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. Previously, he was a contributing editor to NewsBusters and the MRC's senior news analyst. Scott's work has been featured or cited in outlets such as the Washington Post, the Washington Times, National Review, Red State, to name a few. He has also been linked to several times on the Drudge Report.
A July 2014 Media Reality Check by Scott documented how the networks shut out critics of Barack Obama's foreign policy, despite a summer of international crises. In April of 2014, Scott's blog on NewsBusters exposed how ABC falsely connected a former tech CEO to the hateful Westboro Baptist Church. This forced an apology by ABC News Vice President Jeffrey Schneider.
In April of 2013, Scott researched and wrote a Media Reality Check on ABC's complete blackout of abortionist Kermit Gosnell's trial. His stories on this subject and others were linked to on the Drudge Report, the Washington Times, Breitbart and Mediaite, to name a few outlets.
Scott is a graduate of George Mason University and is originally from Philadelphia, PA. He lives in Northern Virginia and can be contacted at SWhitlock@MRC.org. You can also follow Scott on Twitter.
Latest from Scott Whitlock
The week of July 13 to 19 saw increased violence between Israel and the Palestinians, an act of terror as a plane was blown out of the sky in Ukraine, and simmering tensions between Mexico and the United States over a border crisis. With that as a backdrop, the networks skipped White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest's July 14 claim that Barack Obama has "improved the tranquility of the global community."
The journalists at NBC, CBS and ABC, so far, have ignored the remark, offering no skepticism. NBC viewers wouldn't have known about the comment if they watched last week's Nightly News or Today. Yet, if they stayed up to 12:37am on July 16, they would have seen Late Night host Seth Meyers mock, "Yesterday, White House Press Secretary said that President Obama has brought tranquility to the global community. And that's good, Josh. You should always open with a joke." [See below for video of Earnest's original comment and Meyers's joke. MP3 audio here.]
As the border crisis in Texas intensifies, only one network on Monday bothered to cover Governor Rick Perry sending the National Guard to the border. CBS This Morning allowed 20 seconds to the latest development. NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America avoided the story.
This Morning co-host Charlie Rose explained, "The Republican will announce today his plan to mobilize some 1000 members of the Texas National Guard. Their mission is to beef up security." Rose added that the move came "amid the growing problem of immigrant children crossing into the southern states." He added, "Perry told Republicans in Iowa this weekend if the federal government won't secure the border, Texas will." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Texas ranchers must deal with gang members, drug dealers and violent criminals in their daily battle with illegal immigrants. Yet, journalists for the networks are largely uninterested in their plight. The Daily Signal on Friday talked to these men and women and found out just what goes on in south Texas.
Talking to reporter Josh Siegel, Linda Vickers, the owner of a ranch in Encino, Texas, explained, "We have [illegal] traffic almost every day...From women in distress to gang members." Pointing, she added, "In fact, one MS-13 was right up in that tree." Benny Martinez, the chief deputy sheriff in Brooks County, Texas, described the impact of illegal immigration: "You get your extortion cases that occur here in town. You get your human smuggling cases. You get your assault cases."
Joe Biden's appeal on Thursday to the left at the liberal Netroots Nation conference went unmentioned by the networks. The fact that the Vice President got heckled by the far-left was also ignored. While talking to the assembled progressives, Biden was interrupted by chants of "Stop deporting our families! Stop deporting our families!" [See video below.]
Biden applauded the outburst and immediately responded, "I respect your view and I share your view." Speaking of illegal immigrants, he lectured, "We should clap for those young people...Can you imagine the pain, the anxiety of coming home every day, wondering if your mother or father will still be there?"
NBC pulled reporter Ayman Mohyeldin from Gaza after the journalist witnessed an Israeli air strike that killed four children. Mohyeldin also made some derisive comments about Israel on his Facebook page, writing, "The #US State Department Spokesperson just said that #Hamas is ultimately responsible for #Israel shelling and killing 4 boys who were cousins aged 9-11 because Hamas didn't accept the #ceasefire. Discuss among yourselves."
Before reporting for NBC, Mohyeldin worked for Al Jazeera. On Tuesday, he parroted Hamas's denial that they use human shields, saying, "They definitely reject the labeling of using civilians as human shields....Hamas military wing people that we've been speaking to and others...they will say that this is the nature of the battlefield that they have to fight in."
The growing threat of pneumonia, influenza and other serious diseases at the border has not been a concern for ABC. Since June 8, the network completely ignored the potentially grave threat as illegals stream into America. Yet, on Thursday, Good Morning America's Jim Avila warned, "...Some children are leaving border patrol processing centers with high fevers, flu-like symptoms and other contagious diseases." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Highlighting children flown from a screening center in California, Avila noted that the youths were sick with "fevers and coughing." He added, "Others had chicken pox and Coxsackie virus." Ominously, the journalist revealed, "ABC News has learned of one confirmed case and two probable cases of the H1N1 influenza strain commonly known as swine flu linked to the unaccompanied children."
MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell on Wednesday followed up a story on four children who were killed in an Israeli air strike in Gaza by marveling, "How long can Israel withstand this kind of international pressure?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
While talking to reporter Martin Fletcher, she noted that Hamas had rejected an Israeli cease fire and insisted, the militant group is "getting the emotional and political benefit, if you will, of the horror of the deaths of their population."
ABC News chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross on Wednesday looked into a corruption probe that is now connected to Harry Reid. But rather than air the story, the network relegated it to the website. Writing on ABCNews.com, Ross explained that two Utah attorneys general have been charged with bribery and that one of the men "accepted payments to try and help an embattled local businessman make his case to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid."
In a front page story for the Washington Times, editor John Solomon noted that the "court filing that makes tantalizing references to a possible pay-to-play influence scheme involving U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid." ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday devoted two and a half minute to picking the best potato chip flavor, but ignored the ongoing criminal investigation. Similarly, CBS and NBC have (thus far) skipped it.
Fox News's Megyn Kelly on Monday slammed the softball questions offered to Attorney General Eric Holder during an interview on ABC, Sunday. The host hammered questioner Pierre Thomas for not bringing up the ever-growing IRS scandal, the administration's losses in the Spureme Court and other contentious issues. Instead, the journalist mostly failed to press Holder, allowing him to lash out at conservative racism.
On Fox, Kelly highlighted missed topics: "Where the investigation stands into the IRS’ targeting of conservatives...Why the attorney general hasn’t appointed a special counsel. Why former IRS official Lois Lerner has not been charged." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Kelly continued, "The attorney general is not asked to make the administration’s case for expanding executive authority."
The latest MSNBC "lean forward" ad continues the network's habit of explicitly pushing for liberal legislation. This time, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow pleaded for new gun control laws, rallying, "You can't get people to give up any access to guns...Get over it. Get over it. Or don't get over it. Don't get over it." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
She exhorted, "Don't believe it when they say there can be no changes to what we're used to, that there's no compromise that can be lived with." Maddow concluded, "We have a choice as to whether we accept that or whether we see a way to make change." This MSNBC commercial, which began airing on Monday, is just the latest example of a commercial that could be confused for a Democratic National Committee production.
Of the three morning shows on Monday, NBC and ABC ignored the latest controversy enveloping the scandal-plagued Veterans Affairs department. Only CBS This Morning bothered to cover the news that the VA has problems paying men and women compensation for service-related injuries. This Morning co-host Charlie Rose sped through the story in just 21 seconds. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Rose quickly related, "The agency is now accused of sloppiness and improper work, paying claims to veterans injured while serving." USA Today broke the story with writer Gregg Zoroya explaining, "While the VA managed last year to reduce a huge backlog in veteran claims for money, it was at the expense of appeals to those decision which are rapidly mounting, according to testimony slated for Monday by the VA Office of Inspector General."
Echoing past media defenses of Jimmy Carter, Good Morning America's Martha Raddatz on Monday indicated that there are simply too many international flare-ups for John Kerry and the Obama administration to effectively focus on just one. Referring to the ongoing violence between the Israelis and the Palestinians, Raddatz lamented, "But diplomats really only so much bandwidth when they're dealing with things. They have to prioritize." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The journalist sympathized, adding that such prioritization is "very, very difficult right now with what's going on in the world." Explaining why it's so hard for the administration to handle these problems, Raddatz reminded, "But there really are so many crises that he's dealing with right now. You've got Afghanistan. You've got Iraq."
The journalists at NBC's Today on Friday made sure to avoid using the word "illegal" and instead favored "migrant families" and, simply, "immigrants." ABC's Good Morning America followed a similar path, noting the "children crossing the border from Central America." Only CBS This Morning host Jeff Glor referred to "the flood of illegal immigrants."
On Today, news reader Craig Melvin carefully noted, "...The U.S. border patrol has said it has stopped sending Central American children and families to San Diego after they are arrested in South Texas." He added that "protesters blocked a road and forced bus loads of immigrants to reroute." Melvin told viewers that Congress is working on " a possible compromise to deport migrant families more quickly." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Migrant families or illegal immigrants?
The hosts of Good Morning America, the superficial ABC morning show, on Friday gushed over a beautiful woman who was spotted at a World Cup match and given a modeling contract by L'Oreal. Yet, Robin Roberts and reporter Gio Benitez somehow managed to ignore the important part of the story: Axelle Despiegelaere has already been fired by the company after joking about "hunting Americans."
Completely avoiding the resolution, Roberts enthused, "For one woman, [the World Cup] offered her a chance of a lifetime." Benitez hyped Despiegelaere and her "golden ticket." He raved, "As the world's attention was on the soccer field, World Cup photographers had their lenses focused on one beautiful face in the crowd." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Giving half the story, Benitez continued, "She came out a winner. L'oreal offering mod gig in this beauty tutorial for their hair products." The journalist didn't tell viewers about what Despiegelaere said on her Facebook page.
Want to be nominated for an Emmy? Just get Barack Obama on your show. The internet show Between Two Ferns was honored on Thursday for the category "Outstanding Short-Format." The six and a half minute episode featured the President joking with host/actor Zach Galifianakis as he promoted ObamaCare. According to the Washington Post, it would be the third award connected to the President.
Post writer Veronica Toney explained, "President Obama has already won two Grammy Awards for best spoken word album for 2008's 'The Audacity of Hope” and 2006's 'Dreams from My Father.'” In March, the networks swooned over Obama's appearance with Galifianakis.
Of the three morning shows on Thursday, only CBS allowed that Israel's targets in the ongoing violence could be called "terrorists." ABC and NBC described "militants " The networks all highlighted the plight of Palestinian civilians hurt or killed by Israel. But their journalists failed to wonder if Hamas was using people as human shields. Instead, Good Morning America's Alex Marquardt highlighted, "So far, around 80 Palestinians killed, the vast majority civilians. This morning, eight members of a single family mistakenly killed." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Translating from a woman whose house was destroyed, Marquardt quoted, "There is no reason to attack my house...There are no militants here." On CBS This Morning, Holly Williams narrated, "The Palestinians have no protection. This home was flattened by an Israeli strike yesterday. A man and two children were rushed to the hospital." But only CBS deviated from referring to Hamas as "militants."
MSNBC host Michael Eric Dyson on Wednesday lashed out at Sarah Palin, accusing the conservative of committing "treason" against Barack Obama by calling for the President's impeachment. The guest host of the Ed Show first praised the President for "his tireless effort to help [illegal children who have crossed the border]." Dyson then fumed, "The President's push towards positive and crucial change was met with treasonous accusations." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
During the last administration, however, Dyson called for the impeachment of George W. Bush. In a highly edited clip of Palin on Fox News, the Republican insisted, "Impeachment is a message that has to be sent to our President that we're not going to put up with lawlessness... I really want Congress to do its job, the constitutional power that they have to halt an imperial presidency."
You can't make this stuff up: Liberal actor Robert Redford has signed on to play Dan Rather in a film biography entitled Truth. The movie will be an adaption of Mary Mapes's book, Truth and Duty: The Press, The President, and The Privilege of Power. Both Rather and Mapes were forced out after using fake documents in a story for CBS attacking then-President George W. Bush.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the movie "centers on the firestorm that erupted after Rather reported that George W. Bush had gotten to serve in the National Guard in order to avoid the Vietnam War." Although Rather may be pleased with the big screen adaption, Redford wasn't his first choice. According to the September 2, 1990 Boston Herald, he offered this head scratcher: "The best person to star in the movie of my life is: Arsenio Hall."
For the second day in a row, CBS This Morning reported live from Seattle as Washington State officially legalizes marijuana. The on-screen graphic for the segment promoted the "high times" sure to come. Standing in front of Cannabis City, reporter Adriana Diaz enthused, "At 12 o'clock, Tuesday, dubbed high noon, Cannabis City's owner cut police tape to symbolically mark the legal sale of recreational pot for the first time." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The story featured celebrations and footage of an employee yelling, "Open for business! Hooray!" Only near the end of the segment did Diaz note that some people are "taking issue" with the legalization. She featured Courtney Popp, the special deputy with the Washington state patrol. Popp explained, "Ever since the legalization passed, every park you go to, every large public event, there are people openly smoking marijuana."
According to TMZ, 9/11 truther and denouncer of "radical Christianity" Rosie O'Donnell has signed a deal with ABC to once again be a permanent host of The View. In the wake of the retirement of Barbara Walters and the departures of Jenny McCarthy and Sherri Shepherd, the show has turned to the woman who once said this of America: "I just want to say something. 655,000 Iraqi civilians are dead. Who are the terrorists?"
On September 12, 2006, after token conservative Elisabeth Hasselbeck raised the threat of "radical Islam," O'Donnell spat back: "Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America where we have a separation of church and state." On March 29, 2007, the talk show host promoted 9/11 conspiracy theories on the show: "I do believe it is the first time in history that fire has ever melted steel. I do believe that it defies physics for the World Trade Center Tower Seven, building seven, which collapsed in on itself." [See below for video and MP3 audio of O'Donnell's top five most shocking quotes.]