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Erin Burnett

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  • CNN's Burnett Mainstreams Anti-Gay, Anti-Muslim Pastor

    Blog ››› ››› JUSTIN BERRIER

    CNN's Erin Burnett hosted the Rev. Robert Jeffress to discuss the role of social issues in the campaign. But Burnett ignored Jeffress' history of inflammatory rhetoric, including attacks on gays and Muslims.

    On the September 26 edition of CNN's OutFront, Burnett interviewed Jeffress, the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Dallas, about the role of social issues in the 2012 presidential campaign. During the segment, Jeffress repeatedly stated that Mitt Romney should embrace extreme right-wing social policies in order to draw evangelical voters to the polls, and that Romney should use the upcoming debates to clearly state his opposition to abortion and gay marriage.

    While Burnett acknowledged that Jeffress once called Mormonism a cult, she didn't disclose his history of vicious attacks on gays, Muslims, and members of other religions -- a history that should disqualify him from being mainstreamed on media outlets such as CNN.

    In 1998, Jeffress attempted to prohibit public libraries from lending books about children with gay parents. A New York Times article written at the time quoted Jeffress as justifying his protest because homosexuality causes "the death of tens of thousands every year through AIDS."

    Since then, Jeffress has continued his anti-gay campaign. In a recent statement on his radio program, Jeffress claimed that there are "a disproportionate amount of assaults against children by homosexuals than by heterosexuals, you can't deny that, and the reason is very clear: homosexuality is perverse, it represents a degradation of a person's mind and if a person will sink that low and there are no restraints from God's law, then there is no telling to whatever sins he will commit as well." Jeffress also recently called homosexuality a "miserable lifestyle" and equated it with bestiality, incest, and pedophilia.

    In addition, Jeffress has a history of anti-Muslim rhetoric. In 2010, Jeffress called Islam an "evil" and "violent" religion that "promotes pedophilia." In his 2011 speech at the Values Voter Summit, Jeffress not only attacked Islam as "a heresy from the pit of hell," he also attacked Mormons and Judaism:

    JEFFRESS: I think part of the problem is we're in this consumer mentality as a church where we have the idea that our job is to build as big of a church as we possibly can. And if we get into that idea and fall into that trap, then we say then we can't say anything that's going to offend people, why, if we preach that homosexuality is an abomination to God we better not preach that because that's going to offend the gays or people who know gay people, if we tell people what the Bible says that every other religion in the world is wrong: Islam is wrong, it is a heresy from the pit of Hell; Mormonism is wrong, it is a heresy from the pit of Hell; Judaism, you can't be saved being a Jew, you know who said that by the way, the three greatest Jews in the New Testament, Peter, Paul, and Jesus Christ, they all said Judaism won't do it, it's faith in Jesus Christ.

  • CNN's Erin Burnett Cherry-Picks Numbers To Attack Health Care Law

    Blog ››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN & TODD GREGORY

    CNN's Erin Burnett cherry-picked numbers to claim that the health care reform law was "a massive fail" because medical costs are expected to grow more in 2014 than they did in 2010.

    But the massive fail here is on Burnett: health care costs in 2010 grew at historically low rates as the country emerged from a deep recession, making it an inappropriate point of comparison.

    Discussing the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, Burnett claimed that "we're all losers" under the health care reform law because it will not reduce health care spending. Burnett explained:

    According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, health spending in 2010 grew about 3.9 percent from the year before. But in 2014, when the president's health care law takes full effect, spending will jump 7.4 percent.

    But the very research that Burnett cited, a June report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, explains that unusually slow cost increases in 2010 was a historic anomaly explained by the recession:

    [T]he continuing impact of losses in employment and health insurance coverage associated with the recession helped to limit growth in private spending. Private health insurance spending growth is estimated to have been just 2.6 percent in 2010 as the number of people enrolled in private plans fell by roughly 5 million. Moreover, out-of-pocket spending climbed just 1.8 percent (after 0.4 percent growth in 2009) as many people continued to restrain their use of health care goods and services.

    A June 12 Wall Street Journal article reporting on the CMS estimates explained that the 2010 figures were "a short-term trend" tied to the recession:

    Consumers have been cutting back on doctors' visits and employers have trimmed insurance since the U.S. first fell into a recession. National health-care spending growth was 3.8% in 2009, the smallest increase on record, and was followed by a similar 3.9% in 2010.

    Burnett's massive failure only begins with her cherry picking 2010 for her point of comparison. Her second point of comparison is 2014, which is when CMS researchers said the "largest impact on the growth of health spending is expected to occur."

    So Burnett took one of the lowest rates of health spending growth on record and compared it to the year that will bring the largest impact on growth, and declared that everybody loses.

    CNN's viewers most certainly did.

