Latest Posts

By Brent Bozell | March 8, 2011 | 10:31 PM EST

On March 2, two U.S airmen, Nicholas Alden and Zachary Cuddeback, were gunned down at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany. Two other Americans were wounded. The assailant was a radical Muslim. This was a huge story to most Americans – but, naturally, but not to our news media. If the amount of air time is any measure, the assassination of our troops drew a yawn.

That night, ABC’s “World News” offered a full report, but CBS and NBC each gave it less than 30 seconds. "Troops under attack in Germany, targeted by a gunman shouting in Arabic about jihad," reported ABC anchor Diane Sawyer. Neither CBS or NBC found room for “jihad” talk, and never found time to ask about the young American lives extinguished.

CBS saved room that night for Mickey Rooney’s testimony about “elder abuse.” NBC needed to save four minutes and 15 seconds for semi-retired Tom Brokaw’s report on the decline in Reading, Pennsylvania, and then devoted another two and half minutes to promoting the Smithsonian’s attempt to find a “Candid Camera in the Wilderness” with animal spycams.

By Lachlan Markay | March 8, 2011 | 6:17 PM EST

National Public Radio further distanced itself Tuesday afternoon from embattled outgoing executive Ron Schiller saying that he would be put on "administrative leave" following the release of a video in which he bashed Tea Party activists as "racist" and said that NPR would be "better off" without federal funding.

It was unclear from NPR's first statement, released early in the day, which of Schiller's many comments the radio network had disavowed. The second statement offered some clarification, specifically addressing the claims that the organization would fare better without federal dollars. But it did not highlight or specifically denounce any of Schiller's comments regarding the Tea Party movement, the Republican Party, or the American people generally - though it did broadly condemn his comments.

Schiller's impending departure for a post at the Aspen Institute makes the move to place him on "administrative leave" mostly symbolic.

By Noel Sheppard | March 8, 2011 | 6:06 PM EST

"For the sake of a cleaner planet, should Americans wear dirtier clothes?"

So comically began a New York Times article on the front page of the Gray Lady's Science section Tuesday ironically titled "When Energy Efficiency Sullies the Environment" (photo courtesy Viktor Koen):

By Scott Whitlock | March 8, 2011 | 5:38 PM EST

ABC's undercover news show, What Would You Do, on Friday continued to search for examples of bigotry across America. Anchor John Quinones narrated a segment featuring two men pretending to be gay military veterans displaying affection in a New Jersey restaurant.

As cameras rolled, Quinones explained the set-up: "They're holding hands, stroking each other's hair and caressing each other's legs...So what will happen if we throw in our actor Vince, posing as an irritated diner, who's had enough of this PDA?"

An actor, "Vince," interrupted the faux soldiers and complained, "Excuse me. We appreciate your service to the country and everything, but you should respect the uniform a little bit more than that."

By Alex Fitzsimmons | March 8, 2011 | 5:29 PM EST

Less than two weeks into his new gig anchoring the 3 p.m. Eastern hour at MSNBC, Martin Bashir has already called the Tea Party "disingenuous," hailed Obama's response to the crisis in Libya, and supported raising taxes on the rich.

This afternoon Bashir added another item to that liberal laundry list.

While President Barack Obama was delivering a speech on education reform in Boston, the former ABC "Nightline" anchor seized on the opportunity to advance the fallacious narrative that Republican governors across the country are trying to vilify public school teachers.

By Jack Coleman | March 8, 2011 | 5:28 PM EST

Never let it be said that Ed Schultz isn't fair. Why, just yesterday he was putting in a good word for German national socialism.

Schultz, who has yet to encounter an infrastructure project that didn't make him swoon (an infatuation he shares with fellow MSNBCer Rachel Maddow), had this to say on his radio show with sidekick James Holm while complaining about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker rejecting a passenger rail line between Milwaukee and Madison (audio here) --

By Ken Shepherd | March 8, 2011 | 4:17 PM EST

In its daytime programming today, MSNBC has been hyping today's 100th anniversary of  International Women's Day.

On her 1 p.m. Eastern program, anchor Andrea Mitchell noted how Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled the International Women of Courage Awards to "ten women rights leaders from around the world."

While Mitchell then noted the lack of progress that Afghanistan's government was making in terms of women's rights, she failed to report how the Obama administration has backtracked on efforts aimed at promoting advances towards equal rights and greater access to education for Afghan women.

As Rajiv Chandrasekaran noted in his Sunday  Washington Post article -- "In Afghanistan, U.S. shifts strategy on women's rights as it eyes wider priorities" -- the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has backed down from earlier ambitious, concrete goals for female property ownership and education in Afghanistan, quite possibly in accord with the desire of top-level Obama administration officials to wind down a U.S. presence there (emphasis mine):

By Kyle Drennen | March 8, 2011 | 3:51 PM EST

Tuesday's CBS Early Show featured a fawning story on President Obama's Race to the Top Commencement Challenge that sounded like it was written by the White House communications department. What the segment failed to mention was the severe lack of high schools that had actually entered the contest to have Obama speak at their graduation ceremonies.

Co-host Erica Hill teased the story at the top of the 8:30AM ET half hour and portrayed the program as a great success: "More than a thousand high schools tried to get President Obama to deliver their commencement address at last year's graduation. No easy feat to get the President to your high school....how high schools around the country can compete for that honor and a visit from the President again this year." She left out the fact that this year the White House was having tremendous difficulty attracting a similar level of interest.

By Matt Hadro | March 8, 2011 | 3:50 PM EST

The Wisconsin public sector unions, in agreeing to compromise on their pensions and benefits in exchange for collective bargaining, have apparently done all they could to negotiate with the state's governor – according to "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski Tuesday. The self-confessed Democrat for whom appeal to sentiment is second-nature, Brzezinski painted the governor as "cold" and "mean" in the eyes of Wisconsin voters, to whom the union has "given blood."

"The union has given blood to this guy. They've given everything he's wanted," Brzezinski lamented. "I don't know what more they can do for him."

Brzezinski highlighted polls of Wisconsin voters, which show a majority now have an unfavorable view of the governor. "You know what the voters are saying?" she rhetorically asked. "He's cold. And he's mean. And he doesn't care about the little guy." Wow, it sounds like someone's getting coal in his stocking next Christmas.
 

By Tim Graham | March 8, 2011 | 3:21 PM EST

The Washington Times took up the issue today of how PBS and NPR stations exploit their own airwaves to lobby against Republican budget-cut proposals. Reporter Seth McLaughlin and Stephen Dinan reported that spokesmen for PBS superstations WGBH in Boston and WETA in Washington “said their appeals never told their audiences which way to lobby Congress, but only to call and let their feelings be known.”

A look at WETA’s ad (which we recorded after the February 22 Frontline) shows this is simply and obviously untrue. The announcer clearly insists the House Republicans are putting kiddie programs at risk and cuts “will have a devastating effect on WETA and the television programs you and your family rely on.” Do they really expect people to agree this isn’t an advocacy ad? Do they think someone would say "I'm so glad they've inspired me to call and say "I hate WordGirl and Sid the Science Kid. Please defund those little jerks.'" Here’s the whole script:

(video, audio and transcript after the jump)

By Clay Waters | March 8, 2011 | 3:15 PM EST

New York Times religion reporter Laurie Goodstein made Tuesday’s front page with an attack on Brigitte Gabriel, an activist who warns against the dangers of radical Islam in the United States: “Drawing U.S. Crowds With Anti-Islam Message.”

Interestingly, the piece is datelined Fort Worth, Texas, suggesting much of the relevant reporting was done last fall – Gabriel spoke to a Tea Party event in Fort Worth in September 2010, and Goodstein’s story includes a photo of Gabriel speaking at “a Tea Party event in September.”

Did some of this story come out of the freezer? It was surely released today to intersect with Rep. Peter King’s hearings on Islamic radicalism which begin on Thursday, but which the Times already bashed in its lead editorial today. The editors pointed an accusing finger at King: “Not much spreads fear and bigotry faster than a public official intent on playing the politics of division.”

By Alex Fitzsimmons | March 8, 2011 | 2:44 PM EST

On MSNBC's "Daily Rundown" today, Steve Liesman robustly defended raising gasoline taxes as a way to address rising oil prices.

The CNBC senior economics reporter minced no words to show his support for hiking the unpopular consumption tax in the midst of a sluggish economic recovery: "I want to offer that one of the real solutions here is a gas tax."

After positing that the problem with oil prices "is not that they're high, it's how they oscillate," Liesman claimed higher gas taxes "would accomplish two things: one, it would create incentives to use less of it and two, create a little more certainty around the price, which by the way is one of the things making gasoline a bad fuel for the economy."

By Lachlan Markay | March 8, 2011 | 2:31 PM EST

An admission by a top executive at National Public Radio that the organization would be "better off in the long-run" without federal funding may bolster ongoing efforts to rescind that funding. Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., said Tuesday that he was "amazed at the condescension and arrogance" displayed by then-senior NPR executive Ron Schiller in a hidden camera video released by conservative filmmaker James O'Keefe.

The video showed Schiller telling two men posing members of an Islamic advocacy group that Tea Party activists are "racist" and "xenophobic." Schiller also claimed that NPR "would be better off in the long run without federal funding."

Republicans are prepared to oblige NPR on that score. Lamborn told Washington Examiner columnist Byron York on Tuesday that congressional Democrats and other NPR backers should "reconsider their support in light of these appalling attitudes that are displayed in the video."

By NB Staff | March 8, 2011 | 1:41 PM EST

It's time for Tuesday's episode of NewsBusted! We've got some great material this week (I know, I know, it's great every week).

Topics in today's show:

-- Tea Party cleans up after unions

-- Border patrol officer shooting beanbags

-- Gas prices soar

-- Huck blasts Natalie Portman for out-of-wedlock child

By Ken Shepherd | March 8, 2011 | 1:36 PM EST

"With such a strong bloc of these young people voting Democratic [in presidential elections], Republican leaders in some key swing states are looking to even the playing field coming up in 2012," MSNBC's Thomas Roberts insisted as he introduced Heather Smith of Rock the Vote (RTV) in a segment devoted to that group's fears about "voter suppression" -- see RTV screen capture below the page break -- in states such as New Hampshire, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Missouri.

Those are four states where Republicans control both houses of the state legislature and are pushing reform laws aimed at voter ID requirements, tightening up residency requirements that largely impact college kids, and/or repealing last-minute voter registration at the polls.