Nothing to See Here…

Politico’s Dylan Byers makes much hay over Erin Burnett calling on Team Romney to release its tax returns…

This isn’t Chris Matthews or Rachel Maddow at MSNBC; this is CNN — a fact the Obama campaign, which has circulated the above video and transcript, greatly appreciates.

CNN remains committed to nonpartisan news gathering, though not to the he-said/she-said. Anderson Cooper’s ‘Keeping Them Honest’ segment, in which he fact-checks false statements and accusations, is indicitave of what the network would like to do more of. In an interview with Vanity Fair this week, CNN’s chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour suggested that CNN was beholden to facts, but not necessarily to balance and neutrality. In other words, when she went to Bosnia, she didn’t need to confirm with the Serbian government that she was witnessing genocide.

But even within that framework, Burnett’s venture out of journalism and into campaign advice (or admonition) seems bold and potentially risky for the network. CNN has long defined itself as the place people turn to for breaking news — and for this, it has struggled against Fox News and MSNBC, especially in the personality driven primetime hours. So perhaps this is an effort to inject some personality in the mix. But it’s certainly not an effort to cover the news. In fact, it seems like an effort to create it.

This is really nothing ground breaking from CNN. Yes, it is atypical behavior but it’s hardly unique. Campbell Brown once famously called out the McCain campaign to “Free Sarah Palin”. In fact this is hardly unique behavior for Burnett either. She had previously taken on Occupy Wall Street which sort of wound up blowing up in her face a bit.

When Burnett’s show starts going POV every night, then we’re in to new uncharted territory for CNN. Until that happens blips like the one Byers sounded alarms over need to be put in perspective. There’s really nothing to see here…


64 Responses to “Nothing to See Here…”

  1. libertyandjustice Says:

    She is about as non-partisan as Andrea Mitchel. The only straight reporter CNN has (as far as I can tell) is Candy Crowley. Candy takes the other side in every interview and asks tough questions of both sides I have no idea what Candy’s politics are. And that’s the way classical journalism should be practiced.

    CNN’ claim to be straight down the middle is laughable, unless your a liberal.

  2. […] course, as Inside Cable News notes, this is hardly uncharted territory for CNN or Burnett: “Campbell Brown once famously called […]

  3. I don’t have much of a feel for Wolf’s politics and John King keeps his muted. Erin’s ridiculing of the ridiculous #OWS was courageous at the time. Any proven justified.

    Candy’s sweet
    But it ain’t nothin’ next to baby’s treat
    And if you pardon me
    I’d like to say
    We’ll do okay
    Forever with Erin.

  4. If a Libertarian thinks Erin is a liberal, I’d say she’s doing a pretty good job of covering the news without a clearly evident ideology.

  5. Having actually watched Erin’s ‘suggestion’ to Romney, I saw nothing beyond some gentle chiding. She broke down the percentage of what he pays in taxes, along with what he gives to charity. She also pointed out that if he really had issues with the IRS, surely we would have already heard. Not every damn thing is big, bad Liberal Media.

  6. And here’s a hint: He gives about as much to charity as he pays in taxes, IE, a buttload. I seriously doubt that anyone who was trying to rip the guy would mention that.

  7. savefarris Says:

    When Burnett’s show starts going POV every night

    Probably Mid-September or so…

  8. missy5537 Says:

    But we’re not allowed to see 0’s college transcripts.

    Never. Ever. Ever. And I’m a racist for even THINKING about them!

    And who will review Romney’s tax returns? Tax Cheat Tim?

  9. “He gives about as much to charity as he pays in taxes, IE, a buttload.”

    ^^ Much,if not most of his giving is to the LDS and there is no info on how the Church spends it’s money. I doubt will see Romney want to open up that can of worms for discussion.and analysis by the press and the Obama campaign.

  10. Never. Ever. Ever. And I’m a racist for even THINKING about them!

    That’s a ridiculous and intentionally inflammatory statement.

