On Tuesday, neither ABC's Good Morning America nor CBS This Morning mentioned San Diego Mayor Bob Filner's Democratic affiliation, as they reported on the new sexual harassment lawsuit against the former congressman. The CBS morning show devoted a full report to the latest development in the sex scandal, while the ABC broadcast only devoted a news brief to the story.
NBC's Today has yet to devote even a news brief to the ongoing controversy surrounding the liberal politician. The only mention so far on the morning newscast was when correspondent Mike Taibbi made a 13-second reference to Filner during a July 13, 2013 report on Eliot Spitzer's run for New York City comptroller. By contrast, Today devoted a three-plus minute report to the massive Comic Con convention in San Diego on Sunday.
On Tuesday's NBC Today, during a report on a attack against Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison that freed hundreds of Al Qaeda terrorists, chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel couldn't resist slamming the U.S. for past abuses at the facility: "Abu Ghraib prison, notorious for American abuses and humiliations that [turned] an untold number against the United States, remains an open wound." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Engel began the segment by dismissing the Iraq war as a futile effort: "Iraq is now back in a civil war U.S. officials tell NBC News. The hard-fought U.S. surge there, the benefits of an American war to stop Iraq's civil war, are being wiped out. In car bombs, ambushes and gun fights, more than 250 killed in ten days."
The deluge of royal baby coverage went into overdrive on Monday with all three morning shows devoting a staggering 73 minutes total to the impending birth and the child's gender. At the same time, Good Morning America, Today and CBS This Morning ignored any developments in the growing Internal Revenue Service scandal.
The Today show obsessed over the royal baby the most, pushing the story for 43 minutes and five seconds over 18 segments. (This amounts to a quarter of the four hour program's running time, minus commercials.) Good Morning America speculated on all subjects royal for 21 minutes and 22 seconds (or eight segments). Looking positively restrained, CBS This Morning allowed a mere eight minutes and 41 seconds over four segments.
On Monday's NBC Today, correspondent Mara Schiavocampo offered a fawning report on the 20th anniversary of the popular children's show, Bill Nye, The Science Guy, describing its host as "Part teacher, part crusader." A sound bite followed of Nye declaring: "Climate change is happening." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
While Schiavocampo started by describing the success of educational program, she quickly turned to promote Nye's advocacy: "But don't let his friendly appearance fool you....Bill Nye has become a firebrand for science, an advocate regularly speaking out about topics like evolution and climate change."
On Friday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie promoted a video of Rahm Emanuel caught dancing at a Chicago music festival: "Rahm's rhythm. You know, a lot of people find it just hard to sit still when they hear Robin Thicke's hit summer anthem Blurred Lines. Well now you can add Rahm Emanuel, Chicago's mayor, to that group." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
While the video prompted a full discussion of the Mayor's dance moves among the morning show cast, the broadcast completely skipped any mention of Chicago's credit rating just being downgraded. On Thursday's Nightly News, correspondent John Yang reported: "Moody's gave a big hit to the city's credit rating, knocking it down three pegs. Moody's mentioned not only a $36 billion unfunded pension obligation that the city has, but interestingly, also mentioned the gun violence that's been plaguing this city. Chicago, from the beginning the year through May, has paid $40 million in police overtime."
All three networks on Thursday night and Friday morning avoided key factors in the bankruptcy of Detroit, skipping the city's astronomically high tax rate and ignoring Democratic dominance for the previous half century. (Detroit's last Republican mayor left office in 1962.) Instead, ABC, NBC and CBS acted as though the bankruptcy, what Brian Williams called "the slow-moving tragedy of decline," was something that just happened.
On Good Morning America, Betty Liu gently summarized, "What happened here? Well, people have been leaving the city for years. Back in the 1950s, you had almost two million people, at the peak, living in Detroit. Now, just 700,000. So they've lost half their population." She added, "When you have fewer people living in the city, you're collecting less income and property taxes." Why are people fleeing the city? Lacking curiosity, Liu didn't bring that point up. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks have essentially censored the latest IRS scandal news. Not a single network reported on the bombshell coming out of Thursday’s congressional hearing that IRS employees were ordered to send Tea Party tax-exemption applications to the office of the IRS’s Chief Counsel, which was headed by William Wilkins, who at that time was the only Obama political appointee at the IRS.
The Big Three networks have also ignored this week’s news that tax records of political candidates (including one-time GOP Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell) and certain donors were improperly accessed by government officials, and that the Justice Department has, so far, refused to prosecute the offenders.
