CNN legal analyst Lisa Bloom condemned the voter-approved Proposition 8 in California in an editorial on CNN.com on Tuesday, and labeled the Supreme Court’s Lawrence v. Texas decision in 2003 as “the gay community's Brown v. Board of Education.” Bloom would later imply that the supporters of Prop 8 were “lunatic-fringe bigots.”
The legal analyst began the January 12, 2010 editorial, titled “Prop 8 is simply unconstitutional,” by contrasting “reckless heterosexual nuptials,” such as the 23 marriages of a grandmother in Indiana, with her friends Wilbert and Carlos, “‘free men’ together 16 years and lovingly raising a son, [who] are shut out of the 1,100 federal and hundreds of state legal benefits that come with marriage.” She continued by dropping another personal anecdote, citing the “children in same-sex families: kids like my friends’ son Dorian, growing up with the sting of knowing that his parents are second-class citizens in their own country.”
But Ted Turner, founder of the first truly 24-hour cable news channel, doesn't see anything wrong with the channel's heading. CNBC's Joe Kernen asked Turner if he had any problems with CNN's direction during a "Squawk Box" appearance Jan. 14.
"I know you love CNN," Kernen said. "It's your baby. I know you're not involved in running it anymore, but when you look at the way Fox News in 10 years has sort of risen above CNN in terms of ratings and profitability and other metrics, would you advise - should CNN stay the course with their idea it's just straight news, or do they need to change with the times and become more opinion-based."
On Monday’s The O’Reilly Factor on FNC, during the show’s regular "Reality Check" segment, host Bill O’Reilly highlighted the double standard exhibited by President Barack Obama and other prominent Democrats in the way they reacted so strongly to former Republican Senator Trent Lott’s praise of former Senator Strom Thurmond at his birthday celebration in 2002, and the President's recent more forgiving words about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s "Negro dialect" remark. O’Reilly quoted Obama’s unforgiving statement from 2002 regarding Lott, and then showed his recent statement giving Reid a pass. The FNC host also showed quotes of Democratic Senators Mary Landrieu and Debbie Stabenow from the Lott episode and noted their current unwillingness to comment on Reid.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Monday, January 11, The O’Reilly Factor on FNC:
Regular viewers of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart are accustomed by now to the verbal battles that ensue when Stewart brings conservative guests on his show. The guests usually leave with a bit of egg on their faces, and Stewart comes off as the hard hitting, divisive and sarcastic critic.
But viewers were treated to a rare dose of sincerity and intelligent debate on Monday, when Stewart hosted former legal counsel for the Bush Justice Department John Yoo. Following up on what was a meaningful and intelligent interview Monday night, Stewart apologized to his audience on Tuesday for not being his usual cutthroat self, and daring to discuss issues in a civilized tone.
Yoo and Stewart duked it out for almost 30 minutes (videos below the fold), but the host did not manage to get the better of Yoo, who is now infamous among liberal circles for writing the legal briefs justifying expanded executive powers to combat terrorism under the previous administration.
Stewart ended the segment with a very uncharacteristic--given his tendency to demonize conservatives--call for civility in the public discourse (brief partial transcript after videos):
But given that the incident in question is a Weekly Standard writer alleging an assault by an aide for Democratic Senate candidate Martha Coakley (Mass.), it's understandable, but not excusable, if you don't hear much about this from the broadcast or cable news networks.
For its part, the Associated Press -- in a story run on Boston.com -- all but dismissed the incident for the Coakley camp with a five-paragraph article blandly titled "Reporter takes stumble chasing Mass. candidate," wherein John McCormack of the Weekly Standard was said to have been "involved in a scuffle with one of [Coakley's] aides," a man by the name of Michael Meehan.
Alec Baldwin, award winning actor and wannabe leftist political commentator, called on Congress to sink congressional health care legislation today, saying he would rather the federal government "Put a Major Oil Company Out of Business," according to the headline of his column at the Huffington Post.
Baldwin isn't the only liberal entertainer calling for the death of ObamaCare. Plans to tax so-called "Cadillac" health care plans--or the most expensive insurance plans--have riled up some key Democratic supporters. The Teamsters Union and the AFL-CIO have protested, but now objections are also being raised by Hollywood's biggest unions.
The Los Angeles Times reported yesterday that the "generally cozy relationship between Hollywood's unions and the Obama administration is coming under strain." The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists recently sent a letter to President Obama and congressional leaders pleading with them to drop the Cadillac tax. According to the Times, the Screen Actors Guild, the largest union of actors, is expected to take a similar stance on the legislation.
On Tuesday's The O'Reilly Factor on FNC, during the show's regular "Pinheads and Patriots" segment, host Bill O'Reilly highlighted an example of left-wing hatred from a man who appears to be part of the anti-war left, as O'Reilly showed video of the unidentified "deranged" man who started shouting at former President George H.W. Bush in a Houston restaurant. The heckler used obscenities and called the former President "murderous" and a "Zionist," and blamed him for millions of deaths.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Tuesday, January 12, The O'Reilly Factor on FNC:
As Noel Sheppard reported last night on Newsbusters, CBS's Sharyl Attkisson revealed Monday (see Noel's post for video) that "101 Congress-related" people flew to the Copenhagen climate summit last month, at tremendous cost to taxpayers.
But although Attkisson ended the piece with a brief nod to the environmental impact of the huge Nancy Pelosi-approved delegation, her otherwise excellent report told only part of the story. That is, when Speaker Nancy Pelosi approved a Congressional delegation to Copenhagen almost a quarter of the size of the entire Congress, she approved an enormous carbon footprint -- and she did it just a few months after twisting arms (brutally) to get Congress to pass the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill.
Using a calculator and some information available to anyone with internet access, my husband David worked out some quick facts regarding the carbon footprint of Nancy Pelosi's delegation. According to David:
On Monday’s Anderson Cooper 360, CNN’s Anderson Cooper extensively questioned authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann about their new book “Game Change” on subjects other than Sarah Palin, unlike his earlier interview of the writers on 60 Minutes. Most of the two segments from the interview dealt with Bill and Hillary Clinton’s role in the 2008 presidential election and in the Obama transition.
During the first segment, which began 20 minutes into the 10 pm Eastern hour, Cooper only briefly touched on Senator Harry Reid’s “Negro dialect” comment about President Obama, asking one question on the topic. For the remaining five minutes of the segment, and for the additional five minutes of the second segment, the CNN anchor questioned Halperin and Heilemann about several episodes involving the Clintons during the Democratic presidential primary race, and about Obama choosing Hillary Clinton to be secretary of state. These ten minutes on his CNN program is practically the same amount of time Cooper devoted to the subject of Sarah Palin during his 60 Minutes interview of the authors.
Cooper revisited the race issue when he raised the subject of Bill Clinton’s “coffee remark” to Ted Kennedy about then Senator Obama during the second segment minutes later:
On Tuesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith followed President Obama’s lead by wondering if it was time to move on from the Harry Reid racial controversy, as he asked Republican strategist Leslie Sanchez and Democrat Dee Dee Myers: “Is the Reid story over and should it be?”
Sanchez rejected the notion that the story, which just broke over weekend, was over: “I think it’s just the beginning. It’s actually compounding....you look at his declining poll numbers in his state, declining support for health care reform, and overall his ineffectiveness in leadership.” Predictably, Myers took the opposite view: “Yeah, it’s pretty much over and it should be. Senator Reid has apologized....African-American leaders across the country have been largely supportive, including the President....he has been an effective leader. He’s gotten health care further than any Senate Majority Leader in 50 years.”
In a prior report, correspondent Nancy Cordes declared: “...the President needs Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid working at full steam if he wants to pass a health care bill quickly....that’s one of the reasons that he’s giving the leader some very high profile defense.” A clip was played of Obama arguing: “This is a good man who has always been on the right side of history....for people to try to make hay out of that makes absolutely no sense.”
Yesterday, Fox News Channel's Bret Baier picked up on a statement NewsBusters Publisher and Media Research Center President Brent Bozell made about "60 Minutes" failing to note Harry Reid's controversial "Negro dialect" remark, even as the news magazine program devoted plenty of time to other revelations from the just-published book "Game Change".
It's utterly shameless for CBS to cover this book, and ignore the scoops about the racially charged comments of Harry Reid and Bill Clinton, but devote a very slanted 10 minutes to more of the same old McCain aides slashing Sarah Palin.
The revelation Saturday that Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid's use of the word "Negro" to refer to then-Senator Barack Obama in 2008 -- Reid said the candidate had "no Negro dialect unless he wanted to have one" -- has been heavily covered by the broadcast media, but the tone of coverage has emphasized how the President has accepted Reid's apology, with the implication that that should be the end of it.
It's hard to imagine any top Republican officeholder being so lightly treated if they used the word "Negro" at any point over the past 20 or 30 years. Indeed, the word is in such disfavor, it usually only makes the news when researchers dig into archival footage from the 1960s or early 1970s -- or when the networks are reporting on today's violent haters.
On CBS and NBC, the most recent instance (prior to Reid) of using the word "Negro" in a modern news story was in reporting on the June 2009 shooting at the Holocaust museum in Washington, carried out by a white supremacist. On ABC, the word appeared back in January 2009, as part of an insult flung by al-Qaeda's Ayman al Zawahiri towards the new President Obama.
While discussing Sunday’s 60 Minutes interview with former McCain campaign adviser Steve Schmidt on Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez asked Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer about the claim that Palin knew little of modern history: “Schmidt, last week tells 60 Minutes that she didn’t know anything....that included World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War.”
Rodriguez wondered if such allegations about Palin’s “supposed lack of knowledge” would be a future political liability, to which Schieffer replied: “You know, my take on Sarah Palin has always been she will never again seek public office....[she] resigned the governorship of Alaska and I think it would be very, very difficult for her in any primary that comes up, the first thing a candidate against her is going to say, ‘well, how long do you intend to stay if you get elected? If elected, do you promise to quit if the going gets tough?’”
In a report that preceded Rodriguez’s discussion with Schieffer, correspondent Nancy Cordes detailed charges outlined in the new book ‘Game Change,’ about the 2008 campaign, including how “...there was friction on the Democratic ticket, too. ‘How many times is Biden going to say something stupid?’ an angry Mr. Obama reportedly asked campaign staff over one of his running mate’s legendary gaffes.” For some reason, Rodriguez did not ask Schieffer about this challenge to the Vice President’s intelligence.
The Los Angeles Times has been doing its best to dismiss Senator Harry Reid's racist remark about Preisdent Obama as a minor transgression while portraying Republicans calling for his resignation as political attack dogs. This coverage stands in stark contrast to the paper's coverage of the controversy surrounding former Republican Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott in 2002 (h/t Patterico).
"GOP opens fire on Harry Reid," read a Los Angeles Times headline yesterday. The article said the Senator was "pummeled" by the GOP, that Republicans had "called for the senator's head," and that Reid was now "in [the GOP's] cross hairs." (The latest version of the story does not include the last quote.)
Contrast this Times story to the paper's own coverage of Trent Lott's remarks in 2002 and Democrats' calls for him to step down as Majority Leader. The Times portrayed the uproar over his remarks not as an attack, but rather as a spontaneous, impalpable furor. The uproar was a "spiraling controversy" or a "growing clamor." "Outrage Grows Over Lott Remarks" read one headline.
CNN made no accommodation for balance during a panel discussion segment on ObamaCare on Monday’s American Morning, bringing on two leftists- New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and Time magazine’s Karen Tumulty- who both dismissed the Democrats’ lack of transparency in the congressional negotiations over the health care “reform” bills, and both shilled for the legislation.
Anchor Kiran Chetry introduced Kristof as someone who merely “supports the health care bill as it stands now” during a panel discussion segment at the bottom of the 7 am Eastern hour. After introducing Kristof and his liberal colleague Tumulty, Chetry asked, “Does this hurt the President if indeed Congress goes forward with doing this behind the scenes?”
Kristof acknowledged that “to some degree it hurts him politically [and] I think he shouldn’t have actually made that promise,” but continued that, from his experience as a journalist, the lack of transparency was actually a good sign:
While a story on Sunday’s 60 Minutes about the new book, ‘Game Change,’ about the 2008 campaign, focused heavily on attacks against Sarah Palin by McCain staffers, it ignored numerous revelations of controversial statements by prominent Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid describing Barack Obama as “light skinned” and lacking a “negro dialect.”
Acting as a guest correspondent, CNN’s Anderson Cooper cited the book’s liberal authors, New York magazine’s John Heilemann and Time’s Mark Halperin, who claimed that Palin was picked by the McCain campaign out of “desperation” after manager Rick Davis found her name on Google. At one point, Halperin went so far as to declare that: “They said, ‘there’s one Sarah who you see in public’– upbeat. But the other Sarah was the one that frightened them. It was someone whose eyes were kind of glazed over, who was literally not responding to questions, who was keeping her head down.”
Cooper made sure to highlight CBS’s role in Palin’s supposed downfall with the Evening News Katie Couric interview: “In her book, Palin accuses CBS News of editing the interview to make her look bad. But [McCain campaign advisor] Steve Schmidt told us Palin did poorly because she didn’t do her homework.” Schmidt slammed Palin, claiming she was “focused that morning on answering ten written questions from a small newspaper in Alaska called the ‘Matsu Valley Frontiersman.’” After Cooper mentioned Palin’s criticism of Couric’s “gotcha questions,” Schmidt proclaimed: “I don’t think that Katie Couric asked a single unfair question in that interview.”
On Friday, the CBS Early Show promoted President Obama’s stronger anti-terror language as correspondent Chip Reid proclaimed: “The President accepted responsibility for the attack. He said the buck stops with him. He also adopted his toughest tone yet, stressing that the United States is at war with Al Qaeda.”
Reid later cited security improvements made under the Bush administration to minimize the failures of the Obama administration: “Security expert Edward Alden says despite the Christmas day attack, U.S. intelligence has improved dramatically over the past decade.” Alden explained: “This is a difficult job and I think that we are much better placed now, by a long shot, than we were before 9/11.”
Reid concluded his report by describing Obama’s relief at being able to move on to other topics: “After two weeks of dealing with terrorism, almost around the clock, today, the President hopes to shift the focus, he’ll be giving a statement on what he’s doing to create jobs.”
First of all, let me wish you a happy and prosperous New Year, and I want to thank you all for reading this column and letting your thoughts be known by responding.
Whether your reaction to what I write be pro or con, it's always good to know what's on your mind, and I sincerely hope that you will continue to do so.
There is a great frustration abroad in America these days and goodness knows we have enough to be frustrated about; the economy, the two wars we are fighting, people walking unimpeded across our border from Mexico, a country that for all practical purposes is being controlled by a ruthless drug cartel.
The closing of businesses, the loss of jobs and the relentless cruelty of Islamic terrorists around the world all add up to a myriad of serious problems facing America today.
Although you will not hear it articulated in the mainstream media, I think what's bothering Americans more than any other single subject is the fact that we've lost control of our government.
Left-wing talker Stephanie Miller inaccurately claimed on CNN’s Larry King Live on Thursday that former President Clinton “put the Cole bombers in jail.” Miller also predictably blasted former President Bush for not “taking responsibility for 9/11,” in contrast to President Obama’s recent acceptance of responsibility for intelligence failures prior to the attempted underwear bombing on Christmas [audio clip from the segment available here].
Host Larry King first turned to the leftist talk show host during a panel discussion which began 12 minutes into the 9 pm Eastern hour: “Stephanie, the President said the buck stops with him. Was that a good move today?” Miller immediately made her full Bush Derangement Syndrome apparent in her response:
MILLER: Well, it’s certainly a different move than we ever heard in the Bush administration. I never heard anybody taking responsibility for 9/11, for Katrina. I thought he stepped to the plate. And I couldn’t disagree with Paul Bremer [who appeared in the previous segment] more, Larry. I think he [Obama] is prosecuting the exact same way President Bush prosecuted the shoe bomber, Richard Reid, as a criminal. You don’t want to make them holy warriors. You want to prosecute them as what they are and that’s criminals, and that’s what Clinton did when he put the previous- you know, Cole bombers in jail, instead of letting them get away, like Osama bin Laden.
Hate-filled left-wing talker Mike Malloy was at it again last night (see our full archive on him here), hurling hateful invective against conservative talk radio host and author Michael Reagan.
The occasion? Malloy took perverse delight in 31-year-old Reagan son Cameron's recent arrest by Los Angeles police. The incident, Malloy declared, was sure fire proof of how "these right-wingers so pollute and destroy their own families."
Of course, Malloy had no evidence to back his claim, and even though he's never met the man nor does he "ever want to," Malloy lashed out at Michael Reagan as "an absolute ghoul" and "sick bastard."
But perhaps the most astonishing part of his screed is that Malloy was not just content to bash Reagan personally and politically, but that in doing so he threw in a gratuitous and mean-spirited attack on the institution of adoption (emphasis Malloy's):
CNN continued its spin on the retirement of Senator Byron Dorgan on Wednesday. Anchor Campbell Brown one-upped Wolf Blitzer’s “moderate Democrat” tag of the senator, going so far to label the liberal a “conservative Democrat.” Correspondent Dana Bash also noted how the outgoing senator is apparently “popular” in his state, contrary to recent polls. Not once was Dorgan labeled “liberal” or “left.”
Brown’s interview of Dorgan aired at the bottom of the 8 pm Eastern hour. During the second half of the segment, the anchor expressed some of the left’s concerns over his decision to not run for reelection: “You know, this is that rare moment where Democrats have a supermajority and are able to get through what they wanted to accomplish. And so there are people- fairly or unfairly- who are saying, why are you doing this to us now?”
Suffice it to say, liberal radio host Ed Schultz of the exceedingly short fuse was mightily steamed.
Schultz on Tuesday celebrated the sixth anniversary of his radio show, the top-rated of any libtalker in the country, and among his guests was Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., introduced by Schultz as "a guiding light for me for a long, long time and a great friend."
Whereupon in the course of their nine-minute conversation, Dorgan kept alleged buddy Schultz in the dark about Dorgan's plan to retire from the Senate, major news regardless of where one sits on the spectrum.
While the Democratic Mayor of Baltimore, Shelia Dixon, resigned on Wednesday amid a criminal scandal, the evening news programs on NBC, ABC, and CBS all failed to mention the political downfall.
On Thursday, all three network morning shows offered news briefs on the resignation, however, all forgot to note that Dixon was a Democrat.
On NBC’s Today, co-host Ann Curry mentioned: “Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon announced her resignation on Wednesday after she was convicted of embezzlement. She also agreed to plead guilty to perjury in a deal reached with prosecutors.”
Speaking to Virginia Governor Democratic Party Chairman Tim Kaine on Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez pointed out a potential dire situation for Democrats in the 2010 midterm election: “Your party stands to lose a lot in the fall. Its 60 vote majority in the Senate, dozens of seats in the House, as well as Governor seats across the country.”
An on-screen headline posed the question: “Democrats in Trouble?” Rodriguez summed up the circumstances under which Democrats could do well in the fall: “...two things have to happen. One, the economy has to improve, and, two, health care has to not only pass, but show that it’s working.” She assumed that health care passing would be a good thing for Democrats and failed to ask Kaine about the lack of openness in the legislative process.
Rodriguez asked for Kaine’s assessment of the situation. Unsurprisingly, the DNC chair was optimistic about his party’s chances: “I think both are going to happen....I think the passage of historic health care and continued improvement of the economy is going to actually surprise some people in November in terms of how Democrats do.”
In an interview on Fox News Channel’s Studio B on Wednesday, New York Congressman Peter King criticized President Obama for his “race to close Guantanamo,” prompting host Shepard Smith to parrot left-wing talking points on the subject: “[Obama] said that gave us a black eye around the world and studies seem to suggest that’s exactly what it did.”
King went on to staunchly defend the military prison: “I think we should not be giving in just because the terrorists say that Gitmo is a recruiting agent. So is our support of Israel. Does that mean we shouldn’t support Israel?” Smith skeptically replied: “You’re not equating the two, are you Congressman?” He then wondered: “Why is this political football being thrown around so much in the middle of all this?”
Smith later ranted: “Of all the important things to talk this just where we keep these people who want us dead, why do we spend time even talking about it? Why do people care?... In Cuba, we shoved them off to another country and stuck them on the end of an island and given the nation a black eye, if you believe – if you believe President Obama.” King pointed out Smith’s bias: “I think only a person that’s incredibly naive would say that we got – that we deserve that black eye. We got it because elements in the media and elements in the Democratic Party kept parroting that line.” In reply, Smith could be heard off camera sighing in disgust: “Ugh.”
On Wednesday’s Situation Room, CNN’s Jack Cafferty surprisingly blasted top Democrats, especially President Obama, over the secret negotiations being conducted to reconcile the House and Senate versions of health care “reform” legislation: “President Obama hasn’t even made a token effort to keep his campaign promises of more openness and transparency in government. It was all just another lie.”
The CNN commentator, who sang the praises of President Obama not even a year ago, devoted his first Cafferty File segment, which began 13 minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour, to berating the chief executive and congressional Democrats over their closed-door sessions. He even went so far to express his hope that “the voters remember some of this crap when the midterm elections roll around later this year.”
In the eyes of many in the liberal media, President Obama can do no wrong. If he does, it's not his fault; he is simply a victim of circumstance, or he made the best decision he could given the options. One can tell news items portraying Obama in this light by their descriptions of problems in the passive voice.
Take yesterday's New York Times article by Jackie Calmes, for instance. The piece displays a conspicuous use of the passive voice in the headline: "Promise to Trim Deficit Is Growing Harder to Keep", instead of, say, "Obama's Policies Make Deficit Reduction Unlikely".
The refrain is getting old. When Obama's economic policies caused the debt to skyrocket, and didn't lead to recovery but rather to more federal spending aimed at shoring up the economy, it was because the recession was worse than the administration had planned. Obama's brilliant plans to raise taxes on businesses failed because Congress succumbed to political pressure. Anticipated savings in Iraq were nullified when it turned out winning a war in Afghanistan might actually require significant funding. And Medicare is already being cut to pay for the health care overhaul, so those cuts can't go towards drawing down the deficit. You see, it's never actually Obama's fault.
Speaking with Republican New York Congressman Peter King on Wednesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez declared: “Congressman, here you are a Republican talking about everything that’s wrong and everything that went wrong....Tom Kean, who was the co-chairman of the 9/11 Commission said quote,‘we should dismiss the partisan bickering over the security failures over this issue.”
Rodriguez went on to place the blame for partisanship on the Republican side of the aisle as she asked: “Do you agree and do you say to your colleagues let’s try to support the President here and get to the bottom of the real issue?” King replied: “I have never made one partisan statement on terrorism since that day....I will give the President credit when I think he’s right. But on the other hand, when mistakes are being made, I think it’s my obligation to speak out because this issue is so vital to all Americans.”
On the December 30, 2008, The Early Show, anchor Jeff Glor reported on former Democratic Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney’s presence on a ship attempting to violate the Israeli blockade by delivering supplies to Gaza as the ship was "rammed" by the Israeli military. Glor notably misidentified McKinney as if she were a current member of Congress – which could make her appear to have more credibility – and did not inform viewers of Israel’s account of the incident or of McKinney’s controversial history, which includes links to anti-Semitic figures. Glor: "A relief ship carrying a Georgia Congressman, Cynthia McKinney, clashed with the Israeli navy this morning. The aid boat carrying activists and medical supplies destined for Gaza was reportedly rammed by an Israeli gunship. There were no casualties."
On the same day’s Special Report with Brit Hume on FNC, anchor Jim Angle reported on the boat collision during the show’s regular "Political Grapevine" segment, and passed on the Israeli response: "But an Israeli foreign ministry spokesman says the naval vessel made physical contact only after the supply ship failed to respond to repeated radio transmissions."