Prominent Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) said she warned the White House to take Healthcare.gov offline until the site was fixed, but the administration wouldn't do it. CNN made no mention of her claim, made on Sunday's Face the Nation, and didn't ask her about it when she appeared on Monday's The Situation Room.
"I felt, and I said this directly to the President's chief of staff, they ought to take down the website until it was right," Feinstein said of the site's technical problems. "They believe that they need to keep it running and that they can sort out the difficulties," she added.
Over the weekend, CNN anchors and guests blamed Republicans for the shutdown and smacked them for "holding the American people hostage" while opposing ObamaCare. That extended CNN's streak of pounding Tea Party Republicans for igniting the shutdown.
Below are some of the worst quotes from CNN anchors or guests on Republicans, the shutdown, and ObamaCare:
In his Monday interview with President Obama, CNN's Wolf Blitzer failed to ask any tough questions of the President. In contrast, Fox News's Chris Wallace grilled Obama over the administration's handling of the Syria conflict.
For instance, Wallace brought up the lack of popular support for a military intervention, Secretary of State John Kerry's comment that a military intervention would be "unbelievably small," and Republican criticisms that the administration has failed to make a convincing case for military action. Blitzer mentioned none of these things, though, simply teeing Obama up with soft questions.
After the Republican National Committee voted to refuse CNN and NBC from hosting 2016 GOP primary debates, NBC took two days to even mention the news before again ignoring it. In fact, CBS spent more time covering the boycott of NBC than NBC itself did.
The RNC threatened a boycott after CNN Films and NBC Entertainment both planned productions on Democrat Hillary Clinton as she is predicted to run for president in 2016. At Friday's summer meeting, the RNC made good on its threat, but NBC reported it only once.
What's going on at CNN? On Thursday afternoon CNN's Athena Jones called the Missouri rodeo clown controversy a "firestorm," but CNN's tone changed within a matter of hours.
On Thursday night's Piers Morgan Live, Morgan admitted "it's all a bit silly" and agreed with Newt Gingrich that the outrage over the stunt "is all a bit ridiculous." Then on Friday morning, anchor Carol Costello huffed, "May I be blunt? This whole controversy is being blown way out of proportion and it's just kind of stupid now." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
13 GOP state attorneys general sent a letter to HHS Secretary Sebelius on Wednesday detailing serious concerns over Obamacare's privacy protections and warning of a "privacy disaster waiting to happen." As of Thursday afternoon, CNN has yet to report the letter that Politico and The Washington Times picked up.
"As chief legal officers of our states, we are concerned that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS") has failed to adequately protect the privacy of those who will use the assistance programs connected with the new health insurance exchanges," the letter began.
Alarm bells are ringing over the status of Obamacare's privacy protection system, which is scheduled to start October 1 despite missed deadlines in getting it ready to operate. CNN has made no mention of the Inspector General report on the missed deadlines.
Reuters said the government was "months behind" in testing the system's security, where personal information would be stored to determine a person's eligibility for subsidies in purchasing health insurance at state exchanges. If the system was rolled out as scheduled before it was ready, "The most likely serious security breach would be identity theft," Reuters said.
CNN had extensive coverage on Wednesday of President Obama's interview with NBC's Jay Leno, but only two CNN hosts actually challenged some of the President's claims during the 11 different news hours that played clips of the interview.
One of Obama's statements went completely unchallenged for the entire day. The President said that "we don't need a huge government, but we need government doing some basic things," in reference to infrastructure. He added that the country needs to "make sure we don't waste money."
[UPDATED BELOW] CNN's Arwa Damon scored an exclusive interview with a suspect in the Benghazi attacks, yet CNN chose to air it only once. Aside from a brief mention of it on Thursday morning, the network has dropped its own scoop that it broke on 5 p.m. Wednesday on The Situation Room.
None of the three networks mentioned the story on their Wednesday evening news casts, and only CBS talked about Benghazi on Thursday, though they didn't mention Arwa Damon's report.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, CNN followed NBC's narrative of connecting Huma Abedin to her "mentor" Hillary Clinton in dealing with husbands' sex scandals.
CNN repeatedly made the connection in a positive light, touting Abedin as "incredibly politically sophisticated," "intelligent," and "discerning" from her years working for Clinton. CNN insisted that Abedin would use the Clinton "playbook" to overcome her husband's scandal. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN mentioned Eliot Spitzer's prostitution scandal in every single report on his comeback bid in politics on Monday and Tuesday, but hid that he was recently a CNN prime-time host in five of the seven reports.
Spitzer was originally hired by CNN as a liberal voice, to co-host a prime-time show with "conservative" Kathleen Parker that debuted in October of 2010. When Parker left the show months later in February of 2011, Spitzer – originally hired for his liberal bias – became the sole host of In the Arena, which was canceled later in July. Yet CNN only disclosed this information twice in its seven reports on Spitzer's candidacy for New York City comptroller.
After touting a Texas legislator's "epic" pro-choice filibuster, the media have turned to hyping her future as a possible Democratic gubernatorial candidate in the state.
NewsBusters already documented the adulation that the media showed for Texas Democratic legislator Wendy Davis after she filibustered to stop a pro-life bill from passing the state senate last Wednesday. And after the initial hype over her filibuster passed, the networks and cable news began tossing out the idea of her running for Texas governor in 2014. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN really showed its bias in reacting to two very different Supreme Court decisions this week. On Tuesday, the Court struck down a portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act; in the hours that followed, CNN's coverage included four times as many critics of the decision as supporters (8 vs. 2).
Then on Wednesday, the Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and permitted the nullification of California's Proposition 8 banning gay marriage. This time, CNN's coverage skewed in favor of the Court, with roughly three times as many on-air guests supporting that decision as opposing it (20 vs. 7).
17 hours after CNN first reported that the IRS targeted liberal groups as well as conservative groups, it finally offered the Republican side of the story, that Tea Party groups received even more scrutiny than "progressive" and "Occupy" groups.
Correspondent Dana Bash first broke the story during Monday's 5 p.m. ET hour of The Situation Room that according to a document dump, the IRS included groups with the terms "progressive" and "Occupy" along with Tea Party groups in its "Be On the Lookout" watch list. What Bash failed to note is that, according to one 2010 list, information on Tea Party groups was still instructed to be sent to higher authorities in Washington D.C. for further scrutiny.
As CBS and NBC both touted President Obama's Tuesday visit to New Jersey, so too did CNN hype Obama's "bromance" with Governor Chris Christie as the President tried to step away from Washington and his administration's scandals.
White House correspondent Jessica Yellin said it would be a "good chance" for Obama to trumpet the effectiveness of his government as FEMA's performance after Hurricane Sandy was a "bright spot" for Obama. Although a positive CNN headline read "'odd couple' puts politics aside," correspondents admitted that political gain was a part of the visit for both men.
CNN gave more coverage to the Jodi Arias trial in one day than it did to the entire Kermit Gosnell trial over the span of eight weeks. NewsBusters already reported how the congressional hearings on the Benghazi attacks disappeared amidst CNN's incessant live coverage of tabloid crime stories.
When the verdict was reached in the Arias trial last Wednesday, CNN's coverage for the day totaled almost a whopping three hours. In contrast, the network gave just under 100 minutes to the Gosnell story in eight weeks since the trial began on March 18.
On Wednesday evening, CNN barely covered the congressional hearing on the Benghazi attack from earlier that afternoon. Instead, the network provided wall-to-wall coverage of the Jodi Arias trial verdict and the Cleveland kidnappings.
From the hours of 5 p.m. until 11 p.m. ET, CNN gave a whopping 4 hours, 9 minutes of coverage to the two crime stories, but a measly eight minutes to Benghazi -- over 30 times more coverage. And three of CNN's prime-time shows didn't even mention Benghazi.
In just 24 hours, CNN spent over 76 minutes of air time on NBA player Jason Collins's announcement that he was gay. That was over nine times more coverage the network gave the Gosnell trial in one week.
CNN's media critic Howard Kurtz admitted on Sunday that the media champion some stories more than others that also merit attention, and this was painfully evident in the amount of time network gave the two stories. Once Collins announced he was gay, the network breathlessly touted the news as "historic," "a big moment for our country," and "courageous." CNN's jubilation over Collins is no surprise given its support for same-sex marriage, but it couldn't muster even half of that air time to report the alleged horrors of Kermit Gosnell's abortion clinic. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN's pro-gun control bias is so bad, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin (W.Va.) thanked them for their "support" of his gun bill on Thursday's Starting Point. This came after CNN's press release begged Congress to expand background checks.
"We appreciate your support, too. This is very, very important," Manchin told CNN after co-host John Berman noted the Senator's "compromise deal" he had been working on.
Call it the tale of two gaffes. CNN only briefly covered President Obama's blunder that the gun used in the Sandy Hook shooting was an automatic weapon. Meanwhile, the network gave almost 40 minutes on Friday to outrage over Obama calling California's Attorney General "the best-looking attorney general in the country."
CNN's Jake Tapper was the only CNN anchor or reporter who caught Obama's "automatic" gun error. He reported it twice, once during his 4 p.m. ET show The Lead and later on while filling in for host Erin Burnett on OutFront. Automatic weapons are already strictly regulated and have been for decades; the gun used at Sandy Hook was a semi-automatic weapon.
In an exclusive Wednesday interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, CNN founder Ted Turner expressed his hopes for President Obama and advised him to "get this global climate change under control."
During the 6 p.m. ET hour of The Situation Room, Blitzer teed up Turner to give Obama advice and promoted his new biography "Last Stand." He added that "Turner's politics clearly lean left" and noted "his admiration for former President Jimmy Carter." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Sunday's Reliable Sources, the CNN panel scoffed at the media for getting "manipulated" by the White House last week into hyping Obama's meetings with the GOP as a "charm offensive." CNN's own reporting shows that it played right into those talking points.
"I love how easily the press corps is manipulated," remarked The Washington Post's Dana Milbank. "So, the President takes a few senators out to dinner at the Jefferson Hotel and has lunch with Paul Ryan, and suddenly, he's reaching out and there's all these efforts to have kumbaya. He's had two meals." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN harped on the controversy over Fox News head Roger Ailes calling President Obama "lazy" and Vice President Biden "dumb as an ashtray." The network covered it on five shows on Wednesday and Thursday, but three of the shows ignored that Ailes used Obama's own words.
In making the "lazy" remark, Ailes cited a 2011 interview with Barbara Walters where Obama said that "deep down, underneath all the work that I do, I think there's a laziness in me." Erin Burnett was the only CNN anchor to promptly give that context in her report; on Thursday's Starting Point, conservative panel member Will Cain first brought it up, and co-host John Berman affirmed it. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN gave over eight times more coverage to Beyonce lip synching the national anthem than it did to President Obama's falsehood on the sequester last Friday.
After the President claimed in last Friday's presser that Capitol Hill janitors and police would receive a pay cut because of the sequester, CNN correspondent Dana Bash fact-checked it and found it not to be the case. Her report aired twice that day and two more times over last weekend. She covered the matter for 45 seconds in each report, so CNN's coverage totaled three minutes.
Twelve minutes after reporting the news of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez's death, CNN hosted Chavez's close friend and former adviser who lavished praise on his legacy.
For over two minutes, CNN let attorney Eva Golinger strew rose petals on the dictator's record. She gushed that Chavez "has changed the lives dramatically of the majority of Venezuelans. He's altered the country forever." She added that "he's done extraordinary, extraordinary, absolutely extraordinary things for the country." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN's Dana Bash fact-checked President Obama's falsehood about the sequester on Friday, but the major networks didn't exactly follow CNN's lead in reporting the distortion that Capitol Hill janitors and police would receive a pay cut because of the sequester.
In his Friday press conference, Obama claimed, "They're going to have less pay, the [Capitol Hill] janitors, the security guards. They just got a pay cut." Shortly after that, CNN's Bash obtained from the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms that the workers would not receive a pay cut, just a limit on overtime pay. NBC ignored the distortion on its weekend newscasts, while CBS and ABC reported it one time each.
On CNN’s Situation Room today, anchor Wolf Blitzer spoke of the 1995-1996 Federal government shutdown:
BLITZER: Yes, I would be shocked if there were a government shutdown. The Republicans lived through that back in the '90s and it didn't exactly work out well for them. I would be shocked if they went down that road and the president went down that road right now. I'm sure they will work that out.
So how bad was the political fallout for Republicans? That year the GOP nominated the uninspiring Sen. Bob Dole as their presidential nominee. Despite such a lackluster top of the ticket, House losses were only in the single digits. As former Speaker Newt Gingrich has noted “it was the first time in 68 years that Republicans were reelected to a House majority - and the first time that had ever happened with a Democrat winning the presidency.” On the Senate side, the GOP picked up two seats.
On Sunday's Reliable Sources, guest David Zurawik mocked "out of town reporters" who met with the White House about sequestration and simply repeated the administration's talking points back to their local channels, "like an Obama commercial."
However, CNN displayed that same uncritical journalism over and over on the sequester. Obama administration officials freaked out about looming budget cuts to their respective agencies and CNN simply relayed the hype to its viewers, comparing the cuts to the asteroid and calling them a "man-made disaster." [Video below the break. Audio here.]