Anderson Cooper Trashes Think Progress By Comparing Their Site To Michelle Malkin's


Anderson Cooper and his producers apparently think that something mentioned in a post by the liberal web site Think Progress that was not the main topic of the post that they took issue with somehow is equal to what hatemonger Michelle Malkin does day in and day out on her blog, and these two websites somehow are equal in spreading misinformation to the public. All I can say after watching this is: Shame on Anderson Cooper and his producers, and shame on the supposed liberal on the panel, Maria Cardona, for letting this pass without defending the work that Think Progress has done week after week on their site.

Here is the post that was being criticized by Cooper -- Gohmert Warns Of ‘Reverting’ To Era Of Congressional Duels — While Pushing Bill To Arm Congressmen. The main substance of that post was that it is pretty well insane for Gohmert to be pushing for handguns to be allowed on the House floor. They mentioned that his argument that there was a handgun ban in DC was not true.

Here's Cooper's criticism of that.

COOPER: Well, the liberal blog ThinkProgress jumped all over Gohmert's idea, mocking it, calling it -- quote -- "harebrained." Their main point was this, though. "Gohmert" -- and I'm quoting -- "Gohmert explained the need for his bill by falsely claiming that Washington, D.C., has a gun ban. The Roberts Supreme Court did away with D.C.'s handgun ban in 2008."

Well, there's only one problem with that statement. It's wrong. Even after that Supreme Court decision, ordinary citizens cannot carry a registered -- registered handgun in D.C. You can keep a handgun in your home if you have a permit, but you can't carry one.

Now, you can say what you want about Louie Gohmert's idea of lawmakers carrying guns in and around the Capitol, but you should criticize it based on actual facts, not made-up ones, which is just what ThinkProgress did.

Handguns may not be entirely banned in DC, but you still can't go walking around with one on the streets or bring one into the halls of Congress. I think Cooper's splitting hairs here with the language in the Think Progress post.

This just looks like an excuse to me for CNN to play the "all sides are equally bad" game and take a shot at Think Progress. Those folks actually have one of the few liberal think tanks out there behind the research they're doing, unlike Malkin, who just makes crap up to be outraged about. And one last note here: If Think Progress does end up realizing they made a mistake in their reporting, we're likely to get a retraction from them. You're never going to see that from the likes of Michelle Malkin.

In the meantime, we get to hear more of the "all sides do it" bulls**t from the Villagers who would not recognize an honest conservation about anything if it bit them on the nose.

Transcript below the fold via CNN.

COOPER: We begin "Keeping Them Honest" with politicians and pundits playing politics with the tragedy in Tucson. There are cringe-worthy examples on both the left and right. We showed you fund-raising letters that went out earlier in the week. At the memorial service in Tucson on Wednesday, President Obama implored politicians and the whole nation really to tone it down, to honor those who lost their lives by stepping up the civility.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And if, as has been discussed in recent days, their death helps usher in more civility in our public discourse, let us remember it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy -- it did not -- but rather because only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to the challenges of our nation in a way that would make them proud.



COOPER: Well, from pundits and politicians from both sides of the aisle, there has been and continues to be a lot of finger- pointing. Some on each side are claiming they hold the exclusive deed on the high road, accusing the other side of playing politics.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: What Mr. Loughner knows is that he has the full support of a major political party in this country. He's sitting there in jail. He knows what's going on.

He knows that a Democrat Party, the Democrat Party, is attempting to find anybody but him to blame. He knows, if he plays his cards right, he's just a victim.



MIKE HUCKABEE (R), FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR: Meanwhile, a lot of people in politics and the media covered themselves in shame by rushing to judgment about the alleged shooter, Jared Lee Loughner. The same people who were so quick to falsely blame the Tea Party for the bomb planted in Times Square apparently learned nothing from that mistake.



BERNARD GOLDBERG, AUTHOR, "100 PEOPLE WHO ARE SCREWING UP AMERICA": Well, in all my years as a working journalist, I have never seen such shallow, thoughtless, agenda-driven dribble as I have in the past 36 hours. And it's all masquerading as serious analysis and commentary.



SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Now, many observers have already reduced this tragedy to simple questions of whether overheated rhetoric is to blame or one partisan group or another.


COOPER: Well, a lot of it is just finger-pointing about finger- pointing. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but, recently, we have noticed a few people or groups who think they're entitled to their own facts.

Two examples tonight, first, a liberal blog called ThinkProgress attacking a Republican congressman based on something that's simply not true. The congressman is Louie Gohmert from Texas. And he wants members of Congress to be allowed to carry guns inside the Capitol Building, even on the House floor.

He explained his reasoning in an interview with WorldNetDaily's Radio America.


REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R), TEXAS: And up here in Washington, D.C., because there's a gun ban, beside law enforcement, the only people that have guns here are the criminals. So, we're looking at a bill that would allow members of Congress to carry a weapon.


COOPER: Well, the liberal blog ThinkProgress jumped all over Gohmert's idea, mocking it, calling it -- quote -- "harebrained." Their main point was this, though. "Gohmert" -- and I'm quoting -- "Gohmert explained the need for his bill by falsely claiming that Washington, D.C., has a gun ban. The Roberts Supreme Court did away with D.C.'s handgun ban in 2008."

Well, there's only one problem with that statement. It's wrong. Even after that Supreme Court decision, ordinary citizens cannot carry a registered -- registered handgun in D.C. You can keep a handgun in your home if you have a permit, but you can't carry one.

Now, you can say what you want about Louie Gohmert's idea of lawmakers carrying guns in and around the Capitol, but you should criticize it based on actual facts, not made-up ones, which is just what ThinkProgress did.

On the right, conservative blogger Michelle Malkin has been pushing a story that seems to have no basis in fact. She says the color scheme at the Tucson memorial was some sort of a political conspiracy. She has a diatribe on her blog about what she called the branding of the Tucson massacre.

She wrote that the White House was behind the "Together we thrive" theme at Wednesday's memorial, and she didn't like the sea of blue on the signs and the T-shirts. Malkin wrote -- quote -- "Will there -- will there be giant foam fingers and blue cotton candy, too? Can't the Democrat political stage give it a break just once?"

But here's the problem with that. According to the University of Arizona, the White House had nothing to do with the logo or the T- shirts. The university says it was behind -- it was behind the branding. The shirts, they say, were designed by a student, and the university paid for them.

On her blog, Malkin backtracked, but only kind of, writing, "Given U-of-A president Robert Shelton's embarrassing, thinly-veiled partisan cheerleading for Obama tonight, it may indeed be a 100 percent campus-initiated campaign. Given the Obama campaign -- given the Obama White House's meticulous attention to stage prop details, however, I would say the odds of involvement by Axelrod, Plouffe and others are high," regarding two Obama advisers, David Axelrod and David Plouffe.

Now, no facts to back it up, and facts matter, the truth matters, maybe even more than ever right now.

Joining me now, senior political analyst David Gergen, political analyst and Republican strategist Ed Rollins, and Democratic strategist Maria Cardona.

Ed, if the finger-pointing and the deliberate misinformation isn't going to stop now, in the wake of a tragedy like this, I mean, is there ever hope of it stopping at all?

ED ROLLINS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: I wish it would. I wish the tone would go down.

I mean, the bottom line is, the Republicans now have the votes and they can be in the meetings and may -- can make their cases, and obviously pass out things out of the House. They don't need to be yelling and screaming back and forth. And equally as important, the Democrats don't have to be yelling back and forth.

I think a lot of it is the blogs, a lot of it is talk radio, a lot of it is cable shows. I think the key thing here is, can members of Congress sit down and come to some compromise on some very significant issues?

I'm -- I'm doubtful of that. The -- there's such distance between the various programs, you know, the key thing here is, can you fiscally balance budgets or push towards balancing budgets, eliminate programs, you know, add some revenue, without killing each other?

COOPER: It is interesting, Maria. I mean, it seems so juvenile, basically, both sides saying, no, you started it; you started it.

MARIA CARDONA, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Oh, absolutely, Anderson. I think the whole thing is just nonsense on both sides.

And I don't think either side does itself any favors when it goes either on the blogs or on TV or on Web sites, and tries to accuse the other side, without having any facts to back it up. It demeans all of us, and it demeans the political discourse. And it doesn't get us to where we need to be, to President Obama's point.

We have huge problems that we need to try to solve. So, I do think it's incumbent -- incumbent upon our leaders to give the example to all of us that we can live up to, but it's also incumbent upon all of us, on you, Anderson, on you, Ed, on myself, everybody who is part of this political discourse, to try to take it down a notch and make sure that what you're saying is either fact-based, and just focus on ideas, and don't do it personally.

COOPER: David, you think things have actually gotten better this week?


And let me acknowledge up front I thought the president's speech Wednesday night was successful, but it clearly was even more successful than I imagined. I think he resonated with much of the country, to his credit. And I think he poured water on a lot of the flames that were out there, that there are still some fires burning. We have some outliers, are the ones -- the ones you have cited tonight, and it's good to keep them accountable, to keep the focus on them. But I -- I think, next week, for example, as the Republicans in the House of Representatives debate the health care bill, my expectation is, their arguments will be more tempered than they would have been otherwise.

I think there will be less demonization. Sure, they are going to disagree with the health care bill. That's what they ran on. But I think they will do it in a more tempered way. And I do think the president has opened the way now to a new conversation that he can continue in his State of the Union, in -- in ways that can bring people together, perhaps institutionalize more bipartisanship, more bipartisan meetings, meetings at Camp David and the like, and actually do more shaming, as -- as your show is doing tonight, shame those people who are the outliers, so that they get off this, and we -- and we put more of the flames out.

COOPER: Ed, do you think that's true, A., that the president will try to do that in the State of the Union, and that next week's debate on health care will kind of reflect some sort of a change?

ROLLINS: I think the president gave a superb speech. And I think he lifted it to a higher, higher plane. You know, I mean, he was very partisan in the course of the campaign, more so than most presidents.

But, you know, go back to a president David and I both worked for, Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan -- there's this great myth that Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill sat down and had a beer every night on the South Lawn and resolved things.

It was a very partisan period of time, too, but there was a gentle tone. And the American public saw a couple of congenial Irish guys that weren't yelling and screaming at each other, even though, behind the scenes, it was tough.

Equally as important, there was more of a social life in Washington. A Bob Michel could go play golf with a Tip O'Neill. They were friends. They weren't -- they weren't enemies. They could fight on issues. Danny Rostenkowski, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, would sit down and work out with David Stockman on the budgets.

Today there's no social life, and so, to a certain extent, in the last 10, 15 years, it's gotten more and more partisan on both sides. They don't know each other.


ROLLINS: So, all that they're doing is dealing with rhetoric. And you need to eliminate -- where I'm hopeful is that the members of Congress and the Senate, which is really where it matters, speak with a softer tone and fight for -- hard for their issues, but speak with a softer tone. COOPER: It's hard, though, Maria, after the last campaign that we have seen, the last election, you know, a lot of folks getting elected with very tough tone.

CARDONA: I think that's exactly right.

And I think the other thing that is a reality today, Anderson, that wasn't even 10 -- or maybe even five years ago is that we have a 24/7 news cycle that is full of bloggers, is full of tweeters, is full of Facebookers, that can actually ignite and -- and put more gasoline on the fire than otherwise would have been the case in a normal daily political debate of 10 years ago.


CARDONA: So I think that has really changed this.

And I think what we all need to realize, including these bloggers, including anybody who put a post -- a post up on Facebook, is that you're not just talking to your friend, you're not just talking to your neighbor. You are now talking to America. And your words can matter, and your words can influence.


CARDONA: That's what we all have to realize, which I don't think we have realized to this point.

COOPER: David?

GERGEN: Anderson, I do want to express one sense of disappointment.

And that is, the deeper problem with this shooting has been the culture of violence in this country. We have too much hate, too many guns, too many killings.

You know, the United States has 20 times as many killings by guns as other developed countries. And, among teenagers, people, we -- we have over 40 times as many killings by guns. And there has been a reluctance on both sides to face up to the gun culture and the violence and what this is all about. And that is a disappointment. It's going to take a long time to get there, clearly.

COOPER: Obviously, it's a -- it's a hot issue. A lot of people disagree with you, David, who simply don't think...

GERGEN: Sure do.

COOPER: ... that guns are the problem, as we have...

CARDONA: Anderson, can I just...


CARDONA: Can I just finish this one thing? First of all, I completely agree with David 100 percent. But, secondly, you know, I'm raising two kindergarten-age children. And it just seems to me, especially in these last couple of days, it is so simple to just go back and -- and look at what we all learned in kindergarten, the golden rule.

Let's treat each other how we would like for them to treat us. I know it sounds simple, but, clearly, you know, a lot of the -- the solutions to the hardest problems are the simple ones. We should all go back and take a look at that and live it in our everyday lives.

COOPER: Maria Cardona, appreciate you being on.

Ed Rollins, David Gergen, thank you.


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