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):
A trend is beginning to develop in the media reports concerning Joe Stack, the man who allegedly smashed a plane into an IRS building in Austin, Texas: his disgust for capitalism and support of communism must be ignored at all cost.
As NewsBusters previously reported, both Time.com and a blog posting at the Washington Post have conveniently skipped two crucial sentences at the end of Stack's suicide note:
The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.
The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.
Clearly, Stack was no friend of capitalism. Yet, similar to other media members, CNN's Rich Sanchez and Ali Velshi addressed much of Stack's suicide note during "CNN Newsroom" Thursday EXCEPT for the part where he expressed his support for communism (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript):
Over at the most trusted name in news, they sure know how to party when it's called for. That was evident this afternoon on CNN Newsroom when anchor Ali Velshi gushed:
Happy birthday, dear stimulus. Our producer Ben Tinker (ph) baked this cake. It is a stimulus happy birthday -- first birthday cake, which is also a pie chart. It is the birthday of the stimulus. It is actually very --
In the same segment Velshi assured guest Jared Bernstein, chief economic adviser to Vice President Biden, that "I don't think we give much sway to people who say nothing (in terms of jobs) was created, it's just hard to actually respond and say something was created, cause jobs were lost."
Presumably not celebrating the stimulus's anniversary with a cake were the 94 percent of respondents to a recent CBS/New York Times poll who don't believe the stimulus has created a substantial number of new jobs. Of course, Ali doesn't give them much sway anyhow.
Those Americans don't matter. At CNN, it's time to celebrate Obama's great achievement and those hundreds - or is it millions? - of jobs he's created or saved. It's enough to send a thrill up your leg.
CNN refreshingly called out President Obama on Friday's Newsroom concerning his false claim that "for the first time...you saw more people getting health care from government than you did from the private sector." CNN's Suzanne Simons and anchor Tony Harris both used the "pants on fire" expression to describe the President's statement. The AP, on the other hand, merely labeled it "hyperbole."
President Obama delivered this line at his February 9, 2010 White House press conference. Harris played the sound bite of this statement 20 minutes into the 12 pm Eastern hour, and asked Simons, who is an executive producer with CNN's "Fact Check Desk," to verify its accuracy: "Tell us, is that an accurate statement from the President?"
On Saturday’s Newsroom, CNN’s Don Lemon deferentially took President Obama’s advice and interviewed a stimulus “skeptic” turned “believer,” whom the Democrat cited as an example of the success of the stimulus during his recent State of the Union address. Lemon talked up the stimulus and the Obama administration’s energy efficiency tax credit with his guest Alan Levin, whose company produces windows.
Before playing his taped interview with guest Alan Levin, CEO of Northeast Building Products, the CNN anchor played the relevant clip from the President Obama’s address: “Talk to the window manufacturer in Philadelphia, who said he used to be skeptical about the Recovery Act, until he had to add two more work shifts just because of the business it created.” After asking Mr. Levin if he was excited by this mention by the President, Lemon inquired about this previous skepticism: “You know what, here’s the interesting thing. You were skeptical about this process- about the stimulus. You weren’t exactly sure that it was going to get you the right people and help at all. And now?”
Here's something you never would have heard from a mainstream media outlet when George W. Bush was President: Hurricane Katrina was a good thing for New Orleans.
When it comes to the school system in the Louisiana city, that's exactly what CNN reported during Saturday's "Newsroom."
After anchor T.J. Holmes read a statement from Education Secretary Arne Duncan -- "I think the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans was Hurricane Katrina" -- he was joined by fellow CNNer's Roland Martin and Steve Perry who largely agreed.
As you watch the following video, try to imagine this discussion happening on CNN if Bush was still in the White House (video embedded below the fold with full transcript, h/t Story Balloon):
On his segment of CNN Newroom today, anchor Ali Velshi cited a CNN/Opinion Research poll showing that only a quarter of Americans believe Obama's stimulus program has wasted little or no money. He then set up an interview with a pro-stimulus academic:
Let's talk about this with Kenneth Rogoff, professor of public policy and economics at Harvard University. Ken, you have looked at this very, very carefully. I have to say, back when the stimulus bill was being discussed, most economists fell into the camp of timing and how much to spend. Very few said there is no need for an economic stimulus bill at all. Do you think this was a necessary thing to do a year ago?
