CNN's Rick Sanchez named me and NewsBusters to "the very top" of his daily 'List That U Don't Want 2 Be On' on his Rick's List show on Monday. Sanchez criticized me for apparently not being able to tell he was "joking" during a segment on April 15 where he stated that "you think it's too cold to have a volcano" in Iceland [audio available here].
I have been monitoring the anchor since September 2007, before he landed his regular weekday gig on CNN. It actually isn't the first time he recognized my criticism of him. On November 12, 2008, Sanchez actually complimented NewsBusters on air: "...[T]he NewsBusters website, which constantly monitors this show -- and we're glad that they do -- questioned my conversation- criticized it with Neal Boortz. In particular, our suggestion that the GOP needs to remain adamantly anti-abortion, to try and keep the Southern vote." However, Monday was the first time that Sanchez mentioned me by name on the air.
In what is generally being interpreted by most as a surprise move, CNN has recently decided to cover the Tea Party movement from an angle foreign to most in the main stream media - combating stereotypes that are heavily promoted by liberals.
That comparison alone raises some questions, however. How does a network which featured the Roesgen debacle, suddenly find respect for the movement? How does the organization whose award-winning journalists refer to the people as ‘tea baggers', seek to dispel the degrading stereotypes propagated in the media? And how does a network, who just over a week ago minimized a Nevada Tea Party Event of roughly 20,000 people, by speculating that ‘at least dozens' were in attendance, suddenly believe the movement to be legitimate and important?
Most importantly, is the network actively seeking a shift to more fair and balanced coverage, or are they seeking the admiration of conservatives driving the ratings of Fox News? Michelle Malkin for one is skeptical, calling it a desperate move for a ‘ratings-starved CNN'.
The curiosity of the CNN shift has only been exacerbated by the network's desire to have the story covered by conservative writers.