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By Mark Finkelstein | October 20, 2014 | 9:48 AM EDT

Tart-tongued Tina Brown is at it again. On today's Morning Joe, seeking to explain why Republicans are doing surprisingly well with women voters this year, Brown said: "they had their rabies shots."

Brown was responding to a Politico article reporting that President Obama is under water with women voters, and that this is spilling over into Senate races. In Colorado, for example, a poll shows Republican Cory Gardner leading Dem Mark Udall by nine points among women. And even Alison Lundergan Grimes [who may or may not have voted for Barack Obama], only leads among women by two.  Brown's ugly metaphor was her way of saying that Republicans have had better message discipline and have avoided the kind of "legitimate rape" gaffes that doomed candidates in previous cycles.

By Rich Noyes | October 20, 2014 | 8:40 AM EDT

With the first confirmed cases of Ebola in America, CNN's Van Jones urges Democrats to exploit the issue: "We've got to get our base going....This Ebola thing is the best argument you can make for the kind of government that we believe in." But when Republicans criticize the Obama administration's response, journalists sneer. "This is the politics of fear. It's irresponsible," chastised MSNBC's Craig Melvin.

By Mark Finkelstein | October 20, 2014 | 8:28 AM EDT

Don't know what Dorian Warren's been smoking, but we can guess what he's been reading: Rolling Stone, and in particular a recent column in which Paul Krugman claims that Barack Obama is one of the most "successful presidents in American history" [ed.: not a typo].

On today's Morning Joe, MSNBC contributor Warren said he'd be happy to call his Vegas buddies to bet that "history will be very, very good to Barack Obama."   Warren was responding to Joe Scarborough's suggestion that history will lump Obama and George W. Bush together for their lack of effective leadership.

By Tom Johnson | October 20, 2014 | 12:01 AM EDT

A blogger says it seems that people “genuinely don't care what happens to this country or, for that matter, their own world anymore” and, therefore, vote for Republicans.

By Tom Blumer | October 19, 2014 | 11:16 PM EDT

To the relief of sex offenders throughout the state, Arizona Democratic gubernatorial candidate Fred DuVal, during a Tuesday forum at Redemption Church in Gilbert, said that, in the words of an unbylined Washington Free Beacon story, "he is opposed to mandating parental consent for a girl as young as 14 years old to get an abortion."

This is a non-story in the establishment press, which made it a mission to take out two GOP U.S. Senate candidates two years ago over abortion-related remarks with far less real-world impact. Based on a search on "DuVal parental consent" (not in quotes) at the Arizona Republic, the paper hasn't done a story specifically noting DuVal's outrageous position — even though it did manage to notice that DuVal, like Ed FitzGerald, the Democrat who is running for Governor in Ohio, has been known to drive without a valid driver's license, though far less often or brazenly.

By Tom Blumer | October 19, 2014 | 8:01 PM EDT

One would think, based on comparing dispatches from Reuters and the Associated Press, that President Barack Obama must have spoken at two different events in Upper Marlboro, Maryland today.

The two dispatches are so radically different in tone and content that they it doesn't seem possible that they both could be from the same event. But they are. Jeff Mason at Reuters (saved here for future reference and fair use purposes) observed "early departures of crowd members while he spoke underscored his continuing unpopularity." But at AP (saved here) Josh Lederman (pictured at left) described "a rowdy crowd of about 8,000 people" attending "a rally that had the feeling of a gospel service." A more detailed comparison follows the jump:

By P.J. Gladnick | October 19, 2014 | 7:10 PM EDT

Candy Crowley on what Rush Limbaugh would label the state run CNN show of State of the Union seemed to place her blind trust in the assurances of state affiliated medical personnel that a travel ban on the Ebola Hot Zone nations of West Africa was both unnecessary as well as harmful. It took guest  Senator Ted Cruz to make it clear to Crowley just why such a ban was absolutely necessary.

Bonus zinger!

By NB Staff | October 19, 2014 | 7:03 PM EDT

MRC president Brent Bozell appeared on "Cavuto" on the Fox Business Channel Friday night to discuss Ebola coverage. Substitute host Connell McShane asked if the media were either overdoing it or underdoing it.

Bozell said it was too early to render a verdict. If the disease never takes hold, then it might look like hype. But if the disease worsens, then all the attention is justified.

By Tim Graham | October 19, 2014 | 5:49 PM EDT

The Drudge Report noticed the New York Times suggested a new leftist documentary honoring Edward Snowden “Tests Hollywood Obama Backers,” as in Harvey Weinstein, who often promotes his films by taking them into the Obama White House for a screening. Probably not this time! Michael Cieply reported in the Times:

“As I saw the promise of the Obama administration betrayed, and walked away from,” says Mr. Snowden, referring to drone strikes and invasive monitoring by the National Security Agency, “it really hardened me to action.”

By Jeffrey Meyer | October 19, 2014 | 1:47 PM EDT

NBC’s Chuck Todd, who on Friday declared that he was “stubbornly neutral”, predictably peddled liberal talking points on Ebola by blaming the National Rifle Association for the country not having a Surgeon General. Speaking to Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Bob Casey (D-PA) on Sunday, the Meet the Press moderator insisted that “this seems to be politics. The NRA said they were going to score the vote, and suddenly everybody’s frozen. That seems a little petty in hindsight, does it not?” 

By Tom Blumer | October 19, 2014 | 12:27 PM EDT

The White House is apparently feeling pretty full of itself over the fiscal 2014 federal budget result it has just reported.

Reacting to the news that this year's deficit was "only" $483.4 billion, White House budget director Shaun Donovan crowed that "This is a return to fiscal normalcy." The press, of course including Andrew Taylor at the Associated Press, has accepted all of this with little challenge, including the administration's misleading "percentage of GDP" assertions, which completely ignore how much more the national debt has grown than the reported budget deficits. Taylor went one step further, blatanty deceiving readers as to how much money the federal government borrows for every dollar it spends.

By Jeffrey Meyer | October 19, 2014 | 12:13 PM EDT

On Sunday, October 19, a panel on ABC’s This Week engaged in a highly contentious debate over the Obama administration’s handing of the Ebola crisis. Conservative Mary Matalin mocked PBS host Tavis Smiley for criticizing those who are calling for a travel ban on Ebola stricken nations. The former George W. Bush official argued that “the African leaders who have contained to five countries have done it on the basis of containment. Our CDC now stands for cannot do containment. The reason the president gets blamed for everything, Tavis, because he's responsible for it.” 

By Matthew Balan | October 19, 2014 | 10:40 AM EDT

CBS, USA Today, and the Associated Press all sang from the same sheet of music on Saturday, as they covered the end of the Catholic bishops' Extraordinary Synod on the Family. On CBS Evening News, Jim Axelrod played up a supposed "deep split over the direction Pope Francis wants to take the Church," after the Church's leaders rejected controversial language about homosexuals and divorced Catholics in an earlier draft report. Axelrod also underlined that the bishops "considered language in [the] document...that would welcome gays."

By Mark Finkelstein | October 19, 2014 | 10:39 AM EDT

Non-political junkies might not have noticed, but Reince Priebus got in a real zinger against Debbie Wasserman Schultz today. In a joint appearance on Fox News Sunday, DNC Chair DWS claimed that the key question for voters will be "who has my back?"

Shot back RNC Chairman Priebus: "the President hasn't had anybody's back: not even your back."  That was a reference to the Politico story, "Democrats turn on Debbie Wasserman Schultz," reporting on President Obama's disdain for Debbie. Since 2012, the White House has wanted to dump DWS as DNC Chair. She is so shut out of meetings with the president that, according to Politico [emphasis added] "the DNC chairwoman stakes out the President of the United States at the end of photo lines at events and fundraisers." DNC chair as virtual stalker?  Not a pretty picture.  And there was Reince to remind her about it.

By Jeffrey Meyer | October 19, 2014 | 9:57 AM EDT

During an appearance on Sunday’s Good Morning America, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos did his best to deflect criticism away from President Obama’s decision to name Ron Klain, former Chief of Staff to Vice Presidents Joe Biden and Al Gore, as his Ebola czar. Speaking to weekend GMA host Dan Harris, Stephanopoulos insisted that “Ron Klain is an expert in communications, he's an expert in management. That's what the government needs right now.”