Government & Press

By Curtis Houck | December 3, 2014 | 10:03 PM EST

On Wednesday night, ABC became the only major broadcast network to not have covered the controversy over President Obama’s choice to name former soap opera producer and Obama reelection campaign bundler Colleen Bell the new United States Ambassador to Hungary. 

The network’s zero coverage of this story came more than a day after ABC’s own chief White House correspondent, Jonathan Karl, grilled White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest on what exactly did Bell have in terms of qualifications for the job (to which Earnest was visibly stumped).

By Curtis Houck | December 3, 2014 | 1:22 AM EST

On Monday, ABC News chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl grilled White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest on what exactly did Obama campaign donor and former soap opera producer Colleen Bell have in terms of qualifications for becoming the U.S. Ambassador to Hungary.

When it came to ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir mentioning or playing video of that exchange on Monday evening, the program stayed silent. Instead, video of Karl’s exchange was relegated to ABC News’s website.

By Curtis Houck | December 2, 2014 | 9:48 PM EST

Major broadcast networks CBS and NBC failed to cover the news that police in Missouri are looking into inflammatory comments made by Michael Brown’s stepfather in the aftermath of a grand jury’s announcement on November 24 that Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson will not be charged in connection to Brown’s death.

Following the announcement of the decision, Louis Head stood surrounded by his wife and mother of Michael Brown and shouted multiple times at the large crowd gathered nearby to “burn this bitch down,” which was most likely in reference to the town of Ferguson. Later that night, widespread looting, vandalism, and burning of businesses and police cruisers all took place throughout the area.

By Curtis Houck | December 2, 2014 | 12:33 AM EST

During a speech in Baltimore on Saturday, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan justified the violence that took place in Ferguson, Missouri in the aftermath of the grand jury decision and called on African-Americans to “die for something” and “tear this goddamn country up” as peaceful protests only benefit “white folks.” Since Farrakhan’s remarks at Morgan State University became public, the major broadcast networks have all ignored the story completely in both their respective morning and evening newscasts. 

By Curtis Houck | December 1, 2014 | 10:29 PM EST

On Monday night, the “big three” of ABC, CBS and NBC each spent portions of their evening newscasts reporting on the resignation of a House Republican staffer after she criticized Sasha and Malia Obama on her personal Facebook page. This marks the second full day of coverage since the first reports aired on Sunday morning and provides another example of a media double-standard between Democratic and Republican administrations.

During the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante characterized what GOP aide Elizabeth Lauten wrote as a “snarky posting” which anchor Scott Pelley said “sparked a firestorm.”

By Curtis Houck | November 26, 2014 | 10:00 PM EST

In speech at the National Press Club on Tuesday, New York’s senior Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer expressed regret over how Democrats handled their large majorities following the 2008 election in passing ObamaCare when they should have focused first on economic issues to address the recession.

Since then, the remarks have received no coverage from any of the “big three” in ABC, CBS, and NBC on either their respective morning or evening newscasts in a situation that undoubtedly would not be the case if a Republican Senator had expressed doubts about an initiative by a Republican-controlled Congress and White House.

By Curtis Houck | November 26, 2014 | 2:43 AM EST

During their Tuesday evening newscasts, CBS and NBC squeezed in a few moments each to promote the newest health-related regulation set to affect Americans under ObamaCare next year in the form of additional requirements regarding the listing of calories for food and drinks at public eating establishments, vending machines, and movie theaters.

Both networks pointed out that the move was announced and will be overseen by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but failed to present any opposition to these changes with NBC neglecting to even mention that the regulations derived from the President’s health care law.

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.