CNN Chief Klein Lauds Net’s ‘Commitment’ to ‘Unbiased’ Coverage

NewsBusters.org - Media Research CenterCNN’s Jon Klein, in an internal memo obtained by the TVNewser blog, bragged about the strong ratings the network won during its recent debates and primary coverage, and spun the reason for this success. "CNN is proving that with innovation, execution, and passion, the sky's the limit. Our deep-seated commitment to independent coverage that is unbiasedwithout an agenda — is more powerful and popular than the partisan rants that permeate the airwaves." Klein might have had Keith Olbermann in mind when he referred to "partisan rants," but one would only need to look at the past three months to disprove such an outrageous claim by Klein.

The first and most egregious example of CNN’s bias occurred at their joint debate with YouTube at the end of November 2007. Retired general Keith Kerr, a member of the "LGBT Americans For Hillary Steering Committee" and an open homosexual himself, not only asked about homosexuals serving openly in the military played at the debate via his Internet video, but was also present at the debate to follow-up with the Republican candidates personally. For a week, CNN and its operatives denied that they knew Kerr’s affiliation with the Clinton campaign, and even some in the mainstream media, such as Tim Rutten of the Los Angeles Times, slammed CNN for "this most recent debacle masquerading as a presidential debate."

On January 3 of this year, during its coverage of the Iowa Caucuses, CNN chief political analyst Bill Schneider concluded that Democratic caucus-goers were "pretty moderate," while the Republicans were "very conservative." On January 9, Jack Cafferty gushed over Hillary Clinton’s infamous "emotional" moment in New Hampshire. "In a brief, unguarded moment yesterday, Hillary Clinton gave us a peek behind the curtain, and it was terrific." Two days later, CNN correspondent Alina Cho described Michelle Obama in an absolutely positive way, using words such as "funny, fiery, and blunt," and on "The Situation Room," Carol Costello wondered whether Obama’s second-place finish in the New Hampshire primary points to "the undercurrent about race that exists in this country."

Later in January, Costello tried to convince viewers into thinking that Rush Limbaugh and conservative talk radio had "lost influence" due to John McCain’s success in the Republican presidential race. "American Morning" co-host John Roberts directed tougher questions to then-presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani in comparison to his interview of Hillary Clinton. And to close out the month, CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin cited Giuliani’s endorsement of John McCain as an example of the former New York City mayor’s "militaristic, authoritarian approach."

During the first three weeks of February, Klein’s network continued their trend of biased coverage. On the first day of the month, Roberts and senior political correspondent Candy Crowley heralded the "grandeur of history" surrounding the possible nomination of Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. Almost two weeks later on February 12, "The Situation Room" host Wolf Blitzer wondered if the Republicans would go "Willie Horton" against Obama. And on February 18, correspondent Tom Foreman used sound bites from two liberals to attack John McCain for his ‘no new taxes’ pledge.

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