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By Scott Whitlock | April 8, 2011 | 12:51 PM EDT

Good Morning America on Friday continued to demonstrate a fascination with the Kennedy family, highlighting Ted Kennedy and his "critical" role as a "politician and a leader." Co-host George Stephanopoulos introduced the piece by recycling, "They called Ted Kennedy the lion of the Senate."

Correspondent Claire Shipman caught up with Vicki Kennedy and recapped the current status of the famous family.  Speaking of the late senator, the reporter enthused, "He was obviously so critical as a politician and a leader in our country. He was also a leader of the Kennedy family for so many decades."        

The stated purpose of the piece was to note the groundbreaking of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute in Boston. But Shipman also tossed political softballs to the Senator's widow: "And what would the Senate lion have made of today's shutdown threats?"

By Erin R. Brown | April 8, 2011 | 12:50 PM EDT

 J.CREW, a popular preppy woman’s clothing brand and favorite affordable line of first lady Michelle Obama, is targeting a new demographic -- mothers of gender-confused young boys. At least, that’s the impression given by a new marketing piece that features blatant propaganda celebrating transgendered children.

An email sent to customers on Tuesday, April 5th contained a promotion for free shipping if the customer spends $150 or more. The email also contained a feature called “Jenna’s favorites,” highlighting special selections by J.CREW designer Jenna Lyons. Jenna selected a striped long-sleeve t-shirt, and hot pink nail polish by Essie, modeled by her young son.

By Ken Shepherd | April 8, 2011 | 12:14 PM EDT

Update (14:30 EDT): Joe Schoffstall of NewsBusters sister site MRCTV.org has video of Moran berated a 27-year military veteran who asked Moran questions at last night's townhall. Click here to access the video.

In his 20-paragraph April 8 article* on a congressional townhall hosted by liberal Democrat Jim Moran (D-Va.), reporter Ben Pershing buried in the very last paragraph the complaint of at least one attendee about the failure of Democrats to approve the 2011 budget last year when they controlled both houses of Congress:

Even before finishing his opening remarks, Moran was sharply interrupted by members of the audience. One asked why Democrats hadn’t completed a spending bill for 2011 last year, when they still controlled both chambers of Congress. Moran didn’t answer but said he wasn’t there to “argue or defend any of this.”

Moran's district is a very safe Democratic seat, so it is instructive that this was the very first question Moran was posed in last night's townhall meeting.

By Mark Finkelstein | April 8, 2011 | 12:03 PM EDT

Loretta Sanchez would need to double her maturity quotient to qualify as juvenile . .

During an interview on MSNBC this morning on the subject of the budget and possible government shutdown, the Dem congresswoman from California tried to drown out her Republican colleague from New York, Michael Grimm, by chanting "broke because of Bush."

Ironically, her infantile display came moments after host Richard Liu struggled with Sanchez's filibustering to ask whether the pair were "proud about the way this process is going forward as people watch the two of you debate the issues?"

By Alex Fitzsimmons | April 8, 2011 | 12:00 PM EDT

Previewing the network’s “Black Agenda” special, MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell dragged out one of the most liberal members of Congress on April 7 to demagogue Republican budget cuts as harmful to poor minority groups.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) turned what was supposed to be a conversation about the consequences of a government shutdown, which most members on both sides of the aisle want to avoid, into a screed against only $60 billion in cuts to non-defense discretionary spending.

“And so people need to know, people are going to bed hungry tonight,” fretted Lee, even though the government was still open yesterday and wouldn't close until at least tomorrow morning. “There will be more people poorer if the budget that the Republicans want passed gets passed.”

By Rich Noyes | April 8, 2011 | 11:16 AM EDT

Prior to this week, President Obama had been so detached from the budget debate that some in his own party have openly criticized him. Obama, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin declared in early March, has “failed to lead this debate or offer a serious proposal for spending and cuts that he would be willing to fight for.”

Yet when the President chose to parachute into the budget talks earlier this week, most of the mainstream media neglected to remember his long absence, but instead acted like White House stenographers in praising his “adult” and “grown-up” approach — conveying the obvious implication that House Republicans and/or the Tea Party have been acting like children.

A video compilation of some of the more noteworthy these comments appears below the fold; a link to audio of remarks by CBS’s Chip Reid, CNN’s Gloria Borger and CNN’s Eliot Spitzer, all from April 5, is here.

By NB Staff | April 8, 2011 | 10:59 AM EDT

Happy Friday, NBers! As usual, we have a new episode of NewsBusted out today. Enjoy!

By Lachlan Markay | April 8, 2011 | 10:49 AM EDT

"In '94 people were elected simply to come here to kill the National Endowment for the Arts," claimed senior Democratic Congresswoman Louise Slaughter at a pro-choice rally on the National Mall Wednesday. "Now they're here to kill women." Slaughter, the ranking Democrat on the Rules Committee, went on to compare proposed GOP proposals on abortion, bizarrely, to "show-me-your-papers" policies in the Third Reich.

It's been two days since Slaughter made these incendiary and baseless remarks, yet there has been a virtual media blackout. So once again we have to ask, as did the Washington Examiner's David Freddoso, what if a Tea Partier had said it? [Disclosure: I also write for the Examiner]

The story was initially reported by NewsBusters sister site CNSNews.com, and aside from the Examiner, no other news organization has reported on Slaughter's absurd statement thus far. It's safe to assume that if a conservative Republican had made similar remarks, coverage would be significantly greater (check out the video of Slaughter's remarks below the break).

By Julia A. Seymour | April 8, 2011 | 10:36 AM EDT

If you think it has gotten pricey to fill up your car's gas tank, imagine having to fill the 50,000 gallon or larger tank on a 747. Jet fuel costs 51.4 percent more than it did a year ago, according to IATA and that is taking a huge toll on the airlines.

 

But when the airlines raise prices or ad fees to make up for the increased cost of flying, the network news media respond with charges of gouging or "nickel and diming" passengers. Some reporters even go to extremes to find as many fees as possible, in order to stoke viewer anger against the industry, other ignore the many airline bankruptcies and billions in losses in the recent years.

By John Nolte | April 8, 2011 | 10:09 AM EDT

Tina Fey claims her mean-spirited Palin impersonation backfired on her “30 Rock” ratings. The low-rated show remains on the air, though. Because, you know, Hollywood is so money driven. Looks like Oprah’s now worried about the same.

By Noel Sheppard | April 8, 2011 | 9:49 AM EDT

MSNBC's Ed Schultz on Thursday expressed a great deal of skepticism concerning Thursday's revelation that a significant number of ballots had not been included in the Wisconsin Supreme Court election held two days prior.

While he pointed fingers at the Waukesha County Clerk as being a Republican operative, he completely ignored the fact that a the very press conference he aired a clip from, the Vice Chair of that county's Democratic Party spoke and confirmed the results (videos follow with partial transcripts and commentary):

By Doug Ernst | April 8, 2011 | 9:44 AM EDT

It wasn't long ago that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was concerned about how he would be portrayed in The Social Network - and with good reason. As John Nolte observed, "there's no doubt that this look at how the creation of a cultural phenomenon left behind a wake of betrayals, broken relationships and billion-dollar lawsuits is an absolutely fascinating one."

By Brent Baker | April 8, 2011 | 8:57 AM EDT

Instead of being embarrassed by how their story generated a talking point for the President to use in a partisan political battle, ABC on Thursday night boasted of how President Obama cited Jake Tapper’s coverage to boost his argument. Anchor Diane Sawyer touted how “the President, last night, well, he noticed what Jake was saying.” Tapper recalled: “Last night on World News, we told you the story of Louisville, Kentucky's. J.T. Henderson, his wife and their adopted son, worried about not receiving the family's desperately needed tax refund because of the possible shutdown....And at least one negotiator was watching.”

That was Obama, who during comments in the White House briefing room on Wednesday night, cited the man Tapper featured a few hours earlier, the father of an adopted four-year-old from Ethiopia. Obama announced: “J.T. said if he could speak directly to all of us in Washington, he'd tell us that all of this political grandstanding has effects as it trickles down to normal, everyday Americans. There is no reason why we should not be able to complete a deal, unless we've made a decision that politics is more important than folks like J.T. Henderson.”
 
Tapper added: “Today, Henderson told us he appreciated the President hearing his concerns.”

By Tim Graham | April 8, 2011 | 7:47 AM EDT

It was only a matter of time before a blogger at the Daily Kos felt the pain of Barack Obama suffering from being "President While Black." The blogger with the byline "The Plainsman" insists Obama has been treated more disrespectfully than any U.S. president in history:

There are few adults in the USA, black or white, who have not at least heard of the expression "DWB" which is short for "Driving While Black." Even if you aren't sure what it means, you've heard it. Well, for the last two years, our half-white, half-black, Hawaii born and raised, private school educated President, a man who did not grow up in a black, urban environment or a southern segregated one, has experienced a similar phenomenon: PWB or "President While Black."

By Tim Graham | April 8, 2011 | 7:07 AM EDT

Jennifer Steinhauer of the New York Times offered a story Thursday on already hypocritical freshman House Republicans favoring big-picture spending cuts, but fighting for local projects. The headline was "Gung-Ho for Big Cuts in Spending, Less Fond of the Ones That Hurt Back Home." Steinhauer reported: "While scores of congressmen and women are singing an ode to spending reductions with their Republican choir in Washington, back home, the tune sometimes changes...Such inconsistencies, while hardly new to this Congress, are political chum for Democrats."

That could be the slogan for The New York Times: "All the News That Is Political Chum for Democrats."

The first star of the story is Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler of Washington state, who campaigned against the "stimulus" and voted for the $61 billion cut, but now wants to help secure a $10 million grant for the Port of Vancouver. It’s true that trillion-dollar deficits can be built out of local projects. But Steinhauer was helpfully setting up local Congressman Steve Israel from Long Island to lecture: