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By Ken Shepherd | June 23, 2011 | 11:40 AM EDT

Imagine that one of the FBI's most wanted mobsters had a brother who for decades had been a Republican power broker in a deep red state like say Texas. On top of that, that Republican party boss may have helped his brother flee justice. Imagine that that mob boss was arrested last night after 16 years on the lam.

MSNBC would most certainly report not just the capture but the political connections of the mobster's brother, right?

Only the party boss was former Massachusetts Senate President Billy Bulger (D) and the mobster was South Boston's James "Whitey" Bulger.

 

By Noel Sheppard | June 23, 2011 | 10:55 AM EDT

If you know anything about Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi it's that he totally despises conservatives.

In the soon-to-be-released issue of the magazine that actually employs him, Taibbi relentlessly attacked Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann as a "bats--t crazy" "political psychopath" with a "gigantic set of burnished titanium Terminator-testicles swinging under her skirt" (illustration by Victor Juhasz):

By Erin R. Brown | June 23, 2011 | 10:14 AM EDT

It’s no secret that Hollywood and its ‘values’ are contributing mightily to the moral decay of American culture, and 2011 romantic comedies have been some of the raunchiest to date. But the stars of the summer 2011 sleazy hookup film “Friends with Benefits” have involved Facebook in promoting their flick.

Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis star in “Friends with Benefits,” a movie that glorifies a casual and strictly sexual relationship among friends with no emotional strings attached. Kunis and Timberlake have taken to dramatically mocking Public Service Announcements by participating in a 60 second video asking viewers to “support a friends with benefits status option,” to appear alongside the traditional statuses of single, engaged, married, etc.

 

By NB Staff | June 23, 2011 | 9:43 AM EDT

President Obama announced last night that he will withdraw his entire 30,000 troop surge from 2009, bringing home 10,000 troops from Afghanistan this year, and an additional 20,000 troops by the end of next summer.

The plan is a much more aggressive withdrawal than recommended by the Gen. David Petraeus and other Pentagon officials, who recommended one more fighting season against the Taliban to maintain the recent gains American troops have made.

Check out a video of his speech after the break, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.

By Tim Graham | June 23, 2011 | 7:59 AM EDT

Former Washington Post reporter Jose Antonio Vargas has written a long piece for The New York Times Magazine declaring that he’s an illegal alien and that he’s created a new advocacy group called Define American (“a project of the Tides Center”) to push for the DREAM Act that would provide permanent residency to illegal aliens brought to America as children.

Vargas, 30, lied to a string of media outlets about his immigration status with a fake driver’s license from Oregon. He came over from the Philippines at age 12. (Vargas told the truth to Post editor Peter Perl, a mentor, but he wouldn’t comment now.) In the Post story on this by Paul Farhi, Post spokeswoman Kris Coratti offered a no-comment on  Vargas’s employment at the paper: “We will not comment on individual personnel matters out of respect for the privacy of our employees.”

By Tom Blumer | June 23, 2011 | 1:36 AM EDT

When the Associated Press's Paul Wiseman and Martin Crutsinger team up for a report on the economy, there's no limit to the comic potential.

Today, in covering what the folks at Zero Hedge described as "Ben Bernanke's 'I Have No Idea Why The Economy Will Get Better But It Will' Speech" (transcript is at link), the AP pair may have set a new world record for most unused words one would expect to be employed in a report on the condition of the economy.

Readers will not find the following words, all of which bear at least somewhat on why the economy is currently failing to live up to expectations and to meaningfully rebound nearly two years after the official end of the recession, in the wire service's report:

By Noel Sheppard | June 22, 2011 | 7:34 PM EDT

Chris Matthews on Wednesday made it clear that like Al Gore, he believes the media should only be telling one side of the story when it comes to manmade global warming.

Such came out in the middle of a discussion about Gore's new article in Rolling Stone magazine when the "Hardball" host told his guests, "I hate that so-called evenhanded so-called objective journalism" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Matt Hadro | June 22, 2011 | 7:13 PM EDT

On Tuesday's In the Arena, fill-in host Christine Romans questioned Marjorie Dannenfelser of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List on the relevance of the abortion issue in the upcoming presidential election. She argued that the central issues, according to polls, are the economy and jobs and that focusing on politicians' stances on abortion might not be a viable strategy.

Ironically, Anderson Cooper opened up CNN's 10 p.m. hour with a "Keeping Them Honest" segment scrutinizing a certain politician's flip-flops on same-sex marriage – President Obama.

By Rusty Weiss | June 22, 2011 | 6:38 PM EDT

The Department of Energy (DOE) continues to tout the importance of safety at nuclear facilities, while simultaneously ignoring legitimate safety concerns in the name of saving time and money.

Last week, the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board delivered a scathing report on the ‘safety culture’, or lack thereof, being perpetuated by the DOE. Within that report, which focused on how the department handled safety complaints at a nuclear waste cleanup site in Richland, Washington, were statements from several witnesses who believed that raising safety issues could be detrimental to their career. One specific situation seemed to bear this out, in which a former Engineering Manager, Walter Tamosaitis, had raised several technical safety issues in July, and was abruptly removed from the project the next day.

These findings led the House Appropriations Committee to amend a proposed 2012 DOE budget document report, stating that:

"The most recent (defense board) report describes an environment where the professional exchange of views which a safety culture relies upon is discouraged and at times punished. These revelations are both alarming and disturbing and should be interpreted by the secretary of energy as a call to action."

By Scott Whitlock | June 22, 2011 | 6:08 PM EDT

A frothing Chris Matthews on Wednesday excoriated Rush Limbaugh as "evil" for spreading "lies" about global warming.

The Hardball host highlighted a new Rolling Stone article by Al Gore that chides Barack Obama for not doing enough on climate change.

Matthews, however, chose to attack Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh: "These people are evil in what they're doing. I'm not saying their souls are evil, but what they're doing is really, really wrong and it's not the President." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Matt Hadro | June 22, 2011 | 4:50 PM EDT

It was an obvious contrast in demeanor last week, Eliot Spitzer's lapdog interview of the president of Planned Parenthood and his aggressive sparring with social conservative Tony Perkins. Spitzer simply let Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards air her spin on the organization, but went after the Family Research Council's (FRC) Perkins from the get-go on CNN Thursday night.

Consider the statements Richards made last Wednesday night that Spitzer was content not to scrutinize: Planned Parenthood has received "enormous support" from both Democrats and Republicans, the organization is "very transparent" about its services, Planned Parenthood reduces need for abortions through family planning, and the recent efforts by Congress and state legislatures to cut its funding "were to eliminate access for women to get access to life-saving breast cancer screenings, pap smears, and birth control."

By Scott Whitlock | June 22, 2011 | 4:19 PM EDT

The ABC and CBS morning shows on Wednesday  gushed over "baby whisperer" Barack Obama. Both Good Morning America and the Early Show played White House-produced video of the President comforting a baby while working a rope line. 

GMA's Lara Spencer lauded, "You know, the President is plenty busy trying to turn the economy around. But he still has time to stop some babies from crying, of course."

[See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Brent Baker | June 22, 2011 | 4:09 PM EDT

In Tuesday night’s “Grapevine” segment, the Fox News Channel’s Bret Baier picked up on an observation about the NBC Nightly News detailed in a Tuesday morning NewsBusters post: “NBC News Twists Its Network’s Pledge Censorship Into Slam at Rick Perry’s Intolerance.”

Baier informed viewers of how, in NBC’s look at the reaction to the NBC Sports “omission of ‘under God’ from the Pledge of Allegiance during the U.S. Open golf coverage,” reporter Mike Taibbi “went on to reference the Obama impersonator who was pulled off stage early” during a GOP event “and Jon Stewart’s appearance on Fox News Sunday.” With the quoted words on screen credited to NewsBusters, Baier noted:

One conservative media watchdog said NBC was, quote: “Trying to submerge its own network’s ‘under God’ censorship into a greater narrative.”

By Clay Waters | June 22, 2011 | 3:47 PM EDT

The New York Times may flinch at the thought of cutting Medicare or unemployment benefits to cut deficits, but reporters have quickly warmed to the idea of a speedy withdrawal from Afghanistan in the name of cost-cutting.

Reporter Michael Cooper spied an anti-war revival on Tuesday in “Mayors Call for a Quicker End to Wars So Money Can Be Used for Needs at Home,” picking up on a release from the liberal U.S. Conference of Mayors (once notorious for issuing factually malnourished hunger statistics around the holidays suggesting North Korea-like levels of hunger in America):

By Tim Graham | June 22, 2011 | 3:35 PM EDT

Time writer Michael Grunwald unloaded on leftists on the Swampland blog on Tuesday -- for not being supportive enough of Barack Obama. The post was titled: "Earth to the Left: Obama Is Into You."

Grunwald was furious that the "disillusionment addicts of the left" would suggest abandoning the Democrat ship. He began with gays-in-the-military activist Dan Choi, who was handed an Obama flyer and "Choi dramatically ripped up the flyer and declared that he wouldn't support Obama."