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By Tom Blumer | July 22, 2011 | 12:10 PM EDT

Yesterday, White House spokesmouth Jay Carney made yet another claim concerning how grrrrrrreat the economy is compared when President Barack Obama took office (bold is mine):

The economy is vastly improved from what it was when Barack Obama was sworn into office as president.

To no one's surprise, this howler was not considered news at the Associated Press. No article found in a search at the AP's main site on Carney's last name refers to the above quote.

To be "vastly improved," the economy's numbers have to be irrefutably better than they were 29 months ago.

They aren't:

By Scott Whitlock | July 22, 2011 | 12:02 PM EDT

CNN's John King on Thursday recycled the now debunked claim that, in a similar situation to the current debt ceiling debate,  Ronald Reagan lobbied for a tax increase compromise to avoid an economic default. This was the fifth time in less than a week that the cable network peddled the distorted quote provided by congressional Democrats.

Discussing the national debt, King spun, "Believe it or not, the country's been here before. Even though the President back then was a staunch conservative and a Tea Party hero today, listen to how he handled it."

By Ken Shepherd | July 22, 2011 | 11:10 AM EDT

As soon as the Senate rejected the "Cut, Cap and Balance" plan, shot out a biased Breaking News alert to e-mail subscribers that labeled the measure as one "favored by hard-line conservative [sic]" (screen capture attached below page break):


By Noel Sheppard | July 22, 2011 | 10:55 AM EDT

CNN's Fareed Zakaria Thursday called the debt ceiling battle a "sideshow" caused by the Tea Party.

Appearing on "In the Arena" as a supposed "astute observer of the economy," Zakaria proceeded to bungle economic and historic facts like a high school dropout (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By NB Staff | July 22, 2011 | 10:37 AM EDT

While the media have been busy persistently denouncing the Cut, Cap and Balance plan as Republicans "wasting time" with a "show" plan that has "no chance of passage," the public aren't accepting the media spin.

A CNN poll shows nearly 2/3rds of Americans favor that approach to tackling the national debt and balancing the budget, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell noted on the July 21 "Hannity" program (video follows page break):


By NB Staff | July 22, 2011 | 10:21 AM EDT

Today's starter topic: Rick Perry. He's continuing to generate buzz in the context of the 2012 Republican presidential primaries and now for the first time, the Texas governor is favored by bettors on the oddsmaking site Intrade to actually get the nomination:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry may not have formally declared his presidential candidacy yet, but bettors on the news-futures website Intrade already are giving him the same chance of becoming the 2012 Republican nominee as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the presumed front-runner.

Mr. Perry’s nomination odds reached a high of 33 percent Thursday morning, eclipsing Mr. Romney for the first time. Mr. Romney, trading at 32 percent, had been Intrade’s 2012 favorite since betting on the GOP nomination began in 2008 and had even consolidated his front-runner status in recent months as his opponents stumbled and other would-be challengers opted not to run.

By Tom Blumer | July 21, 2011 | 11:29 PM EDT

Iowa Senator Tom Harkin was at his worst Wednesday morning in a press conference.

Sure, there was the usual immature Democratic Party name-calling -- calling Republicans "dead-beat debtors" and characterizing Republicans who oppose raising the debt ceiling as a "cult fringe," even though polls seem to be showing that 60% of Americans are in that "fringe." But beyond that, Harkin uttered a demonstrably untrue statement, something so obviously untrue that if a Republican or conservative had said something similar against Democrats, the establishment press would have dwelt on it for days.

In apportioning responsibilities for annual federal budget deficits and the staggering increases in the national debt, Harkin made the following claim:

By Mark Finkelstein | July 21, 2011 | 9:26 PM EDT

logorrhea: excessive and often incoherent talkativeness or wordiness. -- Merriam Webster

When watching lefty professor and MSNBC regular Michael Eric Dyson, the notion often occurs to me that the man suffers from the condition described above.  Just yesterday, as James Taranto noted in his Best of the Web column at WSJ online, Dyson digressed, during an MSNBC appearance, into a riff to the effect that Republicans are rejecting a debt ceiling increase out of . . . racism directed at President Obama.

Dyson was back at it on MSNBC today. Appearing on Al Sharpton's newly-awarded show in the 6 PM time-slot show, Dyson suggested that the philosophy of Ronald Reagan has been imposed on modern-day Republicans "in a fascist fashion."

View video after the jump.

By Matt Hadro | July 21, 2011 | 7:51 PM EDT

CNN touted results from its newly-released poll Thursday showing Americans favor a balance of spending cuts and tax increases in the debt ceiling debate, as well as raising the debt ceiling. What the network completely failed to report -- although NewsBusters reported it -- was that Americans also favored two conservative positions – passage of a balanced budget amendment, along with spending cuts and future spending caps.

CNN's deputy political director Paul Steinhauser emphasized that the poll results favored Democrats over Republicans. He insisted that "the headline here is Americans want compromise," and pointed out that 64 percent of respondents favored including both spending cuts and tax increases, "kind of like what the president is suggesting, what the Gang of Six is suggesting."

By Noel Sheppard | July 21, 2011 | 7:10 PM EDT

The media's attention on Rupert Murdoch and the British hacking scandal hit a new low Thursday.

Filling in for MSNBC's Chris Matthews, Michael Smerconish finished "Hardball" with a segment floating the conspiracy theory that Rupert Murdoch staged Tuesday's Parliamentary pie throwing incident to distract everyone's attention from his testimony (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Matt Hadro | July 21, 2011 | 5:40 PM EDT

The CNN Belief Blog's latest hit-job on Republicans involved Boston University religion scholar Stephen Prothero pronouncing that Republican politicians taking conservative pledges is "unbiblical" and "unchristian." Republicans have made news recently for taking pledges that are anti-tax, pro-life, and opposing same-sex marriage.

According to Prothero, the Bible argues that the "recent orgy of oath taking" by Republicans entails that they "have literally made a pact with the devil." Of course, what passes for "biblical interpretation" these days on the CNN Belief Blog is more like an affirmation of liberal creeds.

By Noel Sheppard | July 21, 2011 | 5:24 PM EDT

In the past week, you couldn't swing a debt cat without hitting a press report about how irresponsible the "Cut, Cap and Balance" bill passed by House Republicans is.

A new CNN/ORC poll released a few hours ago finds the media very much on the wrong side of public opinion concerning this issue:

By Ken Shepherd | July 21, 2011 | 5:12 PM EDT

Halfway through the July 21 edition of "NewsNation," MSNBC anchor Tamron Hall brought on Time magazine assistant managing editor Rana Foroohar to diss a Boy Scout cited by John Thune (R-S.D.) on the Senate floor.

After Hall aired a clip of Thune reading the Boy Scout's letter admonishing senators to spend only what the government can afford, she and Foroohar set about to dismiss his concern as quaint but ill-informed:

By Matthew Balan | July 21, 2011 | 5:09 PM EDT

CBS's John Blackstone apparently couldn't find many opponents of imposing sales taxes on online retailers for his report on Thursday's Early Show, as all but one of his sound bites came from proponents. Blackstone also warned that "states that are already suffering under huge budget deficits will lose more than $11 billion in uncollected sales taxes next year."

The correspondent first outlined that "for many online shoppers, the checkout screen noting zero sales tax seems a good reason to buy on the Internet. But now, a new law in California requires online retailers to collect sales tax. And Amazon, the world's biggest Internet retailer, with 34 billion [dollars] in sales last year, isn't happy." He then played two clips from a member of California's "board of equalization," which oversees the state's sales, alcohol, and tobacco taxes, who vouched for the new levy: "You have the obligation to collect the tax on behalf of the consumer, and remit it to the State of California."

By Scott Whitlock | July 21, 2011 | 4:47 PM EDT

On Wednesday's Hardball, Chris Matthews took a clip from a 24 year-old Ronald Reagan press conference and disingenuously passed it off as the Republican's take on "raising taxes to deal with the ballooning deficit."

Matthew's version was out of context and video from October 22, 1987 proves it. [See below for video. MP3 audio here.]

After playing a snippet of Reagan that had nothing to do with taxes, Matthews touted, "That was, of course, the great Ronald Reagan in his own words back in October of 1987 about raising taxes to deal with the ballooning deficit."