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By Eric Ames | June 30, 2011 | 5:04 PM EDT

CNN's Ali Velshi called out "hold on" five times at a Republican before he repeated liberal talking points on tax policy on Thursday's edition of American Morning. "We don't tax too much. Let's just stop that for a second," Velshi said after cutting off Republican strategist Jim McLaughlin. McLaughlin had  told the American Morning panel. "We spend and we tax too much."

By Clay Waters | June 30, 2011 | 3:53 PM EDT

The New York Times once again checks in with a hostile peek at Florida’s conservative Gov. Rick Scott. Don Van Natta Jr. and Gary Fineout reported from Miami on Scott’s poll travails, even suggesting his current low standing could cost the Republicans the state in the 2012 presidential election, a mere 16 months away: “Sinking Poll Numbers May Put Florida in Play – Strategists Sy the Governor’s Unpopularity Could Cost Republicans in 2012.”

In the past few weeks, Gov. Rick Scott has traveled around the state extolling the accomplishments of the recent legislative session and promoting his success in pushing Florida down a more conservative, financially sound path.

Gov. Rick Scott at the budget signing in May, which was marred by reports that some Democrats were removed from the event

So why is his approval rating the lowest of any governor in America?

By Ken Shepherd | June 30, 2011 | 3:52 PM EDT

Reporting on Pope Benedict XVI's first-ever tweet yesterday, MSNBC producers showed viewers B-roll of a fake Pope Benedict Twitter account while anchor Chris Jansing read off her choice for the June 29 "tweet of the day."

The pontiff doesn't have an official Twitter account and has only tweeted once, on June 28, from the @news_va_en account (video posted after page break):

By Kyle Drennen | June 30, 2011 | 3:41 PM EDT

At the top of Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry proclaimed: "President Obama calls out Congress to strike a deficit reduction deal during a feisty news conference." Moments later, fellow co-host Matt Lauer added that the President "gave Congress a pretty good tongue lashing on Wednesday."

Curry further described how Obama "rebuked Congress for taking recesses instead of tackling legislation to try to help turn around the economy." In a later report on the press conference, White House correspondent Chuck Todd announced: "On issues ranging from taxes, the debt ceiling, even Libya, President Obama issued a blistering critique of Republicans in Congress. And essentially in blunt terms said it's time to step up and stop complaining."

By Clay Waters | June 30, 2011 | 1:45 PM EDT

New York Times Washington reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg has fired two warning shots on consecutive days across Barack Obama’s left flank, regarding his hesitation to fully endorse gay marriage.

Wednesday’s “Obama’s Position on Gay Marriage Faces New Test” painted Obama in an “awkward” situation regarding his gay supporters. Stolberg twice shoe-horned in race-based arguments to challenge Obama’s position.


When President Obama’s guests arrive at the White House on Wednesday for a Gay Pride reception -- just days after New York became the largest state in the country to make same-sex marriage legal -- they will no doubt be in a mood to celebrate.

But for their host, who does not endorse same-sex marriage, it could be somewhat awkward.

By Geoffrey Dickens | June 30, 2011 | 12:50 PM EDT

On MSNBC you can call a sitting president a "murderous" "fascist" even muse about putting the President on trial for war crimes, so long as that president is a Republican. But if you dare call a Democratic president a "d–ck," as MSNBC analyst Mark Halperin did this morning it's grounds for indefinite suspension.

While calling any president the D-word is probably not showing the proper respect for the office, it has to be asked where does it rank compared to essentially accusing a president of mass murder and war crimes?

By Tim Graham | June 30, 2011 | 11:19 AM EDT

Via TV Newser, we learn that MSNBC has "suspended indefinitely" its senior political analyst Mark Halperin for stating on Morning Joe that President Obama was "kind of a [male appendage]." This is not exactly what the "No Labels" crowd at Morning Joe were expecting. The official MSNBC statement:

Mark Halperin’s comments this morning were completely inappropriate and unacceptable. We apologize to the President, The White House and all of our viewers. We strive for a high level of discourse and comments like these have no place on our air.  Therefore, Mark will be suspended indefinitely from his role as an analyst.


By NB Staff | June 30, 2011 | 11:18 AM EDT

While the media have been using fact-checker PolitiFact to bash Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) for her gaffes and misstatements of fact, the MSM have been silent about the same organization counting 39 "barely true" statements from Barack Obama and 49 that were outright "false."

"In 29 months, you know how many network stories have been done on Barack Obama and his falsehoods?" NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell asked Fox News host Sean Hannity on the June 29 "Hannity."

Just one, Bozell noted, from the ABC network.

[see the "Media Mash" segment in the video embedded below]


By Noel Sheppard | June 30, 2011 | 10:46 AM EDT

Jon Stewart Wednesday finally stopped responding to the aftermath of his performance on "Fox News Sunday" and tried to make amends with a somewhat bipartisan segment bashing the President for his budget solutions as well as both parties for not getting anything done.

Toward the end of the opening "Daily Show" sketch, after a video clip of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid saying, "My Republican friends seem to be living in a fantasy world," Stewart smartly quipped, "If they were living in a fantasy world, would you still exist?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By NB Staff | June 30, 2011 | 10:32 AM EDT

With a poll earlier this month showing that an unnamed Republican candidate could beat President Barack Obama by a narrow margin if the election were held today, Obama's advisers are scrambling to find ways to win his reelection in 2012 amid a $14 trillion debt and three wars.

Obama's dismal poll numbers are leaving his nostalgic advisers grappling to assemble an astroturf campaign reminiscent of his successful 2008 grassroots campaign. As the National Journal's Josh Kraushaar explains, Obama's administration has made a series of critical moves over the past month that reflect their growing concern for Obama's chances in 2012.

Check out Kraushaar's thoughts on Obama's struggling 2012 campaign after the break, and let us know what you think in the comments.

By Clay Waters | June 30, 2011 | 10:22 AM EDT

Recently the New York Times has run several stories on various abortion legislation in the states, none more slanted than Eric Eckholm’s piece on Monday, “New Laws in 6 States Ban Abortions After 20 Weeks.” In February, Eckholm called the abortion providers Planned Parenthood “advocates for women’s health,” and his new story had a similar case of bias by omission involving abortion providers. Yet Eckholm easily managed to identify “anti-abortion campaigners.”

Dozens of new restrictions passed by states this year have chipped away at the right to abortion by requiring women to view ultrasounds, imposing waiting periods or cutting funds for clinics. But a new kind of law has gone beyond such restrictions, striking at the foundation of the abortion rules set out by the Supreme Court over the last four decades.

By Tim Graham | June 30, 2011 | 8:46 AM EDT

The Washington Post's adjectives in Thursday's coverage of the Obama press conference signaled their approval. "Obama takes tougher tone on economy, foreign policy" was the headline at the top of Page One. Post reporters Peter Wallsten and Zachary Goldfarb led off with how Obama "belittled" congressional Republicans for taking vacations during debt-limit talks and contrasted their work effort with his young daughters. But his mission was to "reassert a commanding presence" on the issues. He was not "petulant" or "whiny," he was "showing a combative side that Americans rarely see."

The front-page promo underneath hailed Dana Milbank's "Washington Sketch" full of praise. "The pugilist in chief: A press corps gathered to hear our regularly scheduled president meets a rather feisty gentleman instead."

By Brent Baker | June 30, 2011 | 8:29 AM EDT

“The problem is this issue with the House Republicans,” NBC’s Chuck Todd declared Wednesday night in naming the culprit blocking help to Americans whom anchor Brian Williams asserted “are hurting every day and hoping for a result to make their lives better.”

In a story on President Barack Obama’s press conference, Todd maintained Obama and the Senate could come together, but he blamed the conservatives for preventing a debt ceiling deal, fretting over “that new conservative, the Tea Party caucus” which rejects “anything that even remotely looks like a tax hike on anybody.”

By Mark Finkelstein | June 30, 2011 | 7:24 AM EDT


When Mark Halperin asked if the seven-second delay was working prior to offering his observation on President Obama's performance at his press conference of yesterday, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski seemed to assume he was joking, and invited the normally mild-mannered pundit to proceed. 

But it immediately became obvious that the joke was on the Morning Joe hosts, because when he spoke, Halperin said of Obama "I think he was kind of a d--k yesterday."  As evidenced in the screengrab, Mika and Joe reacted with shocked amusement.

View video after the jump.

By Tim Graham | June 30, 2011 | 6:45 AM EDT

On Tuesday night’s edition of The Rachel Maddow Show, former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean slashed at the “radical right” justices on the Supreme Court as “bought and paid for” by billionaires like the Koch brothers (who “don’t fundamentally believe in democracy”) and are “selling America to the corporations.”

But what about the liberal justices? Dean didn’t think there were any: “Barack Obama has appointed two very solid middle-of-the-road justices” in Sotomayor and Kagan. Maddow raised the idea of the court ruling against remedial campaign subsidization in Arizona: