ABC, CBS, and NBC's evening newscasts on Friday all failed to cover the Justice Department announcing that it would be ending its investigation into the IRS's targeting of conservative groups. The Big Three networks' news program did find time to air reporting on the top Google searches for Halloween costumes, the fewer number of turkeys available for upcoming Thanksgiving dinners, and the controversy over the first bear hunt in Florida in 20 years.
Matthew Balan has been a news analyst at Media Research Center since February 2007. Previously, he worked for the Heritage Foundation from 2003 until 2006, and for Human Life International in 2006. He graduated from the University of Delaware with a bachelor's in political science and history.
On Thursday, the Washington Post's Anthony Faiola spun the latest synod of Catholic bishops at the Vatican as a "theological slugfest" between two main factions of the Catholic hierarchy: the "liberal"/"progressive" backers of "Pope Francis's vision for a more inclusive church," versus a "backlash" from "conservatives/"traditionalists." Faiola even hyped how some unnamed "moderate conservatives" at the meeting were "shocked" by the "vehemence of the backlash," which supposedly pointed to a "rise of a Tea Party-like faction of bishops within the hierarchy."
Tuesday's Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN revealed that "wait times inside many V.A. health facilities are growing longer, not shorter. Right now, a half million veterans are...waiting, in many cases, more than 90 days to see a doctor." Drew Griffin uncovered documents that "just this past August in Phoenix, there were more than 8,000 appointments waiting more than 90 days." Griffin pointed out that this is "the same Phoenix V.A. where last year, CNN uncovered the fact that veterans were dying while waiting for care."
CNN's Jim Acosta sang Vice President Joe Biden's praises on Wednesday's Legal View, mere moments after the Democrat announced that he was not running for president: "It was extraordinary political theater to be out here...it was unbelievable to see us all called together at the very last minute to witness what we just saw. But, in many ways, it was a kind of a fitting sign-off for this vice president." Acosta added that "the way that Joe Biden, sort of, wrapped up his time here in Washington...it was quite something to watch."
Carol Costello took aim at Carly Fiorina on Tuesday's CNN Newsroom over her attack on Planned Parenthood at the last Republican presidential debate. Costello asserted that "some say Carly Fiorina can't figure out how to define feminism for a GOP audience...she effectively stood up for women everywhere with that great comeback to Donald Trump. But then, she went to war with Planned Parenthood...I understand she's pro-life, but she used a falsehood out of that video to do it."
On Monday's Anderson Cooper 360, CNN's Drew Griffin hounded David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress over his insertion of outside footage into his undercover videos that targeted Planned Parenthood's sale of aborted babies' organs and tissue. Griffin underlined to Daleiden that "the problem people are having is, that this is not an aborted child...that does seem very deceptive to me." He also played up that "the confusion of David Daleiden's sloppy edits has made its way into the Republican presidential race."
Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett gushed over disgraced journalists Dan Rather and Mary Mapes on Monday's New Day on CNN. Michaela Pereira interviewed the Oscar winners about their new film, Truth, which is adaptation of Mapes's account of the Memogate scandal. Redford underlined that the apparent loyalty between Rather and Mapes "made a big impression on me." Blanchett hyped that "they're both compelling, fascinating, vital, intelligent, hilarious people."
Thursday's CBS Evening News was the sole Big Three network morning and evening newscast to report on the death of Ken Taylor, the former Canadian ambassador to Iran who helped six Americans escape during the 1979 hostage crisis in Tehran. As of Friday morning, ABC's Good Morning America and World News Tonight, along with NBC's Today and NBC Nightly News, have yet to cover Taylor's death.
ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning and evening newscasts, along with the on-air programming of the three major cable news networks, have yet to cover the Wednesday announcement that Florent A. Groberg, a retired U.S. army captain, will receive the Medal of Honor on November 12, 2015 at the White House. Captain Groberg is being recognized for "his courageous actions while serving as a Personal Security Detachment Commander for Task Force Mountain Warrior, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division during combat operations in Asadabad, Kunar Province, Afghanistan on August 8, 2012."
The New York Times admitted on Thursday that a staff writer's F-word attack on former Governor Jeb Bush was out of step with their standards. Politco's Hadas Gold and Marc Caputo quoted an unnamed spokesperson for the liberal newspaper who labeled the now-deleted Twitter post from Philip B. Richardson "completely inappropriate," and stated that "the staffer is being dealt with."
On Thursday, CNN's John Berman took aim at a claim by President Obama moments after he announced that thousands of American troops would remain in Afghanistan. Berman highlighted that the President "did make clear he is not a president who has ever supported endless war," but continued that "if Afghanistan, at this point, is not an endless war, I'm not sure what is." Liberal historian Douglas Brinkley seconded the anchor's take: "It kind of is an endless war."
Philip B. Richardson, a writer for the New York Times, unleashed his rage at Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush in a Wednesday post on Twitter: "F**k you Jeb Bush for telling poor people they need stronger families to not be poor. Poverty weakens families." Richardson subsequently deleted the tweet, but not until after it was noticed by several conservatives on the social media site.
CNN lived up to its nickname of the "Clinton News Network" on Wednesday, as New Day played up how Hillary Clinton checked off an apparent "debate check list with surgical precision," as John Berman put it. Chris Cuomo hyped that viewers "got to see Hillary Clinton at her best." Berman also glossed over the liberal politics in the Democratic Party by underlining Clinton's "appeal to the grassroots and pragmatic wings of the party."
On Tuesday's New Day, CNN's Alisyn Camerota interviewed everyday people on Las Vegas's Strip, and revealed that most people have heard of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders among the Democratic presidential candidates, while hardly any could name the remaining three. Out of seven people featured during the segment, only one could name Martin O'Malley and Jim Webb. None knew former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee.
CNN's Michaela Pereira and The Daily Beast's John Avlon heralded several clips from Hillary Clinton's past on Tuesday's New Day, and repeatedly touted her as "formidable." Pereira touted the footage as "some of the moments from her very storied career." Avlon hyped that Mrs. Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, "have been forces for change," and asserted that "the Clintons' story is about self-inflicted scandals and the remarkable resurgences."
On Sunday, ABC's Good Morning America and CBS's Sunday Morning followed the lead of the New York Times in omitting the extremist history of Louis Farrakhan in their coverage of the "Justice or Else" rally marking the 20h anniversary of the Million Man March. The Big Three programs also failed to mention that former pastor to then-Senator Barack Obama, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, spoke at the event and claimed that "Jesus was a Palestinian" during his speech.
Jennifer Latson paid tribute to communist thug Che Guevara on the anniversary of his death in a gushing Friday item on Time magazine's website. Latson marveled how the Argentinian radical "might have considered the United States his worst enemy, but he faced an even greater threat to his revolutionary ambitions: asthma." The writer later touted that "asthma didn't keep him from embracing the rowdiness of youth," and that "it didn't prevent him from following a rugged revolutionary road to Cuba."
ABC, CBS, and NBC's Friday evening newscasts all spotlighted how "gun rights supporters, many of them openly armed" protested President Obama as he visited Roseburg, Oregon to comfort family members of the victims of the recent mass shooting there. CBS's John Blackstone played up how "the protesters gathered at the Roseburg airport carried both signs and guns – a potential nightmare for the Secret Service." NBC Nightly News featured footage of a Confederate flag flying from pickup truck of one of the protesters – something ABC and CBS didn't do.
On Friday's Legal View, CNN's Ashleigh Banfield did her best to downplay Hillary Clinton's ongoing e-mail scandal. Banfield asked Democratic strategist Robert Zimmerman if Bernie Sanders would bring up the issue at the upcoming Democratic presidential debate. When Zimmerman claimed that "any Democrat who resorts to reciting Republican talking points is going to hurt themselves," the anchor replied, "It's not even a scandal. It's really a controversy. But 'scandal' is the Republicans' word for it. So far, no one has determined there's any scandal there."
The Daily Beast's John Avlon, a supposed "No Labels" moderate, revealed his true liberal colors on Thursday's New Day on CNN during a discussion of Ben Carson's response to the mass shooting in Oregon. Alisyn Camerota pointed out how competitor Lindsey Graham rebuked Dr. Carson, and wondered why the "rational" senator wasn't getting more traction. Avlon replied, "Responsible is a net negative for Republicans right now. Instead of trying to be more responsible, you try to be more irresponsible, more inflammatory, get more attention, and play to the base, which already deeply polarized and inflamed."