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By Mike Bates | June 7, 2011 | 4:45 PM EDT

This morning on CNN Newsroom, anchor Kyra Phillips examined another aspect of the Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY) story.  Noting that Weiner's wife is a very close friend of and former aide to Hillary Clinton, Phillips said:

By Lachlan Markay | June 7, 2011 | 4:10 PM EDT

UPDATE: Check out reaction from some of the chief Weiner-defenders below the break.

The so-called Weinergate scandal provided a true spectacle of media bias and conspiracy theorizing. While there was certainly plenty of good reporting throughout, many opted to take Rep. Anthony Weiner's claims at face value and search for other culprits or scapegoats.

Others devised more malicious theories about why a lewd picture had appeared on the congressman's Twitter feed. It was Andrew Breitbart's attempt to gin up another bogus story, or a coordinated effort by conservatives to provide cover for Clarence Thomas. These wild theories actually gained quite a bit of traction among liberals online, and even a few mainstream personalities.

We know now, by Weiner's own admission, that they were all nonsense. So with the facts readily available, it's worth reviewing some of the dominant narratives that pervaded media coverage of the scandal.

By Tom Blumer | June 7, 2011 | 3:33 PM EDT

The educated guess here is that Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler is currently not the most popular person in the White House.

On Saturday, in a relatively rare rebuke originating from what G. Gordon Liddy has mockingly derided as "Washington's quaint little alternative newspaper" (daily circulation 741,000 in March 2005, 551,000 in March 2011), Kessler ripped into the President's claims about the auto bailout, giving him "Three Pinocchios," which in his ratings system means "Significant factual error(s) and/or obvious contradictions." Kessler found "weasel words," a "misleading figure" (actually, more), and (imagine that) a straw man.

Here are selected paragraphs from Kessler's KO (bolds are mine; internal link was in original):

... What we found is one of the most misleading collections of assertions we have seen in a short presidential speech. Virtually every claim by the president regarding the auto industry needs an asterisk, just like the fine print in that too-good-to-be-true car loan.

By Brad Wilmouth | June 7, 2011 | 3:32 PM EDT

In the June 5 Washington Post article, "Palestinian Protesters Attempt to Cross at Golan Heights, Israeli Troops Open Fire," co-writers Samuel Sockol and Joel Greenberg managed not to fill in viewers on significant background from the Six-Day War from 1967, namely that Egypt, Syria and Jordan provoked an attack from Israel by amassing troops next to the tiny Jewish state along the 1949 armistice lines, as if they were about to strike. Referring to the Golan Heights, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, Sockol and Greenberg vaguely noted that Israel "captured those territories" during the 1967 war: "The protest near the Golan Heights and other demonstrations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip marked the anniversary of the outbreak of the 1967 Middle East war, in which Israel captured those territories."

Similar to Greenberg's May 15 piece in which he neglected to inform readers that several Arab countries had driven most Palestinian refugees from Israel by simultaneously attacking the Jewish state in 1948, the June 5 article also avoided such details as it referred to the "establishment of Israel in 1948 and the Palestinians' displacement in the war that followed": "Despite the reported casualty toll, the scope of Sunday’s protests was more modest than the coordinated marches May 15, when thousands of Palestinians converged on Israel’s borders from Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to mark the anniversary of the establishment of Israel in 1948 and the Palestinians’ displacement in the war that followed."

By Clay Waters | June 7, 2011 | 3:31 PM EDT

New York Times reporter James Dao has filed his second story in nine days critical of the Afghanistan war. First came the 3,000-word Sunday front-page story on May 29, "After Combat, the Unexpected Perils of Coming Home," emphasizing the negative from the start:

Capt. Adrian Bonenberger made plans for his final patrol to Imam Sahib. But inside, he was sweating the details of a different mission: going home. Which soldiers would drive drunk, get into fights or struggle with emotional demons, he wondered....The final weeks in a war zone are often the most dangerous, as weary troops get sloppy or unfocused. Once they arrive home, alcohol abuse, traffic accidents and other measures of mayhem typically rise as they blow off steam.

Tuesday’s front page found Dao in North Carolina celebrating conservative anti-war congressman Rep. Walter Jones in "Republican Who Broke Ranks On War Is an Outcast No More."

By Matt Hadro | June 7, 2011 | 2:47 PM EDT

ABC's George Stephanopoulos went beyond challenging assumptions from Ann Coulter's newest book "Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America" on Tuesday, as he repeatedly attempted to correct her on historical facts. The former Clinton advisor interrupted her multiple times on Tuesday's Good Morning America to make a point that she was either wrong or lying about history.

You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts, said the late Democrat Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Yet Stephanopoulos interrupted Coulter as she claimed that the Ku Klux Klan in the South was Democratic. "Started out Democratic, but turned very quickly," Stephanopoulos asserted.

[Click here for audio. Video below the break.]

By Jill Stanek | June 7, 2011 | 1:33 PM EDT

Pro-abortion ideologues have been known to blame "recall bias" on stories or studies that don't go their way.

But here I believe we have an actual case of pro-abortion recall bias.

Recall that on May 26 liberal online journal Salon published the first person account, "Abortion saved my life," by writer Mikki Kendall. Kendall claimed she almost hemorrhaged to death because a hospital doctor "didn’t do abortions. At all. Ever."

By Alex Fitzsimmons | June 7, 2011 | 1:20 PM EDT

Appearing on MSNBC today, Newsweek senior writer Andrew Romano attributed the findings of his magazine's study showing Americans don't understand basic facts about U.S. history to the country's lack of a top-down federal government-imposed curriculum.

When daytime anchor Thomas Roberts asked Romano to explain the significance of the survey, the Daily Beast scribe indicted federalism: "Another reason why we don’t do well is because we don’t have a kind of centralized curriculum in our schools. Everyone in different states kind of learns different things. And that definitely contributes to it as well."

By Ken Shepherd | June 7, 2011 | 11:57 AM EDT

The mainstream media have largely ignored or casually dismissed businessman and radio host Herman Cain's bid for the 2012 Republican nomination.

Not so Time's Alex Altman, who has a generally decent piece today on the magazine's Swampland blog:


By Erin R. Brown | June 7, 2011 | 11:43 AM EDT

The Media Research Center’s Dan Gainor has been digging up the dirt on the deep-pocketed lefty media mogul George Soros’ funding of media operations, and Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly invited him on to discuss Gainor's latest piece in which he says there are ‘nearly 30 Soros-funded media operations that are part of the ‘War on Fox’.”


Video below fold.

By Kyle Drennen | June 7, 2011 | 11:30 AM EDT

In an interview with Andrew Breitbart on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer suggested the conservative blogger should not have broken news of the scandal involving Congressman Anthony Weiner: "Did you worry that – you know, as a conservative, you don't want government in people's bedrooms. And so did you stop and have a debate with yourself about that?"

Moments earlier, Breitbart had noted feeling some sympathy for Weiner during Monday's press conference: "I felt so unbelievably sad for this guy." Lauer responded by wondering why that sympathy didn't keep the creator from re-posting Weiner's racy tweet on the web site last week: "But if you're sad for the guy then, did you not consider that at some point you might be sad for him when you first posted that photo ten days ago?"

By Brent Baker | June 7, 2011 | 10:51 AM EDT

Asked by new CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley why Congressman Anthony Weiner “matters,” CBS Capitol Hill reporter Nancy Cordes on Monday night maintained he’s vital as a critic pushing Obama from the left.

“The President has a lot of critics on the right,” Cordes noted, “but Weiner is one of his most outspoken critics on the left wherever liberals feel that the President is straying too far from their principles,” so “it's unclear how well he's really going to be able to perform that role now, a role that even the President has said is very important.”

By Noel Sheppard | June 7, 2011 | 9:43 AM EDT

Remember all that talk about toning down the violent rhetoric following the tragic shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) in January?

Such good intentions certainly don't apply when talking about former Alaska governor Sarah Palin as comedian Christopher Titus demonstrated this weekend at the Irvine Improv in Southern California (audio follows courtesy Daily Caller with partial transcript and commentary):

By Mark Finkelstein | June 7, 2011 | 9:34 AM EDT

When I began watching my DVR recording of Morning Joe today, I was of course wondering which clip from yesterday's Weiner press conference Morning Joe had chosen for its show-opener. When instead a clip of Jon Stewart mocking Sarah Palin appeared, I literally wondered if I was playing the recording of the wrong day's Morning Joe.

But as the first half-hour unfolded, it became obvious that Morning Joe had made a conscious decision to black out any mention of Weiner-gate during today's first half-hour. Hat tip NB reader Matthew E.

View video after the jump.

By Matthew Balan | June 7, 2011 | 9:24 AM EDT

Martin Bashir tossed softballs at Planned Parenthood head Cecile Richards on his eponymous MSNBC program on Monday, letting his guest spout her talking points in defense of her abortion-providing organization. Bashir even went so far to use a phrase in vogue with the pro-abortion left in one of his questions: "Do you think this is, in effect, a war on women?"

[Audio available here; video below the jump]