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By Tom Blumer | February 14, 2011 | 1:00 AM EST

Sadly, one could write a term paper identifying and correcting the clever misstatements and obfuscations contained in Martin Crutsinger's Sunday report (since updated; original is still present here) for the Associated Press on the impending submission of the President's 2012 budget by the White House's Office of Management and Budget.

Lacking such space, I'll concentrate on what I believe are the two worst examples, both of which are present in his opening paragraph. Crutsinger significantly misleads about the total spending the administration is proposing for fiscal 2012, and fails to call a tax increase by its proper name, i.e., a tax increase.

That first paragraph reads as follows:

By Noel Sheppard | February 14, 2011 | 12:13 AM EST

New York Magazine's John Heilemann on Friday said the Republican presidential field is the weakest anybody has seen in our lifetime.

This absurd statement was made on the syndicated "Chris Matthews Show" in a segment about which GOPers will be throwing their name into the ring in the coming months before next year's elections (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Mike Bates | February 14, 2011 | 12:02 AM EST

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) isn't alone in having trouble understanding how the government is organized.  In a Sunday article posted on the Chicago Sun-Times's Web site, staff reporter Mary Houlihan credits the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-WI) with running the House Committee on Un-American Activities.  That would have been quite an accomplishment, given the fact McCarthy never served in the House of Representatives.

Houlihan writes of photographer Milton Rogovin, who died last month.  After military service during World War II, Rogovin "organized a chapter of the optometrists’ union and served as librarian for the Communist Party of Buffalo."

Then the inevitable happened. In October 1957, Rogovin was caught in the net cast by the House Un-American Activities Committee helmed by Sen. Joseph McCarthy. It was the waning days of the Communist witch hunt, and the experience would change Rogovin’s life.

By Noel Sheppard | February 13, 2011 | 10:52 PM EST

For the second week in a row, Newsweek's Eleanor Clift found herself in a hostile crowd on PBS's "McLaughlin Group."

During a lengthy segment about the crisis in Eqypt, after Clift claimed the protesters were secular, the entire panel almost pounced on her with Mort Zuckerman saying several times, "That's nonsense" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Tim Graham | February 13, 2011 | 9:53 PM EST

Forget the self-dealing and nest-feathering at WAMU! Forget the $300,000 salaries that make you rethink the $50 pledge! The Washington NPR affiliate is campaigning on its airwaves to get people to call Congress and stop any attempt to reduce funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. At the top of WAMU's website is this message from general manager Caryn Mathes: 

Reports are circulating that the U.S. House of Representatives could take action as early as next week to eliminate federal funding for public broadcasting. Eliminate it. This year's federal appropriation for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which distributes funding to local public radio and TV stations across the country, is $430 million, with public radio's share of that appropriation amounting to only 32 cents per capita.

By Brad Wilmouth | February 13, 2011 | 8:08 PM EST

 As CNN’s Fareed Zakaria concluded his Fareed Zakaria GPS show on Sunday, he recommended to his audience that they read former President George W. Bush’s memoir, Decision Points, but, even while recommending the book, he still took a dig at the former President as he described the book as "surprisingly well written." He also acknowledged that "you might not think he’s super-smart" before praising the former President as "agreeable" and "frank."

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Sunday, February 13, Fareed Zakaria GPS on CNN:

By Brad Wilmouth | February 13, 2011 | 6:08 PM EST

 On Thursday’s Last Word show on MSNBC, host Lawrence O’Donnell trashed conservatives for raising concerns about the possibility of a Muslim Brotherhood takeover of Egypt as the MSNBC host claimed that, "The Muslim Brotherhood is the latest excuse for the right wing to whip up anti-Islamic hysteria, including the old standby that President Obama is secretly a Muslim." Minnesota Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison, who appeared as a guest for the segment, even referred to the Muslim Brotherhood as a "scarecrow," and dismissed concerns about whether a new government might adhere to the peace treaty with Israel as the Democratic Congressman asserted that, "You haven’t seen one Israeli flag. You haven’t seen one."

But, while the overwhelming majority of Egyptian demonstrators may be motivated by a desire for better economic conditions and more freedom, it would be incorrect to claim that there is a complete absence of anti-Israel sentiment. On Sunday, January 30, the NBC Nightly News showed an image of one sign held by a protester that tied then-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to Israel by placing the Jewish Star of David over his face. And, on Saturday, January 29, ABC's World News Saturday showed a second sign with a similar image of Mubarak with a smaller Star of David on his forehead, as if to attack the Egyptian leader as being too friendly to Israel and Jews.

On the Friday, January 28, NBC Nightly News, correspondent Richard Engel even recounted concerns by some Egyptians that the Muslim Brotherhood would "hijack" the anti-government movement to take power:

By Tim Graham | February 13, 2011 | 5:25 PM EST

America's budget deficit is enormous. In fiscal 2010, it was $1.3 trillion, and government spending increased nine percent. But on Sunday's State of the Union program on CNN, anchor Candy Crowley pressed Obama's budget director Jack Lew from the left. The only question was who's going to be victimized by spending cuts: "So let's get down to the basic question, who's going to get hurt in this budget?"

Lew claimed "The budget saves $1.1 trillion over the next 10 years in domestic spending. It reduces, as you said in your introduction, $400 billion, which would bring us down to the smallest government as a size of the economy since Eisenhower was president." Team Obama's trying to sound like they're economizers, which is ludicrous. But Crowley could only retort: "At what cost?" Lew claimed the Obama budget has "scores of programs that are being reduced." Crowley could only keep suggesting they were heartless:

By Tim Graham | February 13, 2011 | 3:36 PM EST

Since he was summarily dismissed from National Public Radio for appearing on Fox News, some might forget that Juan Williams is a liberal -- but not if they were watching Fox News Sunday. Host Chris Wallace asked Williams about the House leaders losing track of how their freshmen would vote: "How embarrassing and that was what we saw John Boehner respond to at the beginning of the segment."

Williams insisted "this is the power of the Tea Party that has now come back to bite the Republican leadership," and even "I think there's a civil war going on right now and it's becoming apparent." Then he said they're setting up Obama's re-election:

By Tom Blumer | February 13, 2011 | 11:39 AM EST

On Thursday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted that Us Weekly's web site briefly posted a satirical item as legitimate news.

The satire item was about Sarah Palin criticizing Christine Aguilera's infamous National Anthem botch at last week's Super Bowl on Sean Hannity's Monday radio show. Palin didn't even appear on Hannity's show on Monday. Once caught by gossipcop.com, Us Weekly pulled the item.

The same cannot be said of Time.com. Time was also apparently fooled, but seems to be pretending that it knew the item was satire all along. Readers can judge for themselves from the graphics which follow.

By Brent Baker | February 13, 2011 | 10:44 AM EST

Friday’s USA Today featured an op-ed, “Centrist Obama mustn't sacrifice too much,” from Rich Benjamin, a Senior Fellow at something called “Demos,” who admitted he remains “besotted by President Obama” as he gushed:

Obama is...rebooting his operation to what he knows best: wizard of all things to all people and master of warm healing. He is acting as a multi-hued, but blank, canvas upon which a swath of Americans can project its diverse hopes and dreams. President Barack Tabla Rasa.

Benjamin, author of Searching for Whitopia: An Improbable Journey to the Heart of White America (I never heard of it either), began: “It's getting a bit lonely out in left field. Unlike many coach-flying passengers on the liberal wing of America, I'm as besotted by President Obama as ever.”

By Tim Graham | February 13, 2011 | 8:18 AM EST

On the PBS NewsHour Friday night, the show's liberal commentator, Mark Shields suggested the Republicans have no one to challenge Barack Obama: "The reality of the CPAC meeting is that there's 11,000 people there at the hotel registered for this conference. They're a constituency in search of a candidate. There is -- I mean, usually, it is a candidate looking for a constituency. They want to beat Barack Obama, but they don't have anybody."

In 2007, liberal commentators treated the Democratic field like an embarrassment of riches. They couldn't even be truly embarrassed by Dennis Kucinich. But now the Republicans have "nobody."

Naturally, PBS's allegedly conservative commentator David Brooks agreed: "I personally think there are really very few plausible candidates." He joked that Donald Trump would be the GOP nominee, then suggested Sen. John Thune was promising...because he was "an extremely good-looking guy." He said John McCain likes to say if he had Thune's face, he'd be president. Shields also slammed CPAC for failing to discuss Egypt all day:

By Mark Finkelstein | February 13, 2011 | 8:17 AM EST

Q. Can a Harvard Phi Beta Kappa and Rhodes Scholar, who has traveled to 150 countries and speaks Arabic, Chinese and Japanese, be hopelessly naive about foreign policy?

A.  Ever read one of Nicholas Kristof's columns?

For the trendy liberals of the New York Times, most any big event becomes fodder for that favorite progressive parlor game: putting America down.  Take Egypt. Yesterday, we noted how Bob Herbert compared American democracy unfavorably with that supposedly flourishing on the banks of the Nile.

Today brings us Kristof's "What Egypt Can Teach America."  Naturally, we have a lot to learn, starting with Kristof's command that America must "stop treating Islamic fundamentalism as a bogyman and allowing it to drive American foreign policy." Kristof accuses Americans of "paranoia about Islamism." Excellent point, Mr. K. I mean, it's not as if a bunch of lunatic Islamists hijacked planes and flew them into . . . oh, wait.

By Tim Graham | February 13, 2011 | 7:12 AM EST

On Saturday's Early Show on CBS, reporter Jeff Greenfield offered a story from CPAC, but warned that conservatives shouldn't be questioning Obama's belief in American exceptionalism or his war on terrorism. That's apparently a risky scheme. Greenfield ran clips from several presidential contenders questioning Obama and his anti-terror policies and concluded, "This was a theme that was rarely heard last year when Republicans won big victories centered on the unhappiness with the economy. And it's an open question whether it will strike a chord with voters who may not share this view of the President."

Can Greenfield honestly claim that no one running for the House or Senate last year talked about Obama's anti-terror policies or questioned how America now looks in the eyes of the world? Or is Greenfield just trying to tell his audience that conservatives only won because of the economy, so don't listen to them when they run down the other Obama policies?

By Brad Wilmouth | February 13, 2011 | 1:02 AM EST

 On the February 12 World News Saturday, ABC correspondent David Kerley highlighted claims by Bob Greenstein of the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy that the Democratic-controlled Senate and President Obama would block Tea Party-backed cuts from this year’s federal budget, thus protecting Republicans from their "less than responsible actions."

After Kerley began his piece by recounting that Tea Party Republicans in the House had pressured House Speaker John Boehner to support a plan cutting $100 billion in planned spending from the current fiscal year's budget, calling the cuts "broad and very deep," the ABC correspondent included a clip of Greenstein asserting that "they’re bigger than people think" without informing viewers of the liberal lean of his organization.

After a second clip of Greenstein in which the former Carter administration member contended that Republicans are "protected from the consequences of their own, I think, less than responsible actions here," Kerley continued: "Protected from the consequences, he says, because the Democratic Senate and the President will not go along."