My nomination for the dumbest comment of the week by a television host on a news channel goes to CNN's Brian Stelter.
While talking to Slate's Aisha Harris about the reaction to her article calling for Santa Claus to be a penguin, the new Reliable Sources host wondered if Megyn Kelly wouldn't have been so adamant about Santa being white if Fox News had more black viewers (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Eric Deggans of National Public Radio sat in the guest-host chair on CNN's "Reliable Sources" show on Sunday, and pressed Amy Holmes of TheBlaze TV several times on how she should be more forgiving of Martin Bashir's outrageous remarks about Sarah Palin. First, he suggested, "Martin Bashir apologized for his comments. He reached out to the Palin family.Is there really a problem here? Or are competitors and partisan people try to make an issue being made out of something that has already passed?"
One doesn't have to be a partisan to suggest an on-air apology might seem like a weak punishment. Holmes cited that MSNBC removed David Shuster from the air (never to return) for suggesting Hillary Clinton "pimped out" her daughter Chelsea on the campaign trail. So Deggans turned the issue to Glenn Beck, who Holmes works for: [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
On Sunday's Reliable Sources, former PBS and CBS reporter Terence Smith said President Obama "has a point" when complaining of media malpractice in covering ObamaCare.
"I think, in fact, in this case, the President has a point, however, that headlines like that, 'Disaster,' you're labeling ObamaCare before it has a chance," insisted Smith, who once defended the legacy of Jimmy Carter while ripping Reagan's management of government. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
MSNBC isn’t the only network with an under-30 host. CNN has hired 28-year-old New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter to host its Sunday media show Reliable Sources. Stelter has guest-hosted a few times already since longtime host Howard Kurtz left for Fox News.
Earlier this year, Stelter's book Top of the Morning came out, about the network morning shows, including a takedown of the "general meanness" on the set of NBC's Today. Time's James Poniewozik adds he'll be leaving the Times, not working at both media outlets:
Former New York Times editor Bill Keller on Sunday perfectly demonstrated liberal media hypocrisy.
Moments after claiming on CNN's Reliable Sources that people who "deny climate change" shouldn't be given "equal time," he said "be wary of the guy who says he's got the absolute truth" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Sunday's Reliable Sources, BuzzFeed's Rosie Gray predicted that the "media is going to lose interest" in the problems with Healthcare.gov.
"I think the media is going to lose interest, probably in the next few weeks, or even sooner than that," she claimed. "I mean, a crisis situation like the shutdown, that's going to get a lot of intense media coverage. This is sort of, as the Web site problems continue, eventually the interest in the media is going to peter out." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Is it possible for CNN's John Avlon to at least pretend to be impartial?
On Sunday's Reliable Sources, in the closing segment about PolitiFact's just announced new website PunditFact, Avlon showed three reports by the organization: one giving conservative author Ann Coulter a "Pants on Fire," another giving Fox News host Sean Hannity a "Mostly False," and a third giving MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell a "Mostly True" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
You want to know why most members of the press are liberal?
Well, as CNN's Reliable Sources showed Sunday during an interview with a group of journalism students at the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs, these folks apart from Facebook and Twitter get their "news" from liberal sources such as the Associated Press, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, NPR, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and believe it or not Jon Stewart (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters reported several times last week, CNN's Piers Morgan refused to retract his repeated claim Monday that Aaron Alexis, the shooter at the Washington Navy Yard, used an AR-15 during the massacre.
On CNN's Reliable Sources Sunday, guest host David Folkenflik of NPR did a six-minute segment addressing the mistake several in the media made concerning this issue without once mentioning that the person probably most guilty of this error was Morgan (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Eric Deggans, the TV and media critic for the Tampa Bay Times, made a bold statement Sunday guaranteed to anger liberals and their minions in the press.
Hosting CNN's Reliable Sources, Deggans finished with a message about the media's role in stoking racial tensions in America saying, "I'm convinced one aggravating factor is media outlets that profit by playing off prejudice and encouraging people's fears about race difference" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN's Reliable Sources on Sunday discussed Alec Baldwin supposedly getting his own show on MSNBC.
For some reason, guest host Brian Stelter of the New York Times as well as his panelists chose not to mention Baldwin's recent homophobic rant despite it occurring just six weeks ago (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Remember the 'Flush Rush' boycott attempted by David Brock and Media Matters which called for advertisers to drop their sponsorships of Rush Limbaugh's radio show? How did that work out in the long run? According to liberal radio talk host Thom Hartmann on CNN's Reliable Sources yesterday it completely backfired because it ended up hurting liberal shows:
David Brock and Media Matters were leading the boycott Limbaugh crusade, which did presumably some damage to the Limbaugh show. I can tell you it did a lot of damage to progressive talk radio, because a lot of advertisers right across the board said just pull me out of all talk radio.
Readers are advised to prepare themselves for a rare dose of sanity and reality on television.
On CNN's Reliable Sources Sunday, journalism professor Steve Roberts actually said, "What's missing often in TV newsrooms: there are plenty of gays, there are very few people of faith and very few evangelical Christians who in their own beliefs would be against gay marriage. And this has always bothered me" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters has been reporting, it's been a hoot this week watching the same liberal media members that were apoplectic in 2005 when George W. Bush's domestic surveillance program was revealed contort themselves into almost impossible positions defending Barack Obama's far more intrusive scheme seven and a half years later.
Glenn Greenwald, the liberal author who first broke the news of this program, spoke to Howard Kurtz on CNN's Reliable Sources about this blatant hypocrisy (video follows with CNN.com transcript and commentary):
Asked on Sunday’s Reliable Sources if the wider media dismissed the Weekly Standard story, by Stephen Hayes about the Benghazi talking points getting altered to take out any references to terrorism, because of his affiliation with conservative media, The Hill newspaper Managing Editor Bob Cusack agreed.
Then he turned his criticism on his colleagues: “If you look at the time line of how this administration dealt with Benghazi, there’s been a lot of contradictions from the get go. So, the media hasn’t looked at it as extensively as they should have.”
On Sunday's Reliable Sources, CNN's Howard Kurtz doubled down on his December column that the media needed "to be leading the conversation" on guns in the wake of Newtown. He even compared the gun debate to the conversations on civil rights and, recently, same-sex marriage. Is gun control the new civil rights movement?
Of course, Kurtz claimed objectivity although since Newtown the media have been anything but fair to gun rights advocates in the "conversation" on guns: "I would say that it's important for journalists, whether you like the phrase 'leading the conversation' or not, to push controversial issues that the politicians otherwise might prefer not to talk about."
Yet New York Times columnist Ross Douthat countered that the media is overwhelmingly one-sided when it tries to push issues into the spotlight, and pointed to the selective outrage behind the Newtown shooting versus the horror stories coming from the Gosnell trial. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Friday's Anderson Cooper 360, hours after CNN finally covered the trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell for the first time in weeks, CNN's legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin scoffed at the notion of a liberal media bias responsible for the cover-up.
"Well, the people making those criticisms by and large are conservatives, who are saying the liberal media is trying to protect abortion rights by not showing this horror show. I don't buy that at all," Toobin asserted. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Many media observers were wondering if CNN's Howard Kurtz was going to expose on his Reliable Sources program Sunday the press's horrible coverage of the Kermit Gosnell murder trial.
As fate would have it, Kurtz's reporting was just as pathetic as virtually everyone else's to date giving the matter a total of 90 seconds while sharing bogus statistics including the truly preposterous claim, "The conservative media didn't do much either" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As the media predictably gush and fawn over the thought of Hillary Clinton as president, there's something extremely obvious they've been missing.
Rather surprisingly, Roger Simon, the perilously liberal chief political columnist at Politico, asked the $64 million question on CNN's Reliable Sources Sunday, "How good a job did she really do as Secretary of State?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Sunday's Reliable Sources was absurdly generous to the media for their coverage of the same-sex marriage debate, calling them "in the middle" and denying having seen any "rudeness" toward social conservatives.
Host Howard Kurtz teed up gay rights activist John Aravosis by asking, "Are the media waking up to the fact that this is a civil rights issue?" Meanwhile, Aravosis claimed the press is "still being objective and in the middle" on the issue while the Washington Post's "conservative" blogger Jennifer Rubin denied having seen any media "rudeness or abruptness" toward social conservatives. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Sally Quinn sure has a low opinion of the Catholic Church for someone that edits the Washington Post's "On Faith" blog.
Having claimed last week on CBS's Face the Nation that "so many priests are gay," Quinn this Sunday on CNN's Reliable Sources said the lack of media vetting and background checks of Cardinals meant Pope Francis "could possibly have been involved in a scandal" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN's Howard Kurtz made a comment Sunday that might raise some conservative eyebrows.
In a Reliable Sources discussion about comments Fox News's Roger Ailes made in a new book about him, Kurtz said, "I think this president works very hard and doesn’t take many vacations" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
UPDATE AT END OF POST: Ari Fleischer responds to accusation Milbank made about him in this segment.
The Washington Post's Dana Milbank made an interesting observation Sunday about the vulgarity prominent in the current presidential administration.
Appearing on CNN's Reliable Sources, Milbank said, "The number of F-bombs being dropped by this White House, scholars are going to look in the national archives in 20 or 30 years and they're going to be shocked by the language that was coming out of this place" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN's Howard Kurtz mocked the media – including his own network – on Sunday's Reliable Sources for uncritically channeling government hysteria over the sequester cuts.
"[I]f the press had put in, let's say, 10 percent of the effort that was devoted to investigating, I don't know, Beyonce's lip syncing into the actual measurable effects of these budget cuts, I think we would have seen a somewhat different picture," quipped Kurtz. [Video below. Audio here.]
On Sunday's Reliable Sources, guest David Zurawik mocked "out of town reporters" who met with the White House about sequestration and simply repeated the administration's talking points back to their local channels, "like an Obama commercial."
However, CNN displayed that same uncritical journalism over and over on the sequester. Obama administration officials freaked out about looming budget cuts to their respective agencies and CNN simply relayed the hype to its viewers, comparing the cuts to the asteroid and calling them a "man-made disaster." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Bill Plante, CBS News Senior White House Correspondent, made a rather shocking statement Sunday about the Obama administration's media strategy.
Appearing on CNN's Reliable Sources, Plante said that to the extent the White House is able to "put out their own material" without the Washington press corps, "they're undercutting the First Amendment...it's state-run media" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN media critic Howard Kurtz ripped the press infatuation with Sen. Marco Rubio's water sip as "profoundly depressing," but on Sunday's Reliable Sources he wouldn't call out his own network's attempt to use the incident to drive headlines.
Last Wednesday, CNN's The Situation Room took the trivial and blew it up. CNN showed a still-shot of Rubio sipping water with headline flashing "Career-Ender?" Host Wolf Blitzer asked his panel if the incident was a "big deal." The headline stoked outrage on Twitter and CNN jumped to explain it as a "joke," but Kurtz didn't mention any of this hullabaloo.