Soledad O’Brien’s segment on "some of the leading White House hopefuls" and their recent visits to New Orleans on Monday’s "The Situation Room" might leave one wondering where the "Paid for by the DNC" caption in small font was hiding. O’Brien’s report juxtaposed a clip from a recent speech by Barack Obama with stock footage of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and featured only the three Democrat frontrunners. Clearly, other "White House hopefuls" have visited the hurricane-damaged area in and around New Orleans, but CNN chose to focus on Clinton, Obama, and Edwards.
It goes without saying that one of the defining moments in the 2006 elections was when former Rep. Mark Foley (R-Florida) resigned in September over electronic messages sent to male House pages.
The press firestorm was extraordinary, with all media outlets focusing huge amounts of air and print space on Foley on a daily basis as Election Day neared.
Yet, eleven months later, when it was revealed Friday afternoon that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement apparently hasn't found anything to actually charge Foley with, besides UPI and a brief mention by CNN's Wolf Blitzer, not one major press organization felt it was newsworthy.
CNN used an old tactic in the mainstream media’s play book - a person overcome by emotion - to drive home the point they wanted to make - that the only state that hasn’t been visited by President Bush is Vermont. In a segment during the 4 pm hour of "The Situation Room" detailing this apparent "snub," CNN chief national correspondent John King played a clip from an interview of Regina Gilbert, the mother of Kyle Gilbert, who was killed serving in Iraq four years ago. Gilbert fought back tears as she made her plea for a visit from the President.
In the 7pm EDT hour of Tuesday's The Situation Room on CNN, Jack Cafferty expressed disappointment in Democratic presidential candidate Chris Dodd for rejecting efforts to impeach President Bush because of how it would hurt Democratic chances in 2008. “So, Senator Dodd is putting the election prospects of the Democratic Party next year ahead of whether or not President Bush might be guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors of a kind which would mandate his removal from office,” Cafferty lamented. He noted that “Congress's job is oversight of the executive branch” and then, he sniffed, with a disapproving shake of his head: “Unless, of course, that oversight interferes with getting elected.” Cafferty soon reiterated his displeasure with the liberal Connecticut Senator: “It's a pretty amazing statement to come out of Senator Dodd's mouth.”
CNN’s "from the Left" commentator Paul Begala apparently doesn’t want people to forget that Rush Limbaugh dealt with OxyContin addiction. During a panel discussion of Rudy Giuliani and the possible factor of his family life in his presidential bid, Begala attacked the GOP, accusing that the party "has made a practice of going after people’s families," and then singled out Limbaugh for doing this (though Limbaugh has never officially worked for the Republicans). "Not just attacking Bill Clinton, we remember Rush Limbaugh attacking Chelsea Clinton. Maybe it was just the OxyContin talking."
Candy Crowley, CNN’s senior political correspondent and an award winner for "excellence in journalism," might want to do a little more research on what science really says about the cause of homosexuality. In a report on the Logo/Human Right Campaign presidential candidates’ forum on "gay rights," Crowley claimed that "science has long-held that homosexuality is biological."
Come again? That claim would come to a surprise to even the homosexual-friendly American Psychological Association, whose web page on homosexuality states that "there are probably many reasons for a person's sexual orientation and the reasons may be different for different people."
On Wednesday's The Situation Room, CNN host Wolf Blitzer, while interviewing Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison about his recent trip to Iraq, asked the Congressman about his recent controversial remarks comparing President Bush to Hitler, words that could be interpreted as a suggestion that Bush was behind the 9/11 attacks, and comments that have received little media coverage. Blitzer gave Ellison the chance to "explain exactly what you did mean," and asked if the Congressman agreed that the "comparison of Bush and Hitler" was "inappropriate." (Transcript follows)
CNN's Jack Cafferty on Thursday afternoon managed to use the Minneapolis bridge collapse tragedy to take another shot at the Iraq war as he pointed out how the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost $600 billion and featured an e-mailer who complained spending on infrastructure is “a drop in the bucket compared to $450 billion wasted in Iraq.”
[UPDATE, 8:35pm EDT: Cafferty's question during the 7pm EDT hour of The Situation Room: “In light of the Minnesota bridge collapse, how could the U.S. better spend the $2 billion a week that we're pouring into Iraq here at home?” Cafferty later decided to feature an e-mail response from Steven in Hawaii who sarcastically suggested: “Just identify all of America's infrastructure as Taliban, or Islamic extremists or gay marriage proponents and presto all the money in the federal budget will be thrown at it to 'attack' the problem!”]
CNN's Wolf Blitzer conducted a hardball interview of White House press secretary Tony Snow on Thursday's edition of The Situation Room about the Democrats' subpoena of Karl Rove and the possible perjury investigation against Alberto Gonzales. Blitzer asked Snow a series of tough questions that you might find on any Democrat pundit's list. Contrast this with Blitzer's colleague at CNN, John Roberts, who earlier the same day, did a softball interview of Sen. Charles Schumer, which helped the New York Democrat echo his talking points. Actually, both Roberts and Blitzer helped forward the Democrat talking points, but the major difference was the approach towards the person being interviewed.
On the Friday July 20 The Situation Room on CNN, substitute anchor Miles O'Brien insisted that, regarding the role of carbon emissions in global warming, "the scientific debate is over," as he lectured former Republican Congressman J.C. Watts on the subject. In response to Watts' contention that "I don't believe the Earth is melting because of carbon emissions," O'Brien responded: "Well, 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)
Appearing from Baghdad on Tuesday's Situation Room to discuss the new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), CNN correspondent Michael Ware strayed from reporting into opinion-making as he rued “the smoke and mirrors from the administration” trying to make Iraq about al Qaeda to invoke a “Pavlovian response from the American public.” He also mocked General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for lacking the knowledge to see a “sea change” in better security.
In the segment aired near the top of the 5pm EDT hour, and re-run during the 7pm EDT hour of The Situation Room, anchor Wolf Blitzer relayed how the NIE “suggests that al Qaeda is seeking to leverage al Qaeda in Iraq for attacks against U.S. targets outside of the Iraq.” In a lengthy response, Ware cautioned: “We must be aware of the spin -- the smoke and mirrors from the administration, trying to reshape the message on Iraq being specifically about al Qaeda, America's lingering, most familiar fear, trying to invoke some Pavlovian response from the American public, to fear them into again supporting the war.” As for Pace, Ware was dismissive: “I think the General, unfortunately, is suffering from the luxury of distance. And I think he's expecting far too much to be able to peer through the U.S. bubble of protection in which he operates in his brief fleeting visit to Iraq.”
Let’s be blunt: Michael Moore is one ungrateful leftist hack. CNN had showered him with three hours and ten minutes of face time (repeats included) on "Larry King Live" and "The Situation Room," helping him sell his latest socialist film "Sicko." That kind of attention would make a conservative drool. But when CNN aired a "fact check" piece on his documentary, adding a fraction of balance, he declared jihad, promising in a letter to be CNN’s "worst nightmare."
The battle is over and the troops are withdrawing. No, I'm not talking about Iraq, but something much more entertaining: Michael Moore has decided to end the standoff between himself and CNN, saying he's willing to "move on." As you know, Moore had a live hissy fit with Wolf Blitzer on CNN's "The Situation Room," in response to a taped critique of his movie "Sicko" by CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
"I trust the intelligence of the American people," Moore told The Associated Press. "I don't think there's a whole lot more to do with this other than I and others are going to be a lot more skeptical with what I see on CNN."
Michael Moore is still waiting for an apology from CNN. On July 13, he released a letter that threatened to become the cable network’s “worst nightmare.”
“Think again. I'm about to become your worst nightmare. 'Cause I ain't ever going away. Not until you set the record straight, and apologize to your viewers. ‘The Most Trusted Name in News?’ I think it's safe to say you can retire that slogan,” wrote Moore.
Ironically, in the letter Moore admitted to being treated well by CNN in the past.
A rather disturbing event occurred in a Minnesota library last Sunday: Freshman Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) compared President Bush to Adolf Hitler, while implying that the White House was involved in the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11.
Didn’t hear about this? Well, how could you? After all, no major, mainstream media outlet other than Fox News and CNN thought it was newsworthy.
At the end of the 7 PM Eastern hour of CNN’s The Situation Room on Monday night, reporter Jeanne Moos did one of her light "Moost Unusual" stories on Katie Couric’s producer-slapping incident – which prominently included a screen shot of Tim Graham’s Monday morning NewsBusters blog post on "Slap Happy Katie." (No mention of Tim or the blog.) Brian Stelter at TV Newser reported the third most popular video this afternoon on the CNN Video website. It unfolded like this:
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): First we couldn't stop calling her perky. And now, we're perking up our ears because Katie Couric supposedly slapped someone?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my god.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow, that is so unlike Katie Couric.
MOOS: It's more like what Zsa Zsa Gabor might do to a cop or what one Czech politician did to another. Politicians are one thing, but Slap Happy Katie? [NB screen shot]
A federal appeals court today overturned a Carter-appointed judge's opinion last August that the National Security Agency's terrorist surveillance program, dubbed by opponents as "domestic spying," was unconstitutional. Eleven months ago, the media latched on to the decision as a "major legal defeat" for the Bush administration, with CNN's Jack Cafferty crowing about how the decision proved "President Bush violated his oath of office, among other things, when he swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States."
Both ABC and MSNBC hosted constitutional lawyer Jonathan Turley, who suggested the President should be impeached as a result of the ruling.
With “Angry Reaction” on screen, CNN's Suzanne Malveaux opened the 7pm EDT hour of The Situation Room by asking if on the Libby commutation: “Are conservatives as angry as Democrats?” Toward the end of the hour, Malveaux, filling in for Wolf Blitzer, cued up ex-Clinton operative Paul Begala: “President Clinton was impeached for lying before a grand jury. What do you think? What do you make of this? Does this smack of a double standard?” Malveaux announced at the top of the program: “Spared from prison, President Bush commutes the sentence of former White House aide Lewis 'Scooter' Libby. Tonight, the breaking news and the reaction. Are conservatives as angry as Democrats?”
Analyst Bill Schneider soon echoed her theme: “There's going to be a lot of anger out there. I don't think it's going to be restricted simply to Democrats. Independents and some Republicans are going to be angry and it's going to feed into the anger at Washington that seems to be poisoning the mood of the country.” As for the idea “this would be popular with the base,” Schneider opined: “I'm dubious about that.” Referring to a CNN poll, Schneider argued that “when you have only 19 percent who would support a pardon...I'm not sure that I would say that this could have any positive repercussions for the President.” Malveaux, who seconds earlier cued up Begala with a liberal talking point about a Republican double standard, confronted Republican strategist John Feehery: “Does it cut two ways here? We've heard Bill Schneider saying he doesn't really think this is going to play out much in a partisan way. He believes that there are going to be a lot of Republicans who see it the same way as Democrats and say, you know, this is just preferential treatment.”
On Tuesday's The Situation Room, CNN's Wolf Blitzer noted that it was the 14th anniversary of a cruise missile attack on Iraq, ordered by then-President Clinton, in retaliation for a plot to assassinate former President Bush in Kuwait earlier that year. CNN also played a clip of the CNN correspondent from June 26, 1993 in which, referring to President Clinton's speech to the nation, Blitzer relayed the Clinton administration's desire "to make sure that the Iraqi government does not engage in what the U.S. describes as state-sponsored terrorism." (Transcript follows)
Below is a complete transcript of the item from the June 26 The Situation Room on CNN:
On Tuesday's The Situation Room on CNN, substitute host John King asked a question rarely asked by other journalists as he inquired whether the Democratic presidential candidates are moving too far left as they appeal to the anti-war movement, which King tagged the "juice of the left." During a discussion of the candidates' participation in the liberal Take Back America Conference and in an event for the labor union AFSCME, the CNN host asked Democratic strategist Paul Begala whether the push to withdraw from Iraq could "come back to haunt the party in a general election." King: "Anti-war is the theme, the energy, the juice of the left right now. ... Any concerns at all on your part that all of this, bring the troops home now, bring the troops home now, turn the page, close the door on Iraq, can come back to haunt the party in a general election?" (Transcript follows)
Well, CNN’s Jack Cafferty one-upped the Globe Friday by actually blaming Hamas' takeover of Gaza on – wait for it! – President George W. Bush.
Color me unsurprised.
In his normal spot on CNN’s “The Situation Room,” Cafferty exhibited some of the most extraordinary Bush Derangement Syndrome yet as he blamed every problem in the Middle East on the current White House (video available here):
On June 12, all three morning shows parroted DNC talking points and declared President Bush a "lame duck." "Good Morning America" solemnly noted that the phrase would likely follow Bush throughout his trip to Capitol Hill. (Apparently this is the theory that if the networks say something enough, everyone will believe it.)
Speaking of "Good Morning America," co-anchor Chris Cuomo conducted a groveling interview with Michael Moore in which he backtracked from calling the liberal filmmaker’s new movie a stunt. "Look, I like the stunt," he corrected.
On Tuesday's The Situation Room, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer covered filmmaker Michael Moore's trip to the California state capitol and rally with nurses who support his push for universal health care and the abolition of private health insurance. At one point, Blitzer plugged the segment referring to Moore getting support from "people at your hospital bedside." Blitzer: "Why's he getting some unexpected support from people at your hospital bedside?"
Correspondent Brooke Anderson reported live from the state capitol -- once during the 5:00 p.m. hour and again during the 7:00 hour -- to cover Moore's activities, as she included a clip of the filmmaker complaining about profits in the health care industry. Moore: "This doesn't look good, folks. I mean, it doesn't look good to the rest of the world, and it won't look good to the anthropologists who dig us up hundreds of years from now. They'll wonder, what were these people thinking?" (Transcript follows)
On Wednesday’s "Situation Room," liberal anchor Jack Cafferty argued that, perhaps, it's President Bush, not Vladimir Putin, who is attempting to reignite the Cold War. However, Cafferty might want to consider the fact that fewer pesky journalists seem to mysteriously disappear in the United States than they do in Russia.
During this week’s Republican debate, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer had a suggestion for the national GOP: Be more like liberal Arnold Schwarzenegger. Now, this is an idea he’s peddled four times since the midterm elections. Isn’t it sweet when left-wing journalists offer advice to the Republican Party?
Speaking of liberal cable hosts, Keith Olbermann suggested this week that the unraveling of a terror plot at JFK airport was politically timed to help the Bush administration. Yes, Keith, and the Paris Hilton media soap opera is a cover by the White House to distract from the immigration debacle.
On Friday's The Situation Room, CNN's Jack Cafferty used his regular "Cafferty File" segment to attack President Bush for not reappointing Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace out of fear of a tough confirmation hearing, tagging it a "gutless" decision. At about 5:08 p.m., as Cafferty set up his regular question of the hour about what it would take to end the war in Iraq, he lashed out at the absence of greater outrage from the American people, and suggested that American troops have "died for nothing" as he seemed to wish for the kind of protests of the Vietnam War era, which included "students tearing up college campuses," to happen again. Cafferty: "When it was going this poorly in Vietnam, Americans were in the streets demanding to be heard. Students were tearing up college campuses in an effort to head off being sent away to die for nothing. But not this time -- 3,503 U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq, and nobody does anything. ... It's no wonder the Bush White House gets away with this stuff." (Transcript follows)
On Thursday's The Situation Room, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer seemed to worry that the recently announced G-8 plan for cutting greenhouse gas emissions was "full of hot air" because it is not strict enough in requiring cuts. Blitzer introduced a story filed by correspondent Brian Todd: "President Bush joined other G-8 leaders today and forged an agreement to try to fight global warming, but is that agreement full of hot air?"
The CNN anchor then set up Todd's story: "Is there less to this deal, Brian, than meets the eye?" Todd thought there was some "substance" to the plan, but cited "experts" who accused G-8 leaders of "over the top rhetoric." After a clip of British Prime Minister Tony Blair contending that it was "a huge thing" that they were "considering" cutting emissions in half by 2050, Todd made his own clarification: "'Considering' cutting emissions in half by 2050, not actually agreeing to that hard target for cutting them, as the German chancellor and other European leaders had hoped." (Transcript follows)
On Wednesday's The Situation Room on CNN, during his regular "Cafferty File" segment, Jack Cafferty quoted Mikhail Gorbachev's recent attack on the Bush Administration in which the former Soviet leader accused the U.S. of "arrogance" and of having "lost credibility" in response to President Bush's plans to deploy a missile defense system in Europe. Cafferty asked viewers to email him with a response to the question of whether Bush was "reigniting the Cold War with Russia." Cafferty: "This is just swell, don't you think? We've got trouble with Russia now, which we haven't had for a number of years. The question is this: Is President Bush reigniting the Cold War with Russia?" (Transcript follows)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may have said she saw evidence of climate change in a recent trip to Greenland, but leave it to CNN to press her and other Democrats from the left for not doing enough to stop greenhouse gas emissions "in their own backyard." Both "American Morning" and "The Situation Room" on Tuesday featured CNN congressional correspondent Andrea Koppel's segment on how the heating and cooling power supplied to the U.S. Capitol building comes from the Capitol Power Plant, which is half-fueled by coal, and emits "tens of thousands of tons of greenhouse gases into the air." The blame for these emissions is placed on the politics of Senators Robert Byrd and Mitch McConnell, both of whom come from "two of the biggest coal-producing states."
Koppel interviewed two people for her segment, both of whom have left-wing affiliations. The first was Pelosi's chief administrative officer for the House, Dan Beard, who talked about the massive environmental advantage of switching to compact fluorescent bulbs. The second, Frank O'Donnell of the group Clean Air Watch, was given two sound bites in the segment. O'Donnell compared Senators Byrd and McConnell to a famous television mobster. "It's as if Tony Soprano had a seat in the Senate. They're saying this plant must stay alive. It must keep burning coal, even though it is causing pollution and global warming."