CNN continues to push for stricter gun control, and the network doesn’t have much patience for opposing viewpoints. On Wednesday’s Starting Point, anchor Soledad O’Brien hectored a conservative guest who spoke out against creating a national gun registry.
Former Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) said he believes the government would use a national registry to intimidate gun owners, thereby punishing law-abiding citizens and failing to solve the problem of violent crimes committed with guns. O’Brien then jumped on him: “Hang on, wait a second. What evidence is there of that? I mean...to me, sometimes that just seems like a common-sense measure. Let’s just know who’s ordering lots of guns.” [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
During CNN's inauguration coverage on Monday's Starting Point, correspondent John King helped bolster President Obama's image as he asked Tea Party Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) if Republicans were "chastened" by Democratic electoral victories.
"The President won an election that many historians say he shouldn't have won, given the high unemployment rate, given the sluggish recovery. He beat your party. Your majority in the House is a little smaller. Democrats gained a bit in the Senate. Are Republicans chastened now?" he asked the Tea Party congressman. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Despite CNN waging a crusade for gun control over the past month, and host Piers Morgan drawing attention with his incessant activism and bullying of his opponents on the gun issue, CNN’s own poll shows that support for some gun control measures has dropped over the past month.
CNN.com reported on its poll Wednesday: "According to the survey, 56% support a ban on semi-automatic guns, but that's down from 62% in a CNN poll taken in the days after the shooting at Sandy Hook. The same is true for a ban on high-capacity ammunition clips - 62% in December, down to 58% now - as well as a requirement for all gun owners to register their firearms with the local government - 78% last month, down to 69% now."
CNN continued its trend of marginalizing gun rights advocates on Wednesday. Anchor Soledad O'Brien derided a CNN guest who had cited her fear of tyrannical government as reason to own a semi-automatic rifle.
"Some people make your head hurt when they speak. Wow. And that was one of those moments," O'Brien sneered in front of Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (Ill.). [Video below the break. Audio here.]
One month after the Newtown shooting, CNN "commemorated" the atrocity by hosting a string of gun control activists and Democratic politicians pushing for stricter gun laws.
From the 5 a.m. through the 3 p.m. news hours, CNN hosted fiveguestswhohadparticipated in the "Demand a Plan" campaign put on by the anti-gun group Mayors Against Illegal Guns. In addition, two Democratic congressmen and one Democratic senator appeared on the network and pushed for more gun laws. Only one Republican made an appearance to argue to the contrary.
The media agenda against guns is nothing new. But recent mass shootings have encouraged supposedly neutral journalists to push for gun regulation instead of reporting the facts surrounding the tragedies.
One thing the media seldom mention is that both the Newtown and Aurora shootings occurred in gun free zones. In the Clackamas Town Center Shooting in Oregon, however, a gunman was stopped when someone with a concealed carry permit intervened. There were only two casualties in this shooting which received little media attention. If this incident was mentioned, the concealed carry part of the story was almost completely ignored.
When news broke that counterterrorism adviser John Brennan would be President Obama's nominee to head the CIA, CNN was mum about Brennan's admitted failure concerning the attempted Christmas Day bombing in 2009. As NewsBusters reported earlier, none of the major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) mentioned Brennan's "I let him [Obama] down" press conference following the intelligence breakdown at the attack.
CNN highlighted Brennan's strengths along with his controversies on Monday, but those were mostly liberal gripes about his record on enhanced interrogation and drone strikes. "Brennan has been criticized for his connection to the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques under the Bush administration, more recently, for his support of the controversial drone program in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere," reported Wolf Blitzer.
CNN reporter Ali Velshi thrashed Republicans and conservatives during last weekend's fiscal cliff negotiations. As Tim Graham of NewsBusters already reported, Velshi "clearly doesn't care about looking objective" and showed it when he opened fire on Grover Norquist last week and declared that taxes must go up on the wealthy.
In what became a tired liberal rant, Velshi pushed that argument over and over again last weekend, paddling House Republicans for not "compromising" with Democrats on tax hikes while barely wagging a finger at President Obama and the Democratic Senate. Below is the worst of Velshi from last weekend. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Vice President Joe Biden can do little wrong in CNN's eyes. Friday's Starting Point whitewashed his telling the husband of an incoming U.S. Senator to "Spread your legs; you're going to be frisked" at Thursday's swearing-in ceremony on Capitol Hill.
Instead, the morning show touted Biden comforting the fretting young daughter of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.). "He was a one-man comedy act yesterday, the Vice President was. Love it," gushed co-host John Berman. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
The day after a gun control advocate told CNN that America's gun problem includes handgun shootings, Starting Point anchor Soledad O'Brien began asking Democratic politicians if they would consider legislating handguns.
"Well, is going to the assault weapons far enough?" O'Brien asked Democratic Rep. Ron Barber (Ariz.) on Tuesday. "I think it's 80 percent is handguns involved in gun violence. Does this, do you think open up a conversation toward limiting handguns?" she questioned Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) the same day. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN's Soledad O'Brien interrupted, bullied, and dismissed guest John Lott on Monday's Starting Point when Lott argued in favor of less gun laws. "[Y]our position completely boggles me, honestly. I just do not understand it," the liberal journalist lectured Lott after he cited statistics supporting his position.
O'Brien sidestepped his facts and condescended to his position from the beginning. "How does that possibly make sense to you?" was her first question to him. She claimed the "rational" conclusion is a ban on high-powered assault weapons. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Appearing on Tuesday’s Starting Point, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) was savaged by host Soledad O’Brien for daring to suggest the federal food stamp program should be one of the many programs that are trimmed in order to achieve spending cuts to avert the so-called fiscal cliff on January 1.
O'Brien predictably used a talking point that sounds a lot like the left-wing complaint that the GOP wants to "balance the budget on the backs of the poor":
After a non-religious West Point cadet left the academy because of what he claimed was religious bigotry, CNN contributor Roland Martin compared it to racism suffered by one of West Point's first black cadet graduates.
Cadet Lt. Blake Page first aired his grievances to TheHuffington Post and he told CNN's Starting Point that what he found "most offensive" at West Point was "condescension and disrespect from other people." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Once again, CNN's Soledad O'Brien grilled a Republican while giving an easy interview to a Democrat. She pushed Republicans to increase taxes on Wednesday's Starting Point, but, showing her double standard, she let President Obama's former deputy campaign manager attack the GOP fiscal cliff proposals.
O'Brien told Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex.) that Republicans could "do some kind of a deal now and that will keep us from going over the fiscal cliff? Andthen you can let the tax cuts expire for the wealthy January 1st. It happens. And you can do some kind of a negotiation." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN took Bob Costas' gun control rant and ran with it on Monday. The clip of the NBC sportscaster decrying handguns ran multiple times during the morning coverage and again on Monday afternoon, with anchors hoping gun control legislation is in the works.
Anchor Brooke Baldwin remarked "perhaps Congress is listening" after her guest advocated tougher gun laws. Piers Morgan went on another Twitter rant about the need for more gun control. Anchor Carol Costello asked if the incident should "cause us to rethink gun control?"
CNN's Alina Cho "loves" that Democratic Newark Mayor Cory Booker is living on food stamps for a week and gushed about it with Soledad O'Brien on Monday's Starting Point.
"I love this story. And I know you do, too, Soledad," fawned Cho. "I do, too, because mostly I thought – I've never really thought about how much money people who are on food stamps actually get," O'Brien chipped in. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Once again, CNN pressed a Republican to support income tax hikes. On Thursday, Starting Point co-hosts Brooke Baldwin and John Berman tried to paint GOP opposition to tax increases as at odds with the American people and a financial expert.
"So here is one of the biggest guys in finance on the planet saying that maybe a tax rate increase should be part of a deal. Does he have a point? Can't it be part of a deal?" pushed Berman. He cited the CEO of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein, who said he "wouldn't preclude" the President's plan to raise tax rates. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
When tens of thousands of pro-life advocates peacefully marched in Washington D.C., CNN gave the rally two brief mentions. Contrast that with seven naked protesters who stripped in House Speaker Boehner's office on Tuesday, who received an almost five minute-long interview on Wednesday's Starting Point.
"So how did you get naked into the Speaker's office?" host Soledad O'Brien obliged the group with an ice-breaker for her first question. Yes, those who engage in public indecency in a House office building and demean the dignity of Congress will get quality air-time on CNN, apparently.
CNN's Soledad O'Brien teed up Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) to pick out the "code words" in GOP opposition to Susan Rice's nomination to Secretary of State, on Tuesday morning's Starting Point.
"Would you agree with what she's saying that there's a racial or a sexist component to a lot of these comments?" O'Brien asked, quoting the incoming chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). "Or would you say as the letter seems to say, they use the word 'incompetent,' and they use the word undermining the desire to improve U.S. relations?" [Video below the break. Audio here.]
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.
Showing an obvious double standard, CNN's Soledad O'Brien asked a GOP congressman whether Republicans were hypocritical for opposing Susan Rice's potential candidacy for Secretary of State, but she failed to ask tough questions of a Democratic congressman about Rice's qualifications.
O'Brien insisted that although some Republicans are opposing Susan Rice's candidacy because she circulated false information on the Libya attacks, "Isn't that exactly analogous of what happened with Condoleezza Rice, who John McCain supported and who Lindsey Graham supported?" she pressed Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.) [Video below the break. Audio here.]
[UPDATE BELOW] CNN's Christine Romans and Soledad O'Brien teamed up on Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) on Tuesday's Starting Point, pressuring him to renege on his pledge not to raise tax rates.
"So would you be fine doing a compromise where you would go against your signature on that pledge?" O'Brien pressed Chaffetz over Grover Norquist's pledge not to hike tax rates and not to increase tax revenues without enacting equal tax rate cuts. She asked him if he would "say this to the pledge" while tearing up a piece of paper. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
"Tone deaf" Republicans are too conservative, or so said CNN's panel on Friday's Starting Point. CNN's Don Lemon remarked, "I think unless the GOP becomes the GNP, which is the Grand New Party, they're on the verge of extinction because they're tone deaf."
All three guests agreed that the GOP needs to move to the center. How's that for intellectual diversity? Anchor Soledad O'Brien started it off by lauding "one of the very best tweets" from the election, CNN regular Abby Huntsman saying (surprise!) her dad Jon Huntsman should have been the party's nominee. [Video coming soon. Audio here.]
Not only did CNN relay Obama campaign video of the President crying after his re-election, but they hailed it as "amazing" and "remarkable." In contrast, when Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) choked up in front of cameras after GOP victories in 2010 enabled him to become the next Speaker of the House, CNN simply reported it as an "emotional speech."
"So, Soledad, a remarkable moment there. And we're just seeing this now, I should say, because this is video put out by the Obama campaign," reported CNN's Brianna Keilar. "Wow, 'No Drama Obama' gets a little dramatic and emotional," added anchor Soledad O'Brien. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
After the last jobs report before the election, CNN's Soledad O'Brien tried to be positive even with high underemployment and unemployment rates. On Friday's Starting Point, she ridiculously cast underemployment moving down one tenth of a percent to 14.6 as "improving."
"Underemployment which was 14.7 percent, now 14.6; labor force participation, as well, that's better. Are you feeling encouraged at all?" she asked conservative guest Grover Norquist. "No. This is not even a dead cat bounce," he replied. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
A Mitt Romney quote circulated by Democrats over the weekend has now been hyped into a "political controversy" by CNN. A liberal journalist and a Democratic strategist first brought the story to CNN on Monday morning, and by Tuesday CNN's Soledad O'Brien brought it up in an interview.
"In the wake of super storm Sandy, a political controversy rages over something Mitt Romney said at a primary debate last year. Did he suggest FEMA should be eliminated?" reported CNN's John Berman on Wednesday's Starting Point.
Over at Politico, Republicans who have had to endure the Obama spin from CNN's Soledad O'Brien are talking about her painfully evident bias, all while O'Brien has arrogantly compared interviewing one of them with talking to her children.
Former New Hampshire governor John Sununu called her a Democratic hack. "There's Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Stephanie Cutter, and Soledad O'Brien," he told Politico. "She [O'Brien] is so committed to Obama she doesn't even know what she's doing." Romney adviser Barbara Comstock said "she's not a reporter, she's an advocate."
Lloyd Grove of the Daily Beast offers a positive profile of CNN's Soledad O'Brien -- she's "Cable TV's New Morning Thunder" -- but the morning host appeared quite arrogant in her trashing of Rudy Giuliani.
Grove loved her smack talk at Rudy as she tried to deny a Libya coverup on October 22: "It was the sort of thrashing that very few TV hosts would have the nerve to administer to the hero of 9/11. At an hour when many bleary-eyed viewers are waking up and easing into their day, it was the morning-show equivalent of spilling coffee on the bedsheets. It was also riveting television." And then she compared handling Rudy to talking down to one of her children:
**UPDATE** At 2:30 p.m. EDT, MSNBC mentioned the damaging emails for the first time, coupling it with breaking news of an arrest in the attack on our Libyan consulate.
Following in the footsteps of its sister broadcast network, MSNBC has continued to ignore the shocking revelation that the White House knew on September 11 that the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was under a well-coordinated terrorist attack.
As NewsBusters’ Matthew Balan noted, NBC's Today was the only broadcast network morning show this to ignore the story altogether, with MSNBC following suit by remaining silent as well throughout the day. In contrast, both Fox News and CNN have run numerous stories Wednesday morning.
Is Soledad O'Brien working for the DSCC? She distorted a pro-life statement from Senate candidate Richard Mourdock by including it with the Todd Akin controversy in a critical "Get Real" segment on Wednesday's Starting Point. She also tied Romney to Mourdock by noting he previously backed the candidate.
"Our 'Get Real' this morning, I think it's a really interesting question about a lack of sensitivity toward a victim of rape," O'Brien began. "Big implications politically, of course, Dana, for this," she hyped later. [Video below the break. Audio here.]