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.
Scott Pelley, the incoming anchor for the CBS Evening News, dropped by Washington, DC’s CBS affiliate on Wednesday where he mimicked left-wing MSNBC’s “Lean Forward” slogan as he promised: “We’re going to be leaning forward.”
On DCRTV.com I saw a link to online video of a WUSA-TV story about Pelley’s May 4 visit to the Gannett-owned station where he pledged: “We're going to cover hard news. We're going to be aggressive about that. We're going to be leaning forward.”
Very unlike MSNBC, however, he pledged fairness: “Were going to be all about original reporting, unique insight and being fair to everybody involved in a story. It is just that simple.” (Audio: MP3 clip)
Incoming CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley was asked by the Politico's Keach Hagey for his reaction to the MRC's Profile in Bias on him and the longtime 60 Minutes correspondent, who once compared global warming skeptics to Holocaust deniers, seemed to deny the charge of liberal bias as he huffed: "CBS has been called liberal for a lot of years," adding, "It probably harkens all the way back to Edward Murrow."
Today CBS News officially announced that longtime correspondent Scott Pelley will be taking the reins of the CBS Evening News from departing anchor Katie Couric. A review of the MRC's archive reveals Pelley will most likely continue the long tradition of liberal bias advanced by his anchor predecessors Couric, Dan Rather and Walter Cronkite.
From celebrating the likes of liberal heroes like Hillary Clinton, saying that she is of the rare few that can match Barack Obama's "global star power" to even offering praise of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, depicting him as a "genuinely humble" figure with "no fancy clothes, fancy cars" who was "absolutely incorruptible," Pelley's new stint as anchor promises to be one filled with biased platitudes for those on the left and harsh criticism of the right.
Below the jump are just a couple examples of Pelley's bias over the years, but to see even more outrageous outakes from Pelley's time as a correspondent for the CBS Evening News and 60 Minutes please visit his Profile in Bias page at MRC.org.
As a potential government shutdown looms the liberal media are filling their programs with stories about dire consequences of deep cuts that will lead to troops not getting paid, closed national parks, and late tax refunds. However, a review of MRC's coverage of the 1995 budget fight reveals the media are simply rerunning their tired old arguments from the last shutdown.
On this Wednesday's edition of ABC's Good Morning America, Jonathan Karl tallied the services that could be at risk this time around, as he warned: "If they don't reach a deal and get it passed by then, American troops, including those on the front lines in Afghanistan and Iraq, may not get their paychecks. And smack in the middle of tax season, that refund you've been counting on, well, you may have to wait." Karl went on to alert travelers that: "Treasures like Old Faithful and Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore, Yosemite's half dome, will be closed to visitors. And if you don't already have a passport, don't even think about leaving the country. Last time the government shut down, 200,000 passport applications were stopped in their tracks."
However Karl and others, as quotes from 1995 show, are simply dusting off the old media playbook to blame Republicans, not Democrats, for a shutdown, as they focus on high profile federal projects like national parks in an attempt to frighten the American people into opposing prudent fiscal decision-making.
America was founded on the principle of representative democracy: the government would make policy based on the consent of the governed. Liberal elitists have grown increasingly impatient with this unenlightened system, and more and more, they are relying on judicial activists to remake society in their desired image. Far from being tribunes of the people, these judges are honored by the media elite for going around public opinion – and the Constitution – whenever the liberal impulse beckons.
CBS’s “60 Minutes” earned the title “Syrupy Minutes” on November 28 with a thoroughly one-sided tribute to the “great” liberal Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, with a focus on how this “great” man publicly suggested George W. Bush was a tyrant.
Pelley hailed how Stevens had “shaped more American history than any Supreme Court justice alive.” He especially underlined how liberals see Stevens’ opinions on the rights of terrorist suspects as “among the most important of his career.” The detention center at Guantanamo Bay is a legal and political mess. One could easily blame the “historic” Justice Stevens; CBS lauds him.
