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By Scott Whitlock | April 13, 2011 | 12:09 PM EDT

If there has been one constant in George Stephanopoulos' journalistic career, it's repeatedly calling for higher taxes. So, it's not surprising that while talking to Paul Ryan on Wednesday about the debt, he lobbied the Republican Congressman, "And if you're not willing to at least discuss new revenues, aren't these negotiations dead before they're even born?"

Not getting the answer he was looking for, the former Democratic operative turned journalist chided, "I understand you're not a fan of new taxes. But, as a matter of negotiations and a matter of discussion, don't they need to be on the table in order to get the negotiations started?"

In a previous segment, previewing President Obama's speech on ways to cut the deficit, reporter Jake Tapper simply repeated White House talking points: "But [Obama will] say, you can try [cutting taxes]. But you do that on the backs of the most vulnerable in our society because you can only do that, he'll say, by eliminating health care for seniors and the poor."

By Ken Shepherd | April 13, 2011 | 11:56 AM EDT

Doing it's level best to push the meme that Planned Parenthood is a crucial provider of basic medical services for poor women -- and hence deserving of federal taxpayer support -- today's Washington Post devoted one-eighth of page A5 in today's print edition to a photo entitled "Relying on Planned Parenthood."

Depicted is a 24-year-old woman, one Minah Khan, having blood drawn "during a checkup at Planned Parenthood in Washington."

By Matthew Philbin | April 13, 2011 | 11:47 AM EDT

On Tuesday, April 13, the Media Research Center’s vice president for business and culture appeared on the NBC ‘Today’ Show to discuss a recent controversy involving a J.CREW ad featuring a little boy wearing pink toe nail polish.

The two minute five second video segment provided a not-so balanced look at the nationwide debate surrounding the ad and the question of whether or not J.CREW executive creative director Jenna Lyons is exploiting her son’s favorite color to sell nail polish and clothing through her employer.

Video below the fold.

By Noel Sheppard | April 13, 2011 | 10:35 AM EDT

When Democrat presidential candidate Walter Mondale announced in his October 1984 debate with former President Reagan that he would raise taxes if elected, his  campaign was over, and he ended up losing one of the biggest election routs in American history.

As Barack Obama prepares to offer the nation his deficit reduction plan Wednesday, it is widely believed he is going to recommend tax hikes on at least the upper wage earners in this nation.

If this is true, is he repeating Mondale's mistake less than nineteen months before Election Day? Are Americans hungrier for tax increases now than they were 27 years ago?

By NB Staff | April 13, 2011 | 9:09 AM EDT

Nancy Pelosi really misses the days when there was little discernable difference between the two major parties. She told students at Tufts University that Republicans should "take back" their party - presumably to a posture that didn't place so much importance on quaint notions such as rule of law ("Are you serious? Are you serious?") and fiscal solvency. Check out a longer excerpt from her speech after the break, and give us your thoughts in the comments.

By Noel Sheppard | April 13, 2011 | 8:53 AM EDT

"[F]or America's sake, I hope that Al Jazeera penetrates the US media market. Unless Americans see the images and narratives that shape how others see us, the US will not be able to overcome its reputation as the world's half-blind bully."

So stated Naomi Wolf's "I Want My Al Jazeera" published at the Huffington Post Tuesday evening (image courtesy Mike Licht):

By Mark Finkelstein | April 13, 2011 | 8:04 AM EDT

Today's Morning Joe offered an interesting contrast of MSM takes on Donald Trump.  Politico honcho John Harris proffered the conventional Beltway wisdom, writing off Trump as a "silly season" candidate who adds only entertainment and amusement value to the race.   

Meanwhile, Mark Halperin was surprisingly respectful of The Donald.  Halperin opined that beyond the birther issue, Trump was doing a lot of smart things that other candidates should study.  Among them, Trump is the only candidate, according to Halperin, willing to "get in Barack Obama's face."

View video after the jump.

By Tim Graham | April 13, 2011 | 7:29 AM EDT

On the April 7 All Things Considered, NPR's David Folkenflik reported on Fox News anchor Bret Baier, and announced his own research showed Baier's "all-star" panel on Special Report was very tilted to the conservative side. But none of that apparently pleased NPR fans. On Monday night, anchors read from the listener mail, and they were furious Fox was even considered on All Things Considered:

ROBERT SIEGEL: Debra Craig of Rochester, New York, was not impressed. She writes this: Wow. I am not listening to NPR to hear stories about Fox News or Fox News reporters. It is pretty obnoxious and a very blatant attempt to present the fair and balanced the far right conservatives bully you for [sic]. Please don't. It insults the intelligence and sensibilities of the rest of us, your listeners and supporters.

By Brad Wilmouth | April 13, 2011 | 5:05 AM EDT

 On Tuesday’s Joy Behar Show on HLN, host Behar claimed that "poor white people, poor black people are the ones who are oppressed by the right wing in this country," during a discussion of a poll finding that 42 percent of Americans believe the American Civil War was fought over states rights instead of slavery.

Panel member and comedian Baratunde Thurston had just cited the Mississippi state secession charter as evidence that slavery really was the primary cause of the war, and then suggested that the Republican Party oppresses the poor in modern times. Thurston:

These were rich Southern men who not only oppressed black people, they oppressed poor white people who made up most of the population. And so the idea that we’re empowering the people represented today want to go back to this time where they were more oppressed is a perfect representation of the Republican Party agenda today.

Behar responded:

By Brad Wilmouth | April 13, 2011 | 2:20 AM EDT

 According to the Haaretz article, "Netanyahu Cancels Bieber Date Over Refusal to Meet Kids Affected by Gaza Rockets," Barak Ravid recounts reports that Canadian singer Justin Bieber declined to meet children who narrowly escaped being hit by rocket fire as they exited an Israeli school bus shortly before it was hit several weeks ago. A 16-year-old boy was seriously injured in the attack.

The children had been invited to an already scheduled meeting between Bieber and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the prime minister sought to draw attention to the plight of children living in Israeli towns near the Gaza Strip which have in recent months come under increased fire from rockets launched by Palestinian terrorists.

According to Haaretz, Netanyahu canceled the meeting after his attempt to include the children was turned down.

Ravid reported:

By Brent Baker | April 13, 2011 | 2:12 AM EDT

“Critics say it’s about time” for President Barack Obama to offer his plan to reduce the deficit, CBS’s Chip Reid acknowledged Tuesday night before he proceeded to rationalize Obama’s disengagement, validated by CBS’s in-house political analyst. Reid asserted: “Political analysts say the President had good reason to wait. He wanted the Republicans to go first and they did last week when influential Congressman Paul Ryan released his controversial plan.” CBS News political analyst John Dickerson proposed:

The President needed Paul Ryan's House budget plan to use as a foil for his own argument about what government should do, what government priorities are. He will say that the Ryan plan does not match up with American values.

Indeed, Reid contended the White House saw “an irresistible opportunity to portray Republicans as callous and extreme.”

By Noel Sheppard | April 13, 2011 | 12:59 AM EDT

Bill Maher Tuesday made a statement on MSNBC that would be truly embarrassing for the so-called news network if any of its executives cared at all about being an impartial disseminator of information.

At the end of an almost thirteen minute interview with Rachel Maddow, the comedian said of Republicans, "I hate them as much as you do" (video follows with commentary):

By Tom Johnson | April 12, 2011 | 11:15 PM EDT

The late left-wing historian Howard Zinn was one of America's best-known public intellectuals. His 1980 opus A People's History of the United States is widely used as a high-school and college textbook, and he had plenty of fans in the entertainment world, among them Matt Damon and Ben Affleck (A People's History got a shout-out in Good Will Hunting) as well as Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder.

Not long before Zinn died in January 2010, he told The Nation, regarding President Obama's first year in office, "I've been searching hard for a highlight. The only thing that comes close is some of Obama's rhetoric; I don't see any kind of a highlight in his actions and policies."

By Noel Sheppard | April 12, 2011 | 10:59 PM EDT

Joy Behar on Monday's "The View" crowed about Barack Obama being "a very intelligent guy" because he went to Harvard Law School and Columbia University.

Without skipping a beat, Elisabeth Hasselbeck marvelously asked, "Then doesn't that make President Bush very smart as well then? Yeah?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Mark Finkelstein | April 12, 2011 | 10:24 PM EDT

There's an old saw that every time a senator looks in the mirror, he sees a president.  Could the same be true of MSNBC hosts?  

Twice tonight on his TV show, Cenk Uygur fantasized himself as president.  The muy macho MSNBCer naturally imagined he'd be much tougher with Republicans than President Obama.

View video after the jump.