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By Scott Whitlock | April 25, 2011 | 6:07 PM EDT

Former Newsweek editor Howard Fineman on Monday spun Paul Ryan's blueprint for reforming Medicare as saying to younger Americans "screw you." Appearing on MSNBC's Hardball, the senior politics editor for the Huffington Post eagerly went along with host Chris Matthews' hyperbolic description of the Republican plan.

Responding to the idea that Ryan would exempt Americans 55 and older from changes, Fineman blurted out Democratic talking points: "And by the way, by trying to exempt the younger people also, it doesn't necessarily help the Republicans make their case 'cause what they're saying to the younger voters is, 'we're going to screw you. We're going to screw you.'"

[See video below. MP3 audio here.]


By Ken Shepherd | April 25, 2011 | 5:52 PM EDT

Disgraced former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) may find a January 2009 appearance on Rachel Maddow's program coming back to bite him.

According to the Chicago Tribune's Bob Secter and Jeff Coen, federal prosecutors are hoping to use an excerpt of an interview in Blago's retrial:

By Clay Waters | April 25, 2011 | 4:58 PM EDT

The New York Times’s coverage of Easter Sunday was sparse, but the paper did mark the Christian holiday in its own inimitable way, by spotlighting anti-traditional gay rights activism.

Reporter Liz Robbins was at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan on Sunday morning to hear Archbishop Timothy Dolan delivers his Easter homily to nearly 3,000. St. Patrick’s also marked the “finish line” of the Easter Day parade. But her story Monday, “A Sermon Of Rebirth, And a Rally For Rights,” was pre-occupied by a tiny band of protesters in support of gay marriage,  “A small group of about 25 people stood while temperatures soared near 80 degrees.” For Robbins, two dozen people standing outside in “near 80 degree” heat (was it really that onerous?) was worth both special mention and 364 of the story’s 634 words.

By Erin R. Brown | April 25, 2011 | 3:39 PM EDT

This past Friday, April 22, 2011, marked the simultaneous celebration of Good Friday and Earth Day and ABC, CBS and NBC treated the two “holidays” as equals.

Though Good Friday has been celebrated by millions around the world for nearly 2,000 years, the 41-year-old liberal eco-celebration of “green living” known as “Earth Day” was put on the same platform as the sacred day that Christians remember Christ’s death.

There were 21 stories about Good Friday or Earth Day on April 22, and the networks nearly split down the middle in covering the Christian holiday and the “movement” to “save the environment.”

By Scott Whitlock | April 25, 2011 | 3:37 PM EDT

According to New York magazine, Nightly News anchor Brian Williams is a "versatile" humorist who now has a "second career" making people laugh. In a gushing, 3600 word piece, writer John Swansburg went so far as to fawn, "He’s a confident, kempt success in a profession dominated by neurotics and Apatovian man-children. Isn’t it time we took the comedy of Brian Williams seriously?"

For proof of the anchor's hilarity, Swansburg quoted NBC employees Tina Fey, Seth Meyers and Jimmy Fallon to attest to NBC employee Williams' comic talents. The New York journalist lamented that "Williams has yet to really receive his due as a comedian."

By Clay Waters | April 25, 2011 | 3:02 PM EDT

In Florida, New York Times reporter Lizette Alvarez buttered up Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida (aka Superwoman) the new head the Democratic National Committee, in Monday’s “In a Life Filled With Firsts, One More.” In case there weren’t enough superlatives in that headline, the subhead had another: “Energetic Florida Congresswoman to Be Democrats’ New Leader.”

By contrast, in March Alvarez suggested new Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott was in over his head, a political “novice” with a “go-it-alone style” that “irritated” or “annoyed” even his fellow Republicans.

By Matt Hadro | April 25, 2011 | 1:45 PM EDT

The "erosion" of progressive policies in the U.S. has led to a "dramatic" rise of economic inequality in the past few decades, writes Princeton historian Julian Zelizer in a op-ed. The incline has been so steep that Zelizer's headline asks "Are we heading for royal weddings in the U.S.?"

According to Zelizer, the upcoming British royal wedding "reminds some Americans of what America has never been," because America has never cherished an aristocratic tradition. But that could change due to a "dangerous accretion of power by wealthy interests and a dramatic rise of inequality...that weakens the health of our democracy."

By Geoffrey Dickens | April 25, 2011 | 1:27 PM EDT

NBC's Today show actually gave Tavis Smiley an opportunity to criticize the President, but it was from the left, as the PBS commentator claimed that Barack Obama has devoted "too much attention to the rich and the lucky."

Invited on Monday's show to promote his new book Fail Up: 20 Lessons On Building Success From Failure, Smiley was prompted by NBC's Ann Curry about what he thought was Obama's "greatest failure has been so far?" To which Smiley responded by listing a litany of liberal grievances against this president , as seen in the following exchange:

By Ken Shepherd | April 25, 2011 | 12:41 PM EDT

Until now, MSNBC's "Lean Forward" ad campaign had largely avoided wearing the network's leftward slant as a badge of pride. Sure, there were hints here and there that "Lean Forward" really means "left-leaning," but the older ads were subtle compared to the latest batch which beat you over the head with their liberal take on major political issues.

For example, you can expect to see MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell in this spot lamenting that ObamaCare didn't go far enough to the Left:


By Scott Whitlock | April 25, 2011 | 12:01 PM EDT

Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos on Monday described the country's "gas gripes" over rising fuel costs, adding, "Soaring prices lead to new pain for the President as big oil gets ready to report record profits." (MP3 audio here.)

The former Democratic operative turned journalist tried to put the best spin on Barack Obama's growing problems: "And, Jake, these gas prices are also knocking down President Obama's poll numbers, which is why he's out there nearly every day addressing this problem."

Reporter Jake Tapper, on the other hand, provided a more balanced look, pointing out, "When President Obama was sworn in, gas averaged $1.84 a gallon. Today, it's $3.86. And as prices have spiked since January, the President's approval ratings have sunk."

[See video below.]

By Noel Sheppard | April 25, 2011 | 10:36 AM EDT

In the midst of all that ails our nation comes a story that has to make you feel good.

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) has been cleared to attend Friday's shuttle launch which includes her astronaut husband Mark (video of the annoucement follows with commentary):

By Julia A. Seymour | April 25, 2011 | 10:20 AM EDT

The average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline hit $3.86 on April 25, more than $1-a-gallon higher than a year earlier and less than 25 cents away from the record high price of gasoline set in July 2008.

In fact, per gallon prices are more than $2 higher than when Obama took office Jan. 20, 2009. Yet the president has been nearly exempt from criticism on the issue of rising prices, despite a six-month drilling moratorium and more regulatory hurdles for industry.

The Business & Media Institute found that out of the 280 oil price stories the network evening shows have aired since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, only 1 percent (3 stories) mentioned Obama’s drilling ban or other anti-oil actions in connection with gasoline prices.

By NB Staff | April 25, 2011 | 9:42 AM EDT

The Washington Examiner has a great editorial out today noting the cognitive dissonance that characterizes President Obama's foreign policy. On the one hand, it seeks to make the United States the protector of innocents and champion of freedom fighters, but on the other, it neglects, even undercuts, America's role as the world's dominant military force and leader in global affairs. Check out an excerpt from the editorial below the break.

By Noel Sheppard | April 25, 2011 | 9:32 AM EDT

A day before the liberal website Wonkette posted a truly disgraceful piece about Sarah Palin's Down's syndrome son Trig, the Los Angeles Times published an article calling the former Alaska governor a "special-needs case."

Columnist Meghan Daum's "Why Sarah Palin Doesn't Get What She Deserves" was just another in a long line of hit pieces on the woman from Wasilla the elite media love to hate:

By Tim Graham | April 25, 2011 | 8:46 AM EDT

Monday's Washington Post touted on the front page a story on "Pointed comedy: Laughing Liberally prepares to take its 'This Ain't No Tea Party' show national." Emily Wax's story on the front of the Style section utterly failed to find the funny: 

In a grungy basement comedy club on West 46th Street, Elon James White, 32, bursts onstage in a hooded sweat shirt, hip-hopistan baseball cap askew, and lobs an opening joke about Rep. Michele Bachmann.

"I’m a fan of Republicans. They are just so damn entertaining. They’re the best reality show — ever. Forget the Kardashians, I want to know what the Bachmanns are up to," he hoots.

"That’s right, everyone. I’m a Negro in a hoodie, and I know who Michele Bachmann is," he continues, as the audience claps and roars. "Sorry, but I’m paying attention!"