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By Kyle Drennen | June 13, 2011 | 1:03 PM EDT

While grilling former Pennsylvania Senator and presidential hopeful Rick Santorum on NBC's Sunday Meet the Press, host David Gregory was skeptical of the idea that Americans should be able to choose their own health care plan: "They're better off with the freedom that they've got in the vagaries of the private insurance market?"

Gregory was responding to Santorum's criticism of ObamaCare: "[Obama] doesn't believe Americans can actually make decisions for themselves, that he has to tell you how much money you're going to, you're going to spend on health care." After doubting the value of freedom in choosing medical insurance, Gregory pressed: "But you'd repeal the President's healthcare plan totally? Even covering pre-existing conditions, which most Republicans agree with?"

By Scott Whitlock | June 13, 2011 | 1:01 PM EDT

According to MSNBC's Thomas Roberts, who last week seemed to enjoy correcting Sarah Palin for her historical "flub," President Lyndon Johnson "was never actually elected Commander in Chief." The cable anchor relayed that piece of false information on Monday in a segment downplaying the chances of another Texan, potential 2012 candidate Rick Perry.

In fact, Lyndon Johnson won the 1964 election in a landslide, capturing all but six states. Discussing Texas, Roberts announced, "President Lyndon Johnson was from Texas and he was never actually elected Commander in Chief."

[See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Tom Blumer | June 13, 2011 | 11:48 AM EDT

Yesterday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted a reluctance on the part of Associated Press reporters to describe the farm involved in "the world's deadliest known outbreak of E. coli" as "organic."

The wire service issued two additional reports this morning, both of which failed to use the "O-word." The case for the use of the word in these reports is as strong, if not stronger, than it was in the seven items discussed yesterday. Beyond that, AP, along with the rest of the press, has failed to explore the possibility that Germany's 1950s-era outlook towards farming practices may have helped to create the conditions allowing such an outbreak to occur.

By NB Staff | June 13, 2011 | 10:34 AM EDT

For general discussion and debate about politics, the economy, sports, and whatever else tickles your fancy.

Possible talking point: Should a gay judge have recused himself in California's Proposition 8 case?

By Brent Baker | June 13, 2011 | 8:45 AM EDT

Much of the media made fools of themselves with their excited obsession over the release of Sarah Palin’s gubernatorial e-mails, but NBC News went the furthest, sending, as did CNN, reporters to Juneau as the network uniquely led its Friday night newscast by hyping the non-news as a major event. “On the broadcast tonight,” anchor Lester Holt heralded, “mail call. Thousands of pages of e-mail from Sarah Palin's time as Governor. What we're learning about her tonight.”

Following a story from “national investigative correspondent” Michael Isikoff in which “ investigative reporter” Bill Dedman had the gall to complain “we waited longer for these records than Sarah Palin was Governor, almost a thousand days,” NBC’s David Gregory recognized, in an understatement: “As Mike and his team are finding, not a lot of bombshells here.”

By Mark Finkelstein | June 13, 2011 | 7:43 AM EDT

When on today's Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski tried to report the comments of RNC Chairman Reince Priebus on Weinergate, Joe Scarborough shut her down and shut the comments out.  "It's just stupid.  Just shut up," said Scarborough of Priebus.

Joe's point was that both parties hypocritically seek to exploit sex scandals in which their opponents become involved.  But Morning Joe had already aired the comments of several Dems [and one Republican, Paul Ryan], including DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz . Didn't fairness call for giving Wasserman-Schultz's counterpart his due, then criticizing him if that's what Scarborough wanted to do?  

Chalk Scarborough's outburst to the same kind of grandstanding that led Morning Joe to entirely black out any first half-hour mention of the scandal the morning after Weiner's epic news conference admitting his actions and lies.

View video after the jump.

By Tim Graham | June 13, 2011 | 7:13 AM EDT

People magazine loves Obama. In the top right corner of the June 20 issue is a picture of the president tenderly sitting with younger daughter Sasha on the White House lawn and the words “President Obama On Being a Good Father: Plus Exclusive Family Photos.” Inside are five pages of pictures of adoring daughters getting moments with Obama’s White House photographer Pete Souza. The newest one’s from last August.

The White House pictorial also comes with an essay titled “Being the Father I Never Had, by Barack Obama.” People touted “In an exclusive Father’s Day essay, the elementary school basketball coach – and president – tells how growing up without a dad made him want to be the best parent he could.”

By Noel Sheppard | June 12, 2011 | 10:49 PM EDT

Fox News haters love to advance the myth that the network pushes exclusively conservative views and the anchors surround themselves with right-leaning yes men who never question them.

On the latest installment of "Fox News Sunday," liberal political analyst Juan Williams challenged host Chris Wallace's view of the public's support for the war in Afghanistan leading to a humorous exchange (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Tim Graham | June 12, 2011 | 9:52 PM EDT

The Associated Press is just like any other "prestige media" outlet in utterly failing the accuracy test when it comes to "transgender" stories. A man is a woman as long as he says he's a she. Take this stark prison story from  AP's Dena Potter on Tuesday:

DILLWYN, VA. -- Crouched in her cell, Ophelia De'lonta hoped three green disposable razors from the prison commissary would give her what the Virginia Department of Corrections will not — a sex change. It had been several years since she had felt the urges, but she had been fighting them for weeks. But like numerous other times, she failed to get rid of what she calls "that thing" between her legs, the last evidence she was born a male.

By Tom Blumer | June 12, 2011 | 6:40 PM EDT

On Wednesday evening in Europe (12:31 p.m. Eastern Time), in what it was already describing as "the world's deadliest known outbreak of E. coli," the Associated Press reported that "No cause for the outbreak has yet been found," while farmers on the continent were petitioning the EU for hundreds of million of dollars in compensation.

By midday European time (6:27 a.m. ET) on Friday, June 10, it was known ("Sprouts are cause of E. coli outbreak") that the contaminated food had come from Germany, when investigators "linked separate clusters of patients who had fallen sick to 26 restaurants and cafeterias that had received produce from the organic farm."

It is not my intention to get involved in a debate on farming techniques. But it seems obvious that if the outbreak came from an "organic" farming enterprise, follow-up stories should continue to mention that origin. Failures to mention organic farming have occurred often enough at the AP that one begins to wonder if those omissions are deliberate -- especially when coupled with the wire service's complete lack of coverage identifying skepticism, of which there is plenty, about the safety of organic farming practices.

By Noel Sheppard | June 12, 2011 | 6:01 PM EDT

The Andrew Breitbart-hating media certainly got its comeuppance Monday when Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) finally admitted that he had indeed been sending lewd pictures to young women via his Twitter account.

Sensing that he was seated with one such press member, CNN's Howard Kurtz on Sunday's "Reliable Sources" told a mopey Dana Milbank of the Washington Post, "You're just annoyed because Breitbart, who doesn't like the liberal media, has actually gotten some credit on this story" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Noel Sheppard | June 12, 2011 | 4:51 PM EDT

ABC's "This Week" actually used the occasion of Congressman Anthony Weiner's (D-N.Y.) sex scandal to discuss whether this was "a good moment for women."

During a lengthy segment, host Christiane Amanpour along with her exclusively white female guests proceeded to bash members of the opposite sex with ABC's Claire Shipman actually saying, "A group of all white men are not going to reach the best decisions" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Noel Sheppard | June 12, 2011 | 3:32 PM EDT

CNN's Eliot Spitzer arrogantly lectured about the benefits of Keynesian economics Sunday while accusing fellow panelists on "Fareed Zakaria GPS" of not knowing what they were talking about because they weren't business owners.

This led British historian Andrew Roberts to point out that President Obama's administration are mostly academics, and Ann Coulter to ask Spitzer, "What business have you ran? You’re a governor" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Noel Sheppard | June 12, 2011 | 2:02 PM EDT

Amy Holmes of America's Radio News Network made a fabulous observation Sunday concerning the New York Times and the Washington Post asking readers to go through Sarah Palin's email messages to assist them in finding dirt on the former governor.

Appearing on CNN's "Reliable Sources," Holmes marvelously concluded, "The media it seemed to me it was like they were putting out an 'America’s Most Wanted' tipline to try to find something to try to nail Sarah Palin...I think the media needs to go to rehab with Anthony Weiner and get over their obsession with this woman" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Tom Johnson | June 12, 2011 | 2:02 PM EDT

This was the week when Kossacks discovered Herman Cain in a big way...and by "discovered" I mean "singled out for venomous condescension." Another Kossack asserted that cable-news  coverage of Weinergate was designed not to inform and enlighten, but rather to sexually arouse the numerous "zombie[s]" in the audience.

As usual, each headline is preceded by the blogger's name or pseudonym.