This week, journalists echo the Obama line on Syrian refugees, blasting Republicans for their "ugly" "fear talk," even as FNC anchor Shepard Smith scolds the "collective freak-out....We cannot resort to the tactics of the barbarians." Meanwhile, ABC's Jon Karl confronts GOP candidate Ted Cruz: "You don't think it's un-American to say, only Christians, no Muslims?" And Scott Pelley scolds new Speaker of the House Paul Ryan for saying Obama is untrustworthy on immigration: "That's not wiping the slate clean. That's blowing chalk dust in the President's face."
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org.
A July 2014 Media Reality Check by Scott documented how the networks shut out critics of Barack Obama's foreign policy, despite a summer of international crises. In April of 2014, Scott's blog on NewsBusters exposed how ABC falsely connected a former tech CEO to the hateful Westboro Baptist Church. This forced an apology by ABC News Vice President Jeffrey Schneider.
In April of 2013, Scott researched and wrote a Media Reality Check on ABC's complete blackout of abortionist Kermit Gosnell's trial. His stories on this subject and others were linked to on the Drudge Report, the Washington Times, Breitbart and Mediaite, to name a few outlets.
Scott is a graduate of George Mason University and is originally from Philadelphia, PA. He lives in Northern Virginia and can be contacted at SWhitlock@mediaresearch.org. You can also follow Scott on Twitter.
Good Morning America reporter Jon Karl on Thursday marveled that Republicans would dare “defy” Barack Obama on letting Syrian refugees into the country. ABC censored the news that only 28 percent of Americans support the current refugee program. Instead, Karl announced, “The House is expected to defy the President today by voting to temporarily prevent the administration from allowing more Syrian refugees to come into the country.”
Liberal Daily Show host Trevor Noah on Tuesday reached back to 1478 and the Spanish Inquisition as a way of attacking Republican opposition to Syrian refugees in the United States. Noah recoiled at Marco Rubio referencing the Nazis as he critiqued Hillary Clinton’s failure to use the words radical Islam.
All three network morning shows on Wednesday hyped Barack Obama’s “outrage” at Republican governors and presidential candidates, “slamming” them for opposition to Syrian refugees coming to America. On Good Morning America, Jon Karl parroted, “Overnight in Manila, President Obama expressed outrage at Republican calls to keep Syrian refugees out of the United States.”
In a recap of the November 14 Democratic presidential debate, Sunday’s Nightly News avoided awkward moments, such as the candidates refusing to use the term “radical Islam” or Bernie Sanders doubling down on climate change being the greatest national security threat.
In the wake of the terrorist slaughter in Paris, one might expect coverage of the Obama administration’s announcement that five more detainees would be released from Guantanamo Bay. Yet, NBC’s Today show, despite a four hour run-time, ignored the story. The New York Times, which often is used by the networks to select story topics, covered the release.
Former Democratic operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos on Thursday and Friday threw softballs at Barack Obama, setting the President up to attack certain Americans as bigots and to trash Ben Carson. On Thursday's Nightline, the journalist asked about Donald Trump’s immigration and deportation plans. Stephanopoulos wondered, “So, what do you think when you hear people cheer for that?” Obama sneered, “I think is that there's always been a strain of anti-immigrant sentiment in America.”
Good Morning America’s Tom Llamas on Thursday whined that Marco Rubio was “dodging our questions” on immigration. Yet, the journalist seemed to forget that the Senator answered questions on that very topic on Wednesday’s GMA. At a campaign event, the journalist pounced and grilled the Republican about Donald Trump: “I tried asking Senator Marco Rubio about Trump's idea, but he dodged our questions.”
Liberal, pro-abortion journalist Katie Couric on Tuesday interviewed the President of Planned Parenthood and worried about how “tough” pro-life supporters were making things for the organization. Couric snidely noted, “While Planned Parenthood says that abortions account for just three percent of its clinical work, opponents won't be happy until that number is zero.”
Liberal West Wing actor Bradley Whitford appeared on a special post-debate edition of Hardball, Tuesday, to trash the Republican candidates. However, he singled out one person for praise, cheering, “[John] Kasich was certainly agitated and seemed to try and, you know, bring the clown car under control, I thought.” Overall, however, the actor sneered: “Generally this field I feel...makes Ronald Reagan look like Abbie Hoffman and Herman Cain look like Winston Churchill.”
Long-time liberal journalist Jonathan Alter on Tuesday declared himself an arbiter of conservatism and that all the Republican candidates at the presidential debate are failing his test. The man who has assailed “vile” conservatives appeared on MSNBC and lectured, “...It's really kind of crazy that we call this a conservative political party. There's nothing conservative about it, big-c conservative, small-c conservative.”
At the Republican presidential debate on Tuesday, Ben Carson called out journalists “misinterpreting” his record. The candidate demanded, “We should vet all candidates. I have no problem with being vetted.” He added, “What I do have a problem with is being lied about and then putting that out there as truth.”
With a question reminicent of the biased CNBC debate, co-moderator Gerald Seib on Tuesday asked Republicans which Democrat they most “admired.” Talking to the candidates in the 7pm undercard debate, the Wall Street Journal’s Gerald Seib demanded, “To do the things you're talking about, that you're all talking about, getting things done in Washington, you have to work with the other side.”
The media-driven controversy surrounding Ben Carson’s biography could be “devastating” for the candidate who is “under fire” and “on the defensive,” according to the journalists at Good Morning America on Monday. The hosts repeatedly hyped alleged discrepancies in Carson’s background.
Ever wonder why MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough is constantly attacking Marco Rubio? He’s called the Republican “a guy that’s running for student government” and a “liar.” National Review, in a lengthy piece on Friday, investigated Scarborough’s anger.
The journalists at Good Morning America on Friday hyperventilated about Ben Carson being “under fire” and investigated for possible lies about his childhood. On the same show, a segment on Hillary Clinton simply cheered her latest late night comedy appearance.
Carly Fiorina on Friday debated the liberal co-hosts of The View, mocking them for attacks on her and also lobbying for honesty about the double standard conservative women face. At one point, the Republican lectured: “If all of you are honest, you will admit that this is the reality. Conservative women are held to a different standard than liberal women. That's just true.” When the liberal Joy Behar wondered, “by whom,” Fiorina retorted, “By all of you. By the liberal media.”
The three networks on Thursday hyped the “scathing” “political bombshell” of George H.W. Bush criticizing Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. In contrast, when Barack Obama’s former Secretary of State went on the record with harsh criticism of his former boss, ABC and NBC avoided it. Speaking of the Bush family, Good Morning America’s Amy Robach trumpeted, “This is being called a political bombshell."
PBS is the place for crude pap smear jokes, apparently. Liberal comic Kathy Griffin appeared on the Tavis Smiley show, Tuesday, to assail several of the Republican presidential candidates. As Smiley laughed, she mocked, “Dr. Ben Carson, I wouldn't let that guy give me a pap smear.” She told Smiley: “I mean, something is just in the water. And Marco Rubio is, like, scary."
Former Democratic operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday grilled Marco Rubio about his finances, parroting claims that he’s a “risky bet.” The Good Morning America host dwelled on this topic for five questions and touted an attack from Hillary Clinton.