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By Jack Coleman | July 29, 2011 | 6:25 PM EDT

Tulane professor Melissa Harris-Perry, guest hosting on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show last night, could hardly contain her mirth at the specter of an elected official actually praying for guidance while Congress struggles over the debt ceiling.

Here's Harris-Perry describing tea party Republicans facing the wrath of House Speaker John Boehner for not supporting his debt plan (video after page break) --

By Noel Sheppard | July 29, 2011 | 5:37 PM EDT

In a "Fareed Zakaria GPS" segment to be aired on CNN Sunday and posted at the network's website Thursday, the host flat out lies about the current debt ceiling debate as well as when and why credit rating agencies began expressing concern about our nation's finances.

"Please understand that none of these things are happening because the United States is running deficits," Zakaria falsely claims. "We face downgrades and investor panic not because of our deficits" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Ken Shepherd | July 29, 2011 | 5:33 PM EDT

"Four years ago, the American auto industry was so opposed to higher fuel economy standards that executives of Detroit camped out in Washington in an unsuccessful bid to undercut them," Bill Vlasic opened his July 28 front page New York Times article.

But now "when President Obama announced even stricter standards — in fact, the largest increase in mileage requirements since the government began regulating" fuel economy, "the chief executives of Detroit’s Big Three were in Washington again," this time "standing in solidarity with the president."

Of course, a few paragraphs later, Vlasic allowed that the massive federal bailout of GM and Chrysler helped push the auto industry into obeisance:

By Matt Hadro | July 29, 2011 | 4:55 PM EDT

It is one matter if a president stakes out a smart position within a heated political debate, but it is another matter when members of the press believe so and shower him with positive coverage. CNN's John King complimented President Obama on Thursday's Anderson Cooper 360 for having "positioned himself smartly here in the middle" on the debt ceiling debate.

King painted the president as a pragmatic moderate who has called on both sides to compromise, in a statement that could pass for White House talking points.

By Scott Whitlock | July 29, 2011 | 4:11 PM EDT

Liberal New York Times columnist Paul Krugman on Friday denounced the "centrist cop-out" of balance. Krugman specifically singled out the Associated Press for not exclusively blaming the ongoing debt ceiling impasse on the Republican Party.

Complaining about too much fairness, the author derided his journalistic colleagues, "But making nebulous calls for centrism, like writing news reports that always place equal blame on both parties, is a big cop-out — a cop-out that only encourages more bad behavior. The problem with American politics right now is Republican extremism, and if you’re not willing to say that, you’re helping make that problem worse."         

By Mike Bates | July 29, 2011 | 3:49 PM EDT

Yesterday on "The Fix", a politics blog of the Washington Post, Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake wrote "Five Members to watch in the House debt ceiling vote."  One of the five is Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT).  He's described as a potential "yes" vote for Speaker John Boehner's (R-OH) debt ceiling bill:

Matheson, a Democrat, has managed to keep his Republican-leaning Utah seat by voting very conservatively since being elected in 2000.

So let's see what The Fix considers voting not just conservatively, but very conservatively.  Project Vote Smart collects ratings given by a wide variety of special-interest organizations.  Matheson's record shows that for 2010 the American Conservative Union gave him a grade of 17 percent.  The National Taxpayers Union assigned him a 39 percent and Citizens Against Government Waste awarded him an 11 percent.  He did substantially better with the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, which gave him an 80 percent rating.  The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People determined he voted in their interests 75 percent of the time for the period 2009-2010, and the American Civil Liberties Union rated him at 56 percent for the same period.

By Alex Fitzsimmons | July 29, 2011 | 3:24 PM EDT

A trend is emerging on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," whereby guests make inflammatory statements likening conservatives to terrorists, and none of the co-hosts insist on a more elevated level of dialogue.

Following in the footsteps of Newsweek's Tina Brown and Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), two MSNBC analysts called conservatives in Congress "economic terrorists" and "crazy" on Friday, yet none of the program's co-hosts questioned the offensive choice of words or called for a more civilized tone.

Disgraced former Obama car czar Steve Rattner went first, framing Tea Partiers as suicide bombers:

By Eric Ames | July 29, 2011 | 2:47 PM EDT

Fox News's Steve Doocy and former CIA officer Michael Scheuer took the gossip site Gawker to task Friday for claiming to out the identity of the CIA officer responsible for orchestrating the Osama bin Laden raid in May. "I think most of the media is anti-Agency, and they think it's fun to put people at risk," said Scheuer.


By Kyle Drennen | July 29, 2011 | 1:42 PM EDT

On Friday, all three network morning shows played up the theme of stubborn House GOP conservatives opposing Speaker John Boehner's debt ceiling plan. On CBS's Early Show, co-host Chris Wragge proclaimed: "House Republicans will meet again this morning after hardline conservatives handed House Speaker John Boehner a major setback."

On ABC's Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos announced: "The House Speaker's debt plan melts down after hours of arm twisting failed to subdue a Tea Party rebellion." On NBC's Today, Capitol Hill correspondent Kelly O'Donnell declared: "A parade of those rebellious holdout Republicans were summoned to the Speaker's office."

By Tom Blumer | July 29, 2011 | 1:36 PM EDT

This morning, Christopher Rugaber's coverage of the news from Uncle Sam's Bureau of Economic Analysis about the growth in the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at the Associated Press appropriately characterized it as indicative of a "sharp slowdown" and "extremely bad" (via a quoted economist).

Today's report carried an advance estimate of second-quarter growth of an annualized 1.3%. As a result of revisions going all the way back to 2003, the BEA's report also included a steeply reduction to 0.4% for the first quarter (down from the 1.9% reported last month), deeper contractions during the recession's roughest quarters, and net slightly lower growth figures since the recession officially ended in June 2009.

The big story Rugaber missed -- and which I suspect the rest of the media will also miss -- is that two full years after the recession ended, the economy, based on today's numbers, has not yet fully recovered, as seen in the following graphic (Source data: Table 3A at the BEA's full GDP report):

By Scott Whitlock | July 29, 2011 | 12:51 PM EDT

The New York Times' lead story on the debt ceiling debate, Friday, for the second time in three days, featured no liberal labels, but managed to tag "conservatives" five times. This now brings the ideological scorecard (for that time period) to 20 conservative identifications and just one for liberals.

The Times' Carl Hulse only slightly varied his description of the House Republicans. He insisted that Speaker John Boehner tried to "pressure reluctant conservatives into backing their plan."

By NB Staff | July 29, 2011 | 11:22 AM EDT

"When, oh, when is a Republican going to stand up" and call the liberal media on their lies about the debt ceiling debate, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell lamented on this morning's "Fox & Friends."

Bozell was reacting to a clip of Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) answering a misleading and biased question by CBS's Bob Schieffer (video follows page break; MP3 audio here):


By Noel Sheppard | July 29, 2011 | 11:11 AM EDT

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough on Friday took some well-deserved shots at New York Times columnist Paul Krugman.

After "Morning Joe's" Mika Brzezinski read bits of Krugman's most recent rant against "Republican extremism," her co-host responded, "If you’re a blogger, and you’re still living in your mom’s basement, and you got Cheetos all over the keyboard, you type in your look at Paul Krugman and you think, 'He is my hero'” (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By NB Staff | July 29, 2011 | 11:09 AM EDT

Today's starter topic: As you likely know, there still is no agreement on the debt ceiling. Perhaps the government should hit up computer manufacturer Apple for the cash, since the liberal-loved company now has more cash on hand that the U.S. Treasury:

By Brad Wilmouth | July 29, 2011 | 2:30 AM EDT

 Appearing as a guest on Thursday’s Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC, the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein suggested that the budget plan that the House Republican leadership is trying to pass would harm the economy, and, as if the government did not take in lots of tax revenue already, referred to the absence of a tax increase as "no revenues." Stein: