From the transcript at a Clinton Global Initiative panel discussion (in PDF format) from last Friday, it's apparent that Time Warner chairman Richard Parsons wants to proclaim that CNN, inspired by that global visionary Ted Turner, is the best international news outlet, with a staff who see it "almost as a holy mission" to deliver news to the world. Fox owner Rupert Murdoch won't stand for that, since CNN International is "anti-American." Clinton then feels compelled to come to Ted Turner's defense.
PARSONS: "I think that CNN is by far the best and best positioned global news company in the world. We have more, sort of, investment and people on the ground and assets on the ground around the world than anybody else, and it's expensive. But -- and here I give a fellow named Ted Turner a lot of credit.
Ted's vision, which we still hold to, adhere to, was people everywhere in the world needed to be able to see what's going on anywhere in the world. And that is, you know, there is a group of dedicated professionals who've been put together over the last 20, 25 years who see it almost as a holy mission to shed light where there frequently are just shadows."
MURDOCH: "Well, I don't really want to raise to the bait that Dick threw out there, but I would just say that I don't think he watches CNN International and I doubt anyone else does, except -- and it's so anti-American. Not like CNN here. It's a different show. However, we'll let that pass."
Murdoch could have been much meaner, like suggesting how CNN didn't exactly get the news out of Baghdad straight when it was too busy sidling up to Saddam for an Iraqi backdrop. Naturally, Clinton had to jump in and defend Ted's honor:
"I was sitting here thinking and listening to you talk that I always watch CNN International when I've [been] overseas. And you made me feel like it was like taking a shower with my shoes on here. Nonetheless I watch it."