NBC Nightly News
Fretting over the Supreme Court upholding a portion of Arizona's immigration law, on Monday's NBC Nightly News correspondent Mike Taibbi declared: "[Leticia Ramirez] and her husband have been in this country illegally for over a decade and when she later watched the Supreme Court ruling unfold, she said the verdict, though it only upheld the so-called 'show your papers' part of the law, was still threatening." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Ramirez decried the decision: "It's going to affect the whole community because they're not going to be able to go out, have a normal life. They're going to be afraid that if we go out they might – we might get stopped just for your color." As she spoke, Ramirez wore a t-shirt that read: "Arrest [Arizona Sheriff Joe] Arpaio, Not the People; End Police and ICE Collaboration."
Appearing on Monday's NBC Nightly News, chief White House correspondent spun the Supreme Court's decision on Arizona's immigration law as exactly what the Democrats wanted: "Well, in crass political terms, today was a day where the Obama campaign was pretty happy with what happened and the Romney campaign was not very happy." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd touted liberal cynicism on the issue: "You talk to some Democratic strategists and they say the part of the law that was upheld will only help them motivate Hispanics even more and help them essentially alienate them from the Republican Party."
Trying to do some cheerleading for President Obama on Friday, NBC's Today touted the First Daughters as a major boon to his reelection, as co-host Matt Lauer proclaimed: "...with the election just about five months away, Malia and Sasha are stepping forward a little bit. So are they a good way to connect with voters?...are they his secret weapon in the upcoming campaign?"
Introducing the pro-Obama fluff as legitimate news, co-host Ann Curry talked about the President as if he were a summer action flick: "Like most parents, President Obama loves talking about his kids. But during an election year, those stories might also just help him out at the box office."
Trying to quickly move past the Obama administration's Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal, Thursday's ABC and CBS evening newscasts dropped the story completely while NBC's Nightly News only followed up with a scant 30 seconds of coverage.
That 30 seconds on NBC consisted of anchor Brian Williams noting, "Fallout today in that fight between congressional Republicans and Attorney General Eric Holder," and explaining: "Speaker John Boehner signaled his backing for the action and hinted that the White House's use of executive privilege might involve some sort of a coverup."
Leading off Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams could barely conceal his contempt for Attorney General Eric Holder being held in contempt by the House Government Oversight Committee: "Washington has blown up into a caustic partisan fight....And for those not following the complexities of all of it, it just looks like more of our broken politics and vicious fights now out in the open."
NBC News should be included in the category of "those not following the complexities of all of it" when it comes to covering the Fast and Furious gun running scandal at the heart of the contempt charge. Wednesday night marked the first full story the network offered on the subject, having completely ignored the controversy until June 12, with a 30-second mention of the failed operation at the end of a report.
NBC's Nightly News on Friday offered a one-sided segment touting Barack Obama's decision to lift the threat of deportation to young people who came to America illegally. The Pete Williams report featured six clips of individuals or groups thrilled by the reaction, only two against and one nuanced response by Mitt Romney.
Williams began by touting, "Young people covered by the new policy cheered the announcement outside the White House." An unidentified woman enthused, "I can't describe it. It's so amazing. I'm so happy." A crowd in front of the White House chanted, "Yes, we did! Yes, we did! Yes, we did! Yes, we did!"
NBC provided its first coverage of the Fast & Furious gun running scandal on Tuesday, providing a scant 30 seconds on Nightly News. In contrast, Thursday's NBC Today devoted a 37-second report to a video of "Obama Boy," a gay activist singing over his support for the President in 2012. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Today news anchor Natalie Morales proclaimed: "Justin Brown's viral YouTube video focuses on the President's support for gay marriage." A long clip played of Brown musically professing he had a "crush on Obama" and wanting to the President "get hard on Romney in debate." Morales added: "Meanwhile, 'Obama Girl' says she loves the video. She hopes she and 'Obama Boy' can maybe get together for a duet."
As Newsbusters reported yesterday, the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) network news shows have been stunningly slow to report on the Eric Holder hearings on the Fast and Furious scandal. NBC news hasn’t even reported once on the gunwalking controversy, until last night. On Tuesday’s NBC Nightly News, at the very end of her report, Kelly O’Donnell finally told viewers about “a failed operation that sent US guns into Mexico.” O’Donnell awkwardly attempted to explain the controversy, in 30 seconds, since no one on Nightly News or Today had previously done it.
The only other mention of the Holder hearings came on Wednesday’s edition of CBS's This Morning. ABC skipped the story entirely.
Uniquely among the broadcast network evening newscasts, on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams noted that today is the 25th anniversary of President Reagan calling on Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev to demolish the Berlin Wall, as Reagan stood in Berlin on June 12, 1987, and delivered his famous "Tear down this wall" speech. Williams read the brief item:
The news that the House Oversight Committee will vote next week on whether to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, for refusing to turn over subpoenaed documents in the Fast and Furious investigation, was met with silence from the Big Three (ABC, NBC, CBS) network news shows. There was no mention of the Holder hearings on Monday’s evening news shows or Tuesday’s morning shows.
The blackout of the Holder hearings continues a stunning trend. Since December 2010, when the Fast and Furious scandal first broke, there have been zero stories about the gunwalking scandal on NBC Nightly News and Today show. On ABC there was only one brief aired on Good Morning America. Only CBS has truly covered the story, mainly due to the work of one reporter, Sharyl Attkisson. Since Attkisson broke the gunwalking story, there have been a total of 30 full stories and 1 brief aired on CBS’s Evening News and This Morning programs.
Curiously, Attkisson’s stories on the gunwalking scandal have screeched to a halt.
ABC, CBS, and NBC stayed true to their liberal slant and ignored the 164 rallies across the United States on Friday against the federal government's abortifacient/birth control mandate under ObamaCare. Religious leaders and conservative politicians, like former GOP presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, addressed the tens of thousands of pro-religious freedom activists who attended the rallies. But the Big Three apparently didn't think this was worthy of coverage on their morning and evening newscasts.
By contrast, CBS played up the supporters of a group of left-leaning Catholic nuns during four on-air segments between May 30 and June 1, 2012. Correspondent Wyatt Andrews hyped how "hundreds of Catholics have rallied behind the sisters," and that "protests in support of the nuns have been held in almost 50 cities."
Since last Thursday, when Democratic members of Congress joined Republicans in denouncing the leaking of classified information which is suspected to have been divulged by members of the Obama administration, CBS has been dragging its feet compared to ABC and NBC in filling in viewers on the developments.
Remarking that Wisconsin voters had "decided to leave their governor in office" on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams contemptuously declared that "money flowed into that state from all over the country, from people who had never been to Wisconsin, had no connection to Wisconsin. Part of the new and unlimited spending that is changing politics in a hurry." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
After Williams credited the out-of-state money for "a huge victory for the Republicans," chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd breathlessly proclaimed: "Walker and national Republicans responded aggressively [to the recall], launching an unprecedented fundraising and TV ad campaign, outspending Barrett and his labor allies by a 3 to 1 margin on the air alone. Overall, nearly as much money was spent in this one state for one election than Mitt Romney has spent to secure the Republican presidential nomination."
Searching for an excuse to explain what went wrong for Democrats in Wisconsin, the broadcast networks blamed "a record-shattering $64 million poured into" the recall election by "conservative out-of-state groups" supporting Republican Governor Scott Walker.
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, correspondent Bill Plante promoted Obama campaign talking points on the major Democratic loss: "...what it called the 'massive spending gap'. Governor Walker's supporters raised $31 million to $4 million for the challenger, Tom Barrett....with most of that money coming from out of state – a huge chunk of it from the super-PACs." On Tuesday's CBS Evening News, correspondent Dean Reynolds proclaimed: "Their efforts resulted in an avalanche of ads attacking Walker's Democratic opponent..."
Seated atop a high horse on Monday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Peter Alexander lamented the tone of the Wisconsin recall election of Republican Governor Scott Walker: "It is a fiery local campaign that analysts say highlights the country's nasty political landscape, where demonization often drowns out discourse."
What Alexander failed to notice from his lofty perch was that left-wing MSNBC host Ed Schultz has driven much of the nastiness in the campaign. Launching his vicious assault against Walker in February of 2011 on The Ed Show, Schultz spewed: "Governor Scott Walker is trying to balance the budget on the backs of school teachers, prison guards, and snowplow drivers...on a mission to destroy basic human rights, union rights that is, for public employees." From then through May of 2012, Schultz brought on 237 guests to denounce Walker.
The three broadcast networks continue to act as guardian angels to Planned Parenthood, shielding the abortion provider from any hint of controversy. Live Action videos showing Planned Parenthood’s apparent willingness to cooperate in sex selection abortion have been completely buried by ABC, CBS, and NBC for an entire week (morning shows of May 30-June 5, evening shows of May 29-June 4).
Live Action has come out with two videos showing Planned Parenthood staffers actively assisting a Live Action actor to procure a sex-selection abortion. In the week after the story broke, the networks gave zero coverage to the Live Action reports. (Cable outlets CNN and Fox News have both given the Live Action videos coverage.) The videos coincided with a House vote to ban sex-selection abortion, which the networks also completely ignored.
On Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, a piece by correspondent Andrea Mitchell incorrectly claimed that Mitt Romney "doesn't say how" he believes the Obama administration should assist rebels who are fighting against Bashar Assad's rule of Syria, giving the impression that the GOP presidential candidate was criticizing President Obama without offering constructive ideas. She even hinted that Romney had not voiced support for arming rebels as she noted that "Others, including John McCain, say the U.S. should arm the rebels."
At the top of Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer worked to tarnish Mitt Romney officially becoming the GOP Nominee: "Mitt Romney secures the Republican presidential nomination....But will his ongoing relationship with Donald Trump overshadow his big moment? As Trump plays the birther card once again."
Moments later, Lauer continued to rain on Romney's achievement: "...even as he basks in the glow of securing the nomination, Donald Trump, who hosted a closed-door fundraiser for Romney in Las Vegas last night, has managed to once again grab some headlines by reigniting the debate over President Obama's birthplace. Should Romney have been quicker to distance himself from Trump?"
On Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams announced: "Los Angeles is about to become the third big city in California to ban plastic grocery bags." He then framed the government overreach as a green crusade: "Environmental activists, as you know, have been pushing for this, to keep those bags out of the ocean and out of the natural world."
Following a report on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News about the dropping value of Facebook's initial public stock offering and possible investigations into what went wrong, anchor Brian Williams saw an opportunity to adopt the talking points of the left-wing Occupy Wall Street movement: "Is this a case of the rich get richer, another advantage to the 1%...?"
Williams posed that question to New York Times reporter and CNBC host Andrew Ross Sorkin, who enthusiastically added to the class warfare rhetoric: "Boy does it feel that way, Brian. This is that and probably a lot more. And it couldn't come at a worse time given the enormous distrust that the public has of Wall Street. And it goes to this sense of fairness. This is the ultimate 1% versus 99% all over again."
NBC anchor Brian Williams on Wednesday night ridiculed Mitt Romney’s quest to reduce the unemployment rate to six percent by 2016, a level enjoyed fewer than four years ago.
“Back when Newt Gingrich pledged $2.50 a gallon gasoline, if elected President, he was called out at the time for an unrealistic number. Today,” Williams charged without naming any source, “some of the same thing happened to Mitt Romney when he made a pledge on unemployment as part of his overall defense of his work at Bain Capital.”
At Media Bistro earlier today, the news about the combined average total audience for the Big Three TV networks' evening news was grim enough, coming in at a combined 20.15 million (NBC, 7.52 million; ABC, 7.14 million; CBS, 5.49 million).
But the news about the audience in the key 25-54 demographic was, from what I can tell, either an all-time low or darned close to it. I couldn't find an example of one that was lower in searches through previous overall audience low points covered in prior posts at NewsBusters and or my home blog. Last week and other weeks which were almost as low in the 25-54 deme follow the jump:
The evening news broadcasts all but spiked the largest legal action in history to defend our constitutionally protected religious freedom. The May 21 editions of ABC’s World News and NBC’s Nightly News refused to report the fact that 43 Catholic dioceses and organizations filed a lawsuit on Monday against the Obama administration. CBS Evening News gave this historic news a mere 19 seconds of air time.
This is the worst bias by omission I have seen in the quarter century history of the Media Research Center. Every American knows about the Chinese communists withholding for 20 years the news that the US had landed on the moon, because it reflected poorly on the government. Our US media today are no different. They are now withholding news from the American people if it is harmful to the re-election of Barack Obama.
Sunday's CBS Evening News refreshingly spotlighted the continuing persecution of the Coptic Christians in Egypt, an ongoing story that the Big Three networks have largely ignored for months. Correspondent Elizabeth Palmer zeroed in on the uncertain future for the religious minority as the country gears for a rare election: "[Egypt's] Christians are deeply worried....Two of the frontrunners in the race with a realistic chance of winning are deeply devout Islamists."
The last time CBS reported on the anti-Christian violence in Egypt was a news brief on the October 9, 2011 edition of Evening News, according to a Nexis search. Since January 2011, ABC, NBC, and CBS's morning and evening newscasts have only mentioned the issue six times.
On Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams decried a pitch to use President Obama's former radical left-wing pastor Jeremiah Wright in a campaign ad: "...there was an explosive headline this morning. The New York Times reporting that a Republican super-PAC was considering an expensive anti-Obama ad campaign that would have put the issue of race front and center in the campaign..."
Williams conveniently skipped over Wright's vicious anti-American rhetoric in several sermons, preferring to cast the story in racial terms. The only sound bite featured of Wright in the segment was brief and again described in racial terms, as correspondent Peter Alexander explained: "...the plan for a short film to publicize Wright's racially incendiary sermons, including this remark following 9/11." The sound bite that followed showed Wright ranting: "America's chickens are coming home to roost."
Appearing on CBS's Late Show with David Letterman on Tuesday, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams heaped his idea of high praise onto CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley: "Scott grew up firmly in the Dan Rather school of journalism, which is a great tradition." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Despite that laughable reference to the disgraced former CBS News anchor, who was fired for using forged National Guard memos to smear President George W. Bush in 2004, Williams was quite sincere in his supposed compliment to Pelley. Letterman wondered: "Is he [Pelley] the tradition of the great Dan Rather?" Williams replied: "Oh, a student and acolyte. And I say that as a big, big fan of Dan and a friend of Dan's for many years."
Pelley has certainly followed in Rather's liberal footsteps throughout his journalistic career at CBS.
On Monday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams attempted to conflate the JPMorgan $2 billion loss with Mitt Romney's business record as he declared: "The Obama campaign may have had this JPMorgan story in mind when it picked today to launch a new ad attacking Mitt Romney's former firm, the private equity giant, Bain Capital, as a middle class job killer."
Chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd followed by proclaiming that the Obama team was "...attacking Mitt Romney's time at Bain Capital for what, in some people believe, are rough ways that they went about buying up some companies, leveraging them...what the campaign believes...says about Mitt Romney's leadership on the economy, that he'll be ruthless in this."
Dutifully doing its part to find any excuse to expand government regulation, NBC News on Monday and Tuesday immediately touted Democratic efforts to exploit a $2 billion loss of private money for banker JPMorgan Chase to push for more government intervention in the banking industry.
On Monday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Anne Thompson used the news to pump up struggling Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren: "[She] worked to create a consumer watchdog group to oversee the banks after the 2008 crisis. She says what happened at JPMorgan shows there's still not enough oversight of the big banks." Thompson failed to mention Warren has been mired in a scandal surrounding her dubious claims of having Native American ancestry.
Leading off Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams enthusiastically touted the President's fundraising efforts: "President Obama cashing in the day after his gay marriage announcement." Moments later, Williams proclaimed: "Tonight, it is clear President Obama is hoping, at least, to capitalize on the history he made yesterday, becoming the first American president to come out in favor of same-sex marriage."
Williams fully embraced the cynicism of Obama's sudden flip-flop on the issue, noting how the President would be "appearing before a sympathetic audience tonight" of big-money campaign donors who "might not have been so sympathetic to the President before the gay marriage announcement."
At the end of a full report on Friday's NBC Today, based on a Washington Post hit piece that accused Mitt Romney of bullying of a gay high school classmate, correspondent Peter Alexander admitted the story may be false: "NBC News isn't naming the student who was allegedly bullied....Late last night, his sister told NBC News that his portrayal in the Washington Post story is 'factually incorrect'..."
Despite that important detail, the network morning show still decided to promote the accusations. At the top of the show, co-host Ann Curry teased: "Prep school bully? Mitt Romney responds to a report that as a teenager he led a bullying incident of a classmate who later came out as gay....Could an incident that happened nearly 50 years ago impact the presidential race?"