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By Tom Johnson | August 30, 2014 | 6:38 PM EDT

Some politicians have the same public image throughout their careers. Others at least try to give themselves a makeover (e.g., the “new Nixon” of 1968). In a Wednesday post, Esquire’s Charles Pierce claimed that for the past decade, we’ve had what amounts to a new Al Sharpton, and that “the transformation began when Sharpton ran for president in 2004.”

Pierce noted Sharpton’s Tawana Brawley/Crown Heights “not-entirely-concerned-with-the-truth-of-things period,” but argued that in ’04, Sharpton the candidate “reintroduced himself to the country as a serious man with serious concerns,” and that “more or less, that's been the path on which [he] has remained ever since.” These days, Pierce remarked, “bringing up the sins of [Sharpton’s] past now seems as strange an avocation as summoning up Malcolm X's early career as a burglar.

By Jeffrey Lord | August 30, 2014 | 3:57 PM EDT

Call it the Ebola of Journalism. And its spreading -- to Time and CNN.

The cover of the September 1, 2014 issue of Time could not be more explicit.  Showing a dramatic image of a black man on his knees, hands raised with the cover bearing the title "The Tragedy of Ferguson," it was written by David Von Drehle and Alex Altman in the tones of the standard liberal “I-told-you-so” thinking on race . It included the line: “We’ve been here before—and failed to learn the lessons.”

By Tim Graham | August 30, 2014 | 12:34 PM EDT

President Obama is once again complaining about the media for making people frightened about the state of the world right now. At a Friday fundraiser in Purchase, New York, Obama said,“If you watch the nightly news, it feels like the world is falling apart.” He also blamed social media for spreading anxiety.

But he said today is much easier than the Cold War years, because we have a fantastic military:

By NB Staff | August 30, 2014 | 11:51 AM EDT

College football really gets under way today (if you weren't watching your alma mater on Thursday or Friday night). We're hit with a wave of sadness, remembering the late Noel Sheppard today as he loved this time of year.

Florida State's slightly politically incorrect Seminoles are the favorites to take it all with a lot of experts. Share your thoughts on sports or anything else with us.

By Scott Whitlock | August 30, 2014 | 10:26 AM EDT

Time magazine reacted to the indictment of Rick Perry by insisting that the Republican's style of "bullying" was nothing new for Texas. Reporter Michael Grunwald covered the story for the September 1 issue and compared it to Republicans' "endless probes" of Barack Obama. 

Though the article included some questioning of the legitimacy of the Perry indictment, Grunwald also insisted, "There are a lot of intricacies in Texas law, but threatening vetoes and bullying enemies are standard fare in Texas politics. Republicans." 

By Tom Blumer | August 30, 2014 | 9:43 AM EDT

A Friday afternoon dispatch at the Politico from Carrie Budoff Brown and Jennifer Epstein tells us that "The White House is putting the finishing touches on a post-Labor Day schedule that will send the president to states where he’s still popular."

The list of states where the Politico pair alleges that's the case is quite short: "Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Illinois and California." That's it. Obama, in a situation resembling that of Richard Nixon in the final months of his presidency, when "Tricky Dick" was mocked for being able to find friendly audiences in just a few Southern states, is apparently toxic everywhere else, just in time for midterm elections. Moreover, it didn't take much research to show that the Politico's pair's claim Obama is "still popular" in most of those five states is either false or shaky — especially after considering that such polls are all too often overloaded with Democrat and liberal respondents.

By Brent Bozell and Tim Graham | August 30, 2014 | 8:01 AM EDT

We recently came across a rather new TV network, Me-TV. It’s great stuff for old fogies (like one of us) – reruns of the best of television from the ‘60s and ‘70s. “12 O’Clock High” never looked better. You probably missed this network in all the TV clutter.

Few Americans have ever heard of the cable channel We TV. Apparently one way to remedy that is to put on a new show in 2015 called “Sex Box.” It’s another attempt to “help” Americans with their alleged puritanical reluctance to talk about sex.

By Tim Graham | August 30, 2014 | 7:43 AM EDT

New York Times music writer Jon Caramanica wrote about former Nickelodeon TV star Ariana Grande’s second album last Sunday with the simply inaccurate headline “Staying Safe, Exploring Sassy.” It’s a misleading headline, because Grande is beginning to walk the path to what might be called “the full Xxxtina,” when Christina Aguilera felt the need to “grow up” and sing very overt sexual songs.

Caramanica just grew silly by arguing Grande’s first album last year was some sort of throwback to Fifties “Puritanism,” as if she was singing Annette Funicello songs about pineapple princesses (okay, that was early Sixties):

By Tim Graham | August 29, 2014 | 11:39 PM EDT

Elliott Negin used to be a foreign news editor for National Public Radio. Now he’s a "director of news and commentary" for the leftist Union for Concerned Scientists, one of the nation’s leading advocates of panic about global warming.

In Friday’s Washington Post, Negin wrote a letter to the editor complaining that the news media is confusing the public by allowing global warming skeptics to gain a media platform when “There is no other side.” Only the leftist truth. The Post editorialized about a “devolved” debate, which meant the capitalist side isn't surrendering:

By Randy Hall | August 29, 2014 | 10:29 PM EDT

We've all heard the never-ending cry from liberal Democrats that conservative Republicans dodge diversity by favoring white males as hosts and guests on their television programs to the detriment of people in such groups as women and blacks.

However, in an article on the Reuters news service, writer Chloe Angyal charges that such “liberal lions” as Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert of the Comedy Central cable channel are obviously hypocritical regarding this topic since “their guest rosters more closely resemble a GOP national convention than they do the liberal vision of a diverse and equitable America.”

By Tom Blumer | August 29, 2014 | 9:53 PM EDT

If there is a terrorist attack on U.S. soil by ISIS, we had better hope that Fox News or New Media outlets don't report it first. Because if they do, based on behavior seen in two stories during the past day, Americans who depend on the establishment press to deliver their news won't find out for hours, if not longer.

The first story concerns news tonight from three different sources — Judicial Watch (HT National Review's The Corner), Breitbart, and Fox News — is that "Islamic terrorist groups are operating in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez and planning to attack the United States with car bombs or other vehicle born improvised explosive devices." The news is six hours old. As of 9:25 EDT, the Associated Press has nothing on these developments, not even the Obama administration's heated denials. The New York Times also had nothing, not even in its "evening briefing." The second concerns Nidal Hasan, the convicted 2009 Fort Hood mass mass murderer.

By Matthew Balan | August 29, 2014 | 5:20 PM EDT

CNN's John Berman pressed White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest on Friday's New Day over President Obama's eyebrow-raising disclosure that "we don't have a strategy yet" to deal with ISIS inside Syria. When Earnest claimed that "we do have a comprehensive strategy for dealing with" ISIS, especially in Iraq, Berman shot back, "ISIS has been in Syria for quite a long time. How can you have a comprehensive strategy for dealing with ISIS at all if it doesn't include Syria?"

The anchor later wondered, "Did the President just announce to ISIS leaders that he has no intention to strike them with military action in Syria in the next few days or weeks?" Earnest asserted that Mr. Obama's remarks sent "a very clear message to everybody around the world." However, Berman wasn't buying his guest's spin: [video below the jump]

By P.J. Gladnick | August 29, 2014 | 4:34 PM EDT

What's the matter with you, Charles Pierce? Have you no appreciation for how long it takes to craft  and poll test a statement on the Ferguson shooting so as not to alienate the Democrat base while not harming your chances in the general election? Next thing I know, you will actually want Hillary Clinton to get her precious hands dirty working to support candidates in this November's elections on the way to her coronation.

Here is Pierce's blog at Esquire mockingly titled, This Is Mighty White Of You:

By Curtis Houck | August 29, 2014 | 4:30 PM EDT

MSNBC’s Krystal Ball substituted for Ronan Farrow as host of his MSNBC show on Friday and remarked with a guest during a segment on the Islamic terror group ISIS that their reported waterboarding of their captives, including the late James Foley, can be blamed on the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and what happened at Abu Ghraib in Iraq.

After shifting gears from talking about the increased terror alert in the United Kingdom and fears across western Europe that hundreds of their citizens have joined ISIS and could return to commit terrorist attacks, Ball mentioned an article in The Washington Post that reported ISIS captives were waterboarded. She then asked MSNBC terrorism analyst Evan Kohlmann what he thought about this news. [MP3 audio here; Video below]

By Scott Whitlock | August 29, 2014 | 4:15 PM EDT

Some of the country's biggest newspapers avoided highlighting Barack Obama's "we don't have a strategy" comment in their headlines on Friday. The President made the remark in response to questions about how he will deal with Islamic militants in Syria. Yet, although this seemed to be the main takeaway from Thursday's news conference, the New York Times chose this bland headline: "Obama Urges Calm in Face of Crises in Ukraine and Syria." 

USA Today opted to focus on Russia with the banner headline. Regarding the Middle East, the paper redirected: "Poll: Amid foreign crises, more Americans support U.S. action." A smaller box off to the  far left read: "No Strategy Yet in Syria, Obama Says." In the article itself, it wasn't until paragraph eight (on page A4), that writer Susan Page mentioned the comments.