During a live webcast on NBCNews.com immediately following Wednesday's 10 p.m. ET airing of his interview with Edward Snowden, Nightly News anchor Brian Williams wondered why the National Security Agency was not more receptive to Snowden's claims of unconstitutional spying: "Knowing that in war powers times...the Bush administration use of war powers with Bush and Cheney, isn't the general counsel at the NSA a little bit on guard for a perversion, as Snowden put it?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
That question was prompted by national security analyst Michael Leiter observing: "Imagine you're the general counsel at the National Security Agency and you get an email which says, 'Listen, I think that you're violating the law here, this is unconstitutional.' And the general counsel gets this note and he says, 'Well, gosh, the Congress has authorized this over and over, the FISA court says it's okay.'"
CBS journalists on Thursday morning investigated the latest details of the expanding Veterans Affairs scandal. Yet despite calling the newest revelation "ugly," correspondent Nancy Cordes somehow managed to avoid using Barack Obama's name or to discuss the White House. Instead, she focused on congressional culpability: "But the Inspector General's report points out Congress and the VA have known about similar manipulations and delays for nearly a decade." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Cordes talked to a GOP House member and pressed: "Florida Republican Jeff Miller is the chair of the House VA committee. If you've known about problems like this for years why are you only now calling on the V.A. Secretary to resign?" NBC skimped on discussing how much this issue could hurt the President personally. At the very end of a Nightly News discussion, Kelly O'Donnell briefly noted, "From the White House, NBC's Kristen Welker reports the President considers Secretary Shinseki to be on probation."
An ABC “news” program dedicated to exposing bigotry once again sought to prove how awful the American people are. And once again, it was a huge failure.
The May 23 edition of What Would You Do? featured not one but two segments that could potentially highlight the bigotry that supposedly exists in America. Host John Quinones and crew developed a scenario for the idea of shopping while black. An actor, playing the salesman for the show, directed some rather inflammatory questions and accusations at another actor, the black shopper. Predictably, the unknowing customers were appalled at the salesman’s behavior (MP3 audio here; video below).
While the liberal media was preoccupied spinning Friday’s tragic UCSB shooting to promote their anti-gun agenda, Ed Schultz of MSNBC’s The Ed Show devoted some time on his May 27 program to berating world-renowned neurosurgeon and conservative author Dr. Ben Carson for using the VA scandal to promote his own “anti-Obamacare agenda.”
Schultz blasted Dr. Carson’s efforts to tie in the VA scandal to a larger critique of ObamaCare as cravenly “twisting a tragedy.” As icing on the cake, Schultz grossly took one line of Carson’s out of context to suggest that the doctor was disparaging American veterans and, worse, that he’d love to see more of them injured in future military conflicts. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
John Kerry appeared on all three network news programs, Wednesday, but it was an interview on CNN that provided a surprise. New Day anchor Chris Cuomo actually grilled the Secretary of State on pulling troops out of Afghanistan and whether Barack Obama is showing "weakness" internationally in dealing with countries such as Russia.
On the ending of America's military presence in Afghanistan, the host pressed, "How is it a way forward when, as you well know, as soon as the U.S. leaves there, the chances that the place descends back into chaos are very high? Isn't that backwards, not forwards?" A testy Kerry complained that Cuomo was trying to "find the most negative, gloomy prediction." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
NBC, ABC, and CBS all hailed First Lady Michelle Obama attacking Republicans for trying to make her draconian school lunch mandate more flexible. At the top of Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams proclaimed: "Food fight. Michelle Obama as we've rarely heard her before, returning to her campaign by accusing Republicans in Congress of playing politics with children's health." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On ABC's World News, anchor Diane Sawyer cheered the First Lady as "an unlikely gladiator" who "entered an arena" after having "carefully stayed out of the fray." Sawyer gushed at how Obama "came out swinging today about an issue close to her heart."
MRC president Brent Bozell appeared on The Kelly File on the Fox News Channel on Tuesday night. The subject was Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday’s bizarre indictment of Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen movies as leading to the stabbing-and-shooting murders at the University of California-Santa Barbara.
Bozell appeared with left-wing radio host Richard Fowler and mental health expert Donna Fuller. He couldn’t get over how incredibly lame Hornaday sounded, that frat-boys-will-be-boys movies spur mass murder (MP3 audio here. Video below):
You can take the boy genius out of the Hillary Clinton State Department, but you can’t take the Hillary Clinton acolyte out of the boy.
On the May 27 edition of Ronan Farrow Daily, the former special advisor to ex-Secretary of State treated viewers to a segment devoted to his former employer which lasted over five minutes long, a fairly long stretch of time for an hour-long news program. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Comedian Jodi Miller took on the Obama administration's VA and Benghazi scandals in the May 27 edition of NewsBusted. "America just celebrated Memorial Day. Or, as it's called for veterans at VA hospitals: “Take a Number and Wait” Day," she quipped, adding, "The White House is under fire for long wait times at most VA hospitals. And the administration promised to get help quickly to all our veterans, just as soon as they get around to telling the whole truth on Benghazi."
To watch the full NewsBusted episode, click on the play button in the video embed below. To subscribe to NewsBusters on YouTube, visit NewsBusted's channel here. To get NewsBusted delivered to your email inbox, sign up here.
Elliot Rodger's spree shooting this weekend has given MSNBC an opening to flog two of its favorite pet causes – restricting gun rights and waging combat against the so-called war on women. Weekend anchors Alex Witt and Melissa Harris-Perry, to their credit, downplayed those two issues while discussing the tragedy on their respective Sunday shows.
But it was former DNC spokeswoman Karen Finney who did not hold back on Sunday’s edition of her show Disrupt. She and her guests immediately tied the incident to the politics of gun control before later playing up the anti-woman angle. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Although the journalists at Good Morning America on Tuesday found no time to discuss what NBC called a "potentially dangerous mistake" by the White House, reporter Jon Karl devoted a report to promoting Michelle Obama's latest efforts on healthy lunches. Co-anchor George Stephanopoulos touted it as a "a rare political move now from First Lady Michelle Obama." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Stephanopoulos hyped the First Lady's "full-scale campaign against the food industry and members of Congress who are trying to roll back the healthy school lunch standard she fought so hard to pass." Karl insisted, "Well, the First Lady believes passionately that school lunches simply have to be healthier and she is prepared to wage a big political fight over this issue." He added, "She is going to be speaking out against this effort for Republicans to roll back standards that were put in place in 2010."
Carol Costello surprisingly raised pro-gun rights points during an interview of Senator Richard Blumenthal on Tuesday's CNN Newsroom. Costello noted the "renewed calls for stricter gun control laws" after Friday's murder spree in California, and pointed out that the Golden State "has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. The shooter in this case abided by a background check....How would any gun control law prevent this particular shooter from buying a gun?"
The anchor, who has forwarded gun control in the past, also zeroed on the fact that the deceased murderer began his rampage by stabbing three people to death: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
At the top of Saturday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Lester Holt proclaimed: "Abortion battleground. The newest state to impose tougher requirements on doctors who perform the procedure. Protecting women or denying them access?" In another tease of the upcoming story minutes later, Holt warned: "...the battle over abortion and a controversial new law about to take effect." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, correspondent Kristen Welker revealed the supposed threat to the abortion agenda: "The legislation requires doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges to a hospital within thirty miles of where the procedure takes place. That change could force three of the state's five abortion clinics to close."
What happens when you get a Hollywood liberal who’s chiefly interested in boosting President Obama and attacking Republicans interviewing a single-issue liberal activist who thinks President Obama is not liberal enough?
Viewers of the May 23 edition of Real Time with Bill Maher got to see that as the HBO comedian interviewed illegal immigrant and former Washington Post staff writer Jose Antonio Vargas about his new documentary, Documented. [See video below. MP3 audio available here]
All three morning shows on Tuesday deemed it news worthy to listen to audio excerpts from Hillary Clinton's upcoming book. On the same day that Good Morning America ignored the leaking by the White House of a CIA station chief in Afghanistan, news reader Amy Robach parroted Democratic talking points: "In the book's audio version, Mrs. Clinton describes making choices with her head and her heart." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Robach made sure to advertise a one hour interview Diane Sawyer will conduct with Clinton on June 9th. The primetime special will be followed by yet more promotional time with the Democrat on the June 10th GMA. On CBS This Morning, Tuesday, Anthony Mason assured viewers that the "upcoming memoir has nothing to do with politics." He added that in an author's note, "the potential presidential candidate says the book will not engage in political finger pointing."
On Tuesday, only NBC's Today reported on the White House accidentally leaking the name of the CIA station chief in Kabul, Afghanistan, which correspondent Peter Alexander described as "an incredibly embarrassing and actually potentially dangerous mistake." Neither ABC's Good Morning America nor CBS This Morning mentioned the administration screw-up that occurred during President Obama's trip to Afghanistan over the weekend to visit the troops. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
ABC and CBS did find time to promote other favorable White House stories. GMA did a full segment on First Lady Michelle Obama defending school lunch standards against criticism and This Morning devoted a full report to the White House holding a science fair for girls.
Liberals blame global warming for pretty much anything that happens weather-wise, so why not Godzilla too?
Jimmy Kimmel sent a video crew onto Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles to ask passers-by about whether the movie creature Godzilla is real, surprisingly pressing one guy: “Do you believe these creatures are caused by global warming?”
An ABC program that aims to expose the secret bigotry of ordinary Americans returned to the airwaves on May 23. Would You Do? Is a hidden-camera show hosted by John Quinones and focusing on contrived situations of Americans discriminating against gays, Muslims and illegals immigrants, to name a few.
In a June 14, 2013 episode, an actor portrayed a white man wearing an American flag t-shirt. An Arab man (another actor) entered the restaurant where ABC had set up hidden cameras. The white actor began a tirade, screaming, "Since when are they hiring Muslims around here?...Bet you go home and learn how to make bombs....I don't want a terrorist touching my food or taking my order." [See video below.]
On the May 22 edition of MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, Mitchell spent over 3 minutes interviewing the executive director of the Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign, Sam Kass, and blasting House Republicans for attempting to “roll back standards” on the new requirements for school breakfasts and lunches as required by President Obama’s Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
Without discussing the provision or any of the relevant arguments for allowing schools to opt-out of the new standards, Mitchell and Kass – who, by the way is engaged to MSNBC’s Alex Wagner – spent the segment attempting to delegitimize Republicans as heartless penny savers who will classify pizza and ketchup as vegetables at the expense of the soon-to-be-diabetic children of America. In reality the program has faced significant opposition from schools and students themselves. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
When you've saved countless lives with painstaking precision in long, intense hours of neurosurgery, being outnumbered three-to-one in a political discussion on cable TV is a piece of cake. Dr. Ben Carson appeared live in studio on the May 22 edition of MSNBC's All In with Chris Hayes with the program's hostand liberal think-tank president Heather McGhee. Newly-minted MSNBC host José Díaz-Balart rounded out the panel, appearing via satellite.
Carson was on the program in part to plug his new book, One Nation, and was asked by Hayes to defend his thoughts on how liberals exploit racial categorizations to divide Americans. Carson noted that his experience as a neurosurgeon has enforced his colorblind view of the world [watch the segment by clicking play on the embed below the page break]:
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, who routinely hypes forecasts declaring climate change an imminent threat to humanity, made a rather stunning admission on Thursday night's broadcast while touting the 2014 predictions from the National Hurricane Center: "Overall, they're predicting eight to thirteen so-called named storms....One or two hurricanes, they predict, will be major, meaning category three or above. But, as you know, it is always the case in the inexact business of any forecast beyond five days, we shall see." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The Comedy Central host acknowledged the importance of the scandal while simultaneously mocking it a few days prior to Memorial Day on his May 22 Colbert Report. Complete with a balloon drop, Colbert’s over-the-top fake celebration of the “real” VA scandal sought to poke fun at conservatives for having fixated on”fake” scandals. You know, like the Obama IRS targeting conservative non-profits in an attempt to shut them down or seriously impair their fundraising, or the incompetent handling of diplomatic security in Libya in 2012 which left four Americans dead after a U.S. diplomatic post was overrun by heavily-armed terrorists on the 11th anniversary of 9/11. [Video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
After news broke on Thursday that NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams landed an exclusive interview with NSA leaker Edward Snowden, the network began running promos wondering whether Snowden was a "traitor" or a "patriot." First a clip played of Williams observing: "A lot of people would say you have badly damaged your country." A second clip of the exchange feature Williams asking Snowden: "Have you performed, as you see it, a public service?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On the May 22 edition of The Daily Rundown with Chuck Todd, the MSNBC anchor invited Paul Rieckhoff, founder and CEO of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, to discuss his organization’s reaction to the Obama’s administrations handling of the VA scandal.
While Todd seemed content to place the blame solely on the faceless VA bureaucracy, Rieckhoff hit back by suggesting the problem is exacerbated by a president who doesn’t fire incompetent or negligent administration officials quickly enough. [See transcript below page break. Video below. Click here for MP3]
In early May, CBS's morning and evening newscasts spotlighted congressional Democrats' vehement opposition to the formation of a select committee to investigate the September 11, 2012 Islamist attacks on the U.S. government facilities in Benghazi, Libya during 10 minutes and 14 seconds of reporting.
However, when Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi named five Democrats to the committee on Wednesday, the CBS news programs minimized their coverage of the development. Wednesday's CBS Evening Newsset aside 23 seconds to the story, while Norah O'Donnell gave a 14-second news brief on Thursday's CBS This Morning about the story: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
At the top of her 12 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Thursday, host Andrea Mitchell proclaimed: "The Benghazi dozen, five Democrats now agreeing to join seven Republican inquisitors after failing to block the new Benghazi probe. Is it a witch hunt or a truth squad?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In an interview that followed with Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings, Mitchell wondered why Democrats would bother being part of the select committee investigating the scandal: "...why the decision by your caucus – and a divided caucus it was – you had your microphone cut off by [House Oversight Committee Chairman] Daryl Issa....you and others, I think, were against playing a role in what could be, you know, a real witch hunt, according to you....Why even play the game?"
In a surprising display of real journalism, MSNBC’s Chris Jansing questioned Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on the May 22 edition of “Jansing and Co.” as to why House Democrats recently backed down from their former position of boycotting the new select committee on Benghazi. She asked Schiff why he agreed to join the committee after having personally decried the process as a “red herring [and] a colossal waste of time” that should be boycotted by all Democrats.
After Schiff explained that his party leadership made the call that it would be best to have Democrats on the committee to ensure the “subpoena process” isn’t abused and to “guide this committee to do something constructive,” Jansing cut to the chase. “Is the main role for you and other Democratic committee members to protect Hillary Clinton?” she demanded, having cited a recent “Politico” article that noted how Hillary Clinton’s aides specifically asked Democrats to join the committee. [See video below. Click here for audio]
MSNBC’s Al Sharpton got nasty on Wednesday’s episode of his program PoliticsNation, comparing Republican-backed legislation to common household pests. The reverend’s remark came at the end of a conversation with Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.) on the House GOP’s proposed agriculture budget. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Sharpton and Fattah took particular issue with the budget’s proposal that only rural areas are to receive federal funding for a program to help low-income children get meals during the summer. After thanking the congressman for his time, Sharpton added this metaphor to illustrate what he thinks he’s doing on his show:
Wednesday's World News on ABC minimized any sense of the Obama administration's responsibility in the ongoing V.A. scandal, and spent the least amount of air time on the issue among the Big Three networks' evening newscasts. The program actually aired segments on pickpocketing and custom mobile homes than lasted about a half a minute longer each than their report on the scandal.
Diane Sawyer spotlighted how the President "weighed in – talking tough and talking action" on the "growing outrage over veterans hospitals." Jim Avila noted how multiple V.A. medical facilities in several states are now being investigated, and let the relative of deceased veteran decry the President's handling of the scandal. However, he didn't mention that the wait lists have been around for years – something that CBS Evening News mentioned in its coverage of the controversy: [MP3 audio from the ABC report available here; video below the jump]
Carol Costello and her two clerical guests slammed "climate change deniers" on Wednesday's CNN Newsroom. Costello pointed out a recent sarcastic Tweet by Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak on the climate change issue that "sparked a firestorm," and spotlighted how "religious leaders are more than concerned about statements like that. They're now battling climate change deniers on moral grounds."
The anchor turned to Reverend Mitchell Hescox of the Evangelical Environmental Network and CNN religion commentator Father Edward Beck as her one-sided panel on the topic, and accused the "deniers" of not only eschewing science, but also being unfaithful to Scripture: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]