CNN has, for years, touted itself as “The Most Trusted Name in News,” and yet time and again it belies its own claim to unique (among cable news networks) political neutrality. CNN.com editor Dan Gilgoff has once again undercut the channel’s gimmicky self-identification.
Gilgoff recently discussed Californian Roger Stockham, who drove across the country to Detroit, Michigan, planning to wreak inferno-laden havoc on an area mosque. Thankfully, he was arrested by Detroit police in front of the Dearborn, Michigan Islamic Centers of America before having a chance to do so.
In an astounding omission, Gilgoff attempted to paint Stockham as a radicalized redneck driven to violence by anti-Muslim rhetoric of some sort. But not once did he mention that Stockham is apparently a devout Muslim!
Trashing Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) as "Dr. Kevorkian," CNN political contributor Paul Begala condemns the congressman's bold proposal to revamp Medicare in his latest op-ed for CNN.com. If the GOP follows Ryan's plan, "like lemmings," Begala writes that their agenda will end in disaster.
He interprets the plan as nothing less than an attempt "to deny ill and infirm seniors the health care they deserve – while giving oil companies billions in taxpayer subsidies." The "lives and health" of the elderly are now in the hands of the "tender mercies" of the insurance companies. Is this a hint at death panels?
Ryan's plan involves transforming Medicare, which he sees as a fiscally unsustainable program in the long run, into a voluntary system where the elderly are covered by private insurance companies and their premiums are subsidized by the government.
UPDATE, April 1: Joshua Shapiro, who is "quoted" in the AP article covered in this post, has emailed me and informed me of the following --
Christopher Rugaber did not speak with him, but instead used text from "a written note that I (Shapiro) produced after the jobless claims report was released."
Shapiro is unhappy at my making it appear that he is fooled by establishment press reports. Although I framed my assertions in "if" and "might" to make it clear that I really didn't know, I regret implying that possibility, though of course I had no idea that Rugaber didn't even speak to him.
By using the word "said" without contextualizing it, Rugaber gave readers every reason to believe he spoke with Shapiro. Per Shapiro, he didn't. Rugaber used information that Shapiro framed in a much longer-term context to make current news appear better than it really is. Rugaber's AP report is even more risible than indicated in the post which follows.
This morning, the Associated Press's Christopher Rugaber, in his 9:14 a.m. coverage (saved here at my web host in case it's revised, as well as for fair use and discussion purposes) of today's weekly unemployment claims release by the Department of Labor, found an economist whose reaction was to get all pumped up about the job market:
"The downtrend ... is undeniable," Joshua Shapiro, chief economist at MFR Financial Inc., said. "We believe that this improvement will continue in the weeks and months ahead."
While one of course hopes for improvement in the coming weeks and months, the existence of an "undeniable" downward trend is questionable, as seen below:
John Avlon again attacked conservatives, this time on the gun rights issues, in a Thursday column on CNN.com. Avlon bashed the "bumper sticker policies" and the "reason-free activist crowd" of Second Amendment activists. The Daily Beast writer also invoked Reagan's past support of gun control measures in another attempt to sever today's conservative activists from the former president's legacy.
On Wednesday's Newsroom, CNN hyped the concerns of psychiatrist Terry Kupers over the imprisonment of Wikileaks suspect Bradley Manning. Kupers labeled Manning's months-long solitary confinement "cruel or inhumane treatment, and by international standards, they constitute torture." The guest also claimed that "nobody has been accused of crimes like Bradley Manning's."
Anchor Carol Costello noted in her introduction to her interview of Kupers (which aired 47 minutes into the 10 am Eastern hour) that "Manning, the man accused of giving Wikileaks classified documents, spent most of the last nine months in solitary confinement. One psychiatrist tells CNN that amounted to torture, and it could have done more harm than good." An on-screen graphic trumpeted this charge: "Wikileaks Suspect 'Tortured': Doc: Months of solitary does permanent damage."
Jay Kernis, senior producer of CNN's In the Arena program, promoted liberal writer David Sirota's thesis that "the mythology of the 1980s still defines our thinking on everything from militarism, to greed, to race relations." Sirota bashed 80s cultural touchstones such as The A Team and Ghostbusters for being "hideously militaristic" and the "ugliness of [their] anti-government message."
Kernis interviewed the Huffington Post contributor about his new book, "Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explain the World We Live in Now—Our Culture, Our Politics, Our Everything" in an item on his program's blog on CNN.com on Monday. The producer first asked about the writer's hypothesis that "the political and cultural references from the 1980s have not only become cool again, but may be a way to explain our present-day issues and conflicts, and even influencing our thinking today."
Dan Gilgoff played up the Islamic community's concerns over upcoming congressional hearings on "the radicalization of American Muslims" in a Friday article on CNN.com. Gilgoff quoted Muslims 12 times in his article, versus only 3 times for Rep. Peter King, who will be convening the hearings, and omitted mentioning actual terrorist incidents from recent years that involved native-born or naturalized Muslims.
CNN's Ed Hornick apparently couldn't find anyone who disagreed with the notion that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker "overreached" in his push to eliminate collective bargaining for public sector unions. He couldn't even quote Walker himself. Hornick's Tuesday article quoted from two political science professors, a "progressive" editorial writer, and a former United States comptroller general, who helped forward this liberal-pleasing hypothesis.
The writer all but gave the answer to the question proposed in the title of his CNN.com article ("Did Wisconsin governor overreach in union battle?") in his lead sentence: "Some political experts have said that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, in a battle with public employee unions over the right to collective bargaining, has overreached in his attempts to shore up the state's budget shortfall." The graphic accompanying the article featured a pro-union protestor's sign that labeled Governor Walker a "dope," in a parody of Shepard Fairey's red, white, and blue depiction of President Obama (see below).
Imagine that Pat Robertson or Dr. James Dobson took out a full-page ad in a mainstream media publication hinting that Jesus himself is squarely behind the Republicans' efforts to curb spending and curtail the size and scope of the federal government.
The media would certainly cover the interesting theological and political claims at hand but they'd also be certain to cite apolitical and/or liberal Christian thinkers who would decry the crass and cynical exploitation of Christ for political matters upon which Scripture is silent, such as the U.S. federal budget.
Yet when it came to the liberal group Sojourners asking "What Would Jesus Cut" in an ad in today's Politico, CNN's Belief Blog failed to report the objections of concerns that conservative Christians and apolitical Christian theologians would raise
CNN's Gloria Borger ripped the 87 new Republicans in the House of Representatives in a Thursday commentary on CNN.com for their "arrogance of absolute conviction" in wanting to cut the budget. Borger first labeled this attachment to principle "dangerous," and continued that the "problem" with the freshmen representatives and their allies at the state level was "their conviction that compromise is bad."
The senior political analyst set the tone right away with the title of piece, "The arrogance of the new budget cutters." After noting that "we said we wanted budget cutters, so that's what we have" and the apparent "downright frenzy of rectitude in Washington," Borger stated that those "most convinced of their task are the 87 House Republican newcomers." She shot her first "arrogant" labeled at the freshmen after complimenting them a bit:
It's apparently all the rage this week among mainstream media religion features to hype the unorthodox views of Boston University's Jennifer Wright Knust.
On Monday, Newsweek's Lisa Miller uncritically presented her readers with a summary of arguments from the professor's new book. The next day "On Faith," -- a joint Newsweek/Washington Post online religion news/comment feature -- published the first of a multi-part series of guest columns by Knust.
Yesterday, CNN's Belief Blog joined in, granting Knust a "My Take" blog post focused on attacking Scripture's teachings on homosexuality.
CNN contributor John Avlon took yet another shot at mainstream conservatives in a Wednesday column on CNN.com. Avlon blasted the "far right" Family Research Council and other conservative groups for their opposition to GOProud's sponsorship of CPAC, and accused conservatives of being on "the wrong side of history" with homosexuals, just as they supposedly were with the "last great civil right movement."
The Daily Beast columnist, a known Tea Party critic, took delight that the "gay rights movement...has finally reached the Republican Party" in his column, titled "Gay group in conservatives' gathering splits GOP." He continued by noting how "former first daughter Barbara Bush made news by announcing her support of gay marriage, joining the former GOP presidential nominee's daughter Meghan McCain. Last year, former Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman came out."
A few paragraphs later, Avlon began ripping the conservative groups that decided to boycott CPAC over the GOProud issue:
To those who follow the news fairly closely and look at underlying reports, CNN's email alerts are sometimes entertaining. Much less frequently are the accurate and informative.
Even though they tend not to realize it, those who don't follow the news closely and attempt to stay informed by relying on CNN's alerts are regularly deceived by the network that used to call itself "the most trusted name in news."
An example of such deception arrived in my e-mail box yesterday:
CNN's 7 pm Eastern hour program John King USA was the only program on Monday and the following morning on Tuesday that mentioned the March for Life in Washington, DC. Anchor John King devoted only 11 seconds to the pro-life demonstration, and omitted crowd numbers and footage from the March. CNN.com's write-up on the annual event downplayed the number of attendees as merely in the "thousands."
King led his evening program with a brief about an Illinois court ruling that former Obama aide Rahm Emanuel was ineligible to run for Chicago mayor. After playing a sound bite from Emanuel, the CNN personality then gave moved on to the March for Life, and added illegal immigration to it as an "emotional issue:"
The folks in the establishment press are looking for any sign of upward movement in the housing market, especially in new home construction, that they can portray positively as the beginning of a general recovery.
That desperate search explains the content of the following e-mail alert from CNN which arrived in my inbox this morning:
MTV aims to make a profit airing a show about a pregnant teen deciding to abort her baby, and the best media writers can muster is to call it a “sensitive issue.”
An MTV Special to be aired at 11:30pm Dec. 28, “No Easy Decision” is a half-hour program that follows a teen mom’s tragic decision to abort her child. The media coverage leading up to the program’s air date has merely glossed over the murderous reality that is abortion, and used terms like “sensitive issue,” “wrenching decision” and “ostracized party guest” to downplay the severity of infanticide.
If you only read CNNMoney.com's Dec. 17 attack on the tax cut deal you might think that Congressman Mike Pence, R-Ind., opposed extending the Bush-era tax cuts because of the cost. But that's not the case.
CNNMoney senior writer Chris Isidore wrote the article: "Costliest stimulus, weakest payoff" attacking the tax deal Congress passed. Using the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) figures, Isidore complained that it would cost $858 billion - accepting the liberal assumption that tax cuts are a "cost."
He even misused comments made by Pence to support his liberal claims. After describing tax cuts as an inefficient way to grow the economy, Isidore wrote, "And at a price tag of almost $900 billion at a time when the national debt is sky high, the proposal is considered a pretty big risk. That's why even some Republicans who like the idea of lower taxes are opposing the bill."
CNN personality Soledad O'Brien revealed in her new book that liberal activist Jesse Jackson put her down for her skin color during a private meeting in 2007. During the meeting, Jackson complained to O'Brien, whose mother is a black woman from Cuba, that there weren't any black anchors on CNN. When she pointed out that she was the anchor of American Morning, the activist replied, "You don't count."
O'Brien, who is now a special correspondent for CNN, recounted the 2007 incident in "The Next Big Story," which CNN.com excerpted on November 3. Just before her meeting with Jackson, the journalist had obtained "exclusive access to Martin Luther King, Jr.'s papers," as the lead-in for the excerpt underlined. Soon after this, as O'Brien recalled, "Jackson calls with an invitation to meet and talk." The two met at a restaurant "on the first floor of a famous hotel" and in the course of their conversation, the subject of the racial makeup of her network came up:
CNN has been airing a video clip today of the President and First Lady trying out some folk dance moves on their trip to India. The scene isn’t necessarily newsworthy, nor does it stand out. The President should be commended for at least trying to entertain the children and performers at a Mumbai high school. It was a fun moment. But McClatchy reporters went a little over the top with their personal dance review (clip below the jump).
They have dubbed it "the Obama Indian Tango."
It might be better known as "How Barack's Wife Got the President's Groove Back."
One of the biggest questions facing President Barack Obama in the wake of the Democrats' Election Day "shellacking" was whether he'd still have that "Yes We Can" charisma that energized people around the world. Apparently, in India, the answer is yes.
If only he had pulled out these dance moves prior to the election, perhaps the Democratic base would have been equally as energized.
Forced movie references aside, the gushing review doesn’t end there…
[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:
The following is NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center (MRC) founder Brent Bozell's new editorial posted at CNN.com in association with their upcoming documentary Right On The Edge about what they call conservative "guerrilla journalists" this weekend:
It was the fall of 1995, and there was open warfare in Washington over the Republicans' Contract with America.
Liberals had declared that civilization as we knew it was imperiled by the evil machinations of Newt Gingrich and Co.
This is to be expected of liberals on Capitol Hill -- but those weren't the effective ones. It was their colleagues in the national so-called "objective" so-called "news" media whose "reporting" was poisoning the public discourse.
Former CBS anchor Dan Rather was a frequent target of conservatives' ire. On November 28, he was a guest of Mike Rosen, the top-rated conservative radio talk show host in Denver, Colorado. Rosen directly accused him of having a liberal bias, but Rather would have none of it.
It seems “banks are doing nearly twice as many modifications under their own foreclosure prevention initiatives than under the Obama administration's signature Home Affordable Modification Program, known as HAMP,” Luhbi wrote in her Aug. 30 article. Banks made 644,000 “proprietary permanent modifications” in the first half of 2010, almost twice the 332,000 under HAMP.
Loan modifications are an alternative to foreclosures, in which the debtors usually receive “interest rate and principal reductions.” The HAMP program, according to Luhby, “lowers monthly payments to 31% of pre-tax income.”
CNN on Friday disgustingly advocated for a watered-down, more politically correct version of Christianity.
Highlighted at its website was research from a Princeton theology professor on the state of Christianity among teenagers. The study found that American churches have fallen for PC feel-good morality that's afraid of confrontation - and the result is a generation unable to distinguish Christianity from simple theism.
The author of the study, Kenda Creasy Dean, said the process was "depressing" as she interviewed one Christian after another describing God as a "therapist" who exists to validate their "self-esteem." Worse yet, many of them could not give a coherent explanation of the Gospel, content with a general belief that God wants them to "feel good and do good."
And in MSM newsrooms across the fruited plain, there was much rejoicing. Incessant pressure to water down Christianity has finally paid off.
CNN reporter John Blake wrote a piece on the sad phenomenon with no introspection as to who might be causing it:
When the media outlet disaffectionately called the "Clinton News Network" starts ridiculing you to such an extent that you are depicted as a worse communicator than George W. Bush, you know your popularity as a Democrat President is in trouble.
Yet that's what happened Tuesday when CNN published a piece prominently displayed on the front page of its website with the surprising headline:
Critics Say Obama's Message Becoming 'Incoherent'
For the remaining fans of our 44th President, the article that followed wasn't any better: