CBS, CNN Cater To Rep. Maxine Waters, Omit Ongoing Ethics Investigation

Both CBS's "Early Show" and CNN's "Newsroom" sought out Rep. Maxine Waters on Monday for her reaction to President Obama's "stop complaining" rejoinder to the Congressional Black Caucus on Saturday, but neither outlet mentioned the continuing ethics investigation into the ultra-liberal Democrat. CNN anchor Suzanne Malveaux even went so far to flatter Rep. Waters as having her "marching shoes" on.

CBS's Erica Hill brought on the liberal politician just minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour and first asked, "What was your reaction to that when he [President Obama] said, 'Stop complaining, stop grumbling, stop crying'?" The representative gently critiqued the President's language:

REP. MAXINE WATERS, (D), CALIFORNIA: ...I found that language a bit curious because the President spoke to the Hispanic Caucus, and certainly, they're pushing him on immigration, and- despite the fact that he's appointed Sotomayor to Supreme Court. He has an office for excellence in Hispanic education right in the White House- they're still pushing him. He certainly didn't tell them to stop complaining, and he would never say that to the gay and lesbian community, who really pushed him on 'don't ask, don't tell'- or even in a speech to AIPAC, he would never say to the Jewish community, stop complaining about Israel. So I don't know who he was talking to because we're certainly not complaining. We're working. We support him, and we're protecting that base because we want people to be enthusiastic about him when that election rolls around.

Hill followed up by raising the Democrat's earlier criticism of Obama:

HILL: I want to take you back to one of those moments that you had last month. You were speaking in Detroit, and you said to the folks there, I'm looking to your permission to, quote, 'unleash,' to have a conversation with the President. It would sound like that you feel, maybe, he hasn't heard what's gone on with those some of events that you held. So, what is that conversation you want to have, and have you had it?

Near the end of the interview, the CBS anchor asked Rep. Waters whether she thought the President was "taking African-Americans for granted, especially as we move to campaign season," but at no point during the segment did the journalist raise the ethics investigation against her guest, which was referred to an outside counsel in July 2011. In fact, CBS hasn't mentioned the investigation on-air since October 2010.

Four and a half hours later, Malveaux turned to the liberal representative to comment on the same issues as the CBS interview. However, the CNN personality was much more deferential to Rep. Waters from the get-go, as evidenced in her questions to the Democrat:

Suzanne Malveaux, CNN Anchor; & Rep. Maxine Water, (D), California | NewsBusters.orgMALVEAUX: I saw you that evening. I actually wasn't able to pull you aside and ask for your reaction, but I know you were in the audience there when he threw that out there. What did you think?...

MALVEAUX: Well, Congresswoman, having known you for quite some time, I know you do not have bedroom slippers on. I know you have those marching shoes-

WATERS: That's right.

MALVEAUX: When you listened to that, did you feel at all, when he talked about stop grumbling or crying or whining, did you feel that he was accusing you or members of the CBC of not rolling up your sleeves and getting the job done to create jobs? You didn't take it that way?...

MALVEAUX: Well, Congresswoman, do you think that there's anything that he said that night that specifically addressed the problem of unemployment in the African-American community being as high as 17 percent, and 40 percent when it comes to young black people. Is there anything he said that really addresses that specifically, to your satisfaction?

WATERS: Well one of the things that happened is the recognition of it. We had not heard him say black or African-American or 16.7 percent unemployment, or that 40 to 50 percent unemployment among black youths that you just alluded to. So we think that the recognition of the pain was extremely important.

MALVEAUX: Why is that a big deal, just the fact that the President recognized those numbers? Isn't that something that he already should be doing?

The full transcript of Erica Hill's interview of Rep. Maxine Waters from Monday's "Early Show":

ERICA HILL And joining us now is Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. She was at that event on Saturday when President Obama told the Caucus to- quote, 'stop complaining,' and to 'put your marching shoes on.' Good to have you with us. First of all, what was your reaction to that when he said, 'Stop complaining, stop grumbling, stop crying'?

[CBS News Graphic: "Obama's Call To Arms: Tells Black Caucus To 'Stop Crying'"]

Erica Hill, CBS News Anchor; & Rep. Maxine Water, (D), California | NewsBusters.orgREP. MAXINE WATERS, (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, I'm not sure exactly who the President was talking to. As you know, the Congressional Black Caucus has been out in five cities, where we held town hall meetings and jobs fairs, addressing this 16.7 [percent] unemployment that's real, that translates in some areas to 30, 40% unemployment, and with black youth, 50% unemployment. So I'm not sure who the President was addressing.

I found that language a bit curious because the President spoke to the Hispanic Caucus, and certainly, they're pushing him on immigration, and- despite the fact that he's appointed Sotomayor to Supreme Court. He has an office for excellence in Hispanic education right in the White House- they're still pushing him. He certainly didn't tell them to stop complaining, and he would never say that to the gay and lesbian community, who really pushed him on 'don't ask, don't tell'- or even in a speech to AIPAC, he would never say to the Jewish community, stop complaining about Israel. So I don't know who he was talking to because we're certainly not complaining-

HILL: Okay-

WATERS: We're working. We support him, and we're protecting that base because we want people to be enthusiastic about him when that election rolls around.

HILL: In terms of enthusiasm, it sounds like, if I'm reading between the lines here, Congresswoman, that you think, maybe, he may not have chosen the best language to get people enthusiastic. But I want to take you back to one of those moments that you had last month. You were speaking in Detroit-

WATERS: Yes-

HILL: And you said to the folks there, I'm looking to your permission to, quote, 'unleash,' to have a conversation with the President. It would sound like that you feel, maybe, he hasn't heard what's gone on with those some of events that you held. So, what is that conversation you want to have, and have you had it?

WATERS: Well, as you know, if you listen to that particular part of the town hall meeting, there were a lot of complaints, a lot of shouting from the audience about what they wanted us to do, what they wanted the President to do. And, basically, I said, are you ready for this conversation, and if you are, unleash us. And, of course, they yelled, you are unleashed, because the conversation must be about, first of all, I recognize that there's pain and desperation in the African-American community. The unemployment rates are just unacceptable. People want jobs. They want to work. When we had these jobs fairs, they stood in line by the thousands, circling the blocks to get a chance to talk to employers. In Los Angeles, 10,000 people showed up-

[CBS News Graphic: "Obama's Call To Arms: Pushes Liberal Base To Get On Board"]

HILL: Let me ask you quickly-


WATERS: So they want to know that we recognize- and the President recognizes- the pain that's in the African-American community.

HILL: Congresswoman, we only have about 30 seconds., so just real quickly, if you could-

WATERS: Yes! Sure-

HILL: Do you think, then, the President heard that, to go back to it, based on his comments that you heard Saturday night-

WATERS: Well, certainly-

HILL: And if not, do you think he's taking African-Americans for granted, especially as we move to campaign season?

WATERS: He certainly heard us. That speech that he did to the Congressional Black Caucus included the words black and African-American for the first time. And, yes, he's energized. We helped him to get energized, so he can deal with the concerns of the black community. I think he heard us. Some of his words were not, I think, appropriate, and surprised me a little bit- I was curious about him- but he certainly heard us.

HILL: All right. Congresswoman Maxine Waters, appreciate your time this morning. Thanks for joining us.

WATER: You're welcome.

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