Would Eliot Spitzer be getting such a boost from CNN if he were a Republican? The former Democratic New York governor resigned in 2008 over a prostitution scandal, but less than three years later he snagged a prime-time show on CNN. On Wednesday night he enjoyed a nice promotion from CNN's Piers Morgan as he runs for New York City comptroller.
Morgan largely avoided Spitzer's 2008 scandal – except to use it for his "comeback" narrative. "This is all part of a comeback. You are the 'Comeback Kid.' Do you like being the 'Comeback Kid?'" he asked Spitzer. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN mentioned Eliot Spitzer's prostitution scandal in every single report on his comeback bid in politics on Monday and Tuesday, but hid that he was recently a CNN prime-time host in five of the seven reports.
Spitzer was originally hired by CNN as a liberal voice, to co-host a prime-time show with "conservative" Kathleen Parker that debuted in October of 2010. When Parker left the show months later in February of 2011, Spitzer – originally hired for his liberal bias – became the sole host of In the Arena, which was canceled later in July. Yet CNN only disclosed this information twice in its seven reports on Spitzer's candidacy for New York City comptroller.
Both House Democrats and Republicans opposed the debt ceiling compromise, but CNN's Don Lemon gave softball interviews to three Democrat congressmen who voted against the bill, while scrutinizing Tea Party Congressman Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) for his opposition.
"Why the change of heart, Congressman?" the CNN host asked Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) Tuesday on his decision to switch his vote to no. Lemon let him explain his vote and even asked if Frank's colleagues had read the bill before supporting it. "She [Pelosi] came out and supported it. But do you think your colleagues actually read the bill?" he asked Frank.
Channeling liberal disenchantment with President Obama, CNN anchor Don Lemon wondered Monday if the President would be "better off running as a conservative" in the next election.
"Your colleague in New York Gary Ackerman said the Republicans invited the President, quote, 'to negotiate at a strip poker table, and he showed up half-naked,' and then liberal columnist Paul Krugman calls the deal an abject surrender," Lemon quoted the two liberals downcast over the debt ceiling deal. "Would the President be better off running as a conservative in 2012?" he asked Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.)
The folks at CNN should be really proud of themselves.
In less than 24 hours, one of their current anchors - Fareed Zakaria - flat out lied about deficits, the debt ceiling, and the U.S. credit rating before a former host - Eliot Spitzer - falsely told viewers of HBO's "Real Time" that George W. Bush "gave us the deregulatory craziness that led us over the cliff" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN's Fareed Zakaria Thursday called the debt ceiling battle a "sideshow" caused by the Tea Party.
Appearing on "In the Arena" as a supposed "astute observer of the economy," Zakaria proceeded to bungle economic and historic facts like a high school dropout (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Eliot Spitzer used his last day at CNN to take a shot at cable news and decry the debt ceiling debate as a "new low for American politics" – although he himself was embroiled in an ugly scandal as governor of New York only three years ago. And he made sure to include a lengthy Constitutional conversation with two of his favorite guests, liberals Fareed Zakaria and Simon Schama.
Schama, a professor of History at Columbia University, has criticized the Tea Party's reverence for the Founders' "infallibility," and snorted that they believed the Constitution to be "quasi-biblical revelation." The Columbia University professor wrote in a June 26 Newsweek piece that "True history is the enemy of reverence."
After letting it wither on the vine for a while, CNN has canceled the nightly television program hosted by disgraced former New York governor Eliot Spitzer.
The show, known as "In the Arena," had initially paired Spitzer with moderate conservative Kathleen Parker who proved no match for her much more vociferous liberal counterpart. AP reports on the lineup shuffle:
Conservative Congressman Joe Walsh of Illinois twice called out the media for protecting President Obama on Thursday night's In the Arena, and told host Eliot Spitzer to his face that "you're doing a much better job of making [Obama's] case than he did."
Before the interview began, CNN excoriated the verbal war on Capitol Hill that ensued after Obama's criticism of Republicans in his press conference, likening the spat to the frat-house chaos in the movie "Animal House." However, Rep. Walsh minced no words when he came on the show, saying the president was "in over his head," "in denial," and "acted like a 10 year-old" in the presser.
Tea Party favorite Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) declared her candidacy for president Monday, and CNN provided plenty of snarky commentary with which to welcome her. The network repeatedly took aim at her past gaffes and suggested that she has little chance to win the Republican nomination for president.
In addition, CNN's Anderson Cooper led his regular news cast for two nights in a row touting the congresswoman's "hypocrisy" in championing small government while benefitting from a family farm and her husband's counseling clinic, both of which received federal funds – although Cooper himself admitted the total amount was "relatively small."
One disgraced former governor hosted another disgraced former governor Monday night to praise New York's same-sex marriage bill. CNN's In the Arena host Eliot Spitzer brought on former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey to discuss the bill in what turned out to be love-fest in honor of McGreevey's pro-gay sentiments.
McGreevey, a Democrat, announced he was gay in 2004 while he was in office as governor of New Jersey. The announcement came as he resigned from office revealing that he had an gay affair with another man while married to his wife.
On Tuesday's In the Arena, fill-in host Christine Romans questioned Marjorie Dannenfelser of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List on the relevance of the abortion issue in the upcoming presidential election. She argued that the central issues, according to polls, are the economy and jobs and that focusing on politicians' stances on abortion might not be a viable strategy.
Ironically, Anderson Cooper opened up CNN's 10 p.m. hour with a "Keeping Them Honest" segment scrutinizing a certain politician's flip-flops on same-sex marriage – President Obama.
It was an obvious contrast in demeanor last week, Eliot Spitzer's lapdog interview of the president of Planned Parenthood and his aggressive sparring with social conservative Tony Perkins. Spitzer simply let Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards air her spin on the organization, but went after the Family Research Council's (FRC) Perkins from the get-go on CNN Thursday night.
Consider the statements Richards made last Wednesday night that Spitzer was content not to scrutinize: Planned Parenthood has received "enormous support" from both Democrats and Republicans, the organization is "very transparent" about its services, Planned Parenthood reduces need for abortions through family planning, and the recent efforts by Congress and state legislatures to cut its funding "were to eliminate access for women to get access to life-saving breast cancer screenings, pap smears, and birth control."
Planned Parenthood is the nation's largest abortion provider, the controversial recipient of government funds, and is criticized by some for its lack of transparency – and yet CNN's Eliot Spitzer gave president Cecile Richards a free pass in a Wednesday night interview.
Could Spitzer's leniency be due to the fact that he enjoyed the endorsement of Planned Parenthood when he ran for governor of New York? Before he was ousted in a prostitution scandal, Spitzer was stridently pro-abortion as the state's governor. Pro-abortion group NARAL's New York PAC bragged that the organization was "central" to his 1998 victory when he ran for Attorney General of New York.
At the end of February, when CNN unceremoniously dumped moderate sorta-Republican co-host Kathleen Parker from Parker Spitzer after just 20 weeks, CNN implied they weren't dumping a conservative-leaning angle from the new solo-Spitzer show. On March 1, they touted the "newbies" Will Cain of National Review and ex-Fox News anchor E.D. Hill -- as contributors, not really as co-anchors. But it now appears that within two months, Cain is the newest right-leaner to be quietly exiled.
A Nexis search shows Cain hasn't been on Spitzer's new show In The Arena since May 6, more than a month ago. He was a regular until April 7, and then only appeared on April 14 and 22. E.D. Hill, by contrast, is still appearing almost nightly.
CNN's Howard Kurtz made a statement to his colleague Eliot Spitzer Wednesday that folks who remember the media firestorm surrounding former Congressman Mark Foley (R-Fla.) will find hard to believe.
Appearing on "In the Arena," the media analyst complained about the amount of coverage recent sex scandals involving Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), John Edwards, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Dominque Strauss-Kahn have received saying, "I've just never seen it spin at this velocity, this out of control" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
William F. Buckley Jr. once said his job was to "stand athwart history, yelling stop!" If more liberals took this advice, they wouldn't end up looking like two CNN anchors who just don't know when to say no to unsustainable deficit spending.
On the eve of a disappointing jobs report in which the unemployment rate rose to 9.1 percent, CNN International's Richard Quest plowed ahead like the helmsman of the Titanic in calling for "classic Keynesian economics" to salvage the foundering economy.
After proclaiming last week that he would be "surprised if anyone in Israel" objected to Obama's Middle East speech, CNN's Fareed Zakaria ripped Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his refusal to accept the President Obama's plan for Israeli-Palestinian borders. On CNN's In the Arena Thursday, Zakaria expounded upon his Washington Post op-ed criticizing Netanyahu, which NewsBusters reported on.
Zakaria has admitted to having face-to-face meetings recently with President Obama to discuss foreign affairs, and revealed that information before Obama's Middle East speech. Zakaria appeared on CNN before and after the speech last Thursday to give his commentary, talked about the speech on his Sunday show, and then wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post criticizing Netanyahu for his stubbornness.
For many in the media Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu's reaction to Barack Obama insistence that his country return to the 1967 borders was out of bounds. ABC's Christiane Amanpour declared she was "stunned" by his "public lecture" of the President and NBC's Andrea Mitchell hissed, "it was really rude," and charged he treated Obama "like a school boy." Mitchell didn't reserve her criticism to Netanyahu as she even went after Republicans who dared to take his side, accusing them of "piling on the President."
Every hour but one of CNN's Tuesday evening news coverage featured at least a mention of former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's marital infidelity. Guess which anchor backed away from any mention of the scandal?
Schwarzenegger's revelation of his fathering a child with a mistress was one of the day's leading headlines, and merited a mention if not a segment on most every CNN news hour Tuesday. During its 5 p.m.-12 a.m. EDT coverage, CNN reported the story every hour except during the 8 p.m. EDT slot – the prime-time show In the Arena with Eliot Spitzer. Spitzer made no mention of the story.
UPDATE, May 18: NewsBusters commenter "dreamsincolor" has pointed out that CNN "somehow" forgot Democratic New York Congressman Eric Massa, who resigned in 2009 to avoid "an ethics investigation into alleged misconduct toward a male staff member."
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Chris Ariens filed a report today at MediaBistro's TVNewser that opened with a reader's Tweet, which plaintively asked: "Did CNN really exclude Spitzer from Malveaux package on Sex Scandals & Politics? Hmm.."
The news that CNN's Fareed Zakaria has had private conversations with Barack Obama unveiled a glaring double standard at that network, as back in November 2002, when it was revealed that Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes sent a memo to then President George W. Bush regarding his post-9/11 actions CNN anchors threw a fit.
As the MRC's Brent Baker reported in the November 19 CyberAlert, CNN anchors throughout an entire broadcast day expressed outrage at Ailes' actions, led by Jack Cafferty and Paula Zahn's mocking of Fox News as a biased network, as seen in this November 18, 2002 exchange:
JACK CAFFERTY: Listen Paula, I have a story that may interest you here, a story that might be good for what ails you. That's as in "Roger Ailes," the guy who runs Fox News, that low-budget operation down the street with the red letters.
CNN's Eliot Spitzer challenged Congressman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) on the GOP's immigration stance Tuesday, but was content with liberal Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) hitting Republicans as "cold and reactionary" on the issue.
The former Democrat governor of New York pressed Royce on Republican opposition to the DREAM Act and pressured him to admit that President Obama has been tougher on border security than President Bush. Meanwhile, Spitzer simply asked Gutierrez if he agreed with Obama's Tuesday speech and if he would hold Obama's "feet to the fire."
In an interview with FishbowlNY Wednesday, CNN's Eliot Spitzer dismissed any claim to objectivity in his reporting and answered "I don't know" when asked if he is a commentator or a journalist. This came after he recently told the Media Research Center's Brent Bozell "I don't have a bias," on his CNN show "In the Arena."
Spitzer told FishbowlNY that he doesn't know if he is a journalist or a commentator. "When the issue of objectivity comes up, I don't think there is any such thing as objectivity," he added.
"I don't mean to say you infuse everything with bias and don't try to be rigorously factual, but how you present every fact depends upon the prism through which you see it."
Media members better get their facts straight when reporting about Donald Trump or they just might end up biting off more than they can chew.
On Friday, while CNN's Eliot Spitzer was doing a report contradicting Trump's claims about his net worth, the real estate mogul called into the studio to set the record straight (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Just hours before a last-minute deal was struck between Republicans and Democrats to prevent a government shutdown, CNN's Eliot Spitzer did some politicking of his own on Friday's "In the Arena."
The former Democrat governor of New York interviewed the wife of an army private and delved into the family's medical and financial information – a rather awkward spectacle – all to make the case against a government shutdown and cast a bad light on House Speaker Boehner's position on budget cuts.
After playing the father's good-bye message to his own family as he was leaving for Iraq, Spitzer thought that "John Boehner would cry if he saw that, no doubt," making an extra jab at the House Speaker's emotional temperament. "That's what he should be crying about, those army families not getting paid," Spitzer added for good measure.
While questioning Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) over the budget battle on Monday's "In the Arena," CNN's Eliot Spitzer switched gears and attacked Republicans for cutting taxes for the rich while cutting benefits for the poor. Spitzer and Chaffetz sparred over the ongoing budget battle and spending cuts, and Spitzer was certainly not lacking in Democrat talking points.
"You are driving the government to bankruptcy and then balancing the budget on the backs of the poor," Spitzer sharply accused the conservative congressman. "I'm saying to you, how do you justify that?"
On Tuesday's In the Arena on CNN, Bill Maher channeled the far left's frustration with President Obama: "This is one of my big problems with our president. He never blames the Republicans for anything. He's their best friend....There's an oil rig that blows up in the Gulf of Mexico, and the party of drill, baby, drill does not get blamed." Host Eliot Spitzer also joined Maher in bashing the Tea Party.
The two liberals vented about domestic politics during the second half of the segment, which began 18 minutes into the 8 pm Eastern hour. Spitzer mouthed off his regular talking points about how "the middle class has been squeezed and has suffered....[and] the top 2 or 3 percent has profited amazingly well. And then...we had this financial meltdown, caused primarily by Wall Street." He then lamented how this situation hasn't benefitted his fellow liberals as much as he'd like, which led to Maher bashing the apparent stupidity of the Tea Party:
All you need to know about why people on the right were dissatisfied with Kathleen Parker as the supposedly conservative counterweight to Eliot Spitzer on the pair's recently-canned CNN show was crystallized on Morning Joe today. The panel unleashed an absolute gush-a-thon over Parker, Mika Brzezinski declaring her "one of my favorite people" and Willie Geist describing her as "a great writer."
For good measure, the MSNBC folks delighted in dumping on rival CNN. Mike Barnicle took top trash-talking honors, claiming Parker had been "brutalized" at the network.
As the mainstream media have reported on the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s beliefs, failing to pick up on contradictory claims by its leaders that the Islamist group opposes terrorism, also ignored was the role that the Muslim Brotherhood has long played in fomenting anti-Jew hatred in the Middle East. After Nazi Germany financed and helped build up the previously struggling Brotherhood in the 1930s and 1940s, the group disseminated anti-Jew propaganda and inspired the kind of persecution that sent almost a million Jewish refugees fleeing violence, confiscation of property, and expulsion in Muslim countries between the 1940s and the 1970s. Some even estimate that the land confiscated from Jewish residents in Muslim countries amounts to four times or even five times the total area of the state of Israel. A number of Muslim countries saw their Jewish populations almost completely erased, including Egypt where the number dwindled from about 100,000 Jews to only a couple of hundred.
Even somewhat recently, Brotherhood leaders have made such incendiary statements as praising Adolf Hitler to declaring that Muslims should stop fighting each other and fight against Israel instead. As previously documented by NewsBusters, an interview on CNN's Parker-Spitzer helped reveal the tendency of Muslim Brotherhood leaders to twist the meaning of words, as one leader claimed that the group opposes terrorism and violence but then suggested that Palestinian militants are not engaged in terrorism against Israel but instead "resistance," which he rationalized. He also refused to give a straight answer on whether the group would support adherence to Egypt’s treaty with Israel.
But on the January 31 NBC Nightly News, not picking up on Muslim Brotherhood wordplay, correspondent Richard Engel claimed, "The Muslim Brotherhood denounces terrorism, but supports Islamic law, is anti-Israel, and opposes U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East."