Posts tagged "CNN"

Right on, Nancy Pelosi! 

h/t: Caitlin MacNeal at TPM LiveWire

Duck Dynasty star: Gays are going to hell is ‘what the Bible says’ (via Raw Story )

Willie Robertson, star of the reality television series Duck Dynasty, has defended anti-LGBT comments made by his father, agreeing gay and lesbian people are sinners who will not go to heaven because the Bible is literal. In a recent interview, CNN’…


Oh cry me a frickin’ river, Benny.

This is one of the things that makes me crazy about the conservative punditry is how incredibly thin-skinned they are. They can be as dismissive and mean as they want to be but give them a little bit of their own medicine and suddenly the WATB cries come out.

Ben Ferguson keeps perpetuating the completely unsubstantiated myth of the liberal media by pointing to the singular cable channel of MSNBC. Proof, the hair helmet of conservatism insists, of their hostility to conservatives is that they usually book them at a three (liberals) to one (conservative) ratio, keep interrupting them and aren’t interested in a real debate.

Wait…what? That doesn’t sound like MSNBC’s format, which usually goes with the Left/Right paradigm and invites two guests per segment. That sounds suspiciously like the Sunday show roundtables, if anything. Sally Kohn doesn’t see anything different from that as her experiences as the designated lefty on Fox News, where the ratio got as out of hand as 15 to one.

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Neil deGrasse Tyson, host of Fox’s documentary series Cosmos, said on Sunday that the news media should stop trying to “balance” the debate on scientific issues by hosting people who deny science.

In an interview on CNN’s Reliable Sourcs, host Brian Stelter asked Tyson how to go about brokering a peace in the “war on science.”

"Our civilization is built on the innovation of scientists and technologists and engineers who have shaped everything that we so take for granted today," Tyson pointed out. "So some of the science deniers or science haters, these are people who are telling that to you while they are on their mobile phone."

"They are saying, ‘I don’t like science. Oh, GPS just told us to go left,’" he laughed. "So it’s time for people to sit back and reassess what role science as actually played in our lives. And learn how to embrace that going forward, because with out it, we will just regress back into the caves."

Stelter observed that the news media often tried to balance the climate change debate, even when the two sides were not equal.

"What responsibility do you think the members of the media have to portray science correctly," the CNN host wondered.

"The media has to sort of come out of this ethos that I think was in principle a good one, but it doesn’t really apply in science," Tyson explained. "The principle was, whatever story you give, you have to give the opposing view. And then you can be viewed as balanced."

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Piers Morgan: Planning to end CNN primetime show

Piers Morgan told the New York Times that he and CNN have decided to pull the plug on “Piers Morgan Live,” probably in March. 

“It’s been a painful period and lately we have taken a bath in the ratings,” he said, adding that although there had been times when the show connected in terms of audience, slow news days were problematic.

“Look, I am a British guy debating American cultural issues, including guns, which has been very polarizing, and there is no doubt that there are many in the audience who are tired of me banging on about it,” he said. “That’s run its course and Jeff and I have been talking for some time about different ways of using me.”

Morgan said he and CNN are in discussions about him remaining at the network in a different role. 

Photo: Piers Morgan in 2011. (Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times)





(via thepoliticalfreakshow)

h/t: Igor Volsky at Think Progress Economy


National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent lashed out at media who covered controversy surrounding his campaign appearances with Texas Republican governor candidate Greg Abbott by comparing members of the media to Joseph Goebbels, who served as Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda.

Controversy has been swirling in the Texas governor’s race following Abbott’s decision to include Nugent at campaign events, in spite of Nugent’s recent characterization of President Obama as a “subhuman mongrel” and his lengthy history of vile attacks on women.

Nugent has responded by calling videos of his offensive commentary “lies” and “inaccurate” and also sent a series of tweets on February 19 comparing CNN and other unnamed members of the media to Goebbels:

h/t: MMFA 

No, you’re NOT a “victim,” Mr. Georgie! And as Uncle Si would say, you’re a murderer, and that’s a fact, jack!
George Zimmerman to CNN: ‘I was the victim’ (via Raw Story )

On CNN’s New Day, George Zimmerman responded to Chris Cuomo’s question about Trayvon Martin’s victim status by insisting, repeatedly, “I am the victim.” “The victim was Trayvon Martin,” Cuomo said. “You know that.” “No, I certainly…

h/t: Mariah Blake at Mother Jones

Rand Paul seems to have cracked the code.

The Kentucky Republican senator and possible 2016 presidential candidate has found a winning formula for staying in the headlines this winter: dredging up decades-old Clinton scandals and talking about Monica Lewinsky. It seems an unlikely script for a politician who supposedly wants to address America’s future.

But what Paul has figured out, and sooner than any other potential Republican presidential candidates, is that every time he (indirectly) references Lewinsky and Oval Office sex, television producers start assembling panel discussions and editors quickly assign articles. It’s like sending out the Bat Signal inside the Beltway; a transmission that cannot be denied or ignored.

Paul’s attacks this week were boosted by the revelation of  personal, decades-old correspondences between Hillary Clinton and Diane Blair, a close friend and confidant to the former first lady. With contemporaneous notes and letters that addressed the Lewinsky scandal and other trials from Bill Clinton’s two terms, the newly uncovered archives were presented as big political news. They also gave the media an excuse to wade further into Clinton tumult nostalgia.

For Clinton critics, there appears to be no downside to the strategy. Any fear Paul might have had about the press condemning him likely evaporated weeks ago. Instead of scolding Ryan for looking backwards and attacking a female politician for her husband’s distant, personal indiscretions, as well as accusing him without evidence of “violence" against women in the workplace, much of the press has celebrated Paul’s Lewinsky star turn. According to CNN’s Candy Crowley the Kentucky senator is on a “roll lately.” Why? Because he called the former president a “sexual predator.” (Crowley dubbed the low-blow maneuver “smart politics.”)

Points are rarely deducted for taking the low road against the Clintons. For the press, Clinton name-calling passes for political momentum.

And those lobbying the insults are depicted as savvy. CNN political reporter Peter Hamby claimed Paul’s attack on Clinton’s personal life represents “a potent message for Republicans at the moment.”

Hurling personal attacks against the Clintons might be potent message for Republicans as long as there are Republicans who vote. But in terms of boosting Paul’s political aspirations? The strategy doesn’t seem to be working. In a national poll released on Tuesday, a McClatchy-Marist surveyed Republican voters and just nine percent of them said Rand Paul was their pick to be the GOP’s nominee in 2016. (Rand loses to Clinton by double digits in the poll’s hypothetical 2016 match-up.) Even some Republican leaders think the Paul strategy is an electoral loser

h/t: MMFA

Subscribers to CNN host Newt Gingrich’s email list are receiving supposed insider information about cancer “cures,” the Illuminati, “Obama’s ‘Secret Mistress,’” a “weird” Social Security “trick,” and Fort Knox being “empty.”

Gingrich Productions, the company run by the Crossfire co-host, has been sending sponsored emails from shady sources filled with dubious claims. CNN has been helping Gingrich build his list by not only employing him, but also by promoting Gingrich Productions and its website.

While Gingrich’s team has previously claimed that they work hard to “vet” the organizations they rent the email list to, they have repeatedly violated their own apparently low standards.

For example, Gingrich Productions has sent at least 15 sponsored emails for Stansberry & Associates since June 2013. Stansberry is a disgraced financial firm that was fined $1.5 million by the Securities and Exchange Commission for engaging in “deliberate fraud” and profiting from “false statements.” The firm sells financial products by pushing conspiracies about the Obama administration. Founder Porter Stansberry recently said it’s “fucking bullshit” that people get upset at him for using slurs like “nigger” and “fag” when he’s “not the least bit bigoted.”

Gingrich’s team previously claimed to distance the former speaker from Stansberry after questions surfaced about a sponsored email suggesting Obama would win a third term. ABC News reported in November 2012 that “according to Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond, Stansberry & Associates should have been on the blacklist. ‘We do not rent to the entity in question,’ Hammond said, speaking by phone Thursday. ‘In fact, we go to lengths to vet where we rent.’”

Gingrich is part of a movement where, as MSNBC’s Chris Hayes noted, “much of conservatism is a con and the base are the marks.” Fox News contributor Scott Brown was recently forced to distance himself from Newsmax after he sent a sponsored email for the group touting the findings of quack Dr. Russell Blaylock. The New Republic's Ben Adler wrote in a piece about Gingrich and fellow hucksters Herman Cain and Mike Huckabee that they “are pioneering a new, more direct method for post-campaign buckraking. All it requires is some digitally savvy accomplices—and a total immunity to shame.”

Gingrich’s list is primarily managed by TMA Direct. A data card on TMA’s site indicates that the list contains over 400,000 emails and costs $8,000 per order. The company is headed by Mike Murray, who is also the founder and president of Gingrich’s American Legacy PAC. Perhaps it’s no surprise then that American Legacy has advertised on Gingrich Productions’ list, and disbursed thousands of dollars to TMA. 


Sign Up For Gingrich’s Email List, Learn About The Illuminati And Obama’s “Secret Mistress”

Though a Gingrich spokesperson claimed in 2012 that “we go to lengths to vet where we rent,” Gingrich’s recent mailings are full of companies touting suspect medical “cures” and dubious financial schemes.  

The following are the subject line and quotes from some of the sponsored emails Gingrich Productions has sent to its list in the past six months.

"American Doctor Releases Cancer Cure Before Government Spies Find it." An August 29, 2013, email from Health Revelations claims that “cancer was cured back in 1925,” and “the annual flu shot is nothing more than a BALD-FACED SCAM.” The email takes readers to a page claiming that “Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Disease and Alzheimer’s” have been “DEFEATED” but suggests the government is covering up such cures.

"The Illuminati [Secret Society] Puts a Deathgrip on America." A December 31, 2013, Wall Street Daily email claims that the ”Illuminati was behind every consequential wealth event of the past year” including bitcoin. The Illuminati is a frequent player in conspiracy theories. 

"Obama’s ‘Secret Mistress’ Exposed." A December 12, 2013, email from Laissez Faire Club claims that “President Obama has made painstaking efforts to keep his ‘secret mistress’ hidden from the American public, and he has succeeded brilliantly… until now.”

"WhistleBlower: 7 Deadly Drugs the Government Wants You to Swallow." The Health Sciences Institute claimed in a November 19, 2013, email that an “insider near Washington D.C. has just blown the lid off the 7 Deadly Drugs the U.S. Government can’t wait for you to swallow.” The email assured Gingrich readers that it’s not a conspiracy theory since the “whistleblower has concrete evidence ‘the powers that be’ are shoving pure poison down your throat… and laughing all the way to the bank.”

"Weird Trick Adds $1,000 to Social Security Checks …" A September 12, 2013, Newsmax Media email claimed that they’ve “stumbled upon this weird trick that can add $1,000 to monthly Social Security checks.” (For more on this email claim, see here.)

"Fort Knox is Empty (the Gold’s Missing…)." An August 20, 2013, Wall Street Daily email claimed, “Whispers are swirling around Capitol Hill that Fort Knox is empty” and “the U.S. government has been shipping gold to nations like China (as collateral for a weak dollar).” 

"New Scandal in the White House?" A cryptic July 11, 2013, Stansberry & Associates email claimed that there’s a “big new scandal brewing in the White House” and “when this scandal is ultimately exposed, it’s going to have major implications not only for Barack Obama, but also for our entire country.” 

Wall Street Daily, Laissez Faire Club, and Stansberry & Associates are connected corporately through controversial parent holding company Agora, Inc., which frequently markets to conservative audiences. 

h/t: MMFA 


WASHINGTON — Transgender advocate Janet Mock accused CNN’s Piers Morgan of seeking to “sensationalize” her life after Morgan and his producers focused intensely on Mock’s past and physical aspects of her transition in an interview coinciding with the release of her book, Redefining Realness.

Morgan ended the first segment of the Piers Morgan Live interview by saying that Mock at one point had to tell the man she was dating that “you used to be yourself a man” — although Mock has never identified as a man.

The on-screen description of Mock was that she “was a boy until age 18,” although she was identifying as a girl in high school, and the Piers Morgan Live Twitter account posed the question during the interview, “How would you feel if you found out the woman you are dating was formerly a man?”

“He’s trying to do info-tainment,” Mock told BuzzFeed Tuesday night. “He doesn’t really want to talk about trans issues, he wants to sensationalize my life and not really talk about the work that I do and what the purpose of me writing this book was about.”

Mock told BuzzFeed that Morgan’s interest in her conversations with her boyfriend and the show’s identification of her departed sharply from the story she seeks to tell.

“My book is not about Aaron or my relationship, but that’s the most sensational thing they want to pull out,” she said. “They’re not talking about my advocacy or anything like that, it’s just about this most sensationalized … meme of discussion of trans women’s lives: ‘We’re not real women, so therefore if we’re in relationships with men we’re deceiving them.’ So, it just feeds into those same kinds of myths and fears that they spread around, which leads to further violence of trans women’s bodies and identities.”

The on-screen line that she “was a boy until age 18” reflected “bad judgment” and “reductive thinking about gender,” she said.

“What they’re saying is, ‘Only until I got the surgery, then I was a woman,’” she said.

But, she said, the interview — for better and worse — is part of want she chose to do by “going out of the bubble” and being public with her story.

“This is my first mainstream television show, was that moment, with Piers Morgan, and you see what they did to my story. Compared to a moment if I’m on Melissa Harris-Perry, which is slightly different, a more sensitive and safe space. But I go onto Piers Morgan, and all of my followers and everyone are like, ‘What is this?’” she said. But, she noted, “It’s also more representative of the ignorance that there is about trans people’s lives. We’re out of the safe bubble of social justice.”

Me + @Lavernecox's reaction after @piersmorganlive tried it with the “man” and “boy” tag lines. #redefiningrealness

So, Mock — who was with actress and trans advocate Laverne Cox and many others at her book launch party as the pre-taped interview aired — struck back: responding on Twitter by sending out a “reaction shot” photo of her and Cox.

“I was just sitting with Laverne, we’re at my party, and that’s why we made that face,” Mock said. “To have a moment that’s just like, ‘This is still our lives. You can try to do what you want and try to editorialize our lives and reduce it, but we know what our lives are. And we still stake claim to our own identities and our lives.”

She noted how social media has changed the tables on interviews like Tuesday’s with Morgan or like the interview that Cox and Carmen Carrera had with Katie Couric last month.

“That’s the special thing about social media now is that we can talk back. Piers doesn’t have the final say. And we read him,” she said. “Our media is just as valid. What we create ourselves, with that one Twitter picture.

“It also empowers our followers, too, who are watching us and wondering, ‘How do you handle this?’ And it shows that we’re not broken by this, we expected this. We didn’t expect greatness and sensitivity from him, but a part of doing that work and showing visibility and support is by going on those shows and being in those testy waters and seeing, ‘How can we navigate it and still rise above it in a sense?’”

Morgan, for his part, expressed on Twitter that he saw nothing to “rise above,” tweeting:

A lot of very irate people accusing me of ‘transphobia’ because I devoted a third of my show to @JanetMock ’s inspiring story. Weird.

For the record, I’m not anything-phobic. We’ll, apart from Madonna-phobic obviously.

Update at 12:15 a.m.:

Very disappointed in @janetmock ’s tweets tonight. Deliberately, and falsely, fuelling some sense of me being ‘transphobic’. Unpleasant.

Update at 12:30 a.m.: CNN has changed its online description of the interview:

Update at 12:30 a.m.: CNN has changed its online description of the interview:

Update at 1:05 a.m.:

I’ve never been subjected to the kind of nonsense that @janetmockand her supporters are accusing me of now…wish I’d never booked her.

Update at 1:20 a.m.: Not done yet:

Oh, stop it. You ‘get it the f**k together’..seriously. > RT @janetmock"Was a boy until 18." @PiersMorganLive get it the f*k together.

For the record, @janetmock had no problem at the time with our interview - but now seems keen to score cheap points. Very disappointing.

As for all the enraged transgender supporters, look at how STUPID you’re being. I’m on your side, you dimwits. @janetmock

Update at 1:40 a.m.: Full circle:

And now she runs to @BuzzFeed to cry foul… I’ve been played in a disgustingly cynical manner. > …

I’ll deal with you tomorrow night on air @janetmock - never been treated in such a disgraceful manner. Be proud.

Anti-choice activist Lila Rose argued on CNN’s Crossfire Wednesday that “rape doesn’t unrape a woman,” stipulating that all women who are raped and subsequently become pregnant should be forced to carry that child to term.
Though the majority of the abortion debate nationally has traditionally centered around the convenience of non-rape, non-incest-related abortions (as those two categories are usually the the exceptions, not the rule), Rose chose on CNN to go where many conservatives dare not: the grey area that a lot of conservatives believe but dare not speak for fear of alienating those on the fence about the issue.
"When a woman is raped, that’s a horrible injustice against her," Rose said to Sally Kohn. "The rapist should be held to the fullest extent of the law, liable for that, culpable for that. The woman needs healing and the support of her community. But an abortion doesn’t unrape a woman. An abortion just adds more violence on top of that first she endured.” [emphasis mine]
Kohn repeatedly attempted to ask Rose to clarify her comments to allow her to backtrack her iron clad “every woman must bear her rapist’s child” belief. Rather than listen and engage in discussion, Rose steamrolled the conversation and kept speaking.
"You mentioned, Sally, late-term abortion. I want to address that real quick. Late-term abortion is horrific. But all abortion is horrific. Even in the first trimester. Keep in mind: hearts beating at three-and-a-half weeks." 
Actually, science has pretty definitively shown that a fetus’ heart forms around the fifth week of a pregnancy - but what are a few facts between conservatives, right?
Finally taking control of the conversation, Kohn followed up on the rape pregnancy statement by stating, “You are saying, in effect, that the rapist should have more rights than the woman.”
“Absolutely not,” Rose declared. “The rapist isn’t allowed to kill anybody.” Note how Rose reframed the question as one of killing and not of rights - something Kohn let slide. No one asked if one person had more of a right to kill someone; the question had to do with rights to one’s bodily decisions.
In a fantastic follow-up to Rose’s far right statements, Ilyse Hogue - NARAL Pro-Choice America President - said, "Isn’t it great that we live in a country where Lila Rose could decide where she would choose to carry her rapist’s pregnancy to term. But her version of morality doesn’t actually dictate what I can choose to do in that moment. And that’s what religious liberty is about… it’s about you getting to choose what would be right for you in that circumstance I don’t get to tell you what to do, and you don’t get to tell me what to do.”


From the 01.22.2014 edition of CNN’s Crossfire:

H/T: Tim Peacock at Peacock Panache

h/t: Tommy Christopher at Mediaite

Who Is Pastor Robert Jeffress?

Long before he was making appearances on America’s most watched cable news shows, Robert Jeffress was acting as the young pastor of the First Baptist Church of Wichita Falls. Despite his Evangelical background, Jeffress’ early ministry work wasn’t defined by fire-and-brimstone-type condemnations of homosexuality. In 1998, however, Jeffress made his first public foray into the culture war. According to D Magazine's Michael J. Mooney:

He had just finished preparing a portion of a sermon titled “We Cannot Condone What God Has Condemned” when a member of his church came to him one morning with two books from the Wichita Falls public library. The books, Heather Has Two Mommies and Daddy’s Roommate, are both about children raised by gay couples, and the latter features an illustration of two men in a bed together.


He thought about those books. And when he was preaching his message that Sunday, something welled up inside of him. The words just came out. “I’m gonna take my stand right here!” he said. “I’m not gonna return these books!”

Jeffress went on to spearhead an effort to remove the books from the Wichita Falls public library - an effort that earned him national attention as the City Council and ACLU became involved in the dispute. A judge eventually ruled that it was unconstitutional to exclude the books from the library, but the incident helped propel Jeffress’ popularity among Evangelicals, and his congregation expanded as a result.

In 2007, Jeffress became the senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, where his national profile continued to grow. In March of 2013, the church opened a new $130 million church campus - completing the “largest Protestant church building campaign in modern history.”


Since spearheading the campaign to get gay-friendly books removed from the Wichita Falls public library, Jeffress hasn’t evolved much in his views on homosexuality or the LGBT community. Though he claims he’s now willing to consider the possibility that homosexuality is a “genetic predisposition,” Jeffress has peddled a number of extreme anti-gay smears, including:

Jeffress’ bigotry isn’t just directed at LGBT people; he’s also made a number of disparaging comments about other religions, including the claim that Islam is a violent religion that “promotes pedophilia" and that Muslims, Mormons, and Jews are doomed to go to hell.

Jeffress’ extremism hasn’t got unnoticed. In February of 2013, former NFL player Tim Tebow announced that he was withdrawing from an event held at Jeffress’ church after being informed about the pastor’s history of bigoted comments:

Jeffress denied the charges of extremism, supported by a number of prominent right-wing media figures. Fox News reporter Todd Starnes published several columns accusing the “anti-Christian media" of having "smeared" the pastor, and notorious hate group American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer cited the incident to argue that Jeffress had become "the Most Important Man in America.”

But Tebow’s public rebuking of Jeffress’ extremism hasn’t been enough to temper the pastor’s public rhetoric. In a press release for his new book Perfect Ending, Jeffress asserted that President Obama’s policies are “paving the way for the Antichrist.”

Nor has it deterred cable news outlets from treating Jeffress like a credible media commentator. In December, for example, CNN invited the pastor to discuss the controversy surrounding anti-gay remarks made by Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Jeffress used the opportunity to defend his view that gay men are more likely to be pedophiles than straight men.