According to a new poll by Gallup, Americans’s trust in their media fell to a shocking new low. Asked if they believe the press will “report the news fully, accurately and fairly,” a meager 32 percent answered in the affirmative. Gallup’s Art Swift noted, “This is down eight percentage points from last year.”
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.
The three networks generally don’t hold back in slamming Donald Trump, highlighting his controversies and scandals. But when the liberal candidate offers up policy prescriptions that echo theirs, ABC, CBS and NBC are silent. On Wednesday, none of the networks offered any conservatives critiques on Trump’s new federally mandated maternity leave plan. In fact, ABC hit the businessman from the left, worrying it didn’t go far enough.
On the 20th anniversary of Tupac Shakur’s death, NPR touted the rapper, who was gunned down in a drive-by shooting, for his “pro-feminist,” “pro-choice” music. Morning Edition’s Renee Montagne talked to journalist Kevin Powell about Tupac. Powell recommended Keep Ya Head Up, praising, “Here's a song that is really an ode to women. It's a pro-feminist song. He talks about being pro-choice in the song. He talks about being anti-street harassment in the song.”
The issue of Hillary Clinton’s attempt to hide her dramatic health scare from the American public certainly is a legitimate one. But, perhaps, Brian Williams isn’t the person to examine such a story. Yet, that’s who MSNBC had anchoring a discussion of the Democrat’s honesty, a man with his own questionable attachment to the truth.
CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King on Tuesday wondered aloud as to “what’s wrong” with Hillary Clinton treating her recent health scare as “no big deal.” Talking to Mark Leibovich of the New York Times, King justified Clinton’s initial attempt to hide her pneumonia from the public: “How much are voters supposed to know about a candidate's health issues? If she thought that she could power through and it was no big deal, what's wrong with her thinking ‘I'll get through this?’
CBS This Morning co-host Norah O’Donnell appeared irritated at all the talk of Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal at Wednesday’s Commander in Chief forum. O’Donnell on Thursday didn’t mention him by name, but seemed to join in on the slamming of the forum’s host, Matt Lauer. After complaining that other topics weren’t asked, the exasperated CBS journalist complained, “They tried to have a discussion about national security last night. Did that happen? Did we have a good contrast of the two candidates?”
After 278 days of dodging reporters and ignoring their questions, Hillary Clinton on Thursday finally submitted to a press conference. One would assume that there would be plenty of tough follow-ups on her e-mail scandal. Yet, that subject never came up. Instead, reporters fed her queries on sexism, double standards against her campaign and the size of her lead.
After aggressively ignoring alternatives to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump for months, CBS on Wednesday not only featured Libertarian nominees Gary Johnson and Bill Weld, the show’s hosts quizzed them about the problem of big government. In a segment that last almost six minutes, CBS This Morning co-host Charlie Rose offered a question not seen much on network television: “Ronald Reagan said government is not the solution, government is the problem. Is government the problem?”
The journalists at CBS This Morning on Tuesday effectively declared the presidential race over, predicting 341 electoral votes for Hillary Clinton in a likely “blowout.” Citing the CBS News battleground tracker, Gayle King marveled, “The way you’ve got this now, 341 electoral votes for Hillary Clinton. You only need 270 to win. That suggests a blowout.”
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.
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].”