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By Brent Bozell | December 24, 2011 | 7:25 AM EST

The depravity of our popular culture and our eagerness to shred traditional values manifests itself every day. Lady Gaga, the top-earning woman in the music business and deemed by ABC’s Barbara Walters to be one of the “most fascinating people,” has a new vocation in mind. She’s  announced she wants to become an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church so she can marry two gay male friends.

Lady Gaga is as unattractive, in every sense of the word, as her name is stupid. She welcomed Easter with a single called “Judas” (“I’m still in love with Judas, baby”) and arrives at Christmas as Reverend Gaga. This is the same “instant online ordination” that TBS late-night host Conan O’Brien used in November in a disgusting scene to “marry” two gay males live on his television show. Gaga and Conan are two of the real cultural losers of 2011. Here are some other winners and losers: 

By NB Staff | December 24, 2011 | 6:43 AM EST

Everyone done with their Christmas shopping or are there those like me who really like shopping on Christmas Eve?

Anything else you want to discuss?

By Tim Graham | December 24, 2011 | 6:40 AM EST

There is no warmth of the Christmas season in some corners of the Daily Kos blog, since the "War on Christmas" stories on Fox News have ruined their Obama-loving spirit. The diarist "Hunter" was very upset on Thursday that Fox would report dislike for the Obama White House's "Bo by the fireplace" Christmas card (without the word "Christmas" in it).

"The premise here is that, after first being too Christmas-loving, now this card is not Christmas-laden enough," he harrumphed. "To you or I it may look like Thomas Kinkade ate a box of candy canes and pooped out a tranquil interior scene, but to the forces of Christmas Outrage it is deeply suspicious because there is a dog in the scene when there should have been a Jesus, and there is a poinsettia instead of a Christmas tree, and there's just something off about it, in their minds."

By NB Staff | December 24, 2011 | 6:40 AM EST

Almost all the NFL games are on Saturday with only one on Sunday? Anybody remember THIS ever happening?

Any excitement about the NBA returning Sunday or is this a ho-hum?

Anything else you want to talk about?

By Brad Wilmouth | December 24, 2011 | 2:14 AM EST

Appearing as a panel member on Friday's Inside Washington on PBS, Politico's Evan Thomas - formerly of Newsweek - took a jab at Senate Republican Leader Mitch Mcconnell, suggesting that he is normally not a "good guy," during a discussion of the Kentucky Republican's role in reaching a deal with Democrats to extend the payroll tax cut by two months. (Video below)

By Brad Wilmouth | December 23, 2011 | 11:49 PM EST

On Friday's CBS Evening News, as correspondent Sharyl Attkisson filed a report to inform viewers that the House of Representatives had approved the Senate plan for a two-month payroll tax cut extension, Attkisson included a clip of Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid directing a "lecture" at and blaming House Republican freshmen for the delay, as she recounted his hope that they had "learned a lesson."

While the report included two soundbites from Democrats that allowed them to put forth some of their message - in the form of one clip each from Reid and President Obama - the CBS correspondent only included a couple of brief non-political clips of House Speaker John Boehner as the only Republican afforded a soundbite. (Video below)


By Brad Wilmouth | December 23, 2011 | 9:54 PM EST

Friday's World News on ABC ran a report by correspondent Dan Harris which celebrated a 21-year-old former coma patient who was revived after his doctor decided to delay disconnecting him from life support.

Substitute anchor Josh Elliot followed up with a positive item regarding religion as he recounted a recent survey finding that the overwhelming majority of Americans - 77 percent - believe in the existence of angels. (Video below)

Elliot introduced Harris's piece:

By Clay Waters | December 23, 2011 | 9:33 PM EST

Reporting from the campaign trail in Iowa on Dec. 13 as the state caucuses approach, Susan Saulny overdid the Christian “conservative” labels: “Iowa Evangelicals Split Over Caucus Endorsement.”

"Bob Vander Plaats, president of the Family Leader, a conservative advocacy group popular with evangelical Christians here, has been saying supportive things recently about Newt Gingrich," she wrote, "suggesting that social conservatives are open to looking past his extramarital affairs and two divorces as they make a choice in the Republican presidential race."

By Tim Graham | December 23, 2011 | 2:25 PM EST

On MSNBC Thursday night, Ed Schultz began by declaring a payroll-tax-cut defeat for the Tea Party:  "Good to have you with us tonight, folks. Thanks for watching.The Tea Party's mission to destroy this presidency and the economy -- well, it`s failed for now....Tonight, they are the losers and the winners are the American people." How the Tea Party ended up losing when a tax cut is extended is a bit mysterious.

But on his radio show Thursday, at the end of the 2 pm hour, shortly before a deal was announced, Schultz was predicting that the House Republicans would go home in a stalemate and feel good about themselves, because Tea Party Republicans are like "sewer rats." He promised he would call them that on TV. Someone must have talked him out of this line:

By Jack Coleman | December 23, 2011 | 1:25 PM EST

Perhaps this will make things a bit clearer for Ed Schultz.

On his radio show Wednesday, Schultz lashed out at Fox commentator Eric Bolling for saying on "The Five" earlier this week that he had bumped into Schultz at a Manhattan steakhouse, bought him a drink and a chintzy Schultz did not reciprocate (audio) --

By Tom Blumer | December 23, 2011 | 1:05 PM EST

Yesterday at my home blog, in the wake of Uncle Sam's reduction of third-quarter growth in gross domestic product (GDP) from an annualized 2.0% to 1.8%, I predicted that the establishment press's reaction would be the following: “Yeah, but the fourth quarter will be 3% or more. It really, really will be. Please believe us.”

Martin Crutsinger at the Associated Press made that easy prediction come true 48 minutes after the report was released. He and the rest of the establishment press also missed something far bigger, namely that yesterday's small GDP reduction brought its private-sector component back to a level below where it was at the beginning of the recession, no matter how you define that beginning. Excerpts follow the jump:

By Scott Whitlock | December 23, 2011 | 12:27 PM EST

Barbara Walters, who famously asked Katherine Hepburn what type of tree she was, may have outdone herself in a slobbering interview with Michelle and Barack Obama. In previews of Friday's "20/20" segment, Walters asked the President, "If you were a superhero and you could have one super power, what would it be?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

To the First Lady, the journalist posed a question about reincarnation: "If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would you want it to be?" This appeared to be too much for Mrs. Obama, she interrupted, "Oh, God, Barbara." The fawning piece was teased on Friday's "Good Morning America" and Monday's "The View." It included queries on the romantic life of the couple.

By NB Staff | December 23, 2011 | 12:03 PM EST

MRC president Brent Bozell spread Christmas cheer and shared the "bumper crop" called the Best of Notable Quotables on the Hannity show on Fox News Thursday night. Guest host Mark Steyn began with multiple-award-winning Paul Krugman of the New York Times. He won the Grim Reaper Award for telling CNN that Paul Ryan's Medicare reforms would kill people.

"When it's not hatemongering, it's fearmongering,"  Bozell added. "You think, Mark, about those endless lectures we've heard from the Left over the years about hatemongering, and fearmongering, and civility, and they're always giving those lessons to Sean Hannity, to Rush Limbaugh,  Mark Levin, to Ann Coulter, but then Paul Krugman says this kind of thing, and the silence is deafening." (Video below)

By Tim Graham | December 23, 2011 | 11:27 AM EST

Friday's Washington Post was rubbing the payroll-tax compromise in the face of Republican activists. "House GOP surrenders on payroll tax cut" was the headline (with a subhead about pressure that "grew on all sides"). Reporter Rosalind Helderman began with the onus on the House: "Facing withering criticism from across the political spectrum and abandoned by Senate allies, House Republicans bowed to political reality Thursday" to the two-month compromise.

"The agreement represented a remarkable capitulation on the part of House Republicans," Helderman continued, "And it amounts to a Christmas gift for President Obama." The Post did not point out today that it spent the last two days on the front page warning the Republicans should bend to "reality" or face a "risky" future:

By Patrick Goodenough | December 23, 2011 | 10:35 AM EST

A liberal Anglican church in New Zealand has denounced as “Christian intolerance” the defacing of a large billboard it erected outside its premises to mark the Christmas season. The billboard shows an apparently shocked Virgin Mary examining a home pregnancy test kit.

A Catholic activist damaged the billboard on Sunday, during a prayer protest by around 100 Catholics outside the St. Matthews-in-the-City Church, located on a busy intersection in downtown Auckland.