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By Robert K. Wilcox | April 21, 2011 | 5:09 PM EDT

It’s hard to make a rich man sympathetic as he battles the forces of evil from the marbled halls of palatial mansions. But the screen adaptation of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged does it. At the apparent climax of the movie, there’s a stand up and cheer moment as the stars – Industrialist Henry Rearden (Grant Bowler) and Dagny Taggart (Taylor Schilling) – literally speed in a train to victory over a foolish, conniving, and good-ideas-squelching government in Washington.

By Noel Sheppard | April 21, 2011 | 4:43 PM EDT

As NewsBusters reported Wednesday, the liberal website Wonkette published a truly disgraceful piece earlier in the week about Sarah Palin's Down's syndrome son Trig.

Under intense pressure from readers and advertisers, the site's editor took the post down Thursday:

By Matt Hadro | April 21, 2011 | 3:47 PM EDT

CNN contributor John Avlon, labeled an "independent," was all but sounding the death knell for 2012 Republican presidential hopes on CNN Thursday. Avlon took Republican criticism of notable figures such as Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, and Michele Bachmann and spun it to tout that the GOP is in trouble.

"This is the sound of Republicans getting nervous," Avlon ominously sounded. "It really hurts the Republican Party in the long-term."

Anchor Carol Costello opened the segment with a clip of Bush's former senior advisor Karl Rove dismissing Donald Trump as an "inconsequential candidate" over his "embrace of the 'birther' issue." Costello added that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Sarah Palin are under fire from other Republicans and conservatives for some of their own views.

By Clay Waters | April 21, 2011 | 3:10 PM EDT

It was a tiny item in the New York Times -- a brief at the bottom of page B14 of Tuesday's sports section, under Lacrosse: “Crystal Mangum, who falsely accused three Duke players of raping her in 2006, was charged with murder in the death of her boyfriend.” The man died two weeks after Mangum stabbed him, and Mangum has now been charged with murder.

The Times may prefer to forget that name, but it was far more interested in Crystal Mangum back in 2006. More than any other media outlet, the Times trumpeted her rape accusations against three Duke lacrosse players, accusations that quickly fell apart in a mass of contradictions and shifting stories.

By Tim Graham | April 21, 2011 | 2:22 PM EDT

Turn a few pages of the "Time 100" -- ostensibly the "most influential people in the world"  -- and you can easily see it as a gimmick, and not a serious attempt to measure influence. Look no further than the media. In the new 2011 list, one media name stands out  -- Joe Scarborough, the liberal-pleasing "Republican" MSNBC host Mark Levin calls "The Morning Schmo." There are no Fox News hosts and no liberal-media TV stars and no talk-radio titans. Time editor Richard Stengel is a guest on the Scarborough show, and they often hype the new Time magazine cover, so declaring him influential looks very much like a bit of commercial/political pork-barreling. The tribute to Joe came from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (the two Manhattan centrists have been talked up as a presidential dream team):

As a group, cable-television talk-show hosts are not exactly known for independent political analysis that is free of partisan favoritism, but that is exactly what makes Joe Scarborough, 48, so refreshing — and so important. Joe's approach to politics is the same as mine: call 'em like you see 'em, and even if people don't agree with you on every issue — and they won't — they will respect you for being honest. They will know you are not shilling for a party or an ideology. And they will do exactly what you would hope any voter — and any viewer — would do: listen with an open mind and come to their own conclusions.

By Geoffrey Dickens | April 21, 2011 | 2:12 PM EDT

Deval Patrick appeared on Thursday's Today show to promote his new book but NBC's Matt Lauer wasted no time in prodding the Democratic governor of Massachusetts about making a run against Republican Senator Scott Brown as he pressed: "I know there's pressure on you right now. Some people want you to take on Scott Brown for the Senate seat in Massachusetts, once held by Ted Kennedy. Are you running?"

For his part Patrick initially ducked the question, insisting he had no interest in a Senate run but this didn't dissuade Lauer from forcing the issue as he repeatedly questioned him about taking on Brown, even asking if he would reconsider if pushed by the President himself: "You know, the Democrats want that seat back. You're very friendly with Barack Obama and if he walks up to you and says, 'Deval,' I think he calls you that as opposed to Governor, 'Deval I want you to run for that seat,' do you say no?

Patrick again denied he wanted to run for Senate, but after a brief discussion about his memoir, Lauer again returned to the question as he teased: "The main message of the book, it seems, Governor, is a message of hope and optimism.  There's a guy, recently, wrote a book I think it was called The Audacity of Hope. He's president now."

By Scott Whitlock | April 21, 2011 | 12:51 PM EDT

According to MSNBC's Chris Matthews, "the only cuts that [Tea Partiers] seem to want are the cuts for the poor people." The Hardball host smeared the conservative protesters on Thursday while discussing planned reforms to Medicare and Medicaid.       
Guest Jonathan Alter laughed at Matthews' attack, prompting the anchor to mock, "You're laughing because you know how right-wingers think."

Citing a Washington Post poll showing 52 percent of Tea Partiers support cutting Medicaid, he prompted the former Newsweek editor, "...Strong, zealous Tea Party people have brought themselves to willingness to cut poor people. That doesn't surprise me, but your thoughts."


By Tim Graham | April 21, 2011 | 12:20 PM EDT

On Monday, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed a new voter-identification law the requires photo identification of all in-person voters at every election, as well as requiring proof of citizenship for voter registration beginning on January 1, 2013. The state House passed the bill by a margin of 111 to 11. Naturally, liberals like Rachel Maddow think these simple rules are rigging the system. On Tuesday night's show, a very hyperbolic Maddow claimed "it's going to be almost impossible to get registered to vote now in Kansas." Her guest was Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the incoming chair of the Democratic Party, who was lobbing bombs at Republicans.

MADDOW: Is making it harder to register to vote, which many Republican-controlled states are pursuing right now -- is that a partisan tactic?

WASSERMAN-SCHULTZ: Well, I think it's sending a very strong signal that Republicans don't think they can win elections in a fair fight. So, they need to go systematically state-by-state rigging it so that it makes it much more difficult for all voters, regardless of political party affiliation or philosophical approach can get to the polls.

By Nicholas Ballasy | April 21, 2011 | 12:00 PM EDT

Actress Kate Walsh of ABC’s “Private Practice” told that drilling offshore will not reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil and Americans who support domestic drilling are “misinformed.”

Walsh was on Capitol Hill with the nonprofit organization Oceana speaking at an event held to mark the one year anniversary of the BP gulf oil spill.

By Clay Waters | April 21, 2011 | 11:33 AM EDT

New York Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief Ethan Bronner and reporter Jennifer Medina summarized on Wednesday the outcry after the dramatic reversal earlier this month by Judge Richard Goldstone. The judge authored the notorious "Goldstone report" for the United Nations Human Rights Council, blaming the state of Israel, but not the terrorist group Hamas, for making targets of civilians during the three-week Gaza war in 2008.

In an April 3 op-ed for the Washington Post (one rejected by the New York Times), Goldstone admitted that the data vindicated Israel’s concerns about his report: “If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document.”

Since then, as CAMERA reports, the Times has described the resulting political machinations in a way to make Israel look cynical rather than truth-seeking, while softening the blow to Goldstone’s credibility, by refusing to give up on Goldstone’s initial accusations that Israel deliberately targeted Palestinian civilians: “Investigator On Gaza Was Guided By His Past – Goldstone Once Led South Africa Inquiry.

Like the headline, the report itself assumed Goldstone was acting in good faith all along:

By Ken Shepherd | April 21, 2011 | 11:13 AM EDT

Are you a Christian who also is supportive of Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan? Then you'd best repent of your sin and be renew your mind with the social gospel.

That's the pronouncement of liberal theologian Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite in an April 18 post at the Washington Post/Newsweek "On Faith" website.

Brooks Thistlethwaite -- who previously hit Tea Party conservatives as tribalistic -- apparently believes that politically conservative Christians are trying to serve two masters, Jesus and Ayn Rand (emphasis mine):

By NB Staff | April 21, 2011 | 9:34 AM EDT

National Review's Jonah Goldberg brings us three minutes of astounding - and hysterical - blathering from a group of teenage (from the looks of 'em) environmentalists, in Washington D.C. for the Energy Action Coalition’s Power Shift conference. "So, so, much stupid crammed into such a small space. Might create a blackhole of dumb," Goldberg tweeted yesterday. There's not much else we can say to preface this video. Take a look below the break.

By Noel Sheppard | April 20, 2011 | 10:25 PM EDT

MSNBC's Martin Bashir did an extremely contentious interview with Andrew Breitbart Wednesday wherein it was clear from the get-go the goal was to paint the conservative publisher and the Tea Party he's affiliated with as racist.

This became obvious to Breitbart after Bashir asked his opinion of a truly offensive picture of Barack Obama leading Breitbart to fire back, "You're trying to insinuate that I'm a racist here, which is what MSNBC does to conservatives every single day" (video follows with commentary and full transcript at end of post):

By Matt Hadro | April 20, 2011 | 5:50 PM EDT

They may not be officially celebrating "Green Week," but CNN was fully in the spirit of the week Wednesday morning. Anchor Carol Costello expressed her dismay that Congress has not acted in the last year to prevent another disaster like the BP oil spill, and seemed to want more safety regulations and laws for oil companies to follow in a disaster.

"Congress doesn't seem to be in charge," Costello lamented, on the one-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon disaster that began the massive oil spill into the Gulf of Mexico.

When CNN correspondent Brianna Keilar reported that House committees have been moving legislation to speed up drilling permits and open up new offshore drilling areas, Costello was troubled.

By Scott Whitlock | April 20, 2011 | 5:25 PM EDT

MSNBC on Wednesday promoted a study suggesting that gays are more likely to kill themselves in conservative parts of the country. News Live co-host Thomas Roberts explained, "There's a disturbing new study showing suicide attempts by teen, gay or straight, are more frequent in conservative areas where schools don't have programs supporting gay rights."

Roberts talked to the study's author, Columbia University researcher Mark Hatzenbuehler, and wondered, "Is it strictly something that needs to be looked through a lens of liberal and conservative? It seems kind of daft to think it's just all politics."