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By Scott Whitlock | July 5, 2011 | 12:03 PM EDT

Good Morning America's John Berman on Tuesday offered a condescending, dismissive take on how the money "obsessed" presidential candidates spent their Fourth of July. Yet, four years ago, the same program offered a fawning look at what Barack Obama did on Independence Day.

After mentioning Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich, Berman suggested that the Fourth of July could be "a chance to take a break from their recent big obsession, cash."

The journalist quickly followed this up by noting that the President has raised $60 million. Berman pointedly explained, "...Though he spent the day with men and women whose value is beyond priceless." (This was a reference to Obama's speech to U.S. troops at a barbeque.)

By NB Staff | July 5, 2011 | 11:01 AM EDT

With the deadline for raising the debt ceiling looming less than a month away, there are mixed feelings about raising the debt ceiling among debt-conscious politicians who are hesitant to give more spending power to the government. The Treasury Department has given August 2 as the estimated date on which the U.S. will no longer be able to meet fiscal obligations if the debt ceiling is not raised, though.

Sen. Rand Paul explained on Sunday that Republicans would be more in favor of raising the debt ceiling if there were a balanced budget amendment in the Constitution to obligate the federal government to balance its budget each year and prohibit it from running a deficit.

Check out a video of Paul's remarks after the break, and let us know what you think in the comments.

By Tim Graham | July 5, 2011 | 7:07 AM EDT

Liberals who love public broadcasting are angry at Gov. Chris Christie for moving to fold the state’s public broadcaster, but let its operations be taken over by other public TV and radio entities in the area. Christie told interviewer Bob Hennelly on WNYC public radio that “state-owned operation of media ended with the Soviet Union,” even if that’s not really an end to public broadcasting in New Jersey:

BOB HENNELLY: You had a big win yesterday [Thursday]. But you did have one setback. The Assembly rejected your proposal to have WNET Channel 13 takeover the state's public broadcaster NJN. Critics of the deal say they are concerned WNET won't deliver the quality news product Michael Aron with NJN has been putting out. What's at stake with this deal?

By Tim Graham | July 5, 2011 | 6:45 AM EDT

Some Fox News-haters celebrated the Fourth of July by hacking the Fox News politics Twitter feed and posting six tweets announcing the assassination of President Obama, including two shots at an Iowa restaurant to the pelvis and neck. Washington Post reporter William Wan found the suspected hackers think the entire concept of Fox News is a joke:

In the @foxnewspolitics Twitter feed, an online outfit called the Script Kiddies initially took responsibility for the attack but then apparently deleted online information about itself, according to a student news Web site called Think at New York’s Stony Brook University.

By Tim Graham | July 4, 2011 | 11:40 AM EDT

Is someone really going to blame the Mark Halperin remark-and-suspension on....Roger Ailes and Fox News? Yes, Los Angeles Times media reporter Tim Rutten did on Saturday: 

Ever since Roger Ailes created Fox News as a low-budget, ideologically conservative televised version of right-wing talk radio — and swept the ratings table in the process — CNN and MSNBC have been consciously counter-programming their successful rival. One of the casualties of this competition has been legitimate political journalism. The Halperin incident is a natural outgrowth of the direction political reporting has taken on the cable networks, and that, in turn, is a consequence of treating political journalism as entertainment, as talk radio does — a trend that has turned out to be the ideologues' best friend.

By NB Staff | July 4, 2011 | 10:16 AM EDT

NewsBusters wishes all of its readers a Happy Independence Day.

In honor of the event, the following is from HBO's docudrama "John Adams":

By Tim Graham | July 4, 2011 | 8:14 AM EDT

Washington Post reporter Anne Hull went after Michele Bachmann on Saturday for trying to play a Tom Petty song at her campaign rallies, since Tom Petty is a memory of her marijuana-baked teen years:

How does a tea party candidate who owns a Christian counseling service on the side go to Iowa, crank up the Alpines and blast Tom Petty as a rallying call to conservative values?


By Tim Graham | July 4, 2011 | 7:47 AM EDT

“Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winsted is going on tour to fund Planned Parenthood, and Lucas Kavner of the Huffington Post insisted that this is somehow not leftist:

While her comedy has always been inherently political – and she's not backing down from her own personal affiliations – this tour is not aimed at those on the right or left. It's merely to raise awareness and support for an organization that has been an essential part of her life.

By Brent Baker | July 4, 2011 | 1:10 AM EDT

Two eastern European nations last week debuted commemorations to thank former President Ronald Reagan for playing an instrumental role in freeing them from communism. I only found sparse television coverage of the two “Reagan Centennial” events in Hungary and the Czech Republic, but thought I’d share what I located since the events didn’t earn much air time.

The accompanying video first shows a brief item on Wednesday’s Special Report where FNC played some video of a life-size statue of Reagan being unveiled in Freedom Square in front of the U.S. Embassy in Budapest. Second in the video, a short item from MSNBC on Saturday morning about a block of a street in Prague getting named for Ronald Wilson Reagan.

By Tom Blumer | July 3, 2011 | 11:55 PM EDT

Yesterday, Tim Graham at NewsBusters did an excellent job of addressing a key aspect of a report submitted by Associated Press reporter Errin Haines, who is African-American, of the presidential campaign of Herman Cain, who is also African-American. Haines questioned "voters' ability to look past his skin color and perceive him as a serious candidate."

Herman Cain attended the We The People Convention in Columbus, Ohio this past weekend. He arrived late Friday afternoon, and was greeted by several hundred attendees who were still there after the day's breakout presentations had ended (total attendance was reportedly "about 1,000", according to Joe Hallett at the Columbus Dispatch; I heard a number of 1,100 from a person affiliated with the event). For Errin Haines's benefit, I can attest that every one there looked past the man's skin color and perceives him to be a serious candidate. Cain also was the featured speaker at the event's concluding dinner on Saturday night.

There are three other aspects of Haines's report which I found quite offensive, and I will air them after the jump.

By Tom Johnson | July 3, 2011 | 11:40 PM EDT

As much as Kossacks would like to believe that Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann are peas in a right-wing pod, deep down they realize that their usual knee-jerk insults for Palin -- ditz, quitter, greedy egomaniac -- wouldn't stick to Bachmann. Therefore, they have to come up with more elaborate attacks on the Minnesota congresswoman, and this past week they did just that, perhaps motivated by a Monday prediction from Kos himself that Bachmann will be the 2012 Republican presidential nominee.
As usual, each headline is preceded by the blogger's name or pseudonym. Happy Independence Day!

By Brad Wilmouth | July 3, 2011 | 9:38 PM EDT

 On Friday's World News on ABC, correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi detailed findings of a Harvard study which claims a correlation between attending July 4 parades and voting for Republicans.

Substitute host David Muir introduced the story: "And tonight, a provocative new study suggests the simple act of taking your child to see the parade shapes not only their patriotism but their politics. Who will they vote for?"

Alfonsi got right to the answer as she began her report with a play on the words "independence" and "independents":

By Tom Blumer | July 3, 2011 | 8:36 PM EDT

Maybe we ought to nickname him Rip Van Geier.

In his coverage of this weekend's We The People Convention in Columbus, Ohio early Saturday morning, Columbus Dispatch reporter Ben Geier found it "surprising" that many attendees would "go after the Republican Party and House Speaker John Boehner" in expressing their opinions relating to developments in Washington. It's as if he's totally unaware of what the movement's leading members and its grass roots activists have been saying (and proving) since the first anti-stimulus rallies in early 2009 (and at earlier events--see this comment below), since Utah Tea Partiers unceremoniously ousted supposedly entrenched incumbent Bob Bennett in May 2010, and since Ohio Tea Partiers ran serious but largely unsuccessful opposition candidates for State Auditor, Secretary of State, and the State Republican Party's Central Committee slots that spring.

Since Rip Van Geier missed it, here's the message: The Tea Party movement isn't about propping up a party; it's about electing sensible, Constitution-following conservatives to political office regardless of party, revising state and federal laws to reflect constitutional principles, and of course educating the general populace about those principles and their importance.

By Noel Sheppard | July 3, 2011 | 7:18 PM EDT

There was a truly delicious moment on this weekend's "McLaughlin Group" that's guaranteed to please conservatives from coast to coast.

During a heated discussion about President Obama's call to end tax breaks for corporate jet purchases, Pat Buchanan and John McLaughlin literally silenced Newsweek's Eleanor Clift much to her dismay (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Brad Wilmouth | July 3, 2011 | 6:44 PM EDT

 On CBS's Sunday Morning program, as he reviewed the film Bad Teacher, starring Cameron Diaz, film critic David Edelstein applauded the raunchy film for having "no redeeming social value" as he derided "all the hypocritical moralists out there."

The film critic - who also contributes to New York magazine and NPR - recounted that Diaz’s character is "a conniving, druggy, drunken middle school instructor who’ll do anything for money to buy herself bigger boobs so she can marry rich and not have to do the job at which she’s, yes, bad," and then described himself as being "in awe" of the movie.

He then continued: "The beauty part of Bad Teacher is it has no redeeming social value. Let me clarify: With all the hypocritical moralists out there, a movie honest about having no redeeming social value has redeeming social value."