1. ABC, CBS Trumpet Mrs. Obama’s ‘Ping-Pong Diplomacy’ in China; Omit Press Shutout
Friday’s CBS Evening News and ABC’s World News both glowingly harkened back to a prominent past example of bilateral exchange between the U.S. and China, as they reported on Michelle Obama’s trip to the East Asian country. But they continued their blackout on covering the White House’s ban of journalists accompanying the First Lady. CBS’s Scott Pelley trumpeted how “education is the focus of her week-long trip, but there was also time for a little bit of ping-pong diplomacy.”
The ABC evening newscast surpassed their competitor, however, with David Muir touting “the images making headlines out of China… the Chinese president unexpectedly coming out to meet her the whole thing reminiscent of those iconic shots of President Nixon in his groundbreaking trip to China.”
2. Networks Tout Michelle Obama’s Sightseeing and Ping Pong in China; Still Ignore Press Ban
All three network morning shows on Friday fawned over First Lady Michelle Obama’s visit to China, but the broadcasts refused to mention that reporters had been banned from accompanying her on the trip. On Thursday, NBC’s Today and CBS This Morning both insisted the overseas travel was “not political” while ignoring the press corps being left behind. In a full report for Friday’s Today, White House correspondent Peter Alexander proclaimed: “This trip is really focused on building good will. White House aides are confident that the First Lady’s personal story will also resonate with the Chinese people….It’s a highly anticipated visit to a country whose relationship with the U.S. is complicated at best.” All the more reason to allow American journalists to go along.
3. Irony: ABC, NBC Tout Michelle Obamas Internet Freedom Speech In China, Ignore Press Shutout
First Lady Michelle Obama spoke to students at Peking University in China over the weekend and spoke of the need for China to limit its censorship of information and controlling access to the Internet. Despite both ABC and NBC hyping Mrs. Obamas strong message about the need for an open Internet in China, both networks skipped the irony of the White House not allowing American press to travel with the First Lady to China. Instead, ABC promoted how Obama decided to tackle hot-button issues as shes making headlines over what she said about the Internet.
4. Race Baiter Extraordinaire Sharpton Complains About Sen. Pauls Cynical Use of Race
On Thursdays PoliticsNation on MSNBC, host Al Sharpton was irritated that Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) dared to suggest that President Obama should be more concerned about NSA spying because of our countrys history of civil rights leaders being spied upon. Sharpton thundered, [W]ho is Rand Paul to make this point? This is a cynical use of race from some on the right. It was cynical, according to Sharpton, because some Republicans have done the opposite of Paul and criticized Obama when he does talk about race. But who is Al Sharpton to accuse someone else of the cynical use of race? The reverend has built his career by relentlessly exploiting racial issues.