CNN's senior legal analyst thinks there's too much "hysteria" over the IRS scandal and that it really may not have been that big of a story to begin with. He argued thus on the 11 a.m. ET hour of Thursday's Newsroom.
CNN's Jeffrey Toobin's spin went as follows: "the IRS is required by law to investigate these organizations," and "it's not clear that there were liberal organizations applying, certainly, in the numbers that the Tea Party were," and "A lot of these organizations that are complaining wound up getting approved for 501(c)(4) status. So what are their damages?" Ergo, "we need to know a lot more, but we need perhaps a little less hysteria, too." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Sunday's 6 p.m. Newsroom, CNN's Don Lemon made a shockingly generous excuse for the Obama administration's talking points on Benghazi that were edited a dozen times to the point of inaccuracy.
"[T]he accusation is that the Obama administration in some way tried to change the talking points or water them down. And my question is, and I really – I'm being honest about this, what administration, Ana, doesn't try to control the message no matter what it is?" Lemon asked. He also framed the accusations against the administration as "partisan," ignoring whether or not they were also true. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN gave more coverage to the Jodi Arias trial in one day than it did to the entire Kermit Gosnell trial over the span of eight weeks. NewsBusters already reported how the congressional hearings on the Benghazi attacks disappeared amidst CNN's incessant live coverage of tabloid crime stories.
When the verdict was reached in the Arias trial last Wednesday, CNN's coverage for the day totaled almost a whopping three hours. In contrast, the network gave just under 100 minutes to the Gosnell story in eight weeks since the trial began on March 18.
Mainstream media’s limited reporting on the murder trial of Philadelphia abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell has been obvious. You might think that CNN, the self-styled “Most Trusted Name in News," would pay more attention to a case involving over 250 criminal counts, including ones for first-degree murder.
You’d be wrong. Today, CNN’s Newsroom occupied six hours of air time. The Gosnell trial was mentioned only twice. Anchor Wolf Blitzer reported:
In Philadelphia, the 72-year-old abortion doctor, Kermit Gosnell is awaiting his fate. He's accused of first degree murder for allegedly killing babies born alive during late term abortions. Jurors are now in their fifth day of deliberating after not reaching a verdict Friday.
CNN's Carol Costello didn't hide her feelings Monday after NFL punter and gay rights advocate Chris Kluwe was cut from the Minnesota Vikings.
Costello tweeted "Chris Kluwe cut from Vikings. Sad!" on Monday afternoon, and followed up with a link to the story. "I am so sad," she lamented. Kluwe received media attention last year for his outspoken advocacy on behalf of gay NFL players, and last week Costello hosted him on CNN to talk about gay NBA player Jason Collins.
After NBA player Jason Collins came out as gay on Monday, CNN hyped the announcement as a "bombshell," a "big deal," and one for the "history books." CNN's open support of gay rights advocates is no secret, as it has already picked sides in the gay rights debate.
CNN's Don Lemon has framed gay rights advocates as being on the right side of history, and anchor Brooke Baldwin played into that narrative on Monday. "The NBA's Jason Collins has entered the history books today," she touted. "As of today, he's the first openly-gay male athlete playing a major team sport in America. This is a big deal." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
After hosting a Sunday segment on whether the Boy Scouts should allow openly-gay scouts and leaders, CNN's Don Lemon re-tweeted gay advocate David Begor's praise of him giving an "anti-gay scoutmaster" a "tough life lesson" and an "intervention."
On Thursday, Begor tweeted a link to Lemon's interview with former Eagle Scout John Stemberger and activist Zach Wahls, founder of Scouts for Equality. He noted Lemon and Wahls staging "an intervention" with Stemberger, who opposes the inclusion of openly-gay members in the Boy Scouts. Begor also touted the "tough life lesson" they gave Stemberger. Lemon re-tweeted Begor's praise.
This is CNN, where terror detainees at Guantanamo get better press treatment than social conservatives defending traditional marriage.
