During the daily White House press briefing on Wednesday, Deputy Spokesman Eric Schultz had an exchange with ABC News chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl where he declined to label the Taliban as a terrorist organization, instead insisting it’s “an armed insurgency.” The “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC all failed to cover this story during their Wednesday evening newscasts. Reacting to the video after it was aired on the Fox News Channel’s Special Report with Bret Baier, Charles Krauthammer blasted the choice of labeling considering that the Taliban “slits throats,” “attacks buses,” and “drives car bombs into markets.”
On Wednesday, the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley was the lone network evening newscast to cover the confirmation hearings of Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch before the Senate Judiciary Committee, but though CBS News congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes featured numerous soundbites from Senate Republicans questioning Lynch, she failed to include how Lynch stated her support for allowing people to seek work in the United States, regardless of their legal status.
After all three network evening newscasts ignored President Obama dropping his controversial plan to tax 529 college savings accounts on Tuesday, only Wednesday’s CBS This Morning noticed the development, giving it a mere seventeen seconds. Neither NBC’sToday nor ABC’s Good Morning America covered the White House reversal. This Morningco-host Norah O’Donnell informed viewers: “The Wall Street Journal says President Obama is dropping his proposal to raise taxes on 529 college savings accounts. His plan had faced opposition from Republican House John Boehner and top Democrats. They said it would hurt the middle class. Instead The White House will focus on delivering a larger package of education tax relief.”
On MSNBC’s PoliticsNation on Tuesday, host Al Sharpton touted liberal Washington Postcolumnist Dana Milbank making a “bold prediction” about the remainder of Barack Obama’s presidency: “…you wrote, quote, ‘If the economy continues on its current trajectory, as most expect, he’ll leave office a popular president and leave the 2016 Democratic nominee with a relatively easy past to victory.'” Milbank doubled down on the prediction made in his column printed in Sunday’s newspaper: “Well, it’s not so surprising. He crossed fifty percent today. I think he’s on his way up to fifty-five percent, that puts him in a category not with George W. Bush but with Ronald Reagan.” Sharpton happily replied: “I’ll leave it there, on the Reagan note.”
Veteran journalist Charlie Rose is an anchor on the state-sponsored PBS. On Wednesday, Rose chided Republican Governor Mike Pence for starting a “state-run news service.” Rose, who also co-hosts CBS This Morning, chuckled as he related, “Indiana Governor Mike Pence is starting a state-run news service funded by taxpayer money.” (PBS received about $445 million in taxpayer money in 2012.) Rose highlighted, “Critics say Pence is pushing his agenda by pretending the service is independent news.” Co-host Norah O’Donnell also mocked, “Hmm. What country does that remind me of?”
At the conclusion of a story on Wednesday’s CBS Evening News on the drop in gas prices and how Americans feel about the economy, CBS News senior business correspondent Anthony Mason felt that it was important to inform viewers that President Obama’s approval rating has improved six points from October in the latest CBS News poll. “All this has also helped lift President Obama’s job approval rating. It’s still below 50 percent, but at 46 percent, it’s jumped seven points from October, just before the midterm elections,” Mason stated. The CBS Evening News’s move in covering these favorable numbers for the President stands in stark contrast to their near blackout of poll numbers for the President ahead of the midterm elections.
On Wednesday, ABC’s Good Morning America had a segment that promoted how, due to budget cuts, the IRS will be forced to “delay those refund checks,” “increase the risk of identity theft,” conduct “46,000 fewer audits,” and maintain an “IRS help line” that “is going to become much less helpful.” Co-host George Stephanopoulos lamented about “fewer audits means less revenue to the Treasury” to run the federal government and then asked ABC News chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl if there was “any chance that this can get fixed this year or is it a lost cause for this year.”
MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell on Wednesday highlighted “the rise of the right-wing” as one of the most serious threats facing Europe in the wake of France’s terror attack. She also lectured viewers about why MSNBC wouldn’t be showing the cover of the new Charlie Hebdo issue featuring Muhammad: “All of the networks of the NBC News group have made the decision, editorial decision, not to show it [the Charlie Hebdo cover] because we don’t publish things that are as provocative as Charlie Hebdo is.” Mitchell then opined that one of the biggest threats facing the continent is “anti-Muslim sentiment throughout Europe, anti-immigration sentiment, the rise of the right wing in France.”
Reporting on the release of Charlie Hebdo’s first issue since the January 7 terrorist attack, NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America on Wednesday refused to show the cover of the satirical magazine that depicted a cartoon image of Mohamed. Despite such censorship, both networks touted the publication as “a triumph for free speech” and “a kind of declaration of defiance against terror.” On Today, co-host Matt Lauer proclaimed: “…a defiant Charlie Hebdo releases its very first issue since that terror attack on its Paris offices, with a cartoon of the Prophet Mohamed on the cover.” Correspondent Bill Neely began his report: “Today Charlie Hebdo is back on the street, seemingly stronger than ever.” However, moments later he explained: “On its cover, which NBC News is not showing, a cartoon of a tearful prophet Mohamed.”
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews doesn’t like it when people compare American politicians to Hitler and the Nazis. Unless, of course, he’s doing it himself. On Tuesday, the liberal Hardballanchor assailed Republican Congressman Randy Weber for referencing Hitler in a tweet about Barack Obama. Matthews fumed, “Wouldn’t it be good for the country if politicians drop the whole Hitler thing and returned to saying, ‘Well, we Republicans and those Democrats just have an honest disagreement on some big stuff?'” He railed at Weber: “Is this something in your brain that has you comparing our twice elected American leader with Der Fuhrer, whose aggression in Europe caused the world 50 million lives?”
On Tuesday, Joseph Morrissey, Democrat turned Independent, was elected to the Virginia legislature despite currently serving a jail sentence connected to his relationship with a 17-year-old girl who worked in his law office. In the Washington Post’s coverage of the scandal-plagued politician on Wednesday, reporters Laura Vozzella and Jenna Portnoy insisted that Morrissey’s current prison status won’t be a headache for Democrats but rather is “an embarrassment in the state capitol, which is still absorbing the news that a popular former governor, Robert F. McDonnell (R-VA), appears headed to federal prison.”
During an exclusive interview with former NSA and CIA Director Michael Hayden on Tuesday’s NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams felt that it was worth creating a moral equivalency by asking Hayden to explain “how” the United States is “better than our enemies morally” following the release of a report about the CIA’s use of “torture” following the attacks on September 11, 2001. Minutes later, Williams also attempted to bait Hayden into condemning the CIA and its actions by proposing a scenario where, “god forbid, members of your family, had to undergo some of the treatments we are reading about in this report.”
On Tuesday night, CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley did little to hide his liberal bias when it came to supporting the release of the report by Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee detailing the use of “torture” by the agency on terrorists following the 9-11 terrorist attacks. In addition to asking CBS News contributor and former acting CIA Director Mike Morell if he felt “ashamed” after the release of the report Tuesday, the program aired over two minutes of a 2007 interview Pelley conducted for 60 Minutes in which he clashed with former CIA Director George Tenet on the subject of enhanced interrogation methods.
After a month in which NBC Nightly News gave more prominence to ugly Christmas sweaters, grape salad, Al Roker’s 34-hour weather report, and a live broadcast of Peter Pan starring Brian Williams’ daughter, Allison, a House hearing with Jonathan Gruber prompted the broadcast to finally discover him. On Tuesday evening, NBC’s evening newscast acknowledged the name Jonathan Gruber for the first time and his insulting comments regarding ObamaCare a full 32 days after the group American Commitment unearthed the first Gruber video on November 7.
Tuesday’s congressional hearing that featured Jonathan Gruber being grilled about his controversial ObamaCare remarks was carried live by Fox News for 54 minutes, and 53 seconds. CNN and MSNBC didn’t bother to air any of the hearing live. The hearing lasted from 9:30am ET to about 1:35 pm ET, but the total amount of the Gruber hearing shown during that time on CNN and MSNBC came in the form of a handful of soundbites of Gruber’s apology.
The campaign’s worst-kept secret was uncovered when the Kansas City Star, on Sunday, reported that Democrats had financially backed so-called independent candidate Greg Orman in his race to unseat Republican incumbent Senator Pat Roberts. The facade that Orman was an independent was kept up, throughout the campaign, by supposedly shrewd political reporters at ABC, CBS and NBC — even after Democratic candidate Chad Taylor had dropped out in early September.
Last Friday, a Democrat-led investigation failed to find evidence linking Chris Christie to the 2013 traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge. After initially ignoring the report, ABC allowed 16 seconds on Friday night’s World News. Anchor David Muir briefly deemed this “welcome news” for the New Jersey Governor and possible 2016 contender. On day one of the report, NBC offered 17 seconds and CBS managed 15 seconds on Christie’s clearing. The grand total amounts to a scant 48 seconds. In comparison, the first day of the Bridgegate investigation back in January netted 34 and a half minutes, a 43-to-1 disparity.
Appearing on MSNBC’s NewsNation on Tuesday, NBC’s chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel took the Democrat-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee to task for its so-called “torture report” slamming CIA interrogation tactics used against terrorist detainees: “I think this is really about changing the narrative of American history….everyone in the world knew what was going on, including by the way, the Senate, which is now pretending to be a bit of a babe in the woods.” Engel reiterated: “They knew what was going on at the time and in many cases were quite happy with the intelligence they were getting. I think this is about rewriting the narrative of history.”
After citing numerous Republicans on the campaign trail criticizing the Obama administration’s handling of the ebola crisis, on Thursday, MSNBC Daily Rundown host Craig Melvin condemned such criticism as “the politics of fear” and “irresponsible.” NBC’s senior political editor Mark Murray agreed with Melvin’s accusation: “You know, Craig, we’ve seen the politics of fear work in the past. In 2002, right after the 9/11 attacks, that was a dominant story. Republicans were able to capitalize right after 9/11. The 2004 presidential election was largely fought on the politics of fear. And this honestly is terrain where the Republican Party’s a lot more comfortable in having debates with the Democratic Party.”
CBS and NBC continued on Thursday night to harp on the so-called refusal of Florida Republican Governor Rick Scott to initially debate his opponent, Democrat and former Florida Governor Charlie Crist, on Wednesday because of Crist’s usage of a fan that broke the rules of the debate. After each of the “big three” (ABC, CBS, and NBC) mentioned it on their morning newscasts, the CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News aired new segments and included NBC’s Brian Williams stating that what transpired on Wednesdaynight “may say more about the broken state of our politics these days than we’d like to admit.”
On Thursday morning, all three network morning shows hyped Florida Republican Governor Rick Scott’s refusal to appear on stage for a scheduled debate with his Democratic opponent, former Governor Charlie Crist, due to the appearance of an unapproved fan. Despite the “big three” enthusiastically covering the Republican governor’s “Fangate” episode, the networks have repeatedly refused to cover political controversies from Democrats running for office this year. The Florida Republican eventually came on stage and the debate began as scheduled, but that didn’t stop the “big three” (ABC, CBS, and NBC) from jumping on the incident with NBC’s Matt Lauer playing it up as “an awkward moment that’s blowing up online today.”
As of Thursday morning, NBC’s morning and evening newscasts have yet to cover the New York Times’s front-page article on Wednesday about Saddam Hussein’s chemical weapons stockpiles in Iraq, which were discovered by U.S. forces after the Iraq War. NBC was quick to cast doubt on the existence of these WMD’s during the immediate aftermath of the U.S.-led invasion. Ann Curry asked a wounded soldier in April 2003, “Are you angry that what you were on a mission to protect America against weapons of mass destruction [which] may never have existed?” The network’s Big Three competitors did cover the liberal newspaper’s scoop on their Wednesday morning show. ABC’s Good Morning America gave the story a minimal amount of air time – 25 seconds.
Both ABC World News with Diane Sawyer and NBC Nightly Newson Thursday evening failed to mention a new, troubling report from the Census Bureau on Thursday night that sales of new homes decreased by 8.1% in June and that May’s originally reported double-digit increase was revised lower, from almost 19% to only 8 percent. The CBS Evening News did cover this story, but it only was in the form of a 12-second news brief from anchor Scott Pelley. Pelley grimly reported: “Today’s report on the housing market is raising concerns about the economic recovery. Sales of new homes dropped sharply last month, more than 8%, and that’s the largest decline in nearly a year.”
Ed Schultz spent a portion of his opening monologue on his MSNBC show Thursdayattacking Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and his latest policy proposal to reform government welfare programs, declaring that Ryan is “more radical than ever” and he’s “out there selling the turd in the punch bowl.” After trumpeting the long-standing liberal policy of increasing the minimum wage, Schultz moved to attack Ryan and a speech he madeThursday in which he offered, among many topics, plans to consolidate government welfare programs and reform federal education spending.
Both Wednesday’sCBS Evening News and Thursday’s NBC Today offered full reports on President Obama being criticized for attending Democratic Party fundraisers at a time of international crises. ABC continued to remain silent on the growing controversy. On Evening News, White House correspondent Major Garrett reported: “President Obama arrived late today in Los Angeles for his fifth meeting with big donors in two days.” A clip played of Garrett challenging Press Secretary Josh Ernest: “Could you address what many Americans believe is either the trivial or unnecessarily-distracting obligation of presidents – including this one – to raise money in the course of conducting important matters of state?”
On Tuesday’sNBC Nightly News, Brian Williams reported the Apollo 11 astronauts’ meeting with President Obama to mark the 45th anniversary of the first moon landing, but failed to mention that only photo journalists were permitted to cover the event. Williams spotlighted Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins’s visit to the White House, and how “with them in spirit in the Oval Office today was the late, great Neil Armstrong.”
On Thursday, July 24, the New York Times revealed that Senator John Walsh (D-Mont.) plagiarized his Master’s thesis from the United States Army College and that at least 25 percent of his paper “was either taken without attribution from other authors’ works or improperly sourced.” Despite the embarrassing revelation, CBS This Morning was the only network morning news show to report on the plagiarism scandal whereas NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America ignored the story.
ABC, CBS, and NBC’s morning and evening newscasts have yet to cover the dire situation of Christians in Iraq, particularly after ISIS’s takeover of the key city of Mosul. The Islamic extremist group drove most of the Christians out of the city, and issued an ultimatum to those who remained: covert to Islam, pay a hefty tax, or face death. Refreshingly, the New York Times spotlighted the crisis in a Thursday op-ed, and noted that the Christian community in Mosul has lived there for nearly 2,000 years.
On Wednesday, ABC and CBS’s evening newscasts punted yet again on reporting Ray Nagin’s Democratic affiliation, after the disgraced former New Orleans mayor was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for corruption. World News and CBS Evening News previously omitted Nagin’s party ID when he was indicted in January 2013, and after a jury convicted him in February 2014. ABC’s Diane Sawyer hyped that the politician’s sentencing was “a staggering fall from grace for the man who rose to national fame leading his city through Hurricane Katrina,” but failed to mention that the Democrat was widely criticized for his handling of the disaster.
MSNBC host Michael Eric Dyson on Wednesday lashed out at Sarah Palin, accusing the conservative of committing “treason” against Barack Obama by calling for the President’s impeachment. The guest host of The Ed Show first praised the President for “his tireless effort to help [illegal children who have crossed the border].” Dyson then fumed, “The President’s push towards positive and crucial change was met with treasonous accusations.” During the last administration, however, Dyson called for the impeachment of George W. Bush.
According to TMZ, 9/11 truther and denouncer of “radical Christianity” Rosie O’Donnell has signed a deal with ABC to once again be a permanent host of The View. In the wake of the retirement of Barbara Walters and the departures of Jenny McCarthy and Sherri Shepherd, the show has turned to the woman who once said this of America: “I just want to say something. 655,000 Iraqi civilians are dead. Who are the terrorists?” 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 Wednesday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie attempted to link House Republican opposition to Democrat-backed immigration reform legislation to the current border crisis: “There’s also this immigration reform bill that’s been passed in the Senate, it’s dead on arrival in the House….is it a situation where you think members of Congress would rather have the political issue than a potential resolution?” Guthrie posed that question to chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd, who replied: “I think members of Congress don’t want this issue at all during the fall campaign….The regular immigration reform, totally dead. That’s not going to happen at all.”
In an interview with White House adviser Cecilia Munoz on her Wednesday 12 p.m. ET hour show, MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell actually tore into the President’s poor handling of the immigration crisis and his refusal to visit the border: “…the reality is that the White House has been slow to react. And that there is something to be said for presidential optics, if you will, for presidential appearances, that’s part of leadership, is it not?” Moments earlier, Munoz tried to argue that there were “a whole host of activities” being undertaken by the administration to “make sure that we stay ahead of the situation.” Mitchell interrupted: “But you’re not ahead of the situation. With all due respect, the reality on the ground is that the administration did not stay ahead of this.”
America suffered an economic setback in the first quarter of the year as the GDP for Obama’s economy was revised downward Thursday morning to a negative one percent, yet neither ABC’sWorld News nor the NBC Nightly News considered it newsworthy. The CBS Evening News spun the bad news into a positive. Reporter Anthony Mason insisted “it sets the economy up for rebound this quarter and there are some encouraging signs in the numbers.” ABC fretted over fake French wine, which Diane Sawyer dubbed “the Chianti caper.”
During a live webcast on NBCNews.com immediately following Wednesday’s 10 p.m. ET airing of his interview with Edward Snowden, Nightly News anchor Brian Williams wondered why the National Security Agency was not more receptive to Snowden’s claims of unconstitutional spying: “Knowing that in war powers times…the Bush administration use of war powers with Bush and Cheney, isn’t the general counsel at the NSA a little bit on guard for a perversion, as Snowden put it?”
During his lengthy interview with NSA leaker Edward Snowden, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams found time to ask if the wanted fugitive was an Obama supporter: “Did you vote for President Obama?” After Snowden refused to answer, Williams worried: “Did he disappoint you?” Snowden replied: “…whether or not I voted for President Obama, I was inspired by him. He gave me courage, he gave me hope. I really believed that he would be a positive force for the country. And I still hope he will be.” Williams added: “You, however, looked at it, you were hoping he would reverse some of the Bush policies. You were quoted as saying you were disappointed that he did not.” Snowden noted: “Well, he said he would.”
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.” 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?”
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”~Thoreau