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:
Matt Sheffield's post over at Ace's place ("The Attempted Crucifixion of Frank Luntz") noted the heat PBS had received for having GOP pollster Frank Luntz participate as an analyst at last Thursday's Democrat debate:
The blog left's puppet master, David Brock, sends out an "alert" informing them that someone who might possibly be conservative is going to be allowed to report as a "mainstream" journalist.
..... Thankfully, PBS has not backed down. Luntz, who is a respected pollster and is often quoted in liberal publications is not getting the shaft, making him one of the very few Republicans that has (so far) managed to escape the assault of the conservaphobic left.
Mr. Brock and his Media Matters (MM) organization are being quite selective.
In August 2006, longtime "Friend of Bill" Clinton Vinod Gupta's Info USA, which had spent its entire corporate history in "data collection and distribution," made what should have been seen as an eyebrow-raising acquisition:
CNN contributor Roland Martin jumped on the Elizabeth Edwards bandwagon during an appearance on Thursday's "American Morning," and launched two fronts of attack on Coulter for her recent comments about John Edwards. First, in reply to co-host Kiran Chetry's question on whether Elizabeth Edwards should have even dignified Ann Coulter with a phone call, Martin invoked the schoolyard. "I think she should have, because at some point, you have to punch the bully in the mouth."
Roland Martin, a columnist and talk radio host, makes frequent appearances on "American Morning," which are also broadcast on his Chicago-based radio show. After Martin discussed Coulter's "track record" of "outlandish comments," as he put it, Chetry posed the question that brought out his schoolyard comparison.
The search for missing pregnant Ohio woman Jessie Davis and the ongoing investigation into her murder has been all the rage recently on the twenty-four hour news networks, only surpassed by a few "choice" stories such as the coverage of the imprisonment of Paris Hilton. Not surprisingly, one network, CNN, used the murder of this young woman to forward a left-wing agenda. Two guests on Monday's "Paula Zahn Now" program warned that a"big risk factor" or a "big red flag" in cases of domestic violence and/or homicide against pregnant woman are "men who are gun owners."
Host Paula Zahn had three women guests on to discuss the question, "What is it about pregnancy that seems to increase a woman's risk of being killed by her partner?" The first guest to speak, Dr. Gail Saltz of New York Presbyterian Hospital, focused on the increased stresses on a woman and her "partner" during a pregnancy. The second guest, Jacquelyn Campbell, a nursing professor at John Hopkins University, was asked by Zahn if many of the murders of pregnant woman take place very late in the pregnancy. While answering, Campbell included in her list of risk factors "men who are gun owners as particularly dangerous in these cases."
Just over 12 hours after Monday's NBC Nightly News reported that 50 out of 141 high school seniors visiting the White House presented President Bush with a handwritten letter asking him to "stop the violations of the human rights of... all detainees, including those designated enemy combatants," CNN's "American Morning" had 3 of the 50 students on for an interview. Co-host John Roberts asked the students to recount their experiences writing the letter, obtaining signatures, and handing it to the president, and asked one student, "[I]n response, the president said, ‘we respect human rights,' do you buy that?"
The three students who were interviewed - Mari Oye, Leah Anthony Libresco, and Colin McSwiggen, all recently-graduated high school students, were among the one-third of the Presidential Scholars who signed a letter asking President Bush, among other things, "to do all in your power to stop violations of the human rights of detainees, to cease illegal renditions, and to apply the Geneva Convention to all detainees, including those designated enemy combatants." Roberts emphasized the apparent intelligence of the three. "And you want to talk about brain power, the collective group that you're seeing there. Mari and Leah going to Yale next year, Colin accepted to MIT." None from the remaining two-thirds who didn't sign the letter made an appearance on "American Morning."
“American Morning” provided another forecast of mostly cloudy skies for the housing market on June 26.
“I got to tell you John [Roberts, “American Morning” co-host], this is not good news for people who are out there trying to sell their house and this of course is supposed to be the biggest time of year for sales,” said Gerri Willis to begin her report.
Willis, the personal finance correspondent for CNN and host of “Open House” was reporting new data from the National Association of Realtors that showed lower median home prices and slipping sales.
While the NAR data was downbeat, Willis called it too “upbeat” and “optimistic.” She then labeled a doomsayer with a more negative prediction “respected."
Make a crazy eco-rule that affects thousands and the mainstream media finds critics – who said it doesn’t go far enough.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsome banned city departments from purchasing bottled water, even for water coolers. But that wasn’t good enough for Greenpeace Energy Policy analyst Samantha Rogers.
Rogers told CNN’s “American Morning” fill-in host Rob Marciano she wanted to see the mayor do more than just ban plastic bottles, but to sign a plan championed by global warming doomsayers that would force the city to have more than 50 percent of its energy come from renewable resources by the year 2017.
During CNN Newsroom on Saturday, correspondent Veronica de la Cruz showed portions of three recorded questions (out of a total of 197 that were posted so far on Youtube.com) that were submitted for the upcoming CNN/Youtube debates. Two of the clips featured questions that were asked from a liberal point-of-view, while one was asked from a conservative point-of-view, in which a woman cited the plummeting crime rate in Kennesaw, Georgia, after the town enacted mandatory gun ownership. But while both liberal questions were played in their entirety, only the first eight seconds out of one minute of the gun control question were played: "An armed society is a polite society. And indeed, Kennesaw, Georgia got a whole lot more polite after passing a law that every household had to have a gun." (Clip of entire question can be viewed here.) (Transcript follows)
CNN’s Howard Kurtz invited CBS’ Lara Logan on “Reliable Sources” Sunday, and it was difficult to tell what was more disgraceful: the way that Kurtz disingenuously set up Logan to bash Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, or; Logan’s amazingly hypocritical answer regarding journalists’ role during wartime wherein she proudly stated:
“We’re there to be the watchdog for all sides.”
I kid you not. In fact, Logan made it quite clear that in her view, journalism is more important than American lives or the war effort.
To set this up, Kurtz said the following to his guest:
The energy debate on the Hill could help determine policy and prices for decades. Just don’t expect CNN to report it in a fair way.
Instead, you get Ali Velshi, the ‘American Morning’ business reporter, taking swipes at energy companies and the Republican Party. While the GOP stopped plans for a new tax to pay for more Democratic goodies, Velshi said the Republican wasn’t “particularly sound.”
That’s OK, he also complained that the oil companies are “getting off free.” Apparently, Velshi, not always known for math accuracy, needs a tune-up when it comes to taxes. Oil companies paid an estimated $48.36 billion in income taxes in 2004. They also collect a similar number in excise taxes for Uncle Sugar.
When it was announced Tuesday that China surpassed the United States as the world’s leading emitter of carbon dioxide, NewsBusters asked, “Will Media Notice?”
In reality, the answer is a mixed windbag, with most press outlets totally ignoring the revelation, and a few actually blaming the problem on – wait for it! – the United States. I kid you not.
However, before we address that stupidity, it first must be relayed that not one of the television news outlets bothered reporting the Chinese CO2 data at all. It appears that television news divisions only feel CO2 is a problem if it’s emitted by American corporations or citizens.
As for the print media, the few that did cover this story either gave it very little attention, or made some fairly predictable excuses for why it’s okay as the planet nears its seemingly inevitable doom at the hands of greenhouse gases for China to be the leading “polluter.”
For instance, the New York Times devoted a total of 83 words to this story in its “World Briefing Asia” section Thursday on page A12 (no link available):
CNN contributor Roland S. Martin advised Democrats to emulate two of their past presidential candidates - Jesse Jackson Sr. and Bobby Kennedy - and play up the issue of poverty, which is a place that he thinks "where candidates can make some kind of headway in trying to appeal to voters beyond the middle class or the upper income voters."
Martin makes regular appearances on CNN’s "American Morning," and besides being a CNN contributor, he is a syndicated columnist and talk radio host. Co-host Kiran Chetry on Thursday’s "American Morning" asked to comment on a recent column in which he advised the Democrats to reach out to poor whites, and to focus their attention on the issue of poverty, particlarly in rural areas. As he did in his column, he gave the examples of Jesse Jackson Sr.’s campaigns in 1984 and 88, as well as Bobby Kennedy’s trip down to the Mississippi Delta region in order to reach out to poor people.
Have we entered the Twilight Zone? A mainstream media outlet is going after Congress, particularly a Democrat Congress, for not living up to one of their promises?
CNN correspondent Drew Griffin and a team of two staffers and six interns all 435 members of the House of Representatives a simple question - if they get obtain a copy of each representative's earmark request. Even with the Democrats' campaign promise before the last election that they wanted a more "open" government, 330 members of the House never responded to the simple request. Another 67 refused the interns' request. Ultimately, they were only able to obtain the earmark requests from the offices of 31 representatives. Out of the 31, seven said they had no earmark requests in the fiscal year 2008 budget.
CNN aired two different reports about this, one on "Anderson Cooper 360" on June 18, and the other on the June 19 "American Morning." The report on "Anderson Cooper 360" aired the following excerpt from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
DREW GRIFFIN: ...Last week Speaker Nancy Pelosi hailed a new open earmark process saying finally the American people will know where their money is going, and then she said this.
REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D) HOUSE SPEAKER: If I just might direct the record to another place, why don't we just leave this room today forgetting the word earmark? This is legislatively directed spending as opposed to executive spending.
GRIFFIN: And Ms. Pelosi, for the record, a member of your staff told us you would not reveal your "legislatively directed spending requests."
On Tuesday's The Situation Room on CNN, substitute host John King asked a question rarely asked by other journalists as he inquired whether the Democratic presidential candidates are moving too far left as they appeal to the anti-war movement, which King tagged the "juice of the left." During a discussion of the candidates' participation in the liberal Take Back America Conference and in an event for the labor union AFSCME, the CNN host asked Democratic strategist Paul Begala whether the push to withdraw from Iraq could "come back to haunt the party in a general election." King: "Anti-war is the theme, the energy, the juice of the left right now. ... Any concerns at all on your part that all of this, bring the troops home now, bring the troops home now, turn the page, close the door on Iraq, can come back to haunt the party in a general election?" (Transcript follows)