On Thursday's World News Tonight, ABC's David Muir spotlighted George Clooney's prediction about the U.S. presidential election later this year. Clooney contended, "There's not going to be a president Donald Trump. That's not going to happen." Muir hyped "the room full of international journalists applauding the actor" after he made his remark at the Cannes Film Festival in France.
Matthew Balan was a news analyst at Media Research Center from February 2007 until February 2017. Previously, he worked for the Heritage Foundation from 2003 until 2006, and for Human Life International in 2006. He is an alumnus of the University of Delaware.
Annie Zaleski of the A.V. Club website (which is owned by the satirical publication The Onion) used a Thursday article to promote an informational website's lament that cartoon characters are "having a less-than-positive influence when it comes to reflecting the average person's physique." Zaleski underlined that "cartoons are one of the worst offenders in terms of improbable body shapes," and touted how the site "reverse-Photoshopped iconic figures to make them look like modern teenagers."
On Wednesday's New Day, David Gregory actually pointed out the obvious about Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in the wake of her loss in West Virginia on Tuesday: "Bernie Sanders is exposing the weakness of Hillary Clinton as a candidate; as a front-runner within her own party. That's been true from the beginning." By contrast, the CNN newscast's Big Three competitors the same morning were hyping Sanders's win as merely a "bump" on Clinton's "path to the general election," as Norah O'Donnell put it on CBS This Morning.
MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski gushed over Hillary Clinton on Tuesday's Morning Joe, and lamented how her campaign staff and the press are distracting her from showing her true self: "My gut is Hillary Clinton needs to be Hillary Clinton — the one that you meet one on one....She's going to have to just be herself — because herself has always been the best thing for her." Brzezinski later contended that "if she gets everybody out of her own way and just, kind of, speaks from the heart, I bet you it would be incredibly moving."
MSNBC's Mark Halperin trumpeted the apparent power of the media on Monday's Morning Joe during a discussion about Donald Trump attacking the morning show: "The only way a Republican can win for president, I believe, is if the press favors them in coverage." Halperin then oddly claimed that Trump "had a chance to have better press coverage than Hillary Clinton. He's missing that chance. He's alienating a lot of people in the media." When Mika Brzezinski responded, "I don't think we're that important," the journalist retorted, "Oh, we are — the media overall....The press is really powerful."
On Thursday's Closing Bell on CNBC, Rob Reiner repeated his charge that Donald Trump's supporters are "not all racists, but there is a strain there." Host Bill Griffeth wondered, "Don't you think just people are angry — they're angry at Washington; they're angry at their boss?" Instead of immediately pointing to "racism," Reiner admitted that "there is a big chunk of Trump supporters who are very upset at the income inequality." However, he added that "there is a strain of racism that's there — because when you go to the Sanders rallies, there are no racists at those rallies!"
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough faced off with Rob Reiner on Thursday's Morning Joe, after the liberal Hollywood producer/writer explained Donald Trump's base of support by underlining that "there are a lot of people who are racist in this country." Scarborough shot back, "Could this not be about working-class Americans being left behind by [the] Republican Party?" Reiner acknowledged that "they're not all racist," but contended that "there's racism in this country that has been submerged for a long, long time....He's unearthed a lot of it."
On Wednesday, CNN's New Day touted Donald Trump becoming the apparent Republican presidential nominee, but quickly spotlighted many of the most controversial components of his campaign. David Gregory trumpeted the "incredible accomplishment for Donald Trump," but soon added that the billionaire is "an incredibly divisive figure — huge negatives, toxic policy proposals." The Daily Beast's Jackie Kucinich later asserted, "I don't think Donald Trump ditches the ridiculous. I don't think it's in him to cast aside conspiracy theories, because...it plays well to the people that like him."
ABC's Jimmy Kimmel ranted against climate change skeptics on his late-night program on Monday, and accused them of being lackeys for "companies that make pollution for a living." Kimmel singled out Sarah Palin for her promotion of the recent documentary, Climate Hustle, and bemoaned that the issue was even political: "Climate change is not a liberal versus conservative thing. But the people who profit from ignoring it want you to believe it is....the idea that this is some kind of a left-wing conspiracy is nuts."
On Monday's New Day, CNN's Chris Cuomo hinted NewsBusters was an Internet backwater during a panel discussion segment with contributor Jeffrey Lord. Cuomo wondered if Donald Trump's "use of the phrase, 'China is raping us'" would become "a cause for concern in building a bigger tent." Lord replied by citing his Sunday piece on NewsBusters "that points out...[how] liberals feel free to pillory [Sarah Palin] as an idiot...there is a strange silence about sexism on the left." The anchor retorted, "Where is your column? NewsBusters...is where it is? Boy, oh, boy! No one wanted that one, huh?"
Jim Axelrod touted a Muslim Cub Scout den "dedicated to the idea of helping others erase their prejudices" on Saturday's CBS Evening News. Axelrod spotlighted the unit's adult leader, who contended that "there is a natural overlap between Scouting and Islam." The journalist also featured two clips from President Obama's February 2016 visit to a mosque in Baltimore, Maryland, where he "met a group of young Muslim Cub Scouts." One such young scout lamented during the report that "especially what's going on now with media portrayal of Muslims, we need to put ourselves out as...normal people."
ABC and CBS's evening newscasts on Friday spotlighted the friendly transatlantic trash-talking between the British and American heads of state. However, the programs failed to cover the latest too-close intercept of American military assets by Russian aircraft. On World News Tonight, ABC's David Muir touted "the royal mic drop — the Queen and Prince Harry responding to the First Family's challenge" over the upcoming Invictus Games for wounded veterans. On CBS Evening News, Scott Pelley trumpeted that "it's not often that the Queen gets involved in a Twitter war. She and Prince Harry traded barbs with President and Mrs. Obama."
The Washington Post's Philip Bump followed the Huffington Post's example on Thursday in semi-seriously pursuing whether Ted Cruz is, in fact, "Lucifer in the flesh," as former House Speaker John Boehner recently put it. But instead of turning to a Satanist, the journalist consulted with a pastor/exorcist, even though he admitted that "of course there was no truth" to the Republican's jab at the Texas senator.
CNN's Alisyn Camerota tossed mostly hardballs during her interview of Carly Fiorina on Thursday's New Day, especially on the issue of outsourcing. Camerota first cited how the former HP executive was "very honest about the jobs...[she] outsourced" back in 2004, and wondered, "Do you fear that your take back then — and the outsourcing — will come back to haunt you in Indiana?" The anchor followed up with a clip from Laura Ingraham, who spotlighted how outsourcing "became really an albatross around her neck" during her 2010 Senate race against Barbara Boxer, and repeated her question.
CNN's senior social media director, Samantha Berry, made an unsurprising admission about her network on Tuesday: "We're no longer a TV news network." Instead, Berry touted CNN as a "24-hour global multiplatform network" during a presentation at the annual Collision conference in New Orleans.
BET's Clay Cane touted Beyonce's "transformation" and "musical revolution" in a Tuesday op-ed piece on CNN.com. Cane gushed over the pop singer's new album as her "most important piece to work to date," and asserted that she has become a "political goddess" who has "shattered the limits" of expression for black women.
On the April 19, 2016 edition of Real Sports, HBO's Bryant Gumbel urged the top executives of the NBA, NFL, and the NCAA to penalize North Carolina over H.B. 2, which he underlined has been "labeled the most extreme anti-LGBT measure in the country." Gumbel claimed that the new law "uses the guise of bathroom concerns to deny certain rights to gay and transgender people, and effectively green lights discrimination towards them."
Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia blasted Bernie Sanders supporter Rosario Dawson on Monday's CNN Newsroom for referencing Monica Lewinsky at a recent campaign event for the Vermont socialist: "I think it was stupid. The reason I think it was stupid is because there just aren't many votes in the Democratic primary for invoking the name of Monica Lewinsky." Anchor Carol Costello replied, "So why didn't Bernie Sanders just come out and say, you know what — Monica Lewinsky's name has no place in Democratic politics at this time?"
CBS and NBC's evening newscasts on Friday were too busy covering the sudden death of pop musician Prince to set aside any air time to the Democratic governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, taking executive action to restore the voting rights of over 200,000 felons inside the commonwealth. Both CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News led with the Prince story. Together, they devoted nearly 11 and a half minutes to the Purple Rain star. ABC's World News Tonight also hyped the celebrity's death, but still aired a 23-second news brief to Governor McAuliffe's move.
NBC Nightly News on Friday returned to hyping the new bathroom law in North Carolina. Hallie Jackson zeroed in on President Obama's slam of the "transgender bathroom ban," as she put it, during a trip to the U.K. She also spotlighted Donald Trump's "criticism" of the legislation, and underlined that "Trump's considered one of the more LGBT-friendly Republican candidates," even though he "hasn't talked much about those issues on the campaign trail."