In last night’s CNN special on their upcoming YouTube debate, Paula Zahn previewed some of the video questions that had been sent in. The topics up for debate last night included faith and values, the environment and gay rights. Zahn led the segment on faith and values with the comment, “we are seeing an amazing variety of questions about faith and values for next Monday’s debate.” Unfortunately the four YouTube questions that followed were anything but a “variety.” The transcript of the questions follows below.
CNN correspondent Tom Foreman's examination of the role of faith in the 2008 presidential race on Thursday night's "Anderson Cooper 360" featured the standard left-wing labeling of Christian conservatives. The segment, an examination of the so-called "separation of church and state," featured extensive soundbites from Pastor Rod Parsley of the World Harvest Church in Ohio, characterized Parsley as "no agent of tolerance," due to his stance against homosexuality and criticism of Islam.
Foreman opened his segment with a line that is eerily reminiscent of the creation account in the biblical Book of Genesis, and reflects the Left's view of the First Amendment.
TOM FOREMAN: In the beginning, there was a wall, a mighty barrier built by the Founding Fathers to separate church and state, block one from meddling in the affairs of the other. In school, we are taught that's what makes our country special. But what if that wall never existed? What if it's a myth conjured up in our lifetime to mask a greater truth, that America was conceived as a Christian nation?
CNN congressional correspondent Joe Johns apparently couldn't resist inserting some sarcastic remarks about Republican presidential candidates Fred Thompson and Rudy Giuliani in his "Raw Politics" segment on Thursday night's "Anderson Cooper 360." [Video (1:46):Real (1.29 MB) Windows (1.09 MB) MP3 (806 kB).]
JOE JOHNS: Ever heard the phrase all about the Benjamins? In this town, when you want to monetize power, you go to K Street, lobbying, where top lobbyists make 500 bucks an hour or more. The problem is, you can end up lobbying for some politically awkward clients, like Fred Thompson did for an abortion-rights group, which takes some explaining in front of an anti-abortion audience. "The New York Times" and "Raw Politics" dug up his billing records. Mr. Conservative "Law & Order" got paid $5,000 for 20 hours of work. Heavy political baggage, a hand full of Benjamins. Hope it was worth it, Senator.
Over the last week CNN has been airing hour-long specials to promote their upcoming YouTube presidential debates. CNN has been asking viewers to submit videos to YouTube.com for a chance to have their questions answered by presidential candidates. Of the videos aired so far, those with a leftist slant have greatly outnumbered those from a conservative viewpoint. Of the videos aired on Monday night MRC concluded that distinctly liberal video submissions outnumbered conservative ones by a margin of 8 to 1 (though a slim majority of total videos shown were neutral or non-partisan).
CNN has been particularly adamant in their use of video submissions calling for universal or socialized health care. On Wednesday night CNN recycled a video that had already aired on Monday, despite that fact that some 1,400 videos had been posted on YouTube at that point. The video was submitted by Kim of Long Island, New York who is battling cancer.
As part of their week-long series of specials previewing their upcoming presidential debates with YouTube, CNN interviewed Dr. Mehmet Oz on Wednesday evening. Oz and host Paula Zahn discussed the media-driven "crisis" in health care. Zahn asked Oz, "what is the answer to piercing the bureaucracy. That is certainly something you can't fix overnight." Oz's answer: "Well, one of our biggest challenges is nihilism. People don't think they can fix the problem. But we can, Paula."
Dr. Oz is a cardiologist, an author, and is a regular contributor to Oprah Winfrey's radio show "Oprah & Friends" on XM satellite radio. In her first question to Oz, Zahn asked, "how much of a crisis are we in, when it comes to health care." Besides listing the "deep-seated lack of confidence" among health care workers, and the technological backwardness in tracking patients and their records in the industry, Oz used the oft-repeated line that "to boot, 50 million people roughly don't have any insurance at all." Of course, this is just a sound byte that is used to support the sense that there is a "crisis," and doesn't tell the whole picture, as a recent BMI report demonstrated.
White House homeland security advisor Fran Townsend made the rounds of the TV morning shows on Wednesday – except for NBC, which was too busy chronicling the Senate Democrat stunt on Iraq. ABC’s Diane Sawyer pounded Townsend with criticism from former Clinton adviser Dick Clarke and a quip from New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd that Bush created a "spa" for Osama bin Laden. CNN’s Kiran Chetry homed in on how critics say Iraq was a diversion from the war on al-Qaeda. On the Early Show on CBS, co-host Hannah Storm pulled a Dan Rather – as in the man who liked to use the words "the group calling itself the Christian Coalition" – and referred to the "so-called War on Terror."
Storm's first question was this: "So we're almost six years after 9/11. Billions of dollars spent on the so-called War on Terror. Thousands of Americans lives lost. And yet we hear this report that we're no safer now than we were then. Why not?"
Michael Moore claimed in his movie “SiCKO” that there are 50 million uninsured Americans, according to his own Web site. But he’s wrong.
He’s certainly not alone though. So were President Bush, Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) as well as The Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CNN, CBS and ABC just to name a few.
“It’s really indefensible that we now have more than 45 million uninsured Americans, 9 million of whom are children, and the vast majority of whom are from working families,” said Sen. Hillary Clinton in a May 31 speech.
ABC medical expert Dr. Tim Johnson cited the incorrect data as he praised a "bold" and "politically brilliant" universal coverage plan on the April 26 “Good Morning America.”
On Monday night, CNN aired a special hour promoting the upcoming "CNN/YouTube" presidential debates. CNN is encouraging viewers to record their questions for the presidential candidates and post them on YouTube.com. In anticipation of this historic event, hosts John Roberts and Kiran Chetry shared just a few of the thousands of video submissions CNN has already received. Of the videos aired on Monday, a disproportionate number were distinctly liberal. Of the 19 individual videos shown (excluding some brief, zany clips), 10 were politically neutral, 8 were liberal or critical of conservative and/or Republican policies, and only 1 was clearly conservative.
Let’s be blunt: Michael Moore is one ungrateful leftist hack. CNN had showered him with three hours and ten minutes of face time (repeats included) on "Larry King Live" and "The Situation Room," helping him sell his latest socialist film "Sicko." That kind of attention would make a conservative drool. But when CNN aired a "fact check" piece on his documentary, adding a fraction of balance, he declared jihad, promising in a letter to be CNN’s "worst nightmare."
Call it killing two birds with one stone. The mainstream media tries to keep the recovery from Hurricane Katrina in the public consciousness, while highlighting one of their favorite sons. That was the gist of a segment on Monday's "Anderson Cooper 360" on CNN. Host Anderson Cooper has consistently played-up the government's poor response to Hurricane Katrina (his appearance on ‘Oprah' as a prime example). At the same time, he gave John Edwards the silk glove treatment. Cooper, who at one point, labeled Edwards's stop in New Orleans a "political photo-op," went on to report, "Edwards insists this not a campaign swing. There are no rallies, no cheering crowds. A small gaggle of reporters follows him from stop to stop as he struggles for traction." Overall, his segment follows ABC's "heaping helping" of Edwards's townhall meeting in New Orleans.
Two parts involving Elizabeth Edwards highlighted the absurdity of the segment. Cooper gave this syrupy-sweet take on her involvement in her husband's campaign.
COOPER (voice-over): With him much of the time, his wife, Elizabeth, a celebrity in her own right, fighting a personal and public battle with cancer. She's a top adviser and her husband's chief defender.
COOPER (on camera): How angry do you get when you read about his $400 haircut or criticism of the house you guys are building?
The battle is over and the troops are withdrawing. No, I'm not talking about Iraq, but something much more entertaining: Michael Moore has decided to end the standoff between himself and CNN, saying he's willing to "move on." As you know, Moore had a live hissy fit with Wolf Blitzer on CNN's "The Situation Room," in response to a taped critique of his movie "Sicko" by CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
"I trust the intelligence of the American people," Moore told The Associated Press. "I don't think there's a whole lot more to do with this other than I and others are going to be a lot more skeptical with what I see on CNN."
Michael Moore is still waiting for an apology from CNN. On July 13, he released a letter that threatened to become the cable network’s “worst nightmare.”
“Think again. I'm about to become your worst nightmare. 'Cause I ain't ever going away. Not until you set the record straight, and apologize to your viewers. ‘The Most Trusted Name in News?’ I think it's safe to say you can retire that slogan,” wrote Moore.
Ironically, in the letter Moore admitted to being treated well by CNN in the past.
A rather disturbing event occurred in a Minnesota library last Sunday: Freshman Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) compared President Bush to Adolf Hitler, while implying that the White House was involved in the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11.
Didn’t hear about this? Well, how could you? After all, no major, mainstream media outlet other than Fox News and CNN thought it was newsworthy.
On the same day that he attacked the GOP as being "scared of black folks," CNN contributor Roland Martin posted a column on CNN.com in which he proclaimed the "irrelevancy" of Pope Benedict XVI and the Catholic Church, specifically in the context of a recent document that clarified what the Catholic Church teaches about other Christian denominations. He advised non-Catholic Christians that they "shouldn't even bother getting upset" over the recent document issued by the Catholic Church. "Just chalk up to an old man trying to get a little attention," he said of Pope Benedict XVI. Martin also described the Pope as a "hardliner" who was trying to correct interpretations of the Second Vatican Council by liberals, who, in the Pope's view, had gone "too far in some of their declarations." At the same time, he also praised a Catholic priest in Chicago (Martin's current place of residence) who launched a death threat publically against a gun shop owner in a nearby suburb earlier this year.
Martin's column, as described by CNN, "are part of an occasional series of commentaries on CNN.com that offers a broad range of perspectives, thoughts, and points of view." CNN's own past indicates that they probably aren't going to make the "range of perspectives" very broad. When controversy erupted over the Danish Mohammed cartoons in 2006, they took the following stance: "CNN has chosen to not show the cartoons in respect for Islam."
Given Michael Moore’s anti-war tendencies, you wouldn’t envision him to possess so much rage.
However, following his well-publicized dustup with CNN last week (please see Business & Media Institute reports on the subject here and here), the controversial schlockumentarist has published an open letter threatening the network with reprisals.
Although likely not his intent, Moore's screed was actually funnier than any movie he's made to date.
With that in mind, here are some lowlights for your Saturday entertainment pleasure (emphasis added throughout, h/t Dan Gainor, better remove liquids from your proximity):
On "CNN Newsroom," correspondent Cal Perry asserted that Hamas is fighting for "independence" from Israel. Somehow, he failed to mention that the organization has often called for the destruction of that country.
Dan Harrison, a senior VP of NBC, this week asserted that his network’s over-the-top coverage of Al Gore’s Live Earth concert wasn’t a "political issue" because "everyone" agrees global warming is happening. And the networks wonder why they’re losing viewers? Additionally, MRC intern Michael Lanza noted that this same not-"political" concert featured video of distraught children, wailing about the impending death of the Earth.
CNN contributor Roland Martin took aim at Republicans on Friday's "American Morning, since Congressman Tom Tancredo was the only GOP presidential candidate to appear at a recent NAACP forum. Co-host John Roberts asked Martin, "what do you make of this idea that nine of the 10 Republican candidates took a pass on this convention?" Martin's response was blunt: "Of course, conservatives won't like this, but the bottom line is, the GOP, they're scared of black folks. I mean, it's as if they can't even talk to them."
Martin, a regular contributor on CNN's "American Morning," and a liberal talk show host based out of Chicago, has been given regular opportunities on the morning show to give left-wing lines about various issues without a counter-balance from a conservative. He continued his offensive by citing President Bush's single appearance before the NAACP in his several years as president, and Rudy Giuliani's "terrible history with black folks in New York" as the reason there was "no doubt he [Giuliani] was going to ignore the NAACP."
It doesn’t seem to matter how small it is, a left-wing protest can always draw a national network TV camera. On CNN’s Newsroom program on Wednesday morning, the network founded by Ted "Call No One Foreign" Turner presented a northern Virginia controversy over illegal immigrants through a familiar lens -- highlighting a few hundred protesters charging racism in the supposedly outrageous demand that government officials have the right to inquire into the immigration status of potential illegal aliens in police custody.
A Republican proposal before the Prince William County Board, modified and softened after consulting with county police and legal counsel, was approved unanimously on Tuesday night – but mysteriously, the story by Brian Todd on Wednesday morning was never updated (it also ran late Tuesday). The Washington Post story from Nick Miroff on Wednesday is here. While CNN focused on the small group of protesters, it typically ignored how county supervisors voted unanimously with what they believed the majority of their constituents -- not a minority chanting for TV cameras -- wanted.
At the end of the 7 PM Eastern hour of CNN’s The Situation Room on Monday night, reporter Jeanne Moos did one of her light "Moost Unusual" stories on Katie Couric’s producer-slapping incident – which prominently included a screen shot of Tim Graham’s Monday morning NewsBusters blog post on "Slap Happy Katie." (No mention of Tim or the blog.) Brian Stelter at TV Newser reported the third most popular video this afternoon on the CNN Video website. It unfolded like this:
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): First we couldn't stop calling her perky. And now, we're perking up our ears because Katie Couric supposedly slapped someone?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my god.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow, that is so unlike Katie Couric.
MOOS: It's more like what Zsa Zsa Gabor might do to a cop or what one Czech politician did to another. Politicians are one thing, but Slap Happy Katie? [NB screen shot]
Here's another sign that Al Gore's Live Earth was probably a bust. CNN entertainment correspondent Lola Ogunnaike (pictured at right) gave a great one-liner with regards to the celebrity component of Live Earth: "Frankly, I don't want to hear about environmental causes from the Pussycat Dolls."
Co-host John Roberts and Ogunnaike discussed the concert's lackluster ratings in the first hour of Monday's "American Morning." Ogunnaike blamed the ratings situation on "benefit fatigue" and people actually wanting to be out in the environment instead of sitting at home watching celebrities rant about saving it.
On the July 4 CNN Newsrooom, as correspondent Cal Perry reported on the Hamas role in the release of BBC journalist Alan Johnston in Gaza, Perry characterized Hamas as a "military" organization fighting for "independence" against Israel without mentioning its long-term stated goal of taking over Israel as part of a Palestinian state, or its use of terrorism. Perry: "This is really an organization that's evolving. On the one hand, they're a political organization, they want to stay in political power, and of course on the other hand they're a military organization who are fighting for independence against Israel." (Transcript follows)
Perry did at least relay the criticism that Hamas was using the hostage release as a "PR ploy" for its own gain, and showed a clip of Fatah member Riyad al-Malki accusing Hamas of staging the kidnapping and using the release for "political gains." Below is a complete transcript of Perry's report which aired shortly after 2:00 p.m. during the Wednesday July 4 CNN Newsroom:
Ordinary normal Americans recite the Pledge of Allegiance for love of country. Former Vice President Al Gore recites Pledge of the Climate Crisis with the same zeal. The only difference is Americans tend to get the Pledge of Allegiance right every time.
For the last year leading up to the much-hyped “Live Earth” event, Gore has been making the rounds to various media outlets reciting the same message – global warming bad, government regulation good. However, on the July 5 “Larry King Live” show, Gore committed a global warming slip up.
Gore told CNN’s Larry King he was urging viewers to pressure their governments “to sign and join an international treaty within two years that cuts global warming pollution by 90 percent in the developing countries and by more than half worldwide in time for the next generation to inherit a healthy earth.”
A federal appeals court today overturned a Carter-appointed judge's opinion last August that the National Security Agency's terrorist surveillance program, dubbed by opponents as "domestic spying," was unconstitutional. Eleven months ago, the media latched on to the decision as a "major legal defeat" for the Bush administration, with CNN's Jack Cafferty crowing about how the decision proved "President Bush violated his oath of office, among other things, when he swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States."
Both ABC and MSNBC hosted constitutional lawyer Jonathan Turley, who suggested the President should be impeached as a result of the ruling.
On Friday's Anderson Cooper 360, CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta examined the accuracy of the claims presented in Michael Moore's film Sicko. Gupta found that while there are complaints about America's health care system, "you won't find medical utopia elsewhere." Although Gupta did not show much skepticism in reporting that life expectancies in Cuba are about equal to those in America despite being outspent by American 26 to 1 in health care, the CNN correspondent did report that in countries with tax-funded universal health care, that "even higher taxes don't give all the coverage everyone wants."
Gupta discussed the waiting lines that exist in some industrialized nations, and found that "Americans have shorter wait times than everyone but Germans when seeking non-emergency elective procedures," although he also found that "only Canada was worse than the United States when it comes to waiting for a doctor's appointment for a medical problem." After informing viewers of the higher taxes paid in other countries, he also relayed that "even higher taxes don't give all the coverage everyone wants" as health analyst Paul Keckley informed viewers that "15 to 20 percent of the population will purchase services outside the system run by the government." (Transcript follows)
On Tuesday's The Situation Room, CNN's Wolf Blitzer noted that it was the 14th anniversary of a cruise missile attack on Iraq, ordered by then-President Clinton, in retaliation for a plot to assassinate former President Bush in Kuwait earlier that year. CNN also played a clip of the CNN correspondent from June 26, 1993 in which, referring to President Clinton's speech to the nation, Blitzer relayed the Clinton administration's desire "to make sure that the Iraqi government does not engage in what the U.S. describes as state-sponsored terrorism." (Transcript follows)
Below is a complete transcript of the item from the June 26 The Situation Room on CNN: