The battle of the cable news networks rages on, and gets funnier and funnier by the minute. In this latest installment, a Fox News spokesperson has deliciously disparaged one of CNN’s biggest stars.
As reported by the New York Times (emphasis mine throughout):
A Fox News spokeswoman, Irena Briganti, said CNN was mainly looking for publicity in attacking its higher-rated rival. Of Mr. Cooper’s comment, she said, “Yet another cry for attention by the Paris Hilton of television news, Anderson Cooper.”
What was this recent fracas about? You’ll never guess:
A disputed report on the Web site of a conservative magazine about Senator Barack Obama’s childhood schooling kicked off a pointed exchange this week between the rival cable news networks CNN and Fox News, when CNN seemed to make an overt effort both to debunk the report and to question the quality of Fox News’s journalism.
The original report, posted on the online version of Insight, a magazine owned by The Washington Times, said that as a child in Indonesia, Mr. Obama had attended a madrassa, a school that teaches a radical version of the Muslim faith. Mr. Obama, who spent a few years in Jakarta as a boy, is a Christian.
Adding to the political volatility of the report was the attribution of the news to “researchers connected to” Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Figures. Of course, the Clinton News Network never likes any bad press about the former first couple from Arkansas, and felt the need to defend Hillary’s honor:
In comments after Mr. Vause’s report, the CNN anchors Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper seemed to chide others for not practicing legitimate journalism on the story. “CNN did what any serious news organization is supposed to do in this kind of a situation,” Mr. Blitzer said. “We actually conducted an exclusive firsthand investigation inside Indonesia to check out the school.”
Mr. Cooper said: “That’s the difference between talking about news and reporting it. You send a reporter, check the facts, and you decide at home.”
This almost reads like a script from “Saturday Night Live,” doesn’t it? Of course, also comical is how the Times completely ignored Keith Olbermann’s involvement in the dispute as reported by NewsBusters here and here.
Have the Times’ editors finally realized how irrelevant this gross caricature of a newsman is? Stay tuned.