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
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.]
CBS isn't known to be a network friendly to gun rights. So, it was shocking to see a positive, pro-Second Amendment-rights story on Tuesday. This Morning reporter Barry Petersen profiled a Colorado restaurant that encourages open-carry of weapons. Co-host Gayle King enthused, "Plus, gun-toting waitresses. Inside the restaurant with an appetite for firearms." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Petersen explained that the armed waitresses of Shooters started as an idea when "owner Lauren Boebert [began] carrying a gun." He added, "Boebert insist that the women be properly trained to use the guns." A local patron explained, "But the local people, plus the people in Western Colorado, are not going to be worried by someone with a handgun." Petersen did offer this alarmist question to the owner: "You really don't want anybody shooting your customers either. Right?" But the segment featured no voices from gun control groups or any alarm at all over the concept of open carry.
ABC, NBC and CBS on July 7 offered slanted coverage of violence between Israelis and Palestinians. Today co-host Natalie Morales recounted the deaths of seven Hamas members and qualified, "Israel says it carried out air strikes on at least 14 so-called terror sites." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] An NBC graphic underlined the network's skepticism, "Air strikes Carried Out On 14 'Terror' Sites."
However, the Today show at least offered context. Reporter Ayman Mohyeldin explained that the air strikes came in "the aftermath of a week of violent clashes triggered by the brutal murder of a Palestinian teenager burned alive in a revenge attack for the killing of three Jewish teens by suspected Palestinian militants." The reporting on ABC's Good Morning America and CBS This Morning, Monday, ignored the original murder of the three Israeli youths.
CBS journalists over the weekend were thrilled at the possibility that Hillary Clinton might be John McCain's "favorite Democrat." Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer on Sunday talked to the Arizona senator and enthused, "Hillary Clinton has said that you are her favorite Republican and I just want to ask you is she your favorite Democrat?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Monday, CBS This Morning replayed the question and included a graphic that hyped, "favorite Democrat?" Guest co-host Jeff Glor spun McCain's answer to make it sound more flattering. He insisted, "But for a moment on Sunday Republican Senator John McCain put her in the White House."
Hollywood produces a lot of liberal, anti-American films. But, occasionally, filmmakers get things right, offering movies and TV shows that showcase the best about our country. In honor of Independence Day, we at NewsBusters compiled five of the most patriotic movie or TV scenes.
Movies such as "Red Dawn" and "Rocky IV" captured a time when Hollywood actually portrayed the U.S. as a force for good and not evil. Other films on this list showed our country at its best, fighting for freedom. [See below for video of what made the list!]
ABC and NBC on Wednesday night and Thursday morning avoided a bleak new poll labeling Barack Obama the "worst president" since World War II. Only CBS This Morning on Thursday bothered to cover the story, allowing 21 seconds to the dour forecast. Guest co-host Anthony Mason explained, "Since World War II ended, 12 men have been President of the United States. A new Quinnipiac University poll puts President Obama on the bottom of that list." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The journalist added, "Thirty three percent of Americans rate him as the worst President." Only 13 percent said Richard Nixon. Not mentioned by Mason was the fact that the survey also shows that 45 percent think America would be better off if Romney had been elected. Only 38 percent say worse. Obama's overall approval rating stands at 40 percent. In contrast, ABC and NBC have played up the "worst" label when it applied to George W. Bush.
MSNBC analyst Howard Dean appeared on Now With Alex Wagner, Wednesday, to question the patriotism of Republicans. Discussing Barack Obama's attack on the congressional GOP, Dean sneered: "I'm certainly disgusted with them...I question their patriotism, really. I mean, we're paying them to do something and they are doing nothing." [video below the jump]
Talking to Wagner and Republican Michael Steele, Dean snarled, "I just think the Republican Congress is incompetent. They are incompetent and they are untrustworthy." Despite the howling from liberals in the media about questioning patriotism during the era of George W. Bush, MSNBC hosts do it all the time. On June 2, 2014, Ed Schultz snapped, "There's nothing American about Ted Cruz." On July 13, 2013, Chris Matthews wondered if Rupert Murdoch is a "true American."
The network disinterest in the Veterans Affairs scandal intensified on Wednesday. NBC and ABC ignored the story of a man whose treatment was approved – two years after death. CBS This Morning allowed a scant 22 seconds on the topic.
Co-anchor Gayle King related, "Douglas Chase of Rutland, Vermont was diagnosed with cancer back in 2011. The drive to a Boston hospital became too much. His family wanted to move his treatment to a nearby V.A. facility." She added, "Last month, the request was approved, 22 months after Douglas Chase passed away." Considering that coverage of the scandal engulfing Barack Obama's VA dropped 84 percent in June, the scant attention for this story shouldn't be shocking. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly grilled aging radical Bill Ayers when he appeared on Monday's Kelly File, demanding to know how many bombings he was responsible for. She also compared him to "bin Laden" and "Hitler." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Kelly began by hammering, "So we have to talk about you and your domestic terrorist past...How many bombings are you responsible for?" Ayers dodged and talked about the Weather Underground in general.
When pressed, he added, "Me personally, I've never talked about [my own bombings], never will." The '60s extremist has connections to Barack Obama and that relationship could have seriously damaged the Democrat in 2008. But the broadcast networks did their best to shield Obama. According to an MRC analysis at the time, only two network stories mentioned Obama's connection to the left-wing radical during the 2008 primaries. Then, when GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin raised the issue, forcing the media's hand, the networks decried it as a "bare-knuckle strategy."
In May, Americans were horrified by the scandal enveloping the Veterans Affairs and the media seemed to agree. World News anchor Diane Sawyer denounced the secret lists and substandard care as a "national outrage." But as the story grew and evolved in June, ABC, CBS and NBC seem to have already moved past the "outrage." In June, the networks allowed a scant 30 minutes, compared to 180 minutes in May. This is a drop of 84 percent.
According an analysis by the Media Research Center, ABC devoted 28 minutes in May to the VA controversy, but only five in June. CBS offered 78 minutes in May, but only 15 the following month. NBC's coverage dropped off a cliff in June, falling from 73 minutes to just ten. Journalists lost interest in the story even as big developments kept occurring. Among the examples:
The New York Times's public editor on Friday responded to criticism about the paper's coverage of the IRS scandal, admitting: "The Times was somewhat late in beginning to cover the latest development about the lost emails." An analysis by the Media Research Center's Jeffrey Meyer on Thursday found that "in the past 6 months (183 days), the New York Times has published only 13 news items on the IRS’ targeting of Tea Party groups."
Public editor Margaret Sullivan questioned David Joachim, the Times's Washington-based reporter, on the scant coverage. He offered an equivalence that seemed dismissive of complaints: "One side sees a Nixonian abuse of power and cover-up; the other sees an effort to smear the White House for electoral gain in the midterms. That stuff brings out passions."
An excited George Stephanopoulos on Friday recounted his flight on Air Force One and the thrill of watching the U.S. World Cup with Barack Obama. In the 8am hour, Stephanopoulos bragged to co-host Robin Roberts: "You were teasing me earlier about my trip yesterday on Air Force One. So, I'm just going to rub it in."
At the top of the show, he trumpeted, "ABC News exclusive: My day with the president on Air Force One, watching Team USA." The host enthused, "The President invited us up to his conference room to watch with his team onboard." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The GMA co-anchor then showed video of himself watching the soccer game with Obama and staff.
In an exclusive interview with Barack Obama, George Stephanopoulos on Friday hinted that the President is disappointed in the American people. The overall interview actually included some tough questions on subjects such as Iraq and the crisis of illegal immigration. But the Good Morning America co-host sympathized with Obama when discussing his crumbling poll numbers and noted that "the public is blaming" the President.
Stephanopoulos then worried, "More than half of the Americans have lost confidence in your ability to lead the country and get the job done. That must have been stunning to you. Disappointing?" The journalist optimistically wondered, "How do you turn it around?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
ABC News announced on Wednesday that journalist David Muir would be replacing Diane Sawyer as the anchor of World News in September. Muir has a history of fawning over "cool kid" Barack Obama and attacking conservatives. The Media Research Center has compiled a Profile in Bias of his worst examples of liberal bias. [See below for videos.]
On April 9, 2009, Muir, then the World News weekend anchor, thrilled over pictures of pictures of Obama at the G-20 summit. The journalist enthused to George Stephanopoulos: "...Heads of state are seemingly trying to get close to the head of the class, or the cool kid in the class, if you will, President Obama." [MP3 audio here.] On January 20, 2009, inauguration day, Muir insisted that even traffic jams had been hushed: "So many of the streets are closed, those that are open are clogged. But there were no car horns, no shouting."
ABC News announced on Wednesday that veteran liberal journalist Diane Sawyer will leave her anchor position at World News in September and be replaced by David Muir. According to TV Newser, Sawyer will continue to report for "primetime specials, big interviews" and in other capacities.
It's interesting that former Democratic operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos will not be replacing Sawyer at World News, as was anticipated by many. According to TV Newser, Stephanopoulos now "takes on the new role of chief anchor of ABC News. He’ll lead special reports, breaking news and election night coverage for the network as well as continuing with GMA and This Week.” He'll be the chief anchor, but not the host of World News?
Dark Knight star Gary Oldman excoriated liberal Hollywood in an interview with Playboy. The actor slammed the Obama administration, complaining, "I feel we need some real leadership, and it’s nowhere in sight. Look at what’s happening right now. John Kerry going off to China to talk about North Korea? What’s that going to do? The ludicrousness of it." The actor also went on a profanity-laced tirade to describe Nancy Pelosi. [Warning: vulgar language below the jump.]
Asked about the possibility of Hillary Clinton assuming the presidency in 2016, Oldman referenced a conservative character he played in a movie from 2000: "As far as Hillary, I guess I feel like my character in The Contender, Shelly Runyon. He doesn’t want Joan Allen to become president; he just believes she isn’t the right person for the job. It’s nothing to do with the fact that she’s a woman."
Robin Roberts, the co-host of Good Morning America, is a favorite pick of top Democrats to host fawning, content-free interviews and panel discussions. On Tuesday's GMA, she showcased an exclusive one-on-one interview with Michelle Obama. As though she were reading talking points, the journalist touted, "Now, to the big all-day White House summit on working families. President Obama making a strong pitch for guaranteed paid maternity leave." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
An on-screen graphic promoted the event (which originally aired on C-SPAN) as a "presidential push for working moms." Roberts's questions, such as they were, offered no challenges for the First Lady: "Women are going into the workforce...Is that part of the movement in letting everybody know that it is an issue for everyone in the family?" The host reminded attendees at the Washington D.C. event that Mrs. Obama is a "strong woman, a strong mother, a strong wife."