The transition from Al Gore's low-rated Current TV cable channel to Al Jazeera America will conclude on Tuesday, August 20, when the newest addition to the Qatar-based international news network will be sent into about 40 million homes in the U.S.
Ever since the purchase was made public in early January, Ehab Al Shihabi -- the channel's executive in charge -- has been attempting to hire high-profile staff members, including long-time Cable News Network reporters Ali Velshi and Soledad O'Brien, to draw viewers to the new network, even though it doesn't yet have a chief executive or chief programmer.
CNN's financial guru Ali Velshi says "taxes may need to go up for everybody" in the long-term in an interview with Khabar magazine. He adds that we would need higher taxes for "if we want economic growth to be more robust."
Velshi has echoed his tax rhetoric before, namely in December's fiscal cliff debates when he ripped the Bush tax cuts and claimed that letting them expire would not harm the economy. He repeatedly slapped Republicans for not compromising and hiking taxes on the wealthy, but largely refrained from blaming President Obama and the Democrats for the dysfunction.
Responding to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) on Monday, CNN's chief business correspondent slammed GOP "weird math" and "balanced budget nonsense" on the sequestration and accused Jindal of being "misleading."
"And it's this weird math that the Republicans are using, that it's just three percent of the federal budget," Velshi ranted. "Except you can't touch entitlements. So it's three percent of a small part of the federal budget, which makes it a very big part of some major agencies," he insisted. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
While some in the mainstream media harp on the purportedly horrendous effects of possible across-the-board spending cuts on March 1, there is also an effort to distance President Barack Obama from responsibility. An example of this is on CNN, which has shown more than once today a report on the sequester by chief business correspondent Ali Velshi. An excerpt:
VELSHI: The forced budget cuts were created during the 2011 debt ceiling debacle. They were passed by Congress and signed by the White House.
So “the White House” signs bills into law? That’s funny. On August 2, 2011, the day the Budget Control Act became law, Situation Room host Wolf Blitzer told his audience:
Happening now, President Obama signs a bill to raise the debt limit, avoiding an economic debt crisis for now.
CNN had a friendly take on President Obama's Treasury Secretary nominee Jack Lew, despite the pick receiving sharp criticism from conservative circles. "He's definitely the guy for the next several months," CNN's Ali Velshi gave the White House spin on Thursday's Newsroom.
"Yeah, funnily enough if Wall Street hates him, he might be perfect for the job," chuckled anchor Michael Holmes."That's what a lot of people think, Michael, actually," Velshi added. Back in 2008, however, CNN framed Wall Street support for potential nominee Tim Geithner as a good thing.
CNN's Ali Velshi struck back at talk radio host Rush Limbaugh on Tuesday, lecturing him on the debt ceiling after Limbaugh had hit Velshi as a "low-information reporter."
Velshi maintained that the debt ceiling "had absolutely nothing to do with spending control or debt control" as Limbaugh claimed, and added that "Republicans seem to think the debt ceiling is a good tool to limit how much the government spends." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
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.]
Liberals can’t stand Grover Norquist. For years, they have lambasted and name-called Norquist, the president of American’s for Tax Reform: a staunch anti-tax hike group. But now the liberal media is also focused on him, in some cases rejoicing that he might lose his “stranglehold” over Republicans on the issue of taxes.
Left-wing websites like Daily Kos, Salon and The Huffington Post all exude vitriol with phrases like “idiot terrorist,” “anti-tax jihadist,” “enemy of the state” and “anti-tax fetishist.” HuffPo has been gleefully reporting about GOP tax “defectors” for over a year, long before it became the liberal media’s obsession.
CNN's Ali Velshi labeled anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist a "dangerous man" on Friday for blocking a fiscal cliff compromise between Democrats and Republicans.
"Hey, speaking of the fiscal cliff, there's been all this focus on one dangerous man who stands in the way of a deal that could avert it, Grover Norquist. He is neither elected, nor has he ever run for office, so why is Washington so scared of him?" Velshi introduced his segment on Norquist. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Reacting to Democratic Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren's victory in Massachusetts, CNN's Ali Velshi gushed on Wednesday morning, "I have to say, regardless of party, good for her."
"She prevailed. She got crushed and now she's going to be a U.S. senator," he noted her prior setback, when she failed to become the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
As NewsBusters previously reported, CNN's Starting Point Monday played Billy Joel's "Only the Good Die Young" after coming back from a commercial break that followed a segment about the tragic shootings at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.
I just received the following statement from a CNN spokesperson:
Eight days after playing the song "Stupid Girls" before a story about former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, the scoring geniuses at CNN were at it again.
After coming out of a break following a long segment about the Sikh temple shootings in Wisconsin, viewers of Monday's Starting Point were treated to Billy Joel's "Only the Good Die Young" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):