Early Thursday morning news broke that a 13 year girl was brutally murders in Israel, and later that day it was release that she was American and killed by a Palestinian terrorist. As Fox News’ Bret Baier reported on Special Report, “Police say a Palestinian teenager snuck into a Jewish settlement Thursday and stabbed a 13-year-old American girl as she slept in her bed.” But the networks were silent about it that evening, they instead chose to dedicate six minutes and six seconds to Defense Secretary Ash Carter allowing transgender people to openly serve in the military.
The Big Three broadcast network evening newscasts all touched on the revelation that Secretary of Defense Ash Carter used private e-mails for government business and this well after former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came under fire for exclusively conducting her official email correspondence that way. That said, only CBS's Evening News downplayed the significance of the story by omitting any Republican criticisms or soundbites.
Following an announcement that Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl would be formally charged with desertion and endangering his fellow soldiers, on Thursday morning, ABC and CBS continued to omit the fact that at least one member of Bergdahl’s military unit died while searching for him in Afghanistan. In addition, the “big three” (ABC, CBS, and NBC) networks once again ignored a June 2014 clip of National Security Advisor Susan Rice praising Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl as “serving with honor and distinction.”
In their coverage of desertion charges filed against U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, the major broadcast networks on Wednesday night failed to mention that National Security Advisor Susan Rice had praised Bergdahl for serving “with honor and distinction.” Standing in sharp contrast to this glaring omission by the “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC, the clip of Rice’s claim on the June 1, 2014 broadcast of ABC’s This Week was shown on CNN and FNC newscasts.
Jim Miklaszewski kept it relatively diplomatic, declaring "there's something amiss here." But Joe Scarborough was blunt: "boy, that's damning," said the Morning Joe host.
They were characterizing Miklaszewski's description of the Obama administration's "micromanagement" of the Department of Defense in which communication flows only in one direction: from the White House to the Pentagon. On today's Morning Joe, NBC's Pentagon correspondent reported that former SecDefs Robert Gates and Leon Panetta had recently "lambaste[d]" that micromanagement.
On Thursday's Daily Rundown on MSNBC, Jim Miklaszewski misidentified the political ideology of the protesters that attacked three American sailors in Istanbul, Turkey. Miklaszewski reported that "these radicals – these right-wing radicals, who are pro-communist and anti-U.S. – were more intent on propaganda than causing these individual sailors harm." The perpetrators are members of the Turkish Youth Union, which hold left-wing views.
The Big Three networks steered clear of labeling the Islamist group ISIS "terrorists" on their evening newscasts on Friday. Instead, ABC's World News and CBS Evening News labeled the genocidal radicals "militants." NBC Nightly News used the more benign "rebels" in their coverage of the group's latest attacks on the Kurdish part of Iraq.
The closest that a journalist at ABC, CBS, or NBC got to using the "terrorist" label was Scott Pelley's teaser at the very top of CBS Evening News: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Al Qaeda-affiliated militants have seized control of two cities in Northern Iraq, including Mosul the nation’s second largest and Tikrit, the hometown of Sadaam Hussein. Despite the increased violence, all three network morning shows did their best to downplay or ignore the Obama Administration’s Iraq policy for potentially contributing to the violence.
On Thursday, June 12, ABC, CBS, and NBC all provided extensive coverage on the latest violence on and the danger of the radical Jihadists taking over parts of Iraq. However, only NBC briefly noted President Obama’s decision to quickly withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq. ABC didn't use the word "Obama," and the only CBS reference to the president was to fret that the administration has "no current idea" on whether or not to send in military support to aid the Iraqi government. [See video below.]
The Obama administration has given a fresh explanation to justify its secret deal with the Taliban to exchange five Guantanamo Bay detainees for Bowe Bergdahl: the radical Islamists who held the Army sergeant would execute him if the terms of the exchange were made public before the handover was carried out.
Yet among the Big Three network evening newscasts tonight covering developments in the prisoner-swap saga, only NBC's Nightly News hammered home the point that the Obama White House's story has significantly changed and that without a sufficient explanation from White House aides. What's more, only NBC's Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski pointed out that the administration did give a heads up to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) prior to the deal going down -- which, logic dictates, unnecessarily risked a leak which could have endangered Sgt. Bergdahl's life [Listen to MP3 audio montage here; Video follows page break]:
Appearing on Wednesday's Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC, NBC Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski offered a blunt response to the notion that the White House was "taken aback" by the controversy swirling around the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner exchange: "I think if anybody at the White House would have done "Google: Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl," it would have jumped right up at them. There's no explanation for why they didn't know this." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Such critical analysis was prompted by host Andrea Mitchell wondering: "Were they [at the Pentagon] at least, were they somewhat taken aback, as the White House was, by the controversy that erupted over this?" Miklaszewski replied: "Not at all....senior defense and military officials were aware from the very beginning, shortly after he was – disappeared from his base five years ago, that this was a controversial issue. That soldiers were upset that one of their own would abandon their post in a war zone..."
After ignoring a massive health care scandal at Barack Obama's Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), NBC finally offered substantial coverage on Wednesday night. But the network failed to make any mention of how this controversy would impact the President or his handling of health care. Nightly News anchor Brian Williams announced that VA Secretary Eric Shinseki is "trying to fix this and hang on to his job."
Ongoing revelations have exposed the fact that as many as 40 veterans died after being placed on a secret list to hide delays. Reporter Jim Miklaszewski talked to Shinseki and pressed, "Are you willing, as Secretary of Veterans Affairs, to accept full responsibility?" He added, "But Shinseki indicated today he's going nowhere. They [veterans groups] want you to resign or be fired. Will you resign?" The only reference to Obama came when the Secretary noted that he "serves at the pleasure of the President." Miklaszewski never mentioned Obama.
On Tuesday, all three broadcast network evening newscasts devoted full reports to President Obama honoring 24 members of the military – only three still living – with the Medal of Honor. CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley trumpeted how the President "righted a historic wrong. He presented the nation's highest military award to 24 Americans, after a review determined that they had been passed over because they were Hispanic or African-American or Jewish." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
However, during the fifth year of former President George W. Bush's presidency, the Big Three channels furiously covered the allegations against several U.S. Marines, who were accused of killing civilians in Iraq in November 2005. Between May 17 and June 7, 2006 – a three week period – ABC, CBS, and NBC devoted three and a half hours of air time to the accusations of misconduct. These same networks aired only 52 minutes of reporting on 20 military heroes from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq during a five-year period between September 2001 and June 2006.