The journalists at ABC News offered yet another high profile experiment to terrify the parents of America into not owning guns. In an hour-long special on Friday night, Diane Sawyer and David Muir hid pink guns at the playground of an elementary school in an effort to see if young girls would play with them. Unsurprisingly, the young children did. The Young Guns program also included the obvious revelation that firearms shouldn't be concealed in backpacks and with candy.
Diane Sawyer narrated, "For more than a decade, there has been a powder pink gun on the market." Referencing the location of where Sawyer and co-host David Muir hid guns in backpacks, she explained, "We decided to head back to that school in Saint Petersburg, Florida, specifically to see how girls would react to colorful rifles." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] As children arrive to find the guns planted by ABC, Sawyer teased, "Watch as the girls come out to play and grab, rattle, giggle and pull the trigger."
Chris Matthews is at it again. The liberal MSNBC anchor on Friday found a new way to deride conservative concern over Barack Obama's use of executive orders to get around Congress. Matthews dismissed it as unthinking and tribal, sneering, "I think it's a second term birtherism. 'He was illegitimately elected. Now he is behaving illegitimately.'" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Using his typical broad generalizations, Matthews railed, "This goes back to the whole notion that the right has. 'He really wasn't a law-abiding or even legally, legitimately elected president.'" According to the host, the concern over Obama's plan to sidestep Congress isn't even rational: "And this seems to be based upon ideology rather than events or even behaviors of the President."
What is wrong with the hosts at MSNBC? Ronan Farrow, who will begin anchoring a network program on February 24, made a tasteless joke on Tuesday night, comparing war hero Cory Remsburg's struggles to that of politicians in Congress. Farrow tweeted, "Cory 'struggles on the left side.' Congress relates.'"
During the State of the Union, Barack Obama movingly recounted the difficulties of the 30-year-old Remsburg who, after being deployed ten times, was almost killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. Farrow has not apologized for the tweet and he's not alone in his cheap shots. MSNBC journalists have been making offensive tweets all week.
The journalists at ABC are again going after gun ownership in the most absurd manner possible. Diane Sawyer and David Muir want American parents to know that they shouldn't leave unattended guns around toys, candy and in the backpacks of children. On the Monday and Thursday World News, as well as Friday's Good Morning America, Sawyer and Muir previewed their hour-long Young Guns special and portrayed an epidemic of accidental shootings involving kids.
The ABC program, designed to show how Americans dangerously keep their guns, featured weapons stuffed in ridiculous, staged locations. On Monday, David Muir explained, "Those parents agreeing to take part at an elementary school in St. Petersburg, Florida." As video showed guns being jammed in backpacks and in a box of plastic spiders, Muir narrated, "The teacher running the experiment, telling the children they're there for a memory test and she has to go for a second. But there's candy on the table." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The journalists at ABC News have refrained from questioning Barack Obama's unilateral tone at the State of the Union address. Reporter Jim Avila on Tuesday's Nightline went so far as to compare the President to an iconic movie character. Regarding Obama's threats to use executive actions to accomplish his goals, Avila enthused, "This was President Obama, the go-it-alone Terminator, mindful he has only three years left." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The ABC journalist heralded, "This was a stare down, chest pumping President, angry and resentful about a Congress determined to log jam his ideas." Avila did describe the second term Commander in Chief as "on the downward slide" and as losing his "power to persuade" with Congress. But the reporter failed to offer skepticism about the executive orders.
CBS This Morning on Thursday ignored the larger issue behind the blacklisting of a small Christian film that had its Oscar nomination revoked. Talking to Bruce Broughton, the man who wrote the title song for Alone Yet Not Alone, reporter Ben Tracy failed to wonder if there was a religious motive behind the controversial actions. On Wednesday, the film's nomination was stripped because Broughton, a former Academy official, had previously sent out a mild e-mail promoting the film.
Tracy noted that "Academy rules do not prohibit sending e-mails or even the more aggressive 'for your consideration' ads all over Hollywood this time of year." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] But during the segment, the journalist never considered other possibilities. The Washington Times's Vince Morton explained, "The film’s status as a small Christian film led Orthodox Christian film blogger Peter Chattaway to predict charges of religious persecution in the coming days, playing off the image of Hollywood as a liberal bastion hostile to Christianity."
ABC, NBC and CBS's morning shows on Wednesday failed to fact check Barack Obama's State of the Union address. These same networks, however, made time to feature Vice President Joe Biden (who was in full cheerleader mode). It's not as though fact checks weren't available. The Washington Post and the Associated Press both produced such critical analysis. During his speech, Obama touted "the more than eight million new jobs our businesses have created over the past four years."
