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By Kyle Drennen | November 1, 2011 | 4:51 PM EDT

In an interview with Daily Show host Jon Stewart on the premiere of NBC's latest news magazine Rock Center on Monday, host Brian Williams fretted over Stewart's mocking of the Occupy Wall Street protests: "A lot of people were surprised....You were tough on them. You've been tough on them. You've been exacting and taking them to task for all the mayhem, for the drum circles."

Stewart joked: "We poke gentle fun at the rhythm percussion. That's all we do." Williams countered: "You don't think your stance on them has been tougher than most people would expect?" Stewart reassured him: "No. I don't think it's been – it's been tougher. How can it be? I have – I have great empathy....They want jobs. They want dignity."

By Matt Hadro | November 1, 2011 | 4:16 PM EDT

CNN used an "In Depth" segment on Tuesday to emphasize the diversity among protesters at Occupy Seattle, featuring a rapper, a group of "Raging Grannies," drummers and more. The report during the 12 p.m. hour was one of multiple segments that ran on Tuesday afternoon giving viewers a close-up look at the Wall Street protests.

The sympathetic look at the protesters can be contrasted with CNN's initial coverage of the Tea Parties in 2009, when reporter Susan Roesgen slammed the Chicago Tea Party as "anti-government" and "anti-CNN" and anchor Anderson Cooper smeared the protesters with an obscene label. 

By Ken Shepherd | November 1, 2011 | 3:57 PM EDT

For today's "Gut Check" segment on MSNBC's 2 p.m. Eastern NewsNation program, substitute host Craig Melvin interviewed a South Carolina sheriff who is urging women in his county to carry a concealed handgun for protection against would-be rapists.

During his Skype interview with Chuck Wright, Melvin worried about the poor dead would-be rapists being checked into the Spartanburg County morgue without the benefit of a trial (emphasis mine, video follows page break):

By Clay Waters | November 1, 2011 | 3:44 PM EDT

New York Times editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal, better known as James Taranto’s punching bag at Opinion Journal, has a new blog at, “The Loyal Opposition.” On Tuesday Rosenthal posted the provocatively titled “Herman Cain and the ‘Liberal Media,’” where he broadcasts his alarm at how “quickly the right wing jumps on an issue almost in unison,” blames Republicans for injecting racial fears into modern-day politics with Willie Horton, and even claiming the phrase "community organizer" is racist when applied to Obama.

By Kyle Drennen | November 1, 2011 | 3:41 PM EDT

On Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer excitedly announced to viewers: "President Obama passed his latest physical with flying colors, one of the headlines coming out...the President is now tobacco free." White House correspondent Kristen Welker reported: "President Obama has never made a secret about his struggle to quit smoking....But it seems now it's a habit he may have finally put out."        

Welker sympathetically noted: "Mr. Obama is tobacco free, that's a marked difference from last year's medical report...suggesting he was still in the process of giving up smoking. A long struggle which the President has openly discussed....smoking has dogged him since his days on the campaign trail."

By Brent Bozell | November 1, 2011 | 3:03 PM EDT

Editor's Note: In direct contrast to how ABC, CBS and NBC newsrooms all but ignored the sexual assault allegations against Bill Clinton from multiple women including Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and Juanita Broaddrick, the same networks are now salivating over an alleged act of harassment by Herman Cain from anonymous sources. NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell made the following statement about this media double standard earlier today:

ABC, CBS and NBC pounced on the opportunity to slam GOP hopeful Herman Cain - even with unnamed accusers and sources. It is indefensible how the networks were quick to defend Bill Clinton by not reporting public accusations of rape, inappropriate physical contact, and explicit behavior – and are quick to attack Herman Cain on the basis of unspecified allegations by anonymous sources.

By Clay Waters | November 1, 2011 | 1:54 PM EDT

There’s a clear double standard on sex allegations for presidential candidates in the New York Times.

The Times put 15-year-old anonymous accusations of sexual harassment against GOP candidate Herman Cain on the front page Tuesday morning, in an off-lead story by Jim Rutenberg and Michael Shear written with help from five other reporters: “Cain Confronts Claim From 90s Of Harassment – He Denies Wrongdoing – Account of Settlement Changes – Reports Rock Campaign.”

By Ken Shepherd | November 1, 2011 | 1:23 PM EDT

"Restaurant group nixed backing Cain," reads a teaser headline on Politico's website today, hinting to casual readers that a National Restaurant Association (NRA) endorsement of their former chief Herman Cain was a done deal until Politico dug up an old out-of-court sexual harassment settlement. 

