[UPDATE BELOW: Cruz's office responds] CNN's Don Lemon smacked Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) on Friday for being "inaccurate" and "misleading" in grilling Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on the Second Amendment. Lemon didn't provide any transcript or video of what Cruz actually said, and it turns out he was the one being "inaccurate" and "misleading."
First, Lemon falsely claimed that Cruz argued Second Amendment protections were unlimited, and he cited the Heller case against Cruz: "But it also says – it also says the same thing, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. Is not unlimited."
CNN's Carol Costello spent her entire interview with the CPAC chairman badgering him about the inclusion of gay Republicans in the conference. A few minutes before, Costello had led off the 9 a.m. hour of Newsroom touting GOP Senator Rob Portman (Ohio) and his newfound support for gay marriage.
"Will CPAC ever change its position and allow gay Republicans to sit at the table?" she pressed the chair of the American Conservative Union, Al Cardenas. "Were there gay people included in those panel discussions?" she followed up. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Amidst the liberal media's fixation on Pope Francis upholding Catholic teaching on sexuality, Newt Gingrich knocked their wishes of liberal "reform" on Wednesday's Piers Morgan Live.
"I am amazed at how much western elites translate reform into sex. If it doesn't relate – if it doesn't relate to sex, it doesn't count," he told host Piers Morgan, who then ludicrously claimed that "if you are gay, and you want to be Catholic, at the moment, you are basically demonized." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
It took only seven minutes after the announcement of a new pope for CNN to interview women's ordination activists in St. Peter's Square.
The liberal activists were the first interviewees on CNN after the white smoke emerged from the Sistine Chapel chimney. Correspondent Miguel Marquez pointed out their "ordain women badges" and gave credence to their cause. "We have heard this across the U.S. and around the world, certainly, that people do want and hope for a more open, transparent, liberal, progressive church," he noted. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
When liberals and their media allies have an agenda to push, they’ll use any tool at hand. The left often rails against the presence of religion in civic life, mocking conservative Christians as “Taliban” agitating for theocracy. But other times, they find faith to be a handy weapon to bludgeon conservatives. And they’ll go so far as to reinterpret and rewrite the Bible to justify any liberal cause, no matter how outrageous.
In 2010, MSNBC anchor Melissa Harris-Perry summed up this strategy in her call for “re-imagining the Bible as a tool of progressive social change.” Huffington Post contributor Mike Lux embraced Harris-Perry’s advice, writing that the Bible embodies “all kinds” of “liberal, lefty, progressive values.”
Count Soledad O'Brien as another CNN supporter of Mayor Bloomberg's nanny state efforts to crack down on big sodas. Even while interviewing both a supporter and an opponent of Bloomberg's ban on Tuesday's Starting Point, O'Brien revealed that she's been "a long supporter of it."
"I've been a long supporter of it. I actually think it's a good idea. But I do think the judge has some interesting points," O'Brien said of the ban, which was struck down by the New York Supreme Court on Monday. On Monday night, CNN's Piers Morgan defended the city's ban on the sale of sugary drinks over 16 ounces. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN's Piers Morgan has become an apologist for the nanny state. He defended Mayor Bloomberg's large soda ban on his Monday night show, a ban that was shot down that day by the state supreme court for being "arbitrary and capricious."
"I agree with Mayor Bloomberg," Morgan asserted. "And what's the point of being a mayor of a city like New York? He's been big on gun control, big on smoking – he wants New Yorkers to be fitter and healthier. What is wrong with that?" [Video below the break.]
CNN's Erin Burnett on Monday asked former first lady Laura Bush a truly disgusting question.
In a segment about the George W. Bush Institute's Women's Initiative Fellowship Program and its involvement with a group of Egyptian women, Burnett asked Mrs. Bush if the United States needs to "accept" anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism "when we want to make change" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Sunday's Reliable Sources, the CNN panel scoffed at the media for getting "manipulated" by the White House last week into hyping Obama's meetings with the GOP as a "charm offensive." CNN's own reporting shows that it played right into those talking points.
"I love how easily the press corps is manipulated," remarked The Washington Post's Dana Milbank. "So, the President takes a few senators out to dinner at the Jefferson Hotel and has lunch with Paul Ryan, and suddenly, he's reaching out and there's all these efforts to have kumbaya. He's had two meals." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
The University of Oklahoma, like every higher education institution in the country, is opposed to plagiarism. So why did the home of the Sooners invite admitted plagiarist Fareed Zakaria to deliver the class of 2013's commencement address after the CNN anchor and Time plagiarism scandal?
In a statement announcing Zakaria's selection, University of Oklahoma President David Boren insisted that, “Fareed Zakaria is truly an educator…he uses his forum through the public media to educate a worldwide audience about the important issues we all confront and how we can work together to meet them.” Yes, he sure does, especially when he lifts other people’s work to convey his point of view.
Last summer, Zakaria lifted material from Jill Lepore of the New Yorker in his column about gun control almost verbatim. Here’s a paragraph from his Time piece:
CNN's Howard Kurtz made a comment Sunday that might raise some conservative eyebrows.
In a Reliable Sources discussion about comments Fox News's Roger Ailes made in a new book about him, Kurtz said, "I think this president works very hard and doesn’t take many vacations" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
UPDATE AT END OF POST: Ari Fleischer responds to accusation Milbank made about him in this segment.
The Washington Post's Dana Milbank made an interesting observation Sunday about the vulgarity prominent in the current presidential administration.
Appearing on CNN's Reliable Sources, Milbank said, "The number of F-bombs being dropped by this White House, scholars are going to look in the national archives in 20 or 30 years and they're going to be shocked by the language that was coming out of this place" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
While being ignorant of the facts is not as bad for a journalist as deliberately suppressing them, not knowing what you’re talking about can be far more embarrassing—and amusing.
Soledad O’Brien, the soon-to-be-former host of CNN’s “Starting Point,” proved that point definitively yesterday when she revealed that she had basically no knowledge of the new favorite story among left-of-center journalists, the supposed racism of Fox News president Roger Ailes.
CNN couldn't stop talking about former President Clinton's op-ed on Friday. Every hour between 5 a.m. and 3 p.m. ET, the network touted Clinton asking the Supreme Court to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act that he signed as president, spending over a half hour of coverage on it.
Anchor Don Lemon reported the op-ed four times between 9 and 11 a.m. ET. Anchor Ashleigh Banfield ran two segments on it during the 11 a..m. ET hour. Lemon, openly-gay, voiced his support: "I mean, when you sit right down and just look at it, it's really all about civil and equal rights, human rights. We're a country that treats everybody equal, I mean everyone should be treated equally under the Constitution." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN harped on the controversy over Fox News head Roger Ailes calling President Obama "lazy" and Vice President Biden "dumb as an ashtray." The network covered it on five shows on Wednesday and Thursday, but three of the shows ignored that Ailes used Obama's own words.
In making the "lazy" remark, Ailes cited a 2011 interview with Barbara Walters where Obama said that "deep down, underneath all the work that I do, I think there's a laziness in me." Erin Burnett was the only CNN anchor to promptly give that context in her report; on Thursday's Starting Point, conservative panel member Will Cain first brought it up, and co-host John Berman affirmed it. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN gave over eight times more coverage to Beyonce lip synching the national anthem than it did to President Obama's falsehood on the sequester last Friday.
After the President claimed in last Friday's presser that Capitol Hill janitors and police would receive a pay cut because of the sequester, CNN correspondent Dana Bash fact-checked it and found it not to be the case. Her report aired twice that day and two more times over last weekend. She covered the matter for 45 seconds in each report, so CNN's coverage totaled three minutes.
President Obama's sequester-related press briefing on March 1 contained the usual fibs. Examples include but are certainly not limited to the following: "We've already cut $2.5 trillion in our deficit," when the entire amount involved is something which might happen in the future; his claim that his State of the Union laundry list "is the agenda that the American people voted for," when many of the items involved were never mentioned during the 2012 campaign; and that the sequester is "happening because of a choice that Republicans in Congress have made," despite the fact that his advisers with his personal approval originated the idea in 2011 and the reality that he was under no compulsion when he signed the bill setting it in place last week.
Since then, while the establishment press has largely ignored it, the Washington Post's Glenn Kessler has twice honed in on a relatively small but clearly refutable statement Obama uttered that day: "Starting tomorrow, everybody here, all the folks who are cleaning the floors at the Capitol ... they're going to have less pay. The janitors, the security guards, they just got a pay cut, and they've got to figure out how to manage that. That’s real." No it's not.
Actress Olivia Munn stars in HBO's drama The Newsroom, but she knocked the real-life CNN newsroom on Sunday. At a panel moderated by CNN host Piers Morgan, Munn made clear her distaste for newspeople "trying to make themselves a celebrity."
"I like seeing my news anchors just be my news anchors. And now you turn on CNN and now people are putting themselves into a story," she said, calling out Morgan and CNN anchor Don Lemon by name.
According to CNN, surrogacy deserves a fairytale ending. But when a surrogate mother refused to abort her baby against prospective parents’ wishes, the story transitioned into a “nightmare.”
A Connecticut couple offered their baby's surrogate mother, Crystal Kelley, $10,000 for an abortion when they discovered via an ultrasound that the baby suffered from disabilities such as a cleft lip and heart defects. Kelley refused their proposal despite legal pressure, and fled to Michigan where state law recognized her as the baby’s guardian.
Twelve minutes after reporting the news of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez's death, CNN hosted Chavez's close friend and former adviser who lavished praise on his legacy.
For over two minutes, CNN let attorney Eva Golinger strew rose petals on the dictator's record. She gushed that Chavez "has changed the lives dramatically of the majority of Venezuelans. He's altered the country forever." She added that "he's done extraordinary, extraordinary, absolutely extraordinary things for the country." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
The way CNN sees the Vatican hierarchy, one would think it's a repressive male-dominated cabal that women are morally obligated to challenge. CNN's Ben Wedeman aired another broadside against the church from the streets of Rome on Tuesday.
Wedeman stretched one comparison between Vatican City and Saudi Arabia – neither allow women's suffrage: "Vatican City joined Saudi Arabia as one of the few states left on earth where women have no vote." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
This is CNN, where environmental activists can launch their blistering attacks on man-made global warming skeptics without much of a challenge. On Tuesday's Starting Point, actress and activist Daryl Hannah promoted her new documentary "Greedy, Lying Bastards" that hits the funding and falsehoods behind global warming skepticism.
Hannah was able to slam "false information" by the Koch brothers, compare herself to Martin Luther King, and call for the "eradication" of Citizens United during the interview. CNN completely ignored that the director and writer of her film, Craig Rosebraugh, was a fomer spokesman for eco-terrorist groups for years before abandoning his work.
CNN's Dana Bash fact-checked President Obama's falsehood about the sequester on Friday, but the major networks didn't exactly follow CNN's lead in reporting the distortion that Capitol Hill janitors and police would receive a pay cut because of the sequester.
In his Friday press conference, Obama claimed, "They're going to have less pay, the [Capitol Hill] janitors, the security guards. They just got a pay cut." Shortly after that, CNN's Bash obtained from the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms that the workers would not receive a pay cut, just a limit on overtime pay. NBC ignored the distortion on its weekend newscasts, while CBS and ABC reported it one time each.
CNN's Howard Kurtz mocked the media – including his own network – on Sunday's Reliable Sources for uncritically channeling government hysteria over the sequester cuts.
"[I]f the press had put in, let's say, 10 percent of the effort that was devoted to investigating, I don't know, Beyonce's lip syncing into the actual measurable effects of these budget cuts, I think we would have seen a somewhat different picture," quipped Kurtz. [Video below. Audio here.]
Iran's ambassador to the United Nations had some harsh words for George Clooney and Ben Affleck this weekend.
In a taped interview that aired on CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS Sunday, Mohammad Khazaee called "Argo" weak saying, "The producer of the film that is known as ambassador of peace, as I heard, should be ashamed...I would like to invite the producer and the director of the film to travel to Iran, and when they travel to Iran, the day after they will apologize from the big nation of Iran for producing such a weak film" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On CNN’s Situation Room today, anchor Wolf Blitzer spoke of the 1995-1996 Federal government shutdown:
BLITZER: Yes, I would be shocked if there were a government shutdown. The Republicans lived through that back in the '90s and it didn't exactly work out well for them. I would be shocked if they went down that road and the president went down that road right now. I'm sure they will work that out.
So how bad was the political fallout for Republicans? That year the GOP nominated the uninspiring Sen. Bob Dole as their presidential nominee. Despite such a lackluster top of the ticket, House losses were only in the single digits. As former Speaker Newt Gingrich has noted “it was the first time in 68 years that Republicans were reelected to a House majority - and the first time that had ever happened with a Democrat winning the presidency.” On the Senate side, the GOP picked up two seats.
CNN's White House correspondent asked President Obama on Friday why he couldn't just force Congress to stick around until a deal is reached to prevent the sequester cuts. Obama responded that he wasn't a "dictator."
"To your question 'what could you do?' First of all, couldn't you just have them down here and refuse to let them leave the room until you have a deal?" CNN's Jessica Yellin teed up the President. Apparently for Yellin, "leadership" means taking dictatorial measures to have an elected Congress pass a bill. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN's Piers Morgan bullied gun rights advocate John Lott on his Wednesday night show, repeatedly interrupting him and lecturing him. At one point Morgan told his guest, "I'm going to keep talking, so I suggest you keep quiet."
This is typical Morgan behavior towards gun rights advocates, as he sets up a "debate" but proceeds to badger his guest as much as possible. An exasperated Lott asked "Why am I on?" at one point, and again shot back at Morgan, "You want to go and talk 90 percent of the time." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Piers Morgan slimed yet another gun rights advocate, on his Tuesday night show. He lectured and insulted a Virginia restaurant owner who offered discounts to gun-toting customers, calling the promotion "cynical" and "idiotic."
"Mr. Laze, good luck with your promotion. I hope it fails spectacularly," Morgan snarled at the pizza shop owner Jay Laze. Like other Morgan "interviews," he spent his time belitting his guest rather than hosting a real debate. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On CNN Wednesday, BuzzFeed sports editor Jack Moore called for a gay pro athlete to come out of the closet and be "a Jackie Robinson of this cause."
"It just shows that more than ever we need some major pro athlete to come out of the closet at the height – like while they're in the league," he ranted. "But we need a Jackie Robinson of this cause because we just need an example to show that, yeah, I can still play at the same high level," he added. [Video below the break. Audio here.]