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CNN's Don Lemon insisted on Tuesday's OutFront that he is neither "a big supporter of Obama" nor an "ultra leftist" as guest Larry Klayman claimed. "Nothing you have said has been correct about me," Lemon retorted.
"The only person who decides my political leanings, whether I'm left or right, are me. The only people who know that for sure, the person who knows that for sure, is me," Lemon defended his integrity. However, Lemon has repeatedly bludgeoned conservatives and championed liberalism as a CNN anchor. Below are some of his worst moments:
Ed Henry's heated exchange Tuesday with White House Press Secretary Jay Carney as Fox News' newly-minted senior White House correspondent reminded NewsBusters of times when Henry, as a CNN reporter, supported his old competitor against attacks by left-wing activists and a liberal colleague.
CNN, a network known for its regular liberal bias, touted its supposed objectivity versus its competitors in a new ad which premiered on Tuesday evening. The ad graphically associated Fox News with the Republican elephant and MSNBC with the Democratic donkey, and claimed, "If you want to keep them all honest, without playing favorites, the choice is clear: CNN, the worldwide leader in news."
Yahoo! News's Michael Calderone, in his Wednesday article on the new ad, quoted from CNN political director Sam Feist, who claimed that their ad "simply states the obvious: We're the one cable news channel that doesn't advocate for one political party or the other." Calderone continued that "CNN's nonpartisan anchors have struggled against their more opinionated counterparts. Campbell Brown acknowledged her 8 p.m. show's low ratings against Fox News' Bill O'Reilly and MSNBC's Keith Olbermann in her May announcement that she was leaving the network."
[Video of the ad below the jump]
Here's the "best of Sanchez" list compiled from the Media Research Center's archives, updated from a July 22, 2010 item on NewsBusters:
Targeting Fox News and Conservative Talk Radio
In late 2008, the CNN anchor gained the 3 pm Eastern time slot of CNN's Newsroom, which would evolve into his Rick's List program. He consistently targeted conservative media outlets from that time until his firing.
ED HENRY: "Fox, Bloomberg, and National Public Radio were vying for it- all made strong cases. In the end, Fox [was] unanimously moved up to the front row, but did not get the seat Helen Thomas was in. We voted unanimously to move the Associated Press over to where Helen Thomas was because what a lot of people were missing in this whole fight was that"-
BROOKE BALDWIN: "And it is a fight"-
BALDWIN: "Which is fascinating, for those of us who don't understand the inner workings of the"-
HENRY: "Sure, and then we can walk through the whole"-
SANCHEZ: "Well, I understand the Associated Press. I even understand Bloomberg, but don't have you to be a news organization to get that seat?"
HENRY: "Oh! Are you saying Fox is not a news organization?"
SANCHEZ: "Yeah. I'm just wondering."
-Exchange with CNN correspondents Ed Henry, a member of the board of the White House Correspondents Association, and Brooke Baldwin, August 2, 2010 [see video above]. Almost a year earlier, Sanchez hinted Fox News wasn't a "real news organization."
Mediaite, HotAir.com, and Politico on Friday all highlighted Sanchez's anti-Stewart remarks and his questionable statements about Jews. Dominick, on his own website, gave additional details about how the CNN anchor not only targeted apparent prejudice against him from "top brass" at CNN: "Sanchez's example was an illustration that the problem of racism in the media business goes further than many expect, enveloping 'not just the Right,' but also 'elite, Northeast establishment liberals' that 'deep down, when they look at a guy like me, they see a guy automatically who belongs in the second tier, and not the top tier.'" This isn't a surprising characterization from Sanchez, who sees himself as in the "middle" or "not ideological."
Dominick, who once worked with Stewart on The Daily Show, posted three clips from the interview on his website, and 10 minutes into the second clip, the standup comedian tried to explain his trade to the anchor, that comics don't think about people's feelings when they make fun of them, but only think about being funny. Sanchez didn't buy this, and made a claim about how he operates [audio clip available here]:
Before putting his colleagues at MSNBC on his "list," the CNN anchor invoked his longtime vendetta against his other competitor and took a swipe at the last vice president: "Much was made of Vice President Cheney's insistence- remember this?- on only watching Fox News in his travels. It's a true story. Whenever he checked into hotels, he would have his staffers tune all of the TVs in the hotel to only Fox News, so he could just hear about his policies, repeated back to him by a right-wing television network."
Sanchez then moved on to his main subject: "Well, today I asked this question: what about MSNBC and their relationship now with this White House? Here's 'The List U Don't Want 2 Be On.'" He continued with the claim that "if you don't think for one minute that MSNBC is to Barack Obama what Fox was to Bush and Cheney, then you obviously haven't heard this comment that I'm about to share with you- this comment from Deputy White House [Press] Secretary Bill Burton."
Sanchez made this parting shot at his longstanding nemesis on the last prime time edition of his show, as the 8 pm time slot on CNN is being taken over on October 4 by a new program featuring former New York governor and "Client Number Nine" Eliot Spitzer and pseudo-conservative Kathleen Parker. The anchor raised his implying question about the apparent "role" of Fox News during the lead-in to his program. Instead of making a direct accusation against Fox News, as he did in the aftermath of the murders of three Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania police officers in April 2009, he replayed an earlier interview with Boudreau from the top of the 4 pm Eastern hour of his program.
Substitute anchor Brooke Baldwin discussed the California Senate race with Yellin 17 minutes into the 3 pm Eastern hour. Baldwin first noted that the San Francisco Chronicle declined to endorse either candidate in the race, for in their view, "[i]t is a dismal choice between an ineffective advocate for causes we generally support and a potentially strong advocate for positions we oppose." She then asked the correspondent, "[I]s that more of a slap in the face at Boxer or Fiorina?"
Yellin replied that it affected the Democrat more: "For Boxer, by far- I mean, it's fairly stunning that...a Democratic-leaning newspaper...their op-ed page tends to be left-leaning- would not endorse the long-term Democrat in the state is very, very bad for Barbara Boxer. I mean, their conclusion there is essentially that Boxer, they think, is ineffective. Carly Fiorina, they argue, is too conservative, so they're not endorsing."
Comedian Stephen Colbert on Thursday ridiculed Rick Sanchez, the much-maligned CNN personality that deservedly is the butt of many jokes.
After telling his "Colbert Report" viewers that Jon Stewart's Washington rally next month has been endorsed by Oprah Winfrey, Colbert informed them that he too has gotten a "major media figure" in his corner.
Upon learning the endorsement is from Sanchez, Colbert said, "Wow. Rick Sanchez. The coveted Sanchez bump. That could get me tens of supporters."
After showing a clip of the CNNer making a fool of himself on the air, Colbert panicked, "Oh, my God. It's like I'm a freshman and I've just been befriended by a loser upper-classman" (video follows with transcript and commentary, h/t Right Scoop):
The CNN anchor brought on political correspondent Jessica Yellin at the bottom of the 3 pm Eastern hour to discuss the President's town hall meeting on Monday. After playing a clip of Velma Hart, an Obama supporter who bluntly told the chief executive that she was "exhausted of defending" him, Sanchez asked Yellin for her take on whether "others out there are thinking in many of the ways that she [Hart] expressed herself."
As of Saturday, it ranked #5,920 on Amazon and #13,287 on Barnes & Noble. Perhaps Sanchez and his publishers at Penguin didn't realize that the title doesn't sound like a critique of someone else. It sounds like "Come buy 272 pages of idiocy." That might work for a comedian, but not for an anchorman. The shot at left is actually meant as a publicity shot to promote the book, not Sanchez's lack of savvy around electric cords.
The Smoking Gun relayed that photo and their take on Sanchez's titanic ego: