CNN devoted over four times the coverage to the Obama campaign's new attack strategy on Thursday than it initially gave to the largest religious lawsuit in U.S. history. Over 32 minutes of airtime on Thursday focused on President Obama's campaign attacks on Mitt Romney, including video clips of the campaign's new attack ad.
In contrast, when a dozen lawsuits were filed on by 43 Catholic institutions including the University of Notre Dame and the Archdioceses of Washington and New York, CNN's coverage totaled less than seven minutes total on that day, May 21, and on the next morning's Starting Point.
After the news broke of the First Circuit Court declaring the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, CNN hosted openly-gay Congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and asked him softball questions like "are you heartened to see that?"
The entire interview lasted over 12 minutes, a very long time on cable news, but only a part of it focused on DOMA. Anchor Suzanne Malveaux painted a positive picture for supporters of same-sex marriage, touting a "sea-change" on the issue in America. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN jumped all over Donald Trump's "birther" remarks on Tuesday as Trump hosted a fund raiser for Mitt Romney. CNN ran the story almost every single hour on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, hyping Romney's message getting "Trumped" by his supporter's controversial statements.
In contrast, CNN showed no initial scrutiny of foul-mouthed comedian Bill Maher's $1 million donation to a pro-Obama Super PAC in February. Maher is infamous for his vile and disgusting insults of conservative women, but when he announced the donation CNN simply reported it without any hint of controversy.
CNN was on the "birther" beat Tuesday night after Romney surrogate Donald Trump kept espousing the conspiracy, and the former GOP governor of New Hampshire excoriated the network on Wednesday morning's Starting Point for its "fixation" with a non-story.
"Aren't you embarrassed to be speaking directly from the Obama speaking points that they distributed yesterday?" John Sununu challenged anchor Soledad O'Brien in a testy exchange. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
The liberal host of the public radio show Interfaith Voices, Sister Maureen Fiedler has cheered for the Occupy protests, railed against the Ryan budget, advocated for single-payer healthcare, and pined for the Obama of 2008 – and it is now her taking umbrage at the Vatican that got her a nice soft interview on CNN, Tuesday morning.
Anchor Carol Costello actually made light of the Vatican's announcement last month to reform the U.S. Leadership Conference of Women's Religious (LCWR) – of which Sr. Fiedler is a part – by asking her, tongue-in-cheek, if she wasn't the "kind of radical, feminist nun the bishops are concerned about?" That prompted a chuckle from her guest, followed by her liberal lines. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN's Soledad O'Brien took Rudy Giuliani's words about Mitt Romney and spun them into a criticism of his jobs record, when in fact Giuliani had praised the candidate's resume on Sunday's State of the Union. On Tuesday's Starting Point, O'Brien said that Giuliani had "not so great" words for Romney's record, when in fact Giuliani said his jobs record as governor of Massachusetts was "decent."
Giuliani, on Sunday's State of the Union, defended his comparison of his "far superior record" as mayor of New York to Romney's "otherwise decent record" as Massachusetts governor, but never said it was "not so great" as Soledad implied. And Giuliani had overall praise for Romney's resume, noting that "Mitt Romney has been far more successful in the things that he's done than Barack Obama," referencing his business experience and work with the 2002 Olympics. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
In a teaser for a CNN interview airing next Tuesday, liberal comedian David Letterman denied a partisan bias and said he is a "registered independent." He also pitied former President Bill Clinton for getting "hammered" by the press during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, in an interview that will air on Piers Morgan Tonight with guest host Regis Philbin.
"Poor Bill Clinton. No president that I'm aware of got hammered harder than Bill – President Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky situation," mused Letterman. "We beat up on him. We still use him as a reference."
CNN's Dana Bash reported Friday on the irony of President Obama hitting Mitt Romney's connections to Bain Capital when he himself has received donations from Bain employees. CNN has highlighted Obama's hypocrisy on this matter before, but this specific story has certainly not received much air-time – if any at all – in the last two weeks.
