That didn't take long at all. A few days after Don Imus' racially-charged remarks about the Rutgers women's basketball team, CNN set its sights on Rush Limbaugh and other conservative talk radio hosts. On Tuesday's "Paula Zahn Now," host Paula Zahn teased an upcoming segment by noting, "If you think some of the things Don Imus says are insulting, you haven't heard anything yet." She then played Rush Limbaugh's criticism of embryonic stem cell advocate Michael J. Fox from last fall.
Later, in the segment itself, Zahn juxtaposed Don Imus's words with controversial remarks by Limbaugh, Neal Boortz, Michael Savage, and Randi Rhodes -- three conservative/libertarian hosts to one ultra left-wing host. Then on his Wednesday evening program, CNN host Larry King gave former Air America radio host and Senate candidate Al Franken (D-Minn.) a platform to attack conservative talkers.
Please forgive the slightly vulgar headline, but HBO’s Bill Maher was Larry King’s guest on CNN Monday evening. As one would expect, the controversial comedian pulled no punches concerning his views about current events, and seemed to have the term in question quite on his mind.
For instance, Maher suggested what Ann Coulter really meant with her remark at CPAC about John Edwards was the following: "[It's code word for the Democrats are -- I hope I can say this -- you said faggot -- pussies.”
A tad later, Maher once again used this term to describe the left when he castigated Democrats for pulling out of the scheduled debate in Nevada due to the host station being Fox News. Maher declared emphatically, “They're pussies!”
In order for the context of his remarks to make sense, a partial transcript of this sequence follows for your entertainment pleasure (h/t Hot Air with video available here):
When it comes to the subject of global warming, members of the media have lost all restraint. CNN’s Larry King nervously wondered if climate change might "really kill us all?" Could it "submerge cities like New York and Washington and San Francisco under floods from melting Arctic ice caps?" Not to be outdone, "Good Morning America’s" weatherman warned of the dire threat of global warming. The next day, an ABC graphic fretted, "Will billions diefrom global warming?"
For anyone that questioned whether "Newsweek" is biased, public appearances by the magazine’s top staffers should answer the question. Editor Jon Meacham suggested that President Bush is outside "reality." "Newsweek" columnist Anna Quindlen recently debunked the "myth" that Hillary Clinton is a liberal.
There was an extraordinary debate about global warming on CNN’s “Larry King Live” Wednesday night that perfectly demonstrated the battle that is waging on this issue. In particular, it marvelously depicted the hysteria being exhibited by the media versus the reason of those who actually make a living analyzing the problem.
For instance, King began the discussion:
Tonight, what is global warming? Could it really kill us all, submerge cities like New York and Washington and San Francisco under floods from melting Arctic ice caps? Cause deadly heat waves lasting weeks? Would such a disaster be manmade?
Some bedside manner, wouldn’t you agree?
After playing some video clips of frightened Senators, and a petrified Al Gore, King turned to Weather Channel climate expert Heidi Cullen:
Hillary has to be nervous. At this juncture in the campaign, she’s being edged out in the Goo Primary. Her natural allies in the media suddenly are more adulatory toward Barack Obama – and more defensive of anyone who would dare question his exotic biography.
Insight magazine, a long-standing publication of The Washington Times Company, published a gossipy item with anonymous “Democratic Party” sources (they claimed some of them came from Hillary’s camp) that Obama had attended a madrassa, a radical Islamic school, in Indonesia as a child. The story was unproven, and should not have been published in its sorry condition.
Appearing on Tuesday’s "Larry King Live," comedienne Kathy Griffin claimed to be so liberal that she refers to herself as a Sandinista and not a Democrat. On the same program, Griffin took delight in the downfall of Christian evangelical leader Ted Haggard, telling CNN’s Larry King that she "love[s] it." It’s unclear why King asked the D-list star about the scandal, perhaps he hoped to bate her into another hateful rant. Later in the program, Griffin offered a clue as to why she would be so effusive over a reverend’s fall from grace. Regarding religion, she claimed to not "believe in any of that crap." King led Griffin into the discussion with his ususal odd segue :
Larry King: "Before we talk about your folks and freebies, what do you make of Ted Haggard, the minister and the choir boy?"
Kathy Griffin: "I love it. I think it's hysterical because it's always, like, the ultra-right-wing conservatives that are banging the kids and the prostitutes and doing the crystal meth. Foley, delicious. Did you read those e-mails? ‘Do I make you horny?’ ‘No, grandpa, back off. And I'm changing the lock to the dorm.’ I mean, you know, if you're doing that stuff, don't be on the ethics committees, don't be a preacher. I saw that documentary, ‘Jesus Camp’ because you guys showed a clip of it on the show. He's kind of busted on that. He's all freaky."
As NewsBuster Brad Wilmouth reported, comedian Bill Maher was on with CNN’s Larry King Wednesday night saying some rather outrageous things. Beyond his derogatory comments about President Bush, Maher told King: “A lot of the chiefs of staff, the people who really run the underpinnings of the Republican Party, are gay.” When King pressed Maher for names, Maher said, “Ken Mehlman” (video here).
King then questioned Maher’s sincerity: “I never heard that. I'm walking around in a fog. I never...Ken Mehlman? I never heard that. But the question is...”
Maher answered: “Maybe you don't go to the same bathhouse I do, Larry.”
Now, according to the Huffington Post – which has video of both segments here – when CNN replayed this show, it cut out this part. Makes one wonder why. Regardless, what follows is a full transcript of this segment.
Appearing on CNN's Larry King Live on Wednesday, comedian Bill Maher, while discussing the recent John Kerry gaffe interpreted by many as an attack on the intelligence of American troops, wondered why Americans would believe a "true war hero" like Kerry would be "against the troops." Ignoring Kerry's history in the 1970s of giving testimony before Congress accusing American troops of committing war crimes, and his 2005 charge that American troops in Iraq were "terrorizing" civilians, Maher contended that Kerry should have "called out" President Bush, referring to the President as a "draft dodger."
Below is a transcript of Maher's comments from the November 8 Larry King Live:
Brent Bozell recalled for us today that on Tuesday night's "Larry King Live," conservative talk show host Neal Boortz let leftist host Stephanie Miller have it for dropping the usual Hitler line, against Rush Limbaugh in this case. Boortz and Miller were on along with liberal Ed Schultz and conservative San Diego host Mark Larson, a friend of mine. Just before the last commercial break, they were discussing Rush Limbaugh, and the bomb dropped.
Stephanie Miller: "I -- you know, we do a segment called "Right Wing World" every day when we play sound bites. And by the way Neal, a couple of the things you said, you've been in there a few times, buddy, keep going. But I've got to say, this was the morning -- this was like the springtime for Hitler face. This, I could not -- first of all, maybe he shouldn't talk about other people's drug problem. But secondly, it just is beyond awful. I don't even know how you -- I can't believe we're having this discussion on whether it's appropriate to accuse Michael J. Fox of faking his Parkinson's symptoms because you don't agree with him."
Pundits are pondering Bill Clinton’s feverish attack on “Fox News Sunday,” laying into Chris Wallace for alleged oh-so-clever smirking and pounding the host’s leg with his pointy finger for emphasis.
No one asked if Clinton’s outburst hurt the publicity for his “Clinton Global Initiative.” (It didn’t help.) The first question was: staged outrage, or a spontaneous reaction? It’s quite a commentary on the Slick One that millions on both sides of the political fence would guess he plotted this tantrum in advance. Count me in on that number. I believe it was staged, a plan to please left-wingers who loathe Fox News with a passion and want them demonized as the communications center of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.
Actor Sean Penn, in a taped Larry King Live interview aired Thursday night on CNN to promote his new movie, All the King's Men, in which he plays a Huey Long-like character, suggested President Bush may bring fascism to America, charged that Bush has “devastated our democracy,” insisted Donald Rumsfeld and Bush have done “enormous damage” to “this country and mankind” and claimed the war on terrorism is meant to distract from reality.
Clearly referring to President Bush, a smirking Penn recalled: “Well, in 1932 Huey Long said something very interesting. It was, 'Fascism will come to America, but likely under another name, perhaps anti-fascism.'” Later, Penn fulminated about how “party clowns like Don Rumsfeld could be described as, as far as I'm concerned, except for the enormous damage he's done this country and mankind -- and our President -- and saw that they're getting out there and they're beating this drum, to drown out, as they did in 2002, to drown out other -- in that case it was Enron. Now we have another situation, so it's this war on terror, boom, boom, boom. Drown out the reality of what's really happening.” Penn also argued: “No Democrat that doesn't have a plan to get our troops out of Iraq should be voted for.”
Whenever comedians make jokes about America or its people, folks are quick to defend their statements as being innocent and intentionally sarcastic just to evoke laughter. The implication is that such entertainers really don’t hate America, or Republicans for that matter, but are just kidding. Well, on August 28, Bill Maher was Larry King’s guest (replayed on September 2), and his statements about the United States and her people should quell the view that opinions he is expressing on HBO’s “Real Time” such as those identified here are done so just to get a laugh (audio link to follow with full transcript).
For example, Maher showed little regard for America by stating (emphasis mine): “You know, this country is, I've said this before, I'm going to keep saying it, it's a pitiful, helpless giant.” Think he was kidding? Later, Maher elaborated:
In a special bonus feature in our ongoing “Friday Night Fights” segment, a real barnburner took place Wednesday evening on CNN’s “Larry King Live.” In the left corner, Air America radio personality Randi Rhodes. In the right corner, nationally syndicated radio host Neal Boortz (hat tip to Ms Underestimated with extraordinary video to follow).
As fight lovers would expect, this was a classic battle between the conservative approach to boxing with the more progressive tactics of an extreme southpaw. This was evidenced right after the opening bell, as Boortz jabbed with why Israel has to defend itself:
Imagine you're Larry King. You've landed the first interview with Floyd Landis, the winner of the Tour de France with a great feel-good story - until he flunked a drug test.
What would be the first question you'd ask? OK, this is Larry King. Not known as the 'king' of the hardball, so to speak. So grant Larry a few warm-up questions to put Floyd at ease. But eventually, at some point, as painful as it might be, DON'T YOU HAVE TO ASK LANDIS IF HE CHEATED?? I mean, what the heck else is the purpose of the interview?
But along with millions of others [OK, Larry's ratings haven't been that great in recent years. Let's say 'thousands of others'] I waited in vain for a question that never came. Larry King never asked Floyd Landis if he took performance-enhancing drugs that accounted for the high testosterone ratio levels the post-race test detected.
Declaring he “absolutely” believes “the truth” of his discredited story based on forged memos, about President Bush's National Guard record, on Wednesday's Larry King Live on CNN Dan Rather contended that “we had a lot, a lot of corroboration, of what we broadcast about President Bush's military record. It wasn't just the documents.” Rather then attacked those who dared to expose his misdeeds: “It's a very old technique used, that when those who don't like what you're reporting believe it can be hurtful, then they look for the weakest spot and attack it, which is fair enough. It's a diversionary technique."
A bit later, Rather played the martyr. Reminded by King of how Rather's CBS News was called “the liberal network,” Rather charged: "They call you names when you insist on being independent.” Rather proceeded to insist, clearly talking about himself, that journalists who are “willing to be truly independent, and fiercely independent when called upon, and dedicated to pulling no punches and playing no favorites have become in recent years a bit of an endangered species.” Rather even resurrected how CBS “took on” Senator McCarthy and “led in coverage of the only President in history who resigned as an unindicted co-conspirator in a widespread criminal conspiracy. Now, when you're a reporter involved in those kinds of stories on a regular basis, there are...powerful people who say we've got to get rid of this guy or...we're going to damage him up. And that's when they start hanging the signs around you."
Video clip #1, Rather "absolutely" believes Bush story "true" (43 seconds): Real (1.3 MB) or Windows Media (1.5 MB), plus MP3 audio (260 KB)
Video clip #2, Rather denounces his critics and insists he's "fiercely independent" (2:32): Real (4.4 MB) or Windows Media (5 MB at 256 kbps or 1.7 MB at 100 kbps), plus MP3 audio (900 KB)
New York Times TV writer Alessandra Stanley reviewed George and Laura Bush's Thursday night interview on CNN's "Larry King Live" as a desperately needed chance for a softball interview. "The standoff with North Korea over its missile tests, the war in Iraq and ever-sliding ratings in the polls have given the president little reason to celebrate. Mr. King gave the president a chance to defend his policies without risk of interruption or follow-up."
This adjective, "ever-sliding," may be what Miss Stanley wishes and hopes for, but it could not be described as accurate. Bush fans would look silly to describe Bush's poll ratings as good. But they have been creeping upward since the killing of Iraqi al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The PollingReport.com summary shows that several polls have him up a bit since a low point in early May:
Last night CNN and Larry King gave the Democratic party a generous election year gift. King’s guests consisted of 9liberal Democrat Senators, four of whom are up for reelection in November, and 0 Republicans. Larry King noted that a few weeks ago he had the Republicans on. However, that program, on May 18th, was designed to have Republicans fight each other and show divisions in the Republican party. But last night, Larry King made it clear this was going to be an opportunity for these Democratic Senators to show unity and attack the Bush Administration and the Republican Party:
"Tonight, exclusive, all 9 Democratic women of the United States Senate [Senators Hillary Clinton-NY, Barbara Boxer-CA, Dianne Feinstein-CA, Patty Murray-WA, Maria Cantwell-WA, Debbie Stabenow-MI, Barbara Mikulski-MD, Blanche Lincoln-AK, and Mary Landrieu-LA]. Could one of them become the first female President? How do they think Bush is doing, and how would they do it differently? Together for the hour next on Larry King Live."
Continuing their endless media blitz to promote their latest album, the Dixie Chicks were Larry King’s guests May 31. When asked by King about her 2003 remarks at a London concert where she said she was ashamed that President Bush was a fellow Texan, lead singer Natalie Maines maintained that her "genius" comment was spontaneous and that she believed she was "defending" America.
Natalie Maines: They [the comments] were not planned. That genius comes to me off-the-cuff...I felt like I was defending America by saying that we don’t all think the same and you can’t just call us Americans like we have one voice and one opinion.
Whatever her intentions may have been, her swipe at the President was read by many fans of the group as an easy way to score some applause from a friendly audience overseas.
Longtime "60 Minutes" correspondent Mike Wallace has finally announced his retirement. His son, Chris Wallace, is host of "Fox News Sunday." On Wednesday both men appeared on "Larry King Live" to discuss the father's retirement and the son's ongoing career.
Chris Wallace chided his father for "complaining and whining" about never getting to meet the president. He said that he has "actually met the president--and several times--and been to a State of the Union briefing where he had lunch with us and discussed things."
The son jokingly added, "I'm happy to pass my father's best wishes onto the president the next time I see him."
Mike Wallace said his son only gets close to the president because he "works for Fox."
Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, used his February 27 appearance on Larry King Live to take some political jabs at the Bush administration. Stewart launched several attacks against the Bush White House, including his charge that the administration has "shown no real credibility."
Jon Stewart: "...My mind has been blown just so consistently by this administration’s insistence on their own competence without ever, sort of, delivering, kind of, any sort of evidence to that...They say trust us, everything’s fine. Yet,they’ve shown no real credibility."
In response to a question on the public’s reaction over the controversial deal between the U.S. and a United Arab Emirates-owned company to manage six American ports, Stewart went on the attack again:
Stewart: "I keep wondering what it takes to get fired from this administration. It seems like, literally, the worse you do, the bigger the medal you get."
The rest of Stewart’s liberal talking points are behind the cut.
On his Countdown show Thursday, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann attacked FNC host Bill O'Reilly for comments O'Reilly made on The O'Reilly Factor during a January 31 discussion of CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour's recent declaration, previously reported by NewsBusters (with video), that the Iraq War has been a "disaster." Presumably inspired once again by his frequent source, the far-left Media Matters for America, Olbermann quoted O'Reilly as saying, "You can draw by that that she has a rooting interest in it being a disaster."
However, after examining a larger portion of the discussion, which was omitted in the Media Matters article posted earlier in the day Thursday, this comment by O'Reilly appears to be taken out of context, as it makes it seem that O'Reilly was making a gratuitous attack on Amanpour. Although O'Reilly's precise meaning is debatable, it is arguable that he was making the point that because she has now publicly announced her opinion that the war is a disaster, it threatens the credibility of her future reporting on the war with CNN's audience because if the war turns out favorably, it could be an embarrassment to her. (Complete transcript follows.)
“The war in Iraq has basically turned out to be a disaster,” Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s chief international correspondent, declared from London live on Monday’s Larry King Live. In the segment in which journalists discussed the serious injury from a bomb in Iraq to ABC anchor Bob Woodruff and cameraman Doug Vogt, she lamented how “journalists have paid for it, paid for the privilege of witnessing and reporting that.” She added: “For some reason which I can't fathom, the kind of awful thing that's going on there now on a daily basis has almost become humdrum. So when something happens to people that we identify, like Bob and like Doug, we wake up again and realize, no, this is not acceptable, what's going on there. And it's a terrible situation." King replied: “Well said.” Later, in a segment on kidnaped journalist Jill Carroll, Amanpour asserted that “by any indicator Iraq is a black hole” and a “spiraling security disaster.” A DrudgeReport.com posting alerted me to Amanpour’s remarks. (Transcript follows.)
Straight to the point: Oprah has a lot of explaining to do. After reading the article, you're almost forced to conclude one of two things:
She runs an operation that's so intimidating that people within her company who knew better felt they couldn't speak out.
Or, she knew about Frey's Lies and has been an active participant in a monumental literary hoax.
Are there any other choices?
Specifically, addiction counselors at the rehab center where Frey was treated, including a frequent guest on Oprah's show, are outraged at Frey's descriptions of what happened there; are concerned that Frey's Lies may keep others from getting needed treatment; and claim that Oprah's people, if not Oprah herself, knew well in advance that the parts of Frey's book relating to his rehab were largely false (free registration required; link within story added by me; bolds are mine):
Every day, somebody at CNN picks a couple of video segments for their “Best of TV” section on their video page. From what I can tell, they can come from any of the various news categories CNN reports on such as world, business, politics, sports, health, etc. Of all the segments that they air during a given day and reproduce for their video page, typically only a couple are chosen for the “Best of TV” section.
On Friday, one of the three videos that made CNN’s “Best of TV” list was a 53 second clip of Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-California) making a variety of accusations directed at the Bush administration on “Larry King Live.” In her rant, Boxer blamed Bush for the entire Plamegate affair, while claiming that the intent was “to punish a man's family because he told the truth about weapons of mass destruction.”
What follows is a full transcript of what CNN felt was the “Best of TV” last Friday, along with a video link.
On CNN’s “Larry King Live” last night, retired CBS News anchorman Walter Cronkite said Americans are ignorant, and that the majority of the population isn’t smart enough to make the proper decisions at election time to vote for president.
In a tirade about America not paying its teachers enough, Cronkite said:
“We're an ignorant nation right now. We're not really capable I do not think the majority of our people of making the decisions that have to be made at election time and particularly in the selection of their legislatures and their Congress and the presidency of course.”
What follows is a full transcript of this encounter, and a video link.
Pop singer Celine Dion, on with Larry King this Saturday, went on a rather impassioned tirade about conditions in New Orleans. In her rant, she suggested that Americans should turn a blind eye to looters, while implying that there is a certain hypocrisy between the war in Iraq and those not evacuated prior to Katrina making landfall.
While some cable TV hosts are making their living off the Natalee Holloway case this summer, Bob Costas is having none of it.
Costas, hired by CNN as an occasional fill-in on "Larry King Live," refused to anchor Thursday's show because it was primarily about the Alabama teenager who went missing in Aruba. Chris Pixley filled in at the last minute.
"I didn't think the subject matter of Thursday's show was the kind of broadcast I should be doing," Costas said in a statement. "I suggested some alternatives but the producers preferred the topics they had chosen. I was fine with that, and respectfully declined to participate."
The Natalee Holloway story is very sad, but should have run its course months ago. Thanks to a slow news summer (at least until Cindy Sheehan showed up), the story had legs far beyond that which would have been expected. The tropical paradise, the beautiful blond...everything a tabloid show could wish for.