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
When conservatives rally or march over an issue, such as the yearly March for Life, they don't get much attention. Yet, ABC offered two reports on Thursday promoting a liberal-backed strike on fast food restaurants. Good Morning America's Rebecca Jarvis went so far as to link the protest to Wednesday's 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's rally.
Jarvis touted, "They're hoping that scenes like the one behind me in New York will play out today in Chicago, in Denver, in Los Angeles, hoping that workers raising their voice will help raise the minimum wage." She then compared, "The day-long event comes on the heels of the 50th anniversary of the march on Washington for Jobs and Freedom." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
ABC provided immediate and enthusiastic praise for Barack Obama's speech, Wednesday, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" address. Anchoring live coverage, he praised, "President Barack Obama, playing the role of teacher and preacher and president today."
Stephanopoulos then began to link Obama and King. He allowed that Obama insisted in his speech, "No one can match the brilliance of Martin Luther King." The ABC host then connected, "But it does seem on the relatively rare occasions where the President chooses to speak about race directly, he rises to the occasion." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Good Morning America on Wednesday conceded that school districts across the country are dropping a new government-imposed lunch program because, as one student put it, "the food is just nasty." However, no one on GMA pointed out that the plan had been heavily promoted by Michelle Obama. In contrast, back in February, the journalists featured the First Lady for an eight and a half minute segment, including time to promote her Let's Move initiative.
Anchor George Stephanopoulos allowed, "Schools across the country are dropping out of a federal program to curb childhood obesity because the kids just won't eat what they're served." Reporter David Kerley asserted that the "national school lunch program rolled just last fall to great fanfare." According to a student in Kentucky, the new lunches "taste like vomit."
Liberal MSNBC host Ed Schultz on Tuesday denounced what he imagined to be the "conservative separatist movement" in America. The newly installed 5pm anchor connected Republicans such as Rand Paul to real life examples of racism. Reflecting on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's march on Washington, Schultz fumed, "There's an undercurrent of anger out there, that there is this conservative separatist movement that is taking grip in America to separate."
Describing an incident of an African American man unfairly being asked to leave a restaurant, Schultz sneered that the example showcases "Rand Paul's America." He blithely added, "Some Republicans think it's their God given right to discriminate." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Appearing on Hugh Hewitt's radio show, Monday, liberal MSNBC panelist Karen Finney angrily hung up on the host after he dismantled her claim that conservatives are modern day McCarthyites for opposing health care. Hewitt stopped Finney and demanded she explain her historical analogy.
As described by Politico, Hewitt pressed, "Did any communists infiltrate the United States government?" Finney squirmed, "I think if we go back to the McCarthy hearings, it’s pretty clear that he created a culture of paranoia and fear that people later recognized, they sort of bought into it and then recognized that it was absolutely misplaced." The former head of the Democratic National Committee even declined to answer this basic question: "Was Alger Hiss a communist?"
In his hilariously over-the-top, self-aggrandizing return to MSNBC's 5pm hour, Ed Schultz slammed the Republicans for spending the summer "lying." As I Want It All by Queen blared, Schultz could be seen giving high fives to adoring crowds. In full promotion mode for the President, the liberal host declared of Obamacare: "This is the most positive thing that this country has done since the civil rights legislation that was passed back in the '60s." (Apparently winning the Cold War didn't make the cut.)
During the rock montage, Schultz appeared to take credit for Obamacare, announcing, "One of the missions that I had when I came to MSNBC was that-- President Obama had just been elected-- I wanted to do health care." The host offered a loaded question to his audience, instructing, "Get your cell phones out. I want you know what you think: Will Republicans ever have the character to admit Obamacare saves lives? Text A for yes, B for no to 67622." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Even though it's August of 2013, Hillary Clinton's possible 2016 presidential bid has already been heavily hyped by journalists. Yet, it seems that these same reporters aren't interested in exploring aspects of Clinton's job as Secretary of State. One such comment not getting attention is her 2011 labeling of Bashar al-Assad, the man almost certainly behind a devastating chemical weapons attack, as a "reformer." Between 500 and 1000 people are dead after last week's gassing.
On the March 27, 2011, Clinton insisted, "There’s a different leader in Syria now. Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer." (The Washington Post gave this remark three Pinocchios. Clinton later backtracked.) Yet, ABC, NBC and CBS have not reexamined the comments in the wake of the attack or its accuracy.
Why should things change now? NBC and ABC on Thursday night and Friday morning yet again refused to identify San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, accused of sexually harassing 18 women, as a Democrat. ABC's Good Morning America devoted two segments to his impending resignation, but mentioned only "Mayor Bob Filner."
In contrast, GMA on Thursday hyped the controversy of the Lieutenant governor of Texas, a "rising Republican star," caught on a 911 call after he attempted to free his niece from jail. On Friday, only CBS This Morning identified Filner as a Democrat. Reporter Bill Whitaker interviewed the ex-fiancee of "Democrat Bob Filner." Whitaker explained, "They already shared a passion for progressive politics, the fight for the homeless, civil rights, immigrants."
CNN's Chris Cuomo scored an exclusive interview with Barack Obama on Friday and donated a whopping 42 minutes of his three hour New Day program to playing (and replaying) the discussion with the President. Despite all that time, the host never brought up the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups or the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi. Cuomo did mention Syria crossing Obama's publicly declared "red line," but only briefly.
What did Cuomo highlight? Daughters Malia and Sasha growing up to be teenagers, the President's new dog, including jokes about Sunny defecating on the White House rug. Perhaps the friendly tone isn't surprising as Obama spent Thursday hanging out with Chris Cuomo's brother, the Democratic Governor of New York. In addition to relaxing with Andrew Cuomo, he also met up with his teen daughters Cara Cuomo, Mariah Cuomo and Michaela Cuomo. On Friday, Chris Cuomo joked to the Commander in Chief: "What is more daunting to you, the prospects of protecting the free world or dealing with a teenager and a near teen?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The journalists on Good Morning America, Wednesday, again ignored the fact that San Diego's mayor, accused of sexually harassing 18 women, is a Democrat. Yet, on the very same program, reporter John Muller made sure to highlight Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst's scandal, chiding the "rising national Republican star." Dewhurst is under fire for intervening after his step-niece was arrested for shoplifting.
Guest co-host Josh Elliott hyped, "Caught on tape, the rising political star pressing police to let his niece out of jail." Lara Spencer hyperbolically introduced the story as a "stunning 911 call." Underlining the point, Muller informed, "David Dewhurst is one of the most powerful people in Texas politics and a rising national Republican star." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Regarding a prominent Democrat embroiled in a scandal, however, correspondent Amy Robach only noted, "Well, the embattled mayor of San Diego has reached a settlement in the sexual harassment lawsuit against him."
MSNBC, which is the home of 9/11 Truther Toure, on Wednesday smeared Republicans skeptical of climate change as "truthers." During a segment on the latest United Nations report on global warming, Now host Alex Wagner touted White House talking points, playing a clip of an Organizing for America commercial labeling House Speaker John Boehner a "climate denier."
Later in the segment, an MSNBC graphic appeared with an image of the globe and the GOP elephant. The graphic read, "truthers?" It's a sleazy move for MSNBC to lump conservative skeptics of global warming in with those who believe that the United States government was behind the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. But it's also hypocritical as Toure, who hosts the Cycle at 3pm on the network, has publicly supporter trutherism.
A chemical attack in Syria that may have killed as many as 1300 people was of little interest to ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday. The network morning show allowed a mere 25 seconds to the large scale gassing. In such a small amount of time, it's not surprising that guest news anchor Amy Robach skipped the salient point that this attack violated the so-called "red line" set out by Barack Obama in 2012.
NBC's Today allowed a little more time, two minutes and eight seconds, but also ignored the red line angle and any mention of Barack Obama. It was only CBS This Morning that noticed this. Anchor Charlie Rose pointed out, "President Obama has said that Syria's government would cross a red line if it uses chemical weapons against its own people. We're monitoring the White House for any response." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Extreme liberal Chris Matthews may be losing his 5pm time slot, but he isn't going quietly. On Tuesday's Hardball, Matthews sneered that House Republicans who are attempting to defund Obamacare have "ideological zealotry" that "trumps" "even the most minimal loyalty to the common national interests." Yet, later in the show, the anchor bemoaned Republicans who, regarding Barack Obama, won't "speak the language we normally speak in civilized political debates."
Matthews highlighted the possibility of connecting the defunding of Obamacare to the debt ceiling. According the host, "Some on the American right are plotting the global explosion of a default on the U.S. national debt this fall." He added, "Do they really dare to sabotage the American economy and much of the world economy in order to defund a program, the Affordable Care Act that is the law of the land?" Questioning the patriotism of such conservatives, Matthews lashed out: "Is this the extreme case where ideological zealotry trumps even the most minimal loyalty to the common national interests? Where anything goes? Where the ends justify whatever means there are to be had, no matter how menacing to the country or the world?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Good Morning America devoted a segment on Tuesday to the "White House response" on the growing crisis in Egypt without ever mentioning Barack Obama's name. George Stephanopoulos simply informed viewers that "members of Congress continue to debate whether to cut off U.S. aid to Egypt."
Stephanopoulos later told reporter Martha Raddatz that "the United States [is] saying that for now, at least, they will not be suspending military aid to the government in Egypt." Yet, despite the ABC graphic declaring, "White House Response on Egypt Crisis," no GMA journalist in that segment actually mentioned the President who works in the "White House."
ABC was the only network on both Monday night and Tuesday morning to highlight New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signing a bill banning gay conversion treatment. On Tuesday's Good Morning America, ABC News political director Rick Klein touted, "The Chris Christie brand is all about independence, a non-partisan person who leads the state of New Jersey in the best way he knows how."
An ABC graphic added an editorial, placing quote marks around the word therapy: "Chris Christie and Gay Conversion: Bans 'Therapy,' Angers Conservatives." Regarding Christie's 2013 reelection bid and his potential 2016 presidential campaign, Klein understandingly noted, "Chris Christie understands something very important in politics. 2013 comes before 2016."
Former Democratic operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos on Sunday parroted Barack Obama's talking points, insisting that a shutdown of the government would wound a "weak" Republican Party for a "generation." On Good Morning America, Stephanopoulos touted the President for "cutting his vacation short" due to unrest in Egypt.
After allowing that Obama has "little leverage" over House Republicans, he narrated that the White House believes "the Republican Party is in an even weaker position, that if they shut down the government, say, over their calls to defund Obamacare, they will relegate themselves to minority status for a generation." Playing the role of administration cheerleader, the journalist pointed out that Obama has a big autumn coming up, "which is why he cut his vacation short. He only went eight days this year instead of the normal two weeks." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Over 1000 Iraqis were killed in July, victims of bombings and shootings marking that country's deadliest month since April of 2008. According to the Washington Times, Iraq is sliding into "chaos" with al Qaeda militants stoking terror. Yet, the three networks provided only scant coverage of the escalating death toll. From July 1 to July 31, the ABC, NBC and CBS evening and morning shows allowed only four minutes and 49 seconds to highlighting the unraveling situation.
In contrast, the networks in 2005 aggressively reported bad news and a pessimistic outlook for the country when a Republican was in the White House. Obviously, there's a difference between the two situations, given the 2011 withdrawal of U.S. troops. However, it seems as though NBC, CBS and ABC have effectively decided that the stability of Iraq is no longer a concern for George W. Bush's Democratic replacement.
Talk about a lack of irony. Hardball guest host Michael Smerconish on Thursday lectured Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and the GOP to avoid "retreating" to "echo chambers" such as Fox News. Smerconish did this on MSNBC, the home of Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O'Donnell, Chris Hayes and Ed Schultz.
Smerconish, with no sense of self awareness for his own network's echo chamber, scolded, "And this is how you [appeal to more people]? By shutting out news outlets and retreating to your own Fox News echo chamber. If [Priebus] gets his way, it isn't new voices that the party will be hearing and reaching, just their own." On this concept of partisans talking to partisans, Smerconish threw a question to the deeply liberal Joan Walsh. [UPDATED: See video below. MP3 audio here.]
ABC and NBC on Wednesday continued to pretend that one of Barack Obama's gaffes on the Tonight Show wasn't a mistake. World News's Jon Karl and Nightly News's Chuck Todd uncritically repeated the President's claim that Vladimir Putin "headed up the KGB." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] In fact, he did not. The highest rank the now-Russian President obtained was Lieutenant Colonel in 1991.
Karl introduced the clip of Obama talking to host Jay Leno, insisting, "The President vented about it all last night with Jay Leno." But he made no mention of the error. Todd used the snippet as a way of demonstrating the difference between "famously flamboyant" Putin and "buttoned down and measured Obama."
ABC's Good Morning America, which first covered the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal by ignoring that the politician was a Democrat, did grow to embrace the tawdry aspects of the story. Yet, the morning show on Wednesday avoided he mayoral candidate's latest gaffe: Calling his Republican opponent "grandpa" at an AARP candidate forum. NBC's Today and CBS This Morning both managed to highlight the story.
CBS guest anchor Anthony Mason recounted, "Weiner slammed his opponent over age and did so, of all places, at an event sponsored by the AARP." A graphic mocked it as a "senior moment." Mason dismissed Weiner's campaign as a "circus." In the video, Weiner can be seen heatedly talking to George McDonald. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]