Prior to her "tear" question, which Mika Brzezinski asked only minutes before on MSNBC, CNN’s Kiran Chetry did direct one tough question to Hillary Clinton on Monday's "American Morning," concerning the Boston Globe’s endorsement of Barack Obama and the paper’s criticism of her campaign. "'The Boston Globe' endorsed Senator Obama, saying about you, in fact, 'her approach is needlessly defensive, a backward glance at the bruising political battles of the 1990s.' Is 'The Globe's' statement fair?"
Hillary tailored her response to make it about the debate over the economy.
CNN’s Carol Costello, in a segment on Thursday’s "The Situation Room," highlighted the reaction of some fans of Oprah Winfrey who expressed anger at the TV host’s endorsement of Democrat Barak Obama. At the beginning of the segment, Costello voiced her surprise to this development, and all but deified the daytime TV star. "Who knew that Oprah Winfrey, super celeb, might suffer the same fate as mere mortal celebrities -- backlash."
The segment, which aired 43 minutes into the 5 pm Eastern hour of "The Situation Room," focused on the racial component to the issue. Costello opined that the Oprah viewers’ comments were "telling about how many Americans feel about African Americans, even those popular among all races." She later went on to say that some comments left on Oprah’s website were "especially interesting," because some said Oprah was "pitting white against black, because of how she stumped for Obama."
Following up on Al Gore’s reception of the Nobel Peace Prize, Carolyn Washburn of the Des Moines Register asked the Republican candidates several questions on the issue of "global climate change" and related topics. At the beginning of the debate, Washburn stated "we won't talk a lot about issues like Iraq or immigration. They're important issues, no doubt, but Iowans say they know where the candidates are coming from on those." But Washburn gave no indication that Iowans actually wanted to hear more about the Republican candidates’ stance on climate change.
Cafferty, quoting from a piece by Bloomberg’s Albert Hunt, went on to say that the same focus group found that if Hillary won the presidential election, she would be "demanding, difficult, maybe even a little scary." Hunt’s piece also described some apparent "political strains" within the Hillary’s campaign, such as Bill Clinton "bouncing off the walls" at her campaign’s "ineptitude."
CNN International’s Jonathan Mann, during an hour-long "love fest" in honor of Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s reception of the Nobel Peace Prize, gushed over the former vice president. "You went from being 'Ozone Man' to 'The Goracle.' This became -- the Nobel Prize became 'The Goronation.' You must be conscious of the change in perceptions about you in particular because of that film [An Inconvenient Truth]."
Later, at the very end of the program, Mann speculated that Gore’s prize could actually be shared with all those who contribute to the planet-saving cause. "We may not all agree about the politics of global warming or about the big solutions, but we can all do our own little part, and it will add up. And for that reason, this year, for the first time that I can remember, we can all share the Nobel Prize."
CNN, in a report on the Centers for Disease Control’s finding that the teen birth rate increased in 2006, focused attention on what liberals surmise is a partial cause of the increase - President Bush’s advocacy of abstinence-only sex education. CNN correspondent Mary Snow, in her introduction to her report, noted that, "no one is saying for certain whether the rise in teen pregnancy is in fact a trend, but it is bringing attention to abstinence-only programs, and the roughly $176 million the federal government spends on them each year."
The report, which aired during the 4 pm Eastern hour of Thursday’s "The Situation Room," featured three sound bites from both sides of the debate. Two came from Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, whose political leanings are never mentioned. The third came from Robert Rector of The Heritage Foundation, which is described as a "conservative think tank."
[Update, 12:20 pm Eastern: Kristen Fyfe of MRC's Culture and Media Institute pointed out the biased reporting of the New York Times and the Washington Post on the CDC report.]
In the wake of the new National Intelligence Report which found that Iran apparently halted its nuclear weapons program, some in the media rallied around a single word to describe the revelation - "embarrassment"
‘Face the Nation’ anchor Bob Schieffer, in a conversation with anchor Russ Mitchell following President Bush’s press conference on Tuesday, thought the finding rose to a level higher than embarrassment.
Believe it or not, "climate change" and the "perilous state of the polar bear" is being used to justify a global giant’s campaign to help market an upcoming movie.
Coca-Cola is among the many corporations that is participating in a promotional partnership with Time Warner to market the upcoming movie 'The Golden Compass,' which is based on the first of Philip Pullman's 'God-killing' trilogy of novels, 'His Dark Materials.'
Author Rick Kephart wrote Coca-Cola, telling them that group of villians in the novels is called 'The Magisterium,' which is the name of the Catholic Church's teaching authority. The response Kephart received from Coca-Cola tried to change the subject to the "hot topics" of climate change and polar bears, of all things.
Two days after the CNN/YouTube Republican debate, where the news network failed to mention a questioner’s affiliation with Hillary Clinton’s homosexual steering committee, "The Situation Room’s" Jack Cafferty, in his "Cafferty File" segment, asked whether "it is time for the U.S. to rethink ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ when it comes to gays in the military," and featured statistics from the New York Times and the top homosexual advocacy group in the country, without verbally attributing these sources.
The "Cafferty File" segment began 10 minutes into the 5 pm Eastern hour, and in the midst of the two breaking news stories of the evening - the train crash in Chicago and the hostage standoff at Clinton’s campaign office in New Hampshire. Cafferty began by citing that "twenty-eight retired generals and admirals say that it's time for this country to repeal the U.S. military's policy of 'don't ask, don't tell.' On the fourteenth anniversary of this being signed into law, they've signed a letter calling for Congress to get rid of it." He then cited two statistics, which were also displayed on the screen - that there are supposedly 65,000 gays and lesbians in the military, and that there are more than 1 million gay veterans.
The "Big Three" networks’ morning shows all ignored Representative John Murtha’s "the surge [in Iraq] is working" comments during a recent video conference. On the other hand, CNN’s "American Morning," during its 6 am Eastern hour "Political Ticker" segment, covered the Pennsylvania Congressman’s apparent shift in opinion.
Murtha, who became a bit of a media darling for his anti-Iraq war stance, recently came back from a trip to Iraq. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette quoted Murtha as saying, "I think the 'surge' is working." Murtha then went on to say that the Iraqis "have got to take care of themselves."
A report on Thursday’s "The Situation Room" tried to make an issue out of the fact that President Bush’s name was only mentioned a few times at the Republican presidential debate that they organized with YouTube. CNN correspondent Carol Costello compared the President’s name to a curse word in her introduction to the report. "It sure seems like Bush has become a four-letter word you don't want to mention if you are a Republican running for office. They've taken to talking about him in code, not daring to say 'Bush,' but not shy about promoting his agenda."
During the report, which aired at the bottom half of the 5 pm Eastern hour, Costello went on to say that "the Bush moniker [was] uttered just four times in two hours." This is indeed the case if you look at the CNN transcript of the debate. But this doesn't tell the entire story.
Thursday’s “American Morning” program, while reporting retired Brigadier General Keith Kerr’s connections to the Hillary Clinton campaign, failed to mention one key revelation made by debate moderator Anderson Cooper during the post-debate coverage - that Cooper knew that Kerr was “an activist of some sort.”
Co-host John Roberts not only reported on Kerr’s membership of Clinton’s “LGBT Americans For Hillary Steering Committee” during all 3 hours of “American Morning,” but conducted a live interview of Kerr during the 7 am Eastern hour. Six minutes into the 6 am Eastern, Roberts gave the following brief on the Kerr story.
[Update: Keith Kerr was known to CNN as a gay activist as far back as December 2003, when he was featured in this CNN article.]
CNN, as part of its Republican debate with YouTube, failed to mention that retired general Keith Kerr, who announced he was gay after his retirement from the Army, is a member of Hillary Clinton’s "LGBT Americans For Hillary Steering Committee." Not only did General Kerr ask the question via a YouTube video, but he was also present in the audience, and got to ask the candidates for a "straight answer" (pardon the pun).
General Kerr’s, whose question came 47 minutes into the 9 pm Eastern hour the debate, is also part of the Servicemembers’ Legal Defense Network's advisory council, an organization "dedicated to ending discrimination against and harassment of military personnel affected by 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and related forms of intolerance"
[See updates below: Bill Bennett mentioned Kerr's possible Hillary connection on CNN 30 minutes after the debate, and Anderson Cooper confirms this at the close of the 10 pm Eastern hour.]
Cafferty made the comments just before the top of the 5 pm Eastern hour of Tuesday's "The Situation Room." Two minutes earlier, as part of the "Political Ticker" feature on CNN, host Wolf Blitzer read a brief about the sometimes-retired singer's plug for the former First Lady. This prompted a question from Cafferty as he prepared to read the viewer responses to his 'Question of the Hour' for the 4 pm Eastern hour. "Give me a hand with something. What exactly does the Streisand endorsement represent?" Blitzer responded, "It means that Barbara Streisand, great singer, is supporting Hillary Clinton." This prompted Cafferty's "reclusive, neurotic" line.
CNN’s Jack Cafferty gave another of his rantings against the war in Iraq and the Bush administration on Monday’s "The Situation Room." Cafferty, channeling Ramsey Clark, called the war in Iraq "an unprovoked act of naked aggression," and charged that the issues of establishing a Palestinian state and the brokering peace between the Israelis and Palestinians have been "virtually ignored by the Bush administration through almost two terms."
Cafferty made this commentary on the upcoming Annapolis, Maryland peace summit eight minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour of "The Situation Room" as part of his regular "Cafferty File" segment. In addition to the above, Cafferty speculated that the reason that the summit was occurring at this time was due to President Bush rushing to secure a legacy.
CNN International’s Hala Gorani couldn’t fathom why a Palestinian terrorist organization wasn’t invited to the upcoming Middle East peace conference in Annapolis, Maryland. Following-up to an answer made by State Department spokesman Michael Pelletier during an interview, Gorani exclaimed, "How can you have a Middle East peace summit that doesn’t include Hamas? Forget whether or not you don’t like them as a group, or call them terrorists. How can you not?"
Gorani asked the question 18 minutes into the 12 pm "Your World Today" program on Monday, which is simulcast on CNN. Gorani began the interview on a bit of a skeptical, even hostile note, and she acted as if she should be the one directing the negotiations. After her initial question and the answer from Pelletier, Gorani shot back with the following point. "You have two very weak leaders. The Palestinian isn't even representative of his entire population. Ehud Olmert is the least popular Israeli prime minister, practically, in history. George Bush won't be in office in 13 months' time. Why would anything come out of this?"
CNN’s John Roberts conducted a softball interview with Joe Wilson on Wednesday’s "American Morning," based upon the claim by former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan that he had "unknowingly passed along false information" about the roles of Karl Rove and Scooter Libby in the Valerie Plame "leak." McClellan made the claim in his upcoming book, and further stated that "Rove, Libby, the Vice President [Dick Cheney], the president’s chief of staff [Andrew Card at the time], and the president himself" were "involved" in this "misleading," as Roberts put it.
Roberts first asked Wilson (who was falsely identified as the "former U.S. ambassador to Iraq," when Wilson actually worked as Deputy Chief of Mission in Iraq from 1988-1991, and as ambassador to Gabon from 1992 to 1995) for his response to McClellan’s statement. Wilson responded that the statement ‘advances the narrative a bit" about Vice President Cheney’s involvement in the "leak,"and proposed that President Bush was "either completely out of touch, or he's an accessory to obstruction of justice, both before the fact and after the fact" in the matter.
A report on Tuesday’s "The Situation Room," which highlighted the anti-Giuliani campaign of some family members of firefighters killed on 9/11, also tried to throw some retrospective doubt on the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" who opposed John Kerry in 2004. CNN correspondent Deborah Feyerick proposed the following question about the campaign: "is this another 'Swift Boat' situation, in which unsubstantiated attacks against John Kerry's service in Vietnam, scuttled his presidential candidacy. These families say no."
In addition to this question, CNN played two sound bites, one from Sally Reganhard, a prominent member of this campaign, and the other from a Baruch College professor, which reenforced the "unsubstantiated" label used by CNN. Reganhard indirectly accused the "Swift Boat" veterans of using lies. "The difference between the 'Swift Boating' and this is that everything that we are saying is the truth." Also, a chyron during the report proclaimed that "9/11 Families Challenge Giuliani: Efforts Compared to ‘Swiftboating.’"
Surprisingly, CNN, during its Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas, asked a numbers of questions that conservatives might propose on Thursday night. During the first hour of the debate, moderators Wolf Blitzer, Campbell Brown, and John Roberts asked a total of 13 questions (not counting follow-up questions) on a number of issues. Of these, five could be considered to be "conservative."
Campbell Brown directed the first such question to Barack Obama. "Senator Obama, I want to ask you about immigration....What do you say to those Americans who say they are losing out because you would give benefits to people who broke the laws of this country, who came here illegally. And then more generally, as president, where do you draw the line when it comes to benefits for illegal immigrants?"
CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux, while moderating the second half of the Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas on Thursday night, added her own "two cents" to a question she fielded from an "undecided voter." After the voter asked the nominees what qualifications a Supreme Court nominee should possess, Malveaux directed the question to Senator Christopher Dodd, and added whether or not he would "require nominees to support abortion rights."
LaShannon Spencer, who was identified as a member of the First African Methodist Church, asked the question near the top of the 10 pm Eastern hour. She highlighted how health care and the Iraq war had, in her view, dominated the questions during past debates. "We constantly hear health care questions, and questions pertaining to the war. But we don't hear questions pertaining to the Supreme Court justice or education. My question is, if you are elected president, what qualities must the appointee possess?"
CNN, during a report on Thursday’s "The Situation Room," mislead its viewers by reporting that a new document issued by the Catholic bishops on voting stated that "the candidate who supports abortion rights shouldn't necessarily be counted out for your vote." Besides this misrepresentation, the report also highlighted the issue of denying pro-abortion politicians Communion. CNN correspondent Mary Snow reported that some "critics" state that "the Communion question was created by extremists, and they hope they're shut out of this election cycle." Speaking of "shutting out," conservative and faithful Catholics were not featured at all in the report. Instead, Snow played two sound bites from prominent liberal Catholics.
Instead of the progress that has been made in lowering violence in the country, CNN decided to focus on the "significant price" of the troop surge in Iraq. Tuesday’s "American Morning" reported that the Defense Department had decided to pull an entire brigade out of Iraq. Co-host John Roberts asked Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr "what’s this really mean for the war?" Starr only mentioned the decrease in violence in passing as she reported that the troop surge is "now officially in reverse gear." She did not include figures of this recent downturn in violence, something that only CBS Evening News did among the "Big Three" evening news broadcasts on Monday.
Starr’s report aired at the beginning of the 7 am Eastern hour of "American Morning." After she reported which units were sending troops home, Roberts asked her about the "price" of progress in Iraq. "Barbara, a lot of people are talking about progress here in Iraq, but progress comes at a price." In response, Starr highlighted the Bush administration’s lack of pressure on the Iraqi government to work on reconciliation, the shift to working with local groups that may become "armed militias" when the U.S. leaves Iraq, and how "ethnic cleansing" has divided Baghdad.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported on November 11 that Dubner, a co-author of "Freakonomics," addressed the Washington (State) Policy Center’s small business conference luncheon on November 8 and mentioned this apparent abortion/crime link during his speech. The link is a claim that Dubner’s co-author, Steven Levitt, first made in a 2001 paper entitled "The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime." As Dubner put it during his speech, "Unwanted children are much more likely to become criminals. What happens, then, when your population pool has removed from it a big chunk of the unwanted children?" Dubner and Levitt devoted an entire chapter to the supposed abortion/crime connection in Chapter 4 of "Freakonomics."
As much as the mainstream media like Rudy Giuliani’s liberal viewpoints on abortion and homosexuality, a panel on CNN’s "The Situation Room" were divided on the issue of Pat Robertson’s endorsement of Rudy Giuliani. Jack Cafferty, who won MRC’s "Tin Foil Hat Award for Crazy Conspiracy Theories" last year, labeled Robertson as being part of a "lunatic fringe" and opined that the endorsement was "absolutely irrelevant." On the other hand, CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin thought the Robertson/Giuliani alliance was a "big deal."
Cafferty and Toobin, along with host Wolf Blitzer and CNN senior political analyst Gloria Borger discussed the endorsement at the bottom of the 6 pm Eastern hour. Blitzer introduced the roundtable discussion by highlighting the possible "mixed blessing" of Robertson. "While the value of Pat Robertson's endorsement is clearly debatable, he has tended to hitch his wagon to winners in the Republican primary."
Blitzer then introduced the panel, and directed the first question to Cafferty, who took the opportunity to not only criticize Robertson, but also go on one of his rants about the Iraq war.
CNN’s "The Situation Room," a program not known for featuring state legislators, did a live interview on Thursday of "little-known" Virginia state senator, Republican Jeannemarie Devolites-Davis, whose liberal stance on gun control earned her the endorsement of Michael Bloomberg. The New York City mayor appeared with Devolites-Davis during the interview. As CNN correspondent Deborah Feyerick put it during a report preceding the interview, "Today, the newly turned Independent threw his personal support behind friend and fellow gun critic Jeannemarie Devolites-Davis, a Virginia state senator trying hard to get re-elected. His endorsement of a little-known legislator is rare for a man used to playing on a larger stage."
Host Wolf Blitzer introduced Feyerick’s report by highlighting Bloomberg’s apparent influence and his shared ideology with Davis. "...[T]he biggest city mayor is lending his muscle to a lawmaker in another state. Their common cause -- gun control."
