Not wanting to let a good crisis go to waste, Tuesday's NBC Nightly News exploited California wildfires to push climate change. Correspondent Miguel Almaguer declared: "The fire season not just expensive, but historic. Nationwide so far this year, more than 32,000 wildfires have burned. 1.6 million acres charred, most of them in the west. Feeding the fires, drought crippling 60% of the west....Crews call this the front lines of climate change, a longer more destructive fire season." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Introducing the story, anchor Brian Williams warned: "In the American west tonight, a huge wildfire is burning in Yosemite National Park. One of more than 200 of them firing up in just this last week in California alone as this drought emergency continues to get worse."
The journalists at NBC's Today on Friday made sure to avoid using the word "illegal" and instead favored "migrant families" and, simply, "immigrants." ABC's Good Morning America followed a similar path, noting the "children crossing the border from Central America." Only CBS This Morning host Jeff Glor referred to "the flood of illegal immigrants."
On Today, news reader Craig Melvin carefully noted, "...The U.S. border patrol has said it has stopped sending Central American children and families to San Diego after they are arrested in South Texas." He added that "protesters blocked a road and forced bus loads of immigrants to reroute." Melvin told viewers that Congress is working on " a possible compromise to deport migrant families more quickly." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Migrant families or illegal immigrants?
In a report on Monday's NBC Today, correspondent Miguel Almaguer portrayed illegal immigrants surging across the U.S. border as bystanders caught up in politics: "As most Americans celebrated Independence Day, thousands of undocumented immigrants from Central America – mostly women and children – find themselves in the middle of a raging debate with an uncertain future..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Almaguer touted "A show of support for Central American immigrants in San Diego" while also noting "five protesters arrested during a demonstration against those same immigrants" in Murrieta, California.
For the past week, NBC’s Miguel Almaguer has been stationed in Murrieta, California covering the flood of illegal immigrants being bused into the town and the protests from residents who argue their town cannot support them.
While his previous reports have centered around the protests in Murrieta, on July 5 and 6 Almaguer ran two reports promoting the journey of one illegal immigrant who crossed the border with her son searching for “the dream of a new life in America.” [See video below.]
Ever since the border patrol began sending hundreds of illegal immigrants from Texas to the town of Murrieta, California, despite opposition from local residents, the folks at NBC News have repeatedly failed to use the term “illegal immigrant” to describe the confrontation between the two sides.
On Thursday, July 3, NBC’s Today continued to omit the term “illegal immigrant” from its lexicon. In fact, it has been the only one of the "big three" networks to not use the term when reporting on the situation in Murrieta. Instead, its reporters continue to refer to them as “undocumented immigrants.” [See video below.]
On Wednesday morning, NBC’s Today went beyond avoiding using the term “illegal” to describe the immigrants being bussed from Texas into California. The Peacock network has created a Twitter handle to show its support for the illegal immigrants.
Following a report by NBC’s Miguel Almaguer,Today anchor Matt Lauer triumphantly declared: “We want you to weigh in on this. Share your comments using the #RefugeeRiders.” [See video below.]
Miguel Almaguer hyped on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News that "since the mass shooting in Newtown a year and a half ago, there's been at least 74 school shootings across the country – roughly one every week." However, the correspondent failed to mention that this figure came from the pro-gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety, which was founded earlier in 2014 by liberal billionaire Michael Bloomberg. [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Tuesday, Kyle Becker of the Independent Journal Review spotlighted a series of Twitter posts from author and journalist Charles C. Johnson, which called out Bloomberg's organization for giving an "exaggerated impression of how many school shootings have taken place," as many they represent "all sorts" of different incidents involving guns in or near schools. Becker added:
While NBC eagerly touted Colorado legalizing marijuana at the start of the year, even promoting one Denver store that hoped to become the "Costco of weed," on Monday's Today, correspondent Miguel Almaguer finally noticed a downside to legalized drug use: "More than half of Colorado's 61 arrests made in January for impaired driving involved someone who was high." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
NBC joins ABC and CBS in belatedly covering the negative consequences of legalizing pot after initially promoting the move. CBS This Morning hyped Colorado's "marijuana munchies" before discovering pot contaminated with mildew and e-coli. ABC's World News proclaimed an "historic" "pot revolution" in the state before reporting on the legal marijuana trade becoming a popular target for criminals.
Saturday's CBS Evening News ballyhooed the "enormous strain on resources" that the budget sequester has apparently put on extinguishing a massive wildfire in Colorado. Carter Evans played up how, in addition to fighting the flames, "federal firefighters are facing another challenge: a loss of $50 million, mandated by the budget sequester. That forced the Forest Service to cut 500 firefighters and 50 engines, just when they're needed most."
The CBS evening newscast was actually late to the game, as the network's Big Three competitors also spotlighted the same figures earlier in June.
While ABC's World News declared "a big chunk of the pain at the pump is Wall Street's fault" on Thursday, on NBC's Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams similarly announced: "The problem is gas prices are largely set by commodities traders, also known these days as speculators."
Correspondent Miguel Almaguer reported on "backlash from both sides of the register" as a sound bite played of Los Angeles gas station owner Andre Van Der Valk ranting: "Consumers should be very, very angry and very challenging of the oil companies. That's where it all starts."
NBC anchor Brian Williams, in the argot of the moment, certainly belongs to The One Percent. He lives in the glass-encased Bloomberg Tower in mid-town Manhattan, 34 stories above the tony restaurant Le Cirque at 58th Street and Lexington Avenue. For years he has lived up in the luxury apartment heavens with Beyonce and GE chieftains past and present (both Jack Welch and Jeffrey Immelt). He’s earned it.
Yet night after night on the news, Williams and the other one percent multi-millionaire anchors dutifully chronicle every new publicity line from the people who "occupy" parks (often public parks) to claim to represent the "99 percent." It’s liberal guilt in motion. The anchors lovingly cite old Sixties leftist slogans like "The whole world is watching," which is nonsense if you look at their ratings but they sure do wish the whole world would watch. To the liberal media, these protests are a story of populist heroes bravely standing against what Teddy Roosevelt called "the malefactors of great wealth."
On Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams proclaimed: "Protesters across the country and a lot of Americans who are sympathetic to this Occupy Wall Street protest movement are tonight rallying around a 24-year-old Iraq war veteran who was seriously injured during a violent confrontation with police in Oakland, California on Tuesday."
On ABC's World News, fill-in anchor George Stephanopoulos echoed that sentiment: "...one young man has become a symbol of their resolve." Correspondent Abbie Boudreau followed by declaring: "With tensions mounting daily, the name Scott Olsen has become a national rallying cry for Occupy Wall Street....injured Tuesday night, as police began firing tear gas during the Oakland crackdown."
In a report on the Arizona wildfires on Tuesday's NBC Today, correspondent Miguel Almaguer touted how "The Forest Service says this historic wildfire season is caused in part by climate change." After promoting that politically charged claim, Almaguer declared that Senator John McCain had created a "firestorm" by noting that illegal immigrants have contributed to past wildfires.
At the top of the show, co-host Ann Curry proclaimed: "Heated controversy. A debate blows up over John McCain blaming some wildfires in Arizona on illegal border-crossers." Later, she framed an interview with McCain this way: "Now to more on that controversial comment by Arizona Senator John McCain....We spoke to the Senator earlier this morning. We began by asking him if he was trying to use this current tragedy for a political purpose."
On Saturday, ABC’s World News Saturday and the NBC Nightly News each ran a story touting the high number of patients arriving at a free clinic in Los Angeles, operated by Remote Area Medical, as evidence of the need for health care reform. For the NBC Nightly News, it was the third such story on the facility of the week.
While ABC’s World News with Charles Gibson had run one story on Friday that focused on the generous work of the organization and its founder, Stan Brock, Saturday was the first time World News had touted the clinic as evidence of the need for reform, or compared America’s poor to the Third World, as stories on the CBS Evening News and the NBC Nightly News had already done previously. And on Saturday, ABC and NBC again failed to inform viewers that patients who arrived at the free clinic were not required to prove financial need to receive service, but were merely accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.
On World News Saturday, ABC anchor Dan Harris set up the piece:
In Inglewood, California, tonight, a vivid demonstration of the health care crisis: A clinic that provides free health care has been inundated with patients. Almost 46 million people in this country do not have health insurance, but the problem is a lot bigger than that. Many people who do have insurance still cannot afford the care that they need.
All three broadcast networks this week have reported on the charity Remote Area Medical's offer of free medical care at a temporary facility in Los Angeles, citing the arrival of many patients as a sign of how many Americans there are who need "free health care," and even relaying the words of program volunteers who compared the health care challenges of some Americans to problems in Third World countries like Guatemala and India.
But only by watching ABC's Good Morning America did one see a soundbite of program founder Stan Brock informing viewers that the free clinic does not even screen patients to learn if they really are in need financially. Brock:
It's first-come, first-served basis, no questions asked, no financial information required. There are a lot of good programs in this country, but they tend to have hurdles that the patient has to leap through in order to get the care.
Reporters seemed shocked that thousands of people would stand in line for hours to receive hundreds -- or even thousands -- of dollars worth of free medical care.
It's one of the few times one can wish the reporting by NBC News was right and CNBC was wrong.
A segment on the July 21 "NBC Nightly News" pointed out some of the key points of a budget deal reached between California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and leaders of the state legislature. The deal means some service cuts - but also includes the possibility of exploration and drilling for oil off the California coast.
"California is our biggest state in terms of population and it long ago ran out of money," "Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams said. "They got nothing to pay the vendors they owe and now they have struck a deal for more cuts, and these are going to hurt. They're going to allow offshore drilling for the money it will bring in. The LA Times reports tens of thousands of seniors and children would lose access to health care. Prisoners will spend less time in prison. And the governor is going to sell cars and furniture and office supplies and autograph some of it, he says, to raise more money. It's an unbelievable turn of events."