Last week, I noted how stunned and frustrated CNN reporter Drew Griffin was with President Barack Obama's Wednesday Veterans Administration scandal press conference. Reacting to Obama's pledge to have VA Secretary Secretary Eric Shinseki investigate the problem and to bring in another person "to conduct a broader review" of the VA, Griffin contended that "this problem is real; it exists; it really doesn't have to be studied."
I have since learned that there is an especially strong reason for Griffin's exasperation. The CNN reporter was on the VA's case long before his work in Phoenix, doing work which the rest of the press ignored.
In discussing President Obama's Wednesday press conference on the Veterans Administration wait-list scandal, CNN's Drew Griffin, identified by the network's Jake Tapper as "the reporter who began this whole story with his investigation into the Phoenix VA," appeared to barely contain himself as he described the "disconnect between what's happening out here in the country and what the president is talking about."
Specifically, Griffin asserted that "this problem is real; it exists; it really doesn't have to be studied," and that "the vets I've been talking to wanted much more direct action." Griffin clearly expected a far more substantive and immediate response from Obama yesterday, and was disappointed that it didn't come. The video segment (via the Washington Free Beacon), a transcript, and Rush Limbaugh's insightful reaction follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
In another example of censoring a Barack Obama scandal, NBC has ignored the brewing controversy impacting American veterans and a shocking lack of access to hospital care. Though the news of up to 40 patients dying in Arizona has been going on for months, ABC finally covered the story on Tuesday's Good Morning America, offering a scant 29 seconds. Reporter Amy Robach informed that the President is "standing by his Secretary of Veterans Affairs," despite a call by the American Legion on Monday for his ouster. CBS This Morning gave it 18 seconds.
Robach explained that the nation's largest veterans group has accused "Secretary Eric Shinseki and his top aides of, quote, 'poor oversight and failed leadership,' after reports that as many as 40 patients in Phoenix may have died because of delays in care and allegations that hospitals have tried to cover up other delays." Despite the controversy, this was the first time Shinseki's name has been uttered on ABC since his nomination on December 6, 2008. Fox News and CNN have both covered the scandal, but NBC has avoided it. [See video of CNN's coverage below. MP3 audio here.]
Tuesday evening (noted by Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters early Wednesday morning), CNN's Drew Griffin reported on Anderson Cooper's show that there is a "behind the scenes attempt by the White House to at least keep insurers from publicly criticizing what is happening under this Affordable Care Act rollout."
Such a report occurring during a Republican or conservative administration would spread like wildfire. Sadly and predictably, that hasn't happened with CNN's bombshell. Using search strings which should have surfaced relevant results if present, I couldn't find anything on the topic at the Associated Press, New York Times, the Politco, or Washington Post.
It's becoming clearer and clearer that some media members are very interested in stories about the disaster that is the so-called "Affordable Care Act."
On CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 Tuesday, investigative reporter Drew Griffin exposed allegations that the White House is pressuring insurance companies to not publicly criticize ObamaCare (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Lost in the midst of CNN's debt ceiling coverage was its own list of ObamaCare's shortcomings. Investigative correspondent Drew Griffin authored a report on "ObamaCare woes" that aired only three times on Monday and Tuesday.
Griffin reported trouble with ObamaCare's website, cited a March GAO report on missed deadlines for the system's construction, and quoted a consultant who said that insurance executives had waved red flags that the "whole system is not ready for primetime." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
For the second time in roughly two weeks a CNN employee has said "f--king n--ger" on the air.
The most recent vulgarity came from CNN national correspondent Susan Candiotti Sunday during a report on the shooting spree in Tulsa, Oklahoma (video follows with transcript and commentary, serious vulgarity warning):
On Friday's American Morning, CNN's Carol Costello followed up on her biased report from the previous day, which promoted Catholic women posing as priests, with a second report on dissenting Catholics, focusing on heterodox nuns inside the U.S. Costello promoted the claim of the nuns, who accuse the Vatican of conducting an "inquisition," or wanting to "silence nuns when they disagree with the Pope."
Substitute anchor Drew Griffin gave a brief on Pope Benedict XVI's second day in the U.K. 25 minutes into the 6 am Eastern hour, just before his colleague Kiran Chetry introduced the correspondent's report. Chetry proclaimed how the Vatican is apparently "squarely at odds with American nuns," and that many of these nuns "feel they're under siege from the Church, which is questioning the quality of their religious life." Costello picked up where the anchor left off: "[T]he Vatican is now conducting two sweeping investigations of American nuns...the Vatican hopes to have a better understanding of how nuns live their lives in the United States. Nuns don't see it that way, though. Many think these investigations are nothing short of interrogations, designed to take away all they've gained."
Costello led her report by featuring Sister Maureen Fiedler, a liberal public radio host who attended the "ordination" of seven women on the Danube River in 2002. Fiedler stated during her first sound bite, "Some of my friends asked me why the Vatican officials suffer from a deep seed hatred of women." The correspondent continued by describing how "the Vatican ordered two sweeping investigations into the religious views and lifestyles of American nuns- investigations that have alarmed many sisters like Marlene Weisenbeck, whose organization represents thousands of American nuns across the country." Sister Weisenbeck was president of the Leadership Council of Women Religious until August 2010. She led the organization when it endorsed ObamaCare, contrary to the stance of the U.S. bishops' conference. Costello played two sound bites from the nun during her report.
Predictably, Thursday's American Morning on CNN marked the Pope Benedict XVI's first day in the UK with a report on dissenting Catholic women who claimed they are ordained priests, contrary to the teachings of the Church. Correspondent Carol Costello took a misinterpretation of a recent Church document on ordination as fact, and ran only one sound bite from a Vatican official.
Substitute anchor Drew Griffin introduced Costello's report 24 minutes into the 6 am Eastern hour with the misinterpretation of the Catholic document, forwarded by the mainstream media outlets such as Time magazine, that it condemns the simulated ordination of women as "a crime similar to pedophilia." However, a July 16 Reuters story quoted Monsignor Charles Scicluna's clarification: "Scicluna, an official in the Vatican's doctrinal department, said there was no attempt to make women's ordination and pedophilia comparable crimes under canon...law....While sexual abuse was a 'crime against morality,' the attempt to ordain a woman was a 'crime against a sacrament.'"
The CNN correspondent began by highlighting the apparent negative response the Pope is receiving in the UK due to his visit: "You heard Kiran mention that Pope Benedict is now in Britain. He's there to appeal to the millions of Catholics in that country. But his visit is not without controversy. Many tickets remain unsold, which suggest many of Britain's Catholics are indifferent to his presence." She continued by introducing the subject of her report: "You could argue many American Catholics feel the same way, because of the way the Vatican handled the sex abuse scandal. Some say it's time for a change in leadership- a big change, that includes women."
On Wednesday's American Morning, CNN's Ed Henry lauded former President Clinton as "one of the best politicians the Democrats have ever had...in the last quarter century" and touted his apparent credibility over current President Barack Obama. Henry also speculated that if "Al Gore...had used President Clinton more in 2000, he may have been president."
Substitute anchor Drew Griffin brought on the White House correspondent 26 minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour to discuss the Obama White House's intention to "aggressively use the former president on the campaign trail over the next few months. One party official familiar with the plan calls it a- quote, 'no-brainer.'" During the second half of the segment, Griffin asked, "How can Bill Clinton do it all? I mean, he was picked by President Obama, basically, to rebuild Haiti. Now, they seem to be yanking him off of that and heading him out to the campaign trail, just to save the Democrats in the House in November."
On Wednesday's Rick's List, CNN's Drew Griffin pressed former Clinton administration official Robert Reich on his call for a federal takeover of BP and its efforts against the Gulf oil leak. Griffin first questioned Reich if his proposal was serious, and later stated that the Democrat's idea "sounds not only highly illegal...but seems to me to smack of something that we might see in Venezuela" [audio clips available here].
The CNN personality, who was filling in for anchor Rick Sanchez, brought on the current University of California, Berkeley professor to discuss his proposal, which he first made in a May 31 column (as noted by Jeff Poor at MRC's Business and Media Institute). After summarizing Reich's position, that it was "time for the government to seize control of BP and take over the company's oil spill recovery efforts in the Gulf," Griffin bluntly asked the former labor secretary, "I've got to tell you, I have always considered you a very serious person, but this doesn't sound serious to me at all. Are you serious about this, or was this some kind of a joke to get things going?"
As congressional Democrats press on with their attempts to get financial legislation reform passed, a key component has been lacking from the debate: how to handle the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae (NYSE:FNM) and Freddie Mac (NYSE:FRE).
CNN’s Drew Griffin accused GOP Rep. Virginia Foxx on Wednesday’s Newsroom program of using a “a calculated distortion” that is “gaining credence in certain back alleys of the blogosphere” about the Democrats’ health care “reform” plan, specifically about the issue of end-of-life care for seniors. But all he did to try to disprove it was provide a link to the specific part of the legislation in question.
Griffin began to cast doubt on the Republican’s statement from the very beginning of the 3 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program. After playing a clip of Rep. Foxx, where she touted her party’s alternative proposal wouldn’t “put seniors in a position of being put to death by their government,” the CNN correspondent, filling in for anchor Rick Sanchez, promoted his upcoming segment on the remark, and first hinted that it was a false accusation on the part of the representative: “Um, are people really concerned that a new health care bill will let old people die? We’ll drill down on the facts, the fiction and possible misrepresentations swirling around the debate.”
Three CNN personalities and one regular commentator on Monday’s No Bias, No Bull program all tried to get Republicans Bay Buchanan and Kevin Madden to disown former Vice President Dick Cheney, and agree with some unnamed Republicans who call for him to “just shut up.” Host Roland Martin characterized Cheney’s multiple media appearances recently as “turning into a big problem for the family of Republicans” and that “some Republicans wish the former V.P. would just shut up.”
Correspondent Jessica Yellin and Drew Griffin saw no good in the politician’s media tour, with Yellin labeling Cheney “one of the least popular figures in the Republican Party, aside from Rush Limbaugh.” She asked Buchanan, “Why is it good for him to speak out as such an unpopular guy?” TruTV’s Lisa Bloom agreed with the unnamed Republicans: “I think a lot of Republicans probably wish Cheney was secured in an undisclosed location right about now.”
Bozell acknowledges network taking responsibility for misleading viewers to believe conservatives at odds with Gov. Palin
Spreading the Word
As we reported on Tuesday, CNN's Drew Griffin completely mischaracterized the nature of a "quote" from National Review's Byron York during his interview with Alaskan Republican Governor and Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin.
CNN has responded to the Media Research Center's call for CNN to retract the accusation that wrongly accused National Review's Byron York of calling Gov. Sarah Palin "incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt or all of the above," and have taken full responsibility for the mischaracterization.
Yesterday, the cable network addressed the mistake on both Newsroom and The Situation Room, explaining the circumstances of the badly-worded representation of the statement and clarifying reporter Drew Griffin's intention, which was not to deceive his audience that a well-respected conservative publication was putting itself at odds with Gov. Palin.
CNN investigative correspondent Drew Griffin appeared on Thursday’s Newsroom and Situation Room programs to explain how "in no way did I intend to misquote" from a recent article by National Review’s Byron York: "This exchange aired just once in the 6 pm hour, and as soon as the National Review brought it to our attention at 7:05, we immediately realized the context could be misconstrued. We cut that portion of the interview. It never aired again." Griffin also mentioned how he had "since called Byron York and his editor Rich Lowry, explained what happened, and told them both that I regret any harm this may have brought."
In an interview excerpt aired on Tuesday's Situation Room (NB post with video), Griffin had told Sarah Palin: “The National Review had a story saying that, you know, 'I can't tell if Sarah Palin is incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt, or all of the above.'” In fact, York was mocking media coverage of Palin: “Watching press coverage of the Republican candidate for Vice President, it's sometimes hard to decide whether Sarah Palin is incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt, backward or -- well, all of the above."
Griffin first appeared seven minutes into the 2 pm Eastern hour of Newsroom. Anchor Kyra Phillips asked the correspondent about the criticism he had received over the misquotation. He played a clip of the question, and explained the impression he had of the interview overall. He then played the initial exchange he had with Governor Palin over the "botched" quote, and most of her answer.
As NewsBusters reported, CNN, in a recent interview with Sarah Palin, misquoted "The National Review’s" Byron York. In response, York appeared on the October 22 edition of "The O’Reilly Factor." Host Bill O’Reilly began the interview in charging CNN told him (or his staff) that they will not issue a correction to their misleading question. In addressing Governor Palin's question over which "National Review" correspondent wrote such a scathing attack on her, Mr. York replied "the answer is nobody wrote that."
"The National Review" correspondent also added that "perhaps this CNN thing was a mistake, but it fits in a much larger pattern of that behavior," alluding to the media’s overwhelmingly pro-Obama bias. York exemplified such a corrupt pattern in quoting "The New York Times" editor Bill Keller claiming he puts the most anti-McCain article on the front page whenever the senator complains about bias. Bill O’Reilly concluded the segment opining "I think ideology has now over ridden any kind of journalistic ethics at all."
Spreading the WordOn yesterday's Situation Room, CNN's Drew Griffin completely mischaracterized the nature of a "quote" from National Review's Byron York during his interview with Alaskan Republican Governor and Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin.
Griffin said to Gov. Palin: "Governor, you've been mocked in the press, the press has been pretty hard on you, the Democrats have been pretty hard on you, but also some conservatives have been pretty hard on you as well. The National Review had a story saying that, you know, ‘I can't tell if Sarah Palin is incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt or all of the above.'"
This is a complete distortion, a falsehood. The full quote from the National Review's Byron York shows he was in fact dressing down the media, NOT Gov. Palin. "Watching press coverage of the Republican candidate for vice president, it's sometimes hard to decide whether Sarah Palin is incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt, backward, or - or, well, all of the above."
MRC President and Newsbusters.org Publisher L. Brent Bozell, III issued the following statement in response:
During an interview with Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin on Tuesday’s Situation Room, CNN’s Drew Griffin ripped a phrase out of a recent article by National Review’s Byron York which criticized the media’s coverage of Palin and characterized it as an attack on the Alaska governor. Griffin pointed out how "[t]he press has been pretty hard on you. The Democrats have been pretty hard on you, but also some conservatives have been pretty hard on you as well. The National Review had a story saying that, you know, ‘I can't tell if Sarah Palin is incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt, or all of the above.’" In the original article, which was originally only in the print version of National Review, York used the "incompetent" phrase to attack the media: "Watching press coverage of the Republican candidate for vice president, it's sometimes hard to decide whether Sarah Palin is incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt, backward or - well, all of the above."
During a report on Monday’s Anderson Cooper 360 program, CNN investigative correspondent Drew Griffin presented many of the missing details about the relationship between Barack Obama and left-wing terrorist William Ayers that two earlier "Truth Squad" reports on the network on Sunday and Monday omitted. Griffin stated that despite the spin of the Obama campaign and their mainstream media supporters, "...the relationship between Obama and Ayers went much deeper, ran much longer, and was much more political than Obama said."
Host Anderson Cooper introduced Griffin’s report, which began 19 minutes into the 10 pm Eastern hour, as one of the CNN program’s "Keeping Them Honest" features. Oddly, a on-screen graphic that read "The Dow Plunges," which had nothing to do with the subject of the segment, ran during its entirety. The correspondent began by repeating Ayers and his wife Bernadine Dohrn’s background in the Weather Underground, "an anti-Vietnam War group that bombed federal buildings, including the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon." He then gave Obama’s early characterization of his relationship with the 1960's radical, that the Democrat "confirmed... that he knew Ayers, and, when pressed, said they served on a charitable foundation board together, and Obama condemned Ayers' support of violence."
In a refreshingly new look at the “Bridge to Nowhere” on CNN.com, reporters Drew Griffin and Kathleen Johnston of the CNN Special Investigations Unit reported that Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Joe Biden both “voted to keep the project alive twice.”
When deciding between funding for the Bridge to Nowhere and repairing a bridge in Louisana post-Katrina, the two liberal senators chose the Alaskan bridge.
Both Biden and Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama voted to kill a Senate amendment that would have diverted federal funding for the bridge to repair a Louisiana span badly damaged by Hurricane Katrina, Senate records show.