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By Aubrey Vaughan | July 26, 2011 | 6:42 PM EDT

Over the past few days, media coverage has been dedicated almost entirely to the debt negotiations between President Obama and more outspoken members of Congress. As the Los Angeles Times pointed out, this let slide an interesting statement by the self-described democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, who said, "I think it would be good if President Obama faced some primary opposition."

For one of the most outspoken defenders of universal healthcare, same-sex marriage, and environmentalism to be challenging Obama signals major problems with what should be Obama's most ardent base of supporters, which is also confirmed by new polls from CBS, NBC, and ABC. The networks, however, are failing to report their own polls because they reflect poorly on the president.

By Kyle Drennen | July 26, 2011 | 5:50 PM EDT

On Monday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams proclaimed that Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik "seemed to be heavily influenced by some people in this country who write and blog about the perceived threat from Islam."  

In the report that followed, correspondent Michael Isikoff noted how writings of Robert Spencer, the associate director of Stop the Islamization of America, were cited several times in Breivik's 1,500-page manifesto and declared that "some analysts say words can be weapons themselves." A sound bite was featured of Heidi Beirich of the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center: "When you push the demonization of populations, you often end up with violence."

By Matthew Balan | July 26, 2011 | 5:34 PM EDT

CBS's Michelle Miller leaned towards supporters of taxing junk food on Tuesday's Early Show, playing three sound bites from them and none from opponents. Miller only made one vague reference to the opposing side, and she immediately followed it by playing up the supposedly positive result of a tax: "While some say a new tax is the last thing we need, it could mean a healthier America."

The correspondent led her report by hyping how "we're paying quite a hefty toll" for creating "cheap fast food," and launched into her first sound bite, which came from Michael Jacobson, the executive director of the perennial "food police" organization, the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

By Ken Shepherd | July 26, 2011 | 4:54 PM EDT

During a roundtable discussion on the debt ceiling deadlock on his July 26 program, MSNBC host Dylan Ratigan, egged on by a former Durbin and Biden staffer-turned-lobbyist, argued that the bulk of the national debt was run up prior to the time President Barack Obama entered office, by Republicans:

By Kyle Drennen | July 26, 2011 | 4:54 PM EDT

On Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry touted President Obama trying to scare the American people into supporting his debt ceiling plan: "He called for public activism, so much so that we hear that Capitol Hill web sites were crashing last night because so many people were trying to e-mail their representatives. It looks like he spooked main street...will he also spook Wall Street?"

Curry directed that question to CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer, who promptly rejected such doom and gloom: "No, not at all. Frankly, Wall Street's very calm. The markets are looking pretty good today....No one's buying the panic, no one's buying the skyrocketing interest rates economic crisis scenario."

By Jack Coleman | July 26, 2011 | 4:41 PM EDT

Granted, you may not have noticed any difference.

The Rev. Al Sharpton did his part for Republicans last night by arguing with one of them.

Sharpton, heir apparent to the 6-7 p.m. slot on MSNBC, tried to get the better of Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., and ran into the immovable object of a smarter opponent.

Here's how their exchange ended, with Sharpton criticizing Mulvaney for opposing higher taxes to reach a deal on the debt ceiling (video after page break) --

By Kyle Drennen | July 26, 2011 | 4:04 PM EDT

On Tuesday's NBC Today, correspondent Kristen Welker portrayed President Obama as the great compromiser while reporting on his Monday night address on the debt ceiling: "...the President still pushed for a balanced approach, cut spending and raise tax revenue....With time running out, the President called for compromise."

In contrast, Welker depicted House Speaker John Boehner as stubborn and unwilling to deal: "Boehner seemed to reject all talk of compromise, backing a House GOP plan....Earlier, the President did endorse a plan put forward by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid....But Boehner said that's not the answer."

By Scott Whitlock | July 26, 2011 | 3:31 PM EDT

[UPDATED: See end of blog for new information.] ABC, as of Tuesday morning, has skipped any coverage of embattled Democratic Congressman David Wu, accused of what The Oregonian called "an unwanted sexual encounter with the 18-year-old daughter of a childhood friend."

On Tuesday, Wu announced he would be resigning. Will ABC finally cover this story? CBS and NBC have both noted the story in news briefs, but ignored other Wu scandals.

