NBC's morning and evening newscasts have yet to cover the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong on Tuesday. That day, ABC's World News labeled the demonstration "one of the largest marches in Hong Kong's history" during an 18-second news brief, but failed to mention that the communist Chinese government was the target of the participants. The network's morning show, Good Morning America, has yet to devote any air time to the protest.
Seth Doane filed a two-minute report about the march on Wednesday's CBS Evening News. But like his peers at ABC, Doane omitted describing the "central government here in Beijing" as communist. Anchor Scott Pelley introduced the correspondent's report by noting the anniversary the protesters were marking: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Tuesday, July 1, all three network evening newscasts hyped a protest in Murrieta, California where residents objected to busloads of illegal immigrants being sent to their town to be processed by border patrol agents.
While all three networks covered the story, only the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley actually called the 140 passengers “illegal immigrants” with ABC and NBC choosing to call them “migrants” and “undocumented immigrants” respectively. [See video below.]
On Monday, June 30, the Supreme Court dealt a blow to labor unions seeking to obtain more control over public employees who do not want to join the union. Despite the setback for union bosses, NBC Nightly News was the only network evening news broadcast to cover the ruling on Monday evening.
In addition, President Obama nominated Robert McDonald to be the next Secretary of Veterans Affairs and fix the troubled agency yet ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer and the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley were nowhere to be found on this story either. [See video below.]
Following the death of former Senator Howard Baker on Tuesday, all three major broadcast networks praised the influential former White House Chief of Staff during their June 26 evening newscasts for his ability to compromise with Democrats. Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News even went so far as to describe him as “a Republican so moderate it might make him a Democrat today.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
On the June 27 edition of CBS This Morning, co-host Norah O’Donnell lamented "there’s a lot of people who miss the Howard Bakers of the world. We could use more of them in the Senate for sure."
Shortly after news broke on Wednesday that Diane Sawyer would step down as anchor of ABC's World News and be replaced by David Muir, Temple University journalism professor Karen Turner ranted to MediaBistro's TVNewser blog: "In this growing multicultural nation, it's unconscionable that as of September three white men will lead their respective networks."
ABC News announced on Wednesday that journalist David Muir would be replacing Diane Sawyer as the anchor of World News in September. Muir has a history of fawning over "cool kid" Barack Obama and attacking conservatives. The Media Research Center has compiled a Profile in Bias of his worst examples of liberal bias. [See below for videos.]
On April 9, 2009, Muir, then the World News weekend anchor, thrilled over pictures of pictures of Obama at the G-20 summit. The journalist enthused to George Stephanopoulos: "...Heads of state are seemingly trying to get close to the head of the class, or the cool kid in the class, if you will, President Obama." [MP3 audio here.] On January 20, 2009, inauguration day, Muir insisted that even traffic jams had been hushed: "So many of the streets are closed, those that are open are clogged. But there were no car horns, no shouting."
ABC News announced on Wednesday that veteran liberal journalist Diane Sawyer will leave her anchor position at World News in September and be replaced by David Muir. According to TV Newser, Sawyer will continue to report for "primetime specials, big interviews" and in other capacities.
It's interesting that former Democratic operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos will not be replacing Sawyer at World News, as was anticipated by many. According to TV Newser, Stephanopoulos now "takes on the new role of chief anchor of ABC News. He’ll lead special reports, breaking news and election night coverage for the network as well as continuing with GMA and This Week.” He'll be the chief anchor, but not the host of World News?
The Big Three networks' Friday evening newscasts finally noticed the latest development in the IRS scandal (they omitted it on Thursday), after Rep. Paul Ryan grilled Commissioner John Koskinen earlier in the day. ABC's David Muir spotlighted "the outrage...involving the IRS claiming to have lost thousands of crucial documents – lawmakers asking, how can the tax man be let off the hook for losing documents, while ordinary taxpayers would never get away with that?"
NBC's Brian Williams noted how Koskinen claimed that the IRS "lost evidence in the investigation into how they handled conservative political groups...and given how long the IRS holds on to things like our tax returns, some members of Congress just aren't buying it." CBS's Nancy Cordes zeroed in on congressional Democrats' attack on their Republican colleagues over the scandal – something that ABC and NBC didn't do: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
CBS Evening News was the only Big Three evening newscast on Wednesday to report that the FBI has opened a criminal investigation into the V.A. scandal. Neither ABC's World News nor NBC Nightly News covered this latest development in the ongoing controversy. Instead, both programs devoted air time to the 20th anniversary of O.J. Simpson's slow-speed run from the police, after the murder of his wife and her friend.
Anchor Scott Pelley gave an 18-second news brief on the federal agency's new probe into the cover-up of long patient wait times at the Department of Veterans Affairs: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
ABC is running a promo strangely claiming no topic is “off limits” in Diane Sawyer’s Hillary Clinton interview. “No questions off limits,” promised substitute anchor David Muir on Friday’s World News.
But in an excerpt shown on Friday night, Sawyer sticks to questions so short they barely count as sentences. She’s not an interviewer. She’s just a facilitator. It’s another puff job, even if Diane keeps a dour face on (video, transcript by Matthew Balan below):
Friday's World News on ABC paid tribute to the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy with an emotional look at one of the remaining veterans who survived the hellish landings on Omaha Beach. However, the Big Three newscast made a historical gaffe during anchor David Muir's introduction to the segment.
Muir directed his audience's attention to a black-and-white photo of troops landing on June 6, 1944, and contrasted it with a photo taken Friday morning supposedly at the same place: Omaha Beach. But the 70-year-old picture was actually of British and Canadian troops landing at Juno Beach miles to the east: [video below the jump]
It's the latest viral video burning up the Internet, the talk of watercooler conversation all over the country today: President Obama looking positively goofy strenuously working out with a set of dumbbells. [I'll pause to let you write your own punchline]
It was video too good to ignore for both ABC's World News and CBS's Evening News, while NBC Nightly News decided to take a pass. Of course, both networks worked in a relatively positive spin for the president, with ABC worrying about and subsequently dismissing the notion of the video being a "security breach" while CBS's Maurice DuBois hailed the president as an disciplined athlete who sleepily hit the gym while on a grueling overseas trip. [See the relevant transcripts below the page break; Listen to MP3 audio here; Video follows page break]
Hillary Clinton is managing to do what conservatives cannot: get Benghazi into the news – but only to showcase her heroic efforts to take on those awful Republicans. ABC anchor David Muir on Friday night heralded how she “is ready to fight back on Benghazi,” trumpeting how a selective release from a chapter of her upcoming book shows “she’s taking on her critics.”
Reporter Martha Raddatz touted how “she comes out swinging. Her anger aimed at congressional Republicans who she accuses of politicizing the tragedy.”
When George W. Bush was president, a week didn't go by when the press wasn't dismissing his intelligence and proclaiming his administration's incompetence. Over the weekend, President Obama made a surprise visit to the troops in Afghanistan. Someone on his staff demonstrated truly jaw-dropping incompetence by accidentally releasing to 6,000 journalists the name of the CIA station chief in Afghanistan as part of Obama’s welcoming delegation. That is a death sentence, not just for the agent but for all those around him.
Try to imagine the media firestorm this would have created had the transgression occurred during the W years. Remember the endless coverage, day after day, week after week, over the disclosure of Valerie Plame's name, a veritable D.C. paper-pusher by comparison? She became the poster child in a relentless campaign to undermine President Bush's foreign policy -- and the man himself.
At the time when the country is remembering the ultimate sacrifice veterans have given this country ABC’s (World News) evening and (Good Morning America) morning shows didn’t devote a second to the VA scandal over this Memorial Day weekend. However, those shows did spend time on President Barack Obama receiving “cheers” during his surprise visit to Afghanistan.
While ABC didn’t offer a second on its newscasts (from Friday evening through Monday night) on the VA scandal CBS devoted a total of 8 minutes, 39 seconds on its (Evening News) evening and (CBS This Morning) morning shows during that same time period. NBC spent 3 minutes, 34 seconds on its (Nightly News) evening and (Today) morning shows over the long weekend.
However ABC did find a story it wanted to trumpet.
Monday's edition of ABC's World News did liberal Sen. Elizabeth Warren a huge favor by touting her "fight to save the middle class," with no label of her as "liberal" and no question of her political motivations in the segment promoting the Massachusetts Senator's new book.
The segment was over four minutes long, a huge chunk of the World News, and was full of admiration for Warren's efforts. Correspondent David Muir began his report hailing her as "the woman on the front lines" of "the fight to save the middle class." [Audio excerpt here.]
Both ABC and CBS carved out a few seconds on their Thursday evening and Friday morning newscasts to boost President Obama’s claims of success for his ObamaCare program. Filling in for Diane Sawyer, ABC World News anchor David Muir cheered the “major milestone” of an alleged eight million enrollees, while CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley said the enrollment figures were a “recent success” for the health care law.
Gone was the skepticism that some reporters, like ABC’s Jon Karl, showed at the end of March when ObamaCare was nearing seven million sign-ups, as he threw cold water on the official White House stat: “How many of those have signed up were previously uninsured....We don’t know how many people signed up here were simply – had their previous plans cancelled. Also, we don’t know how many have actually paid their premiums.”
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.]