Morning Shows Hype Angelina Jolie’s Mastectomies With Nearly 27 Minutes of Coverage; Just 56 Seconds for Gosnell Verdict
ABC and NBC led their morning shows on Tuesday with nearly 10 minutes of "breaking news" coverage of Angelina Jolie's double mastectomy. This celebrity-driven story was apparently deemed more important than abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell being found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder, as Good Morning America and Today devoted just 38 seconds to the Gosnell trial. (audio clips of Jolie coverage available here; video below the jump)
Altogether, the ABC and NBC morning newscasts aired 19 minutes and 3 seconds of coverage on Jolie. Tuesday's CBS This Morning waited 12 minutes to cover the Hollywood news item, but ultimately ended up setting aside 7 minutes and 49 seconds of air time to the surgeries, versus a 18 second news brief on Gosnell. The total Big Three coverage of Jolie on Tuesday morning, including CBS's reporting, added up to 26 minutes and 52 seconds, as opposed to 56 seconds on the Gosnell case.
ABC is nothing if not clear about its priorities. For a month and a half, the network has steadfastly refused to cover the multiple murder trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell, devoting 109 minutes to other trials, along with important revelations about the original names of fictional characters. But when a little-known journeyman basketball player announces he’s gay, ABC’s elite news squad swings into action, lavishing resources and broadcast time on the story.
On Monday Anchor Diane Sawyer led “World News” breathlessly talking of “an act of personal courage.” “Jason Collins,” Sawyer said, “a powerhouse player in the NBA, a veteran of the court, today told the world he is gay.” Video after the break.
ABC Shows Understated ‘Debt Clock,’ Uses Creative Rounding to Claim Projected FY 2013 Deficit As % of GDP Will Be ‘Half’ of 2009
In an interview with former Bill Clinton adviser George Stephanopoulos at ABC (transcript here), President Barack Obama claimed that “We don’t have an immediate crisis in terms of debt." Despite his claim, no one can know that for sure, but it's at least consistent with what he said during the 2012 presidential campaign ("we don't have to worry about it short term").
Obama's elaboration on the debt topic, however, was not consistent: "In fact, for the next ten years, it’s gonna be in a sustainable place." Ten years is long-term by any reasonable definition. His statement directoly contradicts what he said In October 2012: "... it is a problem long term and even medium term." Of course, ABC's subsequent coverage of that interview by Jonathan Karl didn't note the President's change of tune, and went further to assist Obama by presenting a misleading visual and by misstating the relative size of this year's officially projected deficit to that seen in fiscal 2009.
For the third day in a row, ABC's Good Morning America used the horrific Newtown tragedy to push its gun control agenda. On Wednesday morning, both ABC’s Elizabeth Vargas and Pierre Thomas hyped that now is a "watershed moment" and a "tipping point" as stores halted sales of some guns and Democratic NRA member Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) considered changing his views on gun laws.
"Big-city mayors and one of the nation’s biggest police unions have called for a ban on assault rifles and high-capacity clips. And for some long-time allies of the gun lobby, this week was a tipping point," Thomas touted voices favoring gun control. [See video below page break. MP3 audio here.]
Following Hillary Clinton’s illness last week, which prompted a fainting spell and a mild concussion, Good Morning America on Tuesday morning hyped the busy career of Ms. Clinton, proudly dubbing her the “Most Traveled Secretary of State.” The story began with GMA co-host George Stephanopoulos, a former President Clinton operative, mentioning that Ms. Clinton is, “On the mend now" although "she may be still out of action for most of her remaining time as Secretary of State."
ABC News Correspondent Reena Ninan described in detail the accident Ms. Clinton experienced, as this was the second time in eight years the Secretary has fainted because of a stomach bug. While Ninan and Stephanopoulos both emphasized the rest Mrs. Clinton requires, neither mention the fact that as a result the Secretary will miss the December 20 hearing scheduled to receive her testimony on the September 11 terrorist strike on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. You may recall that Clinton's State Department received numerous complaints from the late Amb. Chris Stevens about insufficient security on the ground in Libya. [See video below page break. MP3 audio here.]
While the Innocence of Muslims is still being blamed for the riots and murders in the Middle East, the national news media has no problem running a speculative story that disrespects the teachings of the Christian faith. New "evidence" now suggests that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene after all, but the artifact in question dates back to the 4th century A.D.
This all began when Harvard historian Dr. Karen King received a tiny strip of papyrus from an anonymous collector. After translating the Coptic script thereon, she found two phrases, one which reads, "Jesus said to them my wife. Elsewhere on the paper it continues, "She will be able to be my disciple."
ABC and CBS News brought it up on Thursday evening, but could only afford to allot a few seconds of coverage. NBC Nightly News did not mention it at all. All three network morning news broadcasts devoted significant attention to the story, and predictably worked in references to Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code novel.
How cozy. Former Democratic operative turned television news host George Stephanopoulos used his ABC News platform on Sunday to celebrate, with Vicki Reggie Kennedy, ObamaCare’s Supreme Court victory. Stephanopoulos excitedly plugged his “special exclusive guest” on This Week, announcing: “We begin with something special. The first reaction on the ruling from Vicki Kennedy, the widow of Senator Ted Kennedy who fought for universal health care...”
A giddy Stephanopoulos conveyed how he’s vicariously living in the glory of the liberal triumph: “I can only imagine what it must have been like for you, at the moment you heard that the Supreme Court had decided.”
A wide-eyed and smiling Stephanopoulos cued up Reggie to recall a moment only a liberal would appreciate: “Right after the decision, you received a call from Speaker Pelosi saying Teddy can rest.”
Audio: MP3 clip
Stephanopoulos soon read from a letter Ted Kennedy sent to President Obama predicting ObamaCare would win passage, but Stephanopoulos fretted “he did also refer to the continuing struggles,” prompting his guest: “What do you see as the biggest struggle going forward?”
From the top of the July 1 This Week on ABC, with Stephanopoulos hosting the “Washington” show in New York while Reggie appeared from a DC studio:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We begin with something special. The first reaction on the ruling from Vicki Kennedy, the widow of Senator Ted Kennedy who fought for universal health care throughout a Senate career that spanned almost half a century. A commitment captured in his final convention speech.
SENATOR TED KENNEDY, AUGUST 25, 2008: This is the cause of my life. New hope that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American -- north, south, east, west, young, old -- will have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right and not a privilege!
STEPHANOPOULOS: And Vicki Kennedy joins us now. Thank you so much for coming in this morning.
VICKI KENNEDY: Thank you, George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I can only imagine what it must have been like for you, at the moment you heard that the Supreme Court had decided.
VICTORIA REGGIE: You know, George, as you just heard in that wonderful clip, this health care reform was the cause of my husband's life. He believed that it was a moral issue, that it defined the character of who we were as a society, who we were as a country, and that decent quality, affordable health care should be a fundamental right and not a privilege. And now all three branches of our federal government have affirmed that right and I think if Teddy were here, he would tell us now it’s time to roll up out sleeves, get to work, fully implement the law and move on with the business of our country.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I do want to get to that, but I imagine that Senator Kennedy would have been surprised, like so many were, by the fact that the deciding vote was cast by Chief Justice Roberts.
REGGIE: You know, I don't think he would have. I think he felt very strongly in health care reform. He had studied this issue for more than 40 years. He believed in it. He believed in its constitutionality. He had looked at it in every way. I think he would have been pleased, but not surprised.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Right after the decision, you received a call from Speaker Pelosi saying Teddy can rest.
REGGIE: Yes, yes, it was a lovely, lovely call. She fought valiantly for health care. She led the House of Representatives beautifully in fighting and championing health care for all Americans. She really was a real, real heroine in this battle.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You mentioned how the Senator would be looking to the struggles ahead. I want to read a little bit of letter he wrote to President Obama shortly before he died where he gets into that. He was quite optimistic. Here’s what he said, he said: “I came to believe that soon, very soon, affordable health coverage will be available to all, and while I will not see the victory, I was able to look forward and know that we will – yes, we will – fulfill the promise of health care in America as a right and not a privilege.” But he did also refer to the continuing struggles. What do you see as the biggest struggle going forward?