During a speech on Monday, Cable News Network president Jeff Zucker admitted: “No news organization is perfect, and CNN is not always perfect.”
As if to verify his statement, network reporters that same day covered an appearance by former secretary of state Hillary Clinton with a poorly edited video that made it appear she was laughing about the death of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012. On Tuesday, CNN's Ashleigh Banfield apologized profusely for what she called “a mistake.”
CNN's Ashleigh Banfield asserted on Thursday that the threat of a felony murder charge could be used to get information on the "bridgegate" surrounding New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
"And then there can also be the very serious possibility that a death resulted from the actions of someone, right?" Banfield said of the George Washington Bridge lane closures that Christie aides were reportedly connected to. "So if that's the case, an extraordinarily serious end of this could be felony murder, because it is a felony to do this kind of thing if it can be proven to shut down those lanes for no good reason." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
As Colorado stores began legally selling marijuana to customers on Wednesday, CNN hyped the opening as "history being made" and an "amazing experience to be a part of and to witness."
"[H]istory being made there in Colorado," noted New Day co-host Michaela Pereira on Thursday. Anchor Ashleigh Banfield excitedly reported that "some people have waited a lifetime and others have waited in line for hours in the cold just for a chance to legally buy some weed just to smoke for fun." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN is still giving President Obama the extreme benefit of the doubt over his false promise that Americans could keep their insurance under ObamaCare.
The President added words to his promise on Tuesday, that Americans could keep their insurance "if it hasn't changed since the law passed." Anchor Ashleigh Banfield then suggested he call his initial promise an "oversight" and rebuked conservative guest Will Cain who called it a "lie."
CNN's Ashleigh Banfield scolded two Republican congressmen for bringing the U.S. economy "to the brink," and one of them retorted that she was giving them a "tirade."
"[W]hy connect the funding of the government, the entire U.S. economy, why bring it to this brink? Why not do it at all of the other times? All of the other 100-plus congresses have been able to fund the government," Banfield asked Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.). [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Chalk this one up to the absurd. CNN's Ashleigh Banfield on Wednesday tried to draw a legal parallel between a Sharia Law execution and a Catholic school firing a teacher for violating her contract by disobeying church teaching on pregnancy. Banfield argued both violated the teacher's Constitutional rights.
"Well if it's an Islamic school and they decide to go with Sharia Law and they decide to stone me for this, they can't do that either," Banfield ridiculously argued. "Then don't sign up to be the teacher," responded prosecutor Christine Grillo, who multiple times reiterated that the teacher had violated her contract.
CNN's scrutiny of the Obama administration's scandals has fallen sharply from last week. From 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. ET on Monday, CNN spent about as much time on Obama's "triple trouble" of controversy as it did on Saturday's Powerball-winning ticket.
CNN spent 12 full minutes reporting that one single ticket won the $590 million Powerball jackpot over the weekend, and had yet to be claimed. In comparison, three Obama administration scandals merited about the same coverage, 12 minutes, 21 seconds. Yet over three minutes of that coverage focused on the President's rising approval ratings amidst the controversies.
After Friday's IRS testimony before Congress, CNN's Ashleigh Banfield begged CNN host Candy Crowley to "take me off the ledge" and explain that the agency was simply doing its job looking for "sleazeballs that are trying to get special status."
Crowley shot down Banfield's astoundingly ignorant plea. "And the only sleazeballs have 'Tea Party' in their name or 'patriot'? What about 'progressive'?" Crowley asked of the agency's double standard in investigating Tea Party groups while approving liberal groups more quickly. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN anchor Ashleigh Banfield and HLN anchor Nancy Grace gave eagle-eyed viewers some mild laughs following yesterday's verdict in the Jodi Arias trial as they appeared in a split-screen setup talking via satellite uplink even though they were seated right next to each other.
When MSNBC announced in March that Ed Schultz's weeknight program, “The Ed Show,” was being replaced by “All In,” which is hosted by 34-year-old Chris Hayes, the executives of the "Lean Forward" network hoped that the new hour-long program would hold onto the channel's liberal audience and even draw in younger viewers.
Instead, the ratings for Hayes' broadcasts in April were down 18 percent in total viewers from that month's numbers in 2012 for “Ed,” and it appears that “All In” is also dragging down the viewership for “The Rachel Maddow Show,” which was off by seven percent from its ratings during that period a year ago, and “The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell,” which also fell eight percent in a year-to-year comparison.
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.]
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.]
CNN's own legal analyst scoffed at CNN's notion that 75 Republicans supporting legal gay marriage is a "big turning point" for the party. Anchor Ashleigh Banfield did her best to drum up the matter on Tuesday, for the network that has repeatedly shown a bias favoring gay marriage.
"Next, a big turning point in the Republican party. 70 high profile Republicans just signed a brief supporting gay marriage," Banfield touted. "I really disagree with the premise that this is a lot of people," responded CNN's legal analyst Jeff Toobin. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN did its best to promote former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' push for stricter gun laws on Tuesday. Correspondent David Mattingly even highlighted the large "donate" button on the website of Giffords' new political action committee.
"And if you think about it, if Gabby Giffords came knocking on my door, office door on Capitol Hill, I would have to let her in," swooned anchor Carol Costello. Mattingly directed viewers to her website's fundraising section: "[I]f you go to the website that they've set up now, the Americans for Responsible Solutions, the first thing you see there is a big window where you can click on it to donate." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN was completely aghast at conservative Republicans who on Wednesday rejected a United Nations treaty for disabled persons. Network anchors cast them as extreme and out of touch.
"The United States taking a stand against people with disabilities?" asked a flabbergasted Carol Costello. "It's a treaty that bans discrimination against people with disabilities. Just sounds like a no-brainer, right?" anchor Ashleigh Banfield later insisted. [Video coming soon. Audio here.]
Why don't America's media members want to acknowledge Jerusalem as being the capital of Israel?
On CNN Newsroom Friday, Ashleigh Banfield actually said, "Rockets fired at Jerusalem. It is not the capital at this point, but it is the disputed center of the universe so to speak when it comes to Israel" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Few national media outlets were interested in focusing on how John Burton, the chairman of the California Democratic Party, compared Republicans to Nazi propagandist Josef Goebbels on Monday. Among those skipping the story were ABC, CBS, NPR, the PBS Newshour, MSNBC in prime time, USA Today, and The New York Times. The omission should be considered especially shameless for CBS – Burton made his remarks on KCBS radio in San Francisco.
AP and The Washington Post offered tiny items of less than 150 words. (The Post headline was "John Burton went there.") NBC’s Chuck Todd threw in 20 seconds on the story on Monday’s Nightly News:
Following the liberal media's precedent at GOP conventions, CNN hit the Republican Party for being too extreme and intolerant on Monday morning. As NewsBusters reported Monday, the media have repeatedly lectured Republicans at the conventions for being too conservative and exclusive of women and minorities.
"Some Republicans worry that the Republican Party will come off even more conservative during – over the course of the next three days," warned anchor Carol Costello, framing the party's hypothetical rightward shift as a bad thing. Anchor Ashleigh Banfield questioned the party's "big tent" label.
In the wake of the Todd Akin controversy, CNN has not only tied the negative fallout to the Romney campaign and the Republican Party, but has also turned a critical eye to the party's "very far right-wing" pro-life platform.
"I guess you're probably rubbing your hands with glee, aren't you?" Piers Morgan pandered to DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz on Tuesday, concerning Akin's refusal to leave the Missouri senate race. Morgan had called the situation "Romney's worst nightmare" on the previous night. [Video below the break.]
For CNN's Ashleigh Banfield, complete opposition to abortion equals a "very far right" position, as she insisted on Tuesday about the new Republican Party platform. For context, CNN used the same "far right" label to describe Sikh shooter Wade Michael Page's racist skinhead band.
"[T]he platform, for the most part, was crafted by the very far-right wing of the party and then if you combine that with the timing of all this ugliness that's going on with Mr. Akin...does that besmirch this platform that so many people agree with?" she asked, framing the completely pro-life stance as extreme and possibly damaging to the GOP. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Friday's CNN Newsroom, anchor Ashleigh Banfield didn't begin her program with news that unemployment in 44 states has worsened, a story that CNN's Web site reported. No, she devoted the first 12 minutes of her program to a real burning issue: Mitt Romney's tax returns.
She spoke of President Barack Obama's offer to accept five years of GOP candidate Mitt Romney's tax returns and demand no more. The offer is as big a joke as Vice President Joe Biden, yet Banfield discussed it with CNN political editor Paul Steinhauser and Reuters columnist David Cay Johnston. Banfield injected her own theory:
In a fawn-fest over Chelsea Clinton with CNN's Ashleigh Banfield on Wednesday, Vogue magazine's contributing editor Jonathan van Meter slipped in some serious love for Bill and Hillary.
"I think one of the things the Clintons will go down in history for, it may very well being the world's greatest parents. I mean, they did such an incredible job of protecting her [Chelsea] from the likes of us, basically," van Meter admitted of the press. [Video below the break.]
CNN doesn’t understand why the Catholic Church would pick on nuns that take vows to serve it would be expected to toe the church line on certain beliefs. They insist that nuns should be more liberated women than that. Such women's lib does not apply to CNN anchors, who are subjected to mental “crackdowns” of their own from the gay speech police.
On her CNN program Early Start on Thursday, anchor Ashleigh Banfield was in the middle of denouncing an obscure and extremist Kansas pastor who was recorded calling for government execution of gays (citing the gay-activist blog goodasyou.org). But in her pro-gay sermon, she used politically incorrect terminology and was ticketed by the cops at the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation for using the allegedly defamatory words “Homosexuality is a lifestyle choice by people.” Into the punishment room she went, and an on-air confession and expression of remorse would follow:
After the Obama campaign released an ad on Monday attacking Mitt Romney's record at Bain Capital, CNN went so far as to question President Obama's hypocrisy in attacking Romney. In contrast, MSNBC hosts joined Team Obama on the offensive.
CNN first reported the ad during the 9 and 10 a.m. hours of Monday, and by that evening anchor John King hosted a former venture capitalist who defended the business practices of Bain. Meanwhile, MSNBC's Martin Bashir and the network's prime-time lineup were cheerleaders for the Obama campaign on Monday.
Unless you happened to sleep all week, you probably saw the story of a Colorada University student getting her picture taken with President Obama at a bar in Boulder.
Even funnier than the photo that went viral on the internet was CNN anchor Ashleigh Banfield gasping on Thursday's Early Start when the co-ed in question wouldn't say she was voting for the current White House resident (video follows with transcript and commentary):
You'd think on the very day an NBC News producer was fired for editing George Zimmerman's 911 call to make it appear he was racist media members would be extra careful to be as factually accurate as possible when reporting on the Trayvon Martin shooting.
CNN's Ashleigh Banfield clearly didn't get this memo for while substitute-hosting on Anderson Cooper 360 Friday night, she twice falsely claimed that an eyewitness she had just interviewed said the person she believed was the attacker - meaning the one on top during the fight near her house - was Hispanic (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Railing against radio hosts demeaning women, CNN's Ashleigh Banfield called liberal radio host Ed Schultz a "conservative," implying that conservative talking heads are the ones acting sexist and degrading women. Banfield, on CNN Monday morning, directed her ire at conservatives while not once hitting liberals for vile verbiage.
"I was called a slut by Michael Savage, a conservative radio talk show host. Laura Ingram has been called a slut by another conservative, Ed Schultz, on MSNBC," Banfield ranted. "Cut it out! It's not appropriate. It's disgusting," she railed against conservative radio hosts in light of Rush Limbaugh calling Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke a "slut" last week. [Video below the break.]
While Mitt Romney is polling strong in Nevada – as her own network had reported – CNN's Ashleigh Banfield still questioned how anyone in the state could "connect" with him over his laissez-faire approach to the foreclosure crisis. Banfield's question came at the bottom of the 1 p.m. hour of Friday's Newsroom.
The CNN host dismissed Romney's free market solution as hurtful to his own campaign, as if Nevada voters might not support such a remedy for the housing market. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
Bill Clinton has done hundreds of TV interviews since leaving office in 2001, and journalists have very rarely found it appropriate to revisit his sex scandals. But for CNN, Republicans merit an entirely different standard of coverage.
On Monday's Early Start, co-host Ashleigh Banfield insisted to Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) that "I got to" bring up his 2007 prostitution scandal, so she could ask how Newt Gingrich could "manage the baggage" of his personal sex life. Vitter fired back that "the good news is, in America, it's not up to CNN" how the GOP presidential nominee is chosen. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]