The day after the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, CNN asked if Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry was being a "bomb thrower" for vilifying Social Security as a Ponzi scheme.
After playing a clip of Perry calling the program a "monstrous lie" and a "Ponzi scheme," CNN's Kyra Phillips teed up Democratic strategist Maria Cardona with this question: "Bomb thrower or truth teller, Maria?" Cardona predictably replied that Perry was a "bomb thrower."
After quoting an op-ed which criticized President Obama for his partisanship, CNN's Carol Costello then asked her audience to chime in on how the President could "end the partisan bickering."
She appeared exasperated later in the hour when she read the responses to the question – all of them negative – and whined that there just had to be something Obama could do about America's partisan problem. "I mean, we're Americans, for god's sakes!" she exclaimed.
Referencing Dick Cheney's revelation in his new memoir that he urged President Bush to bomb a Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007, CNN's Kyra Phillips posed this obnoxious question to her panel: "Was Cheney even more of a hawk than we gave him credit for?"
The upcoming release of Cheney's memoir, "In My Time," should re-ignite the media's decade-long war on the former Vice President, as he himself has predicted that the book will have "heads exploding" in Washington. In the book he detailed a meeting in 2007 where he was the only one the room supporting the bombing of the Syrian nuclear reactor. President Bush declined to take that approach, and Israel bombed the site months later.
On Tuesday morning, CNN's Kyra Phillips asked why the Republican presidential candidates have not been speaking out on foreign policy in Libya during the climactic battle in the country's capital between rebel and imperial forces. CNN had interviewed Republican candidate Jon Huntsman the night before, but had not yet asked him about the conflict in Libya, in the first of a two-part interview set to conclude Tuesday night.
"This week's battle in Libya, the first big chance for the GOP presidential hopefuls to show their foreign policy savvy," Phillips noted during the 10 a.m. hour of Newsroom. "Why haven't we heard from them?" she asked. Liberal CNN analyst Roland Martin subsequently hammered the Republicans as "wimps" for their silence.
On Thursday, Forbes's Robert Lenzner claimed the U.S. needs a second stimulus, and CNN's financial gurus Richard Quest and Ali Velshi were content not to challenge his point. Velshi even acknowledged later that the country needs to "stimulate employment" through tax benefits to small businesses.
"What we really need, but unfortunately we're politically behind the eight-ball is, we need an enormous stimulus program of say, $200 billion to put to work all these people from the construction trades and building and real estate that are out of work," Lenzner insisted.
ESPN's LZ Granderson labeled Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) as "crazy" Monday, and CNN anchor Kyra Phillips seemed to credit his judgment.
Granderson, a CNN contributor, said of a Bachmann candidacy that "the people aren't going to vote for crazy. And she [Bachmann] still registers as crazy with a lot of independents." Phillips immediately responded that "If you could go back decades, there's a lot of people who vote for crazy, guys."
Live from the Iowa State Fair, CNN's Don Lemon asked Republican presidential nominee Herman Cain if he could win the Iowa vote for the Republican nomination and for president, given that Cain belongs to a "mostly-white party" and is campaigning in a "mostly-white state."
Lemon had said the two had a "passionate conversation" prior to going on air, where he asked Cain "do you think in a party – in a mostly-white party in a mostly-white state, did you really stand a chance, not only of a nomination, of becoming President?"
Referencing Michael Moore's absurd tweet that President Obama should arrest the CEO of Standard & Poors for downgrading America's credit rating, CNN's Kyra Phillips actually asked her panel members who they would like to see arrested in the fallout of the downgrade.
Whether or not the question was serious, Moore's tweet was. On Monday he implored President Obama , via Twitter, to "show some guts" and arrest the CEO of Standard & Poors. "These criminals brought down the economy in 2008& [sic] now they will do it again," Moore tweeted.
With such esteemed liberal intellectual heavyweights like comedian Bill Maher and Al Gore calling for the liberal grassroots to stand up and make their voices heard, CNN's Carol Costello floated the idea of a liberal version of the Tea Party on Monday.
"Does America need a liberal Tea Party?" Costello asked during the 11 a.m. EDT hour of CNN's Newsroom. Costello was not completely enthusiastic over the idea – she worried that it could "lead to more hyper-partisanship," as if the Tea Party was already doing enough of that.
CNN's Don Lemon asked a guest Sunday if President Obama is "more conservative" than most would believe. Lemon referred back to his question last week, which NewsBusters reported, when he asked a Democrat congressman if Obama would do better running as a conservative in 2012.
The CNN anchor claimed he was being facetious then, but jovially added "Someone took that seriously." Then, quoting a columnist who argues Obama is a closet moderate-conservative, he posed the question to guest Heather McGhee from Demos.org: "Is Obama more conservative than most people think?"
After asking Tea Party favorite Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) to discard his talking points and be frank on the debt ceiling issue, CNN's Don Lemon repeatedly interrupted the senator, and even lectured him and threw some Democrat talking points at him. Lemon interviewed Paul on Saturday's 5 p.m. EDT edition of CNN Newsroom.
"At this point though, and can we do this – let's do this interview without talking points, okay, let's just talk to each other," Lemon curtly told the senator at the outset. But then he asked a pointed question which made Paul raise his eyebrows.
Even Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) believes the government can still pay out social security checks if the debt ceiling is not raised, but CNN highlighted disgruntled seniors Thursday who fear the opposite. CNN correspondent Sandra Endo reported live from a senior center and emphasized that the citizens were "scared," "worried," and "angry" about possibly not receiving their Social Security and Medicare payments.
"A lot of opinions, strong emotions, coming out of the seniors we've spoken to," Endo said. "There's certainly a buzz here at this senior center, and a lot of people are just frightened because they rely on their Social Security and also Medicare and Medicaid, of course, for their livelihood."
A possible debt ceiling crisis? Mass murder in Norway? Important stories, but today on the 6:00 pm segment of CNN Newsroom, they took a backseat to another story. Showing video of a homosexual wedding, the program began:
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, boy, it's a historic day in New York. Same-sex marriages begin. And this hour live coverage as Mayor Michael Bloomberg officiates a wedding between two of his staff members.
CNN anchor Fredricka Whitfield apparently thinks some Republican players in the debt ceiling debate are concerned that President Obama is conceding too much. During the 12 p.m. EDT hour Friday, Whitfield alleged that many important players from both parties think Obama may be "caving" to Republicans.
"You know, there are a lot of players who are very concerned – Democrats and Republicans who are concerned – and particularly Democrats are concerned that the president may be giving up too much in order to come about a deal," Whitfield remarked while stumbling over her words.
CNN touted results from its newly-released poll Thursday showing Americans favor a balance of spending cuts and tax increases in the debt ceiling debate, as well as raising the debt ceiling. What the network completely failed to report -- although NewsBusters reported it -- was that Americans also favored two conservative positions – passage of a balanced budget amendment, along with spending cuts and future spending caps.
CNN's deputy political director Paul Steinhauser emphasized that the poll results favored Democrats over Republicans. He insisted that "the headline here is Americans want compromise," and pointed out that 64 percent of respondents favored including both spending cuts and tax increases, "kind of like what the president is suggesting, what the Gang of Six is suggesting."
Although President Obama and the Democrats have stridently insisted that increased tax revenues be part of a debt ceiling deal, CNN is content to choose sides and paint only the conservative Republicans as stubborn extremists for opposing the revenue increases. Anchor Kyra Phillips asked Thursday morning if Republicans would listen to the warning of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to the House GOP not to shut down the government over spending cuts and taxes.
The network has previously resorted to using moderate Republicans and conservatives like David Brooks to frame the Tea Party congressmen as fringe. Their latest source is McCain, who warned Republican House members that the government shutdown in 1995 helped spur President Bill Clinton's 1996 re-election. "Will they listen?" CNN said of Republicans, as if Sen. McCain was the voice of reason.
Referencing the sweet reason of the New York Times's "conservative" David Brooks, CNN's Brooke Baldwin urged Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) to listen to the voice of compromise in the debt ceiling debate.
Baldwin pleaded with Hatch that "there are folks out there – including conservatives – saying President Obama has already offered Republican [sic] the deal of their dreams," although Hatch later responded that President Obama has yet to outline exactly what the cuts are that are featured in his deal.
Today on the 2:00 pm segment of CNN Newsroom, anchor Randi Kaye spoke with CNN political producer Shannon Travis about criticism directed at President Barack Obama:
TRAVIS: Yes, really, really quickly, billionaire Steve Wynn, you've seen his resorts all over Las Vegas. He's blasting President Obama. I'm going to read this quote from a call, an earnings call yesterday. Quote, "I'm saying it bluntly that this administration is the greatest wet blanket to business and progress and job creation in my lifetime". Those are from Steve Wynn.
We know there are a lot of businesses who have been on a hiring streak, Randi, but this is what Steve Wynn, billionaire real estate mogul in Las Vegas thinks about the Obama administration.
What hiring streak is Travis talking about? CNN Money.com reported last week that initial unemployment claims remained above the 400,000 mark for the 14th straight week. The Bureau of Labor Statistics noted in its June, 2011 report that there are now 14.1 million Americans out of work. The same agency pegged that number at 11.6 for January, 2009, the month Barack Obama took office.
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."
Apparently, a pledge to reduce the deficit and cap spending long-term and vote for a strict balanced budget amendment is an extreme measure. CNN correspondent Jim Acosta, reporting on the conservative "Cut, Cap, Balance Pledge," quipped that "it's not exactly cut, cap, and balance. It may be more body-slam and pile-driver."
The pledge, sponsored by numerous grassroots conservative groups, entails signers promising to oppose an increase on the debt limits unless three conditions are met. The conditions are that the spending cuts must reduce the deficit "next year and thereafter," caps on spending must be instituted to bring about a balanced budget, and Congress must pass a balanced budget amendment.
It didn't take long for CNN to buy into the hype of New York's legalization of same-sex marriage and pose this question: Is it time for marriage equality in America? CNN asked the question on both the 11 a.m. 12 p.m. EDT hours of Newsroom.
The network referred to the words of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who stated that he believes "it is time for marriage equality all across the country." Cuomo signed New York's same-sex marriage bill into law over the weekend.
We all know how the story ended for the first "Sheriff of Wall Street," Eliot Spitzer. CNN hailed attorney Preet Bharara as the "New Sheriff of Wall Street" in a puff-piece Thursday afternoon, and one can only wonder if his career path will eventually take him to a prime-time slot at CNN as a Democrat mouthpiece.
Bharara was nominated by President Obama in 2009 to be U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. In less than two years he has convicted 44 people on Wall Street for insider trading, thus earning him headlines and a complimentary title from CNN.
Is this CNN's idea of objectivity? To discuss a gay marriage bill in the New York state senate, openly-gay CNN anchor Don Lemon hosted a Democratic strategist and a pro-gay marriage conservative Sunday. Given the probability that all three would support the legislation, one can only wonder how an honest debate could have transpired during Sunday's 6 p.m. EDT edition of Newsroom.
National Review's Will Cain has made frequent appearances on CNN recently, including one week earlier on Sunday night's Newsroom to discuss the validity of socially-conservative positions with mainstream America. Cain is a self-described "pro-gay marriage supporter," and presumably was brought on Sunday to represent the "conservative" point of view across from Democratic strategist Jamal Simmons.
Both President Obama and leading Republican candidate Mitt Romney got into hot water for supposedly making insensitive comments about the economy this week. But CNN's response offers a textbook case of media bias, as the supposedly-objective news network virtually ignored Obama's gaffe while trumpeting Romney's comment.
President Obama poked fun at the ineffectiveness of his own stimulus bill in creating certain "shovel-ready jobs" on Monday and Republicans pounced on the joke, claiming it was not funny when unemployment remains high. However, CNN barely reported the president's joke and the ensuing Republican outrage.
From listening to CNN's pre- and post-Weiner press conference commentary, one could be forgiven for thinking they were already attempting to jumpstart the congressman's political career. Already one former politician caught in a sex scandal is using his prime-time position at CNN to rehabilitate his image.
"Sad" and "tragic" were words used by CNN's political team to describe Weiner's resignation given that he was a "rising star" in the Democrat Party. CNN's Wolf Blitzer told colleague John King, "It's almost tragic, John, because as you've been pointing out, [Weiner] was really the front-runner to become the next mayor of New York City after Michael Bloomberg."
Tuesday’s CNN Newsroom acknowledged Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann as a “rising star” in the GOP, but moved quickly to write her off as a far-right extremist. “As far as the general election goes, [CNN analyst John] Avlon says Bachmann doesn’t stand a chance. She needs independents to win and despite her charm last night, Bachmann’s views are too conservative to many Americans.” said CNN’s Carol Costello.
Among these views that make Bachmann an unelectable radical is her belief in the Constitution. “She has said God encouraged her to run for higher office, and that government should be limited only to what is in the Constitution.” said Costello.. Who but the media, after all, would construe the Constitution as being optional. To reporters, it appears, the rule of law is now a quaint and outmoded notion entertained only by those who believe in accountable government.
Openly-gay CNN anchor Don Lemon dug back to a May 16 interview with liberal Joy Behar to smear GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum just before Monday night's Republican primary debate. Behar then said of the socially-conservative Santorum that he "seems like a big homophobe," and Lemon made sure Friday to reference that smear and put Santorum on the defensive.
As NewsBusters reported Friday, Lemon badgered Santorum in an airport over his positions on gay marriage. The CNN segment featured an abbreviated portion of the interview, and Lemon aired the extended version Sunday evening on the 7 p.m. EDT hour of Newsroom.
Openly-gay CNN anchor Don Lemon badgered GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum over his views on gay marriage Friday, questioning his stance on gay rights and if he really had any gay friends. A brief clip of the interview that aired on Newsroom Friday afternoon revealed Lemon to be fairly testy in his questions.
Having revealed in May that he is gay, Lemon defended his objectivity as a journalist and dismissed the notion that he would be biased on the gay rights debate. But later he told a pro-gay newspaper "I hope to change minds" as an openly-gay journalist, and that there should be more journalists who come out. NewsBusters has documented Lemon's history of pro-gay bias.
This morning on CNN Newsroom, anchor Kyra Phillips examined another aspect of the Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY) story. Noting that Weiner's wife is a very close friend of and former aide to Hillary Clinton, Phillips said: