It's ‘Attack Giuliani' Day on CNN's ‘American Morning'

Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani has received plenty of flak from both the Left and the Right for various reasons, but CNN's "American Morning" on Wednesday spent more than six minutes discussing an article critical of Giuliani's wife in the latest issue of the left-wing glossy magazine "Vanity Fair." Co-host John Roberts interviewed the author of the article, Judy Bachrach, as well as got a response from Giuliani friend and campaign aide Randy Mastro. In addition to this, "American Morning" ran a segment from "Anderson Cooper 360" political reporter Tom Foreman on Giuliani's criticism of the universal health care proposals of several Democrat presidential candidates. Foreman, using an overexcited tone in his voice, compared Giuliani to Tony Soprano, and portrayed Giuliani in a pretty unflattering light. (see more including transcript after the jump)

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Foreman's report on Giuliani, which lasted approximately 35 seconds, was part of his "Raw Politics" segment which ran in the 8 am hour of Wednesday's "American Morning." File footage of Giuliani speaking ran during the introduction of the report, which zeroed-in on a bug-eyed expression that the former New York mayor made during a speech. When Foreman mentioned the term "socialized medicine," CNN ran file footage from World War II of members of the Soviet Union's military doing some sort of stereotypical Russian folk dance. The whole report is done in a mocking tone.

A transcript of the Foreman report on Giuliani:

TOM FOREMAN: Rudy Giuliani is throwing punches like Tony Soprano at a free pasta bar, and things are getting crowded in the 'Raw Politics' E.R.

FOREMAN: Losers! That's what Mayor 9/11 is calling his Democratic foes as he lays into them over their health care plans. He says they'll raise your taxes 20 percent to 30 percent and leave you with socialized medicine!

RUDY GIULIANI: Only Michael Moore, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards, I guess, would want to go to Cuba for health care.

FOREMAN: Dr. Rudy's Republican cure? More free-market competition to drive down costs for patients.

One wonders if Italian-American organizations will be up in arms over Foreman comparing Giuliani to Tony Soprano.

Almost an hour earlier during "American Morning" 7 am hour, co-host John Roberts interviewed Judy Bachrach, a writer for "Vanity Fair" who wrote an article in the September 2007 issue that, as Roberts described it, ‘rips' in to Giuliani's wife, "calling her a ‘wannabe queen' and an ‘opportunist.'" Bachrach tried to portray her article as best as she could , underlining the fact that she put positive anecdotes about Judith Giuliani in her article as well. To his credit, Roberts asked her some tough questions.

Excerpts from Roberts interview of Judy Bachrach:

JOHN ROBERTS: An article in the upcoming September issue of 'Vanity Fair' magazine is ripping into former New York's Mayor Rudy Giuliani's wife, Judith, calling her a 'wannabe queen' and an 'opportunist.' It even hints at cracks in their marriage. Joining me now from Washington is Judy Bachrach. She is the author of the 'Vanity Fair' article. Judy, this is being called by many people, a hatchet job. What do you say?

JUDY BACHRACH, "VANITY FAIR": Well, it's mainly being called that by the Giuliani people, but you may notice that the Giuliani people are being very careful with Judith Giuliani. They're keeping her under wraps. They don't want her talking very much to the press. And you have to ask yourself why. They just didn't want me, for instance, to know anything at all about her. I couldn't figure it out at first, and now I understand why...

ROBERTS: ...As we said, you interviewed her father, but a lot of the texture of the interview comes from ex-husbands, ex-boyfriends, who people say have an ax to grind. Also, a lot of unnamed sources.

BACHRACH: Well, in fact, the ex-boyfriend, who spoke to me, was very fond of Judith Giuliani, and did not have an ax to grind. It was he who broke up with her because he didn't wanted to get married, and she did. Many people who work for Giuliani and admire him, are very worried about Mrs. Giuliani, and the question is: why are they so worried? And the answer is because she's a very angry woman, who lets her temper out on the people closest to him.

ROBERTS: But you also cite some good qualities, such as she was very helpful in the wake of 9/11. She's also described as being, quote, 'totally loyal' in your article. Those are qualities, I would I assume, that you would want in a partner, and potentially, in a first lady.

BACHRACH: Absolutely. Giuliani was smitten by her, but more than that, he was touched by her loyalty when he was discovered to have cancer. Judith Giuliani, as we all know, started off as a nurse. And she was very valuable to him and very loyal. There are many good qualities to this lady. The problem is she's gone very far, very fast. She doesn't know how to deal with it, and she often deals with it badly. And you can tell by the Giuliani campaign's attempt to muzzle the press, which is their usual way of dealing with the press anyway, to see how scared they are about her effect on the campaign.

After the Bachrach interview, Roberts immediately went to an interview of Randy Mastro, the former deputy mayor of New York City, and a Giuliani campaign advisor. Mastro went on the offensive against Bachrach and "Vanity Fair," characterizing the magazine as the "gossip mongering, left-leaning, ‘Vanity Fair.'" After Mastro described Mrs. Giuliani in glowing terms, Roberts pointed out the positive anecdotes Bachrach mentioned in her article. Mastro shot back, "You have to read it very carefully, John, to find the good, and you can see just from the author's reaction that she's developed a personal animus. The problem here is that we've now gotten into a world where a respected news organization like CNN is devoting time to this kind of trash, gossip, instead of the issues in the campaign, like fighting terrorism."

It's debatable whether or not CNN is a "respected news organization," but can you imagine CNN doing a six-minute segment on an article in a conservative magazine that attacks the wife of a Democrat presidential candidate?

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center