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By Noel Sheppard | February 27, 2011 | 11:26 AM EST defines "hooligan" as a ruffian or hoodlum.

This is what the Washington Post's Dana Milbank called Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in his Sunday column:

By Tom Blumer | February 27, 2011 | 11:13 AM EST

Yesterday was supposed to be a day of massive pro-union demonstrations nationwide designed to give Wisconsin public-sector employee moral support from hordes of their union and non-union "brothers" and "sisters" around the country.

Uh, that's not exactly what transpired.

The establishment press's fallback position in matters such as these when the protesters involved have their sympathies is to cite decent numbers where available, while otherwise referring to "large crowds," leaving it to the imaginations of readers, listeners, and viewers what that really means. Call it "creative crowd reporting." With some slip-ups, the New York Times and the Associated Press each employed this tactic yesterday.

Unfortunately for them, many local reporters did estimate crowd sizes in cities other than Wisconsin's capital of Madison, and they aren't particularly impressive (while still being suspect, as will be seen later). William Jacobsen at Legal Insurrection (HT Instapundit) compiled press reports from other cities as follows:

By Noel Sheppard | February 27, 2011 | 9:50 AM EST

Something has definitely gotten into Evan Thomas's water, as for the third time this month, he advanced a viewpoint on PBS's "Inside Washington" quite contrary to the other liberal panelists.

On Friday's installment, with lone conservative regular Charles Krauthammer taking the day off, the Newsweek columnist practically assumed his position as the voice of reason taking on the other guests regarding the budget situation in Wisconsin (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Tim Graham | February 27, 2011 | 8:58 AM EST

When Virginia's Assembly passed a law requiring abortion clinics to be regulated like hospitals, The Washington Post responded Sunday with an article on the top of the front page of Metro, trumpeting how "Abortion providers wary of new law." Reporter Brigid Schulte's story had 21 paragraphs, almost entirely devoted to the complaints of abortionists. Pro-lifers were in paragraphs four and 11, just for a tiny rebuttal:

Supporters of the vote hailed it as "historic"....But [Rosemary] Codding, 68, sees it as more "shenanigans" in the long-running war over abortion rights. And depending upon how state regulators write the rules later this year, she fears that abortion opponents may succeed in practice what they have failed to achieve in court: an overturn of the landmark Roe v. Wade....

By Tom Blumer | February 27, 2011 | 8:52 AM EST

From all appearances, the Associated Press's Scott Bauer has a story, and he's sticking to it -- never mind the facts.

On February 17 (covered at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), in an item which mostly told readers that pending legislation would "eliminate collective-bargaining rights," Bauer let a kernel of truth slip into his second-last of nearly 40 paragraphs:

Unions still could represent workers, but could not seek pay increases above those pegged to the Consumer Price Index unless approved by a public referendum. Unions also could not force employees to pay dues and would have to hold annual votes to stay organized.

If "unions still could represent workers," and can still "seek pay increases," then they would still have at least some “collective-bargaining rights.” They wouldn't be as extensive, and perhaps they would be severely limited. But some level of "collective-bargaining rights" would still exist. Therefore, Bauer's claims and implications elsewhere in his report that the legislation would completely "eliminate collective-bargaining rights" were self-evidently false and deceptive.

In a laughably titled story ("Facts overshadowed in debate over union bill") datelined yesterday, Bauer again demonstrates, with assistance from colleague Patrick Condon, that he won't let a silly thing like the truth stand in his way. Each of the following excerpted items implicitly or explicitly asserts that all collective-bargaining rights would end:

By Tim Graham | February 27, 2011 | 7:15 AM EST

Absolutely nobody goes to a Lady Gaga concert looking for a sermon on Christianity. But in Saturday's Washington Post, reviewer Sarah Kaufman strangely compared the Madonna wannabe with the "pyrotechnic bikini" to a revival-tent preacher:

She knows we don't only go to a Gaga show for the music but also - maybe mostly - for the messianic, revival-tent message.

"We're gonna be super free, little monsters!" she shouts, in a throaty evangelistic roar. "This is a place where all the freaks are outside!"

With the arena thus sanctified, we embarked on a roller-coaster ride through a Gaga theme park [of her hits]...

By Tim Graham | February 27, 2011 | 6:54 AM EST

Nicholas Benton, the leftist editor of that tiny community paper he calls "the mighty Falls Church News-Press," is clearly enjoying his role as the publisher of Helen Thomas diatribes. He's now in Helen's "entourage." On Wednesday, he described how he witnessed the great Helen get a "giant hug" from the great Rosie O'Donnell at CNN after a taping of the Joy Behar show:

As she [Thomas] exited the studio with her entourage, including me, a CNN assistant came up and said, "There's somebody here who wants to meet you." When we got to the green room, O'Donnell burst through the door from the other side and with an irrepressible enthusiasm and fervor charged at Thomas to give her a giant hug.

It was an extraordinary moment, totally authentic with no cameras or recorders running. It was an unforgettable, spontaneous encounter of two of the most important women leaders and role models of our time.

By Tim Graham | February 26, 2011 | 10:25 PM EST

For anyone who thinks liberals are calm and rational beings, free of bitterness and rage, we can always disprove that with the radio show of Mike Malloy. On Thursday, Malloy ranted and raved about the story that Fox News boss Roger Ailes is said to have told publisher Judith Regan to lie and conceal her affair with Bernard Kerik before federal investigators as Kerik was considered for the Cabinet. This was enough to send Malloy off the deep end:

Well, I would think it also would be that it would also be the basis of a criminal investigation against this lard-ass bastard -- Rupert Murdoch's anti -American terrorist broadcast organization!

From there, Malloy ranted not only against Ailes, but against Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly, who apparently are all anti-American terrorists:

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.”