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By Scott Whitlock | December 7, 2011 | 5:53 PM EST

Former Newsweek editor Howard Fineman on Wednesday trashed Newt Gingrich as a mad bomber, smearing, "...Newt's main appeal and his main skill is as a guy who knows exactly where to put the explosive device to blow up the bridge."

Fineman was appearing on Chris Matthews' Hardball. Matthews has previously decried so-called incendiary rhetoric on the right, but the host just chuckled at Fineman's comments. 

By Noel Sheppard | December 7, 2011 | 5:31 PM EST

If you had to name the top U.S. news story of 2011, what would you say?

For the folks at Time magazine, the answer is the Occupy Wall Street protests:

By Ken Shepherd | December 7, 2011 | 5:27 PM EST

"You know, the president's been calling for bipartisanship on Capitol Hill, I'm not sure that he meant for the two of you to get together and go up against his signature program," MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell complained at the conclusion of a chat with Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) on today's Andrea Mitchell Reports.

Mitchell had the senators on to discuss their opposition to extending the 2011 payroll tax holiday.

By Scott Whitlock | December 7, 2011 | 4:37 PM EST

Former Associated Press writer Ron Fournier on Tuesday praised Barack Obama's call for higher taxes as "one of his best, a searing and historically poignant account of the greatest challenge of the American experiment: How do we give every citizen, rich or poor, a path to the good life?"

Fournier, now with National Journal, only seemed to lament that the President didn't go far enough: "Borrowed or not, Obama's rhetoric was worthy of [Theodore Roosevelt], who declared in his 1910 'square deal' address that the 'right to regulate the use of wealth in the public interest is universally admitted.' But the comparison goes only so far: Obama's proposed solutions were a whisper of TR's agenda."

By Ken Shepherd | December 7, 2011 | 4:08 PM EST

Disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D-Ill.) was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison today. The Chicago Tribune devoted four reporters to cover this one story.

Despite this, there were zero references to Blagojevich's Democratic party affiliation in the 49-paragraph "breaking news" item, "Judge gives Blagojevich 14 years: 'When governor goes bad, fabric of Illinois is torn.'"

By Kyle Drennen | December 7, 2011 | 4:08 PM EST

On Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd promoted the President's speech in Osawatomie, Kansas calling for an extension of payroll tax cuts as "the Obama version of prairie populism" and touted how the commander in chief, "cast himself and the Democratic Party as the protectors of a middle class under Republican assault."

Throughout the report, Todd alternated between reciting White House talking points and playing sound bites of the President. Todd explained: "And in case folks missed the references to the middle class, the President used the phrase 20 times....Using phrases like 'fair shot' and 'fair share,' he even used the language of the Occupy Wall Street movement." A clip was played of Obama declaring: "These aren't Democratic values or Republican values, these aren't 1% values or 99% values. They're American values."

By Matthew Balan | December 7, 2011 | 3:59 PM EST

The Big Three network morning shows on Wednesday highlighted the upcoming sentencing of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, but only CBS's Early Show identified the disgraced politician as a Democrat and devoted a full segment to him. ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today omitted his party ID, and just gave news briefs on the convict's possible sentence.

CBS correspondent Cynthia Bowers wasted little time before noting that "the former Democratic governor was convicted on 18 counts of corruption, after being caught on a profanity-laced federal wiretap offering political favors in return for financial gain." Bowers played two sound bites from the wiretap recording, including the infamous "bleeping golden" clip from Blagojevich.

By Brent Bozell | December 7, 2011 | 2:40 PM EST

Following the recent threats from Nancy Pelosi and the heavy brush with which the media are painting Newt Gingrich as unethical, the Media Research Center is now calling on the networks to seize the moment and report the truth from nearly 13 years ago.

It has been 4,689 days since the IRS formally cleared Newt Gingrich of any violation of tax law.  It’s been 4,689 days since ABC, CBS, and NBC have had the opportunity to report it. What the heck.  Why not today?  Now is the time for these networks to report the truth for once.  The networks owe it to the American people to report the fact that in 1999 the IRS completely vindicated Gingrich.

By Clay Waters | December 7, 2011 | 2:06 PM EST

First it was the “99 percent” slogan that captured the imagination of liberals, including New York Times journalists. Now it’s the “Robin Hood tax, which is “beginning to capture the public’s imagination.” The liberal public, at least. Times reporters Steven Greenhouse and Graham Bowley promoted “The Robin Hood Tax -- Support Grows for a Levy on Stock Trades to Help the World’s Poor” on the front of Monday’s Business section, while emphasizing it would be “tiny” and was driven by “populist,” not left-wing or liberal, anger.

By Matt Hadro | December 7, 2011 | 1:41 PM EST

Liberal filmmaker Michael Moore claimed on CNN Tuesday night that he would never question a Republican's patriotism and love for country, although he has done all but actually say those very words in the last decade.

"I would never question a Republican of whether or not they loved America or whether they were patriotic or whatever," Moore claimed innocence on Tuesday's Piers Morgan Tonight. "I would assume that they love this country and I assume that what they're doing is what they believe is best for the country."

Yet Moore's past words belie his present claims. Just last year he linked the catastrophic death toll of the Haiti earthquake with what would be a "Republican paradise" of no building codes and regulations there.

By Scott Whitlock | December 7, 2011 | 12:38 PM EST

The same networks that jumped on every flub by Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann have, so far, ignored video of President Obama confusing Kansas with Texas. Only Fox News and CNN played the clip. 

Special Report's Bret Baier, however did cover the President's speech about taxes, calling the moment "inauspicious." He then showed Obama, in Osawatomie, Kansas, asserting: "Well, it is great to be back in the state of Tex -- oops." Panelist Charles Krauthammer quipped, "Look, it's hard to remember all 57 states." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Noel Sheppard | December 7, 2011 | 11:52 AM EST

Did you know it was a human right to have a roof over your head?

So says schlockumentarian Occupy Wall Street supporter Michael Moore in an absolutely hysterical call to arms published at the Huffington Post Wednesday entitled "The Winter of Our Occupation":

By Tim Graham | December 7, 2011 | 11:41 AM EST

On Monday's Morning Edition, NPR science reporter Shankar Vedantam (formerly of The Washington Post) indulged the naughtiest little children, the ones that throw screaming, crying tantrums in public places. The story claimed scientists have now apparently proven that parents should just let the little monsters roar until they exhaust themselves. In the early stages of rage, parents should "do nothing. Don't shout, don't hit, don't try to comfort the child." You can thank NPR the next time this experiment unfolds at the mall."

Vedantam's first subject was little Katrina Doudna: "There was nothing wrong with Katrina. Small kids just have tantrums. Some have lots of them. Tantrums may be traumatic for parents, but they're mostly normal behavior. So science hasn't paid much attention to them, until now."

By Ken Shepherd | December 7, 2011 | 11:24 AM EST

Washington Post "On Faith" editor and religious agnostic Sally Quinn took time yesterday morning to hack out a blog post offending people of faith entitled, "What will God whisper in Herman Cain's ear next?":

By Noel Sheppard | December 7, 2011 | 10:25 AM EST

Oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens wants President Obama to explain to him what his "fair share" of taxes is.

Such was discussed on MSNBC's Morning Joe Wednesday (video follows with transcribed highlights):