After weeks of CNN entertaining the notion of a gas price
conspiracy and one day after the Dow Jones had it’s second highest close, CNN’s
Andy Serwer flatly told viewers to ignore the idea that Republicans were
artificially boosting Wall Street.
“There’s the conspiracy theory that says that because we’re
coming to an election, the GOP is making the market go up, which, don’t believe
it. If they could do that, they would be on Wall Street getting really, really
rich, instead,” Serwer added in his “Minding Your Business” briefing of the
September 27 “American Morning.”
Jack Cafferty, the CNN host of the "Cafferty File" segment of the "Situation Room," today derided Fox News as "the F-word network." He also alluded to collusion in regards to an interview Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice gave "The New York Post" editorial board. After being introduced by host Wolf Blitzer on September 26 at 4:11PM EDT, this exchange occurred:
Cafferty: "How you doing, Wolf? You mentioned Condoleezza Rice met with the editorial board of 'The New York Post' today, right?"
Cafferty: "Yeah, ‘The New York Post’ is owned by Rupert Murdoch, the same guy that owns the F-word network, the Fox News channel, right?"
Hinderaker of Power Line points out the broader implications
of CNN being foisted upon Glenn and many other travelers:
This has become my major issue with air travel, worse even
having to throw away my shaving cream and toothpaste. (Want a stock
tip? Invest in a company that makes really, really small toiletries.)
The airports of America--as far as I can tell, there aren't any
exceptions--have entered into a contract with CNN whereby CNN's
outrageously one-sided coverage blares non-stop at every airline gate
in the U.S. Talk about a captive audience! You really don't have any
choice but to sit at the gate, waiting for your plane to load, and the
volume is turned up so loud that you can't miss a single snarky attack
on the Bush administration. Frankly, I think I'd rather be
waterboarded. Do you suppose John McCain can do something about this?
This is just one of many manifestations of the fact that the
Democratic Party is the "home team" of American politics. CNN is the
"official" news network, viewed by corporate America as neutral and
unobjectionable even though, in fact, it is relentlessly liberal. If
anyone proposed that they shift the contract over to Fox, for the sake
of more competent news coverage if nothing else, the reaction would be:
we can't do that, Fox is conservative! It isn't, actually, for the most
part. But occasional moments of conservatism will drive a network more
or less underground, while constant liberalism is considered middle of
the road, and suitable for infliction--like it or not--on the air
travelers of America.
had the same experience, most airport TVs I've run across show
CNN. But CNN is not only the channel of most major airports,
it's also the channel in most public spaces where ESPN isn't being
shown, simply because liberalism is the default political viewpoint set
up for Americans. It's not the raving, Bush-is-Hitler bile that
left-wing blogs and Air America pine for, but it's there nonetheless,
surrounding us all like a comforting political amniotic fluid, helping
us know what's right, who's evil, and what's sensible and moderate.
It's also probably one of the bigger reasons why liberal media bias
Pundits are pondering Bill Clinton’s feverish attack on “Fox News Sunday,” laying into Chris Wallace for alleged oh-so-clever smirking and pounding the host’s leg with his pointy finger for emphasis.
No one asked if Clinton’s outburst hurt the publicity for his “Clinton Global Initiative.” (It didn’t help.) The first question was: staged outrage, or a spontaneous reaction? It’s quite a commentary on the Slick One that millions on both sides of the political fence would guess he plotted this tantrum in advance. Count me in on that number. I believe it was staged, a plan to please left-wingers who loathe Fox News with a passion and want them demonized as the communications center of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.
CNN’s "American Morning" featured two reports this morning on Senator George Allen and the controversies engulfing him. Anchor Soledad O’Brien and political reporter Bob Franken apparently found the whole story amusing, as they could barely restrain their glee. During both segments, Franken brought up "macaca"-gate. At 8:07AM, after mentioning the most recent allegations that Allen, as a college student, used a racial pejorative, Franken characterized the macaca incident this way:
Franken: "And, of course, we know about the controversy that erupted when he used another slur, the word macaca, against an Indian-American operative for his opponent's campaign."
Interestingly, an hour earlier, he described the event differently:
Franken: "Of course, we also remember Senator Allen recently, who was captured on video, when he accused an operative for his Democratic opponent of being, quote, a 'macaca,' which we found out was a racial pejorative. Something that the Senator said he did not know."
So, Franken had to find out what the word means? He didn’t instantly know its definition? Then perhaps he shouldn’t assign a motive to Senator Allen’s usage of the phrase.
For the third time in less then a month, CNN has aired a report investigating the connection between falling gas prices and the GOP’s fortunes in the looming fall election. This time, "American Morning" reporter Ali Velshi looked into the conspiracy theory that oil companies are trying to help Republicans by dropping prices. Co-Anchor Soledad O’Brien teased the report this way:
Soledad O'Brien: "Ahead this morning, is there a conspiracy behind the drop in gas prices? Bloggers say there is something fishy going on."
A few minutes later, at 8:24AM EDT, the program’s other anchor, Miles O’Brien, introduced the segment and joined in the theorizing:
Miles O’Brien: "Well, the national average is now $2.38 for unleaded regular. One month ago, it was $2.87. A year ago, it was $2.79. The price is supposed to go even lower as we head toward the election. Hmm."
When a panel comprised of newly ultra-liberal Arianna Huffington, Bloomberg political correspondent Roger Simon, former Bush speechwriter David Frum, and the Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz unanimously believes you blew it, the likelihood is you did. Such was the case when the aforementioned gathered on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” Sunday to chat about former president Bill Clinton’s meltdown on “Fox News Sunday.”
Here are some of the notable quotables:
HUFFINGTON: Well, I don't know what the private arrangements were about what he could talk about and he could not. But frankly, once you go on the television show, you should know if you're the president of the United States, or the former president, or me, or anybody else, that you can be asked anything at all.
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, in an interview for the September 20 "Situation Room," questioned President Bush about Iran and wondered, "Why would it be so bad if this Iranian regime had a nuclear weapon?" Blitzer also alternated between complaining that not enough has been done to fight terrorism and wondering if the President was unnecessarily scaring the American people.
On the subject of Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the CNN anchor quizzed Bush as to why he couldn’t meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
BLITZER: "Given the stakes involved -- a nuclear confrontation -- what do you have to lose by sitting down with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?"
President Bush replied by reiterating the need for Iran to suspend uranium enrichment. Not to be deterred, however, Blitzer tried again a few minutes later:
BLITZER: "But if it would help -- if it would help to sit down, talk to them and try to convince them....What would be wrong to just sit down with them and tell them, you know what, here are the options before you?"
It’s really the height of gall, but perfectly illustrates the arrogance of today’s media. On Wednesday evening, Michael Ware – CNN’s Baghdad correspondent – stated that the folks giving President Bush advice and information about what’s going on in Iraq – including General George Casey and Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad – “are men who could not be more divorced from the Iraqi reality. They very much live within a bubble, be it physically within the Green Zone or be it within the bubble of heavy U.S. protection” (video link and full transcript to follow).
Ware didn’t end there, for he knows better than all of the advisors, the commanders, and the boots on the ground:
On Monday night, CNN’s John Roberts previewed the United Nations appearances of President Bush and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a manner that seemed to offer moral equivalence between Bush and the avowed Holocaust denier. Roberts, who filed the September 18 report for "Anderson Cooper 360," was introduced by an announcer tease that set a tone of comparative moral ambiguity:
ANNOUNCER: "He's a president on the ropes. He's a radical on the rise. The leaders of Iran and the United States on a nuclear collision course -- and now the whole world is watching."
First off, "on the ropes" is an odd description for a President with rising poll numbers. Secondly, the language here seems to indicate two leaders, both of whom refuse to back down, rather then one who has threatened to destroy Israel and one who wishes the other would desist in such behavior.
Roberts reported the conflict, in a segment that aired at 10PM EDT, as though he was discussing a political contest between two candidates. Summarizing the problem, he stated:
ROBERTS: "But how did the mudslinging between Tehran and the White House get so bad? Certainly, Ahmadinejad's denial of the Holocaust and insistence that Israel be wiped off the map were part of it. Some people also fault President Bush for what they call increasingly Islamophobic language that alienates Muslims."
On CNN's Reliable Sources on Sunday morning, Gloria Borger, CBS News Capitol Hill correspondent and U.S. News columnist, conceded that the revelation that then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage was who leaked the fact that Joe Wilson's wife worked for the CIA, “was sort of a big yawn” to the news media “and why we didn't cover it that much, is because, first of all, everybody was anticipating a Karl Rove indictment, and that would have been a huge, huge story.” So, when “Karl Rove was not indicted, the air went out of the balloon at that particular point.” To put it mildly. Host Howard Kurtz called media coverage of Rove “overheated,” suggesting that “a lot of journalists practically had the date circled on the calendar when he might be charged."
The CBS Evening News at least ran a story, unlike the ABC and NBC evening newscasts, but a very skewed and incomplete report, as detailed in my September 7 NewsBusters item, “CBS Interviews Armitage, But Skips Rove and Asks if He Owes Apology to Wilson?” (Brief transcript of Borger's exchange with Kurtz follows)
On Friday's C-SPAN morning show "Washington Journal," host Brian Lamb interviewed columnist Robert Novak in the hour of 9 to 10 AM Eastern time on his column on the unraveling of the Plamegate scandal. (Novak was in Urbana, Illinois, at his alma mater, the University of Illinois.) Perhaps the most entertaining parts were his harsh takes on Chris Matthews and Jon Stewart, whom he called "a self-righteous comedian taking on airs of grandeur."
After a supportive call mentioning Matthews, Novak said "Hardball" was unwatchable:
"Well, thank you. My problem here, sir, is that I never watch Chris Matthews' program because I don't feel that I can possibly learn anything from all that shouting and blathering and interrupting people. So I haven't watched his program in years. I don’t know if he said much about this and I don’t care. I can imagine that Mr. Matthews believes that being mistaken in journalism means never having to say you’re sorry. So I don’t think he’ll say much of anything."
In a September 15 report for "The Situation Room," CNN reporter Bill Schneider wondered if the current decrease in gas prices has been timed to help Republicans in the midterm elections. He ominously asked:
Schneider: "The drop in prices may last a couple of months, long enough to get through the November election. Could that be what the oil companies want?"
Does this mean that high prices in the spring and summer were an attempt to hurt the Republicans? This theme, that oil companies are trying to aid the GOP, was repeated or insinuated throughout the report. In the segment, which aired at 4:40PM, anchor Wolf Blitzer introduced Schneider by noting that a form of smog reducing gasoline will be pulled "as we head into the fall and the November elections."
"American Morning" host Miles O'Brien prefaced a September 13 interview with White House Press Secretary Tony Snow by mentioning the President's 9/11 speech and wondering "if lawmakers on both sides of the aisle" were heeding Bush's call for unity. It soon became clear that when O'Brien said both sides, he meant only Republicans. The CNN anchor led with a quote critical of Democrats by Majority Leader John Boehner. Snow then attempted to reference some tough statements made by liberal Senator Carl Levin. O'Brien respond:
O'BRIEN: "No, no, I want to ask -- can I ask about Republicans first? Let's just talk about Republicans....I want to ask you about Republicans."
An excerpt from my latest item up at the MRC's BusinessandMedia.org Web site. See my article for more, including links to external content:
The recent discovery of new oil reserves in the Gulf of Mexico was the perfect excuse for CNN’s Jack Cafferty to revisit his election-year conspiracy theory. But when the September 9 "In the Money" aired, the program’s panelists talked to an oil analyst about the future of oil and gas prices, leaving out the idea of a Big Oil-GOP axis of petrol.
"You know, if you were a real cynic, you could also wonder if the oil companies might not be pulling the price of gas down to help the Republicans get re-elected in the midterm elections a couple of months away," Cafferty suggested on the August 30 "Situation Room," just five days before the Chevron (NYSE: CVX) oil discovery.
Yet another case of a reporter not giving you all the facts.
CNN's Christine Romans tried to pass off a Boston area woman, Abby Subak, as merely a "mother of two" concerned about the death of the American Dream.
I thought it fit all too neatly into Romans's story, which hyped the findings of a liberal think tank critical of the Bush economy. Well, sure enough, an Internet search showed that this woman just so happened to have worked before for Ralph Nader's PIRG.
Apparently Jack Cafferty's colleagues, ostensibly knowledgeful business reporters, like Jack's kooky conspiracy idea that Big Oil is driving down gas prices in time to engender good will for the GOP:
Maybe it could be called “The Conspiracy Hour with Jack Cafferty.” On the September 2 “In the Money,” the program’s host recycled his theory that gas prices are dropping because of scheming oil companies.
“You know, if you were a real cynic, you could also wonder if the oil companies might not be pulling the price of gas down to help the Republicans get re-elected in the midterm elections a couple of months away,” Cafferty suggested just a few days earlier on the August 30 “Situation Room.”
Whenever comedians make jokes about America or its people, folks are quick to defend their statements as being innocent and intentionally sarcastic just to evoke laughter. The implication is that such entertainers really don’t hate America, or Republicans for that matter, but are just kidding. Well, on August 28, Bill Maher was Larry King’s guest (replayed on September 2), and his statements about the United States and her people should quell the view that opinions he is expressing on HBO’s “Real Time” such as those identified here are done so just to get a laugh (audio link to follow with full transcript).
For example, Maher showed little regard for America by stating (emphasis mine): “You know, this country is, I've said this before, I'm going to keep saying it, it's a pitiful, helpless giant.” Think he was kidding? Later, Maher elaborated:
Thursday's Late Show with David Letterman on CBS featured a “Top Ten” list announced by CNN anchor Kyra Phillips, who on Tuesday was caught with her microphone on in a CNN restroom talking over a speech by President Bush. See this NewsBusters item by Megan McCormack for a transcript and fun video. The #5 from Phillips on Letterman: “I was set up by those bastards at Fox News.” To watch video of her presentation from the stage of the Ed Sullivan Theater, go to the Late Show home page. Or, direct to the Late Show's “Big Show Highlights” page and click on the top video. Either way, the video is available only as a streaming (not downloadable) Real clip. (Text of full list follows)
Sitting in the CNN green room in Washington today and staring at the tube during "Live From" at about 2:10, I noticed a promo for a big show this weekend starring President Bill Clinton. On Saturday and Sunday night at 8 PM Eastern, CNN will air a special edition of "CNN Presents" hosted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta. It's titled "The Poverty Trap: A Conversation With President Clinton." The Turner press release is headlined "CNN and President Clinton Search for Solutions To Global Poverty." How chummy. The release continued:
From Detroit, Michigan to Mexico and rural Arkansas to Rwanda, CNN explores poverty in communities around the world in places where the statistics are staggering and on the rise. In THE POVERTY TRAP: A CONVERSATION WITH PRESIDENT CLINTON, Dr. Sanjay Gupta talks to former President Bill Clinton about how these communities and others can break out of the poverty trap.
"I spent three years hyperventilating about Valerie Plame and all I got was this lousy T-shirt." So says most of the Washington media establishment. But one particular ideologue is not ready to throw in the towel just yet, CNN reporter Jeff Greenfield.
To conservatives, this Armitage disclosure is proof that there never was any effort to smear Joseph Wilson, or to injure Valerie Plame. The Wall Street Journal editorial page Wednesday pointedly asked why Armitage never let Fitzgerald know of his role. The National Review says the whole controversy was much ado about nothing.
But does this put an end to the mater? Liberal bloggers say maybe not. Maybe others were out to punish Wilson and his wife even if Armitage's talk with Novak was wholly innocent.
I think it's safe to say that Kyra Phillips's bathroom break embarrassment was not entirely her fault. But you do have to wonder why it took so long for someone to cut off her mic. On his radio show yesterday, Rush Limbaugh wondered if perhaps the whole affair was due to someone not liking the CNN anchor:
What was the techie at the CNN control booth doing for 90 seconds? It's
obvious they weren't listening to the Bush speech. It's obvious that
nobody at CNN was listening to this. Somebody caught her. Oh, the
anchor that was on, Daryn was on, and she finally, when this
conversation finally started getting into sisters and brothers and
control freaks and so forth, while Bush was speaking, "And you're
listening to President Bush, who is talking from New Orleans today,"
and then apparently Kyra came back, she's going to take over at one
o'clock, Daryn is still sitting there and she comes back and her mic is
still live when she approaches the set, because she says, "Well, I'm
here. I'm ready," and that went out.
It got me to thinking.
Does somebody there not like Kyra Phillips? I mean how does this just
happen? How in the world can audio and video go out when nobody intends
for it to? But then when it does, you can imagine... I mean, look, I
know broadcasting and broadcasting is me, and these accidents can
happen. Somebody can bump into a switch. But for 90 seconds nobody knew
it in the control booth at CNN, which means they we were the listening
to what was on their own, quote, unquote, air, which was a Bush speech.
I mean Kyra Phillips is innocent in this. I mean, she just had her
whole personal conversation in a bathroom broadcast all over cable news
yesterday afternoon for a minute and a half.
Over at the MRC's BusinessandMedia.org Web site, I take a look at how CNN's Ali Velshi delivered a biased broadside against the insurance industry on today's "American Morning."
In between stories of frustrated insurance claimants, Velshi shared that “the insurance industry says that some in the media and CNN in particular haven’t given them a fair shake.” In response, Velshi added that he “invited the CEO of State Farm” and the president and CEO of Allstate were “unable to accommodate our request for an interview either.”
Yet elsewhere in his story, Velshi admitted that one insurance company was unable to talk to Velshi about individual cases, exactly the topic of Velshi’s story: individual cases of frustrated insurance claimants.
USA Today reported that gasoline prices could be closer to $2 a gallon by Thanksgiving. The paper sites the end of the summer driving season and decreased demand as causes for this predicted decline. Not surprisingly, CNN’s Jack Cafferty sees something more sinister at work here. Before his daily Cafferty File segment on ‘The Situation Room’ Wednesday afternoon, substitute anchor John King and news reader Zain Verjee discussed this report and cheered on lower gas prices as good news. Cafferty then spouted off the old liberal conspiracy theory connecting Republicans and Big Oil:
Jack Cafferty: "You know, if you were a real cynic, you could also wonder if the oil companies might not be pulling the price of gas down to help the Republicans get re-elected in the midterm elections a couple of months away."
For those who were not watching Fox News Channel at 6:30am EDT today, 'Fox and Friends First' had a little bit of fun with CNN anchor Kyra Phillips’ restroom conversation, inadvertently broadcast live Tuesday during President Bush’s speech in New Orleans.
Making light of Phillips’ gaffe, anchor Kiran Chetry, having returned from a commercial break, was interrupted by an off-air "personal" conversation taking place between fellow F&F anchors Steve Doocy and Mike Jerrick.
CNN anchor Kyra Phillips was caught with her skirt down yesterday when she left her microphone on during a trip to the ladies room.
The mortifying episode came when Phillips stepped away from her desk during coverage of President Bush's Hurricane Katrina anniversary speech. Viewers saw Dubya's lips moving, but they heard Phillips pulling down a zipper and making girl talk with another woman in the rest room.
"I have the most handsome man," Phillips gushed. "Just a really passionate, great, great human being. And they exist! They are hard to find, but they are out there."
Phillips' sister-in-law didn't get such positive treatment.
Looking for a "passionate, compassionate, great, great" man? Well, according to CNN’s Kyra Phillips, they do indeed exist.
During CNN’s live coverage of President Bush’s remarks from New Orleans, Phillips was unaware that her microphone was on and picked up portions of a conversation she was having with another woman, apparently in a CNN restroom. At 12:49pm EDT, those listening carefully could hear Phillips praise her husband:
Phillips: "Yeah, I’m very lucky in that regard with my husband. My husband is handsome and he is genuinely a loving, you know, no ego–you know what I’m saying. Just a really passionate, compassionate great, great human being. And they exist. They do exist. They’re hard to find. Yup. But they are out there."
Phillips also inadvertently revealed how she feels about her sister-in-law:
Phillips: "..Brothers have to be, you know, protective. Except for mine. I’ve got to be protective of him...Yeah. He’s married, three kids, but his wife is just a control freak."
It all started when CNN repoter Miles O'Brien announced that in Biloxi, Miss., 30 people had died in the St. Charles apartment complex. Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove immediately investigated, expecting a heavy workload. But he discovered that no one had died, and immediately announced the news to the media. This hardly stopped a news story that had already assumed a reality of its own.
"Al Reuters" is a derrogatory term used in the conservative blogosphere for the Reuters news service. But it turns out that Osama bin Laden valued the western media so much that one of his media advisers had the pseudonym "Abu Reuters." Al Qaeda videos are specifically designed for play in the Western media, with its own production company providing English subtitles. Said one CNN producer, "The media meant and still means a lot to them.”
CNN's senior investigative producer, Henry Schuster, who worked with Amanpour on the documentary, told Press Gazette: “To give a notion of how important the western media was, one of his earlier media advisors used the nom de guerre Abu Reuters. It was one of their main sub-committees in the Al Qaeda structure. The media meant and still means a lot to them.”
Bin Laden's first and only press conference was held in 1998 in Khost, Afghanistan where he went public with Al Qaeda's plan to attack the US.