CNN gives radio-host exemption to birther, progressive-smearing Mark Williams

››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

Despite CNN president Jon Klein's reported memo to "avoid booking talk radio hosts" because "[c]omplex issues require world class reporting," the September 10 edition of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 hosted self-described " 'activist' radio talk show host" Mark Williams to discuss health care. On CNN, Williams -- who has previously called President Obama and Jimmy Carter "Nazis"; has advanced the discredited smear that Obama lacks a valid birth certificate; and has called a female CNN reporter a "Barbie Doll" -- claimed that Obama is embracing "socialist policies" and compared patients who were denied coverage by insurance companies due to pre-existing conditions to drivers with DWI convictions being rejected by car insurance companies.

CNN president reportedly asks producers to avoid booking talk radio hosts

Klein: "Complex issues require world class reporting." In an August 11 report, TVNewser.com reported that CNN president Jon Klein asked producers to "avoid booking talk radio hosts":

TVNewser has learned, and a CNN spokesperson confirms, that in his morning editorial meeting today, CNN/U.S. president Jon Klein asked his show producers to avoid booking talk radio hosts. "Complex issues require world class reporting," Klein is quoted as saying, adding that talk radio hosts too often add to the noise, and that what they say is "all too predictable."

One of CNN's longtime show hosts, Lou Dobbs, hosts a daily radio show. A few political contributors also host radio shows including Bill Bennett and Roland Martin. They are presumably not affected by this. [...] Update: Roland Martin stopped hosting his show on WVON last October when he became senior analyst for the "Tom Joyner Morning Show."

CNN hosts Mark Williams, a "long time 'activist' radio talk show host"

Williams a "long time 'activist' radio talk show host." In a biography on his website, Williams describes himself as "a long time 'activist' radio talk show host" and "a founding memember [sic], former director and vice president of the National Association of Talk Show Hosts." Williams also describes himself in a sidebar as a "Multimedia Star" and "radio talk show host."

markwilliams

Williams frequently guest-hosts on conservative talk radio. According to his website, Williams has frequently guest-hosted conservative talk radio programs. For instance, Williams guest-hosted for Talk Radio Network's The Jerry Doyle Show and The Rusty Humphries Show on July 10; for Humphries on July 8; and Doyle on June 4.

On his website, Williams states he is the host of the Mark Williams Show, which is "On Air, On Line and On Demand!" His archive was last updated in August of 2008.

Williams on CNN: Obama embracing "socialist policies"; compared pre-existing conditions to DWI convictions

Williams: Obama embracing "socialist policies." From Anderson Cooper 360:

WILLIAMS: But this bitterness that supposedly is directed toward Obama, if I have learned anything in my work with OurCountryPAC.org, it's that it's not bitterness. It's outrage at the socialist policies being embraced by this administration.

ROLAND MARTIN (CNN contributor): Nonsense. It's bitterness.

WILLIAMS: And that goes -- that goes double for W., by the way.

Williams equated those denied insurance because of pre-existing conditions to those denied auto insurance because of DWI convictions. From Anderson Cooper 360:

MARTIN: Mark, there's nothing in the bill?

Are you are telling me that you have a problem with the president saying that if you have a pre-existing condition, you are going to now get covered? You don't like that?

WILLIAMS: If I -- if I'm the -- yes, I'll find an insurance company that will cover me. I'm sure that was -- that would pick up --

MARTIN: You're not going to find them, Mark. They're not going to cover you. Are you -- are you --

WILLIAMS: Well, there is probably a good reason, because it's a bad risk.

MARTIN: Wow.

WILLIAMS: And if he's going to come to me and tell me that I must have insurance or I'm committing a crime and then fine me -- I don't think so. We all have a right to health care.

MARTIN: Mark, I want you to admit --

WILLIAMS: I've also got a right to a gun. I'm not going to him for a thousand bucks for a Glock.

MARTIN: Mark, I want you to admit --

WILLIAMS: I have got a right to free speech, but they're not telling me what to say and how to say it, are they?

MARTIN: So, Mark, if your wife got sick and had a pre-existing condition, and the insurance company turned her down, you would say, "You know what, honey? Guess what, they need to make money, it's a smart move."

You would accept that?

WILLIAMS: If somebody has a record of DWIs, can they still get car insurance someplace?

MARTIN: No, no. Answer my question, Mark.

WILLIAMS: I'm answering your question.

MARTIN: If your wife had a pre-existing condition, and she was denied insurance, you --

WILLIAMS: In the private sector, where competition reigns --

MARTIN: That's amazing.

WILLIAMS: -- a company would emerge that would take on those high-risk cases.

Williams is a birther with history of calling progressives "Nazis"

Williams: Obama's "birth certificate has never been produced." According to the Center for Media and Democracy, at an October 2008 rally:

Williams invoked a long-discredited smear against Obama that seems designed to play on fears of his "otherness": that he's not really a U.S. citizen. "We all know that Barack Obama is not qualified to be president of the United States, beyond being above the age of 35 and probably an American citizen," said Williams, emphasizing the word "probably." He laughed and then repeated: "Probably. Even money."

On his blog, Williams has repeatedly raised doubts about Obama's citizenship. Williams wrote that Obama's "actual birth certificate has never been produced however and is now the subject of a lawsuit to demand that it be produced" and that "our choice this November" is between Sen. John McCain and "the former Barry Soetoro, Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug turned anointed."

Williams posts forged Kenyan birth certificate. In August, Williams wrote of a forged Kenyan birth certificate purporting to be Obama's:

Looks real, but... you knew there'd be a "but" didn't you?

If this is real (photos below -- link to story below them) then this birth certificate conflicts with a parrallel [sic] story about Obama's real name being "Barry Sotero", also backed by "official" documentation

Link to story below photos and, as we say on TV -- You Decide

Williams later updated his post by writing: "It was fun while it lasted for some I suppose but all good things must come to an end. This one ends with a blogger who is claiming credit. Click here for that, scroll down for the previous story"

Williams repeatedly claims Obama wants "death panels," links to Nazi experiments. On his blog, Williams has falsely asserted that health care reform legislation would have a "death panel." Williams also linked "Obama's death panels" to Nazis in an August 15 post.

Williams lists Carter, Obama as "21st century Nazis." On his blog, Williams lists ACORN, Jimmy Carter, "President-elect Hussein Soetoro," and the radio program Democracy Now!, among others, as "21st Century Nazis."

Williams calls Obama administration "communists." From a September 3 post on his blog:

I'm guessing that by now, pretty much anybody with a working brain stem has finally realized what Obama is.

However, lest there be any doubt feast your orbs on this

UPDATE - Saturday 9/5/09: The White House denies the story above (story link here), so it boils down to this: Who's communists do we believe, theirs or ours?

Williams on Obama: "Racist in Chief." Recently, Williams called Obama the "Racist in Chief" and accused Obama of diverting "public attention from the Obamacare scam with just a hint of 'quit-pickin-on-the-brothahs' " by discussing Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s controversial arrest.

Williams has a history of smearing and baselessly attacking progressives and Democrats

Williams: "[I]f we vote Democrat, that just hastens the day we disappear in a nuclear holocaust." In 2006, Williams said that "people have made up their minds ... that if we vote Democrat, that just hastens the day we disappear in a nuclear holocaust." [MSNBC's Tucker, 9/26/06]

Williams blamed Democrats for ruining "every military advance we have made" in Iraq. Williams asserted that "every military advance we have made" in Iraq "has been ruined, one way or another, by some fat-mouthed congressman, usually a Democrat, opening his mouth on Capitol Hill." [MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, 8/16/08]

Williams called Nancy Pelosi, "Nancy Botox." On the same edition of Hardball, presumably referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Iraq, Williams said, " 'Nancy Botox' is out there saying, you know, 'We're leaving! We're running! We're gonna go away!' " Host Chris Matthews responded, "You know, Mark, that doesn't help me any." [Hardball with Chris Matthews, 8/16/08]

Williams on Media Matters: "pot" smoking "hippies" with "fried...synapses." In response to a Media Matters item noting Williams and Our Country Deserves Better PAC's history, Williams wrote on August 1:

All the pot that these hippies smoke must have fried their synapses because they keep repeating the same stuff over and over again every time they get bored and revisit their irritation with me.

In his blog post, Williams did not dispute any claims by Media Matters.

Williams calls female CNN reporter, "CNN Barbie Doll"

In an April 15 post on his blog, Williams wrote of former CNN reporter Susan Roesgen: "CNN Barbie Doll Attacks Tea Parties, gets an education, doesn't like what she learns so story makes the Tea Baggers into thugs. It's not News, it's CNN."

markwilliams2

Yet, despite extreme rhetoric, CNN repeatedly hosts Williams

Williams has appeared on CNN four times since August 13. CNN hosted Williams as a guest on the August 13 edition of Anderson Cooper 360, the August 28 edition of CNN Newsroom, and the September 10 edition of Anderson Cooper 360. Williams was also interviewed by CNN's Jim Spellman for a taped report that aired on the August 28 edition of CNN Newsroom.

Transcript

From the September 10 edition of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360:

WOLF BLITZER (Situation Room host): Mark, I want to give you a chance to respond to what Roland said, that John McCain himself agrees with the president that nothing in this legislation would give illegal immigrants in the United States the opportunity to gain from this proposed legislation.

WILLIAMS: Well, Wolf, it doesn't have to, because the courts have already spoken on that, and they'll speak again if -- if it happens.

But this bitterness that supposedly is directed toward Obama, if I have learned anything in my work with OurCountryPAC.org, it's that it's not bitterness. It's outrage at the socialist policies being embraced by this administration.

ROLAND MARTIN (CNN contributor): Nonsense. It's bitterness.

WILLIAMS: And that goes -- that goes double for W., by the way.

And as far as the Republican Party goes, it's no surprise to any of us working stiffs out here that they allow themselves to be a doormat for what is happening in Washington, D.C.

The fact of the matter is the Republican Party, as a whole, is absent without leave from this debate. And our representatives -- our elected representatives -- are falling down on the job of upholding and protecting the Constitution. And that's why the American people are rising.

That's why I had almost 10,000 people outside Chicago at our tea party the other day. People are sick and tired of being abused and then being called a mob and Nazis because they object to that.

BLITZER: All right.

WILLIAMS: We're the people who pay the bills.

[...]

BLITZER: Mark, is there anything --

CANDY CROWLEY (CNN correspondent): So --

BLITZER: -- your organization likes about the plans that the president is putting forward?

WILLIAMS: No. Where is the tort reform? Where is -- where is that at? That's the real problem. He doesn't want to take on the trial lawyers.

BLITZER: Well, he did say last night that he --

MARTIN: Wow. Nothing.

BLITZER: -- he would let a test go forward on -- on caps on medical malpractice.

WILLIAMS: Well, that doesn't help the tort reform. That doesn't do anything but -- but hurt me if I'm butchered by somebody not being able to be made whole.

No, he's taking us down a $9 trillion deficit path here that we have no business walking down. We have serious problems in this country.

MARTIN: So, Mark -- Mark --

WILLIAMS: We're in an economic -- we have economic issues. We have social issues. We have international issues. We're -- we're having problems in Afghanistan now.

All of these are major priorities. And this administration is watching its approval ratings drop through the 50s and eventually into the 40s, where it won't be able to accomplish anything.

MARTIN: Mark, there's nothing in --

WILLIAMS: And it needs to accomplish much.

MARTIN: Mark, there's nothing in the bill?

Are you are telling me that you have a problem with the president saying that if you have a pre-existing condition, you are going to now get covered? You don't like that?

WILLIAMS: If I -- if I'm the -- yes, I'll find an insurance company that will cover me. I'm sure that was -- that would pick up --

MARTIN: You're not going to find them, Mark. They're not going to cover you. Are you -- are you --

WILLIAMS: Well, there is probably a good reason, because it's a bad risk.

MARTIN: Wow.

WILLIAMS: And if he's going to come to me and tell me that I must have insurance or I'm committing a crime and then fine me -- I don't think so. We all have a right to health care.

MARTIN: Mark, I want you to admit --

WILLIAMS: I've also got a right to a gun. I'm not going to him for a thousand bucks for a Glock.

MARTIN: Mark, I want you to admit --

WILLIAMS: I have got a right to free speech, but they're not telling me what to say and how to say it, are they?

MARTIN: So, Mark, if your wife got sick and had a pre-existing condition, and the insurance company turned her down, you would say, "You know what, honey? Guess what, they need to make money, it's a smart move."

You would accept that?

WILLIAMS: If somebody has a record of DWIs, can they still get car insurance someplace?

MARTIN: No, no. Answer my question, Mark.

WILLIAMS: I'm answering your question.

MARTIN: If your wife had a pre-existing condition, and she was denied insurance, you --

WILLIAMS: In the private sector, where competition reigns --

MARTIN: That's amazing.

WILLIAMS: -- a company would emerge that would take on those high-risk cases.

BLITZER: All right, guys, unfortunately, we have got to leave it right there.

MARTIN: They don't exist right now.

BLITZER: Roland Martin, Mark Williams, Candy Crowley --

WILLIAMS: Thank you.

BLITZER: -- thanks very much.

Posted In
Health Care, Health Care Reform
Network/Outlet
CNN
Person
Wolf Blitzer, Mark Williams
Show/Publication
Anderson Cooper 360
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