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By Matt Hadro | March 23, 2011 | 6:07 PM EDT

On the one-year anniversary of the health care law, MSNBC thought it fitting to bring on a boy who championed the bill and give him a platform. Anchor Andrea Mitchell hosted 12-year-old activist Marcelas Owens Wednesday and asked him questions with predictable answers to explain the case for the health care law.

Owens became famous last year for his public appearances to rally support for the health care overhaul. His mother had died of pulmonary hypertension in 2007 after she lost her job due to extended leave of absence. She was unqualified for Medicare or for health insurance. Owens used the tragedy to speak out in favor of universal health care.

Mitchell gave Owens a soft interview in what seemed a plug for the health care bill, given that she asked him to explain what could be done in the face of opposition "who don't understand the need for health care" and believe that "there isn't enough money" for universal health care. Of course, Republicans last year proposed health care reforms of their own but were largely ignored amidst the partisan Democratic push for the bill's passage.
 

By Scott Whitlock | March 23, 2011 | 4:58 PM EDT

ABC anchor Diane Sawyer on Tuesday interviewed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for World News and Nightline, but offered no questions about the Obama administration's failure to seek congressional approval for air strikes in Libya. Instead, the journalist seemed fascinated by the decision-making process, repeatedly asking about Clinton's "decisive" role in going ahead with the bombing.

Sawyer quizzed, "We have read, repeatedly, that you were decisive in this. Did you persuade President Obama? Was yours the voice that turned around the opponents?" The intrigued World News anchor followed-up by asking if Secretary of Defense Robert Gates "opposed" her.

A vague Clinton prompted Sawyer to press, "So, you're not going to characterize yourself in the hierarchy?" Two parts of the interview aired on World News. A replay aired on Nightline. In all of this, Sawyer never wondered about Obama bypassing Congress. This was a topic journalists were keenly interested when it related to George W. Bush and Iraq.

By Kyle Drennen | March 23, 2011 | 4:44 PM EDT

In Wednesday's 12PM ET hour on MSNBC, anchor Contessa Brewer touted the one year anniversary of the passage of ObamaCare: "One year ago today, President Obama signed the health care reform bill into law. It wasn't soon enough for Eric De La Cruz, who needed a heart transplant." The headline on screen read: "Why We Need Health Care Reform: A Personal Story."

Brewer spoke with Eric's sister, Veronica De La Cruz, who serves as anchor of MSNBC's First Look at 5AM ET and NBC's Early Today at 4AM ET. Brewer observed: "It's got to be bittersweet, because you fought for health care reform in that process, but on this anniversary, it comes too late to help your brother." De La Cruz had no qualms about describing her enthusiastic lobbying for ObamaCare: "...it is bittersweet, you're right. But I made a promise to my brother....I started speaking out at health care rallies, vigils, anybody who would listen to Eric's story."

By Clay Waters | March 23, 2011 | 2:20 PM EDT

New York Times political blogger Michael Shear used loaded language to describe the Republican Party’s “assault” on Obama-care on the one-year anniversary of that “historic measure," in his Wednesday morning post “Boehner, McConnell Push Assault on Health Care Law

A year after President Obama signed his health care law into effect, the two leading Republicans in Congress are making it clear that they do not intend to let up in their assault on the historic measure.

By Clay Waters | March 23, 2011 | 2:14 PM EDT

New York Times reporter Elisabeth Rosenthal has found another unlikely environmental menace: Cats, an invasive species that disturbs the natural order, like kudzu. That’s the takeaway from Monday’s report on the grave danger felines present to birds: “Tweety Was Right: Cats Are a Bird’s No. 1 Enemy.”

While public attention has focused on wind turbines as a menace to birds, a new study shows that a far greater threat may be posed by a more familiar antagonist: the pet house cat.

A new study in The Journal of Ornithology on the mortality of baby gray catbirds in the Washington suburbs found that cats were the No. 1 killer in the area, by a large margin.

Nearly 80 percent of the birds were killed by predators, and cats were responsible for 47 percent of those deaths, according to the researchers, from the Smithsonian Institution and Towson University in Maryland. Death rates were particularly high in neighborhoods with large cat populations.

Mr. Marra won’t make friends among cat-lovers with thoughts like these:

By Lachlan Markay | March 23, 2011 | 1:45 PM EDT

They won't agree on much, but Fox News host Bill O'Reilly and Medea Benjamin, founder of the far-left anti-war group Code Pink, found some common ground on one fact Tuesday night: MSNBC talkers Rachel Maddow and Ed Shultz are hypocrites.

Both Schultz and Maddow defended President Obama's decision to impose a no fly zone over Libya on their respective shows. Maddow trotted out the "reluctant warrior" line, while Schultz insisted that the president "deserves the benefit of the doubt and our support."

O'Reilly asserted - and Benjamin agreed - that neither MSNBC host would have been so generous had Obama's predecessor engaged in such a conflict. "The word 'hypocrisy' comes to mind," Benjamin quipped (video and partial transcript below the break).

By Matthew Balan | March 23, 2011 | 1:31 PM EDT

On Tuesday's In the Arena on CNN, Bill Maher channeled the far left's frustration with President Obama: "This is one of my big problems with our president. He never blames the Republicans for anything. He's their best friend....There's an oil rig that blows up in the Gulf of Mexico, and the party of drill, baby, drill does not get blamed." Host Eliot Spitzer also joined Maher in bashing the Tea Party.

