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By Clay Waters | December 5, 2011 | 2:59 PM EST

Saturday’s lead New York Times story by economics reporter Catherine Rampell found some hope for President Obama: “Jobless Rate Dips To Lowest Level For Last 2 Years – Unemployment at 8.6% – Boost for White House as Economy Shows Some Resilience.”

The economic news also led the Washington Post on Saturday, but its deck of headlines was less optimistic than that of the Times, putting the caveats in the headline instead of in paragraph five as the Times did: “Jobless rate falls to 8.6 percent – 120,000 added to payrolls in Nov. Drop also reflects that many quit seeking work."

The NYT’s Rampell trumpeted the “good news for President Obama.”

By Jill Stanek | December 5, 2011 | 1:36 PM EST

I’m sorry to say the good people at CatholicVote.org are apparently starstruck. Blogged Josh Mercer yesterday: "The Gingrich campaign contacted me directly last night about the comments that he made to ABC News. The campaign sent me the following statement from Newt Gingrich. (Which is also on their website). I am very glad that the Gingrich campaign was quick to respond to the fallout from the ABC News interview and that they came out with a strong pro-life statement which reaffirms the scientific fact that life begins at conception."

Really? A personal note is all it takes to move past Newt Gingrich’s unequivocal statement to ABC’s Jake Tapper on December 2, that “when a woman has [a]  fertilized egg and that’s been successfully implanted that now you’re dealing with life”?

By Tim Graham | December 5, 2011 | 1:32 PM EST

The Washington Post achieved something dubious on Monday. They attacked Herman Cain as “more style and substance” – in an article from the Post dance critic that was all about his hand gestures.

Dance critic Sarah Kaufman concluded that “Cain’s magic involved some sleight of hand. His larger-than-life physical bluster was aimed at churning up an emotional response. It didn’t prompt his audience to think so much as to cheer. As much as Cain’s speeches offered a multi-sensory experience for the audience and performer alike, they were also bodily evidence of more style than substance.”

By Scott Whitlock | December 5, 2011 | 12:28 PM EST

A former top CNN executive who accused U.S. troops in Iraq of attempting to murder reporters will produce a Republican debate to be hosted by Donald Trump. As Michelle Malkin noted, a press release touted the "prestigious" and "top notch" job Eason Jordan will do.

The debate is being sponsored by the Ion network and  the conservative Newsmax magazine. In November of 2004, Jordon said this about the American military: "Actions speak louder than words. The reality is that at least 10 journalists have been killed by the US military, and according to reports I believe to be true journalists have been arrested and tortured by U.S. forces." These egregious comments resulted in him resigning in February of '05.

By Matt Hadro | December 5, 2011 | 12:19 PM EST

CNN's Don Lemon attacked the "classic GOP move" of claiming liberal media bias, on Sunday's 10 p.m. edition of Newsroom. The liberal CNN host lampooned Sarah Palin's "lamestream" media line and – rather sloppily – faulted the GOP candidates for their own travails.

"Long story short – maybe it's time for politicians who get caught in unflattering situations or who might have a bit of trouble with the truth to take responsibility for their own actions and stop blaming the media," lectured Lemon, who as a member of the liberal media didn't exactly "take responsibility" in deflecting blame back at the GOP and Fox News without refuting their claims of liberal media bias.

By NB Staff | December 5, 2011 | 12:15 PM EST

Later this month, running up to the Iowa caucus, Newsmax is hosting a debate in the Hawkeye State to be moderated by businessman, former potential candidate, and reality TV star Donald Trump. However, two candidates have already turned down the debate -- Rep. Ron Paul and Gov. Jon Huntsman. According to the Paul campaign, "The selection of a reality television personality to host a presidential debate that voters nationwide will be watching is beneath the office of the Presidency and flies in the face of that office’s history and dignity," and "will distract from questions and answers concerning important issues."

What do you think of the selection of Trump as moderator? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

By Clay Waters | December 5, 2011 | 12:10 PM EST

The New York Times “Caucus” podcast recorded December 1 featured reporter and podcast host Sam Roberts wondering if it was a potentially dangerous tactic” for GOP candidates to insult the Occupy Wall Street movement. This exchange came a minute and a half from the end, after Roberts asked how the Occupy movement’s “99%” slogan was playing out in the Republican primary.

By Ken Shepherd | December 5, 2011 | 11:51 AM EST

It's possible I missed something in history class, but I'm pretty sure Davy Crockett never urinated in public as a sign of protest.

I say this because the Washington Post's Pamela Constable and Fredrick Kunkle today compared the Occupy D.C. movement to the Texan freedom fighters at the Alamo in today's 25-paragraph front-page story (emphases mine):

By Kyle Drennen | December 5, 2011 | 11:50 AM EST

In an interview with Donald Trump on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer hit Newt Gingrich for pointing out that poor inner city children lack role models: "He made some controversial comments recently about the poor and jobs....Maureen Dowd in the Times on Sunday said, 'Has he not heard of the working poor?'"

Lauer turned to Trump and fretted: "Did Newt Gingrich unfairly characterize what's happening in poor communities across this country?" Trump replied: "No, it wasn't maybe politically correct but it happens to be the truth....[Gingrich] is looking at the inner city, where Obama has done nothing..." Lauer pressed: "But do children in those inner city areas really have no role models who work?"

By Matthew Philbin | December 5, 2011 | 10:19 AM EST

With the 2012 elections less than a year away, the liberal media are attacking President Obama's potential opponents on a number of fronts, but especially on religion. ABC, CBS and NBC have used religion in two ways, either painting the field of GOP primary challengers as a God Squad of religious zealots or playing up differences in their faith. Whether they're letting viewers know that "Rick Perry's gonna have to answer some questions about the people" he prays with, fretting that God "told Michele Bachmann," to enter politics, or devoting no less than 40 segments to the question of whether Mormonism is "a cult" or if "Mitt Romney is a Christian," the networks have repeatedly used faith against the GOP field.

Media preoccupation with the GOP candidates' faith is the exact opposite of how they covered (or didn't) candidate Obama's 20-year attendance at the church of a racist, anti-American pastor who subscribed to "black liberation theology," or Obama's half-Muslim heritage. The MRC's Culture and Media Institute studied network news reporting on the GOP candidates and religion from Jan. 1-Oct. 31, 2011, and compared it to coverage of the Democratic presidential primary candidates over the same period in 2007. The discrepancy, in both the amount and tone of the coverage, was striking. Network reporters, so disinterested in the beliefs of Obama and his rivals for the 2008 nomination, took every opportunity to inject religion into their coverage of the GOP field. (CMI's key findings after the jump)

By Noel Sheppard | December 5, 2011 | 8:52 AM EST

How much do the gang at MSNBC's Morning Joe despise Newt Gingrich and want to derail his run for president?

Near the end of a Monday segment in which she read - with a smile on her face, mind you - numerous columns quite hostile to the former Speaker of the House, co-host Mika Brzezinski asked, "How do we stop talking about Newt Gingrich?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Tom Johnson | December 5, 2011 | 8:08 AM EST

We learned this past week on Daily Kos that the right is duty-bound to dehumanize the left, which would seem to explain, among other things, why conservatives dump their autumn leaves in the yards of their liberal neighbors.   

As usual, each headline is preceded by the blogger's name or pseudonym. 

By Noel Sheppard | December 5, 2011 | 12:35 AM EST

NewsBusters readers should be quite familiar with Ron Christie, the Republican strategist who loves to tangle with the liberal commentators on MSNBC.

Following his terrific encounter with Chris Matthews last week, NewsBusters spoke by phone with Christie about his experiences on the nation's most left-leaning cable news outlet as well as what it's like to be a black conservative in the year 2011 (video follows with transcript):

By Noel Sheppard | December 4, 2011 | 6:53 PM EST

Prior to watching Rich Lowry say, "Eleanor [Clift] hit it on the head" on Sunday's McLaughlin Group, conservatives saw likely an even odder event on ABC's This Week.

George Will and Arianna Huffington curiously exchanged roles with him saying the recent unemployment numbers were good for President Obama and her claiming they're weren't (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Mike Bates | December 4, 2011 | 6:52 PM EST

On yesterday's Rainbow PUSH Saturday Morning Forum, broadcast nationally on the Word Network, Jesse Jackson spoke of Christmas.  The activist, 1984 and 1988 Democratic presidential candidate, and former Clinton spiritual adviser told (video here) of "non-Christian" merchants who "use Jesus to lure you in to Santa Claus's birthday party."  Here's what he said: