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Jack Cafferty
Born December 14, 1942 (1942-12-14) (age 67)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
Occupation Commentator
Family 4 children, 4 grandchildren
Spouse(s) Carol (died 2008)
Ethnicity Irish American
Religious belief(s) Lutheran
Notable credit(s) CNN's 'Situation Room'
Official website

Jack Cafferty (born December 14, 1942) is a CNN commentator and occasional host of specials. In the summer of 2005, Cafferty joined The Situation Room.

Contents

Career

Cafferty started his career in Reno, Nevada in 1960. He became the news director and co-anchor for the 6 o'clock and 10 o'clock news at WHO-TV in Des Moines, Iowa. In 1977, Cafferty began to anchor national and local programs in New York including Strictly Business, Live at Five and the Scarborough-Cafferty Report. He remained with WNBC-TV for eleven years and anchored Strictly Business until 1989. From 1989 to 1992 Cafferty was an anchor for WNYW-TV's Newsline New York and News at 7 on Fox 5. In the 1990s, Cafferty became a business reporter during his 1992-1998 tenure as a News at 10 anchor on New York's local WB-11 network (WPIX-TV).[1]

In the summer of 2005, Cafferty joined The Situation Room, CNN's weekday afternoon newscast and In the money, a weekend show about financial markets and economics, though he was replaced from the latter soon after. Cafferty also formerly co-anchored CNN's weekday morning broadcast, American Morning. On The Cafferty File, his nightly segment on The Situation Room, he offers commentary and personal opinions.

In October 2006, Cafferty hosted a five-part miniseries on CNN titled Broken Government detailing problems with the two political parties, government bureaucracy and the federal court system. Viewer e-mail messages replaced the news crawl that usually appears on the bottom of the screen.

Cafferty has earned many distinctions in his career, including the Edward R. Murrow Award, an Emmy award and the New York Associated Press State Broadcasters Award.[1]

Books

Cafferty is the author of the book It's Getting Ugly Out There: The Frauds, Bunglers, Liars, and Losers Who Are Hurting America, published on September 10, 2007 by John Wiley & Sons.[2] The book is a satirical critique of political and social issues, including the long arm of big business, the Iraq War and Hurricane Katrina, expanding on many of themes covered on Cafferty's Situation Room segment and chastising the growing culture of sensationalism and tabloid journalism in modern news media.[2]

Portions of the book are autobiographical, describing Cafferty's childhood and short-lived military career as well as his foray into journalism. According to Cafferty: "Very little of my back story qualifies as Hallmark Card material, but it may help you to make sense of the way I see and interpret what's going on around me."[2]

Cafferty's second book, entitled Now or Never: Getting Down to the Business of Saving Our American Dream was published by Wiley on March 9, 2009.[3]

Political positions

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Bush Administration

Cafferty initially supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He says he "bought the whole song and dance about WMDs. I was caught up in the national hysteria that followed 9/11, and was captive to the political manipulation, if you will, that took place in all of us."[4] He revised his position when the Downing Street memo was leaked in 2005 and has since become a harsh critic of the administration.

On the Iraq War, Cafferty stated, "The Bush administration used 9/11 as an excuse to start the war in Iraq. People make a lot of money during wartime — $600 billion we've spent there so far — and a lot of that money has gone to friends of the administration, and of course there is all that oil. I don't think for a single second there was anything honorable about the decision to invade a sovereign country. They had nothing to do with 9/11 and had done nothing to the United States. But hey... what do I know?"[5]

On February 15, 2006, when Fox News Channel commentator Brit Hume interviewed Vice-President Dick Cheney after he had shot Harry Whittington in a hunting accident, Cafferty remarked, "I would guess it didn't exactly represent a profile in courage for the vice-president to wander over there to the F-word network for a sitdown with Brit Hume. I mean, that's a little like Bonnie interviewing Clyde, ain't it?"[6] As this is a common euphemism used at CNN to refer to Rupert Murdoch's network, Cafferty later clarified: "Get your mind out of the gutter. The F-word is Fox."[6]

Cafferty was reprimanded by the president of CNN when he called Donald Rumsfeld "an obnoxious jerk and war criminal" on the eve of the 2006 midterm election.[7] He made an on-air acknowledgment of having "stepped over the line," but later told the interviewer, "I will go to my grave as Jack Cafferty, private citizen, believing that these people committed war crimes."[7]

On August 19, 2008, he wrote an article comparing John McCain to George W. Bush, concluding that "I fear to the depth of my being that John McCain is just like him."[8]

U.S. Democratic Party

Cafferty repeatedly accuses the Democratic Party of failing to honor their campaign promises to end the Iraq War: "The Democrats were handed a golden opportunity to challenge President Bush on the war when they were given control of Congress in the midterm elections in 2006. So far they have done absolutely nothing."[5] Cafferty once stated that "It seems the Democrats are the greatest thing the Republicans have going for them sometimes."[5] When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that Republicans were using fillibuster tactics to block measures to withdraw American troops from Iraq, Cafferty declared: "Balogna, Madam Speaker. Appropriations bills for the war must pass the House of Representatives by a simple majority. It is completely within your power to stop the funding of the war in Iraq. You have simply chosen not to do so. In fact, I did a little homework. The Speaker of the House of Representatives decides which pieces of legislation even come to the floor of the House debate and/or a vote."[9]

Controversial remarks

Cafferty's outspoken and provocative style of commentary has on occasion led to public outcry. Though he acknowledges his habit of "saying some pretty outrageous stuff," Cafferty has characterized this as part of his job description: "I get paid to ask questions I don't know the answers to and to complain about the things that bother me."[2]

Middle East

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee has accused Cafferty of having a "simplistic"[10] view of the Middle East. Cafferty courted controversy on September 23, 2004 while discussing terrorist demands for the release of two female scientists from an Iraqi prison and remarking: "Given the way these mutants treat women in their societies, the women are probably better off in U.S. custody. They treat women like furniture in those countries. If I was a woman, I think I’d rather be in an American jail cell than I would be living with one of those, whatever they are over there."[10]

On November 17, 2004, touching on the kidnapping and murder of the Wall Street Journal's South Asia Bureau Chief Daniel Pearl, Cafferty remarked: "The Arab World is where innocent people are kidnapped, blindfolded, tied up, tortured and beheaded, and then videotape of all of this is released to the world as though they’re somehow proud of their barbarism. Somehow, I wouldn’t be too concerned about the sensitivity of the Arab world. They don’t seem to have very much. It’s going to come down to them or us."[10] The next day the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee accused Cafferty of "hateful rhetoric" and stated that he had "a history of insensitive remarks towards many minority groups".[10]

China

On the April 9, 2008 broadcast of CNN's The Situation Room, asked to comment on the the United States' relationship with China, Cafferty responded: "I think they're basically the same bunch of goons and thugs they've been for the last 50 years".[11] The Legal Immigrant Association started an online petition calling for a formal apology, indicating that Cafferty's rant was anti-Chinese and has had the effect of exacerbating negative attitudes held by Americans toward Chinese and Chinese Americans. On the April 14, 2008 broadcast of CNN's Situation Room, Jack Cafferty clarified his remarks: "Last week, during a discussion of the controversy surrounding China's hosting of the Olympic Games, I said that the Chinese are basically the same bunch of goons and thugs they have been for the last 50 years. I was referring to the Chinese government, and not to Chinese people or to Chinese Americans."[12] CNN issued a controversial apology on April 14, to "anyone who has interpreted the comments to be causing offense."[13] Not satisfied with CNN's response, several thousand demonstrators picketed CNN's Atlanta, Georgia[14] and Hollywood offices and demanded that CNN remove him from the network.[15]

A protest was held on April 26, 2008 in front of CNN headquarters in Atlanta.[16] On the same day, a few thousand Chinese and Chinese Americans protested in front of a CNN office in San Francisco. [17] [18]

On May 15, 2008, according to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang, CNN President Jim Walton sent a letter to Zhou Wenzhong, Chinese ambassador to the United States: "On behalf of CNN I'd like to apologize to the Chinese people for that. CNN has the highest respect for Chinese people around the world and we have no doubt that there was genuine offense felt by them over the Jack Cafferty commentary."[19] CNN, however, denies that an apology to the Chinese government was ever made, stating that it was meant for the Chinese people alone.

Reckless driving incident

Cafferty pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and misdemeanor charges of reckless driving, assault and harassment after striking a cyclist and knocking him off his bike on May 14, 2003. The bicyclist was slightly injured. A traffic officer and several pedestrians ran after Cafferty's car, but he ran at least two red lights without stopping, according to a police complaint. Cafferty was sentenced to a $250 fine and 70 hours of community service.[20]

Personal life

Cafferty was born in Chicago, Illinois. He is a recovering alcoholic, an addiction he later attributed to his father's influence. "I was actually taught to drink, without even realizing what was going on, by my dad," he said.[21]

On the September 5, 2008 episode of The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, it was revealed that Cafferty's wife of 35 years, Carol, had passed away that day, of unknown causes.[22] Cafferty acknowledged on his CNN blog that his wife had been responsible for his decision to quit drinking.[23]

References

  1. ^ a b "Anchors and Reporters". CNN. 10 July 2005. http://edition.cnn.com/CNN/anchors_reporters/cafferty.jack.html.  
  2. ^ a b c d It's Getting Ugly Out There. Wiley. ISBN 9780470144794.  
  3. ^ http://www.amazon.com/Now-Never-Getting-Business-American/dp/0470372303/ref=sr_11_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1239249625&sr=11-1
  4. ^ Howard Kurtz "Reliable Sources" CNN Sept. 16, 2007
  5. ^ a b c "Jack Cafferty Live Chat". Huffington Post. 12 September 2007. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jack-cafferty/livechat-getting-ugly-_b_64117.html.  
  6. ^ a b "Caustic Commentator". The Washington Post. 2006-02-27. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/26/AR2006022601486_2.html.  
  7. ^ a b "CNN's Jack Cafferty Mouths Off". Time Magazine. 15 September 2007. http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1662283,00.html.  
  8. ^ http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/08/18/cafferty.mccain/index.html
  9. ^ THE SITUATION ROOM. September 12, 2007
  10. ^ a b c d "Jack Cafferty In His Own Words". American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. 18 November 2004. http://www.adc.org/index.php?id=2386.  
  11. ^ "The Situation Room". CNN. 2008-04-09. http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0804/09/sitroom.03.html. Retrieved 2008-09-01.  
  12. ^ "The Situation Room". CNN. 2008-04-14. http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0804/14/sitroom.03.html. Retrieved 2008-09-01.  
  13. ^ CNN apologizes to China over 'thugs and goons' comment by Jack Cafferty Alexi Mostrous, Times, April 16, 2008
  14. ^ Protesters target CNN after Jack Cafferty's remarks on China, Los Angeles Times, Retrieved on April 20, 2008.
  15. ^ "Protesters take CNN to task over commentator's China remarks" (2008-04-20)
  16. ^ Chinese protest CNN commentator's critical comments
  17. ^ news.xinhuanet.com
  18. ^ mitbbs.com
  19. ^ Xinhua News Agency, May 15, 2008
  20. ^ Metro Briefing: New York
  21. ^ CNN Veteran Reporter on Life as an Alcoholic. NPR.org. September 24, 2007.
  22. ^ Remembering Carol Cafferty
  23. ^ Cafferty: My battle with alcoholism CNN.com. March 4, 2009.

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Jack Cafferty (born 1942) is a CNN commentator and a host of the weekend financial show In The Money. In the summer of 2005, Cafferty joined The Situation Room, CNN's new weekday afternoon newscast.

"I get paid to ask questions I don't know the answers to and to complain about the things that bother me."[1].


On Brit Hume of Fox News Network interviewing Dick Cheney after he accidentally shooting Harry Whittington: "I would guess it didn't exactly represent a profile in courage for the vice president to wander over there to the F-word network for a sit down with Brit Hume. I mean, that's a little like Bonnie interviewing Clyde, ain't it?"[2]

On November 7, 2006, Cafferty called Donald Rumsfeld "an obnoxious jerk and war criminal".[3]

On the subject of terrorist demands for the release of two female scientists from an Iraqi prison, September 23, 2004: "Given the way these mutants treat women in their societies, the women are probably better off in U.S. custody. They treat women like furniture in those countries. If I was a woman, I think I’d rather be in an American jail cell than I would be living with one of those-whatever they are over there."[4]

On November 17, 2004:"the Arab World is where innocent people are kidnapped, blindfolded, tied up, tortured and beheaded, and then videotape of all of this is released to the world as though they’re somehow proud of their barbarism. Somehow, I wouldn’t be too concerned about the sensitivity of the Arab world. They don’t seem to have very much. It’s going to come down to them or us."[4] The next day the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee accused Cafferty of "hateful rhetoric" and stated that he had "a history of insensitive remarks towards many minority groups".[4]

"Is Anna Nicole Smith still dead?"[3]

On the April 9, 2008 broadcast of CNN's "Situation Room", when asked to comment on the United States' relationship with China, Cafferty responded in reference to the Chinese Government and the Americans Government's political and business relationship: "Well, I don't know if China is any different, but our relationship with China is certainly different. We're in hock to the Chinese up to our eyeballs because of the war in Iraq, for one thing. They're holding hundreds of billions of dollars worth of our paper. We also are running hundred of billions of dollars worth of trade deficits with them, as we continue to import their junk with the lead paint on them and the poisoned pet food and export, you know, jobs to places where you can pay workers a dollar a month to turn out the stuff that we're buying from Wal-Mart. So I think our relationship with China has certainly changed. I think they're basically the same bunch of goons and thugs they've been for the last 50 years".

On the September 26, 2008 broadcast of CNN's "Situation Room", while sitting next to Wolf Blitzer, Cafferty directly highlighted Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin's abysmal interview performance with Katie Couric earlier in the week. Cafferty stated, prior to playing a particularly embarrassing segment of the interview in which Palin stumbles across a murky, confused, ambiguous answer to Couric's query regarding the pending economic bailout package, "There's a reason the McCain campaign keeps Sarah Palin away from the press." After the clip's conclusion, he then went on to say, "...Did you get that? If John McCain wins, this woman will be one 72 year-old's heartbeat away from being president of the United States, and if that doesn't scare the Hell out of you, it should...I'm 65 and have been covering politics as you have [addressing Blitzer] for a long time, and that is one of the most pathetic pieces of tape I have ever seen for someone aspiring to one of the highest offices in this country. That's all I have to say." Blitzer responded in a light-hearted, seemingly forced defense of Palin, stating, "Yeah, but she's cramming a lot of information..." Cafferty interrupted, "There's no excuse for that. She's supposed to know a little bit of this, you know. Don't make excuses for her - that's pathetic." Blitzer replied, "It was not her best answer. I agree with you on that," and the segment came to a close.[5]

Unsourced

  • Given the way these mutants treat women in their societies, the women are probably better off in US custody.
    • on CNN’s Situation Room on Iraqi women prisoners

Notes and references

  1. It's Getting Ugly Out There: The Frauds, Bunglers, Liars, and Losers Who Are Hurting America. Wiley. ISBN 9780470144794.  
  2. "Caustic Commentator", The Washington Post, 27 February 2006.
  3. a b "Cafferty Shows His Love For Rumsfeld", Crooks & Liars, 7 November 2006.
  4. a b c "Jack Cafferty In His Own Words", American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, 18 November 2004.
  5. "Jack Cafferty on Sarah Palin", CNN, 26 September 2208.

External links

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