After hyping the "draconian" sequester cuts set to take place March 1, CNN kept up its frenzy on Tuesday afternoon by spreading government hysteria over the $85 billion spending reduction. Headlines sounded alarms like "Medicine, Food at Risk," "Travel Nightmare In the Making," and "U.S. justice system in jeopardy."
"President Obama is warning of dire consequences for all of us if lawmakers don't act quickly," The Situation Room host Wolf Blitzer channeled White House angst. "The President clearly wants all of us to be very, very worried about the budget axe that's about to fall," he hyped during the 6 p.m. ET hour. "The President has said it's an issue of national security," reported correspondent Joe Johns on cuts to the justice system. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Even though the upcoming sequester cuts amount to only $85 billion, compared to $16 trillion of U.S. debt, CNN hyped the deleterious effects of the cuts to the economy by comparing them to the recent asteroid that just missed earth.
"Watch out. Like the asteroid headed to earth, they're coming. $86 billion in automatic budget cuts," anchor Carol Costello warned. And "draconian" was in the CNN talking points as Costello and her colleague Christine Romans repeatedly gave that label to the cuts. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Apparently it's okay for MSNBC panels to sit around and tell race jokes on-air. Host Melissa Harris-Perry had her panel guests tell their "favorite race joke" or "best punch line" on race on her Sunday show and laughter ranged between nervous and uproarious. Harris-Perry capped it all off with a Jewish joke.
After discussing if the best way to give a "social critique" on race was through humor, Harris-Perry told her panel, "Okay, so give me your favorite race joke or your best punch line on it." If a Fox News panel sat around and told race jokes on the set, there would be an uproar and accusations of racism would be directed at the network. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
It’s bad enough that Chris Matthews gets two hours a day on MSNBC to showcase his anti-conservative rants, but why does host David Gregory undermine any pretense that NBC News is not the same as MSNBC by bringing Matthews aboard Meet the Press? Worse, Gregory prompted Matthews to repeat his Hardball diatribe about how, in freshman Senator Ted Cruz, “I saw Joe McCarthy.”
Seconds later, Matthews charged the Congress has “really become an undemocratic system with the way that Boehner’s had to play this with his right wing.” That led Carly Fiorina, a fellow panelist, to snidely observe: “It’s all the Republicans’ fault in your view, clearly.” A delighted Matthews agreed: “It is. You nailed it.”
As Carnival Triumph passengers began to deboard their crippled ship late Thursday night, CNN's Martin Savidge decided to compare their "isolation factor" at sea to that of Hurricane Katrina victims. Passenger Rob Kenny quickly put the cruise fiasco in perspective.
"Katrina was a major devastation. We're on a friggin' cruise ship and we're just all having a good time," he told Savidge. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
The same network that wondered if Sen. Rubio's sip of water was a "big deal" is now asking just why Republicans are "so fixated on Benghazi" when they asked Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel about the Libya fiasco.
"This, despite testimony on Benghazi from General Petraeus, Hillary Clinton, Admiral Mike Mullen, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, General Martin Dempsey, among others. But it's not enough," an obviously flustered Carol Costello huffed. The CNN headline later flashed, "Why are Republicans so fixated on Benghazi?" [Video below the break. Audio here.]
When listing the qualifications for a papal successor, comedian David Letterman used the Catholic church's clerical abuse scandal as a parting blast at Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday night's Late Show.
Letterman quipped that the church is "looking for a guy who is good at transferring creepy priests." Earlier, he took another shot at Pope Benedict: "I guess you know by now, big news coming out of the Vatican. Pope Benedict was fired." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Last week’s second episode of The Americans (the third episode will run tonight, February 13, on FX), dramatically ended with a scene showing the horror realized by KGB operatives at the Soviet embassy in Washington, DC when they learn President Ronald Reagan intends to build “a ballistic missile shield” – aka the Strategic Defense Initiative. (video below)
The Americans is centered around husband and wife KGB sleeper agents (Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell as “Philip and Elizabeth Jennings”) who live with their kids as ordinary Americans in suburban Washington, DC when Ronald Reagan becomes President.
