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By Noel Sheppard | February 18, 2012 | 2:50 PM EST

Can you imagine the media firestorm if a conservative made a sex joke about Michelle Obama on television that also demeaned her husband?

On HBO's Real Time Friday, during a sketch deriding Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum's views about sex, host Bill Maher joked about the former Pennsylvania Senator's wife using a vibrator (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Noel Sheppard | February 18, 2012 | 1:06 PM EST

UPDATE AT END OF POST: Exchange erupts in Twitter war with Baldwins from all over the country.

For those that ignore such things, Alec Baldwin, after a brief respite following his embarrassing display on a plane in December, is back on Twitter.

Keeping with his pattern of saying characteristically inane things on the social media website, Baldwin on Saturday called conservative publisher Andrew Breitbart "a festering boil on the anus of public discourse":

By Noel Sheppard | February 18, 2012 | 12:02 PM EST

As NewsBusters reported Friday, MSNBC has officially terminated its relationship with conservative author Pat Buchanan.

Far more surprising was Hardball's Chris Matthews Friday touchingly paying tribute to the man his network dumped (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Noel Sheppard | February 18, 2012 | 11:19 AM EST

Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow on Wednesday participated in Pizza Hut's BOOK IT! Reading Program to promote children's reading.

For some reason, the folks at MSN chose to mock the religious quarterback rather than praise his charitable efforts (video and commentary follow):

By Rusty Weiss | February 18, 2012 | 10:52 AM EST

What's the past tense of tweet?

By Noel Sheppard | February 18, 2012 | 10:32 AM EST

Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer on Friday marvelously exposed the poor state of American politics and today's media.

While the entire panel on PBS's Inside Washington gushed and fawned over this week's bipartisan agreement to extend the payroll tax holiday through the rest of 2012, Krauthammer said it was like buying crack cocaine - "A payroll tax cut has no effect at all, it’s going to make people smile for, you know, eight or nine months" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Brad Wilmouth | February 18, 2012 | 9:14 AM EST

On Friday's Real Time with Bill Maher, as he analyzed GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's predicament of fending off Rick Santorum on his right, host Maher made his latest racially tinged hit on conservatives as he cracked that only "Kirk Cameron and the Neonazi party" are further to the right than Santorum. (Video below)

He began:

By Brad Wilmouth | February 18, 2012 | 8:42 AM EST

On Friday's Real Time with Bill Maher show on HBO, during a discussion of the recently passed Virginia law that requires an ultrasound be performed on every candidate for abortion in the hopes that the mother might decide not to go through with the procedure, economist Stephen Moore was booed by a number of audience members when he expressed the view that generally it would be a "good thing" to convince women not to have abortions, noting the feelings of regret women often feel afterwards. (Video below)

Inspiring boos, Moore innocuously declared:

By Brent Bozell | February 18, 2012 | 8:13 AM EST

The shocking death of pop star Whitney Houston built a massive audience for the Grammy Awards telecast Sunday night on CBS. It attracted 39.9 million viewers, making it the most watched non-sports program of the season.

The show began with a heartfelt prayer for Houston to “our Heavenly Father” from the master of ceremonies, CBS actor L. L. Cool J. But sadly (and predictably), near the show’s end, religion was mocked in an elaborate Catholic-bashing mess starring the rapper Nicki Minaj. Someone on Twitter said it best: “Stevie Wonder was the luckiest man in the crowd” during the performance.

By Tim Graham | February 18, 2012 | 7:48 AM EST

MSNBC's newest host, leftist professor Melissa Harris-Perry debuts Saturday morning, creating an actual four-hour block for the radicals at The Nation magazine. Harris-Perry is on the cover of this week's Metro Weekly, a gay D.C. news magazine. At the end of the interview with Chris Geidner, there's this whopper: her bible is written by Al Sharpton and Rachel Maddow.

"Undoubtedly, a little bit of both. Look, I love Politics Nation with Al Sharpton and The Rachel Maddow Show. And, I can't think of two shows on the same network that are more different in tone and content." Then she said: "I see them as my Old Testament and New Testament. I really need them both. I need to smite my enemies, and I need to understand them. And then I need to smite them, and then understand them. I probably will do a little bit of both on my show." But wait, there's more.

By Tom Johnson | February 18, 2012 | 7:25 AM EST

As John Kerry might put it, Daily Kos was against Rick Santorum both before and after it was for him. On Wednesday, the site unveiled Operation Hilarity, which urges Kossacks in four states that soon will hold an open Republican primary or caucus to vote for Santorum in order to prolong the GOP race and thereby (the thinking goes) make the eventual nominee a weaker opponent for President Obama.

Operation Hilarity notwithstanding, Kossacks remain free to vilify Santorum, and did so as usual this past week.  As usual, each headline is preceded by the blogger's name or pseudonym.

By Tim Graham | February 17, 2012 | 11:16 PM EST

On its website Thursday night, the Los Angeles Times hailed “MSNBC's Ed Schultz: A rare liberal success in broadcasting.” The subhead said Schultz “has been raising his ratings while talking about the issues of the poor and middle class working people.”

As usual, reporter Alana Semuels had to creep around the dominant ratings numbers of Fox News. In the ratings after the Times celebration was posted on Thursday night , Bill O’Reilly typically crushed Schultz by almost 3 to 1 (2.9 million to 1.1 million) and by more than two to one among the prized demographic of 25-to-54 (632,000 to 267,000). But Semuels tried to tout Ed’s year-to-date tally:

 

By NB Staff | February 17, 2012 | 6:49 PM EST

MRC Director of Media Analysis Tim Graham appeared late Friday afternoon on Your World with Neil Cavuto to discuss the Yahoo! guesstimate that President Obama would win re-election with 303 electoral votes, the one co-written by a professional Democrat.

Graham said the posting is something they "throw out there to try to say, 'Let's keep the Democrats happy. Let's have a little spring in their step, and let's make sure they keep donating to us.' It doesn't make any sense otherwise."

By Matt Hadro | February 17, 2012 | 6:03 PM EST

Liberal women were in an uproar over the all-male panel at Thursday's congressional hearing on the HHS birth control mandate, and CNN made sure to tout their displeasure. Anchor Hala Gorani emphasized the "fireworks" over the hearing while ignoring the Republican explanation as to why a female pro-birth control witness was refused participation in the panel.

Gorani played clips of two Democratic congresswomen decrying the all-male panel and gave the Democratic talking points as to why two congresswomen left the hearing in protest. "The two Democratic women tried to get a witness added who favors birth control services, but were refused. Thus, the walkout," Gorani tersely explained.

By Noel Sheppard | February 17, 2012 | 5:43 PM EST

Salon editor Joan Walsh said Friday that conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh is "a secret Democrat."

Speaking with MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Hardball about the debate over who should pay for contraceptives, Walsh said of Limbaugh, "He is leading [the Republican] party off a cliff on this issue" (video follows with transcript and commentary):