  11. Romney’s on my TV. Is he ever gonna SAY anything? “Obama bad, government out of the way, investors, jobs, we’re gonna get going!” It doesn’t MEAN anythng.

  12. Obamba needs to release the FAST AND FURIOUS documents. Stop protecting that buzzard-necked Attorney General. Come clean. What are you hiding?

  13. libertyandjustice Says:

    As usual, Missy makes a great point!

    IMO, Obama has clearly failed. He is a proud european type socialist and no matter how many times it’s tried those policies always result in high un employment, low productivity, loss of freedom and widespread suffering. The liberals think deviding up a shrinking pie helps people. Conservatives believe growing the pie provides
    opportunity, for those who try, to have a larger slice. Conservatives also believe a larger economy is the only way to provide the wealth and tax revenue to take care of those through no falt of their own need help.

    Just Vote Romney.

  14. You could have a larger economy if the government would put more people to work on infrastructure. Rich people with low taxes don’t create jobs, consumer demand does. Consumer demand comes from people with jobs spending money, which causes businesses to hire more people to meet demand. You have to feed a recession. Austerity in a downturn leads to more austerity. It doesn’t work.

  15. erich500 Says:

    We spent $800 billion on a stimulus three years ago and where are all the “instrastructure” projects that it funded? The President said there were all kinds of “shovel ready projects” ready to go.

    Any new bridges? Roads? What happened? Did we improve our electricity grid? Did we fix bridges?

    Before asking for more prove to us it won’t be thrown away like the first plan.

    We have spent more than $5 trillion in deficit spending over the past four years. Trillions and trillions. That should have stimulated things.

    Once again, where are the roads, highways, bridges, that the money should have funded?

    Americans don’t want all of the country to resemble California.

  16. erich500 Says:

    Proponents of more Keynesian spending/stimulus might have grounds to advocate for one if they were critical of the first attempt.

    But their silence over that mostly wasteful effort belies their arguments that another one will work. We were promised shovel ready projects, new infrastructure work et cetera. But they never appeared.

    Fool me once…..

  17. libertyandjustice Says:

    Sorry Joe. Nonsense! That is quak economics. It’s been tried over and over again with disastrous results. Every time, capitalisim, low regulation, freedom, low taxes, small government, and individual incentives are tries it works ! Big TIme!

    Yes, the benefits are not distributed equally, but a rising tide lifts all boats! ( that’s the beauty of the system of incentives) The poor in this country have a chance to succeed and at the same time live better than half of the worlds total population. More widespread lightly regulated capitilisim helps the most people!!! I’m a living example of how it works and I have given tons of money charity to help those less fortunate. Saying a dollar amount would be bragging!

    I’m thankful for this land of opportunity. Let’s preserve it for the next generation.

    (not croney capitalism, very bad)

    Vote the pretender out!

  18. erich500 Says:

    Maybe we need another stimulus – I’m agnostic on it although I think the Japanese model (“the lost decade”) shows it won’t work in this situation. They enacted several enormous stimulus packages that only led to greater debt and more problems. No, we’re not the Japanese (who are more frugal); but the parallels are striking.

    The current leadership from Obama to Pelosi to Reid showed with the first stimulus that they simply cannot be trusted. They didn’t use the money wisely, the “shovel ready projects” line was false, and they haven’t learned from the first failure.

    More of the same won’t work.

    Japan’s Lost Decade here:

  19. Yeah yeah yeah, we better drop the ideology. This is an Erin Burnett thread.

  20. My point about the charitable contributions was that Erin wouldn’t have mentioned them, if her intent was to rip Romney. Since the thread is kind of about her.

  21. erich500 Says:

    ^Just trying to help you compile some polling data for your latest straightforward “political analysis”. We’re on the edge of our seats waiting for it.

    Anyway, another typical thread on ICN: four comments relevant to the post; 154+ off into the wilderness.

  22. erich500 Says:

    There’s all kinds of information available about Mormon charity work. I’m not sure what Fritz is talking about.

    Just google LDS humanitarian services or charity work. They’ve given close to a $1 billion over the past 25 years for the poor in over 175 countries. Not just for Mormons. All donations – 100% – go to the needy. All overhead is paid for by the Church.

    It’s a great Church that does a lot of wonderful work for the poor and sick. They do more for the weak and poor than every internet buffoon that calls it a cult while sitting behind a computer and doing nothing for the needy.

    Really, if you want to lecture about helping the poor, turn off the computer and twitter and other “social media” and donate your time to them.

    Then we’ll listen to you. Otherwise, get lost.

  23. I gotta tell ya Eric, you’re quite the unpleasant fellow.

  24. erich500 Says:

    I’m unpleasant to internet frauds and phonies. They don’t seem to like me. That’s because I expose them.

    I detest bigots like you who lecture others about racism. All you do is repeatedly call people racist. But it’s okay for you to mock and attack the LDS.


    Or tell others about their obligations to the poor while spending time on the internet with your “political analysis.”

    You’re a phony and I’ve exposed you.

    Don’t feel too good, do you?

  25. Jesus, is the smug thick enough in here? You’ve “exposed” an anonymous commenter on a blog. Have a party.

  26. I feel great. You, OTOH, once again have no idea who said what. You’ve created an amorphic Liberal out of everyone you disagree with here. Hell, Blue and I bout wanna kill each other half the time, but at least we give the other the respect of knowing who said what when. You’re not even trying.

  27. erich500 Says:

    I admit I can be a jerk (on the internet).

    But I’m not a phony, I’m not a fraud, and I don’t talk the talk without walking the walk. I don’t mock religions while lecturing others about their bigotry. Nor do I sit around the computer while telling others about their obligations to the poor and sick.

    People who do that make me angry. And I call them out on it. It’s unpleasant they say.

    I have one face not two. And it’s a pretty good one if I can say so.

  28. erich500 Says:

    “Jesus, is the smug thick enough in here? You’ve “exposed” an anonymous commenter on a blog. Have a party”

    Sorry, his phoniness is too much for me. I’m tired of him calling everyone racist while he can be a bigot. And telling everyone about helping the poor while he sits on his rear behind a computer.

    Blue thinks he need mental help. I think he’s just a fraud.

  29. erich500 Says:

    And with that, I’ll promise not to comment about him again.

    If you want to entertain him, fine. As to me, that’s the end.

  30. He still doesn’t know Fritz brought up the LDS.

  31. erich500 Says:

    Fritz: I’m not accusing you of any religious bigotry against the LDS. You raised a fair question. I tried to answer it.

    You didn’t mockingly call it a cult.

    So, please don’t think I’m accusing you of it.

  32. I get paid very little to keep disabled people clothed

  33. Sorry..typing on my phone didn’t work very well.

    Bottom line, I work for “the needy”, and nobody is getting rich in this field. I don’t know what your moral internet crusade is about, and I don’t care. You’re incapable of talking about cable news without going off on one of your flights of fancy, and I’m done interracting with you. I don’t know what you’re up to, but it’s very weird. Tootles.

  34. Joe walks the walk. I always keep that in mind.

  35. Though he still is an idiot and a moron.

    Fritz is Satan.

  36. That’s Mr. Idiot & Moron, to you..

  37. erich500 Says:

    Every decent person cares about the poor and sick.

    Neither liberals or conservatives have a monopoly on it.

    Republican policies may be stupid and won’t work but it’s not because they don’t care.

    Democratic policies may be stupid and won’t work but it’s not because they don’t care.

    Bad people don’t care. And they’re not Republicans or Democrats, they’re just bad people.

  38. imnotblue Says:

    I don’t want to kill you, Joe.

    I don’t care enough. Although, it’s fun to watch people have the same argument with you over and over again. At this point, I think we’ve all said the same stuff to you.

    But perhaps it’s just us. What a coincidence.

  39. Your definition of “all” could use a little work.

  40. savefarris Says:

    To needlessly pick a fight with joe…

    Republicans care for the poor and sick with their money.
    Democrats care for the poor and sick with your money.

  41. It’s mostly well-off or “rich” people who pay for infrastructure because they are the ones who invest in the municipal bonds that allow state and local governments as well as school systems to make major buys without blowing their budgets. To keep costs to taxpayers low, these bonds have low-yields with the incentive to invest being a tax-free return. This is one of those so-called tax loopholes that helped to bring Gov. Romney’s effective rate down. A small amount of federal monies helps but too much has the unintended consequence of raising costs for the private sector projects.

    A local LDS temple was one of the co-sponsors of a recent inner city health check-up. I enjoyed the free pizza between patients.

  42. For the record, Al, since you’re, ya know, sane..I’ve never made a statement one way or the other about the Mormon Church’s generosity, or the character of their adherents in general.

  43. erich500 Says:

    Mr. Remi’s views on Mormonism (you can Google for more of these):

    “The [Mormon] religion angle is silly (it’s a cult, so it doesn’t matter if you disobey it).”

    “If some idiot builds a religion around the insanity that Jesus told him to add to the Bible in the 1800s, I’m damn sure gonna judge it. It didn’t happen.”

    “It is as it should be. This concept that I have to accept all religions because of “tolerance” is ridiculous. Most religions claim to be The Only Way, which would kinda make judging others on their merits part of the deal. Nobody’s saying Mitt can’t practice his chosen bit of silliness, but I’ll keep calling it what it is: A crazy guy who believed Jesus talked to him. Uh huh.”

    “NO, I do not have to be “respectful” of lunacy [the Mormon church]”

    Cult, lunacy, crazy guy, insanity….

    Those are the words of a religious bigot.

    Nobody demands you accept every religion; but mocking it and calling it lunacy and insanity is sheer bigotry.

    Pure and simple.

    And with that, I wash my hands of this bigot.

  44. Remi is his first name. As I recall, after vigorous discussion, Joe felt he crossed the line on those statements. Though that might have been my meds kicking in. Joe doesn’t pretend to be perfect, which is a good thing.

  45. erich500 Says:

    Well, whatever his name is, are those the words of a bigot or not, Larry?

    They sure are to me.

    If he wants to withdraw them, here’s his chance.

  46. I consider the idea that Jesus told some guy in the 1800s to have lots of wives and write an addition to the Bible to be lunacy. You’re free to disagree. I’m free to consider this a separate issue from the character of the average Mormon, who in general seem to be decidedly swell people. Plus, they ride bikes. Always a good thing.

  47. erich500 Says:

    Well, Larry, there’s you response.

    One can obviously disagree with the beliefs of another religion. I don’t think, for example, that Muhammad was talking to God as he believed – but I don’t call him a lunatic or Islam crazy and silly because of that.

    I respect the religion and the followers – if I say Muhammad was a lunatic wouldn’t that be insulting the followers? – even if I find the teachings incorrect.

    It’s called common decency and respect for the sincerely held beliefs of others that do no harm,

  48. I tend to never be judgemental of religions as long as the beliefs do not cause harm. It seems a good practice.

  49. erich500 Says:

    ^Indeed. We can, for example, distinguish between mainstream Islam and the radical brand of it.

    We don’t need to respect the radical brand that preaches harm to others.

    But the mainstream (non-radical, moderate, whatever) deserves my respect even if I find the plausibility of Muhammad talking to God not likely.

    Substitute Joseph Smith for Muhammad.

    Mormons do no harm to anyone. Why ridicule their beliefs like this?

    Bigotry is the only answer.

  50. – Bigotry –

    I don’t think that word means what you think it means. Thinking a particular religion is BS is a perfectly acceptable practice. The Scientologists are wrong..we are not descended from aliens. The Mormons are wrong..Joseph Smith being caught fooling around by his wife was not told by Jesus that he could tell her “it’s all good”. It’s silly, and this is still not about Erin Burnett.

    obtuse or narrow-minded intolerance, especially of other races or religions

    Seems to fit.

  52. Polygamy was a part of many religions and cultures back then and still is in some areas of the world. There was a practical reason for it in the harsh world that existed in those days, with too few men available and travelling hundreds or even thousands of miles for a suitable mate simply wasn’t possible. As a People, the Mormons fared far better than did many other settlers of that time, and their ways and beliefs were not terribly dissimilar to those of Abraham.

    I don’t ever recall hearing God’s voice in my ear or seeing any book that only I could read. More than once in my life, though, and maybe it was a sixth sense, but it sure seems He tapped me on the shoulder to get my attention because there’s no way I was talented enough to notice. Not my place to judge Joseph Smith.

  53. Not Joe’s place either.

  54. I got news for you, kids..the Bible is very specific about judging those who claim to come in the Name of Jesus. If you’re going to claim to be extending the words of it, you better be prepared to be dealt with according to its precepts.

  55. Btw, the “intolerant” tag is crap. I can think LDS is a pile of hooey all day long, and still grant them the right to exist, and think they’re nice, giving people. My opinion is about the basis of the religion itself. I make no judgments on its practitioners, and don’t consider Mitt Romney less qualified for President because of it.

    This topic came up back then because I thought Mitt would have a problem getting evangelical votes because of their opposition to LDS. I have much history in evangelical churches, and know what they say about Mormonism behind closed doors. It ain’t pretty.

    None of this had anything to do with bigotry or intolerance. It’s an opinion on the precepts of the church, forwarded as part of a discussion about voting patterns. Which so far I’ve been wrong about. Romney has done much better among evangelical born agains than I thought possible.

  56. As opinions go, Erin Burnett’s wasn’t close to scathing and I don’t see it as a big deal. I get Romney’s point about not releasing so many years of them and even agree to some extent, but since he’s going to be attacked either way might as well.

  57. It’s apparent that Mitt didn’t pay income tax some years, and knows that’s not gonna play well with moderates/independents who did. Maybe if he drags this out long enough, the revelation will seem like old news by the time he releases them. That’s what Joe Remi The Campaign Advisor would be telling him to do: Stonewall as long as you can.

  58. It was nice of Sen. McCain to say what he did about Romney’s tax returns as that goes a long way to put the kabosh on crackpots who make silly claims about it.

  59. “Just google LDS humanitarian services or charity work. They’ve given close to a $1 billion over the past 25 years for the poor in over 175 countries. Not just for Mormons. All donations – 100% – go to the needy. All overhead is paid for by the Church.

    It’s a great Church that does a lot of wonderful work for the poor and sick.”

    The $1.3 billion over 25 years figure released by the LDS church works out to around $52 million per year, a remarkably tiny percentage (0.7%) of their vast annual income. It also includes “material assistance” (i.e. donated goods that are often throwaways) and valuations of time volunteered by individual Mormons. All overhead is not paid for by the church, as members are heavily relied upon to pay their own way during mission work.

    I say this as someone with active Mormons in my family. I respect them and their faith. All objective research has led to the conclusion that individual Mormons are very generous, inside and outside the church. I have no doubt that MItt Romney has been quite giving as well. All objective research leads to the conclusion that the centralized LDS church (most accurately viewed as a wildly successful corporation) is not generous at all on any relative, comparable basis.

  60. Humanitarian assistance rendered (1985-2009)
    Cash Donations $327.6 million
    Value of Material Assistance $884.6 million

    Those are their PR figures. They’re so tiny when looked at in context that nobody’s going to quibble, except to point out that “value of material assistance” allows much leeway for assigning value to supplies and time that often don’t come out of the church’s pockets.

    Anyway it’s broken down, it’s sad. Over a 25 year span, they donated an average of $13 million a year in actual cash, about 0.175% of their annual income. Others have broken it down to $1.68 per member per year, relevant because most members in good standing are tithing thousands of dollars per year directly to the church. Even if LDS’s own figures are somehow way short and they were actually giving five or ten times this much, it would still pale in comparison to the amounts donated by other major churches.

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