CNN may claim to be the serious, centrist news network but it says something about its broadcast when a liberal comedian is a regular panel member and is allowed to toss slanted, obnoxious questions at a Republican guest. Such was the case on Tuesday's Starting Point when comedian John Fugelsang tried to stick it to Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex.)
Discussing the Buffett Rule, Fugelsang framed the debate on simplistic liberal terms. He asked the congressman if he thought persons "who don't work for their income" – who live off their investments – should have a lower tax rate than those "who work for their income." [Video below the break.]
CNN's Soledad O'Brien once again tried to fact-check numbers she took issue with, and once more she failed to refute them. On Monday's Starting Point she took aim at Mitt Romney's claim that women have accounted for 92 percent of the job losses under President Obama.
"That would be a shocking number if it were true, which it really isn't exactly overall," O'Brien began. Yet even ABC's George Stephanopoulos admitted the report was "accurate." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
NBC incessantly talked about race and racism after the Trayvon Martin shooting, but on Monday race took a back seat to guns as the problem at the heart of the case. On Monday's Today show, host Matt Lauer cited comedian Bill Cosby and asked if the media has focused too much on race "when guns are the real problem?"
Thus the liberal discussion shifted from race to guns as the Today's Professionals panel responded in the affirmative. Attorney Star Jones avowed that "the issue is guns."And citing his own business experience, former CNBC host Donny Deutsch insisted "when you go after the guns you're solving problems." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Last week, CNN had to walk back its assumption that George Zimmerman uttered a racial slur in his 9-1-1 call, and now an affidavit from the prosecution in the case says no racist words were voiced.
CNN first suggested on March 21, according to its "sophisticated" audio editing, that Robert Zimmerman said "f***ing coons" on his 9-1-1 call. But the network had to throw water on that assumption once they re-assessed the audio clip, changing Zimmerman's words from "coons" to "cold." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
After CNN contributor John Fugelsang agreed with the "substance" of Hilary Rosen's remarks on Ann Romney, conservative columnist Will Cain laid into him for "Balkanizing" the country into classes and sects. The exchange happened during the 7 a.m. hour of Starting Point.
Rosen, a Democratic activist, had sparked an outcry for saying Ann Romney had never worked a day in her life, but CNN host Soledad O'Brien stepped in and claimed people were missing the "whole point of what she was saying." Fugelsang, a liberal comedian and CNN regular, agreed. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
After saying Ann Romney had never worked a day in her life, Democratic activist Hilary Rosen was trying to spin her way out of the firestorm over her comments. CNN's Wolf Blitzer would have none of it on Thursday's The Situation Room as he reprimanded her, forced her to apologize, and asked her how it felt to be thrown "under the bus" by Democratic allies.
Blitzer grilled Rosen for upwards of ten minutes and ripped her "awful way of saying" what she intended to say about Romney. He then made her "look into the camera" and talk to Romney, and after she dodged an apology a deadly serious Blitzer called her out on it. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Wednesday's The Situation Room, CNN used a slanted PolitiFact report to dismiss Mitt Romney's claim that "women account for 92.3 percent of the jobs lost under President Obama." CNN correspondent Jim Acosta aired a clip of Romney making the claim before adding that "the watchdog website PolitiFact rates that claim as 'Mostly False'."
PolitiFact even admitted that the campaign's numbers were "accurate," but added that "their reading of them isn't." According to numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the Romney campaign's claim is indeed factually correct.
The media is beginning to investigate Mitt Romney's Mormon faith and its racial history, and CNN continued the race narrative on Wednesday morning when it wondered if Romney is simply writing off the African-American vote.
Apparently, CNN never got the memo that Herman Cain all but officially endorsed Romney on Tuesday. Citing a Daily Beast report that Romney has no high-profile African-American endorsements or staffers, CNN's Carol Costello went ahead and asked if the candidate was "kissing off African-American voters". [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN continued to hype the possible negative implications of Mitt Romney's "rich guy image" on Monday evening, even though a new poll reports 71 percent of Americans said Romney's wealth is "not a major factor" in their presidential decision.
The network blared such headlines as "Is his [Romney's] big fortune a big political liability?" and "Wealth Will Be an Issue in 2012." CNN correspondent Joe Johns ran yet another segment on the possibility that Romney's wealthy image could hurt him in the November elections. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
According to Muslim comedian and CNN regular Dean Obeidallah, Rick Santorum speaks the language of "the Taliban" when he talks about the intersection of church and state in America. On CNN Sunday night, liberal host Don Lemon decided to have a religious discussion for Easter Sunday, and his first question was about the separation of church and state.
Obeidallah has attacked Santorum in the past, and found a way to bring him into the discussion. He referred to Santorum "saying the Bible and our laws must comport," adding later that "He was saying the same things honestly that the Taliban would say, that religious scripture and the laws of that state must agree." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Monday's CBS This Morning host Charlie Rose tossed Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) a softball on whether he believes higher taxes on millionaires would create jobs, but the senator only chose to address the second part of the question on income inequality. Rose did not follow up and later Schumer argued that the taxes would create jobs but certain conditions should be met.
That was not the only time Rose let Schumer off without a follow-up question. Schumer insisted the tax revenue should go toward building infrastructure and student loans to create jobs, but added that it would not solve the whole deficit problem. Rose could have challenged that liberal assumption by pointing to the failure of the Democrats' stimulus package, but failed to do so.
The fact that CNN's senior legal analyst squared off against a conservative legal scholar should be telling for the network's liberal bias. On Thursday night's Anderson Cooper 360, CNN's Jeffrey Toobin was confronted by Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice over his defense of President Obama's comments on a pending Supreme Court case.
"Jeff, do you know another President of the United States during a case that was argued and pending that made a statement about how the outcome of the case can be and talking about unelected judges?" Sekulow grilled Toobin. "And calling someone that would strike the law as unconstitutional 'judicial activist'?" [Video below the break. Audio here.]
In a Thursday morning interview on CNN, RNC chairman Reince Priebus called out host Carol Costello for reading Democratic talking points. Costello had just told her guest that she was trying to wean him away from his talking points, but one can only wonder if she would do the same to DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
When Costello told him "I'm just trying to get you off your talking points," Priebus retorted "Well, you've been reading the Democratic talking points for the last seven minutes, Carol." [Video below the break.]
CNN's senior legal analyst said on Thursday's Starting Point that "some of these Republican judges are just deranged by hatred of the President." Jeffrey Toobin was railing against the three-judge panel on the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court that had made the Justice Department write a three page memo about the Obama administration's take on judicial review.
Toobin called the act a "disgrace." However, though President Obama had said the Supreme Court overturning his health care law would be "unprecedented" and "judicial activism," Toobin defended his remarks as "entirely appropriate." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Once again, CNN hosted former Obama "green jobs" czar Van Jones, giving him plenty of air-time to tout his new book and defend himself against accusations from conservatives. Unsurprisingly, anchor Soledad O'Brien tossed mostly softballs at Jones on Wednesday's Starting Point.
However, even though O'Brien passsed on grilling the former Obama advisor, conservative guest Will Cain was up to the task. "You said you flirted with socialism, communism, various aspects," Cain told Jones, and asked "What I'm curious about is when you were inside, you were part of this administration. How much does your ideology reflect the ideology of the administration?" [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Discussing gun laws in the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin shooting, CNN's Carol Costello played Bill Maher's liberal grievance about the lack of "sensible" gun laws. Costello then asked why no one was "talking seriously about America's gun laws?" during Tuesday's 10 a.m. hour of Newsroom.
The fact that CNN was giving such attention to a liberal comedian before adding on to his commentary and questioning America's gun laws is telling. And given the network's past bias, it's safe to say that Costello was toeing the liberal line and pushing for stricter gun laws for law-abiding citizens. [Video below the break.]
Soledad O'Brien's CNN show is suffering some pretty horrific ratings, and yet she still had the gall to ask Rick Santorum's communications director why the candidate won't drop out of the presidential race.
The quarterly numbers for O'Brien's morning show Starting Point were the lowest in more than a decade at CNN for that time slot, in fact. She averaged less than 100,000 viewers per day from the age 25-54 crowd. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Sunday's Fareed Zakaria GPS saw a ridiculing of the Catholic bishops and Republicans for their stances against contraception and the HHS mandate. The liberal panel was quite hostile to conservative Christians when the discussion came to religion and contraception.
The Daily Beast's Andrew Sullivan ludicrously accused the Catholic bishops and other Christian leaders of using their opposition to contraception for political gain. "My concern is that the Church and the churches have become politicized," he quipped. He insisted that the bishops want to make Obama a "one-term president" in the wake of the HHS birth control mandate. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
As former Senator Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) railed against political extremists whom he termed "cannibals," CNN's Piers Morgan actually encouraged him to "start taking a few of them out for us" and "Bury a few more bodies." Specter had specifically referenced the Tea Party and the Club for Growth as "cannibals" he wrote about in his new book "Life Among the Cannibals" and repeatedly took shots at the conservative wing of the Republican Party, on Tuesday's Piers Morgan Tonight.
Just last week CNN's Piers Morgan condemned bigoted jokes and slammed conservative actor Kirk Cameron for his "deliberately inflammatory" rhetoric against homosexuals. However, he not only allowed Specter to label his enemies "cannibals" but joined in on the act. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson believes America has become more racist since Barack Obama was elected president, and that groups like the Tea Party have surfaced through that racism. Tyson's interview by CNN's Piers Morgan aired on Thursday night's Piers Morgan Tonight.
Tyson professed that "there's a great possibility" that America has become more racist since Obama's election, and when asked to clarify he affirmed "a hundred percent, yes." [Video below the break.]
For the second straight day on Thursday, CNN emphasized Mitt Romney's wealth as a possible turn-off to voters. Correspondent Joe Johns aired a segment on Thursday's The Situation Room about "Mitt Romney-isms," or Romney's references to his own wealth and beliefs that seem to "hit the wrong note" for a presidential candidate.
"Mitt Romney the millionaire may still have some problems with the average voter, because of his tone-deaf references to his personal wealth," Gloria Borger introduced Johns' Thursday story. On the previous day, Johns had authored a story about Romney's expensive car elevator at his California mansion. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN's own legal analyst described Wednesday morning's Supreme Court hearing on ObamaCare as a "trainwreck" for the Obama administration and added "it may also be a plane wreck" – but prime-time hosts Anderson Cooper and Piers Morgan made only one brief mention between them of the bill's rough morning in court, during Wednesday night's prime-time coverage.
In fact, during Tuesday and Wednesday night's newscasts, Morgan and Cooper made only two brief mentions of the hearings -- while the rest of CNN's afternoon coverage on those days heavily discussed the Court's hearings on ObamaCare.
Did CNN's Jeffrey Toobin just hint at his liberal bias? Toobin told Politico "I'm not exactly famous for my hatred of the Obama administration," and added that "If you're [sic] read my books, you know – I don't have a primetime spot on Fox News."
CNN's senior legal analyst had made headlines for his dire analysis of ObamaCare's chances in the Supreme Court on Tuesday. He was explaining to Politico's Dylan Byers that his criticism of the Obama administration's defense of the bill was probably all the more noteworthy because he himself is not a big critic of Obama.
Apparently, Soledad O'Brien's idea of a balanced discussion is three-to-one Democratic majority. Three out of the four guests she hosted on Wednesday's Starting Point to discuss the ObamaCare hearings were Democrats, and the CNN host did not press them to defend the health care bill's constitutionality.
Her questions simply focused on the state of the legislation and the implications of the Supreme Court decision, teeing up the Democrats to defend the bill and downplay the chance that the individual mandate will be overturned.
For the second day in a row, CNN appealed to emotion and aired the story of an innocent chid that made the case for ObamaCare. On Tuesday morning they featured a heartrending account of an epileptic three year-old girl who will soon reach her lifetime benefit limits on health insurance – if the Supreme Court strikes down ObamaCare.
CNN correspondent Elizabeth Cohen made the Court's decision as personal as possible, even though the Court is simply determining the constitutionality of the bill. "These nine Supreme Court justices will forever affect the life of 3-year-old Violet McManus," she gravely began. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
According to CNN host Carol Costello, the White House failed to sell a health care bill that could have been embraced by the American people, many of whom "simply don't understand" the bill.
So during Monday morning's coverage of the Supreme Court hearings on ObamaCare's constitutionality, CNN explained some benefits the bill provides and gave the reason for the individual insurance mandate. Costello did her best impersonation of a White House advisor, explaining the bill's mandate to a public who doesn't understand it yet. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN's Howard Kurtz was astonished that MSNBC has allowed Al Sharpton to be both an activist and a news anchor in covering the Trayvon Martin shooting. Near the beginning of his 11 a.m. Sunday show Reliable Sources, Kurtz maintained that Sharpton should have had to choose between activism and journalism in that case.
Kurtz asked "how on earth can Al Sharpton go there, and be an activist and stand with the parents and he asked people to contribute money and he went to the Justice Department with the parents of Trayvon Martin....And then he does his show and then he speaks at the rally again?" [Video below the break. Audio here.]
If the Supreme Court upheld ObamaCare, would it really be by an eight-to-one margin? CNN's senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said it's possible, expressing more confidence in that prediction than the common analysis that the Court is evenly split on the issue with Justice Anthony Kennedy as the tiebreaking vote.
Toobin's analysis echoes the overwhelmingly positive liberal meme that ObamaCare will be upheld by a wide margin. He had already knocked the opposition case as "really weak." [Video below the break.]
Piers Morgan is astonished at Newt Gingrich's outrage over Robert DeNiro's knock on GOP white First Ladies – but it's a slim chance the liberal CNN host would be trying to calm the tempest if Michelle Obama were the butt of a celebrity joke.
DeNiro, speaking at an Obama fundraiser, had joked that after seeing the wives of the Republican candidates, America wouldn't be ready for a "white" First Lady. Newt Gingrich denounced the joke as "inexcusable," and then Morgan decided to pounce on that "hideously politically correct overreaction" to "poor old" Robert DeNiro's joke on his Thursday night show. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN commentator Dean Obeidallah has some advice for politicians who are offended by gross and vile insults from comedians: "change the channel."
Comedians like Bill Maher and Louis C.K. must have an "unfettered right" to spew their vitriol at politicians like Sarah Palin, insisted Obeidallah in a CNN.com op-ed. Such insults "come with the territory" of running for office, he told CNN host Brooke Baldwin on Thursday afternoon's Newsroom. [Video below the break.]