During Thursday night’s Democratic presidential debate on CNN, Senators Clinton and Obama actually face two question that reflected a conservative agenda. CNN’s John King asked the candidates about the border fence and the surge in Iraq, topics that are not usually highlighted by the mainstream media.
King, during a portion of the debate concerning illegal immigration about a half hour into the 8 pm Eastern hour, asked Hillary Clinton about her vote in 2006 to support the construction of a border fence.
The same day CNN’s Allison Flexner, an one-time producer of Cuban stories, apparently issued a memo instructing how the "resignation" of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro was to be covered, CNN’s chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour neatly matched one of the points made in the memo during two segments on Tuesday’s "American Morning."
During the first segment, which was six minutes into 7 am Eastern hour, Amanpour heralded Cuba being "a leader in many things such as education, health care -- all of those things that it has been able to bring to its people, but not the fundamentals" such as "openness, freedom, the ability to have enough wherewithal, and, you know, the same kind of bread and butter issues that everybody all around the world wants."
CNN’s "American Morning" co-host John Roberts and CNN senior political correspondent Candy Crowley gushed over the "historic" nature of the Obama and Clinton race for the Democratic presidential nomination. Roberts seemed almost giddy over the coming primaries on Super Tuesday. "Yeah, it is going to be a transformational primary here on the Democratic side of things. Do you get a sense that people are recognizing this idea of the grandeur of history involved here?"
Roberts echoed his colleague at CNN Wolf Blitzer, who began the debate Thursday night by declaring, "This is truly an historic moment for the Democratic Party. It's the first time that we will see a woman and an African-American vying for the Democratic presidential nomination."
Doyle McManus, Washington Bureau Chief for the Los Angeles Times, and one of the three members of the mainstream media who asked questions at Thursday night’s Democratic presidential debate on CNN, neglected to mention Hillary Clinton’s previous waffling on the subject of driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants when he asked the former First Lady about the issue. "Senator Clinton, Senator Obama has said that he favors allowing illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses, and you opposed that idea. Why?"
As CNSNews Editor-in-Chief Terry Jeffrey noted after the November 15, 2007 Democratic debate (where Clinton answered that she did not support licenses for illegal immigrants), Clinton, with that answer, contradicted what she had said in an interview with the Nashua [N.H.] Telegraph on October 17, 2007, almost a month earlier. In the interview, Clinton voiced support for New York Governor Eliot Spitzer’s plan to give illegal immigrants driver’s licenses, stating that "it makes a lot of sense." When Tim Russert asked Clinton about the issue at the Democratic presidential debate in Philadelphia two weeks later on October 30, she gave, as Jeffrey put it, "a long and apparently contradictory series of answers about whether to give illegals driver's licenses."
Over the course of at least nine months, CNN’s John Roberts has regularly labeled the troop surge in Iraq, the amassing of 28,000 additional troops in the country, the "so-called surge." Liberals, such as George Lakoff, have objected to the term "surge" in the past, since using the term would "subscribe to Bush’s misleading frame." Roberts' latest use of the phrase took place on Monday’s "American Morning." He posed the following question to White House Press Secretary Dana Perino. "The President is also going to be talking about Iraq tonight, Dana. He'll be talking, I guess, about the so-called surge, progress that's been made in terms of security and safety there. But there still has been little political progress. What's the President's message to Nouri Al-Maliki and the people who are in charge there in Iraq going to be tonight?"
This isn’t the first time Roberts has used the "so-called surge" phrase in an interview with Perino. In an April 20, 2007 interview with then-Deputy White House Press Secretary, Roberts asked, "You say that this so-called surge is working, that things are getting better. There are 182 people killed the other day in Baghdad, is that really getting better?"
CNN’s senior political correspondent Candy Crowley, in a report on Thursday’s "Newsroom" program about college student participation in the Iowa caucuses, featured two supporters of Democratic presidential candidates, one for Barack Obama, and the other a supporter of Hillary Clinton. While host Kyra Philips, in her introduction to the report, highlighted how "all presidential supporters want all the support they can get, and that includes the under-30 crowd," the report did not feature any young supporters of Republican candidates.
Crowley’s report, which aired 16 mintues into the 1 pm Eastern hour, focused on the Obama campaign’s outreach to the "under-30 crowd," and described him in glowing terms. "Barack Obama is a hit on college campuses. He's young. He's new. He campaigns against status quo politics."
CNN International’s Jonathan Mann, during an hour-long "love fest" in honor of Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s reception of the Nobel Peace Prize, gushed over the former vice president. "You went from being 'Ozone Man' to 'The Goracle.' This became -- the Nobel Prize became 'The Goronation.' You must be conscious of the change in perceptions about you in particular because of that film [An Inconvenient Truth]."
Later, at the very end of the program, Mann speculated that Gore’s prize could actually be shared with all those who contribute to the planet-saving cause. "We may not all agree about the politics of global warming or about the big solutions, but we can all do our own little part, and it will add up. And for that reason, this year, for the first time that I can remember, we can all share the Nobel Prize."
[Update: Keith Kerr was known to CNN as a gay activist as far back as December 2003, when he was featured in this CNN article.]
CNN, as part of its Republican debate with YouTube, failed to mention that retired general Keith Kerr, who announced he was gay after his retirement from the Army, is a member of Hillary Clinton’s "LGBT Americans For Hillary Steering Committee." Not only did General Kerr ask the question via a YouTube video, but he was also present in the audience, and got to ask the candidates for a "straight answer" (pardon the pun).
General Kerr’s, whose question came 47 minutes into the 9 pm Eastern hour the debate, is also part of the Servicemembers’ Legal Defense Network's advisory council, an organization "dedicated to ending discrimination against and harassment of military personnel affected by 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and related forms of intolerance"
[See updates below: Bill Bennett mentioned Kerr's possible Hillary connection on CNN 30 minutes after the debate, and Anderson Cooper confirms this at the close of the 10 pm Eastern hour.]
If the preview shown on "CNN Sunday Morning" is any guide, Wednesday's CNN/YouTube Republican debate will likely be dominated by questions posed from the left, just as the CNN/YouTube Democratic debate also featured questions posed from the left. CNN correspondent Josh Levs showed clips of several sample questions, including a question from a gay Republican who charges "a vote for you is a vote against my family," a question from a woman concerned about "returning the civil liberties to the American people and stopping these outrageous attacks on our security and our privacy," and a question about CEO salaries increasing faster than the minimum wage. While Levs cautioned that he does not know whether any of the questions used in his piece will be chosen for the debate, none of the questions that appeared in the report were posed from a conservative point-of-view. (Transcript follows)
Below is a complete transcript of the segment from the November 25 "CNN Sunday Morning":
CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux, while moderating the second half of the Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas on Thursday night, added her own "two cents" to a question she fielded from an "undecided voter." After the voter asked the nominees what qualifications a Supreme Court nominee should possess, Malveaux directed the question to Senator Christopher Dodd, and added whether or not he would "require nominees to support abortion rights."
LaShannon Spencer, who was identified as a member of the First African Methodist Church, asked the question near the top of the 10 pm Eastern hour. She highlighted how health care and the Iraq war had, in her view, dominated the questions during past debates. "We constantly hear health care questions, and questions pertaining to the war. But we don't hear questions pertaining to the Supreme Court justice or education. My question is, if you are elected president, what qualities must the appointee possess?"
CNN’s special “worldwide investigation” “Planet in Peril,” in two segments looking at the debate amongst politicians and scientists on whether climate change is a man-made phenomenon, failed to mention that NASA scientist Dr. James Hansen [pictured at right], one the scientists featured in the second segment, has received funding from George Soros, while mentioning that “second biggest contributors to [global warming skeptic Senator James] Inhofe's Senate office are energy and natural resource companies.”
The first segment, which began 8 minutes into the 10 pm Eastern hour of Wednesday night’s program, examined the political debate over climate change, focusing on “the loudest voice” of Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe. CNN correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta introduced the segment by referring back to the previous segments of “Planet in Peril,” which looked at the impact of climate change in different parts of the world. “From what we’ve seen in Greenland, Alaska, and Africa, the Earth's climate is clearly changing. It's not a theory. It's a fact. But what's causing those changes? The majority of the scientific community says it's mankind. But there are powerful voices who say otherwise.”
CNN decided to not to break away from its almost non-stop coverage of the California wildfires as President Bush formally awarded a Navy SEAL killed in Afghanistan the Medal of Honor, as its competitors Fox News and MSNBC aired the ceremony at the White House live.
The Medal of Honor went to Lt. Michael Murphy of Patchogue, New York, who died in the line of duty in 2005 during operations against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Murphy received the first Medal of Honor awarded from Operation Enduring Freedom. President Bush made the decision to give Lt. Murphy the nation’s highest military honor on October 11.
On Sunday's "Late Edition," CNN's Wolf Blitzer aired a pre-recorded interview in which the CNN anchor asked one of the most irrational questions of the weekend, as he seemed to treat as credible accusations by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah that Israel was behind the recent assassinations of anti-Syria politicians in Lebanon. As Blitzer interviewed Walid Jumblatt, a member of the Lebanese parliament who is a "harsh critic" of Syria, the CNN host read a quote from the Hezbollah leader charging that "the hand that is killing is Israel's," and that Israel "has a sure interest in the assassinations." After Jumblatt scoffed that "that's the biggest joke that I've ever heard," Blitzer responded: "So you reject what Hassan Nasrallah is saying, that Israel is responsible for all of this?" (Transcript follows)
Blitzer had set up the interview with Jumblatt: "It's an extremely dangerous time for politicians in Lebanon. There have been a series of high-profile political assassinations, with many Lebanese blaming Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad, and his regime in Damascus. Walid Jumblatt is a leading member of the Lebanese parliament. He's a very harsh critic of Syria. I spoke with him here in Washington this week."
CNN viewers on Friday saw a relatively rare acknowledgement of those who are skeptical of Al Gore's film "An Inconvenient Truth," including a British judge who recently ruled that there are nine inaccuracies in the movie. But CNN's Miles O'Brien dismissed the views of dissenters, and downplayed the importance of the errors cited by the judge.
As he made several appearances on various CNN shows on Friday, O'Brien tagged dissenters with such labels as "dead-enders," a "tiny fraction of a minority," and a "very small fringe," as he linked skeptics to fossil fuel companies. He also repeatedly declared that the scientific debate on global warming is over. Notably, on the July 20 "The Situation Room," O'Brien had curtly lectured former Republican Congressman J.C. Watts with similar comments on the subject. O'Brien: "You're not paying attention to the science, J.C. You're definitely not paying attention. ... The scientific debate is over, J.C., we're done." (Transcript follows)
On Sunday's Reliable Sources, CNN host Howard Kurtz led a discussion of Hillary Clinton's recent media attention, commenting that the networks "lust after putting her on," and also quipped that the New York Senator did "the full Ginsburg" when she appeared on all the Sunday morning talk shows last week, during which, as Kurtz noted, she gave the "Clinton cackle" response to a number of questions. While discussing the recent Democratic debate moderated by NBC's Tim Russert, Kurtz also pointed out that Clinton had flip-flopped on the issue of whether she would be willing to torture a terrorist prisoner, as he noted the lack of media coverage. Kurtz: "That was a flip-flop by Hillary Clinton. She had earlier said, taken the opposite position saying that torture would be acceptable in that kind of extreme situation. The AP, the New York Daily News pointed this out, but you didn't get a lot of flip-flop coverage." (Transcript follows)
CNN's Pressroom announced that its upcoming six-hour special “God's Warriors,” reported by Christiane Amanpour, will discuss “the impact of religious fundamentalism as a powerful political force.” In the process, CNN revealed what it thinks about the various “fundamentalists” around the world by pushing the typical multi-culti PC media position that no one religion is more problematic or violent than another, with all types of fundamentalism being equally dangerous.
On "CNN Newsroom," correspondent Cal Perry asserted that Hamas is fighting for "independence" from Israel. Somehow, he failed to mention that the organization has often called for the destruction of that country.
Dan Harrison, a senior VP of NBC, this week asserted that his network’s over-the-top coverage of Al Gore’s Live Earth concert wasn’t a "political issue" because "everyone" agrees global warming is happening. And the networks wonder why they’re losing viewers? Additionally, MRC intern Michael Lanza noted that this same not-"political" concert featured video of distraught children, wailing about the impending death of the Earth.
On the July 4 CNN Newsrooom, as correspondent Cal Perry reported on the Hamas role in the release of BBC journalist Alan Johnston in Gaza, Perry characterized Hamas as a "military" organization fighting for "independence" against Israel without mentioning its long-term stated goal of taking over Israel as part of a Palestinian state, or its use of terrorism. Perry: "This is really an organization that's evolving. On the one hand, they're a political organization, they want to stay in political power, and of course on the other hand they're a military organization who are fighting for independence against Israel." (Transcript follows)
Perry did at least relay the criticism that Hamas was using the hostage release as a "PR ploy" for its own gain, and showed a clip of Fatah member Riyad al-Malki accusing Hamas of staging the kidnapping and using the release for "political gains." Below is a complete transcript of Perry's report which aired shortly after 2:00 p.m. during the Wednesday July 4 CNN Newsroom:
Matt Sheffield's post over at Ace's place ("The Attempted Crucifixion of Frank Luntz") noted the heat PBS had received for having GOP pollster Frank Luntz participate as an analyst at last Thursday's Democrat debate:
The blog left's puppet master, David Brock, sends out an "alert" informing them that someone who might possibly be conservative is going to be allowed to report as a "mainstream" journalist.
..... Thankfully, PBS has not backed down. Luntz, who is a respected pollster and is often quoted in liberal publications is not getting the shaft, making him one of the very few Republicans that has (so far) managed to escape the assault of the conservaphobic left.
Mr. Brock and his Media Matters (MM) organization are being quite selective.
In August 2006, longtime "Friend of Bill" Clinton Vinod Gupta's Info USA, which had spent its entire corporate history in "data collection and distribution," made what should have been seen as an eyebrow-raising acquisition:
During CNN Newsroom on Saturday, correspondent Veronica de la Cruz showed portions of three recorded questions (out of a total of 197 that were posted so far on Youtube.com) that were submitted for the upcoming CNN/Youtube debates. Two of the clips featured questions that were asked from a liberal point-of-view, while one was asked from a conservative point-of-view, in which a woman cited the plummeting crime rate in Kennesaw, Georgia, after the town enacted mandatory gun ownership. But while both liberal questions were played in their entirety, only the first eight seconds out of one minute of the gun control question were played: "An armed society is a polite society. And indeed, Kennesaw, Georgia got a whole lot more polite after passing a law that every household had to have a gun." (Clip of entire question can be viewed here.) (Transcript follows)
Did a liberal television network correspondent cause the 2000 Florida recount debacle?
When all eyes were on Florida and it wasn't looking good for Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore, his campaign was warned by a senior network correspondent that conceding on Election Night would be a bad idea. That intervention stopped Gore from conceding the election according to a top Democratic strategist.
Former John Kerry campaign manager and long-time Democratic political consultant Bob Shrum made the allegation on the CNN show "Reliable Sources" Sunday.
Interviewing Shrum about his new book, titled No Excuses, CNN host Howard Kurtz brought up Shrum's revelation that he was warned by a "senior network correspondent" to stop Al Gore from giving his planned concession speech on the night of the 2000 election.
THIS is CNN in 1998; the link is to a story debunking the network's Peter Arnett and April Oliver, who accused Vietnam soldiers of war crimes in Operation Tailwind.
This is from 2003. The network's Eason Jordan confessed that the network twisted the news out of Saddam Hussein's Iraq, thereby giving false impressions of the regime to the world so that it could maintain its access to the country (the article is posted at the author's web host for fair use and discussion purposes).
Then there's this from 2005. Eason Jordan accused the US military in Iraq of targeting journalists, and ultimately resigned in the wake of the outcry. "Somehow" the actual video footage of Jordan's accusations, made at the World Economic Forum in Davos, never surfaced.
Following a report on fisticuffs in the Alabama State Senate, CNN reporter T.J. Holmes cracked a joke about Sen. Lowell Barron (D) being on the receiving end of a punch to the face from Republican Senator Charles Bishop.
Story after story about Rupert Murdoch’s purchase offer for Dow Jones & Company, which owns The Wall Street Journal, has criticized the prospect as a threat to journalism, questioned the media mogul’s “editorial integrity” and attacked his character.
Journalists, media critics and the union representing the Journal were up in arms.
“[P]robably not quite as frightening as the day we learned Kim Jong Il has the bomb, but close … very close. It could be worse. We might have discovered, for example, that Saddam Hussein had stashed all those missing weapons of mass destruction in a Pasadena storage locker rented to Osama bin Laden,” said a Los Angeles Times column.
For CNN, any opportunity is a good one to take potshots at U.S. policy in Iraq, even a solemn ceremony dedicated to honoring America's brave soldiers. This afternoon at 12:37 pm EDT, CNN International used the cover of a report on soldiers being honored for their valor to challenge MNF-I commander General David Petraeus on the success of the surge. CNN host Michael Holmes, an Australian, introduced the segment with a skeptical spin.
MICHAEL HOLMES: The U.S. troop surge. Is it working? Well, the top U.S. commander there says it’s too early to know for sure. David Petraeus is also urging patience, as the administration has for some time, despite the increasing number of U.S. casualties.
Well, sports fans, it appears the media have figured out a clever way to report the events surrounding antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan this weekend without insulting the political party they are shilling for.
Looking at the major media outlets that have begun to cover this story, the strategy appears to be to report Sheehan’s Daily Kos post from Monday, wherein she stated that she was resigning “as the ‘face’ of the American anti-war movement,” while totally ignoring her Saturday post when she defiantly declared, “I am leaving the Democratic Party.”
Pretty sneaky, wouldn’t you agree?
However, this certainly appears to be the modus operandi as demonstrated by the following articles on the subject published Tuesday which included absolutely no reference to her statements Saturday:
On Saturday afternoon, CNN Newsroom ran a report by Dr. Sanjay Gupta in which the CNN medical correspondent plugged a proposal for the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program to begin supplying vouchers for fruits and vegetables to its recipients to combat obesity in the poor, and fretted that budget cuts by President Bush could "threaten" a proposed plan to do so. Recounting that the problem for WIC recipients when the program was created 30 ago was "malnutrition, not obesity," Gupta relayed plans by the Agriculture Department to supply vouchers for fruits and vegetables. But Gupta cautioned that because Bush is planning to put WIC on the "chopping block," the plan may be endangered. Gupta: "But some say that might not happen because WIC is on the chopping block, slated for a $145 million cut in President Bush's 2008 budget. ... Nutritionists say that's not good because the WIC produce vouchers could help control obesity." (Transcript follows)
Mr. Hunter detailed his opposition to the legislation, pointing out that it ignores military needs while at the same time the bill's backers "did find money for shrimp and spinach." Here he was referring to the almost $4 billion targeted for farm interests that are included in the legislation.
HARRIS: Yes. You are referring to some of the sweeteners in the deal, millions, for example, to make spinach farmers whole again after last year's E. coli episode.
After his comments this morning, if Don Imus ever gets invited to a party on the terrace of Katie Couric's midtown apartment overlooking Central Park, he would be well advised not to get too close to the ledge.
Chatting with Imus on MSNBC at 8:45 ET this morning about the travails of the CBS Evening News and the advent of Rick Kaplan as its executive producer, media maven Howard Kurtz observed: "I don't know if this is attributable to Rick, but it seems to me that in the last week the show has a little bit of a harder edge, a little bit of a faster pace."
That set Imus off on an anti-Couric tirade: "It's unwatchable. And it's unwatchable because she's unwatchable. I'm sure she's a nice lady, but I mean . . ."