On radio show, Bennett mocked CNN colleague Amanpour, misrepresented report by Nasr

››› ››› BEN FISHEL

On his radio program, Bill Bennett referred to CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour as "Aman-bleakness" and accused her of trying to "get some bad news" out of the killing of Al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. He also misrepresented a report by CNN Arab affairs correspondent Octavia Nasr, whom he called "Octavia Unhappiness Person."

On the June 8 edition of his nationally syndicated radio program, CNN political analyst Bill Bennett affected an accent in an effort to imitate CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour and accused her of trying to "get some bad news" out of the killing of Al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Bennett referred to Amanpour as "Aman-bleakness" and said that he will occasionally watch CNN to "feel a little bleaker."

In a June 8 report, Amanpour referred to Zarqawi's death as "an important moment," but also noted that "all the officials there have said today, this is not the moment to say the insurgency is by any means over -- it is just an important step."

Later in the broadcast, Bennett called CNN Arab affairs correspondent Octavia Nasr "Octavia Unhappiness Person" and claimed that she was "trying to find some bad news." Bennett also accused Nasr of speculating that Zarqawi's death may incite more insurgent violence in Iraq. In fact, Nasr reported two views about the ramifications of Zarqawi's death, stating, "Some people say it will enrage the insurgency. Others say it will hurt pretty bad, because many Iraqis have tired of the presence and methods of the foreign fighters who make up most of al-Zarqawi's group."

One of Bennett's co-hosts (he introduced three, two of whom are identified here, at the beginning of the show without naming individual speakers) predicted that some in the media would consider the announcement of Zarqawi's death to be part of a conspiracy: "Can I make a news-desk prediction? That somebody in the liberal ... media nation or on the left today will say, 'Well, they probably killed this guy a couple of weeks ago but held the news, and this is to come out today to balance out the Haditha accusations.' "

From the June 8 edition of Salem Radio Network's Bill Bennett's Morning in America:

BENNETT: So you guys know, I turned to good old CNN, you know, my payroll stub, this morning. And they had Christiane Aman-bleak -- Aman-bleakness. And she said, "Yeah, well, it's very good, you know." I can't do her accent. "It's very good, but things are still very bleak in Iraq. This may not change anything." You know, it's just -- can we get some bad news out of this? You know, can we get something that's bad for the U.S. out of this? So that's fine. Get me on there. Get me on there.

CO-HOST: Can I make a news-desk prediction?

BENNETT: Yeah.

CO-HOST: That somebody in the liberal [unintelligible] media nation or on the left today will say, "Well, they probably killed this guy a couple of weeks ago but held the news, and this is to come out to balance out the Haditha accusation."

[...]

BENNETT: Oh, [unintelligible] a good day. We're gonna have a good day. Let's just occasionally, if we go too over the top, put on CNN just so we can feel a little bleaker. Bleak. It's still bleak. I wish you could find that clip for me. It's still -- "Oh, it's still bleak over there. Oh, it's very bleak." How do you do that voice? I can't do that.

[...]

BENNETT: I'll tell you one guy that's not going to recover his losses this morning, and that's Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. He is dead. Special Forces, special operations got him, 800-pound bomb. And despite this, I was just watching CNN trying to, you know, turn this into bad news, and somebody named Octavia Unhappiness Person said, "Oh, this may not be good because this could get the rebels to do more. This -- they may want to show how strong they are."

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy, War in Iraq
Network/Outlet
Salem Radio Network
Person
Bill Bennett
Show/Publication
Bill Bennett's Morning in America
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