In early May, CBS's morning and evening newscasts spotlighted congressional Democrats' vehement opposition to the formation of a select committee to investigate the September 11, 2012 Islamist attacks on the U.S. government facilities in Benghazi, Libya during 10 minutes and 14 seconds of reporting.
However, when Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi named five Democrats to the committee on Wednesday, the CBS news programs minimized their coverage of the development. Wednesday's CBS Evening Newsset aside 23 seconds to the story, while Norah O'Donnell gave a 14-second news brief on Thursday's CBS This Morning about the story: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
A day after President Obama finally reacted to the Veteran's Affair scandal after weeks of silence, NBC's Today could only manage a couple news briefs on the development, totaling forty-seven seconds. Meanwhile, the morning show devoted one minute and nineteen seconds to First Daughter Malia Obama learning to drive this summer.
ABC's Good Morning America at least provided a full report on the VA scandal, but edited out any criticism of Obama. On Wednesday's World News, correspondent Jim Avila included a soundbite from a family member of a veteran who died waiting for care who accused the President of "lying" about the scandal. However, that clip vanished from Avila's GMA report Thursday morning.
It seems even the president’s most steadfast supporters in the liberal media are unsure how to react to Mr. Obama’s May 21 remarks on the Department of Veterans Affairs secret waiting-list scandal. The three major liberal news networks, ABC, NBC, and CBS, interrupted their normal programming to broadcast Obama’s first remarks on the VA controversy since the story broke almost a month ago.
ABC’s George Stephanopoulos – a former Clinton White House operative – attempted to spin the speech in a more positive light as Obama’s “most forceful sayings [sic] yet,” when, in reality, it was the president’s first and only statement on the four week old scandal. The anchors of NBC and CBS were less impressed. [See video below. Click here for audio]
Wednesday's World News on ABC minimized any sense of the Obama administration's responsibility in the ongoing V.A. scandal, and spent the least amount of air time on the issue among the Big Three networks' evening newscasts. The program actually aired segments on pickpocketing and custom mobile homes than lasted about a half a minute longer each than their report on the scandal.
Diane Sawyer spotlighted how the President "weighed in – talking tough and talking action" on the "growing outrage over veterans hospitals." Jim Avila noted how multiple V.A. medical facilities in several states are now being investigated, and let the relative of deceased veteran decry the President's handling of the scandal. However, he didn't mention that the wait lists have been around for years – something that CBS Evening News mentioned in its coverage of the controversy: [MP3 audio from the ABC report available here; video below the jump]
Frustrated by the Justice Department’s stonewalling of its IRS scandal investigation the House Oversight Committee, on Tuesday, sent a subpeona to Attorney General Eric Holder but you wouldn’t know that if you got your news from the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks.
The news that committee chairman Darrell Issa sent the subpoena to Holder, after a Justice Department official in charge of election crimes refused to testify about his role in the IRS scandal, went unreported on the Big Three’s Tuesday night and Wednesday morning programs.
NBC and CBS on Wednesday hyped a win by Senator Mitch McConnell as an example of a major setback to the Tea Party movement. But it was only ABC's Good Morning America that highlighted the "big loss" suffered by Bill and Hillary Clinton as their candidate went down to defeat. CBS This Morning co-anchor Charlie Rose lectured, "Tea Party backers are reeling this morning from primary election results in six states." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
He added, "Tea Party favorites lost in all of the most important Republican races heading into the November midterms." The journalist trumpeted, "...A CBS News poll out this morning show that Tea Party support fell over nine point this past year." Surprisingly, it was former Clinton operative George Stephanopoulos on GMA who exposed a "House race in Pennsylvania that was a big loss for both Clintons."
In a report for Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, political director Chuck Todd offered an obituary for the Tea Party based on a handful of expected primary losses and sympathized with Democrats hoping for weak Republican candidates in November: "Democrats are watching this Tea Party fade with disappointment....They were counting on a few bad Tea Party nominees to bail them out of a race or two, and as you can see, that might not happen this year." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Throughout the segment, Todd gave his assessment of the "struggles" for the Tea Party: "[Kentucky Senator Mitch] McConnell's aggressive campaign is reason number one why the Tea Party has struggled – established Republicans have taken the Tea Party head on....reason number two why the Tea Party has struggled – establishment Republicans have played up their own conservative credentials....reason number three – the defining Tea Party issue of cutting government spending has faded."
NBC Nightly News is at it again, trying to scare its audience about the impending dangers of climate change. Following two reports in early May, the Tuesday, May 20 Nightly News hyped how there’s “a new warning about some iconic American treasures including the threat to Lady Liberty herself.”
Fill-in host Lester Host introduced the segment by declaring that our “American treasures... might one day be something we read about in history books rather than places we visit.” [See video below.]
Pressuring Democratic congressional candidate and former American Idol contestant Clay Aiken from left during an interview on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie fretted that the openly gay singer wasn't campaigning on gay marriage: "You've been open about your own status and you have criticized North Carolina's ban on gay marriage in the past. But for observers of your race, it seems you're downplaying this in this particular campaign. Is that a fair assessment?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Aiken gave a rather surprising answer: "I don't know that we're necessarily particularly specifically downplaying anything. You know, we're up-playing the things that are affecting people's lives....We're talking about the things that are affecting people's lives and that's not necessarily one of them."
On Tuesday's NBC Today, chief White House correspondent and political director Chuck Todd proclaimed that a series of congressional primary races were evidence "the ongoing family feud between the Tea Party and the establishment wings of the GOP festers." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Todd detailed how Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell "waged a ruthless campaign" against his Tea Party challenger, then announced: "As tough as Kentucky's been, it's even nastier and more personal in other GOP primaries."
In a Monday evening report at the Associated Press, reporters Bill Barrow and Christina A. Cassidy did their best to try to minimize the impact of a politically disastrous dodge on the part of Georgia Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn.
In a weekend interview with NBC, Nunn refused to say whether she would have voted for or against the Affordable Care Act in 2010, saying that "it’s impossible to look back retrospectively and say what would you have done if you were there." (And besides, she was working for a not-for-profit foundation at the time, so how could she know?) Additionally, Nunn got so rattled that she invented a new use for the word "architect" — as a verb: "I wished that we had more people who had tried to architect a bipartisan legislation." Clearly, the AP's Barrow and Cassidy were hoping for a real answer from Nunn. But they didn't get one. Not even close (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Documents obtained by the Washington Times revealed that the Bush Administration warned the Obama Administration about problems within the Veterans Administration as early as 2008, yet both the ABC and NBC evening news broadcasts ignored the story on Monday, May 19.
Of the big three networks, only the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley covered the new revelations in the VA scandal. CBS News host Scott Pelley noted that “The Bush White House was so concerned about this back in 2008 that it warned the incoming Obama Administration.” [See video below.]
In an interview with The Economist's John Micklethwait for the web-based Meet the Press feature Press Pass, host David Gregory fretted over the hard left faction of the Democratic Party thinking President Obama has not been liberal enough: "...there are aspects of it that are more progressive, more populist now. And frankly, a bit angry after the Obama years, that it has not been indeed more activist." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Gregory complained: "...you know, while the right will, you know, be angry about all these regulations that are burdening business, you have many on the left saying we still don't have adequate accountability for those people who unleashed the financial crisis."
Opening Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory proclaimed: "Republican attempts to take down Hillary Clinton are in full swing after a headline-grabbing attack from Karl Rove. So will Republicans stop at nothing to keep her from running in 2016?" Introducing a report moments later, he wondered: "Is this just the start of a Republican strategy to persuade her not to run?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Gregory turned to correspondent Andrea Mitchell, who declared: "...there is no longer any doubt that some powerful Republicans are playing hardball against Hillary Clinton..." Mitchell snidely remarked: "It all started when Karl Rove, once called 'Bush's Brain,' said Hillary Clinton suffered traumatic brain injury after a 2012 fall and concussion."
Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, sat down with David Gregory, moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press and was immediately met with a barrage of questions on Hillary Clinton ranging from Karl Rove’s questioning of Clinton health to her tenure as Secretary of State.
Appearing on Sunday, May 18, Gregory did his best to defend Ms. Clinton from her legacy and asked Priebus “Is she the candidate that you, as the head of the Republican Party, most fear” following a confrontational discussion about her role in investigating the terrorist attack in Benghazi. [See video below.]
