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By Ken Shepherd | April 29, 2011 | 6:17 PM EDT

The pastor who preached the Easter sermon that Barack Obama heard this past Sunday is not another Jeremiah Wright, Time's Amy Sullivan insists in an April 29 blog "Swampland" blog post entitled "Conservatives Go After Another Obama Pastor."

Sullivan was responding to the complaints of conservative talkers Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, who highlighted some controversial remarks Smith made to a college audience last year:

By Matt Hadro | April 29, 2011 | 4:21 PM EDT

Apparently, the Left will never get over John Kerry's loss in the 2004 presidential election. On Thursday's Joy Behar Show, Joy Behar used a discussion of the "birther" claims against Barack Obama to slam what she called the "lies" of the Swift Boat veterans, who challenged Kerry's account of his service in Vietnam.

"Does this treatment remind you of the swift-boating that went on when John Kerry was running? ...These people make up a lie, they continue the lie, they perpetuate the lie, and then people start to believe it. They destroyed Kerry," Behar ranted to a liberal guest, Columbia University professor Marc Lamont Hill.

In smearing the anti-Kerry veterans, Behar is following in the steps of many others in the liberal media. Back in 2008, then-New York Times reporter Deborah Solomon (NYT Magazine, August 3, 2008) berated Boone Pickens for financially backing the group four years earlier: "You help re-elect Bush in '04 when you gave $3 million to the Swift Boat campaign to discredit John Kerry's Vietnam service. Do you regret your involvement?"

By Tom Blumer | April 29, 2011 | 3:23 PM EDT

Yesterday evening (late afternoon West Coast time), Phil Bronstein at the San Francisco Chronicle informed his readers that one of its reporters had been banned by the Obama administration:

The hip, transparent and social media-loving Obama administration is showing its analog roots. And maybe even some hypocrisy highlights.


White House officials have banished one of the best political reporters in the country from the approved pool of journalists covering presidential visits to the Bay Area for using now-standard multimedia tools to gather the news.

By Clay Waters | April 29, 2011 | 3:19 PM EDT

The New York Times on Friday finally deigned to review the movie “Atlas Shrugged,” based on the novel by Ayn Rand, a heroine to libertarians and objectivists in particular. New critic Carina Chocano (like the rest of the critics, who weighed in two weeks ago) was scathing on the movie’s flaws and clearly disdained its politics:  “A Utopian Society Made Up of Business Moguls in Fedoras.”

Could anyone have guessed, way back when it was published in 1957, that “Atlas Shrugged,” Ayn Rand’s grandiloquent doorstop of a masterwork, would one day reach the big screen as high-camp comedy? Because stilted prose and silly plotting notwithstanding, Rand’s unrelentingly popular book has exerted a powerful ideological hold on the culture, an influence that has only intensified in recent years with the emergence of the Tea Party. Still, for unintentional yet somehow boring hilarity, the novel can’t touch the cinematic adaptation, which shifts the action to 2016 and presents Rand’s ham-fisted fable of laissez-faire capitalism as something C-Span might make if it ever set out to create a futuristic, proto-libertarian nighttime soap. In the 1980s.

By Ken Shepherd | April 29, 2011 | 3:14 PM EDT

If a 64-year-old former U.S. president rode 100 kilometers in the desert with more than a dozen wounded military veterans to raise awareness of and money for veterans charities, would it make headlines?

You'd think it would, but it didn't.

On Monday, April 18, the George W. Bush Presidential Center announced that the former commander-in-chief would ride with "fourteen United States servicemen and women who were seriously wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan" in a 100-kilometer mountain bike ride on April 25-27 in the Big Bend National Park:

By Alex Fitzsimmons | April 29, 2011 | 2:50 PM EDT

President Barack Obama released his long-form birth certificate on Wednesday, but not even that could put the birther myth to bed for The Nation magazine's Washington editor Chris Hayes.

Guest hosting the April 28 edition of "Last Word," Hayes seized the moment to equate those who believe the president was not born in America with those who exercise healthy skepticism about anthropogenic global warming.

"The issue of the president's origins is one thing," began Hayes. "The reality of global warming is quite another. There seem to be the same dynamics at play in both."

By Matthew Balan | April 29, 2011 | 1:59 PM EDT

NPR's Ari Shapiro leaned towards supporters of the Obama administration's new "voluntary principles" to limit junk food ads to kids on Thursday's All Things Considered. Shapiro played three sound bites from backers, versus only one from a critic who blasted the proposal: "If the federal government decided to issue voluntary guidelines about what newsmen should say to avoid inflaming the public, I think you guys would be pretty upset."

Host Melissa Block did acknowledge opponents' concerns about the proposed guidelines in her introduction for the correspondent's report: "The Obama administration wants to limit the amount of advertising kids see for junk food. It's part of a broader push to improve child nutrition, and, as NPR's Ari Shapiro reports, it's part of what critics see as a growing nanny state."

By Clay Waters | April 29, 2011 | 1:02 PM EDT

New York Times reporter Jennifer Steinhauer piled on the ideological labels in her Friday profile of Florida’s freshman Republican Rep. Allen West, a black conservative and Tea party activist: “Conservative Congressman’s Star Power Extends Beyond Florida District.”

Steinhauer’s profile, while not overtly hostile, contained no less than eight ideological labels to describe the “conservative” West, not including the first word of the headline, while his comments on feminism and support for Israel were labeled “incendiary.” This from a newspaper that constantly refers to the truly incendiary Al Sharpton as a “civil rights activist.” A sampling:

But the most compelling part of Representative Allen B. West of Florida is his own biography, there for all to see: an African-American Tea Party activist Republican congressman and ally of hard-right Israelis who, after his beloved career in the Army ended under a cloud, defeated the sitting Democrat in a largely white, politically polarized district here and quickly became one of the right’s most visible spokesmen.


Mr. West’s popularity among conservatives goes far beyond South Florida. He was chosen to give the keynote speech in February at the Conservative Political Action Conference, and is frequently featured on the Fox News Channel and in other conservative settings where he enjoys explaining, reiterating or unleashing any number of incendiary remarks concerning what he often calls “the other side.”

By Ken Shepherd | April 29, 2011 | 12:21 PM EDT

"Thank God for Jimmy Carter. He takes on the tough ones."

That's how "On Faith" moderator Sally Quinn ended her April 26 post "Does God hate women?"

Quinn insisted that it was "a question that never occurred to me until I began to study religion" and that the 39th president of the United States had a role in her examining the topic:

By Clay Waters | April 29, 2011 | 11:44 AM EDT

Thursday’s New York Times lead editorial, “A Certificate of Embarrassment,” dealt with President Obama authorizing the State of Hawaii to release his long-form birth certificate. The editorial writers commit the same error its media reporter Brian Stelter did, falsely stating the rumor “was originally promulgated by fringe figures of the radical right,” when in fact it was initially circulated via email by Hillary Clinton supporters in April 2008, as noted by Politico on April 22.

With sardonic resignation, President Obama, an eminently rational man, stared directly into political irrationality on Wednesday and released his birth certificate to history. More than halfway through his term, the president felt obliged to prove that he was a legitimate occupant of the Oval Office. It was a profoundly low and debasing moment in American political life.

The disbelief fairly dripped from Mr. Obama as he stood at the West Wing lectern. People are out of work, American soldiers are dying overseas and here were cameras to record him stating that he was born in a Hawaii hospital. It was particularly galling to us that it was in answer to a baseless attack with heavy racial undertones.

By NB Staff | April 29, 2011 | 10:33 AM EDT

Another Friday, another brand-spankin'-new episode of NewsBusted! This is, if we may say so, one of the better episodes we've seen in a while. Check it out below the break, subscribe to Jodi's YouTube channel, then tell all your friends!

By John Nolte | April 29, 2011 | 10:15 AM EDT

Lately, there have been duelling stories in the entertainment press about the future of ”Atlas Shrugged.” With disappointing box office returns, the producers have been asked if they will go ahead and complete the franchise and in one interview we’re being told there will be no trilogy and in another we’re being told that there will. To clear the air, I reached out via email and “Atlas” producers John Aglialoro and Harmon Kaslow were both good enough to respond with exclusive qu

By NB Staff | April 29, 2011 | 9:20 AM EDT

You may remember an attack ad recently put out by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee claiming that, under Rep. Paul Ryan's "Path to Prosperity" entitlement reform plan, seniors would be forced to foot the bill for their Medicare benefits. In reality, no one over 55 would see any change to their Medicare under the plan. Well yesterday Heritage Action for America, the political arm of the Heritage Foundation, released its own ad in attempt to drive home th real victims of Washington's inaction on the issue. Check out their retort below the break, and let us know what you think (h/t Conn Carroll).

By Brad Wilmouth | April 29, 2011 | 8:12 AM EDT

 On Thursday’s Joy Behar Show on HLN, host Behar quipped that former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has returned "like jock itch," after playing a clip of Palin on Fox News Channel making fun of CBS anchor Katie Couric. Behar: "I give Sarah Palin credit. She's out of favor. She's out of the limelight. And then, suddenly, she's back like jock itch, and just as snarky as ever."

After commentary from her panel members for the segment, the HLN host ended up cracking that Palin is reminding people that she’s "illiterate" because the former Alaska governor also alluded to her own answer to Couric’s question about what she reads. Behar: "I think that she learned from being on Saturday Night Live that the way to reconstruct your image is to take the joke on yourself. But all she's doing is reminding us that she's illiterate."

Panel member and actor Josh Gad then oddly suggested that Palin has a history of making anti-Semitic jokes as he chimed in: "I miss her anti-Semitic jokes so much."

By Brent Baker | April 29, 2011 | 7:24 AM EDT

Like clockwork, an unusual weather event occurs and some shallow journalists immediately leap to speculating about global warming – even accusing humankind of causing the event. On Thursday night, looking at the tornadoes across the South, ABC’s Sam Champion ridiculously claimed “everybody is asking if climate change played a role here.” Brian Williams blamed humans: “What's going on here? Is this something we have done?”

On the NBC Nightly News, Williams prompted Greg Forbes of the Weather Channel:

Let's be candid here. When you and I go home, you see friends and family, you get e-mail from people you know. People ask the same question: What's going on here? Is this something we have done? What has happened to the climate because it seems so much of what we cover is relentless weather-related tragedy?