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Jake Tapper Questions DOJ Spokeman’s ‘Gutsy Reporter’ Classification

Jake Tapper took to Twitter early this morning to question a Department of Justice Spokesman’s labeling of a Huffington Post reporter arrested last night covering the protests in Ferguson, Missouri.

The reporter Tapper was referencing is the New York TimesJames Risen, who is being compelled to testify against a source used for his 2006 book, “The State of War,” or face prison time. Risen has refused to testify.

Reporter Slammed in Ferguson Slams Joe Scarborough: ‘Sipping his Starbucks Smugly’

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The arrest of two reporters in Ferguson, MO last night has been a hot topic on morning cable news. In the first 10 minutes of “Morning Joe,” Joe Scarborough shared his opinion.

“I’ve been in places where police officers said: ‘all right you know what? This is cordoned off, you guys need to move along.’ You know what I do? I go, ‘yes, sir, or yes, ma’am.’ I don’t sit there and have a debate and film the police officer unless I want to get on TV and have people talk about me the next day,” said Scarborough, adding, “I am sure I am just the worst person in the world for saying this.”

Scarborough’s take on the arrest and short detention of Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery and The Huffington Post’s Ryan Reilly, became news over on CNN. Kate Bolduan asked Lowery — who says police slammed him into a soda machine during his arrest — about Scarborough’s comments:

I would invite Joe Scarborough to come down to Ferguson and get out of 30 Rock where he’s sitting there sipping his Starbucks smugly. I invite him to come down here and talk to the residents of Ferguson where I’ve been since Monday afternoon having tear gas shot at me, having rubber bullets shot at me, having mothers and daughters crying, having a 19-year-old boy crying that he had to run and pull his 21-year-old sister out from a cloud of tear gas. He thought she was going to die.

I invite Joe Scarborough down here and to do some reporting on the ground, and then he can — and then maybe we can have an educated conversation about what’s happening here.

Video after the jump…

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Al Jazeera America Crew Says it was Fired Upon in Ferguson

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A crew from Al Jazeera America was setting up for a live shot in Ferguson, MO, around 10:30 last night, when police tear gas canisters landed near them. The network also says police fired rubber bullets in their direction and continued to shoot after the crew “clearly and repeatedly shouted ‘press.’”

They were setting up for a live shot for the international channel covering the latest in the violence surrounding the police shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

“Al Jazeera America is stunned by this egregious assault on freedom of the press that was clearly intended to have a chilling effect on our ability to cover this important story,” AJAM spokesperson Jocelyn Austin says. “Thankfully all three crew members are physically fine.”

The network wants the incident investigated.

JournalistsFergusonTwo other reporters covering the chaos were arrested last night. Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery says he was slammed into a soda machine, handcuffed and arrested. He was released later on the order of Ferguson’s police chief. The Huffington Post’s Ryan J. Reilly says an officer arresting him slammed his head against the glass at a restaurant near the site of the Brown shooting.

“RTDNA condemns the physical violence and unjustified arrest of the journalists, and demands authorities respect the rights of reporters covering the unfolding situation in Missouri,” RTDNA Executive Director Mike Cavender wrote to the city’s police chief this morning. After the jump, Cavender’s letter, which also went to the governor and the attorneys general of Missouri and the U.S…

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Pres. Obama Makes Statement on Iraq Crisis

ObamaNBC News and ABC News offered special coverage this afternoon as President Obama made a statement on recent U.S. airstrikes on ISIS in Iraq. CBS News did not provide broadcast coverage.

Speaking from his vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, the president spoke about the limited U.S. mission in Iraq along with humanitarian aid being issued to men, women, and children stranded on Mount Sinjar in Iraq.

NBC News cut in at 5:08pmET with Brian Williams anchoring in New York and senior White House correspondent Chris Jansing reporting from Martha’s Vineyard. ABC News presented its coverage at 5:09pmET with David Muir anchoring from New York and chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl reporting from Martha’s Vineyard. The president didn’t take questions.

Airstrikes in Iraq


Just before 9amET, the Pentagon announced U.S. military aircraft conducted a strike on ISIS artillery in Northern Iraq.

CBS News began a special report promptly at 9amET anchored by Norah O’Donnell and Maurice Dubois — who had just finished anchoring the live edition of “CBS This Morning.” David Martin was at the Pentagon for CBS. ABC News began a special report at 9:03amET, interrupting the start of “Good Morning America” in the mountain time zone. Dan Harris anchored along with Martha Raddatz in Washington. NBC’s Savannah Guthrie broke into programming at 9:04amET, again interrupting the mountain time zone editions of “Today,” with Kristen Welker at the White House.

CNN’s Jim Acosta reported on the strike at 8:54am from the White House. The cable news networks then went into rolling coverage. MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, who had planned to devote today’s “Daily Rundown” to the 40th anniversary of Watergate, instead has been covering the president’s announcement of humanitarian airdrops and that start of targeted military strikes.

Developing…

Presidential Primetime Address on Iraq Keeps Nets Up Late

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In a live primetime address, Pres. Obama announced he has ordered a humanitarian effort to help Iraqis threatened by the terror group ISIS and has authorized — though not yet ordered — targeted airstrikes against the group to protect U.S. personnel in Northern Iraq.

The president’s remarks began at 9:30pmET, pre-empting the summer filler sitcom “Working the Engels” on NBC and “Rookie Blue” on ABC. FOX and CBS did not offer a special reports. Some CBS stations on the West Coast produced their own special reports, while some Fox affiliates simulcast Fox News Channel.

The president ended his remarks at 6:38pmPT, eight minutes in to the network evening newscasts’ West Coast editions. NBC’s Brian Williams rolled into a live edition “Nightly News” with breaking updates from correspondents at the Pentagon and White House. ABC’s George Stephanopoulos wrapped up ABC’s special report which then joined ABC “World News,” anchored by David Muir in progress.

American General Killed in Afghanistan Attack

Broadcast and cable networks reported this morning on an attack at a military academy in Afghanistan that killed a two star major general and wounded 15 other soldiers. About half of the 15 wounded are said to be Americans, and the general is reportedly the highest ranking official to be killed in the Afghanistan war.

Amy Robach anchored a special report on ABC News at 10:30amET. Robach was joined by Jonathan Karl at the White House and Martha Raddatz by phone. NBC News presented a special report anchored by Savannah Guthrie in New York, with Jim Miklaszewski reporting from the Pentagon, at 11amET. On CBS News, Norah O’Donnell updated the West Coast feed of “CBS This Morning.”

On cable news, Chuck Todd reported the attack at 9amET on MSNBC, Bill Hemmer reported it on Fox News at 9:03amET, and Carol Costello reported the news on CNN at 9:16amET.

President Obama Announces New Sanctions on Russia’s Economy

Obama UkraineThis afternoon, ABC News and NBC News provided special coverage of President Obama’s statement on new sanctions toward Russia. CBS News did not.

The president announced new sanctions on Russia’s economy in the energy, arms, and financial sectors in response to Russia continuing to support the separatists linked to the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

NBC News cut in at 3:36pmET with Brian Williams anchoring from New York and chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd reporting from Washington, DC. ABC News cut in at 3:36pmET with George Stephanopoulos anchoring in New York and chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl reporting from the White House.

Pres. Obama Makes Statement on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Investigation

Obama UkraineThis morning, broadcast networks provided special coverage of President Obama’s statement on the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 investigation.

The president called for investigators to gain immediate and full access to the crash site, calling on Russian President Vladimir Putin to help facilitate an open investigation.

CBS News cut in at 11:13amET with Norah O’Donnell anchoring in New York and chief White House correspondent Major Garrett anchoring from the White House.  NBC News cut in at 11:14amET with Savannah Guthrie anchoring from New York and chief foreign correspondent Andrea Mitchell reporting from Washington, DC.  ABC News cut in at 11:14amET with Amy Robach anchoring in New York and chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl reporting from the White House.

Fox News Most-Watched During Coverage of Downed Malaysia Airlines Flight

MegynKelly304FNC was the most-watched cable news channel in both Total Day and Primetime for yesterday’s breaking news stories of the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and Israel’s ground war into Gaza.

In primetime, FNC averaged 3.08 million total viewers and 570,000 in the A25-54 demo. 2It was FNC’s second-best Total Day and primetime this year, following the night of State of the Union on January 28. Fox News’s “The Kelly File” and “Hannity” had all-time highs in viewers.

CNN was second in all averages and day parts. Several CNN hours outdrew Fox News in the demo including soon after the news from Ukraine broke. From 1pm to 5pMET and again at 7pmET, for “Erin Burnett Outfront,” CNN was No. 1 in the demo.

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