On Monday afternoon, CNN's Suzanne Malveaux and Michael Holmes both touted an op-ed by a Guantanamo prisoner titled "Gitmo Is Killing Me," where he tells of his hunger strike and complains of being force-fed, while held without trial for 11 years. Malveaux hailed it as a "powerful piece" and Holmes questioned U.S. hypocrisy on human rights:
[UPDATE BELOW] CNN has devoted exactly 24 seconds to the trial of former abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell and his clinic of horrors. In contrast, the network spent over 18 minutes on Tuesday discussing the controversy over Brad Paisley and LL Cool J's song "Accidental Racist." Tapper did tweet this morning that he would be covering the story on his 4 p.m. ET show The Lead.
Despite the horrifying testimonies on Gosnell's clinic, CNN instead emphasized the controversy over "Accidental Racist." The Wall Street Journal's Christopher John Farley said it "obviously is problematic. It set Twitter ablaze. People were talking about it saying what is going on here? I think part of the problem is, one, it's bad musically. This music is bad. The lyrics are also quite bad. The themes are bad."
CNN's pro-gun control bias is so bad, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin (W.Va.) thanked them for their "support" of his gun bill on Thursday's Starting Point. This came after CNN's press release begged Congress to expand background checks.
"We appreciate your support, too. This is very, very important," Manchin told CNN after co-host John Berman noted the Senator's "compromise deal" he had been working on.
CNN has resorted to airing a 2011 al Qaeda video highlighting America's lax gun laws as a legitimate critique of the current laws.
"You know who's watching this whole gun debate playing out in America? Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda already thinks America's gun control system is weak and American al Qaeda spokesman says it is so easy to get guns in America that wannabe terrorists should take advantage of it," warned anchor Brooke Baldwin. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN's Carol Costello praised Sen. Rand Paul's "champ" filibuster effort to get information on drone use from the White House. Now that Republicans are promising to filibuster a gun control bill if it comes to the Senate floor, however, Costello was in disbelief on Tuesday.
"Paul filibustered like a champ and got what he wanted, information on drones. This time, it's a little different. Republicans, including Paul, have vowed to filibuster away any debate on guns, as in we don't want to talk about guns, period," Costello dramatically uttered. She ludicrously asked if Sen. Paul would even answer his front door if a parent of a Newtown victim wanted to dissuade him from a filibuster. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Reporting on the late Margaret Thatcher's legacy on Monday, CNN correspondent Max Foster hyped that she "decimated entire industries" in Britain and "decimated communities across the UK." He also cited Gerry Adams, the public face of the IRA for decades, as a valid critic of Thatcher -- as did CNN anchor Ashleigh Banfield.
In addition to citing praise for Thatcher, Foster offered a blistering critique on Monday's Starting Point: "This was the prime minister that decimated entire industries in the United Kingdom during her period in power as she broke the miners unions in a push towards privatization to create a more flexible British economy, which it has become. But she decimated communities across the UK. And a lot of people absolutely despise her legacy." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
In discussing the late Margaret Thatcher's legacy, CNN's Ashleigh Banfield gave a platform to liberal Hollywood actress Meryl Streep and former Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, who had ties to the IRA during Thatcher's time as British prime minister.
Adams predictably savaged Thatcher for causing "great hurt" to Ireland and England. Meanwhile, because Streep portrayed Thatcher in the film "The Iron Lady," CNN sought her out as an expert on Thatcher's legacy, and Streep rapped her economic policies: "Her hard-nosed fiscal measures took a toll on the poor, and her hands-off approach to financial regulation led to great wealth for others." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Call it the tale of two gaffes. CNN only briefly covered President Obama's blunder that the gun used in the Sandy Hook shooting was an automatic weapon. Meanwhile, the network gave almost 40 minutes on Friday to outrage over Obama calling California's Attorney General "the best-looking attorney general in the country."
CNN's Jake Tapper was the only CNN anchor or reporter who caught Obama's "automatic" gun error. He reported it twice, once during his 4 p.m. ET show The Lead and later on while filling in for host Erin Burnett on OutFront. Automatic weapons are already strictly regulated and have been for decades; the gun used at Sandy Hook was a semi-automatic weapon.
While CNN claims to be non-partisan, anchors have been openly expressing their favor for same-sex marriage and advocating the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Host Piers Morgan and anchor Don Lemon even descended into smearing opponents of same-sex marriage as "homophobic" and akin to segregationists.
On Wednesday, Morgan tweeted, "What politicians are beginning to realise - hardly anyone under 30 is homophobic. #RIPDOMA". He added "RIP #DOMA....you will not be missed, no flowers necessary." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
A CNN contributor and GOP strategist condescendingly lectured opponents of legalized same-sex marriage on Tuesday night's Erin Burnett OutFront, scoffing that they need to "get in to the 21st century" and ditch the "losing political issue."
"It should not be a banner issue for the Republican Party," Ana Navarro claimed before insisting that same-sex marriage is "the most rapidly evolving social issue we have seen in our lifetime." She added that "folks who are in denial about this that have to get out of the closet. They have to wave goodbye to the GEICO caveman and step out gingerly and carefully into the brave new world." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
In yet another episode of CNN's Don Lemon pestering a conservative guest, he belittled and smeared The Heritage Foundation's Ryan Anderson on Sunday. Anderson had claimed that same-sex marriage is not illegal, just not recognized as "marriage" by many state governments and the federal government.
"Well, I'm the anchor of this show, so I can interrupt as much as I want. So let me interrupt and then I'll let you talk," Lemon rudely lectured Anderson. Lemon called his argument "absurd" and accused him of spreading "rumors and infactual information." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Hyping "growing support" for same-sex marriage, CNN's Carol Costello asked a supporter of California's Proposition 8 on Monday if he was "on the wrong side of history" for legally defining marriage as between one man and one woman. Her tone fits right with Friday's CNN panel where a traditional marriage supporter was disgustingly marginalized as a segregationist and compared to a slave owner.
Costello cited GOP strategist Karl Rove admitting that he could see a Republican presidential candidate publicly support same-sex marriage in 2016. She then asked Austin Nimocks of the Alliance Defense Fund, "Austin, you heard what Karl Rove just said. Are you on the wrong side of history?" [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN's Friday afternoon "panel" was a disgusting display of liberal non-tolerance. Anchor Don Lemon compared defenders of traditional marriage with opponents of interracial marriage and ripped their cause as "discrimination," while a panel member compared them to slave owners.
"No one should have to tolerate hate or discrimination," Lemon lectured radio host Ben Ferguson who had expressed his support for traditional marriage. When Ferguson shot back "But I don't hate you," Essence magazine editor Teresa Wiltz snarled, "The slave owners didn't hate the slaves either." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Are congressmen four times as important as the President? CNN spent over four times more airtime questioning claims made by Rep. Michele Bachmann against President Obama than it did on President Obama's falsehood on the sequester.
Three weeks ago, CNN reporter Dana Bash corrected President Obama's statement that Capitol Hill janitors and police would receive a pay cut because of the sequester. Her report aired four times on CNN that weekend, for a total of three minutes of coverage. In contrast, Bash's confrontation with Bachmann got over four times more coverage this week.
CNN devoted over a half hour of coverage on Thursday to touting Mayor Bloomberg's "Demand Action to End Gun Violence" conference, where Bloomberg, Vice President Biden, and families of gun violence victims pushed for stricter gun control. Over 22 minutes was given to live coverage of the conference.
CNN hyped the "raw emotion" of the speakers pressing Congress to take action on gun control. Although gun control was the focus, anchor Carol Costello framed it as an innocuous "battle over reforming our gun laws." Correspondent Susan Candiotti wondered if the presence of grieving family members of victims would "make a difference" in getting gun laws passed.
Is this Jeff Zucker's new vision for CNN? Instead of reporting hard-hitting news, Thursday's 9 a.m. ET hour of Newsroom featured conservatives getting whacked by a gauntlet of talking heads, celebrities, and centrist and liberal guests. And anchor Carol Costello added a liberal lament of "Will Gitmo ever close?"
Here were some "stories" that CNN devoted whole segments to: Tina Fey mocking Sarah Palin on Bravo, Fox News' Bill O'Reilly admonishing Rep. Michelle Bachmann, and a question about whether conservatives are overlooked in pop culture, answered by a liberal guest and a centrist guest. CNN is looking more and more like MSNBC. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN is hitting Democrats from the left for not passing an assault weapons ban. Host Piers Morgan had a liberal pout session with filmmaker Michael Moore on Tuesday night's Piers Morgan Live, and then anchor Carol Costello asked on Wednesday morning if Democrats were "weenies."
After quoting the ultra-liberal Moore calling Democrats "weenies," Costello called out Democrats from the left: "Michael Moore says introduce the bill. Let Republicans vote against it. So my question, are Democrats weenies for not bringing an assault weapons ban to the floor?" [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Senate Majority Header Harry Reid (D-Nev.) disgustingly implied on Tuesday that a freak explosion killing seven Marines during a training exercise in Nevada happened because of sequester cuts. While MSNBC reported Reid's comments and the "strong exception" taken to them by the Marine Corps, CNN made no mention of them at all on Tuesday and Wednesday morning, just like CBS, ABC, and NBC.
Speaking on the Senate floor, Reid announced the explosion that killed the Marines and transitioned into how the sequester cuts back on military "training and maintenance." He added that "It's just not appropriate, Mr. President, that our military can't train and do the maintenance necessary. These men and women, our Marines were training there in Hawthorne. And with this sequester, it's going to cut back this stuff." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
A CNN headline during Tuesday's 11 a.m. hour of Newsroom asked, "Should Bush officials be tried for war crimes?" CNN legal analyst Lisa Bloom argued that the U.S. should submit to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court for the mass murder of Iraqis that far exceeded the 9/11 atrocities.
Bloom downplayed the 9/11 terror attacks in the face of the Iraq War. When anchor Ashleigh Banfield noted that America responded to 9/11 with force and not in a "sanguine" manner, Bloom compared it to the Iraqi casualty count: "And that was 4,000, not 100,000, not 10 years." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
After a random CPAC attendee defended the benefits of slavery over the weekend, CNN's Don Lemon played it up as more baggage to a Republican party struggling to connect with minorities, on Sunday night's Newsroom.
"Listen, this won't help," he brought up the incident during a panel discussion about the GOP's outreach to minorities. He played the clip twice and narrated the details afterwards, all within the span of a few minutes. Then he implied it could "throw a monkey wrench" into GOP outreach. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
[UPDATE BELOW: Cruz's office responds] CNN's Don Lemon smacked Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) on Friday for being "inaccurate" and "misleading" in grilling Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on the Second Amendment. Lemon didn't provide any transcript or video of what Cruz actually said, and it turns out he was the one being "inaccurate" and "misleading."
First, Lemon falsely claimed that Cruz argued Second Amendment protections were unlimited, and he cited the Heller case against Cruz: "But it also says – it also says the same thing, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. Is not unlimited."
CNN's Carol Costello spent her entire interview with the CPAC chairman badgering him about the inclusion of gay Republicans in the conference. A few minutes before, Costello had led off the 9 a.m. hour of Newsroom touting GOP Senator Rob Portman (Ohio) and his newfound support for gay marriage.
"Will CPAC ever change its position and allow gay Republicans to sit at the table?" she pressed the chair of the American Conservative Union, Al Cardenas. "Were there gay people included in those panel discussions?" she followed up. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
It took only seven minutes after the announcement of a new pope for CNN to interview women's ordination activists in St. Peter's Square.
The liberal activists were the first interviewees on CNN after the white smoke emerged from the Sistine Chapel chimney. Correspondent Miguel Marquez pointed out their "ordain women badges" and gave credence to their cause. "We have heard this across the U.S. and around the world, certainly, that people do want and hope for a more open, transparent, liberal, progressive church," he noted. [Video below the break. Audio here.]