On their Wednesday morning shows, the Big Three networks continued their trend of all but ignoring the Obama administration trying to force religious institutions to include coverage of sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraceptives in their health care policies without a co-pay. The new mandate from the Department of Health and Human Services would force Catholic hospitals and schools to decide whether to submit to the new policy or follow the Church's teachings against birth control.
Instead of covering this growing dispute between the Catholic hierarchy of the United States and the federal government, CBS This Morning brought on Rev. Edward Beck, a Catholic priest, to respond to a story that might cast the Church in a bad light with regards to how it manages the donations it receives.
ABC, NBC, and CBS all reported on former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich receiving a 14-year prison sentence for corruption on their evening news programs on Wednesday and their morning shows on Thursday, but only CBS's Early Show gave his Democratic affiliation. ABC devoted only 3 news briefs total to the conviction, while NBC Nightly News and The Early Show aired full reports.
News anchor Jeff Glor introduced correspondent Michelle Miller's report on the CBS morning program at the bottom of the 7 am Eastern hour by stating that "Rod Blagojevich is paying a very high price for corruption. Is it too high? In Chicago Wednesday, a judge sentenced the former Illinois governor to 14 years in prison"
In just a few days, Americans will give thanks for their blessings and celebrate them by stuffing themselves with a bountiful feast. Despite this beloved tradition, many in the news media disapprove of overeating and continue to call for taxes on certain foods, and increased regulation.
Time magazine's website, includes an "Ideas" section with what it calls "Essential Insights. Great Debates. Informed Opinions." It was there that Shannon Brownlee, director of the liberal New America Foundation's (which is funded by George Soros' Foundation to Promote Open Society) Health Policy Program, recently called for more regulation under the guise of "public health."
CBS and NBC led Wednesday night with glowing stories about the growth and diversity of the far-left “Occupy Wall Street” protests, though without any ideological label applied nor any critics allowed, a promotional approach the networks never provided in Tea Party coverage.
“We begin tonight with what has become by any measure a pretty massive protest movement,” NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams announced. “While it goes by the official name ‘Occupy Wall Street,’ it has spread steadily and far beyond Wall Street, and it could well turn out to be the protest of this current era.”
ABC’s Cecilia Vega touted how “it is a crowd that grows daily in size and diversity,” CBS’s Michelle Miller heralded “they’re gaining momentum and new recruits” and NBC’s Mara Schiavocampo trumpeted “the largest crowd yet, and more varied in age and background.”
On Monday's Early Show, CBS slanted towards supporters of a new Obama administration mandate which requires private insurance companies to cover contraception as part of women's "preventative services." Anchor Chris Wragge labeled the development "good news," while correspondent Michelle Miller failed to include sound bites from opponents during her report on the new regulation.
After using his "good news" phrase, Wragge trumpeted the "historic new women's health guidelines" during his introduction for Miller's report, which aired at the bottom of the 7 am Eastern hour. The correspondent herself picked up where the anchor left off when she stated that new mandate was "welcome news to the women we spoke to." She then played two sound bites from women on the street who gave supposed horror stories about the cost of birth control.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN 1: Sometimes, $20 a month can definitely be hard to scrape together.
On three occasions between July 22 and July 26, 2011, CBS's Bob Schieffer carried water for President Obama when he echoed the Democrat's inaccurate claim about Social Security: "Millions of Americans...may not get their next [Social Security] check if the debt ceiling crisis is not resolved." In reality, there is enough federal revenues and authorized expenditures to pay for the program [audio clips available here].
Schieffer gave a preview of the CBS Evening News nine minutes into the 8 am Eastern hour of the July 22, 2011 Early Show with his dire warning about Social Security:
SCHIEFFER: Every month, millions of Americans depend on Social Security to support their families and make ends meet. But now, they may not get their next check, if the debt ceiling crisis is not resolved.
[Video clips below the jump]
CBS's Michelle Miller leaned towards supporters of taxing junk food on Tuesday's Early Show, playing three sound bites from them and none from opponents. Miller only made one vague reference to the opposing side, and she immediately followed it by playing up the supposedly positive result of a tax: "While some say a new tax is the last thing we need, it could mean a healthier America."
The correspondent led her report by hyping how "we're paying quite a hefty toll" for creating "cheap fast food," and launched into her first sound bite, which came from Michael Jacobson, the executive director of the perennial "food police" organization, the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
Sally Quinn pronounced Oprah Winfrey "America's high priestess" and a "true religious leader" in a Thursday item on The Washington Post's "On Faith" website. Quinn, who waxed ecstatic over Oprah Winfrey's final episode, even went so far to compare Winfrey's last hurrah to a papal Mass: "The pope couldn't have done better."
The writer launched right into painting Oprah as a spiritual guru in her blog post, entitled "Oprah: America's high priestess":
On Tuesday's CBS Early Show, correspondent Michelle Miller reported on planned closures of 2,000 U.S. Post Office locations: "...in this age of digital communications, online bill paying, and Federal Express, are physical post offices still relevant?" She seemed to answer her own question: "Folks are not going to let this go down without a fight...It's what makes their community whole."
During her report, Miller explained how the government subsidized organization had "a record deficit this year of $8.5 billion, the Postal Service loses a staggering $23 million a day and is facing a growing number of problems." Even so, she played on the emotions of viewers, interviewing an elderly New Jersey man named Harold Schutzman, who explained: "[I] got a friend there at the desk, Gary. I can't get into the paying by e-mail."
Teasing an upcoming story on new federal dietary guidelines on Monday's CBS Evening News, fill-in anchor Harry Smith announced: "The assault on salt. Chances are you are eating too much of it." Smith later introduced the segment by fretting: "Two out of three Americans are overweight or obese, an epidemic that is expected to send health care costs skyrocketing."
In the report that followed, correspondent Michelle Miller explained: "USDA is now urging Americans...to wean themselves off excess sodium and improve their overall eating habits." She spoke with nutritionist Lisa Young, who insisted, "We need to get the food industry on board." Miller declared: "...the problem is the salt that's already in processed foods....That's why the government is now pressuring food companies to cut the salt in their products or face regulation."
On Tuesday's CBS Evening News, correspondent Michelle Miller lectured Americans on their diet: "According to Consumer Reports Health, many Americans are simply deluding themselves, most say they eat well but don't....85% of Americans rarely, if ever, count calories. Another 79% never set foot on a scale."
At one point, Miller stopped by a New York City restaurant and warned: "...people have good intentions...but often sabotage themselves." She then harassed one patron eating a salad: "Take a look at this green salad with all that caesar dressing. Don't you think the dressing sort of ruins it for you?" The unidentified man replied: "Well, otherwise I'm not going to be able to eat it."
On Tuesday's CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric warned of violence against abortion doctors, based flyers being circulated by a pro-life group: "Their pictures are showing up on posters. Now doctors who perform abortions fear for their lives." The posters in question did not call for any violence whatsoever.
Despite that fact, Couric later introduced the story by declaring: "Now some doctors in North Carolina...fear they're being marked for murder." Correspondent Michelle Miller reported: "They look like wanted posters from the wild west, but they're not photos of criminals, but of doctors in North Carolina who perform abortions." She noted how the doctors in question "asked us to block their faces." In dramatic fashion, a doctor with a blurred face and altered voice argued: "It doesn't say 'wanted dead or alive,' but the implication is very clearly there."