1. Roberts Tosses Softballs to Michelle Obama; Hostile to Laura Bush Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts conducted a two part, almost 11 minute interview with Michelle Obama which aired on Friday that avoided tough questions and consisted almost entirely of softballs. This included reading e-mails from the audience, such as "What does she [the First Lady] do for relaxation in the evening, away from the public?" and also "...How can she stay so positive about the economy?" This was quite a contrast to some of the queries Laura Bush had to deal with when she was First Lady. On... continue reading
1. NBC's Brian Williams Connects FDR's 'Fireside Chats' to Obama Brian Williams certainly has an affinity for FDR. Four months after suggesting the nation could "use a little FDR right about now," though Rooselvelt's policies failed to end the Depression, on Thursday night he connected the obscure 76th anniversary of Roosevelt's first "fireside chat" in 1933 to President Barack Obama's efforts to fix the economy: "76 years ago today, President Franklin Roosevelt summoned radio news microphones to a desk next to a fireplace in the Oval Room of the White House, and the fireside chat was born. He wanted to... continue reading
1. NBC Nightly News Champions Obama's 'Power Duo' Women President George W. Bush had a female First Lady and a woman as Secretary of State, but NBC's Brian Williams on Wednesday night hailed, as the fulfillment of President Barack Obama's promise of "change," how he has a "power duo" in a woman First Lady and a female Secretary of State. Williams cooed, with "Women of Distinction" as the on-screen heading: "President Obama won the presidency promising change. There was more evidence of that in Washington today. His wife, now First Lady, Michelle Obama, and his former rival, now Secretary of... continue reading
1. Nets Celebrate Obama's 'Whirlwind' of Activity' in First 50 Days NBC and ABC on Tuesday night marked President Barack Obama's first 50 days -- not by pointing out all his unfilled executive positions, failed nominations or the long wait for the stimulus spending in the "stimulus" bill -- but by heralding his "whirlwind" of action and "whirling dervish of activity," though both noted criticism that the administration is trying to do too much. "The President's first seven weeks have been a whirlwind with often dramatic movement in all directions, on all fronts. The economy, health care, two wars and... continue reading
1. Couric's Stem Cell Expert: Dr Who Yearned to Shape Obama's Policy Four days after Sanjay Gupta, in the wake of Tom Daschle's withdrawal as HHS Secretary-designate, decided to turn down the Obama administration's offer to become Surgeon General, CBS went to the CNN medical correspondent for expert analysis on the benefits of Obama's decision to allow federal funding of research on embryonic stem cells. (Monday afternoon following Obama's announcement, CNN refrained from putting Gupta on the air. Wolf Blitzer, however, brought him aboard the 6 PM EDT hour of The Situation Room to expound on what Gupta described as... continue reading
1. Couric Uses Bad News to Tout 'Stimulus' Bill 'Is Creating' Jobs CBS anchor Katie Couric on Friday night used the jump in the unemployment rate to 8.1 percent to cheerlead for how the "stimulus" bill is "creating" jobs, an impact her newscast illustrated with two full stories after reporter Anthony Mason declared: "It's the government that's going to have to pull us out of this recession." (On ABC's World News, Betsy Stark similarly saw salvation in the stimulus spending. Citing predictions of even higher unemployment, she contended: "That's why the stimulus plan is so important. If it's successful, those... continue reading
1. Friendly Network TV Reception for Obama's Health Care 'Fix' President Obama's health care summit at the White House played into receptive television news hands Thursday night as NBC displayed "Fixing Health Care" on screen before reporter Chuck Todd appropriated the coach who inspired "win one for the Gipper" by touting how "the President's drive to pass health care got a Knute Rockne-like boost with a surprise appearance" by Senator Ted Kennedy, while ABC's Dr. Tim Johnson, who on Sunday had decried as a "national shame" America's lack of universal health care, effused: "I was blown away by President Obama's... continue reading
1. ABC Touts 'Huge Impact' of Spending, Credits Dow Up to Home Plan Two weeks after ABC championed how the "stimulus" would enable mayors to create many jobs, World News on Wednesday night trumpeted how "the government is now ready to start writing the checks to get people working again in states and cities across the land." Reporter David Muir touted how "with hundreds of millions of dollars in the pipeline from Washington, contractors are hiring now" and so "in the quiet college town of North Manchester, Indiana, 26 people are expected to be hired to build a water treatment... continue reading
1. National Media Avoid IDing Levy Murder Suspect as an Illegal CBS, CNN, FNC and the AP on Tuesday all failed to identify Ingmar Guandique, for whom an arrest warrant was issued for the 2001 murder of Chandra Levy, as an illegal alien. In a full story on the CBS Evening News, reporter Bob Orr described him simply as a "Salvadoran immigrant." During CNN's Situation Room, Zain Verjee benignly called him "a laborer from El Salvador" and later, on Anderson Cooper 360, news reader Erica Hill referred to him as "a U.S. prison inmate from El Salvador." (In between, the... continue reading
1. ABC's Jake Tapper Laments Some Producers 'Root' for Obama Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz profiled ABC White House reporter Jake Tapper on Monday, who has stood out a bit for suggesting his colleagues are too soft: "Tapper, who has already clashed publicly with press secretary Robert Gibbs, has been outspoken in his view that many in the media have been too soft on Barack Obama. 'Certain networks, newspapers and magazines leaned on the scales a little bit,' he says over a vanilla latte at Starbucks. Obama's attractive qualities, he says, have prompted some editors and producers 'to root... continue reading