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By Matthew Balan | June 18, 2015 | 5:31 PM EDT

In a Thursday item on NBC News's web site, Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, and Andrew Rafferty asserted that "just like the issue of gay marriage, the Pope and the Catholic Church have gone from being wedge issues that benefitted the GOP in 2004 to ones that now favor Democrats." The three journalists cited Associated Press's reporting on Pope Francis's new encyclical on the environment, and concluded that "what this news does is guarantee that climate change is a conversation in GOP presidential debates, especially since several of the candidates...are Catholic."

By Scott Whitlock | June 18, 2015 | 5:26 PM EDT

MSNBC anchor Alex Wagner brought on two guests, Thursday, to broaden the tragic shooting in South Carolina to include a uniquely American culture. Wagner mentioned the fact that the state still flies the Confederate flag and University of Connecticut professor Jelani Cobb retorted, "If we could isolate this to the Confederate flag, we would be in good condition." 

By Ken Oliver-Mendez | June 18, 2015 | 5:11 PM EDT

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign announcement comments about Mexico and the quality of the current inflow of unauthorized Mexican immigrants to the U.S. have caused a firestorm in national Spanish-language media. 

Hasta ahora, Telemundo ha empleado más tiempo reaccionado a las declaraciones de Trump, y por su parte Rolando Nichols de MundoFox, las tomó a nivel personal.

By Katie Yoder | June 18, 2015 | 4:25 PM EDT

The broadcast news shows have hyped climate change in Pope Francis’s new encyclical – but did they hint at his arguments on abortion and gender identity? Short answer: No.

The Vatican released the pope’s media-hyped encyclical, Laudato Si’, on June 18. Out of the three broadcast networks, only NBC and ABC commented on the “climate change” publication from the “popular pope.” They also emphasized the church’s “moral call to action” on climate, skipping other moral calls to action networks ordinarily disdain – from prolife to traditional views on gender.

 Neither story mentioned the encyclical’s repeated recognition of the human embryo as a human being – or Pope Francis deeming “valuing one’s own body in its femininity or masculinity” as “necessary.”

By Curtis Houck | June 18, 2015 | 3:58 PM EDT

Appearing with journalist Carl Bernstein on Wednesday’s CNN Tonight to promote the upcoming episode of CNN’s The Seventies on Watergate, former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather decried the Republican Party’s “strong turn to the right” and blamed the size of party’s 2016 field on the Watergate scandal and the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

By Tom Blumer | June 18, 2015 | 3:24 PM EDT

2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, as seen in this March 10 Associated Press report, has claimed for several months that "No Classified Material (was) Sent via Her Personal Emails" from a home-based server she said "would remain private."

That claim, like so many other representations Mrs. Clinton has made, fell apart earlier this week, when, as Fox News reported, it was learned that Mrs. Clinton "used her personal email account to handle high level negotiations in 2011 for a no-fly zone to help topple Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi." Only Fox considers this a story. Apparently, the fact that icky Fox has reported it means that no one else in the establishment wants to. Video and the Fox story follow the jump.

By Kyle Drennen | June 18, 2015 | 3:18 PM EDT

On Thursday, NBC News officially named Lester Holt as the new anchor of NBC Nightly News, permanently replacing suspended anchor Brian Williams. In a just-released statement, Williams apologized for his dishonest accounts of news events: “I'm sorry. I said things that weren't true. I let down my NBC colleagues and our viewers, and I'm determined to earn back their trust.”

By Sarah Stites | June 18, 2015 | 1:27 PM EDT

According to Mindy Kaling, actors have “the world’s best job perk.” What is it? Being paid to have fake sex on screen, of course! 

The star of the risqué and anti-Catholic show, The Mindy Project, revealed her views in a chapter entitled “I Love Sex Scenes” in her upcoming book. 

By Spencer Raley | June 18, 2015 | 12:30 PM EDT

Salon wasted no time in spinning last night’s terrible tragedy into another alleged occurrence of “White Privilege.” (Article link) Nine people were tragically killed when a young, white gunman opened fire inside the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. A suspect has been identified as twenty one year old Dylann Roof, of Lexington, South Carolina.

By Tim Graham | June 18, 2015 | 12:08 PM EDT

Washington Post media blogger Erik Wemple sounds distraught over CNN reporter Brian Stelter’s reporting that speculation around how NBC will use disgraced anchor Brian Williams is centering on MSNBC. 

“Do not foist Brian Williams on MSNBC,” he begged in a headline. Doesn’t MSNBC have enough problems? 

By Connor Williams | June 18, 2015 | 11:04 AM EDT

Discussing the upcoming King v. Burwell decision on the legality of ObamaCare subsidies, Lawrence O'Donnell pushed the idea that Republicans would be culpable if the Supreme Court rules against the administration. On the June 17 edition of The Last Word, the host invited on the liberal trio of Ezra Klein, Dana Milbank, and Michael Tomasky to attack the Republicans for their irresponsibility and their supposed inability to come up with a replacement for the health care law. 

By Scott Whitlock | June 18, 2015 | 11:01 AM EDT

ABC on Thursday used the tragic shooting in South Carolina to speculate and connect other topics. Reporter Pierre Thomas offered, "Also, George, remember, the new attorney general, who is African-American, is a daughter of the south and the child of a Baptist minister." In a separate segment, correspondent Good Morning America's Paula Faris noted, "One trending topic is whether or not South Carolina will fly the Confederate flag on top of the state capitol at half-staff." 

By Tom Johnson | June 18, 2015 | 10:58 AM EDT

In a Wednesday column, Tomasky alleged that the “real job” of the House select committee looking into the September 2012 Benghazi attack is “to get [Hillary] Clinton” and declared that “this ‘investigation’ now constitutes openly and defiantly urinating on the grave of Amb. [Chris] Stevens.” Tomasky commented that Trey “Gowdy’s investigators have come up empty on the consular attack itself, but their assignment, undoubtedly never spoken but equally undoubtedly always understood, is to find something that will keep Clinton out of the White House.”

By Kyle Drennen | June 18, 2015 | 10:32 AM EDT

While being interviewed by Today co-host Savannah Guthrie on Thursday, Charleston pastor John Paul Brown used the horrific shooting at Emanuel A.M.E. church to condemn America’s gun culture: “America has this great love affair with guns and anybody can get them, whether they're mentally disturbed, whether they're crazy, whether they’re part of a hate group. Just give them a gun, everybody has a gun and nobody wants to police it or rein it in.”

By Mark Finkelstein | June 18, 2015 | 10:16 AM EDT

"People who think he's a joke and a fool need to be careful because by the end of the campaign, the joke may be on them." That's how Joe Scarborough summed up the surprisingly respectful analysis of Donald Trump's candidacy on today's Morning Joe

Introducing the segment, Scarborough suggested that if Trump sticks to a Perot-like populist message, he could get 15% of the primary vote. When Joe turned to Steve Schmidt, this NewsBuster expected the former McCain campaign manager and establishment Republican to dump on Trump. But to the contrary, Schmidt agreed heartily with Joe and went on to make the case that Trump is channeling widespread popular resentment, is the man people would want to hear in a debate, and could be "very impactful" in the race.  John Heilemann was similarly respectful of Trump's potential, saying he "doesn't play by the rules and is fearless," and receives serious, generally favorable local coverage in places like Iowa and New Hampshire.