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
Network journalists on Wednesday fawned over the fact that Barack Obama is again making NCAA basketball picks. On ABC, Good Morning America's Josh Elliott touted, "And finally, the bracketologist-in-chief is at it again. President Obama, as he does every March, making his predictions..."
Elliott played a clip of the President insisting he would use big bracket winnings to "pay down the debt" and buy his wife shoes. The news reader then enthused, "Smart man. Constituents and wife. Keep them all happy." [UPDATED with video below. MP3 audio here.]
How do the journalists at Nightline define news? On Monday night, co-host Dan Harris and reporter Mariana van Zeller spent an astonishing nine minutes and 33 seconds on the salacious, gossipy phenomenon of "bootleg butt injections." Yet, it's been 123 days, 17 and a half weeks, since the show's hosts have focused on ObamaCare and the problems with the law's implementation.
Harris educated his audience: "In the iconic rap song, Baby Got Back, Sir-Mix-A-Lot professes his love for women with large rear ends." He continued, "Since that song came out in 1992, the world's obsession with plus-size backsides has only intensified..." Yes, the once-prestigious Nightline investigated why some women "are risking it all on bootleg butt injections." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
In a Facebook posting on Monday, far-left director Oliver Stone touted the "popularity" of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the wake of the move against Crimea. Stone credulously hyped, "The Crimean Referendum now going on, and seems clear more than 90% of Crimeans consider themselves Russian."
The filmmaker proceeded to shift the blame onto George H.W. Bush for his actions after the fall of the Soviet Union: "The entire world would be a far more peaceful place now if Bush father had any vision or generosity like Roosevelt or Kennedy, but instead he turned out to be another Truman in his time."
Despite Barack Obama's self-congratulatory claim in 2013 that he is running the "most transparent administration in history," several watchdog groups this week have hit the President for restricting information. Yet, so far, the networks have skipped the bad news. The Associated Press on Sunday reported, "The Obama administration more often than ever censored government files or outright denied access to them last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act..."
The Washington Post on Tuesday reported, "A separate report this week from the National Security Archives found that 54 percent of all agencies have ignored directives that Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder issued in 2009 calling for a 'presumption of disclosure' with FOIA requests." The Center for Effective Government gave failing grades to seven Obama-era agencies, including State, Defense and Labor. Although the networks have avoided this topic, Fox News on highlighted the "spectacular failure." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The United States government announced on Friday that it would give up control of the internet to a global organization. Fox News extensively covered this development, but the network morning and evening shows ignored the monumental decision.
Former Republican Governor Mike Huckabee appeared on Saturday's Fox and Friends to blast the decision, arguing, "I'm an old fashioned guy that believes in American sovereignty. I think that we don't give up anything in this country. We hang on to what we have. We are a sovereign country." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
St. Patrick’s Day may be a time of revelry and fun, but that didn’t stop ABC and NBC from hitting New York’s parade as anti-gay. Today co-host Natalie Morales on Monday lectured, “And today is St. Patrick's Day, of course, but some controversy hanging over some of the country's biggest celebrations.” [UPDATED with video below. MP3 audio here.]
Morales added, “New York's mayor Bill de Blasio isn't marching in today's parade because it does not allow gays and lesbians to openly take part.” Over on ABC’s Good Morning America, news reader Josh Elliott remarked, “And New York's St. Patrick's Day parade, the largest in the world, lost a major sponsor overnight.”
An annoyed Rachel Maddow on Thursday lectured ABC News for daring to question Barack Obama's appearance earlier this week on an internet comedy show. After playing a clip of reporter Jim Avila quizzing Jay Carney on whether the chat program damaged the "the dignity of the office," Maddow labeled this contention "completely and totally wrong." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
She mocked "capital V, capital S, very serious pundit David Gergen" for this tweet: "Unimaginable that Truman, Ike, JFK, Reagan would appear on 'Between Two Ferns.' They carefully projected majesty of their office." According to Maddow, there is precedent because Ronald Reagan appeared on a Bob Hope birthday show and Richard Nixon appeared on Laugh-In. The examples hardly compare.
A clearly worried Chris Matthews attempted to rally the Democratic Party to avoid a midterm massacre, openly suggesting that the party's goals should be "angering" voters with "scary" Republicans. On Thursday morning, the MSNBC anchor conceded that the U.S. Senate will go Republican in November. By Thursday night, he pivoted, lecturing Democrats: "...You can give the angry voter out there something really scary to vote against, a direction to really direct his or her anger." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] "Time to attack," roared Matthews.
Jumping from issue to terrifying issue, the Hardball host hyperventilated, "Want something else to fear? If the Republicans get the upper hand this fall, women's health care, Roe v. Wade, which that Florida Republican who just won plans to repeal." Matthews suggested, "You can warn people what the Republicans will do if they really clench power, how they're hell bent on cutting entitlements."
Apparently, Ed Schultz doesn't mean it when he says "get your tapes rolling at home." The MSNBC anchor on Wednesday attempted to rewrite his bogus, boastful prediction about ObamaCare. As noted by the Washington Post, on December 11, 2013, Schultz prognosticated: "I'm going to make a prediction tonight. It's going to hit five million by March 1st. That's right. Five million people signed up by March 1st. Get your tapes rolling at home folks 'cause it's going to be a big 'I told you so.'"
The just-released ObamaCare numbers for the end of February state that 4.2 million Americans have enrolled. Talking to Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, Schultz whitewashed his prediction, announcing, "Well, I predicted five million people are going to sign up by the end of this month. We're closing on it on that number." [See video below for a contrast of the two quotes. MP3 audio here.]
The co-hosts of The View brought on Republican strategist Nicolle Wallace, Thursday, to give the Republican view on politics. But instead of offering the loyal opposition, the former top aide to John McCain gushed over the Clintons.
Asked by Jenny McCarthy if Bill Clinton's personal problems will be an issue in 2016, Wallace blurted, "No. That's baked in the cake. I mean, to know Bill is to love Bill, whether you're a Democrat or a Republican." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Panic mode? Chris Matthews on Thursday morning conceded that Republicans would win the Senate in November. On Wednesday's Hardball, the host lashed out at voters. Speaking of a House special election won by the Republicans on Tuesday, he fumed, "Well, this election in Florida yesterday was about one word: 'No.' Because no worked, it will be worked again from now until November. By all means, no. That's the Republican message this year." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Grappling with the reason why it is so "hard" for Democrats to fight in this midterm election, Matthews lectured, "Well, for one thing, Democrats generally can see the complexity of our times." He added, "They don't think they have all the answers. They'd like to see some deal making between the parties and across the aisles."
MSNBC hosts have been obsessed with exposing conservative birtherism. Chris Matthews has been particularly fierce in excoriating anyone who suggests that the President was born in another country. (His birthplace is Hawaii.) So, will Matthews go after a new cable anchor who traveled to Kenya to talk about the President?
This anchor asserted, "We've heard about President Obama's poll numbers in the United States, including those pretty dim assessments of his handling of the rest of the world. But out in the wide world, there is one place he can always call home..." The aforementioned host featured a clip of a Kenyan who claimed, "Obama is our son from Kenya." Was the individual behind this segment a dreaded right-winger? No, he was a liberal journalist. [See video below to find out his identity. MP3 audio here.]
The journalists at CBS This Morning on Wednesday swooned over Barack Obama's fake interview with an actor/internet chat show host. Offering almost no criticism of the viral video designed to boost ObamaCare enrollment, co-anchor Gayle King lauded, "Humor works. Bravo to Zach [Galifanakis] and bravo to the President!" [See video below MP 3 audio here.]
In a follow-up interview with senior Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, King enthused over the Funny or Die video: "It's certainly gone viral, which I would think you guys are doing the hula over there." Jarrett assured her that "we are." The Democratic strategist then shifted into full-commercial mode and told the hosts: "Everyone who is watching your show, go on the website today. HealthCare.gov. It's working just fine."
A prominent Democrat who illegally funneled $660,000 into the mayoral campaign of Vincent Gray in 2010 also contributed to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, according to the Washington Times. All three networks on Monday night and Tuesday morning ignored the story. Prosecutors claimed that Mayor Gray had knowledge of the illegal "shadow" campaign run by Jeffrey Thompson.
