The networks and cable channels on Sunday and Monday went into full panic over anti-immigration candidate Marine Le Pen advancing to the final round of France’s presidential elections. Some of the labels spewed by journalists include: “Far-right,” “xenophobic,” “racist.” But the one description that came, over and over, on ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS and MSNBC, is “far-right,” “far-right,” “far-right,” “far-right” and, also, “far-right.”
CBS demonstrated its list of priorities during Thursday’s CBS Evening News when the network completely ignored a violent and bloody ax attack in one of Germany’s largest train stations. Instead of reporting on the attack in Dusseldorf, “where five people were wounded [and] one seriously,” anchor Scott Pelley wasted roughly 18 seconds reporting on “a rising tide of popularity has made water the bestselling drink in America.”
On Tuesday night, the “big three” networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC saw no reason to inform their viewers of Secretary of State John Kerry’s assertion that he could recognize there having been a “rationale” and “particularized focus” for Islamic terrorists to carry out the January attacks in Paris on the offices of Charlie Hebdo but not for the “indiscriminate” attacks that occurred in the very same city on Friday.
As of Monday morning, ABC and NBC's morning and evening newscasts haven't aired any reports or news briefs on the recent arrests of 15 Muslim migrants from Mali, Senegal, and Ivory Coast, who allegedly murdered 12 fellow migrants by throwing them into the Mediterranean Sea – simply because they recited Christian prayers. On Friday, CBS This Morning devoted seven seconds of air time to a news brief on the possible mass murder.
On Wednesday, ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today repeatedly criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu despite his resounding victory on Tuesday night with ABC’s Alex Marquardt insisting that “this is not a triumph for U.S.-Israeli relations.” He made sure to note that “there’s a lot of disappointment at the White House this morning, realizing they have to try to work with Netanyahu for the next two years, a man who has been such a thorn in their sides.”
In their coverage of the election in Israel, the CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News took aim at incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday night by, among other things, framing him as the candidate with a campaign pledge that “could destroy any chance” of forging peace with the Obama administration and the Palestinians, respectively. NBC anchor Lester Holt freted “[t]he dramatic finish to a fight for power” has ended with “the last-minute threat that could destroy any chance of a peace plan.”
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."
Perhaps because President Obama is looking pitiably weak in his mano a mano with Vladimir Putin over the Ukraine, ABC News chose to bury the story during today's Good Morning America. Incredibly, the show-opening teaser didn't mention the Ukraine--but did highlight the latest on The Real Housewives of New Jersey. As the program unfolded, and before saying a word about the Ukraine, GMA inexcusably chose to air segments on rain in California, snow in the North, a laser being shined into a plane's cockpit, an airplane bird strike, the arrest of a Mexican drug lord, the cause of Philip Seymour Hoffman's death, and Mardi Gras in Brazil.
When GMA finally got around to the most serious story in the world right now, it did its best to protect President Obama. Two nights ago on FNC, Charles Krauthammer did a devastating take-down on President Obama's feeble statement, saying “the Ukrainians, and I think everybody, is shocked by the weakness of Obama’s statement. I find it rather staggering.” So how did GMA's reporter Alex Marquardt describe the Obama statement? As a "harsh warning." Gag me with a kalashnikov, and view the video after the jump.
Tuesday's CBS Evening News showed a video clip of Hamas terrorists dragging the body of a suspected informant for Israel through the streets of Gaza, and Wednesday's ABC World News showed a photograph of the dragging.
But ABC correspondent Alex Marquardt seemed to provide a bit of cover for Hamas as he inserted commentary suggesting that it is "inevitable" that some "participants" in such a war would resort to such "savagery," as if brutality were normally out of character for the terrorist group. Marquardt: (Video of ABC below)
On Tuesday's World News, ABC correspondent Alex Marquardt again forwarded terrorist propaganda rationalizing the firing of rockets into Israel as he repeated claims -- which he attributed vaguely to "Gazans" -- that the rocket attacks represent Gazans "simply defending themselves." He then repeated without question their contention that "true peace" will not happen "until Israel stops targeting people here in the Gaza Strip, and that blockade of Gaza is lifted."
On Friday's World News on ABC, correspondent Alex Marquardt relayed without question a claim by "one of the militant groups behind" the rocket attacks on Israel that they "wouldn't fire rockets if Israel wasn't killing us," even though almost 700 rockets had already been fired out of Gaza into the Jewish state between January 1 and November 5, well before Israel's recent sustained military campaign began.
As the broadcast network evening newscasts on Monday recounted protests in Beirut, Lebanon, organized by Hezbollah, only the CBS Evening News noted that the U.S. government considers Hezbollah to be a "terrorist group," while ABC called it a "militant group" and NBC gave the organization no label.
As he listed Muslim countries where protests against the United States had been occurring, CBS anchor Scott Pelley noted: