Former Vice President Dick Cheney co-authored a blistering op-ed, deriding Barack Obama's handling of Iraq. But you wouldn't know it from the network coverage. ABC's Good Morning America completely ignored Cheney speaking out. Yet, the program devoted three minutes to the deeply irrelevant story of jump suits and fanny packs making a comeback.
On NBC's Today, Savannah Guthrie managed a scant 13 seconds as she introduced a separate story. The co-host chided, "Well, as President Obama weighs his decision here, Dick and Liz Cheney are out with a new op-ed this morning blasting the Obama administration's positions during wartime." She noted that Cheney and daughter Liz slammed, "Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many." CBS This Morning offered the most coverage fo the op-ed, 48 seconds. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
CBS This Morning on Tuesday continued its role as the biggest cheerleader of legalized marijuana. Reporter Barry Petersen hailed the role of women in Colorado's expanding pot industry. A network graphic touted, "Breaking the Grass Ceiling." Except for one throw-away line, the entire segment avoided the health dangers of marijuana. Instead, Petersen hyped women and pot: "And as in other businesses, women are changing attitudes with sheer competence." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The reporter talked to one woman who had received criticism for selling pot brownies. Petersen empathized, Somebody said to you, you're a bad person because you're around marijuana and you're around kids." He added, "It is still early times in the legal marijuana industry. And that's why women say it's the perfect time to let everyone know that in this business, a woman's place is at the top."
The journalists at ABC and NBC on Monday couldn't manage to cover the revelation that the IRS lost two years-worth of Lois Lerner's e-mails. Yet, reporters on all three networks mourned the loss of a parking garage connected to the four decade-old Watergate scandal. Sunday CBS Evening News anchor Jeff Glor pronounced, "The world's most famous parking garage will be destroyed." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Just how many "famous" parking garages are there?
Glor explained that the county board in Arlington, Virginia "voted this weekend to demolish the garage where Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward met secretly with his Watergate source Deep Throat, Mark Felt." However, he reassured viewers that a "historical marker will remain." The story was also covered on Sunday's World News, Monday's Today show and CBS This Morning.
Veteran ABC journalist Diane Sawyer has interviewed Hillary Clinton for a one-hour special that airs Monday night. Will the World News anchor grill the potential Democratic presidential candidate like she did Ken Starr or Mel Gibson? It doesn't seem likely that the reporter, who linked Clinton to Jesus Christ, will offer much in the way of hard-hitting questions. However, talking to then-special prosecutor Starr on November 25, 1998, she demanded, "Are you part of a right-wing conspiracy?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Previewing the special 20/20 interview with the man who investigated President Bill Clinton, an announcer proudly asserted, "The tables are turned. Now it's the prosecutor's turn to be grilled." During a special on The Passion of the Christ, Sawyer hammered film director Gibson: "Are you anti-Semitic?" She even linked the film to Nazism: "Hitler went to a passion play and came away saying that, you know, this is a precious tool in the fight against Judaism."
Milius, a 2013 documentary on conservative filmmaker John Milius, profiles the director and his long career of rebelling against liberal Hollywood. At the center of the film, which recently premiered on Netflix streaming, is an analysis of his 1984 movie Red Dawn. It featured armed teenagers fighting back against a Russian invasion of America.
Reflecting on Red Dawn, Milius attacked his liberal critics: "That was the point where they said, 'He's gone too far. Now we've got to shut him down.'" Discussing the reaction to the movie from film critics, Milius mocked, "'[Then-New York Times writer] Pauline Kael told us he was a fascist. He's genuinely a right-wing character.' I am not a fascist. I am a total man of the people. They are the fascists.'"
The journalists on CBS This Morning devoted nine minutes to excitedly reviewing Hillary Clinton's new book. Despite the fact that the publisher, Simon & Schuster, is a division of CBS, co-host Charlie Rose insisted that they scored an advance edition the old-fashioned way: "But we were able to buy a copy at a bookstore." Sounding more like an excited fan, Rose blurbed: "It is a portrait of doggedness." CBS political director John Dickerson praised Hard Choices as a portrayal of "a hard working person who flew all around the world grinding it out." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Asked whether opponents will seize on the content of the book, Dickerson enthused, "...The volume of this book is meant in a political context to suggest that the voters can put the world in her hands. She sees the complexity and understands it." CBS offered two segments to the new book totaling nine minutes and seven seconds. Of that, only 13 seconds were devoted to discussing Clinton's role in the terrorist attack at Benghazi that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
The New York Times on Thursday kicked off what could be an attempt to find a 2014 version of Todd Akin. Writer Jonathan Weisman pronounced the accession of senatorial candidate Chris McDaniel as a "major headache" for Republicans and hyped Democrats as "gleeful" over the run-off campaign between the Tea Party favorite and incumbent Senator Thad Cochran.
Repeating liberal talking points, Weisman parroted, "Already on Wednesday, Democrats were quietly expressing glee and moving to elevate the McDaniel candidacy, hoping to make him this campaign cycle’s equivalent of Missouri’s Todd Akin, whose provocative comments on rape created problems for Republicans around the country in 2012."
CBS This Morning reporter Anthony Mason uncritically promoted the band Pink Floyd's campaign to boycott the "racist regime" of Israel and attack the Rolling Stones for performing in Tel Aviv. After a clip of Pink Floyd's song "Another Brick in the Wall," Mason reminded that the group wanted "the Stones to join them in a boycott and build a cultural wall around Israel." The segment featured not a single quote from anyone opposing the boycott or supporting Israel. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Instead, Mason promoted the group's cause and explained that Roger Waters, Pink Floyd's lead singer "is a vocal opponent of what he believes is Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine." Instead of providing any balance, he featured Waters at a United Nations conference denouncing, "We found that the state of Israel is guilty of a number of international crimes." In a statement, members of Pink Floyd lectured the Rolling Stones for daring to defy the boycott.
A near-hysterical Ed Schultz on Wednesday lashed out against Republicans for questioning the prisoner swap made by President Obama that released five terrorists from Guantanamo Bay. The MSNBC anchor also dismissed GOP concerns as just another attempt to impeach the President. Regarding the top Taliban members who were set free last week, Schultz sanitized, "You mean to tell me, we just happen to negotiate away the absolute worst people on the face of the Earth and this is such a bad deal for America?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Coming up with his own conclusion as to why Republicans might be worried over the prisoner swap, the anchor lectured, "Well, this Republican freak-out over the release of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, it's all about one thing and one thing only and that is impeaching President Obama."
The Veterans Affairs scandal engulfing the Obama administration has spread into Kansas, Missouri, Illinois and Indiana, but only ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday found time to cover the latest developments. GMA news reader Amy Robach revealed, "We're learning those secret waiting lists were also kept at ten facilities in these four Midwestern western states with nearly 100 veterans waiting more than three months for treatment." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Despite the eight hours of air time available to the three network morning shows, CBS and NBC avoided the story. ABC allowed 21 seconds. Obviously, the prisoner swap involving a U.S. soldier and five Taliban terrorists has rightly dominated the news. However, The four-hour-long Today show still found time to devote five minutes and 13 seconds on the subject of "six months to six pack" abs. CBS This Morning offered three minutes and 50 seconds to the phenomenon of "urban farming." Clearly, time was available.
[UPDATE 16:00: Two and a half hours after posting, Reuters updated and used the word "Democrat."] According to Reuters, the ex-mayor of North Carolina's largest city admitted on Tuesday that he accepted bribes totaling at least $50,000 "in exchange for using his official positions to help people seeking to do business in the city." Yet the article by journalist Emily Harris avoided identifying Patrick Cannon as a Democrat.
Harris instead used generic terms for Cannon, referring to him as the "the former Charlotte mayor." Cannon is also accused of "taking bribes from the owner of an adult entertainment club and using his influence to help the business stay open despite being in the path of the city's new light-rail line." In contrast, Fox and Friends anchor Steve Doocy highlighted the former mayor's political party, noting, "The Democrat faces a maximum of 20 years in prison." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
If there's one thing liberal media outlets enjoy, it's conservatives fighting with each other. On Tuesday, CBS This Morning journalists highlighted a dispute between the National Rifle Association and Open Carry Texas, another firearms organization. Co-host Norah O'Donnell related, "...The National Rifle Association is criticizing some of its usual supporters. NRA lobbyists say it's, quote, "scary and downright weird" that Texans are bringing rifles and shotguns into restaurants."
Members of the Texas group have been filming themselves bringing semiautomatic weapons into Chili's and Chipotle. Reporter Manuel Bojorquez hyped the resulting fight, " The nation's most vocal gun advocacy group condemned the activists saying, 'using guns merely to draw attention to yourself in public not only defies common sense, it shows a lack of consideration and manners.'" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
An furious Ed Schultz on Monday questioned Ted Cruz's patriotism after the Senator spoke out against the prisoner swap deal that involved top Taliban leaders and a U.S. soldier. The Ed Show host played a clip of the Senator wondering, "What does this tell terrorists? That if you catch a U.S. soldier, you can trade that soldier for five terrorists we've gone after?" Schultz spewed, "Ted Cruz has zero credibility. He has zero foreign policy experience. He's a guy from Texas who doesn't have a clue."
The host then openly questioned Cruz's patriotism, dismissing his remarks: "And it's all pablum, anything to take down the President. There's nothing American about Ted Cruz." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Earlier in the segment, the anchor praised the deal made by Barack Obama, saying of the terrorists: "We're not prosecuting them. We're not doing Habeus Corpus. We're afraid to bring them to the United States and go through the judicial process."
CBS and NBC's morning shows on Monday avoided any mention of the potential job killing-harm that new Environmental Protection Agency rules will create. The three networks spent a scant 61 seconds total on the global warming regulations, but it was only Amy Robach on Good Morning America who raised a red flag. She pointed out: "The new rules will require power plants to cut Earth-warming pollution by 30 percent. Opponents say this will drive up energy costs and kill thousands of jobs."
On CBS This Morning, co-host Amy Robach cheered, "This morning, the EPA announces a groundbreaking plan to cut power plant emissions blamed for global warming." She allowed that "carbon dioxide limits are a hot political issue," but the journalist quickly added, "This is America's first ever policy to limit those emissions and the EPA says power plants are the largest source of greenhouse gases in the U.S." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
As of June 2, 2014, it's been 200 days since Nightline, the once-vaunted news program, covered ObamaCare. In the 28 and a half weeks since November 14, 2013, the show has continued its descent into tabloid oblivion, focusing on topics such as celebrities, weight loss and pop culture. As a consequence, the program has skipped the myriad of problems associated with ObamaCare.
When the White House quietly announced on May 20 what amounted to a bailout for insurance companies that might lose money on the new health care law, Nightline didn't notice. When the Associated Press on May 16 reported a new "cost control strategy" called reference pricing that would put a limit on what health plans pay for expensive surgeries, the ABC program avoided the story. On April 24, Vox explained that the administration was trying to "stamp out" certain health plans, "a decision that industry officials say could trigger yet another wave of cancellation notices." Again, Nightline was silent. But what were the show's hosts covering instead? See a video montage below to find out. [MP3 audio here.]
On Thursday, the day before a double resignation at the White House, ABC's Jon Karl grilled Jay Carney over Barack Obama's confidence in Eric Shinseki. Less than 24 hours later, the press secretary and Veterans Administration head had both quit. During the back-and-forth, Karl pressed, "But does the President right now have confidence in Sec. Shinseki, yes or no? It's a very simple yes or no question. You told us last week he did have confidence, does he have confidence now?" [See video below.]
Carney dodged and responded, "Jon, the President addressed this question from the podium." The journalist pointed out, " But he wasn't asked directly if he had confidence in him." The now-ex-press secretary dismissed this as "word play." Karl continued to push, insisting, "It's a basic question. It's not wordplay. Its a central question: Does he have confidence in a member of his cabinet?"
Much of the network coverage on the Veterans Affairs scandal has been light on questioning Barack Obama. It took former football player Michael Strahan to come up with a tougher query for the President. During an interview on Live With Kelly and Michael, Strahan lectured, "But a lot of the soldiers haven't been given the treatment, veterans, that they should have got when they come home." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Strahan continued, "And there's been calls for resignations and Shinseki... says he's not going to resign. Do you think that he should and if he doesn't, would you be inclined to remove him?" (Just hours after the interview aired, Eric Shinseki quit as head of the VA.) Obama first shifted topics, insisting, "Well, let me first say that the greatest honor I have is serving as commander in chief."
CBS journalists on Thursday morning investigated the latest details of the expanding Veterans Affairs scandal. Yet despite calling the newest revelation "ugly," correspondent Nancy Cordes somehow managed to avoid using Barack Obama's name or to discuss the White House. Instead, she focused on congressional culpability: "But the Inspector General's report points out Congress and the VA have known about similar manipulations and delays for nearly a decade." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Cordes talked to a GOP House member and pressed: "Florida Republican Jeff Miller is the chair of the House VA committee. If you've known about problems like this for years why are you only now calling on the V.A. Secretary to resign?" NBC skimped on discussing how much this issue could hurt the President personally. At the very end of a Nightly News discussion, Kelly O'Donnell briefly noted, "From the White House, NBC's Kristen Welker reports the President considers Secretary Shinseki to be on probation."
John Kerry appeared on all three network news programs, Wednesday, but it was an interview on CNN that provided a surprise. New Day anchor Chris Cuomo actually grilled the Secretary of State on pulling troops out of Afghanistan and whether Barack Obama is showing "weakness" internationally in dealing with countries such as Russia.
On the ending of America's military presence in Afghanistan, the host pressed, "How is it a way forward when, as you well know, as soon as the U.S. leaves there, the chances that the place descends back into chaos are very high? Isn't that backwards, not forwards?" A testy Kerry complained that Cuomo was trying to "find the most negative, gloomy prediction." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Although the journalists at Good Morning America on Tuesday found no time to discuss what NBC called a "potentially dangerous mistake" by the White House, reporter Jon Karl devoted a report to promoting Michelle Obama's latest efforts on healthy lunches. Co-anchor George Stephanopoulos touted it as a "a rare political move now from First Lady Michelle Obama." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Stephanopoulos hyped the First Lady's "full-scale campaign against the food industry and members of Congress who are trying to roll back the healthy school lunch standard she fought so hard to pass." Karl insisted, "Well, the First Lady believes passionately that school lunches simply have to be healthier and she is prepared to wage a big political fight over this issue." He added, "She is going to be speaking out against this effort for Republicans to roll back standards that were put in place in 2010."
The liberals at Google honored radical environmentalist Rachel Carson on their home page, Tuesday, in honor of what would have been her 107th birthday. With the Google logo in the background, an illustration featured the late Carson in the wilderness, next to birds, turtles and butterflies. Clicking on this picture will bring web browsers to a search of all things Carson. Journalists, Al Gore and Hollywood have long lauded the activist. But few of them have questioned her accuracy or impact.
Carson's claim to fame came when she published Silent Spring in 1962. The book warned of the dangers of pesticide to birds and lobbied for banning the chemical DDT. However, this contention turned out to be flat-out wrong and has had deadly consequences. As San Jose State University entomologist J. Gordon Edwards explained: "This implication that DDT is horribly deadly is completely false. Human volunteers have ingested as much as 35 milligrams of it a day for nearly two years and suffered no adverse effects. Millions of people have lived with DDT intimately during the mosquito spray programs and nobody even got sick as a result."
All three morning shows on Tuesday deemed it news worthy to listen to audio excerpts from Hillary Clinton's upcoming book. On the same day that Good Morning America ignored the leaking by the White House of a CIA station chief in Afghanistan, news reader Amy Robach parroted Democratic talking points: "In the book's audio version, Mrs. Clinton describes making choices with her head and her heart." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Robach made sure to advertise a one hour interview Diane Sawyer will conduct with Clinton on June 9th. The primetime special will be followed by yet more promotional time with the Democrat on the June 10th GMA. On CBS This Morning, Tuesday, Anthony Mason assured viewers that the "upcoming memoir has nothing to do with politics." He added that in an author's note, "the potential presidential candidate says the book will not engage in political finger pointing."
An ABC program that aims to expose the secret bigotry of ordinary Americans returned to the airwaves on May 23. Would You Do? Is a hidden-camera show hosted by John Quinones and focusing on contrived situations of Americans discriminating against gays, Muslims and illegals immigrants, to name a few.
In a June 14, 2013 episode, an actor portrayed a white man wearing an American flag t-shirt. An Arab man (another actor) entered the restaurant where ABC had set up hidden cameras. The white actor began a tirade, screaming, "Since when are they hiring Muslims around here?...Bet you go home and learn how to make bombs....I don't want a terrorist touching my food or taking my order." [See video below.]
CBS This Morning co-host Charlie Rose scored an exclusive interview with Chuck Hagel on Friday. But rather than grill the Secretary of Defense on the latest details of the Veterans Affairs scandal, the journalist repeated talking points and wondered about whether it was "premature" for a top Obama official to resign.
Rose began by noting that there is "quite a concern" over the growing controversy and that some "argue that we need to know the facts." Talking to Hagel, the host then wondered, "Some in your party are calling for the head of the Veterans Affairs department to resign, General Shinseki. Is it 'Premature' to ask for his resignation?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
In nearly four and a half weeks, the ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening news shows have offered 110 minutes to an evolving Obama administration scandal involving secret lists designed to keep veterans from receiving proper medical treatment. Back in January, it took those same network shows just four and a half days to churn that much coverage for Chris Christie's Bridgegate.
Since the VA story broke on April 23 with the news that as many as 40 veterans seeking treatment at one Phoenix facility died while on secret waiting lists, CBS has provided the most coverage, 48 minutes and 46 seconds. NBC allowed 44 minutes and 53 seconds and ABC came in last with a scant 16 minutes and 44 seconds. None of the networks bothered covering the story until May 6, almost two weeks after it broke. (This is despite heavy investigative reporting by Fox News and CNN.)
World News anchor Diane Sawyer, who once summarized Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign by connecting the Democrat to Jesus Christ, has landed the exclusive first interview as the potential 2016 candidate promotes her book, Hard Choices. Sawyer will talk to Clinton for a one-hour special airing on June 9. According to Politico, the former Secretary of State will also appear on the same day's World News and live on the June 10 Good Morning America.
A look back at Sawyer's reporting on Clinton reason reveals the reason she was chosen. On June 4, 2008, as the politician's presidential bid ended, the then-Good Morning America host quoted from a 17th century poem about Christ: "This woman, as we said, forged into determination and purpose her whole life. As someone said, 'No thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown.'' [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
NBC and CBS on Wednesday hyped a win by Senator Mitch McConnell as an example of a major setback to the Tea Party movement. But it was only ABC's Good Morning America that highlighted the "big loss" suffered by Bill and Hillary Clinton as their candidate went down to defeat. CBS This Morning co-anchor Charlie Rose lectured, "Tea Party backers are reeling this morning from primary election results in six states." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
He added, "Tea Party favorites lost in all of the most important Republican races heading into the November midterms." The journalist trumpeted, "...A CBS News poll out this morning show that Tea Party support fell over nine point this past year." Surprisingly, it was former Clinton operative George Stephanopoulos on GMA who exposed a "House race in Pennsylvania that was a big loss for both Clintons."
The idea that Good Morning America is a superficial show is not in doubt. On Tuesday, the show's hosts devoted 12 minutes and 22 seconds to full reports on a college student stripper, a super model trying to lose weight and Dancing With the Stars. But the frivolous nature of the program often masks its liberal bias. GMA on May 20 completely ignored the revelation that Barack Obama was warned five years ago of the substandard conditions at Veterans Affairs medical facilities and that soldiers were struggling to obtain decent treatment.
That development was also avoided on ABC's World News, Monday night. What did the hosts of GMA cover instead? Juju Chang played footage of an exotic dancer and breathlessly informed: "This is how she pays her tuition. Essentially, you're a student by day and stripper by night?" Robin Roberts highlighted the efforts by super model Molly Sims to lose weight. [See below for a video montage of the morning show's most insipid news stories. MP3 audio here.]
Good Morning America is a profoundly superficial show. The ABC program on Monday devoted air time to Full House star Jonathan Stamos responding a blogger's criticism of the '90s show. So, what does it take for the program to cover the 2014 midterm elections? A Republican scandal helps. GMA reporter Mara Schiavocampo highlighted the revelation that Oregon GOP Senate candidate Monica Wehby's ex-boyfriend in 2013 called police, accusing her of stalking.
Referring to her former boyfriend, Andrew Miller, Schiavocampo made sure to note: "The millionaire timber executive claiming the rising Republican star is a stalker..." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] To underline the point, the journalist reiterated, "So far, Wehby has been leading her Republican opponent in the polls."
The journalists at CBS This Morning on Monday actually showcased the growing problem of suppression of speech on college campuses, in this case at commencement addresses. Reporter Don Dahler even featured a representative from a conservative group fighting for open dialogue. However, the segment avoided hinting that this is primarily a problem on the left. Dahler featured former Princeton President William Bowen. While speaking at Haverford, he lectured those students for pressuring another speaker to withdrawal.
Bowen complained, "I regard this outcome as a defeat, pure and simple, for Haverford. No victory for anyone who believes, as I think most of us do, in openness to many points of view and mutual respect." He added, "In my view they would have encouraged him to come and engage in a serious discussion." Regarding the cancellation of other speakers, Greg Lukianoff from the Foundation of Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) worried, "It's reaching the point where these purity tests are so strict that it's hard to imagine who will allowed to speak on the campus in the future." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]