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By Kyle Drennen | | October 16, 2012 | 12:21 PM EDT

In a pathetic attempt to smear Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan ahead of Tuesday's second presidential debate, NBC's Today seized on a story in Monday's Washington Post accusing Ryan and his family of washing already clean pots and pans at a soup kitchen in Ohio for a photo-op. Co-host Matt Lauer wondered: "Would a campaign do that? We're gonna talk about it." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Following a report on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton taking responsibility for security failures in the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya, political director and chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd actually treated the supposed dishwashing incident as if it were a scandal: "Paul Ryan is dealing with some fallout from that weekend photo-op....something that – that the campaign is a little nervous about because they're trying to get through this idea of whether they're in touch or out of touch."

By Clay Waters | | October 16, 2012 | 12:00 PM EDT

The New York Times Sunday Styles profile by Amy Chozick of Obama campaign manager Stephanie Cutter, "A Messenger Who Does the Shooting," reads as a bit behind on current events (many Sunday profile-type pieces are written several days in advance).

It comes off like a snapshot from before Cutter shamelessly politicized the Libya attack last Thursday by suggesting the only reason anyone cared about Benghazi was the Romney-Ryan campaign. And Chozick must have written the profile during that extremely brief time when the Cutter-inspired emphasis on Big Bird seemed hip and clever, not desperate and out of touch.

By Ken Shepherd | | October 16, 2012 | 11:55 AM EDT

Pastors -- almost all of them conservative Christian ones -- who participated in "Pulpit Freedom Sunday" on October 7 are not free-speech crusaders but rather simply "rebels" against sensible U.S. tax policy, Yale law professor Adam Cohen complained in an October 16 TIME Ideas blog post. Cohen groused that The participants are trying to bait the IRS into coming after them so they can mount a legal challenge to the politics ban. So far, no luck, though they show no signs of quitting.

Cohen -- who once insisted the First Amendment's free speech guarantees are "vague"-- complained that pastors of tax-exempt churches issuing approval or condemnation of political candidates or legislation from the pulpit would in some way constitute a government subsidy of that political view. That's a popular view among liberals but it is a fundamentally-flawed premise that only makes sense if you believe that tax monies fundamentally BELONG to the government in the first place.

By Noel Sheppard | | October 16, 2012 | 11:16 AM EDT

The election’s over, ladies and gentlemen.

On Monday’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, Alana Thompson, the star of TLC's runaway hit Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, officially endorsed Barack Obama (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):

By Noel Sheppard | | October 16, 2012 | 10:16 AM EDT

Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham doesn't think the liberal media's bar is very high for Barack Obama to get wildly favorable reviews after Tuesday's upcoming presidential debate with Mitt Romney.

Appearing on Fox & Friends early Tuesday morning, Ingraham said, "He can sit there playing Angry Birds on his iPhone and I think they’ll go, 'Oh wow, masterful performance'" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By NB Staff | | October 16, 2012 | 10:14 AM EDT

Discuss the news of the day and anything else here. Obviously a lot of pre-gaming before the presidential debate going on today. But many people don't like the townhall format. What is your opinion on townhall versus traditional debate moderation?

By Tom Blumer | | October 16, 2012 | 9:49 AM EDT

(See Updates re President Obama's statement in 2010 and money the State of Michigan flushed down the drain.)

Eric Savitz at Forbes relays news this morning that "A123 Systems has filed for bankruptcy protection in federal court ... Late yesterday, the battery company had warned that it was about to default on several loan issues, noting that a bankruptcy filing was a possibility; but it still seems startling to see them file just hours later."

What does (or did) A123 do? It "makes rechargeable lithium-ion batteries for electric cars." Savitz can't resist casting the bankruptcy in political terms in his third paragraph:

By Rich Noyes | | October 16, 2012 | 8:14 AM EDT

Tonight’s town hall-style presidential debate will ostensibly feature questions from undecided voters, but the evening’s agenda will really be decided by the moderator, as CNN’s Candy Crowley will select which of the more than roughly 80 voters in the room will actually get a chance to talk to the candidates.

Reviewing the five previous town hall debates, the journalist-moderators have tended to skew the agenda of these so-called citizen forums to the liberal side of the spectrum, but not always. Overall, questions have been twice as likely to favor liberal causes versus conservative ones.

By Clay Waters | | October 16, 2012 | 7:57 AM EDT

Two New York Times's liberal columnists are agreed: Repealing Obama-care would have a massive body count. Paul Krugman (pictured) wished readers a happy Monday with his cheerfully titled column "Death by Ideology."

Mitt Romney doesn’t see dead people. But that’s only because he doesn’t want to see them; if he did, he’d have to acknowledge the ugly reality of what will happen if he and Paul Ryan get their way on health care.

By Tim Graham | | October 16, 2012 | 7:17 AM EDT

In his book The Assault on Reason, Al Gore lamented "The world of television ... makes it virtually impossible for individuals to take part in what passes for a national conversation.” Now his channel, Current TV, is the home of juvenile playground talk. On Friday after the vice presidential debate, Current host Stephanie Miller cracked, “Can you imagine him as President, Paul Ryan? He looked about twelve.” Guest John Fugelsang replied: “I called Child Protective Services, 'cause I saw an old man beating up a twelve year old boy.”

The morning of the debate, they also mocked Ryan. Miller said, “Paul Ryan said yesterday, the Vice President’s going to come at me like a cannonball. Oh little Eddie [Munster], don’t poo yourself!”

By Tom Blumer | | October 15, 2012 | 10:34 PM EDT

Early this afternoon, as part of the wire service's continuing "Why It Matters" series, the Associated Press's Eileen Sullivan boiled down the impact of the September 11 Benghazi, Libya attack during which U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed and the U.S. consulate destroyed as follows: It "injected the issue of diplomatic security into the presidential campaign and renewed questions about the quality of U.S. intelligence."

Uh, Eileen, "the quality of U.S. intelligence" is not at issue. What is at issue is the intelligence and judgment of the people charged with using that intelligence. The Obama administration failed, up to and including the commander in chief and his Secretary of State, failed to respond to the intelligence communicated and to truthfully relay its substance to the American people on a timely basis. Instead, they invented the idea of a pre-attack protest which never occurred because of a 14-minute video which nobody cared about until there was a need to find a reason other than their own failings to protect Americans overseas. Here are Sullivan's opening two paragraphs (bold is mine):

By Tom Blumer | | October 15, 2012 | 8:35 PM EDT

The Left and the establishment press (but I repeat myself) are taking heart in the fact that Bruce Springsteen has agreed to campaign for Barack Obama in Ohio and Iowa later this week.

The campaign of Mitt Romney, and Republicans in general, are the ones who should be cheered by this development for two reasons. One of them, which is being reported, is that Springsteen said earlier this year that he wouldn't be campaigning; the fact that he has changed his mind proves that Team Obama is genuinely worried about their boss's reelection prospects. The second isn't as well-known, but should be. "The Boss" (i.e., Springsteen) went all-in with the Occupy movement earlier this year, essentially ratifying our incumbent president's endorsement. Springsteen's stance was described in several places in February, including at the Gothamist:

By Jack Coleman | | October 15, 2012 | 8:11 PM EDT

Smoking-gun evidence that ABC's Martha Raddatz was a biased moderator in the vice presidential debate -- Rachel Maddow is gushing about her.

On her MSNBC show Friday night, Maddow went so far as to suggest that Raddatz was worthy of the presidency (video after page break) --

By Tim Graham | | October 15, 2012 | 5:45 PM EDT

Of the four liberal-media moderators selected by both parties at the Commission for Presidential Debates, CNN's Candy Crowley is the fairest. She's a longtime political-news pro, but that doesn't mean that in her long tenure at CNN, she doesn't have a "paper trail" (video trail) of liberal bias.

On Fox News this afternoon, James Pinkerton cited MRC’s research [see below] and said “I think things look pretty good for Obama.” Alan Colmes shot back, “Didn't the New York Times profile yesterday show that Candy Crowley was likely a Republican and worked for Dole or something? Colmes was oh, so wrong.

By Noel Sheppard | | October 15, 2012 | 5:45 PM EDT

As NewsBusters reported last week, Westgate Resorts CEO David Siegel recently warned his employees that he will likely have to lay people off if Barack Obama is re-elected.

With total disregard for the truth, ABC's Whoopi Goldberg on Monday's The View said it was "the president of Koch Industries" that did this (video follows with transcript and commentary):