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.
The night after CNN’s debate in New Hampshire with seven Republican presidential candidates, Anderson Cooper brought aboard left-wing “comedian” Bill Maher to ridicule them. Asked if he “had to vote” for one of them, he named Ron Paul since “he's a cut from a different cloth than the rest of those people who are of course selling their souls to the corporate interests who back them and who have just horrible, society-killing ideas about America.”
Later discussing Anthony Weiner, Maher used it as an opportunity to deride one of the left’s favorite targets they never tire of vilifying: “Dick Cheney used to go out and shoot birds by the hundreds that were like in a cage. To me, that's a lot more psychotic than anything Anthony Weiner ever did.” Maher insisted: “He shot and killed an incredible number of birds for absolutely no reason than a blood lust.” (Audio: MP3 clip)Video below:
As NewsBusters' Lachlan Markay pointed out, the Weinergate scandal showcased a variety of liberal media conspiracy theories. One of the most prevalent theories focused on besmirching conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart, who broke the story wide open Monday with a series of posts on BigGovernment.com featuring lewd photos of Rep. Anthony Weiner.
"Look, Breitbart is a proven liar, okay?" bellowed MSNBC anchor Cenk Uygur on June 1. "He doctored the Shirley Sherrod tapes. He's done this over and over again. Why would anybody take this fool seriously?"
Both CNN's Anderson Cooper on Wednesday's AC360 and CBS's Nancy Cordes on Thursday's Early Show highlighted conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart's early part in spreading news of the lewd photo Tweeted from Rep. Andrew Weiner's Twitter account. Cooper played up Breitbart's supposedly "questionable credibility," while Cordes reported how "supporters of Weiner note that it was [the] right-wing blogger...who broke the story."
The CNN anchor raised Breitbart's involvement 15 minutes into the 10 pm Eastern hour as he introduced the second part of an interview of the New York Democrat conducted by his colleague Wolf Blitzer:
Former Clinton adviser turned CNN political analyst Paul Begala Wednesday evening gave Anderson Cooper the predictable Party line about Weinergate being no big deal.
Without skipping a beat, the host of "Anderson Cooper 360" replied, "But, Paul, if this was a conservative Republican, would you be saying the same thing?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Isn't Jessica Yellin mocking her own network for incessantly reporting on Sarah Palin's bus tour? The CNN correspondent called the coverage of the tour "a media low-point" on CNN Tuesday, although her own network made mention of tour almost every hour Monday from 6 a.m. EDT through 11 p.m. EDT – and then again Tuesday from 6 a.m. EDT through 1 p.m. EDT.
The continuous coverage included nine live reports from Gettysburg, one of the tour stops, by correspondent Jim Acosta – and a live appearance there by anchor John King Monday afternoon. John King, USA – King's 7 p.m. EDT show – was broadcast from Gettysburg, and then the anchor returned later to guest-host Anderson Cooper 360 from the same site, for two hours.
CNN's Anderson Cooper heavily scrutinized the new study of the Catholic Church's sex abuse scandal Wednesday, but featured no one from the church's side to defend the report. Cooper gave his own critical commentary of the study, voiced the concerns of many clergy abuse victims, and brought on for a soft interview a disillusioned Catholic priest who is resigning from the clergy.
However, Cooper did not bring on a guest from the church or one of the study's researchers to defend the report's findings. Furthermore, CNN had fairly reported on the issue earlier in the day during the 2 p.m. EDT hour of Newsroom. The network briefly hosted a spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Miami and asked her two tough questions about the report.
On last Friday and on this past Tuesday night, CNN's Anderson Cooper ran fact-checks against the claims of two anti-abortion members of Congress against Planned Parenthood – but did not bother to conduct similar fact checks on the claims of Planned Parenthood and its Democratic supporters.
During his Tuesday segment of "Keeping Them Honest," Cooper countered the claims of conservative Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) that Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of abortions in the U.S. "They are a big abortion provider, although that's only a small fraction of what they do," he stated.
The Fox News Channel absolutely dominated its cable news competition in February. In terms of overall viewers, the top 11 cable news shows were all on Fox. In the coveted 25-54 demographic - the group that advertisers pay particularly close attention to - Fox took 11 of the top 15 spots.
The Rachel Maddow Show earned the top spot for an MSNBC program. Despite her struggles with factual accuracy of late, it seems Maddow has assumed the role of leading prime time anchor left vacant by Keith Olbermann's departure.
CNN's AC360 led that channel, beating out Maddow in the demo with 304,000 viewers, but trailing MSNBC and Fox leaders in total viewership.
On Wednesday's AC360 on CNN, ABC's Ashleigh Banfield punted on Nir Rosen's offensive Tweets against CBS's Lara Logan and tried to explain them away: "We're using a lot of electronics to get information out as fast as we can nowadays before we can really digest the ramifications of what we say...And so, I'm certainly not going to cast aspersions on Mr. Rosen. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."
Anchor Anderson Cooper turned to Banfield and Salon.com's Joan Walsh immediately after playing his taped interview with Rosen during the 10 pm Eastern hour. Cooper first asked Walsh for her take on the controversy, and she promptly criticized the disgraced journalist: "I thought it was horrible, Anderson, and I assumed that he was making light of a sexual assault...So, I'm not going to call him a liar. Only he knows what he knew. But it was incredibly insensitive, and even...aside from the sexual assault aspect, to be mocking someone that you don't like who has been injured and mistreated, I would rather think that we don't have those responses...Maybe that's naive of me."
Disgraced journalist Nir Rosen claimed on Wednesday's Anderson Cooper 360 that he didn't know Lara Logan was sexually assaulted when she was attacked by protesters in Egypt. However, Rosen's own Tweets, which he subsequently deleted, revealed that he indeed know about the nature of the attack and tried to downplay it: "Look, she was probably groped like thousands of other women."
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper aired his taped interview with the anti-war journalist during the 10 pm Eastern hour of his program. Cooper raised how Rosen brought the CNN personality into his attacks on Logan:
On Wednesday afternoon, CNN aired a misleading graphic about Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour's statements about a proposed license plate honoring a controversial Confederate general from the Civil War. The chyron, which ran during CNN Newsroom and The Situation Room, stated that the "Miss. Gov. won't denounce creation of KKK license plate."
At first glance, one would imagine that the proposed vanity plate has an image of a burning cross or a hooded figure. In reality, the organization behind it, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, aim to honor Nathan Bedford Forrest, who is a controversial figure, even disregarding his early membership in the Klan, because of his involvement in the massacre of black Union troops at Fort Pillow in Tennessee in 1864. Most people probably know the name because of the Oscar-winning movie Forrest Gump, as the title character was named after the Confederate figure (the movie also has a brief clip of actor Tom Hanks, playing Gen. Forrest, donning his Klan robes).
David Gergen not surprisingly believes that increased federal spending on education - or "investments" as Democrats like to say - is essential irrespective of our nation's current fiscal crisis.
On "Anderson Cooper 360" following the President's State of the Union address, former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer did his darnedest to explain to the CNN senior political analyst that our mammoth budget deficits should first be brought under control before any additional outlays are considered (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN indicated its sympathy for gun control on Tuesday with two segments on The Situation Room where sound bites from gun control supporters outnumbered gun rights supporters by a three-to-one margin. During the first report, correspondent Dana Bash stated that Senator Patrick Leahy "supports gun rights," even though the Democrat actually has the opposite record on the issue.
The previous evening, during the 9 pm Eastern hour of Monday's Anderson Cooper 360, the network's senior political analyst, David Gergen, indicated that he supported stricter gun control, in the wake of the attempted assassination on Representative Gabrielle Giffords, during a segment with Tea Party activist Dana Loesch.
GERGEN: ...How is it possible that someone who is this unhinged, when so many people understood that he was in mental deterioration, that he could still walk into a gun store and buy- you know, 9 mm semiautomatic Glock handgun, and also, then carry it concealed? I mean that's- if there's some cultural insanity here, it is the fact that we haven't put a stop to the capacity of these deranged young people to buy guns and then spray at people. It's just unbelievable.
Bill Maher on Monday compared the psychological makeup of Jared Lee Loughner, the man accused of Saturday's Tucson massacre, to that of conservative talk show host Glenn Beck.
Speaking with CNN's Anderson Cooper about the incident, Maher disgustingly said, "Glenn Beck is also a little nutty. You know, I mean, this Jared guy's chalkboard in his basement, I'm not sure it wouldn't look that different than Glenn Beck's chalkboard" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As she debated conservative rocker Ted Nugent on a special edition of CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 on Wednesday during the 9:00 p.m. hour, liberal comedian Roseanne Barr tagged Sarah Palin a "loon" and a "traitor to this country" and, although she apologized later, called Palin’s followers the "dumbest people on Earth," and described them as being "on the government dole."
Barr: "I think she's a loon and I think she's kind of a traitor to this country because she would love to erase the line between church and state, which I think this country was founded upon and should never, ever be trifled with in any way."
After guest and Democratic strategist Cornell Belcher brought up the popularity of anti-intellectualism, the liberal comedian added: "Yeah, she's got that, her followers are the dumbest people on Earth. ... No, but seriously, they can barely scare up a pulse. I'm serious. They're not, they are really stupid. They're stupid."
She soon continued: "The people who like Sarah Palin are all on the government dole going out there and bitching about people wanting to get on the government dole. Please. Every one of them is on the government money."