Brad Wilmouth is a contributing blogger to NewsBusters
Brad Wilmouth is a former Media Research Center news analyst and an alumnus of the University of Virginia.
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This past week, liberal outlets like Salon.com and MSNBC.com demonstrated just how opposed they are to balanced reporting that includes diverse points of view as they tried to make their readers believe FNC host Megyn Kelly had taken the side of police officer Eric Casebolt in response to video of him roughly handling a 14-year-old African-American girl in McKinney, Texas.
After The Kelly File began its Monday show with two segments -- the first featuring a local resident as a guest who defended police actions at the pool party and the second segment featuring two guests who both condemned the officer's behavior -- Salon.com's Scott Kaufman harped on a short quote from Kelly in which she brought up the perspective that the girl was partially culpable because she had refused police orders to leave.
On Tuesday's New Day, CNN gave attention to recent surges in violent crime in American cities, including Milwaukee, as it brought aboard Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke as a guest to give his take on why the spike has occurred.
Sheriff Clarke, an elected Democrat, began by making a conservative argument against "failed social engineering projects," as he advocated longer prison sentences, before complaining about "slime" being thrown at American police officers by the "political class."
After co-host Alisyn Camerota brought up a Justice Department investigation into the Milwaukee police from 2011, Clarke let loose on the Justice Department for making his job more difficult.
It was a Friday hatefest against Republican Governor Bobby Jindal and other opponents of same-sex marriage as liberal comedians John Fugelsang and Dean Obeidallah joined substitute host Michael Eric Dyson on The Ed Show to spew vitriol because of the Louisiana Republican's decision to back a religious freedom bill in his home state.
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday's New Day, liberal CNN commentator Paul Begala attacked Rick Perry as a "dope" and a "demagogue" during a discussion of the Texas Republican criticizing President Barack Obama for not visiting the border to see the illegal immigration crisis in person.
Begala went on to insult Perry's intelligence: "I mean, if he's going to pick Rick Perry's brain, that is the very definition of slim pickings."
CNN co-anchor Kate Bolduan reacted by exclaiming, "Ohhh, Paul!" and a bit later admonished him for going over the top as she brought in fellow guest and Republican strategist Kevin Madden. Bolduan:
On Friday's World News on ABC, correspondent David Wright filed a report in which he portrayed opponents of illegal immigration in Murrieta, California, as "anti-immigrant," with the ABC correspondent blurring together the issues of legal and illegal immigration.
The report provocatively included a soundbite of an unidentified activist complaining that the people of Murrieta look "xenophobic" and "racist": "People probably believe that this is a xenophobic, racist group of folks down here."
After Friday's World News on ABC ignored the White House report on the infamous problems with the Department of Veterans Affairs, Saturday's Good Morning America on ABC also ignored the scandal, while CBS This Morning Saturday and NBC's Today show -- both of which are two-hour programs - only ran short briefs, the one on CBS totaling 25 seconds and the one on NBC 19 seconds.
By contrast, the CBS Evening News on Friday led with the V.A. story and gave it a full report of more than two minutes. The NBC Nightly News, after initially giving the story 24 seconds on Friday, followed up Saturday evening and presented viewers a full report of almost two and a half minutes, making it the second story both evenings.
On Friday's Morning Joe program, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough complained about the absence of media attention to the fact that IRS commissioner John Koskinen, in charge of an organization currently embroiled in an investigation into whether it has unfairly targeted conservative groups during the Obama administration, is himself a "big Democratic donor" who has donated to President Barack Obama twice and, over the years, almost $100,000 to various Democrats.
Regular panel members Mark Halperin of Time magazine and John Heilemann of New York magazine joined in as Scarborough called out the New York Times in particular and imagined how the Times would have reacted if the roles had been reversed during the George W. Bush administration. Scarborough asked:
On Tuesday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC, during a segment about foreign policy challenges involving Russia and the turmoil in the Middle East, MSNBC.com Executive Editor Richard Wolffe oddly suggested that President Obama finds it to be a "satisfying challenge" because it is "intellectually rigorous" to deal with such substantial foreign policy problems.
He also not surprisingly took a jab at former President Bush, blaming him for the chaos in the Middle East, and asserted that "there's a lot of cleanup there."
Host O'Donnell wondered about what things are like inside the White House as he posed:
During the regular "Inside Politics" segment of Tuesday's New Day on CNN, Ron Fournier of the National Journal declared that he was "naive" last year in giving the Obama administration the "benefit of the doubt" over the IRS scandal, and called for an independent prosecutor to investigate as he reacted to the recent congressional testimony of IRS commissioner John Koskinen.
A bit later, he asserted that the administration was either "incredibly incompetent" or "crooked" regarding both the IRS and V.A. scandals. Fournier:
After all three broadcast network evening newscasts on Friday highlighted IRS commissioner John Koskinen's testimony before Congress regarding the numerous missing emails of former official Lois Lerner, Saturday morning's Good Morning America on ABC ignored the story completely while CBS This Morning ran a full report and NBC's Today gave viewers a 42-second news brief.
GMA, however, did find time to devote a two-minute full report to the hype surrounding the attractive mugshot of convict Jeremy Meeks.
NBC's Jenna Wolfe informed viewers that the IRS commissioner would make another congressional appearance on Monday as she introduced the brief:
Appearing as a guest on Wednesday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC.com executive editor Richard Wolffe mocked former Vice President Dick Cheney for his recent criticism of President Obama, and inaccurately claimed that "there was no Al-Qaeda in Iraq" before Cheney "led the decision to invade Iraq."
