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By Scott Whitlock | August 22, 2012 | 6:34 PM EDT

Former Newsweek editor Howard Fineman appeared on Wednesday's Hardball and warned that the Republican Party has become a "faith-based," "Bible-based" political organization. Fineman also derided Paul Ryan as untrustworthy when it comes to considering science: "[Ryan] starts every consideration of public policy, not from the standpoint of science, but from the standpoint of faith."

The journalist, who is now the editorial director for the Huffington Post, darkly intoned, "But the Republican Party has become a faith-based party. Starting with Ronald Reagan, there was a marriage between the Bible Belt of the south, fundamentalist Bible Belt of the south." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Matthew Balan | August 22, 2012 | 6:08 PM EDT

John Dickerson hinted on Wednesday's CBS This Morning that the only radicals in the abortion debate were on the pro-life side. During a discussion about the furor over Rep. Todd Akin's recent "legitimate rape" remark, Dickerson stated that "Congressman Akin...put a highlight on the extreme end of the abortion debate."
The political director's liberal slant came in the midst of his network's 37 minutes of coverage of the Akin controversy since Monday. By contrast, CBS devoted just under 10 minutes of coverage to Vice President Joe Biden's "put y'all back in chains" smear of Republicans over a similar three-day period earlier in August, a nearly four-to-one disparity.

By Noel Sheppard | August 22, 2012 | 5:42 PM EDT

MSNBC's Touré Neblett had another rather telling slip of the tongue - this one of the Freudian variety - on The Cycle Wednesday.

Less than a week after accusing Mitt Romney of engaging in the "niggerization" of Barack Obama, Neblett said, "We have - or the Obama campaign has - succeeded in, or attempted to succeed in, defining Romney early when Romney was undefined for many voters" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Kyle Drennen | August 22, 2012 | 5:40 PM EDT

On Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams brought on political director Chuck Todd to give a "damage assessment" for Republicans in the wake of the Todd Akin controversy. Todd attempted to blame the conservative grassroots for the uproar: "...the Tea Party effect....will maybe cost Mitch McConnell a shot at controlling the United States Senate. Their own infighting has done this." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

What Todd failed to mention was that Tea Party Express and former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin backed one of Akin's opponents, Sarah Steelman, in the Missouri Republican Senate primary.

By Matt Hadro | August 22, 2012 | 5:37 PM EDT

In the wake of the Todd Akin controversy, CNN has not only tied the negative fallout to the Romney campaign and the Republican Party, but has also turned a critical eye to the party's "very far right-wing" pro-life platform.

"I guess you're probably rubbing your hands with glee, aren't you?" Piers Morgan pandered to DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz on Tuesday, concerning Akin's refusal to leave the Missouri senate race. Morgan had called the situation "Romney's worst nightmare" on the previous night.

By Rusty Weiss | August 22, 2012 | 4:31 PM EDT

An e-mail from Daily Kos Campaign Manager, Chris Bowers announces 'big news' regarding voter ID laws in Pennsylvania.  Bowers explains:

A huge coalition of 100+ labor and civil rights groups has come together to do the door knocking, phone banking and voter education necessary to make sure everyone in this must-win swing state can still cast a ballot.

At Daily Kos, we're helping out by running online ads in Pennsylvania to sign up more than 1,000 volunteers so that this coalition has the people power it needs. Please, click here to contribute $3 to Daily Kos so that we can sign up the thousands of volunteers needed to overcome Pennsylvania's voter ID law.

By Tom Blumer | August 22, 2012 | 4:21 PM EDT

Yesterday, James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web had this to say about the title of an Associated Press report ("Obama Defends Tenor of His Campaign, Slams Romney") covering President Obama's four-question "press conference" -- "The writer of this Associated Press headline is either witty or clueless."

The underlying writeup by Jim Kuhnhenn and Charles Babington wasn't witty, and was at least as clueless, especially in letting the howler about how Obama was supposedly able to "distance himself" from the "Mitt Romney caused my wife to die of cancer" meme his own campaign associated itself with earlier this year (verbiage relating to the Todd Akin situation in Missouri is also in the report; I'll defer to others in that matter; bolds and numbered tags are mine):

By Ken Shepherd | August 22, 2012 | 3:39 PM EDT

"A number of local chapters of the National Organization for Women are denouncing the DNC convention rules, saying that they unfairly exclude mothers with young children," Byron Tau of Politico reported on Monday morning, going on to quote feminist icon Gloria Steinem as complaining that "Women are the key to a Democratic victory, and sometimes, children are the key to women. It's both right and smart for the Democratic Convention to behave as if children exist."

Given their penchant for frequently featuring Politico reporters and for hyping the so-called war on women, it would be reasonable for MSNBC to pick up on the story. But alas, they have not, even though National Organization for Women president Terry O'Neill appeared on the Monday edition of the Ed Show and on today's MSNBC Live hosted by Thomas Roberts to discuss the Akin controversy.

