Government & Press

By Curtis Houck | September 6, 2014 | 10:48 AM EDT

The major broadcast networks continued their month-long plus streak of not covering the IRS scandal on Friday night and Saturday morning as ABC, CBS, and NBC all omitted from their evening and morning newscasts two major developments. The new details on the scandal involving the agency that targeted conservative groups include the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) informing congressional staffers that a possible 760 IRS computer servers exist that could contain lost e-mails from Lois Lerner.

By Curtis Houck | September 5, 2014 | 6:25 PM EDT

After Congressman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday inquiring the whereabouts of a former Department of Justice (DOJ) attorney and one-time Lois Lerner employee and Judicial Watch released new IRS emails on Thursday revealing a “secret research project” on donors to non-profit political groups, two additional IRS bombshell broke on Friday. Upon these stories breaking today, the question is: Will the major broadcast networks cover these stories?

By Curtis Houck | September 4, 2014 | 10:07 PM EDT

Late Thursday afternoon, The Wall Street Journal reported that a hacker broke into a portion of the government-run website Healthcare.gov back “in July and uploaded malicious software” to the site that people in 36 states use to enroll in health care coverage. When it came to the major broadcast networks covering this story on their evening newscasts on Thursday night, they chose to avoid the story completely.

ABC, CBS, and NBC combined for zero coverage of the latest piece of bad news for ObamaCare and is no surprise for a liberal media that has provided plenty of cover for ObamaCare throughout its implementation.

By Tim Graham | September 4, 2014 | 12:27 PM EDT

Fox News correspondent James Rosen has been investigated by Obama's Justice Department for being a "co-conspirator" and violator of the Espoinage Act. Attorney general Eric Holder even approved seizing Rosen's private e-mails. Now, Rosen's latest question at a State Department briefing to press aide Jen Psaki prompted her assisant Marie Harf to tweet that Psaki "explains foreign policy w/ intelligence & class. Too bad we can't say the same about @oreilly factor."

Rosen told Bill O'Reilly that "After a little more back and forth, Jen Psaki told me, she sees no utility in placing new labels on the terms of engagement for the United States. If you translate that from diplo- speak, it means no.
This administration does not regard the murders of Mr. Foley and Sotloff as acts of war or more to the point this administration is not placing United States on a war footing with respect to ISIS." O'Reilly said Psaki "looks way out of her depth over there." [See video below.] 

By Curtis Houck | September 3, 2014 | 9:49 PM EDT

On Wednesday night’s NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams completely missed the mark on President Obama’s mixed signals regarding how his administration intends to deal with the threat of the Islamic terrorist group ISIS and omitted remarks from Obama that ISIS can be contained to the point of being “a manageable problem.”

At the top of the broadcast, Williams made this blatant falsehood: “[F]or all those who may be wondering if the U.S. is going to rise up, take the bait and get into the fight to root them out, the answer today from both the President and Vice President appeared to be clear and unambiguous.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]

By Curtis Houck | September 3, 2014 | 12:05 AM EDT

On Tuesday night, the three major broadcast networks omitted from their coverage on the Islamic group ISIS a report that President Barack Obama has received briefings on the terrorist organization “for at least a year before the group seized large swaths of territory over the summer.”

ABC, CBS, and NBC all led their evening newscasts with multiple segments on the gruesome murder of American journalist Stephen Sotloff at the hands of ISIS in a propaganda video released on Tuesday afternoon. Over on the Fox News Channel (FNC), Special Report with Bret Baier aired three segments on the story, including a report from chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge. [MP3 audio here; Video below]

By Curtis Houck | August 29, 2014 | 12:50 PM EDT

On Friday morning, the major broadcast networks were out in full force to defend President Obama after his remarks at a press conference Thursday afternoon in which he said that “we don’t have a strategy yet” in how to militarily address the Islamic terrorist group ISIS in Syria.

Leading the way was NBC’s Today, where co-host Matt Lauer told NBC News political director and moderator of Meet the Press Chuck Todd that “[c]ritics pounced” when Obama made that remark and wondered if they took “his words too literally.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]

By Mark Finkelstein | August 29, 2014 | 9:17 AM EDT

Alexander the Great.  Stonewall Jackson. George S. Patton. To this list of some of history's greatest military strategists, a new name must be added: that of Barack Obama.  That is, if you agree with Joe Scarborough's take on President Obama's statement at yesterday's press conference that "we don't have a strategy yet" regarding possible attacks on ISIS in Syria.

According to Scarborough, speaking on today's Morning Joe, President Obama's "no strategy" statement was "straight out of The Art of War where when you were weak, you make your enemies think you were strong. When you were strong, you make your enemies think you were weak." It's what Scarborough would have done, he told viewers, if he were president. When Sam Stein said that he couldn't tell if Joe was joking, Scarborough assured him: "I'm serious. Dead serious . . . I am dead serious.  I am not joking."  View the video after the jump.

By Ken Shepherd | August 28, 2014 | 8:31 PM EDT

While competing newscasts on ABC and CBS led tonight with the president's stunning admission at a press briefing that he hasn't formulated a strategy to deal with ISIS yet, NBC placed the story in the third slot in the lineup, after a lead-off report regarding the NFL's "tough new policy" on domestic violence and a story by New York-based correspondent Katy Tur about comedian Joan Rivers's hospitalization.

On top of that, Nightly News substitute anchor Lester Holt completely left out both ISIS and the invasion of Ukraine by Russia from his opening-credit tease. By contrast, both ABC's Amy Robach and CBS's Maurice DuBois led off their opening-credit teases by citing the most quotable nugget from today's presidential presser [LISTEN to MP3 audio here; WATCH video montage below page break]:

By Curtis Houck | August 28, 2014 | 4:00 PM EDT

As reported on Tuesday night, two of the three major broadcast networks covered a new report from the Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Veterans Affairs on the scandal-ridden agency and its Phoenix VA hospital that led to a nationwide investigation of delayed wait times and secret waiting lists. 

While the coverage was mixed with ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer completely omitting the story, the coverage in print and online sources such as Politico, the Associated Press, and The Washington Post completely missed the boat.

By Curtis Houck | August 26, 2014 | 11:30 PM EDT

Reporting on the latest in Ferguson, Missouri for Tuesday night’s CBS Evening News, CBS News correspondent Vladimir Duthiers interviewed a St. Louis detective on what Missouri state law says regarding the ability of law enforcement to use deadly force. After reading from the law directly, Duthiers opined to the detective that it “[s]ounds to me as if the cops are protected no matter what they do.”

To Duthiers’s comment, Detective and St. Louis County Police Association President Gabe Crocker responded that police officers are not “protected by a blanket policy where they can just shoot people and get away with it,” but emphasized that “I do think the law allows for police officers to use deadly force.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]

By Ken Shepherd | August 26, 2014 | 9:55 PM EDT

Last week I noted how MSNBC's Chris Matthews, who usually has tingles down his leg for the president, was taken aback by Barack Obama's statement regarding the ISIS beheading of American freelance journalist James Foley. 

Tonight a frustrated Matthews expressed his frustration with Mr. Obama once again, asking his guests Bobby Ghosh and Howard Fineman why the president didn't couch the U.S. response to the bloodthirsty Islamist terrorists as a defense of American honor. Why, Matthews wondered, did Obama stick to business as usual "playing golf last week when he had the American people's attention?" Why doesn't Obama "fight like a street fighter when it comes to defending the lives of Americans"? The relevant transcript appears below the page break (emphais mine; MP3 audio here; video follows page break):