BiasAlerts

1. ABC Frets Over Richardson as 'Distraction' from Obama's Agenda ABC anchor Dan Harris led Sunday night's World News with Commerce-nominee Bill Richardson's unexpected withdrawal, but framed the story around worries over Richardson becoming a "distraction" from Barack Obama's agenda. George Stephanopoulos, however, assured him it will only "be a blip." Harris recited how "Obama is facing trouble abroad, trouble at home, and now trouble in his own cabinet." So, "this is another major challenge" for the besieged Obama, Harris empathized, "at a time when the economy is reeling and war is raging between the Israelis and Palestinian militants." Following... continue reading
1. NBC Empathizes with Obama's Plight: Hounded by Press Corps On Tuesday morning's Today show, NBC substitute anchor Lester Holt and correspondent Savannah Guthrie regretted President-elect Barack Obama having to make an "adjustment" -- not being able to "just pick up and go anytime he wants" due to "not just Secret Service, but a traveling corps of journalists now follows his every move, even in Hawaii." Guthrie reported on the "signs Obama is growing a bit frustrated with all the attention." The on-screen graphic accompanying her report inflated this apparent frustration on the part of future chief executive: "Man in... continue reading
1. NBC Promotes Vanity Fair's 'Good Riddance' Story on Team Bush On December 15, NBC's Today invited Time editor Richard Stengel to promote who might become their Person of the Year, which allowed Stengel to boast: "Obviously, Barack Obama is a titanic figure on the world and American stage now. I mean, he may already be a transformational figure in American politics." (Stengel returned two days later to publicize Obama's selection.) By contrast, on December 29, Today promoted the liberal magazine Vanity Fair and its new "Farewell to All That" good-riddance piece on the Bush administration. Co-host Meredith Vieira plucked... continue reading
1. Top Runners-Up Quotes in MRC's Annual Awards for Worst Reporting The first runner-up quotes in the MRC's "Best Notable Quotables of 2008: The Twenty-First Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting." Monday's CyberAlert featured the winners; today the second place quotes. 2. List of the 44 Judges Who Selected the Winning Worst Quotes In recognition of their time and effort, a listing of the names and affiliations of the judges for the "Best Notable Quotables of 2008: The Twenty-First Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting." 3. From TimesWatch: Top 10 New York Times Lowlights from 2008 From the... continue reading
1. Obama's 'The Man,' CBS's Early Show Explores 'How Cool is Obama?' On Friday morning's The Early Show on CBS, viewers were treated to what seemed like a parody of Barack Obama's mainstream media paparazzi fawning over the Democratic President-elect, as the show ran a report exploring the question of "How cool is Obama?" and co-hosts Harry Smith and Tracy Smith referred to Obama as "the man" and "the epitome of cool," respectively. Audio of the classic rock group the Chiffons singing "He's So Fine" even played as the piece on Obama's "coolness" began. Tracy Smith oozed as she plugged... continue reading
1. NBC Touts How Biden Will Boldly Put Middle Class 'Front & Center' In an abbreviated edition of Sunday's NBC Nightly News, the network still found time to tout as newsworthy how Vice President-elect Joe Biden will chair a "White House Task Force on Working Families." With "Focus on the Middle Class" on screen below a picture of Biden, anchor Lester Holt, referring to ABC's This Week, asserted Biden had "revealed" his function: "In an interview that aired today, the Vice President-elect, Joe Biden, revealed his role as the new administration's point man on the middle class." NBC reporter John... continue reading
1. Time on Obama: 'History Can't Wait' for His 'Obi-Wan Kenobi Calm' With the level of surprise set firmly at zero -- Time magazine routinely chooses the presidential election winner as Person of the Year -- Time gave that honor to Barack Obama on Wednesday. But the first peek at David Von Drehle's cover story shows that Time's gooey valentines to Obama know no end, starting with the headline: "Why History Can't Wait." The President-elect has that "Obi-Wan Kenobi calm," and yet is "the opposite of flashy, the antithesis of rhetoric: he gets things done. He is a man about... continue reading
1. Nightline Hosts Gush Over Idea of Caroline Kennedy as Senator Nightline anchor Cynthia McFadden and ABC reporter John Donvan on Monday gushed over the possibility that Caroline Kennedy could replace Hillary Clinton as the Senator from New York. McFadden teased the segment by cooing: "So, is another chapter in the Camelot story about to be written?" Donvan repeatedly mentioned that Caroline Kennedy wouldn't have much experience for such a post. But, he didn't seem bothered at all by this, at one point stating: "All she will have at first is that name. But, at least she has kept it... continue reading
1. CBS and ABC Tout Shoe-Thrower as 'Celebrity' and 'Folk Hero' Usually rude protesters who disrupt events by throwing objects at state leaders don't earn media celebrations, but instead of being embarrassed by their Iraqi media colleague who, as he spewed venomous hatreds, dangerously threw his shoes at President Bush on Sunday in Baghdad, ABC and CBS on Monday night championed his popularity amongst Iraqis. ABC put "Folk Hero?" on screen as fill-in anchor Elizabeth Vargas trumpeted how Muntathar al-Zaidi has "become an instant celebrity to many of his countrymen" while CBS anchor Katie Couric hailed how "many Iraqis are... continue reading
1. NBC's Lee Cowan: Blagojevich 'Fell Victim to History' Certainly delivering a unique take on the Blagojevich case, in a Thursday night story on why Illinois politics are so corrupt, NBC reporter Lee Cowan characterized the Governor of Illinois as a politician who "fell victim" to Chicago's political machine. Apparently, corruption was just irresistible. Cowan contended: "The Windy City is a political stew of characters, a cast of players that even Hollywood would envy. Governor Rod Blagojevich is just the latest squeaky wheel in Chicago's political machine. Although he promised to be different, he fell victim, prosecutors allege, to history."... continue reading