From the end of Wednesday’s Special Report with Bret Baier on the Fox News Channel, a condensed version of Jon Stewart’s “poor-off” between Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, a comedy bit from the June 24 Daily Show on Comedy Central.
Graphic novelist Max Brooks, a former writer for Saturday Night Live, charged on Friday night’s Real Time with Bill Maher that Tea Party “ideologues” are just like the Nazi “ideologues” who fooled the German elite in the decades before World War II.
Friday's World News on ABC glossed over the release of Deputy White House Chief of Staff Rob Nabors's report on the scandal at the Veterans Administration. President Obama had sent Nabors to look into the long wait times at veterans hospitals nationwide. Instead, the evening newscast set aside almost two minutes of air time to a woman, who is eight months pregnant, competing in a track and field competition.
On CBS Evening News, Scott Pelley led the broadcast with the "bleak picture" detailed in the new report. Correspondent Wyatt Andrews spotlighted how Nabors "combined scathing criticism with ideas on moving the V.A. forward." Brian Williams used the same label as Andrews during his 24-second news brief about the story on NBC Nightly News: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The New York Times's public editor on Friday responded to criticism about the paper's coverage of the IRS scandal, admitting: "The Times was somewhat late in beginning to cover the latest development about the lost emails." An analysis by the Media Research Center's Jeffrey Meyer on Thursday found that "in the past 6 months (183 days), the New York Times has published only 13 news items on the IRS’ targeting of Tea Party groups."
Public editor Margaret Sullivan questioned David Joachim, the Times's Washington-based reporter, on the scant coverage. He offered an equivalence that seemed dismissive of complaints: "One side sees a Nixonian abuse of power and cover-up; the other sees an effort to smear the White House for electoral gain in the midterms. That stuff brings out passions."
Despite Thursday's unanimous Supreme Court ruling that so-called "buffer zones" banning pro-life protests near abortion clinics was a violation of the First Amendment, all three network evening newscasts hyped assertions by abortion advocates that such unconstitutional measures "prevent violence at clinic entrances." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On NBC Nightly News, correspondent Pete Williams began his report on the high court's decision by proclaiming: "Massachusetts was trying to avoid scenes like this – patients at abortion clinics confronted and hassled, sometimes even violence." Footage ran of pro-life protesters being held back by police barricades and one unidentified man shouting: "They're lying to you and they're gonna kill your baby!"
Jon Stewart fell back to his partisan comfort zone on the Thursday, June 26 edition of The Daily Show. Despite Tuesday’s brief respite into the realm of poking fun at his own party, the Comedy Central host spent the opening monologue of his show blasting Republicans for being “warfare queens.”
Stewart ended his rant by telling Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) to “go f*** yourself.” Classy. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
An excited George Stephanopoulos on Friday recounted his flight on Air Force One and the thrill of watching the U.S. World Cup with Barack Obama. In the 8am hour, Stephanopoulos bragged to co-host Robin Roberts: "You were teasing me earlier about my trip yesterday on Air Force One. So, I'm just going to rub it in."
At the top of the show, he trumpeted, "ABC News exclusive: My day with the president on Air Force One, watching Team USA." The host enthused, "The President invited us up to his conference room to watch with his team onboard." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The GMA co-anchor then showed video of himself watching the soccer game with Obama and staff.
In an exclusive interview with Barack Obama, George Stephanopoulos on Friday hinted that the President is disappointed in the American people. The overall interview actually included some tough questions on subjects such as Iraq and the crisis of illegal immigration. But the Good Morning America co-host sympathized with Obama when discussing his crumbling poll numbers and noted that "the public is blaming" the President.
Stephanopoulos then worried, "More than half of the Americans have lost confidence in your ability to lead the country and get the job done. That must have been stunning to you. Disappointing?" The journalist optimistically wondered, "How do you turn it around?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Following the death of former Senator Howard Baker on Tuesday, all three major broadcast networks praised the influential former White House Chief of Staff during their June 26 evening newscasts for his ability to compromise with Democrats. Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News even went so far as to describe him as “a Republican so moderate it might make him a Democrat today.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
On the June 27 edition of CBS This Morning, co-host Norah O’Donnell lamented "there’s a lot of people who miss the Howard Bakers of the world. We could use more of them in the Senate for sure."
Liberal comedian Whoopi Goldberg clumsily deployed the race card in an argument with conservative guest co-host Will Cain of The Blaze on Wednesday's The View about comedian Russell Brand comparing Fox News to ISIS. Cain had criticized Brand, pointing out the ludicrousness of describing a news channel he disagrees with politically to violent, predatory terrorists.
Tackling how absurd American society's obsession with a virtual right to not be offended by someone else's words, Goldberg snapped back that he had “[s]poken like a true white guy.” Goldberg insisted that people “absolutely have the right” to ask people to stop using words that make them “uncomfortable.” Cain countered that “you have to be bigger than words.” In response to Goldberg arguing that people “do have the absolute right” to tell people not to use certain words Cain replied “We’d all be out of business. Everyone’s offended all of the time!”
MRC president Brent Bozell appeared on The Kelly File on Fox News Channel on Thursday night to discuss the ongoing media effort to downplay or ignore Obama scandals.
Kelly began by showing video of the president claiming in Minneapolis that the scandals are fabricated: “Sometimes the news that's being reported on is really important. I mean what's happening in Iraq is relevant. But sometimes the news that's coming off, these are just Washington fights. They're fabricated issues, they're phony scandals that are generated. It's all geared towards the next election of ginning up a base.” Bozell called him shameless, and the most press-pampered president in history. (Video below)
CBS lifted its blackout of House Speaker John Boehner's planned lawsuit against the Obama White House with a 15-second news brief on Thursday's CBS This Morning. The network follows in the footsteps of NBC, which first mentioned the story a day earlier on Wednesday's Today, and ABC on Wednesday's World News.
Altogether, the Big Three networks have devoted just one minute and 18 seconds to the legal development. Anchor Norah O'Donnell cited the Washington Post's coverage of the lawsuit during the brief: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
NBC justice correspondent Pete Williams this morning refused to answer queries from Dan Joseph of our sister site MRCTV.org regarding the peacock network's lack of coverage of the ever-deepening IRS scandal, including Lois Lerner's missing emails. "I cover the Supreme Court. You're asking the wrong guy," Williams protested, insisting that while he "[has] a lot of power at NBC... deciding how much coverage" goes to stories not on Williams's beat "is not one of them." "I respect your question, but you're asking the wrong guy," he reiterated.
The Supreme Court, however, is just one part of Williams's beat. He also covers the U.S. Justice Department, which has thus far failed to start proceedings to prosecute Lois Lerner for contempt of Congress and whose department head, Attorney General Eric Holder, is resisting calls for a special prosecutor in the IRS scandal. To watch the full exchange, click play on the embed below the page break.
At the top of his Wednesday show, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly denounced the liberal media for "subverting American democracy." He cited a particularly glaring double standard: "You may remember New Jersey Governor Chris Christie being pounded by the national media for a controversy on the George Washington Bridge....devoting 112 minutes to the situation in the first week....But when the VA scandal story broke, there was no coverage on the nightly network news broadcast for almost two weeks." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Those numbers were calculated by Media Research Center senior news analyst Scott Whitlock in a May 22 Media Reality Check entitled: "In a Month, TV News Gives Less Airtime to VA Scandal than Christie Controversy Received in Four Days."
During MSNBC Live’s coverage on Thursday of the newest circuit and appeal court decisions to overrule bans on same sex marriage in Utah and Indiana, former CBS This Morning correspondent Betty Nguyen gave platform to Democratic strategist and chair of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund Steven Elmendorf and Aisha Moodie-Mills, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. No conservative voices were heard.
Instead, the two guests spent over four minutes discussing how “Republicans are too busy playing politics with people's lives” and are “on this, kind of, brink of not being relevant.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Appearing on Wednesday evening’s PBS NewsHour to discuss her book with Gwen Ifill, Hillary Clinton was forced to again explain her comments regarding wealth. Ifill told Clinton that those kind of comments tend to “stick. Ask Romney.” The former Secretary of State shot back, “Well, that’s a false equivalency.”
Gwen Ifill mentioned to Clinton that her husband “was forced to defend you at his own conference.” Hillary thought it was “sweet” of her husband, but said she doesn’t “need anybody to defend my record.”
Wednesday's CBS Evening News ignored House Speaker John Boehner's announcement that he will file a lawsuit against the Obama administration over its use of executive orders. The evening newscast thus followed the example of CBS This Morning, which also omitted this development. ABC made its first on-air mention of the story on Wednesday's World News, with an 18-second news brief by anchor Diane Sawyer.
On NBC Nightly News, host Brian Williams set aside 26 seconds of air time to Speaker Boehner's planned legal move. During his news brief, Williams falsely indicated that the Republican Party controls all of Congress – when, in reality, it only controls the House of Representatives: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Wednesday's New Day on CNN, The Daily Beast's John Avlon and his wife, Margaret Hoover, gloated over the recent defeats of Tea Party-backed candidates in Republican primaries. Avlon strongly hinted that the grassroots conservatives movement was full of crazy people: "Don't call it the establishment. It's the sanity caucus."
Anchor Kate Bolduan wondered if former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's loss earlier in June was a "one-off." Hoover rattled off a list of prominent conservatives who apparently defeated in the wake of Mississippi Republican Senate candidate Chris McDaniel's defeat on Tuesday: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On the June 24 edition of Hardball With Chris Matthews, the MSNBC anchor invited Adam Brandon of the Tea Party organization FreedomWorks onto the show in an attempt to portray the Tea Party as targeting black voters in the Republican Mississippi primary run-off. Matthews claimed McDaniel’s supporters were citing a “Jim Crow-era law from 1942" to try to stifle votes by African-American voters for Sen. Thad Cochran (R).
Of course the law in question is not racist in construction, but is rather intended to prevent Democrats or Republicans from utilizing crossover strategic voting in another party’s primary. It is obviously unenforceable due to the secrecy of the ballot. However Matthews went out of the way to characterize how the Tea Party is abusing this law as a way to stop Black Democrats from voting, stating that “Mississippi's attorney general” is on edge, and “fears racial profiling...and intimidation tactics might be used to suppress the black vote.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
At the top of the 9 a.m. ET hour on Wednesday's NBC Today, weatherman Al Roker suggested in jest that his colleague David Gregory deserved to be punched in the face by former President Bill Clinton after the Meet the Press moderator asked Clinton in a recent interview about wife Hillary being "out of touch." Roker joked: "You know, I'd give anything if after David finished the question, Bill just kind of hauled off and popped him. Just see what happens." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Moments later, co-host Hoda Kotb rushed to the defense of the Clintons: "There are certain people who when you look at them you think that money is their issue and that's – they're entitled or whatever. You don't really think that when you think of the Clintons. It's not the first thing, I don't think, that pops into people's heads." Roker lamented: "I think we were all probably raised that you don't talk about money and how much people make. And it's unfortunate."
ABC News announced on Wednesday that journalist David Muir would be replacing Diane Sawyer as the anchor of World News in September. Muir has a history of fawning over "cool kid" Barack Obama and attacking conservatives. The Media Research Center has compiled a Profile in Bias of his worst examples of liberal bias. [See below for videos.]
On April 9, 2009, Muir, then the World News weekend anchor, thrilled over pictures of pictures of Obama at the G-20 summit. The journalist enthused to George Stephanopoulos: "...Heads of state are seemingly trying to get close to the head of the class, or the cool kid in the class, if you will, President Obama." [MP3 audio here.] On January 20, 2009, inauguration day, Muir insisted that even traffic jams had been hushed: "So many of the streets are closed, those that are open are clogged. But there were no car horns, no shouting."
In the June 24 edition of The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, the Comedy Central host spent the first 10 minutes of his show mocking the blatant incompetence of the IRS. Even though Jon Stewart did say Republicans were “d***s” to the IRS commissioner during the hearing, he spent most of the segment making fun of the IRS’s “unacceptable” behavior which “borders on criminal idiocy.”
While Stewart accepted that “computers do crash,” he yelled that it should takes less time than the “gestat(ion) period of a manatee” to find that information out. But according to the liberal comedian, what takes the scandal beyond the realm of “annoying” was that the IRS, “The government agency whose entire business model release on forcing Americans to live as borderline hoarders” only keeps backup tapes for six months. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
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]
Acting as a cheerleader for the White House "Summit on Working Families" on Tuesday's NBC Today, 9 a.m. ET hour co-host Natalie Morales hailed: "A lot of good talk at the White House yesterday. You know, the whole conversation about managing work-life balance." She teed up a clip of President Obama speaking at the event: "He spoke about the importance...of having that balance in his own life and how much Michelle has had to pinch hit for him. And vice versa." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In part, Obama observed: "You look at something like workplace flexibility. This is so important to our family....that flexibility made all the difference to our family. But a lot of working moms and dads can't do that." As the soundbite ended, Morales and weatherman Al Roker agreed that it was "so true."
Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart took a break from spouting his left-wing version of the news to interview Bill Maher, HBO’s favorite atheist talk show host. When the host of The Daily Show With Jon Stewart asked Maher if he ever felt he had affected real change in the political world, he replied that the “needle has moved” away from religion and towards legalization of drugs, two of Maher’s pet political prerogatives.
Maher continued his anti-religious spiel claiming that America is often behind in “the case in social issues” due to its “God-fearing” people. The Real Time host bashed Hillary Clinton for saying her favorite book was The Bible, even insulting President Obama for “spouting spiritual bulls***.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio.]
Robin Roberts, the co-host of Good Morning America, is a favorite pick of top Democrats to host fawning, content-free interviews and panel discussions. On Tuesday's GMA, she showcased an exclusive one-on-one interview with Michelle Obama. As though she were reading talking points, the journalist touted, "Now, to the big all-day White House summit on working families. President Obama making a strong pitch for guaranteed paid maternity leave." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
An on-screen graphic promoted the event (which originally aired on C-SPAN) as a "presidential push for working moms." Roberts's questions, such as they were, offered no challenges for the First Lady: "Women are going into the workforce...Is that part of the movement in letting everybody know that it is an issue for everyone in the family?" The host reminded attendees at the Washington D.C. event that Mrs. Obama is a "strong woman, a strong mother, a strong wife."
After ten days of ignoring the June13 revelation that the IRS mysteriously lost two years worth of Lois Lerner's emails related to the scandal plaguing the agency, Tuesday's network morning shows finally took notice of the development only to tout Democrats dismissing the latest congressional hearing on the government abuse as a "farce." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
NBC's Today and CBS This Morning both provided full reports on the "contentious" hearing in which "Republicans unleashed their full fury" on IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. On Today, correspondent Peter Alexander proclaimed: "The hearings showcased another round of bitter partisanship, with little resolution in sight." A soundbite followed of Massachusetts Democratic Congressman John Tierney declaring: "I don't think I've seen a display of this kind of disrespect in all the time I've been here in Congress."
On Tuesday's Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough went unhinged on the mainstream media's lack of coverage of the IRS scandal. Scarborough held up The New York Times and berated news organizations on pulling a “scam” on the American people by not covering “the most shady behavior” of the IRS.
“This is why conservatives don’t trust the national newspapers,” Scarborough exclaimed. “It’s not the news they do run, it’s the stories they don’t run.” NewsBusters has documented the MSNBC hosts frustration over the IRS scandal in general.
Want to see the hypocrisy of Chris Matthews exposed? The Media Research Center has done just that with a must-see montage. [Video below. MP3 audio here.] Americans across the country were shocked on June 11 as Matthews defended the Tea Party and lashed out against their critics. He lectured the liberal Ronan Farrow: "This looking down our noses at Tea Party people has got to stop. They have a message, they're as American as any liberal is." Welcome remarks, especially on MSNBC. However, Matthews clearly doesn't listen to himself talk. This same person has assailed Tea Partiers and conservatives as "racist," "stupid" "Nazis."
Trashing a Tea Party senator on October 29, 2013, he wondered, "Is Ted Cruz the Republican Freddy Krueger?" Talking about conservative opposition to the President's position on the birth control mandate, Matthews on October 22, 2012 sneered, "Is it in society's interests for her boss to be able to be the birth control Nazi to decide who gets it and who doesn't? On March 20, 2013, the anchor wondered whether Tea Partiers want to return to an America where "where blacks were slaves...Is this what they want?"