The conservative Cato Institute plans to buy full-page ads in The Washington Post and New York Times over the next several days urging President Obama to avoid what it considers excessive government spending as a way to get the U.S. out of recession.
In the form of a letter to Obama, the ad is signed by some 200 economists, including three Nobel laureates -- Edward Prescott and George Mason's Vernon Smith and James Buchanan -- listed prominently at the top.
Corporations often take a beating from the news media, but on Jan. 14 CNN found a reason to praise the actions of several U.S. companies.
"Corporate America contributing millions of dollars to the relief effort in Haiti as well as providing some badly needed goods and services," Heidi Collins said teasing Stephanie Elam's "Newsroom" report.
Elam replied, "It's encouraging to see people reacting so quickly and it's a long and growing list of U.S. companies pledging donations to the relief effort. And these are just some of them, but let's go ahead and start with the companies that have all pledged at least $1 million."
That list included: Bank of America, UPS, Abbott Laboratories, Lowe's and Coca-Cola. Elam explained that several other companies including Wal-Mart, the Yankees, and Western Union were giving between $250,000 and $600,000 each.
There's just something about Sarah. A morsel, any morsel, about former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin that can possibly be used to belittle her is rabidly devoured by many in the mainstream media. On his CNN Newsroom segment today, anchor Rick Sanchez highlighted Palin's difficulty in keeping Joe Biden's name straight. Four different times, he played the same video from 2008's vice presidential debate in which she referred to him as "O'Biden." Sanchez played part of an interview with McCain campaign staffer Steve Schmidt, who described Palin's error as "a verbal tic" that could prove "devastating beyond words." Then:
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: How did you get around it?
SCHMIDT: Multiple people, and I wasn't one of them, all said at the same time, just say, "Can I call you Joe?" Which she did.
On this afternoon's CNN Newsroom, anchor Rick Sanchez briefly updated his audience on Rush Limbaugh's medical condition. He completed his comments with "We wish him well." Sanchez's good wishes didn't square with the Twitter messages that crawled at the bottom of the screen for his entire program.
Here is a sampling of the tweets he aired:
rush is an excuse for people to be vicariously racist. I have nothing good to say about him except "gotta love karma"
Rick can we get some answers on if rush's insur. will pay for his hospital stay if it is found out drugs were a part of this
I don't like to wish bad luck on people, but a 2010 without Rush's mouth going off would be fine with me
under yr new health plan Rush may pay higher premiums cuz of weight. Time to hit the treadmill and lose the weight Rush
May rush be worked on by a liberal democrat, feminist doctor who is pro gun control :)
On CNN Newsroom today, anchor Rick Sanchez talked about terrorism with Octavia Nasr, CNN senior editor for Arab Affairs:
SANCHEZ: And good, good, good, good, good, good. You see, this is a point that I'm trying to make, Octavia.
The terrorists weren't in Iraq. We know that now. There was really a small band of them along with the mujahedeen which became al Qaeda in Afghanistan, as we know. But we have known for 10 years now that these really bad terrorists, the guys we really should have been going after a long time ago, are in Yemen. We knew that a long time ago.
The assertion that Iraq was terrorist-free prior to our intervention has become an article of faith for liberals like alleged journalist Sanchez. Yet it conflicts with evidence, including evidence many liberals once found compelling. The Clinton State Department, for example, reported on Patterns of Global Terrorism 1999. Among its findings:
Iraq continued to plan and sponsor international terrorism in 1999. Although Baghdad focused primarily on the anti-regime opposition both at home and abroad, it continued to provide safehaven and support to various terrorist groups. . .
