UPDATE: CNN responds (see below)
To stand or not to stand — that is the question that CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Piers Morgan struggled with for all of the presentation of the colors, the Pledge of Allegiance and half of “The Star-Spangled Banner” on the closing night of last week’s Republican National Convention.
A recently uploaded YouTube video shows “The Situation Room” anchor and the host of “Piers Morgan Tonight” sitting throughout those events, as they were jeered and heckled by attendees at the convention to stand, initially waving off those calls until finally standing at the halfway point of the anthem.
One photo taken by Alabama alternate delegate Terry Lathan shows Fox News Channel “Special Report” host Bret Baier and former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain flanked alongside Blitzer and Morgan standing with each of their hands over their hearts as Baier’s CNN colleagues remain sitting.
Although the demands of live television may not have allowed the CNN anchors to stand, a review of the CNN broadcast from last Thursday shows the network aired most of the national anthem performance by the group SEVEN. And neither Blitzer nor Morgan were anchoring the coverage. Instead, “AC 360” host Anderson Cooper was live at that moment in the broadcast.
Lathan, an eyewitness at the Tampa Forum, told The Daily Caller that after Morgan was pressured by some of the attendees to stand for the anthem by a smattering of boos, he actually attempted to stand, but was met with resistance from Blitzer who placed a hand on Morgan’s arm.
“I see it as a window into what Mr. Blitzer thinks,” she said. “He not only disrespected our nation’s flag and anthem, he then only stood under pressure from delegates. That’s very telling and not in a good way.”
Another eyewitness, Brooklyn Burgess Roberts of the Alabama delegation, wrote of the incident on her Facebook page:
“FYI…Wolf Blitzer and the rest of the CNN staff didn’t stand for the Pledge of Allegiance or the National Anthem…shameful. They are right in front of our alt section.”
The incident was also noted by Adam Nagourney, the Los Angeles bureau chief for The New York Times, who tweeted it.
At the convention. delegates are shouting “Stand Up” to Wolf Blitzer and other TV people seated onlive shot duringStar Spangled Banner.
— adam nagourney (@adamnagourney) August 30, 2012
The issue of how the cable networks covering the convention should handle their broadcast during the national anthem has been one that other cable outlets have been struggling with as well. However, neither Blitzer, Morgan nor representatives from CNN have yet to respond on the record to The Daily Caller’s queries about the incident.
UPDATE: A CNN spokeswoman offered the following statement one hour after publication:
“CNN’s anchors stood during the National Anthem as soon as their cables were disconnected and they were able to do so. The premise of this story is wrong and the Daily Caller knows it.”