CBS and NBC, which have delivered very friendly interviews with President Barack Obama (link below the jump to examples), on Wednesday night characterized Bret Baier's sit-down with Obama for the Fox News Channel as “contentious,” while ABC decided to devote nearly two minutes of World News (1:50) to Obama's college basketball tournament choices.
Anchor Diane Sawyer teased at the start of the March 17 newscast, “Top picks: Stream of consciousness as the Fan-in-Chief completes his college basketball bracket.”
On the NBC Nightly News, Kelly O'Donnell referred to the “contentious interview with Fox News.” Chip Reid, on the CBS Evening News, added a modifier as he saw “a very contentious interview.”
The ABC story on Obama's basketball picks consisted of highlights from corporate cousin ESPN's session with Obama as he filled out a big bracket chart, and World News included Obama's spelling challenge. “Should be an R in there,” ESPN's Andy Katz corrected Obama upon spotting how the President had misspelled “Syracuse” as “Sycacuse.”
(Click on screen shot for a larger jpg image of Obama's misspelling.)
For five examples from last year of CBS and NBC journalists working to advance Obama's cause, check out the “Let Us Fluff Your Pillow Award for Obsequious Obama Interviews” in the MRC's “Best Notable Quotables of 2009: The 22nd Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting.”
—Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.