While it has been documented that CNN's Howard Kurtz chided his own news network for ignoring the recently-revealed scandal involving Montana Democratic Senator Max Baucus nominating his girlfriend for a U.S. attorney position -- after the CNN anchor had monitored CNN on Saturday -- it turns out that on Sunday morning, even before Kurtz's Reliable Sources show had begun, CNN had already started to pay more attention to the scandal than the news network had on Saturday, but -- while one may argue the story deserves even more attention -- CNN Sunday Morning actually devoted somewhat more time to the story than the other morning newscasts on ABC, CBS, NBC, and even FNC.
Baucus was also directly labeled as a Democrat by CNN Sunday Morning co-anchors T.J. Holmes and Betty Nguyen, which the two had done in the previous day's story on CNN Saturday Morning. The Baucus scandal was mentioned several other times during the day on CNN NewsRoom, each time with Baucus clearly identified as a Democrat.
On Sunday, during the 6:00 p.m. hour and again during the 7:00 p.m. hour, CNN NewsRoom, hosted by Don Lemon, ran a report by correspondent Mary Snow on ClimateGate -- which was somewhat more balanced than the piece aired on November 25 -- though this report similarly did not quote any of the emails that suggest manipulation of data on global warming by scientists at the UK's University of East Anglia. But both times after Snow's report aired, Lemon followed up by talking with a guest or reporter who disputed the credibility of ClimateGate, without interviewing any global warming skeptics.
After Snow’s report aired during the 6:00 p.m. hour, Howard Gould of Equator International opined that "I don't see any importance" in the emails, and later asserted: "I think people are making a big deal out of nothing. I think it's the climate debunkers that are out there, it's their last ray of hope, and they're trying to cling on to something. But it's really, you know, I think it's a bit of a joke."
CNN anchor Rick Sanchez fairly moderated a debate between glacier photographer James Balog and Marc Morano of ClimateDepot.com on Thursday’s Newsroom about the issue of climate change. Sanchez did not side with either one of the debaters in his questions during the segment, and asked both reasonable questions [audio clip from the segment available here].
The CNN anchor led the 3 pm Eastern hour with a preview of the debate segment, as he played a video clip from Balog of a glacier in Alaska, and made his first hint that the ClimateGate scandal was going to be mentioned later: “The man who shot this video used to think global warming wasn’t real. He’s changed his mind. But leaked e-mails from prominent climate scientists tell a different story. You’re going to hear both sides.”
Before introducing both of his guests in the last segment of the hour, Sanchez played more glacier video from the photographer, as he further detailed the climate change controversy, and made another indirect reference to the ClimateGate e-mail scandal:
On August 28, CNN Newsroom anchor Rick Sanchez shared disturbing information with his viewers:
A CNN source with very close to the U.S. Secret Service confirmed to me today that threats on the life of the president of the United States have now risen by as much as 400 percent since his inauguration, 400 percent death threats against Barack Obama -- quote -- "in this environment" go far beyond anything the Secret Service has seen with any other president.
On yesterday's CNN Newsroom, anchor Kyra Phillips shifted to "Bad Boys" mode:
Lenders, lenders -- what you gonna do when they come for you? Call it an early Christmas present for people on the edge of losing their homes. The Obama administration cracking down on mortgage companies.
We'll tell you about it.
After the break:
PHILLIPS: Well, from your health (ph) to your home, the foreclosure crisis shows no signs of letting up, so the Obama administration is trying to fight back.
CNN’s Rick Sanchez misrepresented the pro-life Stupak Amendment to the House Democrats’ health care plan on Monday’s Newsroom. Sanchez labeled the amendment a “conservative Republican challenge of health care reform.” The anchor also gave a false impression of an answer given by RNC Chairman Michael Steele in an earlier interview on American Morning.
Sanchez used the misleading label out of the gate in a segment which began 22 minutes into the 3 pm Eastern hour: “The Stupak Amendment was a conservative Republican challenge of health care reform by making Democrats agree to a provision to make sure that abortions are not covered under this new plan, and it was a successful challenge, by the way.”
On today's CNN Newsroom, anchor Kyra Phillips went after the kids who supposedly bully a 10-year-old boy who refuses to say the Pledge of Allegiance because homosexual marriage isn't widely accepted. Some of his classmates allegedly call him names. Phillips's weapon of choice was name calling:
And a message to you boys who are bullying Will, shame on you. It's obvious you are jealous that Will is smarter and more well spoken than you are. Hopefully one day you will grow up and realize that you were being the wads, dork wads.
Phillips didn't say how she knows that Will is smarter and more well spoken than his purported tormentors. On Monday, she reported that Will is "a terrific kid." So what makes him so smart and terrific?
CNN's Rick Sanchez hosted a forum of 'average joes' yesterday in a sort of focus group on Sarah Palin. CNN did not feel, however, that it needed to invite any Palin supporters. Despite claims that the group accurately represented American opinion, its responses demonstrated a total disconnect from actual public sentiment.
Sanchez, shown right in a file photo, asked the group to inform viewers of their political and party affiliations, concluding that there was "a pretty good cross-section" of Americans participating. He then asked about Palin. None of the viewers said they would vote for her in a presidential run, and none said they plan on purchasing her new book (video and transcript below the fold - h/t Townhall).
A screening of the show's guests would hardly be a surprise given Sanchez's history of playing fast and loose with the facts when conservatives are involved. He touted one of the quotes falsely attributed to Rush Limbaugh, and later apologized for his mistake, adding to his long list of retractions. He has blamed the murder of a police officer on "right wing radio" and berated Fox News for alleged bias while ignoring CNN's.
Sanchez's coverage of Palin herself has not exactly been stellar. He suggested after she stepped down as governor that she might be pregnant.
On her segment of CNN Newsroom this morning, anchor Heidi Collins asked business correspondent Christine Romans about Senate action on extending yet again unemployment benefits:
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: You're right. And Heidi, all of those things that you mentioned are incredibly important to your money and all of them could affect you very, very near-term here. This extension of the unemployment benefits, it would be the third.
The Senate has passed it. It goes to the House. It's expected to be voted on and passed very, very quickly here. Because, remember, your Congress member and your senator, they are being inundated in their offices with questions from people saying, wait, how am I going to survive when this check runs out? Seven thousand checks running out every week.
It would be a 14-week extension nationwide, 20 weeks of unemployment. More unemployment benefits for the states with 8.5 percent unemployment or more. And this would be paid by a two-year extension of an existing -- existing tax on employers. So this would be paid for by a tax on employers.
It would not come out of your pocket and my pocket. But it would be the third extension here, Heidi. And it's critically important. Like I said, so many people are losing their unemployment benefits right now. Some 200,000 have lost their jobless benefits just as the Senate has been negotiating this.
CNN’s Iranian-born chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour interviewed one of the leaders of the militant group which stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979 and held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days for her “Amanpour” program. The interview, along with that of one of the hostages, is set to air this coming Sunday.
Wednesday’s Newsroom program previewed the upcoming episode of Amanpour’s program 12 minutes into the 12 pm Eastern hour, playing clips from the correspondent’s interviews with Jon Limbert, one of the employees of the embassy who spent more than a year in captivity, and Ebrahim Asgharzadeh, a leader of a group which supported Ayatollah Khomeni and held the Americans captive.
CNN’s Rick Sanchez omitted the left-wing ideology of an organization he cited as he lambasted North Carolina Representative Virginia Foxx on Tuesday’s Newsroom for her recent hyperbolic remarks against ObamaCare. Sanchez referenced a figure from the National Priorities Project, a think tank labeled “progressive” by CNN itself in 2007. He also left out some of the context of Rep. Foxx’s full remarks [video of the full segment available here].
The CNN anchor devoted an entire segment 37 minutes into the 3 pm Eastern hour to the North Carolina Republican’s speech on Monday against a health care “reform” bill sponsored by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Representative Foxx denounced the bill as “a tax increase bill masquerading as a health care bill,” and continued that Americans “have more to fear from the potential of that bill passing than we do from any terrorist right now in any country.”