In their Wednesday night coverage of President Obama’s speech on “violent extremism,” CBS and NBC did the best they could to ignore the criticism surrounding the President’s speech in addition to his conscious and repeated inability to refer to the beliefs of terrorist groups such as ISIS and al-Qaeda as Islamic extremism.
Government & Press
On Monday night, the “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC each devoted a segment of their Monday evening newscasts to the news that Alabama State Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore and some local government officials chose not to carry out a federal ruling that calls for gay marriages to be permitted despite a voter-approved ban.
Naturally, the networks provided favorable coverage to those in favor of gay marriage, proclaiming that this “standoff” in Alabama has become “a full-blown civil rights battle” with ABC and CBS comparing Moore to then-Alabama Governor George Wallace, who tried to block the desegregation of the state’s schools in 1963.
During a live interview with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie on Sunday, President Obama told her how, at the White House, “[w]e make beer – The first president since George Washington to make some booze in the White House.”
While it may be true that beer was brewed at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the President’s statement about former President George Washington also making beer there was far from accurate. Washington did, in fact, brew his own beer, but not from the White House since he never lived there (as John Adams was the first president to occupy it in 1800).
The U.S. Senate took the step Thursday of approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline in a bipartisan fashion by a margin of 62-to-36, with nine Democrats joining 53 Republicans to pass it for the first time after failing to do so under the previous Congress.
When the major English and Spanish language networks aired their Thursday evening newscasts, however, the news of the bill’s passage was nowhere to be found. Not a single second of coverage on Keystone appeared on English language networks ABC, CBS, and NBC in addition to Spanish-language networks Telemundo and Univision.
On Wednesday, the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley was the lone network evening newscast to cover the confirmation hearings of Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch before the Senate Judiciary Committee and while that was the case, it was not without bias.
Even though CBS News congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes featured numerous soundbites from Senate Republicans questioning Lynch, she failed to include how Lynch stated her support for people being able to seek work in the United States, regardless of their legal status.
During the daily White House press briefing on Wednesday, Deputy Spokesman Eric Schultz had an exchange with ABC News chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl where he declined to label the Taliban as a terrorist organization, instead insisting it's “an armed insurgency.”
In an admission that surely would be covered if it were uttered by a spokesman for a Republican president, the “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC all failed to cover this story during their Wednesday evening newscasts.
In conjunction with the U.S. diplomatic delegation arriving in Cuba on Wednesday for talks with the Communist regime, ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir and NBC Nightly News went out of their way to all but again ignore the brutal past of the Castro government and instead stage unapologetic promotions of the country that lies 93 miles to America’s south.
All told, NBC Nightly News spent a whopping nine minutes and 19 seconds of its airtime to Cuba over the course of three teases and segments each. For ABC, with three teases and segments of its own (plus another that predominantly discussed Cuba), it devoted a total of eight minutes and 53 seconds of World News Tonight to fawning over the subject.
At the conclusion of President Barack Obama’s 2015 State of the Union speech, CBS News chief Washington correspondent and Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer offered plenty of praise for the President’s address by proclaiming it as “the best speech he’s made in awhile” with “soaring rhetoric” and being “uplifting at the end.”
In the moments right after the speech, Schieffer declared that the President’s seventh State of the Union was “the best speech he’s made in a while” and diagnosed him as being “more relaxed and at ease than I can recall in a long time.”
During Thursday’s NBC Nightly News, NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell enthusiastically promoted the new and “dramatic changes” set to go into effect on Friday that will allow Americans to more easily trade with and travel to/from Cuba as causing the Cold War to end.
In leading off her report, Mitchell announced to viewers: “In Havana, dramatic change after more than a half-century. Tomorrow the Cold War will be over. A huge opening for U.S. and Cuban travel and trade.”
On Monday, ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir and the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley did their best to move on from the Obama administration’s decision to not have President Obama, Vice President Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, or Attorney General Eric Holder attend the march against Islamic terrorism in Paris on Sunday that drew well over one million people.
All told, ABC ran only a 42-second segment on the White House’s response to the criticism on Monday and CBS had a news brief. Along with one tease on CBS, their coverage combined for a scant one minute and three seconds.
On Tuesday night, each of the major broadcast networks devoted time to covering the swearing in of the 114th Congress and the race for House Speaker that saw John Boehner retain his post, but not without 25 conservatives voting in dissent against the incumbent Republican.
Overall, the networks lamented how the group presented “a thorny obstacle to Boehner's leadership” and, in turn, will force him to be “more confrontational with President Obama” instead of "working with the President on some issues, including tax reform and trade."