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By Kyle Drennen | May 5, 2011 | 2:06 PM EDT

Anchoring NBC News special report coverage of President Obama visiting Ground Zero on Thursday, Meet the Press host David Gregory used the opportunity to take a shot at critics of the administration: "...this [killing bin Laden] was the ultimate leadership moment for a commander in chief who in some ways had not been tested on this order. Who had been the target of criticism from Republicans..."

Gregory noted how some of the President's critics "have said that he has not shown the kind of leadership necessary to demonstrate he was capable of protecting America," adding, "despite the continuity of this administration with the previous administration's fight against terrorism, whether it's detainee policy or the surge of forces in Afghanistan." Of course, President Obama certainly did not campaign on continuity with the Bush administration's national security policy, but begrudgingly adopted it out of necessity.
 

By Clay Waters | May 5, 2011 | 1:24 PM EDT

In Wednesday’s “Good Feeling Gone, In Congress, Anyway,“ New York Times reporters Jennifer Steinhauer and Carl Hulse suggested it was unseemly for Republicans to not accede to President Obama on domestic issues, after the killing of Osama bin Laden by Navy SEALS in Pakistan.

The article superficially appears to be an even-handed “pox on both houses“ story, but the text provided a tableaux of Democrats fuming over Republican actions or lack of same, as if Republicans had reacted to the unifying national moment of Obama’s capture with stubborn partisan obstruction. Two photo captions demonstrated Democrats seeing a "spirit of unity" dashed by the GOP:

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, complained about the “excessive regulation” of business.

Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, said he hoped a “spirit of unity” would prevail, but there was little sign of it Tuesday.

By Ken Shepherd | May 5, 2011 | 12:27 PM EDT

This morning on WMAL's "Morning Majority" program, former Clinton White House counsel Lanny Davis slammed liberals who were taking partisan pot-shots at former President George W. Bush in the wake of Osama bin Laden's killing on Sunday.

While Davis didn't name names, he made veiled references to MSNBC and its "Last Word" host Lawrence O'Donnell. O'Donnell, you may recall, bashed former President Bush on his Monday evening "Last Word" program, insisting that President Bush had dismissed bin Laden's capture or killing as unimportant to the war on terror as early as 2002.

But Bush's rhetoric downplaying bin Laden was strategic, not to be taken completely at face value Davis argued.

Here's the relevant transcript (emphases mine, audio embedded below page break):

By Scott Whitlock | May 5, 2011 | 12:24 PM EDT

MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Wednesday mocked Rush Limbaugh's response to the killing of Osama bin Laden, deriding the conservative as a "walrus underwater." Matthews also made an odd grunting noise to back up this description.

After playing a clip of Limbaugh asserting that the media have played up Barack Obama's role in the action, the Hardball anchor berated, "You know, I don't even know what that is except just bitterness. I mean- [makes noise] Walrus underwater talking and what is he actually saying?"

Matthews introduced the segment by hitting Limbaugh as a "caricature" and a "cartoon."

By Geoffrey Dickens | May 5, 2011 | 11:13 AM EDT

Incoming CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley was asked by the Politico's Keach Hagey for his reaction to the MRC's Profile in Bias on him and the longtime 60 Minutes correspondent, who once compared global warming skeptics to Holocaust deniers, seemed to deny the charge of liberal bias as he huffed: "CBS has been called liberal for a lot of years," adding, "It probably harkens all the way back to Edward Murrow."

The following is the relevant excerpt from the May 4, Politico.com story:

By Rebekah Rast | May 5, 2011 | 10:31 AM EDT

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has started a revolt — a pro-democracy revolt in favor of taxpayers and workers.

By NB Staff | May 5, 2011 | 10:01 AM EDT

Slate's media reporter Jack Shafer has a great column up calling on the White House to release the apparently-gruesome photos of Osama bin Laden after he was shot and killed by Navy SEALs on Sunday. Suppressing the photos, Shafer claims, "infantilizes the nation and gives the White House unwarranted news control." Check out a longer excerpt below the break.

By Tim Graham | May 5, 2011 | 7:53 AM EDT

NPR anchor Steve Inskeep denied NPR’s liberal bias in The Wall Street Journal in March: "Most listeners understand that we're all figuring out the world together, calmly and honestly, in an atmosphere of mutual respect. NPR's audience keeps expanding because Americans want more than toxic political attacks. They want news." But that’s not really the case. On Tuesday, the Journal’s James Taranto cited an April 28 All Things Considered interview with former Washington Post reporter David Remnick, now editor of The New Yorker, where mutual respect wasn’t on the menu:

Donald Trump, who wanted to make a name for himself yet again, and to - he's the kind of exhibitionist, a moral or immoral exhibitionist. And he was willing to play this really ugly game and he got exactly what he wanted -- higher TV ratings, attention, lots of microphones in front of him. And he's a clown.

Remnick sounded like a garden-variety left-wing radio talker like Randi Rhodes or Ed Schultz. He was furious that anyone would attempt to "delegitimize" his hero Obama. Taranto mined this interview for his theory that "The Left Needs Racism":

By NB Staff | May 4, 2011 | 5:51 PM EDT

In case you missed it, Rush Limbaugh made reference to Tom Blumer's May 2 article, "AP: Secret Prisons and Harsh Interrogation Techniques Worked; Will TV Nets Report?"

You can access the audio for that here or here:

By Kyle Drennen | May 4, 2011 | 5:32 PM EDT

On NBC's Today on Wednesday, co-host Matt Lauer worried about Americans celebrating the death of Osama bin Laden: "...your children are going to see, and have already seen, people in the streets celebrating about the death of someone and that's a contradictory image for them." Today contributor and psychiatrist Gail Saltz replied: "Absolutely, very disturbing for them."

The segment was on how to talk to children about the killing of bin Laden and Saltz speculated that kids may ask: "Why are people partying, being happy that anybody was killed?" She suggested those who celebrated may now regret their actions: "I think it's really important to talk about this, because what you saw was a lot of people who, in the impulse of the moment, reacted in a way that later on they may not be happy about."

By Matt Hadro | May 4, 2011 | 5:29 PM EDT
 

On Wednesday's The View, ABC's Barbara Walters slobbered over the "courage, and the guts, and the coolness" of President Obama in ordering the assassination of terrorist Osama bin Laden. "It was enormously, enormously courageous," she said of the president's decision to commence the mission to kill or capture the al Qaeda leader.

"President Bush tried, President Clinton tried, but Barack Obama was the one who had the courage and the guts and the coolness," Walters said of the mission before being drowned out in applause from the audience.

By Scott Whitlock | May 4, 2011 | 4:16 PM EDT

According to the man ABC News relies on for religious analysis, it's impossible to say whether Osama bin Laden was "evil." Father Edward Beck, the network's religion correspondent, appeared with Bill O'Reilly on Tuesday and offered moral equivalence on the subject of the terrorist's death.    

When the O'Reilly Factor anchor pressed Beck on whether bin Laden truly represented malevolence, Beck replied, "That's not for me to judge. His actions were certainly were evil."    

O'Reilly pressed Beck on this point, prompting the ABC News analyst to assert, "No, I think that's up to God to ultimately decide who's evil."

 

By Clay Waters | May 4, 2011 | 2:37 PM EDT

The New York Times quickly moved to quash suggestions that “enhanced interrogation” like waterboarding may have yielded useful intelligence in the killing of Osama bin Laden. Moving to protect the paper’s ideological investment that such methods are both brutal and ineffective was Wednesday’s front-page defense by Scott Shane and Charlie Savage, “Harsh Methods Of Questioning Debated Again.”

The reporters seems awfully assured, based on vague and contradictory information, in their attempt to discredit the idea that "brutal interrogations" (a phrase at the top of the article's first sentence) and "torture" like waterboarding may have yielded useful intelligence. They also ignored C.I.A. director Leon Panetta's admission to anchor Brian Williams on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News after the anchor asked him if waterboarding helped obtain information that led to bin Laden: "I think some of the detainees clearly were, you know-they used these enhanced interrogation techniques against some of these detainees."

Did brutal interrogations produce the crucial intelligence that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden?

By Tim Graham | May 4, 2011 | 2:26 PM EDT

Washington Post art critic Philip Kennicott couldn't bring himself in a Tuesday essay to dwell on the evil of Osama bin Laden. He committed a "single morning of destruction," but he was really so much more fascinating than that. He killed a few thousand people, to be sure. But on the bright side, his actions led to the Kennedy Center's "Arabesque" festival and he was "very good for book clubs" as he "shifted the horizons of our curiosity" into the appreciation of literary stars in Afghanistan, Turkey and Iran.

Kennicott's ending: "To assert order and reclaim the power of the state, Obama had to embody it in a way that recalled the regal precedents on which the American presidency is based. A primitive story line required a primitive ending, one great man taking down another."

By Kyle Drennen | May 4, 2011 | 1:43 PM EDT

A headline in The Washington Post's Wednesday Style section declared: "American Indians object to ‘Geronimo’ as code for bin Laden raid." Writer Neely Tucker goes on to lament: "In a triumphant moment for the United States, the moniker has left a sour taste among many Native Americans."

Tucker explained: "It was his [Geronimo's] name that the U.S. military chose as the code for the raid, and perhaps for Osama bin Laden himself, during the operation that killed the al-Qaeda leader in Pakistan." He later remarked: "It isn’t clear yet which branch of the military came up with the nickname — the Army, Navy, CIA or any of the anti-terror special forces groups involved in planning the raid — but it apparently wasn’t bin Laden’s nickname for very long."