During a fluffy human interest story on Wednesday's NBC Today about a man in Holland who built a full-size replica of the biblical Noah's Ark, correspondent Janet Shamlian turned serious for a moment, wondering: "But how realistic is this Dutchman's dream of doom? Because of global warming, the concept of a flood happening here is not unheard of." [Audio available here]
On Sunday’s NBC Nightly News, during a roundup of several reporters covering a number of high-profile Senate races, correspondent Ron Allen was upfront in labeling Pennsylvania Republican Senate nominee Pat Toomey as a "conservative," but an ideological label for liberal Democratic nominee Joe Sestak was absent: "Conservative Pat Toomey, a former Congressman and businessman, has been consistently leading in the polls ahead of Joe Sestak, a Democratic Congressman."
And correspondent Natalie Morales played up the possibility that "a lot of people are going to be blaming the Tea Party" if Republicans land one vote short of a Senate majority and Delaware Republican nominee Christine O’Donnell also loses: "If they're somehow able to get to nine and then Christine O'Donnell loses, a lot of people are going to be blaming the Tea Party."
NBC's Matt Lauer invited on author and new Sarah Palin stalker/neighbor Joe McGinniss to defend his moving in next to the Palin residence in Wasilla, Alaska, on Tuesday's Today show, and the author had the audacity to play the victim as he compared the former Alaskan governor's actions to that of a Nazi. After Lauer noted the author was receiving "death threats" McGinniss screeched "It's a lesson for the American people of the power Palin has to incite hatred and her willingness and readiness to do it." McGinniss went on to say that Palin's use of her Facebook page to condemn McGinniss was the "same kind of tactic that the Nazi troopers used in Germany."
MATT LAUER: But the reaction has gotten a little bit scary. There have been death threats against you. I know the FBI is involved. Wasilla, and Alaska state police. There was a Craigslist posting that asked a question of where in the woods your body would be found over the weekend.
JOE MCGINNISS: Yeah.
LAUER: The local Wasilla newspaper, The Frontiersman, published an editorial that read, quote "Those who are fond of Joe McGinniss might remind him, if he doesn't already know, that Alaska has a law that allows the use of deadly force in protection of life and property." I mean any regrets to all this? Do you wish you just rented a different house?
MCGINNISS: No. You know what actually what I've learned from that, Matt. And what you just recited, it's very informative. And I think it's probably a lesson for the American people of the power Palin has to incite hatred and her willingness and readiness to do it. She has pushed a button and unleashed the Hounds of Hell, and now that they're out there slavering and barking and growling. And that's the same kind of tactic and I'm not calling her a Nazi, but that's the same kind of tactic that the Nazi troopers used in Germany in the '30s. And I don't think there is any place for it in America. [audio available here]
The following teasers, set-up piece and full interview were aired on the June 1 Today show:
George Tiller, the Kansas doctor notorious for his commitment to performing late-term abortions, was killed May 31 while attending a Sunday morning church service.
By his count, Tiller performed 60,000 abortions. His clinic, Women's Health Care Services in Wichita, was one of only three clinics in the United States that offered abortions after the 21st week of pregnancy.
Loss of human life is a tragedy and should be reported as such, and premeditated murder is always wrong - something all the mainstream pro-life groups were quick to affirm in the wake of the killing. But in reporting this tragic story, the news media have much to say about a man who helped provide women with the "right" to end their pregnancies, but have little to say about lives he helped to end. In failing to highlight what Tiller's work actually entailed, reporters do nothing to help their audience understand why this man was targeted.
NBC, frequently the object of Bill O'Reilly's scorn for its biased presentation of the news from the left, provided him with fresh evidence Monday evening as the NBC Nightly News, unlike the ABC and CBS newscasts, found it newsworthy in a story on the murder of Kansas doctor George Tiller, who performed abortions of viable fetuses, to highlight “on the Internet, questions from critics of commentator Bill O'Reilly about his blunt remarks regarding abortion and Dr. Tiller.”
In the piece from reporter Janet Shamlian, viewers then heard from O'Reilly in a Web video clip from an un-dated episode of O'Reilly's FNC show: “In the state of Kansas there is a doctor, George Tiller, who will execute babies for $5,000.”
MSNBC shows earlier in the day, as well as Countdown later where Olbermann went on a full rant, played the same O'Reilly clip pushed by far-left Web and blog sites.
Friday's NBC Nightly News took a balanced look at the issue of whether colleges would be safer if students were allowed greater freedom to carry concealed weapons on campus. Though the report failed to delve into any supporting statistics, soundbites were featured from advocates on both sides of the issue, including Mike Guzman of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus: "This is where we see mass shootings occur, at gun-free zones, because these criminals have a government guarantee or a university guarantee that their intended victims will be unarmed and unable to defend themselves." (Transcript follows)
After the clip of Guzman, correspondent Janet Shamlian introduced a clip from Lori Haas, the mother of a school shooting victim, who "believes armed and well-intentioned students would be no match for a gunman like the one who shot her daughter." Haas: "He had two guns, he had the element of surprise. The fear that grips you when you're worried about your life is paralyzing."
Below is a complete transcript of the story from the Friday April 18 NBC Nightly News:
With four hours of air time to fill NBC's "Today" show devoted a whopping 11 segments to the Eliot Spitzer scandal but not once did any of the show's anchors, reporters, guests, talking heads or even on-screen graphics mention the fact that Spitzer was a Democrat.
"Today" co-anchor Meredith Vieira set the tone when she ignored Spitzer's party affiliation as she opened the March 11, "Today" show: "Good morning, client number nine. New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, a hard-charging moral crusader caught in a federal sting involving a high-price call girl ring." NBC's Matt Lauer, also bypassing the "D" next to Spitzer's name, piped in: "Just when you thought you couldn't be shocked any more we go from Eliot Ness to Eliot Mess. Another high profile politician making a stunning admission."
The following is a breakdown of all the Spitzer-related segments: