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."
Roland Martin brought his full-blown Palin Derangement Syndrome to Friday's Anderson Cooper 360, labeling the former Alaska governor "the Kim Kardashian of politics." Martin continued that Palin is "making a ton of money. We're trying to figure out why. It's the same as Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton....She quit her job because she wanted to go out and be a celebrity."
The CNN contributor actually first tried out his questionable label of the Tea Party favorite on his Twitter account. At 5:12 pm on November 9, Martin posted the following Tweet: "Palin slammed then-Sen. Obama as a celebrity in 2008 campaign, and she's more of a celebrity because she doesn't hold office." Mind you, at that time, Palin was Alaska's governor and the Republican vice presidential candidate, but the liberal continued by complaining in a second Tweet that "the media goes ga ga over whatever she says. Palin is often wrong. She's a former governor who quit her job rather than tough it out." During his third Tweet, Martin added, "She holds no position; wants no accountability; and wants to sling arrows and then gets angry when called on the carpet 4 her nonsense." The CNN personality completed his rant by comparing the Republican to the curvy celebrity most infamous for making a pornographic video: "At the end of the day, Sarah Palin is the Kim Kardashian of Politics. She's a celebrity with no real purpose other than picking up a check."
CNN has launched a new advertising campaign, claiming to be the only cable network without an ideological ax to grind. “If you want to keep them all honest, without playing favorites, the choice is clear: CNN, the worldwide leader in news,” the on-screen message argues.
So, did CNN “play favorites” during the midterm campaign? MRC analysts reviewed all of the guests and commentators on CNN’s primetime weekday programs from October 4 through October 29, the last four full weeks before the November 2 elections. Guests were grouped into three categories: “Democrat/liberal,” “Republican/conservative,” and “Other.” The latter category included all non-political guests, as well as guests who were not associated with a clear political point of view.
CNN, a network known for its regular liberal bias, touted its supposed objectivity versus its competitors in a new ad which premiered on Tuesday evening. The ad graphically associated Fox News with the Republican elephant and MSNBC with the Democratic donkey, and claimed, "If you want to keep them all honest, without playing favorites, the choice is clear: CNN, the worldwide leader in news."
Yahoo! News's Michael Calderone, in his Wednesday article on the new ad, quoted from CNN political director Sam Feist, who claimed that their ad "simply states the obvious: We're the one cable news channel that doesn't advocate for one political party or the other." Calderone continued that "CNN's nonpartisan anchors have struggled against their more opinionated counterparts. Campbell Brown acknowledged her 8 p.m. show's low ratings against Fox News' Bill O'Reilly and MSNBC's Keith Olbermann in her May announcement that she was leaving the network."
On Monday's Anderson Cooper 360, CNN's Anderson Cooper refreshingly admonished a Democratic state senator in Alabama for his "incendiary injection of race in the final days of this election." Cooper interrogated Hank Sanders for his robocall which predicted the return of the "cotton fields of Jim Crow" if the Democrat candidates for governor and lieutenat governor weren't elected.
The anchor led his program with a promo of his "Keeping Them Honest' segment which included his "incendiary injection of race" label of Rep. Sanders's robocall. Two minutes later, Cooper played the Democratic state senator's recording: "This is Hank Sanders, Alabama state senator, and I'm still mad as hell. I say, hell no! I ain't going back to the cotton fields of Jim Crow days. I'm going forward with Ron Sparks, Jim Folsom, and others who would do right by all of us. I hope you're mad as hell and will not go back, and you have the power to choose. I will stand until hell freezes over."
Before playing his interview with Rep. Sanders, the CNN anchor stated, "It's a pretty serious charge to make, but does he have actual evidence to back up his statements?" He continued on this note in his first question to the Democrat:
CNN devoted several segments on Tuesday and Wednesday to Delaware Republican Christine O'Donnell's apparent gaffe on the First Amendment, but barely acknowledged her opponent Chris Coons's own gaffe on the amendment. Analyst Jeff Toobin spun O'Donnell's remark as demonstrating that "she didn't seem to know" the amendment. It took conservative Dana Loesch on AC360 to bring up Coons's own gaffe.
On Wednesday's AC360, CNN's Anderson Cooper tossed softball questions at openly-homosexual University of Michigan student body president Chris Armstrong, and labeled him "remarkably strong" in light of attacks he received online from a Michigan state official. Cooper also stated that Armstrong "hardly seems...[to have] a radical agenda," despite his support for gender-neutral housing.
The anchor, who led the 10 pm Eastern hour with the controversy between the college student and Michigan Assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvell, has mentioned it on five out of seven of his programs since September 28. After playing clips from his interviews with Shirvell and his boss, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, Cooper continued with his pre-recorded interview with Armstrong. He began with a sympathetic question: "How are you holding up?" The CNN personality followed up by asking, "When you first heard that this blog had been set up- I mean, what did you think?"
On his Tuesday evening show "Anderson Cooper 360," the CNN host skewed his conservative guest's argument while the panel was discussing anti-gay bullying and what measures schools should take to prevent homophobia. In addition, he agreed with "anti-bullying" expert Rosalind Wiseman, who advocated for school measures to foster the growth of gay students and provide a safe environment for them.
In a recent case in Minnesota, Justin Aaberg, a gay teenager, committed suicide after being bullied for an extended period of time. Tom Prichard of the Minnesota Family Council questioned the claim that Aaberg's suicide was due to anti-gay bullying, wondering instead if it was because of his lover reportedly having an affair, and because Aaberg had adopted an "unnatural" lifestyle.
However, he made it clear in his blog that he did not rule out the possibility of bullying having something to do with the suicide.
Cooper put words in Prichard's mouth to begin the segment. "You say the bullying had nothing to do with it, and that he and other gay teens who kill themselves die because they have adopted, in your words, 'an unhealthy lifestyle'," Cooper told Prichard.
In light of the recent suicides reportedly brought about by persistent bullying, CNN has taken upon itself to address not only a national bullying crisis, but any homophobia or anti-gay behavior seen as contributing to such bullying. The network apparently believes that socially conservative groups contribute to the problem of putting kids down who have homosexual tendencies.
On Monday's "Anderson Cooper 360," CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and author Rosalind Wiseman agreed that conservative groups who oppose protective measures for gay students simply treat them as outcasts. Wiseman, author of "Queen Bees and Wannabees," called their efforts "anti-child."
"These groups don't think homosexuality is normal," Toobin remarked of conservative groups. "They think it's wrong. They think it is a menace to society. So they are the ones who are making it harder for kids, who feel isolated enough as it is, to come forward."
CNN's Gary Tuchman blasted Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell on Tuesday's AC360, suggesting that the Republican was like the leader of a totalitarian regime, after she dared to say that the media should be left out of certain campaign events: "I think, for most Americans, that gives you a little chill. When we go to places like Cuba and Iran and North Korea and China, we're often kept out" [audio available here].
Anchor Anderson Cooper led the 10 pm Eastern hour of his program with the latest on O'Donnell's candidacy, particularly her interview with Fox News's Sean Hannity the previous hour. Tuchman, who was reporting live from Wilmington, Delaware, raised the issue of her finances, and after reporting on two recent local events which the Republican attended, went into his lamentation over her stab at the media:
A governor forced to resign for patronizing call girls will probably have a hard time landing a job making pronouncements on politics, right? But there, on CNN, is former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer.
Spitzer will co-host a show with pseudo-conservative Kathleen Parker called "Parker Spitzer," which is set to debut on Oct. 4. But in the meantime, Spitzer has been making regular appearances on CNN programming to offer the liberal perspective on issues. On CNN's Sept. 20 "Anderson Cooper 360," that's what he did, carrying water for the Democratic Party - even though his argument was factually leaky.
In the wake of the GOP's nomination of Christine O'Donnell as the Delaware candidate for U.S. Senate, Spitzer took on conservative talker and blogger Dana Loesch over what issues the Tea Party movement was really interested in taking a stand on - fiscal or social. Loesch argued that the movement isn't just about opposing this Congress' policy endeavors, but is also offering solutions, as was the case with ObamaCare.
CNN offered a sneak preview of their upcoming Parker-Spitzer program on Wednesday's Anderson Cooper 360 with the new hosts, pseudo-conservative Kathleen Parker and "Client Number Nine" Eliot Spitzer agreeing that the "well-spoken" Imam Feisal Rauf changed few minds with his recent interview. The two also forwarded their network's charge that "Islamophobia" is growing in the U.S.
Anchor Anderson Cooper began the segment by asking the two about Soledad O'Brien interview of Rauf, which took place the previous hour. Parker, the "Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist and noted conservative commentator," as Cooper called her, endorsed his appearance and went on to characterize the two sides of the debate over the planned Ground Zero mosque. In her view, those who oppose it "were going to sort of be looking for ways to convince yourself that he was...trying to be this, sort of, secret jihadist." On the other hand, the supporters of the mosque "understand that he seemed as a reasonable, rational person who's well-spoken and has something important to say."
On Tuesday's AC360, CNN's John Roberts labeled Republican candidates who have Tea Party support "very far to the right," and specifically referred to Florida gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott as an "ultraconservative." Guest John Avlon also bemoaned John McCain's tack to the right during the primary campaign, and slammed how the senator has been called a "RINO" by many conservatives.
Roberts, who was filling in for anchor Anderson Cooper, along with Avlon, CNN liberal contributor Roland Martin and Red State's Erick Erickson, discussed Tuesday's primary results from several states for two segments during the first half hour of the 10 pm Eastern hour. Eighteen minutes into the hour, the CNN anchor asked TheDailyBeast.com senior political columnist, "[CNN anchor] John King laid it out there, that it's going to be a challenging year, to say the least, for Democrats. Some people predicting that this will be equal to, if not worse, than 1994. What do you think?"
[Update, 8:10 pm EDT: The original version of this article identified Roland Martin as a "black talk radio host." He no longer has his own radio talk show. He is still a CNN contributor, columnist syndicated by Creators Syndicate, and analyst for for the Tom Joyner Morning Show, according to his own website.]
On Tuesday's Anderson Cooper 360, CNN contributor Roland Martin strongly pushed for the Democrats to "stand up and protect the Constitution" by defending the planned New York City mosque near Ground Zero: "Democrats should get some spine and say, 'You know what? I am sworn to uphold and protect the Constitution.'...Stay strong- say it's about the Constitution."
Substitute anchor John Roberts brought on Martin, along with Republican strategist Ed Rollins and CNN senior political analyst David Gergen, to discuss the continuing controversy surrounding the mosque project. The anchor first turned to the former black talk radio host and asked, "Roland, is this the sort of thing that Democrats want to be talking about right now, at a point where many people form their opinions of who they're going to vote for in November?" Martin didn't begin with his "constitutional" argument, but instead emphasized that Democratic candidates needed to focus on local issues: "Frankly, if I'm a Democrat and somebody comes to me with that question...I say, 'Hey, go talk to...the folks representing New York. I'm here talking about my district.'"