CNN practiced a more subtle form of bias during two reports in October by using its on-screen graphics. On October 14th's Newsroom program, a graphic accompanying a segment on Sarah and Todd Palin's connections to the Alaskan Independence Party proclaimed “The Palins and the Fringe.” On the other hand, a chyron from a report on Tuesday's Situation Room about Barack Obama making campaign stops in bad weather raved, “Braving Rain & Attacks: Obama in PA. and Virginia.”
The Situation Room led its 4 pm Eastern hour on Tuesday with reports on the day's campaign stops by John McCain, Sarah Palin, and Barack Obama. Host Wolf Blitzer introduced these reports by highlighting how “[a]ll three began the day in Pennsylvania, braving some pretty nasty weather and some bitter attacks.” Correspondent Dana Bash then detailed the Republican candidates' push in Pennsylvania, including how McCain had to cancel a rally due to rain. The graphic which accompanied Bash's report made no mention of the weather, but focused instead on the McCain campaign's emphasis on the tax issue: “McCain-Palin One-Two Punch: Hitting Obama On Taxes.”
During an interview with Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin on Tuesday’s Situation Room, CNN’s Drew Griffin ripped a phrase out of a recent article by National Review’s Byron York which criticized the media’s coverage of Palin and characterized it as an attack on the Alaska governor. Griffin pointed out how "[t]he press has been pretty hard on you. The Democrats have been pretty hard on you, but also some conservatives have been pretty hard on you as well. The National Review had a story saying that, you know, ‘I can't tell if Sarah Palin is incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt, or all of the above.’" In the original article, which was originally only in the print version of National Review, York used the "incompetent" phrase to attack the media: "Watching press coverage of the Republican candidate for vice president, it's sometimes hard to decide whether Sarah Palin is incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt, backward or - well, all of the above."
During Wednesday’s Newsroom program, CNN anchor Rick Sanchez tried to portray that there were many so-called conservatives who were "defecting," in his words, from John McCain over his selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. His list of conservatives, which he read prior to an interview of National Review senior editor Ramesh Ponnuru, included homosexual activist Andrew Sullivan, New York Times columnist David Brooks, and satirist Christopher Buckley, who recently left National Review over his endorsement of Barack Obama. Sanchez later backtracked from this labeling after Ponnuru pointed out that "a lot of those people who are critical of Palin are not defecting from McCain:" "I'll take it back. Let's take out the word ‘defection,’ and just say Republicans who have been critical of John McCain. Is that more fair?"
Rather than deliver a single revelation, the 24-hour cable news channel coughed up a reheated, overwrought and misleading story that seemed designed to yoke Sarah Palin and her husband to the most extreme secessionists in Alaska.
That's how Los Angeles Times's James Rainey characterized an October 14 effort by CNN's Rick Sanchez to portray Gov. Sarah Palin as a shady secessionist who would like to see Alaska break away from the United States. Sanchez even went as far as to raise the specter of Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City bombing.
Rainey began his October 15 column, "CNN bid to tie Palin to secessionists is a stretch," by noting the Geraldo-like melodrama with which the network's Rick Sanchez teased the story of overblown political intrigue:
CNN's Rick Sanchez is absolutely incredulous over the fact that there might be some black people out there who don't support Barack Obama. In an incredible double standard, Sanchez on his League of First Time Voters show has trouble believing that a black person could not be supporting Obama yet you will never hear him express shock that a white person could decide to vote for Obama. Sanchez asks one of the men if there is "any source of pride" that would cause them to vote for Obama. Of course you would never hear Sanchez ask the same thing of a white voter whether his pride would make him want to vote for John McCain. Sanchez also brings up the point as to whether the men he interviews are considered "sellouts." Watch the video and you can see that Sanchez seems to treat these men as if they were some sort of bizarre oddballs for not wanting to vote for Obama.
At 3:30 yesterday afternoon, CNN's Rick Sanchez described in exquisite detail how fair and balanced his network has been behaving during the 2008 Presidential election. Specifically, Rick pointed out that:
For the record, CNN has aired 22 reports from Alaska about Sarah Palin. We've aired 54 reports from Chicago about Obama, his minister, and other stories.
See? Contrary to our neanderthal conservative beliefs, CNN has been tougher on Obama than it has during its "vetting" of Republican VP Sarah Palin.
Of course, I think Rick might have left out a slight detail or two in his accounting of CNN's fairness.... (and you'll have to keep on reading to find out what it is!)
CNN anchor Rich Sanchez, as part of his continuing interviews of first-time young voters, featured a Georgia Tech student on Monday’s American Morning who made a liberal statement on race that was nearly identical to one made by George Stephanopoulos over a year ago. Ben Porter, who was identified on-screen as an Obama supporter, stated that "[t]he people that can't accept a black man in the White House aren't the people who will vote for a liberal anyway in general. This is an almost-identical statement to one made by Stephanopoulos on May 13, 2007 on ABC's This Week program: "I guess I think that anyone who's not going to vote for Barack Obama because he is black isn't going to vote for a Democrat anyway."
CNN is suddenly backtracking from a report it made early Sunday evening concerning Hillary Clinton releasing her delegates to Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday.
During the 6PM EDT installment of "CNN Newsroom," Rick Sanchez announced the "breaking news" that was later posted at the network's website under the headline "Clinton to Release Her Delegates to Obama."
Yet, just moments ago, that headline was changed to "Clinton Likely to Release Her Delegates to Obama," with alterations inside the opening paragraph.
On Sunday night’s Newsroom program, CNN anchor Rick Sanchez, pressed megachurch leader Rick Warren about Obama campaign charges that John McCain was cheating by not being in a "cone of silence" during Obama’s interview.
"Last night, I heard you say that McCain would be in a cone of silence, and then half-hour into the event, I hear our guys here at our political desk announced that McCain has just arrived at the worship center. And I'm thinking, you know -- hey, if he just arrived at the worship center, he couldn't have been in the cone of silence, right?"
After Warren give his initial answer about McCain being in a "Secret Service motorcade," Sanchez pushed two follow-up questions on the matter. In the first, he asked, "Did you think at the time -- when you said that, did you think he was in the cone of silence -- did you think he was in the building?"
Earlier today, I posted on NewsBusters "CNN's Analysis: At Saddleback, Obama Was 'Thoughtful.'" The piece described how CNN repeatedly described Barack Obama at the Saddleback Church forum as "thoughtful." Other observers saw it differently, thinking Obama appeared evasive and indecisive. His hesitant fumbling especially contrasted with the very specific and resolute responses from John McCain.
The Reverend Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback and the host of the forum, appeared on CNN Newsroom this evening. Questioned by anchor Rick Sanchez, it seems clear Warren got the network memo.
A great first day on national television news for Barack Obama as he began his much-hyped overseas trip with a stop in Kuwait before moving on to Afghanistan. CNN anchor Rick Sanchez, seemingly channeling the media's own excitement, on Saturday night hailed it as “a trip that seems to be captivating the rest of the world as much, if not more so, than many in the United States.”
ABC, CBS and CNN showcased video of Obama making a basketball shot at a gym with troops in Kuwait. Over video troops cheering Obama as he walked into the gym, on ABC's World News Jim Sciutto touted: “Though the destinations were new, the greeting was familiar. Senator Barack Obama signing autographs with soldiers on his first stop in Kuwait, even taking time to play some basketball...” Forrest Sawyer, anchoring the CBS Evening News on Saturday night, apparently with a new job after many years with ABC and MSNBC, highlighted how Obama “sank a shot from way outside the paint.” Sawyer announced over matching video:
Now, before Afghanistan Senator Obama stopped off in Kuwait to talk to the troops there. You remember all that grief Obama got for being a terrible bowler? Well, at a local gym someone handed him a basketball and he promptly sank a shot from way outside the paint. He made it look easy. You just have to pick the game.
CNN’s Rick Sanchez, who is interviewing apparent first-time voters as part of CNN’s series titled “The League of First Time Voters,” featured a group of young Muslim voters in a segment that aired on “American Morning” and CNN’s “Newsroom” program on Thursday, and asked them a series of questions that seemed tailored for the American Islamic community. In his first question, Sanchez asked, “When you hear the words 'War on Terror,' what do you think?” Later, he asked, “You think our policy in Iraq and our policy throughout the Middle East in the last six, seven years has actually helped Osama bin Laden?” [video available here]
After his “War on Terror” question, which was answered by a young man, Sanchez asked, “Raise your hand if you think the War in Iraq was a mistake. Every single one of you thinks the War in Iraq is a mistake. Why is it a mistake?” Two people, one man and one woman, answered, and they listed a variety of reasons. Sanchez then asked his “bin Laden” question. After woman answered affirmatively, he followed-up by asking, “We've given him what he wanted? Is that what you're saying?” Two others answered his question as well.
On Monday morning, April 21, CNN aired "America Votes 2008” with Rick Sanchez, (11:30 AM CT) a segment that featured reporter Sanchez visiting Penn State University to talk to some of the students about the upcoming Pennsylvania Democratic Primary. In the aftermath of CNN's visit, some of the students involved in the taping are alleging that Sanchez was so virulently skewed to the left that he berated and bullied students who held a differing point of view. It was reportedly so bad that CNN crewmembers even apologized to several students for Sanchez' incivility.
On Sunday, CNN touted Sanchez’ Pennsylvania segments as putting him "on the road in Pennsylvania ahead of Tuesday's crucial vote" and claims to be interested in "what's on their minds before they cast their ballots?" But at the Penn State University segment, at least as far as at least some of the students involved are concerned, what was on their minds didn't interest Sanchez at all. To the contrary, what was on his mind was all that concerned him they allege.
A night after CNN host Rick Sanchez decided to try to create a scandal over John McCain's failure to rebuke a supporter who referred to Hillary Clinton as a “bitch,” Sanchez on Wednesday declared McCain “should have distanced himself” from the remark and, since he didn't, the incident was newsworthy; McCain castigated CNN for its “biased reporting” and CNN's own media critic, Howard Kurtz agreed “his campaign has a point. That little incident was pretty badly hyped by Rick Sanchez.”
ABC got into the hype too as anchor Charles Gibson introduced a story on “another bit of controversy in the presidential race” which “involves the reaction of Senator John McCain when a lady at a town meeting asked him a question that contained a derogatory reference to Hillary Clinton.”
On CNN's The Situation Room, Brian Todd informed viewers how on “Tuesday evening CNN anchor Rick Sanchez takes about six minutes at the very top of his prime time show, Out in the Open, raising questions about why Senator McCain didn't immediately chastise the woman for insulting Mrs. Clinton like that.” Later, on Out in the Open, Sanchez whined about how in criticizing CNN's news judgment, McCain is “shooting the messenger, blaming me personally and CNN for his present plight.” Sanchez laid bare his agenda as he excoriated McCain for not acting as Sanchez wanted: “His staff has put out several statements today. None of them offers an apology to women in general or to Hillary Clinton specifically.”
Trying to create a scandal over Republican presidential candidate John McCain's failure to rebuke a woman supporter who called Hillary Clinton a “bitch,” CNN's Rick Sanchez led Tuesday night's Out in the Open with what he insisted was the “relevant and newsworthy” topic as he seriously asked: “Is John McCain done as a result of this?” He later speculated: “Is his campaign dead in the water?” Betraying the skew of those at CNN, Sanchez told guest Amy Holmes: “He could be in trouble for this from women, especially the ones that've been talking to me today in our newsroom who heard this and were offended.” Sanchez's spin matched that of left-wing bloggers, a story in Wednesday's New York Times revealed: “The clip began showing on Web sites like Salon.com, the liberal site TPM.com and others, with bloggers asking why Mr. McCain had not taken the questioner to task.”
Setting up the video, Sanchez haughtily intoned: “You're going to hear a McCain supporter. She refers to Hillary Clinton using really what is a horrible word that is used to do nothing but demean women. Well, at the time, it was a supporter who said that. It wasn't until later on, when we watched the whole tape, which is what you're about to see, that you see McCain's reaction, or lack thereof, that we decided that this is both relevant and newsworthy, and important information to this campaign.” An older woman at an event in South Carolina had asked: “How do we beat the bitch?” An appalled Sanchez complained: “He says 'that's an excellent question,' after somebody refers to Hillary Clinton as a B-word which rhymes with witch.”
CNN has highlighted the Media Matters-driven spin on Bill O’Reilly’s race remarks on his radio program since the beginning of the week, and has specifically used "Out in the Open" program, hosted by Rick Sanchez, to carry the water on the subject Monday through Friday of last week.
"Out in the Open" first did a segment on the O’Reilly issue on Monday, at the bottom of the 8 pm Eastern hour. Sanchez played select audio clips from O’Reilly’s radio show, outside of the greater context of the entire hour that O’Reilly discussed race. He also read some of the quotes from a transcript of the radio broadcast. CNN contributor and O’Reilly critic Roland Martin appeared unopposed during the segment, which lasted about six minutes. During the segment, Martin, in his attack on O’Reilly, played-up the parts from O’Reilly’s remarks that both Media Matters and Sanchez chose to highlight.
Less than a half-hour after Kiran Chetry and Roland Martin speculated whether O’Reilly’s recent comments on race would be the next "Imus Moment," the cast of MSNBC’s "Morning Joe" mocked the Fox News host. Co-host Mika Brzezinski put on her best Meryl Streep imitation after a clip of O’Reilly’s comments were played. "Oh, my God.... Wow... That's attractive," and also made an audible Al Gore-style sigh. Guest host Willie Geist went further. "Also, using the term 'blacks.’ I don't think anybody's said that since like 1973." Come again?
Brzezinski, Geist, and host Joe Scarborough discussed O’Reilly at the top of the 8 am Eastern hour on Tuesday’s "Morning Joe." While the cast played the O’Reilly clip for the first time, a caption spun O’Reilly’s words: "O’Reilly Shocked That Harlem Restaurant is ‘Normal’ (see above picture). The three were so "overwhelmed" by the clip that they played it again.