CNN’s Alina Cho, in a report which ran twice on Friday’s "American Morning," described Michelle Obama in nothing but glowing terms. When she introduced the report during the 6 am Eastern hour, Cho described the wife of Barack Obama as a "fascinating woman," and went on to call her "funny, fiery, and blunt ."
During the report, Cho used sound bites from Valerie Jarrett, a friend of the Obama family, and CNN contributor Roland Martin to reinforce the overwhelmingly positive profile of Mrs. Obama and her role in drawing black women to vote for her husband. Martin put it this way: "She's going to tell them [black women] point blank -- look, I'm you. My daughters are you. And so, my husband is going to be thinking about you every single day because he's looking at you every single day."
It took a couple of tries, but CNN "American Morning" co-anchor John Roberts got Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama to admit what people probably already knew - Obama wants to raise taxes.
Obama appeared in an interview with Roberts on the January 9 "American Morning" fresh off his second place finish in the New Hampshire Democratic primary. He told Roberts high taxes were in the best interest of the American economy.
"Well, I think that there's no doubt that letting the Bush tax cuts on the top 1 percent lapse would not have, I think, a significant impact on the economy, but would bolster our fiscal situation," Obama said. "We continue to run big deficits - our national debt has increased drastically. That is not good for our long-term economic security."
During an interview on Wednesday morning with the Democratic victor in the New Hampshire primary, CNN’s Kiran Chetry asked Hillary Clinton if there was a hint of sexism in the response to the senator’s apparent show of emotion in the lead-up to the vote. "Do you think it's a double standard or a little harder because you're a woman to show you're a strong leader, but also be able to show some of your human side?"
In addition to this emotion/gender issue, Chetry, like her co-host John Roberts had done two days earlier, questioned Hillary about the Iraq war, specifically about the success of the troop surge. "You opposed the troop increase when the president proposed it, even introduced legislation to try to reverse it. Since then though, the attacks have fallen by 60% and a lot of the observers say that the surge is working. Do you acknowledge that the surge is working now?"
Clinton acknowledged the recent downturn in violence, but then went on to claim that "that was not the purpose of the surge. The purpose of the surge was to try to convince the Iraqi government to make the tough decisions that, so far, it has not made. So, I don't believe that that is a real justification, and we've had such a terrible year in the loss of American lives."
Instead of focusing on Hillary Clinton’s third-place finish in Iowa, her struggling poll numbers, or the typical horse-race questions, CNN’s John Roberts asked the former first lady about a number of issues, including the Iraq war, Social Security, and the principles that she would "stand on in good times and bad times." In his last question, Roberts asked Clinton, "What will be the underpinning of your decisions?" Her answer: "The United States Constitution first and foremost."
The first segment of the Roberts/Clinton interview aired 22 minutes into the 6 am hour of Tuesday’s "American Morning." Roberts first asked Clinton about her choice to go back to the "aggressive style of compare and contrast" that she last used before the Iowa Caucuses. She highlighted the apparent need that the Democratic candidates be compared and contrasted.
Of all the ways Harry Smith could have opened this morning's historic Early Show, he chose to do so by waving today's Boston Herald with its one-word front page "Shazam!" above a photo of Mike Huckabee. Smith described Barack Obama simply as the "big winner" on the Democratic side.
View video here [with apologies for low audio level].
According to MasterCard SpendingPulse, retail sales were up 3.6 percent during the holiday season - 2.4 percent excluding gas prices. But because it's not as big an increase as recent years have produced, the media reported it as bad news.
On NBC's "Nightly News," reporter Savannah Guthrie announced a "dramatic" 2.4 percent decrease in women's clothing sales. She didn't think the same percentage increase was "dramatic," however. Instead, she referred to the overall sales increase as "disappointing."
Other media labeled the figures "dismal," "small," "weak," "bleak" and "a clear sign that the economy is slowing down." Most made sure to point out, like "Good Morning America's" Ryan Owens, that the increase is "the smallest in four years."
"The economy is slowing down so fast this quarter you can see the skid marks as it slams on the brakes," Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group, said in an Associated Press story on December 20.
The story also quoted former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who isn't optimistic either.
"[I]f you look at the history of this substance, ["American Morning" co-anchor] Kiran [Chetry] - I think this is very important - we subsidize a lot of corn production in this country," Gupta said. "We've been subsidizing it for a long time to support the corn farmers, which is a good thing. If there is a problem in all of this, it is that maybe we make too much corn and some of that corn gets turned into this high-fructose corn syrup."
Prior to her "tear" question, which Mika Brzezinski asked only minutes before on MSNBC, CNN’s Kiran Chetry did direct one tough question to Hillary Clinton on Monday's "American Morning," concerning the Boston Globe’s endorsement of Barack Obama and the paper’s criticism of her campaign. "'The Boston Globe' endorsed Senator Obama, saying about you, in fact, 'her approach is needlessly defensive, a backward glance at the bruising political battles of the 1990s.' Is 'The Globe's' statement fair?"
Hillary tailored her response to make it about the debate over the economy.
