ABC’s 20/20 special on Michelle Obama Sunday night was about what you’d expect from the same network who hailed the “transcendent, communal joy” and “dancing in the streets” after Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008. While just a few weeks ago, ABC’s 20/20 on Melania Trump spent nearly every minute on controversies and strife in the White House and their marriage, this episode on the Obamas was a complete 180 in tone and content, with not even a brief mention of Obama's own controversies.
ABC’s primetime special of First Lady Melania Trump Friday evening was more about President Trump and everything the media saw wrong with him than the actual First Lady. Badgering her to condemn Trump on his immigration policies, border policy, Twitter “bullying” and more, ABC’s Tom Llamas also spent a great deal of the show speculating about Trump’s marriage, asking invasive and downright rude questions like, “Do you love your husband?”
In a salacious promo for the network’s exclusive Sunday night interview with former FBI Director James Comey, during Wednesday’s Good Morning America, ABC featured clips of anchor George Stephanopoulos touting Comey’s comparison of President Trump to a “mob boss” and asking the fired Bureau chief if the President should be impeached.
2017 was a year of incredible change and tension in the world of the liberal media. Whether it was the departure of their beloved Barack Obama, the contentious White House press briefings, media failures, or journalists fired over sexual misconduct allegations, the liberal media are almost definitely looking forward to 2018. Just as I did with 2016, check out the top ten most-read NewsBusters blogs from 2017.
Caitlyn Jenner might be a Republican, but the transgender icon is certainly moving leftward on the political spectrum. In clips from a 20/20 interview with Diane Sawyer that will air tonight, the former Olympian dished about a new memoir, shifting views on gay marriage and a golf invite from Donald Trump. Although still identifying with the Republican Party, Jenner articulated some concerns.
All three networks on Tuesday fretted over the sordid details of Anthony Weiner’s sexting scandal, worrying that the “personal” is now becoming political. A CBS This Morning analyst dismissed Donald Trump’s contention that the wife of the unrestrained Weiner may be a security risk.
ABC's World News Tonight on Friday led its broadcast with a preview of a special 20/20 report that detailed how the parents of ISIS hostage Kayla Mueller tried to free her before she was killed in captivity. Carl and Marsha Mueller disclosed that President Obama "made a promise to help the foundation they set up in her name, and then broke it." Mueller's parents also revealed their "belief that the government failed their daughter."
All three networks on Thursday gushed over the possibility that Barack Obama might have an ownership stake in a basketball team after leaving the White House. NBC opened the Today show with naked excitement. A graphic cheered, “Full court Prez!” Co-host Savannah Guthrie enthused, “Does President Obama have his sights set on owning a team in the NBA after he leaves office? What the White House is revealing about the Commander in Chief's hoop dreams.”
Going into overdrive on Friday, ABC obsessed over the killing of Cecil the lion for an additional 46 minutes across three programs. This is same network that has virtually ignored the Planned Parenthood scandal. ABC's 20/20 devoted the entire hour to discussing the "uproar" over Cecil. After commercials, 20/20 added 37 minutes and 18 seconds on the lion killing. Nightline offered seven minutes and 30 seconds and GMA managed an additional two minutes and ten seconds.
Planned Parenthood and its defenders have played up that the recent undercover videos were "highly-edited," and that producers are "not journalists," but "violent extremists." However, ABC aired their own segment on biomedical firms possibly breaking the law to obtain organs from unborn babies. In 2000, Chris Wallace, then with ABC, revealed on 20/20 that a "hidden camera investigation has found a thriving industry, in which aborted fetuses women donate to help medical research are being marketed for hundreds – even thousands of dollars."
Monday's CBS This Morning and NBC's Today both devoted a minimal amount of coverage to the Sunday bombings of two churches in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The two Big Three morning newscasts devoted 58 seconds to news briefs on the explosions at a Baptist church and a Catholic parish. By contrast, the programs set aide 12 minutes and 22 seconds of air time to segments related to the outcry over the slaying of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe.
In a surprising segment, ABC’s 20/20 highlighted several cases of freeloading by people looking to fraudulently claim disability. While the program did not get to the heart of the matter – just how easy it is to claim disability and the skyrocketing cost of the program – noting a major flaw in an expensive government program is rare for a liberal network like ABC.