On the heels of President Barack Obama’s announcement on Wednesday that the United States and Cuba will soon open respective embassies in Havana and Washington, the “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC covered the story on their evening newscasts with ABC and NBC expressing particular enthusiasm at the move and little to no criticism of the President’s Cuba policy. In addition, the networks failed to label Cuba’s government as communist with ABC and NBC further declining to bring up the authoritarian nature of the Cuban government.
Friday's NBC Nightly News gave former Democratic Representative Barney Frank a platform to blast his former Republican peers in Congress, as it covered the Dennis Hastert scandal. Frank asserted that the issue is "a reminder of the hypocrisy especially among my Republican colleagues. Dennis Hastert became Speaker to preside over the impeachment of Bill Clinton. He then went on, as Speaker, to put before the House twice, constitutional amendments that would have banned same-sex marriage."
Following five straight days where the network evening newscasts slammed Indiana for passing its Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), Arkansas joined the barrage of criticism on Wednesday after Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson requested the legislature make changes to its own version. The CBS Evening News failed to mention how a small Indiana pizza parlor has been forced to at least temporarily shutter after receiving violent threats while NBC Nightly News only said that the shop closed after “so much criticism online.”
For the fifth straight night, the major broadcast networks used their evening newscasts to blast the State of Indiana on Tuesday for sparking an “uproar” and “national outcry” over its Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) while also choosing to heavily promote the arguments of opponents.
On their Monday evening newscasts, the major broadcast networks kept up their attacks on the State of Indiana for having enacted a religious freedom law that aims to protect individuals from government infringement based on their religious beliefs. While ABC, CBS, and NBC mentioned that there are those supporting the law, their coverage continued to veer off in a slanted direction against the law by painting Republicans as being “in damage control mode” while the “avalanche of criticism” continues to grow.
Early on Monday's NBC Today, fill-in co-host Willie Geist hyped "the growing debate over a controversial law that critics call anti-gay....[who] say it permits businesses, among other things, to refuse service to same-sex couples on religious grounds." Correspondent Gabe Gutierrez followed: "This morning a huge backlash against Indiana's new Religious Freedom Restoration Act and Governor Mike Pence is on the defensive."
When the now-retracted article by the Rolling Stone magazine was published on November 19 about a brutal gang rape of a first-year student at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at the University of Virginia, the major broadcast networks rushed to the story and devoted multiple segments to both the article and reaction on the school’s campus. In doing so, they failed (unlike other outlets) to point out its flaws that brought an apology from the liberal magazine on Friday afternoon after it came to realize that many of the key facts in the story were in serious doubt.
In the only full report on the upcoming midterm election on Thursday's NBC Today, correspondent Gabe Gutierrez shared his journey aboard the "Pot Bus" in Florida, a campaign effort urging voters to back legalized medical marijuana in the state: "...supporters say that they've made about 200 stops over the past few months to rally support....It's a ride full of high hopes."
As the New York Times launched a high profile editorial to federally legalize marijuana, NBC and CBS on Monday surprisingly showcased the downside of the pro-pot movement in states such as Colorado and Washington. CBS This Morning host Gayle King alerted, "After voters in Colorado and Washington State gave the green light for recreational use, the Times editorial board now wants the rest of the country to have the same opportunity."
Touting the status of the New York Times, reporter Jan Crawford related, "It may seem like edgy stuff from the so-called paper of record, but it reflects a sharp shift in public opinion." Yet, the journalist also explained, "Legalization has been linked to at least two deaths as well as incidents of children accidentally ingesting marijuana-laced food." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Wednesday, NBC's Today offered a surprising full report on "filmmaker and liberal activist" Michael Moore tarnishing his "blue-collar, anti-capitalist image" after it was revealed during divorce proceedings that Moore and his now ex-wife lived in a Michigan mansion, "the 10,000-square-foot house, reportedly in the same neighborhood as Madonna and Bruce Willis." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Back in 2009, the morning show invited Moore on the broadcast to bash big bonuses for Wall Street executives. In part, Moore ranted against the wealthy business leaders living in "gated communities" and "castles with moats around them." Perhaps Moore should have remembered that people living in giant mansions shouldn't throw stones.