NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams on Thursday fretted about the "very tough spot" a Chinese dissident and human rights activist has put Hillary Clinton in. On Friday's Good Morning America, Josh Elliott kept the spotlight on Clinton, lamenting that the Secretary of State is "caught in the middle" of this ongoing diplomatic crisis.
Rather than start his report by focusing on Chen Guangcheng, the man who's life is in danger, Williams warned, "We begin tonight with a man who has changed his mind and by doing so put the U.S. and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a very tough spot in what is already a complicated relationship with China." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
When the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement first arrived on the scene back in October of 2011 the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) news networks greeted, what they viewed as the left’s answer to the Tea Party, with a whopping 33 full stories in just the first 11 days of coverage and a total of 81 stories in that month. However, when that movement proved to be an embarrassment to the left and Democratic Party with its acts of violence, most recently on May Day, the Big Three breezed past the ugly actions of this leftist movement with just one full story.
From May 1 through the morning of May 3 ABC, CBS and NBC, in their morning and evening newscasts, devoted a total of just 4 minutes combined to the Occupy Wall Street movement’s day of disruption that included blocking traffic, vandalism and sending simulated anthrax letters to banks full of white powder.
Wednesday's nightly newscasts and Thursday's morning shows hyped "steamy," "romantic" journal entries from an ex-girlfriend of Barack Obama, but downplayed or ignored revelations that his autobiography created a "composite" relationship of multiple women.
On Thursday's Today, Natalie Morales gossiped like a school girl: "Steamy journal entries from a long-ago ex-girlfriend of President Obama are heating up the internet..." She revealed important details such as the fact that his apartment smelled like "running sweat" and "raisins." However, Morales skipped the fact that, as reported by Politico, "the 'New York girlfriend' was actually a composite character, based off of multiple girlfriends he had both in New York City and in Chicago." [Video of Diane Sawyer's recap below. See audio here.]
Talking to NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams about President Obama's surprise trip to Afghanistan on Wednesday's Today, co-host Ann Curry hoped the move would quiet Republicans: "Meantime, by using the commander-in-chief mantel to make this visit, to extend an arm and hand to our troops, does he blunt any of the Republican criticism that he is...politicizing, essentially, a military victory?"
Curry was of course referring to the Obama campaign team using the anniversary of the killing of Osama Bin Laden to attack Mitt Romney. In response to Curry's DNC-approved framing of the trip, Williams proclaimed: "Presidents do get to use the machinery of the presidency to make their points. Nine years ago last night we saw the carrier landing and 'Mission Accomplished'...that's something George W. Bush got to do. And the White House is framing this...the way they want it framed."
The same networks that huffed and whined about George W. Bush's secret trip to Iraq over Thanksgiving in 2003, calling it an "embarrassing" "presidential shell game," had no such harsh language for Barack Obama's clandestine visit to Afghanistan on Tuesday.
Jake Tapper on Wednesday deemed the visit simply a "surprise." On CBS This Morning, Scott Pelley proclaimed it "remarkable," insisting, "These things are always kept secret, in the Bush administration, in the Obama administration, until the President arrives safely." Yet, on the November 30, 2003 CBS Evening News, Mark Knoller bitterly complained, "It was professionally embarrassing to be clueless...And from now on when I report that the president is at his ranch, neither you nor I will be sure of it."
Three years ago, then-CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric fawned over Barack Obama: “You’re so confident, Mr. President, and so focused. Is your confidence ever shaken?” On ABC’s World News, Diane Sawyer often softens her interviews with the President by tossing in questions about college basketball, asking, at the start of the U.S. military operation against Libya last year, “How much do you think Kentucky will win by?”
But of the three evening news anchors, by far the most admiring of Obama is NBC’s Brian Williams who has — no big surprise — been rewarded with exclusive access to the White House Situation Room for what promises to be a prime time Obama campaign infomercial (on Wednesday’s Rock Center) on how the brave President monitored the mission as Navy SEALs raided Osama bin Laden’s compound and killed the terrorist mastermind exactly one year ago. (Round-up of Williams' most fawning Obama moments, with video, below the jump).
Despite Wisconsin's unemployment rate being well below the national rate and steadily falling, on Saturday's NBC Nightly News correspondent Ron Allen selectively hyped job losses: "With the protesters serenading Wisconsin's Governor Scott Walker and urging voters to recall him from office June 5th, the state's job losses add to the list of grievances.The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics says Wisconsin lost 23,900 jobs between March 2011 and March 2012."
That same Bureau of Labor Statistics report showed that Wisconsin's unemployment rate fell from 7.6% to 6.8% in that same time period. Ignoring that reality, Allen featured a sound bite from an unidentified woman who ranted: "No other state has lost jobs like this. Wisconsin alone moved sort of off the rails of the national recovery."
In a news brief on Monday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams managed to twist a positive development for Mitt Romney, the endorsement of Rudy Giuliani, into a negative: "Giuliani, who had been out spreading the word for Newt Gingrich up until right now. And so for months he'd been saying bad things about Romney like this on Morning Joe."
In the sound bite that followed from the December 15, 2011 edition of the MSNBC morning program, Giuliani said of Romney: "I have never seen a guy...change his positions on so many things so fast on a dime." Williams used the past comments to make an indictment of campaign politics: "So the latest politician to change his position on a dime apparently, Rudolph Giuliani now endorsing Romney....Perhaps part of what makes so many Americans cynical about the process."
Over a combined total of nine and a half hours of programming, CBS, NBC and ABC allowed a mere 72 seconds of coverage to the news, Monday, that Social Security will go bankrupt three years earlier than previously expected. ABC's World News and NBC's Nightly News skipped the subject entirely.
The same networks that offered copious amounts of stories to a vague threat of future global warming disaster, found little interest in the coming problems of Social Security. Scott Pelley briefly explained on Monday's Evening News: "Medicare will run out of money in 2024. Social Security retirement benefits run out in 2033. But Social Security disability benefits will be exhausted long before that, in 2016."
It's been several weeks since NBC disgraced itself by repeatedly airing doctored audio of George Zimmerman talking to a 9-1-1 dispatcher but the network has yet to apologize on the air, hoping instead that its paltry efforts of firing a lone producer and conducting an investigation into the matter but not releasing a report to the public would be sufficient.
Incredibly, it was a New York Times columnist, David Carr, who decided to confront the network on how that just isn't enough. NBC News president Steve Capus admitted his efforts have been insufficient but tried to spin away why his network hasn't bothered to tell viewers about its propagation of fraudulent journalism.
On Monday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Peter Alexander played up comments Mitt Romney made at a fund-raiser in Florida about cutting government programs as if the GOP presidential candidate's proposals were politically damaging, with the NBC correspondent asserting that Romney's remarks "out of the view of cameras have caused a stir." Alexander also suggested that the Romneys had been deceptive in their handling of Democratic strategist Hilary's Rosen's recent attack on Ann Romney as never having "worked a day in her life." (Video below)
Actually, it’s not news. Romney was a Mormon as governor of Massachusetts and high-profile turn-around manager of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. Romney ran for the GOP nomination in 2008 and he was a Mormon then. He’s pretty much been running ever since. As a Mormon. But somehow, the networks can’t help reminding viewers at every turn that Romney is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints.
Just since Oct. 31, ABC, NBC and CBS have made 57 specific references to Romney’s faith. That’s on top of the more than 100 times they talked about it from Jan. 1-Oct. 31, 2011.
Reporting on Rick Santorum leaving the Republican presidential race on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Ron Mott proclaimed: "It was a campaign filled with highly-publicized gaffes....From calling President Obama out on education, to President Kennedy's famed speech on the separation of church and state....Just two of a number of comments he eventually walked back or was pushed to explain."
Mott also depicted Santorum as only appealing to a narrow group of voters: "Santorum's support was mostly rooted in a core of Republican strongholds, where his unapologetic push for social conservative values, something the GOP establishment largely sought to avoid, was enthusiastically embraced by evangelicals."
On Monday, both NBC's Nightly News and ABC's World News hyped a finding by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that, in the panicked words of NBC environmental correspondent Anne Thompson, "Extreme weather blew March 2012 into the record books....It saw almost three times the average number of reported tornadoes."
ABC weather editor Sam Champion noted how some enjoyed the unseasonably warm weather, but then ominously warned of a "potential downside" being "so much darker." He proclaimed: "Local governments are racing to meet these challenges head on. Los Angeles today hosting a meeting of top scientists and public heath officials to plan for what they're calling, 'extreme climate risks.'"
On Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams accused a federal judge of bringing politics into the judicial process simply by ordering the Justice Department to explain controversial comments President Obama made against the Supreme Court: "Politics are ideally supposed to stay out of the nation's courtrooms, but that's not what happened this week in a federal courtroom in Texas."
In report that followed, correspondent Pete Williams proclaimed: "The political controversy spilled into a Texas federal court, where the rules are designed to filter out politics, interrupting arguments about a challenge to part of the Obama health care law." Williams noted how Judge Jerry Smith "put a Justice Department lawyer on the spot" to explain the President's attack on the court system and made sure to point out that Smith was "a Reagan appointee."
NBC anchor Brian Williams on Monday night used Republican troubles with women to trumpet how “a former candidate, who now happens to be Secretary of State, is speaking out.” Andrea Mitchell claimed Republicans spurred “a national debate over contraception and women’s rights. Now it’s produced a huge gender advantage for President Obama.” She insisted, without naming a single Republican, that “across party lines, American women are fired up, including Hillary Clinton...”
Mitchell cued up Clinton: “Did Rush Limbaugh go too far this time?” Mitchell then laid out the case for the former First Lady, relaying how “she’s the most popular woman in America” and, as if it should matter, “Meryl Streep recently delivered what sounded like a nominating speech for Clinton.” She pressed Clinton: “There is a growing expectation that you will run for President.” When she didn’t get an immediate affirmation, Mitchell pleaded: “Why not?”
At the top of Saturday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Lester Holt scared viewers with an ominous declaration: "Disaster warning. Scientists sound the alarm. If you think this season's wild weather is extreme, wait until you hear what's to come." Introducing the later report, Holt wondered: "...what has been causing all this strange and extreme weather we've been seeing in recent months?"
Holt predicted "a lot more come" as he touted a "new report out this week brought deepening concern about climate change." Environmental correspondent Anne Thompson described the "wacky and unpredictable winter" with "more than 6,000 daily record highs broken" in the U.S. and "an arctic blasts killing hundreds" in Europe.
As the broadcast network evening newscasts recounted Pope Benedict XVI's trip to Cuba, ABC's Christiane Amanpour on World News and NBC's Andrea Mitchell on the NBC Nightly News both noted reports that dissidents had been detained and prevented from meeting the Catholic leader, while the CBS Evening News failed to mention their plight.
On Monday's NBC Today, Tom Brokaw reported on veteran Mike Wright returning from tours in Iraq and Afghanistan to continue work at New York's Indian Point nuclear power plant: "Entergy, Wright's employer, supported his deployments. Veteran hiring is a priority for the company, not out of sympathy, but as an investment in the bottom line....Mike Wright and Entergy, that's how it's supposed to work."
Now compare that praise for the plant's hiring practices, with NBC News fear-mongering almost exactly one year ago, shortly after the earthquake and nuclear crisis in Japan. On the March 20, 2011 Nightly News, anchor Lester Holt ominously warned: "A government report has found the plant with the highest risk of core damage from an earthquake here is just about 35 miles from our studios here in New York City at the Indian Point plant."
When Nancy Pelosi was asked in a 2009 press conference about where in the Constitution Congress has the authority to order Americans to buy health insurance, she responded: “Are you serious?” That week, none of the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) network news programs deemed Pelosi’s ludicrous response to the question from CNSNews.com worthy of coverage. The news blackout of the then House Speaker’s response isn’t surprising, given that the liberal news media, as documented in this recent MRC compilation, pushed at every point in the debate process for ObamaCare.
The following are the relevant portions from CNSNews.com’s Matt Cover’s October 22, 2009 article about Pelosi curtly dismissing the Constitution’s relevance to ObamaCare:
Perhaps the year-over-year metric is an unfair comparison, because during the same week in 2011 the Japanese tsunami drew in ordinarily uninterested viewers. Compared to two years ago, the combined audience was slightly higher (by 2.1%). NBC and ABC were both down slightly, while CBS, recovering from the Katie Couric era and still in a distant third place, showed a double-digit gain. But the three networks were down in the advertiser-prized 25-54 demographic, with CBS eking out a much smaller gain which did not offset losses at NBC and ABC. Here are the numbers:
On Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams touted the handiwork of Planned Parenthood's vicious attacks against the Susan G. Komen foundation: "The nation's largest breast cancer charity remains in turmoil tonight after a controversial attempt to cut off its funding of Planned Parenthood. Donations to the Susan G. Komen Foundation are down sharply in many areas."
NBC News, and Williams particularly, were quite complicit in furthering those attacks on Komen. On the February 1 broadcast, Williams declared: "A decision that's making a lot of women furious at the world's largest breast cancer organization. Why did it cut off funds for critical breast cancer screenings?"
On Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Chuck Todd filed a report in which he recounted verbal "flubs" of the Romney campaign, but, as he showed brief clips of past Romney statements, he neglected to provide the full context that would have made the clips seem less embarrassing.
Desperately trying to keep the issue alive for the general election, Tuesday's NBC Nightly News continued to decry the supposed Republican war on women, with anchor Brian Williams proclaiming: "One issue that's been percolating through this presidential primary season, a push by some in the GOP to limit women's access to contraceptives and abortion."
In the report that followed, correspondent Andrea Mitchell promoted left-wing activism against the GOP: "Across the country, protests like this one in Texas, against new state laws restricting access to contraception and other women's health care." One protestor ranted: "It's a war against women's health."
When President Barack Obama recently pontificated on gas prices, the broadcast networks listened, and parroted his explanations of why gas prices have more than doubled since he took office. But the networks had a much different take on gas prices when a Republican president was in office.
On March 7, 2012, Obama declared: “We've got 2 percent of the world oil reserves; we use 20 percent. What that means is, as much as we're doing to increase oil production, we're not going to be able to just drill our way out of the problem of high gas prices.”
Uniquely among the broadcast network evening newscasts on Monday, NBC Nightly News correspondent Andrea Mitchell focused attention on Rick Santorum's appearance with a Christian pastor who recently introduced the GOP presidential candidate at an event in a controversial manner. Mitchell introduced her piece:
At the top of Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams did his part for President Obama's re-election as he announced: "Game on. The President and Vice President hitting it hard tonight on the campaign trail." Introducing the supposed news report, Williams touted how Republicans were "eating up time and money and effort" in the primary race, while "Democrats were in full fall campaign mode."
White House correspondent Kristen Welker sounded more like the White House press secretary as she set up a string of sound bites from Obama and Joe Biden: "President Obama defended his energy policy in suburban Maryland today, and attacked his GOP rivals....Assuming the traditional vice presidential role of campaign attack dog, Biden bared his teeth before a receptive audience of auto workers in politically-important Ohio....he slammed the Republican candidates who opposed the auto bailout." Not a single Republican sound bite was included.
Seizing on warmer than usual temperatures across the country on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams ominously warned viewers: "Much warmer weather can have a dark side, of course. And tonight there is a new projection that rising seas due to climate change could cause a whole lot of damage much sooner than anyone had previously thought."
Correspondent Anne Thompson used recent weather events to drive the point home: "The ferocious surge of the Atlantic powered by Hurricane Irene last August moved a lifeguard tower...broke through a sea wall, and sent water rushing into the streets of New York's Long Beach. A scene that will become more commonplace, a new study says, because of rising sea levels caused by global warming."
As Andrea Mitchell began an interview with left-wing activist Sandra Fluke on the March 2 edition of her MSNBC show, the NBC correspondent denounced Rush Limbaugh for having, "attacked her [Fluke] with language that we will not repeat on the air."
Well, it turns out that Andrea Mitchell thought use of the word "slut" – one of Limbaugh's offending remarks – was perfectly fine when it was to get laughs for a network sitcom. Back on the September 30, 2010 episode of NBC's 30 Rock, Mitchell made a cameo playing herself and called Tina Fey's character Liz Lemon a "slut" following rumors of an office romance. [View video after the jump]
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams has a long-standing infatuation with the 1995 film, The American President, in which actor Michael Douglas plays Democratic commander in chief Andrew Shepherd. That infatuation was clearly on display on Tuesday, as Williams praised President Obama for taking on Republicans over Iran.
On Tuesday's Nightly News, Williams cheered Obama's afternoon press conference on the matter: "President Obama chose this Super Tuesday, of all days, to take on his Republican rivals who've been criticizing him on the campaign trail on the topic of Iran...you can call it an 'Andrew Shepherd moment.' Film buffs will recognize the part played by Michael Douglas in the movie 'The American President,' where he said, you know, 'I am the president, your 15 minutes are up.'"