During an appearance on Sunday’sGood Morning America, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos did his best to deflect criticism away from President Obama’s decision to name Ron Klain, former Chief of Staff to Vice Presidents Joe Biden and Al Gore, as his Ebola czar. Speaking to weekend GMA host Dan Harris, Stephanopoulos insisted that “Ron Klain is an expert in communications, he’s an expert in management. That’s what the government needs right now.” The ABC host’s defense of Klein came after Harris pointed how the appointment was coming “under fire, however, from some Republicans in Congress for the man he appointed, Ron Klain, who’s got a political background and not a medical one.”
On Sunday’s Nightly News, Kristen Welker, NBC News White House Correspondent, scolded the GOP over their criticism of the Obama administration’s handling of the Ebola crisis. The NBC reporter maintained that “with public fears spreading faster than the disease itself, some Republican candidates eyeing wins in the upcoming midterm elections are stoking public fears.”
NBC’s Chuck Todd, who on Friday declared that he was “stubbornly neutral”, predictably peddled liberal talking points on Ebola by blaming the National Rifle Association for the country not having a Surgeon General. Speaking to Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Bob Casey (D-PA) on Sunday, the Meet the Press moderator insisted that “this seems to be politics. The NRA said they were going to score the vote, and suddenly everybody’s frozen. That seems a little petty in hindsight, does it not?” Todd continued to attack the NRA and wondered “should the NRA have a say? I mean, they can have an opinion. But should the NRA have that much influence over a Surgeon General nominee? He’s not going to make gun policy.”
On Thursday night, MSNBC host Chris Hayes took to bashing Republicans as the main culprits (and not the media) for causing fear in Americans over the current global Ebola outbreak during the first half of his show All In. Following an interview with Democratic Congresswoman Diane DeGette (Colo.) in which the two stated their oppositions to a ban on travel from West Africa and that DeGette was denied the request to have an Ebola hearing in early September, Hayes turned his attention to alleging Republicans of leading the emergence of “a kind-of Ebola trutherism” while “President Obama continues to resist Republicans’s calls for a travel band.”
On Friday, CBS This Morning hosted CBS News Political Director John Dickerson and pollster Frank Luntz to discuss America’s declining trust in government including its recent handling of the Ebola crisis. Despite two-thirds of Americans supporting a travel ban on Ebola stricken countries, co-host Charlie Rose did his best to dismiss such concerns by the public. Rose wondered if “public anger will play into the hands of people who want to call for radical answers, who will push for the most conservative, most, not in terms of Democrat Republican, but most toughest measures possible in terms of quarantine, in terms of inspection, in terms of all of that?”
Appearing on Friday’sCBS This Morning, Republican pollster Frank Luntz reacted to the latest CBS News poll showing Americans having a “crisis of confidence” in government institutions: “The problem is that the institutions that have the greatest impact on us, the CDC, the FDA, the EPA, those that are responsible for our health and safety, are the ones that have had the biggest collapse. In fact, in some cases it’s 20-30-point drop in just the last 15-18 months.”
On Wednesday night, the major broadcast networks failed to report on news that an internal memo was sent to members of the intelligence community by Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper praising their efforts on identifying the rise of ISIS after President Barack Obama blamed them for not doing so in an interview on Sunday’s60 Minutes. The memo was obtained by Fox News and its chief intelligence correspondent, Catherine Herridge, and it detailed how government intelligence has, for two years, “monitored, assessed and called attention to the expansion of ISIS.”
Governor Chris Christie (R-N.J.) sat down with Gayle King for an interview that aired on Wednesday’s CBS This Morning and was met with a barrage of questions over his handling of the “Bridgegate” scandal of 2013. While King accused the New Jersey Governor of blaming others for “Bridgegate,” her colleague Steve Kroft lobbed numerous softball at President Obama during their interview on Sunday’s 60 Minutes and even allowed him to blame the intelligence community for his administration failing to deal with the ISIS threat sooner.
The Washington Post on Wednesday highlighted Democratic campaign e-mails for the 2014 midterms, admitting that liberal politicians are sending out “frantic” warnings about potential losses in the House and Senate. Writer Ed O’Keefe reasoned, “With Democrats expected to lose seats in the House and slipping behind Republican opponents in key Senate races, a sense of frustration and near-panic would be understandable.”
Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi has been jailed in a Mexican prison for the past nine months for accidentally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border with several firearms. Since his arrest, the “big three” (ABC, CBS, and NBC) networks have barely covered his story on their morning or evening newscasts despite the numerous efforts by the public to get him freed. On Wednesday, Sergeant Tahmooressi’s mother appeared before a House committee asking Congress to support a resolution calling for her son’s safe return to the United State and unsurprisingly all three network morning newscasts ignored her upcoming testimony on Capitol Hill.
Charlie Rose’s interview with Bill Clinton at his own Clinton Global Initiative summit was, not surprisingly, full of easy questions but the PBS host saved his loftiest softball for the end when he called Clinton the “best political animal” of all time: “There is no one I know in politics from the left, the right, Republican, Democrat, male or female that doesn’t say Bill Clinton is the best political animal that’s ever been in American politics and certainly in – for as long as they can remember. Tell me what you think that’s about? Why does everybody have that opinion of you as a political person?”
In a report for Tuesday’sCBS Evening News, correspondent John Blackstone touted California passing a law to ban plastic bags from grocery stores as “a victory for those who’ve declared the single-use plastic bag an environmental enemy.” Leading off a similar segmenton Wednesday’sCBS This Morning, he declared: “You see them everywhere, plastic bags by the road, by the water, in landfills. But now you won’t see them at any California grocery stores.” After Blackstone’s This Morning report, co-host Norah O’Donnell excitedly endorsed the nanny state government overreach: “You know, in Washington, D.C. they did this several years ago. They didn’t ban them outright, but they said if you want a bag, you gotta pay the extra five or ten cents and that money would go to cleaning up the Anacostia River. And it’s worked. People use less plastic bags.” Fellow co-host Gayle King chimed in: “I think it’s a great idea.”