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By Tim Graham | January 20, 2012 | 4:47 PM EST

On January 21, 1998, the very day the Monica Lewinsky affair broke, Newsweek's Eleanor Clift disdained the story as old news and insisted that presidents like JFK and LBJ demonstrated that "libido and leadership is often linked."

But on Wednesday's Thom Hartmann show, Clift found nothing distasteful in ABC's Marianne Gingrich interview to investigate Newt Gingrich's affinity for "open marriage." She guessed wrong that Gingrich would "just ignore it."

By Kyle Drennen | January 20, 2012 | 4:28 PM EST

In an attempt to make the Republican presidential race appear chaotic, on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry turned to White House correspondent Chuck Todd and declared: "Even the word 'tumultuous' seems inadequate to describe what has happened to the GOP race in the last 24 hours." The on-screen headline screamed: "Campaign Craziness."

Todd saw only problems for the Republican candidates: "Mitt Romney still has an inability to win over conservatives and what does the party establishment do if Gingrich indeed does win South Carolina.... Do they try to rally around Romney one more time? Or do they try to say, 'You know what? Maybe it's time to look for somebody else again, because we don't think Gingrich is electable but now we're worried that Romney's not nominatable.'"

By Clay Waters | January 20, 2012 | 4:27 PM EST

New York Times Atlanta bureau chief Kim Severson showed a little anti-Southern, anti-conservative condescension on the campaign trail in her Friday filing “From South Carolina, a Wary Welcome.” (Previously Jim Rutenberg had declared the state "famous for surfacing the dark undercurrents of American politics.")

By NB Staff | January 20, 2012 | 4:04 PM EST

Last week our "Don't Believe the Liberal Media!" poster was seen by millions of viewers of CBS's Evening News. Today, our posters plugging were featured in a photo montage.

We hope the CBS cameraman and Politico's photo editor aren't hitting the unemployment line because of this, but we're glad the message is getting out to consumers of liberally-biased outlets. You can see the screen shot below the page break.

By Ken Shepherd | January 20, 2012 | 3:01 PM EST

In an unsigned per curiam opinion issued today, the U.S. Supreme Court tossed out a federal judge's revision of Texas's congressional redistricting map, finding that the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas had "substituted its own concept of 'the collective public good' for the Texas Legislature’s determination of which policies serve 'the interests of the citizens of Texas.'" The court "appears to have unnecessarily ignored the State’s plans in drawing certain individual districts," the Court added. No justice dissented and Associate Justice Clarence Thomas issued a concurrence.

Yet in teasing Supreme Court correspondent Robert Barnes's story on the Washington Post's website, editors colored the decision in a way that portrayed the move as the justices having "throw[n] out... electoral maps favoring minorities." [see screencap below page break]

By Scott Whitlock | January 20, 2012 | 12:57 PM EST

ABC trotted out the "best of" Newt Gingrich slams on Thursday, finally revealing the results of an exhaustive Brian Ross interview with Marianne Gingrich, the former Speaker's ex-wife. Ross boasted that his scoop could be seen as a "January surprise" to harm Gingrich. Recycling old attacks, Ross eagerly prompted the ex-Mrs. Gingrich: "You know his secrets. You know his skeletons." [UPDATED: See video below. MP3 audio here.]

How bereft of new information was the segment? According to reports that broke on Wednesday, Ross sat down with Marianne Gingrich for two hours. In the eight minute segment, ABC only used two and a half minutes of actual footage from that interview. But Ross breathlessly hyped, "And we begin tonight with a story at the white-hot intersection of presidential politics, private lives and character."

By Tim Graham | January 20, 2012 | 11:05 AM EST

Dan Rather's career keeps looking sillier. Mark Cuban's HDNet has a splashy new partner -- Ryan Seacrest, the host of "American Idol" and producers of such highbrow TV as "Keeping Up with the Kardashians." The network will rebrand itself as AXS (pronounced "access") and go heavy on concerts.

Cuban said "Dan Rather Reports" will remain as is. The new moniker may fit Rather, who certain has "axes" to grind against conservatives. Here's how Lisa de Moraes of the Washington Post put it:

By NB Staff | January 20, 2012 | 10:50 AM EST

ABC News's Marianne Gingrich interview has "that awful, awful taint of Rathergate to it," timed as it was "to do the most amount of damage it possibly could to Newt Gingrich's career," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell complained in an interview with Washington, D.C. news-talk station WMAL's Morning Majority program.

While Marianne Gingrich may be "entirely honest" in her claim, she is "lashing out at her ex-husband" and her story is an unconfirmable account. "I think it was a mess of a story, I think it hurts the media," the Media Research Center (MRC) founder added. [interview embedded below page break]

By Kyle Drennen | January 20, 2012 | 10:27 AM EST

Having apparently run out of actual news to cover on Friday, the cast of NBC's Today gushed over President Obama singing a line from the song "Let's Stay Together" during a fundraiser at the Apollo Theater. After a clip played of the musical moment, weatherman Al Roker proclaimed: "He could be on The Voice." News anchor Natalie Morales excitedly added: "Sign him up." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Co-host Matt Lauer agreed, declaring Obama was "really very good." The sycophantic group went even further when fellow co-host Ann Curry touted: "...our editors actually did...a little mash-up between a little Obama, a little [singer] Al Green. Let's take a listen." After the ridiculous video, Curry admitted: "We obviously had too much time on our hands." Yeah, no kidding.

By Noel Sheppard | January 20, 2012 | 10:20 AM EST

On the CBS Late Show Thursday, host David Letterman aired a mock video of Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich having sex with a vending machine.

This came at the end of his Top Ten segment called, "Top Ten Revelations In The Interview With Newt Gingrich's Ex-Wife" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):

By Clay Waters | January 20, 2012 | 9:54 AM EST

The New York Times has been going to town on controversies over Mitt Romney’s money, from his personal tax rate to the work of Bain Capital, the private equity firm he co-founded. Thursday’s front page story goes into excruciating detail on what is known about Romney's wealth, under the self-fulfilling headline “Romney Riches Are Being Seen as New Hurdle,” by Nicholas Confessore, David Kocieniewski, and Michael Luo. The story was touted by Charlie Rose on CBS Thursday morning and captured by the MRC's Matthew Balan. But riches were not nearly such a "hurdle" when liberal John Edwards ran for president in 2008.

By Noel Sheppard | January 20, 2012 | 9:26 AM EST

Comedienne Wanda Sykes speculated Thursday that Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry had to drop out of the race because "he was one more debate away from saying the N-word." 

Appearing on NBC’s Tonight Show to bash all the GOP candidates, she also told the host that Newt Gingrich might have wanted an open marriage with his ex-wife because she said he had a "tiny penis" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):

By Clay Waters | January 20, 2012 | 8:50 AM EST

Tax-cut hostile New York Times reporters Michael Cooper and David Kocieniewski teamed up Thursday in a “news” article that assumed as fact (using a study from a left-of-center “nonpartisan” group) that plans by Republican presidential candidates for reducing tax rates would by design lead to widening deficits and "benefit the wealthiest the most": “Higher Deficits Seen In Romney’s Tax Plan, And His Rivals’, Too.” Yet the Times's own chart shows 80% of filers earning between $20,000 and $30,000 -- hardly "the rich" -- would get a tax cut as well.

(Kocieniewski’s hostility to tax cuts is well documented, while Cooper attacked Obama from the left on March 2, 2011 for signing into law an obscure tax break not even liberal economists have  a problem with.)

By NB Staff | January 20, 2012 | 8:25 AM EST

At the very least the timing of ABC News's interview with Gingrich ex-wife Marianne Gingrich is suspect. At the very worst, it is completely inappropriate if it failed to be newsworthy and respectful, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told CNBC's Larry Kudlow on his January 19 Kudlow Report.

"In some respects, aren't they obliged to get it out as fast as they can," Kudlow countered, adding that maybe by putting it out the night of the debate, "it actually lessens the impact and significance of the interview." [see video embedded below page break; see related Bozell statement here]

By Tim Graham | January 20, 2012 | 8:09 AM EST

CNN's John King explained after the final South Carolina debate that he started by asking Newt about his "open marriage" because it seemed like the "elephant in the room." Former Bush aide Ari Fleischer dissented and said the economy is always the number one story, not just the political insider's hot story. So let's ask: when CNN hosted a Democratic debate in South Carolina on January 21, 2008, did they lead with a hot scandal or a personal peccadillo? Nope. They started with the economy.

It was the tenth anniversary of the Monica Lewinsky story breaking, and the debate stood out when Hillary slashed Obama on his relationship with shady financier Tony Rezko. But Monica and Clinton's impeachment never came up. CNN's Joe Johns led off by asking Hillary Clinton about just how generous her "stimulus" would be: