Tuesday’s "The Situation Room" featured two segments with aging rockers who voiced their opposition to Bush administration policies - the first with Crosby and Nash (but not Stills), and the second with Paul Simon. In the first segment, CNN correspondent Carol Costello interviewed the two hippie icons, who compared the Bush administration to a "junta." In the second, host Wolf Blitzer asked Simon about his opposition to President Bush’s veto of the expanded SCHIP program.
Both the Crosby/Nash segment and the Simon segment aired in the 5 pm Eastern hour of "The Situation Room." While Crosby and Nash used fiery rhetoric against Bush, Simon used subdued language. All three wore coats and business shirts, compared to the "rocker garb" of their youth.
Costello interviewed Crosby and Nash at Washington National Cathedral, where the two were to perform at a "peace concert." In their rant against President Bush, Crosby and Nash completed each other’s thoughts, as if they were telepathically-linked.
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)
Wolf Blitzer’s interview of former president Jimmy Carter on Wednesday’s "The Situation Room" demonstrated the CNN host’s catering to prominent liberals. In one question to the former president, Blitzer asked about the ongoing presidential campaigns. "Do any of these candidates, presidential candidates, scare you?" After Carter answered that none of the Democrat candidates scared him, Blitzer asked as follow-up questions, "What about the Republican side?" and "Who scares you the most?"
Later in the interview, Blitzer asked Carter, "By your definition, you believe the United States, under this administration, has used torture?" Carter’s unequivocal answer: "I don't think it. I know it, certainly." This led to a follow-up question from Blitzer on the question of whether President Bush should be impeached. "But you don't want to see any formal charges or a trial?"
Update, 6:10 PM - Video (4:45): Real (3.50 MB) or Windows (2.91 MB), plus MP3 (2.17 MB)
ABC anchor, and former Clinton employee, George Stephanopoulos interviewed his old boss on ABC’s "This Week." Stephanopoulos sycophantically highlighted a story in The Atlantic about the ex-President's philanthropy. Stephanopoulos quoted the author, "'History may remember Bill Clinton as the philanthropist who happened to be President" and then asked if Clinton was "okay" with that description.
Why did President Bush veto a federal health insurance bill "for children?" Well, ABC painted the President as uncaring and not concerned about the poor, rather than mention the program actually covers more than just the destitute.
CNN’s Jack Cafferty, in a "Question of the Hour" segment on Wednesday’s "The Situation Room," offered a loaded question involving President Bush’s veto of a proposed expansion of the SCHIP program. "President Bush has increased the national debt by trillions of dollars. Why would he veto a bill providing health insurance for children?"
Cafferty’s question came 10 minutes into the 5 pm Eastern hour of "The Situation Room." Before he asked that question, Cafferty detailed that President Bush’s veto of SCHIP "was cast very quietly this morning behind closed doors. No fanfare, no news coverage," and the reasons the President listed for his veto. He then added that "this is the same man who will soon go to Congress and ask for another $190 billion to continue that glorious war in Iraq." Cafferty also outlined how under President Bush’s leadership, the ceiling for the national debt has been increased for the fifth time in seven years to $9.8 trillion, and how apparently, President Bush "has borrowed more money from foreign governments and banks since taking office than this country's first 42 presidents combined."
Following ABC’s lead and sixteen years of puffball precedent, a CNN camera crew with an unidentified reporter caught up with Anita Hill in New York City and threw softball questions at her. The interview aired on Tuesday’s "The Situation Room," at the bottom of the 5 pm Eastern hour. The "unidentified male" used the term "painful" in two of his questions to describe Hill’s past in the Clarence Thomas saga. For example, "Do you think your experience, as painful as it was, changed the society and its approach to this particular issue?" I guess that’s the kind of "withering scrutiny from the press" Robin Roberts was referring to on Tuesday’s "Good Morning America."
The full transcript of the Anita Hill interview from Tuesday’s "The Situation Room:"
Bill Bennett corrected CNN's Wolf Blitzer's presumption on Monday that Rush Limbaugh's “phony soldiers” comment was directed at soldiers who served in Iraq and now oppose the war, but in setting up the “Strategy Session” segment on Tuesday's The Situation Room, Blitzer again adopted as fact the spin of the far-left group pushing the attack on Limbaugh. With the text on screen, Blitzer highlighted how “Democratic Congressman Patrick Murphy of Pennsylvania...says: 'Someone should tell chicken hawk Rush Limbaugh that the only phonies are those who choose not to serve and then criticize those who do.'” To Bennett and Donna Brazile, Blitzer wondered: “What do you make of this strategy that Harry Reid...and others are saying now that Rush Limbaugh was inappropriately offensive to veterans?” Bennett retorted with “not much” and observed: “When you shoot at a king, and he's the king of talk radio, you better get him. They didn't get him here.”
On Monday night, Blitzer had dismissed Limbaugh's explanation, that he was referring to anyone who claims to have served in Iraq but has not, and introduced a story on “Limbaugh's charge that some veterans who are criticizing the war are, in his words, quote, 'phony soldiers.'" Meanwhile, on Tuesday's American Morning, CNN anchor Kiran Chetry proposed: “Two weeks after Republicans went after MoveOn.org's 'General Betray Us' ad, the Democrats are turning the tables on Rush Limbaugh. They say that he made hateful and unpatriotic remarks about U.S. troops on his radio show.” Not until the end of the story, after relaying Senator Tom Harkin's insult that “maybe he was just high on his drugs,” did Chetry provide Limbaugh's take.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Monday night matched MSNBC in distorting the target of Rush Limbaugh's “phony soldiers” comment as the 7pm EDT hour of The Situation Room devoted a full story to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's attack on Limbaugh based on a Friday hit job on Limbaugh by the far-left Media Matters. “It's an angry new shot in the dispute over the war in Iraq,” Blitzer asserted before reporting that Limbaugh had charged “that some veterans who are criticizing the war are, in his words, quote, 'phony soldiers.'" In fact, on his show Friday and Monday, Limbaugh made clear he was referring to those who claimed to be soldiers, but never served, a point mentioned by reporter Dana Bash, but only after Blitzer framed the story by adopting as fact the spin of the left wing attack group.
Bash offered a favorable take on Reid's reasoning: “Harry Reid combined a biting attack on Limbaugh with a demand for an apology for what Democrats call an insulting rant against soldiers who joined Democrats in opposing the war.” Though Bash noted that “Limbaugh insists he was only talking about one anti-war soldier, Jesse MacBeth recently convicted of falsely claiming to have served in Iraq,” she proceeded to highlight how “Limbaugh's comments are burning up the liberal blogosphere. Watchdog group Media Matters, among the first to blast Limbaugh, says it doesn't buy his explanation.” She next vaunted how “this new escalation of the Iraq debate has Democrats looking to turn the tables after the controversy of MoveOn.org's attack on the commanding General in Iraq.” A strategy that will only work if the media play along. Bash did air a bit of Limbaugh's response to Reid: Laughter, followed by “he's got to be a nut!”
A preview of an interview of impeached former president Bill Clinton ran on Wednesday’s "The Situation Room," in which Clinton blasted "disingenuous" Republicans for their "feigned outrage" over MoveOn.org’s ad attacking General David Petraeus. Clinton put on his best "angry face" during the clip. "This was classic bait-and-switch.... These Republicans that are all upset about Petraeus - this is one newspaper ad. These are the people that ran a television ad in Georgia with Max Cleland, who lost half his body in Vietnam – in the same ad, with Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. That’s what the Republicans did."
Many people track the success of book sales by just checking the best sellers at Amazon.com. If you did that on Saturday, you’d see the folks at Amazon are providing a little promotional blitz for CNN’s Bush-bashing ranter Jack Cafferty and his new book “It’s Getting Ugly Out There.” (Did he have to put his face on the cover to underscore the point?) It might explain why the book is at #83 today. At the top of the best-seller pages is a pic of the Cafferty book and the headline "Cafferty Spells It Out," followed by this promotional blurb:
Jack Cafferty, who appears on CNN's The Situation Room, voices the views, hopes, and fears of the average American in his inimitable style. Now, in It's Getting Ugly Out There, he brings his level-headed wisdom to bear on the most critical issues facing us today.
Bill Maher gave an unsatirizable interview on Tuesday evening’s "The Situation Room" on CNN, spending a large portion of his ten-minute interview attacking, among others, General David Petraeus, Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, and Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, labeling them "stooges" for President Bush. When host Wolf Blitzer asked about the recent congressional testimony of the general and the ambassador, Maher parroted the MoveOn.org line. "Well, it was a White House-written report. We know that. Bush has an interesting little scam going. He also quoted in his speech on Thursday night, Maliki. And he said basically that the Iraqi leadership is asking us to stay. So, in other words, he puts words into his stooges' mouths, and then, he quotes them."
On Monday's "The Situation Room," hosted by Wolf Blitzer, CNN's liberal political analyst/former Clinton advisor Paula Begala distorted Alan Greenspan's words about the Iraq war being about oil, and referred to the "most damning indictment and betrayal that Mr. Bush could have committed." Begala also commented that Greenspan's words show that Michael Moore and MoveOn.org "were in the center" on the issue of Iraq. Begala: "Alan Greenspan ain't the kook left. He ain't Michael Moore. He ain't MoveOn. In fact, he is a guy who now shows that Michael Moore, MoveOn, and the rest of them were in the center." (Transcript follows)
During a heated interview over the Iraq war on Thursday’s "The Situation Room" with substitute host Suzanne Malveaux, White House press secretary Tony Snow went on the offensive against the mainstream media. In response to a question from Malveaux about how President Bush could "regain credibility" with the American people about the success of the troop surge in Iraq, Snow replied, "Well, you know what Suzanne, your credibility rating -- journalists’ credibility ratings are lower than the President’s."
The most heated exchange came in the last three minutes of the 5pm EDT hour interview. Malveaux brought up the results of a recent New York Times/CBS News poll that found that 71% of those polled disapproved of the way President Bush is handling the situation with Iraq.
Crusty CNN commentator Jack Cafferty had a "Live Chat" on The Huffington Post on Wednesday, and he sounded like a regular HuffPost blogger, charging that Bush lied us into war to enrich his friends, and never wants America to leave: "I don't think President Bush ever had any intention of leaving Iraq. I think we have been lied to about that the same way we were lied to about WMD. Military bases are under construction all over the country including one on the Iran-Iraq border." Cafferty also agreed with a questioner complaining about how the "good concepts" of "Kucinich, Paul, Richardson, and Gravel" are ignored by the media, and suggested the country needs publicly-funded political campaigns, but it will never happen.
The typical Bush-buried-3,000-troops-for-his-rich-friends line tumbled out this way:
Thanks to a Wednesday night AP story by David Bauder (Breitbart, WashPost.com) CNN's Jack Cafferty and MSNBC's Joe Scarborough on Thursday highlighted the Media Research Center's new study, “Rise and Shine on Democrats: How the ABC, CBS and NBC Morning Shows Are Promoting Democrats on the Road to the White House” (Executive Summary). It found that, from January through July, the ABC, CBS and NBC morning shows devoted nearly twice the time to stories about, and interviews with, Democratic over Republican presidential candidates, avoided placing liberal labels on Democrats and also overwhelmingly posed questions which pressed candidates of both parties from the left.
NewsBusters and the MRC's CyberAlert regularly criticize Cafferty for his left-wing rants and attacks on conservatives, but we can't complain about his straight-forward summary Thursday night of the MRC's study: “The network morning news shows have given a lot more air time to the Democratic presidential candidates than to the Republican ones. That's according to a conservative media watchdog outfit called the Media Research Center.” Reading replies later in the hour, Cafferty included one which asserted “the media are overwhelmingly biased in favor of the Democrats. 90 percent of the media voted for Kerry.” But Cafferty couldn't resist ending with this one: “All are being fair except for the F-word network!”
Video clip of the August 30 “Cafferty File” segment in the 7pm EDT hour (1:10): Real (2 MB) or Windows Media (2.4 MB), plus MP3 audio (400 KB)
CNN apparently wants to milk all it can out of the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s strike on the Gulf Coast for the benefit of the Democrats. On Monday’s "The Situation Room," CNN special correspondent Soledad O’Brien’s report juxtaposed a clip of a recent speech by Barack Obama with stock footage of the hurricane’s aftermath. On Tuesday’s "The Situation Room," O’Brien upped the ante in another segment. This time, more footage of damage from Hurricane Katrina ran at the same time an audio clip from President Bush’s first post-Katrina speech in New Orleans began. The video then cut to the President speaking in Jackson Square, and as the clip ended, the picture froze and went to black-and-white, as you might expect in an election campaign commercial.
O’Brien, on-location in New Orleans, appeared during the 5 pm hour of "The Situation Room." Host Wolf Blitzer asked her what people along the Gulf Coast were saying about the rebuilding effort. O’Brien’s reply: "You know, Wolf, if you had to pick on a single word, then I think that word would be they're very, very frustrated." She went on to say that people there also "feel let down by their local leaders, the state leaders, and the federal government, too." O’Brien mentioned the local and state leaders first, but they were not to be mentioned in her report. It focused entirely on the response of the Bush administration, and Democrats’ criticism. In addition to this "frustration" she cited, O’Brien would go on to talk about a conspiracy theory about why the federal aid to the region has been so slow.
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."