On Wednesday, NBC's Today offered a surprising full report on "filmmaker and liberal activist" Michael Moore tarnishing his "blue-collar, anti-capitalist image" after it was revealed during divorce proceedings that Moore and his now ex-wife lived in a Michigan mansion, "the 10,000-square-foot house, reportedly in the same neighborhood as Madonna and Bruce Willis." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Back in 2009, the morning show invited Moore on the broadcast to bash big bonuses for Wall Street executives. In part, Moore ranted against the wealthy business leaders living in "gated communities" and "castles with moats around them." Perhaps Moore should have remembered that people living in giant mansions shouldn't throw stones.
Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert did Nancy Pelosi a solid by giving her a platform to promote her effort to energize Democrats to come out in force this November to return the Speaker’s gavel to her grasp.
In the process he also sparked a nationwide run on mind-bleach with a crude joke involving a nude John Boehner. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Monday's CBS Evening News was the only Big Three morning or evening newscast to cover the conviction of Azamat Tazhayakov, who was found guilty of obstructing the investigation into the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Jurors also convicted Tazhayakov of taking part in a "conspiracy with his off-campus roommate to hide incriminating evidence in the days immediately after the attack," as reported by the Boston Globe on Monday.
Anchor Scott Pelley gave a 19-second news brief to the conviction of the former student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The July 22 edition of Morning Joe boasted an exclusive interview with Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). But before Pelosi came on set, MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts featured his own slobbering interview with the politician in their shared hometown of Baltimore. Much to co-host Mika Brzezinski’s delight, Roberts delved into “Pelosi’s political roots” which “run deep.”
The segment featured Pelosi quipping with aging Baltimore residents because, Roberts explained, “Pelosi still recognizes the power and charm of retail politics.” According to the Way Too Early host, being “the only daughter of one of Baltimore's longest serving mayors, Thomas D’Alesandro,” it was “Pelosi's childhood, answering the door at her family home, trying to help the people who came to see her dad that proved to be her political training ground.” [See video below. Click here for MP3]
In an interview with Benjamin Netanyahu aired on Monday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams hyped how the Israeli Prime Minister was "under increasing fire for the civilian deaths we've seen in Gaza" and proceeded to hammer Netanyahu on the topic: "Last night our network aired scenes of the largest hospital in Gaza having to turn away dead bodies at the hospital morgue. There was no more room....How does it strike you as a father, as a human being?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Following the tough questions to Netanyahu, Williams didn't bother to bring on a Palestinian official to equally grill, instead, he simply read a statement from Hamas terrorists: "Hamas tells NBC News in a statement tonight, quote, 'It is Netanyahu and his army of war criminals that have targeted and continue to target innocent and defenseless civilians. As for Hamas, every single Israeli killed by its fighters or its rockets except one have been soldiers in uniform, on duty, fully armed and on the battlefield.'"
All three morning shows on Tuesday worried about Governor Rick Perry's "controversial," expensive move to send the National Guard to the Texas border. But it was ABC's Good Morning America on Tuesday that offered the most annoyed commentary. GMA correspondent Jim Avila began his report by lecturing, "But the border patrol says [National Guard troops are] not needed because federal law prohibits the military from enforcing civilian laws."
Avila also highlighted that Operation Strong Safety comes "with a hefty price tag of $12 million per month." The journalist continued his critique, deriding, "The head of the border patrol telling ABC News he has other needs. It's not about detaining the child immigrants. They're giving themselves up." An irritated Avila added, "It's about where to put them and neither Governor Perry or the Guard has offered any help with that." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Appearing as a guest on ABC's The View on Monday, CNN Crossfire co-host S.E. Cupp – who is reportedly in talks to join the daytime talk show – told the hosts it was justified for CNN correspondent Diana Magnay and NBC correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin to be removed from reporting in the Gaza Strip after both expressed Anti-Israel bias. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
After Cupp noted the social media comments made by Magnay and Mohyeldin, she observed: "Look, you're a reporter and your job, no matter how passionate you are about this issue, everyone has strong feelings, your job is to be objective." Co-host Jenny McCarthy asked: "So do you think it's okay for them to lose their job?" Cupp replied: "You know, discipline was necessary. Yeah, it was."
