Thursday, January 26, 2006

CNN Gambles on Bennett

Upstanding American
The Cable News Network has added conservative Reagan administration official, outspoken crusader – and gambler anonymous – William J. Bennett to the network’s newly minted lineup of right-wing talent.

Bennett is scheduled to make his first appearance on the network later today commenting on the "Situation Room."

Many remember Bennett from his days moralizing about the evils of homosexuality, pornography and other perceived vices. Others may have read his best-sellers on "virtue,” "moral clarity" and "outrage," which took the Clinton administration to task for behavior unbecoming a president.

Fewer still are familiar with Joshua Green’s 2003 report, which revealed Bennett to be a "preferred customer" at casinos in Atlantic City and Las Vegas where his losses have been estimated at more than $8 million.

"As gambling spreads, so do its associated problems," writes Green. "Heavy gambling, like drug use, can lead to divorce, domestic violence, child abuse, and bankruptcy."

Where’s Bennett’s sermon on that?

Bennett created more controversy in 2005 when he told listeners to his radio show that aborting "every black baby in this country" would reduce crime. He later defended this statement, saying he was making a hypothetical argument and was not stating his position.

Bennett joins right-radio talk jock Glenn Beck in CNN’s brain trust of upstanding Americans. It was Beck who called Hurricane Katrina victims "scumbags" and said he hated some family members who lost relatives on Sept. 11 because they complained too much.

Beck also blasted grieving war mother Cindy Sheehan as a “big prostitute” for "pimping out the tragedy of her own son's death." He called the father of murdered American Nick Berg "despicable" and a "scumbag" for criticizing President and the war in Iraq after his son's death there.

"It’s exhausting trying to figure out what in the world the game plan is at CNN," Tim Goodman writes of network exec Jonathan Klein’s extreme Fox News Channel makeover. “There’s a sadness here. And it has nothing to do with CNN’s inability to ‘counter’ Fox News with a respectable progressive slate of contributors. CNN used to be a reliable source for national and international news. Now it mostly chases storms and tragedy — and Fox.”


RADdams said...

Again, WOW, What is CNN thinking? Are they trying to squash any possiblily of on-air moderation by bringing in Bill Bennett? Are they re-aligning themselves to the far right to earn wink-wink soft favor from the White House? Do they think America's biggest hypocrit, (note, I almost called a spade a spade and used the term "fattest" which Mr. Bennett arguably is, but that would be mean spirited) is a new and changed man? Is this a test balloon to fill the the disgraced shoes of Robert Novak with someone who is equally unpredictable and capable of on-air outbursts of spinning real issues into his dillusional viewpoint and notching downward the entire lot of TV news journalists into his scumpond? If he doesn't work out, will they consider Jerry Springer next? Give Bill Bennett the camera and he is capable of making Bill O'Riley look like unbiased interviewer. To be fair, I am equally repulsed by CNN's balance on the left - James Carville, although I am grateful that he antagonized Robert Novak's self-destruction that took him off the air. I'm not going to be around as a CNN viewer to find out what becomes of CNN - their credibility is now on par with that of Bill Bennett. Shame on you CNN for hiring and promoting the viewpoints of Bill Bennett!

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