After Rosie O’Donnell leaves "The View" next month, where will Americans go for bizarre 9/11 conspiracy theories? On Monday, the comedienne reiterated her theory that fire couldn’t possibly melt steel. The ABC host also agreed that she has a "cult personality." A few days later, O’Donnell was at it again, comparing the United States to terrorists. Liberal co-host Joy Behar also found a Republican presidential candidate she can finally embrace...Congressman Ron Paul.
"This Week" anchor George Stephanopoulos displayed his usual high level of objectivity when he assumed that the only racists who would have a problem with Obama are Republicans (and they wouldn’t vote for a Democrat anyway). Yes, it’s a good thing that liberals don’t use cheap generalizations.
What does it say when porn-peddler and sex-shop owner Larry Flynt treated Jerry Falwell’s death with more class than CNN? As Newsbusters reported yesterday, during “Anderson Cooper 360,” CNN used a still from an old protest video that had a large illustration of Jerry Falwell next to a large illustration of Hitler.
Despite being courtroom and media adversaries that was kicked into overdrive when Flynt ran a fake ad in “Hustler,” which claimed that Falwell’s first sexual experience was with his mother in an outhouse and resulted in a lawsuit producing a landmark First Amendment ruling by the US Supreme Court, allowing the parody of public figures, Flynt issued this surprisingly generous and thoughtful statement to "Access Hollywood" on May 15 (emphasis mine):
Less than 10 minutes after it featured Christopher Hitchens hate-filled remarks against Jerry Falwell, Tuesday night's “Anderson Cooper 360" featured another critic of the late evangelist, Mel White. White, an openly gay minister, runs a radical homosexual activist organization called Soulforce. White wrote two books for Falwell before coming-out as a homosexual. While he expressed his sadness upon hearing of his former colleague’s death, White expressed his belief that Falwell caused the deaths of homosexuals by his rhetoric.
After asking White what he was feeling after learning of Falwell’s death, and about his own strained relationship with the late evangelist, host Anderson Cooper asked, “Personally, do you think he [Falwell] hated gays?” White responded,
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has issued a call to media outlets to stick to a script of liberal bias and emphasize "Falwell's history of denigrative comments and examine the cultural progress toward inclusion, acceptance and respect that he fought against." Their website even included a story from CNN’s Newsroom from Tuesday afternoon, in which CNN prominently included old protest video that placed a large illustration of Falwell’s face next to a large illustration of Hitler’s face. So much for GLAAD's "anti-defamation" pose. Video: Real (582 KB) or Windows (659 KB) plus MP3 (97 KB)
On "Anderson Cooper 360," CNN correspondent Randi Kaye, who raised eyebrows in December for a story worrying about Saddam suffering when he hanged, shared no comparable horror at the death of Falwell. Her transcript read like a commercial for GLAAD, as their president Neil Giuliano was the only talking head in the piece (except for taped tidbits of Falwell) as he insisted Falwell was un-Christian: "Falwell’s attacks were a violation of religious faith."
Over the past years, the liberal mainstream media has produced gushing tributes to deceased "secular saints" such as Princess Diana, John F. Kennedy, Jr., and Coretta Scott King. It would have been practically sacrilegious for these outlets to air any kind of immediate criticism of such figures. Yet, in the 24 hours or so since the death of Christian conservative leader Jerry Falwell, the mainstream media has given air time to every sort of criticism of the late evangelical. On Tuesday night's "Anderson Cooper 360," noted atheist Christopher Hitchens launched one of the most vitriolic attacks to date on Falwell. Among the terms Hitchens used to describe Falwell were "ugly little charlatan," "bully," "fraud," and "little toad."
Well that certainly didn’t take long, did it? I hope everyone is safely tucked in their bomb shelters, for the war of the cable networks is in full swing, and shrapnel is now dangerously flying in all directions.
In response to Fox News’s ad attacking Anderson Cooper while promoting Greta Van Susteren as reported by NewsBusters here, CNN has now released its own ad.
