A month after losing conservative pundit Robert Novak to Fox News Channel, CNN has signed conservative William Bennett, who just ended a one-year deal with Fox News.
Bennett, a radio talk-show host and the author of the best-selling "The Book of Virtues" and "The Children's Book of Virtues," will contribute to the multi-hour afternoon show "The Situation Room" and other CNN shows.
In competing with top-rated Fox News, CNN hopes Bennett will appeal to conservative viewers. "We look forward to his candid and expressive contribution to our broadcasts," CNN President Jonathan Klein said in a statement.
Last week, CNN announced that it had reached a deal with former Republican congressman J.C. Watts Jr., now a GOP strategist, to provide political commentary. And CNN Headline News has signed conservative radio host Glenn Beck to anchor a new talk show.
Bennett, a former education secretary and drug czar in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, created controversy last year when he said on his radio show that aborting "every black baby in this country" would reduce crime. He later defended his statement, saying he was making a hypothetical argument and was not stating his position.
In 2002, Bennett signed on with CNN as a contributor to "American Morning."
UPDATE: C&L has the video of Bennet slandering Islam.
Well, I think CNN just bought itself a few more riots with their wonderful new employee, far-right conservative William Bennett, and his blanket slander of the world's one billion Muslims. This should be fun.
BENNETT: Let's go beyond cartoons. The other story out of Iran is the story of two young girls who were raped. The girl defended herself and stabbed her attacker. She is now sentenced to be hanged under Islamic law. This isn't a caricature, this isn't a cartoon, this is a peak into the soul of that faith, when it's run through a government. It's a real story and it deserves to be criticized.
ZOGBY: It's not a peak into Islam, it's a peek into the outrages that take place in contemporary Iran, which is not synonymous with Islam...
BENNETT: It's recognized Islamic theology, it is Islamic theology...
ZOGBY: The policy of the Catholics during the Inquisition is not synonymous with my church, nor is the policy of the Islamic extremists synonymous with the Prophet Mohammed. Let's be fair and use one standard. I agree, we have a double standard and frankly I think the way this story is cast is the wrong double standard.
BENNETT: Here's the standard. Catholicism is as Catholicism does, Judaism is as Judaism does, and by God Islam is as Islam does and what it's doing right now I wouldn't wanted to associated with.
ZOGBY: As President Bush has said correctly, hundreds of millions of believing Muslims do not practice these things, did not burn embassies, do not behead people...
BENNETT: Where are they? Where are they?
Yes, according to CNN's newest employee, Islam is a terrible faith, period.
CNN wanted to win some of the FOX audience by hiring far-right extremists like Bennett, and by God, by making slanderous comments about one of the world's leading religions, I'm sure CNN will increase its audience, in America at least. Sure, they're going to attract scores of neo-Nazis and Klansmen, but hey, ratings are ratings I guess. (Though I can't wait to see the reaction in Arab countries to Bennett's outrage.)
CNN should be proud of what it did today to further an intelligent discussion on a terribly important issue. Let's take bets on how many riots and deaths CNN is now going to be responsible for based on this segment alone.
[Just as CNN deliberately edited and headlined pieces to inflame the muslim world on behalf of Israel, and in order to start a war, just after 9/11, and then accused Arabs of the Anthrax attack. One would almost think that they were in on 9/11 and the Anthrax attack, the way they used these to start a war]