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By Clay Waters | June 13, 2011 | 3:59 PM EDT

Michael Shear, chief writer for the New York Times’s “Caucus” blog, sounded sarcastic and bitter, almost angry, at the opening of the paper’s last “Caucus” podcast on Thursday about having to talk about the Anthony Weiner sex scandal.

Host Sam Roberts: “But you pointed out that this is a particularly inopportune time for this latest sex scandal to break in Washington. Why is that?”

Michael Shear: “Lots of policy and we’re going to start with the sex scandal! That’s fine. Yeah, it’s not a good time for Democrats.”

So what vital hard-core political news did Shear spend the entire following day covering to compensate for having to discuss Weinergate? The three-year-old trove of Sarah Palin emails from her time as Alaska governor.

By Rich Noyes | June 13, 2011 | 3:49 PM EDT

The June 13 edition of MRC’s Notable Quotables has now been posted over at www.MRC.org, showcasing the most outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes from the liberal media over the past two weeks. This edition features: CNN’s Piers Morgan snootily slamming the Tea Party as “not the brightest” and perhaps similar to the mobs Hitler and Mussolini employed in the 1930s; MSNBC’s Martin Bashir seriously arguing that Sarah Palin is a criminal because of the American flag painted on the side of her tour bus; and news reporters fretting over Weinergate, worried that President Obama might lose a “very important" left-wing critic now that a “rising star” of the Left has become tainted by scandal.

The entire package (including four videos) is posted at www.MRC.org (click here for the nicely-formatted three-page PDF);  here are some of the highlights:

By Jack Coleman | June 13, 2011 | 2:49 PM EDT

Remember the movie "Say Anything"? Same can be said for Cenk Uygur's approach to criticizing Republicans.

Chatting with his MSNBC colleague Rachel Maddow on her show Friday night, Uygur apparently forgot he was on the air and described President Obama's opponents in a way one might expect if the audience consisted solely of liberals. (Then again, it was MSNBC).

Here's what Uygur told Maddow about Republican efforts to retool Medicare before it spends itself broke, followed by his overwrought description of Obama's "enemies" (video below page break) --

By Matt Hadro | June 13, 2011 | 1:30 PM EDT

Openly-gay CNN anchor Don Lemon dug back to a May 16 interview with liberal Joy Behar to smear GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum just before Monday night's Republican primary debate. Behar then said of the socially-conservative Santorum that he "seems like a big homophobe," and Lemon made sure Friday to reference that smear and put Santorum on the defensive.

As NewsBusters reported Friday, Lemon badgered Santorum in an airport over his positions on gay marriage. The CNN segment featured an abbreviated portion of the interview, and Lemon aired the extended version Sunday evening on the 7 p.m. EDT hour of Newsroom.

By Ken Shepherd | June 13, 2011 | 1:03 PM EDT

A Baptist preacher calling a sinner to repent and trust in Jesus Christ for salvation is hardly news. Except, perhaps, when it's done via Twitter.

USA Today religion blogger Cathy Lynn Grossman yesterday took seminary president and Twitter user Albert Mohler to task for this tweet sent on Saturday:

 

By Kyle Drennen | June 13, 2011 | 1:03 PM EDT

While grilling former Pennsylvania Senator and presidential hopeful Rick Santorum on NBC's Sunday Meet the Press, host David Gregory was skeptical of the idea that Americans should be able to choose their own health care plan: "They're better off with the freedom that they've got in the vagaries of the private insurance market?"

Gregory was responding to Santorum's criticism of ObamaCare: "[Obama] doesn't believe Americans can actually make decisions for themselves, that he has to tell you how much money you're going to, you're going to spend on health care." After doubting the value of freedom in choosing medical insurance, Gregory pressed: "But you'd repeal the President's healthcare plan totally? Even covering pre-existing conditions, which most Republicans agree with?"

By Scott Whitlock | June 13, 2011 | 1:01 PM EDT

According to MSNBC's Thomas Roberts, who last week seemed to enjoy correcting Sarah Palin for her historical "flub," President Lyndon Johnson "was never actually elected Commander in Chief." The cable anchor relayed that piece of false information on Monday in a segment downplaying the chances of another Texan, potential 2012 candidate Rick Perry.

In fact, Lyndon Johnson won the 1964 election in a landslide, capturing all but six states. Discussing Texas, Roberts announced, "President Lyndon Johnson was from Texas and he was never actually elected Commander in Chief."

[See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Tom Blumer | June 13, 2011 | 11:48 AM EDT

Yesterday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted a reluctance on the part of Associated Press reporters to describe the farm involved in "the world's deadliest known outbreak of E. coli" as "organic."

The wire service issued two additional reports this morning, both of which failed to use the "O-word." The case for the use of the word in these reports is as strong, if not stronger, than it was in the seven items discussed yesterday. Beyond that, AP, along with the rest of the press, has failed to explore the possibility that Germany's 1950s-era outlook towards farming practices may have helped to create the conditions allowing such an outbreak to occur.

By NB Staff | June 13, 2011 | 10:34 AM EDT

For general discussion and debate about politics, the economy, sports, and whatever else tickles your fancy.

Possible talking point: Should a gay judge have recused himself in California's Proposition 8 case?

By Brent Baker | June 13, 2011 | 8:45 AM EDT

Much of the media made fools of themselves with their excited obsession over the release of Sarah Palin’s gubernatorial e-mails, but NBC News went the furthest, sending, as did CNN, reporters to Juneau as the network uniquely led its Friday night newscast by hyping the non-news as a major event. “On the broadcast tonight,” anchor Lester Holt heralded, “mail call. Thousands of pages of e-mail from Sarah Palin's time as Governor. What we're learning about her tonight.”

Following a story from “national investigative correspondent” Michael Isikoff in which “MSNBC.com investigative reporter” Bill Dedman had the gall to complain “we waited longer for these records than Sarah Palin was Governor, almost a thousand days,” NBC’s David Gregory recognized, in an understatement: “As Mike and his team are finding, not a lot of bombshells here.”

By Mark Finkelstein | June 13, 2011 | 7:43 AM EDT

When on today's Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski tried to report the comments of RNC Chairman Reince Priebus on Weinergate, Joe Scarborough shut her down and shut the comments out.  "It's just stupid.  Just shut up," said Scarborough of Priebus.

Joe's point was that both parties hypocritically seek to exploit sex scandals in which their opponents become involved.  But Morning Joe had already aired the comments of several Dems [and one Republican, Paul Ryan], including DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz . Didn't fairness call for giving Wasserman-Schultz's counterpart his due, then criticizing him if that's what Scarborough wanted to do?  

Chalk Scarborough's outburst to the same kind of grandstanding that led Morning Joe to entirely black out any first half-hour mention of the scandal the morning after Weiner's epic news conference admitting his actions and lies.

View video after the jump.

By Tim Graham | June 13, 2011 | 7:13 AM EDT

People magazine loves Obama. In the top right corner of the June 20 issue is a picture of the president tenderly sitting with younger daughter Sasha on the White House lawn and the words “President Obama On Being a Good Father: Plus Exclusive Family Photos.” Inside are five pages of pictures of adoring daughters getting moments with Daddy...by Obama’s White House photographer Pete Souza. The newest one’s from last August.

The White House pictorial also comes with an essay titled “Being the Father I Never Had, by Barack Obama.” People touted “In an exclusive Father’s Day essay, the elementary school basketball coach – and president – tells how growing up without a dad made him want to be the best parent he could.”

By Noel Sheppard | June 12, 2011 | 10:49 PM EDT

Fox News haters love to advance the myth that the network pushes exclusively conservative views and the anchors surround themselves with right-leaning yes men who never question them.

On the latest installment of "Fox News Sunday," liberal political analyst Juan Williams challenged host Chris Wallace's view of the public's support for the war in Afghanistan leading to a humorous exchange (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Tim Graham | June 12, 2011 | 9:52 PM EDT

The Associated Press is just like any other "prestige media" outlet in utterly failing the accuracy test when it comes to "transgender" stories. A man is a woman as long as he says he's a she. Take this stark prison story from  AP's Dena Potter on Tuesday:

DILLWYN, VA. -- Crouched in her cell, Ophelia De'lonta hoped three green disposable razors from the prison commissary would give her what the Virginia Department of Corrections will not — a sex change. It had been several years since she had felt the urges, but she had been fighting them for weeks. But like numerous other times, she failed to get rid of what she calls "that thing" between her legs, the last evidence she was born a male.

By Tom Blumer | June 12, 2011 | 6:40 PM EDT

On Wednesday evening in Europe (12:31 p.m. Eastern Time), in what it was already describing as "the world's deadliest known outbreak of E. coli," the Associated Press reported that "No cause for the outbreak has yet been found," while farmers on the continent were petitioning the EU for hundreds of million of dollars in compensation.

By midday European time (6:27 a.m. ET) on Friday, June 10, it was known ("Sprouts are cause of E. coli outbreak") that the contaminated food had come from Germany, when investigators "linked separate clusters of patients who had fallen sick to 26 restaurants and cafeterias that had received produce from the organic farm."

It is not my intention to get involved in a debate on farming techniques. But it seems obvious that if the outbreak came from an "organic" farming enterprise, follow-up stories should continue to mention that origin. Failures to mention organic farming have occurred often enough at the AP that one begins to wonder if those omissions are deliberate -- especially when coupled with the wire service's complete lack of coverage identifying skepticism, of which there is plenty, about the safety of organic farming practices.