CNN anchor Don Lemon repeatedly defended rabidly anti-Israel columnist Helen Thomas as he interviewed Ari Fleischer late in the 7 pm Eastern hour of Sunday's Newsroom. After playing Thomas's remarks, Lemon lauded her in his first question to Fleischer: "Helen Thomas has broken down many barriers for women....She has a lifelong achievement...in journalism. Should that count for anything?" [audio clips available here]
The former press secretary strongly condemned Thomas's comments and proposed that "if somebody said that all blacks need to leave America and go home to Africa, they would have already lost their jobs," while stating that two of them "always ideologically disagreed, but I liked her." Lemon followed through on this point: "Yeah, that was my next point. It's- I know that people disagree ideologically- but you can still be friends or still be co-workers. Have you reached out to her at all? Have you tried to talk to her about why she said this?"
CNN founder Ted Turner said Saturday that if we don't prepare for global warming, we'll be extinct.
In a multi-part interview with CNN Newsroom anchor Fredricka Whitfield, Turner spoke about his own devotion and dedication to environmental causes.
"Have you altered all your life, all your living so you are what one would call energy responsible?" asked Whitfield.
"What we really have is a choice whether we want to do the right things from an energy standpoint or the wrong thing," said Turner.
"And if enough of us choose to do the wrong thing and we don't prepare for global warming and we don't make the changes that we know we should make, then we'll be extinct" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Shortly before 2 PM CDT, CNN”s Ed Henry cited a dismissive remark President Barack Obama made during his visit to Louisiana which could undermine his “I feel your pain” message, “but,” Henry observed live from a beach in Grand Isle:
If George W. Bush had made a comment like that along the beach after Katrina, you can imagine the kind of criticism he might get.
Henry recounted how a little earlier a New York Times reporter – displaying some surprising pushback against environmentalist exaggeration – pointed out to Obama how there are tar balls “'even when there's not an oil spill,'” so: “'How do we know this is from the oil spill and not just tar that's washed up? I've even seen it,' the reporter said, 'it's even popped up in my bathing suit.'”
To which, Henry recited, “the President made a little joke, saying 'I want to hear a little bit more about that tar in your bathing suit, maybe we'll hear about that sometime.' Which is just an offhand moment. Don't want to make too big of a deal out of it. But if George W. Bush had made a comment like that along the beach after Katrina, you can imagine the kind of criticism he might get.”
CNN did its part to perpetuate the liberal talking point about Arizona's supposedly racist campaign against illegal immigrants by airing a report three times on Monday that spun the state's standards for English teachers as an "accent ban" or "crackdown." Anchor Kyra Phillips even opined that it was "just wrong to judge a teacher by his or her accent as to judge on their hair or skin color."
The network's American Morning program first aired correspondent Thelma Gutierrez's report 27 minutes into the 6 am Eastern hour. Three minutes earlier, anchor John Roberts previewed the upcoming segment by noting that "some schools in Arizona [are] cracking down on English teachers who have accents." Roberts then introduced Gutierrez's report, stating that "state education officials want immigrant teachers with heavy accents removed from classes for students who are still learning English. They say they're simply following federal guidelines that were set up by the Bush administration back in 2002. But critics are calling it an ethnic witch hunt."
The "guidelines...set up by the Bush administration" line by Roberts was actually a reference to the No Child Left Behind law which passed with bipartisan support in Congress in 2001, and signed into law by then-President Bush in January 2002. Gutierrez mentioned this during her report as she introduced the Arizona state education official defending his state's guidelines: "State School Superintendent Tom Horne says, as part of No Child Left Behind, he's been monitoring ELL teachers for bad grammar and mispronounced words for the past eight years." But instead of mentioning this detail, the CNN anchor labeled it as being from the Bush administration.
CNN's Casey Wian on Friday's Newsroom filed a one-sided report on an illegal immigrant activist who was arrested for participating in a sit-in at Senator John McCain's office on Monday. Wian omitted the liberal affiliation of the activist's group, oversimplified the DREAM Act (the cause of the activist), and neglected how it would open the path for illegals to receive in-state tuition.
Wian's interview of Lizbeth Mateo aired 10 minutes into the 11 am Eastern hour. An on-screen graphic mentioned Mateo's affiliation with an organization called Dream Team Los Angeles, but the correspondent didn't mention this explicitly during his report. The 25-year-old illegal immigrant, who came to the U.S. with her parents when she was 14, wore the T-shirt of another organization she leads called The DREAM is Coming.com. This organization's website has a donate page which links to a Causes.com page for the United We Dream Network, a coalition which includes liberal organizations such as the National Council for La Raza, the Center for American Progress, and the New World Foundation.
On Wednesday's Newsroom, CNN's Kyra Phillips hinted that racists only come in a shade of white when she highlighted how "there's still racism in this country- KKK members, white supremacists, and less radical racists." Phillips, commenting on the controversy over a recent blacks-only field trip at a Michigan school, later expressed her approval that the segregated field trip program was being suspended.
The CNN anchor gave a commentary on the controversy after playing a report from the network's Michigan affiliate on the issue 52 minutes into the 9 am Eastern hour. Phillips emphasized that "white kids need black role models, too. Why? Because, let's face it, there's still racism in this country- KKK members, white supremacists, and less radical racists raising kids, and the Internet with all kinds of racist poison out there. Kids might believe that stuff unless they're challenged not to- see it debunked right before their eyes." She continued that "role models come in all colors, all genders- all professions. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out. So I'm glad to hear that now that the school program in Michigan is being suspended, so school officials can tweak it and make it more inclusive. Good thing, because the segregated field trip might have violated Michigan law."
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its monthly jobs report early May 7 announcing a rise in unemployment to 9.9 percent and an increase of 290,000 jobs.
Any positive job growth is good news to be sure. But in order for Obama to meet his pledge of 4 million jobs created by the end of 2010, the U.S. economy would have to add 932,000 jobs each and every month between now and the end of the year, taking into account both temporary jobs and the number of new positions needed to keep even with population growth. According to the BLS, 2,662,000 jobs have been lost since February 2009.
The Associated Press reacted immediately to the May 7 jobs announcement by emphasizing the good news in its subhead and lead sentence: "Jobs grow by most in 4 years." They described people streaming "back into the market looking for work."
During a segment on Wednesday's Newsroom, CNN's Kyra Phillips brought back two out of three heterodox Christians she had on almost a month earlier, both of whom endorse radical leftist "reforms" inside the Catholic Church such as the acceptance of homosexual behavior. Again, Phillips didn't bring on any guests who agree with the Church's teachings and practices.
The CNN anchor led the 9 am Eastern hour with "a new promise from the Pope- that's it, I've had enough. Just a few days ago, he teared up while talking to abuse victims in Malta, told them he'd do something about it. Pope Benedict is going public, telling a crowd in St. Peter's Square that the Vatican is going to start taking action against pedophile priests." She then introduced her guests, Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, and Dan Bartley, president of Voice of the Faithful.
On Monday evening and Tuesday, ABC, CBS, and CNN all highlighted a Catholic priest's call for Pope Benedict XVI's resignation due to his alleged mishandling of the Church sex abuse scandal, labeling him "outspoken," and even going so far to compliment him as "brave" and "gutsy." All three networks, however, ignored the priest's affiliation with a liberal group and his dissension from Church teaching.
During a report on the wider abuse scandal on Monday's World News With Diane Sawyer, ABC's Dan Harris mentioned Father James Scahill's public call for the Pope to step down during a recent sermon at his parish in Massachusetts. Before playing a clip from Father Scahill, Harris stated that "anger is clearly rising within the [Catholic] Church. In his Sunday sermon this week, Father James Scahill of Massachusetts called for the Pope to resign." The ABC correspondent did not give any details on the priest's background.
Father Scahill is the pastor of St. Michael's Catholic Church in East Longmeadow. In 2004, he accepted the "Priest of Integrity Award" from Voice of the Faithful. The organization, which purports to be Catholic, achieved some visibility in the media after the 2002 revelation of the sex abuse in the Boston archdiocese. It has taken heterodox positions on Church issues, such as calling for an end to priestly celibacy, and endorsed liberal dissenting theologians such as Rev. Charles Curran. CNN featured Dan Bartley, the president of VOTF, during a March 26, 2010 segment which also featured two other liberal Christians who advocated radical changes inside the Catholic Church.
Last week, CNN's Kyra Phillips wasn't all that GLAAD to hear from some of her viewers. As NewsBuster Colleen Raezler reported on Thursday, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) had issued a "Call to Action" on April 7 urging members to "hold CNN accountable" for an April 6 Newsroom segment "featuring so-called 'ex-gay' activist Richard Cohen."
GLAAD partisans apparently hopped right on their keyboards. On April 8, Phillips expressed her wish "that those of you who sent me vicious e-mails watched my newscast more often:"
GLAAD (the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) issued a "Call to Action" on April 7 urging its members to "hold CNN accountable" for a segment that allowed someone other than a gay rights activist to talk about homosexuality.
CNN's Kyra Phillips spoke with California Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal and former homosexual Richard Cohen about the possible repeal of a California law that required the State Department of Mental Health to research the "causes" and "cures" of homosexuality during a April 6 "Newsroom" segment.
GLAAD claimed "the segment tried to give the appearance of ‘balance,'" but complained that the segment was "unacceptable" because of "the airtime afforded the disreputable Cohen to tout ‘healing' gay people, coupled with a lack of information about the harm caused by such practices."
GLAAD should realize that it can't win them all. The truth is that CNN has a history of airing unbalanced reports about homosexual issues - most of which favor proponents of gay rights. The organization even recently gave the network two separate awards for it's "excellence" and its "outstanding" segments regarding gay issues.
Burdened under a mountain of student debt? CNN has the answer - dedicate ten or so of your prime years to social work. Better yet, join the AmeriCorps.
Doing her best to channel Obama's inspiring Notre Dame address about shunning immoral endeavors in the private sector for virtuous and selfless community endeavors, Stephanie Elam sounded more like a Public Works Czar than a CNN correspondent on April 6.
"This is really about helping those people out, getting them ready as far as the choice for best course of study for the financial future," Elam said on CNN "Newsroom." "So you may consider the possibility of enlisting in public service. Demand is really high right now for government jobs ... and any remaining debt on federal student loans will be forgiven after you work full-time in public service for ten years."
Democratic congressional efforts to steer the economy not working as advertised. The $787-billion stimulus passed back in early 2009 failed to curb unemployment as promised, and there are other risks of putting a blind trust in government to solve the nation's economic woes.
And to give credit where credit is due, CNN's Christine Romans is pointing these risks out. On the April 5 broadcast of "CNN Newsroom" hosted by Ali Velshi, Romans was asked about the politics of extending unemployment benefits, which were held up through the Easter recess by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. According to Romans, there is a tug-of-war going on in the Senate.
"The Senate Democrats say they are going to plug ahead and plow forward," Romans said. "The issue here is the same issue as last month basically. You have some Republicans - one in particular, Sen. Tom Coburn from Oklahoma - saying, ‘Look, we've got to be able to pay for this. Let's pay for it. Let's do it. It's the right thing to do to help people. Let's find a way to pay for it.' And you have Democrats who are saying, ‘No, this is emergency spending. This is an emergency. The jobless situation is an emergency. Let's just do it right now quickly without finding another way to pay for it.'"
The "obesity epidemic" is the fault of poor individual choices and sedentary lifestyles, but in the news, blame typically falls on companies, rather than on the individual. CNN has attacked grocer stores, restaurants and food manufacturers for creating supposedly "addictive" products and in story after story called for more food regulations, taxes or other intervention.
CNN's hearty appetite for food control has gone on for years. They've waged a war on obesity all while promoting government meddling like higher taxes on drinks made with "cheap" corn syrup to fight the "obesity epidemic," health zoning prohibiting fast food restaurants from South L.A. and trans-fat bans just for starters. CNN even criticized supermarkets for wanting customers to buy products from them, back in 2006.
CNN put “INCITING VIOLENCE?” on screen under video of Sarah Palin earlier in the day Saturday in Searchlight, Nevada, as anchor Don Lemon announced:
Sarah Palin takes on one of the highest ranking Democrats right in his own backyard, all while causing another uproar by urging tea parties to quote “reload.” And the question is, are comments like that inciting violence and name-calling over the health care bill and the like?
In the subsequent segment, titled “DANGEROUS RHETORIC: When heated words incite threats & violence,” CNN’s panel agreed Obama’s political opponents are inciting violence and are motivated by racism -- undeterred by Palin’s assurance, which CNN played:
When I talk about it's not a time to retreat, it's a time to reload, what I'm talking about -- now, media, try to get this right, okay? That's not inciting violence. What that's doing is trying to inspire people to get involved in their local elections and these upcoming federal elections. It's telling people that their arms are their votes. It's not inciting violence. It's telling people, don't ever let anybody tell you to sit down and shut up, Americans.
Lemon demanded: “Is it responsible for someone to say that? Especially a leader, considering the anger that's going on right now?”
If the media outlets are going to report on tea party events, they're not likely to get any benefit of the doubt much of the time.
Case in point - at the Tea Party Express event on March 27 in Searchlight, Nev., which former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin spoke, CNN's Fredricka Whitfield wasn't quite prepared to give the rally credit it was due as far as participation. She estimated that hundreds, but if not, "at least dozens of people" were in attendance. (h/t fstaff with assist from Mark Finkelstein)
"Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin there in Searchlight, Nev., was the backyard of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, but today it's the backdrop of this Tea Party Express - making a stop here," Whitfield said. "Hundreds of people, at least dozens of people - we haven't gotten a count of how many people turned out there. We heard Sarah Palin talk about everything about the campaign, to unseat Sen. Reid to what she calls ObamaCare, on the heels of that health care vote and even talking about her definition of her love of America."
CNN's Kyra Phillips brought on three heterodox Christians on Friday's Newsroom, all of whom endorse leftist "reforms" inside the Catholic Church, such as women priests and acceptance of homosexual behavior. Phillips didn't bring on any guests who defended the Church's positions, and actually egged on her guests: "I think all three of you need to head to the Vatican and institute some change."
CNN anchor Ali Velshi enthusiastically interviewed self-proclaimed child health care activist Mercelas Owens on Thursday's Newsroom, complimenting him for his "snappy dressing" and labeled him a "handsome, charming, self-assured young man."
Velshi brought on Owens 50 minutes into the 2 pm Eastern hour. At the beginning of the segment, a graphic on-screen read, "The Little Boy That Could." The child was featured prominently in the last days before the passage of ObamaCare, fighting for the passage of the legislation. Owens was also present at the bill signing, standing next to the desk as President Obama used the 22 pens to sign his name.
On Tuesday's Newsroom, CNN correspondent Ed Henry raved about one congressman's collection of pens that were used to sign Medicare and ObamaCare into law. Henry responded gushingly to how Rep. John Dingell received one of the pens used by President Obama on Tuesday, and how he also has one of President Johnson's pens from the 1965 signing: "So now John Dingell has two of the most amazing pens" [audio clip available here].
Henry brought up how the current President used 22 different pens to sign health care "reform" into law during a segment with anchor Ali Velshi: "These are great souvenirs, obviously, when you have a historic piece of legislation." After listing how Vice President Biden and other top Democratic leaders received some of the pens, the correspondent noted that Dingell, the seasoned liberal from Michigan, also received one of the pens.
Overshadowed in the ObamaCare shenanigans the past few weeks are provisions weaved into the Democratic health bill that would require all federal student loans to originate with the government - the largest overhaul in decades.
On the morning after the House passed the legislation, CNN Newsroom's Kyra Phillips did dedicate just thirty-four seconds to the government take-over of the student loan program.
"The measure also reaches beyond health care to education. Another one of President Obama's top priorities - it will offer new help to needy college students," Phillips stated.
The segment - tagged "Help for College Students" by the CNN Newsroom - promoted all the alleged benefits to students and families.
"It will actually expand direct-lending from the federal government; students would not have to pay fees to the banks that serve as the middleman; the White House says the expanded program will save the government $61 billion over ten years; and much of that savings will be funneled back into Pell grants - the increase will be pretty modest though - from $5,500 now to $5,700 in 2017," Phillips said.
For a moment on yesterday's CNN Newsroom, it looked like anchor Ali Velshi was again expressing his deep affection for President Barack Obama's stimulus plan. Velshi, who last month sang "Happy birthday, dear stimulus," asked correspondent Josh Levs "Do you love the stimulus bill?" But then Ali thought better and backed up:
VELSHI: You have, after weeks and weeks of working on this, do you have stimulus Stockholm syndrome? Do you love the stimulus bill?
LEVS: You know --
VELSHI: I don't mean that as a political judgment as to whether he thinks it was a good idea, but do you just love the bill and the language and --
LEVS: You learn to love it. You learn to appreciate it.
VELSHI: Yes. You do.
LEVS: I mean, it has really changed our economy, and yes, my mind is a little bit too swimming with it.
VELSHI: But I must be clear, that was not meant to mean that he politically thinks that it's right or wrong.
On Sunday's Newsroom, CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin disputed the conclusion of the Los Angeles Times on the apparently shocking new political initiative of Clarence Thomas's wife Virginia Thomas, that it "could give rise to conflicts of interest for her husband...as it tests the norms for judicial spouses." Toobin defended Mrs. Thomas' grassroots conservative work.
Anchor Don Lemon brought on the senior legal analyst just before the bottom of the 10 pm Eastern hour to discuss Kathleen Hennessey's article in the Sunday L.A. Times, titled "Justice's wife launches 'tea party' group." The Times writer indicated that Mrs. Thomas' new organization somehow risked the partiality of the Court, as indicated in the article’s subtitle, "The nonprofit run by Virginia Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, is likely to test notions of political impartiality for the court." She continued later that "the move by Virginia Thomas, 52, into the front lines of politics stands in marked contrast to the rarefied culture of the nation's highest court, which normally prizes the appearance of nonpartisanship and a distance from the fisticuffs of the politics of the day."
Do you believe that extending unemployment compensation benefits encourages some people to remain out of work longer than necessary? Don't let CNN anchor Ali Velshi find out. He'll characterize you as unsavory.
On a segment of CNN Newsroom today, Velshi spoke with an economics professor who's examined multiple studies reporting that many people find work shortly before their unemployment checks lapse:
VELSHI: Hey, complicated, complicated question that is at the root of our recovery as a nation; it is about jobs. The average person on unemployment is on it for about six months. You can get up to 99 weeks of unemployment benefits, with the certain extensions that we have passed these days. But the average person is on for about six months.
The question here is are long-term jobless benefits actually leading people to stay unemployed longer? I have somebody here who has actually crunched a few numbers for us. Robert Shimer is a professor of economics at the University of Chicago, and inadvertently has gotten himself piled in with a bunch of unsavories who say -- who like to make the argument that people are choosing not to get jobs. And Robert, you have heard it said. This is the US Chamber -- not the US Chamber of Commerce. I'm sorry, the Club for Growth has said it on this show that it is causing people -- that it's a disincentive for people to go back to work because of unemployment benefits, which I think is a little bit insulting to the millions of people on unemployment. Your argument is it a little bit more nuanced than that.
On Tuesday's Newsroom, CNN's Tony Harris applied liberal thinking on race to the unemployment rate, speculating if the debate over jobs would change if whites were out of work like minorities were: "I wonder what the discussion about jobs in this country would be like if the rate of white unemployment in this country was, say 15, 16 percent, as it is for African-Americans."
Harris brought up the race issue during a segment with Don Peck of The Atlantic 42 minutes into the 11 am Eastern hour. Peck recently wrote an article for the publication on "how a new jobless era will transform America." Besides bringing up the unemployment rate of blacks, the CNN anchor also cited the 12-13 percent unemployment rate of Hispanics, and then quoted from Peck's article: "Make the point here- expand on the comment, 'It will leave an indelible comment on many blue-collar white men and on white culture.' What do you mean by that?"
CNN's Kate Bolduan aired a slanted report on Catholic Charities of Washington's decision to no longer offer benefits to spouses of new employees on Saturday's Newsroom, playing four sound bites from proponents of same-sex "marriage" and none from opponents. Bolduan also omitted the liberal affiliation of one of the homosexual "marriage" advocates.
During the report, which first aired 11 minutes into the 10 pm Eastern hour (and reran during the 1 pm Eastern hour on Monday), the correspondent noted how homosexual couples could get their civil marriage licenses in DC starting on Tuesday, and that there was "controversial fallout" from the move: "Catholic Charities, the social services arm of the Archdiocese of Washington, just announced it will no longer offer health benefits to spouses of any new employees or current employees who aren't already covered under its plan. As a result, the nonprofit is effectively avoiding having to give benefits to same-sex partners, keeping with the Church's opposition to same-sex marriage."
[Update, 10:48 pm Eastern: Audio & video clips added.]
On Monday's Newsroom, CNN's Kyra Phillips sympathetically interviewed a woman who unapologetically Tweeted her chemically-induced abortion as it happened. Instead of offering the pro-life viewpoint, Phillips lamented how her guest received "e-mails and the responses [which] were so brutal." The anchor later admitted that she "didn't want to get into a debate about abortion" [audio clip available here].
During the interview, Phillips tossed softball questions at blogger Angie Jackson, who is known on Twitter as "antitheistangie," or "Angie the Anti-Theist" on her blog (Phillips didn't mention her guest's political or philosophical outlook during the entire segment). After playing a clip of Jackson from YouTube.com, Phillips first asked, "So, Angie- you know, did it take a while to come to a comfort zone, that you wanted to do this? Tell me how you eventually decided, this is how I'm going to do it and I'm going to let everybody see it happen."
On Thursday's Newsroom, CNN anchor Ali Velshi unexpectedly supported Starbucks' decision to stand by its policy of letting gun-owning customers openly-carry their weapons in states where it is legal to do so. Despite hinting he didn't see the need for guns in coffee shops, Velshi stated it was "better for businesses not to weigh into this unwinnable debate."
The anchor weighed in on the Starbucks controversy during a commentary at the end of the 2 pm Eastern hour. Velshi didn't mention that it was specifically the Brady Campaign for Prevent Gun Violence that was pushing for the company to turn its coffeehouses into "gun-free zones," as reported by the AP on Thursday. He only stated that "gun control advocates want Starbucks to take a stand." The CNN anchor also omitted that in its statement on the controversy, Starbucks requested that "all interested parties to refrain from putting Starbucks or our partners into the middle of this divisive issue."
CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanja Gupta pressed HHS Secretary Kathleen for price controls in all parts of the health care industry on Thursday's Newsroom. Gupta stated that insurance companies were "just the tip of the iceberg" of health care costs: "There are a lot of different organizations, groups, people who contribute to health care costs. Are you going to be going after all these folks?" [audio clip available here]
It looked a bit odd for CNN to choose the correspondent, whom Obama chose to be surgeon general before adviser Tom Daschle was forced to resign, to interview other people who signed up to sell ObamaCare. Gupta's question came during an interview 26 minutes into the 9 am Eastern hour, in which both he and CNN anchor Kyra Phillips asked the Obama administration official about the health care summit later in the day at Blair House. Gupta also hinted at the possibility of going after the profits of health care suppliers in his last question to Sebelius (who was sympathetic to Gupta's proposal in her answer):
CNN apparently missed the irony of using a segment called "Broken Government" to demand that the government address child hunger.
"Talk about mad as hell," CNN's Kyra Phillips said, introducing the Feb. 25 segment. "Every day a child goes hungry, a food pantry struggles, a parent loses a job. Today: Broken Government and hunger in America."
Phillips suggested that the government should be involved in this problem saying, "We put in so much money to bailing out banks, bailing out big companies, yet every night a child here in our country goes hungry."
UPDATE AT END OF POST: Young conservative in question responds to Lemon.
Just how out of touch must you be as a so-called journalist to think someone attending a conservative conference is liberal all because he or she is young?
Such a question should be asked of Don Lemon who on Saturday interviewed a couple of under-aged conservatives at CPAC and actually called one of them progressive.
Although CNN is to be commended for letting right-leaning youth discuss their views with cameras rolling, you would think someone would have clued Lemon in to the fact that the people he was speaking to - ahem, at a CONSERVATIVE gathering - were not liberals (video embedded below the fold with transcript):