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
Famous Hollywood filmmaker David Mamet on Monday dared to oppose liberal orthodoxy, slamming Barack Obama as a "tyrant." Appearing on the Hugh Hewitt Show, the writer/director (The Untouchables, Wag the Dog, Ronin) decried the President's deal with Iran over nuclear production.
Mamet assailed, "He's a tyrant. And I give him great credit. He's always said that his idea was to reform the United States." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] He added, "And, you know, like many tyrants, like Wilson and like Franklin Delano Roosevelt, he believes that his way is the right way and that he's going to implement his vision of the world." (In addition to attacking Obama, you don't see too many directors going after FDR.)
Moving past gay marriage, ABC News on Monday pushed the "gospel" of polyamory, having multiple romantic and sexual partners in an open relationship. Co-anchor Dan Harris hyped, "More couples opting to become triples or fourples. Live-in lovers spicing up the marital bed, even helping raise the children." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Harris opened the segment by lecturing, "Just for a minute, let's do a thought experiment. Let's set aside all of the emotion and consider whether the evangelists for open marriage might have a point." Reporter Nick Watt profiled Michael, Kamela and Rachel, a threesome "couple" that has sex with numerous people, all while raising a child. Watt described, "They're spreading the gospel of polyamory, hoping to speed up societal acceptance of this kind of set-up."
Five months after dropping coverage of the Internal Revenue Service scandal, ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday finally found time to allow a few seconds to mention the targeting of conservatives. CBS and NBC on Tuesday and Wednesday both ignored the fact that the Obama administration is doubling down and now attempting to rein in non-profit groups.
GMA's Josh Elliott blandly noted, "In the wake of the IRS targeting scandal, the Obama administration wants to limit the political influence of tax-exempt groups." He added that the White House is seeking to create new "donation standards to curb the explosive growth in political spending." Elliott added, "The IRS has been accused of unfairly scrutinizing groups affiliated with the Tea Party." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
All three networks on Tuesday hyped an "interesting" exchange between Barack Obama and a liberal heckler. ABC, CBS and ABC declined, however, to specifically note that the man's concern was that the President simply wasn't liberal enough on the issue of immigration reform. On NBC's Today, Natalie Morales praised, "You know, I think that the President handled it well by engaging." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Co-host Willie Geist defended the President's insistence that he needs Congress to pass legislation. Geist sympathetically noted, "The President's argument was 'I can't wave the magic wand and make this go away.' But he did do that for some of the younger dreamers." The younger dreamers? Quite the loaded term.
Chris Matthews appears to have a Mad Libs-style list of the worst insults he hurls at conservative. On Wednesday, he chose "verbal terror" to smear everyone on the right who disagrees with all of the "great things" Barack Obama wants to do. The Hardball anchor opened his show by hyperbolically warning, "Political armageddon!" According to Matthews, the fight between the President and conservatives is not a conflict of ideas.
Rather, "it's a battle between a President who wants to do great things -- extend health care to the tens of millions of working people, many of them poor, ending two wars in Afghanistan" and an "almost totally negative force arrayed and barking against him, a campaign of verbal terror and negativity aimed at denying tens of millions decent health care." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
MSNBC anchor Ed Schultz declared that his patriotism court was in session again on Wednesday and found another conservative guilty. The liberal host repeatedly smeared Michele Bachmann as "anti-American." In several media appearances, the Republican congresswoman insisted that "we predicted" ObamaCare would be a disaster and added, "We hate to say we told you so." This prompted Schultz to fume. "I'm glad to see Michele Bachmann is so happy about a law's problems. I think it's fair to call Michele Bachmann's attitude anti-American." [See video below. MP3 video here.]
Still acting as ObamaCare's chief defender, no matter how many problems develop with the rollout, Schultz excoriated, "Under ObamaCare, people's lives will be saved. It's an absolute. And I think it's fair to say that Michele Bachmann wanting to deny 30 million Americans health care is anti-American."
ABC's Good Morning America may be many things, but subtle isn't one of them. George Stephanopoulos and Pierre Thomas on Wednesday made sure to point out to viewers that it was a "conservative," "Tea Party" "Republican" congressman who was arrested for buying cocaine. The journalists found the story so enticing, the show led with it, bumping an "exclusive," "frightening" story about al Qaeda operatives secretly living in America.
All six network newscasts on Tuesday and the morning shows on Wednesday made sure to point out Representative Trey Radel's GOP affiliation. Many of them identified him with the Tea Party. But GMA reporters mentioned "Tea Party," "conservative" or "Republican" five times in less than two and a half minutes. Stephanopoulos reminded, " He's a Tea Party favorite from Florida." Thomas informed, "He's a conservative congressman." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Despite a running time of four hours, NBC's Today show on Tuesday skipped a blistering poll for Barack Obama and the latest news about the disastrous rollout of the President's health care law. Yet, the morning show managed five minutes for discussing the new TV special from singer John Rich and three minutes on table etiquette for Thanksgiving. Not exactly pressing topics. In contrast, both ABC's Good Morning America and CBS This Morning covered the current wave of bad news.
An ABC News/Washington Post survey found Obama's approval rating at just 42 percent, what Jon Karl referred to as "the lowest job approval we have ever seen" for his presidency. GMA's George Stephanopoulos conceded that these are "brutal numbers." Karl even relayed this result: "We asked voters if they can have a mulligan on the 2012 presidential election, who they would vote for? A plurality now say they would vote for Romney over Obama." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The journalists also focused on what the administration knew in advance of the impending ObamaCare collapse.
A scandalized Chris Matthews on Friday railed against Dick Cheney for having the audacity to call out Barack Obama's "lie" on Americans being able to keep their health insurance. Naturally, the Hardball anchor insinuated that the reason behind this was racism. An angry Matthews fumed, "Dick Cheney comes right out and calls [Obama] a liar. When a right-wing back-bencher did that four years ago, he was called out for rebuke even by his own party." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The host continued, "Well, now what was condemned as historic bad behavior comes snarling out of Dick Cheney's mouth and nobody says to shut up." Matthews hinted, "Is this, calling the President a liar, the new language of American politics. Or is it a language specially treated for the country's first African-American president?"
The hosts of the increasingly superficial Good Morning America on Monday hyped the latest episode of Dancing With the Stars, the newest Justin Bieber movie and previewed Vince Vaughan's film, a combined ten minutes of air time. Yet, the journalists at GMA allowed no time for the news that the insurer United Health is dropping thousands of doctors from its plan as a result of ObamaCare.
The Wall Street Journal on Saturday first reported, "UnitedHealth Group Inc., the nation's largest provider of privately managed Medicare Advantage plans, has dropped thousands of doctors from its networks in recent weeks." NBC's Today and CBS This Morning similarly ignored the story. Stuart Varney highlighted the loss of doctors on Fox Business. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
According to the journalists at ABC's Good Morning America, the disastrous rollout of ObamaCare has left the President in a perilous position comparable to George W. Bush after Hurricane Katrina. Co-host George Stephanopoulos opened the show by announcing, "White House fumble...The fix [Obama] is offering and why one state is already saying it won't work."
Stephanopoulos connected the President to the unpopular George W. Bush, worrying, "Once those questions about [Bush's] competence took hold, his second term never really recovered. Is President Obama in that kind of a position right now?" Analyst Matt Dowd unloaded, saying of Bush that one Katrina happened,"his presidency, and the relevancy of his presidency was over. I think with that, that is exactly what we're seeing with President Obama."
An extremely emotional Ed Schultz on Thursday offered up his own version of the famous scream by former Democratic Governor Howard Dean. The agitated host alternated between disparaging Barack Obama for seeming to retreat on the health care law and praising the President. After lecturing the Commander in Chief, Schultz played a clip of him defending ObamaCare. The anchor then screamed, "Yeah!"
Schultz wondered aloud, "Am I asking too much as an Obama supporter to want that?" The liberal host then mocked Obama's performance at a news conference as " Well, we haven't been very good. I'm not happy." An increasingly manic Schultz began shrieking, "...The next time you go into the press room in Washington, you give it to them! You let them have it! This is good! This is great for America!" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
CBS journalist Major Garrett grilled Barack Obama at a White House news conference, Thursday. On the subject of ObamaCare's disastrous rollout, the reporter repeatedly zeroed in on what the President knew and when: "You said after the law was implemented or signed, if like your plan, you can keep it. Americans believed you, sir, when you said that to them over and over."[See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Garrett pushed, "Do you not believe, sir, the American people deserve a deeper, more transparent accountability from you as to why you said it over and over and when your own statistics, published in the Federal Register, alerted your policy staff, and I presume you, to the fact that millions of Americans would, in fact, probably fall into the very gap you are trying to administratively fix now?" The journalist wasn't done. He offered up two more hard-hitting queries.
At least for Thursday, the network morning shows admitted that ObamaCare is an "embarrassing," "botched" failure that has landed with a "resounding thud." ABC, NBC and CBS offered blunt, stark descriptions of the health care law's low enrollment rates and the disastrous implementation. Good Morning America reporter Jim Avila explained, "The President's signature achievement, health care for everyone, officially got off to a resounding thud." He added that Republicans are "seizing on the botched rollout."
Over on NBC's Today, Savannah Guthrie unloaded on the President: "A new poll that has the President's approval rating hitting an all-time low as the administration is forced to acknowledge health care enrollment numbers that are embarrassingly low." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Correspondent Peter Alexander marveled, "For a better sense of just how few Americans signed up for ObamaCare in the first month – 106,000 total – consider that's barely enough to fill a large football stadium and only one-fifth of what government officials had projected."
The increasingly agitated Ed Schultz on Wednesday both justified lying to Americans about being able to keep their insurance and, at the same time, berated the very concept of "appeasing" the millions who have lost coverage. The Ed Show anchor opened the show by frantically screaming that ObamaCare is about "making the market better." He added, "It's not about appeasing people when they get upset, when they get a cancellation notice in the mail." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Schultz slammed Bill Clinton for suggesting that the President allow Americans to keep their insurance. Seeming to okay lying, Schultz rationalized, "No. President Obama said that because there were a lot of people in this country who were on the fear fence, worried what's going to happen to them."
ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday spent over four minutes worrying about "glitch girl," the woman who was featured on the ObamaCare webpage for weeks during the site's disastrous rollout. Yet, the same program spent less time on the fact that the website likely will not be fixed by the November 30 deadline. Additionally, Josh Elliott dispatched in six seconds the news that a majority of Americans now find Barack Obama untrustworthy.
Reporter Amy Robach focused on Adrianna (she did not want her last name used), the smiling woman who greeted frustrated Americans on HealthCare.gov. Robach hyperbolically announced, "It's the face that launched a frenzied hunt." Continuing the over-the-top language, Robach told the young woman, "You've been dubbed glitch girl, the most despised face on the planet." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The most despised face on the planet?
The "Let Me Finish" segment on Hardball is usually devoted to condemning conservatives as hateful bigots. Over the last six weeks, however, Chris Matthews has turned his program into an infomercial, obsessively exhorting his viewers to purchase Tip and the Gipper. The MSNBC anchor praised his own book as though he was blurbing someone else: "Tip and The Gipper: When Politics Worked, a perfect book, a perfect gift this season for the true Hardball fan." [See a video montage below. MP3 audio here.]
From the book's release on September 30 through November 11, Matthews used 19 "Let Me Finish" closing commentaries to promote the book. Falling in love with his own prose, the host on October 17 contrasted it to the then-ongoing government shutdown. He gushed, "I never knew that [my] book coming out just now would be so relevant, such an upbeat, enjoyable, antidote, if you will, to the times we've just been living."
What world does Chris Matthews live in? The MSNBC anchor worked himself into a frenzy on Monday night, ranting that the "so-called independent media" are just too soft on all the "racist" elements within the Republican Party. Talking to his fellow liberals David Corn and Ed Rendell, the Hardball host balked, "I look at the free ride the media has been giving the Republican Party." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
According to Matthews, it's conservative media bias that causes most journalists to ignore the "40 million people [Republicans] want to commit to the emergency room!" Conservatives "don't want to lift a finger for them!" Yet, "the so-called independent media out there never brings it up!" If the problem is that reporters don't call Republicans racist enough, Matthews certainly does his part – and continued his cries of bigotry on Monday night.
Another MSNBC host demanded that conservatives apologize to the President for the failure for ObamaCare – not the other way around. Ed Schultz on Monday fumed, "The apology should be coming from the conservatives. The conservatives should be apologizing for having no plan." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Bypassing the issue of the President's untrue statement– that if Americans like their health insurance, they can keep it– Schultz attacked, "They [conservatives] should be apologizing to the 50 million Americans who have been without insurance because, damn it, they've been sick!"
According to MSNBC's Michael Smerconish, it's Barack Obama who is owed the "real apology" for the disastrous rollout of the health care law. Filling in for Chris Matthews, the Hardball guest host huffed, "The facts are that many of the same people that feel betrayed now will be thanking the President later." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Lecturing the 52 million Americans who have lost their insurance, Smerconish added, "These are people in so-called junk plans that could bankrupt them and their families if they ever got sick." Displaying MSNBC logic, the host identified who should actually be asking for forgiveness on ObamaCare: "As Republicans revel in the President's comments, we should ask who should offer the real apology here?"