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By Tom Blumer | February 7, 2015 | 10:48 AM EST

At USA Today Friday afternoon, two of its reporters came down on the side of Brian Williams in the controversy over what even the often media-enabling Associated Press has called his "fake Iraq story."

Roger Yu tried to portray Williams as a victim of a "synergistic stretch" who is now having to defend himself against the "firestorm on the Internet and social media," while Marisol Bello, who covers "breaking news, poverty and urban affairs," wrote that "there are reasons that it's plausible" that "Williams would remember riding in a helicopter that was shot down if he was nowhere near it."

By Tim Graham | February 7, 2015 | 9:52 AM EST

Of all the things written about the Brian Williams affair, this trend is the most hilarious: The Washington Post opining about the validity of false memory.  If this kind of article isn't seen as the most obvious example of journalists circling wagons around a lying colleague, what could be more obvious?

The headline was “The science behind Brian Williams’s mortifying memory flub.” Amy Ellis Nutt insisted Williams wasn’t unusual in lying to make himself look good:

By Craig Bannister | February 7, 2015 | 8:02 AM EST

"Be gone, Brian Williams, from our TV screens," Major Gen. Paul E. Vallely, US Army (ret), told our sister site MRCTV in an exclusive interview regarding NBC’s Brian Williams scandal, in which the news anchor admitted to having fabricated his oft-repeated claim of having been in a U.S. military plane that was shot down.

By Brent Bozell and Tim Graham | February 7, 2015 | 7:12 AM EST

Mike Huckabee, the once and future presidential candidate, is somehow controversial for attacking Beyonce and her gangsta-rap husband Jay-Z in his new book God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy. Beyonce is one of the most popular singers in America, and Huckabee acknowledges that. But pollsters are distorting his book.

Conservative politicians aren’t really allowed to condemn the crudest excesses of popular culture. The Obamas can be best friends with Jay-Z and Beyonce and never face any scrutiny for their parenting, which is always presumed to be fantastic. 

By Tim Graham | February 6, 2015 | 10:04 PM EST

The New York Post reports that just like that, Rosie O’Donnell has jumped ship at “The View” again, after less than half a year. O’Donnell is splitting with second “wife” Michelle Rounds and wants to focus on her children.

Rosie’s representative Cindi Berger confirmed the breakup, as well O’Donnell’s departure from “The View,” in a statement Friday night: “I can confirm that Rosie and her wife Michelle split in November. Rosie has teens and an infant at home that need her attention.

By Randy Hall | February 6, 2015 | 5:04 PM EST

During Friday's edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe program, co-host Joe Scarborough fired back at President Barack Obama's comment that Christians and members of other faiths should not get on their “high horses” regarding Islamic violence given their own religions’ misdeeds in the past, including the Crusades and the Inquisition.

“It's unbelievable,” he noted, that the president had to “go back 700, 800, 900 years” to find an example of Christian extremism. “You see this when you have people” who want to say: “Yes, radical Islam is bad, but look at what Christianity does.”

By Geoffrey Dickens | February 6, 2015 | 4:36 PM EST

With Brian Williams’ reputation now tarnished by his Iraq war tall-tales it’s going to be awfully awkward for NBC News to allow him to cover any stories involving public figures caught in lies. At the very least his days of “precinct captain for” NBC’s “Truth Squad” are probably over. Williams served in that capacity during NBC News’s live coverage of the 2004 presidential and vice presidential debates.

By Curtis Houck | February 6, 2015 | 4:20 PM EST

Following zero coverage on Thursday evening of President Obama drawing a moral equivalency between ISIS and Christians, the networks continued their blackout into a second straight news cycle with no mention of it on any of their Friday morning newscasts. The evening broadcasts of ABC, CBS, and NBC combined to exclude any mention that the President told attendees at the National Prayer Breakfast that acts of terrorism carried out by Islamic extremists are similar to Christianity being the grounds for the Crusades, slavery, and Jim Crow. 

By Scott Whitlock | February 6, 2015 | 3:39 PM EST

According to CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter, "fear" is setting in at NBC as the executives and journalists there worry over the widening "questions" being raised about Brian Williams. 

By P.J. Gladnick | February 6, 2015 | 3:38 PM EST

Notorious DUer, William Rivers Pitt, who along with his TruthOut colleague, Jason Leopold, published a "scoop" nine years ago that Karl Rove had been indicted. That story collapsed but Pitt is back again with yet another "scoop" of equal veracity that TurboTax was hacked. Because this scoop went viral, a representative of TurboTax was forced to post the truth on Pitt's Democatic Underground thread that in fact TurboTax was not hacked.

The sight of Pitt eating crow yet again caused quite a bit of mirth on the Web including even from his fellow DUers who viciously mocked Pitt for posting yet another false "scoop."


By Kyle Drennen | February 6, 2015 | 3:33 PM EST

Appearing on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports on Friday, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd was simultaneously critical and sympathetic toward President Obama while lamenting the commander-in-chief's poor handling of foreign policy: " do get the sense that there is a form of Iraq war syndrome that has impacted the administration here. Where are they doing everything that they want to do or are they only doing what they think they can do under the circumstances just because of the way the Iraq war was impacted so much of the political psyche and their own psyche?"

By Matthew Balan | February 6, 2015 | 3:26 PM EST

MSNBC's resident socialist Lawrence O'Donnell made a whopper of a historical claim on the Thursday edition of his program. In the midst of ripping President Obama's controversial National Prayer Breakfast speech earlier in the day, O'Donnell asserted that "Catholicism was the most murderous force on the face of the Earth for hundreds of years."

By Clay Waters | February 6, 2015 | 2:46 PM EST

A New York Times military correspondent filed a useful story on the problem of military veterans being stereotyped as violent and troubled on movies and TV. But what about when the Times was guilty of doing the same thing on its Sunday front page, smearing veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan as killers on "a cross-country trail of death and heartbreak"?

By Tim Graham | February 6, 2015 | 1:31 PM EST

The New York Times caught up to Thursday’s Washington Post and put the Brian Williams phony-RPG scandal on the front page on Friday. This surely explains how ABC and CBS were shamed into acknowledging this was real on TV on Friday morning.

“With Apology, Williams Digs Himself Deeper” was the Times headline, and the story continued onto page B-8, which was entirely dedicated to the Williams scandal. Inside the pull quote was “Some have called for Brian Williams to quit over his story of being fired on in Iraq.”

By Claire Chretien | February 6, 2015 | 12:57 PM EST

A handy review of media critics who have been speaking out against Brian Williams, most of whom are also politically liberal.