During an interview of President Obama on Tuesday’s Anderson Cooper 360, CNN’s Anderson Cooper included a number of tough questions, compared to his gentle treatment of the Democrat almost a year ago, but concluded with three softball questions on the executive’s search for a family dog, his new limo, and his cigarette habit. The anchor asked the president if he had “lost some of that moral high ground” on his pledge to have an ethical administration, and why the commander-in-chief hadn’t use the phrase “war on terror” much since his inauguration.
The interview aired in three segments during the 10 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program. Cooper began the first segment by asking President Obama about the troubled nomination of Former Senator Tom Daschle to be the HHS Secretary: “Do you feel you messed up in letting it get this far?...What was your mistake -- letting it get this far? You should have pulled it earlier?” The anchor also asked as a follow-up, “Do you feel you have lost some of that moral high ground which you set for yourself on day one with the ethics reform?” The president’s answers on the issue included his admission that the nomination was a “mistake” and that he had “screwed up.”
All of the broadcast and cable network anchors challenged President Barack Obama in some questions during their Tuesday afternoon Oval Office interview sessions, but CBS's Katie Couric and NBC's Brian Williams also painted Obama as a victim of Washington's culture which forced HHS Secretary nominee Tom Daschle's withdrawal. “You campaigned to change the culture in Washington, to change the politics as usual culture here,” Couric noted as she empathized: “Are you frustrated? Do you think it is much, much harder to do that than you ever anticipated?”
Williams noted “you lost two nominees, two appointments today,” so, as if Obama were an uninvolved casualty of unfairness: “Did that make you angry, I imagine?” Echoing Couric, Williams fretted: “How do you prevent the lesson from being that, no matter how lofty the goals of the new guy coming in, Washington wins, in the end?” Maybe it was just following the law and paying a penalty for avoiding taxes which won in the end.
Conservatives, including the Business & Media Institute, have criticized President Barack Obama's mathematics and language regarding job creation. CNN's Ed Henry brought up that same criticism on Feb. 2 during "Anderson Cooper 360°."
"[T]here are now questions about how many jobs Mr. Obama is promising to create," Ed Henry told viewers of the broadcast. Henry used three separate video clips of Obama talking about jobs to illustrate the way the President "seemed to move the goal post" for job creation.
Henry began with a clip of Obama's remarks on Nov. 22, 2008 when he said his team would be working on a plan to create 2.5 million more jobs in two years (by January 2011).
On Thursday night’s Anderson Cooper 360, CNN used most of a half-hour replaying large chunks of Larry King’s interview with Ted Haggard, the evangelical preacher who lost his ministry after he used a male prostitute. He’s the subject of a new HBO documentary by Alexandra Pelosi, daughter of liberal House speaker Nancy Pelosi. This is no mystery, just synergy: CNN and HBO are both Time Warner properties. But Cooper brought on TV psychologist Paul Dobransky and felt Haggard’s pain: "It also seems sad because his belief system, I mean there are plenty of gay Christians who are happily gay and happily Christian and have fulfilling lives. They're not mutually exclusive."
Cooper also mocked reparative therapy (to convert people from gay to straight) as a failure in every case: "every one of them basically admits that they still are attracted to a member of the same sex, they're just forcing themselves to repress those feelings....That can't be a healthy thing." Dobransky claimed homosexuality cannot be chosen, and then used pet metaphors: "Imagine a metaphor of what you were a cat born in a dog kennel. It might feel dangerous, it might feel threatening, and you might pretend you're not a cat, but you're still a cat."
Picking up on a Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) report on how several Hollywood actors and actresses have ponied up $50,000 each for VIP access to Barack Obama's inaugural events, CNN reporter Samantha Hayes marveled: “It's a measure of the excitement around Obama, that the stars are themselves star struck.” She highlighted, in a story run on Wednesday's Anderson Cooper 360, that “the Hollywood 'A' list is snapping up top-dollar tickets,” naming Halle Berry, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jamie Foxx, Sharon Stone and Samuel L. Jackson as amongst those who have donated the maximum $50,000 to the inaugural committee.
Hayes, however, stressed how “the Obama inauguration has dramatically cut the ability of the rich and famous to get insider access,” quoting how “Linda Douglass, the top spokesperson for the inauguration committee” (and a former ABC News reporter), told CNN they have “a $50,000 limit on individual donations, far below some limits in the past.” Offering corroboration, Hayes recalled how “the Bush inaugural committee took donations of up to a quarter million dollars.” But Hayes failed to note that, as the CRP report determined, most give the highest allowed and few are small givers: “72 percent of the donors who have contributed to the inauguration have given the maximum $50,000 donation. Only 12 percent of the donors have given less than $25,000.”
It's not exactly an earth shattering scandal but CNN did get caught in a bit of a fib when they declared they were the first to use hologram technology in a broadcast featuring Wolf Blitzer interviewing a Jessica Yellin "hologram" on election day.
I put "hologram" in quotes because a perturbed Don Reisinger of CNET News declared that it was false advertising since CNN wasn't using a real hologram. CNN soon backed down from their hologram claim in the face of not only criticism but mockery from the other networks.
I suppose the best way to respond is by humor as you can see in this video of Anderson Cooper 360 which features a clip of Jay Leno presenting a "hologram" attacking Wolf Blitzer. It sure made your humble correspondent break out laughing. Here is a transcript of the interchange on the "hologram" controversy between Anderson Cooper and Erica Hill:
On Thursday’s Anderson Cooper 360 program, CNN senior political analyst David Gergen followed the liberal talking points about how Joe the Plumber’s real first name is Samuel and how he doesn’t have a plumbing license. When host Anderson Cooper asked if John McCain benefitted from the attention on the Ohio laborer, Gergen replied, "Well, I think he was for a while. But I -- when we found out he was Sam the non-plumber, it changed a little bit." Gergen went on to treat Joe Wurzelbacher, who works with plumbing, as if he worked as a McCain campaign surrogate: "...I don't understand why the McCain team didn't vet the guy before they made such a -- you know, made such a focus on him on national television. I can guarantee you that the George W. Bush campaign, you know, which ran a highly disciplined campaign, would have vetted and would have known before he went out there about... his personal status."
In last night's post-debate analysis on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360, James Carville proclaimed that Barack Obama will be the slam dunk winner of the election in November. However, he followed up by hinting at riots if Obama were to lose. Here is the transcript of the discussion. First David Gergen keeps bringing up the race factor as an excuse for a possible Obama loss (emphasis mine):
During a report on Monday’s Anderson Cooper 360 program, CNN investigative correspondent Drew Griffin presented many of the missing details about the relationship between Barack Obama and left-wing terrorist William Ayers that two earlier "Truth Squad" reports on the network on Sunday and Monday omitted. Griffin stated that despite the spin of the Obama campaign and their mainstream media supporters, "...the relationship between Obama and Ayers went much deeper, ran much longer, and was much more political than Obama said."
Host Anderson Cooper introduced Griffin’s report, which began 19 minutes into the 10 pm Eastern hour, as one of the CNN program’s "Keeping Them Honest" features. Oddly, a on-screen graphic that read "The Dow Plunges," which had nothing to do with the subject of the segment, ran during its entirety. The correspondent began by repeating Ayers and his wife Bernadine Dohrn’s background in the Weather Underground, "an anti-Vietnam War group that bombed federal buildings, including the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon." He then gave Obama’s early characterization of his relationship with the 1960's radical, that the Democrat "confirmed... that he knew Ayers, and, when pressed, said they served on a charitable foundation board together, and Obama condemned Ayers' support of violence."
Update's Update: I have been assured by IT that we are FINALLY ready to go with this.
The American people in poll after poll and in greater and growing numbers are railing against the egregious liberal bias of the press. And nowhere are the media more horrendously slanted than in their coverage of the presidential campaign of Illinois Sen. Barack Obama. They are (to say the least) very, very sweet on him.
The MRC has put together this college basketball tournament-style bracket event, the Sweet-On-Obama Sixteen Media Bias Tournament, so that you, the angered members of the media’s audience can vote for who gives Sen. Obama the most loving and fawning coverage of all.
What is it with Democrats and their grotesque slurs upon the intelligence of their political rivals? Last week it was Charles Rangel calling Sarah Palin "disabled." Tonight on CNN, Paul Begala called President Bush "a high-functioning moron."
Begala was on an Anderson Cooper-led panel with Republican Ed Rollins and CNN's Gloria Borger to discuss the state of the possible federal financial bailout. Cooper took the first shot at the president, analogizing his performance in this crisis to that during Hurricane Katrina.
ANDERSON COOPER: Watching the president last night give that speech, it was like watching him in Jackson Square in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. I mean, he did not seem to be there.
Do you think the recent stock market collapse or troubles in the banking system are good news?
Well, according to CNN's Candy Crowley, the Obama campaign does.
On Monday's "Anderson Cooper 360," after CNN senior political analyst David Gergen said "what happened over the weekend with the economy and the bottom falling out of the financial markets...is the opportunity for Obama to seize the momentum back on his side," Crowley actually said, "[J]ust as foreclosures were showing up on B-17, or in the real estate section, along comes this horrific headline out of Wall Street...I mean, this is what they wanted."
I kid you not. The transcript of this disgraceful exchange follows (video embedded right, h/t Steve Malzberg):
CNN correspondent Gary Tuchman’s report detailing the abortion stances of the four major presidential and vice-presidential candidates on Wednesday’s Anderson Cooper 360 program gave a fairly neutral portrayal of how "Biden and Obama both favor abortion rights" and how "Palin and McCain are both anti-abortion," despite Tuchman describing how Palin is "considered fervently anti-abortion." However, host Anderson Cooper, in his introduction to Tuchman’s report, gave no reaction or labeling as he mentioned South Carolina Democratic Chairwoman Carol Fowler’s slam against Palin, that John McCain picked her because she "hadn’t had an abortion," other than stating, "Just the mention of that word [abortion] stirs up intense emotions for a lot of voters."
One reason Barack Obama selected Joe Biden as his running mate is that Obama's advisers “think the press loves Biden and so the press will sort of go easy on him on the past gaffes and when he's contradicted Obama,” CNN's Jessica Yellin revealed minutes before midnight Friday night, just an hour ahead of CNN and other media outlets reporting Joe Biden was, indeed, Barack Obama's pick.
Speaking by phone with anchor John King, Yellin recounted that “if it is Joe Biden” what “one of Barack Obama's close advisers” who “was a strong advocate of Biden” told her were the arguments in his favor, ending with how the media “loves” him:
[T]he reasons they think Biden would be strong is because, one, he's a great attack dog, in the view of this person. He's beloved in Pennsylvania where they think that they need to do well, and this advisor thinks that Biden can truly help to deliver that state. And in their view, they think the press loves Biden and so the press will sort of go easy on him on the past gaffes and when he's contradicted Obama. I'm not so sure on that last point, but that is at least one view close to the Obama camp.
Anderson Cooper’s “news” broadcast last night was among the more lopsided I have seen in some time.
I decided to count the number of positive and negative statements and characterizations about Sen. McCain and Sen. Obama made during Cooper’s lead package, which was about Monday’s back-and-forth on energy.
During the segment, which lasted roughly ten minutes, Cooper and his guests generated a net favorable perception of Democrat Sen. Barack Obama and net unfavorable perception of Republican Sen. John McCain. Specifically, Obama received five total positive mentions and four total negative mentions. Sen. McCain did not fare as well, however. He received a total of eleven negative mentions and only four positive mentions.
Over the course of two programs on Tuesday evening, CNN political analyst Roland Martin unhesitatingly ran to the defense of Barack Obama against the recent criticism of Dr. James Dobson, who characterized the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate of "distorting the traditional understanding of the Bible to fit his own worldview, his own confused theology" in a 2006 speech. On the "Election Center" program, Martin tried to deny Dobson’s influence in the American evangelical community: " I think we're doing the nation a disservice by calling James Dobson an evangelical leader." Then on "Anderson Cooper 360," he accused Dobson and other evangelicals of wanting to "tear down Obama, the person who is talking about faith..."
[Update, 10:30 am EDT Thursday: Martin's title at CNN is now political analyst, not contributor, according to an e-mail we received earlier this morning. This must be a very recent development, as Mr. Martin was referred to as "contributor" as late as June 17.]
CNN contributor Roland Martin, when asked on Tuesday’s "Anderson Cooper 360" if Michelle Obama was being held to a different standard than other presidential candidates’ wives, unequivocally placed the blame on conservative men. "No, I think what you have is you've got some weak men on the conservative side who, frankly, don't like strong women. I mean, we saw the exact same thing take place for Hillary Clinton back in 1992.... All of a sudden... Michelle Obama is this angry black woman, when in fact, she's an accomplished woman, a mother, a wife. And so, they are trying to define her in that way, because they don't want to deal with the reality."
Campbell Brown, filling in for Anderson Cooper, led CNN's 10 PM EDT hour Monday evening by letting viewers in on her excitement over Al Gore's endorsement of Barack Obama earlier in the evening: “Tonight, everybody, he blew the roof off the joint. Al Gore, one of the last big-name Democrats, getting behind Barack Obama in a big way, making a speech that could have won him the White House if he'd been making this kind of speech eight years ago.” In highlights of the speech CNN soon aired, Gore charged: “After eight years in which our Constitution has been dishonored and disrespected, we need change!”
Turning to a panel of CNN's Candy Crowley and Gloria Borger as well as David Gergen, Brown, who jumped to CNN from NBC last year, yearned: “Do you think there is any chance that we might see an Obama-Gore ticket?” Not dampened by doubts he would want the VP slot, Brown pressed Gergen on another role for Gore and then conceded she sounded like “I want it just too badly.” The exchange:
BROWN: Even if it was pitched to him perhaps as an opportunity to kind of be, I think it was James Carville who suggested it, energy czar, you know, to expand the role, the traditional role of Vice President, and to make the issues that he cares most passionately about center stage for him and let him take those issues and run with it?
GERGEN: Not going to happen, Campbell.
BROWN: Do I sound like I want it just too badly here, David? It's a good story.
CNN contributor Roland Martin, a known Barack Obama sympathizer, surprisingly isn’t buying the argument that conservatives/Republicans are behind the rumored Michelle Obama "whitey" comment. During a segment on Thursday’s "Anderson Cooper 360," substitute anchor Campbell Brown asked Martin, "Republicans have made it clear, pretty much, that Michelle is fair game here. Are you surprised by the intensity of the attacks?" He replied, "I'm not surprised by it, but I think, also, we can't blame Republicans for everything. It's these idiot Democrats that started some of this stuff."
CNN senior political analyst (and former Clinton adviser) David Gergen, responding to Todd Purdum’s recent Vanity Fair article on Bill Clinton during a segment on Monday’s "Anderson Cooper 360," acknowledged that the former President "does have a temper, and he goes off like Mount Vesuvius," but then went on to criticize Purdum’s article, that it "does not give enough weight to what he has done in the non-profit sector," specifically referring to the Clinton Global Initiative.
Clinton had called Purdum a "scumbag," "sleazy," and a "really dishonest reporter." He also accused the Vanity Fair editor of trying to "nail Hillary for Obama. It's the most biased press coverage in history."
CNN congressional correspondent Jessica Yellin, during a segment on Wednesday’s "Anderson Cooper 360," accused her former bosses -- presumably those at MSNBC, where she worked prior to joining ABC in July 2003 -- of pressuring her to run positive stories about the Bush administration before the invasion of Iraq: "When the lead-up to the war began, the press corps was under enormous pressure from corporate executives, frankly, to make sure that this was a war that was presented in a way that was consistent with the patriotic fever in the nation... and my own experience at the White House was that, the higher the president's approval ratings... the more pressure I had from news executives to put on positive stories about the President."
[Yellin repeated her "patriotic fever" line in a clarification posted Thursday at CNN's AC360 blog.]
Throughout the day on Thursday, CNN carried the water for the Democrats and portayed President Bush’s "appeasement" remarks before the Knesset in Israel as an attack on Barack Obama. "The Situation Room" host Wolf Blitzer began his program by stating that "President Bush slams Barack Obama from Israel." Senior political analyst Gloria Borger quipped, "I know that the White House press secretary says they were not talking about Barack Obama, but of course they were." Senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin remarked, "I think this is straight out of the usual Republican playbook." Jack Cafferty struck hard: "He is beyond irrelevant and he's not going to scare anybody. He just babbles away like Eliot Spitzer talking about matrimonial fidelity. It's a joke." CNN’s other senior political analyst, David Gergen, reminisced, "I can't remember as brazen a political shot by a President overseas in a political race back home... an especially jagged kind of criticism."
For the rest of the campaign, the Media Research Center will each Tuesday announce its picks for the “Worst of the Week,” meaning the most egregious, horrendous and stupefying liberal bias of Campaign 2008. This week, the spotlight shines on those journalists who rushed to the side of Barack Obama after his minister’s radical comments, and NBC’s ridiculous effort to hype bad economic news [audio/video links below fold]:
Feeling Obama’s Pain. After Barack Obama’s former pastor’s radical remarks at the National Press Club, liberal journalists rallied around the Democratic candidate. Hours after Jeremiah Wright spoke on April 28, NBC’s Brian Williams emphasized those who deemed it a "circus" and a "sideshow," as his NBC Nightly News highlighted the Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart: "Unfortunately, the victim in all of this is going to be Senator Obama’s campaign."
Following Suzanne Malveaux’s gushing interview of Michelle Obama and her supporter Caroline Kennedy-Schlossberg on Wednesday’s "Anderson Cooper 360," Gary Tuchman gave a glowing report on the campaign travels of Bill Clinton for his wife on Thursday’s edition of the program. After portraying the former president as a person "some have seen as a loose cannon and occasionally even a political liability," Tuchman observed that "[a]t times, it feels like he's running for a third term. After all, how many political spouses get handed the proverbial baby?"
CNN secured an interview in Indiana with "steely-tough" Michelle Obama and Caroline Kennedy on Wednesday night for Anderson Cooper 360, but the interviewer, CNN reporter Suzanne Malveaux, saw her job as deeply feeling the Obama family pain. Her idea of a rough question on the Jeremiah Wright controversy was "Did he betray you?" She also asked "How painful was that?" and "At what point did you stop empathizing with your pastor?" With Caroline Kennedy there, Malveaux avoided the obvious question of how either woman greeted Rev. Wright’s mockery on Sunday night in Detroit of how badly John F. Kennedy and Edward Kennedy spoke English.
Rev. Wright impersonated Kennedy in a nasal voice, as when a black comedian cracks wise about a stereotypical white person:
In 1961, it's been all over the Internet now, John Kennedy could stand at the inauguration in January and say, "isk not what your country can do for you, isk rather what you can do for your country." How do you spell isk? Nobody ever said to John Kennedy that's not English, "isk." Only to a black child would they say you speak bad English.
On Anderson Cooper’s CNN blog, Roland Martin spins out of control in an effort to help sweep up the mess left from pastorgate. He claims that Rev. Wright was only quoting Edward Peck, former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq and deputy director of President Reagan’s terrorism task force. He is particularly claiming that the controversial sermon that includes the quote, “chickens have come home to roost” was a quote from Peck. He goes on to provide what I guess is supposed to be the quote in question. However, if you watch the start of this video, Wright reveals exactly who the quote comes from....Malcom X!
Barack Obama’s interview with Anderson Cooper on Wednesday night's "Anderson Cooper 360" on CNN was quite gentle. While Cooper did press Obama to address some of the criticisms that have erupted over his pastor Jeremiah Wright, he did not press him about Wright’s criticism of white people, or his claims of the government giving blacks AIDS, only one (truncated) 9/11 passage. Cooper used ten-foot-pole language about those people who would be alarmed by Wright’s America-bashing remarks: "Patriotism is going to be used by whoever it is you are facing." Used? Have you ever noticed how the media never asks if America is being "used" by leaders who spit on America?
Obama was spinning furiously.
I never heard anything nasty about America.
COOPER: In the past, you said you didn't think that your church was particularly controversial. Yesterday, in the speech, you said that -- you admitted that you did hear in the church remarks that could be considered controversial. Do you know specifically? Do you remember what you heard?
Reciting three quotes highlighted Tuesday night on NewsBusters (and the MRC's Wednesday CyberAlert), plus one from CNN's Campbell Brown which we missed, FNC's Brit Hume led his “Grapevine” segment Wednesday night by illustrating how “Barack Obama's speech on race yesterday played to rave reviews in much of the national media.” Hume recounted:
On NBC, the Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart said the address was, quote, "a very important gift the Senator has given the country." NBC's own Chris Matthews said it was, quote, "worthy of Abraham Lincoln" and quote "the best speech ever given on race in this country." ABC's George Stephanopoulos said Obama's refusal to renounce his highly controversial pastor was, quote, "in many ways an act of honor." And on CNN, Campbell Brown called the speech "striking" and "daring," asserting that Obama had, quote, "walked the listener through a remarkable exploration of race from both sides of the color divide, from both sides of himself."
Who cares if our next president has chosen as his "spiritual guide" someone who calls on God to damn America, and believes the US brought 9-11 on itself? Completely off track! Let's get back to the important stuff. You know, like the fine print of the candidate's plan to nationalize health care.
That in a nutshell is Anderson Cooper's kvetch about the controversy over the outrageous statements made by Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, Jr., the pastor of Barack Obama's church and the man Obama has described as his spiritual guide and advisor.
Cooper made his comments on his 360 show this evening.
ANDERSON COOPER: Is this just the kind of thing that happens in campaigns? It seems we're almost at a point now where it's this or other issues for the Clinton campaign where people are just latching onto anything to strike a blow against their opponent. All this seems to have nothing to do with actual issues that the country is facing which these candidates should be talking about and we probably should be talking about.
As NewsBusters reported, there's an international conference on climate change happening in New York City wherein well-renowned scientists from all over the world are meeting to discuss anthropogenic global warming.
On Monday, climate alarmist Miles O'Brien of CNN actually had the gall to imply that speakers and attendees of this conference are Flat Earthers.
I kid you not.
During Monday evening's "Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees," O'Brien concluded his videotaped report concerning this conference (video available here at end of blog post):