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By Noel Sheppard | March 19, 2011 | 4:57 PM EDT

The sexist media attacks on Sarah Palin clearly know no bounds.

On Friday, in the middle of his opening monologue on HBO's "Real Time," Bill Maher actually used a highly derogatory term for a woman's vagina while referring to the former Alaska governor (video courtesy Jeff Poor follows with transcript and commentary, serious vulgarity warning):

By Noel Sheppard | March 19, 2011 | 4:14 PM EDT

The liberal media collectively hyperventilated the past couple of days after conservative author Ann Coulter had the nerve to claim that radiation at certain levels is actually a good thing.

Jumping on the breathless bandwagon was MSNBC's Ed Schultz Friday who called Coulter "toxic" as he attacked her assertions without clearly elucidating her point (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Noel Sheppard | March 19, 2011 | 11:56 AM EDT

Bill Maher went on a hate-filled rant about Republicans Friday night because the GOP in his view are too interested in "useless distractions" like public unions, ACORN, NPR and Planned Parenthood.

After telling his "Real Time" audience, "Governing this country with Republicans is like rooming with a meth addict," he dubbed the entire Party as racist saying, "Every black person scares you unless they look like Urkel, talk like Colin Powell and wear Bill Cosby sweaters" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By NB Staff | March 19, 2011 | 11:07 AM EDT

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

By Tom Blumer | March 19, 2011 | 10:31 AM EDT

The back and forth between Washington Post syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer and White House Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob ("Jack") Lew continues. Thus far, Krauthammer has won both rounds, including his punch-out on Thursday.

It all started on February 21, when Lew issued a "rebuttal" to a USA Today editorial which called for near-term action to deal with Social Security's structural problems. In it, he claimed, among other things, that "Social Security benefits are entirely self-financing," and that even though tax collections are now less than benefit payments and will probably remain so indefinitely, the system "will have adequate resources to pay full benefits for the next 26 years." Ergo, per Lew, "Social Security does not cause our deficits." Zheesh.

By Brent Bozell | March 19, 2011 | 8:13 AM EDT

Watching video clips of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the aftermath are well, shocking, even to a media-overstimulated world. It almost needs a disclaimer. “These are not disaster-movie special effects. This is real.”

For everyone in public life, the reaction should be one of horror and sorrow. But in recent years, the definition of “public life” has expanded dramatically with the rise of social and electronic media. It now includes a class of people that has no class.

By Tim Graham | March 19, 2011 | 8:04 AM EDT

Ka-ching! The New York Times announced with fanfare on Saturday that "outed" CIA agent Valerie Plame is cashing in once again. It keeps getting harder to claim that the whole Plame saga wasn't a bonanza of wealth and fame, but the Plame-loving Times is casting it as a blow for feminism. The female spy is always sexy, emerging from the surf in a bikini. Julie Bosman added: "Who better to roll her eyes at it all than Valerie Plame, the real-life glamorous former CIA operative?"

Air kiss, air kiss. Bosman declines to put a cash figure on Plame's latest book-publishing deal:

Fed up with those popular images of the female secret agent, Ms. Wilson decided to draft her own. Eight years after her cover was blown by the political columnist Robert Novak, she has signed a book deal with Penguin Group USA to write a series of international suspense novels, with a fictional operative, Vanessa Pearson, at the center. Ms. Wilson will write them with Sarah Lovett, a best-selling author of mysteries, who also lives in Santa Fe.

By Tim Graham | March 18, 2011 | 11:14 PM EDT

On Saturday night, MSNBC host Chris Matthews stepped away from any sense of neutrality by serving as Master of Ceremonies at the 19th Annual Dinner of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, which has long agitated for a repeal of any limitations on open homosexuality in the U.S. military. The motto of the dinner is "Making History, Moving Forward" -- not very far from the "Lean Forward" motto of MSNBC.  

Naturally, sponsors include the Open Society Institute of George Soros. After Sarvis appeared on Hardball just before Christmas last year, gay bloggers were delighted that SLDN executive director Aubrey Sarvis "seems to have a long-standing political friendship with MSNBC host Chris Matthews, which makes his appearance more of a discussion than a Hardball interview."   

