ABC, CBS, and NBC ballyhooed former Defense Secretary Robert Gates's attacks on President Obama and other high government officials on their Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning newscasts. NBC's Brian Williams and CBS's Norah O'Donnell also trumpeted the former Cabinet official's "devastating critique" of the President in his upcoming memoir. All three networks also played up Gates's self-identification as a Republican.
NBC's Today and CBS This Morning brought on former Obama administration officials on Wednesday morning. Both guests did their best to counter their former colleague. Matt Lauer touted David Axelrod's "important perspective" on the issue, and asked, "Did you get a sense that he was a guy who...was disgruntled in any way?" The CBS morning show turned to former chief of staff Bill Daley, who slammed Gates for going public: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
For the second straight morning, ABC's Jonathan Karl was merely a White House stenographer when reporting on ObamaCare's year-end deadline, touting enrollment numbers and parroting White House talking points.
Tuesday's Good Morning America framed the latest ObamaCare delay as a result of the law's popularity, as opposed to NBC reporting that it was, at least in part, due to website issues. "A crush of visitors to the website yesterday caused the White House to expand this year's deadline for signing up through the end of today," co-host George Stephanopoulos reported.
In what appears to be a bright spot of journalism over at ABC News, reporter Jonathan Karl has been repeatedly hitting the White House hard in recent weeks over its failed ObamaCare rollout, going so far as to mock its advertising attempts to sign up young people for health care.
While Karl hit the White House hard on Sunday's World News, he was far from tough on Monday’s Good Morning America, and offered up a puff-piece cheering on ObamaCare’s enrollment numbers. Last week, Karl confronted White House Press Secretary Jay Carney over newly released ObamaCare ads, asking the press secretary, “I mean is anybody going to buy health care because Barack O-Breezy tells him to buy it because it’s hot?” [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
ABC This Week viewers were treated to a classic conservative versus liberal debate Sunday.
When former Clinton labor secretary Robert Reich tried to blame the increase in poverty in the past five years on Republicans, former Speaker of the House and current CNN host Newt Gingrich called it "baloney" firing back, "Every major city which is a center of poverty is run by Democrats" (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
ABC's Good Morning America provided the most positive spin it could from new Obama approval numbers, declaring that "he has stopped the free-fall" and reporting only the two least negative disapproval ratings for the President.
"And meanwhile, the President getting some new polls out this morning that show he may have stopped the bleeding from that botched rollout of the ObamaCare website," reported co-host George Stephanopoulos. ABC failed to mention Obama's 50 percent disapproval, just vaguely noting "his disapproval rating still higher than his approval rating."
As NewsBusters has reported for years, the liberal media believe one of their jobs is to discredit and defame any potential Republican presidential candidate they believe is too conservative.
ABC's This Week did its part Sunday when during a segment about Republican Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, substitute host Martha Raddatz and chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl both said he "at one point was the most divisive politician in America" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Wednesday's CBS Evening News, Nancy Cordes zeroed in on the three Republican congressmen who grilled top administration officials during a hearing on ObamaCare, ballyhooing that "none of them were really able to explain why this product they worked on for years was so flawed". Cordes played extended clips from the hearing totaling 51 seconds – nearly twice the combined number of ABC's World News and NBC Nightly News, which each played 13 seconds from it.
The correspondent played up one clip in particular from White House chief technology officer Todd Park, who gave indications that HealthCare.gov might not be fixed by the target date of November 30 [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]:
On Tuesday, ABC's World News and CBS Evening News both reported the latest poll numbers from the "respected" Quinnipiac University, as CBS's Scott Pelley labeled the institution, regarding President Obama's "lowest ever" approval rating, along with Americans' dim view of the politician's honesty. ABC's Diane Sawyer noted that "for the first time in his presidency, a majority of American voters – 52 percent...say President Obama is not honest and trustworthy."
Both evening newscasts reported these numbers as they led into their coverage of former President Clinton's recent word of advice to Obama on his health care law – that "the President should honor the commitment...[he] made to those people, and let them keep what they've got." NBC Nightly News also devoted air time to Clinton's remarks, but failed to mention the current President's drooping approval number. [MP3 audio from the ABC and CBS reports available here; video below the jump]
ABC's Good Morning America and CBS This Morning on Tuesday both picked up the Wall Street Journal's Monday revelation about the HealthCare.gov website – that "fewer than 50,000 people had successfully navigated the troubled federal health-care website and enrolled in private insurance plans as of last week".
CBS anchor Norah O'Donnell zeroed in on the "newest blow to ObamaCare – how the White House enrollment expectations could be off by 80 percent." On GMA, Jonathan Karl underlined that this figure is "far short" of the Obama administration's target of 500,000 enrollees. However, NBC's Today ignored this development. Instead, the morning show devoted an entire segment to trying to get Vice President Joe Biden to be a co-host. [MP3 audio of the CBS report is available here; video below the jump]
Jonathan Karl, ABC's chief White House correspondent, continued his crusade of attacking Ted Cruz during Sunday morning's edition of This Week With George Stephanopoulos, when the reporter asked the GOP senator from Texas a very harsh question.
After accusing the freshman Republican of being responsible for the 16-day government “Ted Cruz shutdown,” Karl asked: “How much do your colleagues just despise you right on the floor? I mean, I hear some really strong language from your own fellow Republican senators.”
It’s becoming increasingly clear that after 21 days of the Healthcare.gov train wreck, President Obama’s media – with the exception of MSNBC, of course! – are not interested in carrying his water regarding the website’s failure.
During Monday’s press briefing, ABC’s chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl told a defensive press secretary Jay Carney, “You can’t really charge people a fine for not getting health insurance if you don’t fix this mess” (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Jonathan Karl and Rick Klein of ABC News teamed up recently for an online interview with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. Posted to the ABC News/Yahoo! News “Power Players” blog, the interview consisted mostly of Karl and Klein trying to get Jindal to criticize his fellow Republicans, particularly those in Congress.
Karl got right down to the GOP-infighting business with his first question: [Watch the video and read the accompanying article here.]
Today, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney had a tense exchange with ABC's Jonathan Karl, who was apparently so taken aback by Carney's answer to another reporter that he interjected himself into the dialog — to correct Carney about what House Speaker John Boehner said earlier today about his openness to negotiating. Carney also announced that Americans won't have to wait to see how the nation's healthcare delivery system changes in 2014 to experience long times spent in waiting rooms (Patience, please; it will become clear later in the post). But first, let's get the Blaze's rundown of the Carney-Karl exchange (bolds are mine):
Monday night’s edition of ABC World News was a double dose of advocacy as Diane Sawyer and her team essentially served as a mouthpiece for President Obama’s position on the government shutdown and his health care law.
Sawyer led the broadcast, of course, with the government shutdown, which was then only a few hours away. She stated President Obama’s perspective on the matter: “The president expressed outrage that one faction in one house of Congress is ready to bring the entire federal government to a halt.” But rather than follow that up with a Republican viewpoint, Sawyer threw to chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl for a report on the shutdown. He began his package by playing a clip of Obama warning us all about the economic impact of a shutdown. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Wednesday's CBS Evening News twice underlined President Obama's 2012 "red line" remark before playing a soundbite of the Democrat's "I didn't set a red line" reversal earlier in the day. Scott Pelley noted that "a year ago, he [Obama] warned the Syrian dictator that a red line would be crossed if the dictator used chemical weapons against his rebellious citizens." Major Garrett soon added that Obama "set a red line on the use of chemical weapons 13 months ago." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
None of the Big Three evening newscasts played the actual clip of the President's 2012 warning. On NBC Nightly News, Chuck Todd did his best to explain away the President's denial: "The President redefined what he meant by his red line". Jonathan Karl didn't even mention the original "red line" comment during his report on ABC's World News.
Donald Trump on Monday called ABC chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl's behavior the previous day "very dishonest."
Appearing on NewsMax TV's Steve Malzberg Show, Trump took issue with Karl claiming on ABC World News that he's "still raising questions about President Obama's birth certificate" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
ABC's Jonathan Karl admitted "it's hard to take Trump seriously," yet he spent almost a minute of his report on Monday's Good Morning America playing up Donald Trump's possible 2016 candidacy amidst Trump's birther questions. He also hyped Hillary Clinton's potential candiacy.
In contrast Karl gave just 7 seconds to 2012 GOP candidate Rick Santorum, who appeared at the Iowa State Fair over the weekend and roused speculation of a 2016 run. Almost a whole minute of Karl's report focused on Trump. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
George Will made a marvelous observation Sunday about the so-called Affordable Care Act.
Appearing on ABC's This Week, Will said, "What Obamacare requires for it to work - mass irrationality, both on the part of employers to ignore that incentive and on the part of young people who are supposed to pay 3, 4, 5 times more for health insurance than it would cost them to just pay the fine and ignore it" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Former President George W. Bush had a marvelous line during his interview aired on ABC's This Week Sunday.
Asked by Jonathan Karl what he and President Obama discussed in Africa last week when the cameras weren't rolling, Bush replied, "What a big pain the press is" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Jonathan Karl interviewed RNC chairman Reince Priebus last week for the ABC News online series Politics Confidential, and the veteran reporter tried his very best to create a juicy headline for his video and accompanying article. It took a little stretching and some selective editing, but Karl managed to do it.
The headline for the entry, posted to ABC News’ Power Players blog, reads “Priebus: GOP Hurt by Dumb Comments; Needs to Work Harder to be Competitive in 2016.” The second paragraph of the article contained this Priebus quote regarding recent comments made by Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) and Gov. Phil Bryant (R-Miss.): “I don’t think any party has a monopoly on dumb things that are said, so I’m not going to sit here and defend those comments.” But here’s the interesting thing: that quote did not appear in the video accompanying the article. All of the other quotes in the article also showed up in the video. If Priebus spoke that line, why did Karl not show him saying it? [Read the article and watch the video here.]
Both NBC and CBS led their Thursday morning shows with news that the Obama administration has secretly obtained the phone records of millions of Americans, but ABC's Good Morning America started its show reporting on Tropical Storm Andrea in Florida instead.
Overall, Thursday's two hour-long GMA spent less than three minutes total on the phone tracking story, giving over five times more coverage to the attempted suicide of Michael Jackson's daughter Paris. Back in 2006, however, ABC showed far more scrutiny to a similar story of the Bush administration tracking phone calls.
After President Obama appointed U.N. ambassador Susan Rice to be his national security adviser, ABC's Good Morning America lauded Rice on Wednesday as "hard-nosed" and "no-nonsense."
Rice's biggest knock against her nomination for Secretary of State was giving false information on the Benghazi attacks to no less than five different Sunday talk shows just days after the attacks. ABC, though, was sympathetic to her nomination last fall, describing the GOP opposition as a "buzz saw" and glossing over the fact that what she said was, actually, false.
MSNBC continues to do its best to protect the Obama administration from any accusations of wrongdoing in the Benghazi fiasco. On Sunday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, the host went so far as to ask whether it is even legitimate to call Benghazi a scandal.
Witt was setting up her pre-taped “Office Politics” interview with Joy-Ann Reid, managing editor of The Grio and frequent MSNBC contributor, when she announced that she "asked Joy-Ann about the fallout from the Benghazi attacks and if it's legitimate to call that mess a scandal.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
While the three network morning shows on Thursday all promoted President Obama's "renewed focus on transparency" in an upcoming national security speech, none of the broadcasts made any mention of the administration's deception in the ongoing scandal surrounding the terrorist attack in Benghazi.
On NBC's Today, White House correspondent Peter Alexander declared that Obama would be "highlighting new efforts to bring about transparency and even new restriction in the so-called hidden war" while citing "evidence of that renewed focus on transparency" in the form a Justice Department letter to Congress officially acknowledging the already widely-reported fact that drones were used to kill American citizen and terrorist cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki.
The recent dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas has brought a fresh opportunity to reflect on the legacy of the 43rd president. Of course, for the liberal media, to contemplate Bush’s legacy is to focus almost entirely on what went wrong in his presidency.
ABC’s Jonathan Karl displayed the media’s rampant anti-Bush attitude during an interview with Karl Rove posted on ABC News’s Power Players blog on Friday. Karl hit Bush’s former senior advisor with an onslaught of negative questioning, but Rove, to his credit, fought back admirably.
The media are starting a full-court press to assist disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) in becoming mayor of New York City if he decides to run.
Jonathan Karl tried to do exactly that on ABC's This Week Sunday, and was surprisingly snubbed by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) who three times refused to comment on the issue (video follows with transcript and commentary):