CBS journalists on Thursday morning investigated the latest details of the expanding Veterans Affairs scandal. Yet despite calling the newest revelation "ugly," correspondent Nancy Cordes somehow managed to avoid using Barack Obama's name or to discuss the White House. Instead, she focused on congressional culpability: "But the Inspector General's report points out Congress and the VA have known about similar manipulations and delays for nearly a decade." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Cordes talked to a GOP House member and pressed: "Florida Republican Jeff Miller is the chair of the House VA committee. If you've known about problems like this for years why are you only now calling on the V.A. Secretary to resign?" NBC skimped on discussing how much this issue could hurt the President personally. At the very end of a Nightly News discussion, Kelly O'Donnell briefly noted, "From the White House, NBC's Kristen Welker reports the President considers Secretary Shinseki to be on probation."
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, on Wednesday evening, discovered the promise of a “muscular” foreign policy in President Barack Obama’s West Point military academy speech, asserting without specific attribution: “As one writer put it, he called for a muscular, if not militaristic, foreign policy for the near future.”
ABC anchor Diane Sawyer better reflected the far from muscular or militaristic tone, relaying: “Today at West Point he announced a major change in foreign policy – a plan that relies less on the U.S. military and creates an international partnership to help nations fight extremists within their borders.”
NBC, ABC, and CBS all hailed First Lady Michelle Obama attacking Republicans for trying to make her draconian school lunch mandate more flexible. At the top of Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams proclaimed: "Food fight. Michelle Obama as we've rarely heard her before, returning to her campaign by accusing Republicans in Congress of playing politics with children's health." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On ABC's World News, anchor Diane Sawyer cheered the First Lady as "an unlikely gladiator" who "entered an arena" after having "carefully stayed out of the fray." Sawyer gushed at how Obama "came out swinging today about an issue close to her heart."
At the time when the country is remembering the ultimate sacrifice veterans have given this country ABC’s (World News) evening and (Good Morning America) morning shows didn’t devote a second to the VA scandal over this Memorial Day weekend. However, those shows did spend time on President Barack Obama receiving “cheers” during his surprise visit to Afghanistan.
While ABC didn’t offer a second on its newscasts (from Friday evening through Monday night) on the VA scandal CBS devoted a total of 8 minutes, 39 seconds on its (Evening News) evening and (CBS This Morning) morning shows during that same time period. NBC spent 3 minutes, 34 seconds on its (Nightly News) evening and (Today) morning shows over the long weekend.
However ABC did find a story it wanted to trumpet.
At the top of Saturday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Lester Holt proclaimed: "Abortion battleground. The newest state to impose tougher requirements on doctors who perform the procedure. Protecting women or denying them access?" In another tease of the upcoming story minutes later, Holt warned: "...the battle over abortion and a controversial new law about to take effect." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, correspondent Kristen Welker revealed the supposed threat to the abortion agenda: "The legislation requires doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges to a hospital within thirty miles of where the procedure takes place. That change could force three of the state's five abortion clinics to close."
At the end of Friday’s NBC Nightly News, they aired a sugary Harry Smith profile of Bob Dole: “The body may be frail but the voice is unmistakable...Yeah, that's Bob Dole, once known as an attack dog, at 90 he purrs.”
NBC completely skipped what Dole had to say on the front page of Friday morning’s USA Today, that the current handling of veterans in the VA health system is a “disaster.” Susan Page had the story in an exclusive interview (NBC video below):
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, who routinely hypes forecasts declaring climate change an imminent threat to humanity, made a rather stunning admission on Thursday night's broadcast while touting the 2014 predictions from the National Hurricane Center: "Overall, they're predicting eight to thirteen so-called named storms....One or two hurricanes, they predict, will be major, meaning category three or above. But, as you know, it is always the case in the inexact business of any forecast beyond five days, we shall see." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
After news broke on Thursday that NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams landed an exclusive interview with NSA leaker Edward Snowden, the network began running promos wondering whether Snowden was a "traitor" or a "patriot." First a clip played of Williams observing: "A lot of people would say you have badly damaged your country." A second clip of the exchange feature Williams asking Snowden: "Have you performed, as you see it, a public service?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In early May, CBS's morning and evening newscasts spotlighted congressional Democrats' vehement opposition to the formation of a select committee to investigate the September 11, 2012 Islamist attacks on the U.S. government facilities in Benghazi, Libya during 10 minutes and 14 seconds of reporting.
However, when Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi named five Democrats to the committee on Wednesday, the CBS news programs minimized their coverage of the development. Wednesday's CBS Evening Newsset aside 23 seconds to the story, while Norah O'Donnell gave a 14-second news brief on Thursday's CBS This Morning about the story: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Wednesday's World News on ABC minimized any sense of the Obama administration's responsibility in the ongoing V.A. scandal, and spent the least amount of air time on the issue among the Big Three networks' evening newscasts. The program actually aired segments on pickpocketing and custom mobile homes than lasted about a half a minute longer each than their report on the scandal.
Diane Sawyer spotlighted how the President "weighed in – talking tough and talking action" on the "growing outrage over veterans hospitals." Jim Avila noted how multiple V.A. medical facilities in several states are now being investigated, and let the relative of deceased veteran decry the President's handling of the scandal. However, he didn't mention that the wait lists have been around for years – something that CBS Evening News mentioned in its coverage of the controversy: [MP3 audio from the ABC report available here; video below the jump]
In a report for Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, political director Chuck Todd offered an obituary for the Tea Party based on a handful of expected primary losses and sympathized with Democrats hoping for weak Republican candidates in November: "Democrats are watching this Tea Party fade with disappointment....They were counting on a few bad Tea Party nominees to bail them out of a race or two, and as you can see, that might not happen this year." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Throughout the segment, Todd gave his assessment of the "struggles" for the Tea Party: "[Kentucky Senator Mitch] McConnell's aggressive campaign is reason number one why the Tea Party has struggled – established Republicans have taken the Tea Party head on....reason number two why the Tea Party has struggled – establishment Republicans have played up their own conservative credentials....reason number three – the defining Tea Party issue of cutting government spending has faded."
NBC Nightly News is at it again, trying to scare its audience about the impending dangers of climate change. Following two reports in early May, the Tuesday, May 20 Nightly News hyped how there’s “a new warning about some iconic American treasures including the threat to Lady Liberty herself.”
Fill-in host Lester Host introduced the segment by declaring that our “American treasures... might one day be something we read about in history books rather than places we visit.” [See video below.]
Documents obtained by the Washington Times revealed that the Bush Administration warned the Obama Administration about problems within the Veterans Administration as early as 2008, yet both the ABC and NBC evening news broadcasts ignored the story on Monday, May 19.
Of the big three networks, only the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley covered the new revelations in the VA scandal. CBS News host Scott Pelley noted that “The Bush White House was so concerned about this back in 2008 that it warned the incoming Obama Administration.” [See video below.]
Friday's World News on ABC mentioned the ongoing scandal surrounding the Veterans Administration only in passing, despite the fact their own chief White House correspondent, Jonathan Karl, hounded Press Secretary Jay Carney at the regular White House press briefing on the issue. Meanwhile, they set aside two full segments totaling seven minutes and 54 seconds of air time to Barbara Walters' departure from The View.
Diane Sawyer gave a 30-second news brief to a new development in the scandal – about one-sixteenth the amount of time that she and her newscast spent on Walters: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Despite the rise in deaths from preventable childhood diseases, the networks spent the last 15 years fueling speculation that vaccines cause autism. Just in the past seven years more than 1,300 died from such diseases, according to CDC data.
The medical community widely refuted such claims and the medical journal that once published the study later retracted it. But for years the broadcast networks continued to report on the alleged connection between vaccines and autism.
On Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams continued his network's defense of Hillary Clinton by setting aside 63 seconds of air time to a soundbite of Bill Clinton "firing back at Karl Rove, after comments Rove made about Hillary Clinton's health." Williams trumpeted how "shades of the old political warrior Bill Clinton were on display today," as he introduced the extended clip of the former president.
By contrast, on ABC's World News, Jonathan Karl detailed how the former New York senator was "not seen in public for nearly a month as secretary of state" in late 2012, and how State Department officials "downplayed her [Mrs. Clinton's] condition:" [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Moving to discredit, as illegitimate, Republican operative Karl Rove’s inquiry about Hillary Clinton’s health, on Tuesday’s NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams denounced the “smear campaign” oozing from “some very nasty politics.”
Williams teased at the top of his newscast: “Smear campaign. Are we witnessing a new GOP line of attack against Hillary Clinton and did Karl Rove take things too far?”
On Monday, May 13, all three network evening newscasts hyped the dire consequences of a new NASA study which show that “large parts of the western Antarctica ice sheet appears to have collapsed.”
ABC, CBS, and NBC hyperventilated over the report, and warned of rising sea levels in the immediate future. CBS News’ Elaine Quijano warned “A 10-foot rise in sea level would submerge tunnels and subways here in Manhattan and parts of Queens and Brooklyn. But, Scott, it would also put the entire city of Miami Beach and much of South Florida underwater.” [See video below.]
Soon after the House voted to create a special select committe to investigate the Benghazi attacks, ABC ignored the story on Thursday evening. NBC spent just 27 seconds on the development, and CBS focused its report on Democratic disgust with the "partisan" move.
ABC's World News instead spent over two minutes reporting on former teen star Jason Patric's custody battle and another two minutes on how online stores vary their prices for different customers. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
After ignoring a massive health care scandal at Barack Obama's Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), NBC finally offered substantial coverage on Wednesday night. But the network failed to make any mention of how this controversy would impact the President or his handling of health care. Nightly News anchor Brian Williams announced that VA Secretary Eric Shinseki is "trying to fix this and hang on to his job."
Ongoing revelations have exposed the fact that as many as 40 veterans died after being placed on a secret list to hide delays. Reporter Jim Miklaszewski talked to Shinseki and pressed, "Are you willing, as Secretary of Veterans Affairs, to accept full responsibility?" He added, "But Shinseki indicated today he's going nowhere. They [veterans groups] want you to resign or be fired. Will you resign?" The only reference to Obama came when the Secretary noted that he "serves at the pleasure of the President." Miklaszewski never mentioned Obama.
Not even a full vote by the House of Representatives to hold Lois Lerner in contempt can shake the networks out of their slumber in covering the IRS scandal. On Wednesday the House voted 231-178 (all Republicans voted yes with six Democrats) to hold Lerner in contempt for refusing to testify about the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups. Total coverage by ABC, CBS and NBC? Just a 15-second brief on Thursday’s edition of ABC’s Good Morning America.
However the Big Three networks did find the 110x more time this week to tout the “dire” and “alarming” findings from the White House climate change report.
Sometimes the truth is much sweeter than the syrupy environmentalism of the national media.
While hyping the alleged effects on climate change, NBC’s May 6 “Nightly News” tried to localize the impact by citing a different problem in each region. The broadcast played a clip of Burr Morse, a seventh-generation maple syrup producer from Montpelier, Vermont, stating that this season’s weather had been too warm. Contrary to this clip’s implications, Morse told the MRC’s Business and Media Institute that cold weather actually did more to harm this year’s maple syrup season.
Summary: After a partisan report last June absurdly suggested that progressive groups were just as likely to be scrutinized as conservative ones, ABC, CBS and NBC essentially abandoned their coverage of the IRS targeting scandal which broke one year ago this week. After producing 136 stories on their morning and evening news show during the first seven weeks of the scandal, broadcast news coverage dried up, with just 14 more reports over the next 10 months, as the Big Three ignored numerous damning developments in the case.
The broadcast networks all took a climate change study released by the White House and ran with it on Tuesday evening, advancing the administration's narrative by hyping the threats of climate change while barely quoting any critics.
ABC's coverage was so soft that correspondent Ginger Zee bragged like a groupie that President Obama asked a question of her: "And then something interesting happened, Diane. The President actually asked me a question. He wanted to know which storm was the worst that I had ever covered." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Once again, NBC was out to scare its viewers about the threat of man-made climate change. Appearing on the Sunday, May 4 NBC Nightly News, Ann Curry narrated a 2 minute 30 second piece that attempted to instill panic in its viewers about the supposed dire state of the world’s climate.
Curry began her report by showing video of cars falling off of a street in Baltimore, Maryland after a heavy rainstorm before bemoaning that this “is one example of extreme weather events that may be more common in the future.” [See video below.]
On Friday, CBS Evening News caught up with its Big Three competitors and reported on the latest developments on the controversy surrounding the September 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. facility in Benghazi, Libya. CBS also finally mentioned its own president's family connection to a White House official involved in the Obama administration's handling of the immediate aftermath of the attack.
Nancy Cordes gave a full report on how the "the White House released previously unseen e-mails" about the federal government's response to the terrorist strike, which led to House Speaker John Boehner forming a new select committee to investigate the attack. Scott Pelley also disclosed that "Ben Rhodes, the White House deputy national security advisor mentioned in Nancy's story, is the brother of CBS News President David Rhodes." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
House Republicans determined that just two-thirds of ObamaCare enrollees paid their first month's premium in the federal marketplace, but the broadcast networks ignored their finding on Thursday evening, while FNC's Special Report with Bret Baier devoted a full story. If true, the report would drastically undercut the White House's number of ObamaCare enrollees.
A report by the House Energy and Commerce Committee found that, according to data from all insurance providers, "only 67 percent of individuals and families that had selected a health plan in the federally facilitated marketplace had paid their first month’s premium and therefore completed the enrollment process."
On Thursday evening, ABC was the only broadcast network to cover the day's congressional hearing on the Benghazi attacks. Both CBS and NBC ignored the hearing. ABC only covered the story for 46 seconds; they gave twice that amount of coverage to the U.S. Olympic speedskating suits.
World News quoted retired Air Force Brigadier General Robert Lovell, at the U.S. Africa Command headquarters during the attacks, telling Congress that the military "should have done more" to respond. ABC also included the White House's response that according to top military brass, no units were close enough to respond. What ABC didn't include was Lovell's implied answer to that excuse: "The point is we should have tried."
Who’s the victim here: A man who beat, sodomized, shot and buried alive a 19-year-old girl or the deceased girl? What about her family?
To judge by ABC, NBC and CBS, the victim is Clayton Lockett, who brutally killed Stephanie Neiman, kidnapped three more people and committed multiple other crimes, because his execution was botched. The lethal injection drug cocktail administered by the State of Oklahoma didn’t kill him immediately but took 40 minutes to do so.
ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning and evening newscasts have yet to set aside any air time to a mass abduction of over 200 schoolgirls from a school in northern Nigeria on April 16, 2014. Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram raided the government-run institution and forced the students into vehicles. On Thursday, the girls' parents and their supporters led a demonstration to pressure the government into action.
The last time the Big Three networks covered the ongoing insurgency in Nigeria was on the April 14, 2014 edition of NBC Nightly News. Anchor Brian Williams gave a 26-second news brief about Boko Haram's bombing in the capital of Abuja, which took place mere hours before the jihadist group kidnapped the students. Nine days later, CNN's Wolf Blitzer devoted a full segment on his Wolf program to the school incident with correspondent Vladimir Duthiers: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]