NBC and ABC in their evening and morning newscasts completely ignored the grilling Eric Holder received on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, over his role in the Fast and Furious scandal. Senate Republicans forced Holder to admit his initial statements to Congress about his department’s role in gunwalking were "inaccurate," and that he never apologized to the family of a Border Agent killed by a Mexican drug cartel that used guns from the Fast and Furious operation. Only Sharyl Attkisson, in two full reports aired on Tuesday’s Evening News and Wednesday’s The Early Show, relayed the testimony that ABC and NBC blacked out on their broadcasts.
Attkisson, who was berated by the Obama White House and even momentarily benched by CBS, for her role in covering the story, ran down the pertinent details in the following story aired on the November 8 edition of CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley:
ABC's World News this week failed to mention the development that former New Jersey Democratic Senator and former Governor Jon Corzine is mired in a scandal involving $600 million in missing funds from the financial firm MF Global which he headed until today.
The CBS Evening News and the NBC Nightly News so far have not mentioned Corzine's Democratic Party affiliation as they ran full reports on Tuesday, and on Friday both shows updated viewers after Corzine's resignation.
On Friday, Brian Williams related that a "prominent criminal defense lawyer" had been hired by Corzine as the NBC anchor read a brief item:
Thursday's World News on ABC skipped the congressional decision to subpoena White House emails related to the Solyndra solar energy company that went into bankruptcy after receiving tax dollars. The CBS Evening News gave the story 22 seconds, while the NBC Nightly News included a 31-second news brief.
The liberal media have spent the month of October enthusing over the left-wing “Occupy” protests, richly rewarding the anti-capitalist movement with the oxygen of national publicity. The broadcast networks, in particular, have boosted the protests as “growing” and “resonating,” and cast the participants as more than just a radical fringe group, but drawn “from all walks of life, young and old, male and female.”
The MRC has pulled together quotes showing these trends, as documented in the October 17 and October 31 editions of our Notable Quotables newsletter (available in full at www.MRC.org). The most obnoxious examples:
Earlier today, Matthew Balan at NewsBusters noted how the "Big Three Nets Trumpet Wall Street Protesters 'Proclaiming Victory.'" HIs report concentrated on the morning shows, but a Media Research Center Reality Check showed the that the fawning has also been present in evening news coverage.
Evening show network executives, however, may be less than thrilled about the "Occupy Wall Street" crowd coverage, and secretly hoping for the whole thing to wind down. That's because their shows, which have generally seen their ratings rise during the past twelve months, saw their combined audience fall below 21 million during the week of October 3, with CBS suffering a particularly sharp drop (comparisons are to previous week):
The broadcast networks continued their enthusiastic coverage Friday night on behalf of the far-left Wall Street protesters, with NBC’s Brian Williams, again, the most excited while CBS anchor Scott Pelley, who has until now refrained from the hype delivered by ABC and NBC, jumped in by promising “a series of reports on the growing protests around the country.”
Williams led by touting how the protesters “are claiming victory tonight” by not getting removed from the Manhattan park. He then hailed their impact which he has helped fuel: “This protest movement is showing strength. It’s still growing, changing and spreading...”
But instead of highlighting the cover-up in the scandal of the $535 million federal loan trumpeted by the Obama administration to the solar panel manufacturer which went bankrupt, neither ABC nor NBC mentioned the development Friday night and CBS allocated a mere 25 seconds.
Andrew Petersen. That’s the last Republican to win New York’s 9th Congressional District. CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley provided that bit of trivia, and displayed a picture of him, on Wednesday night as he relayed how Petersen was “swept into office in the 1920 Republican landslide...”
Throughout coverage of President Obama's address to Congress Thursday night, anchors and correspondents on both CBS and NBC gave fawning reviews of the new jobs plan, in some cases, even before the speech began. In contrast, ABC took a much more skeptical tone, with a focus on the President's falling poll numbers.
Evening News anchor Scott Pelley opened CBS's coverage by proclaiming the President was "hanging out a 'help wanted' sign" for unemployed Americans, with chief White House correspondent Norah O'Donnell excitedly announcing moments later that Obama would put forward "an extraordinarily bold plan" to create jobs.
Just as criticism builds over President Barack Obama’s plan to spend the next week-and-a-half on Martha’s Vineyard while the economy flounders, the CBS Evening News came to his defense, suggesting he’s been a workaholic compared to his Republican predecessors.
While “Obama has taken 61 days of vacation so far,” anchor Scott Pelley noted over a photo montage of those he cited, “at this point in their presidencies, George W. Bush had spent 180 days at his ranch, where staff often joined him for meetings, and Ronald Reagan 112 days at his ranch. Among recent Presidents, Bill Clinton took the least time off -- 28 days.”
