The Sunday following the anti-President Donald Trump Women’s March on Washington, network news rushed to spin the event as an inclusive event about putting the president on notice. “[Trump will] be confronting images, however, like this,” hyped Paula Farris on Good Morning America, “Hundreds of thousands of women, and men, hitting the streets.” There was no talk of the obscene parts of Ashley Judd’s hate filled tirade nor Madonna’s fantasy of “blowing up the White House,” only a fleeting mention on NBC.
On Monday, all three network morning shows were eager to second guess the Dallas Police Department’s decision to use a bomb delivered by robot to kill ambush sniper Micah Johnson and fretted over the militarization of police across the country. At the top of CBS This Morning, with the headline “Questionable Tactics” emblazoned across the screen, co-host Gayle King worried: “And questions about how the Dallas Police Department ended the standoff with the gunman. Did they go too far delivering a bomb by robot?”
On Friday, the Big Three networks' evening newscasts gave a collective yawn at the latest development in the Obama administration's Fast and Furious scandal: the White House "turning over to lawmakers thousands of pages of records" related to the gunrunning debacle to a committee. ABC's World News Tonight actually used the "Fast and Furious" phrase at the top of the program, but not in reference to the controversy. Instead, they mentioned it as they teased a one minute and 30-second segment on the latest police chase from Los Angeles.
Good Morning America’s Matt Gutman on Wednesday feared that angry Americans will lash out with violence in the wake of the San Bernardino shooting and Donald Trump’s comments about Muslims. The segment also highlighted the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Just as with CBS on Monday, the group’s extremist views weren’t mentioned.
Pity ABC correspondent Matt Gutman, trapped in the wrong career. Clearly, he’s a frustrated publicist, or maybe a producer for a sob-sister daytime talk show. That’s the only charitable way to explain his Oct. 4 “20/20” report on Kaitlyn Hunt.
Hunt, of Indian River, Fla., was an 18-year-old woman when she had multiple sexual encounters in a high school restroom with a 14-year-old girl. She was 19 when she violated a court order forbidding contact with that girl, sending her 20,000 texts, including nude and sexually explicit photos and videos and arranging to meet for sex. Video after the jump.
ABC won't let reality get in the way of good hype. Good Morning America on Tuesday doubled down on the "airline apocalypse" allegedly caused by sequester. Reporter Matt Guttman actually lumped in weather delays with a shortage of Federal Aviation Association (FAA) air traffic controllers. On Monday, George Stephanopoulos warned of an "airport armageddon." The next day, Gutman seemed to contradict this, admitting, "[We] didn't really find an airline apocalypse." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
However, using a slight of hand, he quickly moved on: "But all those little delays, either caused by a shortage of FAA controllers or by the weather, started to snowball into delays of four and five hours." Using hyperbole almost identical to Stephanopoulos, Gutman hyperventilated, "But Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood warns ABC News, we might yet see an airplane apocalypse." Airport armageddon? Airplane apocalypse? The GMA journalists offered such over-the-top alliteration, despite this concession from Gutman: "So far, several hundred flights delayed. Far less than the agency's prediction of 6,700 daily flight delays."
The journalists at ABC News on Monday renewed their push to promote sequester fears. Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos hyped, "Breaking this morning: Airport armageddon. Almost seven thousand flights could be delayed, today and every day, up to three hours." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] The ABC morning show featured only liberal Democrat Chuck Schumer and no Republican voices.
Over on CBS This Morning, however, reporter Sharyl Attkisson explained the GOP position, featuring Republican Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania. The congressman described the automatic spending cuts that are causing furloughs of Federal Aviation Administration employees this way: "I believe [Obama is] instructing his agencies to – to do the things that inflict the most pain on the American people." ABC ignored that perspective.
Since that awful Sunday in Sanford, Florida, back in February, the media have shown time and time again they don't understand how the American justice system works.
Take ABC legal analyst Dan Abrams who on Thursday's Nightline said, "So even if Zimmerman was on his back, even if he was losing a fight, he still has a lot of explaining to do and is going to have to prove that Trayvon Martin was the initial aggressor" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In what can only be described as ABC's attempt to show endless shots of large breasts, Nightline on Wednesday investigated the growing number of women in Venezuela who are having surgery to become more well endowed. In fact, it was the outcry of the country's socialist leader who brought the story to their attention.
Reporter Matt Gutman explained, "Five years ago yesterday, he called President George W Bush the devil in an appearance at the United Nations. But now [Hugo] Chavez has managed to say something that's got him in real hot water on his own turf, in his own country."
[See video below. MP3 audio here.]
In today's "Silence of the Cams" segment, an ABC reporter was hassled Thursday for trying to cover the Gulf Coast oil spill from an Alabama beach.
According to an article published at ABCNews.com, "Reporting is often about access, but journalists along the Gulf Coast covering the BP oil spill have had some trouble getting it."
The piece continued, "As BP faces more pressure from the government and from its own shareholders unhappy with the company's falling stock price, it seems to be clamping down on who can talk to reporters" (video follows with more quotes from the article and commentary):