Government & Press

By Curtis Houck | November 24, 2014 | 8:25 PM EST

On Friday afternoon, it became known that as many as 30,000 emails belonging to former IRS official Lois Lerner that were thought to be lost had been recovered. When it came to reporting this story, however, English-language networks ABC and NBC plus Spanish-language networks Telemundo and Univision have punted on this story and offered no coverage through their Monday evening newscasts.

The only network to cover the story thus far was CBS, which devoted only a meager 26 seconds to it during its Saturday morning newscast, CBS This Morning: Saturday.

By Curtis Houck | November 22, 2014 | 12:29 AM EST

The evening following President Barack Obama’s announcement of his executive action on illegal immigration, major broadcast networks CBS and NBC sought to carry water for the President on Friday night as he made a trip to a Las Vegas high school to promote his move that would allow millions of illegal immigrants to stay in the United States.

Between two reports total from the CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News, the President’s speech was hailed as having “campaign-style fervor” that featured “[a] combative President Obama, chastising congressional Republicans for inaction” on immigration.

By Curtis Houck | November 20, 2014 | 10:38 PM EST

Ahead of President Obama’s speech on immigration on Thursday night, the major broadcast networks all did their parts to push the arguments in favor of his executive amnesty ranging from a whole segment devoted to a family that would benefit from the President’s executive order to promoting one pro-amnesty group.

On the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, over two minutes was spent on segment promoting a family of children born in the U.S. with an illegal immigrant mother, who currently is in an Arizona detention center, but now could be allowed to be freed and apply to become a U.S. resident under the President’s executive amnesty.

By Curtis Houck | November 19, 2014 | 10:38 PM EST

On Wednesday night, CBS and NBC promoted the White House talking point that previous presidential actions on immigration gives President Barack Obama the proper legal authority to enact executive amnesty the evening before a primetime address to the nation on the topic. 

At no point during the coverage on either network did their reporters mention that this justification is being used despite the President’s previous assertions that he did not have the proper legal means to carry out any sort of mass-reaching executive order on illegal immigration. 

By Curtis Houck | November 19, 2014 | 12:11 AM EST

While all three major broadcast networks covered the failed vote in the U.S. Senate to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline on Tuesday night, ABC and NBC neglected to mention that political motivations were behind the vote to aid the reelection efforts of vulnerable Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana that will take place on December 6. 

After previously being held up in the Senate for years, the vote was finally allowed early Tuesday night and fell one vote short of the 60 votes needed for passage as only 14 Democratic Senators joined with all 45 Republicans to approve the measure.

By Curtis Houck | November 18, 2014 | 8:15 PM EST

On Tuesday night, NBC Nightly News continued its streak of ignoring comments made by ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber into an 11th day while ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir finally brought up Gruber’s comments on the “stupidity of the American voter” and the "advantage" of having a “lack of transparency” in getting ObamaCare passed.

Anchor David Muir discussed the story for one minute and 16 seconds with ABC News chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl and described the situation as a “controversy” and labeled Gruber as “one of the architects of ObamaCare” two days after President Obama brushed off Gruber as merely “some adviser who never worked on our staff.”

By Curtis Houck | November 17, 2014 | 10:06 PM EST

On Monday, ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir and NBC Nightly News continued to ignore the news surrounding videos unearthed of ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber praising “lack of transparency” as a “political advantage” and insulting voters as stupid regarding the law’s passage and contents. With tonight’s omissions, the blackout of coverage on Gruber from these two programs now stands at ten days.

Thus far, ABC has only mentioned Gruber once since the first video surfaced on November 7 and it was saved for its Sunday morning political talk show This Week with George Stephanopoulos. When it comes to NBC’s total number of mentions, they have only been able to muster two total mentions of Gruber with one on its Sunday morning talk show Meet the Press and another on Monday morning’s Today.

By Curtis Houck | November 12, 2014 | 10:44 PM EST

During Wednesday’s NBC Nightly News, NBC’s chief environmental affairs correspondent Anne Thompson enthusiastically promoted the global warming agreement between the United States and China that was announced earlier in the day, but fretted that Republicans were “already putting up roadblocks if congressional action is needed.”

Anchor Brian Williams hyped that it was “[a] surprise announcement” and “a history making deal” that will “greatly reduce carbon emissions.” Those generous descriptions segued into Thompson’s report as she mentioned that deal was between the two nations that were responsible for “producing 39 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases last year.”

By Curtis Houck | November 12, 2014 | 6:24 PM EST

During a discussion on MSNBC’s The Cycle about the disparaging comments ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber made about the law’s passage and the “stupidity” of voters, New York Times writer and substitute Cycle co-host Josh Barro sought to defend him by blasting the expectations that Americans have about health care as “completely incoherent” and lying was the only solution to make them happy. Barro told fellow panelists and guest Lauren Fox of National Journal that “what drives me crazy about this story” was that: “Jonathan Gruber was right. Public opinion on health care policy is just completely incoherent.” 

By Curtis Houck | November 4, 2014 | 2:01 AM EST

On Monday night, NBC continued to doubt the real possibility of the Republicans taking over control of the U.S. Senate following the midterm elections on Tuesday. Both NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams and NBC News political director and Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd expressed reservations during the program’s opening five minutes, as Williams led off by describing the election as a “cliffhanger” with “several big races” that “have perhaps tightened.”

By Curtis Houck | October 30, 2014 | 5:49 PM EDT

As of Thursday morning, both ABC and NBC have ignored the latest rift in the relationship between the United States and Israel as “a senior Obama administration official” told Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was nothing more than a “coward” and "chickens***." 

Both the Wednesday evening and Thursday morning newscasts on ABC and NBC made no mention of this story, which further cements the chilly reception Netanyahu and President Obama have had for each other throughout Obama’s presidency. 

By Curtis Houck | October 30, 2014 | 1:06 AM EDT

CBS News congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes profiled the North Carolina Senate race during Wednesday night’s CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley and devoted much of her report highlighting the fact that the race between incumbent Democratic Senator Kay Hagan and Republican challenger and State House Speaker Thom Tillis has become the most expensive Senate race of the cycle.

Specifically, Cordes blamed “[t]he Supreme Court” as it “paved the way for unlimited outside spending in a 2010 decision commonly known as Citizens United, which overturned parts of a campaign finance law authored by Republican John McCain.”