CNN's Ali Velshi struck back at talk radio host Rush Limbaugh on Tuesday, lecturing him on the debt ceiling after Limbaugh had hit Velshi as a "low-information reporter."
Velshi maintained that the debt ceiling "had absolutely nothing to do with spending control or debt control" as Limbaugh claimed, and added that "Republicans seem to think the debt ceiling is a good tool to limit how much the government spends." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN did its best to promote former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' push for stricter gun laws on Tuesday. Correspondent David Mattingly even highlighted the large "donate" button on the website of Giffords' new political action committee.
"And if you think about it, if Gabby Giffords came knocking on my door, office door on Capitol Hill, I would have to let her in," swooned anchor Carol Costello. Mattingly directed viewers to her website's fundraising section: "[I]f you go to the website that they've set up now, the Americans for Responsible Solutions, the first thing you see there is a big window where you can click on it to donate." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
When news broke that counterterrorism adviser John Brennan would be President Obama's nominee to head the CIA, CNN was mum about Brennan's admitted failure concerning the attempted Christmas Day bombing in 2009. As NewsBusters reported earlier, none of the major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) mentioned Brennan's "I let him [Obama] down" press conference following the intelligence breakdown at the attack.
CNN highlighted Brennan's strengths along with his controversies on Monday, but those were mostly liberal gripes about his record on enhanced interrogation and drone strikes. "Brennan has been criticized for his connection to the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques under the Bush administration, more recently, for his support of the controversial drone program in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere," reported Wolf Blitzer.
The GOP-bashing tag team of Norm Ornstein and Thomas Mann was once again welcome on CNN on Sunday. Reliable Sources host Howard Kurtz did challenge the duo's leftist indictment of the media, but Ornstein and Mann had plenty of time to insist the press has "embarrassingly failed" to hold Republicans accountable.
When Kurtz posed "Most people think the press does lean to the left," AEI's Ornstein responded with this laugher: "And I think the mainstream media want to do everything they can to avoid any reinforcement of that." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN reporter Ali Velshi thrashed Republicans and conservatives during last weekend's fiscal cliff negotiations. As Tim Graham of NewsBusters already reported, Velshi "clearly doesn't care about looking objective" and showed it when he opened fire on Grover Norquist last week and declared that taxes must go up on the wealthy.
In what became a tired liberal rant, Velshi pushed that argument over and over again last weekend, paddling House Republicans for not "compromising" with Democrats on tax hikes while barely wagging a finger at President Obama and the Democratic Senate. Below is the worst of Velshi from last weekend. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Out of all the guests to talk Hugo Chavez's illness, CNN brought on Chavez-fan Oliver Stone on Friday. Stone lauded him as "magnanimous, warm, warm man, big man."
Anchor Suzanne Malveaux actually played clips of Stone's documentary involving Chavez, which Time magazine called a "love story" for the dictator. Yes, this is the same network whose founder said he trusted the North Koreans and defended Kim Jong Il. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Vice President Joe Biden can do little wrong in CNN's eyes. Friday's Starting Point whitewashed his telling the husband of an incoming U.S. Senator to "Spread your legs; you're going to be frisked" at Thursday's swearing-in ceremony on Capitol Hill.
Instead, the morning show touted Biden comforting the fretting young daughter of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.). "He was a one-man comedy act yesterday, the Vice President was. Love it," gushed co-host John Berman. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
It didn't take long for new Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) to get lectured by liberal CNN. After Cruz told anchor Wolf Blitzer that he opposed the fiscal cliff deal, Blitzer reproved him and told him to "deal with reality."
"[Y]ou're in the minority in the United States Senate. You've got to deal with reality.You can't just be -- you can't just be overly idealistic on those issues," said Blitzer, who shed his objectivity to lecture a sitting congressman on what he should do. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
After House Speaker Boehner pulled a vote for Hurricane Sandy aid on Tuesday, CNN gave a microphone to outraged politicians who bashed the House GOP for not voting on the relief bill that Senate Democrats loaded with pork.
CNN gave two interviews to Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) airing his grievances against fellow Republicans, and anchor Don Lemon interviewed three Democrats who wanted the relief bill passed: Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Strangely missing from NBC's look back on the 2012 campaign were gaffes and controversial statements from the Obama-Biden campaign. Friday's Today featured a mini-blooper reel of GOP mishaps on the campaign trail, but made no mention of Democratic controversies.
In its lengthy string of highlights from the 2012 campaign, Today included Mitt Romney's infamous "47 percent" remarks along with Rep. Todd Akin's "legitimate rape" meltdown. Today said nothing, though, of Biden's controversial "chains" comments or Obama's "you didn't build that" remark.
Howard Kurtz of The Daily Beast has some tough talk for the D.C. Police investigating NBC's David Gregory. In an interview with the NRA's Wayne LaPierre on Sunday's Meet the Press, Gregory had produced an high capacity magazine on-air in violation of D.C. gun laws, thus attracting a police investigation.
Kurtz lamely implied that although Gregory broke the law, he shouldn't be prosecuted for it. "But the D.C. Police Department apparently has nothing better to do than examine whether he violated the city’s gun laws," Kurtz scoffed in his column at the Daily Download.
CNN's Carol Costello threw ugly smears and liberal talking points at the NRA's president David Keene on Thursday. Keene repeatedly had to deflect criticisms that the NRA is out of touch with most Americans during a lengthy 15-minute grilling.
Costello resorted to sharing smears of the NRA from her Facebook page. "And many, many comments said, 'Why is the NRA crazy? Why are they, like, out of touch with reality?' A lot of people said – why do you think that people say those things about the NRA?" she asked Keene. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Both NBC and CBS covered the outrage Thursday morning over a New York newspaper publishing the names and addresses of gun permit holders in two counties. ABC made no mention of the controversy, however.
"A suburban New York City newspaper is in the middle of a big controversy this morning after it put up online the names and addresses of everyone with a gun permit," reported CBS This Morning co-host Jeff Glor. "Call it a battle between the First and Second Amendments," said NBC News correspondent Katy Tur on the Today show.
When Democratic Rep. Jim Moran (Va.) promoted his new gun control bill on CNN Wednesday, anchor Victor Blackwell spoonfed him a talking point from the anti-gun Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG). Moran then claimed Congress would have blood on its hands if it didn't take action on guns.
Asking Moran about his bill's five measures, Blackwell simply prompted him with poll numbers that MAIG touted earlier this summer: "You picked these five because there's a poll over the summer by a GOP pollster that says that these are not only things that are mildly supported by NRA members, but they are in the 60, 70, 80 percentile of support from the membership." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, co-host Rebecca Jarvis asked a pollster for a liberal anti-gun group what he thought of the NRA's response to the Newtown shooting.
CBS hosted Frank Luntz, a Republican strategist but also a pollster for Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Co-host Rebecca Jarvis asked him, "what do you make of the NRA's strategy here to say there should be someone in every school system in America holding a gun protecting the kids?"
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, national correspondent Chip Reid glossed over proposals in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's fiscal cliff plan that would add to the deficit.
"The bill would also extend long-term unemployment benefits, patch up the alternative minimum tax that threatens to hit even more middle class families and prevent a scheduled dropoff in Medicare reimbursement to doctors," Reid rattled off the proposals without noting whether they would add to or subtract from the deficit.
On Friday's Today, NBC's David Gregory used the Newtown tragedy to buttress President Obama's push for more gun control. During a heartbreaking story about the grieving father of shooting victim Emilie Parker, Gregory switched to a massive petition for the White House to pursue gun control.
"This morning, President Obama has posted this video response online to nearly 200,000 people that signed a petition on the White House website, pushing the President for action on gun control," reported Gregory. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
The day after a gun control advocate told CNN that America's gun problem includes handgun shootings, Starting Point anchor Soledad O'Brien began asking Democratic politicians if they would consider legislating handguns.
"Well, is going to the assault weapons far enough?" O'Brien asked Democratic Rep. Ron Barber (Ariz.) on Tuesday. "I think it's 80 percent is handguns involved in gun violence. Does this, do you think open up a conversation toward limiting handguns?" she questioned Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) the same day. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
For ABC's Good Morning America, favoring more guns on the streets is "controversial" but President Obama's plea for gun control is simply news.
"Those who argue that the best way to stop mass killings is to have more guns in the right hands at the right time, even in the classroom. It's a controversial debate," reported co-host George Stephanopoulos on Thursday. In contrast, ABC's Jake Tapper framed the Newtown shooting as a "tipping point" amidst Obama's push for more gun control.
British CNN host Piers Morgan continued ranting about America's "gun problem" on Wednesday and claimed ownership of semi-automatic rifles has "nothing to do with the Second Amendment."
"And so you have to deal with the primary problem that America faces, which is guns. Guns. Guns. Guns. And it's nothing to do with the Second Amendment right to defend yourself, and everything to do with military-style weapons that could slaughter," he insisted. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Missing from NBC's rosy Wednesday interview of Michelle Obama is her family vacation's cost to taxpayers. Reports are that the taxpayer bill for the Hawaii vacation will top $4 million.
"Come Christmas the First Family, Bo included, will head some 5,000 miles away from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue," Today contributing correspondent Jenna Bush Hager said during NBC's "A White House Christmas" segment. "After an exciting but exhausting election season, the Obamas are happy to take this time to be together and enjoy the simple pleasures of family."
Although Time magazine revealed that 15 percent of Obama voters didn't even care about politics, NBC's Today show still wouldn't challenge the President's supposed mandate from the public to raise taxes when Time's Richard Stengel was on Wednesday.
"And one of the things they found out is that there's about 15 percent of voters who actually don't care about politics," Stengel referred to Time's story on the matter. "These are the people we didn't know who were going to show up at the polls who actually like Barack Obama in the sense they feel like he's outside of politics."
At The Daily Beast, Howard Kurtz compares the gun debate to civil rights and the gay marriage issue. This despite his wanting the media to be "fair to all sides" on the issue.
After suggesting a "media agenda" on the gun issue, Kurtz notes "There was certainly a media agenda during the battle for civil rights in the late 1950s and 1960s. Television helped shine a spotlight on Alabama Gov. George Wallace and other Southern politicians who were fighting to preserve a segregationist society." Oh, so is the NRA the new George Wallace?
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) told CNN on Monday that the Connecticut shooting was a "tipping point" and added that if President Obama wanted to take action on gun laws by using an executive order, "God bless him."
CNN's Soledad O'Brien interrupted, bullied, and dismissed guest John Lott on Monday's Starting Point when Lott argued in favor of less gun laws. "[Y]our position completely boggles me, honestly. I just do not understand it," the liberal journalist lectured Lott after he cited statistics supporting his position.
O'Brien sidestepped his facts and condescended to his position from the beginning. "How does that possibly make sense to you?" was her first question to him. She claimed the "rational" conclusion is a ban on high-powered assault weapons. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
"We need to get guns and bullets and automatic weapons off the streets. They should only be available to police officers and to hunt al-Qaeda and the Taliban and not hunt elementary school children," an emotional Lemon appealed. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
After CNN's Piers Morgan served up liberal defenses of Susan Rice that she is a "bright young woman" who was bullied by Republicans out of a secretary of state nomination, guest Rudy Giuliani scoffed at that on Thursday's Piers Morgan Tonight.
"I mean critics are saying, look, she's basically been stitched up here by a load of older guys in the Republican Party who've looked at a bright young woman and thought we're going to get you out of here," Morgan absurdly argued. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN founder Ted Turner is well-known for his outlandishliberal views, and CNN's Suzanne Malveaux teed him up on Thursday to rant against nuclear weapons, call for higher taxes on the wealthy, and announce that "the big, intelligent, well-educated countries have already quit war."
"President Obama, he says in his second term he wants to make climate change and protecting the environment a top priority. What do you think he should do? What should he do first?" Malveaux prodded the liberal Turner. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Teamsters Union president James Hoffa warned on CNN Tuesday that there would be "civil war" in Michigan over thepassage of right-to-work legislation, but after anchor Brooke Baldwin made two brief mentions of it the CNN blackout began. In contrast, on the next day Fox News hammered the "civil war" threat as an example of radical rhetoric.
How bad was CNN's blind spot to the controversy? After Hoffa warned of "civil war," Baldwin simply repeated his words back to him. "[I]n the meantime, as you wage this civil war, what does this mean for unionized workers moving forward in Michigan?" she asked, without demanding how violent the union pushback would be.