Scott Whitlock is the associate editor for the Media Research Center's NewsBusters.org site.
Scott Whitlock is the associate editor for the Media Research Center's NewsBusters.org website. Previously, he was a contributing editor and the MRC's senior news analyst. Scott's work has been published in The Washington Times, National Review and other outlets. He has been cited in publications such as The Washington Post, Red State, to name a few. Scott's articles have also repeatedly been linked to on the Drudge Report.
Scott is a graduate of George Mason University and grew up in Northern Virginia. He can be contacted at SWhitlock@MRC.org. You can also follow Scott on Twitter.
Latest from Scott Whitlock
On Saturday’s "Good Morning America," correspondent Christianne Klein hyped this past weekend’s global warming rallies by reporting hyperbolic and misleading information on the subject of rising sea levels. Reporting from lower Manhattan before a gaggle of environmental activists, she said of the protesters, "Now, where they will stand represents where the Manhattan coastline could be if the sea level rises just 10 feet, actually, a moderate estimate for global warming standards."
A 10 feet increase is a moderate estimate? Not quite. As the CATO Institute's Patrick Michaels noted, the much hyped U.N. report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggested a rise of inches, not feet, is likely:
Under the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's medium-range emission scenario for greenhouse gases, a rise in sea level of between 8 and 17 inches is predicted by 2100....Even 17 inches is likely to be high, because it assumes that the concentration of methane, an important greenhouse gas, is growing rapidly.
According to TV Newser, football fans can probably expect some liberal bias in the upcoming NFL season. Keith Olbermann, the reliably left-wing MSNBC host, will become the co-anchor of NBC’s "Football Night in America":
MSNBC host Keith Olbermann is returning to network sports after a six year absence as a co-host of NBC's Football Night in America.
"This will, obviously, be great fun and a great privilege for me," Olbermann says. "To be reunited with NBC Sports, and Dick, and the entire production team, produces all the warm-and-fuzzies you'd be expecting. And even if they weren't old friends and colleagues, to get to work with the nonpareil of sportscasters in Bob, and the most insightful and honest of sports analysts in Cris, will be rewarding and challenging. I hope I can hold up my end of the equation."
Readers may recall that, back in 2000, radio star Rush Limbaugh auditioned to join ABC’s "Monday Night Football" broadcast, an act that horrified the Washington Post and other liberal outlets.
According to ABC’s Terry Moran, the Duke lacrosse players may have been falsely accused of committing rape, but that doesn’t mean we should feel too sorry for them. As the MRC’s Ken Shepherd noted, “Leave it to a liberal journalist to bring racial tension and class warfare into a story about three men exonerated of rape allegations after a year of prosecutorial misconduct.”
On the same day that "Good Morning America" weatherman Sam Champion reported on the April snowstorms hitting parts of the East Coast, ABC promoted a new special promoting liberal environmental advocacy. This shouldn't be a suprise since GMA kicked off the week by promoting Laurie David's global warming tour.
"Good Morning America," which will participate in a day-long push for liberal environmental action on April 20, touted the "long way" California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has come in adopting left-wing policies. GMA co-host Diane Sawyer asserted that the former actor is now trying "to save the planet for real."
ABC anchors Sawyer and Chris Cuomo seem to have found a Republican that they actually like. Both hosts repeatedly mentioned Schwarzenegger and the presidency (an office he's ineligible to seek). Below is a sampling of their comments:
Chris Cuomo: "In fact, he's out in front of one of the biggest political issues facing our time and he has a lot of presidential buzz surrounding him, even though he's not allowed to run."
Cuomo [To Schwarzenegger]: "You’re on the cover of ‘Newsweek’ magazine. Frustrating that you can't be on the national stage running for president?"
Cuomo: "You do, though, think about what it would be like to run for president if you could?"
During Thursday’s "Good Morning America," ABC ran a promo previewing a day-long push for liberal environmental action. The event, which takes place on April 20, will encompass ‘Good Morning America,’ ‘Nightline’ and ‘World News.’ The ad’s narrator promises a "call to action," and notes that the proceedings be hosted by GMA’s Diane Sawyer and will culminate in a hour long special at 10pm:
ABC ad: "Mother nature is sending us a message and we hear it. In eight days, an extraordinary global event. Travel live to all seven continents with ABC News and Diane Sawyer, revealing first hand the real changes in our planet. This is a call to action."
Diane Sawyer: "On Friday, April 20th, ABC News will show you how and what you can do to help. Then, starting at 10 pm, don’t miss the landmark special: ‘Planet Earth 2007.’"
On Thursday’s “Good Morning America,” reporter Kate Snow hosted a segment on whether the Duke lacrosse players will be able to get their reputations back. In so doing, she discussed Reverend Al Sharpton’s role in falsely accusing New York prosecutor Steven Pagones of raping then 15-year-old Tawana Brawley in 1987.
Though this segment was not specifically related to the unfolding Don Imus story, GMA has thus far been the only network morning show to interview Pagones and, by implication, seriously question Sharpton’s role as moral arbiter in the Imus case. (In fairness, “Today” has mentioned the Tawana Brawley case in general as has MSNBC.) After discussing the Duke case, Snow segued into other high profile, false accusations:
Kate Snow: "Steven Pagones knows exactly how that is. 20 years ago, he was very publicly accused of raping 15-year-old Tawana Brawley."
Al Sharpton [file footage of Sharpton]: "Six white men, one named Steve Pagones. I repeat it again! The assistant district attorney of Dutchess County, were among those that attacked her."
On the Thursday edition of what would be MSNBC’s "Imus in the Morning" simulcast, NBC reporter David Gregory spent almost 15 minutes of air time discussing the radio host's firing with the Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.
Gregory, who quarreled with Sharpton on the April 10 "Hardball" over his role in the Tawana Brawley false rape charges, did not broach the subject again. He did, however, challenge Jackson over his use of the slur "Hymie Town":
David Gregory: "You referred to New York as ‘Hymie Town’ in the past. You, you apologized for that and you expected and indeed retained your platform in America as a civil rights leader and as an important voice in this country. Why, again, if I may, should Imus be denied that same opportunity for redemption and to retain a platform that potentially could be used for good?"
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," co-host Diane Sawyer reported on the second day of her tour of Afghanistan. Unlike previous trips to Syria and Iran, the anchor had no dictator to coddle. She did, however, have time to ask somewhat bewildering questions to members of the United States military. Speaking to one soldier who just had his tour extended, Sawyer wondered if the young man ever felt like just giving up:
Diane Sawyer: "How do you make it through 15 months out here? I mean–"
U.S. Military member [Name not given]: "Well, it's just one of those things. I mean– We, we have a job to do."
Sawyer: "How many times a month do you say, I don't know that I can do another month of this? A day?"
On Monday’s "Good Morning America," weatherman and left-wing environmental activist Sam Champion took his global warming lobbying to the next step. Champion appeared at Southern Methodist University in Texas with liberal celebrity activist Laurie David and noted anti-Bush singer Sheryl Crow for the start of the "Stop Global Warming College Tour."
It’s rather amazing that ABC is allowing on-air talent to kick off a political campaign with specific policy agendas. Would Champion appear at the commencement of a nationwide "Stop Abortion" tour? ABC even let David, wife of "Seinfeld" co-creator Larry David, and Crow introduce the 8:30am hour. Co-host Robin Roberts, ignoring David’s liberal activism, referred to the celebrity wife simply as a "global warming activist":
Laurie David: "Hi, I'm Laurie David."
Sheryl Crow: "And I'm Sheryl Crow. And we're here in Dallas, Texas at SMU!"
David: "To kick off the Stop Global Warming College Tour. Good morning, America!"
Members of the media are working environmental bias into the oddest segments. "Good Morning America" weatherman Sam Champion reported this week on the trendy new concept of "green weddings." According to Mr. Champion, "more and more Americans" are embracing ideas such as not using electricity during their wedding and holding the reception in a barn. Sounds great, right ladies?
On the same topic, the "Today" show’s Martin Savidge worried that climate change could have a negative effect on the nation’s pets. (Presumably, this includes Savidge’s dog "Girlfriend.") On Friday, the aforementioned Mr. Champion plugged a global warming study that predicted overly warm spring temperatures. This was right after his early April forecast of brutal cold for the Northeast.
On Friday’s "Good Morning America," weatherman and liberal environmental activist Sam Champion hyped a new global warming study released on April 6. The ABC anchor also featured a representative from a left-wing environmental group and failed to identify the organization’s political slant.
Only minutes after reporting on the "arctic blast" of unusually cold temperatures that much of the country is facing, Champion touted a new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that noted "we’re already facing earlier springs."
When Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton announced she had taken in $26 million in campaign donations on Monday, "Good Morning America" focused on the "historic," "staggering," and record shattering nature of the total. But on Tuesday, April 3, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney received only suspicion over his equally impressive announcement of a $23 million fund-raising total.
GMA host Robin Roberts repeatedly asked Romney questions such as "where is the money coming from, Governor?" Ms. Roberts also wondered how the candidate’s Mormon faith factored into his fund-raising. She even challenged the Republican hopeful to take a page from John Kennedy and address his faith:
Robin Roberts: "Many are wondering if you will do, take a page from former President Kennedy, who had addressed the nation about his Catholic upbringing. Do you anticipate, anticipate doing the same?"
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program featured a segment on the growing feud between "View" host Rosie O’Donnell and FNC anchor Bill O’Reilly. Although reporter Taina Hernandez did highlight some of Ms. O’Donnell’s more extreme statements, the segment mostly portayed the back-and-forth as simply a celebrity squabble.
And one topic that GMA left out? Any reference to Rosie’s recent on-air touting of 9/11 conspiracy theories. Co-host Robin Roberts previewed the segment with a tease that offered moral equivalence between the FNC host and the woman who recently suggested that the kidnapping of British Marines was a modern day Gulf of Tonkin incident. Roberts wondered, "Has Rosie gone too far this time?" But she quickly covered herself by asking, "Maybe O’Reilly’s crossed the line? We’ll let you be the judge and weigh in on that."
On Monday’s "Good Morning America," ABC weatherman Sam Champion again promoted the liberal environmental agenda. This time, he hosted a segment on the phenomena of green weddings that, according to Champion, "more and more Americans" are embracing.
Additionally, the piece featured footage of such an event. One of the participants in this green wedding just happened to be an employee of the Sierra Club, a left wing environmental organization:
Sam Champion: "Weddings are, of course, about celebrating a couple's love for one another. And now some couples are taking that just a little step further, not just sharing their love for one another but also sharing their love for the world around them and the environment. It's the latest trend more and more Americans are finding. And a way to go green, making a commitment and a statement with style."
GMA Graphic: "It’s Cool to Be Green"
This week, the Media Research Center celebrated 20 years of busting news bias. At the annual MRC 20th Anniversary Gala, Conservative legend Rush Limbaugh brought down the house with his closing speech on the success of the alternative media.
On Monday, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton received a gift from "Good Morning America": A 30 minute "town hall" infomercial where a GMA host lauded the New York Senator for being ahead of her time.
On Thursday’s morning shows, all three networks seemed to take delight in showing "MC Rove" ham it up for Wednesday night’s Radio & Television Correspondents Association dinner. None, however, showed the video footage of the distinguished Brian Williams, anchor of the "NBC Nightly News," burping the "Battle Hymn of the Republic." The Los Angeles Times, one media outlet that did report the event, covered it this way:
For their first act, [comedians Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood] recruited NBC anchor Williams and Cheryl Gould, senior vice president of NBC News, to deliver the sound effects for a nonsensical skit about a hunter and a lawyer -- one that culminated with the two volunteers burping "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" to the incredulous delight of their colleagues.
On Wednesday’s "Good Morning America," co-anchor Chris Cuomo interviewed GOP presidential candidate John McCain. In the piece, Cuomo quoted a congressional colleague who called the Arizona Senator’s position on Iraq "arrogant and self delusional."
The ABC host also wondered if McCain needed "rose colored glasses" to see progress in the war and prompted the ‘08 contender to choose which Democrat he’d like to see in the White House. All of this stood in stark contrast to the fawning, sycophantic "town hall" meeting that "Good Morning America" hosted with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Monday.
During that event, GMA co-host Robin Roberts told Clinton her plan for universal health care was ahead of its time and generally tossed softball questions. And she certainly didn’t ask the New York Senator if she’d prefer Mitt Romney or John McCain in the White House.
According to CNN’s Jack Cafferty, President Bush would jump at the opportunity to use the kidnapping of 15 British soldiers as a pretext to invade Iran. On the Monday edition of "Situation Room," Cafferty asserted that he hoped U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair doesn’t ask George W. Bush to join a coalition of the willing whose goal it is to free the captives.
On Monday’s "Good Morning America," co-anchor Robin Roberts hosted a fawning town hall meeting with presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. During the opening segment, which encompassed much of the program’s first half hour, Roberts didn’t bother challenging the New York Senator and, instead, asked her softball questions.