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NewsBusters Archive

Scott Whitlock | July 24, 2014 | 14:47

Over the last 15 days, the world has been rocked by two troubling and growing international crises: the shootdown of a civilian airliner over the Ukraine; and the intense fighting between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. While the three evening newscasts have offered considerable coverage of the unfolding events, CBS, NBC and ABC have made almost no attempt to evaluate the performance of Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry or the administration generally, and critics of the administration have been ignored.   

Since July 8, the broadcast evening newscasts have aired 79 stories (169 minutes) on the Gaza fighting; only 45 seconds of that included criticism of the administration. Since July 17, the three evening newscasts have aired 96 stories (209 minutes) on the jet shootdown; just 10 seconds of that coverage has included criticism of Obama or his team.

Connor Williams | July 24, 2014 | 13:15

On the July 23 edition of The Last Word, in an apparent effort to demonize conservatives as being uninterested in protecting children who were victims of sex trafficking, Lawrence O’Donnell deliberately misinterpreted the Republican position on the 2008 immigration law signed by President Bush.

O’Donnell played a clip of Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Alabama) expressing his support for sending illegal immigrant children back to their home countries. Brooks elaborated further by saying, “Now, if in fact some are, for example, being trafficked for slavery or sex purposes, that's a different issue.” Despite this clear statement, the host of The Last Word claimed that “one of the positions that these Republicans are holding is that they want to repeal the law that President Bush signed, which is about protecting children from sex trafficking. So they want to be on record as not wanting to protect children from this kind of sex trafficking.” [MP3 audio here; video below]

Jeffrey Meyer | July 24, 2014 | 12:57

With less than two weeks until Congress departs Washington, D.C. for its summer break, Republicans and Democrats are battling over how to best stop the flood of illegal immigrants from Central America crossing over the Texas-Mexico border. 

On Thursday, July 24, CBS This Morning was the only network morning news show to spotlight how “Congress is taking new action to solve the immigration crisis. Republicans in the House and Democrats in the Senate are pushing new plans to deal with the influx of children from Central America.” ABC and NBC’s morning shows were nowhere to be found on the border crisis on Thursday. [See video below.] 

Matthew Balan | July 24, 2014 | 12:25

On Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams reported the Apollo 11 astronauts' meeting with President Obama to mark the 45th anniversary of the first moon landing, but failed to mention that only photo journalists were permitted to cover the event. Williams spotlighted Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins's visit to the White House, and how "with them in spirit in the Oval Office today was the late, great Neil Armstrong."

During his minute-long news brief, the anchor also pointed out a former NASA administrator's warning about the current state of the U.S. manned spaceflight program: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

Clay Waters | July 24, 2014 | 11:41

When the New York Times starts praising religious activists, you know there's a deeper agenda at work. National religion reporter Michael Paulson, whose reporting is preoccupied with gay marriage and the church, praised denominations of all stripes that lined up on the Times' side of an issue -- granting amnesty to the streams of unaccompanied children crossing the U.S. border illegally, while fighting conservative "anger," outrage," and "hate talk."

Paulson let his religious representatives attack opponents as "un-American" (a no-no when done by conservatives to liberals) and take unopposed shots at conservative radio star Rush Limbaugh in his Thursday story, "U.S. Religious Leaders Embrace Cause of Children Streaming Across Border."

Kristine Marsh | July 24, 2014 | 11:23

Last night on Twitter, Josh Barro, the openly gay, neo-conservative political editor for Business Insider, MSNBC regular, columnist for Bloomberg and New York Times reporter went on a tirade against “anti-LGBT” people, calling on the public to shame them, and stamp out their views “ruthlessly.” 

The budding totalitarian sure has a bully pulpit – one of the most popular political blogs, with 57.6 thousand followers. He was named in the top 10 best Twitter feeds of 2013 by TIME Magazine. He was also named one of President Obama’s favorite columnists to read.

Jeffrey Meyer | July 24, 2014 | 09:35

On Thursday, July 24, the New York Times revealed that Senator John Walsh (D-Mont.) plagiarized his Master’s thesis from the United States Army College and that at least 25 percent of his paper “was either taken without attribution from other authors’ works or improperly sourced.” 

Despite the embarrassing revelation, CBS This Morning was the only network morning news show to report on the plagiarism scandal whereas NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America ignored the story. [See video below.]

Tim Graham | July 24, 2014 | 07:14

Billy Hallowell at The Blaze passed along a Billboard magazine interview with classic rocker Tom Petty, who’s now 63 and writing protest songs about the hot issues of...2002. His new album “Hypnotic Eye” carries a bonus track called “Playing Dumb” that attacks the problem of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Is he playing dumb that the church hasn’t made any strides in correcting the problem? A Georgetown study found of the nearly 40,000 priests in the United States, there were 34 allegations made by minors in 2012.

But then, Petty doesn’t think much of religion overall, saying "No one's got Christ wrong more than the Christians."

Matthew Balan | July 23, 2014 | 23:44

Wednesday's NBC Nightly News was the sole Big Three evening newscast to notice the criticism of the Obama administration banning U.S. airliners from traveling to Israel. Prominent politicians from both sides of the political spectrum, including Senator Ted Cruz and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, have denounced this move by the FAA. Senator Cruz accused the administration of using the "federal regulatory agency to launch an economic boycott on Israel."

Anchor Brian Williams zeroed in on Bloomberg's blunt critique of the travel ban, as he introduced a report from correspondent Richard Engel: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

Tom Johnson | July 23, 2014 | 22:22

What did conservative leaders and activists feel when they learned of the D.C. Circuit Court decision on Obamacare subsidies? Happiness? Relief? American Prospect blogger Paul Waldman seemed to have another word in mind: schadenfreude -- “satisfaction or pleasure felt at someone else's misfortune.”

In a Tuesday post, Waldman opined that, sure, righties were “excited” that the ruling was a setback for President Obama and the ACA, but “what actually had them so pleased is the possibility that millions of Americans will lose their health insurance.” Republicans, he added, “will gladly crush the lives of ordinary people if it means gaining some momentary partisan advantage.”

Matthew Balan | July 23, 2014 | 22:02

The Big Three networks' morning and evening newscasts have yet to cover the Government Accountability Office's investigation of ObamaCare's sign-up process that uncovered that fraudulent documents were able to procure federal health plans and subsidies. On Wednesday, Amy Goldstein of the Washington Post reported that "undercover GAO investigators tried to obtain health plans for a dozen fictitious applicants....All but one of the fake applicants ended up getting subsidized coverage — and have kept it."

Brian Williams glossed over this GAO investigation on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, but set aside 21 seconds of air time to tout the latest enrollment numbers for ObamaCare: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

Ken Shepherd | July 23, 2014 | 21:20

MSNBC All In host Chris Hayes -- who once infamously felt "uncomfortable" calling American servicemen "heroes" -- complimented as "gutsy" one Yael Even Or, an Israeli reservist who explained in a Washington Post op-ed why she refuses to serve in Israel's military operation in the Gaza Strip should she be called up for service.

The comment came at the beginning of his July 23 interview with Ms. Or live in MSNBC's New York City studios. Video follows the page break and you can listen to the MP3 here. You can read the relevant transcript below the page break. 

Jack Coleman | July 23, 2014 | 21:01

Not sure which is sadder -- that Rachel Maddow actually believes this, or that she knows it's not true and says it anyway.

A sure sign that Maddow is on thin ice is when she makes a dubious claim without attribution. She did this on her MSNBC show Monday night while trotting out a deceptive euphemism to hide what she was actually saying. (Video after the jump)

Clay Waters | July 23, 2014 | 18:15

New York Times international reporter Katrin Bennhold followed up her previous whitewashed story on Islamic extremism in schools in England with an update headlined "Report Cites ‘Aggressive’ Islamic Push in British City's Schools," which thankfully lacked the tone of mockery that marred her first report.

In June, Bennhold tried to make the UK government investigation sound ludicrous and prejudiced, summing up the situation with the regretful: "But stereotypes die hard." But a new British government investigation shows the situation in Birmingham, England even more disturbing than previously thought, as Bennhold confirmed in Wednesday's Times, albeit after some throat-clearing and hesitation.

Ken Shepherd | July 23, 2014 | 17:50

Yesterday Accokeek, Md.-based firearms manufacturer Beretta USA announced that it would shut down its plant in Maryland and move all manufacturing operations to Gallatin, Tennessee. Beretta cited the state's hostile anti-gun politics as a reason for the move, although the Italian company will keep its white-collar executive jobs in the Old Line State.

This is a gubernatorial election year in Maryland and the Washington Post-endorsed Democratic nominee for governor, Anthony Brown, lives in Prince George's County, which will lose 160 jobs thanks to the plant's relocation. So surely the Post's coverage of the move included some attention to Mr. Brown and his thoughts on the matter, right? Not a chance. Nowhere in Michael Rosenwald's 12-paragraph page B3 story -- yup, it was buried three pages deep in the Metro section -- was either Brown or Republican gubernatorial nominee Larry Hogan asked for comment.

Laura Flint | July 23, 2014 | 17:35

Rather than dismissing Rula Jebreal’s laughable claim that American media is “disgustingly biased” in favor of Israel, on the July 22 edition of All In, host Chris Hayes was determined to prove to his guest that MSNBC is “doing a good job” being more impartial in the current Gaza conflict.

In Hayes’s eyes, “doing a good job” meant ensuring that “Israelis are losing the media war for the first time.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]

Tom Blumer | July 23, 2014 | 17:19

It has been eight days since Marine Corps Commandant and Joint Chiefs of Staff member General James Amos spoke out against the current lack-of-leadership climate in Washington.

Specifically, in a question-and-answer session at the Brookings Institution on July 15 (PDF transcript here), Amos noted how badly the situation in Iraq has deteriorated since U.S. troops' departure in 2010, and questioned whether it would have happened if there had been "the right leadership, the right mentoring, the right government and courage" in place. This was a de facto callout of the Obama administration for failing to consolidate and secure the victory achieved in 2008. If this kind of criticism occurred during a Republican or conservative administration, it would be front-page news. Instead, a Google News search on "Amos Iraq" (not in quotes) returns roughly 10 relevant items, and the Associated Press has nothing relevant. The video and a transcript of Megyn Kelly's related interview of Oliver North Monday evening follow the jump.

Connor Williams | July 23, 2014 | 17:05

Following an antagonistic interview with Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesman Mark Regev, MSNBC’s Joy Reid brought pro-Palestinian guest on to her July 23 Reid Report program for his reaction. Reid lobbed a few softballs and let Yousef Munayyer – executive director of the Jerusalem Fund and Palestine Center – direct cheap shot after cheap shot at Israel, irrespective of the facts.

But what really takes the cake is how Munayyer used his platform to deny that Hamas uses innocent Gaza civilians as human shields.  Reid, for her part, failed to push back against that ridiculous assertion. [MP3 audio here; video below]

Kristine Marsh | July 23, 2014 | 15:50

It’s open season. Since the media attacked former NFL coach and NBC sports analyst Tony Dungy for saying he wouldn’t have picked openly gay player Michael Sam during the draft, the sports media now has its pitchforks and torches out for anyone in the NFL guilty of thought crimes. ESPN and CBS  are going after David Tyree, a former New York Giants wide receiver (who’s miraculous “helmet catch” gave the team victory in Super Bowl XLII), who was just hired as Giants Director of Player Development. 

Tyree’s sin: he’s an open Christian and supporter of traditional marriage. 

Kyle Drennen | July 23, 2014 | 15:23

While all three network morning shows on Wednesday covered the American flags on top of the Brooklyn Bridge being bleached white by unknown vandals, only NBC's Today mentioned that the incident occurred while left-wing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was on vacation: "This embarrassment for the city comes while its mayor, Bill de Blasio, vacations in Europe, which itself has brought criticism." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Correspondent Ron Mott continued: "And adds to other recent high-profile security slip-ups, both at One World Trade Center. Last fall, three men climbed to the top of the tower and base jumped. In March, a 16-year-old escaped detection and made it to the rooftop as well, snapping photos for hours."