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By Tim Graham | February 28, 2011 | 3:18 PM EST

Tavis Smiley is a hard-left talk show host on PBS. (He should admit that, since he authored a book called Hard Left.) You might remember him as the man that proclaimed that Christians "blow up people every day" in America. On his Facebook page today, Smiley promotes an interview he gave to one Myron Mays, where he talks about how he does "the Lord's work" on PBS:

PBS is a network that is watched by movers and shakers and by people who run the country, power players and other influencers. It's a great platform for us to try to empower them and try to enlighten them and quite frankly try to expand their inventory of ideas.  It's a great platform to try to get them to reexamine the assumptions they hold. I think we're doing the Lord's work.

When Smiley talks of America's movers and shakers needing to "expand their inventory of ideas," he means expand it leftward. Smiley has gained a reputation as a "nitpicker" against Obama for not spending enough on African-American needs. He told Mays:

By Tom Blumer | February 28, 2011 | 3:11 PM EST

Late last week (covered at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), a Goldman Sachs economist issued a dire warning cutting current-year federal spending by a measly $61 billion, or about 1.75% of the administration's full-year projected spending total, would significantly reduce economic growth in the coming quarters. If this were so, the economy would booming beyond belief right now, given that the Obama administration ran a $800-plus billion so-called stimulus plan during the past two years, and is on track to run up over $4 trillion in reported budget deficits in a three-year period by the end of the current fiscal year. Readers will note that the economy is not booming beyond belief.

The Associated Press chimed in on Friday after the latest report on the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Expert, presumably including some geniuses at Goldman, thought it would be revised up from an annualized 3.2% to 3.3%. Oops; it came in at 2.8%. Befuddled AP reporters claimed incorrectly that reductions in state and local government spending seriously held back reported growth during the final quarter of 2010. Zheesh; the impact was only -0.29 points. The real problem is that private investment is seriously lagging, and has really never stopped lagging since the recession began in 2008.

The "Keep spending like mad or else" chorus got more help today from chief economist Mark Zandi of Moody's Analytics. This morning, the Washington Post's Lori Montgomery dutifully relayed the pile-on (bolds are mine):

GOP spending plan would cost 700,000 jobs, new report says

By Clay Waters | February 28, 2011 | 3:08 PM EST

The New York Times took pains over the weekend to emphasize the nonviolent nature of the ongoing pro-union protests in Madison, over Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to limit collective bargaining for government unions and increase the amount they pay for their health care and pension plans.

From Monday’s report by Richard Oppel in Madison on Wisconsin state authorities capitulating to protester demands they be allowed to remain overnight in the Capitol:

Union leaders say one of the strengths of the demonstrations has been that despite harsh language and personal attacks directed at Mr. Walker, the protesters had been loud but nonviolent.

By Kyle Drennen | February 28, 2011 | 1:28 PM EST

At the top of Saturday's CBS Early Show, co-host Russ Mitchell cheered unions protests across the country: "Workers uniting. 50 rallies are planned in 50 states today, as organizers show solidarity with Wisconsin state workers, fighting to preserve their right to collectively bargain for benefits and work conditions."

Introducing the segment later, fellow co-host Rebecca Jarvis noted how the protests were organized by Rather than accurately label the organization as left-wing, she simply referred to it as "an advocacy group." In the report that followed, correspondent Cynthia Bowers announced that "workers who are coming to these rallies around the country to support Wisconsin workers are being told to wear those red t-shirts we've become so familiar with." The headline on screen throughout the segment referenced Karl Marx: "Workers of the Nation Unite; 50 State Rallies to Support Union Rights."

By Geoffrey Dickens | February 28, 2011 | 1:18 PM EST

NBC's Mike Taibbi, on Saturday's Today show, portrayed the pro-labor union protestors in Wisconsin in almost heroic terms as he hailed "The crowds of overnight campers and protestors keep up their vigils. A weary resolve still evident" and depicted them as victims that were "taking the hits." On the other hand the GOP was painted as the bad guys with Taibbi detailing "Republicans used an obscure rule allowing them to end all debate" and "have tried other means of persuasion, suspending direct deposit of the Democrats' paychecks, even sending state police to several of their local homes."

Taibbi's piece was also peppered with pro-union soundbites including a Democratic state senator calling the budget bill "backwards" and a protestor cheering, "we are getting worn out but we are stronger than ever." Taibbi also aired various clips of protestors chanting "Shame! Shame!" "Scott Walker has got to go!" and "Yes we can" but allowed only one voice of dissent from the other side, with the aforementioned Governor Walker getting a brief clip to announce: "Enough time has passed. It's time to come back and have a vote on this measure."

By Scott Whitlock | February 28, 2011 | 1:12 PM EST

Alex Jones, a 9/11 truther and promoter of other conspiracy theories, appeared on ABC's The View Monday to defend his friend Charlie Sheen, but diverted the interview into slamming George W. Bush for turning American into "a police state." Veteran journalist Barbara Walters did not denounce the radio host when he referenced the theory that the government was behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Co-hosts Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg, who walked out when they objected to a comment Bill O'Reilly made about Muslims, did not leave when Jones attacked, "[Charlie Sheen] didn't kill a million people in Iraq. He wasn't involved with the takedown of Building Seven here in New York."

(Building Seven, across the street from the World Trade Center, is a key component to those who believe that the Twin Towers were taken down by a controlled demolition, not as a result of international terrorism.) Later, Jones shifted the subject to politics again and ranted, "Let's compare George Bush, a million dead in Iraq!"

[See video below. MP3 here.]

