For the second straight day, CNN blew the whistle on a nasty and misleading Obama super PAC ad that ABC, CBS, and NBC entirely ignored as of Wednesday night. CNN hammered the ad, which links Mitt Romney to a woman's death from cancer, each hour from 6 p.m. through 10 p.m. and twice grilled the man responsible for the ad, Bill Burton of Priorities USA.
"I think it is deliberately mendacious," stated CNN's Piers Morgan on Wednesday. "It is a deliberate attempt to lie and smear about Mitt Romney. And I find it contemptible. I mean I'm really appalled." The three networks showed no such disdain for the ad which will air in battleground states, because they failed to even mention it on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Bill Burton was President Obama's national press secretary during the 2008 campaign, a connection that CNN reported and which makes his super PAC's ad all the more relevant during an election season where the media should be policing false and misleading ads.
"The President cannot hide behind a Super PAC on an ad as nasty as this one when that Super PAC is run by a friend and longtime deputy," stated Erin Burnett. "Bill Burton knows the President's ethics very well and it is fair to hold him up to this standard."
"The facts on this ad don't even add up," reported Burnett. Anderson Cooper called it "a factually bogus ad from the leading pro-Obama super PAC." Correspondent Brianna Keilar, whose critical fact-checking first aired on Tuesday evening, stood by her reporting on Wednesday.
"So it just seemed like there was very much an incomplete picture in this ad," she said, adding "I think it's inaccurate" and "there are a number of factors that aren't mentioned in the ad."
"When you do an ad that seems to leave the impression that he [Romney] was at least indirectly responsible for a woman dying from cancer, that is so powerful, that is so tough, that goes beyond what you guys should be doing," host Wolf Blitzer lectured Burton.
Overall, CNN devoted over a half-hour of coverage to criticizing the ad on Wednesday from 6 p.m. through 9 p.m, although some of that airtime went to scrutinizing the Romney campaign's campaign ad that CNN had whacked for dishonesty.
The Situation Room gave 17 minutes to the super PAC ad during the 6 p.m. hour. Erin Burnett gave it over six minutes on her 7 p.m. show OutFront, and Anderson Cooper devoted over 11 minutes to the ad but focused some of that time to Romney's ad. Piers Morgan attacked both Obama and Romney during his 9 p.m. show Piers Morgan Tonight.