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By Jack Coleman | March 15, 2011 | 7:51 PM EDT

Suddenly, unions aren't looking so bad ...

On her radio show Friday, Rosie O'Donnell fielded a call from a California woman who said she is a member of a correctional officers' union. Although the union has helped her, the caller told O'Donnell, it comes with baggage (audio) --

By Lachlan Markay | March 15, 2011 | 6:57 PM EDT

Actor and filmmaker Harry Shearer, best known for his voice work in 'The Simpsons', blasted the news media in a speech to the National Press Club on Monday.

Specifically, he singled out the media's "myth-making" tendency - its constant desire to fit current events into mostly pre-formed narratives. "What I’m calling a ‘template,’ is based on facts. Some facts. A partial collection. The first dusting," Shearer claimed. "It then becomes adopted as ‘the narrative.' The mental doors lock shut, and no further facts are allowed in."

By Matthew Balan | March 15, 2011 | 6:54 PM EDT

On Tuesday's Morning Edition, NPR's Carrie Johnson highlighted critiques of the Obama White House from the left on their promise to be "the most transparent administration in history," but downplayed questions over the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Unit's use of non-disclosure agreements with companies under investigation.

Host Renee Montagne introduced Johnson's report, noting that "in Washington, D.C., some people are calling this 'Sunshine Week.' It's a time of year when government watchdog groups evaluate the administration's commitment to openness. Two years ago, President Obama promised to run the most transparent administration in history."

By Noel Sheppard | March 15, 2011 | 6:28 PM EDT

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) said Tuesday, "The 3,400 members of the mainstream media are part of the Obama press contingent."

Appearing on the "Laura Ingraham Show, " Bachmann addressed all the liberal hyperventilating that occurred after her gaffe about Lexington and Concord being in New Hampshire rather than Massachusetts (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Tom Blumer | March 15, 2011 | 6:17 PM EDT

You begin to get an idea of how poorly served the news-consuming public is by the Associated Press when you compare its "reporting" on Obama czar Elizabeth Warren's appearance tomorrow before the House Financial Services Committee to an information-packed editorial -- yes, an editorial -- in the Wall Street Journal this morning.

You can read all of the over 750 words in the unbylined AP report without learning that Ms. Warren and various state attorneys general are attempting to shake down the banking system for $20 billion. You would think from the wire service's selective content that it's only Republicans who have opposed and continue to oppose the broad, unchecked authority her brainchild, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, will have over U.S. banking policy and practices. It ain't so.

Here are key paragraphs from the AP's 5:32 p.m. report (saved here at my host for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes):

By Alex Fitzsimmons | March 15, 2011 | 6:07 PM EDT

On his eponymous program today, MSNBC anchor Martin Bashir interviewed a liberal environmental activist aiming to scare viewers into believing that nuclear energy poses an imminent threat to the safety of the United States.

Bashir allowed a spokesman for Friends of the Earth, a left-wing environmental group, to declare nuclear facilities in California dangerous and unsafe, but neglected to report that the nuclear industry claims it has protocols in place to ensure safety.

"The fact of the matter is that what's happening in Japan could certainly have happened here," predicted David Moglan, director of the Climate and Energy Project for Friends of the Earth.

By Ken Shepherd | March 15, 2011 | 4:23 PM EDT

To borrow from former Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), Verizon hopes old people die and die quickly.

That, in a nutshell is the gripe of Washington Post Metro section columnist John Kelly, whose wrath has been kindled  by the phone company recent decision to discontinue its 936-1212 weather line:

By Clay Waters | March 15, 2011 | 3:10 PM EDT

The New York Times provided decent front-page coverage of the emerging scandal that took down top executives at National Public Radio, a hidden-camera sting that caught top fundraiser Ron Schiller making prejudicial remarks against Republicans in general and the Tea Party movement in particular. The backlash resulted in the resignation of Ron Schiller as well as NPR President and chief executive Vivian Schiller (no relation).

But Times media reporter Jeremy Peters took an incomplete look at the recent rash of hidden-camera hoaxes on Saturday under the strongly worded headline “Partisans Adopt Deceit As a Tactic for Reports.” Peters falsely implied that "gotcha" journalism had faded from view, ignoring two recent examples in the mainstream media, one from NPR itself.

By NB Staff | March 15, 2011 | 2:26 PM EDT

Happy Ides of March, NBers. It's Tuesday, so here's your all-new episode of NewsBusted. Enjoy!

Topics in today's show:

-- Disaster in Japan

-- Gitmo to stay open

-- NPP CEO resigns

-- Charlie Sheen drama continues

-- NFL lockout looms

-- Islamophobia in Congress?

