During a report on Monday’s Anderson Cooper 360 program, CNN investigative correspondent Drew Griffin presented many of the missing details about the relationship between Barack Obama and left-wing terrorist William Ayers that two earlier "Truth Squad" reports on the network on Sunday and Monday omitted. Griffin stated that despite the spin of the Obama campaign and their mainstream media supporters, "...the relationship between Obama and Ayers went much deeper, ran much longer, and was much more political than Obama said."
Host Anderson Cooper introduced Griffin’s report, which began 19 minutes into the 10 pm Eastern hour, as one of the CNN program’s "Keeping Them Honest" features. Oddly, a on-screen graphic that read "The Dow Plunges," which had nothing to do with the subject of the segment, ran during its entirety. The correspondent began by repeating Ayers and his wife Bernadine Dohrn’s background in the Weather Underground, "an anti-Vietnam War group that bombed federal buildings, including the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon." He then gave Obama’s early characterization of his relationship with the 1960's radical, that the Democrat "confirmed... that he knew Ayers, and, when pressed, said they served on a charitable foundation board together, and Obama condemned Ayers' support of violence."
On Monday’s The Situation Room, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer interrupted a back-and-forth discussion on the presidential campaign between Democratic strategist Donna Brazile and CNS News editor-in-chief Terry Jeffrey for a live video feed of rock musician Bruce Springsteen at a Barack Obama campaign rally in Michigan: "I want both of you to stand by because Bruce Springsteen is singing right now at a Barack Obama rally in Michigan, and I can't help but want to listen a little bit. Listen to ‘The Boss.’" Just before this mid-conversation interruption, Jeffrey made a point about how "there's a lot of people in this country who believe the media wants Obama to be elected president, and part of doing that is tearing down Sarah Palin." It’s kind of funny that Blitzer helped Jeffrey prove the first part of his point only seconds after he made it [see video at right].
Earlier in the discussion, at about 50 minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program, Blitzer brought up new CNN poll numbers that indicated that the number of people who think Sarah Palin is qualified to be president has dropped since early September 2008. He asked Jeffrey, "Why has it gone down?" Jeffrey then made his first point about the media bias: "I think since Sarah Palin has been nominated, she's taken quite a beating from the liberal press." He then described how he thought those poll numbers didn’t matter, and that "quite frankly, I think if she was at the top of the ticket, they would be doing better."
CNN’s so-called Truth Squad, in two reports on Sunday and Monday by two different correspondents, labeled Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin "false" for stating that Barack Obama "sees America as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists who targeted their own country." The Squad, in their "fact-checking" of the Alaska governor, who was making a reference to left-wing terrorist William Ayers, obfuscated Obama’s past connections to the former leader of the Weather Underground. The Squad’s reports, which aired on CNN’s Sunday Morning program and on Monday’s American Morning, also left out key details about the Democratic presidential candidate’s past with Ayers.
The network first made an attempt at "fact-checking" Palin’s statement, which she made at a campaign rally in Carson, California, near the beginning of the 7 am hour of their Sunday Morning program. Anchor T.J. Holmes, after a report by Don Lemon on the Alaska governor’s claim, gave a brief look at the Obama/Ayers connection. "Well, nobody's exactly sure how well Bill Ayers and Barack Obama know each other. The New York Times, CNN, other news organizations have looked into this, found that they apparently did not have a very close relationship, it appears." Well, that’s about as clear as Mississippi River mud, and one might guess that Holmes was asking his audience to take the word of two liberal media outlets.
Update's Update: I have been assured by IT that we are FINALLY ready to go with this.
The American people in poll after poll and in greater and growing numbers are railing against the egregious liberal bias of the press. And nowhere are the media more horrendously slanted than in their coverage of the presidential campaign of Illinois Sen. Barack Obama. They are (to say the least) very, very sweet on him.
The MRC has put together this college basketball tournament-style bracket event, the Sweet-On-Obama Sixteen Media Bias Tournament, so that you, the angered members of the media’s audience can vote for who gives Sen. Obama the most loving and fawning coverage of all.
On Thursday evening, CNN's Soledad O'Brien ran a focus group at Ohio State University moments after Joe Biden and Sarah Palin finished their vice presidential debate (video embedded right).
As she asked attendees who they felt won, she used a stunning form a new arithmetic to conclude that Biden had "by a significant margin" (as noticed by Creative Minority Report, h/t NB reader Patrick Archbold):
On Thursday’s "Newsroom" program, CNN anchor Kyra Phillips treated senior Obama adviser/former ABC correspondent Linda Douglass more cordially than McCain supporter/Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, whom she pressed for an answer on the question of whether Sarah Palin is smarter than her opponent Joe Biden: "Is, is she deep enough? Is she smart enough? Is she experienced enough? Do you really think she is better than Joe Biden?"
Phillips had the two on for back-to-back interviews just after the bottom half of the 1 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program. Phillips began her interview of Douglass by asking a softball question: "I just want what to know, as a strong female who's been very successful, is all this talk about, oh, Joe Biden needs to be a gentleman. He needs to watch his manners. He needs to treat Sarah Palin like a lady. Does that bother you in any way that that's even coming up?" Douglass initially responded by exclaiming, "What a good question! You are the first person who has asked that question today." After the Obama adviser completed her answer, Phillips followed-up with a light comment: "Good. But he'll still get the door for her, right?" The two of them shared a laugh over the quip.
It was eight years ago this week that France 2 TV introduced the world to Mohammed al-Dura, the Palestinian boy who was allegedly shot and killed during a gunfight between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen, in a video whose authenticity has increasingly been called into question years after it inspired anti-Semitic violence around the world. The American news media not only highlighted the story -- as the ABC, CBS and NBC evening and morning newscasts collectively aired the video at least 28 times between September 30, 2000, and June 30, 2003 -- but the networks also showed other clips depicting Palestinians involved in fighting, supposedly with Israelis, that have been challenged by some media analysts, calling into question how many of the scenes shown by American media during times of Israeli-Palestinian conflict may be faked video that were passed off to international media as genuine. ABC's Good Morning American notably seems to have ignored the al-Dura story.
Boston University Professor Richard Landes has been a leader in delving into the practice by some Palestinian cameramen of staging scenes of violence to be used as propaganda against Israel. Landes notably took on CBS’s 60 Minutes in the film Pallywood, the first in a series of short documentaries produced by the Boston University professor. On his Web site, theaugeanstables.com, Landes recounts his unsuccessful attempts to convince the American news media to help expose the Pallywood hoax video phenomenon. While he recounts that American journalists he spoke with did generally agree with him that the deceptive practice likely exists, they were reluctant to be perceived as breaking neutrality by siding with Israel over the Palestinians, as he encountered a view that it would not be “even-handed” to relay such unflattering activities by one side without finding similar examples from the other side. Professor Landes also cited an unnamed journalist at ABC as contending that there would be little “appetite” for the subject at his network. On his Web site, theaugeanstables.com, Landes recalls these conversations:
CNN commentator Jack Cafferty, true to his form over the past several weeks, launched another attack on Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin on Tuesday’s The Situation Room. During his regular "Cafferty File" segment during the 4 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program,he played a clip from the latest interview the Alaska governor did with CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric, in which she partially answered her critics’ questioning of her readiness to be vice president by repeating the list of offices that she has held over the years. After she concluded with her past position of Alaska oil and gas commissioner/regulator, the CNN veteran condescended, "A regulator of oil and gas. How can -- how can anybody, including John McCain, take this woman seriously?... When this is over they all write books. Hers will be titled, ‘How I Committed Political Suicide on the CBS Evening News.’"
When he returned at the end of the hour to read some of the viewer responses to the question, Cafferty read nothing but negative responses to the question, with one exception, and he continued his condescension after reading it. A woman named Trudy wrote, "Within three minutes, you remind me why I don't watch the opinionated news on CNN.... Your condescending attitude towards Sarah Palin is another example of the lock-step Left trying to portray a Republican as less intelligent." Caffery then replied, "Trudy, when it comes to Sarah Palin, that's not much of a reach."
Mainstream media personalities are very much like politicians, as they can spout their views to a large audience and have an effect on public policy. However, unlike pols, media personalities are rarely called out on their own "flip-flops".
This video clip shows examples of MSNBC's Chris Matthews changing his views on the importance of foreign policy experience. In 1991 Matthews, like many others in the media, were already eating their own words after witnessing the George H.W. Bush administration orchestrate the successful Gulf War.
Conceding the Bush administration was strong on foreign policy, the media began their own campaign emphasizing that foreign policy experience was not enough to be president of the United States. In order to prop up a virtually unknown young governor from Arkansas, media personalities like Chris Matthews said the following on CNN's Crossfire in 1991 (my emphasis throughout):
MATTHEWS: Pat you're dead right. The country is being run very effectively in terms of foreign policy by the Brady Bunch...Baker, Brady, Bush. They're great on foreign policy, but it used to be that politics ends at the water level... at the water's edge. Now it begins there. You're saying we should elect a president purely on foreign policy. The problem is the same crowd that so good at foreign policy...this Tory crowd you just listed, Baker, and Brady, and Bush also have an economic agenda which is to help the very elite.
CNN world affairs analyst Fareed Zakaria, in a column published in the October 6 issue of Newsweek, condescended towards Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, labeled her "utterly unqualified to be vice president," and complimented Katie Couric for her "smart question" to the Alaska governor in a recent interview. He later asserted clairvoyantly that"she has never spent a day thinking about any important national or international issue, and this is a hell of a time to start."
As a result of this slam, CNN host Wolf Blitzer interviewed Zakaria on Monday’s The Situation Room, in which the analyst referenced Tina Fey’s nearly word-for-word quotation of Palin from the Couric interview on last Saturday’s SNL program, which was played earlier in the program: "The scary answer was on the economy -- the one you displayed switching back and forth between Saturday Night Live, because it was absolutely clear, that she simply did not understand any of the issues involved. She did not understand the question."
MSNBC has pulled a vicious political commercial attacking Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain over his bouts with cancer and medical records. The network aired the 32-second commercial for two days, September 25-26, the day before and the day of the first presidential debate, according to an Associated Press article.
MSNBC stopped the ad on Friday, without specifying why, but not before it was seen by millions of viewers.
"The ad had not been thoroughly vetted prior to air, and has since been removed from our commercial rotation," NBC spokeswoman Allison Gollust said in an e-mail, but did not elaborate, according to the AP.
An astounding thing happened on CNN Monday evening: not only did Lou Dobbs say that Democrat Vice Presidential candidate Joe Biden makes "many more misstatements than Sarah Palin," but he also chided Wolf Blitzer and the "Situation Room" crew for failing to point it out during their Bash Sarah session.
In preparation for the upcoming vice presidential debate, Blitzer brought on CNN analysts Gloria Borger and Jeffrey Toobin, as well as "The Weekly Standard's" Steve Hayes, to handicap the event.
As you might expect, Palin was the butt of many jokes leading Dobbs to marvelously inject the following during a mid-segment promo for his upcoming program (h/t NB reader Kevin Groenhagen):
Before Monday's House vote on the largest government bailout in American history, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cali.), in potentially one of the most poorly-timed displays of partisanship in recent memory, blamed President Bush and Republicans for the turmoil in the financial services industry (video embedded right).
Such ill-advised finger pointing seemed to surprise press members of all shapes and sizes as some prominent print media outlets including the Washington Post and the New York Times quickly published articles quoting Republicans who blamed the bill's failure on Pelosi's hyper-partisan speech.
On the television side, CNN aired Republican reaction to the Speaker's comments moments after the votes were counted (partial transcript and embedded video follow):
CNN’s Web site this morning tracked a developing story involving the stock market opening, by featuring a photo of an Iran anti-war protest.
The photo, provided by our friends at the AP, was simply too perfect to pass up apparently. After all, any photo which includes a man brandishing a banner which reads ‘Jail Bush,’ is something that a biased news organization simply has to take. Pertinence be damned. Seriously, nothing says the economy quite like a placard reading ‘No attack on Iran.’
CNN probably could have found a photo that actually applied to the topic of a sliding stock market. Was a stock photo of a line graph with a red arrow pointing down not available at the most trusted name in news? No picture of someone ringing the opening bell?
The story itself was titled ‘Wall Street Drops at Open,’ and to its credit, did not include the photo within the article. Oddly enough however, there was no mention of 'Iran' in the article that the above photo linked to either. Nor was there any mention of the word 'war.' Or 'protest.'
Buried way, way down at the bottom of the story — hopefully, one surmises, past the point where anyone would read — is the following:
The results may be favoring Obama simply because more Democrats than Republicans tuned in to the debate. Of the debate-watchers questioned in this poll, 41 percent of the respondents identified themselves as Democrats, 27 percent as Republicans and 30 percent as independents.
I’m far from being a polling expert, but this is obviously a slanted poll. A 14-point split between Republican and Democrat respondents? And what percentage of those “independents” were leaners for Obama?
Watching Saturday’s network morning shows, the talking heads seemed to agree that Friday night’s debate did not produce “a clear winner” or any “knockout punch,” and that it was unlikely that any “needle was moved” among undecided voters. Yet those same networks tried to also argue that Obama had really won the debate, superficially suggesting that McCain’s “disdainful” body language poorly contrasted with the “warm” and “deferential” Obama.
On style, “Barack Obama did a much better job,” ABC contributor Matthew Dowd asserted. NBC’s Chuck Todd insisted that “McCain barely could look at Obama, was disdainful at times, almost annoyed that he was having to share the same stage....Here was Obama being deferential, and here is McCain being disdainful.”
CNN’s Iranian-born chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour, during the network’s post-debate coverage, made fun of John McCain’s stumble during the debate concerning the pronunciation of Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s name [see video at right]: "On sort of a cosmetic level, I was quite -- I sort of giggled a little bit when I saw John McCain stumble over Ahmadinejad's name." Almost simultaneously, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann brought up the very same issue with his liberal counterpart Rachel Maddow, who went on to state that the flub "probably does hurt him [McCain] pretty badly."
Amanpour made her statement as she was giving her analysis of the debate during a round table discussion involving most of CNN’s regular political team. Co-host Anderson Cooper stopped her before she could continue on her "cosmetic" note and replied, "Yeah, it's not really fair though. I mean, people make mistakes all the time." Correspondent Michael Ware tried to interject, but Amanpour shot back and replied, "If it's fair for anybody, why not? I mean, if I stumbled, it would be [a] fair comment."
[For audio of the exchange between Amanpour and Cooper, click here.]
CNN commentator Jack Cafferty has full-blown Palin Derangement Syndrome. In his latest slam of Republican vice-presidential candidate on Friday’s The Situation Room, Cafferty labeled Palin’s interview with CBS’s Katie Couric "one of the most pathetic pieces of tape I have ever seen from someone aspiring to one of the highest offices in this country," after he played a clip of the Alaska governor making an awkward reply to a question. He then asked, "Is Governor Sarah Palin qualified to be president?" When host Wolf Blitzer replied to this comment by stating that "she's cramming a lot of information," Cafferty blasted back, "There's no excuse for that! She's supposed to know a little bit of this....You know, don't make excuses for her! That's pathetic." Of course, the CNN commentator only read negative replies to his question near the end of the 4 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program.
What is it with Democrats and their grotesque slurs upon the intelligence of their political rivals? Last week it was Charles Rangel calling Sarah Palin "disabled." Tonight on CNN, Paul Begala called President Bush "a high-functioning moron."
Begala was on an Anderson Cooper-led panel with Republican Ed Rollins and CNN's Gloria Borger to discuss the state of the possible federal financial bailout. Cooper took the first shot at the president, analogizing his performance in this crisis to that during Hurricane Katrina.
ANDERSON COOPER: Watching the president last night give that speech, it was like watching him in Jackson Square in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. I mean, he did not seem to be there.
In the Words-Mean-Things category, yesterday we got both the Associated Press and CNN distorting the words Laura Bush used to describe Sarah Palin on foreign policy. Worse, the video interview of the First Lady was right on CNN yet on its own Political Ticker blog, CNN still distorted what Laura Bush said about Palin. It makes you wonder if the folks at CNN even watch CNN?
It looks like the Democrats are shocked by a nominee who actually takes the initiative to show some leadership in the economic bailout bill as evidenced by the reaction of Democrat activist and CNN political contributor Donna Brazile. Appearing on a panel yesterday hosted by Campbell Brown which also included Gloria Borger and Tony Blankley, one could almost hear the song, "Don't Worry, Be Happy," in the background as Brazile assured us over and over that "progress" on the bailout was being made so there was no need for the nominees to appear in Washington except to passively cast a vote. Here is a transcript of the proceedings (emphasis mine):
CAMBELL BROWN: John McCain's big move today, a Hail Mary pass, responsible leadership, stroke of genius, politically, strategically, what do you think?
As a Jewish American, you can imagine how moved I was to learn that, as he explained to Larry King, Bill Clinton will not be out campaigning for Barack Obama until after October 9th, out of respect for the Jewish High Holy Days.
But by the same token, we know that the former president celebrates diversity and is deeply multi-cultural in his beliefs. America is a great mosaic, after all. And so, just as he respects the Jewish faith tradition, surely he would also wish to honor the great religions of the East. As a public service to President Clinton, we are therefore providing this calendar of upcoming holidays celebrated in the Eastern religions of Jainism, Sikhism, Taoism and Shintoism.
Wednesday’s American Morning program ran a report by correspondent Abbie Boudreau that desperately tried to criticize vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin for a "Road to Nowhere" that was part of the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere" project. Boudreau interviewed Bob Weinstein, the Democratic mayor of Ketchikan, Alaska, who claimed that the Alaska governor "spent $26 million out of a federal earmark for the Gravina access, a.k.a. 'Bridge to Nowhere' project, on this road that will not go to a bridge." Boudreau also interviewed a toll booth operator and a former Palin campaign coordinator to agree it was a regrettable boondoggle. Throughout the report, the on-screen graphic proclaimed, "Road to Nowhere: Another Sarah Palin Project." CNN was implying to its viewers that both the infamous Bridge and the road from it were "Palin projects," as if she originated them, instead of appearing on the scene halfway into the story.
CNN anchor Campbell Brown, famous for her repeatedclashes with the McCain-Palin campaign, went off on a "short rant" last night against GOP staffers for putting "chauvinistic chains" around vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.
Brown's lecture during the first minutes of her "Election Center" show came on the heels of extended complaints from American news media about how the McCain camp is acting wrongly by not allowing reporters to be present during a series of meetings Palin is having with European leaders.
Excluding the media is not only wrong, Brown argued, it is further proof that the McCain campaign is treating Palin like a "delicate flower that will wilt at any moment."
The night before CBS's Katie Couric will sit down with Sarah Palin to discuss foreign policy and just under two weeks after ABC's Charles Gibson got three interview sessions over two days with Palin in Alaska, the NBC Nightly News, the only broadcast network evening newscast snubbed so far by Palin, devoted a full story to how reporters were initially barred from her photo-ops with foreign leaders and her general lack of availability to the press.
“The McCain campaign has been launching something of a campaign against the news media these days, and when things heated up for a time today, we almost didn't see those pictures” of her in Manhattan with Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai, Colombia's President Alvaro Uribe as well as Henry Kissinger. Reporter Savannah Guthrie explained how “campaign officials invited the media to attend the beginning of the meeting but at the last minute banned reporters, a departure from the usual practice, saying only photographers would be allowed. When news organizations threatened to pull the cameras if reporters were banned, the campaign relented.” Guthrie rued:
In the month since Palin joined the ticket, she’s granted just two major interviews, appeared at one joint town hall and held no news conferences. Reporters on the trail rarely see her.
Channeling Chris Matthews’ "thrill up my leg" remarks, "View" co-host Joy Behar described acquiring "a little tingle" when former President Bill Clinton appeared on Monday’s show. On the September 22 edition of "Larry King Live" Joy Behar described the former president as "charming," "charismatic," "he touched me a little," and "I got a little tingle."
When questioning why Barack Obama holds the elitist label and Bill Clinton does not, despite a perceptively similar background, Behar concluded that it must be racism. "The View" co-host seemed to forget that the elitist label primarily stems from Obama’s recorded conversation, at a posh San Francisco fundraiser, describing small town Pennsylvanians and midwesterners as "bitter" "clinging to guns and religion."
Hyping Obama’s background Behar declared Obama "has no sleaze." (Has she also forgotten about Obama’s relationship to Tony Rezko?) Echoing a "what’s the matter with Kansas" talking point, Joy hoped those racists voters would "come to their sense" and vote "their needs."
At 3:30 yesterday afternoon, CNN's Rick Sanchez described in exquisite detail how fair and balanced his network has been behaving during the 2008 Presidential election. Specifically, Rick pointed out that:
For the record, CNN has aired 22 reports from Alaska about Sarah Palin. We've aired 54 reports from Chicago about Obama, his minister, and other stories.
See? Contrary to our neanderthal conservative beliefs, CNN has been tougher on Obama than it has during its "vetting" of Republican VP Sarah Palin.
Of course, I think Rick might have left out a slight detail or two in his accounting of CNN's fairness.... (and you'll have to keep on reading to find out what it is!)