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By Ken Shepherd | August 29, 2011 | 3:59 PM EDT

In "Ben Bernanke Embraces Obama's Reality-Based Presidency," Time's Michael Grunwald posited that Republican presidential contender Rick Perry is divorced from reality, especially when it comes to the best policies to fix the economy.

Grunwald opened with snark...

By Clay Waters | August 29, 2011 | 3:31 PM EDT

The New York Times, once again, feigned ignorance regarding “civil rights activist” Al Sharpton’s racially incendiary past. The front of the New York section on Saturday, N.R. Kleinfield questioned why “the provocative civil rights activist” has been silent on the case of International Monetary Fund bigwig Dominique Strauss-Kahn, accused of raping a hotel maid in Manhattan. (The charges were dropped after questions were raised about the credibility of his accuser.)

But an obvious answer – Sharpton’s involvement in the Tawana Brawley case – wasn’t hinted at until the last two paragraphs of the seventeen paragraphs of “Assault Case Spurs Debate, But Sharpton Stays Silent.”

By Scott Whitlock | August 29, 2011 | 3:18 PM EDT

Newsweek journalist Dan Stone appeared on MSNBC's News Live, Monday, to offer a bizarre complaint about Dick Cheney's new memoir. He lamented, "This book is very focused on rehashing. It's very based on the past, from what I can tell."

Responding to a question about whether the book could cause problems for Obama, the White House correspondent added, "Not many people are taking it to look forward." Of course, it would be hard to write a memoir on one's life and not look backward.

[See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Tom Blumer | August 29, 2011 | 2:17 PM EDT

Maybe AP stands for "Alternative Planet."

In an early version of Julie Pace's coverage of President Obama's selection of Alan Krueger to be the next head of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, the following paragraph appeared (bolds are mine):

By Clay Waters | August 29, 2011 | 1:21 PM EDT

Never let a natural disaster go to waste. In August 2010, New York Times environmental reporter Justin Gillis reacted to that summer's heat waves and flooding with “In Weather Chaos, a Case for Global Warming” on the front page of the Times. So it was no surprise he took advantage of Hurricane Irene in Sunday’s edition, “Seeing Irene as Harbinger of a Change in Climate.”

Gillis’s latest story, admittedly written when Irene looked more dangerous than it turned out to be, was also guilty of disaster hype.

The scale of Hurricane Irene, which could cause more extensive damage along the Eastern Seaboard than any storm in decades, is reviving an old question: are hurricanes getting worse because of human-induced climate change?

By Ken Shepherd | August 29, 2011 | 1:02 PM EDT

"Wind farms' turbines drawing static over bird kills" blared the page A4 headline in today's Washington Post.

"Advocates want oversight," added a subheadline. Yet it took until paragraph 11 out of 28 that Post staffer Darryl Fears noted that "power lines kill an estimated 10 million, and nearly 11 million are hit by automobiles," compared to just about 500,000 birds who die each year thanks to green energy-friendly windmills.

By Kyle Drennen | August 29, 2011 | 1:00 PM EDT

On Monday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer introduced a panel discussion on whether media coverage of Hurricane Irene was overdone by proclaiming: "Was this storm over-hyped? In some ways, it's a one-sentence argument, this storm killed more than 20 people and 4 million people are without power, and clearly there's misery and destruction. How could it have been over-hyped?"

Weatherman Al Roker completely dismissed the notion: "You look at the predictions, you look at the track, which was right on the money. And it is a Category 3 storm. There is no – there's no argument here....The preparations –  everything that was done, I would say we should do over again if we get the same scenario." Weather Channel Meteorologist Jim Cantore chimed in: "How many more times do we have to play pictures [of flooding] in Vermont?"

By Matthew Balan | August 29, 2011 | 12:53 PM EDT

CBS's Bill Plante inserted the oft-repeated media spin about the Bush administration's response to Hurricane Katrina into his report on Monday's Early Show. Plante ignored the poor handling of Katrina at the state and local levels, spotlighting instead how "the stranded and homeless wandered the streets of New Orleans" as Bush flew overhead. But three days earlier, CBS brought on former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin as an "expert" on hurricane preparation without mentioning his failures.

Fill-in anchor Jeff Glor stated in his introduction for the correspondent's report that "Irene was not as bad as some thought it might be, but politicians were not taking any chances. They know what happens when government is ill-prepared for disaster." Plante began by spotlighting the Obama administration's response to Hurricane Irene:

By Clay Waters | August 29, 2011 | 11:42 AM EDT

“Deep Cuts in Social Services” By Conservatives Led to London Riots

“Frustration in this impoverished neighborhood, as in many others in Britain, has mounted as the government’s austerity budget has forced deep cuts in social services. At the same time, a widely held disdain for law enforcement here, where a large Afro-Caribbean population has felt singled out by the police for abuse, has only intensified through the drumbeat of scandal that has racked Scotland Yard in recent weeks and led to the resignation of the force’s two top commanders....Economic malaise and cuts in spending and services instituted by the Conservative-led government have been recurring flashpoints for months...As the budget cuts take hold, risk of unemployment increases and social measures like youth projects are sacrificed, Mr. Beech said, and ‘all logic says there will be an increase in antisocial behavior.’” – London-based reporter Ravi Somaiya on the riots there, August 8.

 

Norway Terrorist’s “Fellow Travelers,” Gingrich and Rep. Peter King

“Breivik has many ideological fellow travelers on both sides of the Atlantic. Theirs is the poison in which he refined his murderous resentment....Republicans like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Representative Peter King, who have found it politically opportune to target ‘creeping Shariah in the United States’ at a time when the middle name of the president is Hussein. – International columnist Roger Cohen, posted to nytimes.com July 25.

By Noel Sheppard | August 29, 2011 | 11:36 AM EDT

The liberal media are predictably gushing over Colin Powell's supposed rebuke of Dick Cheney on Sunday's "Face the Nation."

Bucking the trend was Joe Scarborough Monday who on the MSNBC program bearing his name said Powell going on "Face the Nation" to defend himself proved Cheney right about heads exploding over his new book (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By NB Staff | August 29, 2011 | 11:03 AM EDT

Fred Lucas of NewsBusters sister site CNSNews.com is reporting today that Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney wants to see convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi extradited from Libya to the United States to face prosecution:

By Ken Shepherd | August 29, 2011 | 10:50 AM EDT

You have to hand it to Politico, they know how to gin up publicity.

"Is Rick Perry dumb?" asks the top headline on the website today. Yet on balance, the corresponding article by Jonathan Martin isn't all that bad, noting that Perry has often been underestimated politically, much to the peril of numerous Republican and Democratic opponents who are now footnotes at best in Texas political history.

That being said, there's little doubt that the media, including Martin, are hard at work cementing certain prejudices and lowering expectations about the three-term Texas governor:

By Tim Graham | August 29, 2011 | 8:31 AM EDT

Monday's Washington Examiner notes that NBC's Ann Curry made the Forbes list of the 100 most powerful women, but Curry somehow tried to claim that she "didn't ask" to be co-host of Today. (Ahem, cue "Curry and her agent expressed unhappiness"  when she was passed over for Meredith Vieira.) Curry also claimed she was fighting against fear and ignorance. (This is heady stuff for someone who couldn't locate Illinois on a map, pointing to Minnesota instead.)

Forbes asked Curry if she feels responsible for the media platform she has: "People are scared. We have to be on target in terms of the information that we're giving. There is comfort in knowing. There is more fear when there is ignorance. Our job is to fight fear by telling them what they need to know."

By Tim Graham | August 29, 2011 | 7:55 AM EDT

Washington Post education columnist Valerie Strauss reported Monday that people in the Obama administration made several desperate attempts to lobby actor Matt Damon just before he spoke at last month's "Save Our Schools" rally in Washington D.C., blasting an emphasis on standardized tests and insisting he would never have become a movie star under that kind of education system.

Citing unnamed sources in sensitive spots, Strauss claimed "Duncan was willing to meet Damon at the airport when he flew into the Washington region and talk to him on the drive into the city, according to the sources. Damon declined all of the requests."

By Mark Finkelstein | August 29, 2011 | 7:47 AM EDT

Pat Buchanan regularly serves as Morning Joe's lone conservative in the show's self-described 10:1 ratio sea of lib to conservative guests.  But Buchanan this morning demonstrated that he is anything but a Republican partisan.  

Sounding more like Barney Frank after a bad night's sleep, Buchanan blasted President George W. Bush, claiming 43 "broke the Republican party and frankly he broke the United States as a superpower."  View the video after the jump.