During Wednesday’s Newsroom program, CNN anchor Rick Sanchez tried to portray that there were many so-called conservatives who were "defecting," in his words, from John McCain over his selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. His list of conservatives, which he read prior to an interview of National Review senior editor Ramesh Ponnuru, included homosexual activist Andrew Sullivan, New York Times columnist David Brooks, and satirist Christopher Buckley, who recently left National Review over his endorsement of Barack Obama. Sanchez later backtracked from this labeling after Ponnuru pointed out that "a lot of those people who are critical of Palin are not defecting from McCain:" "I'll take it back. Let's take out the word ‘defection,’ and just say Republicans who have been critical of John McCain. Is that more fair?"
On Monday’s Newsroom program, CNN European political editor Robin Oakley pontificated to Senators McCain and Obama on how the U.S. can be more liked by people in Europe. The U.K. native’s advice -- change the country’s policies, especially its conservative ones, so it’s more like the European Union. The best example of this came when Oakley brought up the issue of guns: "While we're on the symbolism, let me remind you how many Europeans see U.S. voters -- as a trigger-happy bunch with a Bible in one hand and a rifle in the other.... Does either of you senators have any serious plans to reduce the number of guns available in the U.S. or even dare to suggest it? That really would impress the Europeans, that you stand for change." The editor played video of Americans shooting off firearms, especially automatic weapons, at ranges and shoot-offs, playing further on a common European stereotype of Americans.
An unsigned article on CNN.com about Sarah Palin’s rally in Johnstown, Pennsylvania on Saturday failed to mention the Alaska governor’s attack on Barack Obama’s votes against the Illinois Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, and quickly tried the change the subject to the recent "Troopergate" finding against her after its first sentence: "Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin charged into the culture wars Saturday in Pennsylvania, painting Sen. Barack Obama as a radical on abortion rights. The stop comes amid news that Palin violated Alaska ethics law by trying to get her former brother-in-law fired from the state police, a state investigator's report for the bipartisan Legislative Council concluded Friday."
The CNN article then continued about the apparent divisiveness of the abortion issue: "Ethics woes aside, Palin focused her attention on abortion -- an issue that rallies the conservative base but some say alienates independent and women voters." After quoting from some of the governor’s comments at the rally, the anonymous writer tried to spin the significance of her bringing up the issue: "Palin has mostly avoided raising her opposition to abortion rights on the campaign trail since she was tapped as Sen. John McCain's running mate, a fact she readily acknowledged in her remarks. But Palin said Obama's record on the matter is too extreme to be ignored, and she spent 10 minutes of her 30-minute speech discussing abortion."
The liberal news media has subjected Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin to intense scrutiny concerning her overall pro-life view on abortion, among other issues. On the other hand, they have been all but silent on Barack Obama’s intensely liberal record on abortion issue, particularly his support of partial-birth abortion and his opposition to legislation that would have protected infant abortion survivors from dying of neglect.
In MRC’s October 9 Media Reality Check, "Media Silence on Abortion Aids Radical Obama," Rich Noyes and I outlined how the news media have been out to lunch on examining Barack Obama’s radical pro-abortion stance during the Democratic campaign for the presidential nomination. The report found that the network evening newscasts "barely mentioned Obama’s pro-abortion stance during the primaries — from the launch of his candidacy in January 2007 through the end of the primaries in June 2008, just six out of 1,289 network evening news stories about Obama (0.46%) mentioned his position on abortion; none discussed it in any detail." The media as a whole also punted on Obama’s August 16, 2008 attack on pro-lifers, who in his view, were "lying" about his record as an Illinois state senator of opposing legislation, identical to a federal law, which would have protected infant survivors of abortion. Only a day later, Obama’s own campaign backtracked and admitted that he had indeed voted against this legislation.
On Thursday’s American Morning program on CNN, co-anchor Kiran Chetry failed to mention ACORN’s name during a news brief about the law enforcement raid on the liberal organization’s local headquarters in Las Vegas, Nevada, as part of an investigation into allegations of voter fraud. Chetry called ACORN a “non-profit group” that was “disputing claims it committed voter registration fraud.” She also referred to the group, which is linked to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, as a “community organization that helps organize voter outreach.” The only indication that the brief was about ACORN was a file video that was displayed for 5 seconds that showed the organization’s name written on a form.
During the 28-second brief, which aired at the bottom-half of the 6 am Eastern hour of the CNN program, Chetry also stated how the raid occurred after authorities in Sin City noticed “some names did not match addresses” with some of the voter registration forms submitted by ACORN. She then continued that “[t]hey [local authorities] also say some of the forms included names of Dallas Cowboys players. The group's regional director claims they were the ones who tipped off election officials about fake or duplicate forms.”
On Tuesday’s Hannity and Colmes program top Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs displayed the latest example of the Democratic campaign attempting to whitewash their opponents. When co-host Sean Hannity asked him about Obama’s connections to William Ayers, Gibbs shot back, "Are you anti-Semitic?" He then changed the entire subject of the discussion to whether Hannity was anti-Semitic for recently interviewing Andy Martin, who in 2000, accused George W. Bush of using cocaine, has been a candidate for various offices in several states, and is accused by the Washington Post of starting the rumor that Obama is a Muslim.
This charge by Gibbs caused a three-plus minute back-and-forth argument in which the Obama spokesman continued to charge that Hannity was anti-Semitic, and also asked at one point, "Why am I not to believe that everyone who works for the network is anti-Semitic because Sean Hannity gave a platform to a man who thinks Jews are slimy?" The argument was finally stopped by co-host Alan Colmes, who defended Hannity as "not anti-Semitic" [see video at right; direct link to video here].
During a report on Monday’s Anderson Cooper 360 program, CNN investigative correspondent Drew Griffin presented many of the missing details about the relationship between Barack Obama and left-wing terrorist William Ayers that two earlier "Truth Squad" reports on the network on Sunday and Monday omitted. Griffin stated that despite the spin of the Obama campaign and their mainstream media supporters, "...the relationship between Obama and Ayers went much deeper, ran much longer, and was much more political than Obama said."
Host Anderson Cooper introduced Griffin’s report, which began 19 minutes into the 10 pm Eastern hour, as one of the CNN program’s "Keeping Them Honest" features. Oddly, a on-screen graphic that read "The Dow Plunges," which had nothing to do with the subject of the segment, ran during its entirety. The correspondent began by repeating Ayers and his wife Bernadine Dohrn’s background in the Weather Underground, "an anti-Vietnam War group that bombed federal buildings, including the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon." He then gave Obama’s early characterization of his relationship with the 1960's radical, that the Democrat "confirmed... that he knew Ayers, and, when pressed, said they served on a charitable foundation board together, and Obama condemned Ayers' support of violence."
On Monday’s The Situation Room, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer interrupted a back-and-forth discussion on the presidential campaign between Democratic strategist Donna Brazile and CNS News editor-in-chief Terry Jeffrey for a live video feed of rock musician Bruce Springsteen at a Barack Obama campaign rally in Michigan: "I want both of you to stand by because Bruce Springsteen is singing right now at a Barack Obama rally in Michigan, and I can't help but want to listen a little bit. Listen to ‘The Boss.’" Just before this mid-conversation interruption, Jeffrey made a point about how "there's a lot of people in this country who believe the media wants Obama to be elected president, and part of doing that is tearing down Sarah Palin." It’s kind of funny that Blitzer helped Jeffrey prove the first part of his point only seconds after he made it [see video at right].
Earlier in the discussion, at about 50 minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program, Blitzer brought up new CNN poll numbers that indicated that the number of people who think Sarah Palin is qualified to be president has dropped since early September 2008. He asked Jeffrey, "Why has it gone down?" Jeffrey then made his first point about the media bias: "I think since Sarah Palin has been nominated, she's taken quite a beating from the liberal press." He then described how he thought those poll numbers didn’t matter, and that "quite frankly, I think if she was at the top of the ticket, they would be doing better."
CNN’s so-called Truth Squad, in two reports on Sunday and Monday by two different correspondents, labeled Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin "false" for stating that Barack Obama "sees America as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists who targeted their own country." The Squad, in their "fact-checking" of the Alaska governor, who was making a reference to left-wing terrorist William Ayers, obfuscated Obama’s past connections to the former leader of the Weather Underground. The Squad’s reports, which aired on CNN’s Sunday Morning program and on Monday’s American Morning, also left out key details about the Democratic presidential candidate’s past with Ayers.
The network first made an attempt at "fact-checking" Palin’s statement, which she made at a campaign rally in Carson, California, near the beginning of the 7 am hour of their Sunday Morning program. Anchor T.J. Holmes, after a report by Don Lemon on the Alaska governor’s claim, gave a brief look at the Obama/Ayers connection. "Well, nobody's exactly sure how well Bill Ayers and Barack Obama know each other. The New York Times, CNN, other news organizations have looked into this, found that they apparently did not have a very close relationship, it appears." Well, that’s about as clear as Mississippi River mud, and one might guess that Holmes was asking his audience to take the word of two liberal media outlets.
On Thursday’s "Newsroom" program, CNN anchor Kyra Phillips treated senior Obama adviser/former ABC correspondent Linda Douglass more cordially than McCain supporter/Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, whom she pressed for an answer on the question of whether Sarah Palin is smarter than her opponent Joe Biden: "Is, is she deep enough? Is she smart enough? Is she experienced enough? Do you really think she is better than Joe Biden?"
Phillips had the two on for back-to-back interviews just after the bottom half of the 1 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program. Phillips began her interview of Douglass by asking a softball question: "I just want what to know, as a strong female who's been very successful, is all this talk about, oh, Joe Biden needs to be a gentleman. He needs to watch his manners. He needs to treat Sarah Palin like a lady. Does that bother you in any way that that's even coming up?" Douglass initially responded by exclaiming, "What a good question! You are the first person who has asked that question today." After the Obama adviser completed her answer, Phillips followed-up with a light comment: "Good. But he'll still get the door for her, right?" The two of them shared a laugh over the quip.
CNN commentator Jack Cafferty, true to his form over the past several weeks, launched another attack on Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin on Tuesday’s The Situation Room. During his regular "Cafferty File" segment during the 4 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program,he played a clip from the latest interview the Alaska governor did with CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric, in which she partially answered her critics’ questioning of her readiness to be vice president by repeating the list of offices that she has held over the years. After she concluded with her past position of Alaska oil and gas commissioner/regulator, the CNN veteran condescended, "A regulator of oil and gas. How can -- how can anybody, including John McCain, take this woman seriously?... When this is over they all write books. Hers will be titled, ‘How I Committed Political Suicide on the CBS Evening News.’"
When he returned at the end of the hour to read some of the viewer responses to the question, Cafferty read nothing but negative responses to the question, with one exception, and he continued his condescension after reading it. A woman named Trudy wrote, "Within three minutes, you remind me why I don't watch the opinionated news on CNN.... Your condescending attitude towards Sarah Palin is another example of the lock-step Left trying to portray a Republican as less intelligent." Caffery then replied, "Trudy, when it comes to Sarah Palin, that's not much of a reach."
CNN world affairs analyst Fareed Zakaria, in a column published in the October 6 issue of Newsweek, condescended towards Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, labeled her "utterly unqualified to be vice president," and complimented Katie Couric for her "smart question" to the Alaska governor in a recent interview. He later asserted clairvoyantly that"she has never spent a day thinking about any important national or international issue, and this is a hell of a time to start."
As a result of this slam, CNN host Wolf Blitzer interviewed Zakaria on Monday’s The Situation Room, in which the analyst referenced Tina Fey’s nearly word-for-word quotation of Palin from the Couric interview on last Saturday’s SNL program, which was played earlier in the program: "The scary answer was on the economy -- the one you displayed switching back and forth between Saturday Night Live, because it was absolutely clear, that she simply did not understand any of the issues involved. She did not understand the question."
CNN’s Iranian-born chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour, during the network’s post-debate coverage, made fun of John McCain’s stumble during the debate concerning the pronunciation of Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s name [see video at right]: "On sort of a cosmetic level, I was quite -- I sort of giggled a little bit when I saw John McCain stumble over Ahmadinejad's name." Almost simultaneously, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann brought up the very same issue with his liberal counterpart Rachel Maddow, who went on to state that the flub "probably does hurt him [McCain] pretty badly."
Amanpour made her statement as she was giving her analysis of the debate during a round table discussion involving most of CNN’s regular political team. Co-host Anderson Cooper stopped her before she could continue on her "cosmetic" note and replied, "Yeah, it's not really fair though. I mean, people make mistakes all the time." Correspondent Michael Ware tried to interject, but Amanpour shot back and replied, "If it's fair for anybody, why not? I mean, if I stumbled, it would be [a] fair comment."
[For audio of the exchange between Amanpour and Cooper, click here.]
CNN commentator Jack Cafferty has full-blown Palin Derangement Syndrome. In his latest slam of Republican vice-presidential candidate on Friday’s The Situation Room, Cafferty labeled Palin’s interview with CBS’s Katie Couric "one of the most pathetic pieces of tape I have ever seen from someone aspiring to one of the highest offices in this country," after he played a clip of the Alaska governor making an awkward reply to a question. He then asked, "Is Governor Sarah Palin qualified to be president?" When host Wolf Blitzer replied to this comment by stating that "she's cramming a lot of information," Cafferty blasted back, "There's no excuse for that! She's supposed to know a little bit of this....You know, don't make excuses for her! That's pathetic." Of course, the CNN commentator only read negative replies to his question near the end of the 4 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program.
Wednesday’s American Morning program ran a report by correspondent Abbie Boudreau that desperately tried to criticize vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin for a "Road to Nowhere" that was part of the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere" project. Boudreau interviewed Bob Weinstein, the Democratic mayor of Ketchikan, Alaska, who claimed that the Alaska governor "spent $26 million out of a federal earmark for the Gravina access, a.k.a. 'Bridge to Nowhere' project, on this road that will not go to a bridge." Boudreau also interviewed a toll booth operator and a former Palin campaign coordinator to agree it was a regrettable boondoggle. Throughout the report, the on-screen graphic proclaimed, "Road to Nowhere: Another Sarah Palin Project." CNN was implying to its viewers that both the infamous Bridge and the road from it were "Palin projects," as if she originated them, instead of appearing on the scene halfway into the story.
CNN’s Ed Henry introduced a new and odd adage about Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s trip to the United Nations on Tuesday’s American Morning. Instead of trying something similar to the "education" line that CBS’s Julie Chen used, the White House correspondent focused on how the McCain campaign was "trying to cram a lot in for Sarah Palin over the next two days in New York:" "It's like speed dating with world leaders. In the span of just 30 hours in New York, Sarah Palin will meet with nine major international players during the U.N.'s General Assembly meetings, from the presidents of Iraq and Afghanistan, to Henry Kissinger and the rock star Bono -- all aimed at beefing up Palin's thin foreign policy chops" [see video at right].
Without going into the grouping of a mega-rock star like U2 front-man Bono with Hamid Karzai, Henry’s "speed dating" line might raise some eyebrows over possible sexism in the media, given how the female Alaska governor is meeting with these nine world leaders, all of whom are men. Katie Couric could be consulted with this matter, given what she said about the coverage Hillary Clinton received during the Democratic primaries.
On Monday’s American Morning, CNN correspondent Jim Acosta tried to throw a bit of cold water on the news that tens of thousands showed up in central Florida for a Sarah Palin camapign rally on Sunday. When co-host John Roberts asked about the high turnout, Acosta replied, "[T]his was an enormous crowd out here in Florida. She is still very much on script, John -- still very much on that teleprompter, talking mainly in generalities."
Roberts, besides asking about the Palin rally, asked if the Alaska governor had mentioned the proposed financial bailout during her speech, since the two of them had discussed Barack Obama and John McCain’s responses to the proposal and how it may affect how the two will campaign on the issue of the economy. Besides mentioning the "enormous crowd," he referenced how the campaign stop was located in "that central Florida -- critical I-4 corridor area," and how Palin played up McCain’s credentials with economic issues.
Two segments on CNN’s Election Center program on Monday and Tuesday evenings which aimed to fact-check political ads by the McCain and Obama campaigns were followed by panel discussions in which contributor Roland Martin (on Monday) and senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin (on Tuesday) took active roles in denouncing the McCain ads as being filled with "lies" and "falsehoods." Martin accused McCain of "playing in the gutter" and repeating "constant lie after lie." The next day, Toobin stated that "John McCain has told outright falsehoods about Obama and sex education, about the 'Bridge to Nowhere,' about earmarks, about taxes, and the examples we cited in those Obama ads are not even close to the falsehoods that have been said about Obama by the McCain campaign.
CNN commentator Jack Cafferty blasted Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin on Tuesday’s The Situation Room over her refusal to cooperate with the Alaska state legislature’s investigation into the firing of Walt Monegan, the former Alaska public safety commissioner: "Palin is refusing to cooperate with the investigation -- shades of President Bush, right? Embarrassing investigation? Just refuse to cooperate and claim it’s all someone else’s fault." He later characterized this move by the Alaska governor, stating that it "goes a long way toward explaining why Sarah Palin is reluctant to do interviews or hold news conferences."
Cafferty then gave some details over this refusal: "Palin says the probe has been hijacked by the Obama campaign for political gain. But Monegan was fired and this investigation began long before Palin was ever named to the Republican ticket, clear back in July. The Obama campaign denies the accusation. McCain’s people say that Palin will not cooperate with the investigation because it is ‘tainted.’ They insist Monegan was fired because of insubordination."
CNN pressed Senators John McCain and Joe Biden about their campaigns’ respective tax plans on Tuesday’s American Morning during back-to-back interviews. Co-host Kiran Chetry questioned McCain from the left, citing the supposedly "non-partisan" Tax Policy Center run by two liberal organizations, the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, while her colleague John Roberts asked Biden about the "income redistribution" that is part of the Obama/Biden campaign’s tax proposal.
Chetry interviewed McCain first, starting 24 minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour of the CNN program, and first asked the Arizona senator to explain what he meant by saying that "the fundamentals of the economy are strong" and about regulation of businesses. She then brought up the issue of taxes: "I want to ask you about this, though, when it comes to tax policy -- the non-partisan Tax Policy Center calculated the middle class would actually save significantly more under Barack Obama's tax plan than yours. How will your tax cuts, as it breaks down on income level, benefit the working class and the middle class?"
CNN anchor Rich Sanchez, as part of his continuing interviews of first-time young voters, featured a Georgia Tech student on Monday’s American Morning who made a liberal statement on race that was nearly identical to one made by George Stephanopoulos over a year ago. Ben Porter, who was identified on-screen as an Obama supporter, stated that "[t]he people that can't accept a black man in the White House aren't the people who will vote for a liberal anyway in general. This is an almost-identical statement to one made by Stephanopoulos on May 13, 2007 on ABC's This Week program: "I guess I think that anyone who's not going to vote for Barack Obama because he is black isn't going to vote for a Democrat anyway."
CNN correspondent Gary Tuchman’s report detailing the abortion stances of the four major presidential and vice-presidential candidates on Wednesday’s Anderson Cooper 360 program gave a fairly neutral portrayal of how "Biden and Obama both favor abortion rights" and how "Palin and McCain are both anti-abortion," despite Tuchman describing how Palin is "considered fervently anti-abortion." However, host Anderson Cooper, in his introduction to Tuchman’s report, gave no reaction or labeling as he mentioned South Carolina Democratic Chairwoman Carol Fowler’s slam against Palin, that John McCain picked her because she "hadn’t had an abortion," other than stating, "Just the mention of that word [abortion] stirs up intense emotions for a lot of voters."
CNN’s senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin criticized Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin on Tuesday’s Election Center program for having a "very extreme" position on the issue of embryonic stem cell research: "By excluding that entire scientific method, it seems like you're an extremist, and frankly, her position is very extreme in the American spectrum. And I think that is the real problem here." Toobin later used the same phrase to label Palin’s stance on global warming near the end of the program.
Toobin’s comment came as host Campbell Brown began the program with the controversy over remarks made by Palin’s Democratic opponent, Delaware Senator Joe Biden, who made an indirect reference to the Alaska governor’s developmentally-disabled son during a campaign stop in Columbia, Missouri earlier that day: "I hear all this talk about how the Republicans are going to work in dealing with parents who have both...the joy and the difficulty of raising a child who has a developmental disability, who were born with a birth defect. Well, guess what folks? If you care about it, why don't you support stem-cell research?"
Two segments on Tuesday’s Election Center program, which were promoted by host Campbell Brown as having ‘no bias, no bull,’ actually tried to paint Republican vice-presidential pick Sarah Palin as having a "very extreme" and "outside-the-mainstream" viewpoint on environmental issues, since on the issue of global warming, she’s "not one... who would attribute it to being man-made." Brown herself suggested during the second segment that the debate over the cause of global warming was already over [see video at right].
Correspondent Randi Kaye interviewed University of Alaska professor Rick Steiner during the first segment, a report on Palin’s environmental record. She asked, " In a word, if you can sum up Sarah Palin's record on the environment here, what would it be?" Steiner answered, "Abysmal." Anderson Cooper’s blog on CNN.com republished the professor’s September 7 editorial from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, in which he railed against Governor Palin: "In addition to her frightening lack of qualification to be vice president (much less president) of the United States, Palin is an evangelical, anti-choice, pro-gun, right-wing conservative who wants creationism taught in schools." When a shorter version of her report aired on Wednesday’s The Situation Room, Kaye added that Steiner "says he’s not a Republican or a Democrat." Despite this clarification, it is clear from his editorial that Steiner is a liberal.
As Michael M. Bates earlier detailed, CNN’s Jessica Yellin filed a report from Anchorage, Alaska on Wednesday’s American Morning which cites a "non-partisan" organization whose official policy stance includes a pro-abortion position, and whose president used to work for NARAL. She also included a sound bite from a Palin critic who donated hundreds of dollars to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Yellin’s report examined how the Alaska governor balances her government work with her family life. She included sound bites from Meg Stapleton, a former aide to Palin who was labeled on-screen as a "Palin campaign advisor" and Kristan Cole, a childhood friend of the governor. After a positive and short depiction of Palin’s life, Yellin cited how "Palin supporters insist her experience as a working mother means she'll represent American women."
The CNN correspondent then went to the critics of the governor’s record: "But some women's groups are critical. The non-partisan National Partnership for Women and Families gives Alaska a D-minus when it comes to its parental leave policy. For example, there's no guarantee of paid leave for new parents." Yellin followed this with a sound bite from Dr. Vicki Lovell of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, who thought there's a contradiction there between Governor Palin's professed values about supporting families and then what we actually see in the state of Alaska, where there aren't adequate supports for families who are welcoming new infants."
[Update, 3:05 pm: Transcript of Toobin's remarks added below.]
For two straight days, CNN repeated liberal rumors about Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s political record – rumors that had already been debunked by their own correspondents, as well as the respected FactCheck.org, a group led by former CNN reporter Brooks Jackson.
During Monday evening’s Election Center program, CNN’s senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin claimed that Palin "wants to ban all abortions," despite a September 2 report by his own network which included a quote from the Alaska governor that she is "pro-life... [w]ith the exception of a doctor's determination that the mother's life would end if the pregnancy continued." Toobin also claimed that Palin "wants to treat -- to have creationism taught in public schools." This isn’t the entire story. A FactCheck.org report released on Monday, which aimed to refute "dubious Internet postings and mass e-mail messages making claims about McCain's running mate," clarified that Palin "supports teaching creationism alongside evolution, though she has not actively pursued such a policy as governor."
CNN’s State Department correspondent Zain Verjee insisted that Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin "just won't be able to handle" foreign crises like the conflict between Russia and Georgia during an interview with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice which aired on Monday’s American Morning.
At the beginning of the short interview, Rice complimented the Alaska governor for her "terrific speech" at the Republican convention. Verjee then asked, "Does she have enough experience to handle the kind of things that you need to have?" When the Secretary brushed aside the question, Verjee pressed her on the experience question: "But, a lot of Republicans are also saying that she just lacks the experience. I mean, you can dispatch Vice President Cheney to deal with the Ukraine and Georgia. But Sarah Palin just won't be able to handle it."
Just after the bottom half of the 8 pm Eastern hour of CNN’s coverage of the Republican convention, as Oklahoma Congresswoman Mary Fallin began an introduction of a video presentation about Islamist attacks on the U.S. over the past decades, host Wolf Blitzer gave a bit of a warning about the content of the video: "Let's listen to Congresswoman Mary Fallin of Oklahoma. She's going to make the case why Republicans are better in protecting us than Democrats, and that will lead into a video. It's provocative. There will be images of 9/11 and towers going down. It will raise controversy. We're going to show to it you because it's part of this convention. But let's listen to this Congresswoman from Oklahoma speak first."
Nine minutes later, after Fallin had finished her introduction and the video concluded, Blitzer began a short discussion with correspondent John King, co-host Campbell Brown, and Republican strategist Alex Castellanos about the video’s content. Brown charged that Republicans were playing on fear: "But that message though, has been fear, I mean, as a message at this convention."
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani faced liberal lines of questioning from CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Gloria Borger during the 6 PM EDT hour of The Situation Room before the network’s Thursday night coverage of the Republican convention. In particular, Borger pressed Giuliani on his differences with Sarah Palin on social issues: "Last night, you spoke before Sarah Palin, a woman who -- with whom you have very little in common on the social issues, right? She's pro-life.... [L]et's just say she's a heroine to the right wing of this party, and you're not their hero, okay?... [M]y question is, has the big tent of the Republican Party, which you always talk about -- has that gotten a little narrower?"
Just as Sarah Palin concluded her speech, CNN ran a graphic 8 minutes into the 11 pm Eastern hour of its coverage of the Republican convention about John McCain’s history of cancer as the Alaska governor was waving to the cheering crowd [see the graphic at right].
Just over 40 minutes later, Carl Bernstein, as he brought up the issue of Palin’s qualifications to be vice president, speculated about Palin stepping up to be the presidential nominee if something happened to McCain (cancer, for example): "[S]he showed she's going to be a great cultural warrior, which is something very different than a qualified vice president. She might be a great Republican Secretary of the Interior -- 'drill, drill, drill' -- but ask the question -- and I think the Democrats will ask this -- suppose something happens to -- were to happen to John McCain between now and the election. Would this be the Republicans' candidate for President of the United States? At some point, we're going to go back to the qualification question."