While Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) was calling for troop withdrawal in Iraq and Afghanistan, and for that military spending to go to deficit reduction, CNN's Piers Morgan would not press him about U.S. military action in Libya – a decision authorized by Democrat President Obama.
Frank has been a champion of cutting the defense budget and continued his screed Tuesday night, calling for a $200 billion-a-year cut on military spending. He even criticized Obama's decision to leave troops in Iraq. However, he was not asked about Libya, and did not comment on it.
Referencing Michael Moore's absurd tweet that President Obama should arrest the CEO of Standard & Poors for downgrading America's credit rating, CNN's Kyra Phillips actually asked her panel members who they would like to see arrested in the fallout of the downgrade.
Whether or not the question was serious, Moore's tweet was. On Monday he implored President Obama , via Twitter, to "show some guts" and arrest the CEO of Standard & Poors. "These criminals brought down the economy in 2008& [sic] now they will do it again," Moore tweeted.
Newsweek's embarrassing cover photo of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) garnered attention not only from conservative blogs, but also from the major networks and cable news. CNN ran Bachmann's wide-eyed picture on the latest Newsweek cover multiple times Tuesday morning, asking if the picture and harsh headline were examples of media maltreatment of conservative women presidential candidates.
"Politics is rough for both women and men. Just how rough, though, may depend on your gender," remarked American Morning co-host Carol Costello. "So the 'Talk Back' question today, are Republican women unfairly criticized because they're women?"
With such esteemed liberal intellectual heavyweights like comedian Bill Maher and Al Gore calling for the liberal grassroots to stand up and make their voices heard, CNN's Carol Costello floated the idea of a liberal version of the Tea Party on Monday.
"Does America need a liberal Tea Party?" Costello asked during the 11 a.m. EDT hour of CNN's Newsroom. Costello was not completely enthusiastic over the idea – she worried that it could "lead to more hyper-partisanship," as if the Tea Party was already doing enough of that.
CNN's Fareed Zakaria made it quite clear last summer that he supported the construction of the Ground Zero mosque. He was much more neutral in an interview with the mosque's developer Sunday, but was content to let his guest tell his side of the story without any scrutiny from the CNN host.
Although the once-proposed mosque is no longer making headlines, Zakaria decided anyway to feature the mosque's developer Sharif El-Gamal for a soft interview one year after the controversy ignited. El-Gamal received fawning coverage by CBS and NBC last summer for his work.
CNN's Don Lemon asked a guest Sunday if President Obama is "more conservative" than most would believe. Lemon referred back to his question last week, which NewsBusters reported, when he asked a Democrat congressman if Obama would do better running as a conservative in 2012.
The CNN anchor claimed he was being facetious then, but jovially added "Someone took that seriously." Then, quoting a columnist who argues Obama is a closet moderate-conservative, he posed the question to guest Heather McGhee from Demos.org: "Is Obama more conservative than most people think?"
While CBS's Early Show and the New York Times both highlighted their own poll showing support for further spending cuts, the CBS Evening News ignored it. Americans three-to-one believe the spending cuts in the debt ceiling deal were too small rather than too big, according to a CBS News/New York Times poll.
As NewsBusters reported, Thursday's CBS Evening News ignored the support for cuts while reporting increased disapproval of the Tea Party and support for tax increases. "The Tea Party fares poorly in the poll," declared CBS's Chip Reid.
On Thursday's The Situation Room, Fareed Zakaria said the tactics used by Tea Party congressmen in the debt ceiling debate were akin to holding the country hostage and threatening to "blow up" the economy.
"So nobody has ever held a country hostage and say [sic] if you don't pass our policies, we'll blow up the economy, we'll blow up the credibility of the United States," Zakaria remarked on CNN Thursday. He called the recent debt ceiling fight "unprecedented" and slammed the Tea Party for its refusal to compromise.
For a second straight day CNN ignored the newest phone hacking accusations made against its 9 p.m. host Piers Morgan. Major media outlets, including Bloomberg News, msnbc.com, and CBS have reported the story, but Morgan's current employer, CNN, has remained mum on the allegations.
On Wednesday, the ex-wife of Paul McCartney accused a journalist from a British newspaper group of hacking her phone back in 2001, while CNN's Piers Morgan was the editor of one of the group's papers. That prompted a statement by Morgan labeling her claims as "unsubstantiated" and again denying that he hacked phones or ordered anyone else to do so during his time as editor.
It's no secret that CNN's Jack Cafferty possesses a deep-seated loathing of Sarah Palin, and now that she may run for the Republican presidential ticket the grumpy CNN contributor has one more thing to grumble over.
"Palin recently said she plans to decide about 2012 in late August or September. God help us," Cafferty bemoaned Wednesday on The Situation Room. He fretted that the entry of Palin or Donald Trump into the Republican presidential race "would tend to fit nicely with the political insanity we've been watching the last couple of weeks."
Both House Democrats and Republicans opposed the debt ceiling compromise, but CNN's Don Lemon gave softball interviews to three Democrat congressmen who voted against the bill, while scrutinizing Tea Party Congressman Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) for his opposition.
"Why the change of heart, Congressman?" the CNN host asked Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) Tuesday on his decision to switch his vote to no. Lemon let him explain his vote and even asked if Frank's colleagues had read the bill before supporting it. "She [Pelosi] came out and supported it. But do you think your colleagues actually read the bill?" he asked Frank.
CNN's Piers Morgan kept bludgeoning Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) with provocative liberal questions, and finally the congressman had enough of the theater. Mack berated the CNN host for making a "joke" out of his show during a testy interview Monday night.
Morgan and the congressman started bickering when Morgan asked whether Mack thought Speaker Boehner should resign because of the "terrible deal." Mack had voted against the bipartisan debt ceiling agreement, and Morgan tried to exploit any disagreement he held with his leader.
Channeling liberal disenchantment with President Obama, CNN anchor Don Lemon wondered Monday if the President would be "better off running as a conservative" in the next election.
"Your colleague in New York Gary Ackerman said the Republicans invited the President, quote, 'to negotiate at a strip poker table, and he showed up half-naked,' and then liberal columnist Paul Krugman calls the deal an abject surrender," Lemon quoted the two liberals downcast over the debt ceiling deal. "Would the President be better off running as a conservative in 2012?" he asked Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.)
While the prevailing argument on Capitol Hill right now is not whether to cut federal spending but rather what programs to cut, CNNMoney is fretting over the very concept of spending cuts. You read that right, while both political parties hash out spending cuts to chip away at the growing deficit, CNN is arguing for more government spending to stimulate the economy. Apparently, President Obama's economic policies weren't carried far enough.
"If the debt ceiling goes up, government spending is most likely going down. And with the economy grinding to a halt, the timing couldn't be worse," CNNMoney's Charles Riley begins his column.
After asking Tea Party favorite Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) to discard his talking points and be frank on the debt ceiling issue, CNN's Don Lemon repeatedly interrupted the senator, and even lectured him and threw some Democrat talking points at him. Lemon interviewed Paul on Saturday's 5 p.m. EDT edition of CNN Newsroom.
"At this point though, and can we do this – let's do this interview without talking points, okay, let's just talk to each other," Lemon curtly told the senator at the outset. But then he asked a pointed question which made Paul raise his eyebrows.
CNN's American Morning co-hosts tried to lecture those opposed to voting to raise the debt ceiling on the error of their ways on Friday morning. When a guest GOP congressman tried to explain why he was voting no, and complained of being "vilified" for his stance, Romans showed him no mercy.
The American Morning co-host accused the dissenting Republicans who voted "no" to Boehner's plan Thursday night of holding the debt ceiling "hostage" to enacting bigger spending cuts. She made sure to emphasize that Tea Partiers and Republicans could be blamed if the economy dives.
It is one matter if a president stakes out a smart position within a heated political debate, but it is another matter when members of the press believe so and shower him with positive coverage. CNN's John King complimented President Obama on Thursday's Anderson Cooper 360 for having "positioned himself smartly here in the middle" on the debt ceiling debate.
King painted the president as a pragmatic moderate who has called on both sides to compromise, in a statement that could pass for White House talking points.
Even Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) believes the government can still pay out social security checks if the debt ceiling is not raised, but CNN highlighted disgruntled seniors Thursday who fear the opposite. CNN correspondent Sandra Endo reported live from a senior center and emphasized that the citizens were "scared," "worried," and "angry" about possibly not receiving their Social Security and Medicare payments.
"A lot of opinions, strong emotions, coming out of the seniors we've spoken to," Endo said. "There's certainly a buzz here at this senior center, and a lot of people are just frightened because they rely on their Social Security and also Medicare and Medicaid, of course, for their livelihood."
In a critical "Keeping Them Honest" segment Wednesday night, CNN's Anderson Cooper selectively reported findings from his network's own poll to bolster his argument that Republicans are out-of-touch with the wishes of the American people in the debt ceiling debate.
This came even after the Democrat Senate Majority Leader, supported by the president, produced a plan including no tax increases in an effort to garner Republican support. Yet Cooper still peddled a CNN poll showing public support for a plan including increased tax revenues, and framed Republicans as dishonest for claiming Americans want no more taxes.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer put Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) on the defensive Tuesday in a testy interview on the debt ceiling, lecturing the congressman and asking provocative questions about any divides within the party on Capitol Hill.
Blitzer told Jordan that "you've got to deal with reality now" after reporting that the Balanced Budget Amendment, a brainchild of House Republicans, failed in the Senate. "You've got to deal with the hand you're dealt, and you can pass anything you want in the House, but if it doesn't pass in the Senate, it's not going anywhere," he added.
Once again, Tea Party-critic John Avlon took aim at "hyper-partisanship" in Congress but focused the blame squarely on House Republicans while saving a tiny bit of blame for Democrats. In a July 25 op-ed for CNN.com, he hit Republicans for walking away from a generous deal by President Obama to settle the debt ceiling debate.
"We are learning that activists and ideologues pushing anti-tax pledges have nothing to do with the responsibility of governing," Avlon berated Tea Party members of Congress, while accusing them of opposing the bipartisan plan set forth by the "Gang of Six" simply because Obama approved of it.
CNN anchor Fredricka Whitfield apparently thinks some Republican players in the debt ceiling debate are concerned that President Obama is conceding too much. During the 12 p.m. EDT hour Friday, Whitfield alleged that many important players from both parties think Obama may be "caving" to Republicans.
"You know, there are a lot of players who are very concerned – Democrats and Republicans who are concerned – and particularly Democrats are concerned that the president may be giving up too much in order to come about a deal," Whitfield remarked while stumbling over her words.
Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.) twice told CNN's John King Thursday night the results of CNN's own poll showing Americans favor a Cut, Cap, and Balance plan. King would not affirm his claims and instead reported other poll results showing that Americans favor compromise on the debt ceiling.
Throughout Thursday afternoon, the network selectively touted results from its newly-released poll showing a majority of Americans favor President Obama and his positions on the debt ceiling debate. What they ignored was that almost two-thirds of Americans want a balanced budget amendment to be passed, along with spending cuts and caps on spending in the future – or "Cut, Cap, and Balance," a conservative House GOP position.
CNN touted results from its newly-released poll Thursday showing Americans favor a balance of spending cuts and tax increases in the debt ceiling debate, as well as raising the debt ceiling. What the network completely failed to report -- although NewsBusters reported it -- was that Americans also favored two conservative positions – passage of a balanced budget amendment, along with spending cuts and future spending caps.
CNN's deputy political director Paul Steinhauser emphasized that the poll results favored Democrats over Republicans. He insisted that "the headline here is Americans want compromise," and pointed out that 64 percent of respondents favored including both spending cuts and tax increases, "kind of like what the president is suggesting, what the Gang of Six is suggesting."
The CNN Belief Blog's latest hit-job on Republicans involved Boston University religion scholar Stephen Prothero pronouncing that Republican politicians taking conservative pledges is "unbiblical" and "unchristian." Republicans have made news recently for taking pledges that are anti-tax, pro-life, and opposing same-sex marriage.
According to Prothero, the Bible argues that the "recent orgy of oath taking" by Republicans entails that they "have literally made a pact with the devil." Of course, what passes for "biblical interpretation" these days on the CNN Belief Blog is more like an affirmation of liberal creeds.
Although President Obama and the Democrats have stridently insisted that increased tax revenues be part of a debt ceiling deal, CNN is content to choose sides and paint only the conservative Republicans as stubborn extremists for opposing the revenue increases. Anchor Kyra Phillips asked Thursday morning if Republicans would listen to the warning of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to the House GOP not to shut down the government over spending cuts and taxes.
The network has previously resorted to using moderate Republicans and conservatives like David Brooks to frame the Tea Party congressmen as fringe. Their latest source is McCain, who warned Republican House members that the government shutdown in 1995 helped spur President Bill Clinton's 1996 re-election. "Will they listen?" CNN said of Republicans, as if Sen. McCain was the voice of reason.
CNN's Piers Morgan tried to clear the air Monday by explaining his time as editor of the scandal-ridden British tabloid paper News of the World, and denied any illegal activity in gathering stories. The story exploded on Tuesday, however, as Parliamentary member Louise Mensch mentioned Morgan on-air during the Murdoch hearings as an example of an editor who had used the illegal practice of phone hacking to gather a story.
When Mensch appeared on CNN's The Situation Room later that day and addressed her previous remarks, Morgan called in and defended his credibility against her "blatant lie," telling her to "show some balls" and repeat her accusation, and then reveal the spot in his book "The Insider" where he supposedly made the claim.
Referencing the sweet reason of the New York Times's "conservative" David Brooks, CNN's Brooke Baldwin urged Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) to listen to the voice of compromise in the debt ceiling debate.
Baldwin pleaded with Hatch that "there are folks out there – including conservatives – saying President Obama has already offered Republican [sic] the deal of their dreams," although Hatch later responded that President Obama has yet to outline exactly what the cuts are that are featured in his deal.
Although CNN has been incessantly reporting on the scandal of media mogul Rupert Murdoch's newspaper, little mention was made of the connection one of its prime-time anchors held with the paper. CNN's Piers Morgan, who now hosts the network's 9 p.m. EDT hour, finally opened up about his former ties with Murdoch Monday night.
Morgan clarified that he was the editor of News of the World from 1994-95 before moving to another "major British tabloid" paper, the Daily Mirror, for 11 years, albeit one not owned by Murdoch. "For the record, I do not believe that any story we published in either title was ever gained in a unlawful manner, nor have I ever seen anything to suggest that," Morgan claimed.
On his Saturday show Your Money, CNN host Ali Velshi tried to pin the blame for the debt ceiling standoff on one man – the president of Americans for Tax Reform, Grover Norquist. "Are you the reason that we don't have a debt ceiling increase right now?" he boldly asked his guest.
Velshi was referring to Norquist's pledge that entails elected officials who sign it promising to oppose increases in taxes. Velshi termed the pledge one of "remarkable inflexibility." He questioned outright the viability of the pledge. "Why is preserving the inability to increase taxes more important than the overall health of the economy and the danger that it's putting us into right now?" he asked.