On Monday's NBC Today, fill-in co-host Willie Geist posed an ominous question to viewers: "How would you feel if you saw someone walk into a store or restaurant with a rifle strapped to his or her back?" Teasing an upcoming story on the topic, he proclaimed: "It's perfectly legal in one state, sparking quite a controversy this morning, we'll explain." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed minutes later, correspondent Kerry Sanders announced: "...in Texas, it is legal to carry a long-barreled rifle, a shotgun, as long as you're carrying it openly....But when a group of gun enthusiasts and activists began carrying their long guns into places like restaurants and stores, it started a debate that's raging like a Texas prairie fire." The headline on screen declared: "Texas Gun Fight; 'Open Carry' Movement Sparks Controversy."
During a report on Thursday's NBC Today about the impact of NCAA March Madness office pools on worker productivity, correspondent Kerry Sanders casually touted: "March Madness, an American distraction....Even the President takes a break from world affairs to fill out his bracket." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
At no point did Sanders offer any criticism of Obama taking a "break from world affairs" during the Ukrainian crisis. Co-host Savannah Guthrie introduced the segment by wondering: "Does March Madness really interfere with getting actual work done?" Amid clips of employees filling out their brackets, Sanders declared: "If you're calling a business today, don't be surprised if your call goes unanswered."
On Wednesday's NBC Today, a report by correspondent Kerry Sanders featured a series of sound bites of public figures, all of them liberal, reacting to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman. Most of the statements focused on using Martin's death to call for the elimination of Stand Your Ground self-defense laws. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Sanders began the slanted segment by highlighting protests against the verdict: "Four days after George Zimmerman was found not guilty of second-degree murder or manslaughter, the number of rallies in memory of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin is growing....In Florida's capitol, dozens of demonstrators peacefully occupied the Governor's office....The Governor wasn't there, but they vow to stay until he gets back."
In a report on Monday's NBC Today about declining penguin populations in Antarctica, correspondent Kerry Sanders didn't take long to lay the blame on man-made climate change: "Penguins are most certainly the ambassadors to the bottom of the world....But the ambassadors are also sounding an alarm....ten of the world's 18 penguin species are in trouble....The ice that dominates this landscape is melting faster than ever before." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Sanders fretted to biologist Fabrice Genevois: "Is that a canary in the coal mine for us as humans?" Genevois agreed: "Yeah, I mean that could be the canary in the coal mine, exactly." After hyping data that "2012 was the hottest year ever on record," Sanders posed this question: "So if the ice is melting in some parts because of our use of fossil fuels, because of global warming, what are we supposed to do?" He then informed viewers that he consulted scientists who found the solution: "...we can do something like just start carpooling."
In Caracas reporting on Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez winning an "unprecedented third term" for Monday's NBC Today, reporter Kerry Sanders seemed to be swept up in the excitement: "For Chavez's supporters, his reelection is an emotional moment in history. Fireworks filled the skies as a street party continued well into the early morning hours. A Chavez victory, say supporters, means his brand of socialism is here to stay." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Sanders promoted Chavez as "a star among the poor in South America" and propagandized for his dictatorial regime: "Chavez's socialist revolution has captured the imagination of the poor here, in large part because he's taken this nation's oil wealth and used its profits to give away free homes and subsidize grocery bills."
At the top of Friday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams took aim at Alabama's new immigration law: "Fear factor. Children pulled out of school in this country while parents give up work they desperately need, all because of the sudden impact of a tough new law."
Later introducing a report on the Obama Justice Department blocking implementation of the "extremely tough new immigration law," Williams warned: "Federal officials say the state law invites discrimination against all foreign-born residents, and they're especially worried about its effect on children."
Matching the pattern set in coverage of Arizona’s immigration enforcement law, the broadcast network evening newscasts on Thursday night all framed their stories on Alabama’s “severe” new law around its victims, with ABC anchor Diane Sawyer and NBC anchor Brian Williams both describing it as “Arizona on steroids.” They didn’t mean it as a compliment. Sawyer mischaracterized it as an “anti-immigration law.”
ABC was the most one-sided, with reporter Steve Osunsami not mentioning a reason for the new law until his very last sentence. Instead, Osunsami intoned, “Across Alabama today, demonstrators were furious, calling this the Arizona law with an Alabama twist,” before showing a man who charged that “it says that our government promotes racism.”
Somewhere in the bowels of the MSNBC newsroom, a decision was made today to devote considerable coverage to getting to the bottom of a disconcerting juvenile epidemic: car surfing.
That's right, the "fearless gamble" that is "all the rage" among American teenagers, according to NBC News correspondent Kerry Sanders, is an important enough story for a national cable news network to send one of its intrepid reporters to give live reports throughout the morning and into the mid-afternoon.
While the topic of car surfing received substantial coverage on "Jansing & Co." with Chris Jansing, "News Live" with Contessa Brewer, and "News Nation" with Tamron Hall, the recent sting operation that uncovered employees at a New York City Planned Parenthood office offering advice to a man posing as a pimp who admitted to exploiting minors as sex slaves received but a scant 30-second news brief during the 10 a.m. hour of "Jansing & Co."
On Monday's Newsroom, CNN's Kyra Phillips gave a false impression of Pope Benedict XVI's recent comments about condoms. While the Pope stated that condom use "can be a first step...on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed," Phillips stated that the pontiff "says condoms are okay sometimes." Refreshingly, Monday's Today show on NBC accurately covered Benedict's remarks.
The anchor previewed CNN correspondent Atika Schubert's report on the pontiff's comments 10 minutes into the 9 am Eastern hour with her inaccurate description: "Well, the Catholic Church and condoms: two things that have never really gone together until now. The Pope, quoted in a new book, says condoms are okay sometimes. Now, that's a talker!" After a commercial break, Phillips continued with another misleading statement:
PHILLIPS: Pope Benedict is bending a bit when it comes to condoms. A new book actually quotes him as saying that they are okay to use in certain circumstances, like to prevent disease, not birth control. It's the first time the Church has ever talked about exceptions to the condom rule....Here's a part of what the Pope says in the book. See if your eyebrows raise a little bit. It says- quote, 'There could be single cases that can be justified. For instance, when a prostitute uses a condom.' Say what? (laughs) Doesn't it kind of sound like the Pope is justifying prostitution, too? Surely not, but what a bizarre analogy.
Andrea Lyon, the attorney for accused child murderer Casey Anthony, was invited on Thursday's Today show to discuss the case and promote her new book and was given a platform to call the death penalty "A barbaric institution," and to spout that the U.S. is in the "company of Iraq and Iran and China."
NBC's Meredith Vieira conducted the live interview with Lyon but not before Kerry Sanders set the table in a story accompanied by a headline that championed: "Angel of Death Row, Casey Anthony's Lawyer Takes On The System." In his piece Sanders touted: "The once tie-dyed idealist from the '60s has one agenda: preventing any one from ever being executed." Near the end of Vieira's in-studio interview with Lyon the Today co-anchor prompted the attorney to criticize capital punishment, as seen in the following exchange:
If you went to see a double feature of "An Inconvenient Truth" and "Red Dawn" you might come close to one of NBC's "Nightly News" stories last night.
An August 12 broadcast of the NBC show found a unique way to promote the war on global warming: Russian imperialism. Then they promoted a treaty that President Ronald Reagan refused to sign in 1982 on the grounds that it would tie America's hands too tightly to United Nations regulations.
Russia recently made claim to an underwater tract of the Arctic and likened it to the planting of the U.S. flag on the moon in 1969.
"Why the polar rush? Global warming," said correspondent Kerry Sanders. "Call it the new Cold War."