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
Is simply retelling the story of Jesus Christ "anti-Semitic?" That's the question that Nightline's David Wright hinted at on Monday night. Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, the producers of the History Channel Bible miniseries, appeared on the program to promote their new Son of God movie adaption.
Wright described Christ's death and resurrection as a "story that everyone knows" and hinted at possible peril: "Mel Gibson went out of his way to make what he thought was the definitive movie and he got into some hot water from the Jewish community over allegations of anti-Semitism." He added, "Were you worried about that?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
George Stephanopoulos, a former operative to Bill Clinton turned journalist, had one question he wanted to ask actor Kevin Spacey about his diabolical character from the political TV series House of Cards: "What would Frank Underwood's advice be to Hillary Clinton on whether to run for president?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Spacey, appearing on Tuesday's Good Morning America to promote the new season of his Netflix series, adopted a Bill Clinton impersonation and joked, "Oh, run." He continued, "Sorry, I did that as Bill. 'Run, baby, run.'" Showing up on the Today show in 2012 to promote season one of House of Cards, Spacey compared fiction to real life, smearing Mitt Romney was a "murderous politician."
How much of a liberal cheerleader is MSNBC's Ed Schultz? On Monday's Ed Show, the host was asked this question by a viewer: "Who is your favorite President?" Rather than answer with liberal heroes like Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson or John F. Kennedy, Schultz immediately responded, "President Obama." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The cable anchor enthused, "I respect him immensely for what he has done with the economy, which I think absolutely is amazing." Schultz insisted, "He's been obstructed more than any other president in American history."
In 2014, one wealthy Obama donor after another has been rewarded with ambassadorships to strategically important countries. Yet, NBC has skipped the embarrassing details of these men and women and their unfamiliarity with the places they are to serve. ABC's World News and CBS This Morning investigated the high profile donors.
This Morning guest co-host Anthony Mason spun it as a "growing controversy over gaffes by some of President Obama's picks." Correspondent Margaret Brennan recounted the messy details: "Senator John McCain appeared frustrated that hotel owner George Tsunis, nominated to serve in Norway, was confused about which political party makes up its government." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Brennan also noted that the number of donors selected to serve by the President is higher than President Clinton, George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush.
Is it really shocking for commercials to use actors? According to ABC News, yes. A headline for the ABCNews.com article trumpeted, "Koch Brothers Ad Attacking [Democratic Senator] Mary Landrieu Uses Paid Actors." Rather than investigate the continued failings of ObamaCare, writer Jordyn Phelps hyped the fact that the commercials sponsored by the Koch brothers feature stand-ins, writing, "But the people in the emotion-evoking ad are not Louisianans at all; they are paid actors."
Phelps continued, "The ad shows a number of people, who appear to be Louisianans, opening their mail to find a letter stating that their health care policy has been cancelled because of the Affordable Care Act." The commercial features scenes of children running to a mailbox. It seems fairly obvious that such images were filmed and weren't caught accidentally.
It wouldn’t be MSNBC if one of the cable hosts didn’t smear a conservative as racist. On Wednesday, Ed Schultz hinted that Grover Norquist, the head of Americans for Tax Reform, might be “race baiting” by placing ads warning about the impact of unionization.
Schultz was talking to Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen over possible unionization of a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Cohen slammed signs put up by Norquist’s group, complaining, “The billboards are offensive, the whole idea of keeping people from earning decent wages.” Because the signs mention Barack Obama, The Ed Show anchor zeroed in: “You think Grover Norquist is race baiting? You think he knows the climate?” [See video below. MP3 audio here.] This was too much even for Cohen.
MSNBC anchor Joe Scarborough appeared on the Hugh Hewitt radio show, Wednesday, and agreed with the host that he could go “toe-to-toe” in a 2016 matchup with Hillary Clinton. “Oh yeah,” the Morning Joe host replied and added, “I’m on a television show three hours a day, and I’m usually outnumbered about five to one, which hopefully is a fair fight.” [MP3 audio here.]
Scarborough must have forgotten comments from July 12, 2013 when he blurted, “I love Hillary and I can't imagine anybody coming between her and the presidency this time...” (“I Love Hillary” might not be the best GOP slogan.) The former Republican congressman opined, “I've never seen the media more biased against any single candidate than they were Hillary Clinton in 2007 and 2008.”
The co-hosts of The View on Tuesday applauded Hillary Clinton for new revelations from the so-called “Hillary papers,” a journal of a deceased friend. The then-First Lady is quoted as questioning how she could have prompted her husband’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. Sherri Shepherd touted, “I have to applaud Hillary Clinton because she's not taking responsibility for it, but I think that shows a sign of maturity.” [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
She continued, “It's very, very easy to say, ‘100 percent he was a jerk. He did it all.’ It takes two people.” According to Shepherd, Mrs. Clinton “wondered, “What’s my accountability?” Barbara Walters sympathetically spun, “One other thing that Hillary said “because bill's mother had died, that this was maybe one of the reasons that he” had an affair.
According to CBS's Seth Doane on Wednesday, even the "fairy tale" introduction of Caroline Kennedy hasn't kept the U.S. ambassador to Japan from running into some problems in her new job. Doane highlighted a protest of new military bases in Okinawa, Japan. Yet, while the reporter seemed mildly irritated about having to whisper during a Kennedy press conference (and not being able to ask questions), his co-hosts didn't appear too bothered.
Explaining the start of Kennedy's ambassadorship, Doane cited the "ceremonial aspect," narrating, "That was showcased when she was brought by horse-drawn carriage to present her credentials to the emperor. Thousands lined Tokyo's streets in November to catch a glimpse of this fairy tale-like scene." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
All three morning shows on Wednesday hyped Barack Obama's elaborate state dinner with French President Francois Hollande, but only ABC's Good Morning America wondered about the dinner's cost. Instead, NBC's Today and CBS This Morning gossiped over Michelle Obama's dress and the newly single French leader. CBS's Garrett sounded like something out of a fashion magazine as he announced, "With a musical flourish, a slow descent down the grand staircase. Michelle Obama's dress a liberty blue Carolina Herrera."
Garrett informed viewers that "Hollande's infidelity-fueled break-up" prompted a need to seat the dateless President between Mrs. And Mrs. Obama. Today's Natalie Morales excitedly related, "Everybody's talking about the big state dinner at the White House last night. And Francois Hollande didn't have a date..." It was left to ABC, often the most superficial network, to question the extravagance. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The liberal Chris Matthews on Monday night mocked Ben Carson for comparing the progressive movement to Nazis. However, Matthews isn't in a position to judge. He has repeatedly connected conservatives to Nazis. The cable host played a clip of the Fox News commentator at a fund-raising event for senatorial candidate Monica Wehby.
While talking about the progressive movement, Carson insisted, "There comes a time when people with values simply have to stand up. Think about Nazi Germany." Matthews sneered, "Haven't we all learned by now not to go there? No Nazi references." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] On November 26, 2012, guest Howard Fineman insisted that conservatives view African Americans and Hispanics as "extraterrestrial." Matthews derided, "The last guy to refer to the black auxiliary was Hitler."
Nothing to see here, according to ABC's Jon Karl. The Good Morning America correspondent on Tuesday told viewers that the so-called "Hillary papers," a treasure trove of quotes and documents, are a "positive portrayal" and "none of this appears to be politically damaging." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] In contrast, Monday's NBC Nightly News worried that the papers are "brutal" and include "inflammatory excerpts."
CBS This Morning on Tuesday also offered a different take than ABC. In fact, co-host Norah O'Donnell hyped the 40 pages of notes and journals by a deceased Clinton confidant this way: "...A powerful Republican calls it a roadmap to beating Hillary Clinton in 2016." Yet Karl soothingly told viewers, "All told, the papers offer a positive portrayal of Hillary Clinton from one of her closest friends, none of this appears to be politically damaging."
Liberal MSNBC anchor Ed Schultz on Monday compared Barack Obama to Abraham Lincoln. In the opening of The Ed Show, an on-screen graphic morphed a picture of the historic Republican president into the modern day Democrat. In the background, an American flag can be seen. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Schultz's show opens are often extremely over-the-top, featuring rock music and movie clips. The cable anchor began by trashing Republicans for not trusting the President on securing the border. After clips of John Boehner and Paul Ryan appeared, the Obama/Lincoln morph appeared. No comparison is too absurd for Schultz. Recently, he linked the President to Superman, George Washington and touted approval by God.
AOL executive Tim Armstrong last week publicly worried about how ObamaCare is impacting his company, but only CBS highlighted this complaint. NBC, instead, focused solely on his "outrageous" comments about how seriously ill babies have impacted AOL's 401k plan. ObamaCare went unmentioned.
In a CNBC interview on Friday, Armstrong explained why the company would cut retirement benefits: "As a CEO and as a management team, we have to decide: Do we pass the $7.1 million of Obamacare cost to our employees? Or do we try to eat as much of that as possible and cut benefits?" On Monday's CBS This Morning, co-host Charlie Rose wondered, "Are a lot of CEOs concerned about the cost of Obamacare? " Pollster Frank Lutz appeared and retorted, "Almost every one I deal with." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The latest MSNBC ad dropped the "lean forward" catch phrase, but still campaigns for nearly every possible liberal cause. In a commercial that began airing this week, Al Sharpton narrated a social network-themed appeal. Sharpton's demanded, "Text. Tweet. Update. Find your voice. Speak out."
While his voice played, liberals could be seen protesting climate change, rallying for gay marriage and supporting gun control. Examples of immigration reform also appeared on-screen and a crowd could be heard screaming, "We don't want your racist war!" No Americans could be seen supporting the Second Amendment, rallying for the pro-life cause or standing up to big government. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Returning to The View seven years after departing in an angry, liberal tirade, Rosie O'Donnell sat down with Barbara Walters and some of her former colleagues on Friday. Updating everyone on life since the show, she revealed that Parker, her now 18-year-old son, will be attending the Citadel. The 9/11 truther snapped, "...How do you annoy your left-wing liberal pacifist mother? You become a big military man." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
O'Donnell admitted she interrogated her son as to why he made such a decision and he responded, "Only in America, mom, could somebody like you who came from a horrible childhood, grow up and adopt kids like me who needed a family and I owe something to this country." In her typically loud tone, O'Donnell mock screamed, "No, my son. You owe something to me!"
ABC's David Wright is obsessed with Sarah Palin. The Nightline correspondent on Wednesday gratuitously attacked the former vice presidential candidate in a segment that has nothing to do with politics. Wright investigated angry, violent coaches of youth sports.
After featuring clips of men encouraging third grade football players to hit each other in the head, Wright made an abrupt left turn into liberal bias: "That full-throated passion, part of the culture of sports in this country. Lampooned in movies like Kicking and Screaming and celebrated by the original hockey mom herself, Sarah Palin, in 2008." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The reporters at Good Morning America want their audience to know that Clay Aiken's chances for making it to Congress are iffy because of the "conservative district" and "very conservative area" in which he's running. [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Reporter Mara Schiavocampo on Thursday labeled the former American Idol runner-up a Democrat, as well as pointing out the Republican-leaning nature of North Carolina. But at no time did the journalist call Aiken a liberal.
Schiavocampo began the story by bluntly declaring, "...Simply put, [Aiken] is a long shot." She added, "Aiken, an openly gay single dad, is running in a conservative district in a state with a Republican governor and a GOP-run state legislature." The reporter praised Aiken for being "authentic" and having a "great life story." But to underline the odds he faces, Schiavocampo reminded, "We'll see how it plays out. Very conservative area." Co-host Robin Roberts fretted, "Very much so."
Liberal MSNBC anchor Ed Shultz incurred the wrath of his left-wing audience when he publicly came out in support of the construction of the Keystone pipeline. The host on Wednesday took the step of reading angry tweets on the Ed Show and responding to them. Aware that he was daring to leave the liberal reservation on this one issue, Schultz called the pipeline "controversial" and began, " Now, I know a lot of my viewers are surprised at my position on this." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The anchor quoted one tweet from a viewer who demanded, "We need to stop all oil and gas extraction." Schultz retorted, "Well, my response to that is the hard cold truth is the United States is an oil and gas dependent country and we're going to be for the foreseeable future." In the unfamiliar role of fending off liberal rage, he continued, "And I think it really is a disservice to the conversation and the debate to take an all-or-nothing approach to this." In a final jab at his critics, Schultz concluded, "We're not really confronting reality here."
Even the liberal hosts of The View seemed to understand just what a PR nightmare the President is facing after a Congressional Budget Office report declared that ObamaCare will likely cost the U.S. 2.3 million jobs. A graphic for the "hot topics" segment on Wednesday screamed, "The end of ObamaCare?' Whoopi Goldberg hyped, "There's a new bombshell, a new congressional report is landing right on top of ObamaCare." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Unsurprisingly, veteran journalist Barbara Walters attempted to defend Obama, citing presidents such as Harry Truman and Jimmy Carter who previously attempted universal health care. Walters sputtered, "This is -- I don't know what -- the mountain that they can't climb and reach the top. Every president has tried." But it was a non-political guest host who dismissed Walters's liberal defense.