The week of July 13 to 19 saw increased violence between Israel and the Palestinians, an act of terror as a plane was blown out of the sky in Ukraine, and simmering tensions between Mexico and the United States over a border crisis. With that as a backdrop, the networks skipped White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest's July 14 claim that Barack Obama has "improved the tranquility of the global community."
The journalists at NBC, CBS and ABC, so far, have ignored the remark, offering no skepticism. NBC viewers wouldn't have known about the comment if they watched last week's Nightly News or Today. Yet, if they stayed up to 12:37am on July 16, they would have seen Late Night host Seth Meyers mock, "Yesterday, White House Press Secretary said that President Obama has brought tranquility to the global community. And that's good, Josh. You should always open with a joke." [See below for video of Earnest's original comment and Meyers's joke. MP3 audio here.]
On Sunday's Media Buzz, Senator John McCain brushed off Jon Stewart's latest blast at him over the Iraq War. Host Howard Kurtz wondered, "Is Jon Stewart fair to Republicans?" McCain bluntly answered, "No, but it doesn't matter really. He's a comedian." When Kurtz brought up Stewart's "sizable following among young people," the Republican contended that "he's a very entertaining and funny guy, but...when he says things...that are absolutely wrong, he gets away with it."
Earlier in the interview, the Fox News Channel host raised the conservative critique about the liberal media's deferential treatment of President Obama. Kurtz wondered if that was less true since his second inauguration: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
While discussing potential 2016 presidential contenders on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, correspondent Andrea Mitchell argued that Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren could be "real issue" for Hillary Clinton, touting Warren being "greeted as such a celebrity" at the left-wing Netroots Nation conference. Moderator David Gregory confirmed Warren "getting a huge, huge response" at the event. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Mitchell declared that Warren "was all but a candidate" and could make a move for 2016 "if there were a slip, or if there were any reason where Hillary Clinton has to take a step back, and if the foreign policy becomes an issue, which she has to own part of."
John Oliver used the Sunday July 20 edition of HBO’s Last Week Tonight as a platform to condemn the privatization of the American prison system. Rather than describing both sides of the issue, Oliver told horror stories from prisons that outsource healthcare and food provision without mentioning similar stories from publicly run prisons. According to Oliver, the verdict is straightforward: “private prisons are bad.”
The British comedian spent 18 of his 30 minute show decrying the “drug laws that do seem to be a little draconian, and a lot racist,” as well as the “dismantling of our mental health system” that lead to America having “more prisoners at the moment than China.” Of course, he failed to mention that the Chinese government usually chooses the death penalty over imprisonment, and according to CNN, “executed more people than any other country last year.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
As the border crisis in Texas intensifies, only one network on Monday bothered to cover Governor Rick Perry sending the National Guard to the border. CBS This Morning allowed 20 seconds to the latest development. NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America avoided the story.
This Morning co-host Charlie Rose explained, "The Republican will announce today his plan to mobilize some 1000 members of the Texas National Guard. Their mission is to beef up security." Rose added that the move came "amid the growing problem of immigrant children crossing into the southern states." He added, "Perry told Republicans in Iowa this weekend if the federal government won't secure the border, Texas will." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Despite the continuing fallout from the shoot down of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 and Israel's incursion into Gaza, Monday's NBC Today devoted over four minutes of air time to weatherman Al Roker conducting a fawning interview with First Lady Michelle Obama. In what Roker teased as a "revealing conversation," he asked Obama: "Who's the best cook in the family?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Roker had the friendly chat with the First Lady while attending the Kids State Dinner at the White House on Friday, something he promoted during the segment: "The tiniest top chefs from all fifty states with a seat at the White House table, serving recipes they submitted....if you give a kid a meal, they'll eat for one meal. It's the old saying. You teach somebody how to fish or how to make the healthy meal, they eat that way for a lifetime."
“Americans want our next president to be a woman, hey babe here’s lookin’ at you Senator Elizabeth Warren,” were the words sung in a new video put out by the Ready for Warren website following the Massachusetts Democrat's keynote address at the liberal Netroots Convention in Detroit on Friday afternoon.
A former Obama staffer launched a “Ready for Warren” website and took to the liberal activist conference Netroots this week passing out hats, signs, and stickers touting “Elizabeth Warren for President.” Warren delivered the keynote speech at the event this afternoon and the Ready for Warren folks released a “folk music video” urging the Senator to run.
Talking to MSNBC's Jose Diaz-Balart on Friday, Los Angeles Times reporter Sonia Nazario demanded that tens of thousands of unaccompanied illegal immigrant children from Central America be allowed to stay in the U.S. and condemned anyone opposed to the idea: "Because if you put this decision of sending these children back in the hands of the Border Patrol, many of these children who really should be protected by our government will instead be hurtled back to these countries where they will die. And we will have blood on our hands." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Recently ousted New York Times editor Jill Abramson sat down with Katie Couric on Yahoo News Thursday afternoon to discuss her career at the Times, her firing, and her future plans. As expected, Couric wanted to center on the possible notion that Abramson being a female had everything to do with her firing. The former Today show co-host bent over backwards in an attempt to get the former editor to cry “sexism” as the reason for her termination from the newspaper.
“Are these qualities better tolerated in men than women,” Couric asked. “I don’t see gender as being the whole explanation, by any means, of what happened,” Abramson explained.
CBS put on an anti-religion jeremiad early Thursday morning on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson: a feminist musician who likes “wearing and making something Satanic since music is so not right now.”
Piano-banging rock singer Kristeen Young made her late-night TV debut, accompanied by Foo Fighters stars Dave Grohl and Pat Smear. She sang the song “Pearl of a Girl” that criticizes Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, but most gratuitously proclaims about Jesus “I wish the virgin would’ve had an abortion.” [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Amazingly, Chris Matthews concluded Thursday’s Hardball by playing clips of how President Ronald Reagan reacted the Soviet shootdown of a Korean Air Lines 747 passenger jet in 1983 – even conceding, after a clip of Reagan charging the Soviets with terrorism and a “flagrant lie,” that “he was speaking for the American people.”
Matthews – probably inadvertently – illustrated how Reagan, unlike the current occupant of the White House, understood his role as leader of the free world under threat from evil forces.
Keeping in tradition of Comedy Central talk-show hosts giving Democratic politicians softball interviews, Stephen Colbert treated New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to one on the July 16 edition of The Colbert Report.
Colbert could have used some of his interview to make his subject uncomfortable, by say challenging the left-wing populist on his controversial efforts targeting popular and successful charter schools or making him squirm over his puzzling crusade against Central Park’s world-famous horse-drawn carriage industry – something opposed by roughly 2/3rds of New Yorkers. Instead, Colbert gave the mayor a platform to further his left-wing views on the “vast income inequality” of America today. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
In an interview with Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl's attorney on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer worried that the former Taliban captive and possible deserter was being unfairly investigated by the military [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]:
There was so much fanfare after his release. The President met in the Rose Garden with Sergeant Bergdahl's parents. Top military officials were quoted as saying they didn't think he would face any major punishment. And then the criticism started and then the controversy started. Now there's a full-fledged investigation. Do you think the military is succumbing to public pressure on this?
NBC Nightly News stood out on Wednesday as the only Big Three morning or evening newscast to notice the 45th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11, the mission that landed the first men on the Moon. During his 41-second news brief, Brian Williams paid tribute to Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins as "the living embodiment of the right stuff."
Williams also pointed out that "Apollo 11 was the culmination of the space race – a dead sprint against the Russians for a decade, who, these days, ironically, offer the only ride to space for our American astronauts." However, the anchor did not go into the detail about the decisions by President Obama and his predecessor that led to the U.S. not currently having a manned spaceflight program.
The growing threat of pneumonia, influenza and other serious diseases at the border has not been a concern for ABC. Since June 8, the network completely ignored the potentially grave threat as illegals stream into America. Yet, on Thursday, Good Morning America's Jim Avila warned, "...Some children are leaving border patrol processing centers with high fevers, flu-like symptoms and other contagious diseases." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Highlighting children flown from a screening center in California, Avila noted that the youths were sick with "fevers and coughing." He added, "Others had chicken pox and Coxsackie virus." Ominously, the journalist revealed, "ABC News has learned of one confirmed case and two probable cases of the H1N1 influenza strain commonly known as swine flu linked to the unaccompanied children."
The only coverage of the ongoing border crisis featured on Thursday's NBC Today was report focused on ridiculing a Republican state lawmaker in Arizona for mistaking a bus filled with YMCA campers for one carrying illegal immigrant children. Co-host Matt Lauer teased: "...why one lawmaker is saying he's sorry this morning." Fill-in news reader Tamron Hall hyped the gaffe: "Yeah, this is a big one." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, correspondent Tom Llamas declared: "Oracle, Arizona, is the latest town torn in two as protesters await the possible arrival of buses carrying migrant children....At the scene Tuesday, state lawmaker Adam Kwasman, a Republican running for Congress....It turns out that bus was actually filled with YMCA kids heading to day camp..."
MSNBC’s unwavering devotion to President Obama amidst the immigration crisis of his own making was made prominently clear on the July 16 edition of Ronan Farrow Daily. The Lean Forward host actually misreported an ABC News Washington Post poll which determined that 58% of Americans disapprove of President Obama’s handling of immigration while only 33% approve of his policies. Farrow claimed, “there's a new poll out from ABC News and Washington Post saying that a majority of Americans agree with the president pushing on Congress on this.”
Seizing on the falsehood, Farrow immediately placed the blame on the Right, asking Republican strategist John Feehery, “should those numbers send a strong signal to Republican congressmen at this point, maybe it's time to change tracks?” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Anthony Mason spotlighted the death of comic book character Archie Andrews on Wednesday's CBS Evening News, and pointed out that "it all ends...when an adult Archie takes a bullet aimed by a stalker at a gay friend." Mason turned to the comics' publisher, Jon Goldwater, and wondered if he was "trying to make a political statement with this comic book" [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump].
Goldwater denied that he was doing so, even though he underlined that "gun violence is too prevalent in this country, and we should do everything we can to prevent it." However, just hours earlier on NPR's Morning Edition, he hinted that he was indeed making a political statement:
Hillary Clinton was positively compared to not one but two beloved Republican presidents -- Dwight D. Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan -- in a July 16 Hardball segment praising the former secretary of state's interview with Jon Stewart and thinking through how the former secretary of state should make her pitch to the American people in the time between now and November 2016.
Huffington Post Media Group director Howard Fineman invoked Ike first (listen to the MP3 audio here):
Wednesday's CBS Evening News unsurprisingly spotlighted a recent study that asserted that turbulence will become more common due to climate change during a news brief about the injuries on an international flight that encountered such unsettled air. Anchor Scott Pelley played up how "one British study predicts that this kind of turbulence will increase significantly in the future because of climate change" [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump].
By contrast, Brian Williams used his brief on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News to remind his viewers of the safety recommendation flight attendants regularly cite in order to prevent such injuries:
During a segment attacking conservative Republicans who have been critical of the Obama administration's handling of the border crisis, MSNBC's Chris Matthews had an amusing Al Sharpton-like teleprompter moment, repeatedly trying, and failing, to pronounce "dengue fever." It's curious that Matthews, who once served in the Peace Corps in Swaziland, seems unfamiliar with the term, given how prevalent the disease is in many sub-Saharan African countries -- although not Swaziland itself.
MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell on Wednesday followed up a story on four children who were killed in an Israeli air strike in Gaza by marveling, "How long can Israel withstand this kind of international pressure?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
While talking to reporter Martin Fletcher, she noted that Hamas had rejected an Israeli cease fire and insisted, the militant group is "getting the emotional and political benefit, if you will, of the horror of the deaths of their population."