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]
ABC’s This Week hosted Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) For his first Sunday show interview and used the opportunity to promote his 2014 reelection for Senate yet provided no critics for his reelection bid.
Being interviewed by ABC’s Jeff Zeleny, Franken was hyped as having “the most famous laugh in politics. But these days, Al Franken is delivering a different kind of punch line.” [See video below.]
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has been making the rounds on television promoting her new book “A Fighting Chance” and ABC’s This Week With George Stephanopoulos was the latest to promote the liberal senator on Sunday April 27.
Prior to her interview with host George Stephanopoulos, ABC’s Jeff Zeleny narrated a report on Warren in which he gushed over how “Warren’s tough take on Wall Street has made her a folk hero on the left” and hyped how “hopeful Democrats are lining up, eagerly awaiting the first female president." [See video below.]
Tuesday's World News on ABC stood out as the only Big Three network evening newscast to cover a new "watchdog report" that found that the IRS "handed out more than $1 million in bonuses to employees who were delinquent on their federal taxes." Jeff Zeleny also pointed out how "more than 1,000 IRS workers, who didn't pay their taxes, received not only cash bonuses, but extra time off." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
By contrast, NBC Nightly News and CBS Evening News on Tuesday both devoted air time to the 50th anniversary of the 1964 World's Fair in New York City. NBC's Brian Williams also gave a 28-second news brief on Prince William and Princess Kate's visit to Ayers Rock in Australia, where they posed at the same spot as the prince's parents during the 1980s:
On Sunday's This Week on ABC, CNN's S.E. Cupp called on social conservative Christians to drop their opposition to same-sex "marriage" and adoption: "I will say conservatives have got to move on gay marriage....[and] on gay adoption. If abortion is the abhorrent option – and I believe it is – then adoption by any two loving people has got to be the better option."
Democratic strategist Donna Brazile agreed with the atheist Crossfire host, and took the opportunity to attack conservatives by implying that they are somehow against human rights and in favor of human trafficking: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Conservative commentator S.E. Cupp had some tough words for former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in the wake of him giving $50 million to push his gun control agenda.
Appearing as a guest on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, the CNN Crossfire co-host mocked Bloomberg’s efforts: “Well, he's the best, and by that, I mean the worst face for gun control. And believe me, my friends at NRA high-fived when they heard about this. [See video below.]
ABC’s This Week w/ George Stephanopoulos was the only Sunday show that bothered to cover the latest ObamaCare delay and with it came some interesting insight from the panel of political experts.
Appearing on Sunday’s program, Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan mocked the latest delay and hilariously asked her fellow panelists if “there still a law? Is there still an ObamaCare law? It's been changed in 25 ways.” [See video below.]
The ABC World News cheered Tuesday's "breakthrough" debt deal with nary a mention of the rising national debt.
The House voted to raise the debt limit with no conditions, yet ABC cast the development as entirely positive. Correspondent Jeff Zeleny hailed the move as "a huge breakthrough for the dysfunction that really has held this capital hostage for nearly three years."
On “This Week” on Sunday, substitute host Jonathan Karl told Obama adviser David Plouffe that his “far more nuanced” truth might not beat the Republicans’ negative ads when it came to the new Congressional Budget Office report on Obamacare: “The ad saying 2 million fewer jobs is a lot easier than this far more nuanced argument about job lock.”
Plouffe tried the lame spin that the American people “don’t want another political fight about health care.” Has he seen a poll on approval for Obamacare? Then conservative pundit S.E. Cupp of TheBlaze really tore into Plouffe:
On Wednesday evening's news casts, the networks all hyped GOP congressman Michael Grimm (N.Y.) threatening a reporter after Tuesday's State of the Union address while skipping the Republican response to the address entirely.
Of Grimm's outburst, ABC's Jeff Zeleny quipped, "It was not the State of the Union response Republicans had in mind." It was the response that the networks chose to cover, though. "Later, there was a far less dignified moment with a congressman from Staten Island, New York," CBS anchor Scott Pelley introduced the story.
ABC on Thursday night took a victory lap in its effort to blame congressional Republicans for the government shutdown. World News reporter Jeff Zeleny and other journalists at the network phoned all the House and Senate GOP members who opposed the deal to reopen the federal government. These reporters demanded to know if the lawmakers would give back the salary they earned during the 16-day shutdown.
Zeleny justified, "Since it was Congress that shut the government down, one of the top questions you asked us, should they get paid?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The journalist made no mention of Barack Obama or the congressional Democrats who rejected numerous compromise efforts to reopen the federal government.
As Barack Obama wrapped up a speech from the White House on Tuesday, reporter Jon Karl of ABC actually shouted a tough question at the President, wondering, "...If you won't negotiate, how can you get a solution? How can you bring an end to this if you won't talk to the congressional leaders?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Anchor George Stephanopoulos noted that "Obama ignor[ed] a question from our own Jon Karl." Karl's network, on World News and Good Morning America, ignored it as well. NBC and CBS blamed the Republicans.
Instead of repeating his question on World News, Karl parroted Democratic talking points: "Today the President accused Republicans of waging an ideological crusade against Obamacare while he rejected their latest offer to re-open just part of the government." Anchor Diane Sawyer assigned responsibility to the GOP House: "And everywhere tonight, Americans are saying they are fed up with the congressmen who dig in and force the U.S. government to screech to a halt." "A lot of people outraged," she added. Did Obama play a part in the drama? Sawyer didn't say.
ABC reporter Jeff Zeleny on Tuesday afternoon excitedly told viewers that "cracks" are "emerging" in the Republican opposition to the government shutdown. His example of this? A GOP congressman already on record opposing a shutdown. Following live coverage of Barack Obama's speech, the journalist related, "But a couple cracks emerging, including a congressman from Virginia, a military district, Scott Rigell. He says, 'enough is enough. It's time to move on with this.'"
However, on the September 20 World News, Zeleny reported, "We caught up with Congressman Scott Rigell of Virginia, the only Republican to go against his party." On that day, the reporter featured a clip of Rigell exclaiming, "And I've not heard from any members who thinks that shutting this government down is a good idea." [Video of both clips below. MP3 audio here.]
It's a classic example of the MSM's use of sympathetic individual anecdotes to manipulate public opinion in favor of more and bigger government. Today's Good Morning America segment on the looming government shutdown, narrated by former New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny, offered the stories of just two people, both African-Americans, both of whom might be hurt by a government shutdown. And check out the screen graphic: not to dramatize things or nuthin', but ABC plaintively wonders how federal workers would "survive."
ABC could have balanced its report with stories of younger people who will see their health insurance premiums double or more if ObamaCare is implemented. But why would Good Morning America want to go there? View the video after the jump.
ABC on Wednesday morning dismissed Ted Cruz as "bizarre." But that night on the network's World News, reporter Jeff Zeleny featured a man who will lose his health coverage because of ObamaCare. In a noticeable break from Good Morning America's coverage, Zeleny also allowed, "The bottom line for millions: many young and healthy will likely pay more while older and sick Americans get a break and costs vary widely."
On GMA, Zeleny skipped the substance of Cruz's complaints against the health care law. On World News, the journalist conceded, "[Cruz] told story after story how families are bracing for ObamaCare." Zeleny highlighted, "In Pittsburgh, Dan Howard received a letter saying his policy will be cancelled because of the new law. Married with six children, he's struggling to find coverage."
President Obama held a press conference Friday in which he called for stricter controls over the government’s domestic surveillance system and commented on his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. But to ABC’s Good Morning America, those developments were not the primary news. Their main takeaway was that the president showed personality.
Seriously, that was the angle that Saturday's GMA took on this story. Anchor Dan Harris set ABC's premise right at the top: “Switching gears now to all the chatter this morning about President Obama showing a different and very interesting side of his personality in a high-profile moment in front of the assembled White House press corps on Friday afternoon.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
There’s nothing liberal media members love more than a Republican who attacks other Republicans in front of the TV cameras. That probably explains the media’s rediscovered fascination with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the 2008 GOP presidential nominee. ABC’s Jeff Zeleny interviewed McCain last Friday for the ABC News / Yahoo News online series The Fine Print, and he used the veteran senator as a weapon against some of the younger, more conservative senators.
Zeleny set the tone right from his opening script, in which he proclaimed, “[McCain] is drawing sharp criticism from some of his new Republican colleagues, like Senator Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, but he’s throwing that criticism right back, saying they make him worry about the future of the Republican Party.”
The liberal media just can’t get enough of Texas state senator Wendy Davis, and neither can Jeff Zeleny of ABC News. Zeleny interviewed the now-famous abortion filibusterer for the ABC News/Yahoo! News Power Players blog, and the conversation was loaded with softballs and fluff. Among the softballs was Zeleny’s fascination with the pink running shoes Davis wore during her filibuster. In fact, the prominence of Davis’s footwear in the interview could be gleaned from the title of the entry: “A Walk in Wendy Davis’s Shoes: The Woman Behind the Long Filibuster.” [Watch the video and read the accompanying article here.]
It only took Zeleny two questions to reach the topic of Davis’s sneakers: “Why did you decide to wear your running shoes? Let’s take a look at those, they’ve kind of been rocketing around the Internet.” As Davis took the shoes out of her bag and placed them on the table in front of her, Zeleny muttered, “Wow,” as if he had just been shown a rare diamond.
As Texas State Senator Wendy Davis continues to be fawned over by liberals for her filibuster of SB 5, Texas’ latest abortion law, the media have also given her political cover by omitting key details about the bill. It would have banned abortions at 20-weeks and forced clinics to undergo modifications to be reclassified as a surgical centers. After all, a late term abortion is surgery at that point.
Instead, ABC and NBC decided to focus on how this bill will shut down abortion clinics. CBS opted to settle with Davis’ opinion about the bill’s impact on women’s health. You can guess how she thought about that angle.
The Big Three networks still can't get enough of Texas State Senator Wendy Davis, nearly a week after her extended filibuster against pro-life legislation on June 25, 2013. All three brought on Davis during their Sunday morning talk programs, and continued hyping the supportive response on social media that Davis received in response to her "epic eleven-hour filibuster", as NBC' s Janet Shamlian sympathetically labeled it on Monday's Today.
ABC's Jeff Zeleny conducted a beyond softball interview of the liberal politician on This Week, and was awed when the liberal politician showed off the pink running shoes that she wore during the filibuster [audio available here; video below the jump]. Bob Schieffer touted Davis' "wonderful biography" on Face the Nation, and added that "few outside Texas knew of her until last week when she became an overnight sensation." NBC and CBS each devoted another full report to Davis on their Monday morning newscasts.
Good Morning America's Jeff Zeleny on Friday hyped a Senator being "slammed" by pro-gun control voices at a town hall. Yet, the same network back in 2009 worried about Tea Party town halls "getting ugly." Highlighting a New Hampshire event with Republican Kelly Ayotte, Zeleny featured multiple snippets of Americans impacted by gun violence and summerized that they are "trying to understand how so many senators voted against something eight in ten Americans support."
In comparison, on the August 7, 2009 edition of World News, Charles Gibson lectured the Tea Party: "...In meeting after meeting, there's been a pattern of disruption - opponents of change shouting at members of Congress so loud that at times police are called in." He fretted, "White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said today, 'We can discuss these issues without being uncivilized. It's the same thing I tell my six-year-old.'"
The reporters and hosts of Good Morning America really want you to know something: Don Young is a Republican. The ABC morning show on Saturday featured 11 mentions of the Congressman's party affiliation in a span of just two minutes. Young referred to "wetbacks" in an interview last week. An ABC graphic blared, "Congressman uses racist term."
Co-host Bianna Golodryga insisted that "this comment has created quite the headache for Republicans." Reporter Jeff Zeleny lectured, "The Republican Party's effort to rebuild and rebrand its image is colliding this morning with the party's old guard." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] To make sure everyone was clear on what party Young belonged to, the journalist added, "Republican advisers tell ABC News that they worry that the racial slur from Congressman Young comes at precisely the wrong time, just as the Republicans are trying to expand their appeal to Latino voters." In contrast, when Joe Biden smeared Indian Americans as mostly working at 7-11, ABC ignored the story.
The headline and lead story in Sunday's New York Times warned of "far right" Republicans. Jeff Zeleny (pictured) is more balanced than most Times political reporters, but has a bad habit of "far right" labeling. The headline: "Top G.O.P. Donors Seek Greater Say In Senate Races – Bid To Cull Challenges -- Taking Aim at hopefuls Viewed as Too Far Right to Win."
Zeleny included the unflattering designation in his lead paragraph.
Your media bias laugh of the day: New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan claimed "you wouldn't know who" most Times reporters voted for, on Friday's edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe. Mediaite's Noah Rothman reported the exchange between host Joe Scarborough and Sullivan.
Scarborough: "Because I see guys like Jeff Zeleny, Mark Leibovich. These guys, I couldn't tell you how they vote in elections. It seems the further we move away from the '60s and the '70s and what came out of that, the more we find guys like Zeleny and Leibovich that don’t seem to have an agenda."
Sullivan agreed: "I think most of the people who write for the Times, you wouldn’t know who they voted for."
It's becoming very clear that Obama's media are starting to realize the candidate they helped get elected four years ago is in serious trouble.
Count New York Times Washington Bureau correspondent Jeff Zeleny who tweeted moments ago, "In closing days of the race, Romney frames his candidacy as 'big-choice' vs. status quo of Obama. It's like watching '08 in reverse":
With New York Times political reporter Jeff Zeleny sitting next to her on the Fox News Sunday set, radio host Laura Ingraham demanded: “I would hope that the New York Times, as they camped outside of Scooter Libby’s house, during the whole Valerie Plame thing -- are you guys camped out of the Susan Rice residence?” After reciting the administration’s dissembling, she concluded: “This is ridiculous and I think the press is partly culpable here.”
Zeleny avoided her point and instead contended Mitt Romney has an opening at the next debate to question President Obama, conceding Obama “hasn’t really explained himself and they have a lot of questions to answer.”
The first Obama-Romney presidential debate of 2012 ran under this less-than-informative banner headline in Thursday's New York Times: "Obama and Romney, in First Debate, Spar Over Fixing the Economy." The actual headline to the story by Jeff Zeleny and Jim Rutenberg also failed to capture the sense, overwhelming even among the liberal press, that Romney had helped himself with a sharp, energetic performance at the University of Denver: "Feel of Seminar as Accusations Fly From Rivals."
The Washington Post's banner headline was more direct and captured the consensus of the night: "Romney takes fight to Obama," while the story claimed the president "found himself on the defensive repeatedly." Other headlines from around the country captured the same effect.
By contrast, you had to parse the Times to sense that Romney won the night. (One significant Timesman, former Executive Editor Bill Keller, reluctantly awarded Romney the debate on his Twitter feed, calling Romney's performance "shameless but masterful.")
Again the Times focused on the political damage fostered by Mitt Romney's (accurate) statement at a fundraiser that 47 percent of Americans do not pay income taxes. Meanwhile, the Times buried two controversial Obama comments. One is an old audio tape of Obama saying "I actually believe in redistribution," a remark reporter Richard Oppel Jr. actually defended in Thursday's edition.
The New York Times is milking its latest poll, showing some good news for Obama, to maximum effect. Sunday's front-page featured a poll story from one of the paper's top Obama boosters, White House correspondent Jackie Calmes (pictured): "Challenged on Medicare, G.O.P. Loses Ground." Text box: "Polls Show Favor for Obama on Issue of Party Trust." Calmes writes from Orlando:
Gov. Chris Christie's keynote address at the Republican convention didn't warrant a full story last week in the New York Times. Yet when San Antonio mayor Julian Castro delivered the keynote to the Democratic convention, Jeff Zeleny offered a full story in Wednesday's edition, giving the Democrats space from which to blast Republicans: "New Democratic Voice Challenges Republican Vision." Castro was also spared the fact-checking the Times afflicted upon Republicans last week in Tampa.
(Manny Fernandez had previously polished the mayor's resume in a flattering preview of Castro's keynote: "The speculation lately about Mr. Castro’s future has reached fever pitch; there is talk of his running for governor, earning a place in Mr. Obama’s cabinet and even becoming the first Hispanic president. A Fox News Latino headline this summer read: 'Julián Castro: Son of Chicana Activist, Harvard Law Grad, Future U.S. President?'")