[Update, 4:10 pm Tuesday: Father Grandon wrote NewsBusters to clarify his statement during the segment: "I was very clear during the interview that we convert priests have no interest in agitating for married clergy generally and that, in fact, the Catholic Church has always had married priests in her Eastern Churches, but alas, those comments were edited out. My comment...in no way proposed that change....Yes, much was left unsaid and unexplained, but do please note that I am not on the side of the liberals! In the end, we were happy that the editing was not as malicious as it could have been."]
On Monday's CBS This Morning, correspondent Michelle Miller highlighted one of the 77 married Catholic priests in the U.S. who converted from the Episcopal Church in recent years and boosted a favorite pet cause of left-leaning dissenting Catholics: ordaining married men. Miller trumpeted that Father Doug Grandon's example "begs the question: should all Catholic priests have the option to marry?"
Father Grandon stated that "the most we could say is that having a married priest...allows them to look and see how it would work if they wanted to change it." The morning show's religious and faith contributor, Father Edward Beck, also acknowledged that the several dozen former Episcopalian clerics are "bringing a whole liberal notion with them," but also noted one of the main reasons for Catholic clerical celibacy - that parish priests can devote all 24 hours of each day to their ministry.
On their Wednesday morning shows, the Big Three networks continued their trend of all but ignoring the Obama administration trying to force religious institutions to include coverage of sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraceptives in their health care policies without a co-pay. The new mandate from the Department of Health and Human Services would force Catholic hospitals and schools to decide whether to submit to the new policy or follow the Church's teachings against birth control.
Instead of covering this growing dispute between the Catholic hierarchy of the United States and the federal government, CBS This Morning brought on Rev. Edward Beck, a Catholic priest, to respond to a story that might cast the Church in a bad light with regards to how it manages the donations it receives.
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"
In just a few days, Americans will give thanks for their blessings and celebrate them by stuffing themselves with a bountiful feast. Despite this beloved tradition, many in the news media disapprove of overeating and continue to call for taxes on certain foods, and increased regulation.
Time magazine's website, includes an "Ideas" section with what it calls "Essential Insights. Great Debates. Informed Opinions." It was there that Shannon Brownlee, director of the liberal New America Foundation's (which is funded by George Soros' Foundation to Promote Open Society) Health Policy Program, recently called for more regulation under the guise of "public health."
CBS and NBC led Wednesday night with glowing stories about the growth and diversity of the far-left “Occupy Wall Street” protests, though without any ideological label applied nor any critics allowed, a promotional approach the networks never provided in Tea Party coverage.
“We begin tonight with what has become by any measure a pretty massive protest movement,” NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams announced. “While it goes by the official name ‘Occupy Wall Street,’ it has spread steadily and far beyond Wall Street, and it could well turn out to be the protest of this current era.”
ABC’s Cecilia Vega touted how “it is a crowd that grows daily in size and diversity,” CBS’s Michelle Miller heralded “they’re gaining momentum and new recruits” and NBC’s Mara Schiavocampo trumpeted “the largest crowd yet, and more varied in age and background.”
On Monday's Early Show, CBS slanted towards supporters of a new Obama administration mandate which requires private insurance companies to cover contraception as part of women's "preventative services." Anchor Chris Wragge labeled the development "good news," while correspondent Michelle Miller failed to include sound bites from opponents during her report on the new regulation.
After using his "good news" phrase, Wragge trumpeted the "historic new women's health guidelines" during his introduction for Miller's report, which aired at the bottom of the 7 am Eastern hour. The correspondent herself picked up where the anchor left off when she stated that new mandate was "welcome news to the women we spoke to." She then played two sound bites from women on the street who gave supposed horror stories about the cost of birth control.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN 1: Sometimes, $20 a month can definitely be hard to scrape together.
On three occasions between July 22 and July 26, 2011, CBS's Bob Schieffer carried water for President Obama when he echoed the Democrat's inaccurate claim about Social Security: "Millions of Americans...may not get their next [Social Security] check if the debt ceiling crisis is not resolved." In reality, there is enough federal revenues and authorized expenditures to pay for the program [audio clips available here].
Schieffer gave a preview of the CBS Evening News nine minutes into the 8 am Eastern hour of the July 22, 2011 Early Show with his dire warning about Social Security:
SCHIEFFER: Every month, millions of Americans depend on Social Security to support their families and make ends meet. But now, they may not get their next check, if the debt ceiling crisis is not resolved.
CBS's Michelle Miller leaned towards supporters of taxing junk food on Tuesday's Early Show, playing three sound bites from them and none from opponents. Miller only made one vague reference to the opposing side, and she immediately followed it by playing up the supposedly positive result of a tax: "While some say a new tax is the last thing we need, it could mean a healthier America."
The correspondent led her report by hyping how "we're paying quite a hefty toll" for creating "cheap fast food," and launched into her first sound bite, which came from Michael Jacobson, the executive director of the perennial "food police" organization, the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
Sally Quinn pronounced Oprah Winfrey "America's high priestess" and a "true religious leader" in a Thursday item on The Washington Post's "On Faith" website. Quinn, who waxed ecstatic over Oprah Winfrey's final episode, even went so far to compare Winfrey's last hurrah to a papal Mass: "The pope couldn't have done better."
On Tuesday's CBS Early Show, correspondent Michelle Miller reported on planned closures of 2,000 U.S. Post Office locations: "...in this age of digital communications, online bill paying, and Federal Express, are physical post offices still relevant?" She seemed to answer her own question: "Folks are not going to let this go down without a fight...It's what makes their community whole."
During her report, Miller explained how the government subsidized organization had "a record deficit this year of $8.5 billion, the Postal Service loses a staggering $23 million a day and is facing a growing number of problems." Even so, she played on the emotions of viewers, interviewing an elderly New Jersey man named Harold Schutzman, who explained: "[I] got a friend there at the desk, Gary. I can't get into the paying by e-mail."
Teasing an upcoming story on new federal dietary guidelines on Monday's CBS Evening News, fill-in anchor Harry Smith announced: "The assault on salt. Chances are you are eating too much of it." Smith later introduced the segment by fretting: "Two out of three Americans are overweight or obese, an epidemic that is expected to send health care costs skyrocketing."
In the report that followed, correspondent Michelle Miller explained: "USDA is now urging Americans...to wean themselves off excess sodium and improve their overall eating habits." She spoke with nutritionist Lisa Young, who insisted, "We need to get the food industry on board." Miller declared: "...the problem is the salt that's already in processed foods....That's why the government is now pressuring food companies to cut the salt in their products or face regulation."
On Tuesday's CBS Evening News, correspondent Michelle Miller lectured Americans on their diet: "According to Consumer Reports Health, many Americans are simply deluding themselves, most say they eat well but don't....85% of Americans rarely, if ever, count calories. Another 79% never set foot on a scale."
At one point, Miller stopped by a New York City restaurant and warned: "...people have good intentions...but often sabotage themselves." She then harassed one patron eating a salad: "Take a look at this green salad with all that caesar dressing. Don't you think the dressing sort of ruins it for you?" The unidentified man replied: "Well, otherwise I'm not going to be able to eat it."
On Tuesday's CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric warned of violence against abortion doctors, based flyers being circulated by a pro-life group: "Their pictures are showing up on posters. Now doctors who perform abortions fear for their lives." The posters in question did not call for any violence whatsoever.
Despite that fact, Couric later introduced the story by declaring: "Now some doctors in North Carolina...fear they're being marked for murder." Correspondent Michelle Miller reported: "They look like wanted posters from the wild west, but they're not photos of criminals, but of doctors in North Carolina who perform abortions." She noted how the doctors in question "asked us to block their faces." In dramatic fashion, a doctor with a blurred face and altered voice argued: "It doesn't say 'wanted dead or alive,' but the implication is very clearly there."
In a story on Florida Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson's bid for reelection on Sunday's CBS Evening News, correspondent Michelle Miller described the left-wing bomb thrower this way: "Freshman Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson considers himself a fighter....Whether taking on the foreclosure mess or the Republican Party."
Miller briefly referred to Grayson's history of controversial comments: "...this lawyer, former businessman, and economist, has gained notoriety for his partisan remarks on the House floor." A clip was played of the Congressman proclaiming that Republicans wanted to people to "die quickly" because they opposed ObamaCare. However, missing from the report was any mention of Grayson accusing his opponent of being like the Taliban for having socially conservative views.
On Tuesday's CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez promoted singer Lady Gaga calling for an end to the military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy: "A unique showdown shaping up today in the Senate...it's Senator John McCain versus Lady Gaga. The Senator wants to keep the ban, but the world's biggest pop star is throwing her support behind the gays who want to serve in the military."
Correspondent Michelle Miller noted of Gaga: "...recently she's become more vocal with her political leanings, urging her Twitter followers – she has a record 6.4 million of them – to write their senators over 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'" Miller concluded: "...the singer known for being out there, hopes her gay friends in the military will simply be allowed to be out." Throughout the report, a headline on screen read: "Lady Gaga Vs. The Pentagon; Pop Star Takes On 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Policy."
All the sound bites in the segment were in favor of overturning the policy, three from the pop singer herself and one from an outed gay soldier who escorted Gaga to MTV's Video Music Awards. The only time given to the other side was after Miller's report, when Rodriguez mentioned: "...the reason John McCain opposes this, he's waiting for the results of that Pentagon study on how this repeal might impact the, you know, troops who are serving right now."
Late in the 7:00AM ET hour of Monday's CBS Early Show, correspondent Michelle Miller reported on the "war of words" between actress Jennifer Aniston and Fox News host Bill O'Reilly over women having children without a man. Miller remarked that Aniston had "made a seemingly simple comment supporting the concept," while the "conservative" O'Reilly "slammed the actress" for doing so.
The report included sound bites of O'Reilly: "That's destructive to our society....She's throwing a message out to 12-year-olds and 13-year-olds, okay, that 'hey, you don't need the guy. You don't need the dad." Miller followed up by noting: "It's not the first time a political conservative has lashed out at an actress for supporting single moms. In a 1992 speech, Dan Quayle questioned the choices of fictional character Murphy Brown."
She concluded the story by touting: "Aniston fired back the latest shot at O'Reilly, telling People magazine, quote, 'Of course the ideal scenario for parenting is obviously two parents of a mature age, but for those who've not yet found their Bill O'Reilly, I'm just glad science has provided a few other options.'"
After Miller's report, fill-in co-host Chris Wragge jokingly declared: "Jennifer Aniston, how dare you?" He then argued: "I mean, it's just a movie, right, at this point? I understand, I guess, both sides, but I think it's a little much about-" Fill-in co-host Erica Hill interjected: "Much ado about nothing."
Following a report on Saturday's CBS Evening News, in which White House correspondent Chip Reid defended President Obama's Maine vacation with a comparison to President Bush's vacation time, Monday's Early Show took the same approach as correspondent Michelle Miller reported:
But it's not just where and when presidents travel, it's how often. Ronald Reagan took 349 vacation days at his California ranch during his eight years in office. In his first year and a half as President, George W. Bush vacationed 96 days. Over that same time period, President Obama has taken 36 days.
On Saturday, Reid had similarly noted: "Whatever criticism there may be of the President's vacation choices, he's spent 33 days on vacation in his first 18 months. His predecessor, Bush W. Bush, spent 96 in the same period."
When Obama vacationed on Martha' Vineyard in August of 2009, Reid highlighted how it helped the local economy: "One thing that’s going to give a huge boost to the economy is all the Obama paraphernalia...t-shirts, it’s baseball caps and magnets and coffee mugs and glasses. And restaurants are selling the ‘Baracko Taco.’ Bars are selling ‘Ale to the Chief.’ And all of it is selling like crazy."
So you want to crawl under a high-powered lamp and bake your skin so that it has a brownish-orangish glow to it, even though there are potential health consequences. Well, the federal government is here to save you and, according to "CBS Evening News," that's not a bad thing.
The new federal 10 percent tax on indoor tanning has provoked odd alliances - such as when Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., told "Snooki" from MTV's "Jersey Shore"through Twitterhe would "never tax your tanning bed." But on the June 30 broadcast of "Evening News," CBS correspondent Michelle Miller made the case why the government should.
"Gisselle Colon wanted to be bronze and beautiful. She sunbathed and bought a membership to a tanning salon several years ago. Last month, things turned ugly," Miller said. "This is her scar. In May, Gisselle was diagnosed with melanoma, one of the deadliest and most preventable forms of cancer." (h/t @KenShepherd)
Concluding a report on proposed soda taxes across the country on Monday's CBS Evening News, correspondent Michelle Miller gleefully proclaimed how such a tax would help fight obesity and fill local government coffers: "New York's mayor estimates a tax would raise a billion dollars, suggesting what's good for the waistline could be good for the bottom line."
Miller began the segment by touting: "When former President Bill Clinton enlisted the beverage industry in fighting childhood obesity, he did not expect this much progress in just four years." A clip was played of Clinton reporting: "There has been an 88% reduction in the total beverage calories shipped to schools." Miller then declared: "That's still not good enough, say some public health officials. A growing number of cities and states wants to reduce adult consumption of sugary drinks by taxing them."
Revealing how bad such a tax would be for the "bottom line" of consumers, Miller explained: "New York has revived a proposal to impose a penny per ounce tax on sweetened beverages....[that] would mean this two-liter bottle of coke, which now retails for $1.79, would cost you 68 cents more, for a total of $2.47." She managed to find one man who was happy to pay an even higher amount: "I think it should be two cents per ounce. I don't mind paying more for it, it would probably discourage me from drinking it."
At the top of Wednesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith cast doubt on talk show host and major Obama supporter, Oprah Winfrey: "And call it the ‘Oprah Effect.’ She speaks, people listen. But is her show actually leading her audience astray?" Oddly, no mention was made of Winfrey’s very public endorsement Barack Obama in the 2008 campaign.
Later, co-host Julie Chen also teased the upcoming segment with similar declarations: "Still ahead in this half hour, it is no secret that Oprah is a great sales person, but just because she's selling, the question is should you be buying?...Well up next, the Oprah Winfrey seal of approval. Is it all that it's cracked up to be? We're going to look at the pros and the cons of Oprah's power." During the latter tease from Chen and briefly in the report that followed, footage of Oprah speaking at an Obama rally was shown, but not discussed.
The report, by correspondent Michelle Miller, featured Syracuse University pop culture professor Robert Thompson, who explained: "She has managed to put the Oprah seal of approval, which is a really powerful seal of approval, on some things that I think most people would call real crackpot ideas." Miller cited Newsweek magazine’s reporting on the topic and quoted senior editor Weston Kosova: "Some of the advice she gives on the show, especially with regard to health matters and medicine, is not good advice. Sometimes the advice that guests give on the show could actually hurt you."
On the heels of President Barack Obama's weekend radio address, where he lobbied for so-called credit card reform, "CBS Evening News" chimed in calling the legislation "help" for small business borrowers.
"Evening News" anchor Russ Mitchell referred to Obama's address about the need for new credit card regulation on May 10 and backed up Obama's claim with data from the Center for Responsible Lending, an activist organization that calls for more stringent regulation of all lenders.
"President Obama called, this weekend, for passage of his credit card consumer protection bill by the end of the month," Mitchell said. "According to a recent survey, four out of five Americans are paying lots more since December. The Center for Responsible lending found that an estimated 10 million users were hit by rate increases of at least 10 percent. And, it's not just consumers who are paying the price - nearly half of all small business owners have seen interest rates higher than 15 percent during the past four months."
This could be perhaps the most bizarre application of James Carville's worn out expression, "It's the economy stupid." "CBS Evening News" linked the economy to the famed pregnancy pact that has received national attention.
The June 19 broadcast of "Evening News" faulted the ailing economy for 17 Massachusetts high school students agreeing to get pregnant intentionally around the same time so they could raise children together.
According to Gloucester Public Schools Superintendent Christopher Farmer, the girls did it to gain status. CBS correspondent Michelle Miller took it a step further and made an economic connection.
"Status in Gloucester is hard to come by," Miller said. "The once-thriving fishing community has seen jobs drift overseas. Economic depression has left many teens trying to fill the void."
Tremendously exaggerating the number of Americans who lack access to health insurance, CBS on Wednesday night trumpeted the cause of an AFL-CIO member who denounced the United States for not providing health insurance coverage for his wife and endorsed the John Edwards plan for universal health care. Anchor Katie Couric previewed the upcoming story: “Presidential candidates hear a dramatic plea for help from one of the millions of Americans with no health insurance and no way to pay for it.” Setting up the tribute to the retiree, Couric asserted that “45 million Americans have no coverage. That includes more than 13 million between the ages of 19 and 29. Many of them don't get coverage from their jobs, and cannot afford to buy it on their own.” Of course, many can afford it and in that age range feel comfortable without insurance. In fact, 17 million of the uninsured earn more than $50,000. Removing those, plus people who are not U.S. citizens, leaves fewer than ten million chronically uninsured.
Reporter Michelle Miller began her CBS Evening News piece by championing how “every once in a while, a moment of truth breaks through a political campaign event. That happened last night when a 60-year-old retired steel worker from Union Township, Indiana, asked a question.” Viewers then saw a clip of Steve Skvara from the AFL-CIO debate shown Tuesday night on MSNBC: “Every day of my life, I sit at the kitchen table across from the woman who devoted 36 years of her life to my family, and I can't afford to pay for her health care. What's wrong with America? And what will you do to change it?” Miller explained that “Skvara says he got the answer he was looking for from his favorite candidate, John Edwards,” who proclaimed: “And we ought to have universal health care in this country!” Skvara agreed: “We need a national health care plan.” Miller wondered: “Now the question is whether a moment in a debate will be the moment that motivates reform.”