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By Scott Whitlock | January 16, 2012 | 5:17 PM EST

In the days leading up to the GOP primary in South Carolina, all three networks have aggressively attacked the state and its supposedly "dirty," "nasty," "notorious" politics. Echoing many other journalists, CBS's Jan Crawford warned on January 12: "Down here in South Carolina, the weather is warm, that tea is cold, and the politics can get down right dirty."

On January 15, Chris Matthews repeatedly smeared the Palmetto state: "Why are South Carolina politics always so down and dirty?...What makes this state, for everyone who wants to be president, the messiest stop of all?" Quoting "Time" magazine, the "Chris Matthews Show" host mocked, "...They don't call South Carolina the low country for nothing." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Clay Waters | January 16, 2012 | 3:00 PM EST

New York Times sports columnist Harvey Araton issued a snotty broadside (“Curtain Closes on Tebow’s Season, but His Sideshow Goes On") against Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, whose religious displays, unconventional style, and clutch performances have divided fans and popular culture. Araton went beyond admitting discomfort at Tebow’s overt religiosity to begrudge the quarterback for a good deed -- spending time with a brain-damaged visitor after the Broncos’ playoff loss to the New England Patriots.

A look into Araton’s history reveals his anti-Tebow rant as liberal hypocrisy. Araton took the opposite view in an April 2009 column, marking NFL television commentator John Madden’s retirement by excoriating the Hall of Fame coach for failing to speak out on issues beside football. But for Araton, speaking out means speaking out on liberal views, like Bob Costas, who he praised. In a May 2006 column Araton faulted the Duke women's lacrosse team for speaking out in defense of male colleagues being falsely accused of rape, even suggesting college officials should intervene to stop them.

By Jack Coleman | January 16, 2012 | 2:41 PM EST

MSNBC resident Victorian gent Rachel Maddow must have felt so dutiful for correcting an inaccurate statement by one of her guests.

Which made it all the more amusing that Maddow during the same show perpetuated a hoary media myth created two decades ago. (video after page break)

By Ken Shepherd | January 16, 2012 | 1:37 PM EST

Update (17:05 EST): Williams tweets in protest: "Not once did I say GOP voters are racists" and has asked that I correct this post accordingly. I stand by my assertion given the context wherein Williams was describing why he believes Palmetto State Republicans, despite their reticence about Romney's Mormonism, could vote for Romney, whom they consider most likely to beat Obama in the November presidential election. At any rate, you can judge for yourself by watching the video below the page break.

Correction: Williams is a former lobbyist, having quit his lobbying work recently to work on Dylan Ratigan's "Get Money Out" campaign, a drive to amend the Constitution to overturn the implications of the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling. Williams is senior strategist for and co-founder of United Republic.

What better way is there, really, for MSNBC to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day than by leveling charges that Republican voters in general and Republican candidates in particular are racist? That's what Now with Alex Wagner panelists Jimmy Williams and Joy-Ann Reid charged respectively on today's program. [MP3 audio available here]

By Kyle Drennen | January 16, 2012 | 12:51 PM EST

Appearing on Monday's NBC Today to discuss Golden Globe wins for several of his films, producer Harvey Weinstein was particularly proud of the Margaret Thatcher biopic, "The Iron Lady," selectively praising the former British prime minister: "...you see the values that Margaret Thatcher espouses....she was a social progressive, she was pro-choice...pro-gay, pro, you know, health service."                

While Weinstein acknowledged Thatcher to be "fiscally conservative," he seemed to warn those who see her as a conservative icon: "There are myths that we blow away in the movie....Those people who put her name in vain are just lying about it. So I think the movie's explosive and fantastic."

By Tom Blumer | January 16, 2012 | 11:58 AM EST

In the annals of fawning coverage of scandal-plagued Democrats, Michael Biesecker's Saturday morning report on John Edwards's illness and its effect on his upcoming trail on campaign finance violations surely must be among the worst.

Biesecker missed at least a half-dozen natural opportunities to tag Edwards as a Democrat, finally doing so in cryptic fashion in his 15th of 17 paragraphs. He didn't identify Edwards as the 2004 vice-presidential candidate until that same paragraph, and in doing so named who was at the top of the GOP ticket (George W. Bush) without naming who was at the top of the Dems' (John Kerry). The AP reporter threw obsequious virtual kisses at a man who betrayed his terminally ill wife while omitting two clearly relevant recent reports, one from an outlet which has scooped the look-the-other-way establishment press time after time in this sad, four-year saga. Here are several paragraphs from Biescecker's blather (some of the many clear opportunities to tag Edwards as a Dem and examples of over-the-top fawning are bolded):

By NB Staff | January 16, 2012 | 11:08 AM EST

While the news media has a professional "obligation to get it right," liberal network news anchor last week set out to "purposefully" take Mitt Romney's "fire people" comment out of context, Fox News host Sean Hannity complained on his January 13 program.

But it's not only "purposeful distortion" but "purposeful character assassination" by the liberal media added NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell, who appeared via satellite for the popular recurring "Media Mash" feature. [MP3 audio available here; video embedded below page break]

By Kyle Drennen | January 16, 2012 | 10:27 AM EST

At the top of the 8 a.m. ET hour of NBC's Today on Monday, fill-in news anchor Tamron Hall promoted a fake campaign attack ad created by comedian Stephen Colbert which argues that if Mitt Romney believes corporations are people, "Then Mitt Romney is a serial killer. He's Mitt the Ripper." The ad follows with a woman screaming. [Audio available here]

Hall explained to viewers: "Colbert is using his fake bid for the White House to call attention to unlimited spending by anonymous super-PACs." After the news brief, fill-in co-host Natalie Morales declared: "I love Colbert. What he gets away with." Weatherman Al Roker joked: "He's a great American." Co-host Savannah Guthrie argued: "...it's only slightly more over the top than some of the ads we've seen." [View video after the jump]

By Clay Waters | January 16, 2012 | 9:59 AM EST

There was a fascinating exchange last week between Melissa Cohlmia, spokesman for Koch Industries, and New York Times public editor (or ombudsman) Arthur Brisbane. Koch Industries, which engages in arts philanthropy and conservative-libertarian causes, is a target of obsession and hostility both by left-wingers and reporters and writers for the New York Times, as Times Watch has shown.

While Brisbane mostly defended the Times’s news coverage and its right to deliver anti-Koch opinions in op-eds and art critics, he admitted the paper’s overwhelming left-ward slant in its opinionizing made for “predictable and sometimes very dull reading,” “and there can be little doubt that the Times ownership and editorial page ascribe to a liberal perspective.”

By Brent Baker | January 16, 2012 | 9:15 AM EST

CBS’s Bob Schieffer decided his viewers needed a special warning about how far out of the mainstream an upcoming guest dwells, plugging at the top of Sunday’s Face the Nation how he’d have as guests Republican presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich – and then: “for context on how it’s going, we’ll bring in South Carolina’s very conservative Senator, Jim DeMint.”

By Noel Sheppard | January 16, 2012 | 9:10 AM EST

Hip-hop millionaire Russell Simmons and MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan aren't only outspoken supporters of the Occupy movement.

On the occasion of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the pair published an article at the Huffington Post claiming that our decades-old war on drugs is a racist conspiracy designed to unfairly incarcerate blacks to profit government agencies and corporate America:

By Mark Finkelstein | January 16, 2012 | 7:21 AM EST

Tuning in Morning Joe today, I half expected to discover on the set some professional mourners imported from North Korea, keening and crying over the political demise of Jon Huntsman.

Huntsman had had the Morning Joe crowd from hello.  The overwhelming winner of the bien-pensant MSM primary was amazingly popular—except with actual Republican voters, who didn't dig his moderate positioning and a tone that some found . . . well, how do you say "supercilious" in Mandarin?  Taking today's cake was Joe Scarborough finding Huntsman's "moderate temperament" Reaganesque, and claiming that in rejecting Huntsman, Republicans have "turned their backs" on Ronald Reagan.  Video after the jump.

By Tim Graham | January 15, 2012 | 10:19 PM EST

On Saturday, the NPR-distributed show On The Media recycled “The Story That Continues to Dog Romney" – a 1983 anecdote where Mitt Romney strapped his Irish setter Seamus to the top of his car in a carrier on a trip to Canada. Somehow, On The Media host Bob Garfield found it wry to compare Romney to Michael Vick, the NFL quarterback who pled guilty to hanging or drowning six to eight dogs.

“So back in 2007, you surely knew that this story would not be taken only at face value, that it would mutate" Garfield told Boston Globe reporter Neil Swidey, the original sleuth of “Seamusgate,” “and it would be used as ammunition by those who would portray Mitt Romney as the Michael Vick of presidential candidates. It still wound up as your lede. You feel any compunction about that at this stage?”

By Brad Wilmouth | January 15, 2012 | 9:55 PM EST

On the Monday, January 9, Imus in the Morning, as he was interviewed by phone, New York magazine's Frank Rich - formerly of the New York Times - argued that he believes President Obama should be reelected, and seemed befuddled when host Don Imus, who plans to vote for Mitt Romney, asserted that Obama's foreign policy has been "disastrous." The liberal columnist then tried to give President Obama credit for the death of Osama bin Laden.

After Imus asked, "So you like President Obama, don't you? I mean, you'll vote-"

Rich responded: (Video below)

By Noel Sheppard | January 15, 2012 | 9:44 PM EST

While introducing Madonna at Sunday’s Golden Globes, controversial host Ricky Gervais mocked her as being “just like a virgin.”

Madonna quickly struck back saying, “If I’m still just like a virgin, Ricky, then why don’t you come over here and do something about it? I haven’t kissed a girl in a few years – on TV” (video follows):