- Television broadcaster with CNN
- Admirer of Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama
Wolf Blitzer was born in Augsburg, Germany on March 22, 1948. His parents were Polish Jews who had survived the Holocaust. Raised in Buffalo, New York, Blitzer received a BA in history from the University at Buffalo in 1970, and an MA in international relations from Johns Hopkins University in 1972. He also studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Blitzer began his journalism career in 1972 in the Reuters news agency's Tel Aviv bureau. The following year he was hired as a Washington correspondent for the Jerusalem Post, where he stayed until 1990. In the mid-1970s, Blitzer also edited the Near East Report, AIPAC's monthly publication.
In May 1990 Blitzer took a job as a military-affairs reporter with CNN, where has been employed ever since. From 1992-99 he served as the network's White House correspondent; from 1999-2009 he hosted its Sunday-morning interview program Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer; from December 2000 to August 2005 he anchored the show Wolf Blitzer Reports; and since August 8, 2005, he has hosted an afternoon/early evening program titled The Situation Room. Blitzer currently earns a salary of some $2 million per year.
Covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina on September 1, 2005, Blitzer, implying that the Bush administration may have been slow to aid the storm's victims because they were disproportionately African Americans, noted that “tragically, so many of these people—almost all of them that we see—are so poor and they are so black, and this is going to raise lots of questions for people who are watching this story unfold.”
In February 2008, Blitzer, lamenting that “there's still plenty of racism out there,” suggested that “if Barack Obama gets the Democratic presidential nomination ... there could be elements of racism that come up from the other [Republican] side”—e.g., in the form of attack ads with racial undertones.
In September 2009, ten months after Obama's election, Blitzer charged that “within the [conservative Tea Party] movement you’re going to find … a very small but vocal minority ... targeting President Obama’s race....” As Blitzer spoke these words on television, the onscreen graphic read: “Racial Tinge to Tea Movement.”
Blitzer admires Obama for a number of qualities, not the least of which is the “oratorical skill” with which he has so often “thrilled” people “around the country.” Following a September 2012 appearance by the president on the David Letterman Show—just days after Obama had egregiously failed to authorize military support for four Americans who were slaughtered by terrorists in a series of attacks against a U.S. diplomatic post and CIA annex in Benghazi—Blitzer exclaimed that Obama “really came across very smooth, very confident, very presidential” and “was really at the top of his game.”
A longtime admirer of both Bill and Hillary Clinton as well, Blitzer in 2012 spoke in glowing terms about their daughter, Chelsea: “I looked at her and I saw in her eyes as I was watching her, she was very impressive. I saw the best of Bill Clinton and the best of Hillary Clinton in Chelsea Clinton. She got the best of her mom, the best of her dad.”
In August 2012 Blitzer was angered by Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's suggestion that Hillary Clinton's closest aide, Huma Abedin, had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Noting that he personally knew Abedin “rather well,” Blitzer claimed that such “ridiculous” suspicions about this “wonderful American patriot” were due chiefly to the fact that she was “Muslim.” “She is not part of a Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy,” Blitzer declared, deriding any concerns that “a distant relative” of hers may have been involved with the Brotherhood in the past. Contrary to Blitzer's assertions, however, Abedin's closest relatives—both of her parents and her brother—were closely linked to the Brotherhood. Moreover, Abedin herself had served 12 years on the board of an Islamic supremacist institute founded by an Al-Qaeda financier who also headed the Muslim World League, a leading Muslim Brotherhood organization.
Blitzer has embraced, to some degree, the leftist narrative about a so-called Republican “war on women.” In November 2011, for example, he took notice of Republican presidential hopeful (and former Godfather's Pizza CEO) Herman Cain's response to a GQ magazine interviewer who had asked specifically: “What can you tell about a man by the type of pizza that he likes?” After Cain replied, lightheartedly, that “a manly man” would not want to eat “a sissy pizza” that was “piled high with vegetables,” Blitzer asked Democratic strategist Donna Brazille if she, as a woman, had a “problem with that” remark. Brazille, in turn, tied Cain's words to a “women's problem” that he allegedly had.
During the 2012 presidential campaign season, Blitzer on numerous occasions emphasized the fact that President Obama's Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, was an exceptionally wealthy man whose efforts to present himself as a “regular guy” were rendered inauthentic by his “rich guy image.”
Shortly after Obama's reelection in November 2012, Blitzer on his CNN program played a montage of several left-leaning comedians—e.g., Stephen Colbert, Jay Leno, David Letterman, and Jon Stewart—mocking Republicans for their defeat.
Three months later, Blitzer gave a warm interview to James Carter IV (grandson of former President Jimmy Carter), who, in an Internet search, had discovered a crucial video of a campaign speech wherein Mitt Romney had referenced the “47 percent” of Americans who allegedly “believe that the government has the responsibility to care for them.” Noting that the video had undoubtedly influenced many voters, Blitzer asked the younger Carter: “How does it make you feel that your grandfather is so proud of what you did?”
In November 2012, Blitzer endorsed President Obama's call for a tax hike on those earning over $250,000 annually, noting that if higher taxes could help the government raise “a billion here and a billion there” in revenues, “after a while you're talking real money.”
Similarly, Blitzer responded to Republican Senator Jim DeMint's assertion that raising taxes on the top 2% of wage earners “doesn’t solve the [budget deficit] problem,” by saying: “Doesn’t solve, but it’s a beginning.” On another occasion, Blitzer warned Republican Congressman Kevin McCarthy that if the GOP were to oppose Obama's tax plan: “Politically speaking, it will appear to a lot of Americans [that] you're simply trying to protect the rich.”
In October 2013, Blitzer challenged Republican Congressman Paul Broun's suggestion that the Affordable Care Act (known colloquially as “Obamacare”) would “destroy America,” as “pretty extreme words.” Further, the broadcaster reminded Broun that Obamacare was “the law of the land” that had been “passed by the House and Senate,” “signed into law by the president,” and approved as “constitutional” by the Supreme Court.
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