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By Tom Blumer | October 7, 2015 | 10:42 PM EDT

In a September 23 post ("Impending Layoffs at ESPN Aren't Only About the 'Media Landscape'"), I argued that ESPN's impending decision to lay off hundreds of employees is at least partially due to its determination to stuff political correctness down viewers' throats.

I noted that the network's ratings suffered a nearly 30 percent decline from August 2014 to August 2015 — a sea change which begged for an explanation beyond cable industry turmoil. A commenter observed that the network's ratings were up during a recent week in September, so I said I would look at ratings for entire third quarter when they became available. ESPN's primetime audience loss spread over the entire quarter was over 9 percent — a result nowhere near as awful as August alone, but certainly nothing to crow about:

By P.J. Gladnick | October 7, 2015 | 9:26 PM EDT

It has only been a few hours since Hillary Clinton has announced that in contrast to her previous enthusiastic support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, she now opposes it (with convenient caveats). Of course, her new opposition to TPP is a completely principled position and has nothing to do with politics. Yeah, right! However, will those on the left be so skeptical of such an obvious political ploy? Well, it seems that at least some are not buying her self-serving rationale for now opposing the TPP starting with Jonathan Chait of New York magazine. In fact the very title of his article, "Hillary Clinton Pretends to Oppose Pacific Trade Deal," reveals complete cynicism about her motivation:

By Brad Wilmouth | October 7, 2015 | 9:25 PM EDT

On Wednesday's CNN Newsroom with Carol Costello, in a pre-recorded interview with Jerusalem Mayor Mir Barkat that aired around 9:20 a.m. about a recent spate of Palestinians attacking Israelis with knives in public places, substitute anchor Ana Cabrera brought up her guest's tendency to carry a gun in public and absurdly asked him, "Does that not incite more violence?"

By Curtis Houck | October 7, 2015 | 9:00 PM EDT

Following Hillary Clinton’s latest flip-flop and move to the left in opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the CBS Evening News saw no interest in informing their viewers of this announcement after she strongly backed it while secretary of state in President Barack Obama’s first term. In contrast, both ABC’s World News Tonight and NBC Nightly News surprisingly stepped up to the plate to cover this story with full stories along with the fact that both correspondents labeled Clinton’s decision a “flip-flop” from her time in the Obama administration. 

By Ken Shepherd | October 7, 2015 | 8:55 PM EDT

Leave it to Chris Matthews to find a way to blast the GOP as racist and xenophobic in a softball promotional segment plugging a new book on the life and politics of the late Jack Kemp.

By Dylan Gwinn | October 7, 2015 | 7:37 PM EDT

According to Fox’s Scream Queens, negligent homicide and murder cover-up is a strong indicator of your potential to make it on Fox News.

By Tom Blumer | October 7, 2015 | 7:02 PM EDT

Over at the Associated Press, Andrew Taylor, contrary to the wire service's usual practice, referenced a pre-official Congressional Budget Office report to tout the federal government's "improved" budget deficit. The CBO estimates that the deficit, which won't become official until the Treasury Department releases its final Monthly Treasury Statement of the fiscal year in the next week or two, will come in at $435 billion.

Predictably, Taylor didn't disclose three facts he could easily have relayed in his brief report's available space, instead choosing to create artificial drama over deadlines which are three weeks and two months away, respectively:

By Randy Hall | October 7, 2015 | 6:55 PM EDT

With former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton losing ground in virtually every poll, it looks like she and her campaign staff have decided that answering a question posed by a long-time reporter is not as important as responding to the same query from an "average voter."

That was apparently the case on Monday evening, when Bloomberg Politics reporter Mark Halperin received no answer from the Democratic presidential candidate when he asked if she had a message for the National Rifle Association.

By Matthew Balan | October 7, 2015 | 6:37 PM EDT

Tuesday's All Things Considered on NPR followed the lead of CNN earlier in the day in spotlighting a pro-euthanasia activist's reaction to California Governor Jerry Brown signing the "End of Life Option Act." Host Kelly McEvers allowed only a brief mention of opponents calling the governor's move "a dark day for California." McEvers then gave guest Christy O'Donnell, who has terminal lung cancer, the kid glove treatment. O'Donnell appeared on CNN's At This Hour earlier on Tuesday, where anchor Kate Bolduan thanked her for her "strength" and "courage."

By Matt Philbin | October 7, 2015 | 5:59 PM EDT

Like clockwork, before anyone had time digest the horror of the latest mass shooting, the left started finger-pointing and demanding more gun control – whether it would have prevented the crime or not. From President Obama on down, they immediately began railing against the NRA and gun owners.

Not surprisingly, entertainment industry liberals were among the most vocal. That also made them among the most hypocritical. TV, movies and music videos thrive portraying – and often glamorizing – violence, and gun violence in particular. And while actors were demanding gun control, the top 10 movies in theaters this past weekend were awash in violence – 334 separate violent acts, 121 of them involving guns. The on-screen body count was 39 dead out of 142 victims.

By Brad Wilmouth | October 7, 2015 | 5:38 PM EDT

On Tuesday's All In, MSNBC host Chris Hayes devoted a segment to the recent announcement that Alabama will be closing a significant number of the state's DMVs -- some in majority black counties -- as he fretted that Alabama may be making it more difficult for black voters to get the required voter ID cards.

To his credit, Hayes brought on Alabama Republican Secretary of State John Merrill as a guest to discuss the impact of the closings, but, even after Merrill related that each of the 67 counties will still have a Board of Registrar office where the voter IDs can be obtained free of charge, the MSNBC host still showed worry that there would be "pain" in having to spend time visiting such an office.

By Alatheia Larsen | October 7, 2015 | 4:29 PM EDT

Media outlets conveniently seized upon a study claiming to show higher alcohol taxes reduced drunken-driving deaths, but ignored problems with the study including its funding.

In April 2015, the media, including The Washington Post, covered a University of Florida study funded in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The study evaluated automobile accident fatalities involving alcohol between 2001 and 2011, and claimed a reduction in deaths after 2009 was caused by a several-cent increase in alcohol excise tax in 2009.

By Kyle Drennen | October 7, 2015 | 3:15 PM EDT

On Monday’s NBC Today, correspondent Peter Alexander heralded efforts to get Joe Biden to enter the 2016 presidential race: “This morning the campaign calling for a Biden campaign is now up and running. Today NBC News is getting an exclusive first look at the first pro-Biden ad to hit the air, produced in hopes of drafting the Vice President into the 2016 race.”

By Jeffrey Meyer | October 7, 2015 | 2:20 PM EDT

On Wednesday, the co-hosts of ABC’s The View repeatedly ganged up on Republican presidential candidate John Kasich over the issue of gun control. Throughout the heated interview, Kasich stressed that mental illness was the root cause of many mass shootings that occur across the nation but the show’s cast repeatedly called for greater restrictions on gun ownership. 

By Brad Wilmouth | October 7, 2015 | 1:13 PM EDT

Appearing as a guest on Tuesday's The Nightly Show on Comedy Central, CNN political analyst and Daily Beast Editor-in-Chief Jon Avlon asserted that, if Hillary Clinton runs for President as a "bad-ass policy wonk," she will "contrast well" with the "hot air" on the GOP side where people are "trying to bigot their way to the nomination."