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By Clay Waters | December 6, 2011 | 9:08 AM EST

After a stint as a White House reporter for the Times after George W. Bush took office in 2001, Frank Bruni wrote a fairly respectful biography of the president, Ambling Into History. But as a recently minted Times columnist, Bruni has betrayed no similar feeling for the current Republican candidates, who “are to varying degrees yahoos," according to his mocking Sunday Review column "And Now ... Professor Gingrich."

By Tom Blumer | December 6, 2011 | 8:31 AM EST

On December 2, the Associated Press carried a story by Terry Collins with the following headline: "Murder charge filed in Occupy Oakland slaying."

What? I thought that the related November attack, despite a statement from an actual eyewitness, "was unrelated to the ongoing protest of U.S. financial institutions" -- i.e., that it was unrelated to Occupy Oakland. After all, the San Francisco Chronicle and the AP both carried statements to that effect several weeks ago. Surprise, surprise (not):

By Mark Finkelstein | December 6, 2011 | 8:24 AM EST

In his Politico column and on Morning Joe today, Joe Scarborough made the case for Newt Gingrich from the Republican primary voter's perspective, pointing to Gingrich's record of winning back the congressional majority, achieving balanced budgets and passing welfare reform.

Scarborough then proceeded to trash Gingrich, saying that: 1. he'd never vote for him; 2. Gingrich would be a "danger to the country"; 3. Gingrich is a "bad person" in political if not personal ways; and 4. Gingrich would lose to Obama in a rout, winning 100 electoral votes at best.  Video after the jump.

 

By Noel Sheppard | December 6, 2011 | 12:15 AM EST

Last month, NewsBusters reported 60 Minutes cherry-picking Peter Schweizer's book about Congressional insider trading to make it appear the problem was largely a Republican one.

Schweizer did a phone interview with NewsBusters last week to discuss this matter in greater detail including how with the exception of Fox News, despite this being a bipartisan issue, the media have largely ignored it to protect liberal politicians they revere (video follows with transcript):

By Brent Baker | December 5, 2011 | 11:28 PM EST

A not so creative liberal fantasy. Dan Rather “got it right” in his 2004 story about President George W. Bush’s avoidance of National Guard duty, a hit piece discredited because of Rather’s reliance on forged documents, the President of the imaginary “UBS News”cable channel will declare in an upcoming HBO drama helmed by left-wing writer Aaron Sorkin.

A TV Newser item on Monday about how HBO has decided on Newsroom to be the title of Sorkin’s new series which will center on “fictional cable news anchor Will McCallister (Jeff Daniels) and his News Night staff at the fictional cable news channel UBS,” included a telling excerpt from the script for the pilot:

By Jack Coleman | December 5, 2011 | 8:43 PM EST

Once was the time that a dutiful liberal wouldn't dare impugn the downtrodden of Appalachia. Those days are ancient history.

Mike Papantonio, a toxic attorney who co-hosts the "Ring of Fire" radio show with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Sam Seder, had this to say Friday on "The Ed Show" about Donald Trump moderating an upcoming GOP debate in Iowa (video and audio clips after page break) --

By Scott Whitlock | December 5, 2011 | 6:22 PM EST

According to Chris Matthews on Monday, the Republican presidential candidates are engaging in a "reign of terror" and "don't like democratic government." In a possible (though confusing) allusion to the toppling of Saddam Hussein, the Hardball anchor smeared, "These are guys who tear down statues. They don't put them up."  [See video below. See MP3 audio here.]

Matthews has a history of comparing Republicans to violent extremists in the Middle East. On July 5, 2011, the MSNBC host foamed, "Well, the GOP has become the Wahhabis of American government, willing to risk bringing down the whole country in the service of their anti-tax ideology."

By Noel Sheppard | December 5, 2011 | 6:03 PM EST

After MSNBC's Chris Matthews bashed Barack Obama a few weeks ago for having "the worst kind of a notion of the presidency," people were wondering if the Hardball host no longer got a thrill up his leg for the Commander-in-Chief.

Let not your heart be troubled for on Monday the man many in the blogosphere refer to as "Tingles" said the current White House resident's "smile's worth a million bucks" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Kyle Drennen | December 5, 2011 | 5:36 PM EST

As NBC's Meet the Press panel ripped into Newt Gingrich on Sunday for his comments on poor children in inner cities lacking working role models, Manchester Union Leader publisher Joe McQuaid was the lone voice of dissent: "I think he gets a bum rap on the child labor thing."

That prompted host David Gregory to declare: "Are you really saying that the working poor in this country don't have good role models of how to work hard?...How do you get to that practical solution and not see it as a kind of grotesque distortion of what's really happening out there?"

By Matthew Balan | December 5, 2011 | 4:27 PM EST

On Monday's Early Show, CBS's John Dickerson and Time's Joe Klein harped on Newt Gingrich's overwhelming "liabilities." Klein hinted that the former House Speaker's ego would get the better of him: "This is a guy who cannot stand prosperity....[He] cannot control his ego when he is riding high." Dickerson played up how Gingrich's "negatives were very, very high when he left Washington in the mid-'90s."

Fill-in anchor Jeff Glor asked the CBS political director, "What are the chances Newt Gingrich is the nominee?" Dickerson punted on making a prediction, but borrowed a line from colleague Jan Crawford, stating that "he has a great deal of baggage." When co-anchor Rebecca Jarvis followed up by asking about how the Obama reelection campaign saw the former Speaker, he raised the "likeability" issues with Newt:

By Scott Whitlock | December 5, 2011 | 4:08 PM EST

According to Good Morning America's Josh Elliott on Monday, the Occupy "protests within sight of the White House turned violent over the weekend." Actually, the protests occurred at McPherson Square, two blocks from the White House and not in "sight" of it. (See a map here.)

Perhaps Mr. Elliott, who grew up in California and went to high school in Los Angeles, can be forgiven for such an error. It's bizarre that the Washington Post, in a front page story, made the same mistake. Monday's paper claimed the latest protest occurred "in view of the White House."

By Ken Shepherd | December 5, 2011 | 3:25 PM EST

Acting again as a video press release service for the Democratic National Committee (DNC), MSNBC today has repeatedly highlighted the DNC's complaints about new voter ID laws on several programs today.

In the 10 a.m. hour, Jansing & Co. anchor Chris Jansing gave a platform to the DNC's "director of voter protection" Will Crossley to plug he party's new website, protectingthevote.com. The segment was entitled onscreen, "War on Voters?" Jansing failed to bring on either a Republican Party official for a rebuttal nor a state secretary of state to defend voter ID measures.

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.”