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By Brad Wilmouth | February 25, 2011 | 11:30 PM EST

On Friday’s NBC Nightly News, during a report which focused on a group of Libyans helping to organize protests against dictator Muammar Qadhafi, correspondent Richard Engel gave viewers a glimpse into oppressed people looking to America for support as he concluded his report by relating that these protesters "have been waiting for a strong message from Washington." He also recounted that he had seen graffiti at the rebel headquarters calling on President Obama to "choose between the Libyan people or Qadhafi."

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Friday, February 25, NBC NightlyNews:

By Tom Blumer | February 25, 2011 | 11:22 PM EST

CNN announced tonight that Kathleen Parker is leaving Parker/Spitzer:

CNN co-host Kathleen Parker leaving show


Atlanta, Georgia (CNN) -- Kathleen Parker, the Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist who co-hosted CNN's 8 p.m. show, is leaving just five months after the show debuted, the company announced Friday.


"I have decided to return to a schedule that will allow me to focus more on my syndicated newspaper column and other writings," Parker said in a statement.

By Brad Wilmouth | February 25, 2011 | 11:18 PM EST

 On Friday’s Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, MSNBC host O’Donnell seemed to channel his predecessor, Keith Olbermann, as he ridiculously suggested racism in an RNC ad which accused President Obama of being beholden to organized labor, a charge often made against Democrats for many years in the past.

But, as he began an interview with guest Jennifer Granholm, former Democratic governor of Michigan, O’Donnell wondered, "does that sound to you like they are trying to consciously or subconsciously deliver the racist message that, of course, of course a black man can’t be the real boss?"

The MSNBC host began the segment:

By Brad Wilmouth | February 25, 2011 | 10:03 PM EST

 On Friday’s World News, ABC correspondent Ron Claiborne filed a report recounting some of the unreasonable problems faced by school systems when trying to lay off bad teachers as a result of hurdles put up by teachers unions. Claiborne noted one example of a Los Angeles teacher who was fired after five years of effort by the school system, costing $3.5 million. ABC anchor Diane Sawyer, who later admitted to having come from a family of teachers, gave voice to complaints over the system as she introduced the report:

Almost every one of us, parent and child, has been frustrated by a teacher who probably should not be teaching, but is protected by tenure or seniority, and the unions have been blamed. Well, now, for the first time under growing public pressure, a big teacher's union says they're ready to change that.

Claiborne’s report notably included a soundbite of former D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee complaining about the difficulty of firing bad teachers, although the ABC correspondent did not note the role that organized labor played in defeating the mayor who appointed her, Adrian Fenty, in the Democratic primary in 2010, resulting in her dismissal in spite of impressive achievements.

By Jack Coleman | February 25, 2011 | 9:34 PM EST

Ed Schultz is a firm believer in the law. Most of the time.

On his radio show yesterday, Schultz demonstrated how he's willing to be flexible when it comes to legalities, especially if it helps those sharing his politics.

Schultz was talking with Democratic state senator Jon Erpenbach, one of the so-called "Wisconsin 14" who have fled the state to avoid voting on what they consider union-busting measures in Gov. Scott Walker's proposed budget. After Schultz asked how the absent lawmakers were covering their expenses and Erpenbach said they were paying out of pocket, Schultz suggested this (audio here) --

By Brad Wilmouth | February 25, 2011 | 8:54 PM EST

 On Friday evening, uniquely among the broadcast network evening newscasts, the February 25 CBS Evening News briefly gave attention to former President George W. Bush’s decision to cancel a planned appearance in Denver at the Global Leadership Summit because of his disapproval of the same group’s plan to allow Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to address the event.

Quoting the former President as complaining that Assange has "done great harm to the U.S.," anchor Katie Couric read the item:

By Lachlan Markay | February 25, 2011 | 5:53 PM EST

For Rachel Maddow, corrections never come easy. But while the MSNBC host has at least offered corrections where she has previously gotten it wrong - granted, with the immense level of sarcasm and snark that is her hallmark - a recent flap with online watchdogs has the indignant Maddow splitting hairs in near-comedic fashion in an effort to avoid admitting she was mistaken.

But the numbers still belie her position.

The exchange began with Maddow's appearance on Leno Tuesday night. She falsely claimed that "of the top ten people donating money in [the 2010 election cycle], seven of them were giving to Republicans." In fact, as NB's Noel Sheppard pointed out, Maddow had it exactly backwards: 7 of the top 10 individual contributors gave more to Democrats than Republicans during the past cycle (and a lot more at that).

By Kyle Drennen | February 25, 2011 | 5:46 PM EST

While all three networks have touted Democratic claims that a government shutdown would stop Social Security Checks from going out, only CBS explained that the claim is completely false. ABC and NBC both used a sound bite of Illinois Senator Dick Durbin warning of the end of such payments, but reporters of neither network corrected the record.

In a report on Friday's Early Show on CBS, a clip was played of President Obama declaring during his February 15 press conference that a government shutdown would mean that "People don't get their Social Security checks. They don't get their veterans payments." Senior White House correspondent Bill Plante followed by pointing out: "That's actually not true. Social Security checks and veterans payments would still go out, just as they did when the government shut down 15 years ago."

By Jeffrey Jena | February 25, 2011 | 4:58 PM EST

Well it’s that time of year when all of the rich leftists in Hollywood get out their $40,000 dollar gowns, put on their millions in jewelry, climb into their limos, and head up to the Kodak Theater to pat themselves on the back for being working class heroes. I couldn’t care less about which picture or actor gets a trophy, I just love listening to the political correctness and monumental hubris on display for the world to see.

By Alex Fitzsimmons | February 25, 2011 | 4:03 PM EST

What do oil refineries and rental cars have in common? They will probably kill you, at least according to ABC's Brian Ross.

Ross is either bored with his job or just doesn't seem to care about frightening his viewers with exaggerated reports. But either way, ABC's chief investigative correspondent is breathing new life into the term yellow journalism.

Those who are familiar with Ross's work might notice an emerging pattern of sensationalism. The latest case studies concern oil refineries in Texas, which Ross's colleague described as the "toxic threat next door," and rental cars, which Ross himself cautioned are like "a consumer's version of Russian roulette."

By Ken Shepherd | February 25, 2011 | 4:03 PM EST

On Tuesday I wrote about how's Rick Reilly slammed 16-year-old Iowa wrestler Joel Northrup for his decision to forfeit a state tournament wrestling match against 14-year-old freshman Cassy Herkelman, citing his religious convictions about the impropriety of wrestling a girl.

Reilly mocked Northrup's beliefs as "wrong-headed," oddly comparing his refusal to wrestle Herkelman with someone using their religion to justify "pok[ing] the elderly with sharp sticks."

But it seems Reilly is an aberration with his bigoted vehemence, so I thought it good to point out a sports writer who commended Northrup's decision -- even though he respectfully disagrees with it -- and challenged America's kids to stay true to their convictions.

So kudos to Washington Post "Kids Post" feature writer Fred Bowen, for his February 24 article, "Honoring your beliefs makes you a winner."

Here's an excerpt:


By Scott Whitlock | February 25, 2011 | 3:51 PM EST

MSNBC anchors, such as Chris Matthews, often rail about a supposed failure by conservatives and Republicans to denounce birthers from their ranks. Yet, host Contessa Brewer interviewed 9/11 truther (and seller of birther merchandise) Alex Jones on Friday, allowing him to hype his conspiracy website three times.

Jones appeared on MSNBC's News Live to recount his gossip-filled interview with actor and friend Charlie Sheen. So desperate for the latest news on the unpredictable celebrity, Brewer blandly introduced, "Sheen was speaking with Alex Jones. He's the host of his own nationally syndicated radio show."

At no time did she hint that Jones promotes fringe theories blaming the U.S. government for 9/11 and distributes a documentary about "the chemtrail/geo-engineering" coverup. Jones also sells "Barry Soetoro" T-shirts (implying that the President is using an alias and is a secret Indonesian citizen).

By John Nolte | February 25, 2011 | 2:57 PM EST

I think he’s wrong about some of these things, I just can’t tell you why. – David Letterman

By Ken Shepherd | February 25, 2011 | 1:08 PM EST

Two Iranian warships docked in the Syrian seaport of Latakia on Thursday, the Associated Press reported yesterday:

The chief of Iran's navy, Adm. Habibollah Sayyari, said the frigate Alvand and the supply ship Kharq are in Syria for a training mission. He rejected Israeli criticism that the trip was provocative.

Of course, the Iranian and Syrian regimes are allies and co-sponsors of terroristic violence against the state of Israel, an ally of the United States.

So certainly such a provocative move should command coverage by the mainstream media, yet thus far among the Big Three networks, it appears from a search of Nexis that ABC has ignored the story while NBC and CBS have only done anchor briefs on the development.


By Clay Waters | February 25, 2011 | 1:04 PM EST

Matt Bai’s upcoming New York Times Sunday Magazine cover profile of Chris Christie, New Jersey's attention-getting Republican governor, has its questionable moments, but the overall tone was far more temperate than a teaser the Times used to promote it, featured on the front page of Thursday evening.

The segment of Bai's long story the Times chose to highlight is one that just happens to feed into the liberal complaint that President Ronald Reagan stigmatized welfare recipients as "welfare queens." (Bai's reference to "welfare queens" in the text is milder in context.)

The teaser reads: "The governor of New Jersey became the most celebrated Republican in America by tagging public-sector workers -- especially teachers -- as 21st-century welfare queens."