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The AG vs. BP: Little Skepticism on ABC and NBC, While Lefty Talker Blasts Holder as 'Corporatist' Pretender

The American lawyers who flock to Guantanamo Bay to represent captured terrorists are simply fulfilling their duty to provide representation, it is often argued by those who seem to enjoy mucking up efforts to curtail future terrorism. But once representing the American beverage giant Coca Cola makes Attorney General Eric Holder a "corporatist" who's going to "do the Devil's work" and only "pretend" to go tough on BP after the oil spill, lefty talk radio host Mike Malloy (a onetime CNN news writer) argued Wednesday night. (Audio here.)

I guess you know this by now, the, uh, Justice Department under Eric Holder who defended, uh, was it Coca-Cola, against murder charges in, uh, South America? Good old Eric Holder, another corporatist, who, uh, is going to do the Devil's work now and pretend that he is conducting a criminal investigation into the events that led to the oil gush?

For their part, the big three network evening newscasts reported Holder's announcement of a "criminal investigation" against BP during their Tuesday night broadcasts, but only CBS's Chip Reid struck what could be called a skeptical note about the Obama administration's motives in publicly touting the investigation after a week of criticism about the federal government's less-than-effective handling of the matter.

"The barrage of attacks on BP may be motivated in part by politics," Reid assessed on the June 1 Evening News, an attempt to make the company "a villain to distract from a growing chorus of criticism of the President who has visited the Gulf only twice in 43 days."

On ABC, anchor Diane Sawyer was much milder, asking whether "declaring BP a potential enemy" might "make it harder" for the administration to work with them on a solution. (Ever the Obama sycophant, George Stephanopoulos assured her that threatening BP would actually make things better.) And on NBC, correspondent Anne Thompson offered no second-guessing of the administration, just a couple of sentences matter-of-factly noting Holder's announcement.

Here's more of how the network evening newscasts covered Holder on Tuesday, arranged from the least skeptical (NBC) to most skeptical (CBS):

ANNE THOMPSON: This environmental disaster is now the focus of the Justice Department, confirming today both criminal and civil investigations into the oil rig explosion and the crude that now taints Louisiana's coast.

ERIC HOLDER: We will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law anyone who has violated the law.

#ABC's World News

DIANE SAWYER: If the administration is now declaring BP a potential enemy here, what does this do to the cleanup? Does it make it harder?

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Well that's the question I asked the Attorney General. And he said quite the contrary. Not only does BP have an interest to clean this up for their own reasons, but also that that would be taken to account in any civil or criminal proceeding, but there's a lot of politics at play here as well, Diane. The White House, the administration believes that BP hasn't been fully straight in all their press conferences and they don't want to get saddled with BP's problems.

# CBS Evening News

CHIP REID: The barrage of attacks on BP may be motivated in part by politics.

JOHN DICKERSON, POLITICAL ANALYST: This administration is doing what every administration under fire does, which is to defend themselves, and then also deflect the blame to someone else. Here they've got a ready villain, and that's BP.

REID: A villain to distract from a growing chorus of criticism of the President who has visited the Gulf only twice in 43 days. Even some supporters of the President including General Colin Powell have criticized his slow response....The relationship between the White House and BP has clearly moved into a new and hostile phase, leaving many people wondering how they`re going to work together to respond to this disaster.

- Rich Noyes is Research Director at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.