CNN's senior legal analyst thinks there's too much "hysteria" over the IRS scandal and that it really may not have been that big of a story to begin with. He argued thus on the 11 a.m. ET hour of Thursday's Newsroom.
CNN's Jeffrey Toobin's spin went as follows: "the IRS is required by law to investigate these organizations," and "it's not clear that there were liberal organizations applying, certainly, in the numbers that the Tea Party were," and "A lot of these organizations that are complaining wound up getting approved for 501(c)(4) status. So what are their damages?" Ergo, "we need to know a lot more, but we need perhaps a little less hysteria, too." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN's Christiane Amanpour and Jeffrey Toobin continued to push for Guantanamo Bay to be closed on Thursday's 10 p.m. ET hour of Anderson Cooper 360. "It's just not American," Amanpour insisted.
Amanpour, CNN's chief international correspondent, knocked the "roughty-toughty Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld decided no Geneva Conventions" for the detainees. Toobin, CNN's senior legal analyst, challenged the law passed by Congress mandating that Guantanamo be kept open. "That doesn't mean it was right," he said of its bipartisan passage. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Friday's Anderson Cooper 360, hours after CNN finally covered the trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell for the first time in weeks, CNN's legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin scoffed at the notion of a liberal media bias responsible for the cover-up.
"Well, the people making those criticisms by and large are conservatives, who are saying the liberal media is trying to protect abortion rights by not showing this horror show. I don't buy that at all," Toobin asserted. [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 legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin appeared on the public-radio talk show Smiley & West over the weekend and gave his election pick: "You know, I don’t think this election is going to be all that close. I’m sorry, you know,, in my newsman hat, you know, we always want drama, we always want chaos and good stories. I think Obama is going to win this election narrowly, but comfortably. I don’t think we’re in for a long night."
When co-host Tavis Smiley asked about the talk of Superstorm Sandy being politicized, Toobin insisted "Absolutely, we should politicize them" to smack those people who think government is evil, and those global-warming skeptics should not be given equal time:
NPR’s Terry Gross brought on CNN judicial analyst Jeffrey Toobin on Monday to discuss his new book on the Supreme Court (called The Oath) for 44 minutes of her program Fresh Air. Toobin proclaimed that Barack Obama is the conservative when it comes to the Supreme Court, and John Roberts is the radical revolutionary. This is the same Toobin who complained overturning ObamaCare would be "judicial activism."
Toobin also claimed with a straight face (or at least an ungiggly voice) that Roberts voted to uphold ObamaCare to pave the way for more conservative decisions, to insulate the court from being found as political in the future -- as if liberals won't denounce every conservative decision as political. Toobin also continued his tradition of bashing Clarence Thomas as "way out there" on the right-wing fringes.
On Tuesday, New York’s Daily News carried the headline “Bill O’Reilly admits he ‘may be an idiot’ for wrongly predicting Supreme Court’s health care decision.” Meena Hart Duerson began with snark: “Bill O'Reilly and his critics may finally have something to agree on: the talk show host admitted Monday he ‘may be an idiot’ for wrongly predicting the Supreme Court’s decision on Obamacare.”
But O’Reilly’s guess on March 26 – 5 to 4 to overturn – was exactly where many pundits would have placed their bets. Has the Daily News ever noticed CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin predicting it might have gone eight to one in Obama’s favor on The Situation Room March 23, with even Scalia and Alito joining with Kennedy and Roberts in siding with Obama? No.
Is anyone surprised that the ink wasn’t dry on Chief Justice John Roberts’ incoherent switcheroo before Team Obama was again denying ObamaCare is a tax? Why did he do it?
There is no doubt that the Left waged a war on the court’s public image. Just as Obama lectured at the justices during his State of the Union address for the Citizens United decision, so Obama and his media minions prepared for this verdict with blatant mob pressure: Side with us, or your image is ruined.
NewsBusters' associate editor Noel Sheppard spent part of his Sunday discussing with CNN's Don Lemon the media's coverage of last week's ObamaCare ruling by the Supreme Court.
Although the encounter was quite friendly, the two clearly didn't see eye to eye on how the press has handled this controversial matter in recent months (video follows with CNN transcript and commentary):
The day before the Supreme Court's decision on ObamaCare, CNN is already giving credibility to the Democrats' spin if they lose the case – conservative judicial activism.
"[W]hen you combine the two biggest decisions of the Roberts court, Citizens United and health care – if they lose health care – that is a pretty clear Democratic, capital 'D,' indictment of the Supreme Court," insisted CNN's senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin on Wednesday's The Situation Room. [Video coming soon. Audio here.]
Dismissing Republican accusations against Eric Holder as "politics," CNN legal analyst Jeff Toobin claimed that allegations of corruption against the Attorney General have "not been proven at all, at least as far as I can tell."
Exasperated anchor Carol Costello teed him up by wondering why Republicans in Congress won't believe the Attorney General's admitted ignorance of tactics used in the infamous "Fast and Furious" operation. "Eric Holder has testified before the House Judiciary Committee nine times. Each time he has admitted 'Fast and Furious' was a dreadful mistake, and each time Holder says he was unaware of the tactics of the operation," she insisted. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
The fact that CNN's senior legal analyst squared off against a conservative legal scholar should be telling for the network's liberal bias. On Thursday night's Anderson Cooper 360, CNN's Jeffrey Toobin was confronted by Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice over his defense of President Obama's comments on a pending Supreme Court case.
"Jeff, do you know another President of the United States during a case that was argued and pending that made a statement about how the outcome of the case can be and talking about unelected judges?" Sekulow grilled Toobin. "And calling someone that would strike the law as unconstitutional 'judicial activist'?" [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN's senior legal analyst said on Thursday's Starting Point that "some of these Republican judges are just deranged by hatred of the President." Jeffrey Toobin was railing against the three-judge panel on the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court that had made the Justice Department write a three page memo about the Obama administration's take on judicial review.
Toobin called the act a "disgrace." However, though President Obama had said the Supreme Court overturning his health care law would be "unprecedented" and "judicial activism," Toobin defended his remarks as "entirely appropriate." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Did CNN's Jeffrey Toobin just hint at his liberal bias? Toobin told Politico "I'm not exactly famous for my hatred of the Obama administration," and added that "If you're [sic] read my books, you know – I don't have a primetime spot on Fox News."
CNN's senior legal analyst had made headlines for his dire analysis of ObamaCare's chances in the Supreme Court on Tuesday. He was explaining to Politico's Dylan Byers that his criticism of the Obama administration's defense of the bill was probably all the more noteworthy because he himself is not a big critic of Obama.
After another bad day at the Supreme Court for the Obama administration's health care law, journalists on MSNBC and CNN marveled at how the President's signature legislation seemed to be unraveling. Appearing on MSNBC, HD Net reporter Brooks Silva-Braga compared the Solicitor General (who defended the law in front of the court) to an embarrassed child.
Silva-Braga mocked, "If you've ever been to a fifth grade play and looked into the eyes of a kid who is not sure if he's going to remember his lines, that's what Donald Verrilli looked like yesterday." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] On CNN, Jeffrey Toobin, who on Tuesday reversed a previous prediction of an easy win for Obama, sneered that Obamacare had become a "plane wreck."
If the Supreme Court upheld ObamaCare, would it really be by an eight-to-one margin? CNN's senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said it's possible, expressing more confidence in that prediction than the common analysis that the Court is evenly split on the issue with Justice Anthony Kennedy as the tiebreaking vote.
Toobin's analysis echoes the overwhelmingly positive liberal meme that ObamaCare will be upheld by a wide margin. He had already knocked the opposition case as "really weak." [Video below the break.]
One week before the Supreme Court hears arguments on Obamacare, CNN's legal analyst has already come down against the conservative side as "really weak." Jeffrey Toobin gave the legal precedents for an individual health insurance mandate and insinuated that it was constitutional on Monday's Starting Point.
Toobin said, regarding those who believe Congress does not have the power to force people to buy health insurance, "basically that is a really weak argument, in that the United States Congress has been regulating health care for years, has been involved in this market for years, and this is a perfectly ordinary use of Congress's power." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
During CNN's Thursday evening coverage of Occupy Wall Street, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin dismissed worries that the protesters in New York City had disrupted the afternoon commutes of city workers– but his claim was flatly contradicted by CNN's own report from the previous hour.
Toobin, who was giving his legal analysis at the top of the 7 p.m. hour, said that the First Amendment protected protesters, they were on "good ground," and that "they're not disrupting people's trains home, or car rides home." [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
On Monday, PBS talk show host Charlie Rose decided to discuss the passage of a "gay marriage" law in New York with two New York Times reporters and a writer for The New Yorker -- not exactly a divided or diverse panel. CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin (also with The New Yorker) predicted to Rose that we're less then ten years out from the Supreme Court proclaiming "gay marriage" must be recognized in all 50 states:
The question I have is, when will the Supreme Court arrest the issue, because I don't think they are in any rush to do it. I think at the end of the day they will say that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right. You can`t have one kind of marriage for straight people and one kind of non-marriage for gay people. But I don't think they are in any rush to do that and I think it will maybe be five years or maybe be ten years, and at that point the whole country will have it.
Continuing his push to "modernize the Constitution for the 21st century" by talking about "a few revisions," CNN's Fareed Zakaria hosted legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin for a liberal gripe session on his Sunday show Fareed Zakaria GPS. Both criticized the current Electoral College and state representation in the Senate, and also slammed the "grammatical mess" that is the Second Amendment.
One of the "kinks" of the American Constitution, Zakaria complained, is that "the Second Amendment is a grammatical mess, whatever you may think of the right to bear arms." This is liberal code for the amendment needs to be "updated" to their standards.
UPDATE: Check out reaction from some of the chief Weiner-defenders below the break.
The so-called Weinergate scandal provided a true spectacle of media bias and conspiracy theorizing. While there was certainly plenty of good reporting throughout, many opted to take Rep. Anthony Weiner's claims at face value and search for other culprits or scapegoats.
Others devised more malicious theories about why a lewd picture had appeared on the congressman's Twitter feed. It was Andrew Breitbart's attempt to gin up another bogus story, or a coordinated effort by conservatives to provide cover for Clarence Thomas. These wild theories actually gained quite a bit of traction among liberals online, and even a few mainstream personalities.
We know now, by Weiner's own admission, that they were all nonsense. So with the facts readily available, it's worth reviewing some of the dominant narratives that pervaded media coverage of the scandal.
Media members better get their facts straight when reporting about Donald Trump or they just might end up biting off more than they can chew.
On Friday, while CNN's Eliot Spitzer was doing a report contradicting Trump's claims about his net worth, the real estate mogul called into the studio to set the record straight (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN's Jeffrey Toobin falsely claimed on Tuesday's Parker-Spitzer that Barack Obama is "against gun control." Toobin also seemed to lament that the conservative position on the Second Amendment has become the "conventional wisdom" in politics: "This is how much gun control has fallen off the map politically- that the idea that more guns will mean more protection is widely believed" [audio available here].
The senior legal analyst for the liberal network appeared during a segment at the bottom of the 8 pm Eastern hour to "break down some of the legal issues" related to the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Host Kathleen Parker first asked Toobin about the interview of gun rights advocate Alan Korwin in the previous segment: "You just heard us interview this pro-gun fellow out in Arizona. Are we all going to be safer if we're all packing heat?"
The liberal talking head launched into his take on gun politics:
CNN devoted several segments on Tuesday and Wednesday to Delaware Republican Christine O'Donnell's apparent gaffe on the First Amendment, but barely acknowledged her opponent Chris Coons's own gaffe on the amendment. Analyst Jeff Toobin spun O'Donnell's remark as demonstrating that "she didn't seem to know" the amendment. It took conservative Dana Loesch on AC360 to bring up Coons's own gaffe.
Appearing as a guest on Monday’s Charlie Rose show on PBS, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin seemed to misunderstand conservative complaints about judicial activism as he seemed to suggest that any court rulings that strike down legislative action could be considered part of judicial activism. The CNN analyst charged that the Supreme Court of the United States has recently engaged in "conservative judicial activism" in its enforcement of the First and Second Amendments.
Missing the point that "judicial activism" often involves a distortion of the Constitution's words to find legal precedent that does not exist, Toobin characterized recent decisions by a "very aggressive conservative wing" of the court as activism: "But what we have seen in recent years is conservative judicial activism, telling Congress you can't ban, you can't regulate campaign finance the way you thought, you can't – state legislatures, city councils – you can't impose gun control. So you have a very aggressive conservative wing of the party telling the democratically elected branches what to do."
Minutes earlier, he had described Chief Justice John Roberts as "very, very conservative."
In light of the recent suicides reportedly brought about by persistent bullying, CNN has taken upon itself to address not only a national bullying crisis, but any homophobia or anti-gay behavior seen as contributing to such bullying. The network apparently believes that socially conservative groups contribute to the problem of putting kids down who have homosexual tendencies.
On Monday's "Anderson Cooper 360," CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and author Rosalind Wiseman agreed that conservative groups who oppose protective measures for gay students simply treat them as outcasts. Wiseman, author of "Queen Bees and Wannabees," called their efforts "anti-child."
"These groups don't think homosexuality is normal," Toobin remarked of conservative groups. "They think it's wrong. They think it is a menace to society. So they are the ones who are making it harder for kids, who feel isolated enough as it is, to come forward."
On Monday's Situation Room, CNN's Jeffrey Toobin used dire language to describe a federal judge's decision which struck down federal funding for embryonic stem cell research: "The bottom line is this is a major setback for stem cell research and for the Obama administration....it will certainly cut way back on federal funding." Anchor Suzanne Malveaux labeled it a "potential wedge issue."
Malveaux led the 5 pm Eastern hour with the "breaking news" about Judge Royce Lamberth's decision, who issued a preliminary injunction against federal funding for the life-destroying research. The anchor brought in Toobin and asked, "What does this mean today?" Toobin immediately gave his "major setback" assessment and described the grounds on which Judge Lamberth gave in his 15-page opinion.
The CNN senior legal analyst, like many in the media, omitted that embryonic stem cell research isn't the only field when it comes to stem cell research. The federal government has actually spent much more on adult stem cell research. According to a July 18, 2008 report by PBS, the NIH "spent $200 million funding non-embryonic stem cell research, and only $38 million on embryonic stem cells." Less than a month ago, on August 2, the Associated Press actually highlighted the successes of adult stem cell research.
On Wednesday night's "Anderson Cooper 360," CNN analyst Jeffrey Toobin claimed that the federal judge in the Arizona immigration case doesn't possess "a strong political profile one way or another," which is a sign the decision is well-supported by the law.
Cooper asked Toobin if Judge Bolton, who decided the case, was a liberal, noting that she was appointed to the post by President Clinton."She's a Clinton appointee, but she was recommended by Jon Kyl," Toobin responded, "who is a very conservative senator from Arizona."
"She's clearly not a strong partisan, but we are a long way from the last word on the constitutionality of this law," Toobin added. "This is a hard case. You are going to see other judges come out other ways on this."
Toobin's points were also echoed by liberal blogs such as Media Matters and ThinkProgress, a liberal blog.
The latest installment of The Daily Caller's exploration of the liberal JournoList isn't an article, but a list of euphoric reactions to the election of Obama. Jonathan Strong does quote here from some establishment media. When one writer (Laura Rozen of Politico) starts listing Bushies who will no longer have to be listened to, Time's Joe Klein nominated "Pete Wehner," one of those dreaded neoconservatives. CNN's Jeffrey Toobin wondered "As a side note, does anyone know what prompted Michael Barone to go insane?"
Washington Post reporter Alec McGillis enthusiastically shared, "If you need further proof that VA is looking to go blue, check out what’s going on in VA-5 in deepest Southside Virginia, where Tom Perriello, my college roommate and a very good guy, is now up .06 percentage points — 2,000 votes — against Virgil Goode with 88 percent reporting." (Rep. Perriello is down 58-35 in this year's campaign.)
Spencer Ackerman (now with Wired magazine) is again talking about putting conservatives through a plate-glass window (as in the Caller's first piece), in this case terrorism expert Michael Ledeen: "Let’s just throw Ledeen against a wall. Or, pace Dr. Alterman, throw him through a plate glass window. I’ll bet a little spot of violence would shut him right the f--- up, as with most bullies."
But most of the journalists were much more gleeful: