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 viewers in February were treated to a rare sight: An anchor disagreeing with the accepted liberal position on an issue. Ed Schultz publicly came out in support of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. On the February 5 program, he lectured progressives to "confront reality" and support construction. Well, that didn't last long. On March 4, Schultz compared Keystone to Vietnam and wondered if it was as "bad." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The host began his program by recounting how protests against the Vietnam war started small and grew to an estimated 500,000 in 1969. Schultz compared, "Is the pipeline that bad?" After noting that only 400 people came out to rally against Keystone, Schultz connected, "I don't know what it's going to take to stop the pipeline and get the message to the President of the United States." With a picture of Vietnam protests behind him, he concluded, "But for reference, this is what we had to do to stop war."
Of the three networks, only CBS has investigated the "outrage" of Mayor Bill de Blasio's "attacks" against charter schools in New York City. CBS This Morning journalist Don Dahler on Tuesday revealed, "Thousands of concerned parents are traveling to New York's state capitol Albany this morning, looking to draw attention to the plight of the charter school movement." Dahler referred to this movement as one parents believe "is now under attack." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
After showing one New York mother who praised the impact charter schools had on her children, the journalist informed, "But plans to expand their schools have been repealed by New York's New York City's new mayor, Bill de Blasio." A CBS graphic surprisingly challenged the liberal politician: "Charter School Showdown: Outrage Over NYC Mayor's Anti-Charter Policies."
The journalists at World News on Monday and Good Morning America on Tuesday ignored the results of their own poll, a survey finding Democrats in deep trouble for the 2014 midterms. It's not as though GMA was packed with hard news and there was no available time. The morning show devoted an astonishing 18 minutes to promoting the new season of Dancing With the Stars. ABC News labeled this a "GMA dance party."
According to the ABC News/Washington Post poll, "...Republicans [are] in a stronger position than Democrats in the states with Senate races this fall and more than holding their own in the battle for control of the House." Writers Dan Balz and Scott Clement explained, "In the 34 states with Senate races, 50 percent of voters say they favor Republicans and 42 percent favor Democrats."
Chris Matthews is known for his verbal gaffes, but his political prognosticating doesn’t age well either. As Right Scoop noted, the Hardball anchor eagerly mocked Mitt Romney in 2012 for suggesting that Russia is one of the “world’s worst actors” and “our number one geopolitical foe.” On March 27, 2012, Matthews sneered that this was “Romney's latest misstep, his geopolitical faux pas.”
The anchor proclaimed, “I don’t know what decade this guy is living. It sounds like '72, '52 even. It's not Stalin over there. It's not Khrushchev. It's not Brezhnev. It's [Dmitry] Medvedev.” Regarding the way Medvedev dismissed Romney’s comments, Matthews offered a naive analysis: “I don't know Medvedev. We've got mixed views to these guys. But he seems so sophisticated and witty about his response.”
MSNBC journalist and former Newsweek editor Howard Fineman on Sunday night offered perhaps the most bewildering Oscar tweet of the night. As 12 Years a Slave won best picture and Alfonso Cuaron became the first Mexican-born director to win an Academy Award, Fineman tweeted, “#AcademyAwards show diversity, tolerance, cultural creativity of US in Obama Era. Hard power matters, per Putin, but Oscars r as powerful.”
The Oscars are “as powerful” as Vladimir Putin? Will member of the Academy be invading a European country? Also, is it really necessary to bring Barack Obama into every discussion, even the seemingly unrelated Oscars? Fineman received considerable blowback from his tweet and scrambled to clarify.
Newly minted journalist Ronan Farrow was given the Cronkite Award for Excellence in Exploration and Journalism this week, but he seemed incapable of basic fact checking while interviewing Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards. On Friday, Farrow allowed the pro-abortion Richards to get away with this whopper: "We are not a partisan organization. We're just looking to make sure that people in office respect women's health and rights." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
In reality, 100 percent of Planned Parenthood's political donations in 2014 have, so far, been to Democrats. In 2010 and 2012, that number was 99 percent. This hardly qualifies as "non-partisan." However, nothing about Farrow's questions could be described as journalistic. After praising the liberal group's effectiveness, Farrow wondered, "Why do you think that is? Why have you think you've been so successful in the past?"
According to NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, It's an "outrage" that members of Congress didn't sit in rapt attention to every word of self-admitted "pothead" Seth Rogen. The comedian and actor appeared on Capitol Hill, Thursday, to testify on the issue of Alzheimer's disease. As is common, senators filtered in and out of the hearing. Later, Rogen took to Twitter, railing against the poor showing. NBC dutifully played along.
Williams alerted, "Still ahead for us tonight, outrage. A funny guy gets suddenly serious before a roomful of empty chairs in Washington." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] According to journalist Peter Alexander, the actor felt the sting of testifying "before a largely absent Senate subcommittee." Alexander sympathized, asserting this was an example of how "Washington wasn't listening." However, the practice is fairly standard as members have meetings, votes and other congressional duties.
In another attempt to promote global warming activism, CBS This Morning journalists on Thursday warned viewers that climate change could lead to the end of snow and skiing. Co-host Charlie Rose informed viewers that "the author of a controversial book believes winter sports could be doomed." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Yet, if there was much "controversy" in the notions pushed by writer Porter Fox, they hardly made it onto the CBS segment. Instead, reporter Don Dahler tossed this softball to Fox: "If thousands of scientists agree that this is happening why are there elements who resist it so much?" The author of "Deep: The Story of Skiing and the Future of Snow," responded by lecturing, "I think there's a long history of doubting science when it goes against the grain of what you want to happen."
In a surprising change, CBS This Morning journalists on Thursday devoted almost five minutes to investigating the "debacle" of ObamaCare and the administration's "frantic efforts" to save it from total failure. Co-host Norah O'Donnell even went so far as to inform viewers of a new network poll: "...Forty two percent want the law repealed. Only six percent think it's working well." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
O'Donnell and Charlie Rose talked to Steven Brill, who has written a cover for Time magazine "on the failed roll out of HealthCare.gov and the White House's desperate effort to fix the web site." A CBS graphic explained, "Rebooting ObamaCare: Inside the Frantic Attempts to Save HealthCare.gov."
The frothing rage against Arizona's religious liberty legislation continued on Wednesday's Ed Show. Ed Schultz, who on Tuesday insisted that the bill would lead to crazed, gun-toting Arizonians going on shooting rampages, followed up by sneering that this was the "most discriminatory law that I think that we have seen a state body come forward with." (More discriminatory than state slave laws?)
Schultz railed, "The bottom line is, Senate Bill 1062 is a license to discriminate." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Given the anchor's sycophantic love for Barack Obama, it's unsurprising that he somehow related Jan Brewer's famous finger pointing at the President. Angry that the governor hasn't made a decision on the law, he fumed, "It's up to the woman who pointed the finger right in the face, arrogantly. Now we're finding out how arrogant she really is."
While CBS and ABC have awoken to the "embarrassing" performance of Barack Obama's wealthy donors turned ambassadorial nominees, NBC is still skipping the details of the men and women who have flubbed confirmation hearings. Even Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos, a former Democratic operative, admitted on Wednesday: "Critics say that too many of the plumb jobs are going to political cronies who have more cash than competence..." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Just prior to playing clips of multiple Obama nominees, all of whom donated at least $500,000 to the President, reporter Jon Karl marveled, "Sometimes it can be downright embarrassing. President Obama's pick to be ambassador to Argentina has never set foot in the place." Footage included the nominee to Hungary, former soap opera producer Colleen Bell, appearing baffled after being asked about America's strategic interest in the country.
On Tuesday, MSNBC anchor Ed Schultz smeared Arizonians as gun-crazed maniacs salivating over a license to kill. The Ed Show host attacked legislation designed to protect the religious liberty of the state's business community. Even though the bill [SB 1062] deals with those who, for example, might not want to supply cakes for a gay wedding, Schultz slimed, "This bill gives business owners the legal room to say 'get out of my store, because you got a turban on.' I just don't think it's about the gay and lesbian community."
Liberal Congressman Jim McDermott piled on, comparing, "If you remember back in 2001, we had a Sikh, a man with a turban, beaten almost to death." Schultz connected, "Of course, we know how they love firearms in Arizona. I mean, I think this opens the door for confrontation..." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
View co-host Barbara Walters kissed the "superb" Joe Biden during an interview on Tuesday. Whoopi Goldberg swooned, "The most fabulous man came in. He gave us gifts. Walters praised, "I don't think there's much doubt that you're a superb Vice President." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Walters began the segment by touting the presents Biden brought. She awkwardly wondered, "Is one allowed to kiss a Vice President?" Biden enthused, "Oh, I'd love that." The audience whooped it up as the two shared an embrace. Walters then touched his cheek and insisted, "I don't want you to come home to Jill with my lipstick."
All three network morning shows on Tuesday continued the push against an Arizona bill [SB 1062] that aims to protect the religious freedom of business owners who oppose gay marriage. According to CBS This Morning co-host Charlie Rose, "Hundreds protested at the state capitol last night. They say the bill legalizes discrimination."
