President Obama's decision to relieve General Stanley McChrystal of command in Afghanistan and replace him with General David Petraeus was met with a chorus of praise in the media, as anchors and pundits on CBS, NBC, CNN, and MSNBC all sang in unison that it was a "brilliant" move. [Audio available here ] During live special coverage leading up to the announcement in the 1PM ET hour on CBS, White House correspondent Chip Reid proclaimed "it sounds like a pretty brilliant decision really." At the same time on NBC, correspondent Jim Miklaszewski described it as a "stunning development" and added... continue reading
All three network news shows on Tuesday skipped a report that eight of 15 experts consulted by the Obama administration opposed the government's plan to halt deepwater oil drilling for six months. Only Special Report With Bret Baier covered the story. FNC reporter James Rosen noted a federal judge's decision to overturn the plan: "The judge also rebuked the Obama administration for filing a quote 'misleading misrepresentation' in the case by suggesting an expert panel supported the moratorium when a majority of its members do not." ABC's World News, CBS's Evening News and NBC's Nightly News (as well as Good... continue reading
ABC, CBS and NBC all led Tuesday night with multiple stories on the "firestorm" over disrespectful coments by General Stanley McChrystal and his aides about President Obama and other administration officials, but ABC's Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos particularly despaired over the position in which McChrystal has put Obama. Sawyer fretted that Obama "now faces a mind-boggling choice," before Stephanopoulos kvetched "the President has really been put in a real political box" and "a very painful political position," forcing him to choose between "looking thin-skinned and petulant" or "looking weak." CBS's Katie Couric didn't go that far, but she was... continue reading
On Sunday, reporter Randal Archibold offered up more of his slanted reporting on Arizona's pending new immigration enforcement law, suggesting that supporters of tough immigration enforcement are fostering fear by exaggerating the problem of violent crime on the border with Mexico: " On Border Violence, Truth Pales Compared to Ideas ." But does his evidence stand up? Two conservative writers say no, pointing to FBI statistics that show crime has increased substantially in towns outside major metropolitan areas and rural counties. When Representative Gabrielle Giffords, Democrat of Arizona, announced that the Obama administration would send as many as 1,200 additional... continue reading
Good Morning America on Tuesday skipped the news that Peter Orszag, Barack Obama's budget director, is resigning from the White House. Perhaps not coincidentally, Orszag is also the fiance of GMA's weekend anchor Bianna Golodryga. CBS's Early Show and NBC's Today both covered the subject. Today reporter Savannah Guthrie explained, "It's a mix of the personal and the political. Most budget directors stay about 18 months. If he had stayed much longer, he'd probably have to get into the next budget cycle and be in for the long haul. He's also getting married this fall ." The Early Show's Betty... continue reading
Katie Couric opened Monday's CBS Evening News by touting how "in a CBS News/New York Times poll out tonight, 43 percent of Americans approve of President Obama's handling of the spill. Only 13 percent approve of BP's efforts." She offered no further details, such as how 47 percent disapprove of Obama's performance, and only those checking would realize the selectivity in the assessment of Obama she chose to highlight. " Poll: Most Say Obama Lacks Clear Plans on the Oil Spill, Energy or Jobs " read the headline over a "Political Hotsheet" posting, which Brian Montopoli led: Most Americans... continue reading
On the June 20th edition of Sunday Morning, CBS reporter Richard Schlesinger conducted a glowing interview with pay czar Kenneth Feinberg, lauding him as someone who speaks with "moral authority" and who has "become an expert assessor of the value of life itself." Feinberg, who will now be in charge of distributing the $20 billion BP has pledged for the oil spill, previously worked with President Obama to control salaries and bonuses of Wall Street CEOs. Schlesinger could barely contain his disgust for the executives. He scolded, " How do you avoid looking at these guys on the other side... continue reading
As Times Watch has noted before , even when New York Times' ethics columnist Randy Cohen is taking a conservative's side, he manages to slide in his liberal - or in this case socialist - opinion. Here's a question posed in Cohen's latest edition of "The Ethicist ," which can be read every week in the Times' Sunday Magazine: While teaching as a substitute at a public high school, I noticed a lot of partisan propaganda taped to the outside of a colleague's office door. He teaches wood shop and world history, and this material is unrelated to both. It... continue reading
All three morning shows on Monday railed against BP CEO Tony Hayward for attending a yachting race in England on Saturday, but they found no such anger for Barack Obama's golf outing on the same day, ignoring the story. The pattern was nearly identical on Sunday, with only Good Morning America briefly mentioning the President's recreational activities. On Monday's Early Show, Katie Couric appeared and derided, "But that image of Tony Hayward participating in that yacht race over the weekend probably hurt his image even more, as if that's possible." Good Morning America's Sharyn Alfonsi indignantly reported, "...Tony Hayward goes... continue reading
Network anchors can't resist misconstruing Arizona's upcoming immigration enforcement law. The latest instances came Friday night when ABC and NBC caught up with news that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told an interviewer in Ecuador that the Obama administration will sue to block the law. Diane Sawyer erroneously described the anti-illegal immigration measure as "Arizona's controversial new anti-immigration law " while Lester Holt, filling in on the NBC Nightly News, characterized the law as "harsh," relaying: There's been a stir this week over something Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in Ecuador earlier this month. She suggested the federal government... continue reading