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By Tom Blumer | August 2, 2011 | 11:37 PM EDT

Did you know that car buyers in July took "worries" over the debt-ceiling debate in Washington into account when they decided to buy -- or apparently decided not to buy?

Neither did I. But Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher rolled out that excuse this evening as one factor explaining why July's car sales were "disappointing," and then appeared to stuff those words into the mouth of the spokesman for General Motors.

Sale were indeed "disappointing," up less than 1% of over July 2010, which was described at the time by CNNMoney.com as "Best Since (Cash for) Clunkers, But Still Weak" (that's the window title; the article title got sanitized later).

Here are several paragraphs from the AP pair's report (the excuse and the word-stuffing are in bold):

By Noel Sheppard | August 2, 2011 | 11:18 PM EDT

If the economy stagnates or falters in the coming months, it seems a metaphysical certitude Obama-loving media will do everything in their power to blame it on Tuesday's debt ceiling agreement rather than any of the other factors already in play.

MSNBC's Chris Matthews gave us a foreshadowing of such deception on "Hardball" when he blamed Tuesday's stock market collapse on the newly-signed legislation rather than the bad economic data announced in the morning (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Brent Baker | August 2, 2011 | 11:14 PM EDT

Remarkable uniformity amongst some major national newspapers on Tuesday as they simultaneously worried about how the supposed spending “cuts” in the debt-ceiling deal will harm the economy.

As USA Today put it the top of the “cover story” for the “Money” section: “Spending cuts could further weaken economy.”

By Noel Sheppard | August 2, 2011 | 9:04 PM EDT

Two weeks after Bill Maher hosted one of the most vile political discussions ever broadcast on national television, the host of HBO's "Real Time" was rewarded with a tenth season of his despicable show.

TV By The Numbers reported Friday:

By Brent Bozell | August 2, 2011 | 8:27 PM EDT

You can tell the liberals are really sweating the politics of the debt-limit talks when NBC puts on a special “Dateline NBC” devoted to politics. This is normally a time slot devoted to “news” topics like Casey Anthony or Lindsey Lohan. But last week, viewers were “treated” to anchorman Brian Williams actually covering a real news topic. It’s just too bad he forgot he was supposed to be a reporter, not an editorialist, spinning furiously against conservatives trying to rein in Obama’s incredibly reckless flood of new spending.

The last time Brian Williams showed up in prime time for a splashy special on public policy was an enormous tribute to the new president, Barack Obama -- making a run for hamburgers with him, hailing how he displayed apples everywhere, and bowing to him and wishing him a pleasant evening after NBC chronicled his glorious day of saving America from recession. You know, just like Williams treated Bush.

By Matt Hadro | August 2, 2011 | 7:00 PM EDT

CNN's Piers Morgan kept bludgeoning Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) with provocative liberal questions, and finally the congressman had enough of the theater. Mack berated the CNN host for making a "joke" out of his show during a testy interview Monday night.

Morgan and the congressman started bickering when Morgan asked whether Mack thought Speaker Boehner should resign because of the "terrible deal." Mack had voted against the bipartisan debt ceiling agreement, and Morgan tried to exploit any disagreement he held with his leader.

By Matt Hadro | August 2, 2011 | 6:30 PM EDT

Channeling liberal disenchantment with President Obama, CNN anchor Don Lemon wondered Monday if the President would be "better off running as a conservative" in the next election.

"Your colleague in New York Gary Ackerman said the Republicans invited the President, quote, 'to negotiate at a strip poker table, and he showed up half-naked,' and then liberal columnist Paul Krugman calls the deal an abject surrender," Lemon quoted the two liberals downcast over the debt ceiling deal. "Would the President be better off running as a conservative in 2012?" he asked Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.)

By Scott Whitlock | August 2, 2011 | 6:25 PM EDT

Chris Matthews doesn't seem to be running out of violent imagery to use in his smears against the Republican Party. On Tuesday, the Hardball host bombarded the GOP, comparing them to "muggers" who assaulted Barack Obama during the debt limit standoff.

Explaining his current metaphor, Matthews slammed, "What we saw, what I saw at least, was one guy with a knife and the other trying to avoid being cut. It was a thug attacking a victim. It was a mugging." He acidly added, "Now, the good news...is that the victim did get through it."

By Ken Shepherd | August 2, 2011 | 6:02 PM EDT

New York Times food writer and junk food sin-tax advocate Mark Bittman took to the August 2 edition of MSNBC’s “Dylan Ratigan” show as part of his promotional tour for “Bad Food? Tax It.” He found a receptive, uncritical audience in the former CNBC business reporter.

“It’s like, do you want to use taxes to help people or do you want to use taxes to hurt people? It seems to me right now we’re doing just about everything wrong, at least when it comes to food,” Bittman complained, adding "we’re subsidizing, we’re directly subsidizing the crops that produce junk food, bad meat, hyper-processed food, and we’re not subsidizing the foods that we know make us healthy.”

By Julia A. Seymour | August 2, 2011 | 5:07 PM EDT

As the debt ceiling “compromise” progressed on August 1, NPR revealed its slant against the bill in interviews with Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif., and Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.

But it was the phrasing of one particular question during Dreier’s interview that prompted more than 20 listener complaints that called it “hostile, “rude” and proof of “liberal bias,” according to the response by NPR ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos. Schumacher-Matos described the question as “a virtual sucker punch.” (Listen to the interview here)

The “leading question” (by NPR’s own admission) Steve Inskeep had asked Dreier was, “Given that your speaker, in his words, said months ago that it would be a serious problem not to raise the debt ceiling, why did House Republicans spend this summer threatening to torpedo the economy by defaulting?”

By Aubrey Vaughan | August 2, 2011 | 4:29 PM EDT

If there has been anything unifying the mainstream media coverage of the debt crisis, it has been attacking the Tea Party. Last night on the Daily Show, Jon Stewart joined the chorus, railing against the Tea Party's dislike of the debt deal, which he claimed they won through the plan's spending cuts, even though the cuts are in fact quite small.

According to Stewart, the Tea Party freshmen control less than half of the House, but they are the ones who caused the ruckus of forcing billions in spending cuts. He went on to say Tea Partiers don't want a government at all and likened them to bank robbers taking everyone hostage.

(Video after the break)

By Matthew Balan | August 2, 2011 | 4:24 PM EDT

CBS's Norah O'Donnell played the role of a clairvoyant on Tuesday's Early Show as she hinted that President Obama's reelection is assured in 2012. Anchor Erica Hill asked O'Donnell how the White House viewed the debt ceiling bill. She replied, "I think they feel like this was... not necessarily a victory for the President. He did get an extension of this debt ceiling through 2012 and through his reelection" .

Hill brought on the new CBS News White House correspondent, as well as Nancy Cordes, their congressional correspondent, to discuss the return of Rep. Gabby Giffords to the floor of the House of Representatives on Monday and their passage of the compromise debt ceiling legislation. Towards the end of the segment, after she and O'Donnell laughed it up about Vice President Biden's crack about Giffords being part of the "cracked heads club," the anchor asked her question about the White House's take on the bill. Her colleague replied with her off-the-cuff prediction:

By Alex Fitzsimmons | August 2, 2011 | 2:56 PM EDT

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough on Tuesday mourned the "absolutely dreadful" behavior of journalists and politicians who have compared Tea Party Republicans to "terrorists," among other things. But as NewsBusters previously reported, the "Morning Joe" co-host repeatedly ignored such transgressions when they occurred on his own show.

By Eric Ames | August 2, 2011 | 2:56 PM EDT

On Morning Joe's coverage of the debt ceiling deal, Joe Scarborough trivialized potential defense cuts by joking that the money is needed to repel extraterrestrial invasion. "I understand why some neocons are very upset because the Martians could invade any time, and so do we need to have a bigger defense budget than every other country on the planet, because when the Martians do come, we want to make sure we that have our radar gun technology ready," said Scarborough.

By Amy Ridenour | August 2, 2011 | 2:25 PM EDT

Ever creative in finding things for which to blame the "right wing," Salon magazine is criticizing conservatives in a headline ("Planned Parenthood Firebombed, Right Wing Silent") about an apparent incident in McKinney, Texas last Tuesday in which an unknown person allegedly threw a Molotov cocktail at a Planned Parenthood establishment.

No one with even superficial understanding of conservatives and a sound mind could conclude the conservative movement supports throwing Molotov cocktails at business establishments, even left-wing ones. That we did not comment on an incident that received almost no press attention and at which no one was injured is more logically attributed to the fact that we, like almost everyone else on the planet, had no idea it took place.