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By Tim Graham | March 9, 2012 | 3:27 PM EST

In a cover story for The Hollywood Reporter, Bill Maher claimed he’s not giving out any more million-dollar checks like the one he gave Obama’s super PAC.  "I don't want to do anything that would hurt his re-election chances…and it could because I'm the most 'out there' host. You can go on any other show, and they wouldn't hold it against you because those people don't say the things that I say.” But he also boasts "I am so much more edgy" than the other late-night comedians.

If he didn’t want to hurt Obama, why send the check? He announced it a week after the liberal media made Santorum super-PAC donor Foster Friess a controversial figure for an aspirin joke. The obvious answer is at least half-selfish: It makes him a bigger fish in the media/political mix, giving him a publicity boost (including a cover story in The Hollywood Reporter). 

By Matt Hadro | March 9, 2012 | 3:20 PM EST

The Obama 2012 campaign didn't even have to pay CNN for helping get its re-election message out on Thursday's The Situation Room. CNN aired two uninterrupted minutes of a trailer for a 17-minute Obama campaign film to be released in the future.

And after the two-minute clip played, CNN saved the Republican criticism for last. Host Wolf Blitzer's first question after the video had to do with the trailer's opening line delivered by actor Tom Hanks.

By Kyle Drennen | March 9, 2012 | 3:00 PM EST

In an interview with Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson aired on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer pushed the oil company executive to reject a plan by Newt Gingrich to lower the price of gas: "Newt Gingrich is promising Americans that he can deliver gasoline at $2.50 a gallon. Is he being truthful with the American public, in your opinion?"

Tillerson responded: "Well, I haven't seen his specific plan for doing that. I guess the thing that might concern me would be, would you be taking some short-term action simply to achieve a short-term result that could, in fact, be very detrimental to the longer term security of energy, moderate pricing of energy for the country?"

By Clay Waters | March 9, 2012 | 2:47 PM EST

Friday's lead New York Times story by Robert Pear, "White House Set To Shape Debate Over Health Law," passed right over the fascinating fact that the White House is helping "coordinate plans for a prayer vigil, press conferences and other events outside the court." Whatever happened to the dangers of mixing religion and politics, which was all the Times could fret about when it came to the Catholic Church's opposition to paying for birth control for employees?

By Clay Waters | March 9, 2012 | 2:10 PM EST

Linda Greenhouse the New York Times's former Supreme Court reporter (and left-wing ranter at commencement speeches), now writes a twice-a-month column for Wednesday she hailed birth-control activist and new liberal martyr Sandra Fluke as a civil rights pioneer on the level of (naturally) Anita Hill, while tarring Rush Limbaugh as a thug, in "Accidental Heroines."

By Ken Shepherd | March 9, 2012 | 1:13 PM EST

Imagine if you will that President Bush were in the Oval Office now, facing reelection with unemployment above 8 percent and gas prices as high as they are right now. Now also imagine that the Bush Energy Department granted a $10 million award to the maker of a $50 LED light bulb, because, as Bush's energy secretary gushed, it's "affordable for American families."

The media would, predictably and quite reasonably, be apoplectic. But alas, this is happening under President Obama's watch, as the Washington Post's Peter Whoriskey reported today.  Oh, and did I mention that the winning bulb competes against  much cheaper LED light bulbs than the one that won the government's affordability award?:

By Kyle Drennen | March 9, 2012 | 12:54 PM EST

Filling in for co-host Matt Lauer on Friday's NBC Today, CNBC's Carl Quintanilla seemed to suggest the media was helping the Obama administration shape public perception of the economy: "...we're in a situation where we're sort of managing expectations, especially for the White House."

Quintanilla followed that admission by asking CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer about the upcoming jobs report: "Data's been pretty good. If it's not so good today, does that mean we're suddenly once again going in the wrong direction?" Cramer replied: "I don't want to think that. I think that there are many good forces at work."

By Jeffrey Meyer | March 9, 2012 | 12:43 PM EST

Once again, MSNBC has continued to prop up Rev. Al Sharpton’s racist conspiracies that state legislatures led by the GOP are deliberately suppressing minority voters through new voter ID laws.

On Friday’s episode of Jansing & Co., radio host and MSNBC substitute host Michael Smerconish led a left-wing attack on the GOP.  The panelists including Pennsylvania AFL-CIO chief Richard Bloomingdale asserted that a person's signature is sufficient identification to vote in the United States. Indeed, both Smerconish and Bloomingdale insisted they have voted that way for years in Pennsylvania with no problems.  [See video below.  MP3 audio here.] 

By Mark Finkelstein | March 9, 2012 | 11:23 AM EST

Did MSNBC ever vet Al Sharpton? Seriously. Much of the talk about HBO's Game Change docu-drama is focusing on the vetting of Sarah Palin or lack thereof by the McCain campaign. Is there any minimum standard of knowledge required to have one's own show on the Lean Forward network?

Take Sharpton's mind-boggling misstatement on Morning Joe today.  The Reverend Al asserted that in Alabama, "it's against the law to organize unions."  Did any of the MJ crew, including Joe Scarborough, Gene Robinson and Steve Rattner, call Al out on his misrepresentation?  Of course not.  View the video after the jump.

By NB Staff | March 9, 2012 | 11:20 AM EST

"There's only one person who's trying to insert the reproductive rights debate into this campaign," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell noted in the "Media Mash" segment  of the March 8 edition of Fox News Channel's Hannity.

It's Barack Obama who made this a live issue when he moved to push religious institutions to provide contraception, even if it violates their religious conscience to do so, Bozell noted.  Sure, the media know that Obama is the one waging a "war" on this issue, but they're aggressively pushing the liberal Democratic spin on the issue as a cudgel to attack Republicans, particularly social conservative ones. [watch the full segment in the video embedded  below the page break]

By Jack Coleman | March 9, 2012 | 10:56 AM EST

What a shock -- labor unions paying one of their biggest cheerleaders in the media.

Perhaps Ed Schultz could explain what he does for unions to warrant such largesse. I don't recall hearing anything along these lines on his radio program or MSNBC show. (graphic after page break)

By Noel Sheppard | March 9, 2012 | 10:15 AM EST

Sarah Palin on Thursday took Barack Obama to task for not telling his Super PAC to return Bill Maher's million dollar donation.

Speaking to Fox News's Sean Hannity, the former Alaska Governor said, "It does not bode well for our President's character to not speak out against that dirty money" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Mark Finkelstein | March 9, 2012 | 8:08 AM EST

Mark Halperin says Mitt Romney's campaign has the worst relationship with the media of any major candidate he's covered.  But, according to the man from Time, it has nothing to do with the fact that Romney is the front-runner to take on the MSM's Chosen One.  No, Halperin assures us, "it's not a partisan thing."  The fault lies entirely with the Romney campaign itself, which reportedly has kept the press at arm's length.

Halperin's comments came in the context of a Morning Joe segment today in which Mike Allen discussed a Politico item on a media "charm offensive" that the Romney campaign is conducting.  View the video after the jump.

By Tim Graham | March 9, 2012 | 7:57 AM EST

The Washington Post has a funny headline from England on its front page Friday. "Public prayer stirs culture war in Britain." Notice that secular liberals like the Posties always blame the "culture war" on the religious, not on the secularizers. The more accurate headline is "Public prayer ban stirs culture war in Britain." In Bideford, reporter Anthony Faiola writes, a town council stocked with "a practicing pagan, a staunch atheist, and an agnostic former stripper" wants to scrap the council's opening prayer.

Faiola's story properly notes the move to "ban public prayers in tiny Bideford" erupted into a national controversy. But a few paragraphs later, Faiola breaks out the labels for whatever boomlet of conservative Christians might lobby prime minister David Cameron on this subject. Unlike America, there is only a "small fringe" on the "far right" that supports Christianity and opposes abortion:  

By Clay Waters | March 9, 2012 | 7:30 AM EST

Departing New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Ethan Bronner filed Thursday's off-lead front-page story from the West Bank town of Ramallah, passing on yet another sympathy note for the Palestinians, whose left-wing cause for statehood and against Israeli "occupation" is no longer being trumpeted as loudly in the wake of the tumult in the region: "Mideast Din Drowns Out Palestinians."

The above-the-fold photo featured two Israeli soldiers firing orange flame at "Palestinian stone throwers" in the West Bank....from a clash last month. A photo of a Palestinian "protester" throwing stones was relegated to the jump page.