At first, I was surprised CNN would hire Erick Erickson despite his long record of misogynist comments. Erickson has, after all, called Michelle Obama a "harpy" and used the Limbaugh-esque pejorative "feminazis" and suggested feminists are "too ugly to get a date" and told "Ugly feminists" to "return to their kitchens." That doesn't seem like the kind of commentary the self-styled "most respected name in news" would favor, does it?
Then I remembered Alex Castellanos. Castellanos is a CNN contributor and Republican consultant most famous for creating the infamous race-baiting "Hands" ad for Jesse Helms. He's used his perch at CNN to defend calling a woman a "bitch" and to compare Hillary Clinton to Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction and to mock Nancy Pelosi's physical appearance.
And, of course, it was CNN's Headline News that first brought Glenn Beck to cable news.
So maybe Erickson won't be out of place at CNN after all.
From a post on Howard Kurtz's Twitter account:
From the Fox Nation (accessed on March 18):
From a March 18 entry on Bret Baier's Twitter account:
At least 80 advertisers have reportedly dropped their ads from Glenn Beck's Fox News program since he called President Obama a "racist" who has a "deep-seated hatred for white people." Here are his March 18 sponsors, in the order they appeared:
It's like it was a completely different Fox News correspondent. It's weird.
The glaring double standard Baier used to interview President Obama this week for a contentious battle, as opposed to how Baier interviewed President Bush in late 2008 for a softball fest, is just remarkable.
As Think Progress noted:
Baier's tenacity, however, seems reserved only for Democratic presidents. His interviews with President Bush were far friendlier, with questions like, "What are you reading now?" and "Do you believe that there hasn't been a terrorist attack on U.S. soil in more than seven years because of the policies your administration has implemented?"
MSNBC's Countdown provided the interruption highlights from the Obama interview:
I counted 19 separate interruptions, although your total may differ slightly.
But back to the Baier/Bush summit, from December, 2008. Interruptions? Hard-pressing follow-ups? Please. Unlike this week's combative, in-your-face showdown, Baier's sit-down with Bush was silky smooth, as the interviewer deftly guided the president towards mostly feel-good, RNC pastures and allowed Bush to pontificate at will.
It's true that the circumstances for the POTUS interviews were different. Obama stands at a pivotal political moment of his first term and is trying to push his signature legislative effort past the finish line, while Bush was literally a lame duck, with just over four weeks left on his Oval Office watch. So yes, I understand that in theory the interviews might be different in substance.
Then again, Bush at the time was retiring as the most unpopular president in modern American history (like, since the invention of polling), and Baier could have really pressed Bush to explain what had gone so horribly -- and historically -- wrong during his time in office. He could have asked how was it that Bush had managed to lose 70 points off his approval ratings while serving as president.
But Baier did no such thing. Based on the transcripts, I can't find a single time Baier clearly, or rudely, interrupted Bush.
And the questions! Oh my. Some highlights from Baier's Bush tour de force:
Do you worry at all that the incoming administration will undo some of the things that you say have kept America safe?
What's the thing you're most looking forward to post-White House?
Do you think that you have governed as a conservative?
You think you're a Reagan conservative or a Barry Goldwater conservative?
It's almost like Fox News treats Democrats and Republicans differently. It's weird.
UPDATED: According to Baier, it was all Obama's fault. He was stalling and "running out the clock" with his answers. (i.e. He wasn't giving the answers Baier wanted.)
That defense though, is absurd considering it was a nearly 20-minute interview with Obama and Baier started interrupting Obama right from the outset. Meaning, Baier began interrupting Obama before the president even had a chance to (theoretically) stall.
A funny thing happened while Neil Cavuto was engaging in his absurd sideshow about the length of the health care legislation: Fox News inadvertently admitted that the House will be voting on passage of the Senate bill. During one of Cavuto's several inane segments about how his speedreader was reviewing the Senate health care bill and the accompanying reconciliation bill, the following caption aired:
Despite the best efforts of Fox News congressional correspondent Carl Cameron, among others, to painstakingly explain that a majority vote of the House would be necessary to use the legislative procedure known as the "self-executing rule" to pass the Senate health bill, Fox News' anchors have been pushing the falsehood that the House would be passing the bill without a vote.
I guess this puts paid to that talking point. Right?
Fox News' Neil Cavuto hosted speed-reader Howard Berg to read the "new" House of Representatives health care bill live on today's Your World with Neil Cavuto.
I wonder how long it will take Berg to realize that he's read this bill before.
The only thing "new" that was published today is the 153-page reconciliation package. But Berg was tasked to read not only the reconciliation bill, but the health care bill that the Senate passed in December, which the reconciliation bill amends. That Senate health bill was based mostly on the Senate Finance committee's health reform bill Berg already read on Your World back in October.
Someone should also alert Cavuto and Berg that the vast majority of what Berg just read, the final Senate health bill as passed, has been posted online for months (no speed-reading necessary!) and the House posted a pretty simple section-by-section summary of the reconciliation bill released today. It's about seven pages long.
FoxNews.com posted a "Photo Op-inion: St. Patrick's Day in Washington," which claims to feature "[s]ometimes funny, sometimes serious" images on the news. While posting the images, FoxNews.com writes that "[n]one of the images were created by Fox News."
The following images are from Fox News' slideshow:
At last night's Radio and Television Correspondents Association Dinner Vice President Joe Biden had a little fun at Fox News' expense:
You can watch the entire speech courtesy of CSPAN here.