On Wednesday, ABC and CBS's evening newscasts punted yet again on reporting Ray Nagin's Democratic affiliation, after the disgraced former New Orleans mayor was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for corruption. World News and CBS Evening News previously omitted Nagin's party ID when he was indicted in January 2013, and after a jury convicted him in February 2014.
ABC's Diane Sawyer hyped that the politician's sentencing was "a staggering fall from grace for the man who rose to national fame leading his city through Hurricane Katrina," but failed to mention that the Democrat was widely criticized for his handling of the disaster. By contrast, Brian Williams mentioned both his political affiliation and the post-Katrina criticism on NBC Nightly News: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
It took an entire day but ABC finally reported on its own Jonathan Karl, ABC News Chief White House Correspondent, and his confrontation with White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.
Karl’s battle with Earnest came on Monday, July 7, and both that evening’s World News with Diane Sawyer and Good Morning America on Tuesday, July 8 ignored the story. World News on Tuesday night finally provided a full report on the border crisis courtesy of Karl himself. [See video below.]
On Monday, July 7, Jonathan Karl, ABC’s Chief White House Correspondent, challenged White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, over whether or not the Obama Administration was deporting illegal immigrants at the rate they claim to be.
Despite the contentious back-and-forth in which the ABC reporter accused the White House of providing “disinformation” on the number of illegal children being deported, ABC's World News with Diane Sawyer ignored Karl’s questioning of Earnest on Monday night.
It's only July of 2014, but two panelists on the Morning Joe program expressed concern during Thursday's edition that people within the media are already suffering from “Clinton Exhaustion” even though the former secretary of state has yet to announce whether she will be a candidate in the 2016 presidential election.
If that's the case, then one of the worst offenders is the staff of that MSNBC morning show, which usually finds a way to spend up to 15 minutes a day discussing the latest “news” about Hillary Clinton, ranging from her “Hard Choices” book -- which is suffering from poor sales -- to question if she's a victim of “sexism” and “ageism.”
Wednesday's CBS Evening News ignored House Speaker John Boehner's announcement that he will file a lawsuit against the Obama administration over its use of executive orders. The evening newscast thus followed the example of CBS This Morning, which also omitted this development. ABC made its first on-air mention of the story on Wednesday's World News, with an 18-second news brief by anchor Diane Sawyer.
On NBC Nightly News, host Brian Williams set aside 26 seconds of air time to Speaker Boehner's planned legal move. During his news brief, Williams falsely indicated that the Republican Party controls all of Congress – when, in reality, it only controls the House of Representatives: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
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?
On June 23 and 24, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held multiple hearings surrounding the revelations that the hard drive of former IRS executive Lois Lerner had been destroyed containing thousands of emails pertinent to the investigation of their targeting of conservative groups.
Despite the new details and the subsequent congressional hearings, the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley has been the only network evening news program to cover the revelations, with ABC and NBC ignoring the story altogether. [See video below.]
Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton told ABC's Diane Sawyer on June 9 that when she and her family left the White House in 2001, they were “dead broke.” The reaction to that remark took an interesting turn on Tuesday, when her husband and former president Bill Clinton leaped into the fray by asserting that his wife's comment “is factually true” and the potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate is “not out of touch.”
The former Democratic occupant of the White House made his remarks during an interview with David Gregory, host of NBC's Meet the Press Sunday morning program, as part of an event for the Clinton Global Initiative in Denver.
On Monday, June 23, the Supreme Court ruled that while the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to mandate emissions controls on power-plants, it went too far in claiming the power to regulate smaller emitters.
Despite the major ruling, none of the network evening newscasts, ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer, CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley and NBC Nightly News, covered the EPA ruling. [See video of Fox News coverage of the EPA ruling.]
Once again, ABC News is promoting an outspoken activist within the Mormon Church, Kate Kelly who was excommunicated from the church for actively lobbying for the inclusion of female priests within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
On Monday June 23, ABC’s Mara Schiavocampo played up how "After being tried in absentia by an all-male panel, this afternoon, Kate Kelly got the news she was dreading. The life long Mormon excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Punished for forming the groups “Ordain Women”, which seeks to allow women into the priesthood." [See video below.]
Thursday's World News on ABC led with the rapid advance of an Islamist group into the heart of Iraq, but glossed over how correspondent Jonathan Karl grilled outgoing White House Press Secretary Jay Carney over how this development casts doubt on two of President Obama's supposed "top foreign policy accomplishments: ending the war in Iraq and decimating and destroying core al-Qaeda."
Terry Moran noted during how "President Obama today, resisting pleas from the Iraqi government for immediate U.S. air strikes to turn the tide, tread cautiously." Martha Raddatz later underlined that "Obama said himself today that these fighters could end up being a significant threat to our homeland." But neither journalist mentioned how their colleague sparred with Carney about the President's past boasts about Iraq and al Qaeda: [YouTube.com video of the exchange below the jump]
There are two ways to interview potential presidents. You can pepper them with tough questions, and why not? They’re going to apply for the job of Leader of the Free World. Hillary Clinton is used to the other way: Shameless pap. Softballs to be knocked out of the park.
She has been a media darling since forever. This is a typical soft pitch just offered to Hillary Clinton on national television. It came just the other day: “Mitch McConnell said at one point that 2016 will be the return of The Golden Girls.”
Not even Diane Sawyer could refrain from gently pushing back at former Secretary of State and prospective presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s claim that she and her husband were “dead broke” when they left the White House in January 2001. Talking about the huge fees both Clintons now rake in for speaking engagements, Sawyer wondered: “Do you think Americans are going to understand five times the median income in this country for one speech?”
But Sawyer could easily have gone to ABC’s own videotape library to show how preposterous Mrs. Clinton’s claim of poverty was. Back on December 15, 2000 — more than a month before the Clintons left the White House — ABC’s World News Tonight suggested the massive book advance for Hillary Clinton’s post-White House memoir was astonishing and perhaps corrupt for an incoming United States Senator. [Video and transcripts after the jump.]
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday's New Day on CNN, Politico senior political writer Maggie Haberman laid down the groundwork for the media to show a double standard in not taking issue with Hillary Clinton's wealth as opposed to Republican Mitt Romney who was repeatedly hounded in 2012 as the dominant media grasped at straws to identify "gaffes" to paint him as "out of touch." The Politico writer also bolstered Clinton's attempt to preempt campaign questions about Benghazi by seeming to predict the strategy would have some effectiveness.
Haberman argued that Clinton's claim that she and husband former President Clinton were "broke" after they left the White House as they were purchasing multiple "houses" would not be a "consequential" gaffe because it does not fit "an existing narrative" of the former First Lady, unlike in the case of Romney. Haberman began:
Hillary Clinton is set to give her first television interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer on Monday night to promote her memoir Hard Choices, and MSNBC’s Chris Matthews was visibly outraged that an ad would dare criticize her as she begins her book tour.
Appearing on his Hardball program on Monday, June 9, Matthews began his program by declaring that the ad was a “prime time attack” before complaining about the “disgusting event” where a “Right wing group has produced a television ad to air tonight during former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's first prime time book interview.” [See video below.]
In clips of her interview with Hillary Clinton aired on Monday's Good Morning America, World News anchor Diane Sawyer was surprisingly tough on the issue of Benghazi: "Is there anything you personally should have been doing to make it safer in Benghazi?...I wonder if people are looking for a sentence that begins from you, 'I should have...' 'I should have...'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
After the clip, Sawyer explained to GMA co-host George Stephanopoulos: "So many questions on Benghazi because we know a lot of people think it's a central question of leadership if she runs for president."
Veteran ABC journalist Diane Sawyer has interviewed Hillary Clinton for a one-hour special that airs Monday night. Will the World News anchor grill the potential Democratic presidential candidate like she did Ken Starr or Mel Gibson? It doesn't seem likely that the reporter, who linked Clinton to Jesus Christ, will offer much in the way of hard-hitting questions. However, talking to then-special prosecutor Starr on November 25, 1998, she demanded, "Are you part of a right-wing conspiracy?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Previewing the special 20/20 interview with the man who investigated President Bill Clinton, an announcer proudly asserted, "The tables are turned. Now it's the prosecutor's turn to be grilled." During a special on The Passion of the Christ, Sawyer hammered film director Gibson: "Are you anti-Semitic?" She even linked the film to Nazism: "Hitler went to a passion play and came away saying that, you know, this is a precious tool in the fight against Judaism."
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):
On Monday, June 2 the Environmental Protection Agency formally announced a slew of new regulations aimed at reducing carbon emissions by coal plants by 30 percent over the next 15 years.
Despite the potential damaging impact the new regulations will have on the economy, ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer spend twice as much time on hedgehogs becoming popular pets instead of providing a full report on the new EPA regulations.
America suffered an economic setback in the first quarter of the year as the GDP for Obama’s economy was revised downward Thursday morning to a negative one percent, yet neither ABC’s World News nor the NBC Nightly News considered it newsworthy.
Meanwhile, the CBS Evening News spun the bad news into a positive. Reporter Anthony Mason insisted “it sets the economy up for rebound this quarter and there are some encouraging signs in the numbers.”
Wednesday's World News on ABC minimized any sense of the Obama administration's responsibility in the ongoing V.A. scandal, and spent the least amount of air time on the issue among the Big Three networks' evening newscasts. The program actually aired segments on pickpocketing and custom mobile homes than lasted about a half a minute longer each than their report on the scandal.
Diane Sawyer spotlighted how the President "weighed in – talking tough and talking action" on the "growing outrage over veterans hospitals." Jim Avila noted how multiple V.A. medical facilities in several states are now being investigated, and let the relative of deceased veteran decry the President's handling of the scandal. However, he didn't mention that the wait lists have been around for years – something that CBS Evening News mentioned in its coverage of the controversy: [MP3 audio from the ABC report available here; video below the jump]
World News anchor Diane Sawyer, who once summarized Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign by connecting the Democrat to Jesus Christ, has landed the exclusive first interview as the potential 2016 candidate promotes her book, Hard Choices. Sawyer will talk to Clinton for a one-hour special airing on June 9. According to Politico, the former Secretary of State will also appear on the same day's World News and live on the June 10 Good Morning America.
A look back at Sawyer's reporting on Clinton reason reveals the reason she was chosen. On June 4, 2008, as the politician's presidential bid ended, the then-Good Morning America host quoted from a 17th century poem about Christ: "This woman, as we said, forged into determination and purpose her whole life. As someone said, 'No thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown.'' [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
ABC has failed to cover exclusive reporting from its own Jonathan Karl, ABC News’ Chief White House Correspondent, when he caught White House Press Secretary Jay Carney distorting the American Legion’s position on the VA controversy.
For the second night in a row, ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer ignored the latest in the scandal engulfing the Veterans Administration. On Monday, May 19, the Washington Times released documents that showed the Obama Administration was warned about the problems surrounding the VA as early as 2009, yet ABC has yet to cover these revelations.
Documents obtained by the Washington Times revealed that the Bush Administration warned the Obama Administration about problems within the Veterans Administration as early as 2008, yet both the ABC and NBC evening news broadcasts ignored the story on Monday, May 19.
Of the big three networks, only the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley covered the new revelations in the VA scandal. CBS News host Scott Pelley noted that “The Bush White House was so concerned about this back in 2008 that it warned the incoming Obama Administration.” [See video below.]
Friday's World News on ABC mentioned the ongoing scandal surrounding the Veterans Administration only in passing, despite the fact their own chief White House correspondent, Jonathan Karl, hounded Press Secretary Jay Carney at the regular White House press briefing on the issue. Meanwhile, they set aside two full segments totaling seven minutes and 54 seconds of air time to Barbara Walters' departure from The View.
Diane Sawyer gave a 30-second news brief to a new development in the scandal – about one-sixteenth the amount of time that she and her newscast spent on Walters: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams continued his network's defense of Hillary Clinton by setting aside 63 seconds of air time to a soundbite of Bill Clinton "firing back at Karl Rove, after comments Rove made about Hillary Clinton's health." Williams trumpeted how "shades of the old political warrior Bill Clinton were on display today," as he introduced the extended clip of the former president.
By contrast, on ABC's World News, Jonathan Karl detailed how the former New York senator was "not seen in public for nearly a month as secretary of state" in late 2012, and how State Department officials "downplayed her [Mrs. Clinton's] condition:" [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Monday, May 13, all three network evening newscasts hyped the dire consequences of a new NASA study which show that “large parts of the western Antarctica ice sheet appears to have collapsed.”
ABC, CBS, and NBC hyperventilated over the report, and warned of rising sea levels in the immediate future. CBS News’ Elaine Quijano warned “A 10-foot rise in sea level would submerge tunnels and subways here in Manhattan and parts of Queens and Brooklyn. But, Scott, it would also put the entire city of Miami Beach and much of South Florida underwater.” [See video below.]
Ten years ago, Mel Gibson unveiled his massively successful movie The Passion of The Christ. It came out on Ash Wednesday (February 25, 2004), but is often re-viewed on Good Friday. It had a worldwide box-office gross of over $611 million.
In our Special Report on religion coverage that year, we explored how the TV networks attacked Gibson's movie as extreme, divisive, and potentially harmful -- one CBS reporter even called it an "ecumenical suicide bomb" -- and how that differed from their fascination with theories in The DaVinci Code:
On Friday's World News, ABC's David Kerley pressed I.R.S. Commissioner John Koskinen about taxpayers who are unable to "get an answer as to how much they're supposed to pay," due to long wait times on the agency' help line. However, Kerley didn't bother to ask Koskinen about the House Ways and Means Committee's Wednesday vote to refer former IRS official Lois Lerner to the Justice Department for prosecution, over alleged targeting of Tea Party groups for auditing.
In fact, as of Friday, none of the Big Three evening newscasts have covered the House committee's criminal referral, nor the House Oversight Committee voting on Thursday to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress. Instead, the ABC correspondent zeroed in on taxpayers' complaints about the IRS help line, as well as the commissioner's YouTube video warning about how to deal with the poor service there: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Thursday evening, both ABC and CBS relayed news that a manuscript claiming Jesus had a wife was found to be an "ancient" document and "not a modern forgery." They ignored skeptics of the document, however.
"We have the results of scientific testing on a controversial scrap of papyrus that some call the 'gospel of Jesus' wife'," touted CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley. He added that "scholars say that doesn't prove that Jesus had a wife but that early Christians debated whether he did."