Tuesday's CBS This Morning rolled over and gave movie star John Cusack a platform to spout his leftist political views. Cusack slammed the Obama administration: "The excesses of the Bush administration...[Obama] had a constitutional obligation to correct that, and I don't think they have, and I think that's deeply troubling....They've...continued that imperial presidency of the Bush administration."

Cusack also played up "some of the issues that the Obama administration has with due process and with the assassination of American citizens- this speech by Eric Holder- I think, are deeply troubling," an apparent reference to the use of Hellfire missiles against American-born al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki. Instead of bringing up al-Awlaki's connections to the Fort Hood shooter and plotting attacks against U.S. airliners, anchor Charlie Rose simply replied, "Meaning you expected more from the President and attorney general?" [audio available here; video below the jump]



On Saturday, ABC's Devin Dwyer reported how President Obama gave "a rousing speech to 600 donors in Chicago and closed it with an intimate appeal before 40 'friends' that included...Oprah Winfrey....Oprah was flanked at her table by...longtime friend and companion Gayle King [and] Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett." However, Dwyer failed to mention that King is co-anchor of CBS This Morning.

Though it isn't currently known whether the CBS on-air personality donated to the Obama reelection campaign at this event, she donated $35,800 to the Obama Victory Fund during the third quarter of 2011 - before she started working at CBS - and $30,800 to the Democratic National Committee during the same time period.



[Update, 4:10 pm Tuesday: Father Grandon wrote NewsBusters to clarify his statement during the segment: "I was very clear during the interview that we convert priests have no interest in agitating for married clergy generally and that, in fact, the Catholic Church has always had married priests in her Eastern Churches, but alas, those comments were edited out.  My comment...in no way proposed that change....Yes, much was left unsaid and unexplained, but do please note that I am not on the side of the liberals!  In the end, we were happy that the editing was not as malicious as it could have been."]

On Monday's CBS This Morning, correspondent Michelle Miller highlighted one of the 77 married Catholic priests in the U.S. who converted from the Episcopal Church in recent years and boosted a favorite pet cause of left-leaning dissenting Catholics: ordaining married men. Miller trumpeted that Father Doug Grandon's example "begs the question: should all Catholic priests have the option to marry?"

Father Grandon stated that "the most we could say is that having a married priest...allows them to look and see how it would work if they wanted to change it." The morning show's religious and faith contributor, Father Edward Beck, also acknowledged that the several dozen former Episcopalian clerics are "bringing a whole liberal notion with them," but also noted one of the main reasons for Catholic clerical celibacy - that parish priests can devote all 24 hours of each day to their ministry.



Jan Crawford spotlighted Karen Santorum's "frustrations with the media" on Tuesday's CBS This Morning, adding that it was "understandable. They've been mocked by some for how they grieved the loss of their infant son." Crawford also noted how Mrs. Santorum's "life...has been under a microscope. In nearly every story written about her, it's mentioned she lived with a doctor...[who] performed abortions" [audio available here; video below the jump].

The political correspondent landed the first Big Three network interview with the GOP candidate's wife. At the end of the segment, Crawford stated that "voters tell us...one thing they like about [Rick] Santorum- he mean what he says, and he's real. And in that sense, he and his wife are very much alike." Anchor Gayle King later sang the praises of Karen Santorum: "[She] needs to do more interviews...because you come across really liking her."



After 19 days of controversy, CBS Evening News on Tuesday finally got around to covering the growing dispute between the Obama administration, who wants to impose a mandate for sterilizations and birth control on religious institutions, and the Catholic Church and its allies, who see it as a violation of religious liberty. All of the Big Three networks' evening newscasts on Tuesday covered the issue.

On Wednesday morning, CBS This Morning was actually the only network morning show that devoted a segment to the "hot-button issue," as anchor Gayle King labeled it. NBC's Today show gave a mere news brief on the "uproar" over the new federal policy, while ABC's Good Morning America ignored it.



Charlie Rose boosted a jaw-dropping line from Politico's Roger Simon on Friday's CBS This Morning, which concluded that the Republican presidential debates were hurting the party's chances at defeating President Obama: "It is said that in Chicago, where they are running the Obama campaign, that they're so giddy that they want to run naked in Millennium Park" [audio available here; video below the jump].

Simon's actual sentence in his Thursday piece was more graphic:



Gayle King made it clear that she is in the tank for the Obama campaign on Thursday's CBS This Morning, specifically vouching that Michelle Obama apparently is "passionate," and that the First Lady is "looking forward to returning for another four years. They're going to work very hard to make that happen."

King continued tossing softballs at her admitted friend, at one point gushing, "Do you ever just sort of marvel at your life?" She completely omitted asking her guest about controversial aspects of her time in the White House, such as Mrs. Obama's travel expenses, or how the First Lady wore $540 designer sneakers as she fed the poor in Washington, DC in 2009.



New anchor Gayle King tossed softballs at admitted friend Michelle Obama on Wednesday's CBS This Morning. King sympathized with the First Lady over how many supposedly see her. When her guest dropped a racially-tinged charge, that "that's been an image that people have tried to paint of me since...the day Barack announced, that I'm some angry black woman," she replied, "How do you deal with that image?"

During the twelve-plus minute interview, which aired in two segments, the close associate of Oprah Winfrey also especially sympathized with Mrs. Obama over charges against her in a recent book: "I think it's frustrating for her to see so many untruths. You know, I read the book, too....and I'm thinking- well, I was there. That didn't happen, that didn't happen, that didn't happen. And she never told Carla Bruni Sarkozy that living in the White House was hell- quite the opposite is how she feels."



Was Gayle King kvetching about polls when candidate, then President, Obama and the Dems were riding high?  Doubt it.  But now that tide has turned, King pooh-poohs polls, and even asked Mika Brzezinski not to read one on the air.  But never fear, "every time he speaks I get inspired all over again" proclaimed the editor of Oprah Winfrey's O magazine.

King's hear-no-evil moment went down on today's Morning Joe, as Mika was about to read a poll showing a preference for Republicans in the generic congressional ballot.


On Thursday's "Good Morning America," for the third time in less than a week, the morning show featured a sympathetic story on Elizabeth Edwards and how she is coping with the affair of husband John Edwards, this time touting a appearance on the May 7 "Oprah Winfrey Show." In total, GMA has devoted 12 minutes and 25 seconds to the subject, but still managed to skip a key development in the case. On Sunday, word leaked out that a federal probe is investigating whether or not then-presidential candidate Edwards improperly used campaign funds to pay off a staffer, Rielle Hunter, who he was having an affair with.

Yet, there was no mention of that in the May 6 story on GMA or on Thursday's program. (Another piece aired on May 1, prior to the allegations going public.) Instead, the May 7 interview with O magazine editor Gayle King mostly focused on gossipy details. Ms. King teased, "Can I tell you, the interview this afternoon, is not going to disappoint. It is not. I can't wait for people to see it and draw their own conclusions. It will not disappoint."



O Magazine editor Gayle King appeared on Monday's "Good Morning America" to rave about the "un-jaded," "not-complicated" and "so-darned normal" Obama family. The close associate of Oprah Winfrey talked with Diane Sawyer and repeatedly enthused about a Winfrey interview (see picture at right) with Mrs. Obama, at one point cooing that the first lady "only wants to be Michelle Obama, really. And nobody can do it better than she."

It seemed as though there was no question that Ms. King could not turn into effusive, unadulterated praise of politician's wife. After being asked by Sawyer about whether the first lady is bothered by questions about fashion, King said no and remarked, "It's like, there's a song by Maino, a rapper," she began. To demonstrate, the O editor started singing, "Hi, hater. You see me." She broke off and then rhapsodized, "People are just jealous, but Michelle- there is no point she is trying to prove. She's comfortable in her own skin and she looks good."


Wednesday’s post-inaugural edition of The Oprah Winfrey Show, taped at a Washington restaurant, overflowed with strange and messianic notions about Obama and how the thrill over him is unanimous. Actor Forest Whitaker summed it up for Oprah: "The light of the New Age is here." Oprah pal Gayle King passed along her agreement with a message that "Not only does he hear us. He feels us. That when I hear Barack Obama, they said, he talks to my soul." Whitaker also strangely claimed "we’re not used to seeing" a president and a First Lady who love each other, but the Obamas have signaled "it’s okay to love."

Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin strangely claimed it was "extraordinary" to have a president care about history, and told the audience Obama said to her in 2007 he’s not getting the presidency to be Millard Fillmore, but to be great like Lincoln. Ali Wentworth, the wife of George Stephanopoulos, painted an incredible picture of a massive gospel choir on the subway system en route to the festivities: "I took the Metro, and everyone was singing ‘Amazing Grace’ on the Metro."