CNN Anchorbot: Free Speech Can Only Be Allowed In Dictatorships


Is it the battleship grey pompadour, the dreamy eyes or the Time/Warner employment that causes true love?

"If you're in a place like Iran or North Korea or something like that, anonymous blogging is the only way you could ever get your point of view out without being searched down and thrown in jail or worse," said [CNN anchor John] Roberts. "But when it comes to a society like ours, an open society, do there have to be some checks and balances, not national, but maybe website to website on who comments on things?"

Video at Newsbusters.

Extra-icky detail: Roberts made this comment not on JournoList but while whispering sweet nothings with his bride-to-be.


NEXT: More Deficit Damage Ahead

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  1. First, sadly.

    What an ultra-maroon this bozo is. What’s worse, plenty of so-called “progressives” actually believe tripe like this. I wonder what’s so progressive about being a dumb-azz?

    1. I wonder what’s so progressive about being a dumb-azz?

      Apparently your heart is in the right place even if your head is up your arse.

    2. Wonder what he thinks about having to reveal anonymous sources for his stories? Just kidding, I don’t really care what he thinks.

  2. I think they already have this method of knowing who comments on what in place on most websites. It’s generally a process involving you reading what the commenter chooses to put in the field next to “Name”.

    1. Really?



      1. “What a pain in the neck.”

    3. Or you can get really fancy, with verified IP addresses, MAC addresses, user ID on their network, several other indicators.

      1. An open proxy server and an explicitly anonymizing web proxy, used in series, both located in other countries from the user, make it hard to trace a comment on a web post back to the originating computer.

        1. Gee, thanks!

  3. CNN anchors John Roberts and Kyra Phillips are now engaged….Roberts and Phillips will join CNN couples including John King & Dana Bash and James Carville & Mary Matalin.

    Worse, these people are reproducing. Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cable-news “journalists.”

  4. These people are getting desparate. Would this assclown care about blogs if they were not affecting the debate and politics as a whole? More importantly would he care if they were not doing something to push the debate away from statism and big government?

    1. John, I think the loss of their cherished “getekeeping” role kills them, just kills them. Roberts’ comment, imo, is a reflection of that.

    2. CNN and MSNBC and ABC and all the other alphabet-soup news organizations are concerned only with “right-wing” blogs. Leftist bloggers are now a mainstay on these networks. They have no problem with people like Arianna Huffington and Joan Walsh, because they agree with them.

      1. The right has theirs, but I agree the left seems to embrace the blogging world a little more or more often, and I’d say they were first to start doing it.

    3. John, I think you’re giving them too much credit. These people are fucking morons. They’re stunningly oblivious and live in a bubble. They don’t even realize the stupidity of the shit they say. It’s just a regurgitated hash of the shit that’s floating around their circle, a mashup of what they talked about with their friends last night.

      1. Probably so. The truth is probably a combination of your comment with Mr. Sunshine’s comment at 12:47 pm. You notice that leftwing bloggers are embraced and brought into the fold of the MSM. It is only people disagreeing with them that is the problem.

  5. What’s a “CNN”?

    Seriously, Roberts should just say exactly what he means by “checks and balances” etc. and then get fucking fired.

    1. Or, CNN keeps him and others like him and watches their ratings go into an Olbermann-esque death spiral.

      1. That would be OK — unless CNN gets bailed out as “too big to fail”! 8-(

        1. Given their loss of share over the years, I believe we’ll need a new category –
          “too important to fail.”

          What a maroon Roberts is…

          1. C’mon somebody had to be the inspiration for Ron Burgundy.

            Go fuck yourself San Diego!

    2. What’s a “CNN”?

      Seriously. It’s so sad that the “on 24hrs a day in case something happens outside the normal news cycle times; fill the rest of the time with obnoxious adverts for channel’s greatness” channel still exists. Please die already.

      1. Me to the rescue!

        1. Guvnah, you have a fan (no, not her) on here. His name is Tulpa. You see, Tupla, “reasons” that you caused far less pain and discomfort through the years than the pain Lawrence Taylor allegedly caused by having sex with a prostitute who lied about her age.

          Hey, you might attract enough viewers to stay on the air a spell if you can find more fans like Tulpa.

          1. What about me? I speak stupid in two languages!

            1. More token blacks! More token blacks!

          2. Your logical fallacy powers amaze me once more, mikey.

          3. Please provide a link to back up your accusations of what I said. I vaguely recall a conversation where I opined that Taylor’s crime of sex with a coerced minor was worse than Spitzer’s solicitation of prostitutes, but I seriously doubt I would have said Spitzer’s entire career caused less damage.

            1. June 23, 2010 at 5:40 pm.

              Good to see that you acknowledge that Spitzer’s entire career has caused more damage than LT’s alleged statutory rape.

              1. I would agree that Spitzer’s trysts with adult entertainers caused less damage than the damage caused by LT-if the allegations are true.

                1. Any particular tryst of Spitzer’s is also “alleged” at this point. Nothing was ever proven in court.

                  1. he frigging admitted it. anybody is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. this isn’t a court of law.

                    he publically admitted it. personally, i dont even think prostitution should be illegal, which would make his supposed big crime of “money laundering” not even possible, since he wouldn’t have been laundering it in the first place.

                    but nobody seriously doubts he did it.

              2. That’s not a link.

                1. Your 5:40 pm post on June 23, 2010, was posted in the thread entitled, “Bold New CNN Show: THe Sheriff of Wall Street who visited prostitutes as Governor $ Did No Jail Time.” Nick Gillespie by-line.

                  There is a lot more evidence supporting the proposition that Spitzer frequented adult entertainers than there is evidence that LT raped the prostitute he patronized.

                  However, assuming the truth is both that Spitzer had multiple encounters with escorts and that LT raped the young lady in question, I repeat, LT’s deed is worse than Spitzer’s. I don’t want you to think that I am soft on rape or anything.

  6. PS Timmeh, most-excellent alt text

    1. I concur. Maybe you need to hold an alt text workshop for your interns.

      1. There are some senior staffers who could benefit from it as well.

  7. This is the logical other side to the “government should subsidize traditional media” coin. Once you have an agency that decides what counts as a media outlet that plays by the rules, why not give them the power to silence the ones that don’t?

    1. Why don’t the folks at CNN, NYT, WaPo, et. al. just come out and say what they mean?

      They want to be a federally funded Ministry of Truth. Federal funding and licensing of journalists would assure that citizens get the information they need to form correct opinions on public policy matters. It would also insulate the MSM from the vissicitudes of the market. Federal funding and licensing would assure that opinion and debate would be confined within tolerable limits and that the public would not be burdened with disconcerting information.

      As so eloquently expressed by future Supreme Court Justice Kagan, “whether a given category of speech enjoys First Amendment protection depends upon a categorical balancing of the value of the speech against its societal costs.” Federal funding and licensing would go a long way in achieving this balance and would minimize the societal costs of dissidence. Kagan’s novel interpretation of the 1st Amendment has the potential to make this a reality.

      This is not as absurd as it sounds. Federal funding of journalism is already under consideration in Congress. Journalistic licensing has been a UN agenda item for about two decades.

      1. Ministry of Truthiness would have a better ring to it.

        1. Minitruth, don’t ya know.

      2. licensing of journalists

        Actually not a bad idea.

        Well ok it is a bad idea but no worse then licensing of hair dressers.

        1. Both are horrid ideas.

        2. To paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, if I had to choose between newspapers but no haircuts or haircuts but no newspapers, I’d take the newspapers.

          But I’d understand if you’re on John Edwards’ side on this matter.

          1. Licensing hairdressers is lot less dangerous than licensing journalists. The former is just government grift, the latter implies government control of information.

        3. Hey, a bad hair-dresser can cause you a lot more grief than some simpering journo can.

          1. That doesn’t matter any more. I saw a half-hour program on TLC at 3 AM this morning where they reviewed a machine that sucks your hair into a tube and then cuts it. The anchor was very skeptical at first, but was completely won over within ten minutes. It was pretty amazing.

            I also like that show because they don’t have any commercial breaks. I wonder how they make money off of it? Or is it just part of their public interest programming.

            1. And it wasn’t an infomercial? No snark intended, as I don’t know whether TLC airs infomercials.

              1. Ummmm… Mike…. do you recognize parody?

                1. Mike is a child of the post-irony age, where if you’re not insane you’re just not paying attention.

            2. Ohhhhhh.

        4. it most definitely IS worse.

          there’s a reason why the 1st amendment is the first amendment, whereas hair cutting is nowhere mentioned.

          this isn’t saying that licensing of hair dressers isn’t stupid. it’s saying that it’s far less egregious than a licensing of journalists would be

          1. The first amendment…*thinking*…that’s the one that says Evul Corporashuns aren’t people, so they don’t have free speech rights, yeah?

            1. the first amendment is a restriction on govt, not a definition on people, fwiw. the citizens united case was correct. even the frigging ACLU agrees (not exactly a huge fan of corporations)

              1. Too lazy to research it, but my scientific wild assed guess is the ACLU is organzed as a corporation. I imagine the ACLU thought out the logical implications of their position for themselves better than the New York Times did.

      3. As so eloquently expressed by future Supreme Court Justice Kagan, “whether a given category of speech enjoys First Amendment protection depends upon a categorical balancing of the value of the speech against its societal costs.”

        Thanks! Yeah, I’m kinda proud of that one myself.

        1. Hey Mason Reese why don’t you go back to flogging Underwood Deviled Ham.

          1. NICE Mason Reese reset!

            1. Apparently we’re the only ones on this thread old enough to know that Mason Reese went into law after his days as a child pitchman ended!

  8. OK you have to admit that makes a lot of sense dude. WOw.


  9. The Internets are the wild wild west. Without the gaudy hats and practical foot wear.

    1. I always wear my tricorn while on the internets.

      1. I prefer buck naked in bunny slippers, or SpongeBob slippers.

        1. I prefer buck naked in bunny slippers, or SpongeBob slippers.

          Now are you people starting to understand my concern?!

          1. You don’t like bunny slippers and or SpongeBob?

            1. Double Tinfoil, just in case.

              1. Are you stalking with a roll of Reynolds Wrap?

    2. And you hold the reins (read “type”) with just one hand.

  10. Shorter CNN fuck: Freedom of speech is important as long as I don’t have to compete with it.

  11. We appreciate your concern, but let’s face it: it’s all FOX News’s fault.

  12. Iran and North Korea have their own version of CNN too. I bet they even broadcast their evening news from the head of state’s palace.

    1. When CNN was playing along with them they had CNN International spewing whatever script they were given by the local regime.

      1. Now if we could only get them to stop doing that here in the US.

        1. I have the same dream. Back to that licensing idea, if only they used the Leftist fantasy of how to license guns for licensing journalists.

    2. That’s a great idea, Tulpa. I think I’ll start doing that.

  13. From Greenwald:

    UPDATE: As several commenters noted, this is the same Kyra Phillips responsible for one of the more disgusting television moments of the last decade. In April, 2003, she interviewed the doctor treating Ali Abbas, a 12-year-old Iraqi boy who had just lost 15 relatives, including his father, pregnant mother and three siblings, as well as both of his arms, in an errant American missile strike on the Baghdad suburb where he lived. While this child had burns all over his body, some of them infected, putting him in constant pain, Phillips asked his doctor this question:

    Doctor, does he understand why this war took place? Has he talked about Operation Iraqi Freedom and the meaning? Does he understand it?

    As Joan Walsh put it at the time: Phillips asked this “question” after the doctor explained that Ali said he hopes no other “children in the war will suffer like what he suffered”; “Phillips seemed shocked by Ali’s apparent inability to understand we were only trying to help him.” Walsh wrote that the boy’s physician had “to explain [to Phillips] that the doctors were more interested in treating the boy than indoctrinating him: ‘Actually, we don’t discuss this issue with him because he is — the burn cases, and the type of injury, he’s in very bad psychological trauma’.” I have no doubt that Kyra “Operation Iraqi Freedom” Phillips would be eager to explain to you how she — unlike those hordes of wretched, anonymous, partisan Internet bloggers — is an Objective Journalist who doesn’t allow any opinions to infect her “reporting.” Of course, since the opinions she expresses are the Right Ones, she — unlike Octavia Nasr — still has a job on CNN, crusading for High Journalistic Standards.

    1. And so Glenny takes this opportunity to fire a shot at those pro-Iraq War left-wing types there are so many of at CNN. Yeah…

    2. RC’s Iron Law:

      Forseeable consequences are not unintended.

      I doubt he’d apply that here though, as there seems to be some military exemption.

      1. Im not sure that iron law holds.

        For example, if a football team passes 60 times per game, they are going to throw a bunch of INTs. That doesnt make them not unintended. Its a foreseeable consequence, but its accepted, NOT intended.

        Subtle difference. But applies in this case too.

        1. So, the iron law should be modified to:

          Forseeable consequences are acceptable consequences.

          1. That’s a good formulation.

        2. I actually agree with you. I’m just tweaking RC for his smug invocations of that “iron law” that purport to show liberals are not well-intentioned.

          1. Even with my reformulation, it shows they arent well intentioned.

    3. Greenwald can seriously be a moron sometimes.

  14. This is taken totally out of context. He went on to say he is completely and totally for free speech, provided people commenting thought and acted just as he does. I mean, for fuck’s sake, you can’t just have “everyone” going around and commenting in an open society. Instead of commenting, people should be buying health insurance. We need some govenment oversight on this Internet cancer; how can we expect to live in a free society with people out there commenting in cyberspace? I’d like to be the first to suggest and Internet Comment Task Force to get to the bottom of this crap.

    1. Hank, if there was ever a time when I needed you to not be Hank…

      1. Oh, crap, it’s Venture’s Swedish Murder Machine. MINIONS! RETREAT!!!

  15. Or CNN can hire interns to moderate comments before the comments are posted. That solution would keep unpleasant comments out of CNN without creating an industry wide balck list of commentators.

  16. Even Ted turner thinks CNN sucks.

  17. It’s already happening John. I’ve been banned from commenting on numerous websites.

    The fucking anal retentive whores who run the fascist Family Circle website seem to have a goddam problem with my fucking language.

    Cocksucking bitches.

    1. But who would argue that a private site hasn’t the right to “censor” commentary?

      1. That was what I was thinking upon reading the article. Doesn’t every sysop already have the ability to delete any message and block any IP address they please?

        1. exactly. similarly a feminist bookstore does not have to carry a bunch of books written by southern baptists on how women should submit to their husbands.

          that’s not censorship. it’s editorial discretion

          the problem that this anchorbot nimrod has is that he and his big media minions can’t do that to everybody else.

          it was bloggers who brought down The Dan(Tm) and they haven’t forgotten it

    2. The fucking anal retentive whores who run the fascist Family Circle website seem to have a goddam problem with my fucking language.

      They warned you repeatedly to lay off of Jeffy and PJ. You have no one to blame but yourself.

    3. The fucking anal retentive whores who run the fascist Family Circle website seem to have a goddam problem with my fucking language.

      Who, Me?

    4. Jesus Christ on sale, J Sub, tone it down.

  18. Ida Know.

    1. That’s Family Circus you illiterate Rethuglican dopesmokers!

  19. I believe in free speech and all, and I wouldn’t support a law that put checks and balances in as to who can comment…

    …but I’ve strayed into some unmoderated sites from time to time, and they really are mostly cesspools of racism, homophobia and blatant stupidity.

    No really.

    As bad as it gets around here, sometimes, somebody should do some research and figure out what Hit & Run does right. For an open site without required registration or premoderation–Hit & Run still rules the dance hall.

    1. And it would be perfect if not for all those Goddamn nigger faggots.

      1. That does it! I’m telling on H&R!

    2. that’s all well and good, but the point is that racism, homophobia and blatant stupidity (at least the expression thereof) are entirely constitutionally protected.

      if you spend any time on lefty blogs and websites (DU is a good one), it’s actually a common and uncontroversial point of view that govt. needs to step in and regulate

      i’ve read many posts that the FCC has authority to pull fox’s license to broadcast, and should (then other leftists will say “darnit, fox is on cable, not the airwaves”

      others have said that the govt. should be able to require fox news not use the word “news” in their title, since they clearly aren’t, etc.

      there’s also plenty who want a european legal standard of “hate speech” to reign.

      these people don’t believe in the marketplace of ideas. i am not talking about all leftist, of course. but a loud and common subset thereof that infests DU, etc.

    3. I think what H&R does right is not to make people who are honestly racist, etc. feel at home by not generally being filled with or tolerant of racists and homophobes.

      At the same time, it’s also filled with people who mostly don’t feel the need to pay much attention to people that make those sorts of comments, which makes it less appealing to people who just make racist comments to troll.

      1. “At the same time, it’s also filled with people who mostly don’t feel the need to pay much attention to people that make those sorts of comments, which makes it less appealing to people who just make racist comments to troll.”

        Yeah, call me narcissistic, but I think there’s something to the idea that the commentariat is less susceptible to blatant stupidity.

        It’s no fun being stupid when everybody treats you like you’re stupid.

        1. It’s no fun being stupid when everybody treats you like you’re stupid.

          That reminds me of how much I miss Joe, but mostly because I could say “Hey Joe” and a little Hendrix would play in the back of my mind.

      2. So it kind of regulates itself.

        1. That’s impossible

      3. H&R’s reaction to racist crap is to ridicule it relentlessly, which both discourages the racist (remember Richard Hoste?) and provides amusement for the rest. Most other sites’ reaction is outrage, which is a positive reinforcement to a troll, or silence.

        H&R has a uniquely humorous tilt to it that I’ve not seen equaled on any other site, and it serves to make H&R self-governing.

        1. We’re the only ones who get it right, due to the unique always-rightness of MediaMatters. All other points of view are wrong, and the sooner you fucking right-wingers get that through your heads, the better off we’ll be.

          1. Fuck off, MM. You are clearly too right-wing to be right all the time.

    4. Its sample size. There are some other sites that have similar good results.

      Basically, as signal increases, noise increases exponentially.

      There is a sports site I read – most of the articles get ~10 comments. And about once a week, one gets 200+ comments. And the 10 comment articles often have a couple of interesting or funny comments. The 200+ ones are entirely unreadable.

      What happens is that an article gets linked on some other site, and the lcd sports fans come in.

      That site has registration but no pre-moderation, and it still happens. works basically like, no registration, post under whatever name you feel like at the time. It is almost entirely signal. But an article with 20 comments is a frenzy.

      1. You see that here. An article gets linked somewhere and a throng of people start commenting. Out of the throng maybe 4-5 have decent arguments (for/against/inbetween) and the rest are raving assclowns.

        Being a fan of stupidity, sometimes you just have to troll someone.
        That said I don’t see the racism or homophobic stupidity as particularly harmful. The first way to dealing with such things are to mock them, forums like /b/ take this mockery to the extreme, but it’s not hard to see that it’s mockery.

        1. Meant as a response to OP.

          Owned by threaded comments yet again.

    5. Remember, though:

      It’s only “hate speech” when it comes from right-of-center.

      1. Fuck off!

        1. Typical Ron Paul cocksucker Christfag commentary!

  20. Anonymous speech must stand on its own and can’t borrow the credibility that the speaker might give to it. This is a far better check and balance than CNN could ever give.

    1. I wouldn’t care if this “Bill” happened to have the last name “Clinton”, I would still agree with this post. Well said.

  21. Roberts and Phillips will join CNN couples including John King & Dana Bash and James Carville & Mary Matalin. See a list of other media power couples below:

    Tim, are you hurt that you and your… your other person aren’t on that list?

  22. For many years, I believed that Ted Baxter was a wildly exaggerated caricature. Sadly, it turns out that far too many TV news “personalities” are even stupider than that character was.


    1. Ted Baxter was wildly exaggerated. TV news personalities are nowhere near as sharp as the Bax.

  23. Perhaps people don’t know that John Roberts started his broadcasting career as a VJ on Canada’s MTV clone MuchMusic. He was known in those days as JD and had a very different haircut. Also he wasn’t often called upon to opine on current affair since he was just a dumb music jock. Make of that what you will but when he showed up on CNN I thought immediately of Ted Baxter.

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