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
In a break from the usual softballs that Barack Obama receives at news conferences, the President on Friday endured some tough questions, including a testy exchange with ABC's Jon Karl. The White House correspondent pressed Obama, looking for a "direct response" to a previous question: Will the U.S. launch strikes against Syria, regardless of whether Congress approves it?
Obama lectured, "And you're not getting a direct response. Brianna [Keilar of CNN] asked the question very well. You know?" Karl shot back, "It's a pretty basic question." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] An annoyed Obama, in Russia for the G20 meeting, complained, "Did you think that I was going to give you a different answer? No."
Nightline, the show born out a crisis in the Middle East, has devolved into a superficial, tabloid-heavy program that has hardly bothered with the growing crisis in Syria and Barack Obama's handling of it. Since August 21, the program has allowed a mere four segments (18 minutes and eight seconds).
In contrast, Nightline has devoted over 24 minutes to light-weight topics such as the Amish Mafia TV show, a full report on the best summer songs of all time. Other stories include a look at "color runs" (a "fun" race in which joggers have paint thrown at them.) Another segment profiled James Dyson, the man who made vacuum cleaners "sexy."
According to Chris Matthews on Wednesday, there's one reason prominent Republicans will vote against a resolution allowing Barack Obama to bomb Syria. Of course, the motive behind 2016 conservatives such as Marco Rubio and Rand Paul is "hate." The Hardball host insisted that the situation in Syria "is offering a roadmap to the Republican nomination for President next time."
Rather than principled beliefs, the anchor flatly declared, "The more you hate Obama, the more you are deeply entrenched in the deepest bunker of the GOP." Matthews instructed viewers to watch the Syria vote as it was "the testing zone, this ground-zero for political posturing." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
MSNBC commercials have a long history of explicitly touting the network's liberalism. But a new ad combines that style with the exploitation of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech. In the latest promotion, an almost exclusively left-wing group of hosts hold up a whiteboard with messages explaining how they are personally living out King's dream. This came after footage of the civil rights leader. [See video of the ad below.]
Instead of any dialogue, the commercial featured peppy, upbeat music. Chris Matthews's sign read, "I am advancing the dream by...fighting for voting rights!" 9/11 Truther and MSNBC host Toure insisted that he's striving for equality by "fighting against the failed war on drugs." MSNBC's Martin Bashir lectured that he's lobbying people to "lov[e] our neighbors as we love ourselves." (Is comparing Rick Santorum to mass murder Joseph Stalin an example of Bashir "loving" his neighbor?)
Chris Matthews channeled his inner-Helen Thomas on Tuesday, railing against Barack Obama's "disastrous" plan for military action against Syria. The Hardball host mocked the proposed goal of sending a message to Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, excoriating, "Will this mysterious signal get delivered? Will a signal go to Assad that he will never again use chemical weapons?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Matthews raged against air strikes on Syria, insisting, "In other words, the only thing we really know is we'll be killing poor people, committing an act of war with this notion that somehow it's smoke signals." The usually pro-Obama reporter Howard Fineman appeared perplexed by the administration's presentation to the U.S. Senate: "...The only message we're sending to the world is one of confusion....It's just utterly confusing."
The New York Post on Saturday decried a typical example of liberal media bias: Despite the fact that Mark Levin's New book The Liberty Amendments is number one on all three related New York Times bestseller lists, that newspaper, as well as the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times, among others, has ignored it.
The New York Post's Kyle Smith wondered, "So, who is this man of mystery considered unfit for mention despite selling millions of books?" He added, "Levin reader-listeners feel left out of the national debate, and mostly the national media has responded by . . . trying to pretend he doesn’t exist."
While covering Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday, ABC's Martha Raddatz described the Syrian dictator as "looking poised and immaculately dressed." This light-hearted description is reminiscent of some of the softball questions asked by Diane Sawyer on February 5, 2007. The then-Good Morning America anchor dished with the man who, in August, allegedly used chemical weapons on his own people: "You like video games?...Do you have an iPod?"
After the dictator announced that he did, Sawyer sounded more like an Access Hollywood host: "And you're a country music fan. Faith Hill? Shania Twain?" She then moved on to the topics of what films Assad enjoyed. The fan of chemical weapons and gassing his own people touted The Pursuit of Happyness. He blurbed, "It tells you a story...Maybe there's many beneficial things to learn from, about real life." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
ABC on Thursday night again offered a one-sided take on the fast food "strikes," promoting the "living wage." Economics correspondent Rebecca Jarvis featured multiple clips of angry protesters, but none of those on the other side. (She did the same thing earlier in the day on Good Morning America.) In comparison, NBC's Nightly News at least highlighted those worrying about the economic impact of doubling the minimum wage.
World News anchor Diane Sawyer introduced, "A lot of people at the drive through window at your favorite fast food are asking the question, what is a fair living wage?" Jarvis included a clip of a woman asserting, "My whole household of seven people is surviving on my one $8 an hour [salary]. So, we're barely holding our head over water." At no time did she wonder if the protests were organically grown or something heavily promoted by wealthy unions.
When conservatives rally or march over an issue, such as the yearly March for Life, they don't get much attention. Yet, ABC offered two reports on Thursday promoting a liberal-backed strike on fast food restaurants. Good Morning America's Rebecca Jarvis went so far as to link the protest to Wednesday's 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's rally.
Jarvis touted, "They're hoping that scenes like the one behind me in New York will play out today in Chicago, in Denver, in Los Angeles, hoping that workers raising their voice will help raise the minimum wage." She then compared, "The day-long event comes on the heels of the 50th anniversary of the march on Washington for Jobs and Freedom." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
ABC provided immediate and enthusiastic praise for Barack Obama's speech, Wednesday, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" address. Anchoring live coverage, he praised, "President Barack Obama, playing the role of teacher and preacher and president today."
Stephanopoulos then began to link Obama and King. He allowed that Obama insisted in his speech, "No one can match the brilliance of Martin Luther King." The ABC host then connected, "But it does seem on the relatively rare occasions where the President chooses to speak about race directly, he rises to the occasion." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Good Morning America on Wednesday conceded that school districts across the country are dropping a new government-imposed lunch program because, as one student put it, "the food is just nasty." However, no one on GMA pointed out that the plan had been heavily promoted by Michelle Obama. In contrast, back in February, the journalists featured the First Lady for an eight and a half minute segment, including time to promote her Let's Move initiative.
Anchor George Stephanopoulos allowed, "Schools across the country are dropping out of a federal program to curb childhood obesity because the kids just won't eat what they're served." Reporter David Kerley asserted that the "national school lunch program rolled just last fall to great fanfare." According to a student in Kentucky, the new lunches "taste like vomit."
Liberal MSNBC host Ed Schultz on Tuesday denounced what he imagined to be the "conservative separatist movement" in America. The newly installed 5pm anchor connected Republicans such as Rand Paul to real life examples of racism. Reflecting on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's march on Washington, Schultz fumed, "There's an undercurrent of anger out there, that there is this conservative separatist movement that is taking grip in America to separate."
Describing an incident of an African American man unfairly being asked to leave a restaurant, Schultz sneered that the example showcases "Rand Paul's America." He blithely added, "Some Republicans think it's their God given right to discriminate." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Appearing on Hugh Hewitt's radio show, Monday, liberal MSNBC panelist Karen Finney angrily hung up on the host after he dismantled her claim that conservatives are modern day McCarthyites for opposing health care. Hewitt stopped Finney and demanded she explain her historical analogy.
As described by Politico, Hewitt pressed, "Did any communists infiltrate the United States government?" Finney squirmed, "I think if we go back to the McCarthy hearings, it’s pretty clear that he created a culture of paranoia and fear that people later recognized, they sort of bought into it and then recognized that it was absolutely misplaced." The former head of the Democratic National Committee even declined to answer this basic question: "Was Alger Hiss a communist?"
In his hilariously over-the-top, self-aggrandizing return to MSNBC's 5pm hour, Ed Schultz slammed the Republicans for spending the summer "lying." As I Want It All by Queen blared, Schultz could be seen giving high fives to adoring crowds. In full promotion mode for the President, the liberal host declared of Obamacare: "This is the most positive thing that this country has done since the civil rights legislation that was passed back in the '60s." (Apparently winning the Cold War didn't make the cut.)
During the rock montage, Schultz appeared to take credit for Obamacare, announcing, "One of the missions that I had when I came to MSNBC was that-- President Obama had just been elected-- I wanted to do health care." The host offered a loaded question to his audience, instructing, "Get your cell phones out. I want you know what you think: Will Republicans ever have the character to admit Obamacare saves lives? Text A for yes, B for no to 67622." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Even though it's August of 2013, Hillary Clinton's possible 2016 presidential bid has already been heavily hyped by journalists. Yet, it seems that these same reporters aren't interested in exploring aspects of Clinton's job as Secretary of State. One such comment not getting attention is her 2011 labeling of Bashar al-Assad, the man almost certainly behind a devastating chemical weapons attack, as a "reformer." Between 500 and 1000 people are dead after last week's gassing.
On the March 27, 2011, Clinton insisted, "There’s a different leader in Syria now. Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer." (The Washington Post gave this remark three Pinocchios. Clinton later backtracked.) Yet, ABC, NBC and CBS have not reexamined the comments in the wake of the attack or its accuracy.
Why should things change now? NBC and ABC on Thursday night and Friday morning yet again refused to identify San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, accused of sexually harassing 18 women, as a Democrat. ABC's Good Morning America devoted two segments to his impending resignation, but mentioned only "Mayor Bob Filner."
In contrast, GMA on Thursday hyped the controversy of the Lieutenant governor of Texas, a "rising Republican star," caught on a 911 call after he attempted to free his niece from jail. On Friday, only CBS This Morning identified Filner as a Democrat. Reporter Bill Whitaker interviewed the ex-fiancee of "Democrat Bob Filner." Whitaker explained, "They already shared a passion for progressive politics, the fight for the homeless, civil rights, immigrants."
CNN's Chris Cuomo scored an exclusive interview with Barack Obama on Friday and donated a whopping 42 minutes of his three hour New Day program to playing (and replaying) the discussion with the President. Despite all that time, the host never brought up the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups or the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi. Cuomo did mention Syria crossing Obama's publicly declared "red line," but only briefly.
What did Cuomo highlight? Daughters Malia and Sasha growing up to be teenagers, the President's new dog, including jokes about Sunny defecating on the White House rug. Perhaps the friendly tone isn't surprising as Obama spent Thursday hanging out with Chris Cuomo's brother, the Democratic Governor of New York. In addition to relaxing with Andrew Cuomo, he also met up with his teen daughters Cara Cuomo, Mariah Cuomo and Michaela Cuomo. On Friday, Chris Cuomo joked to the Commander in Chief: "What is more daunting to you, the prospects of protecting the free world or dealing with a teenager and a near teen?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The journalists on Good Morning America, Wednesday, again ignored the fact that San Diego's mayor, accused of sexually harassing 18 women, is a Democrat. Yet, on the very same program, reporter John Muller made sure to highlight Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst's scandal, chiding the "rising national Republican star." Dewhurst is under fire for intervening after his step-niece was arrested for shoplifting.
Guest co-host Josh Elliott hyped, "Caught on tape, the rising political star pressing police to let his niece out of jail." Lara Spencer hyperbolically introduced the story as a "stunning 911 call." Underlining the point, Muller informed, "David Dewhurst is one of the most powerful people in Texas politics and a rising national Republican star." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Regarding a prominent Democrat embroiled in a scandal, however, correspondent Amy Robach only noted, "Well, the embattled mayor of San Diego has reached a settlement in the sexual harassment lawsuit against him."
MSNBC, which is the home of 9/11 Truther Toure, on Wednesday smeared Republicans skeptical of climate change as "truthers." During a segment on the latest United Nations report on global warming, Now host Alex Wagner touted White House talking points, playing a clip of an Organizing for America commercial labeling House Speaker John Boehner a "climate denier."
Later in the segment, an MSNBC graphic appeared with an image of the globe and the GOP elephant. The graphic read, "truthers?" It's a sleazy move for MSNBC to lump conservative skeptics of global warming in with those who believe that the United States government was behind the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. But it's also hypocritical as Toure, who hosts the Cycle at 3pm on the network, has publicly supporter trutherism.
A chemical attack in Syria that may have killed as many as 1300 people was of little interest to ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday. The network morning show allowed a mere 25 seconds to the large scale gassing. In such a small amount of time, it's not surprising that guest news anchor Amy Robach skipped the salient point that this attack violated the so-called "red line" set out by Barack Obama in 2012.
NBC's Today allowed a little more time, two minutes and eight seconds, but also ignored the red line angle and any mention of Barack Obama. It was only CBS This Morning that noticed this. Anchor Charlie Rose pointed out, "President Obama has said that Syria's government would cross a red line if it uses chemical weapons against its own people. We're monitoring the White House for any response." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]