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By Scott Whitlock | December 21, 2011 | 3:52 PM EST

Nightline co-anchor Terry Moran on Tuesday huffed that Rick Perry's "controversial" ad, combined with a presidential campaign that could be seen as "denigrat[ing]" "non-Christians" and "gay veterans," might spell doom for the Republican candidate. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

The program's other anchor, Cynthia McFadden, teased the segment by proclaiming, "Plus, God and country. Who would Jesus vote for? Rick Perry's on the campaign trail casting himself as the populist Christian candidate."

By Tim Graham | December 21, 2011 | 2:53 PM EST

Vice President Joe Biden can make the most outrageous gaffes and the major media will try to ignore it. Take his interview with Newsweek. "Look, the Taliban per se is not our enemy. That's critical," Biden said. "There is not a single statement that the president has ever made in any of our policy assertions that the Taliban is our enemy, because it threatens U.S. interests."

ABC's Jake Tapper blogged the remarks, and asked Jay Carney about them at the White House. But who covered it? ABC, CBS, and NBC have totally skipped it on air. The Washington Post and The New York Times show no coverage in Nexis -- which often includes their blog postings. USA Today and NPR had nothing. Even the Associated Press has been absent. Sen. John McCain lit into Biden on CNN's The Situation Room on Tuesday:

By Paul Wilson | December 21, 2011 | 1:17 PM EST

The media and liberals tend to portray Americans as selfish Scrooges, only interested in their own gain - why else would taxes be unpopular? But America has shown its generosity time and again, and this Christmas season, new proof of it has emerged. A report from the Charities Aid Foundation America, the World Giving Index 2011, finds that the United States is the most generous country in the world.

The World Giving Index 2011 measures generosity on three levels: giving money as a percentage of income, giving time, and helping strangers. Only the United States ranked in the top 10 nations of the world in each category. Charities Aid Foundation director Richard Harrison praised American charitable giving: "This research confirms that when we look at giving in a rounded way, including the extent to which we volunteer and help strangers, America is the most generous country in the world. America is the only country that ranks in the top ten globally on each of these three perspectives, and this first place ranking should be seen as source of real pride for people across America."

By Matthew Balan | December 21, 2011 | 12:44 PM EST

CBS's Erica Hill invoked an infamous Christmas season villain on Wednesday's Early Show, stating that "[House] Republicans...risk looking like the Grinch here four days before Christmas" for their refusal to sign onto the Senate's proposed two-month extension of the payroll tax holiday. Hill made that claim during an interview of Rep. Michele Bachmann, and pressed her about the payroll tax issue.

The anchor brought on Rep. Bachmann to discuss her presidential campaign's swing through Iowa during the lead-up to that state's caucuses at the beginning of January. However, Hill devoted the first half of the segment to the dispute over extending the tax holiday, and led with a question that included her "Grinch" label:

By Clay Waters | December 21, 2011 | 12:34 PM EST

Right from the start of her off-lead story Wednesday, New York Times reporter Jennifer Steinhauer dramatically portrayed GOP conservatives (standing firm against a legislative compromise that would temporarily extend the payroll tax cut instead of a long-term solution) as isolated from mainstream politics. “G.O.P. In House Rejects Stopgap On Payroll Tax.”

By Kyle Drennen | December 21, 2011 | 10:53 AM EST

On Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry led off an interview with Congresswoman Michele Bachmann by wondering if House Speaker John Boehner was a liar or just incompetent: "Did House Speaker John Boehner mislead the Senate into thinking this payroll tax extension was a done deal? Or has he lost all control of Republican Tea Party members of the House?" [Audio available here]

Bachmann pointed to the Democrats: "...there is a real lack of leadership in Washington, D.C. The President, unfortunately, has been awol in this process since early last summer, and now here we are....Harry Reid essentially threw a grenade over into the House and left, and said take it or leave it. So it was very difficult for John Boehner, because this was just a two-month temporary gimmick..." [View video after the jump]

By Tim Graham | December 21, 2011 | 10:52 AM EST

The Huffington Post attempted to chronicle the top 18 media stories of the year. At number one among liberals, of course, was the phone-hacking scandal in Britain surrounding the now-defunct Rupert Murdoch tabloid News of the World. Coming in third was the rise of al-Jazeera English. But number 4 was this candid theme: "Occupy Wall Street Occupies the Media."

"The people who helped make this the 'Year of the Protester' (for Time, at least) also shook up the media," oozed the Huff-Posters."Press coverage of the Occupy movement drew intense scrutiny, with journalists like CNN's Erin Burnett and the New York Times' Ginia Bellafante being raked over the coals for their dismissive tone at the outset of the protests." They warned against the police for restraining reporters in their enthusiasm to chronicle (and encourage) the OWS crowd.

By NB Staff | December 21, 2011 | 10:32 AM EST

In what could become a major battle between several newspaper unions and the New York Times, according to the New York Post, the Communications Workers of America has already earmarked $350,000 to put towards the conflict that could arise.

The Newspaper Guild and the Mailers Union Local 6 have both been without contracts since March 31. Both of these unions sent letters in October to Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the chairman and publisher of the Times, and Janet Robinson, then-president and CEO. The letters explained that given the Times' current financial situation, there is a very grim picture for the hundreds of employees that these unions represent at the Times, and also claim that the Times is backing down on previous lifetime job guarantees.

What do you think of labor unions coming back to bite the Times? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

By Tim Graham | December 21, 2011 | 8:25 AM EST

Washington Post book critic Ron Charles reviewed three skeptical-to-scandalous books about God and religion on Wednesday, under the inaccurate headline "Three works of divine comedy." Charles included one targeting teenagers called “There Is No Dog,” which he said was for “the younger heretic-in-training.” The book hasn’t even come out yet, but what better time to review it than days before Christmas?

This sex comedy for teens imagines God as a horny guy named Bob who sends the world into meteorological catastrophes every time he gets the hots for another co-ed,” writes Charles. Luckily for author Meg Rosoff, “The novel has already been banned by a few schools in England, which, let’s face it, is a publicity godsend.” So is a review in the heretic-loving Washington Post. Charles has some reviewer nits to pick, but thinks this book is just fine for high-schoolers with a taste for goofy sexual content:

By Clay Waters | December 21, 2011 | 7:42 AM EST

New York Times art critic Holland Cotter’s year-i- review piece Sunday opened with an awkward metaphorical shout-out to the lefty park-squatters of Occupy Wall Street and an excoriation of the “noxious” 1 percent: “Complacency Butts Up Against Game Changers”: " did at least adopt one thing from the Occupy Wall Street movement: a new identifying label for the source of particularly noxious vibes emanating from art fairs, V.I.P. galas and museum boardrooms: namely the 1 percent."

By Tom Blumer | December 20, 2011 | 11:50 PM EST

Lord have mercy, these people are looking anywhere and everywhere to turn an economic improvement molehill into something that sort of looks like a mountain.

Today, the headline to Derek Kravitz's report at the Associated Press ("Rise in home construction suggests a turnaround") reasonably reflected the underlying reality reported by the Census Bureau, but his first six paragraphs most definitely did not:

By Noel Sheppard | December 20, 2011 | 10:41 PM EST

Fox News's Bill O'Reilly on Tuesday told Bill Clinton, "You should suggest to President Obama that he appoint me Secretary of Housing."

The former President in his first appearance on The O'Reilly Factor seemed to like the concept saying, “I will tell him tonight...That’s probably the best idea he’s had” (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):

By Brent Bozell | December 20, 2011 | 10:28 PM EST

In 2008, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics. At that time it wasn’t hard to imagine the Swedes were rewarding Krugman for eight years of blasting George W. Bush. In other words, the Nobel Prize truly matched its namesake: Alfred Nobel invented dynamite. Krugman regularly throws rhetorical dynamite at anything that stands in the way of his radical worldview.

Krugman outdid himself for outrage in 2011. Every year the Media Research Center collects a panel of willing conservative journalists and talk show hosts and puts them on a  sickening roller coaster ride through the worst media bilge of the last twelve months to arrive at the Best Notable Quotables of the Year. Paul Krugman sat in the sulfurous center with three “bests.”

By Noel Sheppard | December 20, 2011 | 8:54 PM EST

Bill Clinton on Tuesday said the press favored Barack Obama over his wife for president in 2008.

Not surprisingly, he told Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly that he didn’t believe the media were biased towards him when he first ran for president in 1992 (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):

By Matthew Balan | December 20, 2011 | 6:25 PM EST

Former New York City police commissioner Bill Bratton brought his pro-gun control agenda into a segment about the FBI's latest crime statistics on Tuesday's Early Show on CBS, blaming the "the insanity of the lack of gun control laws in this country" for an increase in police deaths during 2011.

Anchor Erica Hill introduced Bratton as the "chairman of Kroll, a worldwide investigative company. He's also the former chief of police in Los Angeles, New York City, and Boston." During most of the segment, Hill and co-anchor Chris Wragge asked their guest for his take about the overall decrease in violent crime, according to the FBI statistics.