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:
Isn't Jessica Yellin mocking her own network for incessantly reporting on Sarah Palin's bus tour? The CNN correspondent called the coverage of the tour "a media low-point" on CNN Tuesday, although her own network made mention of tour almost every hour Monday from 6 a.m. EDT through 11 p.m. EDT – and then again Tuesday from 6 a.m. EDT through 1 p.m. EDT.
The continuous coverage included nine live reports from Gettysburg, one of the tour stops, by correspondent Jim Acosta – and a live appearance there by anchor John King Monday afternoon. John King, USA – King's 7 p.m. EDT show – was broadcast from Gettysburg, and then the anchor returned later to guest-host Anderson Cooper 360 from the same site, for two hours.
Attempting to offer a defense of Ed Schultz, CNN's Randi Kaye told guest Howard Kurtz Thursday that "there are mixed interpretations" of the term "slut," which Schultz called conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham Thursday. Kaye also referred to Laura Ingraham's response to Schultz as "biting," proving that she possibly was harder on Ingraham than on tyrant Sadaam Hussein back in 2006.
"Yeah, but you know when you hear the word 'slut' – I mean I hate to even say it on our air, to be honest with you – but there are mixed interpretations about the word," Kaye told Kurtz. The media critic didn't buy it for a second.
CNN anchor Randi Kaye finished her Tuesday news hour with a giddy monologue praising the newest smoking ban in New York City. The ban, signed into law by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in February, took effect Tuesday and outlawed smoking in city parks, public plazas, beaches, and boardwalks.
"Yes, say what you want about Mayor Bloomberg's smoking ban on, oh, about 1700 parks and 14 miles of beaches around New York City, but I think it is a great idea," Kaye gushed, effectively wagging her finger in front of all members of her audience who disagreed with the ban.
While President Obama has been hit by black leftists for failing to help unemployed African-Americans, CNN anchor Carol Costello offered an impassioned defense of the president Friday morning, framing most every question to cast Obama in the best light possible. The reason Costello was defending Obama? Princeton's Dr. Cornel West recently slammed Obama for his failure to reach out to the African-American community, calling him a "white man with black skin" and "a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and black puppet of corporate plutocrats."
Hosting the liberal Columbia University professor Mark Lamont Hill, a self-proclaimed "leading hip-hop generation intellectual," Costello repeatedly sought to generate pity for the president. "Aren't we expecting a little too much of him?" Costello pouted during the 10 a.m. EDT hour.
Update below the break: Although Zakaria said he would be "surprised" if any Israelis objected to Obama's "quite even-handed" call for pre-1967 borders between Israel and Palestine, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed clear disapproval of the idea Thursday.
CNN's Fareed Zakaria appeared three times on Newsroom Thursday to preview and evaluate President Obama's speech on the Middle East – but never revealed that he has recently had face-to-face meetings with the president on foreign policy matters.
Last weekend a comment by CNN prime time host Eliot Spitzer revealed that Zakaria was advising the president on foreign policy matters, but Zakaria later dismissed that observation and said he simply had off-the-record conversations with Obama on foreign issues. However, he still did not disclose that information when he evaluated Obama's foreign policy speech Thursday on CNN.
CNN continued its rehabilitation of Eliot Spitzer's political career in leaving his name out of a lengthy list of recent political sex scandals Tuesday. As MediaBistro and my colleague Tom Blumer reported yesterday, the network shied away from disclosing the checkered past of one of its prime-time anchors.
In the wake of former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's revelations that he fathered a child with a mistress, CNN ran a segment during the 2 p.m. EDT hour covering recent political sex scandals. Correspondent Suzanne Malveaux mentioned six by name and CNN ran old news clips of even more – but failed to disclose that the current host of a CNN prime-time show was once embroiled in an infamous scandal.
CNN anchor Don Lemon grabbed headlines over the weekend with his Twitter announcement that he is gay. On Monday his co-workers provided plenty of time for him on two separate shows to share his story and his own views on the gay-rights issue, and showered him with support. As if that wasn't enough, he asked them in turn to do the same for others "who choose to come out."
"I really appreciate all the support, and I hope you continue to support not only me, but other people who choose to come out," Lemon told afternoon Newsroom host Brooke Baldwin. In the past, Lemon has himself provided a podium for gay rights activists to makes themselves heard, though he claims objectivity on the issue.
CNN anchor Don Lemon has openly acknowledged that he is gay in his book "Transparent," set to be released June 16. He tweeted an article in the Sunday's New York Times about the book late Sunday night, later thanking his followers for their outpouring of support in the wake of his revelation.
"I think it would be great if everybody could be out," he was quoted in the Times interview. "But it's such a personal choice....I do have to say that the more people who come out, the better it is for everyone, certainly for the Tyler Clementis of the world."
The Times also reported that CNN Newsroom and the Joy Behar Show will be hosting Lemon Monday to share his story. "He has been assured of support by CNN," the Times said of his planned appearances.
As NewsBusters has been reporting for months, Obama-loving media are busily depicting every criticism of the Administration as being racially motivated.
On Saturday, Don Lemon brought on a number of guests on "CNN Newsroom" to discuss how the recent controversy surrounding rapper Common's appearance at the White House is all because he's black (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Ron Paul may be considered a "fringe" conservative for his beliefs, but as a U.S. congressman running for a major party presidential ticket he received some bizarre coverage on CNN Friday. Anchor Carol Costello chuckled as the network played a clip of comedian Conan O'Brien mocking Paul's presidential bid, before asking her panel about the 2012 presidential field.
"We couldn't help but play a Conan O'Brien spot to lead into this Ron Paul segment," Costello admitted with a grin during the 10 a.m. EDT news hour Friday.
The clip featured TBS's O'Brien laughing at Paul's lax positions on the legalization of heroin and prostitution. "Yeah, his campaign slogan is 'Let's just see what would happen,'" O'Brien joked.
PBS's Tavis Smiley offered his own half-baked assumptions Friday on the 2012 GOP presidential contenders. The far-left anchor dismissed the GOP field as a bunch of nobodies on the 9 a.m. EDT hour of CNN Newsroom.
"You can't beat somebody with nobody," he quipped when asked what GOP contender poses the biggest threat to President Obama's re-election. "I don't see somebody yet that the president should be all that concerned about, at least to the point of losing sleep."
Smiley also hit Obama for not doing more to help unemployed African-Americans. He assumed the reason Obama is hesitant to do so is his fear of accusations of being "tribal."
On Thursday morning, CNN largely dismissed the controversy over the White House invite of rapper Common, using talking points from the White House and Comedy Central's Daily Show to marginalize conservative critics.
Anchor Carol Costello deflected attention away from the rapper's violent lyrics by quoting a rap of his that has a pro-life message. She quoted none of his violent lyrics, however. Common has composed work in the past praising cop-killer Assata Shakur in "A Song for Assata," and has also ranted "burn a Bush" in rapping about the former president.
Conservatives were outraged over the artist's invite to the White House for an evening of poetry and song. The White House did condemn his violent lyrics "that has been written about" press secretary Jay Carney clarified, but did not renege on Common's invitation.