On Thursday, NBC's Today and CBS This Morning dutifully parroted the White House line that First Lady Michelle Obama's trip to China was "not political" but ignored the fact that the press corps was banned from traveling with her on the overseas junket. ABC's Good Morning America skipped the topic. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
As of Monday evening, ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning and evening newscasts have yet to cover North Korea's firing of 25 short-range missiles into the Sea of Japan on Sunday. NBCNews.com did post an unsigned article from Reuters on Sunday about how the "missiles flew for 45 miles before splashing into the sea," and ABC News' website went with AP's write-up on the development, but neither outlet devoted any air time to the story.
By contrast, CNN's New Day on Monday devoted a 20-second news brief to the Obama administration's reaction to this latest instance of North Korean sabre-rattling: [video below the jump]
Michelle Obama’s highly touted “Let’s Move” campaign might not have its first victory after all. Despite healthy living advocates touting a decline in obesity among preschoolers, that CDC claim of a 43 percent decline in a decade might not be at all true.
In fact, the data is so vague that the obesity rate may actually have increased, according to Reuters. ABC and CBS praised the statistic as a victory for Obama’s healthy living campaign when it came out, but failed to mention on news programming the evening of March 16 or the morning of March 17 that the statistic was called into question.
Good Morning America's Robin Roberts has repeatedly been awarded interviews with Michelle and Barack Obama. There's a good reason for this: She doesn't ask tough questions. On Thursday, the co-host promised a "revealing, one-on-one conversation" with Mrs. Obama. Roberts did bring up ObamaCare, but offered no tough questions about the repeated delays.
Talking to the First Lady at a Black Entertainment Television conference, Roberts vaguely began: "[The health care law] has not been without its critics who question whether or not this will work." The journalist continued, "How do you see that and being able to close the gap for those people who have not been given that opportunity to have quality health care?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
NPR celebrates political anniversaries – when it likes them. They celebrated the one-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, when when it had already faded away. This week, NPR aired five stories discussing the fourth anniversary of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative to get kids to eat better and exercise.
But there was no story on the fifth anniversary of the Tea Party. The closest thing was a Mara Liasson analysis on Thursday of how the Senate races look tough for Democrats this fall – if the Republicans can keep the Tea Party extremists at bay:
On Friday, the NBC, ABC, and CBS morning shows all happily touted a White-House-produced video of President Obama and Vice President Biden jogging through the executive mansion to promote the fourth anniversary of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign. This was the same week that the networks refused to cover an Obama administration report showing two-thirds of small business employees would see a spike in health care premiums under ObamaCare. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Introducing the video on NBC's Today, co-host Tamron Hall explained: "When the First Lady was on with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show, she actually made the pledge that if everyone uploaded videos and pictures of themselves moving around, that perhaps she could have some influence and get the President and the Vice President to show us how they get moving. Well, overnight, developing news, take a look."
She’s made more than 100 television appearances. Her next one will be on “Parks and Recreation’s” season finale, April 24. But she’s not an actress. She’s the first lady of the United States, and she’s Hollywood royalty.
Mrs. Obama clearly enjoys the spotlight, and the liberal TV industry is happy to give her the attention. She has been a frequent guest on “The Late Show,” “The Daily Show,” “The Colbert Report,” “Rachael Ray,” “The Tonight Show,” and “The Biggest Loser” among many others. She has danced with Jimmy Fallon, partied with Al Roker, and squealed over cute puppies at this year’s Puppy Bowl.
The Obamas have had few more obsequious media allies than NBC's Jimmy Fallon. Now that he's taking over the hallowed ground of "The Tonight Show," Fallon's proven ability to spread his reach into viral videos on YouTube promises to become even more politically potent.
Fallon's Obama-friendly sketches and interviews have become immediate "news" grist for the Comcast corps at NBC and MSNBC. The same sensation happens when Fallon is ripping into a Republican.
First Lady Michelle Obama insulted the young people of America during an appearance on Thursday night’s Tonight Show. Host Jimmy Fallon asked her why young people should sign up for ObamaCare if they can’t afford it, and Mrs. Obama struck a condescending note in her response. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
“[A] lot of young people think they’re invincible,” she said. “But the truth is, young people are knuckleheads. You know? They're the ones who are cooking for the first time and slice their finger open. They’re dancing on the bar stool.”
"Researchers in Texas say they have developed an invisibility cloak," Jodi Miller dryly noted in the February 14 edition of NewsBusted. Of course, "We already have an invisibility cloak. It's called having a show on MSNBC," she cracked.
Other targets stung by Miller's arrow-sharp wit this Valentine's Day included New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D), global warming alarmist Al Gore, and the president's most devoted not-so-secret admirer, Chris Matthews[watch the video below the page break]:
Michael W. Chapman of our sister site CNSNews.com reports on cost estimates for the hand-sewn gown Michelle Obama wore at Tuesday’s state dinner for the prime minister of France. Think five figures. If Ann Romney were First Lady now, would that escape the media’s politicized scrutiny? (In 2012, she was slammed for wearing a $990 shirt on "CBS This Morning."
Wednesday’s Washington Post merely carried the headline “America, elegantly draped over her shoulders” next to a foot-high page-dominating photograph of Mrs. Obama in the dress. Michelle-loving fashion writer Robin Givhan insisted only “churlish” rumblers would lower themselves to asking about the price tag of a gown like this:
Fifty years to the day after The Beatles' first concert in the United States, NBC's Shawna Thomas could have been mistaken for one of the screaming fan girls at the Washington Coliseum. But instead of idolizing the rock and roll band, the network's White House producer shouted for joy over Michelle Obama's gown, which the First Lady wore to Tuesday's state dinner for French President Francois Hollande.
Thomas' Tuesday night Tweet in all capital letters is probably the most blatant example of Obama worship that has come out NBC, and that is saying something, given the Big Three network has raved about Mrs. Obama since the 2008 presidential race: [screen cap below the jump]
ABC reporter Jon Karl on Wednesday broke from the official journalistic fawning over Michelle Obama's birthday, asking White House Press Secretary Jay Carney about the cost and whether the American taxpayer would pay the bill. Yet, his own network totally ignored the exchange and kept it off Wednesday's World News, Nightline and Thursday's Good Morning America.
In the briefing, Karl pushed, "The First Lady had her 50th birthday party and I believe you said that the President picks up the cost for that party." Carney dodged, "I think we put out information. I don't have it here. I would refer you to the east wing." The ABC journalist followed-up, "I was just wondering if you had an estimate on what the cost was?" Again, the White House spokesman spun, "I don't. But I would refer you to the east wing." The "east wing" is a reference to Michelle Obama's office. [For C-SPAN video of the exchange, see below.]
On Wednesday the Senate Intelligence Committee issued a devastating report that blamed the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton’s State Department for security failures leading up to the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack.
While the Big Three (ABC, CBS and NBC) networks covered the report for a day, they found another event far more compelling -- The First Lady’s 50th birthday bash, spending twice as much time on the White House party than Benghazi. (chart and video montage after the jump)
Calling in to Monday's NBC Today, weatherman Al Roker was giddy as he told his fellow co-hosts about attending Michelle Obama's White House birthday party: "...it was literally a house party. It was a house party that happened to be in the White House. My wife Deborah and I went. And it was – yeah, there were all these stars, which was kind of terrific." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Referencing Roker's long-running bromance with the Vice President, co-host Savannah Guthrie joked: "Did you and Joe Biden do like a conga line or anything like that?" Roker mentioned seeing Biden but was really thrilled by the First Lady: "I actually got to boogie a little with the First Lady....Deborah and I were dancing and all of a sudden I turned around and there was Mrs. Obama....And I'm thinking, 'Oh, my gosh, I'm dancing with the First Lady.'"
First Lady Michelle Obama celebrated her 50th birthday on Saturday night, and NBC and ABC couldn’t hold back their excitement during their Sunday morning broadcasts. The two networks both offered full reports as they cheered on the First Lady at the “country’s most exclusive dance party.”
ABC’s Susan Saulny began her report and called The White House “party central” and beamed at the long-list of liberal celebrities who attended the birthday bash. Co-host Bianna Golodryga lamented, “We weren’t invited to this but I’m not offended.”
On Thursday and Friday, NBC's Today provided viewers with gushing over-the-top coverage of First Lady Michelle Obama turning fifty, with White House correspondent Kristen Welker excitedly declaring in a Thursday report: "For days they've been gearing up for a big bash here at the White House. Guests were told to wear comfortable shoes and to be prepared to move around a lot, an indication there will be no shortage of dancing here. You can also bet there will be a long list of celebrities to pull off a party fit for a first lady." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Welker fawned over President Obama acting as "planner-in-chief" for the extravagant celebration and touted: "Just back from an extended stay at Oprah's house in Hawaii, a gift from the President [with her separate flight back to Washington paid for by taxpayers], the First Lady seems to be taking up the big five-zero in stride..."
On the same day that the latest report on the terrorist attack in Benghazi was released, the journalists at Good Morning America chose to obsess over an "exclusive first look" at People magazine's "revealing" interview with Michelle Obama. Focusing on the scoop, lifestyle anchor Lara Spencer on Wednesday gushed, "So honest on a range of topics, including her take on plastic surgery and Botox. We have an exclusive first look right here." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Regarding the First Lady's 50th birthday, Spencer could hardly contain herself. She announced, "The big day is fast approaching." The host insisted that the President has "already given an early gift" by "taking the girls home to Washington, leaving the First Lady behind for an extra few days of vacay [sic] with some of her close friends, including Oprah." As with GMA's last report on the vacation, there was no mention of what the extended trip will cost taxpayers.
The journalists at CBS This Morning on Tuesday hyperventilated over the latest "fashion milestone" for Michelle Obama, donating four minutes to the First Lady's second inaugural dress appearing at the Smithsonian. In contrast, the latest setback for ObamaCare warranted only a minute and 19 seconds.
Co-host Charlie Rose enthused, "First Lady Michelle Obama is marking another fashion milestone. The Smithsonian Institution decided two dresses are better than one." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Jan Crawford appeared at the American History Museum to update the breaking news that Mrs. Obama's red dress will be on display. Crawford promoted, "Mrs. Obama's shoes also will be on display. But they're a little different than the shoes she wore four years ago."
The journalists at Good Morning America on Tuesday offered a gushing, excited look at Michelle Obama's "extended vacation" in Hawaii, offering no questions or skepticism about what the trip will cost taxpayers. Entertainment reporter Lara Spencer enthused, "This morning, there are reports that Mrs. Obama is spending the rest of her stay with her good friend Oprah Winfrey at her estate on the island of Maui. Winfrey will also be celebrating a milestone birthday." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Spencer hyped the First Lady's impending birthday, touting, "Word is there won't be a formal dinner but there will be plenty of dancing. She does love to dance and we wish her a very happy birthday." On Monday, Fox News reporter Ed Henry quizzed White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: "The First Lady stayed behind and the White House said that was an early birthday present from the President. Does that mean he's paying for the flight back or taxpayers?"
Joe Scarborough made a point of mentioning that until today, his MSNBC show hadn't discussed the Obama selfie at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela. Morning Joe's way too highbrow for that kind of stuff, don't you know, particularly when it might reflect badly on Barack Obama.
But when the crew finally got around to it today, opinion from Joe to Mika to Ed Rendell to Thomas Roberts was unanimous: there was nothing to criticize. Mika made her point by seeking to snap a selfie with Scarborough, as Joe jokingly showed her the hand. View the video after the jump.
All three networks on Monday morning highlighted the appearance of the Obamas at the Kennedy Center Honors, but only ABC fawned over "fashion win" of First Lady. Lara Spencer enthused that " one of the stars of the show was Michelle Obama." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
An excited Spencer explained that Mrs. Obama looked "absolutely ravishing in a flowing teal gown as she accompanied President Obama." The co-host declared, "Another big fashion win for the First Lady."
The Washington Post made no space in Thursday's newspaper for Martin Bashir's resignation from MSNBC. Instead, splashed in the story's natural spot at the top of the Style section came a story on a fake newsman -- Will Ferrell appearing at the Newseum in DC to plug "Anchorman 2." So much for the liberal notion that "news is what people don't want you to know."
All they offered on the front page was glittery publicity. The largest story on the Style front was a huge spread on "The White House opens its doors to military families to usher in the holiday season." The large headline is "Baubles, Boughs, Sunny & Bo." Between many column inches of colorful photographs, readers are told of hyper White House dogs, and amazing gingerbread-house facts.
ABC’s Barbara Walters did another in a series of sycophantic gushing and fawning interviews with the Obamas Friday.
In the wake of the President’s fallacious claim that people could keep their health insurance plans if they liked them, the most preposterous part of the interview was when Michelle Obama said her husband “keeps his promises” without any pushback from Walters (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
With ObamaCare and his poll numbers in total freefall, the President is doing what any smart Democratic president would do.
Finding a friendly media member to sit down with the day after Thanksgiving so that he and his wife are welcomed into millions of living rooms in a cozy setting that allows them to show the nation how lovable they are despite his lies about being able to keep your health insurance if you liked it (via TVNewser):
After censoring any coverage of the continuing ObamaCare disaster since Monday morning, NBC did manage to find time to cover Michelle Obama's fashion choices and the First Couple's first date on Wednesday's Today, with co-host Matt Lauer excitedly telling viewers to stay tuned: "First Lady Michelle Obama opens up about her very first date with the future president as well as her biggest fashion regret." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the segment that followed, news reader Natalie Morales gushed: "We're used to seeing First Lady Michelle Obama looking very stylish and picture perfect, but in a new interview with BET, the First Lady admitted there is one particular look that she now regrets....the First Lady was also asked about her first date with the President and she revealed more about their day-long adventure than she's ever really revealed before."
(UPDATE, 11:40 a.m.: AmberAlert.gov is working again.)
In yet another news story which has bubbled up through social media and the blogosphere and which will test the establishment press's willingness to ignore obvious news, the Obama adminstration's Department of Justice under Attorney General Eric Holder has taken AmberAlert.gov offline.
To the extent that it interrupts what DOJ has identified as one of the three components of its national AMBER strategy for "a Coordinated AMBER Network," the move could make locating and saving missing and exploited children more difficult. Meanwhile, the 83% of the government which isn't shut down includes the following:
While The Washington Post wrote about reporters revolving into the Obama administration, the more common pattern is reporters who flatter, pander, and powder the Obamas in the “news” pages. Krissah Thompson should be on Michelle Obama’s payroll. Splashed all over the front of Style today is this concept: “Rest up. You’re going to need extra energy to even read about all the places that the first lady has gone to get to know D.C.”
Following the all-caps headline “MICHELLE OBAMA’S WASHINGTON" and a huge graphic of eight images of Mrs. Obama in her many activities, the Post story went on for two entire pages. Thompson began the smoochy prose from the top:
"You tell her. No, YOU tell her!" . . . Richard Wolffe says that in 2012 an all-male group of senior Obama campaign people got together at a White Sox game and decided to fire deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter—but didn't have the "balls" to tell her.
Maybe so. Then again, Wolffe—appearing on Morning Joe today to tout his new book on the Obama re-election campaign—also claimed that Cutter was "one of the single most effective" people in the Obama campaign? Cutter? The nasty gaffe machine? View the video after the jump.