Demonstrating once more how the NBC Nightly News has become the big audience outlet for MSNBC’s left-wing angst, Brian Williams couldn’t even keep such silliness out of what should have been a light-hearted story on Mitt Romney’s lunch with President Obama. ABC and CBS managed to do that.
On NBC, however, reporter Kristen Welker charged “there was an awkward backdrop to this snap shot” of Romney and Obama shaking hands in the Oval Office. She cited “Romney saying President Obama won because he gave gifts to key constituencies” as well as Romney adviser Stuart Stevens daring to suggest Obama “was a charismatic African-American President with a billion dollars, no primary and media that often felt morally conflicted about being critical.”
Striking a sympathetic tone toward the U.N. ambassador on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams lamented: "It was another one of those days for Susan Rice....who again found herself today in the middle of a power struggle between some Republicans on the Hill on one side, and the President..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell eagerly described a moment in a recent Obama cabinet meeting: "With Hillary Clinton nodding her approval, the President sent a strong message to Senate Republicans, 'Don't mess with my U.N. Ambassador.'" Mitchell observed: "For Rice, a welcome signal that her nomination is still alive, despite another brutal day on Capitol Hill."
Following the lead of NBC political director Chuck Todd lamenting House Republican committee chairs being "all white men," on Wednesday's Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams similarly declared: "...the GOP is dealing with the issue of optics and diversity in politics. Getting a lot of coverage, of the congressional committee chairs selected thus far for the next Congress, they are all white males." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Williams briefly noted the reason: "The leadership points out they were all selected for a reason, including seniority." He then proceeded to shill for the Democrats: "...on their side of the aisle, white men are now the minority among House Democratic members."
In yet another example of climate change fearmongering following Hurricane Sandy, on Monday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams hyped a fantasy illustration from the New York Times: "...an artist's depiction of the Statue of Liberty submerged in New York Harbor, a kind of what-if warning about climate change and our new coastlines up and down the east coast." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, environmental affairs correspondent Anne Thompson used Sandy to bolster the case: "...train stations in New Jersey inundated by torrents of water from Superstorm Sandy....scientists say this kind of destruction could become far more frequent because of the heat-trapping greenhouse gases warming the planet."
Talking to chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie enthusiastically touted: "...we've seen a few Republicans peeling off from a pledge they signed to Grover Norquist, who, of course, is a lobbyist, an anti-tax lobbyist, who's been very powerful among conservatives. Is that a significant move?"
Todd replied by urging the rest of the GOP to similarly abandon core conservative principles: "I'll be impressed when you start seeing House Republicans do it....where it looks like Republicans are softening, it's Senate Republicans. If this deal could be cut between the Senate Republicans and the White House, we wouldn't even be talking about this...the fiscal cliff wouldn't be an issue."
During the recent war in Gaza, NBC News used two images of which definitely one and possibly both qualify as deceptive propaganda against Israel's war effort.
The first example is the infamous image of a child who was killed by shrapnel from a rocket fired out of Gaza by the terrorist group Hamas, but which some news outlets, including CNN, attributed to an Israeli airstrike early on.
On Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, as Richard Engel informed viewers that the Israeli military drops leaflets in Gaza to warn civilians when airstrikes are about to happen so they can evacuate to safety, the NBC correspondent still managed to put a negative spin on the warnings that are meant to diminish civilian casualties. After recounting that frightened civilians frantically left from their homes, Engel observed:
A picture of Mitt Romney pumping his own gas in La Jolla was a big hit on the internet Tuesday after getting posted at Reddit.
For some reason NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams decided to do a story on it Tuesday evening specifically designed to mock the former presidential candidate (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Leading off Monday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams wrung his hands over Israel suffering fewer casualties than Gaza in the ongoing Mideast conflict: "It is a lop-sided fight right now, the estimated death toll is more than a hundred in Gaza, with three Israelis reported dead. The fusillade of rockets from Gaza into Israel is being answered by air strikes, many from drones, many aimed at individuals inside buildings, inside densely packed neighborhoods."
Williams's desire for a fairer fight was reminiscent of former NBC commentator John Chancellor's reaction to the Persian Gulf War in 1992, telling then-Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw: "Greenpeace, the public interest organization, believes that the Iraqi death toll, civilian and military, before and after the war, may be as high as 198,000. Allied military dead are counted in the low hundreds. The disparity is huge and somewhat embarrassing."
On Friday's World News on ABC, correspondent Alex Marquardt relayed without question a claim by "one of the militant groups behind" the rocket attacks on Israel that they "wouldn't fire rockets if Israel wasn't killing us," even though almost 700 rockets had already been fired out of Gaza into the Jewish state between January 1 and November 5, well before Israel's recent sustained military campaign began.
Israel was attacked by more than 200 rockets on Nov. 15 by a known terror organization – known by everyone but ABC, CBS and NBC.
Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, was declared a “foreign terrorist organization” more than 15 years ago by the United States. But not one rocket attack story on the network morning or evening news shows called the terrorists anything other than “militants.”
In 61 percent of the stories (8 out of 13) in 2012, the three networks wemt to great pains to avoid calling Hamas terrorists. Instead, they were “militants” with “militant Islamic leaders”
In a series of reports following President Obama's Wednesday afternoon press conference, NBC News repeatedly portrayed Obama as a magnanimous victor "reaching out" to his opponents, while Republicans were tarred as uncooperative and on the attack.
On Wednesday's Nightly News, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd nearly ran out of positive adjectives to describe the President's demeanor at the presser: "It was a loose, confident, and at times aggressive President Obama....He even extended an olive branch and encouraged growing common ground between the two parties....he was genial and even reflective."
According to Todd's account, the only thing that spoiled Obama's sunny disposition was having to respond to "negative comments from Republican senators on the possibility that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice could become secretary of state." Comments that made the commander-in-chief "visibly angry."
In a transparent effort to yet again applaud the left-wing Occupy Wall Street movement on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams introduced the broadcast's Making a Difference segment by proclaiming: "We all remember the Occupy Wall Street movement. We covered them here a lot....Whatever you think of their agenda and them, they've re-formed now, into Occupy Sandy. They're redirecting their energy into helping hurricane victims..."
In the report that followed, correspondent Katy Tur announced: "Remember the Occupy Wall Street movement famous for taking over New York's Zuccotti Park and coining the term 1%? Well, now they have Occupy Sandy. Within days after Sandy hit, Occupy went to work."
In attempt to deflect the growing scandal surrounding former CIA director David Petreaus away from President Obama, on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd parroted administration spin on the controversy: "...they do believe they're a little insulated here, because Petraeus isn't considered an Obama guy. If anything, he's more of a Republican guy at the end of the day." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Anchor Brian Williams wondered about the timing of the scandal: "What if this had come out during the election campaign?" Todd described how relieved the Obama campaign team was that it didn't: "Well, look, it's something that the political team here at the White House is glad that they didn't have to test that hypothetical."
Eager to draw a comparison between Barack Obama and Abraham Lincoln during a report for Saturday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Kevin Tibbles observed of the new film about the nation's 16th president: "No coincidence, perhaps, the film opens the week America's 21st century President won re-election in difficult times fraught with partisan bickering. Times in which many ask, what would Lincoln do?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Tibbles suggested the similarity immediately following a sound bite from director Steven Spielberg: "Lincoln advocated things we hold dear today. He advocated that government can be a positive force for the good of all people."
In a report for Monday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Anne Thompson seized on Hurricane Sandy to continue pushing the argument for man-made global warming: "Now some politicians are connecting the dots, blaming the gases that come from burning coal, oil and gas for changing the climate." A clip followed of New York's Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo declaring: "Climate change, extreme weather, call it what you will. It is undeniable." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Thompson did acknowledge that "when it comes to one specific event like Sandy, most scientists are more cautious." However, the segment only featured sound bites of climate experts making dire declarations. The Weather Channel's Tom Moore fretted: "This is something we've never seen before, any of the meteorologists here, for that matter. And it's something very, very unusual."