The Post's Glenn Kessler called this "cherry picking" and noted that "since the start of his presidency, about 3.2 million jobs have been created — and the number of jobs in the economy still is about 1.2 million lower than when the recession began in December 2007."
The journalists at Good Morning America on Wednesday discussed Barack Obama's State of the Union address for seven minutes and 19 seconds, but only allowed a scant 16 seconds for the GOP response (a 27-to-1 disparity). Unlike the reporters at CBS This Morning who interviewed Rand Paul, GMA's hostsinstead featured Joe Biden and could only be bothered with a brief clip of Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers and a snippet of John Boehner. NBC's Today, despite a four-hour running time, managed a mere six seconds of McMorris Rodgers.
Co-host George Stephanopoulos, a former Democratic operative, opened the program by parroting, "Call to action. The President vows to use his executive powers to attack the country's biggest problems." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Jon Karl offered little in the way of skepticism about the President's plan to use executive orders. Instead, he hyped, "But the President promised to work around Republican opposition, saying he would raise the minimum wage for workers on new federal contracts." He added that Obama "tried to shame Republicans into raising it for everybody as well."
The women of CBS This Morning did not seem to appreciate Rand Paul's recent comments on Bill Clinton and his affair with Monica Lewinsky. The Republican senator appeared on the morning show, Wednesday, to discuss the State of the Union address. However, King echoed the language of Secretary Clinton's famous testimony about the Benghazi terrorist attack. Speaking of the ex-president's affairs, she huffed, "But what difference does that make and what good comes of that now two decades later? What do you hope will come of that conversation?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Paul retorted by calling the former president a "serial philanderer" and added, "But he was a person who took advantage of a young girl in the workplace and I think that's inexcusable and that kind of war on women should end." O'Donnell icily responded, "And what do you think that has to do if Hillary Clinton runs for president?" Speaking of the potential Democratic presidential nominee, Paul quipped, "She's had to tolerate the same sort of problems from him, you know, I guess, over time."
Previewing Barack Obama's State of the Union on Tuesday, Good Morning America's Jon Karl hyped the President's move to unilaterally act "where he can without Congress." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Eight years ago, however, ABC hit George W. Bush for being unwilling to compromise.
After noting that Congress has failed to raise the minimum wage, Karl touted, "...The President will announce that he is increasing by nearly $3 an hour the minimum wage on all new federal contracts, acting where he can without Congress." According to Karl, this is an example of Obama "promising to work with Congress where he can but showing there are things he can do on his own, as well." In his report, the journalist failed to wonder if it was the President who should move. In contrast, previewing the January 31, 2006 State of the Union, Charles Gibson asked the liberal Ted Kennedy, "Do you get a sense that this White House is truly willing to compromise on anything?"
Former View co-host Rosie O'Donnell will return to the ABC program she angrily left in 2007. According to Variety, the 9/11 truther and denouncer of "radical Christianity" will appear as a guest on the February 7 program. (As of now, this is a one-day-only event.) Apparently, supposedly serious journalist Barbara Walters has no problem welcoming back the woman who in 2007 denounced her own country: "I just want to say something. 655,000 Iraqi civilians are dead. Who are the terrorists?" [See below for some of O'Donnell's worst quotes.]
On September 12, 2006, after token conservative Elisabeth Hasselbeck raised the threat of "radical Islam," O'Donnell spat back: "Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America where we have a separation of church and state." On March 29, 2007, the talk show host promoted 9/11 conspiracy theories on the show: "I do believe it is the first time in history that fire has ever melted steel. I do believe that it defies physics for the World Trade Center Tower Seven, building seven, which collapsed in on itself."
CBS analyst Mellody Hobson, whose husband George Lucas is worth $7.3 billion, appeared on This Morning to slam excessive salaries for corporate bosses. Discussing income inequality and Barack Obama's planned discussion at the State of the Union, Hobson lashed out, "If you look today, the typical CEO makes 354 times more than the typical worker in his or her company, mostly his because there are so few women running companies." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] (How much more does the male Lucas make than the average worker?)
She continued, "If you look back to 1980, that difference was just 42 times. So it's been that kind of income inequality that has started a lot of backlash and chatter..." Co-host Norah O'Donnell introduced the segment by highlighting a hyperbolic letter to the Wall Street Journal by CEO Tom Perkins comparing the treatment of the wealthy to Jews during the Holocaust. O'Donnell promoted, "[President Obama] calls [income inequality] one of the defining challenges of our time. How do you think that will be received by people in the business community?"
Chris Matthews played his favorite type of game on Thursday, using the comments of one Republican to generalize the entire conservative movement. This time, the Hardball host pounced on remarks by Mike Huckabee regarding the so-called "war on women." The former Republican presidential candidate said that Democrats "insult" women by suggesting that they are "helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in" to provide " prescription each month for birth control."
From this, Matthews sneered, "And given that, what is it in the Republican DNA that makes them talk as if they've never talked with women?" He added, "Why do they speak as if they are the party of cave dwellers who come out of their habitats every four years, say, or so, to grunt something so retro, so awkward, so Cro-Magnon as this?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The journalists at CBS This Morning on Friday appeared excited over the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, hyping the "cannabis capitalism" in the state and a new "pot tour" business that has sprouted up. Showing little skepticism, reporter Barry Petersen offered a light-hearted take: "Appropriately enough, the pot tour ends at a sub shop where Acapulco gold is a sandwich and they're ready to help with those marijuana munchies." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Petersen narrated, "Call it cannabis capitalism, the latest leaf to sprout from legalized marijuana. Michael Eymer's pot tours costs $240 bucks a person." The journalist offered a promotional look at the new industry: "Eymer has bookings and belief that he's in on one of Colorado's new growth industries. If I want to take the tour, how long am I going to have to wait to get aboard?"
Excited about the possibility of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie no longer being a viable presidential contender, Hardball host Chris Matthews on Wednesday swooned about the Democratic potential for 2016: "This could be like the 1964 election with Lyndon Johnson being portrayed this time by Hillary Clinton, grabbing 60 percent of the vote because she grabs the middle." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Matthews continued his hypothetical sequence, speculating, "[Clinton] could grab the middle. The Republicans run a wacko bird, as John McCain calls them. We have a sweeping election." It should be pointed out that, as of January 23, 2014, November 8, 2016 is two years and 288 days away. So, a lot "could" happen.
ABC reporter Jon Karl on Wednesday broke from the official journalistic fawning over Michelle Obama's birthday, asking White House Press Secretary Jay Carney about the cost and whether the American taxpayer would pay the bill. Yet, his own network totally ignored the exchange and kept it off Wednesday's World News, Nightline and Thursday's Good Morning America.
In the briefing, Karl pushed, "The First Lady had her 50th birthday party and I believe you said that the President picks up the cost for that party." Carney dodged, "I think we put out information. I don't have it here. I would refer you to the east wing." The ABC journalist followed-up, "I was just wondering if you had an estimate on what the cost was?" Again, the White House spokesman spun, "I don't. But I would refer you to the east wing." The "east wing" is a reference to Michelle Obama's office. [For C-SPAN video of the exchange, see below.]
CBS This Morning journalists on Wednesday pushed a new San Francisco tax on buses as a symbol of "income inequality" and failed to identify a liberal organization supporting the move. The progressive city approved a $1 per stop tax on tech company buses that transport employees to the Silicon Valley. CBS journalist John Blackstone lectured, "The private buses have become symbols of income inequality and the belief that well paid tech workers are to blame for steeply rising rents." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Talking to Cynthia Crews, identified in the segment as a "San Francisco resident," Blackstone sympathized, "So, a dollar a stop doesn't seem like much." Blackstone featured Crews insisting, "The shuttles, the tech companies are not paying their fair share." According to the Canadian Globe and Mail, Crews is "a representative of the San Francisco League of Pissed-Off Voters." That group's website features endorsements, like this one for city attorney: "A progressive City Attorney would have more guts to stand up to the fat cat companies...who get way too many breaks in this town."
Unlike the journalists at NBC, who last week offered a fawning profile of "overnight sensation" Wendy Davis, CNN's Anderson Cooper on Tuesday night actually investigated the "misleading" claims and "stretching the truth" of the liberal gubernatorial candidate's bio. In a "keeping them honest segment, AC360 anchor Cooper informed viewers that an "aspiring governor is under fire tonight for allegedly blurring the facts of her life story, stretching the truth to the point where, well, some say they feel misled or worse." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
While NBC's Maria Shriver on January 15 credulously repeated how the Texan's "personal story resonated across the country," Cooper explained that "as compelling as it is, doesn't stand up to the facts." In commercials and campaign events, Davis has been insisting that at age 19, she was a single parent who lived in a mobile home. AC360 reporter Ed Lavandera clarified, "It turns out Davis separated from her husband at age 19 but didn't divorce until she was 21. And the trailer court, which has gotten top billing in her bio, the reality is she may have only lived there for a few months."
Chris Matthews really doesn’t listen when he speaks. On every program since Chris Christie’s bridge scandal broke on January 8, the MSNBC anchor has smeared the Republican governor as just like Richard Nixon in Watergate. Matthews has done this for nine straight shows, including the January 20 edition.
However, on the same program, with no sense of self awareness, a thought occurred to the anchor. He announced that if “it is discovered that Governor Christie did not encourage political revenge, did not signal that this is the way he wanted political business conducted, then he will be exonerated before the eyes of the country. The facts will decide it. And that`s the way it should be.” [See video below.]
All three networks on Tuesday morning continued to pile on Chris Christie, offering gloating coverage about how his “glory days” have gone terribly wrong. After recounting everything that has gone awry for the Republican, Good Morning America's Jim Avila imagined, “You can almost see at the inauguration today, Governor Christie raising his right hand and shaking his head at the same time. “ [See video below.] Co-host Robin Roberts added, “It’s not what they thought today was going to be.”
After reiterating that the new year is “not at all going to plan” for Christie, Avila continued, “Instead, [the governor has been] forced to play scandal whack-a-mole, with new poll numbers falling.” CBS This Morning offered a network graphic that trumpeted, “Christie Crisis.” Journalist Elaine Quijano featured Alex Burns from the liberal Politico to lecture that in order to run for President, Christie needed to “run up the legislative score board in New Jersey. I think we can safely say that all those plans are on hold.”
In January of 2013, Nightline was demoted to the TV wasteland of 12:35 in the morning. Since then, the ABC program has become increasingly superficial, shedding hard news in favor of crime and celebrity stories. On Thursday, the program got even weirder, spending 30 minutes on white and black racists and mediating a discussion between the two on a supposed coming race war. It all played out like some racist reality TV show.
Byron Pitts profiled Matt Heimbach, a 22-year-old white supremacist who hates Jews, African Americans and gays. ABC took Heimbach to meet a "black national, now an ordained minister who's running for a seat in the U.S. Congress and warns that a race war is coming." Pitts marveled, "The two find common cause in a common enemy, corporate America." Heimbach enthused, "Why don't we hang a couple of bankers instead of random white people?" Mmoja Ajabu agreed, "Well, I think we're finding common ground." [See video montage below. MP3 audio here.]
For seven straight days, Chris Matthews and his Hardball guests have hyperbolically compared Chris Christie's bridge scandal in New Jersey to the constitutional crisis that ended Richard Nixon's presidency. On every single program since January 8, Matthews and guests have linked last fall's traffic jam to Watergate. On Thursday, GOP strategist John Feehery reminded, "They're completely different...There were high crimes and misdemeanor with President Nixon." The MSNBC journalist responded, "Wait, a break-in was worse than this?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
On January 8, the day the scandal erupted, Matthews immediately jumped to the comparison, muttering, "Nixonian. It's so Nixonian." On January 9, while talking about Christie's innocence or guilt, the host connected, "...When people say they feel sorry for the Watergate people....Their lives were ruined. I always say I got a worse one for you -- they got away with it."
Pro-Second Amendment author Emily Miller appeared on CNN and dismantled a gun control guest. CNN Newsroom anchor Brooke Baldwin talked to Arkadi Gerney of the liberal Center for American Progress and Miller about the announcement that powerful studio mogul Harvey Weinstein plans an attack film on the NRA.
Gerney lectured, "Emily is wrong when she said there isn't evidence that gun laws lead to reducing gun violence." Miller shot back, "Name one then...Name one." Gerney replied, "If you compare that to the ten states with the weakest gun laws in the country, you see gun deaths that are half, half the gun deaths in those states." When asked to prove it, Gerney offered himself as a source: "That's a report that I wrote and published last year on the website for the Center for American Progress."Miller zinged, "Oh, it's yourself. Oh, okay, so you're a leftist organization and your own information." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Chris Matthews, always eager for hyperbolic predictions of Republican doom, on Wednesday insisted that Chris Christie's bridge scandal in New Jersey is pretty much like Richard Nixon's Watergate. Comparing a severe traffic jam to a scandal that paralyzed the United States government and brought down a President, Matthews suggested, "Well, this is not yet a Watergate, but the more we learn about Chris Christie, the more he does look like Richard Nixon." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
To make the comparison simple, Matthews played a clip of the New Jersey Republican claiming he wasn't "a bully" and then showed a clip of Nixon famously defending, "I am not a crook." Matthews offered, "Not a crook, not a bully." The host allowed that there is "no direct evidence that ties Christie directly," but added that "the entire scandal has an eerily familiar ring, doesn't it?" The graphic for the story wondered, "Tricky Christie?"
Spinning liberal-friendly stories as the end of the world is a popular thing at ABC. Good Morning America's Jim Avila on Wednesday hyped the scandal involving Chris Christie as "traffic armageddon," a hyperbolic term the network loves. On Saturday, Avila mentioned the "four-day traffic armageddon." [See video of both below. MP3 audio here.]
As the sequester set in on April 22, 2013, co-anchor George Stephanopoulos freaked out: "Breaking this morning: Airport armageddon. Almost seven thousand flights could be delayed." On March 1, 2013, a GMA graphic warned of "budget armageddon." On April 23 reporter Matt Gutman predicted an "airline apocalypse."
On the same day that the latest report on the terrorist attack in Benghazi was released, the journalists at Good Morning America chose to obsess over an "exclusive first look" at People magazine's "revealing" interview with Michelle Obama. Focusing on the scoop, lifestyle anchor Lara Spencer on Wednesday gushed, "So honest on a range of topics, including her take on plastic surgery and Botox. We have an exclusive first look right here." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Regarding the First Lady's 50th birthday, Spencer could hardly contain herself. She announced, "The big day is fast approaching." The host insisted that the President has "already given an early gift" by "taking the girls home to Washington, leaving the First Lady behind for an extra few days of vacay [sic] with some of her close friends, including Oprah." As with GMA's last report on the vacation, there was no mention of what the extended trip will cost taxpayers.
A gloating Chris Matthews on Tuesday appeared on The View and labeled the wounded Chris Christie as the "only" candidate who could have beaten Hillary Clinton in 2016. The Hardball anchor sneered, "That's why you're left with Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. They're not going to be elected president of the United States." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Speaking of Christie, Matthews pronounced, "When you make a list, one guy can really go on national TV against Hillary Clinton as a sort of the middle of the road Republican. The rest are far to the right. The. Republican Party, no matter what you think of it, rarely runs a right-winger." The journalist also implored a fired Christie aide to take the New Jersey governor down.
The journalists at CBS This Morning on Tuesday hyperventilated over the latest "fashion milestone" for Michelle Obama, donating four minutes to the First Lady's second inaugural dress appearing at the Smithsonian. In contrast, the latest setback for ObamaCare warranted only a minute and 19 seconds.
Co-host Charlie Rose enthused, "First Lady Michelle Obama is marking another fashion milestone. The Smithsonian Institution decided two dresses are better than one." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Jan Crawford appeared at the American History Museum to update the breaking news that Mrs. Obama's red dress will be on display. Crawford promoted, "Mrs. Obama's shoes also will be on display. But they're a little different than the shoes she wore four years ago."
In less than 48 hours, ABC, CBS and NBC deluged viewers with coverage of Chris Christie's traffic jam scandal, devoting a staggering 88 minutes to the story. In comparison, these same news outlets over the last six months have allowed a scant two minutes for the latest on Barack Obama's Internal Revenue Service scandal. The disparity in less than two days is 44-to-one. [See a chart below.]
From Wednesday through Friday morning, the latest on Christie's Traffic-Gate led 11 out of 13 news programs. NBC produced the heaviest coverage, over 34 minutes. CBS followed close behind with more than 30 minutes. ABC came in third with just under 23 minutes.
In less than 24 hours, the big three networks have devoted 17 times more coverage to a traffic scandal involving Chris Christie than they've allowed in the last six months to Barack Obama's Internal Revenue Service controversy. Since the story broke on Wednesday that aides to the New Jersey governor punished a local mayor's lack of endorsement with a massive traffic jam, ABC, CBS and NBC have responded with 34 minutes and 28 seconds of coverage. Since July 1, these same networks managed a scant two minutes and eight seconds for the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups.
In contrast, journalists such as Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos pounced on the developing Christie story. The GMA host opened the program on Thursday by announcing, "Chris Christie in crisis. Calls at this hour for the feds to step in, investigate the explosive e-mails." [See a video montage below. MP3 audio here.]