On Tuesday, July 22, two federal appeals courts ruled in different directions over the constitutionality of tax subsidies given to individuals who purchase health insurance through the federal ObamaCare exchange. At issue, was language in the law where subsidies would be given to individuals who purchased health insurance in an exchange “established by the state.”
In a 2-1 ruling, the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled that the IRS went too far by providing subsidies to individuals on the federal exchange but a separate ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld those same subsidies. Despite the contradictory rulings and the likelihood that the Supreme Court will take up the case, ABC was the only network evening news show to cover the story on Tuesday night. [See video below.]
Monday's CBS Evening News was the only Big Three morning or evening newscast to cover the conviction of Azamat Tazhayakov, who was found guilty of obstructing the investigation into the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Jurors also convicted Tazhayakov of taking part in a "conspiracy with his off-campus roommate to hide incriminating evidence in the days immediately after the attack," as reported by the Boston Globe on Monday.
Anchor Scott Pelley gave a 19-second news brief to the conviction of the former student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
In an interview with Benjamin Netanyahu aired on Monday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams hyped how the Israeli Prime Minister was "under increasing fire for the civilian deaths we've seen in Gaza" and proceeded to hammer Netanyahu on the topic: "Last night our network aired scenes of the largest hospital in Gaza having to turn away dead bodies at the hospital morgue. There was no more room....How does it strike you as a father, as a human being?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Following the tough questions to Netanyahu, Williams didn't bother to bring on a Palestinian official to equally grill, instead, he simply read a statement from Hamas terrorists: "Hamas tells NBC News in a statement tonight, quote, 'It is Netanyahu and his army of war criminals that have targeted and continue to target innocent and defenseless civilians. As for Hamas, every single Israeli killed by its fighters or its rockets except one have been soldiers in uniform, on duty, fully armed and on the battlefield.'"
ABC’s Good Morning America and CBS This Morning both ignored the news Tuesday morning that President Obama’s nominee to become the next Secretary of the scandal-ridden Department of Veterans Affairs will testify today on Capitol Hill in his confirmation hearing.
NBC’s Today did cover the news, but only in the form of a 24 second news brief during the 7:00 a.m. hour from news reader Natalie Morales. Morales reported that: “VA Secretary nominee Robert McDonald will be in the spotlight today when he goes before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee for a nomination hearing. The former Proctor and Gamble Chairman, President, and CEO was nominated by President Obama last month as the permanent replacement for Eric Shinseki. Shinseki resigned in May in the scandal for long waits of appointments and secret waiting lists at VA medical centers.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
All three morning shows on Tuesday worried about Governor Rick Perry's "controversial," expensive move to send the National Guard to the Texas border. But it was ABC's Good Morning America on Tuesday that offered the most annoyed commentary. GMA correspondent Jim Avila began his report by lecturing, "But the border patrol says [National Guard troops are] not needed because federal law prohibits the military from enforcing civilian laws."
Avila also highlighted that Operation Strong Safety comes "with a hefty price tag of $12 million per month." The journalist continued his critique, deriding, "The head of the border patrol telling ABC News he has other needs. It's not about detaining the child immigrants. They're giving themselves up." An irritated Avila added, "It's about where to put them and neither Governor Perry or the Guard has offered any help with that." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Appearing as a guest on ABC's The View on Monday, CNN Crossfire co-host S.E. Cupp – who is reportedly in talks to join the daytime talk show – told the hosts it was justified for CNN correspondent Diana Magnay and NBC correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin to be removed from reporting in the Gaza Strip after both expressed Anti-Israel bias. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
After Cupp noted the social media comments made by Magnay and Mohyeldin, she observed: "Look, you're a reporter and your job, no matter how passionate you are about this issue, everyone has strong feelings, your job is to be objective." Co-host Jenny McCarthy asked: "So do you think it's okay for them to lose their job?" Cupp replied: "You know, discipline was necessary. Yeah, it was."
On Monday, July 21, Texas Governor Rick Perry announced he was deploying up to 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border to help deal with the ongoing crisis of thousands of illegal immigrants flooding into the United States from Central America.
Despite Governor Perry’s decision, on Monday night the NBC Nightly News ignored the story altogether whereas CBS and ABC gave the Perry decision full coverage. [See video below.]
On Monday, IRS deputy associate chief council Thomas Kane told the House Oversight Committee that he is unsure whether or not backup tapes of the lost Lois Lerner emails exist.
Despite the potential bombshell surrounding the investigation into the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups, all three network evening news shows, ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer, CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley and the NBC Nightly News, ignored the revelations on Monday, July 21.
While discussing potential 2016 presidential contenders on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, correspondent Andrea Mitchell argued that Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren could be "real issue" for Hillary Clinton, touting Warren being "greeted as such a celebrity" at the left-wing Netroots Nation conference. Moderator David Gregory confirmed Warren "getting a huge, huge response" at the event. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell declared that Warren "was all but a candidate" and could make a move for 2016 "if there were a slip, or if there were any reason where Hillary Clinton has to take a step back, and if the foreign policy becomes an issue, which she has to own part of."
Despite the continuing fallout from the shoot down of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 and Israel's incursion into Gaza, Monday's NBC Today devoted over four minutes of air time to weatherman Al Roker conducting a fawning interview with First Lady Michelle Obama. In what Roker teased as a "revealing conversation," he asked Obama: "Who's the best cook in the family?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Roker had the friendly chat with the First Lady while attending the Kids State Dinner at the White House on Friday, something he promoted during the segment: "The tiniest top chefs from all fifty states with a seat at the White House table, serving recipes they submitted....if you give a kid a meal, they'll eat for one meal. It's the old saying. You teach somebody how to fish or how to make the healthy meal, they eat that way for a lifetime."
In the wake of the Israeli military launching a ground offensive into the Gaza Strip to prevent Hamas militants from continuing to fire rockets into their country, NBC has repeatedly taken jabs at Israel and its military.
In a report filed on Today on Sunday, July 20, Richard Engel, NBC’s Chief Foreign Correspondent, provided a fairly biased report on the ongoing violence in the Middle East which concluded by the reporter hyping a Palestinian official saying Israel’s ground attack “was a war crime in the making.” [See video below.]
While NBC, ABC, and CBS have provided wall-to-wall coverage since midday Thursday on Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 being shot down over Ukraine and Israel sending ground forces into Gaza, none of the broadcast networks have made a single mention of President Obama being criticized for attending political fundraisers that night.
Of the three network morning shows on Friday, only CBS This Morning even noted that Obama had just "returned to Washington late last night after a political trip to New York." Though it was never explained the trip was to raise campaign funds for the Democratic Party. NBC's Today didn't bother to mention the fundraisers, but did find time to promote Al Roker's upcoming interview with First Lady Michelle Obama. ABC's Good Morning America didn't even mention Obama's name in its coverage of the crises.
In an interview with Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl's attorney on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer worried that the former Taliban captive and possible deserter was being unfairly investigated by the military [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]:
There was so much fanfare after his release. The President met in the Rose Garden with Sergeant Bergdahl's parents. Top military officials were quoted as saying they didn't think he would face any major punishment. And then the criticism started and then the controversy started. Now there's a full-fledged investigation. Do you think the military is succumbing to public pressure on this?
NBC Nightly News stood out on Wednesday as the only Big Three morning or evening newscast to notice the 45th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11, the mission that landed the first men on the Moon. During his 41-second news brief, Brian Williams paid tribute to Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins as "the living embodiment of the right stuff."
Williams also pointed out that "Apollo 11 was the culmination of the space race – a dead sprint against the Russians for a decade, who, these days, ironically, offer the only ride to space for our American astronauts." However, the anchor did not go into the detail about the decisions by President Obama and his predecessor that led to the U.S. not currently having a manned spaceflight program.
Both CBS This Morning and NBC’s Today chose to ignore the latest news in the IRS scandal Thursday morning that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will be investigating the disappearance and destruction of emails pertaining to former IRS official Lois Lerner.
Meanwhile, ABC’s Good Morning America did cover the news, but only devoted 22 seconds to the story in the form of a news brief during the 7:00 a.m. hour. News reader Amy Robach reported “[a]nd in Washington, a major development in the IRS targeting scandal. The agency is accused of targeting conservative groups. Well now there is word the Justice Department will investigate the disappearance of e-mails the agency claims were lost when a computer crashed. The e-mails were to and from Lois Lerner, a key former IRS official who has refused to testify.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
The only coverage of the ongoing border crisis featured on Thursday's NBC Today was report focused on ridiculing a Republican state lawmaker in Arizona for mistaking a bus filled with YMCA campers for one carrying illegal immigrant children. Co-host Matt Lauer teased: "...why one lawmaker is saying he's sorry this morning." Fill-in news reader Tamron Hall hyped the gaffe: "Yeah, this is a big one." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, correspondent Tom Llamas declared: "Oracle, Arizona, is the latest town torn in two as protesters await the possible arrival of buses carrying migrant children....At the scene Tuesday, state lawmaker Adam Kwasman, a Republican running for Congress....It turns out that bus was actually filled with YMCA kids heading to day camp..."
Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) visited Iowa on Wednesday to help raise money for Governor Terry Branstad (R-IA) and test the 2016 political waters but the “big three” networks did their best to diminish his visit to the Hawkeye state.
Starting with NBC Nightly News on Wednesday night, anchor Brian Williams introduced a story on Christie by playing up how “the New York Times calls the trip a delicate post lane closing political strategy for the governor who has been hurt by the G.W. Bridge scandal back home in New Jersey.” [See video below.]
Wednesday's CBS Evening News unsurprisingly spotlighted a recent study that asserted that turbulence will become more common due to climate change during a news brief about the injuries on an international flight that encountered such unsettled air. Anchor Scott Pelley played up how "one British study predicts that this kind of turbulence will increase significantly in the future because of climate change" [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump].
By contrast, Brian Williams used his brief on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News to remind his viewers of the safety recommendation flight attendants regularly cite in order to prevent such injuries:
After days of censoring any mention of the latest congressional hearings on the ongoing Veteran's Affairs scandal, Wednesday's NBC Today finally found time to report on the topic, providing two news briefs amounting to a paltry 27 seconds of airtime. 27 seconds out of a 4-hour broadcast. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
By contrast, the network morning show devoted a full 3-minute story to Yankee captain Derek Jeter playing his final MLB Allstar Game Tuesday night. That's over six times the amount of coverage given to the VA developments.
On Wednesday, all three network morning shows eagerly promoted Hillary Clinton's friendly chat with Jon Stewart on Tuesday's Daily Show. On NBC's Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie praised Stewart for finding a "creative way" of pleading for Clinton to announce her 2016 presidential bid. Following a clip of the softball exchange, Guthrie declared: "Well played, Jon Stewart, well played." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On CBS This Morning, fill-in co-host Margaret Brennan teased the story by portraying Stewart's show as a hostile environment for Clinton: "Hillary Clinton enters the lion's den with Jon Stewart. Can a fake news anchor get real answers about 2016, finally?" Fellow co-host Gayle King later introduced the segment by proclaiming that Clinton had "sat down last night with another important political player" in Stewart.
Government officials restricting reporter access to illegal immigrants at detention centers. Border patrol agents being infected with diseases “not seen in decades.” The general in charge of the U.S. Southern Command warning that terrorists and gang members could be hiding among the new influx of immigrants. These are just some of the startling new border crisis stories the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) have refused to tell their viewers about.
From June 8 through July 15 the networks have run a total of 133 border crisis stories on their evening and morning shows (CBS 54, NBC 53, ABC 26), yet not one of them has mentioned any of the following explosive reports from recent weeks:
Jose Antonio Vargas, a 31-year-old illegal immigrant, was detained by border patrol agents while trying to board a plane from McAllen, Texas without proper documentation. Following his arrest, the “big three” networks did their best to promote his cause on their Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning broadcasts.
ABC’s Good Morning America did the most to cheerlead for Vargas, with reporter Jim Avila declaring him “America’s most famous undocumented immigrant” without ever referring to him as an illegal immigrant. To their credit, both CBS This Morning and NBC’s Today correctly labeled Vargas as “illegally” living in the United States. All three networks did play up the fact that Vargas was a “Pulitzer Prize winning journalist.” [See video below.]
As many as 90,000 of France’s 350,000 Jews – more than one fourth – were murdered in the Holocaust, within living memory. So when Jewish synagogues and businesses are attacked in Paris by mobs chanting “Death to the Jews,” (on Bastille Day, no less) it ought to be news.
Not to the U.S. broadcast networks – at least not when the mob is Muslim. In Paris on Sunday, three Jews were hospitalized after a violent attack on a synagogue by pro-Palestinian demonstrators. According to the Jerusalem Post, “‘The attackers splintered off an anti-Israel demonstration and advanced toward the synagogue when it was full,’ said Alain Azria, a French Jewish journalist who covered the event.”
A “bizarre cold snap” is hitting the U.S. and the media have already begun to draw comparisons to the polar vortex. It is only a matter of time before the networks resume panic over “extreme weather.”
Use of the phrase “extreme weather” in news stories has exploded in recent years. Almost a decade ago, before former Vice President Al Gore’s film “An Inconvenient Truth” was released, the broadcast news networks rarely used the term. Gore’s 2006 movie and book of the same name used the phrase “extreme weather” and linked the hurricanes, floods, drought and other natural disasters to global warming. The networks have lauded Gore and his film for years.
Attorney General Eric Holder spoke with ABC’s Pierre Thomas over the weekend and made highly controversial comments in which he claimed that the lack of support for President Obama’s policies was a result of “racial animus.”
Despite the highly charged nature of Holder’s statement, none of the “big three” networks have yet to pick up on the story. During the interview, Holder insisted that "there's a certain level of vehemence, it seems to me, that's directed at me [and] directed at the president,” Holder said. “You know, people talking about taking their country back. … There's a certain racial component to this for some people.”
On Monday night, the House Veterans Affairs Committee held a highly contentious hearing featuring Allison Hickey, chief of the VA’s benefits division and VA whistleblower Kristen Ruell. Despite the new details in the VA scandal, NBC has yet to acknowledge the hearings’ existence on any of its morning or evening news broadcasts.
The evening of Tuesday, July 15 saw only the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley cover the VA scandal, with both ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer and NBC Nightly News ignoring the congressional hearing. During their Tuesday morning newscasts, ABC’s Good Morning America gave the VA hearing a mere 23 seconds whereas NBC’s Today continued the network's tradition of ignoring the testimony.
On Tuesday morning, NBC’s Today refused to cover the latest news in the Veterans Affairs scandal as the House Veterans Affairs Committee heard testimony Monday night from additional whistle-blowers who faced punishment from superiors for identifying allegedly manipulated response times for veterans who filed benefit and disability claims.
Coverage of the latest news saw only two minutes and 26 seconds of air time total with only 23 seconds of that from ABC’s Good Morning America. Meanwhile, CBS This Morning spent two minutes and three seconds on the story during the 7:00 a.m. hour. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
During a simulcast of NBC's Today and Howard Stern's SiriusXM radio show on Tuesday, the outspoken America's Got Talent host suggested a way for the network morning show to boost its ratings: "You know, Savannah, it would be great for the ratings if you had the baby and then you had postpartum depression....a lot of women will relate to that. Matt could do a three-piece set on that." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
With co-hosts Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer sitting in Stern's studio, he took the joke even further: "Wouldn't it be great? Let me spell out my scenario. Savannah has the baby. Gorgeous baby, healthy baby, we know that....Savannah then has postpartum depression, comes back to the Today show, kills Matt on camera....Wouldn't that be amazing?"
ABC and NBC continued their tradition of ignoring the latest controversy surrounding the Veterans Affairs department. On Monday morning, only CBS This Morning covered the news that the VA has problems paying veterans for service-related injuries with NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America ignoring the developments.
On the evening of July 14, only the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley covered the latest revelations while ABC World News with Diane Sawyer and NBC Nightly News were nowhere to be found.
In the early 1970s, the press obsessed about President Nixon's alleged "isolation," especially as the Watergate scandal, which in an objective lookback has to be seen as relative child's play compared to what we're seeing now, unfolded. Proof that Nixon's "isolation" had been a constant media theme in previous months is found in an NBC Nightly News report on May 10, 1973, when a White House staff reorganization was characterized by reporter Richard Valeriani as "Nixon moving to end President('s) isolation."
On Fox News's "The Five" on Friday, Democrat Bob Beckel relayed what he said was an anonymous comment by a person in a position to know about how cut off from external advice President Barack Obama is. It seems arguably creepier than any degree of isolation Nixon may have ever had, for reasons which I will explain below. Let's see what Beckel had to say following co-host Andrea Tantaros's comment that Obama has a "Stepford staff just sort of nodding at whatever he says," and Greg Gutfeld's assertion that Obama "doesn't have anybody in his circle" with the nerve or access to intervene (bolds are mine):