As NewsBusters' Tim Graham reported, CNN's Washington Bureau Chief Sam Feist bragged that his is the only network "that hasn't picked sides in this election," and that viewers responded to CNN's credibility by making it the most-watched cable news channel on election night.
Of course, this begs the question of why viewers haven't turned to CNN on most other nights but regardless, Feist's claim of non-partisanship doesn't hold water. Indeed, CNN's own Howard Kurtz warned in July of a media double standard favoring President Obama that is apparent "to many people."
Below are some of the worst examples of CNN's liberal bias during this election cycle, beginning after Mitt Romney became the clear Republican challenger to President Obama on May 2, when candidate Newt Gingrich dropped out of the race.
Imagine the media outrage if a conservative commentator listed states where Barack Obama would be hunted down with dogs.
On CNN's OutFront Friday, liberal contributor Paul Begala said, "When Bush Sr. carried Pennsylvania, he also carried California and Illinois and New Jersey, places where they would hunt Romney down with dogs" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
If you work for CNN apparently your reputation as a liberal journalist precedes you, at least that's what CNN's Erin Burnett revealed to Conan O'Brien on Tuesday night. The OutFront host, appearing as a guest on TBS's Conan, relayed that when she told a passenger, on a recent flight, that she worked for CNN the passenger replied: "Oh yeah. In the can for Obama."
Burnett's anecdote came during a discussion of how she was forced to watch the final presidential debate on her outbound flight to appear on Conan O'Brien's late night talk show. (video after the jump)
After a USA Today/Gallup poll showed women in swing states thought abortion the top election issue, CNN hyped the news and cast a wary eye toward "controversial" Republican positions as the possible catalysts. Five days later, however, Gallup reported that, nationally, abortion is near the bottom of importance among voters.
CNN hosts Erin Burnett and Anderson Cooper led their October 18 shows with the swing state poll, and anchor Carol Costello touted it the next morning. Costello wondered if "controversial" statements by certain Republicans were to blame for women suddenly treating abortion with utmost importance.
CNN reported a new bombshell in the ongoing Libya fiasco on Monday night, while the networks had already moved on from the story. CNN's Erin Burnett disclosed that "key intelligence" was left out of the post-Libya narrative given to the American public. The networks made no mention of Libya all day Monday and through Tuesday morning after being late to new developments in the story.
"[T]here were a decision made as to some of these key things that obviously are now considered to be crucial to this – essential to this attack were left out of the briefing points given to Congress and given to the American people," Burnett reported.
Who needs campaign staff when you have CNN to tout your "very, very damaging" attack ad? Host Piers Morgan gave President Obama some free publicity Tuesday night while CNN kept the anti-Romney media firestorm raging.
"I'm going to play a new Obama ad which basically sums up how he's going to attack him [Romney]. And it's very, very damaging. Watch this," Morgan told his guests, after he hyped Romney's "monumental gaffe" about the 47 percent of Americans paying no income taxes. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN foolishly asked if the head of the U.S. Catholic Bishops was playing politics by giving the benediction at the Republican National Convention, leaving out that the same Cardinal Timothy Dolan recently invited President Obama, along with Mitt Romney, to a high-profile Catholic event, the Al Smith dinner.
"Is this a big play to help shore up Paul Ryan's Catholic base?" anchor Don Lemon asked of the RNC benediction. "How does Dolan help Mitt Romney win Catholics?" inquired OutFront host Erin Burnett.
It's laughable when CNN's Erin Burnett claims to police "sandbox" politics when she covers for Obama like she did Thursday. Like her colleague Brooke Baldwin did earlier, she stood by the Obama spin that he "compromised" with Catholics on the birth control mandate and attacked a Mitt Romney ad accusing him of waging "war on religion."
"[T]o say this President is waging a war on religion, I mean, the man goes to church. That's ridiculous," Burnett complained. "That ad does not add up," she stated, adding it "seems to be at best simplistic and at worst just wrong." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
For the second straight day, CNN blew the whistle on a nasty and misleading Obama super PAC ad that ABC, CBS, and NBC entirely ignored as of Wednesday night. CNN hammered the ad, which links Mitt Romney to a woman's death from cancer, each hour from 6 p.m. through 10 p.m. and twice grilled the man responsible for the ad, Bill Burton of Priorities USA.
"I think it is deliberately mendacious," stated CNN's Piers Morgan on Wednesday. "It is a deliberate attempt to lie and smear about Mitt Romney. And I find it contemptible. I mean I'm really appalled." The three networks showed no such disdain for the ad which will air in battleground states, because they failed to even mention it on Tuesday and Wednesday. [Video coming soon.]
Roland Martin and National Review's Ramesh Ponnuru had a heated debate Friday about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) unsubstantiated claims regarding Mitt Romney's taxes.
Toward the end of the battle on CNN's OutFront, Ponnuru marvelously told his opponent, "You've got to call these things as you see them, not just be a political hack for your team" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN's Erin Burnett, injecting her own opinion into her newscast, lectured Mitt Romney on why he should release more tax returns and pay more taxes, on Monday's OutFront. "Release the returns," she told Romney.
"If there's a lot of tax shelters and some frankly incredibly low tax rates, significantly lower say than your 13.9 percent rate in 2010, Mitt, then say this: My tax rates were too low. I don't believe that passively invested money should be taxed lower than income other people earn by working. I benefitted from low rates on investment. That's not great policy and I'm going to change it." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Friday's edition of CNN's Erin Burnett OutFront, the host was upfront in her enthusiasm for President Obama's immigration announcement, even including sound effects and grimacing when she spoke of "Republicans hissing like an angry cat cornered by the neighborhood dog." (video here):
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, the president makes an MVP-like political move that leaves Republicans flat footed. But is it the best policy for our country?
Did Erin Burnett just blow off the recall election results in Wisconsin? Even though the Governor Walker won his recall election by seven percentage points, the CNN host questioned the popularity of his "hard-line" tactics on Wednesday because of Obama beating Romney in the exit polls.
Burnett even admitted the exit polls aren't completely reliable, but still asked conservative guest Grover Norquist "So do you think some of these hard-line tactics, you know this kind of my way or the highway, if you don't like it, go jump off a cliff, is not the way to do it?" [Video below the break.]
After the news broke of the First Circuit Court declaring the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, CNN hosted openly-gay Congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and asked him softball questions like "are you heartened to see that?"
The entire interview lasted over 12 minutes, a very long time on cable news, but only a part of it focused on DOMA. Anchor Suzanne Malveaux painted a positive picture for supporters of same-sex marriage, touting a "sea-change" on the issue in America. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN jumped all over Donald Trump's "birther" remarks on Tuesday as Trump hosted a fund raiser for Mitt Romney. CNN ran the story almost every single hour on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, hyping Romney's message getting "Trumped" by his supporter's controversial statements.
In contrast, CNN showed no initial scrutiny of foul-mouthed comedian Bill Maher's $1 million donation to a pro-Obama Super PAC in February. Maher is infamous for his vile and disgusting insults of conservative women, but when he announced the donation CNN simply reported it without any hint of controversy.
CNN failed to correct bogus numbers claiming that the growth rate of spending under President Obama is the lowest since Eisenhower. Instead, host Erin Burnett reported the news as something positive for the White House.
While most anyone with common sense would label Obama a big spender, the MarketWatch report – re-circulated by the White House – absurdly claims Obama's "spending binge never happened." And CNN did not discount that argument although they twice reported on it.
After President Obama publicly supported gay marriage on Wednesday, CNN continued its cheerleading well into Wednesday evening, including a happy interview of openly-gay congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) where he proudly showed the audience his engagement ring.
During CNN's 6-9 p.m. coverage, 9 of the guests voiced their support of President Obama's position on-air, while only two objected. Another guest, Mike Signorile, did not give verbal support but writes for the Huffington Post "Gay Voices" blog and has called for President Obama to "kick down the closet door" and publicly support same-sex marriage. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN continued to hype the possible negative implications of Mitt Romney's "rich guy image" on Monday evening, even though a new poll reports 71 percent of Americans said Romney's wealth is "not a major factor" in their presidential decision.
The network blared such headlines as "Is his [Romney's] big fortune a big political liability?" and "Wealth Will Be an Issue in 2012." CNN correspondent Joe Johns ran yet another segment on the possibility that Romney's wealthy image could hurt him in the November elections. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
There may be no more pompous and conceited person on the airwaves today than CNN contributor Paul Begala.
Appearing on Erin Burnett OutFront Tuesday, the former Clinton adviser actually said, "I put together a federal budget that was balanced, and it created the greatest boom in American history and global history" (video follows with transcript and commentary, file photo):
CNN's Erin Burnett on Monday did a segment correctly castigating Congress for not passing a budget in over 1000 days.
The only problem was that while she did this, pictures of House Republicans were shown on the screen despite the blame resting solely with Senate Democrats (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Dismissing Missouri's GOP Primary as nothing more than a "beauty contest," CNN contributor John Avlon used an image of Republican candidates in ball gowns and tiaras to make his point. The segment aired on Monday's OutFront around 7:15 p.m.
"I just want to give people time to soak in that beautiful graphic," Avlon mused as the picture of Republicans as beauty queens appeared in the background of the set. One can only wonder if CNN would have done the same to then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
CNN – "The Most Trusted Name In News" – has recently been giving some quality air time to Muppets. It's newest prime-time anchor Erin Burnett interviewed Elmo back in October, Wolf Blitzer spotlighted Kermit the Frog last Thursday, and then a cursing "Marvin E. Quasniki" announced his candidacy for president at the end of Wednesday's Erin Burnett OutFront.
When asked how he would pay for the payroll tax cut as President, the Muppet answered he would "Throw rich people in jail. Take their money, and then give it to everybody else. Number one. Boom. Done. Yeah." [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
During Thursday's Erin Burnett OutFront, CNN contributor John Avlon flagged candidate Newt Gingrich for an "excessive celebration" penalty. Gingrich, he claimed, was letting his recent success in the polls get to his head.
Gingrich's bragging from his "Newt-centric universe," Avlon lectured, could turn off potential voters as "the more Newt starts to shoot from the lip, the more he runs the risk of reminding people why they fell out of love with him in the first place." [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
During CNN's Thursday evening coverage of Occupy Wall Street, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin dismissed worries that the protesters in New York City had disrupted the afternoon commutes of city workers– but his claim was flatly contradicted by CNN's own report from the previous hour.
Toobin, who was giving his legal analysis at the top of the 7 p.m. hour, said that the First Amendment protected protesters, they were on "good ground," and that "they're not disrupting people's trains home, or car rides home." [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
CNN's Piers Morgan agreed with President Obama's statement that Americans have "been a little bit lazy" in getting foreign investors to come to America, and fellow prime-time host Erin Burnett downplayed the significance of the line on Thursday.
Morgan's take on the quote was that "America has gone a bit soft on its production line," and he vouched for it. Burnett, on the other hand, said the quote was taken out of context and that Obama wasn't hitting workers themselves, but those who were drawing foreign investors to come to America. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]