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By Kyle Drennen | April 28, 2011 | 12:49 PM EDT

In a report designed to separate fact from fiction on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, White House correspondent Savannah Guthrie decided to blur fantasy and reality as she compared President Obama's press conference announcing the release of his birth certificate to a moment from the 1995 movie, "The American President." [Audio available here]

After a clip was played of Obama declaring: "We live in a serious time right now, and we do not have time for this kind of silliness. We've got better stuff to do," Guthrie proclaimed: "At that moment, the real president sounding a lot like that Hollywood one." Then footage ran of the fictional President Andrew Shepherd – played by actor Michael Douglas in the liberal film – denouncing one of his Republican opponents: "This is a time for serious people, Bob, and your 15 minutes are up. My name is Andrew Shepherd, and I am the president."

Douglas, of course, narrates the introduction to NBC Nightly News.

View video below

By P.J. Gladnick | April 28, 2011 | 12:36 PM EDT

Didn't Harvard Law Professor Randall Kennedy get the word? Barack Obama's re-election is all but guaranteed if you believe the liberal mainstream media. Just today the CNBC head of news reported the belief that Obama's re-election would be guaranteed by the actions of the Fed. So why the concern about the health of Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer? Could it be that Kennedy doesn't quite (GASP!) believe in the political invincibility of the Lightworker?

Apparently such "heretical" thoughts must have occurred to Professor Kennedy judging by his New Republic article in which he urges the two aging justices to retire now because of the inference that they could die during a Republican administration elected next year and be replaced by (EEK!) conservatives. Of course, Kennedy tries, not too successfully, to be delicate in his suggestion:

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer should soon retire. That would be the responsible thing for them to do. Both have served with distinction on the Supreme Court for a substantial period of time; Ginsburg for almost 18 years, Breyer for 17. Both are unlikely to be able to outlast a two-term Republican presidential administration, should one supersede the Obama administration following the 2012 election. What’s more, both are, well, old: Ginsburg is now 78, the senior sitting justice. Breyer is 72.

By Ken Shepherd | April 28, 2011 | 12:20 PM EDT

On Sunday, a Wikileaks document dump revealed files from Guantanamo Bay in which military commanders noted the Finsbury Park mosque in north London was a "haven" for Islamic extremists, "an attack planning and propaganda production base" that recruited jihadists to fight in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

But while the American mainstream media have been ga-ga over tomorrow's royal wedding, there's been little if any attention paid to this development by the very same reporters who were packing their bags for London.

A search of Nexis for ABC, CBS, and NBC news transcripts from April 25 through today reveals nothing on the Finsbury Park mosque, although other information from the latest wikileaks dump was discussed.

By Scott Whitlock | April 28, 2011 | 12:00 PM EDT

After Barack Obama bitterly complained that the "birther" issue dominated the news instead of budget matters in recent weeks, ABC News correspondent Jake Tapper on Wednesday exposed an "untruth" by the President online, but skipped the same information while reporting for World News. In his Political Punch blog, Tapper noted the falsity of Obama's claim that the media was aiding and comforting conservative conspiracy theorists.

In a White House speech, Wednesday, the President asserted that the birth certificate became the "dominant news story" during the budget battle, saying that was "true on most of the news outlets that were represented here." Online, Tapper labeled this an "untruth" and "wrong."

Citing a new Pew study, the journalist noted, "The ridiculous claims about the president’s birth certificate actually was the No. 4 story for the week – receiving about one tenth of the coverage devoted to stories about the economy." Yet, on World News, Tapper simply repeated the President's "untruth" without correction.

By Lachlan Markay | April 28, 2011 | 11:29 AM EDT

President Obama chided the news media Wednesday for continuing to focus national attention on the non-issue of his American citizenship. "Fascinating how many of Obama's birther remarks…were aimed at the media for stoking this," tweeted Howard Kurtz shortly after the speech.

The birth certificate issue was a distraction, Obama stated, and the White House decision to release his long-form birth certificate was an attempt to re-focus national attention on the important issues, specifically his budget proposal. But which media outlets were most guilty of sustaining attention on the issue? On cable news, at least, the answer runs contrary to the usual media narrative.

As it turns out, one was 35 times more likely to hear about the birther issue on CNN or MSNBC than on Fox News during the week of April 11 through 17, when Obama was touting his budget. The cable network most often railed against as the birther-enabler was least likely - by far - to even mention the issue.

By Ken Shepherd | April 28, 2011 | 10:15 AM EDT

Left-wing storylines generally are not box-office blockbusters, yet Hollywood liberals insist on making message movies anyway.

The same is true, and has been for decades, for comic books.

The latest example involves the quintessential American superhero, Superman (h/t e-mail tipster John Craig).

By Clay Waters | April 28, 2011 | 10:00 AM EDT

Classified dossiers of detainees at Guantanamo Bay prison released by Wikileaks were naturally splashed on the front of Monday’s New York Times, which had editorialized in strong terms for the closing of the Cuba prison. Reporters Charlie Savage, William Glaberson, and Andrew Lehren filed “Details of Lives in an American Limbo.”

(In February 2009, Glaberson let two hard-left groups he called "human rights groups" ridicule a Pentagon report saying there was no mistreatment at Guantanamo Bay.)

From Monday's lead story:

A trove of more than 700 classified military documents provides new and detailed accounts of the men who have done time at the Guantánamo Bay prison in Cuba, and offers new insight into the evidence against the 172 men still locked up there.

Military intelligence officials, in assessments of detainees written between February 2002 and January 2009, evaluated their histories and provided glimpses of the tensions between captors and captives. What began as a jury-rigged experiment after the 2001 terrorist attacks now seems like an enduring American institution, and the leaked files show why, by laying bare the patchwork and contradictory evidence that in many cases would never have stood up in criminal court or a military tribunal.

By P.J. Gladnick | April 28, 2011 | 9:58 AM EDT

Dismal economic growth. 

It's hard to be upbeat about that but since it occurred during a Democrat administration, Reuters does its best to accentuate whatever positive it can find in its report. First the downbeat news as relayed by Reuters reporter Lucia Mutikani:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Economic growth slowed more than expected in the first quarter as higher food and gasoline prices dampened consumer spending, and sent a broad measure of inflation rising at its fastest pace in 2-1/2 years.

And now the first of several Reuters exercises in excuse making:

But the pull back in output, which was also the result of harsh winter weather, a widening trade gap as well as weak government spending, will probably be fleeting given a firming labor market.

By Noel Sheppard | April 28, 2011 | 9:48 AM EDT

If you ask Al Sharpton if something is racist, what are the chances he's going to say yes?

On Wednesday's "Ed Show," the host asked the civil rights leader, "If this had been a white president, would we be seeking his birth certificate the way they have been doing this on President Obama?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By NB Staff | April 28, 2011 | 9:28 AM EDT

Over the past few days the chatter about a potential presidential run by Rep. Paul Ryan has really heated up. Over at the Huffington Post, Jon Ward reports that RNC chair Reince Preibus - like Ryan, a Wisconsin native - might be put in an akward position give his closeness to the Budget Committee chairman, and has thus been testing the waters of a potential Ryan candidacy. At Reuters, James Pethokoukis offers some reasons that a Ryan candidacy may be in the cards:

By Tim Graham | April 28, 2011 | 7:06 AM EDT

Justin Farmer is a reporter for Atlanta's WSB-TV, and he's exactly the kind of local-news reporter Barack Obama's been looking for -- the kind that's too star-struck to be objective. Farmer talked of Obama with the traditional media tingles on the station website (since removed, but preserved by Politico): " I took in the man himself, this man, President Barack Obama. Regardless of one’s political leanings, there’s no doubt this is a gifted and complex man. Think about what he ponders in any given day?”

Farmer also boasted that while Obama is shifting into reelection mode, he was “carefully chosen by the administration, along with a few others, to take his talking points back to Atlanta.” Being happy you were "carefully chosen" to carry talking points? That's the line most editors might want to unpublish.

Politico noted it was quite a contrast to Brad Watson of Dallas angering the president by asking why he was so unpopular in Texas. But wait, there's more:

By Noel Sheppard | April 27, 2011 | 10:25 PM EDT

MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell abruptly ended an interview with queen birther Orly Taitz Wednesday after screaming at her for several minutes.

Things turned ugly when "The Last Word" host refused to allow his guest to discuss President Obama's Selective Service certificate and Taitz responded by saying, "Your program is nothing but Obama propaganda machine" (video follows with commentary):

By Noel Sheppard | April 27, 2011 | 9:08 PM EDT

CBS's Bob Schieffer said Wednesday that Donald Trump is racist because he wants to see Barack Obama's college grades.

Such was told to Katie Couric on the "Evening News" (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):

By Jack Coleman | April 27, 2011 | 8:05 PM EDT

(Updated with video clips of Kenosha, Wisc., town hall forum provided by Congressman Ryan's press office; links to clips after end of post)

By Tom Blumer | April 27, 2011 | 7:58 PM EDT

Gosh, after Republican Governors Scott Walker and John Kasich succeeded in championing legislation curtailing many collective bargaining rights of unionized state and municipal employees in Wisconsin and Ohio, respectively, the establishment press had the meme all set. The GOP, conservatives, and Tea Partiers are enemies of labor and the middle class, while Democrats, liberals, and progressives are their champions.

Then along comes bluer-than-blue Massachusetts. As the Boston Globe reports, the Bay State's House "voted overwhelmingly last night (Tuesday) to strip police officers, teachers, and other municipal employees of most of their rights to bargain over health care, saying the change would save millions of dollars for financially strapped cities and towns." It's not a law yet, but it seems to be heading pretty quickly in that direction.

The Associated Press's beat reporters and editors must be beside themselves.