On Wednesday's Rick's List, CNN's Drew Griffin pressed former Clinton administration official Robert Reich on his call for a federal takeover of BP and its efforts against the Gulf oil leak. Griffin first questioned Reich if his proposal was serious, and later stated that the Democrat's idea "sounds not only highly illegal...but seems to me to smack of something that we might see in Venezuela" [audio clips available here].

The CNN personality, who was filling in for anchor Rick Sanchez, brought on the current University of California, Berkeley professor to discuss his proposal, which he first made in a May 31 column (as noted by Jeff Poor at MRC's Business and Media Institute). After summarizing Reich's position, that it was "time for the government to seize control of BP and take over the company's oil spill recovery efforts in the Gulf," Griffin bluntly asked the former labor secretary, "I've got to tell you, I have always considered you a very serious person, but this doesn't sound serious to me at all. Are you serious about this, or was this some kind of a joke to get things going?"

On Monday's Rick's List, CNN's Gloria Borger waxed ecstatic over Al and Tipper Gore, even as the two announced their separation: "This is a genuine couple....They have always been a real team." Borger also described them as "two very thoughtful people" and sang individual praises to both, lauding Tipper for being an "accomplished photographer" and labeling Mr. Gore "deliberative" [audio clips available here].

Anchor Rick Sanchez brought on the senior political analyst 16 minutes into the 3 pm Eastern hour to discuss the announcement by the former "second couple" that they were separating after 40 years of marriage. After showing the famous kiss by the couple at the 2000 Democratic National Convention, Sanchez commented that "you can't be someone like myself or yourself, I would imagine, who's covered the Gores for quite some time, and not really be kind of taken aback, almost feeling a little sad for the end of this relationship, right?"

Borger replied with overwhelming enthusiasm over the Gores:

Glenn Beck and his radio crew had a lot of fun Friday morning at the expense of CNN's Rick Sanchez.

Clearly in a jovial mood, the conservative talk radio host said, "Give me something to laugh about."

His partners in crime then played a clip of Sanchez actually reading off the teleprompter in a recent "Rick's List" installment, "Up next: Ad lib. A tease. That's what it says right here."

After Beck stopped laughing, he and the crew hilariously described the inanity of what the CNN host did, and then went on to one of our personal favorites at NewsBusters - Isn't it too cold in Iceland for a volcano? (video follows with commentary, h/t Right Scoop):

Rick Sanchez, CNN Anchor; & Jessica Yellin, CNN Correspondent | NewsBusters.orgCNN and the Associated Press on Wednesday and Thursday touted how the tea party movement apparently didn't get motivate voters to turn out and "throw out the bums" in Republican primaries in Indiana, North Carolina, and Ohio. Both outlets, however, omitted how senate candidate Rob Portman ran unopposed in his primary race in Ohio.

Anchor Rick Sanchez brought on CNN national political correspondent Jessica Yellin during a segment 21 minutes into the 3 pm Eastern hour of his Rick's List program on Wednesday. After noting how Democratic Representative David Obey, a "partisan brawler," was retiring, and how "Sarah Palin and tea party influences" might be "running some of these rascals out of office," Sanchez turned to Yellin and asked her about the results: "Those allegedly angry voters could have stormed the polls in droves and thrown out the bums. They would have all been there in big numbers, and they're going to get rid of the incumbents, get rid of the old hacks. So, did that happen?"

On today's Rick's List, CNN anchor Rick Sanchez brandished those reportorial skills for which he's so famous.  He and national political correspondent Jessica Yellin discussed Tuesday's primaries and the "Sarah Palin and the Tea Party influences."  Not surprisingly, they agreed they had little impact:
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yesterday's elections showed that there was very limited turnout. One of the things we have heard is that the Tea Party movement was going to energize the base, stoke up turnout, especially on the Republican side. And in the key Republican races -- there were two in Indiana especially -- the incumbents won. Now, their margin of victory was more narrow, but the Tea Party movement didn't throw the bums out, as you said.

SANCHEZ: Well...

YELLIN: So, it's still to be determined whether they will have a huge influence in November.

SANCHEZ: Well, I know, but we got one of the first runs where we get to -- where we get to take a look at something like this, the...

YELLIN: Right.

SANCHEZ: ... and the -- the -- the polls showed that the turnout was way, way underwhelming. Not only that. The three guys -- or five guys, whatever the number is, the number of guys who actually won last night...

At the White House Correspondents Association dinner Saturday night, President Barack Obama mocked CNN’s Rick Sanchez for saying Iceland is “too cold” for a volcano, a remark launched into the blogosphere by NewsBusters (April 15 NB post with video) and which prompted Sanchez, who insisted he was joking, to put NB post author Matthew Balan at the “very top” of his “List U Don't Want 2 Be On.” (April 19 NB post with video)

Obama’s joke centered on his bad opening day “first pitch” at the Washington Nationals game. He displayed how FNC described his pitch, “President Panders to Far Left of Batters Box,” and MSNBC’s on-screen graphic under Keith Olbermann: “President Pitches No-Hitter.” The President then played the real video from CNN of Sanchez, and then, generating laughter from the DC audience, quipped: “I guess that’s why they’re the most-trusted name in news.”

On Friday's Rick's List, CNN's Rick Sanchez revisited a story he did on Tuesday where he forwarded Islamic group CAIR's publicity stunt about a Virginia license plate that apparently contained racist messages. The Washington Post, as well, updated their story on Friday, pointing to the driver's apparent Facebook page, which contained white supremacist messages, but CNN was unable to confirm their report.

