If you're a regular viewer of network morning news shows -- a practice I don't really recommend, we watch them so you don't have to -- you know that CNN's "American Morning" is particularly concerned about the "epidemic" of childhood obesity.
Indeed, just two weeks ago, CNN's top doc, Sanjay Gupta, lamented a lack of regulation on Internet "advergaming" to children You know, playing Spoons with Snap, Crackle, and Pop, that sort of thing.
But this week, well, the crew at "American Morning" actually found it ridiculous that the makers of M&Ms have agreed to stop advertising to children. Not that they do much of that anyway, they just won't anymore, now that European regulators are breathing down their necks. And today, anchor Soledad O'Brien preached the virtues of moderation as she mocked schools that ban cupcakes. [cont'd...]
John Edwards is retaining his attack-dog leftist bloggers. His campaign has a statement on the Edwards blog, and the candidate claimed "they have both assured me that it was never their intention to malign anyone's faith, and I take them at their word. We're beginning a great debate about the future of our country, and we can't let it be hijacked."
As anyone who's read the Kathryn Lopez smackdown on their blazing blog guns at Catholics (and Pope Benedict, the alleged dictator) knows, it's quite clear they intended to malign a faith. The subject emerged on CNN's The Situation Room Wednesday night, but the most disturbing part of the story appeared on screen. The graphic emphasized unproven allegations:
What? Kathryn's beginning made the vicious anti-Catholic flavor of Amanda Marcotte's blogging very clear:
On Sunday’s "Late Edition," CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer conducted a syrupy interview with consumer advocate and frequent presidential candidate Ralph Nader. Blitzer allowed the former Green Party standard-bearer to once again promote left-wing PBS host Bill Moyers for President in 2008. The CNN anchor also gushed over Nader’s new work of non-fiction, "The 17 Traditions," a liberal tome about rasing families. Blitzer described it as a "beautiful book with a lot of emotion." But first, he prompted Nader to plug the Moyers for President campaign:
Wolf Blitzer: "Here's what you wrote back in October on Bill Moyers, the PBS commentator: ‘Moyers brings impressive credentials beyond his knowledge of the White House, congressional complexes. As millions of viewers and readers over the decades know, Bill Moyers is unusually articulate and authentic in evaluating the unmet necessities and framing the ignored solutions in our country.’ You'd like him to run for president?"
Ralph Nader: "Very much. I got a great response to that column."
Blitzer: "What -- What response did you get from Bill Moyers?"
As previously reported on Newsbusters, the mainstream media overlooks fringe groups at anti-war rallies, pro-illegal immigrant rallies, or even extreme anti-American hatred at anti-Bush rallies overseas. However, when it comes to opposition against illegal immigration, the mainstream media tries to connect it to fringe hate groups where ever they can find it.
On Tuesday’s Paula Zahn Now, host Paula Zahn described the "frightening new trend" that the very small Ku Klux Klan has increased recruitment. This increased recruitment is largely, of course, to blame from alleged immigrant baiting from some Republicans. Zahn was giving free, unquestioning publicity to a new report from the Anti-Defamation League. Reporter Deborah Feyerick asserted that the increase in recruitment is "which some believe is the result of the heated debate on immigration, which at times uses hateful language."
Books, not bombs? Like a golden oldie from the Reagan Eighties, CNN’s Tom Foreman forwarded the classic liberal claim on Monday’s (noon Eastern) "Your World Today" show that the Iraq war is so costly that it could have been better spent on hundreds of grade schools or millions of new teachers, new cargo inspectors, and new cops -- or "every American driver could get free gasoline for a year."
Anchor Jim Clancy began by lamenting all the money "poured down the hole" on Iraq:
"Turning back to Iraq now, it is a loaded question, for sure, Hala, and it's this -- do you have any idea at all how much money in U.S. taxes have poured down the hole, so to speak, in Iraq?"
Anchor Hala Gorani: "Well, I have a general idea, but it's a safe assumption to say that few people do, at least in terms of how much each individual is paying, but some are following the spiraling costs very closely. Tom Foreman is one of them."
It's a few days old now, but still timely given today's release of the IPCC report on global warming. It's CNN's Lou Dobbs conceding that while there are scientists who disagree with the premise that global warming is anthropogenic, he's tired of their voices in the debate. So he's picking a winner. No word on if Lou is on the invite list for Al Gore's Oscar night after-party.
I clipped the relevant portions. Total run time of 0:55
Well that certainly didn’t take long, did it? I hope everyone is safely tucked in their bomb shelters, for the war of the cable networks is in full swing, and shrapnel is now dangerously flying in all directions.
In response to Fox News’s ad attacking Anderson Cooper while promoting Greta Van Susteren as reported by NewsBusters here, CNN has now released its own ad.
In it is are couple of strikes right at those claiming to be “fair and balanced”:
As the Beatles sang years ago, It’s getting better all the time.
Forget about this Sunday's Super Bowl, sports fans. World War III in the arena of cable news is raging on, and the players have started taking prisoners.
As NewsBusters reported here and here, the most recent escalation between heavyweight Fox News and steadily becoming also-ran CNN started when the former took out an ad in Television Week magazine describing Anderson Cooper as “the Paris Hilton of television news.” This was actually a promotion for Fox News’s “On the Record” with Greta Van Susteren.
When it comes to the subject of global warming, members of the media have lost all restraint. CNN’s Larry King nervously wondered if climate change might "really kill us all?" Could it "submerge cities like New York and Washington and San Francisco under floods from melting Arctic ice caps?" Not to be outdone, "Good Morning America’s" weatherman warned of the dire threat of global warming. The next day, an ABC graphic fretted, "Will billions diefrom global warming?"
For anyone that questioned whether "Newsweek" is biased, public appearances by the magazine’s top staffers should answer the question. Editor Jon Meacham suggested that President Bush is outside "reality." "Newsweek" columnist Anna Quindlen recently debunked the "myth" that Hillary Clinton is a liberal.
There was an extraordinary debate about global warming on CNN’s “Larry King Live” Wednesday night that perfectly demonstrated the battle that is waging on this issue. In particular, it marvelously depicted the hysteria being exhibited by the media versus the reason of those who actually make a living analyzing the problem.
For instance, King began the discussion:
Tonight, what is global warming? Could it really kill us all, submerge cities like New York and Washington and San Francisco under floods from melting Arctic ice caps? Cause deadly heat waves lasting weeks? Would such a disaster be manmade?
Some bedside manner, wouldn’t you agree?
After playing some video clips of frightened Senators, and a petrified Al Gore, King turned to Weather Channel climate expert Heidi Cullen:
With NBC and ABC hyping the global climate change news in recent days, CNN jumped on the bandwagon on Wednesday’s American Morning. Miles O’Brien interviewed one of the leading climate change skeptics, Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma. After his previous combative interview, O’Brien attempted to disprove Inhofe’s skepticism with sound bites from various climate change believers.
Inhofe slammed O’Brien for cherry picking data to verify his theory exclaiming: "Now you won’t get the [fourth assessment from the IPCC] from scientists probably until May or June. But this summary is all you’re going to look at."
Miles O’Brien then cited the United Nations report with "2,500 of the world’s leading scientists." The Senator shot back about the Oregon Petition, signed by 17,800 scientists, who said that the increase in the earth’s temperature is part of a natural trend.
Hillary has to be nervous. At this juncture in the campaign, she’s being edged out in the Goo Primary. Her natural allies in the media suddenly are more adulatory toward Barack Obama – and more defensive of anyone who would dare question his exotic biography.
Insight magazine, a long-standing publication of The Washington Times Company, published a gossipy item with anonymous “Democratic Party” sources (they claimed some of them came from Hillary’s camp) that Obama had attended a madrassa, a radical Islamic school, in Indonesia as a child. The story was unproven, and should not have been published in its sorry condition.
The cable news war is certainly getting hotter. After a Fox News spokesperson was quoted last week by the New York Times as calling CNN’s Anderson Cooper “the Paris Hilton of television news,” the “Fox & Friends” morning crew took the baton and really ran with it.
The following video posted Monday at YouTube shows “F&F” personalities having fun with a new Fox News print ad depicting Cooper as losing the ratings battle with FNC’s Greta Van Susteren.
With the caption at the bottom of the screen reading, “Greta Ad Puts CNN’s Anderson Cooper In His Place…2nd,” Steve Doocy commented derisively:
CNN’s Anderson Cooper reported Monday night from the Center for the Intrepid, the new rehabilitation facility for wounded soldiers in San Antonio, Texas. Cooper announced he had a problem that this facility was privately, not publicly funded, as if raising private funds for Iraq vets was outrageous and inappropriate. This prompted the CNN anchor to ask Hillary Clinton a softball question using a quote from partisan hack and unwavering Clinton supporter Paul Begala about how the government could fund Halliburton and tax cuts, but not its heroes. Hillary said: "And I say Amen." But Cooper unintentionally answered his own question later in the show as he fussed over bureaucracy stalling funds for Hurricane Katrina recovery.
Throughout the show, Anderson Cooper was horrified that this $50 million state of the art facility was funded through the generous donations of the American people rather than government funds. He inquired to Bill White, president of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund: "This center was $50 million in donations from corporations, and even individuals, school kids giving them dollars here and there. Why didn’t the government do it?"
If you wake up on Saturday mornings and flip on the telly hoping to catch solid Wall Street analysis or perhaps a roundup of foreign and domestic business headlines that affect your investment portfolio, don't waste your time with CNN's "In the Money."
Rather than looking to help average joes invest wisely and benefit from a strong economy and a resilient stock market, the CNN crew would much rather sound like Heidi Cullen hosting a movie night/slumber party for the Al Gore fan club.
In the topsy-turvy world of CNN, Tom Tancredo's call to end racially-exclusive congressional caucuses might make him a racist. His call for an end to segregated caucuses might make him a segregationist.
As reported here, in the wake of a Dem congressman who represents a 60% black district being excluded from the congressional Black Caucus because he's white, Tancredo today said:
"It is utterly hypocritical for Congress to extol the virtues of a colorblind society while officially sanctioning caucuses that are based solely on race . . . If we are serious about achieving the goal of a colorblind society, Congress should lead by example and end these divisive, race-based caucuses."
As the 2008 campaign heats up, members of the mainstream media are having trouble deciding between their old favorite (Hillary) and the new flame (Obama). Both CNN and ABC leapt to the defense of Senator Barack Obama after he was accused of attending an Islamic madrassah as a child. (Of course, ABC once devoted an entire episode of "Nightline" to murky allegations that George W. Bush did coke as a younger man.)
But perhaps Obama should be a little worried. The "Early Show" demonstrated exactly why Hillary is still the media’s favorite. Over on MSNBC, Chris Matthews told Hillary Clinton that "ideologues on the right" were responsible for the death of her famous health care plan.
ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos asked another 2008 candidate, Bill Richardson, if, as president, he would please just raise taxes.
As NewsBusters has reported here, here, here, and here, former President Jimmy Carter has gotten himself into quite a pickle over his new book about the Israeli/Palestinian issue.
On Tuesday night, Carter spoke to students at Brandeis University. CNN’s report on this speech during the 7PM EST installment of Wednesday's “The Situation Room” appeared to be rather anti-Semitic potentially in an attempt to deflect criticism for Carter himself expressing anti-Semitic views in his controversial book (video available here, h/t Hot Air).
Early in her report, correspondent Carol Costello stated:
While Vice President Dick Cheney stared daggers into CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer over his pushing questions about his lesbian daughter’s December announcement of her pregnancy, Blitzer insisted it was a “responsible and fair question.” Cheney disagreed. There's an argument that Blitzer's question citing Focus on the Family, when considered alone, is a fair (if not kind) question. There's no doubt that Blitzer's question was a trouble-making question, which could easily serve to sow division among Republicans and press Cheney into making a big gaffe or controversy.
Here’s where it’s clearly unfair. When has a Democratic national candidate’s sons or daughters ever been the subject of a national controversy? Try this as Exhibit A. In 2000, while the networks tried to make great hay in the election’s last weekend over an antique George W. Bush drunk-driving ticket, CNN and the other liberal networks hyper-sensitively avoided the story of Al Gore's teenage son Albert Gore III, caught driving 97 miles per hour on an interstate highway, an offense on the public record, just two days before the 2000 Democratic convention. As I wrote for National Review Online in 2000:
CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta found another explanation for why Junior is rolling round the family room with a spare tire: food advertising on the Internet.
It gets better. The study he's citing is 6 months old and hails from the liberal Kaiser Family Foundation. What's more, Gupta didn't give any tips for parents about how to regulate their kids Internet use and only gave 6 seconds to an advertising industry spokesman for comment.
Sounds like Dr. Sanjay has a fever, and the only prescription is bigger government.
UPDATE: I put together clips from Gupta's story, as clips from ABC's "World News" and CBS's "The Early Show" that display similar biases. You can find that video here (Windows Media) and here (Real Player).
On Wednesday, during an interview with Dick Cheney, "Situation Room" anchor Wolf Blitzer continued to badger the Vice President and quizzed Cheney about the month-old story of the pregnancy of his lesbian daughter, Mary. (Hat tip to Drudge) Cheney bluntly responded to the CNN anchor, " I think you're out of line with that question." That comment came after Blitzer, who appeared to be attempting to drive a wedge between conservatives and the Vice President, quoted a Focus on the Family statement, from December 6, 2006:
A transcript of the segment, which aired at 5:35pm on January 24, follows:
Wolf Blitzer: "Your daughter Mary, she's pregnant. All of us are happy. She's going to have a baby. You're going to have another grandchild. Some of the -- some critics, though, are suggesting, for example, a statement from someone representing Focus on the Family: ‘Mary Cheney's pregnancy raises the question of what's best for children. Just because it's possible to conceive a child outside of the relationship of a married mother and father, doesn't mean it's best for the child.’ Do you want to respond to that?"
Dick Cheney: "No, I don't."
Blitzer: "She's obviously a good daughter."
Cheney: "I'm delighted -- I'm delighted I'm about to have a sixth grandchild, Wolf, and obviously think the world of both of my daughters and all of my grandchildren. And I think, frankly, you're out of line with that question."
Vice President Dick Cheney squared off with CNN host Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday in a contentious, multi-part "Situation Room" interview. Blitzer seemed to openly adopt the mantra and talking points of the Democratic Party. In fact, in a tease for the interview, Blitzer promised, "The Vice President takes on his critics, including me." Cheney, whose wife Lynne aggressively sparred the cable anchor back in November, told Blitzer that a question about administration blunders was "hogwash." Elaborating on a clip of Democratic Senator Jim Webb, the "Situation Room" host asked Cheney about Bush failures:
Wolf Blitzer: "And it’s not just Jim Webb. It’s some of your good Republican friends in the Senate and in the House are now seriously questioning your credibility because of the blunders, of the failures. Gordon Smith– Gordon Smith--"
Dick Cheney: "Wolf. Wolf. I simply don’t accept the premise of your question. I just think it’s hogwash."
Blitzer: "That what? That there were no blunders? The President himself says there were blunders."
With the president mentioning "global climate change" in his State of the Union, CNN’s Miles O’Brien was happy he finally mentioned it. But, of course, he’s not doing enough and "more drastic action is needed.". Because his proposals are voluntary and not mandatory, it is "essentially toothless." O’Brien featured Gene Karpinski of the liberal League of Conservation Voters to call for "mandatory caps on global warming," but featured no contrary view.
The CNN anchor then predicted a very grim future.
Miles O’Brien: "Bush’s remarks were a small concession to what an overwhelming majority of climate scientists believe is a huge problem. They say in the coming decades, climate change will melt glaciers, flooding coastal areas as see levels rise. It will likely increase the frequency of extreme weather events like catastrophic hurricanes and it could lead to entire species going extinct, such as polar bears which are already struggling as their arctic habitat melts."
The battle of the cable news networks rages on, and gets funnier and funnier by the minute. In this latest installment, a Fox News spokesperson has deliciously disparaged one of CNN’s biggest stars.
As reported by the New York Times (emphasis mine throughout):
A Fox News spokeswoman, Irena Briganti, said CNN was mainly looking for publicity in attacking its higher-rated rival. Of Mr. Cooper’s comment, she said, “Yet another cry for attention by the Paris Hilton of television news, Anderson Cooper.”
What was this recent fracas about? You’ll never guess:
At the beginning of Tuesday’s State of the Union address, President Bush graciously discussed Nancy Pelosi and her history making role as the first female Speaker. He also congratulated Democrats on their new majority status. This, however, wasn’t enough for Paul Begala. The CNN contributor appeared on a post-speech edition of "Anderson Cooper" and digressed into a rant about how Bush referred not to the Democratic Party’s success, but, rather, the Democrat majority. According to the always polite Begala, this is something only the "kook right," "the fringe" and the "Rush Limbaugh crowd" engages in:
Paul Begala: "At the very beginning, [Bush] opened with this beautiful grace note to Nancy Pelosi, talked about how her father, Thomas D'Alessandro, had served in the House, and the daughter had grown up to become Speaker. It was beautiful....And then in the very next paragraph -- I have it marked here on the White House text -- he congratulated the new ‘Democrat’ majority, as he said. Now, the White House transcript says ‘Democratic.’ There is a difference. My party's the Democratic Party. But the sort of kook right, not the responsible Republicans, but the fringe, the Rush Limbaugh crowd, likes to call my party the Democrat Party. They think it's some sort of insult or something. And frankly, I guess it is insulting. Why would you do that when you're the president of both parties and the majority of your country now is affiliated with the Democrat Party? Why would you say that?"
With puff pieces on Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Nancy Pelosi, the mainstream media just can’t stop fawning over leading Democrats. Their latest is newly elected Democratic Senator Jim Webb of Virginia, who is scheduled to deliver the Democratic response to the president’s State of the Union address.
On Tuesday’s American Morning, reporter Dana Bash showed her love for this freshman Democrat teasing the Senator "I love what you’ve done with the place [his temporary office]." Laughter followed. After mentioning his son serves in Iraq, Bash asked the hardball question, "don’t you think that actually gives you a leg up in some way, that you really have a personal investment?"
CNN heavily promoted an "exclusive" last night with stories by John Vause and Howard Kurtz rebutting an Insight magazine article on Barack Obama’s Indonesian schooling, that it occurred in a "madrassa," with the on-screen graphic "DEBUNKING A SMEAR." Conservatives shouldn't defend journalism from conservative media outlets if the story doesn't stand up -- if it carries a lot of shaky anonymous sourcing and can easily and passionately be portrayed by liberal media outlets as a "smear." Insight's story seems underbaked, not ready to face prime-time liberals like last night's fusillade from Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper and Paula Zahn, who brought on CAIR, not Obama, for outrage over "Islamophobia."
The sad thing here is that Democratic candidates (and the Democrat-dominated media) will follow the usual Clinton formula: they'll push outrage at unsubstantiated charges, and then not really press the candidate about the issues raised. Obama's Illinois church and religious beliefs (and his former lack of religious beliefs) are very interesting topics. Like everything about Obama, they need more investigation from the media and less exaltation. But the media will quickly suggest (and have suggested) that Obama's exotic upbringing makes him more qualified to understand the world. He has certainly pushed that line. Take this AFP wire story where race-transcending Obama touted to the reporter that he was "greatly influenced" by his Asian sojourn:
As Riehl posted Saturday evening, Stark was rather cocky leading up to this debate stating at his own website that “CNN will want to hire me as a sanitation engineer because I will have mopped the floor with Mr. Riehl.”
Well, the reality is that CNN might indeed want to hire Stark as a janitor, for he certainly didn’t come across as qualified to do much else as this video of the segment (provided courtesy of Ms Underestimated) clearly demonstrates.
CNN Saturday Morning News included the customary mainstream media genuflection to Senator Barack Obama. Anchor T.J. Holmes and senior national correspondent discussed Senator Hillary Clinton's announcement of an exploratory committee to examine her candidacy for the Democratic nomination in 2008.
HOLMES: "So, has Senator Barack Obama just really shaken things up in the Clinton camp to where they have to change things, shake things up, move a timetable up a little bit because of just the rock star power that this guy has and all the attention that he's generating?"
ROBERTS: "I think that Barack Obama really has changed the dynamic for the Clinton folks. . . Suddenly, in comes Barack Obama, steals a lot of the limelight. And he's just one of those guys that the spotlight loves. You know, he doesn't love the spotlight so much as the spotlight loves him, if you understand what I mean."
Back in the United States from Baghdad, NBC News correspondent Jane Arraf, who joined NBC last year after eight years with CNN, conceded that life in Iraq “isn't entirely what it seems” from the constant media focus on bombings. In studio with Brian Williams on Friday's NBC Nightly News, she acknowledged how journalists are “really good at getting across the relentless bombing and the violence, but it's really a lot harder for us to portray those spaces in between. I mean, for us, we live in the city. It's as secure as it can be, but we wake up to the sound of car bombs. We feel the mortars sometimes. And in a horrible, inevitable way, it becomes sort of like the weather, and it's kind of the same for Iraqis. Unless they're in the middle of it, life looks amazingly normal."
Williams noted how “we get asked all the time....where's the good news we know is going on there?" Arraf conceded there's “a piece of good news that's out there every day that's really hard for us to get at,” and that's how “there are children walking to school, there are girls and boys, there are Iraqi girls who are walking to school, and it's that wonderful sign of resilience that is the fabric, the background of life there.” But, “to go out and do that story....we'd probably be putting those children in danger because that is the nature of television.”