Government & Press

By Ken Shepherd | June 25, 2014 | 8:30 PM EDT

Today a unanimous Supreme Court, in an opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, ruled that police may not search the contents of an arrested individual's cell phone without first obtaining a warrant. While all three broadcast networks reported on the Riley v. California decision in their June 25 evening newscasts, only CBS's Janet Crawford directly referred to the "Obama administration" as having "argued cell phone searches were like a search of a suspect's wallet, briefcase, or coat, which don't require a warrant."

ABC's Terry Moran skirted around a reference to the Obama administration, saying simply that "the government" made the argument that searching a cell phone was akin to searching a wallet. NBC's Pete Williams likewise failed to describe the Obama administration's involvement in the case, to which it was not a party, but in which it took great interest.

By Ken Shepherd | June 24, 2014 | 9:20 PM EDT

Although the 42nd U.S. president made the remarks during a taped interview Tuesday for sister network NBC's Meet the Press, MSNBC's Chris Matthews completely ignored Bill Clinton's defense of his wife's "dead broke" statement as "factually true."

By contrast, the competition over at CNN on Erin Burnett OutFront featured a panel discussion in which the participants made light of Mr. Clinton's defense of his consort and forecast that Bill Clinton might end up being a net negative for his wife on the campaign trail, as he was in the 2008 primaries. [MP3 audio here; video follows page break]

By NB Staff | June 24, 2014 | 5:55 PM EDT

"The email scandal, and it is a scandal, it is a crime, broke 11 days ago, and it took six days, it took Paul Ryan erupting at the IRS commissioner six days later for the media to cover this [on] the evening news," Media Research Center founder and president Brent Bozell reminded Fox News Channel (FNC) substitute host Stuart Varney on the June 24 edition of Your World w/Neil Cavuto.

Yes, a handful of reporters, like Mark Halperin, have spoken out, which is commendable, but "[t]he reality is that this story is still by and large being ignored," Bozell argued. "This is serious, serious stuff going on," but the liberal media "are headed for the tall grass" because they "just don't want to know" the extent of the Obama administration's corruption. [Watch the full segment below the page break]

By Curtis Houck | June 24, 2014 | 4:30 PM EDT

It turns out that Vice President Joe Biden’s claim that he’s not wealthy and does not own any stocks, bonds, or a savings account isn’t entirely true. Unfortunately, only one network did the work to debunk his statement from a speech at the White House Summit on Working Families yesterday.

CBS This Morning was the only broadcast network show on Monday evening or Tuesday morning that looked into Biden’s claims, which CBS News Senior White House correspondent Bill Plante found to be partially false. [MP3 audio here; Video below]

By Chuck Norris | June 23, 2014 | 9:51 PM EDT

As most kids are screaming "School's out for summer," 18-year-old high-school student Andrew Lampart is still trying to figure out why his school's Internet service blocked him from gathering conservative facts for his side of the argument on his school debate team.

Andrew told Fox News, "I knew it was important to get facts for both sides of the case." But when he tried to do an Internet search of conservative views, he was prevented at every turn.

By Cal Thomas | June 23, 2014 | 6:05 PM EDT

It is a line I have used to open speeches on the lecture circuit for years and it never fails to get a laugh: "I'm happy to be here tonight from Washington, D.C., where the only politicians with convictions are in prison."

That's only partially true. Democrats have convictions. They know what to do with power when they get it and how to isolate, even punish, any member of their party who dares to take a different position on an issue. Republicans seem to constantly react to the policies of Democrats or slam each other instead of making a case for the superiority of their ideas. It doesn't help Republicans that they lack the Democrats' uniformity.

By Curtis Houck | June 23, 2014 | 3:15 PM EDT

Mark Halperin, a frequent panelist on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, made an intriguing observation on Monday’s show about the IRS scandal. After saying that the recent news regarding the destroyed hard drive belonging to former IRS official Lois Lerner would be “a test for the news media,” Halperin took a stance on the scandal that few on the cable channel would dare take.

“I think with a different administration, one that was a Republican administration, this story would be a national obsession and, instead, it's getting coverage here and a few other places, but it really deserves a lot more questions,” opined Halperin. [MP3 audio here; Video below]

By Mark Finkelstein | June 23, 2014 | 9:30 AM EDT

Someday, Barack Obama might make a fine professor somewhere.  In the meantime, someone should remind him that he's still President of the United States . . . If President Obama thought he was going to score some easy media points by sitting down for an interview with Mika Brzezinski last Friday, he was badly mistaken.  Morning Joe aired the interview today, to bad reviews by its guests.

Dem Donny Deutsch didn't want to say--but said--that Obama looked "checked out," and seemed like he "wants to go home."  Mark Halperin observed that Republicans resonate when they say that Obama is not "taking control." Commenting on Obama's long disquisition on the complications of the Syrian situation, Halperin observed: "it's up to the President of the United States to take some bold action to try to address [problems] and not just sit and say here's why this is hard, here's why this is hard." It's as if Barack Obama sees himself in the faculty lounge, offering exquisite insights on the problems of the day, rather than in the Oval Office, with the obligation to address them. View the video after the jump.

By Curtis Houck | June 20, 2014 | 6:26 PM EDT

On Friday’s edition of CNN Newsroom with Don Lemon, host Don Lemon and CNN chief congressional correspondent Dana Bash made some unusual remarks about a Republican, but later retreated to downplaying one of the many scandals facing the Obama administration this midterm election year.

Discussing a hearing being held by the House Ways and Means Committee that featured testimony from IRS commissioner John Koskinen regarding the destroyed -- or as the IRS terms it "recycled" -- hard drive of former IRS official Lois Lerner, Lemon began by referring to Congressman Paul Ryan as “not a happy man today.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]

By Curtis Houck | June 20, 2014 | 3:30 PM EDT

Despite the newest revelation in the Veterans Affairs scandal on Thursday that one in ten veterans have to wait at least one month before they can get an appointment to see a doctor, CBS and NBC refused to cover the latest news in both their evening news shows on Thursday night as well as their morning shows on Friday morning.

ABC News only gave 14 seconds of coverage to the issue in a news brief during the 7:00 am hour on Friday’s Good Morning America. CBS News chose to instead publish an article about it on their website Thursday afternoon. [MP3 audio here; Video below]

By Ken Shepherd | June 20, 2014 | 12:28 PM EDT

The Washington Post has assigned reporter Jenna Portnoy to follow Republican nominee David Brat's campaign for the U.S. House seat for the 7th District of Virginia. In Portnoy's latest story, published in Friday's paper on page B4, the staff writer slammed Brat for having "largely ducked media exposure since his [primary] win," noting that after a brief press statement on Thursday which lasted eight minutes, he "retreated inside" his campaign headquarters, "ignoring questions shouted by reporters." A few days earlier, Portnoy insisted that an unprepared Brat had "stumbled" during a phone interview with MSNBC's Chuck Todd

Of course, as Politico's Sarah Wheaton has noted, Brat's Democratic opponent, fellow Randolph-Macon College professor Jack Trammell, "offered few policy specifics during his first public appearance as a candidate on Saturday." Last Friday, Wheaton reported that "Trammell has declined multiple interview requests" and that "[l]ike Brat, who virtually no one thought had a shot at toppling Cantor, he’s gone into something of a lockdown." Yet a search for "Jack Trammel" on the Washington Post website reveals no such critical reporting about the Democrat's unwillingness to have free-wheeling interactions with reporters. What's more, Trammel received fawning coverage in, of all places, a June 16 Style blog entry by book reviewer Ron Charles. The topic was Trammel's yet-unfinished vampire novel (excerpt below, emphasis mine):

By Ken Shepherd | June 19, 2014 | 8:42 PM EDT

Anti-American commandos from Iran are already helping the Iraqi military by doing the sort of logistical coordination that President Obama promised from the U.S. Army today, NBC's Richard Engel noted in a June 19 Nightly News report from Baghdad. "The image I've had in my head all day, Brian, is of this driver's ed car with two steering wheels, with one with the U.S. Army now about 300 people on one steering wheel and the Iranian Quds Force-- which is often hostile to the United States at the other wheel --  and I'm not sure that Iran and the U.S. have any intention of driving this car in the same direction," the network's chief foreign affairs correspondent told viewers at home.

That's a bit of an understatement considering the Quds Force was implicated in October 2011 in a plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States on American soil. From reporting on CNN.com on Oct. 11, 2011: