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By Tim Graham | April 13, 2011 | 10:48 PM EDT

The $1.8 million grant George Soros gave to NPR was for local reporters in every state capital. But that doesn't mean NPR isn't also beginning to look like a Soros-pleaser on the national scene. Once again on Monday, NPR media reporter David Folkenflik went after Rupert Murdoch, and a voice-mail-hacking scandal at his U.K. tabloid News of the World. In England, the socialist newspaper The Guardian has been all over this story of disreputable media conduct, but The New York Times also filed a story on April 8.  

Folkenflik found dramatic former Murdoch employees, like Andrew Neil, who made Watergate analogies. Folkenflik insisted the damage to Murdoch may not be contained, and then quoted Neil: "Who knew - the old Watergate question - who knew and when did you know it?" It began like this:

ROBERT SIEGEL: One of Britain's most popular newspapers has admitted that it hacked into the private voicemails of celebrities and politicians. NPR's David Folkenflik reports that the story underscores close ties between the authorities and Rupert Murdoch's media empire.

By Brad Wilmouth | April 13, 2011 | 10:15 PM EDT

 On Wednesday’s NBC Nightly News, chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel informed viewers that he is "worried" that a major war between some of the Arab countries and Israel could be in the not too distant future because of the "ferociously anti-Israel" sentiment of the "Arab street" that is likely to gain power in countries like Egypt. He ended up concluding: "But I think, over time, this thing ends in Jerusalem."

After host Brian Williams and Engel had discussed the likely prosecution of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, and the disappointment of Libyan rebels at the level of assistance to their cause supplied by NATO, Williams posed the question: "You’re back here in New York for a few days. The question I’ve seen most people ask you: Where does this all end?"

Engel sounded more pessimistic than he did during the protests in Egypt from January and February. Engel:

This whole movement in the Middle East, and I'm worried about it because while people in the region deserve more rights and they want more rights and they're embracing more of the will of the Arab street, well, the will of the Arab street is also ferociously anti-Israel, against Israel.

He added:

By Noel Sheppard | April 13, 2011 | 9:54 PM EDT

Charles Krauthammer was less than pleased with Barack Obama's speech Wednesday concerning his plan to bring down the nation's staggering budget deficit.

As the panel segment of Fox's "Special Report" began, Krauthammer said, "I thought it was a disgrace. I thought I’ve rarely heard a speech by a president so shallow, so hyper-partisan, and so intellectually dishonest, outside the last couple of weeks of a presidential election where you are allowed to call your opponent anything short of a traitor" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Noel Sheppard | April 13, 2011 | 8:15 PM EDT

MSNBC's Chris Matthews has on numerous occasions said he's a liberal while also having gotten a thrill up his leg on national televisionwhen presidential candidate Barack Obama spoke back in 2008.

Despite this, on Wednesday's "Hardball," he asked the Wall Street Journal's Stephen Moore, "What do you think, I'm on the far left?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Ken Shepherd | April 13, 2011 | 5:53 PM EDT

"Obama aims for the middle on taxes and spending."

That's the headline the San Francisco Chronicle gave Washington bureau staffer Carolyn Lochhead's write-up this afternoon following President Obama's "belated embrace of his commission's recommendation to cut $4 trillion in deficits over the next 12 years."

"Even as he reached back to his 2008 campaign lodestar with a reference to Abraham Lincoln, Obama pivoted sharply to a new mantra of 'balance' and 'shared sacrifice,' citing his Democratic predecessor and budget-balancer, former President Bill Clinton," Lochhead gushed.

Two paragraphs later Lochhead noted that "Obama threw down the gauntlet to Republicans, vowing, 'I refuse to renew them again.'"

How exactly is that centrist rhetoric?

By Matt Hadro | April 13, 2011 | 5:48 PM EDT

On last Friday and on this past Tuesday night, CNN's Anderson Cooper ran fact-checks against the claims of two anti-abortion members of Congress against Planned Parenthood – but did not bother to conduct similar fact checks on the claims of Planned Parenthood and its Democratic supporters.

During his Tuesday segment of "Keeping Them Honest," Cooper countered the claims of conservative Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) that Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of abortions in the U.S. "They are a big abortion provider, although that's only a small fraction of what they do," he stated.

By John Nolte | April 13, 2011 | 5:19 PM EDT

While we always worry when we find ourselves in agreement with Mediaite, we are happy to see the idea we promoted last week picking up some steam.

By Matthew Balan | April 13, 2011 | 4:09 PM EDT

On Tuesday's Early Show, CBS's Bill Plante forwarded the liberal impression that the proposed budget compromise includes "big spending cuts," despite only reducing $38.5 billion from trillions in spending. Host Erica Hill also urged Republican Congressman Eric Cantor for "a little give and take" in the budget negotiations, hinting that taxes needed to be raised to deal with the debt.

Plante's report on President Obama's upcoming speech on reducing the debt led the 7 am Eastern hour. Near the end of the segment, the correspondent touted how "the President's goal today is to appear as the voice of reason, and to set the stage for the next big debate, which is going to be over raising the federal debt limit, something the Republicans say they won't vote for unless there are more big spending cuts."

By Clay Waters | April 13, 2011 | 3:28 PM EDT

New York Times reporter Mark Oppenheimer on Tuesday documented some of the strange conservative allies of African dictator Laurent Gbagbo of Ivory Coast, who is a Christian: “A Strongman Found Support in Prominent Conservative Christians in the U.S.

But some of the labeling was overheated: “A secretive evangelical Christian organization that some say has a right-wing agenda.” When the Times says “some say,” it almost always means “liberals say,” and indeed, Oppenheimer’s source, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) tends to target conservatives with their complaints.

The Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo, who was finally captured on Monday, defied nearly everybody: the United States, the European Union and the African Union. But right to the end, Mr. Gbagbo had defenders in the West, and they notably included several prominent conservative Christians.

By Noel Sheppard | April 13, 2011 | 2:49 PM EDT

On Saturday, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Lisa Jackson will be giving the keynote speech at the Energy Action Coalition's Power Shift 2011 conference, a meeting of potentially 10,000 green youth activists in Washington, D.C.

According to the schedule, President Obama's former green jobs czar Van Jones will be speaking Friday evening, and members of the International Socialists Organization will be hosting a panel discussion Saturday:

By Scott Whitlock | April 13, 2011 | 2:44 PM EDT

Writing in the April 10 edition of Parade magazine, former Newsweek editor Jon Meacham commemorated the 150th anniversary of the Civil War by linking modern conservatives to the old Confederacy and bigotry against African Americans.

The journalist hinted, "This year, as the 2012 presidential campaign gets under way, two powerful forces will intersect: the commemorations of the Civil War and the opposition to President Obama’s policies."

After explaining that the Sons of Confederate Veterans in South Carolina hosted a "Secession Ball," Meacham predicted that "the rhetoric of resistance to Washington will inevitably resonate."


By Clay Waters | April 13, 2011 | 2:38 PM EDT

It's becoming a habit. The New York Times's chief economics writer David Leonhardt once again called for higher taxes in his column on the front page of Wednesday's Times, especially on “the rich,” in the name of deficit reduction (and also because, hey all civilized countries do it). Wednesday A1, “Do-Nothing Congress as a Cure.”

It’s as if tax increases were a mere technicality in any deficit-reduction plan. In reality, finding a way to raise taxes may well be the central political problem facing the United States.

As countries become richer, their citizens tend to want more public services, be it a strong military or a decent safety net in retirement. This country is no exception. Yet our political culture is an exception. It has made most tax increases, even to pay for benefits people want, unthinkable.

By Tom Blumer | April 13, 2011 | 2:16 PM EDT

This is about as weak as it gets.

This morning as seen here (saved here at my web host for future reference), an unbylined 90-word Associated Press report at 9:57 a.m. told readers the following, in part:

By Jack Coleman | April 13, 2011 | 1:39 PM EDT

Ed Schultz really hates hoggish behavior. Except when he's planning to engage in it.

On his radio show yesterday, Schultz trotted out his new label for Republicans, one that he clearly labored to create, and with Schultz providing helpful porcine sound effects at the unveiling (audio) (more audio clips after page break) --

By Lachlan Markay | April 13, 2011 | 1:16 PM EDT

This week marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. But there's another "civil war" of sorts on the horizon, this one between the ultra-liberal wing of the Democratic Party, which has thus far steadfastly refused to accept cuts to entitlement programs in the name of fiscal solvency, and the party's more moderate members (which include, amazingly, President Barack Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi) who recognize that such cuts are all-but-inevitable.

But true to form, most of the media, fond of labeling GOP infighting a civil war, has yet to brand Democrats' budget feud with that label. This despite the increasing uneasiness of liberal legislators and organizations who are worried the president has already caved to conservatives on the budget battle.