In the days leading up to Hurricane Irene's march through the Northeast, journalists repeatedly suggested that the storm was yet more evidence of climate change.
"The scale of Hurricane Irene, which could cause more extensive damage along the Eastern Seaboard than any storm in decades, is reviving an old question: are hurricanes getting worse because of human-induced climate change?" asked the New York Times' Justin Gillis in his August 28 piece.
HLN guest host Don Lemon asked scientist Bill Nye on Wednesday if the storm was proof of climate change. Nye answered that it was "consistent with all the predictions of climate change models" and added that the United States is behind the times in taking action on climate change. "There's no other developed world country that isn't very concerned about climate change," Nye asserted, and ABC's weatherman Sam Champion agreed.
Liberal comedienne Sara Benincasa ridiculed conservatives Wednesday for criticizing President Obama's vacation to Martha's Vineyard. Benincasa joked to guest host Don Lemon on the Joy Behar Show that "right-wing conservative white Republicans will only accept one black man on the golf course in the world ever."
Probably referring to Wednesday's earthquake, Benincasa added that the Republicans "think that was God telling him [Obama] to get off the course."
Referencing Dick Cheney's revelation in his new memoir that he urged President Bush to bomb a Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007, CNN's Kyra Phillips posed this obnoxious question to her panel: "Was Cheney even more of a hawk than we gave him credit for?"
The upcoming release of Cheney's memoir, "In My Time," should re-ignite the media's decade-long war on the former Vice President, as he himself has predicted that the book will have "heads exploding" in Washington. In the book he detailed a meeting in 2007 where he was the only one the room supporting the bombing of the Syrian nuclear reactor. President Bush declined to take that approach, and Israel bombed the site months later.
CNN's Jack Cafferty slammed the "intellectual lightweights" leading the Republican presidential field on Wednesday, wondering why their supporters "seem to be allergic to brains."
The CNN contributor labeled the candidates "Curly, Moe, and Larry" and sarcastically dubbed Palin a "MENSA candidate," a term reserved for smart people. Recently he also bemoaned a possible Palin run and gave credence to the conspiratorial theory that Bachmann and Perry are serious members of a theocratic fringe sect of Christianity.
Jon Huntsman may be the liberal media's favorite Republican candidate, and CNN's Piers Morgan did nothing to dispel that notion in a two-part puff-piece interview Monday and Tuesday. The CNN host provided plenty of softball questions and positive commentary in what seemed at times to be a campaign promotion.
Morgan described the moderate candidate as "pragmatic" and "sensible," took pleasure in Huntsman's past as a young rock star, and pointed out his "impressive" resume as former governor of Utah. In contrast, he painted Huntsman's GOP opponents as taking the low road, telling the former governor they want to "tear your throat out."
Costello related how Freeman "ran into him [Obama] on the golf course and he said, he said he wanted to tell the President to quote, 'Get pissed off, get fighting mad.'" After reporting that New York Times columnist Charles Blow has written about how Obama needs to be tougher, she asked Blow what he thought about Freeman's comment.
Then Costello followed that up with another gem, as she clumsily described the vicious words of Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) toward the Tea Party as straight talk about a political enemy. "Somebody who is trying to give it to people straight, perhaps, is Congresswoman Maxine Waters," reported Costello.
On Tuesday morning, CNN's Kyra Phillips asked why the Republican presidential candidates have not been speaking out on foreign policy in Libya during the climactic battle in the country's capital between rebel and imperial forces. CNN had interviewed Republican candidate Jon Huntsman the night before, but had not yet asked him about the conflict in Libya, in the first of a two-part interview set to conclude Tuesday night.
"This week's battle in Libya, the first big chance for the GOP presidential hopefuls to show their foreign policy savvy," Phillips noted during the 10 a.m. hour of Newsroom. "Why haven't we heard from them?" she asked. Liberal CNN analyst Roland Martin subsequently hammered the Republicans as "wimps" for their silence.
In two separate interviews of Republican presidential candidates, CNN's Piers Morgan exhibited an obvious contempt of Tea Party politics as well as a double standard toward moderate and conservative presidential candidates.
In Monday's interview with Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, CNN's Piers Morgan baited the moderate candidate to criticize the Tea Party for its unwavering defense of its principles. In contrast, Morgan used the same rhetoric the week before to put Tea Party champion Ron Paul on the defensive.
Former CNN anchor Eliot Spitzer is facing two libel lawsuits seeking a total of $90 million, Reuters reported Monday. The suits were filed Friday by two former employees of insurance brokerage firm Marsh & McLennan Cos. The plaintiffs argued that they were defamed in a critical Slate column by Spitzer, written one year ago on August 22.
The plaintiffs are William Gilman and Edward McNenney, who were not mentioned by name in Spitzer's piece about an insurance-rigging scandal. However, the complaint alleged that Spitzer defamed Gilman in his reporting on corrupt activity at Marsh, and in his accusation that "many employees" of the firm were sentenced to jail time – a claim the plaintiffs argued was false.
On Thursday, Forbes's Robert Lenzner claimed the U.S. needs a second stimulus, and CNN's financial gurus Richard Quest and Ali Velshi were content not to challenge his point. Velshi even acknowledged later that the country needs to "stimulate employment" through tax benefits to small businesses.
"What we really need, but unfortunately we're politically behind the eight-ball is, we need an enormous stimulus program of say, $200 billion to put to work all these people from the construction trades and building and real estate that are out of work," Lenzner insisted.
Citing a Daily Beast piece linking GOP candidates Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry to a radical Christian strain called "Dominionism," CNN's Jack Cafferty fretted about a possible Christian theocracy in America on Wednesday's Cafferty File.
"I got to reading this piece, and it scared the hell out of me," Cafferty fearfully remarked of the article's conspiratorial claims. "We contacted both campaigns a few hours ago, haven't heard a word back form either one of them."
CNN host Piers Morgan argued for tax hikes during interviews with two separate guests on his Tuesday night show.
The former British tabloid editor tried to persuade Rudy Giuliani, a possible GOP presidential candidate, that the Tea Party is in the minority in its stance against higher taxes and should consider spending cuts paired with increased tax revenues to cut the deficit.
CNN's Jessica Yellin used a recent CNN poll Tuesday to give credence to the White House spin that President Obama is the victim of a bad economy he inherited from Bush. What Yellin failed to report was another CNN poll showing that Americans almost two-to-one disapprove of Obama's handling of the economy.
Yellin, on Tuesday's The Situation Room, touted a July 25 CNN poll showing that 57 percent of Americans believe Bush and the Republicans are more to blame than Obama and the Democrats for the current economic troubles. She added that the Obama White House could credibly use that poll result to deflect blame toward President Bush for the poor economy.
CNN's own poll recently showed that voters 60-to-one believe the economy is the most pressing issue facing the United States, as opposed to policies toward gays and lesbians. CNN's Anderson Cooper apparently thought the views of Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann toward gays and lesbians important enough to merit the lead segment on his Monday show.
"We begin tonight 'Keeping Them Honest' with Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and her sudden silence on a topic she was once anything-but-silent about," Cooper began his show. His critical segment accused the Minnesota congresswoman of "judging" gays and lesbians and highlighted her sudden silence on gay rights, an issue she had been quite outspoken over.
ESPN's LZ Granderson labeled Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) as "crazy" Monday, and CNN anchor Kyra Phillips seemed to credit his judgment.
Granderson, a CNN contributor, said of a Bachmann candidacy that "the people aren't going to vote for crazy. And she [Bachmann] still registers as crazy with a lot of independents." Phillips immediately responded that "If you could go back decades, there's a lot of people who vote for crazy, guys."
Live from the Iowa State Fair, CNN's Don Lemon asked Republican presidential nominee Herman Cain if he could win the Iowa vote for the Republican nomination and for president, given that Cain belongs to a "mostly-white party" and is campaigning in a "mostly-white state."
Lemon had said the two had a "passionate conversation" prior to going on air, where he asked Cain "do you think in a party – in a mostly-white party in a mostly-white state, did you really stand a chance, not only of a nomination, of becoming President?"
CNN's Christine Romans and Ali Velshi tried to argue that no evidence exists linking tax cuts to job creation while interviewing Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) Thursday, on America's deficit problem.
The financial gurus challenged Toomey's conservative point that tax hikes should be off the table as a revenue increase, because they would hurt the economy. "So, where is the evidence that not cutting taxes creates jobs?" Ali Velshi asked. "We haven't seen it."
CNN's Piers Morgan tried to breathe some life into Obama's flagging presidency Wednesday, maintaining that America "needs" the President to get back in touch with his voters.
"Well, we need some audacity and some hope, I think," the prime-time host professed at the end of the segment, sounding an awful lot like an Obama campaign volunteer. "Yeah, we need the President to reconnect with his voters really, don't we?" he wondered.
Even liberal comedian John Stewart thought Newsweek went too far with its Michele Bachmann cover page, but CNN analyst Roland Martin sees no story here. Martin is blunt with "angry conservatives, and delusional feminists" in his latest CNN.com op-ed telling them to "get real."
"To the angry conservatives, and delusional feminists, give it a rest. There is nothing sexist about the photo, nor does it reveal a flaming liberal bias," Martin writes of a Newsweek cover showing a wide-eyed Bachmann above the title "Queen of Rage."
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."