It must be wonderful to be a Democrat and know that your indiscretions are very unlikely to get much attention by media minions only willing to cover the crimes and shortcomings of folks on the opposite side of the aisle.
Take for example James Michael McHaney, an aide to Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) who NewsBusters reported had been arrested last Friday for trying to lure a thirteen-year-old boy into a sexual encounter.
Not only did this get buried on Friday so as likely not to take focus away from Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) looking regal and presidential during that day's hostage crisis in New Hampshire, but also once the Associated Press deigned to actually inform subscribers on Monday that something potentially nefarious had occurred, press outlets either continued to ignore the subject, or buried it nicely so that precious few would be made aware of it.
On the television side, according to LexisNexis, the only outlet which felt this newsworthy was CNN which aired its only report on this matter during the 6:00 AM EST "American Morning" Tuesday:
The "Big Three" networks’ morning shows all ignored Representative John Murtha’s "the surge [in Iraq] is working" comments during a recent video conference. On the other hand, CNN’s "American Morning," during its 6 am Eastern hour "Political Ticker" segment, covered the Pennsylvania Congressman’s apparent shift in opinion.
Murtha, who became a bit of a media darling for his anti-Iraq war stance, recently came back from a trip to Iraq. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette quoted Murtha as saying, "I think the 'surge' is working." Murtha then went on to say that the Iraqis "have got to take care of themselves."
Thursday’s “American Morning” program, while reporting retired Brigadier General Keith Kerr’s connections to the Hillary Clinton campaign, failed to mention one key revelation made by debate moderator Anderson Cooper during the post-debate coverage - that Cooper knew that Kerr was “an activist of some sort.”
Co-host John Roberts not only reported on Kerr’s membership of Clinton’s “LGBT Americans For Hillary Steering Committee” during all 3 hours of “American Morning,” but conducted a live interview of Kerr during the 7 am Eastern hour. Six minutes into the 6 am Eastern, Roberts gave the following brief on the Kerr story.
CNN's senior business correspondent Ali Velshi had an interesting question for viewers this morning.
Before telling viewers that consumer confidence is at the lowest level in two years, Velshi asked if the media have anything to do with it.
"Do you think we're feeding this thing? Do you think we're fueling this sort of misery?" asked Velshi on "American Morning" November 28.
A question for Newsbusters readers: How would you answer Velshi's question?
The Business & Media Institute has found that the media certainly don't reinforce the soundness of the economy when things are going well. BMI's "Bad News Bears" study that looked at one year of reporting, found that 62 percent of network (ABC, CBS, NBC) economic stories focused on negative news. Those stories were also given more airtime.
Other BMI research has shown that the media have emphasized the possibility of recession since the economic recovery began in August 2003.
Remember when you were a kid and all you had to do was cry "wolf" to get your parent or guardian to come to your aid? Well, apparently that doesn't work anymore.
Thanksgiving air travel went well; in fact it went so well it prompted CNN anchor Rob Marciano to exclaim, "Maybe the media sufficiently scared everybody."
CNN's "American Morning" and NBC's "Nightly News" reported the good news on Thanksgiving air travel, with CNN's Kiran Chetry saying it "wasn't so bad" and NBC's Amy Robach calling it a "relatively easy experience."
But both broadcasts forgot an important detail: military air space opened up by President Bush along the East Coast.
ABC's "World News Sunday" gave credit where credit was due - but left out a key point.
"Those express lanes, allowing flights to detour through military air space along the East Coast, also worked," said ABC's Jeremy Hubbard, forgetting to mention that Bush had authorized the air traffic change.
CNN’s John Roberts conducted a softball interview with Joe Wilson on Wednesday’s "American Morning," based upon the claim by former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan that he had "unknowingly passed along false information" about the roles of Karl Rove and Scooter Libby in the Valerie Plame "leak." McClellan made the claim in his upcoming book, and further stated that "Rove, Libby, the Vice President [Dick Cheney], the president’s chief of staff [Andrew Card at the time], and the president himself" were "involved" in this "misleading," as Roberts put it.
Roberts first asked Wilson (who was falsely identified as the "former U.S. ambassador to Iraq," when Wilson actually worked as Deputy Chief of Mission in Iraq from 1988-1991, and as ambassador to Gabon from 1992 to 1995) for his response to McClellan’s statement. Wilson responded that the statement ‘advances the narrative a bit" about Vice President Cheney’s involvement in the "leak,"and proposed that President Bush was "either completely out of touch, or he's an accessory to obstruction of justice, both before the fact and after the fact" in the matter.
In order to make food choices for her constituents, Perry wants to ban new fast-food restaurants from opening in the South L.A. district for at least a year.
CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta ate up the plan for regulatory meddling saying on "American Morning" November 16, "[A]lthough obesity may not be eliminated entirely, studies show zoning laws are a good first step to fighting the problem."
Instead of the progress that has been made in lowering violence in the country, CNN decided to focus on the "significant price" of the troop surge in Iraq. Tuesday’s "American Morning" reported that the Defense Department had decided to pull an entire brigade out of Iraq. Co-host John Roberts asked Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr "what’s this really mean for the war?" Starr only mentioned the decrease in violence in passing as she reported that the troop surge is "now officially in reverse gear." She did not include figures of this recent downturn in violence, something that only CBS Evening News did among the "Big Three" evening news broadcasts on Monday.
Starr’s report aired at the beginning of the 7 am Eastern hour of "American Morning." After she reported which units were sending troops home, Roberts asked her about the "price" of progress in Iraq. "Barbara, a lot of people are talking about progress here in Iraq, but progress comes at a price." In response, Starr highlighted the Bush administration’s lack of pressure on the Iraqi government to work on reconciliation, the shift to working with local groups that may become "armed militias" when the U.S. leaves Iraq, and how "ethnic cleansing" has divided Baghdad.
That sounds like a weird question, but apparently CNN’s “American Morning” thinks eating your iPhone or earphone cord is a possibility.
In a segment with an on-screen caption – “IPOD & IPHONE DANGER – CAN THEY HURT YOU?” – CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta reported that the cord connecting the earbuds to your iPod contain phthalates, according to the litigious Center for Environmental Health.
Phthalates are a substance often used for increasing the flexibility of plastics, but according to an article on macnn.com, a Web site devoted to news on Apple products, phthalates “may hinder the sexual development of mammals.”
Sunny Hostin, a legal analyst for CNN’s "American Morning," demonstrated that she could not give an objective analysis on the legality of the death penalty during a segment on Wednesday’s show. Hostin, in a response to a question asked by co-host Kiran Chetry on the future of capitol punishment in the U.S., answered, "I think, as a society, perhaps, now we're moving towards the fact that, perhaps, killing by the state is not humane at all."
This "curious" reply, which came 21 minutes into the 7 am hour of "American Morning," wasn’t the only one Hostin made during the segment. Earlier, Hostin said that "people really are suffering" during lethal injection executions.
“[T]he California wildfires are leveling entire communities, leaving homeowners with nothing,” CNN “American Morning” host Kiran Chetry said. “But, what the fires don’t take, the insurance companies just might. A bad and costly situation for homeowners may have just gotten much worse.”
Despite CNN “American Morning” anchor John Roberts asking tough questions about tax increases from liberal Democrat Rep. Charles Rangel’s tax bill, but an onscreen graphic read “Major Tax Reform,” suggesting the network viewed it differently.
Sounds like liberal hogwash, doesn’t it? Well, that’s how CNN Senior Business Correspondent Ali Velshi reacted to a CNN-Opinion Research poll.
“Get this: 46 percent of Americans think the economy is in a recession – 46 percent. Nearly half of all Americans think that we're in a recession,” Velshi said on the October 18 “American Morning.”
However, Velshi told viewers the economy isn’t in recession by textbook definition.
“[T]his is interesting, because by official standards, we're not in a recession,” he said. “Recession is a sustained decline in economic growth. We haven't seen any decline in economic growth. We’ve seen some decline, but not a sustained decline.”
CNN contributor Roland Martin, in an interview on Thursday’s "American Morning" about Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan’s apparent threat against law enforcement officials in a recent speech, tried to explain away the comments as "rhetoric," and tried to put them in the context of "the history of the Nation of Islam." "It is not like it is a surprise when you actually hear the kind of rhetoric."
Co-host Kiran Chetry interviewed Martin near the bottom of the 6 am Eastern hour of the CNN morning show. Chetry played a clip from Farrakhan’s speech that he gave at the recent 12th anniversary of the Million Man March in Atlanta. "Do you want me, as the voice of the honorable Elijah Muhammad, and really a voice of God, to ask our people to retaliate in matters of the flame? A life for a life? Is that what you are driving us to?"
CNN viewers on Friday saw a relatively rare acknowledgement of those who are skeptical of Al Gore's film "An Inconvenient Truth," including a British judge who recently ruled that there are nine inaccuracies in the movie. But CNN's Miles O'Brien dismissed the views of dissenters, and downplayed the importance of the errors cited by the judge.
As he made several appearances on various CNN shows on Friday, O'Brien tagged dissenters with such labels as "dead-enders," a "tiny fraction of a minority," and a "very small fringe," as he linked skeptics to fossil fuel companies. He also repeatedly declared that the scientific debate on global warming is over. Notably, on the July 20 "The Situation Room," O'Brien had curtly lectured former Republican Congressman J.C. Watts with similar comments on the subject. O'Brien: "You're not paying attention to the science, J.C. You're definitely not paying attention. ... The scientific debate is over, J.C., we're done." (Transcript follows)
Florida resident Joe Winiecki was told by airline employees to turn his lewd shirt inside out, change shirts or get off an October 7 flight according to The Associated Press. The “sexually suggestive” shirt read certified “Master Baiter.” But Roberts didn’t see it that way.
“A passenger wearing a T-shirt with a somewhat off-color joke on it about his fishing prowess was told that he couldn't board the flight while wearing it.” Roberts said on the October 9 “American Morning.” The CNN co-host used the story to promote a CNN online poll that asked if airlines should play the role of “fashion police.”