Last August, a federal judge ruled that it was unconstitutional to monitor overseas conversations with suspected terrorists. On August 18, 2006, ABC’s "Good Morning America" treated the decision as a monumental event. However, Saturday’s GMA greeted the overturning of that decision by a federal appeals judge with a solitary 13 second news brief.
In contrast, reporter Jessica Yellin described the original ruling last August as a "stinging setback" and the program highlighted a professor who said it could ultimately lead to President Bush’s impeachment. Yellin, who colorfully described the decision as "essentially accus[ing] the President of acting like a king," also highlighted this comment about Bush from George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley:
Jonathan Turley: "He could be impeached. And people should not be underestimating that."
(To be fair, Yellin did offer some skepticism in resonse to that comment.) However, this decision was overturned on July 6, 2007 and "Good Morning America" only covered it in this bland 13 second news brief that aired on July 7 at 7:02am:
Ron Claiborne: "A federal appeals court has handed a victory to the Bush administration's domestic spying program. In a 2-1 decision, the judges said citizens could not sue because they could not prove that their communications had been monitored by the government. The decision may be appealed."
Note the misleading use of the term domestic spying. (At least one half of the phone conversation has to be out of the country.) The MRC’s Brent Baker, in a July 9 CyberAlert, noted that only NBC covered the reversal in its evening newscast. And in that case, substitute "Nightly News" anchor Lester Holt also called the program "domestic spying."