On Sunday’s Meet the Press, Chuck Todd, NBC News Political Director, one again played the role of Hillary Clinton apologist as he defended the former Secretary of State from suggestions that she doesn’t understand the challenges facing the average American. Speaking to his panel, Todd argued that Hillary’s inability to connect with voters was “not necessarily her fault. I mean, she’s had Secret Service protection for 22 years. That is tough.” Todd’s comments came in response to clips of former Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL) and Ms. Clinton speaking about the challenges of political life. The Meet the Pressmoderator excused Ms. Clinton’s problem relating to voters and pointed out that for “twenty-two years, she hasn’t walked alone.”
In case MSNBC viewers didn’t understand that Ted Cruz is the new Joe McCarthy, Hardball’s Chris Matthews on Thursday repeated the attack four times. Smearing the Texas Republican as unhinged and paranoid is a favorite of Matthews. This time, the host lashed out against Cruz’s opposition to Barack Obama’s executive order amnesty. At 7:35, Matthews jeered, “Big surprise there. Joe McCarthy is at it again.” Five minutes later, at 7:40, the cable host ranted about “this plan by the new Joe McCarthy which is always to blame the government as lawless.”
On Sunday, CNN’s Inside Politics spent several minutes hyping the supposed headache Tea Partiers could give GOP leadership despite the Republican Party winning their 54th Senate seat following Saturday’s runoff in Louisiana. During the discussion, Robert Costa of The Washington Post insisted that Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is trying “to govern responsibly and he wants to set the party up for major gains in ’16. And that started in 2014 by pushing back the Tea Party and it starts now by making sure that all the passions and eagerness in the House don’t overtake the party.”
During a panel discussion on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report argued that the reason comprehensive immigration reform wasn’t getting passed was because of the racial makeup of House Republican districts: “Here’s the problem with the House, at the end of the day, the House does not look like the country.” CNBC’s Rick Santelli, immediately pushed back: “Who sent them there? Come on!” Walter continued: “Well, that’s right, they sit in districts – no listen, the average House – the average House Republican district is 75% white.” Moderator Chuck Todd chimed in his agreement: “That’s the problem.”
When the now-retracted article by the Rolling Stone magazine about a brutal gang rape of a first-year student at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at the University of Virginia was published on November 19, the major broadcast networks rushed to the story and devoted multiple segments to both the article and reaction on the school’s campus. In doing so, they failed to point out its flaws that brought an apology from the liberal magazine on Friday afternoon after it came to realize that many of the key facts in the story were in doubt.
In January, the networks deluged Americans with coverage on Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal, offering a staggering 88 minutes in less than 48 hours. Late on Thursday night, a Democrat-led investigation failed to find evidence conclusively linking the New Jersey governor to the 2013 traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge. On Friday morning, CBS and NBC allowed a scant 32 seconds to this important development.
Back in January, when the Bridgegate scandal surfaced, CNN offered wall-to-wall coverage totaling just over eight hours and 35 minutes of coverage on its first full day and featured the Republican Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, at the center of it all. So, when news surfaced on early Friday morning that a Democrat-led investigation cleared Christie of any wrongdoing, CNN chose to adopt a different approach and all but ignore this news. Through 5:30pm ET, the cable network had spent a scant 26 seconds on the report’s exoneration of Christie.
During his MSNBC show on Thursday night, Chris Matthews discussed a soundbite of Iowa Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst stating her stance on the Second Amendment from two years ago and interpreted it as “pretty radical” to the point that “[s]he has talked about killing politicians she doesn’t agree with.” Here is what Ernst actually said (which was uncovered in a Huffington Post story from Wednesday): “I have a beautiful little Smith & Wesson, nine millimeter, and it goes with me virtually everywhere, but I do believe in the right to carry, and I believe in the right to defend myself and my family, whether it’s from an intruder, or whether it’s from a government should they decide that my rights are no longer important.”
Liberals love to complain that there’s far too much money in politics and on Sunday’s Meet the Press, the entire panel predictably fretted that political spending could spell the demise of American democracy. NBC’s Luke Russert introduced the segment by lamenting how “there’s real concern about the role money is playing in our politics with some even going as far to argue our democracy is being bought and sold.” While the NBC reporter did complain about political spending on both sides of the political spectrum, Russert did his best to paint the conservative Koch brothers as having a far bigger influence on the so-called problem of money in politics.
During a campaign rally for Martha Coakley, Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Massachusetts, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made some controversial comments about private businesses not being job creators. Speaking on Friday, Clinton told a Democratic audience to ignore people who say “corporations and businesses create jobs.” Despite the potential 2016 presidential candidate expressing far left anti-business sentiments, all three network Sunday morning political shows (ABC’s This Week, CBS’s Face The Nation, and NBC’s Meet the Press) conveniently ignored Ms. Clinton’s remarks during their midterm coverage.
CNN’s Alisyn Camerota promoted a liberal talking point about the Obama administration’s response to the Ebola outbreak on Friday’s New Day, as she interviewed Rep. Jason Chaffetz. Camerota spotlighted “many Democrats…say that Republicans in the Senate have blocked the President’s nominee for a surgeon general that we could have had one year ago – but Republicans have been an impediment.”
Liberal celebrity Russell Brand on Thursday announced he’s “open” to the idea that the United States government may have been behind the September 11th, 2001 terror attacks. Talking to a British reporter, Brand theorized, “Do you trust the American government? Do you trust the British government? What I do think is very interesting is the relationship that the Bush family have had for a long time with the Bin Laden family.” Pressed on the issue, the comedian declared, “We have to remain open-minded to any kind of possibility.”
Since the Media Research Center first published its study on Wednesday showing a glaring double standard in how the network evening newscasts covered the anti-Republican wave in the 2006 midterm election vs the likely anti-Democratic wave in 2014, various liberal pundits and journalists took to the airwaves in an effort to dismiss the findings. On CNBC’s Squawk Box on Thursday, chief Washington correspondent John Harwood argued: “Well, look, I don’t know what data they were using for that….” Later that afternoon, on Fox News’s The Five, co-host Bob Beckel was so exasperated he could barely come up with an answer to the numbers.
On his Fox News show Thursday night, host Bill O’Reilly cited the Media Research Center study on the network evening newscasts censoring coverage of the 2014 midterms: “Eight years ago, the nightly network newscasts went full out to cover the campaigns, which Democrats were favored to win….But this time around, the graph is far different. At this point in time, ABC News did 36 election reports eight years ago. So far this year, zero, nothing. CBS, 58 in year 2006. 14 this year. NBC, 65 eight years ago. 11 this year. Simply stunning.” O’Reilly turned to Democratic strategist James Carville for reaction, who promptly tried to defend the lack of coverage: “I think the more plausible explanation is, you know, President Obama hasn’t been able to change politics and inspire people, and politics is not selling very well on network news….I think the network people are striving for ratings and to make money. I don’t think that ideology is the first thing they think about.”
On Friday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer brought on political director and Meet the Pressmoderator Chuck Todd to discuss the latest NBC News/Marist poll on a major American institution being rocked by scandal. It wasn’t the Obama administration getting the bad press, it was the National Football League. That’s right, NBC News conducted an entire poll just on the controversies surrounding the NFL and then put its chief political expert on air to analyze the findings. Not a single mention of President Obama’s sinking poll numbers was mentioned during the Today segment, not even any reference to politics.
On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Justice told NBC News that Governor Chris Christie (R-N.J.) was innocent of any wrong-doing relating to the closure of lanes on the George Washington Bridge. Despite Governor Christie’s reported innocence, ABC and CBS have yet to cover the NBC story, but when the story originally broke in January, all three networks eagerly jumped on it. So far NBC has devoted only two news briefs on its Thursday night andFriday morning broadcasts totaling 59 seconds.
Talk about tone deaf at National Public Radio. On Thursday’s All Things Considered, NPR reporter Don Gonyea ran a segment on Governor Chris Christie (R-N.J.) traveling to New Hampshire to campaign with Scott Brown as he seeks to become the next senator from New Hampshire. Unsurprisingly, the NPR reporter did his best to play up the “Bridgegate” controversy despite the Department of Justice clearing Christie of any wrongdoing in the 2013 George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal. The accompanying story on the NPR website blared “Will bridge scandal jam Gov. Christie’s road show?”
When the Bridgegate scandal engulfed Chris Christie in January, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews went wild, repeatedly comparing the controversy to Watergate. On Thursday afternoon, federal officials revealed that the New Jersey governor had no prior knowledge of the planned traffic backup. Somehow, the Hardball anchor ignored the development. On January 8, 2014, the day the story broke, Matthews muttered, “Nixonian. It’s so Nixonian.” On January 10, Matthews theorized, “I grew up during Watergate. I got to tell you, it follows a certain pattern.” On January 15, the cable journalist fixated, “Well, this is not yet a Watergate, but the more we learn about Chris Christie, the more he does look like Richard Nixon.
On Friday morning, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski joined the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein in calling for equal news coverage if Christie is officially exonerated in numerous investigations into his involvement of the scandal known as Bridgegate to the non-stop coverage when it broke in January. During a discussion with their panel on Friday’sMorning Joe, they discussed news that a source informed NBC News on Thursday that a federal investigation has found no evidence that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie ( R) knew of or ordered lane closures on the George Washington Bridge in September 2013.
On Thursday’sTonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, comedian Billy Crystal reminisced about Robin Williams and recounted a hilarious moment, way back in 1988, when his longtime friend and fellow Democrat realized they had a stinker on their hands with presidential candidate Michael Dukakis. “So he continued the speech and Robin stands next to me. And as Dukakis is droning on, Robin says ‘No way this mother [bleep] wins.’”
Amazingly, Chris Matthews concluded Thursday’s Hardball by playing clips of how President Ronald Reagan reacted the Soviet shootdown of a Korean Air Lines 747 passenger jet in 1983 – even conceding, after a clip of Reagan charging the Soviets with terrorism and a “flagrant lie,” that “he was speaking for the American people.” At Point Mugu Naval Air Station, on Friday, September 2, 1983, Reagan asserted: “What can we think of a regime that so broadly trumpets its vision of peace and global disarmament and yet so callously and quickly commits a terrorist act to sacrifice the lives of innocent human beings? What can be said about Soviet credibility when they so flagrantly lie about such a heinous act?”
Both CBS This Morning and NBC’s Today chose to ignore the latest news in the IRS scandalThursday morning that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will be investigating the disappearance and destruction of emails pertaining to former IRS official Lois Lerner. Meanwhile, ABC’s Good Morning America did cover the news, but only devoted 22 seconds to the story in the form of a news brief during the 7:00 a.m. hour. News reader Amy Robach reported “[a]nd in Washington, a major development in the IRS targeting scandal. The agency is accused of targeting conservative groups. Well now there is word the Justice Department will investigate the disappearance of e-mails the agency claims were lost when a computer crashed. The e-mails were to and from Lois Lerner, a key former IRS official who has refused to testify.”
The growing threat of pneumonia, influenza and other serious diseases at the border has not been a concern for ABC. Since June 8, the network completely ignored the potentially grave threat as illegals stream into America. Yet, on Thursday, Good Morning America’s Jim Avila warned, “…Some children are leaving border patrol processing centers with high fevers, flu-like symptoms and other contagious diseases.” Highlighting children flown from a screening center in California, Avila noted that the youths were sick with “fevers and coughing.” He added, “Others had chicken pox and Coxsackie virus.”
In an interview with Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl’s attorney on Thursday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer worried that the former Taliban captive and possible deserter was being unfairly investigated by the military: “There was so much fanfare after his release. The President met in the Rose Garden with Sergeant Bergdahl’s parents. Top military officials were quoted as saying they didn’t think he would face any major punishment. And then the criticism started and then the controversy started. Now there’s a full-fledged investigation. Do you think the military is succumbing to public pressure on this?”
The only coverage of the ongoing border crisis featured on Thursday’s NBC Today was report focused on ridiculing a Republican state lawmaker in Arizona for mistaking a bus filled with YMCA campers for one carrying illegal immigrant children. Co-host Matt Lauer teased: “…why one lawmaker is saying he’s sorry this morning.” Fill-in news reader Tamron Hall hyped the gaffe: “Yeah, this is a big one.” In the report that followed, correspondent Tom Llamas declared: “Oracle, Arizona, is the latest town torn in two as protesters await the possible arrival of buses carrying migrant children….At the scene Tuesday, state lawmaker Adam Kwasman, a Republican running for Congress….It turns out that bus was actually filled with YMCA kids heading to day camp…”
Chris Matthews’ disdain for House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and his decision to sue President Obama over his use of executive orders reached a fever pitch on his Hardball program Monday night. Speaking to David Corn of the liberal Mother Jones and Howard Fineman of The Huffington Post, Matthews maintained that Speaker Boehner’s lawsuit “is the kind of Mickey Mouse that goes on in third world countries before they have a coup because people were just sick of it.”
On Monday, July 7, Jonathan Karl, ABC’s Chief White House Correspondent, challenged White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, over whether or not the Obama Administration was deporting illegal immigrants at the rate they claim to be. Despite the contentious back-and-forth in which the ABC reporter accused the White House of providing “disinformation” on the number of illegal children being deported, ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyerignored Karl’s questioning of Earnest on Monday night.
In a report on Monday’s NBC Today, correspondent Miguel Almaguer portrayed illegal immigrants surging across the U.S. border as bystanders caught up in politics: “As most Americans celebrated Independence Day, thousands of undocumented immigrants from Central America – mostly women and children – find themselves in the middle of a raging debate with an uncertain future…” Almaguer touted “a show of support for Central American immigrants in San Diego” while also noting “five protesters arrested during a demonstration against those same immigrants” in Murrieta, California.
A Quinnipiac poll that listed Barack Obama as the worst President since World War II had the ladies of ABC’s The View quite upset. On Thursday’s show, Jenny McCarthy defended Obama’s last place finish by asking: “isn’t the sitting President always considered the worst President?” She then griped that Obama has had to deal with the “worst Congress ever.” Sherri Shepherd spoke up for all the “happy” people on ObamaCare and guest-host Ana Ortizplayed the race card as the Devious Maids actress complained: “It’s 1400 people and 73 percent of those people were white. I have never been asked a poll question ever.”
ABC, NBC and CBS offered slanted coverage of violence between Israelis and Palestinianson Monday. Today co-host Natalie Morales recounted the deaths of seven Hamas members in an air strike and qualified, “Israel says it carried out air strikes on at least fourteen so-called terror sites.”
CBS journalists over the weekend were thrilled at the possibility that Hillary Clinton might be John McCain’s “favorite Democrat.” Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer on Sunday talked to the Arizona Senator and enthused, “Hillary Clinton has said that you are her favorite Republican and I just want to ask you is she your favorite Democrat?” On Monday, CBS This Morning replayed the question and included a graphic that hyped, “favorite Democrat?”
A furious Ed Schultz on Monday questioned Ted Cruz’s patriotism after the Senator spoke out against the prisoner swap deal that involved top Taliban leaders and a U.S. soldier. The Ed Show host played a clip of the Senator wondering, “What does this tell terrorists? That if you catch a U.S. soldier, you can trade that soldier for five terrorists we’ve gone after?” Schultz spewed, “Ted Cruz has zero credibility. He has zero foreign policy experience. He’s a guy from Texas who doesn’t have a clue.” The host then openly questioned Cruz’s patriotism, dismissing his remarks: “And it’s all pablum, anything to take down the President. There’s nothing American about Ted Cruz.”
On his June 2 Hardball program, host Chris Matthews used new Obama EPA regs simply as an excuse to team up with his two liberal guests to blast Republicans as know-nothings on climate change who are motivated sheerly out of partisan animus in opposing the President’s push for curbing carbon dioxide emissions. Matthews also worked in a swipe at the Left’s favorite fraternal bogeymen, assailing the Koch brothers as moral monsters for “hurting the planet’s health so they can have more money.”
On Monday, June 2, the Environmental Protection Agency formally announced a slew of new regulations aimed at reducing carbon emissions by coal plants by 30 percent over the next 15 years. Despite the potential damaging impact the new regulations will have on the economy, ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer spent twice as much time on hedgehogs becoming popular pets instead of providing a full report on the new EPA regulations. In total, Sawyer provided a mere 45 seconds on the new EPA regulations and offered no quotes or soundbites from either side.
While all three broadcast networks provided critical coverage of the Obama administration’s decision to exchange five Taliban terrorists for American solider Bowe Bergdahl, Meet the Press host David Gregory and CBS This Morning co-host Norah O’Donnell both attempted to spin the controversial deal as brilliant diplomacy. Interviewing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Sunday’sMeet the Press, Gregory argued: “This is potentially a good sign if you think about the future of Afghanistan….does this pave the way for perhaps a new round of negotiations with the Taliban directly between the United States and the Taliban about the Taliban’s future in running Afghanistan?”
In an interview with Dr. Ben Carson for Meet the Press’s web-based feature Press Pass, NBC host David Gregory dismissed Carson’s call for “a government that placed the Constitution of the United States at the highest level”: “There are some people who say that. That’s a very highly charged thing to say. Where is the Constitution not placed in the right level today?” Carson gave Gregory a dose of reality: “Because it helps to define what the role of the government is. It doesn’t include being in every aspect of our lives….when you take people who are perfectly capable of doing things and you pat them on the head and then you say, ‘There, there, you poor little thing, we’re going to take care of this and this, you won’t have anything to worry about.'”
CBS and NBC’s morning shows on Monday avoided any mention of the potential job killing-harm that new Environmental Protection Agency rules will create. The three networks spent a scant 61 seconds total on the global warming regulations, but it was only Amy Robach on Good Morning America who raised a red flag. She pointed out: “The new rules will require power plants to cut Earth-warming pollution by 30 percent. Opponents say this will drive up energy costs and kill thousands of jobs.” On CBS This Morning, co-host Amy Robach cheered, “This morning, the EPA announces a groundbreaking plan to cut power plant emissions blamed for global warming.”
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews did his best to cheerlead for Hillary Clinton to run for President during his Hardball program, offering up numerous talking points to sell her potential candidacy to his audience. On Monday night Matthews declared: “Let me finish tonight with the prospect of Hillary Clinton becoming not just the next President, but a truly great President. Let me be the first to say that the elements are there: her political positioning, her talents and personality.”
Opening Sunday’s NBC Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory proclaimed: “Republican attempts to take down Hillary Clinton are in full swing after a headline-grabbing attack from Karl Rove. So will Republicans stop at nothing to keep her from running in 2016?” Introducing a report moments later, he wondered: “Is this just the start of a Republican strategy to persuade her not to run?” Gregory turned to correspondent Andrea Mitchell, who declared: “…there is no longer any doubt that some powerful Republicans are playing hardball against Hillary Clinton…”
Documents obtained by the Washington Times revealed that the Bush administration warned the Obama administration about problems within the Veterans Administration as early as 2008, yet both the ABC and NBC evening news broadcasts ignored the story on Monday, May 19. Of the big three networks, only the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley covered the new revelations in the VA scandal. CBS News host Scott Pelley noted that “the Bush White House was so concerned about this back in 2008 that it warned the incoming Obama administration.”
On Monday’s noontime EDT This Hour, CNN’s Michaela Pereira acted as an apologist for the student and/or faculty-led protests in recent weeks that forced out several high-profile speakers from participating in commencement ceremonies: “Isn’t it a rite of passage to question authority and to question things and protest things in college? Isn’t that what those college years are about – to take a stand?” Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter also specifically lauded the Haverford College students whose protest led to the withdrawal of their commencement speaker.
Good Morning America is a profoundly superficial show. The ABC program on Monday devoted air time to Full House star Jonathan Stamos responding a blogger’s criticism of the ’90s show. So, what does it take for the program to cover the 2014 midterm elections? A Republican scandal helps. GMA reporter Mara Schiavocampo highlighted the revelation that Oregon GOP Senate candidate Monica Wehby’s ex-boyfriend in 2013 called police, accusing her of stalking.
In an interview with The Economist’s John Micklethwait for the web-based Meet the Press featurePress Pass, host David Gregory fretted over the hard left faction of the Democratic Party thinking President Obama has not been liberal enough: “…there are aspects of it that are more progressive, more populist now. And frankly, a bit angry after the Obama years, that it has not been indeed more activist.” Gregory complained: “…you know, while the right will, you know, be angry about all these regulations that are burdening business, you have many on the left saying we still don’t have adequate accountability for those people who unleashed the financial crisis.”
The journalists at CBS This Morning on Monday actually showcased the growing problem of suppression of speech on college campuses, in this case at commencement addresses. Reporter Don Dahler even featured a representative from a conservative group fighting for open dialogue. However, the segment avoided hinting that this is primarily a problem on the left.
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”~Thoreau