Even the journalists at ABC News, who have their own problems with journalistic ethics, were disgusted by Rolling Stone having Sean Penn interview the drug lord known as El Chapo. Legal analyst Dan Abrams appeared on Good Morning America, Monday, to decry, “I think he [Penn] did something wrong here. In particular, I think Rolling Stone did something wrong here, journalistically.”
The normally vacuous Nightline on Tuesday night took a break from such topics as "bootleg butt injections" and instead offered a sympathetic look at San Francisco's sanctuary city law. The city's practice of not reporting illegal immigrants came under harsh scrutiny after a woman was murdered by a man who had been deported five times. ABC analyst Dan Abrams appeared to defend the laws, saying, "The so-called sanctuary laws are really efforts by local officials to say 'we think it's more important to be able to develop relationships with undocumented immigrants than it is to report them.'"
On Monday night, a grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri found no probable cause to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown. Following the grand jury’s ruling, the “big three” (ABC, CBS, and NBC) all broke from their regular prime time programming to announce the decision. Unlike ABC and CBS, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams failed to mention any of the actual facts of the case or legal rationale for the grand jury’s decision when he expressed his dissatisfaction with the case’s outcome. During NBC’s coverage, Brian Williams ignored all of the actual details of the case and even suggested that despite the violence in Ferguson “the bottom line is, this grand jury sitting 25 days, failed to come up with charges after 70 hours and 60 witnesses in all.”
After Friday's World News on ABC ignored the White House report on the infamous problems with the Department of Veterans Affairs, Saturday's Good Morning America on ABC also ignored the scandal, while CBS This Morning Saturday and NBC's Today show -- both of which are two-hour programs - only ran short briefs, the one on CBS totaling 25 seconds and the one on NBC 19 seconds.
By contrast, the CBS Evening News on Friday led with the V.A. story and gave it a full report of more than two minutes. The NBC Nightly News, after initially giving the story 24 seconds on Friday, followed up Saturday evening and presented viewers a full report of almost two and a half minutes, making it the second story both evenings.
As of June 19, 2014, it's been 400 days since Nightline, the once-serious news program, has covered the growing scandal involving the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of Tea Party organizations. This includes the new revelation that the IRS has "lost" former director Lois Lerner's e-mails and the hard drives have been destroyed. In fact, Lerner's name has never been uttered on Nightline.
What have these ABC journalists been covering instead? On June 18, Dan Abrams promoted a story on "real male strippers." He enthused, "They're revealing more than just their muscles...We go behind close doors as they expose their dirty secrets." Continuing the tabloid theme, on June 12, Juju Chang suggestively profiled, "Almost naked. They're spornosexuals, a combustible mix of sporty, sexy, metrosexuals. Meet the stars taking the World Cup by storm." [To see a montage of the superficial stories reported on Nightline, see below. MP3 audio here.]
As of June 2, 2014, it's been 200 days since Nightline, the once-vaunted news program, covered ObamaCare. In the 28 and a half weeks since November 14, 2013, the show has continued its descent into tabloid oblivion, focusing on topics such as celebrities, weight loss and pop culture. As a consequence, the program has skipped the myriad of problems associated with ObamaCare.
When the White House quietly announced on May 20 what amounted to a bailout for insurance companies that might lose money on the new health care law, Nightline didn't notice. When the Associated Press on May 16 reported a new "cost control strategy" called reference pricing that would put a limit on what health plans pay for expensive surgeries, the ABC program avoided the story. On April 24, Vox explained that the administration was trying to "stamp out" certain health plans, "a decision that industry officials say could trigger yet another wave of cancellation notices." Again, Nightline was silent. But what were the show's hosts covering instead? See a video montage below to find out. [MP3 audio here.]
Fifty-two people were shot, eight fatally, over the last three days in a bloody epidemic sweeping Rahm Emanuel's Chicago. Yet, CBS has, thus far, completely ignored the crime wave while NBC's Today on Monday and ABC's Good Morning America on Tuesday gave only a few seconds each to the violence in the city run by Barack Obama's former chief of staff.
GMA news reader Dan Abrams explained, "Special authorities are creating a special crime-fighting unit in Chicago after a shocking spike in street violence." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] He noted that among the victims were "six children and two more teenagers overnight." On Today, Willie Geist explained that five children were shot in a park on Easter Sunday. Even though CBS allowed no time for tragic news out of Chicago, the network's morning show devoted four minutes to a possible maple syrup shortage.
To those of us who pay attention to the news media, it is clear that journalists played a major role in stirring up public outrage over the Trayvon Martin killing by essentially assuming George Zimmerman’s guilt before all the facts of the case were known. But on Tuesday, ABC News legal analyst Dan Abrams tried to absolve the media of any wrongdoing in covering the shooting and subsequent trial, claiming that he and other journalists “evolved” in their view of the incident.
On the July 16 edition of his eponymous program, PBS host Charlie Rose asked Abrams to evaluate the media’s coverage of the Zimmerman trial. Abrams made a confession that might have applied to many journalists and many Americans in general:
As NewsBusters has been reporting, the liberal media are out in force Sunday expressing their disgust with the George Zimmerman verdict.
On ABC's This Week, PBS's Tavis Smiley had the nerve to say, "I think this for many Americans, George, just another piece of evidence of the incontrovertible contempt that this nation often shows and displays for black men" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
No wonder Dan Abrams left MSNBC . . . The former legal analyst at the "Lean Forward" network, now at ABC, expressed an opinion this morning that would surely be unwelcome at his former shop.
Guest-hosting on Good Morning America, Abrams opined that as a legal matter "I don't see how a jury convicts" George Zimmerman of murder or manslaughter. Abrams sees too much reasonable doubt in the prosecution's case to warrant a guilty verdict. View the video after the jump.
In 2008, a then-MSNBC host mocked George W. Bush's senior adviser, Karl Rove, for signing up with the "home team" of Fox News. Yet, on Tuesday it was announced that Barack Obama's senior adviser, David Axelrod, will be joining NBC and MSNBC as an analyst. A NBC press release hyped that Axelrod "will contribute frequently across all broadcasts and platforms of both networks." (There was no mention as to whether MSNBC is Obama's "home team.)
On February 6, 2008, then-MSNBC anchor Dan Abrams trashed Fox News for signing Rove: "The folks over at Fox News are just thrilled about what I'm calling Karl Rove's homecoming, his debut last as a political commentator and the home team cheered them on again and again." Abrams, who is now at ABC, sneered, "Come on. Give me a break."
But for years Tutsi-led Rwanda has tried to carve out a zone of influence in eastern Congo, using ethnic Tutsi militias and Tutsi businessmen inside Congo to do its bidding. Rwanda has a very disciplined, patriotic army that punches above its weight -- the Israel of Africa. It was Rwanda’s invasion in 1996 that sent Congo into a tailspin it has yet to recover from.
It got stranger: