Less than a week after they used an overwhelming amount of left-wing Internet clips from YouTube to forward the liberal agenda at the Democrat debate, CNN is promoting another left-wing Internet production. Sunday’s "Newsroom" program spent more than 5 minutes discussing the latest hack job from Max Blumenthal of "The Nation," in which the son of Clinton spin doctor Sidney Blumenthal attacks the "chicken hawks" at the College Republican National Convention.
Not only did segment reporter Josh Levs fail to identify many of Blumenthal’s left-wing associations (other than the fact that posted his video on the Huffington Post, which is not identified as a liberal website), he tried to cover for Blumenthal by stating that the left-wing writer "really rejects that radical left-wing label" after the co-chair of the College Republicans called Blumenthal part of "a bunch of radical left-wing people." "Newsroom" anchor Rick Sanchez closed the segment with a clip of an earlier interview where he posed Blumenthal’s question to three Republican college students earlier this month.
Levs, (pictured at right) a journalist who works for several mainstream media outlets, including CNN and NPR, did the report on Blumenthal’s "Generation Chickenhawk," the latest in a series of videos in which "The Nation" writer goes to conservative conventions to ask "hard questions." This is how Sanchez and Levs began the segment.
RICK SANCHEZ: A writer, opposed to the Iraq war, goes to a national meeting of College Republicans, and creates a video that's fueling a hot political debate over the Web. He says that he's exposing the quote, ‘hypocrisy of a group of young people who are behind the war, but won't put their own lives on the line when it comes to the war.’
CNN's Josh Levs here with ‘Josh's Corner’ now. This is interesting, because I know a football coach who used to say, you know, ‘ it doesn't work if it's all show and no go.’ And it does appear that this is moving in that direction.
JOSH LEVS: You know what, a lot of people have associations when they see this. That's one reason it's catching on so big. It's really interesting. You know, first of all, we're talking about the ultimate political question in America right now. It's all about Iraq. So what happens here, yeah, it boils down to one guy who went to this meeting, but he put together this video that right now is catching a lot of attention on the Internet. And you're going to see here that some of the people he talks to may have been asked a question that they did not expect.
Max Blumenthal is a writer who regularly takes on conservative politicians, positions, and groups. He has a new video on his Web site and on the ‘Huffington Post,’ tracing his visit to a meeting of the College Republican National Committee. Everyone Blumenthal interviews strongly supports the Iraq war.
Notice that Blumenthal is described as being "opposed to the Iraq war," and "a writer who regularly takes on conservative politicians, positions, and groups." There is no mention of the fact that he works for "The Nation" or that he is the son of Sidney Blumenthal.
As part of his report, Levs interviewed Max Blumenthal and the co-chair of the College Republican National Committee, Nick Miccarelli. The clip from the Blumenthal interview lasts uninterrupted for 35-seconds, while Miccarelli, whose clips are interrupted by a short biography of his background, last 20 seconds. A transcript of the interview clips.
LEVS: Blumenthal staunchly opposes the war. He calls his video ‘Generation Chickenhawk.'
BLUMENTHAL: An ideology that says you can support this war, which is not supported by most Americans, and which is wearing down the military, without serving it in any way, or participating in it, or making any kind of sacrifice.
LEVS: Isn't it possible to absolutely, thoroughly support a war, but not enlist, with no hypocrisy?
BLUMENTHAL: It's possible to absolutely support a war, but at this point, with the military worn thin, I think at this point it is hypocritical, since this country probably needs them to serve.
NICK MICCARELLI, COLLEGE REPUB NATL CMTE: I think we should take it for what it is, and that's a political hit piece. It's totally on- sided.
LEVS: The group's head, 25-year-old Nick Miccarelli is also in the National Guard, and served in Ramadi, Iraq.
MICCARELLI: People who support stricter laws on a lot of things in this country, and aren't necessarily willing to become police officers.
LEVS: He says some College Republicans do enlist.
MICCARELLI: We're more concerned with what the troops think about us than what a bunch of radical left-wing people think.
LEVS: Blumenthal, who's 29-years-old, summarizes his message in this final shot (shot of car bumper sticker that says ‘Draft College Republicans’), and says he's had some positive responses from some members of the military.
Again, Levs only mentions the fact that Blumenthal "staunchly opposes the war." After his report was aired, Levs was even more disingenuous about Blumenthal’s background.
LEVS: And Blumenthal, also, for the record, really rejects that radical left-wing label. He says, you know what, a lot of people in America agree with him. And Rick, it's also relevant to us to keep in mind there have been a lot of Internet videos on this whole argument over Iraq, and sometimes you've got people making fun of anti-war protesters as well.
How can Levs say that with a straight face, given Blumenthal’s background. He mentions the videos where "you’ve got people making fun of anti-war protesters," but when is CNN going to do a segment on that?
At the end of the segment, Sanchez played a clip of an interview he had conducted with visiting college students from both sides of the aisles about the Iraq war. He imitates Blumenthal by asking the 3 conservative/Republican students, "Raise your hand if you're ready to go? Raise your hand if you're ready to go to Iraq tomorrow." When the none of the 3 raise their hands, he pressed them for an explanation.
SANCHEZ: Is there anybody who is going to raise their hand and say they are ready to go to Iraq?
DAVID KIRBY, STUDENT, UNIV. OF GEORGIA: If my country needs me tomorrow, if they call me, if they draft me, then I will go.
SANCHEZ: You said it's the right war. So, are you ready to go?
KIRBY: If my country needs me to go, I will go.
So, you not only have two CNN journalists promoting a left-wing partisan journalist, one of them is trying to imitate him. It sure is an eye-opening 5 minute segment.
(h/t NewsBusters reader Damian G.)