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By Matthew Balan | | March 18, 2013 | 4:28 PM EDT

On Sunday's 60 Minutes, CBS ran to the aid of dissident Catholic sisters in the U.S. and recycled many of its talking points from their sympathetic coverage of the sisters' "Nuns on the Bus" tour in 2012. Bob Simon trumpeted the supposed "rock star" status of the leader of the sisters' coalition and tossed mostly softball questions at her. He also repeatedly used the loaded term "Inquisition" to ballyhoo the apparent "crackdown" against the heterodox nuns.

Simon made his slant toward the dissenters clear when another prominent dissident sister compared the battle between the bishops and her allies to a schoolyard battle of the sexes: "The boys played the girls. And for once, the girls won, and the boys are upset." The journalist replied, "Isn't that what it's all about?"

By Katie Yoder | | March 18, 2013 | 4:08 PM EDT

CPAC is turning mainstream – at least in movie screenings. Last Friday, the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) hosted a showing of “Olympus Has Fallen,” set for release to theaters March 22.

The film starred such big names as Morgan Freeman, Gerard Butler, Ashley Judd, and Aaron Eckhart – which may come as a surprise, for the conservative audience. After all, Freeman is a very public Obama supporter and Judd considered challenging Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, as a Democrat in the 2014 Kentucky elections. 

By Jeffrey Meyer | | March 18, 2013 | 4:00 PM EDT

For the past few years, MSNBC has produced ‘Lean Forward’ ads featuring a network hosts push his or her liberal agenda on the  audience.  Past ‘Lean Forward’ ads have included a push for action on global warming, promoting gay rights, and viciously attacking the Republican Party.

MSNBC’s newest ad features weekend host Melissa Harris-Perry unwittingly -- or at least one hopes-- referencing the Communist Chinese economic program known as the “Great Leap Forward” which left an estimated 18-45 million Chinese dead. The 30-second ad featuring Ms. Perry is narrated as follows:

By Mike Ciandella | | March 18, 2013 | 3:59 PM EDT

The celebrity anti-hydraulic fracturing group, Artists Against Fracking, may be in legal trouble, according to Associated Press. The group has so far failed to register with the State of New York, despite laws requiring lobbyists groups spending over $5,000 to register.

“The group hasn't filed lobbying reports, so the amount it has spent and what it was spent on isn't known publicly. Experts in Albany say the website and public events appear to have cost well over $5,000,” AP reported on March 18.

The group is made up of celebrities including Sean Lennon, Yoko Ono, Mark Ruffalo, Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman and Zooey Deschanel. They have campaigned specifically in New York state, holding a recent anti-fracking event in Albany.

By Kyle Drennen | | March 18, 2013 | 3:46 PM EDT

Appearing on Monday's NBC Today as part of the Today's Professionals panel discussion, the network's chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman urged the Catholic Church to abandon its opposition to contraception: "Here's one thing I really would implore the Catholic Church to do on a global issue.... poverty without birth control begets more poverty....So this is a chance to take the humility and the poverty and say now we're really going to talk about this in a civilized way and move it forward." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Advertising executive Donny Deutsch chimed in: "Well that's my point, we're not talking about the real issues....And we can talk about tolerance with gays and attitudes towards women." Snyderman agreed: "And women in the Church."

By Ken Shepherd | | March 18, 2013 | 3:30 PM EDT

As we've documented time and again, the Washington Post's On Faith section is hostile to traditional religious faith. Section editor Sally Quinn failed to disappoint on St. Patrick's Day with her publication online of an excerpt from an interview with liberal Catholic author Garry Wills, who is promoting his new book, "Why Priests? A Failed Tradition."

Coming a mere four days after the election of Argentina's Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio as Pope Francis, Quinn published a portion of her interview wherein Wills argued that the papacy was irrelevant and that the priesthood was an arrogant "monopolization" of power by the clergy.  On March 14, just one day after Pope Francis's election, Quinn published another excerpt of Wills which she entitled "The pope shouldn't be king," where she let Wills flesh out his thoughts on the papacy being a "crime":

By Clay Waters | | March 18, 2013 | 2:54 PM EDT

The New York Times Magazine profile of young, nontraditional country singer Kathy Musgraves by contributor Carlo Rotella was infected with smug urban liberalism and a stale defense of the defunct Dixie Chicks, "who had a patriotic fatwa declared against them for saying they were against the war in Iraq and ashamed that George W. Bush was from Texas."

You may remember that incident occured happened a few days before the beginning of the Iraq War in 2003, and was proclaimed from a stage in London -- a safer place to indulge anti-war stridency than their home state of Texas.

By Clay Waters | | March 18, 2013 | 2:40 PM EDT

Betraying his impatience with the Republican Party's insistence that President Obama cut spending, New York Times political reporter Jonathan Weisman sounded shocked that the GOP wasn't simply surrendering its principles in the wake of Obama's four–point victory last November, in Monday's "Republicans Determined To Press On With Air, If Not Vote, of Confidence." (Nice flattering photo of Paul Ryan, by the way.)

A year ago this month, Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin stood on the floor of the House and declared that the ideals of small government, privatized health care and rigorous spending discipline captured in the budget plan about to pass the House would and should be central to the 2012 election campaign.

By Kristine Marsh | | March 18, 2013 | 2:16 PM EDT

Communist propaganda and downed U.S. aircraft? That’s entertaining.

By Clay Waters | | March 18, 2013 | 2:04 PM EDT

There was nothing but festering distress and especially "division" on the right at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference held last week, at least according to the New York Times. As noted previously on NewsBusters, CPAC generated headlines like this one from Saturday: "G.O.P. Divisions Fester at Conservative Retreat."

As Noel Sheppard pointed out, George Will picked up on that headline on ABC's This Week: "...I guarantee, if there were a liberal conclave comparable to this, and there were vigorous debates going on there, the New York Times headline would be, 'Healthy Diversity Flourishes at Liberal Conclave.'" Actually, Will wasn't far off. A contrast of headlines from this year's CPAC and previous years of Netroots Nation -- a roughly equivalent annual meeting of liberals and leftists --shows an obvious disparity in tone.

By Matthew Sheffield | | March 18, 2013 | 1:45 PM EDT

In a new report released today, the Republican National Committee owned up to a number of mistakes made during the 2012 election cycle. While the central party admitted there were too many presidential debates, it only barely touched on the role that unfair media moderators played in both the nominating process and in the general election.

Despite its reluctance to criticize media impartiality, the RNC report did open the door to the creation of a new organization that would be assigned to create and host the debates apart from the media.

By Matt Hadro | | March 18, 2013 | 1:20 PM EDT

This past weekend, the media dug up decades-old accusations against Pope Francis from his time in Argentina. While CNN provided context and a critical eye toward the grave accusations, Sunday's ABC World News aired a one-sided report with damning overtones against the Pope.

ABC correspondent Matt Gutman interviewed a family member of multiple victims of the dictatorship who accused the Pope, then just a priest and superior of the Jesuit order, of failing to rescue her family. "Estela claims he had the power to help her family. But didn't," Gutman reported, providing no comment from the Vatican on her accusations. He also reported that two Jesuit priests accused Pope Francis of cooperating with the Argentinian dictatorship, adding only a brief mention of Francis' testimony in his defense.

By NB Staff | | March 18, 2013 | 1:06 PM EDT

"Pick any Orwellian nickname you want: the Ministry of Truth, the Department of Agitation and Propaganda, but don’t dare call MSNBC a news organization," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell snarked in a statement released this morning. "No legitimate news outlet spends 85 percent of its airtime pushing leftist commentary. Pravda would be proud."

The Media Research Center founder was reacting to a new Pew survey showing that the "Lean Forward" network devotes just 15 percent of its air time actually reporting news. The rest is far-left-leaning commentary. The network is "deeply unserious" and doesn't deserve to be listed in any cable systems "news" category.  "They’ve Lean[ed] Forward right off the cliff of credibility. What a farce," Bozell concluded.

By Noel Sheppard | | March 18, 2013 | 1:05 PM EDT

Hillary Clinton's campaign for president began Monday with a video announcement of her support for same-sex marriage.

It seems a metaphysical certitude her fans in the media will be affectionately talking about this all week if not longer (video follows with transcript):

By Kyle Drennen | | March 18, 2013 | 12:44 PM EDT

Wrapping up a panel discussion on Monday's NBC Today about Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman coming out in support of gay marriage, co-host Matt Lauer voiced suspicion about the timing of the announcement: "He has known his son is gay for the last two years, and yet, when he was there on the campaign trail supporting the Republican nominee, he never mentioned anything about this evolving stance on same-sex marriage." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Advertising executive Donny Deutsch replied: "The irony of that is, if the Republicans were smart, they would understand if they move on some of these social issues, it would actually help the party."