CNN’s Jack Cafferty, putting on his conspiratorial hat, questioned the timing of Karen Hughes’ resignation from her post at the State Department during the introduction of his "Cafferty File" segment. "Is it just a coincidence... that Karen Hughes left the State Department the day after we found out that the State Department granted some sort of immunity to 17 -- to these Blackwater guards who are suspected in the murders of 17 Iraqi civilians?" Even with this, Cafferty complimented Hughes as one of the "brighter bulbs" in the Bush Administration.
Cafferty then went on to criticize Hillary Clinton’s failure to answer questions she was asked at the Democratic presidential debate in Philadelphia. "She was also asked about conflicting statements on Social Security, a question she ducked, saying she believed in fiscal responsibility. What the hell does that mean? And when Clinton was asked why she wouldn't release her White House records from the time she was First Lady, her answer was, 'Well, that's not my decision to make.' Baloney, whose decision is it, the Easter Bunny's? Come on." His "Question of the Hour" reflected this criticism. "Why won't Hillary Clinton give a straight answer to the questions she's being asked?"
Sunny Hostin, a legal analyst for CNN’s "American Morning," demonstrated that she could not give an objective analysis on the legality of the death penalty during a segment on Wednesday’s show. Hostin, in a response to a question asked by co-host Kiran Chetry on the future of capitol punishment in the U.S., answered, "I think, as a society, perhaps, now we're moving towards the fact that, perhaps, killing by the state is not humane at all."
This "curious" reply, which came 21 minutes into the 7 am hour of "American Morning," wasn’t the only one Hostin made during the segment. Earlier, Hostin said that "people really are suffering" during lethal injection executions.
The mainstream media’s long march against the Iraq War continues unabated. On October 27, the Washington Post ran a front-page story with an attention-grabbing headline taken from a quote by an American soldier serving in Iraq: "I don’t think this place is worth another soldier’s life." Two days later on October 29, CNN’s Jack Cafferty on "The Situation Room" used the same quote in his "Question of the Hour:" "What does it say about the conflict in Iraq when troops there are saying things like, 'I don't think this place is worth another soldier's life.' Our soldiers are saying that stuff."
The Post story, written by Joshua Partlow, detailed the experience of American soldiers in a neighborhood of Baghdad called Sadiyah, which is known for its slide into sectarian violence over the past 14 months. The piece seemed to be tailored to put a negative spin on the recent drop in violence across Iraq. For example: "While top U.S. commanders say the statistics of violence have registered a steep drop in Baghdad and elsewhere, the soldiers' experience in Sadiyah shows that numbers alone do not describe the sense of aborted normalcy -- the fear, the disrupted lives -- that still hangs over the city."
CNN’s senior political correspondent Candy Crowley, in an early birthday gift of a report on Thursday’s "The Situation Room," reported that Hillary Clinton’s 2007 was a "so far, so great career year" and was "dedicated to flexing her foreign policy muscle, while reshaping her public image from humorless, wild-eyed liberal to a approachable, reasoned politician." This "wild-eyed liberal" line is an example of the mainstream media only resorting to use the "dreaded ‘L’ word" to reject the reality of her consistently liberal record.
In addition to the obligatory Hillary file footage and sound bites, Doug Hattaway, the campaign spokesman for Gore/Lieberman in 2000 gushed "I think this really long campaign season has really benefitted Senator Clinton. It's given voters a chance to see her for who she really is, not some caricature created by the right-wing attack machine." Hattaway continued, "In the debates, she's been commanding. On the trail, she's been very personable. And that's a really powerful combination."
CNN’s special “worldwide investigation” “Planet in Peril,” in two segments looking at the debate amongst politicians and scientists on whether climate change is a man-made phenomenon, failed to mention that NASA scientist Dr. James Hansen [pictured at right], one the scientists featured in the second segment, has received funding from George Soros, while mentioning that “second biggest contributors to [global warming skeptic Senator James] Inhofe's Senate office are energy and natural resource companies.”
The first segment, which began 8 minutes into the 10 pm Eastern hour of Wednesday night’s program, examined the political debate over climate change, focusing on “the loudest voice” of Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe. CNN correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta introduced the segment by referring back to the previous segments of “Planet in Peril,” which looked at the impact of climate change in different parts of the world. “From what we’ve seen in Greenland, Alaska, and Africa, the Earth's climate is clearly changing. It's not a theory. It's a fact. But what's causing those changes? The majority of the scientific community says it's mankind. But there are powerful voices who say otherwise.”