Appearing on Saturday's NBC Today, CNBC chief Washington correspondent John Harwood completely dismissed the scandal surrounding the Benghazi terrorist attack as merely leftover campaign politics: "...what we're seeing in the Petraeus scandal and the Benghazi issue being prolonged is an extension of some of the conflict and the bitterness that we had during the election campaign." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Harwood predicted the whole controversy would just go away: "I'm not sure what the resolution of that is going to be. I think ultimately that energy is going to get spent and lawmakers are going to turn to the real crisis that is looming over the American economy, which is the fiscal cliff..."
On Friday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie interviewed Jordan's Queen Noor and former CIA operative Valerie Plame about their effort to rid the world of all nuclear weapons: "...two women taking on a big challenge....leading an initiative called Global Zero. The goal, to eliminate nuclear weapons around the world." The headline on screen declared them to be "on a mission."
At one point, Guthrie suggested the naivety of the goal: "The counter-argument to that is, 'Wait a minute, all the bad actors in the world are racing toward more nuclear weapons. Can we really afford to do that?' Noor replied: "Well, I think if the United States and Russia, who have 90% of the world's arsenal of nuclear weapons, do continue to make the deep cuts that started during Reagan, that Obama has built up on, that President Obama now in his next term can make with the Russians, significant credible cuts in, then the rest of the nuclear states will join a process..."
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”
At the end of an interview with Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer wondered: "I think it was 1999, you were named Time magazine's Person of the Year, alright? So I was just actually on a panel the other day where they're trying to figure out 2012's Person of the Year. Who should it be?... it could be Barack Obama, it can be – I mean, there are a lot of candidates. Who do you think it should be?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
At first, Bezos dodged the question: "You have put me on the spot. I don't know." But he then agreed with Lauer's suggestion: "In an election year, you know, Obama would be a pretty good choice."
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."
According to exit polling of the 2012 election, just 5 percent of voters who turned out were gay. Yet voters said their states should legalize same-sex marriage by 49 percent to 46 percent. Indeed, social issues like gay marriage and the media-concocted “war on women” probably gave President Obama his margin of victory.
Consider another figure: According to a May 2011 Gallup poll, most U.S. adults “estimate that 25 percent of Americans are” gay or lesbian. In reality, the number of people who identify themselves that way is just 3.4 percent, according to a Gallup survey released in October 2012. But it’s understandable that so many people might overestimate the number.
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."
During a discussion on Monday, NBC's Today show crew could barely contain their enthusiasm at the prospect of Hillary Clinton running for president again in 2016, with new third-hour co-host Willie Geist proclaiming: "Can you think of a more qualified human being? She lived in the White House for eight years with another President, she was a United States senator, and now she's got every world leader on speed dial, so there'd be no questions about her qualifications." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Early in the conversation, Geist touted how "there are already polls out in Iowa, she's got 58% of the vote for 2016" and argued her run was "inevitable." Fellow co-host Savannah Guthrie thought Clinton could definitely be persuaded: "...if the head of the party comes to her in two years, if everybody comes around and says, 'You've got to do it, you could be the first female president,' I think it would be hard for her to say no." News reader Natalie Morales added: "Are we ready for a female president? I think most of America probably is."
At the end of a Friday interview with Mark Kelly, former astronaut and husband of former Congresswoman Gabrille Giffords, Today co-host Savannah Guthrie made sure to bring up the favorite liberal talking point of the need for more gun control: "...you gave a stinging rebuke in your statement to political leaders who haven't done anything about gun control....What do you hope will change? And are you expecting President Obama to do something about gun control in a second term?"
Kelly avoided putting the President on hook: "I don't expect him to in the beginning part of his second term. But, you know...we have a Congress that can address it as well." He then argued: "...it's obviously a problem. I mean, we have gun violence that happens time and time again in this country. And I think almost everybody would agree that we have a problem....repeatedly we lost the opportunity and I hope somebody, you know, picks up that mantle and tries to do something about it." Guthrie agreed: "Well, this obviously underscores the need for the issue to be addressed in some way."
Appearing on Friday's NBC Today to promote his new book, Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, author and former Newsweek editor Jon Meacham made a comparison between the founding father and the current commander-in-chief: "[Jefferson] was a tall, cool, cerebral president who won re-election, who was actually really good at politics even though he didn't want to act as though he was. So there's some similarities with President Obama." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Meacham did also use the comparison to offer some criticism of Obama: "[Jefferson] understood that to get along in Washington it was really important to understand the politics of the personal, which is something that President Obama has not been so good at. He likes to play basketball with his staff. He likes to play golf with his staff. He doesn't like to reach out to Congress."
Throughout Friday's NBC Today, hosts and reporters gushed over a video released by the Obama campaign of the President tearing up as he talked to supporters at a Chicago campaign office. At the top of the show, co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: "Thanking the team. President Obama gets tearful in a speech to young campaign staffers." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Moments later, fill-in co-host Willie Geist declared: "You know, the President known for his cool, some say aloof demeanor, but now we've seen tears twice in the span of about a week." In a report that followed, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd noted: "In a video released by the Obama campaign, a tearful President thanks his campaign workers." The headline on screen read: "Tears for Four More Years; Emotional President Obama Thanks Campaign Workers."
On Wednesday's NBC Today, correspondent Andrea Mitchell provided a gushing profile of the First Family winning four more years in the White House: "Obama's family is key to his success....Like the Kennedys, the Obamas swept into their first term on the promise of hope....And now with four more years ahead, the First Family continues to be the President's strongest base of support." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Set to various musical scores, Mitchell's report looked at the Obamas and past first families: "For generations of Americans, the Kennedy White House is the iconic standard for the First Family. Young and beautiful, their two-child home represented a timely American portrait....Ron [Reagan] was a striking contrast to his father's rugged conservative image, making headlines with a risque appearance on Saturday Night Live."
After NBC News spent a week hyping President Obama's response to Hurricane Sandy as a major boon for his re-election campaign, on Thursday's Today, political director Chuck Todd completely dismissed Republicans citing the event as one reason for Mitt Romney's defeat: "Believe it or not, that Sandy finger-pointing is something that is being pushed around...when you look at the entire scope of this election and the demographics...it's a pretty absurd idea."
Moments later, co-host Matt Lauer grilled former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour on some in the GOP being critical of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie praising Obama's handling of the storm. Barbour explained: "Hurricane Sandy saved Barack Obama's presidency....But that's not Chris Christie's fault. Now, I do think the news media made a much bigger deal out of it, that made it sound like Christie was almost endorsing Obama. All Christie said was, is the President's trying to be a good partner."
With President Obama's election win, the worldwide celebrations have commenced again. NBC's Today show documented as much as they possibly could on Wednesday morning.
Reporting from London, foreign correspondent Michelle Kosinski was tasked with narrating the story of how the election has been perceived and reported overseas. Eerily similar to four long years ago, jubilant residents from other sovereign nations were shown in a high spirits after a second term was guaranteed to Obama. [ video below, MP3 audio here ]
On Wednesday's NBC Today, political director Chuck Todd cited Florida as evidence of "this demographic time bomb went off and caught the Republicans off guard," referring to the Hispanic vote in Tuesday's election. He then predicted the same "bomb" could go off in other states in the future: "...it's going to happen in Georgia....Texas and the state of Arizona..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
During a panel discussion moments earlier, there was universal consensus among NBC journalists that GOP must abandon its principles to attract more voters. Meet the Press moderator David Gregory proclaimed: "The party has got to find a way to reach out to Latinos, the fastest growing voting bloc, to become a more diverse party with the ability to shed some of the orthodoxy around taxes, around spending over the role of government, and this process is going to begin this morning, the soul searching and redefinition."
In a fawning report on Wednesday's NBC Today on President Obama winning re-election, correspondent Kristen Welker provided gauzy commentary: "...the Chicago crowd was electrified as the President delivered a soaring speech in which he thanked all those who supported him, including his family....The President's daughters are a little taller, his hair grayer, but in his speech, Mr. Obama sounded a lot like the man America first elected four years ago." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Welker touted how "the President struck a tone of healing" and "joked that unlike 2008, the first daughters will not be getting a dog this year." She also noted that one of Obama's first phone calls "was to former President Bill Clinton, of course, one of his top surrogates during this campaign season."
On Tuesday's NBC Today, correspondent Kristen Welker described an Obama campaign "filled with anticipation and nostalgia" and the President giving his final stump speech in Iowa "With an eye on his future" and having "reached back to the past." Welker continued to fawn: "...the state which gave Mr. Obama his first 2008 victory, launching his improbable and historic journey. An emotional night, even for a president known for keeping his cool." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Later in the report, Welker touted: "And while [Obama's] top surrogates stormed the battleground states, some of the biggest names in entertainment also lent their voices, from Jay-Z to Bruce Springsteen..."
During a panel discussion on Tuesday's NBC Today, former McCain campaign advisor Steve Schmidt and PBS host Tavis Smiley began writing the Republican Party's obituary before any votes had been counted, after co-host Matt Lauer wondered: "Which party stands to suffer the most long-term damage if they lose today?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Schmidt proclaimed: "Well, if the Republicans lose, there's gonna be a civil war that breaks out in the Republican Party." Smiley followed by ranting that the GOP would be on the decline no matter what the outcome of the election: "I think we agree on this, though, Steve, the GOP is toast in the most multicultural, multiracial, multiethnic America ever if they can't expand their base. They may win tomorrow, but they're not going to win long term." Schmidt replied: "No doubt."
In an interview with senior Romney advisor Ed Gillespie on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer ripped into an ads run by the Governor's campaign in Ohio about the auto industry: "The reaction was swift and unanimous, Ed. They were painted as misleading by independent fact-checkers. Ohio newspapers said they were an exercise in deception, a masterpiece of misdirection, and Chrysler and GM called them inaccurate and campaign politics at its cynical worst." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Lauer jabbed: "How could this happen to the guy who is the son of a car-maker and the guy who is supposed to have the business resume?" Gillespie defended the ad regarding Chrysler expanding Jeep production in China: "...the ad is accurate. The head of Fiat came out and said that they were going to open production in China for Jeep. That's what the ad says, and that's accurate."
Today Show host Savannah Guthrie made a statement about Hurricane Sandy on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday that is sure to raise a lot of eyebrows on both sides of the aisle.
"Here was a moment handed to [Obama] seemingly from above where he could look like that strong, independent, steady in a storm, very appealing to the middle of the road voters, and I might add to unmarried women voters who are going to be very key in this election" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As the Big Three's evening newscasts ignored the latest in the controversy over the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya for seven straight days, their morning shows aren't doing much better. On Friday, ABC's Good Morning America and CBS This Morning together devoted less than two minutes of air time - 1 minute, 50 seconds - to the ambush that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three American military veterans.
NBC's Today show mentioned the Libya attack only in passing, when Tom Brokaw noted it as one of a "series" of supposed October surprises in the presidential race, including "the President not showing up for the first debate, Benghazi", and Hurricane Sandy.
Appearing on Friday's NBC Today, special correspondent Tom Brokaw strained to explain why New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg endorsing President Obama would be helpful: "[It] may not move the needle, for example, in Colorado, but in Ohio and in places where they're trying to get white men, they can say, 'Look, this guy has got the endorsement of the Mayor of New York.'" Why would someone in Ohio care?
Co-host Matt Lauer noted that the endorsement "wasn't a very warm hug," prompting Brokaw to argue: "It wasn't a warm hug, but it was tough on Romney about not being the guy that he was when he was Governor of Massachusetts."
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.
On Thursday's NBC Today, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd depicted the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy as a boost for President Obama and a struggle for Governor Romney. Todd touted Obama receiving praise from "the GOP's convention keynote speaker" New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and how a trip to the storm-ravaged state was "a chance to show his empathetic side."
At the same time, Todd proclaimed that "Mitt Romney spent his Wednesday full-time on the trail in Florida, trying to balance campaigning and showing sensitivity for the storm victims." The headline on screen summed up the framing of the report: "President Tours Destruction & Gov. Romney Resumes Campaign."
Right on cue following Hurricane Sandy devastating the east coast, correspondent Harry Smith appeared on Thursday's NBC Today to sound the global warming alarm: "First it was Hurricane Irene, then last October's freak snowstorm, and now Sandy. Mother nature has put an unprecedented strain on the power grid and some experts are wondering if climate change is to blame." The headline on-screen wondered: "Is Global Warming to Blame for Storm Damage?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Previewing an upcoming report for Thursday's Rock Center, Smith warned viewers: "There is a growing consensus that this is all part of a new normal....Many a climate scientist say there is a reason this is happening." A sound bite followed of Ben Strauss from Climate Central: "We're seeing more and more extreme weather events. Leading to greater and greater economic damages. And I'm very suspicious that climate change is an important player for many of these."
Hawking a new NBC Publishing ebook on Wednesday's NBC Today about the network's election night television coverage dating back to 1948, author and TV Guide business editor Steve Battaglio touted a moment featured in the book of NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams during election night in 2008: "Brian knew that it was going to be a very special night....having a pretty good idea that Barack Obama was going to win, and how do you tell this story of the first African-American president? It was such a monumental event." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Wednesday's NBC Today, political director Chuck Todd seized on the latest CBS News/New York Times poll showing narrow leads for President Obama in Ohio, Virginia, and Florida as "evidence, potentially, to back up the Obama spin" that "Romney has run out of routes to 270 electoral votes...so they are throwing Hail Marys in new states." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Wednesday's NBC Today, correspondent Keir Simmons reported from the European Weather Center in Britain that projected Hurricane Sandy's path and touted how "Global warming could make their work more important than ever." The center's Professor Alan Thorpe explained: "If it turned out to be the case that such storms became more common, then our weather forecasting models need to factor that in." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Simmons then cited Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to bolster the point: "Already the scientists are planning more research to help them, and all of us, plan for the future. Because if it's true, as New York's governor says, that we are now dealing with extreme weather patterns in a way we haven't seen, then centers like the one you've just seen are more important than ever."
Appearing on Monday's NBC Today, MSNBC Morning Joe co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski asserted that impending Hurricane Sandy would help Barack Obama in the election, with Scarborough proclaiming: "Mitt Romney had momentum….This was Mitt Romney's best weekend, and it stops. The momentum stops."
Brzezinski eagerly predicted how the President would be perceived during the storm: "…expect command centers up and down the east coast and the President to be very visible at all of them, telling people about the federal dollars that are on the way, and that will be advantage Obama." Meanwhile, she claimed Romney would be “in an awkward situation," and that "anything he does might look so blatantly political and almost needy, because he’s just not in the equation when the country’s under siege from a massive storm."