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By Kyle Drennen | June 6, 2011 | 12:12 PM EDT

At the top of Monday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer touted objections to the indictment of former Democratic Senator John Edwards: "Some critics blast the government's case against the former presidential candidate. Why they say what he did may not have been against the law."

Introducing a later report on the scandal, fellow co-host Meredith Vieira similarly proclaimed: "There are growing questions over the indictment of former presidential candidate John Edwards for allegedly using campaign funds to hide an affair. Did the government overreach?" The headline that appeared on screen read: "Bad Guy or Bad Case?; Legal Experts Question Indictment of John Edwards."   

By Ken Shepherd | June 6, 2011 | 10:52 AM EDT

The Washington Post Style page, as we at NewsBusters can attest, finds all things liberal or "progressive" stylish. Conservative political and social functions, not as much.

So it was a bit amusing this morning to read Dan Zak's decent coverage of "dueling happy hours on Capitol Hill," one a five-year-old happy hour series called First Friday, the other an upstart hosted by liberals called "First Thursday" -- couldn't they think up something a little more original?:


By Noel Sheppard | June 6, 2011 | 10:51 AM EDT

Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn is a well-known proponent of despots the world over.

On Sunday, he wrote another piece for the Huffington Post extolling the wonder that is Hugo Chavez while asking America to withdraw its recently imposed economic sanctions on Venezuela:

By Tim Graham | June 6, 2011 | 8:41 AM EDT

Liberals have had a thrill up their leg over the Rolling Stone report that Fox News boss Roger Ailes is paranoid about Muslim and gay enemies and insisted on bomb-proof glass in his office. Ailes responded to Howard Kurtz of Newsweek: “Ailes can still get riled by personal criticism, dismissing as ‘fantasy’ and ‘fiction’ a Rolling Stone report that he travels with a large security detail and has blast-resistant office windows. He invited me to throw a rock at the glass—and promised security would arrest me.”

In AdWeek, liberal author Michael Wolff asserts both Rolling Stone and New York magazine profiles of Ailes failed to nick their target. Wolff said Ailes is an "epochal figure" in TV, a network news legend:

By Mark Finkelstein | June 6, 2011 | 8:27 AM EDT

This column makes a living lambasting Mika Brzezinski for her liberalism. So let's give the Morning Joe co-host credit when she dares deviate from the lefty line.

On today's Morning Joe, Mika persistently questioned Jessica Valenti, a feminist proponent of [their term] "Slut Walks," as to whether she'd want her daughter to dress like one.  Valenti, happy to push others out into the streets in skimpy clothes, twice dodged Mika's question, the second time with a particularly lame line.

View video after the jump.

By Brent Baker | June 6, 2011 | 4:19 AM EDT

Looking at government as the best job creator, on Sunday’s This Week ABC’s Christiane Amanpour pushed her guests to agree the stagnant economy and growing unemployment argue for less concern about controlling federal spending and demonstrate the need for “another stimulus” big spending effort. Amanpour was undeterred by the failure of the ongoing “stimulus” spending pushed by President Obama.

“With the political wars over the debt, there is no chance for another stimulus,” reporter John Berman regretted in a set-up piece before Amanpour pleaded with Austan Goolsbee, Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers:

By Noel Sheppard | June 6, 2011 | 1:15 AM EDT

Someone at Fox News has some serious 'splaining to do.

During a Sunday segment about former Alaska governor Sarah Palin's interview with Chris Wallace earlier in the day, a picture of Tina Fey impersonating her nemesis was accidentally placed in the upper-right corner of the screen:

By Tom Blumer | June 6, 2011 | 1:14 AM EDT

For those too young to remember, invoking a "long, hot summer" was a favorite pastime of the establishment press and so-called "civil rights leaders" after the race riots of the 1960s (example here). The message: Get that federal money flowing to us, or there will be violence in the streets.

At CBS News, reporter Bill Whitaker wrapped his coverage of the teen unemployment situation as follows: "For many teens with no jobs and no money, it could be one long, hot summer." Perhaps Whitaker was unaware of how loaded those words once were (and still may be). But he shouldn't get a pass for failing to mention three minimum-wage increases enacted late last decade as potential contributors to the 2007-2010 rise in teen unemployment. Whitaker also mentioned "cuts in federal funding" as affecting summer jobs programs, but "somehow" forgot to tell readers and viewers that the funding consisted of so-called "stimulus" dollars that everyone knew was going to go away (see the reference to "the end of Recovery Act funding that might have helped create some public jobs" at this link). Whitaker's omission leaves an implication that meanies in the current Congress must have done something to reduce funding, which isn't so.

Here are excerpts from CBS's Saturday coverage, most of which aired on the Evening News (video is here; bolds are mine):

By Noel Sheppard | June 6, 2011 | 12:33 AM EDT

For approaching three years, so-called journalists have been calling former Alaska governor Sarah Palin an idiot.

In an interview with the Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz, Palin's employer at Fox News, Roger Ailes, marvelously said, "She's so smart she’s got the press corps running up the whole East Coast behind her bus”:

By Tom Blumer | June 5, 2011 | 11:49 PM EDT

In one of five items they alleged were false statements made by Mitt Romney in his presidential candidacy announcement speech, Associated Press "fact-checkers" Calvin Woodward and Jim Kuhnhenn claimed that the economy has not gotten worse since Barack Obama became president. Part 1 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) clearly showed that the facts are on Romney's side. The current score is Romney 1, AP 0.

The AP pair's four other allegedly false Romney statements have to do with foreclosures, whether President Obama has "apologized to the world," Obama's economic policies, and whether the candidate raised taxes while he was Governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007.

Here is Romney's foreclosures statement: "Three years later, foreclosures are still at record levels. Three years later the prices of homes continue to fall."

Here's the pathetic response from Woodward and Kuhnhenn:

By Tim Graham | June 5, 2011 | 7:20 PM EDT

On Thursday, Philip Klein at the Washington Examiner publicized a whopper from Obama’s solicitor general Neal Katyal defending ObamaCare (and Mark Levin teed it up and whacked it to the fairway on the radio). But it was blacked out by all the networks – and all the major newspapers and wire services. Get a load of this: "President Obama's solicitor general, defending the national health care law on Wednesday, told a federal appeals court that Americans who didn't like the individual mandate could always avoid it by choosing to earn less money."

What? Would the president really like to tell a press conference that one can exercise their God-given liberty to avoid the individual mandate by putting oneself in the poorhouse and claiming a "hardship exemption"? Here’s how Klein reported the argument unfolded:

By Tom Blumer | June 5, 2011 | 6:26 PM EDT

First let's get the obvious out of the way. It's not a secret to many readers here that yours truly's opinion (and not that of NewsBusters or MRC) is that GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney would be a completely unacceptable candidate. For those who didn't know that, now you do.

Nonetheless, when Romney says things which are either definitely or arguably true and Associated Press "fact checkers" Calvin Woodward and Jim Kuhnhenn make a point of asserting otherwise as if they get the final word, a defense is necessary.

In their "fact check" piece, the AP pair, with the help of two other contributors, disputed five statements Romney made in his campaign kickoff speech. By my count, Romney is definitely right on three, one items is a split decision, and the wire service should be considered fully correct in just one instance.

The most important of AP's "fact check" errors is its headlined determination ("Romney miscasts economy in GOP debut") that Romney was wrong when he said the following: "When he (Barack Obama) took office, the economy was in recession. He made it worse. And he made it last longer." The AP pair's counterargument is truly pathetic:

By Tim Graham | June 5, 2011 | 6:04 PM EDT

Let’s not imagine Anthony Weiner was the only Democratic embarrassment of the last week. Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was back on trial in Chicago last week “offering an enthralling and self-immolating primer on American government,” wrote former Chicago Tribune editor James Warren. 

“In talking about his mulling appointing himself to Obama's senate seat, Blagojevich even said that it would have enabled him to go to Afghanistan and ‘hunt down’ Osama bin Laden,” wrote Warren. But the networks carried none of this entertaining blather. In fact, ABC hasn’t mentioned Blago since October 26, 2010. The others touched on him once each briefly in May:

By Noel Sheppard | June 5, 2011 | 4:58 PM EDT

Newsweek's Eleanor Clift said on PBS's "McLaughlin Group" Friday that the press really aren't interested in Mitt Romney being a Mormon.

This amazingly transpired roughly 24 hours before her magazine revealed a June 13-20 cover story about Romney entitled "The Mormon Moment: How the Outsider Faith Creates Winners" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Tom Johnson | June 5, 2011 | 4:57 PM EDT

A year ago, Paul Ryan was an obscure minority House member from northern flyover country. Today, he's the GOP's point man on budget issues and, as such, is frequently flayed by the Daily Kos gang (see first two items). This past week, Kossacks also went on (and on) about what Republicans allegedly have in common with eugenicists and, yes, Hitler. 

As usual, each headline is preceded by the blogger's name or pseudonym.