Today's Savannah Guthrie hyped, "Mounting pressure. From John McCain to Apple, even concern from Super Bowl organizers, a growing chorus calling on Arizona's governor to veto a bill that would let businesses turn away gay customers." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Journalist Natalie Morales muttered, "Really big decision, very controversial." None of the networks featured voices in support of the legislation.
The hosts of MSNBC know what true courage is. In 2012, Chris Hayes admitted that he was "uncomfortable" calling fallen members of the military "heroes." On February 24, 2014, new anchor Ronan Farrow told viewers who a true role model is, liberal actress Lena Dunham. On the very first Ronan Farrow Daily, Farrow introduced a new segment called "Heroes and Zeroes."
He gushed, "Our hero is Lena Dunham, the authentic, gritty auteur behind HBO's Girls, who is a frequently naked champion of all kinds of female beauty." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Apparently, Dunham's heroism stems from brushing off questions about having a Vogue photo shoot retouched. The 26-year-old host found this "classy" and marveled, "Lena is a modern feminist, the kind that is comfortable with her own body but also grateful for a little air brushing..."
The plan by Barack Obama's government to "dramatically" shrink the size of the Army to its lowest level since World War II warranted a scant one minute and 56 seconds of total coverage on Monday's morning shows. Yet, CBS, NBC and ABC devoted 19 and a half minutes to such topics as TV shows, makeup and viral videos. [See video of ABC's coverage below. MP3 audio here.] None of the networks mentioned the President, shifting the responsibility solely to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
The Today show allowed the least amount of coverage, a mere 21 seconds. This despite the program's four hour running time. Natalie Morales revealed, "Under the plan, the Army would shrink to its smallest force since the World War II build-up." She asserted that "the proposal is likely to face fierce opposition on Capitol Hill." If that's true, why devote less than 30 seconds and allow no debate? Instead, the Today anchors spent almost nine minutes on the subject of makeup and body image.
MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell on Friday openly plotted strategy with a senior Democratic adviser, complimenting him on successful efforts to convince Americans think that raising the debt ceiling wasn't "running up the credit card." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Mitchell talked to Doug Hattaway, a member of Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign. She praised, "You were one of the advisors to persuade the Democrats that for this round of the debt ceiling debate they had to re-frame it so that it wasn't the Democrats wanting to spend more money." Mitchell unselfconsciously continued, "As hard as many of us in the media tried to persuade people, this is money that's already been spent, we're just paying the bills."
Just days after New York City's prominent liberal mayor instructed local drivers to be more responsible, Bill de Blasio's motorcade was caught on camera speeding, weaving in and out of lanes and blowing through stop signs. On the networks, however, only CBS This Morning bothered to cover the story.
Norah O'Donnell began by suggesting that de Blasio "could be in for a bumpy ride" and explained, that his "motorcade was spotted speeding and breaking several other traffic laws, Thursday." According to O'Donnell, "If the driver had been stopped, he could have racked up his citations to have his license suspended." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America avoided the story.
According to an influential entertainment magazine, Piers Morgan's ratings are in a death spiral and the reason might be his obsession with attacking Second Amendment rights of Americans. Variety writer Rick Kissell related the devastating news: "Tuesday’s telecast, which included coverage of the uprisings in Kiev and an interview with Rudy Giuliani, drew the show’s second smallest audience to date in the key news demo of adults 25-54 (50,000)."
He added, "'Piers Morgan Live' has fallen below the 300,000-viewer mark on seven other occasions in February. While the Olympics could be blamed for some of that, ""Piers Morgan' is drawing just a fraction of the audience attracted by competing shows on CNN and MSNBC." The British Morgan has railed about the "absurdity of the 2nd Amendment" and lectured Americans: "I'd make it illegal for anyone under 25 to buy a gun of any kind."
Good Morning America's Bianna Golodrygra on Thursday promoted the anti-Catholic film Philomena as a "touching," "true story." The ABC journalist spun the movie as largely uncontroversial and a "clear winner with audiences everywhere." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Golodryga downplayed the film's harsh anti-Catholic plot points and soft-peddled the movie's fictional elements, parroting, "Philomena is based on a true story about an Irish woman played by Judi Dench who travels to the U.S. to track down the son she was forced to give up for adoption when she was a teenager." In fact, the New York Times reported on November 29, 2013, "...Much of the movie is a fictionalized version of events. Ms. [Philomena] Lee, for instance, never went to the United States to look for her son...a central part of the film."