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By Clay Waters | January 9, 2012 | 4:36 PM EST

As part of a team of New York Times reporters fact-checking the presidential debate that took place Sunday morning in Concord, N.H., White House reporter Jackie Calmes once again baselessly claimed that expensive Obama-care is actually a money-saver, claiming GOP candidate Mitt Romney was false to assert otherwise. But the history of government cost projections (Medicare, anyone?) strongly suggest Calmes is wrong.

(After the GOP took the November 2010 elections, Calmes confidently stated as fact: “Republicans also say they will try to deny money to put Mr. Obama’s new health care law into effect, though they have not made clear what they would do to make up the cost savings that would be lost if they succeeded in repealing the law.”) Calmes posted Sunday:

By Matthew Balan | January 9, 2012 | 3:32 PM EST

On Monday's Today, NBC's Matt Lauer dwelt on an "extremely negative" attack on frontrunner Mitt Romney from a super PAC that supports Newt Gingrich and asked the former Speaker, "Can't you already hear the ads from President Obama's team saying this is a guy whose own party members called him...a predator and ruthless?" Back on January 4, CBS similarly played up Gingrich calling Romney a "liar."

Midway through the interview, the anchor noted that the super PAC, "Winning the Future," attacks Romney as a "greedy, ruthless corporate raider who has slashed jobs for profit." He then asked his guest, "Are you completely in favor of the running of that film, and do you agree with everything it says?"

By Jack Coleman | January 9, 2012 | 3:21 PM EST

This is what passes for a liberal coming clean.

Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson doesn't regret disparaging how former senator Rick Santorum and his wife handled the death of their infant son in 1996. Robinson just wishes he'd been more clever about it. (video clip after page break).

By Ken Shepherd | January 9, 2012 | 3:14 PM EST

Sure, the "full context" of Mitt Romney's comments on liking "being able to fire people who provide services to me" is pretty "benign," Politico's Alexander Burns noted in a Burns & Haberman blog post this morning entitled "Mitt drops the f-bomb," but, "it's hardly careful language from a candidate under fire for participating in large-scale layoffs."

Romney's comment came at a January 9 Chamber of Commerce breakfast in Nashua, N.H., where "He was referring, POLITICO's Reid Epstein says, to being able to hold service providers accountable as an employer."

By Scott Whitlock | January 9, 2012 | 1:57 PM EST

ABC's GOP presidential debate on Saturday overflowed with liberal questions. Of the 48 queries by George Stephanopoulos, Diane Sawyer and others, 20 came from the left, three were from the right and 25 were neutral or horse race questions. A whopping 25 percent (12 questions) revolved around contraception-related subjects or gay rights.

Although birth control isn't exactly a pressing 2012 issue (especially in a tough economy), George Stephanopoulos wasted seven questions on contraception. The former Democratic operative began by noting Rick Santorum's belief that there is no constitutional "right to privacy." He added, "And following from that, he believes that states have the right to ban contraception." The co-moderator repeated, "Governor Romney, do you believe that states have the right to ban contraception? Or is that trumped by a constitutional right to privacy?"

By Matt Hadro | January 9, 2012 | 1:00 PM EST

The media has an "antipathy" toward Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, asserted Dana Milbank of the Washington Post on CNN's Reliable Sources on Sunday. Given the media's treatment of Santorum after his Iowa success, that would be safe to acknowledge.

Milbank noted that the ill-will stems from Santorum's social-conservatism, adding that "liberal pundits and I think the media in general have a particular antipathy towards Rick Santorum because of the cultural differences." When asked why the media were focusing on his social beliefs when voters are concerned about the economy, Milbank lamely responded that "Whenever we focus on the economy, it's terribly boring."

By Ken Shepherd | January 9, 2012 | 12:39 PM EST

Do you sometimes get the sense that sports journalism is where wannabe general assignment reporters hack it out until they get a break in the traditional general news media?

According to the folks at, "Tim Tebow Is Now the Most Polarizing Figure in All of Sports." (h/t Rush Limbaugh)

By Tom Blumer | January 9, 2012 | 12:37 PM EST

In an early-Sunday version of an Associated Press report which has since been revised to exclude the paragraph I'm about to cite, the wire service's Steve Peoples (authorship shown here) apparently had a hard time understanding how Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney could possibly have criticized President Barack Obama's economic stewardship in Saturday's New Hampshire debate in light of what he (Peoples) must have thought were wondrous numbers in the government's Friday employment report.

Even if you ignore the fact (which you really shouldn't) that December's reported 200,000 job additions after seasonal adjustment hid a mediocre actual performance on the ground in historical context, Peoples' reaction was remarkably ignorant and offensively aggressive:

By Tim Graham | January 9, 2012 | 11:35 AM EST

Last October, liberal groups who want MSNBC to be "purified" of conservatives -- like Color of Change, the group that lobbied to get Glenn Beck removed from Fox News -- demanded a purge of Pat Buchanan from the MSNBC airwaves. In the past, MSNBC used Buchanan as a shield against the idea their network was going to be as hermetically sealed against conservatives as the old Olbermann show. Now, Buchanan's days at MSNBC "may be over," reports the New York Times.

Over the weekend, MSNBC chief Phil Griffin told Deadline Hollywood that Buchanan's views are toxic. “I don’t think the ideas that [Buchanan] put forth [in his latest book] are appropriate for the national dialogue, much less on MSNBC.” Griffin continued: "Pat’s a good guy. He didn’t like [being removed from the air], but he understood."

By Kyle Drennen | January 9, 2012 | 11:09 AM EST

Out the 41 questions directed to the six Republican presidential candidates during Sunday's NBC News/Facebook debate on Meet the Press, 25 of them were from the left, 13 questions were neutral, mainly about the campaign horse race and electability, and only three questions pressed the candidates from the right.

Early in the debate, moderator David Gregory demanded to know how much "pain" the candidates would inflict upon Americans by cutting spending. Newt Gingrich called out Gregory for the slanted query: "David, you know, I, I find it fascinating that very, very highly paid Washington commentators and Washington analysts love the idea of pain. What – who's going to be in pain? The duty of the president is to find a way to manage the federal government so the primary pain is on changing the bureaucracy."

By Noel Sheppard | January 9, 2012 | 10:38 AM EST

Now that Mitt Romney appears to be the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, the Obama-loving media are out in full force attacking him.

Such was clearly evident on Monday's Morning Joe when Hardball host Chris Matthews compared the former Massachusetts governor to a whore, said he was "dog-trained," and mocked him for wearing "Mom jeans" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):

By NB Staff | January 9, 2012 | 10:29 AM EST

Today's starter topic: Republican New Jersey governor Chris Christie made an interesting allegation against President Obama yesterday at a campaign rally in New Hampshire: that Obama is faking anger in order to get elected:

By Paul Wilson | January 9, 2012 | 10:27 AM EST

Conservative media outlets raised the alarm about a song praising the Occupy movement, called "Part of the 99," that was supposedly created by Albemarle County, Va. third graders and supervised by members of a group called Kid Pan Alley. The mainstream media, predictably, tried to sweep the controversy over the rug. But both conservative and mainstream outlets failed to report the fact that the several of the directors of Kid Pan Alley are avowed liberals, donating to Democratic politicians and embracing liberal causes.

As reported by Weasel Zippers, the Occupier-praising song was created under the auspices of Kid Pan Alley, a Charlottesville-based group which goes into schools and allows children to be songmakers. Kid Pan Alley boasts that it inspires "kids [to] use their imaginations - to be creators of their own music." The group has a wide reach: according to its website, the group has "written over 1,800 songs with over 30,000 children."

By Noel Sheppard | January 9, 2012 | 9:00 AM EST

Former General Electric CEO Jack Welch on Monday said, "In my lifetime, Mitt Romney is the most qualified leader I've ever seen run for the Presidency of the United States."

Appearing on CNBC's Squawk Box, Welch included John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama in this analysis (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):

By Brent Baker | January 9, 2012 | 8:49 AM EST

Sad news came Sunday (January 8) that Tony Blankley, the long-time leading conservative thinker, author and columnist, who served House Speaker Newt Gingrich and later ran the editorial pages for the Washington Times, passed away at age 63.

Back on Thursday, March 27, 2003 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC, Blankley pitched in at the last-minute to help us when a planned speaker (Rush Limbaugh) was unable to attend. At the MRC’s “DisHonors Awards: Roasting the Most Outrageously Biased Liberal Reporters of 2002,” Blankley enthusiastically bound on stage to accept in jest the “I Hate You Conservatives Award” on behalf of Bill Moyers.