CNN's John Roberts: A Legacy of Liberal Bias on American Morning

On Monday, TVNewser reported that John Roberts, who anchored CNN's American Morning from April 2007 until the end of 2010, will be joining Fox News as a national correspondent. Roberts, who joined CNN in 2006 after a 14-year career at CBS, had a reputation for liberal bias at both networks, particularly in his harsh labeling for Republicans/conservatives and his fawning over liberals.

Here are some examples of Roberts's most egregious bias compiled from the Media Research Center's archives, focusing primarily on his career on American Morning:

Cheerleading for Liberals

"Yeah, it is going to be a transformational primary here on the Democratic side of things. Do you get a sense that people are recognizing this idea of the grandeur of history involved here?"
-Roberts gushing over the "historic" nature of the race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination, February 1, 2008 edition of American Morning.

"I want to just stipulate at the beginning of this interview, we are declaring a Reverend Wright-free zone today. So, no questions about Reverend Wright. Our viewers want us to move on, so this morning we're going to move on. Is that okay with you?"
-Opening statement from May 5, 2008 interview of then-presidential candidate Barack Obama.

"We all remember that the 'I like Ike' campaign back in 1952. But reading what you've said about Senator Obama, it seems like there are some similarities, that he may be just like Ike. What can you tell me about that?
-Question to Susan Eisenhower, granddaughter of Dwight Eisenhower, August 13, 2008. Roberts pushed Obama's similarities to Ike and former President Ronald Reagan.

CAROL COSTELLO: "You know, usually, you have a little bit of a problem getting people to agree to be on television, but not yesterday. People were begging to be on TV. They wanted their thoughts recorded. They were very much aware that history was being made, and they wanted to be a part of it in whatever way they could."
ROBERTS: "It really was 'Barack-stock' - peace, love, and history."
COSTELLO: "It really was."
-Exchange with CNN correspondent Carol Costello during the January 21, 2010 edition of American Morning.

"You know Candy, David Gergen was on with me last night on [Anderson Cooper] 360 talking about this, and he pointed to Joe McCarthy's censure, and said that really, really broke him. Now Charlie Rangel's 80 years old- what will censuring potentially do to him?"
-Roberts worrying about Rep. Rangel's health post-censure, November 19, 2010.


Tough Treatment For Conservatives

Roberts was part of the CBS News team which received a F from the MRC for their coverage of former President George W. Bush's first 100 days in office (Roberts whined about this dishonor during an October 2008 interview) . When his namesake, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, was nominated in 2005, the then-CBS correspondent wondered, "Has President Bush attempted to move the court further to the right with this pick?"

Some of these candidates who are very far to the right, the one- many of the ones who are backed by the Tea Party- are they going to be Kryptonite come November?
-Question to RedState's Erick Erickson, August 24, 2010. Roberts went on to describe then-candidate Rick Scott as "ultraconservative."
 

"He finally articulates what we all came to believe...and further goes on to say that this war was unnecessary."
-Reaction to former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan's claim that the Bush administration used "propaganda" to push the Iraq war, May 28, 2008.

"Well, Zell set his hair on fire and ran around the room."
-Roberts's snarky reply to John Avlon after The Daily Beast writer criticized former Representative Jim Leach's speech at the 2008 Republican convention, August 26, 2008.

"This morning's top stories just minutes away now, including the FBI investigating reports of vandalism and death threats aimed at Democrats who voted for the health care bill. Is the rhetoric in Washington responsible?"
-On the March 25, 2010 edition of American Morning, the CNN anchor bemoaned the "troubling language" directed at pro-ObamaCare congressmen, but his own program promoted the 2006 film "Death of President" which depicted an imagination assassination attempt against then-President George W. Bush.


Spouting Liberal Talking Points

"Is now the time for the President to be proposing new tax cuts, particularly ones that seem to benefit wealthy investors more than they do middle- and lower-income Americans?"
-Question to Terry McAuliffe, CBS Evening News, September 1, 2002.


"The President promised in the campaign not to raise taxes on people who make less than $250,000 a year in order to dig us out of this hole. Is he going to have to break that promise?"
-Question to Columbia University's Jeffrey Sachs, December 17, 2009 edition of American Morning.

"Six months after President Obama signs the health care reform bill into law, insurance companies will not be allowed to deny coverage for kids because of preexisting medical conditions. The bill widens that measure to the rest of us by the year 2014. Now, critics say that's only going to add to the growing cost of delivering health care, but for some parents with uninsured kids, it's an awfully big relief."
-Lead-in introducing two pro-ObamaCare guests, American Morning, March 22, 2010.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center