As NBC anchor Brian Williams appeared as a guest on Wednesday's The Late Show on CBS, host David Letterman charged that Republican political strategist Karl Rove "lied to" and tried to "frighten" the electorate in 2012, referring to the former George W. Bush strategist as a "tubby little weasel." Letterman:
ABC, CBS and NBC did their part Friday night to minimize the negative impact to the Obama campaign from the rise in the unemployment rate from 7.8 to 7.9 percent in October.
ABC anchor Diane Sawyer allocated a piddling 18 seconds to the news as she characterized the 171,000 jobs growth as “beating predictions,” NBC’s Brian Williams stressed how the 171,000 additional jobs number “was better than the experts had expected” and the CBS Evening News focused on one “flourishing” company which has grown this year from 80 to 450 workers.
Up or down, the media often hype changing gas prices, in spite of a long track record of incorrect predictions. But the most recent forecast stands to benefit media favorite: President Barack Obama.
In recent months, all three broadcast news networks and the USA Today have offered predictions ahead of the presidential election, saying prices would be much lower by late November: after the election.
Presidential elections have been won or lost due to the economy. Herbert Hoover lost to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Jimmy Carter lost to Ronald Reagan. This election season is no different as polls, including a recent one from NBC News/Wall Street Journal, continue to show the economy is the top concern of voters.
But the network news media often skew economic coverage in favor of liberal candidates and against conservatives. In September 2012, President Barack Obama continued to face a barrage of poor economic news including a GDP downgrade to 1.3 percent, an unemployment rate still above 8 percent and “record” high gas prices. But media coverage of economic issues from that month did not accurately reflect that turmoil. When President George W. Bush sought re-election in 2004, during the exact same time period, broadcast coverage criticized him on the economy despite a GDP of 3.3 percent, an unemployment rate of just 5.4 percent and gas prices a low $1.82.
Earlier today, NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center President Brent Bozell accurately noted that the Big Three TV news networks are "as guilty in ... (the Benghazi) cover-up as is the administration." He did so based on the fact that "For the sixth night in a row, ABC World News, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News refused to give one single second of coverage to a Fox News report that the Obama Administration denied help to those attacked and killed by terrorists at the US consulate in Benghazi on September 11."
Not that it mitigates the legitimacy of Mr. Bozell's outrage, but one can take some comfort in the fact that fewer people are tuning in to the three nightly news broadcasts than were doing so a year ago, and that their ratings in the 25-54 demographic in the past five weeks are down by almost 20 percent from the same five-week period during the 2008 presidential cycle. A table containing individual results from the past two weeks and the average results from the past five is after the jump (a previous NewsBusters post on the first three weeks is here).
During a 20-minute interview with President Obama aired on Thursday's NBC Rock Center, host Brian Williams devoted a total of 1 minute 36 seconds to the subject of the terrorist attack in Libya. At the same time, four segments of soft coverage of the President's re-election campaign received a combined total of 2 minutes 19 seconds.
The promotional fluff included the President stopping by a pizza shop in Iowa (1 min 3 sec), appearing on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno (30 sec), having singer Katy Perry perform at a rally in Las Vegas (31 sec), and him picking up some donuts at a Krispy Kreme in Tampa (15 sec).
A night after NBC’s Brian Williams used a series of interview sessions with President Barack Obama to express bewilderment Obama is not running away with the presidential race, the anchor touted Colin Powell’s endorsement, pressed Obama from the left to go further in denouncing Republicans on abortion and cued up the President to decry the high level of campaign spending.
It was Williams’ “third interview with him in the past 24 hours” leading up to multiple segment on tonight’s (Thursday) Rock Center at 10 PM EDT/PDT, 9 PM CDT.
It appears as though MSNBC has gone into overdrive covering up for the Obama administration over the terrorist attack on our consulate in Libya. Following emails uncovered by CBS News late Tuesday evening showing the White House knew within two hours that the attack was terrorist related, MSNBC has run a grand total of two stories on these shocking developments.
Unlike yesterday, NBC's Today did provide a news brief on the emails Thursday morning as well as a story during Wednesday night’s Nightly News, but their sister cable network MSNBC has only covered the story once today, on The Daily Rundown at 9:00 a.m. Eastern.
Continuing to hype Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock's opposition to abortion as some kind of scandal for Mitt Romney, on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Peter Alexander proclaimed: "...the Romney campaign is also dealing with a new controversy, trying to distance itself from this comment..."
After playing a sound bite of Mourdock explaining in a Tuesday senatorial debate that he believed an unborn child conceived by rape was still a life "intended by God," Alexander touted an ad of Romney endorsing the Indiana Republican. He then observed how, "Mr. Romney, who's been carefully courting women voters, ignored the controversy" and declared that the Governor's campaign has "been trying to steer away from it's party's right-wing since the contentious primaries..."
In an interview with President Obama on Wednesday, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams lobbed this softball: "How is it that with – what, 13 days to go, you're fighting for your life in a 47/47 race?... So after the excitement of '08, given the power of incumbency, you got Bin Laden, you did not expect to be sitting on a more substantial race than we are as we sit here today?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Obama argued he was exceeding media expectations: "...we always knew this was gonna be a close race from the start....you guys have some short memories. Folks in your business were writing me off a year ago, saying there's no way I would win."
In a continued effort to tag Mitt Romney with a flip-flopper label, on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams proclaimed that Romney's performance in the final presidential debate "seemed to be a move to the center" on foreign policy issues and asserted that the Governor was "taking positions he has not taken before."
In the report that followed, correspondent Andrea Mitchell declared: "Mitt Romney's switch to a more moderate foreign policy last night was clearly aimed at independent women voters.... Clearly having decided that undecided voters, those swing voters, are more likely to choose a moderate Republican than a hawk."
On Tuesday evening, CBS broke wide open a story on State Department e-mails showing the White House knew on September 11 that the consulate in Benghazi was subjected to a terrorist attack, and that terrorists took credit on Facebook and Twitter. But by Wednesday, the three network morning shows weren't leaping to follow up. ABC and CBS combined devoted just over a minute to the story, while NBC completely ignored it.
By contrast, all three newscasts showed that they were more interested in helping the Democrats in Indiana, aggressively spotlighting Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock's faith-based affirmation that he did not support abortion even in the case of rape, that even those are children "God intended." Mourdock's "controversial comments" drew more than seven and a half minutes of coverage.
Shortly following the conclusion of the final presidential debate Monday night, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams posed this question to Richard Haas of the Council on Foreign Relations: "I noticed a columnist for the New York Times tonight tweeted out that this was an etch-a-sketch moment for Governor Romney....Did you see that kind of movement on his part?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Williams reminded viewers of the origin of the phrase: "It was obviously a knock of the campaign story that came up about changing policy, moving toward the center with an ease of erasing an etch-a-sketch." Haas avoided any validation of the liberal talking point: "I'm almost more comfortable, Brian, leaving the politics to others, about, you know, what Governor Romney was trying to do tonight."
The Big Three networks (ABC, CBS and NBC) gave the faux furor over Mitt Romney’s “binders full of women” statement in Tuesday’s debate a whopping 22 mentions through Friday morning. Yet when Vice President Joe Biden, on Thursday, told an audience member that Republican “young guns” like Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan had “bullets” aimed at him the networks delivered just a scant two total mentions (on NBC and CBS, ABC skipped the gaffe entirely.)
On the morning after the debate ABC’s Elizabeth Vargas, on Good Morning America, singled out the “binders” comment: “You remember the Big Bird line that dominated the conversations online and around the water cooler, in essence, after the first debate? Last night, it was another Romney comment, ‘binders full of women’ that caused the heat to turn on.”