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By Tom Blumer | September 7, 2011 | 11:57 PM EDT

It's hard to figure out why Tom Krisher at the Associated Press bothered filing a report on the status of contract talks between Detroit's Big 3 automakers and the United Auto Workers. The only reason I can discern is that he wanted to brag about how he and his wire service pals have access to anonymously-sourced info about how the talks are going. Surprise: As has been the case almost always for about the past 30-plus years, It's coming down to the wire with the two sides supposedly far apart at two of the three companies. Knock me over with a feather.

Krisher failed to inform readers of three quite important sets of facts. First (seriously), he never told readers that General Motors and Chrysler workers have no-strike contract clauses prohibiting them from job actions until 2015, i.e., only Ford is financially vulnerable. Second, he failed to note that the government still holds a significant (and probably board-controlling) share of GM, or that a UAW healthcare trust owns 46.5% of Chrysler (down from an original 55%). Finally, because he didn't disclose the ownership stakes, he failed to note the obvious conflict of interest the UAW has in negotiating with Ford, or the possible government-influenced pressure on the union to drive a hard bargain with Ford on GM's behalf.

By Matthew Sheffield | September 7, 2011 | 10:25 PM EDT

For reasons that are still inexplicable, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library agreed to partner up with NBC News, parent organization of the uber-left-wing network MSNBC to televise tonight's Republican presidential debate. While NBC representative Brian Williams had more than his share of sneering biased questions, it was Williams's co-moderator, Politico editor John Harris, who laid on the snark in his attempts to bait and attack the candidates.

Such unbalanced questioning is par-for-the-course for Republicans competing at the national level. More often than not, they take it in stride. Tonight, though, Newt Gingrich was having none of it as he went full-on after Harris's attempts to insert Gingrich into a non-existent debate about an individual mandate to purchase insurance at the national level that Republicans simply are not having. Video and transcript follow.

By Matthew Sheffield | September 7, 2011 | 7:41 PM EDT

Are you watching the GOP presidential debate tonight? If so, consider joining us live here at NB as we watch the event. It airs at 8pm tonight on MSNBC and on the web.

As with all NB live events, you are expected to abide by the NewsBusters terms of service. Vulgarity and general obnoxiousness will get you kicked from the chat room.

By Matthew Sheffield | September 7, 2011 | 6:17 PM EDT

Rapper Shawn Carter, better known as Jay-Z, has a long record of being a supporter of Democratic and liberal causes. In fact, he was one of many celebrity left-wingers who were invited to President Obama's lavish $40,000 birthday celebration.

When it comes to his own affairs, Carter is like many Hollywood liberals in being unwilling to put his money where his mouth is. Right now, he's engaged in a prolonged confrontation with a carpenter's union for using non-union workers to perform renovations on a New York City club he owns. The union thugs are playing to type as well, parading around giant inflatable rats and calling Carter's employees racist terms

By Noel Sheppard | September 7, 2011 | 6:02 PM EDT

UPDATE AT END OF POST: Video of Matthews repeating this on the air.

After months of inactivity in his Twitter account, MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Wednesday tweeted what some might consider a rather risqué comment about the upcoming Republican presidential debate (mild vulgarity follows with commentary):

By Scott Whitlock | September 7, 2011 | 5:40 PM EDT

MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Wednesday offered up bizarre, revisionist history, insisting that Ronald Reagan "wasn't a social conservative." In an attempt to denigrate the goals of the Tea Party movement, the Hardball host inaccurately asserted that the 40th president "accepted Roe V. Wade."

Matthews, who fancies himself a presidential historian, appeared on the Martin Bashir show and asserted that Reagan wouldn't be comfortable in the "church tent" of today's GOP. He spun, "Although [Reagan] would address the pro-life rallies every year in Washington, for example, he would do so through public address. He never showed up." Matthews added, "He accepted Roe V. Wade under the Constitution."

[See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Ken Shepherd | September 7, 2011 | 4:18 PM EDT

British-born MSNBC Martin Bashir took the time in his September 7 program to lament the absence of gun control as a major issue in the 2012 presidential contest and to take aim in particular at Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), painting him as cavalier at best and heartless at worst when it comes to the victims of crimes committed with guns.

By Clay Waters | September 7, 2011 | 3:31 PM EDT

When President Obama announced he wanted to deliver his latest speech on the economy to a joint session of Congress on the same night as a GOP presidential debate, House speaker John Boehner politely requested the administration wait one day. Obama acceded, to the chagrin of the left and the New York Times.

Reporter Jennifer Steinhauer devoted a full story to the squabble in Friday’s edition, focusing almost solely on the supposed “disrespect” shown by Republicans to poor, put-upon President Obama: “G.O.P. vs. Obama: Disrespect or Just Politics?

By Tim Graham | September 7, 2011 | 3:07 PM EDT

Actress Mila Kunis granted an interview (and cover photo) to Stylist magazine and proclaimed “I love Barack Obama” and that young Republicans are “ill-informed” in Middle America and can’t tell you why they oppose Obama. She lectured others to get educated and explain how you voted, and “don’t tell me it’s because of religion either because that whole thing is knocked completely out the window.”

In the same interview, when they asked if she would write a movie script, Kunis explained “I can barely write an e-mail. I can’t form a sentence to save my life.”

By Tom Blumer | September 7, 2011 | 2:42 PM EDT

On September 4, Associated Press reporters Steve Peoples and Michael R. Blood celebrated the negatives towards the Tea Party found in a typically sample-skewed AP-GfK poll taken in mid-August. "Somehow," they failed to report on the president's growing negatives found in a separate AP-GfK poll report with the same respondents.

Based on what I saw in AP-GfK's May effort, which had a sample of 46%-29% Democrats vs. Republicans (including independent leaners), I determined that the joint effort's acronym should really stand for "Absolutely Pathetic Garbage for Koolaiders." Though August's sample bias not quite as bad, it was still blatant enough (43-32 Dems vs. GOP) to make the overall results lean left by at least 4-5 points, or 8-10 margin points, on key questions. Peoples and Blood may or may not be koolaiders, but they certainly tailored their narrative (as seen in text bolded by me) to those who are:

By Geoffrey Dickens | September 7, 2011 | 12:27 PM EDT

Tom Brokaw, on Wednesday's Today show, welcomed Rick Perry into the GOP race for president by trying to scare that show's liberal viewers with the Texas governor's views on Social Security and the Supreme Court. The former NBC Nightly News anchor predicted that Republicans at the NBC News/Politico GOP presidential debate will "take a whack" at the new frontrunner, adding that they will be "looking at a book he wrote...called Fed Up."

Brokaw then listed, what he viewed, were controversial points in the book: "He describes Social Security as a Ponzi scheme. He said that the Supreme Court is an oligarchy with a two-thirds vote. He talked about succession [sic]."

By Clay Waters | September 7, 2011 | 12:23 PM EDT

New York Times online political reporter Michael Shear made Saturday’s front page with his close reading of the oeuvre of Texas Gov. Rick Perry and was predictably disturbed by what he found. “Perry’s Blunt Views in Books Get New Scrutiny as He Joins Race” amounts to a handy bit of opposition research before Perry’s debate debut on Wednesday (contingent on the wildfires in his home state of Texas).

Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, believes that climate change is a “contrived, phony mess.” The federal income tax was the “great milestone on the road to serfdom.” And the Boy Scouts of America are under attack by “a radical homosexual movement.”

By Scott Whitlock | September 7, 2011 | 11:43 AM EDT

Despite all the bad news for Barack Obama, George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday eagerly wondered just how the Republican Party can "blow" the 2012 election. The former Democratic operative turned journalist probed front-runner Rick Perry for limitations, wondering if the candidate will have to "disavow" parts of his 2010 book.

Talking to GOP strategist Karl Rove, Stephanopoulos quizzed, "You've also said President Obama is likely to lose next year and I guess my question is, how could the Republican Party blow it?"

[See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Erin R. Brown | September 7, 2011 | 11:41 AM EDT

The controversy continues over Chaz Bono's participation in ABC's upcoming season of "Dancing with the Stars." The response to the transgender contestant's role in a once-family friendly show has left ABC with an ongoing PR problem.

Chaz Bono is considered a "star" for one reason: Using his status as the child of Cher and Sony Bono to make a very public display of gender identity change, including writing a book, and starring in the Emmy-nominated documentary "Becoming Chaz."

But the network is being coy about the gender identity issue, as evidenced by the confusing segment with "ABC News Consultant" and Chaz's representative Howard Bragman on ABC's "Good Morning America."

Video after the break.

By Noel Sheppard | September 7, 2011 | 10:55 AM EDT

Are messiahs allowed to fudge the truth?

Washington Post's Fact Checker caught the President in a four Pinocchios whopper shockingly writing Wednesday, "Obama’s claim of having passed the 'biggest middle-class tax cut in history' is ridiculous":