<div style="float: right"><object width="240" height="194"><param name="movie" value="http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/eyeblast.swf?v=Gd6UZuZukU&c1=0x2536AA&... name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/eyeblast.swf?v=Gd6UZuZukU&c1=0x2536AA&... type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="240" height="194"></embed></object></div>"The clergy should stay off Capitol Hill," MSNBC's Chris Matthews flatly declared on the November 10 "Hardball." Matthews fumed with disgust as Politico's Jonathan Allen told him that Catholic bishops lobbied Democrats to pass the pro-life Stupak Amendment to the Democratic health care reform bill last week. <p>"I understand the [pro-life] argument" that the bishops brought to the table, Matthews added, but huffed that they should not "show up" on the Hill.</p><p>After the commercial break, Matthews took to the air again to clarify that it was not in fact bishops but staffers with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) who lobbied the Democrats. Such a distinction, he insisted, was important.</p><p>The relevant transcript follows [MP3 audio <a href="http://media.eyeblast.org/newsbusters/static/2009/11/2009-11-10-MSNBC-HB... target="_blank">available here</a>]:</p><blockquote>
Ken Shepherd lives in New Carrollton, Md., with his wife, Laura, and children Mercy and Abraham. Ken graduated cum laude from the University of Maryland in 2001 with a Bachelors of Arts in Government & Politics and a citation in Public Leadership.
Ken has worked full-time for the Media Research Center since May 2001 and prior to that was an MRC New Analysis Division intern from October 1998 to May 2001.
In his spare time, Ken enjoys karaoke, tennis, reading, and discussing theology or politics.
<p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1933859555/ref=s9_simz_gw_s1_p14_t1?pf_... target="_blank"><img src="http://media.eyeblast.org/newsbusters/static/2009/11/rendezvousdestinyco... vspace="3" width="164" align="right" border="0" height="239" hspace="3" /></a>Earlier today I had the pleasure of attending the weekly <a href="http://thebloggersbriefing.com/" target="_blank">blogger's briefing hosted by the Heritage Foundation</a>. Conservative activist and public relations consultant Craig Shirley was the featured guest, and he spoke about his new book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1933859555/ref=s9_simz_gw_s1_p14_t1?pf_... target="_blank">"Rendezvous with Destiny: Ronald Reagan and the Campaign That Changed America."</a></p><p>Shirley noted the remarkable parallels between the Republican Party that Reagan and the conservative movement revitalized in the late 1970s and early 1980s with the situation facing conservatives today. </p><p>Then as now liberal Democrats claimed the presidency and liberal ideology seemed ascendant following the tenure of Republican presidents who expanded the size and scope of government (Nixon) and/or were inept (Ford). Now as in the late 1970s, it is conservatives standing outside the establishment who can be the revitalizing and reforming force for the GOP and more importantly the country. </p><p>During a roughly 30-minute Q&A session, Shirley answered a series of questions from bloggers in attendance, and shared among other things the following observations:</p>
<div style="float: right"><object width="240" height="194"><param name="movie" value="http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/eyeblast.swf?v=Gd6U2GQu8z&c1=0x4E22B3&... name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/eyeblast.swf?v=Gd6U2GQu8z&c1=0x4E22B3&... allowfullscreen="true" width="240" height="194"></embed></object></div>Insisting that her opinion was not influenced by her views on abortion, MSNBC's Dr. Nancy Snyderman went on a tear shortly after 12:30 p.m. EST on her November 9 "Dr. Nancy" program, denouncing the "infuriating" Stupak Amendment to the Democratic health care bill passed on Saturday. <p>That amendment, named for <a href="http://nrlc.www.capwiz.com/nrlc/bio/id/312" target="_blank">pro-life Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak (D)</a> would bar private insurance plans sold in the bill's publicly-subsidized insurance exchange from covering abortion. [audio <a href="http://media.eyeblast.org/newsbusters/static/2009/11/2009-11-09-MSNBC-Dr... target="_blank">available here</a>]</p><p>As a consequence, women seeking to have insurance pay for abortion procedures under the would need to pay out-of-pocket for additional coverage for abortion procedures.</p><p>Snyderman hinted that she was annoyed that pro-life Democrats even thought it necessary to press for the Stupak Amendment in the first place. After all, Snyderman complained to MSNBC correspondent Kelly O'Donnell, she and her colleagues at MSNBC had done their level best for months to calm fears of pro-lifers about ObamaCare:</p><blockquote>
<p>Saturday's vote to pass ObamaCare out of the House of Representatives was a nail-biter, passing with two votes to spare over the bare-minimum majority of 218. The final vote, 220-215, had 39 Democrats join all but one Republican in voting no.</p><p>Yet while a solid 15 percent of the Democratic caucus bucked the party leadership with their no votes, the media have latched on to the sole Republican defector: pro-life, social conservative Catholic Rep. Joseph Cao (R-La.), who has a tenuous hold in a solidly liberal Democratic district once held by the corrupt William Jefferson. </p><p>Time's Jay Newton-Small <a href="http://swampland.blogs.time.com/2009/11/07/one-gop-vote/" target="_blank">made much of the solitary Republican defection</a> in Swampland blog post on Saturday, painting it as an abject failure of House GOP Whip Eric Cantor's "promise" to keep the opposition unified. Newton-Small had to add an update later clarifying Cantor made no such explicit promise:</p><div class="artTxt" style="line-height: 135%"> <div class="snap_preview"><blockquote>
<p>Each Saturday, the Washington Post prints an "On Faith" page in the Metro section. Part of the feature is a "From the panel" digest with a few excerpts from opinion leaders from various faiths and theological schools of thought. "On Faith" editors select a sampling of the panelists for the print digest but direct readers to the "On Faith" Web page for more opinions.</p><p>Well today, the<a href="http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/2009/11/end-of-life_care/all.... target="_blank"> panel discussion topic</a> was the role of "end-of-life counseling" in health care reform. The Post had space to print but four panelists, and surprise, surprise, they were all for "end-of-life counseling" as an integral part of federal health care reform. </p><p>One panelist, Robert Parham of the Baptist Center for Ethics, even took it upon himself to slam the "shameful" "political deception" of "Sarah Palin, the Christian Right and many Republicans who have tried to sabotage healt-care reform with the canard of 'death panels.'" </p><p>Yet not all On Faith panelists were in agreement with this sentiment, such as conservative evangelical Christian Chuck Colson, who was not excerpted in print but made an excellent conservative case in his post on the On Faith page, published yesterday at 9:36 a.m. EST:</p><blockquote>
<p>Word choice can be a subtle but effective way in which the media colorfully editorialize on the news, skewing the perceptions of readers in one direction or another. Take Washington Post's Philip Rucker, who did masterful job in skewing his 19-paragaph-long page A4 story <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/05/AR200911... target="_blank">"Activists bring 'tea party' to Capitol Hill"</a> in favor of ObamaCare proponents while smearing conservatives in a negative light. </p><p>Rucker's labeling bias was a thread woven through the entire piece, starting with the lead paragraph (emphasis mine):</p><blockquote>
<p>An openly gay city council candidate is targeted by malicious campaign literature suggesting he may be a pedophile and subsequently loses his bid for alderman.</p><p>It's the type of story highlighting bigotry and homophobia that the mainstream media would love to trumpet and it happened just days ago in the 2009 city elections in Annapolis, Md. </p><p>Unfortunately for Scott Bowling, he's a Republican in the liberal capital city of Maryland. </p><p>Aside from coverage in the <a href="http://www.hometownannapolis.com/news/top/2009/11/02-45/Gay-bashing-raci... target="_blank">Annapolis Capital </a>and the <a href="http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/local/politics/2009/11/annapolis_al... target="_blank">Baltimore Sun's Maryland Politics blog</a>, a Google News search and Nexis searches of the AP wire, major newspapers, and network transcripts revealed no coverage of the story in the mainstream media: </p><blockquote>
<p>Today's Metro section front-pager by Washington Post's Amy Gardner -- <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/04/AR200911... target="_blank">"McDonnell team rose to challenge in darkest hour"</a> -- reminded me of <a href="http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Anchorman:_The_Legend_of_Ron_Burgundy" target="_blank">a line</a> from "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" </p> <p>"From deep down in my stomach, with every inch of me, I pure, straight hate you. But g*d***it, do I respect you!" seethes rival TV station anchor Wes Mantooth (Vince Vaughn) to Burgundy (Will Ferrell). </p><p>The Washington Post hatefully <a href="/blogs/scott-whitlock/2009/09/09/wapo-expands-quest-torpedo-mcdonnell-12-hit-pieces-11-days" target="_blank">threw all it had </a>at making <a href="/blogs/scott-whitlock/2009/10/19/wapo-shocks-no-one-endorses-va-dem-paper-has-been-boosting-months" target="_blank">the "thesis issue"</a> a career killer for McDonnell, who went on to <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/11/03/politics/politicalhotsheet/entry... target="_blank">win 54 percent of the women's vote</a> in Tuesday election. But looking back, Post staffer Amy Gardner gave readers a look into how the McDonnell campaign hunkered down, stuck with a disciplined message, and thwarted the paper's scheme to "macaca" McDonnell:</p><blockquote>
<p><b>Update/Clarification [Nov. 10]: </b><i>This issue is muddied a bit by redistricting and its effects on the geography of congressional representation. <a href="http://www.swingstateproject.com/diary/5072/amazing-political-history-of... target="_blank">Swing State Project in June 2009</a> noted that "Almost two-thirds of the population of the current district (62%) live in territory" in the New York 23rd "that has not elected a Democrat since 1890 or earlier." However, a sizable part of the district (38%) includes parts of counties that as late as 1976 and 1978 voted Democratic in congressional races.</i></p><p>If you've heard it once, you've heard it 1,000 times: the New York 23rd Congressional District (NY-23) has had a Republican incumbent since the 1870s. It's a helpful talking point for mainstream media types bent on portraying the Hoffman loss in the district last night as evidence of how the Republican mainstream has moved away from conservatism. </p><p>The only trouble with the talking point is it is patently false and the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/1990/09/14/obituaries/samuel-s-stratton-73-former... target="_blank">New York Times can prove it.</a> (h/t EyeBlast.tv's Stephen Gutowski) </p><p>From the 1990 obituary for one Samuel Stratton:</p><blockquote>
<p><a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/04/AR200911... target="_blank"><img src="http://media.eyeblast.org/newsbusters/static/2009/11/2009-11-04-WaPo-GOP... vspace="3" width="299" align="right" border="0" height="137" hspace="3" /></a>This afternoon, the Washington Post's Web site offers readers two looks at how the Democrats and the GOP will proceed following the 2009 elections, but, surprise, surprise, the paper only forsees internecine squabbles for the GOP.</p><p><a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/04/AR200911... target="_blank">"Republicans revel in wins but ideological fissures loom,"</a> the headline to Washington Post staffer Philip Rucker and Perry Bacon's news piece filed at 2:30 p.m. EST today. On the other side of the coin, the Post offered an "analysis" piece from Dan Balz published shortly after 10 a.m. today that posits that the "<a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/03/AR200911... target="_blank">Contests serve as warning to Democrats: It's not 2008 anymore."</a></p><p>Even before delving into the content of the articles, it's clear by the labeling that the Post sees the GOP's pending "ideological fissures" as a matter of objective news reporting, while the Democratic postmortem is a matter of informed "analysis," not hard news.</p><p>For their part, Rucker and Bacon aimed, like others in the mainstream media -- click <a href="/blogs/clay-waters/2009/11/04/nyt-gop-ripping-itself-apart-year-elections-dont-matter-unless-dems-win" target="_blank">here</a>, <a href="/blogs/scott-whitlock/2009/11/04/abc-s-stephanopoulos-spins-ny-23-big-loss-sarah-palin-hits-gop-civil" target="_blank">here</a>, and <a href="/blogs/carolyn-plocher/2009/11/04/cbs-nbc-go-palin-bashing-gop-lowest-point-history" target="_blank">here</a> -- to gin up an ominous narrative for the GOP party-wide from the New York 23rd congressional district saga:</p><blockquote>
<p>President Barack Obama's 2008 popular vote victory, <a href="http://www.fec.gov/pubrec/fe2008/2008presgeresults.pdf" target="_blank">roughly 53% of the electorate</a>, should be considered "narrow" in retrospect, perhaps.</p><p> After all, ABC News editors consider a similar margin of victory for same-sex marriage opponents in Maine last night to be "narrow."</p><p>The headline and subheader for Devin Dwyer's November 4 story:</p>
<div style="float: right"><object width="240" height="194"><param name="movie" value="http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/eyeblast.swf?v=Gd6U6USUuz&c1=0x382E8E&... name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/eyeblast.swf?v=Gd6U6USUuz&c1=0x382E8E&... allowfullscreen="true" width="240" height="194"></embed></object></div>"A test that uses a <b>single indicator</b> to prompt a decision."<p>That's how the <a href="http://www.thefreedictionary.com/litmus+test" target="_blank">American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language</a> defines "litmus test" when it's used as a political metaphor (emphasis mine). </p><p>That makes no difference to MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell and Joe Scarborough, who see a new "litmus test" for the GOP developing out of the New York 23rd Congressional District special election.</p><p>Scarborough, appearing with Mitchell on MSNBC shortly after 1:15 p.m. EST, slammed potential 2012 presidential hopeful Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.) for arguing earlier today on his "Morning Joe" program that there's no room in the GOP for what may be called "Dede Scozzafava Republicans" who are far [left] afield from the Republican mainstream.</p>
<p><a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/11/03/politics/politicalhotsheet/entry... target="_blank"><img src="http://media.eyeblast.org/newsbusters/static/2009/11/2009-11-03-CBSNews-... vspace="3" width="228" align="right" border="0" height="111" hspace="3" /></a>"Should Anti-Gay Rights Petition Signers Be Exposed?" asked <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/11/03/politics/politicalhotsheet/entry... target="_blank">a teaser headline</a> [screencap shown at right] on CBSNews.com's front page.</p><p>"Hot Topic: Battle Rages in Washington State over Privacy of Petition Signers" the subheader read. </p><p>While the November 3 article itself by staffer Brian Montopoli was balanced -- giving room for a social conservative activist to defend keeping the names and addresses of signatories of the Referendum 71 petition from being made public -- the headline sets the tone for readers to see pro-traditional marriage backers in Washington State as folks motivated to deprive fellow citizens of their "rights."</p><p>So what does Referendum 71 actually do? According to Montopoli:</p>
<p>If Democrats get a spanking at the polls today, it's not because American voters are trending conservative or are frustrated with the direction liberal Democrats are leading the country, but because the electorate's disdain for the former Bush administration has abated.</p><p>That according to liberal PBS "To the Contrary" host and U.S. News contributing editor Bonnie Erbe.</p><p>From her <a href="http://www.usnews.com/blogs/erbe/2009/11/02/waning-anti-bush-sentiment-f... target="_blank">November 2 blog post</a> (emphasis mine):</p><blockquote>
<div style="float: right"><embed src="http://cnettv.cnet.com/av/video/cbsnews/atlantis2/player-dest.swf" flashvars="linkUrl=http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=5464653n&releaseURL=http://cn... allowfullscreen="true" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" width="212" height="162"></embed><br /></div>Perhaps hopped up on the nutritious goodness of <a href="http://www2.kelloggs.com/Product/ProductDetail.aspx?product=579" target="_blank">Mueslix</a>, CBS "Evening News" anchor Katie Couric took to her <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/11/02/couricandco/entry5495342.shtml?t... target="_blank">Notebook vlog on Friday</a> to nag parents about the need to keep their kids away from the siren song of sugary cereals (transcript hers):<blockquote><p>Froot Loops, Cookie Crisp, Reese's Puffs - I almost got a cavity just reading that. Yet, they're the kinds of sugary cereals children beg for at the grocery store. <br /><br />The boxes and T-V ads usually have a colorful cartoon character on them. But, one group of researchers is not amused. <br />
"Couple mix Christian and pagan rituals" the teaser headline called out to me at the bottom of the page A1 of the November 2 edition of the Washington Post. Promising a look at a couple "celebrat[ing] the rites of marriage in a most unorthodox fashion," I turned to the Style section front page to read more.
But what followed in Ellen McCarthy's "For heathens' sake" only confirmed when it comes to religion, particularly orthodox Christianity, the media just don't get it.
McCarthy's feature made abundantly clear to any orthodox Christian reader than the cermony she witnessed was 100 percent pagan. The only tenuous claim to Christian influence in the ceremony presided over by a "black-robed high priest and priestess" was the use of the "Christian" ritual of the "unity candle" and the fact that the bride, raised Catholic, has not "formally dedicated herself to the [pagan] religion but now refers to herself as a Catholic witch."
Although he spent 14 paragraphs fleshing out all the ways that lightning-fast (25 mph) $19,000 retail-priced Wheego Whip LSV is "a tough sell" to readers in the nation's capital region, Washington Post auto columnist Warren Brown concluded his November 1 review by hailing the electric car as a ride "meant for visionaries."
That's right, although the Wheego is a puny two-seater that gets an average 40 miles per full charge, and its range could be "negatively affected by" things like uphill driving, listening to the radio, and cold weather, the Wheego is really important as a multi-thousand dollar way of telling the world you're forward-thinking:
<p>No bias, just a Joe Biden moment. </p><p><span class="description"><span id="ctl00_placeholderMain_lblSubtitle">FNC's Geraldo Rivera inadvertently called Barack Obama "President Osama bin Laden" on the October 30 "Fox & Friends" program.</span></span> </p><p>The video's embedded below the page break. Enjoy (h/t NB commenter Blonde):</p><p> </p><p> </p>
<p><img src="http://blog.beliefnet.com/foundingfaith/imgs/stevewaldman.jpg" align="right" border="0" height="171" hspace="3" vspace="3" width="125" />Steve Waldman, the "founding soul of Beliefnet" and a former Newsweek reporter and US News & World Report editor is now spinning through the revolving door into the Obama FCC, reports <a href="http://content.usatoday.com/communities/Religion/post/2009/10/beliefnet-... target="_blank">Cathy Lynn Grossman of USA Today</a>:</p><blockquote><p>Steven Waldman, founder, editor and leading political blogger of Beliefnet.com, the nation's top Internet spirituality site, is leaving for a post in the Obama administration.</p><p>He's posted a farewell letter on his blog calling this "the most difficult (and surreal) post I've had to write" as he departs to become senior adviser to new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Julius Genachowski.</p></blockquote><p>Grossman's brief October 28 Faith & Reason blog post failed to mention Waldman's stint in the Clinton administration, but then again Waldman's <a href="http://www.beliefnet.com/News/Blog-Story-Pages/About-Steven-Waldman.aspx" target="_blank">Beliefnet blogger bio page </a>also leaves out his work <a href="http://www.dlc.org/ndol_ci.cfm?contentid=1448&kaid=115&subid=145" target="_blank">as senior advisor to the CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service</a> -- the bureaucracy that runs AmeriCorps -- during the Clinton administration.</p>