While remembering the legacy of Nancy Reagan on Monday, all three network morning shows made sure to highlight an issue in which she broke with much of the Republican Party – embryonic stem cell research. On NBC’s Today, Peter Alexander touted: “With Alzheimer's Disease robbing her husband's memory, Mrs. Reagan was again cast into a supporting role, with a new cause, a champion of stem cell research – an effort that went against the party of Reagan.”
The media love a good scare and a sensational headline, but new research indicates the fear they spread about the dangers of sitting too much may be overblown.
In recent years, media outlets compared sitting to health risks like smoking, and even warned “Sitting will kill you.” Today told viewers sitting was “literally killing us” back on Sept. 18, 2015. ABC’s Deborah Roberts even claimed sitting was “one of the greatest risks to our health.” One expert CBS turned to went so far as to claim “any” sitting was “too much.”
The “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC were out in full force on Tuesday night following New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie’s 2016 presidential announcement to attack Christie over his temper and use the Bridgegate scandal to argue that it’s “fed his image as bully” leading to “a long road ahead” for the nomination. CBS and NBC also earned the distinction of featuring a clip of Christie from October when he engaged a heckler to further the illustrate his temper without providing any context whatsoever.
The Wednesday editions of the CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News failed to cover the latest attack on law enforcement as a man charged at a female New York City police officer with a hammer before being shot by a fellow officer. While CBS and NBC ignored this story, ABC’s World News Tonight did cover it and did so with a full report from correspondent Linsey Davis. Anchor David Muir set the scene by describing it as “a moment of horror on the streets of New York City” at “a street corner full of tourists.”
When the now-retracted article by the Rolling Stone magazine was published on November 19 about a brutal gang rape of a first-year student at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at the University of Virginia, the major broadcast networks rushed to the story and devoted multiple segments to both the article and reaction on the school’s campus. In doing so, they failed (unlike other outlets) to point out its flaws that brought an apology from the liberal magazine on Friday afternoon after it came to realize that many of the key facts in the story were in serious doubt.
ABC and CBS both failed to point out San Diego Mayor Bob Filner's Democratic party affiliation on their Wednesday morning newscasts. Good Morning America devoted just one 17-second news brief to the ongoing Filner scandal. CBS This Morning didn't do much better, with two news briefs on the former congressman. NBC's Today didn't set aside any air time to the controversy.
The NBC morning show did one-up its Big Three competitors in identifying Anthony Weiner as a Democrat. Stephanie Gosk underlined the "Democratic drums are beating loudly for Anthony Weiner to step out of race for New York mayor", and noted the scandal-plagued politician's fourth-place standing among "likely Democratic primary voters". CBS This Morning and GMA merely labeled Weiner a "former congressman".
Tuesday's Good Morning America, just as NBC did on Monday, offered concern about how the Weiner scandal would impact the real victims, Bill and Hillary Clinton. Reporter Linsey Davis breathlessly explained that for the power couple, "...Patience has run out." An ABC graphic worried, "Clintons Put Pressure on Candidate: Upset at 'Comparisons' With Weiner."
Davis informed viewers that, pending a possible 2016 run by Mrs. Clinton, "...Several former Clinton aides and advisers tell ABC News the Clintons increasingly see Weiner's mayoral campaign as an embarrassment and potential liability." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Now that former Democratic Congressman and current mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner has been caught, again, sending sexually explicit texts to women, the hosts of ABC's Good Morning America decided to ask the important question: What is cheating?
Regarding the extremely graphic messages Weiner sent, reporter Linsey Davis wondered, "Is texting really cheating?...Do explicit E-mails, texts and tweets, like the ones Weiner sent even count as cheating?" GMA weatherman Sam Champion saw this question as a type of public service, lecturing, "It's a good conversation. I think a lot of people have had that talk lately." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The journalists at Good Morning America on Tuesday offered a light-hearted, whimsical look at the Obama family's multi-country vacation. Reporter Linsey Davis played U2's "Beautiful Day" and compared the Ireland part of the trip to National Lampoon's European Vacation. Davis gushed, "You know it's a beautiful day when U2's Bono reportedly invites you to a private lunch at his favorite Irish pub, the famous Finigan's of Dalkey."
She added that "dining with a rock star is one of the perks of being a first family." Nowhere on the morning program was any mention of the cost of the trip. Ireland's Independent reported, "It is understood a total of 30 rooms in the five-star, 265-bedroom hotel, have been booked for the visit of Mrs Obama and her entourage."
As the three broadcast network evening newscasts on Thursday reported former New Jersey Democratic Senator Jon Corzine's testimony before Congress on the billion dollars in investor money that went missing from the financial firm he once headed, only the NBC Nightly News took the time to label him as a Democrat.
On Friday’s World News, and again on Saturday morning’s Good Morning America, ABC ran reports highlighting hedge fund manager John Paulson’s "jaw-dropping" 2010 income from capital gains, fretting that he will not pay as high a tax rate as many regular income earners, and referring to Paulson’s lower tax rate as a "loophole" or a "tax break." GMA co-anchor Dan Harris even relayed complaints of "extreme unfairness."
Both reports ignored the historical evidence - recounted below - that raising capital gains tax rates leads to revenue losses for the government, and instead concentrated on the complaints of those who want to see a tax increase. Both reports also misleadingly referred to "so many Americans" or "the typical American" paying income tax rates of "up to 35 percent," without noting that many lower-income Americans pay no income taxes while the 35 percent rate only applies to higher-income earners. And the idea of cutting the income tax rate on many Americans to move it closer to 15 percent certainly was not mentioned.
On Friday’s World News, anchor Diane Sawyer set up that show’s piece:
On Friday’s World News on ABC, correspondent Linsey Davis filed a one-sided report in which she cited the views of climate scientists who blame the recent cold temperatures and high amounts of snowfall on global warming. After recounting the recent extreme weather around the country, Davis continued:
If this winter seems especially brutal, scientists say you're right. ABC News contacted 10 climate scientists to ask their take, if an extreme winter like the one we're having is the way of the future. The consensus? Global warming is playing a role by shifting weather patterns in unpredictable ways. Many say the forecast for the future calls for record-breaking precipitation and extreme temperatures year round. And that means winters with more snow.
The ABC correspondent concluded the report by noting the unusually cold temperatures in Boston: