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By NB Staff | May 5, 2011 | 10:01 AM EDT

Slate's media reporter Jack Shafer has a great column up calling on the White House to release the apparently-gruesome photos of Osama bin Laden after he was shot and killed by Navy SEALs on Sunday. Suppressing the photos, Shafer claims, "infantilizes the nation and gives the White House unwarranted news control." Check out a longer excerpt below the break.

By Tim Graham | May 5, 2011 | 7:53 AM EDT

NPR anchor Steve Inskeep denied NPR’s liberal bias in The Wall Street Journal in March: "Most listeners understand that we're all figuring out the world together, calmly and honestly, in an atmosphere of mutual respect. NPR's audience keeps expanding because Americans want more than toxic political attacks. They want news." But that’s not really the case. On Tuesday, the Journal’s James Taranto cited an April 28 All Things Considered interview with former Washington Post reporter David Remnick, now editor of The New Yorker, where mutual respect wasn’t on the menu:

Donald Trump, who wanted to make a name for himself yet again, and to - he's the kind of exhibitionist, a moral or immoral exhibitionist. And he was willing to play this really ugly game and he got exactly what he wanted -- higher TV ratings, attention, lots of microphones in front of him. And he's a clown.

Remnick sounded like a garden-variety left-wing radio talker like Randi Rhodes or Ed Schultz. He was furious that anyone would attempt to "delegitimize" his hero Obama. Taranto mined this interview for his theory that "The Left Needs Racism":

By NB Staff | May 4, 2011 | 5:51 PM EDT

In case you missed it, Rush Limbaugh made reference to Tom Blumer's May 2 article, "AP: Secret Prisons and Harsh Interrogation Techniques Worked; Will TV Nets Report?"

You can access the audio for that here or here:

By Kyle Drennen | May 4, 2011 | 5:32 PM EDT

On NBC's Today on Wednesday, co-host Matt Lauer worried about Americans celebrating the death of Osama bin Laden: "...your children are going to see, and have already seen, people in the streets celebrating about the death of someone and that's a contradictory image for them." Today contributor and psychiatrist Gail Saltz replied: "Absolutely, very disturbing for them."

The segment was on how to talk to children about the killing of bin Laden and Saltz speculated that kids may ask: "Why are people partying, being happy that anybody was killed?" She suggested those who celebrated may now regret their actions: "I think it's really important to talk about this, because what you saw was a lot of people who, in the impulse of the moment, reacted in a way that later on they may not be happy about."

By Matt Hadro | May 4, 2011 | 5:29 PM EDT

On Wednesday's The View, ABC's Barbara Walters slobbered over the "courage, and the guts, and the coolness" of President Obama in ordering the assassination of terrorist Osama bin Laden. "It was enormously, enormously courageous," she said of the president's decision to commence the mission to kill or capture the al Qaeda leader.

"President Bush tried, President Clinton tried, but Barack Obama was the one who had the courage and the guts and the coolness," Walters said of the mission before being drowned out in applause from the audience.

By Scott Whitlock | May 4, 2011 | 4:16 PM EDT

According to the man ABC News relies on for religious analysis, it's impossible to say whether Osama bin Laden was "evil." Father Edward Beck, the network's religion correspondent, appeared with Bill O'Reilly on Tuesday and offered moral equivalence on the subject of the terrorist's death.    

When the O'Reilly Factor anchor pressed Beck on whether bin Laden truly represented malevolence, Beck replied, "That's not for me to judge. His actions were certainly were evil."    

O'Reilly pressed Beck on this point, prompting the ABC News analyst to assert, "No, I think that's up to God to ultimately decide who's evil."


By Clay Waters | May 4, 2011 | 2:37 PM EDT

The New York Times quickly moved to quash suggestions that “enhanced interrogation” like waterboarding may have yielded useful intelligence in the killing of Osama bin Laden. Moving to protect the paper’s ideological investment that such methods are both brutal and ineffective was Wednesday’s front-page defense by Scott Shane and Charlie Savage, “Harsh Methods Of Questioning Debated Again.”

The reporters seems awfully assured, based on vague and contradictory information, in their attempt to discredit the idea that "brutal interrogations" (a phrase at the top of the article's first sentence) and "torture" like waterboarding may have yielded useful intelligence. They also ignored C.I.A. director Leon Panetta's admission to anchor Brian Williams on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News after the anchor asked him if waterboarding helped obtain information that led to bin Laden: "I think some of the detainees clearly were, you know-they used these enhanced interrogation techniques against some of these detainees."

Did brutal interrogations produce the crucial intelligence that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden?

By Tim Graham | May 4, 2011 | 2:26 PM EDT

Washington Post art critic Philip Kennicott couldn't bring himself in a Tuesday essay to dwell on the evil of Osama bin Laden. He committed a "single morning of destruction," but he was really so much more fascinating than that. He killed a few thousand people, to be sure. But on the bright side, his actions led to the Kennedy Center's "Arabesque" festival and he was "very good for book clubs" as he "shifted the horizons of our curiosity" into the appreciation of literary stars in Afghanistan, Turkey and Iran.

Kennicott's ending: "To assert order and reclaim the power of the state, Obama had to embody it in a way that recalled the regal precedents on which the American presidency is based. A primitive story line required a primitive ending, one great man taking down another."

By Kyle Drennen | May 4, 2011 | 1:43 PM EDT

A headline in The Washington Post's Wednesday Style section declared: "American Indians object to ‘Geronimo’ as code for bin Laden raid." Writer Neely Tucker goes on to lament: "In a triumphant moment for the United States, the moniker has left a sour taste among many Native Americans."

Tucker explained: "It was his [Geronimo's] name that the U.S. military chose as the code for the raid, and perhaps for Osama bin Laden himself, during the operation that killed the al-Qaeda leader in Pakistan." He later remarked: "It isn’t clear yet which branch of the military came up with the nickname — the Army, Navy, CIA or any of the anti-terror special forces groups involved in planning the raid — but it apparently wasn’t bin Laden’s nickname for very long."

By Tim Graham | May 4, 2011 | 12:30 PM EDT

If any American with a patriotic pulse listened to the Mike Malloy radio show, they would have been shocked on Monday night when Malloy outrageously suggested that Navy SEALs should have shot former president George W. Bush, and not Osama bin Laden. (MP3 audio clip here.)

MIKE MALLOY: I have heard some commentators talk about the fact that, all the lives that have been lost in this war on terror, and now the summary execution of the person responsible. But as soon as I heard that, I thought, well, bin Laden really didn't have anything to do -- did he? -- with Iraq. And I think his only relationship with Afghanistan was geographical.

But Iraq -- all the death in Iraq was not caused by bin Laden. The death in Iraq was caused by George W. Bush. Five thousand Americans, tens of thousands permanently damaged and shot to pieces, a million Iraqis dead -- that wasn't bin Laden. That was George Bush. So when does Seal Unit 6, or whatever it's called, drop in on George Bush? Bush was responsible for a lot more death, innocent death, than bin Laden. Wasn't he, or am I wrong here?

By Scott Whitlock | May 4, 2011 | 12:11 PM EDT

ABC's World News on Tuesday continued to demonstrate the network's lack of interest in whether enhanced interrogation methods such as waterboarding played a part in the killing of Osama bin laden. The Diane Sawyer-anchored program was the only newscast to avoid the topic.

In contrast, Nightly News host Brian Williams interviewed CIA director Leon Panetta, grilling, "Can you confirm that it was as a result of waterboarding that we learned what we needed to learn to go after bin Laden?" He hammered the question three times, adding, "...Are you denying that waterboarding was in part among the tactics used to extract the intelligence that led to this successful mission?"

On the CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric made similar points to Panetta: "One of President Obama's first acts was to outlaw enhanced interrogation techniques. Now, some of these were used on detainees who provided information that led to bin Laden's whereabouts. Given that, do you think the use of these techniques should, in fact, be re-evaluated?"

By Ken Shepherd | May 4, 2011 | 10:57 AM EDT

Yesterday the Montgomery County [Md.] Council passed into law a 5-cent tax on plastic and paper bags dispensed by  "nearly all retail establishments, not just those that sell food" within the county.

"Among the few exceptions are paper bags from restaurants and pharmacy bags holding prescription drugs," Post staffer Michael Laris noted in his page A1 story.

But Laris left out one huge exemption to the bag tax of concern to the reader: newspaper sleeves like the ones that subscribers of the Post get their daily papers delivered in.

By NB Staff | May 4, 2011 | 10:22 AM EDT

The killing of Osama bin Laden on Sunday has reignited the debate over so-called enhanced interrogation techniques, including waterboarding. Early reports (information is still coming out) indicate that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed released vital information about bin Laden's courier, who eventually led American intelligence forces to the compound where they both were killed. But it's not clear exactly which interrogation techniques led to that information, since it's extremely difficult, if not impossible, to separate out the different interrogation methods and claim that a single piece of informaiton was obtained through this method, but not that one.

Hence the blanket claim that waterboarding did not produce intelligence that led to bin Laden's death is simply un-provable, as CIA Director Leon Panetta, recently tapped by Obama for Secretary of Defense, illustrated in this exchange with Brian Williams:

By Mark Finkelstein | May 4, 2011 | 9:45 AM EDT

Just when the media adulation of Barack Obama might have been showing signs of waning, along comes the killing of Osama Bin Laden to drive it to new sycophantic heights.  In the genre, it will be hard to outdo the schoolgirl-crushiness of Margaret Carlson.

On today's Morning Joe, Carlson characterized the operation against Osama Bin Laden as the moment when "Professor Obama turned into General Obama and ran this incredible raid."

View video after the jump.


By Noel Sheppard | May 4, 2011 | 8:25 AM EDT

For many years media members spearheaded by schlockumentary filmmaker Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" have mocked former President George W. Bush for continuing to read "The Pet Goat" to second-graders after hearing about the attacks on the World Trade Center.

On Tuesday, Time magazine reported that some of the kids in that classroom are speaking out about what happened that morning, and they don't agree with Moore's depiction of events: