Broadcasters have offered lengthy broadcasts about Gaza and Ukraine but scant criticism about the White House role in the double crises. On the “Big Three” networks, in fact, the criticism amounted to less than a minute — in almost six hours of recent news coverage.
“While the three evening newscasts have offered considerable coverage of the unfolding events, CBS, NBC and ABC have made almost no attempt to evaluate the performance of President Obama, Secretary of State John F. Kerry or the administration generally, and critics of the administration itself have been ignored,” observes Scott Whitlock, a senior news analyst at the Media Research Center.
“Since July 8, the broadcast evening newscasts have aired 79 stories totaling 169 minutes on the Gaza fighting. Only 45 seconds of that included criticism of the administration,” Mr. Whitlock says. “Since July 17, the three evening newscasts have aired 96 stories totaling 209 minutes on the jet shootdown; just 10 seconds of that coverage has included criticism of Obama or his team.”
It’s come to be a pattern.
“During the George W. Bush administration, the networks routinely turned to harsh critics of the president, highlighting and blaming Bush for foreign and domestic problems,” the analyst said. “The networks have devoted huge resources to covering these stories. It’s highly unusual — and a huge favor to the White House — that so little effort has been spent trying to actually evaluate the administration’s performance.”
“I do sometimes expect perhaps more than I should. And I’ll have to work on my expectations.”
— Hillary Clinton to National Public Radio, regarding a recent claim in Politico that she expects journalists to be “100 percent in her corner.”
‘PRESIDENT’ PAUL RYAN, STAGE ONE
Rep. Paul Ryan is said to be a precise, numbers kind of guy, and it shows in the painstaking trajectory of his reinvention. The Wisconsin Republican appears to be moving toward a potential presidential posture in calibrated increments — not too much, not too little, deliberate but not obvious.
“I want to start a conversation. I want to talk about how we can expand opportunity in America. I don’t have all the answers. Nobody does. But by working together, we can build a healthy economy and help working families get ahead,” Mr. Ryan said Thursday upon releasing a humongous list of antipoverty reforms titled “Expanding Opportunity in America.”
(Spare. Buzz words intact. Folksy. Grade: B+).
IMMIGRATION: REPUBLICAN-FRIENDLY TERRITORY
Could the border crisis be a game changer for Republicans? Perhaps.
“Long gone, evidently, are the days when the late, great Sonny Bono, asked for his position on illegal immigration, answered: ‘My position? What do you mean, my position? It’s illegal.’ Still, I have never understood the claim that open borders is a winning political issue for the Democrats,” says Powerlineblog.com columnist John Hinderaker.