Though the journalists at the network morning shows often follow the lead of big newspapers such as the Washington Post and New York Times when they highlight a controversy involving a Republican, ABC on Tuesday totally skipped a front-page report in the Post on a an $18 million “honorary” payment to Bill Clinton.
Scott Whitlock is the associate editor for the Media Research Center's NewsBusters.org. Previously, he was a contributing editor to NewsBusters and the MRC's senior news analyst. Scott's work has been featured or cited in outlets such as the Washington Post, the Washington Times, National Review, Red State, to name a few. He has also been linked to several times on the Drudge Report.
A July 2014 Media Reality Check by Scott documented how the networks shut out critics of Barack Obama's foreign policy, despite a summer of international crises. In April of 2014, Scott's blog on NewsBusters exposed how ABC falsely connected a former tech CEO to the hateful Westboro Baptist Church. This forced an apology by ABC News Vice President Jeffrey Schneider.
In April of 2013, Scott researched and wrote a Media Reality Check on ABC's complete blackout of abortionist Kermit Gosnell's trial. His stories on this subject and others were linked to on the Drudge Report, the Washington Times, Breitbart and Mediaite, to name a few outlets.
Scott is a graduate of George Mason University and is originally from Philadelphia, PA. He lives in Northern Virginia and can be contacted at SWhitlock@MRC.org. You can also follow Scott on Twitter.
Generally, it’s not a good idea to take advice from people who don’t have your interests at heart. On Friday, NBC’s Chuck Todd advised Donald Trump to stay away from the “rabbit hole” of Clinton “obsession.” MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell fretted that the hiring of David Bossie is a “nightmare in Clinton world.”
Despite a total of four hours of air time, NBC’s Today on Friday completely skipped the latest development in the ongoing scandal involving the Clinton Foundation, Hillary Clinton and the State Department. Instead, the network prioritized 14 minutes to covering an Alicia Keys concert. Not exactly the most pressing story.
The journalists at CBS This Morning on Thursday worried that hordes of Americans would ruin the paradise of Cuba now that commercial flights are going to the country. Never once mentioning the word “communism,” reporter Kris Van Cleave hyped the city of Santa Clara: “Famed revolutionary Che Guevara is buried in this monument, one that will soon be visited by many more Americans.”
Of the three morning shows on Thursday, it was CBS that defaulted to the automatic assumption that Donald Trump was lying about a discussion with Mexico’s President. ABC and NBC presented the debate over whether the businessman brought up the wall with Enrique Pena Nieto as an open question. On CBS This Morning, however, Major Garrett flatly declared, “Trump mislead reporters, however, by saying Mexican financing of a border wall did not come up.”
Though many journalists and networks are still not complaining about Hillary Clinton’s media blackout, the silent treatment seems to be irritating the reporters at CBS. A network graphic on Wednesday pointedly complained, “No Questions, Please: Clinton Criticized for Having Few News Conferences.”
A CNN.com article reporting on John McCain’s primary challenge included what could be a shot at John McCain’s age — or simply a typo. In a story from Tuesday night, Eric Bradner explained, “And McCain faces a test from Kelli Ward, a conservative 33 years McCain's junior who had suggested his age (he turned 80 on Monday) means he's too old for a sixth term. good.”
CBS This Morning journalist Jeff Glor on Tuesday derided famous author Tom Wolfe for the “very dangerous” ideas in his new book. The writer attacks Darwinism and far-left professor Noam Chomsky in his new work, The Kingdom of Speech. It was clear that the network journalist was enamored with the articulate Wolfe, complimenting the “wry, wicked” intellectual.
All three networks on Tuesday fretted over the sordid details of Anthony Weiner’s sexting scandal, worrying that the “personal” is now becoming political. A CBS This Morning analyst dismissed Donald Trump’s contention that the wife of the unrestrained Weiner may be a security risk.
Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange doesn’t think that MSNBC or the New York Times would have published the Democratic National Committee e-mails that his website released, messages that showed party collusion with Hillary Clinton. Talking to Fox News’s Megyn Kelly, he explained, “I would like to believe that no organization, no organization, no media organization in the United States would not have published the DNC e-mails.”
Tom Coburn wasn’t having any of Chuck Todd’s bias. The former Republican Senator appeared on MSNBC, Thursday, to discuss Hillary Clinton’s speech on the alt-right movement. After Todd repeatedly pushed Todd on Republican connections to extremism, Coburn called out the network’s liberal spin: “That's just like saying if somebody hires you, Chuck, and NBC's viewpoint politically is far left anyway, so, therefore, it’s bad because you work for [NBC].”
The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway on Tuesday nailed exactly what’s wrong with a profanity-laced exchange between a Republican congressional candidate and a smug Politico journalist. Writer Marc Caputo has been praised for releasing on YouTube his phone conversation with the GOP’s Dan Bongino.
The networks on Thursday erupted as Donald Trump called Hillary Clinton a “bigot.” But these journalists didn’t appear outraged as the Democrat called out the businessman’s “hate.” On CBS This Morning, Norah O’Donnell trumpeted, “Donald Trump is taking name calling new a new level. He called Hillary Clinton a bigot last night in Jackson, Mississippi.”
According to Cher, “despot” Donald Trump is just like genocidal murderers Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler. Speaking at a rally for Hillary Clinton, the liberal singer offered a rambling attack on the businessman. She derided, “I was thinking, you know, despots, you know, Stalin, Hitler.... They said the same things. ‘We’re going to make Germany great again.’”
The journalists on CBS promoted Hillary Clinton bashing Donald Trump’s “wacky strategy” against her and featured clips of the Democrat on late night TV, something that’s necessary since it’s been 263 days since she’s had a press conference to talk to actual journalists. Nancy Cordes played extensive excerpts of Clinton on an ABC comedy show and then opined, “On Jimmy Kimmel Live, Clinton tackled a Trump lie about her health.”
Former Democratic operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos good barely restrain himself on Tuesday as he gushed over a new movie about the first date between Barack and Michelle Obama. Talking to the stars of Southside With You, he hyped the film as focusing “on one day in the summer of 1989 when Michelle and Barack Obama went out for the first time.”
Colin Powell, who the networks hyped when he endorsed Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, has now slammed Hillary Clinton for attempting to “pin” responsibility of using a private server on him. Yet, CBS and NBC on Monday minimized the story with CBS This Morning noting it for just a scant 29 seconds (out of a two hour program).
CBS This Morning on Monday eagerly hyped a new expose by the Washington Post: As a child, Donald Trump pulled pigtails and threw rocks at kids. This is the same Washington Post that went after Mitt Romney for allegedly forcing a haircut on another boy in 1965. Talking to reporters Marc Fisher and Michael Kranish, CBS co-host Norah O’Donnell wondered, “You go all the way back to his childhood to help reveal some of Donald Trump. What did you learn?”
The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza offered up a defensive piece on Thursday explaining “why President Obama isn’t stopping his vacation to visit the Louisiana flooding.” Obama has since reversed course and said he would visit, but the Cillizza dismissed the attacks against the President, condescendingly explaining, “Cue outrage.” The Post, however, is the same paper that called George W. Bush’s Hurricane Katrina flyover to be the second “worst” moment of George W. Bush’s presidency.
The network evening and morning shows seem to have badly misplaced priorities. ABC, CBS and NBC have already devoted 10 times more coverage to the Olympic swimmer “scandal” than they did the bombshell admission that the Obama administration linked the release of four American prisoners and a $400 million payment to Iran.