In back-to-back interviews on NBC’s Today and CBS This Morning on Friday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was largely treated to softball questions that allowed him to advance the Democratic Party’s strategy to obstruct President-elect Donald Trump’s agenda.
CBS This Morning
The journalists at CBS This Morning on Friday lectured viewers that some Americans “fear” Donald Trump and are very “nervous” about his presidency. Face the Nation host John Dickerson insisted that Trump needs to “to offer something to the other side, to recognize the fear.”
The Trump/Pence administration hasn’t even taken office and CBS is already going negative. CBS This Morning co-host Charlie Rose on Thursday reminded Vice-President-elect Mike Pence just how unpopular the team would be. He also lectured Pence about social media: “You've been asked this before, I'm sure, are the Tweets, A, necessary, B, distracting? And does [Trump] have to tilt at every windmill that criticizes him?”
The journalists at CBS This Morning on Wednesday agreed with Barack Obama: White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest is a good looking man. This not-so confrontational assessment came as Earnest bragged about the importance of “friction” between any White House and the press corp. Reporting live from the briefing room, co-host Charlie Rose touted Obama’s praise of Earnest: “He's just got that all-American matinee good-looking thing going. That's helpful, let's face it, a face made for television.”
Media fearmongering over Republican plans to repeal and replace ObamaCare reached a fever pitch on Tuesday, as all three network morning shows seized on a Congressional Budget Office report that selectively examined the impact of repealing the law without passing replacement legislation. Despite that being in direct contradiction with GOP proposals, the hosts and correspondents ran with the news anyway.
In back-to-back interviews with Donald Trump spokesman Sean Spicer on Monday, CBS This Morning and NBC’s Today grilled the incoming White House press secretary over the President-elect getting into a “battle” with “civil rights icon” John Lewis after the Democratic Congressman questioned the legitimacy of the election.
Critics from across the media spectrum have slammed BuzzFeed for publishing something they failed to corroborate, a 35-page dossier of smarmy allegations against Donald Trump that was assembled by a firm hired to do opposition research on the GOP candidate. But on CBS Saturday morning, Slate editor-in-chief Jacob Weisberg saluted BuzzFeed’s decision to disseminate the anti-Trump hit piece: “I’m glad BuzzFeed published it because I got to read it.”
CBS This Morning on Friday previewed Barack Obama’s “final network interview as Commander-in-Chief,” touting a clip in which journalist Steve Kroft hails the President’s restraint in criticizing Donald Trump. Kroft initially prodded, “You have to admit this is one of the strangest transitions in history.... Can [Trump] run an improvisational presidency?”
The broadcast news networks barely even mentioned the latest significant overhaul of U.S. policy by the Obama Administration.
For two decades, the United States has granted asylum to Cuban fleeing the Castro regime who make it to American soil, a policy known as “wet foot, dry foot.” Now, in his final days in office, President Obama has ended this policy, to applause from the Cuban government. According to NBC’s Today, “The policy change has been in the works for several months, as the U.S. and Cuba work to cement changes in their relationship.”
Last night and this morning, ABC, CBS and NBC dedicated a paltry 86 seconds to this news. ABC was the worst with a stingy 15 seconds of coverage, while CBS came in close behind with 23 seconds.
CBS assigned blame for the verbal battle between Donald Trump and CNN’s Jim Acosta at Wednesday’s press conference. Even though Acosta started the exchange by yelling at the President-elect, it was Trump who “lashed out” to “punish" a reporter. ABC saw the incoming President as “seeking retribution.”
On Wednesday, CBS This Morning's anchors hounded Kellyanne Conway over an appendix to a recent intelligence report given to Donald Trump that supposedly highlighted Russia's attempts to compromise the President-Elect, as well BuzzFeed's unsubstantiated document dump related to it. Charlie Rose, Norah O'Donnell, and Gayle King repeatedly tried to get Conway to verify something that she wasn't privy to — whether or not Trump read the classified appendix. The guest blasted BuzzFeed for "really violating basic journalistic standards" by their release. O'Donnell agreed with Conway, but still pressed the Trump aide on the issue.
Despite repeatedly calling it “unconfirmed” and “unsubstantiated,” the ABC, CBS and NBC morning news shows on Wednesday spent a combined 44 minutes promoting allegations the Russian government had information that they could use to blackmail President-elect Donald Trump. These allegations stemmed from a 35-page “report” published by BuzzFeed, which itself doubted the veracity of the information.