Next week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on the constitutionality of ObamaCare, but if the media were the judges, the Court would rule 9-0 in favor of it. During its coverage of the health care debate, the liberal press never permitted questions about ObamaCare’s legality to interfere with their dream of a government takeover of the health care sector.
Starting even before Barack Obama became President, the press has been campaigning hard for passage of the most liberal version of health care reform as a cure-all elixir to all of America’s health problems. First, they pitched the public on the desperate need to, as ABC’s Dr. Tim Johnson demanded, fix America’s “national shame” of no universal coverage. (Worst of the Worst quote compiliation with videos after the jump)
Deaths, guns, whistle-blowers and the highest law officer in the land stonewalling a congressional investigation are the juicy ingredients of a story network news reporters would love to cover – if a Republican were in office. However, when Attorney General Eric Holder testified on Thursday (February 2) before a House oversight committee investigating Operation Fast and Furious, the news was completely ignored by NBC and ABC (there was one full story on Friday’s CBS This Morning). The virtual blackout of Holder’s testimony continues an overall trend of ABC and NBC burying one of the Obama administration’s biggest scandals, despite continual coverage by their competitors at CBS, CNN and Fox News.
MRC analysts reviewed the Big Three network evening and morning news shows and found that while CBS aired 29 stories and 1 brief on Fast and Furious, ABC aired only one brief on the June 15, 2011 edition of Good Morning America. That was still better than what NBC did on their morning and evening news programs, as the gunwalking story has never been mentioned on either NBC Nightly News or the Today show. NBC’s Miguel Almaguer, in a report primarily about a Mexican mother accusing border patrol agents of killing her 17-year old son as he tried to scale a wall, did note that “In December, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in a shootout with bandits.” However, Almaguer never tied the Terry killing back to the gunwalking scandal.
By many measures, Barack Obama has left the State of the Union in tatters, but the liberal media, led by the highly rated Big Three network (ABC, CBS, NBC) news shows, have attempted to cover up those holes in the Union by mostly ignoring the Obama administration’s greatest failings. From record numbers of people on food stamps, to the administration’s support of failed energy companies while rejecting an oil pipeline that would result in thousands of jobs, the Big Three networks haven’t told their viewers the full story of Obama’s pathetic track record.
The following are just a few of the glaring examples of Obama’s failed administration and the coverage, or lack thereof, the Big Three networks on their evening news shows (ABC’s World News, CBS’s Evening News, NBC’s Nightly News), morning shows (ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS’s The Early Show, recently re-titled This Morning, NBC’s Today) and Sunday political roundtable shows (ABC’s This Week, CBS’s Face the Nation, NBC’s Meet the Press) have given them.
According to a CBS News investigation, the controversial government loan to now-bankrupt Solyndra wasn't an isolated incident. "CBS This Morning" reporter Sharyl Attkisson explained, "We identified 11 green energy companies beside Solyndra that, together, got billions of tax dollars then declared bankruptcy or are suffering other serious financial issues."
A CBS graphic blared, "The New Solyndras." Co-host Charlie Rose touted this scoop as one "you'll only see on" CBS." It will be interesting to see if ABC and NBC follow up on the investigation's findings that there is "a pattern of the government pouring your tax dollars into clean energy." Attkisson exposed a $43 million loan to a "dismal" green energy company and another linked to Harry Reid.
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 Friday, CBS's Early Show was the only Big Three morning show to cover Energy Secretary Steven Chu's testimony before a congressional hearing on the $528 million loan to the bankrupt solar panel company Solyndra. NBC previewed the hearing on Thursday's Today show, but avoided it the following morning. ABC's GMA completely ignored it both days.
Fill-in news anchor Betty Nguyen gave a 44-second news brief during the 7 am half hour of The Early Show, noting how Secretary Chu "made no apologies for the loan of more than $500 million to Solyndra back in 2009" during the hearing. However, the CBS morning show didn't air a full report on the controversy until the top of the 8 am hour.
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:
The Fox News host pressed the journalist on her revelation from Tuesday's Laura Ingraham Show, that associate White House communications director Eric Schultz "screamed and cussed" at her for her reporting on the controversy. Attkisson would only state that "the conversation, as you reported it, was accurate," and later added that "the point is really not the content of that. The point is, story-wise, it seems significant and important how people handle questions, and how they react when you ask questions" [video clips available below the jump]
Mark Hemingway of The Weekly Standardreported on Wednesday afternoon that he had attempted to interview CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson about her dogged coverage of the ongoing "Fast and Furious" controversy, but was told that she was "unavailable." Attkisson has been the sole journalist on the Big Three networks regularly covering the story, particular during the past several weeks.
Hemingway described in his blog entry that he called CBS News to interview the correspondent, but was "told by CBS News senior vice president of communications Sonya McNair that Attkisson would be unavailable for interviews all week. When I asked why Attkisson would be unavailable, McNair would not say." On Tuesday, the reporter revealed on Laura Ingraham's radio show that Obama administration officials had "screamed and cussed" at her over her coverage of the story.
CBS's Sharyl Attkisson revealed on Tuesday's "Laura Ingraham Show" the extent of the rage directed at her from the Obama administration for her reporting on the "Fast and Furious" controversy: "The DOJ woman was just yelling at me. A guy from the White House on Friday night literally screamed at me and cussed at me." Attkisson also stated that "they think I'm unfair and biased by pursuing it."
The journalist appeared on the conservative talk show host's program at the bottom of the 9 am Eastern hour to talk about her latest reporting on the growing Justice Department scandal. She highlighted on Monday's "CBS Evening News" that "new documents...show Attorney General Eric Holder was sent briefings on the controversial 'Fast and Furious' operation as far back as July 2010. That directly contradicts his [May 3, 2011] statement to Congress."]
"CBS Evening News" distinguished itself among the Big Three networks on Monday by devoting an entire segment to the ongoing controversy over the "Fast and Furious" program, where the federal government smuggled guns to Mexican drug cartels. NBC hasn't mentioned the story on its news programs since April 17, while the last time ABC covered it was a news brief on June 15.
Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson reported that "new documents obtained by CBS News show Attorney General Eric Holder was sent briefings on the controversial 'Fast and Furious' operation as far back as July 2010. That directly contradicts his [May 3, 2011] statement to Congress." After playing a sound bite from Holder's testimony, Attkisson continued that "at least ten months before that hearing, Holder began receiving frequent memos discussing 'Fast and Furious.' They came from...Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer."
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) conducted hearings on Wednesday to investigate a highly controversial ATF operation that led to the death of a U.S. border agent, but neither NBC nor ABC covered the story on their nightly newscasts.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman lambasted a Justice Department official who claimed to be cooperating with the investigation but offered not much more than severely redacted documents. "You should be ashamed of yourself," scolded Issa. "How dare you offer an opening statement of cooperation."
On Friday’s CBS Evening News, correspondent Sharyl Attkisson filed a report previewing how new health care reform provisions are expected to effect seniors. After beginning her piece by predicting that "a lot of them will probably like" the first changes that take effect, she recounted a number of benefits that will be offered to Medicare recipients at a substantially lower cost, and featured a soundbite of a reform advocate who claimed that the new benefits would actually lead to lower costs.
Attkisson then gave attention to more pessimistic predictions that seniors will have to wait a longer time for medical care because some doctors will stop accepting Medicare patients, but, as she concluded her report, she dismissed critics by reiterating the claims of Obamacare supporters that the changes "are quite popular and will be hard for anyone to take away." Attkisson:
Republicans have promised to do what they can to stop or roll back health care reform, but advocates say most of these first provisions taking effect are quite popular and will be hard for anyone to take away.
Catching up on an item from Wednesday, uniquely among the broadcast network evening newscasts, the CBS Evening News informed its viewers that ObamaCare regulations will result in some insurance companies refusing to sell new policies specifically for children whose parents otherwise might have wanted to purchase such policies. Faced with rules that would prevent the insurance industry from denying coverage to children with preexisting health problems, at least three companies will be discontinuing child-only policies. CBS anchor Katie Couric set up the report: "And it didn't take long. The insurance industry has already found a way around that preexisting condition provision for children's policies: Don't sell any. And that could affect a half a million Americans under the age of 18."
Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson recounted the story of a man who has had trouble purchasing insurance for his daughter because of a preexisting condition, and then informed viewers of the disappointing news that she still will likely not be able to obtain insurance. After noting President Barack Obama’s promise to ban discrimination against children with preexisting health problems, Attkisson continued:
While ABC and NBC ignored a Monday USA Today report that found a significant gap in compensation between public and private sector employees, on Tuesday's CBS Evening News, correspondent Sharyl Attkisson provided a full story: "While many Americans have suffered pay cuts or job losses, one group is bucking the trend – federal workers."
Attkisson described how the "analysis finds that federal employees have gotten bigger pay and benefit increases than private employees for nine years straight." She cited numbers from the report: "Federal salaries have grown 33% faster than inflation. Their pay and benefits average $123,000, up 37% since 2000. Private workers average $61,000, up just 8.8% over the same time."
In addition, Attkisson included a sound bite from Cato Institute budget analyst Tad Dehaven: "So you have Wall Street, you have big oil, and now you have federal civilians." She went to note: "And the bonuses are flowing. CBS News has learned your tax dollars funded $95.8 million in airport security TSA bonuses last year. A $35,000 bonus to the head of the agency."
We have picked out a couple posts from each of the five categories and asked the authors to reflect back on writing them up. In this series of short videos, they share their thoughts on how they caught the particular media moment and describe the impact their post had.
Some investigative reporters still live up to their job descriptions.
On the July 20 edition of "CBS Evening News," reporter Sharyl Attkisson exposed how government-sponsored entity (GSE) Fannie Mae and mortgage lender Countrywide "scratched each other's backs" while their toxic loans fueled America's mortgage crisis.
Attkisson revealed new documents showing that Countrywide gave "very important person" loans to dozens of Fannie Mae executives while American taxpayers forked over $84 billion to bail out the GSE.
Among the VIP loan recipients were Fannie Mae CEO Jim Johnson, who received $10 million, former Vice Chair Jamie Gorelick and former CEO Franklin Raines, whose total amounts received remain unknown. Attkisson reported the loans, but did not mention Raines, Gorelick, and Johnson all have ties to Democrats, from Bill Clinton to John Kerry to President Obama.
The three evening news shows on Monday treated the announcement of Helen Thomas' retirement as an occasion to gush over the "bona fide icon" and "trailblazer." At the same time, CBS's Evening News, NBC's Nightly News and ABC's World News didn't find much time for outrage over Thomas' attacks on Jews and Israel.
Instead, NBC's Andrea Mitchell played a clip of Thomas ranting to President Bush in a White House Press briefing: "Are you going to get out of Afghanistan? Why are we continuing to kill and die there?" According to Mitchell, this was Thomas simply being "outspoken."
On CBS, correspondent Sharyl Attkisson labeled these sort of comments "confrontational." It was Thomas' suggestion, caught on video, that Jews should "go home" to Poland and "get the hell out of Palestine" that "many" thought "crossed the line from feisty to offensive." She then played a clip of the remarks.
ABC's Dan Harris was the most effusive, lauding, " She is a bona fide icon and she is also nearly 90-years-old." [Audio available here.]
Is there anything a journalist cannot or will not twist to bring the topic back to how life would be so much better if only not for that awful George W. Bush? On Tuesday's CBS Evening News, with the help of the Washington Post's Sally Quinn, Sharyl Attkisson managed to blame news, that Al and Tipper Gore are separating, on how they never got over being denied the presidency despite winning the popular vote in 2000. If only Bush hadn't taken it from them.
Attkisson recalled “it's been ten years since that oddly public passionate kiss at the Democratic convention. That was followed by Gore winning the popular vote for President but losing the electoral vote. Family friend Sally Quinn says that may have done the marriage irreparable harm.”
Viewers then head from Quinn, who's married former Post Executive Editor Ben Bradlee and is now titular overseer of the paper's “On Faith” blog: “He obviously suffered a lot and still is suffering. He'll never get over that and neither will she.” (jpg of screen shot of Quinn)
For years the global warming alarmists' mantra has been "the science is settled." But a recent series of shocking disclosures about climate science has shaken the credibility of that claim.
The first scandal - ClimateGate - came Nov. 20, 2009, after someone leaked thousands of e-mails from a major climate science group: University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU). The e-mails were full of startling admissions like this one: "We can't account for the lack of warming at the moment."
"For 15 Democratic and six Republican congressmen, food and rooms for two nights cost $4,400 tax dollars each. That`s $2,200 a day, more than most Americans spend on their monthly mortgage payment."
So said CBS's Sharyl Attkisson Monday in a remarkable follow-up to her January 11 "Evening News" piece concerning the out of control spending by members of Congress at December's United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen.
Anchor Katie Couric teased viewers as the program opened, "CBS News exposed it: a congressional junket to the climate summit in Copenhagen. Now we can tell you how much it cost taxpayers as we followed the money."
Minutes later, Attkisson sliced and diced well-known members of Congress for their irresponsible spending of other people's money (video embedded below the fold with transcript, h/t NB John D. Seymour):
As Noel Sheppard reported last night on Newsbusters, CBS's Sharyl Attkisson revealed Monday (see Noel's post for video) that "101 Congress-related" people flew to the Copenhagen climate summit last month, at tremendous cost to taxpayers.
But although Attkisson ended the piece with a brief nod to the environmental impact of the huge Nancy Pelosi-approved delegation, her otherwise excellent report told only part of the story. That is, when Speaker Nancy Pelosi approved a Congressional delegation to Copenhagen almost a quarter of the size of the entire Congress, she approved an enormous carbon footprint -- and she did it just a few months after twisting arms (brutally) to get Congress to pass the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill.
Using a calculator and some information available to anyone with internet access, my husband David worked out some quick facts regarding the carbon footprint of Nancy Pelosi's delegation. According to David:
It must really be cold outside, for the CBS "Evening News" Monday actually did a segment exposing how members of Congress wasted a huge amount of money at the United Nations' climate summit in Copenhagen last month.
Even more surprising, CBS's Sharyl Attkisson pointed fingers at prominent Democrats including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (Md.), and Charles Rangel (N.Y.).
Readers are encouraged to strap themselves in tightly, for this report coming from the global warming-obsessed media seems as likely as freezing temperatures in Miami (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript):
On Monday's CBS Evening News, correspondent Sharyl Attkisson filed a report highlighting the recent defections of thousands of AARP members to the more conservative American Seniors Association (ASA), because of the perceived support by the AARP for ObamaCare. The report recounted that Obama recently had to correct a claim that the AARP supports his plan, while some are suspicious that the group may support the President privately, but are unwilling to admit to doing so publicly.
Substitute anchor Maggie Rodriguez noted that Obama had to backtrack on claiming AARP support as she introduced the story: "President Obama once thought he had the AARP on board, as he put it, on his plan for health care reform, but he has since had to back off on that claim."
On CBS’s Sunday Morning correspondent Martha Teichner touted President Obama’s latest PR blitz to promote health care reform: "For the third time in five days, Barack Obama used the presidential bully pulpit on behalf of what he’s now calling health insurance reform. No more letting the angry opposition control the agenda."
Teichner dismissed that "angry opposition" by declaring: "Here’s a question. Do they even know what’s in the bills currently being considered by Congress? Do you?" Teichner and two liberal supporters of the Obama health care plan proceeded to educate viewers as to what was being proposed.
She spoke with former head of the left-wing group People for the American Way, Ralph Neas, now CEO of the supposedly "non-partisan" National Coalition on Health Care that is pushing for reform. In addition, Teichner spoke with University of North Carolina Professor Jonathan Oberlander, who in a July 22 article for the liberal British newspaper The Guardian wrote: "The Obama administration is pushing Congress to enact health reform legislation this year. And against all odds, Obama may pull it off....Obama’s election, after all, is a reminder that history is not always repeated. Sometimes it is made."
On Monday’s CBS Evening News, correspondent Sharyl Attkisson filed a report focusing on worries that President Obama will not go far enough to challenge drug companies, which she believed may “jeopardize support among Democrats and the public.” Anchor Katie Couric introduced the report as she suggested that Obama, who repeatedly promised during the campaign that all negotiations would be public and shown on C-SPAN, had instead made a "backroom deal":
When he was running for President, Barack Obama attacked pharmaceutical companies for charging too much for prescription drugs, but now he's teamed up with those same companies to promote his health care plan. And Sharyl Attkisson tells us critics accuse him of making a backroom deal that could end up costing seniors plenty.
Despite the risk that price controls could reduce the supply of drugs or diminish their quality, or that importing cheaper drugs from Canada could have the effect of drying up Canada’s drug supply, Attkisson complained of the possibility Obama may not support price controls:
On Friday’s CBS Evening News, correspondent Sharyl Attkisson filed a report recounting mortgage company Countrywide Financial’s history of offering special deals on loans to government officials – including figures with connections to President Clinton, President Bush, and President Obama. But, while the two most prominent figures currently still in government who are implicated in the scandal are Democratic Senators Christopher Dodd and Kent Conrad, neither Senator was identified by Attkisson as a Democrat. Even while soundbites of the two Senators were shown, there was not even an on-screen label showing the party of either Senator. Until the end of the story, the only clue viewers had as to either Senator’s party was when Attkisson identified Dodd as being the "head" of a Senate committee.
But later, the CBS correspondent did more directly link one other figure to Republican members of Congress as she read documentation citing Countrywide’s interest in a former House committee counsel, Clinton Jones. Quoting an "internal Countrywide email," Attkisson described him as "‘an advisor to ranking Republican members of Congress responsible for legislation of interest [to Countrywide].’"
It was not until the end of the report, after a soundbite of Republican Congressman Darrell Issa – whose party was labeled on screen – complaining about Countrywide’s actions, that Attkisson finally hinted that Democrats may have more to fear from the scandal as she relayed that "Democrats are blocking a Republican effort to subpoena Countrywide documents."
CBS, of all news outlets, is setting a high standard for ABC to meet Wednesday in its broadcasts from the White House. On Tuesday night, just a week after a “Reality Check” on how President Obama's claim that his government-expansion health care plan won't hike the deficit doesn't match reality, the CBS Evening News aired a story on how his plan would likely force many to lose their current health insurance and/or doctor.
Katie Couric noted “72 percent of Americans say they favor a government plan that would compete with private insurers,” but “at the same time, nearly two-thirds are concerned that would reduce the quality of their own health care. And some experts believe they're right to be worried.”
Sharyl Attkisson featured the Cato Institute's Michael Cannon, who explained: “Employer premiums will go up and employers might respond by dropping coverage entirely. So if you're one of those unfortunate workers, then it will be a government policy that ousted you from your health plan.” Attkisson added: “And if you do choose a public plan, you may want to keep your favorite doctors, but they may not want to keep you. Under government health care, they could be paid 20 to 30 percent less.” Attkisson pointed out how “Obama also scoffed at claims that a public plan would put private insurers out of business,” but she countered: “The answer, say critics, is that the government has many tools to get an unfair advantage and undercut private companies.”
Tuesday's CBS Evening News highlighted an ethics investigation of a long-serving House Democrat, but viewers were not clued in to his party affiliation verbally or with any an on-screen notation. Yet CBS slapped a party name on screen as a Murtha critic spoke: “Rep. Jeff Flake (R) Arizona.”
Fill-in anchor Maggie Rodriguez avoided Murtha's party as she asserted “there are few politicians as polarizing as Pennsylvania Congressman John Murtha” and referred to him as “a powerful member of Congress.” In a story which consumed about-two-and-a- half minutes, reporter Sharyl Attkisson also failed to identify Murtha's party.