Saturday Night Live writer Katie Rich found herself in hot water over the weekend after the 33-year-old thought it was humorous to bully 10-year-old Barron Trump, saying “Barron will be this country’s first homeschool shooter.” In response to Rich’s vile tweet, former first daughter Chelsea Clinton spoke up and defended the president’s son. ABC and NBC, of course, touted her defense Monday morning, but none of them mentioned the offense originated from an SNL writer, a show they love to quote.
The broadcast morning and evening news shows have spent 20 minutes and 18 seconds focusing on White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s comments about the size of Donald Trump’s Inauguration crowd. Meanwhile, when President Trump signed a far more consequential executive order that limits the penalties from the Affordable Care Act, the same networks spent only 1 minute and 39 seconds covering it – less than one-twelfth the coverage.
On Monday, all three network morning shows eagerly promoted the liberal group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filing a lawsuit against President Trump and accusing him of “violating the Constitution.” At the top of NBC’s Today, co-host Matt Lauer proclaimed: “Defendant-in-chief. The new president being formally sued this morning over his hotel and television interests...”
The Sunday following the anti-President Donald Trump Women’s March on Washington, network news rushed to spin the event as an inclusive event about putting the president on notice. “[Trump will] be confronting images, however, like this,” hyped Paula Farris on Good Morning America, “Hundreds of thousands of women, and men, hitting the streets.” There was no talk of the obscene parts of Ashley Judd’s hate filled tirade nor Madonna’s fantasy of “blowing up the White House,” only a fleeting mention on NBC.
On the morning of Donald Trump’s inauguration, ABC spent a few minutes legitimizing the 60+ Democrats boycotting Trump as a sign of a “divided nation.” Contrast that with eight years ago, when the networks were giddy and gushing about how great Obama’s presidency was for the country.
On the morning of Barack Obama’s first inauguration in 2009, ABC’s Good Morning America team called it, “A new dawn...fueled by hope and the shared dreams of a renewed America.” But on the morning of Donald Trump’s inauguration, ABC didn’t have the same rosy outlook. Instead of the utopia they predicted would happen under Obama, today ABC claimed the country was going back to the Civil War era.
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.
On Monday’s Good Morning America, ABC used the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday to lecture Trump on his need to improve his “long and fractured” relationship with the black community. It began when Democratic Congressman John Lewis called Trump’s election win “illegitimate” last week and said he would not be attending the inauguration. When Trump fired back on Twitter, the media blew a fuse at Trump for daring to criticize the “civil rights icon.”
ABC had clearly picked sides in the fight between President-elect Donald Trump and Congressman John Lewis, who claimed Trump was an “illegitimate president,” during their Sunday morning programming. The network spent that time slamming Trump for his counterattack on the congressman, even tying it to Martin Luther King Jr. “You know, just five days before the inauguration and one day before MLK day,” noted Paula Faris on Good Morning America, “President-elect Donald J. Trump is doubling down in his war of words with the civil rights icon."
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.
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.
Following fawning network coverage of President Obama’s farewell address on Tuesday night, on Wednesday, the NBC, ABC, and CBS morning shows continued the lovefest by devoting another 16 minutes and 5 seconds of air time to the speech. That stands in stunning contrast to the paltry 55 seconds the same morning shows offered to then-President George W. Bush’s farewell address in 2009.