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By Erin R. Brown | April 20, 2011 | 9:49 AM EDT

Easter is the quintessential Christian holiday - the celebration of Jesus Christ's death and resurrection. Although it has been celebrated by billions of people around the world for nearly 2,000 years, the mainstream media would rather celebrate the liberal holiday known as "Earth Day" and connect Easter to the abuse scandal that surrounded the Roman Catholic Church. Some major Findings:


By Noel Sheppard | April 20, 2011 | 8:39 AM EDT

For the second night in a row Tuesday, MSNBC's Ed Schultz called Republicans liars.

Also for the second night in a row, he did so moments before lying himself (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Tom Blumer | April 20, 2011 | 1:13 AM EDT

On Monday, the New York Times assembled a panel of alleged experts in its Room For Debate section. Each weighed in on Monday's ratings agency outlook downgrade by Standard and Poor's in an item entitled "Is Anyone Listening to the S.&P.?" (Don't ask me why "the" is there. It shouldn't be; the item is about the firm Standard and Poor's, not "the" Standard and Poor's stock index.)

One of the contributors was Yves Smith. Ms. Smith "writes the blog Naked Capitalism. She is the head of Aurora Advisors, a management consulting firm, and the author of 'Econned: How Unenlightened Self Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism.'"

Wait until you read Ms. Smith's reaction to S&P's move after the jump (bold after title is mine):

By Tom Blumer | April 20, 2011 | 12:14 AM EDT

The Associated Press's Derek Kravitz seems to have a difficult time quoting government statistics without rewording them. This is a far from harmless habit.

Tuesday, Kravitz the Creative reported on the Census Bureau's information release on March homebuilding industry activity. His first two paragraphs and the story's headline (y'know, the parts that are more likely to be read over the airwaves or seen by readers in a hurry) told us that "new-home construction" increased by 7.2%. Either the poor chap believes that "housing starts," which is the only number which increased to that degree, is a synonym for "new-home construction," or he was trying to put a prettier face than deserved on a set of depressed industry data that barely showed a pulse.

After two cheery paragraphs, Kravitz segued into communicating the truly pessimistic nature of the housing industry these days, and noted two pieces of information which virtually prove that "new-home construction" did not increase by the percentage stated -- if it increased at all.

Here are several paragraphs from the AP report (bolded paragraph is where the two contradictory data points are found):

By Noel Sheppard | April 19, 2011 | 10:42 PM EDT

MSNBC has lately been spending a tremendous amount of time on Donald Trump and the President's birth certificate.

The round the clock coverage of this issue led MSNBC contributor Pat Buchanan to say on Tuesday's "MSNBC Live," "MSNBC is transfixed with it" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Noel Sheppard | April 19, 2011 | 7:50 PM EDT

There are times when I watch MSNBC and wonder if there are actually producers paying any attention to what's going on.

Consider the following brief segment from Tuesday's "Hardball" wherein host Chris Matthews first derided a Dallas, Texas, reporter for being tough during an interview with President Obama and then immediately chastised Donald Trump for being displeased by the constant interruptions during his interview with NBC's Savannah Guthrie (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Ken Shepherd | April 19, 2011 | 5:17 PM EDT

As part of its effort to "shore up" the backing of social conservatives, House Republicans today "issued a contract today to pay former Solicitor General Paul Clement $575 an hour, up to $500,000 to defend the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act," San Francisco Chronicle's Carolyn Lochhead insisted in the paper's Politics Blog.

"Republicans claim they will take the money out of the Justice Department's budget, as if that will hold taxpayers harmless. But a cost is a cost and taxpayers will pay it either way. Any funds removed from DOJ are funds removed from other work," Lochhead groused.

This from the same reporter who approved of Obama's fiscal year 2012 budget proposal as "centrist."

By Clay Waters | April 19, 2011 | 3:11 PM EDT

After relegating to page A16 the stabbing slaughter of five members of a family of Israeli settlers on March 12 at the hands of Palestinians, the New York Times mustered front-page sympathy for Vittorio Arrigoni, a pro-Palestinian activist murdered in Gaza by a fringe Islamic group. Fares Akram and Isabel Kershner reported from Gaza for Saturday’s front page, “Killing of Pro-Palestinian Activist In Gaza Deals a Blow to Hamas.”

For Vittorio Arrigoni, an Italian pro-Palestinian activist who friends said fought peacefully for justice, the end was as violent as it was incongruous.

By Matt Hadro | April 19, 2011 | 1:45 PM EDT

Former Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez is expected to be a Democratic contender in the Texas 2012 Senate race. However, when Politico's Mike Allen brought news of his probable candidacy to MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Monday,  he omitted the fact that Sanchez commanded the U.S. ground forces in Iraq while the infamous abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison took place.

Sanchez, when he retired from the Army in November of 2006,  told a local paper that the Abu Ghraib scandal was "the sole reason" he was forced to retire. The scandal occurred in the summer and fall of 2003, and involved humiliations, beatings, and sexual abuse of prisoners at the hands of U.S. soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad. Sanchez was the commander of coalition forces in Iraq during that time.

By Scott Whitlock | April 19, 2011 | 12:14 PM EDT

George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday lectured potential Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, indignantly telling him that he was only after "the facts." Four years ago, however, Good Morning America had few tough questions for the 2008 Democratic contenders.

At one point during the nine minute interview, Stephanopoulos pressed Trump 16 straight times on the so-called birther issue. The host demanded, "You said that you sent investigators to Hawaii and you said quote, 'They cannot believe what they're finding.' What have they found?" The ABC journalist repeated this particular question four times.

Stephanopoulos did hit Trump from the right a number of times, pushing, "Today, the head of the Club for Growth, a major group inside the Republican Party, has said you're just another liberal..." However, by March 26,2007, GMA had already devoted a 26 minute infomercial to then-candidate Hillary Clinton. Host Robin Roberts allowed Clinton to speak for 18 of those 26 minutes.


By Ken Shepherd | April 19, 2011 | 12:12 PM EDT

Last week I noted how the Washington Post hyped Planned Parenthood as a provider of community health services in the District of Columbia although there were plenty of other full-service free or low-cost health clinics in the District run by other non-profit groups.

Today the Post is at it again, presenting Planned Parenthood as a crucial provider of health services in rural states like Montana.

But yet again, a quick Internet search shows Planned Parenthood isn't the only game in Big Sky Country when it comes to health clinics for the poor.

By Kyle Drennen | April 19, 2011 | 11:52 AM EDT

In a discussion with CNBC's Erin Burnett on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer was skeptical of Standard and Poor's downgrading of the chances of the U.S. addressing its massive debt and worried: "Is this a kind of a delicate line for the folks at the S & P to walk? Are they venturing into politics here when they should be sticking to fiscal policy?"

What Lauer failed to mention was that he was using the exact line put out by the Obama administration on Monday. At the top of the 8:00AM ET hour of the broadcast, news reader Natalie Morales reported: "The White House is minimizing the significance of the credit rating agency Standard & Poor's decision to downgrade its outlook on U.S. government debt. The Obama administration saying it underscores the need for a bipartisan agreement to reduce the deficit and that the S & P's political judgment should not be given too much weight."

By NB Staff | April 19, 2011 | 10:53 AM EDT

“I’m not biased,” CNN host and ex-Democratic politician Eliot Spitzer told NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell on In the Arena Monday night. Bozell was on CNN to talk about the budget fight and his 800,000 member grassroots political organization, ForAmerica, but Spitzer first wanted to ask about various NewsBusters items documenting his liberal approach, particularly about the recent budget showdown.

“Brent Bozell is a self-described right-wing voice who takes on what he views as the liberal media bias,” Spitzer began the segment. “Through his Media Research Center and NewsBusters web site, lately, my coverage of the budget and deficit reduction has been featured as bias. So I thought it would be fun and maybe insightful to bring him on and talk about what he sees as my one-sided coverage.” (Partial video clip below the fold).

By NB Staff | April 19, 2011 | 10:47 AM EDT

Time for this Tuesday's all new episode of NewsBusted!

By Clay Waters | April 19, 2011 | 10:38 AM EDT

On Saturday, New York Times metro reporter Richard Perez-Pena treated as a serious breach of decorum a relatively mild metaphor New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie used in front of reporters in “This Time, Christie’s Tough Talk Draws a Wave of Criticism From Democrats.” The text box: “The governor uses violent imagery while talking to reporters about a state senator.” Yet the Times has almost completely ignored much harsher and explicit “violent imagery” used by Democratic politicians against Republicans.

Using harsh terms to attack his critics has been a regular feature of Gov. Chris Christie’s 15 months in office, and Democratic officials, wary of his and the voters’ wrath, have usually offered only a muted response.

But this week, when Mr. Christie, a Republican, used violent imagery in talking about a Democratic lawmaker -- a widowed grandmother, to boot -- Democrats saw an opening, criticizing him en masse and demanding an apology.