Latest Posts

By Tom Blumer | February 26, 2011 | 9:18 PM EST

Thursday, an odd warning emanated from the halls of the supposedly esteemed investment firm known as Goldman Sachs: If Uncle Sam spends $61 billion less during the second half of the current fiscal year, and ends the year with "only" $3.758 trillion in spending instead of the administration's anticipated $3.819 trillion, economic growth will be seriously harmed.

Yesterday, similar nonsense was put forth by Jeannine Aversa at the Associated Press in reaction to the government's report that economic growth during the fourth quarter was revised down to 2.8% from 3.2%, when experts (like the geniuses at Goldman) had expected the number to come in at 3.3%. The headlined whine: "State and local budget cuts are slowing US economy."

First, here is the Financial Times report carried at CNBC reporting on Goldman's federal spending gibberish:

By Bob Parks | February 26, 2011 | 8:59 PM EST

Code Pink's Medea Benjamin and Center for American Progress' Van Jones dropped by the Union Solidarity Protest at DuPont Circle, Washington, D.C., February 26, 2011.



By NB Staff | February 26, 2011 | 12:05 PM EST

For general discussion and debate about politics, the economy, sports, or whatever else tickles your fancy.

By Noel Sheppard | February 26, 2011 | 11:46 AM EST

The folks at MSNBC should be deeply embarrassed and ashamed of their prime time commentator Rachel Maddow.

Having been exposed by Politifact for lying last week about Wisconsin having a budget surplus, Maddow on Thursday hypocritically defended herself by playing nine cherry-picked words from the broadcast in question while disgracefully calling her critics homophobes (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By NB Staff | February 26, 2011 | 11:36 AM EST

Tuesday’s NewsBusters’ piece documenting the broadcast networks’ incredible double standard on protests — how reporters zeroed in on inflammatory signs to try and discredit the Tea Party while ignoring similar or worse signs at the left-wing union protests in Wisconsin — garnered national media attention.

On Tuesday evening, nationally-syndicated radio host Mark Levin cited the NewsBusters’ study as proving how the media “are a disgrace, absolute disgrace. You did everything you could to trash the Tea Party movement, and you do everything you can right now to protect the vulgarity and poison of the Left and the thugs in Madison, Wisconsin.” (Full transcript and audio link below.)

On Thursday night, during the “Grapevine” segment of FNC’s Special Report, anchor Bret Baier led off with our study (video and transcript below the fold):

By Tom Blumer | February 26, 2011 | 9:20 AM EST

Thursday, the Associated Press's Matt Gouras "reported" ("Tea party vision for Mont. raising concerns") on legislative proposals in Montana. It got the attention of Rush Limbaugh, who skewered it as only Rush can.

Gouras's opening paragraphs read like a press release from an opposition party:

With each bill, newly elected tea party lawmakers are offering Montanans a vision of the future.


Their state would be a place where officials can ignore U.S. laws, force FBI agents to get a sheriff's OK before arresting anyone, ban abortions, limit sex education in schools and create armed citizen militias.

His third paragraph uses the "some people" tactic, which more often than not is AP code for "people I found who agree with me":

By Tim Graham | February 26, 2011 | 6:59 AM EST

Newsweek’s latest issue shouted from the rooftops that Tina Brown and the Daily Beast are now in charge. The cover story’s on George Clooney, and the cover headline is “Mr. Clooney, The President Is on Line 1: On the ground in Sudan with a new kind of statesman.”

Inside, the gooey story has a gooey headline: “A 21st Century Statesman: In the age of Twitter-shortened attention spans, fame is an increasingly powerful weapon of diplomacy. How George Clooney is helping to bring change – and a hefty dose of hope – to Sudan.”

It comes with Tina Brown touches, like focusing on what he’s wearing: “Clad in a khaki-colored ExOfficio vest, white safari shirt, lightweight pants, and worn hiking boots, Clooney doesn't look or act like a buttoned-up diplomat.”


By Brad Wilmouth | February 25, 2011 | 11:30 PM EST

On Friday’s NBC Nightly News, during a report which focused on a group of Libyans helping to organize protests against dictator Muammar Qadhafi, correspondent Richard Engel gave viewers a glimpse into oppressed people looking to America for support as he concluded his report by relating that these protesters "have been waiting for a strong message from Washington." He also recounted that he had seen graffiti at the rebel headquarters calling on President Obama to "choose between the Libyan people or Qadhafi."

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Friday, February 25, NBC NightlyNews:

By Tom Blumer | February 25, 2011 | 11:22 PM EST

CNN announced tonight that Kathleen Parker is leaving Parker/Spitzer:

CNN co-host Kathleen Parker leaving show


Atlanta, Georgia (CNN) -- Kathleen Parker, the Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist who co-hosted CNN's 8 p.m. show, is leaving just five months after the show debuted, the company announced Friday.


"I have decided to return to a schedule that will allow me to focus more on my syndicated newspaper column and other writings," Parker said in a statement.

By Brad Wilmouth | February 25, 2011 | 11:18 PM EST

 On Friday’s Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, MSNBC host O’Donnell seemed to channel his predecessor, Keith Olbermann, as he ridiculously suggested racism in an RNC ad which accused President Obama of being beholden to organized labor, a charge often made against Democrats for many years in the past.

But, as he began an interview with guest Jennifer Granholm, former Democratic governor of Michigan, O’Donnell wondered, "does that sound to you like they are trying to consciously or subconsciously deliver the racist message that, of course, of course a black man can’t be the real boss?"

The MSNBC host began the segment:

By Brad Wilmouth | February 25, 2011 | 10:03 PM EST

 On Friday’s World News, ABC correspondent Ron Claiborne filed a report recounting some of the unreasonable problems faced by school systems when trying to lay off bad teachers as a result of hurdles put up by teachers unions. Claiborne noted one example of a Los Angeles teacher who was fired after five years of effort by the school system, costing $3.5 million. ABC anchor Diane Sawyer, who later admitted to having come from a family of teachers, gave voice to complaints over the system as she introduced the report:

Almost every one of us, parent and child, has been frustrated by a teacher who probably should not be teaching, but is protected by tenure or seniority, and the unions have been blamed. Well, now, for the first time under growing public pressure, a big teacher's union says they're ready to change that.

Claiborne’s report notably included a soundbite of former D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee complaining about the difficulty of firing bad teachers, although the ABC correspondent did not note the role that organized labor played in defeating the mayor who appointed her, Adrian Fenty, in the Democratic primary in 2010, resulting in her dismissal in spite of impressive achievements.

By Jack Coleman | February 25, 2011 | 9:34 PM EST

Ed Schultz is a firm believer in the law. Most of the time.

On his radio show yesterday, Schultz demonstrated how he's willing to be flexible when it comes to legalities, especially if it helps those sharing his politics.

Schultz was talking with Democratic state senator Jon Erpenbach, one of the so-called "Wisconsin 14" who have fled the state to avoid voting on what they consider union-busting measures in Gov. Scott Walker's proposed budget. After Schultz asked how the absent lawmakers were covering their expenses and Erpenbach said they were paying out of pocket, Schultz suggested this (audio here) --

By Brad Wilmouth | February 25, 2011 | 8:54 PM EST

 On Friday evening, uniquely among the broadcast network evening newscasts, the February 25 CBS Evening News briefly gave attention to former President George W. Bush’s decision to cancel a planned appearance in Denver at the Global Leadership Summit because of his disapproval of the same group’s plan to allow Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to address the event.

Quoting the former President as complaining that Assange has "done great harm to the U.S.," anchor Katie Couric read the item:

By Lachlan Markay | February 25, 2011 | 5:53 PM EST

For Rachel Maddow, corrections never come easy. But while the MSNBC host has at least offered corrections where she has previously gotten it wrong - granted, with the immense level of sarcasm and snark that is her hallmark - a recent flap with online watchdogs has the indignant Maddow splitting hairs in near-comedic fashion in an effort to avoid admitting she was mistaken.

But the numbers still belie her position.

The exchange began with Maddow's appearance on Leno Tuesday night. She falsely claimed that "of the top ten people donating money in [the 2010 election cycle], seven of them were giving to Republicans." In fact, as NB's Noel Sheppard pointed out, Maddow had it exactly backwards: 7 of the top 10 individual contributors gave more to Democrats than Republicans during the past cycle (and a lot more at that).

By Kyle Drennen | February 25, 2011 | 5:46 PM EST

While all three networks have touted Democratic claims that a government shutdown would stop Social Security Checks from going out, only CBS explained that the claim is completely false. ABC and NBC both used a sound bite of Illinois Senator Dick Durbin warning of the end of such payments, but reporters of neither network corrected the record.

In a report on Friday's Early Show on CBS, a clip was played of President Obama declaring during his February 15 press conference that a government shutdown would mean that "People don't get their Social Security checks. They don't get their veterans payments." Senior White House correspondent Bill Plante followed by pointing out: "That's actually not true. Social Security checks and veterans payments would still go out, just as they did when the government shut down 15 years ago."