NBC's Today on Tuesday offered a scant ten seconds to the White House's backpedaling on skipping the massive anti-terror rally in France. In contrast, ABC's Good Morning America heralded the admission as "rapid" and "remarkable."
On Sunday, ABC’s This Week took some time away from discussing the horrific terrorist attack in France to examine the 2016 presidential landscape. The panel featured Robert Reich, liberal economist and former Labor Secretary under President Clinton, former Clinton official James Carville, and liberal GOP strategists Nicolle Wallace and Ana Navarro, all four of whom warned the GOP against running against President Obama in the 2016 election. During the panel discussion, Nicolle Wallace warned “Republicans would be wise to make this about the future and, you know, I don't recommend that any of them run against Obama, they should run against whoever their opponent is.”
This week the media greeted the new GOP Congress with fears about a conservative “kamikaze caucus,” pushing “confrontation with Obama,” and stressed that if Republicans were to be successful they needed to look less “scary,” as they pointed out the 114th Congress was “80 percent white, 80 percent male and 92 percent of its members are Christian.” But in 2007, when Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats took over the House, the tone from the liberal media was very different.
All three networks on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning worried if yet another addition to the Bush "dynasty" will be good for the country. Yet, these same networks were excited earlier this year about the continuation of the Clinton brand.
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.