By Jack Coleman | February 28, 2011 | 12:39 PM EST

Radio guests -- they say the darndest things.

One has to wonder if  the Rev. Al Sharpton would have invited journalist, publisher, radio host and academic Karen Hunter on his radio show Feb. 24 had he known she would chide first lady Michelle Obama in remarks not far removed from criticism of Mrs. Obama by Rush Limbaugh.

First, here's what Limbaugh said on his radio show three days earlier (audio here) --

By Clay Waters | February 28, 2011 | 12:33 PM EST

It’s not quite leftist academic Frances Fox Piven calling for violent Greece-style riots in America. But in an interview with the University of Oklahoma’s student newspaper (he was in town February 22 for a talk), Paul Krugman, respectedeconomist turned partisan liberal New York Times columnist, suggested American college students should pick up some tips from students in London and Paris about fighting public spending cuts.

The Daily: You mentioned how children and students suffer from cuts to public agencies. What advice would you give students to impact the political scene?

Krugman: “Well, you know, maybe we could learn a little bit from British students or French students who actually demonstrated against these cuts. What happens, we’ve got actually in America, the seniors are very noisy. Everybody knows you don’t dare cut programs for the elderly, so let’s cut programs for the youth. If we can change that, then we’d do a little better.”

By Ken Shepherd | February 28, 2011 | 12:09 PM EST

The secular mainstream media often do a shoddy job of accurately reporting on religious news, but this takes the cake.

Writing about how the Rev. James St. George was terminated earlier this month from his post as part-time professor at Chestnut Hill College, the Associated Press insisted the openly gay man "belong[s] to a branch of Catholicism not associated with the Vatican that has different views on gay issues."

The church where St. George is a pastor is "affiliated with the Old Catholic Apostolic Church of America, which vows no discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and performs commitment ceremonies for gays and lesbians," the Associated Press reported.

By Mike Bates | February 28, 2011 | 11:36 AM EST

The new civility demanded by liberals suffered a setback at Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow PUSH Saturday morning forum this week.  As televised on the WORD Network, featured speaker Democratic Wisconsin state Sen. Lena Taylor told a cheering audience that Gov. Scott Walker (R) "got our state for sale like a two-bit. . . "  Taylor's PUSH appearance was reported by, among others, the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago's ABC 7 News, and the Huffington Post.  None found Taylor's slur worthy of mention.

From the video:

TAYLOR:  It's not acceptable that in this bill where my governor lies and says that it's for his budget, when he's already received all the concessions he needs from workers that he is really just giving away.  It's not that our - he says that our state is open for business, he got our state for sale.  Ooo.  Ooo.  Ooo. He got our state for sale like a two-bit. . .  OK, hmm, hmm, you know what I was going to say.  And it's not acceptable.

By Kyle Drennen | February 28, 2011 | 11:15 AM EST

While even the liberal National Public Radio blog highlighted how the "U.S. Struggles to Evacuate; Others Don't" in Libya, on Saturday's CBS Early Show, correspondent Harry Smith gave the effort high marks: "If they were handing out a report card, as far as the embassy is concerned, it would be an A+." [Audio available here]

Co-host Rebecca Jarvis implied some displeasure with the evacuation in her question to Smith: "How do the Americans that you're talking to feel about the job that the U.S. embassy did throughout the ordeal in getting them to safety?" Smith dismissed any criticism of the government response: "There's so much anti-government sentiment in America about how different parts of the bureaucracy respond to things....the way that everything was handled was just absolutely impeccable."

View video below

By Noel Sheppard | February 28, 2011 | 10:34 AM EST

The presumptive face of the most biased and propagandist television news outlet in America had some harsh words for the media organization that bests hers in ratings virtually every hour of every day.

In a piece published by the Daily Beast Sunday, Rachel Maddow hypocritically told Howard Kurtz that Fox News has "become a McCarthyite chamber of horrors… You can't really call yourself a news channel if that's what you broadcast":

By Matthew Philbin | February 28, 2011 | 10:25 AM EST

You just knew Hollywood couldn't get through an Oscars broadcast without subjecting viewers to self-important statements of left-wing politics. War, AIDS, gay marriage, global warming - pick a liberal hobby horse and chances are an entertainer used the Academy Awards to give America his or her opinion on it.

This year, the cause du jour was class warfare, as reflected in shills for organized labor and a jab at bankers. With public sector unions protesting in Wisconsin and other states where governors are trying to address huge budget shortfalls, a couple of recipients couldn't resist adding their two cents.

Video below the fold.

By Matthew Balan | February 28, 2011 | 10:00 AM EST

CNN's Gloria Borger ripped the 87 new Republicans in the House of Representatives in a Thursday commentary on for their "arrogance of absolute conviction" in wanting to cut the budget. Borger first labeled this attachment to principle "dangerous," and continued that the "problem" with the freshmen representatives and their allies at the state level was "their conviction that compromise is bad."

The senior political analyst set the tone right away with the title of piece, "The arrogance of the new budget cutters." After noting that "we said we wanted budget cutters, so that's what we have" and the apparent "downright frenzy of rectitude in Washington," Borger stated that those "most convinced of their task are the 87 House Republican newcomers." She shot her first "arrogant" labeled at the freshmen after complimenting them a bit:

By NB Staff | February 28, 2011 | 9:09 AM EST

The two think tanks, leaders in the conservative and libertarian movements, produced a short video recently examining some of the claims made by pro-union demonstrators and other public employee union backers. Among the claims they take on: public sector workers don't make significantly more than their private sector counterparts, collective bargianing is "not about money," and attempts to rein in public employee unions are simply "union busting" measures.

Check out the video below the break.