By Noel Sheppard | March 18, 2011 | 6:38 PM EDT

The Left's panic concerning the defunding of NPR has become quite comical in recent days.

Take for example Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) who took to the House floor Thursday and said, "If my friends on the other side of the aisle want to strip funding from NPR because they believe -- wrongly, in my view -- that NPR is biased, then we should be given the same opportunity" and prevent taxpayer dollars from being used for advertising "on the partisan political platform of Fox News" (video follows with commentary):

By Matthew Balan | March 18, 2011 | 6:20 PM EDT

John Avlon again attacked conservatives, this time on the gun rights issues, in a Thursday column on Avlon bashed the "bumper sticker policies" and the "reason-free activist crowd" of Second Amendment activists. The Daily Beast writer also invoked Reagan's past support of gun control measures in another attempt to sever today's conservative activists from the former president's legacy.

The "no labels" CNN contributor began his column, "Why is NRA spurning Obama move?", with a lament over the status quo over the gun control, particularly in the wake of the Tucson shooting earlier in 2011:

By Tom Blumer | March 18, 2011 | 5:03 PM EDT

Most readers here aren't aware that Associated Press reporters began withholding their bylines this week in support of their union's "quality journalism proposals." Participating reporters are refusing to have their name placed on AP stories. It appears to apply to stories datelined in the U.S. and not overseas (as seen here).

It is truly a wonder that the world has gone on while AP reporters refuse to tell us who wrote the wire service's U.S. stories (/sarc).

The byline strike springs from the wire service's refusal, among other things, according to the News Media Guild, the union which represents AP newsroom personnel, to accept a "fixed-cost pension plan." The AP wants a defined-contribution plan (i.e., something similar or identical to a 401(k)).

Here are some economy, business, and political "gems" appearing at AP during the past few days which can't be traced to a specific reporter:

By Ken Shepherd | March 18, 2011 | 3:43 PM EDT

Leading the free world is highly overrated and so last century.

Just ask Time's Joe Klein, who is giddy that our European allies and the Arab League took a leading role in setting up a no-fly zone over Libya, some 31 days after Muammar al-Qadhafi started opening fire upon ragtag rebels.

From a March 18 entry entitled "Gaddafi Duck" at the magazine's Swampland blog:

By Lachlan Markay | March 18, 2011 | 3:41 PM EDT

After penning a number of stories toeing the Democratic line on a variety of issues, Washington Post reporter Shailagh Murray decided to make it official: the Post announced Friday that she has taken a job in the office of Vice President Joe Biden.

Murray marks the 18th journalist to move from a reporting position to a post in Democratic politics or vice versa since President Obama took office. The revolving door between journalism and the Democratic Party underscores the extent to which the ideologies of each overlap.

The bias dossier on Murray is thinner than, say, Katie Couric's, but contains a number of telling items. Let's review a few of the highlights.

By Matthew Balan | March 18, 2011 | 1:54 PM EDT

On Friday's Morning Edition, NPR's Mara Liasson conspicuously excluded conservatives who are opposed to "comprehensive" immigration reform proposals, such as those forwarded by former President George W. Bush, during a report on Utah's new and "milder" immigration law. Liasson emphasized the state's "conservative politics," but couldn't find any conservatives who opposed the law.

Host Renee Montagne introduced the correspondent's report by highlighting how "Arizona's tough immigration law has received extensive coverage, and there's been a lot of talk about similar measures in other states. Yet, one of Arizona's neighbors, also known for its conservative politics, has taken a very different approach." Liasson set up her report by underscoring Utah's conservative credentials: "If you were to choose a state that would allow illegal immigrants to come out of the shadows, work and drive without fear of deportation, you probably wouldn't pick Utah."

By Noel Sheppard | March 18, 2011 | 1:34 PM EDT

It really is amazing that anybody takes New York Times columnist Paul Krugman seriously.

Consider the following factual misrepresentations in what he wrote Friday: