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By Noel Sheppard | March 5, 2011 | 7:45 PM EST

For the fourth time in the last five weeks Evan Thomas has taken a political position quite contrary to the other liberal panelists on PBS's "Inside Washington."

In Friday's installment, Newsweek's assistant managing editor not only took on regulars Mark Shields and Nina Totenberg but also ridiculed the New York Times (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Tim Graham | March 5, 2011 | 5:24 PM EST

The March 7 Newsweek (NewsBeast) features an article titled "David Brooks Wants to Be Friends," but there's more bridge-burning than friend-making in this interview with James Atlas. Of course, he came up in Washington through conservative opinion journalism from the National Review, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, and The Weekly Standard, but "something has changed." Conservatives are now more uncivil. Well, either that -- or his paychecks are now signed by PBS, NPR, and The New York Times:

But Brooks insists that something has changed in the past decade. Political discourse had grown coarse, he laments. Gone is the civilized era when “you had liberals and conservatives instead of Republicans and Democrats,” a time “before the parties devolved into teams,” each espousing its own “values” in voices grown increasingly shrill. For a high-profile journalist, he seems eager to keep his head down—it’s not a posture easy to maintain when he’s on TV every Friday night and his byline appears twice a week on the op-ed page of The New York Times.

“One of the toughest things about being a columnist is that people hate you,” he said. Hate is perhaps too strong a word; it’s not a sentiment Brooks tends to evoke in people. On the contrary, his balanced views are seen as strengths, not weaknesses.

By Noel Sheppard | March 5, 2011 | 4:48 PM EST

It's approaching three weeks since the budget battle began in Wisconsin and Alan Colmes still doesn't understand some of the facts.

On Saturday's "Fox News Watch," the perilously liberal commentator claimed Gov. Scott Walker exempted policemen and firefighters from his budget repair bill as a payback for their support during last November's elections (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Noel Sheppard | March 5, 2011 | 3:12 PM EST

As NewsBusters reported Tuesday, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee was lambasted by numerous liberal media outlets for comments he made to conservative radio host Steve Malzberg regarding President Obama's past.

Surprisingly joining in the harsh criticism was George Will whose column to be published in Sunday's Washington Post also excoriated former House Speaker Newt Gingrich as well as Malzberg:

By Mike Bates | March 5, 2011 | 2:29 PM EST

On the Chicago Sun-Times's Web site today, it's reported that former Cook County Board President Todd Stroger has applied for unemployment benefits. Stroger had been earning $170,000 at his job, and his former employer is appealing his eligibility. Not mentioned, of course, is the fact Stroger is a Democrat.

A little more than four years ago, Stroger was endorsed by then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) as "a good progressive Democrat" who will "lead us into a new era of Cook County government." He certainly did. His tenure was marked by scandal after scandal after scandal. Still, Stroger was constantly on the prowl for new talent to bring to government. So impressed was he with one restaurant busboy he encountered that the man ended up with a $61,189-a-year county job. The guy sure must have known how to handle a glass of ice water.

By Tim Graham | March 5, 2011 | 1:22 PM EST

The Radio Equalizer blog found an amazing statement from Rosie O'Donnell on her satellite radio show: the Wisconsin budget crisis "I feel like this is the most important issue our nation is facing right now, and has for the last fifty, sixty years." Forget the civil rights struggles, the Cold War, or the impeachment battles of two presidents. Rosie also emphasized the bizarre left-wing concept that Gov. Scott Walker was like Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak:

There's apparently over 100,000 people in the freezing cold in Wisconsin standing there, and they have been for the last eleven days? It took seventeen days to get the government in Egypt to stop abusing their citizens after thirty years of rule...

I believe the people of Wisconsin were inspired by watching the people of Egypt ... stand up to tyranny and dictatorship, a thirty-year dictatorship taken down in seventeen days of peaceful protest. The people in Wisconsin deserve our support ...They are us.

By Matthew Balan | March 5, 2011 | 12:29 PM EST

Dan Gilgoff played up the Islamic community's concerns over upcoming congressional hearings on "the radicalization of American Muslims" in a Friday article on CNN.com. Gilgoff quoted Muslims 12 times in his article, versus only 3 times for Rep. Peter King, who will be convening the hearings, and omitted mentioning actual terrorist incidents from recent years that involved native-born or naturalized Muslims.

The co-editor for CNN's "Belief Blog" led his article, "Muslims anxious, active ahead of radicalization hearings," by highlighting the efforts of American University Professor Akbar Ahmed, who stated, "There is a generalized sense of Islamophobia floating around, and the hearings are not doing anything to assuage Muslim fears." Of course, this line helps revisit the network's charge from last summer that Islamophobia is now "mainstream in America" (his colleague Don Lemon did this on Monday with a segment about a new film hoping to "clear up some of this ignorance" about Islam).

By Noel Sheppard | March 5, 2011 | 12:18 PM EST

Bill Maher said Friday that George W. Bush when he first ran for president had the "thinnest résumé anyone had ever seen."

Such happened on HBO's "Real Time" during an interview with author T.C. Boyle (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By NB Staff | March 5, 2011 | 11:28 AM EST

For general discussion and debate about politics, the economy, sports, or whatever else tickles your fancy.

By Noel Sheppard | March 5, 2011 | 11:18 AM EST

As NewsBusters previously reported, Bill Maher on Friday, during a joke about Sarah Palin, bashed Charlie Sheen's "childish" behavior.

Moments later in his "Real Time" monologue, the host, while defending actress Natalie Portman, immaturely attacked former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee's family for being overweight (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Noel Sheppard | March 5, 2011 | 10:51 AM EST

There must be something in Bill Maher's contract with HBO that requires him to make at least one joke about the former Alaska governor on every show.

In his monologue beginning the most recent installment of "Real Time," the host said Charlie Sheen's childish, needlessly defensive, nonsensical behavior is like Sarah Palin on coke (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By | March 5, 2011 | 10:00 AM EST

It's often said that unpopular speech is the type that needs to be defended, since popular speech will rarely face a meaningful threat. Speech that is disagreeable and persuasive will probably seem less appealing than speech that is disagreeable but unlikely to sway anyone to its cause.

It is telling, then, that the New York Times and Washington Post editorial pages vociferously opposed last year's "Citizens United" Supreme Court ruling, but defended the court's decision on Wednesday to preserve the right of the Westboro Baptist Church to protest the funerals of those who die defending that right.

By Tim Graham | March 5, 2011 | 7:12 AM EST

The saddest media bias on display this week was the desperate hunger and thirst for that slice of Ratings Heaven known as Charlie Sheen's Continuing Moral Collapse. He's been All Access Charlie, granting high Nielsens wherever he goes, speaking of how he is High on Himself and "bi-winning" with his two "goddesses" camped at his abode. Network interviewers have tried not to alienate their guest with tough questions. Washington Post TV writer Lisa de Moraes ably brought her trademark snark to this amoral parade. First there was ABC's 20/20 with Andrea Canning on Tuesday night:

"It's no secret that you have an affinity for porn stars," Canning told Sheen.

"Well, I mean, wow, listen to that statement," Sheen joshed back.

By Tim Graham | March 4, 2011 | 10:43 PM EST

Beware the crystal-ball story that predicts a backlash -- a liberal newspaper will constantly find backlashes to predict wherever conservatives succeed. The Washington Post unleashed their clairvoyance on Friday in an Amy Gardner story headlined "Ohio GOP may invite backlash with tough stance on unions." It began:

COLUMBUS -- State Republicans took the toughest line yet against public-sector unions this week, delivering an early and significant victory for a slew of lawmakers elected in November.

Perhaps too tough. Democrats and even some Republicans said that the bold action and the uncompromising way it was carried out could boomerang on Republicans in the next election, in much the same way that the stimulus bill and health-care overhaul haunted Democrats in Ohio and elsewhere last year.  

By Mark Finkelstein | March 4, 2011 | 7:52 PM EST

Shep Smith: putting the liberal balance into Fox News Channel's fair-and-balanced reporting . . .

On Fox Report this evening, Shep sneered at Gov. Walker's budget-repair bill, sniffing at it as "so-called" reform, sarcastically adding that as far as union members facing layoffs are concerned, "it's no repair to them."

Later, interviewing FNC's White House correspondent Mike Emanuel, a nervous Smith sought reassurance that Florida wasn't heading down Walker's Wisconsin path.

View video after the jump.