Several CNN on-air journalists are criticizing Dana Loesch's recent comments supporting the U.S. Marines who allegedly urinated on the dead bodies of Taliban forces.
Loesch, a CNN contributor, made the comments during her radio show Thursday. Among other things, Loesch said of the incident: "I'd drop trou and do it too."
Such views brought sharp criticism from some CNN on-air reporters.
"I can't imagine someone really thinking that, it is so outrageous," said one CNN reporter who requested anonymity. "I think she is trying to garner attention to herself, and that is sad. If that is what she truly believes, she has issues. If you look at that video, I don't care who you are, your stomach should turn.
"The problem with these contributors is they aren't under the same guidelines journalists are, and CNN journalists are. We have very clear ways of doing business. When you have these people we bring in to spice up our airwaves, it is going to happen. It is concerning, obviously."
Another regular CNN journalist added: "I am of the school of thought, 'Why aren't we putting people who are knowledgeable on the air?' I'll just say 'Ewww.' I think it's in poor taste."
A third CNN journalist who has been reporting on the story said Loesch is misguided in thinking that defending the Marines' alleged actions amount to being supportive of the military.
"If she is thinking that she is somehow supporting the military, any source in the military will tell you she is not," the journalist said. "It is so distasteful for the military. It is a black eye. Clearly, everyone I've talked to said that is not acceptable."
At least one regular CNN political contributor took issue with the comments and with CNN's handling of Loesch and other right-wing contributors:
"What's interesting is how the kid gloves are applied to outlandish comments made by the likes of Erick Erickson or Dana Loesch and how it has a negative impact on the CNN brand," said the contributor, who also requested anonymity. "There really is no pushback or no real conversation that says, 'Look, you make these kinds of comments or you write these kinds of wild, crazy stuff, that's just not what we're about.' It simply doesn't happen. I think there is fear of saying anything to them because they are Tea Party folks, and there has been a clear effort on the part of our political team to court that whole Tea Party thought process, if you will."
"The danger is always the negative impact on your whole political coverage," the contributor added. "Because clearly you want there to be a point of view, but there is a difference between a point of view and being so far off the rails it defies logic."
CNN's Dana Loesch responded to the growing controversy surrounding her comments dismissing outrage over video apparently showing U.S. Marines urinating on dead bodies by saying that her critics "felt as though these Marines should be bowing to the Taliban ... just like this administration does."
Earlier this week, after video emerged that appeared to show members of the United States Marine Corps urinating on dead bodies that early reports have identified as Afghans Loesch complained that "we have a bunch of progressives that are talking smack about our military because there were Marines caught urinating on corpses -- Taliban corpses." Military and national security experts from across the political spectrum have condemned the video and have pointed out that the actions depicted in it likely violate U.S. and international law.
Loesch tried to explain her comments:
The reaction to what these Marines did is disproportionate to the actual offense: beyond disproportionate. They'll be dealt with it. Get over it. And that was my entire point.
That was far from Loesch's "entire point." In fact, she went on to say that the individuals shown in the video should be awarded "a million cool points" and went on question whether "there's supposed to be a scandal that someone pees on the corpse of a Taliban fighter" and bragged, "I'd drop trou and do it, too."
Loesch's comments were widely condemned throughout the day Friday, leading her to lash out at her critics with the suggestion that they sided with the Taliban:
I think the progressives felt as though that these Marines should be bowing to the Taliban, and every other combatant, and every other foreign entity just like this administration does. So my whole point was to say that your whole reaction was ridiculous.
CNN contributor Dana Loesch is under fire for comments she made on her radio show dismissing outrage over video that appears to show members of the United States Marine Corps urinating on dead bodies that early reports have identified as Afghans, saying that she would "drop trou and do it, too." Loesch's comments are so extreme, they put her out on a fringe where even Rush Limbaugh won't go.
Thursday night, Loesch complained that "we have a bunch of progressives that are talking smack about our military because there were Marines caught urinating on corpses -- Taliban corpses." She went on to say:
Can someone explain to me if there's supposed to be a scandal that someone pees on the corpse of a Taliban fighter? Someone who was -- as part of an organization murdered over 3,000 Americans? I'd drop trou and do it, too. That's me, though. I want a million cool points for these guys. Is that harsh to say?
Her comments put the talk radio host out on the fringe where even Rush Limbaugh won't go. Dana Loesch - a CNN contributor - responded to the video by saying she would "drop trou and do it, too." Limbaugh -- RUSH LIMBAUGH -- responded to the video by saying there is "no defense of this":
Well, there's a video, nobody knows how old it is, of some U.S. Marines urinating on the bodies of Taliban combatants in Afghanistan. Peed on them. And of course it's Marines. It violated the rules. There's no defense of this. The overreaction of this is nuts, but still it happened.
Dana Loesch's comments, too extreme for Rush Limbaugh, put her out on the fringe where CNN should never go.
On her radio show, CNN contributor and Big Journalism editor Dana Loesch cheered on an Internet video reportedly showing U.S. Marines urinating on what appear to be dead Afghans, saying she would "drop trou and do it too." The video has been widely condemned by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, U.S. military commanders, foreign policy experts and others as depicting conduct that "does not reflect our values" and may endanger Afghanistan peace talks.
Another year, another concerted effort by conservative leaders to play catch-up with liberals and to finally launch effective media and messaging tools online. They can keep trying, but until conservatives change their behavior, their goals will remain elusive and their established trend of failure will continue indefinitely.
The news this week came in the form of a Politico article announcing the launch an outpost called Center for American Freedom, which will house a conservative news outlet called the Washington Free Beacon. Its founders are touting the launch as an effort to match the impressive gains progressives have made at places like Center for American Progress, the Huffington Post and Talking Points Memo. The founders are also candid about how their side has been getting lapped by progressives for years in this arena.
The reason remains simple: Partisan conservatives have routinely shown they have neither an interest in genuine journalism, nor the skills to practice it. Conversely, progressives over the last decade have put in the hard work, held themselves to professional standards of conduct, and have reaped the rewards. So it's no surprise that year after year conservatives moan that progressives have built a new media infrastructure and are outclassing them, especially online.
Sometimes you can learn all you need to know about the precarious state of the right-wing media by looking at who they select as opponents for public scraps in their never-ending cultural war battles. Sometimes by examining the unsuspecting adversaries, you learn more about the confused far-right players than you do by paying attention to their diluted arguments.
I'd suggest now is one of those helpful, crystallizing moments as the right-wing media, supposedly led by adults, have recently whipped themselves into various states of frenzy while calling out the evil forces behind The Muppets, the Girl Scouts of America, and a song sung by third graders in Virginia. (For the absurd sets of circumstances, see here, here and here.)
Talk about a Murderer's Row.
Now, anyone who regularly reads Media Matters as we monitor the dim stars of the conservative Noise Machine understands that being robotically, systematically unserious remains a prerequisite for a leadership role in that community. So the notion that misguided conservative media outlets waste their time concocting nonsense isn't exactly news. And I guarantee you that as 2012 unfolds, we will uncover countless instances of head-scratching ineptitude that will replace the current meltdowns that seem so defining.
But it's worth noting, I think, this current trilogy of insipidness disguised as political commentary, and to pay particular attention to the targets of of the burning right-wing wrath. I repeat, The Muppets, the Girl Scouts of America, and a song performed by third graders.
The right-wing media closed out 2011 by attacking the Girl Scouts of America for, in the words of Glenn Beck website The Blaze, publishing a book that "refers young readers to Media Matters for America as one of the primary sources for debunking lies and deceit." Fox News led the charge, devoting more than 15 minutes over two days and three programs to the GSA's "liberal ideology," including its purported ties to Planned Parenthood.
From the October 18 edition of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360:
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CNN contributor and Andrew Breitbart editor in chief Dana Loesch has taken the editorial position that it is "laughable" for CNN to claim it is "the most trusted name in news."
CNN is even worse than PolitiFact, because they're the ones using them. Obviously, CNN doesn't want to damage their laughable reputation as the "most trusted name in news," but they do want to help Barack Obama get reelected. Therefore, they hire outside mercenaries like PolitiFact to come on the air disguised as objective do-gooders.
Note the awkward banner atop Nolte's post blasting CNN:
Loesch joined "the most trusted name in news" in February.
(h/t St. Louis Activist Hub)
Following a post by Slate's Dave Weigel in which Weigel pointed out that CNN contributor Dana Loesch's criticism of liberal journalists' coverage of the Occupy Wall Street protests is hypocritical given her coverage of the tea parties, Loesch complained that the media has "been mostly hostile to the [tea party] movement." Loesch went on to claim, "The media did not 'aid' the tea party; the tea party grew in spite of it."
But Loesch is ignoring the fact that the tea party had a dedicated cable news network in Fox News devoted to aggressively promoting and providing uniformly positive coverage of the events and protests. Fox even branded 2009 tea party protests as "FNC Tax Day Tea Parties":
In fact, the Tea Party Express highlighted Fox's positive coverage numerous times, even using Fox's friendly coverage to raise money and later admitting that "there would not have been a tea party without Fox." And not only did the Tea Party Express praise Fox's tea party coverage, but it also cited the "great television news coverage" from CNN -- now Loesch's cable news home -- as well.
Attorney General Eric Holder hadn't even stepped away from the podium of his press conference about an alleged Iranian terror plot before right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh, CNN contributor Dana Loesch, and Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin began politicizing the announcement.
Holder and FBI Director Robert Mueller took to the microphone this afternoon to deliver details about an alleged terror plot in which, according to a Justice Department press release, two individuals were "directed by elements of the Iranian government to murder the Saudi Ambassador to the United States with explosives while the Ambassador was in the United States." One of the plotters allegedly attempted to hire what he thought were members of a Mexican drug cartel to carry out the murder.
Limbaugh started smearing the event before the conference even began, telling his audience that Holder's announcement was "a great way to sidestep the fact that he's being delivered a subpoena on Fast and Furious," the failed ATF operation that is currently under DOJ and congressional investigation. Limbaugh added that the announcement was "all about" trying to give Holder "something to distract everybody away from Fast and Furious."
The press conference ended at 2:29 p.m. EST, but by 2:22 p.m., Loesch, too, was already politicizing Holder's comments on Twitter, trying to tie the alleged terrorists to Fast and Furious.
Sadly, this kind of rapid-reaction politicization of grave, apolitical events is well-worn territory for commenters on the right. Right-wing media rushed to attack the Obama administration in 2010 after an attempted New York City car bombing and reports of an attempted shoe bombing on a domestic flight over Denver. And in January 2010, Limbaugh said that President Obama wanted to use the devastating Haiti earthquake to boost credibility with the "light-skinned and dark-skinned black community in this country."
Tea party darling and CNN contributor Dana Loesch has decided to engage in some audacious revisionism in order to defend conservatives from criticism over the booing of a gay soldier at a Republican presidential debate.
Loesch's re-imagining concerned the Fox News-Google debate during which a question given by Stephen Hill, a gay soldier serving in Iraq, elicited audible booing from the audience. Media figures and even some Republican presidential candidates have condemned the booing.
At a fundraiser yesterday, President Obama also condemned the booing while criticizing aspects of the modern-day Republican Party:
Some of you here may be folks who actually used to be Republicans but are puzzled by what's happened to that party, are puzzled by what's happening to that party. I mean, has anybody been watching the debates lately? You've got a governor whose state is on fire denying climate change, it's true. You've got audiences cheering at the prospect of somebody dying because they don't have health care and booing a service member in Iraq because they're gay.
Loesch responded on Andrew Breitbart's Big Journalism, claiming that President Obama had deliberately lied about the booing.
As evidence that Obama was lying, Loesch linked to a previous blog post she had written, claiming that she had "thoroughly debunked" the booing story.
But her previous blog actually confirms the fact that the soldier was booed at the debate.
Right-wing media have continued to claim that Social Security is a "Ponzi scheme." However, experts say that people who make this claim "are very wrong."
From the September 11 edition of CNN Newsroom:
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After Fox News aired a doctored version of Teamsters president James Hoffa's Labor Day speech, the right-wing media pointed to the clearly edited video to accuse Hoffa of encouraging violence against conservatives. In fact, unaltered video -- video aired by Fox hours after the clearly edited version had been heavily promoted throughout the conservative media -- shows that Hoffa was encouraging the crowd to vote against Republicans in the 2012 election.