Call it the tale of two gaffes. CNN only briefly covered President Obama's blunder that the gun used in the Sandy Hook shooting was an automatic weapon. Meanwhile, the network gave almost 40 minutes on Friday to outrage over Obama calling California's Attorney General "the best-looking attorney general in the country."
CNN's Jake Tapper was the only CNN anchor or reporter who caught Obama's "automatic" gun error. He reported it twice, once during his 4 p.m. ET show The Lead and later on while filling in for host Erin Burnett on OutFront. Automatic weapons are already strictly regulated and have been for decades; the gun used at Sandy Hook was a semi-automatic weapon.
In San Francisco on Wednesday, Obama had said the country needs to "make sure that we don’t have another 20 children in a classroom gunned down by a semiautomatic weapon – by a fully automatic weapon in that case, sadly."
"But it might help the advocates of gun control if, in their advocacy for stricter measures, they seemed more familiar with what exactly they're trying to ban," Tapper pointed out on Thursday's The Lead.
In contrast, CNN was all over the controversy over Obama's "best-looking" compliment. On Thursday, the President referred to California's Attorney General Kamala Harris as "by far, the best-looking attorney general in the country." CNN lapped up the outrage, reporting or discussing the controversy on 10 different news hours on Friday and bringing up concerns that the remarks were sexist.
In fact, the 5 p.m. ET hour of The Situation Room featured over three times more coverage of Obama's "best-looking" remark than of the poor jobs numbers announced earlier in the day.
During the 5 a.m. ET hour of Early Start, CNN relayed the outrage of New York Magazine's liberal writer Jonathan Chait: "The President has taken a lot of online heat for that remark. One blogger even suggesting he needs, the President of the United States needs gender sensitivity training."
On Starting Point, CNN's media critic Howard Kurtz savaged thsoe who took outrage over the remark. "I'm sorry. This is the media PC police run amok," he said. "Making a light comment about the attorney general of California at a party fund raiser, I haven't seen anything she took any offense. It is just silly season."
"Sexist, superficial, misogynistic perhaps? These are just some of the words being tossed around on Twitter today about President Obama's unexpected comments as he was introducing California's Attorney General Kamela Harris," reported anchor Brooke Baldwin.
"Why even go there?" Baldwin asked. "But why did the President need to go there? Why would a man need to go there in general when it comes to her looks?"