The network morning shows on Saturday thrilled over Bill Clinton's impromptu return to the White House. Commenting on the ex-President and Barack Obama's appearance on Friday to promote the tax bill compromise, Good Morning America's Dan Harris raved, "That was an awesome bit of political theater. An amazing atmosphere in the room, I have to imagine."
Reporter David Kerley saw Clinton's Q&A as a return to the 1990s and "the form that he showed in that White House briefing room when he was President." On NBC's Today, Mark Halperin touted Clinton holding court with reporters for 20 minutes (after Obama exited) as "great political theater."
Finding lessons for the current president, he enthused, "Bill Clinton figured out how to compromise, but still show people he was true to his principles and fighting hard for the middle class."
World News anchors and reporters on Sunday chided Barack Obama from the left, complaining that he was "caving" and "breaking one of his biggest campaign promises" by preventing tax rates from increasing in January. ABC's Washington editor Rick Klein worried, "President Obama has been clear this was a critical position and he is caving on it, in, in allowing all the tax cuts to be extended."
Reporter David Kerley fretted, "The President is preparing to break one of his biggest campaign promises. He is poised to extend tax cuts to the richest Americans in exchange for helping millions who are jobless."
He went on to highlight Democratic angst over this apparent outrage, reminding, "For Democrats, making this deal, giving in on taxes to get unemployment benefits extended, is a tough pill to swallow."
On Saturday morning, FNC’s Fox and Friends Saturday and ABC’s Good Morning America highlighted Democratic Senator Bob Menendez’s assertion that negotiating with Republicans taxes is like negotiating with terrorists. NBC’s Today show included a brief mention, but CBS’s The Early Show and CNN Saturday Morning ignored the New Jersey Democrat’s over-the-top rhetoric.
FNC included a soundbite of Menendez in the opening teaser, as co-host Alisyn Camerota asked if the "hostile words" of Democrats would "hurt negotiations." On ABC, correspondent David Kerley included a clip of the "tough language," and co-host Bianna Golodryga gave Republican Senator Orrin Hatch a chance to respond as the Utah Senator appeared as a guest. Golodryga: " I want to begin by asking your response to that dramatic language we heard from your Democratic counterpart, Senator Menendez, basically calling Republicans terrorists with regards to the process of tax cuts."
FNC began its show:
ALISYN CAMEROTA: Good morning, everyone. It's Saturday, December 4. Two major tax votes happening today in the Senate, but are the Democrats' hostile words hurting negotiations?
SENATOR BOB MENENDEZ (D-NJ): It's almost like the question of: Do you negotiate with terrorists?
Good Morning America on Sunday skipped the hateful signs at Jon Stewart's rally in Washington D.C., Saturday. Reporter David Kerley instead played a clip of the comedian and hyped, "Comedy on the mall, a little Daily Show with its star offering a bit of a sermon."
Although journalists were quite eager to play up extreme signs at Tea Party rallies, Kerley did not show a sign featuring Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh and others with Hitler mustaches.
He did not feature this picture, taken by the Media Research Center's Kevin Eder (@Keder). It read, "Death to right-wing extremists. (But in a nice way.)" For more extreme signs, go here. Instead, Kerley reverently parroted, "You know, one last thing that Stewart said, most of his barbs were headed right toward the media. He said when everything gets amplified too much, nothing gets heard."
On Saturday’s Good Morning America, ABC correspondent David Kerley not only made sure to assert that House Republican Leader John Boehner "may" meet with a controversial Republican congressional nominee who has a history of dressing in a Nazi uniform as part of World War II reenactments, but the ABC correspondent sloppily worded his statement on the matter as if the candidate, Ohio Republican Rich Iott, were wearing the uniform during the campaign as Kerley vaguely referred to a candidate "who's dressed up" -- presumably meaning "who has dressed up" -- in a Nazi uniform. Even though some viewers may not be familiar with the story, Kerley offered no elaboration as he introduced a soundbite of Boehner speaking at a rally. Kerley:
The top Republican in the House will be in Ohio basically telling voters – and he may actually meet with a man who's dressed up in a Nazi uniform and is running for Congress there – he'll be telling voters it's time to get out. He could be the next Speaker of the House, John Boehner. That's the way he was introduced last night in Ohio...
“With just 16 days left, it is getting nasty out there,” ABC reporter David Kerley asserted Sunday night, scolding Republican Senator John McCain because on the campaign trail he “dropped senatorial decorum and viciously attacked a Democratic colleague.” On Saturday, in California, McCain said he’s “had the unpleasant experience of having to serve” with Senator Barbara Boxer.
Kerley, however, expressed less angst over McCain’s daughter, Meghan, insulting Christine O’Donnell as “a nut job.” Kerley simply noted how “the Senator's daughter also went on the attack, but she slammed a fellow Republican, Christine O'Donnell, a Tea Party favorite running for Senate in Delaware.”
Based on the view of a single economist, ABC portrayed the agreement by world powers, at the G-20 summit in Toronto, to pursue fiscal sanity over the accelerated government spending urged by President Barack Obama, as a threat the well-being of the American people. “President Obama lost an argument today with other world leaders, and some economists say that could plunge the world into a second recession,” Dan Harris intoned at the top of Sunday’s World News.
From Toronto, reporter David Kerley agreed: “The President lost the argument and there could be serious consequences. Some economists are saying what was decided in Toronto today could actually lead to a double-dip recession.” A dire Kerley elaborated: “The worry is that by turning off the stimulus spigot the fragile economic recovery could disappear and turn into a double-dip recession.”
ABC’s “some economists” turned out to be a single one, Professor Peter Morici of the University of Maryland, who ominously warned: “It will be very difficult to recover from that. Then we start to get into depression-like conditions.”
As if anti-ObamaCare protesters are unruly street gangs, ABC’s Diane Sawyer, anchoring Sunday’s World News on what she touted as “a night for the history books” and a “seismic night,” impugned the opponents as a bunch of out of control marauders, citing “protesters roaming Washington, some of them increasingly emotional, yelling slurs and epithets.”
Elevating the same day-old despicable actions of a few on which ABC also focused on Saturday’s World News, ABC on Sunday devoted a full story to the topic. David Kerley reported that, “surrounded by angry protesters at the Capitol, someone yelled the N-word at” Congressman John Lewis” and “a few steps below, Representative Emanuel Cleaver was spat on,”while “as openly gay Representative Barney Frank walked the halls, a homophobic slur.”
Kerley began with the Democrats’ exploitation of the Lewis incident. Over video of Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer walking side-by-side with Lewis as they joined hands, Kerley hailed “a remarkable scene, a remarkable statement. The Speaker and Democratic leader walking hand in hand to go vote today, with Representative John Lewis, who yesterday was reminded of old battles from his civil rights days.” Over black and white video, Kerley reminded viewers of how Lewis “was beaten by police as he led protesters across the Selma, Alabama, bridge” and so “it was hard to forget the history, as Lewis made that strikingly symbolic walk today.”
Though by their own count “thousands” of anti-ObamaCare protesters gathered outside the Capitol building on Saturday, ABC decided to smear the entire cause by stressing the despicable actions of a handful or even fewer as anchor David Muir announced in setting up the first story on Saturday’s World News: “Protesters against the plan gathered on the streets of the capital where late today we learned words shouted turned very ugly, reports of racial and homophobic slurs, one protester actually spitting on a Congressman.”
Following the lead story on President Barack Obama’s pep talk to House Democrats, and before Jonathan Karl’s count on where the vote stands (he put it at 212 yes versus 214 no), Muir went to:
Late word from Washington tonight about just how ugly the crowds gathered outside the Longworth office building have become. We learned that as Congressman Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri was leaving his office someone in the crowd spit on him. There are also reports of racial and homophobic slurs, one targeting Congressman John Lewis, the famous civil rights champion, and the other involving Congressman Barney Frank. You can listen in for yourself.
On Saturday’s Good Morning America, reporter Rachel Martin cast President Obama and Democratic leaders as working hard to nail down the votes needed to pass their massive health care bill, but made no suggestion that liberals were using devious or heavy-handed tactics. But when it came to the Republicans, reporter David Kerley included an indignant Democratic congresswoman, who charged that the mean-spirited GOP was casting her as “soft on cancer” just weeks after both of her parents died of the disease. (Friday's ABC World News highlighted the same complaint, MRC's Brent Baker noticed.)
The two reports, which aired back-to-back at the top of the March 20 program, were a good illustration of the liberal media trope that Republicans sink to using offensive hardball tactics while Democrats are seen as offering lofty arguments.
On the one hand, Martin’s story showed only soundbites from Democrats: President Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and a freshman Congressman who was switching his vote from “no” to “yes.” Martin helped cast Representative John Boccieri as a profile in courage:
Good Morning America's Bill Weir on Sunday trumpeted Barack Obama for "keeping a campaign promise" to broadcast the health care debate on C-SPAN. Counting the upcoming televised summit between Republicans and Democrats on the issue as fulfillment, Weir gushed, "...The revolution will be televised."
He extolled the event, saying, "And for the first time, live in your living room, President Obama keeping a campaign promise set up by a televised summit to try to revive health care reform." Reporter David Kerley sounded a similar note, asserting, "With health care reform on life support, the President hopes to save his efforts with the transparency he promised as a candidate."
Of course, Barack Obama's promise was not that health care would be discussed on TV in vague terms, several months into the process. He pledged that the negotiations for the formation of the legislation would be broadcast on C-SPAN.
Amid all of the snow news on Sunday night’s World News, ABC reporter David Kerley tossed in a positive reference to President Obama’s supposed abilities to create jobs. “While President Obama didn’t come up with it, the storm is its own mini-jobs program,” Kerley touted, talking about the extra cash some people made helping to shovel out their neighbors.
Actually, the jobs “created” by the snow storm might resemble those “created” by the government in that the work is only temporary, but the snow-clearing work also sprouted spontaneously based on actual demand and without the need for huge government bureaucracy to manage the process.
And nearly 48 hours after the snow stopped falling, most private businesses and individuals have dug out their own property, while local governments have yet to finish clearing residential areas. Maybe instead of demonizing profit, liberals could finally recognize how effective the profit motive is at inspiring people to engage in productive work.
With problems for the president in Afghanistan, health care and unemployment, some critics on both the left and right are asking: Is the president essentially "too nice" to make the important decisions?
The National Journal magazine asks in a just-out edition, "Is He Tough Enough?"
"Be decisive," says Tom Tradewell, the commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Even liberal New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd says the president will have to "break some eggs" to cook up a more perfect union.
None of the people quoted assert the problem is Obama's affability. Rather, the difficulty is the extreme caution he exercises, many times so as to not offend interest groups.
Did the New Hampshire man who took several Hillary Clinton staffers hostage on Friday do so because of a lack of health insurance? That's what "Good Morning America" reporter David Kerley seemed to imply during a segment on Monday's show. First, he pointed out that the individual, Leeland Eisenberg, was turned away from a mental health support due to a lack of "money or insurance."
Then, after playing a clip of a Clinton campaign ad in which a man lauds the New York senator for helping to save his son's life by absorbing medical costs, Kerley revealed that Eisenberg targeted Clinton "because he saw this Clinton ad in which a New Hampshire supporter says the candidate helped him get health insurance." Kerley closed the segment by observing that the hostage-taker stormed the office and demanded to see Senator Clinton. The GMA correspondent intoned, "That didn't happen, but he may finally get the help he was pleading for."
On Tuesday, Jesse Jackson, the Brady bunch -- not the TV folk but the anti-gun lobby -- and other liberal activists rallied against “the national scourge of illegal guns” in cities around the nation.
The networks ignored the event, probably because turnout was so embarrassingly low. The Chicago Tribune reported that “about 200” piled out of three buses in Lake Barrington, Illinois, the Chicago-area protest keynoted by Jackson himself. The Philadelphia Inquirer said “about 200” showed up in Philly. The Dallas Morning News reported about 60 demonstrators in South Dallas, and AP said “about 100”attended the Washington, D.C. event held in nearby District Heights, Maryland.
Anti-gun activists were counting on good coverage if they had big turnouts, and no negative coverage if they didn’t. It’s the flip side of how the media cover pro-life rallies, downplaying enormous crowds and playing up the handful of counter demonstrators. In this case, the networks chose to look benignly in the other direction. The gun grabbers know that liberal journalists don’t like guns. Or, rather, they don’t like private citizens owning guns and taking personal responsibility for their own safety and that of their families and property.
How do we know? From the loaded coverage night after night on the networks and each day in major newspapers. A new CMI study, The Media Assault on the Second Amendment, documents seven months of media coverage of gun issues, and explains how the media are taking potshots at the Constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
Tuesday’s "Good Morning America" used the arrest of Senator Larry Craig in a men’s bathroom as an excuse to again herald the end of the Republican Party. Guest co-host Bill Weir teased a story on the Idaho legislator by wondering, "Is the GOP losing its grip?" Reporter David Kerley saw this as a case of Republican hypocrisy. He pointedly observed that "Craig is a conservative who lists among his goals to defend and strengthen the traditional values of the American family."
In early summer, the ABC morning show found another reason to predict doom for the GOP. Co-host Chris Cuomo, introduced a June 25 story on new polling data by claiming that the Republican candidates were "hitting some serious bumps in the road." He then ominously added, "So now the question is, can any of them beat the eventual Democratic nominee?"
As six miners are trapped in a collapsed coal mine ABC “World News Tonight with Charles Gibson” took it the opportunity to kick the coal industry while it was down – but this time in the name of global warming.
“The criticism of coal is that it’s a dirty energy source. Although many of the pollutants are being scrubbed out – it’s still high in carbon, the greenhouse gas blamed for global warming. The industry is promising some new expensive technology to remove that carbon.” said ABC correspondent David Kerley on August 8