Both news agencies initially jumped on CAIR's admitted speculation about the pickup truck's license plate numbers, which they claimed represented a slogan from a deceased white supremacist leader, and numbers which translated as "Heil Hitler." Brigid Schulte of the Post broke the controversy in her April 22 story, which only presented the Islamic advocacy group's side of the story (possibly because of privacy rules in Virginia). Sanchez did the same in his Tuesday segment.

Schulte followed through with an article on Thursday, after the owner of the truck, Douglas Story, contacted The Washington Post to claim that the numbers actually represented his favorite NASCAR drivers, Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who race under those respective numbers. Story was forced to get a new license plate after the Virginia DMV recalled his plate.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. must be having trouble remembering who is president these days. Kennedy spent much of his April 30 CNN interview attacking the previous administration for last week's Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster and subsequent oil spill. 

In an appearance on "Rick's List," Kennedy opined that as a nation "we should be moving away from our deadly addiction to oil. Not only because of the damage it's doing in the Gulf, but we are exporting, we are borrowing a billion dollars a day in our country mainly from nations that don't share our values."

But then Kennedy attacked President George W. Bush and the oil industry as a whole for the tragic spill still being dealt with off the Louisiana coastline. The founder of Waterkeeper Alliance, a left-wing environmental group, told Sanchez that his organization filed a class-action lawsuit on the behalf of Louisiana fishermen.

Host Rick Sanchez asked "What did these guys do wrong? Were they careless?"

Kennedy replied affirmatively and went on to attack not merely the single company (British Petroleum) responsible for the drilling platform, but the entire oil industry and the Bush administration:

"But because of the oil industry's influence on the Bush administration -- the Bush administration waved that requirement [for acoustic regulators used in Europe]. So it made the oil spills intrinsically much more dangerous," Kennedy claimed.

Matthew Balan, NewsBusters Contributing Writer, screen cap from 19 April 2010 CNN's Rick's List | NewsBusters.orgTime magazine's website on Thursday named me to their tongue-in-cheek "Least Influential People of 2010" list, ranking me with other notables such as Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, MSNBC anchor David Shuster, and Clarence Thomas. Contributor Joel Stein stated that he was "short on morons" to put on his list, so he picked me after CNN anchor Rick Sanchez told him about our recent dispute.

The Time writer got to me after listing three-pages-worth of notables. I was immediately preceded by actor Joaquin Phoenix, "political extremist" Lyndon LaRouche, and Justice Thomas. Stein detailed that "Rick Sanchez told me to put him on because they got in a fight about whether Sanchez was serious or kidding about being surprised volcanoes exist in cold places like Iceland. I forgot to ask Rick what category he thinks Balan should go in, but I was short on morons so I put him here."

As you might remember, I put up an item on NewsBusters on April 15 about the CNN anchor's remark about "when you think of a volcano, you think of Hawaii and long words like that. You don't think of Iceland. You think it's too cold to have a volcano there." Four days later, Sanchez named me to "the very top" of his "List U Don't Want 2 Be On," and devoted more than four minutes to how I did a "hot job" on him for his "joke."

On April 22 and 27, CNN and The Washington Post both helped forward Islamic advocacy group CAIR's publicity stunt which demeaned an anonymous Virginia motorist as a racist. The Post finally found the driver on Thursday – and apparently, both news outlets jumped the gun, as the owner claimed that the numbers on his license plate were a tribute to his favorite NASCAR drivers, not secret code for “Heil Hitler.”

Anchor Rick Sanchez devoted a brief on his Rick's List program on Tuesday to presenting CAIR's side of the story on the controversy. After showing a picture of the pickup truck and the plate in question, as well as the anti-Islamic message on the truck's tailgate, Sanchez explained that "CAIR...also noticed the vanity license plate. It reads '14CV88.' CAIR says that is a coded hate message. We're told the number eight is for the eighth letter in the alphabet, 'H.' Two eights equals 'H.H.' for 'Heil Hitler.' Fourteen represents imprisoned white supremacist David Lane's motto about securing the future for white children." The anchor didn’t mention the owner’s side of the story.

Did anyone at CNN or the Washington Post consider the possibility that the story was underbaked until they communicated with the driver? Did they consider someone might find the driver and his truck and be spurred to angry talk and/or violence based on the media’s incomplete accounts? The Washington Post, at least, printed an update on Thursday to their initial article from the 22nd (the ball, obviously, is also in Sanchez's court now, as well, especially since he went after NewsBusters for not calling him before we took the "cheap shot" at him). The Post's Brigid Schulte returned to the scene of her incomplete story and provided the driver’s perspective in her Thursday article, "Virginia driver denies license plate had coded racist message."

On Tuesday's Rick List, CNN's Rick Sanchez unquestioningly forwarded Islamic advocacy group CAIR's admitted speculation about a Virginia license plate containing a supposed coded message of white supremacy/neo-Naziism, which they found on a pickup truck that also had an anti-Islamic message on it [audio clip available here].

Sanchez devoted a brief to the controversy over the Virginia license plate 18 minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour. Earlier in the hour, the CNN anchor gave a teaser on the issue, summarizing CAIR's take as their publicist might: "Take a look at this: what's wrong with that license plate? Opponents say it has a message of nothing but bigotry and hate. I will take you through it. There's more there than meets the eye." He showed a picture of the pickup truck in question, which had a large Confederate flag on the back window of the cab and the message "Everything I ever needed to know about Islam, I learned on 9/11" on the tailgate.

On April 15, CNN anchor Rick Sanchez, the network's Mr.