In an interview with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, host David Gregory attempted to blame the war in Iraq for ongoing Islamic terrorism by citing the former head of Britain's MI-5 claiming the conflict "increased the terrorist threat by convincing more people that Osama bin Laden's claim that Islam was under attack was correct" and "provided an arena for the jihad for which he had called." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In response, Blair blasted the argument: "We've got to liberate ourselves from this, because we're making a huge error when we end up thinking somehow it's our actions that have caused this....So you can carry on explaining all this by saying, 'It's us. We provoked them. You know, it's really– they're just trying to react against Western Imperialism.' It's nonsense."
Appearing on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday, HBO Real Sports host and former Today show co-host Bryant Gumbel argued that alleged racist comments by NBA Clippers owner Donald Sterling were an indication of broader racism in America: "We historically, whether it's Donald Sterling or Cliven Bundy or Trayvon Martin, we look at a tip of the iceberg and we ignore the mass underneath it. And really, that's what – that's where the problem lies." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Also on the Sunday morning program, left-wing activist and MSNBC host Al Sharpton quickly voiced his agreement with Gumbel: "I agree with Bryant, the NBA cannot be the endpoint. But it's got to be the beginning to say, 'We've got to deal with this.'"
Spike Lee and Phelim McAleer are both film-makers who’ve both achieved something unique: each has successfully raised $1.4 million to finance his movie through crowdfunding – a campaign seeking donations from the public. But Spike Lee is famous and established, with a net worth of $40 million. Phelim McAleer isn’t. So it’s a bit odd that the networks took note when Lee (a famous, if not household name) did it, but not when McAleer overcame greater odds to reach that number. Well, it would be odd, except that McAleer is trying to fund a movie about abortionist Kermit Gosnell – America’s “most prolific serial killer,” and the media’s most ignored story.
With 16 days left, the Gosnell movie raised over $1.4 million with 14,500 funders – closing in on the $2.1 million needed to produce the story of abortion Dr. Kermit Gosnell. The Gosnell Movie has beaten Lee's total in a shorter period of time with over twice the number of backers.
Friday's CBS Evening News was the lone Big Three evening newscast to spotlight how the State of Oregon decision to scrap its multimillion dollar health exchange website, and join the federal government's HealthCare.gov. ABC's World News was too busy covering violence over spots at mall parking lots to notice, while NBC Nightly News zeroed in on baby Prince George's first trip to Australia.
Scott Pelley underlined how "the State of Oregon said that after months of trying, it cannot get its state health insurance website to work. It hasn't signed a single customer, and it is pulling the plug. It is the first state to do that." Nancy Cordes pointed out the "$248 million failure," but didn't mention President Obama by name or ObamaCare as a term during her report. She merely made a vague references to the "federal" role in providing relief to the debacle: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The Friday before the Catholic church would celebrate the canonization of two popes, NBC's Today hyped the "controversy" of the jubilant fans of Blessed John Paul II "drowning out dissent" from those who felt "stomped on" during his papacy.
Raining on the canonization parade, NBC's Anne Thompson said the crowds who chanted "sainthood now" at John Paul II's funeral were "drowning out dissent" from folks like, as leftist religion reporter David Gibson told NBC, "Voices of women, voices of sex abuse victims, voices of the more progressive folks in the church who felt they had gotten stomped on during the 26, almost 27 years of John Paul II's papacy." [Audio here; video below the jump]
For the first time on their weekday evening newscasts, the broadcast networks picked up Cliven Bundy's standoff with the federal government – but only after Bundy's racist comments went viral and his conservative supporters denounced them.
Amidst what NBC called a "firestorm," the networks made sure to tie Bundy to the conservatives and Republicans who sympathized with his cause, but were then forced to condemn his racist comments. In fact, ABC's World News aired Fox News host Sean Hannity's support of the rancher but said nothing of Hannity's condemnation of his racist words.
Thursday's NBC Nightly News decided it was newsworthy to air a Democrat's tentative support for a hypothetical Hillary Clinton presidential run. NBC's Chuck Todd pressed U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy on the matter.
"Can you foresee yourself supporting Hillary Clinton in 2016 if she chooses to run?" Todd asked Kennedy, who reservedly expressed her support. "Because the last time you didn't support her, that's why I was just curious if this time you want her to do it and this time you would be behind her." [Video coming soon. Audio here.]
NBC’s Today devoted a full story Thursday morning to speculation that former Florida Governor Jeb Bush might run for President in 2016. Correspondent Andrea Mitchell vouched for Bush’s “conservative” credentials, then ran a snarky soundbite from Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent political strategist Mark McKinnon: “He said he wants to run joyfully, and in today’s Republican primaries, that’s pretty tough to do.”
Mitchell correctly noted how Bush is “at odds with his party’s base” because of he has “endorsed the Obama Administration’s Common Core education curriculum and he’s passionate about the human side of immigration reform.” But rather than citing a mainstream conservative who has criticized Bush, Mitchell instead employed a soundbite from gadfly businessman Donald Trump.
On Wednesday Darrell Issa demanded Attorney General Eric Holder answer new questions about the Justice Department’s role in the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups. In a letter sent to Holder, Issa sought answers about a newly released email between former IRS official Lois Lerner and DOJ official Richard Pilger in which Pilger asks Lerner “When you have a moment, will you call me? I’ve been asked to run something by you” and requests who at the IRS “DOJ folks could talk to” about ways to target politically involved non-profit groups.
So far none of the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) reported on this latest IRS scandal development on their evening or morning shows.
A day after the liberal website Think Progress wrote a piece complaining “There’s Even A Gender Gap In Children’s Allowances” the folks over at NBC rushed to tie the issue to the “pay gap” between men and women.
On Thursday, April 24, Today show co-host Matt Lauer hyped “We all know about a pay gap that exists for adult men and women in the work world, but there are surprising new numbers this morning revealing that that gap actually begins during childhood with the allowances we pay our kids. In a new survey, 70% of boys say they get an allowance. That’s compared to just 60% of girls.” [See video below.]
President Obama is currently on a week-long tour of Asia and all three networks took the opportunity to promote the tenure of Caroline Kennedy, the U.S. Ambassador to Japan. On Thursday April 24, all three morning shows sat down with Kennedy and heaped praise on the long-time Democrat.
ABC’s Jonathan Karl and NBC’s Chuck Todd both used their interviews to plead for Kennedy to support Hillary Clinton’s prospective 2016 run for president, with Todd beaming that “Ambassador Kennedy said she was looking forward to Hillary Clinton running and thought she’d make a great candidate. [See video below.]
The broadcast networks have still not reported a new Justice Department initiative that would consider clemency for thousands of drug offenders.
As NewsBusters reported on Tuesday, Monday evening's news casts ignored the story while Fox News reported it. The broadcast network blackout continued through Tuesday and Wednesday. Fox News continued with the story on Wednesday evening as Special Report fill-in host Shannon Bream reported that "the nation's top cop today outlined a plan to get more people out of prison."
Wednesday's NBC Nightly News slanted steeply toward critics of Georgia's new gun bill, allowing them four quotes as opposed to just one for supporters of the bill. The state's legislation expands the places where citizens can carry guns to include bars, schools, churches and government buildings, with certain limits.
NBC's Gabe Gutierrez opened his report quoting the law's critics: "It's official name is the 'Safe Carry Protection Act' but critics call it the 'guns everywhere bill'." At least NBC gave the real name of the bill; the ABC World News only called it what critics have named it, as anchor Diane Sawyer reported: "The governor signed a bill nicknamed the 'guns everywhere bill,' churches, bars, schools."
Tuesday's World News on ABC stood out as the only Big Three network evening newscast to cover a new "watchdog report" that found that the IRS "handed out more than $1 million in bonuses to employees who were delinquent on their federal taxes." Jeff Zeleny also pointed out how "more than 1,000 IRS workers, who didn't pay their taxes, received not only cash bonuses, but extra time off." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
By contrast, NBC Nightly News and CBS Evening News on Tuesday both devoted air time to the 50th anniversary of the 1964 World's Fair in New York City. NBC's Brian Williams also gave a 28-second news brief on Prince William and Princess Kate's visit to Ayers Rock in Australia, where they posed at the same spot as the prince's parents during the 1980s:
I've always thought entrenched left-wing journalists in Washington needed their heads examined. Much to my satisfaction, it appears the corporate media bosses of at least one Beltway anchor now agree.
According to The Washington Post this week, NBC News hired a "psychological consultant" to examine why flailing Meet the Press moderator David Gregory has been bombing in the ratings. The overpriced shrinks (NBC prefers the euphemism "brand consultants") came from the New York-based brand fixer-upper Elastic Strategy.
The journalists at CBS This Morning, Wednesday, highlighted the "impassioned dissent" of liberal Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor on affirmative action. All three networks covered the 6-2 ruling upholding a state's right to ban race as a factor in public universities. But it was CBS's Jan Crawford who focused on the liberal anger, noting that Sotomayor "took the unusual step of reading [her dissent] aloud." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Crawford dramatically recounted, "She spent about 12 minutes really saying that the six justices in the majority just don't get it, that race still matters. It felt almost personal at times." The journalist added, "[Sotomayor] talked about the experiences young people face, racial indignities and discrimination and how race still matters and what the court did yesterday was put unique burdens on minorities."
President Obama began a week-long trip of Asia on Wednesday with a stop in Japan, and NBC's Today dutifully heaped praise on the trip and the American Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy. On April 23, Co-host Matt Lauer gushed at the "Historic trip. President Obama greeted by Ambassador Caroline Kennedy as he arrives in Japan this morning. The first state visit by a president there in nearly two decades and Ambassador Kennedy's first major summit in her new role."
The two-and-a-half-minute segment began with reporter Peter Alexander glowing at "A large crowd, including his ambassador, greeted the president today in Tokyo. But that doesn't compare to the thousands who lined the streets here last fall to welcome Caroline Kennedy, riding in a horse-drawn carriage, she was more dignitary than diplomat. Completing the journey her father could not." [See video below.]
Reporting on Tuesday's Supreme Court decision that enabled states' voters to ban affirmative action, the NBC and ABC evening newscasts featured a soundbite from the same teenage activist who called the ruling "disgusting" and charged it is "creating a new Jim Crow."
Both networks simply labeled Markeith Jones a high school student without disclosing he is an activist who recently marched protesting Michigan's ban on affirmative action. ABC quoted Jones and other supporters of affirmative action four times in its report while giving opponents just two soundbites.
Jill Abramson of the New York Times denied that her newspaper has a liberal bias during a Monday interview with Marlo Thomas of Huffington Post. Abramson asserted that the Times "reflects a very cosmopolitan, inclusive outlook, which can strike some readers as liberal," and later claimed that "the news pages are not ideological."
The executive editor zeroed in on the issue of gun control as her example of how the New York Times is supposedly balanced: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
ABC, NBC and CBS routinely offer fawning coverage over Michelle Obama and her role as First Lady. However, a growing protest related to a planned gradation speech in Kansas has been ignored by the networks.
Fox and Friends covered the story on Sunday. Co-anchor Ainsley Earhardt explained, "The five high schools in the district would have a single ceremony, limiting the number of guests that each student can invite." She added, "Students and parents spoke out at a recent school board meeting saying that she might...upstage their big day." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] A Change.org petition has almost 2500 signatures requesting a return to "regular graduation."
The broadcast networks gleefully reported the White House Easter festivities on Monday evening while ignoring President Obama's new plan to step around Congress and consider clemency for thousands of drug offenders.
On their evening newscasts, both CBS and NBC smiled upon Obama reading "Where the Wild Things Are" to children, with CBS capturing the moments using a photo album graphic. NBC's Brian Williams chuckled that Obama, with his dramatic narrating of the story, "left it all on the South Lawn."
If there's a prize for most words spent in Obamacare avoidance, NBC News's Martha C. White is definitely in the running.
White managed to burn through almost 40 paragraphs and nearly 1,600 words in a report carried at CNBC on the all-time record number of workers employed by temporary help services. But she somehow managed to completely avoid mentioning Obamacare, which used to be known as the Affordable Care Act until President Obama and his Health and Human Services regulators made 40 changes to the law originally passed by Congress, some of which directly contradict the original law's language. The closest she came was noting that using temps "lets companies avoid the cost of providing benefits like health insurance" — which has always been the case, except that health insurance is and will continue to be a lot more expensive, giving companies even more incentive to avoid adding to their own payrolls. Excerpts follow the jump.
On Friday April 18, the Obama Administration announced yet another delay on whether or not to proceed with the Keystone XL pipeline. The Obama Administration’s decision came in the wake of a new ABC News-Washington Post poll which found 65 percent of Americans support the construction of the pipeline with only 22 percent opposed.
Following the latest delay, NBC mostly ignored the story, giving it a paltry 18-seconds on the Saturday April 19 Today. Keystone was briefly mentioned on Sunday’s Meet the Press during an interview between moderator David Gregory and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL). CNBC’s Squawk Box was the only NBC program to mention that Democratic billionaire and environmentalist Tom Steyer had pledged $100 million for Democratic candidates on the condition that Keystone not be approved. [See video below.]
Washington Post media reporter Paul Farhi wrote a big Style section front-pager for Monday on how NBC's Meet the Press, "Sunday's most venerable news show has stumbled in the ratings."
The shocking paragraph that will get discussed around Washington today is that NBC commissioned a psychological consultant to figure how who MTP host David Gregory is, and what makes him tick. Or maybe, why people just don't like him very much:
According to the liberal network journalists, being part of a Democratic family makes you "royalty." Reporters on ABC, CBS and NBC gushed over the announcement that Chelsea Clinton is pregnant. Good Morning America's Bianna Golodryga enthused, "Move over, Prince George, though. This morning, Americans have their own royal, or, rather, presidential baby, to look forward to. "
On CBS This Morning, Jan Crawford was almost as excited, hyping, "...This is not as quite as big of a deal as when Prince William and Kate Middleton said they were expecting. But in the U.S., I guess you could say political dynasties might be the thing we've got closest to royalty." [Video to follow. MP3 audio here.]
At the top of the 9 a.m. ET hour on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Natalie Morales seized on Chelsea Clinton answering a question she "gets asked all the time, just about every other day": "In a new interview she is saying she is now perhaps is opening that window that she may possibly think about running for public office." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
After Morales touted Clinton's comments to Fast Company magazine on the subject, fellow co-host Willie Geist proclaimed: "She is a very, very impressive woman." Morales agreed: "She is." Geist continued: "And she'll do whatever she wants to do in life."
The network morning shows on Thursday were thrilled by Vice President Joe Biden joining Instagram on Wednesday and posting a selfie of himself with President Obama. On NBC's Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie couldn't contain her excitement: "Presidents and vice presidents, they're just like us! The latest selfie racing around the web today." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On ABC's Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos hailed: "...the selfie craze has hit the White House again....Joe Biden set up an Instagram account overnight, sending out his first picture, it went viral immediately." CBS This Morning co-host Norah O'Donnell gushed: "It's being called the selfie to end all selfies....The White House Twitter account also posted the photo with the caption, 'Pals.'"
The showdown between federal authorities and rancher Cliven Bundy, his family and supporters in Nevada is one of those rare topics from the libertarian-conservative news agenda that actually made its way into the establishment media. Between last Thursday and Monday, ABC, CBS and NBC gave the story a total of nearly 16 minutes of coverage on their morning and evening newscasts.
Network journalists have consistently framed the case as one of a rancher failing to pay the requested fees for his use of government land. But they have failed to use the case to tell the larger story of how environmental rules — in this case, regulations to protect the desert tortoise, have been implemented in ways that help favored interests (land developers, or solar companies) while hurting others (cattle ranchers, for example).
As stoners prepare for their annual 420 smoking “holiday” on April 20, the broadcast networks have done little to educate users on the risks of their leafy drug of choice in spite of extensive reporting on state legalization of pot.
Network evening news reported the growth and legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington state and Colorado. ABC, CBS and NBC evening news programs spent more than 30 minutes discussing the newly legal drug between Oct. 1, 2013, and March 31, 2014. However, the networks rarely addressed marijuana-related health or safety risks, despite blunt support for such education among pot advocates.
Wednesday's NBC Nightly News featured an overwhelmingly positive profile of Michael Bloomberg's new gun control advocacy group. That built upon the network's cheerleading of Bloomberg on Wednesday morning.
Almost the entire story featured quotes from Bloomberg and supporters, with just one soundbite from the NRA. Anchor Brian Williams reported Bloomberg's $50 million pledge without a hint of irony after lamenting big money politics two weeks before.