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By Mark Finkelstein | March 30, 2011 | 8:50 AM EDT

What's next: MSNBC hawking "America: Love It Or Leave It" bumper stickers?

The new fashion among the liberal network's anchors is to accuse critics of President Obama's Libya policy of being unpatriotic.  Last week, we documented how Cenk Uygur did it.  Now, it's Ed Schultz's turn.  The man recently relegated to the 10 PM slot went on an extended rant last night, repeatedly accusing Republican critics of the Libyan operation of being unpatriotic. Schultz set the tone with his opening graphic.  As you see in the screengrab, Schultz branded Sarah Palin and John Bolton as "patriots, not" for questioning the president's conduct of the attack on Libya. 

But Schultz was far--far--from finished.   He eventually asked the question: "whose side are you on?  Are you with the terrorists, Sarah, or are you with the President of the United States?"

View video after the jump.

By Tim Graham | March 30, 2011 | 7:09 AM EDT

The Huffington Post reported "An anti-abortion group behind a controversial New York billboard targeting African Americans is now taking its message to the South Side of Chicago, in a billboard targeting supporters of President Obama." Next to Obama's face is the words "Every 21 minutes, our next possible leader is aborted." The group Life Always will unveil the billboards on Tuesday.

"Our future leaders are being aborted at an alarming rate. These are babies who could grow to be the future Presidents of the United States, or the next Oprah Winfrey, Denzel Washington or Maya Angelou," said Life Always Board Member Reverend Derek McCoy. 

By Tim Graham | March 30, 2011 | 6:50 AM EDT

When Democrats opposed war in Iraq, they were often presented by the networks as principled statesmen. But on Meet the Press Sunday, NBC host David Gregory asked Ted Koppel to suggest Republican opponents of Obama's Libya actions are just a feckless mess:

GREGORY: Ted Koppel, what about the Republican opposition? I mean, is there, is it principled here? Or is it much more feckless and inconsistent? Because the--many of them wanted a no-fly zone, then said it was too little, too late. Then said, as Newt Gingrich said, "Well, no, you shouldn't have intervened at all." They either sound inconsistent or a lot more like President Bush, who became quite unpopular within Republican circles and the country at large on the war.

By Brent Bozell | March 29, 2011 | 11:05 PM EDT

Think of all the militant anti-war types who were thrilled at the removal of the Bush “war machine” in 2008, only to see President Obama’s strained endorsement of military action in Libya. Oh, how the political wave of the hard left has crashed ashore. It seems like only yesterday when they were celebrating Cindy Sheehan as she flagrantly called President Bush “the biggest terrorist in the world.”

Then they elected Obama and it all went to Hell.

Over the last two years, these chagrined radicals have watched in stunned disbelief while their hero Obama continued the Iraq war wrap-up on the generals’ timeline and then added more troops in Afghanistan. They listened in shock as Team Obama announced it was reversing itself on indefinite detentions at Guantanamo.

By Noel Sheppard | March 29, 2011 | 10:42 PM EDT

MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Tuesday cherry-picked an "O'Reilly Factor" segment to drum up a feud between Fox News's top prime time host and the former Alaska governor.

Five sentences about Sarah Palin pulled from a six and a half minute segment ridiculing President Obama for not scheduling Hillary Clinton and Robert Gates as guests on last weekend's "Fox News Sunday" led "The Last Word" host to conclude that O'Reilly is now assuming a role in Republican politics "bullying the nuts off the stage to make room for viable candidates" (videos follow with transcripts and commentary):

By Jack Coleman | March 29, 2011 | 4:49 PM EDT

Look at the bright side when it comes to Libya, Ed Schultz said yesterday, "we haven't invaded anybody."

Come to think of it, we have, Schultz quickly spun -- and I'm gung ho for the invasion!

Here is Schultz on his radio show Monday doing a pirouette worthy of Nureyev while defending President Obama's decision to intervene in Libya (audio) --

By Matt Hadro | March 29, 2011 | 4:41 PM EDT

Once again, Comedy Central's Jon Stewart sacrificed "civility" in order to sharpen his liberal arguments – this time attacking corporations for greed. The liberal comedian, who time and again has used his national podium to cry out for civility in the nation's political discourse, resorted to vulgar name calling Monday during a four-minute tirade against big-business.

During the segment full of naive disillusionment and titled "I Give Up," Stewart tried to poke fun at the argument that corporate tax cuts stimulate the economy. His incivility boiled over when he reported that despite paying no corporate income tax, GE is still slashing American jobs and creating jobs overseas.

"You know, I know the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are people, but what I didn't realize is that those people are a**holes," he ranted. This is quite a far cry from his "Rally to Restore Sanity" this past October, when he pleaded for civility to govern the national political discourse.
 

By Geoffrey Dickens | March 29, 2011 | 4:12 PM EDT

Tom Brokaw appeared on Tuesday's Today show to offer his analysis of Barack Obama's Libya policy, as well as his sympathy for a president who has experienced more "unexpected circumstances" than any Oval Office occupant has seen in his "adult lifetime." Today co-host Matt Lauer prompted the former NBC Nightly News anchor to tell the audience what he told him right before going on air - that he couldn't "recall a time where a president has faced a confluence of events, like the confluence of events taking place right now."

Brokaw, who did qualify his response noting that FDR did have his share of "challenges," went on to specify that from the Libya crisis, to the disaster in Japan, to the budget fight he's never seen a president have it so bad, as seen in the following March 29 Today show exchange:

By Clay Waters | March 29, 2011 | 3:58 PM EDT

More New York Times' s crusading against state spending cuts in Tuesday's edition. Reporter Michael Cooper’s “Michigan, With Persistent Unemployment, Cuts Jobless Benefit by Six Weeks” raised quite a grand commotion out of a small cut in Michigan’s unemployment benefit plan: The state will now pay only 20 weeks of benefits to the jobless, instead of the standard 26 weeks (and even those come before federal unemployment benefits kick in, which now run for up to 99 weeks).

The story’s text box implied bad faith on the part of new Republican Gov. Rick Snyder. “A surprise inside a bill whose purpose was to extend federal benefits.”

Michigan, whose unemployment rate has topped 10 percent longer than that of any other state, is about to set another record: its new Republican governor, Rick Snyder, signed a law Monday that will lead the state to pay fewer weeks of unemployment benefits next year than any other state.

Democrats and advocates for the unemployed expressed outrage that such a hard-hit state will become the most miserly when it comes to how long it pays benefits to those who have lost their jobs. All states currently pay 26 weeks of unemployment benefits, before extended benefits paid by the federal government kick in. Michigan’s new law means that starting next year, when the federal benefits are now set to end, the state will stop paying benefits to the jobless after just 20 weeks. The shape of future extensions is unclear.

By Clay Waters | March 29, 2011 | 3:50 PM EDT

New York Times reporter Jennifer Medina’s Sunday story from Sacramento focused on the state’s cute political couple, Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown and his young budget director Ana Matosantos: “Political Odd Couple, United by Crisis In California Budget.”

They are a constant if unlikely pair these days: the oldest man elected governor of California and the woman who is its youngest budget director, shuttling from office to office as they meet with lawmakers, confer quietly in the Capitol hallways and fend off reporters and lobbyists.

Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, lived through another fiscal crisis when he was governor 30 years ago. The budget director, Ana Matosantos, 35, was barely able to do addition back then, but she has the experience that comes with having served under the last governor and through three years of California fiscal crises.

Medina painted Matosantos as a budgetary whiz (who, conveniently, is also opposed to Republican spending cuts):

By Scott Whitlock | March 29, 2011 | 3:26 PM EDT

Only Good Morning America's Jake Tapper on Tuesday pointed out the relatively low public support for Barack Obama's military actions in Libya and the harsh criticism from both the right and the left.

On NBC's Today, Chuck Todd parroted, "[Obama] also took the opportunity to rebut critics on the left and the right about how and whether to target Qadhafi with the military. In total the President used the framework of American values to make the case."

On CBS's Early Show, Bill Plante narrated, "The President defended his decision to use military force in Libya, he said that when the interests and values of the U.S. are at stake, he has a moral obligation to act." Tapper, on the other hand, highlighted both the economic cost and the poor poll numbers.

By Matthew Balan | March 29, 2011 | 2:50 PM EDT

On Monday's All Things Considered, NPR's Bob Mondello used movies about fictional nuclear disasters, such as "The China Syndrome" and "Silkwood," to play up atomic energy's hazards. Mondello especially highlighted the 1959 movie "On the Beach" as supposedly coming the closest to the portraying a real-life radiation catastrophe, such as the ongoing crisis at the Japanese nuclear plant.

Host Melissa Block noted the movie critic's 2010 report comparing Hollywood disaster films to the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster in her introduction: "Last summer, as the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was finally brought under control...Bob Mondello did a comparison for us on Hollywood disaster movies and how they differ from real world disasters. Well, in the last few weeks, as tragic events have played out in Japan, Bob realized he had left something out of that story: the menace that can't be seen."

By Clay Waters | March 29, 2011 | 1:47 PM EDT

A New York Times reporter who came under fire from the paper’s executive editor for his “cringe-making” and “ham-handed” reporting on a young rape victim in Texas returned to the story for Tuesday's front page: “3-Month Nightmare Emerges in Rape Inquiry.”

Keller criticized Houston Bureau Chief James McKinley’s March 9 story in his March 27 column for the Times Sunday magazine, giving it special place among various Times embarrassments “Between Ivana’s brassieres and W.M.D.’s are cringe-making one-offs like the ham-handed article that led some readers to think we were blaming the 11-year-old victim of a monstrous gang rape in Texas (the only way to make amends was to order up a whole new story)....”

McKinley’s initial story generated some reader outrage for seemingly being more concerned over the future of the young men being accused then of the rape victim herself, and with insensitive comments like this: “Residents in the neighborhood where the abandoned trailer stands – known as the Quarters - said the victim had been visiting various friends there for months. They said she dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s. She would hang out with teenage boys at a playground, some said.” Well, one cheer for editorial transparency on the part of Keller.

By Ken Shepherd | March 29, 2011 | 10:38 AM EDT

Handicapping a case heading to oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court today, Yahoo! Finance's Daniel Gross insisted that "Wal-Mart has to like its chances" because "[t]he Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts has generally been pro-business and hostile to the cause of workers."

Gross, who is also a senior editor for Newsweek, cited the 2007 ruling -- erroneously writing that the ruling came down in 2009 -- in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire in which "[the Supreme Court] threw out on a minor technicality the compelling case of Lilly Ledbetter, who had fought Goodyear Tire over sexual harassment and discrimination for a decade."

But the "technicality" as Gross sees it was actually pretty clear legislative language fixing a deadline beyond which lawsuits could not be filed.

From Justice Alito's opinion of the Court (emphasis mine):

By Noel Sheppard | March 29, 2011 | 9:48 AM EDT

After comedian Bill Maher referred to Sarah Palin as a derogatory term for a vagina a little over week a ago, NewsBusters asked, "Can the dreaded C-word be far behind?"

According to the Dallas Voice, this happened on Sunday while Maher was "performing" at the Winspear Opera House (photo courtesy Reuters):