[Update, 12:15 pm Wednesday: See below on CNN's additional coverage of the assault.]
CNN devoted seven news briefs on Tuesday to an assault on a MoveOn.org employee by Rand Paul supporters caught on camera outside the Kentucky Senate debate on Monday evening, but failed to mention a second assault on Rand Paul supporter by a booster of Paul's opponent, Jack Conway. Most of the briefs also omitted how the MoveOn employee was trying to get an embarrassing picture of Paul.
Emily Maxwell of KYPost.com reported late on Monday how "tensions flared at he senatorial candidates' debate here Monday night in two confrontations between Conway and Paul supporters, Lexington police reported. The first involved a woman who is a member of www.moveon.org and who was determined to pose in front of Rand Paul holding a sign that read 'Rand Paul Republicore: Employee of the Month.'" After detailing this first incident, Maxwell continued that "the second occurred after a Conway supporter stepped on the foot of a female Rand supporter, who recently had foot surgery, according to police. The woman was wearing a surgical boot, but after the injury, her incision was cut open. Police say she refused medical treatment and also filed an assault report."
Anchor John Roberts set the example for CNN's coverage of the incidents in his news brief six minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour of American Morning, as the video of the assault on Lauren Valle, the MoveOn.org employee played:
Someone should tell CNN anchor Ali Velshi that attacking the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for its political activities is so last week.
During the “XYZ” segment of the hour he anchors of “CNN Newsroom” on Oct. 25, Velshi did his best impersonation of an MSNBC anchor and railed against the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for its political activities. Velshi lamented the barrage of negative advertising in this campaign cycle and all but tied the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to it.
CNN continued its promotion of the left-wing agenda of homosexual activist groups by devoting five segments on Wednesday to promoting GLAAD's "Spirit Day" or "Wear Purple Day." The network promoted the organization's website for the special day, which, as anchor John Roberts described it, was organized "to show support for gay and lesbian youth and honor teens who have taken their lives in recent weeks."
Roberts highlighted "Spirit Day" during a brief eight minutes into the 7 pm Eastern hour of American Morning: "Well, if you're logging on this morning, noticing a lot of purple people on Facebook this morning, that's because today has been dubbed 'Spirit Day.' The Gay and Lesbian Alliance against Defamation is asking everyone to wear purple and turn their Facebook and Twitter profiles to purple to show support for gay and lesbian youth and honor teens who have taken their lives in recent weeks. For more information, you can visit glaad.org/spirit day." During the brief, a special purple graphic was displayed on screen.
Kyra Phillips, John Roberts's fiancee, devoted two segments to GLAAD's campaign during her two hours of CNN Newsroom. During the 9 am Eastern hour, she highlighted a taped message made by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:
On CNN Newsroom today, anchor Fredricka Whitfield reported on President Barack Obama campaigning for the re-election of Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts. She had this exchange with Dan Lothian, White House correspondent for CNN:
WHITFIELD: And so, Dan, the White House thinks this is fairly risk free given that it was a fairly risky move for the president to campaign for Martha Coakley back in the day when she was pushing for the late Ted Kennedy's seat?
DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Risk free in this particular race right now, but you're right. Back in January, when the president made that last minute visit for Martha Coakley, it had been widely viewed she ran a lackluster campaign. The president came at the last minute to help her pull off a win.
How risky was it for Barack the Bold to hit the trail for Coakley? A Research 2000 poll taken days before Obama's January 17th appearance had Coakley over Republican Scott Brown by a 49% to 41% margin. Only 14 months earlier, Obama had won Massachusetts with 62% of the vote. The last time Massachusetts voters elected a Republican to the U.S. Senate was 1972.
On Friday's Newsroom, CNN's Ali Velshi channeled the homosexual lobby's disappointment with the Obama administration's defense of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy: "This unjust policy has gone on far too long in America." Velshi also stated that homosexuals "have a right to serve. They have a right to fight."
The anchor criticized the Justice Department's appeal of a federal judge's Tuesday injunction halting the military from enforcing the 17-year-old policy during his regular "XYZ" commentary. After giving a brief on the judge's ruling and the Obama administration's Thursday appeal, Velshi outlined his opposition to"don't ask, don't tell:"
VELSHI: Justice delayed is not necessarily justice denied in this case, but it is justice delayed. It's time to end 'don't ask, don't tell' now. This unjust policy has gone on far too long in America. Countries around the world allow gay troops to serve openly and just because a policy has been deemed constitutional in the past doesn't actually mean it's good policy and it certainly doesn't mean it's right.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer downplayed the straight liberal record of Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday's Newsroom, as he compared the former senator to Delaware Democratic Senate candidate Chris Coons: "I think we'll find out that he's [Coons] very much in line with the policies of a Joe Biden...sort of a relatively moderate liberal Democrat who's traditionally got a little bit of an independent streak" [audio available here].
Blitzer appeared with anchor Tony Harris at the bottom of the 11 am Eastern hour for a preview of the debate between Coons and Republican Christine O'Donnell, in which he is serving as co-moderator. Harris asked The Situation Room host, "As you mentioned a couple of times, he [Coons] is leading this race, and- you know, it has been suggested that he would go to Washington as a rubber stamp to the policies of the Obama administration. What do we know- what do you think we'll find out about Chris Coons tonight?"
On the 2:00 PM segment of CNN Newsroom today, anchor Don Lemon concluded with a message for President Obama. Prefacing his comment with the obligatory, "This isn't about Republican or Democrat. It's about being an American," Lemon got to the point:
I'm not a pollster, but here is what I hear in the barber shops, the grocery store, the gym, the gas station, hey, CNN, guy, what's up with our president, man?
What is he waiting on? What is he afraid of? Just this morning at the coffee shop, a man walked up to me and he said, Don, I didn't support President Bush's policies, but I respected his confidence to carry them out no matter what the opposition.
The same guy went on to say, the Republicans are never going to like Obama. Why does he keep trying so hard to please them? Mr. President, I don't the answer. I hope you do.
CNN’s Don Lemon hosted pornographer Larry Flynt on Sunday’s Newsroom, ostensibly to talk about an upcoming Supreme Court case in which the 1988 case of Hustler Magazine v. Falwell is being cited as a precedent. But Lemon quickly turned to politics, asking the Hustler publisher to regurgitate tawdry details of Republican Senator David Vitter’s prostitution scandal (as if CNN wasn’t in the process of actively rehabilitating a Democratic politician caught in a similar scandal) and begging Flynt to reveal “tips” and “hints” about other politicians who might be exposed.
Showing greater restraint than the CNN anchor, Flynt replied, “I can’t do that.”
Rick Sanchez, who was fired from his Rick's List program on CNN on Friday, certainly racked up a record of liberal bias, specifically bias against conservatives, during his tenure at the network. Sanchez also revealed a propensity for making on-air gaffes which made him a targets of comedians like Jon Stewart. It was the former anchor's animosity toward Stewart which directly led to his firing.
In late 2008, the CNN anchor gained the 3 pm Eastern time slot of CNN's Newsroom, which would evolve into his Rick's List program. He consistently targeted conservative media outlets from that time until his firing.
ED HENRY: "Fox, Bloomberg, and National Public Radio were vying for it- all made strong cases. In the end, Fox [was] unanimously moved up to the front row, but did not get the seat Helen Thomas was in. We voted unanimously to move the Associated Press over to where Helen Thomas was because what a lot of people were missing in this whole fight was that"- BROOKE BALDWIN: "And it is a fight"- HENRY: "Yeah"- BALDWIN: "Which is fascinating, for those of us who don't understand the inner workings of the"- HENRY: "Sure, and then we can walk through the whole"- SANCHEZ: "Well, I understand the Associated Press. I even understand Bloomberg, but don't have you to be a news organization to get that seat?" HENRY: "Oh! Are you saying Fox is not a news organization?" SANCHEZ: "Yeah. I'm just wondering." -Exchange with CNN correspondents Ed Henry, a member of the board of the White House Correspondents Association, and Brooke Baldwin, August 2, 2010 [see video above]. Almost a year earlier, Sanchez hinted Fox News wasn't a "real news organization."
CNN's Kyra Phillips gave a ringing endorsement to a Christian minister and his heterodox views on homosexuality on Monday's Newsroom. Phillips interviewed televangelist Bishop Carlton Pearson, who, in her words, went "out on a limb...[to] say gays are accepted in heaven," and concluded the segment by stating how she "respect[s] very much" what he preached on the highly-debated moral issue.
The anchor led the 10 am Eastern hour with the allegations against Bishop Eddie Long, who has been sued by four young men so far who accuse him of coercing them into sexual relationships. Four minutes into the hour, Phillips introduced Pearson as a "pioneering black televangelist and a close friend of Eddie Long's...[who] lost a lot of his flock when he began preaching that everyone has a place in heaven, including gay people." She first asked the bishop, "Why did you go out on a limb and say gays are accepted in heaven, something that the black church disagrees with?"
Pearson lauded his "gay friends" as "some of the most sensitive, loving, creative, ingenious, generous people" and touted how he "started preaching the Gospel of inclusion" and criticized how supposedly "the devotion to the devil and hell is stronger, or as strong as anybody's devotion to Jesus in many of the Christian circles." After spending some time discussing what Pearson knew of Long, Phillips posited what would happen if the accused minister came out as a homosexual: "What if he does come forward, Bishop, and say, I told you I wasn't a perfect man and I've been- I have been struggling with this issue, and he does say that he's gay. What if this story changes? How will you deal with that? Will you accept him? Will you embrace him? How would you counsel him as his friend?"
CNN played an excerpt of its upcoming documentary "What the Pope Knew" on Thursday's Newsroom (see CNN's commercial promoting the documentary at right), and if this preview and its past coverage of the Church abuse scandal is any indication, the documentary left out key information in order to paint Benedict XVI in the worst possible light. Correspondent Gary Tuchman failed to explain how then-Cardinal Ratzinger's handled a specific case from Wisconsin.
Anchor Kyra Phillips introduced the excerpt from the documentary 24 minutes into the 9 am Eastern hour. The segment focused on the case of Father Lawrence Murphy, who was the priest and headmaster for St. John's School for the Deaf in Milwaukee. Phillips noted that as many as 200 boys at the school were raped or sexually abused by Murphy and stated it was "one of the most notorious cases of sex abuse in the Catholic Church."
Tuchman interviewed Terry Kohut, one of Murphy's victims. The correspondent stated that "fifty years ago, when he was just 10 years old, Terry, who is deaf, was sent to the St. John's School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. What happened there to Terry and up to 200 other deaf boys is now central to the sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, and to the question of what Pope Benedict, then Cardinal Ratzinger, knew about it all." This introduction gives the false impression that Ratzinger was a cardinal five decades ago, when he actually was a priest and college professor in Germany during the 1960s.
CNN contributor John Avlon returned to his consistent theme of bashing conservatives on Monday's Newsroom, labeling Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell the "new queen of the wingnuts." Avlon also referenced Reason magazine's label of O'Donnell as a "crackpot of the first order" and didn't provide the full context of her 1997 remarks on AIDS.
Anchor Kyra Phillips led the 9 am Eastern hour of Newsroom with the Republican's 1999 appearance on ABC's Politically Incorrect where she cited how she "dabbled" in witchcraft as a teenager. After playing a clip from the 11-year-old appearance, Phillips continued that O'Donnell's remarks are "raising eyebrows and some concerns from the GOP establishment" and brought on Avlon, who has a knack for being tougher on his identified "wingnuts" on the right than those he picks from the left. The anchor referenced The Daily Beast writer's September 15 column in her first question: "O'Donnell actually canceled two Sunday talk show appearances after this came to light, and now, you are calling her the new queen of wingnuts."
CNN's Ali Velshi leaned against extending the Bush tax cuts during a commentary on Tuesday's Newsroom, warning that it "may not be a brilliant idea," and spouted the liberal talking point that tax cuts are a costly matter. Velshi also misleadingly stated that "we have not seen a huge surge in spending."
The anchor devoted his regular "XYZ" segment at the end of the 2 pm Eastern hour to the tax issue. He began by outlining how "President Obama wants to extend the Bush-era tax cuts that apply to the middle class, or households earning less than $250,000 a year...and that sounds like a great thing." He then continued with his argument about the "cost" of cutting taxes: "But let me put this into perspective. First, it's not free. Extending the tax breaks to the top 3 percent of earners would cost between 650 and 700 billion dollars. Extending it for the rest of us is going to cost a lot more, possibly $3 trillion. Everyone wants to pay less in taxes, but in an economy with a debt like America's, that may not be a brilliant idea."
It's been a challenging week for President Barack Obama. His vacation ended. He was forced to rebuke questioning reporters with a cutting, "We're buying shrimp, guys." And now Reuters global editor-at-large Chrystia Freeland, accurately described recently by Media Research Center president Brent Bozell as "a deeply devoted Obama groupie," is referencing what Obama-endorsed former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) termed testicular virility.
On today's CNN Newsroom, anchor Ali Velshi suggested a second stimulus might be needed, an idea Chrystia clearly liked:
FREELAND: Well, I think you're absolutely right. I mean, look, he is a Democrat. If you talk to Democratic economists -- one of them, for example, Laura Tyson, who was a senior economist in the Clinton White House, came out with a very strong op-ed piece over the weekend saying we need a second stimulus. I think that is the consensus among Democratic thinkers right now.
And, yes, I think the president should probably have the balls to say this is what I believe in and push it. It's true, that would be publicly difficult, but this is not a moment for milquetoast measures. Things are really rough.
There is something about CNN and the people writing chyrons for the alleged "most trusted name in news" with the "best political team on television." Last week, these geniuses clarified the White House's position on President Barack Obama's religion.
However on CNN Aug. 28 coverage of Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally, which CNN reporters and anchors seemingly held their collective noses up and reported on throughout the event, the chyron on the screen was something likened to one of those parlor games where you circle the numerous errors involved. (h/t Inside Cable News)
First off, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's name was misspelled. Second, she was identified as a former presidential candidate, when she was actually the Republican vice-presidential nominee in 2008. And finally, it's labeling Beck as Palin. Just not a good day for CNN.
CNN's Ali Velshi enthusiastically touted the Obama administration's promotion of "alternative energy" on Tuesday's Newsroom, and advanced the idea that the field would become a major economic force: "This may be the driver of the economy for the next 15 years....And I will give this administration credit. It is such a dramatic increase over the last administration's commitment to alternative energy."
Velshi brought on correspondent Josh Levs to discuss the current administration's latest push concerning the "stimulus," focusing on the percentage of the $862 billion spent on "green" energy: "Vice President Biden [is] talking about what's been done for energy, and they released this report, saying $100 billion out of the $862 billion stimulus is going to innovation- things like electric cars, things like solar power."
After Levs cited some of Biden's figures, the CNN anchor reacted with his "15 years" prediction and added, "I mean, nobody can come up with a more obvious driver. It's not going to be the credit system. It's not going to be banks. It's not going to be other things. It may be this." He concluded with his endorsement of the Obama administration "commitment to alternative energy."
CNN's T. J. Holmes brought back Time's Bobby Ghosh on Friday's Newsroom for more promotion of his "Islamophobia" cover story, and added two Muslim guests who largely agreed with his thesis that anti-Islamic sentiment was "coming into the mainstream," and how this was apparently a "reason for alarm." Holmes asked softball questions, and no one with an opposing viewpoint appeared during the segment.
The anchor had the three on for a panel discussion at the bottom of the 10 am Eastern hour about Ghosh's "Is America Islamophobic?" article, as well the controversy over the planned mosque near Ground Zero in New York City. Before introducing his guests, Holmes held up two examples of apparent "Islamophobia" in the country and seemed to sympathize with the apparent plight of Muslims in the U.S.:
HOLMES: Two-and-a-half million Muslims live, work and pray in America- not always easy. Case in point: protests in California- check that out- marching against a proposed mosque in their area, holding signs with slogans such as, 'Muslims danced for joy on 9/11'- or how about the planned Islamic center and mosque near New York's Ground Zero? More than 60 percent of Americans are opposed to that center being built. But the scope is bigger than that, according to a Time magazine poll. More than 3 in 10 Americans would say no to a mosque in their neighborhood. Then there are statements like this one from evangelical leader Franklin Graham.
CNN's American Morning and Newsroom programs on Thursday brought on Time magazine's Bobby Ghosh to highlight his "Is America Islamophobic?" article and help promote his accusation that "hate speech" and "bigotry" have "come out into the mainstream" during the course of the debate over the proposed New York City mosque near Ground Zero.
During his American Morning appearance, anchor Kiran Chetry hailed Ghosh's article, which is the cover story of the upcoming August 30th issue of Time, as "a very thoughtful piece." Anchor Ali Velshi, who conducted the second interview of the Time deputy international editor, went further than his colleague: "Okay, you're American- Time magazine is required reading....Bobby Ghosh...wrote the Islamophobia piece that I think everybody is going to have to read because if you are in this country, it's part of the dialogue that we are involved in at this point."
But only days earlier, in an August 3 Time.com article about the imam behind the mosque, Ghosh stated that the "last legal hurdle to the proposed Islamic center near the site of the World Trade Center has been removed, but ignorance, bigotry and politics are more formidable obstacles....Criticism [of the mosque] spans the gamut, from the ill-informed anguish of those who mistakenly view Islam as the malevolent force that brought down the towers to the ill-considered opportunism of right-wing politicians who see Islam as an easy target." So the "thoughtful" Time editor whose latest is "required reading" even had the gall to criticize the families and the friends of those who died on 9/11, or who are generally emotionally-touched by the carnage of the attack.
CNN's Ali Velshi engaged in moral relativism on Wednesday's Newsroom as he editorialized on the controversial planned mosque near Ground Zero. Velshi worried about the precedent that might be set if a government "assisted" in moving its site: "Timothy McVeigh was raised Catholic. Do we then entertain petitions of moving Catholic churches away from the Oklahoma bombing site?"
CNN "Newsroom" anchor Kyra Phillips reported the "breaking news" about July's unemployment data just after 9 a.m. Aug. 6. Misreported would be more accurate.
"We begin with the breaking news this morning on a broken economy. We have new evidence of just how feeble the recovery is and how many Americans have nothing to show for it," Phillips said. "The nation's unemployment rate has remained flat at a disheartening 9.5 percent. Just last month 60,000 jobs vanished, the news is bad, but not quite as bad as we expected."
Actually, the news was worse than Phillips reported. The U.S. lost more than twice that many jobs in July: 131,000 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS also revised June data after finding an additional 96,000 lost jobs (June's total losses 221,000).
On Wednesday, CNN's daytime coverage of a federal judge's decision on California's Proposition 8 leaned mostly towards those who opposed the voter-approved amendment to the state's constitution, which banned same-sex marriage. When the judge's ruling was released, which found Prop 8 to be unconstitutional, the network went so far to get immediate reaction to the ruling at a "gay" bar in West Hollywood.
Don Lemon was the first CNN anchor to bring on guests on the issue 15 minutes into the 12 noon Eastern hour, none other than Gary Spino and Tony Brown, the two subjects of their pro-homosexual parenting documentary "Gary and Tony Have a Baby." Minutes before the two appeared, the network replayed a glowing report by senior political analyst Gloria Borger, which originally aired on June 16, profiling Ted Olson and David Boies who are fighting to overturn Prop 8.
Lemon began his interview of the same-sex couple with a softball question: "So listen, Gary, I want to get you in here. Are you- how are you guys feeling? Are you anxiously awaiting this judge's decision, or what- is it just something that's in the back of your minds now?" He asked a similar question of Brown: "Are you feeling anxiety about this?"
On Sunday's Newsroom, CNN's Don Lemon conducted a softball interview of the Rev. Al Sharpton and helped him forward the theory that the congressional ethics investigations into Representatives Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters are being conducted because they are black. Lemon also didn't go into much detail as to what the charges against the two were and what were the circumstances of their cases.
The anchor interviewed the liberal minister 12 minutes into the 6 pm Eastern hour. Before introducing Sharpton, Lemon did mention that Congressman Rangel was "accused of violating 13 House Rules" and that the "accusations range from financial wrongdoing to damaging the credibility of Congress," but never mentioned during the segment that the charges mainly involve rental properties the New York representatives owns in his district and in the Dominican Republic. He also noted that Rep. Waters "has chosen to face a House ethics trial related to claims involving federal aid to a bank with ties to both Waters and her husband" but didn't give additional details about that case.
Lemon then set up his topic of discussion with the reverend: "Now, the investigation of such powerful people, like Rangel and Maxine Waters, have a lot of people talking. The reaction in Washington seems to be centered on whether the two House members are guilty or not, but back home, in their respective districts, some of their constituents aren't so sure justice is being done, and some are openly questioning why two high profile African-American House members are coming under such tough scrutiny." He then asked Sharpton, "Do you think that black members are being targeted unfairly by the Ethics Committee?"
On Thursday's Newsroom, CNN's Tony Harris played hardball with Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce, the author of the SB1070 anti-illegal immigration law in the state, while not asking one tough question with his other guest, pro-illegal immigration activist Isabel Garcia. Surprisingly, Harris did finally explicitly identify the pro-open borders organization that Garcia leads [audio clips available here].
The CNN anchor brought on Pearce and Garcia to discuss a federal district justice's Wednesday injunction against key provisions in the Arizona law. He identified the state senator as the "lawmaker who co-sponsored the immigration bill," and his other guest's role as "co-chair of the Tucson-based Coalition for Human Rights." This contrasts with their earlier joint appearance with Harris on July 7, where the anchor merely identified Garcia as the "deputy public defender in Pima County, Arizona." He still neglected to mention this organization's pro-illegal immigration stance (not to leave out their website, which features a logo incorporating the southwestern states into Mexico).
On Sunday's Newsroom, CNN's Don Lemon tossed softball questions at homosexual activist Dan Choi, who was discharged earlier in July from the U.S. Army under the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Lemon asked Choi, "Was it worth the prize for speaking out?" The anchor also brought on Michelangelo Signorile, another homosexual activist, without bringing on anyone from the opposing side of the issue.
Lemon brought on Choi and Signorile for a panel discussion on the "don't ask, don't tell" issue, which could be repealed later this year if the U.S. Senate take up the proposed "compromise" legislation. The CNN anchor devoted most of his attention on Choi's recent honorable discharge, and first asked him his "prize" question." After the retired Army lieutenant gave his initial reply, Lemon followed up with another softball question concerning the legislation itself: "The House has voted to repeal 'don't ask, don't tell,' and the Senate could do the same before the end of the year. If it is repealed, can you re-enlist? Would you be able to go back in as a lieutenant, or it's a done deal now?"
Ali Velshi continued CNN's endorsement of the homosexual agenda on Thursday's Newsroom with a commentary where he endorsed legislation that would "require school districts to have policies recognizing sexual orientation and gender identity." Velshi highlighted the case of a Mississippi teen lesbian who, with the ACLU's help, won $35,000 in damages against her school district, who had barred her from taking another young woman to the prom.
The CNN anchor gave a one-line preview of his regular "XYZ" segment 57 minutes into the 2 pm Eastern hour: "Okay- a prom is for everyone, no matter who your date is. I'm going to tell you more about it in my 'XYZ,' coming up." After a commercial break, Velshi launched into his commentary:
Rick Sanchez, who hosts his Rick's List program for two hours during the afternoon on CNN, will be taking on the network's 8 pm Eastern hour slot for several weeks between Campbell Brown's departure on Wednesday and the start of the ex-Democratic Governor of New York Eliot Spitzer (the infamous Client #9) and sometime-conservative Kathleen Parker's new program.
Sanchez will likely bring his two-year record of liberal bias to his temporary gig. Some of the worst examples from the Media Research Center's archives:
Targeting Fox News and Conservative Talk Radio
In late 2008, the CNN anchor gained the 3 pm Eastern time slot of CNN's Newsroom, which would evolve into his Rick's List program. Over the past year and a half, he has consistently targeted conservative media outlets.
"That weekend tragedy involves a man who allegedly shot and killed three police officers in cold blood. Why? Because he was convinced, after no doubt watching Fox News and listening to right-wing radio, that quote, 'Our rights were being infringed upon.'" -From CNN Newsroom, April 8, 2009. Sanchez blamed conservative news outlets for the murder of three police officers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
On Wednesday's Newsroom, CNN correspondent Deborah Feyerick refreshingly asked the developer behind the planned mosque near Ground Zero many hard questions. Feyerick bluntly asked Sharif el-Gamel, "Why not have a prayer space for Buddhists or Jews or Christians...why must it be Muslim?" The correspondent even brought up how one of the landing gear of one of the planes ended up on the site of the planned mosque [audio clips available here].
Feyrick conducted her hardball interview of el-Gamel at his New York City office. The CNN correspondent almost immediately launched into her prayer space question. When the real estate developer initially replied, "There are Jewish community centers all over the country," Feyerick interrupted with a sharp retort: "But the Jews didn't take down two towers." El-Gamel continued that "there are YMCA's all over the country," but she gave a similar reply: "But the Christians didn't take down two towers."
The journalist followed up with the issue of the planned mosque's proximity to the Ground Zero and mentioned the plane wreckage that ended up on the site: "For those who are so- still sensitive and so raw to this, their question- their overriding question is, why here? Why so close? It's two blocks, but it was close enough that landing gear ended up on the roof. Why?"
On Thursday's Newsroom, CNN's Don Lemon conducted a confrontational interview of a black tea party member and disputed his assertion that the U.S. is "more divided now, racially, than any other time in modern history." Lemon bizarrely reached back to the Confederacy to challenge his guest's claim: "Some of the reasons for the Civil War....was racism....How can you say the country is more divided now?"
The CNN anchor brought on the Reverend C. L. Bryant during a segment eight minutes into the 10 am Eastern hour to discuss the NAACP's recent condemnation of the tea party's "racism." After playing a clip of Bryant from the 2009 9/12 tea party rally in Washington, DC, where the tea party leader accused the Obama administration of "building walls of racism... [and] class-ism," Lemon first asked, "What do you think about this new resolution from the NAACP?" Bryant replied, "Well, unfortunately, those types of statements...are echoes of the left at this point in time."
On Wednesday's Newsroom, CNN's Tony Harris omitted the pro-illegal immigration activism of guest Isabel Garcia, just as his colleague Suzanne Malveaux did more than two months earlier. Harris twice referred to Garcia as merely the "deputy public defender in Pima County, Arizona," and didn't mention her involvement in the beating and decapitation of a pinata effigy of Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
The anchor brought on the activist, as well as Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce, the author of the state newly-passed anti-illegal immigration law, for two segments starting 10 minutes into the 11 am Eastern hour. After asking Senator Pearce's position on the federal government's new lawsuit against the enforcement of his law, Harris turned to the public defender: "Isabel, you've been patient. Weigh in here."
Garcia (her pro-illegal immigration organization, Coalición de Derechos Humanos, whose website features a logo incorporating the southwestern states into Mexico, was identified on-screen as the "Human Rights Coalition") immediately went on the offense against Pearce, playing the race/ethnicity card against the Republican politician: