The Dumbest Media Question I’ve Ever Heard

You know the expression, “You can’t make this stuff up”?  Well, over the weekend CNN gave us just such a moment — an example of bias so blatant and so unprofessional that when I first heard it I thought I was watching a Saturday Night Live comedy routine.

It happened at a news conference in Honolulu, at the end of the APEC summit. CNN White House correspondent Dan Lothian brought up the weekend GOP debate and told the president that several candidates said in their view waterboarding is not torture.  “I’m wondering,” Lothian asked the president, “if you think they’re uninformed, out of touch, or irresponsible.”

(I suspect many of you reading this will think I made that up.  Click here and see it for yourself.)

I actually laughed when I heard the question.  Bias is usually much more subtle, and not nearly as funny.  The president just stood there, silent, for a few seconds.  Even he seemed stunned at the unvarnished bias of the question.  I got the impression he wanted to say, “Come on, man.  I know you guys love me – and for good reason – but this is downright embarrassing.”  Instead, he smiled and asked if it was a multiple- choice question – then said he thought the Republicans were wrong, that waterboarding is torture.  Fine.

My sources tell me that these are a few more questions Dan Lothian may ask the president as the campaign heats up:

“Mr. President, Dan Lothian here from CNN.  First I want you to know that we all love you at CNN and think Republicans are Nazis.  Now to my question:  Do you agree that they’re Nazis or do you think they’re simply morons?”

“Mr. President, should Herman Cain be executed for raping those women?”

“B.  I hope you don’t mind Barack if I simply call you B, my main man.  Mitt Romney is a Mormon.  Should he even be allowed to run for president, especially given the fact that he has 19 wives?  And if he wins, should he be allowed to serve?  I would say, no, B Man.  You agree, right?”

“Good morning, Mr. President.  Here’s some coffee and cupcakes I brought to the press conference for you.  Question:  We took a vote at CNN and decided that the U.S. government should put your face up there on Mt. Rushmore with those other guys who were president.   Are those who oppose this great idea uninformed, out of touch, or irresponsible?”

You think someone at CNN will take Mr. Lothian aside and say, “Honest reporters don’t do what you did, so don’t do it anymore!”  Neither do I.

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  • Daniel C

    In the past, ‘news’ was local. You know a small town in the middle of Nebraska maybe would hear about something that happened 100 miles away, but only if it was ‘big news.’ So news was literally in the hands of the people. Now with internet, television, radio, mp3 and ipads, news and information is everywhere and all the time…I can write a news story!

    Well what happens is two-fold. First, there’s so much information and so many ways of getting it that outlet A, in order to make money, needs to guzzy up the story a bit to make people buy it. And B) the telephone game goes on. And since it’s so easy to publish opinions (like I’m doing now), I can write something about a story, and the next person can, and the next, and then I can write more of my opinion on my own blog, and the next person and the next…and all of a sudden the truth (the actual event or story) gets buried under opinions…lots and lots of opinions.

    If you really wanted to solve this problem, we’d literally have to go back about 100 years, break up the huge metropolises, and get rid of computers and global communication. That’s my ‘opinion’.

  • Wallace Flint

    Hi Bernie,
    Boy, that media is at it again! When do those clowns wise up? They want to see a heavy, intrusive government interfering in our lives as usual! Why, I don’t know. it’s going to be harder for the Republicans to get in! We must keep trying harder to get the Republicans back in the White House, again.

    In God We Trust!
    Wally Flint-Boonville, NY

  • Maureen

    The liberal bias in the media is very annoying and downright un-American. With the advent of the internet and on-line posters showing actual footage of the existing bias,I am sure that liberals will try to control the internet. Any made up story or crisis will do for their take-over. In the meanwhile I enjoyed that forced option farce question,lol. Truly,useful idiots in the media.

  • Wil Burns

    Bernie, Have you ever watched The Hannity Show on Fox? Compared to Hannity, an example of bias so blatant questions, Lothian is a light weight! That also goes for, the rest of your Fox friends!

    I know Bernie, as a Fox employee, your bias shtick is a difficult task, but hang in there.

