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By Matthew Balan | May 9, 2011 | 6:55 PM EDT

On Sunday's 60 Minutes, CBS's Steve Kroft failed to bring up key issues related to the killing of Osama bin Laden during an interview of President Obama, such as the enhanced interrogation of captured al Qaeda leaders which provided the first intelligence that ultimately lead to the Navy SEAL raid in Pakistan.

The journalist set the overall tone of his interview, which he conducted on Wednesday, by tossing a softball in his lead question to Obama: "Mr. President, was this the most satisfying week of your presidency?" After the chief executive gave his initial answer, Kroft followed up by asking, "Was the decision to launch this attack the most difficult decision that you've made as commander-in-chief?

By Scott Whitlock | May 9, 2011 | 6:04 PM EDT

MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Monday continued to obsess over Dick Cheney, deriding the former Vice President as a "torture advocate" who should waterboard Dick Cheney and Scooter Libby.

The Hardball anchor attacked Cheney for complaining that Barack Obama has ended Bush-era war on terror polices. Matthews offered this aside: "...But Cheney being Cheney- doesn't that sound like a good torture advocate name, by the way- he couldn't help but stick it to the President on this very issue."
He then played a clip of Cheney and, rather than address the ex-VP's statements, mocked, "Why don't we have Cheney try that waterboarding thingamajig of his on Karl Rove and Scooter to really find out who said what in that CIA leak case? I think they're fair game, to use a phrase. "

[See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Tim Graham | May 9, 2011 | 5:55 PM EDT

On his MSNBC talk show Friday night, Cenk Uygur mocked the Republican presidential debate as a "joke" and a collection of nobodies, since Speaker John Boehner didn't watch it live: "He spent his night at a steak house, 'with a bottle of Cabernet and a few cigarettes.' Sounds like an average night for Boehner, swilling that Cabernet all night." Classy.  Uygur then turned to Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank and MSNBC political analyst (and former Newsweek reporter) Richard Wolffe. Wolffe called the Paul Ryan Medicare plan "their longest suicide note in political history. And watching Republicans explain how they were for it before they were against it is just going to be wonderful to watch for all of us." Uygur began with Milbank:

By Matt Hadro | May 9, 2011 | 5:55 PM EDT

If CNN's Roland Martin gives the same answer as a tea party conservative, you know you've asked him a pretty bizarre question. On Monday's 10 a.m. EDT news hour, CNN anchor Carol Costello asked the panel if Obama is now "unbeatable" due to the killing of Osama bin Laden, falling gas prices, and a positive May jobs report.

Of course, the election is over one year away, not all of the possible Republican candidates have officially declared their intentions, and the direction of the economy remains to be seen. But CNN apparently thought it fitting to ask the experts if the 2012 election is all but decided.

(Video after the break.)


By Lachlan Markay | May 9, 2011 | 5:31 PM EDT

In late 2009, the Washington Post's response to a tweet from its managing editor that betrayed a clear left-leaning worldview was to censor all of its employees for fear that they might betray their (gasp) opinions. A more sensible policy might have been to acknowledge that the paper is staffed by people who are, for the most part, liberals.

The same managing editor, Raju Narisetti - who has since added a strongly-worded statement to his twitter bio disclaiming his employer from any views expressed there - shot out a similar tweet on Monday, once again conveying his left-of-center views on major policy priorities. “Thought encounter of the day: ‘Would be good if our schools are fully funded and DoD has to hold a bake sale to buy its next fighter jet,'" Narisetti wrote.

The wisdom of that (facetious?) policy prescription is a debate for another forum. It should, however, remove any remaining doubt about Narisetti's political views. And while his tweet does not represent the Post's official position, it ought to give readers pause that someone with such obviously left-of-center views is in such a position of power at an ostensibly "objective" publication.

By Clay Waters | May 9, 2011 | 4:52 PM EDT

New York Times congressional reporter Carl Hulse, whose reporting has been somewhat more balanced of late, reverted to old partisan habits in Monday’s story, "Democrats’ Plan Would Offset Deficit by Ending Big Oil’s Tax Breaks."

Hulse pushed Democratic enthusiasm over the party's latest talking points attempting to place Republicans on the defensive, this time managing to find Democratic optimism in a story about high gas prices and the deficit, without sparing a word of blame against President Obama for either problem.

Democrats are targeting "the five largest and most profitable oil companies: BP, Exxon Mobil, Shell, Chevron and Conoco Phillips."

By Ken Shepherd | May 9, 2011 | 3:39 PM EDT

Okay, so it's not as immediately offensive as say calling for support of Planned Parenthood on Mother's Day, but Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite's "God the Mother" post at "On Faith" on May 7 is another example of how the site thumbs its nose at traditional Christian orthodoxy:

I always miss my mother a lot on Mother’s Day. My mother died when I was in my early twenties. Yet, through being “mothered” by others, especially my mother-in-law, I continue to know the deep and abiding mystery of this kind of love in an immediate and powerful way. This helps me understand the divine mystery, in the Christian tradition, that God’s infinite love for us is not only imaged as father, but also as mother.

To be fair, Brooks Thistlethwaite is correct when she notes that language about God in the Bible is "so often misunderstood as literal description" when in context the descriptions are metaphorical. And I can't begrudge her love for her mother and for the God-given gift of motherhood.

But Brooks Thistlethwaite strays off the orthodox reservation when she adds:


By Matt Hadro | May 9, 2011 | 3:14 PM EDT

On Sunday's Reliable Sources, CNN host Howard Kurtz used the killing of Osama bin Laden to revisit how the media were too deferential to the Bush administration. Kurtz questioned the validity of the terror alerts in the years following 9/11 and wondered if they were used for political gain. Kurtz, comparing the press coverage of the bin Laden assassination and the War on Terror, pondered if there was a "climate of fear" post-9/11 and asked "did the media contribute to that?"

"Is it possible that the Bush administration, for political reasons, chose to play up the War on Terror in a way that the Obama administration has chosen not to?" Kurtz asked guest Brian Ross of ABC News. Ross didn't see the same conspiracy theory on the Bush administration, simply saying that they had a "different mindset" in the matter than Obama.

(Video after the break.)

By Erin R. Brown | May 9, 2011 | 2:19 PM EDT

Last week, the media rightfully crowed over U.S. success in killing Osama Bin Laden, an unquestioned bad guy in the war on terror. They noted that intelligence gathered from that raid may have led to an unsuccessful U.S. Predator drone attack on Anwar Al Awlaki, leader of Al Qaeda in Yemen. Unfortunately, while Al Awlaki is very much as bad as Bin Laden, the media haven’t always known it.

The mainstream media have recently described this America-born terrorist as a “central figure” of Al Qaeda and the New York Times, ABC News, and MSNBC have all called him “radical” when reporting on the recent attempted drone attack. Al Awlaki has been linked to the 2009 Christmas Day Underwear bombing attempt in Detroit, the Fort Hood Shooting and the failed Times Square bombing.

But just 10 years ago they claimed he was a “moderate” a bridge-builder, and a “prayer leader.”

By Kyle Drennen | May 9, 2011 | 1:32 PM EDT

On NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday, host David Gregory remained highly skeptical of the role enhanced interrogation tactics played in tracking down and killing Osama bin Laden: "Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times.  And based on reporting this week in NBC News and outside, he never gave up the truth about the courier that led to bin Laden."

Gregory made the argument while speaking to a panel that included former CIA Director General Michael Hayden, former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. In response to Gregory's assertions, Chertoff referred to political partisans debating the issue: "...there will be people who will never be persuaded one way or the other about this." Gregory argued: "But it's a question of whether it's knowable....Is it objectively knowable?"

By Scott Whitlock | May 9, 2011 | 12:48 PM EDT

While discussing what role President Bush and enhanced interrogations played in the death of Osama bin Laden, Fox News Sunday panelist Juan Williams referred to the terrorist's death as "murder."

Responding to conservative Paul Gigot, Williams dismissed, "But to somehow say it's because we were engaged in enhanced interrogation, and that led- and it's a very uncertain path that it leads directly to the murder of Osama bin Laden- it seems to me petty, and it seems to me an attempt to diminish President Obama's accomplishments."

[See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Chris Yogerst | May 9, 2011 | 11:53 AM EDT

On April 21, 2010, Comedy Central aired episode “201” of South Park. The previous episode, “200,” which was a celebration of their 200th episode, sparked controversy from a radical fringe Muslim group who threatened violence on the show’s creators because of their use of the character Muhammed.

By NB Staff | May 9, 2011 | 11:06 AM EDT

Appearing on the May 06 edition of Hannity, Media Research Center President Brent Bozell indicted the media's coverage of Osama bin Laden's death, including comments made by "idiot" Joy Behar, co-host of The View.

The NewsBusters publisher derided journalists who have ignored George W. Bush's role in killing the terrorist: "But my God where were they when George Bush won us the war in Iraq? Why wouldn't they praise in him? And why can't they give him the most minimal praise? It is because of this man's techniques that they condemned all these years, because of those techniques that that man is dead today."    

According to Behar, instead of inhanced interrogations on terrorists, it's possible "a six million dollar book deal would have worked just as well."

By NB Staff | May 9, 2011 | 10:00 AM EDT

A bit of an off-beat OT today. The Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism just released a study showing the considerable influence of center-right aggregator - and friend of NB - the Drudge Report. According to Pew, "Drudge Report drove more links than Facebook or Twitter on all the sites to which it drove traffic." Check out the infographic below the break, which shows just how much traffic some of the major news sites derive from so-called "Drudge hits," and let give us your thoughts in the comments.

By Noel Sheppard | May 9, 2011 | 9:51 AM EDT

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman Monday wrote another in a series of factually dishonest pieces about budget deficits and what he likes to call 'the Great Recession."

In his "The Unwisdom of Elites," the unabashed liberal made numerous falsehoods and omissions to blame our current economic and budget woes exclusively on George W. Bush and "small groups of influential people":