On Saturday and Sunday, ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today continued to play up the ongoing controversy surrounding comments made by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in which he questioned President Obama’s love of America. Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd went so far as to suggest that some Republicans fear the New York City mayor had caused the “issue of race” to pop up.
George Stephanopoulos won an award for journalism? The former Democratic operative turned host of a show known for cat videos hyped his award for "excellence in broadcast journalism." Good Morning America's Amy Robach touted, "We can't help but give a big congratulations to one of our own. George took home the top award at last night's National Press Foundation Dinner."
On Sunday, ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos discussed the fallout from the Brian Williams controversy with two prominent media critics, both of whom agreed that NBC News had badly handled Williams’ false claim that his helicopter came under enemy fire while he was reporting from Iraq in 2003. Liz Spayd, editor and publisher of the Columbia Journalism Review, insisted that NBC’s internal investigation won’t provide “enough credibility that gets attached to that kind of an investigation when the people doing it no doubt have personal connections, personal relationships with Brian Williams.”
While the ABC, NBC, and CBS morning shows on Tuesday all jumped on potential Republican 2016 contenders Chris Christie and Rand Paul being sympathetic toward parents skeptical of child vaccinations, all three broadcast networks ignored Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton holding the same positions in 2008.
Leading off an interview with Bobby Jindal on ABC's This Week on Sunday, host George Stephanopoulos played a clip of the Louisiana governor and potential Republican 2016 contender speaking about his faith during a religious event on Saturday: "We can't just elect a candidate and fix what ails our country. We can't just pass a law and fix what ails our country. We need a spiritual revival to fix what ails our country. It is like God has given us the book of life....And on the last page, our God wins."
Over the weekend, Congressman Steve King (R-IA) hosted the Iowa Freedom Summit, which featured several potential Republican presidential candidates and on Sunday's ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Cokie Roberts, correspondent for NPR, eagerly took a shot at the gathering of influential conservatives. Speaking during the show’s panel discussion, Roberts slammed the GOP event and insisted that “Republicans should stay out of Iowa altogether. What happens to them is that they get pushed so far to the right in those venues that it gives them a terrible time in the general election.”
All three networks on Friday morning promoted Barack Obama's "interesting," "unconventional" interviews with YouTube personalities, including one who is famous for taking a bath in milk and Fruit Loops. One question was very similar a query from ABC journalist Barbara Walters in 2011.
On Tuesday night, President Obama gave his sixth State of the Union address, and on Wednesday morning, ABC and CBS did their best to boost his speech and tout his liberal agenda to their audiences. During their respective broadcasts, ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today made sure to play up Obama’s “renewed swagger” by giving an “aggressive speech” to Congress and America. ABC’s Jonathan Karl, ABC News Chief White House Correspondent, went so far as to declare Obama “seemed so confident you would have thought he had just won another election.”
During ABC’s preview of the State of the Union, former Democratic operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos, Jon Karl and Matt Dowd pre-hyped a “triumphant” Obama and his “I told you so attitude” towards Republicans.
Without laughing, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday’s World News Tonight advanced the White House hope that Barack Obama will be seen as Ronald Reagan was in 1987, as a President who rescued the economy and was rewarded by voters.
Good Morning America journalists on Monday eagerly promoted good news for Barack Obama. Co-host George Stephanopoulos hyped an ABC News/Washington Post survey "showing the President going to a pretty high approval ratings, going up to 50 percent, the highest he's had in 18 months."
Tuesday night, Barack Obama delivers his second-to-last State of the Union address, this time as a lame duck President with relatively low approval ratings and facing a Congress entirely controlled by the opposition party. But if history is a guide, he can count on encouraging reviews from many in the establishment media.