In it is are couple of strikes right at those claiming to be “fair and balanced”:
As the Beatles sang years ago, It’s getting better all the time.
Forget about this Sunday's Super Bowl, sports fans. World War III in the arena of cable news is raging on, and the players have started taking prisoners.
As NewsBusters reported here and here, the most recent escalation between heavyweight Fox News and steadily becoming also-ran CNN started when the former took out an ad in Television Week magazine describing Anderson Cooper as “the Paris Hilton of television news.” This was actually a promotion for Fox News’s “On the Record” with Greta Van Susteren.
The cable news war is certainly getting hotter. After a Fox News spokesperson was quoted last week by the New York Times as calling CNN’s Anderson Cooper “the Paris Hilton of television news,” the “Fox & Friends” morning crew took the baton and really ran with it.
The following video posted Monday at YouTube shows “F&F” personalities having fun with a new Fox News print ad depicting Cooper as losing the ratings battle with FNC’s Greta Van Susteren.
With the caption at the bottom of the screen reading, “Greta Ad Puts CNN’s Anderson Cooper In His Place…2nd,” Steve Doocy commented derisively:
CNN’s Anderson Cooper reported Monday night from the Center for the Intrepid, the new rehabilitation facility for wounded soldiers in San Antonio, Texas. Cooper announced he had a problem that this facility was privately, not publicly funded, as if raising private funds for Iraq vets was outrageous and inappropriate. This prompted the CNN anchor to ask Hillary Clinton a softball question using a quote from partisan hack and unwavering Clinton supporter Paul Begala about how the government could fund Halliburton and tax cuts, but not its heroes. Hillary said: "And I say Amen." But Cooper unintentionally answered his own question later in the show as he fussed over bureaucracy stalling funds for Hurricane Katrina recovery.
Throughout the show, Anderson Cooper was horrified that this $50 million state of the art facility was funded through the generous donations of the American people rather than government funds. He inquired to Bill White, president of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund: "This center was $50 million in donations from corporations, and even individuals, school kids giving them dollars here and there. Why didn’t the government do it?"
At the beginning of Tuesday’s State of the Union address, President Bush graciously discussed Nancy Pelosi and her history making role as the first female Speaker. He also congratulated Democrats on their new majority status. This, however, wasn’t enough for Paul Begala. The CNN contributor appeared on a post-speech edition of "Anderson Cooper" and digressed into a rant about how Bush referred not to the Democratic Party’s success, but, rather, the Democrat majority. According to the always polite Begala, this is something only the "kook right," "the fringe" and the "Rush Limbaugh crowd" engages in:
Paul Begala: "At the very beginning, [Bush] opened with this beautiful grace note to Nancy Pelosi, talked about how her father, Thomas D'Alessandro, had served in the House, and the daughter had grown up to become Speaker. It was beautiful....And then in the very next paragraph -- I have it marked here on the White House text -- he congratulated the new ‘Democrat’ majority, as he said. Now, the White House transcript says ‘Democratic.’ There is a difference. My party's the Democratic Party. But the sort of kook right, not the responsible Republicans, but the fringe, the Rush Limbaugh crowd, likes to call my party the Democrat Party. They think it's some sort of insult or something. And frankly, I guess it is insulting. Why would you do that when you're the president of both parties and the majority of your country now is affiliated with the Democrat Party? Why would you say that?"
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper began the Thursday edition of his "AC: 360" program by announcing that he intended to "keep them [the Democrats] honest." A few seconds later, reporter Dana Bash described Nancy Pelosi’s elevation to Speaker as "a moment to savor." For everyone? Ms. Bash elaborated, saying that portents of Democratic power could be seen everywhere, including the appearance of Hollywood celebrities and the sight of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert sitting in the back of the chamber:
Anderson Cooper: "Day one for lawmakers who are promising a whole host of legislation in their first 100 hours of work. We're here tonight to help keep them honest. So, throughout the hour, we will be looking at how Democrats hope to make law. First, though, CNN's Dana Bash on how they are making history."
Dana Bash: "A moment to savor -- Nancy Pelosi seized the gavel and, with it, power for the Democrats, an ambitious agenda, but, today, history, the first female Speaker, second in line to be president."
Amidst all the media hype over what CBS’ Bob Schieffer called the congressional Democrats’ "ambitious schedule" to reform ethics rules and regulations, Wednesday’s "Anderson Cooper 360" actually provided a tough, worthwhile report on what real ethical reform would be. According to CNN correspondent Drew Griffin, convicted members of Congress still receive thousands of dollars in pensions. Yes, disgraced felons such as James Traficant, Randy Cunningham, and Dan Rostenkowski each year accrue large sums of taxpayer money. Host Anderson Cooper introduced the subject and seemed to issue a challenge to the Democrats:
Anderson Cooper: "Well, the new Congress convenes tomorrow with Democrats in control, who have pledged to pass a number of bills in the first 100 legislative hours. They have also promised to change some ethic rules on Capitol Hill. One law that they're not tackling is pensions for convicted members of Congress. That's right, tax dollars used to pay for the retirement of felons."
MRC’s Michelle Humphrey passed along an example of CNN already feeling the pain of Saddam Hussein. On Thursday night’s "Anderson Cooper 360" – re-aired Friday in the 9 AM hour – CNN reporter Randi Kaye did a whole story suggesting the idea that hanging Saddam was a cruel and outdated mode of execution. This is the same program that recently focused on the coldly efficient killers of American troops without focusing any sympathy on their suffering. Instead, they focused on how insurgents supposedly tried not to slaughter innocents as they shot at American troops.
Kaye began: "This is what is Iraq's government calls the death chamber. Soon, Saddam Hussein will be here to meet the same fate as these men. This is what his final moments will look like. But we wanted to know what hanging will feel like. Will Saddam suffer in death?"
The House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct released its report concerning the Mark Foley page scandal on Friday, and the media banged the predictable drum about this all being a Republican cover-up. However, what was ignored or downplayed by virtually every press outlet was the revelation that the offensive e-mail messages between Foley and male pages were leaked to the media by the communications director for the House Democratic Caucus. Also absent from such reports was the possibility that high-ranking Democrat Rahm Emanuel of Illinois might have been aware of these electronic transmissions even though he told ABC News on October 8 that he hadn’t heard anything about them until the story broke (video available here, hat tip to Gateway Pundit).
How much did Rahm Emanuel know about disgraced Rep. Mark Foley's e-mails to a former House page? In an Oct. 8 interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, Emanuel, a Democratic congressman from Illinois, was asked if he or his staff knew anything about the e-mails or instant messages between Foley and former pages "before they came out." "No - Never saw them," Emanuel said. Asked if he was "aware of them," Emanuel repeated, "We never saw them. No involvement." But on page 46 of the new House Ethics Committee report on the scandal is testimony that at least one senior member of Emanuel's staff did know about them.
For the second time in two days, a CNN anchor asked Jimmy Carter to rank President Bush’s Iraq invasion on the scale of historical mistakes. Both segments minimized or ignored the serious errors that Carter himself made as Commander in Chief, such as his failed attempt at rescuing the Iranian hostages. And both mentioned his peace making efforts. On Tuesday, Wolf Blitzer asked the ex-president just how "big a blunder" Iraq would end up becoming. On Thursday, Anderson Cooper wanted to know the same thing. Additionally, each set of questions and answers featured references to Vietnam:
Anderson Cooper: "In the history of mistakes that administrations have made, how big do you think this Iraq operation has been?"
Jimmy Carter: "Well, obviously, it will be judged in retrospect after the whole thing is over which may be a few years in the future, but up until this point, it's been a horrible mistake. One of the worst mistakes we’ve made. I would say it would compare-- you could argue both sides with Vietnam. But, the main thing was that it's been a quagmire in Iraq. It hasn't succeed so far. The violence is escalating. Americans have lost their lives. But, I think the worst thing was the abandonment of Afghanistan. We had a good chance there after the Soviets withdrew and we came in to stamp out the Taliban policies and to wipe out al Qaeda. We had unanimous support around the rest of the world. All of a sudden, we could have had the whole world on our team rebuilding Afghanistan. Giving them a glimpse of a good life in the future. I think that would have contributed to the possibility of a permanent democratic state of their choice. And I think all of that was abandoned in favor of Iraq. That adds to the seriousness of the mistake of going in to Iraq."
Our news media have long lectured us that their role is not to be "stenographers to power." Theirs is the pursuit of truth, we are told. But when it comes to networks like CNN, those ethical rules are crumpled and tossed into the nearest trash bin.
Editorial writers at the Washington Post and elsewhere have raged against the Pentagon placing positive stories in Iraqi newspapers, thus violating the journalistic sacristy of objectivity. But they have no rage at all for CNN placing glorifying publicity from terrorists on a global television network.
With all due respect to Rush (his rant is behind his firewall), Michelle Malkin (also at Hot Air in a vid with O'Reilly), Allah at Hot Air, and all the others who are justifiably "Venting" at CNN -- You're STILL missing a BIG, BIG point -- We aren't getting "the unvarnished truth" from our military, because they are constrained about issues relating to the safety of soldiers and their families HERE, IN THIS COUNTRY. Since they are limited in what they can show of our soldiers' exploits, it is incumbent on media outlets to be VERY restrained in what they will show of the enemy's.
Let me break it down as briefly as I can (more detail is at my post Sunday at BizzyBlog):
If the war in Iraq were solely a military engagement, it would have ended long ago. Al Qaeda and its ad hoc allies are militarily insignificant. In a standing battle, they'd be wiped out in a matter of minutes.
The enemy there realizes this and has moved to a strategy that emphasizes small skirmishes and targeting civilians, not in the hopes of winning the day, but in the hopes of intimidating Iraqis--and Americans. They've said as much repeatedly that their goal is to scare us and our allies into yielding.
With that fact in the public record, you'd think no American media outlets would play into this strategy. You'd be wrong, though. CNN continues to play al Qaeda's useful idiot by defending its airing of footage of American troops being sniped at by terrorists saying it's only interested in providing "the unvarnished truth:"
On Monday night, CNN’s John Roberts previewed the United Nations appearances of President Bush and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a manner that seemed to offer moral equivalence between Bush and the avowed Holocaust denier. Roberts, who filed the September 18 report for "Anderson Cooper 360," was introduced by an announcer tease that set a tone of comparative moral ambiguity:
ANNOUNCER: "He's a president on the ropes. He's a radical on the rise. The leaders of Iran and the United States on a nuclear collision course -- and now the whole world is watching."
First off, "on the ropes" is an odd description for a President with rising poll numbers. Secondly, the language here seems to indicate two leaders, both of whom refuse to back down, rather then one who has threatened to destroy Israel and one who wishes the other would desist in such behavior.
Roberts reported the conflict, in a segment that aired at 10PM EDT, as though he was discussing a political contest between two candidates. Summarizing the problem, he stated:
ROBERTS: "But how did the mudslinging between Tehran and the White House get so bad? Certainly, Ahmadinejad's denial of the Holocaust and insistence that Israel be wiped off the map were part of it. Some people also fault President Bush for what they call increasingly Islamophobic language that alienates Muslims."
A small world of self-proclaimed “conservative” retired Marine Colonels disillusioned with President Bush, Republicans and the war in Iraq. Ten months after CNN's John King featured criticism of the Iraq war from retired Marine Colonel Jim Van Riper, in an Anderson Cooper 360 story from North Carolina on supposed declining support for the war in a conservative area, CBS's Byron Pitts traveled to the same state and located the very same Marine to demonstrate that on the war “even some life-long conservatives are no longer hearing the President's message." On Thursday's CBS Evening News, Pitts touted the ex-Marine's credentials: "Retired Marine Corps Colonel Jim Van Riper is a Christian, card-carrying member of the NRA who voted for President Bush twice. But as more Marines have died in Iraq, his confidence in the Bush administration died as well." Van Riper asserted: “I don't mind arrogance except when there's dead bodies as a result." Pitts explained how “Van Riper will vote for Democrats across the board," and then cued him up: “If you could sit across from President Bush, what would you say to him?" Van Riper: "Sir, I'm disappointed."
King signed off from Greenville, while Pitts reported from Jacksonville, the home of the Camp Lejuene Marine Corps base, presumably an area with thousands of retired Marine corps officers -- yet CNN and CBS, ten months apart, stumbled upon the very same retired Marine Colonel -- an amazing coincidence. (Transcript and more follows)
During the ’90s, many conservatives referred to CNN as the “Clinton News Network.” In an op-ed published Thursday by FrontPage Magazine, radio talk show host Michael Reagan coined a new term for the cable news outlet that might come into vogue: the Terrorist News Network.
At issue for former President Ronald Reagan’s son was a story written by NewsBuster Rich Noyes on July 19, with a follow-up on July 24. Reagan began: “On July 18, CNN correspondent Nick Robertson aired a report from Beirut. Throughout his entire report on ‘Anderson Cooper 360,’ Robertson accepted uncritically the claims of a Hezbollah ‘guide’ about what he was seeing.” After quoting much of Noyes’s initial report, Reagan pointed out:
On Monday’s "Anderson Cooper 360," CNN’s Anderson Cooper related his visit to a Hezbollah-controlled section of Beirut where he was supposed to photograph certain damaged buildings, part of the terrorist group’s strategy of generating news stories about Lebanese civilian casualities caused by Israeli bombs.
But instead of merely transmitting Hezbollah’s unverified and unverifiable claims to the outside world, Cooper — to his credit — exposed the efforts by Hezbollah to manipulate CNN and other Western reporters. It’s quite a contrast from the much more accommodating approach taken by his colleague, Nic Robertson, in a report that aired on a variety of CNN programs (including AC360) back on July 18, a report that Robertson himself has now conceded was put together under Hezbollah's control.
Unlike Robertson, Cooper was explicit about how Hezbollah’s operatives had set all of the rules: “Young men on motor scooters followed our every movement. They only allowed us to videotape certain streets, certain buildings,” he explained. He countered Hezbollah claims that Israel targets civilians by pointing out that the group based itself in civilian areas and that Israel's air force drops leaflets warning of attacks.
Better late than never? On CNN’s Reliable Sources on Sunday, CNN’s senior international correspondent Nic Robertson added all of the caveats and disclaimers that he should have included in his story last week that amounted to his giving an uncritical forum for the terrorist group Hezbollah to spout unverifiable anti-Israeli propaganda.
Back on July 18, Hezbollah took Robertson and his crew on a tour of a heavily damaged south Beirut neighborhood. The Hezbollah “press officer” even instructed the CNN camera: “Just look. Shoot. Look at this building. Is it a military base? Is it a military base, or just civilians living in this building?”
Last night (Tuesday) on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, senior international correspondent Nic Robertson touted his “exclusive” exchange with a Hezbollah propagandist who led Robertson on a tour of a bombed-out block of southern Beirut. Hezbollah claimed to show that Israeli bombs had struck civilian areas of the city, not the terrorist group’s headquarters.
The Hezbollah “press officer,” Hussein Nabulsi, even directed CNN’s camera: “Just look. Shoot. Look at this building. Is it a military base? Is it a military base, or just civilians living in this building?” A few moments later, Nabulsi instructed CNN to videotape him as he ran up to a pile of rubble: “Shoot me. Shoot. This is here where they said Sheikh Nasrallah, the secretary-general of Hezbollah, is living. This is wrong!”
The liberal media party-line has hardened on the breathtaking arrogance of the New York Times, the self-appointed spoilers of secrecy. The White House is apparently insincere in its criticism -- it's merely pandering to the right-wing base.
MRC intern Eugene Gibilaro found CNN reporter Ed Henry charging up Capitol Hill with this spin on Tuesday night's "Anderson Cooper 360," that the Times was being hounded for political gain. "Republicans stepped up their barrage on the New York Times for publishing details of a once-secret program tracking the banking transactions of terrorists." After a quote from Sen. Pat Roberts charging the Times should look in the mirror of blame for the next terror attack, Henry continued:
"From the president on down, Republicans have been reading from the same script."
During her much hyped June 20 interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, actress Angelina Jolie expressed a view that may shock many of her liberal Hollywood friends:
Just because someone’s Republican doesn’t mean that they don’t also, you know, have the capacity to understand or care about children...
This backhanded compliment was in response to Cooper’s adoring praise of activist Jolie’s "non-partisan" efforts to "affect change" in the world. If by non-partisan Cooper meant indirectly attacking the Bush administration and the Iraq war, then Jolie certainly is "non-partisan."
You can certainly see that the amount of money being spent at war, and the amount of money we are not spending in countries and dealing with situations that could end up in conflict if left unassisted, and then cause war. So, so our priorities are quite strange. So we’re not–we’re missing a lot of opportunities to do a lot of the good that America is used to doing, has a history of doing. And we’re not able to be as generous.
More from the two hour Cooper-Jolie lovefest is behind the cut:
Newsbusters readers who had the misfortune of watching CNN May 30 were not experiencing deja vu. Democratic Congressman John Murtha was interviewed on not one, not two, but three separate network programs throughout the day. Murtha’s day of CNN appearances began with an interview conducted by American Morning's Soledad O'Brien, followed by a late afternoon exchange with Wolf Blitzer on The Situation Room. Anderson Cooper 360 viewers, not to be left out, were treated to a pre-taped interview between Cooper and Murtha during the 10pm hour.
While O’Brien and Blitzer were eager to hear Murtha equate the alleged shooting of Iraqi civilians by U.S. Marines in Haditha to the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, only Cooper questioned whether Murtha might be rushing to condemn the Marines before the official investigation is complete.
Cooper: "Congressman Murtha, you believe the military investigation will ultimately show that the, the troops in Haditha, quote, ‘overreacted because of the pressure on them and killed innocent civilians in cold blood.’ That’s a quote from you. How are you so sure at this point? The investigation isn’t even complete."
Hannah Storm, co-host of CBS’s "The Early Show," interviewed CNN’s Anderson Cooper, anchor of "Anderson Cooper 360" about his new memoir. Storm was gushing over Cooper, referring to him as "one of the brightest stars in the news business" and as the "popular CNN anchorman," as she introduced him:
"Anderson Cooper is one of the brightest stars in the news business. The popular CNN anchorman became a household name after his reporting on Hurricane Katrina. But, this is certainly not the first time the seasoned journalist has come face to face with death and disaster. For years, Cooper's been covering war and poverty in countries that often get little attention here at home. And, he writes about both his personal and professional experiences in his new memoir, ‘Dispatches from the Edge.’"
Yesterday, NB's Megan McCormack noted the Oprah Winfrey web site asking viewers to tell show producers how CNN host Anderson Cooper has "encouraged you to make the world a better place." After word spread about it on the web, the solicitation soon disappeared, the NY Post (ht: TVNewser) notes:
But by late afternoon yesterday, the query had been mysteriously removed from the site.
And no one was saying who or why it had been pulled down.
"Anderson is coming on to talk about his book and it will air sometime [this month]," a CNN spokeswoman said.
Has Anderson Cooper been a source of inspiration for you or someone you know? From staging demonstrations to adopting children, Oprah wants to hear about it! According to TVNewser, Oprah appears to be preparing a segment dedicated to the CNN anchor, and is asking viewers to write about how Cooper’s reporting has inspired them to "take action."
The Oprah Winfrey Show website lists a few examples of what they are seeking: