CNN Won't Be "Shamed" Into Doing Its Job; Investigating Benghazi = "Insidious" Scare Tactic

Vol. 27, No. 11

CNN Won’t Be “Shamed” Into Doing Its Job


“We’re not going to be shamed into it [covering the Benghazi investigation] by others who have political beliefs that want to try to have temper tantrums to shame other news organizations into covering something. If it’s of real news value, we’ll cover it.”
— CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker to New York Times television reporter Bill Carter at a Deadline Club event May 19, as quoted the next day by Nicole Levy in a Capital New York article.


No Such Thing as an “Unanswered Question” About Benghazi


“It certainly looks more partisan than it looks like a serious inquiry....You know, I’ll hear from Republicans that say, ‘But there are unanswered questions!’ Well, no, all the questions have been answered. There’s just some people that don’t like the answers, that wish the answers were somehow more conspiratorial, I guess....To sit here and investigate talking points seems to be totally missing the larger point here. It’s like investigating who cut down a tree, one tree, in a forest that’s been burned down.”
— NBC political director and chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, May 13.


Investigating Benghazi = “Insidious” Scare Tactic


“Let me finish tonight with this insidious plan to scare up right-wing voters and scare off the votes the of those who tend to vote Democratic....The trouble with nasty politics like the kind we’re getting from the House leadership is that it makes you look nasty, makes it look like you’re money-grubbing on the deaths of those four American diplomats, like you’re ready to kill a little more faith in government to get a few more votes. It’s a rotten deal, and the people who play it will pay for it.”
— Chris Matthews wrapping up MSNBC’s Hardball, May 9.


Don’t Blame the Terrorists, Blame the Smoke


“Every media organization has investigated this to death. This animates the right-wing of the Republican Party. And I would like to point out that Ambassador [Chris] Stevens was not murdered. He died of smoke inhalation in the safe room in that CIA installation.”
The Daily Beast’s Eleanor Clift on The McLaughlin Group, May 11.


Slamming “Kamikaze” Karl’s “Smear Campaign” Against  Hillary


“Smear campaign. Are we witnessing a new GOP line of attack against Hillary Clinton and did Karl Rove take things too far?”
— Anchor Brian Williams at the top of the NBC Nightly News, May 13.

“Let’s start, Robert and Margaret, with shocking and I’ll say, I think reprehensible comments from Karl Rove....”
— CNN’s John King to his political panel on New Day, May 13.

“My theory is he could be almost like a kamikaze pilot in World War II. He could blow up the ship and blow himself up. But who cares? Who cares if Karl Rove is known as an SOB? He already is known as an SOB....I really do think he’s a kamikaze. And I’m not knocking previous kamikazes. Okay? Just him.”
— Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s Hardball, May 14.

“There is no longer any doubt that some powerful Republicans are playing hardball against Hillary Clinton, raising questions about her age and her health, even before she decides whether she’s a candidate....As one Republican operative said, ‘Karl is either an evil genius — or just evil.’”
— Correspondent Andrea Mitchell on NBC’s Meet the Press, May 18.



Challenging Hillary = “Throwing Reagan Under the Bus”


“Look, the fact is she’s the same age, she’s going to be the same age as Reagan was. If you’re going to go down this road and try to claim that she’s going to have some issues, or health issues, and things or that — of this or that nature, then you may have to be throwing your own guy, Ronald Reagan, under the bus a little bit. So I think that this is a dangerous, tricky road to go down.”
— NBC’s Chuck Todd on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, May 14.


Thrilled by Hillary: She’d Make a “Truly Great President”


“Let me finish tonight with the prospect of Hillary Clinton becoming not just the next president but a truly great president. Let me be the first to say that the elements are there: her political positioning, her talents and personality....Hard work, experience, a willingness to work with Republicans — indeed, a real feel for the political world and how it works. If she weren’t a candidate I’m sure a lot of Republicans would be saying this. It’s an established fact that people who work with her like her.”
— Host Chris Matthews wrapping up MSNBC’s Hardball, May 19.


Babs Uses ABC Farewell to Trumpet “Fascinating” Hillary


Ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: “The ‘fascinating’ list has always been, you know, a particular interest of mine — and then, to be on it was an incredible honor.”
Retiring host Barbara Walters: “Well, you were our most fascinating....I think you’ve been on our ‘most fascinating’ list more than anyone, and — and you were THE most fascinating....No matter what their political views, you are someone we admire — and, for me, it’s more than admiration — it’s very deep affection, and I thank you for coming on....No matter what she does, she will always, to me, be the most fascinating.”
— Exchange on Walters’ last day as co-host of ABC’s The View, May 16.


Washington Post Double Standard on “Listening Tours”


“While there are reasons to conduct a ‘listening tour,’ rarely do they have that much to do with listening. [South Carolina GOP Senator Tim] Scott is a steadfast conservative, not looking to alter his opinions so much as convince others that his party has something to offer. While a cynic might call this the move of a con artist, Scott prefers the term ‘salesman.’”
Washington Post reporter Ben Terris in a May 8 front-page Style section profile of Scott headlined, “The Secret Senator.”


“There is more to these ‘listening sessions’ than mere listening....There is something undeniably powerful about the sessions themselves. [New York Senate candidate Hillary] Clinton has attended hundreds of similar forums around the country, and as one of her advisers put it, she was born to run these events. She never interrupts, condescends or gets flustered. She seems to feel questioners’ pain almost as well as her husband does. She is an expert validator, mmm-hmming while she listens, asking follow-up questions before commenting, congratulating panelists on their insight: ‘I’m really glad you raised that issue.’”
— The Washington Post’s Michael Grunwald July 12, 1999 writing about Hillary Clinton’s “listening tour” of New York in a story headlined, “First Lady at Her Best During ‘Listening Sessions.’”


It’s Just a Fact: Republicans Are to Blame for Everything


“Obama was willing to compromise and Republicans were not. That’s not a biased statement. One of my problems with the limitations of journalism is that straightforward descriptions of reality are seen as being biased.”
— Longtime Newsweek senior editor Jonathan Alter, quoted by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Bill Glauber in a May 16 article.


CNN (Again) Paints Tea Party as Pulling GOP Too Far to the Right


Anchor Chris Cuomo: “Are you worried that these [Tea Party] challenges are pushing your mainstream or establishment or traditional candidates farther to the right than they may like?”
GOP Strategist Kevin Madden: “No, that’s a — that’s a Democratic talking point, but it’s one that’s really not rooted in reality.”
— Talking about that day’s primary contests on CNN’s New Day, May 20.


NBC Anxious for Even More Pro-Gay Marriage Talk


“You’ve been open about your own status and you have criticized North Carolina’s ban on gay marriage in the past. But for observers of your race, it seems you’re downplaying this in this particular campaign. Is that a fair assessment?”
— Co-host Savannah Guthrie to North Carolina Democratic congressional candidate Clay Aiken in an interview shown on NBC’s Today, May 20.


As If Reagan’s Army Burned Down the Control Towers


“I still call Reagan National Airport ‘National Airport.’... It seemed odd to me to rename National after a man who, for the eight years he lived in Washington, didn’t even use the airport. (Air Force One lands at Andrews, remember?) Then there’s the irony of naming an airport after the guy who broke the air traffic controllers’ union. It’s like renaming Atlanta ‘Shermanville.’”
Washington Post Metro columnist John Kelly in a May 21 column about proposals to rename Washington’s Union Station after former President Harry S. Truman.


It’s “Ridiculous” to Think Only 28% of Journalists Are Democrats


“I say the poll is ridiculous. I mean, let’s start with that. The seven percent who identify themselves as Republicans, I’ll buy that. But only 28 percent of journalists say they’re Democrats and 50 percent say they’re independents? Impossible...I’ll bet you if you injected these people with truth serum, about 85 percent would admit that they voted for Barack Obama twice.”
— Former CBS News correspondent Bernard Goldberg, referring to a recently-released survey of 1,080 journalists conducted late last year for the School of Journalism at Indiana University, May 12 O’Reilly Factor on FNC.

“At 7.1 percent last year, America’s newsrooms housed a lower percentage of Republicans than San Francisco (8.4 percent). No wonder conservatives don’t trust the media.”
— From a May 13 column by the San Francisco Chronicle’s Debra Saunders.


Excited by “Coolest Guy” Obama and “Uncle Joe” Biden


“You know, I wasn’t supposed to take the phone, and then I saw the President. I was like, ‘Let me just take a selfie!’ And he was, he looked around, he was like ‘Go ahead, take it!’ And so that was the photo. The President is the coolest guy in the world!...Then I see Uncle, uh, Vice President Joe Biden walking through the hallway....I call him ‘Uncle Joe.’ I’m sorry! I’m like, I’m like, ‘Mr. Vice President can I take a selfie?’ And he looked at me, he was like: ‘Only if you let me take it.’ So he grabbed the phone and we took it together. It was a great moment. He was super cool!”
E! News co-host Terence Jenkins, aka Terence J, on the May 13 edition of the Arsenio Hall Show, talking about his attendance at a May 1 White House reception thanking those “who helped with the outreach and enrollment around the Affordable Care Act.


CBS Bashes Ayn Rand: “12-Year-Old’s View of the World”


CEO “James Paisley”: “There are more people who want than people who have. Read Ayn Rand.”
Lawyer “Alicia Florrick”: “Oh, dear God. Have you read her books? They’re awful.”
Paisley: “Well, they weren’t meant to be Moby Dick. They were meant to make you think.”
Florrick: “A guy bombs a building, the rich go out on strike. It’s a 12-year-old’s view of the world. It’s like basing your philosophy on the books of John Grisham.”
— From a scene on the May 11 episode of the CBS drama The Good Wife.


PUBLISHER: L. Brent Bozell III
EDITORS: Brent H. Baker, Rich Noyes, Tim Graham
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