Most people in today’s “mainstream media” almost never admit they have a liberal bias when covering the news, but Jake Tapper -- host of The Lead, a weekday program on the Cable News Network -- did just that during an interview with Andy Greene of the Rolling Stone magazine that was posted on Tuesday, August 15.



Joe Scarborough came close to calling Donald Trump a fraud when it comes to his late-in-life switch from being strongly pro-choice, including supporting partial-birth abortion, to being pro-life. On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough flatly called Trump's 180-degree flip on the issue, coming when it did, "impossible."

Scarborough's comments came in the context of Trump's statement [later amended] to Chris Matthews during a town hall yesterday that he supported some form of punishment for women having abortions. Said Scarborough: "Unless you have some religious experience on the road to Damascus which I haven't seen in Donald, it's just impossible!" Here's the clip of Tim Russert's 1999 interview in which Trump [53-years old at the time] described himself as "very pro-choice" and explicitly said he would not ban partial-birth abortion.



In the wake of the CNBC debate debacle, Joe Scarborough went on an epic rant on liberal media bias on today's Morning Joe. He summed things up this way, in challenging the panel: "you can't do it and nobody here can do it: name the single Republican that has hosted a Sunday show, that has been an anchor of a news network for the big three networks over the past 50 years: you can not do it." 

Mark Halperin largely agreed, saying "there's huge liberal media bias." But Mike Barnicle actually claimed that having fair moderators would be a bad thing for Republicans because they would lose their ability to run against the media.



When this NewsBuster began preparing today's item, the focus was going to be on Joe Scarborough's statement on today's Morning Joe that "90% of the people in our business vote for Democrats and Democratic primaries." Not that it was something we didn't already know [though query whether even 10% of MSMers are Republicans], but refreshing to hear it so starkly stated.

But preparing the video clip, something more stunning emerged. Scarborough actually suggested that the problem of biased debate moderators is something new: "this is not something we've had a problem with in the past." Say what? Do the names George Stephanopoulos and Candy Crowley ring a bell, just to cite two examples of outrageous moderator bias from the last presidential cycle? 



Longtime journalist Tim Russert, who among many other things hosted NBC's Meet the Press for over 17 years, passed away suddenly in June 2008.

His son Luke now works for NBC, and among other things is a Meet the Press panelist. Based on some of his more recent output, Luke is perhaps better described not a journalist, but as the network's desginated childish, mean-spirited namecaller. After House Speaker John Boehner survived a fairly strong challenge from Republicans frustrated with his leadership, particularly the "cromnibus" legislation passed late last year on his watch, Luke took to Twitter and hauled out an insulting, ethnically charged epithet to describe those who opposed the Speaker's reelection (HT Twitchy):



In an effort to reverse the perpetual and disastrous ratings slide Meet the Press experienced during David Gregory's tenure as anchor of the Sunday morning program, NBC is going all out and bringing in Joe Scarborough, the co-host of MSNBC's Morning Joe program, to provide a “right-leaning voice” during panel discussions, and the son of the late -- and still beloved -- former host Tim Russert.

These changes will take effect on Sunday, the first edition under the guidance of the show's 11th moderator, Chuck Todd, who was formerly the chief White House correspondent for the network and host of The Daily Rundown on MSNBC.



“Don't go away mad,” an old saying goes, “just go away.” That seems to be the case with David Gregory, who is receiving a grand total of $4 million to end his six-year tenure as host of the NBC News Meet the Press program.

Part of the 43-year-old anchor's contract is a “nondisparagement clause,” which specifies that he is not to speak out against the network, according to an article written by Emily Smith and Stephanie Smith of the Page Six website.



In Politico’s reporting on Chuck Todd taking over “Meet the Press,” the Drudge Report singled out Mark Leibovich, a New York Times reporter and the author of “This Town,” a book on Washington insiders. Tim Russert’s success came from his ability be “distinctive and combative.”

“If you were a politician of serious ambition,” Leibovich wrote, “an invitation to his set was your rite of passage and your proving ground.” Presidential candidates in both parties weren’t contenders until they passed a Russert exam.



Meet the Press host David Gregory has been the focus of turmoil since the Sunday morning NBC program suffered its lowest ratings since 1992 during the past year and was the subject of a meeting with network news president Deborah Turness in March. After that gathering, NBC “doubled down” on Gregory as host of the series, along with giving him additional duties on the network's news website.

However, an article written by Paul Farhi in Sunday's edition of the Washington Post stated that during the first three months of 2012, the NBC program finished a distant third, far behind CBS's Face the Nation and This Week With George Stephanopoulos on ABC. Just four days later, Turness sent a memo to the show's staff declaring that coverage of Gregory's troubles has been “vindictive, personal and above all -- untrue.”



Just when it seemed that NBC's Meet the Press couldn't sink any lower, ratings for the last three months of 2013 for the Sunday morning news/interview show fell to its lowest level since the third quarter of 1992. That development has added to the speculation that liberal David Gregory might be on his way out as host.

From October through December, NBC's program came in third place for total viewers -- behind CBS's Face the Nation and ABC's This Week -- and the numbers among viewers in the important demographic from 25 to 54 years of age collapsed to their lowest level in the program's history.



 

In case you haven't heard, the Media Research Center is moving. Starting June 10, the MRC (which publishes NewsBusters) will be located in Reston, Virginia. As we prepare for the move, we've discovered old, unseen gems. During the 1992 presidential campaign, George H.W. Bush was asked whether he had ever been unfaithful to Mrs. Bush. Tom Sherwood, a local journalist for NBC's Washington affiliate, cornered Dan Rather, Charles Kuralt and Tim Russert at the Republican National Convention in Houston. He turned the tables on his fellow reporters, quizzing them about possible affairs.

An awkward Rather first shot back, "You been asking this to Tom Brokaw, have you?" After Sherwood demanded, "Have you ever committed adultery," Rather retorted, "Have you?" Following another pause, the then-CBS Evening News anchor clumsily concluded, "Mmm. Well, thank you very much. Pleased to see you." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]



It seems that the media cannot resist spitting on the Romneys when they are down. On last Saturday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, Ms. Witt decided to cover Ann Romney’s recent interview with CBS This Morning as part of her end-of-show The Big 3 segment. Witt played a clip from that interview in which Romney bemoaned Americans’ lack of trust in their government due to the current scandals.

After the clip, Witt tag-teamed with liberal journalist Patricia Murphy, editor of Citizen Jane Politics, to bash the Romneys for re-entering the national political conversation. “Patricia, too early for the Romneys to resurface?" Witt inquired. "You think the public really wants to hear from them after the last election?" she asked, a not-so-subtle way of passive-aggressively wishing the Romneys would crawl into a hole.