CNN's Larry King completely left out the major topic of the White House's continuing obfuscation on the Sestak and Romanoff controversies and barely mentioned the economy during his interview of President Obama on Thursday. While King did ask extensively on the Gulf oil leak and touched on the Middle East and immigration, he also tossed softballs on LeBron James and the President singing with Paul McCartney.
The CNN host aired his interview with the chief executive during the first half of the 9 pm Eastern hour. King spent the entire first two segments asking about the oil leak issue. Other than one question, where he asked whether the President had any responsibility for the disaster, the journalist asked softball questions (remember, CNN claimed just under two months ago in April that it was the only "non-partisan" cable network, and how King hounded Carrie Prejean during an interview in November 2009):
Larry King interviewed pop singing sensation Lady Gaga on June 1, and she appeared conflicted over the presence of children in wombs. Near the beginning of the interview came this exchange...
King: At what age growing up, Gaga, did you know that you wanted to be a performer?
Gaga: In the womb, Larry, in my mother's warm womb.
King: [Laughing] At your birth.
Gaga: Yes, at my birth. I guess that you could say it's been my destiny to be a performer....
Getting technical, because that's what we pro-lifers do, Gaga did not originally say her personality, talents, and drive magically appeared "at birth," as King translated. She said they were present prenatally. See exchange beginning at 2:34 on this clip (WARNING: PG-13, visually)...
On Tuesday’s Larry King Live on CNN, a pre-recorded interview with Mick Jagger was shown in which the English musician talked about his decision to leave his home country in the 1970s to escape the 90 percent marginal tax rates of the time on high-income earners. After noting that he had made bad financial decisions in his earlier days of success, he recounted: "We had to leave England to acquire enough money to pay the taxes because in those days, in England, the high tax rate was 90 percent, so that's very hard. ... You made 100 pounds, they took 90. So it was very difficult to pay any debts back. So when we left the country, we would get more than the 10 pounds out of 100. You know, we might get 50 or something."
After King asked if he was "held in low regard in your mother country for leaving it," Jagger explained that, unlike in America, successful people are "resented" in most countries, including England:
On the April 22 Larry King Live on CNN, which was rebroadcast on Saturday, magician and comedian Penn Jillette – who is a self-described libertarian – challenged assertions by actress Rachael Harris that the Tea Party movement is motivated by "racism" against President Barack Obama. Jillette: "Well, that's the magic word. Once you say ‘racism,’ the other side loses automatically. And I don't think we have very much evidence that that's what it is. Don't they have to be doing racist things besides you just saying that they're racist?"
Harris cited the racial makeup of the Tea Party movement as evidence of its racist motivation: "No, but they're looking at the number of people that are in, like, the majority of the people that are in the Tea Party," leading Jillette to respond: "So the race that they are makes them racist by definition?"
After Harris and Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane joked for a moment that they had gotten together and created the movement, Jillette and Harris continued their debate over whether Tea Party members were motivated by racism:
On Tuesday’s Larry King Live on CNN, after guest Michael Moore joked about there being possibly 100 million Sarah Palin fans in America who "want to, you know, shoot moose from a helicopter or whatever else that they think that's cool that she does," King questioned whether there are really 100 million people who approve of moose hunting and then joked, "I think that there’s 100 million moose who’d like to shoot up to the helicopter."
Earlier in the same show, as the conversation focused on the new law cracking down on illegal immigration in Arizona, after making a Nazi reference by joking that the measures remind him of Hogan’s Heroes, he ended up charging that a "bunch of bigots in the Republican Party of Arizona" are to blame for the law. Moore: "I think it's the result of a bunch of bigots in the Republican Party of Arizona. That's, that's what it's the result of. And it's sad that they're behaving that way and it makes the rest of us look bad as Americans."
Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Tuesday, April 27, Larry King Live on CNN, with critical portions in bold:
Whatever your view on homosexuality might be as it pertains to Christianity, there's probably one place one wouldn't go to seek clarity on the issue - a Jewish TV host that's in his seventh marriage.
However, CNN, the so-called most trusted name in news, had "Larry King Live" host Larry King tackle this issue on his April 23 program in a special broadcast entitled "Can You Be Christian and Gay?" King's special featured recently-out Christian singer Jennifer Knapp, embattled former evangelical preacher Ted Haggard and Horizon Christian Fellowship Senior Pastor Bob Botsford.
However, Palin reacted on the Feb. 16 broadcast of Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor" by asking why "Family Guy" would stoop to such a level.
"This world is full of cruel, cold-hearted people who would do such a thing," Palin said. "Look. I look at Trigg and he is going to face things as special needs children will be facing much more difficult than we ever will. So why make it tougher on the special needs community? When is enough enough? When are we going to be willing to say some things just aren't really funny?"
On Monday’s Larry King Live on CNN, guest Jane Fonda portrayed herself as a victim of a "myth" that was "created" by "right-wingers" about her infamous "Hanoi Jane" visit to Vietnam to protest the Vietnam War. Without specifying what aspect of the "Hanoi Jane" story she considered to be a fallacy, though the "Product Description" at Amazon.com seems to shed some light on what she was referring to, she claimed that author Jerry Lembcke’s new book, "Hanoi Jane: War, Sex, and Fantasies of Betrayal," dispels the "myth," and asserted that it is "sad" that some conservatives are "still stuck in the past":
JANE FONDA: No, it's about the myth, you know, why it is that 300 people went to North Vietnam, people, many people before me, why me, why have they created this myth? You know, when I came back from North Vietnam, there was maybe a quarter of an inch of media about it in the New York Times. Nobody made any big deal out of it. It was created, and some people are stuck-
LARRY KING: By critics?
FONDA: By right wingers. There are some people who are like stuck there, you know, they're still stuck in the past. I always want to say, "Get a life," or, you know, "Read what really happened," you know. The myths are now true.
Referring to people who sometimes protest against her, she continued: "But it makes me sad for these people who are stuck because they've not taken the time – if they're going to waste their energy on hatred, they should take the time in finding out what was really true."
The "obesity epidemic" is the fault of poor individual choices and sedentary lifestyles, but in the news, blame typically falls on companies, rather than on the individual. CNN has attacked grocer stores, restaurants and food manufacturers for creating supposedly "addictive" products and in story after story called for more food regulations, taxes or other intervention.
CNN's hearty appetite for food control has gone on for years. They've waged a war on obesity all while promoting government meddling like higher taxes on drinks made with "cheap" corn syrup to fight the "obesity epidemic," health zoning prohibiting fast food restaurants from South L.A. and trans-fat bans just for starters. CNN even criticized supermarkets for wanting customers to buy products from them, back in 2006.
CNN's Larry King, moderating a panel discussing the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal on his program on Tuesday, tossed softballs at noted anti-Catholic Sinead O'Connor, who recently pushed for Catholics to stop attending Mass. By contrast, King hostilely interrogated former Miss California USA Carrie Prejean in November 2009, to the point where she almost walked out of the interview.
The CNN host spent the second half of his 9 pm Eastern program to the Church scandal, bringing on Sinead O'Connor, two Catholic priests, the Catholic League's Bill Donahue, and former CNN anchor Thomas Roberts, a victim of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest when he was a teenager. After introducing his guests, King first turned to O'Connor and asked her about the previous segment, where he had interviewed two alleged victims of Father Lawrence Murphy, who was accused of molesting up to 200 deaf boys: "Did you hear the earlier guests talk about this, and what did you think about what they said?" Later, the anchor asked the Irish musician, "What do you think His Holiness [Pope Benedict XVI] should do?"
CNN's ratings woes continue. The cable news network trails its three competitors in every prime time slot. The Fox News Channel, meanwhile, is enjoying record ratings.
Even Joy Behar, HLN's pseudo-newscaster at the 9 pm slot, beat CNN's Larry King Live 21 times during the first quarter of 2010. King suffered the worst ratings of his CNN career.
Anderson Cooper, who used to rely on King's historically impressive viewership for a ratings boost of his own, dropped 42 percent of his viewers. All this despite his coverage of major news events this year such as the Haiti earthquake and the health care battle on the Hill.
During an interview on Wednesday’s Larry King Live on CNN, actress Betty White recounted a controversial joke from October 2008 when she called Sarah Palin a "crazy b****" during an appearance on CBS's Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson as she pretended to be then-presidential candidate John McCain’s speechwriter for a skit. Her recitation of the line inspired laughter from host King, as he praised the actress as having "good delivery." White also informed King that the line had been written by Ferguson or his writers as it was part of a pre-planned sketch.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Wednesday, March 17, Larry King Live on CNN, followed by a transcript of the relevant clip of the Late Late Show on CBS from October 2008:
CPAC, the annual Conservative Political Action Conference begins Feb. 18. Conservative leaders will rally the troops before the mid-term elections in November and discuss the future role of conservatives in politics.
One person who will not be in attendance is Meghan McCain, despite the year-long media attempt to make citizens believe she is somehow representative of conservatives. She tweeted on Feb. 11, "I have no idea where this weird rumor I am speaking at CPAC came from, it isn't true and I will not be attending or speaking."
McCain, the 25-year-old daughter of former Republican presidential nominee John McCain and a writer for The Daily Beast, has taken it upon herself to tell the GOP what needs to be fixed within the party. Because she calls herself a Republican, media outlets have perpetuated the notion that she is also conservative. By doing that, they've pushed a liberal social agenda that directly conflicts with conservative values.
Writer Kathleen Parker, herself no stranger to conservative bashing, praised McCain last spring as "one smart cookie" who "in a matter weeks ... has created a brand, presenting herself as a fresh face of her daddy's party and voice of young conservatives."
Jonathan Capehart of The Washington Post and a contributor to MSNBC, suggested last summer that "maybe what the Republican Party is going to have to do is skip a generation and wait for the Meghan McCains to come of age so they can run for office and take over the mantle of the party."
Either Bill Maher was doing his best effort to impersonate Mel Brooks as King Louis XVI in "History in the World, Part I" or he has a complete and utter disregard for the intellectual competency of the American people.
Maher, a perennial bomb thrower with a hard left ideology appeared on CNN's Feb. 16 "Larry King Live," facing the king of softball interviews, Larry King, and let it be known he thought alleged terrorism plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed should be tried in New York City and that health care should be forced through by the Obama administration, despite the wishes of the American people.
And why should the American people's wishes be ignored? They're "not bright enough."
"But what the Democrats never understand is that Americans don't really care what position you take, just stick with one," Maher said. "Just be strong. They're not bright enough to really understand the issues. But like an animal, they can sort of sense strength or weakness. They can smell it on you."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Sunday that CNN's Larry King does a better job interrogating his guests than Justice Department officials did with Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab after his capture.
Speaking with John King on CNN's "State of the Union" about whether terrorist trials should be held in civil courts, McConnell said, "What we need to do is deny these people a show trial."
He continued, "We need to proceed to interrogate them, which you couldn't do obviously with the Christmas bomber."
Then came the zinger, "I mean, Larry King would have a more thorough interrogation of one of his witnesses than the Christmas bomber had by the Justice Department" (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t Politico):
Left-wing talker Stephanie Miller inaccurately claimed on CNN’s Larry King Live on Thursday that former President Clinton “put the Cole bombers in jail.” Miller also predictably blasted former President Bush for not “taking responsibility for 9/11,” in contrast to President Obama’s recent acceptance of responsibility for intelligence failures prior to the attempted underwear bombing on Christmas [audio clip from the segment available here].
Host Larry King first turned to the leftist talk show host during a panel discussion which began 12 minutes into the 9 pm Eastern hour: “Stephanie, the President said the buck stops with him. Was that a good move today?” Miller immediately made her full Bush Derangement Syndrome apparent in her response:
MILLER: Well, it’s certainly a different move than we ever heard in the Bush administration. I never heard anybody taking responsibility for 9/11, for Katrina. I thought he stepped to the plate. And I couldn’t disagree with Paul Bremer [who appeared in the previous segment] more, Larry. I think he [Obama] is prosecuting the exact same way President Bush prosecuted the shoe bomber, Richard Reid, as a criminal. You don’t want to make them holy warriors. You want to prosecute them as what they are and that’s criminals, and that’s what Clinton did when he put the previous- you know, Cole bombers in jail, instead of letting them get away, like Osama bin Laden.
It's New Year's Eve and you have the choice of ringing in 2010 by partying or watching Larry King. Most normal people would choose the former option but for the very few who watched Larry King that evening, they were treated to quite a surprise as they watched the show which was guest hosted by Candy Crowley (Was Larry ringing in the New Year at Nate 'n' Al's?).
The surprise came in the form of Liberal Marc Lamont Hill gaving a rather harsh political assessment of President Obama. Here is just a taste of what Hill had to say about Obama, followed by more criticism in the transcript below the fold:
He's absolutely overplayed his hand. He kind of came in arriving the -- riding the wave of his own awesomeness. ...The fact that he had done 110 interviews and 110 talks on health care and the American people weren't persuaded, it showed that people like him, but they didn't find his argument persuasive. It was almost as if he said if they just see my face one more time and listen to me one more time, they'll be convinced...
CNN’s Larry King equated efforts against further regulation of the banking industry to letting the mentally ill run their psych wards on his program on Monday. King pressed conservative columnist S. E. Cupp: “Banks are lobbying against a bill to tighten regulatory controls. Are you going to let the inmates run the asylum? You don’t think we should regulate banks?” [audio clips from the segment available here]
The CNN host moderated a panel discussion on the economy during the first segments of the program. The panel surprisingly leaned to the right on economic issues. Besides Cupp, King had Penn Gilette and Larry Elder, both libertarians, and liberal former Clinton administration official Robert Reich. After the host used the “inmates run the asylum” idiom in his question, the columnist first answered that “we do need regulation, but it’s putting them in a really tough spot.” King interrupted with a blunt one-word question: “So?”
Despite all the campaign assurances that he would see the Afghan war effort through, liberals are incensed that Obama is following through on his pledge to, you know, win. The latest lefty to excoriate the president for pursuing America's enemies abroad is veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas, who today lamented that Obama must now be dubbed a "war president."
"Obama should remember his own battle cry and tell the hawks: 'Yes, we can,' " Thomas wrote today in her syndicated column for Hearst Newspapers. Maybe he should also remember his insistence that Afghanistan "is not a war of choice. This is a war of necessity."
And he has remembered those wise words. But his supporters, who flocked to the "good war" cause as way to contrast Democratic national security efforts with the supposedly ill-intentioned Iraq war--and rip on George Bush in the process--have exhausted the political usefulness of Afghanistan, and are now calling for withdrawal.
CNN’s Larry King carried water for President Obama’s move to send more troops to Afghanistan during an interview of Michael Moore on early Wednesday morning. King later shifted further to the left, asking Moore if he agreed with Jesse Ventura’s call for a new draft and a “war tax” and quoting from Bob Herbert of the New York Times, who labeled the Afghan war a “tragic mistake.”
The CNN host interviewed the famous left-wing director for the first two segments of his program. Near the end of the first segment, King sought Moore’s take on something from his interview of Ventura, whom he interviewed the night before: “Jesse Ventura said last night- and he agrees with your position, by the way- that we should consider bringing back the draft and we should have a war tax so that people suffer if we’re all going to pay a price for this. What do you think?”
The leftist one-upped his celebrity counterpart: “There would be no increase in the troops if there was a draft and if people had to pay for it. I actually have proposed bringing back the draft now for some years, but only draft the children of those in the upper five percent income bracket, because if the wealthy have to send their kids over to Iraq or Afghanistan, trust me, there won’t be many wars.”
The host quoted from Herbert in his last question to Moore: “Bob Herbert, writing in The New York Times today, called this a ‘tragic mistake,’ and then he quotes Dwight David Eisenhower...Eisenhower said, ‘I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can and as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, and its stupidity.’And then he said- this will impress you, I think- Eisenhower: ‘Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.’ That’s from a four star general and a president.”
Naomi Wolf on Monday accused former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin of being part of a "cabal" involving George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Karl Rove.
The feminist author and political consultant made this accusation on CNN's "Larry King Live."
Fortunately, former Bush adviser Mary Matalin was there to contest Wolf's absurdities:
[T]his is why people think liberals are such fringies. I mean you -- you run around saying that she's such a dope, but you were all duped by the dope. That's what you've said about George Bush, too.
In the end, the paranoia on display, as well as the unchecked hatred for Palin, was nothing less than remarkable -- but Matalin was there to bring some sanity to the discussion (video embedded below the fold with transcript, h/t Story Balloon):
Just over a week after using the term “far right” three times in a row in one night, CNN’s Larry King used the term “right wing” three times during an interview of Al Gore on his program on Thursday. King first questioned Gore about “the rise of the right wing” and “right wing radio” in the context of the health care debate, and later asked the former vice president, “ Is the right wing bigger than its bite?”
The CNN host lead his hour-long interview with Gore with a ringing endorsement of the Democrat’s new book: “We are so honored to welcome back Al Gore to the show, the former vice president of the United States and the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and the best-selling author, all in one person. His new book is ‘Our Choice.’ There you see it. It’s a plan to solve the climate crisis, and it is brilliantly put together.”
Thirteen minutes into the 9 pm Eastern hour, King raised the issue of the Tea Parties with Gore: “What do you make of the rise of the right wing, these rallies and dealing with health care- we’ll move to health care in a minute. Right-wing radio- they take you on pretty good.” As you might expect the “green godfather” (as Katie Couric put it) hinted the anti-ObamaCare activists were being unreasonable: “Well yeah, it’s not entirely new in American politics. We have had a strain like this in our politics for a long time, and there are extreme voices all along the ideological spectrum. And we just have to focus on building the health and strength of our democracy and hope that the voices of reason and deliberation will prevail.”
At the top of Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez declared: “...former Miss California, Carrie Prejean, almost walks off Larry King Live, saying his questions were inappropriate.” The headline on screen read: “Prejean Pouts.”
Co-host Russ Mitchell later reported in a news brief: “Prejean nearly walked out on CNN interviewer Larry King last night. Prejean had answered questions about a sex tape she made as a teenager....She then refused several times to discuss a settlement she reached with the Miss USA Pageant, but King persisted.” Mitchell failed to provide the context that Prejean had already completed a 30-minute interview with King and was strangly brought back for the final few minutes of the show.
Later in his report, Mitchell explained: “King tried to go to a caller from Detroit, but Prejean removed her mic and prepared to leave. She then changed her mind and completed the interview. She never did answer Mr. King’s question.” Co-host Harry Smith later noted: “And the fact is – is the reason she was pulling her mic is because she said ahead of time she wasn’t going to take questions from callers.”
Who says Larry King only throws softballs to guests? If you're a conservative, the CNN host has a wicked fastball.
Former Miss California Carrie Prejean appeared on the Nov. 11 "Larry King Live" to promote her new book, "Still Standing." Tension ran deep, with Prejean accusing the host of being "inappropriate" and at one point, taking off her microphone and threatening to walk-off the set.
King also blindsided Prejean, who famously spoke out against same-sex marriage in the Miss USA pageant last April, with a caller who asked her, "I'm a gay man and I love pageants. I'm sure that you, Carrie, have got great gay friends that helped you possibly win. What would you give them as advice if they wanted to get married?"
Coverage of Tuesday's election night took place during prime time, giving cable news partisans the responsibility of tracking and reporting details on the elections. Many observers, fed up with the substandard coverage of the networks' opinion commentators, turned to Twitter for up-to-the-minute coverage.
Election followers on Twitter displayed their discontent towards cable news stations throughout the night. Twitterer Some1ToShoutFor lamented, "I know this isn't a huge election, but you would think CNN would be covering it a little bit."
Another, with the ironic username msnbcwatcher, complained of hyper-partisan Ed Schultz's coverage: "What makes @MSNBC think that Ed Schultz should be on TV more? Is there no 1 else to do election coverage? Wheres @DavidShuster?"
During a live midnight EST hour Larry King Live Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, CNN's Larry King repeatedly employed the “far right” pejorative to describe those who backed the unsuccessful New York congressional bid of the Conservative Party's Doug Hoffman. After Wolf Blitzer announced at 12:15 AM EST that CNN had declared Democrat Bill Owens the winner, King blurted: “That may be the first defeat for the far right tonight.”
About 15 minutes later, King pressed Amanda Carpenter of the Washington Times: “Since the far right did get into that race in upstate New York, is this a legitimate defeat for them tonight?”
And a few minutes after that, King forwarded the notion “the far right” is a “threat” to the GOP, asking Ben Stein: “Do you see the far right as evidenced by -- we all know who they are -- as a threat to your party?”
What happens when you have James Carville prodding Larry King to ask a "tough" question of outspoken Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann? You get a glimpse of what is really driving the movement questioning the legitimacy of President Barack Obama's birthplace.
On CNN's Oct. 7 "Larry King Live," a persistent Carville would not let it go - that Bachmann was a part of the so-called "birther" movement - a tactic to frame her as "nutty."
"Well, first of all, there are seven Republicans in the House that have ‘birther' legislation before in there," Carville said. "And one of the things that people don't like is that politicians get a simple yes or no question and they try to evade it, just like I heard the Congresswoman do. She's known to be very outspoken."