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By Noel Sheppard | March 16, 2011 | 12:53 AM EDT

As NewsBusters reported in February, vulgarian comedienne Kathy Griffin was cast to do a guest stint on the hit series "Glee" portraying a Palinesque Tea Partier.

The advanced billing turned out better than the reality, for on Tuesday's show, Griffin mocked Palin and Christine O'Donnell while depicting Tea Party members as homophobic birthers (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Tom Blumer | March 15, 2011 | 11:22 PM EDT

No one can fairly accuse whoever wrote the Tuesday evening report on 2010 newspaper industry revenue of looking through rose-colored glasses. The same cannot be said of John F. Sturm, President and CEO of the Newspaper Association of America, whose press release today reads as follows:

Quarter after quarter, newspaper advertising has shown signs of a continued turnaround and an essential repositioning. Buoyed by online growth and moderating print declines, these figures point to a continually improving advertising environment for newspapers, with encouraging trends as we progress further into 2011. Online revenues increased 14 percent in last year’s fourth quarter, with 12 percent of all newspaper ad revenues generated from digital platforms.


Newspapers - in print and digital form - remain the largest source of original, high-quality news and information in the United States, reaching nearly two-thirds of all adult Internet users and attracting more than 164 million people who read a newspaper in print or online each and every week.

Despite one half-decent quarter, Sturm's characterization of the "environment" as improving is deliberate, he surely can't say that total revenues are improving:

By Mark Finkelstein | March 15, 2011 | 9:47 PM EDT

If only Larry O'Donnell could have restrained himself, he had an opening to take a deserved shot at a Republican. But they don't call him 'Crazy Larry' for nothing. And so on his MSNBC show this evening, O'Donnell couldn't resist going beyond the bounds, fantasizing about "good Christians" as murderers of illegal immigrants.

A meat-head of a Kansas Republican state lawmaker named Virgil Peck had suggested that since shooting feral pigs from helicopters had proved successful, "maybe we have found a (solution) to our illegal immigration problem.”

If O'Donnell had contented himself with pasting Peck, he would have been entirely within his rights.  But no, Larry had to aver that Virgil imagined "good Christian Kansas sharpshooters" killing the immigrants.  Peck had in fact made no reference to religion.

View video after the jump.

By Tim Graham | March 15, 2011 | 7:57 PM EDT

Danielle Kurtzleben at U.S. News & World Report crunched some numbers of federal campaign contributions and discovered that the NPR Board and the board of the NPR Foundation are -- surprise, surprise -- much more likely to donate to Democrats.

A review of campaign finance data found that NPR board members' campaign contributions have sharply favored Democrats. Since 2004, members of the boards of NPR and the NPR Foundation, the public broadcaster's fundraising arm, have contributed nearly $2.2 million to federal candidates, parties, and PACs, of which $1.95 million, or 89 percent, has gone to Democratic candidates and liberal-leaning political action committees.

By Jack Coleman | March 15, 2011 | 7:51 PM EDT

Suddenly, unions aren't looking so bad ...

On her radio show Friday, Rosie O'Donnell fielded a call from a California woman who said she is a member of a correctional officers' union. Although the union has helped her, the caller told O'Donnell, it comes with baggage (audio) --

By Lachlan Markay | March 15, 2011 | 6:57 PM EDT

Actor and filmmaker Harry Shearer, best known for his voice work in 'The Simpsons', blasted the news media in a speech to the National Press Club on Monday.

Specifically, he singled out the media's "myth-making" tendency - its constant desire to fit current events into mostly pre-formed narratives. "What I’m calling a ‘template,’ is based on facts. Some facts. A partial collection. The first dusting," Shearer claimed. "It then becomes adopted as ‘the narrative.' The mental doors lock shut, and no further facts are allowed in."

By Matthew Balan | March 15, 2011 | 6:54 PM EDT

On Tuesday's Morning Edition, NPR's Carrie Johnson highlighted critiques of the Obama White House from the left on their promise to be "the most transparent administration in history," but downplayed questions over the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Unit's use of non-disclosure agreements with companies under investigation.

Host Renee Montagne introduced Johnson's report, noting that "in Washington, D.C., some people are calling this 'Sunshine Week.' It's a time of year when government watchdog groups evaluate the administration's commitment to openness. Two years ago, President Obama promised to run the most transparent administration in history."

By Noel Sheppard | March 15, 2011 | 6:28 PM EDT

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) said Tuesday, "The 3,400 members of the mainstream media are part of the Obama press contingent."

Appearing on the "Laura Ingraham Show, " Bachmann addressed all the liberal hyperventilating that occurred after her gaffe about Lexington and Concord being in New Hampshire rather than Massachusetts (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Tom Blumer | March 15, 2011 | 6:17 PM EDT

You begin to get an idea of how poorly served the news-consuming public is by the Associated Press when you compare its "reporting" on Obama czar Elizabeth Warren's appearance tomorrow before the House Financial Services Committee to an information-packed editorial -- yes, an editorial -- in the Wall Street Journal this morning.

You can read all of the over 750 words in the unbylined AP report without learning that Ms. Warren and various state attorneys general are attempting to shake down the banking system for $20 billion. You would think from the wire service's selective content that it's only Republicans who have opposed and continue to oppose the broad, unchecked authority her brainchild, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, will have over U.S. banking policy and practices. It ain't so.

Here are key paragraphs from the AP's 5:32 p.m. report (saved here at my host for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes):

By Alex Fitzsimmons | March 15, 2011 | 6:07 PM EDT

On his eponymous program today, MSNBC anchor Martin Bashir interviewed a liberal environmental activist aiming to scare viewers into believing that nuclear energy poses an imminent threat to the safety of the United States.

Bashir allowed a spokesman for Friends of the Earth, a left-wing environmental group, to declare nuclear facilities in California dangerous and unsafe, but neglected to report that the nuclear industry claims it has protocols in place to ensure safety.

"The fact of the matter is that what's happening in Japan could certainly have happened here," predicted David Moglan, director of the Climate and Energy Project for Friends of the Earth.

By Ken Shepherd | March 15, 2011 | 4:23 PM EDT

To borrow from former Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), Verizon hopes old people die and die quickly.

That, in a nutshell is the gripe of Washington Post Metro section columnist John Kelly, whose wrath has been kindled  by the phone company recent decision to discontinue its 936-1212 weather line:

By Clay Waters | March 15, 2011 | 3:10 PM EDT

The New York Times provided decent front-page coverage of the emerging scandal that took down top executives at National Public Radio, a hidden-camera sting that caught top fundraiser Ron Schiller making prejudicial remarks against Republicans in general and the Tea Party movement in particular. The backlash resulted in the resignation of Ron Schiller as well as NPR President and chief executive Vivian Schiller (no relation).

But Times media reporter Jeremy Peters took an incomplete look at the recent rash of hidden-camera hoaxes on Saturday under the strongly worded headline “Partisans Adopt Deceit As a Tactic for Reports.” Peters falsely implied that "gotcha" journalism had faded from view, ignoring two recent examples in the mainstream media, one from NPR itself.

By NB Staff | March 15, 2011 | 2:26 PM EDT

Happy Ides of March, NBers. It's Tuesday, so here's your all-new episode of NewsBusted. Enjoy!

Topics in today's show:

-- Disaster in Japan

-- Gitmo to stay open

-- NPP CEO resigns

-- Charlie Sheen drama continues

-- NFL lockout looms

-- Islamophobia in Congress?

-- iPad 2 released

-- Rob Lowe to replace Sheen?

By Tim Graham | March 15, 2011 | 2:24 PM EDT

Robert Wright, president of NBC from 1986 to 2007, has joined a list of Hollywood notables -- including Melissa Etheridge, David Geffen, Anne Hathaway, Jane Lynch, Eric McCormack, Mya, Martin Sheen, Lily Tomlin, and "Ellen & Portia DeGeneres"  -- in signing a letter to President Obama urging his public support of federal recognition of "gay marriage."

We ask you now for your leadership on ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage -- an exclusion that harms millions of Americans each day. Whether to end discrimination in marriage is a question America has faced before, and faces again today. With so many Americans talking it through in heartfelt conversations, it is a question that calls for clarity from the President.

By Mike Bates | March 15, 2011 | 2:06 PM EDT

On CNN Newsroom this morning, anchor Carol Costello spoke with national correspondent Jason Carroll about the potential for a nuclear disaster in Japan.  Carroll noted that "some scientists say the best-case scenario at this point is that the situation in Japan ends up like Three Mile Island. . ."  This possibility  frightened the anchor:

COSTELLO: It's kind of crazy to me that we're hoping the outcome is like Three Mile Island. It's just so sad and scary.

Why?  According to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the 1979 accident at Three Mile Island "led to no deaths or injuries to plant workers or members of the nearby community."  The average radiological exposure for 2 million people in the area was about one-sixth of that received from a chest x-ray.  Moreover, ". . .comprehensive investigations and assessments by several well‑respected organizations have concluded that in spite of serious damage to the reactor, most of the radiation was contained and that the actual release had negligible effects on the physical health of individuals or the environment."