The two liberals vented about domestic politics during the second half of the segment, which began 18 minutes into the 8 pm Eastern hour. Spitzer mouthed off his regular talking points about how "the middle class has been squeezed and has suffered....[and] the top 2 or 3 percent has profited amazingly well. And then...we had this financial meltdown, caused primarily by Wall Street." He then lamented how this situation hasn't benefitted his fellow liberals as much as he'd like, which led to Maher bashing the apparent stupidity of the Tea Party:

By Ken Shepherd | March 23, 2011 | 1:03 PM EDT

On the one year anniversary of ObamaCare being signed into law, nearly 6 out of every 10 Americans oppose ObamaCare, according to a new CNN poll.

Yet in reporting the development, the network's website spun the development by noting the polling is about where it stood last year and that the latest poll could be bad news for Republicans.

From a March 23 post at CNN.com's Political Ticker blog (emphasis mine):

By Kyle Drennen | March 23, 2011 | 12:45 PM EDT

While a report on ABC's Good Morning America on Tuesday referenced 2007 comments from then-Senator Barack Obama against a president taking military action without congressional approval, CBS and NBC both failed to point out President Obama contradicting those earlier statements by failing to seek congressional approval before committing U.S. forces in Libya.

As NewsBusters' Scott Whitlock earlier reported, ABC correspondent Jake Tapper noted during the Tuesday GMA report: "There was a conference call over the weekend in which one Democrat, one liberal Democrat, read a quote from candidate Obama about the need to seek congressional approval before taking military action and the member of Congress said, 'I agree with candidate Obama.'"

By Noel Sheppard | March 23, 2011 | 9:49 AM EDT

The National Organization for Women on Tuesday finally responded to Bill Maher calling Sarah Palin a highly derogatory term for a woman's vagina, but did so without mentioning Maher's name, the program he said it on, or the television network he represents.

NOW Communications Director Lisa Bennett also took the opportunity to bash conservatives (photo courtesy Reuters):

By Mark Finkelstein | March 23, 2011 | 9:11 AM EDT

Call him Howie "The Hawk" Dean . . .

Last evening we detailed Cenk Uygur's hypocrisy in supporting military action in Libya.  This morning brings news of another liberal nouveau-hawk: Howard Dean.   The man who was a scream away from winning the 2004 Dem presidential nomination based on his opposition to the Iraq war suddenly supports a muscular foreign policy.  On Morning Joe, Dean told Joe Klein (who is surprisingly skeptical about President Obama's Libya policy):


"I don't think you stay out of these things. You can't if you're the most powerful country in the world . . . You have to take chances."


View video after the jump.

By NB Staff | March 23, 2011 | 8:55 AM EDT

"Repeal" isn't exactly the right word, though, since his approach would center on an executive order giving all 50 states full control over health care in their own states. Romney wrote at the NRO Corner Tuesday evening:

If I were president, on Day One I would issue an executive order paving the way for Obamacare waivers to all 50 states. The executive order would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services and all relevant federal officials to return the maximum possible authority to the states to innovate and design health-care solutions that work best for them.

By Tim Graham | March 23, 2011 | 7:23 AM EDT

Newsweek’s Howard Kurtz suggests “What’s Killing NPR” is its failure to strike back at conservative charges of liberal bias: “Staffers flown in for a recent meeting in Washington groaned when executives said it would be too risky for them to aggressively defend NPR, and that perhaps they should get media training for Joyce Slocum, who took over on an interim basis after the firing of CEO Vivian Schiller.”

Kurtz quotes a series of angry NPR anchors who think they are the essence of fairness and balance. Morning Edition anchor Steve Inskeep insisted “I actually get accused of being a conservative as often as I get accused of being a liberal.” Kurtz asserted in an NPR survey last year, 37 percent of listeners described themselves as liberal or very liberal, 25 percent as middle of the road, and 28 percent as conservative or very conservative—a split he said was very much on Inskeep’s mind. “If you’re saying we’re a liberal propaganda front,” he says, “you’re insulting the intelligence of millions and millions of conservatives who listen to us every day. You are saying they’re stupid.”

By Mark Finkelstein | March 22, 2011 | 10:14 PM EDT

Do people's politics color their views on the issues, even on life-and-death ones like war?  Yeah.  Happens on all sides.  But for Cenk Uygur to rip Republicans for having supported President Bush on Iraq while criticizing President Obama on Libya is nothing short of grotesque . . . given that Uygur now supports Obama on Libya, while when it came to Iraq and its aftermath he wanted Bush . . . imprisoned for at least ten years.

Adding fuel to the bonfire of Uygur's hypocrisy is his failure to mention that as a senator-cum-presidential-candidate, Obama himself laid out a doctrine condemning precisely the kind of military action without congressional approval in which Obama-as-president now engages.

View video after the jump.

By Noel Sheppard | March 22, 2011 | 9:18 PM EDT

I've said for years it takes an amazing amount of rationalizations to be a liberal these days.

On Tuesday's "Hardball," Salon editor Joan Walsh demonstrated perfectly what I mean (video follows with transcript and commentary):