ABC and NBC on Wednesday night and Thursday morning avoided a bleak new poll labeling Barack Obama the "worst president" since World War II. Only CBS This Morning on Thursday bothered to cover the story, allowing 21 seconds to the dour forecast. Guest co-host Anthony Mason explained, "Since World War II ended, 12 men have been President of the United States. A new Quinnipiac University poll puts President Obama on the bottom of that list." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The journalist added, "Thirty three percent of Americans rate him as the worst President." Only 13 percent said Richard Nixon. Not mentioned by Mason was the fact that the survey also shows that 45 percent think America would be better off if Romney had been elected. Only 38 percent say worse. Obama's overall approval rating stands at 40 percent. In contrast, ABC and NBC have played up the "worst" label when it applied to George W. Bush.
After Friday's World News on ABC ignored the White House report on the infamous problems with the Department of Veterans Affairs, Saturday's Good Morning America on ABC also ignored the scandal, while CBS This Morning Saturday and NBC's Today show -- both of which are two-hour programs - only ran short briefs, the one on CBS totaling 25 seconds and the one on NBC 19 seconds.
By contrast, the CBS Evening News on Friday led with the V.A. story and gave it a full report of more than two minutes. The NBC Nightly News, after initially giving the story 24 seconds on Friday, followed up Saturday evening and presented viewers a full report of almost two and a half minutes, making it the second story both evenings.
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."
After downplaying bad economic news for months, the broadcast networks continued their head-in-the-sand approach once again.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) revised earlier growth estimates sharply downwards. It announced on June 25 that found the U.S. economy actually shrank at an annual rate of 2.9 percent during the first three months of 2014. Despite this grim statistic, only CBS’ “Evening News” covered it, of all the broadcast network morning and evening news shows in the first 24 hours after the data was released.
After all three broadcast network evening newscasts on Friday highlighted IRS commissioner John Koskinen's testimony before Congress regarding the numerous missing emails of former official Lois Lerner, Saturday morning's Good Morning America on ABC ignored the story completely while CBS This Morning ran a full report and NBC's Today gave viewers a 42-second news brief.
GMA, however, did find time to devote a two-minute full report to the hype surrounding the attractive mugshot of convict Jeremy Meeks.
NBC's Jenna Wolfe informed viewers that the IRS commissioner would make another congressional appearance on Monday as she introduced the brief:
CBS This Morning reporter Anthony Mason uncritically promoted the band Pink Floyd's campaign to boycott the "racist regime" of Israel and attack the Rolling Stones for performing in Tel Aviv. After a clip of Pink Floyd's song "Another Brick in the Wall," Mason reminded that the group wanted "the Stones to join them in a boycott and build a cultural wall around Israel." The segment featured not a single quote from anyone opposing the boycott or supporting Israel. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Instead, Mason promoted the group's cause and explained that Roger Waters, Pink Floyd's lead singer "is a vocal opponent of what he believes is Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine." Instead of providing any balance, he featured Waters at a United Nations conference denouncing, "We found that the state of Israel is guilty of a number of international crimes." In a statement, members of Pink Floyd lectured the Rolling Stones for daring to defy the boycott.
America suffered an economic setback in the first quarter of the year as the GDP for Obama’s economy was revised downward Thursday morning to a negative one percent, yet neither ABC’s World News nor the NBC Nightly News considered it newsworthy.
Meanwhile, the CBS Evening News spun the bad news into a positive. Reporter Anthony Mason insisted “it sets the economy up for rebound this quarter and there are some encouraging signs in the numbers.”
You don't often hear interview subjects challenging prominent journalists on their ex-wives. But that's what happened on Monday's CBS This Morning. Reporter Anthony Mason interviewed Kiss singer and guitarist Paul Stanley on the band's entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Mason quizzed, "And when the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame asked the original members to perform together again, Stanley resisted. For old times' sake, one more time, you wouldn't want to do that?" Stanley retorted, "How many times have you been married?" After the reporter responded with "twice," the rock star pounced,"How about for old times' sake you go back and spend the night with your ex-wife?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Network journalists on Wednesday fawned over the fact that Barack Obama is again making NCAA basketball picks. On ABC, Good Morning America's Josh Elliott touted, "And finally, the bracketologist-in-chief is at it again. President Obama, as he does every March, making his predictions..."
Elliott played a clip of the President insisting he would use big bracket winnings to "pay down the debt" and buy his wife shoes. The news reader then enthused, "Smart man. Constituents and wife. Keep them all happy." [UPDATED with video below. MP3 audio here.]
Following the release of new ObamaCare enrollment numbers on Monday showing five million sign-ups – still two million short of the original seven million goal set by the administration – fill-in CBS This Morning co-host Anthony Mason spun the news as positive: "This morning, the White House is closer to a crucial goal ahead of a key deadline for the health care law." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The headline on screen announced: "ObamaCare Milestone; Five Million Enrolled Ahead of March 31 Deadline." Mason continued: "As of yesterday, 5 million people are now enrolled for either state or federal insurance. The administration's goal is 6 million. The open enrollment deadline is March 31st."
If you like your jail cell plan, you can keep it? In a front page story for Monday's New York Times, writer Erica Goode revealed that prisons all across the country are enrolling inmates to ObamaCare. Despite the fact that many media outlets consider the Times to be the "paper of record," NBC and ABC ignored the news that taxpayer-funded money would be going to the health care of convicted criminals.
Only CBS This Morning covered it, allowing 20 seconds. Guest co-host Anthony Mason summarized the details and insisted, "States can save millions by letting Medicaid pay for prisoners' hospital stays lasting more than 24 hours. Up to 35 percent of those now eligible for Medicaid under ObamaCare have had run-ins with the law." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Although CBS covered the latest revelation, Mason failed to mention conservative criticism.
Appearing on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told host David Gregory that former President Bill Clinton had "embarrassed the nation" while in office. However, of the three network morning shows on Monday, only CBS This Morning mentioned the political headline. ABC's Good Morning America ignored it and even NBC's Today skipped the scoop from it's own network. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Friday's CBS This Morning hyped the California Supreme Court's decision to allow the Golden State to issue law license to illegal immigrants. Substitute anchor Anthony Mason touted the "historic ruling that could give millions of undocumented workers new freedom." Norah O'Donnell trumpeted how "supporters of undocumented immigrants are praising an unprecedented ruling."
O'Donnell later underlined "the decision that could...open new doors for millions." John Blackstone featured two soundbites from the new lawyer – Sergio Garcia – whose parents "brought him here illegally from Mexico when he was 17 months old," but none from opponents of the ruling [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump].
CBS This Morning has a long established history of conducting softball interviews of liberal/Democratic guests, while unleashing on conservative/liberal ones. But on Friday, the morning newscast surprisingly hounded Rep. Nancy Pelosi on the ongoing government shutdown. Obama supporter Gayle King repeatedly pressed Pelosi about "people [who] are just saying...work it out....both sides have to be willing to leave something on the table."
Anthony Mason underlined how "Senator [Harry] Reid called some Republicans anarchists. You've called them arsonists....How do you get a meeting of the minds when people are talking like that?" Norah O'Donnell also wondered about "a scenario...where Democrats would be willing to give on a larger budget deal – the grand bargain coming back, and giving on entitlements, so that we can move forward." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The new, ultra-violent Grand Theft Auto V video game debuted last week and raked in over $1 billion in just the first three days of sales. It was so impressive that the three major broadcast networks all took note and reported on the game on their weekend morning shows. But all three networks focused on the stellar sales numbers for the game while failing to explore a possible connection between violent video games and desensitization to violence that helps lead to mass shooting incidents.
CBS This Morning: Saturday was the worst of the three networks. CBS essentially fawned over the game while devoting only two sentences to criticism of it. Co-anchor Anthony Mason began the hype right at the top: “It was a blockbuster debut that would make any Hollywood executive jealous, except you couldn't see it on the silver screen but rather on the small screen.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Anthony Mason played up President Obama's $89 restaurant tip on Monday's CBS This Morning, underlining that "when it comes to tips, President Obama is tops." However, the network has yet to cover a Monday story from the New York Times that pointed out the "uncomfortable reality for the White House: the administration has named no more women to high-level executive branch posts than the Clinton administration." [audio clip available here; video below the jump]
In fact, none of the Big Three networks have covered writer Annie Lowery's scoop on the air, which cited critics of the President from the left on the issue of the administration's Cabinet gender gap.
ABC's Good Morning America, which first covered the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal by ignoring that the politician was a Democrat, did grow to embrace the tawdry aspects of the story. Yet, the morning show on Wednesday avoided he mayoral candidate's latest gaffe: Calling his Republican opponent "grandpa" at an AARP candidate forum. NBC's Today and CBS This Morning both managed to highlight the story.
CBS guest anchor Anthony Mason recounted, "Weiner slammed his opponent over age and did so, of all places, at an event sponsored by the AARP." A graphic mocked it as a "senior moment." Mason dismissed Weiner's campaign as a "circus." In the video, Weiner can be seen heatedly talking to George McDonald. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
For the first time in a generation, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported improvements in obesity rates for low-income preschoolers in 19 states across. Following the small but rare improvement, CBS This Morning took to the airwaves on August 7 to give White House chef Sam Kass a victory lap on the CDC’s findings.
Appearing on Wednesday, Norah O’Donnell beamed about the exclusive interview that viewers will “see only on CBS This Morning.” O’Donnell began her interview with softball questions with Kass, clearly wanting to prop up First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign:
This has been a signature issue for Mrs. Obama the Let’s Move campaign which you’re involved in as a chef. What about the campaign do you think led to this drop in obesity rates?
While NBC and CBS covered Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell having a "war of words" over GOP opposition to some of President Obama's nominees, neither network detailed the hypocrisy of Reid considering the so-called "nuclear option" to eliminate the filibustering of such nominees.
On Thursday, Time's Michael Scherer cited numerous quotes from Reid decrying the tactic in 2005, when Senate Republicans – then in the majority – toyed with the idea. In one statement, Reid warned that such a move would "set a new precedent – an illegal precedent – that will always remain on the pages of Senate history – a precedent that will thrust us toward totally eliminating the filibuster in all Senate proceedings, a precedent that will eliminate the essential deliberative nature of the Senate..."
Norah O'Donnell and Anthony Mason badgered National Review editor Rich Lowry on Wednesday's CBS This Morning over his opposition to the Senate's immigration reform bill. O'Donnell, who has a history of hardball interviews of conservative guests, wondered if there is a "civil war in the Republican Party" over the immigration issue, and hyped that "the Republican Party is in demographic death spiral unless they do something on immigration reform."
Mason touted the supposed "huge economic benefits" of the proposal, and brushed aside Lowry's slam of the bill as being "deeply flawed". The substitute anchor replied, "But you could say that about most legislation in Washington. Come on!" [audio available here; video below the jump]
ABC and NBC on Thursday night and Friday morning ignored an announcement by the Internal Revenue Service inspector general that liberal organizations were not forced to endure the same invasive investigations as conservative, Tea Party groups. Only CBS This Morning covered the development. This contradicted earlier claims.
This Morning co-anchor Norah O'Donnell explained, "The IRS said this week that conservative and progressive groups were both given extra scrutiny." Reporter Anthony Mason added, "But a Treasury Department official said yesterday he found fewer liberal groups were targeted." According to O'Donnell, this was an example of conservatives "lashing out" at the IRS.
Jeffrey Kluger showed up on Saturday’s CBS This Morning to do what he does best: clang the alarm bells over global warming. The TIME magazine senior editor even went so far as to warn that Manhattan may soon be underwater.
Kluger was brought on to discuss a recent reading -- atop an observation station on a dormant volcano -- finding that atmospheric carbon dioxide is at its highest level in 2 million years. Back then, he informed us, sea levels were 66 feet higher than they are now. He then struck an ominous tone: “What this means is we are on the west side of Manhattan at this moment. If this keeps up to what it was back then, we would be swimming at this address.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Scott Pelley's liberal bias got the better of him on Monday's CBS Evening News as he interviewed three American seminarians studying in Rome. When one seminarian expressed his hope that next pope continues the "beautiful legacy of John Paul II and Benedict XVI," Pelley replied incredulously, "But you mentioned two popes who have a reputation for being doctrinally conservative. And this is something you'd like to see carried on?" [audio available here; video below the jump]
Hours later, on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, the Big Three network again gave a platform to agitators who aim to radically alter the Catholic Church's traditions from the inside. Fill-in anchor Anthony Mason wondered if "the winds of change [are] wafting through the Catholic Church" as he hyped a CBS News/New York Times poll that found apparent support for the ordination of women among American Catholics.
In the aftermath of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, CBS has made up its mind about Catholicism: the Church is in crisis and must be reformed! Whereas Martin Luther tacked his theses on the Wittenberg church door, however, CBS opted to ensure its stab at church reformation would go largely unnoticed by including the segment on Saturday's CBS This Morning. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
To discuss this topic, CBS anchor Anthony Mason brought in three liberals: Jim Frederick of Time Magazine, the Rev. Paul Raushenbush of the Huffington Post -- the great-grandson of Baptist minister and Social Gospel champion Walter Rauschenbusch -- and Sister Maureen Fiedler, who hosts her own public radio show. All three agreed with the premise that the Catholic Church needs to change. If the message wasn’t clear enough, a screen behind the guests read “Catholic Church in Crisis” (with no question mark) and the chyron read “Catholic Church in Crisis: Is the Vatican Capable of Reform?”
Former Democratic Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. was charged on Friday with improperly spending $750,000 of campaign funds on items such as Michael Jackson and Bruce Lee memorabilia (among other things). Yet, ABC's World News did not cover the story at all. On Saturday, Good Morning America allowed the news a mere 18 seconds. Over the course of the weekend, NBC's Nightly News, the CBS Evening News, Saturday Morning, Today and GMA never mentioned that Jackson is a Democrat. There was no coverage on Sunday.
Most, such as Evening News guest-host Anthony Mason, simply referred to Jackson as the "former Chicago Congressman." CBS correspondent Nancy Cordes spun, "Jackson, Jr., came to Congress in 1995, the promising and personable son of a civil rights leader, the Reverend Jesse Jackson." Cordes did highlight how the ex-representative spent his campaign funds, including "$43,000 on a gold-plated men's Rolex watch, $5,000 on fur capes and parkas and a long list of Bruce Lee and Michael Jackson memorabilia."
Economic activity in the U.S., turned negative in the fourth quarter of 2012 according to the Commerce Department, just one day after a huge drop in consumer confidence was announced.
This took the media entirely by surprise. It was the first time the economy went into negative territory since the recession ended. But this significant report was completely ignored by NBC “Nightly News,” carefully danced around on ABC “World News” and downplayed on CBS “Evening News” on Jan. 30. Print outlets also downplayed the news by claiming it was “not so bad.” [Video available below]
ABC, CBS and NBC did their part Friday night to minimize the negative impact to the Obama campaign from the rise in the unemployment rate from 7.8 to 7.9 percent in October.
ABC anchor Diane Sawyer allocated a piddling 18 seconds to the news as she characterized the 171,000 jobs growth as “beating predictions,” NBC’s Brian Williams stressed how the 171,000 additional jobs number “was better than the experts had expected” and the CBS Evening News focused on one “flourishing” company which has grown this year from 80 to 450 workers.
NBC and CBS felt compelled Tuesday night to fact check Mitt Romney’s assertion “47 percent of Americans pay no income tax” and both had to acknowledge his accuracy, but then tried to undermine Romney’s point. Noting the statistic had become “Tea Party mantra,” NBC’s Andrea Mitchell allowed “it’s true that approximately 47 percent of Americans do not pay federal income taxes, as Mitt Romney said, but,” she quickly added, “not because they are living off of the 53 percent.”
Over on CBS, Anthony Mason relayed how “Roberton Williams with the non-partisan Tax Policy Center says, to be precise, 46.4 percent of Americans pay no federal tax. But,” Mason insisted, “it’s more complicated than that.”
On Saturday's CBS This Morning, CBS assembled a panel of undecided voters and tried to take their questions about the campaign. All three of the CBS folks talking -- host Anthony Mason, political analyst John Dickerson, and CBS MoneyWatch expert Jack Otter -- agreed that the economists say that "tax increases are inevitable."
Dickerson reported Mitt Romney says no to tax increases, but insisted that if he were elected, Romney would raise taxes in one way or another as he did in Massachusetts:
An American hero left the Earth last weekend, and was fondly memorialized in video eulogies by network news media.
Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon, and the iconic remarks he made on that first Apollo mission will never be forgotten. While it was appropriate to recall that historic day, Armstrong was always a committed defender of the U.S. space program. He was critical of cutbacks to manned spaceflight instituted by the Obama administration, something the network evening news programs deliberately chose to ignore.