Matt Hadro

Matt Hadro's picture
former MRC News Analyst

Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014

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CNN's New Day provided Hillary Clinton with some free publicity on Monday, touting her "highly-anticipated" memoir while swatting back criticism of her as "a little amateurish."

CNN's Brianna Keilar reported on memoir excerpt where Hillary talked of her late mother, which Politico's Maggie Haberman called "a very human, relatable story" which was "supposed to let people relate to her, understand who she is, connect." However, when CNN brought up Sen. Marco Rubio grading Clinton's term as secretary of state with a "F," co-host Chris Cuomo dismissed that take.

On Friday's New Day, the CNN panel was discussing whether or not Republicans are politicizing the Benghazi tragedy and The Atlantic's Molly Ball admitted the subject matter was playing right into Democratic hands.

"This is exactly the story that Democrats would like us to be talking about, right?" she asserted. "Instead of talking about the facts, instead of talking about an investigation that seems serious and that is unearthing new information, we're talking about how political it is."

MSNBC's Chris Matthews slammed Republican policies like voter ID laws and a special investigation of the Benghazi attacks as an "insidious plan" that could backfire like "Watergate."

"Let me finish tonight with this insidious plan to scare up right-wing voters and scare off the votes the of those who tend to vote Democratic," Matthews ranted at the end of Thursday's Hardball. "The trouble with nasty politics like the kind we're getting from the House leadership is it makes you look nasty," he continued.

Soon after the House voted to create a special select committe to investigate the Benghazi attacks, ABC ignored the story on Thursday evening. NBC spent just 27 seconds on the development, and CBS focused its report on Democratic disgust with the "partisan" move.

ABC's World News instead spent over two minutes reporting on former teen star Jason Patric's custody battle and another two minutes on how online stores vary their prices for different customers.

After conservative guest Will Cain scolded society for "cheap hashtag activism" on Boko Haram, CNN anchor Don Lemon exploded and accused him of a "dog whistle" insult of First Lady Michelle Obama.

Cain first ranted that "We do cheap outrage on TV. We do cheap hash tag activism when it comes to the girls in – with Boko Haram." He emphasized that he was accusing "society" and not pointing fingers at any one particular person, but after he criticized the government for using Twitter as its policy, Lemon jumped on him for what he saw as a back-handed slap at Michelle Obama: "I think what he said was a dog whistle to say, putting up a - you're talking about the first lady."

In an interview that aired on Wednesday's World News, ABC's Robin Roberts flattered Hillary Clinton as she cited Clinton's popularity to ask if she was considering a presidential run.    

"When I look at your Twitter page, you – the last thing you list is saying you're a glass ceiling cracker. And no one feels it would be better to crack that glass ceiling than to have a woman as president, and many believe that should be you," Roberts told Clinton. She did mention the House GOP launching a special investigation into the Benghazi attacks that happened while Clinton was secretary of state, but she allowed Clinton to distance herself from any more criticism.

Tuesday's CBS Evening News ran a mushy feature on Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren's liberal plan to let Americans refinance their student loans by hiking taxes on the wealthy.

Nowhere did CBS explain that Warren would pay for the refinancing through tax hikes. What also went unreported is that Warren's bill is a Democratic ploy to garner the youth vote in an election year. The network instead spent the entire report making the Senator's case, quoting Warren and a supporter of her proposal arguing that the government needed to let Americans refinance their "crushing" loans.

The broadcast networks all took a climate change study released by the White House and ran with it on Tuesday evening, advancing the administration's narrative by hyping the threats of climate change while barely quoting any critics.

ABC's coverage was so soft that correspondent Ginger Zee bragged like a groupie that President Obama asked a question of her: "And then something interesting happened, Diane. The President actually asked me a question. He wanted to know which storm was the worst that I had ever covered."

On Monday's Daily Show, Comedy Central's Jon Stewart mocked the Right's outrage over the lack of Benghazi coverage in the media.

"You know, there are very few things we've heard more about in the past year and a half. The only thing we've heard more about in the past year and a half may be the Kardashians," Stewart quipped. Yet as the MRC has documented, the mainstream media either ignored key findings after the attacks or reported them for a period of time before moving on from the story.

According to MSNBC's Chris Matthews, Republicans are using Benghazi like a "voodoo doll" against Hillary Clinton by establishing a select committee of Congress to investigate the attacks. Matthews opened up Monday's Hardball with his screed against Republicans.

"The enemies of Hillary Clinton, by that I mean the partisan enemies, have got their voodoo doll. It's called Benghazi. Every time they put the pin in, they hope it hurts Hillary. Every time they say the word, they hope it scares her," Matthews sneered.

MSNBC's Chris Matthews ranted on Thursday's Hardball that "it's a ridiculous" to hold the Obama administration culpable for the lack of security around the Benghazi compound during the September, 2012 attacks.

"But the idea that somebody else should have been covering for him [Ambassador Chris Stevens], that someone else should have the army there waiting to defend him, I think it's a little ridiculous," Matthews insisted. "How would the President even know he [Stevens] was going on that trip out there to Benghazi?

House Republicans determined that just two-thirds of ObamaCare enrollees paid their first month's premium in the federal marketplace, but the broadcast networks ignored their finding on Thursday evening, while FNC's Special Report with Bret Baier devoted a full story. If true, the report would drastically undercut the White House's number of ObamaCare enrollees.

A report by the House Energy and Commerce Committee found that, according to data from all insurance providers, "only 67 percent of individuals and families that had selected a health plan in the federally facilitated marketplace had paid their first month’s premium and therefore completed the enrollment process."

On Thursday evening, ABC was the only broadcast network to cover the day's congressional hearing on the Benghazi attacks. Both CBS and NBC ignored the hearing. ABC only covered the story for 46 seconds; they gave twice that amount of coverage to the U.S. Olympic speedskating suits.

World News quoted retired Air Force Brigadier General Robert Lovell, at the U.S. Africa Command headquarters during the attacks, telling Congress that the military "should have done more" to respond. ABC also included the White House's response that according to top military brass, no units were close enough to respond. What ABC didn't include was Lovell's implied answer to that excuse: "The point is we should have tried."

Wednesday's Colbert Report, in an apparent boost to Democrats before November's mid-term elections, mocked GOP congresswoman Renee Ellmers and hosted her Democratic opponent Clay Aiken for a friendly interview.

Host Stephen Colbert made it clear who he supports for North Carolina's second congressional district. He mocked the "message of hope" Ellmers sent to furloughed federal workers after she voted to shut down the government and joked, "if she weren't enough of a shoe-in already, get a load of who the Democrats are running against her." [See video below. Audio here.]

On Wednesday evening, ABC and NBC finally reported e-mails suggesting a White House post-Benghazi cover-up, although NBC's report ignored the suggestion of a cover-up. After reporting the story on Wednesday morning, CBS ignored it in the evening.

While the ABC World News covered the e-mails in-depth, the NBC Nightly News only offered a news brief and skirted over key details like the purpose of the e-mails, which, as ABC reported, "suggest the White House blamed the attacks on an anti-Islamic video in order to deflect criticism of the President's policies."

CNN's Jake Tapper gave a full segment to Democratic Congressman Bennie Thompson calling Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas an "Uncle Tom," but the broadcast networks completely ignored the controversy on Wednesday evening.

The networks' blackout of a Democrat using a racial insult against a Justice shows a clear double standard after their deluge of coverage of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling's racist remarks about his players. And just last week, the networks highlighted Republicans and conservatives who supported rancher Cliven Bundy's stand against the federal authorities but who had to backtrack after Bundy's racist rant went public.

MSNBC guest Dorian Warren thinks that racism is behind the GOP's opposition to Medicaid expansion, affirmative action, and a minimum wage hike. Warren is a professor of political science and public affairs at Columbia University.

"There's a distinction we should make between racist words and speech, and racist practices and policies. We should be focused on the policies and the racial impact of policies that those Republican leaders frankly stand for," Warren said on Tuesday's The Last Word. It wasn't enough that GOP leaders like Rep. John Boehner and Sen. Mitch McConnell denounced the racist statements of former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. [See video below. Audio here.]

Newly-surfaced e-mails link the White House directly to false talking points that were disseminated days after the Benghazi attacks in September of 2012, but the broadcast networks ignored the story on Tuesday evening.

As Judicial Watch reported, e-mails from the White House to then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice instructed her to "underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy." Rice was roundly criticized for appearing on five Sunday talk shows and blaming the attacks on a protest of an anti-Islam internet video, information that turned out to be false.

Tuesday's World News ignored ABC's own poll showing President Obama's lowest approval rating of his presidency. ABC gave a scant 18 seconds to the numbers on Good Morning America earlier that day.

Voters also preferred a Republican Congress in this year's election. As reported, "Registered voters by 53-39 percent in the national survey say they'd rather see the Republicans in control of Congress as a counterbalance to Obama’s policies than a Democratic-led Congress to help support him."

Monday evening's broadcast networks ignored Secretary of State John Kerry saying that Israel risks becoming an "apartheid state" if it doesn't adopt a two-state solution with Palestine. Kerry made the comments on Friday in a closed-door meeting, and the ensuing outrage extended to both Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill.

"A two-state solution will be clearly underscored as the only real alternative. Because a unitary state winds up either being an apartheid state with second-class citizens—or it ends up being a state that destroys the capacity of Israel to be a Jewish state," Kerry said, in comments reported by the Daily Beast. The uproar over his comment forced the State Department to issue a clarification, and Kerry apologized on Monday. [A portion of Fox News' Special Report's coverage of the story can be seen below.]