In the lead segment of CBS’s 60 Minutes on Sunday, host Bill Whitaker narrated a piece praising the work of California Governor Jerry Brown in standing up to President Trump on climate change. “Our country is divided between red states and blue states, a division that has intensified since the election of President Donald Trump,” he began, noting how the blue states were part of the resistance. “Most prominently, California, the country's bluest and most populous state, led by Governor Jerry Brown.”
On Monday's CBS Evening News, in a report devoted to the increased rates of homicide in Chicago, correspondent Jericka Duncan suggested a link to the police making fewer stops after being scrutinized over the police shooting death of Laquan McDonald in 2014. But, unlike the previous night's report on CBS 60 Minutes by correspondent Bill Whitaker, Duncan's piece did not mention that the Chicago police superintendent blamed less aggressive policing on lawsuit threats by the American Civil Liberties Union that have led to the police facing more restrictions on when to make contact with criminal suspects.
On Monday’s CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker opined during a roundtable discussion that Tuesday’s governor’s elections in Florida and Wisconsin featuring incumbent Republican Governors Rick Scott and Scott Walker (respectively) will be “a referendum on” the “policies” that the two have implemented in their states based on “the Republican playbook.” After mentioning that Scott is facing Democrat Charlie Crist (failing to mention Crist was both a former Governor and Republican) while Walker’s Democratic challenger is Mary Burke, Whitaker suggested that: “Now, both Scott and Walker have followed the Republican playbook on taxes, on abortion, on same-sex marriage, and tomorrow's kind of shaping up to be a referendum on those policies.”
On Thursday's CBS This Morning, co-host Charlie Rose described how most of California was suffering from "extreme or exceptional drought" but fretted that "the crisis is turning into a political football." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, correspondent Bill Whitaker explained: "House Republicans passed a bill to divert water to California's parched Central Valley farms, water that now flows to preserve rivers and endangered fish....In a letter, Governor Brown called the Republicans' actions 'an unwelcome and divisive intrusion into California's efforts to manage this severe crisis.'"
Friday's CBS This Morning ballyhooed the Justice Department's recent move to relax enforcement of laws against marijuana in the several states that have legalized medical or recreational use of the drug. Gayle King heralded the "historic new regulations", while Bill Whitaker failed to include talking heads who oppose this move by the Obama administration [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump].
By contrast, ABC and NBC's morning newscasts minimized their coverage of the story on Friday. ABC's Good Morning America granted a mere 17 seconds of air time to the federal government's decision, while devoting 25 seconds to the plight of two kittens that strayed onto subway tracks in New York City.
CBS This Morning suddenly discontinued identifying San Diego Mayor Bob Filner as a Democrat on Tuesday, after including his political affiliation in two previous reports on the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around the politician. Bill Whitaker pointed out how Filner "dismissed [the] charges...as coming from anonymous sources" and how that was "in contrast to this contrite video apology from late last week", but omitted his party ID.
Just 24 hours earlier, Whitaker reported on the morning newscast that "the city's first Democratic mayor in twenty years is embroiled in controversy and fighting for his job." On Friday, anchor Gayle King noted during a news brief that "the Democrat spent ten terms in Congress before becoming mayor less than a year ago."
Bill Whitaker did his best to depict former San Diego Mayor Maureen O'Connor as a tragic figure on Friday's CBS This Morning, but glossed over her Democratic affiliation. Whitaker sympathetically asked O'Connor, "What's the worst of it for you?" The correspondent also spotlighted how the former mayor "brought in light rail, a convention center – helped transform San Diego from a sleepy navy town to the country's eighth largest city."
Anchor Norah O'Donnell introduced Whitaker's four and half minute-long report by labeling the politician a "beloved former mayor". Whitaker later followed suit by pointing out how "San Diego once loved her".
On Monday's CBS Evening News, correspondent Bill Whitaker seemed to allude to a debunked statistic that most guns that go to Mexican drug cartels originate in the United States as he repeated accusations by the newly elected Mexican president's party that the U.S. is the "exporter of guns fueling the violence" in the drug wars. Whitaker:
An hour before CNN screamed “Breaking News” Thursday night over the Boston Globe’s endorsement of Jon Huntsman (basically for not being “pushed” to the right like Mitt Romney), the CBS Evening News trumpeted the presidential bid by Huntsman who “has flown under the radar, despite his impressive resume. He's the chopper-riding popular two-term Governor of Utah with a picture-perfect family...”
Reporter Bill Whitaker’s glowing story hailed Huntsman’s economic plan as “deemed best of the campaign by the Wall Street Journal,” before approvingly touting: “Unlike most of the Republican field, he believes humans contribute to climate change.” Whitaker soon cued up Huntsman to confirm: “You’ve also called yourself ‘the sane Republican.’”
The Big Three network morning shows on Monday all reported on the possible showdown between Occupy L.A. protesters and the LAPD. NBC's Today and CBS's Early Show highlighted that the left-leaning demonstrators held a "block party" as they defied law enforcement. All three media outlets also played up the supposedly "peaceful" nature of the protest, while ignoring other media reports of violence.
On Saturday's Good Morning America, ABC's Ron Claiborne claimed that "unlike other cities, the ['Occupy'] protests there in L.A. have been peaceful." However, Kate Linthicum of the Los Angeles Times noted in a November 5, 2011 article that "police were called to two violent incidents at Occupy Los Angeles on Friday, adding to questions about the protest and its future."
The broadcast networks continued their enthusiastic coverage Friday night on behalf of the far-left Wall Street protesters, with NBC’s Brian Williams, again, the most excited while CBS anchor Scott Pelley, who has until now refrained from the hype delivered by ABC and NBC, jumped in by promising “a series of reports on the growing protests around the country.”
Williams led by touting how the protesters “are claiming victory tonight” by not getting removed from the Manhattan park. He then hailed their impact which he has helped fuel: “This protest movement is showing strength. It’s still growing, changing and spreading...”
The media pandering on behalf of the Obama Re-election camp already is astonishing. During the George W. Bush years, everything bad that happened in America somehow was connected to the malignant reign of “The Decider.” Last year, CBS even sought out journalist Sally Quinn to claim that Bush’s victory in 2000 could be blamed for unraveling Al Gore’s marriage ten years later.
God knows, and so too do most Americans, that the state of the union is a mess. But in the Obama era, nothing that goes wrong can be traced back to the Democrats in power.