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By Kyle Drennen | March 14, 2011 | 6:25 PM EDT

On Monday's Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC, fill-in host Norah O'Donnell touted "court challenges and recall efforts now that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has signed a bill into law restricting collective bargaining rights." Turning to former SEIU President Andy Stern, she proclaimed: "100,000 protesters took to the [Wisconsin] capital this weekend....That's a huge rally."

Stern argued: "...that is enormous and I think it just makes the point this is not over....People are very angry and this has become quite a symbolic moment." O'Donnell then lamented: "And yet, the Governor was able to sign this bill into law." She later added: "You think actually there's been a backlash that has mobilized all the pro-union forces, as a result, all across the country." Stern responded: "I think it's an American moment where people say, 'We understand we have to share in the pain when things are bad but we don't think we have to lose our rights, lose our unions, and have large corporations and some of the members of the Republican party act in such a destructful [destructive] manner.'"

By Geoffrey Dickens | March 14, 2011 | 6:19 PM EDT

The Birther conspiracy obsessed Chris Matthews, on Friday's Hardball, suggested the disaster in Japan was a good opportunity for Barack Obama to remind people he was born in Hawaii. Well when a guest on Monday's show pointed out Obama did just that, the MSNBCer couldn't help but congratulate him as he told the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson: "Thank you for reminding us the President was raised in Hawaii...and not of the Maus Maus, which some of his more insane critics have brought up."

Matthews began his final segment by leading his guest into the answer he was looking for by asking, "What do you think of the way he's handled this thing?"

By Matt Hadro | March 14, 2011 | 5:22 PM EDT

The damage control effort over at National Public Radio (NPR) is at such a state that they've consulted a piece from Glenn Beck's TheBlaze.com to argue it's the victim of a smear operation. On Sunday morning's "Weekend Edition," NPR delved into the report.

When a sting operation launched by conservative James O'Keefe recorded a top NPR Foundation fundraiser making disparaging comments about Republicans and tea partiers, NPR faced heavy public scrutiny. But a publication created by Glenn Beck, described by an NPR correspondent as a "sort of a conservative 'Huffington Post,'" used the full-cut video of the operation, released after the original edited video, to argue that O'Keefe may have cut the video to cast some comments out of context.

(Click here for the NPR story, which includes audio and transcript of the segment.)
 

By Matthew Balan | March 14, 2011 | 3:29 PM EDT

Jay Kernis, senior producer of CNN's In the Arena program, promoted liberal writer David Sirota's thesis that "the mythology of the 1980s still defines our thinking on everything from militarism, to greed, to race relations." Sirota bashed 80s cultural touchstones such as The A Team and Ghostbusters for being "hideously militaristic" and the "ugliness of [their] anti-government message."

Kernis interviewed the Huffington Post contributor about his new book, "Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explain the World We Live in Now—Our Culture, Our Politics, Our Everything" in an item on his program's blog on CNN.com on Monday. The producer first asked about the writer's hypothesis that "the political and cultural references from the 1980s have not only become cool again, but may be a way to explain our present-day issues and conflicts, and even influencing our thinking today."

Sirota, who once attacked Glenn Beck as a "right wing political terrorist" and labeled opponents of President Obama "a bunch of psychopaths," cited an apparent connection with the current Tea Party movement:

By Clay Waters | March 14, 2011 | 3:27 PM EDT

The New York Times over the weekend was still insisting the defeat of public-sector unions in Wisconsin actually heralds the revival of the Democratic Party.

Saturday’s “Political Memo” teamed tea-party beat reporter Kate Zernike (pictured below) with Monica Davey for "Democrats See Wisconsin Loss As Galvanizing." It came on the heels of Friday’s pro-union coverage, including "In Wisconsin Battle on Unions, State Democrats See a Big Gift."

Even as the Republican governor of Wisconsin was signing a bill Friday that all but ended collective bargaining for state employees, Democrats nationally had put out advertisements and letters to use his own success against him.

In a push to raise money for their candidates, Democrats hope Wisconsin will be for them what the health care overhaul was for Republicans in last year’s midterm elections: a galvanizing force for their base, and an example of overreaching that will win them crucial independent voters, not just in Wisconsin but also in Congressional races and the presidential election next year.

That’s not exactly how the Times covered the passage of Obama-care. Adam Nagourney’s front-page “political memo” of March 23, 2010, “For G.O.P., United Stand Has Drawbacks, Too,” strongly suggested Republicans could pay a political price for opposing Obama-care. (Oops.)

By Lachlan Markay | March 14, 2011 | 3:20 PM EDT

Retired U.S. Senator Evan Bayh has landed a gig as a Fox News Channel contributor, the Huffington Post reported Monday afternoon. The Indiana Democrat also served as governor from 1989 to 1997.

Bayh's new digs will likely elicit long lists of his departures from liberal orthodoxy from the left's ubiquitous Fox-haters. But another Democrat - and one who agreed with the American Conservative Union only 23 percent of the time - in the channel's lineup certainly won't help in ongoing efforts at, for instance, the New York Times to tar Fox as uniquely partisan.

By Clay Waters | March 14, 2011 | 2:15 PM EDT

New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller’s latest sniping at Fox News garnered some unsympathetic media attention. Keller told a New York college audience March 3 that "I think if you're a regular viewer of Fox News, you're among the most cynical people on planet Earth. I cannot think of a more cynical slogan than 'Fair and Balanced'.”
 
The Daily Beast media reporter Howard Kurtz questioned Keller’s judgment, but also inaccurately stated that “The executive editor of The New York Times doesn't generally engage in trashing other news organizations. So Bill Keller caused quite a stir when he unloaded on Fox News.”

In fact, Keller has eagerly and consistently attacked his rivals at Fox News since he replaced Howell Raines (who has also viciously attacked Fox News) as executive editor in July 2003.

By Kyle Drennen | March 14, 2011 | 1:33 PM EDT

On Sunday's 60 Minutes on CBS, correspondent Bob Simon noted the eighth anniversary of the war in Iraq by describing how "questions still remain as to why the United States launched the war in the first place. The Bush administration said it was because of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. But there were no such weapons."
                        
In the segment that followed, Simon interviewed Rafid Alwan – also know by his code-name 'Curve Ball' – a former Iraqi chemical engineer who claimed the Hussein regime was pursuing weapons of mass destruction. Before the interview Simon implored viewers to "ponder how anyone could ever have believed one word he [Alwan] said." After the interview, Simon concluded that the Bush administration had fallen for "one of the deadliest con jobs in history" by listening to Alwan and going to war in Iraq.

By Scott Whitlock | March 14, 2011 | 12:31 PM EDT

Good Morning America on Monday featured two liberal experts to explain the escalating crisis in Japan, but didn't identify the leftist background of either. Co-host George Stephanopoulos identified Joe Cirincione as someone "who has also spent many years inside the U.S. government dealing with nuclear issues."

The ABC anchor failed to mention that Cirincione previously worked for the liberal Center for American Progress and was the director of the Carnegie Endowment for Peace. (Stephanopoulos only explained Cirincione's current job, President of the Ploughshares Fund, a group dedicated to achieving a "achieve a safe, secure, nuclear weapon-free world.")

At one point, the journalist offered a mildly challenging question, wondering, "And the White House doesn't seem to be in a red alert status. Is that being too complacent?" Cirincione responded by defending, "The Japanese are some of the best in the world at this. But nobody's been prepared for this kind of thing."

By NB Staff | March 14, 2011 | 9:11 AM EDT

Michael Barone has an interesting column in Monday's Washington Examiner noting that the president has worked his habit of refusing to stake out a concrete position into the White House's approach to the two major issues of the day: the uprising in Libya, and the ongoing debate and legislative battle over the federal budget. Barone writes:

One must concede that the issues involved here are difficult. The revolt against the Gadhafi regime in Libya poses difficult questions, and even those advocating certain responses, like Kerry and Wolfowitz, concede that there is no assurance that they will work as hoped.

By Mark Finkelstein | March 14, 2011 | 8:58 AM EDT

Is a pizza about to push Mika Brzezinski over the edge?  Seriously.  Her frantic reaction to finding her daughter and friend sharing a Domino's has me worried about Mika's state of mind.

Regular Morning Joe viewers know that Mika's dream job would be as Kommissar of the Food Police.  Her concern about obesity, particularly of the childhood variety, is commendable.  But her solutions--heavy-handed government intervention of the sort Mayor Bloomberg has made infamous--would flout individual liberties.

Things came to a deep-fried denouement this morning, as a quasi-hysterical Brzezinski described her horror at discovering girls . . . eating pizza.

View video after the jump.

By Tim Graham | March 14, 2011 | 8:58 AM EDT

Monday's Washington Post promoted the annual Gridiron Club dinner in Washington on Saturday night, complete with pictures of glitzy Katie Couric, Andrea Mitchell, and Arianna Huffington. This media-insider event finally attracted President Obama. There were no cameras allowed, so Obama once again made fun of Speaker John Boehner's skin color:

The president said he used to think the House speaker was tan, but after seeing him tear up so much, he realized: “That’s not a tan — that’s rust!” A Gridiron skit had Fake Boehner singing “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to,” Lesley Gore-style. (I’m try’n to show them some leadership here / some gravitas and some guts / how did I end up in bed / with all these Tea Party nuts?) 

That was not the only Republican-bashing done inside this liberal media club. Media people dressed up as the Republican presidential field, including Rudy Giuliani in a pink dress, and sang a nasty song:

By Tim Graham | March 14, 2011 | 8:04 AM EDT

The left end of the radio dial is designated for non-commercial broadcasters, which is usually NPR stations and Christian stations. No one would confuse the two. On Thursday, the nationally distributed NPR show Fresh Air with Terry Gross became the latest media outlet to celebrate the Bible-shredding of professor Jennifer Wright Knust (after CNN.com and the Washington Post On Faith website.) Gross began:

As a Bible scholar, ordained Baptist pastor and professor of religion Jennifer Knust says she's tired of watching those who are supposed to care about the Bible reducing it to slogans. For example, she says you can't use the Bible as a straightforward guide to sexual morality because the Bible fails to offer a consistent message regarding sexual morals and God's priorities.

Gross's first question: “What do you find most interesting and maybe most anachronistic about what the Bible has to say about marriage?”

By Noel Sheppard | March 13, 2011 | 10:03 PM EDT

CNBC's Lawrence Kudlow on Friday made a stock market comment about the earthquake and resulting tsunamis in Japan that have liberal media members hyperventilating.

Before we get to the response, here's what Kudlow said (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):

By Noel Sheppard | March 13, 2011 | 6:16 PM EDT

Chuck Todd on Sunday bashed Republican governor Mitch Daniels for his state having a 9.1 percent unemployment rate.

The substitute host of NBC's "Meet the Press" must not be aware that this is lower than most of Indiana's neighbors and is basically the same as the national rate (video follows with transcript and commentary):