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By Noel Sheppard | April 9, 2011 | 12:09 AM EDT

HBO's Bill Maher is very unhappy with how President Obama is dealing with Republicans on the current budget impasse.

On Friday's "Real Time," the host said, "He is a terrible negotiator - does he not even know a Jew?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Noel Sheppard | April 8, 2011 | 9:27 PM EDT

Although Barack Obama never proposed a 2011 budget, the folks on MSNBC think he's done an absolutely marvelous job in this regard.

After "Hardball's" Chris Matthews began a Friday segment about the looming shutdown saying, "[Obama's] the adult in the room and this is sort of a Washington fight among the Washington types," Time magazine's Mark Halperin put the cherry on top adding, "The White House has been brilliant and the President has been disciplined" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Tom Blumer | April 8, 2011 | 9:09 PM EDT

It may be laziness, or it may be failure to recognize reality, but the Associated Press's official tally of the Wisconsin Supreme Court race carried at JSOnline (but note the AP-based URL) still shows Democrat JoAnne Kloppenburg with a 204-vote lead over incumbent David Prosser, and hasn't been updated since Wednesday at 4:00 p.m.

This failure to update has occurred despite the following statement made at the 3:00 mark of the video (HT Hot Air) showing Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus explaining why over 14,000 country votes were not originally reported to the Badger State's Government Accountability Board (GAB), which oversees state elections, at a late Thursday press conference:

These numbers will be reflected in my official results, canvass report, that was submitted to the Government Accountability Board.

Ms. Nickolaus mixed up tenses, but it seems pretty clear that by using the word "official" she is saying that the GAB now has the results, and that they should be reflected in any official reports.

Accordingly, yours truly has updated the AP's non-current scoreboard with the Waukesha County correction and a couple of smaller ones:

By Noel Sheppard | April 8, 2011 | 6:44 PM EDT

Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) predicted last Sunday on Fox News that Democrats were going to demagogue him and his historic 2012 budget proposal in order to assist their reelection chances next year.

On Friday's "Inside Washington," Newsweek's Evan Thomas not only agreed with Ryan, but also said, "The Democrats will now accuse the Republicans – it’s an old page in their playbook – of throwing Granny in the snow" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Matt Hadro | April 8, 2011 | 6:42 PM EDT

During an interview of Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, CNN anchor Deborah Feyerick not only failed to ask Richards any tough questions about federal funding of the organization, but entirely misquoted the claim of Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) that 90 percent of Planned Parenthood services are abortions.

Feyerick began the segment attributing to Kyl a bizarre claim that 90 percent of Planned Parenthood's funding goes to abortions. Obviously, that was red meat for Richards who dismantled the faux statement claiming that no federal funding goes to abortions.

The following is what Sen. Kyl said on the Senate floor: "Everybody goes to clinics, to hospitals, to doctors and so on. Some people go to Planned Parenthood. But you don't have to go to Planned Parenthood to get your cholesterol and your blood pressure checked. If you want an abortion, you go to Planned Parenthood, and that's well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does."Sen. Kyl did not say that 90 percent of funding goes to abortions at Planned Parenthood, but that 90 percent of its services are abortions, another argument entirely.

By NB Staff | April 8, 2011 | 5:15 PM EDT

Starting Friday and continuing through the weekend, two George Soros sponsored conferences will take place in New England. In Boston, a "media reform" conference discusses means to “Change the World,” by changing the media. And, while we certainly agree that the media need changing, we’d prefer change that reflected the values of hard-working Americans as opposed to those of a billionaire socialist intent on taking the U.S. down a notch.

A second conference 150 miles north in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire will feature lefty academics and activists planning the best way to remake the global economy with a one world government, global currency, and even more power for anti-American forces in the United Nations.

But don't worry, there will be reporters there from The Washington Post, NBC, PBS (thanks taxpayers!) and many other liberal media fixtures. Unsurprisingly they won't be reporting on what the lefties are planning for the rest of us, but rather participating in the conferences themselves.

We'll be delivering petitions to the news outlets that have reporters participating in these events, demanding that they at least let the American people know what these socialists have planned for us.

Click here to add your name and join the fight.

By Kyle Drennen | April 8, 2011 | 4:52 PM EDT

On Friday's NBC Today, as co-host Meredith Vieira spoke with correspondent Ben Fogle about Britain's Prince Harry being temporarily stuck at the North Pole, the headline on screen read: "Cooling His Heels; Prince Harry Stuck in the Artic." Halfway through the segment, the show's graphics department apparently noticed the spelling error, changing it to "Arctic."

The morning news program has done several stories on Prince Harry's travels in recent days, making the mistake all the more odd.

By Matthew Balan | April 8, 2011 | 3:50 PM EDT

On Friday's Early Show, CBS's Betty Nguyen used the Statue of Liberty as a live backdrop to play up how "visitors would miss out on the Smithsonian and its 19 museums...even the National Zoo" if the federal budget impasse leads to a government shutdown. Nguyen also highlighted that the "Cherry Blossom Festival...[is] set to wrap up this weekend, but the parade may not march on if the government shuts down."

Fill-in anchor Rebecca Jarvis introduced the correspondent's report, which ran 10 minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour, by outlining that the cost of a shutdown might be $8 billion a week "because there are so many government employees who won't be working, agencies that will shut down, and there are costs to restarting them, including our country's national parks, which is where we find...Betty Nguyen at Liberty State Park, in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, with more on the expected impact at those locations."

By Matt Hadro | April 8, 2011 | 3:45 PM EDT

On Thursday night's "Anderson Cooper 360," CNN senior political analyst David Gergen thought it an "outrage" for Republicans to shut down the government right now if Planned Parenthood is still funded. An agitated Gergen cast the amount of federal funding Planned Parenthood annually receives as "tiny," and failed to acknowledge that the Democrats are also contributing to the impasse by holding out for Planned Parenthood funding.

"It would be an outrage...for the Republicans to shut down the government on matter how much money we give to Planned Parenthood or how the EPA is funded," Gergen insisted.

Gergen repeatedly argued that the amount of funding Planned Parenthood receives is negligible, and the battle can be fought at another time.

By Clay Waters | April 8, 2011 | 2:55 PM EDT

The Republican majority in the Texas House has passed a budget with significant spending cuts, giving New York Times Houston-based reporter James McKinley Jr. yet another opportunity to lecture on how ugly things will get in Texas in his Friday news story posted at, “In Texas, Furor Over Proposal for Huge State Budget Cuts.”

GOP Gov. Rick Perry, who refuses to commit to Times-approved tax hikes, endured several stories from McKinley during his 2010 re-election battle cheering for his Democratic opponent. On Friday, McKinley again sounded more like an editorial writer than an objective reporter:

It is hard to overstate the budget-cutting furor that has gripped lawmakers in this capital, where the Republicans who control the Legislature and all statewide offices believe voters sent them an iron-clad mandate last year to shrink the size of government.

But the Texas government was already a relatively lean operation after years of conservative fiscal policies. So when the Texas House passed its budget bill last weekend, the depth of the cutbacks necessary for the Republican majority to stick to its promise of no new taxes became clearer. It was not a pretty picture.

By Clay Waters | April 8, 2011 | 1:46 PM EDT

So much for changing the tone. In the midst of the federal budget battle, Barack Obama raced up to Manhattan Wednesday night to pay tribute to the inflammatory race-baiter Rev. Al Sharpton, a clear effort to shore up the black vote as the 2012 presidential campaign kicks off in earnest. Yet New York City's biggest local paper, the New York Times, virtually ignored Obama's campaign stop alongside the controversial Reverend.

The Times’s rival dailies, the New York Post and the New York Daily News, both plastered large photos of President Obama with Sharpton on their covers, and ran stories inside that covered Obama paying tributes to Sharpton and his leftist organization, the Harlem-based National Action Network. (Photo courtesy of the New York Daily News.)

By contrast, Sharpton not only didn’t make the Times’s front page, the Obama-Sharpton appearance didn’t merit a single Times headline or photo. Sharpton’s very name was buried in the middle of a nine-paragraph story by Helene Cooper on page 16 of Thursday’s edition, with Cooper initially describing Obama’s speaking to “a mostly black audience.” The headline was equally opaque: “Obama Aims At Disparity in Education.” (Not that the Times is ever in any danger of insulting Sharpton by reminding its readers of his racially incendiary past.)

By NB Staff | April 8, 2011 | 1:07 PM EDT

It's déjà vu all over again with the media's coverage of a looming federal government shutdown.

NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center president Brent Bozell noted on the April 8 "Fox & Friends" how the media are deploying similar talking points to lay blame on congressional Republicans should the government shut down.

What's more, noted Bozell:

By | April 8, 2011 | 12:54 PM EDT

While Democrats and Republicans and the White House wrangle over a federal budget and possible government shutdown, almost half of Americans say they are politically more in sync with the Tea Party than with the average congressman, according to Rasmussen Reports poll released this week.

“The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 48% of Likely U.S. Voters say when it comes to the major issues facing the country, their views are closer to the average Tea Party member as opposed to the average member of Congress,” reads the summary of the survey released on Tuesday.  “Just 22% say their views are closest to those of the average congressman. Even more (30%) aren’t sure.”

By Kyle Drennen | April 8, 2011 | 12:54 PM EDT

In an interview with Democratic Maryland Congressman Steny Hoyer on NBC's Today, Meet the Press host David Gregory, filling in for Matt Lauer, asked: "I wonder, as a Democratic leader, whether part of the strategy here is to cast Republicans as extremists and ultimately get a lot more of a winning political hand for the Democrats through this process."

With that setup, Hoyer proclaimed: "David, I think the Republicans are doing that to themselves very frankly. I don't think we have to cast them in that light. They're casting themselves in that light with the Tea Party coming to town and demanding that they either get 100% or shut down the government."

By Scott Whitlock | April 8, 2011 | 12:51 PM EDT

Good Morning America on Friday continued to demonstrate a fascination with the Kennedy family, highlighting Ted Kennedy and his "critical" role as a "politician and a leader." Co-host George Stephanopoulos introduced the piece by recycling, "They called Ted Kennedy the lion of the Senate."

Correspondent Claire Shipman caught up with Vicki Kennedy and recapped the current status of the famous family.  Speaking of the late senator, the reporter enthused, "He was obviously so critical as a politician and a leader in our country. He was also a leader of the Kennedy family for so many decades."        

The stated purpose of the piece was to note the groundbreaking of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute in Boston. But Shipman also tossed political softballs to the Senator's widow: "And what would the Senate lion have made of today's shutdown threats?"