CNN's Jack Cafferty: I'm Rooting' for 'Terrific,' 'Bright' Obama

CNN's Jack Cafferty gave an interview to the Media Bistro's "Media Morning Menu" podcast on Thursday and rhapsodized about the "bright" and "terrific" Barack Obama. Talking to hosts Steve Krakauer and Glynnis MacNicol, the "Situation Room" contributor cheered on the new President. He enthused, "...I'm pulling for the guy. I like him. I think he's terrific."

After being asked by Krakauer if it's too early for journalists to start complaining about Obama's ability to change the country quickly, the host of CNN's "Cafferty File" segment agreed and then acknowledged, "Well, you know, I haven't been critical of the Obama administration." In contrast, Cafferty (see file photo above) was very critical of George W. Bush and his administration. Indeed, he attacked the ex-President during the podcast, claiming America "was badly damaged following the eight years of George W. Bush and that collection of morons that he had around him running this country into a ditch."

Cafferty seemed more interested in praising Obama, however. Asked whether he thought the President could turn things around, the CNN host described himself as "hopeful" and gushed, "I like him a lot. I think he's a bright guy. I like the fact that he's visible and that, you know, he's attempting to bring some transparency and some legitimacy and honesty to the office, which has been missing for a while."

Audio clip (1:44 MP3, 600 Kb)

Cafferty has also been quite glowing towards Obama on CNN. On the March 17 "Situation Room," he announced how "refreshing" it is to have a President who is "working his tail off" to help America. This is quite a contrast to the cynical, conspiratorial Cafferty of the Bush years. For instance, on August 30, 2006, he speculated, on air, as to whether falling gas prices were a plot to help Republicans in the midterm elections.

In a light moment on the podcast, Cafferty was asked if he uses the popular website Twitter. Perhaps in a jab at his Twitter-loving colleague Rick Sanchez, the "Situation Room" contributor retorted, "I don't even know what Twitter is, okay? I'll be very honest with you, I understand it's some internet something or other. But, it's not something I do."

A partial transcript of the March 26 podcast follows:

GLYNNIS MACNICOL: Did you come up with the idea for the book during the campaign or were you inspired to do it after, sort of, we- became apparent that we were dipping into a very serious recession?

JACK CAFFERTY: Nah. It takes a very long time to write one of these. I started on it, oh, way back last spring during the primaries, way before the recession really reared its ugly head.

MACNICOL: And then did-

CAFFERTY: I just felt like the country was badly damaged following the eight years of George W. Bush and that collection of morons that he had around him running this country into a ditch. And- and, so, you know, without the recession we were in enough trouble with the wars and the destruction of our reputation overseas and the doubling of the national debt and the intrusion into the private lives of American citizens without any court saying it was okay to do so. And blah, blah, blah. So, there was a reason to put pencil to paper and say, "Look, you know, we're in some trouble here and depending on where we go from here, we might be in trouble for a long time." So, that's kind of where the thing came from.

STEVE KRAKAUER: You know, people in the media sometimes have a quick trigger finger on things. Do you think it's a little too early- 65 days in to the Obama administration, to start criticizing the Obama administration on why, maybe more of this change that was promised isn't happening?

CAFFERTY: Well, you know, I haven't been critical of the Obama administration. And, yes, it's way too early. They're trying some things that haven't been tried before and it's going to take tome time to see whether they work or not. So, the answer to your question is yes. It's way, way too early.

...

MACNICOL: There's an article in the Daily Beast today by Eric Alterman that, sort of, suggests that Obama has a tendency for long term thinking, which, I think we saw in the press conference last night. And the press is so trained to report on, sort of, snap judgment that they're not equipped to report well, sort of, on how he's thinking and the big picture.

CAFFERTY: Well, I don't know if it's the press. We're a nation of people who are very impatient. This is the only country in the world where you stand in front of your microwave oven and say hurry up. You know, we have no patience when it comes to almost anything. We expect the answers to our problems yesterday and we don't want to be bothered with the fact that it might take some time and require some hard work. And the media simply are a reflection of the way people think about these things. It's- I'm not so sure it's the media. That's convenient for everyone to say, "Well, it's the media." But the fact of the matter is the American public is an impatient group of people and always has been.

...

KRAKAUER: I read an interview that you did with Yahoo.com. You talk about how Obama's doing. You said, "You know, I don't know yet." As you look at some of the decisions they're making, do you see them going down the path that you think they can, you know, turn the country around as you hope for in the title there?

CAFFERTY: Well, yeah, I mean, I'm hopeful. I like him a lot. I think he's a bright guy. I like the fact that he's visible and that, you know, he's attempting to bring some transparency and some legitimacy and honesty to the office, which has been missing for a while. And I'm rooting for him. But, you know, I- it's- You asked a few minutes ago if it's too soon. Yeah, it's too soon. And I think, you know, there are obviously going to be some mistakes along the way. But, I think that he's got the right idea and at the end of the day, when, when things get really, really tight, it's the strength and the muscle and the financial power of the U.S. government that will ultimately turn this thing around, if it can be turned around. And I think it can. But, you know, I'm pulling for the guy. I like him. I think he's terrific.

...

On Twitter:

CAFFERTY: I don't even know what Twitter is, okay. I'll be very honest with you, I understand it's some internet something or other. But, it's not something I do.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org