ABC last mentioned Wu back on February 22, when Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos interviewed the politician for other bizarre, but unrelated, antics. At that time, Wu was dealing with the fallout of wearing a Tiger costume and staff members who wanted him to seek psychiatric treatment.

By Clay Waters | July 26, 2011 | 3:27 PM EDT

Showing the New York Times's reputation for knee-jerk liberalism has a long pedigree, veteran comic Mort Sahl had a joke about a hypothetical Times headline after nuclear Armageddon: "World Ends, Women & Minorities Hardest Hit."

Enter Tuesday’s off-lead headline, under a story by Sabrina Tavernise: “Recession Study Finds Hispanics Are Hit Hardest – Sharp Wealth Decline - Group’s Median Level Fell 66% in 4 Years – Blacks Hit, Too.”

By Alex Fitzsimmons | July 26, 2011 | 3:01 PM EDT

Broadcast and cable networks have failed to cover a liberal interest group's exploitative TV spot claiming any cuts to the EPA would be equivalent to spoon-feeding toxic particles to infants, even though the proposed cuts would only pare back funding to pre-recession levels.

The video, released in March amid debates in Congress to curtail the EPA's regulatory authority, has since re-emerged as a commercial on MSNBC. While depicting an adult feeding a small child helpings of baby food from jars labeled dioxin, mercury, and arsenic, a narrator frets: "If the EPA wasn't cleaning millions of toxic particles out of the air, they'd be going, well, somewhere else...Protect the EPA. Protect our kids."

Despite the impression left by American Family Voices, the group responsible for the advertisement, that cuts to the EPA would kill children, the numbers tell a different story.

By Clay Waters | July 26, 2011 | 2:31 PM EDT

New York Times food writer (and food scold) Mark Bittman made the front of the Sunday Review with his latest modest proposal, the 2,100-word “Bad Food? Tax It.”

(In a March 29 column, Bittman self-righteously announced a fast on behalf of the poor against proposed G.O.P. budget cuts: “These supposedly deficit-reducing cuts -- they’d barely make a dent -- will quite literally cause more people to starve to death, go to bed hungry or live more miserably than are doing so now.”)

Bittman’s latest melodramatic bid as head of the food police involves raising taxes to change poor people’s eating habits to save “tens of millions of lives” and “tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars in health care costs.”

By Ken Shepherd | July 26, 2011 | 12:21 PM EDT

With a post entitled "When Christianity becomes lethal," liberal theologian and Center for American Progress senior fellow Susan Brooks Thislethwaite took to the Washington Post's "On Faith" blog yesterday to indict conservative Christian theology as a catalyst for the terror espoused by Norwegian bomber/shooter Anders Behring Breivik:

By Kyle Drennen | July 26, 2011 | 11:49 AM EDT

During an NBC News special report following President Obama's Monday night speech that blamed the GOP for the debt ceiling stalemate, Meet the Press host David Gregory argued the President was doing John Boehner a favor: "...this is a president trying to help the Speaker of the House make the case to freshman Republicans who won't give at all on the idea of tax increases."

Gregory declared that Obama was "trying to create more pressure on them [Republicans] among the public, who are fed up with this, to say we've got to find some way to compromise here....he's actually trying to create some political room for his adversary in this fight."

By Scott Whitlock | July 26, 2011 | 11:35 AM EDT

ABC on Monday and Tuesday ignored its own poll's finding that 37 percent of Americans now believe that Barack Obama's policies are hurting the economy. No mention was made of the results on Monday's World News or Nightline.

On Tuesday, Good Morning America news anchor Josh Elliott vaguely explained, "And a new ABC News poll finds Americans are increasingly pessimistic about the future. 68 percent who suffered a layoff in their household say jobs remain very hard to find in their area."

However, no one on the program highlighted  respondents' negative feelings towards the President. The 37 percent number is a six point jump since October.

By Ken Shepherd | July 26, 2011 | 11:18 AM EDT

Yesterday I wrote about the Washington Post's 40-paragraph July 25 puff piece on Nebraska abortionist LeRoy Carhart, who last December opened a clinic in Germantown, Md.

Today, the's "On Faith" religious news section features a link to the story, with the following teaser headline and caption [see screen capture posted below page break]: