The end of Barack Obama’s reign as president of the United States appeared to hit the Big Three networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) pretty hard. All three of them took the time to bid the President an emotional farewell at the end of their Wednesday night programs. “While President Obama was busy changing the White House…the White House was also changing him,” remarked anchor Lester Holt on NBC Nightly News.
ABC, CBS, and NBC's evening newscasts all devoted air time to racially-charged incidents in schools in the wake of the election. However, NBC Nightly News stood out from its competitors for failing to mention the violence against Donald Trump supporters in recent days. ABC's World News Tonight featured cell phone video of a California high school student being punched for supporting Trump. CBS Evening News played footage of "people celebrat[ing] a Trump voter being pummeled" in Chicago. The CBS newscast also zeroed in on a "kill Trump" hashtag on Twitter.
CBS and NBC's evening newscasts on Thursday hyped Chelsea Clinton's planned speech introducing her mother, Hillary Clinton, at the Democratic National Convention. CBS's Vinitia Nair played up that Clinton "uses her mother's smarts and her father's flare." Nair trumpeted that "the girl named after a Joni Mitchell song, 'Chelsea Morning,' will finally have her night." NBC's Kristen Welker also touted the presidential daughter's "strong presence on the trail," and later claimed that Clinton is "already making her own mark on history."
While remembering the legacy of Nancy Reagan on Monday, all three network morning shows made sure to highlight an issue in which she broke with much of the Republican Party – embryonic stem cell research. On NBC’s Today, Peter Alexander touted: “With Alzheimer's Disease robbing her husband's memory, Mrs. Reagan was again cast into a supporting role, with a new cause, a champion of stem cell research – an effort that went against the party of Reagan.”
The media love a good scare and a sensational headline, but new research indicates the fear they spread about the dangers of sitting too much may be overblown.
In recent years, media outlets compared sitting to health risks like smoking, and even warned “Sitting will kill you.” Today told viewers sitting was “literally killing us” back on Sept. 18, 2015. ABC’s Deborah Roberts even claimed sitting was “one of the greatest risks to our health.” One expert CBS turned to went so far as to claim “any” sitting was “too much.”
The “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC were out in full force on Tuesday night following New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie’s 2016 presidential announcement to attack Christie over his temper and use the Bridgegate scandal to argue that it’s “fed his image as bully” leading to “a long road ahead” for the nomination. CBS and NBC also earned the distinction of featuring a clip of Christie from October when he engaged a heckler to further the illustrate his temper without providing any context whatsoever.
The Wednesday editions of the CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News failed to cover the latest attack on law enforcement as a man charged at a female New York City police officer with a hammer before being shot by a fellow officer. While CBS and NBC ignored this story, ABC’s World News Tonight did cover it and did so with a full report from correspondent Linsey Davis. Anchor David Muir set the scene by describing it as “a moment of horror on the streets of New York City” at “a street corner full of tourists.”
When the now-retracted article by the Rolling Stone magazine was published on November 19 about a brutal gang rape of a first-year student at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at the University of Virginia, the major broadcast networks rushed to the story and devoted multiple segments to both the article and reaction on the school’s campus. In doing so, they failed (unlike other outlets) to point out its flaws that brought an apology from the liberal magazine on Friday afternoon after it came to realize that many of the key facts in the story were in serious doubt.
ABC and CBS both failed to point out San Diego Mayor Bob Filner's Democratic party affiliation on their Wednesday morning newscasts. Good Morning America devoted just one 17-second news brief to the ongoing Filner scandal. CBS This Morning didn't do much better, with two news briefs on the former congressman. NBC's Today didn't set aside any air time to the controversy.
The NBC morning show did one-up its Big Three competitors in identifying Anthony Weiner as a Democrat. Stephanie Gosk underlined the "Democratic drums are beating loudly for Anthony Weiner to step out of race for New York mayor", and noted the scandal-plagued politician's fourth-place standing among "likely Democratic primary voters". CBS This Morning and GMA merely labeled Weiner a "former congressman".
Tuesday's Good Morning America, just as NBC did on Monday, offered concern about how the Weiner scandal would impact the real victims, Bill and Hillary Clinton. Reporter Linsey Davis breathlessly explained that for the power couple, "...Patience has run out." An ABC graphic worried, "Clintons Put Pressure on Candidate: Upset at 'Comparisons' With Weiner."
Davis informed viewers that, pending a possible 2016 run by Mrs. Clinton, "...Several former Clinton aides and advisers tell ABC News the Clintons increasingly see Weiner's mayoral campaign as an embarrassment and potential liability." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Now that former Democratic Congressman and current mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner has been caught, again, sending sexually explicit texts to women, the hosts of ABC's Good Morning America decided to ask the important question: What is cheating?
Regarding the extremely graphic messages Weiner sent, reporter Linsey Davis wondered, "Is texting really cheating?...Do explicit E-mails, texts and tweets, like the ones Weiner sent even count as cheating?" GMA weatherman Sam Champion saw this question as a type of public service, lecturing, "It's a good conversation. I think a lot of people have had that talk lately." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The journalists at Good Morning America on Tuesday offered a light-hearted, whimsical look at the Obama family's multi-country vacation. Reporter Linsey Davis played U2's "Beautiful Day" and compared the Ireland part of the trip to National Lampoon's European Vacation. Davis gushed, "You know it's a beautiful day when U2's Bono reportedly invites you to a private lunch at his favorite Irish pub, the famous Finigan's of Dalkey."
She added that "dining with a rock star is one of the perks of being a first family." Nowhere on the morning program was any mention of the cost of the trip. Ireland's Independent reported, "It is understood a total of 30 rooms in the five-star, 265-bedroom hotel, have been booked for the visit of Mrs Obama and her entourage."