"But isn't it hypocritical for the Obama campaign to keep money from employees of a company it goes after as job-killers?" correspondent Dana Bash asked during the segment. Yet this story of Obama's clear hypocrisy has certainly not received the attention it merits on CNN. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN failed to correct bogus numbers claiming that the growth rate of spending under President Obama is the lowest since Eisenhower. Instead, host Erin Burnett reported the news as something positive for the White House.
While most anyone with common sense would label Obama a big spender, the MarketWatch report – re-circulated by the White House – absurdly claims Obama's "spending binge never happened." And CNN did not discount that argument although they twice reported on it.
Apparently at CNN, the phrase "Republicans are the problem" is not challenged, but encouraged. On Thursday's The Situation Room, lame-duck host Wolf Blitzer simply tossed softballs to GOP-bashing Norm Ornstein, who had hit the party before as "extreme" and "unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence, and science."
Ironically, Blitzer was three weeks behind schedule as Ornstein and co-author Thomas Mann penned their critical Washington Post op-ed in late April and were welcome guests on NPR and PBS shortly after. Could he possibly have responded to Media Matters slapping the media the other day for ignoring the two "well-respected, centrist political commentators"?
Unsatisfied with Tony Perkins' explanation of his opposition to same-sex marriage, CNN's Brooke Baldwin flat-out asked him why homosexuals "bother" him "so much," on Thursday afternoon. Apparently for CNN, opposing same-sex marriage is the same bigotry.
"[Y]ou've never been to a home of a same-sex couple. Why do homosexuals bother you so much?" she asked her "personal" question. Perkins brushed off the loaded question saying "They don't bother me," but Baldwin looked surprised and followed up on it. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN's Soledad O'Brien spun Mitt Romney's words into a dodging-the-question moment for the candidate on the matter of Bain Capital, on Thursday's Starting Point. O'Brien was emphasizing Romney's "reluctance" to mention his days at Bain, which had been the focus of attack ads from the Obama campaign that O'Brien herself justified the other day.
Specifically, she took Romney's interview with Time magazine where he was asked if he welcomed attention about Bain. Romney had answered "of course" and then explained why the American people were more interested in President Obama's record. CNN, however, left out that explanation. [Video coming soon.]
CNN contributor Maria Cardona may have forgotten some history as she tried to spin away President Obama's troubles in the Arkansas and Kentucky Democratic primaries. Cardona, speaking during the 10 a.m. hour of Wednesday's Newsroom, argued that "Arkansas and Kentucky have never been hotbeds of the Democratic Party."
President Obama only picked up 58 percent of the vote in the Kentucky Democratic primary, and 60 percent in Arkansas. "Look, Arkansas and Kentucky have never been hotbeds of the Democratic Party. There's no real infrastructure there. There's no organization by the Obama campaign there," Cardona insisted. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN devoted over twice the air-time to a "stroller moms" protest against toxic chemicals than it did to the biggest religious lawsuit in U.S. history filed Monday.
A dozen lawsuits filed by 43 Catholic institutions against the Obama administration merited only news briefs on Monday with one full segment on Tuesday morning. The coverage totaled under seven minutes. In contrast, CNN gave almost 18 minutes to a march of about 100 people pushing for a Democratic-sponsored bill.
CNN's Soledad O'Brien has carriedwater for President Obama before, and her "nothing to see here" attitude on Tuesday's Starting Point in regards to the Obama's blatant hypocrisy made that all the more clear.
The night before, O'Brien's colleague Anderson Cooper grilled the Obama campaign over the President's personal attacks on Mitt Romney. Cooper maintained that Obama is hitting Romney's record at Bain Capital while fund raising from another head of a private equity firm that did business with Bain, thus committing a blatant act of hypocrisy. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
PolitiFact decided to get cute with words and nail an accurate statement by a conservative advocacy group as "Mostly False" for supposed contextual issues. This is not the first time that the fact-checking outfit has labeled an accurate statement "Half True" or "Mostly False," as it did twice to the Romney campaign.
According to PolitiFact's Bill Adair, who appeared on CNN Monday afternoon, the ad correctly asserts that President Obama broke his promise to families making less than $250,000 a year, that their taxes would not go up. However, since the ad stated that ObamaCare alone raised 18 taxes, and PolitiFact determined that only five of those applied to the specific income bracket, they smacked Crossroads with a "Mostly False" rating.
Even after Mitt Romney condemned a proposed controversial super PAC ad attacking President Obama, CNN's Piers Morgan couldn't help but speculate on whether the candidate was still playing dirty. On Thursday's Piers Morgan Tonight he wondered aloud if the Romney campaign leaked the failed proposal to the press to keep the Reverend Wright controversy in the news.
"And I guess I think the really sinister aspect is, was it part of their intention to just have it leaked to the front page of the New York Times?" the ratings-starved Morgan asked about the Romney campaign. "Then you get all the publicity anyway without actually spending any money." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Zach Wahls is an activist lobbying Congress on behalf of gay rights issues, and yet CNN's Suzanne Malveaux rolled out the red carpet for him with nary a critical question on Thursday's 12 p.m. hour of Newsroom.
When Wahls, the author of a book titled "My Two Moms," made light of the "big gay scourge" that some say America faces, Malveaux laughed and flattered him "That was really funny, Zach." Sensing an opportunity, she added "Do you think that we need to use more humor to get – to further this discussion?" [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN continued its ridiculous narrative of tying gay rights to the civil rights movement of the 1960s, on Tuesday's Starting Point. Anchor Brooke Baldwin and her panel battered Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall for blocking the nomination of a gay prosecutor to the state's bench, even though Marshall argued that he was unfit for the position because of his activism and not his orientation.
Baldwin went so far as to connect the nomination with desegregation and women's suffrage. "Obviously, you know, blacks used to have to sit in the back of the bus. They don't have to anymore. There was discriminate – women couldn't vote. They can vote now. Times have changed. Do you not – do you not agree that he could be given a chance?" she offered Marshall. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
After the Obama campaign released an ad on Monday attacking Mitt Romney's record at Bain Capital, CNN went so far as to question President Obama's hypocrisy in attacking Romney. In contrast, MSNBC hosts joined Team Obama on the offensive.
CNN first reported the ad during the 9 and 10 a.m. hours of Monday, and by that evening anchor John King hosted a former venture capitalist who defended the business practices of Bain. Meanwhile, MSNBC's Martin Bashir and the network's prime-time lineup were cheerleaders for the Obama campaign on Monday.
News networks should remain objective, especially when approaching a hot-button issue of the present day, but CNN is clearly supporting the cause of same-sex marriage as evidenced by Sunday night's slander and its heavilyslanted coverage of President Obama's "historic" gay marriage announcement last week -- and now its newest story that aired Tuesday afternoon.
When a man pushing for same-sex marriage made a viral video of himself and his deceased partner, CNN went above and beyond journalistic standards to boost his "very, very powerful message." Anchor Suzanne Malveaux showed over two minutes of the video and followed that up with a soft interview while more clips of the video played in the background. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN's Carol Costello wondered why the U.S. Catholic Bishops are investigating the Girl Scouts over possible ties to Planned Parenthood and the distribution of anti-Catholic material. "Not all of those Girl Scouts are Catholic," Costello mused on Tuesday. "So why impose Catholic beliefs on the Girl Scouts and threaten to pull out of the organization?"
Costello hosted the Catholic League's Bill Donohue, who argued that the Girl Scouts might be the one's "imposing" on others' beliefs. "I think it's going backwards. If, in fact, everything that the critics of the Girl Scouts are saying were true, then it's the Girl Scouts imposing on Catholics," he insisted. [Video coming soon.]
A new Obama campaign ad – which CNN showed a clip from on Monday – features former steelworkers attacking Mitt Romney and his leadership of Bain Capital. Yet this January CNN piece on Bain Capital's ventures in South Carolina provided the same critical aura of "bad memories" and "bitterness" toward the company from South Carolina steelworkers.
United Steelworkers is one of the heavy hitters of Democratic donors, and yet CNN featured the local Steelworkers president bashing Bain Capital all through the piece without any clarification on the political position of the Steelworkers. The president took a parting shot at Romney for being "very responsible" for Bain's business practices at the steel mill.
CNN's Don Lemon said last year that he hoped to "change minds" when he declared that he was gay. And on Sunday evening he showed exactly where he lies on same-sex marriage and in no small words challenged the fundamental beliefs of its opponents, comparing them to those who opposed interracial marriage and integration.
He later compared Mitt Romney to segregationist Governor George Wallace, but during the 6 p.m. hour Lemon hosted activist Rev. Joseph Lowery – who also gave the benediction at President Obama's inauguration – and both of them criticized opponents of same-sex marriage. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Even though CNN's Suzanne Malveaux admitted she had no clue what Mitt Romney actually did in high school, she and a guest psychologist tried to speculate away on Friday afternoon's Newsroom. The conclusion: Romney may not recall the incident he has been accused of, but his apology for it reveals the probability of guilt for a "very violent" act of forcibly cutting someone's hair.
"I have no idea what Romney did or didn't do," Malveaux admitted ignorance, before intoning that Romney was probably still in the wrong. "[T]he bullies never recall what they did. I mean it's absolutely astonishing the kids who tormented and taunted others seem to have no idea as adults how their behavior actually impacted others," she noted. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Contrary to the media's lack of coverage of President Obama's high school escapades, CNN's Soledad O'Brien promptly jumped on a Washington Post story featuring accusations of Mitt Romney being a high school bully – even though the story may already have a hole. O'Brien discussed the "harrowing" story on Friday's Starting Point.
O'Brien wondered if Romney "actually owes a bigger apology" for an incident that allegedly happened almost 50 years ago. "Do you think Governor Romney actually owes a bigger apology or needs to say something more about this or is 'I don't remember and if I did something bad, I'm sorry' enough?" O'Brien pressed Romney campaign adviser Kerry Healy. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
After President Obama publicly supported gay marriage on Wednesday, CNN continued its cheerleading well into Wednesday evening, including a happy interview of openly-gay congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) where he proudly showed the audience his engagement ring.
During CNN's 6-9 p.m. coverage, 9 of the guests voiced their support of President Obama's position on-air, while only two objected. Another guest, Mike Signorile, did not give verbal support but writes for the Huffington Post "Gay Voices" blog and has called for President Obama to "kick down the closet door" and publicly support same-sex marriage. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
In a rather blatant show of a double standard, CNN's Soledad O'Brien interrupted and grilled the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins over his opposition to same-sex marriage, but she gave an exceedingly soft interview to a guest who was "elated" at President Obama's open support of same-sex marriage. The interviews kicked off Thursday's 7 a.m. hour of Starting Point.
CNN was quite one-sided in its Wednesday afternoon coverage of Obama's announcement in favor of gay marriage, and O'Brien simply carried that bias into Thursday morning. She sought the "reaction" of guest Mitchell Gold to the President's remarks, and Gold told her he was "still elated" and lauded the President's "courageous" action. [Video below the break. Audio here]
It didn't take long after President Obama voiced his support for same-sex marriage for CNN to gauge the enthusiasm of those in favor of the move. After the news broke at 3 p.m Wednesday, the first three guests CNN interviewed were all openly-gay and supported Obama's decision. It took well over two hours for a guest to appear who opposed the decision.
And in the three hours of coverage following Obama's "historic" announcement, five of CNN's guests expressed their support for his decision. Only one, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, opposed it. And the three openly-gay guests were pampered with soft questions, like "What was your first reaction" and "Did you start to cry?"
After CNN's Erin Burnett lamented the defeat of "moderate" Dick Lugar in Indiana's GOP Senate primary, Wednesday's Starting Point panel had a cold welcome for the victorious Tea Party candidate Richard Mourdock.
Anchor Soledad O'Brien asked Mourdock if his "confrontational" attitude wouldn't help "undermine" the cause of uniting Americans. It's doubtful whether Soledad thought the same of President Obama as he shoved liberal legislation down the throats of Republicans in the first two years of his term. [Video below the break. Audio here.]