The journalists at ABC's World News on Sunday enthusiastically touted a fawning question from a Democratic activist to Hillary Clinton. After anchor David Muir insisted that "it didn't take long for a student there to ask a pointed question," college student Vrinda Agrawal wondered, "If you don't represent women in politics in America as a future president, who will?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
This is a tough question? The event was hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and held at Arizona State University. Agrawal followed-up by enthusing, "I will proudly run your campaign." At no time did Muir or reporter Susan Saulny inform viewers that the student was a policy intern for Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer or that her Facebook page includes pictures of her and Bill Clinton.
First Lady Michelle Obama spoke to students at Peking University in China over the weekend and spoke of the need for China to limit its censorship of information and controlling access to the Internet.
Despite both ABC and NBC hyping Mrs. Obama’s “strong message” about the need for an open Internet in China, both networks skipped the irony of the White House not allowing American press to travel with the First Lady to China. Instead, ABC promoted how Obama decided to tackle “hot-button issues” as “she’s making headlines over what she said about the Internet.”
Friday's CBS Evening News and ABC's World News both glowingly harkened back to a prominent past example of bilateral exchange between the U.S. and China, as they reported on Michelle Obama's trip to the East Asian country. But they continued their blackout on covering the White House's ban of journalists accompanying the First Lady. During a news brief, CBS's Scott Pelley trumpeted how "education is the focus of her [Mrs. Obama's] week-long trip, but there was also time for a little bit of ping-pong diplomacy."
The ABC evening newscast surpassed their competitor, however, with David Muir touting "the images making headlines out of China... the Chinese president unexpectedly coming out to meet her – the whole thing reminiscent of those iconic shots of President Nixon in his groundbreaking trip to China." Jonathan Karl also raised the air of "ping-pong diplomacy," but noted the current First Lady's departure from her predecessors in her approach to the communist regime: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The Arizona legislature just passed legislation allowing private businesses to be protected from legal action for practicing their religion. The bill, the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act, allows private businesses the right to practice their religious beliefs and refuse service to anyone, such as a gay couple, if they believe it would violate their religious conscience.
On Saturday February 22, both ABC and NBC framed the new legislation in opposition of religious freedom, with NBC’s Lester Holt calling the bill “controversial” and how “opponents dubbed it the right to discriminate bill.” [See video below.]
A new biography entitled HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton is set to hit bookshelves later this month, and the folks at ABC News have already jumped on a new endorsement for Ms. Clinton that was revealed in the upcoming book.
On Sunday night, World News host David Muir jumped all over the “eye opening endorsement” made by General David Petraeus, yet when the endorsement was read, Muir ignored referencing Benghazi, which Petraeus gave as the primary reason for his endorsement. Muir only quoted Petraeus’ claim that Clinton would “quote make an incredible president.” [See video below.]
The journalists at ABC News offered yet another high profile experiment to terrify the parents of America into not owning guns. In an hour-long special on Friday night, Diane Sawyer and David Muir hid pink guns at the playground of an elementary school in an effort to see if young girls would play with them. Unsurprisingly, the young children did. The Young Guns program also included the obvious revelation that firearms shouldn't be concealed in backpacks and with candy.
Diane Sawyer narrated, "For more than a decade, there has been a powder pink gun on the market." Referencing the location of where Sawyer and co-host David Muir hid guns in backpacks, she explained, "We decided to head back to that school in Saint Petersburg, Florida, specifically to see how girls would react to colorful rifles." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] As children arrive to find the guns planted by ABC, Sawyer teased, "Watch as the girls come out to play and grab, rattle, giggle and pull the trigger."
The journalists at ABC are again going after gun ownership in the most absurd manner possible. Diane Sawyer and David Muir want American parents to know that they shouldn't leave unattended guns around toys, candy and in the backpacks of children. On the Monday and Thursday World News, as well as Friday's Good Morning America, Sawyer and Muir previewed their hour-long Young Guns special and portrayed an epidemic of accidental shootings involving kids.
The ABC program, designed to show how Americans dangerously keep their guns, featured weapons stuffed in ridiculous, staged locations. On Monday, David Muir explained, "Those parents agreeing to take part at an elementary school in St. Petersburg, Florida." As video showed guns being jammed in backpacks and in a box of plastic spiders, Muir narrated, "The teacher running the experiment, telling the children they're there for a memory test and she has to go for a second. But there's candy on the table." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Not a syllable Friday or Saturday night on ABC, CBS or NBC about any of the several Obama scandals, but on Saturday night ABC’s World News trumpeted President Obama’s role as “consoler-in-chief.”
With “Consoler-in-Chief” on screen, anchor David Muir announced: “President Obama will be in Moore, Oklahoma tomorrow. ABC’s Reena Ninan already there tonight as the President prepares to fill the role he so often has in the last few months.”
World News reporter David Muir on Wednesday aggressively pushed gun control with a recycled, one-sided report on the ease of buying weapons. Muir also failed to identify Omar Samaha, featured prominently in the segment, as the grassroots coordinator for Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Muir replayed a four-year-old segment of Samaha going to a gun show to purchase weapons from private sellers. The journalist labeled the young man as someone who lost his sister at the Virginia Tech massacre. The correspondent didn't explain, however, that Samaha is employed professionally with a gun control organization and has worked with Michael Bloomberg to restrict the Second Amendment. Muir has a history of misleading viewers. On April 6, 2009, he promoted another gun control activist without identifying his political stance or affiliation.
Good Morning America's historical coverage is mostly non-existent. Yet, there's one thing the ABC program finds time for every year: Kennedy worship. On Tuesday's GMA, the same program that ignored Harry Reid linking Marine deaths to sequester cuts featured the latest on Kennedy family poetry.
Reporter David Muir gushed, "The indelible images of Caroline Kennedy's childhood: The little girl in the White House hiding under her father's desk, sitting beside her mother in bed. And if you look closely, there is often something else, books." The purpose of the segment was to promote Poems to Learn By Heart, a compilation collected by JFK's daughter. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Thursday's World News, ABC News correspondent Terry Moran acted like it was a big surprise that newly-elected Pope Francis stands by the Catholic Church's teachings on sexuality: "Now, as the world comes to know him, it turns out, on many issues, Pope Francis is a staunch traditionalist. He compared abortion to a death sentence; called gay marriage 'destructive of God's plan.'"
By contrast, CBS surprisingly reported on the continuing persecution of the Catholic Church in China on Friday's CBS This Morning. Though he didn't explicitly label the Chinese government as communist, correspondent Wyatt Andrews noted how "millions of the faithful worship in groups at home, praying in underground churches where religion, if practiced too openly, can lead to arrest." Andrews' report stands out from his network's biased coverage of the papal election.
The three networks on Monday night and Tuesday morning hailed a "historic" potential change by the Boy Scouts that would lift the ban on gays in their organization. ABC compared the move to a famous Norman Rockwell painting. NBC featured voices complaining that the decision doesn't go far enough.
On Monday's World News, Diane Sawyer trumpted that change is "afoot in an iconic American institution." She lamented, " For generations, becoming a Boy Scout was an American tradition. But not for all." Regarding the move to allow gays in, Sawyer prompted her colleague, reporter David Muir, "But we were talking earlier about the Norman Rockwell painting, the classic painting of the Cub Scout dreaming one day of becoming a real Boy Scout. And you were saying, the caption to that painting is?" "Can't wait," he solemnly responded. "Can't wait," Sawyer marveled. [See video below MP3 audio here.]
The annual pro-life march, this year marking the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v Wade decision, drew tens of thousands to Washington, DC on Friday, but didn’t garner a syllable of coverage on Friday’s World News on ABC nor the CBS Evening News. Yet on Saturday night, both newscasts highlighted a pro-gun control protest in DC which CBS anchor Jim Axelrod pegged at drawing “close to a thousand people.”
The NBC Nightly News noted both protests and on Friday night also reported how a federal appeals court unanimously decided that President Obama violated the Constitution when he made recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board, a rebuke neither ABC nor CBS found newsworthy.
World News on Wednesday night continued to try and link Mitt Romney to the comments of a Republican Senate candidate in Indiana. Anchor Diane Sawyer began the program by hyping, "The Romney campaign wrestles today with a landmine on a big issue for women."
On Tuesday, Richard Mourdock said that life is a "gift from God" and that "even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape that it is something that God intended to happen." Reporter David Muir insisted the words "have caused a firestorm." On Wednesday's Good Morning America, George Stephanopoulos warned that "Romney [is] catching some flak for his ties" to Mourdock.
The reporters and anchors of Good Morning America on Thursday desperately hyped Mitt Romney's assertion that, while governor of Massachusetts, he had "binders full of women" applicants. David Muir played this as a gaffe, labeling it "the binder blunder." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Former Democratic operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos tried to build the remark into some sort of game changer: "We saw Mitt Romney make huge gains with women after the first debate. Democrats believe this will block that gains he's made." The "huge gains" Stephanopoulos referred to were first reported in a USA Today poll showing Romney and Barack Obama dead even with swing state women, 48-48. However, this is the first time the host actually mentioned the ominous news for the President.
On Friday's World News on ABC, substitute anchor David Muir filed a report which warned that the winner of the first presidential candidate debate may have to take advantage of a "'cares about you' moment," as the report seemed more preoccupied with Mitt Romney as the candidate more likely to fail in such a moment.
Muir set up the report by harkening back to an audience question in 1992 that left then-candidate Bill Clinton giving an answer which suggested he could "connect with average problems" better than then-President George H.W. Bush.
It’s been four years since Barack Obama beat John McCain to become the 44th President of the United States, but that hasn’t stopped some in the media from putting McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin, in the crosshairs. In this morning’s broadcast of Good Morning America, ABC News’ David Muir detailed the dynamics related to the home stretch of the presidential campaign. It was here that he snuck in a gratuitous swipe at Gov. Palin:
ABC's Good Morning America hasn't once reported on U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice's claim on the September 16, 2012 edition of This Week that the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya was "a spontaneous - not a pre-meditated - response to what had transpired in Cairo." Even worse, the morning show hasn't reported on the subsequent developments on the consulate attack over the past 12 days that cast doubt on Ambassador Rice's statement.
NBC's Today show also hasn't covered Rice's talking points on the attack, after she appeared on Meet the Press on the same day as her This Week appearance. News reader Natalie Morales merely reported on September 19 that "the White House says there is currently no evidence that last week's deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya was planned and pre-meditated. Officials say it appears that the violence was sparked by that anti-Islam film made in the U.S." Two days later, Morales gave an update on how "the White House is now classifying the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya as a terrorist attack....But intelligence officials now believe it was a planned attack in the guise of a protest."
Both of those programs provided voluminous coverage of Romney's "47%" tape, but have no time to scrutinize the Obama administration's public statements about an incident that claimed the life of an American ambassador?
ABC's David Muir on Thursday hyped the presidential election as "slipping away" from Mitt Romney and pushed the idea that next week's presidential debate is "do-or-die" for the Republican.
Talking to the candidate, Muir pressed, "I'm curious what you would say to some of your supporters tonight, your donors who might be concerned this could be slipping away?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Trying ro raise expectations for the former governor, Muir insisted, "In fact, some are already calling [the October 3 presidential] debate a do-or-die moment."
Good Morning America on Wednesday touted "stunning" new polls out of Ohio that show Mitt Romney trailing. ABC reporter David Muir pushed a minor comment by the Republican as a "sudden shift." Muir hyped, "After repeatedly saying President Obama raised taxes during his first term...suddenly Romney appeared to be saying the President hasn't raised taxes." [See MP3 audio here. Video below.]
Romney's remark that Obama "did not" raise taxes was in reference to income taxes. Yet, this slight change in phraseology led Muir to position himself as a surrogate for the President, defending, "Romney's comments made immediate headlines. In fact, the President has not raised income tax rates in his first term." But, of course, Obama has increased taxes. As Forbes.com pointed out, Obamacare is now a tax that applies to the middle class. Additionally, the President has promised more taxes in his second term.
“You don’t want to put delegates in a position where they’re booing God and Jerusalem, especially on videotape,” the Weekly Standard’s Steve Hayes observed on FNC’s Special Report in citing a “basic rule” for conventions, calling it “a bad moment for Democrats” since “it has to be included in all the coverage of the convention.” Hayes, it turns out, was far too generous in his presumption about media professionalism – at least at ABC News.
World News on Wednesday evening devoted 12 minutes – more than half the newscast – to the Democratic conclave, yet spiked the embarrassing decision by Democrats, which drew boos from the floor (earlier NB item with video of booing), to revise their platform to add a reference to God and identify Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Just before Ann Romney's speech at the GOP convention, ABC repeatedly branded Mitt Romney with unfavorable ratings from its latest poll, and emphasized his "likability problem." ABC brought up Romney's unfavorable image four times in five minutes.
"Mitt Romney has a real likability problem," announced reporter Cokie Roberts. George Stephanopoulos introduced the ABC News poll saying "It shows Mitt Romney's unfavorable rating is 51 percent. That is the highest of any nominee in modern times." [Video below the break.]
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.
On Saturday's World News, ABC correspondent Jake Tapper explained President Barack Obama's deceptive strategy of trying to get voters to believe that Mitt Romney supports lowering his own tax rate to less than one percent by attacking a tax plan which his running rate, Paul Ryan, once proposed in Congress which is not part of Romney's own plan.
As he introduced a deceptive soundbite from President Obama, host David Muir raised the issue:
Good Morning America's Josh Elliott on Friday yet again hyped the issue of Mitt Romney's taxes. Guest anchor Elliott touted, "And Mitt Romney finally ready to address that question about his taxes." Amy Robach thrilled, "Mitt Romney, for the first time revealing new information about his tax returns...But why now?"
The candidate on Thursday asserted that he had "never" paid lower than a 13 percent tax rate. Reporter David Muir played up ABC's own role in this supposed new revelation: "Romney went back and checked after our sit down with him two weeks ago. At the time, we asked him about the tax rate he paid and the one completed tax return he has released." Muir then played a clip of him asking the Republican whether or not he had "ever" paid less than 13.9 percent.
As the broadcast network evening newscasts on Tuesday gave attention to Vice-President Joseph Biden asserting that Mitt Romney, by "unchaining" Wall Street would effectively "put y'all back in chains," only CBS's Bob Schieffer informed viewers that about half the audience in Danville, Virginia, was African-American, thus suggesting the Vice-President was making an embarrassing pander to black audience members who likely have ancestors who used to be "in chains."
On the CBS Evening News, as he set up a soundbite of Biden, substitute host Schieffer related:
Mitt Romney made a smart executive decision selecting Paul Ryan as his vice-presidential running mate. Ryan’s genial personality, serious policy wonkery, and political courage have dazzled conservatives and won respect even in a few liberal circles. Romney scores points for political courage as well. He knew liberal politicians and journalists would talk in punishing terms about Ryan’s budget ideas.
They did not disappoint. It took only minutes for the onslaught to begin. At the same time liberal media outlets acknowledge the country now faces two opposing visions of government, why is only the Romney-Ryan vision “polarizing” and “extreme”?
All three broadcast network evening newscasts recounted President Obama's charge that Rep. Paul Ryan is holding up a farm aid bill as the President campaign in Iowa, but only CBS's Nancy Cordes took the time to forward to viewers the Romney campaign's rebuttal that "Ryan voted in favor of a drought relief package that's currently languishing in the Senate."
On ABC's World News, correspondent David Muir set up Obama's complaint:
Breaking the news this morning that Mitt Romney has chosen Paul Ryan as his running mate, ABC’s Good Morning America in a single hour employed no fewer than seven “conservative” labels to label Ryan and his supporters. But four years ago as Barack Obama tapped Joe Biden, there wasn’t a single “liberal” label to be found on GMA’s coverage that Saturday morning.
Ryan, ABC’s team accurately pointed out, is as fill-in co-host David Muir put it, “a favorite among conservatives;” a candidate who “rallies the conservative base,” as George Stephanopoulos later opined. According to the American Conservative Union, Ryan has a solid 91.69 conservative rating (100% being a perfect conservative score).