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.]
"Hi! Is this Mary Todd Lincoln? It is? Sorry for waking up before 6 A.M. but this is Ashleigh Banfield of Early Start and I just want you to know we are live on the air so, please, No F-bombs. Hee! Hee! Anyway, I know how much you love watching plays so I want to ask if you are still haunted by the assassination of your husband who was sitting right next to you at Ford's Theater."
Is this some sort of sick fantasy on the part of your humble correspondent? Not really because that is pretty much the tone of the prank phone call made by Ashleigh Banfield on the inaugural CNN Early Start show last week when she woke up Kerry Kennedy to ask if she is still haunted by memories of the assassination of her father, Robert F. Kennedy, which you can see in the video below the fold.
Potential presidential candidate Donald Trump, whose controversial stance on President Obama's birth certificate has made waves in the mainstream media during the past weeks, for one reason or another, has avoided interviews on CBS's morning and evening news programs so far in 2011. In fact, Trump hasn't done an interview on either The Early Show or CBS Evening News in over two years.
On Wednesday's AC360 on CNN, ABC's Ashleigh Banfield punted on Nir Rosen's offensive Tweets against CBS's Lara Logan and tried to explain them away: "We're using a lot of electronics to get information out as fast as we can nowadays before we can really digest the ramifications of what we say...And so, I'm certainly not going to cast aspersions on Mr. Rosen. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."
Anchor Anderson Cooper turned to Banfield and Salon.com's Joan Walsh immediately after playing his taped interview with Rosen during the 10 pm Eastern hour. Cooper first asked Walsh for her take on the controversy, and she promptly criticized the disgraced journalist: "I thought it was horrible, Anderson, and I assumed that he was making light of a sexual assault...So, I'm not going to call him a liar. Only he knows what he knew. But it was incredibly insensitive, and even...aside from the sexual assault aspect, to be mocking someone that you don't like who has been injured and mistreated, I would rather think that we don't have those responses...Maybe that's naive of me."
Good Morning America's Ashleigh Banfield on Sunday spun Bill Clinton's continuing attack on talk radio as a "war of words" between the ex-President and the "right-wing polemics [sic]." The former MSNBC host joined ABC in 2009 after a bitter departure from that cable network. [Audio available here.]
On Sunday, Banfield provided no ideological description for Clinton. Yet, regarding Rush Limbaugh and other conservative voices, she complained, "And [Clinton] has really entered- I like to call it cable chaos- the war of words over the right-wing polemics [sic], with regard to the language that's been used lately, especially leading up to this anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing."
But Matthews wasn't alone. A search of Nexis for "Bush regime" found other former and current MSNBCers using the term both before and after Bush's tenure in office in addition to liberal acolytes like Democratic strategist Steve McMahon, Senator Arlen Specter's challenger from the Left, Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.), and quadrennial Green Party standard-bearer Ralph Nader.
So I asked EyeBlast.tv video editor Bob Parks to compile a video montage showing just how fond the Left was of using the term "Bush regime" on MSNBC programming. You can check that out by clicking the play button on the embed at the right.