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By Brent Baker | May 27, 2011 | 10:00 AM EDT

The evening newscasts on Thursday night eagerly devoted time to fresh speculation, prompted by Sarah Palin’s upcoming bus trip from Washington, DC to New Hampshire, that she may jump into the presidential race, but they all made sure to point out her high negatives amongst non-Republicans, characterizing her as “divisive” and “polarizing” while raising concern she couldn’t beat President Obama.

“She's a divisive figure,” CBS’s Jan Crawford declared,” citing how “our latest polls show that a majority of Republican voters do view her positively, but, among all voters, only 26 percent do. So that gives Republicans some pause. They want someone that they think can beat President Obama.”

By Tim Graham | May 27, 2011 | 9:27 AM EDT

Washington Post media reporter Paul Farhi profiled MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell on the front of Friday’s Style section. The headlines were vaguely promotional. Above a large picture it reads "Lawrence O’Donnell is hitting his marks at the center of MSNBC’s prime time lineup." The actual headline below is "A starring role as the cable guy."

But read deeply into Farhi’s portrait, and it becomes clear that O’Donnell prides himself on being detached – some might say insincere. Late in the piece, Farhi quotes me on how Larry’s done "some very weird shouting and tantrums." In response, O’Donnell says he’s not really outraged on TV, he’s...acting! He's the Master Thespian of Cable News. He’s sort of playing a character for theatrical effect:

By Lachlan Markay | May 27, 2011 | 9:21 AM EDT

President Obama is revving up his reelection campaign with a push to secure the American Hispanic vote ahead of 2012. Part of that effort, it seems, is the creation of an "Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics."

While the commission is certainly noble in purpose and its members are undoubtedly qualified, the appointment of Cesar Conde, president of Univision Networks, raises some concerns about disclosure and political neutrality on some of the nation's most popular Spanish language news programs.

By NB Staff | May 27, 2011 | 8:39 AM EDT

In his latest column for National Review, Jonah Goldberg wonders whether Republicans are ready for the fight that, he argues, has already arrived at their doorstep. Democrats, Goldberg claims, have already decided on a strategy: engage in all out, fact-free rhetorical war against Paul Ryan's Medicare reform plan. Offering a Classical Roman analogy, Goldberg argues that the GOP now has a simple choice to make: "win or die."

By Brad Wilmouth | May 27, 2011 | 8:09 AM EDT

 In the opinion article, "Where Netanyahu Fails Himself and Israel," in the May 25 Washington Post, CNN anchor Fareed Zakaria blasted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for rejecting President Obama’s peace proposal invoking Israel’s pre-1967 lines. Zakaria compared the Israeli prime minister to former Soviet Union Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko, known as "Mr. Nyet" for his stubbornness in dealing with the U.S.

Zakaria also charged that Netanyahu "might sound like Churchill, he acts like a local ward boss, far more interested in holding onto his post than using it to secure Israel’s future," and that Israel "continues to rule millions of Palestinians in serf-like conditions - entitled to neither a vote nor a country." Zakaria seemed to forget that, while Palestinians outside the boundaries of Israel who are not Israeli citizens do not get to vote in Israeli parliamentary elections, they did get to cast ballots for their own parliament in February 2006, with the terrorist group Hamas winning a narrow victory.

By NB Staff | May 27, 2011 | 8:08 AM EDT

Time for Friday's all-new episode of NewsBusted, and this one is a great one, if we may say so. Check below the break to find out why early Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts ran into legal trouble, and why scientists wasted millions researching the cause of obesity. And don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel!

By Dan Gainor | May 27, 2011 | 5:33 AM EDT

Third of Four Parts

Books, newspapers, radio stations, TV stations, websites and cutting edge videos. The pieces of the George Soros media empire are as diverse as the nations of the world and just as widespread. From nakedly partisan left-wing media like Think Progress, the blog for the Center for American Progress, and a TV show on MSNBC, to the supposedly impartial National Public Radio, Soros has impact on the flow of information worldwide.

It gives him incredible influence. Every month, reporters, writers and bloggers at the many outlets he funds easily reach more than 330 million people around the globe. The U.S. Census estimates the population of the entire United States to be just less than 310 million.

That's roughly the entire population of the United States with the population of Australia thrown in for good measure - every single month.

This information is part of an upcoming report by the Media Research Center's Business & Media Institute which has been looking into George Soros and his influence on the media.

Just counting 13 prominent operations of the 180 media organizations he has funded equals 332 million people each month. Included in that total are big players like NPR, which received $1.8 million from Soros, as well as the little known Project Syndicate and Public News Service, both of which also claim to reach millions of readers.

By Tim Graham | May 26, 2011 | 11:38 PM EDT

After radical Princeton professor Cornel West savagely attacked President Obama as a Wall Street mascot and puppet, it would hardly be surprising that PBS talk-show host Tavis Smiley would provide him a forum on Wednesday night to repeat his analysis – after all, Smiley and West host a public-radio show together. But it’s still amazing that he doesn’t see his insults as very insulting:

SMILEY: Did he have to be called a Black mascot and a Black puppet? There are those who suggested that you were petty, for a man who talks as much about love as you do, that you were petty for using terminology like "mascot" and "puppet."

WEST: Well, one, I am the kind of Christian, I love mascots. I love puppets, too.

By Noel Sheppard | May 26, 2011 | 11:33 PM EDT

One of the startlingly inconvenient truths about America is the double standard by which conservative women can be treated by the media compared to their liberal sisters.

Having been seriously besmirched by far-left MSNBC commentator Ed Schultz earlier in the week, talk radio's Laura Ingraham discussed sexist and racist hypocrisies with Fox News's Bill O'Reilly Thursday (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Tom Blumer | May 26, 2011 | 10:51 PM EDT

In the course of a story ("Senate votes down controversial House budget") from all appearances designed to make House Republicans look like quixotic time-wasters while minimizing presidential embarrassment, the Associated Press's Andrew Taylor fabricated the following:

GOP senators immediately forced a vote on President Barack Obama's February budget proposal, which opened to chilly reviews in February for failing to aggressively tackle issues like the long-term future of benefit programs like Medicare and Social Security. Democrats joined Republicans in opposing the plan, which failed to receive a single vote.

No Andrew, you're wrong, wrong, at least nineteen times wrong. From Townhall's Guy Benson, with links -- The following Senate Democrats sang the praises of the President's laughingstock of a "budget" in mid-February (resorted in alphabetical order after Reid and Schumer; bolds and underlines are as they originally appeared):

By Tom Blumer | May 26, 2011 | 9:15 PM EDT

It would appear, according to the Associated Press's Christopher Rugaber, that something unusual had to explain why initial unemployment claims as reported by Uncle Sam's Department of Labor rose to a seasonally adjusted 424,000 during the week ended May 21 when they were expected to decline. In previous weeks, poor performances have been explained by DOL spokespersons as due to the unusually late Easter, the weather, Japanese supply interruptions, and Jupiter not being aligned with Mars (okay, I'm kidding about the last one).

Apparently, one thing is for certain in AP-Land: The troubling 400,000-plus plateau in weekly initial claims can't possibly have anything to do with Obama administration's economic policies (or lack thereof).

Today, as Bloomberg noted, the Department of Labor offered up no excuses: "There were no special factors behind last week’s increase, a Labor Department official said as the figures were released."

Rugaber wasn't satisfied with that answer, and decided he would roll out one of his own without any evidence. The AP reporter has also developed a strange obsession with reminding everyone on a weekly basis when initial claims peaked (bolds are mine):

By Matthew Balan | May 26, 2011 | 7:07 PM EDT

Sally Quinn pronounced Oprah Winfrey  "America's high priestess" and a "true religious leader" in a Thursday item on The Washington Post's "On Faith" website. Quinn, who waxed ecstatic over Oprah Winfrey's final episode, even went so far to compare Winfrey's last hurrah to a papal Mass: "The pope couldn't have done better."

The writer launched right into painting Oprah as a spiritual guru in her blog post, entitled "Oprah: America's high priestess":

By Scott Whitlock | May 26, 2011 | 6:43 PM EDT

Hardball host Chris Matthews on Thursday continued to lash out and deride the Republican Party as "anti-science" and "troglodytes." Playing off a comment by GOP Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, Matthews attacked the "dunderhead" party.

At a congressional hearing, Wednesday, Rohrabacher said of global warming, "Is there some thought being given to subsidizing the clearing of rainforests in order for some countries to eliminate that production of greenhouse gases." This led Matthews to sneer, "More evidence that the Republican Party in the anti-science mode. Boy, are they back into their troglodyte ways."

[See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Kyle Drennen | May 26, 2011 | 5:52 PM EDT

On Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer invited on Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to tout federally mandated stickers that detail the fuel efficiency of new cars: "Another way to save money is to buy a fuel efficient car and today the federal government is unveiling new fuel economy labels that you soon will be seeing on all new cars."

Lauer asked LaHood, "$3.81, the average for a gallon of gas right now across the country. How much pressure on the administration to get that price down?" LaHood used the opportunity to cheer the new labels: "Gas prices are killing family budgets. The President gets it. This is part of the President's plan – these new labels – part of the President's plan to help people save money at the pump....The President gets it. This is part of our plan here."

By Alex Fitzsimmons | May 26, 2011 | 5:26 PM EDT

The conventional wisdom in the liberal media is that the special election in NY-26 was a referendum on the Ryan budget, which the voters rejected by electing the Democratic candidate.

Despite the flaws in this talking point, which NewsBusters' Lachlan Markay explains here, Time magazine's Joe Klein took this argument to a whole new low.

On the May 25 edition of MSNBC's "Last Word," Klein chortled, "[NY-26] was a victory for socialism!"

Klein has since tried to walk back this declaration, but it wasn't the only bizarre claim he made on Lawrence O'Donnell's prime-time program.