Friday’s CBS Evening News featured a previously unaired portion of Scott Pelley’s softball interview of President Obama on his recent meeting with Pope Francis. The Vatican noted on Thursday that “there was a discussion on questions of particular relevance for the Church…such as the exercise of the rights to religious freedom, life and conscientious objection” – a reference to the Catholic Church’s objection to ObamaCare’s abortifacient/contraception mandate. But instead of asking about this discussion, Pelley gave the President the kid glove treatment, and wondered how the encounter affected the liberal politician: “What did the Pope say to you in that meeting that inspired you?”
Appearing on CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday, the Washington Post’s David Ignatius did his best to shill for President Obama following the President’s interview with CBS’s Scott Pelley. Following a clip of Obama relating how Putin sees the world — “I think he’s been willing to show a deeply held grievance about what he considers to be the loss of the Soviet Union” — the veteran Post reporter and columnist opined to host Bob Schieffer: “President Obama I thought was trying to do something that I just heard Henry Kissinger at a private gathering at Yale say, which is that it’s crucial for statesmen to try to see the world as their adversaries see it. And in that comment about the deeply held grievance that motivates Putin, I thought Obama was trying to do that.” Ignatius doubled-down in his defense of Obama and lectured that “ff Putin watched it he would say here is an American President who’s at least trying to understand the way I see the world.”
Friday’s CBS Evening News picked up where the Big Three morning shows left off earlier in the day and trumpeted how “visitors have been surging to [HealthCare.gov] – about one-and-half million a day.” Scott Pelley did give a bit of slightly bad news during his 16-second news brief, noting that “today, the ObamaCare website was taken down for about 20 minutes, to fix a problem that affected log-ins.” However, the CBS evening newscast, along with Friday’s NBC Nightly News and ABC’s World News, glossed over the latest Associated Press poll, which found record-high disapproval of the controversial law: “[S]upport for President Barack Obama’s health care law is languishing at its lowest level since passage of the landmark legislation four years ago…26 percent of Americans support the Affordable Care Act.” This omission continues a nearly three-month-long trend by the Big Three networks to paper over bad news about ObamaCare.
On Thursday evening and Friday morning, ABC, NBC, and CBS all touted a “surge” in sign-ups for ObamaCare ahead of Monday’s March 31 deadline. What none of the networks mentioned was that the percentage of young, healthy enrollees was still short of the minimum necessary to sustain the health care law. On ABC’s World News on Thursday, anchor Diane Sawyer hailed the enrollment numbers as an “achievement” for President Obama as she proclaimed: “ObamaCare has hit a new milestone. More than 6 million people have now signed up. That’s almost the original goal of 7 million. They have seen a surge in this final sprint before the deadline on March 31st…”
While the CBS Evening News on Thursday and Good Morning America on Friday allowed mere seconds to explain a court ruling upholding “tough” “new abortion restrictions” in Texas, only Fox News fully detailed what the decision and law actually do. Evening News guest anchor Sharyn Alfonsi briefly informed, “A federal appeals court today upheld Texas’ new abortion restrictions, among the toughest in the nation. Many abortion clinics have closed since the law was passed.” On Friday’s GMA, Amy Robach did a little better, noting, “The law requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and then restricts the availability of abortion-inducing drugs.” But GMA offered a mere 18 seconds and CBS a scant 15 seconds. In contrast, Fox and Friends covered the story three times. Plus, Fox and Friends First co-host Heather Childers described it as “a win for pro-lifers in Texas.”
On Wednesday, Fox News reported that House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa threatened to hold the IRS commissioner in contempt of Congress if he didn’t hand over emails from Lois Lerner and other IRS officials. So far none of the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) network evening or morning shows have mentioned the latest development in the ongoing investigation of the IRS targeting Tea Party groups.
All three network evening newscasts on Thursday found time to cheer the JFK Library Foundation announcing former President George H. W. Bush would the 2014 recipient of its annual Profile in Courage award. So what specific accomplishment did the organization cite from the Republican’s decades of public service? His decision to hike taxes in 1990 that cost him re-election and paved the way for Bill Clinton to become president. On NBC Nightly News, fill-in anchor Lester Holt proclaimed: “Bush had famously said, ‘Read my lips. No new taxes.’ His decision to break that promise not only took courage, as the award says, it also may have cost him re-election.”
Piers Morgan got in one last word in favor of gun control during the final episode of his CNN program on Friday, and called for the complete disarmament of the American citizenry: “As my brother, a British army colonel, says, ‘You always want an American next to you in a trench when the going gets tough.’ But that’s where, I think, guns belong…in the hands of highly-trained men and women fighting for democracy and freedom, not in the hands of civilians.” Morgan blasted the NRA by name and politicians for standing in the way of his pet cause: “The gun lobby in America, lead by the NRA, has bullied this nation’s politicians into cowardly, supine silence.”