CBS This Morning on Friday spun Mitt Romney's upcoming meeting in Utah with prominent Republicans and top fundraisers as a "secret summit." Just a week earlier, the morning newscast didn't even devote a full report to President Obama's fundraising jaunt to New York City, merely playing three soundbites on the Democrat's $40,000 per plate dinner at the home of liberal actress Sarah Jessica Parker.
Political director John Dickerson also bizarrely labeled the upcoming GOP event as "kind of a mix between a shareholders' meeting and a renewal of vows."
Bob Schieffer didn't think much of the accusation that President Obama is the "campaigner-in-chief" on Friday's CBS This Morning. When anchor Erica Hill wondered if that charge could be "harmful" to the President, Schieffer laughed aloud and replied, "If he raises enough money, it won't hurt him at all."
Just a day earlier on the morning show, correspondent Bill Plante actually pointed out that as of early June, Obama "will have done 153 fundraisers since formally declaring his candidacy for reelection a little over a year ago. That's nearly double the number President Bush had done at the same point in 2004."
The Big Three networks certainly have their priorities straight. ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning shows on Wednesday dedicated more time to entertainment news than the results of the Wisconsin recall election. On CBS This Morning, Disney's new ban on junk food ads from its kids programming received a minute and a half more than the political story. The same gap occurred on ABC's Good Morning America, but instead of junk food, the Miss USA pageant got the extra time.
NBC's Today, however, one-upped its competitors, as they devoted over six minutes to former Hannah Montana star Miley Cyrus getting engaged, while Republican Governor Scott Walker's victory received under four and a half minutes. Today also spent over five minutes on the Miss USA story.
On Friday's CBS This Morning, Jan Crawford spotlighted that "the economic and political climate today is more similar to years when incumbent presidents lost than when they won." The correspondent pointed out the similarity between polling numbers today and in 1992, when George H.W. Bush was running for reelection: "Gallup has asked voters whether they're satisfied with the way things in the country are going. Today, only 24 percent say they're satisfied. That's closest to the 20 percent low in May 1992."
Despite this, anchor Charlie Rose tried to shift the blame away from President Obama: "It looks like this is a situation where President Obama fears most the thing he cannot control, which is the economy."
In the latest example of the liberal media painting the Republican Party as somehow extreme, Charlie Rose touted a headline from the New York Times on Thursday's CBS This Morning that negatively spotlighted a Republican group's upcoming ad campaign against President Obama: "The New York Times has a story today that the GOP super PAC is weighing in on a hard-line attack on the President."
Correspondent Jan Crawford noted the Obama campaign's attack on Romney for his leadership of Bain Capital: "Obama campaign officials tell us they think Romney is really vulnerable on Bain, and...they plan to continue making this an issue." However, she omitted that the campaign smeared the former governor as a "vampire." That, somehow, didn't deserve a "hard-line" or equivalent label.
Thursday's CBS Evening News and Friday's CBS This Morning spotlighted the Washington Post's reporting on the accusation that Mitt Romney supposedly bullied a high school classmate almost 50 years ago. Evening News anchor Scott Pelley trumpeted how "what [Romney] said about it today made it relevant again." Political director John Dickerson touted how "the reporting of the story seems pretty solid."
Correspondent Jan Crawford reported on the Romney issue on the evening and morning newscasts. During the Thursday report, Crawford highlighted how one former classmate of Romney's labeled the alleged incident an "assault and battery." The following morning, she did contrast the allegation with President Obama's admitted drug use during his high school years and President Clinton claiming he tried marijuana, but "didn't inhale."
Jan Crawford spotlighted Karen Santorum's "frustrations with the media" on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, adding that it was "understandable. They've been mocked by some for how they grieved the loss of their infant son." Crawford also noted how Mrs. Santorum's "life...has been under a microscope. In nearly every story written about her, it's mentioned she lived with a doctor...[who] performed abortions" [audio available here; video below the jump].
The political correspondent landed the first Big Three network interview with the GOP candidate's wife. At the end of the segment, Crawford stated that "voters tell us...one thing they like about [Rick] Santorum- he mean what he says, and he's real. And in that sense, he and his wife are very much alike." Anchor Gayle King later sang the praises of Karen Santorum: "[She] needs to do more interviews...because you come across really liking her."
On Monday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose hinted that Republicans needed to go further in decrying Rush Limbaugh's slam of radical feminist and law student Sandra Fluke. Rose asked Senator John McCain, "Are you satisfied that those Republican officials have gone far enough in condemning these statements?" McCain replied, "Oh, I'll leave that up to pundits like you, Charlie" [audio available here; video below the jump].
The morning newscast also highlighted how "seven companies have pulled commercials from Limbaugh's nationally syndicated show. Online data company Carbonite said the on-air attack crossed the line....Limbaugh had some defenders, but they were drowned out by those protests on the left, and critics on the right."
An unusually harsh Jake Tapper on Thursday lashed out at Rick Santorum, mocking the Republican's "horrible" debate performance. The ABC journalist appeared on Good Morning America and suggested that Santorum was so bad he should take himself to court.
Tapper piled on, deriding the former Pennsylvania senator: "You know when you meet somebody and you make a bad impression, you wish you could take it back? That's what Rick Santorum must be feeling like today...A horrible night for him." Although much of the reaction to Santorum's performance was mixed to negative, Tapper was over-the-top. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Sunday's Face the Nation, CBS's Bob Schieffer interrogated Rick Santorum over his offensive against President Obama, particularly over the Republican candidate's "theology" attack on the President's environmental policies. Schieffer seemed to channel a certain former MSNBC anchor when he asked, "I've got to ask you, what in the world were you talking about, sir?" [audio clips available here; video below the jump]
The anchor led his program with an outline of his criticism of Santorum, focusing on three recent comments from the GOP presidential candidate: "Did you hear what Rick Santorum said?...In one twenty-four-hour-period, he questioned the President's religious beliefs....said prenatal testing is really just the President's way to reduce costs in taking care of the disabled....and questioned the value of public schools....We'll ask him about all of it this morning..."
Deaths, guns, whistle-blowers and the highest law officer in the land stonewalling a congressional investigation are the juicy ingredients of a story network news reporters would love to cover – if a Republican were in office. However, when Attorney General Eric Holder testified on Thursday (February 2) before a House oversight committee investigating Operation Fast and Furious, the news was completely ignored by NBC and ABC (there was one full story on Friday’s CBS This Morning). The virtual blackout of Holder’s testimony continues an overall trend of ABC and NBC burying one of the Obama administration’s biggest scandals, despite continual coverage by their competitors at CBS, CNN and Fox News.
MRC analysts reviewed the Big Three network evening and morning news shows and found that while CBS aired 29 stories and 1 brief on Fast and Furious, ABC aired only one brief on the June 15, 2011 edition of Good Morning America. That was still better than what NBC did on their morning and evening news programs, as the gunwalking story has never been mentioned on either NBC Nightly News or the Today show. NBC’s Miguel Almaguer, in a report primarily about a Mexican mother accusing border patrol agents of killing her 17-year old son as he tried to scale a wall, did note that “In December, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in a shootout with bandits.” However, Almaguer never tied the Terry killing back to the gunwalking scandal.
Barack Obama’s invitation to Warren Buffett’s secretary, Debbie Bosanek, to tonight’s State of the Union Address is bound to please not only Bosanek’s boss but also the liberal media that has allied with Buffett in his mission to raise taxes on the rich. For over 10 years the Berkshire Hathaway CEO has campaigned to sop the wealthy with burdensome taxes, and his friends in the media have been all too willing to advance his myth that secretaries pay more in taxes than their boss.
The following articles from the MRC’s archive represent just a few of the more recent and obnoxious examples of Buffett and Obama’s friends in the media carrying water for their crusade to soak America’s job creators:
NPR harped on Mitt Romney's "provocative tax detail" on Wednesday's Morning Edition, highlighting that the GOP presidential candidate "disclosed he's in the same low tax bracket as the billionaire [Warren] Buffett." Correspondent Scott Horsley later used clips from President Obama to accent liberals' class warfare spin about the rich paying a lower tax rate than "millionaires and billionaires."
On CBS This Morning, correspondent Jan Crawford also referenced the Buffett tax issue eight minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour, during a report on the Republican presidential race in South Carolina. She used the same label as the NPR journalist: "He [Romney] revealed that he pays a relatively low rate on his investment income. That's the same low rate that billionaire Warren Buffett pays."
“With Huntsman gone,” ABC’s Jonathan Karl despaired Monday night, “the field of Republican candidates has lost the only candidate who favored civil unions for gay couples and said he was concerned about climate change.” In his World News report, Karl recalled how Hunstman once “tweeted: ‘To be clear, I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.’”
Over on the CBS Evening News, Jan Crawford noted how Huntsman was more popular with the news media than with Republicans: “Huntsman’s campaign never really took off, except among newspaper editorial boards.”
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose acknowledged the widespread spinning of Mitt Romney's "I like to fire people" remark. The anchor asked Romney, "Do you regret the firing comment because of the way it was interpreted by some?" The previous morning, Rose's colleague, Bob Schieffer, was one who spun the GOP candidate's line, claiming it was just shy of saying "Herbert Hoover is my hero."
Schieffer pounced on Romney's "firing" line during a segment with Rose on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, even after correspondent Jan Crawford noted during a preceding report that the sentence was being "taken completely out of context" by several of his Republican competitors. The "Face The Nation" host all but said that the presidential candidate had stuck his foot in his mouth:
ABC's Good Morning America and CBS's the The Early Show on Saturday, as well as Friday's World News on ABC, seized on GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry forgetting the name of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor as the Texas governor criticized President Obama's tendency to appoint activist judges. As he teased Saturday's The Early Show, CBS anchor Russ Mitchell even asked, "How long can his presidential candidacy survive?"
As CBS correspondent Jan Crawford appeared on the show, Mitchell posed to her:
CBS's Jan Crawford played up Newt Gingrich's "baggage" on Friday's Early Show, underlining how the Republican presidential candidate is "going to be hit hard for his ties to corporate interests, the ethics allegations...even his personal relationships- his adulterous affairs." Crawford also spotlighted the claim that only Herman Cain's "die-hard supporters...think that he can stay in this race."
The correspondent first reported on the allegation that Cain had a 13-year affair with Ginger White and how the candidate recently admitted to helping White financially. Crawford shifted to Gingrich by stating that "in a crowded field, that could help candidates like Newt Gingrich, who continues to surge ahead." She then used her "baggage" term, and highlighted a "scathing new ad" from GOP competitor Ron Paul, which targeted Newt.
CBS's Early Show on Wednesday boosted a claim by Democrats that a recent Mitt Romney ad takes a line from a 2008 speech by then-candidate Barack Obama out of context. However, CBS noted at that time that Obama was using that line to counter a McCain campaign ad which played up the Democrat's association with left-wing terrorist Bill Ayers.
Anchor Erica Hill raised the controversy over the Romney ad towards the end of a segment with political correspondent Jan Crawford about the most recent Republican presidential debate. After playing the relevant part of the commercial, which includes a clip of Obama stating that "if we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose," Hill asked, "A lot of controversy over that ad, Jan. Why?"
The same networks that ignored sexual allegations against Democrats for months all leaped on Tuesday to interview Sharon Bialek and her liberal advocate Gloria Allred on the morning after she came forward. Between them, ABC, CBS, CNN, and NBC devoted over 21 minutes to Bialek, who accused GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain of groping her over a decade ago. CNN had Bialek on for eight and a half minutes, and played up how Rush Limbaugh apparently said "not so nice things" about her [audio clips available here; video below the jump].
CBS's The Early Show gave the softest interview, failing to mention the accuser's past bankruptcies or Allred's liberal political leanings, something the other three at least mentioned. Anchor Jeff Glor asked Bialek if she would still vote for Cain if he became the GOP presidential nominee, only after her attorney, Gloria Allred, mentioned that her client was a registered Republican. None of the interviewers raised why Bialek had been fired by the National Restaurant Association before her meeting with Cain (correspondent Jan Crawford noted the firing in a setup piece on CBS).
In only eight and a half days, NBC, CBS and ABC have devoted a staggering 99 stories to sexual harassment charges against Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain. In comparison, eight days into Bill Clinton's scandal's with Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and Juanita Broaddrick, there were a combined eight reports.
Additionally, the three network newscasts on Monday offered scant information about the fact that Cain's accuser, Sharon Bialek, has hired the extremely liberal lawyer Gloria Allred. On NBC's Nightly News, reporter Kelly O'Donnell described Allred as a "high profile attorney." On CBS's Evening News, Jan Crawford referred to her as a "celebrity lawyer."
On Monday's Early Show, CBS's Jan Crawford spotlighted conservative criticism of the broad media coverage of the Herman Cain sexual harassment charges. Crawford stated that Cain's "testy exchange" with reporters "could help...because a lot of conservatives...think there's this huge liberal bias against conservatives. You know, the media didn't cover Bill Clinton...like they're doing Herman Cain."
The correspondent noted the right-leaning argument in response to a statement from anchor Erica Hill about a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll that had Cain just barely behind Mitt Romney at the front of the GOP presidential pack: "It would seem these allegations didn't have much of an impact in the latest polling." Just prior to this, the morning show played a sound bite of Cain refusing to answer a reporter's question on the controversy at a weekend press conference.
All three morning shows on Monday hyped a "bombshell blast" against Herman Cain, playing up a story in Politico charging the Republican presidential candidate with sexual harassment back in the 1990s. ABC's Good Morning America led with the allegations.
Co-host George Stephanopoulos, whose former boss, Bill Clinton, repeatedly faced sexual harassment claims, touted, "And this morning, bombshell blast. Major allegations against front-runner Herman Cain. Two former female colleagues accuse him of sexual harassment."
CBS's Early Show was the only morning show of the Big Three networks on Monday to cover the controversy over a ranch leased by the family of Texas Governor Rick Perry that formerly used the racist "N" word in its name. Political analyst John Dickerson hinted that the Republican's presidential campaign may not "weather" the controversy, adding that "it's a real problem."
Fill-in anchor Jeff Glor led the 7 am Eastern hour of the CBS program with a teaser on the news story: "Texas Governor Rick Perry faces tough questions over a family hunting camp named with a racial slur. Fellow presidential candidate Herman Cain calls Perry 'very insensitive,' as Perry insists the word were removed decades ago." Nine minutes later, Glor labeled the issue a "race-related firestorm," as he introduced correspondent Jan Crawford's campaign 2012 round-up, which began with the story.
On Thursday's Early Show, CBS's Chris Wragge bizarrely wondered if the dissatisfaction with the current GOP field of presidential candidates would give President Obama an edge: "Is this just primary politics, or does this make candidate Obama kind of lick his chops, thinking he's got a real advantage here?" Mr. Obama actually trails a generic Republican candidate in two recent polls.
Just moments before Wragge dropped his question, correspondent Jan Crawford had explained during a report that such dissatisfaction from primary voters wasn't unusual in either party from a historical perspective. Crawford cited the Democratic presidential fields in 1991 and 2003 as examples:
CBS's Jim Axelrod spotlighted a Michigan high school football team mostly made up of Muslim students on Friday's Early Show and trumpeted the "the strength of this diverse community." An array of student athletes and school officials from Fordson High School in Dearborn, Michigan fought against a phantom of "Islamophobia" that was only vaguely described.
In covering Fordson's custom of holding August practice from midnight to 4 am to be Ramadan-friendly, and despite playing video of students praying in Arabic while in their football uniforms, Axelrod didn't raise the usual ACLU-flagged church-state issues one might find a similar story on devout Christian students upsetting "diversity" in a school setting.
[Video clips from the segment available below the jump.]
CBS referenced Vice President Joe Biden's recent gaffe about "fully understanding" China's one-child policy on Friday's Early Show as "off-the-cuff remarks" and "interesting comments," but failed to get to it during the segment. Anchor Chris Wragge merely explained that viewers would find "more on that on our website." Oddly, Wragge and his colleagues did broach the subject in an online video segment.
The anchor, along with co-anchor Erica Hill, brought on political correspondent Jan Crawford to discuss "the busy week in politics" 46 minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour. Besides mentioning the Vice President's "off-the-cuff remarks," Wragge also previewed another subject of the segment, which was Senator Marco Rubio Tuesday save of former First Lady Nancy Reagan, who stumbled while walking with the Florida politician. But even before getting to that, the three first discussed Texas Governor Rick Perry becoming the presumptive front-runner in the race for Republican presidential nomination. After briefly noting Perry's lead in the polls, Crawford decided to zero in on the possible drawbacks to his candidacy and highlighted one of the caricatures of the governor:
CBS's Jan Crawford highlighted Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney 's fortune on Tuesday's Early Show and how "wealthier candidates, like Romney, John Kerry, and Jon Huntsman, are...hit with that nasty insult they're an elitist." Crawford did mention how that label has also been leveled at President Obama on more than one occasion, but also forwarded a myth about former President George H. W. Bush's 1992 encounter with a supermarket scanner.
Anchor Chris Wragge didn't use the "elitist" term as he gave the lead-in for the correspondent's report, but stated, "With millions of Americans out of work, and countless more struggling to pay the bills, how can a multi-millionaire presidential candidate not seem to be out of touch?" Crawford continued that "it's not exactly an issue of money, but how its used and...how you carry yourself. And now, Romney is certainly getting some criticism, as he tries to expand this home away from home. But this kind of criticism is always an issue, and other presidential candidates, and the President himself, are getting hit with it, too."
All three broadcast network evening newscasts awarded full stories Monday night to Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign announcement, with ABC and NBC unable to resist pouncing on Chris Wallace’s “are you a flake?” question to frame their stories. ABC’s Jonathan Karl highlighted how she’s “been accused of being loose with the facts, saying, for example, that the President's last trip to India was costing taxpayers $200 million a day. That's why Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace says he asked her” the “flake” question.
On NBC, Kelly O’Donnell also played the Wallace clip before focusing on how Bachmann “has been embarrassed by a string of factual errors, like placing the battles of Lexington and Concord in the wrong state. She missed the mark again in our interview, bringing up an unrelated and incorrect claim about her hometown.” (That would be about John Wayne’s birthplace.)
Catching up on an item from Saturday’s The Early Show, CBS correspondent Jan Crawford used the word "spectacle" to describe various media organizations "ripping through" the recently released emails from Sarah Palin’s time as governor of Alaska, noting that some media organizations were "enlisting people you don’t even know" to help examine the mountain of documents and "find something damaging" on Palin.
Crawford noted that it was an "unusual step" for the New York Times and Washington Post to ask for help from its readers to help the papers pore through the thousands of pages of correspondence, and concluded that "this e-mail release may say a lot more about the press and its views than it does about Palin."
Covering the growing buzz that Sarah Palin might mount a 2012 presidential campaign, the morning shows on Friday repeated liberal talking points proclaiming that it would be a disaster. Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos insisted that the White House looks "at Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann as, basically, re-election insurance." CBS's Chris Wragge hinted that Palin might become a "distraction."
On NBC's Today, David Gregory appeared and lectured that "[Palin's] not seen as a general election candidate." He added that "she's still relevant. She's still using Facebook. She's still opining. She's still attacking the President, but she's lost a little bit of that sting in her punch."