Gibson: 'Will Congress Finally Expand Sick Pay to Everyone?' --2/23/2007
2. Meredith Vieira Ignores John Edwards' Anti-Christian Bloggers
3. GMA Touts Celebs at Green Party: 'If No Nature, There's No Us'
Picking up on the cause of an advocacy group chaired by Ellen Malcolm, the President of the EMILY's List group dedicated to supporting liberal candidates, ABC's World News on Thursday night devoted its "A Closer Look" segment to profiling a victim of the lack of a U.S. government mandate on private employers to provide paid sick leave. "The surprising number of workers who have no paid sick days," Gibson plugged before an ad break, "Will Congress finally expand sick pay to everyone?" Gibson cited the "enormous problem for American workers" and, with a matching graphic on screen, he fretted "that 145 nations, but not the United States, require businesses to provide some paid sick days."
Reporter Betsy Stark recounted the plight of a home health aide and cited numbers from Malcolm's group, the National Partnership for Women and Families, but neither Stark nor the matching on-screen graphics cited the liberal group as ABC's statistical source: "Elnora is one of 59 million American workers who have no paid sick days at all. She is among the 86 million who do not get a single paid day off to care for a sick child." So, "advocates say" that until the federal government "requires a few paid sick days as well, millions of Americans will have no choice -- no choice but to work when they should stay home." Not until the very end of the story did Stark note how "business groups say another federal mandate is the last thing employers can afford, and if paid sick leave becomes the law of the land, somebody will pay."
[This item was posted Thursday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
The page listing Malcolm as Chairman of the Board of Directors: www.nationalpartnership.org
Picking up on an effort by left-wing presidential candidate Chris Dodd to expand federally-mandated family leave, ABC on Friday morning and CNN on Monday morning, fretted about how only the U.S. and some African nations have such a poor level of "family-friendly" policies. On Monday's CNN Newsroom, Heidi Collins relayed: "Fourteen years after it was passed, some say the Family and Medical Leave Act is in need of an upgrade. Ali Velshi is 'Minding Your Business.' Can we jump on board with that, Ali?" Velshi gushed: "Yes, absolutely." With an on-screen graphic listing Lesotho and Liberia along with the U.S., Velshi complained: "In a survey by Harvard and McGill University in Canada, they found that of the 170 countries that they surveyed, only five don't have any paid medical leave. The U.S. is one of them. And four African countries are on that list otherwise. So that's not very good." Collins giddily and naively contended: "A lot of comparisons to European countries and other countries around the world. And we are so low. I mean, isn't it about production -- happy workers equals better production, right?"
Friday's Good Morning America, the MRC's Scott Whitlock noticed, openly lobbied for the passage of legislation that would require employers to offer six weeks of paid time off to workers for maternity, illness, or the care of a loved one. Robin Roberts set up the segment: "Now to a new study from Harvard about paid maternity leave all around the world. It ranks countries based on how generous or stingy their benefits were. And the bottom five countries may have you scratching your head and saying, 'You must be kidding.' ABC's Elizabeth Vargas is here with the details. And we did see this and we were like, no, no, no. This cannot be right."
Elizabeth Vargas chimed in: "Everybody has that reaction, Robin. 26 million mothers in this country work. The vast majority say to make ends meet, they must. With that many moms in the work force, you'd think the U.S. would lead the way in flexible, family-friendly policies. Think again. For millions of working moms, those first weeks after giving birth are a time to take off, recover, and bond with your new baby. But increasingly, the question is who pays?"
When a Labor Department official suggested that "we need to do more to encourage Americans to save more for the times they do need to be out of the workforce," Vargas found that reasonable idea which has worked for generations to be incredible: "It's up to a person to save enough money before they have a baby to be able to stay home for a few weeks and recover and spend some time with that new baby?"
ABC's on screen display during the February 2 segment: "Is America Worst for Family Leave?"
For more: www.mrc.org
The MRC's Brad Wilmouth corrected the closed-captioning against the video for the February 22 story on ABC's World News with Charles Gibson:
Charles Gibson: "We are going to take 'A Closer Look' at an enormous problem for American workers -- the lack of sick pay. We were surprised to learn that 145 nations, but not the United States, require businesses to provide some paid sick days. Nearly half of the private sector workers in America are not paid when they are too sick to work. This month, San Francisco became the first city to mandate sick pay, and now Congress might act. Here's ABC's Betsy Stark."
Betsy Stark: "Elnora Collins says it's expensive raising two teenagers on the money she makes as a home health care aide. Most weeks, with a little juggling and a lot of prayer, she gets by."
So if campaign staffers for a prominent presidential candidate make hateful and bigoted remarks about Christians that's big news right? Not according to NBC's Meredith Vieira. The Today show co-anchor failed to question John Edwards about his former bloggers Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan calling Christianity a "mythology" and depicting Bush supporters as his "wingnut Christofascist base." Instead, Vieira focused her questions from the left on Iraq and his opinion of the dust-up between rivals Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
A Thursday afternoon Media Reality Check followed up on this blog posting: www.mrc.org
The following are all of Vieira's questions to John Edwards on the February 22 Today show:
Meredith Vieira: "Former Senator John Edwards is campaigning in Texas today. Senator Edwards good morning to you, thanks for joining us here."
Good Morning America weatherman Sam Champion continued his promotion of left-wing environmental causes on Thursday. Champion, who has previously hosted a segment on whether "billions" will die from global warming, reported from Los Angeles to preview the upcoming Oscars. He also highlighted a party being held by the climate change organization Global Green USA, a group founded by the former Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev. And this wasn't the first time Champion has touted Global Green.
[This item, by Scott Whitlock, was posted Thursday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Global Green USA's home page which features a photo of Gorbachev in the masthead: www.globalgreen.org
On the February 22 Good Morning America, Sam Champion touted: "We are, again, inside the Academy headquarters, right where it all happens in Hollywood. And we wanted to tell you that it's not just gold and red, the colors of Oscar this week, but there's another big color, and that's green. It's eco-friendly green, environmental friendly green that's highlighted this week. Some celebrities are driving eco-friendly cars to the Oscars instead of limos, and by the way, there's also a green carpet at the environmental group Global Green's party last night. A lot of celebrities were there, and so were we."
A short time later, Champion promoted all the great things being done at this trendy celebrity bash. On January 11, the ABC weatherman highlighted Global Green in a story on "sexy" green celebrities. He even featured a clip from the organization's CEO, Matt Petersen. Petersen was also in the February 22 segment:
Champion: "Now, all the celebs got to this green party in a green car. None of them are hotter though then this are hotter than this Tesla: All electric, that means zero emissions, and, believe it or not, zero to 60 in under four seconds. No gas guzzling limousines here, only the latest green machines."
-- Brent Baker