Good Morning America’s Bill Weir on Sunday defended the $300 million in pork that Senator Mary Landrieu acquired for her state, spinning, "The people of Louisiana sent her to Washington to get as much sausage as they could, you know, she could."
Landrieu provided the 60th vote on Saturday to bring the Senate’s health care bill up for debate. In return, millions in new funding will go to Louisiana. Guest George Stephanopoulos touted the money as a real bargain: "But I think Democrats are saying it's a pretty cheap vote. $300 million. Without Senator Landrieu's vote yesterday, this bill would have died, would have been very difficult to put it back together."
It didn’t seem to occur to either Stephanopoulos or Weir that one job of a senator might be to not waste millions in taxpayer money.
ABC doubled the length of its evening newscast on Friday night and World News used its second half hour to suggest an exculpatory reason behind Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan's mass killing at Fort Hood -- as anchor Charles Gibson reasoned “treating the mentally wounded can be stressful” -- then to devote a story to the plight of Muslim soldiers: “It's not easy for anyone serving in the armed forces these days, but with America fighting Islamic enemies overseas, Muslim troops face a unique burden.” Reporter Bill Weir despaired:
The Pentagon has made a real concerted effort to create a military that is culturally sensitive and religiously tolerant, but Muslims in uniform today face a challenge not seen since Japanese-Americans fought in World War II. They taste suspicion from some fellow soldiers who question their loyalty and resentment from fellow Muslims opposed to both American wars.
Weir featured a Muslim soldier who lamented “our religion teaches better,” before Weir painted Muslim soldiers as victims of intolerance, highlighting the experience of one Muslim soldier who “began his overseas deployment on 9/11, and taunts followed him throughout his four-year enlistment.”
Good Morning America’s Bill Weir on Saturday interviewed Nancy Pelosi and wistfully responded to the House Speaker’s reminiscing about the "stillness" and "silence" of Barack Obama’s inauguration. He cooed, "What happened to that sense? That was such a day of, of unity. You think it's still there?"
After Pelosi assured the weekend anchor that such solidarity still existed, Weir responded, "Even after the town hall meetings and everything that we’ve been through?" Weir certainly seemed to enjoy the January 20, 2009 inauguration. Reporting for World News that day, he memorably asked if "national pride" can "make a freezing day feel warmer?"
He also said of the event: "...From above, even the seagulls must have been awed by the blanket of humanity." On November 5, 2008, the morning after Obama’s victory, Weir referred to the previous evening as a "transcendent" night of "communal joy."
We'll have to wait and see if the so-called outside-the-box thinking once praised by some of liberal media elites will get the same reception with this latest edition.
In 2005, University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt and New York Times journalist Stephen J. Dubner released the book "Freakonomics" that provided cover for the pro-abortion movement in America by suggesting legalized abortion lowered crime and had a positive impact on society.
It’s very easy to be outraged by the way our "objective" media greeted the massive September 12 rally against Big Government in Washington and across the country. They treated it as a menacing surge of white anger, meanness, and racism. But all the media bias against this rally clearly illustrates one nagging truth for media liberals: they really don’t think conservatives should be allowed to protest. It’s somehow like a copyright violation.
On Monday night’s "Countdown," MSNBC’s David Shuster found the protest united "in apparent hatred of the current president, Barack Obama." It was undemocratic, a sign of people not accepting election results, and Shuster even suggested Sen. Jim DeMint’s speech at the rally signaled he favored a "military coup." The unglued anchorman also dismissed the crowd as "white, whiter, and whitest," all attending an "intolerance festival."
Big liberal protests, such as the Million Mom March (for gun control), the 2006 demonstrations in favor of illegal immigrants’ “rights,” and numerous anti-war marches all garnered heavy play and adoring coverage from the broadcast networks, cable news outlets, and big papers like the New York Times. So how did those news outlets react to Saturday’s huge protest with conservative themes? MRC’s analysts scrutinized the coverage; here’s their report card:
■ ABC, CBS and NBC: The broadcast networks did not offer any pre-rally coverage before Saturday’s protests, but offered decent coverage of the event itself. ABC’s World News on Saturday was pre-empted by college football, but Good Morning America offered full reports on both Saturday and Sunday, as did NBC’s Today. Both the NBC Nightly News and CBS Evening News led with the rally on Saturday night, although CBS’s morning news shows gave the protest almost no attention.
The tone of coverage, however, was largely antagonistic.
Over the weekend, ABC provided hyperbolic, worried reporting on the 9/12 protest in Washington D.C. And while the other networks had mixed results, Good Morning America co-host Bill Weir opened the program on Saturday by fretting, "This morning, outrage. Protesters descend on Washington to rally against the President's health care plan. As civility gives way to shouting, what's fueling all this anger?"
On Sunday’s GMA, Weir spun that the protesters were "rail[ing]" against higher taxes, government run health care and spending. Reporter Yunji de Nies highlighted a marcher who labeled Barack Obama a "communist." She then pounced, "Do you really believe the President is a communist?" Right after this exchange, de Nies told viewers that those rallying "insist they're not extremists."
On Saturday's Good Morning America, ABC touted a German city that has rid itself of all cars. Complimenting the citizens of Vauban, reporter Jim Sciutto cheered, "And residents don't mind one bit." GMA weekend co-host Bill Weir wistfully introduced the segment by musing, "What if you could start everything over? Making over, not just your home, but your entire town?"
Describing Vauban, which relies on bicycles, Weir enthused, "Getting rid of all the carbon emissions, the energy wasters, even the cars?Well, one town has found a way to do it." Neither journalist explained the potential downside to not having automobiles. (What is one to do in the event of a heart attack?) Instead, Sciutto tried to find lessons for America: "So, what can we learn from here that would actually be followed in the States?"
On Saturday’s House Call program, CNN’s Sanjay Gupta finally reported the left-wing affiliation of a “health insurance insider” glowingly featured on his network. Gupta noted that Wendell Potter was a “senior fellow at the Center for Media and Democracy” and that the former Cigna spokesman was now “pro- a public insurance option.” He didn’t label Potter’s organization or position as leftist.
The following day, ABC’s Good Morning America on Sunday ran a sympathetic piece on Potter’s “personal journey from health industry insider to outsider” that treated him as a subject of a human interest story. Despite reporting on the fellow’s “loss of income, status, position and colleagues,” correspondent Ron Claiborne omitted Potter’s new liberal affiliation.
Good Morning America's David Wright on Saturday continued his habit of dropping insulting comments into stories about Sarah Palin, snidely asserting that the Alaska governor "lacked seasoning and, some would say, a firm grasp of the issues." Wright, who was reporting on Palin's announcement that she would be resigning her office, also speculated that far more serious motives could be behind the move.
He darkly intoned, "It is difficult to ignore the timing of this announcement, late on a Friday afternoon, on a holiday weekend. Many Americans bound to be tuned out. That suggests that the reasons are not good ones." And although the ABC journalist also commented that many in the Republican Party saw Palin as a "fresh face" in the GOP, Wright has a long history of adding demeaning comments to his stories on the 2008 vice presidential nominee.
Our cosmopolitan elites have embraced the smutty Fox cartoon "Family Guy." A month ago, oh-so-sophisticated National Public Radio used their parody song "Everybody Poops" to report on Julius Genachowski, the incoming chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Perhaps it was NPR’s way of welcoming in an Obama appointee who everyone expects will "lighten up" at the FCC and let Hollywood go wild with its "poetic license."
Now it’s ABC’s "Nightline" paying homage to "Family Guy," and in the process, telling us a lot more about "Nightline" than about this stupid show. They presented the show’s lame-brained "mastermind" Seth MacFarlane as a man of incredible talent, even a genius. At the top of their April 6 show, anchor Martin Bashir cooed: "Funny Guy. No topic is too taboo, no subject off limits for this critically acclaimed cartoonist."
ABC reporter Bill Weir didn't exactly grill "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane when he interviewed him for "Nightline's" ongoing "Seriously Funny" segment on Monday. The journalist failed to bring up some of the most egregious examples of MacFarlane's cartoon vulgarity, including a March 8 episode that featured bestiality jokes, a gay-hating Jesus Christ and an 11-way gay orgy.
Instead, Weir only vaguely alluded to such instances and asserted, "But, like those other cartoons, his shows raise the most ire with religious and parental watchdog groups. If there is a taboo line, chances are MacFarlane has leaped over it." He did read off a list of topics the show has skewered and then wondered, "Where is the line for you? Is there a line or is that the point?" Once again, however, Weir had no specifics to follow-up. Did he ask about the October 19, 2008 episode in which the program's baby character, Stewie Griffin dressed up as a Nazi and wore a McCain/Palin button? No. MacFarlane, a Barack Obama supporter and liberal Democrat, wasn't forced to talk about that particular low blow.
On Saturday's "Good Morning America," co-anchor Bill Weir and reporter Gigi Stone actually took a look at whether or not it's a good idea to tax CEO bonuses and what effect it could have on Wall Street. While much of the mainstream media have been playing off populist anger over bonuses, Weir teased the segment by wondering, "With tempers flaring over executive payouts, Congress considers cutting off bonuses at all institutions receiving taxpayer money. But without incentives, why would any smart banker work to fix Wall Street's mess?"
He followed up by querying, "But, could the corporate crackdown, all this righteous anger, actually backfire and make it even harder to rescue our system?" (Of course, "righteous anger" is certainly editorializing on Weir's part.) Reporter Stone talked with several financial experts who posed the same question. Scott Talbott, senior vice president for the Financial Services Roundtable, insisted, "By taking away bonuses, you remove incentive for employees to work harder." Stone added, "So, if taxpayers want their money back, they want the best and brightest working."
The Media Research Center (MRC) today proudly announces that HBO's Bill Maher is the "Winner" of Quote of the Year for tastelessly suggesting that Sarah Palin's teenage daughter Bristol was the actual birth mother of her infant son, Trig. Maher was selected by the more than 800 attendees of the MRC's annual DisHonors Awards Gala, held last night at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Maher-- winner of the Half-Baked Alaska Award for Pummeling Palin -- beat out MSNBC's Chris Matthews (the Media Messiah Award), CNN founder Ted Turner (the Dan Rather Memorial Award for the Stupidest Analysis) and ABC's Bill Weir (the Obamagasm Award).
We hope Chris Matthews isn't too jealous of Bill Weir. Conquering fierce competition, the ABC reporter pulled out a victory last night in the "Obamagasm Award" at the MRC's DisHonors Awards. [audio available here]
Media Research Center President and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell chatted about the ceremony this morning on "Fox & Friends."
JULIET HUDDY, co-host: There's something called the Obamagasm Award. Who won that and explain the significance of that award?
BRENT BOZELL, MRC President: Well, the Obamagasm Award is given to that reporter who has swooned the most, and I mean there are all manner of descriptors --
BRIAN KILMEADE, co-host: Tough category here!
BOZELL: for the media's coverage.
STEVE DOOCY, co-host: Exactly right. Brent, we've got the clip, let's look at Bill Weir of ABC.
It hardly balances all of the airtime given to liberal proponents of President Obama’s plans for massive government spending as “stimulus,” but an actual network news program actually presented a single story outlining the conservative free-market approach to today’s economic problems. On Saturday’s Good Morning America, ABC correspondent John Hendren examined what he termed “a growing movement among economists, who say the best way out of this recession is to do nothing. Nothing at all.”
Hendren gave three soundbites to Cato economist Dan Mitchell, who pointed out that “government spending doesn’t work very well,” how “bad government policies got us into this mess,” and that while letting the free market run its course might be painful, “we can make that transition much quicker and have a faster and stronger recovery.”
Hendren termed the free market economists “do nothings,” but suggested they may be influential enough to at least block a little of the runaway spending. Hendren told co-anchor Bill Weir: “Now, the do-nothings know they’re going to lose this debate. But they’re hoping to hold down the size of the stimulus. As one economist told me, I can see them cutting $100 billion, and that ain’t chump change. Bill?”
Barack Obama’s inauguration was hardly a triumph of media objectivity, with reporters competing to see who could be the most adoring of the new Messiah-President. As always, the latest edition of MRC’s bi-weekly Notable Quotables newsletter has the most obnoxious liberal media quotes from the last two weeks.
Here’s a sneak peek at a few of the quotes that are contained in the January 26 edition; to see the whole set, you can sign up for the free e-mail newsletter or visit www.MRC.org on Monday (the whole package should be posted by Monday afternoon).
A Day When Even the Seagulls Were Awed
“We know that wind can make a cold day feel colder, but can national pride make a freezing day feel warmer? It seems to be the case because regardless of the final crowd number estimates, never have so many people shivered so long with such joy. From above, even the seagulls must have been awed by the blanket of humanity.” — ABC’s Bill Weir on World News, January 20.
Offering the most hyperbolic take of the night on the crowds who attended President Obama's inauguration, on World News ABC's Bill Weir delighted in wondering “can national pride make a freezing day feel warmer?” He decided it can indeed since “never have so many people shivered so long with such joy” while “from above, even the seagulls must have been awed by the blanket of humanity.” Weir was certainly awed.
Meanwhile, over on the NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams must have been as awed as those seagulls since he contended he could “feel” the masses watching from around the nation: “While it was unfolding today here in Washington, you could feel the millions around the country who were watching it all.”
On a day when GMA ran two warm-'n-fuzzy items about Barack Obama, the ABC show found yet another way to hit President Bush—literally and figuratively stooping to bash Barney, the presidential pooch. Relying on some ambiguous remarks by an aide to Pres. Bush, weekend co-anchor Bill Weir declared that "Barney's a jerk" and "everyone hates him."
The weekend edition of Good Morning America found a fellow that decided to try and live for one year "like Jesus would" but what host Bill Weir found keenly interesting is that this guy voted for Barack Obama because he felt that living like Jesus compelled him to do so. Weir also wondered if the Jesus emulator had to "forgive" his Christian community for any reaction they might have had over the fact that he voted for Barack.
Former pastor Ed Dobson of Grand Rapids, Michigan appeared on the weekend edition of GMA to briefly discuss his year of living like Jesus in a segment called "What Would Jesus Do?" Dobson talked about how hard it was to walk in Christ's path and was shaken by having to forgive and bless the terrorists in Iraq that took the life via a roadside bomb of a soldier friend of his son.
But, Dobson's vote for Barack Obama was an issue that GMA host Bill Weir was very interested in.
Would Good Morning America invite as a guest a liberal who'd never voted for a Democrat but who after a year spent trying to live like Jesus decided to vote for McCain? I doubt it. But when an evangelical who'd never voted for a Democrat spent such a year and decided to vote for Obama, GMA devoted a segment to his story
Rev. Ed Dobson is the evangelical in question, and let me begin by saying that he seems a sincere and thoughtful person. A graduate of Bob Jones University and a member of the Moral Majority's founding board, Dobson was the pastor of Calvary Church in Grand Rapids, MI until retiring in 2005 to battle Lou Gehrig's disease. He is currently a member of the administration of Cornerstone University. Dobson explained that he was inspired by A. J. Jacobs's book, The Year of Living Biblically, in which the author describes his experiences spending a year trying to obey all biblical rules.
GMA weekend co-anchor Bill Weir interviewed Dobson, and the discussion eventually turned to politics.
On Wednesday's "Good Morning America," fill-in host Bill Weir and reporter Dan Harris touted the benefits of New York's proposed 18 percent obesity tax on soft drinks. Weir teased the segment by enthusing, "One official says making you pay more could actually save your life later." Harris repeatedly played clips from New York's state health commissioner, Dr. Richard Daines, who created a YouTube video to promote the tax.
After one such snippet, the reporter parroted, "No one likes taxes, he says. But this one, he argues, is actually good for you." At another point, Harris touted how this tax would "save" New Yorkers money and noted the nanny state advantages such extra cash would create: "But Dr. Daines insists this new tax will save people money. Not only on overall obesity-related health care costs, but he also says if everyone in a family of four drank one can less of soda a week, they would save $100 a year."
One sign the liberal news media live in a plastic Manhattan bubble is their undying ardor for the Kennedy Myth, best known by that public-relations construct "Camelot." Instead of a president and First Lady, they believe, we had the King and Queen of Glamour. Never mind if their marriage was a joke and his list of presidential accomplishments was short. Never mind if the Republican half of the country feels sickened by the obsession. The media preferred the myth – and they still do to this day. It is why they are promoting the anointment of unaccomplished Caroline Kennedy for the U.S. Senate in New York.
The very same media which spent months dismissing former mayor and Gov. Sarah Palin as too inexperienced for national office is now championing a woman whose primary qualification – her only qualification -- is her last name. The very same media which still mock Palin’s folksy "you betcha" or her interview with Katie Couric don’t seem to notice when John Fund reports that in one 30-minute interview on the cable news channel New York One, Caroline Kennedy used the slang "you know" a total of 168 times.
How will Caroline Kennedy be expected to cast votes in the Senate when she’s cared so little about voting as a citizen? Faced with reports that she had missed voting in several New York elections, including the 1994 re-election effort of Sen. Daniel Moynihan (the Senate seat she now expects to be handed like royalty), Kennedy told the Associated Press "I was really surprised and dismayed by my voting record. I'm glad it's been brought to my attention."
ABC correspondent David Muir offered an admiring “window into Camelot” on Monday’s Good Morning America as he reported on U.S. Senate aspirant Caroline Kennedy’s interviews with New York media over the past weekend: “Caroline Kennedy, opening up, calling herself an unconventional choice, offering personal reflections, knowing the political fight that lies ahead.” However, instead of focusing on any political details relevant to the federal office she seeks, Muir focused on her entertainment preferences: “Kennedy calls herself a Yankees fan, whose last movie was ‘Slumdog Millionaire’.... Kennedy, who grew up in the 70s, says the music of that era still fuels her. Her iPod is filled with Al Green, Grateful Dead, and Bob Marley.”
Muir’s report, which aired 15 minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour of the ABC morning program, began with anchor Robin Roberts introducing the “Camelot” theme of the report, which the media too often conjures up when covering the Kennedy family: “The daughter of JFK did a series of weekend interviews, giving us a rare glimpse inside of Camelot.” The correspondent then began with a saccharine introduction of the famous First Daughter: “For decades, Caroline Kennedy was seen far more than she was heard....‘Shy Caroline,’ as she was sometimes called, is shy no longer.” He also continued the “Camelot” theme throughout the report by including old family photos and home video of when Kennedy was a child.
The baby Jesus is missing from many nativity scenes, and ABC’s “Good Morning America” makes fun of a church’s decision to install a GPS on their tiny savior. On Dec. 14, “Good Morning America” featured a story about churches fighting back against thieves who steal the baby Jesus from outdoor nativity scenes. Instead of seriously underscoring a pattern of crime, the network sent out a reporter to pilfer a wise man, and test the satellite tracking system, all while playing “spy” themed music.
When GMA anchors, Kate Snow and Bill Weir teased the upcoming story, they couldn’t contain their giggles. “We can't even say it without laughing,” said Snow. “But they're using GPS to track them down.” she quipped. “Baby Jesus LoJack,” snickered Weir.
On Saturday's "Good Morning America," various hosts and reporters gushed over the "exciting," "tantalizing" prospect that Caroline Kennedy could replace Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Senate, should the former first lady be confirmed as Barack Obama's secretary of state. ABC News political director David Chalian enthused that "on top of the new Obama administration that she was a huge proponent and supporter of, it [the appointment] would just rise to this moment of, sort of, a return to that age of Camelot."
Weekend GMA co-host Bill Weir began the segment by wondering, "And who could upstage a Clinton but a Kennedy?" Later, fellow co-host Kate Snow cooed, "So, tantalizing. Kennedys and Obamas and Clintons, all the talk." Clearly agreeing, Weir enthused, "Exciting to talk about."
"Good Morning America" reporter Bill Weir gushed on Wednesday morning about the "transcendent" reaction to Senator Barack Obama's presidential victory. Discussing Tuesday night's jubilant crowds in New York City, where the ABC program is produced, Weir described the "melting pot of communal joy."
Weir enthused that the celebration was "the kind not seen on New Year's Eve or championship parades. At the crossroads of the world, voices from around the world shouted of the greatness of America." He added, "When the announcement was made, literal dancing in the streets...And people were locking in embraces, watching the speech there as well."
The journalist even recounted how he attempted to remind an African American mother of America's history with slavery. After this woman and her daughter saw a graphic on a jumbotron of all the presidents, one that included Obama as the nation's 44th commander in chief, Weir went over to the pair and attempted to invoke a negative reaction. He explained, "And I leaned over and said, you know, 12 of those men owned slaves. And the mother turned to me and said, 'That stain is washed.'"
Someone should explain to ABC: it ain't "dirty" if it's true. GMA got the collective vapors this morning over the robo-calls the RNC and McCain campaign are making, informing voters of Barack Obama's close association with unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers.
In GMA's book, there's no real difference between these calls—which Cokie Roberts alluded to as "dirtier" tactics—and the calls made against McCain during the 2000 South Carolina Republican primary.
Except there is a difference. A big, fundamental one: what's said in the current calls is true. Obama did work closely with Ayers. What was said in the 2000 calls against McCain in South Carolina was false: he didn't father a black child out of wedlock. He and wife Cindy adopted a Bangladeshi child.
On Saturday’s Good Morning America, ABC ran an unusual report that placed some of the blame for the Great Depression’s length on government intervention by Franklin Delano Roosevelt as well as Herbert Hoover, and concluded by questioning whether the current plans could do harm. After an unidentified economist contended that "the government from Hoover to Roosevelt made it worse by intervening too much and too arbitrarily," correspondent Bill Blakemore concluded: "And now, is the Bush government intervening too much arbitrarily with its $700 billion bailout? That’s a million dollar question, so to speak, for those trying to guess when this crisis will end."
Blakemore’s attention to this often ignored take on government intervention came at the end of a report that looked back at the Great Depression. After giving Roosevelt credit for injecting America with a "can do" spirit, Blakemore noted that the Great Depression ended its 10-year run as a result of World War II. He then asked the question of why the Stock Market Crash of 1929 resulted in the Great Depression:
BLAKEMORE: So what made the crash of ‘29 lengthen into a depression?
WOMAN: Because the government from Hoover to Roosevelt made it worse by intervening too much and too arbitrarily.
On Thursday's "Good Morning America," journalist Bill Weir touted left-wing filmmaker Spike Lee as a "social critic" and ignored any mention of the director's bizarre conspiracy theories, such as his 2005 contention that the United States government intentionally blew up the levees during Hurricane Katrina in order to flood African American areas. Instead, Weir marveled, "No director in Hollywood has attacked the thorny issue of race quite like Spike Lee."
While promoting Lee's new World War II film, the anchor of the weekend edition of GMA enthused, "'Do the Right Thing' and 'Malcolm X,' still loom over his 15 other feature films as ground breaking emblems of righteous anger." Weir also labeled the more hopeful tone of Lee's "The Miracle at St. Anna" as a "reflection of one social critic's mood in an age of change."Of course, Weir neglected to mention that this same "social critic" has also declared "it's not far-fetched" to think that the levees in New Orleans were destroyed by the United States government.