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By Ken Shepherd | March 9, 2012 | 1:13 PM EST

Imagine if you will that President Bush were in the Oval Office now, facing reelection with unemployment above 8 percent and gas prices as high as they are right now. Now also imagine that the Bush Energy Department granted a $10 million award to the maker of a $50 LED light bulb, because, as Bush's energy secretary gushed, it's "affordable for American families."

The media would, predictably and quite reasonably, be apoplectic. But alas, this is happening under President Obama's watch, as the Washington Post's Peter Whoriskey reported today.  Oh, and did I mention that the winning bulb competes against  much cheaper LED light bulbs than the one that won the government's affordability award?:

By Kyle Drennen | March 9, 2012 | 12:54 PM EST

Filling in for co-host Matt Lauer on Friday's NBC Today, CNBC's Carl Quintanilla seemed to suggest the media was helping the Obama administration shape public perception of the economy: "...we're in a situation where we're sort of managing expectations, especially for the White House."

Quintanilla followed that admission by asking CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer about the upcoming jobs report: "Data's been pretty good. If it's not so good today, does that mean we're suddenly once again going in the wrong direction?" Cramer replied: "I don't want to think that. I think that there are many good forces at work."

By Jeffrey Meyer | March 9, 2012 | 12:43 PM EST

Once again, MSNBC has continued to prop up Rev. Al Sharpton’s racist conspiracies that state legislatures led by the GOP are deliberately suppressing minority voters through new voter ID laws.

On Friday’s episode of Jansing & Co., radio host and MSNBC substitute host Michael Smerconish led a left-wing attack on the GOP.  The panelists including Pennsylvania AFL-CIO chief Richard Bloomingdale asserted that a person's signature is sufficient identification to vote in the United States. Indeed, both Smerconish and Bloomingdale insisted they have voted that way for years in Pennsylvania with no problems.  [See video below.  MP3 audio here.] 

By Mark Finkelstein | March 9, 2012 | 11:23 AM EST

Did MSNBC ever vet Al Sharpton? Seriously. Much of the talk about HBO's Game Change docu-drama is focusing on the vetting of Sarah Palin or lack thereof by the McCain campaign. Is there any minimum standard of knowledge required to have one's own show on the Lean Forward network?

Take Sharpton's mind-boggling misstatement on Morning Joe today.  The Reverend Al asserted that in Alabama, "it's against the law to organize unions."  Did any of the MJ crew, including Joe Scarborough, Gene Robinson and Steve Rattner, call Al out on his misrepresentation?  Of course not.  View the video after the jump.

By NB Staff | March 9, 2012 | 11:20 AM EST

"There's only one person who's trying to insert the reproductive rights debate into this campaign," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell noted in the "Media Mash" segment  of the March 8 edition of Fox News Channel's Hannity.

It's Barack Obama who made this a live issue when he moved to push religious institutions to provide contraception, even if it violates their religious conscience to do so, Bozell noted.  Sure, the media know that Obama is the one waging a "war" on this issue, but they're aggressively pushing the liberal Democratic spin on the issue as a cudgel to attack Republicans, particularly social conservative ones. [watch the full segment in the video embedded  below the page break]

By Jack Coleman | March 9, 2012 | 10:56 AM EST

What a shock -- labor unions paying one of their biggest cheerleaders in the media.

Perhaps Ed Schultz could explain what he does for unions to warrant such largesse. I don't recall hearing anything along these lines on his radio program or MSNBC show. (graphic after page break)

By Noel Sheppard | March 9, 2012 | 10:15 AM EST

Sarah Palin on Thursday took Barack Obama to task for not telling his Super PAC to return Bill Maher's million dollar donation.

Speaking to Fox News's Sean Hannity, the former Alaska Governor said, "It does not bode well for our President's character to not speak out against that dirty money" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Mark Finkelstein | March 9, 2012 | 8:08 AM EST

Mark Halperin says Mitt Romney's campaign has the worst relationship with the media of any major candidate he's covered.  But, according to the man from Time, it has nothing to do with the fact that Romney is the front-runner to take on the MSM's Chosen One.  No, Halperin assures us, "it's not a partisan thing."  The fault lies entirely with the Romney campaign itself, which reportedly has kept the press at arm's length.

Halperin's comments came in the context of a Morning Joe segment today in which Mike Allen discussed a Politico item on a media "charm offensive" that the Romney campaign is conducting.  View the video after the jump.

By Tim Graham | March 9, 2012 | 7:57 AM EST

The Washington Post has a funny headline from England on its front page Friday. "Public prayer stirs culture war in Britain." Notice that secular liberals like the Posties always blame the "culture war" on the religious, not on the secularizers. The more accurate headline is "Public prayer ban stirs culture war in Britain." In Bideford, reporter Anthony Faiola writes, a town council stocked with "a practicing pagan, a staunch atheist, and an agnostic former stripper" wants to scrap the council's opening prayer.

Faiola's story properly notes the move to "ban public prayers in tiny Bideford" erupted into a national controversy. But a few paragraphs later, Faiola breaks out the labels for whatever boomlet of conservative Christians might lobby prime minister David Cameron on this subject. Unlike America, there is only a "small fringe" on the "far right" that supports Christianity and opposes abortion:  

By Clay Waters | March 9, 2012 | 7:30 AM EST

Departing New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Ethan Bronner filed Thursday's off-lead front-page story from the West Bank town of Ramallah, passing on yet another sympathy note for the Palestinians, whose left-wing cause for statehood and against Israeli "occupation" is no longer being trumpeted as loudly in the wake of the tumult in the region: "Mideast Din Drowns Out Palestinians."

The above-the-fold photo featured two Israeli soldiers firing orange flame at "Palestinian stone throwers" in the West Bank....from a clash last month. A photo of a Palestinian "protester" throwing stones was relegated to the jump page.

By Brent Baker | March 9, 2012 | 3:32 AM EST

Those who have seen HBO’s Game Change come away with a more sympathetic view of Sarah Palin, Time magazine’s Mark Halperin, co-author of the book on which HBO based its production set to air Saturday night, contended Wednesday night on CNN. Erin Burnett interviewed Halperin and co-author John Heilemann and Halperin told Burnett:

We’ve seen a few screenings with people and uniformly – every screening we’ve attended – people who came in, didn’t like Sarah Palin, weren’t fans of Sarah Palin, almost every one of them has said to us afterwards, “you know what, I now understand what she went through more, I have more sympathy for her, I have more appreciation for what she accomplished.”

By Brad Wilmouth | March 9, 2012 | 1:46 AM EST

If the definition of the word "gaffe" is when a politician accidentally tells the truth, Illinois Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky may have committed a gaffe on Thursday's The Ed Show.

After MSNBC host Ed Schultz gave her the chance to respond to complaints from conservatives that liberals have shown a double standard in tolerating vile comments about conservative women from liberals like Bill Maher while attacking Rush Limbaugh's recent controversial "slut" comment, Schakowsky admitted that disagreement with Limbaugh's political agenda was a major motivation for her rather than his simply using the word "slut."

Her admission came a day after she was caught on video trying to avoid addressing HBO comedian Maher's history of attacking conservative women.

By Tim Graham | March 8, 2012 | 10:29 PM EST

Joe Scarborough doesn't just take his Obama-landslide talk to NBC. He also spewed some of it on the Tavis Smiley show on PBS on Monday night. "This past month has been – and I was saying it this morning on the [MSNBC] show – this has been the worst month for the Republican Party since August of 1974 when Richard Nixon resigned, and I mean that."

To which Smiley replied: "Wow, wow, wow, wow." Then Scarborough delighted his NBC overlords by ripping into Rick Santorum:


By Matt Hadro | March 8, 2012 | 6:54 PM EST

CNN's Kyra Phillips asked a Catholic bishop on Thursday "why not get on board" with dissenting Catholics who favor gay marriage. Given CNN's past support for LGBT causes, they clearly would not question the motives of a religious minister favoring gay marriage.

In fact, in 2010 Phillips fawned over a Christian pastor who publicly began accepting the lifestyle of gays and lesbians.

By Ken Shepherd | March 8, 2012 | 5:58 PM EST

The  "war on women" is more than a political fight waged in the civil arena. It's a spiritual conflict with patriarchal pulpits raining down oppression onto the women in the pews, Washington Post religion reporter Lisa Miller complains in an "On Faith" item posted today, "International Women's Day":