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By Matthew Balan | March 18, 2011 | 6:20 PM EDT

John Avlon again attacked conservatives, this time on the gun rights issues, in a Thursday column on CNN.com. Avlon bashed the "bumper sticker policies" and the "reason-free activist crowd" of Second Amendment activists. The Daily Beast writer also invoked Reagan's past support of gun control measures in another attempt to sever today's conservative activists from the former president's legacy.

The "no labels" CNN contributor began his column, "Why is NRA spurning Obama move?", with a lament over the status quo over the gun control, particularly in the wake of the Tucson shooting earlier in 2011:

By Tom Blumer | March 18, 2011 | 5:03 PM EDT

Most readers here aren't aware that Associated Press reporters began withholding their bylines this week in support of their union's "quality journalism proposals." Participating reporters are refusing to have their name placed on AP stories. It appears to apply to stories datelined in the U.S. and not overseas (as seen here).

It is truly a wonder that the world has gone on while AP reporters refuse to tell us who wrote the wire service's U.S. stories (/sarc).

The byline strike springs from the wire service's refusal, among other things, according to the News Media Guild, the union which represents AP newsroom personnel, to accept a "fixed-cost pension plan." The AP wants a defined-contribution plan (i.e., something similar or identical to a 401(k)).

Here are some economy, business, and political "gems" appearing at AP during the past few days which can't be traced to a specific reporter:

By Ken Shepherd | March 18, 2011 | 3:43 PM EDT

Leading the free world is highly overrated and so last century.

Just ask Time's Joe Klein, who is giddy that our European allies and the Arab League took a leading role in setting up a no-fly zone over Libya, some 31 days after Muammar al-Qadhafi started opening fire upon ragtag rebels.

From a March 18 entry entitled "Gaddafi Duck" at the magazine's Swampland blog:

By Lachlan Markay | March 18, 2011 | 3:41 PM EDT

After penning a number of stories toeing the Democratic line on a variety of issues, Washington Post reporter Shailagh Murray decided to make it official: the Post announced Friday that she has taken a job in the office of Vice President Joe Biden.

Murray marks the 18th journalist to move from a reporting position to a post in Democratic politics or vice versa since President Obama took office. The revolving door between journalism and the Democratic Party underscores the extent to which the ideologies of each overlap.

The bias dossier on Murray is thinner than, say, Katie Couric's, but contains a number of telling items. Let's review a few of the highlights.

By Matthew Balan | March 18, 2011 | 1:54 PM EDT

On Friday's Morning Edition, NPR's Mara Liasson conspicuously excluded conservatives who are opposed to "comprehensive" immigration reform proposals, such as those forwarded by former President George W. Bush, during a report on Utah's new and "milder" immigration law. Liasson emphasized the state's "conservative politics," but couldn't find any conservatives who opposed the law.

Host Renee Montagne introduced the correspondent's report by highlighting how "Arizona's tough immigration law has received extensive coverage, and there's been a lot of talk about similar measures in other states. Yet, one of Arizona's neighbors, also known for its conservative politics, has taken a very different approach." Liasson set up her report by underscoring Utah's conservative credentials: "If you were to choose a state that would allow illegal immigrants to come out of the shadows, work and drive without fear of deportation, you probably wouldn't pick Utah."

By Noel Sheppard | March 18, 2011 | 1:34 PM EDT

It really is amazing that anybody takes New York Times columnist Paul Krugman seriously.

Consider the following factual misrepresentations in what he wrote Friday:

By Clay Waters | March 18, 2011 | 1:27 PM EDT

On Friday the New York Times broke its near-silence on its new digital subscription plan with a front-page story by media reporter Jeremy Peters. As of Monday, March 28, visitors to nytimes.com can read 20 stories a month for free. After that, readers get several pay options, one being a $15-a-month fee for full web access. Print subscribers are unaffected.

Peters encapsulated the concerns:

No American news organization as large as The Times has tried to put its content behind a pay wall after allowing unrestricted access. The move is being closely watched by anxious publishers, which have warily embraced the Web and struggled with how to turn online journalism into a profitable business.

Canada is the Times’s guinea pig, which I’m sure pleases them:

By Clay Waters | March 18, 2011 | 1:03 PM EDT

On Thursday the House voted 228-192 to end direct federal funding of NPR, but “Caucus” correspondent Michael Shear on Friday morning dismissed the move as a “distraction” in “NPR Vote One of Many Distractions to Come.”

