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By Tom Blumer | April 14, 2015 | 10:51 PM EDT

Today, the Census Bureau reported that retail sales in March increased by a seasonally adjusted 0.9 percent. While that was the first such positive figure in four months, it was less than the 1.1 percent increase analysts expected, and did little to calm fears that the economy contracted during the first quarter of 2015.

An unbylined report at Bloomberg News and a dispatch from Josh Boak at the Associated Press had sharply differing takes on what the result meant. Longtime readers probably won't have a difficult time guessing who had the bigger set of blinders on. 

By Brent Bozell and Tim Graham | April 14, 2015 | 10:50 PM EDT

In the media, Hillary's Twitter launch on April 12 was received with words like "sleek," "savvy," "trending," "electrifying," and "approachable."  She was packaged by the press exactly as she wanted it: a humble “champion of everyday Americans.”

Compare that to the Ted Cruz launch on March 23. These words framed the introduction: "scary," "dangerous," "slimy," "firebrand," "rigid," "uncompromising," "hardline," "extremist," "flamethrower."

By Tom Johnson | April 14, 2015 | 9:50 PM EDT

The title of a famous essay by Jonathan Swift and that of Tuesday's article by Brian Beutler each starts with “A Modest Proposal.” There are, however, many differences concerning the two pieces. One is that Swift’s was a satire, whereas Beutler’s is a fantasy. Another is that pretty much anyone who somehow took Swift’s proposal seriously would find it horrifying, while Beutler’s suggestion -- that the 2016 Democratic ticket should consist of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama -- will horrify mostly conservatives (and opponents of dynastic politics who already were upset over the prospect of a Hillary v. Jeb race).

By Ken Shepherd | April 14, 2015 | 9:23 PM EDT

There was no way that Chris Matthews was going to let the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's assassination pass without using it as an occasion to slander the GOP as a "Jim Crow"-loving racist party unworthy of the label Party of Lincoln.

By Curtis Houck | April 14, 2015 | 9:06 PM EDT

On Tuesday night, ABC and NBC made no mention of a congressional hearing that took place earlier in the day addressing a scandal unveiled in a Department of Justice (DOJ) report that said Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents in Colombia had participated in sex parties over a multi-year period funded by American taxpayers and the very drug cartels they were fighting.

By Mark Finkelstein | April 14, 2015 | 8:38 PM EDT

You're a TV show host, and your guest has just suggested he'd like to "do" something to a sitting US senator such that he doesn't even want to describe it on air. Think you might challenge him about it?

Not if you're Ed Schultz.  On this evening's Ed Show, renegade "Republican" Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell and a big supporter of President Obama's Iran deal, was complaining about Democrats who have questioned the deal.  According to Wilkerson, the problem is people who are too "enamored about the State of Israel." Singling out Chuck Schumer, Wilkerson says "you've got guys like Chuck Schumer, whom I'd like to -- I won't say what I'd like to do to Chuck."

By Matthew Balan | April 14, 2015 | 5:44 PM EDT

CNN's Chris Cuomo played defense for the Obama administration on Tuesday's New Day as he interviewed Senator Bob Corker on his proposed legislation to "give Congress a say on the Iran deal," as the anchor put it. Cuomo wondered, "How can they negotiate a deal if the Iran side of the table says – well, you really can't give me any assurances, because you have to go to your Congress after this? You know, that's a big...set of handcuffs."

By Ken Shepherd | April 14, 2015 | 5:34 PM EDT

Thinking they're on to an aha moment, catching Louisiana's Republican governor in gross hypocrisy, today hits Bobby Jindal for refusing to release some work emails. 

By Kyle Drennen | April 14, 2015 | 4:56 PM EDT

After NBC devoted three full segments and over seven minutes of air time to promoting Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign at the top of Monday's Today, the network morning show offered another full segment at the top of the 7:30 a.m. ET half hour fawning over the 2016 contender, with co-host Matt Lauer proclaiming: "Let us begin this half hour, though, with more on Hillary Clinton's second run for the White House and what we can expect from her family this time around."

By Scott Whitlock | April 14, 2015 | 4:24 PM EDT

As though they were teenage girls chasing after the Beatles, journalists on Tuesday excitedly chased after Hillary Clinton and her "Scooby van." MSNBC kept vigil, waiting for a 2016 campaign event. Reporter Alex Seitz-Wald gushed, "We can see the motorcade approaching right now... We see the Scooby van, the famous Scooby van is coming down the road right now towards our set up now!" 

By Tom Blumer | April 14, 2015 | 4:13 PM EDT

Journalists' and leftists' (but I repeat myself) misguided love for Cuba goes back decades. Y'know, free healthcare (cough), yada-yada.

Now that President Obama is unilaterally changing the relationship between the two nations, and as usual getting nothing in return, you'd think that they'd be happy. Heck no. It started several months ago when Fox News's Shepard Smith fretted about how a thaw in U.S.-Cuban relations might "ruin the place," and has been echoed in many quarters since then. Early today, CNN International went over the top, essentially communicating in one picture their concern that the changed situation will "ruin" what has already been ruined:

By Kyle Drennen | April 14, 2015 | 4:08 PM EDT

On Tuesday afternoon, MSNBC laughably touted an eight-second exchange with Hillary Clinton by White House correspondent Kristen Welker as an "exclusive interview." During the 1 p.m. ET hour of his show, anchor Thomas Roberts excitedly told viewers: "Want to go back to Iowa where I just mentioned that we have this new exclusive NBC video of Hillary Clinton out on the stump there in Iowa. And our correspondent Kristen Welker talked with Clinton exclusively."

By P.J. Gladnick | April 14, 2015 | 4:02 PM EDT

Wow! How original! Hillary Clinton is taking a trip in a van to Iowa. That pretty much describes the attitude of Meet The Press host Chuck Todd in reaction to Hillary Clinton's "Scooby Doo" van. Chuck tweeted about the supposed spontaneity of  such an "original" idea, completely forgetting the brutal reality as we shall see. As a result, poor Chuck was widely mocked in reaction.

By Kristine Marsh | April 14, 2015 | 3:40 PM EDT

The media are whining after a contentious interview with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie last week and an earlier one with CNBC’s Kelly Evans, that Rand Paul is the new "sexist" GOP candidate. On April 14’s Today show anchor Hoda Kotb asked Paul’s wife, Kelley, what was “going through her mind” while watching the contentious interview with Savannah Guthrie last Wednesday. 

By Scott Whitlock | April 14, 2015 | 3:19 PM EDT

According to ABC's Cokie Roberts, hints that Hillary Clinton may be unlikable can be traced back to sexism. The veteran journalist appeared on Good Morning America, Tuesday, to promote her new book, but the conversation veered into a discussion of 2016. Citing an unnamed poll, Roberts referenced "research that shows that a woman who is strong and powerful is seen as not friendly and empathetic."