Hell hath no fury like an infotainment show duped. On Oct. 19, ABC's "Good Morning America" started the week by picking up where it left off the previous Friday. On Monday, GMA wasted over 14 minutes whining about the bogus balloon boy story and his family's lack of "remorse."
On Oct 16, GMA spent 25 minutes hyping balloon boy, covering every angle by talking to the family, the sheriff, and a former co-worker. Now that it's apparent that the boy had taken them "for a ride," the morning show wants an apology.
"If you are among those who feel deceived and are waiting for a public apology from the family," said reporter Ryan Owens, "you may be waiting for a while."
The Big Three networks continued to ignore the party affiliation of the now-incarcerated Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick on Friday morning, just as they had done in their evening news programs the previous night. The Early Show on CBS chose to ignore the story of Kilpatrick’s arrest on a bail violation entirely, while ABC’s Good Morning America devoted one 16-second news brief to the story near the beginning of its 7 am Eastern hour.
Ironically, NBC’s Today show, which is devoting most of its programming to the Summer Olympics in Beijing, spent the most time on the subject. It first aired a 12-second news brief just after the top of 7 am Eastern hour, and devoted an entire segment to the story at the beginning of the 8 am Eastern hour. The report by correspondent Ron Allen was just shy of 2 minutes long, but still ignored Kilpatrick’s Democratic affiliation.
As Congress takes new aim at speculators for the high price of gasoline, some media reports seem to be following suit. But as The Biz Flog explains this week, there is considerable debate over whether speculators should be blamed for the high cost of oil.
June 23, the same day Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee condemned oil speculators, the "CBS Evening News" and ABC's "World News" blamed oil speculation for a large chunk of the spike in prices.
"There's no doubt speculation plays a role in the skyrocketing price, but how much?" ABC correspondent Ryan Owens said June 23. "Experts say if it were just simple supply and demand a barrel would cost $75. Today it closed north of $135."
Scott Horsley explained oil speculation on June 29 for National Public Radio's "All Things Considered," where he pointed out that there have always been financial players in the oil market and there is still a debate over what influence they really have.
Mixed in with stories on cooking for the Fourth of July and how soldiers deployed in Iraq were spending their Independence Day, the July 4 "Good Morning America" managed to give nearly two full minutes to a story on Thomas Beatie, more commonly known as the "pregnant man," and "his" newly born daughter on Friday.
Unsurprisingly, the segment featured only a positive take on the situation, offering no sound bites questioning the normalcy of the child’s life. Reporter Ryan Owens touted, "The little girl's conception may have been complicated, but her parents insist her life now will be normal."
The designated "expert" of the segment, biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, claimed:
On Monday's "Good Morning America," for the fourth time in just two and a half months, the ABC program featured a segment on the so-called pregnant man, Thomas Beatie. Since first reporting the story on March 26, GMA has been fascinated with the case of the woman who had surgery to become a man, but kept her reproductive organs and is now having a child.
On Monday's show, reporter Ryan Owens fretted, "But how will society treat this less than conventional family?" The journalist offered liberal, non-judgmental platitudes such as "Today, Thomas says, different is normal." Spouting more sayings from Beatie, Owens recited, "Love makes a family, he says, and that's all that matters." On April 4, correspondent Andrea Canning lauded the transgendered woman as "the man the world has been waiting to meet." On March 26, GMA news anchor Chris Cuomo, cooed, "Oddity aside, biology aside, it is all about love of this child and as long as that's present, everything else is really going to be normal." Each story avoided what many would consider to be a salient fact: Despite media hype, men do not, in fact, give birth to children.
Even co-host Diane Sawyer seemed to be having trouble with the story. On Monday, she announced, "Beatie, the transgendered woman who became a man and she will -- he will give birth next month."
According to MasterCard SpendingPulse, retail sales were up 3.6 percent during the holiday season - 2.4 percent excluding gas prices. But because it's not as big an increase as recent years have produced, the media reported it as bad news.
On NBC's "Nightly News," reporter Savannah Guthrie announced a "dramatic" 2.4 percent decrease in women's clothing sales. She didn't think the same percentage increase was "dramatic," however. Instead, she referred to the overall sales increase as "disappointing."
Other media labeled the figures "dismal," "small," "weak," "bleak" and "a clear sign that the economy is slowing down." Most made sure to point out, like "Good Morning America's" Ryan Owens, that the increase is "the smallest in four years."
It is and it was showcased on the December 16 "World News Sunday" in a disturbing human interest segment about freeganism - a radical-left anti-capitalist movement.
Madeline Nelson, an executive-turned-freegan, was featured on "World News." The segment showed Nelson serving a four-course meal, which included a mixed green salad, stuffed peppers, and a tofu cheesecake with strawberries.
"The grocery bill for such an elaborate feast? Zero," said ABC correspondent Ryan Owens. "That's because this food doesn't come from inside a store, but outside of it."
ABC and CBS on Sunday night pivoted from the success, of the aide efforts for fire evacuees at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium, to make political points: ABC highlighted a protest about “immigrant rights” and CBS focused on how President Bush's visit to victims contrasted with how after Katrina Bush “flew home from vacation” in Air Force One “thousands of feet above the evacuees” and “never stopped.” Reporter Seth Doane contended, over 2005 video on the CBS Evening News of the Superdome evacuees, Bush peering out the window of Air Force One and that plane flying over the stadium, that “for many it was a sharp contrast with another football stadium two years ago: The Superdome in New Orleans during Katrina -- overcrowded, miserable conditions, all under a leaking roof, while thousands of feet above the evacuees, President Bush flew home from vacation in Air Force One and never stopped.” Doane suggested: “Contrast this past week when the President came to a burned-out area to press the flesh...”