First, let’s get this straight: By very definition, Hillary Clinton actually did suffer a "traumatic brain injury" in 2012. She fell; she hit her head; she suffered a concussion; and she developed a blood clot which hospitalized her. A concussion is precisely a “traumatic brain injury,” according to official medical definition.
Thus, when Karl Rove indelicately -- and perhaps not wisely for political purposes -- raised a point the other day about Hillary Clinton’s health, based on the "traumatic brain injury" she suffered in 2012, he was technically on solid ground. What wasn’t so solid was the over-reaction by media outlets to Rove’s rather unchivalrous suggestion. To see the difference between the “pile on Rove” mentality and actual, balanced coverage, consider how CNN rushed to paint Rove as evil, compared to how Washington Post blogger Chris Cillizza put the issue in broader perspective.
CNN gave a prime exhibition of lazy journalism on Friday's The Situation Room when it touted Obama's "victory lap" because of "new ObamaCare enrollment numbers" without fact-checking to see if his optimism is warranted.
"President Obama is taking something of a victory lap I guess you could say," reported host Brianna Keilar. "At a meeting with House Democrats he praised his party for sticking it out on the debt ceiling fight and touted his administration's new ObamaCare enrollment numbers." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Thursday's New Day on CNN spotlighted President Obama's latest push for gun control, and lamented how "gun issues got just a mention in this year's State of the Union," compared to last year's post-Sandy Hook address. Anchor Kate Bolduan underlined how supposedly "gun control is expected to dog him [Obama] while he's on the road."
Correspondent Brianna Keilar later asserted that "in 2013, it was one of President Obama's – probably, one of his biggest disappointments – a failure to advance a gun bill. And that issue is front and center today, even as he's pushing his populist economic agenda." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Monday, CNN anchors opened fire on "narrow-minded" Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson for his "homophobic remarks," and questioned the Biblical condemnation of homosexual behavior.
"I totally disagree with the guy," said outraged fill-in CNN anchor Kyra Phillips. "I think he's so narrow-minded and he really needs to, like, get with the times." Fill-in host Brianna Keilar called Robertson's comments "homophobic" on The Situation Room. [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."
Even after the White House admitted that some Americans would lose their health insurance – breaking multiple promises by President Obama that people could keep their health plan under ObamaCare – CNN's White House correspondent Brianna Keilar served a generous portion of White House spin on Tuesday that health plans would improve under ObamaCare.
"The White House now admitting that some people will see their health plans change. That does go against what we heard President Obama promise," Keilar reported, quickly adding that "the White House is also saying it might not actually be – or it will not actually be a bad thing for many people."
On Wednesday's Starting Point, CNN's Brianna Keilar twice noted that accusations that the White House "downplayed the role of terrorism" in the Benghazi attacks went from being a "right-wing obsession" to "mainstream news."
"The White House has also been plagued recently by questions about whether it downplayed the role of terrorism in that September attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi," Keilar reported. "That had gone from sort of a right-wing obsession to mainstream news recently." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN harped on the controversy over Fox News head Roger Ailes calling President Obama "lazy" and Vice President Biden "dumb as an ashtray." The network covered it on five shows on Wednesday and Thursday, but three of the shows ignored that Ailes used Obama's own words.
In making the "lazy" remark, Ailes cited a 2011 interview with Barbara Walters where Obama said that "deep down, underneath all the work that I do, I think there's a laziness in me." Erin Burnett was the only CNN anchor to promptly give that context in her report; on Thursday's Starting Point, conservative panel member Will Cain first brought it up, and co-host John Berman affirmed it. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Not only did CNN relay Obama campaign video of the President crying after his re-election, but they hailed it as "amazing" and "remarkable." In contrast, when Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) choked up in front of cameras after GOP victories in 2010 enabled him to become the next Speaker of the House, CNN simply reported it as an "emotional speech."
"So, Soledad, a remarkable moment there. And we're just seeing this now, I should say, because this is video put out by the Obama campaign," reported CNN's Brianna Keilar. "Wow, 'No Drama Obama' gets a little dramatic and emotional," added anchor Soledad O'Brien. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
A major controversy erupted on the floor of the Democratic National Convention Wednesday surrounding God and Jerusalem inside the Party's platform.
Hours later, DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz gave CNN an absolutely ridiculous explanation for what transpired resulting in her being mocked for her "alternate reality" by numerous commentators including Anderson Cooper and John King (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
CNN’s Brianna Keilar cued up Sandra Fluke, Obama’s poster girl for “free” contraception and forcing religious institutions to violate their beliefs, to tar Mitt Romney and all Republicans with a derogatory comment made by Rush Limbaugh: “I’m wondering, do you think that Rush Limbaugh – now he called you, and these are his words, ‘a slut.’ Do you think that his views represent Mitt Romney and the Republican Party?”
Fluke took advantage of the opportunity to deride Romney: “I don’t need Mr. Romney to stand up for me. But I do need to have a President who can stand up to the extreme voices in his party and that’s clearly not Mr. Romney.”
Instead of fact-checking President Obama's dishonest attack on Paul Ryan for blocking a farm bill, CNN simply reported it three times on Tuesday morning. Correspondent Brianna Keilar actually repeated the false attack in her own words.
"[T]hey [the House] failed to pass a bill for drought relief, which as you know is huge right now because of all of the farmers, all of the cattle ranchers who are suffering through this terrible drought in the Midwest," Keilar said, ignoring that the House did pass a different drought relief bill and Ryan voted for it. [Video below the break.]
For the second straight day, CNN blew the whistle on a nasty and misleading Obama super PAC ad that ABC, CBS, and NBC entirely ignored as of Wednesday night. CNN hammered the ad, which links Mitt Romney to a woman's death from cancer, each hour from 6 p.m. through 10 p.m. and twice grilled the man responsible for the ad, Bill Burton of Priorities USA.
"I think it is deliberately mendacious," stated CNN's Piers Morgan on Wednesday. "It is a deliberate attempt to lie and smear about Mitt Romney. And I find it contemptible. I mean I'm really appalled." The three networks showed no such disdain for the ad which will air in battleground states, because they failed to even mention it on Tuesday and Wednesday. [Video coming soon.]
The Obama 2012 campaign didn't even have to pay CNN for helping get its re-election message out on Thursday's The Situation Room. CNN aired two uninterrupted minutes of a trailer for a 17-minute Obama campaign film to be released in the future.
And after the two-minute clip played, CNN saved the Republican criticism for last. Host Wolf Blitzer's first question after the video had to do with the trailer's opening line delivered by actor Tom Hanks. [Video below the break.]
In lieu of President Obama's Hawaiian vacation, CNN highlighted the plight of a Hawaiian same-sex couple that will legally celebrate a civil union come January 1st, but desires federal marriage benefits that do not apply to same-sex couples. In a one-sided and sympathetic report, White House correspondent Brianna Keilar painted the picture of a President who could make a gain at the voting booth if he legalizes same-sex marriage.
CNN analyst and National Journal's Ron Brownstein strongly hinted that Obama could be alienating some of his liberal base by sitting on the fence over the gay marriage issue. He made the case that Obama may be losing socially-conservative Democrats anyway, and could "mobilize" voters by supporting same-sex marriage. [Video below the break.]
Multiple times on Tuesday, CNN touted a musician who quietly played a song about Occupy Wall Street at an APEC dinner attended by President Obama and other world leaders.
Hawaiian musician Makana performed in the background during Saturday's APEC dinner and wore a t-shirt that read "Occupy With Aloha." He sang softly and repeated the song over and over that was a tribute to Occupy Wall Street protesters. "We'll occupy the streets, we'll occupy the courts," Makana sang in a brief clip provided by CNN. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
They may not be officially celebrating "Green Week," but CNN was fully in the spirit of the week Wednesday morning. Anchor Carol Costello expressed her dismay that Congress has not acted in the last year to prevent another disaster like the BP oil spill, and seemed to want more safety regulations and laws for oil companies to follow in a disaster.
"Congress doesn't seem to be in charge," Costello lamented, on the one-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon disaster that began the massive oil spill into the Gulf of Mexico.
When CNN correspondent Brianna Keilar reported that House committees have been moving legislation to speed up drilling permits and open up new offshore drilling areas, Costello was troubled.
On The Situation Room today, CNN congressional correspondent Brianna Keilar reported on "almost a love-fest" for Arkansas Democratic Congressman Mike Ross:
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, compared to some of the other town hall meetings that we've seen, some very contentious town hall meetings, this one was almost a love-fest.
It started with a standing ovation as soon as Congressman Mike Ross was introduced. He, of course, is a prominent Blue Dog Democrat, a fiscally conservative Democrat. He and some other Blue Dogs forced House Democratic leaders to postpone a vote on their health care reform proposal until after Congress comes back in September.
That said, he also support many of the things in this health care reform push. But talking with some of the constituents, those who are for this health care reform push, those who are against it, they say that they think Congressman Mike Ross is really doing right by them.
There's about 700 people at this event. We were able to speak with about a dozen of them going into the meeting.