(Click below if you can’t see the MP4 video.)
Demonstrating once again that laser-like focus on jobs and the economy, Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus has sent a letter to NBC and CNN threatening that if they produce a miniseries on Hillary Clinton, the GOP will boycott them in the 2016 primary debates.
It’s August, Congress is gone, and it’s time for the silly season — which gets off to a fun start with a new Republican National Committee threat against NBC and CNN. It seems that unless NBC drops plans for a miniseries on Hillary Clinton, and CNN drops plans to air a documentary about the former Secretary of State, the RNC is threatening to boycott those networks in 2016 primary debates.
Now, never mind that, whatever the merits or lack thereof of a miniseries about a prospective presidential candidate, it’s pretty amazing that Republicans would object to news coverage of Clinton on CNN. Which is exactly what they’re doing here. Also, never mind that in reality it’s almost certainly a bluff. Parties don’t partner with TV networks for primary debates as a favor to the networks; they do it because they want exposure for their candidates.
What’s really going on?
Ooh, ooh! I know! The Republican Party is floundering in outmoded reactionary stupidity, and this is exactly the kind of stuff they know plays very well with the most ignorant elements of their base. Next question!
S.E. Cupp is going to be a regular panelist on CNN’s revival of Crossfire, and during a segment on Piers Morgan promoting it, did a swan dive into Lake Wingnut:
I’m starting the video where the Wendy Davis topic began.
Reacting to the Boy Scouts’ decision to admit openly gay youths as members, RedState founder and former CNN contributor Erick Erickson lapsed into full-on swivel-eyed fanatic speaking-in-tongues mode tonight on Twitter, culminating in this glimpse into his tortured psyche:
Yes, Christ is love, but he is also wrath, vengeance, and redemption.The modern emo Christ is a fiction.Christ could throw a punch.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) May 24, 2013
“Wrath, Vengeance, and Redemption” — wasn’t that the title of the last Whitesnake album? Or was that Stryper?
(h/t: The Mountain That Blogs.)
More right wing reactionary craziness:
Boy Scouts of America: Born February 8, 1910. Died May 23, 2013 #RIP
— Matt Barber (@jmattbarber) May 24, 2013
BSA now stands for Boy Sodomizers of America, because that’s what will happen. Mark my words.
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanJFischer) May 24, 2013
Wow. Talk about being completely disconnected from reality.
CNN was roundly slammed for their coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings — reporting unsubstantiated rumors as confirmed facts, saying the suspect was a “dark-skinned male,” basically getting almost everything wrong in their rush to be first out of the gate.
But CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker thinks they did a bang-up job!
Zucker’s memo to staff:
What a week.
As events unfolded in Boston, and then in Texas, and as they continue to unfold at this very moment in both places, CNN has been there for our audience in every possible way - on television, online and on our mobile platforms. As Wolf would say, that was true for our audiences here in the United States and around the world. For journalists like each of us, these are the times that define what we do and why we do it. All of you, across every division of CNN Worldwide, have done exceptional work. And when we made a mistake, we moved quickly to acknowledge it and correct it. It was important to see CNN, CNN.com, HLN and CNNI all shine this week, often with different stories and different approaches that make each of their roles clear. It is a week that began with a whole new genre of programming for CNN, with the successful premiere of Parts Unknown. Now, as the week comes to a close, I wanted to express my deep gratitude and admiration. You have worked tirelessly, around the clock, to share these stories. And our audiences have responded, making it clear that they rely on us in ever increasing ways. In front of the cameras and behind the scenes, you have shown the world what makes us CNN.
With my thanks and appreciation,
This is me, gobsmacked.
The best description I can think of for CNN’s coverage of the verdict in the Steubenville rape trial: freakishly distorted and reprehensible.
Earlier today, many people were outraged and disgusted at Candy Crowley’s expressions of sympathy for the rapists, but that was not the end of it; CNN continued with this awful slanted reporting throughout the afternoon.
CNN’s coverage of the verdict in the Steubenville rape case appeared to be curiously weighted on Sunday, focusing on the effect the guilty verdict would have on the lives of the now-convicted rapists and their families, rather than that of the victim and her family.
Steubenville High School football players Trent Mays, 17, and Ma’lik Richmond, 16, were accused of raping a severely intoxicated 16-year-old West Virginia girl who also attends the Ohio school. Thousands of text messages introduced in the case presented a picture of teens swapping graphic stories about the assault.
In a Sunday afternoon segment, anchor Fredricka Whitfield followed the straight news of the guilty verdict (which she described as rape occurring “after a night of heavy partying”) by showing the rapists’ parents’ weeping in court. Footage of Richmond, his mother and father offering emotional appeals to the victim’s family dominated the segment.
Whitfield threw the story to reporter Poppy Harlow, but not before reiterating that Mays and Richmond’s “family members tried their hardest to plead for some forgiveness from the victim’s family, as well as from the judge.”
To her credit, Harlow appeared to try and correct the segment’s tone: “That’s true Fredricka,” she said of the tears of the convicted rapist’s families, “but this is an incredibly serious crime, it’s the crime of rape.”
And yet, the effects of the rape on the victim seemed to be an afterthought: “It was incredibly emotional, it was difficult for anyone in there to watch those boys break down,” Harlow said. “[It was] also difficult, of course, for the victim’s family.”
The thing is, I don’t believe these reporters actually are sympathizing with the rapists over their victim; I think it’s more cynical and base than that. Dramatic displays of emotion are what CNN is after, because they’re good for CNN’s bottom line. In their marketing calculations, emotional outbursts draw viewers and sell advertisements. They seek out these kinds of scenes — and in this case, since the victim’s identity is kept secret, the only emotional outbursts they could show were the rapists’. So they exploited those moments to the best of their ability.
And in the process, caused great harm to their reputation. CNN continued with this bullshit even after a storm erupted on social media, condemning their coverage. The sheer contempt they showed for their audience, and for the victim of this terrible crime, was breathtaking.
And one more point: the sentences these two kids got were absurdly, offensively light in view of their crime.
Here’s video of the Candy Crowley segment, via Crooks and Liars.
Tommy Christopher points out that Breitbart.com indentured servant Dana Loesch has become persona non grata (unofficially, of course) at CNN, after her comments applauding US soldiers who urinated on corpses, and her underhanded sabotage of other CNN contributors. (I have a feeling, knowing CNN, that the sabotage was more important than her disgusting comments about peeing on dead people.)
Loesch’s ascendancy, aided by the rise of the Tea Party and the star power of Andrew Breitbart (as well as her own hard work and penchant for provocation), hit several other stumbling blocks this year. Following pressure from critics over her remarks about U.S. troops who were videotaped urinating on Taliban corpses, Loesch’s appearances on CNN dried up, although the network insists there was no connection.
In August, at the height of Rep. Todd “Legitimate Rape”Akin’s notoriety, Loesch tweeted Akin advising him not to appear on fellow CNNer Piers Morgan’s program, then “reached out to the campaign to confirm” Akin had canceled his appearance, and would appear on her radio show instead. Former Mediaite Managing Editor Colby Hall called foul, and Morgan defended Loesch on Twitter, but Loesch hasn’t been on CNN since then. Media Matters noted that, in an August CNN online article, Loesch is cited as a “conservative radio host,” and not a CNN contributor.
The network confirmed, in November, that Dana Loesch is still a CNN contributor, and multiple sources at CNN say there is no organized blackball, that booking decisions are made by the executive producers of each show, but that poaching Akin might not have endeared her to those EPs.
The incident with Piers Morgan and Todd Akin isn’t the only case in which Loesch or her husband have attacked and/or sabotaged other CNN personnel; in March, hubbie Chris called CNN host Soledad O’Brien an antisemite, and Breitbart.com published dozens of articles viciously attacking her.
CNN’s Dana Loesch Cheers Soldiers Who Urinated on Corpses
CNN’s Dana Loesch Spews Insults at Critics of Her Comments Supporting Desecrating Corpses
CNN’s Dana Loesch Equates Mandatory Trans-Vaginal Ultrasound to Having Sex
Husband of CNN Contributor Dana Loesch Calls CNN Host Soledad O’Brien ‘Anti-Semitic’
Dana and Chris Loesch Defend Akin’s ‘Legitimate Rape’ Comments
In Which CNN Contributor Dana Loesch Falsely Accuses Me of Using a Racial Slur
Dana Loesch Calls for an Investigation Into My Nefarious Scheme to Silence Her
In Which CNN Contributor Dana Loesch Calls Me a ‘Stalker’