ABC and NBC could barely contain their contempt while covering the controversy over the all-male Augusta golf club. Katie Couric, guest anchoring Good Morning America on Thursday, lectured the organization hosting the Masters tournament to allow a woman in: "I mean, really. Get with the program. Seriously?"
Reporter Josh Elliott lamented that Augusta has remained "cloistered," "a secretive sanctuary for golfers and one that has never admitted a woman. On Wednesday's Nightly News, correspondent Lisa Myers wondered what Augusta Chairman Billy Payne would "tell his granddaughters about why women are excluded."
On Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams touted the handiwork of Planned Parenthood's vicious attacks against the Susan G. Komen foundation: "The nation's largest breast cancer charity remains in turmoil tonight after a controversial attempt to cut off its funding of Planned Parenthood. Donations to the Susan G. Komen Foundation are down sharply in many areas."
NBC News, and Williams particularly, were quite complicit in furthering those attacks on Komen. On the February 1 broadcast, Williams declared: "A decision that's making a lot of women furious at the world's largest breast cancer organization. Why did it cut off funds for critical breast cancer screenings?"
ABC, CBS, and NBC spotlighted the Komen foundation's about-face on funding Planned Parenthood on their Friday evening newscasts, and played up the apparent role of social media in getting the charity to reverse its earlier decision. On World News, ABC's Diane Sawyer trumpeted the "dramatic day for people power," while on Nightly News, NBC's Lester Holt concluded, "score one for the power of social media."
The Big Three outlets also covered the 180 by the breast cancer organization on their Saturday morning shows. Altogether, the networks added seven more reports to the 13 from the first 60 hours or so of the controversy, bringing the total to 20 since February 1, versus only three on the face-off between the Catholic Church and the Obama administration since January 20 (the MRC documented and highlighted this imbalance in a report on Friday; ABC and NBC added mentions on their Sunday morning political shows).
It seems media outlets only care about reporting on Planned Parenthood when its funding is threatened. When that happens, the liberal press goes ballistic.
When cancer charity Susan G. Komen for the Cure cut funding to Planned Parenthood, the abortion mill reacted swiftly, with a press release that rallied its allies in the media to create a ruckus about losing more than $600,000 in funding. The liberal media echo chamber began ringing with howls of rage that the cancer charity would dare to say no to funding the abortion giant. Strangely, the three broadcast networks seemed to have difficulty locating Komen supporters to interview.
Since announcing that it would no longer provide funding to Planned Parenthood on Wednesday, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation has been subject to a vicious smear campaign by the abortion provider, a campaign which NBC News has worked to advance over the past 48 hours.
At the top of Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams sounded the alarm: "Caught in the middle. Two of the biggest names in women's health, tonight in a bitter fight over money and it may be thousands of women who pay the biggest price." In a later tease of the upcoming report he made no secret of who he thought the villain of the story was: "A decision that's making a lot of women furious at the world's largest breast cancer organization. Why did it cut off funds for critical breast cancer screenings?"
The media elite and the Republican Ruling Class are remarkably similar in their political projection for the coming year. Journalists spent the entire year savaging every fast-rising challenger to Mitt Romney. The GOP’s power pundits became equally agitated at the sniff of a conservative anywhere near the top of the GOP pack. It’s the odor of extremism that both the elites in the media and the GOP have detested – always.
So here we are, on the cusp of the election year, and both these groups have one primary target: Newt Gingrich. Both are using the same ammo: Newt is too unstable, immature, flawed, and arrogant. Or as power pundit Peggy Noonan put it, Newt is “a human hand grenade who walks around with his hand on the pin, saying, ‘Watch this!’” The Washington Post’s political cartoonist drew him as a suicide bomber.
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams on Tuesday evening promised a look “back at some of the hits, runs and errors” of Newt Gingrich’s years as Speaker of the House, but other than a sentence from Lisa Myers about how “working with President Clinton, Gingrich piled up real achievements: a balanced budget, an historic welfare reform,” she focused her entire piece on how “his speakership also was marked by chaos, polarization, and incendiary remarks.”
Her first witness: NBC’s own Joe Scarborough, who feigned concern that Gingrich “hurt the Republican Party and more importantly, to a lot of us, the conservative movement moving forward.”
On Friday, CBS's Early Show was the only Big Three morning show to cover Energy Secretary Steven Chu's testimony before a congressional hearing on the $528 million loan to the bankrupt solar panel company Solyndra. NBC previewed the hearing on Thursday's Today show, but avoided it the following morning. ABC's GMA completely ignored it both days.
Fill-in news anchor Betty Nguyen gave a 44-second news brief during the 7 am half hour of The Early Show, noting how Secretary Chu "made no apologies for the loan of more than $500 million to Solyndra back in 2009" during the hearing. However, the CBS morning show didn't air a full report on the controversy until the top of the 8 am hour.
The network evening newscasts on Tuesday and the morning shows on Wednesday continued to hype the Herman Cain "firestorm," creating 12 more stories in less than 24 hours. Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos led the show on Wednesday by trumpeting, " Republican front-runner Herman Cain changes his story again as one of his accusers now says she wants to go public on charges of sexual harassment."
On NBC's Today, Chuck Todd hyperbolically announced, "Struggling to move beyond the firestorm that is engulfing his candidacy, Herman Cain again denied he sexually harassed anyone." On that same program, guest Chris Matthews recklessly speculated that the Republican harassed women while drunk.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s admission, on Thursday, that he approved more taxpayer money to the financially strapped solar panel company Solyndra, after it defaulted on a $535 million loan from that agency. Big Three network coverage? Zero. This is just a continuing pattern of ABC, CBS and NBC barely touching the bourgeoning scandal for the Obama administration.
What initially began as an embarrassing collapse of one of the green companies touted by the Obama has turned into a story of coverup of still more stimulus money being wasted on the left’s pet cause of climate change. Yet, as a search of Nexis shows, the networks have glanced over the Solyndra story with the Big Three networks running a total of just eight total full stories, two anchor briefs and a couple of mentions on their evening and morning news shows, since the company declared bankruptcy in August.
ABC and CBS on Friday skipped any coverage of a congressional investigation into Solyndra and the appearance of its two top executives to plead the Fifth. Only NBC's Today show provided an in-depth look at the now bankrupt green company and the loans given to it by the Obama administration.
Today reporter Lisa Myers noted that taxpayers stand to lose up to half a billion dollars. She explained, "So, images of its executives taking the Fifth today are not the optics the White House had hoped for." Good Morning America and Early Show kept Americans from seeing those optics by not covering them. They did, however have time for a number of frivolous stories.
On Wednesday's NBC "Today," correspondent Lisa Myers highlighted new support for John Edwards in his legal battle: "...it grabs your attention when a group dedicated to exposing political corruption takes his side against the Justice Department....Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington will file a motion arguing there should be no trial, calling for the case to be dismissed."
A sound bite was featured CREW president Melanie Sloan dismissing the corruption case against the disgraced former senator as "ridiculous" and questioned the motivation behind it: "...the Justice Department is taking such a novel and aggressive prosecution that you really have to wonder why they're doing this." Myers failed to label CREW as a liberal organization.