The vote by House Republicans Thursday to strip National Public Radio of much of its federal funding is an early example of the ways in which narrow issues are likely to repeatedly distract lawmakers during the upcoming 2012 election season.

Republicans have put more emphasis on spending cuts, while Democrats have put their focus on job creation, but leaders of both parties in both chambers of Congress have declared themselves committed to addressing the nation’s biggest economic challenges: reducing the spiraling deficits and debt, bringing down unemployment, addressing the long-term health of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

By Scott Whitlock | March 18, 2011 | 1:01 PM EDT

According to Good Morning America host Robin Roberts, reporter Jake Tapper is a "big fan" of South Park. His affection showed on Friday as he interviewed the program's creators, the duo behind a vulgar Broadway play mocking Mormons.

At no time during the segment on The Book of Mormon did Tapper feature any on-camera criticism of Parker and Stone. (He simply read a statement at the end of the piece.) Instead, the journalist mildly offered questions such as "Why go after Mormons?"

When Stone asserted, "I don't think either of us think that Mormonism is any goofier than Hinduism or Christianity," Tapper had no comment.

By Kyle Drennen | March 18, 2011 | 11:18 AM EDT

Following the March 8 release of an undercover sting video of NPR executive Ron Schiller calling Tea Party members "racist," CBS initially gave no coverage to the ensuing scandal and resignations of him and NPR President Vivian Schiller. However, it turns out that the controversy was covered by a CBS News broadcast, the barely-watched 4 A.M. Morning News.

On Thursday's CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric did a news brief on House Republicans voting to de-fund NPR: "Republicans say NPR does well enough to fund itself, but Democrats say a cutoff of federal money would cripple some 600 public radio stations." She failed to make any mention of the scandal that preceded the vote.

By NB Staff | March 18, 2011 | 10:53 AM EDT

The liberally-biased mainstream media didn't let a catastrophe go to waste, using the Japanese tsunami as an opportunity to suggest, falsely, that Republicans would like to cut the budget for NOAA in such a way that would threaten the Pacific tsunami warning system.

NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told the audience of last night's "Hannity":

 

By Noel Sheppard | March 18, 2011 | 10:33 AM EDT

If you thought Helen Thomas telling Jews to get the hell out of Palestine was anti-Semitic, you ain't seen nothing yet.

The disgraced former White House correspondent is Playboy magazine's interviewee in April, and some of the hate-filled nonsense she spewed to her Jewish interviewer should shame those responsible for ever putting this woman in such a powerful press position:

By NB Staff | March 18, 2011 | 9:26 AM EDT

Libyan foreign minister Lusa Kusa announced Friday morning that the country's military would cease attacks against rebels there. The announcement came after the United Nations approved a US-led no-fly-zone over Libya in a 10-0 vote (with five abstensions) Thursday evening.

The Washington Post reported Friday:

“We decided on an immediate cease-fire and on an immediate stop to all military operations,” Libyan foreign Minister Musa Kusa told reporters in the capital, Tripoli. He said Libya “takes great interest in protecting civilians” and that it would also protect foreigners and foreign assets in the country...

By Tim Graham | March 18, 2011 | 8:48 AM EDT

On Friday, The Washington Post clearly displayed its bias in favor of liberal NPR with two supportive editorials (including one from a "conservative") and a slanted news story on Thursday's House vote on NPR. That story, by Felicia Sonmez, had a 6-to-4 tilt in quotes toward NPR advocates -- if you don't consider Republicans NPR advocates. Sonmez only found NPR lovers among the Republicans to quote, and left out all the arguments about high salaries and liberal elitism and bias. In fact, the word "liberal" doesn't appear in the article:

Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-Calif.) said he appreciated some of NPR’s programming but added that “half the American people have never even heard of, much less even listened to, NPR.”

Rep. Rich Nugent (R-Fla.) argued that those watching the House debate on Thursday were likely watching it on C-SPAN, which doesn’t receive federal funding. “A lot of us like NPR,” he said, later adding: “We’re not trying to harm NPR. We’re actually trying to liberate them from federal tax dollars.” 

By Mark Finkelstein | March 18, 2011 | 8:41 AM EDT

Poor baby . . .

Barack Obama's complaints about the burdens of his office have found a sympathetic ear in the person of Tina Brown.   The Newsweek/Daily Beast editor has claimed that PBO "does have the worst inbox of any president maybe in history."

Brown made her history-defying declaration on today's Morning Joe.

View video after the jump.