As Donald Trump is inaugurated the 45th president today, it’s not likely that the three networks will suggest that seagulls were “awed” by the “sacred” event, one that “pilgrims” trekked to Washington to see. But that happened on January 20, 2009 as Barack Obama became the 44th president. ABC, CBS and NBC reporters were beside themselves and compared the event to a religious experience.
Millions of Americans will celebrate Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday, but the vast majority of journalists probably won’t be among them — and it’s not their scrupulous “objectivity,” or a unique aversion to Trump’s personal style, that keeps them from joining the party. Reviewing the media’s inauguration coverage since 1989 finds that incoming Republican presidents receive little of the worshipful coverage that’s accompanied the ascension of Democratic presidents. Instead, journalists measure new presidents using their standard liberal yardstick.
CNN's The Wonder List with Bill Weir devoted a large portion of its latest episode on Sunday to Iceland's high rate of unwed mothers and "unique sexual politics" that include a significant decline in marriage.
Since newly announced presidential candidate Rand Paul first arrived on the national scene, as part of the Tea Party wave of 2010, the Kentucky Republican Senator has been depicted as a racist, sexist and heartless slasher of programs for the poor by the liberal media.
[Update, 5:24 p.m. Thursday: Weir did issue an apology on Thursday afternoon with a tweet saying that: "My glop of Midwestern guilt stuck in my chest prob won't go away until I apologize to @foxnation for name-calling. Dumb Move. My bad."]
Late Thursday morning, Mediaite’s Eddie Scarry came across a particularly disparaging tweet that CNN anchor Bill Weir tweeted out to his over 49,500 followers Wednesday evening regarding a link on the website Fox Nation about Al Gore and global warming. In commenting about the Fox Nation post, he referred to Fox as "you willfully ignorant f***sticks."
[WARNING: UNCENSORED STRONG LANGUAGE BELOW]
Nightline, the show born out a crisis in the Middle East, has devolved into a superficial, tabloid-heavy program that has hardly bothered with the growing crisis in Syria and Barack Obama's handling of it. Since August 21, the program has allowed a mere four segments (18 minutes and eight seconds).
In contrast, Nightline has devoted over 24 minutes to light-weight topics such as the Amish Mafia TV show, a full report on the best summer songs of all time. Other stories include a look at "color runs" (a "fun" race in which joggers have paint thrown at them.) Another segment profiled James Dyson, the man who made vacuum cleaners "sexy."
The military trial of Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan began Tuesday, with the government arguing that the onetime Army psychiatrist was motivated by “a jihad duty to kill as many soldiers as possible,” while Hasan — representing himself — seemed to agree, arguing: “Evidence will clearly show that I am the shooter and the dead bodies will show the war is an ugly thing.”
But in the hours and days after the November 5, 2009 shooting that killed 13 soldiers and wounded more than two dozen others, liberal journalists resisted the idea that this episode was part of the broader war on terrorism and openly fretted about how everyday Americans would respond to news that a Muslim soldier had committed such a massacre. As NPR’s Nina Totenberg mourned at the time: “It really is tragic that he was a Muslim.”
Here are some of the quotes MRC/NewsBusters gathered at the time:
Nightline co-anchor Bill Weir on Tuesday belatedly celebrated Earth Day by touting a left-wing environmentalist who is pushing for new carbon taxes and opposing the construction of the Keystone oil pipeline. Weir failed to label Bill McKibben as a liberal. Instead, the journalist simply referred to him as an "organizer," an "agitator" and a "lobbyist."
Weir lectured his audience, "So, how does [McKibben] convince a nation of oiloholics to dry out? Well, he organizes and agitates and lobbies for a tax on carbon. He gets arrested for protesting that big new pipeline from Canada and tries to convince colleges to dump their oil company stock." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Unlike Weir, McKibben's own website has no problem with ideological labels. One post begins, "So you’re a progressive and you’ve been sitting on the sidelines of the Keystone XL fight. Sure, you’ve heard about the pipeline but you haven’t yet drawn your sword and taken up the struggle."
Four years ago, ABC journalist Bill Weir swooned that "national pride" made the cold of Inauguration Day seem warmer and that even the seagulls were "awed." On Monday, the reporter was at it again, hyping "history" is "keeping [inauguration-goers] warm." On Good Morning America, the morning show crew gushed over every detail.
News reader Josh Elliott referred to the First Lady's new haircut as the "bangs that thrilled the nation...[Obama's] dear wife and the hair." Later, during live coverage, Weir talked to a 16-year-old in pajamas, visiting Washington for the inauguration. He wondered, "History is keeping you warm, right?" "Outstanding," enthused the journalist. World News anchor Diane Sawyer liked the line so much she repeated it later: "And I heard you say earlier, Bill, people are counting on history to keep them warm."
Four years ago, ABC's Bill Weir gushed during coverage of Barack Obama's first inauguration, "Even the seagulls must have been awed by the blanket of humanity.”
On Sunday, Diane Sawyer said of Washington, D.C., on Inauguration Eve, "The whole city has a smile on its face" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
You may recall when CBS fired Charlie Sheen early last year from the popular Two and a Half Men series for a string of "felony offenses involving moral turpitude." In the weeks and months that preceded this decision, an increasingly erratic Sheen received an inordinate amount of media attention for his drug-induced rants. To this day however, Sheen's bad boy persona is received warmly by the media, and he's been rewarded for it with ad spots for Fiat and DirecTV and even another show on the FX network that jokingly plays off his history of reckless hedonism.
By contrast, Sheen's former co-star, Angus T. Jones, the titular "half man" on the sitcom, has been castigated by the media for his recent religious conversion and subsequent YouTube testimonial in which he urged folks to avoid his popular TV series. Perhaps pressured by producers, Jones has since apologized for coming across as indifferent and unappreciative for the lucrative opportunity, but that hasn't stopped the media for characterizing Jones's video as another celebrity meltdown. [ video below the page break ]
Martha Raddatz boosted President Obama on ABC after the final presidential debate on Monday evening, just as she did during the earlier vice presidential debate that she moderated. Raddatz asserted that Obama "humanized what he was talking about. He talked a lot about the troops; he talked about the survivors from 9/11; he talked about the people in Israel. So if, in fact, he was going towards the female vote, he probably got their attention with that sort of approach." [audio available here; video below the jump]
ABC's post-debate coverage also spotlighted a Tweet from Nightline's Bill Weir, who channeled something that Al Gore had whined about just minutes earlier on Twitter: "Four #debates come and go without a single question on climate change."