CNN made a real, day-long effort on Monday to address the climate-change debate as a debate, giving skeptics of manmade climate change a series of chances to match the leftist view, especially during its evening programming. CNN is also the only U.S. TV news outlet so far to send an anchor to the Climate Research Unit at the center of the ClimateGate controversy.
International correspondent Phil Black’s interview of Lord Christopher Monckton, a prominent skeptic of the theory of manmade global warming, ran four minutes into the 6 pm Eastern hour. The “passionate skeptic on climate change,” as Black referred to him, traveled to Copenhagen for the UN’s climate change summit, and is one of the few skeptics of the theory of manmade climate change in attendance. The CNN correspondent actually compared belief in the theory to a religion at the beginning of his report: “Copenhagen’s Bella Conference Center has become an international temple for thousands of true believers, people who have no doubt the planet is warming and humankind is to blame. But there are a few people here who do not believe.”
On Friday’s Situation Room, CNN correspondent Mary Snow highlighted the latest developments on ClimateGate, but only played one sound bite from a skeptic of manmade climate change, as opposed to the four clips from proponents of the theory. Snow also omitted the left-wing affiliation of RealClimate.org, a website she mentioned during her report.
The correspondent led her report with a clip from Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, who called for an investigation into the leaked e-mails at the center of the ClimateGate scandal. After noting some of the other fallout from the controversy over the past 2 weeks, Snow continued that “[t]hose who question the effects of human activity on climate change have seized on the e-mails, accusing scientists of conspiring to hide evidence and trying to destroy data. Among them, Republican Senator James Inhofe, who has called global warming a hoax. This week, he called for hearings...and the e-mails were raised at a House hearing this week.”
The CNN correspondent played two clips from that hearing. The first came from Republican John Shadegg of Arizona, who played up the leaked e-mails: “Anyone who thinks that those e-mails are insignificant, that they don’t damage the credibility of the entire movement, is naive.” She followed this with a sound bite from Jane Lubchenco of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who defended the apparent scientific soundness of the theory of manmade climate change: “E-mails really do nothing to undermine the very strong scientific consensus and the independent scientific analyses of thousands of scientists around the world that tell us that the Earth is warming, and that the warming is largely a result of human activity.”
Jack Cafferty went above and beyond many of his colleagues in the media by highlighting the ClimateGate scandal on Wednesday’s Situation Room. He presented both sides of the controversy, noting the “thousand pages of leaked e-mails and documents,” while summarizing the side of the defenders of the theory of manmade climate change. Most of the viewer e-mails he read sided with the critics of the theory.
The CNN commentator brought up the issue seven minutes into the 5 pm Eastern hour, and incorporated a reference to a film by a certain former vice president: “Al Gore called global warming ‘An Inconvenient Truth,’ but suddenly, a lot of people are asking what the truth really is.” He continued with a summary of the issue:
Ben Stein made an indirect reference to the ClimateGate e-mail scandal during a face-off with Democratic strategist James Carville on Wednesday’s Situation Room: “The truth is, we’ve now got a lot of data coming out that the scientific community who are on the side of anthropogenic global warming were cooking the data and were suppressing data to those requesting their data.”
Stein and Carville appeared on the program’s regular “Strategy Session” segment 46 minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour, less than an hour before CNN aired a slanted report on the e-mail scandal. Substitute anchor Suzanne Malveaux first raised President Obama’s upcoming trip to Copenhagen for the UN Climate Change Conference with the Democrat: “Obviously, this is a political issue. This is up to Congress. What can the President do on this issue?”
Carville went on the offensive out of the gate: “Well, unfortunately, I hope I’m wrong, but not very much, and I hope that talk radio and the pollution lobby are right that global warming is not a problem and 940 peer-reviewed scientific articles are wrong. That’s about all we can hope for because, right now, I have to tell you, that the pollution lobby and talk radio is winning this battle, and the will in the United States to do something about this is not what where I think it should be. But that’s the reality of the political situation as I see it right now.”
Stein rebuked his opponent for his labeling, and made his first reference to ClimateGate:
Even though all three of Wednesday’s broadcast network evening newscasts reported on President Obama’s decision to attend the climate change summit in Copenhagen, they also continued to ignore email evidence that scientists who push global warming theory have distorted data to support their assertions while trying to suppress the views of dissenters. FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier gave attention to the Climategate controversy on Monday and Wednesday, while Wednesday’s The Situation Room on CNN, guest hosted by Suzanne Malveaux, ran what appears to be CNN’s first story on the controversy, but correspondent Brooke Baldwin downplayed the story’s significance. The same story ran twice on the Friday, November 27, American Morning on CNN.
Baldwin began and ended her report fretting over the timing of the revelation as coming so soon before the climate change summit in Copenhagen. She also twice referred to a climate change "consensus," a loaded term which is normally employed by those who believe global warming theory is not debatable. Baldwin began her report by rhetorically asking, "How about the timing of all of this?"
CNN correspondent Max Foster’s short report about Richard Dawkins on Tuesday’s Situation Room played more like a commercial which promoted the militant atheist’s new book. Despite Dawkins’s past inflammatory statements about Christianity, Foster only labeled him “an outspoken critic of creationism....[whose] atheist views have put him at the center of controversy” [audio clip available here].
Anchor Suzanne Malveaux’s introduction for the correspondent’s report highlighted the 150th anniversary of the printing of Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species,” and how Dawkins was a “controversial successor [to Darwin] carrying the torch for evolution.” Foster gave a very basic description of Dawkins’s career during his report, only mentioning his controversial stances only in passing. Video straight from the Richard Dawkins Foundation ran on-screen as Foster, an anchor for CNN’s sister network CNN International, gave his voice-over.
On Monday’s Situation Room, Suzanne Malveaux became the latest CNN personality to use the offensive “teabagger” label to describe opponents of ObamaCare. Malveaux asked senior political analyst Gloria Borger, “Do we expect to see the kinds of big rallies and...the circus atmosphere that we saw...over the summer when you were talking about controversial policy, ‘teabaggers’ and all that other thing?” [audio clip available here]
The CNN anchor and correspondent, serving a substitute for the vacationing Wolf Blitzer, questioned Borger about the upcoming battle over health care “reform” in the Senate, after a 60-39 vote over the weekend to begin debate over the Democrats’ bill. Her use of the vulgar term came 14 minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour:
When outrage erupted this week over a government panel's recommendation that women have fewer mammograms, health and human services secretary Kathleen Sebelius was prepared with the Obama administration's favorite talking point: It's all Bush's fault. Appearing Wednesday on CNN's The Situation Room, Sebelius told anchor Wolf Blitzer:
This panel was appointed by the prior administration, by former President George Bush, and given the charge to routinely look at a whole host of services to make sure that new preventive services which had benefit were being looked at by health care providers and that things that they felt did not have as much benefit as we move forward were also looked at by health care providers.
Senate majority whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) continued the theme on Friday as reported by Politico:
“The recommendation by this medical panel has been rejected by virtually everyone, including the current administration,” Durbin said. “They were appointed by President Bush.”
On Wednesday’s Situation Room, CNN’s Brian Todd actually considered that political correctness prevented earlier action against Ft. Hood shooter Nidal Hasan. Despite referencing “a senior investigative official who...said he has never heard any indication...that Hasan got any favorable treatment...before this shooting,” Todd also cited three others who were certain of the political correctness factor.
The CNN correspondent did not lead his report with any mention of the possible PC treatment the Muslim army major might have receive, a graphic on-screen hinted what was to come later in the report: “Hasan’s Contacts & Behavior Examined: ‘Political correctness’ a possible concern.”
After mentioning the investigation into Hasan’s e-mail conversations with a radical cleric in Yemen, Todd noted that “[q]uestions continue over Hasan’s behavior while in medical training and the response to that behavior, specifically presentations Hasan gave on Muslims in the military, when, according to one classmate, he was supposed to be talking about health issues. The classmate...tells CNN, despite the discomfort of others in the room, he doesn’t believe Hasan’s superiors counseled him about it, and the classmate says he believes it was because they didn’t want to alienate a Muslim soldier.”
There were some potentially interesting and concerning admissions on CNN Monday night when Wolf Blitzer said he thought he could identify a marijuana plant by its smell, and Lou Dobbs followed by saying he could recognize it "rather readily" by sight.
Unfortunately, neither mentioned whether or not they inhaled.
Somewhat comically, Dobbs, speaking with Blitzer and Jessica Yellin during the 6PM edition of "The Situation Room," seemed more concerned about the career implications of this incident for them than for himself (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t Mediaite):
CNN’s Candy Crowley made an oblique reference to her colleague Anderson Cooper’s infamous “teabagger” remark on Monday’s Situation Room. As she reported on the race in New York’s 23rd congressional district, Crowley referred to Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman as “the choice of many on the right, including Sarah Palin, former House leader Dick Armey and ‘tea bag partyers’” [audio clips available here].
The CNN political correspondent detailed the different key races up in the November 3 election at the top of the 5 pm Eastern hour, including the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial campaigns. She closed her report with the New York contest: “And by way of marquee races, it’s hard to beat the soap opera of New York’s 23rd congressional district, where the Republican moderate dropped out over the weekend, leaving the race to a conservative, Doug Hoffman, the choice of many on the right, including Sarah Palin, former House leader Dick Armey and ‘tea bag partyers.’”
On Friday’s Situation Room, CNN forwarded an idea proposed by The New Republic’s Peter Beinart- that Democratic losses in the gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey this year would result in the reelection of President Obama in 2012. An on-screen graphic during a discussion of Beinart’s hypothesis read, “If The Dems Lose Next Week: How it might help them in the long run.”
Anchor Wolf Blitzer read the New Republic contributor’s idea during a “Strategy Session” panel discussion with Republican Mary Matalin and Democrat Paul Begala 53 minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour: “Peter Beinart, writing in The Daily Beast, says...it might be good for the Democrats if the Republicans win both Virginia and New Jersey, the governors’ races next Tuesday. ‘Let’s imagine,’ he writes, ‘that Democrats lose next week because the GOP’s conservative base flocks to the polls while liberals stay home. For Obama, that wouldn’t be so terrible. The more confident right-wing Republicans become, the more likely they will nominate a Palin-like zealot in 2012.’”
On Tuesday’s Situation Room, CNN’s Jack Cafferty highlighted a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll which found that Americans apparently support the public option and mandatory insurance, and most of the viewer responses that he read supported these left-wing positions. Cafferty didn’t explicitly voice his agreement with the poll results, but presented his own liberal proposal for health care.
Cafferty touted how “a majority of Americans supports two of the more controversial parts of health care reform: the public option and requiring everyone to buy insurance” during his 4 pm “Question of the Hour” segment: “A new Washington Post/ABC News Poll shows independents and seniors, both critical voting blocs, have warmed up to the idea of a public insurance option. Fifty-seven percent favor the public option. Fifty-six percent support making it mandatory for all Americans to buy health insurance, either through their employers, on their own, or through Medicare or Medicaid.”
Ed Morrisey of HotAir.com pointed out on Tuesday morning that this poll has a skewed sample. On the other hand, the CNN commentator did however subsequently note that “there’s even broader opposition to how to pay for all of this. Sixty-one percent are opposed to the proposed tax on so-called Cadillac insurance plans, and nearly 70 percent say they think any health care bill will increase the federal deficit, although almost half of those people say it would be worth it to grow the deficit in order to achieve true health care reform.”
After months of investigation, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) released a report addressing accusations from some humanitarian groups that its use of white phosphorus (WP) munitions in the Gaza War was a violation of international law, as the report distinguishes between the use of WP as a weapon and the more common non-weapon purposes such as providing smoke screens to conceal troop movements. The pro-Israel group CAMERA recently quoted from the report in the article, "Did Israel’s Use of White Phosphorus Constitute a War Crime?" by Steven Stotsky, on its Web site. The report not only argued that the military's decision to explode the munition in the air was safer for civilians than it would have been to explode it on the ground, but it also suggested that the use of WP to facilitate troops movements also meant civilian casualties were lower than they otherwise would have been by making attacks on Hamas more accurate.
Last January, evening newscasts and some morning newscasts on the broadcast networks and on CNN and FNC reported on accusations from humanitarian groups – with varying degrees of accuracy – with CBS even referring to WP as a "banned weapon," and a "horrific new weapon, " and contending that the IDF may have committed "war crimes." At one point, CNN similarly incorrectly identified WP as a "banned substance." ABC showed a clip of a wounded Palestinian boy charging that Israelis have "no mercy" even for children. (MSNBC does not have a morning or evening newscast equivalent to NBC’s Today show or the NBC Nightly News, so MSNBC coverage was not examined.) But, according to a Nexis search, none of these news programs showed any interest in updating viewers once the Israeli military had made public its say on the matter.
As previously documented by NewsBusters, the January 22 CBS Evening News ran a report (video here), introduced by anchor Katie Couric, which left the impression that the Israeli military had used a "banned weapon," without informing viewers that there are non-weapon uses for WP, and passed on accusations of "war crimes." Couric: "Hamas just ended a bloody war with Israel in Gaza, and tonight there is growing evidence the Israelis may have used a banned weapon. Some even accuse them of war crimes."
On the January 25 World News Sunday on ABC, as he introduced a report by correspondent Simon McGregor-Wood, anchor Dan Harris played up complaints against "both sides" in the war, and even suggested that the Israeli side may have been worse in its conduct of the war as he highlighted that there was "especially tough criticism" leveled at Israel. Harris: "Both sides are being dogged now by complaints that they violated the rules of war. Israel has come under especially tough criticism for its use of a chemical agent."
On Friday’s The O’Reilly Factor on FNC, as host Bill O’Reilly and Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace discussed recent comedy directed at President Obama and the First Lady – including a re-dubbed clip of Sesame Street’s Big Bird grilling Michelle Obama from the Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien – Wallace opined that he hopes that there would be more such comedy and that the Obama’s should be treated by comedians like "regular public figures and not as something heaven sent."
He also lambasted the "idiocy" he saw on CNN as the Situation Room recently fact-checked a Saturday Night Live skit that took jabs at President Obama. Wallace: "I mean, here, the idiocy of CNN doing a fact check on Saturday Night Live's send up of Barack Obama, the fact is that is what comedians should do. They should make fun of the people in power."
Later in the show, O’Reilly brought aboard FNC’s Greg Gutfeld -- host of Redeye -- and Juliet Huddy to talk about the "dumbest things of the week," and Gutfeld presented his choice of the CNN fact-check, pointing out CNN’s double standard in its treatment of conservatives: "But they never did this when Will Ferrell went out and did Bush or when Tina Fey did Palin. They never analyzed when Republicans were parodied, but somehow when Barack Obama is parodied, they're shocked. They're incredulous. It's amazing to me."
UPDATE AT END OF POST: Fox officials agree that all this attention is helping ratings.
Three days before Howard Kurtz talked with White House communications director Anita Dunn about the Obama administration's attacks on the Fox News Channel, a number of CNN contributors pointed out how this strategy is helping FNC's ratings while hurting Democrats.
Such was discussed on Thursday's "Situation Room" by a panel consisting of CNN's Gloria Berger, David Gergen, and John King, as well as Politico's Nia-Malika Henderson and Republican strategist Tony Blankley.
Makes you wonder why Kurtz on Sunday didn't ask Dunn about the following tremendously relevant conversation that happened on his own network a few days earlier (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t Mediaite):
The Situation Room on CNN’s “fact checking” of Saturday Night Live’s skit from October 3, which made fun of President Obama as a “do-nothing,” has generated criticism, according to the TVNewser blog on Wednesday. Meanwhile, CNN’s sister network, CNN International, has been airing a “global edition” of Comedy Central’s Daily Show since 2002, a program which has apparently received less scrutiny.
TVNewser’s Kevin Allocca highlighted the criticism the “fact check” report filed by CNN correspondent Kareen Wynter in an article titled “CNN’s SNL ‘Fact Check’ Generates Backlash.” Allocca cited the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto (who labeled the “fact check” a “bizarre exercise.”), the Baltimore Sun’s David Zurawik (“Fact checking a comedy sketch -- I will say no more.”), and Fox News Channel’s Greg Gutfeld, who snarked, “Seriously, reviewing an ‘SNL’ skit for accuracy is like reviewing McDonald’s for their wine list.” The TVNewser blogger also noted the Web meme that has taken off on Twitter that was inspired by Wynter’s segment.
Democratic strategist Paul Begala can be relied upon to use the “drug card” against Rush Limbaugh whenever the talk radio host is brought up, and he was true to form on Tuesday’s Situation Room. When anchor Wolf Blitzer asked what it would mean if Limbaugh bought the St. Louis Rams, Begala snarked, “Just don’t put him in charge of the team’s drug policy....Don’t give him access to that medicine cabinet” [ audio clip from the segment is available here].
Blitzer brought up Limbaugh just after the bottom of the 6 pm Eastern hour during in a panel discussion with Begala, Republican strategist Ed Rollins, and CNN personalities Gloria Borger, Joe Johns, and Jessica Yellin. The anchor asked Johns, “Rush Limbaugh- he’s thinking about buying, or at least, participating in a group that’s buys the St. Louis Rams in the NFL....What, if anything, would that mean for the St. Louis Rams?” Johns replied, “Probably very little....you know, [if] you’ve got a good football team in a place...like St. Louis, people are going to watch. And so what if Rush Limbaugh is the owner” [see video from the segment below the jump].
CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer highlighted the latest study from the Center for Science in the Public Interest during a news brief on Tuesday’s Situation, but omitted the left-wing bent of the organization, referring to it as merely an “activist watchdog group.”
The CSPI released their “Ten Riskiest Foods Regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug and Administration” earlier in the day, and the CNN anchor noted that these edible items are “some of the healthiest foods all of us could eat, but according to an activist watchdog group, they could still make us all of us sick.” He continued with a summary of the organization’s findings, including a paraphrase of the study’s title: “Researchers say leafy greens, eggs, tuna, oysters and potatoes are among the top ten riskiest foods regulated by the FDA.”
CNN’s Jack Cafferty and Wolf Blitzer endorsed Thomas Friedman’s “scary and sobering column” in the New York Times on Wednesday’s Situation Room, where the liberal writer compared the current American political climate to that of Israel in 1995 prior to Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination. After Cafferty remarked that “Friedman’s right,” Blitzer labeled the column “powerful.”
The CNN commentator began his 5 pm Eastern “Cafferty File” segment with his “scary and sobering” label of the New York Times column. After summarizing it and reading a quote where Friedman warned that “something very dangerous is happening” in the American political dialogue, Cafferty remarked that “Friedman’s right. You don’t have to look any further than protesters comparing President Obama to a Nazi, or a Facebook poll asking if he should be killed. Tom Friedman says even if you’re not worried about violence against Mr. Obama, you should be worried about what’s happening to American politics.”
Media sycophancy for the Clintons is so 1990s, but every now and then the MSM muster up a bit of nostalgia and pour lavish praise on the former first couple. Take CNN's Wolf Blitzer and Jill Dougherty at the close of the 5 p.m. EDT hour of today's "The Situation Room."
"Often times, a kiss is just a kiss, but when you're a former president planting one on your wife, the secretary of state, it can garner a lot of attention," CNN's Wolf Blitzer gushed as he introduced a story by colleague Jill Dougherty in which the latter enthused that after a "brief public display of affection" before an audience at the Clinton Global Initiative, the Democratic power couple were "off, separately, to change the world."
CNN correspondent Brian Todd featured anarchist protesters at the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh during a report on Friday’s Situation Room, but despite their clear political affiliation, didn’t mention their extreme background.
Todd devoted the first half of his report from the western Pennsylvania city to the protesters’ march. As the correspondent noted the “audible frustration on the streets by people who feel powerless over what they see as backroom deals made by a powerful few,” Todd ran video from the march where the oft-used half black, half red anarchy (more specifically, anarcho-syndicalist) flag was clearly visible (see above).
In today's "When Are You Going to Realize the Democrats Control Congress?" moment, CNN's Jack Cafferty attacked Tom DeLay Tuesday in a segment that had absolutely nothing to do with the former House Majority Leader.
In fact, his piece during the 4PM installment of the "Situation Room" dealt with whether it was more important for a president to be liked or feared outside the country.
Unfortunately, Cafferty -- whose hatred for Republicans seems to always bubble over regardless of the topic -- felt it was necessary to first bring up DeLay's recent appearance on "Dancing With The Stars" (video embedded below the fold with transcript):
On Tuesday’s Situation Room, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer used a left-wing talking point on the health care debate during a brief about a web ad made by comedian Will Ferrell and other celebrities: “One of the most famous comedians joins some of your favorite actors to promote health care reform. So why are they defending health care...executives making billions of dollars at your expense?” [audio clip available here]
Blitzer devoted three news briefs during the 5 pm Eastern hour of the CNN hour to the ad, all the while omitting how Ferrell and his group made it in conjunction with the leftist organization MoveOn.org. After playing a clip from the web ad during the first brief, which came 10 minutes into the hour, the CNN anchor highlighted how the celebrities were “using comedy to make some serious points about health care. This video [is] getting a lot of attention out there.”
RNC Chairman Michael Steele shot back at CNN’s Wolf Blitzer after the anchor tried to smear conservatives with racism on Wednesday’s Situation Room. The CNN anchor pointed out a racist sign at a Tea Party, and Steele replied, “Don’t hold up one person as an example of behavior by everyone.” The RNC chairman also rebuked Blitzer after the anchor pointed out the GOP’s dearth of minorities in Congress [audio clips from the segment are available here].
Before he introduced Steele, Blitzer played a clip from former President Jimmy Carter, who attributed “overwhelming portion of the intensely-demonstrated animosity towards President Barack Obama” to racism. He then asked the RNC chairman for his take on the Democrat’s remarks. Steele replied that Carter was “just dead wrong....I am, like a lot of Americans, concerned and disagree with the President’s policies and approaches from the stimulus spending to this health care strategy. Am I a racist because I disagree with that? I don’t think so.”
CNN's efforts to smear Obama critics as racist gained visibility on Monday's Situation Room when the usually more sensible Wolf Blitzer, with “RACIAL TINGE TO TEA MOVEMENT” as the on-screen heading, set up a story on how, “most disturbing,” within the tea party crowds there's “a very small but vocal minority, they're targeting President Obama's race.” Though reporter Elaine Quijano said “we have to emphasize by far most tea party protesters are not casting their arguments in what could be seen as a racial light,” she nonetheless proceeded to treat as newsworthy how “a small but passionate minority is also voicing what some see as racist rhetoric.”
In decrying the racism, CNN gave national cable air time to what she described as a “controversial image that's been circulating on the Web since July,” a “doctored image circulating on the Internet and even some protesters signs like this one in Brighton, Michigan, portraying President Obama as a witch doctor.” Brighton, Michigan? So, not at the more newsworthy big national event Saturday in DC I presume.
Quijano soon went to Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page who saw race as the common denominator: “People are not just mad at Obama. They're mad at Jesse Jackson, they're mad at Reverend Wright, they're made at Al Sharpton, they're mad at people who have nothing to do with Obama except they all happen to be black.” Without questioning the supposition, Quijano warned: “Page says the vehement racial resistance that's emerged is another sign any notion of a post-racial society after Barack Obama's election was wishful thinking.”
The evidence is in on Van Jones. He's and admitted communist, signed a petition supporting 9/11 conspiracy theories and has called Republicans a series of vulgar names, and according to Democratic strategist Donna Brazile - there's nothing wrong with that.
"Let me just say that Van Jones is a very, very intelligent man," Brazile said. "A Yale graduate, someone who came up from the public schools of Jackson, Tenn. to make something of himself. People have a deep and abiding respect for his expertise for on the environment."
Instead of taking up how five years ago Jones signed the 911truth.org petition calling for an “immediate inquiry into evidence that suggests high-level government officials may have deliberately allowed the September 11th attacks to occur,” a revelation to which FNC's Special Report devoted a full story on Thursday, on ABC's World News fill-in anchor George Stephanopoulos trumpeted the Obama White House “transparency” in the “unprecedented” decision to release visitor logs, which Jake Tapper described as an “historic” move before Stephanopoulos fretted over how Obama “is facing this liberal revolt over the public health insurance option, and the President decided to take it head-on today.”
Over on NBC, Brian Williams bemoaned: “A back to school speech by the President. How did it get branded as an attempt to brainwash America's children?” He also conveyed liberal disappointment Obama-defenders aren't tough enough: “Some are asking how the White House message got hijacked before the speech was delivered and why more people aren't pushing back.” Andrea Mitchell asserted that “it's only the latest example of what the White House calls the silly season -- town halls where disabled speakers are shouted down....From charges of death panels to the birthers...”
On yesterday's The Situation Room, CNN senior political analyst Gloria Borger spoke with host Suzanne Malveaux about polling done on ObamaCare:
MALVEAUX: Gloria, I want to start off with you.
One thing that the polls were showing is that most Americans, they support this idea of this public option, but they also believe that the president wants the government to take over the health care system. Well, how does that -- how do you make sense of that?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, in fact, 53 percent believe that Obama wants to take over the health care system, and 42 percent say no. And I think what this shows is that the Republican PR about President Obama being big government, big deficit, big spender, has really taken hold over the congressional recess. People believe that he wants big government.
What Borger is missing here is that the principal reason Americans view Obama as a big government, big deficit, big spending liberal is because he is. "Republican PR" might emphasize that simple truth, but the facts speak for themselves and many Americans would have arrived at the same conclusion regardless.
Today on The Situation Room, CNN senior political analyst Gloria Borger discussed President Obama's rapidly declining approval ratings. A question was posed by host Suzanne Malveaux:
MALVEAUX: What does it mean, Gloria, for the president to be losing out on these Independents?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: I think it's a real possible for him. Remember that President Obama won the election with 52 percent of Independent voters. That number is down considerably to 43 percent, and Independents are the margin of difference here for him.
Now, the key to keeping those people is, right now, they are worried about the deficit. They see the president as a big spender. They see him aligned with so-called liberal leaders in the Democratic Congress. So, what he's got to do when -- after Labor Day is kind of show them that he is the kind of so-called post-partisan president that many of them thought they were electing.
The good news for President Obama in this is that they are not realigning themselves with the Republicans yet, because the Republican Party still has very high disapproval ratings.