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By Kyle Drennen | August 22, 2014 | 10:09 AM EDT

After Thursday's network evening newscasts ignored a report from the Government Accountability Office that the exchange of five terrorists from Guantanamo Bay for Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl was illegal, NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America remained silent on the Obama administration scandal on Friday. Only CBS This Morning made any mention of the violation of federal law, providing a mere 24-second news brief on the topic. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Meanwhile, both Today and GMA did find time to produce full reports on a contestant on VH1's Dating Naked reality show suing the cable network for showing her naked on the program.

By Ken Shepherd | August 21, 2014 | 6:07 PM EDT

One week after MSNBC.com staff writer Zachary Roth hinted  that Ferguson, Missouri's April municipal elections are racially discriminatory, MSNBC host Joy Reid took that argument out for a spin on the Thursday, August 21 edition of her eponymous Reid Report program with guests MSNBC contributor Goldie Taylor and Missouri State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D). Oddly enough, Ms. Reid laid some blame on the "city's strange politics" resulting from the Progressive movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries as that generally left-leaning movement created the sort of non-partisan, off-year municipal elections that the St. Louis suburb uses. [LISTEN to MP3 audio clip here; video update forthcoming]

For her part, guest Goldie Taylor churned out the usual MSNBC talking points about voter ID laws and  "voter suppression", etc., even though moments earlier Reid pointed out that African-American voter turnout in 2012 in Ferguson had been 54 percent, which suggests that lack of interest in municipal politics -- as compared to presidential politics -- was chiefly to blame for the paltry 6 percent African-American voter turnout in the 2013 city elections in Ferguson. What's more, contrary to Taylor's suggestion, the Show-Me State does NOT require voters to show a photo ID. It's categorized by the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures as a "ID requested; photo not required" state. Here's what is required as far as identification goes, according to the Missouric Secretary of State's website:

By Kyle Drennen | August 21, 2014 | 3:20 PM EDT

Between Wednesday's evening newscasts and Thursday's morning shows, NBC, CBS, and ABC all praised Attorney General Eric Holder's visit to Ferguson, Missouri. On Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Ron Allen proclaimed: "Those demanding justice for Michael Brown are relieved that Eric Holder is here because they simply don't trust the local authorities." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

On Thursday's CBS This Morning, correspondent Vladimir Duthiers similarly announced: "The visit by Attorney General Eric Holder to Ferguson was really an effort by the White House to try to bring back confidence to a community that's just been torn apart by the shooting of the 18-year-old Michael Brown....Now, many here are seeing Holder's presence as a step towards transparency."

By Scott Whitlock | August 21, 2014 | 12:22 PM EDT

CBS This Morning journalists on Thursday offered something Americans rarely see on network television: A thoroughly positive look at guns and the affinity women have for shooting. Reporter Jan Crawford told viewers that this is "completely removed" from gun violence. She enthused, "These women see their sport as this great American tradition that they hope their daughters and their granddaughters will continue and that others will go out and pick up those guns as well." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

For nearly five minutes, Crawford highlighted the rising trend of women using guns for sport. She even discussed how much "fun" it was to fire a shotgun. The segment was so positive, guest co-host Vinita Nair said of Crawford: "You looked great holding that gun. Pretty sexy." 

By Ken Shepherd | August 20, 2014 | 10:20 PM EDT

"I don't know why he used the word 'justice.' It's not appropriate here. This is an attack on our country, we have to react to it," an upset Chris Matthews reacted to a video excerpt of President Obama's statement today about the beheading by an ISIS member of American freelance journalist James Foley. 

"This is our country versus this group that's declared war on us. What's justice mean in this con-- I don't know why the word's used, like we're going to go to the World Court with this?!" Matthews sneered to guest Howard Fineman of the Huffington Post Media Group on the August 20 edition of Hardball. Later in the segment, an irate Matthews insisted "no American president can survive if he lets Americans be beheaded on international television with impunity. Impunity! He has to strike back, as an American, it's in our soul!" [LISTEN to MP3 audio here; WATCH video below the page break]

By Scott Whitlock | August 20, 2014 | 6:00 PM EDT

Liberal MSNBC anchor Ed Schultz on Wednesday examined a viewer question as to why heartless Republicans "claim to be Christians" while, at the same time, being "mean" to the poor. The Ed Show host ranted, "Well, they are mean to the poor because they don't recognize the poor. They think if you're poor and economically challenged in this country, it's your own damned fault." 

Schultz seriously entertained a Twitter question about conservatives. "Sue" wondered, "Why do Republicans claim to be Christians while being so mean to the poor?" Schultz assailed Christian conservatives: "Just look at the way they want to not support the budget and some of the social safety nets that are out there." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Kyle Drennen | August 20, 2014 | 12:45 PM EDT

After a long-running "bromance" between weatherman Al Roker and Vice President Joe Biden, the hosts of Wednesday's NBC Today arranged a surprise live appearance from Biden to wish Roker a happy 60th birthday. After Natalie Morales introduced the veep, sitting in a studio in Washington D.C., Roker gushed: "Oh, my gosh. Mr. Vice President!...Oh my gosh, this is such an honor." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Following the birthday wishes, Roker fawned over Biden: "Look, I have been with you on a couple of stories and you make the Ever-Ready Bunny [sic] seem like a slacker. You are constantly on the move. What's your secret?" Biden replied in part: "I'm more optimistic today about the prospects for our country than I was elected as a 29-year-old kid. And I really mean it."

By Scott Whitlock | August 20, 2014 | 11:53 AM EDT

What would you call an angry heckler who hurls insults at a Republican? According to the hosts of CBS This Morning, the answer is "a reporter." The journalists on Wednesday played footage of a protester sparring with Chris Christie over his use of Bruce Springsteen music at rallies. New Jersey resident Sandra Booket yelled, "I thought I heard that Bruce asked that none of his music was played at your events because he didn't believe in your politics." 

Christie retorted, "No, you're wrong in, fact, I saw Bruce just a week and a half ago." He added, "If you're going to be cute, we should get the story right." The woman so impressed co-host Vinita Nair that she marveled, "[Booket] sounded like a reporter didn't she? She just kept going." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Matthew Balan | August 19, 2014 | 5:17 PM EDT

On Tuesday's This Hour, Michaela Pereira endorsed guest L. Z. Granderson's take on the media's extensive coverage of the ongoing turmoil in Ferguson, Missouri in the wake of the shooting death of Michael Brown. The liberal commentator pointed out that "this past weekend, we had over 30 people shot – seven of them died – in the neighborhoods in Chicago – many of them black and brown. None of that was covered." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

Pereira replied to Granderson by asserting that "because of Ferguson, Chicago is sort of taking a back seat in the headlines. And Chicago's a very concerning thing, and we need to keep watching. We need to keep addressing what's going on there." One wonders if the anchor will criticize her own network, as CNN has only mentioned the violence in the Windy City twice over the past week. Back on the August 13, 2014 edition of The Lead, Jake Tapper cited a recent column by Jesse Jackson:

By Scott Whitlock | August 19, 2014 | 1:14 PM EDT

After deluging Americans with two days of heavy coverage of Rick Perry's indictment, the network morning shows on Tuesday eased up. Only CBS This Morning offered a story on the Republican's vigorous defense. Reporter Jan Crawford noted that growing outrage against the indictment includes liberals: "Among those Democrats is President Obama's former adviser David Axelrod, who suggested the indictment was 'pretty sketchy' in a tweet over the weekend." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

Crawford also made time for two clips of conservative Ben Ginsberg, a lawyer representing Perry. He railed, "This is an outlandish prosecution. I mean, it will never, ever, ever, stand." Ginsberg added, "It is unprecedented, it is outside the bounds. I think that's why you see so many people who are not Rick Perry supporters, who are Democrats, saying how wrong this indictment is." Of course, Crawford still found time to throw cold water on the governor's 2016 plans.

By Scott Whitlock | August 19, 2014 | 11:30 AM EDT

CNN anchor Jake Tapper was on the ground Monday night in Ferguson, Missouri as stun grenades and tear gas exploded around him. The journalist had been covering the standoff between protesters and police when the situation became chaotic. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

Tapper and his cameraman had to make a hasty exit as the environment deteriorated. Later, CNN video captured a man on as he lay on the ground. "This is a photographer who got hit pretty bad by the tear gas." Earlier, an angry Tapper questioned the police presence: "Nobody is threatening anything. Nobody is doing anything. None of the stores here that I can see are being looted. There is no violence." 

By Kyle Drennen | August 19, 2014 | 10:45 AM EDT

Filling in as host of NBC's August 17 Meet the Press, Andrea Mitchell looked back at departing moderator David Gregory's years anchoring the broadcast. The tribute followed Thursday's announcement that Gregory was being replaced by political director Chuck Todd and leaving the network. The switch marked the end of a tenure in which Gregory behaved more like a Democratic Party spokesman than an objective news anchor. Perhaps that contributed to the faltering ratings of the Sunday talk show on his watch.

Unlike his predecessor, the late Tim Russert, Gregory failed to be the tough-but-fair newsman who grilled all guests equally, no matter their party affiliation. Instead he played favorites, smearing Republicans like Paul Ryan as uncaring towards the poor while teeing up Democrats like Congressman John Lewis to attack conservatives as resentful racists. Here is a sampling of some of Gregory's most liberal quotes at the helm of Meet the Press: