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By Tim Graham | March 8, 2011 | 3:21 PM EST

The Washington Times took up the issue today of how PBS and NPR stations exploit their own airwaves to lobby against Republican budget-cut proposals. Reporter Seth McLaughlin and Stephen Dinan reported that spokesmen for PBS superstations WGBH in Boston and WETA in Washington “said their appeals never told their audiences which way to lobby Congress, but only to call and let their feelings be known.”

A look at WETA’s ad (which we recorded after the February 22 Frontline) shows this is simply and obviously untrue. The announcer clearly insists the House Republicans are putting kiddie programs at risk and cuts “will have a devastating effect on WETA and the television programs you and your family rely on.” Do they really expect people to agree this isn’t an advocacy ad? Do they think someone would say "I'm so glad they've inspired me to call and say "I hate WordGirl and Sid the Science Kid. Please defund those little jerks.'" Here’s the whole script:

(video, audio and transcript after the jump)

By Clay Waters | March 8, 2011 | 3:15 PM EST

New York Times religion reporter Laurie Goodstein made Tuesday’s front page with an attack on Brigitte Gabriel, an activist who warns against the dangers of radical Islam in the United States: “Drawing U.S. Crowds With Anti-Islam Message.”

Interestingly, the piece is datelined Fort Worth, Texas, suggesting much of the relevant reporting was done last fall – Gabriel spoke to a Tea Party event in Fort Worth in September 2010, and Goodstein’s story includes a photo of Gabriel speaking at “a Tea Party event in September.”

Did some of this story come out of the freezer? It was surely released today to intersect with Rep. Peter King’s hearings on Islamic radicalism which begin on Thursday, but which the Times already bashed in its lead editorial today. The editors pointed an accusing finger at King: “Not much spreads fear and bigotry faster than a public official intent on playing the politics of division.”

By Alex Fitzsimmons | March 8, 2011 | 2:44 PM EST

On MSNBC's "Daily Rundown" today, Steve Liesman robustly defended raising gasoline taxes as a way to address rising oil prices.

The CNBC senior economics reporter minced no words to show his support for hiking the unpopular consumption tax in the midst of a sluggish economic recovery: "I want to offer that one of the real solutions here is a gas tax."

After positing that the problem with oil prices "is not that they're high, it's how they oscillate," Liesman claimed higher gas taxes "would accomplish two things: one, it would create incentives to use less of it and two, create a little more certainty around the price, which by the way is one of the things making gasoline a bad fuel for the economy."

By Lachlan Markay | March 8, 2011 | 2:31 PM EST

An admission by a top executive at National Public Radio that the organization would be "better off in the long-run" without federal funding may bolster ongoing efforts to rescind that funding. Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., said Tuesday that he was "amazed at the condescension and arrogance" displayed by then-senior NPR executive Ron Schiller in a hidden camera video released by conservative filmmaker James O'Keefe.

The video showed Schiller telling two men posing members of an Islamic advocacy group that Tea Party activists are "racist" and "xenophobic." Schiller also claimed that NPR "would be better off in the long run without federal funding."

Republicans are prepared to oblige NPR on that score. Lamborn told Washington Examiner columnist Byron York on Tuesday that congressional Democrats and other NPR backers should "reconsider their support in light of these appalling attitudes that are displayed in the video."

By NB Staff | March 8, 2011 | 1:41 PM EST

It's time for Tuesday's episode of NewsBusted! We've got some great material this week (I know, I know, it's great every week).

Topics in today's show:

-- Tea Party cleans up after unions

-- Border patrol officer shooting beanbags

-- Gas prices soar

-- Huck blasts Natalie Portman for out-of-wedlock child

By Ken Shepherd | March 8, 2011 | 1:36 PM EST

"With such a strong bloc of these young people voting Democratic [in presidential elections], Republican leaders in some key swing states are looking to even the playing field coming up in 2012," MSNBC's Thomas Roberts insisted as he introduced Heather Smith of Rock the Vote (RTV) in a segment devoted to that group's fears about "voter suppression" -- see RTV screen capture below the page break -- in states such as New Hampshire, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Missouri.

Those are four states where Republicans control both houses of the state legislature and are pushing reform laws aimed at voter ID requirements, tightening up residency requirements that largely impact college kids, and/or repealing last-minute voter registration at the polls.

By Scott Whitlock | March 8, 2011 | 12:47 PM EST

The three evening newscasts on Monday and the morning shows on Tuesday mostly ignored Barack Obama's abandonment of a campaign pledge to close Guantanamo Bay and end trials of detainees there. NBC's Today, CBS's Early Show and ABC's Good Morning America all covered the story only in news briefs. Yet, when President Bush was in the White House, the networks obsessed over the issue.

Today's Ann Curry called the move to resume military trials there a "stunning reversal," but the network allowed just two brief anchor reads during the four hour program. ABC almost completely ignored the development. Monday's World News skipped the topic entirely.

On Tuesday's Good Morning America, Juju Chang offered a single mention, explaining, "And an about-face from President Obama on Guantanamo Bay. He is resuming military trials for terrorism suspects held in Cuba, two years after he pledged to close the prison."

By NB Staff | March 8, 2011 | 12:16 PM EST

In light of new revelations about NPR's top brass bashing conservatives in a hidden-camera investigation, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell and NewsBusters senior editor Tim Graham issued the following statements calling on Congress to wake up and stop using tax dollars to fund National Public Radio.

Brent Bozell, founder and president of the Media Research Center (MRC):

By Geoffrey Dickens | March 8, 2011 | 11:41 AM EST

NBC's Matt Lauer didn't exactly throw out the welcome mat for possible presidential GOP contender Rick Santorum as, on Tuesday's Today show, he questioned the former Republican Pennsylvania senator if his "ultra-conservative" stance on social issues is "the message people want to hear right now?"

Throwing the results of the latest NBC News poll at him Lauer pressed: "65 percent of people said they are most likely to vote for a candidate in 2012 who is strong on the economy, on the deficit, on jobs, not social issues. That's really not what they are concerned about. So are you, are you barking up the right tree?"

(video, audio and transcript after the jump)

By Noel Sheppard | March 8, 2011 | 11:29 AM EST

The number of temporary ObamaCare waivers rose to over 1,000 on Friday, but America's media couldn't care less.

Bucking the boycott was The Hill Sunday:

By Ken Shepherd | March 8, 2011 | 10:44 AM EST

To Washington Post staffers Roxanne Roberts and Amy Argetsinger, former president Bill Clinton is "Charlie Sheen without the crazy, a polymath with no 'stop' button -- and, yeah, a total bitchin' rock star."

That's how the gossip columnists cooed about Clinton's appearance at Sunday's Kuwait-America Foundation dinner in their March 8 The Reliable Source feature.

By NB Staff | March 8, 2011 | 10:02 AM EST

Over at the Daily Caller, Mary Katharine Ham put together a handy highlight reel of the post-Tucson-shooting civility that is healing our political discourse vitriol that, despite the media's concern for "violent rhetoric," just doesn't seem to be getting any attention. Check out Ham's awesome video below the break (language warning - from a union protester, of course, not from Mary Katharine).

By Clay Waters | March 8, 2011 | 9:49 AM EST

New York Times reporter Jennifer Steinhauer reported Saturday on the decision by House Republicans to defend the Defense of Marriage Act after the Obama White House’s took the almost-unprecedented step to stop defending it before the Supreme Court: “House Republicans Step In to Defend Marriage Act and Dodge a Party Debate.” Steinhauer, a fan of tax hikes in California (of voters, not so much, has had a problem with balanced labeling before.

House Republicans quietly moved Friday to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law that bans federal recognition of same-sex marriages, saying they would step in to argue for the measure’s constitutionality after the Obama administration’s decision to stop defending it.

Republican leaders had the option of inserting themselves in the case by introducing a resolution on the House floor and allowing members to speak out on the issue. Instead they released a statement of their intent on a Friday afternoon when the House was out of session.

By choosing that route, Republican leaders illuminated a central problem they face in the 112th Congress: how to reflect the priorities of traditional social conservatives when much of the party’s energy is focused on the federal budget and the national debt, the animating passions of the freshman class of lawmakers.

By Tim Graham | March 8, 2011 | 8:55 AM EST

The Washington Post underlined their social liberalism on Tuesday by promoting so-called “medical marijuana” in the District of Columbia with a cute headline: “D.C.'s cannabis capitalists prepare for weeding out.” The online headline celebrated "D.C.'s pot pioneers." Reporter Paul Schwartzman's report had zero space for critics of legalized pot, and made no attempt to address the obvious question of whether all this marijuana is “medical,” or is a transparently fraudulent cause for most pot smokers. It began by imagining a McDonald's of marijuana:

Montgomery Blair Sibley might be best known as the lawyer who defended the "D.C. madam," the infamous [and eventually, suicide-embracing] escort service owner who claimed to attend to the needs of Washington's elite.

Sibley has a new focus these days, one that's luring a rabbi, a waitress, a State Department technician and a gaggle of other fledgling entrepreneurs: growing marijuana and selling it to sick people in the nation's capital...

By Mark Finkelstein | March 8, 2011 | 7:59 AM EST

All you need to know about why people on the right were dissatisfied with Kathleen Parker as the supposedly conservative counterweight to Eliot Spitzer on the pair's recently-canned CNN show was crystallized on Morning Joe today.  The panel unleashed an absolute gush-a-thon over Parker, Mika Brzezinski declaring her "one of my favorite people" and Willie Geist describing her as "a great writer."

For good measure, the MSNBC folks delighted in dumping on rival CNN.  Mike Barnicle took top trash-talking honors, claiming Parker had been "brutalized" at the network.

View video after the jump.