CNN Gives Jack Cafferty 60 Minutes to Bash Bush and Republicans

You have to wonder what the bigwigs at CNN were thinking when they decided to give King Bush-basher Jack Cafferty an hour-long special – the opener of a six-part series – less than three weeks before the midterm elections. Of course, the flipside is that they knew exactly what they were doing, and got exactly what they wanted – 60 minutes of anti-Bush and anti-Republican propaganda less than three weeks before the midterm elections.

Here are some of the lowlights that occurred in just the first five minutes (video here, hat tip to TVNewser). Cafferty began:

So I saw this great bumper sticker the other day, it read had enough? We're being bled to death, literally and figuratively in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have no border security to speak of, no port security fives year after 9/11, Social Security and Medicare well on their way to insolvency. Our national debt is staggering.

China is kicking our butt. Like I said, had enough? Our leaders lie to us and steal from us, and do it all with a straight face. They don't think we get it. I think we do. I honestly think the upcoming midterm elections will be breathtaking in the message that deliver to Washington. It's my fervent hope that every single incumbent on the ballot will lose. It's time to start over.

Nice opening, dontcha think? Sadly, it was downhill from there:

We're on the verge of what could well be the most important midterm election in this country's history. Look at these numbers. They're shocking. Sixty-eight percent think this country is headed in the wrong direction; more than two thirds. Sixty-four percent against the war in Iraq. Sixty-one percent disapprove of the job President Bush is doing leading the country.

Oh and the war in Iraq was his idea. And then there's Congress, a joke. Seventy-one percent disapprove of the job Congress is doing. The other, what is it, 29 percent they just haven't read the paper. Our government is broke and Congress has failed to do anything meaningful. They vote on amendments for flag burning and gay marriage, but nothing on immigration, Social Security, health care, nothing that matters to the middle class in this country.

The Bush administration has all but ignored the Constitution since 9/11, all in the name of national security and fighting terrorism. We're being overrun by millions of illegal aliens and Washington does nothing. There are serious questions about the integrity of our elections and our reputation overseas, well that's pretty much shot now, isn't it.

How pleasant and impartial. Yet, maybe the bottom lowlight from this opening segment was Cafferty doing what he does best – vividly demonstrating to his viewers just how opposed to the war in Iraq he is, and just how convinced he is that America can’t win: “One of my favorite things they pulled this year is they appropriated $20 million from the general treasury -- they've already reached in and taken this money out of our pockets for a victory celebration for the war in Iraq. If they would put that money in a C.D., by the time we win that thing in Iraq, they could pay off the national debt.

How disgraceful of CNN to actually give this man such a lengthy platform from which to spew such vitriol. What follows is a full transcript of the opening five minutes of this abomination, for frankly, I couldn’t watch any more.

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: So I saw this great bumper sticker the other day, it read had enough? We're being bled to death, literally and figuratively in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have no border security to speak of, no port security fives year after 9/11, Social Security and Medicare well on their way to insolvency. Our national debt is staggering.

China is kicking our butt. Like I said, had enough? Our leaders lie to us and steal from us, and do it all with a straight face. They don't think we get it. I think we do. I honestly think the upcoming midterm elections will be breathtaking in the message that deliver to Washington. It's my fervent hope that every single incumbent on the ballot will lose. It's time to start over.

ANNOUNCER: This is a CNN election special, BROKEN GOVERNMENT. From our broadcast center in New York City, here's Jack Cafferty.

CAFFERTY: Good evening. We're on the verge of what could well be the most important midterm election in this country's history. Look at these numbers. They're shocking. Sixty-eight percent think this country is headed in the wrong direction; more than two thirds. Sixty-four percent against the war in Iraq. Sixty-one percent disapprove of the job President Bush is doing leading the country.

Oh and the war in Iraq was his idea. And then there's Congress, a joke. Seventy-one percent disapprove of the job Congress is doing. The other, what is it, 29 percent they just haven't read the paper. Our government is broke and Congress has failed to do anything meaningful. They vote on amendments for flag burning and gay marriage, but nothing on immigration, Social Security, health care, nothing that matters to the middle class in this country.

The Bush administration has all but ignored the Constitution since 9/11, all in the name of national security and fighting terrorism. We're being overrun by millions of illegal aliens and Washington does nothing. There are serious questions about the integrity of our elections and our reputation overseas, well that's pretty much shot now, isn't it.

We sent crews around the country to find out what you think about all this and here's some of what's on your mind.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What frustrates me to see our elected officials act like a bunch of second graders. And that's not even fair. Second graders have better discourse in the classroom than our representative does.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How useful is this Congress when they can't do anything about immigration or the war, you know, bipartisanship.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Both parties, if they're not broken, they're in bad shape.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think they're doing a good job. I think that they're not listening to people, they have their own agenda. They're not working as hard as they should be.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think everything is running pretty smooth. I think with the gas prices dropping back down and everything, I think they're getting their act together. The president is going to get reelected again this -- next term I believe.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAFFERTY: Well, don't bet your lunch money. Joe Johns joins us now with a look not at what Congress has done for us, but rather what they're doing to us. Joe?

JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jack, it's been called the do- little, do-nothing, dysfunctional Congress. We counted the black marks on the 109th Congress and it is a rough list.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHNS (voice-over): Number ten, all pay, no work. Every member of the House of Representatives makes at least $165,000 a year. So far, they have spent only 94 days in session. That's almost $1,800 a day. Nice work if you can get it.

Nine -- what illegal immigrants? Wasn't immigration reform supposed to be about the most important issue this year? And what did they do about it? They voted to build a fence.

Eight -- what are you wearing? The skanky way Florida Republican Mark Foley is reported to have talked to former congressional pages in electronic messages and when he got caught like a real a profile encourage, he announced he was gay, abused as a teenager by an unnamed priest, checked into alcohol rehab, and left his colleagues to sort out the mess.

REP. DENNIS HASTERT (R-IL), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: And he deceived me too.

JOHNS: Seven -- oh say can you thieve. Duke Cunningham, a former fighter jock turned jailbird, once seemed like a poster child for patriotism until it turned out the California Republican was on the take and getting paid with just about everything but the stars and stripes.

Six -- the booze made me do it. The congressional pilgrimage to rehab that featured some household names this year, including Foley, Ohio Republican Bob Ney -- more about his later -- and Rhode Island Democrat Patrick Kennedy. People wished them well, but were left wondering if rehab isn't just an easy way out.

Five -- addicted to pork? The Congress is going to have to face it, it's addicted to pork, bridges to nowhere, a museum to honor the folks responsible for the New Orleans levees that failed, emergency money for non emergencies, and at the end a record deficit.

SEN. GEORGE ALLEN (R), VIRGINIA: The fellow over here with the yellow shirt...

JOHNS: Four -- the macaca moment. Senator George Allen of Virginia called a guy of Indian decent who was shadowing him macaca, then claimed he didn't know what it meant. Well it means monkey.

Three -- throwing in the towel. Texas Republican Tom DeLay, he was the House majority leader got indicted in Texas in a case that was far from water tight, denied wrongdoing and then up and quit. What's up with that? The Capitol's tough guy, "The Hammer", gave up before fighting it out in court.

Two -- frostbite, the case of the cold-hard cash. The feds said they videotaped Louisiana Democrat Bill Jefferson accepting $100,000 then found 90 grand in his freezer. They claim they're investigating several allegedly shady deals. He hasn't been charged with anything and says he hasn't done anything wrong.

And the winner is number one on the list of dubious accomplishments of the 109th Congress, Jack Abramoff and Bob Ney, the corrupt couple, the lobbyist and the mayor of Capitol Hill united by guilty pleas, things of value exchanged for official acts, plus a passion for golf, meals, tickets to sporting events and power.

Jack is out of the lobbying group. But Ney is still a congressman, still cashing paychecks until his colleagues throw him out -- at $1,800 a day who can blame him -- a tip of the fedora to old Jack, Bob and a session that many would sooner forget.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 2006.

(SOUNDS)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JOHNS: Now the truth is, obviously a lot of people ask, why can't Congress get anything done, and if you ask people in Washington, they'll say well, in the first place, Congress was set up to slow things down. The one thing of course they haven't been able to slow down is the allegations of corruption.

CAFFERTY: One of my favorite things they pulled this year is they appropriated $20 million from the general treasury -- they've already reached in and taken this money out of our pockets for a victory celebration for the war in Iraq. If they would put that money in a C.D., by the time we win that thing in Iraq, they could pay off the national debt.

(LAUGHTER) CAFFERTY: Good to see you.

JOHNS: Thanks.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.