It was the type of shout-fest debate that would not have been out of place in the original Crossfire. But instead of taking place on the reboot of that show, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT) went head-to-head on CNN’s The Situation Room Monday afternoon. Once they got going, all host Wolf Blitzer had to do was get out of the way as these two ideologically-opposed lawmakers went at each other’s throats for nearly fifteen minutes straight.
The presumed topic was income inequality, which is expected to be a major focus of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address tomorrow night. But over the course of the segment, the conversation coverage a large variety of related topics from early childhood education to Wall Street regulations and everything in between.
For much of the debate it appeared the Bachmann and Sanders were talking simultaneously, while a seemingly helpless Blitzer sat on the sidelines choosing not to moderate in the traditional sense.
When Sanders said Republicans want to cut Social Security, Bachmann shot back with, “That is absolutely a lie. It’s brought up all the time and it’s a lie. Let’s face it, Senator Sanders. you shouldn’t be lying about what our position is.” When he asked her directly if she supports “chained CPI” and raising the minimum wage, Bachmann would not answer, choosing instead to direct the points she was trying to make straight towards Blitzer. Meanwhile, Bachmann had to pause several times throughout the conversation to tell Sanders to “calm down.”
Somehow, Bachmann and Sanders emerged from the segment without causing each other any physical harm, but the emotional damage was done. “This was an excellent discussion,” Blitzer said when the whole thing was over.
Watch the full segment in all its glory below, via CNN:
Michele (any lie for a headline) Bachmann put herself back into the news cycle by making the ridiculous claim on Thursday’s Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, that her insurance has been cancelled and that because the Affordable Care Act website is glitchy, her husband, with a pre-existing condition, will be without insurance.
If you recall, just a couple of months ago, one of the major anti-Obamacare talking points was that Congress didn’t have to buy into the exchanges. Now, she has no one to blame but her own Republican party for the fact that she’s being booted off her employer-paid health insurance and well, she is too lazy busy to spend an extra hour or two on Healthcare.gov.
But here’s the kicker. Bachmann has no need to go on Healthcare.gov, ever. In fact, it would do her no good. Both Washington, DC, where she claims she’d sign up, and her home state of Minnesota have their own exchanges.
Wolf Blitzer and Michele Bachmann had a lengthy, tense argument about Obamacare on Blitzer’s CNN show on Friday.
Blitzer, who usually presents a reserved, dispassionate demeanor on air, got unusually feisty with Bachmann, cutting her off and deriding many of the things she said.
A sample exchange:
BACHMANN: “We know now the estimate from the government is that about 30 million people are going to be cut off their employer’s health insurance because of Obamacare.”BLITZER: “I don’t know where you’re getting 30 million people cut off! That’s not true.”
BACHMANN: “From the government!”
BLITZER: “You’re going to have to show me those numbers.”
Fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner — wanted in connection with a deadly shooting rampage in Southern California — wrote a rambling manifesto referencing a number of TV hosts and journalists.
In the document attributed to Dorner, the man accused of killing three people promises to “bring unconventional and asymmetrical warfare to those in LAPD uniform whether on or off duty” and also praises several journalists:
Chris Matthews, Joe Scarborough, Pat Harvey, Brian Williams, Soledad Obrien, Wolf Blitzer, Meredith Viera, Tavis Smiley, and Anderson Cooper, keep up the great work and follow Cronkite’s lead. I hold many of you in the same regard as Tom Brokaw and the late Peter Jennings. Cooper, stop nagging and berating your guest, they’re your (guest). Mr. Scarborough, we met at McGuire’s pub in P-cola in 2002 when I was stationed there. It was an honor conversing with you about politics, family, and life.
Willie Geist, you’re a talented and charismatic journalist. Stop with all the talk show shenanigans and get back to your core of reporting. Your future is brighter than most.
Revoke the citizenship of Fareed Zakaria and deport him. I’ve never heard a positive word about America or its interest from his mouth, ever. On the same day, give Piers Morgan an indefinite resident alien and Visa card.
Dorner also picks out dozens of celebrities and other figures in the document. The LAPD believes Dorner wrote the manifesto because of details in it that only he would know, The Associated Press reported on Thursday. A copy of the manifesto can be found at KTTV-Fox 11 News, the Fox owned-and-operated television station in Los Angeles.
And on Thursday, CNN reported that Dorner also sent a package to CNN’s Anderson Cooper. Inside the parcel was a hand labeled DVD with a post-it note reading in part “I never lie,” and a souvenir LAPD medallion shot through with bullet holes. The package arrived Feb. 1, but Cooper said it was not opened by him and he first learned of it today.
This sounds like a good idea. I’m not necessarily a Mediaitefan, but I do give them credit for conceiving this idea. Donald Trump and his birther nonsense needs to be addressed by cable news outlets and call him out on his incessant lies. They also need to reduce the air-time they have given him these past few days.
On the heels of Tuesday’s fiery Donald Trump birther showdown with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, we here at Mediaite would like to finally hold his enablers accountable (and, of course, then in some meta way, we would continue to be enabling the enablers). It’s time for the cable networks to stop giving Donald Trump airtime.
Your willingness to give him airtime is precisely why Trump continues to make outlandish statements on every network within phone’s reach. We understand that he is in the news because of the Romney campaign, but even the sharks are complaining that they are tired of being jumped.
The usually-stoic Wolf Blitzer did a fine job of flogging Trump, making it clear that his birtherism is tiresome nonsense. But the mere fact that Blitzer had Trump on the air, despite Trump having no credibility, is maddening even to those of us who report on the reporters.
And so starting today — the first day of what most assuredly looks to be Trump Week — we here at Mediaite begin our official Trump Watch™. Each day, we will take note of how many times each cable network gives Trump the fumes of airtime that serve as his sustenance.
Today’s tally seems relatively small — CNN and CNBC are, so far, the only guilty parties. Trump is also slated to appear tonight on Greta Van Susteren‘s Fox News program. And we have no doubt that in the coming days, many others will cash in their Trump minutes. And we will be there to count the chips.
We will also track how often each network simply mentions Trump. According to TVEyes, on Tuesday, cable news outlets mentioned Trump for a combined 150 times. More than half of those came from MSNBC alone. And the day isn’t even over!
CNN’s abandonment of news to climb in bed with the tea party has turned into an epic disaster as the network has lost 52% of its viewers.
In a month where all three cable networks had ratings declines, no one did as badly as CNN. The network lost 52% of their total viewers (Run, Anderson, run. Imagine what a Cooper/Maddow primetime could do for MSNBC). Wolf Blitzer’s The Situation Room was down 46% in total viewers and 61% in the demo. How bad for have things gotten for CNN? In my recent travels, I passed through four airports, and not a single one had CNN on. The channel that I have been seeing more public televisions tuned to is The Weather Channel. Yes, even the weather is more interesting than CNN.
CNN’s problems started when the network bosses got the bright idea that they should try to copy Fox News, and move to the right. After climbing into bed with the Tea Party Express and hiring far right wingers Erick Erickson and Dana Loesch led to the current ratings disaster, what would you expect CNN to do?
If you said hire more right wingers and conservatives, congratulations, you are qualified for an upper management position at CNN. The network’s latest hire, Fox News cast-off Margaret Hoover, let the cat out the bag, “Executives at CNN have been looking for fresh faces and new talent with conservative perspectives, and in the end, offered me an opportunity that was too good to pass up. Indeed, competition, that sturdy pillar of capitalism, is alive and well in the cable news industry.”
Despite the fact that their network is dying because they hired a bunch of conservatives, executives at CNN are looking to hire… more….conservatives.
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, the event’s moderator, posed the hypothetical question to Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas): What do you tell a guy who is sick, goes into a coma and doesn’t have health insurance? Who pays for his coverage? “Are you saying society should just let him die?” Wolf Blitzer asked.
“Yeah!” several members of the crowd yelled out.
HuffPost asked Grayson what he thought of the crowd cheering for the death of the uninsured man. He writes:
My speech was about the fact I had been listening to the Republicans for months, and they literally had no plan to help all those millions of people who can’t see a doctor when they’re sick. So I said, in sort of a wry manner, that their plan was “don’t get sick.” All I really wanted to do was just call attention to the stark absence of a Republican plan. But Fox, trying to take the heat off Joe Wilson and Sarah Palin I guess, transmogrified that into a charge that Republicans want to kill people.What you saw tonight is something much more sinister than not having a healthcare plan. It’s sadism, pure and simple. It’s the same impulse that led people in the Coliseum to cheer when the lions ate the Christians. And that seems to be where we are heading — bread and circuses, without the bread. The world that Hobbes wrote about — “the war of all against all.”
Watch: Grayson’s famous comments on the House floor:
These people have no soul and no compassion. That’s why they didn’t care if the United States defaulted on their debt. The fact is that most of the teabagger politicians are multi-millionaires and think their money would not be affected if the country defaults.
The last two Republican presidential debates have been some of the most macabre on record. Last time around, at the Reagan Library, the crowd gave the biggest applause of the night to the 234 executions that have occurred in Texas while Rick Perry was governor.
In Tampa, Florida at the CNN/Tea Party Express debate Monday night, the tea party-filled audience literally cheered aloud for the uninsured to be allowed to die.
The moment came during an exchange between moderator Wolf Blitzer and Ron Paul, whose libertarian views often make for good theater at Republican debates.
Blitzer asked if under Paul’s libertarian philosophy, a sick man without insurance should be allowed to die in the hospital rather than have the state pay his medical bills. Before Paul could answer that question, shouts of “yes!” and cheering bubbled up from the audience.