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By Kyle Drennen | September 30, 2011 | 4:53 PM EDT

In an outrageous rant during his 3 p.m. ET hour show on MSNBC on Friday, host Martin Bashir actually attempted to blame budget cutting by Republican lawmakers for a deadly outbreak of listeria in cantaloupe: "John Boehner and his Republican majority decided to gut the food safety and inspection service....Cut, cut, cut. Now the results are in. 16 people have lost their lives."

Bashir went on to blame free market principles in general for the outbreak: "Republicans in Congress talk proudly of their commitment of laissez-faire economics, where government gets out of the way and everything works perfectly. You try telling that to those who ate melon with a side of listeria."

View video after the jump

By Tim Graham | September 30, 2011 | 4:29 PM EDT

The Canadian news magazine Macleans is not a conservative publication. It actually published a cover in 2007  of “How Bush Became The New Saddam.” It published several gooey pro-Obama covers with titles like “On the Road with Obama Superstar.” So it had to turn heads in Canada to see the cover story “The End Of Obama?”

Macleans writer Luiza Savage had a striking first sentence: “Two and a half years into Barack Obama’s presidency, Obamamania has given way to Obamamisery.”

By Tim Graham | September 30, 2011 | 3:24 PM EDT

It’s apparently Fatso Friday at The Washington Post. In his “In the Loop” column, Al Kamen ponders Chris Christie’s “girth” and cites the “weight stigma” specialist Rebecca Puhl of Yale, who says overweight candidates face deep bias: ““There are so many negative weight-based stereotypes — people think overweight and obese people are lazy, out of control, or lacking in discipline and willpower,” she says.

At the top of the deep-bias mountain was liberal columnist Eugene Robinson, who closed his column on Christie’s weight with a slap: “I’d just like to offer him a bit of unsolicited, nonpartisan, sincere advice: Eat a salad and take a walk.” Mocking Christie’s weight is apparently fair game, since he ran for public office:

By Scott Whitlock | September 30, 2011 | 2:51 PM EDT

The three network morning shows on Friday all highlighted the United States' success in killing terrorist Anwar al Awlaki. However, although these same programs were sensitive to the slightest possible civil rights violation by the Bush administration, they did not seemed interested the fact that Al Awlaki was an American citizen.

Good Morning America, Today and the Early Show mentioned this detail, but didn't provide any analysis or question the President's authority to make such a move. GMA's Brian Ross simply offered, "He was considered such a serious threat to the U.S. that the President had authorized the use of lethal force against him, even though he was an American citizen."

By Tom Blumer | September 30, 2011 | 2:31 PM EDT

On Wednesday, the Environmental Protection Agency's Inspector General issued a report on the agency's "compliance with established policy and procedures" in connection with its "Greenhouse Gases Endangerment Finding." This was the finding that "greenhouse gas," or "GHG" emissions, including carbon dioxide, are in essence forms of air pollution, endanger public health, and must therefore be regulated.

As would sadly be expected, what the IG actually found and what the Associated Press's Dina Cappiello reported about the IG's findings sharply differ. Here's what IG Arthur A. Elkins, Jr. wrote in his press statement:

By Clay Waters | September 30, 2011 | 2:26 PM EDT

Stupid white men for the G.O.P.? New York Times White House reporters Jackie Calmes and Mark Landler teamed up for Friday’s front-page campaign preview, “Obama Charts A New Route to Re-election.” In a change from the paper’s standard politically correct approach to race and class, the reporters crudely emphasized that “less-educated, low-income whites” tend to support Republicans. (What happened to "the party of the rich"?)

With his support among blue-collar white voters far weaker than among white-collar independents, President Obama is charting an alternative course to re-election should he be unable to win Ohio and other industrial states traditionally essential to Democratic presidential victories.

By Paul Wilson | September 30, 2011 | 1:44 PM EDT

Anti-American Venezuelan dictator and oil strongman Hugo Chavez was rushed to the hospital on September 29, apparently because of kidney problems. He was quick to downplay any reports of serious illness, which should be a comfort to his friends at the networks.

Chavez, a socialist, has long gotten a pass from ABC, CBS and NBC for anti-American rhetoric like calling President Bush a "devil" and predicting: "The United States empire is on its way down and it will be finished in the near future."

By Noel Sheppard | September 30, 2011 | 1:30 PM EDT

National Review's Robert Costa has spoken to Chris Christie's father who claims the New Jersey governor is getting a lot of support from his family to run for president including himself.

In a brief segment on MSNBC's "Daily Rundown" Friday, Costa told host Chuck Todd that Christie is back in Trenton and will be making a decision this weekend (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Clay Waters | September 30, 2011 | 12:37 PM EDT

President Obama no longer has an Israel problem, Jerusalem Bureau Chief Ethan Bronner reported on Thursday, bolstering Obama’s pro-Israel credentials by assuring Times readers that the president’s recent speech at the United Nations on Israel was pro-Israel. Bronner also broadcasted pro-Obama results from an online poll conducted by the Jerusalem Post – although online polls are an unreliable format the paper rarely consider newsworthy, in “Israelis Happy at Home But Glum About Peace.”

Moreover, the sense over the past two years that President Obama was growing angry with Israel and steering American policy away from its interests subsided last week. The parts of Mr. Obama’s United Nations speech about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could have been written by any official here. It said nothing about Israeli settlements, the 1967 lines, occupation or Palestinian suffering, focusing instead on Israel’s defense needs.

By Kyle Drennen | September 30, 2011 | 12:13 PM EDT

Update [12:59 ET]: Full transcript added.

Friday's NBC "Today" devoted an entire segment to photos of First Lady Michelle Obama stopping by a Target store in Alexandria, Virginia, as Capitol Hill correspondent Kelly O'Donnell – on location at the shopping center – gushed: "Check this out. Behind those dark glasses, tucked under that Nike cap, one of the world's most famous women. Yes, that is the First Lady of the United States at Target." [Audio available here]

A sound bite was featured of The Washington Post's Amy Argetsinger touting the "wow factor" of the First Lady going to the department store. Later, O'Donnell declared: "Doing ordinary things in tough economic times can be good for a public image." A sound bite followed from left-wing Huffington Post senior politics editor Howard Fineman: "It's great PR for them, because they can say, 'Look, on this trip and others, we know what's going on outside the gates of the White House.'"

View video after the jump

By NB Staff | September 30, 2011 | 11:59 AM EDT

Even with efforts by both parties to delay early presidential primaries and caucuses, states trying to exert heavier influence on the primary outcome are again pushing their contests into early January.

Under RNC rules, only Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina are allowed to hold their primaries or caucuses before Super Tuesday. Florida announced earlier today that it will move its primary to January 31, potentially prompting the other four states to leapfrog each other to earlier dates.

Do you think Florida made the right move and should have more of an influence in picking the presidential nominee? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

By NB Staff | September 30, 2011 | 10:28 AM EDT

In the weekly take-down of the liberal media on Fox News Channel's "Hannity" on Thursday, NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center President Brent Bozell condemned efforts to "demonize the Tea Party, to marginalize the Tea Party, to suggest that the Tea Party's extremist" simply because GOP debate audiences voiced support for the death penalty. [Audio available here]

Following a clip of CNN's Jack Cafferty asking viewers to tell him whether or not Republican primary voters were "bloodthirsty," Bozell pointed out, "...the vast majority of Americans support the death penalty for convicted murderers and terrorists. That's the reality....Only CNN finds something radically strange about somebody expressing this support."

View video after the jump

By Noel Sheppard | September 30, 2011 | 10:11 AM EDT

As NewsBusters has been reporting, the media's obsession with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's weight has become totally absurd.

On Friday's "Morning Joe," during a discussion about obesity prompted by a pathetic column by the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson entitled "Christie's Hefty Burden," MSNBC's Al Sharpton joked, "So what I think we should do is put Governor Christie in jail for 90 days" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Mark Finkelstein | September 30, 2011 | 9:57 AM EDT

A Mexican President praises Governor Rick Perry for offering in-state tuition to illegal immigrants in Texas.  Mitt Romney uses footage of it in a campaign ad.  Something wrong with that?  Apparently yes--in the eyes of Chuck Todd.

The host of MSNBC's "Daily Rundown" critically quizzed Romney campaign strategist Russ Schriefer over the ad today.  Video after the jump.

By Matthew Philbin | September 30, 2011 | 9:24 AM EDT

With the news that an American air strike has killed the U.S.-born head of Al Quaeda in Yemen, Anwar Al Awlaki, the media will explain his significance in the terrorist organization, and his role in inspiring the Ft. Hood shooter and the “underwear bomber.” What they probably won’t tell you is that they once celebrated Al Awlaki as a “moderate” and a bridge-builder “between Islam and the West.”

Awlaki once served as imam of the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Northern Virginia, the very same place that attracted many of the 9/11 hijackers and, later, Major Nadal Hasan, the Ft. Hood shooter.