According to Nightline anchors Terry Moran and Bill Weir, new Republican Senator Rand Paul is "radical," "controversial" and longs to take a chainsaw to the Department of Education. Using hyperbolic language, Weir profiled Paul for Wednesday's program.

 Co-anchor Moran previewed the segment by attempting to isolate the Kentucky politician: "Up next, even the most conservative Republicans balk at his proposals for slashing government." As a cartoon graphic of a crazed-looking Paul appeared onscreen wielding a chainsaw, Weir hyperventilated, "So, while the President argues for a budget scalpel, Rand Paul would use a chainsaw, shutting down the Departments of Energy and education."

The journalist continued, "He would kill the Consumer Product Safety Commission, shrink the Pentagon and cut off all foreign aid." Dismissing Paul's call for spending restraint, the ABC anchor challenged, "Does the richest nation in the history of nations have a responsibility to take care of its weakest?"

[See video below. MP3 audio here.]



Condemning everyday Americans as racist, anti-immigrant Islamophobes was a favorite media theme in 2010, as documented by the Media Research Center's year-end Best Notable Quotables of 2010. Polls showed most Americans supported Arizona's effort to curb illegal immigration and opposed building an Islamic center near the site of the destroyed World Trade Center towers — but on both scores the media elite stacked their coverage against the public.

Winning the "Hazing Arizona Award for Denigrating Immigration Enforcement" was longtime New York Times Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse, who summoned images of resistance to Nazi occupation in an April 27 op-ed hoping for protests of the "police state" she claimed Arizona had become for trying to protect itself from illegal immigration.



Nightline co-anchor Bill Weir talked to TV Newser on Tuesday and offered a sarcastic answer to the question of how to be a careful journalist. Weir mocked, "Well, I've drastically scaled down the size of my meth lab."

He joked, "And I no longer tweet, you know, race baiting comments." When asked his impression of reporting from war zones in Iraq or Afghanistan, the ABC anchor fretted, "You know, the one drawback, and I'm not the first to bring it up, is when you're embedded with U.S. forces, you're really only seeing one side of the story."

Weir exclaimed, "thank goodness" for American troops and complimented them for "literally looking out for your life." But, he also complained, "And that's kind of one of the real joys that I find in this job is when the seat belt light goes off in some country you've never been to before and the door opens and there's new smells and new sights and you can really explore at your own pace. That doesn't happen in a war."



Editor's Note: For the list of NewsBusters T-shirt contest winners, skip to the end of this post. Click here to enter the contest.

It's time once again for "Five for Five," this time around we unveil the top five Journalistic Obamagasms Exposed by NewsBusters.

We know what you're thinking: "Only five?!"

Since they're all so equally good, or bad, as the case may be, I'll leave it to you folks to rank them in the comments section.

They are:



ABC's Bill Weir, the former co-host of weekend Good Morning America, debuted on Monday as the new co-anchor of Nightline. ABC President David Westin lauded Weir in July for conducting "some of our most innovative reporting." But, he may be better known for standard liberal bias, such as hyperbolically asserting during Barack Obama's inauguration: "From above, even the seagulls must have been awed by the blanket of humanity."

More recently, during the debate over Arizona's new immigration law, Weir fretted, "There is a fear-driven exodus going on in Arizona tonight." In April, he interrogated Sheriff Joe Apraio: "With this new law, will you ramp it up? Will you, will you grab people on street corner?" Examples of Weir's bias, with video and audio, can be found below:



Good Morning America's Bill Weir on Thursday touted a court ruling that removed key portions of Arizona's immigration law. He announced the judge's decision as one spanning "from rage to relief." He derided the possible implementation of the legislation as "the day when reasonable suspicion would take on a whole new meaning."

Weir, who will soon take over as the new co-host of Nightline, chided Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. He asserted that she "seems ready to take an appeal all the way to the Supreme Court. Goading President Obama and Congress all the while."

The ABC journalist's example of Brewer's goading? This comment: "They need to step up, the feds do, and do the job that they have the responsibility to do."



ABC on Wednesday continued to attack Arizona's tough new immigration law. Good Morning America devoted three segments to the subject, even misstating what the legislation does.

News anchor Juju Chang incorrectly asserted, "The law would allow police to question anyone suspected of being in the country illegally."

In fact, the law would allow police to check immigration status only if an individual has already been stopped for a legitimate police reason. An onscreen graphic derided, "Target: Immigrants: Arizona Law Set to Take Effect." Notice that, according to ABC, Arizona is simply focusing on immigrants, not illegal immigrants.



Less than two days before Arizona's immigration enforcement law is scheduled to go into effect, ABC delivered another installment in the national media's efforts to discredit it and paint the law as doing more harm than good as anchor Diane Sawyer warned that “undocumented immigrants – many working in this country for decades – are fleeing the state, or hiding in fear.” [Audio available here]

With the on-screen heading “PREPARING FOR WORST” over video of an abandoned house, reporter Bill Weir intoned: “There is a fear-driven exodus going on in Arizona tonight. More vacant apartments, more empty shops, more kids disappearing from school.”

Weir explained that “Latino activists are urging their community to check their taillights, not travel in big groups and even remove the Catholic rosary beads from their rear view mirrors” while “law student Daniel Rodriguez, undocumented since his mother brought him at age six, tells me of all the parents giving power of attorney to neighbors in case they're deported without their American-born children.”



Bill Weir, ABC News Anchor; & Jake Tapper, ABC White House Correspondent | NewsBusters.orgThe network morning and evening news shows have all but ignored President Obama's Saturday letter to congressional leaders asking for $50 billion in additional spending to prevent the "massive layoffs of teachers, police, and firefighters." Only Sunday's Good Morning America on ABC has covered the President's request so far.

The chief executive's June 12 letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Minority Leader John Boehner urged "swift action" on the multi-billion dollar proposal to prevent the public sector layoffs and "give our nation's businesses added impetus to hire and grow."

ABC anchor Bill Weir brought up the President's letter with White House correspondent Jake Tapper 13 minutes into the 8 am Eastern hour of Sunday's Good Morning America:


When political scientists compare populism and elitism, they could certainly find a test case in the new Arizona law on immigration enforcement. While Rasmussen found 70 percent of Arizonans favored the crackdown on illegal aliens, and new national media polls found majority support as well, ABC, CBS, and NBC denounced the popular will as short-sighted and discriminatory.


From April 23 to May 3, the top three television networks offered viewers 50 stories and interview segments on their morning and evening news programs. The tone was strongly hostile to the law and promotional to the "growing storm" of left-wing protesters: 37 stories (or 74 percent) were negative, 10 were neutral, and only three were positive toward the Arizona law's passage -- 12 negative stories for every one that leaned positive. Stories were much kinder and sympathetic to illegal aliens than they were to police officers. Cops were potential abusers of power. Entering the country illegally was not an abuse of power. It was portrayed as an honorable step by the powerless.

The soundbite count was also slanted, with 92 quotes against the law and only 52 in favor. The pro-law numbers, however, included many soundbites of Arizona public officials defending themselves against liberal charges that they were racists or in favor of racial profiling.


Liberal political pundits frequently remind Americans that words matter, which makes broadcast network reporters' coverage of Arizona's new crack down on illegal immigrants so appalling.  

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed a law on April 23 that would make it a misdemeanor for immigrants to not carry documentation proving they are in the country legally. The bill gave state law enforcement the power to determine the immigration status of any person during "any lawful contact." Amid allegations that this law would lead to "racial profiling," Brewer later amended it to allow law enforcement to only check the immigration status of those involved in a "lawful stop, detention or arrest."

Reporters on ABC, NBC and CBS misled the American people about the law by calling it "anti-immigration" twice as often as correctly identifying the law as "anti-illegal immigration" and reporting, as ABC's Bill Weir did on the April 24 "Good Morning America, "Police [in Arizona] now have the power to stop anyone and make them prove they are legal."



ABC's weekend coverage of a tough immigration bill in Arizona focused mostly on the anger and outrage against it, minimizing supporters of the legislation. Talking to Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a fierce critic of illegals, Good Morning America co-host Bill Weir on Sunday berated, "But with this new law, will you ramp it up?...Will you grab people on street corners? I mean, what will you do with this new law?" [Audio available here.]

He also challenged Arpaio about his own fight against illegal immigration and derided, "...How is it possible to enforce these sorts of laws without sweeping up innocent citizens in the process?"