Check out the latest episode of NewsBusters’ Notable Quotables comedy show. Our news analysts give their take on the latest and most outrageous sound bites from the liberal media.
This week there was everything from MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann proclaiming the U.S. Supreme Court “murdered” democracy to CNN’s Rick Sanchez being unsure what the annual March for Life in Washington was all about.
To see the current episode in a larger size or to go back and watch past episodes, visit the Media Research Center’s video sharing website, Eyeblast.tv.
On Sunday, I noted the U.S. Air Force Academy was making a public space for pagan worship, and wondered if the media would notice. Fox’s Special Report noted it on Monday, quoting a Catholic priest who disapproved. CNN and NBC noticed it briefly on Wednesday. CNN’s Rick Sanchez found its promoter "Today’s most intriguing" person. NBC’s Brian Williams relayed there had already been a "desecration incident."
To consult the dictionary, NBC was saying someone "violated the sacred character" of an object or place. What if the viewer at home doesn’t consider a pagan circle to be "sacred"? Here’s the entirety of the Williams brief on Nightly News:
The U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs has now set aside a new outdoor worship area for followers of earth-centered religions. That includes pagans, druids, witches and Wiccans. It's a double circle of stones on a hilltop. One of the chaplains there, a lieutenant colonel, calls it, quote, "Another example of celebrating the freedom we enjoy as well as the freedom we, as airmen, have pledged to defend." There has been one desecration incident since its opening, and officials are repeating that message of tolerance on campus.
Sanchez suggested paganism is somehow a brand new idea during his show Rick's List:
There are at least two sides to every argument, unless the issue is homosexuality. Then, according to CNN, there's only one side and it's the homosexual activists who get to tell it.
CNN advocated a repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy in 12 different reports between Jan. 28, the day after President Barack Obama reiterated his pledge to end the current military policy of banning openly gay citizens from the United States military in his State of the Union address and Feb. 2.
CNN allowed spokespeople from gay advocacy organizations such as Servicemembers United, the Log Cabin Republicans and the Palm Center, as well as several former and active gay military personnel, to plead their case without challenge
Of the 12 people CNN chose to appear on air (nine were military personnel) to discuss "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," only one expressed support of the current policy. Despite a Military Times poll that indicated 58 percent of military personnel are opposed to allowing openly gay people in the military, 78 percent (7 out of 9) of the military personnel featured in CNN's recent reports expressed their desire to allow homosexuals in the armed forces. One person remained neutral.
"Our deployed soldiers deserve to have their full rights," an anonymous female soldier told CNN's Ted Rowlands.
Writing at The Politico, Michael Calderone reports that “only a few” of CNN’s 200 Washington bureau staffers would say they “respect” 3pm to 5pm ET anchor Rick Sanchez as a journalist, compared to “almost everyone” who acknowledged respect for longtime CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer. [Click here for a run-down of NewsBusters' coverage of Sanchez over the years.]
“While that response could be taken as a slight to Sanchez,” Calderone writes, “some staffers say it’s more a reflection of the general sense of anxiety as CNN tries to find a winning formula for an afternoon/early evening lineup that’s being soundly beaten by Fox News and prime-time programming that last year for the first time also finished behind MSNBC.”
Also according to Calderone: “CNN staffers didn’t realize that Klein was sitting in the back of the room while griping about resources for The Situation Room,” until Klein contrasted the high costs of CNN’s late afternoon hard news block with the “much higher ratings” FNC’s Glenn Beck pulls “without the personnel and resources needed for the CNN show.”
CNN on Tuesday highlighted the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change use of a unsubstantiated claim about the Himalayan glaciers melting by 2035 to put pressure on politicians across the globe. Meteorologist Rob Marciano thought the “snafu” on the part of the IPCC was “inexcusable,” while anchor Rick Sanchez put the panel and its head on his “List You Don’t Want to Be On.”
Marciano brought up the week-old story during a segment 49 minutes into the 8 am Eastern hour. He played a sound bite from climatologist Jim White, who was attending the annual Steamboat Springs Weather Summit in Colorado (Marciano was on-location in Steamboat Springs). The CNN meteorologist voiced his agreement with White, who blasted the IPCC’s exaggeration:
Near the end of the 3PM ET hour of CNN’s Rick’s List on Friday, host Rick Sanchez couldn’t seem to figure out who was protesting at the March for Life in Washington D.C.: “It’s the 37th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade case....both sides being represented today, but it does appear to me, as I look at these signs that – which side is represented the most....Do we know?”
Sanchez directed that question to his executive producer Angie Massie as he went to a commercial break. Of course, the March for Life, as it’s name implies, is an annual gathering of pro-life activists in the nation’s capital to voice their opposition to abortion on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. As Rick puzzled over which side was more represented, live footage appeared on screen showing a seemingly equal number of pro-abortion and pro-life protestors.
Returning from the commercial break, Sanchez clarified that most of the protestors “seem to be” pro-life, but still seemed completely unfamiliar with the annual event: “As far as we can tell, following this protest on this day, the bulk of the protesters that we have seen here – that doesn’t mean there aren’t others, because we haven’t gone out and counted them individually – seem to be anti-abortion activists. We’ve seen more pro-life signs than we have the others.”
There's just something about Sarah. A morsel, any morsel, about former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin that can possibly be used to belittle her is rabidly devoured by many in the mainstream media. On his CNN Newsroom segment today, anchor Rick Sanchez highlighted Palin's difficulty in keeping Joe Biden's name straight. Four different times, he played the same video from 2008's vice presidential debate in which she referred to him as "O'Biden." Sanchez played part of an interview with McCain campaign staffer Steve Schmidt, who described Palin's error as "a verbal tic" that could prove "devastating beyond words." Then:
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: How did you get around it?
SCHMIDT: Multiple people, and I wasn't one of them, all said at the same time, just say, "Can I call you Joe?" Which she did.
On this afternoon's CNN Newsroom, anchor Rick Sanchez briefly updated his audience on Rush Limbaugh's medical condition. He completed his comments with "We wish him well." Sanchez's good wishes didn't square with the Twitter messages that crawled at the bottom of the screen for his entire program.
Here is a sampling of the tweets he aired:
rush is an excuse for people to be vicariously racist. I have nothing good to say about him except "gotta love karma"
Rick can we get some answers on if rush's insur. will pay for his hospital stay if it is found out drugs were a part of this
I don't like to wish bad luck on people, but a 2010 without Rush's mouth going off would be fine with me
under yr new health plan Rush may pay higher premiums cuz of weight. Time to hit the treadmill and lose the weight Rush
May rush be worked on by a liberal democrat, feminist doctor who is pro gun control :)
On CNN Newsroom today, anchor Rick Sanchez talked about terrorism with Octavia Nasr, CNN senior editor for Arab Affairs:
SANCHEZ: And good, good, good, good, good, good. You see, this is a point that I'm trying to make, Octavia.
The terrorists weren't in Iraq. We know that now. There was really a small band of them along with the mujahedeen which became al Qaeda in Afghanistan, as we know. But we have known for 10 years now that these really bad terrorists, the guys we really should have been going after a long time ago, are in Yemen. We knew that a long time ago.
The assertion that Iraq was terrorist-free prior to our intervention has become an article of faith for liberals like alleged journalist Sanchez. Yet it conflicts with evidence, including evidence many liberals once found compelling. The Clinton State Department, for example, reported on Patterns of Global Terrorism 1999. Among its findings:
Iraq continued to plan and sponsor international terrorism in 1999. Although Baghdad focused primarily on the anti-regime opposition both at home and abroad, it continued to provide safehaven and support to various terrorist groups. . .
CNN anchor Rick Sanchez fairly moderated a debate between glacier photographer James Balog and Marc Morano of ClimateDepot.com on Thursday’s Newsroom about the issue of climate change. Sanchez did not side with either one of the debaters in his questions during the segment, and asked both reasonable questions [audio clip from the segment available here].
The CNN anchor led the 3 pm Eastern hour with a preview of the debate segment, as he played a video clip from Balog of a glacier in Alaska, and made his first hint that the ClimateGate scandal was going to be mentioned later: “The man who shot this video used to think global warming wasn’t real. He’s changed his mind. But leaked e-mails from prominent climate scientists tell a different story. You’re going to hear both sides.”
Before introducing both of his guests in the last segment of the hour, Sanchez played more glacier video from the photographer, as he further detailed the climate change controversy, and made another indirect reference to the ClimateGate e-mail scandal:
On August 28, CNN Newsroom anchor Rick Sanchez shared disturbing information with his viewers:
A CNN source with very close to the U.S. Secret Service confirmed to me today that threats on the life of the president of the United States have now risen by as much as 400 percent since his inauguration, 400 percent death threats against Barack Obama -- quote -- "in this environment" go far beyond anything the Secret Service has seen with any other president.
CNN’s Rick Sanchez misrepresented the pro-life Stupak Amendment to the House Democrats’ health care plan on Monday’s Newsroom. Sanchez labeled the amendment a “conservative Republican challenge of health care reform.” The anchor also gave a false impression of an answer given by RNC Chairman Michael Steele in an earlier interview on American Morning.
Sanchez used the misleading label out of the gate in a segment which began 22 minutes into the 3 pm Eastern hour: “The Stupak Amendment was a conservative Republican challenge of health care reform by making Democrats agree to a provision to make sure that abortions are not covered under this new plan, and it was a successful challenge, by the way.”
CNN's Rick Sanchez hosted a forum of 'average joes' yesterday in a sort of focus group on Sarah Palin. CNN did not feel, however, that it needed to invite any Palin supporters. Despite claims that the group accurately represented American opinion, its responses demonstrated a total disconnect from actual public sentiment.
Sanchez, shown right in a file photo, asked the group to inform viewers of their political and party affiliations, concluding that there was "a pretty good cross-section" of Americans participating. He then asked about Palin. None of the viewers said they would vote for her in a presidential run, and none said they plan on purchasing her new book (video and transcript below the fold - h/t Townhall).
A screening of the show's guests would hardly be a surprise given Sanchez's history of playing fast and loose with the facts when conservatives are involved. He touted one of the quotes falsely attributed to Rush Limbaugh, and later apologized for his mistake, adding to his long list of retractions. He has blamed the murder of a police officer on "right wing radio" and berated Fox News for alleged bias while ignoring CNN's.
Sanchez's coverage of Palin herself has not exactly been stellar. He suggested after she stepped down as governor that she might be pregnant.
CNN’s Rick Sanchez omitted the left-wing ideology of an organization he cited as he lambasted North Carolina Representative Virginia Foxx on Tuesday’s Newsroom for her recent hyperbolic remarks against ObamaCare. Sanchez referenced a figure from the National Priorities Project, a think tank labeled “progressive” by CNN itself in 2007. He also left out some of the context of Rep. Foxx’s full remarks [video of the full segment available here].
The CNN anchor devoted an entire segment 37 minutes into the 3 pm Eastern hour to the North Carolina Republican’s speech on Monday against a health care “reform” bill sponsored by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Representative Foxx denounced the bill as “a tax increase bill masquerading as a health care bill,” and continued that Americans “have more to fear from the potential of that bill passing than we do from any terrorist right now in any country.”
CNN’s Campbell Brown was quick to point out the apparent biases of competitors MSNBC and Fox News during her program on Wednesday, but ignored that of her own network as she tried to portray it as unbiased: “Some of us, like my colleagues here at CNN, are still trying to do journalism....I’m not critical of what my friends at Fox News and MSNBC do, but it is apples and oranges when compared to what we at CNN do.”
Brown concluded the 8 pm Eastern hour with remarks initially directed against the Obama administration for its campaign against Fox News. The CNN anchor thought it was “silly” for the White House to go after the 24-hour news network: “I mean, really, the White House is only just now figuring out Fox in prime-time has a conservative bias? Really? I think our friends at Fox News have been pretty up-front about it, and frankly, pretty unapologetic, for that matter. What confuses me is that if the White House is really so concerned about bias in the media, then why are they only targeting Fox?”
Do you want the public option that could make health insurance more competitive and cheaper, because it's looking like we may get it in some form at this point. Here's who else is going to be speaking in just a little bit, Senator Harry Reid is about to announce his position on this. I asked you this same question, by the way, a little while ago. How you felt about public option. You know, I've got to tell you, the numbers seem to show right now, it's about 61 percent in favor.
That 61 percent figure came from a recent CNN poll. He could have, but didn't, cite another poll, one mentioned recently in The Hill:
Polling experts, however, have documented that many people don’t know what a public option is, and that small changes in language can cause poll results to vary widely. An August poll by Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates showed that only 37 percent of those polled correctly identified the public option from a list of three choices.
CNN’s Rick Sanchez shocked his colleague Kyra Phillips on Monday’s Newsroom, after agreeing with a New Mexico hotel owner who had asked his Latino employee to use an unaccented version of his name: “My real name is Ricardo Leon Sanchez de Reinaldo. I don’t use it because I want to be respectful of this wonderful country that allowed us as Hispanics to come here, and I think it’s easier if someone’s able to understand me by Anglicizing my name.” Earlier, Phillips and HLN anchor Jane Velez-Mitchell berated the owner for his supposedly bigoted treatment of the employee [audio clips available here].
Phillips and Velez-Mitchell interviewed Larry Whitten, the owner of Whitten Inn of Taos, New Mexico just after the bottom of the 2 pm Eastern hour. Whitten recently fired some Hispanic employees who wouldn’t conform to his guidelines, which included not speaking Spanish in his presence and asking those who operated the hotel switchboard to use Anglicized versions of their names. He is now being accused of racism by these former employees and by Hispanic organizations who have taken up their cause.
If MSNBC is the "place for liberal politics," CNN is the place for latent America bashing, especially its corporations.
On his Oct. 22 CNN program, Rick Sanchez wore his American guilt like a badge of honor and said he wasn't going to stand for America to look bad because of what a corporation had been accused of doing, in this case Chevron (NYSE:CVX), whether they did it or not.
"We do a lot of this, and I'm glad you like it," Sanchez said. "What we do is we try and connect with what's going on in our hemisphere, this is important. In this case, how it is that often time our image as Americans - this is never a good thing - can be sullied by the behavior of an - of an American corporation abroad. And then they end up not representing us well."
CNN political analyst Roland Martin ripped President Obama from the left on Wednesday’s Newsroom, after the White House announced that they were going to cut the pay of top executives at corporations which took taxpayer money from the federal government for bailouts: “It’s about damn time. The White House, frankly, has been slow in actually making this happen.”
Near the end of the 3 pm Eastern hour, anchor Rick Sanchez broke the news about the Obama administration’s decision to “put the kaputs on some of these big-timers with some of these Wall Street firms like AIG, and they are apparently going to ask them to take a cut in annual salaries of their 25 highest paid executives by an average...of 90% from last year.” Sanchez brought on Martin to comment on this breaking news, and the analyst’s reaction was unequivocally critical of the administration’s inaction in going after executive pay.
Rush Limbaugh was convicted of racism in a kangaroo court of "objective" media and dropped as a potential owner of the St. Louis Rams football franchise. His accusers claimed he once said slavery "had its merits" and that the assassin of Martin Luther King deserved a "Medal of Honor." The story circulated on the Internet and was eventually picked up by the major media, including both CNN and MSNBC.
But no one bothered fact-checking. In fact, his accusers and those media that repeated the accusations never stopped to ponder there was no need to fact-check this, so obvious were the fabrications.
Start with this reality: One could clearly dismiss these quotes as fabrications based on the simple fact that Rush would never have uttered them, since he doesn’t believe them. Period.
Add to it this second piece of common sense: Were Rush guilty of uttering this garbage back in 1998, would we really be discussing it for the first time in October of 2009? Common sense tells us that if he made these comments on his show, his advertisers would dump him so quickly he’d be out of a job by sundown.
As Mike Bates documented on Monday night, CNN’s Rick Sanchez likened Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio to the segregationist “Bull” Connor during an interview on Monday’s Newsroom: “Like Bull Connor in 1960s, you’re going to sit there and tell the feds, you don’t care what they say, you’re going to do it your way and you're going to do it when you want to do it?” However, earlier in the segment, Sanchez also hinted that the sheriff was acting like a Nazi in his operations against illegal immigrants: “There are twenty-five years of laws and standards used by police departments where they’re real careful about probable cause, so that we don’t create a Gestapo environment in this country” [audio of both the Gestapo reference and the “Bull Connor” label available here; video at right].
The anchor first accused Arpaio of arresting people at random in his immigration raids: “What about the other people that- who you interfered in their lives simply while you were looking for someone else?” When the sheriff denied that he had, that “the others that were illegal, we put them in jail because they have committed other crimes,” Sanchez made the Nazi reference:
On his segment of today's CNN Newsroom, anchor Rick Sanchez went for the hat trick, likening Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to the infamous Theophilus “Bull” Connor, Birmingham, Alabama’s late segregationist police commissioner who ruthlessly used police attack dogs and fire hoses to thwart 1963 civil rights demonstrators, no fewer than three times.
Sanchez prefaced his interview with the Arizona sheriff:
Well, perhaps not since Bull Connor whose aggressive police tactics against blacks in the South sparked civil rights legislation in 1964 has our country seen a showdown like the one going on right now between Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio and Washington, as in the feds.
After months of investigation, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) released a report addressing accusations from some humanitarian groups that its use of white phosphorus (WP) munitions in the Gaza War was a violation of international law, as the report distinguishes between the use of WP as a weapon and the more common non-weapon purposes such as providing smoke screens to conceal troop movements. The pro-Israel group CAMERA recently quoted from the report in the article, "Did Israel’s Use of White Phosphorus Constitute a War Crime?" by Steven Stotsky, on its Web site. The report not only argued that the military's decision to explode the munition in the air was safer for civilians than it would have been to explode it on the ground, but it also suggested that the use of WP to facilitate troops movements also meant civilian casualties were lower than they otherwise would have been by making attacks on Hamas more accurate.
Last January, evening newscasts and some morning newscasts on the broadcast networks and on CNN and FNC reported on accusations from humanitarian groups – with varying degrees of accuracy – with CBS even referring to WP as a "banned weapon," and a "horrific new weapon, " and contending that the IDF may have committed "war crimes." At one point, CNN similarly incorrectly identified WP as a "banned substance." ABC showed a clip of a wounded Palestinian boy charging that Israelis have "no mercy" even for children. (MSNBC does not have a morning or evening newscast equivalent to NBC’s Today show or the NBC Nightly News, so MSNBC coverage was not examined.) But, according to a Nexis search, none of these news programs showed any interest in updating viewers once the Israeli military had made public its say on the matter.
As previously documented by NewsBusters, the January 22 CBS Evening News ran a report (video here), introduced by anchor Katie Couric, which left the impression that the Israeli military had used a "banned weapon," without informing viewers that there are non-weapon uses for WP, and passed on accusations of "war crimes." Couric: "Hamas just ended a bloody war with Israel in Gaza, and tonight there is growing evidence the Israelis may have used a banned weapon. Some even accuse them of war crimes."
On the January 25 World News Sunday on ABC, as he introduced a report by correspondent Simon McGregor-Wood, anchor Dan Harris played up complaints against "both sides" in the war, and even suggested that the Israeli side may have been worse in its conduct of the war as he highlighted that there was "especially tough criticism" leveled at Israel. Harris: "Both sides are being dogged now by complaints that they violated the rules of war. Israel has come under especially tough criticism for its use of a chemical agent."
As reported on NewsBusters on Friday morning, CNN anchor Rick Sanchez read his apology on Friday’s Newsroom for running a unconfirmed quote attributed to Rush Limbaugh earlier in the week on October 12 [audio available here].
Sanchez hinted to his error in a promo for the apology 37 minutes into the 3 pm Eastern hour: “Rush Limbaugh gets denied [his NFL bid], but when it comes to one specific point, I will tell you this: he was right and I was wrong. Sometimes you got to say you’re wrong when you’re wrong, right? I'll tell you exactly what I’m talking about when we come back.”
After going to a commercial break, the CNN anchor came back, and after giving a summary of the controversy, read the apology, which was released earlier, almost verbatim:
Yesterday CNN's Rick Sanchez was set to go on air and issue an apology for running an unverified quote attributed to Rush Limbaugh. Breaking news of the now-infamous "balloon boy" intervened, and Sanchez was unable to deliver his apology.
It came to the attention of the NewsBusters staff that Sanchez plans on issuing a correction today on-air, reading the following statement:
Rich Noyes noted earlier that CNN's Rick Sanchez stated via Twitter what he couldn't say on the air because of the overdone "Balloon Boy" fracas. He was sorry he aired fabricated Rush Limbaugh quotes:
i've know rush. in person,i like him. his rhetoric,however is inexcusably divisive. he's right tho. we didn't confirm quote. our bad.
Our bad? How about "I was inexcusably reckless in airing fabricated quotes?" But this is at least the third time in the last year that Sanchez has required a retraction when attacking a conservative or Republican.
Two months ago, Matthew Balan of NewsBusters forced Sanchez to retract his claim that Sen. John McCain said Republicans needed to recruit "competent" Hispanics, which inflamed CNN analyst Roland Martin. McCain never used that word.
It might go without saying, but "competent" Hispanic anchors don't require regular retractions.
The quotes were widely cited as real by several sports writers and on CNN and MSNBC in the past week as proof that Limbaugh was a racist who did not deserve to own part of the St. Louis Rams football team. But the Huffington Post has now removed them, saying the author has not been able to substantiate them.
[UPDATE: CNN's Rick Sanchez also, apologizes, sort of, via Twitter: "our bad."]
This editor’s note appeared early this evening on the 2006 blog by the liberal Huberman, who was pitching his then-new book, 101 People Who Are REALLY Screwing America:
"CNN and MSNBC were given ample opportunity to come clean, but both are continuing to masquerade malicious lies [against Rush Limbaugh] as credible," Media Research Center President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell said in a statement today.
Yesterday, Bozell promised to report back publicly with how CNN and MSNBC responded to his challenge to put up – or shut up – proof that Rush Limbaugh actually stated the racist quote that both cable networks attributed to him as fact, or to immediately retract and apologize for their participation in spreading an outlandish lie.
Talk show giant Limbaugh denied having ever stated, “Slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back. I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark.” Further, it has been established that this was a fabrication pushed through the Internet, intentionally designed to destroy Mr. Limbaugh’s reputation at a time he is attempting to purchase a professional football team.
In addition to this public call to action, Mr. Bozell overnighted letters to CNN President Jonathan Klein and MSNBC President Phil Griffin to ensure both took the matter seriously. Both CNN and MSNBC failed to respond appropriately.
NewsBusters managing editor Ken Shepherd will appear shortly on Breitbart.tv's "The B-Cast" to discuss how media outlets CNN and MSNBC have unskeptically furthered unverified quotes allegedly from Rush Limbaugh pertaining to slavery and Martin Luther King Jr. assassin James Earl Ray.
On Tuesday’s Newsroom, CNN’s Rick Sanchez read Rush Limbaugh’s denial that he ever made a quote attributed to him in which he praised antebellum slavery, but added that the denial “that does not take away...that there are other quotes...which many people in...minority communities do find offensive” [audio available here]. Sanchez broadcast the quote yesterday without any source, and made no retraction of it.
Sanchez first indicated during a promo for a segment about the Limbaugh controversy that the talk show host is “now setting us straight on a remark that’s been wildly publicized about what he has said in the past.” The segment came just before the bottom of the 3 pm Eastern hour, and after giving a brief synopsis of the controversy, read the dubious quote attributed to the conservative: “One of the quotes that has been attributed to Rush Limbaugh is the one about him saying that ‘slavery built the South, and I’m not saying that we should bring it back.. I’m just saying that it had it’s merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark.”