Last Friday, a Democrat-led investigation failed to find evidence linking Chris Christie to the 2013 traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge. After initially ignoring the report, ABC allowed 16 seconds on Friday's World News. Anchor David Muir briefly deemed this "welcome news" for the New Jersey Governor and 2016 contender.
The campaign's worst-kept secret was uncovered when the Kansas City Star, on Sunday, reported that Democrats had financially backed so-called independent candidate Greg Orman in his race to unseat Republican incumbent Senator Pat Roberts. The facade that Orman was an independent was kept up, throughout the campaign, by supposedly skeptical political reporters at ABC, CBS and NBC, even after Democratic candidate Chad Taylor had dropped out in early September.
On Sunday morning, ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos discussed Rolling Stone's retracted article surrounding an alleged sexual assault and gang rape at the University of Virginia. While the panelists all agreed that Rolling Stone should take a hit for publishing a false story, the discussion got heated over statistics regarding sexual assaults on college campuses. The segment began with Rich Lowry of National Review accusing Rolling Stone of having “an agenda to portray UVA as this bastion of white male privilege where basically rapists rule the social life. And the damage will never be undone. And I think if there’s any justice in the world, Rolling Stone would have to give up covering music and become the alumni magazine of the University of Virginia.”
On Monday, President Obama hosted “activists and officials including police” for a summit in the wake of the Michael Brown shooting. Following the event, all three network morning shows gave the White House event ample publicity during their Tuesday morning broadcasts. While the “big three” (ABC, CBS, and NBC) networks did their best to promote President Obama’s initiative, all three omitted the fact that no members of the Ferguson Police Department were invited to attend Monday’s meeting at the White House.
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.”
On Monday, ABC’s Good Morning America provided First Lady Michelle Obama’s school lunch program, entitled the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, with some free publicity. Co-host George Stephanopoulos touted how “new federal guidelines pushed by the First Lady have cafeterias serving up healthier foods and a new study finds those lunches may be better than the ones parents pack for their kids.”
Considering that ABC's World News failed to cover the midterm elections from September 1 to October 26, one might think the network isn't interested in a possible Republican wave. ABC journalists reinforced that belief by promoting their election night coverage: Seven hours of coverage. But six of those hours will be online only.
This week, CBS's Norah O'Donnell invites ultra-left Senator Elizabeth Warren to explain "what's going to happen if Republicans take control," even as the ultra-partisan Chris Matthews sneers: "What's worse, [North Carolina GOP Senate candidate] Thom Tillis or Ebola?"
On Sunday’s This Week w/ George Stephanopoulos, the usually reliable Cokie Roberts had some surprisingly harsh words for Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) and his reelection campaign against Congressman Cory Gardner (R-CO). Speaking during a panel on the midterms, the NPR correspondent maintained that “Mark Udall has run a terrible campaign…Going after women on abortion and birth control and all of these things is pandering in a way that women start to just resent.”
On Monday, all three network morning shows covered George P. Bush – the son of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and current candidate for Texas land commissioner – telling ABC's Jonathan Karl that his father would likely make a 2016 presidential run. In addition, all three shows made sure to remind viewers of former First Lady Barbara Bush's objection to another one of her sons running for president.
On Sunday, October 19, a panel on ABC’s This Week engaged in a highly contentious debate over the Obama administration’s handing of the Ebola crisis. Conservative Mary Matalin mocked PBS host Tavis Smiley for criticizing those who are calling for a travel ban on Ebola stricken nations. The former George W. Bush official argued that “the African leaders who have contained to five countries have done it on the basis of containment. Our CDC now stands for cannot do containment. The reason the president gets blamed for everything, Tavis, because he's responsible for it.”
During an appearance on Sunday’s Good Morning America, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos did his best to deflect criticism away from President Obama’s decision to name Ron Klain, former Chief of Staff to Vice Presidents Joe Biden and Al Gore, as his Ebola czar. Speaking to weekend GMA host Dan Harris, Stephanopoulos insisted that “Ron Klain is an expert in communications, he's an expert in management. That's what the government needs right now.”