During a report on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News on the widely panned cover of Rolling Stone magazine featuring Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a sound bite was included of New York Times media columnist David Carr defending the offensive display: "I think that Rolling Stone committed an act of journalism in both publishing this photo and publishing the story that they did." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Throughout the segment, NBC correspondent John Yang described the near-universal condemnation of the cover, but led up to Carr's commentary by declaring: "Rolling Stone has a history of serious journalism, like the story that led to the resignation of U.S. Afghanistan commander, General Stanley McChrystal. In 1970, Charles Manson appeared on Rolling Stone's cover, and other news magazines have had controversial covers, including Hitler and Osama Bin Laden on the front of Time."
In a live interview with Trayvon Martin's parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer urged them to condemn the justice system for the acquittal of their son's shooter George Zimmerman: "Do you think the legal system failed Trayvon?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Lauer set up the question by quoting their attorney Benjamin Crump, also a guest on the program: "Here's something Mr. Crump said after the jury was selected, 'It's important that they know,' meaning the jurors, 'Trayvon Martin's parents have put their faith in the justice system. They're praying the justice system doesn't fail them. They want justice for their son.'"
On Wednesday's NBC Today, a report by correspondent Kerry Sanders featured a series of sound bites of public figures, all of them liberal, reacting to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman. Most of the statements focused on using Martin's death to call for the elimination of Stand Your Ground self-defense laws. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Sanders began the slanted segment by highlighting protests against the verdict: "Four days after George Zimmerman was found not guilty of second-degree murder or manslaughter, the number of rallies in memory of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin is growing....In Florida's capitol, dozens of demonstrators peacefully occupied the Governor's office....The Governor wasn't there, but they vow to stay until he gets back."
During a panel discussion on Monday's NBC Today about the acquittal of George Zimmerman, left-wing MSNBC host Toure proclaimed the court case to be evidence of inherent racism in American society: "We have an almost all-white jury. We almost never get justice in that situation, especially in the south....I'm taken back to Emmett Till and Amadou Diallo and Iona Jones and all these other situations where we understand that black life means a little bit less than white life in America." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
MSNBC analyst and liberal bomb-thrower Michael Eric Dyson was also on the morning show panel, and eagerly agreed with Toure's assertion: "No doubt. And you know, I have two sons, and my son texted me and said, 'How do I protect my two black boys who are very young?' So for us it's a reminder, it's a kind of deja vu all over again and it's a negative appraisal of the American soul..."
On Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie suggested to MSNBC host and National Action Network president Al Sharpton that the trial of Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman was not racially charged enough: "Do you think the prosecutors missed an opportunity there, that they didn't explicitly make this case about racial profiling?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In response, Sharpton pushed his effort to get the Justice Department to charge Zimmerman with civil rights violations: "I think they did, but it also sets up a federal case because you can't say it's been tried, because it wasn't tried. So there is no double jeopardy here because they specifically said this is not about race, which opens the door for the federal government to now investigate..."
Rather than update viewers on the latest details of the scandals plaguing the Obama administration, or the President's foreign policy failures in the Middle East, the hosts of NBC's Today devoted over a minute of air time Wednesday to discussing whether broccoli was really Obama's favorite food. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
News reader Natalie Morales sparked the exchange by proclaiming: "You know it's July in Washington when there's a broccoli brewhaha." She explained how President Obama told a kid reporter at a White House children's event that the vegetable was his favorite food, "with many greeting the President's claim with skepticism."
On Thursday's NBC Today, correspondent Andrea Mitchell couldn't contain her excitement over Hillary Clinton's potential presidential run in 2016: "She already has her library. Hillary Clinton read The Very Hungry Caterpillar, but everyone waited for the next chapter as she opened the new Hillary Rodham Clinton Children's Library in Little Rock. Not far from a famous Arkansas presidential library." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell gushed over former Obama advisors joining "Ready for Hillary," a pro-Clinton 2016 super pac: "First they were rivals, then a team of rivals, and now Hillary Clinton seems to be picking up support from key members of team Obama....Barack Obama out-organized her in 2008. Now some of his former top campaign aides could help her clear the field."
Speaking to Republican Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory expressed newfound respect for former President George W. Bush: "[He] is expected to speak out about immigration reform this coming week. He could be a very strong voice within the Republican Party after the Senate has passed immigration reform to put pressure on the House. How will you respond to that?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Introducing a report on Wednesday's Today about Bush's upcoming speech on the matter, news reader Natalie Morales touted him being "front and center today, weighing in on immigration reform." Correspondent Kelly O'Donnell noted: "And that's something the former president has strictly avoided for years, talking about a hot political issue. But immigration has always been important to him..."
On Tuesday, the Associated Press (AP) reported that smokers may not be subject to new tobacco-use penalties built into the Affordable Care Act, due to a “computer system glitch” that could take more than a year to repair. The AP claimed that some see the stumble as part of “an emerging pattern of last-minute switches and delays” for President Obama’s signature health care law, citing the administration’s recent postponement of the so-called “employer mandate” until 2015. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
But you wouldn’t get that sense from the mainstream media, as most major outlets have devoted little or no time to the story since it broke early Tuesday morning. The Tuesday morning shows (Today, Good Morning America, and CBS This Morning) ignored the development, save for a 10-second mention from Today’s Natalie Morales.
During a news brief on Wednesday's NBC Today, anchor Natalie Morales noted that following "tough new abortion laws" being approved by the Texas house of delegates, "Demonstrators on both sides of the issue descended on the state capitol building and erupted in screams and cheers immediately following last night's vote." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
However, the footage that rolled on screen as Morales talked was only that of abortion activists chanting "Shame on you!" throughout the Texas state house. Such footage belies the fact that sixty-two percent of Texans agree with the ban on abortions after twenty weeks, not to mention a plurality of Americans.
Two weeks after Texas state senator Wendy Davis and a mob of abortion activists prevented popularly supported pro-life legislation from being passed in the Lone Star State, on Tuesday's NBC Today, news reader Natalie Morales warned of another upcoming vote on the bill: "The battle over abortion rights is focused on Texas, where a controversial bill that failed last month will be back up for a vote." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, correspondent Gabe Gutierrez declared Texas to be at "the epicenter of the national debate over abortion" and hyped "another showdown" at the state capitol. He detailed the bill's "controversial" measures: "...banning abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy and mandating that abortion clinics meet the same standards as hospital-style surgical centers. It would also require that a doctor who performs abortions be able to admit patients at a nearby hospital."
The journalists at Good Morning America on Monday offered an assist to liberal politicians trying to avoid being associated with the scandal-plagued former Governor of New York. While announcing Eliot Spitzer's return to public life, news reader Paula Faris avoided any mention of the fact that Spitzer is a Democrat. As she noted his bid to be New York City's comptroller, Faris simply referred to the "disgraced former governor of New York."
Over on NBC's Today, correspondent Kristen Dahlgren hyped Spitzer as "the next comeback kid." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Comparing the ex-governor to Anthony Weiner, Dahlgren enthused, "2013 may go down as the year of the second chance." Despite connecting the two New York Democrats, Dahlgren also skipped any ideological label. It wasn't until the 8am hour that co-host Natalie Morales alerted, "The Democrat stepped down in 2008 over a prostitution scandal."
After touting a Texas legislator's "epic" pro-choice filibuster, the media have turned to hyping her future as a possible Democratic gubernatorial candidate in the state.
NewsBusters already documented the adulation that the media showed for Texas Democratic legislator Wendy Davis after she filibustered to stop a pro-life bill from passing the state senate last Wednesday. And after the initial hype over her filibuster passed, the networks and cable news began tossing out the idea of her running for Texas governor in 2014. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CBS, NBC and ABC on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning highlighted the delay of the ObamaCare employer mandate as a "surprising," "significant setback" for the President. [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Nightly News anchor Brian Williams even went so far as to cynically note, "A development this big with the President on an airplane heading into a holiday weekend is going to make a lot of people suspicious." Yet, these same networks ignored giant, glaring clues about what Democratic Senator Max Baucus once called the coming "train wreck."
On Wednesday's Good Morning America, Jon Karl deemed the development a "significant" setback. CBS This Morning co-host Norah O'Donnell saw it as a "major" problem. Reporter Jan Crawford relayed, "House Speaker John Boehner said even the Obama administration knows the train wreck will only get worse." On the July 2 Evening News, Wyatt Andrews described the one year postponement of the rule, which forces employers to pay a $2000 fine if they don't provide insurance, as a culmination of"months of complaints and backlash."
The Big Three networks still can't get enough of Texas State Senator Wendy Davis, nearly a week after her extended filibuster against pro-life legislation on June 25, 2013. All three brought on Davis during their Sunday morning talk programs, and continued hyping the supportive response on social media that Davis received in response to her "epic eleven-hour filibuster", as NBC' s Janet Shamlian sympathetically labeled it on Monday's Today.
ABC's Jeff Zeleny conducted a beyond softball interview of the liberal politician on This Week, and was awed when the liberal politician showed off the pink running shoes that she wore during the filibuster [audio available here; video below the jump]. Bob Schieffer touted Davis' "wonderful biography" on Face the Nation, and added that "few outside Texas knew of her until last week when she became an overnight sensation." NBC and CBS each devoted another full report to Davis on their Monday morning newscasts.
Since Wednesday, ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning and evening newscasts have all played up the social media frenzy over Texas State Senator Wendy Davis' multi-hour filibuster on Tuesday against a pro-life bill. On Friday's Today, NBC's Tamron Hall claimed that the Davis story is "another example of how social media can turn a story into a whole other stratosphere. I think without Twitter and Facebook, this would have been a big story, but not to this magnitude."
By contrast, during the trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell earlier in 2013, ABC and NBC completely ignored the widespread outrage on Twitter over the case. It took CBS four days to notice Kirsten Powers' April 11, 2013 USA Today column which "accused the media of ignoring the story because...[of] a bias in favor of abortion rights," as Jan Crawford reported on CBS This Morning. Crawford then pointed out how "those charges went viral on Twitter."
In the wake of her filibuster in the Texas state senate on Tuesday, NBC, ABC, and CBS all expressed their outrage at Texas Governor Rick Perry daring to criticize their anointed abortion "folk hero" Wendy Davis. On Friday, Today co-host Matt Lauer announced: "The battle over abortion gets very personal as Governor Rick Perry takes on a female senator whose filibuster helped block a controversial bill." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Thursday's ABC World News, anchor Diane Sawyer attached the "folk hero" label to Davis as she fretted over "Perry creating a kind of high noon between the two of them." In the report that followed, correspondent David Kerley hyped Perry's mild critique of Davis as setting up "a true Texas showdown" and exclaimed: "Today, Perry made it personal."
The Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks were so excited by Democratic Texas state senator Wendy Davis’s filibuster they failed to notice she is on the losing side of the abortion debate.
Anchors like NBC’s Brian Williams and ABC’s Diane Sawyer were so busy hailing Davis’s “epic” filibuster and her rise to “folk hero” status that they failed to report the findings of a National Journal poll showing her extremist pro-abortion stance is an unpopular one. (video after the jump)
Leading off a panel discussion on Thursday's NBC Today applauding the Supreme Court's gay marriage decisions, co-host Natalie Morales proclaimed: "Wednesday's historic ruling on same-sex marriage is being celebrated across the country, but it was sixteen years ago when Ellen Degeneres marked a milestone, breaking a huge barrier in front of millions of people on primetime TV." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
After a clip played of Degeneres coming out on her sitcom in 1997, fill-in co-host Carson Daly posed the question: "So how much influence has pop culture had on America's changing attitude and the Supreme Court decision?" Later in the segment, Morales observed: "I mean, pop culture always seems to be ahead of the courts in these instances, right?"
Celebrating Wednesday's Supreme Court rulings in favor of gay marriage, on Thursday's NBC Today, correspondent Gabe Gutierrez reported live from San Francisco city hall and announced: "In one of the country's oldest and largest gay neighborhoods, vindication. It was the day San Francisco's Castro District had been waiting for." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
A series of sound bites followed of gay rights activists expressing their jubilation over the ruling. The plaintiff in the Defense of Marriage Act case, Edith Windsor, declared "The beginning of the end of stigma." Rabbi Camile Shira Angel proclaimed: "I feel blessed with every fiber of my being to be an American and a Californian today." Ellen Cerf, identified as an "equality supporter," tearfully uttered: "I love America every day, but I love it so much today."
ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning newscasts on Wednesday spotlighted Texas State Senator Wendy Davis's filibuster against pro-life legislation, hyping how she stood for hours in "comfortable pink sneakers" to stop a vote on the bill. The networks trumpeted how "the unfolding drama topped the list of worldwide Twitter trends", but ABC and NBC failed to include any tweets or soundbites from supporters of the proposal. [audio available here; video below the jump]
CBS This Morning did include two clips from a pro-life Texas state legislator, but anchors Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell gushed over Davis. Rose harped about her "very interesting life story", while O'Donnell asserted that "she's going to become big figure now, I think, in Texas politics."
President Barack Obama’s new climate change initiative will purportedly share “a national plan to reduce carbon pollution, prepare our country for the impacts of climate change and lead global efforts to fight it.” Although he intends to demand action, most Americans do not see climate change as a “major threat,” according to Pew Research.
The Washington Post reported Obama will include “a plan to limit carbon-dioxide emissions from existing power plants.” That’s an agenda item the media will love. It was just a month ago when CBS “This Morning” interviewed Time magazine senior writer Jeffrey Kluger on May 11 who said “we have to curb the use of fossil fuels.”