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By Scott Whitlock | January 27, 2011 | 5:46 PM EST

The White House on Thursday named Jay Carney, the husband of ABC News reporter Claire Shipman, to be the new White House Press secretary. Carney is also an ex-journalist, formally of Time magazine.

Will this appointment prove to be a conflict of interest for Shipman? Will she continue to report on the Obama administration? Shipman whose title is senior national correspondent, often covers political stories and has a reputation as an activist liberal. In 2008, she hailed Barack Obama, the now-boss of her husband, as "brave" for a speech disassociating himself with radical preacher Jeremiah Wright. In 2007, she fawned over Obama's "fluid poetry."

In 2000, she lauded Al Gore as a "pretty conservative Democrat." In 2004, discussing former Communist leader Mikhail Gorbachev, she ltouted him as "generally regarded" for being "the man who broke down the ‘Iron Curtain.'"

By Clay Waters | January 27, 2011 | 5:45 PM EST

New York Times critic Michael Kimmelman was granted the front page of Wednesday’s Arts section for a snobbish chiding of uncouth American conservatives who helped squelch a video some found sacrilegious, by a featured artist in a Smithsonian gay art exhibit: “In Britain, Separation of Art and State.” ("Separation" except for when it comes to actually subsidizing the art, which Britain does.)

The Times even ran a large photo of a clip from the controversial video by artist David Wojnarowicz, "A Fire in my Belly," showing ants crawling over a crucifix. This is the same newspaper that proudly refused to reprint newspaper cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad after radical Muslims instigated an uproar back in February 2006.

Kimmelman wrote from London:

By Kyle Drennen | January 27, 2011 | 5:17 PM EST

On Wednesday's CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric proclaimed: "The federal commission that investigated the financial meltdown has reportedly concluded it could have been avoided. The New York Times says a report due out tomorrow finds plenty of fault to go around, including mismanagement by corporations and lax regulation by the government."

Couric made sure to point out: "The report also says that contrary to popular belief, the government's push to increase home ownership in this country was not a major contributor to the meltdown." What she failed to mention was that New York Times article also explained: "The partisan nature of the findings, however, could undermine its impact. Of the 10 commission members, only the six appointed by Democrats...attended the news conference [publicizing the report]." It went on to add: "The four Republican commissioners have prepared two separate dissents; three of them planned to hold a conference call Thursday afternoon."  

By Tim Graham | January 27, 2011 | 4:03 PM EST

MSNBC loves to interview and pamper Meghan McCain to stir up trouble in the Republican Party. Rachel Maddow honored her on January 17 as the "very reasonable" Meghan McCain, the "unwilling irritant to her own beloved Republican Party."

It happened again on Wednesday night's Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell. The graphic behind him read "MIND OF McCAIN," as if the audience were about to be treated to a very impressive mind, indeed. Viewers were instead treated to another strange episode of the bratty Daily Beast columnist doing a Superiority Dance, raining fire on conservative women, in this case, Michele Bachmann. CNN "should be ashamed" of putting her speech on, and the Tea Party should have picked a male, instead:

"Michelle Bachmann, in my opinion, is no better than a poor man's Sarah Palin. And the fact that Fox and MSNBC elected not to air this, I think is admirable, the kind of journalism Fox and MSNBC is airing. I think CNN should be ashamed of themselves for airing this. It is one rogue woman who couldn't even look into the camera directly, and I take none of it seriously. And I think if the Tea Party wants to put a candidate up to give a response, why don't they have someone like Rand Paul, who was elected on the Tea Party platform, give that?"

By NB Staff | January 27, 2011 | 4:02 PM EST

The Associated Press is reporting that former TIME magazine reporter and current Biden director of communications Jay Carney has been tapped to replace Robert Gibbs as White House press secretary. Carney is being credited for softening (and even destroying) the image of Vice President Biden as a gaffe machine -- as if the media haven't tried to help.

For our NewsBusters archive on Carney, whose Time byline was James Carney, click here.

By John Nolte | January 27, 2011 | 3:32 PM EST

Yesterday, in this piece about Stephen Colbert, I mentioned Jon Stewart’s attack on Fox News but couched it with as much skepticism as possible because, frankly, it didn’t pass the smell test, especially in the area of context.  To have those suspicions confirmed last night by Bill O’Reilly came as no surprise (see the video below). Furthermore, I respectfully disagree with O’Reilly that Stewart should be held to a lower factual standard because he’s a ”satirist.” Stewart isn’t a satirist, he’s a political partisan disguised as a satirist, a man as determined to defeat the right as Nancy Pelosi and Bill Maher. The difference between Pelosi and Maher, though, is that they step into the arena of political battle and fly their flag. At the very least you can respect them for that. They come to wage open war whereas Stewart and Colbert come to throw rocks while wearing the protective shield of a clown nose.

By Lachlan Markay | January 27, 2011 | 2:51 PM EST

Some on the left have been crying foul at CNN's decision to air live Rep. Michele Bachmann's response to the president's State of the Union address Tuesday night. None have been more vocal than MSNBC libtalker Rachel Maddow.

One media critic had enough. On Thursday, the Baltimore Sun's David Zurawik laid into Maddow's criticism, saying it derives from "the mentality of a lockstep party member, not a journalist." Zurawik's gripe was Maddow's insistence that because Bachmann was not officially representing a political party, her speech should not have been given comparable treatment to the president's or to Rep. Paul Ryan's Republican response.

Journalists "don't let political parties tell us who we should and shouldn't cover," Zurawik added. "I have a West Highland terrier named Bugsy who has better journalism credentials and chops than you do," he quipped.

By Tom Blumer | January 27, 2011 | 2:42 PM EST

To those who follow the news fairly closely and look at underlying reports, CNN's email alerts are sometimes entertaining. Much less frequently are the accurate and informative.

Even though they tend not to realize it, those who don't follow the news closely and attempt to stay informed by relying on CNN's alerts are regularly deceived by the network that used to call itself "the most trusted name in news."

An example of such deception arrived in my e-mail box yesterday:

By Geoffrey Dickens | January 27, 2011 | 2:24 PM EST

In what was perhaps a move to make Barack Obama appear more moderate than he is, NBC's Kelly O'Donnell, on Thursday's Today show, played up a "rift" between him and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid over government spending. In her piece, O'Donnell hyped that Reid was "calling out the White House" on his State of the Union claim that he would veto any bill with earmarks in it. 

The NBC News Capitol Hill correspondent featured an interview she had with Reid in which the Nevada senator claimed Obama was merely going for "an applause line" when he criticized pork barrel spending and charged that the President "should just back off. He's got enough to do without messing in what we do."

By Alex Fitzsimmons | January 27, 2011 | 1:14 PM EST

As it turns out, mainstream media outlets that lauded President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech as "downright Reaganesque" might be on to something.

While ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and MSNBC exalted the commander-in-chief, at least one observer charged the Democratic president with crafting a speech that was "tantamount to plagiarism."

In a column on the U.S. News site, presidential scholar Alvin Felzenberg accused Obama of borrowing lines and ideas from other speeches and claiming them as his own.

By Lachlan Markay | January 27, 2011 | 1:04 PM EST

On Wednesday, the Hollywood Reporter tried to dissect cable news's strange fascination with Sarah Palin. For Fox it's more apparent: Palin is a paid contributor, after all. But for MSNBC, whose primetime hosts have mentioned her more than any other cable news personalities, it seems to be a case of mutual dependency. MSNBC needs Palin.

In a response to the THR article, filmmaker John Ziegler delved deeper into the lefty cable network's strange obsession with all things Palin. Ziegler made plain what THR only touched on: Palin fits perfectly the "bogeyman" role that MSNBC needs to keep its lefty viewers tuned in.

As for MSNBC programmer BIll Wolff's insistence that the channel simply "holds up a mirror" - tells it like it is, in other words, with no partisan spin - Ziegler callled the claim "laughable."

By Scott Whitlock | January 27, 2011 | 12:57 PM EST

Of the three evening newscasts, only NBC's Chuck Todd on Wednesday offered no critical analysis of Barack Obama's call for both new spending and deficit reduction. ABC's Jake Tapper actually investigated the proposed plans and concluded, "...It almost looks like a wash between his new ideas for cutting and his new ideas for spending."

CBS's Chip Reid also highlighted Republican opposition and the fact that the deficit reduction plan doesn't include Medicare or Social Security. Yet, Todd, appearing on Nightly News, simply parroted, "The President was reinforcing a call he made last night for greater investment and innovation and infrastructure to keep America competitive."

By Brent Bozell | January 27, 2011 | 12:53 PM EST

Editor's Note: In the last 24 hours, State Senator Leland Yee (D-CA) has incriminated Rush Limbaugh for a racist fax sent to him by an unidentified individual which allegedly read, "Rush Limbaugh will kick your Ch--k ass and expose you for the fool you are.”

NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center (MRC) President Brent Bozell issued the following statement regarding the media reaction to this charge:

By Noel Sheppard | January 27, 2011 | 11:44 AM EST

For the second day in a row, MSNBC's Chris Matthews mercilessly attacked Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) while repeatedly referring to her as a "balloon head."

Knowing what he was going to be up against, Texas Tea Party leader Phillip Dennis came prepared for the "Hardball" host's hostility, and at the end of a lengthy segment, marvelously summed up exactly why Matthews and others in the media attack this movement and all of its members saying, "You fear the Tea Party" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Tim Graham | January 27, 2011 | 10:42 AM EST

Beware when the liberal media starts a "fact check" story on political speeches. Their "facts" often come directly from liberal policy wonks. On Wednesday's Morning Edition, NPR ran through a series of Obama claims without really saying he mangled a fact. Reporter Elisabeth Shogren suggested he was too optimistic about getting electric cars on the road with "this Congress" (ahem, not progressive enough).  But reporter John Ydstie suggested Paul Ryan was wrong to suggest the stimulus failed, citing that "economists of both persuasions" agree Ryan was incorrect:

RENEE MONTAGNE, anchor: And the president also spoke of infrastructure projects, such as high-speed rail and expanding to most of the population high-speed Internet. John Ydstie, let's bring you back in. Investment was a big theme of this State of the Union speech. In the official Republican rebuttal, Congressman Paul Ryan had this to say about that.