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.]
CNN touted ex-president Jimmy Carter as a "new cult favorite" and asked if his image was "being rehabilitated" on Monday's The Situation Room. After friendly interviews of Carter and his grandson last week, it might be more accurate to ask if CNN is trying to "rehabilitate" Carter's image.
Liberal historian Douglas Brinkley made the laughably thin case for Carter. "But when you look at the Iran hostage crisis, I mean, Carter eventually negotiated the release of all of those hostages. It cost his political re-election. He could have bombed Tehran during it, and maybe gotten himself re-elected but he didn't," he argued. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN only had soft questions and praise on Thursday for Jimmy Carter's grandson who had unearthed the tape of Mitt Romney's "47 percent" remarks. Host Wolf Blitzer gave a warm interview to James Carter IV on The Situation Room and Piers Morgan later teed up former President Carter to brag about his grandson on Piers Morgan Tonight.
"How does it make you feel that your grandfather is so proud of what you did? What has he said to you?" Blitzer asked his Democratic guest. "He certainly was proud of you in the interview with Piers Morgan," he gushed. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
After hyping the "draconian" sequester cuts set to take place March 1, CNN kept up its frenzy on Tuesday afternoon by spreading government hysteria over the $85 billion spending reduction. Headlines sounded alarms like "Medicine, Food at Risk," "Travel Nightmare In the Making," and "U.S. justice system in jeopardy."
"President Obama is warning of dire consequences for all of us if lawmakers don't act quickly," The Situation Room host Wolf Blitzer channeled White House angst. "The President clearly wants all of us to be very, very worried about the budget axe that's about to fall," he hyped during the 6 p.m. ET hour. "The President has said it's an issue of national security," reported correspondent Joe Johns on cuts to the justice system. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
<<UPDATE BELOW>> On Wednesday's The Situation Room, host Wolf Blitzer absurdly wondered if Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) pausing his State of the Union response for a drink of water would "break" his career. The CNN chyron flashed "Career-ender?"
"So can a drink of water make or break a political career?" Blitzer asked. "A U.S. Senator, possible presidential candidate. We're going to find out, whether he likes it or not." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Monday night, CNN's Erin Burnett badgered the Catholic church to change its doctrine and accept birth control, gay marriage, and women priests. All day long on Monday, CNN asked if the church was going to change with the times but Burnett was blatant in her push for liberalization of doctrine.
"Isn't it time for the church, which is supposed to be an inclusive, generous, giving organization, to move ahead on gay rights?" she asked her guest a loaded question. When he answered no, she hit back, "Even if they [gay people] love each other, isn't the Catholic Church supposed to be about love?" [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Right as CNN's The Situation Room reported the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, correspondent Brian Todd launched into a litany of the "controversies" of his papacy and pushed the positive analysis to the bottom of his report.
"Pope Benedict's papacy has been marked by serious controversies," began anchor Wolf Blitzer. Todd followed up that as far as "controversies" were concerned, "there was certainly no shortage of those during his papacy." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Tony Bennett is one of America's most popular singers but he has proven once again that talent in the arts is no predictor of intelligence.
At a Wednesday press conference, the outspoken pacifist and ardent Democrat Bennett compared isolated gun deaths in the U.S. to Nazi concentration camps and said that if America did not do something to curtail violence in this country, the other countries would “take care of us in a really bad way,” just like they did in World War II to the Germans. Bizarre video and story below.
Viewers who tuned in to Wednesday's The Situation Room were bombarded with over five times as much coverage of gun control advocates than of the lone gun rights advocate Newt Gingrich.
Host Wolf Blitzer tossed plenty of softball questions to gun control advocates Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Mark Kelly, husband of former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.), but he grilled Gingrich on background checks.
After CNN televised Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's Congressional testimony on the Benghazi attack, on the 5 pm segment of The Situation Room Wolf Blitzer provided some analysis, including an interview with Senator Rand Paul (R-KY). Then Blitzer announced there was breaking news. He turned to CNN national correspondent Jim Acosta, who reported that Beyonce had - hold onto your remote here - lip-synced "The Star Spangled Banner" at President Obama's inauguration Monday:
Instead of holding the White House accountable, CNN's White House correspondent is helping the President make his case for gun control.
Jessica Yellin touted Obama's "persuasive advocates," young children who wrote letters to the White House pushing for stricter gun laws whom the President featured behind him as he pushed for more gun control on Wednesday. Yellin teed them up to explain why they wrote their letters. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Commemorating the one month anniversary of the Newtown shooting, CNN stacked its Monday line-up with gun control advocates and Democratic politicians.
Over the course of the entire day, CNN interviewed guests about the gun issue. 13 guests were gun control advocates, including five Democratic politicians. Only two Republican guests went on to oppose further gun control measures or defend the NRA's proposal for armed guards in schools.
CNN had a friendly take on President Obama's Treasury Secretary nominee Jack Lew, despite the pick receiving sharp criticism from conservative circles. "He's definitely the guy for the next several months," CNN's Ali Velshi gave the White House spin on Thursday's Newsroom.
"Yeah, funnily enough if Wall Street hates him, he might be perfect for the job," chuckled anchor Michael Holmes."That's what a lot of people think, Michael, actually," Velshi added. Back in 2008, however, CNN framed Wall Street support for potential nominee Tim Geithner as a good thing.
CNN reporter Ali Velshi thrashed Republicans and conservatives during last weekend's fiscal cliff negotiations. As Tim Graham of NewsBusters already reported, Velshi "clearly doesn't care about looking objective" and showed it when he opened fire on Grover Norquist last week and declared that taxes must go up on the wealthy.
In what became a tired liberal rant, Velshi pushed that argument over and over again last weekend, paddling House Republicans for not "compromising" with Democrats on tax hikes while barely wagging a finger at President Obama and the Democratic Senate. Below is the worst of Velshi from last weekend. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
It didn't take long for new Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) to get lectured by liberal CNN. After Cruz told anchor Wolf Blitzer that he opposed the fiscal cliff deal, Blitzer reproved him and told him to "deal with reality."
"[Y]ou're in the minority in the United States Senate. You've got to deal with reality.You can't just be -- you can't just be overly idealistic on those issues," said Blitzer, who shed his objectivity to lecture a sitting congressman on what he should do. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
After House Speaker Boehner pulled a vote for Hurricane Sandy aid on Tuesday, CNN gave a microphone to outraged politicians who bashed the House GOP for not voting on the relief bill that Senate Democrats loaded with pork.
CNN gave two interviews to Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) airing his grievances against fellow Republicans, and anchor Don Lemon interviewed three Democrats who wanted the relief bill passed: Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN's Wolf Blitzer said Thursday that the Democratic fiscal cliff plan of raising tax rates on the top two percent of income earners is the "beginning" of a solution.
"But it's a beginning. A billion here, a billion there, it winds up being real money," Blitzer told Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) on Thursday's The Situation Room. Blitzer had already pushed House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to consider tax hikes in a fiscal cliff deal. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
After smiling on Republicans who stepped away from Grover Norquist's no-tax hike pledge, CNN pressured the GOP House Majority Whip to raise income tax rates on Monday's The Situation Room.
Anchor Wolf Blitzer suggested a tax hike on those making over $250,000 a year, noting "those families and those small businesses did quite well during the years of the Clinton administration when the rate was 39.6. Why not go back to that?" [Video below the break. Audio here.]
As NewsBusters' Tim Graham reported, CNN's Washington Bureau Chief Sam Feist bragged that his is the only network "that hasn't picked sides in this election," and that viewers responded to CNN's credibility by making it the most-watched cable news channel on election night.
Of course, this begs the question of why viewers haven't turned to CNN on most other nights but regardless, Feist's claim of non-partisanship doesn't hold water. Indeed, CNN's own Howard Kurtz warned in July of a media double standard favoring President Obama that is apparent "to many people."
Below are some of the worst examples of CNN's liberal bias during this election cycle, beginning after Mitt Romney became the clear Republican challenger to President Obama on May 2, when candidate Newt Gingrich dropped out of the race.
On Thursday's The Situation Room, host Wolf Blitzer played a montage of liberal comedians poking fun at election night coverage with the jokes overwhelmingly targeting Republicans and conservatives.
"Turns out it's not all bad news for the Republicans. I guess it seems depression is covered by ObamaCare," quipped Tonight Show host Jay Leno. "A big night for the Democrats, Obama won the electoral vote and the popular vote. Mitt Romney on the other side won the unpopular vote," Late Show host David Letterman derided Romney. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
The Media Research Center's Brent Bozell told CNN on Wednesday that the upcoming National Geographic drama "SEAL Team Six," produced by Obama-supporter Harvey Weinstein and set to air two days before Election Day, should not be released until after the election is over.
"If it doesn't have a political agenda, as they say it doesn't, and if there aren't any political purposes behind this, as they say there aren't, then simply put it off by two days," Bozell told CNN. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Can Jessica Yellin be any more of an Obama flap? She scorched Mitt Romney's "binders" comment as hurtful to the candidate, but on Thursday she watered down President Obama calling the deaths of Americans in Libya "not optimal."
The President said on the Daily Show that "When four Americans get killed, it's not optimal." Yellin explained that host Jon Stewart used the word "optimal" in his question and Obama "repeated it." She promptly moved on to Obama's renewed promise to close Guantanamo Bay and his joke about Vice President Biden in a swimsuit. [Video below the break. Audio here.]