With the exchange of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl for the release of five Taliban detainees held at Guantanamo Bay complete, ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos used the opportunity to promote the possibility of Gitmo closing its doors.
On Sunday, June 8, Byron Pitts, ABC’s Chief National Correspondent peddled the line that “700 men have come through Gitmo since the beginning of the war on terror when these pictures of shackled and hooded men shock the world. Some say past allegations of waterboarding and hunger strikes have turned this place into a terrorist recruiters dream.” [See video below.]
In January of 2013, Nightline was demoted to the TV wasteland of 12:35 in the morning. Since then, the ABC program has become increasingly superficial, shedding hard news in favor of crime and celebrity stories. On Thursday, the program got even weirder, spending 30 minutes on white and black racists and mediating a discussion between the two on a supposed coming race war. It all played out like some racist reality TV show.
Byron Pitts profiled Matt Heimbach, a 22-year-old white supremacist who hates Jews, African Americans and gays. ABC took Heimbach to meet a "black national, now an ordained minister who's running for a seat in the U.S. Congress and warns that a race war is coming." Pitts marveled, "The two find common cause in a common enemy, corporate America." Heimbach enthused, "Why don't we hang a couple of bankers instead of random white people?" Mmoja Ajabu agreed, "Well, I think we're finding common ground." [See video montage below. MP3 audio here.]
Lee Harvey Oswald was far-left defector to the Soviet Union, but you’d never know that from Sunday’s ABC This Week which focused on Dallas as a cauldron of segregationist hate for President Kennedy without any mention of the political orientation of the actual assassin.
Using Dan Rather as his expert, ex-CBS and current ABC reporter Byron Pitts perpetuated the myth that right-wing hate was somehow responsible for what occurred in Dallas: “Nowhere in Texas did the jagged edge of segregation cut deeper, anti-Kennedy sentiment spew any stronger. This flyer [“Wanted for Treason”] greeted the President when he arrived.”
Imagine if controversial, conservative radio host Michael Savage also ran a charity supporting poor, urban youths. Would ABC ignore the inflammatory things he has said and only focus on the positive? Not likely. Yet, World News guest anchor Byron Pitts on Sunday lauded hard-left Catholic Priest Father Pfleger as a "Chicago hope" who is in a "league of his own."
This is the same Father Pfleger who, during the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries, defended Barack Obama by excoriating, "America has been raping people of color and America has to pay the price for the rape!" This is the same Pfleger who threatened to "snuff" out a Chicago gun owner. World News journalists mentioned none of this. Instead, Pitts introduced, "Finally tonight, a story that reminds us all about the power of hope."
The inauguration of the first African-American president is an historic affair, one that should be properly celebrated by all. But when the so-called "objective" network anchors begin comparing a routine political ceremony to a spiritual awakening, have they gone too far?
"Sacred." "Majesty." "Sacrament." "Pilgrimage." These are words loaded with religious and spiritual meaning. And they're words used to describe the inauguration of President Barack Obama by CBS, NBC and ABC anchors on their evening and mornings news shows.
ABC's Steve Osunsami wasn't the only black reporter to get emotional and swoon over an Obama victory on Election Night. Ron Allen of NBC and Byron Pitts of CBS also let their pro-Obama feelings loose on election night.
In the 11 pm hour on MSNBC, as anchor David Gregory proclaimed, "We want to keep soaking up the moment from Grant Park," he turned to Allen for his emotional reaction to the win. He said America opened its eyes and its heart and accepted Obama's skills and talents:
I've heard so many people in the African-American community say that they wish that there was a father, a mother, a relative who had lived to see this day. It's something so many people have said.
The broadcast network evening newscasts on Wednesday night all marked Barack Obama's victory with stories on celebrations around the world, the joy expressed by African-Americans and how newspapers sold out as people cheered in the streets. NBC anchor Brian Williams hailed: “As one columnist put it, America matured in 2008 by choosing Barack Obama.” CBS, however, aired the most triumphant story. Though Ronald Reagan earned nearly 59 percent of the vote in 1984 and George Bush captured more than 53 percent four years later, an awed Byron Pitts began by proposing about Obama's win with 52 percent: “When was the last time our nation cheered this much?”
Pitts proceeded to cite anecdotes about several people, black and white, who saw vindication in Obama's victory, including two women at “a suburban home in Iowa. Iowa, the state that first bought into Obama's audacious hopes and where a life-long Democrat like Deb Tekippe and a life long Republican like Brenda Myer made a toast with champagne.” He concluded:
“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union.” That's what the Constitution says. Last night, all across America for so many people, that's how it felt. A more perfect union.
In the 20 minutes of post-debate analysis before the broadcast networks ended coverage and the cable channels moved on to other shows Friday night, on MSNBC Chris Matthews and Andrea Mitchell fretted that Barack Obama wasn't tough enough in attacking John McCain on the economy as Mitchell also hailed Obama -- “But, boy, he did show a command of foreign policy in terms of the nuts and bolts of it” -- and regretted Obama didn't do more to tie McCain to George Bush, a theme echoed on NBC by Tom Brokaw who “was surprised he didn't work harder at pinning John McCain to the eight years of the Bush administration.”
CBS featured only one citizen reaction, a man who touted Obama and compared McCain to Nixon, before ending with a quickie poll (neither ABC or NBC had one) that found twice as many “uncommitted voters” thought Obama won (40 percent) than McCain (22 percent).
Interviewing ABC News reporter turned Obama operative Linda Douglass, Matthews pleaded: “Why did your candidate agree so much -- openly and relentlessly -- with his opponent tonight?” He followed up with an impassioned lecture about Obama's missed opportunities to pound McCain:
Why didn't he talk more about the terrible state of the economy, the jobless rate, unemployment, the degree of deficit we're in right now, the degree of national debt, all of those issues out there that effect the average person, the number of foreclosures? He let his opponent talk about taxes and earmarking, his specialties. He seemed to lose control of the economic topic.
On Sunday's Reliable Sources, Howard Kurtz played a clip of CBS reporter Byron Pitts on Wednesday's CBS Evening News hailing Barack Obama's Democratic nomination victory as proof “one of America's oldest and ugliest color lines has been broken, and there is a new bridge for a new generation,” then proposed: “You obviously are paid to be an objective journalist, but some part of you must be excited that Barack Obama won this nomination.” Pitts confirmed his excitement:
Well, certainly. I mean, as an African-American man, this is significant. I mean, look, for my entire life I've been able to, as a man, dream of doing great things. But a dream I could never have was being President of the United States. Now, for instance, my sons, my nephew, they can have that dream. And I think those kinds of images are important.
Since Barack Obama declared himself the Democrat presidential nominee Tuesday, supposedly impartial press members have been sycophantically gushing over the "fist bump" he and his wife shared that evening just prior to his victory speech (video embedded right).
Such has been reported by NewsBusters here and here.
On Sunday's "Reliable Sources," CNN's Howard Kurtz and guests discussed the media's fascination with the bump, and demonstrated just how separated from American society these folks really are.
After showing video clips of how various outlets reported the bump, Kurtz asked CBS National Correspondent Byron Pitts the following:
An April 7 CBS Evening News report on the health care monetary burden of illegal aliens on American taxpayers has just now drawn the ire and the fire of the two largest Hispanic grievance groups -- the National Council of La Raza (translation: "The Race") and the Mexican American Legal and Educational Fund (MAL (not Mos) DEF).
Byron Pitts' piece is fairly mild and pretty much down the middle of the fairway, and CBS News and their (for now) flagship girl Katie Couric deserve kudos for at least addressing the issue.
But the Latino Intolerance Duo (LID -- as in flipped their's) can not let stand unchallenged the reporting of the costs of the invasion. Pitts pointing out that someone somewhere (that would of course be us) must pick up the tab -- when the likes of Fabiola (the illegal alien mother featured in the story) does not -- is to them an "anti-Latino falsehood". They do not offer how or why something so obvious as this is either "anti-Latino" or a "falsehood" -- we are left to assume that their asserting it empirically makes it so.
On our end, there was bit of a bone to be picked with the Tiffany Network's numbers.
All three broadcast networks on Tuesday led their evening news programs with Pope Benedict XVI’s arrival at Andrews Air Force Base to begin his visit to the U.S., as well as his comments during a press conference on the plane about the priest sex abuse scandal. ABC’s "World News" and CBS’ "Evening News" especially focused on the scandal. In addition to this, "World News" also highlighted what the Pope said about illegal immigration during the press conference and gave a false impression of what the Pope had said on the issue.
ABC correspondent Dan Harris gave the following spin on Benedict XVI’s comments on immigration. "Also on the plane, the Pope addressed another hot issue, immigration. Hispanics are the fastest-growing part of the American church right now, and the Pope said he would discuss this issue with the President, particularly the 'dangerous' impact of families of illegal immigrants being separated."
Following Monday’s sanitized coverage of the controversial comments of Barack Obama’s pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Tuesday’s CBS "Early Show" continued to gloss over the most inflammatory of Wright’s comments, spending over 6 minutes on Obama’s upcoming speech on the issue while devoting only 16 seconds of video to Wright’s more mild statements. Following this video, co-host Russ Mitchell asked left-wing commentator Nancy Giles: "How careful does he [Obama] have to be today not to denounce Jeremiah Wright and make some black voters angry?"
The rest of the analysis with Giles, who was ‘balanced’ with Democratic strategist Joe Trippi, was entirely about political strategy, not about Wright’s statements. Mitchell asked Trippi about the possibility of race affecting Obama’s appeal: "Joe Trippi, sticking with the risk factor for a second. There are folks out there who are going to look at Barack Obama, who's made no secret of the fact that he's black of course...And look at this speech and say 'you know what honey, I just realized something today, he brought up race. Barack Obama is black.' How risky is that in this speech?"
Less than three weeks after the CBS Evening News used the indictments of Bernard Kerik to relay how “people” say he's “a poster child as to why Giuliani shouldn't be President,” Katie Couric pounced on a revelation not considered newsworthy by ABC and NBC as she teased Wednesday's newscast, “A potential political embarrassment for Rudy Giuliani: Questions about how he billed New York City taxpayers for his security. Was he trying to hide something?” ABC and NBC ran full stories on Bill Clinton's inaccurate claim that he “opposed Iraq from the beginning,” a remark CBS limited to a brief item from Couric following the Giuliani story.
Reporter Byron Pitts asserted “the Giuliani campaign is once again fending off new questions about an old affair,” explaining that “according to the Web site Politico.com, in 2000, as Giuliani was beginning his not-so-secret extramarital relationship with Judith Nathan, the woman who eventually became his third wife, he billed obscure city agencies thousands of dollars in expenses for his police security detail in the Hamptons off Long Island where Nathan was living.”
The CBS Evening News, which has aired only one full story on the scandal surrounding Hillary Clinton's fugitive donor Norman Hsu, on Friday night ran its second full story on the impact on Rudy Giuliani of Bernard Kerik's indictments as Byron Pitts told Kerik that “people” say you're “a poster child as to why Giuliani shouldn't be President.” Back on August 31, in the newscast's only full story on Hsu, fill-in anchor Harry Smith didn't even mention Hillary Clinton's name in his introduction, but on Friday Katie Couric put Giuliani front and center: “Kerik isn't the only one who could face trouble. It's also bad news for his friend and mentor, Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani.”
In the Hsu story, CBS reporter Sandra Hughes didn't warn about any negative impact on the Hillary Clinton campaign or speculate about what Hillary Clinton knew about Hsu's criminal past or suspect bundling. But in the Giuliani piece, Pitts predicted: “Kerik's legal problems could mean political problems for Giuliani and the inevitable questions of the presidential candidate: What did he know and when did he know it?” In an exchange with Kerik, Pitts proposed: “There are people who say that you, forgive me, are a poster child as to why Giuliani shouldn't be President, because of your own troubles.”
When members of the Duke University lacrosse team were falsely accused of raping a black stripper last year, media focused great attention on the woman in the middle of the controversy, and the supposed crime.
Yet, as pointed out Thursday by NewsBuster Matthew Balan, as the press report activities in Jena, Louisiana, the name of the white boy who was beaten by the "Jena 6," Justin Barker, is rarely mentioned, and the assault which precipitated the arrest of the "6" is either ignored, or downplayed.
Such was certainly the case on Thursday's "Nightly News" which led with the day's civil rights protests in Jena, but, for all intents and purposes, ignored the assault which precipitated the arrests of the six students in question.
Ironically, NBC's Brian Williams began the broadcast:
On Tuesday's CBS Evening News, correspondent Byron Pitts filed a report on the causes of and potential solutions for Philadelphia's high murder rate in which the correspondent heard from several people who approached the problem from a liberal point-of-view while the NRA's Wayne LaPierre voiced a conservative point-of-view on the issue. While LaPierre stressed the need for more prosecutions of criminals, other activists blamed the crime problem on such issues as income "disparity," "availability of guns," and "inherent racism." (Transcript follows)