As if having an hour a week to bash Republicans on national television isn't enough, vulgarian comedian Bill Maher is regularly asked to appear on cable news networks to offer his perilously biased opinions.
Such was the case Wednesday when he told CNN's Anderson Cooper if Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney wins the nomination, "Obama is going to beat him like a runaway sister wife" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On the campaign trail, Republican candidate Rick Santorum blurted out a word that sounded like "black" and was widely-criticized for making a generalization that black citizens rely on welfare. Though the transcript of the remark is not entirely certain, CNN's Anderson Cooper emphasized the comment anyway with a "Keeping Them Honest" report on his Thursday show.
The title "Keeping Them Honest" implies that the subject is being dishonest, but Cooper admitted that he was grilling Santorum for "what he appears to be saying." [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
Determined to vet up-and-coming GOP candidate Rick Santorum, CNN's Gary Tuchmann chose Wednesday to pull a number of liberal attacks on the candidate's social beliefs and call it a report. Apparently for CNN, "scrutiny" entails digging up liberal talking points instead of studying a candidate's voting record and economic and foreign policy plans.
Tuchman attested on Anderson Cooper 360 that "we can already tell you quite a bit about his vision for this country," adding that Santorum "has established a reputation as a conservative in every sense of the word." He then descended into implying that Santorum was a racist and a homophobe. [Video below the break.]
Anderson Cooper found yet another way to scrutinize Republicans, as on Tuesday he spotlighted GOP candidates attacking each other's record after each promised to run positive campaigns – even though verbal spars happen during every single election.
The segment's title of "Keeping Them Honest" insinuated that the subject is being deceitful or dishonest, and Cooper decided to call the candidates out for backtracking on their promises of positive campaigns – even though an overall positive campaign doesn't necessarily rule out attacks on opponents' records. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
According to CNN's Anderson Cooper, the "real tragedy" in this week's pathetic plane incident involving a spoiled celebrity is that Alec Baldwin "shut down his Twitter account" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN's Anderson Cooper ran a critical segment on former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's old ethics charges of violating tax law and lying to the House Ethics Committee. Only at the very end did Cooper acknowledge that Gingrich was vindicated by the IRS on charges of tax violation.
Cooper opened his show with the story. "We begin tonight 'Keeping Them Honest' with Newt Gingrich who's skyrocketing the polls and downplaying his past which includes the distinction of being the first House speaker in history to be reprimanded for ethics violations," the CNN anchor reported.
Cooper didn't note that while Gingrich was the first House Speaker to be reprimanded, Democrat congressman Jim Wright – just a few years before – was the first House Speaker to resign over a scandal. Wright tendered his resignation from Congress in 1989 while under investigation by the House Ethics Committee.
As NewsBusters previously reported, MSNBC's Ed Schultz last week actually suggested that CNN's Anderson Cooper might have had something to do with him being named to GQ's "The 25 Least Influential People Alive" list.
On Friday's Anderson Cooper 360, the host nicely put the pathetic Schultz in his proper place - The RidicuList (video follows with transcript and absolutely no additional commentary necessary):
Catching up with an admission from just after Tuesday’s Republican presidential candidate debate in Las Vegas, CNN’s Anderson Cooper lightheartedly conceded that when he confronted Herman Cain with his earlier criticism of the Occupy Wall Street protests, a criticism Cain reaffirmed to rousing audience applause, Cooper hadn’t intended it as a softball but as an embarrassing mis-cue from which he expected Cain to backtrack.
“Sort of teed it up for him there,” Cooper fretted in his post-debate hour after re-playing his exchange with Cain, “I didn’t really mean to. But he clearly just knocked that one out of the park. I mean, and it was obviously -- at least for this audience in this hall, that played very well.” (video below)
As the Media Research Center has documented, CNN's Anderson Cooper has been targeting Republicans far more than Democrats with critical "Keeping Them Honest" investigative reports – and Cooper continued that trend Wednesday night. The CNN host scrutinized Republican presidential candidates for statements they made in Tuesday night's debate, but has not reported controversial statements made this week by President Obama and Vice President Biden.
Cooper also hit candidate Herman Cain with a "Keeping Them Honest" on Monday night, the third time he has focused such a report on Cain in the last two weeks. In contrast, President Obama has been the target of three such reports in the last three months. [Video below the break.]
Tuesday night’s Republican debate in Las Vegas will be moderated by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper. The CNN promo urges viewers to “See if what happens in Vegas gets them closer to the White House.” But Cooper’s nightly Anderson Cooper 360 often looks like it’s trying to keep Republicans away from the White House.
CNN advertises Cooper’s regular segment, “Keeping Them Honest,” with the question: “Who's Anderson keeping honest tonight?” Apparently, CNN and Cooper find Republicans are much more dishonest. Since July, a review of “Keeping Them Honest” segments found 24 reports tagging the Republicans with dishonesty, compared with just three for Democrats – a ratio of eight to one.
CNN's Anderson Cooper opened his Monday night show hitting GOP candidate Herman Cain for his comments on immigration, which Cain claimed were meant in jest. Cooper continued lock-step with his trend of hitting Republicans with critical "Keeping Them Honest" reports at a much higher rate than Democrats.
It was Cooper's third "Keeping Them Honest" report on Cain in less than two weeks, which equals the same number of those reports that President Obama has received in three full months.
"He says he's only joking and said it again just this evening," Cooper spoke of Cain's comments that as President, he would install an electric fence on the Mexican border with a moat full of alligators. "But new polling shows him to be a serious candidate at this point....So people are now taking everything he says seriously whether he likes it or not." [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
At the top of Thursday's Anderson Cooper 360, CNN's Cooper ran his first critical "Keeping Them Honest" segment on GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain since he is "no longer a voice on the fringe." Cooper pulled up quotes Cain made months ago, using a "Think Progress" clip, in an effort to hold him accountable for months' worth of statements on Sharia law and Planned Parenthood, among other issues.
Meanwhile, on the same day, President Obama gave a press conference on his jobs bill that the AP found five factual problems with, but which merited only a brief segment on Thursday's Anderson Cooper 360. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
Democratic strategist Cornell Belcher was up-in-arms Thursday over Herman Cain's remarks that African-Americans have been "brainwashed" to vote Democratic. Belcher, an African-American, called the remarks "racist" and "bigoted" and added that Cain "should be treated like a racist and bigoted person."
Belcher, who was furious for the entirety of the segment and repeatedly interrupted fellow guest Ari Fleischer, accused CNN of harboring a "double standard."
CNN's political analyst David Gergen remarked Monday that many Americans were "horrified" at what they heard from the Republican presidential debate, co-sponsored by the Tea Party Express and CNN. "I was getting notes about they ought to keep this people locked up and not let them out. Don't let them do anything to the country," Gergen remarked.
Gergen's comments came in the post-debate analysis and during the 10 p.m. EDT hour of Anderson Cooper 360. He mentioned that Tea Partiers "loved the debate" and pitted them in contrast with the many on Twitter who expressed their disgust with the debate.
CNN's own poll recently showed that voters 60-to-one believe the economy is the most pressing issue facing the United States, as opposed to policies toward gays and lesbians. CNN's Anderson Cooper apparently thought the views of Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann toward gays and lesbians important enough to merit the lead segment on his Monday show.
"We begin tonight 'Keeping Them Honest' with Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and her sudden silence on a topic she was once anything-but-silent about," Cooper began his show. His critical segment accused the Minnesota congresswoman of "judging" gays and lesbians and highlighted her sudden silence on gay rights, an issue she had been quite outspoken over.
Channeling liberal disenchantment with President Obama, CNN anchor Don Lemon wondered Monday if the President would be "better off running as a conservative" in the next election.
"Your colleague in New York Gary Ackerman said the Republicans invited the President, quote, 'to negotiate at a strip poker table, and he showed up half-naked,' and then liberal columnist Paul Krugman calls the deal an abject surrender," Lemon quoted the two liberals downcast over the debt ceiling deal. "Would the President be better off running as a conservative in 2012?" he asked Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.)
It is one matter if a president stakes out a smart position within a heated political debate, but it is another matter when members of the press believe so and shower him with positive coverage. CNN's John King complimented President Obama on Thursday's Anderson Cooper 360 for having "positioned himself smartly here in the middle" on the debt ceiling debate.
King painted the president as a pragmatic moderate who has called on both sides to compromise, in a statement that could pass for White House talking points.
In a critical "Keeping Them Honest" segment Wednesday night, CNN's Anderson Cooper selectively reported findings from his network's own poll to bolster his argument that Republicans are out-of-touch with the wishes of the American people in the debt ceiling debate.
This came even after the Democrat Senate Majority Leader, supported by the president, produced a plan including no tax increases in an effort to garner Republican support. Yet Cooper still peddled a CNN poll showing public support for a plan including increased tax revenues, and framed Republicans as dishonest for claiming Americans want no more taxes.
On CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, substitute host Sanjay Gupta hosted a segment with two guests on opposite sides of the debate over whether teachers in a Minnesota public school district should be allowed to push the view that homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle to deter bullying of students perceived to be homosexual. But, instead of acting as an even-handed moderator between his two guests, Gupta repeatedly made contrarian questions or comments toward the right-leaning guest, but indicated agreement with the left-leaning guest without challenging her.
A setup piece by correspondent Poppy Harlow recounted that the Southern Poverty Law Center is taking legal action against a school district in Minnesota because of its "neutrality policy" on teachers discussing homosexuality, suggesting the policy has culpability in a recent string of teen suicides.
Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.) twice told CNN's John King Thursday night the results of CNN's own poll showing Americans favor a Cut, Cap, and Balance plan. King would not affirm his claims and instead reported other poll results showing that Americans favor compromise on the debt ceiling.
Throughout Thursday afternoon, the network selectively touted results from its newly-released poll showing a majority of Americans favor President Obama and his positions on the debt ceiling debate. What they ignored was that almost two-thirds of Americans want a balanced budget amendment to be passed, along with spending cuts and caps on spending in the future – or "Cut, Cap, and Balance," a conservative House GOP position.
Friday night on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees, the lead story was on a counseling clinic owned by presidential candidate Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and her husband. Cooper spoke of "allegations that the clinic engages in so-called reparative therapy," described by Cooper as "based on the theory that gay people can be turned into heterosexuals through a combination of prayer and willpower." The host's use of "so-called" set the stage for CNN political analyst Paul Begala to fulminate.
Using the word "crackpot" to characterize reparative therapy no fewer than nine times, Begala insisted Mrs. Bachmann should be interrogated:
When an adoring mainstream media suspend their fawning long enough to point out that he's lying, Barack Obama must realize his presidency is in trouble. That's what happened Friday night on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees.
Naturally, Cooper began by claiming Republicans who argue Americans don't want higher taxes use polling data "that's just not true." No mention was made of this week's Rasmussen Reports survey showing 55 percent of respondents oppose a tax hike in any debt ceiling deal. But then Cooper turned to Gallup Poll findings used by Obama:
CNN's Anderson Cooper and Gloria Borger took turns casting President Barack Obama as the centrist 'adult' in a room teeming with unruly Republican children who would rather invite economic calamity than compromise on a debt-reduction plan.
Discussing a topic that would have made a perfect "Keeping Them Honest" segment, Cooper insisted, incorrectly, on Monday's "AC 360" that the Democratic president has never raised taxes since taking office in 2009: "Now, in fact the stimulus was about one-third tax cuts. So in fairness, he did not raise taxes. He and Congress later passing a payroll tax holiday that is in effect right now. A year later he and Congress did approve tax breaks to help employers hire more people."
According to Politifact, Cooper is way off base in claiming the president "did not raise taxes."
Tea Party favorite Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) declared her candidacy for president Monday, and CNN provided plenty of snarky commentary with which to welcome her. The network repeatedly took aim at her past gaffes and suggested that she has little chance to win the Republican nomination for president.
In addition, CNN's Anderson Cooper led his regular news cast for two nights in a row touting the congresswoman's "hypocrisy" in championing small government while benefitting from a family farm and her husband's counseling clinic, both of which received federal funds – although Cooper himself admitted the total amount was "relatively small."
For the second night in a row, Anderson Cooper opened his regular news cast Tuesday touting a story about Michele Bachmann's hypocrisy in benefitting from federal agriculture subsidies. Although his own network, which interviewed Bachmann Tuesday morning, did not report on the matter during that day, Cooper thought it important enough to put the issue as the lead story for the second straight night.
The issue at hand is that Bachmann was a beneficiary of a family farm that received funding from federal corn, dairy, and livestock subsidies – all while railing against federal intervention in the free market. Bachmann was a partner in Bachman Farm Family, LP, and did receive income from the farm owned by her father-in-law and later by others.
On Tuesday's American Morning, co-host Kiran Chetry reported that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is "prone to misstatements" and posed this question to her: "Did you mean to make false statements intentionally or were you just misspeaking?"
"PolitiFact.com, which is a Pulitzer Price winning fact-checking web site examined 26 statements that you made and they found only one to be fully true and 18 to be false," Chetry told Bachmann. "Several of them relating to your criticism of President Obama. Did you mean to make false statements intentionally or were you just misspeaking?"
On Tuesday's In the Arena, fill-in host Christine Romans questioned Marjorie Dannenfelser of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List on the relevance of the abortion issue in the upcoming presidential election. She argued that the central issues, according to polls, are the economy and jobs and that focusing on politicians' stances on abortion might not be a viable strategy.
Ironically, Anderson Cooper opened up CNN's 10 p.m. hour with a "Keeping Them Honest" segment scrutinizing a certain politician's flip-flops on same-sex marriage – President Obama.
Both President Obama and leading Republican candidate Mitt Romney got into hot water for supposedly making insensitive comments about the economy this week. But CNN's response offers a textbook case of media bias, as the supposedly-objective news network virtually ignored Obama's gaffe while trumpeting Romney's comment.
President Obama poked fun at the ineffectiveness of his own stimulus bill in creating certain "shovel-ready jobs" on Monday and Republicans pounced on the joke, claiming it was not funny when unemployment remains high. However, CNN barely reported the president's joke and the ensuing Republican outrage.
[Update below:] Anderson Cooper last June had advertised CNN's telethon raising money for the Gulf oil spill through the National Wildlife Federation.
The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) will be honoring CNN's Anderson Cooper as a "Wildlife Hero" at its 75th Anniversary celebration June 15. A spokesperson for the organization confirmed that Cooper will be receiving the award for his coverage of the Gulf oil spill last year.
The NWF identifies itself as "the nation's largest conservation organization," working through education, preservation of habitats and ecosystems and protection of wildlife.