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By Scott Whitlock | April 6, 2011 | 6:24 PM EDT

Hardball host Chris Matthews on Wednesday frothed that Republicans who want to defund Planned Parenthood are out to "kill" birth control and are "playing politics with women's health." The MSNBC anchor railed against GOP efforts opposing the organization, speculating, "Why would you get rid of birth control?"

Matthews defended Planned Parenthood, saying the issue isn't abortion, just a group "which I understand to be helpful in terms of women, health screening, poor women especially who wouldn't normally have a good doctor."

Teasing the segment, he piled on: "Why are Republicans playing politics with women's health?" During another preview, Matthews smeared, "The Republicans are not happy with just cutting spending for old people. They want to get rid of birth control help, which baffles me if you're against abortion."


By Ken Shepherd | April 6, 2011 | 6:12 PM EDT

Many liberals in the media honestly believe their views are middle-of-the-road or just plain common sense, not skewed to the left.

An interesting e-mail exchange I had with a Colorado newspaper editor earlier today illustrates that fact.

It all began with an email story tip from NewsBusters fan Shawn Loy, who sent along some correpondence he had had with Alex Miller, the editor of the Summit Daily News of Frisco, Colorado.

Loy had passed along to Miller an op-ed from Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) about ending federal funding of Planned Parenthood.

"I thought you might be interested....(includes quotes from former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson," Loy noted before pasting Pence's op-ed.

In reply, Miller wrote back to Loy:


By Kyle Drennen | April 6, 2011 | 6:06 PM EDT

On Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, a report on the Republican 2012 budget proposal included a sound bite from Democratic Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who decried the plan and ranted: "Medicare would become little more than a discount card. This plan would literally be a death trap for some seniors."

Capitol Hill correspondent Kelly O'Donnell setup the outrageous quote by simply noting: "Democrats call the Republican plan too severe, saying it would hurt the most vulnerable." After the clip of Schultz, O'Donnell went on to conclude her report without offering any rebuttal to the claim.

By Scott Whitlock | April 6, 2011 | 4:28 PM EDT

Time Magazine senior correspondent Michael Grunwald on Monday lamented the fact that Barack Obama, "a paragon of fiscal responsibility compared to [George W.] Bush," doesn't get accolades for all his successes.

Grunwald's piece, entitled, "The Counterfactual President: Obama Averted Disasters, but Getting Credit Is the Hard Part," sarcastically compared President Obama's record on terrorism with Bush: "Apparently there needs to be a spectacular terrorist attack on U.S. soil during your presidency before you can get credit for preventing another one."

The overall thrust of the article was explaining why, despite all these accomplishments, Obama's actions have not been properly heralded.

By Clay Waters | April 6, 2011 | 2:36 PM EDT

The ambitious, cost-trimming House Republican budget proposal put forward by Rep. Paul Ryan “is not going to become law anytime soon, if ever,” New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes assured us in her Wednesday “news analysis,” “A Conservative Vision, With Bipartisan Risks.” Yet it still “poses huge political risks for Republican candidates for Congress and for the White House in 2012.” A front-page, above-the-fold front-page photo teased the article, with the caption helpfully mentioning that Ryan’s budget “poses huge political risks for Republicans.”

Calmes, whose coverage is quite sympathetic to Obama’s fiscal priorities, especially his expensive “stimulus” package, immediately assured readers the conservative proposal didn’t have a snowball’s chance of becoming law:

The audacious long-term budget path that House Republicans outlined on Tuesday is not going to become law anytime soon, if ever. Senate Democrats and President Obama will see to that.

Even so, the plan rolled out by the Republican majority in the House figures to shake up this year’s already contentious budget debate as well as next year’s presidential politics. By its mix of deep cuts in taxes and domestic spending, and its shrinkage of the American safety net, the plan sets the conservative parameter of the debate over the nation’s budget priorities further to the right than at any time since the modern federal government began taking shape nearly eight decades ago.
By Matthew Sheffield | April 6, 2011 | 1:09 PM EDT

Fox News host Glenn Beck and the news channel announced today that Beck is going to be quitting his show. The following statement was put out to the media:

By Matt Hadro | April 6, 2011 | 12:29 PM EDT

While questioning Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) over the budget battle on Monday's "In the Arena," CNN's Eliot Spitzer switched gears and attacked Republicans for cutting taxes for the rich while cutting benefits for the poor. Spitzer and Chaffetz sparred over the ongoing budget battle and spending cuts, and Spitzer was certainly not lacking in Democrat talking points.

"You are driving the government to bankruptcy and then balancing the budget on the backs of the poor," Spitzer sharply accused the conservative congressman. "I'm saying to you, how do you justify that?"

By Scott Whitlock | April 6, 2011 | 12:22 PM EDT

Not paying U.S. military officers, closed museums and a lack of passports were just some of the potential problems highlighted by Good Morning America's Jon Karl on Wednesday. The ABC reporter discussed a possible government shutdown and warned that without a deal, "...Troops, including those on the front lines in Afghanistan and Iraq, may not get their paychecks."

Karl didn't note that a Republican plan rejected by Democrats would fund the government for another week and the military through September. Co-host George Stephanopoulos teased the segment by fretting, "Will your tax refund be delayed? Could American troops on the front lines actually not get paid?"

(Karl did reference this distinction on Tuesday, insisting that the $12 billion in spending cuts the Republicans required were a "steep price" to pay for the continuing resolution.)

By Kyle Drennen | April 6, 2011 | 11:30 AM EDT

In a softball interview with New York Senator Chuck Schumer on NBC's Today on Wednesday, co-host Matt Lauer recited Democratic talking points on the budget fight perfectly: "[For] the Tea Party and others on the far right....does it seem to you, Senator, that this is less about a fiscal debate or an economic policy debate and they are making an ideological stand here?" [Audio available here]

A visibly pleased Schumer excitedly agreed: "That's exactly right, Matt. You've hit the nail on the head.... they have an ideology just to get rid of all government....the Tea Party doesn't represent all of America. In fact, their popularity is rapidly declining and that ought to be a message to Speaker Boehner."

In his question to Schumer, Lauer was dismayed by conservative calls for "no funding for Planned Parenthood, no funding for climate control, public broadcasting."

By Ken Shepherd | April 6, 2011 | 10:59 AM EDT

On the surface, TLC's "Extreme Couponing" -- premiering tonight at 9:30 p.m. EDT -- may look to you and me like an innocently voyeuristic look into the lives of fellow Americans who take penny-pinching to the extreme, saving at times hundreds of dollars on grocery store runs.

But that's why we're not TV critics for a liberal metropolitan newspaper.

Washington Post's Hank Stuever worked in a healthy share of left-wing grousing about capitalism and insisted that the coupon-clippers highlighted by the program were insufferably selfish souls.

"Little piggies go to market, and clean up on Aisle 5," the article's online headline snarked.


By Clay Waters | April 6, 2011 | 9:47 AM EDT

Nicholas Kristof, New York Times columnist, newly minted war-monger. On March 24 the Iraq war dove claimed the U.S. was being welcomed as liberators in Libya. On Sunday he applauded what the column’s text box admitted was “our inconsistent intervention in Libya,” headlined with a bleeding-heart plea: “Is It Better to Save No One?” He even called for "a SWAT team of Libyans and coalition forces" to swoop down and seize Qaddafi for trial in The Hague.

Critics from left and right are jumping all over President Obama for his Libyan intervention, arguing that we don’t have an exit plan, that he hasn’t articulated a grand strategy, that our objectives are fuzzy, that Islamists could gain strength. And those critics are all right.

But let’s back up a moment and recognize a larger point: Mr. Obama and other world leaders did something truly extraordinary, wonderful and rare: they ordered a humanitarian intervention that saved thousands of lives and that even Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s closest aides seem to think will lead to his ouster.

By NB Staff | April 6, 2011 | 9:21 AM EDT

That's the question posted by a recent video, embedded below the break, released by Heritage Action for America. With an "Obama shutdown" looming, Heritage wonders - only a bit facetiously - whether there would be much of a difference, given that the White House has failed to deal with any of the major problems facing the nation in the last two-plus years.

By Bob Parks | April 6, 2011 | 7:37 AM EDT

Pardon our cynicism, but we were mindly curious if the people who attended's national "We Are One", "Respect Our Rights", "Keep the Dream Alive" rally in Washington, D.C. on April 4, 2011 really knew what they were protesting about?



By Tim Graham | April 6, 2011 | 6:45 AM EDT

The "news" magazines offer a very friendly environment for Obama's cabinet members devoted to environmental issues. In this week's Time, they offer their "Ten Questions" for EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. They have a sympathetic tilt that Republicans are waging "war" on the EPA, instead of considering that the EPA is preparing to take command and control over the American economy. (Mario Loyola takes on Jackson and her Time interview at The Weekly Standard.) Time began with the softball from the liberal Republicans:

Two of your Republican predecessors recently wrote that the EPA is "under siege" from the GOP. Is there a war against the EPA?

There are certainly some members of Congress who have come in with an agenda that includes this agency. We hear words like scaling back and defunding.

By Tom Blumer | April 6, 2011 | 12:31 AM EDT

In the 1965-1971 comedy series "Hogan's Heroes," prison guard  Sergeant Schultz is a "bumbling, highly unmilitary 325-pound Sergeant of the Guard. Schultz is a basically good-hearted man who, when confronted by evidence of the prisoners' covert activities, will simply look the other way, repeating 'I hear nothing, I see nothing, I know nothing!'"

Reviewing past NewsBusters posts featuring or concerning newly selected chair of the Democratic National Committee Debbie Wasserman Schultz, we've already seen on several occasions that the Florida Congresswoman knows nothing concerning things with which she ought to be quite familiar. Schultz edged out the buffoon I would have preferred, the bumbling former governor of Ohio, "Turnaround Ted" Strickland, who was defeated by Republican John Kasich in November. Strickland thus became the first incumbent Buckeye State governor to be defeated in 36 years.

The most prominent example of Ms. Wasserman Schultz's ignorance came in a town hall meeting on April 5, 2010 which was noted  by Matt Cover at CNS News and in an EyeBlast TV post at NewsBusters -- and of course ignored by the establishment press. Get a load of what the Congresswoman and her staff repeatedly claimed with a straight face: