NBC and CBS's evening and morning shows on Thursday and Friday finally discovered the ugly comments made by a Democratic operative against Ann Romney. After skipping the story Thursday morning, CBS Evening News reporters did their best to minimize it. Correspondent Nancy Cordes insisted that Hillary Rosen, who knocked Mrs. Romney for "never working," made sure to stress that the woman "is not connected to the Obama campaign, but Republicans called out the campaign anyway."
Anchor Scott Pelley offered a similarly dismissive attitude: "Democrats and Republicans tripped over one another to see who could denounce with the most force what most everyone agrees was a dumb comment from a single pundit." Cordes pointed out an 18 point lead Barack Obama enjoys among women over Romney in one poll. On Friday's Good Morning America, reporter John Berman stressed this theme: "...Mitt Romney trails the President by 19 points among women. 19 points."
CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley was barely able to contain his laughter Wednesday night after playing a clip of President Obama invoking Ronald Reagan on behalf of his “Buffett Rule” tax hike quest. Nearly breaking into a laugh, a baffled Pelley wondered to CBS News political analyst John Dickerson: “So a vote for President Obama is a vote for Ronald Reagan?!” Dickerson snickered too. (Watch the video to see Pelley’s puzzled reaction.)
Pelley had set up the soundbite: “The President was in full campaign mode today and he even adopted a Republican idol as his own.”
Perhaps the year-over-year metric is an unfair comparison, because during the same week in 2011 the Japanese tsunami drew in ordinarily uninterested viewers. Compared to two years ago, the combined audience was slightly higher (by 2.1%). NBC and ABC were both down slightly, while CBS, recovering from the Katie Couric era and still in a distant third place, showed a double-digit gain. But the three networks were down in the advertiser-prized 25-54 demographic, with CBS eking out a much smaller gain which did not offset losses at NBC and ABC. Here are the numbers:
On Thursday's CBS Evening News, Elaine Quijano touted a charge from Pennsylvania Democrats that the new voter I.D. law there "targets poor and elderly voters." Quijano also spotlighted that, according to unnamed "Pennsylvania court officials," there were no cases of "voters convicted of fraud in the last five years." However, in late 2010, the AP reported on a credible allegation of voter fraud in the state.
Anchor Scott Pelley introduced the correspondent's report by trumpeting how "Pennsylvania has just enacted one of the toughest voter I.D. laws in the country. It will require voters to provide a photo I.D. at the polls this November. Republicans say it's about preventing voter fraud. Democrats say the real target is the poor."
Obama administration officials in the Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday they would pull all of Medicaid’s funding for Texas’ Women’s Health Program because the state decided to no longer pass those funds along to abortion providers, such as Planned Parenthood. Instead of holding the Obama officials accountable for putting the interests of a favored liberal group ahead of the poor women of Texas, right on cue the CBS Evening News turned it into another tale of woe with women as victims in the loss of “free” services provided by the sacrosanct Planned Parenthood.
“A fight over Planned Parenthood could leave thousands of women without health services,” anchor Scott Pelley ominously teased Thursday night, before introducing the report on how the “a growing dispute...could leave thousands of Texas women without access to health care.”
Charlie Rose and Bob Schieffer were President Obama's Amen corner on the issue of gas prices on Tuesday's CBS This Morning. Rose shamelessly claimed, "The President has a point...There's little that he can do...in the short term to affect gas prices, and gas prices hurts his political chances." Schieffer replied, "That's right on all counts...the problem is...people think there are things he can do about it."
On its Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning newscasts, CBS played up its most recent poll with the New York Times, which found that 61% of Catholics approve "President Obama's contraception policy," as a graphic on the CBS Evening News spun the recent federal government mandate that forces religious institutions to cover sterilization and birth control without a co-pay.
The left-leaning outlets' poll question, however, completely glossed over the religious liberty component to the controversy over the policy, asking only, "What about for religiously-affiliated employers, such as a hospital or university? Do you support or oppose a recent federal requirement that their health insurance plans cover the full cost of birth control for their female employees?"
On Monday, uniquely among the broadcast network evening newscasts, ABC's World News skipped the news that Israeli diplomats were the targets of simultaneous assassination attempts in two different countries, most likely from Iranian sources.
After 19 days of controversy, CBS Evening News on Tuesday finally got around to covering the growing dispute between the Obama administration, who wants to impose a mandate for sterilizations and birth control on religious institutions, and the Catholic Church and its allies, who see it as a violation of religious liberty. All of the Big Three networks' evening newscasts on Tuesday covered the issue.
On Wednesday morning, CBS This Morning was actually the only network morning show that devoted a segment to the "hot-button issue," as anchor Gayle King labeled it. NBC's Today show gave a mere news brief on the "uproar" over the new federal policy, while ABC's Good Morning America ignored it.
It seems media outlets only care about reporting on Planned Parenthood when its funding is threatened. When that happens, the liberal press goes ballistic.
When cancer charity Susan G. Komen for the Cure cut funding to Planned Parenthood, the abortion mill reacted swiftly, with a press release that rallied its allies in the media to create a ruckus about losing more than $600,000 in funding. The liberal media echo chamber began ringing with howls of rage that the cancer charity would dare to say no to funding the abortion giant. Strangely, the three broadcast networks seemed to have difficulty locating Komen supporters to interview.
Fox News's Ed Henry challenged White House Press Secretary Jay Carney during a Tuesday briefing over the growing controversy surrounding the Obama administration's move on January 20 to force most employers to cover sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraceptives in their health care policies without co-pay. This new federal mandate would force Catholic institutions, like hospitals and schools, to decide whether to obey it or follow the Church's teachings against contraception.
Anchor Megyn Kelly trumpeted that "this is turning into a big deal, and the White House... [is] saying they believe they have struck the appropriate balance...the Catholic Church...saying, how is it the appropriate balance to delay...the time at which we'd have to violate our consciences?" [video clip below the jump] The Big Three networks, on the other hand, have all but ignored the issue during the past 11 days. Only CBS This Morning on Tuesday briefly mentioned the growing controversy.
Scott Pelley simply got it wrong on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, when he claimed that the Republican presidential candidates "have finally arrived in a state that was very hard hit by the great recession and has been suffering for a very long time. The unemployment rate here is about 10%." In reality, South Carolina, the state that held the last GOP primary, has about the same unemployment rate, at 9.9% [audio available here; video below the jump].
Two weeks earlier, on the January 17 edition of his CBS Evening News program, Pelley introduced a segment with John Dickerson, who was in the Palmetto State, which referenced the national unemployment rate. But neither on-air personality mentioned the specific unemployment rate inside the state:
Barack Obama’s invitation to Warren Buffett’s secretary, Debbie Bosanek, to tonight’s State of the Union Address is bound to please not only Bosanek’s boss but also the liberal media that has allied with Buffett in his mission to raise taxes on the rich. For over 10 years the Berkshire Hathaway CEO has campaigned to sop the wealthy with burdensome taxes, and his friends in the media have been all too willing to advance his myth that secretaries pay more in taxes than their boss.
The following articles from the MRC’s archive represent just a few of the more recent and obnoxious examples of Buffett and Obama’s friends in the media carrying water for their crusade to soak America’s job creators:
During a segment of the CBS Evening News for January 10, East Coast viewers could see a man in the background holding up an MRC "Don't Believe the Liberal Media!" poster as anchor Scott Pelley introduced CBS News political director John Dickerson, who was live at Ron Paul's post-election rally site. [video embedded below the page break]
On Friday's CBS Evening News, anchor Scott Pelley tagged Rick Santorum as the "very conservative Pennsylvania Senator" as he introduced a full report on the GOP presidential candidate's views on gay rights, abortion, and contraception, with correspondent Dean Reynolds warning that the GOP candidate's views on social issues that helped him in Iowa "have energized his opponents here in New Hampshire."
After noting a recent poll shows Santorum "coming on strong" in the Granite State since his near win in the Iowa caucuses, Pelley, applied the "very conservative" label to the Pennsylvania Republican:
On Friday's CBS Evening News, as correspondent Sharyl Attkisson filed a report to inform viewers that the House of Representatives had approved the Senate plan for a two-month payroll tax cut extension, Attkisson included a clip of Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid directing a "lecture" at and blaming House Republican freshmen for the delay, as she recounted his hope that they had "learned a lesson."
While the report included two soundbites from Democrats that allowed them to put forth some of their message - in the form of one clip each from Reid and President Obama - the CBS correspondent only included a couple of brief non-political clips of House Speaker John Boehner as the only Republican afforded a soundbite. (Video below)
On Monday's The Ed Show, MSNBC host Ed Schultz accused Republican presidential candidates of "fearmongering" on the issue of the danger posed by a nuclear Iran, but, ironically, on the same day the CBS Evening News led its show with an interview with Obama administration Defense Secretary Leon Panetta who hinted at the possibility of a nuclear strike on Iran within the next year because the radical Islamic state is believed capable of assembling a nuclear bomb within that time.
As he interviewed Joe Cirincione of the Ploughshare Fund about the latest on North Korea, Schultz switched over to talking about Iran:
CBS Evening News on Wednesday hyped the "early success" of a provision of ObamaCare which allows young adults under the age of 26 to stay on their parents' health care. Correspondent Wyatt Andrews spotlighted a young woman afflicted with Crohn's disease as an example of this apparent success, all the while failing to mention the liberal agenda of a "patient rights advocate" featured in his report.
The first part of Andrews's report played as a human interest story, focusing on Caryn Powers, "one of those young adults who already benefits from the health care reform act." The journalist highlighted that "Caryn's medicine alone costs more than $3,000 a month. If she could not stay on her parents' health insurance, she says, she'd be bankrupt and unable to work as a nurse."
A few weeks ago, NewsBusters introduced readers to an amazing homeless girl in Florida with a truly inspiring view of life.
Her story, first told by CBS's 60 Minutes, touched so many Americans that Scott Pelley announced at the end of Sunday's program more than $1 million had been sent to various charities in Florida, and colleges have offered full scholarships to the main characters (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As the three broadcast network evening newscasts on Thursday reported former New Jersey Democratic Senator Jon Corzine's testimony before Congress on the billion dollars in investor money that went missing from the financial firm he once headed, only the NBC Nightly News took the time to label him as a Democrat.
“In the presidential campaign,” CBS anchor Scott Pelley announced Thursday night, “President Obama fired back today at Republican opponents who criticized his foreign policy using words like ‘timid,’ ‘weak’ and ‘appeasement.’”
Over on ABC, fill-in anchor David Muir trumpeted “a very pointed response from President Obama” to the charge he’s had a weak foreign policy as an admiring Muir maintained “you can almost see him choosing his words as the question is asked.” Both then played Obama’s response from a late morning news conference:
At the top of Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams fretted: "The Obama administration blocks a plan to make the 'morning-after' pill more easily available to young girls. Is this about medicine, politics or something else?" Moments later, he proclaimed: "We begin tonight with this surprise decision that takes us right to the intersection of medicine, science and politics."
The CBS Evening News also lead with the decision as anchor Scott Pelley hyped: "No White House has ever overruled a safety recommendation by the Food and Drug Administration, but it happened today." In the report that followed, correspondent Wyatt Andrews announced that by overruling the FDA, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, "stunned many public health proponents."
Thursday's CBS Evening News ended with an uplifting report highlighting refugees from Burma who were resettled in the United States to escape ethnic persecution in their home country.
#From the December 18 Good Morning America on ABC:
DAN HARRIS: Good morning, America. This morning, the big endorsement. With little more than two weeks before the Iowa caucuses, Mitt Rommey gets a big boost overnight. with Newt Gingrich's momentum slowing, is this race about to be shaken up yet again?
HARRIS: Let's start with politics. It's "Your Voice, Your Vote." We're about two weeks away now from the Iowa caucuses, the first step on what could be a very, very long road to the Republican nomination. And this morning, one of the Republican candidates picking up a key endorsement. ABC's David Kerley following all the action story overnight. David, good morning to you.