Times writer Dave Boyer explained the connection to other high-profile Democrats: "Despite Hillary Rodham Clinton’s promise that she had scrubbed illegal cash contributions from her 2008 presidential campaign, prosecutors revealed Monday that the mastermind of Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s 'shadow campaign' also funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to aid Mrs. Clinton’s bid for the White House."
ABC, CBS and NBC on Tuesday morning uncritically hyped an extended effort by Senate Democrats as an "all-night marathon" to raise awareness on climate change. Yet, these same networks mocked a similar effort by Ted Cruz in fall of 2013 as a "bizarre," "long-winded protest."
Today's Natalie Morales explained, "The dusk to dawn talk-a-thon was expected to go about 15 hours." She noted that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called global warming action a "question of our own survival." It was only CBS This Morning co-anchor Norah O'Donnell who pointed out that there "are no plans to bring a climate bill to the Senate floor this year." If no legislation is planned, how does this warrant network coverage? [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Once again, ABC's Good Morning America avoided an issue that makes liberal New York Mayor Billl de Blasio look bad. CBS This Morning and NBC's Today on Monday both highlighted how popular actor Liam Neeson slammed the Democrat, telling him to "man up." Neeson and others are furious that de Blasio wants to ban horse-drawn carriage rides within the city.
This Morning guest co-host Anthony Mason informed, "On Sunday, Neeson showed lawmakers the stables that show carriage horses that travel through Central Park. Neeson says the horses are well cared for." He added, "Neeson says, quote, '[de Blasio] should have manned up and come.'" On Today, Carson Daly noted, "Bill de Blasio wants to shut down the service, saying that the horses aren't treated humanely." Daly described the Taken movie star as "lashing out" over this. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
CBS This Morning co-host Norah O'Donnell on Monday gushed over comedian turned Democratic Senator Al Franken. With no pretense, she told the liberal politician, "...It's great to see you in the United States Senate. But, you know, we all remember you from Saturday Night Live." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] "We grew up" watching you, the journalist added.
Franken was given five and a half minutes of air time to talk about his thoughts on a potential merger between cable giants Comcast and Time Warner. Yet, O'Donnell still found time for breezy questions such as asking, "Do you go back at all to watch SNL?... Don't we need more humor in the United States Congress?"
If you like your jail cell plan, you can keep it? In a front page story for Monday's New York Times, writer Erica Goode revealed that prisons all across the country are enrolling inmates to ObamaCare. Despite the fact that many media outlets consider the Times to be the "paper of record," NBC and ABC ignored the news that taxpayer-funded money would be going to the health care of convicted criminals.
Only CBS This Morning covered it, allowing 20 seconds. Guest co-host Anthony Mason summarized the details and insisted, "States can save millions by letting Medicaid pay for prisoners' hospital stays lasting more than 24 hours. Up to 35 percent of those now eligible for Medicaid under ObamaCare have had run-ins with the law." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Although CBS covered the latest revelation, Mason failed to mention conservative criticism.
Rush Limbaugh on Thursday mocked new MSNBC host Ronan Farrow, dismissing the 26-year-old, saying, "He's never done anything. He's never gotten good at anything." MSNBC President Phil Griffen explained to the New York Times how he was originally wowed by Farrow, who is either the son of Woody Allen or Frank Sinatra: "Within 20 minutes, I wanted to hire him...He got it."
Limbaugh translated, "In other words, if you're young, if you're charismatic, if you're good-looking, if you're hip, if you're cool, if you're glib -- if you have all the superficial traits that we can say you have -- then that will trump experience, knowledge, humility, and hard work."
As the Clintons gear up for what appears to be a 2016 presidential run, journalists are already downplaying the potential negatives Bill Clinton would create for Hillary. According to the Washington Times, the former President has cashed in on a non-profit hospital, taking nearly a quarter million dollars in speaking fees as the hospital laid off hundreds.
Writer Jim McElhatton explained, "Bill Clinton accepted a $225,000 speaking fee from the nonprofit Washington Hospital Center smack in the middle of two big rounds of layoffs in 2012." He added, "The $225,000 payment wasn't made public by the hospital on its annual Internal Revenue Service forms, but rather appeared among dozens of lucrative speeches by Mr. Clinton reported on his wife's final ethics filing as secretary of state."