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By NB Staff | | December 13, 2012 | 11:25 AM EST

The shocking developments in the Jimmy Savile child sex abuse scandal at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) raise disturbing questions about Mark Thompson, the former BBC director general who was named the new president and CEO of The New York Times Company in August.  Given what has come to light thus far, Thompson is at the very least "guilty of gross professional incompetence" and at worst involved in "an indefensible cover-up," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell charged in letters sent yesterday to New York Times publisher Jill Abramson executive editor Jill Abramson and publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr.

"If you did conduct a background investigation during the hiring process, what were your findings? If you knew about Mr. Savile’s alleged crimes while Mr. Thompson was director general, why did you decide to go ahead and hire him anyway?" Bozell inquired in the letters, which he is making public today, "because the public deserves to know the truth." "I want to give you the benefit of the doubt in this matter, and therefore the opportunity to respond," the Media Research Center founder added, concluding, "Your response will be reproduced in full." [You can find the Sulzberger letter pasted below and the nearly-identical Abramson letter is linked here ]

By Matthew Sheffield | | December 13, 2012 | 10:36 AM EST

Today's starter topic: In an interview with National Review, RNC chairman Reince Priebus discloses that he has set up a committee designed to examine and fix what he believes to be problems within the Republican Party. One of the topics under review is the so-called presidential debates. Priebus believes there were too many of them:

By Clay Waters | | December 13, 2012 | 8:28 AM EST

New York Times Atlanta bureau chief Kim Severson sounded worried about the "controversial" conservatives taking over the North Carolina governorship in "G.O.P.'s Full Control in Long-Moderate North Carolina May Leave Lasting Stamp," seeing "an increasingly conservative agenda" since Barack Obama won the state in 2008.

With a Republican newly elected as governor and a Republican-controlled legislature, North Carolina, long a politically moderate player in the South, will soon have its most conservative government in a century.

By Tim Graham | | December 13, 2012 | 8:05 AM EST

Patrick Moran – the same embarrassing son of liberal Democrat Congressman Jim Moran who drew some national attention in October for being caught on camera by Project Veritas encouraging voter registration fraud – has now brutalized his girlfriend in an alcoholic rage.

A police officer saw “Moran grab a woman by the back of her head and slam it into a trash can about 1:23 a.m. in front of the Getaway nightclub in Columbia Heights.” Moran was initially charged with felony assault. Girlfriend Kelly Hofmann was found bleeding “heavily” from her nose, according to court records, and her nose and right eye were “extremely” swollen. Guess where the Washington Post placed this “war on women” story?

By Tom Blumer | | December 12, 2012 | 11:41 PM EST

Back in the days when journalists practiced journalism, they would be on the alert for record-breaking news, whether positive or negative. These days, at least when it comes to the economy, it seems that they struggle to find positive records and ignore obvious negative ones right in front of their faces.

A case in point is today's Associated Press report on November's Monthly Treasury Statement. The government's report came in with a deficit of $172.1 billion, the highest November shortfall ever (the runner-up: last year's $137.3 billion). The AP's Christopher Rugaber either failed to recognize the reported amount as a record -- doubtful in my view given its size -- or didn't think its recordbreaking status was newsworthy. To be fair, unlike colleague Martin Crutsinger's typical monthly attempts, Rugaber got to almost all of the requisite monthly and year-to-date facts on receipts, spending, and the deficit itself, including comparisons to last year. Excerpts, including the all too familiar historical revisionism on how we got to where we are, follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

By Jack Coleman | | December 12, 2012 | 8:55 PM EST

Rachel Maddow is often absent from the MSNBC show which bears her name, thereby allowing one of her alternating guest hosts to serve up unintended comic relief.

Providing the hilarity last night was Washington Post blogger and Bloomberg columnist Ezra Klein, who predictably spun the story about Michigan legislators passing a right to work law (video after page break)

By Ken Shepherd | | December 12, 2012 | 6:42 PM EST

Democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey seemed absolutely shocked and appalled Tuesday afternoon, when MSNBC anchor Tamron Hall kicked off their interview on comprehensive immigration reform by asking him about breaking news from the Associated Press regarding the arrest and deportation order against an intern in the senator's office who is a registered sex offender. According to the report, the arrest was deliberately timed to fall AFTER the November 6 presidential election.

"Do you know anything about this report, senator," Hall asked a visibly annoyed Menendez.  "We certainly wouldn't have known through any background checks since he is a minor about any sex offender status," Menendez insisted, "and once it came to our attention, our New Jersey staff director let the young man go from the program." [MP3 audio here; video follows page break]

By P.J. Gladnick | | December 12, 2012 | 5:04 PM EST

Shame on Steven Crowder for brutally smashing his face down upon the tender closed fist of union member Tony Camargo.

Although the network news shows are carefully avoiding committing themselves to real journalism by not reporting on union violence in Michigan, those of us who have access to the censored news via the Web are well aware of what is actually happening. And in order to keep up the pretense that  the the unions are mere innocents in the drama unfolding in Michigan as you can see in this video of union thug Camargo throwing punches at Crowder, the DUers at the Democratic Underground have come up with excuses that are both bizarre and hilarious.

By Kyle Drennen | | December 12, 2012 | 5:03 PM EST

During a panel discussion on Tuesday's NBC Today about hiring people to do Christmas chores like decorating the tree or buying gifts, the network's chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman suddenly broke into an anti-religious rant: "I don't like the religion part. I think religion is what mucks the whole thing up....I think that's what makes the holidays so stressful." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Snyderman's take-the-Christ-out-of-Christmas commentary was prompted by fellow panelist Star Jones explaining: "I focus on, honestly, the religion part of it. I really and truly do. So I can't out-source that part of it. I can send you to get my tree, but I can't help – you can't help me pray." When Snyderman launched into her attack on faith, Jones countered: "That's the only reason for me to have the holiday....We wouldn't have the holiday if it wasn't for the religion part."

By Scott Whitlock | | December 12, 2012 | 4:37 PM EST

Apparently, Barbara Walters's idea of balance is grilling Chris Christie about being too fat and unhealthy to be president. Yet, during the same 10 Most Fascinating People of 2012 program, she conducted a girl talk session with Hillary Clinton, laughing with the Secretary of State about her hair. Walters appeared on Wednesday's Good Morning America to promote the show. Talking to Christie, she derided, "I feel very uncomfortable asking this question when I'm sitting opposite you. But you are a little overweight." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

After Christie retorted, "More than a little," Walters actually wondered, "Why [are you overweight]?" To this, the governor reminded, "If I could figure that out, I'd fix it." The journalist interrogated, "There are people who say you couldn't be president because you're so heavy. What do you say to them?" In contrast, Walters gently asked Clinton: "So, I have to ask you this very personal question. Your hair?" After Clinton chuckled, the host enthused, "Nobody asks the men that." The two then shared another laugh.

By Clay Waters | | December 12, 2012 | 4:24 PM EST

New York Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan posted Monday on a report by two "centrists" ludicrously lambasting the media for letting Mitt Romney get away with lie after lie during the campaign: "Did the Mainstream Press Really Bungle the Campaign’s ‘Single Biggest Story’?"

In one of the most fascinating media-related pieces I’ve read in a while, Dan Froomkin interviews Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein, two longtime Washington observers who wrote a book together and soon after, they say, found themselves near pariahs in a city that didn’t want to hear what they had to say.

By Ken Shepherd | | December 12, 2012 | 4:23 PM EST

In his Washington Secrets column in the December 12 Washington Examiner, columnist Paul Bedard disclosed for readers the thrust of a recent email that Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe sent supporters: McAuliffe is a "mainstream" candidate fighting for Virginians against the "extremist" Tea Party conservative Ken Cuccinelli.

That's par for the course for a liberal Democratic candidate in a swing state, of course, but its notable for our purposes at NewsBusters because, as I've been writing the past few weeks, that's exactly the narrative that the liberal Washington Post is putting in their ostensibly neutral news articles. You can find those pieces here, here, and here. As the 2013 off-year election season heats up, expect to see the liberal media generally, but the Washington Post in particular, do its best to help the McAuliffe campaign sell its narrative. It may be hard to tell where the campaign talking points end and the supposedly neutral news media begins.

By Clay Waters | | December 12, 2012 | 3:49 PM EST

Wednesday's New York Times's front page featured Monica Davey's latest dispatch from Lansing, after the Michigan legislature passed and the governor signed right-to-work legislation that would forbid unions to coerce membership dues from workers in the traditionally union-dominated state.

Davey's reporting has been consistently negative about the pro right-to-work side, and Wednesday's "Limits On Unions Pass In Michigan, Once A Mainstay" was no different. Avoiding the mob violence on the part of the union protesters, she noted neutrally that "Democrats and labor leaders vowing retribution at the ballot box and beyond" (what, exactly, does "and beyond" entail?).

By Jeffrey Meyer | | December 12, 2012 | 3:31 PM EST

Not only did MSNBC's Thomas Roberts jump on top of yesterday's deadly Oregon mall shooting to push gun control, he presented his softball interview with gun advocate Dan Gross of the Brady Campaign as a "debate." That's right, the segment's title, given in an onscreen graphic was "Gun Control Debate." Of course, Roberts failed to bring on a gun-rights advocate to balance out Gross's appearance, meaning the audience didn't witness an actual debate.

Spokesmen for the Brady Campaign appear regularly on MSNBC, as they share the same gun-control stance of the network's anchors.  Coupled with friendly interviewers like Roberts, they get a platform devoid of any hard questions or valid counterpoints.  [See video below page break.  MP3 audio here.]

By Matt Vespa | | December 12, 2012 | 2:44 PM EST

Remember the hand-wringing from the Left about how the Citizens United Supreme Court decision was supposed to turn America into a corporate dystopia.  The media obligingly amplified those complaints. Well, the December 12 USA Today published an analysis showing minimal corporate participation in this year’s election cycle.  In fact, their contributions amounted to roughly 10% of the mega donations doled out in 2012. 

Granted, there was a lot of money spent on this cycle.  $518 million dollars came from just 150 people, businesses, organizations, or unions, however: