Violent rioters on Thursday burned a bridge, shot at police and threw bombs in order to stop the building of a pipeline in North Dakota. Yet, the journalists at CBS This Morning saw only “activists” and kept the focus on their plight. Reporter Barry Petersen interviewed four of the radical protesters, but just one representative attempting to stop the chaos. He also ignored the Molotov cocktails being hurled at law enforcement.
Environmentalism is a disaster.
CBS Evening News reported that Ft. Lauderdale found itself in an ecological disaster after a local government sponsored the dumping of millions of tires in the city’s waters. In its Dec. 16 broadcast, CBS said that used tires, originally intended to form artificial reefs for new fish, dispersed and created an untenable living space for the city’s wildlife.
NBC's Today on Monday aired a sensationalistic report on the upcoming release of two books that are "exposing alleged corruption and infighting within the Catholic Church." Keir Simmons boosted a statement from one of the publishers involved, who claimed that "if the Vatican were a company they'd be in Chapter 11, and heads would be rolling from all the mistrust and financial abuses." Simmons also injected the political into his segment, underlining that "Pope Francis has introduced controversial changes opposed by some of the more conservative Church officials."
CBS This Morning on Thursday returned to a favorite topic of the network's journalists: Legalized pot. This time, reporter Barry Petersen hyped an all marijuana radio station. With no hint at any downside, co-host Norah O'Donnell introduced, "A Colorado radio station is fine-tuning its format to reach a higher audience in the land of legalized marijuana."
After blasting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday night, the CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News returned yet again Wednesday evening to attack and dimish Netanyahu’s victory by chalking it up to “hard-line rhetoric” and “a hard right turn” that returned him to office “at a price.” CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley ruled that the Likud Party leader’s “hard-line rhetoric” had “help[ed] him win reelection, but at a price” with the on-screen graphic reading “[c]ostly win.”
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.”
On Monday night and Tuesday morning, all three networks covered the down-to-the-wire election in Israel. But only CBS noticed that Barack Obama's 2012 national field director is hard at work trying to defeat Benjamin Netanyahu. This Morning reporter Barry Peterson explained that the left-leaning Labor Party "hired Jeremy Bird who ran the Obama campaign ground game in 2008 and 2012."
On Friday night, the major broadcast networks all covered the latest developments in the conflict between the Israelis and Hamas as a three-day cease-fire collapsed after an Israeli solider was captured during an ambush while the two sides fought in an underground tunnel. In their coverage, the networks used some harsh language in describing the Israeli offensive to seek out those responsible and two networks touted Palestinians praising the capture.
Anchor Diane Sawyer said on ABC World News described Israel’s actions after “one of their soldiers was apparently captured by Hamas” as “[a] pounding response.” In a report from ABC News chief foreign correspondent Terry Moran, he noted how, at the start of the cease fire, there “was quiet in Gaza” as “[y]ou could hear the birds chirp” before noting that, not long after, “it was on again.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
While all three networks denounced the shelling of a U.N. school in Gaza on Thursday, NBC, ABC and CBS all failed to report on similar U.N. schools in the war-torn territory being used to hide Hamas rockets. As Fox News reported on Tuesday, "The U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said the rockets were found in between two other UNRWA schools that are being used to host 1,500 displaced people."
On Wednesday's Special Report, anchor Bret Baier read a statement from the office of the U.N. Secretary General condemning Hamas for the action. Panelist Charles Krauthammer blasted the international organization: "The U.N. workers, UNRWA, have collaborated with Hamas for years and years. They know that there are missiles in the schools, in the hospitals, in the mosques, and they know what's going to happen. Kids will be killed and that's going to be on television." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
On Monday, all three broadcast network morning news shows gave mention to the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in Washington state with sales set to begin on Tuesday. In particular, CBS This Morning and NBC’s Today devoted entire segments to the drug and not only were both stories positive, a statement from the former President of Drug Watch International on Today was the only sort of opposing viewpoint provided.
The four-minute-and-eight-second piece by CBS News correspondent Barry Petersen was the latest in what truly has been a network oscillating back and forth between critical stories and puff pieces on pot. Without question, Monday’s report belonged in the latter. After mentioning that sales will begin Tuesday in Washington, Petersen went on to profile the writers of The Cannabis, a website run by The Denver Post that is “about all things pot.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]