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By Clay Waters | May 25, 2011 | 6:39 PM EDT

Will Newt Gingrich's big credit line at Tiffany's define his 2012 Republican presidential run? The New York Times seems to hope so. Wednesday’s front page "Political Memo" by Sheryl Gay Stolberg on Gingrich’s credit line was bejeweled with a headline that sounded like a liberal wish: "All That Glitters May Redefine Run by Gingrich."

To the long list of rich-guy foibles that turned into defining campaign moments -- John Edwards’s $400 haircut, John Kerry’s kite-surfing, John McCain’s inability to remember how many homes he owns -- let us now add Newt Gingrich’s $500,000 revolving line of credit at the luxury jeweler Tiffany & Company.

 

One difference: The Times ran their April 20, 2007 story on Edwards’ haircut not on the front page, but on page 15.

By Ken Shepherd | May 25, 2011 | 4:28 PM EDT

The U.S. Constitution "is archaic and boring and lots of it no longer applies anymore."

The grumbling of a snotty 9th grade student in civics class? Nope, it's the pronouncement of Salon political reporter Alex Pareene.

By John Nolte | May 25, 2011 | 4:11 PM EDT

For those of you who don’t know Joe McGinniss, he’s the “journalist” who– unaware of the difference between Dian Fossey and Bob Woodward —  made the ridiculously creepy decision to move in  next door to the Palin family in order to intimidate and gain attention for himself research his upcoming hit-job “The Rogue.” According to Politico, he’ll be one of many during this campaign season using the obscene tactic of weaponizing Palin’s very own children as political bludgeons against her.

By Aubrey Vaughan | May 25, 2011 | 3:02 PM EDT

New York Magazine apparently believes that opposing foreign aid is literally xenophobic - rooted in irrational fear of foreigners - and is willing to engage in some pretty sketchy journalistic practices to make its case. Those are a pair of lessons Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., learned on Tuesday.

By Tim Graham | May 25, 2011 | 3:02 PM EDT

As her term wraps up, NPR ombudsman Alicia Shepard explored the controversial $1.8 million donation from leftist hedge-fund manager George Soros and his Open Society Institute, and how NPR tried to talk its way out of the idea that it was a liberal media outlet taking money from a major liberal agitator of means. Shepard reported executives there determined “it would be wrong to turn down money because of someone's political beliefs and based on how it looked.”

"OSI Foundations met NPR's qualification criteria for funders," said Dana Davis Rehm, NPR's spokesperson. "They understood and accepted our terms – chief among them the prohibition of any effort to influence editorial decision making. Our acceptance of the grant was based on principles of independence and fairness, and we stand by it."

By Alex Fitzsimmons | May 25, 2011 | 3:01 PM EDT

Jessica Alba received an overwhelmingly positive reception on "Morning Joe" today while lobbying for legislation that would give the EPA broad-sweeping powers to regulate chemicals in consumer products.

Despite her cheerful demeanor, the Hollywood starlet made a spate of damning claims against the chemical industry that she failed to substantiate, while the MSNBC panel nodded in approval.

By Matthew Balan | May 25, 2011 | 2:51 PM EDT

CBS's Jeff Glor failed to mention the Democratic Party affiliation of Rod Blagojevich, as well as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., during a news brief on Wednesday's Early Show. Glor's report was the only mention on the Big Three network morning shows of the former Illinois governor's lawyers calling the former Obama aide and the congressman to testify in his retrial for corruption.

The news anchor noted during his brief that "some big names could be on the stand" and specified that Blagojevich's attorneys would call Emanuel and Jackson, Jr. He then explained that the former governor is "accused of trying to sell the seat of then-U.S. Senator Barack Obama. His first trial ended in a hung jury."

By Eric Scheiner | May 25, 2011 | 2:51 PM EDT

As recently as last month, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was pushing for a clean debt ceiling measure. “You don’t have to have a lot of things attached to raising the debt ceiling. You can do that separately,” he told reporters at an April 14th press conference.

Now a House GOP plan to hold a vote on a clean extension of the debt ceiling is coming under fire by Reid. It will send "a terrible message to the international community," Reid said Tuesday.

 

By Clay Waters | May 25, 2011 | 2:43 PM EDT

The New York Times provided big play to Tuesday’s special congressional election to fill New York's 26th congressional district near Buffalo, a race in which Democrat Kathy Hochul upset Republican Jane Corwin. Reporter Raymond Hernandez was quick to assume this one special race spells bad news for Republican plans to reform Medicare, and their prospects in the national elections 18 months away. But how does the Times typically react when Republicans win special and off-year elections?

The stack of headlines to Wednesday’s off-lead story by the conservative-hostile Hernandez set the tone: "Gaining Upset, Democrat Wins New York Seat -- Blow to National G.O.P. -- Victor in House Contest Fought a Republican Plan on Medicare."

Democrats scored an upset in one of New York’s most conservative Congressional districts on Tuesday, dealing a blow to the national Republican Party in a race that largely turned on the party’s plan to overhaul Medicare.

The results set off elation among Democrats and soul-searching among Republicans, who questioned whether they should rethink their party’s commitment to the Medicare plan, which appears to have become a liability heading into the 2012 elections.

By Lachlan Markay | May 25, 2011 | 2:33 PM EDT

It's interesting to remind ourselves from time to time which social institutions the fixtures of our culture's commanding heights consider dated or irrelevant. If you need more affirmation of the wide, wide chasm between American culture and American pop culture, Cameron Diaz is here to convince you.

The actress recently informed Maxim magazine that marriage is dying, is no longer relevant in the 21st century, and is all, you know, old and stuff. Check out an preview of Diaz's Maxim interview below the break (h/t David Harsanyi).

By Scott Whitlock | May 25, 2011 | 1:40 PM EDT

The network morning shows on Wednesday all avoided party labels for Democrat John Edwards in the wake of the announcement that the former presidential candidate will be indicted by the Justice Department. In February, however, the same programs could not wait to highlight a disgraced conservative and tout his party ID.

ABC's Good Morning America, NBC's Today and CBS's Early Show simply referred to Edwards as "the former presidential candidate." On Today, reporter Lisa Myers sympathetically explained that "last weekend you'd never know" Edwards was in trouble.

By Tim Graham | May 25, 2011 | 12:40 PM EDT

MSNBC anchor David Shuster was suspended in 2008 for suggesting Hillary Clinton had "pimped out" her daughter Chelsea on the air. So how will MSNBC handle their host calling Laura Ingraham a "right-wing slut" and a "talk slut"?

By Tom Blumer | May 25, 2011 | 12:19 PM EDT

UPDATE: As seen here, the very earliest AP reports appear to have identified Edwards as a Democrat (the age of the item may not correspond with when the AP subscriber actually received it), but the latest ones, including this item found at AP's home site (as of 12:59 p.m.), do not. UPDATE 2: A mixed bag -- The 6:55 p.m. report from the same AP reporters (pic here) notes that Edwards was the "2004 Democratic vice-presidential nominee," and waits until Paragraph 4 to note that the possible indictment stems from the 2007-2008 campaign.

In their 11:29 a.m. report (saved here in case it gets updated, and for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) on the apparently imminent indictment of 2004 and 2008 Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, Associated Press reporters Mike Baker and Gary D. Robertson did not identify Edwards as a Democrat, nor did they identify any of his campaign associates (e.g., Andrew Young, Fred Baron) as Democrats. No form of the word "Democrat" appears in the report as it was posted at 11:29 a.m.

Here are the first seven paragraphs of the AP pair's effort:

By Kyle Drennen | May 25, 2011 | 11:53 AM EDT

All three network morning shows on Wednesday cheered Democrat Kathy Hochul winning the special election in New York's 26th congressional district and framed the outcome as a rejection of Republican plans to reform Medicare. On NBC's Today, news reporter Ann Curry proclaimed: "The race hinged on Hochul's opposition to a Republican-led plan to make deep cuts in Medicare." [Audio available here]

On ABC's Good Morning America, news reporter Josh Elliot declared Hochul's win to be "a seismic event in the political world" and a "shocking upset." Like Curry, he declared: "The GOP candidate lost after backing that Republican plan to cut billions from Medicare." In reality, the Republican budget plan increases Medicare spending from $563 billion to $953 billion ten years from now. That’s an increase of nearly 70%.

View video below

By Lachlan Markay | May 25, 2011 | 11:44 AM EDT

A software upgrade at Facebook has some conservative groups worried that their hard-earned followings might be rendered useless. The upgrade will "archive" all existing Facebook groups, thereby revoking administrators' access to member lists, unless they receive an exemption from Facebook (and the accompanying software).

The company has not revealed how groups are being chosen for these exemptions, but a number of prominent conservative groups recently told the Daily Caller that they had not received one, and feared they wouldn't. Losing access to member lists would remove key functionality, as administrators would no longer be able to contact group members en masse (Facebook "pages" will not be affected).

Facebook insisted in a statement that the company "determined what groups to archive based on a number of factors, including the amount of recent activity."But a quick look at a few of the groups that did and did not get these exemptions demonstrates that neither activity nor group size was the overriding factor. Indeed, plenty of conservative-leaning political groups with active memberships are still waiting on the software given to smaller, far less active liberal-leaning groups.