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By Tim Graham | June 23, 2011 | 1:17 PM EDT

This shocker just in: Bill Maher's one of those left-wing die-hards for Obama's re-election. In an interview with Thomas Rozwadowski of the Green Bay Press-Gazette promoting his forthcoming comedy appearance in nearby Appleton, Maher proclaimed this is the GOP's fault for driving out all the sensible people:

Nothing could sway you from voting for Obama in 2012, correct?

I cannot imagine. Certainly there is no Republican on the horizon who would tempt me away from Obama no matter how unsatisfactory he performed.

By Clay Waters | June 23, 2011 | 12:56 PM EDT

New York Times reporter Jennifer Steinhauer showed her labeling slant in Wednesday’s “news analysis” on how the war in Libya is tearing apart the Republican Party, “U.S. Mission Exposes Divisions in Congress and Within G.O.P.,” finding “conservatives” and “right-of-center” pols, but failing to identify the ultra-liberal Rep. Dennis Kucinich as a liberal. The strongest word Steinhauer could find for Kucinich was “anti-war.”

In the past Steinhauer has singled out Republican politicians as ideologically extreme, citing Rep. Allen West for his “hard-right stands” and overdosing on the “conservative” label. She wrote on Wednesday:

By Scott Whitlock | June 23, 2011 | 12:52 PM EDT

Former CNN anchor Christiane Amanpour appeared on Wednesday's Piers Morgan show and was praised as being like "the queen of England" and "Beyonce." The Piers Morgan Tonight host also allowed Amanpour to get away with declaring herself non-"ideological" and not "opinionated."

Amanpour, who once compared Christians who don't watch R-rated movies to "totalitarian regimes," bragged about her role as a journalist, "... You're not trying to say this is right or that is right. You're not trying to be political. You're not trying to be ideological."

By Ezra Dulis | June 23, 2011 | 12:06 PM EDT

Last night, Jon Stewart addressed the fact check of his claim that Fox News viewers are consistently the most misinformed about politics compared to the audiences of other news networks and shows– in “every poll,” he said. Though much of the conservative blogosphere went to town on that bunk claim right away, the backlash against Stewart found a rallying point in an article by the normally left-leaning Politifact:

By Tim Graham | June 23, 2011 | 11:59 AM EDT

As much as liberals might complain the Anthony Weiner scandal was some sort of feeding frenzy, the networks did not attack it, especially the evening news. They seemed to agree with just-departed CBS anchor Katie Couric, who asked on Twitter: “I’m curious if anybody thinks this Anthony Weiner Twitter scandal is a legit news story or just fodder for late-night comedians.”

That’s not the way the networks acted in the fall of 2006, when the MRC demonstrated a real feeding frenzy in the case of Republican Rep. Mark Foley, who quickly resigned after ABC’s Brian Ross reported he’d sent lewd AOL instant messages to former congressional pages. In the first 12 days of that story, the networks “flooded the zone” with 152 stories (55 evening stories and 97 morning stories or segments).

By contrast, Democrat Weiner’s weeks of trying to avoid resignation didn’t draw a similar flood. In the first 12 days of the Weiner scandal (from May 29 through June 9), the networks filed only 56 stories (just 11 in the evening, 45 in the morning).

By Alex Fitzsimmons | June 23, 2011 | 11:59 AM EDT

Just days after demagoguing the war on terror as a "war of fear," NBC's Richard Engel told Jay Leno "it's probably time to end the global war on terrorism."

The NBC News chief foreign correspondent, discussing Mideast policy on the June 22 "Tonight Show," also pushed for withdrawal from Afghanistan and an end to "this chapter in our history."

Video follows break

By Ken Shepherd | June 23, 2011 | 11:40 AM EDT

Imagine that one of the FBI's most wanted mobsters had a brother who for decades had been a Republican power broker in a deep red state like say Texas. On top of that, that Republican party boss may have helped his brother flee justice. Imagine that that mob boss was arrested last night after 16 years on the lam.

MSNBC would most certainly report not just the capture but the political connections of the mobster's brother, right?

Only the party boss was former Massachusetts Senate President Billy Bulger (D) and the mobster was South Boston's James "Whitey" Bulger.


By Noel Sheppard | June 23, 2011 | 10:55 AM EDT

If you know anything about Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi it's that he totally despises conservatives.

In the soon-to-be-released issue of the magazine that actually employs him, Taibbi relentlessly attacked Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann as a "bats--t crazy" "political psychopath" with a "gigantic set of burnished titanium Terminator-testicles swinging under her skirt" (illustration by Victor Juhasz):

By Erin R. Brown | June 23, 2011 | 10:14 AM EDT

It’s no secret that Hollywood and its ‘values’ are contributing mightily to the moral decay of American culture, and 2011 romantic comedies have been some of the raunchiest to date. But the stars of the summer 2011 sleazy hookup film “Friends with Benefits” have involved Facebook in promoting their flick.

Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis star in “Friends with Benefits,” a movie that glorifies a casual and strictly sexual relationship among friends with no emotional strings attached. Kunis and Timberlake have taken to dramatically mocking Public Service Announcements by participating in a 60 second video asking viewers to “support a friends with benefits status option,” to appear alongside the traditional statuses of single, engaged, married, etc.


By NB Staff | June 23, 2011 | 9:43 AM EDT

President Obama announced last night that he will withdraw his entire 30,000 troop surge from 2009, bringing home 10,000 troops from Afghanistan this year, and an additional 20,000 troops by the end of next summer.

The plan is a much more aggressive withdrawal than recommended by the Gen. David Petraeus and other Pentagon officials, who recommended one more fighting season against the Taliban to maintain the recent gains American troops have made.

Check out a video of his speech after the break, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.

By Tim Graham | June 23, 2011 | 7:59 AM EDT

Former Washington Post reporter Jose Antonio Vargas has written a long piece for The New York Times Magazine declaring that he’s an illegal alien and that he’s created a new advocacy group called Define American (“a project of the Tides Center”) to push for the DREAM Act that would provide permanent residency to illegal aliens brought to America as children.

Vargas, 30, lied to a string of media outlets about his immigration status with a fake driver’s license from Oregon. He came over from the Philippines at age 12. (Vargas told the truth to Post editor Peter Perl, a mentor, but he wouldn’t comment now.) In the Post story on this by Paul Farhi, Post spokeswoman Kris Coratti offered a no-comment on  Vargas’s employment at the paper: “We will not comment on individual personnel matters out of respect for the privacy of our employees.”

By Tom Blumer | June 23, 2011 | 1:36 AM EDT

When the Associated Press's Paul Wiseman and Martin Crutsinger team up for a report on the economy, there's no limit to the comic potential.

Today, in covering what the folks at Zero Hedge described as "Ben Bernanke's 'I Have No Idea Why The Economy Will Get Better But It Will' Speech" (transcript is at link), the AP pair may have set a new world record for most unused words one would expect to be employed in a report on the condition of the economy.

Readers will not find the following words, all of which bear at least somewhat on why the economy is currently failing to live up to expectations and to meaningfully rebound nearly two years after the official end of the recession, in the wire service's report:

By Noel Sheppard | June 22, 2011 | 7:34 PM EDT

Chris Matthews on Wednesday made it clear that like Al Gore, he believes the media should only be telling one side of the story when it comes to manmade global warming.

Such came out in the middle of a discussion about Gore's new article in Rolling Stone magazine when the "Hardball" host told his guests, "I hate that so-called evenhanded so-called objective journalism" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Matt Hadro | June 22, 2011 | 7:13 PM EDT

On Tuesday's In the Arena, fill-in host Christine Romans questioned Marjorie Dannenfelser of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List on the relevance of the abortion issue in the upcoming presidential election. She argued that the central issues, according to polls, are the economy and jobs and that focusing on politicians' stances on abortion might not be a viable strategy.

Ironically, Anderson Cooper opened up CNN's 10 p.m. hour with a "Keeping Them Honest" segment scrutinizing a certain politician's flip-flops on same-sex marriage – President Obama.

By Rusty Weiss | June 22, 2011 | 6:38 PM EDT

The Department of Energy (DOE) continues to tout the importance of safety at nuclear facilities, while simultaneously ignoring legitimate safety concerns in the name of saving time and money.

Last week, the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board delivered a scathing report on the ‘safety culture’, or lack thereof, being perpetuated by the DOE. Within that report, which focused on how the department handled safety complaints at a nuclear waste cleanup site in Richland, Washington, were statements from several witnesses who believed that raising safety issues could be detrimental to their career. One specific situation seemed to bear this out, in which a former Engineering Manager, Walter Tamosaitis, had raised several technical safety issues in July, and was abruptly removed from the project the next day.

These findings led the House Appropriations Committee to amend a proposed 2012 DOE budget document report, stating that:

"The most recent (defense board) report describes an environment where the professional exchange of views which a safety culture relies upon is discouraged and at times punished. These revelations are both alarming and disturbing and should be interpreted by the secretary of energy as a call to action."