[Update, 12:15 pm Wednesday: See below on CNN's additional coverage of the assault.]
CNN devoted seven news briefs on Tuesday to an assault on a MoveOn.org employee by Rand Paul supporters caught on camera outside the Kentucky Senate debate on Monday evening, but failed to mention a second assault on Rand Paul supporter by a booster of Paul's opponent, Jack Conway. Most of the briefs also omitted how the MoveOn employee was trying to get an embarrassing picture of Paul.
Emily Maxwell of KYPost.com reported late on Monday how "tensions flared at he senatorial candidates' debate here Monday night in two confrontations between Conway and Paul supporters, Lexington police reported. The first involved a woman who is a member of www.moveon.org and who was determined to pose in front of Rand Paul holding a sign that read 'Rand Paul Republicore: Employee of the Month.'" After detailing this first incident, Maxwell continued that "the second occurred after a Conway supporter stepped on the foot of a female Rand supporter, who recently had foot surgery, according to police. The woman was wearing a surgical boot, but after the injury, her incision was cut open. Police say she refused medical treatment and also filed an assault report."
Anchor John Roberts set the example for CNN's coverage of the incidents in his news brief six minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour of American Morning, as the video of the assault on Lauren Valle, the MoveOn.org employee played:
CNN continued its promotion of the left-wing agenda of homosexual activist groups by devoting five segments on Wednesday to promoting GLAAD's "Spirit Day" or "Wear Purple Day." The network promoted the organization's website for the special day, which, as anchor John Roberts described it, was organized "to show support for gay and lesbian youth and honor teens who have taken their lives in recent weeks."
Roberts highlighted "Spirit Day" during a brief eight minutes into the 7 pm Eastern hour of American Morning: "Well, if you're logging on this morning, noticing a lot of purple people on Facebook this morning, that's because today has been dubbed 'Spirit Day.' The Gay and Lesbian Alliance against Defamation is asking everyone to wear purple and turn their Facebook and Twitter profiles to purple to show support for gay and lesbian youth and honor teens who have taken their lives in recent weeks. For more information, you can visit glaad.org/spirit day." During the brief, a special purple graphic was displayed on screen.
Kyra Phillips, John Roberts's fiancee, devoted two segments to GLAAD's campaign during her two hours of CNN Newsroom. During the 9 am Eastern hour, she highlighted a taped message made by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:
CNN's Wolf Blitzer downplayed the straight liberal record of Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday's Newsroom, as he compared the former senator to Delaware Democratic Senate candidate Chris Coons: "I think we'll find out that he's [Coons] very much in line with the policies of a Joe Biden...sort of a relatively moderate liberal Democrat who's traditionally got a little bit of an independent streak" [audio available here].
Blitzer appeared with anchor Tony Harris at the bottom of the 11 am Eastern hour for a preview of the debate between Coons and Republican Christine O'Donnell, in which he is serving as co-moderator. Harris asked The Situation Room host, "As you mentioned a couple of times, he [Coons] is leading this race, and- you know, it has been suggested that he would go to Washington as a rubber stamp to the policies of the Obama administration. What do we know- what do you think we'll find out about Chris Coons tonight?"
On Thursday's Newsroom, CNN's Tony Harris played hardball with Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce, the author of the SB1070 anti-illegal immigration law in the state, while not asking one tough question with his other guest, pro-illegal immigration activist Isabel Garcia. Surprisingly, Harris did finally explicitly identify the pro-open borders organization that Garcia leads [audio clips available here].
The CNN anchor brought on Pearce and Garcia to discuss a federal district justice's Wednesday injunction against key provisions in the Arizona law. He identified the state senator as the "lawmaker who co-sponsored the immigration bill," and his other guest's role as "co-chair of the Tucson-based Coalition for Human Rights." This contrasts with their earlier joint appearance with Harris on July 7, where the anchor merely identified Garcia as the "deputy public defender in Pima County, Arizona." He still neglected to mention this organization's pro-illegal immigration stance (not to leave out their website, which features a logo incorporating the southwestern states into Mexico).
In the wake of Tuesday's revelations concerning liberal media members trying to bury the Rev. Jeremiah Wright story in the spring of 2008, one has to wonder how many mainstream organizations played a hand.
On May 5 of that year, at the beginning of an interview with Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama, CNN's John Roberts said (video available here courtesy Ed Driscoll, relevant section at 3:43):
I want to just stipulate at the beginning of this interview, we are declaring a Reverend Wright-free zone today. So, no questions about Reverend Wright. Our viewers want us to move on, so this morning we're going to move on.
As NewsBusters noted at the time, this came eight days after CNN personalities David Gergen, Tony Harris, and Roland Martin had a discussion about why the media should stop talking about Wright (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Wednesday's Newsroom, CNN's Tony Harris omitted the pro-illegal immigration activism of guest Isabel Garcia, just as his colleague Suzanne Malveaux did more than two months earlier. Harris twice referred to Garcia as merely the "deputy public defender in Pima County, Arizona," and didn't mention her involvement in the beating and decapitation of a pinata effigy of Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
The anchor brought on the activist, as well as Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce, the author of the state newly-passed anti-illegal immigration law, for two segments starting 10 minutes into the 11 am Eastern hour. After asking Senator Pearce's position on the federal government's new lawsuit against the enforcement of his law, Harris turned to the public defender: "Isabel, you've been patient. Weigh in here."
Garcia (her pro-illegal immigration organization, Coalición de Derechos Humanos, whose website features a logo incorporating the southwestern states into Mexico, was identified on-screen as the "Human Rights Coalition") immediately went on the offense against Pearce, playing the race/ethnicity card against the Republican politician:
Burdened under a mountain of student debt? CNN has the answer - dedicate ten or so of your prime years to social work. Better yet, join the AmeriCorps.
Doing her best to channel Obama's inspiring Notre Dame address about shunning immoral endeavors in the private sector for virtuous and selfless community endeavors, Stephanie Elam sounded more like a Public Works Czar than a CNN correspondent on April 6.
"This is really about helping those people out, getting them ready as far as the choice for best course of study for the financial future," Elam said on CNN "Newsroom." "So you may consider the possibility of enlisting in public service. Demand is really high right now for government jobs ... and any remaining debt on federal student loans will be forgiven after you work full-time in public service for ten years."
On Tuesday's Newsroom, CNN's Tony Harris applied liberal thinking on race to the unemployment rate, speculating if the debate over jobs would change if whites were out of work like minorities were: "I wonder what the discussion about jobs in this country would be like if the rate of white unemployment in this country was, say 15, 16 percent, as it is for African-Americans."
Harris brought up the race issue during a segment with Don Peck of The Atlantic 42 minutes into the 11 am Eastern hour. Peck recently wrote an article for the publication on "how a new jobless era will transform America." Besides bringing up the unemployment rate of blacks, the CNN anchor also cited the 12-13 percent unemployment rate of Hispanics, and then quoted from Peck's article: "Make the point here- expand on the comment, 'It will leave an indelible comment on many blue-collar white men and on white culture.' What do you mean by that?"
CNN refreshingly called out President Obama on Friday's Newsroom concerning his false claim that "for the first time...you saw more people getting health care from government than you did from the private sector." CNN's Suzanne Simons and anchor Tony Harris both used the "pants on fire" expression to describe the President's statement. The AP, on the other hand, merely labeled it "hyperbole."
President Obama delivered this line at his February 9, 2010 White House press conference. Harris played the sound bite of this statement 20 minutes into the 12 pm Eastern hour, and asked Simons, who is an executive producer with CNN's "Fact Check Desk," to verify its accuracy: "Tell us, is that an accurate statement from the President?"
On Friday’s Newsroom, CNN anchor Tony Harris apparently couldn’t believe the news as the International Olympic Committee eliminated Chicago, as well as Tokyo, from consideration as the deciding body made its final votes on which city would get the Olympic Games in 2016.
Within the course of just over a minute at 25 minutes into the 11 am Eastern hour, Harris uttered the phrase “Chicago is out” four times as IOC President Jacques Rogge read the results of the second-to-last round of voting. He first whispered the statement, and then repeated it much louder, this time with clear amazement and/or disbelief in his voice. The anchor stated it the third time in the same manner.
As CNN tried to get confirmation from their correspondent in Copenhagen, Harris used the same shocked tone of voice to list the cities that were still in: “Madrid is still in!? Tokyo is still in!? (The Japanese capital had actually been eliminated with Chicago.)” The anchor didn’t mention the actual other city that was still in, Rio de Janeiro, before exclaiming again, “Wait a minute! Chicago is out!?”
Our friends at Townhall.com captured Harris’s moment of utter disbelief for posterity (see below the jump):
Major newspapers and networks have been ignoring the question of abortion coverage in the new health care bill sponsored by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont. The only newspapers to even mention abortion coverage since the bill was released on September 16 were The Boston Globe, The Oregonian, and The Orlando Sentinel - all of which were editorials.
The Boston Globe only mentioned in passing that the funding of abortion was scratched in order to please the Republicans, who refuse to be pleased anyway. The Oregonian admitted that abortion was funded in the bill but concluded that "being a citizen means paying taxes, and being one of hundreds of millions of citizens means that some tax revenues will fund something you don't like." And The Orlando Sentinel stated that the "truth" behind Republicans "right-wing anti-Obama rhetoric" against abortion is simply "cowardly coded smoke screens intended to mask fear and racism."
Douglas Brinkley continued his use of religious imagery to gush about the legacy of Ted Kennedy and his apparent Catholicism on CNN’s Newsroom on Thursday. Brinkley did his best to paper over the many moral downfalls of the senator: “He’s asked to be forgiven by people. He did a kind of a redemptive work throughout his whole career. He would fall off the wagon....But he constantly said, I can do better.”
Near the end of the 12 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program, anchor Tony Harris asked the liberal presidential historian and CBS commentator, “You hear...about some of the failings in the senator’s life, and what is it about us as people that- on a day like today- a day like yesterday, we are willing to, in many cases, look past some of those failings, and focus in on the positive arc of a person’s life?” Brinkley played up Kennedy’s Catholic background, and instead using the “martyr” term he used on Wednesday, used more general religious language in his answer:
CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen tried to assuage the elderly over their concerns with ObamaCare on Monday’s Newsroom: “If there’s one group of people who needs to worry the least about health care reform, it’s probably the elderly... [they] already have Medicare.” This claim by Cohen ignores planned cuts to Medicare benefits announced by President Obama himself back in January.
Anchor Tony Harris brought on Cohen to answer viewer questions during the first minutes of the 11 am Eastern hour. One viewer named Jake asked if he would lose his Medicare under the Obama proposal. She replied, “If there’s one group of people who needs to worry the least about health care reform, it’s probably the elderly, and the reason for that is that the elderly already have Medicare. They already have government-sponsored health insurance. Reform is about helping people who are under the age of 65. So, he really doesn’t have to worry about his Medicare.”
CNN daytime anchor Tony Harris has a bit of a different perspective on the Henry Louis Gates arrest.
Around 12:31 PM, after the Massachusetts Municipal Police Coalition held a press conference defending Sgt. Crowley’s conduct in the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Harris spoke to the CNN reporter on the scene, Don Lemon. Having been informed that one of the reasons the union decided to hold the press conference was a sinking morale among officers after President Obama’s remarks on the matter, Harris said:
During the first hour and a half following Senator Arlen Specter’s announcement that he was switching from the Republican Party to the Democratic, CNN pushed the “big message” behind the defection, that “the Republican Party has moved so far to the right, that it is making itself uncompetitive in significant parts of the country, like the Northeast,” as the network’s senior political analyst Bill Schneider (shown at right) put it. He continued that the “Democrats, under President Obama, are really moving to claim the center of American politics.” Anchor Kyra Phillips even used the “center” label as an apparent synonym for Democrat.
Phillips’ fellow anchor Tony Harris turned to Schneider three times over the course of fifteen minutes during the 12 pm Eastern hour of the Newsroom program on CNN. During the first appearance 22 minutes into the hour, Harris asked the senior political analyst, “Could we see more of these defections and switches?” Schneider answered, “Tony, this has been going on for years. Republicans in the Northeast have been defeated....They’ve been losing general elections. The Republican Party -- there’s a big message here, which is that the Republican Party has moved so far to the right, that it is making itself uncompetitive in significant parts of the country, like the Northeast. This is really a cannon shot at them, saying this party is no longer competitive in lots of the country.”
CNN latched onto two separate poll results on Monday that indicated that about half of Americans view the Islamic world negatively or don’t trust Muslim allies as much as other allies, and indicated that President Obama and others in authority need to be “educators” for the public about Islam. The network brought up the polls’ results on seven different occasions during their programming that day.
During the 8 am Eastern hour of American Morning, chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour first brought up a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll which found that 55 percent of Americans “concede that they lack a good basic understanding of Islam” and that 48 percent “hold an unfavorable opinion of Islam.” After she read these results, substitute anchor Carol Costello responded, “I think the difference is that many Americans see Islam as an ideology instead of a religion, and maybe, President Obama has to kind of -- kind of put a definition on it from the American standpoint in Turkey.”
Later, near the end of the noon hour of the Newsroom program, Amanpour appeared again, this time with anchor Tony Harris. He asked the correspondent to “talk us through some recent polling in The Washington Post that suggests that the president is going to have to play the role of educator-in-chief when it comes to explaining Islam to many in America, even as he works for better relations with the Islamic world.” Amanpour first answered that President Obama was “trying to smooth...over and correct” the “terrible rupture” between the U.S. and the Islamic world over the past eight years.
HARRIS: Let's make a deal. Negotiators say they could agree on a final version of the massive stimulus bill as early as today.
Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash is on phone from Capitol Hill.
Dana, really, by today? Is that possible?
DANA BASH, CNN NEWS SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPODNENT: Their cautiously optimistic. I think we should stress the word cautious. I'm sitting in the hall of the capitol down the hall from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's office. And there is a huge meeting going on, it's even going on for 24 hours. The White House has said the budget director said many some of the key centrist Senators who really hold a lot of power between the House and Senate on the president's stimulus package.
During a segment on Friday’s Newsroom program, CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen heralded the FDA’s approval of the first human clinical trial involving embryo-destroying stem cell research. Cohen then gave a soft interview of the president and CEO of the company involved in the trial, who made the bizarre claim that new medical breakthroughs, including corneal transplants and anesthesia for women in childbirth, were supposedly “always met with concerns from the Religious Right” in the past. Cohen did not follow-up to this statement by the CEO.
The segment, which began 17 minutes into the 11 am Eastern hour of the CNN program, began with anchor Tony Harris trumpeting how the FDA’s approval of the embryonic stem cell clinical trial represented “major milestone in this field of research.” He then asked Cohen to “explain to us how significant a day this is.” The correspondent gushed in reply, “This is a big day, and I will tell you, I interviewed Christopher Reeve many times about stem cells, and I think he would probably be smiling if he were here to see this day.” She did not bring up the moral objections to embryo destruction in her explanation of the breaking news item which followed, just that “some say that some of this research has been overblown, and a it’s not quite as promising as many people say.”
Shortly before noon today, CNN anchor Tony Harris turned to producer Tyson Wheatley for a look at the latest from CNN's "iReport" desk. Wheatley proceeded to show Harris and the viewers at home some of the art work done by CNN's "iReporters," including one item that evoked an image from a promotional poster for 2004's Mel Gibson film, "The Passion of the Christ." [audio excerpt here]
Here's the CNN.com transcript, you can view the video embed at the right (h/t fellow NewsBuster Mark Finkelstein):
CNN correspondent Jessica Yellin reversed course concerning her take on President-Elect Barack Obama’s “transparency” on the issue of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and the appointment of his successor in the U.S. Senate. During a segment on Wednesday’s Situation Room, Yellin criticized the outgoing Illinois senator for “not starting off on the foot he promised he’d start off on, which is more transparency and more candor than we’ve seen before.” Just under 17 hour later, minutes after Obama stated that he was “absolutely certain” that no one in his camp was involved in the governor’s alleged scheme to sell his senate seat, the CNN correspondent praised the president-elect: “I should also highlight...that he’s also set down a marker for transparency. He promised a transparent government...and he has revealed now much more than we usually hear in these kind of investigations scandals from a politician.”
CNN promoted hate crimes legislation last Friday morning when it aired a video of singer Cyndi Lauper speaking about her hero, homosexual activist Cathy Nelson during the 11:00 hour of its Newsroom.
Using the hook of CNN's "Heroes" special scheduled to air Thanksgiving night, anchor Tony Harris introduced the video with "We've also asked some familiar faces to share the spotlight and introduce us to their heroes. Today, Grammy award winner Cyndi Lauper tells us about a human rights activist fighting for all Americans."
Of course, Lauper's hero is most concerned with one specific group of Americans: homosexuals.
The video featured Lauper saying such things as "hate crimes send terror through a community" and "you can die just because of who you are." Nelson added, "Lesbian and gay; bisexual and transgender equality is really the civil rights issue of this generation" and "what drives me is fighting for fairness and equality."
In anticipation of the Supreme Court’s decision on the constitutionality of DC handgun ban on Thursday, CNN’s "Newsroom" program ran a report on both the sides of the gun case, in which the pro-gun control advocate was given twice the amount of air time as the gun rights advocate. The report, by CNN justice correspondent Kelli Arena, ran twice within 20 minutes; first, at the top of the 10 am hour of "Newsroom," minutes before the decision was released, and then immediately after the news of the decision broke.
In addition to this, when the 5-4 decision upholding the lower court’s finding that the ban was unconstitutional, the "Newsroom" program initially ran a graphic that read, "Supreme Ct. Kills Handgun Ban: Overrules DC Law." The graphic ran for just under a minute until being replaced by another that read, "Supreme Ct. Overrules Gun Ban: Overrules DC Law Forbidding Handguns."
Just over an hour after the Supreme Court’s ruling came down, near the bottom half of the 11 am Eastern hour of "Newsroom," CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, when asked about the local impact of the decision, snarked that "the communities that care about safety and communities that don't want the bad effects of guns will try to rewrite their regulations in line with what they think the Court decided."
Just when you thought the "green" hype couldn’t get any worse, Thursday’s "Newsroom" program on CNN introduced the world to the latest celebrities to jump on the "environmentally-friendly" bandwagon: rocker Tommy Lee of Motley Crue, rapper Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, and Johnny Colt, the bassist for the pop group Train. Co-host Tony Harris interviewed the three for seven minutes during the 11 am Eastern hour of the CNN program so the new trio could promote their upcoming "reality" series, "Battleground Earth" on Discovery Network’s new "green" channel. This brings up the inevitable question, will the Church of Scientology sue for copyright infringement for the show’s title being so close to L. Ron Hubbard’s pulp sci-fi novel "Battlefield Earth"?
Harris, as might be expected, didn’t ask the three any hard-hitting questions, though the celebrities did seem like they were stumped by some of the softballs the CNN host lobbed at them. For example, Harris asked the celebrities about the presidential election and their favorite candidates. Of course, two of them endorsed Obama.
Later in the segment on CNN’s "Newsroom" between Tony Harris, David Gergen, and Roland Martin after the Reverend Jeremiah Wright speech at the National Press Club (which Mark Finkelstein blogged about earlier), Gergen suggested that "it’s time for him [Rev. Wright] to get off the stage, and frankly, for the media, I suggest, to move on." He also twice characterized the whole affair as a "sideshow" [audio available here].
Shortly after a commercial break which came in the middle of the discussion, Gergen, in response to a question from "Newsroom" co-host Tony Harris, said of Rev. Wright, "Every time he appears, he just gives legitimacy and a hunger by those who oppose Barack Obama to re-run those tapes, to keep him at the center of controversy, to let this overhang and define Barack Obama, when it has, you know -- it has very, very little to do -- it's a very marginal piece of who Barack Obama is and what he stands for."
Gergen then talked about how the Rev. Wright issue was a distraction, and how the preacher should have handled himself after the controversy broke, all the while heaping praise on him, and at the end, making his "move on" suggestion.
How bad was Reverend Wright's appearance before the National Press Club this morning? Bad enough that even CNN contributor Roland Martin—who yesterday enthused about Wright's address to the Detroit NAACP, who gave Wright's chat with Bill Moyers an 'A'—flunked it with an 'F.' Bad enough that David Gergen condemned it as "narcissistic almost beyond belief." Bad enough that, introducing a panel discussion of the speech, the palpably distressed CNN Newsroom host Tony Harris let out an audible groan of "ah, boy," and later wondered how much damage had been done.
CNN’s Kyra Phillips, currently in Iraq on assignment, apparently couldn’t any Iraqi troops who support the Republicans for the November election in the U.S. All of those featured in her report on Friday’s "Newsroom" program said glowing things about Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, or the Democrats in general. Ahmed Mansour, one of the soldiers from Iraq’s Sixth Division that Philips interviewed, expressed his preference for Hillary Clinton. "The truth is I pay attention to Democratic Party -- even more, Hillary Clinton." When asked why he liked Hillary, he said, "Because I like her personality, because she's new. In America, you need something new, a new female president. We saw and lived under the Republican Party, under Bush. We would like to see what the Democrats have to offer."
CNN viewers on Friday saw a relatively rare acknowledgement of those who are skeptical of Al Gore's film "An Inconvenient Truth," including a British judge who recently ruled that there are nine inaccuracies in the movie. But CNN's Miles O'Brien dismissed the views of dissenters, and downplayed the importance of the errors cited by the judge.
As he made several appearances on various CNN shows on Friday, O'Brien tagged dissenters with such labels as "dead-enders," a "tiny fraction of a minority," and a "very small fringe," as he linked skeptics to fossil fuel companies. He also repeatedly declared that the scientific debate on global warming is over. Notably, on the July 20 "The Situation Room," O'Brien had curtly lectured former Republican Congressman J.C. Watts with similar comments on the subject. O'Brien: "You're not paying attention to the science, J.C. You're definitely not paying attention. ... The scientific debate is over, J.C., we're done." (Transcript follows)
On CNN Sunday night, it was like Ted "Captain Planet" Turner was still running the place. CNN anchor Tony Harris interviewed Robert Redford with a sense of awe about his latest Sundance Summit with local officials to "fight global warming." Redford trashed President Bush as "pretty transparently awful on the environment," and the administration as "retarded in its views," but said "what I think is the exciting part, which is the optimistic part, which is that we can now do something ourselves as individuals that can change the course of things." The anchorman, Harris, replied: "That is so great." He professed disappointment that the president would not meet with Redford, as if he were a world statesman and eminent scientist: "Boy, I sure would love to see the day when the two of you -- you and the president, actually had a real dialogue. But I guess it's not going to happen."