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By Kyle Drennen | November 1, 2011 | 3:41 PM EDT

On Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer excitedly announced to viewers: "President Obama passed his latest physical with flying colors, one of the headlines coming out...the President is now tobacco free." White House correspondent Kristen Welker reported: "President Obama has never made a secret about his struggle to quit smoking....But it seems now it's a habit he may have finally put out."        

Welker sympathetically noted: "Mr. Obama is tobacco free, that's a marked difference from last year's medical report...suggesting he was still in the process of giving up smoking. A long struggle which the President has openly discussed....smoking has dogged him since his days on the campaign trail."

By Brent Bozell | November 1, 2011 | 3:03 PM EDT

Editor's Note: In direct contrast to how ABC, CBS and NBC newsrooms all but ignored the sexual assault allegations against Bill Clinton from multiple women including Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and Juanita Broaddrick, the same networks are now salivating over an alleged act of harassment by Herman Cain from anonymous sources. NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell made the following statement about this media double standard earlier today:

ABC, CBS and NBC pounced on the opportunity to slam GOP hopeful Herman Cain - even with unnamed accusers and sources. It is indefensible how the networks were quick to defend Bill Clinton by not reporting public accusations of rape, inappropriate physical contact, and explicit behavior – and are quick to attack Herman Cain on the basis of unspecified allegations by anonymous sources.

By Clay Waters | November 1, 2011 | 1:54 PM EDT

There’s a clear double standard on sex allegations for presidential candidates in the New York Times.

The Times put 15-year-old anonymous accusations of sexual harassment against GOP candidate Herman Cain on the front page Tuesday morning, in an off-lead story by Jim Rutenberg and Michael Shear written with help from five other reporters: “Cain Confronts Claim From 90s Of Harassment – He Denies Wrongdoing – Account of Settlement Changes – Reports Rock Campaign.”

By Ken Shepherd | November 1, 2011 | 1:23 PM EDT

"Restaurant group nixed backing Cain," reads a teaser headline on Politico's website today, hinting to casual readers that a National Restaurant Association (NRA) endorsement of their former chief Herman Cain was a done deal until Politico dug up an old out-of-court sexual harassment settlement. 

The story was also plastered on the front page of the November 1 print edition, headlined "Restaurant Group Tamps Down Cain Talk."

But in the November 1 story itself, Politico staffers Anna Palmer and Kenneth Vogel noted that a teleconference on endorsing Cain was done in October prior to Politico breaking its scoop about the out-of-court sexual harassment settlement (emphasis mine below). Left unmentioned in the story is that the NRA is co-hosting with other trade groups a series of town hall forums where members can phone in questions to presidential candidates:

By Noel Sheppard | November 1, 2011 | 12:27 PM EDT

As NewsBusters has been reporting, the coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement has been nothing less than atrocious.

Appearing on Fox News's the O'Reilly Factor Monday, political analyst Bernie Goldberg said it's because there are "people that sell Slurpees and cigarettes to insomniacs at 7-Eleven on the overnight shift who have more introspection than journalists who cover important events in our country" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Scott Whitlock | November 1, 2011 | 11:49 AM EDT

Since the Herman Cain sexual harassment story broke late Sunday night, the broadcast networks have covered it extensively: full stories on Monday's morning news shows (ABC's Good Morning America led off their broadcast); full stories on Monday's evening news shows (the CBS Evening News made it their top item) and ABC's Nightline; and the top story on all three Tuesday morning shows.

Cain's accusers are still anonymous. Three women publicly accused Bill Clinton of far more serious instances of sexual harassment in the 1990s, but the networks all but ignored them. The coverage that did exist was often skeptical, insulting and hostile, an astonishing double standard.

By Kyle Drennen | November 1, 2011 | 11:21 AM EDT

All three network morning shows on Tuesday led with Herman Cain's response to allegations of sexual harassment in the 1990s and even speculated the scandal could end his candidacy, with NBC Today co-host Ann Curry proclaiming: "Damage control. Herman Cain changes his story....Will the controversy and his reaction to it derail his presidential campaign?"

On ABC's Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos announced: "24-hour flip-flop. Republican front-runner Herman Cain now admits he's been accused of sexual harassment and settlements were paid. His bizarre series of conflicting interviews.... what will it mean for his campaign?"

By Mark Finkelstein | November 1, 2011 | 11:05 AM EDT

"We need to re-evaluate what is required in our lives, so that we have a sense of satisfaction.  What really counts?  One friend of mine has reduced it to this: you should get up in the morning and ask 'what do I need,' not just 'what do I want?'" -- Tom Brokaw, Morning Joe 11-1-11.

"Of course, one of the reasons I bought it was to be able to get away from the frantic life I lead and to have some privacy." -- Tom Brokaw, explaining his purchase of an interest in a 4,000-acre mountain retreat in Montana.

Tom Brokaw: a Michael Moore kind of millionaire?  We haven't seen him getting down with the Occupy kids like the documentary-maker recently did.  But there was Brokaw--who has amassed a reported $70 million and owns a 4000-acre "mountain retreat" in Montana--on Morning Joe today preaching the virtues of the simple life . . . for others. Video after the jump.

By Noel Sheppard | November 1, 2011 | 10:45 AM EDT

For the second day in a row, the lone so-called conservative anchor on MSNBC supported Politico's hit piece on Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain.

After saying Cain "made a fool of himself" with his inconsistent response to the allegations Monday, Scarborough said that if there were another viable conservative candidate in the race, "Rush Limbaugh would be making fun of Herman Cain today" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By NB Staff | November 1, 2011 | 10:25 AM EDT

Despite allegations of sexual harassment during his time at the National Restaurant Association, conservatives are still rallying around GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain, likening attacks against Cain to attacks against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991.

Cain has labeled the charges as a baseless witch hunt, denying sexually harassing anyone. Some are even suggesting that since Cain has become such a target of the left and the media, the attacks could actually bolster Cain's support among conservatives. Do you think the "high-tech lynching" of Cain draws parallels to the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill hearings? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

By Clay Waters | November 1, 2011 | 10:22 AM EDT

Former New York Times economics reporter turned editorial board member Eduardo Porter is the latest Times staffer to declare that the leftists of Occupy Wall Street have it figured out: “Wall Street Protesters Hit the Bull’s-Eye.” Porter wrote: "Their complaint that the privileged few in the top 1 percent are getting a disproportionate share of the nation's prosperity, however, is spot on."

By Mark Finkelstein | November 1, 2011 | 8:30 AM EDT

"This is the biggest single Twitter controversy of the campaign.  48,000 mentions!"

That was Mike Allen doing his best "look--a squirrel!" dodge on today's Morning Joe.  Pressed by Joe Scarborough as to whether Politico had any more details beyond its story's vague allegation that Herman Cain had made gestures "that were not overtly sexual but that made women uncomfortable," Allen's telling first instinct was to point to the story's popularity on a social networking site. Video after the jump.

By Noel Sheppard | November 1, 2011 | 1:16 AM EDT

Although he sort of admitted last Thursday that he's part of America's richest one percent, schlockumentary filmmaker Michael Moore clearly wants to hide this inconvenient truth whenever possible.

This was perfectly illustrated Monday when he refused to answer questions about his wealth at an Occupy Portland rally (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):

By Tom Blumer | November 1, 2011 | 1:04 AM EDT

In an unbylined item Sunday evening, the Associated Press informed readers that Venezuelan ruler Hugo Chavez, continuing a six-year campaign of agricultural land seizures, has ordered the expropriation of a huge swath of farmland from a British company, and unilaterally decided that any compensation which might occur will be paid in his country's own currency, over which the country's banks exercise strict repatriation controls.

The report frames the amount of land being seized in a way which will ensure that many readers won't appreciate its massive scope. More important, in something seen frequently in reports about authoritarian regimes, it treats the specific objections of opponents -- in this case, current landowners -- as arguments instead of observable and determinable facts. Here are several paragraphs from the report (bolds are mine):

By Noel Sheppard | October 31, 2011 | 10:33 PM EDT

The shills at MSNBC spent Monday giving their full support for Politico's hit piece on Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain.

Ed Schultz did his part by beginning his program with what he called a "blockbuster story" and then immediately attacked Cain's defenders starting with conservative author Ann Coulter (video follows with transcript and commentary):