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By Ken Shepherd | January 3, 2012 | 3:45 PM EST

If anyone's going to destroy Newt Gingrich's presidential aspirations, Hardball's Chris Matthews would rather it be him, or at least someone else in the liberal media. Appearing on colleague Tamron Hall's NewsNation program in today's 2 p.m. Eastern hour, Matthews whined about anti-Gingrich "bombing campaign" of TV ads placed by political action committees that have helped to drive down the former Speaker's poll numbers in the run up to tonight's caucuses.

"My sympathy is not for Newt, it's for democracy," Matthews pontificated, having argued that Romney's "wealthy friends have destroyed" Gingrich with a "Dresden"-style "bombing campaign."

By Kyle Drennen | January 3, 2012 | 3:25 PM EST

On Sunday's Meet the Press, host David Gregory urged Rick Santorum to blame congressional Republicans for Washington gridlock: "...approval of Republicans in Congress, stands at 26%. That's far less than the President's approval rating....Do you fault Republican leaders in Congress for not doing more to make government work better, through more compromise with the President?"

In response, Santorum observed: "You have to have someone you can work with. And this president has done more to divide than any other president that I've ever witnessed in my lifetime....who I don't believe has met with Boehner or any of the Republican leadership, in now six months, hard to compromise and work with someone who won't meet with you." Gregory dismissed that fact: "Clearly they've met with him. I mean, even the debt fight over the summer was a constant set of meetings. So that can't be accurate."

By Matt Hadro | January 3, 2012 | 1:54 PM EST

CNN anchor Soledad O'Brien has had a history of liberal bias – to a scale approaching activism – and she showed where her newest CNN show might be headed on Tuesday with a completely liberal double-standard in her interviews.

During the 7 a.m. hour of CNN's Starting Point, O'Brien hit GOP candidate Michele Bachmann from the left on homosexuality, but later teed up liberal "Occupy" protesters to defend their cause and claim to be "non-partisan." Bachmann blasted O'Brien's "gotcha" question and insisted that voters are focused on economic issues.

By Scott Whitlock | January 3, 2012 | 12:09 PM EST

An indignant George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday demanded that Rick Santorum explain his harsh attacks on Barack Obama. After reading off a quote from the Republican presidential candidate and then listing the President's foreign policy accomplishments, Stephanopoulos defended, "How can you say he sided with our enemies on almost every foreign conflict?"

Santorum responded by insisting that, in the example of killing Osama bin Laden, Obama simply followed a course set by George W. Bush. Stephanopoulos sputtered, "How can you say he sided with our enemies on almost every foreign conflict?"

By Mark Finkelstein | January 3, 2012 | 11:54 AM EST

The folks at Politico take umbrage when accused of leaning left. But once again, the site's headlines give away Politico's Dem-friendly game.

Compare these contrasting gems from today's edition, the first dismissing the GOP contenders as mediocre, the other using the old "rested and ready" cliché to describe President Obama as the campaign season begins in earnest:  

By Kyle Drennen | January 3, 2012 | 11:19 AM EST

Following correspondent Andrea Mitchell referring to Iowa as "Too white, too evangelical, too rural" on Sunday's NBC Nightly News, on Monday's Rock Center, correspondent Willie Geist spoke to University of Iowa Professor Stephen Bloom, who similarly fretted: "It's basically a white, very, very Christian state."

Geist explained how Bloom has been "in hiding" since writing a scathing article in The Atlantic attacking Iowa as, "An assortment of waste-toids and meth addicts with pale skin and rotted teeth or those who quixotically believe, like Little Orphan Annie, that the sun will come out tomorrow." Bloom also ranted: "Those who stay in rural Iowa are often the elderly waiting to die."

By NB Staff | January 3, 2012 | 11:04 AM EST

After a seemingly infinite number of debates, today is the first actual day of voting in the 2012 Republican presidential campaign. The most recent polling indicates a Romney-Paul-Santorum finish. Is that what we'll see or will there be any surprises? Share your predictions here.

By Jack Coleman | January 3, 2012 | 10:26 AM EST

Warning: Frequent guest appearances on MSNBC can render a person predictable and disingenuous. Exhibit A: Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson.

There was Robinson schmoozing with guest host Melissa Harris-Perry on the Rachel Maddow show Friday about the looming Iowa caucuses. (video after page break)

By Matt Hadro | January 3, 2012 | 9:30 AM EST

CNN’s Soledad O’Brien returned to the anchor desk Monday morning as the network reworked its morning anchor line-up for the second year in a row. In 2007, O'Brien was removed as the co-host of CNN’s ratings-challenged American Morning in an effort to jump-start the flagging program. Now she returns to host Starting Point, the second half of CNN’s morning coverage that airs from 7-9 a.m EST.

During her stint as American Morning co-host and as a CNN correspondent, O'Brien repeatedly exhibited a liberal bias -- particularly through her coverage of gay rights issues, her flattering treatment of President Obama, and her promotion of Democratic talking points in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Some of her most outrageous moments on-air are documented below.

By Brent Baker | January 3, 2012 | 8:22 AM EST

In a series of CBS Evening News reports Monday night on how the top Republican presidential contenders plan to reduce the deficit, reporter Dean Reynolds pleaded to Newt Gingrich: “Absolutely no tax increases?”

Reynolds proceeded to note “critics are doubtful” about the impact of Gingrich’s plans to reduce regulations and cut federal spending: “They say that fewer regulations could spur some productivity, but they also say that to really reduce the deficit you would have to include some combination of spending cuts and tax increases.”

By Tim Graham | January 3, 2012 | 6:53 AM EST

Liberal blogger/professor Dan Kennedy spied a full-page ad that MSNBC bought to promote Morning Joe on the back of the January 1 Sunday Review section and couldn't help but investigate the original material that the ad-makers quoted. There were conflicts of interest everywhere.

Even a casual viewer of TV news knows that using Tom Brokaw to praise an MSNBC program is borrowing another company asset to load praise on the company. Check out how MSNBC carefully edited the idea they were "appallingly entertaining" in the morning:

 

By Tim Graham | January 2, 2012 | 11:00 PM EST

For New  Year's Eve, NPR's All Things Considered some pieces on the year in review. NPR analyzed the year on Twitter -- completely ignoring Anthony Weiner (and discussing the TV show "Glee" instead).

But first came what NPR most wanted to talk about -- "gay rights." Substitute anchor Rebecca Sheir reported " It was a banner year for a lot of things: from uprisings and Occupy to, as we'll hear later in the show, Mercury missions and mice. Yes, mice. But first, you can't talk about the year that was without mentioning gay rights." Her one and only expert on the subject was the vile gay sex columnist Dan "F--- Your Feelings" Savage, who hailed  Hillary Clinton and "evolving" Obama and the idea that "increasingly, straight people are demonstrating their support in ways that really touch my heart and terrify Tony Perkins."

By Tim Graham | January 2, 2012 | 3:24 PM EST

Actress Ellen Barkin was really unhappy with the New York Police Department early on New Year’s Day, tweeting she was shoved (or jostled) on the street. But for politicos, this was the most eye-opening tweet: “this will be nothing if Obama loses the election. A police state will be just around the corner.” No s**t.#Terrified” (Asterisks mine.)

Barkin slammed New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, tweeting, "F*** all of u, Bloomberg & every1 goose-stepping behind u. I cannot believe what I am seeing.U protect nothing.U ARE the violence in my city."

By Brad Wilmouth | January 2, 2012 | 3:08 PM EST

As he interviewed Iowa Republican Governor Terry Branstad on Monday's The Early Show on CBS, substitute co-anchor Bob Schieffer naively wondered why someone does not act to put an end to negative ads in political campaigns.

By NB Staff | January 2, 2012 | 12:42 PM EST

Today's starter topic: The Iowa caucuses are tomorrow and the final poll of the state, released by the liberal Des Moines Register newspaper, indicates Mitt Romney in the lead, just barely ahead of Ron Paul and Rick Santorum in third place.

Do the Iowa caucuses matter anymore? Will you be keeping an eye on the events of tomorrow or are you going to check in once they're all over?