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By Alex Fitzsimmons | April 15, 2011 | 1:00 PM EDT

Asked to comment on the partisan budget speeches Barack Obama delivered this week, NBC's David Gregory asserted the Democratic president is finding his "groove" by criticizing "crazy" House Republicans.

"I think he's finding a groove where he can both speak to the Left but really court the independent voters we talk so much about," posited Gregory on the April 15 edition of MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

By Noel Sheppard | April 15, 2011 | 1:00 PM EDT

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) has an absolutely must-read op-ed in Friday's Washington Post.

What follows is just a tease, as readers are strongly encouraged to review the entire marvelous piece:

By Scott Whitlock | April 15, 2011 | 12:09 PM EDT

According to Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos, Barack Obama "loves" talking about the birther issue, thinking it will help his reelection bid. Journalists on the ABC program seem to share this fondness, having repeatedly highlighted the issue.

Stephanopoulos introduced an interview on Friday by marveling to co-host Robin Roberts: "I thought he'd take a pass, but [Obama] seemed to love talking about [birthers]."

During the segment, the host offered Obama an easy opportunity to complain about those who don't believe he was born in America: "I mean all of us have been struck by Donald Trump rising to the top of the Republican field by feeding fantasies about your background.  What do you make of that?"


By NB Staff | April 15, 2011 | 11:46 AM EDT

Aside from ABC's Jake Tapper, where were the denunciations from the media of President Obama's uncivil, hyper-partisan speech on the budget the other day at George Washington University (GWU)?

That's a question that NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell asked on last night's "Media Mash" segment on Fox News Channel's "Hannity."

It was a speech that the president invited Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to sit in on, and "then savaged him."

By Kyle Drennen | April 15, 2011 | 11:16 AM EDT

In an interview with Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Meredith Vieira exploited recent instances of air traffic controllers falling asleep on the job to bash Republican efforts to curb government spending: "...the House signed a bill – passed a bill, I'm sorry – that would cut $4 billion from your budget. Are you worried about that?"

In response Lahood proclaimed: "Of course we're worried about it. And I think these incidents prove up the case that we can't let money stand in the way of safety....Money will never compromise safety. That will always be our priority for the flying public." Vieira followed up: "But just so I understand, are you saying that that $4 billion cut would negatively impact aviation safety?"

By Tim Graham | April 15, 2011 | 9:48 AM EDT

On Thursday’s Morning Edition, NPR reporter Andrea Seabrook said most Republicans don’t like the Paul Ryan Budget (except the "far right") and "most Republicans like Medicare, and they don’t even want to tinker with it around the edges." Then anchor Steve Inskeep played up Charlie Cook suggesting Republicans have a "death wish" if they want to try and reform Medicare spending.

STEVE INSKEEP: What exactly is it that some Republicans don't like?

ANDREA SEABROOK: Well, one of the main ways the Ryan budget saves money over the coming decades is by shifting the Medicare into a private program with commercial insurance companies - in essence, ending the Medicare program as we know it today, as Mara was just talking about. That's OK with a lot of the far-right social conservatives and Tea Party-backed Republicans.

By Noel Sheppard | April 15, 2011 | 9:47 AM EDT

It certainly isn't a surprise that Nobel laureate Paul Krugman was far more pleased with the deficit reduction plan proposed by Barack Obama this week than the one unveiled by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) last week.

In Friday's New York Times column "Who's Serious Now?" the unabashed liberal declared the President's proposal "really serious" and the Congressman's "a sick joke":

By Dave Pierre | April 15, 2011 | 1:00 AM EDT

As Christians observe Holy Week and the anticipation of Easter, PBS' Frontline program will air another investigation into abuse by clergy of the Catholic Church. In an episode entitled, "The Silence," the program (Tue. 4/19/11) is scheduled to profile the awful abuse from decades ago of under-aged Native Americans and Eskimos in Alaska.

The network claims that it is covering "a little-known chapter of the Catholic Church sex abuse story." Yet the narrative is hardly "little known." The New York Times, for example, has run a number of articles in the past few years about this topic, while the Los Angeles Times ran a humungous front-page piece about these cases a while back. (We even commented on it at the time.)

By Tom Blumer | April 14, 2011 | 11:27 PM EDT

The undisguised bias of a dispatch tonight by Associated Press reporter Laurie Kellman, with help from Scott Bauer, about Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's appearance before a Congressional committee may have as its source two items found at the Newspaper Guild's web site (seen after the jump).

One is an announcement relating to a possible deterioration in the Guild's negotiations with AP, where union members have been working without a contract since November. Immediately below the announcement is an extraordinarily mean and spiteful cartoon produced by "alternative" comic Tom Tomorrow directed at Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan which has no place at the site of a group wishing to at least maintain a fig-leaf pretense of objectivity.

First let's look at several of the sentences seen in the 10:26 p.m. version of the pair's report (saved here at my host for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) -- after the headline ("Wisconsin governor defends hobbling unions'), with which the AP pair may have had help:

By Noel Sheppard | April 14, 2011 | 9:41 PM EDT

Now that President Obama has put tax increases on the table in order to balance the budget, his media are going to put even more pressure on Republicans to comply.

A fine example of this happened on CNN's "John King USA" Thursday when the host actually asked Sen. Rob Portman (R-Oh.), "Should Republicans now have the open mind and the courage to maybe lose their jobs like President Bush did for the good of the country and at least say entering the conversation, 'We won't flatly, ideologically, reflexively rule out any tax increases?'" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Mark Finkelstein | April 14, 2011 | 9:03 PM EDT

Cenk Uygur can't figure out why accused Army leaker Bradley Manning isn't being treated like a "hero".  Seriously.

Uygur's guest on his MSNBC show this evening was P.J. Crowley, the former State Department spokesman who was forced out of his post for publicly criticizing the treatment of Manning while in detention awaiting trial.

Cenk whined as to why Manning isn't being accorded the "hero" treatment that Daniel Ellsberg received from some for his leak of the Pentagon Papers back in the Vietnam day.  But P.J. presumably surprised Cenk, strongly supporting the prosecution of Manning, saying he "caused damage to the United States and our interests around that world," and that his "prosecution is quite necessary."

View video after the jump.

By Matt Hadro | April 14, 2011 | 6:50 PM EDT

CNN's Ed Henry and Ali Velshi both think taxes should be raised in order to help reduce the deficit. However, neither gave any credence to the notion that raising taxes is detrimental in the current economic conditions on Thursday's "American Morning."

CNN's senior White House correspondent Ed Henry, reporting on the President's deficit-cutting proposals, remarked that in order to trim the deficit, both spending must be cut and taxes increased. This would mean that both Democrats and Republicans would be forced to vote for measures they wouldn't normally support.

Co-host Ali Velshi also agreed that higher taxes are necessary, and that since President Obama has had to "compromise," so to will Republicans and Democrats have to compromise on fiscal issues.  "Just as [Obama] has come around despite what happened the last election, despite the end of the year deals, despite his own debt commission and despite the showdown, the President has come around," Velshi said.

By Ken Shepherd | April 14, 2011 | 6:14 PM EDT

Last Friday the Maryland House of Delegates passed a bill granting in-state tuition to illegal immigrants. The bill had already cleared the state senate and Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) has said he will sign the bill.

Today's Baltimore Sun devoted sympathetic front-page coverage to illegal immigrants who now "celebrate the approval of in-state tuition for Maryland students regardless of immigration status."

"I want to be a part," blared the front-page headline to Nick Madigan's A-1 story.  Below the headline is a picture of  "Missael, an illegal immigrant from Mexico who lives in East Baltimore."

By Scott Whitlock | April 14, 2011 | 6:10 PM EDT

Hardball's Chris Matthews on Thursday slammed Fox News as a "roach motel" for possible presidential candidates, knocking the chances of that network's analysts, Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin. Yet, the MSNBC anchor, who obsesses daily about the so-called birther issue, admitted he hasn't been as tough on Donald Trump as he could. (Trump, of course, hosts The Apprentice on parent channel NBC.)    

After Time magazine's Michael Scherer contrasted Palin and Gingrich with NBC's Trump, Matthews blurted, "Well, that's why I've sort of been nice to him, if he hasn't noticed that."

When Scherer relayed that the reality star has people telling him to stop talking about Barack Obama's birth certificate, Matthews further explained the connection to his network colleague: "...I'm one of those guys. I was on the phone with him a couple weeks ago: 'Stop it!' I can't tell him what to do."

[See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Noel Sheppard | April 14, 2011 | 6:04 PM EDT

Conservative author S.E. Cupp must have felt like she was getting tag-teamed Wednesday when she opted to go on the "Joy Behar Show" along side Jerry Springer.

The trio debated a number of issues including the Bush tax cuts, but the debate really got heated when the host brought up the Republican desire to defund Planned Parenthood (video follows with transcript and commentary):