CNN's 'Objective' Ali Velshi Anything But While Hammering Republicans Over Fiscal Cliff

CNN reporter Ali Velshi thrashed Republicans and conservatives during last weekend's fiscal cliff negotiations. As Tim Graham of NewsBusters already reported, Velshi "clearly doesn't care about looking objective" and showed it when he opened fire on Grover Norquist last week and declared that taxes must go up on the wealthy.

In what became a tired liberal rant, Velshi pushed that argument over and over again last weekend, paddling House Republicans for not "compromising" with Democrats on tax hikes while barely wagging a finger at President Obama and the Democratic Senate. Below is the worst of Velshi from last weekend.

On last Friday's The Situation Room, Velshi called the Bush tax cuts a "deal with the devil":

"It starts more than a decade ago, when then-President George W. Bush initiated a series of tax cuts for all Americans. But it's a deal with the devil. The cuts, which are politically expedient, but costly to government, expire in 10 years time."

On last Saturday's Your Money, Velshi decreed that letting the Bush tax cuts expire for the wealthy wouldn't hurt the economy:

"I guess the point I'm trying to get at is that's not actually going to hurt the economy. That's all we're talking about. Paying 4.6 percentage points higher on your income over $250,000. Just empirically, the evidence isn't there that that's going to hurt the economy."

On Newsroom on December 30, Velshi repeated a Democratic smear of Republicans:

"I mean, one of the things that Claire McCaskill, Senator Claire McCaskill was saying earlier to Dana is that the House is being held hostage by a small group of extreme Republicans. We know Grover Norquist may or may not have some influence over those Republicans who have said they can't sign a tax increase. But in the end, what's holding them back from a deal right now?"

On Newsroom on December 31, Velshi pointed to other countries to argue higher taxes wouldn't hurt the U.S. economy:

"But I want to show you a chart of tax rates around the world, marginal tax rates around the world. (...) The United States is not the highest on that list. The United Kingdom is on this list, and this isn't all the countries out there. But both Canada and Germany have higher marginal tax rates than the United States does. Germany and Canada have borrowing rates that are about the same as the United States and in fact have higher home ownership rates. They have health care and education that are paid for, great life satisfaction in those places and very strong economies. So what's the argument that if we increase the tax rate by 4.6 percentage points on the richest Americans, we're somehow going to have economic catastrophe?"

That same day on Early Start, Velshi thrashed Republicans for not compromising and hiking taxes:

"Who are the people in this country who will go to the wall and make taxes go up for everybody to protect the people who earn more than $1 million a year seeing their tax increases increase above $1 million a year by 4.6 percent? I don't think you can put this on Democrats, sir. These are hard-line conservative Republicans who didn't even let your leader take that to the floor for a vote."

In an interview with Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) on OutFront on January 1, Velshi offered this harsh observation of House Republicans:

"[I]f you landed from Mars 10 days ago and you looked at this thing, your general takeaway would be, huh, these Republicans in the House don't seem to know how to get it together. They seem to have a lack of discipline, they don't seem to have a consistent message. And they leave things to the last moment."

During the January 1 edition of Anderson Cooper 360, Velshi accused Republicans who voted against the fiscal cliff deal of putting themselves ahead of their country:

"But what has happened here is you have seen the people who will not compromise. They're not the ones Margaret is talking about. I'm talking about Marco Rubio. I'm talking about Rand Paul. I'm talking about all these guys who are jockeying for a position. They're going to run for something.  So they have chosen tonight not to put the country ahead of their own interests and, that will come back to bite them."

During that same show, Velshi accused Tea Party Republicans of simply protecting the rich at the expense of all else:

"Charles, there's one economic argument that has come apart here. And that is the Tea Party conservative Republican argument that we want a government that spends money responsibly, doesn't overtax people. That got divorced somehow from the idea that we ended up with people who were defending the rights of people who earn more than $500,000 a year not to pay 4.6 percentage points higher in taxes. (...) So we went from just -- from protecting responsible government and your hard-earned money into just defending rich people."

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