamed environmentalists against contributors to the State Department study: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The Big Three networks' evening newscasts on Friday jumped on the latest development in the traffic scandal surrounding Chris Christie. NBC and CBS both led with the accusation from the former Christie appointee, who claims that the New Jersey governor knew more about the lane closures than he previously asserted. CBS's Scott Pelley trumpeted how "Chris Christie just got thrown under the bus in that traffic jam scandal that has jeopardized his presidential ambitions."
Brian Williams hyped the "explosive new allegations," and that "this scandal has again engulfed Chris Christie – embarrassingly on the eve of the Super Bowl, the first ever held in New Jersey." On World News, ABC's Diane Sawyer played up the "bombshell of a new accusation," and correspondent Jim Avila spotlighted that New Jersey's "largest newspaper has published this: 'Christie is now damaged goods. If... [the] disclosures are as powerful as he claims, the Governor must go.'" [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
One week later, and the networks have long forgotten about their scant coverage of the March for Life – after all, they have a whole year before they have to ignore it again. The pro-life movement, however, has forgotten neither the March nor the unserious and insulting way the broadcast networks reported on it – or didn’t.
As CMI reported last week, ABC and NBC gave just 46 seconds of air time to the many thousands who braved freezing temperatures to join the 2014 March for Life in Washington, D.C. CBS didn’t even mention it. By contrast, the networks couldn’t get enough of the debut of Bao Bao, the National Zoo’s newest panda cub, cooing about panda “magic.” The animal received six times more coverage than the March. Pro-life leaders noticed. It was, in the words of International Communion of Evangelical Churches’ Bishop Harry Jackson, “media malpractice.” Continued after the video.
On Thursday evening's news casts, both CBS and NBC announced the retirement of Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) but only CBS labeled him a liberal. ABC ignored the news.
"Democrat Henry Waxman in California, now in his 20th term, was elected with the post-Watergate class of 1974. He became one of the leading liberals in the House," reported CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley. In contrast, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams simply called Waxman a Democrat.
The Minority Leader of the United States Senate appeared on The Kelly File, Wednesday night, to announce a push back against the IRS’s latest attempt, via new rules, to silence conservative groups. Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) network reaction? Silence. Not a single network morning show, on Thursday, reported on the latest charges from Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Appearing on the January 29 edition of FNC’s The Kelly File, McConnell told host Megan Kelly about the proposed regulations: “Megyn, they’re now initiating a new rule through the Treasury Department in the IRS to quiet the voices of outside groups. It is called a c4, and what they’re gonna do is redefine what outside groups can do in a way to silence the voices of conservative critics.” (video after the jump)
CBS This Morning on Thursday ignored the larger issue behind the blacklisting of a small Christian film that had its Oscar nomination revoked. Talking to Bruce Broughton, the man who wrote the title song for Alone Yet Not Alone, reporter Ben Tracy failed to wonder if there was a religious motive behind the controversial actions. On Wednesday, the film's nomination was stripped because Broughton, a former Academy official, had previously sent out a mild e-mail promoting the film.
Tracy noted that "Academy rules do not prohibit sending e-mails or even the more aggressive 'for your consideration' ads all over Hollywood this time of year." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] But during the segment, the journalist never considered other possibilities. The Washington Times's Vince Morton explained, "The film’s status as a small Christian film led Orthodox Christian film blogger Peter Chattaway to predict charges of religious persecution in the coming days, playing off the image of Hollywood as a liberal bastion hostile to Christianity."
Within the span of 40 seconds, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams reported on two politicians caught in scandals, one a Republican the other a Democrat, but he gave the party affiliation of only one of the troubled politicians. Can you guess which one?
On the January 27 Nightly News, Williams reported that “Florida Republican Congressman Trey Radel has resigned effective tonight. He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor cocaine possession.” In the very next news brief Williams announced: “A name from New Orleans’s recent past went on trial there today. Ray Nagin, mayor of the city during Katrina, in court on bribery charges.” Williams never noted Nagin was a Democrat. (video after the jump)
On Wednesday evening's news casts, the networks all hyped GOP congressman Michael Grimm (N.Y.) threatening a reporter after Tuesday's State of the Union address while skipping the Republican response to the address entirely.
Of Grimm's outburst, ABC's Jeff Zeleny quipped, "It was not the State of the Union response Republicans had in mind." It was the response that the networks chose to cover, though. "Later, there was a far less dignified moment with a congressman from Staten Island, New York," CBS anchor Scott Pelley introduced the story.
The networks played right into President Obama's hand Wednesday evening as they touted his push for a minimum wage increase while giving barely any voice to his Republican opposition.
"[T]he President was out there hitting that 'give America a raise' theme hard today in campaign-style events both in Pennsylvania and in Maryland," noted ABC News White House correspondent Jonathan Karl. "Does that idea have a snowball's chance?" asked CBS News anchor Scott Pelley about the minimum wage increase.
ABC, NBC and CBS's morning shows on Wednesday failed to fact check Barack Obama's State of the Union address. These same networks, however, made time to feature Vice President Joe Biden (who was in full cheerleader mode). It's not as though fact checks weren't available. The Washington Post and the Associated Press both produced such critical analysis. During his speech, Obama touted "the more than eight million new jobs our businesses have created over the past four years."
The Post's Glenn Kessler called this "cherry picking" and noted that "since the start of his presidency, about 3.2 million jobs have been created — and the number of jobs in the economy still is about 1.2 million lower than when the recession began in December 2007."
Vice President Joe Biden made the rounds on the network morning shows following President Obama’s State of the Union address and CBS This Morning did its best to help the vice president protect Obama from criticism. Appearing with co-hosts Charlie Rose and Norah O’Donnell on January 29, Biden was treated to a friendly interview, and the only tough questions he received were that the Obama Administration wasn’t being liberal enough in pushing its agenda.
Perhaps the most notable point of the interview was when Rose made the softball pitch that President Obama’s acknowledgment of a wounded veteran was “trying to capture the spirit of America and build a kind of identification with this can-do attitude.” [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Minutes before the President began his State of the Union address Tuesday night, hosts on ABC, NBC, and CBS all worried that Obama was not getting the "credit" he deserved for how well the economy was supposedly doing. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Talking to former Obama advisor David Plouffe during ABC's live coverage of the speech, Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos argued: "...one of the real puzzles the President has to solve tonight, the economy, doing about as well as it's ever done in his presidency, as he comes into the chamber tonight, but most people don't believe it and don't give him credit for it."
The women of CBS This Morning did not seem to appreciate Rand Paul's recent comments on Bill Clinton and his affair with Monica Lewinsky. The Republican senator appeared on the morning show, Wednesday, to discuss the State of the Union address. However, King echoed the language of Secretary Clinton's famous testimony about the Benghazi terrorist attack. Speaking of the ex-president's affairs, she huffed, "But what difference does that make and what good comes of that now two decades later? What do you hope will come of that conversation?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Paul retorted by calling the former president a "serial philanderer" and added, "But he was a person who took advantage of a young girl in the workplace and I think that's inexcusable and that kind of war on women should end." O'Donnell icily responded, "And what do you think that has to do if Hillary Clinton runs for president?" Speaking of the potential Democratic presidential nominee, Paul quipped, "She's had to tolerate the same sort of problems from him, you know, I guess, over time."
If liberals have their way the State of the Union will be all about income inequality. That kind of speech would be cheered by many in the press, including several hypocritical millionaires who love to complain about the one percent.
The broadcast networks already took up this banner, promoting left-wing complaints about inequality and arguing for liberal solutions, in recent years. Well-paid, big name network news anchors, like Diane Sawyer and Brian Williams personally know a whole lot about wealth, since they make millions of dollars every year. At least two are worth $60 million each.
Within the past four years, these multi-millionaires have attacked the “mega-rich,” complained on air about “dangerous” income inequality, and promoted President Barack Obama’s “responsibility” to raise taxes and promote tax “fairness.”
CBS analyst Mellody Hobson, whose husband George Lucas is worth $7.3 billion, appeared on This Morning to slam excessive salaries for corporate bosses. Discussing income inequality and Barack Obama's planned discussion at the State of the Union, Hobson lashed out, "If you look today, the typical CEO makes 354 times more than the typical worker in his or her company, mostly his because there are so few women running companies." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] (How much more does the male Lucas make than the average worker?)
She continued, "If you look back to 1980, that difference was just 42 times. So it's been that kind of income inequality that has started a lot of backlash and chatter..." Co-host Norah O'Donnell introduced the segment by highlighting a hyperbolic letter to the Wall Street Journal by CEO Tom Perkins comparing the treatment of the wealthy to Jews during the Holocaust. O'Donnell promoted, "[President Obama] calls [income inequality] one of the defining challenges of our time. How do you think that will be received by people in the business community?"
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) appeared on CBS Face the Nation on Sunday morning and was met with a barrage of questions from host Bob Schieffer about his involvement in the government shutdown. Apart from being the victim of Schieffer’s accusations that the Tea Party senator was to blame for the shutdown, it also appears that Mr. Cruz was the victim of editing by CBS.
Based on video from Senator Cruz’s YouTube page and what aired on today’s Face the Nation broadcast, the senator’s comments surrounding President Obama’s “abuse of power” were edited from the program. Instead what aired was a segment that ignored many of the senator’s complaints directed at President Obama. [See the aired and unaired videos below.]
President Obama is scheduled to give his sixth State of the Union address on January 28, and CBS’s Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer decided to bring on the man who will give the Tea Party response, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).
Rather than focus primarily on the failures of the Obama Administration over the past 5 years, the veteran CBS reporter chose to use his interview with Cruz as an opportunity to attack the Tea Party favorite and spew White House and Democratic talking points at the Republican. Schieffer began his interview with Cruz by saying that the senator “led the shutdown of the government last fall because the president wouldn't agree to shut down ObamaCare.”
In a Thursday front page New York Times story it was reported that Friends of Abe, a group made up of Hollywood conservatives like actors Gary Sinise and Kelsey Grammer, became the latest right-leaning group to be targeted by the IRS. Total Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) network time spent on this story: zero seconds.
However there was a celebrity news story the Big Three news networks did jump all over -- Justin Bieber getting arrested for drunk driving. From Thursday morning through Friday morning the Big Three networks, on their evening and morning shows, devoted a total of 36 minutes and 10 seconds to the troubled pop star.
The journalists at CBS This Morning on Friday appeared excited over the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, hyping the "cannabis capitalism" in the state and a new "pot tour" business that has sprouted up. Showing little skepticism, reporter Barry Petersen offered a light-hearted take: "Appropriately enough, the pot tour ends at a sub shop where Acapulco gold is a sandwich and they're ready to help with those marijuana munchies." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Petersen narrated, "Call it cannabis capitalism, the latest leaf to sprout from legalized marijuana. Michael Eymer's pot tours costs $240 bucks a person." The journalist offered a promotional look at the new industry: "Eymer has bookings and belief that he's in on one of Colorado's new growth industries. If I want to take the tour, how long am I going to have to wait to get aboard?"
For the second straight evening, NBC stuck with Chris Christie's "Bridge-gate" on Thursday as CBS and NBC haven't mentioned the story since Tuesday. And NBC's Nightly News tacked on a story about a dilapidated Trenton high school and connected its disrepair to Governor Christie.
"For his part, Governor Christie tonight is responding to an issue that's been festering for years, right there in the shadow of New Jersey's state house," anchor Brian Williams noted of the school. Nowhere did NBC even wonder about the negligence of the city's Democratic Mayor Tony Mack, who currently is on trial for federal charges of corruption.
Is it too much to ask for Americans to get their news from serious adults? Yes, there’s always been bias in media reporting, but it’s hard to imagine journalists who once crossed Europe with Patton cooing “Pandas are magic” into the camera while a real story of genocide is being told in the streets.
But that’s where we are. On Wednesday, hundreds of thousands braved freezing temperatures to join the 41st annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. to protest and commemorate the 55 million human babies who have been legally killed since 1973’s Roe v. Wade decision. The event featured speeches from activists and politicians, and even garnered the tweeted prayers of Pope Francis. For all that, the broadcast networks combined devoted a total of just 46 seconds to the March. ABC offered 24 seconds and NBC gave it 22 seconds, correctly noting the “huge turnout” despite brutal weather conditions. CBS didn’t bother to cover it at all.
Less than 24-hours after former Governor Bob McDonnell (R-VA) was indicted on 14 charges including conspiracy and fraud, all three network morning shows immediately identified McDonnell as a Republican. While McDonnell’s potential crimes are serious, the media failed to uphold the same party ID standard when it involved a scandal plagued Democratic governor.
NBC led their January 22 coverage of the McDonnell scandal with Today host Savannah Guthrie introducing the segment by saying, “And now to that bombshell indictment of the former governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell, a one-time rising star in the Republican Party.” ABC provided an on-screen graphic identifying McDonnell as a Republican and CBS This Morning’s Nancy Cordes said that “McDonnell was once considered a possible presidential contender for the GOP.”
To be fair, it started with the original story broken at the Dallas Morning News, where Wayne Slater's substantive story about Wendy Davis's problems with the truth was headlined "As Wendy Davis touts life story in race for governor, key facts blurred."
"Blurred" is clearly a popular word with an establishment press which is determined to try to make this problem with Davis's basic credibility go away. The New York Times ("Accused of Blurring Facts of Stirring Life Story, Texas Lawmaker Offers Chronology") and NBCnews.com ("Off to the races: Wendy Davis' 'blurred' bio") have also gotten in on the "blurred" headline act (Perhaps surprisingly, the Associated Press and Politico, whose coverage I addressed yesterday, have not). So has CBS News, whose Rebecca Kaplan bent over backwards to try to keep Davis in a favorable light (links are in original; bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Two liberal senators that claim news networks don’t cover climate change enough are pressuring them to do more, even as a winter deep freeze kept much of the country shivering. But as the Media Research Center and others have already found, much of the news media have spent years working hard to convince the public that climate change is a global threat.
According to National Journal, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, members of the Senate Climate Action Task Force, are gathering signatures on a letter that complained the media had not spent enough time covering the issue on the Sunday news shows. The letter complained about the “absurdly short amount of time” the issue received on those shows. The senators called for the networks to “correct this oversight.” (video after the break)
On Tuesday, ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning newscasts all hyped the White House's announcement that President Obama's would meet with Pope Francis in March, and emphasized their apparent agreement on economic issues. On CBS This Morning, Bill Plante touted the "chance for him [Obama] to align himself with the agenda of the very popular new pope, at a time when the President's own popularity here at home is at a low point."
ABC's Robin Roberts even asserted on Good Morning America that the two world leaders are "very similar." However, none of these morning shows reported that just a week earlier, the Pope's secretary of state "expressed [his] concern...for the healthcare reforms in relation to the guarantee of religious freedom and conscientious objection" during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. [MP3 audio available here; video clips below the jump]