Scott Whitlock is the associate editor for the Media Research Center's NewsBusters.org site.
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.
Latest from Scott Whitlock
CBS This Morning journalist Barry Petersen on Monday offered a puff piece on legalized pot in Colorado, displaying no skepticism about health effects. Instead, he happily explained that "more than 60,000 gathered to party for 4/20. In marijuana lore, the day in April to celebrate all things pot." Petersen noted that the convention includes "an actual trophy for the best pot." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
He informed viewers that the award went to "a Denver-grown variety called Ghost Train Haze." The entire story contained zero mention of any downside to increased pot use, despite the just-released study concluding that even casual marijuana use may damage your brain.
Since word broke on Thursday night that Chelsea Clinton will be having a baby, ABC has fixated over the news, devoting 12 minutes and 47 seconds of coverage to the arrival of America's new "royal" child. Yet, the same network totally ignored the latest delay of the Kyestone XL pipeline by the Obama administration (and the political ramifications that go with it).
On Friday morning, ABC reporter Bianna Golodryga hyped, "Move over, Prince George, though. This morning, Americans have their own royal, or, rather, presidential baby, to look forward to." On Sunday, This Week avoided Keystone, yet the ABC program opened with an announcer hyping, "Chelsea Clinton's surprise announcement. Has a Clinton dynasty begun?" Host Martha Raddatz brought the baby up to her panel and fawned, "Very important question, what do you think Hillary Clinton should be called as a grandma?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
CNN has been roundly mocked this week for extreme abuse of the "breaking news alert." On Monday night, Bill Weir combined yet another of the network's stories on the missing Malaysian flight with the anniversary of the Titanic's sinking. A graphic appeared on-screen that blared, "BREAKING NEWS: Titanic sunk 102 years ago tonight."
The segment was so ridiculous that even the liberal Washington Post derided CNN. Humor writer Alexandra Petri scolded her cable colleagues, sarcastically noting, "Thank heavens they’re here to tell us these things!" She wondered, "What happened to the Hinderberg? Is the Lusitania okay? I haven’t heard from that Donner Party in a while." [See video of the CNN segment below.]
According to the liberal network journalists, being part of a Democratic family makes you "royalty." Reporters on ABC, CBS and NBC gushed over the announcement that Chelsea Clinton is pregnant. Good Morning America's Bianna Golodryga enthused, "Move over, Prince George, though. This morning, Americans have their own royal, or, rather, presidential baby, to look forward to. "
On CBS This Morning, Jan Crawford was almost as excited, hyping, "...This is not as quite as big of a deal as when Prince William and Kate Middleton said they were expecting. But in the U.S., I guess you could say political dynasties might be the thing we've got closest to royalty."
After devoting 15 minutes to a Barack Obama interview in the last 24 hours, CBS piled on with another seven minutes devoted to a "scary powerful" top aide. Charlie Rose offered a puff piece on Alyssa Mastromonaco, Obama's deputy chief of staff. The CBS This Morning co-anchor on Thursday offered no tough questions and instead repeatedly underlined just how important she is. Rose marveled, "You know what somebody called you? Scary powerful."
The co-host narrated, "We recently spoke to her about her low profile, high power role. Every time I read a piece about you, it talks about power." Rose highlighted Obama's alleged feeling about her departure, quoting the President: "I'm not going to let you go...unless you promise me you will be there for me not only during the presidency but in the post-presidency." He followed up with Mastromonaco, saying of her post-White House days: "Is the most exciting time of your life behind you?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
CBS News devoted 15 and a half minutes on Wednesday night and Thursday morning to an interview with Barack Obama. Despite April 15th having just passed, correspondent Major Garrett offered no questions on taxes or the IRS scandal. He also avoided any queries on ObamaCare or the Benghazi terrorist attack.
Instead, more than four minutes on This Morning were given over to a horse race discussion on 2016. (Joe Biden joined the interview for that section.) Garrett did press the President on Russia and Ukraine, quizzing, "In your mind, is there a line, never mind the color, is there a line in eastern Europe or Ukraine, that Vladimir Putin must not cross?" After Obama paused as he formulated an answer, the journalist prodded, "Can you articulate that for the world and for the Russian government?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Two Democratic politicians in Texas apparently warranted a front page, 1200 word story in Wednesday's New York Times. Writer Jason Horowitz profiled San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and his brother, Congressman Joaquin Castro.
According to Horowitz, "The two brothers share not only looks, ambition and personal mannerisms — they both lower their heads, with almost monklike modesty, when greeting people — but also a childhood steeped in Latino activism, bunk beds and English." Horowitz also repeatedly hinted that one of the brothers could end up on a presidential ticket in 2016.
The liberal journalists at MSNBC have been quite enamored with Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, constantly promoting her Democratic campaign. Yet, a new poll showing her trailing by 14 points has gone unmentioned on the network. Even more interesting, Republican candidate Greg Abbott is beating Davis even among women, 49-41. The Public Policy Polling survey was released on Tuesday. Also, it should be pointed out, PPP is a Democratic polling firm.
In the past, MSNBC hosts have attempted to spin bad news for Davis. In January, Andrea Mitchell gently explained, "[She's] being forced to answer media reports down there that she had slightly altered her resume." In July of 2013, the journalist became one of her early cheerleaders, prompting, "Are you thinking about statewide office? Are you thinking about running for Governor?"
Former Newsweek editor Jonathan Alter appeared on The Ed Show, Tuesday, to lobby for more boycotts of the "racist" Rush Limbaugh. The radio host's crime, according to the writer, is making a few joking comments about the shoe-throwing incident involving Hillary Clinton. On his show, Limbaugh mused, "I can totally relate to people who think that everything the Clintons do is staged...I just don't attach much genuineness to them."
Limbaugh allowed, "Maybe it's because in my subconscious, I think it was staged." Alter railed against Limbaugh, assailing, "When do more boycotts of Rush Limbaugh's sponsors come? You know, there's been some racist garbage over the years. He's been racist on any number of occasions. " Alter lamented that there has only been " a little bit of a boycott" over past incidents. [UPDATED with video. MP3 audio here.]
Barack Obama may have given Chris Matthews a "thrill" up his leg, but the MSNBC host is pretty excited about Hillary Clinton in 2016. Matthews was so worked up on Monday night that he wondered if Republicans have "given up on beating" Clinton. Unsurprisingly, the cable anchor is unimpressed with the current crop of Republican contenders.
After discussing Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, he derided, "Have Republicans on the right given up on beating Hillary Clinton in the center? Have they given up on beating her altogether?" Speculating as to whether Republicans think voters will follow them "all the way to the ticked off outskirts" of where Paul and Cruz live, Matthews disbelievingly questioned, "Do they really think America is ready for a dance in the moonlight with one of those guys?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The host later speculated that 2016 could be like the landslides of 1964 and 1972.
On April 15, 2013, one year ago, two Muslim extremists planted bombs at the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring 264 others. This tragic event was sadly exploited by some in the media who quickly speculated that "extreme right" and "anti-government" individuals could be responsible for the mayhem. [See below for a round-up, including video, of the worst examples of journalistic malpractice.]
The morning after the attack, Good Morning America's Pierre Thomas narrated a segment with an on-screen graphic wondering, "Could this be homegrown terror?" Thomas noted that April 15th was only four days before the anniversaries of the bloody end of the Branch Davidian standoff and the Oklahoma City bombing. Regarding the date the attack occurred, GMA guest Mark Potok linked, "The real Patriots Day is April 19th. That is the date that counts for people on the extreme right in the United States." [MP3 audio here.]
View co-host Jenny McCarthy is now attempting to backtrack on her anti-vaccine conspiracy theories. The former Playboy model has repeatedly promoted the danger of vaccines and asserted, despite a total lack of evidence, that they can cause autism. In an op-ed for the Chicago Sun Times on Sunday, she proclaimed, "I am not 'anti-vaccine.' This is not a change in my stance nor is it a new position that I have recently adopted."
However, in 2009, she claimed of her own son's condition: "Without a doubt in my mind, I believe that vaccinations triggered Evan's autism." She is also on record as saying, "So, you ask any mother in the autism community if we'll take the flu, the measles over autism any frickin' day of the week -- So, I think they [pro-vaccine doctors] need to wake up and stop hurting our kids." As noted by the National Geographic in 2013, "In April, researchers published a study that looked at nearly 1,000 children and concluded that exposure to vaccines during the first two years of life was not associated with an increased risk of developing autism."
The journalists at NBC's Today on Friday rhapsodized over a liberal economic policy coming out of France. Regarding new rules that would bar some employers from e-mailing workers after hours, co-host Matt Lauer enthused, "[The French] get some things very right over there!" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Co-host Savannah Guthrie praised, "Vive la France!" Al Roker deemed the concept "fantastic." At no time did any of the hosts ponder whether this kind of problem could best be decided between businesses and their employees. Nor did they note the disastrous election results the country's socialistic government just endured. Instead, the on-screen graphic declared "Freedom in France."
You don't often hear interview subjects challenging prominent journalists on their ex-wives. But that's what happened on Monday's CBS This Morning. Reporter Anthony Mason interviewed Kiss singer and guitarist Paul Stanley on the band's entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Mason quizzed, "And when the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame asked the original members to perform together again, Stanley resisted. For old times' sake, one more time, you wouldn't want to do that?" Stanley retorted, "How many times have you been married?" After the reporter responded with "twice," the rock star pounced,"How about for old times' sake you go back and spend the night with your ex-wife?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
ABC News Vice President Jeffrey Schneider has apologized for a story on his network that connected a CEO who supports traditional marriage to the Westboro Baptist Church and their offensive "God hates fags" signs. Mr. Schneider contacted the Media Research Center on Thursday after our social media department requested members call and complain about the comparison.
Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich was ousted earlier this month when it was revealed that he donated $1000 in 2008 to Proposition 8. As Good Morning America reporter Linzie Janis explained the story on April 4, footage of the completely unrelated Westboro protesters holding "soldiers died 4 fag marriage" signs appeared onscreen. ABCNews.com offered this apology:
All three network morning shows on Friday highlighted the departure of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Good Morning America's Jon Karl insisted that the exit was a "chance for her to leave on a relatively high note." CBS This Morning's Jan Crawford claimed that "Sebelius made clear the decision to leave was hers." Over on NBC's Today, Chuck Todd dished dirt, explaining, "In addition to the management issues, the White House also lost confidence in her ability to sell the product publicly."
He gossiped, "Senior aides were not happy with how she struggled in what should have been a friendly interview with Jon Stewart." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] However, if Sebelius struggled, Today viewers didn't know about it for weeks after the October 7th Daily Show appearance. It wasn't until October 31, 2013 that the botched interview was mentioned on Today. Back then, Todd briefly conceded, "When she went in front of Jon Stewart at the Daily Show, that became a big problem. It became another PR problem." Despite this "PR problem," Today viewers didn't see an actual clip until Friday.
Chris Matthews did his best on Wednesday to get Jimmy Carter to fulsomely endorse Hillary Clinton for president in 2016, but just couldn't quite get a satisfying answer. In an interview on Hardball, Matthews began by noting how the former president has been "championing the cause" of "equal rights for women." He pressed, "Has a woman president -- has that time arrived? Obviously talking about Secretary Clinton here."
Carter proceeded to avoid the question and instead talk about women's rights in the world. So, Matthews, tried again: "Well, what do you think would be good about having Hillary Clinton president?" Again, Carter dodged. This prompted Matthews to later chide: "I expect that Hillaryland will notice the sin of omission." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
CBS This Morning co-anchor Charlie Rose on Thursday uncritically hyped an attack by Eric Holder that implied racism as the motive for Republican opposition to him and Barack Obama. Before playing a clip of the Attorney General speaking at Al Sharpton's National Action Network (NAN) conference, Rose promoted, "Attorney General Eric Holder is lashing out at the culture on Capitol Hill. Holder lost his cool at Tuesday's House judiciary hearing." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Rose then showed an uninterrupted, 40 second snippet of the Attorney General assailing the "unprecedented, unwarranted, ugly and divisive" insults he and the President endured. Holder complained, "What attorney general has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment? What president has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment?" Behind Holder, NAN logos and the phrase "no justice, no peace" could be seen. Rose offered no skepticism to this implication of racism by the Attorney General.
Daily Beast columnist Michael Tomasky on Wednesday offered a disjointed, 24-year-old example as he attacked supposedly "batsh*t crazy," anti-women Republicans. In an article on how GOP men don't respect the value of equal pay for equal work, he said this of elected GOP females: "Four Senate Republicans did vote aye on Lilly Ledbetter back in 2009. Yep, you guessed it: the 'girls'—Collins, Hutchison, Murkowski, Snowe."
The girls? Would the liberal Tomasky let conservative Republicans get away with so breezily referring to United States senators as "girls?" The journalist speculated as to why Republicans allegedly oppose financial equality for women. Blaming the "southern men and their southern beliefs" impacting the party, Tomasky spewed: [See below for full vulgarity]
View co-host Barbara Walters, who admitted in 2009 that she had an affair with a married politician, weighed in on the scandal engulfing Republican Congressman Vance McAllister, caught on tape kissing a staffer. Co-host and former Playboy model Jenny McCarthy joked about the surveillance footage: "You're in a government building. That's what a Motel 6 is for."
This caused Walters to lecture on privacy: "Even when you're on the street, when you think, 'I can do whatever I want,' there are cameras everywhere now...It's a different world." In the 1970s, Walters had an affair with Senator Edward Brooke of Massachusetts.