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By Scott Whitlock | October 28, 2011 | 5:41 PM EDT

While many on the liberal MSNBC network have attacked Rick Perry's performance in presidential debates, it might be interesting to look back at how one of the network's own cable anchors botched such a performance.

On October 18, 2011, Al Sharpton himself trashed Perry's rhetorical skills: "And then there's Rick Perry, still dancing with the stars, but with every debate his Texas two step is drawing low marks across the country." Yet, on January 22, 2004, while running for the Democratic nomination for President, he confused the Federal Reserve with the International Monetary Fund and struggled through the late Peter Jennings' queries. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Ken Shepherd | October 28, 2011 | 5:16 PM EDT

Nation magazine writer Ari Berman carped on today's Martin Bashir program on MSNBC that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) wants to take America back into "a new Gilded Age,"  an "era of the robber barons where the top one percent" would control the nation's wealth.

Immediately after that segment, Bashir turned to CNBC's Brian Sullivan for the day's "CNBC Market Wrap," a look looking at how the nation's stock exchanges performed today.

After discussing the "boring" but positive day on Wall Street, Sullivan added in closing that he would like to come on Bashir's program to debate Berman some time (MP3 audio here; video embedded below):

By Noel Sheppard | October 28, 2011 | 5:15 PM EDT

MSNBC's Martin Bashir on Friday called for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Oh.) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) to resign if they won't raise taxes on the rich (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Tom Blumer | October 28, 2011 | 5:04 PM EDT

The news item I will cite goes back over a week, but the problem surely remains. In light of the ongoing battles over public-sector wages and benefits as well as the taxes which pay for them, it deserves far more attention than it is currently receiving. It follows up on an October 15 post (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) where I noted, in reviewing an Associates Press story which originally appeared the previous day, that the State of Illinois' financial inability to pay its vendors on time and the related hardships involved have been mostly getting the establishment press silent treatment, while efforts at fiscal balance in Ohio and Wisconsin largely involving collective-bargaining reforms have been national stories with mostly negative coverage.

An October 20 AP item by Political Writer John O'Connor informs us that who gets paid first is often driven by politicians' pleas instead of place in line. Despite O'Connor's claim that "Republican or Democrat" influence can be involved, he only cited examples involving Democratic lawmakers:

By Clay Waters | October 28, 2011 | 4:31 PM EDT

Attempting to humanize the Occupy Wall Street protesters, New York Times Metro reporter Corey Kilgannon laughed off comedic threats of violence in Friday’s  Metro section story on a show hosted by comedian/activist Randy Credico for Occupy Wall Street protesters in Greenwich Village this week, “Protesters’ Night Out: Jokes, Laughs, and an Anthem on Autoharp.”

Read the excerpt, especially in the wake of the anti-cop violence at Occupy Oakland, then think of how the Times conjured up imaginary Republican threats of violence from much less, like a graphic from Sarah Palin’s political action committee in 2010 showing cross hairs over the districts of some Democrats after the shooting of Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona.

By Scott Whitlock | October 28, 2011 | 4:15 PM EDT

MSNBC analyst Touré, who is a 9/11 truther, appeared on the News Nation show to denounce Rick Perry as a birther. Speaking of the Republican presidential candidate, he slammed, "...I see Trump and the other birthers, Perry, virtually going to the White House and knocking on the door saying can we see your documentation to make sure you are actually an American?"

It's odd that MSNBC would bring on Touré, who believes in a fringe conspiracy theory, to assert that Perry believes in a fringe conspiracy theory. Talking to host Tamron Hall, the analyst wondered why people would believe such weird ideas: "Why are we even wondering, at this point, is Obama really an American?"

By Ken Shepherd | October 28, 2011 | 3:42 PM EDT

Poor Steven Chu. The Nobel Prize-winning scientist and Obama's Energy Secretary stands "at [the] center of [the] Solyndra policy storm," where he's learning "lessons in political science" according to Washington Post staffer Steven Mufson's 45-paragraph front-page article in the October 28 paper.

Although the Post has done a decent job thus far in following the Solyndra scandal and reporting on the unfolding revelations of damning emails from administration officials who questioned the wisdom and legality of the Solyndra loan, Mufson's piece was focused on defending Chu as a well-meaning career scientist and political neophyte who's been caught up in an unfortunate political firestorm (emphases mine):

By Noel Sheppard | October 28, 2011 | 2:40 PM EDT

On Wednesday NewsBusters exposed Occupy Wall Street supporter Michael Moore for lying on national television about his wealth.

Clearly feeling the pressure to come clean, the schlockumentary filmmaker took to his blog Thursday to set the record straight - kind of:

By Clay Waters | October 28, 2011 | 1:44 PM EDT

The thrust of the New York Times’s coverage of the violence in Oakland begs the question: When even the left-wing magazine Mother Jones reports of police in Oakland being assaulted with eggs, glass, and vinegar, what is the “objective” Times excuse for virtually ignoring the protester violence?

Yet Jesse McKinley and Malia Wollan’s report from the “Occupy Oakland” protests Friday focused not on the anti-cop violence, but on a military veteran hit in the head by a projectile and the outpouring of sympathy from all the suddenly staunch pro-military people at the Oakland encampment: “Outrage Over Veteran Injured at ‘Occupy’ Protest.”

By Kyle Drennen | October 28, 2011 | 12:46 PM EDT

On Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams proclaimed: "Protesters across the country and a lot of Americans who are sympathetic to this Occupy Wall Street protest movement are tonight rallying around a 24-year-old Iraq war veteran who was seriously injured during a violent confrontation with police in Oakland, California on Tuesday."

On ABC's World News, fill-in anchor George Stephanopoulos echoed that sentiment: " young man has become a symbol of their resolve." Correspondent Abbie Boudreau followed by declaring: "With tensions mounting daily, the name Scott Olsen has become a national rallying cry for Occupy Wall Street....injured Tuesday night, as police began firing tear gas during the Oakland crackdown."

By NB Staff | October 28, 2011 | 12:08 PM EDT

Nationwide, Tea Party groups are upset by the double standard applied to their rallies and Occupy Wall Street protests. While Tea Party groups typically are required to pay a fee to use a park for a one-day rally, OWS protestors have set up camp in the same parks for days at no cost.

One Tea Partier, Colleen Owens of Richmond, VA, is taking action, demanding that the Richmond City Council refund the $10,000 that the Richmond Tea Party was charged for their Kanawha Plaza rallies, the same venue Occupy Richmond protestors have been using at no charge.

Owens is not the only Tea Partier demanding fairer treatment. Do you think any of the Tea Parties will be successful in having their money reimbursed? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

By Noel Sheppard | October 28, 2011 | 11:45 AM EDT

Taking a page from Donny Deutsch, Rush Limbaugh on Wednesday said the media are "hoping some sort of Kent State-type massacre is gonna take place" at an Occupy protest rally.

The conservative talk show host also used a video created by the Media Research Center to illustrate his point about how crazy some of these demonstrators are (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Ken Shepherd | October 28, 2011 | 11:42 AM EDT

A new Kaiser Family Foundation poll finds the support for ObamaCare has dipped yet again, with just 34 percent of Americans favoring the president's signature health care overhaul.

What's more, just 52 percent of Democrats support the law, a troubling sign for President Obama a year before Election Day. Thirty-one percent of Democrats view the law either "somewhat" or "very" unfavorably.

We'll be monitoring the major networks to see how much if any attention they devote to the new numbers. Here's an except from Times Washington bureau reporter Noam Levey's October 28 story:

By Mark Finkelstein | October 28, 2011 | 8:58 AM EDT

If not an unmitigated frozen-flying-pig-in-Hades moment, then certainly something noteworthy for its rarity, coming from the lips of David Gregory . . .

On today's Morning Joe, the Meet The Press moderator, in one surprising swoop, managed to praise a statement from Mitch McConnell while simultaneously seeming to acknowledge that President Obama's economic program has failed. Video after the jump.

By Clay Waters | October 28, 2011 | 8:50 AM EDT

In the New York Times's Thursday Styles section, contributor Helaine Olen talked to some liberal Manhattanites who took their children to Zuccotti Park to enrich them with “teachable moments” (i.e. using them as political props) and "to enlighten them on matters ranging from income inequality to the right to protest":“For Children’s Sake, Taking to the Streets.”