In a new low for David Letterman – on both a professional and comedic level – each night this past week he devoted a Late Show “Stooge of the Night” segment to a Senator who dared to oppose the gun control bill, a law which would have done nothing to have prevented the Newtown tragedy.
Nonetheless, Letterman got very political in putting a picture of each Senator on the screen, yet the audience at his Manhattan theater remained befuddled, nearly silent after each announcement with, at best, scattered nervous laughter before Letterman followed up with a lame crack at their personal appearance. Those shots (Jeff Flake: “Reminds me a little of Gomer Pyle”; Ted Cruz: “How about a background check on his barber?”) generated a little laughter.
CBS This Morning stood out on Friday for devoting a 18-second news brief to the newly-released security camera footage of Floyd Corkins II's attempted mass shooting at the Family Research Council in August 2012. Charlie Rose identified Corkins as a "domestic terrorist" who targeted the social conservative organization for "being anti-gay" [audio available here; video below the jump].
The morning newscast actually played a clip from the video, which shows the admitted felon pulling a handgun on security guard Leo Johnson and the subsequent physical altercation between the two. By contrast, ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today both ignored the footage, which FRC uploaded onto YouTube on Thursday.
CNN's Piers Morgan absurdly claimed on Thursday that "senators and congressmen" want Dzhokhar Tsarnaev "tortured" and the "interrogation lasting for months." The only prominent call for torture came from one New York state senator who had argued his case on Morgan's show on Monday.
"So when you hear these senators and congressmen leaping up and down saying we want to have him tortured and we want to have the interrogation lasting for months, you're straying into Guantanamo Bay territory for somebody who is an American citizen," Morgan said of Tsarnaev. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CBS is putting its Big Three competitors to shame in actually covering the capital murder trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, but that's not saying much, as Thursday's CBS This Morning devoted a paltry 11 seconds to the latest development in the case. Norah O'Donnell highlighted that the abortionist's defense attorney rested his case without calling his client or any other witness to testify. [audio available here; video below the jump]
It was the second straight day that the morning show devoted air time to the news story. On Wednesday, O'Donnell gave a 13-second news brief on the Gosnell trial judge dismissing some of the murder charges against the abortionist.
On Monday's CBS This Morning, open liberal Gayle King ballyhooed a guest's fear that Americans might target Muslims in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing. The news host thought it was "very important" to point out Boston Globe columnist Kevin Cullen's "concern about a backlash", and quoted Cullen's assertion that "these two don't speak for Muslims any more than I speak for overweight Irish-American guys who like to play hockey." [audio available here; video below the jump]
King didn't mention, however, that Cullen also took aim at the blame-America-first portion of the left in his Sunday column: "I was on an NPR show...and a caller...started talking about how we've got to look in the mirror and ask what we as Americans have done to create angry young men like this. I almost drove off the road. No one who lost their life or their limbs on Boylston Street last Monday did anything to create angry young men like this."
[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.]
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.]
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.]
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.]
Norah O'Donnell shamelessly forwarded President Obama's gun control talking points on Tuesday's CBS This Morning as she interviewed Republican Senator Johnny Isakson: "Do you think your fellow Republicans owe the families of these Newtown victims a vote?" Mere hours earlier, at a pro-gun control rally in Connecticut, the President pointed out, "I said in my State of the Union address...that families of Newtown and Aurora and Tucson...all deserved a vote." [audio available here; video below the jump]
Gayle King also spotlighted how the massacre victims' relatives were meeting with Senator Isakson, and wondered, "What do you plan to say to them?"
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.]
Bill Maher just can’t resist denigrating those who choose to join our military forces. Catching up with a comment from his Friday night show on HBO, when discussing what motivates soldiers to want to re-join their units and what they miss when back in civilian life, war correspondent Sebastian Junger explained: “The soldiers aren’t psychopaths, they don’t miss killing, they don’t miss getting killed, but what they miss is that sense of meaning and the bond...”
To which, Maher countered: “Well, some of them are psychopaths. I mean, let’s be honest. Some people join the Army because it’s the one place where you can kill people for free. Where you’re not charged with murder.”
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.]
CNN's Piers Morgan put Michael Reagan through the wringer on Wednesday over a small portion of his op-ed on churches and same-sex marriage. Morgan barely discussed the overall point of the article, focusing instead on "very controversial comments" near the end of the op-ed.
Within his call for churches to openly oppose same-sex marriage, Reagan had noted a "slippery slope" that would occur if same-sex marriage is legalized, possibly leading to legalization of "bestiality, and perhaps even murder." Morgan found this "at worst really very bigoted and offensive" and attacked Reagan for comparing gay marriage to bestiality and murder, even though Reagan was not comparing the two, but rather was arguing that legalization of one could lead to legalization of the other. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
In an exclusive Wednesday interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, CNN founder Ted Turner expressed his hopes for President Obama and advised him to "get this global climate change under control."
During the 6 p.m. ET hour of The Situation Room, Blitzer teed up Turner to give Obama advice and promoted his new biography "Last Stand." He added that "Turner's politics clearly lean left" and noted "his admiration for former President Jimmy Carter." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
"It seems to me" that the Associated Press's newly announced plan to scrub "illegal immigrant" from its Stylebook is "an attempt to control the language... it's a form of political correctness," argued substitute host Stuart Varney on the April 3 Your World with Neil Cavuto. "You can subtly affect your coverage and your thinking about the issue" by "softening the language," noted Varney, who himself is a legal immigrant to the United States from the United Kingdom. [video follows page break; MP3 audio here]
Yes, agreed Varney's guest, NewsBusters senior editor Tim Graham as, "it's a form of political correctness over factual correctness." Graham noted that the Associated Press and New York Times had long held the line on keeping "illegal immigrant" over the nonsensical "undocumented immigrant" alternative, that lobbying by pro-amnesty groups, as well as liberal minority journalism groups pushed the AP to make a politically calculated decision:
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Jan Crawford played up how voters supposedly find Vice President Joe Biden's "gaffes almost endearing", as she reported on the potential face-off between President Obama's running mate and Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race. Crawford played clips of Biden's most infamous gaffes, and later added that these verbal slip-ups "may not be so funny for the leader of the free world" [audio available here; video below the jump].
Back in August 2012, the CBS morning newscast actually did its best to spin the Vice President's "put y'all back in chains" slam of Mitt Romney, and adopted the Obama campaign's own talking points on the inflammatory line.
Does journalistic insistence on catapulting President Barack Obama into historic greatness and relevance know no bounds? CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley on Tuesday night insisted upon trumpeting Obama’s proposal, to spend $100 million to map the human brain, through the hagiographic maneuver of putting Obama into a trilogy with the triumphs of Thomas Jefferson and John Kennedy:
"Finally tonight, for Thomas Jefferson it was the Louisiana Territory; for John F. Kennedy, the moon. Well today, as Bill Plante reports, President Obama announced a mission to explore and map another frontier filled with mystery and possibility."
The recent murders of local prosecutors in a north Texas county -- possibly at the hands of white supremacists -- was the news hook for MSNBC's The Cycle to bring Heidi Beirich of the left-leaning Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) on to the April 2 program. In introducing the guest and justifying her expertise, co-host Ari Melber merely described the SPLC as "a group that documents that state of hate groups in America." [video follows page break; MP3 audio here]
It fell to token conservative co-host S.E. Cupp to remind viewers that SPLC leans to the left and has been criticized by conservatives for "smearing religious and far-right groups and ignoring far-left hate groups." "Shouldn't people be aware of your ideological biases before they take seriously [SPLC's] claims of who they should be afraid of?" Cupp argued. A bemused Beirich insisted she had to "dispute the notion of the question on its premise," adding that:
Sunday's Reliable Sources was absurdly generous to the media for their coverage of the same-sex marriage debate, calling them "in the middle" and denying having seen any "rudeness" toward social conservatives.
Host Howard Kurtz teed up gay rights activist John Aravosis by asking, "Are the media waking up to the fact that this is a civil rights issue?" Meanwhile, Aravosis claimed the press is "still being objective and in the middle" on the issue while the Washington Post's "conservative" blogger Jennifer Rubin denied having seen any media "rudeness or abruptness" toward social conservatives. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
A CNN contributor and GOP strategist condescendingly lectured opponents of legalized same-sex marriage on Tuesday night's Erin Burnett OutFront, scoffing that they need to "get in to the 21st century" and ditch the "losing political issue."
"It should not be a banner issue for the Republican Party," Ana Navarro claimed before insisting that same-sex marriage is "the most rapidly evolving social issue we have seen in our lifetime." She added that "folks who are in denial about this that have to get out of the closet. They have to wave goodbye to the GEICO caveman and step out gingerly and carefully into the brave new world." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
In yet another episode of CNN's Don Lemon pestering a conservative guest, he belittled and smeared The Heritage Foundation's Ryan Anderson on Sunday. Anderson had claimed that same-sex marriage is not illegal, just not recognized as "marriage" by many state governments and the federal government.
"Well, I'm the anchor of this show, so I can interrupt as much as I want. So let me interrupt and then I'll let you talk," Lemon rudely lectured Anderson. Lemon called his argument "absurd" and accused him of spreading "rumors and infactual information." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Hyping "growing support" for same-sex marriage, CNN's Carol Costello asked a supporter of California's Proposition 8 on Monday if he was "on the wrong side of history" for legally defining marriage as between one man and one woman. Her tone fits right with Friday's CNN panel where a traditional marriage supporter was disgustingly marginalized as a segregationist and compared to a slave owner.
Costello cited GOP strategist Karl Rove admitting that he could see a Republican presidential candidate publicly support same-sex marriage in 2016. She then asked Austin Nimocks of the Alliance Defense Fund, "Austin, you heard what Karl Rove just said. Are you on the wrong side of history?" [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Is this Jeff Zucker's new vision for CNN? Instead of reporting hard-hitting news, Thursday's 9 a.m. ET hour of Newsroom featured conservatives getting whacked by a gauntlet of talking heads, celebrities, and centrist and liberal guests. And anchor Carol Costello added a liberal lament of "Will Gitmo ever close?"
Here were some "stories" that CNN devoted whole segments to: Tina Fey mocking Sarah Palin on Bravo, Fox News' Bill O'Reilly admonishing Rep. Michelle Bachmann, and a question about whether conservatives are overlooked in pop culture, answered by a liberal guest and a centrist guest. CNN is looking more and more like MSNBC. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN is hitting Democrats from the left for not passing an assault weapons ban. Host Piers Morgan had a liberal pout session with filmmaker Michael Moore on Tuesday night's Piers Morgan Live, and then anchor Carol Costello asked on Wednesday morning if Democrats were "weenies."
After quoting the ultra-liberal Moore calling Democrats "weenies," Costello called out Democrats from the left: "Michael Moore says introduce the bill. Let Republicans vote against it. So my question, are Democrats weenies for not bringing an assault weapons ban to the floor?" [Video below the break. Audio here.]
A CNN headline during Tuesday's 11 a.m. hour of Newsroom asked, "Should Bush officials be tried for war crimes?" CNN legal analyst Lisa Bloom argued that the U.S. should submit to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court for the mass murder of Iraqis that far exceeded the 9/11 atrocities.
Bloom downplayed the 9/11 terror attacks in the face of the Iraq War. When anchor Ashleigh Banfield noted that America responded to 9/11 with force and not in a "sanguine" manner, Bloom compared it to the Iraqi casualty count: "And that was 4,000, not 100,000, not 10 years." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Monday night's CBS Evening News followed CNN and ABC to the ugly decades-old accusations against Pope Francis from his time in Argentina. CBS featured the same critic of Pope Francis that ABC did on Sunday. CNN, meanwhile, was the only one of the three networks to seriously question the accusations.
"There are still questions, though, about the Pope's relationship with Argentina's former government, a military dictatorship that kidnapped and killed thousands in the '70s and '80s," reported fill-in anchor Bob Schieffer. CBS centered the story around Francis' accuser, with only one quote in his defense. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
[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."