When Jeff Zucker became president of CNN earlier this month, some people in the mainstream media feared that this might be the end of “the last bastion of television journalism” since the former head of NBC Universal was expected to make many significant changes in the network personnel and schedule.
Those changes took off on Tuesday, when ABC's Chris Cuomo, who had served as the news anchor on “Good Morning America” from 2006 to 2009 and then moved on to the "20/20" prime-time program, was reported to “have a major role in a new CNN morning show and across the network, anchoring and reporting on major events.”
According to an internal email, obtained by TMZ, CNN's Candy Crowley allowed Barack Obama more time to speak at the debate because "he speaks more slowly." The email sent out by CNN's Managing Editor Mark Whitaker began with him cheering, "Let's start with a big round of applause for Candy Crowley for a superb job under the most difficult circumstances imaginable."
He then proceeded to offer up the following lame excuse for why Crowley gave the President more time than Mitt Romney.
Former Newsweek editor Mark Whitaker said Sunday he chose not to run the story that former President Bill Clinton had an affair with Monica Lewinsky because he and his staff didn't feel they were on firm enough ground.
"If we had gotten that wrong," Whitaker told CNN's Howard Kurtz on Reliable Sources, it "could have been a mortal blow to Newsweek's reputation" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN's Fareed Zakaria made a bit of a Kinsley gaffe Friday.
On NPR's "Morning Edition," Zakaria said, "The people who watch Fox are not going to watch CNN...Our competitors should properly be The New York Times, the BBC, NPR" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In picking Mark Whitaker, Washington Bureau Chief for NBC News, as its new Executive Vice President and Managing Editor (TVNewser post), CNN has selected someone with a liberal outlook who presumes not raising taxes can be blamed for an increase in the deficit.
On election night last year, Whitaker channeled a liberal argument in favor of hiking taxes, declaring during live NBC News coverage: “The fact is right now the Republican numbers do not add up” since House Republicans want to roll back “spending to 2008 levels, which gets you about a $100 billion, but extending all the tax cuts. And the Congressional Budget Office has said that ends up adding $270 billion, at least, to the deficit.”
Just after NBC News called Nevada for incumbent Democratic Senator Harry Reid, Meet the Press host David Gregory credited his victory to how “Tea Party-backed” Sharron Angle disrespected journalists, citing how she “made some very unwise decisions, namely, saying things like 'I'm not going to give any interviews until after I'm elected.'” Gregory contended: “I don't think that inspires a great deal of confidence in independent voters, or any voter for that matter.”
Later in the 1:00 AM EDT hour, anchor Brian Williams asked NBC News Washington Bureau Chief Mark Whitaker to explain “what's wrong” with the promise by Republican candidates to cut spending? Whitaker channeled a liberal argument in favor of hiking taxes, declaring “the fact is right now the Republican numbers do not add up” since House Republicans want to roll back “spending to 2008 levels, which gets you about a $100 billion, but extending all the tax cuts. And the Congressional Budget Office has said that ends up adding $270 billion, at least, to the deficit.”
ABC and CBS last week jumped to advance the NAACP’s charge of racism within the Tea Party movement with friendly stories which provided corroboration for the allegation as neither identified the left-wing group’s ideology. On Tuesday night, however, the ABC and CBS evening newscasts had a sudden concern for the accuracy of the racism charge leveled against a USDA official via video posted by BigGovernment.com, a group the networks were quick to label “conservative” as they painted Shirley Sherrod as a victim of distorted editing of the video of her remarks – as if the news media never do that.
Meanwhile, the NBC Nightly News, which last week managed to refrain from promoting the NAACP’s anti-Tea Party agenda, ran a full story on Sherrod and BigGovernment.com’s “lie,” but also ran the very first broadcast network story on the Justice Department’s refusal to pursue the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case.
“We turn now to a story about race, politics and what constitutes a rush to judgment,” ABC anchor Diane Sawyer intoned. (Last week: “The NAACP has just adopted a resolution this evening at its annual convention condemning quote, ‘racist behavior by Tea Party members.’”) Jake Tapper referred to “a conservative Web site posting a video clip of Department of Agriculture official Shirley Sherrod at an NAACP event talking about meeting with a white farmer...” He noted the NAACP, which had condemned Sherrod, later in the day “reversed course, saying they'd been snookered by conservative media.”
NBC News Washington Bureau Chief (and former Newsweek editor) Mark Whitaker penned an evaluation of President Obama’s first year for Monday’s Washington Post that was heavy on the flattery and blamed everything that went wrong on the "unruly forces of cynicism, egotism, and self interest" in Washington, not to mention the capital’s "meanness and mayhem."
In this narrative, Obama is the white knight in a dark town, the idealist in a cynical swamp, and nothing he has done can be assailed as cynical or egotistical. Whitaker writes as if he’s trying to insinuate himself into Obama’s inner circle of advisers a la David Gergen.
Whitaker explained that he was rereading Obama’s memoir Dreams from My Father to understand "why he has come across as competent but less magical than many Americans hoped." (Maybe Obama’s first year would look better if you changed the names to protect people’s privacy and blended people into composite characters, as Obama admitted he did in that nonfiction-challenged book.)
The network news divisions are enjoying the unprecedented coverage they're providing President Obama, not just because they support him, but because White House specials are cheap and do well in the ratings. "Obama should change his middle name from Hussein to Nielsen," quipped longtime TV reporter Gail Shister in a story by David Bauder of the Associated Press. It seems like a never-ending spin cycle: laudatory coverage leads to popularity, which leads to higher TV ratings, which leads to more laudatory coverage.
But it's not working any more. Behind the glittery curtains, Obama's polls are falling. Worse, some ink-stained wretches are getting a little sick of the propaganda merry-go-round. Helen Thomas and CBS reporter Chip Reid both slammed press secretary Robert Gibbs on the hermetically sealed "town hall" meeting on health care in Annandale, Virginia, where all the questions and questioners (and president-huggers) were carefully screened to make sure no one burst the bubble of Barack's astonishing cool.
But the network chieftains continue to be unapologetic, even insulting when questioned about their laudatory coverage of the White House.
The insular world of NBC News and MSNBC. In her Tuesday NBC Nightly News story on President Barrack Obama's status of the economy speech, reporter Savannah Guthrie emphasized how “the White House billed today's speech as a 'major' one” and so it was “carried live on cable” where “analysts said it was short on rhetoric and long on policy.”
Guthrie's expert “analysts” turned out to be one analyst, her boss. In a clip lifted from MSNBC earlier in the day, NBC Nightly News viewers heard NBC News Washington Bureau Chief Mark Whitaker effuse: “Well, there was a moment of church in that speech, but the rest of it was pure law school.”
On Sunday’s Chris Matthews Show, host Matthews led the panel in a discussion over whether conservatives would choose to cooperate with the Obama administration in making "historic changes" to repair the economy, rather than stand in opposition to his programs. The premise of the discussion seemed to be that times are too serious for conservatives to dare dissent from Obama’s plans. At one point, David Ignatius of the Washington Post suggested that "thoughtful" Republicans will work with Obama as he referred to John McCain’s concession speech. Ignatius: "I thought that John McCain set the tone for thoughtful Republicans in his concession speech election night, where he reached out to Obama. He was remarkably generous. One of the best speeches he's ever made, in my book."
As he teased the show, Matthews seemed to wonder if Republicans would try to stand in the way of Obama accomplishing "great things," or if they would see the light and cooperate. Matthews: "Will the mountain of crises our country faces make Barack Obama do great things? And with all the crises, will even Republicans see historic steps are required?"
The number two man at NBC News believes Barack Obama's skin color gives him more legitimacy around the world than possibly any American leader in history.
For those unfamiliar, Mark Whitaker is the Senior Vice President that succeeded the late Tim Russert as NBC's Washington Bureau Chief, and currently oversees national and international reporting for all the network's news programs including the "Nightly News," the "Today" show, MSNBC, and "Meet the Press."
As part of the panel on Sunday's "The Chris Matthews Show," Whitaker said the following about Barack Obama (h/t American Thinker's Marc Sheppard, file photo):
Mark Whitaker, head of the NBC News DC bureau, got off today's unintentional laugh line when he described Barack Obama as having "lifted himself up from the streets of Hawaii."
Oh those mean streets of Hawaii. You know, the sort pictured here at the Punahou school that Obama attended from 5-12th grade. While attending Punahou, Obama lived with his grandparents. Readers will recall that grandma Dunham was . . . a vice-president of the Bank of Hawaii.
You could see this one coming. After Harry Smith called Sarah Palin "Geritol" for McCain, some MSM wag was sure to take things the next step. I'd say it just happened. NBC News DC bureau chief Mark Whitaker was chatting with Andrea Mitchell at 1:27 PM EDT today.
MARK WHITAKER: [People] want to see passion. They want to see that Obama, and the same thing is true of McCain, and we've seen him [show] a lot more passion since he picked Sarah Palin, it's definitely --
ANDREA MITCHELL: Someone described it as Geritol.
WHITAKER: Well, or something else. Put a little pep in his step!