CNN's Carol Costello focused on Nora Ephron's Huffington Post rant against white male voters in Pennsylvania during a report on Tuesday's "The Situation Room." "Ephron uses provocative language to make a point. She says, 'let's not kid ourselves. Try as we might, white men will still decide who gets to be president.'" While Costello used results from previous primaries to cast doubt on Ephron's theory, she and CNN chose to highlight Ephron's words and found voters who apparently agreed with it.
During a report by CNN correspondent Dana Bash on Monday’s "The Situation Room," an on-screen chyron or graphic described John McCain’s campaign stop in Selma, Alabama in the following terms: "McCain: Off the GOP Path -- Courts Blacks, Moderates in Ala." Bash herself described McCain’s campaign "really trying to... choreograph events all week long to create his own brand of Republicanism, show, like you said, in impoverished areas, in heavily black areas, that he's a different kind of Republican." Bash then described how "if you took one look at the kind of people who came out to hear John McCain today, it was very clear he has a huge hill to climb."
It’s odd for the CNN graphic to describe McCain as being "off the GOP path" by courting moderates, since the media itself has consistently emphasized the importance of moderate voters in elections, and how both parties have courted them.
On Monday morning, April 21, CNN aired "America Votes 2008” with Rick Sanchez, (11:30 AM CT) a segment that featured reporter Sanchez visiting Penn State University to talk to some of the students about the upcoming Pennsylvania Democratic Primary. In the aftermath of CNN's visit, some of the students involved in the taping are alleging that Sanchez was so virulently skewed to the left that he berated and bullied students who held a differing point of view. It was reportedly so bad that CNN crewmembers even apologized to several students for Sanchez' incivility.
On Sunday, CNN touted Sanchez’ Pennsylvania segments as putting him "on the road in Pennsylvania ahead of Tuesday's crucial vote" and claims to be interested in "what's on their minds before they cast their ballots?" But at the Penn State University segment, at least as far as at least some of the students involved are concerned, what was on their minds didn't interest Sanchez at all. To the contrary, what was on his mind was all that concerned him they allege.
The Drudge Report is highlighting a Los Angeles Times story on protests by supporters of communist China demanding CNN's Jack Cafferty be fired. David Pierson reported:
The protesters lined Sunset Boulevard from Cahuenga Boulevard to Wilcox Avenue chanting "Fire Cafferty" and "CNN liar" and singing the Chinese national anthem and other patriotic songs.
"Patriotic songs" are apparently sympathetic when they are sung in support of Red China. Doesn't Pierson or the Times consider it noteworthy that this kind of protest wouldn't be permitted inside China? Or that the Chinese national anthem is loaded with irony? It's called "March of the Volunteers," and begins "Arise, ye who refuse to be slaves!" What a joke.
Instead, Pierson spotlights a protester who says he was in the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, and now China is so vastly improved:
Imagine for a moment that a Fox News reporter was arrested in Central Park early in the morning with a rope around his neck that was tied to his genitals. Do you think this little nuance would be included in press coverage of this bizarre event?
Probably in the headline and the opening paragraph, right?
Well, for some reason, though news outlets did report the odd happenings in NYC Friday morning when CNN's Richard Quest was officially arrested for loitering and drug possession, from what I can tell, only the New York Post included the "kinky" elements in its article Saturday (emphasis added, h/t NBer Gat New York, picture courtesy CNN):
During a panel discussion on the April 9 edition of "The Situation Room," CNN’s Jack Cafferty described the Chinese government as "basically the same bunch of goons and thugs they've been for the last 50 years." In response, according to a report from the Associated Press from April 15, "China demanded an apology from CNN." "‘We are shocked and strongly condemn the vicious remarks by Cafferty,’ Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said. ‘We solemnly request CNN and Cafferty himself take back the malicious remarks and apologize to the Chinese people.’"
Cafferty had also blasted China for the substandard quality of many of the products that it exports from the U.S. "[W]e continue to import their junk with the lead paint on them and the poisoned pet food and export, you know, jobs to places where you can pay workers a dollar a month to turn out the stuff that we're buying from Wal-Mart."
CNN’s senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, during a discussion on Friday’s "The Situation Room," defended Barack Obama’s comments, that small-town voters are often "bitter" and they "cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them," and blasted Hillary Clinton for her criticism of the comments. "I think that is so ridiculous.... I mean that is not at all what Barack Obama said.... I mean Hillary Clinton is clearly distorting what Obama said. And, by the way, what Obama said is factually accurate." Jack Cafferty, a regular contributor to "The Situation Room," agree with Toobin, and went further. "Look, Jeff's right. They call it the 'Rust Belt' for a reason.... The people are frustrated. The people have no economic opportunity. What happens to folks like that in the Middle East, you ask? Well, take a look. They go to places like al Qaeda training camps. I mean there's nothing new here."
Kudos to NBC's David Gregory for making a relatively rare declaration of just how fanatically anti-Israel the terrorist group Hamas actually is. On Friday's Race for the White House on MSNBC, Gregory hosted a panel discussion of whether Jimmy Carter's plans to meet with a Hamas leader are a danger to Barack Obama's presidential campaign, during which Gregory described Hamas as "the terrorist organization bent on destroying Israel." After liberal talk radio host Ed Schultz suggested that negotiation with Hamas may some day be necessary, Gregory further clarified his description of Hamas's nature: "But, well, but this is a different matter. I mean, Hamas has made it very clear, Tony Blankley, that it wants Israel destroyed in no uncertain terms." (Transcript follows)
On the Thursday April 10 The Situation Room, CNN's Brian Todd similarly noted that Hamas has "called for Israel's destruction." Todd: "Hamas is designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. government. It's called for Israel's destruction."
Do we all get free wooden shoes? Barack Obama didn't say. But he does have an Impossible Dream to cut poverty that would make Don Quixote proud. Put people to work . . . building windmills. His idea came in response to a question at last night's Compassion Forum on CNN from Jim Wallis, a leading member of the religious left whose focus is "social justice." Wallis wanted Obama to commit to a new War on Poverty.
JIM WALLIS: As you reminded us a week or two ago, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed 40 years ago, he wasn't just speaking about civil rights. He was fighting for economic justice. Was about to launch a poor people's campaign. Yet, four decades after the anniversary of his death, the poverty rate in America is virtually unchanged and 1 in 6 of our children are poor in the richest nation in the world. So in the faith community, we are wanting a new commitment around a measurable goal, something like cutting poverty in half in ten years. Would you commit -- would you at this historic compassion forum, commit to such a goal tonight and if elected, tell us how you would mobilize the nation, mobilize us to achieve that goal?
Surely, you'd think, the candidate wouldn't fall into that big-government trap. Think again . . .
It's no longer profitable for networks to have their own news organizations, according to CNBC's David Faber.
In the wake of the news that CBS is in negotiations to outsource its news division to CNN, Faber explained on CNBC's April 8 "Squawk on the Street" CBS's news division is a victim of an evolving business.
"The news that CBS is once again considering a deal under which it would outsource some of its newsgathering operations to CNN - certain to get those critics out there who say, ‘Oh, this is the end of news as we know it on television,'" Faber said.
"Well, if you haven't noticed, news on television ended a long time ago, other than '60 Minutes,' which is by the way a CBS program. I challenge you to come up with actual newsgathering that is taking place on the networks," he said. "That ship has sailed."
Update (13:40 EDT-- see bottom of post for reaction from Faith in Public Life official)
Last June, CNN allied with the left-wing religious group Sojourners for a 60-minute "debate" on faith for Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Edwards. Falling neatly in line with the Democratic aspiration to appear more friendly to religious voters, each candidate was interviewed separately for about 15 minutes on their faith. How soft was it? Obama was never asked anything about his minister, Jeremiah Wright. CNN's Soledad O’Brien claimed at the show’s end that it would eventually be balanced out with “a similar forum on faith and politics with Republican candidates.” It never happened.
TVNewser reports that CNN is now doing it again, granting time to Democrats in association with another left-wing religious group called Faith in Public Life. In a 90-minute program aired from Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania, Clinton and Obama will each get about 40 minutes in separate interviews with CNN's Campbell Brown and Newsweek editor Jon Meacham. So what about 40 minutes for John McCain?
CBS, the home of the most celebrated news division in broadcasting, has been in discussions with Time Warner about a deal to outsource some of its news-gathering operations to CNN, two executives briefed on the matter said Monday.
Over the last decade, CNN has held intermittent talks with both ABC News and CBS News about various joint ventures. But during the last several months, talks with CBS have been revived and lately intensified, according to the executives who were given anonymity because of the confidential nature of the negotiations.
So, do you want to see a most egregious example of equating apples to oranges? Well, even that old saw is too mild a metaphor to describe the disgusting example of Christiane Amanpour's latest foray into moral relativism. In her CNN piece titled, "Survivor recalls horrors of Cambodia genocide," Amanpour assumes that American "waterboarding" today is exactly the same thing as the genocide of millions as perpetrated by Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. Amanpour seems to think that waterboarding is the same thing as what Pol Pot did with prisoners that were "whipped raw, their fingernails were yanked out, they were hogtied to wooden bars. Prison guards mutilated women's genitals, ripped off their nipples with pliers. And worst of all, babies were ripped from their mothers' arms and slaughtered."
Amanpour's latest project is being touted as a "major CNN documentary" that focuses on "those who stood up and said, 'Listen! We must stop the killing. Stop the genocide,'" during a turbulent 1970's Cambodia. The genocide in question describes the murderous reign of Pol Pot who slaughtered over two million Cambodians and imprisoned and tortured millions more after the end of the Vietnam war.
But what is Amanpour's focus with her report? Is it how the Khmer Rouge communists tortured women, children and men to elicit faux "confessions" of capitalist crimes? Is it the many families that were torn apart? Is it that these murders continued with impunity because the Democrat Party convinced the U.S. to lose the war in Vietnam? No, none of that. Amanpour doesn't seem to care much about what happened back between the years 1975 to 1979. No, it's today that she is more interested in. Yes, Amanpour is far more interested that she get her Cambodian survivor to say that what Pol Pot did to millions of Cambodians was just as bad as what George Bush is rumored to have done to a few terror suspects today.
Liberal talk show host Ed Schultz, appearing on Monday’s "American Morning" on CNN, defended his labeling of John McCain as a "warmonger" at a recent Obama campaign fundraiser, despite the statement being repudiated by Obama’s campaign. Twice, Schultz stated that "the man [McCain] is a warmonger" and used the term a total of five times during the course of the interview. Not only did Schultz defend his remark, he also claimed that McCain mistreated his fellow veterans with his votes on veterans’ benefits. [Audio available here.]
Co-host John Roberts, who interviewed Schultz, compared the talk show host’s remark to Bill Cunningham’s use of Obama’s middle name "Hussein" at a February 2008 McCain rally and how the Republican candidate repudiated Cunningham. At the same time, Roberts didn’t press Schultz too hard on the "warmonger" labeling.
CNN's senior business correspondent Ali Velshi let viewers in on an underreported fact about rising commodities prices: the government mandate for ethanol production is making corn and other agricultural products more expensive-making inflation a top priority for Americans.
"Several years ago, we made some decisions about how corn is going to be used to make ethanol, which is added to our gasoline," said Velshi on "American Morning" April 4. "A number of people think that that was meant to reduce our dependency on crude oil. What is does is it takes what is fundamentally a food source and makes it into a gasoline source. That's caused corn to go up."
CNN correspondent Susan Roesgen, reporting live from in front Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ on Thursday’s "The Situation Room," presented a sympathetic view of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and his house of worship as being "under siege" -- from the national media. "Beyond what they say is the hurtful glare of the cameras, church leaders also say parishioners are hounded by reporters and they say the church received bomb threats. A church that feels under siege, now getting national support." Nearly the entire three minute segment, outside of Roesgen’s voice-overs and on-camera reporting, consisted of sound bites of the supporters of the church.
Besides featuring nobody but its supporters, Roesgen also painted the church and its congregations as victims of the controversy and of the news media. "I think they feel angry and they feel used. When they have talked about certain reporters, they were basically talking about reporters who were rude enough to go into the pews and hand out their business cards during the services, something of course CNN would never do."
Over at Media Bistro's fishbowlDC blog Patrick W. Gavin was on hand to live-blog an appearance by News Corp's Rupert Murdoch who visited Georgetown University's Gaston Hall to talk about the shape of today's media landscape. As reported by Gavin, Murdoch had some interesting things to say. Among his comments was that we shouldn't have any fear that the media is becoming less free and.... oh, yeah... he claimed that CNN has "always been extremely liberal." (Gosh, who knew?)
Murdoch also commented on the state of TV and how it can no longer assume it can reach such a "mass audience."
CNN correspondent Dana Bash, during an interview of Senator John McCain which aired on Tuesday’s "The Situation Room," raised the issue of whether the Republican presidential candidate felt voters’ pain on the economy. "[I]n this time of uncertainty, when there are so many people hurting, are you concerned that there are voters out there who hear that who say, John McCain is heartless when it comes to this issue?" The thought that McCain might be "heartless" was reenforced by inclusion of the chyron, "McCain & Voters’ Pain: Against Big Economic Bailouts." [Audio available here.]
Following her "heartless" question on the economy, Bash followed up by asking a particularly blunt question about whether the current economy would hurt him if it continued into the time immediately before the election. "If the headlines that are on the front page of the newspapers today are the same headlines on the front pages in late October, early November, does John McCain lose?"
CNN’s Carol Costello highlighted Pennsylvania Republicans who became registered Democrats on Friday’s "The Situation Room," and brushed aside the possibility that Rush Limbaugh’s "Operation Chaos" strategy to meddle in the Democratic primaries might be a partial explanation for the change. Costello, featuring two former Republicans who are now voting for the Democrats, said of the couple, "[I]f you think either Conrad is switching because they buy into Rush Limbaugh's dark strategy to weaken the Democratic party...."
CNN’s Dan Lothian, during a report on Tuesday’s "The Situation Room," downplayed Hillary Clinton’s "sniper fire" statement on her trip to Tuzla, Bosnia during her time as First Lady, referring to it as a "misstep." Lothian, in his introduction to the report, referenced the "dangerous 1996 visit to Bosnia" and played Clinton’s now-famous false account of her arrival in the war-torn country. As file footage of Clinton’s arrival played, Lothian pointed out how the "video shot that day seemingly contradicts her version of events. No one seems to be running or ducking, and there does appear to be a ceremony." The video, which was first pointed out on NewsBusters by Rich Noyes, flatly proves Clinton’s statement to be false, not just "seemingly contradict" it.
Barack Obama came to Philadelphia on March 18 not so much to address his poisonous pastor, Jeremiah Wright, but to talk vaguely of race relations. The news media swooned. No one was giddier than MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, who rhapsodized that Obama’s speech was one of the greatest speeches in American history, worthy of Abraham Lincoln, and should be read by school children like "The Great Gatsby" and "Huckleberry Finn." This, after all, is the Chris Matthews who said he "felt this thrill going up my leg" over Obama.
Obama said he could no more disown Wright than his own white grandmother, whom he disparaged as mired in racial stereotypes. ABC’s George Stephanopoulos deemed that part of the speech an "act of honor" -- even if it publicly humiliated Grandma, and even if Wright’s record of paranoid ranting and raving about racism is anything but honorable.
Interesting news today out of Los Angeles. Looks like CNN is going to try and tap the political entertainment market that was formerly served by the departed "Half Hour News Hour." My comments below the fold:
Headline News will be sacrificing newsmakers to the comedy gods with "Not Just Another Cable News Show," a half-hour skein set for the 7 p.m. timeslot Saturdays and Sundays starting April 5. It will re-air at 9 p.m. and midnight. [...]
"News Show" will pull footage from CNN's archives as well as from recent news.The first episode will feature commentators including Time.com's Washington editor Ana Marie Cox, L.A. Times columnist Joel Stein, Republican strategist Amy Holmes, Huffington Post media editor Rachel Sklar and comic Hugh Fink.
Barack Obama granted an hour-long interview to Larry King on CNN last Thursday night, and just like Anderson Cooper, King was generous and unchallenging to the Democratic front-runner, allowing him to unfurl answers that ranged from one minute to three and a half minutes. At the show’s beginning, King first mentioned the minister controversy, but CNN actually didn’t ask a single question about it until 32 minutes had elapsed on the show, and then devoted just 20 minutes to it (not counting ad breaks). King began:
KING: I guess most people would be saying, why not just leave the church of Reverend Wright? I know you have been in that church a long time, been close to him. He has a major involvement in your family, but based on what he said, why not just say goodbye?
OBAMA: Well, he has retired, Larry. So you know, he preached his last sermon already.
Earlier today, Democratic Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick conducted a news conference with his lawyer wherein he gave a brief statement pledging to stay in office and fight the perjury charges leveled against him. As Detroit Free Press columnist Bill McGraw noted today, Kilpatrick has the dubious honor of being the first Detroit mayor to be charged with a crime while in office.
That news conference happened shortly before 1 p.m. At the time I channel-surfed through CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News and I later reviewed the video from all three to confirm my observation: Of all three news networks, only CNN tagged Kilpatrick with its onscreen graphic as a Democrat (see screencap at right).
Fox News Channel labeled Kilpatrick as "Kwame Kilpatrick, Detroit Mayor." MSNBC opted for "Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, Detroit." CNN tagged the alleged perjurer onscreen as "Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, (D) Detroit."
Barack Obama’s interview with Anderson Cooper on Wednesday night's "Anderson Cooper 360" on CNN was quite gentle. While Cooper did press Obama to address some of the criticisms that have erupted over his pastor Jeremiah Wright, he did not press him about Wright’s criticism of white people, or his claims of the government giving blacks AIDS, only one (truncated) 9/11 passage. Cooper used ten-foot-pole language about those people who would be alarmed by Wright’s America-bashing remarks: "Patriotism is going to be used by whoever it is you are facing." Used? Have you ever noticed how the media never asks if America is being "used" by leaders who spit on America?
Obama was spinning furiously.
I never heard anything nasty about America.
COOPER: In the past, you said you didn't think that your church was particularly controversial. Yesterday, in the speech, you said that -- you admitted that you did hear in the church remarks that could be considered controversial. Do you know specifically? Do you remember what you heard?
Roland Martin, a talk radio host out of Chicago and contributor to CNN, appearing on the network immediately Barack Obama’s "race speech" on Tuesday morning, compared the reaction to Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s much-publicized comments to the reaction to the Catholic sex scandal. Co-anchor Heidi Collins asked, "He [Obama] didn't disagree strong enough to go to a different church though. He stayed for many, many years. How do you think that will play?" Martin’s responded, "But frankly, I think that is irrelevant, because I don't -- look, I was born and raised Catholic. The first 25 years of my life of my life, I was Catholic.... And there are a number of people out there who are still Catholic today, even though the Church dropped the ball when it came to the whole issue of sex offenders, and some who left. But that's fine. But the reality is a person's faith is a personal decision."
Martin made similar comments on Monday’s "Newsroom" program during a discussion of Rev. Wright’s comments with co-anchor Don Lemon and Republican strategist Cheri Jacobus at the bottom of the 3 pm Eastern hour. "[Y]ou have a number of people who have said that, for Catholics, will you leave the Catholic Church because of what the church did when it came to sexual abuse victims? And you know what? A lot of folks have stayed."
During the roundtable segment on Monday's The Situation Room, CNN's Jack Cafferty compared the racist and anti-American words of Barack Obama's pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, to Jerry Falwell's and Pat Robertson's condemnation of the many abortions in America. Cafferty, who in January suggested that abortion is a "crap" issue, asserted: "How is this different than John McCain chasing after Pat Robertson or the late Reverend Jerry Falwell, who talk about how we have a culture of murdering unborn children in this country and that we've turned into Sodom because we coddled the gay community in this country? I mean, to me, that stuff is considerably more offensive than decrying racial violence and intolerance in this country, which members of the black community have some firsthand knowledge of." (Transcript follows)
On October 22, 2005, my colleague Brent Baker reported Al Franken's disturbing joke to "Late Show" host David Letterman concerning Scooter Libby and Karl Rove being executed for their involvement in the Valerie Plame Wilson affair.
Almost two and a half years later, during an interview on CNN's "American Morning" Friday, Kiran Chetry asked the comedian turned Democrat senate candidate about this exchange.
When Franken had the gall to declare, "I didn't even say that in a joking manner," Chetry challenged him in a way that all media members should whenever a politician on either side of the aisle is so obviously disingenuous (video available here, h/t NBer Woody Boyd):