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By Matthew Balan | March 4, 2011 | 12:08 PM EST

Apparently, someone who broke his vows and trashed his former church is a worthy guest, in CNN's eyes, for a discussion on the Supreme Court, as on Thursday's Newsroom, anchor Don Lemon turned to "Padre Alberto" Cutie for his take on the Court's recent decision in favor of the Westboro Baptist Church. Cutie took issue with the ruling: "I don't think the First Amendment should protect hatred in the public forum, and I think that's where the law makes its biggest mistake....Nobody has the right in the 21st century to propagate hate."

Lemon brought on the Episcopalian pastor, along with CNN senior legal analyst Jeff Toobin and John Ellsworth of Military Families United, for a panel discussion segment 51 minutes into the 2 pm Eastern hour. After asking Ellsworth for his response to the Supreme Court ruling, the anchor raised Westboro's extreme beliefs with Cutie: "So Father, listen, do you consider Westboro- most people don't consider it a legitimate church, okay? But is this- aren't they saying the same thing that's reinforced by religion that's being preached from the pulpit in many churches on Sunday?"

By Alex Fitzsimmons | March 4, 2011 | 11:38 AM EST

For the second consecutive day, the CBS and NBC evening newscasts failed to devote more than fleeting news briefs to the fatal terror attack against a bus full of US airmen in Germany. ABC, which covered the story in more detail on Wednesday, did not even mention the tragic attack on the Thursday "World News."

Arid Uka, described as a 21-year-old "radical Muslim," opened fire Wednesday on US airmen at Frankfurt Airport, killing two and injuring others, but CBS anchor Katie Couric and NBC anchor Brian Williams spent a scant 30 seconds each on the story during last night's newscasts.

The night of the shooting, neither the CBS "Evening News" nor the NBC "Nightly News" thought the slaying of American servicemen was worthy of more than terse news briefs, although ABC's Diane Sawyer covered the story more thoroughly on "World News."

By NB Staff | March 4, 2011 | 11:15 AM EST

Leftist blogger Ian Murphy is "a liar who broke every rule of journalism," with his phone call to Gov. Scott Walker in which he pretended to be conservative donor David Koch, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told the audience of last night's "Hannity."

The Media Research Center founder was reacting to CNN having practically promoted Murphy's prank by awarding him the title "Most Intriguing Person of the Day" on February 24 and by plugging his website,, on air.

Had Murphy been a CNN employee, he'd have been fired for his unethical and highly partisan manuever, Bozell noted, citing none other than CNN's own media reporter/critic Howard Kurtz. What's more, Bozell added, the media have been silent about Murphy's rabid left-wing rantings in the past, such as in 2008 when he wrote a piece entitled, "F**k the Troops" in Iraq.

Video embed and link to MP3 audio follow the page break

By Jack Coleman | March 4, 2011 | 11:12 AM EST

If this keeps up, the shrinking number of guests on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show could dwindle even more.

For the second time this week, a Maddow invitee offered an awkward contrast to what Maddow claimed earlier in the same segment.

On her show Monday, Maddow cited three reports claiming that $61 billion in spending cuts proposed by Republicans on Capitol Hill would lead to massive job losses -- followed by economist Robert Frank telling Maddow minutes later the reductions amount to "just a drop in the bucket."

By Noel Sheppard | March 4, 2011 | 11:02 AM EST

MSNBC's Ed Schultz on Thursday called Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's newly-proposed budget "racist."

Not surprisingly, Schultz believes allocating more funds to school vouchers picks on poor inner-city kids (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Edwin Mora | March 4, 2011 | 10:58 AM EST

One U.S.-Mexico border town had more civilian casualties in its drug war last year than Afghanistan had in its entire country.

In Ciudad Juarez, Mexico--which sits across the Rio Grande River from El Paso, Texas—3,111 civilians were murdered in 2010. In all of the territory of Afghanistan, where U.S. forces are at war with Taliban insurgents, there 2,421 civilians were killed   

More civilians were killed last year in Ciudad Juarez, the Mexican city across the border from El Paso, Texas, than were killed in all of Afghanistan.

By Tim Graham | March 4, 2011 | 10:39 AM EST

Broadcasting & Cable put CNN talk show host Piers Morgan on the cover of its February 28 issue promising Morgan would take on Fox News. But his envy at their audience was showing. When B&C editor Ben Grossman told him he heard him slammed on Fox Business Channel, Morgan was delighted:

Good. If they’re talking about me, great. I want Fox to trash me every single day, nothing could be better. I love Fox’s aggression. I think CNN should take some of that aggression and fight fire with fire.

Morgan also suggested Keith Olbermann was "slightly bonkers" (only slightly?):

By NB Staff | March 4, 2011 | 9:33 AM EST

NewsBusters has documented the left's ongoing attempts to push a false narrative with respect to last year's "Citizens United v. FEC" Supreme Court decision. One such attempt caught the eye of Lee Doren of the Competetive Enterprise Institute and the popular YouTube channel How the World Works. Doren decided to take on this latest attempt to twist and distort the issue. Check out his retort below the break.

By Tim Graham | March 4, 2011 | 6:38 AM EST

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed Friday, Sen. Jim DeMint argued that if PBS, CPB, and Sesame Street can afford lavish salaries for their executives, then surely they have the money to survive as private, non-commercial broadcasters. (He doesn't even mention how people chipping in $25 to "save" shows like Sesame Street might feel misled if they saw the salary numbers.)

PBS President Paula Kerger even recorded a personal television appeal that told viewers exactly how to contact members of Congress in order to "let your representative know how you feel about the elimination of funding for public broadcasting." But if PBS can pay Ms. Kerger $632,233 in annual compensation—as reported on the 990 tax forms all nonprofits are required to file—surely it can operate without tax dollars.

The executives at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which distributes the taxpayer money allocated for public broadcasting to other stations, are also generously compensated. According to CPB's 2009 tax forms, President and CEO Patricia de Stacy Harrison received $298,884 in reportable compensation and another $70,630 in other compensation from the organization and related organizations that year. That's practically a pittance compared to Kevin Klose, president emeritus of NPR, who received more than $1.2 million in compensation, according to the tax forms the nonprofit filed in 2009.

By Tom Blumer | March 3, 2011 | 11:59 PM EST

I heard this on Mark Levin's show earlier this evening. He was referring to a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel blog post by the paper's Don Walker.

The question is: What is the State of Wisconsin's estimate of the amount of damage done to the Wisconsin State Capitol after roughly two weeks of non-stop protests?

The answer, and a link to the story, are after the jump -- No fair Googling or otherwise searching for the answer:

By Noel Sheppard | March 3, 2011 | 7:54 PM EST

MSNBC's Chris Matthews had multiple Obamagasms on his program again.

The thrills up his leg embarrassingly came at the beginning and the end of "Hardball" in what at times seemed like an hour-long commercial for the President's reelection (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Clay Waters | March 3, 2011 | 7:33 PM EST

American Lori Berenson, middle-class Manhattanite turned foreign terrorist helper, was sentenced to life in prison in Peru in 1996 for housing Marxist terrorists of the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA), which took part in assassinations, kidnappings, and bombings during the 1980s and 1990s. Berenson let them use her apartment as a storehouse for ammunition. Standing before police, she exclaimed in Spanish: "There are no criminal terrorists in the M.R.T.A. It’s a revolutionary movement!"

Novelist Jennifer Egan interviewed Berenson in Peru over several months as she shuttled between parole and jail before being freed for good, and came up with a 8,300-word portrait for Sunday’s upcoming New York Times Magazine (It was posted online Wednesday). 

Michael Calderone got a sneak peek at the cover shot of the newly revamped magazine, an image with her son that John Podhoretz at Commentary calls "consciously designed to make Berenson look like the Madonna with child."

Egan, a discerning fiction writer, brought none of that perception to this profile. Instead Egan found excuses for Berenson’s notorious outburst and terror ties, trying to put M.R.T.A.’s leftist political violence in context, offensively referring to a four-month hostage ordeal as the terrorist group's last "big idea," and chalking up Berenson’s own involvement to positive personal characteristics like her ability to “absorb fear and discomfort.”

By P.J. Gladnick | March 3, 2011 | 6:28 PM EST

Remember No Labels?

You can be forgiven if you have completely forgotten about that organization since it appears to have died at birth despite the hype given to it back in December by several in the mainstream media including Washington Post Reporter Philip Rucker who wrote this plug for the organization that is notable for its almost instant fade from national consciousness:

It will form a political action committee to help defend moderate candidates of both parties against attack from the far right and the far left, said John Avlon, a founding member and one-time speechwriter for former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani (R). "There's this idea that somehow walking in lock step with a party is courageous," Avlon said. "I think it's conformity. . . . That's the opposite of courageous. It's cowardly."

Since then there has been almost zero news relating to No Labels. Ironically the only tiny bit of news that seeped out from No Labels was the controversy over its label since the artwork was apparently lifted (polite word for "stolen") from the label of another organization. Other than that very minor controversy, No Labels has elicited a collective yawn from anybody who noticed...and most people didn't even know they existed in the first place.

And now, as if confirming it's own irrelevance, No Labels has issued this press release which has been completely ignored by the media, including even Philip Rucker:

By Ken Shepherd | March 3, 2011 | 5:40 PM EST

Defending their "Shared commitment to women and children," on the Washington Post/Newsweek's "On Faith" site, the Revs. Richard Cizik and Debra Haffner joined forces today support federal tax monies flowing to Planned Parenthood.

Cizik, you may recall, is a bit of a media favorite because he hails from a generally theologically conservative tradition but has been moving leftward politically over the past few years.

Haffner is liberal theologically and politically, a Unitarian-Universalist minister and the former president of the Sex Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), a group that lobbies to end federal funding of abstinence-until-marriage sex ed programs.

As we've noted, the On Faith feature often skews liberal in theology and politics, and the Cizik/Haffner tag-team fits hand-in-glove with the leftward tack of the site.

Here's the duo's argument against defunding Planned Parenthood (emphases mine):

By Alex Fitzsimmons | March 3, 2011 | 5:10 PM EST

MSNBC's Martin Bashir has only been on the job for a few days, but the newly-minted anchor is already letting his liberal flag fly.

On his eponymous program today, Bashir was dumbfounded as to why Congress is reluctant to hike taxes on the rich and end tax deductions for oil companies.

"Why won't Congress simply do what the people want?" lamented Bashir, interviewing Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the independent socialist lawmaker who caucuses with Democrats.