The journalists at CBS This Morning on Wednesday whined about the impact that the new Republican tax law will have on blue states, singling out New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and California. Yet, incredibly, reporter Alex Wagner’s entire report managed to never mention that these states have the highest taxes in the country and are wildly in debt.
Time is everything, especially when it comes to understanding the media’s priorities. At the end of January, there were two marches the same weekend both claiming to stand for women. But the network coverage was anything but similar.
As the broadcast network morning newscasts on Saturday caught up with Fox and Friends in giving attention to the renewed probe into the Clinton Foundation by the FBI, CBS This Morning stood out in showcasing the most blatant bias against the investigation as Kathleen Kingsbury of the New York Times was given a forum to prejudge the probe as a "political vendetta." When asked for reaction from co-host Anthony Mason, NYT deputy editorial page editor Kingsbury immediately declared: "I think that -- given the fact that there doesn't seem to be new evidence on the table -- the only conclusion we can come to is that this is a political vendetta brought on by the White House."
While these sorts of interviews are unsurprising, they’re still worth documenting. Tuesday’s CBS This Morning featured a gooey interview with Democratic Senator Al Franken (Minn.) to promote his new book, encourage him to run for president, and swoon over “how hard you work” while still being “a complete delight.”
On CBS This Morning Saturday, as the show covered proposed new laws to protect police officers from hate crimes, correspondent Tony Dokoupil and anchors Alex Wagner and Anthony Mason all oddly seemed to worry about whether it was appropriate to call it a "hate crime" to attack a police officer. During the report, Dokoupil even asked if the term "hate crime" would be "cheapened" if police offers came under hate crime protection.
The media were thrilled when a statue of a defiant little girl was placed opposite Arturo Di Modica’s famous “Charging Bull” on Wall Street. To the networks, it became a “symbol,” a “sensation” and female empowerment.
“Symbols spoke volumes,” NBC Chief Environmental Affairs correspondent Anne Thompson said of the statue “facing down Wall Street’s famous bull,” on March 8. The networks didn’t seem to mind that “Fearless Girl” was really a clever corporate advertisement for “SHE” — an exchange traded fund offered by State Street Global Advisors.
The partisan journalists at CBS This Morning on Monday gushed over a new Obama administration book, touting its “real talk” and encouraging ex-staffer Alyssa Mastromonaco to lash out at Donald Trump. In contrast, this same network questioned the loyalty of ex-Secretary of Defense Bob Gates after he wrote a book criticizing Barack Obama.
On Wednesday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie began an interview with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer by suggesting that President Trump’s performance during Tuesday night’s address to Congress was all an act: “Before we get to the substance of the speech, and we will, let's talk about this decisive change in the President's tone. To borrow another political phrase, is this a kinder, gentler Donald Trump and do you buy it?”
The journalists at CBS This Morning on Monday fawned over the march by liberal women over the weekend, devoting eight minutes and 36 seconds to it. Co-host Charlie Rose was so excited, he marveled, “Is it comparable to anything in history we have seen?”
Critics from across the media spectrum have slammed BuzzFeed for publishing something they failed to corroborate, a 35-page dossier of smarmy allegations against Donald Trump that was assembled by a firm hired to do opposition research on the GOP candidate. But on CBS Saturday morning, Slate editor-in-chief Jacob Weisberg saluted BuzzFeed’s decision to disseminate the anti-Trump hit piece: “I’m glad BuzzFeed published it because I got to read it.”
CBS News ran a poll on global warming in December that it did not broadcast. PollingReport.com displayed a December 9-13 survey question: "Do you think global warming is an environmental problem that is causing a serious impact now, or do you think the impact of global warming won't happen until sometime in the future, or do you think global warming won't have a serious impact at all?"
CBS did attempt to panic the audience in a Saturday morning segment with Time's Jeffrey Kluger, who declared this issue is "not subject to politics."
Wednesday's CBS This Morning deemed a Facebook post from Senator Bernie Sanders worthy of a 55-second short report. Norah O'Donnell noted how the left-wing politician "criticized some of the Cabinet picks" from President-Elect Donald Trump. She quoted from Sanders, who asserted that "the American people are going to have to organize and fight back against this reactionary movement toward oligarchy." Alex Wagner also cited how the Vermont senator "singled out" two of the nominations in particular, and zeroed in on how the EPA pick is "a skeptic of climate change."