Openly-gay CNN anchor Don Lemon badgered GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum over his views on gay marriage Friday, questioning his stance on gay rights and if he really had any gay friends. A brief clip of the interview that aired on Newsroom Friday afternoon revealed Lemon to be fairly testy in his questions.
Having revealed in May that he is gay, Lemon defended his objectivity as a journalist and dismissed the notion that he would be biased on the gay rights debate. But later he told a pro-gay newspaper "I hope to change minds" as an openly-gay journalist, and that there should be more journalists who come out. NewsBusters has documented Lemon's history of pro-gay bias.
CNN analyst Roland Martin simply allowed DNC Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz to say what she wanted about Republicans on his Sunday show Washington Watch, on TVOne.
Schultz linked Florida GOP-backed voting proposals with Jim Crow laws and poll taxes, and said one has a better chance of being struck by lightning than see an instance of voter fraud. Martin not once challenged Schultz over her rhetoric. Schultz was referring to Republican-backed measures in certain states that require a photo I.D. to vote and trim the number of early-voting days, in order to prevent voter fraud. Schultz hit such policies as discriminatory.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer admitted Monday that he believed Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) when the congressman told him in an interview that he did not send a lewd photo of himself over Twitter. Blitzer related to CNN's Piers Morgan Monday evening his thoughts immediately after the interview.
"I'm saying to myself, you know what, it sounds to me like it may have been his picture, but it was out there, but somebody else hacked it and somebody else sent it out to embarrass him. I sort of believed, you know, that line," he confessed.
ABC's George Stephanopoulos went beyond challenging assumptions from Ann Coulter's newest book "Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America" on Tuesday, as he repeatedly attempted to correct her on historical facts. The former Clinton advisor interrupted her multiple times on Tuesday's Good Morning America to make a point that she was either wrong or lying about history.
You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts, said the late Democrat Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Yet Stephanopoulos interrupted Coulter as she claimed that the Ku Klux Klan in the South was Democratic. "Started out Democratic, but turned very quickly," Stephanopoulos asserted.
In his newest CNN.com op-ed titled "Don't Doom GOP's Chance to Win in 2012," David Frum clearly outlines the Republican Party's best chance for victory – if they don't come off as "Medicare-annihilating racist maniacs." He then goes about making the case that Republicans are doing just that.
"It is Tea Party conservatism itself that is Obama's last, best hope for a second term," Frum boldly concludes in a stinging indictment of the Tea Party.
He claims that the Republicans' refusal to raise the debt ceiling unless President Obama agrees to the Ryan budget plan is akin to the "militant wing" of the party mounting a coup and dragging the GOP to defeat in 2012.
Offended by Rick Santorum's assertion that President Obama is not feared by America's enemies, ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos stuck up for the President Monday and pressed Santorum to give evidence to his claim. The former Pennsylvania senator was announcing his bid for the presidency on ABC's Good Morning America, and Stephanopoulos hit him early and often during the interview.
"You've also argued that our enemies don't fear President Obama, but where's the evidence of that?" Stephanopoulos asked. "The al Qaeda leadership has been decimated, Osama bin Laden is dead, no significant attack against the United States has been successful. Where is that evidence?"
Both "scandals" of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) carried much more weight Thursday than on Friday, but ABC's Good Morning America continued hitting Christie Friday for his use of a state helicopter to attend his son's baseball game. However, the network's morning show dropped the Twitter scandal of Rep. Anthony Weiner from its newscast.
Although Gov. Christie wrote a personal check to the state Treasury Thursday to cover the travel expenses, ABC's focus on the story was largely negative and still centered on the scandal itself. Anchor George Stephanopoulos admitted that "he's used the helicopter a lot less than his predecessors, but in these times you just can't get away with it."
In the Friday morning coverage of former Sen. John Edwards' indictment by a federal grand jury, only one of the three major networks, CBS, reported that he was a Democrat. Neither ABC nor NBC reported Edwards' party affiliation, simply calling him a "former presidential candidate."
ABC's Good Morning America sympathetically called the morning "a difficult one" for Edwards as he faced indictment. Both ABC and NBC did full segments on the scandal, and ABC's Good Morning America actually led the show with the story. CBS only briefly mentioned the story before moving on with other news.
When National Review's Jim Geraghty noted on CNN Thursday that the national unemployment rate has been higher through Obama's two years in office than at any time during Bush's two terms, and that the news could hurt Obama in the upcoming election, CNN's Ali Velshi would have none of it.
Velshi interrupted Geraghty and sternly rebuked his premise, decreeing that "with all due respect, that's just a silly thing to say." Velshi, however, could not offer anything other than ridicule to oppose Geraghty's statement which is factually correct.
CNN's Capitol Hill producer noted Wednesday that the testy behavior and evasive answers by Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) in a Tuesday interview raised flags about his professed innocence in his recent Twitter account fiasco. CNN is not normally considered a network hostile to liberal Democrats, but Rep. Weiner was quite defensive Tuesday afternoon when CNN pressed him about the lewd picture sent to a female college student from his Twitter account.
When asked why he was not asking Capitol Police to investigate if someone hacked his Twitter account, Weiner launched into his talking points – that the matter was a distraction and he would not spend time talking about it. When CNN continued to ask him if the lewd picture was his and if he sent it, a flustered Weiner dodged questions and called the producer on the set a "jackass."
NPR host Brooke Gladstone admits that journalists are generally more liberal than regular Americans, but she thinks they overcompensate for their bias by giving too much of a voice to conservatives. For instance, Gladstone believes conservatives do not deserve an equal voice with liberals in the global warming debate.
Gladstone, whose interview appeared on the blog of CNN's In the Arena, has voiced in the past that the media have a "tendency to bend over backwards to prove they aren't liberal." In the interview she clarified the media's over-reaction as "fairness bias."
NewsBusters previously reported that CNN's Fareed Zakaria had met with President Obama face-to-face to discuss foreign policy. Obama's other reported "source" of information on foreign policy, New York Times foreign affairs columnist Thomas Friedman, mocked Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu Sunday on CNN, and added that he should have dutifully obeyed the demands Obama outlined in his recent Mideast speech.
According to a May 11 New York Times article, Friedman was one of two foreign policy journalists "sounded out" by President Obama for information on foreign affairs. The other, CNN's Fareed Zakaria, has previously criticized Israel's prime minister for not agreeing to the Israeli-Palestinian borders laid out by Obama in his Mideast speech.
Isn't Jessica Yellin mocking her own network for incessantly reporting on Sarah Palin's bus tour? The CNN correspondent called the coverage of the tour "a media low-point" on CNN Tuesday, although her own network made mention of tour almost every hour Monday from 6 a.m. EDT through 11 p.m. EDT – and then again Tuesday from 6 a.m. EDT through 1 p.m. EDT.
The continuous coverage included nine live reports from Gettysburg, one of the tour stops, by correspondent Jim Acosta – and a live appearance there by anchor John King Monday afternoon. John King, USA – King's 7 p.m. EDT show – was broadcast from Gettysburg, and then the anchor returned later to guest-host Anderson Cooper 360 from the same site, for two hours.
After proclaiming last week that he would be "surprised if anyone in Israel" objected to Obama's Middle East speech, CNN's Fareed Zakaria ripped Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his refusal to accept the President Obama's plan for Israeli-Palestinian borders. On CNN's In the Arena Thursday, Zakaria expounded upon his Washington Post op-ed criticizing Netanyahu, which NewsBusters reported on.
Zakaria has admitted to having face-to-face meetings recently with President Obama to discuss foreign affairs, and revealed that information before Obama's Middle East speech. Zakaria appeared on CNN before and after the speech last Thursday to give his commentary, talked about the speech on his Sunday show, and then wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post criticizing Netanyahu for his stubbornness.
Attempting to offer a defense of Ed Schultz, CNN's Randi Kaye told guest Howard Kurtz Thursday that "there are mixed interpretations" of the term "slut," which Schultz called conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham Thursday. Kaye also referred to Laura Ingraham's response to Schultz as "biting," proving that she possibly was harder on Ingraham than on tyrant Sadaam Hussein back in 2006.
"Yeah, but you know when you hear the word 'slut' – I mean I hate to even say it on our air, to be honest with you – but there are mixed interpretations about the word," Kaye told Kurtz. The media critic didn't buy it for a second.
Instead of focusing on the vileness of Ed Schultz twice calling conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham a "slut" on his radio show, ABC's The View co-hosts gabbed back and forth Thursday about co-host Joy Behar's catty use of the term for her colleagues.
Behar apparently calls her colleagues sluts on the ABC daytime show, and so the co-hosts chatted about the nature of her "insults" and compared them with Schultz's use of the term. The liberal talk show host and MSNBC anchor escaped their wrath for the most part, since they focused most of two minutes on Joy Behar and her salty language.
CNN's Jack Cafferty reverted back to his Palin derangement syndrome Wednesday afternoon. He touted two new books that heavily criticize Palin – labeling one as "required reading" for any potential supporters of a Palin presidential run – as an antidote of sorts to what he deemed "Palin propaganda."
Cafferty's question of the hour was "With the GOP field so weak, should Sarah Palin run for president?" He spent the majority of his brief time slot bashing Palin and assembling the case against the former governor. "Just when we thought that maybe she had decided to just go away and leave us alone comes news of Sarah Palin, the movie," he bemoaned.
CNN anchor Randi Kaye finished her Tuesday news hour with a giddy monologue praising the newest smoking ban in New York City. The ban, signed into law by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in February, took effect Tuesday and outlawed smoking in city parks, public plazas, beaches, and boardwalks.
"Yes, say what you want about Mayor Bloomberg's smoking ban on, oh, about 1700 parks and 14 miles of beaches around New York City, but I think it is a great idea," Kaye gushed, effectively wagging her finger in front of all members of her audience who disagreed with the ban.
"Did someone or something fail Jared Loughner?" CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta asked recovering alcoholic and former congressman Patrick Kennedy Sunday. The question came after Kennedy described his alcoholic condition as a mental disease and not a moral failure, and attributed mental illness to Loughner, the Tuscon shooter who killed six and critically injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) in January.
When Kennedy was asked about Loughner being "failed," he issued a sweeping indictment of society. "Clearly we all failed," he said, noting that the Giffords assassin was mentally ill and was not treated for his ailments. "We failed as society because every time we see someone who's – and we use the pejorative words 'crazy,' you know, 'psycho,' 'nuts,' we look the other way."
While President Obama has been hit by black leftists for failing to help unemployed African-Americans, CNN anchor Carol Costello offered an impassioned defense of the president Friday morning, framing most every question to cast Obama in the best light possible. The reason Costello was defending Obama? Princeton's Dr. Cornel West recently slammed Obama for his failure to reach out to the African-American community, calling him a "white man with black skin" and "a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and black puppet of corporate plutocrats."
Hosting the liberal Columbia University professor Mark Lamont Hill, a self-proclaimed "leading hip-hop generation intellectual," Costello repeatedly sought to generate pity for the president. "Aren't we expecting a little too much of him?" Costello pouted during the 10 a.m. EDT hour.
Update below the break: Although Zakaria said he would be "surprised" if any Israelis objected to Obama's "quite even-handed" call for pre-1967 borders between Israel and Palestine, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed clear disapproval of the idea Thursday.
CNN's Fareed Zakaria appeared three times on Newsroom Thursday to preview and evaluate President Obama's speech on the Middle East – but never revealed that he has recently had face-to-face meetings with the president on foreign policy matters.
Last weekend a comment by CNN prime time host Eliot Spitzer revealed that Zakaria was advising the president on foreign policy matters, but Zakaria later dismissed that observation and said he simply had off-the-record conversations with Obama on foreign issues. However, he still did not disclose that information when he evaluated Obama's foreign policy speech Thursday on CNN.
CNN's Anderson Cooper heavily scrutinized the new study of the Catholic Church's sex abuse scandal Wednesday, but featured no one from the church's side to defend the report. Cooper gave his own critical commentary of the study, voiced the concerns of many clergy abuse victims, and brought on for a soft interview a disillusioned Catholic priest who is resigning from the clergy.
However, Cooper did not bring on a guest from the church or one of the study's researchers to defend the report's findings. Furthermore, CNN had fairly reported on the issue earlier in the day during the 2 p.m. EDT hour of Newsroom. The network briefly hosted a spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Miami and asked her two tough questions about the report.
Every hour but one of CNN's Tuesday evening news coverage featured at least a mention of former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's marital infidelity. Guess which anchor backed away from any mention of the scandal?
Schwarzenegger's revelation of his fathering a child with a mistress was one of the day's leading headlines, and merited a mention if not a segment on most every CNN news hour Tuesday. During its 5 p.m.-12 a.m. EDT coverage, CNN reported the story every hour except during the 8 p.m. EDT slot – the prime-time show In the Arena with Eliot Spitzer. Spitzer made no mention of the story.
CNN continued its rehabilitation of Eliot Spitzer's political career in leaving his name out of a lengthy list of recent political sex scandals Tuesday. As MediaBistro and my colleague Tom Blumer reported yesterday, the network shied away from disclosing the checkered past of one of its prime-time anchors.
In the wake of former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's revelations that he fathered a child with a mistress, CNN ran a segment during the 2 p.m. EDT hour covering recent political sex scandals. Correspondent Suzanne Malveaux mentioned six by name and CNN ran old news clips of even more – but failed to disclose that the current host of a CNN prime-time show was once embroiled in an infamous scandal.
Hosting openly-gay CNN anchor Don Lemon on her Monday night show, HLN's Joy Behar lamented that Lemon will have to interview GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum "who seems like a big homophobe."
The liberal host advised Lemon that "you're going to have people sit there with you like Rick Santorum who seems like a big homophobe, and others because they're running for president or whatever, and will talk about gay marriage, et cetera. How do you feel that you'll be able to handle that easily?"
CNN anchor Don Lemon grabbed headlines over the weekend with his Twitter announcement that he is gay. On Monday his co-workers provided plenty of time for him on two separate shows to share his story and his own views on the gay-rights issue, and showered him with support. As if that wasn't enough, he asked them in turn to do the same for others "who choose to come out."
"I really appreciate all the support, and I hope you continue to support not only me, but other people who choose to come out," Lemon told afternoon Newsroom host Brooke Baldwin. In the past, Lemon has himself provided a podium for gay rights activists to makes themselves heard, though he claims objectivity on the issue.
CNN anchor Don Lemon has openly acknowledged that he is gay in his book "Transparent," set to be released June 16. He tweeted an article in the Sunday's New York Times about the book late Sunday night, later thanking his followers for their outpouring of support in the wake of his revelation.
"I think it would be great if everybody could be out," he was quoted in the Times interview. "But it's such a personal choice....I do have to say that the more people who come out, the better it is for everyone, certainly for the Tyler Clementis of the world."
The Times also reported that CNN Newsroom and the Joy Behar Show will be hosting Lemon Monday to share his story. "He has been assured of support by CNN," the Times said of his planned appearances.
Update below the break: When it came to Roger Ailes and George Will, the media ethicists were out in full force. Why not for Zakaria? | Update May 15: Zakaria denies he "advises" Obama
CNN's Fareed Zakaria, host of the weekend show Fareed Zakaria GPS and editor-at-large for Time magazine, admitted on CNN Thursday that he has been advising President Obama on foreign policy matters.
Eliot Spitzer, host of CNN's In the Arena, brought up the fact at the very end of a conversation with Zakaria about Pakistan and foreign policy. Zakaria affirmed it and clarified that "mostly it's been face-to-face meetings...organized by Tom Donilon, the national security advisor."
Ron Paul may be considered a "fringe" conservative for his beliefs, but as a U.S. congressman running for a major party presidential ticket he received some bizarre coverage on CNN Friday. Anchor Carol Costello chuckled as the network played a clip of comedian Conan O'Brien mocking Paul's presidential bid, before asking her panel about the 2012 presidential field.
"We couldn't help but play a Conan O'Brien spot to lead into this Ron Paul segment," Costello admitted with a grin during the 10 a.m. EDT news hour Friday.
The clip featured TBS's O'Brien laughing at Paul's lax positions on the legalization of heroin and prostitution. "Yeah, his campaign slogan is 'Let's just see what would happen,'" O'Brien joked.
PBS's Tavis Smiley offered his own half-baked assumptions Friday on the 2012 GOP presidential contenders. The far-left anchor dismissed the GOP field as a bunch of nobodies on the 9 a.m. EDT hour of CNN Newsroom.
"You can't beat somebody with nobody," he quipped when asked what GOP contender poses the biggest threat to President Obama's re-election. "I don't see somebody yet that the president should be all that concerned about, at least to the point of losing sleep."
Smiley also hit Obama for not doing more to help unemployed African-Americans. He assumed the reason Obama is hesitant to do so is his fear of accusations of being "tribal."