In 1993, more than a decade before Dan Rather would fully disgrace himself as a partisan determined to take down George W. Bush, he fawned over then-First Lady Hillary Clinton’s efforts to nationalize health care. Twenty six years ago this week, on September 22, 1993, Dan Rather interviewed Clinton and fawned over all her hard work: "You know, as I hear you talk, as I have before on this subject, I don't know of anybody--friend or foe--who isn't impressed by your grasp of the details of this plan."
More terrible news broke out of North Korea overnight where the murderous regime detained another American on questionable charges. Every one of the Big Three Networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) reported on the development Monday morning. Sadly both CBS and NBC decided to move on from the story come evening. For CBS Evening News, they decided it wasn’t worth the time. But they did find time for a report highlighting anti-U.S. protests.
ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning and evening newscasts have so far punted on reporting the strong critique of the Obama administration's "disturbing retreat from democratic practices" with regard to the freedom of the press, according to Reporters Without Borders. The U.S. fell 13 places in the international group's annual "World Press Freedom Index" for the federal government's "increased efforts to track down whistleblowers and the sources of leaks."
The organization spotlighted the controversial leaks from Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden as examples, but also included the Department of Justice's seizure of the Associated Press' phone records as a "reminder of the urgent need for a 'shield law' to protect the confidentiality of journalists' sources at the federal level." Fox News' Shannon Bream devoted a brief to the Reporters Without Borders report on Wednesday's Special Report: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Tuesday, the Associated Press (AP) reported that smokers may not be subject to new tobacco-use penalties built into the Affordable Care Act, due to a “computer system glitch” that could take more than a year to repair. The AP claimed that some see the stumble as part of “an emerging pattern of last-minute switches and delays” for President Obama’s signature health care law, citing the administration’s recent postponement of the so-called “employer mandate” until 2015. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
But you wouldn’t get that sense from the mainstream media, as most major outlets have devoted little or no time to the story since it broke early Tuesday morning. The Tuesday morning shows (Today, Good Morning America, and CBS This Morning) ignored the development, save for a 10-second mention from Today’s Natalie Morales.
Scott Pelley chided House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday's CBS Evening News, indicating the Republican leader was largely to blame for the imminent sequester: "You said that the President didn't have the guts to do what needed to be done on the budget. Today, you said the Senate has to get off its ass. Those don't sound like the words of a man seeking to bring people together to compromise."
Pelley had already pointed the finger at Boehner for the impasse over the federal budget back on the February 12, 2013 edition of the evening newscast, mere hours before the State of the Union:
For the second straight day, CBS This Morning on Wednesday promoted a liberal comedian attacking a prominent Republican. ABC's Jimmy Kimmel denigrated former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as a "crazy moose lady" on his late night program the previous evening. Despite this insult, Kimmel hinted that Palin was still better than current GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. [audio available here; video clip below the jump]
The CBS morning newscast featured the insult during their regular "Eye Opener" segment just after the top of the 7 am Eastern hour. On Tuesday, the same segment publicized Stephen Colbert likening Romney's tenure at Bain Capital to the cannibalistic Donner Party.
On Friday's Early Show, CBS's Betty Nguyen used the Statue of Liberty as a live backdrop to play up how "visitors would miss out on the Smithsonian and its 19 museums...even the National Zoo" if the federal budget impasse leads to a government shutdown. Nguyen also highlighted that the "Cherry Blossom Festival...[is] set to wrap up this weekend, but the parade may not march on if the government shuts down."
Fill-in anchor Rebecca Jarvis introduced the correspondent's report, which ran 10 minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour, by outlining that the cost of a shutdown might be $8 billion a week "because there are so many government employees who won't be working, agencies that will shut down, and there are costs to restarting them, including our country's national parks, which is where we find...Betty Nguyen at Liberty State Park, in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, with more on the expected impact at those locations."
NBC's Anne Thompson, on Monday's Today, covered the Climategate story only to essentially dismiss it in a nothing-to-see here, move along fashion. CBS's The Early Show had a brief mention of it, and ABC's Good Morning America did nothing. Thompson, reporting live from Copenhagen, opened her piece declaring that delegates determined "this could be their last best chance to deal with the consequences of climate change," but then added "overshadowing all of this is a scandal involving some stolen e-mails that has skeptics, once again, questioning the whole idea of global warming."
Thompson went on to air criticism from Professor Ian Plimer, of the University of Adelaide who charged, "There's data being massaged," but then devoted the rest of her piece to confirming the existence of climate change, even allowing a Penn State scientist, who appeared in the e-mail exchange, to defend the use of the term "trick," by a colleague as he claimed: "What the person meant was it was a clever approach to the problem."
On PBS's Web site today, ombudsman Michael Getler writes of complaints over an incident during last Sunday's pledge drive. He describes the cheap shot taken by actor Mike Farrell against vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin:
According to Joseph Campbell, vice president of fundraising programs, here's what happened:
On CNN's American Morning today, White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux reported on Barack Obama's campaigning in Virginia. Afterwards, anchor Kiran Chetry had a question:
CHETRY: All right. And Suzanne, what's on tap for the campaign today? And please tell me it's not lipstick again.
MALVEAUX: Let's hope not. He's going to be in Norfolk, Virginia. That is in southeast Virginia, and it's home to the world's largest Naval base. It's one of the most competitive areas that the Democrats and Republicans are fighting over. It's a critical piece of property, piece of land there with folks in Virginia, and they want those voters.