“Republican presidential contender Rick Perry rustles up a controversy when he appears to threaten the head of the Federal Reserve,”CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley teased Tuesday night in taking literally Perry’s remarks about Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. CBS then played a clip of Perry: “We would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas.”
Brian Williams teased the NBC Nightly News by promoting President Obama’s scolding, in a CNN interview, of Perry: “On the broadcast tonight, fighting words. Rick Perry comes out swinging and talking and the White House tells him to watch what he says.”
“Billionaires on notice,” ABC anchor Diane Sawyer teased Monday’s World News in trumpeting, as did CBS and NBC, aNew York Times op-ed by liberal billionaire Warren Buffett. Sawyer heralded Buffett’s quest: “Is it time for the mega-rich to pay at least the same tax rate as their secretaries? And if they did pay their fair share, would it fix America's schools or roads?”
Sawyer soon ludicrously asserted “working men and women,” meaning the non-wealthy, “pay the most taxes.” In fact, as detailed by the Tax Foundation, “America's wealthiest taxpayers are paying a disproportionate share of the income tax burden” while half of all households pay no income taxes.
Friday night’s CBS Evening News examined Rick Perry’s record in Texas, citing his claims his policies led to job creation but then pivoting to how “Perry's bedrock pledge to never raise taxes also had a reckoning this year.”
Reporter Wyatt Andrews relayed liberal claims that “with taxes not an option, the state cut deeply into health care and so deeply into education, some 49,000 teachers are being laid off.” He prompted a teacher: “Do you see a Texas miracle?” She retorted, “No, I see a Texas tragedy” as Andrews related that she “calls her layoff the cost of low taxes.”
ABC’s Jake Tapper on Thursday night scolded Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for a “gaffe” over his assertion that “corporations are people” since “everything corporations earn ultimately goes to the people.”
That common sense observation came in reaction to a bunch of hecklers, from a left-wing activist group, who confronted Romney in Iowa, yet neither ABC or CBS acknowledged their agenda. The CBS Evening News, in fact, put “Voter Anger” on screen over one of the screaming leftists as anchor Scott Pelley declared “voters are angry about the economy.”
Running through the findings of a new CBS News/New York Times poll, on Thursday’s CBS Evening News Chip Reid highlighted how, after weeks of media hostility the Tea Party has lost popularity, as he also located people to illustrate how more wanted, and still want, taxes raised over spending cuts alone.
Reid ignored, however, how far more – Republicans, independents, and even Democrats – believe the spending cuts “didn’t go far enough” over “went too far.”
Framing a shortcoming in the debt deal as a liberal would and does, CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley on Tuesday night regretted the how “the last time the President and the Congress compromised on a major spending bill, Republicans got tax cuts and Mr. Obama won an extension of unemployment benefits,” but this time “there are only budget cuts and no relief for those suffering in this economy.”
On Monday, Politico reported that "several sources" in a private meeting of House Democrats confirmed that Vice President Joe Biden accused Tea Party Republicans of having "acted like terrorists." CBS and ABC completely punted the story on their evening and morning newscasts. NBC made mention of the controversy, but only to further Biden's denial of having made the comment.
CBS's omission was particularly stunning given that Evening News anchor Scott Pelley interviewed the Vice President on Monday. Politico noted that Pelley actually did ask about the 'terrorist' remark: "'I did not use the terrorism word,' Biden told CBS Evening News anchor and managing editor Scott Pelley." However, Pelley's question and Biden's denial were completely scrubbed from the portion of the interview aired on Monday's Evening News or Tuesday's Early Show.
On Friday’s World News on ABC, correspondent Jonathan Karl took a moment to go beyond the budget debate between House Republicans and President Obama with the GOP unwilling to support a tax increase, and noted that House Democrats have also been just as resistant to voting for cutting the growth of Medicare spending. But the same night's CBS Evening News focused on Republican reluctance to support some of the budget proposals and even gave the impression at one point that congressional Democrats were willing to curtail Medicare growth.
On ABC, after recounting some of the Republicans who have resisted voting for budget plans that have been brought up, Karl continued:
On Thursday’s CBS Evening News, correspondent Nancy Cordes filed a report on House Majority Leader Eric Cantor as a "lightning rod" for sharp criticism from Democrats because of his role in budget negotiations with President Obama. After beginning the report with a clip of Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer asserting that Cantor "has yet to make a constructive contribution," and after recounting that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had called the Republican leader "childish," Cordes seemed to legitimize the insults as she asserted that Cantor had provided "plenty of ammunition":
America's only admittedly socialist member of Congress said Wednesday that he disagreed with President Obama's comments concerning Social Security checks possibly not going out on August 3rd if the debt ceiling isn't raised.
When Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said he felt checks to seniors and disabled vets would be issued no matter what, the host of MSNBC's "The Ed Show" responded, "So you would take issue with the President on that statement, that he may have been fear-mongering in essence?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As a result of Scott Pelley's interview with President Obama on the "CBS Evening News" Tuesday, the media are once again scaring seniors with the absurd notion Social Security checks won't go out in August if the debt ceiling isn't raised.
An examination of the video and transcript of the relevant sections of this exchange bring into question whether or not that's actually what the President said (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In a relatively inoffensive interview with President Barack Obama for Tuesday’s CBS Evening News, anchor Scott Pelley implied the Tea Party (and maybe congressional liberals too) should be blamed for blocking a debt ceiling deal (“Isn't the problem that a large number of the Members of Congress will not follow your leadership or the Republican leadership?”) and fondly recalled how “it wasn't that long ago when compromise in Washington was considered a virtue, not a vice.”
Pelley touted how “Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill were on opposite sides of the political spectrum, but they respected each other, they liked each other and they got things done.” That allowed Obama to use Reagan to scold conservatives: “If Ronald Reagan could compromise, why wouldn't folks who idolize Ronald Reagan be willing to engage in those same kinds of compromises?”
On Thursday's CBS Evening News and Friday's Early Show, CBS glossed over President Obama's aim to break a campaign promise with a proposal to raise taxes on people who make less than $250,000 a year. Both Chip Reid and Bill Plante noted that "the White House is also insisting on...a limit on deductions for people...making more than $200,000 a year," but didn't reference the Democrat's 2008 tax pledge.
Near the end of his report, which aired 44 minutes into the 6 pm Eastern hour, Reid highlighted the Obama administration's push for tax hikes:
“The problem is this issue with the House Republicans,” NBC’s Chuck Todd declared Wednesday night in naming the culprit blocking help to Americans whom anchor Brian Williams asserted “are hurting every day and hoping for a result to make their lives better.”
In a story on President Barack Obama’s press conference, Todd maintained Obama and the Senate could come together, but he blamed the conservatives for preventing a debt ceiling deal, fretting over “that new conservative, the Tea Party caucus” which rejects “anything that even remotely looks like a tax hike on anybody.”
NBC barely covered the Thursday arrests of two Islamists in a planned terrorist attack on a military facility in Seattle. The network didn't cover the breaking news at all on Thursday's Nightly News, and devoted only 17 seconds to it on Friday's Today Show. Thursday's CBS Evening News had a minute-long report on the arrests, while ABC had full reports on the arrests on World News and GMA.
CBS anchor Scott Pelley introduced correspondent Bob Orr's brief report on the terror plot: "It has been a busy 48 hours for the FBI. We learned today that agents have arrested two men in what the feds say was a terrorist plot to attack a military recruiting station in Seattle." Orr only made one indirect and vague reference to the suspects' religion: "The two men...somehow had become radicalized on their own." Actually, in an online report on Thursday, ABC referenced unnamed officials who stated that they are "believed to have met in prison and to have converted to Islam in prison."
Barack Obama's confusing one living American war hero with a fallen one he honored in 2009, has been completely ignored by the Big Three Networks shows, including the same NBC Nightly News that threw a fit over Sarah Palin's recent recounting of an event over 200 years ago, Paul Revere's ride.
The June 13 edition of MRC’s Notable Quotables has now been posted over at www.MRC.org, showcasing the most outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes from the liberal media over the past two weeks. This edition features: CNN’s Piers Morgan snootily slamming the Tea Party as “not the brightest” and perhaps similar to the mobs Hitler and Mussolini employed in the 1930s; MSNBC’s Martin Bashir seriously arguing that Sarah Palin is a criminal because of the American flag painted on the side of her tour bus; and news reporters fretting over Weinergate, worried that President Obama might lose a “very important" left-wing critic now that a “rising star” of the Left has become tainted by scandal.
The entire package (including four videos) is posted at www.MRC.org (click here for the nicely-formatted three-page PDF); here are some of the highlights:
The Washington Post published a seriously misleading headline Tuesday. At top of the Style section, it read: “Anthony Weiner is everywhere – except CBS: Anchor Scott Pelley takes the high road in his debut, focusing on other news.”
It would be natural for readers to think Pelley skipped Weiner’s confession entirely on Monday night. But TV critic Hank Stuever was merely thrilled and impressed that Pelley showed a “ray of serious sunshine” by delaying Weinergate until midway through his first newscast:
CBS News has lately been running ads touting their new Evening News anchor Scott Pelley as bringing “the world class original reporting of 60 Minutes, now every weeknight.” If so, those who hoped CBS would finally shift towards a more fair-and-balanced approach to the news may again be disappointed.
Last year, MRC news analysts reviewed “the world class reporting” on 60 Minutes and found a lopsided agenda that strongly favored liberals. In the previous five years, 60 Minutes aired 35 interviews with liberal leaders and celebrities, most of which (69%) were friendly and unchallenging. In contrast, only five of the 17 conservative segments (29%) were soft, a huge tilt both in the amount and the tone of CBS’s coverage.