On Sunday, May 18, ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today hyped President Obama’s selection of Julian Castro, Democratic Mayor of San Antonio, to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Both NBC’s Jenna Wolfe and ABC’s Ron Claiborne beamed at how Castro is a “rising star in the Democratic Party” with Wolfe praising how “there’s been speculation that he could be vice presidential pick in 2016.” [See video below.]
Friday's World News on ABC mentioned the ongoing scandal surrounding the Veterans Administration only in passing, despite the fact their own chief White House correspondent, Jonathan Karl, hounded Press Secretary Jay Carney at the regular White House press briefing on the issue. Meanwhile, they set aside two full segments totaling seven minutes and 54 seconds of air time to Barbara Walters' departure from The View.
Diane Sawyer gave a 30-second news brief to a new development in the scandal – about one-sixteenth the amount of time that she and her newscast spent on Walters: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
In the 9 a.m. ET hour on Friday, NBC's Today provided only 26 seconds to another major change to ObamaCare that news anchor Natalie Morales acknowledged "may end up costing you thousands of dollars out of pocket." Neither ABC's Good Morning America nor CBS This Morning bothered to mention the development, which was reported overnight by the Associated Press.
Morales explained: "The Obama administration has given the go-ahead for a new cost-control strategy, it's called reference pricing. It lets insurers and employers put a dollar limit on what health plans pay for some expensive procedures such as knee and hip replacements. Some experts worry that undercuts financial protections in the new health care law." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Since a massive scandal involving the Veterans Affairs department became public, the three networks have devoted a combined 71 minutes and 55 seconds (or 38 stories) to investigating a secret list delaying treatment to military personnel. That total time included a scant five seconds of criticism for Barack Obama. Instead, ABC, CBS and NBC focused their stories on Secretary Eric Shinseki and to assuring Americans that the President was on top of the situation.
NBC dedicated 32 minutes and 25 seconds to the revelation that up to 40 patients in Arizona died due to lack of care. CBS managed 28 minutes and two seconds and ABC allowed 11 minutes and 28 seconds. In addition to avoiding culpability for the White House, the networks got to the story late. The story broke on April 23, but NBC didn't get around to it until the May 6 Nightly News. CBS and ABC discovered the controversy for that day's morning programs.
While a Thursday article posted on MSNBC.com celebrated college commencement speakers who "drop like flies" due to to "feisty campus dissent," on Friday's NBC Today, correspondent Peter Alexander warned: "On campuses in the last two years, 25 speakers have withdrawn or been disinvited....The growing trend is fueling concern that campuses could become islands of intolerance." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
A soundbite was included of Greg Lukianoff of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education observing: "The danger here is that we send a message to students that they have a right to only hear from people that they already agree with. It becomes very difficult to find anyone you can invite to speak who's done anything interesting with their lives."
With over two years to go until the 2016 presidential election, the media are already trying to ban unflattering topics about Hillary Clinton. From Tuesday morning through Thursday morning, NBC, ABC, and CBS aired 9 full stories – totaling 20 minutes 12 seconds – defending Clinton from health questions raised by Republican strategist Karl Rove.
NBC was first to go after Rove and devoted the most coverage to issue, with 4 stories adding up to 7 minutes 42 seconds of air time. On Tuesday, Today hosts declared that Rove had "stepped a little bit into it" with his "explosive new claims" and Nightly News anchor Brian Williams proclaimed it to be a "nasty" Republican "smear campaign."
On Wednesday Judicial Watch released a new batch of IRS documents that showed “extensive pressure on the IRS by Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) to shut down conservative leaning organizations.” The documents also revealed the IRS’s handling of the Tea Party applications was directed out of the agency’s DC headquarters, contrary to initial claims that blamed low-level officials in Cincinnati.
Coverage by the Big Three (ABC, NBC, CBS) networks on their Wednesday evening and Thursday morning shows? 0 seconds. (video after the jump)
On Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams continued his network's defense of Hillary Clinton by setting aside 63 seconds of air time to a soundbite of Bill Clinton "firing back at Karl Rove, after comments Rove made about Hillary Clinton's health." Williams trumpeted how "shades of the old political warrior Bill Clinton were on display today," as he introduced the extended clip of the former president.
By contrast, on ABC's World News, Jonathan Karl detailed how the former New York senator was "not seen in public for nearly a month as secretary of state" in late 2012, and how State Department officials "downplayed her [Mrs. Clinton's] condition:" [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Monday the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) reported that, according to Obama administration statics, immigration officials knowingly released convicted murderers, drunk drivers and sex offenders into the US back in 2013. So far none of the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks have yet to report these stunning statistics.
According to the Washington Times “Among the 36,000 immigrants whom U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released from custody last year there were 116 with convictions for homicide, 43 for negligent manslaughter, 14 for voluntary manslaughter and one with a conviction classified by ICE as ‘homicide-willful kill-public official-gun.’”
Amid the U.S. major media focus on hundreds of Nigerian school girls being kidnapped by the radical Islamic group Boko Haram, The Daily Beast's Josh Rogan first reported a week ago that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton refused to designate the group as a terrorist organization during her tenure, despite being urged to do so by both the FBI and CIA.
Since that news broke on May 7, NBC, ABC, and CBS have aired a total of 51 stories on the kidnappings but only briefly mentioned Clinton's failure in 3 of those stories – once on each network – totaling barely two minutes.
On Tuesday, the cast of NBC's Today felt it necessary to spend a minute of air time defending Hillary Clinton from Karl Rove raising questions about her health, with co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaiming: "Karl Rove's explosive new claims about Hillary Clinton. The Republican strategist has suggested that she may have a brain injury." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Guthrie quoted Rove "reportedly" claiming at a recent conference that Clinton being hospitalized for "thirty days" in 2012 after suffering a fall may have been evidence she had a "traumatic brain injury." Following the quote, Guthrie noted: "Well, for the record, Clinton was in the hospital for three days, not thirty. And her team is hitting back hard this morning."
On Monday, May 13, all three network evening newscasts hyped the dire consequences of a new NASA study which show that “large parts of the western Antarctica ice sheet appears to have collapsed.”
ABC, CBS, and NBC hyperventilated over the report, and warned of rising sea levels in the immediate future. CBS News’ Elaine Quijano warned “A 10-foot rise in sea level would submerge tunnels and subways here in Manhattan and parts of Queens and Brooklyn. But, Scott, it would also put the entire city of Miami Beach and much of South Florida underwater.” [See video below.]
Despite the overwhelmingly positive reaction to Michael Sam being drafted by the St. Louis Rams as the first openly gay player in the NFL, the Big Three network morning shows on Monday all hyped a negative one-word tweet from another NFL player as evidence of a social media "backlash" against Sam, where "every creep and cretin" could attack him. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
At the top of ABC's Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos touted Sam "making history," but fretted over "the backlash that blew up over his celebration sealed with a kiss," referring to Sam embracing his boyfriend as he got the news. In a later report, correspondent Mara Schiavocampo warned that "not everyone is celebrating the news," proclaiming: "It's sports history sealed with a kiss, and this morning, a little controversy."
Talking to NBC sportscaster Bob Costas on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer reacted to openly gay football player Michael Sam being drafted by the St. Louis Rams on Saturday: "The big picture here in terms of the NFL, is this a sea change or is this a one-off? Is this the league moving to the right side of history? Which by the way, they really can't do unless more players come forward." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Costas responded: "Oh, I think more players will come forward. And in that respect, Michael Sam, no matter what kind of NFL career he has, is a significant figure....And this stuff is moving at warp speed. This kind of acceptance is happening quicker than any of us might have thought. And so I think the NFL is just getting in line with what's happening in society overall."
The House on Thursday voted to create a select committee to investigate Benghazi, but NBC's Today, a four hour program, on Friday totally ignored the story. In contrast, the show spent two minutes on the topic of how many times a week should people shower. ABC's Good Morning America allowed a mere 12 seconds for the latest details. News reader Amy Robach emphasized, "Republicans on Capitol Hill are opening an eighth investigation into the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi." She added, "Today, Democrats are meeting to decide whether to boycott the new investigation, calling it election year politics."
CBS This Morning offered a scant 15 seconds. Co-host Charlie Rose quickly derided, "Thursday's vote to create the committee stayed mostly along party lines with 225 Republicans voting in favor. Only seven Democrats backed the probe." On Thursday, CBS's Nancy Cordes featured Democrats such as Congressman Gerry Connolly complaining, "For political reasons, to keep the base fired up between now and the midterm elections." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]