The folks at the Washington Post got exactly what they wanted with Sunday’s racially charged, 3000-word, front page hit piece about Texas governor Rick Perry.
CNN did two segments on N-ggerhead Sunday evening, one with host Don Lemon asking his guests, “Can a candidate recover once they've been associated with a controversy over the word n-gger?” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN's Jessica Yellin, reporting on President Obama's virtual townhall Monday afternoon, noted two wealthy persons who wish to pay higher taxes – but didn't mention the small businessman who during the townhall complained to the President about regulations and taxes.
Yellin focused her brief report on a member of the audience who claimed to be a wealthy retiree and asked for higher taxes. CNN ran Obama's response to him, and Yellin added that the CEO of LinkedIn, the sponsor of the townhall, would be "open" to tax hikes on the rich.
Both CBS's "Early Show" and CNN's "Newsroom" sought out Rep. Maxine Waters on Monday for her reaction to President Obama's "stop complaining" rejoinder to the Congressional Black Caucus on Saturday, but neither outlet mentioned the continuing ethics investigation into the ultra-liberal Democrat. CNN anchor Suzanne Malveaux even went so far to flatter Rep. Waters as having her "marching shoes" on.
CBS's Erica Hill brought on the liberal politician just minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour and first asked, "What was your reaction to that when he [President Obama] said, 'Stop complaining, stop grumbling, stop crying'?" The representative gently critiqued the President's language:
In recent years, various media outlets have established self-styled truth squads to "fact check" politicians. Today on CNN Newsroom anchored by Brooke Baldwin, correspondent Tom Foreman examined statements made at last night's GOP presidential candidate debate. One was former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's criticism of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s support for a law allowing children of illegal immigrants to qualify for in-state tuition at public universities and colleges. Romney said: "Four years of college, almost $100,000 discount if you're an illegal alien to go to the University of Texas. If you're a United States citizen you have to pay $100,000 more."
Foreman's verdict was that Romney's assertion was correct, but faulted him because he didn't mention other states have similar programs:
FOREMAN: If you were an out of state student, you would pay an additional around $23,000 to go there, so over four years that, would add up to about $100,000 break as an in-state student. What he doesn't mention, however is that Texas is not alone. Sure, he wants to punch Rick Perry with this. But California does this, New Mexico does it, Illinois, Nebraska, Kansas, Maryland, I can't remember them all.
Liberals watching CNN Friday morning would have been pleased by the "Political Buzz" segment that targeted Republicans for criticism and hyped the possible political career of Chelsea Clinton.
CNN reported that the "crowd" at Thursday's GOP debate booed a gay soldier serving in Iraq. From the video they provided of the incident, it was clear that a couple of rogue crowd members booed the man, and not the audience in general.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer fretted over Rick Perry blasting Obama's foreign policy soon before the President was to deliver his address to the United Nations. CNN analyst David Gergen agreed with him, painting Perry as a grenade-thrower.
In a meeting with New York City Jewish leaders GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry slammed what he termed President Obama's policy of "appeasement" in the Middle East, and labeled it "naive and arrogant, misguided and dangerous." Perry made his remarks on the eve of President Obama's address to the UN, in the same city.
CNN business correspondent Christine Romans claimed Monday that "any serious budget expert's analysis" concludes that taxes must increase. During CNN's coverage of President Obama's address concerning his deficit reduction plan, Romans asked not if, but when Republicans should get on board with his proposals.
"So at what point do Republicans say, okay, we agree that taxes have to go up, and here's what we'll agree to?" Romans posed to former Bush CBO director, Douglas Holtz-Eakin.
CNN's Jim Acosta asked Rick Perry Wednesday if he was "a tad overconfident" for stumping in a battleground state like Virginia so early in the campaign season. Perry, a leading Republican presidential candidate, delivered a speech at Liberty University earlier in the day.
"It seems as if you're already looking past the primaries and into the general election," CNN's political correspondent posed to the candidate. "Aren't you being a tad overconfident?" he obnoxiously added.
For analysis of the special election in New York's 9th Congressional District, CNN hosted Hilary Rosen – a former Democratic strategist and former interim head of the Human Rights Campaign, a leading LGBT civil rights organization.
The network simply listed Rosen as a "CNN political contributor," failing to disclose her past as a Democratic strategist. Not surprisingly, Rosen downplayed the shock of a Republican victory in former Congressman Anthony Weiner's district, which had been Democratic since the 1920s, remarking that "there's too much made of it."
CNN's legal contributor, and former legal analyst, Sunny Hostin stated Tuesday that the sex abuse cases involving the Catholic clergy could be considered war crimes by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
"I mean this is a war crimes tribunal and that is not to say that perhaps these crimes don't qualify as war crimes because we know that sex crimes and sexual violence do qualify," she maintained. However, she added that most cases seen by the ICC stem from genocide or violence in war-torn countries.
Hostin's statement came during CNN's coverage of the efforts of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) to have the pope prosecuted by the ICC for "crimes against humanity."
CNN's business guru Ali Velshi argued that the stimulus did not fail, in a testy exchange Monday with CNN contributor Dana Loesch that followed President Obama's jobs plan speech.
"It failed!" exclaimed Loesch when Velshi mentioned the stimulus, to which he excitedly replied that it did not fail. That set off a back-and-forth between the two pundits, where Velshi argued that unemployment could have been higher without the stimulus – a rather tired hypothetical thrown around by liberals.
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.