CNN's on-screen caption during Lou Dobbs Tonight: "Obtuse Obama"

››› ››› BRIAN LEVY

On the August 3 edition of CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, the on-screen text preceding CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider's report on recent comments by Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) read: "Obtuse Obama." During the report itself, the on-screen text read: "Obtuse Obama: What Does He Mean?"

Dobbs:

CNN:

By contrast, when the same segment aired on the next day's edition of CNN Saturday Morning News, the on-screen text read: "Jumping on Obama."

CNN:

As Media Matters for America has documented, this is not the first time news reports broadcast on other CNN programs have aired on Lou Dobbs carrying different captions. On June 7, for example, a news report on Senate deliberations of an immigration bill aired on Lou Dobbs with captions reading "Make or Break: Critical Vote on Amnesty," and "Senate Likely to Vote Tonight on Whether to Kill Amnesty Bill." When the same report was broadcast that day on The Situation Room, the caption read: "Immigration Bill on Life Support: Setbacks in Senate." Similarly, during June 14 reports on the Senate immigration bill broadcast on Lou Dobbs, on-screen texts referred to "Bush's amnesty push," "pro-amnesty senators," and the "amnesty bill." When the same reports were aired on The Situation Room, captions read: "Immigration deal making: Close to a new agreement" and "Immigration deal sweetener: Pres. Bush offer to GOP." Previous CNN reporting has noted that "amnesty" is a characterization of the bill favored by "critics."

From the August 3 edition of CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight:

LOU DOBBS (host): Presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama under fire from his Democratic rivals today. They charge he's naive and inexperienced when it comes to foreign policy, and, as Bill Schneider reports, they're using the senator's own words to support their charges.

[begin video clip]

SCHNEIDER: First came the CNN/ YouTube debate when Barack Obama said he would meet with unfriendly dictators during his first year in office.

OBAMA: The notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them -- which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration -- is ridiculous.

SCHNEIDER: Hillary Clinton pounced.

CLINTON: I thought that was irresponsible and, frankly, naive.

SCHNEIDER: It's called a "not-supposed-to." You're not supposed to say you'd meet with such people without laying a lot of groundwork first.

From the 7 a.m. ET hour of the August 4 edition of CNN Saturday Morning News:

TJ HOLMES (co-anchor): Well, the CNN/ YouTube debate we saw not too long ago with the Democrats certainly sparked a lot of discussion.

VERONICA DE LA CRUZ (co-anchor): Yeah, yeah, in fact, comments made by Democratic hopeful Barack Obama have really got people talking, and when we say people, we mean --

HOLMES: His political rivals, those people.

DE LA CRUZ: Right, right, those people. CNN's Bill Schneider has more.

[begin video]

SCHNEIDER: First came the CNN/ YouTube debate when Barack Obama said he would meet with unfriendly dictators during his first year in office.

OBAMA: The notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them, which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration, is ridiculous.

SCHNEIDER: Hillary Clinton pounced.

CLINTON: I thought that was irresponsible and, frankly, naive.

SCHNEIDER: It's called a "not-supposed-to." You're not supposed to say you'd meet with such people without laying a lot of groundwork first.

Network/Outlet
CNN
Person
Lou Dobbs
Show/Publication
Lou Dobbs Tonight
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, 2008 Elections
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