CNN touted results from its newly-released poll Thursday showing Americans favor a balance of spending cuts and tax increases in the debt ceiling debate, as well as raising the debt ceiling. What the network completely failed to report -- although NewsBusters reported it -- was that Americans also favored two conservative positions – passage of a balanced budget amendment, along with spending cuts and future spending caps.
CNN's deputy political director Paul Steinhauser emphasized that the poll results favored Democrats over Republicans. He insisted that "the headline here is Americans want compromise," and pointed out that 64 percent of respondents favored including both spending cuts and tax increases, "kind of like what the president is suggesting, what the Gang of Six is suggesting."
CNN's Piers Morgan tried to clear the air Monday by explaining his time as editor of the scandal-ridden British tabloid paper News of the World, and denied any illegal activity in gathering stories. The story exploded on Tuesday, however, as Parliamentary member Louise Mensch mentioned Morgan on-air during the Murdoch hearings as an example of an editor who had used the illegal practice of phone hacking to gather a story.
When Mensch appeared on CNN's The Situation Room later that day and addressed her previous remarks, Morgan called in and defended his credibility against her "blatant lie," telling her to "show some balls" and repeat her accusation, and then reveal the spot in his book "The Insider" where he supposedly made the claim.
Like dutiful White House shills, the "NBC Nightly News" Monday reported Republican presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann mistaking the Iowa town where actor John Wayne was born.
Hypocritically, NBC News has still not informed viewers of President Obama's horrible error last Thursday when he said he had awarded a Medal of Honor in person to a living soldier who actually had been killed in Afghanistan in 2006 (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Both President Obama and leading Republican candidate Mitt Romney got into hot water for supposedly making insensitive comments about the economy this week. But CNN's response offers a textbook case of media bias, as the supposedly-objective news network virtually ignored Obama's gaffe while trumpeting Romney's comment.
President Obama poked fun at the ineffectiveness of his own stimulus bill in creating certain "shovel-ready jobs" on Monday and Republicans pounced on the joke, claiming it was not funny when unemployment remains high. However, CNN barely reported the president's joke and the ensuing Republican outrage.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer admitted Monday that he believed Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) when the congressman told him in an interview that he did not send a lewd photo of himself over Twitter. Blitzer related to CNN's Piers Morgan Monday evening his thoughts immediately after the interview.
"I'm saying to myself, you know what, it sounds to me like it may have been his picture, but it was out there, but somebody else hacked it and somebody else sent it out to embarrass him. I sort of believed, you know, that line," he confessed.
CNN's Jack Cafferty reverted back to his Palin derangement syndrome Wednesday afternoon. He touted two new books that heavily criticize Palin – labeling one as "required reading" for any potential supporters of a Palin presidential run – as an antidote of sorts to what he deemed "Palin propaganda."
Cafferty's question of the hour was "With the GOP field so weak, should Sarah Palin run for president?" He spent the majority of his brief time slot bashing Palin and assembling the case against the former governor. "Just when we thought that maybe she had decided to just go away and leave us alone comes news of Sarah Palin, the movie," he bemoaned.
According to a USA Today analysis, Americans are paying a lower percentage of income tax rates now than in the 1970s-1990s – and CNN's Jack Cafferty used this fact Monday to ask if raising taxes should be the first priority in Congress's deficit reduction plan. He hinted that the Treasury could use the extra revenue from higher taxes.
Then on Tuesday, CNN Anchor Carol Costello continued the talking points on the 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. EDT news hours, asking if it is time "for the GOP to blink" on the tax hike standoff. "[Obama] toppled Osama bin Laden. But can he slay the budget dragon? Not without striking a deal with this guy, House Speaker John Boehner," Costello ominously declared.
CNN's Candy Crowley adopted the pro-abortion lobby's talking points on Friday's Situation Room, as she asked Rep. Steve King about the House's vote to defund Planned Parenthood: "There's that term, 'penny wise and pound foolish.' Would you worry that, by cutting off those services, people...would have sicker babies, or certain people...wouldn't have HIV testing...and that would just cost us more?"
The journalist, who was substituting for regular anchor Wolf Blitzer, brought on the Iowa Republican and his Democratic colleague, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, to comment on the current budget debates at the state and federal levels. Towards the end of her interview, at the 42 minutes into the 6 pm Eastern hour mark, Crowley raised the 240-185 vote earlier that afternoon to eliminate federal funding of Planned Parenthood, and used an argument similar to that of liberal Fox News contributor Jehmu Greene, who emphasized on the February 3, 2011 edition of The O'Reilly Factor how the organization's employees "provide mammograms [and] provide birth control advice." The anchor also hinted that cutting off Planned Parenthood would end up costing more tax dollars in the long run:
On Wednesday afternoon, CNN aired a misleading graphic about Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour's statements about a proposed license plate honoring a controversial Confederate general from the Civil War. The chyron, which ran during CNN Newsroom and The Situation Room, stated that the "Miss. Gov. won't denounce creation of KKK license plate."
At first glance, one would imagine that the proposed vanity plate has an image of a burning cross or a hooded figure. In reality, the organization behind it, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, aim to honor Nathan Bedford Forrest, who is a controversial figure, even disregarding his early membership in the Klan, because of his involvement in the massacre of black Union troops at Fort Pillow in Tennessee in 1864. Most people probably know the name because of the Oscar-winning movie Forrest Gump, as the title character was named after the Confederate figure (the movie also has a brief clip of actor Tom Hanks, playing Gen. Forrest, donning his Klan robes).
Over the past couple of weeks, as prominent Muslim Brotherhood members tried to sell themselves as harmless in interviews shown on the evening newscasts on ABC, NBC, and CNN, Eliot Spitzer of CNN’s Parker-Spitzer managed to coax spokesman Mohammed Morsy into defending violence against Israel by Palestinians, contradicting the Brotherhood spokesman’s claims in the same interview of being opposed to violence.
Earlier in the interview, which was first seen on the Thursday, February 3 Parker-Spitzer, Morsy had also sidestepped the question of whether the Muslim Brotherhood would support adherence to Egypt’s 30-year treaty with Israel, as he suggested that such matters would be in the hands of the parliament.
CNN correspondent Mary Snow replayed some of the interview on the next day’s Situation Room on CNN. After a clip of Morsy claiming that his organization would support freedom for all religions in Egypt, the piece continued:
NewsBusters for years has chronicled the staggering idiocy of comedian Bill Maher.
On Tuesday's "Situation Room," we got a hand from Wolf Blitzer when he marvelously countered Maher's complaint that CNN's decision to air Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's (R-Minn.) Tea Party response to the President's State of the Union address was depriving Democrats of equal time (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Former dean of the White House press corps Helen Thomas delivered some candid remarks Monday on CNN's "Situation Room." Thomas, who last year retired from Hearst for telling Israelis to "get the hell out of Palestine" and go back to their former lands, railed against what she viewed as America unequivocally protecting Israel.
On Friday the Society of Professional Journalists announced that, in light of that controversy, it would "retire" the lifetime achievement award that bears her name.
"I could call President Obama anything in the book, and no one would say anything. You touch one thing about Israel and you're finished," Thomas groused.
CNN's "Situation Room" ran a segment on the 90 year-old journalist Monday afternoon, reporting that Thomas, who currently works for the Falls Church News-Press, is pushing to regain her status as a White House correspondent.
Jack Cafferty's Palin Derangement Syndrome reached a new level on Thursday's Situation Room on CNN, as he attacked the Republican for her reply to those who tried to tie her to the Arizona shootings: "It was just awful, defiant, [and] inflammatory." Cafferty also ripped Palin for using the "blood libel" phrase and stated that the reply would "effectively end her chance of ever being elected president."
The commentator devoted his 5 pm Eastern hour Cafferty File segment to his rant against his perennial nemesis: "Sarah Palin may have done herself in this time. The tragedy in Tucson presented an opportunity for Palin to reach beyond her base and to strike a note of unity, to say something that showed she's capable of true leadership." After noting that "there was a good deal of sympathy for her. A lot of people thought it was wrong to drag her into the debate to begin with," Cafferty struck hard at the former Alaska governor for having the audacity to answer the latest charges against her:
CAFFERTY: But then she spoke, and it was just awful. Defiant, inflammatory, Palin invoked the historically painful term, 'blood libel,' in attacking the media. This is a phrase used hundreds of years ago to describe anti-Semitic myths about how Jews killed children and then used their blood in religious ritual. NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell suggested the use of the phrase 'blood libel' was 'ignorant.' It was. A CBS analysis suggested Sarah Palin played 'the victim card.' She did. And ABC said Palin- quote, 'once again, has found a way to become part of the story,' unquote- true.
CNN indicated its sympathy for gun control on Tuesday with two segments on The Situation Room where sound bites from gun control supporters outnumbered gun rights supporters by a three-to-one margin. During the first report, correspondent Dana Bash stated that Senator Patrick Leahy "supports gun rights," even though the Democrat actually has the opposite record on the issue.
The previous evening, during the 9 pm Eastern hour of Monday's Anderson Cooper 360, the network's senior political analyst, David Gergen, indicated that he supported stricter gun control, in the wake of the attempted assassination on Representative Gabrielle Giffords, during a segment with Tea Party activist Dana Loesch.
GERGEN: ...How is it possible that someone who is this unhinged, when so many people understood that he was in mental deterioration, that he could still walk into a gun store and buy- you know, 9 mm semiautomatic Glock handgun, and also, then carry it concealed? I mean that's- if there's some cultural insanity here, it is the fact that we haven't put a stop to the capacity of these deranged young people to buy guns and then spray at people. It's just unbelievable.
UPDATE AT END OF POST: Olbermann responds via Twitter.
As NewsBusters previously reported, Fox News's Neil Cavuto on Monday went after MSNBC's Chris Matthews for making fun of New Jersey governor Chris Christie's weight.
Choosing to defend their colleague, Keith Olbermann and his crack research team on Wednesday incompetently responded with a poorly-researched cherry pick from a July 2009 installment of "Your World" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN imported its Parker-Spitzer model of liberal versus slightly moderate to Friday's Situation Room, except reversing the sexes. Anchor Wolf Blitzer brought on Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen and Tea Party-hating columnist John Avlon to discuss the debate in Congress over tax rates and the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Avlon took the same position as his colleague Kathleen Parker, that taxes should be raised on some rich, and joined Rosen in calling for the repeal of the controversial policy.
The two CNN political contributors appeared during the regular "Strategy Session" segment 49 minutes into the 5 pm Eastern hour. Blitzer read an excerpt from a recent blog item by Time's Mark Halperin where he wondered if the Democratic Party was "in the midst of a nervous breakdown." Rosen denied that this was the case and mouthed her party's talking points on the tax debate:
On Tuesday's Situation Roon, CNN's Jack Cafferty revisited his longstanding Palin Derangement syndrome by rebroadcasting one of his commentaries from September 2008 where he played an excerpt from the infamous Katie Couric interview and disparaged the then-vice presidential candidate. Most of the viewer responses to his 'Question of the Hour' bashed the former Alaska governor.
The commentator devoted his 5 pm Eastern hour Cafferty File segment to his old nemesis, since the Republican stated in a recent interview that she wouldn't "waste her time" doing another interview with the CBS anchor. He replayed the bulk of a September 26, 2008 segment where he highlighted one of Palin's less-than-satisfactory answers during the Couric interview. He concluded at that time that "if John McCain wins, this woman will be one 72-year-old's heartbeat away from being president of the United States, and if that doesn't scare the hell out of you, it should."
CNN, a network known for its regular liberal bias, touted its supposed objectivity versus its competitors in a new ad which premiered on Tuesday evening. The ad graphically associated Fox News with the Republican elephant and MSNBC with the Democratic donkey, and claimed, "If you want to keep them all honest, without playing favorites, the choice is clear: CNN, the worldwide leader in news."
Yahoo! News's Michael Calderone, in his Wednesday article on the new ad, quoted from CNN political director Sam Feist, who claimed that their ad "simply states the obvious: We're the one cable news channel that doesn't advocate for one political party or the other." Calderone continued that "CNN's nonpartisan anchors have struggled against their more opinionated counterparts. Campbell Brown acknowledged her 8 p.m. show's low ratings against Fox News' Bill O'Reilly and MSNBC's Keith Olbermann in her May announcement that she was leaving the network."
HBO's Bill Maher spouted his usual anti-conservative and anti-Fox News rhetoric on Monday's Situation Room on CNN, attacking the Tea Party movement as "teabaggers [who] are all carrying the banner...of corporatist America" and accusing CNN's competitor of "filling people with misinformation." Maher also labeled Republican voters "far right" and a "fringe group of people who are very forceful."
The left-wing HBO host appeared for two segments starting at the bottom of the 5 pm Eastern hour. Anchor Wolf Blitzer began with an election-related question: "Let's talk a little bit about what's going to happen tomorrow. A lot of Democrats are worried. They're sitting on a potential political disaster tomorrow. Here's the question to you: why? What happened?"
Maher actually first blamed the Democrats: "Well- I mean, partly, it is the Democrats' fault. They don't do very good at bragging about their achievements. This Congress, which I'm sure is going to be tarred as a do-nothing Congress, actually was one of the more successful congresses in recent memory, probably not since Lyndon Johnson in 1965 has a Congress achieved so much." The guest predictably cited health care "reform" and financial reforms as his examples.
Blitzer followed-up by asking, "So is it just a matter of communications?" Maher launched his attack on Fox News in his reply:
CNN devoted several segments on Tuesday and Wednesday to Delaware Republican Christine O'Donnell's apparent gaffe on the First Amendment, but barely acknowledged her opponent Chris Coons's own gaffe on the amendment. Analyst Jeff Toobin spun O'Donnell's remark as demonstrating that "she didn't seem to know" the amendment. It took conservative Dana Loesch on AC360 to bring up Coons's own gaffe.
CNN's Jack Cafferty may end up eating more than his words if Sarah Palin is elected the next president in 2012. After outlining how a current poll indicates "Obama's best hope of winning a second term just might be Alaska's dropout governor" on Tuesday's Situation Room, anchor Wolf Blitzer warned him that there's always the chance she may end up being elected. Cafferty replied, "If Sarah Palin is the next president, Wolf, I will eat this building I'm talking to you from one brick at a time" [audio clip available here].
The commentator devoted his regular 5 pm "Cafferty File" segment to a recent Politico/George Washington University poll that found that only 38% would vote to re-elect President Obama, and 44% would vote for his hypothetical opponent. Besides these poll numbers, Cafferty noted that "by double digits, they disapprove of his new health care law. They trust congressional Republicans to create jobs more than they trust Mr. Obama."
On Friday's Situation Room, CNN highlighted the Military Religious Freedom Foundation's concerns over a planned concert at Fort Bragg, North Carolina organized by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Foundation, but omitted the MRFF president Michael Weinstein's past invective against Christianity. Anchor Wolf Blitzer referred to the MRFF as merely a "watchdog group."
Blitzer introduced correspondent Chris Lawrence's report by summarizing the controversy over the "Rock the Fort" concert and used his "watchdog" label for the MRFF: "A concert scheduled at Fort Bragg in North Carolina tomorrow may sound like a good way for soldiers to kick back, but a watchdog group is objecting to the message behind the music: an attempt to recruit the troops to 'God's army.'"
Lawrence picked up where the anchor left off: "Well, on one hand, you've got thousands of soldiers and their families who want to praise God and to hear this Christian music at the concert tomorrow. On the other hand, you've got people saying, why is the U.S. Army helping an evangelical organization recruit new members?"
Every year, when former president Bill Clinton assembles his Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New York, he organizes a round of interviews with the liberal media,which seem to compete to be the most deferential. This year's winner should be CNN's Wolf Blitzer on The Situation Room on Tuesday.
Blitzer oozed to Clinton that his initiative was "really amazing" and asked him "Do you ever think about how many lives you may have saved?" Blitzer started by overstating a Dayo Olopade puff piece from the liberal blog The Daily Beast which suggested the Slick Williefest could "one day eclipse the older institution." But Blitzer claimed it said Clinton's gathering was "much more important" than the UN:
BLITZER: This is the sixth CGI that you've hosted. Did you see the piece in The Daily Beast saying it's really become much more important than the Annual United Nations General Assembly?
CLINTON: No, I haven't seen that.
BLITZER: I mean, it's really amazing what you've accomplished --
On Wednesday's Situation Room, CNN's Jack Cafferty revisited his anti-Sarah Palin obsession and somewhat predictably, grouped U.S. Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell with the former Alaska governor, stating it "feels like Sarah Palin all over again....O'Donnell has some big question marks on her resume, just like...Palin." Most of the viewer e-mails Cafferty read bashed the two politicians.
The commentator devoted his 5 pm Eastern hour commentary to the two Republican women. After his "feels like Sarah Palin all over again" line, Cafferty recounted O'Donnell's emergence on the national political scene, and wasted little time in outlining her negative similarities to Palin: "Suddenly, everybody can't seem to get enough of her. This is despite the fact that O'Donnell has some big question marks on her resume, just like Sarah Palin. She's come under fire for allegedly misusing campaign funds for personal expenses-just like Sarah Palin."
CNN's Suzanne Malveaux led Friday's Situation Room by labeling the social conservative Value Voters Summit a "traditional showcase for hardcore conservatives." Later in the same segment, senior political analyst Gloria Borger stated that the Tea Party movement was "anti-health care" and bizarrely referred to Ronald Reagan as "the most secular president we've known in our lifetime."
Malveaux used her "hardcore conservatives" line as she introduced a segment on Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell's speech to the Summit. Just before this, she stated how "some are calling her [O'Donnell] the new poster girl for the Tea Party phenomenon" and later continued that she apparently "preached a new kind of gospel at the Values Voter Summit: the Tea Party's anti-government mantra."
[Update, Wednesday, 11:15 pm Eastern: The Tweet by O'Brien apparently "doesn't exist" any more. A screen cap of the Tweet in question can be seen after the jump.]
Former CNN anchor Miles O'Brien (no relation to current CNN special correspondent Soledad O'Brien) slammed Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell as a "Tea Party nutbag" in a Tweet on Wednesday evening. O'Brien continued that he "forget [sic] her ignorant nonsense," referring to her defense of the creationist viewpoint during a 1996 appearance on his former network.
O'Brien, who was let go by CNN in 2008 after they closed their science unit, linked to an article on the left-wing website Talking Points Memo after his attack on O'Donnell. The article, by Eric Kleefeld, highlighted an item by Dan Amira of New York magazine, who "dug up" the Republican's March 1996 appearance with O'Brien and Dr. Michael McKinney of the University of Tennessee-Chattanoga. During the panel discussion, O'Donnell defended the creationism. Kleefeld labeled it as just another part of the social conservative's "religious right work," citing her apparent "long career in anti-sex and anti-masturbation activism."
On Tuesday's Situation Room, CNN's Jack Cafferty revisited one of his favorite subjects of ire, the Catholic Church, and this time called for the ordination of women. Cafferty highlighted the advertising campaign of a British organization which demands that Pope Benedict XVI allow for such simulations of ordination, and mocked a Catholic priest's defense of the all-male priesthood.
The commentator devoted his 6 pm Eastern hour Cafferty File segment to the issue of women's ordination: "'Pope Benedict: ordain women now'- that's the message that will be plastered on London buses when the pontiff heads to England's capital in a couple of weeks. A group called Catholic Women's Ordination is spending $15,000 for 15 buses to carry posters with that message around London for a month."
Cafferty then moved to the opposing viewpoint, and wasted little time before bashing it and one of its defenders: "Father Stephen Wang says women are not barred from the priesthood because of sexism....Wang says that Jesus chose 12 men, and no women, to be his apostles, and he adds that men and women are equal in Christianity, but that gender still matters. Wang compares the role of a priest to an actor, saying no one would be surprised if he wanted a male actor to play King Arthur. He then admits the analogy is weak. That's the most startling and profound thing he said in the message so far- terrible!"
CNN's Deborah Feyerick joined the media guessing game as to the motivation behind the stabbing of Muslim taxicab driver in New York City, emphasizing the possibility it may have been "connected to this big Ground Zero controversy, where we're hearing so much anti-Muslim sentiment." Feyerick raised this hypothesis during reports on Thursday's Rick's List and The Situation Room.
The correspondent's first report on the attack aired 12 minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour of Rick's List. Anchor Rick Sanchez played a clip from victim Ahmed Sharif's press conference on Thursday before introducing Feyerick. She began by stating that when "Michael Enright, the suspect, was arrested, he had numerous journals and notebooks on him, all of them filled with writings, some of it completely illegible. That is now with authorities, all of that being vetted and looked through to see whether, in fact, there was anything indicating that he had undergone some sort of a mental or emotional change."
Feyerick did mention that Enright "ironically...was a volunteer working for a non-profit organization that promotes peace," but didn't mentioned that the organization, Intersections International, actually supports the planned mosque near Ground Zero. She continued with the speculation over the possible motivation of the attack, including the "anti-Muslim" charge: