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By Clay Waters | July 19, 2011 | 1:57 PM EDT

New York Times columnist Joe Nocera has devoted his last two columns to the spreading scandal over News Corp., owned by Rupert Murdoch, the media mogul who incurs the hatred of liberals.

Nocera, not content to report on the woes afflicting News Corp. outlets overseas, insisted without evidence on Saturday that one of Murdoch’s American media properties, the Wall Street Journal, has succumbed to the dreaded disease of “Fox-ification,” “The Journal Becomes Fox-ified.” As you can guess, that is not a compliment at the Times.

By Kyle Drennen | July 19, 2011 | 1:35 PM EDT

On Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry admonished Republicans for trying to pass a balanced budget amendment as part of a debt ceiling agreement: "Tea Party conservatives love this plan. The President has already said that he's going to veto it. Do we really have time for a plan that is really just show?" [Audio available here]

In response, congressional correspondent Kelly O'Donnell touted White House reaction: "They issued the veto threat, and they also said that this would really force the government to not be able to spend on things like Medicare, Social Security, prevent spending for future disasters. And they even renamed it...The White House is calling it 'duck, dodge and dismantle.'"

View video after the jump

By Charlie Daniels | July 19, 2011 | 1:18 PM EDT

The fact that the American left is deathly afraid of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann can be interpreted in several different ways.

First of all, if both ladies are as big of fools and bumblers as they claim, why are they wasting so much time and energy trying to destroy them? If they were the idiots the self-proclaimed elitists in the mainstream media would have us believe, they'd simply fall under their own weight without any help from the insulated dodos at the New York Times.

By Scott Whitlock | July 19, 2011 | 12:55 PM EDT

MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer on Tuesday insisted that a pie throwing attack on Rupert Murdoch, which occurred live on air, "encapsulates what the British people are feeling right now about Rupert Murdoch."

As the cable network aired live coverage of Murdoch's testimony to the British Parliament about the phone hacking scandal, a man appeared in the left corner of the screen and attempted to attack the media mogul. See video below. MP3 audio here.

 

By Ken Shepherd | July 19, 2011 | 12:32 PM EDT

Conservative Republicans are divorced from reality while Democrats are governed by the facts.

That's the take Time's Alex Altman has on how the two congressional parties are addressing the looming debt ceiling deadline in his July 19 Swampland blog post, "The Fact Gap: Can Republicans Overcome Their Alternate Reality to Strike A Debt Deal?":

By Tim Graham | July 19, 2011 | 12:14 PM EDT

Conservative radio host and author Laura Ingraham jumped into a Twitter battle with the rappers Chris Brown and 50 Cent after she took offense right in Matt Lauer's face at Brown’s appearance in the Today show’s summer concert series, and then added more fire in a Friday night commentary as she guest-hosted The O’Reilly Factor.

50 Cent was easily offended: “I just saw a clip on Fox news Hating on NBC for having chris brown on unbelievable. I’m never watching that again.” Brown boasted: “Running boring and pointless stories don’t matter! My fans prove that everyday and the haters look just as old as F**k!” (Asterisks by Brown.)

By Tim Graham | July 19, 2011 | 11:34 AM EDT

In a discussion with The Atlantic last week about "What I Read," Dylan Ratigan claimed he's unfairly typecast as a lefty just because he's on MSNBC:

One of my great frustrations with working in cable news is that the entire cable news infrastructure has been branded through partisan political lenses and so people assume that if you're on MSNBC you're left and if you're on Fox News you're right. There's no question that I'm painted as left because of the network I'm on. The branding precedes the talent in cable networking. Since when is it my job to be a Democrat or Republican? I recognize that both political parties are bought by six industries: energy, banking, health care, defense, agribusiness and communications.

By Clay Waters | July 19, 2011 | 11:18 AM EDT

New York Times education columnist Michael Winerip filed a fact-filled column Monday on the dramatic unraveling of an unprecedented cheating conspiracy that pushed test scores up in Atlanta public schools, “Cracking a System In Which Test Scores Were for Changing.”

Yet in August 2010, the Times was puzzled as to why Atlanta school superintendent Beverly Hall, who is now under suspicion, was still under fire: "Even after an independent investigation recently found that the problem was much less widespread, critics have called for her resignation and attacked the investigation’s credibility."

Winerip wrote:

By NB Staff | July 19, 2011 | 10:38 AM EDT

With growing frustration towards President Obama and certain members of congress for their lackadaisical approach in balancing the budget and reducing spending, many people are beginning to think they could do a better job than our country's leaders. Using data collected by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, American Public Media and the Woodrow Wilson Center put together an interactive game to do just that, giving control of the economy to the players using actual proposed budget plans.

Check out the game after the break, and let us know what you think of it in the comments.

By Noel Sheppard | July 19, 2011 | 9:50 AM EDT

Whenever a prominent business leader like Warren Buffett says anything good about the current White House resident, the media are quick to report it.

I highly doubt anti-Obama comments made Monday by Las Vegas casino magnate Steve Wynn during an earnings conference call with analysts will get anywhere near that kind of attention (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Clay Waters | July 19, 2011 | 8:46 AM EDT

James Traub, a contributing writer for the New York Times Sunday magazine, contributed a very positive 5,000-word profile of Obama foreign-affairs maven (and failed liberal Democratic presidential candidate) Sen. John Kerry for the Sunday magazine, under the online headline “How John Kerry Tries to Put Out Diplomatic Fires.” The table of contents and print edition headlines simply hailed Kerry as “The All-American,” while deep in the article itself Traub lamented that in 2004, “Kerry seemed to be the latest in a long line of decent, serious, honorable Democratic presidential candidates cut to ribbons by the Republican attack machine and bested by G.O.P. contenders whom voters would much rather have a beer with.”

(Traub isn’t fond of the G.O.P. In October 2010 Traub took to CNN to rant against the newly conservative Republican Party’s “war on competence and professionalism.”)

By Brent Baker | July 19, 2011 | 7:41 AM EDT

Barf. “We sometimes forget just how in the tank much of the press is for Obama,” the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto observed last week in catching an effusive, to put it mildly, love letter to Barack Obama published in the August edition of Hearst’s Esquire magazine.

“2011 is the summer of Obama,” gushed Stephen Marche, genuflecting “‘I am large, I contain multitudes,’ Walt Whitman wrote, and Obama lives that lyrical prophecy.” More sophistry: “Barack Obama is developing into what Hegel called a ‘world-historical soul,’ an embodiment of the spirit of the times. He is what we hope we can be.”

 

By Tim Graham | July 19, 2011 | 7:30 AM EDT

The gay blog On Top reported that “comedian” Janeane Garofalo is the latest in a string of celebrities and activists suggesting Michele Bachmann’s therapist husband Marcus must be gay, including Cher, Jon Stewart, Jerry Seinfeld, and sex columnist/”It Gets Better” bully Dan Savage. Cher even said she wanted to strangle him.

This Marcus-is-gay line has also been a regular trope of liberal talk radio, from openly gay Stephanie Miller to Randi Rhodes to even Ron “Junior” Reagan, who knows something on this subject of aspersions from his ballet-dancing days.

By Brad Wilmouth | July 19, 2011 | 4:10 AM EDT

 A truly amazing coincidence happened on Monday night as former President George W. Bush was praised for helping millions in Africa by two separate public figures in two unrelated matters - the fight against AIDS in Africa, and South Sudan’s successful fight for independence - on two different television shows.

As rocker Bono of U-2 appeared as a guest on CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman, he praised President Bush for helping to save so far five million lives in Africa over the past eight years because of his push to supply treatment to AIDS patients.

And on Comedy Central’s Colbert Report, guest and human rights activist John Prendergast of the Enough Project, when prodded by host Stephen Colbert, noted that it was under Bush that America used its influence to help the South Sudanese secure a peace deal with the north.

By Noel Sheppard | July 18, 2011 | 9:39 PM EDT

MSNBC's Chris Matthews and Pat Buchanan got into quite a heated debate on Monday's "Hardball."

At issue was the battle of the debt ceiling with Matthews calling Tea Partiers opposed to raising it "crazy protesters" and telling his guest, "You want to join" them (video follows with transcript and commentary):