President Obama suffered a large, embarrassing loss in the Senate on a slew of gun-control bills. If this were a Republican president, they’d be sounding the lame-duck alarms on the nightly newscasts. But most media outlets can’t do this. They were fully invested in this campaign alongside Obama, and to underscore his weakness is to acknowledge their own.
Since mid-December, the broadcast networks and cable news hosts like Piers Morgan and Joe Scarborough have relentlessly lobbied for gun control. On how many occasions did they completely shred the notion of objectivity -- of journalism itself -- and boldly engage in lobbying for gun control, using their networks as megaphones? Let’s consider a few recent moments.
After the Toomey-Manchin gun bill failed in the Senate on Wednesday, CNN's Piers Morgan let loose on Twitter at President Obama and "cowards" in the Senate who didn't "give a stuff" about the Newtown families.
"How many schoolchildren have to be murdered next time for Washington to do anything? 50, 100, 1000? Name the number, you cowards. @NRA" he ranted. Morgan didn't take it easy on the President, either: "President Obama strong on guns rhetoric again now - but truth is, he's failed the Newtown families too. Got nothing done re gun control #CNN".
If you’re looking for someone to come on your program and bash conservatives – especially in the wake of an incident such as Monday’s Boston Marathon bombing – the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Mark Potok is your man.
On CNN’s Piers Morgan Live Tuesday, Potok disgracefully said the perpetrator of Monday's attack likely wasn't a member of the "radical right" because the target wasn't "black people or Jewish people or gay people or Muslims" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Former Democratic congressman Barney Frank shamelessly used the Boston Marathon atrocity to promote his liberal political agenda on CNN and MSNBC on Tuesday morning, yet only MSNBC called him out for "making political hay" of the bombing.
"I would say this is a terrible day for our society, but a day when I hope people understand the centrality of having a government in place with the resources," Frank argued on CNN's Starting Point. "No tax cut would have helped us deal with this or will help us recover. This is very expensive." Yet co-host John Berman didn't admonish him for railing against tax and budget cutters less than 24 hours after the bombing, but instead offered some diplomatic praise of his words. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Washington Post TV reporter Lisa de Moraes joked in Tuesday's paper: “CNN may have figured its way out of its ratings problem. Dump news.”
The debut of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain’s show “Parts Unknown”attracted 747,000 viewers at 9 p.m. Sunday — “282,000 of them aged 25-to-54 years, the age group that’s the currency of news programming ad sales.”
[UPDATE BELOW] CNN's national security analyst Peter Bergen twice suggested that "right-wing extremists" could be behind Monday's Boston Marathon bombings. Yet over an hour later, CNN reported that Boston Police were not holding anyone in custody as a suspect for the attack.
Appearing on CNN's live coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing with host Jake Tapper, Bergen was asked to explain if the bombing could have been an act of terror. Bergen answered in the affirmative, and proceeded to name possible suspects depending on the type of explosive used. [Transcript below. Audio here. Video below the break.]
This is CNN, where terror detainees at Guantanamo get better press treatment than social conservatives defending traditional marriage.
On Monday afternoon, CNN's Suzanne Malveaux and Michael Holmes both touted an op-ed by a Guantanamo prisoner titled "Gitmo Is Killing Me," where he tells of his hunger strike and complains of being force-fed, while held without trial for 11 years. Malveaux hailed it as a "powerful piece" and Holmes questioned U.S. hypocrisy on human rights:
On Friday's Anderson Cooper 360, hours after CNN finally covered the trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell for the first time in weeks, CNN's legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin scoffed at the notion of a liberal media bias responsible for the cover-up.
"Well, the people making those criticisms by and large are conservatives, who are saying the liberal media is trying to protect abortion rights by not showing this horror show. I don't buy that at all," Toobin asserted. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Many media observers were wondering if CNN's Howard Kurtz was going to expose on his Reliable Sources program Sunday the press's horrible coverage of the Kermit Gosnell murder trial.
As fate would have it, Kurtz's reporting was just as pathetic as virtually everyone else's to date giving the matter a total of 90 seconds while sharing bogus statistics including the truly preposterous claim, "The conservative media didn't do much either" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) had some harsh words Sunday for Jay-Z and Beyoncé's recent trip to Cuba.
Appearing on CNN's State of the Union, Rubio said, "I think it’s hypocritical of the people who took that trip because they didn't go down there and meet with some of the people that are actually in trouble today" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
[UPDATE BELOW] CNN has devoted exactly 24 seconds to the trial of former abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell and his clinic of horrors. In contrast, the network spent over 18 minutes on Tuesday discussing the controversy over Brad Paisley and LL Cool J's song "Accidental Racist." Tapper did tweet this morning that he would be covering the story on his 4 p.m. ET show The Lead.
Despite the horrifying testimonies on Gosnell's clinic, CNN instead emphasized the controversy over "Accidental Racist." The Wall Street Journal's Christopher John Farley said it "obviously is problematic. It set Twitter ablaze. People were talking about it saying what is going on here? I think part of the problem is, one, it's bad musically. This music is bad. The lyrics are also quite bad. The themes are bad."
"CNN and MSNBC, as we can see with the gun control debate are openly promoting not just gun control but the president's gun control agenda and calling it news," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell argued on the April 11 edition of Hannity, where he appeared for the popular weekly Media Mash segment. Reacting to the fact that MSNBC's Morning Joe program gave Vice President Biden an entire three-hour program yesterday to push for more gun control, Bozell added that the bias is so endemic that it must be addressed at the corporate level of media ownership, as the so-called news networks are pushing a political agenda, not relaying information and giving time for both sides of the debate.
For the benefit of his viewers at home, Fox News host Sean Hannity played clips of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Vice President Joe Biden praising CNN and MSNBC respectively for their biased coverage. "We appreciate your support too, this is very, very important," Manchin told the anchors of Thursday's edition of CNN's Starting Point. Mr. Vice President, thank you so much," faux conservative Joe Scarborough told the vice president as he wrapped up the April 11 Morning Joe, thanking him for a "great discussion." "No, thank you!" Biden shot back. "No, no, no, no, no. You have changed the debate in America.... The two guys that deserve, if anything gets done [on gun control] - an award here are you and Michael Bloomberg." [watch the video below]
CNN's pro-gun control bias is so bad, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin (W.Va.) thanked them for their "support" of his gun bill on Thursday's Starting Point. This came after CNN's press release begged Congress to expand background checks.
"We appreciate your support, too. This is very, very important," Manchin told CNN after co-host John Berman noted the Senator's "compromise deal" he had been working on.
CNN has resorted to airing a 2011 al Qaeda video highlighting America's lax gun laws as a legitimate critique of the current laws.
"You know who's watching this whole gun debate playing out in America? Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda already thinks America's gun control system is weak and American al Qaeda spokesman says it is so easy to get guns in America that wannabe terrorists should take advantage of it," warned anchor Brooke Baldwin. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN's Piers Morgan used the stabbing of 14 people at Lone Star College on Tuesday to argue that gun laws prevented what could have been a massacre.
On Tuesday's Piers Morgan Live, Morgan hosted two students from the college who said they could have prevented the stabbing had they been allowed to carry guns; he replied that that would create "total Wild West madness" and argued that gun laws prevented the deaths of the students injured by stabbing: [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Tuesday's Piers Morgan Live, CNN's Christiane Amanpour claimed that states with strict gun laws have "lower gun crime" and argued for more gun control. By citing "states" she ignored cities like Chicago, which has strict gun laws along with alarming homicide numbers.
"The fact of the matter is that in states inside the United States where there are tougher gun laws, there is lower gun crime," Amanpour stated. She continued, referencing other countries: "in these other countries which have had their own massacres which then took these measures, there has been very little, if not any, gun crime." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
As NewsBusters documented Monday, the media have been largely ignoring the plight of Fox News reporter Jana Winter who may end up going to jail for maintaining the secrecy of her sources on a report concerning Aurora, Colorado, shooter James Holmes.
Former New York Times reporter Judy Miller - who spent 85 days in jail in 2005 for withholding her source regarding the Valerie Plame affair - told NewsMaxTV's Steve Malzberg Monday, "If this were CNN or if this were the New York Times, yeah, I think it’s almost certain that there would have been more coverage and more publicity than there’s been to date" (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
A Fox News reporter faces jail time for not giving up her sources in a story on the Aurora shooting, but CNN host Jake Tapper is the only anchor or reporter at the network to mention her plight. Fox News has reported on it, along with various online outlets; the networks have been silent. MSNBC's Joe Scarborough brought it up on Monday's Morning Joe.
Tapper made the story part of the "Buried Lead" segment on his Monday show, "stories we don't think are getting enough attention." It certainly hasn't piqued the curiosity of anyone else at CNN, meriting only a CNN.com piece and no other mentions on air. "Where is the public outrage about this type of thing?" Tapper asked. "Does the public not understand or see us as a check on people in power?"
According to BuzzFeed, the gay son of a Republican congressman claims both CNN and MSNBC canceled interviews with him after he refused to criticize his father, who opposes same-sex marriage, on the air. He said CNN producers were "gung ho" about an interview before they changed their mind.
CNN's Piers Morgan Live and MSNBC's The Last Word were the two shows that reportedly canceled on Matt R. Salmon, son of Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.). Sources from both networks responded to BuzzFeed, denying that they dropped him because of his refusal to criticize his father.
Reporting on the late Margaret Thatcher's legacy on Monday, CNN correspondent Max Foster hyped that she "decimated entire industries" in Britain and "decimated communities across the UK." He also cited Gerry Adams, the public face of the IRA for decades, as a valid critic of Thatcher -- as did CNN anchor Ashleigh Banfield.
In addition to citing praise for Thatcher, Foster offered a blistering critique on Monday's Starting Point: "This was the prime minister that decimated entire industries in the United Kingdom during her period in power as she broke the miners unions in a push towards privatization to create a more flexible British economy, which it has become. But she decimated communities across the UK. And a lot of people absolutely despise her legacy." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
In discussing the late Margaret Thatcher's legacy, CNN's Ashleigh Banfield gave a platform to liberal Hollywood actress Meryl Streep and former Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, who had ties to the IRA during Thatcher's time as British prime minister.
Adams predictably savaged Thatcher for causing "great hurt" to Ireland and England. Meanwhile, because Streep portrayed Thatcher in the film "The Iron Lady," CNN sought her out as an expert on Thatcher's legacy, and Streep rapped her economic policies: "Her hard-nosed fiscal measures took a toll on the poor, and her hands-off approach to financial regulation led to great wealth for others." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
As the media predictably gush and fawn over the thought of Hillary Clinton as president, there's something extremely obvious they've been missing.
Rather surprisingly, Roger Simon, the perilously liberal chief political columnist at Politico, asked the $64 million question on CNN's Reliable Sources Sunday, "How good a job did she really do as Secretary of State?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The Big Three networks' Friday morning newscasts all highlighted the "backlash" over President Obama's "best-looking attorney general in the country" compliment of California's Kamala Harris. But in addition to ignoring First Lady Michelle Obama's recent "single mother" gaffe, as of Saturday morning, ABC, CBS, and NBC have yet to report on the President's erroneous claim about the use of an automatic firearm at the Sandy Hook massacre.
The Democrat made the false statement at a Wednesday fundraiser in California. Mr. Obama asserted, "It is possible for us to create common-sense gun safety measures that respect the traditions of gun ownership in this country...but also make sure that we don't have another 20 children...gunned down by a semiautomatic weapon – by a fully automatic weapon in that case, sadly."
Call it the tale of two gaffes. CNN only briefly covered President Obama's blunder that the gun used in the Sandy Hook shooting was an automatic weapon. Meanwhile, the network gave almost 40 minutes on Friday to outrage over Obama calling California's Attorney General "the best-looking attorney general in the country."
CNN's Jake Tapper was the only CNN anchor or reporter who caught Obama's "automatic" gun error. He reported it twice, once during his 4 p.m. ET show The Lead and later on while filling in for host Erin Burnett on OutFront. Automatic weapons are already strictly regulated and have been for decades; the gun used at Sandy Hook was a semi-automatic weapon.
When CNN's Piers Morgan accused the NRA of fighting the American people on his Thursday show, GOP strategist Kelly Conway retorted that public favor for gun control has waned despite the best efforts of President Obama (and Piers Morgan).
"You're making this about the NRA versus the people," Conway told Morgan, who affirmed "That's what it is." She then slapped down his claim that the NRA is defying the wishes of the American people on guns: [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN joined the New York Times in hyping Ronald Reagan's liberal activist daughter saying her father would have approved of same-sex marriage. Thursday's Starting Point devoted a whole segment to Patti Davis' claims and hosted her openly-gay friend who gave credence to her argument.
"Patti said she never spoke to her father about gay marriage," reported anchor John Berman. Nevertheless, CNN deemed the post-mortem claims of Regan's liberal activist daughter, who dropped her last name while in college and carved her own liberal path, newsworthy. [Video below the break. Audio here.]