Wednesday's Good Morning America on ABC ballyhooed the "breaking news" that Pope Francis shook hands with the real-life inspiration for the anti-Catholic movie "Philiomena" at the Vatican. George Stephanopoulos trumpeted the "moving journey for the woman portrayed by Judi Dench in the Oscar-nominated film" and her "remarkable story."
Cynthia McFadden slantingly gushed that "a woman, once shamed by the Catholic Church for having a baby out of wedlock, was invited today to meet Pope Francis," and mouthed the caption of Rolling Stone's recent cover featuring the pontiff: "The times – they are a-changin'." McFadden did her best to boost the movie and failed to mention conservative objections to the production. She also went out of her way to spotlight the United Nations' ideologically-tinged attack on the Church: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
CNN's Wolf Blitzer pelted Sen. Rand Paul with pro-ObamaCare talking points on Tuesday's The Situation Room, going so far as to list what he thought were the "all the positive features" of the law.
"But you like the fact that people can stay on their parents' health insurance programs until they reach the age of 26. That you don't have to worry about pre-existing conditions any longer. You can change your jobs, still get health insurance. You like all the positive features of the Affordable Care Act?" Blitzer pressed the senator. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Tuesday evening, the networks played to the White House spin that ObamaCare won't cut jobs since those expected to move from full-time to part-time work would do so voluntarily.
"We got a report today about ObamaCare that was both surprising and widely misunderstood," CBS anchor Scott Pelley introduced the CBO report that estimates ObamaCare will trim about 2 million full-time jobs by 2017. Pelley cautioned that "Those aren't necessarily jobs being lost. They're also workers choosing to work less." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Alex Wagner made it clear that she was in Senator Harry Reid's Amen corner on the Tuesday edition of her MSNBC program, promoting the Nevada Democrat's green light to President Obama to use his controversial "year of action" end run around Congress to advance the agenda of leftist LGBT activists. Wagner expressed her hope that "with the White House promising a 'year of action'...we can only hope that creating a more fair and equitable society is on that list." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The host also spotlighted the reporting of ThinkProgress.org, and cited new Obama adviser John Podesta, but failed to disclose that she once worked for the Podesta-founded Center for American Progress, which runs the left-wing website.
George Will zinged the media’s duplicity in how they have approached the IRS scandal versus past major scandals when a Republican was President, a lack of interest President Obama recognizes and, “hence, his sense of weariness and boredom as he discussed this with Bill O’Reilly.”
Will, on Bret Baier’s FNC panel Monday night, recalled “three big” scandals “regarding the distortion and abuse of institutions: Watergate, Iran-Contra and the IRS,” noting “the first two were ravenously covered by the media; they were Republican Presidents’ problems.”
ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning newscasts have yet to report about the bilateral squabble between the Obama administration and Israel over Secretary of State John Kerry's warning on Saturday that the U.S. ally faces "an increasing delegitimization campaign that has been building up....There are talks of boycotts and other kinds of things."
The war of words comes days after actress Scarlett Johansson ended her eight-year affiliation with Oxfam due to their opposition to Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Johansson appeared in a Super Bowl ad for SodaStream, a company based in Israel that runs a large facility on the West Bank. On Monday, CNN anchor Michaela Pereira devoted a news brief on New Day to Kerry's remark and the Israeli government's reaction: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Friday's NBC Nightly News, Andrea Mitchell slanted towards left-leaning environmentalists who are still opposed to the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, despite a new report from the State Department that indicated that the environmental impact of the project would be minimal. Mitchell played three soundbites from environmentalists protesting or speaking out against the pipeline, versus only one clip from a supporter.
The correspondent also forwarded an allegation from unnamed environmentalists against contributors to the State Department study: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The Big Three networks' evening newscasts on Friday jumped on the latest development in the traffic scandal surrounding Chris Christie. NBC and CBS both led with the accusation from the former Christie appointee, who claims that the New Jersey governor knew more about the lane closures than he previously asserted. CBS's Scott Pelley trumpeted how "Chris Christie just got thrown under the bus in that traffic jam scandal that has jeopardized his presidential ambitions."
Brian Williams hyped the "explosive new allegations," and that "this scandal has again engulfed Chris Christie – embarrassingly on the eve of the Super Bowl, the first ever held in New Jersey." On World News, ABC's Diane Sawyer played up the "bombshell of a new accusation," and correspondent Jim Avila spotlighted that New Jersey's "largest newspaper has published this: 'Christie is now damaged goods. If... [the] disclosures are as powerful as he claims, the Governor must go.'" [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
In an interview that aired on Friday, CNN's Jake Tapper asked President Obama if he was "naive" back in 2008 when he bragged that his presidency would be remembered as when "the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal."
"Do you think you were naive back then, or have you recalibrated your expectations and your ambitions?" Tapper pressed Obama. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Thursday's New Day on CNN spotlighted President Obama's latest push for gun control, and lamented how "gun issues got just a mention in this year's State of the Union," compared to last year's post-Sandy Hook address. Anchor Kate Bolduan underlined how supposedly "gun control is expected to dog him [Obama] while he's on the road."
Correspondent Brianna Keilar later asserted that "in 2013, it was one of President Obama's – probably, one of his biggest disappointments – a failure to advance a gun bill. And that issue is front and center today, even as he's pushing his populist economic agenda." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
NBC's Brian Williams was dripping with praise and support for President Obama after his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, touting areas where he was "strong" and quoting a sympathetic New Yorker interview of the President.
"A lot of things will perhaps be remembered from this speech," Williams announced, as if the address was almost a classic. He touted that Obama was "strong on education, strong on immigration" and "used humor and feistiness the second half."
Chris Matthews blasted the GOP's apparent "bad manners [and] lack of dignity" minutes before Tuesday's State of the Union address. Matthews expressed his outrage moments after MSNBC's Chris Hayes spotlighted a Republican congressman's attack on President Obama on Twitter: "The very idea that they would do this, in what is a historic occasion, just tells you that there are no rules."
The Hardball host continued by targeting the "right wing – sort of, revolutionary thinking...We're throwing stones at the window of the American republic. That's fine, because somehow, we're so angry that anything goes." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
CNN's Piers Morgan used a Kinder egg to make an analogy about the absurdity of lax gun laws on Monday, but it backfired when his conservative guest didn't take the bait.
Morgan pointed to "your constitutional right to have guns, but I can't eat this chocolate egg, does that strike you as strange?" However, Oklahoma state senator Nathan Dahm agreed that Kinder eggs should be legal and the federal government would be "intrusive" to ban either Kinder eggs or guns. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Monday's Nightly News, NBC's Brian Williams fretted over "personal" shots at Hillary Clinton from Republicans, and correspondent Andrea Mitchell suggested that the GOP has an ongoing women problem.
"[T]he attacks are already underway in case she [Clinton] joins the race. And it's indeed already getting personal," said Williams, referring to Sen. Rand Paul's remark that Bill Clinton's sex scandal should "complicate his return to the White House as a spouse." Paul wasn't even referring to Hillary, though, and said as much to Meet the Press host David Gregory.
CNN's Chris Cuomo sang the praises of hip-hop artist Macklemore on Monday's New Day for his pro-LGBT agenda "Same Love" track, and for his part in the mass wedding ceremony at the Grammy Awards on Sunday: "I think you got to give it to Macklemore, because he's really inserted social consciousness back into rap, and that's a very welcome thing to a lot of people."
Correspondent Nischelle Turner also played up the rapper's participation in the "star-studded wedding seen around the world...officiated by Queen Latifah and Madonna acting as maid of honor," and spotlighted a clip of the Grammy winner underlining the left-wing social message of his recording: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Carol Costello predictably carried water for the cultural left on Friday's CNN Newsroom during a segment about the firestorm over former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee's "Uncle Sugar" attack on Democrats. Costello trumpeted how "Democrats are quite gleeful" over Huckabee's remarks, and bemoaned conservatives' opposition to ObamaCare's contraception mandate: "I just can't believe we're still talking about birth control in 2014. It's just weird to me."
The anchor also glossed over the religious liberty component to the debate, and suggested that the GOP/conservatives should just drop the issue: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Piers Morgan sparred with Ann Coulter on his Wednesday CNN show over Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein's vow to target the NRA in an upcoming movie and over the lack of new gun control regulations in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting in December 2012. Morgan did his best to defend Weinstein, after Coulter blasted him for his "utter hypocrisy" in only recently condemning the impact of violent movies after making a fortune from them.
The British TV host later bemoaned how "there have been 35 separate school shootings in America since Newtown. Not a single changed any federal gun law in that time. Nobody on the pro-gun side seems prepared to relent about anything...to try and reduce the level of gun violence." The conservative author retorted that new firearms regulations wouldn't have done anything to stop them: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, CNN's senior legal analyst smeared the entire pro-life movement in saying on Wednesday's AC360 Later, "They want women to have no control over their own bodies."
Jeff Toobin was referring to the Texas case where a hospital, claiming that it is following state law, has kept a brain-dead woman on life support against the family's wishes in order to bring her unborn child to term. Toobin went on a rant against the law: [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN's Piers Morgan tried to get Ann Coulter to admit she's a "female Glenn Beck" and "part of the problem" for her "divisive" and "partisan" rhetoric, on Wednesday's Piers Morgan Live.
Glenn Beck recently expressed regret that during his time at Fox News, he "played a role unfortunately in helping tear the country apart." Morgan called Coulter the "female Glenn Beck" for her "partisan rhetoric" and wondered if she regretted that. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Tuesday, ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning newscasts all hyped the White House's announcement that President Obama's would meet with Pope Francis in March, and emphasized their apparent agreement on economic issues. On CBS This Morning, Bill Plante touted the "chance for him [Obama] to align himself with the agenda of the very popular new pope, at a time when the President's own popularity here at home is at a low point."
ABC's Robin Roberts even asserted on Good Morning America that the two world leaders are "very similar." However, none of these morning shows reported that just a week earlier, the Pope's secretary of state "expressed [his] concern...for the healthcare reforms in relation to the guarantee of religious freedom and conscientious objection" during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. [MP3 audio available here; video clips below the jump]
Striking fast food workers want $15 an hour and Comedy Central is all too happy to help boost their cause. Stephen Colbert performed his usual shtick of the satirical conservative and gave a warm welcome to striking KFC worker Naquasia LeGrand on Thursday's Colbert Report.
"It's a multi-billion-dollar company, yes, but let's keep in mind that the chairman – the chairman is only making $11 million this year," Colbert gave his simplistic, comedic critique of big business. "Naquasia LeGrand. The movement is Fast Food Forward," he promoted her cause at the end. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
According to CNN's Piers Morgan, the U.S. mission in Iraq was a failure and Iraqis could ask if they're any better off now than under dictator Saddam Hussein.
Interviewing former Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Wednesday, Morgan brought up recent instability in Iraq and noted: "I suppose if you're living in Iraq and you're an Iraqi, you're saying are we really any better off now than we were under Saddam Hussein, brutal though he was and despotic though he was." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Comedian Bill Maher compared Bridget Kelly, the former Christie aide connected to "Bridge-gate," to the Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI on Tuesday's Hardball.
Both persons carried out the shady business ordered by a higher authority, Maher explained: "Remember when Benedict was the 'god's rottweiler' or the 'pope's rottweiler' they called him before he got the pope job? Well, she [Kelly] is blob's rottweiler, okay? She knows to do this without actually having to be told." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Carol Costello hinted at her liberal slant on the gun issue on Wednesday's CNN Newsroom as she discussed the recent movie theater shooting in Florida. Costello lamented the "bizarre conversation now taking place in America: instead of talking about whether loaded guns ought to be allowed in movie theaters, many people are talking about 'text rage.'"
An on-screen graphic during the segment also suggested that a lack of strict gun control was partially to blame for the incident: "Which Is To Blame: Gun Laws Or 'Text Rage'?" [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Tuesday's New Day on CNN followed the lead of Reuters in giving ideologically-tinged reporting about Pope Francis's latest condemnation of abortion. Kate Bolduan hyped the "blunt words from Pope Francis on abortion", and played up how "conservative Catholics have complained the new pontiff...hasn't been tough enough on the issue until now."
Correspondent Frederik Pleitgen added that "this is one of the strongest statements that this pope has made on abortion, and it comes after he was criticized by some conservatives in the Catholic Church for not taking a forceful enough position." In reality, the Argentinian-born Bishop of Rome made an equally-sharp denunciation of abortion in November in his first apostolic exhortation: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Two months ago, MSNBC's Chris Matthews called Sen. Rand Paul a "pissant" for ranting about what Matthews is now hyping as yet another problem for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
In November, Sen. Paul called "offensive" Christie's appearance in a federally-funded tourism video for New Jersey during an election year. Matthews, sticking up for the governor, branded Paul a "pissant" and said his rant "makes him smaller." Yet on Monday's Hardball, Matthews reported a federal investigation into the video as another headache for Christie: "When it rains, it pours." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
We at NewsBusters have demonstrated over the years that the liberal media are all too eager to flog Republican scandals to death while ignoring or downplaying Democratic scandals. MSNBC contributor Jonathan Alter provided a case study of that bias during an appearance on Sunday’s episode of Disrupt with Karen Finney.
While discussing Chris Christie’s bridge controversy, Alter brought up the Obama administration’s IRS scandal. Said Alter to the host, a former Democratic National Committee communications director: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Tuesday's New Day, CNN's Chris Cuomo and Elizabeth Cohen applauded the 2.2 million reported enrollments in ObamaCare as "good," but also lamented that only 25 percent of the sign-ups are young adults. The Obama administration had hoped that 40 percent of the enrollees would fall in the 18 to 34-year-old age group.
Cuomo and Cohen pointed the finger entirely at insurance companies for this low figure and the resulting higher health insurance premiums: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On January 7, CNN's national security analyst Peter Bergen wrote on CNN.com that "al Qaeda appears to control more territory in the Arab world than it has done at any time in its history." However, CNN only mentioned his eye-opening piece once since it was published online.
In contrast to its virtual ignorance of Bergen's article, CNN reported on Dennis Rodman's bizarre visit to North Korea on nine different news hours last Wednesday.
Some important ObamaCare news broke late on Friday when the Obama administration announced it was dropping CGI, the contractor that built the inept healthcare.gov website, and replacing it with technology consulting firm Accenture. On top of that, on Friday, the Republican-led House passed a bill -- with a substantial number of Democrats joining in -- to partially address security concerns regarding healthcare.gov.
But alas, ABC’s Good Morning America didn’t have time to relay this news during the first half-hour of Saturday’s program. They were too busy reporting on a horrific scandal involving a prominent Democratic politician. And no, it was not about Benghazi, or the IRS targeting conservative groups, or anything to do with President Obama. Nope, this scandal involved New York City’s new mayor, Bill De Blasio. It turns out the mayor was caught red-handed eating pizza the wrong way. Co-anchor Dan Harris introduced the story: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]