May
24
2011

Sorkin Gets the Scoop Direct From His CEO Pal

There have been a lot of complaints about New York Times business reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin being too cozy with the Wall Street powers that he's covering. Some of those critics are in-house; a New York magazine article went so far as to quote a Times staffer who (like several others at the paper) likened Sorkin to disgraced WMD reporter Judith Miller. Sorkin was on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday, part of a roundtable discussion that followed an appearance by Republican Paul Ryan. And that's where Sorkin said this: SORKIN: I got to tell you, I got an email […]

May
17
2011

David Gregory's Factcheck Fail on Show's Sponsor

Labor journalist Mike Elk (In These Times, 5/16/11) made an excellent point after watching NBC host David Gregory interview Newt Gingrich on Sunday's Meet the Press (5/15/11). Elk wrote: Speaking yesterday on Meet the Press, Republican presidential candidate and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said that "the Obama system of the National Labor Relations Board [NLRB] is basically breaking the law to try to punish Boeing and to threaten every right-to-work state." While Meet the Press host David Gregory vigorously challenged Newt Gingrich on details of his personal life, he failed to challenge Gingrich on his false […]

Mar
28
2011

Henry Kissinger's Big Ideas

From Meet the Press (3/27/11): GREGORY: I'll start with you, Ted Koppel. You spent time, in your early days as a correspondent, with Henry Kissinger. KOPPEL: I did. GREGORY: Who knew something about the big ideas for the world. Is this administration getting the big ideas right in the–in the tumult of the Middle East? Who knows what those "big ideas" might be. But if you want to make Ted Koppel feel comfortable, it's good to praise Henry Kissinger– as we noted recently: Koppel once boasted of Kissinger: "Henry Kissinger is, plain and simply, the best secretary of state we […]

Feb
28
2011

What Union Voices Mean to the Wisconsin Debate

As we noted here, there weren't many labor voices booked on the Sunday morning chat shows. One, actually–Richard Trumka from the AFL-CIO. ABC's This Week featured four governors (two Democrats, two Republicans) talking about their fiscal problems. CBS's Face the Nation had a soft interview with New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie. Host Bob Schieffer asked him one question that began, "You have a reputation as a straight talker, I think…." Schieffer went on to play a clip of Christie bravely calling for Social Security cuts. Instead of questioning Christie's totally inaccurate premise–that you "have to raise the retirement age"–Schieffer […]

Jan
28
2011

The Joe Biden Rules

Joe Biden on Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak (PBS NewsHour, 1/27/11): I would not refer to him as a dictator. On WikiLeaks' Julian Assange (NBC's Meet the Press, 12/19/10) DAVID GREGORY: Mitch McConnell says he's a high-tech terrorist, others say this is akin to the Pentagon Papers. Where do you come down? JOE BIDEN: I would argue that it's closer to being a high-tech terrorist than the Pentagon Papers. For the record, neither journalist pushed Biden to explain his opinions.

Nov
15
2010

NBC's Sunday Morning Austerity Program

You got a sense from some of the coverage of the Simpson/Bowles deficit commission report that their right-leaning prescription was exactly the kind of solution the corporate media could get behind. Charlie Rose could apparently only find two panelists who wished the commission had gone further with its spending cuts. On NBC's Meet the Press (11/14/10), the panel discussion featured former Fed chair (and Ayn Rand devotee) Alan Greenspan and far right former Republican politician Newt Gingrich. On the "other" side was Harold Ford, currently the chair of the right-leaning Democratic Leadership Council. A debate from the near-right to the […]

Nov
05
2010

At Meet the Press, It's Heads GOP Wins, Tails Democrats Lose

Meet the Press announced that its show this Sunday will feature two conservative Republican guests, Sen. Jim DeMint (S.C.) and Gov. Chris Christie (N.J.). Well, that's only natural, because the GOP did so well on Tuesday, winning back the House…. Right? Oh wait…. Here's Meet the Press's then-host Tim Russert on November 12, 2006: Our issues this Sunday: The voters send a loud and clear message to the White House, and give the Democrats control of the House and the Senate for the first time in 12 years. What now for the Republicans? We'll ask a man who is positioned […]

Nov
02
2010

MTP Panel: Afghan War Politics Will Change. But Will MTP's Coverage?

Wrapping up a panel discussion (10/31/10) on Barack Obama's post-midterm political challenges, NBC reporter Chuck Todd raised the possibility that the Beltway debate on Afghanistan might change: On Afghanistan, the Democratic caucus that will be left, you brought this up, is going to be a very liberal caucus, very anti-war caucus. This is going to be a political challenge for him like no other. And by the way, a lot of these Tea Party conservatives have all talked about "We don't want to be there forever" in these debates…. They're all like, "I don't want to be nation builders." There […]

Oct
11
2010

Joe Klein on Big Government Breastfeeding

Thispast Sunday's edition of NBC'sMeet the Press (10/10/10) featuredtwo gueststalking about the midterms, the economy and public sentiment: conservative Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan and Time magazine's Joe Klein. Klein has been on a road trip through the middle of the country to assess how Americans are feeling (that is, Americans who don't live in "urban" areas or the "deep South," as Klein explained). Trying to explain how voters feel aboutWashington, Klein provided this anecdote: They have no idea what the Democrats stand for, except for these big, slovenly pieces of legislation that we've seen which inevitably contain ridiculous […]

Sep
13
2010

But Older White Men Are 'Newsmakers'!

A new study of the guest lists for the Sunday morning chat shows finds that the networks prefer lawmaker guests who are white, male, older and Republican. The study was publishedby the George Mason University School of Law's Green Bag Journal, and got a brief write-up in the New York Times today (9/13/10). And that means we got to hear excuses from the shows about why this is the case. Meet the Press executive producer Betsy Fischer spoke about how they are "committed to having a diverse group of voices on the program whose opinions and expertise reflect the cultural, […]

Aug
19
2010

Open up the Afghanistan War Media Debate

Public support for the Afghanistan war continues to drop. Casualties mount. So why is NBC's Meet the Press giving viewers a parade of hawkish pundits and military officials? If you haven't already done so, please join FAIR's call to broaden the debate on the war on the most-watched Sunday morning chat show. And while you're at, RethinkAfghanistan is asking people to sign a petition to CBS anchor Katie Couric to ask tough questions of Gen. David Petraeus.

Aug
02
2010

WikiLeaks on Sunday State TV

The Afghanistan documents posted by WikiLeaks were obviously the big story of the week. So how did the network Sunday shows react to these disclosures, which have the potential to open up a real debate about the Afghan War? NBC's Meet the Press interviewed chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen. ABC's This Week featured an interview with Defense Secretary Robert Gates. On CBS, Face The Nation had Mike Mullen. What would state broadcasting look like again? CBS also had an interview with Richard Haass of the Council on Foreign Relations (formerly of the Bush administration), who urged […]

Jul
14
2010

'Same Strategy, Better Tactics': Robert Gibbs' Real 'Meet the Press' News

To hear some of the Beltway media tell it,on Sunday White House press secretary Robert Gibbs predicted that the Democrats could lose their congressional majority in the November midterms. The L.A. Times captured some of the sense of crisis (7/14/10), noting that party leaders also tried to improve the gloomy prognosis. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, reversing course from comments he made over the weekend, said Tuesday he now believed Democrats would retain control of the House, a sentiment shared by the House majority leader, Rep. Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland. It's odd, then, tolook at what actually Gibbs […]