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."
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.
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."
Tuesday's All Things Considered on NPR followed the lead of CNN earlier in the day in spotlighting a pro-euthanasia activist's reaction to California Governor Jerry Brown signing the "End of Life Option Act." Host Kelly McEvers allowed only a brief mention of opponents calling the governor's move "a dark day for California." McEvers then gave guest Christy O'Donnell, who has terminal lung cancer, the kid glove treatment. O'Donnell appeared on CNN's At This Hour earlier on Tuesday, where anchor Kate Bolduan thanked her for her "strength" and "courage."
On Wednesday's New Day, CNN's Chris Cuomo and Michaela Pereira marveled over the "huge step" and "unprecedented move" by People magazine in publishing a "call to action" on the issue of gun violence. The celebrity-centered publication printed the names and phone numbers of all 535 members of Congress, and called on "readers to contact their elected representatives to make their voices heard" on the subject. Pereira wondered, "Are we at a tipping point? Are we at a tipping point in the nation when so many of us are saying, not again – not again?!"
CNN wasn't interested in balance on Tuesday, as three straight programs brought on pro-euthanasia activists to tout California's new "End of Life Option Act," which was signed into law on Monday. All three also left out opponents of the legislation. CNN Newsroom featured a man whose wife was the subject of a HBO documentary titled How to Die in Oregon. On At This Hour, Kate Bolduan hyped the "groundbreaking move," and interviewed a "right to die advocate" with terminal cancer. Legal View turned to the widower of pro-euthanasia activist Brittany Maynard, who took her life in November 2014.
CNN's Alisyn Camerota touted Hillary Clinton's new gun control proposals during an interview of former Governor Mike Huckabee on Monday's New Day. Camerota pointed out Mrs. Clinton's "tighten the gun show Internet sales loophole" idea, and asserted, "Isn't that one a no-brainer?" She then asked, "Shouldn't there be universal background checks, and people not be able to buy guns online? Are you comfortable with that suggestion of hers?"
On Thursday, Brian Williams predictably raised the gun control issue as he anchored MSNBC's breaking news coverage of a mass shooting in Oregon. Williams asked Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, "Can I ask you about your gun laws – concealed carry, that kind of thing?" The Democrat pushed back in explaining the state laws: "It's a complicated area. But that's my understanding – not that it's particularly relevant right at the moment."
CNN's Wolf Blitzer hounded Rep. Jason Chaffetz on Wednesday's Situation Room over his hearing on Planned Parenthood's federal funding, and carried water for the abortion giant. Blitzer quibbled over a chart that was used at the hearing that showed the increase in abortions that Planned Parenthood did, and a concurrent decrease in the number of cancer screenings and other preventive services it does. He then touted a chart from the left-wing Vox site that supposedly "gives a more accurate reflection of what was going on."
On Wednesday's New Day, CNN's Chris Cuomo acted more like a pro-Planned Parenthood prosecutor than a journalist in his ten-minute-plus interview of David Daleiden. Cuomo repeatedly badgered Daleiden – who managed the undercover project that uncovered the abortion giant's sale of aborted babies' organs and tissues – over the summary videos of the footage his organization shot. He also touted how "Planned Parenthood – and other people who see [them] – says no; you doctored them. You're doctoring it to make it seem like what you want it to be."
On Tuesday's CNN Newsroom, Carol Costello treated Planned Parenthood's own talking points about "three percent" of its services are abortions as "facts." Costello emphasized that "$500 million in federal funds goes to Planned Parenthood. None of that money...pays for abortions....Planned Parenthood says only three percent of their services are dedicated to abortion. The group says 97 percent of its services are for things like...breast exams...cancer screenings and contraception."
Brian Williams and Chris Matthews couldn't resist the opportunity to harp on the lack of married and women priests in the Catholic Church, as MSNBC provided live coverage of Pope Francis's open-air Mass in Philadelphia on Sunday. Williams pointed out that one of the archbishops at the Mass is "from a family, [but] he cannot go home to one. He cannot have one, and be...of service to the Catholic Church. And it is still that thing that differentiates and separates the religion from so many others."
CNN's Chris Cuomo painted a cynical picture of Dr. Ben Carson on Monday's New Day, as the newscast covered Jake Tapper's interview of the Republican presidential candidate from Sunday. Cuomo contended that Carson's recent stance against Muslims becoming president of the United States was a calculated move towards a supposedly extreme part of the GOP: "The problem is the candidate...seems to be pandering to a xenophobic religious minority in this country that's anti-Islam."
MSNBC's Chris Matthews revealed his loathing for a part of his Catholic upbringing on Wednesday's Hardball, and ended up mangling the theology behind a beautiful and ancient Church ritual for new mothers. Matthews turned to Catholic dissident Sister Simone Campbell for her take on Pope Francis's visit. Sister Campbell touted her liberal "Nuns on the Bus" campaign as a supposed way to "take the Gospel to where it wouldn't be otherwise, and all the other people that we meet along the road – so many of them are not churched...but that we can be in touch with them."
Two journalists on Friday's NBC Nightly News played up how the supposed "far right" of the Republican Party pushed out Rep. John Boehner, who announced earlier in the day that he would be stepping down as Speaker of the House. Lester Holt underlined that Boehner is "resigning from Congress at the end of next month in the face of a challenge from members of the far right of his party, who believe he's gone soft on Democrats."
Friday's NBC Nightly News failed to cover how the Defense Department revealed earlier in the day that they found an "email chain that Hillary Clinton did not give to the State Department, as a Reuters report put it. Mrs. Clinton exchanged the e-mails with then-General David Petraeus between January and February of 2009. Anchor Lester Holt did air a 16-second news brief on the other "big news from Washington" – Michelle Obama and the first lady of China revealing the name of the panda cub at the National Zoo.
On Thursday, the New York Post, Mediaite, and several other online outlets reported that CNN's live feed of the Pope's address to Congress caught a woman saying off-camera that she wanted to "take my shoe off and throw it at his head" – moments before the pontiff entered the House chamber. The threat was also caught on the audio of MSNBC and Fox News (though on-air personalities were also speaking at the same time), as well as ABC's local Washington, DC affiliate, WJLA.
CNN's Christiane Amanpour wildly claimed that "top" Republican presidential candidates "have decided to make a war on Moslems...1.5 billion members of another faith." Amanpour didn't name any names, but since she pointed out how Pope Francis referenced "Thomas Merton, a Cistercian friar" during address to Congress, who, in her words, "had tolerance and interreligious dialogue as his leitmotif;" and because Dr. Ben Carson was among the attendees at the pontiff's speech; she likely had him in mind when she made that accusation.
The media have a knack of turning giving liberal activists a platform when it covers the Catholic Church. The latest example is CNN's Chris Cuomo turning to Episcopalian bishop/LGBT activist Gene Robinson moments after Pope Francis spoke at the White House on Wednesday. Cuomo noted that Robinson was part of "a number of people that were seen as controversial" among the invited guests at the presidential event, and tossed softballs at the liberal guest regarding his pet cause: "You are controversial, sir. Do you feel that way, and what do you think it is about?"
Thomas Roberts set aside four full segments on his MSNBC Live program on Monday and Tuesday to a panel of six Catholics who dissent from the Church's teachings on sexuality and abortion. Roberts hyped his guests as "Catholics like me who have been deeply wounded in life by the Church." He noted how a divorced woman stayed with the Church and asked, "Do you feel as if you're almost on a cyclical relationship with someone that is almost abusive to you, but that you still go back seeking acceptance?"
Anderson Cooper gave liberal author Reza Aslan a platform to bash Republicans on the Monday edition of his CNN program. Aslan asserted that Dr. Ben Carson's "I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation" remark is just the latest example that "xenophobia [and] anti-Muslim bashing...[is] how you get votes." He also stated that "the only thing I'm surprised about is that the..Muslim bashing has taken this long to come out in the GOP field."