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.
On Tuesday’s Situation Room, CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux questioned RNC Chairman Michael Steele about the debate over ObamaCare, and alleged that protesters “from your own party...have talked about and compared President Obama to Hitler” at the health care town halls. The anchor also bizarrely asked Steele if he gave Attorney General Holder “credit...for breaking away from President Obama.”
Midway through her interview with the GOP leader, Malveaux made the left-wing allegation that Republican activists were using Nazi imagery against the President at the town halls: “How honest do you think the debate has been- the discussion? In light of some of the town hall meetings, some of the rhetoric that we’ve seen from both sides, but specifically those who are from your own party who have talked about and compared President Obama to- to Hitler.”
CNN has raised the issue of the Nazi comparisons at the health care town halls in the past weeks, all the while making three significant omissions. First, they neglected to mention that early in August, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused the anti-ObamaCare protesters of “carrying swastikas and symbols like that to a town hall meeting on health care,” which led to Rush Limbaugh pointing out the similarities between the DNC health care logo and a Nazi symbol. They have also failed to mention that supporters of leftist Lyndon LaRouche bore posters of President Obama defaced with a Hitler mustache.
Media Embraced Cindy Sheehan's Anti-Bush Push in 2005; ABC Anchor Now Says: "Enough Already"
When Cindy Sheehan arrives on Martha’s Vineyard tomorrow (Tuesday), to protest against President Barack Obama, will the news media be as drawn to her as they were in the summer of 2005 when she was condemning George W. Bush?
Last week, ABC anchor Charles Gibson declared “enough already” when asked on Chicago’s WLS Radio about Sheehan’s plan to travel to Obama’s island vacation spot to protest the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. When she camped near Bush’s Crawford, Texas ranch four years ago, that was hardly the view of Gibson and his colleagues. At the time, NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell aptly dubbed her “a media magnet.”
Back then, the networks were eager to publicize her cause from the moment she arrived. Katie Couric, for instance, showcased Sheehan at the top of NBC’s Today show: “A mother’s vigil. Her son died in Iraq. Now this woman is camping outside the Bushes’ Texas ranch and demanding a meeting with the President today, Monday, August 8th, 2005.”
On The Situation Room today, CNN congressional correspondent Brianna Keilar reported on "almost a love-fest" for Arkansas Democratic Congressman Mike Ross:
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, compared to some of the other town hall meetings that we've seen, some very contentious town hall meetings, this one was almost a love-fest.
It started with a standing ovation as soon as Congressman Mike Ross was introduced. He, of course, is a prominent Blue Dog Democrat, a fiscally conservative Democrat. He and some other Blue Dogs forced House Democratic leaders to postpone a vote on their health care reform proposal until after Congress comes back in September.
That said, he also support many of the things in this health care reform push. But talking with some of the constituents, those who are for this health care reform push, those who are against it, they say that they think Congressman Mike Ross is really doing right by them.
There's about 700 people at this event. We were able to speak with about a dozen of them going into the meeting.
CNN’s Elaine Quijano failed to mention the left-wing political affiliation of Wendell Potter, whom she touted to be a health care “insurance company insider” on Wednesday’s Situation Room. When her network featured a glowing segment on the former Cigna spokesman over a month earlier, her colleague Jim Acosta also omitted Potter’s work as a senior fellow for the liberal Center for Media and Democracy.
Anchor Wolf Blitzer introduced Quijano’s report, which aired just after the beginning of the 5 pm Eastern hour, and described Potter as a “one-time insurance insider...turned whistleblower on industry tactics to try to sway the health care debate.” The CNN correspondent further described the former Cigna spokesman as being part of the pro-ObamaCare forces’ arsenal: “In the heat of the summer battle over health care reform, Democrats are deploying another weapon- he’s a former insurance company insider who’s speaking out once again.”
Most of the viewer responses that CNN’s Jack Cafferty read during one of his “Cafferty File” segments on Monday’s Situation Room agreed with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Steny Hoyer’s “un-American” label against anti-ObamaCare protesters. Though he surprisingly remained neutral when he presented the issue, all but one of the responses sided with the two Democratic leaders.
Cafferty devoted his 5 pm Eastern “Question of the Hour” to Pelosi and Hoyer’s USA Today editorial which ran in Monday’s edition. He summarized their talking points, and then read an excerpt from Republican Senator Mitch McConnell’s response. His question to the CNN viewers: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Congressman Steny Hoyer call the town hall protests against health care reform ‘un-American.’ Are they?”
Ten minutes before the top of the 6 pm Eastern hour, Cafferty returned with his selected viewer responses. Only one response disagreed with the Democrats’ “un-American” label, but this particular example raised a chuckle out of the CNN commentator (who earlier this year compared Pelosi to Mao Zedong).
On Wednesday night’s Late Late Show on CBS, when host Craig Ferguson asked guest Wolf Blitzer of CNN’s The Situation Room if he thought Sarah Palin is "gone" now, Blitzer cracked that Palin would provide Ferguson with "a lot of material" as she will still be active publicly. After the two were talking about whether the CNN anchor sometimes finds something "really funny" while he is doing the news, Ferguson cracked that the former Alaska governor is "quite funny," evoking audience laughter, and asked about her future. Ferguson: "Hey, what about Sarah Palin, talking about "quite funny"? Do you think she's gone? Do you think that's it?"
Blitzer responded: "No, she’s not gone. We’ll be seeing a lot of her. She’s going to be writing a book. She’ll be doing speeches. She’ll be on TV. You’re going to have a lot of material. ... If you need material, you’ll have it."
Below is a complete transcript of the discussion of Palin between Blitzer and Ferguson from the Wednesday, August 5, Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on CBS:
CNN correspondent Jeanne Moos devoted an entire segment to the viral Obama as the Joker image on Tuesday’s Situation Room, and zeroed in on man-on-the-street reactions to it, all of whom expressed leftist horror at the picture. Moos herself suggested that “maybe it’s time to give the Joker joke a rest.” NewsBusters.org and Noel Sheppard's initial post about the posters made a brief appearance during her segment [audio from the entire segment is available here].
The correspondent, who is known for her light and sometimes humorous reports for CNN, chronicled how the Photoshop-style image of the president as Batman’s nemesis is spreading like wildfire on conservative websites, including the Drudge Report and NewsBusters. Throughout the report, she played clips of five men and six women whom the correspondent approached on a New York City street for their reaction to the Joker image. Unsurprisingly, all of the New Yorkers reacted negatively, from an “Oh my goodness” to “shame on them.” The last man stated that he was reminded of racist black-face comedy from the past, and the last woman even shouted, “It’s a right-wing spin- it’s disgraceful, and you shouldn’t even bring any attention to it.”
[Update, 2:15 pm Eastern: Audio and video clips from the segment added.]
HBO’s Bill Maher, after being asked during a segment on Monday’s Situation Room on CNN to explain his recent “soulless vampire bastards” moniker of the current health care system, pushed for President Obama’s “reform” plan, paraphrasing the Democrat’s own words: “We can’t do nothing- doing nothing is actually worse.” He also stood by his consistent labeling of the U.S. as a “stupid country” [audio clips available here].
Anchor Wolf Blitzer interviewed Maher for two segments starting at the bottom of the 5 pm Eastern hour. Towards the end of the first segment, Blitzer prompted the HBO host for his take on the health care debate. After playing a clip from his “Real Time” program where he used the “vampire bastards” label, Blitzer complimented Maher for the “very funny stuff” as well as the “serious element” on his program and asked, “What would you want to see emerge from this whole health care debate in Washington?” Maher echoed the Democrats’s talking points on the issue:
Continuing a well-established pattern, the broadcast network evening newscasts all failed to point out the party affiliation of the major New Jersey office-holders amongst the 44 people the FBI arrested Thursday for corruption. As the AP pointed out, all but one are Democrats: “Among the 44 people arrested were the mayors of Hoboken, Ridgefield and Secaucus, Jersey City's deputy mayor, and two state assemblymen. A member of the governor's cabinet resigned after agents searched his home, though he was not arrested. All but one of the office holders are Democrats.”
Nonetheless, CNN's Wolf Blitzer and Deborah Feyerick saw a bi-partisan scandal. In the 5 PM EDT hour of The Situation Room, though five of the six elected officials (including all three mayors and the deputy mayor) are Democrats, Blitzer announced: “Dozens of public figures, including mayors, are caught in a stunning corruption sweep. They belong to both major parties.” From Newark, Feyerick reported “nearly 30 politicians and public officials, Democrats and Republicans, were rounded up in what prosecutors called the largest sweep of its kind.”
On CBS, reporter Kelly Wallace noted: “This is all part of a ten-year public corruption investigation that has already yielded two other high-profile indictments. Officials say some politicians don't seem to be getting the message.” Neither have the media about reporting party affiliation as both of those earlier “high-profile indictments” were of Democrats: Former state Senator Wayne Bryant and Assemblyman Joseph Vas.
[Update, 8:24 pm Eastern: Audio and video clips from the interview added.]
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer was a bit surprised by Rudy Giuliani’s answer during Wednesday’s Situation Room, after asking the former mayor to reassess his prediction last year about “on-the-job training” for a President Obama. Blitzer inquired whether his “worst fears [had] come true.” Giuliani answered, “In many respects, it’s much worse than I thought.” The anchor merely replied, “Really?” [audio clips from the interview are available here].
Blitzer’s question and response to the former mayor’s answer occurred near the end of the interview, after the two had discussed gun control and health care. The anchor played a clip from Giuliani’s speech last year at the Republican convention in Minneapolis, where he bashed the then-candidate Obama’s modicum of experience: “John McCain has been tested- Barack Obama has not. Tough times require strong leadership, and this is no time for on-the-job training.”
The CNN anchor complimented Giuliani for the “good sound bite from the speech,” and asked for his assessment of the Obama presidency so far. The Republican’s answer led to Blitzer’s surprised reaction, and the anchor asked for an explanation:
CNN's Wolf Blitzer late Tuesday afternoon characterized it as “an incredibly important exchange” and a “very, very dramatic moment” when Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor “concurred” with Senator Lindsey Graham that he would have paid a heavy price if he had ever maintained “a wise white man would make better decisions than a Latina,” yet neither ABC nor NBC mentioned in their evening newscasts Sotomayor's acknowledgment about the impact of her assertion “a wise Latina woman” would “reach a better conclusion than a white male” if reversed.
ABC's Jan Crawford Greenburg, who described the hearing as “grueling,” NBC's Pete Williams and CBS's Wyatt Andrews all highlighted Sotomayor's defense of her “wise Latina” reasoning, but none cited the exchange with Graham. CBS's Jeff Greenfield, however, noted Graham's point, if not Sotomayor's acceptance of it: “We saw Lindsey Graham of South Carolina -- very pointedly and conversationally -- saying to her, 'you know, if I'd said such things about the superiority of a Caucasian male I'd have had my head handed to me.'”
Wednesday’s Situation Room program on CNN devoted nearly three times as much time to clips from advocates of overturning the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy than the one sound bite from a proponent of keeping the policy. The two advocates- Democratic Representative Patrick Murphy and a female Iraq war veteran had 33 seconds of air time, compared to the 12 seconds from a conservative spokesman.
Correspondent Chris Lawrence’s report, which aired 38 minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program, focused on a tour led Rep. Murphy to overturn “don’t ask, don’t tell,” which is “targeting districts where military families live, trying to drum up enough popular support to get the needed votes in Congress” to repeal the policy. After playing the 12 second sound bite from the Democrat, Lawrence featured the first clip from Staff Sargent Genevieve Chase, an Iraq war veteran, who is among the tour’s “straight soldiers and veterans” who are trying to “reach other troops and their families.”
CNN commentator Jack Cafferty revisited his favorite punching bag on Monday’s Situation Room: Sarah Palin. After referring to one of Palin’s reasons for her resignation, that she wanted to avoid becoming a lame duck, Cafferty cracked: “She was already lame.” He also predicted that she would become a mere “thumbsucker” if she’s no longer considered a contender for the 2012 presidential race.
Cafferty began his 4 pm Eastern hour “Cafferty File” segment by recounting the decision of the Alaska governor to resign at the end of July. He continued by briefly mentioning how Palin became famous after being named as John McCain’s running mate, listed the “lame duck” reason for resignation, and then made his crack: “Palin, who was thrust on to the national stage as John McCain’s running mate against President Obama, defended her decision as a move to avoid becoming a lame duck. Love her or hate her, Sarah Palin’s able to -- she was already lame -- Sarah Palin’s able to electrify the conservative base of the party like no other Republican in the country.”
Picking up on how CNN anchor Suzanne Malveaux hailed, as “a bold display of presidential concern,” President Obama hugging a woman at Wednesday's health care forum, Jim Pinkerton, on FNC's Fox Newswatch, pointed out that “in the middle of all of this Stalinesque fakery at this town hall meeting” Malveaux's characterization “is like Stalin putting Ukrainian family victims on his lap during the '30s.” To illustrate, FNC producers displayed a vintage poster showing Stalin hoisting a little child who held up a Soviet flag.
During a discussion on the program aired Saturday afternoon about how all the questions at the town hall with Obama were pre-selected from online postings or came from invited guests, Pinkerton, a Newsday columnist, raised what Malveax said which NewsBusters had recounted:
In the middle of all of this Stalinesque fakery at this town hall meeting -- when Obama hugged that woman who was a plant, her cancer was real enough, but her being there was a total artifact of planning -- she [Suzanne Malveaux] said, quote, this is a quote “bold display of presidential concern,” end quote. Again, this is like Stalin putting Ukrainian family victims on his lap during the '30s.
Network reporters swooned over President Barack Obama hugging a woman, who has cancer and lacks insurance, at his Wednesday “town hall” on health care, as both CNN -- where Suzanne Malveaux heralded the hug as “a bold display of presidential concern” -- and NBC failed to point out how all the questions (just seven in total) were pre-selected or from members of pro-Obama groups. Instead, NBC's Savannah Guthrie showed a kid in a video (“My mommy and daddy have small businesses, and we need health care”) before she touted how Obama “solicited questions on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and in person, with a hug for a woman who says she cannot pay her medical bills,” while CNN's Ed Henry related “he fielded questions from YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and a live audience.”
CBS's Katie Couric showcased “an emotional moment” when “a 53-year-old cancer patient described her battle to get treatment she can afford.” Couric relayed how Obama “called her exhibit A in a system that's too expensive and too complicated,” but at least, unlike NBC and CNN, Couric noted the woman “is a volunteer for Mr. Obama's political operation Organizing for America” and “the White House invited her to attend.”
Filling-in as anchor on CNN's The Situation Room, Suzanne Malveaux painted Obama as a combination of General Patton and Oprah as she set up Henry in the 6 PM EDT hour:
President Obama has a message for some critics. He will get his way. Today he made a bold promise regarding health care reform. And, in a bold display of presidential concern, the President comforted a sick and emotional woman.
Two reports on CNN’s Situation Room on Wednesday about President Obama’s extension of benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees and the campaign to overturn Proposition 8 in California featured only left-wing sound bites, and none from conservative opponents of homosexual activists.
The first report from correspondent Dan Lothian, which aired just after the beginning of the 4 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program, included clips from a homosexual federal employee and his “husband” who was afflicted with pancreatic cancer, as well as Joe Solmonese of the liberal Human Rights Campaign. Over an hour later, Jessica Yellin’s report on Proposition 8 opponents’ efforts to overturn the ballot initiative which made same-sex “marriage” illegal again, featured two leaders from California “progressive” organizations, the Courage Campaign, and Equality California.
[Update, 9:00 pm EDT: Audio and video clips added.]
President Obama isn't nearly liberal enough for HBO's Bill Maher. On Tuesday’s Situation Room on CNN, Maher repeated the focus of his rant on his show last Friday night about how Obama hasn't been adequately aggressive. When Wolf Blitzer asked what he was most disappointed about with President Obama, the HBO host went into full denial mode: “Barack Obama is not a socialist -- he’s not even a liberal....this country needs a left wing. It doesn’t have it, and part of the reason is the media.”
After Maher gave a bit of a criticism of the Democratic President, the CNN anchor asked: “So where are you most disappointed, because...a lot of liberals are disappointed he hasn’t done more to advance gay rights, for example- but where- where are you most disappointed in this president?” The HBO host first joked about his sexual identity, and continued by expressing his bewilderment with Obama: “I don’t know if this administration has really caught up to the idea that Americans are a lot more liberal, perhaps, than we think they are- or they think they are....I think part of the problem is that we don’t really have a progressive party in this country. We have the Democrats, who are what the Republicans used to be when I was a kid. They’re a pro-business party, a corporate-friendly, pro-business party. And then we have the Republicans, which are just a club for angry white people and Jesus freaks” [audio clips from interview available here].
Jack Cafferty seems a bit bitter. He apparently hasn’t gotten over Al Gore losing Florida in the 2000 election.
On today’s CNN Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, guest analyst Rob Sobhani briefly mentioned that the democratic process in Iran would be a bit like if the American Supreme Court chose who would be allowed to run for President:
ROB SOBHANI: Well for your viewers, I think the best example is if the Supreme Court of America decided who’s going to run for office. And that’s exactly what happened in Iran, the council of guardians decided that Mr. Mousavi, Karroubi, Rezaee, and Ahmadinejad were going to run. So in essence, it is not democratic, but the process ends up being democratic. And that’s the dilemma of the United States right now.
Immediately after this, Sobhani was dismissed, and Cafferty introduced. Blitzer wondered aloud if the recent Iranian elections could possibly incite a repeat of the 1979 Iranian revolution – but Cafferty was not satisfied with that historical comparison:
To hearty laughter from what sounded like anchor Wolf Blitzer (who would have a live mike, but listen and judge for yourself), CNN's Jack Cafferty on Tuesday afternoon asked on The Situation Room whether viewers would “rather just stick needles” in their eyes than listen to Sarah Palin or Newt Gingrich? During the 4 PM EDT/1 PM PDT hour “Cafferty File” segment, Cafferty inquired: “Would you rather listen to a speech by Sarah Palin or a speech by Newt Gingrich?” Then he quickly added another option which is what prompted the laughter: “Or would you rather just stick needles in your eyes?”
Finished guffawing, Blitzer soon wondered: “What do you think, Jack? You want to listen to Palin or Gingrich deliver a speech?” Cafferty replied he dislikes them both: “I'm not interested in listening to either one of them.”
Amongst the replies Cafferty read at the end of the hour, this one from Dann: “That’s like asking 'Who do you think is the best hockey player in Ecuador?' It’s not much of a choice. If given a third option, I would rather trim my nose hair with a carrot scraper.”
CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin on Tuesday twice labeled President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor a “moderate liberal.” On American Morning, minutes after the Latina judge’s name emerged near the bottom half of the 8 am Eastern hour, Toobin predicted that she would “probably have very little trouble getting confirmed, and who will be a voice like David Souter for moderate liberalism.” Hours later, during The Situation Room program, he predicted that Sotomayor, if confirmed, would rule as a “moderate liberal, like Ginsburg and Breyer.”
American Morning anchor T. J. Holmes brought on the legal analyst to discuss the Obama nominee. Toobin first outlined that Sotomayor was “a very eminent judge....She brings a certain bipartisan aura, because she was originally appointed to the federal district court by the first President Bush....[T]his looks like a very solid pick, someone who will probably have very little trouble getting confirmed, and who will be a voice like David Souter for moderate liberalism.” Minutes before on the CNN program, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz referred to the nominee as “moderate and to the left.” Holmes followed up on this note, and asked, “Is that about right?”
CNN correspondent Joe Johns included a seeming lament in his report on Friday’s Situation Room about the inclusion of an amendment to the so-called credit card reform bill which expands gun owners’ rights in national parks: “How in the world did the credit card bill get so hijacked?” He also only included one pro-gun rights sound bite in his report, as opposed to three from proponents of gun control [audio clips from the report are available here].
Johns introduced his report by juxtaposing beautiful imagery of Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Mount Rushmore with a picture of a handgun on a rack: “Just imagine: along with the sweeping views of natural beauty at Yellowstone and Yosemite, mixed in with history at Mount Rushmore, that some of the tourists toting diaper bags and binoculars might also be packing heat.” He continued by labeling this juxtaposition, and outlining how congressional opponents of the provision felt about its inclusion and passage: “Extreme perhaps, but absurd is in fact how it looks to some congressional Democrats -- they’re almost apoplectic about how the gun lobby slipped a provision into, of all things, the credit card reform bill, a provision that really has nothing to do with the rights of credit card holders, and a lot to do with the right to bear arms.”
During a segment on Tuesday’s Situation Room program, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer characterized the ongoing post-election identity struggle in the Republican Party as being between moderates who are “more tolerant on fiscal and social issues” and “staunch” conservatives “who don’t want the party to become more moderate.” Later in the same segment, Gloria Borger, one of the network’s senior political analysts, labeled some of the moderate Republicans being considered for 2010 congressional races as being “very pragmatic choices.”
Blitzer introduced Borger’s analysis by highlighting the “serious battle...brewing in the Republican party....On the one side, moderates more tolerant on fiscal and social issues -- on the other side, staunch conservatives who don’t want the party to become more moderate.” The analyst herself focused on how this struggle was affecting statewide races, specifically in the northeastern states of Connecticut and Delaware. She argued that Republicans in Connecticut “need to put up a moderate candidate in that state to go against Chris Dodd.” She also cited unnamed conservative recruiters in the GOP who were supposedly saying, “we need moderates in the state of Connecticut.”
CNN’s resident curmudgeon Jack Cafferty blamed Republican losses in the 2008 election, in part, on their use of the “socialist” label against Democrats during his regular commentary on Friday’s Situation Room. After reporting on a “conservative faction of the Republican National Committee” wanting to use this label against their opponents, and how they petitioned RNC Chairman Michael Steele to consider a resolution about it, he continued by labeling this faction “hardliners.”
Before reading some of the viewer responses to his commentary, he returned to gushing over Michelle Obama, suggesting that she might be president in the future. Cafferty also told one apparently conservative respondent who used the fascist and communist labels to “lighten up.”
The commentator made his regular “Cafferty File” commentary seven minutes into the 5 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program. He began immediately with his swipe at Republicans: “Wolf, it seems like some Republicans still have not figured out that they lost big-time last November, in part, because the American people are sick and tired of their style of politics. Exhibit A: a conservative faction of the Republican National Committee wants the party to brand Democrats as socialists.”
While President Obama was extoling the virtues of wind power in an Earth Day speech, his Justice Department lawyers were attempting to scuttle a lawsuit filed in federal court against Iran by former U.S. embassy hostages. The lawsuit alleges that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was one of the hostage-takers who interrogated the captives.
Two days after the story broke on the Associated Press wire, it appears the mainstream media have virtually buried the story, with no televised coverage save for a brief mention on CNN and one story in the Boston Globe.
A search for "'lawsuit' and 'Iran'" in Nexis from April 22 to 24 found no mentions of the story on MSNBC nor ABC, CBS and NBC broadcast network news programs. Likewise the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, USA Today, and Washington Post were devoid of stories. A search of "major newspapers" in Nexis did yield one hit, a 380-word AP wire story by Nedra Pickler printed on page A6 of the April 23 Boston Globe.
In that April 23 story, Pickler noted that (emphasis mine):
CNN latched onto two separate poll results on Monday that indicated that about half of Americans view the Islamic world negatively or don’t trust Muslim allies as much as other allies, and indicated that President Obama and others in authority need to be “educators” for the public about Islam. The network brought up the polls’ results on seven different occasions during their programming that day.
During the 8 am Eastern hour of American Morning, chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour first brought up a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll which found that 55 percent of Americans “concede that they lack a good basic understanding of Islam” and that 48 percent “hold an unfavorable opinion of Islam.” After she read these results, substitute anchor Carol Costello responded, “I think the difference is that many Americans see Islam as an ideology instead of a religion, and maybe, President Obama has to kind of -- kind of put a definition on it from the American standpoint in Turkey.”
Later, near the end of the noon hour of the Newsroom program, Amanpour appeared again, this time with anchor Tony Harris. He asked the correspondent to “talk us through some recent polling in The Washington Post that suggests that the president is going to have to play the role of educator-in-chief when it comes to explaining Islam to many in America, even as he works for better relations with the Islamic world.” Amanpour first answered that President Obama was “trying to smooth...over and correct” the “terrible rupture” between the U.S. and the Islamic world over the past eight years.