CNN Anchor Admonishes GOP, 'Stop Blaming the Media'

CNN's Don Lemon attacked the "classic GOP move" of claiming liberal media bias, on Sunday's 10 p.m. edition of Newsroom. The liberal CNN host lampooned Sarah Palin's "lamestream" media line and – rather sloppily – faulted the GOP candidates for their own travails.

"Long story short – maybe it's time for politicians who get caught in unflattering situations or who might have a bit of trouble with the truth to take responsibility for their own actions and stop blaming the media," lectured Lemon, who as a member of the liberal media didn't exactly "take responsibility" in deflecting blame back at the GOP and Fox News without refuting their claims of liberal media bias.

 "It doesn't get much friendlier for a GOP interview than Fox News," Lemon insisted in a dig at cable news competitor Fox News. His "No Talking Points" segment had become anything but what the title suggested.

And in his defense of CNN he provided some spin of his own. "In all fairness, we tried to help him [Cain] out," Lemon innocently claimed of a previous CNN segment on Herman Cain that actually offered a quite negative look at the candidate's campaign. And he certainly wasn't doing him favors Sunday night by snickering that the "pizza man" who suspended his campaign the night before "didn't deliver."

And perhaps Lemon was releuctant to outright defend the media's credibility because he has a liberal bias of his own.

A transcript of the segment, which aired on December 4 at 10:41 p.m. EST, is as follows:

[10:41]

LEMON: It is time now for "No Talking Points." So tonight, Herman Cain, the "Cain train," black walnut, the pizza man – this time didn't deliver.

(Video Clip)

HERMAN CAIN former Republican presidential candidate: With a lot of prayer and soul-searching, I am suspending my presidential campaign.

(End Video Clip)

LEMON: All right. In all fairness, we tried to help him out in our November 6th "No Talking Points" segment when his alleged lady troubles first surfaced. But I guess he wasn't watching or just didn't listen to us. Go ahead. Roll it, Rob.

(Begin Video Clip)

CAIN: Excuse me. Excuse me!

(Audible chatter)

CAIN: What part of "no" don't some people understand?

(End Video Clip)

(Video Clip)

(From 10 p.m. CNN Newsroom, November 6)

LEMON: The question is, what part of running for leader of the free world does Herman Cain not understand?

You are going to be asked questions, a lot of them, on just about everything you have ever said or done – especially sexual misconduct allegations. Just ask Clinton, Vitter, Weiner, Foley or Craig -- shall I go on – Hart, Lee or Edwards. You get what I'm saying. Yet, Cain keeps trying to block reporters.

(End Video Clip)

LEMON: As I said, we tried to help him out. Not only did he try to block reporters' questions. He lectured them. He even handed out a journalist code of conduct. Now, let's be honest. It's the classic –  It really is – it's the classic GOP move to blame the media. And even though the "lamestream" media defense is getting old, Cain and his representatives stuck to it to the very end. Cain's attorney, Lin Wood, on CNN earlier this week.

(Video Clip)

LIN WOOD, attorney for Herman Cain: I'm sorry if you find me naive or if you find my statements about Mr. Cain preposterous. What I find naive is the failure on the part of members of the media to be asking the tough questions of the accuser.

(End Video Clip)

LEMON: What we have here is a failure to communicate. The accuser is not, I repeat, not running for president, and she was questioned a lot by the media, even provided phone records by her, Mr. Attorney Wood. Fair warning. Cain isn't alone in it's media's fault strategy. Ladies and gentleman, your new GOP frontrunner, here's Newt Gingrich.

(Video Clip)

NEWT GINGRICH Republican presidential candidate: I took seriously Brett's injunction to put aside the talking points and I wish you would put aside the "gotcha" questions.

I, for one, and I hope all of my friends up here are going to repudiate every effort of the news media to get Republicans to fight each other to protect Barack Obama.

(End Video Clip)

LEMON: All right. And here's another GOP frontrunner in an interview – with Fox News?

(Video Clip)

MITT ROMNEY, Republican presidential candidate: I don't know how many hundred times I've said this to. This is an unusual interview. (Laughing) All right. Let's do it again.

(End Video Clip)

LEMON: OK. So some real talk here. Let's just be honest about here – about it. It doesn't get much friendlier for a GOP interview than Fox News. Huckabee, Palin, Gingrich have all worked there. Some of them still do. Long story short – maybe it's time for politicians who get caught in unflattering situations or who might have a bit of trouble with the truth to take responsibility for their own actions and stop blaming the media. And that's tonight's "No Talking Points."
 

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014