All three networks on Monday night and Tuesday morning covered the "major blow" a judge delivered by ruling that the National Security Agency's massive data collection is likely unconstitutional. Yet, NBC's Nightly News managed to mention the President only once in passing. Instead, anchor Brian Williams kept the nearly three and a half minute segment politically vague: "Privacy violation: A surprise ruling about the government's spying on the phone calls made by Americans. The question tonight, what will this change and when?"
Williams lectured, "In the name of keeping us safe, Americans have sacrificed a number of freedoms since 9/11, including the privacy of communications." Journalist Pete Williams added, "It's a serious legal blow to one of the most controversial practices of the NSA." Is it a blow to Obama? Neither journalist said. In contrast, NBC's Today on Tuesday immediately mentioned the President. Matt Lauer opened the segment by noting that "the Obama administration's beginning to plan an appeal of a major court ruling." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Of the three major broadcast networks’ Saturday morning shows, CBS This Morning: Saturday gave the most background information on Colorado high school shooter Karl Pierson. To their credit, CBS reported on one particular Facebook post that gives us a window into Pierson’s ideological leanings.
Correspondent Barry Petersen mentioned it at the top of the second hour of the show: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Print, broadcast or web, the media sure aren’t Nostradamus. In spite of their best attempts, the news media have gotten it wrong prediction after prediction on a wide range of business and economic issues in 2013.
Just in the past year, reporters warned of “economic doomsday,” thought Healthcare.gov was going to be “easy” just like Amazon.com, and warned of melting polar ice, even as a new record was set for ice mass.
CBS This Morning stood out on Monday as the only mention so far on the Big Three's morning and evening newscasts of the New York Times' Sunday item about sheriffs in Colorado who are "refusing to enforce" gun control laws passed earlier in 2013, "saying that they are too vague and violate Second Amendment rights. Many more say that enforcement will be 'a very low priority,' as several sheriffs put it."
Anchor Charlie Rose devoted a 14-second news brief to writer Erica Goode's story about the law enforcement officials' stance against the new laws in the Centennial State: [audio available here; video below the jump]
Norah O'Donnell and Charlie Rose predictably conducted a hostile interview of Senator Marco Rubio on Friday's CBS This Morning, badgering the Republican for his opposition to a budget proposal from Republican Rep. Paul Ryan and Democratic Senator Patty Murray. O'Donnell hinted that he was in the pocket of conservative special interest: "I want to ask you about the criticism that you may be more beholden to these conservative groups than to your own party."
The anchor later wondered if "these groups have too much power". Rose himself carried water for the supporters of the proposal: "Speaker Boehner has said, and others have said, is that it's going – it's the first step in the right direction, and you've got to find common ground and you've got to find compromise – otherwise, you'll have government shutdowns, which everybody loses." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The journalists at the CBS Evening News on Wednesday portrayed the possible scuttling of a budget compromise as the fault of conservatives opposing a "too-good-to-be-true" deal. Over on NBC's Nightly News, the reporters derided the plan as not spending enough, worrying about extending unemployment benefits. ABC's World News on Wednesday and Good Morning America on Thursday totally skipped the story.
Evening News anchor Scott Pelley opened the show by lamenting, "It sounded almost too good to be true when we told you last night that Democrats and Republicans agreed on a federal budget without driving the nation to edge of fiscal disaster." Reporter Nancy Cordes alerted, "Scott, what made Republican leaders so angry was the fact that these powerful outside groups were once again urging Republicans to vote against a fragile compromise that had been worked out by a party standard bearer," referring to Paul Ryan. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Norah O'Donnell unsurprisingly took aim at Rep. Paul Ryan on Thursday's CBS This Morning over part of his bipartisan budget proposal that he presented with Democratic Senator Patty Murray: "Military members want to know why you asked them to take a cut, in terms of cost [of] living increases...the men and women in this country, who fight and die for this country, want to know why they should not get a cost of living increase like they have in the past."
The Wisconsin Republican replied by pointing out that the Defense Department had asked for this reduction, and veterans would get an increase later in life: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Nancy Cordes heralded the proposed budget deal from Rep. Paul Ryan and Senator Patty Murray as a "true compromise" on Wednesday's CBS This Morning, and asserted that "the reason it's so important is that it could bring an end to this terrible cycle, where Congress can't agree on a yearly budget." Cordes also revisited her network's slanted language about sequestration, stating that the proposal "partially rolls back those deep, across-the-board spending cuts."
The correspondent also played up how "the agreement won't win support from some conservatives", and that "there are bound to be some conservatives who don't like it". She didn't use such ideological labeling in reference to opposition from liberals. Instead, Cordes merely noted that "many Senate Democrats...don't think the deal's perfect, but they can live with it." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Tuesday's CBS This Morning swooned over President Obama's appearance at Nelson Mandela's memorial, hailing his "remarkable" speech as "the rhetorical and even emotional high point of this day."
Correspondent Bill Whitaker was particularly star-struck with the President's performance. "The crowd here sees him as a kind of hero. He has said that Nelson Mandela is a hero of his, but people here see some similarities between the two," he insisted. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Saturday, Dec. 14 marks a year since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. In the run-up to that tragic anniversary, Americans can expect to hear demands for gun control from sanctimonious Hollywood stars, just as they did in the wake of the shooting.
Their demands were hypocritical then, and they’re even more hypocritical now. The entertainment industry makes huge profits depicting and often even glorifying violence – especially gun violence. For proof, look no farther than the top TV dramas that anchor prime time for both the broadcast networks and basic cable channels. Video after the break.
Former CBS Evening News Anchor Dan Rather, despite being fired as a result of the bogus story, continues to maintain that he got it right in September 2004 when he aired forged documents concerning George W. Bush’s record with the Air National Guard.
On CNN’s Piers Morgan Live Monday, Rather said, “No question the story was true” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Norah O'Donnell's 20-second news brief on Monday's CBS This Morning is the sole Big Three network mention so far of the Wall Street Journal's Sunday report about a "troubling element" of ObamaCare – exorbitant deductibles with the no-frills plans available on the health care exchanges.
O'Donnell zeroed in on the item by reporters Leslie Scism and Timothy W. Martin, who cited a new report that found that "the average individual deductible for...a bronze plan on the exchange...is $5,081 a year": [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
When Rush Limbaugh caused a stir with his comments about feminist activist Sandra Fluke, the media were whipped into a frenzy, with the Big Three broadcast networks devoting 32 stories to the row in two weeks' time. Yet there were a grand total of zero stories devoted to former MSNBC host Martin Bashir expressing on his November 15 program that he would like to see someone defecate into the former Alaska governor's mouth.
"It was 100-fold more serious than anything Rush Limbaugh has ever said about anyone in 30 years on his show. Yet [there were] 32 stories, which is a tsunami, on Rush Limbaugh, nothing, crickets about Martin Bashir," Media Research Center founder and president Brent Bozell told Fox News host Megyn Kelly on the December 6 edition of The Kelly File. Bozell added that Bashir was symptomatic of "a real misogyny" at MSNBC against conservative women [WATCH video below page break; LISTEN to MP3 audio here]:
On Friday's CBS This Morning, former Time magazine managing editor Richard Stengel unexpectedly zeroed in on a part of Nelson Mandela's legacy that apparently wasn't sufficiently left wing. Moments after he lionized Mandela as "the George Washington of South Africa", Stengel asserted that "he [Mandela] had not been very progressive about HIV and AIDS when he was president".
Veteran 60 Minutes correspondent Bob Simon also sang Mandela's praises, to the point that he made an eyebrow-raising comment about the supposed extent that the former South African president stands apart in recent history: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Thursday, ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning newscasts all spotlighted how "fast food workers across the country are holding strikes to demand higher wages", but failed to point out the involvement of left-leaning groups in organizing the protests. ABC's Good Morning America and CBS This Morning featured spokesmen from the "Fast Food Forward" movement, but didn't include their respective involvement in the SEIU and a successor organization to ACORN.
The ABC and CBS morning shows also slanted towards the protesters by a two-to-one margin in the number of soundbites from the protesters and liberal supporters, versus opponents of raising the minimum wage. While NBC's Today didn't feature any of the protest organizers, the show played three clips from a fast food employee and a protest supporter, versus two from opponents. [MP3 audio available here; video clips below the jump]
On Monday Rep. Darrell Issa, the chairman of the Oversight Committee investigating the IRS’s targeting of the Tea Party, made a stunning claim that the FBI was stonewalling his investigation.
Last week, Issa was so frustrated with William Wilkins' testimony, in which he used the phrase “I don’t recall” 80 times, he accused the IRS chief counsel of “either a deliberate attempt to obfuscate” or “gross incompetence.” Number of Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) stories on these stunning allegations? Zero.
As NewsBusters has been reporting, CBS News has been one of the leading mainstream media outlets in exposing the failings of the ObamaCare website.
One of the standouts has been investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson who took to Twitter Wednesday to absolutely pound the Obama administration for refusing to release information about Healthcare.gov security tests and enrollment figures:
CBS This Morning stood out on Wednesday as the only Big Three newscast so far to devote any air time to a new gun control proposal by Democrats in Congress. Nancy Cordes reported on the "fierce opposition" to a proposed amendment to an extension of an existing ban on so-called "plastic guns", which would "require that all guns contain a piece of metal that cannot be removed".
However, both of Cordes' talking heads during the segment were from Democratic supporters of the proposal, and she failed to include any soundbites from gun rights supporters. [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
When Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a “slut” the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks went ballistic, making the conservative talk show host a centerpiece in their campaign to tarnish Mitt Romney and the GOP as engaging in a “war on women.” However when MSNBC’s Martin Bashir launched his own war on women against Sarah Palin, not a single anchor or reporter from the Big Three said a word about his vile attack.
In the two weeks (February 29, 2012 - March 14, 2012) after Limbaugh made his crude Fluke joke, that he apologized for, the Big Three networks aired a total of 32 stories or interview segments that were full of calls for Limbaugh to apologize to the liberal activist Fluke, to get advertisers to abandon the show and demand that Republicans condemn the talk show host. NBC, who employs Bashir, aired the most Limbaugh stories with 14. ABC and CBS each aired 9 stories a piece. The number of Big Three network stories in the two weeks (November 15, 2013 - November 29, 2013) after Bashir suggested that Palin would be an “outstanding candidate” for excretory punishments? Zero. The hypocrisy from the supposed civility cops in the liberal media is stunning.
Monday's CBS Evening News and Tuesday's CBS This Morning both underlined the continuing problems with HealthCare.gov, even after the Obama administration claimed "it met its deadline to make HealthCare.gov work smoothly for the vast majority of shoppers". Meanwhile, the network's competitors at NBC hyped the supposed positive news about the ObamaCare website.
Wyatt Andrews noted how the White House "says that 375,000 people tried to shop on HealthCare.gov," but soon touted how "that high a number created some problems". The following morning, Major Garrett reported that "the challenges are not over" for the online health insurance clearinghouse [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Sharyl Attkisson touted 'Fast and Furious' whistleblower John Dodson as "a rare example, especially amid the Obama administration's war on leaks" during a segment on Monday's CBS This Morning. Attkisson, whose reporting on the arms trafficking scandal won CBS a Edward R. Murrow Award, spotlighted the ATF senior agent's new book on "the inside story of why he went public to expose the government's false denials about its gunwalking secrets."
The correspondent also pointed out how "there's still a court battle over the 'Fast and Furious' documents that President Obama is withholding from Congress under executive privilege". She also featured a clip from Dodson where he emphasized that this is an ongoing controversy that deserves more media attention: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
CNN has ignored a CBS report that back in 2010, the Obama administration knew ObamaCare would force an estimated 14 million workers off their employer-provided insurance.
Despite not reporting this big news, CNN stretched to pick out a "silver lining" for the troubled law on Wednesday. "So there's a potential silver lining here," chief national correspondent John King said of poll numbers showing a majority of Americans think the law's problems will "eventually be solved" and it's "too soon to tell" if the law is a failure.
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Jan Crawford zeroed in how President Obama "has got another fight on his hands" over the Supreme Court case challenging the federal government's controversial ObamaCare abortifacients and contraceptive mandate, just as "his administration is trying to get that website up and running".
Crawford pointed out that this "legal battle in the Supreme Court could scale back some of what he was trying to accomplish with the law in the first place". She also underlined that "all this comes as many Americans are feeling forced into this law". [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Five months after dropping coverage of the Internal Revenue Service scandal, ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday finally found time to allow a few seconds to mention the targeting of conservatives. CBS and NBC on Tuesday and Wednesday both ignored the fact that the Obama administration is doubling down and now attempting to rein in non-profit groups.
GMA's Josh Elliott blandly noted, "In the wake of the IRS targeting scandal, the Obama administration wants to limit the political influence of tax-exempt groups." He added that the White House is seeking to create new "donation standards to curb the explosive growth in political spending." Elliott added, "The IRS has been accused of unfairly scrutinizing groups affiliated with the Tea Party." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Sharyl Attkisson uncovered another Obama administration falsehood about ObamaCare on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, spotlighting a 2010 document from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services which "estimated ObamaCare would collectively reduce the number of people with employer-sponsored health coverage by about 14 million". This is contrary to the White House's "repeated assurances that nothing will change for those insured through work".
Attkisson featured the cases of two small business owners who had to discontinue the health insurance plans for their employees, including a New Hampshire woman who "remains an avid ObamaCare supporter", despite the problems with HealthCare.gov. [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
All three networks on Tuesday hyped an "interesting" exchange between Barack Obama and a liberal heckler. ABC, CBS and ABC declined, however, to specifically note that the man's concern was that the President simply wasn't liberal enough on the issue of immigration reform. On NBC's Today, Natalie Morales praised, "You know, I think that the President handled it well by engaging." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Co-host Willie Geist defended the President's insistence that he needs Congress to pass legislation. Geist sympathetically noted, "The President's argument was 'I can't wave the magic wand and make this go away.' But he did do that for some of the younger dreamers." The younger dreamers? Quite the loaded term.
On Sunday's 60 Minutes, CBS's Steve Kroft boosted the agenda of Senator Bernie Sanders, a self-identified socialist, by granting him 30 seconds of air time to attack billionaire Pete Peterson, who was featured on the November 17, 2013 edition of the news program. However, this half-minute block was 2.5 times the amount that Peterson got during Charlie Rose's report [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Rose merely played a 12-second soundbite of Peterson during the segment, and mentioned the former Nixon Cabinet official's involvement with a group of philanthropists, who are donating at least 50 percent of their wealth to charity:
Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell stayed true to form and badgered a Republican/conservative guest on Monday's CBS This Morning – this time, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor over his criticism of the Obama administration's nuclear deal with Iran. Rose questioned the congressman's opposition to the proposal, which he labeled "dangerous". Rose asked, "Why isn't that a good deal to freeze things and delay?"
O'Donnell twice touted the deal as "positive", in an attempt to defend the White House's controversial diplomatic efforts: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today on Friday did their best to downplay Senate Democrats' Thursday move to curtail the Republican Party's filibuster power. The two newscasts devoted a combined 39 seconds to the controversial vote, which ABC's Dan Harris labeled a "bold move". GMA apparently thought the potential marriage of serial killer Charles Manson was more important, as it devoted over two minutes of air time to that eyebrow-raising story. [audio of the ABC and NBC coverage available here; video below the jump]
By contrast, Friday's CBS This Morning spent nearly three minutes on the "historic change in the Senate", as Norah O'Donnell put it. O'Donnell also wondered, "Will Democrats regret invoking the nuclear option?"