The journalists at NBC's Today on Friday made sure to avoid using the word "illegal" and instead favored "migrant families" and, simply, "immigrants." ABC's Good Morning America followed a similar path, noting the "children crossing the border from Central America." Only CBS This Morning host Jeff Glor referred to "the flood of illegal immigrants."
On Today, news reader Craig Melvin carefully noted, "...The U.S. border patrol has said it has stopped sending Central American children and families to San Diego after they are arrested in South Texas." He added that "protesters blocked a road and forced bus loads of immigrants to reroute." Melvin told viewers that Congress is working on " a possible compromise to deport migrant families more quickly." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Migrant families or illegal immigrants?
On Thursday morning, ABC and NBC refused to cover the latest scoop in the IRS scandal. Politicoreported on Wednesday afternoon that former IRS official Lois Lerner cautioned her colleagues about what they write in emails in case any of them come under congressional investigation.
CBS This Morning did not do much better, as the news warranted only a 19 second mention during the 7:30 a.m. half hour when covering headlines from publications across the country. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
On Monday, all three broadcast network morning news shows gave mention to the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in Washington state with sales set to begin on Tuesday. In particular, CBS This Morning and NBC’s Today devoted entire segments to the drug and not only were both stories positive, a statement from the former President of Drug Watch International on Today was the only sort of opposing viewpoint provided.
The four-minute-and-eight-second piece by CBS News correspondent Barry Petersen was the latest in what truly has been a network oscillating back and forth between criticalstories and puffpieces on pot. Without question, Monday’s report belonged in the latter. After mentioning that sales will begin Tuesday in Washington, Petersen went on to profile the writers of The Cannabis, a website run by The Denver Post that is “about all things pot.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
CBS Evening News seems to have shifted from merely reporting the news to becoming an advocate. On Tuesday, June 17, fill-in host Jeff Glor introduced a segment on gun control that sounded more like anti-gun propaganda from Michael Bloomberg than an actual news report.
Glor began by hyping “Today, the man who reenergized the movement for stricter gun laws took his fight to the nation's capital. Last month, Richard Martinez lost his son, one of six student shots or stabbed to death near the University of California Santa Barbara.” [See video below.]
The journalists at ABC and NBC on Monday couldn't manage to cover the revelation that the IRS lost two years-worth of Lois Lerner's e-mails. Yet, reporters on all three networks mourned the loss of a parking garage connected to the four decade-old Watergate scandal. Sunday CBS Evening News anchor Jeff Glor pronounced, "The world's most famous parking garage will be destroyed." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Just how many "famous" parking garages are there?
Glor explained that the county board in Arlington, Virginia "voted this weekend to demolish the garage where Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward met secretly with his Watergate source Deep Throat, Mark Felt." However, he reassured viewers that a "historical marker will remain." The story was also covered on Sunday's World News, Monday's Today show and CBS This Morning.
Mellody Hobson, the woman President Obama once described as “one of my earliest supporters” appeared on CBS This Morning on Saturday April 5 to glorify the March jobs report which showed that the economy created just 192,000 jobs.
Co-host Anthony Mason described Hobson as a “CBS News contributor and analyst” before the Obama donor declared “The good news to me, it wasn't a disaster. It wasn't a huge fall-off. We've seen a steady uptick since December. And the other thing to keep in mind, the numbers have been revised up seven months in a row. So the February numbers were just revised up 20,000 jobs so we might still see that still happen next month.” [See video below.]
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Jan Crawford zeroed in how President Obama "has got another fight on his hands" over the Supreme Court case challenging the federal government's controversial ObamaCare abortifacients and contraceptive mandate, just as "his administration is trying to get that website up and running".
Crawford pointed out that this "legal battle in the Supreme Court could scale back some of what he was trying to accomplish with the law in the first place". She also underlined that "all this comes as many Americans are feeling forced into this law". [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
NBC hasn't covered the ongoing Bob Filner sexual harassment scandal an almost a week, despite a fifteenth woman – a 67-year-old great grandmother – coming forward on Thursday, accusing the former congressman of making lurid comments to her. The last time that NBC's morning and evening newscasts covered the Filner story was on August 10, 2013.
On Friday, ABC and CBS's morning newscasts aired news briefs on the latest development in the Filner controversy, but both failed to identify him as a Democrat. Mere seconds before reporting on the San Diego mayor, CBS This Morning pointed out the Democratic party affiliation of Filner's former congressional colleague, Jackie Speier, who blasted the Defense Department on their handling of sexual assaults in the military. [audio available here; video below the jump]
On Sunday's CBS Evening News, Anna Werner surprisingly acknowledged that ObamaCare may be a "tough sell" even among the left-leaning population of Oregon. Werner's report on a hokey multi-million dollar campaign trying to get young people to sign up for the West Coast state's health care marketplace came three days after CBS reported that the controversial law's approval rating is at an all-time low. [video below the jump]
While the correspondent featured two pro-ObamaCare talking heads, she also played soundbites from a 20-year-old who denounced the law: "As much as you can have an ad campaign that, sort of, inspires people, at the end of the day, the government is in Washington, DC, and has never met you."
On Sunday's CBS Evening News, John Blackstone spotlighted the sob story of fourth graders who are lobbying President Obama to allow the return of their former classmate, Rodrigo Guzman, who was deported with his family back to Mexico. Blackstone sympathized with the schoolchildren who "hope to visit Washington, to personally lobby for Rodrigo's return."
The correspondent trumpeted the children's cause: "The students' activism shouldn't be surprising, perhaps, in a class where they've been studying civil rights leaders." The only soundbites that Blackstone played during the report came from the fourth grade teacher and students at Guzman's former school in the leftist enclave of Berkeley, California [audio available here; video below the jump]
CBS used its Sunday evening and Monday morning newscasts to keep the spotlight on the question of a "possible cover-up" surrounding the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. Jeff Glor led CBS Evening News with the scoop from earlier in the day on Face the Nation – that a "career U.S. diplomat is raising new questions" about the Obama administration's claim that the attack spontaneously erupted in response to an early protest in Egypt.
Monday's CBS This Morning also aired a report on this latest development on the September 11, 2012 attack. Meanwhile, ABC and NBC have yet to pick up on the veteran diplomat's allegations, despite the fact that he is set to testify publicly to Congress on the issue on Wednesday.
The NBC, ABC, and CBS morning shows on Monday all touted President Obama seemingly calling for more gun control during a Sunday night vigil for the victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting. NBC's Today provided the most hype as correspondent Lester Holt proclaimed: "While he offered words of comfort, he also laid down a political gauntlet....sketching the outlines of what amounted to a policy statement on gun violence."
Holt acknowledged: "He did not utter the words 'gun control,' but his message could set the stage for such a debate." Speaking to co-host Savannah Guthrie later on the broadcast, Holt observed: "He didn't talk specifics, Savannah. But you got the sense that he was laying down a political gauntlet, saying perhaps it's time now to look at this issue of gun violence from all perspectives, political risks laid to the side." Guthrie replied: "Well, we'll see what happens when lawmakers get started in January with the new term."
All three morning shows on Wednesday touted White House talking points linking Mitt Romney to a Republican Senate candidate in Indiana who, while speaking about "the horrible situation of rape," called life a "gift from God." Only one program, CBS This Morning, seemed to notice how closely this story mirrored Democratic spin.
As though he was referencing a connection to a criminal, former Democratic operative George Stephanopoulos intoned, "Mitt Romney catching some flak for his ties to a GOP Senate candidate making controversial comments about abortion and rape in a Tuesday debate." Trying to make trouble, reporter David Muir asserted that the GOP campaign is "trying to distance itself from a Senate candidate that Romney endorsed, did a TV ad for." Muir needled, "The [Romney] campaign did not say whether it would ask [Richard] Mourdock to take down this ad." CBS's Norah O'Donnell speculated that the remark could cost Republicans a shot at "control of the Senate." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Tuesday's CBS This Morning, Norah O'Donnell and Gayle King applauded colleague Nancy Cordes for her "great question" to President Obama on Monday about a dishonest ad from a supporting super PAC that blamed Mitt Romney for a woman's cancer death. However, they failed to mention Cordes's earlier question on how Obama's campaign has "suggested that Mr. Romney might be a felon for the way that he handed over power of Bain Capital."
The President falsely claimed that "nobody accused Mr. Romney of being a felon" in his answer to Cordes, an additional detail that went unnoticed by the CBS on-air personalities. Stephanie Cutter, Obama's deputy campaign manager, made the felony suggestion on July 12, 2012: "Either Mitt Romney, through his own words and his own signature, was misrepresenting his position at Bain to the SEC, which is a felony, or he was misrepresenting his position at Bain to the American people."
The broadcast networks promoted gay activists’ protest of the fast food company Chick-fil-A, but when that protest fizzled, they did little to cover the failure.
ABC’s Steve Osunsami hyped the protests ahead of time, saying “nearly 100,000 friends and family have been invited online.” After the apparent lack of turnout at the kiss-in, however, the networks stopped reporting on the protest. Only ABC briefly mentioned the results of the kiss-in, after all three networks talked about the protests on the morning of Aug. 3.
CBS couldn’t resist taking one parting bite at Chick-fil-A. On Aug. 6, CBS “This Morning” anchors Gayle King and Jeff Glor highlighted a lesbian chef’s “Chick on Chick Filet,” made with “loving chicken breasts,” a “honey mustard witness,” and “tolerant fries.”
Anchor Jeff Glor reported: “The Houston Press tells us about a restaurant weighing in on the Chick-fil-A same-sex marriage controversy. Beaver’s Restaurant in Houston, which is owned by a lesbian chef, created a special sandwich. The Chick on Chick Filet is described as ‘two loving chicken breasts married on toasty buns with a honey mustard witness and joined in celebration with tolerant fries.’ Their words. Long story short: That’s a sandwich.” Anchor Gayle King responded, laughing: “I’d give it a try.” (Video after the jump.)
Sunday's CBS Evening News and the NBC Nightly News tried to spin negatively a vague statement by Mitt Romney advisor Dan Senor that the GOP presidential candidate would "respect" the Israeli government's decision if it chose to attack militarily Iran's nuclear capability, suggesting that the Romney campaign's words amounted to a criticism of the Obama administration, and thus a breach of protocol that American politicians in a foreign land should not criticize the U.S. government.
But the effort to paint the statement into a gaffe contrasts with the media silence in July 2008 when then-Senator Barack Obama, during a trip to Israel as he campaigned for the White House, claimed to be a member of a Senate committee on which he did not serve, in an effort to portray himself as tough on Iran, as he tried to take credit for the actions of the Senate Banking Committee.
CBS This Morning went after Governor Rick Scott (R-Fla.) on Thursday, throwing an Orlando Sentinel op-ed and a PolitiFact report at him and challenging him to answer just why ObamaCare wasn't the best option for his state to follow.
CBS questioned the governor over his opposition to Obamacare's expansion of Medicaid in Florida, and his refusal to follow the law. "But you have the third highest rate of residents without health insurance," CBS's Jeff Glor told Scott. "So I wonder if the ACA is not the right way to do things, what is?" [Video below the break.]
The weekday edition of CBS Evening News with anchor Scott Pelley bizarrely paid no attention to the campaign finance trial of 2004 Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards until the jury declared a mistrial on all but one count on May 31, 2012. By contrast, the evening news program devoted a full report to the first day of the trial of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky on Monday.
Pelley's omission also stands out on his own network. CBS This Morning aired multiple segments on the Edwards case between April 23, the first day of the trial, and June 1, 2012, when the morning show aired a full report from correspondent Ann Werner, along with a discussion segment with Erin Moriarty of 48 Hours.
On Sunday's CBS Evening News, John Dickerson candidly admitted that a failed recall attempt of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker "would be a big blow" to the unions, and that it "would be a sign to any Republican contemplating similar action to limit unions that you could survive, and Walker will become the poster child and hero of that effort." Poster child?
Dickerson predicted that there "would be a lot of infighting in Democratic circles, with unions saying the national Democratic parties and their president didn't do enough" if Walker won. But he immediately added a more sunny spin, that "it might galvanize union supporters for the presidential election, on the theory that they're under threat and they need a president who's on their side. "
Sunday's CBS Evening News refreshingly spotlighted the continuing persecution of the Coptic Christians in Egypt, an ongoing story that the Big Three networks have largely ignored for months. Correspondent Elizabeth Palmer zeroed in on the uncertain future for the religious minority as the country gears for a rare election: "[Egypt's] Christians are deeply worried....Two of the frontrunners in the race with a realistic chance of winning are deeply devout Islamists."
The last time CBS reported on the anti-Christian violence in Egypt was a news brief on the October 9, 2011 edition of Evening News, according to a Nexis search. Since January 2011, ABC, NBC, and CBS's morning and evening newscasts have only mentioned the issue six times.
In an interview that aired on Friday's CBS This Morning, conservative rocker Ted Nugent let loose at CBS correspondent Jeff Glor when Glor suggested he was extreme. "I'm an extremely loving, passionate man, and people who investigate me honestly, without the baggage of political correctness, ascertain the conclusion that I'm a damn nice guy," he ranted before unleashing a torrent of profanity.
CBS was aghast at conservative rocker Ted Nugent's on-camera outburst during an exclusive interview, but the same network treated profane comedian Bill Maher like the voice of reason when it read from his op-ed back on March 22. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
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.
On Thursday's The Early Show, CBS hosted a guest who implicated climate change as one of the factors contributing to many weather disasters in 2011, and he ended up warning of more droughts in the future. After asserting that 2011 was an unusually active year for natural disasters, Dr. M. Sanjayan of the Nature Conservancy including climate change in the list of influences:
Reporting on the campaigns in Iowa on Friday's Early Show, Times political correspondent Jeff Zeleny belittled candidate Michele Bachmann as "a little bit combustible and volatile."
Zeleny added that "Anyone knows what she could do," in response to CBS anchor Jeff Glor's question about the potential for a candidate to do something before the Iowa Caucus to change the GOP race. [Video below the break.]
Wednesday's CBS Evening News featured a report by correspondent Mark Strassmann playing up the reservations that some are having about the new law to strictly enforce immigration laws in Alabama.
After noting that a poll supposedly shows that Latino voters are dissatisfied because the Obama administration has deported record numbers of illegal immigrants, substitute anchor Jeff Glor introduced Strassmann's piece by playing up the "second thoughts" that some supporters of the law are having: "Mark Strassmann went to Alabama, where some are having second thoughts now about a tough new law."
On Wednesday's Early Show, CBS somehow thought a Democratic super PAC's cynical ad aimed at discouraging Republican primary voters from voting for Mitt Romney was newsworthy. Correspondent Chip Reid outlined that Romney's French-speaking ability might be "political poison," and cited how French fries were renamed "freedom fries" in 2003 and how John Kerry was accused of looking French in 2004 [audio clips available here; video below the jump].
Fill-in anchor Rebecca Jarvis stated in the introduction to Reid's report that "something from Mitt Romney's past is coming back to haunt him...Apparently, he speaks French." Co-anchor Jeff Glor added that "apparently, speaking French is not a plus when you're running for president."
ABC, NBC, and CBS all reported on former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich receiving a 14-year prison sentence for corruption on their evening news programs on Wednesday and their morning shows on Thursday, but only CBS's Early Show gave his Democratic affiliation. ABC devoted only 3 news briefs total to the conviction, while NBC Nightly News and The Early Show aired full reports.
News anchor Jeff Glor introduced correspondent Michelle Miller's report on the CBS morning program at the bottom of the 7 am Eastern hour by stating that "Rod Blagojevich is paying a very high price for corruption. Is it too high? In Chicago Wednesday, a judge sentenced the former Illinois governor to 14 years in prison"
The Big Three network morning shows on Wednesday highlighted the upcoming sentencing of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, but only CBS's Early Show identified the disgraced politician as a Democrat and devoted a full segment to him. ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today omitted his party ID, and just gave news briefs on the convict's possible sentence.
CBS correspondent Cynthia Bowers wasted little time before noting that "the former Democratic governor was convicted on 18 counts of corruption, after being caught on a profanity-laced federal wiretap offering political favors in return for financial gain." Bowers played two sound bites from the wiretap recording, including the infamous "bleeping golden" clip from Blagojevich.
On Monday's Early Show, CBS's John Dickerson and Time's Joe Klein harped on Newt Gingrich's overwhelming "liabilities." Klein hinted that the former House Speaker's ego would get the better of him: "This is a guy who cannot stand prosperity....[He] cannot control his ego when he is riding high." Dickerson played up how Gingrich's "negatives were very, very high when he left Washington in the mid-'90s."
Fill-in anchor Jeff Glor asked the CBS political director, "What are the chances Newt Gingrich is the nominee?" Dickerson punted on making a prediction, but borrowed a line from colleague Jan Crawford, stating that "he has a great deal of baggage." When co-anchor Rebecca Jarvis followed up by asking about how the Obama reelection campaign saw the former Speaker, he raised the "likeability" issues with Newt: