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By Clay Waters | | March 5, 2013 | 7:31 AM EST

On Sunday, New York Times military affairs reporter James Dao filed from Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan on the Marine Corps leaving the country, "As Marines Exit Afghan Province, a Feeling That a Campaign Was Worth It."

Yet when a Marine wrote a letter, found after his death, that his Iraq service had been worth it, a 2005 story by Dao clipped the letter to instead emphasize the Marine's doomed sense of foreboding, diminishing his memory in the process.

By Tim Graham | | March 5, 2013 | 6:59 AM EST

The Washington Post decided to dump its ombudsman or reader’s advocate position after Patrick Pexton’s two-year contract ended. The position is “independent,” but all too often, the hiring media outlet gets every benefit of the doubt. Pexton has defended some incredibly shameless hit pieces, including the Rick Perry “Niggerhead”-on-a-rock story and the Mitt Romney “haircut bully” episode of 1965. 

Nevertheless, on March 1, NPR ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos decried the Post decision as leading to a greater decline in media credibility. In the midst of this however, he attacked media watchdogs as a class as silly, uninformed nitpickers:

By NB Staff | | March 5, 2013 | 4:02 AM EST

In the Wall Street Journal today, the editors give close examination to what is likely to be the medium-term strategy for the Obama Administration: deliberately create governmental chaos in the hopes of manipulating the Democratic base.

This is an astonishing new development and one against presidential tradition but it all makes sense once you consider the ultimate goal: electing a Democratic House in 2014 so that Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid can go on another leftist spending and regulatory binge:

By Tom Blumer | | March 4, 2013 | 11:55 PM EST

Readers here can attempt to fill in the blank, and will get to the the correct answer after the jump.

In their coverage of U.S. vehicle sales in February, Tom Krisher and Dee-Ann Durbin at the Associated press, aka the Administration's Press, wrote the following in an item headlied "US AUTO SALES POWER AHEAD IN FEBRUARY": "Americans want new cars and trucks, and they're not letting higher gas prices or political dysfunction stand in their way. New car and truck sales were up ___ percent in February as rising home construction and cheap financing kept the U.S. auto recovery on track." So by how much did car sales in February 2013 exceed the level seen in February 2012?

By Tom Blumer | | March 4, 2013 | 10:37 PM EST

According to the first paragraph of Alicia's Caldwell's report today at the Associated Press, aka the Adminstration's Press, Homeland Security Secretary Janey Napolitano told attendees at a Politico breakfast this morning (Politico's coverage is here) that, in Caldwell's words, "U.S. airports, including Los Angeles International and O'Hare International in Chicago, are already experiencing delays as a result of automatic federal spending cuts." Additionally, again in Caldwell's words, "she expects a cascading effect during the week, with wait times expected to double in worst cases."

Well, either someone forgot to tell airport spokesperson and the travel industry to fall in line, or said officials are refusing, according to follow-up stories at the Politico and the UK Telegraph. Notably, the AP had no such follow-up story at its national site as of 10 p.m. ET tonight, but did have a story by Pauline Jelinek ("HOW BUDGET CUTS COULD AFFECT YOU") published at the about the same time as the two follow-ups just noted dutifully echoing Napolitano's talking points. Excerpts from both follow-up stories are after the jump.

By Jack Coleman | | March 4, 2013 | 7:40 PM EST

I always look forward to Mike Papantonio's appearances on radio, since he invariably says something that leaves me shaking my head in bemusement and pity.

Papantonio, an attorney and co-host of the "Ring of Fire" radio show, was guest hosting on Ed Schultz's radio program Friday and talking about the legal challenge to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 before the Supreme Court. (audio clips after page break)

By Matt Hadro | | March 4, 2013 | 6:45 PM EST

CNN's Dana Bash fact-checked President Obama's falsehood about the sequester on Friday, but the major networks didn't exactly follow CNN's lead in reporting the distortion that Capitol Hill janitors and police would receive a pay cut because of the sequester.

In his Friday press conference, Obama claimed, "They're going to have less pay, the [Capitol Hill] janitors, the security guards. They just got a pay cut." Shortly after that, CNN's Bash obtained from the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms that the workers would not receive a pay cut, just a limit on overtime pay. NBC ignored the distortion on its weekend newscasts, while CBS and ABC reported it one time each.

By Tim Graham | | March 4, 2013 | 6:34 PM EST

There's an update in our report on the spokesman for the Wisconsin Democratic Party sending three tweets comparing Gov. Scott Walker to cannibalistic serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.

The spokesman, Graeme Zielinski, has been dumped as the party spokesman and Democrat leaders also docked Zielinski a week's pay -- "a little more than $1,000." The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel added that Zielinski would stay on the payroll, but not on Twitter:

By Ken Shepherd | | March 4, 2013 | 6:24 PM EST

While we've shown how the media have studiously sought to blame congressional Republicans for the sequester and inoculate President Obama against any blame, it appears to not be working. We'll keep an eye out to see to what extent, if at all, the broadcast networks report on the dip in the president's job approval numbers.

As Politico's "44" blog noted this afternoon, the president has taken a hit this weekend in his job approval rating. Reported Donovan Slack (emphasis mine):

By Noel Sheppard | | March 4, 2013 | 5:35 PM EST

As NewsBusters reported, NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman had a truly disastrous appearance on ABC's This Week Sunday.

According to TVNewser, this apparently has led the good friend of North Korean despot Kim Jong Un to cancel subsequent television interviews:

By Paul Bremmer | | March 4, 2013 | 5:28 PM EST

In the aftermath of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, CBS has made up its mind about Catholicism: the Church is in crisis and must be reformed! Whereas Martin Luther tacked his theses on the Wittenberg church door, however, CBS opted to ensure its stab at church reformation would go largely unnoticed by including the segment on Saturday's CBS This Morning. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]

To discuss this topic, CBS anchor Anthony Mason brought in three liberals: Jim Frederick of Time Magazine, the Rev. Paul Raushenbush of the Huffington Post -- the great-grandson of Baptist minister and Social Gospel champion Walter Rauschenbusch -- and Sister Maureen Fiedler, who hosts her own public radio show. All three agreed with the premise that the Catholic Church needs to change. If the message wasn’t clear enough, a screen behind the guests read “Catholic Church in Crisis” (with no question mark) and the chyron read “Catholic Church in Crisis: Is the Vatican Capable of Reform?”

By Kyle Drennen | | March 4, 2013 | 5:26 PM EST

Appearing on left-wing actor Alec Baldwin's weekly WNYC talk radio show, Here's The Thing, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams laughably asserted that his reporting was void of any political bias: "My work has been so cleansed, as I see it, and as I've tried, of political opinions over 27 years....I can try to call it down the middle, and try to be fair about it, and do a 'just the facts'..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Throughout the interview, Baldwin gushed over how supposedly objective Williams was: "Although loud personalities with extreme views gobble up more air time, television news is an industry that still rewards unbiased, thoughtful, and direct reporting....many people in your business, you can feel little belches and little fissures of their opinions coming through, or a sense of that, and with you, there's none....I think that's what makes your program so successful. That's why I watch you."

By Matthew Balan | | March 4, 2013 | 3:41 PM EST

On Monday, CBS This Morning launched a week-long set of interviews for Women's History Month, but the majority of the women they picked for their list of "Eye Opening Women" are dedicated liberals, particularly on social issues. The morning newscast first conducted a fawning interview of former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who was part of the Supreme Court plurality that upheld the Roe v. Wade decision in 1992's Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

Five out of the eight remaining women featured for the series of interviews are all notables on the left side of the political spectrum. On Tuesday, anchors Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell will interview The Daily Beast's Tina Brown and Arianna Huffington, founder of far-left website The Huffington Post. Brown has a history of attacking conservatives. During a 2011 appearance on MSNBC's Morning Joe program, she likened tax hike opponents to terrorists:

By Clay Waters | | March 4, 2013 | 3:19 PM EST

The perils and victims of the round of the mandatory federal spending cuts known as sequestration led the New York Times' weekend coverage, with the 2.4% cut in annual federal spending that went into effect starting Friday labeled "austerity" and ushered in with headlines warning that "Poor May Be Hit Particularly Hard." Also: those who still approve of Congress tend to be "Obama haters," according to a news story.

Predictably, it was pro-Obama White House reporter Jackie Calmes' lead story in the Sunday edition that forecast the "new round of austerity" and predicted less economic growth as a result: "Cuts To Achieve Goal For Deficit, But Toll Is High – $4 Trillion In 10 Years – No 'Grand Bargain,' and a Drag on Jobs and Economic Growth."

By Howard Portnoy | | March 4, 2013 | 2:45 PM EST

An article in Monday’s U.S. News & World Report by Ken Walsh, a veteran journalist who covered five presidencies, notes a growing “unhealthy antagonism … between the West Wing and the mainstream media.” If the assessment is accurate, it could mean that the press, after four years of mindless obeisance to this administration, is finally ready to provide frank coverage, warts and all.

The sea change, if one is in the cards, started with the now-infamous brouhaha involving another old hand, Bob Woodward, and White House economic adviser Gene Sperling. Since Woodward publicly asserted that he was threatened by the administration, a number of White House correspondents have come forward to affirm that the press has long been expected to show deference and go with the administration-provided narrative or keep quiet.