The broadcast networks promoted gay activists’ protest of the fast food company Chick-fil-A, but when that protest fizzled, they did little to cover the failure.
ABC’s Steve Osunsami hyped the protests ahead of time, saying “nearly 100,000 friends and family have been invited online.” After the apparent lack of turnout at the kiss-in, however, the networks stopped reporting on the protest. Only ABC briefly mentioned the results of the kiss-in, after all three networks talked about the protests on the morning of Aug. 3.
On its Wednesday evening and Thursday morning newscasts, CBS didn't file one report or news brief on the controversial federal abortifacient/contraception mandate going into effect. Even worse, the only mention of religious liberty scandal over the regulation was CBS This Morning playing a clip of liberal comedian Stephen Colbert making fun of it.
ABC's Diane Sawyer heralded the mandate taking effect as "an important day for women's health" on Wednesday's World News, and forwarded the White House's talking points on the regulation: "Religious employers, like Catholic charities and hospitals, do not have to directly include free birth control under their health plans." On NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams lamented that "simply by taking effect, it started up the health care fight all over again."
In a news brief on Monday's NBC Today, anchor Natalie Morales touted how "Palestinian leaders are slamming Mitt Romney" for remarks he made during a "fundraising visit" to Israel: "Romney sparked outrage by suggesting that he would move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, calling it Israel's 'capital city.' Palestinian leaders say the comment is, quote, 'unacceptable.'"
All three networks on Tuesday absolutely gushed over Barack Obama kissing his wife at a men's Olympic basketball game on Monday night. CBS This Morning guest anchor Norah O'Donnell thrilled, "Whoo-hoo-hoo! Hot in here!" Good Morning America news reader Josh Elliott cheered on the President's ability to kiss his wife in public: "[Obama] is showing the world he's got a little game off the court as well!" [See a video montage below. MP3 audio here.]
Today's Natalie Morales recounted how the President, after being spotted by the Kiss Cam, at first refused to kiss Mrs. Obama. Morales hyped, "...They got a second chance when the "Kiss Cam" found them again. So this time he delivered, planting a very presidential pucker on the First Lady and the crowd went wild." Weatherman Al Roker joked, "Mr. President, get a stadium."
Offering some pro-Obama fluff on Tuesday's NBC Today, news reader Natalie Morales gushed over the President and First Lady getting caught on the "Kiss Cam" at a basketball game during a "date night." After the First Couple initially just waved to the camera, Morales excitedly told viewers: "Not to worry, they got a second chance when the 'Kiss Cam' found them again. So this time he delivered, planting a very presidential pucker on the First Lady and the crowd went wild."
In a particularly petty attempt to pump up President Obama and denigrate Mitt Romney, Tuesday's NBC Today brought on left-wing MSNBC host Alex Wagner for a supposed pop culture segment that devolved into Democratic campaign talking points. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Co-host Natalie Morales touted a new viral video that "reveals details about President Obama and Mrs. Obama's first date." Wagner gushed: "They always sort of had a high bar, as far as their husband and wife interactions.....The First Lady and the President first went and had lunch at the Art Institute of Chicago, then they took a walk down Michigan Avenue, and then they ended the date with a screening of Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing. The First Lady said it showed that he was hip, he was culturally sensitive. We know that it all ended in marital bliss."
ABC and NBC's morning shows on Thursday actually noticed something interesting was happening with the Fast and Furious scandal. Both networks covered the vote by a House committee to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt. However, Good Morning America and Today spent more time focusing on a heat wave hitting the east coast than they did the controversy involving a murdered border agent.
Good Morning America allowed a scant minute and 21 seconds for Fast and Furious, but that was only after first touting, for two minutes and 49 seconds, warm weather in the summer. NBC's Today featured a single report on the swirling controversy (one minute, 58 seconds), but only following two minutes and seven seconds on people sweating. News reader Natalie Morales highlighted the congressional action as partisan: "...A Republican-lead House panel voted along party lines to cite [Holder] for contempt of Congress."
NBC provided its first coverage of the Fast & Furious gun running scandal on Tuesday, providing a scant 30 seconds on Nightly News. In contrast, Thursday's NBC Today devoted a 37-second report to a video of "Obama Boy," a gay activist singing over his support for the President in 2012. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Today news anchor Natalie Morales proclaimed: "Justin Brown's viral YouTube video focuses on the President's support for gay marriage." A long clip played of Brown musically professing he had a "crush on Obama" and wanting to the President "get hard on Romney in debate." Morales added: "Meanwhile, 'Obama Girl' says she loves the video. She hopes she and 'Obama Boy' can maybe get together for a duet."
The Big Three networks certainly have their priorities straight. ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning shows on Wednesday dedicated more time to entertainment news than the results of the Wisconsin recall election. On CBS This Morning, Disney's new ban on junk food ads from its kids programming received a minute and a half more than the political story. The same gap occurred on ABC's Good Morning America, but instead of junk food, the Miss USA pageant got the extra time.
NBC's Today, however, one-upped its competitors, as they devoted over six minutes to former Hannah Montana star Miley Cyrus getting engaged, while Republican Governor Scott Walker's victory received under four and a half minutes. Today also spent over five minutes on the Miss USA story.
Barack Obama suffered an embarrassing defeat, Wednesday, when the U.S. Senate rejected his budget 99-0. But, you wouldn't know it on ABC or CBS. The two networks completely skipped the political setback. NBC offered a single news brief on Thursday's Today.
On that program, news reader Natalie Morales allowed, "The Senate on Wednesday rejected President Obama's 2012 budget, the second year it has rejected the President's plan." Morales didn't mention the lopsided rejection, nor did she note that the House spurned the budget 414-0 in March.
In a complete violation of journalistic ethics, Friday's NBC Today aired an invented hidden camera scenario in which two teen girls were portrayed as participating in racial discrimination as judges of a fake singing contest. Reporter Natalie Morales described the shameful stunt as "such a great education for parents" and "truly a lesson for all of us." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Morales described the scheme: "Allison and the girl next to her, Nia, think they're here to judge a singing contest. They don't know that the other judges are actors we've planted to discriminate against Nick Rodriguez, who is also working with us....The actors go after Nick. Using insults experts say are common for Latino boys." The male actor denigrated Rodriguez for wearing a "backwards hat" and joked that "he could do some salsa dancing or whatever." The female actor suggested Rodriguez "could be illegal" and "May be involved in drugs."
Wednesday's nightly newscasts and Thursday's morning shows hyped "steamy," "romantic" journal entries from an ex-girlfriend of Barack Obama, but downplayed or ignored revelations that his autobiography created a "composite" relationship of multiple women.
On Thursday's Today, Natalie Morales gossiped like a school girl: "Steamy journal entries from a long-ago ex-girlfriend of President Obama are heating up the internet..." She revealed important details such as the fact that his apartment smelled like "running sweat" and "raisins." However, Morales skipped the fact that, as reported by Politico, "the 'New York girlfriend' was actually a composite character, based off of multiple girlfriends he had both in New York City and in Chicago." [Video of Diane Sawyer's recap below. See audio here.]
On Wednesday, two out of the Big Three broadcast networks yawned at Mitt Romney's wins in five primaries the previous evening and minimized covering this story on the morning newscasts. ABC's Good Morning America didn't air one report on Romney's victories, and NBC's Today offered just two news briefs. By contrast, NBC devoted a full report and a news brief to a woman spilling frozen yogurt on President Obama.
ABC also covered the "embarrassing" yogurt encounter on GMA, but with only one brief. CBS This Morning, on the other hand, devoted one full report and a discussion segment to the Romney win and ignored the dessert story.
On Friday's NBC Today, news anchor Natalie Morales worried about the safety of reality star Kim Kardashian after a "nasty surprise" at a red carpet event: "...a woman threw white powder on the starlet. Paramedics were called to the hotel, but Kardashian refused treatment....The woman who allegedly threw the so-called flour bomb was detained but later released."
The same concern was never extended to Republican presidential candidates who endured glitter-bomb attacks from radical gay activists at campaign events. In fact, NBC actually depicted those incidents as gaffes and stumbles for the candidates.
In the 7 a.m. et hour of Tuesday's NBC Today, news anchor Natalie Morales fawned over Michelle Obama's appearance on The Late Show With David Letterman: "She...talked about her late-night chats with the President, and joked that he's always upbeat, especially about the notoriously deadlocked Congress. I guess you got to keep your sense of humor about you."
Later, in the 8 a.m. et hour, Morales was equally thrilled by a YouTube video mocking Republican front-runner Mitt Romney: "And will the real Mitt Romney please stand up? This video parody of Eminem's famous rap hit is going viral and being shared across Facebook."
ABC's Dan Harris trumpeted the "bromance between President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron" on Thursday's GMA. Harris noted the presence of Vogue magazine head Anna Wintour at Wednesday's state dinner, but omitted that she is a major donor to Obama's campaign. Instead, he gushed over how "Michelle Obama and Samantha Cameron [were] both looking very regal in blue, floor-length gowns."
The same morning, NBC's Today show chose to play up the "little star power from George Clooney...and movie mogul Harvey Weinstein" at the dinner, but failed to mention Weinstein's $500,000 contribution to the President's campaign. CBS This Morning did report that "many of the guests included some of the President's top fundraisers," but anchor Charlie Rose, who attended the function, and correspondent Bill Plante, spent more time talking about the wines that the White House served [audio clips available here; video below the jump].
On Monday, uniquely among the broadcast network evening newscasts, ABC's World News skipped the news that Israeli diplomats were the targets of simultaneous assassination attempts in two different countries, most likely from Iranian sources.
On the "Grapevine" section of Friday night's Special Report, Fox News anchor Bret Baier reported the MRC's findings on how the networks covered this year's "March for Life" -- or, to be more precise, how they skipped it. Once again, ABC, CBS, and NBC aired nothing on the thousands and thousands of pro-life protesters marching to the Supreme Court on the 39th anniversary of the high court legalizing abortion.
"If you were listening to the Big Three broadcast networks, you wouldn’t have heard a peep about the event," said Baier. "You would have been in the dark, too, if you were reading the print version of The New York Times. Not one word." Fox asked me for a quote which then appeared on screen: (Video below)
Having apparently run out of actual news to cover on Friday, the cast of NBC's Today gushed over President Obama singing a line from the song "Let's Stay Together" during a fundraiser at the Apollo Theater. After a clip played of the musical moment, weatherman Al Roker proclaimed: "He could be on The Voice." News anchor Natalie Morales excitedly added: "Sign him up." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Co-host Matt Lauer agreed, declaring Obama was "really very good." The sycophantic group went even further when fellow co-host Ann Curry touted: "...our editors actually did...a little mash-up between a little Obama, a little [singer] Al Green. Let's take a listen." After the ridiculous video, Curry admitted: "We obviously had too much time on our hands." Yeah, no kidding.
Following all three network morning shows on Monday declaring home improvement chain Lowe's was "sparking outrage" by pulling ads from TLC's All-American Muslim, on Tuesday, NBC's Today offered a report on the controversy, with co-host Ann Curry proclaiming: "Lowe's is facing a growing backlash this morning after pulling its advertising from a reality show featuring an all-Muslim cast."
On November 9, Today news anchor Natalie Morales interviewed the cast of the show and wondered: "Did you feel that there were a lot of misconceptions out there in America today still, especially after 9/11, about Muslims in America?...Do you all still feel that way today, that there are stereotypes, that there is an injustice when it comes to how Muslims are perceived and how it feels to be Muslim in America?"
ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning shows on Monday all used news briefs to highlight how home improvement giant Lowe's is "facing a backlash" after it pulled its ads from TLC's "All-American Muslim" reality TV series. All three noted that the company reacted to a complaint from a "conservative" or "Christian" group who threatened a boycott. CBS's Early Show played up how Lowe's "critics call that bigotry."
NBC's Natalie Morales stated in her brief that the chain is "sparking outrage after its pulled its ads from a reality show about American Muslims. The retail giant bowed to pressure from an evangelical Christian group, which called for a boycott against the chain of home improvement stores." Morales added that a "California state senator, meanwhile, says he is considering a boycott and legislative action if the company does not reverse its decision."
The Big Three network morning shows on Monday all reported on the possible showdown between Occupy L.A. protesters and the LAPD. NBC's Today and CBS's Early Show highlighted that the left-leaning demonstrators held a "block party" as they defied law enforcement. All three media outlets also played up the supposedly "peaceful" nature of the protest, while ignoring other media reports of violence.
On Saturday's Good Morning America, ABC's Ron Claiborne claimed that "unlike other cities, the ['Occupy'] protests there in L.A. have been peaceful." However, Kate Linthicum of the Los Angeles Times noted in a November 5, 2011 article that "police were called to two violent incidents at Occupy Los Angeles on Friday, adding to questions about the protest and its future."
On Friday, both NBC's Today and CBS's The Early Show offered news briefs on two deadly shooting incidents at two separate Occupy Wall Street protests Thursday night, while ABC's Good Morning America failed to make any mention of the deaths.
On Today, news anchor Natalie Morales reported: "Occupy Wall Street protests turned deadly overnight in two cities. In Oakland, California, Police are investigating a gun fight that left one man dead....And in Burlington, Vermont, a 35-year-old war veteran apparently shot himself..." On The Early Show, news anchor Terrell Brown noted: "In Oakland, California last night, a man was shot and killed just outside the anti-Wall Street demonstrations....A Wall Street protester committed suicide in Burlington, Vermont yesterday."
On Wednesday, all three network morning shows found time to tout the defeat of an Ohio law curbing union power in Tuesday's election, while ignoring passage of another ballot initiative that made the ObamaCare heath insurance mandate illegal in the state.
On NBC's Today, news anchor Natalie Morales declared: "In Ohio, voters rejected a new law that would limit the collective bargaining rights of some 350,000 unionized public workers. Labor unions there are calling the news their biggest victory in decades." On ABC's Good Morning America, Josh Elliott similarly announced the "big victory for labor unions." On CBS's The Early Show, Jeff Glor described how "voters handed union workers a victory."
ABC, CBS and NBC have continued their overly positive coverage of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protestors, devoting a massive number of stories (81 in just the month of October) to the leftist, anti-capitalist movement. This is a far cry from the coverage they initially gave the Tea Party protest, granting them a scant 13 stories all of 2009. More troubling, the radicalism and criminal acts at some of the protests have been virtually ignored by the Big Three networks.
This was bound to happen given the overwhelming disparity in the number of soundbites (19 to 1 ratio) devoted to those who were sympathetic to the OWS cause. A staggering 190 (80%) soundbites were given to those who were in favor of the Occupiers, only 10 (4%) soundbites featured those who were critical of the movement, 38 (16%) were neutral. In addition, nine guests on the morning shows appreciated the OWS crowd, to just one against (Newt Gingrich).
On Tuesday, the morning shows of the Big Three networks omitted the party affiliation of Jon Corzine as they reported on the federal investigation into his brokerage firm, something that even the liberal New York Times gave in their coverage of the story. ABC's Good Morning America also failed to include Corzine's name during their news brief on the investigation.
News anchor Josh Elliott noted in a 13-second brief that "a Wall Street brokerage firm run by New Jersey's former governoris filing for bankruptcy. Regulators say some $700 million belonging to MF Global's customers is apparently missing." Apparently, the name of the Democrat's firm is newsworthy at ABC, but his name and his party ID isn't.
During a panel discussion on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer asked of the Occupy Wall Street protests: "What's the civics lesson in this for our kids as they're watching this on TV?" News anchor Natalie Morales argued: "...there's a huge civics lesson....the idea of having that civil discourse is important to teach our kids and it's something in history we've seen."
In contrast, moments later while discussing the latest Republican presidential debate, Lauer lectured Mitt Romney and Rick Perry on a heated exchange between them: "My parents, in teaching me manners, taught me, one, don't interrupt, bad on Rick Perry's point, keep your hands to yourself, bad on Mitt Romney's point." Weatherman Al Roker chimed in: "...we're seeing our kids are getting, again, this anti-teachable moment. Give somebody a chance to talk. They're just talking all over each other."
The Big Three networks unequivocally celebrated the end of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy as a "historic moment" on their Tuesday morning programs. CBS's "Early Show" turned to a discharged Air Force major who pushed for further recognition of same-sex couples by the military. NBC's "Today" brought on a homosexual playwright to promote his one-man movie on the policy. ABC's "GMA" only had a news brief on the development, but still highlighted how a magazine is "publishing photos of more than 100 active duty gay and lesbian troops who served in silence until now." None of the programs brought on dissenting voices to advocate the continuation of the policy.
"The Early Show" devoted the most amount of air time to the expiration of the policy, and led the 7 am Eastern hour with a slanted report from correspondent David Martin. Martin played sound bites from President Obama and outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Mike Mullen, both opponents of the ban on open homosexuals from serving in the military, but none from supporters:
In a report on Friday's NBC Today, news anchor Natalie Morales profiled children who were born after the September 11th attacks and noted how celebrations following the death of Osama Bin Laden in May were "thrilling and confusing" for those children.
One girl worried: "I just don't think it's right to celebrate that somebody died, because they were all like, 'Oh, yay, he died, hooray!' But it's just not very nice to celebrate that somebody died." A boy observed: "I would celebrate a little, but at the same time I wouldn't."
On Wednesday evening, the NBC Nightly News devoted a segment to a recent study involving the World Health Organization asserting that infant mortality in the United States has fallen behind 40 other countries, including Cuba. NBC's Today show and ABC's Good Morning America also mentioned the study briefly earlier the same day.
NBC's Snyderman on Nightly News even seemed to hint that universal health care in Vermont may play a role in that state's ranking that is relatively higher than other states, even though several other states she named as relatively higher do not have universal health care.