<<UPDATE BELOW>> On Wednesday's The Situation Room, host Wolf Blitzer absurdly wondered if Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) pausing his State of the Union response for a drink of water would "break" his career. The CNN chyron flashed "Career-ender?"
"So can a drink of water make or break a political career?" Blitzer asked. "A U.S. Senator, possible presidential candidate. We're going to find out, whether he likes it or not." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Tuesday's Entertainment Tonight ran quite the hit piece on Pope Benedict, promoting the distorted anti-Catholic documentary on the clerical abuse scandals and revisiting ABC reporter Brian Ross's 2002 confrontation with then-Cardinal Ratzinger.
"Then he slapped me like this on the wrist as if I were a schoolboy, asking an impertinent question," Ross recalled, when he rudely accosted Ratzinger on the streets of Rome about the abuse scandals. "When I got slapped, it actually stung. And I was surprised. I've been hit before by others. But generally crooks," he self-righteously gushed. Has Ross shown such scrutiny toward the embattled Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.)? Nope. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Norah O'Donnell and Charlie Rose lived up to their reputation for hammering Republican/conservative guests, as they interviewed Republican Senator Marco Rubio. Rose mouthed a line from President Obama's Tuesday State of the Union address, where the chief executive invoked the families of gun violence victims to push for stricter gun control: "Do you agree with the President that those people deserve a vote?"
Later in the segment, O'Donnell strongly hinted that the Florida politician, and Republicans in general, were extremists [audio available here; video below the jump]:
Previewing the State of the Union address, CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley repeatedly scolded Republican House Speaker John Boehner for daring to criticize President Barack Obama’s commitment to reducing the deficit. “There will be a great deal said about compromise and bi-partisanship, but in reality there seems to be very little mood for it,” Pelley despaired, before citing the Speaker as the culprit. He relayed a Boehner quote: “When it comes to the heavy lifting that has to be done, he doesn’t have the guts to do it.”
Pelley expressed disbelief, recounting: “Those of us in the room asked the Speaker if he really meant what he said and he repeated it.” Turning to Bob Schieffer, Pelley mimicked the Obama campaign line, fretting: “He didn’t seem open to change.”
Dr. Ben Carson has received little coverage in traditional media outlets for a speech he gave last Thursday at a prayer breakfast in which he advocated a flat tax and health savings accounts to improve the American economy and the health care system, respectively. The little attention he has gotten has been negative, with the media indignant that the world renowned neurosurgeon dared to "disrespect" the president by offering policy proposals that deviated from the government-centered ones of Mr. Obama's liking.
Even so, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell noted on the Tuesday edition of Varney & Co., because of talk radio, and the Internet, "the toothpaste is out of the tube" and while it may take longer for more people to become aware of it, "This story will not stop growing." "This proves why the networks are becoming increasingly irrelevant," the Media Research Center founder told the Fox Business Network anchor Stuart Varney. [MP3 audio here; video of segment follows page break]
On Monday night, CNN's Erin Burnett badgered the Catholic church to change its doctrine and accept birth control, gay marriage, and women priests. All day long on Monday, CNN asked if the church was going to change with the times but Burnett was blatant in her push for liberalization of doctrine.
"Isn't it time for the church, which is supposed to be an inclusive, generous, giving organization, to move ahead on gay rights?" she asked her guest a loaded question. When he answered no, she hit back, "Even if they [gay people] love each other, isn't the Catholic Church supposed to be about love?" [Video below the break. Audio here.]
"What do you think would [have] happen[ed]... if the media learned, if George Bush announced, that he was having 23 executive orders to limit the authority of Planned Parenthood?" NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell posed to Neil Cavuto on the February 10 edition of his eponymous Fox Business Network program. The media, of course, would be predictably outraged, the Media Research Center president noted, and yet, when President Obama announced his executive orders related to gun control, the media applauded the president for his efforts to go around Congress. "Nobody, but nobody" on ABC, CBS, or NBC have "explored it from the standpoint that [Obama] is usurping power" and treading on a constitutional right.
"Look at the [NLRB] recess appointment[s]," Bozell added, which the president announced early last year and have been since deemed unconstitutional by the unanimous panel of a federal court. "This goes to show the chutzpah of these people." [MP3 audio here; watch the full segment below the page break]
Radical talk show host Bill Press couldn't resist bashing Pope Benedict XVI one last time on Monday as the news broke that the pontiff would be abdicating at the end of February. Press, along with sidekick Peter Ogburn and regular guest John Fugelsang, forwarded common misconceptions from the left about Benedict's reign as pope and his previous work as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, especially his handling of the priest sex abuse scandal.
Fugelsang cracked, "It's my understanding that he wants to...devote more time to running the Catholic Church into the ground in the private sector." The left-wing radio host, who mocked the Pope for joining Twitter in December 2012, agreed wholeheartedly: "He's done a good job of running it into the ground from the Vatican – that's for sure." [audio available here; video below the jump] Press, a former seminarian, also half-jokingly fantasized about becoming pope himself:
Right as CNN's The Situation Room reported the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, correspondent Brian Todd launched into a litany of the "controversies" of his papacy and pushed the positive analysis to the bottom of his report.
"Pope Benedict's papacy has been marked by serious controversies," began anchor Wolf Blitzer. Todd followed up that as far as "controversies" were concerned, "there was certainly no shortage of those during his papacy." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Only an hour after Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation from the papacy, and not ten minutes into Monday's Starting Point, CNN's Soledad O'Brien hosted the director of an anti-Catholic documentary who has called Pope Benedict a "criminal" and a "deeply flawed human being."
Director Alex Gibney was O'Brien's first guest on her show. His new film on the clerical sex abuse scandal has been criticized as distorted and misleading and "an anti-Catholic broadside masquerading as a documentary." O'Brien praised it as "riveting, absolutely riveting," however, and let him criticize Pope Benedict. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN anchor Deb Feyerick asked Saturday afternoon if an approaching asteroid, which will pass by Earth on February 15, “is an example of, perhaps, global warming?”
Moments earlier, before an ad break, she segued from the Northeast blizzard to a segment with Bill Nye “the science guy,” by pointing to global warming: “Every time we see a storm like this lately, the first question to pop into a lot of people’s minds is whether or not global warming is to blame? I’ll talk to Bill Nye, ‘the science guy,’ about devastating storms and climate change.”
Left-wing talker Stephanie Miller made an eyebrow-raising attack on Michelle Malkin on Thursday. Just before playing a clip of Malkin from Fox News Channel's Hannity program on her radio program, Miller snarked, "Let's unpack this rice ball of health care nonsense from Michelle Malkin." This line could leave one with the impression that it was a racially-tinged insult of the conservative commentator [audio below the jump].
Miller's sidekicks Chris Lavoie and Jim Ward joined in the verbal assault on Malkin with sophomoric jabs about her digestive tract:
Complaining about Senate Republicans being dissatisfied with former senator Chuck Hagel's refusal to turn over information related to speeches he delivered that were financed by foreign sources, MSNBC's Tamron Hall this afternoon took a conservative blogger out of context to suggest that even conservatives were frustrated with how the Senate GOP -- which, by the way, is the minority party in the Senate and lacks the votes to thwart a Hagel confirmation -- was handling the confirmation process.
In a February 8 NewsNation segment entitled "Hagel Holdup," Hall lamented that Republican "senators are also demanding that Hagel give them copies of every speech he's made in the past five years. It's a process Washington Post conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin says, quote, 'could be the most inept and disorganized confirmation effort in recent memory.'" While Rubin did write that Friday morning, the Post blogger was referring to the Obama administration and Mr. Hagel, not Republicans. From "A critical weekend for the Hagel nomination" (video follows page break; MP3 audio here):
CNN anchors dropped journalistic integrity and went into full attack mode against supporters of the ban on gay Boy Scouts on Wednesday morning.
When the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins questioned why the Scouts should change their long-standing policy, anchor Soledad O'Brien blurted out "Because it's discriminatory," before adding "Because they think it's discriminatory." She then asked "My final question for you, do you worry you are on the wrong side of history on this?" [Video below the break. Audio here.]
In a new Lean Forward promo spot for MSNBC, Politics Nation host the Rev. Al Sharpton invoked the language of the Pledge of Allegiance, sans the term "under God." In the spot, Sharpton rattled off a laundry list of pet issues that MSNBC obsessed over in 2012 as he dreamed of a "nation that is really living up to the creed of one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." [MP3 audio here; Watch the video below the page break; Transcript follows page break]
CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin compared the push for the Boy Scouts to accept gays to the struggle over interracial marriage and same-sex marriage. She slammed any ban on gay scouts, local or national, as "discrimination," on Tuesday afternoon's Newsroom.
"They've been arguing that, Brooke, for years. If you let a black person marry a white person society will end. If you let gay and lesbian couples marry, society will end. That's an argument that has failed time and time again. And so to argue that we should discriminate because you want the Boy Scouts of America to survive is just a bunch of nonsense," Hostin told anchor Brooke Baldwin. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN's message to the Boy Scouts is this: "the world" is becoming more accepting of same-sex marriage, and the Scouts should get with the times by accepting openly gay leaders. Anchor Carol Costello made that clear on Tuesday morning's Newsroom.
"And like it or not, children are exposed to gay people. Ever watch 'Modern Family' or 'Ellen' or hear NFL players speak out for same-sex marriage? The world is changing. And the question now: will the Boy Scouts change with it?" Costello argued. Of course, CNN helps facilitate that "change" by giving NFL players -- who wish to "harness this Super Bowl media" to push for "marriage equality" -- air time to push for same-sex marriage unopposed. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
NewsBusters reported on the media's earlyvalentine for outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and CNN's media critic Howard Kurtz focused on their "romance" on Sunday's Reliable Sources.
"[T]hings were so lovey-dovey, it almost sounded like a therapy session," Kurtz described Clinton's 60 Minutes interview. He added the media "are almost portraying her [Clinton's] exit as walking on water." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
It wasn’t the embarrassing kiss-up debacle CBS’s Steve Kroft delivered a week ago from the White House, but CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley, in his late afternoon pre-Super Bowl sit down with Barack Obama, hardly tackled the President.
He cued him up to elaborate on allowing women in combat and gays to take part in the Boy Scouts, in between prompting Obama to explain why tax revenue must be raised further and, instead of pressing Obama about the danger of ever-growing massive deficits, Pelley -- echoing Paul Krugman -- warned cuts could send the economy into a recession.
Speaking on a different show but making the same tired liberal points, CNN's Piers Morgan hit the American "mentality" on guns and attacked the NRA on Thursday's The Tonight Show. Of course, Morgan probably reached more of an audience at NBC than on his own CNN show.
"And the crucial thing in America now is you've got to somehow change the mentality and the culture to reduce the number of guns," the liberal CNN host insisted, pointing to other countries as an argument in favor of gun control. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Nancy Cordes falsely characterized the weapon used in the 2011 mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona. Cordes noted that former astronaut Mark Kelly, "whose wife...Gabrielle Giffords was badly injured in the Tucson shooting," would call for a ban on "assault weapons like the one that was used to wound his wife and kill six others."
However, Jared Loughner, the perpetrator of the massacre, used a Glock 19 handgun with a 33-round magazine, not the military-style, semi-automatic rifles that are often labeled "assault weapons" by gun control supporters. The journalist even showed a photo of the firearm in question as she misrepresented its type. [audio available here; video below the jump]
Continuing to harass pro-gun advocates, CNN's Piers Morgan attacked a Wisconsin sheriff who had encouraged citizens to own a firearm for self-defense. Morgan interrupted his guest repeatedly and tried to frame him as a loony Wild West gunman.
"What you're creating is a return to the Wild West in Milwaukee," Morgan insisted on Tuesday night's Piers Morgan Tonight. "You do these racy, Hollywood-style adverts. You want them all out there armed and shooting." [Video below the break. Audio here.]