On Friday night, the major broadcast networks all covered the latest developments in the conflict between the Israelis and Hamas as a three-day cease-fire collapsed after an Israeli solider was captured during an ambush while the two sides fought in an underground tunnel. In their coverage, the networks used some harsh language in describing the Israeli offensive to seek out those responsible and two networks touted Palestinians praising the capture.
Anchor Diane Sawyer said on ABC World News described Israel’s actions after “one of their soldiers was apparently captured by Hamas” as “[a] pounding response.” In a report from ABC News chief foreign correspondent Terry Moran, he noted how, at the start of the cease fire, there “was quiet in Gaza” as “[y]ou could hear the birds chirp” before noting that, not long after, “it was on again.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
While all three networks denounced the shelling of a U.N. school in Gaza on Thursday, NBC, ABC and CBS all failed to report on similar U.N. schools in the war-torn territory being used to hide Hamas rockets. As Fox News reported on Tuesday, "The U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said the rockets were found in between two other UNRWA schools that are being used to host 1,500 displaced people."
On Wednesday's Special Report, anchor Bret Baier read a statement from the office of the U.N. Secretary General condemning Hamas for the action. Panelist Charles Krauthammer blasted the international organization: "The U.N. workers, UNRWA, have collaborated with Hamas for years and years. They know that there are missiles in the schools, in the hospitals, in the mosques, and they know what's going to happen. Kids will be killed and that's going to be on television." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Monday, all three broadcast network morning news shows gave mention to the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in Washington state with sales set to begin on Tuesday. In particular, CBS This Morning and NBC’s Today devoted entire segments to the drug and not only were both stories positive, a statement from the former President of Drug Watch International on Today was the only sort of opposing viewpoint provided.
The four-minute-and-eight-second piece by CBS News correspondent Barry Petersen was the latest in what truly has been a network oscillating back and forth between criticalstories and puffpieces on pot. Without question, Monday’s report belonged in the latter. After mentioning that sales will begin Tuesday in Washington, Petersen went on to profile the writers of The Cannabis, a website run by The Denver Post that is “about all things pot.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
CBS This Morning on Tuesday continued its role as the biggest cheerleader of legalized marijuana. Reporter Barry Petersen hailed the role of women in Colorado's expanding pot industry. A network graphic touted, "Breaking the Grass Ceiling." Except for one throw-away line, the entire segment avoided the health dangers of marijuana. Instead, Petersen hyped women and pot: "And as in other businesses, women are changing attitudes with sheer competence." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The reporter talked to one woman who had received criticism for selling pot brownies. Petersen empathized, Somebody said to you, you're a bad person because you're around marijuana and you're around kids." He added, "It is still early times in the legal marijuana industry. And that's why women say it's the perfect time to let everyone know that in this business, a woman's place is at the top."
CBS This Morning journalist Barry Petersen on Monday offered a puff piece on legalized pot in Colorado, displaying no skepticism about health effects. Instead, he happily explained that "more than 60,000 gathered to party for 4/20. In marijuana lore, the day in April to celebrate all things pot." Petersen noted that the convention includes "an actual trophy for the best pot." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
He informed viewers that the award went to "a Denver-grown variety called Ghost Train Haze." The entire story contained zero mention of any downside to increased pot use, despite the just-released study concluding that even casual marijuana use may damage your brain.
Weeks after the journalists at CBS This Morning hyped the "cannabis capitalism" taking hold in Colorado, the network has come to the belated realization that pot can be "contaminated." The state became the first in the nation to legalize marijuana, but as co-host Norah O'Donnell noted, "the supply can come with its own surprises." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Reporter Barry Petersen talked to a biologist who tests pot. After asking her what could be in the newly legalized drug, Gennifer Murray responded, "We have found molds, mildew, e-coli." She informed, "...What you can die from is contaminated cannabis."According to Murray, less than ten percent of legalized marijuana in the state is tested. Yet, on January 24, Petersen offered a light-hearted take on the drug sales, noting that "the pot tour ends at a sub shop where Acapulco gold is a sandwich and they're ready to help with those marijuana munchies."
Sports fans checking in on coverage of Team USA at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia might want to brace themselves for unexpected outbursts of liberal preaching from reporters covering the games. Over the years the MRC has documented lefty reporters and writers using the games to celebrate socialist policies, bash expressions of patriotism and even work in jabs against Republicans, like when Bryant Gumbel, in 2006, complained that the “paucity” of black athletes “makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention.”
In the spirit of the games, the most outrageous journalists are competing with each other in three events for the Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. Today's competition: The “We Salute the Socialist Policies of the Host Nation Event.” Click the Read More button to see who takes home the gold! Will it be Matt Lauer? Harry Smith? Or a surprising dark horse?
The journalists at CBS This Morning on Friday appeared excited over the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, hyping the "cannabis capitalism" in the state and a new "pot tour" business that has sprouted up. Showing little skepticism, reporter Barry Petersen offered a light-hearted take: "Appropriately enough, the pot tour ends at a sub shop where Acapulco gold is a sandwich and they're ready to help with those marijuana munchies." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Petersen narrated, "Call it cannabis capitalism, the latest leaf to sprout from legalized marijuana. Michael Eymer's pot tours costs $240 bucks a person." The journalist offered a promotional look at the new industry: "Eymer has bookings and belief that he's in on one of Colorado's new growth industries. If I want to take the tour, how long am I going to have to wait to get aboard?"
Of the three major broadcast networks’ Saturday morning shows, CBS This Morning: Saturday gave the most background information on Colorado high school shooter Karl Pierson. To their credit, CBS reported on one particular Facebook post that gives us a window into Pierson’s ideological leanings.
Correspondent Barry Petersen mentioned it at the top of the second hour of the show: [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Monday's All In show, after going through a number of Rand Paul soundbites which he viewed as reflecting poorly on the Republican Senator, host Chris Hayes was impressed by Senator Paul taking a liberal point of view on the war on drugs.
Hayes talked up the possibility of the Kentucky Senator being a plus for the GOP with minority voters. Hayes:
Wednesday's CBS This Morning stood out as the only Big Three network morning show to devote a full report to Colorado voters recalling two pro-gun control state legislators. Barry Petersen highlighted how "those who oppose gun control have a lot to celebrate" with the recall, and how "those backing the two senators spent seven times more money – $3.2 million" than the gun rights supporters who spearheaded the campaign [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump].
By contrast, NBC's Today on Wednesday didn't devote a second of air time to the Colorado recall election. Instead, they set aside 36 seconds of reporting to Hillary Clinton receiving the Liberty Medal. ABC's Good Morning America also minimized their coverage, as they merely broadcasted a 16-second news brief on the story.
CBS's Barry Petersen slanted in favor of dissenters agitating for the repeal of the Catholic Church's centuries-old practice of celibacy for priests on the March 10, 2013 edition of Sunday Morning. Petersen hyped how "many American Catholics wonder how long celibacy will be a part of today's Church, or perhaps, how soon it may become a fading tradition."
The correspondent also failed to mention that Bill Wisniewski, one of his talking heads, is a board member for a dissenting group headed by Sister Christine Schenk, who was also featured during his report.
Correcting a common media refrain repeated moments earlier on CBS’s Face the Nation, CBS News correspondent Barry Petersen offered “to bring a little Western perspective to this issue of gun control,” pointing out that what Easterners (ie: journalists) see as an unusually large ammunition purchase of six thousand rounds is really not all that noteworthy:
In the West, you need guns to, literally, protect yourself sometimes against wild animals. The amount of ammunition that he bought, six thousand rounds, somebody said is really not that unusual if you are an avid target shooter. You would buy that much in a month. You’d go through it.
CBS's Barry Petersen lined up three radicals who back feminist and other left-leaning ideologies inside the Catholic Church on the December 4 edition of the Sunday Morning program, letting only one bishop speak in support of the Church's teachings on abortion and the role of women. The correspondent omitted the dissenting beliefs of his guests, labeling one as merely an "outspoken critic of the Church."
Petersen led his report with the case of Sister Mary McBride, who incurred automatic excommunication in 2009 after she sanctioned the abortion of a eleven-week-old unborn child, as a member of the ethics committee of St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. After turning to St. Joseph's chief medical officer, who spoke in favor of the "respected nun," as the correspondent labeled Sister McBride, he played a clip from Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmstead, who argued that the excommunicated woman didn't show "an equal concern for the mother and for the child."
On Saturday's CBS Evening News, correspondent Barry Petersen filed a report which highlighted Human Rights Watch's analysis of government records in Libya which document that, during the Bush administration, the CIA sent prisoners to Libya as part of its renditioning program. Anchor Russ Mitchell saw the papers as potentially "troubling" as he introduced the report:
On Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Julie Chen introduced a segment on China hosting the Olympics: "Well, the Olympic games are more than a chance for the world's athletes to excel, they also give the host nation an opportunity to shine. For China and it's 1.3 billion people, the Beijing games are feeding a groundswell of pride." Chen then went to correspondent Barry Petersen who declared: "From designer clothes to new cars, China is getting rich. Democracies once bragged that theirs was the only way to economic success. China is doing it the communist way."
Petersen began his report by observing: "Well, China wants to throw a successful Olympics party and so far they're doing just fine. With plenty of enthusiasm spreading from Beijing pretty much around the world." Of course that ignored the heavy pollution in Beijing, constant protests, President Bush’s criticism of China’s human rights record, and the fatal stabbing of the father-in-law of a U.S. coach. Petersen went on to describe how: "Beijing has the welcome banners out to a half million visitors. More foreigners at one time than the country has seen since the Mongol invasion a thousand years ago." So Olympic visitors are like barbarian hordes?
It was supposed to be a bad day in the American stock markets according to CBS's "The Early Show." Guess what - they were wrong.
"Hong Kong's Hang Seng market was down more than 4 percent," Julie Chen said on the January 28 "The Early Show." "Tokyo's Nikkei index off about 4 percent. Wall Street may have a rough morning in advance of President Bush's final State of the Union address tonight. We'll be watching the markets throughout the morning."
Assuming American markets will follow the lead of any other international markets is an iffy proposition, as indicated by the performance on Wall Street today. After the gloomy forecast from "The Early Show" for the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) finished in positive territory on January 28 - at the highs of the day, up more than 176 points. The NASDAQ and S&P 500 also finished in positive territory, both up more than 23 points.