  • Myths And Facts About Electric Cars

    ››› ››› JOCELYN FONG & SHAUNA THEEL

    As automakers are starting to bring electric vehicle (EV) technology into the mainstream, conservative media outlets have repeatedly misled consumers about electric cars by trying to paint them as environmentally harmful and unsafe, among other false claims.

  • Erin Burnett Should Just Apologize

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    Everyone makes mistakes. But not everyone acknowledges when it's time to apologize. That time is now for Erin Burnett.

    CNN's new evening anchor made a mistake this week when she aired a cheap-shot report about the Occupy Wall Street protests, mocking activists for being uniformed about big banks, and for being hypocrites in general. (They're anti-big business but they use laptops!)

    The segment, as has been widely discussed this week, was an embarrassment. Not because anchor Burnett aired an opinion or that her opinion was at odds with the populist movement still unfolding in the Financial District. It was embarrassing because of how smug Burnett's critique was.

    In her first week on the job at CNN, Burnett quickly became a symbol of how media elites tend to instinctively write off liberal activists as being not important; as being naive to how the world really works. (One phrase for you: WMD.)

    And yes, the fact that Burnett was mocking Occupy Wall Street activists while her bosses at CNN had just taken the unusual step of co-sponsoring a GOP presidential debate with a splinter (conservative) political group, the Tea Party, only opened her up to obvious charges of a political double standard being used at CNN.

    When Burnett aired her now infamous report, she stressed that Occupy Wall Street had started off as "less than a dozen college students" camping in the park, and that it had since expanded to "hundreds" of participants. By Wednesday night an estimated 10,000 people took part in an Occupy Wall Street march in New York City, with similar protests now spreading nationwide.

    For that reason alone, Burnett should revisit her report and concede she was wrong to portray Occupy Wall Street as a fringe movement. But more importantly, she should simply apologize to viewers for so rudely dismissing the emerging movement, and put the unfortunate incident behind her.

  • Green: CNBC's Erin Burnett Wants Your Emails

    Blog ››› ››› KARL FRISCH

    Adam Green over at Huffington Post has some thoughts on Erin Burnett's appearance today on MSNBC's Morning Joe which Media Matters highlighted this earlier morning and he's calling on folks to email the CNBC host with their thoughts on "what we think her role as a CNBC Wall Street reporter should be." Green's entire post is well worth a read but here is the pertinent portion:

    This morning, on Morning Joe, for no apparent reason, [Burnett] blurted out, "I'm going to throw this out there, it's just a question..." and then went on a long rant about "the whole question about unemployment benefits themselves." As in, should they even exist?

    After all, she pointed out, they don't have them in China (the epitome of a pro-worker country). She asked, "Does that encourage people in places like China to go get jobs more quickly rather than waiting to exhaust their unemployment benefits?"

    A commentator who happened to be on the set with Scarborough helpfully pointed out, "Erin, if you met some people who are out of work right now, I don't think they'd be telling you that they're not working because they're waiting for unemployment benefits to run out."

    Burnett agreed, "No doubt." But then said, "We get a lot of emails where people say, maybe they do wait a little bit." She added that she has no opinion on it, but people are talking about it so "it's fair to bring up."

    Obviously, Burnett appreciates viewer email so much that she's willing to repeat even the most uninformed ones on air. For all my critique of Burnett, her openness to emails from the public is commendable.

    So, let's email her some feedback on what we think her role as a CNBC Wall Street reporter should be: SquawkOnTheStreet@cnbc.com

    If you have a minute, follow Green's lead and send Burnett your thoughts.

  • Experts dispute claim by CNBC's Burnett that size of Wall Street bonuses is unrelated to TARP money

    ››› ››› JOCELYN FONG

    Responding to criticism of the bonuses paid in 2008 by Wall Street firms -- some of which had received federal bailout funds -- Erin Burnett said during Meet the Press: "The taxpayer money isn't being taken and paid out in the form of bonuses. It goes in a separate pool ... a separate account for banks." However, contrary to Burnett's assertion, money is fungible, and without the federal assistance, Wall Street bonuses would have been much lower, according to several experts.

  • CNBC's Burnett proclaimed Limbaugh's stimulus proposals "serious," didn't mention economists who disagree

    ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    CNBC host Erin Burnett asserted that there were "interesting ideas" in Rush Limbaugh's Wall Street Journal op-ed criticizing President Obama's economic recovery plan and offering Limbaugh's own suggestions for what should be included in a stimulus plan. Specifically, Burnett said that Limbaugh's suggestions of "cutting the corporate tax" and "slashing capital gains [taxes]" are "serious things to say." But Burnett did not note that many economists do not view corporate and capital gains tax cuts as "serious" or effective methods for stimulating the economy.