This Week in Media Bias History
Do these people hear themselves when they talk? On October 11, 2002, ABC’s Barbara Walters offered this bizarre validation of Fidel Castro’s dictatorship: “If literacy alone were the yardstick, Cuba would rank as one of the freest nations on Earth.” Of course, if your yardstick for freedom is freedom, Cuba doesn’t do so well.
No comparison is too extreme for liberals who hate Rush Limbaugh. On October 5, 2003, CBS Sunday Morning reporter Nancy Giles referred to the conservative radio star as “edgy.” She added, “Hitler would have killed in talk radio. He was edgy, too.”
Then-Today co-host Katie Couric was SO excited about the opportunity to bash Ronald Reagan that she mangled a statement by biographer Edmund Morris. Couric opened the September 27, 1999 Today with this: “Good Morning. The Gipper was an airhead!” Two days later, Morris shot this down: “Oh, good God no! He was a very bright man.”
CNN founder Ted Turner doesn’t think much of conservatives, but he’s got a blind spot to the atrocities in North Korea. On September 19, 2005, Turner appeared on CNN’s Situation Room and talked about his visit to the despotic country. He seemed to excuse the regime, saying, “I saw a lot of people over there. They were thin and they were riding bicycles instead of cars, but... I didn’t see any brutality.”
Rosie O’Donnell is a radical leftist and 9/11 truther conspiracy nut. But for some reason, ABC TWICE made her a co-host of The View. We just observed the 17th anniversary of 9/11 and it’s important to remember this quote from O’Donnell on September 12, 2006: “Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America.” On September 10, 2006, the late Andy Rooney, then a 60 Minutes journalist blamed the U.S. for the 9/11 attack: “It might be better if we figured out how to behave as a nation in a way that wouldn’t make so many people in the world want to kill us.
Which type of person are you? A liberal... or a racist? That’s the no-win scenario liberal journalist Bryant Gumbel created for conservatives on the September 5, 1989 edition of the Today show. Speaking of classic liberal bias, remember the late Peter Jennings? The World News Tonight anchor, who was raised in Canada, talked about how own distaste for America: “My mother... was pretty anti-American. And so I was, in some respects, raised with anti-Americanism in my blood — or in my mother’s milk, at least.
The level to which some members of the media would go in order to excuse or explain away the reprehensible conduct of Ted Kennedy never ceased to amaze. On August 27, 2009, journalist Melissa Lafsky, who at one time worked for the New York Times’s Freakonomics blog, wrote this about Mary Jo Kopechne, a woman Kennedy left to drown:
Given what we now know about Matt Lauer and his creepy office with an automatic door lock, this August 21, 2000 Today interview with Al Gore looks weirder in retrospect. Lauer repeatedly obsessed over “the kiss” between the then-Vice President and his then-wife Tipper Gore at the 2000 Democratic National Convention: “This is the ‘The Kiss.’... You really planted one on Mrs. Gore.” Lauer was interested in the kiss. VERY interested.
Sometimes the journalistic fawning over Barack Obama crossed a line from sycophantic to just plain weird. Such was the case for the August 2011 issue of Esquire, featuring a headline wondering “How can we not love Obama?” Writer Stephan Marche described the Democrat as an “astounding, ecstatic human achievement” and a “world-historical soul.” Okay...
Before he became the disgraced Brian Williams known for making stuff up, the NBC journalist was best known for some outrageous examples of media bias. On August 5, 2005, the then-Nightly News anchor interrogated Enola Gay navigator Dutch Van Kirk about dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima: “Do you have remorse for what happened? How do you deal with that in your mind?”
The “poet” Obama vs. the “zombie” conservatives? From 2008 through 2016, the contrast between how journalists fawned over Barack Obama and trashed conservatives was pretty clear. On July 28, 2016, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni rhapsodized over Obama: “He’s been more than our president. Time and again, he’s been our national poet.”
It seems as though Chris Matthews never lost the “thrill” up his leg. Seven and a half years after that infamous comment, the Hardball host reflected on Barack Obama’s presidency. On July 22, 2015, Matthews gushed: over the “immaculate,” “perfect” Democrat: “He's been immaculate in the presidency. Nobody has accused him of any corruption. His kids are perfect. His wife is perfect.”