CNN's scrutiny of the Obama administration's scandals has fallen sharply from last week. From 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. ET on Monday, CNN spent about as much time on Obama's "triple trouble" of controversy as it did on Saturday's Powerball-winning ticket.
CNN spent 12 full minutes reporting that one single ticket won the $590 million Powerball jackpot over the weekend, and had yet to be claimed. In comparison, three Obama administration scandals merited about the same coverage, 12 minutes, 21 seconds. Yet over three minutes of that coverage focused on the President's rising approval ratings amidst the controversies.
After Friday's IRS testimony before Congress, CNN's Ashleigh Banfield begged CNN host Candy Crowley to "take me off the ledge" and explain that the agency was simply doing its job looking for "sleazeballs that are trying to get special status."
Crowley shot down Banfield's astoundingly ignorant plea. "And the only sleazeballs have 'Tea Party' in their name or 'patriot'? What about 'progressive'?" Crowley asked of the agency's double standard in investigating Tea Party groups while approving liberal groups more quickly. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
The same CNN host who slobbered back in 2011, "A lot of things are just perfect about Barack Obama," is now taking the President to task for lack of transparency.
Two nights in a row, CNN's Piers Morgan whacked the Obama administration for promising transparency before three scandals revealed that promise to be broken at best. "[T]he real problem for Barack Obama, it seems to me, as the President, is that he promised to be different. He promised to be transparent. None of this looks very transparent, does it?" Morgan pressed on his Wednesday night show. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN's senior legal analyst thinks there's too much "hysteria" over the IRS scandal and that it really may not have been that big of a story to begin with. He argued thus on the 11 a.m. ET hour of Thursday's Newsroom.
CNN's Jeffrey Toobin's spin went as follows: "the IRS is required by law to investigate these organizations," and "it's not clear that there were liberal organizations applying, certainly, in the numbers that the Tea Party were," and "A lot of these organizations that are complaining wound up getting approved for 501(c)(4) status. So what are their damages?" Ergo, "we need to know a lot more, but we need perhaps a little less hysteria, too." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Wednesday's Starting Point, CNN's Brianna Keilar twice noted that accusations that the White House "downplayed the role of terrorism" in the Benghazi attacks went from being a "right-wing obsession" to "mainstream news."
"The White House has also been plagued recently by questions about whether it downplayed the role of terrorism in that September attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi," Keilar reported. "That had gone from sort of a right-wing obsession to mainstream news recently." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Wednesday's Around the World, CNN's Suzanne Malveaux admitted that the Obama administration has lost some media "support," noting "tension" between the White House and the press corps.
"One of the things I noticed as well is that really you have a press corps that is engaged. There was tension in that room. And perhaps a loss of some support there, you know?" Malveaux said of Tuesday's White House press briefing. Is she acknowledging a prior cozy relationship between the press and the administration? [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Sunday's 6 p.m. Newsroom, CNN's Don Lemon made a shockingly generous excuse for the Obama administration's talking points on Benghazi that were edited a dozen times to the point of inaccuracy.
"[T]he accusation is that the Obama administration in some way tried to change the talking points or water them down. And my question is, and I really – I'm being honest about this, what administration, Ana, doesn't try to control the message no matter what it is?" Lemon asked. He also framed the accusations against the administration as "partisan," ignoring whether or not they were also true. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Rush Limbaugh is fast becoming a "relic," "as dated as Jazzercise or 'Macarena'" – or so says CNN regular Dean Obeidallah in a new CNN.com op-ed.
Ironically, a CNN contributor is calling someone else irrelevant. But in all seriousness, Obeidallah gloats over Limbaugh's lost ad revenue in the past year and points to his inevitable decline: "Has Limbaugh become as dated as Jazzercise or 'Macarena?' All you need to do is look at the bottom line to see that Limbaugh is in trouble."
CNN gave more coverage to the Jodi Arias trial in one day than it did to the entire Kermit Gosnell trial over the span of eight weeks. NewsBusters already reported how the congressional hearings on the Benghazi attacks disappeared amidst CNN's incessant live coverage of tabloid crime stories.
When the verdict was reached in the Arias trial last Wednesday, CNN's coverage for the day totaled almost a whopping three hours. In contrast, the network gave just under 100 minutes to the Gosnell story in eight weeks since the trial began on March 18.
She's been off the set of Starting Point for less than two months, but former CNN host Soledad O'Brien is stirring up controversy yet again. In a Harvard Institute of Politics video, O'Brien arrogantly lectured "white people" who want her to "just see beyond race."
O'Brien, now a visiting fellow at Harvard University's Graduate School of Education, gave her reaction to the "white" critics of her documentaries on race: "And I was like, again, 'okay white person, this is a conversation that you're clearly uncomfortable with. And I have no problem seeing race, and I think we should talk about race.'" [Video below the break.]
On Wednesday evening, CNN barely covered the congressional hearing on the Benghazi attack from earlier that afternoon. Instead, the network provided wall-to-wall coverage of the Jodi Arias trial verdict and the Cleveland kidnappings.
From the hours of 5 p.m. until 11 p.m. ET, CNN gave a whopping 4 hours, 9 minutes of coverage to the two crime stories, but a measly eight minutes to Benghazi -- over 30 times more coverage. And three of CNN's prime-time shows didn't even mention Benghazi.
Is Jeff Zucker happy that his prime-time host is trying to gin up attention on other airwaves by making crude male body part references? Or is this simply the "new" CNN?
CNN's Piers Morgan played himself as a CNN host on Monday night's CBS show 2 Broke Girls. On a mock set of his show, he interviewed one of the protagonists trying to defend her father's credibility against false and salacious claims, and Morgan delved into the questions over his manhood in the episode titled "And the Tip Slip." [Warning: Some readers may find the following language objectionable.]
CNN's Carol Costello didn't hide her feelings Monday after NFL punter and gay rights advocate Chris Kluwe was cut from the Minnesota Vikings.
Costello tweeted "Chris Kluwe cut from Vikings. Sad!" on Monday afternoon, and followed up with a link to the story. "I am so sad," she lamented. Kluwe received media attention last year for his outspoken advocacy on behalf of gay NFL players, and last week Costello hosted him on CNN to talk about gay NBA player Jason Collins.
After conservative radio host Dana Loesch tweeted about firing "all manner" of guns with friends at her local range this past weekend, CNN's resident gun police Piers Morgan swooped in to badger her.
Twitchy had the exchange. Morgan mocked Loesch's gun range tweet, "Yee-haw!" and pointed out, for all those unaware, that the AR-15 rifle she tweeted a picture of was "The assault rifle used at Aurora & Sandy Hook." When Loesch replied that everyone shooting were "law-abiding citizens," Morgan invoked the Newtown shooter's mother: "Like Mrs Lanza?"
CNN's Christiane Amanpour and Jeffrey Toobin continued to push for Guantanamo Bay to be closed on Thursday's 10 p.m. ET hour of Anderson Cooper 360. "It's just not American," Amanpour insisted.
Amanpour, CNN's chief international correspondent, knocked the "roughty-toughty Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld decided no Geneva Conventions" for the detainees. Toobin, CNN's senior legal analyst, challenged the law passed by Congress mandating that Guantanamo be kept open. "That doesn't mean it was right," he said of its bipartisan passage. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
For the second time on Piers Morgan's CNN show, Breitbart's Ben Shapiro got the better of his host as on Thursday he goaded Morgan into calling for a British-style handgun ban in the U.S.
"You're from the UK, why don't we go with a full gun ban?" Shapiro challenged Morgan, who, audibly flustered, admitted, "Listen, we've discussed this. The UK has 40, 50 gun murders a year, America has 12,000. Why don't we try our way?" He then promptly switched the topic. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN's Erin Burnett hosted a liberal roundtable on her Wednesday show to gripe about President Obama's shortcomings and whack Republican members of Congress for obstructing his agenda.
How often would CNN host a conservative roundtable to complain about the Republican leadership? Regardless, liberal comedian Dean Obeidallah warned that Obama could become a "lame duck president" while lefty radio host Stephanie Miller and Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen largely focused more blame on Republican obstructionists. [Video coming soon. Audio here.]
Insisting that Guantanamo Bay has become a recruitment tool for future terrorists and must be closed, CNN's Christiane Amanpour arrogantly scoffed at opinions to the contrary on Wednesday's special edition of Anderson Cooper 360.
Amanpour knocked Rudy Giuliani's concern of "I can't imagine where you would put these people," by jeering, "Come on." Later on, when The Blaze TV anchor Amy Holmes argued that "Jihadists have a laundry list of resentments against the West" and that the Guantanamo hunger strikes are not their prime motives for attacking the U.S., Amanpour condescended, "Oh no, we're just talking facts here now, Amy." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Hosting liberal filmmaker Spike Lee on his Tuesday show, CNN's Anderson Cooper supported Lee's prediction that more professional athletes will come out as gay like NBA player Jason Collins.
"The tide of history is moving forward," the openly-gay Cooper remarked in a not-so-subtle boost of the gay rights movement. On Monday, Cooper hailed Collins as "a true pioneer" and lauded his announcement as a "historic decision." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
In just 24 hours, CNN spent over 76 minutes of air time on NBA player Jason Collins's announcement that he was gay. That was over nine times more coverage the network gave the Gosnell trial in one week.
CNN's media critic Howard Kurtz admitted on Sunday that the media champion some stories more than others that also merit attention, and this was painfully evident in the amount of time network gave the two stories. Once Collins announced he was gay, the network breathlessly touted the news as "historic," "a big moment for our country," and "courageous." CNN's jubilation over Collins is no surprise given its support for same-sex marriage, but it couldn't muster even half of that air time to report the alleged horrors of Kermit Gosnell's abortion clinic. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
After NBA player Jason Collins came out as gay on Monday, CNN hyped the announcement as a "bombshell," a "big deal," and one for the "history books." CNN's open support of gay rights advocates is no secret, as it has already picked sides in the gay rights debate.
CNN's Don Lemon has framed gay rights advocates as being on the right side of history, and anchor Brooke Baldwin played into that narrative on Monday. "The NBA's Jason Collins has entered the history books today," she touted. "As of today, he's the first openly-gay male athlete playing a major team sport in America. This is a big deal." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Sunday's Reliable Sources, CNN's Howard Kurtz doubled down on his December column that the media needed "to be leading the conversation" on guns in the wake of Newtown. He even compared the gun debate to the conversations on civil rights and, recently, same-sex marriage. Is gun control the new civil rights movement?
Of course, Kurtz claimed objectivity although since Newtown the media have been anything but fair to gun rights advocates in the "conversation" on guns: "I would say that it's important for journalists, whether you like the phrase 'leading the conversation' or not, to push controversial issues that the politicians otherwise might prefer not to talk about."
Yet New York Times columnist Ross Douthat countered that the media is overwhelmingly one-sided when it tries to push issues into the spotlight, and pointed to the selective outrage behind the Newtown shooting versus the horror stories coming from the Gosnell trial. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
After hosting a Sunday segment on whether the Boy Scouts should allow openly-gay scouts and leaders, CNN's Don Lemon re-tweeted gay advocate David Begor's praise of him giving an "anti-gay scoutmaster" a "tough life lesson" and an "intervention."
On Thursday, Begor tweeted a link to Lemon's interview with former Eagle Scout John Stemberger and activist Zach Wahls, founder of Scouts for Equality. He noted Lemon and Wahls staging "an intervention" with Stemberger, who opposes the inclusion of openly-gay members in the Boy Scouts. Begor also touted the "tough life lesson" they gave Stemberger. Lemon re-tweeted Begor's praise.
CNN's Piers Morgan absurdly claimed on Thursday that "senators and congressmen" want Dzhokhar Tsarnaev "tortured" and the "interrogation lasting for months." The only prominent call for torture came from one New York state senator who had argued his case on Morgan's show on Monday.
"So when you hear these senators and congressmen leaping up and down saying we want to have him tortured and we want to have the interrogation lasting for months, you're straying into Guantanamo Bay territory for somebody who is an American citizen," Morgan said of Tsarnaev. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Reports have already surfaced that CNN plans to resurrect the debate show Crossfire. Now the network is reportedly talking to Newt Gingrich and former Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter to be two of the co-hosts.
Crossfire was canceled in 2005 after running for 23 years. In 2010 CNN drew from a similar debate formula and paired columnist Kathleen Parker with disgraced former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer for the ill-fated Parker-Spitzer, which fizzled out in less than five months.
Despite CNN pushing Congress to enact new gun laws, a new poll shows less than half of Americans are "angry" or "disappointed" that last week's gun bill failed in the Senate. In its advocacy, CNN had touted 90 percent of Americans supporting universal background checks.
CNN wanted action taken on guns. Host Piers Morgan led a one-man crusade for gun control since the Newtown shooting, and that the rest of the network had been so friendly to the cause that the gun bill's co-author Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) actually thanked them for their "support."
[UPDATED BELOW] CNN's blackout on the trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell has resumed after a three-week silence was broken for a day on April 12. The network hasn't touched the story in nine days, and despite live coverage of the disasters in Boston and Texas the network has still managed to report on stories like airport traffic, Mark Sanford's "soap opera," and the "North Pond hermit" thief in Maine.
On Friday, April 12, CNN covered the Gosnell trial for the first time since March 21 and basically shelved the story after that. The one exception came in a 90-second discussion by media critic Howard Kurtz of the media coverage of the trial, on the April 14 Reliable Sources. Kurtz lamely offered that CNN had aired a "half dozen segments" on the trial. [Video below.]
After the Toomey-Manchin gun bill failed in the Senate on Wednesday, CNN's Piers Morgan let loose on Twitter at President Obama and "cowards" in the Senate who didn't "give a stuff" about the Newtown families.
"How many schoolchildren have to be murdered next time for Washington to do anything? 50, 100, 1000? Name the number, you cowards. @NRA" he ranted. Morgan didn't take it easy on the President, either: "President Obama strong on guns rhetoric again now - but truth is, he's failed the Newtown families too. Got nothing done re gun control #CNN".
Former Democratic congressman Barney Frank shamelessly used the Boston Marathon atrocity to promote his liberal political agenda on CNN and MSNBC on Tuesday morning, yet only MSNBC called him out for "making political hay" of the bombing.
"I would say this is a terrible day for our society, but a day when I hope people understand the centrality of having a government in place with the resources," Frank argued on CNN's Starting Point. "No tax cut would have helped us deal with this or will help us recover. This is very expensive." Yet co-host John Berman didn't admonish him for railing against tax and budget cutters less than 24 hours after the bombing, but instead offered some diplomatic praise of his words. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
[UPDATE BELOW] CNN's national security analyst Peter Bergen twice suggested that "right-wing extremists" could be behind Monday's Boston Marathon bombings. Yet over an hour later, CNN reported that Boston Police were not holding anyone in custody as a suspect for the attack.
Appearing on CNN's live coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing with host Jake Tapper, Bergen was asked to explain if the bombing could have been an act of terror. Bergen answered in the affirmative, and proceeded to name possible suspects depending on the type of explosive used. [Transcript below. Audio here. Video below the break.]