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By Noel Sheppard | July 25, 2011 | 11:14 AM EDT

MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski asked the co-host of "Morning Joe" Monday if Republicans holding the line on the debt ceiling are "so stuck to their little contract and the Tea Party that they cannot even think outside the box for the good of the country."

Somewhat less surprising, Joe Scarborough gave a pretty good answer (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By NB Staff | July 25, 2011 | 11:07 AM EDT

For a field of Republican presidential hopefuls spread so thin, it seems that the clearest strategy to gain support would be to orchestrate the best campaign against President Obama, especially against his failed economic policies. Instead of focusing all their attention on the president's failures, though, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Rep. Michele Bachmann, both of Minnesota, are also spending time campaigning on the shortcomings of each other.

Do you think the candidates should instead limit their campaigns to the current problems America is facing? Or do you think the climb to the top is most successful with a combination of campaign tactics? Let us know what you think in the comments.

By Rich Noyes | July 25, 2011 | 11:07 AM EDT

This week’s Notable Quotables, MRC’s bi-weekly newsletter documenting the most outrageous quotes in the liberal media, showcases the media’s slanted coverage of the debt ceiling debate. Over the past two weeks, network reporters touted Barack Obama as “the debt slayer,” impugned the “cut, cap and balance” option as “just wasting time,” smeared Republicans as “hostage-takers” and said they were guilty of “terrorism,” and insisted that “meaningful reform” was impossible without hiking taxes.

At one point, the tax debate lurched to outright Marxism, with one “news” anchor wondering: “Why do you think the top 2 percent of America has a chokehold on the other 98 percent?”

Here are highlights from this week’s edition; full text and several videos are posted at www.MRC.org:

By Ken Shepherd | July 25, 2011 | 9:58 AM EDT

A poll commissioned last Thursday by the inside-the-Beltway political newspaper The Hill finds that "[l]ikely voters hold a dismal view of the news media, generally regarding reporters as biased, unethical and too close to the politicians they purport to cover."

Hill reporter Niall Stanage noted that the poll shows "68 percent of voters consider the news media biased" with "[m]ost, 46 percent, believ[ing] the media generally favor Democrats." What's more, fully 44 percent of voters polled "believe the media are too friendly with politicians."

Also of note, nearly 4 out of 10 of self-described centrists see the bias as skewed in favor of Democrats, while only 19 percent of moderates think the media favor Republicans.

For the full story at TheHill.com, click here.

By Noel Sheppard | July 25, 2011 | 9:24 AM EDT

It didn't take long for American media to blame this weekend's tragic shootings in Oslo, Norway, on our nation's conservatives.

The New York Times splashed it across its front page Monday with the headline "Killings Spotlight Anti-Muslim Thought in U.S.":

By Brad Wilmouth | July 25, 2011 | 7:21 AM EDT

 On Sunday’s World News, ABC correspondent T.J. Winick filed a report in which he presented same-sex marriage as a way to stimulate the ailing economy - potentially of the entire nation - by getting lots of new married couples to spend money on weddings.   Winick also featured a soundbite of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg criticizing Republicans for opposing same-sex marriage.

And, as Christiane Amanpour appeared on the same day’s Good Morning America to plug her interview with Bloomberg on This Week, she showed a similar soundbite after GMA co-host Bianna Golodryga brought up Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann’s views on homosexuality.

On World News, after anchor David Muir introduced the report by referring to the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York state as a "money maker," correspondent Winick soon elaborated:

By Brad Wilmouth | July 25, 2011 | 6:58 AM EDT

 As Sunday’s CBS Evening News recounted the day of marriage ceremonies for gay couples in New York state, where same-sex marriage has just been legalized, correspondent Jim Axelrod spent much of his report focusing on all the marriage benefits couples will not enjoy because the federal government does not recognize such unions. But he also found a consequence for some couples who may lose domestic partner benefits from their employers who are now planning to cut back such benefits and pressure couples to get married to qualify.

By Brad Wilmouth | July 25, 2011 | 5:59 AM EDT

 On Sunday, the CBS Evening News and NBC’s Meet the Press both briefly noted an unfolding sex scandal involving Oregon Democratic Representative David Wu, who is being accused of making unwanted sexual advances toward the teenage daughter of a political donor.

CBS substitute anchor Norah O’Donnell directly labeled Wu as a Democrat, While NBC’s David Gregory indirectly hinted at Wu’s Democratic ties by noting that the Congressman had met with "leader of the Democrats, Pelosi."

Both broadcasts noted the scandal toward the end of the program.

Below are the transcripts of portions of the CBS Evening News and NBC’s Meet the Press where the Wu story were covered:

By Brad Wilmouth | July 25, 2011 | 12:29 AM EDT

 On CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, substitute host Sanjay Gupta hosted a segment with two guests on opposite sides of the debate over whether teachers in a Minnesota public school district should be allowed to push the view that homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle to deter bullying of students perceived to be homosexual. But, instead of acting as an even-handed moderator between his two guests, Gupta repeatedly made contrarian questions or comments toward the right-leaning guest, but indicated agreement with the left-leaning guest without challenging her.

A setup piece by correspondent Poppy Harlow recounted that the Southern Poverty Law Center is taking legal action against a school district in Minnesota because of its "neutrality policy" on teachers discussing homosexuality, suggesting the policy has culpability in a recent string of teen suicides.

By Mike Bates | July 24, 2011 | 11:33 PM EDT

A possible debt ceiling crisis?  Mass murder in Norway?  Important stories, but today on the 6:00 pm segment of CNN Newsroom, they took a backseat to another story.  Showing video of a homosexual wedding, the program began:

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, boy, it's a historic day in New York. Same-sex marriages begin. And this hour live coverage as Mayor Michael Bloomberg officiates a wedding between two of his staff members.

By Tom Blumer | July 24, 2011 | 11:31 PM EDT

In his Friday report covering the June state and local employment report released by Uncle Sam's Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Associated Press's Derek Kravitz told readers about the three biggest seasonally adjusted job-losing states (Tennessee, Missouri, and Virginia), but had nothing to say about states which gained jobs. This was a curious omission indeed, given that BLS told us that "nonfarm payroll employment increased in 26 states and the District of Columbia and decreased in 24 states."

Only Kravitz knows why he neglected to tell us about the job gainers, but the list of the top eight states in that department should make readers wonder if the wire service reporter's omission was motivated by inconvenient (for liberals and leftists) likely explanations for the improvements in most of them (keep in mind that though it's not an apples to apples comparison, the economy as a whole added only 18,000 seasonally adjusted jobs in June):

By Brad Wilmouth | July 24, 2011 | 10:20 PM EDT

 On Friday’s Last Word on MSNBC, as host Lawrence O’Donnell brought up his belief - explored more thoroughly earlier in the show - that President Obama had succeeded in a strategy to appear to be the "reasonable man willing to make compromises" without actually having to make those concessions, MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe at first seemed to buy into O’Donnell’s "cynical" theory of Obama’s true intentions, but the MSNBC analyst also suggested that Obama was indeed being "reasonable" and "the grownup in the room." He went on to suggest that Republicans were not being "responisible’ or a "serious party about deficits," and that they were behaving as "irresponsible children."

By Brad Wilmouth | July 24, 2011 | 9:45 PM EDT

 On Friday’s Last Word, MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell advanced his belief that President Obama never had any desire for Republicans to accept the plan that he himself proposed because his strategy was to "manipulate" the process and appear willing to compromise, while at the same time insisting on tax increases to ensure that Republicans would never agree to his offer. O’Donnell further theorized that, because Republicans were about to agree to a tax increase similar to Obama’s proposal, the President changed his demands to deliberately derail negotiations.

During a segment with NBC correspondent Kristen Welker, O’Donnell observed:

By Brent Baker | July 24, 2011 | 8:33 PM EDT

Adopting the spin of President Barack Obama -- who on Friday insisted “one of the questions that the Republican Party is going to have to ask itself is: Can they say yes to anything?” – on Sunday’s Face the Nation CBS’s Bob Schieffer demanded of Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl: “Is there a problem for Republicans that might emerge as just the party of no? The party that can't say yes to anything?”

By Noel Sheppard | July 24, 2011 | 8:21 PM EDT

When CBS's "60 Minutes" did a puff piece about Al Sharpton in May, Lesley Stahl revealed the Reverend refuses to say anything bad about President Obama.

On Sunday's "Reliable Sources," former MSNBC contributor Cenk Uygur claimed he might have been replaced by Sharpton in the 6PM time slot because of the Reverend's undying devotion to the current White House resident (video follows with transcript and commentary):