In a softball interview with retired liberal Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens on Sunday's 60 Minutes, correspondent Scott Pelley touted Stevens's opposition to the court ruling on the 2000 presidential election: "He thinks [Bush v. Gore] is one of the Court's greatest blunders....There were many people in this country who felt that the Supreme Court stole that election for President Bush."
Pelley introduced the segment by proclaiming that Stevens "has shaped more American history than any Supreme Court justice alive" and made "decisions that have changed our times." The decisions Pelley focused on were the Justice's most liberal: "It was Stevens who forced a showdown with President Bush over the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, and Stevens who tried to stop the court from deciding the presidential election of 2000."
Conservative radio host Steve Malzberg on Monday called Steve Pelley a louse for his puff piece about the Ground Zero mosque aired on CBS's "60 Minutes."
As NewsBusters previously reported, "In a Sunday 60 Minutes story that gave a glowing portrayal of the real estate developer and imam behind the Ground Zero mosque, CBS anchor Scott Pelley also used the opportunity to smear opponents of the project."
"Scott Pelley has just earned the Bob Schieffer 'I Don't Give a Rat's About Anything' Journalism Award," scolded Malzberg on his WOR radio program the following day.
"Do you hear this louse?" he asked. "Take your journalism degree, Scott, and put it at the bottom of your dog the next time he crouches down because that's what your journalism degree is worth you pathetic fool" (audio follows with partial transcript and commentary):
In a Sunday 60 Minutes story that gave a glowing portrayal of the real estate developer and imam behind the Ground Zero mosque, CBS anchor Scott Pelley also used the opportunity to smear opponents of the project: "...a national controversy with anger, passion, and more than a little misinformation. Opponents whipped up a fury, calling the project a grotesque mega-mosque tied to terrorism."
Pelley began by touting how building developer Sharif El-Gamal was simply trying to improve a "dingy block in lower Manhattan" and that he "thought his project would be a step up for a seedy part of downtown." Pelley described how "the community enthusiastically agreed. The plan was endorsed by the Mayor, the borough president, and the community board." He then emphasized the distance from Ground Zero: "You can't see Ground Zero from here, but when you make the corner...you can see the cranes where the new World Trade Center buildings are going up....It took us another two minutes to walk to the edge of what the government officially designates as Ground Zero."
Pelley highlighted El-Gamal's multi-cultural background: "...you're a Muslim who married a Christian girl. Your mother is Catholic. And you joined the Jewish community center on the West Side of Manhattan." However, he then turned to mosque opponent Pamela Geller, whom he characterized as "a former New York media executive who writes a politically far Right blog that mixes news, opinion, and conspiracy theories."
By a wide margin — 66 percent to 29 percent, according to the most recent ABC News/ Washington Post poll — the public is opposed to building that proposed $100 million Islamic cultural center near the site of the destroyed World Trade Towers. This is not a lightly-held opinion: more than half (53%) told ABC news they are “strongly opposed” to building it near Ground Zero, vs. only 14 percent who report being “strongly” in favor. (Scroll to Question 30.)
So in the face of such obvious public sentiment, are the big broadcast networks reflecting such public sentiment in their coverage? Or are journalists implicitly repudiating their viewers by touting accusations that opposition to the mosque is motivated by America’s supposed “Islamophobia”?
To find out, MRC analysts reviewed all 52 stories about the Ground Zero mosque on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts from August 14 through September 13 — the first month after President Obama propelled the issue into the headlines with his remarks at a White House dinner.
Could Scott Pelley possibly be this naive, or was he willingly playing the role of MSM cheerleader for the developer of the Ground Zero Mosque?
In the course of a chummy interview of GZM developer Sharif El-Gamal aired on Sunday's 60 Minutes, Pelley produced a pearl. Instead of asking a probing question, the CBS "reporter" served as an advocate for El-Gamal's position when it came to the siting of the mosque.
Pelley, on his own initiative, asserted:
"You don't have your choice of putting this anywhere you want to. There aren't many spots."
These are some of the outtakes that the Ecuadoran plaintiff lawyer Steve Donziger probably wished were left on the cutting room floor.
Back in May 2009, CBS's "60 Minutes" featured a story on the legal conflict between Chevron and an eco-group called the Amazon Defense Coalition for $27.4 billion in so-called environmental damage in Ecuador's rain forest from then-Texaco Petroleum's (Texpet) operation of oil well sites over a decade ago. However, in 1998, the government of Ecuador certified that Texpet, a minority partner in an exploration and production venture state-owned oil company PetroEcuador, had met Ecuadorian and international remediation standards and had released Texpet from future claims and obligations.
During that May 3 broadcast, Donziger was portrayed by CBS "60 Minutes" correspondent Scott Pelley as a shining individual with a deeply rooted compassion for the indigenous people of the Ecuadorian Amazon.
CBS and NBC took time Wednesday night to showcase Democratic Senator Al Franken's artistry -- not to scold Franken's frivolity, but to luxuriate in it. As CBS displayed Franken's drawing of Republican Senator Jeff Sessions next to a picture of the Alabamian, fill-in anchor Scott Pelley admired what Franken had created during the hearing for Supreme Court nominee Elana Kagan:
A look over Franken's shoulder reveals his talent. On his pad is a sketch of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee. Not bad. Suitable for framing.
Over on the NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams relayed, sans Pelley's “suitable for framing” puffery:
Well, if you have ever wondered what Senators do during committee hearings when they're not talking? Here's what one of them does. Senator Al Franken drew this depiction of fellow committee member Jeff Sessions of Alabama, a pencil drawing on United States Senate stationery. Franken said he would give the signed original to Sessions.
Before the media hoopla begins in a few hours for President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, let me squeeze in a quick look at the flavor Sunday night’s fawning 60 Minutes profile of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, which, after some questions about the Time Square botched bomber, framed her job around the challenge of fixing a world abused by George W. Bush and Condoleezza Rice, a situation exacerbated by U.S. debt. Picking up from her initial rejection of the position, Scott Pelley asserted:
Now she's gone from “not interested” to an all-consuming global campaign in a time when the U.S. is the biggest debtor in the world, fighting two wars, and accused of abandoning its ideals to the struggle with terrorism....Right away, she found that America is in a crisis of credibility.
Pelley soon proceeded to how “she doesn't let anyone work harder” and “she's the only person in American politics with global star power close to” that held by Barack Obama:
On April 13, I reported on CBS 60 Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft complaining about the fact that Dick Cheney and Karl Rove have refused to appear on the program. I pointed to recent instances of 60 Minutes smearing both men as a possible cause of their unwillingness to be guests and found that one of those examples was referenced by Rove in his new book, Courage and Consequence.
On February 24, 2008, 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley did a story on a bizarre conspiracy theory in which an Alabama lawyer named Dana Jill Simpson accused Rove of engineering the political downfall and imprisonment of the state's former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman. In Chapter 34 of his book, entitled "Rove: The Myth," pages 506-507, Rove describes his reaction to Pelley airing the piece: "I was flabbergasted that Pelley had bought her [Simpson's] story. His producers had called me about Simpson the previous October. I told them I had never met the woman or worked with her in any campaign or capacity."
Rove went on to note: "It struck me as odd that five months later, Pelley did not call to say that 60 Minutes was going with the story and that he wanted to give me a chance to tell my version." Rove also explained his efforts to reach out to Pelley after the segment aired: "[I] stewed about it for several weeks before calling Pelley on March 31 to list all the ways I thought he had failed to exercise due diligence. While cordial, Pelley was unresponsive. So I followed up with a letter on April 2, summarizing my concerns....In a letter two weeks later, Pelley answered virtually none of my questions."
In wake of Arizona's new immigration law, CBS 60 Minutes anchor Scott Pelley fretted over illegal immigrants entering the United States by swimming across California's All-American Canal: "a national moat on our southern border, and hundreds of people have perished in its waters. It is a carnage that has gone mostly unnoticed because many of the victims are buried without their names." [Audio available here]
Pelley began the story by proclaiming: "In the California desert, in a field of mud, is a graveyard that is hard to imagine in America.Bricks mark the final resting place of hundreds of human beings, identities unknown. They died traveling to America in search of a life better than their home countries could offer." Moments later, Pelley explained: "While the canal is a death trap, it is also a lifeline for the nation....Two thirds of our winter fruits and vegetables are grown with this water. But half of the people who pick those crops are illegal immigrants. To get the jobs created by the canal, they cross the canal, usually at night on makeshift rafts or using plastic jugs for flotation."
It did not take long to for Pelley place blame for drownings, not on those crossing the border illegally, but on those operating the canal: "The water is 225 feet across, 20 feet deep, with almost no rescue lines or climb-out ladders, safety devices that you would find in some other canals....management is controlled by a regional authority called the Imperial Irrigation District....They've taken votes, commissioned studies, but done almost nothing."
"The imagery is clear in the 60 Minutes segment that aired May 3, 2009," Hamilton wrote. "The problem is the facts aren't. There is no way to tell watching and listening to 60 Minutes production ‘Amazon Crude' where or whose responsibility most of the apparently polluted sites are. Although the segment mentions that Texaco left the area in 1992, scant attention is focused on state-owned Petroecuador, which has been the sole operator of former Texaco sites for the past twenty years."
Pelley's report featured a suit filed by the Amazon Defense Coalition, a group described as "eco-radicals," who are trying to squeeze $27 billion from Chevron for environmental cleanup that the nation's government signed off on more than a decade ago. Pelley described ADC as working on behalf of 30,000 villagers, although there are only 48 named plaintiffs, to win funds for so-called environmental damage in Ecuador's rain forest from then-Texaco Petroleum's (Texpet) operation of oil well sites.
On Sunday’s CBS ‘60 Minutes,’ anchor Scott Pelley, who once remarked that global warming critics were the equivalent of Holocaust deniers, identified the American coal industry as one of the main culprits of climate change: "The future of our climate might be summed up in one question, what do we do about coal? Coal generates nearly half the electricity in the United States and in the world. But it is the dirtiest fuel of all when it comes to carbon dioxide, or CO-2, the leading greenhouse gas. A few days ago, the Obama administration declared, for the first time, that CO-2 is a threat to human health and it plans to impose limits."
Pelley’s story did feature a representative of the coal industry, Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers, who actually called for limitations on carbon emissions: "It's my judgment it is a problem. We need to go to work on it now. And it's critical that we start to act in this country...Our goal line is substantially to reduce our carbon footprint, to de-carbonize our business, by 2050." However, that wasn’t good enough for Pelley: "Four decades? That's a long time."
Pelley followed up by citing left-wing global warming activist Jim Hansen: "2050 is too late. We will have guaranteed disasters for our children, grandchildren, and the unborn." Pelley explained: "Jim Hansen is NASA's top climate scientist. He's credited with some of the earliest and most accurate projections on climate change. He thinks that Rogers plan leaves the Earth in the oven decades too long."
In his newly released book ‘Liberty and Tyranny’ author Mark Levin criticizes the mainstream media for its systematic support of left-wing causes. In chapter 8, entitled "On Enviro-Statism," Levin focuses on the media’s slanted coverage of global warming and points out its confusion on the subject:
In 1975, scientists again raised the specter of global cooling. A famous article appearing in Newsweek magazine, titled "The Cooling World," concluded, "The central fact is that after three quarters of a century of extraordinarily mild conditions, the earth’s climate seems to be cooling down."...In 2008, the same Newsweek that gave weight to the false science of global cooling published an article titled "Global Warming Is a Cause of This Year’s Extreme Weather."
Levin goes on to expose CBS’s Scott Pelley as a diehard global warming advocate:
Consider CBS newsmagazine 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley. When asked why his reporting on global warming did not acknowledge the views of skeptics, he replied, "If I do an interview with Elie Wiesel, am I required as a journalist to find a Holocaust denier? This isn’t about politics or pseudo-science or conspiracy theory blogs. This is about sound science."
Three Sundays ago, in a 60 Minutes interview CBS's Steve Kroft cued up Barack Obama with Sarah Palin's presumed lack of qualifications compared to him: “Does the fact that he chose as his Vice President someone who has less experience than you take that weapon out of his arsenal?” But on Sunday night, in a 60 Minutes devoted to new interviews with both Obama and John McCain, Scott Pelley also hit McCain from the same angle on Palin's qualifications, telling him “the criticism of Governor Palin is that she was a brilliant marketing choice for the campaign, but she's not well versed on the economy or foreign affairs,” before he demanded: “In your judgment, can you see her as President of the United States?” When McCain replied “Absolutely,” Pelley's voice betrayed astonishment as he fired back: “As President of the United States?”
Steve Kroft again got the sit-down with Obama and when Obama contended that if he loses, his race will not be the cause, Kroft countered that he knows “for a fact...there are a lot of people out there...who won't vote for you because you're black.” Kroft declared as the two sat in Elko, Nevada:
I know, for a fact, that there are a lot of people out there, there are a lot of people right here in Elko, who won't vote for you because you're black. I mean, there's not much you can do. But how do you deal with it? I mean, are there ways that, from a political point of view, that you can deal with it? And how do you fight that?
While interviewing Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward on Sunday’s 60 Minutes about his latest book on the Bush Administration’s handling of the Iraq war, The War Within, anchor Scott Pelley described how: "Another part of that story, according to Woodward, is the president's frustration with the attitude of the Iraqi people." Woodward explained: "He has a meeting at the Pentagon with a bunch of experts and he just said, 'I don't understand that the Iraqis are not appreciative of what we've done for them,' namely liberating them." Pelley then asked: "But tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis had been killed in the invasion and through the occupation. He didn't understand why they might be a little ungrateful about what had occurred to them?"
Woodward replied by skeptically explaining President Bush’s perspective: "His beacon is liberation. He thinks we've done this magnificent thing for them. I think he still holds to that position." Earlier in the interview, Pelley seemed to imply that Bush was almost bloodthirsty, wanting know how many enemy had been killed each day: "Mr. Bush told Woodward that he was frustrated with his commanders and asked for enemy body counts so he could keep score." Woodward described: "And this is Bush's concern that we're not going out and killing. In fact, [General George] Casey told one colleague privately that the president's view is almost reflective of ‘kill the bastards, kill the bastards, and that way we'll succeed.’"
On Sunday’s CBS "60 Minutes," anchor Scott Pelley looked at the healthcare provided to illegal immigrants in U.S. detention facilities: "Before 9/11, about 100,000 detainees went through this system each year; but today, with stricter immigration rules, that number has tripled to more than 300,000. The surge appears to have overwhelmed the medical care provided to the immigrants. Now a Washington Post investigation joined by 60 Minutes has found evidence that immigrants are suffering from neglect, and some don't survive detention in America."
Pelley then highlighted a few extreme examples of poor medical care, beginning with Joseph Dantica, an 81-year-old minister from Haiti who fled the country and was detained in the U.S.. After only 48 hours in custody, Dantica became ill: "Records show that two days later, during an asylum hearing, he became violently ill and collapsed...In a day and a half, Reverend Dantica was dead. The medical examiner said it was pancreatitis." Of course Pelley placed blame with U.S. immigration services: "A detention center physician's assistant failed to recognize that Dantica was in serious trouble...It took four hours to get him to an outside hospital."