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By Tim Graham | June 20, 2011 | 6:44 AM EDT

On Sunday's Meet the Press, Sen. Lindsey Graham said “Congress should sort of shut up and not empower Qaddafi” by discussing the possibility of cutting off funding for military operations there. He also said it was a boo-boo for Republican candidates to think that getting “to the left” of Obama on war is a path to victory in the GOP primary. At National Review's The Corner, Mark Steyn joined Mark Levin in disparaging Graham. (Levin calls him "Goober.") Laura Ingraham has also mocked his previous "shut up" comments:

Daniel, re Lindsey Graham’s suggestion that everyone should just “shut up” about the Libyan Non-War, you’ll recall that the last time the Senator attracted any attention in these parts he was also telling everyone to shut up – this time about Islam. Maybe it would be easier if he just issued the rest of us with an approved list of conversational topics.  Alternatively, here’s a suggestion for Senator Graham: Why don’t you shut up? Not permanently, but just long enough to:

By Noel Sheppard | June 20, 2011 | 12:01 AM EDT

Howard Kurtz didn't have a good Father's Day.

After being shocked that Republicans would actually prefer Obama jokes over those about Republicans, the "Reliable Sources" host expressed dismay that Fox News analyst Dick Morris would actually toe the GOP's line (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Tom Blumer | June 19, 2011 | 11:52 PM EDT

Update, June 20, 12:30 p.m.: Revised to reflect another AP math error not caught the first time around.

Update 2, June 20, 3:20 p.m.: The AP has issued a correction indicating that lost sales taxes are $23 billion and teachers' salaries which could be paid are 460,000. The contradiction explained below about California's claim that it is failing to collect only $200 million (less than 1% of the total, in a state with 12% of the nation's population) is unexplained. The post's text has been revised to reflect AP's correction. AP has NOT corrected its original story here or here.

What is it with Associated Press reporters and basic math?

Earlier this evening, I noted how the wire service's Scott Bauer failed to correctly state the nature of the pension costs many of Wisconsin's unionized workers will have to pay; he said they would have to pay "5.8% of their pension costs," when it's really "5.8% of the gross pay into the state's retirement fund.

Yesterday, the AP's Chris Tomlinson, in reporting on states' desperate attempt to force online vendors to collect sales tax on their behalf, contributed a couple more math and conceptual errors of his own:

By Tom Blumer | June 19, 2011 | 10:15 PM EDT

Gosh, I would have thought that someone in Wisconsin's or America's labor movement would have caught Scott Bauer's clear June 15 understatement of the net pay hit many unionized public sector workers in the Badger State will be taking as a result of 2011 Wisconsin Act 10, commonly known as the "Budget Repair Bill," once the law's provisions become effective on July 1. That error is in the following sentence from Bauer's report ("New lawsuit filed against Wisconsin union law"):

The law also requires workers to pay 12 percent of their health insurance costs and 5.8 percent of their pension costs, which amount to an 8 percent pay cut on average.

The AP reporter apparently spent time which should have gone towards getting the facts right to ensuring, as he did in a June 14 story (covered at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), that the law was described as "polarizing" as often as possible. Bauer's frequent use of the P-word also seemingly distracted union supporters who read or heard portions of Bauer's report from noticing the error I will explain shortly.

By Noel Sheppard | June 19, 2011 | 10:04 PM EDT

As NewsBusters reported Sunday, some liberal media outlets were spreading the idea that a Barack Obama impersonator was pulled off the stage at a Republican event this weekend because he was telling racial and gay jokes.

Although CNN's Howard Kurtz at least figured out that the real reason Reggie Brown was yanked was because he was starting to insult Republicans, the "Reliable Sources" host seemed shocked Republicans would rather hear jokes about Obama than about Republicans (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Noel Sheppard | June 19, 2011 | 8:24 PM EDT

UPDATE AT END OF POST: O'Donnell contacts NB to clarify poll numbers.

CBS's new chief White House correspondent said this weekend that Republicans are more uncomfortable with a Fox News commentator as presidential candidate than they are a Mormon.

She claimed on "The Chris Matthews Show" she found this information in the crosstabs of a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Tim Graham | June 19, 2011 | 6:48 PM EDT

One might expect the reader’s advocate at a major newspaper to have some respect for the readers. Washington Post ombudsman Patrick Pexton thinks anyone who complains about “crowdsourcing” Sarah Palin’s e-mails is ridiculous. With copy as spiky as his white hair, he began his Sunday column with a swipe:

If you read the mail to the ombudsman last week, you would think The Post organized a vigilante mob to burn Sarah Palin at the stake. That interpretation is complete balderdash.

By Mark Finkelstein | June 19, 2011 | 5:55 PM EDT

As Noel Sheppard reported earlier, in the show-opening feature of its coverage of the final round of the US Open golf championship today, NBC--twice--edited out the words "under God" from its clip of school children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

Clearly many Americans were offended and let NBC know about it.  Because later in the broadcast, host Dan Hicks issued an apology on behalf of the network. But NBC simply compounded one omission with another.  The apology spoke of "a portion of the Pledge" being edited out--but never mentioned that the omitted words were "under God."

View video after the jump.

By Tim Graham | June 19, 2011 | 5:43 PM EDT

The sour grapes were incredibly sour on the Thom Hartmann radio show on Thursday when they led off with the news that Anthony Weiner was resigning. Broadcasting live from the Netroots Nation hootenanny in Minneapolis, Hartmann went right from an admitted sex scandal to an unproven old story from last November in the National Enquirer:

Looks like Anthony Weiner’s about to step down. John Boehner’s involved in a major sex scandal. It’s all over the page of the National Enquirer. Two different women, they’re naming the women. So this is this is shades of the John Edwards revisit.

By Noel Sheppard | June 19, 2011 | 5:21 PM EDT

"There’s a difference between the press and the Democratic Party and the press and the Republican Party."

So said Chris Matthews on the syndicated program bearing his name this weekend in the midst of a discussion about how the news media treat presidential candidates (video follows with transcript and commentary, file photo):

By Noel Sheppard | June 19, 2011 | 2:56 PM EDT

NBC on Sunday decided to cut the words "under God" from the reading of the Pledge of Allegiance that accompanied the beginning of its coverage of the U.S. Open Golf Championship.

In fact, this happened twice during the show's introduction (video follows courtesy Mark Finkelstein with partial transcript):

By Brent Baker | June 19, 2011 | 2:53 PM EDT

A gem of a letter appeared in the “Free for All” page of letters in Saturday’s Washington Post.

“Kindly let us know exactly where on your Web site we should go to participate in your ‘Let’s Get Obama’ project so we can interact with the objective mainstream media,” Michael Crawford, of Great Falls, Virginia, concluded.

By Noel Sheppard | June 19, 2011 | 1:35 PM EDT

After months of being asked, Jon Stewart finally appeared on "Fox News Sunday" this weekend.

The primary discussion point was bias in the media which the "Daily Show" host continually told Chris Wallace is far more prevalent on FNC than at all the other news organizations (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Noel Sheppard | June 19, 2011 | 10:08 AM EDT

America's liberal media are having a field day claiming that an Obama impersonator at a Republican event was pulled off the stage Saturday for telling racial and gay jokes.

Here's how the Washington Post reported it (video of entire presentation also follows with commentary):

By Tim Graham | June 19, 2011 | 9:19 AM EDT

Washington Post reporter Rachel Weiner profiled the battling online conventions in Minneapolis this weekend -- Netroots Nation vs. Right Online -- and found that the happier warriors were on the Right. On page A4, the headline was "At dueling political gatherings, room for mutual admiration." Look who's the face of the Netroots (including on their homepage) -- radical (if temporary) Obama green guru Van Jones:

Over at Netroots, there was talk of the enthusiasm and media attention on the other side. “The tea party changed the discussion,” said Van Jones, the former White House “green czar” who is launching a new economic campaign called Rebuild the Dream. “What they were able to do is take pre-existing sentiment and preexisting groups that were not visible and they got those visible. They got those people heard.”