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By Alex Fitzsimmons | June 2, 2011 | 5:07 PM EDT

As NewsBusters reported first, MSNBC anchor Martin Bashir insisted on his May 31 program that Sarah Palin's Northeast bus tour amounted to a "breach in federal law."

After a number of sites linked to the original NewsBusters piece, Bashir responded today to the "abusive messages" he's allegedly endured in the fallout of his controversial remarks, although he avoided addressing his bizarre claim that the former Alaska governor violated federal law by flying the American flag on her tour bus.

By Kyle Drennen | June 2, 2011 | 4:25 PM EDT

Trying to play up the idea of chaos in the Republican 2012 field, on Thursday's NBC Today, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd argued Sarah Palin's bus tour making a stop in New Hampshire on Thursday was "a little bit of a slap in Mitt Romney's face" on the day he was planning to announce his candidacy.

Co-host Meredith Vieira had asked Todd about Romney's upcoming announcement and claimed the former Massachusetts governor would have to "steal back the spotlight" from Palin. Todd declared that Palin was "not even giving him [Romney] one news cycle to make his case."

By Scott Whitlock | June 2, 2011 | 4:19 PM EDT

According to Joy Behar of 'The View,' someone is "out to get" Anthony Weiner because "they don't like his politics." Behar and her co-host Whoopi Goldberg advanced a conspiracy theory on Thursday and included the possibility that the Congressman could have been at a beach and had an innocent photo digitally manipulated. Meanwhile, Barbara Walters pronounced dead the political goal of the politician to one day be New York's mayor.

Offering cover for Weiner, Goldberg theorized, "Well, you know, if you have been on a beach in a bathing suit with friends- and I've had this happen, so I know that this can get done- where they take, you know, a little piece of you and they put you in a diaper or whatever."

[See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Jack Coleman | June 2, 2011 | 4:14 PM EDT

Democratic congressman Anthony Weiner was probably expecting softball questions from Rachel Maddow last night. That's not quite how it played out.

On Friday, the same evening he previously appeared on Maddow's MSNBC show, a risque photo of Weiner was sent from his Twitter account. An uproar in the blogosphere and broader media quickly followed, with Weiner denying he sent the photo but not addressing whether the photo was of him.

Weiner made another attempt at damage control when he went on Maddow's show again Wednesday. Before he appeared, however, Maddow signaled that the interview would not be business as usual when she said this (video below page break) --

By Eric Ames | June 2, 2011 | 3:53 PM EDT

In an exchange with Pat Buchanan on Thursday’s “Morning Joe,” MSNBC reporter Norah O’Donnell demonstrated just how out of touch she is when it comes to her view of the state of the American economy (video follows page break): 

By Kathleen McKinley | June 2, 2011 | 1:41 PM EDT

That may sound like an overblown title, but if you read Ben Shapiro's new book, "Primetime Propaganda, The True Hollywood Story Of How The Left Took Over Your  TV," you will see it isn't overblown in the least. Ben doesn't just speculate here. He goes to the source.

He interviews the movers and the shakers of Hollywood who admit their own bias and their own agenda. You may have heard Ben's interview with Glenn Beck this morning. Glenn asked him how he got access to these big wigs. Ben said it was because of his last name (Jewish) and the fact that he went to Harvard. They just assumed he was "one of them." The few that did bother to google Ben, declined to be interviewed. So, this fascinating book takes us into the minds of the people who bring television into our home. They clearly state how they want to influence our kids with their political views.

By Kyle Drennen | June 2, 2011 | 12:53 PM EDT

At the top of Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Meredith Vieira worried about the impact of the Twitter photo scandal on Congressman Anthony Weiner's career: "Will the scandal and his response to it derail his political ambitions?"

Talking to chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd later, Vieira pointed out how "the people who write the headlines in New York City are obviously having a heyday with this" but then soberly added, "beyond the laughs here, this guy is a rising star in this state, especially in the city of New York, considered a front-runner for the next mayoral campaign....What about the political toll?"

By Scott Whitlock | June 2, 2011 | 12:39 PM EDT

Good Morning America correspondent John Berman on Thursday offered a sarcastic take on Sarah Palin's tour, dismissing it as a "magical mystery bus." He also spun a possible 2012 run by Palin as making fellow Republican Mitt Romney appear "more safe, a more secure, a more reasonable candidate."

By Clay Waters | June 2, 2011 | 12:27 PM EDT

In a surprise announcement, Bill Keller is resigning as New York Times executive editor as of September 6. He will be replaced by Jill Abramson, the paper’s managing editor, Jeremy Peters reported on Thursday morning.

Keller will still write for the paper: "As for Mr. Keller’s plans, he said he was still working out the details of a column he will write for the paper’s new Sunday opinion section, which will be introduced later this month."

Abramson will be the first woman to run the Times newsroom in the paper’s 160-year history. For Abramson, the Times is holy writ:

By Ken Shepherd | June 2, 2011 | 11:24 AM EDT

Barack Obama and Abraham Lincoln "are peas in the same pod," at least in the eyes of technology reporter Andrew Leonard.

And just how exactly?

By Catherine Maggio | June 2, 2011 | 10:53 AM EDT

When, in a recent New York Times interview, Comedian Chelsea Handler expressed disgust with the MTV show "16 and Pregnant," pro-lifers (and fans of traditional morality) might have had reason to hope. "Getting rewarded for being pregnant when you're a teenager?" she fumed, "Are you serious? I mean, that makes me want to kill somebody."

Unfortunately, that somebody is a fetus. She went on to speak proudly of her own experience. "I had an abortion when I was 16," she stated. "Because that's what I should have done. Otherwise I would now have a 20-year-old kid. Anyway, those are things that people shouldn't be dishonest about it."

By Fred Lucas | June 2, 2011 | 10:48 AM EDT

Joseph E. diGenova, former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, said today it would be a crime for Rep. Anthony Weiner (D.-N.Y.) to file a complaint with the police claiming his Twitter account had been hacked if he knew it had not been hacked.

Last Friday, a Tweet that included a lewd photograph was sent from Weiner’s Twitter account to a 21-year-old woman in Seattle, whom the 46-year-old congressman followed on Twitter. Weiner issued a statement saying that his Twitter account had been hacked and that someone had sent the lewd photograph to the woman as a prank. Thus far, Weiner has not indicated that he has filed a complaint about the alleged hacking incident with any law enforcement agency.

“If he in fact filed a complaint claiming he had been hacked, when in fact he had not been, that would be making a false statement to either local police authorities or federal officials. That would be a crime,” diGenova told, pointing to 18 U.S.C. 1001 as the relevant statute.

By Matt Cover | June 2, 2011 | 10:21 AM EDT

John Bryson, President Obama’s nominee to head the Commerce Department, told a University of California Berkeley audience in 2010 that a cap and trade system was a good way to hide a carbon tax from the public.

Bryson, formerly the CEO of Edison International, said that a carbon tax was the new “third rail” of politics because politicians wouldn’t want to tax energy directly.

By Clay Waters | June 2, 2011 | 9:28 AM EDT

In her lead story Wednesday, "Pressing Obama, House Bars Rise For Debt Ceiling," New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes accused Republicans of not understanding the debt limit while softening Democratic calls for higher taxes by portraying the Democrats as merely seeking "higher revenues."

The House on Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected a measure to increase the government’s debt limit, acting on a vote staged by Republican leaders to pressure President Obama to agree to deep spending cuts.

Republicans brought up the measure, which was defeated 318 to 97, to show the lack of support in the House for raising the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling without concrete steps to rein in chronic budget deficits.

By Noel Sheppard | June 2, 2011 | 9:18 AM EDT

Former Clinton adviser turned CNN political analyst Paul Begala Wednesday evening gave Anderson Cooper the predictable Party line about Weinergate being no big deal.

Without skipping a beat, the host of "Anderson Cooper 360" replied, "But, Paul, if this was a conservative Republican, would you be saying the same thing?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):