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By Rusty Weiss | May 31, 2011 | 11:34 PM EDT

Perhaps using a preemptive strike to help combat the May jobs report to be released on Friday, MSNBC has already found an excuse for lost jobs, and an increased unemployment rate – storms, tornadoes and flooding.  According to a business report:

“…homes or places of business have been destroyed in this year's wave of storms, tornadoes and flooding. That means thousands of workers in the South and Midwest could be out of work for some time, potentially pushing up the nation's jobless rate and further taxing financially strapped state unemployment funds.”

Yet in 2004, when reporting on an October jobs report in which hiring had increased at the fastest pace in seven months, MSNBC somehow managed to find analysts who said the jump in hiring was due mainly to another form of natural disaster – hurricanes.  The business report at that time read:

“Some analysts were skeptical about the latest surge of hiring, pointing out that much of the unusually large jump in October stemmed from cleanup and rebuilding in Florida and other states that were ravaged by four hurricanes…”

That assessment is buoyed by an accompanying CNBC video (seen below) in which Senior Economics Reporter, Steve Liesman, asks President Bush’s economic advisor, Gregory Mankiw, about the ‘Hurricane Effect’ on a jobs report.

By Noel Sheppard | May 31, 2011 | 10:51 PM EDT

For several days, NewsBusters readers have been asking why we haven't commented on the growing controversy surrounding Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) and an indecent picture sent from his Twitter account to a 21-year-old girl in Seattle, Washington.

As there seem to have been far more questions concerning this sensitive matter than answers, we have been observing the press reaction trying to assess how a media that is typically protective of Democrats handled the scandal.

Our conclusion at this time?

By Mark Finkelstein | May 31, 2011 | 10:04 PM EDT

File this one under: Imagine If The Partisan Tables Were Turned.

On her MSNBC show this evening, Rachel Maddow repeatedly mocked Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell as "little Mitch, the rodeo queen."

Maddow was miffed over McConnell's arranging a Senate vote on the raising of the debt ceiling, and by extension the Republican position on Medicare reform.  And so, for about ten--interminable--minutes, Maddow beat into the ground a labored metaphor, somehow analogizing McConnell to the cowgirls in Utah who were forced to compete on stick ponies because the real horses had been sidelined by illness.

View video after the jump.

By Matt Hadro | May 31, 2011 | 7:56 PM EDT

NewsBusters previously reported that CNN's Fareed Zakaria had met with President Obama face-to-face to discuss foreign policy. Obama's other reported "source" of information on foreign policy, New York Times foreign affairs columnist Thomas Friedman, mocked Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu Sunday on CNN, and added that he should have dutifully obeyed the demands Obama outlined in his recent Mideast speech.

According to a May 11 New York Times article, Friedman was one of two foreign policy journalists "sounded out" by President Obama for information on foreign affairs. The other, CNN's Fareed Zakaria, has previously criticized Israel's prime minister for not agreeing to the Israeli-Palestinian borders laid out by Obama in his Mideast speech.

[Click here for audio. Video below the break.]

By Matthew Balan | May 31, 2011 | 7:02 PM EDT

CBS's Erica Hill strongly hinted on Monday's Early Show that Sarah Palin's "extended flirtation...with running" for president and speaking only to Fox News to the detriment of the rest of the media would sour her with the voters. Hill asked former Mitt Romney aide Kevin Madden, "Does any of this risk though rubbing voters the wrong way?"

The anchor brought on Madden and former Clinton spokesman Joe Lockhart to discuss the former Alaska governor and the rest of the possible and actual 2012 presidential field for the Republican Party. After the Republican strategist agreed to a large extent with Hill in his answer to this question, she turned to Lockhart for his left-of-center view: "From a Democratic standpoint, if Sarah Palin jumped into the race, how do you think that would work out for President Obama?"

In reply, the former Clinton mouthpiece regurgitated a common liberal talking point about Palin:

By Scott Whitlock | May 31, 2011 | 6:32 PM EDT

MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Tuesday could barely contain a tingle as he fawned over left-wing Congressman Dennis Kucinich, connecting the Representative to World War II hero Winston Churchill and NBA star Lebron James.

Discussing the idea that Kucinich, who could be redistricted out of his Ohio seat, might move to Seattle and run there, the Hardball anchor offered a pledge of positive coverage: "Let me make a promise to you. Should you make this incredible decision, we will be covering your campaign with enthusiasm. And that's a fact.

[See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Alex Fitzsimmons | May 31, 2011 | 6:11 PM EDT

MSNBC's Martin Bashir on May 31 insisted that Sarah Palin's bus tour amounts to a "breach of a federal law."

Anchoring his eponymous program, Bashir scolded, "In fact, the whole thing could be in breach of a federal law because the United States Flag Code establishes important rules for the use and display of the stars and stripes, the flag of the United States."

By Matt Hadro | May 31, 2011 | 6:03 PM EDT

Isn't Jessica Yellin mocking her own network for incessantly reporting on Sarah Palin's bus tour? The CNN correspondent called the coverage of the tour "a media low-point" on CNN Tuesday, although her own network made mention of tour almost every hour Monday from 6 a.m. EDT through 11 p.m. EDT – and then again Tuesday from 6 a.m. EDT through 1 p.m. EDT.

The continuous coverage included nine live reports from Gettysburg, one of the tour stops, by correspondent Jim Acosta – and a live appearance there by anchor John King Monday afternoon. John King, USA – King's 7 p.m. EDT show – was broadcast from Gettysburg, and then the anchor returned later to guest-host Anderson Cooper 360 from the same site, for two hours.

[Click here for audio. Video below the break.]

By Nicholas Ballasy | May 31, 2011 | 5:31 PM EDT

Republican Congressman and retired Army veteran Allen West (R-Fla.) said he "cannot understand" America’s involvement in Libya and that U.S. military is being used as a "rent-a-force" in the region.

"For every decision there are consequences and we have to sometimes analyze what could be those consequences. Just the same with operations in Libya – I cannot understand it. I don’t know what the goal and objective are," West said in an address at the Heritage Foundation on Tuesday.

By Nicholas Ballasy | May 31, 2011 | 5:24 PM EDT

The Environmental Protection Agency informed Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) in a recent letter that it considers itself “prohibited” by law from considering costs when setting National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).

“I received this week a letter from the EPA regarding a letter I’ve written them about some of their rules and they wrote here, quote, ‘Thus, the agency is prohibited from considering costs in setting these standards,'" Hartzler said last week. "Now in business we do a cost benefit analysis before we make policy changes. Washington should as well.”

By Jill Stanek | May 31, 2011 | 5:17 PM EDT

On my blog last week I posted an excerpt from the Salon piece, “Abortion saved my life.”

The writer, a blogger named Mikki Kendall, was relaying her first person account of supposedly nearly hemorrhaging to death because a hospital doctor refused to perform the one procedure that would save her life, an abortion. Here was the quote I pulled:

By Geoffrey Dickens | May 31, 2011 | 5:07 PM EDT

The press is pouting because potential GOP presidential contender Sarah Palin is apparently having a bit of fun with them, by refusing to let them know in advance where she is headed on her bus tour. One of them, CBS News producer Ryan Corsaro, even suggested the former Alaska governor is a
"dangerous" traffic hazard because she is forcing reporters to chase her around like they were paparazzi.

This bit of griping led Rush Limbaugh, on his Tuesday radio show, to amusingly point out Palin, "has rendered" the liberal media "totally irrational," adding:  "She's making utter fools of these people, as they are plunging to new depths to come up with anything they think is legitimate criticism of her. This biggest stretch yet."

In a May 31 CBS article headlined "Sarah Palin's bus tour treats reporters like paparazzi" Corsaro complained:

By Clay Waters | May 31, 2011 | 4:42 PM EDT

After Democrats won a special congressional election in New York State, New York Times congressional reporter Carl Hulse seemed comfortable leading the early cheers for Democrats looking to win back the House of Representatives, in Tuesday’s "Political Memo," "Surprise Victory in New York Invigorates Democrats Looking to 2012."

It’s not something the Times does after Republican wins in special or off-year elections - those victories are typically downgraded as unimportant and atypical, like the Times treated the 2009 G.O.P. wins in governors’s races in Virginia and New Jersey, which turned out to be accurate harbingers of electoral success in 2010.

By Eric Ames | May 31, 2011 | 4:38 PM EDT

Joe Scarborough, MSNBC's favorite Republican, on Tuesday continued his habit of slamming conservatives. He knocked former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's One Nation bus tour as "a big, old, fat weekend of nothing, politically.”

The former vice presidential candidate spent this Memorial Day weekend in Washington D.C., where she visited important historical sites, including backdrops that many political candidates have used before.

By Aubrey Vaughan | May 31, 2011 | 4:25 PM EDT

Hollywood liberals consistently deny that they "blacklist" conservatives, or that center-right political views are routinely and overtly excluded from the entertainment industry's collective voice. But in a strong riposte, Ben Shapiro's new book, "Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV", provides extensive documentation on Hollywood's political clout, demonstrating the crippling hand the entertainment industry has in pushing Americans to readily accept its left-wing agenda as a truthful reality.

It's no secret that Hollywood discriminates against conservative actors, but Shapiro works to expose a different problem: the concerted efforts by entertainment industry executives to shape Americans into Hollywood's liberal mold. After interviewing over one hundred Hollywood kingpins, Shapiro found that not only will they readily admit that Hollywood has a strict anti-conservative agenda, but further, that many of their TV shows have underlying political messages meant to influence the way their audiences think.