By Matt Hadro | August 22, 2012 | 3:39 PM EDT

In a Tuesday interview with comedian Jeff Foxworthy, CNN's Piers Morgan presented the half-baked idea of treating the Bible as "evolutionary" and asked if being Christian "has become almost a bad word" in America. Of course, he pointed the finger specifically at Christians who are Republicans.

"Do you feel that being Christian has become almost a bad word in a country that's still predominantly Christian?" Morgan asked after noting "issues where the Christian element of the Republican party get a good kicking, because either they said something silly or inflammatory or whatever it may be."

By Clay Waters | August 22, 2012 | 3:29 PM EDT

The New York Times extended the controversy over offensive comments made by Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin to indict the entire Republican Party, misleadingly conflating Akin's remark about "legitimate rape" with the party's traditional pro-life stance. Wednesday's two connected lead stories were ushered in under the banner headline "Ignoring Deadline to Quit, G.O.P. Senate Candidate Defies His Party Leaders: Unexpected Twist in the Election Campaigns."

The headline over Jennifer Steinhauer's story nationalized the firestorm in Missouri: "Unexpected Turn in Campaign for President," and the story's headline on the jump page crystalized Democratic wishful thinking: "Missouri Controversy May Endanger Republican Chances in the Fall."

By Brent Bozell | August 22, 2012 | 2:57 PM EDT

There’s no denying that what Rep. Todd Akin said was completely inappropriate, but for it to receive four times more coverage than the Vice President of the United States’ indefensibly racist gaffe is unconscionable. Todd Akin is a congressman. Joe Biden is one heartbeat from being the leader of the Free World. Once again, the media’s double standard is exposed for all to see.

If Ronald Reagan was the "Teflon President," then Joe Biden is the "Teflon Blowhard." He’s spent his entire career with his foot firmly lodged in his mouth, uttering an endless stream of impossibly stupid, vulgar, and insensitive things. And yet the media fall all over themselves to make excuses for blustery "Old Uncle Joe."

By Paul Wilson | August 22, 2012 | 2:40 PM EDT

The war against Chick-fil-A, whose COO dared to support traditional marriage, continues. This time, the battlefield is college football – specifically, Chick-fil-A’s sponsorship of two college football games. editor Cyd Ziegler took to Huffington Post on August 20 with a piece titled, “Stop Chick-fil-A from Forcing College Football Players to Wear Their Logo,” which advocated the end of the Chick-fil-A's sponsorship of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game and the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

By Tom Blumer | August 22, 2012 | 2:28 PM EDT

In what has become an all too predictable ritual, an AP reporter has tried to make the situation in the economy look like it's on the upswing when it's not.

Today, the AP's Christopher Rugaber read the press release on existing home sales from the National Association of Realtors. As a trade group, NAR will tend to put a good (or at least not as ugly face) on even a rough situation. So it's hard to blame them for saying that "Sales of existing homes rose in July even with constraints of affordable inventory, and the national median price is showing five consecutive months of year-over-year increases." The first half of NAR's statement is selectively incomplete, but Rugaber compounded the problem in the first sentence of his report this morning:

By Clay Waters | August 22, 2012 | 2:28 PM EDT

For the third time in three columns, the New York Times's Maureen Dowd brutally assaults Paul Ryan, this time calling him "a fresh face on a Taliban creed" of He-Man Woman-Hating.

Other Republicans are trying to cover up their true identity to get elected. Even as party leaders attempted to lock the crazy uncle in the attic in Missouri, they were doing their own crazy thing down in Tampa, Fla., by reiterating language in their platform calling for a no-exceptions Constitutional amendment outlawing abortion, even in cases of rape, incest and threat to the life of the mother.

By Scott Whitlock | August 22, 2012 | 1:23 PM EDT

A week after giving relatively light coverage to Joe Biden's "chains" smear, the broadcast networks eagerly dove into the Todd Akin controversy, giving over four times more coverage to an uproar involving a statewide (conservative) politician than a controversy involving a national (liberal) politician. NBC, CBS and ABC's evening and morning shows have devoted an astonishing 88 minutes (or 40 segments) of coverage to Congressman Akin's "legitimate rape" remark. Over a similar three day period, the networks allowed a scant 19 minutes (or ten segments) to a racially charged gaffe by the Vice President of the United States.

CBS This Morning reporter Norah O'Donnell on Tuesday pronounced, "If Akin is still running for the United States Senate, everybody is going to be asking about Akin, abortion rights, women's rights, etc., during the Republican convention." CBS journalists certainly did their best to make sure "everybody" would be talking about the Republican. The network hyped the story the most, pushing the controversy for 13 segments and 37 minutes.