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.]
Giving advice is easy; accepting it, not so much. One day after Chris Christie downed a doughnut and joked that he's “the healthiest fat guy you've ever seen in your life” on Monday night's edition of “The Late Show With David Letterman,” a medical expert on presidential health said the New Jersey governor's weight is no laughing matter.
"I'm worried he may have a heart attack. I'm worried he may have a stroke," former White House physician Connie Mariano said in an interview with Jim Acosta, CNN's national political correspondent regarding the GOP "heavyweight."
A July campaign story by CNN's Jim Acosta was so biased that the Obama campaign trumpeted the headline in its new attack ad. That came after MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell cried foul over the campaign using footage of her in its ads, perhaps telling evidence of the role the liberal media is playing in this campaign by providing fodder for Obama.
Back in July, Acosta hyped that Mitt Romney's overseas trip to Europe began in "shambles" even though CNN hosts Piers Morgan and Fareed Zakaria threw water on that sentiment. Team Obama now has featured Acosta's story to cast aspersions on Romney's foreign policy credentials. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN's Jim Acosta on Tuesday's Situation Room asked what many will think was a truly offensive question.
"If you were to somehow beat the first African-American president, what would you say to the black community to assure them that you would be their president also?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN's Jim Acosta tried to add some context to President Obama's infamous "you didn't build that" comment, during Tuesday's GOP convention coverage.
"But wasn't he talking about you need roads, you need bridges, get the supplies to your business," Acosta pressed Newt Gingrich, who scoffed at the Obama campaign's explanation as "total baloney." [Video below the break.]
Instead of informing the public about Mitt Romney's energy plan unveiled on Thursday, CNN harped on a "distraction" in the form of Bain Capital documents released by the website Gawker.
Even an article on CNNMoney.com called the Bain files "worthless," and CNN reporters questioned the significance of the document dump, but correspondent Jim Acosta talked about it anyway on Thursday's The Situation Room, as a "headache" for Romney.
President Obama's deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter made an astonishing statement on CNN's State of the Union Sunday.
According to her, the current White House resident giving interviews to Entertainment Tonight and People magazine are "equally important" to doing an actual press conference with the national news media (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
CNN excused reporters for shouting questions that could have passed for heckling outside a sacred site in Poland, but ripped a Mitt Romney aide for responding by cursing at them. On Thursday morning, CNN's Jim Acosta dismissed any controversy over the loaded questions in a completely self-righteous narrative.
Acosta excused reporters, "it's really no surprise really, that the press tried their best to get a question to him today," despite the shouted questions coming outside Poland's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. "I think it should also be noted that this press aide, and what he said to us, was really inexcusable." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN's Wolf Blizer took a key Obama supporter to task on Wednesday over Vice President Biden's use of an anonymous quote to slam Mitt Romney. The Romney campaign had denied saying the racially-charged remark.
"[W]hy would a sitting vice president issue this condemnation of Mitt Romney and his campaign based on a British newspaper with some anonymous quote?" Blitzer asked on Wednesday's The Situation Room.
Other CNN reporters did not share Blitzer's skepticism, though, as five stories on the matter aired on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning with none of them challenging the appropriateness of Biden's remark. The story aired even though correspondent Jim Acosta admitted that the source for the alleged Romney adviser quote could not be independently confirmed. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN's Jim Acosta bragged that his network does not call the Affordable Care Act "ObamaCare," a term he said Republicans prefer. However, CNN has repeatedly referred to the law as "ObamaCare" in its reporting.
"He [Romney] used the term 'ObamaCare,' which by the way, that's fine in Republican circles, but there are a lot of Democrats who sort of bristle at using the term 'ObamaCare'," Acosta explained on Wednesday after Mitt Romney used the term when addressing the Democratic-friendly NAACP. "We at CNN use the term 'the President's health care law,' at least in our news reporting," Acosta boasted. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
After Mitt Romney addressed the NAACP on Wednesday, CNN's Jim Acosta focused on the boos he received from the audience without mentioning the crowd's standing ovation and their applause scattered through the speech. Acosta simply reported a "very negative" reaction from the audience.
"[N]o question about it, this was a very negative reaction to what Mitt Romney had to say here earlier this morning," he rounded out his post-speech report. However, NBC's Garrett Haake tweeted that Romney got a standing ovation as he finished his speech, and National Review's Jim Geraghty noted the cordial reception by the NAACP. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
With campaign 2012 in full swing, CNN deemed it appropriate to talk about elevators in the Massachusetts Statehouse on Wednesday's The Situation Room.
To catch a glimpse of what current state legislators thought of then-Governor Mitt Romney, CNN correspondent Jim Acosta talked to only one Republican and three Democrats. Out of all the complaints they could have aired, the Democrats whined about Romney and his staff reserving one of the elevators entirely to themselves. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
When a lone attendee at a Mitt Romney rally said President Obama should be tried for treason, Romney ignored and later disagreed with the statement. CNN correspondent Jim Acosta played up the incident big time on Tuesday's The Situation Room, using it as an example of the Romney campaign being "straight off script."
Of course, CNN is helping the Romney campaign to be "off script" by hammering them for a non-story. "I don't correct all the questions that get asked at me," Romney explained to a reporter after the event, and added that he "obviously" didn't agree with the woman. However, this prompt correction was not enough for Acosta, who insisted the campaign had veered off course. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
A liberal protest that CNN.com said contained "about 10 people" still merited inclusion in CNN correspondent Jim Acosta's report on Wednesday's The Situation Room. Of course, Acosta made no mention of the smallness or brevity of the protest -- the chant of "No Swiss Mitt" lasted under five minutes.
Acosta did tout that Democrats were "hounding" Romney to keep him "back on his heels." As an example of their strategy, he mentioned the protesters with a clip of them chanting "No Swiss Mitt." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Wednesday's The Situation Room, CNN used a slanted PolitiFact report to dismiss Mitt Romney's claim that "women account for 92.3 percent of the jobs lost under President Obama." CNN correspondent Jim Acosta aired a clip of Romney making the claim before adding that "the watchdog website PolitiFact rates that claim as 'Mostly False'."
PolitiFact even admitted that the campaign's numbers were "accurate," but added that "their reading of them isn't." According to numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the Romney campaign's claim is indeed factually correct.
CNN's Jim Acosta asked Rick Perry Wednesday if he was "a tad overconfident" for stumping in a battleground state like Virginia so early in the campaign season. Perry, a leading Republican presidential candidate, delivered a speech at Liberty University earlier in the day.
"It seems as if you're already looking past the primaries and into the general election," CNN's political correspondent posed to the candidate. "Aren't you being a tad overconfident?" he obnoxiously added.
The day after the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, CNN asked if Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry was being a "bomb thrower" for vilifying Social Security as a Ponzi scheme.
After playing a clip of Perry calling the program a "monstrous lie" and a "Ponzi scheme," CNN's Kyra Phillips teed up Democratic strategist Maria Cardona with this question: "Bomb thrower or truth teller, Maria?" Cardona predictably replied that Perry was a "bomb thrower."
Apparently, a pledge to reduce the deficit and cap spending long-term and vote for a strict balanced budget amendment is an extreme measure. CNN correspondent Jim Acosta, reporting on the conservative "Cut, Cap, Balance Pledge," quipped that "it's not exactly cut, cap, and balance. It may be more body-slam and pile-driver."
The pledge, sponsored by numerous grassroots conservative groups, entails signers promising to oppose an increase on the debt limits unless three conditions are met. The conditions are that the spending cuts must reduce the deficit "next year and thereafter," caps on spending must be instituted to bring about a balanced budget, and Congress must pass a balanced budget amendment.
On Thursday morning, CNN largely dismissed the controversy over the White House invite of rapper Common, using talking points from the White House and Comedy Central's Daily Show to marginalize conservative critics.
Anchor Carol Costello deflected attention away from the rapper's violent lyrics by quoting a rap of his that has a pro-life message. She quoted none of his violent lyrics, however. Common has composed work in the past praising cop-killer Assata Shakur in "A Song for Assata," and has also ranted "burn a Bush" in rapping about the former president.
Conservatives were outraged over the artist's invite to the White House for an evening of poetry and song. The White House did condemn his violent lyrics "that has been written about" press secretary Jay Carney clarified, but did not renege on Common's invitation.
Sarah Palin on Thursday cut off an unauthorized interview with CNN.
As his crew was taking footage of the former Alaska governor signing books at an Iowa Walmart, Jim Acosta tried to take advantage of the situation by asking her a few questions (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN's Carol Costello and Jim Acosta revealed their disdain for a federal judge's decision to overturn the Obama administration's 6-month moratorium on offshore drilling when the expert they interviewed on the June 25 "American Morning" made a convincing case against the moratorium.
Tom Bower, an author who has written extensively on the oil industry, tried to explain the devastating economic impact the moratorium would inflict on an already beleaguered industry, but Costello and Acosta were blinded by ideology: "But isn't safety more important than money?" queried Costello. "Because, I mean, these oil companies make massive amounts of money each day."
Bower, author of "Oil, Money, Politics and Power in the 21st Century," drew the ire of Costello and Acosta for calling the Gulf oil spill an "aberration" and noting the oil industry's "phenomenal" overall safety record.
"But that's what they say, it is just an aberration, but the BP disaster happened," argued Costello. "Nobody thought that could happen either. So, it's just not logical, is it, that argument?"
John Christoffersen's article for the Associated Press on Tuesday night highlighted the life woes of Faisal Shahzad, the suspect in the failed Times Square bombing plot, citing how "his life seemed to unravel." Christoffersen also noted Shazad's "outspokenness about [former] President George W. Bush and the Iraq war."
The AP writer's article, titled "Times Square bombing suspect's life had unraveled," first detailed the suspect's past "enviable life:" how he had become a U.S. citizen, his wealthy Pakistani family, his MBA, his "well-educated wife and two kids" and the house he owned "in a middle-class Connecticut suburb." Christoffersen then continued with the recent difficulties he faced : "In the past couple of years, though, his life seemed to unravel: He left a job at a global marketing firm he'd held for three years, lost his home to foreclosure and moved into an apartment in an impoverished neighborhood in Bridgeport. And last weekend, authorities say, he drove an SUV loaded with explosives into Times Square intent on blowing it up."
On Tuesday's American Morning, CNN's Jim Acosta sympathized with the suspect in the failed Times Square terror plot, Faisal Shahzad, citing how a guest claimed that his family's house in Connecticut went into foreclosure in 2009: "One would have to imagine that that brought a lot of pressure and a lot of heartache on that family" [see video here].
Acosta remarked on Shahzad's familial difficulty at the end of an interview of Brenda Thurman, one of the suspect's former neighbors, which began 47 minutes into the 8 am Eastern hour. During the interview, the CNN personality, who was filling in for anchor John Roberts, asked Thurman about her foreclosure claim: "What sense did you get from the family? I mean, you just said a few minutes ago, I think- that it's pretty significant that this house that he apparently owned was foreclosed on in Shelton, Connecticut....Did you get a sense from the family as to- I mean, that must have been extremely difficult on them."
In the mind’s eye of the conservative movement, the Tea Party phenomenon right now is maybe the crucial factor in slowing socialism in Washington, on everything from the federal health care takeover to the hidden taxes of cap-and-trade legislation.
It’s also a fascinating visual. When was the last time you saw such a spontaneous eruption of conservative grass-roots anger, coast to coast? On both counts the Tea Party movement should be cause for massive television coverage. Except for one thing. It’s a conservative uprising, so it gets different treatment.
It’s ignored as long as possible, and when it’s no longer possible to be ignored, it’s savaged.
CNN's Jim Acosta omitted the left-wing affiliation of pro-ObamaCare protesters during a report on Wednesday's American Morning, referring to them as only "health care advocates and labor groups." Acosta, like his colleague Nancy Cordes at CBS, also highlighted child protester Marcelas Owens, and labeled him a "brave young man."
Kiran Chetry and John Roberts introduced Acosta's report, and the anchors also failed to mention the political bent of the protest, which was organized by the Health Care for America Now coalition (HCAN's members include the AFL-CIO, NAACP, and Planned Parenthood). Chetry remarked that "thousands though rallied in Washington against what they call 'insurance industry bullying.'" Roberts stated that the demonstration was "one for the books."
In an event most likely coordinated with help from the White House, more than 1,000 protesters supporting Obama's radical health care agenda demonstrated in D.C. on March 9, going so far as to attempt a citizen-arrests of health insurance executives holding a conference at a hotel in Dupont Circle.
Covering the story on "Rick's List," CNN's Rick "Down the Middle" Sanchez assured viewers he would "continue to follow this ... and in many ways treat this the same way we treated some of the tea party manifestations. Folks get together, we want to let you know who they are, what their cause is, and who's behind it all."
Well, if so, Sanchez had a lot to live up - or down - to.
[Update, 5:24 pm Eastern: Audio and video clips from Acosta’s report added.]
CNN’s Jim Acosta continued his network’s bias against tea party protesters on Wednesday’s American Morning by depicting them as “recession raging,” and questioned one participant over her depiction of President Obama as the personification of death: “Do you think having the President dressed up as the Grim Reaper is a little over-the-top?” Acosta then asked, “You think it’s appropriate?” [audio clip available here]
The correspondent’s report on Wednesday was the first in a series titled “Welcome to the Tea Party.” During his presentation, which first aired 39 minutes into the 7 am hour, Acosta followed his network’s model of focusing on the negative depictions of President Obama at tea party gatherings and painting the protests in a negative light. Over 5 months earlier, his colleague Jim Spellman followed the cross-country caravan of the Tea Party Express organization before the massive 9/12 rally in 2009, and zeroed-in on the protesters who labeled the President a Nazi, brought firearms to rallies, or held “outlandish conspiracy theories.” He labeled all these “a dark undercurrent.” Much more infamously, former CNN correspondent Susan Roesgen took personal offensive at a depiction of the chief executive with a Hitler mustache, while three years earlier, she thought a similar portrayal of President Bush was “comic.”
Despite teasing the segment as NASA's "ClimateGate of its own," CNN's "American Morning" did its best to present global warming as the problem and discredit skeptics by misreporting their funding on Dec. 10.
Correspondent Jim Acosta reported that NASA's climate data "shows the earth is getting hotter and changing fast" and quoted NASA scientist Thorsten Markus, who claimed rising temperatures could lead to an "ice-free" summer in the Arctic.
Markus asserted that there is "no doubt there is global warming," which Acosta used to segue into his unfair treatment of climate skeptics.