The story was also plastered on the front page of the November 1 print edition, headlined "Restaurant Group Tamps Down Cain Talk."

But in the November 1 story itself, Politico staffers Anna Palmer and Kenneth Vogel noted that a teleconference on endorsing Cain was done in October prior to Politico breaking its scoop about the out-of-court sexual harassment settlement (emphasis mine below). Left unmentioned in the story is that the NRA is co-hosting with other trade groups a series of town hall forums where members can phone in questions to presidential candidates:

By Noel Sheppard | November 1, 2011 | 12:27 PM EDT

As NewsBusters has been reporting, the coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement has been nothing less than atrocious.

Appearing on Fox News's the O'Reilly Factor Monday, political analyst Bernie Goldberg said it's because there are "people that sell Slurpees and cigarettes to insomniacs at 7-Eleven on the overnight shift who have more introspection than journalists who cover important events in our country" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Scott Whitlock | November 1, 2011 | 11:49 AM EDT

Since the Herman Cain sexual harassment story broke late Sunday night, the broadcast networks have covered it extensively: full stories on Monday's morning news shows (ABC's Good Morning America led off their broadcast); full stories on Monday's evening news shows (the CBS Evening News made it their top item) and ABC's Nightline; and the top story on all three Tuesday morning shows.

Cain's accusers are still anonymous. Three women publicly accused Bill Clinton of far more serious instances of sexual harassment in the 1990s, but the networks all but ignored them. The coverage that did exist was often skeptical, insulting and hostile, an astonishing double standard.

By Kyle Drennen | November 1, 2011 | 11:21 AM EDT

All three network morning shows on Tuesday led with Herman Cain's response to allegations of sexual harassment in the 1990s and even speculated the scandal could end his candidacy, with NBC Today co-host Ann Curry proclaiming: "Damage control. Herman Cain changes his story....Will the controversy and his reaction to it derail his presidential campaign?"

On ABC's Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos announced: "24-hour flip-flop. Republican front-runner Herman Cain now admits he's been accused of sexual harassment and settlements were paid. His bizarre series of conflicting interviews.... what will it mean for his campaign?"

By Mark Finkelstein | November 1, 2011 | 11:05 AM EDT

"We need to re-evaluate what is required in our lives, so that we have a sense of satisfaction.  What really counts?  One friend of mine has reduced it to this: you should get up in the morning and ask 'what do I need,' not just 'what do I want?'" -- Tom Brokaw, Morning Joe 11-1-11.

"Of course, one of the reasons I bought it was to be able to get away from the frantic life I lead and to have some privacy." -- Tom Brokaw, explaining his purchase of an interest in a 4,000-acre mountain retreat in Montana.

Tom Brokaw: a Michael Moore kind of millionaire?  We haven't seen him getting down with the Occupy kids like the documentary-maker recently did.  But there was Brokaw--who has amassed a reported $70 million and owns a 4000-acre "mountain retreat" in Montana--on Morning Joe today preaching the virtues of the simple life . . . for others. Video after the jump.

By Noel Sheppard | November 1, 2011 | 10:45 AM EDT

For the second day in a row, the lone so-called conservative anchor on MSNBC supported Politico's hit piece on Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain.

After saying Cain "made a fool of himself" with his inconsistent response to the allegations Monday, Scarborough said that if there were another viable conservative candidate in the race, "Rush Limbaugh would be making fun of Herman Cain today" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By NB Staff | November 1, 2011 | 10:25 AM EDT

Despite allegations of sexual harassment during his time at the National Restaurant Association, conservatives are still rallying around GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain, likening attacks against Cain to attacks against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991.

Cain has labeled the charges as a baseless witch hunt, denying sexually harassing anyone. Some are even suggesting that since Cain has become such a target of the left and the media, the attacks could actually bolster Cain's support among conservatives. Do you think the "high-tech lynching" of Cain draws parallels to the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill hearings? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

By Clay Waters | November 1, 2011 | 10:22 AM EDT

Former New York Times economics reporter turned editorial board member Eduardo Porter is the latest Times staffer to declare that the leftists of Occupy Wall Street have it figured out: “Wall Street Protesters Hit the Bull’s-Eye.” Porter wrote: "Their complaint that the privileged few in the top 1 percent are getting a disproportionate share of the nation's prosperity, however, is spot on."