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By Scott Whitlock | April 7, 2011 | 5:12 PM EDT

According to World News' Diane Sawyer, House Speaker John Boehner is being "held hostage" by the Tea Party. Over two days and two shows, Sawyer and interviewer George Stephanopoulos hit the Republican as captive to an unreasonable base who want to shut down the government.

On Thursday's Good Morning America, after Boehner asserted that taxpayer dollars shouldn't fund abortions, Stephanopoulos chided, "If you hold on to that, the White House and Democrats have been very clear, there's no deal. The government is going to shut down."

He didn't make the obvious logical conclusion that the Democrats are being held hostage by a liberal, pro-abortion base. Later, the GMA host reiterated his point, arguing: "You know what the Democrats say. They say they can cut a deal with you. But you don't buck the Tea Party."

By Matt Hadro | April 7, 2011 | 4:40 PM EDT

Along with other institutions and people who will be impacted by a government shutdown, CNN spotlighted, throughout the day Thursday, the "grave" plight of museums and parks that may be forced to a "screeching halt" in the "height of tourism season."

CNN devoted its entire 2 p.m. EDT news hour to the possible government shutdown and what its consequences would be. Anchor Randi Kaye began the 2:15 p.m. EDT segment casting the shutdown as a "grave" threat to the U.S. economy and tourism.

"This couldn't come at a worse time," CNN's Kate Bolduan ominously declared during the 10 a.m. EDT news hour. "This is the height of the tourist season for the Smithsonian, for Washington."

By Kyle Drennen | April 7, 2011 | 4:12 PM EDT

After NBC Today co-host Matt Lauer joined Senator Chuck Schumer on Wednesday in labeling the Tea Party as the cause of the budget stalemate in Congress, on Thursday, Capitol Hill correspondent Kelly O'Donnell again provided a platform for Democratic talking points in an interview with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

O'Donnell, who spoke with Reid Wednesday night, began with a challenge: "If there were a shutdown, are you responsible? At least in part?" Reid replied: "How can we be blamed when we have given them everything they want and they won't take yes for an answer?" She then summarized the Democratic argument: "Reid said Republicans refuse to compromise....[his] answer is blame the Tea Party."

By Ken Shepherd | April 7, 2011 | 4:00 PM EDT

On Monday evening, the AP reported that a suspicious package destined for Rep. Peter King's (R-N.Y.) Washington congressional office was intercepted at an off-site mail facility and "contained a pig's foot and a note laced with several anti-Semitic references, according to a person with knowledge of the incident who requested anonymity because of the ongoing police investigation."

King, the AP noted, is "[t]he Republican congressman [who] chairs the House Homeland Security panel which held hearings last month on Islamic radicalization."

But a search of Nexis reveals that major newspapers like the New York Times and Washington Post failed to report the story. The same appears to be true of the three broadcast networks: ABC, CBS, and NBC. ABCNews.com's "The Note" blog, however, did report the story Monday evening.

By Tom Blumer | April 7, 2011 | 3:14 PM EDT

The repeal of Obamacare's nightmarish 1099 requirement has passed both chambers of Congress and is on its way to the President for his expected signature.

In reporting Tuesday on the repeal bill's progress, the Associated Press's headline writers assured readers that the original requirement in Obamacare was a "small" component of it. The AP's Stephen Ohlemacher also misstated current 1099 filing requirements, ignored the repeal bill's de facto tax increases (i.e., reductions of tax credits) that were crammed into the bill to "pay" for lost revenue that will supposedly result from repeal, and glossed over the fact that the requirement made it into law because almost no one read the Obamacare legislation in the first place. Other than that, the AP report isn't too bad. (/sarc)

Here are key paragraphs from Ohlemacher's report (bolds and number tags are mine):

By Geoffrey Dickens | April 7, 2011 | 12:26 PM EDT

As a potential government shutdown looms the liberal media are filling their programs with stories about dire consequences of deep cuts that will lead to troops not getting paid, closed national parks, and late tax refunds. However, a review of MRC's coverage of the 1995 budget fight reveals the media are simply rerunning their tired old arguments from the last shutdown.

On this Wednesday's edition of ABC's Good Morning America, Jonathan Karl tallied the services that could be at risk this time around, as he warned: "If they don't reach a deal and get it passed by then, American troops, including those on the front lines in Afghanistan and Iraq, may not get their paychecks. And smack in the middle of tax season, that refund you've been counting on, well, you may have to wait." Karl went on to alert travelers that: "Treasures like Old Faithful and Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore, Yosemite's half dome, will be closed to visitors. And if you don't already have a passport, don't even think about leaving the country. Last time the government shut down, 200,000 passport applications were stopped in their tracks."

However Karl and others, as quotes from 1995 show, are simply dusting off the old media playbook to blame Republicans, not Democrats, for a shutdown, as they focus on high profile federal projects like national parks in an attempt to frighten the American people into opposing prudent fiscal decision-making.

(videos after the jump)

By Ken Shepherd | April 7, 2011 | 12:16 PM EDT

In a live stand-up via satellite from the U.S. Capitol shortly after 11 a.m. EDT today, MSNBC's Luke Russert insisted that Senate Democrats were holding up approval of spending bills to fund the federal government through the rest of the fiscal year because they were pro-environment and for "women's health," the latter of course being code for the controversial issue of federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

"Two very partisan political issues are essentially what is holding up whether or not there will be a government shutdown," Russert told anchor Thomas Roberts (emphasis mine):

By Scott Whitlock | April 7, 2011 | 12:04 PM EDT

An ABC report that preemptively identified possible victims of a government shutdown was so close to White House spin that Barack Obama touted it at a news conference, Wednesday. The President focused on J.T. Henderson, an American whose tax refund could be delayed, a story first highlighted on ABC, April 6.

Good Morning America's Jon Karl on Thursday proudly recounted, "President Obama saw Henderson's story on World News With Diane Sawyer and singled him out last night." An ABC graphic trumpeted, "Obama Singles Out Father: Kentucky man Counting on Refund." The President on Wednesday night quoted from Henderson on World News.

The original World News segment by Jake Tapper shamelessly featured sixth graders who have a field trip to Washington planned. One young girl lamented, "The government is mean." Karl also included this manipulative footage in his GMA report.

By Matt Hadro | April 7, 2011 | 11:03 AM EDT

On Thursday morning's "Squawk Box," CNBC's on-air editor Rick Santelli sounded off against raising the debt ceiling, the Democrat-controlled congress' failure to pass a budget last year, and "spendthrift" politicians. The rant echoed his famous 2009 diatribe where he called for a Chicago "Tea Party."

"It's a matter of principle. If we can't do the discretionary spending now, what chance do the conservatives have to tackle everything we know?" he said of more budget cuts.  

"But you turn on certain channels that are supposed to be news, and they vilify anything to get it under control. They say we're going to kill kids? You know, we will have problems with children if the whole damn country goes bankrupt. Wake up!"

(Video below the break.)

By Glen Asbury | April 7, 2011 | 9:26 AM EDT

Old media is nothing, if not oblivious to its consistently declining popularity among the public at large. This tired, but time-tested pattern of misplacing causes of failure was borne out once again via the recent musings of none other than the soon-to-be-former CBS "Evening News" anchor Katie Couric.

In a Q & A published Monday in the New York Times, interviewer Adam Goldman questioned Couric about why the show she has hosted since September 2006 remains in third place, despite effusive initial plaudits and wall-to-wall marketing. Couric replied (emphasis mine):

I believe we were in third place for 13 years before I got here, and I think habits, particularly with an evening news broadcast, move at a glacial pace. And I think that local news stations have something to do with it.

By Mark Finkelstein | April 7, 2011 | 9:07 AM EDT

On Morning Joe today, ad man Donny Deutsch called Glenn Beck a "despicable putz."  For good measure, Deutsch also described Beck as "a disgusting human being."

Deutsch was reacting to a clip of Beck from yesterday confirming that he was indeed leaving his Fox News show.

Deutsch was clearly proud of his epithet, regretting that Pat Buchanan didn't respond to it in his subsequent comments.

View video after the jump.

By Brent Baker | April 7, 2011 | 8:52 AM EDT

It used to be a cliche that a threatened federal shutdown would send liberals and journalists scurrying to show people harmed by highlighting a closed Washington Monument and disappointed tourists – a cliche ABC’s Jake Tapper turned into a reality Wednesday night. He, however, shamelessly went even further, invoking not only how “landmarks will close” – citing the Washington Monument, the Liberty Bell and the National Zoo – but also “medical research and hope for desperate patients,” including “children with cancer.”

After illustrating the implication of closed landmarks with video of upset 6th graders from rural Massachusetts, one of whom proclaimed “the government is mean,” Tapper wasn’t done with his parade of victims supposedly to be hurt by a shutdown, which hasn’t yet happened and could last just a matter of days, as he found a 4-year-old refugee from Ethiopia to exploit. Really. Warning that “for those who sent in their taxes by mail, tax refunds may not arrive,” Tapper relayed:

In Louisville Kentucky, J.T. Henderson and his wife had to file their taxes by mail so they could receive the adoption refund after 4-year-old Teddy, from Ethiopia, joined their family last summer.

By NB Staff | April 7, 2011 | 8:41 AM EDT

We knew it was coming. Every person concerned about the nation's impending fiscal collapse knew that any proposal to fix the problem - entitlement spending - would be met by shameless demagoguery and fear-mongering by leading liberals. Minority leader Nancy Pelosi and newly minted DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz did not disappoint. President Obama's own pleas to not play politics with such reform efforts apparently fell on deaf ears. Even Wasserman-Schultz's "civility cop" schtick post-Tucson (so three months ago) hasn't dissuaded her from characterizing Ryan's proposal as a "death trap" for America's seniors (note the media silence compared to Palin's "death panels").

Check out Laura Ingraham blasting their hypocrisy below the break (via Hot Air).

By Dan Gainor | April 7, 2011 | 6:08 AM EDT

Apparently, megalomaniacs need schedulers.

Just ask George Soros. The left-wing billionaire is helping fund two major conferences that start on the same day, in two different locations just a three hours apart by car. Two liberal events packed into one long weekend. God created the world in six days. Apparently, Soros, who sees himself as “some kind of god,”needs just a long weekend to start remaking today's world in his image.

The emphasis of both conferences is a familiar one to American voters – change. Soros wants to begin changing the global economy in one event. In the other, his flunkies want to “Change the world. Change the media.”

Now that is change you can believe in. Sadly, those who actually report the news must believe in it because they sure as heck aren’t reporting on Soros or either event. And that’s even though staffers or even executives from Reuters, the Financial Times, NPR, PBS, The Washington Post and other major media outlets are speaking at one event or the other.

The first gathering in Bretton Woods, N.H., is an economic conference Soros once described as “a grand bargain that rearranges the entire financial order.” In October 2009, Soros committed $50 million to the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET). A week later, the glib lefty investor wrote a column calling for a new Bretton Woods event, to recreate the one that helped design the post-WWII economy. Only he wants this one to knock America down a peg or three.

By Rudy Takala | April 7, 2011 | 2:47 AM EDT

As debate rages across the country about whether it is reasonable to reduce federal spending in light of the fact that the federal government is spending more than eight times what it takes in, the same publications willing to defend that spending often simultaneously criticize spending by businesses that make a profit. One such story ran in publications nationwide this week, including the Chicago Tribune.

In a story blaringly entitled "Eight Outrageous Executive Perks" circulated by Tribune Media Services, author Kathy Kristoff laments the compensation packages offered by varied companies to their founders and/or CEOs.

For example, Qwest CEO Ed Mueller’s family was permitted use of the company jet, an expense totaling $281,182 for the year. Occidental Petroleum served as another example; the company's CEO moved from Texas to California to do his job. Texas has no state income tax; California had a 9% state income tax at the time. Occidental agreed to pay the tax for him.