During live coverage, minutes after the Supreme Court struck down a key portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act on Tuesday, a hyperbolic Terry Moran on ABC inaccurately spun the whole law as being invalidated. It was left to former Democratic operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos to correct his colleague.
Moran insisted, "Right now there is no voting rights act operative in the United States." Actually, the Court struck down section four of act, saying that the formula for which state and federal localities decide pre-clearance for their voting laws must be rewritten. Trying to clarify Moran's remarks, Stephanopoulos summarized, "They did not strike down the heart of the act, section five of the Voting Rights Act. And they didn't find the entire law unconstitutional." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Terry Moran, co-host of the liberal Nightline, will be leaving the show this summer, according to TV Newser. The program, which lost half its audience since being demoted to 12:35 at night, has downplayed and minimized Barack Obama recent scandals in favor of superficial, light-weight segments.
Moran has relegated much of his serious journalism to Twitter. On May 10, the reporter used the social media site to question the Obama administration's "Nixonian abuse of power" in the wake of the IRS scandal. On May 11, his program ignored the breaking story. By May 15, the show had allowed a scant 28 seconds to the topic. While Moran tweeted away on the IRS controversy and Benghazi, his show covered the latest on plastic surgery and other topics. On Monday night, Nightline featured a story on ten-year-old rapper Lil' Poopy.
On Wednesday night, the journalists at Nightline allowed a mere 31 seconds to the exploding scandal involving the Internal Revenue Service targeting conservatives. This was after anchor Terry Moran introduced stories on O.J. Simpson's latest trial, one on determining your "Klout score" and the new reality TV show Ice Cold Cold. On Thursday night, the program focused on pop singer Demi Lovato's problems and clowns.
The disinterest Nightline is showing towards Barack Obama's scandals, including the IRS, the AP controversy and Benghazi, contrasts to how the show's journalists viewed scandal when Ronald Reagan was in the White House. On November 17, 1987, then-correspondent Jeff Greenfield lectured the media for not covering Iran-Contra enough. Speaking of a report on the controversy, Greenfield huffed, "It is, after all, not about a sex or drug scandal or dramatic crime. It is instead about how a great nation defends its vital interests while keeping faith with its highest values." Obsessed only with crime? Sounds like a good critique of ABC and Nightline in 2013.
Where would a Nightline viewer go for important political news? It wouldn't be the late night ABC show. This week, the program has focused on topics such as Angelina Jolie's mastectomy and the latest plastic surgery operations. Co-anchor Terry Moran saves most of the hard news for his Twitter page.
Except for a mere 28 seconds that aired at 1:05am in the early morning hours of Tuesday, the program's hosts have ignored the growing scandal involving the IRS targeting conservative groups for audits and harassment. Yet, while Nightline focused on Prince Harry's visit to America, co-anchor Terry Moran tweeted: "It keeps getting worse: IRS office that targeted Tea Party also disclosed confidential docs from conservative groups."
Fifty six days after the grisly trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell began, ABC broke its self-imposed blackout and finally offered coverage. World News anchor Diane Sawyer belatedly told viewers that Gosnell was convicted on three counts of first degree murder against newborn babies, as well as on a slew of other charges. Terry Moran explained, "For two months, jurors heard often shocking, grisly testimony." He described the details as a "house of horrors." A house of horrors that ABC took 56 days to notice.
As the Media Research Center has aggressively documented, ABC went from March 18, 2013 (the trial's start) through Monday afternoon with no coverage. Yet during the same time, the network devoted a staggering 187 minutes (or 70 segments) to other shocking criminal cases, such as Jodi Arias and Amanda Knox.
On Friday morning, Nightline co-anchor Terry Moran took to Twitter to slam the Obama administration for news that the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative groups in 2012 for reviews. Yet, the powerful journalist and his television program avoided the subject. (Bill Weir hosted on Friday.) Moran tweeted, "A truly Nixonian abuse of power by the Obama administration: IRS Apologizes for Targeting Conservative Groups."
He followed up with another tweet, explaining, "IRS targeted 'about 75' groups because they had the words 'tea party' or 'patriot' in their applications for tax-exempt." Yet, when given the opportunity to take his journalistic outrage beyond the internet, his show skipped it (at least so far).
One would expect that everyone associated with an outlet which characterizes itself as the be-all, end-all of online encyclopedias would be on board to make sure there is space for an entry on the person who may, when all is said and done, be shown to have been among the worst, if not the worst, mass murderers in U.S. history -- and maybe, if ABC's Terry Moran is correct, "the most successful serial killer in the history of the world."
Nope. It appears that earlier this week, an editor at Wikipedia proposed deleting an already-existing entry on Kermit Gosnell because, according to the relevant "Articles for deletion" page at the site, "His case has not received national attention. It is a local multiple-murder story in Pennsylvania, nothing more." As outrageous as this suggestion was, it should be noted that all but one of several dozen responses to the suggestion advocated keeping the entry. Excerpts from the Daily Caller's coverage follow the jump.
On Wednesday and Thursday, the journalists at ABC continued to treat the gay marriage issue as though there was only one acceptable side. Diane Sawyer and Terry Moran framed the case before the Supreme Court as simply "one American seeking justice" and gave almost no time to the opposition. On the March 27 World News, Sawyer used loaded language as she hyped, "Edith Windsor received a hero's welcome when she emerged from the Supreme Court, saying it's time to take a stand for marriage equality."
Windsor is an 83-year-old lesbian who is petitioning the high court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Journalist Moran seemed to dismiss principled opposition to gay marriage as he insisted, "Sometimes, the big cases come to the Supreme Court out of conflicts between the states or battles between the branches of government and sometimes one American walks up these steps seeking justice." He added, "That's what's happening today." Sawyer could barely contain herself as she enthused, "Tonight, the fighter...Her case challenges the justices and rallies the crowd on marriage in America." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday again offered the most biased coverage on the gay marriage case before the Supreme Court. All three network morning shows skipped specific mention of the multiple thousands who marched for traditional marriage on Tuesday. ABC, however, used loaded terms such as "marriage equality" rather than gay marriage. Reporter Terry Moran gushed over the liberal position: "This is a social movement, a 21st century social movement that arrived with astonishing speed at this court, driven by activists, by Hollywood in part and by young people, especially on social media." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
In contrast, he portrayed a skeptical Supreme Court as old and out of touch: "The wave of increasing support for gay marriage in America, especially among the young, is crashing on the Supreme Court and the justices, average age 67, seem downright perplexed." Moran highlighted the case of Edie Windsor, an 83-year-old lesbian whose case is before the Supreme Court. He sympathetically related, "when Thea died in 2009, Edie got hit with almost $400,000 in federal estate taxes, a penalty she would not have had to pay if she were married to a man."
The reporters of ABC's Good Morning America on Tuesday offered a one-sided take on the Supreme Court's "historic hearing on marriage equality." The morning show featured four voices in support of the high court affirming gay marriage and just one against. Correspondent Terry Moran framed the issue in emotional terms: "Outside the Supreme Court overnight a candlelight vigil for proponents of same-sex marriage. It's a debate that touches countless American families." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Moran included a snippet of plaintiff Paul Katami: "Anyone who has ever fallen in love out there knows you don't choose who you fall in love with. You just fall in love." He highlighted a crowd chanting, "No more hate! No more hate!" Same sex marriage supporter Kris Perry insisted, "We're expected to contribute and pay taxes, parent, live up to all the other expectations of everybody else but we're missing this one key fundamental right which is just to be married."
Former President Bush adviser Karl Rove had a heated exchange about gun control with ABC's Terry Moran on This Week Sunday.
At one point Moran told Rove, "You're scaring people with this Orwellian sense that black helicopters and the government if we register guns are going to confiscate Americans’ guns" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Thursday's World News, ABC News correspondent Terry Moran acted like it was a big surprise that newly-elected Pope Francis stands by the Catholic Church's teachings on sexuality: "Now, as the world comes to know him, it turns out, on many issues, Pope Francis is a staunch traditionalist. He compared abortion to a death sentence; called gay marriage 'destructive of God's plan.'"
By contrast, CBS surprisingly reported on the continuing persecution of the Catholic Church in China on Friday's CBS This Morning. Though he didn't explicitly label the Chinese government as communist, correspondent Wyatt Andrews noted how "millions of the faithful worship in groups at home, praying in underground churches where religion, if practiced too openly, can lead to arrest." Andrews' report stands out from his network's biased coverage of the papal election.