Chief Justice John Roberts may have angered conservatives with his decisive vote in favor of ObamaCare today, but he was, in CBS anchor Scott Pelley’s words, the “man of the hour” on all three network evening newscasts Thursday night.
ABC’s Terry Moran complimented Roberts’ lurch to the left, saying it “did give heart to many Court watchers,” who were worried the Court “was at risk of becoming just another hyper-partisan place... By joining the liberals, Chief Justice Roberts seemed to have stopped that.”
During NBC's noon et hour special coverage of the ObamaCare Supreme Court ruling, Nightly News anchor Brian Williams declared that Chief Justice John Roberts sided with liberals on the Court in upholding the unpopular law in order"to be on the side of history." Legal analyst Savannah Guthrie praised Roberts for having the wisdom of King Solomon: "I guess you'd call it a Solomonic decision." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
During special coverage on ABC, correspondent Terry Moran touted the ruling as "a clever piece of lawyering by the Chief Justice," explaining: "...the government can tax you if you don't buy insurance, it can't order you to buy insurance." World News anchor Diane Sawyer chimed in: "So you pay the fine if you, in essence, don't pay that tax." Moran laughably replied: "You still have a choice."
On Thursday's NBC Rock Center, just days after calling for more liberal media bias against conservatives, left-wing screen writer Aaron Sorkin dismissed the idea that he has a reputation as an outspoken liberal: "I don't know so much about my being known for my liberal politics.... I don't have very much political sophistication at all." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Correspondent Savannah Guthrie skeptically replied: "Really, you're not known for your liberal politics?" Sorkin argued: "I don't feel that way about myself. Maybe I am. I've met activists, I'm not one of them. You know, they'll march. They'll do things that are hard. I, I don't."
At the top of Monday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer warned Mitt Romney against going after President Obama too hard on the stagnant economy: "Romney's campaign using the rise in unemployment to target President Obama's record on the economy, but can he make his point without sounding like he wants the recovery to fail?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Later, fill-in co-host Savannah Guthrie talked to left-wing MSNBC host Chris Matthews about the GOP's economic message and teed him up to slam Republicans: "I mean obviously they see that the bad economy will ultimately be good for his [Romney's] prospects, but they don't want to be perceived as rooting for failure." Matthews ranted: "But of course they are. You know, they've got a spring in their step now. This is great news for the Republicans.....All things being equal, they don't have to do anything except enjoy the economic downturn."
When Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, appeared as a guest on Monday's Today show on NBC for the Memorial Day occasion, substitute co-anchor Savannah Guthrie raised concerns from the right about whether announcing the timeline of a troop withdrawal from Afghanistan might benefit Taliban insurgents tactically. Guthrie:
After a Wednesday New York Times story gushed over the "indelible image" of a boy touching President Obama's hair in 2009, Friday's NBC Today dutifully promoted the pro-Obama fluff as co-host Savannah Guthrie declared: "...that photograph has gone viral online....the boy asked President Obama if he had hair just like his own. The President said yes, then bent over and invited the then-5-year-old boy to see for himself saying, quote, 'Touch it, dude.'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
"On this one occasion we can give [NBC News] kudos for telling the truth," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell observed on last night's Hannity program, reacting to video clips of Today show co-anchor Savannah Guthrie and Morning Joe contributor Mark Halperin admitting that the media are completely one-sided on the issue of same-sex marriage, while the American public are about evenly divided in national polling.
"It really does show you, Sean, the complete disconnect between the national news media and America, because in America it's a hugely controversial issue," the Media Research Center founder noted. Indeed, in 31 states, the people have expressed disapproval of same-sex marriage at the ballot box, even liberal California, Hannity noted. [watch the full segment video below the page break]
In a panel discussion on Thursday's NBC Today about President Obama announcing his support for gay marriage on Wednesday, co-host Savannah Guthrie confessed to the group of all liberal pundits: "...so many people in the media seem to uniformly support same-sex marriage." [Listen to the audioor watch the video after the jump]
That fact was made blatantly obvious by the discussion that preceded Guthrie's admission. The panel featured openly gay CNBC host Suze Orman, who voiced her support of the President's move: "Yeah, part of me is like, 'What took you so long, President Obama?' This is something that should have been done, in my opinion anyway – obviously, I would think that – a long time ago."
At the top of Thursday's NBC Nightly News, fill-in anchor Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: "Fired for trying to get pregnant. Tonight, the teacher versus the Catholic school." Guthrie was referring to Indiana Catholic school teacher Emily Herx claiming she was fired after receiving in vitro fertilization treatments and touted the case as "another legal showdown over religious and reproductive rights."
In the report that followed, correspondent Katy Tur declared: "It is one woman's battle against infertility and the restrictions of the Catholic Church." After promoting Herx's allegation that parish Monsignor John Kuzmic called her "a grave immoral sinner" for having the treatment, a sound bite played of Herx lamenting: "My husband was heartbroken, my family was heartbroken. It's been very emotional and traumatic for all of us."
While supposedly updating viewers on important news of the day on Friday's NBC Today, fill-in news anchor Savannah Guthrie touted an Obama campaign public relations effort: "Well, just days after joining Pinterest, that online scrapbook, President Obama's catching some good-natured heat. He posted a family recipe for chili, always a topic of culinary debate." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Tuesday, following Rick Santorum's call for politicians, like President Obama, to stop relying on Teleprompters for their public remarks, NBC Today co-host Matt Lauer allowed a liberal panel to rip into the Republican candidate for daring to criticize Obama.
Attorney Star Jones contemptuously proclaimed: "Doesn't he have anything else to talk about?...You're running for the presidency of the United States and you're going to whine because he's a better Teleprompter reader than you are? Oh, please." Correspondent Savannah Guthrie chimed in: "It's silly....It's a cheap shot, it's an easy laugh."
In an obnoxious question to MSNBC Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough during NBC's Super Tuesday special coverage, Nightly News anchor Brian Williams mocked the GOP as he pondered: "Who woke up in the Republican Party one day recently and said, 'I know what let's go after, let's go after reproductive rights in the United States'? What was that about?"
In the minutes prior to President Obama's Tuesday press conference, Meet the Press host David Gregory could barely contain his glee as he proclaimed those in the White House, "feel pretty good about how this Republican race is going for the President's reelection prospects, and there's nothing like being the president when the other guys are off fighting."
Gregory added that Obama, "can stand up and say, 'I'm actually dealing with the big issues,' and sort of frame the debate when everybody will be watching." Correspondent Savannah Guthrie similarly chimed in: "...it has been corrosive on the Republican Party as a brand to go through this difficult nominating process....Anytime the president is appearing presidential, doing the work of the presidency, they like that contrast with what's happening in the Republican primary."
On Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, after the panel roundly bashed Rush Limbaugh and Republicans for not denouncing him enough, correspondent Savannah Guthrie surprisingly criticized President Obama's response to the controversy: "The President also in danger, perhaps, of an overreach by calling this law student [Sandra Fluke]....that seemed a little nakedly political."
Rick Santorum’s recent rise in the polls in the GOP primary has escalated the liberal media’s attacks on the former Pennsylvania Republican Senator, primarily on his socially conservative views. This is not surprising since journalists have admitted, in several surveys, to being far more liberal on social issues like abortion than even the general public. One such survey of journalists, from top media outlets, found that nearly all of the media elite (97 percent) agreed that “it is a woman’s right to decide whether or not to have an abortion,” and five out of six (84 percent) agreed strongly.” For more please visit the MRC’s Media Bias 101 page.
The disdain for Santorum from that media elite began almost as soon as he arrived in the Senate in 1995. The following is a collection, in chronological order, of the 10 most vicious anti-Santorum quotes from the MRC’s archive: (videos after the break)
In a gushing report on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Savannah Guthrie freely acknowledged how media coverage has been boosting President Obama this campaign season: "The commander in chief in song and in tune. It's getting to be a regular gig....spontaneous moments can give a president or candidate the kind of wall-to-wall goodwill coverage money can't buy."
As blatant evidence of that fact, anchor Brian Williams introduced Guthrie's report by proclaiming: "Barack Obama, it turns out, likes Motown, R&B, and the Blues. Don't be surprised if a presidential trivia question 20 years from now asks, 'Who was known as the singing president?'" Sounds like narrative has already been written.
Citing Rick Santorum questioning President Obama's "theology" and recent comments form evangelist Franklin Graham, on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie wondered: "Does religion belong in our political discourse?" Show panelists – attorney Star Jones, advertising executive Donny Deutsch, and NBC medical editor Nancy Snyderman – gave a resounding no:
>JONES: Not if people are going to actually be talking about the relationship that they have with God or Christ or Buddha or whomever. I think it's inappropriate for people to bring in their own personal religion in politics.
On Sunday, NBC's David Gregory spent much of Meet the Press blasting Rick Santorum for criticizing President Obama's "phony theology" of liberalism. Earlier that morning, he appeared on the Today show to wonder if the GOP was "comfortable" with that line of criticism and warned: "Does it want to reignite culture wars in America over these kinds of issues?"
On Monday's Today, fill-in co-host Savannah Guthrie followed Gregory's lead as she lead the top of the show with this proclamation: "Culture wars. Rick Santorum is trying to explain his comment that appeared to question President Obama's faith." NBC did not dare accuse the Obama administration of trying to "reignite" a "culture war" over the ObamaCare contraception mandate controversy.
On Friday's CBS This Morning, Rick Santorum pushed back against Charlie Rose's interrogation about supporter Foster Friess's recent "bad off-color joke" on contraception, all but name-dropping former Obama pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright as an example of the media's double standard on playing "gotcha" politics with Republicans, but not Democrats.
Rose initially countered, "This is not gotcha; what this is, is trying to understand exactly what Rick Santorum stands for, and what he might say or do as president." But the GOP presidential candidate wasn't having any of it: "You don't do this with President Obama...he sat in a church for 20 years, and [you] defended him- that, oh, he can't possibly believe what he listened to for 20 years. It's a double standard...and I'm going to call you on it" [audio available here; video below the jump].
On Friday's NBC Today, substitute co-host Savannah Guthrie eagerly touted liberal talking points attacking a hearing held by House Republicans over the controversial ObamaCare contraception mandate on Thursday: "[They] held a hearing on the matter and Democrats got a lot of mileage out the fact that, that first panel of witnesses was all men."
On to discuss the political fallout, Meet the Press host David Gregory concluded: "You look at a scene like yesterday and it just underscores the fact that not only government, but our religious institutions, are dominated by men. It was an unfortunate image to put out there." Guthrie added: "...maybe Republicans stepped into it a little bit on that."
After suggesting that Republicans had done a better job of "enunciating" an anti-capitalist attack on Mitt Romney than "the Democrats have to date," NBC correspondent told fellow panelists on the January 11 Daily Rundown, "I hope the Democrats are furiously taking notes if this is the line of attack they plan to pursue against Mitt Romney."
Perhaps trying to evince a sense of fairness or balance, Guthrie then added (MP3 audio available here; video posted below page break):
For many months, the liberal media elite has made no secret that in its mind, the field of Republican presidental candidates includes Mitt Romney and a collection of clowns. Clearly, Romney is the opponent that Barack Obama and the liberal establishment want nominated.
Journalists have mercilessly savaged every single conservative alternative to Romney who’s ascended to the top of the polls. Palin. Bachmann. Cain. Perry. Gingrich. It’s too bad for them that the results from the Iowa caucuses threw off their bold predictions that the Romney Juggernaut would achieve liftoff in Des Moines. Yet Romney won by only eight votes over surprising Rick Santorum. This means one thing only: Senator, step up to the guillotine.
Earlier this week, both NBC's Today show and the NBC Nightly News made a point of informing viewers that President Obama's Gallup Daily Tracking Poll numbers had improved significantly since the Republican House caved on the payroll tax cut extension. The NBC Nightly News on Tuesday even highlighted the outdated numbers from Monday that were more positive for Obama, while merely noting as an afterthought the more recent Tuesday numbers that showed the trend starting to reverse back against the President.
As GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum appeared as a guest on Thursday's Today show on NBC, substitute co-host Savannah Guthrie focused the interview on the former Pennsylvania Senator's views on abortion and contraception, and whether he would be acceptable to "middle of the road voters." (Video below)
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"
The Big Three network morning shows on Wednesday highlighted the upcoming sentencing of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, but only CBS's Early Show identified the disgraced politician as a Democrat and devoted a full segment to him. ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today omitted his party ID, and just gave news briefs on the convict's possible sentence.
CBS correspondent Cynthia Bowers wasted little time before noting that "the former Democratic governor was convicted on 18 counts of corruption, after being caught on a profanity-laced federal wiretap offering political favors in return for financial gain." Bowers played two sound bites from the wiretap recording, including the infamous "bleeping golden" clip from Blagojevich.
In a testy interview on Tuesday's NBC Today, fill-in co-host Savannah Guthrie avoided asking retiring Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank about his role in the collapse of the housing market and yet the liberal Democrat still complained: "You've managed to ask all sort of negative questions.....you're four for four in managing to find a negative approach."
Guthrie began the segment by fretting that the Democrats could lose Frank's House seat: "...you said that your district has been redrawn in a way that would make it more difficult for you to win re-election. My question is, are you leaving your fellow Democrats in the lurch? It won't be any easier for any other Democrat to win this seat, right?"
The network morning shows on Thursday took a mostly light-hearted look at clothing company Benetton's ad campaign featuring the Pope kissing a Muslim cleric. The ads, which have now been pulled under legal pressure, were summarized by Good Morning America's Josh Elliott. He parroted, "It was part of Benetton 's Unhate campaign, challenging people to have the courage not to hate."
Elliott described the company's removal of the ad as "bowing to pressure from the Vatican." None of the networks, however, mentioned any possible negativity from Muslims. Only NBC's Today referred to them as "very, very controversial," with fourth hour co-host Hoda Kotb blanching, "Put your breakfast down. Because you're going to want to."
According to the network morning shows, violent Occupy Wall Street protesters are fighting back against government officials who are trying to rein them in. Early Show's Erica Hill highlighted "this growing crackdown on the anti-Wall Street protests around the country." She added, "In Oakland, California, the protesters are pushing back."
The "pushing back" came in the form of throwing rocks and bottles at police officers who attempted to remove them from a public encampment.
During a panel discussion on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer asked of the Occupy Wall Street protests: "What's the civics lesson in this for our kids as they're watching this on TV?" News anchor Natalie Morales argued: "...there's a huge civics lesson....the idea of having that civil discourse is important to teach our kids and it's something in history we've seen."
In contrast, moments later while discussing the latest Republican presidential debate, Lauer lectured Mitt Romney and Rick Perry on a heated exchange between them: "My parents, in teaching me manners, taught me, one, don't interrupt, bad on Rick Perry's point, keep your hands to yourself, bad on Mitt Romney's point." Weatherman Al Roker chimed in: "...we're seeing our kids are getting, again, this anti-teachable moment. Give somebody a chance to talk. They're just talking all over each other."