DAVID KERLEY: Good morning, David. In fact, two big endorsements for Mitt Romney. Bob Dole says Romney is his pick. And the biggest newspaper in Iowa, the Des Moines Register, endorsed Romney when he wasn't even in the state. In fact, with this final sprint under way, two of the leading candidates are not in Iowa. Social conservatives in Iowa believe Mitt Romney has ignored their state, but that didn't stop the Democratic-leaning Des Moines Register from endorsing Romney, citing his, quote, "sobriety, wisdom, and judgment." Half a country away, Romney tweeted, quote, "Looking forward to being back in Iowa soon."
Gingrich continues to stir up some controversy. On that conference call yesterday, he said he would abolish some courts that are out of step with the country if he is Pesident.
#From the December 18 World News on ABC:
DAVID MUIR: The war is getting a lot of attention tonight on the campaign trail. With just two weeks till the Iowa caucuses, Mitt Romney criticized Obama for bringing the troops home now. It comes as Romney looks to regain his frontrunner status, and today, he got some help in Iowa. Here's ABC's David Kerley.
DAVID KERLEY: Mitt Romney has logged less time in Iowa than most candidates, but he nabbed the endorsement of the largest paper, which noted what it called his "sobrity, wisdom, and judgment." But it was a scathing review of Newt Gingrich by the Des Moines Register, "an undisciplined partisan who would "alienate not unite."
NEWT GINGRICH: I'm actually delighted because the Manchester Union Leader, which is a reliably conservative newspaper, endorsed me. The Des Moines Register, which is a solidly liberal newspaper, did not endorse me. I think that indicates who the conservative in this race is.
KERLEY: The former House Speaker still leads Iowa polls, but his opponents say he's slipping. Romney, buoyed by the endorsements, including South Carolina's governor, broke a two-year avoidance of the Sunday morning talk shows and showed a softer side when asked about his wife learning she has Multiple Sclerosis.
MITT ROMNEY CLIP #1: Probably the toughest time in my life was standing there with Ann as we hugged each other and the diagnosis came.
ROMNEY CLIP #2: And I said to her, "As long as it's not something fatal, I'm just fine. Look, I'm happy in life as long as I've got my soulmate with me."
KERLEY: Gingrich may be feeling the heat. He had intended to take this weekend off, and, at the last minute, he agreed to that national TV appearance today. David, the holiday dash in Iowa is under way tonight.
#From the December 18 Today show on NBC:
JENNA WOLF, IN OPENING TEASER: Advantage Romney? With just two weeks to go in the Iowa caucuses, Mitt Romney scores two key endorsements, but how much weight will they carry?
WOLF: Turning to politics now at home, the President is enjoying a small victory after the Senate on Saturday extended the payroll tax for two months, this as one Republican presidential candidate picks up what some call a key endorsement. NBC's Mike Viqueira joins us live from the White House with the latest. Mike, good morning.
MIKE VIQUEIRA: Good morning to you, Jenna. It's already been a big weekend in politics, both here in Washington and out on the campaign trail. There was a rare Saturday session of the Senate. The President appeared in the briefing room afterward, after fighting to a temporary standstill with Republicans on extending that payroll tax cut. And, meanwhile, out on the campaign trail, the man the Obama campaign still thinks it's most likely to face in elections next fall picked up some key endorsements.
With the Iowa caucus in a little more than two weeks, last night a major endorsement. The Des Moines Register, Iowa's largest paper, endorsed Mitt Romney, delivering a major boost.
LESTER HOLT: Mitt Romney, by design, did not put a lot of effort in Iowa. Now he's picked up this endorsement from the Des Moines Register. How big a deal is that for him?
DAVID GREGORY: Well, I think nationally it's big in terms of the overall narrative of how's he doing. I think within Iowa it may not have as much effect as it would for a Democratic primary. But it does help Romney begin to make the case here that Iowans should take a hard look at Newt Gingrich, who is still on top of the polls. I think if you're Romney, you may not be able to win Iowa, but what you hope to do is reduce the scale and the size of a Gingrich win in Iowa. And others can help him do that. If Ron Paul does well, if Bachmann gets a decent percentage of the vote, then that Gingrich win in Iowa, should that happen, could be seen as a smaller victory.
#From the December 18 NBC Nightly News:
LESTER HOLT: To presidential politics now, and a major endorsement today for Mitt Romney from Iowa's largest newspaper. It's a shot in the arm for the Romney campaign, hoping to stem the recent surge of Newt Gingrich. NBC's Mike Viqueira now with the latest.
MIKE VIQUEIRA: Entering the home stretch in Iowa, candidates in the back of the pack are racing to catch up. Both Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann are blanketing the state on bus tours, stopping to greet voters, and delivering attacks on frontrunner Newt Gingrich.
MICHELE BACHMANN: He's trying to sound like a conservative, but he's actually sounding more like a 30-year establishment Washington beat insider that he is.
VIQUEIRA: Today, Mitt Romney questioned Gingrich's ability to lead.
MITT ROMNEY: He has been unreliable in those settings and zany. I wouldn't think you'd call mirrors in space to light highways at night particularly practical or a lunar colony a practical idea, not at a stage like this.
VIQUEIRA: This as Gingrich invited more controversy, speaking out in favor of abolishing some courts, allowing presidents to ignore judicial rulings and empowering Congress to subpoena judges.
BOB SCHIEFFER, CBS NEWS: Would you send the Capitol Police now to arrest him?
NEWT GINGRICH: If you had to. Or you'd instruct the Justice Department to send U.S. marshals.
VIQUEIRA: In the past two days, Romney has scored a string of endorsements, including the Des Moines Register, though the paper's record of picking winners is mixed. John McCain was their choice in 2008 over the eventual caucus winner, conservative Mike Huckabee. The backing comes as a welcome boost for the Romney campaign.
RICK GREEN, DES MOINES REGISTER: Through all that we have seen and heard from Governor Romney, he was very measured, very focused on what we think is the most pressing issue in front of all of us, and that's the economy.
VIQUEIRA: And, Lester, you might be surprised to learn that Newt Gingrich pronounced himself delighted that the Des Moines Register endorsed his rival, Mitt Romney. He calls it a solidly liberal paper and points out New Hampshire's Manchester Union Leader, known to be much more conservative editorially, has endorsed him. Lester?
HOLT: Mike Viqueira at the White House. Mike, thanks.
After recounting the help Christian organizations in Kentucky have provided for refugees, correspondent Seth Doane concluded his report with a soundbite of Dr. Mahn Myint Saing, who runs a successful Thai restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky, as he declared that America is the "best place to live in the world."
Earlier in the report, referring to a teenage refugee, Doane had also related:
Eh-Nay-Thaw is among several hundred refugees from Burma who've been embraced by Crescent Hill Baptist Church. Officially resettled as refugees, they come here with full legal status, welcome to work, welcome to go to school, welcome to stay.
Below is a complete transcript of the report from the Thursday, December 1, CBS Evening News:
SCOTT PELLEY: Finally tonight, America has always been a beacon for those escaping persecution. Since 1990, 92,000 refugees have fled the brutal regime in Burma to settle right here. And we asked Seth Doane to introduce us.
SETH DOANE: A lot of folks think it's the best Thai restaurant in Louisville. Simply Thai gets terrific press, but the real story here is not the food. You were a physician in Burma. You run a restaurant here in the U.S. Was that difficult?
DR. MAHN MYINT SAING, REFUGEE FROM BURMAN: It needs a little bit of adjustment, but, no, it's not difficult.
DOANE: In 1988, Dr. Mahn Myint Saing found his clinic in the cross-fire of a brutal government crackdown in Burma - persecuted, he says, because he's part of the wrong ethnic group.
SAING: They shoot at the building. Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. Glass shattered.
DOANE: Your clinic was destroyed.
SAING: Yes, completely destroyed.
DOANE: Sang took up arms against the government but was eventually forced to flee with his family.
SAING: No human rights.
DOANE: In Myanmar, at all.
SAING: At all. No human rights.
DOANE: In the conflict, thousands fled into neighboring Thailand. For 23 years, 150,000 have been trapped, unable to go home, yet not permitted to leave the camps by the Thai government. Their best hope is an offer from the U.S. government to emigrate. That's what happened to 16-year-old Eh-Nay-Thaw, who spent 10 years in the camps before being resettled in Kentucky. When your mother tells you about those times, what does she tell you?
EH-NAY-THAW, REFUGEE FROM BURMA: Her house was burned. The only thing you see was ash, and the place, they destroyed everything.
DOANE: Your village where you were living was all destroyed?
EH-NAY-THAW: Yeah, yeah, ash.
DOANE: Eh-Nay-Thaw is among several hundred refugees from Burma who've been embraced by Crescent Hill Baptist Church. Officially resettled as refugees, they come here with full legal status, welcome to work, welcome to go to school, welcome to stay.
EH-NAY-THAW: God has sent a miracle for us, and we have chance to come here, which is real good.
DOANE: Groups like Kentucky Refugee Ministries provide support with English classes, assistance with government paperwork and job placement. Having started as a dish washer, Dr. Saing is something of a legend among the refugees.
SAING: America is not perfect, but in my mindset, it is the best place, bar none, it is the best place to live in this world.
DOANE: While they've lost their homeland, in Kentucky, they've found a home. Seth Doane, CBS News, Louisville.
PELLEY: The U.S. welcomes more refugees than any country on Earth. That's the CBS Evening News for tonight. For all of us at CBS News all around the world, good night.
60 Minutes on Sunday did an absolutely touching segment about homeless people living in cars and trucks in Florida.
One such unfortunate soul was Arielle Metzger, a 15-year-old girl with more self-confidence and pride than those carping and whining about what they're supposedly entitled to in Occupy encampments around the country (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Wednesday's CBS Evening News, correspondent Chip Reid filed a report which took a sympathetic look at a family of illegal immigrants in Alabama who fear enforcement of the state's new law against illegal immigration. Reid also highlighted aspects of the law that even supporters consider to be flaws that should be fixed.
The CBS correspondent began the report by focusing on the "agonizing" plight of a 15-year-old illegal immigrant who fears separation from his parents:
On last night's CBS Evening News, correspondent Nancy Cordes listed one and only one sticking point in the failure of the so-called "supercommittee" to reach a deal, and that was, she said, how "Republicans on the supercommittee were pushing to make the Bush-era tax cuts permanent for everyone."
And only one politician, Democratic Senator and supercommitee member John Kerry, was permitted to frame the story for CBS viewers. "This is not a tax cutting committee. This is a deficit reduction committee," Kerry asserted. "And we do not believe that the wealthiest people in America should get another tax cut."
As reports started coming out on Wednesday on the search for White House shooting suspect Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, one common detail was mentioned, including in The New York Times: "Late on Friday, the police searched the Occupy DC protest camp...after reports that the suspect might have spent time there." NBC, ABC, and CBS left that fact out of their evening and morning coverage of his arrest.
All three network evening news programs made the Wednesday afternoon arrest of Ortega-Hernandez their lead story. NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams proclaimed: "Shots fired at the White House, prompting an urgent manhunt for the gunman, now under arrest amid questions about his motive." ABC World News anchor Diane Sawyer declared: "Caught. The man accused of tiring an AK-47 at the White House, apprehended." On CBS's Evening News, anchor Scott Pelley reported: "Bullets strike the White House. Bob Orr on the man in custody."
During Saturday's Republican presidential debate in South Carolina, CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley arrogantly argued with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich about the "rule of law" concerning killing American born terrorists overseas.
By the end of the exchange, Pelley, with a smug, condescending expression on his face, looked quite foolish as the audience applauded and one of Gingrich's opponents on stage actually commented, "Well said. Well said" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Conservatives had some significant victories in Tuesday’s scattered elections across the country, but the broadcast network evening newscasts on Wednesday night – with the exception of one topic on NBC – decided to only highlight, as did the morning shows earlier in the day, setbacks for conservatives.
“Ohio voters rejected a Republican-backed measure that limited the collective bargaining rights of public workers,” CBS anchor Scott Pelley noted of the measure which won by 61 to 39 percent, but neither he nor ABC’s Diane Sawyer informed viewers a ballot measure which will bar ObamaCare’s mandate won by an even more overwhelming 66 to 34 percent.