The viewers of ABC News might not know it, but one of the network's senior reporters, Jon Karl, grilled White House press secretary Josh Earnest on Friday about claims that al Qaeda had been "decimated." From Friday to Monday, ABC ignored the contentious exchange and Earnest's doubling down. Yet, over that same period, the network's news programs devoted over 20 minutes to the deeply superficial topic of George Clooney's wedding in Venice.
Even as President Obama clearly attempted during a Sunday 60 Minutes interview to blame others for his failure to recognize ISIS as a growing threat in the Middle East, Monday's NBC Today spun the buck-passing as a "very candid" admission by the commander-in-chief.
Co-host Matt Lauer opened the morning show by proclaiming: "Underestimated. The President admits his administration and U.S. intelligence officials misjudged the threat of ISIS." While that headline suggested to viewers that Obama was taking responsibility for the failure, a soundbite ran of the President distancing himself from blame: "I think they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria."
Actor-director Rob Reiner won “The Celebrity Dumb Ass Award” at the Media Research Center’s 2014 Gala. Last November 1, he told Bill Maher on his HBO show that “Obama right now, where Obama is, is right around where Reagan was, right around where Nixon was. He’s no more left than those Republicans.”
Actress Stacey Dash, star of the movie and TV series Clueless, appeared at the Media Research Center's 2014 Dishonors Gala. Dash ripped Hollywood as being full of "hypocrites." The conservative actress explained how the city's residents don't practice what they preach: "Want proof? There are no movies made in Hollywood. They make them in places like Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina. Do you know why? Lower taxes. Hypocrites."
It was no contest really. For the 2014 "Damn Those Conservatives to Hell" DisHonor, the winner hands down was former MSNBCer Martin Bashir, who infamously wished on national television -- if MSNBC can count as that -- that former Gov. Sarah Palin might be subject to someone defecating down her mouth.
Mere hours before President Obama announced Attorney General Eric Holder's resignation, Sharyl Attkisson reported on Thursday that U.S. District Court Judge John Bates ordered the Justice Department to "turn over a list of withheld Fast and Furious documents by Oct. 22 ." CBS Evening News mentioned Fast and Furious in their coverage of the Holder announcement that evening, but NBC Nightly News failed to mention the scandal (ABC's World News didn't cover the resignation at all).
Of the three broadcast evening newscasts Thursday night, only the CBS Evening News offered a full report on the resignation of controversial Attorney General Eric Holder. NBC Nightly News only offered a news brief on the topic, while ABC's World News amazingly skipped the news completely – though it did find the time to provide a full segment on Yankees captain Derek Jeter retiring.
On Friday's morning shows, the pattern was similar. CBS This Morning featured another full story on Holder's contentious tenure at the Justice Department while NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America each included mere seconds of coverage. However, both NBC and ABC devoted full reports to Jeter.
The 2014 midterms may be building towards a Republican wave, but the elections in 39 days have drawn little interest from the networks. NBC and CBS on Thursday made exceptions, but only to highlight GOP struggles and embarrassments. Awkward, uncomfortable examples involving Democrats have been either ignored or massively minimized.
On Thursday evening before hundreds of conservative activists gathered for the 2014 Media Research Center Gala, radio host and author Mark Levin joined the likes of Brit Hume, Rush Limbaugh, and the late Tony Snow on Thursday evening by becoming the latest honoree to receive the MRC's William F. Buckley Jr. Award for Media Excellence.
Duck Dynasty star Alan Robertson appeared at the MRC Gala on Thursday night, introducing the humorous-video segment of the program. He joked to the crowd, “Seeing a beardless Robertson, this is a real treat tonight. It’s like a hairless sasquatch, that what you’re seeing tonight.”
A raucous crowd of conservatives attending the Media Research Center's 2014 Gala featuring the DisHonors Awards selected none other than liberal columnist and shameless Obama/Clinton sycophant Eleanor Clift as the recipient of the Quote of the Year for her insistence that Amb. Chris Stevens was not murdered by terrorists because he died, reportedly, of smoke inhalation.
In an interview with United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer pointed out President Obama contradicting himself on fighting terrorism: "Many times during his presidency, the President has said that the tide of war is receding....But yesterday, he talked about this fight against ISIS and he said, 'The only language understood by killers like ISIS is the language of force.'"
He then wondered: "Are we heading back to a perpetual footing of war?" Power replied: "No. But what we are doing is engaging in a campaign to degrade and ultimately destroy this monstrous group." Lauer followed up: "Are we at war now against ISIS?" Power stated: "We're at war against group of ISIL, yeah." [Listen to the audio]