In a New York Times article, CNN president Jonathan Klein asserted that recent hire Bill Bennett "had explained himself clearly and very well" regarding his September 2005 comment, in which Bennett said that "you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down." However, Bennett has defended himself by falsely claiming that the topic "was a matter that had been under discussion in articles and newspapers and in some discussions of books."
CNN's Lou Dobbs reported on an Associated Press article published that day that he said demonstrated "the huge influence of former lobbyist Jack Abramoff in Congress" by showing that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) had written "at least four letters helpful to Indian tribes represented by Abramoff." But the AP article left out important details of two incidents that purportedly link Reid to Abramoff -- details that undermine Dobbs' assertion that it demonstrates any influence Abramoff had with Reid.
On the February 9 edition of MSNBC's Countdown, Keith Olbermann honored Fox News and CNN with "Worst Person in the World" awards; Fox News took both the bronze and gold medals and CNN, the silver, all based on Media Matters for America items.
On CNN's The Situation Room, Bill Bennett claimed that "people" who got "a good, close look" at Muslims rioting over perceived anti-Islamic cartoons would say that "these people ["Islamists"] are unhinged."
On Lou Dobbs Tonight, CNN's Ed Henry and Bill Schneider reported on the dispute over lobbying reform between Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama -- uncritically touting McCain's "years of work" on lobbying reform. However, in doing so, they both ignored a number of relevant facts.
Numerous media figures highlighted the alleged "partisan" nature of Coretta Scott King's funeral but failed to comment on the politicization of Ronald Reagan's funeral.
During his nationally syndicated radio show, Glenn Beck repeatedly referred to former President Jimmy Carter as a "waste of skin," adding that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il was not a bigger waste of skin because "[a]t least evil is using that skin."
During a discussion on civil rights leader Rev. Joseph Lowery's address at Coretta Scott King's funeral, CNN aired a video clip of part of Lowery's remarks, in which he mentioned the failure to find WMDs, cropping out 18 seconds of applause and the standing ovation he received without indicating that the clip had been doctored.
On Lou Dobbs Tonight, New York Daily News columnist Michael Goodwin claimed that "a recent poll ... shows that [President] Bush ... is held in much higher regard than congressional Democrats." Goodwin did not cite a specific poll, and neither Ed Rollins nor John Fund, the other two guests, challenged his claim. However, the two major recent polls that pitted Bush against congressional Democrats in the same question show that more Americans think congressional Democrats will do a better job of handling most key issues.
During an interview with Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, CNN Justice Department correspondent Kelli Arena failed to question Gonzales about his 2005 confirmation hearing, in which he responded to a question from Sen. Russ Feingold about whether the president could authorize warrantless domestic wiretaps. At the hearing, Gonzales suggested that Feingold had described a "hypothetical situation," despite the fact that the warrantless surveillance program had been in place since 2001 and that President Bush had reauthorized it numerous times.
CNN national security correspondent David Ensor suggested that Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV was disingenuous in his criticism of the Bush administration's apparent failure to fully inform Congress about its warrantless domestic surveillance program because he had been briefed on the program in 2003. But Ensor failed to note that, immediately after being briefed, Rockefeller wrote a letter to Vice President Dick Cheney expressing strong reservations about the program and restrictions on information he needed to evaluate it.
Reporting that new House Majority Leader John Boehner could satisfy "a lot of Republican rank-and-file [who] want change because of the lobbying scandals," CNN's Ed Henry ignored Boehner's history of ethics concerns, including the criticism he received for passing out checks from a tobacco industry group on the House floor moments before a key tobacco vote.
CNN's Kyra Phillips characterized Cindy Sheehan as an "anti-war activist" while casting Beverly Young, wife of Rep. C.W. "Bill" Young (R-FL), as a "staunch advocate for the troops." Both women were removed from the visitor's gallery of the House of Representatives prior to the start of President Bush's State of the Union address for wearing T-shirts with political messages.
CNN political analyst and former U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts (R-OK) accused Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine of falsely claiming during the Democratic response to President Bush's State of the Union address that Republicans in Congress are cutting funding for student loans and have tried to cut Medicaid funds. In fact, bills already passed by the House and the Senate include $12.7 billion in spending cuts to student loan programs and approximately $7 billion in spending cuts to Medicaid.
CNN's Jeff Greenfield chided Rep. Robert Wexler for releasing a rebuttal of President Bush's State of the Union address without actually seeing the speech. But as it has in past years, the White House made excerpts of the speech available well before it was delivered, leaving Wexler ample time to read the excerpts before issuing his response.