When the guilty verdict was handed down in the Steubenville, Ohio rape trial, on Sunday, CNN's Candy Crowley and Poppy Harlow painted the convicted rapists in sympathetic tones. Harlow emoted: "I've never experienced anything like it, Candy. It was incredibly emotional -- incredibly difficult even for an outsider like me to watch what happened as these two young men that had such promising futures, star football players, very good students, literally watched as they believe their life fell apart."
Crowley pondered: "You know, Paul [Callan], a 16-year-old now just sobbing in court, regardless of what big football players they are, still sound like 16 year olds. The other one, 17. A 16-year-old victim. The thing is, when you listen to it and you realize that they could stay until they're 21, they are going to get credit for time served. What's the lasting effect, though, on two young men being found guilty in juvenile court of rape, essentially?"
The initial sympathetic verdict coverage given to actual rapists stood in stark contrast to the harsher treatment CNN gave to the admittedly ignorant and offensive comments about rape, made by GOP candidate Todd Akin, during the 2012 campaign. (video after the jump)
CNN touted a study from the liberal Tax Policy Center claiming that Newt Gingrich's tax plan would increase the deficit. On Tuesday afternoon's The Situation Room, business correspondent Poppy Harlow simply labeled the Tax Policy Center "non-partisan" even though it is a joint venture of two liberal think tanks, the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institute.
CNN even reported the Gingrich campaign's claim that the study did not include "many details" of the plan because the campaign "does not recognize them as an independent arbiter of tax policy information." That bit of information was buried at the end of CNN's report, however. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
While reporting on the cash flow for "Occupy Wall Street" on Monday, CNN's Poppy Harlow glossed over the fact that one of the organizations processing donations to the protest is a left-wing non-profit that originated in support of the communist Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua.
Harlow's segment focused on where the donations to the Wall Street protest were coming from and how the incoming money was managed. In her soft interview with the movement's "money man" Pete Dutro, she asked him softball questions like "What are things like these days?" and "You call yourself chief financial officer or something else?"
On CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, substitute host Sanjay Gupta hosted a segment with two guests on opposite sides of the debate over whether teachers in a Minnesota public school district should be allowed to push the view that homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle to deter bullying of students perceived to be homosexual. But, instead of acting as an even-handed moderator between his two guests, Gupta repeatedly made contrarian questions or comments toward the right-leaning guest, but indicated agreement with the left-leaning guest without challenging her.
A setup piece by correspondent Poppy Harlow recounted that the Southern Poverty Law Center is taking legal action against a school district in Minnesota because of its "neutrality policy" on teachers discussing homosexuality, suggesting the policy has culpability in a recent string of teen suicides.