NBC proved to be a media anomaly on July 17, leading its “Nightly News” broadcast with the record-high close on Wall Street and admitting that the stock market does benefit “a majority of Americans.” This historic bull run by the stock market was virtually ignored by other media. Katie Couric briefly mentioned it on the CBS “Evening News,” and ABC “World News” ignored it on July 17.
As NBC's Matt Lauer advertised Harry Reid’s "all-nighter" to debate Iraq's funding, his colleague, Jim Miklaszewski, buttressed Reid's theatrics by showcasing military families, whose "anger over the war is growing," and even highlighted a group calling for the war's defunding. On this morning's 'Today' show, Miklaszewki, aired soundbites from three war opponents but he didn’t gave any air-time to supporters of the war effort.
The following is the full, unbalanced, segment as it occurred the July 17th Today show:
Apparently, airing 75 hours of free coverage of Al Gore's Live Earth global-panic concerts (complete with children shedding tears over the impending end of blue skies and green grass) was just the beginning of on-air liberal activism by NBC-Universal. They're touting another week of on-air activism this November (during the week of Election Day) for their "pro-social cause" of environmental alarmism. As Glenn Garvin of the Miami Herald notes on his blog Changing Channels, "The company press release pointedly includes NBC News and CNBC on the list of company divisions that are participating, not that there's any systematic ideological bias in network news, no sir." The trade magazine Multichannel News adds more detail:
Four years ago, syndicated columnist Bob Novak wrote an article about a man few Americans had ever heard of that included information about this man’s wife who also was practically an unknown entity.
This set off a media firestorm, and, given that the president at the time was a Republican, included the usual misinformation from the usual suspects.
Four years later, regardless of no one actually being charged with the crime of outing a CIA operative, or a special prosecutor not concluding that the wife in question actually was outed, the media, hell-bent on destroying a Republican president, refuse to report the truth.
Might this change given Novak’s appearance on Sunday’s “Meet the Press” wherein he once again addressed details surrounding this scandal that seem impossible to penetrate the mental block the press have created regarding this matter (video available here, partial transcript follows, h/t Hot Air)?
On "CNN Newsroom," correspondent Cal Perry asserted that Hamas is fighting for "independence" from Israel. Somehow, he failed to mention that the organization has often called for the destruction of that country.
Dan Harrison, a senior VP of NBC, this week asserted that his network’s over-the-top coverage of Al Gore’s Live Earth concert wasn’t a "political issue" because "everyone" agrees global warming is happening. And the networks wonder why they’re losing viewers? Additionally, MRC intern Michael Lanza noted that this same not-"political" concert featured video of distraught children, wailing about the impending death of the Earth.
“In stock market terms alone, this is now the longest consecutive uninterrupted stock market rally,” said Lawrence Kudlow on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on July 13.
“It started in early 2003, so that’s four and a half years. And it’s incredible how much wealth is being created out there and it’s unfortunate, really – almost tragic – that the president just doesn’t get any credit for it at all because he’s got a lot to say on the economy.”
While Kudlow found the record worth cheering, the three major networks supplied "some worries" and "some dark clouds" to viewers on July 12. Each one offered its own spin of gloomy news following the record high closings of the Dow and S&P 500.
"There are still some dark clouds looming over this market," said correspondent Dan Harris on ABC’s "World News with Charles Gibson." "The housing market is in a slump, interest rates are rising and gas prices are ticking back up."
The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States. -- U.S. Constitution Article II, Section 2.
The faces occasionally change at "Today," but the bias remains the same. Natalie Morales sat in for Meredith Vieira this morning, but the show didn't lose a liberal beat, as Natalie knocked President Bush for his temerity in asserting his constitutional role as Commander-in-Chief.
Chatting with Tim Russert at about 7:10 A.M. EDT, Morales offered this take on W's comments of yesterday:
NBC'S NATALIE MORALES: Tim, what was striking yesterday was the aggressive tone the President took with Congress yesterday,with lawmakers, saying it is not their job to manage the war. Not since Vietnam has there been such a clash between the executive and the legislative branches. If the President is trying to build support, did he lose some of that yesterday?
The donations to the global warming cause keep coming in from NBC. On this morning's "Today" show, the band Maroon 5 came on to tease their upcoming performance on the show but couldn't leave without the "Today" show cast urging them to plug their partnership with a liberal environmentalist organization, that gets $1 from every Maroon 5 ticket sold.
When the band's lead singer, Adam Levine, urged viewers to buy tickets for their tour, "Today" co-host Ann Curry mentioned viewers could see the band for free at their August 17th performance on the Rockefeller Center Plaza. However Today's weatherman, Al Roker, quickly rectified Curry's inadvertent undercutting of the cause, as he reminded viewers: "But buy a ticket because a dollar goes to Global Cool."
Ann Curry didn't even bother with the "some say" dodge. On this morning's "Today," she flatly suggested to Michael Chertoff that we are losing the war on terror because of a "misguided focus" on Iraq.
The Secretary of Homeland Security was on to discuss reports that a new assessment from U.S. counterterrorism analysts indicates that al-Qaeda has rebuilt itself and poses the greatest threat to the U.S. since before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
When Chertoff confirmed the report's basic accuracy, Curry went on offense.
NBC'S ANN CURRY: You're saying that this report is true. Well, how is this possible? How is it possible that after six years and U.S. attacks, that al-Qaeda could now could be at about the same level it was pre-9-11?
As Chertoff tried to respond, Curry interrupted, her voice suddenly thick with emotion.
CURRY: And what does it say specifically about whether we're losing this war on terror and if in fact that's because our focus is misguided, that's it's on Iraq, and not on this area of Pakistan?
If I hear one more MSM outlet ascribe the implosion of John McCain's candidacy to his support for the war in Iraq, I'm going to scream . .
Let's see. Why don't we check out this morning's "Today"?
NBC REPORTER CHIP REID: He's been falling steadily in the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll from 29% in December to 24 in March and last month just 14%. His unwavering support of the Iraq war is unpopular with moderate Republicans and he insists he won't change his position for political purposes.
Reid did go on to mention McCain's support for "immigration reform" [read amnesty] as another issue hurting his campaign. But anyone who thinks McCain's support for our Iraq policy [a position shared by the frontrunners] is his main problem with GOP primary voters is as out of touch with the Republican base as only the MSM can be.
For those NBC brass who would lamely insist that there was no "political issue" in their broadcasting of the Al Gore Live Earth concerts all across their channels, Mark Hemingway at National Review Online sat through it and reports that gravel-voiced lesbo-rocker Melissa Etheridge unveiled a new anti-Bush, pro-Cindy Sheehan song. On Monday morning’s edition of the Stephanie Miller radio show, Cindy Sheehan made one of her routine interview stops and said she saw that and loved the song and hoped to use it as her campaign theme song if she ran for Congress against Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Hemingway explained:
6:26 [PM]: Al Gore’s personal troubadour, Melissa Etheridge, takes the stage. Etheridge wrote the turgid theme song for An Inconvenient Truth, and today is premiering two new songs. The first, "Imagine That," near as I can tell, is written from the perspective of Cindy Sheehan. Etheridge is the only musician I’ve seen today that seems really revved up about the cause. Unfortunately, for her there’s really just no way for her to sing lyrics this overtly political and not have it be extremely awkward:
That's less than 20 million (19,940,000) for all three combined, and a 5.4% drop from the low-water mark of a year ago. The 25-54 demo for all three nets was under 6 million (5,920,000), and their combined 25-54 demo ratings of 4.9/21 are down 14% and 19% from last year's 5.7/26. Ouch.
You don't suppose that almost 20 years of Media Research Center truth-telling about the relentless bias in the nets' evening news shows might have something to do with the ongoing decline? Nah, can't be (/sarcasm).
Previous related posts are here (NB), here (NB), and here (BizzyBlog).
Picking up where last night's Nightly News left off, NBC's Today show continued the "tipping point" line of attack on pushing for troop withdrawal from Iraq. Opening this morning's Today show, NBC's Matt Lauer greeted viewers with the following question: "Good morning, if not now, when? The White House says it's not considering pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq right now but with sinking approval ratings and defections from his own party is it just a matter of time before the President changes course?" Then, teasing an interview with White House press secretary Tony Snow, Lauer all but declared defeat:
Dan Rather might have left CBS under a cloud, but his star still shines brightly -- at least among some on the distaff side of the NBC networks.
Rather was a scheduled guest on today's "Morning Joe," and neither Erin Burnett, reporting in from CNBC, nor MSNBC newsreader Mika Brzezinski, could curb her enthusiasm.
Burnett was first to confess.
CNBC'S ERIN BURNETT: You know who I had a crush on? . . . Don't you have Dan Rather coming on in a couple of minutes? Alright, so, when I was little, I thought I was going to marry Dan Rather. I watched the news every night, I blew him a kiss every night.
Does NBC have some inside dope? Is John McCain, till now one of the staunchest supporters of the Bush administration's Iraq policy, about to bug out? An unusual question from Matt Lauer to Tony Snow this morning raised that possibility.
Here's the exchange that came on this morning's "Today" at 7:08 A.M. EDT, toward the end of Lauer's interview of White House press secretary Snow:
TODAY CO-HOST MATT LAUER: If, and you hate hypotheticals, I know, so hate me later, but if John McCain comes back [from his current Iraq trip] and joins the ranks of those other Republicans who say it's time to rethink this strategy, how big a blow is that to the President, considering how supportive John McCain has been to the strategy?
WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY TONY SNOW: You've got to understand that for the President, although politics is clearly important in building public support, succeeding is the most important thing of all. If we fail in Iraq, and this is something [U.S. Ambassador to Iraq] Ryan Crocker was pointing out as well, if you have failure in Iraq, you are going to see consequences that are going to be extraordinarily dire in the region, throughout the world and for the United States.
In a striking contrast to his fellow reporters, the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz took NBC to task for the extensive Live Earth coverage on NBC and its sister cable channels (earlier NewsBusters item on this very same column, with transcript of Kurtz's discussion on CNN's Reliable Sources.) Shockingly, Kurtz even used quotation marks when mentioning the global warming “crisis.” In his “Media Notes” column, Kurtz rightfully questioned the ethics of a network taking sides on a political issue (a General Electric senior VP said he doesn't “think climate change is a political issue”) and helping a “prominent Democrat” who potentially has presidential ambitions to raise money.
These are important points that most reporters have failed to raise, but Kurtz was not intimidated by the peer pressure and got down to the nuts and bolts (emphasis mine):
NBC and its cable networks devoted a total of 35 hours of air time Saturday to the Live Earth concerts, organized by Al Gore to call attention to what he calls a global warming "crisis."
It turned out that Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the radical environmentalist, had some strong words for politicians who stand against climate change legislation.
“Get rid of all these rotten politicians that we have in Washington, who are nothing more than corporate toadies … This is treason. And we need to start treating them as traitors,” Kennedy said at the July 7 concert held in New Jersey, according to Newsday.
Sting and his wife, environmental activist, Trudie Styler, were welcomed like old friends by Today co-host Ann Curry, on NBC's prime-time coverage of Live Earth. Curry, who has gushingly interviewed Styler before, implored the rock star and his wife to send a message to all those participating in the "rising fervor" for the environment. However, Curry worried that "fervor" would cool as she asked the 80s pop icon: "Well the iron is hot. People are listening. Irons cool, Sting. So what is the strongest thing you can say tonight to people listening?"
The following is the full interview as it occurred around 8:24pm on NBC's live July 7th coverage of the Live Earth concert:
It seems not even Al Gore and his stable of celebrity talent could keep Live Earth at the top of the ratings this past weekend. Greg Pollowitz from The Corner has the breakdown from Nielsen Media Research:
Saturday 7/07/07 Note: The following results are based on the fast affiliate ratings (Live Plus Same Day data).
That's right; NBC had a total of 2.75 million viewers for their three-hour airing of the Live Earth concerts. As a small consolation, they had more viewers than this spot in Brisbane, Australia, where a large outdoor screen had been set up for the anticipated throng.
Appearing with Today co-host Ann Curry during NBC’s exhaustive coverage of his Live Earth concert, Gore gave a shout out to the network for its donation to his global warming cause, as Gore told Curry: "Thanks for what NBC has been doing." Curry, as expected, didn’t exactly deliver a hard-hitting interview and even pressed Gore about running for president.
Curry to Gore: "A lot of people want me to ask you tonight if you're running for President. And I know what you're answer is gonna be, believe me. I gotta ask you though. After fueling this grass roots movement if you become convinced that without you there will not be the political will in the White House to fight global warming to the level that is required, because the clock is ticking.Would you answer the call? Would you answer the call, yes or no?"
Last August, a federal judge ruled that it was unconstitutional to monitor overseas conversations with suspected terrorists. On August 18, 2006, ABC’s "Good Morning America" treated the decision as a monumental event. However, Saturday’s GMA greeted the overturning of that decision by a federal appeals judge with a solitary 13 second news brief.
In contrast, reporter Jessica Yellin described the original ruling last August as a "stinging setback" and the program highlighted a professor who said it could ultimately lead to President Bush’s impeachment. Yellin, who colorfully described the decision as "essentially accus[ing] the President of acting like a king,"also highlighted this comment about Bush from George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley:
Jonathan Turley: "He could be impeached. And people should not be underestimating that."
Regardless of your views on global warming and climate change, Live Earth’s use of school-aged children as political spokesmen was, by anyone’s standards, in poor taste. Bravo’s coverage of the Al Gore-produced musical festival began with several innocent, gapped-tooth children sharing their all-too-adult frustrations and concerns over the environment. One poor girl, clearly shaken by the doomsday philosophy of extreme environmentalism, actually burst into tears (pictured at right).
Unidentified girl: "I’m really afraid of my children growing up and not being able to see like a blue sky or green grass. [Crying] If I don’t do something who will, you know?"
At the end of his Monday "Media Notes" column -- which mostly focused on the Huffington Post, in which former WashPost reporter/new HuffPost hire Tom Edsall acknowledges its audience is "very liberal" -- Howard Kurtz asked NBC about the perception of imbalance created by their massive promotion of the Live Earth concerts:
[UPDATED BELOW with Kurtz's discussion on Sunday's Reliable Sources on
CNN in which the BBC's Katty Kay marveled at “how critical the coverage
was” of the Live Earth concerts and Ryan Lizza of The New Republic
conceded “the environment is one of those issues where the media tends
to skew a little bit to the left. There's no doubt about that.”]
Doesn't this strike a discordant note? Wasn't NBC, whose news division covers the debate over climate change, providing a huge platform for advocates on one side of a contentious issue? And isn't the network helping a prominent Democrat -- who granted "Today" an interview last week in which he was asked again about his presidential ambitions -- raise money?
Dan Harrison, an NBC senior vice president, does not back away from the message. He calls the Gore effort "an initiative we believe in," including parent company General Electric. "I really don't think climate change is a political issue," Harrison says.
Live Earth's TV ratings might have been dismal, and the extravaganza took heat for the liberal use of profanity by its performers. But at least the concert series served some purpose: providing comedic fodder for today's "Morning Joe." Host Joe Scarborough and sidekick John Ridley had considerable fun at the expense of Ann Curry, a host of NBC's coverage of the event (see related NB item), whose interview of Al Gore gave new meaning to "touchy-feely."
At about 6:45 A.M. EDT this morning, the MSNBC show rolled a clip from the Curry-Gore interview in which Curry repeatedly grabbed Gore's arm and ended with a manic hand-pump.
Just in case you wanted some confirmation on what kind of leftist garbage NBC endorsed with the Live Earth concert, let’s flash back to singer Macy Gray and her back-up singers. Gray, as you might recall from my earlier post, had several things on her dress – a peace sign and the words “Darfur” and “Red Alert.” Not exactly controversial, just comical.
Her band was less subtle. You’ve got the guitarist with the name “George Bush” and a big X through it. How edgy. Then you have the intelligence-challenged guitarist with the name “Dick Chaney” and a big X through that. (For those who call the public school system home, the name is “Cheney.”) Here’s a hint for the left: Don’t go on global TV without a copy editor.
Live Earth or Live Al (as opposed to the version we’ve always seen) was a laugh riot. Lots of know-nothing rockers interspersed with juvenile Youtube-esque videos made for a day few could survive without nausea. It was a celebration of hypocrisy on a global scale and for NBC it was a marathon contribution to lefty causes. (Anyone think the Fairness Doctrine would ever stop something left-wing like this?)
The kicker comes courtesy of our friends at Sunday’s Washington Post. Matt Bellamy from the band Muse called the event “private jets for climate change.” And John Buckley of Carbon Footprint, an eco group that helps firms cut their footprint, said “We would have to plant 100,000 trees to offset the effects of Live Earth.”
Among Friday's broadcast evening newscasts, NBC Nightly News uniquely reported a federal appeals court ruling, tagged by anchor Lester Holt as a "victory for the Bush administration," regarding the controversial NSA spying program that involves warrantless monitoring of international phone calls when one participant is a terrorist suspect. Friday's court action overruled an August 2006 court decision against the program by a liberal judge appointed by President Carter.
As documented by the MRC's Rich Noyes, all three broadcast evening newscasts had trumpeted the earlier ruling against the administration on August 17 of last year. ABC's Charles Gibson had labeled it a "major legal defeat" while ABC's Martha Raddatz had called it a "significant blow" to the administration. But neither ABC's World News with Charles Gibson nor the CBS Evening News mentioned Friday's ruling. But even on NBC, while Holt read news of the ruling, the words "Domestic Spying" appeared on screen, thus not conveying to the audience the international nature of the calls. Those words had similarly appeared during the NBC Nightly News coverage of the August 17 ruling. (Transcripts follow)