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By Tom Blumer | December 9, 2011 | 5:49 PM EST

Yesterday, Anne Gearan at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, wrote what she called a "Fact Check" piece about a political promise. Really.

Two Republican presidential candidates, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann, are both promising to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem if they should become the nation's next president. There's literally no way to "fact check" something that is only a promise, but Gearan wasted over 500 words pretending to do just that. She couldn't even buy a clue that her item's title ("FACT CHECK: Israel embassy promise may be empty") gives away the, uh, fact that it wasn't a "fact check" at all. Jim Taranto at the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web minced no words in critiquing AP's and Gearan's cluelessness (bolds are mine):

By Ken Shepherd | December 9, 2011 | 5:31 PM EST

"I think every day that we take less oil out of the planet Earth is a win," MSNBC weekend host Chris Hayes pontificated at the conclusion of panel discussion on the December 9 Now with Alex Wagner regarding the shelved Keystone oil pipeline. "Good, Chris, the [Obama] administration liked that" quipped MSNBC host Alex Wagner.

At issue was how House Republicans are attempting to force President Obama to approve the job-creating project in exchange for agreement to extend this year's Social Security payroll tax cut.

By Scott Whitlock | December 9, 2011 | 5:12 PM EST

ABC's John Berman on Thursday continued his habit of trying to force stale, anti-conservative jokes into his reporting, mocking the pronunciation habits of former President George W. Bush. In a segment on subliminal ads that "mess with your brain," the correspondent rehashed Bush's 2000 "rats" ad.

While playing the 11-year-old spot, which featured the word fragment "rats" on-screen for 1/30th of a second, Berman narrated, "You may have missed it, but this Republican ad for George W Bush in 2000 seemed to label Al Gore a rat. Now, that's subliminal, even if George Bush wouldn't admit it." Offering a not-at-all fresh joke, the ABC reporter added that Bush "couldn't pronounce [subliminal]."

By NB Staff | December 9, 2011 | 4:31 PM EST

"You know, we have a saying in the military: You don't receive flak unless you're over the target," retired Army colonel Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) told NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell in an interview earlier this week.

"I think that too often on the Republican side of the House" that conservatives have been gun-shy about "taking the flak" from the liberal media for their conservatism. "When you start to water down your message, when you start to say I can maybe get the other side to really like me, then you get yourself in trouble" and the liberal media are "going to hate you anyway," West added. [see video of the interview embedded below the page break]

By Matthew Balan | December 9, 2011 | 4:14 PM EST

NPR's Yuki Noguchi and Lynn Neary completely omitted Jon Corzine's Democratic affiliation on Thursday's All Things Considered, while mentioning practically every other prominent occupation he has held- Goldman Sachs CEO, senator, governor, even "multimillionaire." On the other hand, Noguchi gave the Republican party ID of two representatives who questioned Corzine at a recent hearing.

Neary outlined in her introduction for Noguchi's report that "former Senator Jon Corzine returned to Congress...Corzine was once CEO of the most successful bank on Wall Street. He left Goldman Sachs for the Senate, then was elected governor of New Jersey." The correspondent soon added that "until late October, Corzine was the CEO of MF Global."

By Kyle Drennen | December 9, 2011 | 3:03 PM EST

On Friday's The Daily Rundown on MSNBC, host Chuck Todd posed this question to guests Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post and Jonathan Martin of Politico: "Is this the single best week in the Obama re-election effort?"

Todd elaborated on his hyperbolic question by announcing: "The argument I've already heard from team Obama is yesterday that they were giddy that the first line of attack from team Romney [against Newt Gingrich] was Paul Ryan." Todd explained: "So they're sitting there going this is great because Romney is moving to the right to try to stop Newt. And so, even if he becomes the nominee, he's got like a longer path back."

By Tom Blumer | December 9, 2011 | 2:58 PM EST

Awwww. Don Berwick is unhappy. In a speech at the annual conference of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement excerpted at the Boston Globe's White Coat Notes blog, the man whom Congress would not confirm as Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) administrator seventeen months after President Obama gave him a recess appointment lashed out at his critics, especially their use of the terms "rationing" and "death panels," describing the employment of the latter term as "beyond cruelty."

Neither Chelsea Conaboy's introduction at the Globe excerpt nor Sam Baker's coverage at the Hill's Healthwatch blog brought up why the two terms Berwick despises so accurately describe his health care views, which include his belief that the Affordable Care Act passed by Congress and signed by President Obama last year -- the one where, as Nancy Pelosi warned, we're still figuring out what's really in it -- is, as he told Boston station WBUR, "majestic." What follows is most of Conaboy's intro, which almost completely ignored the overheated rhetoric in the speech excerpts which followed:

By Tim Graham | December 9, 2011 | 2:39 PM EST

In an interview with Gail Shister at TV Newser, former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw dismissed the scheduled GOP debate with moderator Donald Trump. He said Trump “is an utterly shameless self-promoter” and the media should stop enabling him. Earth to Tom: perhaps you should notify your patrons at NBC first.

But Brokaw said debates are useful...to dismiss Republican candidates. With Rick Perry, for example, viewers learned “he was not as much in command of the facts as he appeared to be when he got on stage.” With Herman Cain, well, “He had some real issues with personal behavior.” (Yes, this is the same Brokaw who staunchly refused to find a rape charge against Bill Clinton a "real issue.")

By Clay Waters | December 9, 2011 | 1:29 PM EST

The Obama administration blocked over-the-counter sales of Plan B One-Step, the “morning-after” pill, to girls under 17, and New York Times reporters Jackie Calmes (pictured) and Gardiner Harris sniffed out a political move to assuage “conservatives" in Friday’s “Obama Backs Aide’s Stance on Morning-After Pill.”

While the Times mentioned “conservatives” four times in discussing the surprise decision by Kathleen Sebelius, secretary for Health and Human Services, there were zero “liberals” labeled in opposition, merely “women’s rights” groups -- as if all women would favor the sale. And while "anti-abortion groups" were identified, there were no "pro-abortion" or even "pro-choice" groups on the other side, merely harmless "reproductive rights groups."

By Paul Wilson | December 9, 2011 | 1:12 PM EST

Supporters of the Occupy Movement are stepping up their efforts to become even more comical than they are already. They have taken to the comic book world to spread their message, starting what they call Occupy Comics.

Matt Pizzolo, organizer of Occupy Comics, wrote of the project: "This book is intended to be a time capsule of the passions and emotions driving the movement. We are comic book & graphic novel artists and writers who've been inspired by the movement and hope to tell the stories of the people who are out there putting themselves at risk for an idea."

By Scott Whitlock | December 9, 2011 | 12:14 PM EST

According to Good Morning America's Jake Tapper on Friday, Mitt Romney is "Elmer Fudd" to Newt Gingrich's "Bugs Bunny." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] This remark came one day after the reporter made a vulgar joke that "Mitt happens."

Tapper made sure to note that Barack Obama is "incredibly vulnerable," but offered this gratuitous shot: "...But will Republican voters pick a nominee who can beat him? It's the latest sign [that] Mitt Romney is Elmer Fudd to Newt Gingrich's Bugs Bunny and it's wabbit season."

By Kyle Drennen | December 9, 2011 | 10:58 AM EST

On Friday's NBC Today, following a sound bite of President Obama attacking Republicans for using the word "appeasement" to describe his foreign policy, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd proclaimed: "I think [Obama] would love to have a foreign policy conversation. That's why you're not going to hear this much."

Substitute co-host and Meet the Press moderator David Gregory raised the issue, noting that the President has, "been attacked this week by Republicans for practicing a policy, in their words, of 'appeasement' in foreign affairs." After playing Obama's response, he prompted Todd by observing: "That sounded like a president who said, 'If you want to have this fight, let's have this fight.'"  

By Noel Sheppard | December 9, 2011 | 10:29 AM EST

There are tragedies and then there are tragedies.

According to CNN's Anderson Cooper, the "real tragedy" in this week's pathetic plane incident involving a spoiled celebrity is that Alec Baldwin "shut down his Twitter account" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By NB Staff | December 9, 2011 | 10:26 AM EST

Despite a massively expensive 2009 stimulus program, high unemployment and a sluggish economy have been trademarks of the Obama administration. The goal of the stimulus was to create shovel-ready jobs, with, according to top Obama economic advisor Larry Summers, a "targeted," "temporary," and "timely" scope. As many predicted, the stimulus failed to produce the Keynesian results it promised.

Check out a new Reason.tv video of why stimulus dollars cannot fix the economy after the break, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.

By Noel Sheppard | December 9, 2011 | 9:53 AM EST

Rosie O'Donnell, possibly one of the most uninformed people to ever be given a television program, actually ridiculed the intellectual capacity of Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich Thursday.

Appearing with fellow brainiac Joy Behar on the HLN program thankfully in its final shows, O'Donnell called the former Speaker of the House a "joke" saying, "Perhaps he should read a history book" (video follows with transcript and commentary):