CNN anchor John Berman asked medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta Friday if just a "stroke of the pen" could "change this problem" and legalize medical marijuana.
"Can't they change this? Can't a stroke of the pen change this problem?" Berman asked of the government. Dr. Gupta, a medical marijuana advocate, agreed: "you say the same thing that I do. This is baffling to me." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Thursday's OutFront, CNN's Erin Burnett teed up Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings to call for Rep. Darrell Issa's ouster as chairman of the House Oversight Committee.
After a hearing where former IRS chief Lois Lerner dodged questions on the scandal she is at the center of, CNN joined NBC in focusing its outrage instead on Issa, who cut Cummings' microphone when the latter began railing against the proceeding. Burnett called that a "new low" for Congress on Wednesday, and then on Thursday she relayed the call for Issa's removal from the Congressional Black Caucus. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
MSNBC's Chris Matthews compared CPAC to the cantina from Star Wars in a bizarre rant on Thursday's Hardball. Matthews trashed the gathering and took aim at "the Joe McCarthy imitator" Sen. Ted Cruz.
Matthews couldn't get the event name right, though: "Do you remember the bar scene in Star Wars with all those wild-eyed creatures from every part of the solar system? Well today here in Washington the whole tapestry of weirdness was reenacted at the annual convention of something called CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Committee [sic]." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
After being the lone network to report ObamaCare's newest delay on Wednesday morning, CBS dropped the story on Wednesday evening's newscast. Both NBC and ABC reported the news -- very briefly -- but only NBC provided criticism from Republicans.
"The White House announced late today that some will now be able to keep their plans for another two years before they have to meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. Republicans immediately cried foul, calling it a political move to prevent cancellation notices from showing up in the mail just before the mid-term elections this fall," reported NBC's Brian Williams on the Nightly News.
Although President Obama's former IRS chief refused to answer questions about the IRS scandal she is at the center of, NBC's Brian Williams instead lamented the behavior of GOP congressman Darrell Issa at Wednesday's hearing.
"In Washington today, a public and startling example of the kind of behavior Congress has become known for and Congress has become gridlocked over," Williams began. NBC played a clip of the fiery exchange between Issa and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Mary.) where Cummings cried foul over the hearing followed by Issa cutting his microphone.
President Obama will be enacting yet another delay for ObamaCare, but the networks were silent about the prospect of it on Tuesday night. The administration is set to allow insurers to keep offering health plans that don't meet ObamaCare standards, and the delay will be tailored around the November Congressional elections.
The Hillclearly saw the move as political – "easing election pressure on Democrats" – since it would avoid the "firestorm" of many health plans being cancelled right before the November elections. CBSNews.com reported the news, but none of the network evening news casts touched the story on Tuesday.
On Tuesday evening, ABC again skipped its own poll showing voter disapproval of both President Obama and Senate Democrats up for re-election.
Obama's approval rating was underwater at 46 percent, while voters preferred Republican senate candidates to Democrats 50-42. The poll noted that "Anti-incumbent sentiment is largely economic in nature; as such, while there's dissatisfaction with both parties, it's pointed more at the Democrats, given their control of the big chair at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave."
Once again, TheDaily Show rolled out its conservative-hating schtick and mocked opponents of ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion in a simplistic liberal attack on Thursday.
Correspondent Al Madrigal put it point-blank to Ashley Landess, who opposes the expansion in South Carolina: "It's hard not to seem like a total [bleep] when you're saying this stuff to people. When this guy has asthma, and he's all (wheezes), you know, it's hard to argue that," he said of a subject who needed the access to Medicaid to get tests for his asthma. He treated supporters of the expansion with kid gloves; opponents like Landess were vilified. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
In a clear double standard, CNN was in an uproar on Thursday and Friday over an Arizona GOP legislator's racist jokes about Latinos but has yet to report a Florida Democrat's gaffe about immigrants.
"As if lawmakers in the state of Arizona didn't already have enough negative national attention, there is this," Anderson Cooper piled on. He played state representative John Kavanagh's "racist roast" of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and added that his jokes "set off a firestorm in the Latino community." Yet a few days ago, Florida Democrat Alex Sink emphasized the importance of immigration reform because of the need for landscapers and hotel workers and CNN has said nothing.
All three networks boosted President Obama's image on Thursday evening by touting his new program for young minorities and his "personal and emotional" testimony at its launch.
"A personal and emotional event at the White House for the President today, as he spoke before a star-studded East Room audience and launched a program aimed at giving young men of color a shot at success," NBC's Brian Williams reported on the Nightly News. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Actor Liam Neeson ranted against New York City's ultra-liberal Mayor Bill DeBlasio on Wednesday's Daily Show, citing his ban on horse-drawn carriages and keeping city schools open during a recent snow storm.
"I'm a little bit pissed off at our elected new mayor," Neeson revealed to host Jon Stewart. "He made my kids go to school in all that snow." Neeson added later that despite poll numbers supporting the contrary, "He [DeBlasio] wants to close this horse and carriage industry in New York." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN's Wolf Blitzer hounded Rep. Michele Bachmann over Arizona's religious freedom bill on Wednesday and "disagreed" that religious beliefs of business owners are being violated when they are forced to act against their consciences and serve all customers.
"Americans are very tolerant people. And there is religious freedom in our country," Blitzer insisted. When Bachmann responded that "This is not tolerating people's religious beliefs," he chimed back in, "On this one, I disagree." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Tuesday evening, the networks continued their blackout of a CMS estimate that ObamaCare would raise health premiums for 11 million people -- almost two-thirds of small business plans.
The CMS report was released on Friday but the networks have been silent on it so far. The story wasn’t omitted from a busy news schedule, as the CBS Evening News carved out over two minutes to reminisce on the fiftieth anniversary of the Cassius Clay-Sonny Liston championship bout. The ABC World News ran a segment on “sleep whisperers” and insomnia.
On Tuesday's Nightly News, NBC's Brian Williams outright framed the Arizona bill protecting the religious freedom of business owners as akin to segregation and Jim Crow laws. CBS and ABC at least gave the supporters' view, reporting the fight as between religious freedom and gay rights.
"Good evening," Williams began the news cast. "It's just one state out of our 50, but tonight what's happening in Arizona is being compared by some to the epic battles this nation has fought over lunch counters, separate drinking fountains and restrooms." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Wednesday’s Daily Show mocked conservatives by painting Russia as their “conservative paradise” of bigotry, sexism, and economic inequality.
Correspondent Jason Jones quipped that “it seems the red scare has become the ultimate red state” and told unhappy U.S. conservatives like “this antiquated (bleep)” Rush Limbaugh to pack their bags and move there. Jones tarred all conservatives with controversial soundbites from a few. [See video after jump.]
CNN's Carol Costello might as well have read from a Think Progress cheat sheet when she battled conservative economist Stephen Moore over wages and economics on Wednesday. Moore, for his part, gave her a lesson in economics.
Starting with the recent CBO estimate that President Obama's minimum wage proposal would cost a half million jobs, Costello argued that it was just an estimate and that the net job loss could be zero. "So many people would say I'm willing to take that bet," she offered. That was only the first in a string of Costello's liberal economic claims. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Chris Matthews quoted the communists on Tuesday to argue that the unlimited spending allowed by Citizens United is turning U.S. elections into a sham.
"This is becoming, I will argue, like the country the communists accused of us being back in the Cold War, run by the Rockefellers. We'll get there," Matthews warned. "In the four years since the Citizens United decision, we've seen how unlimited political spending, cash, can empower the few over the many," he ranted. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CBS was the only network on Tuesday evening to highlight a CBO report that President Obama's proposal to hike the minimum wage would cost 500,000 jobs.
The CBO report was released Tuesday afternoon and estimated that the wage increase would boost 900,000 Americans above the poverty line but would also result in the loss of half a million jobs. CBS was the only network to report the news; neither NBC nor ABC touched on the CBO report.
Crossfire co-host Newt Gingrich exposed CNN's double standard on Tuesday when he slammed the network for "selective outrage" over conservative Ted Nugent's remarks about President Obama, and Nugent's support of Texas GOP gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott.
"I always love selective media outrage. As the party of Hollywood, the Democrats have lots of donors and supporters who say truly stupid things. Truly outrageous things," insisted Gingrich. Among those Democratic donors is liberal comedian Bill Maher, who said horrible things about Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann on CNN and yet guest-hosted on the network back in 2012. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Amidst President Obama's sliding approval ratings, liberal historian Douglas Brinkley stood up for his "above-average" legacy on Monday's Hardball.
"I think he's an above-average president. I'd put him somewhere around what Bill Clinton was able to do," Brinkley insisted. He compared Obama's withdrawal from Iraq to Eisenhower getting the U.S. out of the Korean war, even though al Qaeda is clearly making a comeback in Iraq. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On Friday night’s World News, ABC’s Cecilia Vega gave a sympathetic portrayal of a polygamist family featured on TLC’s Sister Wives.
Although Vega gave voice to critics of the Brown family, she spent most of her report interviewing the family and allowing them to defend their way of living. “They maintain theirs is a healthy lifestyle,” Vega reported. She allowed the family to distance themselves from the abuse of children and women in other polygamist families. [video below the jump]
CNN gave a prime exhibition of lazy journalism on Friday's The Situation Room when it touted Obama's "victory lap" because of "new ObamaCare enrollment numbers" without fact-checking to see if his optimism is warranted.
"President Obama is taking something of a victory lap I guess you could say," reported host Brianna Keilar. "At a meeting with House Democrats he praised his party for sticking it out on the debt ceiling fight and touted his administration's new ObamaCare enrollment numbers." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
CNN's Jake Tapper didn't ask guest Bill Maher once about his vile rhetoric against conservative women in a lengthy, two-segment interview on Friday's The Lead.
Tapper asked all soft questions of the liberal comedian who gave $1 million to President Obama's super PAC in 2012. He also brought up the Lewinsky scandal, which enabled Maher to laud Bill Clinton as "respectable" and a "great guy." This from a man who has a history of despicable vitriol against Republican women.
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews ranted on Thursday that the GOP, the “party of Lincoln,” is becoming “the party of Jefferson Davis.”
How is the GOP becoming like the old Confederacy? For Matthews, the party is passing voting laws, and thus “grabbing every chance it can to keep minorities from the voting booth.” He lamented that Lincoln would be a RINO in today’s GOP.
At Wednesday’s White House press briefing, ABC’s Jonathan Karl asked point-blank if the Obama administration’s handling of Syria has been an “absolute failure.” ABC didn’t report the exchange on Wednesday evening, however.
Karl asked White House press secretary Jay Carney, “isn’t it time to acknowledge that easing the humanitarian crisis in Syria, that the President’s policy has been an absolute failure?” He cited national intelligence chief James Clapper, who told Congress that the crisis has become an “apocalyptic disaster.” Carney bristled and defended the administration’s record.
None of the network evening newscasts identified ex-New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin as a Democrat when reporting on his conviction of 20 counts of corruption on Wednesday.
The ABC World News called him "the face and voice of a city in ruins" post-Katrina, and joined CBS in simply labeling him the "former mayor" of New Orleans without the Democratic label. As NewsBusters reported last year, all the same evening newscasts dropped the Democratic label at Nagin's indictment.
On Tuesday night, CNN’s Piers Morgan bemoaned Rand Paul’s “sleazy” attack on Bill Clinton’s promiscuity, but guest Ann Coulter roasted Clinton and other Democrats for their own attacks on women.
“This is all very salacious,” Morgan lamented. “And Rand Paul wants us to think about Hillary and Bill as a doublette in a salacious, slightly sleazy way, right?” he added. “Come on, don't attack the woman through her husband,” he said of Hillary and Bill. [See video below.]
Reporting on Tuesday's White House state dinner featuring French president Francois Hollande, the CBS Evening News ignored the plummeting approval rating for his socialist policies.
CBS touched on the controversy of Hollande's affair and subsequent break-up with his partner, but ignored a poll showing over 70 percent of the French believing his taxes to be "excessive" and 80 percent calling his economic policy "misguided" and "inefficient." In addition, Hollande's approval rating has fallen below 20 percent for the first time.
The ABC World News cheered Tuesday's "breakthrough" debt deal with nary a mention of the rising national debt.
The House voted to raise the debt limit with no conditions, yet ABC cast the development as entirely positive. Correspondent Jeff Zeleny hailed the move as "a huge breakthrough for the dysfunction that really has held this capital hostage for nearly three years."
On Monday evening’s news casts, none of the networks recognized the controversy of President Obama possibly acting outside the Constitution to delay ObamaCare’s employer mandate.
The President granted a one-year delay for businesses with 50 to 99 employees to provide them with health insurance. It was the second time he had delayed the mandate and thus changed a law passed by Congress, but the networks had only highlighted the controversy the first time.