CNN media critic Howard Kurtz ripped the press infatuation with Sen. Marco Rubio's water sip as "profoundly depressing," but on Sunday's Reliable Sources he wouldn't call out his own network's attempt to use the incident to drive headlines.
Last Wednesday, CNN's The Situation Room took the trivial and blew it up. CNN showed a still-shot of Rubio sipping water with headline flashing "Career-Ender?" Host Wolf Blitzer asked his panel if the incident was a "big deal." The headline stoked outrage on Twitter and CNN jumped to explain it as a "joke," but Kurtz didn't mention any of this hullabaloo.
As Carnival Triumph passengers began to deboard their crippled ship late Thursday night, CNN's Martin Savidge decided to compare their "isolation factor" at sea to that of Hurricane Katrina victims. Passenger Rob Kenny quickly put the cruise fiasco in perspective.
"Katrina was a major devastation. We're on a friggin' cruise ship and we're just all having a good time," he told Savidge. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
The same network that wondered if Sen. Rubio's sip of water was a "big deal" is now asking just why Republicans are "so fixated on Benghazi" when they asked Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel about the Libya fiasco.
"This, despite testimony on Benghazi from General Petraeus, Hillary Clinton, Admiral Mike Mullen, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, General Martin Dempsey, among others. But it's not enough," an obviously flustered Carol Costello huffed. The CNN headline later flashed, "Why are Republicans so fixated on Benghazi?" [Video below the break. Audio here.]
When listing the qualifications for a papal successor, comedian David Letterman used the Catholic church's clerical abuse scandal as a parting blast at Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday night's Late Show.
Letterman quipped that the church is "looking for a guy who is good at transferring creepy priests." Earlier, he took another shot at Pope Benedict: "I guess you know by now, big news coming out of the Vatican. Pope Benedict was fired." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
At CNN.com, correspondent Ben Wedeman touted "what some Catholics want in next pope," and by "some Catholics" he meant those who thought Pope Benedict's papacy was too conservative or inward-looking. He arrogantly prescribed that if the next pontiff focuses on social justice and has a global outreach, "Then perhaps the Catholic Church can be a light unto all nations."
Since when could CNN reporters tell the Catholic church what it should be doing? Wedeman hammered the church's problems, "a church in which the gap between the shepherd and his flock seems to be growing ever wider." He hyped the "Winds buffeting the church."
<<UPDATE BELOW>> On Wednesday's The Situation Room, host Wolf Blitzer absurdly wondered if Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) pausing his State of the Union response for a drink of water would "break" his career. The CNN chyron flashed "Career-ender?"
"So can a drink of water make or break a political career?" Blitzer asked. "A U.S. Senator, possible presidential candidate. We're going to find out, whether he likes it or not." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Tuesday's Entertainment Tonight ran quite the hit piece on Pope Benedict, promoting the distorted anti-Catholic documentary on the clerical abuse scandals and revisiting ABC reporter Brian Ross's 2002 confrontation with then-Cardinal Ratzinger.
"Then he slapped me like this on the wrist as if I were a schoolboy, asking an impertinent question," Ross recalled, when he rudely accosted Ratzinger on the streets of Rome about the abuse scandals. "When I got slapped, it actually stung. And I was surprised. I've been hit before by others. But generally crooks," he self-righteously gushed. Has Ross shown such scrutiny toward the embattled Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.)? Nope. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Monday night, CNN's Erin Burnett badgered the Catholic church to change its doctrine and accept birth control, gay marriage, and women priests. All day long on Monday, CNN asked if the church was going to change with the times but Burnett was blatant in her push for liberalization of doctrine.
"Isn't it time for the church, which is supposed to be an inclusive, generous, giving organization, to move ahead on gay rights?" she asked her guest a loaded question. When he answered no, she hit back, "Even if they [gay people] love each other, isn't the Catholic Church supposed to be about love?" [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Right as CNN's The Situation Room reported the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, correspondent Brian Todd launched into a litany of the "controversies" of his papacy and pushed the positive analysis to the bottom of his report.
"Pope Benedict's papacy has been marked by serious controversies," began anchor Wolf Blitzer. Todd followed up that as far as "controversies" were concerned, "there was certainly no shortage of those during his papacy." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Only an hour after Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation from the papacy, and not ten minutes into Monday's Starting Point, CNN's Soledad O'Brien hosted the director of an anti-Catholic documentary who has called Pope Benedict a "criminal" and a "deeply flawed human being."
Director Alex Gibney was O'Brien's first guest on her show. His new film on the clerical sex abuse scandal has been criticized as distorted and misleading and "an anti-Catholic broadside masquerading as a documentary." O'Brien praised it as "riveting, absolutely riveting," however, and let him criticize Pope Benedict. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Only about five percent of Americans identify as atheists, but CNN played up the "very activist atheist movement" and touted celebrity atheists like Julianne Moore and Mark Zuckerberg, on Thursday.
"Various surveys put the number of atheists in America around five percent. And according to the Pew study in 2012, one in five people claim they have no religious affiliation at all," anchor Carol Costello noted. She didn't mention that having no religious affiliation might not even be close to atheism.
After a man shot a security guard at the Family Research Council (FRC) last summer, the organization claimed it was targeted because the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) listed it as a "hate group."
The shooter has now revealed that he indeed used that SPLC map to find his target. And CNN has not only promoted this list of "hate groups" in the past, but after the shooting it re-affirmed the FRC's place on the list as "hate spewing hate."
CNN's Piers Morgan invoked the death of Trayvon Martin to support his case for gun control, but the brother of Martin's accused shooter George Zimmerman had a retort ready on Tuesday's Piers Morgan Tonight.
"You would accept, would you not, that if your brother had not gone out armed with a gun that day, Trayvon Martin would be celebrating his 18th birthday today," Morgan first pressed Zimmerman. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN anchors dropped journalistic integrity and went into full attack mode against supporters of the ban on gay Boy Scouts on Wednesday morning.
When the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins questioned why the Scouts should change their long-standing policy, anchor Soledad O'Brien blurted out "Because it's discriminatory," before adding "Because they think it's discriminatory." She then asked "My final question for you, do you worry you are on the wrong side of history on this?" [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin compared the push for the Boy Scouts to accept gays to the struggle over interracial marriage and same-sex marriage. She slammed any ban on gay scouts, local or national, as "discrimination," on Tuesday afternoon's Newsroom.
"They've been arguing that, Brooke, for years. If you let a black person marry a white person society will end. If you let gay and lesbian couples marry, society will end. That's an argument that has failed time and time again. And so to argue that we should discriminate because you want the Boy Scouts of America to survive is just a bunch of nonsense," Hostin told anchor Brooke Baldwin. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN's message to the Boy Scouts is this: "the world" is becoming more accepting of same-sex marriage, and the Scouts should get with the times by accepting openly gay leaders. Anchor Carol Costello made that clear on Tuesday morning's Newsroom.
"And like it or not, children are exposed to gay people. Ever watch 'Modern Family' or 'Ellen' or hear NFL players speak out for same-sex marriage? The world is changing. And the question now: will the Boy Scouts change with it?" Costello argued. Of course, CNN helps facilitate that "change" by giving NFL players -- who wish to "harness this Super Bowl media" to push for "marriage equality" -- air time to push for same-sex marriage unopposed. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
The former president of CNN/U.S. doesn't regret bringing Piers Morgan to CNN and reaffirmed his desire to hire Keith Olbermann away from MSNBC in 2010, in an interview with HuffPost Live.
When asked if he regretted hiring Piers Morgan, Jon Klein replied "as a viewer I don't regret it. I mean, I watch him all the time." When pressed about Olbermann, Klein admitted his "foresight" in wanting the liberal host to move to CNN, noting "it would have made things a lot more difficult for MSNBC."
CNN thinks the Super Bowl has become "a platform for the culture wars," but they are using that "platform" to support causes like gay marriage.
The morning after the Super Bowl, CNN's openly-gay anchor Don Lemon interviewed gay rights activist and Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo and thanked him for his work. No guest from the other side was brought on.
NewsBusters reported on the media's earlyvalentine for outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and CNN's media critic Howard Kurtz focused on their "romance" on Sunday's Reliable Sources.
"[T]hings were so lovey-dovey, it almost sounded like a therapy session," Kurtz described Clinton's 60 Minutes interview. He added the media "are almost portraying her [Clinton's] exit as walking on water." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Speaking on a different show but making the same tired liberal points, CNN's Piers Morgan hit the American "mentality" on guns and attacked the NRA on Thursday's The Tonight Show. Of course, Morgan probably reached more of an audience at NBC than on his own CNN show.
"And the crucial thing in America now is you've got to somehow change the mentality and the culture to reduce the number of guns," the liberal CNN host insisted, pointing to other countries as an argument in favor of gun control. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Viewers who tuned in to Wednesday's The Situation Room were bombarded with over five times as much coverage of gun control advocates than of the lone gun rights advocate Newt Gingrich.
Host Wolf Blitzer tossed plenty of softball questions to gun control advocates Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Mark Kelly, husband of former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.), but he grilled Gingrich on background checks.
Contrary to CBS's Steve Kroft, CNN's foreign affairs reporters actually asked the tough questions of outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in their Tuesday interview on The Situation Room.
While Kroft spun his foreign policy questions into softballs for Clinton and Obama on Sunday's 60 Minutes, CNN's Jill Dougherty confronted Clinton on Egypt and Libya. She started off asking if the Egyptian state would survive amidst bloody unrest, and then zeroed in on Libya:
Continuing to harass pro-gun advocates, CNN's Piers Morgan attacked a Wisconsin sheriff who had encouraged citizens to own a firearm for self-defense. Morgan interrupted his guest repeatedly and tried to frame him as a loony Wild West gunman.
"What you're creating is a return to the Wild West in Milwaukee," Morgan insisted on Tuesday night's Piers Morgan Tonight. "You do these racy, Hollywood-style adverts. You want them all out there armed and shooting." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN's Soledad O'Brien, well known for her documentaries on race "Latino In America" and "Black In America," questioned the GOP's credibility among minority voters on Friday's Starting Point.
Quoting an RNC committeeman who said minority voters and the youth vote "simply don't know" the GOP, O'Brien asked former RNC chair Mel Martinez "is it that they don't know you? Meaning you as the GOP. Or is that they know you and they decided they don't like you?" [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Tuesday's Starting Point, CNN's David Gergen smiled on Hillary Clinton's "wonderful farewell" at the State Department and touted her "very powerful position" for a 2016 presidential run. As CNN noted, Gergen once worked as an adviser to President Clinton.
When asked if anything from Clinton's term as Secretary of State would come back to haunt her as a presidential candidate, Gergen replied "I don't think so. The Benghazi affair, I think, will long be forgotten unless there's some smoking gun we have no idea about." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN joined the networks in giving outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a cushy send-off after Clinton's syrupy 60 Minutes interview alongside President Obama. The network gushed over the "chummy" affection between the "political superstars" on Monday morning.
"Well, it's the exit interview everybody is talking about," hyped anchor Soledad O'Brien. "Hillary Clinton, the President, sitting down together, laughing, chummy, chummy," she added. "They really seem to really like each other," said correspondent Brianna Keilar. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Thursday morning, CNN's John Berman hammered a Democratic congressman who said the cause of the Benghazi attacks doesn't make a difference at this point. In contrast, anchor Soledad O'Brien didn't ask about the controversy over that remark shouted first by Secretary Clinton.
"But, Congressman – don't the facts always make a difference and doesn't knowing the facts and knowing them quickly always help in evaluating the situation so it can be prevented in the future?" Berman pressed. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Could Piers Morgan be any more of an Obama hack? After Republicans grilled Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over the Benghazi attacks on Wednesday, Morgan unloaded on their criticism as "political grandstanding" showing "a whisper of misogyny."
"I've been listening to the Republicans getting on their high horse about this for a long time.Now I've thought a lot of today's criticism was political grandstanding in many ways," said the CNN host who has done plenty of grandstanding of his own from his high horse on gun control. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On his Tuesday night town hall-style show, CNN's Piers Morgan openly pushed for more gun control and liberal journalist Dan Rather chimed in that "there's no excuse to have an assault weapon."
Morgan determined that civilians don't need high-capacity magazines. "So what do you need them for? You don't need them to defend yourself. You're going to spray gun people who come to steal a television set, is he?" [Video below the break. Audio here.]
The producer of CNN's Belief Blog lauded President Obama as "exceptional" and a "religious pioneer" for supporting same-sex marriage and hosting his inaugural prayer service at National Cathedral.
"Well, I think it's part of what makes Obama exceptional. We think of him as a racial pioneer, the first African-American president, but I think he's also a religious pioneer," John Blake said of the choice of National Cathedral, which made headlines for announcing it will conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies. [Video below the break. Audio here.]