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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:

By Tim Graham | April 7, 2011 | 10:57 PM EDT

While some networks have tried to say next to nothing about Obama’s Guantanamo flip-flop, they are not happy on liberal talk radio shows on Tuesday. Ex-MSNBC anchor David Shuster told Stephanie Miller he was disappointed that Obama’s been so conciliatory (wasn’t that part of his "purple state" appeal?)

SHUSTER: I though the President was very clear in his election campaign about okay we’re going to close Guantanamo and we’re going to reinstitute sort of the Constitution and Constitutional principles. I mean I think it gets back to sort of my issue with President Obama all along has been there’s such an effort I suppose to sort of want to be conciliatory and sort of you know reach sort of middle ground and compromise.

But I always thought the job of a President was to sort of use the bully pulpit to bring people towards your position. And say "You know what, this is what we stand for, and I’m going to use the megaphone of the Presidency to convince Americans why I am right."

By Matthew Balan | April 7, 2011 | 7:18 PM EDT

NPR's Ari Shapiro slanted towards President Obama and two of his Democratic allies in Congress on Thursday's Morning Edition on the continuing battle over the federal budget, playing seven sound bites from them versus only three from Republican House Speaker John Boehner.

Shapiro highlighted the late night negotiations over the budget on Wednesday during his report, playing three clips from the President and one from Senator Harry Reid before even getting to his first one from Speaker Boehner:

By Kyle Drennen | April 7, 2011 | 5:41 PM EDT

During his Talking Points Memo at the top of Wednesday's O'Reilly Factor on Fox News, host Bill O'Reilly called out NBC Today co-host Matt Lauer for denouncing Republican efforts to cut spending on things like "climate control": "Are you kidding me, Lauer? Funding for climate control? Nobody can control the climate but God. So give a little extra at mass or services."

As NewsBusters reported, on Wednesday's Today, Lauer lamented: "...some of the things the Tea Party and others on the far right are asking for – no funding for Planned Parenthood, no funding for climate control, public broadcasting." In response, O'Reilly remarked: "Funding for Planned Parenthood and public broadcasting when the debt stands at 14 trillion? Have a telethon on the Today show for those concerns. Raise the money privately. This is nuts. The country's nearly bankrupt. China holds more than a trillion dollars of our debt and you guys want climate control funding? I feel a cold front coming on."

By Alex Fitzsimmons | April 7, 2011 | 5:32 PM EDT

As the prospect of a government shutdown continued to make headlines today, MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer accused Republicans of exploiting servicemen's paychecks for political gain, even though the House approved legislation to fund the Pentagon in the event of a shutdown and President Barack Obama threatened to veto such a measure should it reach his desk.

Interviewing Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), the daytime anchor spun the debate over the 2011 budget as a false choice between paying the troops or defunding Planned Parenthood.

By Scott Whitlock | April 7, 2011 | 5:12 PM EDT

According to World News' Diane Sawyer, House Speaker John Boehner is being "held hostage" by the Tea Party. Over two days and two shows, Sawyer and interviewer George Stephanopoulos hit the Republican as captive to an unreasonable base who want to shut down the government.

On Thursday's Good Morning America, after Boehner asserted that taxpayer dollars shouldn't fund abortions, Stephanopoulos chided, "If you hold on to that, the White House and Democrats have been very clear, there's no deal. The government is going to shut down."

He didn't make the obvious logical conclusion that the Democrats are being held hostage by a liberal, pro-abortion base. Later, the GMA host reiterated his point, arguing: "You know what the Democrats say. They say they can cut a deal with you. But you don't buck the Tea Party."

By Matt Hadro | April 7, 2011 | 4:40 PM EDT

Along with other institutions and people who will be impacted by a government shutdown, CNN spotlighted, throughout the day Thursday, the "grave" plight of museums and parks that may be forced to a "screeching halt" in the "height of tourism season."

CNN devoted its entire 2 p.m. EDT news hour to the possible government shutdown and what its consequences would be. Anchor Randi Kaye began the 2:15 p.m. EDT segment casting the shutdown as a "grave" threat to the U.S. economy and tourism.

"This couldn't come at a worse time," CNN's Kate Bolduan ominously declared during the 10 a.m. EDT news hour. "This is the height of the tourist season for the Smithsonian, for Washington."

By Kyle Drennen | April 7, 2011 | 4:12 PM EDT

After NBC Today co-host Matt Lauer joined Senator Chuck Schumer on Wednesday in labeling the Tea Party as the cause of the budget stalemate in Congress, on Thursday, Capitol Hill correspondent Kelly O'Donnell again provided a platform for Democratic talking points in an interview with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

O'Donnell, who spoke with Reid Wednesday night, began with a challenge: "If there were a shutdown, are you responsible? At least in part?" Reid replied: "How can we be blamed when we have given them everything they want and they won't take yes for an answer?" She then summarized the Democratic argument: "Reid said Republicans refuse to compromise....[his] answer is blame the Tea Party."

By Ken Shepherd | April 7, 2011 | 4:00 PM EDT

On Monday evening, the AP reported that a suspicious package destined for Rep. Peter King's (R-N.Y.) Washington congressional office was intercepted at an off-site mail facility and "contained a pig's foot and a note laced with several anti-Semitic references, according to a person with knowledge of the incident who requested anonymity because of the ongoing police investigation."

King, the AP noted, is "[t]he Republican congressman [who] chairs the House Homeland Security panel which held hearings last month on Islamic radicalization."

But a search of Nexis reveals that major newspapers like the New York Times and Washington Post failed to report the story. The same appears to be true of the three broadcast networks: ABC, CBS, and NBC. ABCNews.com's "The Note" blog, however, did report the story Monday evening.

By Tom Blumer | April 7, 2011 | 3:14 PM EDT

The repeal of Obamacare's nightmarish 1099 requirement has passed both chambers of Congress and is on its way to the President for his expected signature.

In reporting Tuesday on the repeal bill's progress, the Associated Press's headline writers assured readers that the original requirement in Obamacare was a "small" component of it. The AP's Stephen Ohlemacher also misstated current 1099 filing requirements, ignored the repeal bill's de facto tax increases (i.e., reductions of tax credits) that were crammed into the bill to "pay" for lost revenue that will supposedly result from repeal, and glossed over the fact that the requirement made it into law because almost no one read the Obamacare legislation in the first place. Other than that, the AP report isn't too bad. (/sarc)

Here are key paragraphs from Ohlemacher's report (bolds and number tags are mine):

By Geoffrey Dickens | April 7, 2011 | 12:26 PM EDT

As a potential government shutdown looms the liberal media are filling their programs with stories about dire consequences of deep cuts that will lead to troops not getting paid, closed national parks, and late tax refunds. However, a review of MRC's coverage of the 1995 budget fight reveals the media are simply rerunning their tired old arguments from the last shutdown.

On this Wednesday's edition of ABC's Good Morning America, Jonathan Karl tallied the services that could be at risk this time around, as he warned: "If they don't reach a deal and get it passed by then, American troops, including those on the front lines in Afghanistan and Iraq, may not get their paychecks. And smack in the middle of tax season, that refund you've been counting on, well, you may have to wait." Karl went on to alert travelers that: "Treasures like Old Faithful and Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore, Yosemite's half dome, will be closed to visitors. And if you don't already have a passport, don't even think about leaving the country. Last time the government shut down, 200,000 passport applications were stopped in their tracks."

However Karl and others, as quotes from 1995 show, are simply dusting off the old media playbook to blame Republicans, not Democrats, for a shutdown, as they focus on high profile federal projects like national parks in an attempt to frighten the American people into opposing prudent fiscal decision-making.

(videos after the jump)