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By Brad Wilmouth | December 29, 2011 | 9:13 AM EST

As GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum appeared as a guest on Thursday's Today show on NBC, substitute co-host Savannah Guthrie focused the interview on the former Pennsylvania Senator's views on abortion and contraception, and whether he would be acceptable to "middle of the road voters." (Video below)

By Tim Graham | December 29, 2011 | 8:10 AM EST

On Tuesday's Bill Press radio show, former MSNBC anchor David Shuster continued the Press mockery of Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow: "I think what happens is when a politician or a figure like Tim Tebow and I know that Bill Press has mentioned it on the show, but when a national figure, sports celebrity, politician wraps themselves in religion I believe that they diminish the significance of that religion. That instead of it being something sort of somber and serious and deep they almost pervert it and they cheapen that religion." Mention it, and you cheapen it. In other words, liberals think religious people should shut up and hide. Press told Tebow to "S.T.F.U."

Shuster added, "You can call them clowns you can call them a joke, but when presidential candidates in such a bizarre way claim that they are running because they prayed and God told them to or because they need to save the lives of the unborn, but they won’t do very much once that child is born."

By John Nolte | December 29, 2011 | 7:06 AM EST

The subtext of this unbelievably stupid article brought to us courtesy of The Incredible Shrinking Los Angeles Times, is that adultery sells on television because our society is changing to the point where we’re now warming up to the idea of marital infidelity. This is the actual subtitle of this very poorly researched piece of cultural propaganda: Cheating spouses are prevalent on prime-time TV. Blame society’s changing views on marriage and fidelity, and the shows’ need to push boundaries to succeed.

In other words, television is following society, not the other way around. Whatever. Here’s a snip:

By Tom Blumer | December 29, 2011 | 12:55 AM EST

I know, we're supposed to give TV shows and the like a bit of dramatic license to push a plot line. But doesn't it seem that an awful lot of the license taken tends to be pro-big government and left-leaning?

One pretty obvious example came along Monday night during the Season 2 finale of TNTs' "Rizzoli & Isles" (which ran again late tonight). The plot of "Burning Down the House" centered around the death of a Boston fireman in a major warehouse blaze. Ultimately, the perpetrator ended up being a fireman who was upset by "budget cuts," which were mentioned twice during the episode:

By Tom Blumer | December 28, 2011 | 10:59 PM EST

It seems that if you're a New York Times reporter on a mission to prove something you think must be obvious and your research leads to the exact opposite result from what you smugly expected, you forge ahead and try to pretend that you proved your point anyway.

At least that how it seems to have worked out for Times reporter Michael Luo in a report appearing in Tuesday's print edition which tried to show readers how one state which allows residents to carry concealed weapons with a permit is allegedly allowing large numbers of dangerous people to possess them. But the way the math works out, North Carolina, the state which the Times investigated, is far safer than many jurisdictions without such laws, even given the problems cited with pulling permits from those who have committed crimes and should not still be holding them. Additionally, the murder rate among North Carolinians who don't have permits or associate with those who do is higher than it is among permit holders. Here is Luo's pathetic attempt to make a case which can't be made:

By Brad Wilmouth | December 28, 2011 | 7:58 PM EST

Wednesday's CBS Evening News featured a report by correspondent Mark Strassmann playing up the reservations that some are having about the new law to strictly enforce immigration laws in Alabama.

After noting that a poll supposedly shows that Latino voters are dissatisfied because the Obama administration has deported record numbers of illegal immigrants, substitute anchor Jeff Glor introduced Strassmann's piece by playing up the "second thoughts" that some supporters of the law are having: "Mark Strassmann went to Alabama, where some are having second thoughts now about a tough new law."

(Video below)

By Clay Waters | December 28, 2011 | 7:33 PM EST

New York Times political reporter Ashley Parker made Wednesday’s front page with yet another  “Isn’t Romney stiff?”-themed story, “The Retooled, Loose Romney, Guessing Voters’ Age and Ethnicity,” cowritten with Michael Barbaro.

The Times has put Romney's mannerisms under the microscope on several occasions. Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic candidate in 2004, was another rich Northern politician with a reputation for woodenness and lack of the common touch, but it certainly wasn’t a dominant theme of Times campaign coverage.

By Matt Hadro | December 28, 2011 | 6:38 PM EST

Taking a tip from Mitt Romney mocking Newt Gingrich, CNN's Hala Gorani asked panel members on Wednesday what sitcom would best describe the Republican presidential race. Gorani's question was "If you could compare the Republican race as a whole with a sitcom, what would it be?"

By Tim Graham | December 28, 2011 | 5:26 PM EST

At the end of the 11 am hour on Wednesday, MSNBC fill-in anchor Milissa Rehberger interviewed Newsweek/Daily Beast contributor Melissa Lafsky Wall to discuss Newsweek's list of political "rising stars." The funniest pick was one-percent-in-the-polls GOP candidate Jon Huntsman, who Wall said "seems patient... seems willing to build gradually and bring his name to a national level." Many viewers probably heard echoes of Dana Carvey's President Bush saying Dan Quayle is "still gaining acceptance."

In noting New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, Wall couldn't avoid slamming other female conservative GOP stars: "The era of the Palins and Bachmanns needs to come to an end." Is that Republican opinion, or Newsweek's? Guess.

By Clay Waters | December 28, 2011 | 4:36 PM EST

New York Times media reporter Jeremy Peters was seeing things in Wednesday’s story on secret, “dog-whistle” religious appeals by GOP candidates past and present: “Appealing to Evangelicals, Hopefuls Pack Religion Into Ads.”

“Dog-whistle politics” is a derogatory term, often employed to describe what liberals consider to be coded, subliminal racist messages “pitched” too high for the general public to recognize. Peters, who seems suspicious of the idea of appealing to evangelical Christians, gets in a dig at Catholics to boot.

By Tim Graham | December 28, 2011 | 2:52 PM EST

On the front of Wednesday’s Style section is another one of those anti-“Islamophobia” articles starring comedians. The Post’s Tara Bahrampour began: “Beware, America. The Muslims are coming, and they look and act suspiciously like you.” If “you” were a profane secularist, apparently.

Bahrampour is promoting a documentary film on a tour Muslim comedians made through Southern states called “The Muslims Are Coming!” It “includes interviews with comics such as Jon Stewart and Louis [sic] Black and commentators including CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, explores freedom of religion and what it means to be a minority in America.” CNN can always be found fighting American “phobias” about minorities – well, not so much about the Catholics. Those, they promote.

By Tom Blumer | December 28, 2011 | 2:27 PM EST

In an item which still has a breaking news tag, Josh Funk at the Associated Press (saved here for future reference, fair use, and discussion purposes) call retiring Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson a "centrist," and almost seemed to mourn over "an increasingly polarizing climate" which made it clear that Nelson's reelection would have been a steep uphill fight. Of course, there was no mention of the infamous Cornhusker kickback which was offered and then withdrawn in a firestorm of controversy in an Obama administration attempt to win Nelson's support for the passage of ObamaCare -- which they got anyway.

Here are several paragraphs from Funk's report and the immediately following breaking news item:

By Matt Hadro | December 28, 2011 | 2:15 PM EST

While reporting on candidate Newt Gingrich "taking a pummeling" from "brutal" attack ads, ABC's Jonathan Karl noted Gingrich's positive response – a "bizarre" Gingrich campaign Christmas video that Karl laughed off as "disturbing." Karl's report aired during the 7 a.m. hour of Good Morning America.

"Uh, it's a little disturbing, let me tell you," Karl scoffed at the festive video. A clip showed campaign workers decked in Santa hats singing a campaign-themed Christmas carol.

By Tim Graham | December 28, 2011 | 11:38 AM EST

NPR marked Christmas morning by whacking at the Tea Party. NPR anchor Audie Cornish handed over her Weekend Edition Sunday microphone to American Enterprise Institute scholar Norman Ornstein, who gave the Tea Party a B if the goal was to “try and keep government from functioning,” but in “actually trying to make things happen in a constructive fashion, we’re down in the D-minus level, and that’s being generous in the Christmas season.”

Ornstein was much happier a year ago. On the morning of December 23, 2010, he told NPR’s David Welna the country had the “most productive lame-duck session” since the 1940s and Welna added “Ornstein says this lame-duck session was a fitting climax for an amazingly productive 111th Congress.”

By Tim Graham | December 28, 2011 | 11:05 AM EST

Tom Blumer recorded today's New York Times coverage of the Kim Jong-Il funeral, including the communist regime's claim that the heavy snowfall surrounding the funeral showed "heaven's grief" over the dictator's death.

San Diego radio host Mark Larson (from KCBQ/KPRZ) reminded me of the American version of this, from NBC's Andrea Mitchell praising a Democratic icon when rain soaked his funeral in 2009: "The heavens were weeping for Teddy Kennedy today."