-- iPad 2 released

-- Rob Lowe to replace Sheen?

By Tim Graham | March 15, 2011 | 2:24 PM EDT

Robert Wright, president of NBC from 1986 to 2007, has joined a list of Hollywood notables -- including Melissa Etheridge, David Geffen, Anne Hathaway, Jane Lynch, Eric McCormack, Mya, Martin Sheen, Lily Tomlin, and "Ellen & Portia DeGeneres"  -- in signing a letter to President Obama urging his public support of federal recognition of "gay marriage."

We ask you now for your leadership on ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage -- an exclusion that harms millions of Americans each day. Whether to end discrimination in marriage is a question America has faced before, and faces again today. With so many Americans talking it through in heartfelt conversations, it is a question that calls for clarity from the President.

By Mike Bates | March 15, 2011 | 2:06 PM EDT

On CNN Newsroom this morning, anchor Carol Costello spoke with national correspondent Jason Carroll about the potential for a nuclear disaster in Japan.  Carroll noted that "some scientists say the best-case scenario at this point is that the situation in Japan ends up like Three Mile Island. . ."  This possibility  frightened the anchor:

COSTELLO: It's kind of crazy to me that we're hoping the outcome is like Three Mile Island. It's just so sad and scary.

Why?  According to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the 1979 accident at Three Mile Island "led to no deaths or injuries to plant workers or members of the nearby community."  The average radiological exposure for 2 million people in the area was about one-sixth of that received from a chest x-ray.  Moreover, ". . .comprehensive investigations and assessments by several well‑respected organizations have concluded that in spite of serious damage to the reactor, most of the radiation was contained and that the actual release had negligible effects on the physical health of individuals or the environment."

By Scott Whitlock | March 15, 2011 | 2:05 PM EDT

On Wednesday, Barack Obama will appear on ESPN to announce his picks for the 2011 NCAA tournament. This past Saturday, as the disaster in Japan unfolded, the President found time to, again, play golf. On Tuesday's Special Report, Fox News host Bret Baier highlighted the difference between Obama's treatment and that of President Bush.

Baier quoted from Media Research President Brent Bozell: "If George Bush reacted this way during an international catastrophe -- wholly irrelevant radio addresses, golf outing for the 61st time, the left-wing media would require medically induced sedation to keep them in check."

By Lachlan Markay | March 15, 2011 | 1:06 PM EDT

National Public Radio's continued efforts to present itself as a politically-neutral news operation may suffer a bit from one of the organization's endorsements: that of the far-left activist group

MoveOn, which has received significant funding from liberal billionaire George Soros, started a petition recently to push Congress to "protect NPR and PBS and guarantee them permanent funding, free from political meddling." The endorsement is telling, given MoveOn's hard-left ideology. Would it really be pushing for continued federal funding for NPR if it didn't think the organization was serving its agenda somehow?

NPR itself has received $1.8 million in financial support from Soros, so this is not the first sign (beyond its actual news content, of course) that NPR advances - in one way or another, and whether it intends to or not - a leftist agenda. The ideological synergy is evident just in the groups offering NPR their support, MoveOn being the latest.

By Kyle Drennen | March 15, 2011 | 12:47 PM EDT

On Tuesday's CBS Early Show, contributor Taryn Winter Brill touted a new University of Pennsylvania study on the influence of breakfast cereal cartoon characters on children: "Previous research has shown how these images influence children's selections, but now a new study reveals they also influence how the kids think the cereal actually tastes."

In the report that followed, Brill described how marketing campaigns "target" kids to sell unhealthy sugary cereals: "Breakfast cereal is a $10 billion a year business and competition is fierce...especially among children's cereal....They target kids with cartoon characters, in commercials and on boxes, that practically reach from store shelves to grab your kid's attention." The headline on screen during the segment read: "Cereal Offenders; Cartoon Images Affect Kids' Taste Perception."

By Ken Shepherd | March 15, 2011 | 12:14 PM EDT

Rebellious son of infamous 1980s televangelists returns (sort of) to the faith of his parents, pastors a church, but now takes a decidedly liberal tack on the Christian faith.

That's certainly a compelling story for a secular magazine to cover, especially in this Lenten season.

But with her March 15-published  interview with Jay Bakker, a self-styled "evangelical punk preacher," Time religion writer Amy Sullivan failed to critically evaluate Bakker's claims or present challenges to Bakker's theology from within the mainstream of orthodox Christian thought.

Indeed,Sullivan seems to sympathize with if not outright agree with Bakker's take on how Scripture can justify his stand on homosexuality (bolded sections are Sullivan's questions, unbolded are Bakker's responses):