After dismissing Cheney as being in his "last throes," Wolffe recalled: "Let's just revisit a little bit of history. Before Dick Cheney led the decision to invade Iraq, and led the disastrous occupation of Iraq, there was no Al-Qaeda in Iraq. He allowed Al-Qaeda to get a foothold in Iraq."
On Tuesday's New Day show, during an interview with Paul Wolfowitz, CNN's Chris Cuomo was confrontational toward the former Bush administration Deputy Defense Secretary as the New Day co-host complained about Republicans blaming President Obama's troop withdrawal for the chaos in Iraq, arguing that such talk undermines the President from dealing with the situation because there is not a "united front."
At one point, after Wolfowitz rhetorically asked if he and Cuomo should "sit here and tell Speaker Boehner to shut up," Cuomo shot back, "Yes," and soon complained, "It's hard for" President Obama "to be strong when he's getting attacked by his own."
And, while complaining that Republicans are undermining President Obama's handling of the crisis by blaming him, Cuomo himself tried to push blame onto President Bush, suggesting Bush administration members should express "contrition." Cuomo:
During New Day's regular "Inside Politics" segment on Monday, CNN's John King declared that it "makes me suspicious" as he informed viewers of revelations that some of former IRS official Lois Lerner's emails not only went missing, but that it took over a year for the White House to inform Congress.
After beginning the segment by rhetorically asking, "Do you believe in the Easter Bunny? Do you believe in Santa Claus? Do you believe that Lois Lerner's emails just suddenly went poof?" King recalled the details, including a quote from House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp complaining about it taking so long for the White House to inform him of the emails. King then commented:
Chuck Todd's political correctness button appeared to be in the on position as the NBC political director and chief White House correspondent made four appearances on MSNBC Tuesday night highlighting immigration as the main issue behind House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's Republican primary loss. Not only did Todd conspicuously evade using the word "illegal" while talking about illegal immigration, he even made a crack at one point mocking GOP nominee and Tea Partier Dave Brat for using the words "amnesty" or "illegals" so many times in an interview aired on Todd's Daily Rundown MSNBC show as if there were something wrong with doing so.
Todd, who only once used the word "illegally" amongst all four of his appearances, even though he referred generically to "immigration" 21 times, was dismissive toward Brat's word choice: "I think he used the word 'amnesty' and 'illegals' every fourth word when I was interviewing him this morning." By contrast, Todd was more accepting of loaded terminology preferred by liberals like "Dream Act."
On Wednesday's New Day on CNN, co-anchor Chris Cuomo mocked President Obama at the end of the show's regular "Inside Politics" segment after a clip of NBC comedian Seth Meyers making a joke about Obama trading Taliban prisoners for coffee at Starbucks.
Alluding to an upcoming interview with California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff that calls into question whether the released Taliban prisoners really will be watched closely as they reside in Qatar, the CNN co-host took a surprising jab at President Obama. Cuomo:
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday's New Day on CNN, Politico senior political writer Maggie Haberman laid down the groundwork for the media to show a double standard in not taking issue with Hillary Clinton's wealth as opposed to Republican Mitt Romney who was repeatedly hounded in 2012 as the dominant media grasped at straws to identify "gaffes" to paint him as "out of touch." The Politico writer also bolstered Clinton's attempt to preempt campaign questions about Benghazi by seeming to predict the strategy would have some effectiveness.
Haberman argued that Clinton's claim that she and husband former President Clinton were "broke" after they left the White House as they were purchasing multiple "houses" would not be a "consequential" gaffe because it does not fit "an existing narrative" of the former First Lady, unlike in the case of Romney. Haberman began:
On Monday's New Day on CNN, after a segment on Hillary Clinton's interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer as part of the former Secretary of State's book promotion, co-host Chris Cuomo, possibly concerned about his brother New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's presidential ambitions, made a blunt accusation about the good press Clinton has been receiving from the dominant media.
The CNN anchor declared that "she's just got a free ride so far," and that "we couldn't give her any more help than we have," as he and guest co-host Brooke Baldwin fretted that Clinton is hurting the fundraising efforts of other potential Democratic candidates by delaying an official announcement.
Then, Cuomo dialed things up even further as he added: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Friday's New Day on CNN, correspondent Jim Acosta showed a portion of a pre-recorded interview with Obama administration National Security Advisor Susan Rice in which Acosta pressed her to correct her assertion that former hostage Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl had served "with honor and distinction," in spite of reports that he deserted.
But the Obama advisor declined to find fault with her previous word choice as she dodged by arguing that Bergdahl should be considered "innocent until proven guilty."
Speaking to Rice, the CNN correspondent posed:
On Thursday's New Day on CNN, during a discussion of President Obama's decision to release five high-risk Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for hostage Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, without even notifying Congress first, liberal CNN commentator Paul Begala took a gratuitous swipe at Republicans as he cracked that, "if Barack Obama cured cancer, the Republicans would attack him for putting oncologists out of work."
At about 8:30 a.m., after conservative commentator Cheri Jacobus gave her view of the Bergdahl prisoner trade, noting that Democrats have also been critical of the President, co-host Chris Cuomo turned to Begala and posed the question:
Add CNN political commentator Paul Begala to the list of liberals finding fault with the way President Obama handled the release of five Taliban members from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for American hostage Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl.
On Wednesday's New Day on CNN, the liberal spinmeister took the Obama administration to task for not obeying the legal requirement that Congress should be informed 30 days before the release of prisoners from Guantanamo Bay. [See video after break.]