Saturday, January 3, 2009

Profiles of America's Beloved TV Celebrities (3): CNN - Meth & Gay Bondage, an Obscene Outburst, CIA Disinformation, Rigged Debates, Orwell

In which CNN's Richard Quest, Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper are profiled, with facts and commentary on staged presidential debates and lies of the "Corrupt News Network," as the Los Angeles Times refers to it ...

Edited by Alex Constantine

Wiki: " ... Quest joined CNN in 2001 for the launch of Business International. Since this time Quest has covered a variety of different events for CNN, amongst others an analysis of the U.S. elections as American Quest and the start of the circulation of Euro banknotes and coins on 1 January 2002 and the last official commercial flight of the Concorde. He has also headed up CNN’s coverage of several events involving the British Royal Family. ... "

On-air personality arrested

Richard Quest, a CNN on-air personality with an outre style of reporting, made some outre news himself over the weekend as he was arrested inside New York's Central Park with a small amount of methamphetamine in his pocket.

Cops nabbed Quest, 46, at 3:40 on Friday morning near 64th Street, initially for violating the park's overnight curfew. News reports stated that Quest told police he had meth in his pocket. According to the New York Times, "The police (then) searched him and recovered a small amount of methamphetamine in a Ziploc bag."

By Friday afternoon, news of the bust was all over the Internet. Then the New York Post offered up some salacious details: Not only did Quest have meth in his pocket but also "a rope around his neck that was tied to his genitals, and a sex toy in his boot," according to the tabloid.

"It wasn't immediately clear what the rope was for," the paper said.

Quest was charged with loitering and for possession of a controlled substance. His attorney said that Quest was not aware that Central Park had a curfew from 1-6 a.m., according to news reports.

Quest was said to have agreed to attend six months of drug counseling in exchange for the likelihood that the charges against him would eventually be dismissed.

Having spent most of Friday in jail, Quest was later released without bail.

CNN has issued no comment on the matter.
Hard Day's Night ...

Kathy Griffin's obscene New Year's tirade gets broadcast on CNN

By Randy McMullen
Contra Costa Times
Updated: 01/02/2009

Kathy Griffin might have gone from D-listed to blacklisted, at least on CNN.
The wisecracking, oft-raunchy comedian and TV personality caused quite a ruckus while co-hosting the cable channel's New Year's Eve broadcast.

Sometime after midnight, Griffin delivered a profanity-laced verbal beatdown on someone who was apparently heckling her. Either she didn't know her mic was on or was too wrapped up in her saucy repartee to care. In any event, what she said should not have gone over the airwaves. But it did.

"(Expletive that rhymes with blue) you," she yelled. "Why don't you get a job, buddy? You know what? I don't go to your job and knock the (male anatomy) out of your mouth."

The comments drew guffaws, but not from Griffin's co-host, high-minded Anderson Cooper, who quickly called for the broadcast to cut for commercial. ...

Reportedly, Cooper — a news guy, after all — had been growing more uncomfortable with Griffin's off-color on-air remarks during the broadcast. At one point, she asked CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta if she could "get a Pap smear"; and later she dissed former CNN host Glenn Beck as a "heroin addict Mormon." ...

Griffin, who stars in Bravo reality TV show "My Life on the D-List," has not commented on the matter. Nor has Cooper.
Anderson Cooper's CIA Secret

Radar Exclusive
Anderson Cooper's CIA Secret
By Jeff Bercovici

Anderson Cooper has long traded on his biography, carving a niche for himself as the most human of news anchors. But there's one aspect of his past that the silver-haired CNN star has never made public: the months he spent training for a career with the Central Intelligence Agency.

Following his sophomore and junior years at Yale—a well-known recruiting ground for the CIA—Cooper spent his summers interning at the agency's monolithic headquarters in Langley, Virginia, in a program for students interested in intelligence work. His involvement with the agency ended there, and he chose not to pursue a job with the agency after graduation, according to a CNN spokeswoman, who confirmed details of Cooper's CIA involvement to Radar.

"Whatever summer jobs or internships our anchors had in college couldn't be less consequential," she added. He has kept the experience a secret, sources say, out of concern that, if widely known, it might compromise his ability to travel in foreign countries and even possibly put him at greater risk from terrorists.

"He doesn't want to be any more of a target than he already is," says one Anderson confidante. On the other hand, as Bob Woodruff and others have learned, American journalists are already prime targets in the world's conflict zones, and are typically accused of having CIA ties even where none exist. And by not disclosing his training before now, Cooper has arguably made it into a potential issue. "It creates the appearance of something smelly there," says a former CNN official who knows Cooper. (Particularly in light of the period Anderson spent studying Vietnamese at the University of Hanoi after college. Soon after, Cooper apparently gave up his Bond fantasy to pursue a career in journalism—except for a brief period when he starred as host of ABC's reality show, The Mole.)

According to the spokeswoman, Cooper told his bosses at CNN about his time with the agency. But even if he hadn't, says Walter Isaacson, who headed the network from 2001 to 2003 and is now president of the Aspen Institute, it's not the sort of thing that would automatically require disclosure, since the stint was brief and far in the past. "I think what he did was probably fine and cool, and I've got no problems with it," he added.

File Under: Anderson Cooper, Aspen Institute, Bob Woodruff, C.I.A., Central Intelligence Agency, CNN, Walter Isaacson, Yale
TIM RUTTEN - CNN: Corrupt News Network
A self-serving agenda was set for the Republican presidential debates.
LA Times/December 1, 2007

THE United States is at war in the Middle East and Central Asia, the economy is writhing like a snake with a broken back, oil prices are relentlessly climbing toward $100 a barrel and an increasing number of Americans just can't afford to be sick with anything that won't be treated with aspirin and bed rest.

So, when CNN brought the Republican presidential candidates together this week for what is loosely termed a "debate," what did the country get but a discussion of immigration, Biblical inerrancy and the propriety of flying the Confederate flag?

In fact, this most recent debacle masquerading as a presidential debate raises serious questions about whether CNN is ethically or professionally suitable to play the political role the Democratic and Republican parties recently have conceded it.

Corruption is a strong word. But consider these facts: The gimmick behind Wednesday's debate was that the questions would be selected from those that ordinary Americans submitted to the video sharing Internet website YouTube, which is owned by Google. According to CNN, its staff culled through 5,000 submissions to select the handful that were put to the candidates. That process essentially puts the lie to the vox populi aura the association with YouTube was meant to create. When producers exercise that level of selectivity, the questions -- whoever initially formulated and recorded them -- actually are theirs.

That's where things begin to get troubling, because CNN chose to devote the first 35 minutes of this critical debate to a single issue -- immigration. Now, if that leaves you scratching your head, it's probably because you're included in the 96% of Americans who do not think immigration is the most important issue confronting this country. We've got a pretty good fix concerning what's on the American mind right now, because the nonpartisan and highly reliable Pew Center has been regularly polling people since January on the issues that matter most to them. In fact, the center's most recent survey was conducted in the days leading up to Wednesday's debate.

HERE'S what Pew found: By an overwhelming margin, Americans think the war in Iraq is the most important issue facing the United States, followed by the economy, healthcare and energy prices. In fact, if you lump the war into a category with terrorism and other foreign policy issues, 40% of Americans say foreign affairs are their biggest concern in this election cycle. If you do something similar with all issues related to the economy, 31% list those questions as their most worrisome issue. As anybody who has looked at their 401(k) or visited a gas pump would expect, that aggregate figure has increased dramatically since Pew started polling in January. Back then, for example, concerns over the war outpaced economic anxieties by fully 8 to 1. By contrast, just 6% of the survey's national sample said that immigration was the most important electoral issue. Moreover, that number hasn't changed in a statistically meaningful way since the first of the year. In other words, more than nine out of 10 Americans think something matters more than immigration in this presidential election.

So, why did CNN make immigration the keystone of this debate? What standard dictated the decision to give that much time to an issue so remote from the majority of voters' concerns? The answer is that CNN's most popular news-oriented personality, Lou Dobbs, has made opposition to illegal immigration and free trade the centerpiece of his neonativist/neopopulist platform. In fact, Dobbs led into Wednesday's debate with a good solid dose of immigrant bashing. His network is in a desperate ratings battle with Fox News and, in a critical prime-time slot, with MSNBC's Keith Olbermann. So, what's good for Dobbs is good for CNN.

In other words, CNN intentionally directed the Republicans' debate to advance its own interests. Make immigration a bigger issue and you've made a bigger audience for Dobbs.

That's corruption, and it's why the Republican candidates had to spend more than half an hour "debating" an issue on which their differences are essentially marginal -- and, more important, why GOP voters had to sit and wait, mostly in vain, for the issues that really concern them to be discussed. That's particularly true because that same Pew poll reported findings of particular relevance to Republican voters, the vast majority of whom continue to support the war in Iraq. ...,0,4122002.column

CNN's Big Plug for Oil and Weapons; Media Corruption: ads disguised as news coverage
Submitted by BuzzFlash on Thu, 12/11/2008
by Jacqueline Marcus

I was having a pretty good workout today at the gym until I made the mistake of plugging my earphones into CNN. I nearly flew off the bike at the phony reporters on hearing their sales pitch for the oil and weapon industries disguised as news coverage.

First, there was CNN's "Pleasantville" interview with Laura Bush on how challenging it was for her husband after 9/11 and that she wants to continue bringing freedom and democracy to Afghanistan's women.

The film "Rendition" was merely a small picture of what Bush's war policies did to hundreds of thousands of families in both Iraq and Afghanistan: husbands were either killed or maimed or tortured, leaving wives and young daughters in unconscionable and vulnerable situations, including thousands of young Iraqi women who were forced into sex slave prisons. If Mrs. Bush would like to learn more about rectifying the hardships of women after Bush invaded both countries, she should begin with Dunya Mikhail's award-winning poem "The War Works Hard."

This bit of revised legacy for Bush was bad enough, but oh no! CNN continued by announcing that the shift to hybrid-electric cars "would be the worst thing that could happen to the auto industry...and, furthermore, there's little demand for them because they're too expensive..."

CNN's "Fear Hybrids" propaganda was especially tailored for the Big Oil executives since it defies the factual statistics on the current high demand for electric-hybrids (long waiting lists for more hybrids in the U.S.). As for being expensive, they're in the same price category as any new family car.

Coincidentally, CNN did NOT cover the major headline news regarding the important meeting between Obama and Gore. Obama announced that "climate change will be the top priority and that it's a "matter of national security."

What followed was a HUGE PR plug for the Weapon Contractors/Military Complex beginning with Obama's pledge to "rid the world of nuclear weapons" to "Gates' assertion that 'We can't put the genie back in the bottle' -- thus, Obama is wrong and we must proceed with the production of weapons..."

The CNN weapons' agent (I won't call him a journalist) continued describing the new and impressive weapons like a scene from the film "Iron Man." There's political corruption and then there's media corruption: big sums of corporate money spills into the hands of big networks, such as CNN, and exchange, they promote their products: oil, weapons and drugs as news.

It's the worst kind of corruption that exists because it exploits viewers in a creepy, Orwellian way. People grow accustomed to this subtle form of propaganda and eventually -- it becomes acceptable as news coverage. I don't see any difference between what the media networks are doing (taking money in exchange for reporting corporate lies) and politicians such as Rod Blagojevich. Hence, the expression that aptly describes most TV corporate reporters/anchors: "Media Whores."
Thought Control

CNN Uses Racial Extremist as Source for Its 'Black in America' Series
By David Holthouse, Hate Watch.
July 30, 2008.

What is CNN doing interviewing the founder of an online discussion forum that promotes selective breeding of the human species?

As part of its ongoing "Black in America" project, CNN posted a story to its website earlier this week titled "Could an Obama presidency hurt black Americans?" Credited to CNN correspondent John Blake, the piece quotes the wit and wisdom of Steve Sailer, identified only as "a columnist for The American Conservative magazine."

Specifically, the CNN story quotes a column by Sailer first published last year in which he opined that Obama offers voters "White guilt repellent." ...


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