Of course no one, including Mr. Clinton, had any idea that in the ensuing hours more than 3,000 people would lose their lives at the hands of al Qaeda terrorists executing bin Laden's vision of bringing terror to the American homeland, but all the same, it's a fascinating discovery worthy of news coverage. Yet of the Big Three evening news programs for July 31, only NBC's Nightly News devoted any attention to the story, although to be fair to CBS, the network's Jake Miller filed a story on CBSNews.com shortly after 4:30 p.m. Eastern today. Here's an excerpt:
All three broadcast network evening shows reported the higher than expected 4 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate for the second quarter on July 30. However, ABC and NBC evening shows previously skipped the three prior GDP announcements that showed the economy shrinking in the first quarter.
ABC and NBC evening news programs ignored the Commerce Department’s announcement of negative 0.1 percent GDP growth on April 30 and the revision to negative 1.0 percent growth on May 29. Again, on June 25 when the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) said the economy actually shrank by 2.9 percent in Q1, both “World News” and “Nightly News” remained silent.
In an interview with Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie noted how "anti-Israel protests around the world" "have taken a disturbing turn and become anti-Semitic in nature," but proceeded to blame Israel for the prejudice: "Do you ask yourselves, 'Okay, we may be winning militarily but are we losing the larger battle, the PR war?' And perhaps, as one headline put it yesterday, minting the next generation of terrorists?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The headline Guthrie cited was from the liberal Daily Beast website, which on Wednesday published an article by Jesse Rosenfeld, who ranted: "It is not Hamas propaganda, the school curriculum or even their parents that make these children see a future where continued resistance is the only option for survival. That was an education taught by the Israeli bombs that flattened their homes and by the bread lines across the street from the school."
ABC's World News stood out as the sole Big Three evening newscast on Wednesday to not cover the release of Lois Lerner's e-mails, where the former top IRS official slammed conservatives as "a**holes" and "crazies." Instead, the news program devoted full reports to the water main that burst on the campus of UCLA and the controversy over usage charges on cell phone bills.
By contrast, NBC Nightly News and CBS Evening News on Wednesday both set aside about two minutes each of air time to Lerner's "salty language," as NBC's Kelly O'Donnell put it: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams left out a key detail from his news brief about his network's upcoming live production of Peter Pan. Williams noted that "Allison Williams will play the role of Peter Pan," but left out that the actress is his first-born child.
During the 37-second news brief, the anchor mentioned that the younger Williams is "currently in the cast of Girls on HBO," and included a detail about his daughter's childhood: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
What will it take for the networks to start covering the IRS scandal again? How about the central figure emonstrating her personal bias against conservatives? On Wednesday CNSNews.com reported the following bombshell: “A newly discovered email exchange from Lois Lerner’s official IRS email account ‘directly demonstrates Ms. Lerner’s deep animus towards conservatives, which she refers to as ‘---holes,’ House Ways and Means Committee Chair Dave Camp wrote in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday.”
Will the venomous language Lerner used be enough to get the networks to notice the IRS targeting scandal again? If recent history is any guide, probably not.
Not wanting to let a good crisis go to waste, Tuesday's NBC Nightly News exploited California wildfires to push climate change. Correspondent Miguel Almaguer declared: "The fire season not just expensive, but historic. Nationwide so far this year, more than 32,000 wildfires have burned. 1.6 million acres charred, most of them in the west. Feeding the fires, drought crippling 60% of the west....Crews call this the front lines of climate change, a longer more destructive fire season." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Introducing the story, anchor Brian Williams warned: "In the American west tonight, a huge wildfire is burning in Yosemite National Park. One of more than 200 of them firing up in just this last week in California alone as this drought emergency continues to get worse."
In a report for Wednesday's NBC Today, chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel – who on Monday fretted that Hamas would get "nothing" out of a cease-fire deal with Israel – highlighted a Palestinian teenager celebrating the terror group's attacks: "In Gaza, many see these attacks as justified. 16-year-old Farah Bakkar has developed a following online after live tweeting as [Israeli] bombs fell....Farah never supported Hamas before, but does now." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
A sound bite ran of Bakkar proclaiming: "When I see the [Hamas] rockets getting to Israel, I start loving them more and more and I pray for them."
On July 29, the Senate confirmed Robert McDonald by a vote of 97-0 to be the next Secretary of Veterans Affairs but that evening only the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley covered the story whereas ABC and NBC were nowhere to be found.
Fill-in host James Brown introduced the report on the V.A. by explaining how “the first job for the former CEO of Procter & Gamble will be cleaning up the scandal at the V.A. A new internal audit obtained by CBS News shows it was even bigger than we knew.” [See video below.]
On Tuesday, July 29, NBC Nightly News was the only network evening newscast to highlight criticism of Secretary of State John Kerry following his inability to broker a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.
While CBS and ABC ignored the criticism of Secretary Kerry, Andrea Mitchell, NBC’s Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, did her best to cast the Secretary of State as a victim of anonymous Israeli criticism. During a press conference earlier in the day, Mitchell sympathetically asked Kerry if such criticism was “hurting your ability to be a mediator here, to have Israel -- with these blind quotes from Israeli officials attacking you so vociferously?” [See video below.]
On Tuesday, only NBC's Today covered Israel's heavy criticism of the Obama administration's effort to pushed a Hamas-backed cease-fire plan in Gaza. At the top of the broadcast, co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: "...the Obama administration goes on the defensive after Israeli media rip John Kerry's efforts to make peace." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, correspondent Kate Snow observed: "The public and the press seem to have turned on Kerry. Take a look at the headline in this morning's paper. 'Obama and Kerry,' it says, 'are playing with fire.'"
On Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie touted "such a bizarre story" of a doctor legally carrying a gun into a Phoenix airport. In the two-minute report that followed, correspondent Tamron Hall explained that Dr. Peter Steinmetz, a neurological researcher, "was arrested after he pointed the gun at a woman and her young daughter." Hall declared: "Police think he may have just wanted to make a statement about the right to bear arms." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Another armed doctor who recently made news was Dr. Lee Silverman, who heroically stopped a shooter at a Pennsylvania hospital on Thursday. Friday's Today offered a mere 33-second news brief on that story.
On Saturday, July 26, federal judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr. ruled that Washington D.C.’s ban on carrying a gun in public was unconstitutional and since the decision the “big three” networks have remained virtually silent on the Second Amendment victory.
Beginning Saturday night and continuing through the evening of Monday, July 28, only ABC’s Good Morning America has acknowledged the ruling. ABC’s Ron Claiborne gave the story a scant 18 seconds on Sunday morning whereas all of the CBS and NBC morning and evening newscasts, as well as ABC’s World News have ignored the story altogether. [See video below.]
As the New York Times launched a high profile editorial to federally legalize marijuana, NBC and CBS on Monday surprisingly showcased the downside of the pro-pot movement in states such as Colorado and Washington. CBS This Morning host Gayle King alerted, "After voters in Colorado and Washington State gave the green light for recreational use, the Times editorial board now wants the rest of the country to have the same opportunity."
Touting the status of the New York Times, reporter Jan Crawford related, "It may seem like edgy stuff from the so-called paper of record, but it reflects a sharp shift in public opinion." Yet, the journalist also explained, "Legalization has been linked to at least two deaths as well as incidents of children accidentally ingesting marijuana-laced food." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
In a report for Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, correspondent Kevin Tibbles highlighted Vermont's effort "to push into unchartered waters and go further than ObamaCare." He explained the left-wing proposal: "Vermont's Democratic state government says it can deliver health care more efficiently and for less to every one of its 600,000 residents equally. All paid for with tax dollars to the tune of some $2 billion a year." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Tibbles noted how, "Doctors bills would go to the state government, essentially eliminating the need for people to purchase private insurance." He then posed the question: "A solution to America's healthcare crisis or the road to bankruptcy for Vermont?"
Over the weekend, leaders from the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees reached an agreement on legislation to reform the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs with the full details unveiled during a press conference Monday afternoon. When it came to the major broadcast networks covering this breakthrough in their Monday morning news shows, NBC’s Today decided not to inform their viewers of the story. Maybe it was because NBC was too concerned telling them how Congress wasn't working to notice.
Between the two networks that did cover the latest in the VA scandal, ABC and CBS, ABC’s Good Morning America clocked in with the lowest amount of air time (no surprises here) with only a 16 second news brief during the 7:00 a.m. hour. Meanwhile, CBS This Morning had a report from CBS News congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes on the bipartisan negotiations and included numerous details of the plan. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
On Monday's NBC Today, chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel worried that Hamas was not getting enough out of a temporary cease-fire agreement with Israel: "What is Hamas getting in return? So far, nothing. No deal, no immediate lifting of the closure of the Gaza Strip. Just a reprieve from Israel's assault that has flattened entire Gaza neighborhoods and killed more than a thousand Palestinians, many of them civilians, many of them children." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Engel continued to outline the demands from the Palestinian terrorist organization: "The war could easily escalate again. Hamas wants an agreement to end the fighting, not for Israel to unilaterally scale back the assault on its own terms."
The saga of Lois Lerner’s missing emails took a bunch of twists and turns this past week, but you wouldn’t know that if you only got your news from the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks. On July 21, it was reported that even more IRS officials had their hard drives crash on them, including employees who “routinely corresponded” with Lerner. What a coincidence! On that same day it was revealed that a top IRS official was uncertain if backup tapes of Lerner’s lost emails still existed. The next day the story changed again when it was reported that Lerner’s hard drive was only “scratched” and the data was recoverable.
Then on July 23 the head of the IRS testified that the back up tapes had finally been discovered but stressed he does not “how they found them” or “whether there’s anything on them or not.” So how many of these intriguing nuggets were reported on any of the network evening or morning shows last week?
A common theme among liberal journalists is to blame a “do-nothing Congress” when liberal policies fail to become law. Such was the case during a panel discussion on Sunday’s Meet the Press when moderator David Gregory and his entire panel lamented the lack of legislative action on Capitol Hill, mainly in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
Gregory summed up the panel’s sentiment when he bemoaned how “until the incentives are changed, a desire for some compromise or even meeting challenges that Americans want dealt with, will not get done. Because nobody will give the other side even a small win in this climate.” [See video below.]
Meet the Press moderator David Gregory did his best to condemn Congressman Paul Ryan’s new anti-poverty proposal during an interview on Sunday, July 27.
The NBC host played a clip of Ryan from 2013 in which he criticized a “dependency culture” in America which Gregory interpreted as not sounding “like there’s a lot of sympathy for people you think need the government's help. What you seem to be saying is that people have a problem with their own dependency here the government is only furthering.” [See video below.]
On Sunday’s Meet the Press, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu profoundly slapped down moderator David Gregory’s assertion that Israel had been involved in the “targeting of a U.N. school that killed children and those civilians who were fleeing a safe place to go in the fighting.”
Netanyahu resoundingly condemned Gregory’s statement and insisted that the “Secretary General of the United Nations before this incident took place, said that, admitted that two U.N. schools in Gaza were used to stockpile rockets.” [See video below.]
On Friday, both ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today ignored the news that Meriam Ibrahaim, a Sudanese woman who was sentenced to death in Sudan for converting from Islam to Christianity and marrying a Christian man, fled Sudan with an Italian diplomat on an Italian jet to Rome Thursday and received a blessing from Pope Francis in a private meeting at the Vatican.
Meanwhile, CBS This Morning did cover the story and provided a 29 second news brief at the conclusion of the 7:00 a.m. half hour. Co-host Norah O’Donnell reported that: “And an extraordinary turn of events for a Christian woman who had been sentenced to death in Sudan. Well, she is now free and this morning, she's on her way to the United States after meeting with the pope. Meriam Ibrahim flew to Rome Thursday after being allowed to leave Sudan. She and her family had a private moment with Pope Francis at the Vatican. Ibrahim faced execution in Sudan for marrying a Christian. The decision was overturned last month. Ibrahim has in-laws in New Hampshire.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
While all three networks denounced the shelling of a U.N. school in Gaza on Thursday, NBC, ABC and CBS all failed to report on similar U.N. schools in the war-torn territory being used to hide Hamas rockets. As Fox News reported on Tuesday, "The U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said the rockets were found in between two other UNRWA schools that are being used to host 1,500 displaced people."
On Wednesday's Special Report, anchor Bret Baier read a statement from the office of the U.N. Secretary General condemning Hamas for the action. Panelist Charles Krauthammer blasted the international organization: "The U.N. workers, UNRWA, have collaborated with Hamas for years and years. They know that there are missiles in the schools, in the hospitals, in the mosques, and they know what's going to happen. Kids will be killed and that's going to be on television." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Both ABC World News with Diane Sawyer and NBC Nightly News failed to mention a new, troubling report from the Census Bureau on Thursday night that sales of new homes decreased by 8.1% in June and that May’s originally reported double-digit increase was revised lower, from almost 19% to only 8%.
The CBS Evening News did cover this story, but it only was in the form of a 12-second news brief from anchor Scott Pelley. Pelley grimly reported that: “Today's report on the housing market is raising concerns about the economic recovery. Sales of new homes dropped sharply last month, more than 8%, and that's the largest decline in nearly a year.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning and evening newscasts have yet to cover the dire situation of Christians in Iraq, particularly after ISIS's takeover of the key city of Mosul. The Islamic extremist group drove most of the Christians out of the city, and issued an ultimatum to those who remained: covert to Islam, pay a hefty tax, or face death. Refreshingly, the New York Times spotlighted the crisis in a Thursday op-ed, and noted that the Christian community in Mosul has lived there for nearly 2,000 years.
The patriarch of the Syriac Catholic Church, Ignatius Yousef Younan III, along with Fox News Channel's Father Jonathan Morris, detailed ISIS's anti-Christian pogrom on Wednesday's Fox and Friends: [video below the jump]
Both Wednesday's CBS Evening News and Thursday's NBC Today offered full reports on President Obama being criticized for attending Democratic Party fundraisers at a time of international crises. ABC continued to remain silent on the growing controversy.
On Evening News, White House correspondent Major Garrett reported: "President Obama arrived late today in Los Angeles for his fifth meeting with big donors in two days." A clip played of Garrett challenging Press Secretary Josh Ernest: "Could you address what many Americans believe is either the trivial or unnecessarily-distracting obligation of presidents – including this one – to raise money in the course of conducting important matters of state?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Over the last 15 days, the world has been rocked by two troubling and growing international crises: the shootdown of a civilian airliner over the Ukraine; and the intense fighting between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. While the three evening newscasts have offered considerable coverage of the unfolding events, CBS, NBC and ABC have made almost no attempt to evaluate the performance of Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry or the administration generally, and critics of the administration have been ignored.
Since July 8, the broadcast evening newscasts have aired 79 stories (169 minutes) on the Gaza fighting; only 45 seconds of that included criticism of the administration. Since July 17, the three evening newscasts have aired 96 stories (209 minutes) on the jet shootdown; just 10 seconds of that coverage has included criticism of Obama or his team.
With less than two weeks until Congress departs Washington, D.C. for its summer break, Republicans and Democrats are battling over how to best stop the flood of illegal immigrants from Central America crossing over the Texas-Mexico border.
On Thursday, July 24, CBS This Morning was the only network morning news show to spotlight how “Congress is taking new action to solve the immigration crisis. Republicans in the House and Democrats in the Senate are pushing new plans to deal with the influx of children from Central America.” ABC and NBC’s morning shows were nowhere to be found on the border crisis on Thursday. [See video below.]
On Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams reported the Apollo 11 astronauts' meeting with President Obama to mark the 45th anniversary of the first moon landing, but failed to mention that only photo journalists were permitted to cover the event. Williams spotlighted Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins's visit to the White House, and how "with them in spirit in the Oval Office today was the late, great Neil Armstrong."
During his minute-long news brief, the anchor also pointed out a former NASA administrator's warning about the current state of the U.S. manned spaceflight program: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Thursday, July 24, the New York Times revealed that Senator John Walsh (D-Mont.) plagiarized his masters thesis from the United States Army College and that at least 25 percent of his paper “was either taken without attribution from other authors’ works or improperly sourced.”
Despite the embarrassing revelation, CBS This Morning was the only network morning news show to report on the plagiarism scandal whereas NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America ignored the story. [See video below.]