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By Scott Whitlock | | January 3, 2013 | 5:13 PM EST

Over 13 months ago, the NBC, CBS and ABC newscasts touted Barack Obama as a tough talker who wouldn't back down on threatened spending cuts. Now, that he's backed down, the same networks have ignored the President's retreat. On November 21, 2011, Obama thundered, "My message to [Congress] is simple: No. I will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts to domestic and defense spending. There will be no easy off-ramps on this one." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

This allowed the then-presidential candidate to portray himself as a budget hawk taking a hard line on sequestration. Nightly News anchor Brian Williams introduced Obama's comments by describing the country as a "nation of addicts, spending addicts kicking the can down the road." According to Williams, the President "pushed back hard." Williams and other journalist didn't question the seriousness of Obama's pledge. On Wednesday, the President signed a deal to avert the fiscal cliff and kept those cuts from going into place.

By Jeffrey Meyer | | January 3, 2013 | 4:32 PM EST

Well, there goes any chance that MSNBC might have resolved to drop the phony "war on women" meme in the new year. On the January 3 NewsNation fill-in host Alex Witt interviewed Kate Pickert to push for greater abortion access across the nation, discussing her cover story for the January 14 print edition of TIME magazine, which is pegged to the forthcoming 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. "40 years ago, abortion-rights activists won an epic victory with Roe v. Wade," blares the cover headline, adding, "They've been losing ever since."

The segment itself was more of an advocacy spot than an actual interview with Witt acting as cheerleader for the abortion rights movement.  Witt introduced the segment calling the article a “fascinating, comprehensive great article”, that “really gets right to the heart of the issue.”  Ms. Witt followed her fawning over the article by asking Pickert, “What do you think it’s going to take to get abortion rights back on track and not deny it from those who need it?”  [See video after jump.  MP3 audio here.]

By Geoffrey Dickens | | January 3, 2013 | 4:05 PM EST

NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, on Thursday’s edition of MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, implored liberal New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer to push for more gun control. After noting that students from Sandy Hook Elementary School had finally returned to class after the tragic shooting, Mitchell pressed Schumer: “Is something meaningful going to happen on guns this year?”

An appreciative Schumer responded: “I hope so.” (video after the jump)

By Tom Blumer | | January 3, 2013 | 3:31 PM EST

In a late Wednesday column at the Politico, the online website's Steven Sloan wrote that Democrats might be done hiking tax rates, specifically "that they’ve exhausted their ability to raise taxes on the richest Americans by jacking up their rates." But it's clear in later segments of his write-up that Democrats still want to go after "loopholes" and deductions, meaning that they still want to see effective marginal rates -- the ones which motivate high income earners' decisionmaking -- to get "jacked up." Such moves would also mean that the tax owed on a given amount of gross income would go up; i.e., they would be tax increases.

In suport of his misdirecting premise, Sloan quoted many Democrats, but somehow forgot to include Democratic President Barack Obama's stated position after the fiscal cliff mess concluded. In a video for supporters, as relayed by Joel Gehrke at the Washington Examiner, Obama didn't budge from using the same language he has used all along to justify tax increases. Gehrke's accurate headline captures the essence (video is at link; bolds are mine throughout this post):

By Clay Waters | | January 3, 2013 | 2:24 PM EST

Monica Davey's Thursday front-page New York Times story on rising homicide numbers in Rahm Emanuel's Chicago ("A Soaring Homicide Rate, a Divide in Chicago") was suspiciously silent on the utter failure of the city's strict gun laws, but vocal about sorting the annual homicide numbers into patterns of race and class (as if equality among homicide victims would be preferred).

Davey focused on a recent killing that took place at a funeral on the South Side, where yet another homicide victim was just being laid to rest:

By Tom Blumer | | January 3, 2013 | 1:10 PM EST

On New Year's Day, perhaps before he learned that his current employer's enterprise would be sold to Al Jazeera, Current TV's David Shuster took to the bandwidth of the Huffington Post to ask that former NBC/MSNBC colleague David Gregory apologize for his December 23 gun magazine-waving stunt on Meet the Press.

Get a load of the sense of self-importance Shuster gives the Sunday news show (bolds are mine):

By Ken Shepherd | | January 3, 2013 | 12:58 PM EST

You wouldn't know it from all the political oxygen in the media taken up with the fiscal cliff and the kerfuffle over the House not voting for a Hurricane Sandy relief package, but the Obama administration yesterday announced a regulatory change that will make it incredibly easier for some illegal immigrants to apply for legal status. The Washington Post gave the development six paragraphs of coverage which it placed at the bottom of page A15 in the January 3 edition of the paper. Nowhere in that brief story were any critics of the new policy approached for comment.

"Immigrants who are unlawfully in the United States and are closely related to U.S. citizens will soon be able to apply for permanent residency from inside the country," Post staffer Tara Bahrampour noted in the lead paragraph of her story, headlined in the print edition, "Residency path for some illegal immigrants eased."

By Scott Whitlock | | January 3, 2013 | 12:45 PM EST

On New Year's Eve, Chris Matthews got off one last sneering shot against conservatives. In a special 2012 retrospective, the Hardball anchor connected fiscal conservatism to segregation. After guest Howard Fineman insisted that Mitt Romney's aversion to tax increases during the primary doomed him in the general election, Matthews snorted, "It's today's politics! It's like, they used to say, you have to be the most segregationist guy in the south." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

He continued, "You can never be an inch away from it because somebody would always go to your right on that issue." Go to the "right?" Perhaps the history-challenged Matthews is unaware that segregationionist south was run by Democrats.

By Matthew Sheffield | | January 3, 2013 | 12:29 PM EST

Al Gore, the man who first introduced the idea of blaming “the wealthiest one percent” for all of America’s ills, is continuing to embarrass himself in the sale of his low-rated Current TV channel to the Al Jazeera.

First, we learned that Current’s management believed that the favorite news channel of Islamic fundamentalist terrorists is closer to its own viewpoints than conservative media mogul Glenn Beck; now comes news that the former Democratic presidential candidate was insistent that the sale to the Qatari channel be completed before December 31. That date was important to Gore because he was trying to avoid the higher tax rates that President Obama has been clamoring for so desperately for years.

By Clay Waters | | January 3, 2013 | 12:28 PM EST

New York Times reporter Jonathan Weisman strangely painted the fiscal cliff deal (which displeased conservatives with its tax increases and lack of spending cuts) as a fiscal dream come true for Republicans in his "news analysis" for Wednesday's front page. Weisman also mocked the GOP's historical support for low taxes.

Just a few years ago, the tax deal pushed through Congress on Tuesday would have been a Republican fiscal fantasy, a sweeping bill that locks in virtually all of the Bush-era tax cuts, exempts almost all estates from taxation, and enshrines the former president’s credo that dividends and capital gains should be taxed equally and gently.

By Kyle Drennen | | January 3, 2013 | 12:02 PM EST

At the top of Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer teased an upcoming interview with New York Congressman Peter King by seizing on House GOP disagreement over when to schedule a vote on a Hurricane Sandy relief bill: "...fresh off the fiscal cliff fight, the Republican Party appears in the throes of a civil war. This morning, we'll talk to an outspoken GOP congressman who urged voters in his district not contribute to Republican campaigns." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

In the exchange that followed, Lauer eagerly quoted King: "You said that Speaker Boehner had a, quote, 'Dismissive and cavalier attitude toward New York and New Jersey.' And you went further, you said, 'Republicans have no trouble finding New York when it comes to raising money. And I would just say to anyone from New York or New Jersey who contributes one penny to Congressional Republicans after this should have their head examined.'"

By Matt Philbin | | January 3, 2013 | 11:41 AM EST

Are you tired of having to go to YouTube to watch video of terrorists killing U.S. soldiers? Do you get annoyed when slow download speeds interrupt hearing your favorite Islamist cleric call for infidel blood to restore the Caliphate? Wish you could see suicide bombers lovingly read their last statements in crystal-clear HD?

Well, great news, kids! Al “no controlling legal authority” Gore is selling his far-left vanity network, Current TV, to Al Jazeera – the anti-western terror mouthpiece bank-rolled by the emir of Qatar.

By NB Staff | | January 3, 2013 | 11:40 AM EST

Discuss the news of the day and anything else you'd like.

By Matt Philbin | | January 3, 2013 | 11:12 AM EST

Are Current TV and Al Jazeera birds of a feather?

By Noel Sheppard | | January 3, 2013 | 9:21 AM EST

As NewsBusters previously reported, vulgarian comedienne Kathy Griffin on CNN's New Year's Eve broadcast kissed Anderson Cooper's crotch.

On the CBS Late Show Wednesday, Griffin was quite pleased by her antics proudly telling host David Letterman that she sent an email message to Ryan Seacrest proclaiming, "I tried to blow Anderson Cooper" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):