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By Tim Graham | July 19, 2011 | 11:34 AM EDT

In a discussion with The Atlantic last week about "What I Read," Dylan Ratigan claimed he's unfairly typecast as a lefty just because he's on MSNBC:

One of my great frustrations with working in cable news is that the entire cable news infrastructure has been branded through partisan political lenses and so people assume that if you're on MSNBC you're left and if you're on Fox News you're right. There's no question that I'm painted as left because of the network I'm on. The branding precedes the talent in cable networking. Since when is it my job to be a Democrat or Republican? I recognize that both political parties are bought by six industries: energy, banking, health care, defense, agribusiness and communications.

By Clay Waters | July 19, 2011 | 11:18 AM EDT

New York Times education columnist Michael Winerip filed a fact-filled column Monday on the dramatic unraveling of an unprecedented cheating conspiracy that pushed test scores up in Atlanta public schools, “Cracking a System In Which Test Scores Were for Changing.”

Yet in August 2010, the Times was puzzled as to why Atlanta school superintendent Beverly Hall, who is now under suspicion, was still under fire: "Even after an independent investigation recently found that the problem was much less widespread, critics have called for her resignation and attacked the investigation’s credibility."

Winerip wrote:

By NB Staff | July 19, 2011 | 10:38 AM EDT

With growing frustration towards President Obama and certain members of congress for their lackadaisical approach in balancing the budget and reducing spending, many people are beginning to think they could do a better job than our country's leaders. Using data collected by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, American Public Media and the Woodrow Wilson Center put together an interactive game to do just that, giving control of the economy to the players using actual proposed budget plans.

Check out the game after the break, and let us know what you think of it in the comments.

By Noel Sheppard | July 19, 2011 | 9:50 AM EDT

Whenever a prominent business leader like Warren Buffett says anything good about the current White House resident, the media are quick to report it.

I highly doubt anti-Obama comments made Monday by Las Vegas casino magnate Steve Wynn during an earnings conference call with analysts will get anywhere near that kind of attention (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Clay Waters | July 19, 2011 | 8:46 AM EDT

James Traub, a contributing writer for the New York Times Sunday magazine, contributed a very positive 5,000-word profile of Obama foreign-affairs maven (and failed liberal Democratic presidential candidate) Sen. John Kerry for the Sunday magazine, under the online headline “How John Kerry Tries to Put Out Diplomatic Fires.” The table of contents and print edition headlines simply hailed Kerry as “The All-American,” while deep in the article itself Traub lamented that in 2004, “Kerry seemed to be the latest in a long line of decent, serious, honorable Democratic presidential candidates cut to ribbons by the Republican attack machine and bested by G.O.P. contenders whom voters would much rather have a beer with.”

(Traub isn’t fond of the G.O.P. In October 2010 Traub took to CNN to rant against the newly conservative Republican Party’s “war on competence and professionalism.”)

By Brent Baker | July 19, 2011 | 7:41 AM EDT

Barf. “We sometimes forget just how in the tank much of the press is for Obama,” the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto observed last week in catching an effusive, to put it mildly, love letter to Barack Obama published in the August edition of Hearst’s Esquire magazine.

“2011 is the summer of Obama,” gushed Stephen Marche, genuflecting “‘I am large, I contain multitudes,’ Walt Whitman wrote, and Obama lives that lyrical prophecy.” More sophistry: “Barack Obama is developing into what Hegel called a ‘world-historical soul,’ an embodiment of the spirit of the times. He is what we hope we can be.”


By Tim Graham | July 19, 2011 | 7:30 AM EDT

The gay blog On Top reported that “comedian” Janeane Garofalo is the latest in a string of celebrities and activists suggesting Michele Bachmann’s therapist husband Marcus must be gay, including Cher, Jon Stewart, Jerry Seinfeld, and sex columnist/”It Gets Better” bully Dan Savage. Cher even said she wanted to strangle him.

This Marcus-is-gay line has also been a regular trope of liberal talk radio, from openly gay Stephanie Miller to Randi Rhodes to even Ron “Junior” Reagan, who knows something on this subject of aspersions from his ballet-dancing days.

By Brad Wilmouth | July 19, 2011 | 4:10 AM EDT

 A truly amazing coincidence happened on Monday night as former President George W. Bush was praised for helping millions in Africa by two separate public figures in two unrelated matters - the fight against AIDS in Africa, and South Sudan’s successful fight for independence - on two different television shows.

As rocker Bono of U-2 appeared as a guest on CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman, he praised President Bush for helping to save so far five million lives in Africa over the past eight years because of his push to supply treatment to AIDS patients.

And on Comedy Central’s Colbert Report, guest and human rights activist John Prendergast of the Enough Project, when prodded by host Stephen Colbert, noted that it was under Bush that America used its influence to help the South Sudanese secure a peace deal with the north.

By Noel Sheppard | July 18, 2011 | 9:39 PM EDT

MSNBC's Chris Matthews and Pat Buchanan got into quite a heated debate on Monday's "Hardball."

At issue was the battle of the debt ceiling with Matthews calling Tea Partiers opposed to raising it "crazy protesters" and telling his guest, "You want to join" them (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Tom Blumer | July 18, 2011 | 8:43 PM EDT

Green Vehicles is no more. The world will somehow have to get by without the lovely vehicle pictured after the jump populating our streets and highways.

Given that its owner put an "I've giving it up" blog post last Tuesday, and even though Drudge just caught it a few hours ago, it's pretty safe to assume that the Green Vehicles debacle won't be a national establishment press story.

It is, however, a fairly hot story in Salinas, California, a city of about 150,000 fifty or so miles south of San Jose.

By Noel Sheppard | July 18, 2011 | 7:35 PM EDT

As NewsBusters previously reported, sex advice columnist Dan Savage on HBO's "Real Time" Friday said he wanted to perform violent hate sex on Rick Santorum.

On Monday, the former Pennsylvania Senator responded on WOR radio's Steve Malzberg show (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Matt Hadro | July 18, 2011 | 6:28 PM EDT

On his Saturday show Your Money, CNN host Ali Velshi tried to pin the blame for the debt ceiling standoff on one man – the president of Americans for Tax Reform, Grover Norquist. "Are you the reason that we don't have a debt ceiling increase right now?" he boldly asked his guest.

Velshi was referring to Norquist's pledge that entails elected officials who sign it promising to oppose increases in taxes. Velshi termed the pledge one of "remarkable inflexibility." He questioned outright the viability of the pledge. "Why is preserving the inability to increase taxes more important than the overall health of the economy and the danger that it's putting us into right now?" he asked.

By Ken Shepherd | July 18, 2011 | 5:55 PM EDT

According to Chris Matthews, conservative House Republicans who are holding steadfast on resisting a debt ceiling deal that includes tax hikes are like the apocryphal bovine of doom behind the 1871 fire that destroyed much of Chicago (video follows page break):

By Alex Fitzsimmons | July 18, 2011 | 4:46 PM EDT

The NBC News Investigative Unit has devoted considerable resources to uncovering "scandals" ranging from Marcus Bachmann's health clinic to Newt Gingrich's credit line at Tiffany to the Sarah Palin document dump, but continues to ignore a botched Justice Department operation that contributed to the death of a U.S. border agent.

Examining the trove of reports filed by NBC News national investigative correspondent Michael Isikoff over the last few months reveals a fixation on investigations involving Republican politicians and an aversion to probes concerning the Obama administration, even as other media outlets expose the controversial ATF practice of letting guns purchased in America slip across the U.S.-Mexico border in hopes the trail would lead federal agents to drug kingpins.

By Terence P. Jeffrey | July 18, 2011 | 4:41 PM EDT

While the Republican-controlled House of Representatives has voted this year to approve House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan's (R.-Wis.) proposal--that would put the government on a gradual path to a surplus by 2040--and plans to vote on a balanced budget amendment next week that would cap federal spending at 18 percent of GDP, the only budget proposal President Obama's has publicly revealed in 2011 would, according to the Congressional Budget Office, increase the deficit by $26 billion this year, $83 billion next year, and $2.7 trillion over the next decade.

Additionally, although annual budget deficits would decline somewhat between 2013 and 2015 under Obama's proposal, according to the CBO, after that they would start increasing again, going up every year from 2016 to 2021, the last year estimated by the CBO.