President Obama suffered a large, embarrassing loss in the Senate on a slew of gun-control bills. If this were a Republican president, they’d be sounding the lame-duck alarms on the nightly newscasts. But most media outlets can’t do this. They were fully invested in this campaign alongside Obama, and to underscore his weakness is to acknowledge their own.
Since mid-December, the broadcast networks and cable news hosts like Piers Morgan and Joe Scarborough have relentlessly lobbied for gun control. On how many occasions did they completely shred the notion of objectivity -- of journalism itself -- and boldly engage in lobbying for gun control, using their networks as megaphones? Let’s consider a few recent moments.
"CNN and MSNBC, as we can see with the gun control debate are openly promoting not just gun control but the president's gun control agenda and calling it news," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell argued on the April 11 edition of Hannity, where he appeared for the popular weekly Media Mash segment. Reacting to the fact that MSNBC's Morning Joe program gave Vice President Biden an entire three-hour program yesterday to push for more gun control, Bozell added that the bias is so endemic that it must be addressed at the corporate level of media ownership, as the so-called news networks are pushing a political agenda, not relaying information and giving time for both sides of the debate.
For the benefit of his viewers at home, Fox News host Sean Hannity played clips of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Vice President Joe Biden praising CNN and MSNBC respectively for their biased coverage. "We appreciate your support too, this is very, very important," Manchin told the anchors of Thursday's edition of CNN's Starting Point. Mr. Vice President, thank you so much," faux conservative Joe Scarborough told the vice president as he wrapped up the April 11 Morning Joe, thanking him for a "great discussion." "No, thank you!" Biden shot back. "No, no, no, no, no. You have changed the debate in America.... The two guys that deserve, if anything gets done [on gun control] - an award here are you and Michael Bloomberg." [watch the video below]
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough got an endorsement Thursday that he might live to regret.
In an exclusive Morning Joe interview with Joe Biden, the Vice President told Scarborough, "The two guys that deserve - if anything gets done [on gun control] - an award here are you and Michael Bloomberg" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Campaign 2016 has already started, and the New York Times weighed in on the presidential hopefuls in three stories Tuesday. So far, it's a hail for Hillary, a ho-hum greeting for Joe Biden, and hostility toward Republican governors Chris Christie and Bobby Jindal. David Halbfinger's Tuesday front-page story was loaded with hostility toward New Jersey's governor: "Brash Christie Plays Rutgers Circumspectly."
It does not take much for Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey to uncork his temper. He has called a Navy combat veteran an “idiot,” suggested reporters “take the bat” to a lawmaker in her 70s, and gone taunt-to-taunt with detractors on the boardwalk and in countless town hall meetings.
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Jan Crawford played up how voters supposedly find Vice President Joe Biden's "gaffes almost endearing", as she reported on the potential face-off between President Obama's running mate and Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race. Crawford played clips of Biden's most infamous gaffes, and later added that these verbal slip-ups "may not be so funny for the leader of the free world" [audio available here; video below the jump].
Back in August 2012, the CBS morning newscast actually did its best to spin the Vice President's "put y'all back in chains" slam of Mitt Romney, and adopted the Obama campaign's own talking points on the inflammatory line.
NBC's Andrea Mitchell, on Tuesday's Today show, got a very early start on hyping a Hillary Clinton 2016 run for President as she touted Clinton as a "star attraction."
Acting more like a talent agent promoting her client, Mitchell plugged Clinton's first major public appearances and noted that "one-thousand days from Iowa" the former Secretary of State would be "formidable" if she runs again for President.
CNN devoted over a half hour of coverage on Thursday to touting Mayor Bloomberg's "Demand Action to End Gun Violence" conference, where Bloomberg, Vice President Biden, and families of gun violence victims pushed for stricter gun control. Over 22 minutes was given to live coverage of the conference.
CNN hyped the "raw emotion" of the speakers pressing Congress to take action on gun control. Although gun control was the focus, anchor Carol Costello framed it as an innocuous "battle over reforming our gun laws." Correspondent Susan Candiotti wondered if the presence of grieving family members of victims would "make a difference" in getting gun laws passed.
ABC continued ignoring Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's move on Tuesday to drop a proposed federal ban on so-called assault weapons. Neither Wednesday's World News nor Thursday's Good Morning America covered the congressional development. This lack of coverage stands out in light of the network's hype of President Obama's supposedly "dramatic and emotional" lobbying effort for the ban during his State of the Union address.
NBC and CBS's Wednesday evening newscasts also ignored Senator Reid's deep-sixing of the gun control legislation. Their morning shows on Thursday devoted news briefs to Vice President Joe Biden and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's "renewed call" for the assault weapons ban, but failed to explicitly mention the Nevada Democrat's role in dropping the bill.
David Letterman on Wednesday took some shots at Hillary Clinton’s obvious pandering for gay votes with her flip-flop on same-sex marriage earlier this week.
After saying Clinton will give free pantsuits to every gay couple that ties the knot, the CBS Late Show host aired a mock video demonstrating just how far Joe Biden is willing to go to win in 2016.
Allen Pizzey readily identified Pope Francis as a "conservative" on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, but failed to give an equivalent ideological label to Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who attended his installation Mass in St. Peter's Sqaure. Pizzey spotlighted the apparent "stark contrast" between the new pontiff and the two liberal politicians, whom he described as being "pro-choice and support[ing] same-sex marriage."
The correspondent also omitted that the American delegation to the Mass at the Vatican included a pro-life officeholder – New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez.
Concerning a Wednesday incident which would surely have received much wider play if it had involved former Vice President Dick Cheney during the George W. Bush administration, Capital News Service reported that one of its reporters was forced by an aide to Vice President Joe Biden to delete photos he had taken at an event in Rockville, Maryland. Based on a Google News search on "Biden Maryland" (not in quotes, sorted by date with duplicates), the Politico's Dylan Byers was the only person in the national establishment press to run an item on the incident -- lending additional credence to the theory that stories the rest of the press won't touch get deliberately buried there with the excuse that "Oh, the Politico dealt with that already, so we don't have to."
Several paragraphs from the Capital News Service report follow the jump (internal link was in original; bolds are mine):