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By Lachlan Markay | March 31, 2011 | 9:44 AM EDT

NewsBusters and others have, on many occasions, pointed out the apparent conflict of interest in NBC-Universal and its various media affiliates (both news and entertainment) pushing for policies that would benefit General Electric, who until recently was the majority stakeholder in NBC-U, and still retains a large portion of ownership over the company.

Recent events seem to vindicate that concern. Since the New York Times reported last week that GE paid no taxes in the United States, no "straight news" reporter on NBC has yet mentioned the controversy. NBC's silence suggests, to some, that its news-gathering operation is, to some extent, subordinated to the interests of its parent company.

And though many on the left are disposed to label that slant a bias to the right (since many liberals simple assume that corporations are, by their nature, conservative in their politics), many of GE's ventures not only align with liberal policy objectives, but often use the power of the state, enhanced by liberal economic policies, to promote their own economic agenda.

By NB Staff | March 31, 2011 | 9:14 AM EDT

Freshman Congressman Ben Quayle, R-Ariz., took to the stage at last night's White House Correspondents Association dinner and immediately labeled Politico "the worst media outlet in history." From there, he took on...well, plenty of folks, from Barack Obama to Eliot Spitzer to Newt Gingrich to Anthony Weiner. Check out the video below the break.

By Tim Graham | March 31, 2011 | 8:31 AM EDT

In the same week, leftist hedge-fund billionaire/philanthropist George Soros announced he was giving millions to Media Matters for America and to National Public Radio. So NPR might have found it wise to avoid publicizing Media Matters initiatives and risk being seen by many as a walking conflict of interest. That’s not what’s happening. Instead, Soros is happily seeing his grantees play very nicely together. On March 26, Politico reported that Media Matters declared  "war on Fox" and a campaign of "guerrilla warfare and sabotage" against not just Fox, but Rupert Murdoch's empire in general. Three days later, on the March 29 All Things Considered,  NPR was participating in it.

It began with Media Matters giving the world a tape of FNC executive Bill Sammon on a 2009 fundraising cruise for Hillsdale College proclaiming that he thought 2008 charges that Barack Obama was a socialist were "rather far-fetched," but thought Obama made it very plausible upon taking office. Media Matters said the tape showed "Lying" by Sammon. NPR media reporter David Folkenflik, already looking like a robot-for-hire in his reporting on NPR’s Schillergate scandal, became the wind beneath their wings in promoting it. 

By Mark Finkelstein | March 30, 2011 | 11:45 PM EDT

Are you one of them small-gubmint conservative weirdos?  A critter who cringes when someone tells you they're from the government and there to help you?  Well, answer this: are you, or have you ever been . . . a fan of The A-Team?

Because, yes: one of Rachel Maddow's guests has, with a straight face, advanced the argument that Mr. T and company were complicit in undermining Americans' belief in the benign powers of government.  David Sirota made an appearance with Maddow on her MSNBC show this evening to promote his book that advances the A-Team-as-enemy-of-government-love theory.

View video after the jump.

By Tom Blumer | March 30, 2011 | 5:59 PM EDT

As a reminder that leftists have been poisoning the wells of civility and basic human decency for a very, very long time, I present these two items from the Associated Press and United Press International on April 1 and 2, 1981, respectively:

  • Via AP, dateline Tulsa -- "Teachers Stunned as Children Cheer Reagan Shooting"
  • More generalized coverage from UPI -- "Children Cheer News President Was Shot"

Details are after the jump.

By Matthew Balan | March 30, 2011 | 5:22 PM EDT

NPR's Wade Goodwyn noticeably minimized the presence of anti-illegal immigration conservatives from Texas on Tuesday's All Things Considered. Goodwyn tilted towards so-called "welcoming" and "tolerant" Republicans in the state by a three to one margin, and gushed over the "thousands of illegal immigrants building neighborhoods" during the "Hispanic-friendly" term of then-Governor George W. Bush.

Host Michelle Norris set the biased tone in her introduction for the correspondent's report: "In Texas, the Republican Party is changing tack on illegal immigration. The relatively welcoming, tolerant attitude embraced by George W. Bush when he was governor is waning. It's been overtaken by a flood of Arizona-style get-tough measures. Nearly 100 immigration bills have been written or filed in the current legislative session."

Goodwyn trumpeted how "Texas is now more than ever in the nation's conservative vanguard, and among its most conservative leaders is House Representative Leo Berman from northeast Texas, around Tyler." He continued by acting as if distance from the border mattered in the illegal immigration debate: "Though Berman's district is about as far from the Mexican border as you can get and still be in Texas, he's leading the charge on immigration."

By Scott Whitlock | March 30, 2011 | 4:47 PM EDT

New York Senator Chuck Schumer was caught on tape Tuesday instructing his Democratic colleagues on how to spin the media with regard to “extreme” Republicans and their budget cuts. "I always use extreme...That is what the caucus instructed me to use,” Schumer blurted.

The liberal senator was apparently unaware his comments were being recorded (The remarks were made moments before a conference call with reporters began.) Tuesday’s nightly newscasts on NBC, ABC and CBS all skipped the story. On Wednesday, Good Morning America, Today and Early Show did the same.

By Kyle Drennen | March 30, 2011 | 4:21 PM EDT

Appearing on Sunday's Face the Nation on CBS, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dismissed the idea of U.S. military action in Syria, claiming that unlike Libya's Qadhafi, Syria's Bashir Assad was considered to be a "reformer" by "many of the members of Congress." Schieffer failed to challenge the assertion. In the days since, CBS, ABC, and NBC have ignored the comment.

In contrast to Clinton's remark, a 2009 State Department review of human rights in Syria, released in a March 2010 report, found: "During the year the government and members of the security forces committed numerous serious human rights abuses, and the human rights situation worsened. The government systematically repressed citizens' abilities to change their government. In a climate of impunity, there were instances of arbitrary or unlawful deprivation of life. Members of the security forces tortured and physically abused prisoners and detainees."

By Matt Hadro | March 30, 2011 | 4:15 PM EDT

Would liberal journalist Karen Hunter have whitewashed President Bush's low approval ratings during his time in office? On MSNBC Wednesday, the ever-classy Hunter curtly dismissed President Obama's lowest approval rating to date, growling that "polls are for strippers."

MSNBC anchor Chris Jansing highlighted a new Quinnipiac poll recording Obama's approval rating at 42 percent, an all-time low for the president. She brought on Hunter, who was listed as an MSNBC contributor, along with another more conservative guest to discuss the ratings.

Hunter argued that the populace can be quite fickle in its rating of Obama's accomplishments. "If people do their homework," Hunter noted, they would recognize the magnitude of the president's accomplishments in office, which she believed to have been the most since FDR.

Jansing backed Hunter up.

(Video after the jump.)

By Matthew Sheffield | March 30, 2011 | 4:12 PM EDT

A tree falling in a forest with no one there does make a sound but it's a little hard to hold a presidential debate for Republicans when none of them have officially declared their intention to run.

By Clay Waters | March 30, 2011 | 3:15 PM EDT

Barack Obama, war president?

The Times’s chief online political reporter Michael Shear gave the president, who ran on an anti-war platform, some militant reelection advice in his Wednesday morning “Caucus” post, “The Case for Obama Campaigning as a Foreign Policy President.”

In the past several weeks, events outside the United States have commanded as much of Mr. Obama’s attention as the nation’s domestic concerns. The upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa have provided a fresh reminder that the Oval Office is occupied by the nation’s commander in chief.

That alone might not be enough to displace the economy as the No. 1 issue for Mr. Obama. But as the president’s top advisers survey the field of potential Republican rivals in 2012, one other fact is glaring: Almost none of them have any serious foreign policy credentials.

By Clay Waters | March 30, 2011 | 2:48 PM EDT

Puritanical New York Times food writer Mark Bittman made a rare appearance on the op-ed page Wednesday to call attention to his latest liberal project: “Why We’re Fasting.”

Bittman, food columnist for the Times Sunday magazine, has also written news stories for the paper from his perch as resident food scold. He made the front page of the Sunday Week in Review in February 2010 with his nanny-state call to treat soda like cigarette smoking. The text box captured Bittman’s puritanical flavor: “To help dam the river of sugared drinks that Americans pour into ever-fatter bodies each year, some suggest a soda tax and warning labels.” His attack on meat-eating also made the front page of The Week in Review. On Wednesday he wrote:

I stopped eating on Monday and joined around 4,000 other people in a fast to call attention to Congressional budget proposals that would make huge cuts in programs for the poor and hungry.

By Brent Bozell | March 30, 2011 | 2:43 PM EDT

Editor's Note: The following is a statement issued earlier today by NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell concerning an exposé of Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards’ statements on CNN Headline News.

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards appeared on CNN's Headline News channel claiming that de-funding Planned Parenthood would prevent if from providing women with mammogram services. This has been proven absolutely false. A group called Live Action has released an audio investigation with proof from numerous Planned Parenthood clinics whose staff clearly state they do not provide mammograms, yet the President of the organization went on national television and stated the exact opposite.

The evidence has been presented, and CNN’s Headline News (HLN) has the opportunity here to display true journalistic integrity. How will Headline News respond to the evidence of Cecile Richards’ lie on its network? We call on CNN’s HLN to correct the record, and it should be done by Joy Behar to her viewers. There should be consequences to lying on national television, and if CNN wants to maintain the respect and trust of their viewers, they should ban Cecile Richards and her lies from appearing again.

By Kyle Drennen | March 30, 2011 | 12:46 PM EDT

On Wednesday's CBS Early Show, co-host Chris Wragge interviewed former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and questioned President Obama's Libya policy: "...on Monday, the President said it would be a mistake to send U.S. troops to push out Qadhafi, saying quote, 'We went down that road in Iraq'...taking a shot at you and President Bush....Isn't the President being a bit hypocritical?"

Even Rumsfeld was unwilling to seize on Wragge's characterization: "Oh, I'm not sure I'd use that word." However, he went on to call for greater clarity from the administration on removing Qadhafi: "...the continued ambiguity by the President and the administration about whether or not Qadhafi will ultimately be gone is long as the people on the ground are ambiguous as to whether or not Qadhafi's going to stay or leave, more people will be killed."

By Mike Bates | March 30, 2011 | 12:39 PM EDT

Fox News Chicago reports this morning:

Tim McCarthy, a former Secret Service agent who took a bullet intended for President Ronald Reagan, will observe the 30th anniversary of the attempted assassination on Wednesday by going to Springfield to oppose legislation that would repeal Illinois's ban on concealed carrying of firearms.

McCarthy said he's alarmed that an Illinois House Committee approved a concealed carry proposal. The full House could vote soon.

As happens so often, the fact McCarthy, now the police chief of Chicago suburb Orland Park, is a Democrat isn't reported.  In 1998, he sought his party's endorsement for Illinois Secretary of State.