CNN's John King on Tuesday asked Sen. Mary "Louisiana Purchase" Landrieu (D-La.) if she intends to give back all of the campaign contributions she's received from BP over the years.
"Of the top 20 recipients from the oil and gas industry ever in the Congress, you rank number 14th," said King.
"In the 2008 campaign you were the number one Congressional candidate in terms of receipts from BP after only President Obama, then candidate for president Senator Obama, and Senator McCain," he continued. "There are some who say if you're going to be the watchdog you should give that money back."
Those understanding Landrieu's lust for money certainly won't be surprised by her answer (video follows with transcript and commentary):
This morning RedState.com editor Erick Erickson announced that he is joining CNN as a political contributor.
Back in January, Politico noted that Erickson (pictured at right) and CNN denied a rumor floating around at the time that the Macon, Ga.-based conservative blogger would replace John King. It turns out Erickson will be a regular contributor to a brand new weekday evening program to be hosted by the veteran anchor.
Entitled "John King, USA," the program will debut Monday, March 22. Erickson will also appear on other CNN programs to offer analysis and comment.
Stop the presses: David Gergen actually said something nice about the GOP Thursday.
"I don't think [the Democrats] got the breakthrough they were looking for in terms of the public, reaching the public and trying to change opinions," Gergen told Wolf Blitzer's "Situation Room" panel shortly after President Obama's healthcare summit ended.
"That is because intellectually, the Republicans had the best day they have had in years."
Gergen even reiterated, "The best day they have had in years."
Less amazing was the silence from the panel -- which consisted of Candy Crowley, John King, Gloria Borger, and Joe Johns -- when Gergen made this statement (video embedded below the fold with transcript, h/t Hot Air):
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Sunday that CNN's Larry King does a better job interrogating his guests than Justice Department officials did with Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab after his capture.
Speaking with John King on CNN's "State of the Union" about whether terrorist trials should be held in civil courts, McConnell said, "What we need to do is deny these people a show trial."
He continued, "We need to proceed to interrogate them, which you couldn't do obviously with the Christmas bomber."
Then came the zinger, "I mean, Larry King would have a more thorough interrogation of one of his witnesses than the Christmas bomber had by the Justice Department" (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t Politico):
In the wake of Saturday's Senate vote to move forward with debate on controversial healthcare reform legislation, CNN's John King may have posed one of the best questions asked on any of Sunday's political talk shows:
To get Senator [Mary] Landrieu's vote, just to proceed, just to go across the starting line, language was inserted in the bill that gives her state up to $300 million. To get Senator [Ben] Nelson's vote, [Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid] agreed to drop a request that you take away the antitrust exemptions for insurance companies...[Is healthcare reform] important enough to buy votes?
This marvelous question was asked on Sunday's "State of the Union." In attendance were Democrat Senators Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Michael Bennet of Colorado, and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire.
Better still, King pointed a finger at President Obama who promised during the campaign "to change the way Washington works" (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t Breitbart TV):
Comedian Wanda Sykes brushed aside her low blow about Rush Limbaugh’s kidneys failing as no big deal on CNN’s AC360 on Thursday: “Was it...too far for that room? Yes, it was...but, hey, you shouldn’t invite me....I think everybody would have been disappointed if I hadn’t gone too far. Sykes also gushed wildly over President Obama during the interview: “He is like the George Clooney of presidents.”
Anchor John King, filling in for Anderson Cooper, interviewed Sykes 45 minutes into the 10 pm Eastern hour, and brought up the issue of the Limbaugh crack mid-way through the interview: “As you know, there were one or two lines [from Sykes’s appearance at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner] that got a little bit of a gasp and a groan in the room. One of them was when you were making fun and criticizing Rush Limbaugh.” After playing a clip of the line in question, he asked, “Any regrets for that? As you know, there was a big gasp in that room. Washington wasn’t quite ready for that one.”
White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel Sunday made one of the most absurd comments to date about the Administration's fight with the Fox News Channel.
In his "State of the Union" interview with CNN's John King, Emanuel said, "It's not a news organization so much as it has a perspective."
Maybe more importantly, Emanuel told King that the White House doesn't want other news outlets to emulate Fox because the cabler isn't offering "both sides' sense of a valued opinion" (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t NBer Melody):
Here was a chance for Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. to admit he was wrong, and to conclude publicly that government intervention in the private sector doesn't always result in the best of outcomes.
McCain appeared on CNN's Oct. 11 "State of the Union" in a pre-recorded interview and was asked by host John King if the lackluster recovery of the economy warranted more government intervention.
"The president has said he's considering new initiatives to help job creation," King said. "They passed one stimulus plan and most Republicans, including John McCain, have been pretty critical of this $787-billion stimulus passed early in the year. Should the President do more now through government spending, though tax incentives or should he wait because, as you have said many times, we have so much red ink, we can't afford much more?"
UPDATE AT END OF POST: Fox officials agree that all this attention is helping ratings.
Three days before Howard Kurtz talked with White House communications director Anita Dunn about the Obama administration's attacks on the Fox News Channel, a number of CNN contributors pointed out how this strategy is helping FNC's ratings while hurting Democrats.
Such was discussed on Thursday's "Situation Room" by a panel consisting of CNN's Gloria Berger, David Gergen, and John King, as well as Politico's Nia-Malika Henderson and Republican strategist Tony Blankley.
Makes you wonder why Kurtz on Sunday didn't ask Dunn about the following tremendously relevant conversation that happened on his own network a few days earlier (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t Mediaite):
In the series of network interviews recorded Friday at the White House for airing on the ABC, CBS, CNN and NBC Sunday morning interview shows, all highlighted Jimmy Carter's charge that racism is fueling the anti-Obamacare protests – with CNN's John King and NBC's David Gregory following up with Nancy Pelosi's claim the heated rhetoric may incite violence – and CBS's Bob Schieffer asserted the “meanness that has settled over our political dialogue” had “started this summer at these town hall meetings.”
Only NBC's Gregory chastised Obama for not taking on the left on malpractice reform and only ABC's George Stephanopoulos brought up ACORN, but painted Obama as a victim: “Have some of your allies made it easier for, handed your opponents some ammunition, like ACORN, for example?” Schieffer and King, but not Stephanopoulos or Gregory, pressed Obama on how seven former CIA directors urged him to drop the criminal probe of interrogations of terror suspects.
I watched them all so you didn't have to and here are some notes about what the four anchors chose to pursue in their allocated 15 minutes with President Barack Obama (should also note that all devoted time to Afghanistan and the likely request for more troops):
They say you shouldn't bite the hand that feeds you. But the 44th President of the United States doesn't seem to be worried about that.
President Barack Obama, still with no fear of being overexposed, made the rounds on five Sunday morning talk shows on Sept. 20 to make another attempt at winning the hearts and minds over on his vague health care proposal.
According to Obama, alleging he wasn't doing any "media-bashing," mentioned the three major cable news networks by name, and said they were the ones enabling the "rude" behavior that some of their on-air voices have decried by giving it so much attention.
Television network journalists on Friday night marveled at President Barack Obama's planned “media blitz” for health care reform even as they, the enablers, reveled in it as they made the very “blitz” and clips from the interviews (conducted Friday afternoon for airing on Sunday morning) their top story of the day. Based on those excerpts, the Sunday hosts were most interested in getting Obama's take on the “tone” of the health care debate (Obama blamed cable TV and blogs) and whether opposition is driven by racism. The teases:
♦ ABC's Charles Gibson at the top of World News: “Tonight, mass media. The President launches another media blitz on health care, and addresses whether race might be behind some of the criticisms of his plan.” (Gibson led by admiring: “On five, count them, five Sunday morning talk shows the guest will be Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama and Obama. That's never been done before...”)
♦ CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric: “Tonight, from Sunday morning to Monday night, the President's TV blitz for health care reform.”
♦ Brian Williams at the start of the NBC Nightly News: “On our broadcast tonight, an extraordinary media blitz by the President and now the First Lady steps in and tonight our own David Gregory asks the President directly about race and President Carter's charges.”
CNN/Opinion Research Corporation’s poll on President Obama’s health care speech to Congress on Wednesday significantly oversampled Democrats. The pollsters interviewed 427 Americans before and after their speech- only 18% were Republicans, while 45% were Democrats. Due to this skewing, CNN didn’t really play up the poll’s results on air, but they tried to do that on their CNN.com website.
The joint poll asked two questions before and after the speech. The polled were asked, “Do you think the policies being proposed by Barack Obama will move the country in the right direction or the wrong direction?” During the pre-speech period between September 5 and 8, 60% answered “right direction,” and 35% answered “wrong direction.” Immediately after the speech, the pollsters found that the “right direction” statistic went up to 70%, while the “wrong direction” number went down to 27%.
On Monday’s Newsroom program, CNN anchor Rick Sanchez misrepresented Senator John McCain’s words from an interview with his colleague John King on Sunday about the GOP’s outreach with Latinos. He described the Arizona Republican as recommending that “the Republican Party needs to find competent Hispanics who can fit into the party,” when McCain never used the word “competent.”
Sanchez had CNN contributor Roland Martin aboard during the final two segments of the 3 pm Eastern hour, and first played a clip from the McCain interview from Sunday’s State of the Union program, where the defeated presidential candidate warned that “unless we reverse the trend of Hispanic voter registration, we have a very, very deep hole that we’ve got to come out of.” The anchor continued that McCain “went on to say, interestingly enough, that the Republican Party needs to find competent Hispanics who can fit into the party. They need to actually recruit them -- is the word he uses.” Martin interrupted Sanchez and asked for a clarification: “Did he actually say 'competent'?” The CNN anchor replied: “Competent, they have to be competent.”
Here's something you don't see every day: a prominent anchor from CNN offering the same opinion as a prominent anchor from Fox News.
Such seems even less likely when the subject involves President Obama, but that's exactly what happened on Thursday's Steve Malzberg Show on WOR radio.
The conservative host spoke separately to FNC's Bret Baier and CNN's John King about the following remarks Obama made during Wednesday's press conference:
I should say at the outset that Skip Gates is a friend, so I may be a little biased here. I don`t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that, but I think it`s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry. Number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home. And number three, what I think we know separate and apart from this incident, is that there is a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. That`s just a fact.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell apparently can't do a television interview anymore without going after conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh.
Unfortunately, Sunday wasn't any different.
Appearing with John King on CNN's "State of the Union," Powell couldn't resist referring to Limbaugh in a question about Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript):
On CNN’s Sunday Morning program, anchor John King revealed that he thought comedian Wanda Sykes’ barb at Rush Limbaugh at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner was in poor taste: “You know, I don’t give personal opinions that often, but I give you one here. I think that one was probably a tad over the taste line, and you could sense that around the room. Even Democrats, who are no fan [sic] of Rush Limbaugh -- a lot of them had a little bit of a cringe at that moment.” King later brought up the issue with Republican operative Mary Matalin and the Huffington Post’s Hilary Rosen on his own State of the Union program, where Rosen defended Sykes’ off-color joke.
King brought up Sykes during a segment with anchors T.J. Holmes and Betty Nguyen just before the bottom half of the 8 am Eastern hour. After briefly mentioning some of President Obama’s act at the dinner, King mentioned how the comedian “did cause some groans and some -- some uncomfortable moments in the room.” Nguyen replied that “we’ve gotten a lot of traffic on our Twitter and Facebook pages” about Sykes’ attack on Limbaugh, and asked how her act went over. The State of the Union anchor answered:
KING: Some people were laughing because most of the jokes leading up to it were very funny, and people were laughing, and then you could sort of sense a little bit of the oxygen come out of the room -- people start to cringe a little bit. You know, I don’t give personal opinions that often, but I give you one here. I think that one was probably a tad over the taste line, and you could sense that around the room. Even Democrats, who are no fan [sic] of Rush Limbaugh -- a lot of them had a little bit of a cringe at that moment.
Conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh says the mainstream media attitude on President Barack Obama is that he is too big to fail. What CNN has planned for the night of April 29 is one of several signs that could be the case.
"CNN is marking President Barack Obama's 100th day in office with prime-time coverage that will recall last year's primary and general election nights, right down to John King's magic wall," the AP article said. "The network says it will compile a national report card of Obama's performance, using opinion polls and a series of viewer surveys. The big night is April 29, a week from this Wednesday, pre-empting regular programming."
It is always interesting to see the Democratic pot calling the Republican kettle black and here we have only the latest example of that with Obama's top advisor attacking former Vice President Dick Cheney for his outspoken position on the failures of the Obama administration's early efforts in office. But, as advisor David Axelrod was attacking Cheney, there doesn't seem to be any memory on the part of CNN or Axelrod of the wild-eyed, fire-breathing attacks made by former Vice President Al Gore on President George W. Bush in the years after the 2000 election.
On CNN's State of the Union with host John King, David Axelrod scolded Dick Cheney for not behaving like a "statesman" over the former vp's statements that the country is becoming less safe because of Obama's policies.
"Metro faces a more than $50 million budget gap, two dozen bus routes are being eliminated, others shortened or put on less frequent schedules," host John King said. "Light rail is also being cut back, leaving riders in the working class community surrounding St. Louis like Darren Berryl, asking, why me?"
The highly-anticipated interview of former Vice President Dick Cheney by CNN's John King aired Sunday morning, and as most would expect, it began quite contentiously with the "State of the Union" host asking:
Just about every day I assume you're reading the newspapers now that you're out of office, the president says, well, we have got a lot to do but it's not my fault, I inherited a mess. Did you leave him a mess?
Nice way to get things started, wouldn't you agree? Or how about this question by King?
There are people I assume watching this interview right now, and people in this town who would say, why should we listen to you?
King followed that by reciting some statistics for Cheney (videos embedded below the fold with full transcript, part I embedded right):
Did you think listening to President Obama give his address before Congress on Tuesday evening was "like sex?"
Republican strategist and CNN contributor Alex Castellanos did, or at least that's what he admitted to John King on Sunday's "State of the Union" a friend said:
I think, as a friend told me once, that -- listening to Barack Obama give a speech is like sex. The worse there ever was, was excellent.
Honestly, when GOP strategists in the media begin talking this way, one has to wonder where the balance is going to come from in the coming years (video embedded below the fold with CNN produced transcript, h/t NB reader Greg477, file photo):
CNN’s "Magic Wall" map on Thursday’s Situation Room displayed an error regarding the results of the 2000 presidential election. Instead of indicating that President George W. Bush won in the state of Florida by shading it red, the map showed that Florida was a blue state. Of course, the Sunshine State was the center of a furious battle over recounting votes, and in the certified count, only 537 votes separated Bush from Democrat Al Gore.
Correspondent John King, the Magic Wall’s "maestro" according The Economist, used the touch screen map just after the bottom of the 4 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program to demonstrate a new feature of his map, which displays the locations of CNN’s "Best Political Team on Television" throughout the country as they follow the presidential campaign. While King didn’t directly state that the map he was working with was for the 2000 presidential election results, a caption in the upper left-hand corner read "United States of America: General Election," and in the upper right hand corner, there were graphics that had Gore’s name in blue and Bush’s in red.
Within an hour of the conclusion of Wednesday night’s presidential debate, CNN’s political panel began sketching out John McCain’s political obituary, with senior analyst David Gergen drawing a round of laughter when he replied “beats the hell out of me” when asked by anchor Anderson Cooper what McCain could do next. Gergen bleakly suggested McCain had no chance and should end the race with his “honor intact” (which means no more attacks on Barack Obama):
I think you have to do everything you can to help save as much of the Senate and the House as you can for your party. I think you have to need -- you need to see if you can leave this with your honor intact. I think you need to go positive about what you do on the economy and get rid of this stuff about Bill Ayers and all this garbage that we've been going through now.
Watching Saturday’s network morning shows, the talking heads seemed to agree that Friday night’s debate did not produce “a clear winner” or any “knockout punch,” and that it was unlikely that any “needle was moved” among undecided voters. Yet those same networks tried to also argue that Obama had really won the debate, superficially suggesting that McCain’s “disdainful” body language poorly contrasted with the “warm” and “deferential” Obama.
On style, “Barack Obama did a much better job,” ABC contributor Matthew Dowd asserted. NBC’s Chuck Todd insisted that “McCain barely could look at Obama, was disdainful at times, almost annoyed that he was having to share the same stage....Here was Obama being deferential, and here is McCain being disdainful.”
Just after the bottom half of the 8 pm Eastern hour of CNN’s coverage of the Republican convention, as Oklahoma Congresswoman Mary Fallin began an introduction of a video presentation about Islamist attacks on the U.S. over the past decades, host Wolf Blitzer gave a bit of a warning about the content of the video: "Let's listen to Congresswoman Mary Fallin of Oklahoma. She's going to make the case why Republicans are better in protecting us than Democrats, and that will lead into a video. It's provocative. There will be images of 9/11 and towers going down. It will raise controversy. We're going to show to it you because it's part of this convention. But let's listen to this Congresswoman from Oklahoma speak first."
Nine minutes later, after Fallin had finished her introduction and the video concluded, Blitzer began a short discussion with correspondent John King, co-host Campbell Brown, and Republican strategist Alex Castellanos about the video’s content. Brown charged that Republicans were playing on fear: "But that message though, has been fear, I mean, as a message at this convention."
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani faced liberal lines of questioning from CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Gloria Borger during the 6 PM EDT hour of The Situation Room before the network’s Thursday night coverage of the Republican convention. In particular, Borger pressed Giuliani on his differences with Sarah Palin on social issues: "Last night, you spoke before Sarah Palin, a woman who -- with whom you have very little in common on the social issues, right? She's pro-life.... [L]et's just say she's a heroine to the right wing of this party, and you're not their hero, okay?... [M]y question is, has the big tent of the Republican Party, which you always talk about -- has that gotten a little narrower?"
During the two minutes between Roland Martin and Jeffrey Toobin’s two attacks on Sarah Palin after her speech at the Republican convention on Wednesday night, veteran journalist Carl Bernstein also criticized Republicans, since in his view, the Alaska governor’s speech demonstrated "that the Republican Right is running this election." CNN correspondent John King then reacted to Bernstein’s assessment, and offered some constructive criticism of the difference in coverage between the two conventions: "...[L]anguage matters in what we do, and I don't necessarily disagree with the point of what Carl was saying -- but we do speak a different language when we talk about this party [the Republican Party], and I think that's why we're often criticized." He then scolded the media in terms of labeling:
KING: To say the Right is running the Republican campaign -- if that means these people are the Right, then Carl's exactly right. But we didn't say, during the Democratic convention... all those delegates down on the floor -- you know, many of them were members of the Left.