    • Tim Ned

      Wil,

      Sean Hannity is a conservative commentator. Chris Mathews is a democratic commentator. Neither Chris or Sean hide these facts. And they both have a right to their opinion.

      But Lothian is listed as a CNN White House Correspondent. That’s the story here, not your constant Fox bashing who you blame all your problems on.

      • Tim Ned

        By the way Wil, I set the record straight pertaining to your statement about O’Reilly’s book at the Ford Theater. You can see the facts here.

        http://www.bernardgoldberg.com/what-if-herman-cain-did-it/

        • Bob Hadley

          Tim,

          You apparently cited the wrong post above. That post is a previous article of Bernie’s. Kindly cite the correct post.

          In any event, O’Reilly ought to have had end notes documenting his statements of facts contained in a history book.

          • Tim Ned

            Bob,

            I am referring to the previous post by Bernie pertaining to Herman Cain where I addressed a comment by Wil that the Ford theater does not sell O’Reilly’s book. I simply set the record straight. Follow the link and go to the comment.

            On your second issue I agree as I appreciate the supporting documentation. However I have not read the book yet and cannot comment on the context.

        • Bob Hadley

          CORRECTION: I see. You “set the record straight” in that previous post of Bernie’s. Sorry.

      • rider237

        but Wil does point out a problem. liberals do not seem to differentiate between fact and opinion. they repeat endlessly the liberal buzz phrases without ever giving a though to what they are are saying.
        “fair share” and “living wage” are two of my favorites, but ask a liberal what that means, and you get the blank look.

        i used to buy wall patch in the 5 gallon buckets for post debate with liberals repairs. now i know that they don’t/can’t really think through their issues and form rational points for debate. i admit to being a little slow on the uptake there……

        • Bob Hadley

          Don”t fool yourself Rider, ideologues of all stripes do this. To paraphrase Steve Jobs, they’re functioning on other’s thinking.

          All you have to do is watch the Republican debates to see how foolish people can be when they try to put on idelogical strait jackets.

          Conversely, there are independent thinkers of all stripes.

      • Wil Burns

        Sorry Tim, But, I thought Bernie was commenting on blatant bias questions, that made him laugh.

  • robin in fl

    In my opinion having to even listen to a reporter like this CNN guy is torture.I mean seriously did he actually hear his own question?? I think NOT!
    Reminded me of a Steven Colbert take on a comedy central show where he asks a guest if some thing is A) GREAT ,or B) the GREATEST and those are the only 2 choices…well SC is a comedian so we get that..perhaps this reporter should try the comedy central thing instead od trying to be a real reporter.

    • Tim Ned

      Great analogy Robin.

  • Ronda Feuerstack

    ROOT CAUSE…
    Just another example of the discarded value that there is such a reality as TRUTH as an absolute… “Everything is relative” is the yellow brick road that leads directly to wizardly propaganda as a pitiful substitute.

    The personal & national egregious loss is the diminished human capacity to discern between good & evil.

  • Ronda Feuerstack

    ROOT CAUSE…
    Just another example of the discarded value that there is such a reality as TRUTH as an absolute… “Everything is relative” is the yellow brick road that leads directly to wizardly propaganda as a pitiful substitute.

    The personal and national egregious loss is the diminished human capacity to discern between good and evil.

  • joe from louisiana

    My problem with the torture debate is not whether it is or not. That’s for the legal brains. My problem is why do we go to the public and reporters for their thoughts on the subject? What would these leftists have us do? Ask politely for intel on terrorist plans? Anything we do to make it uncomfortable for these murderers could be described as torture. Any deprivation is potentially cruel but it has suddenly become a very cruel world and some of these fools would be the first finger pointers if we have another 9-11. Water boarding plays on a fear that resides in all of us. The inability to breathe. Don’t pompously say the intel gathered is bad because there is no way some reporter would know that.

    • Drew Page

      Water boarding is scarey as hell, you feel like you are drowning and can’t get your breath. You choke and gasp for air and think you are going to die. It is a miserable experience. However, it is monitored by physicians and to our knowledge, no one has ever died from it.

      Ask anyone who has ever been subject to other forms of torture that employed methods which caused indescribable pain, that leave the body torn, dismembered and broken if they would have preferred water boarding. Victims of waterboard know they will come out of the experience alive with all of their body parts remaining and functional.

      • Will Swoboda

        Good Morning Drew,
        I’m reading a book about the Mossad. These people killed everyone associated with the massacre at the 1972 games in Munich. They never asked the UN about how it should be done or how they should treat these thugs who were given everything they asked for and yet killed all the hostages. It took many years and much planning but every PLO member involved is dead. Mossad knew exactly who they were and made great effort to not kill anyone who was not involved. In one incident in Tunisia, Mossad went into a house and killed just who they were looking for, no one else. Job well done.
        Will Swoboda

        • Terry Walbert

          Well said, Will. The Mossad was teaching PLO killers the Jewish lesson, “Thou shalt not murder and expect to get away with it.”

      • Wil Burns

        Waterboarding is torture. It’s contrary to America’s traditions. It’s contrary to our ideals.
        That is why the US agreed with all of the other developed nations of the …world (and most of the undeveloped), to the Geneva conventions that torture was illegal and they would not use it under ANY circumstances.

        • EddieD_Boston

          Once again Wil you show how completely clueless you are. The Geneva Convention set guidelines for UNIFORMED combatants. Any idiots knows that.
          But liberals are so deranged they seem to not grasp this simple fact.
          If the CIA can save ONE life waterboard one of these sub-humans I’m all for it and so aren’t most normal people.

          • Wil Burns

            So Eddie, A persons attire determines whether or not they are tortured? How insane is that!

            Oh and BTW, “God Bless America”!

          • EddieD_Boston

            Hey Wil, torture is reading your foolish posts. Liberals are actually so deranged they feel sorry for animals that blow up four year olds and their elderly grandmothers on buses.

  • Rand Mack

    I had to double-take the title of this article. I knew Bernie couldn’t be writing about Fox News and the republican’t party.

    • Tim Ned

      Rand,

      I am truly confused by the posts you are placing on this site. If Sean Hannity laid a golden goose question like this for a conservative president I hardly believe it would be worth reporting, outside of certain websites. If Chris Mathews laid this question on the president guess what, no news here. Both are clear where they stand politically and they don’t hide it.

      This was a CNN White House reporter. Reporters are supposed to be “unbiased”. And if you believe after watching that video that there was no bias in that question, you have clearly joined the ranks of not recognizing your bias. By the why, had a Fox reporter laid a question like that on a Republican President my post I placed further down in this thread would have been the same.

      Let me make a personal recommendation here. If you want to be taken seriously, make posts related to the subject matter and bring facts to discuss. Your sarcasm would go a lot farther if it was surrounded by facts! Stay away from the Wil Burns syndrome.

  • Paul Courtney

    Bernie: Last night you made me think. My typical response to “CBS Reporter biased” is “Duh.” But you’re right to ask, what did Pelley do wrong? Here’s my answer (caveat-I’m not a journalist): It’s not wrong for moderators to take sides or play devil’s advocate in a debate, let’s see the candidate challenged. But when Pelley interrupted him to make a point (no court trial) that is more than obvious, he was talking down to Gingrich. At that moment (in my biased view) he was doing more than taking the opposing side of an argument, his attitude was, “if you disagree, you are against the Constitution and in favor of Star Chamber-style murder of Americans in their sleep”. Yeah, a bit over the top, but that was my biased take. Viewed objectively, and in hindsight, I think his attitude crossed a line, as if he had to remind Newt about the lack of court proceedings captioned US v. Al Awlaki. Now, as for making me think, it’s ok every now and then, and if I want to stop thinking, I can wait ’til 9:00 P.M.

    • Drew Page

      I wholeheartedly agree with Gingrich. When an American citizen leaves this country and joins forces with enemies of the United States, he becomes an enemy combatent and is no longer entitled to the protections of law in our criminal justice system.

      I, for one, am sick to death of our own laws and justice system being used against us by those who would use those very protections to destroy us. Those from other countries who join in armed conflict against the U.S. and are captured are not due “Miranda” rights or our other Constitutional rights, they are subject to military law and a tribunal. The idea of Kalid Shiek Mohammed being given a criminal trial in NYC, provided with a team of lawyers, who depending on their own political ideologies, might want to put the U.S. government on trial instead, subpoenaing classified Defense Department and State Department information and calling on the millitary including field commanders, Generals, the Joint Chiefs, the Secretaries of State and Defense and even the President to testify. Failure to provide any of this by the government could result in a claim of the impossibility of a fair trial and a dismissal of charges. It would be a show trial costing hundreds of millions for prosecution and defense; provide the defendent an opportunity to declare the rightousness of his radical Islamic cause to the world and defiantly spit in the face of America. It would make an international laughing stock out of the American system of jurisprudence.

      • EddieD_Boston

        You’re 100% correct. The truly amazing thing is that $300,000 a year PhD’s at Harvard don’t get it even a little.

  • Shane

    I saw Bernie on The Factor last night, and I have to agree with him that Lothian’s question was one of the most blatant examples of a biased question that I have ever heard of. Lothian should be fired for displaying such obvious bias, but I doubt CNN will have the guts to fire a black newsman.

    • Paul Courtney

      Shane: CNN would quickly drum up the courage to fire him if he suggested the sight of sharia-compliant muslims at the airport gave him pause.

  • EddieD_Boston

    David Gregory’s comment to Jack Welch stating the president doesn’t have any control over the economy was also great insight into how these idiots think. So, Bush screwed the economy up but presidents don’t have any control over the economy now that Obaman is president?

    Amazing they’re all too stupid to grasp how foolish they look.

    If I was their parent I’d demand my $ back from wherever they went to college.

    • Drew Page

      Eddie D — I gotta tell ya, I love your comments. If I were a parent of one of these bozos I would definitely sue the college they attended for a tuition refund.

      • EddieD_Boston

        Thanks! Yes, these universities are a collective fraud. And liberals call Rush’s audience mind numbed robots?

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  • JoeTheFilmmaker

    Of course Obama is against waterboarding. Can you imagine what we would learn if we waterboarded Obama himself?

    And what if Obama is a fraud and not a citizen? What if he did fake his birth certificate? Wouldn’t we have to by default waterboard him? So maybe he’s just eliminating any such procedures so it may not be administrated once he is caught.

    Ironically, this all might become a reality in 2012.

  • Cmacrider

    I’m waiting for CNN to ask obama this question:
    Given that there was no valid national reason not to approve the Keystone Pipeline, and given Prime Minister Harper of Canada described a decision on the Keystone Pipeline a “no brainer” from an American point of view is it not true that you deferred the decision on the Keystone to alleviate the growing conviction among a vast number of people that you have no brains at all????

  • Nixonfan

    It was on CNN, so no one will ever see it unless FOX picks it up.

  • Karen

    If waterboarding is inhumane, what is sending a missile from a drone into a building or having the Seals storm a compound and shoot everyone? Killing terrorists is more humane that waterboarding them? What happens if they didn’t die immediately?

    I would chose waterboarding.

  • Ralph Hahn

    Of course, if Dan Lothian was a moderator or a panelist at some future Republican debate, he just might ask Herman Cain…”When did you stop sexually assaulting women?” KInd of like a “When did you stop beating your wife?” question.

  • RecknHavic

    Maybe waterboarding=torture is one of those “the science is already settled and everyone agrees” things, ya know, kinda like man-caused climate change.

  • Rand Mack

    Wow, I had to re-read that and make sure you weren’t talking about any given Fox News toady.

    • Wil Burns

      Right! It seems Bernie never ever watches FoxNews.

      • Barrie in PA

        And I guess you two think 5 to one MSM left vs right-leaning TV is balance. Keep watching Fox to learn what professionalism really means, and join the growing mass of smart people who do.

        • Rand Mack

          How do you figure “5 to one”? Bernie himself admits that “liberal bias” isn’t intentional. Fox News, talk radio, and websites such as this are blatantly and maliciously intentionally republican biased.

          • Drew Page

            Yeah, who needs Fox News when we have Chris Matthews, Keith Oberman, Racheal Maddow, and Bill Maher? They will tell us all we need to know. Actually, we could get rid of all news media – TV, radio and newsprint and just let the Ministry of Propaganda take care of keeping us informed.

          • Maureen

            Please,Rand Mack ,check out the jouroLists that pretend to write the truth. Many of these leftwing hacks have been so brainwashed or ,indeed,so dumb as to actually think that they are always 100% right while the people (republicans) who disagree with their brilliance are always wrong. This fallacy is too stupid to even discuss.

          • Terry Walbert

            The problem is news reporters who give their opinions instead of reporting facts. Rush, Hannity, Olberman, Schultz et al. are honest about their biases.

  • James B

    CNN has a contact option on their web site for story ideas so I just sent the below to them.

    “I have a great story.

    It’s about the main stream media no longer being professional reporters and being reduced to just being a propaganda machine for Obama and the far left.

    Case in point – the ridiculous question Dan Lothian asked of President Obama about the GOP candidate’s stance on waterboarding.

    You can get plenty of other examples of this pathetic propaganda in lieu of actual reporting on CNN and MSNBC.

    LOL, I am sure I will see this news story on CNN soon. :P”

    • Nancye

      Hahaha – good for you!!!

    • Terry Walbert

      Maybe there should be an award for the best in propaganda by a reporter. The award could be a small statue of Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s spin doctor. The award would be a “Joey.”

  • DOOM161

    “Honest reporters don’t do what you did, so don’t do it anymore!”

    For that to happen, CNN would have to hire an honest reporter.

  • Terry Walbert

    In Berlin on September 3, 1939, Joseph Goebbels held a news conference to explain why the French and British had just declared war on Germany after its attack on Poland.

    One reporter asked, “Herr Reichminister, are the French and British uninformed, out of touch, or irresponsible for going to war agsinst the Fuehrer?”

    Goebbels, who regarded multiple-choice questions as a Jewish invention, had the man sent to Buchenwald for reeducation.

    • RecknHavic

      funny stuff Terry!

  • ulyssesmsu

    With respect, it’s not true that liberals realize that Obama is bad for America. They see him only as incompetent–not able to bring the liberal utopia into existence. They don’t believe that a liberal utopia isn’t a good idea. They just think Obama wasn’t able to make it happen, mostly (they think) because of the obstructionist Republicans.

    In other words, they live in an alternate universe and have no connection whatever to reality.

    They are also unprofessional, unethical, and dishonest, as the behavior of this CNN reporter clearly shows.

    • Glen Stambaugh

      Uly, you left out “racist” obstructionist Republicans…why else would we stand in the path of utopia.

  • Tim Ned

    After watching this video of Mr. Lothian’s question and the president’s response only one thought came to mind; Get a Room!

  • Pingback: A subliminal message from a CNN correspondent. Not. » Gator In The Desert()

  • Mike Jackson

    I’m not a bit surprised by this. Not in the least. It’s the lame stream media who’s misinformed (mal-informed), out of touch, misguided, Based on their behavior of recent years, I have to say misanthropic.
    The media’s real job is to make money for their employer in order to remain employed. We all know good news does not sell. Neither does living a harmonious life. Hence, they’re running around like a bunch of sharks with untreated ADHD.
    In their hearts, they must know the US would be much better off had Obama not been elected. They’ll eventually turn on him, but only with a GOP opponent whose behavior they can anticipate and look to them for guidance.
    Frankly, there isn’t a republican candidate who fits their bill, so they keep the heat on them all so voters won’t coalesce behind any particular candidate.
    The sad part is this could have been Steve Forbes’ year.

  • Paul

    Bernie – Are you sure it’s not spelled “Loatheian”, because it should be.

  • StewartIII

    NewsBusters: CNN WH Correspondent Asks Obama if GOP Candidates Are ‘Uninformed, Out of Touch, or Irresponsible’
    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2011/11/14/cnn-wh-correspondent-asks-obama-if-gop-candidates-are-uninformed-out

  • Gene Forsythe

    Bias in the news media? What? Did these folks go to the Putin School of Journalism?

    • Maureen

      Why ,yes, I think that they did! It is called America’s colleges.

  • Ron Kean

    I think Dan Lothian’s brother-in-law might be starting a green energy company.

    Either that or he has a cousin in Mexico who leads a gang of drug runners and they’re a little short on weapons.

    Either that or he’d like an invitation to the next White House party with Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney.