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By Alex Fitzsimmons | April 5, 2011 | 4:54 PM EDT

Covering the budget debate on Capitol Hill and the conflict in Libya, Andrea Mitchell spun two serious policy issues as examples of race-baiting.

On the April 5 edition of “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” the MSNBC anchor lamented that Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) proposed 2012 budget would ravage black and Hispanic communities.

“Representative Paul Ryan’s 2012 budget, released today, includes reforms, what they call reforms, and also big cuts in housing assistance, job training, and food stamps,” warned Mitchell. “All of which would have a very big impact on particularly poor and minority communities, some say.”

By Scott Whitlock | April 5, 2011 | 4:19 PM EDT

Over two programs totaling two and half hours of air time, ABC allowed only 65 seconds of coverage for Barack Obama's decision to break a campaign promise and try 9/11 terror suspects at Guantanamo and not in a civilian court. In contrast, all the other network evening shows on Monday and morning shows on Tuesday provided full reports.

On Tuesday's Good Morning America on ABC, Juju Chang mildly explained in a news read, "Well, we begin with a legal turnaround for the Obama administration." On Monday's World News, Diane Sawyer delicately described it as a "switch in positions." Reporter Jake Tapper noted the President has "blinked" in the face of criticism and pointed out this was a breaking of a campaign promise. (This brief mention came during a larger story about the 2012 campaign.)

In contrast, CBS's Katie Couric actually provided much stronger language. She began by asserting, "In other news, a lot of people thought it was a terrible idea to put Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men on trial here in New York City for the 9/11 attacks." Reporter Bob Orr, unlike Chang, labeled it a "stunning reversal" to try suspects at Guantanamo.

By Tom Blumer | April 5, 2011 | 3:51 PM EDT

First, let me make something clear. One thing I learned in my first job as a dishwasher back in the Mesozoic Era is that all work conscientiously done can be noble. I don't criticize McDonald's for wanting to grow their business and the businesses of their franchisees, and I surely won't criticize anyone for taking a fast-food job to put food on the table or to gain an employment foothold.

That said, the people who have expressed contempt for such jobs and for an economy that for the last 30-plus years has, according to certain wrong-headed social critics, been devolving into one where the only jobs available will be low-paying, dead-end service-sector jobs have been awfully quiet in the wake of the fast-food king's announcement that it's looking to hire 50,000 workers.

An unbylined write-up at the Associated Press Monday evening comes across as more of a puffy promo than as a hard-news piece (puffery in bold):

By Ken Shepherd | April 5, 2011 | 2:54 PM EDT

With the looming possibility of a government shutdown and today's Republican 2012 budget proposal, you can expect the media to be hard at work amplifying the complaints of liberal Democrats that conservative-proposed budget cuts are extreme.

Even newspaper sections or online features generally disconnected from politics are picking up on the meme. Take the Chicago Tribune's The Seeker blog, a religion news feature.

The last two blog posts have taken a liberal tack from a religious perspective on the federal budget.

"Faithful, legislators should ask, 'What would Jesus cut?'" Rev. Soong -Chan Rah argued in an April 4 post, echoing the rallying cry of liberal Christian activist Jim Wallis:

By Clay Waters | April 5, 2011 | 2:46 PM EDT

Respectable economist turned partisan New York Times columnist Paul Krugman weighed in at his nytimes.com blog Tuesday morning on the ambitious budget proposal for Fiscal Year '12, released by the chairman of the House Budget Committee, the formerly flim-flam-sauce-drenched Rep. Paul Ryan.

In his post, headlined “The Threat Within,” Krugman at least held off the childish insults this time, perhaps because it backfired in his face back in August 2010, when the source he used in his column to “prove” Ryan was a flim-flammer acting in bad faith actually wrote a defense of him in response.

Krugman feared Obama would not sufficiently demagogue the issue like brave Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi did when Bush tried to save Social Security through a partial privatization in 2005.

By Kyle Drennen | April 5, 2011 | 1:03 PM EDT

On Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Meredith Vieira grilled Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on GOP criticism of the massive spending of the Obama administration: "...sixth consecutive month of job growth, unemployment numbers lowest in two years, it certainly appears that there is a recovery. So doesn't that throw a real monkey wrench into your argument?"

Priebus pointed out: "Under this president – he's promised millions and millions of jobs –  we've lost 26 million jobs, Meredith, since he's been president. He promised under an $850 billion stimulus program that we'd be on the path to recovery. Well, none of that has come true." Undeterred, Vieira followed by declaring: "And yet, even some Republican economists have said that in criticizing these numbers, the Republicans run the risk of looking like they're cheering for an economic reversal."

By Scott Whitlock | April 5, 2011 | 12:39 PM EDT

Although a government shutdown hasn't occurred yet, ABC's Good Morning America has already begun showcasing the possible dire impacts of such a budget impasse.  Reporter Jake Tapper highlighted White House worries about "figuring out what this will mean in terms of parks that are closed, museums that are closed, veterans that are not able to get assistance for their benefits..."

Correspondent Jon Karl, in the same segment, warned that although a possible deal could fund the government for another week, "...It would also come at a steep price. Republicans are demanding $12 billion in spending cuts just for that one week of funding."

Karl, Tapper and co-anchor George Stephanopoulos repeatedly put the emphasis on the GOP's responsibility for a shutdown, not on Barack Obama to find more cuts to make. Stephanopoulos, a former Democratic operative, responded to Karl's remark on the $12 billion by declaring "that's not going to fly with the White House."

By Mark Finkelstein | April 5, 2011 | 11:32 AM EDT

Joe Scarborough has unloaded on the moral preening and hypocrisy of President Obama and his supporters over Gitmo and military tribunals.  In the wake of AG Eric Holder's announcement that not only will Gitmo remain open, but that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other accused terrorists will be tried there before military tribunals, Scarborough unleashed an extended, scathing indictment on today's Morning Joe.  Mika Brzezinski did her best, fighting a rear-guard action in defense of the president.  

Scarborough repeatedly cited the way Obama & Co. had heaped moral condemnation on Pres. Bush and VP Cheney during the campaign for having created Gitmo and established military tribunals.

Joe concluded with a swipe at the Obama-loving MSM: "the parade is going by here, and we're supposed to salute . . . it's Barack Obama.  He can say whatever he wants to say and I think the press is going to salute."

View edited video clip after the jump.

By Noel Sheppard | April 5, 2011 | 9:17 AM EDT

As NewsBusters reported, MSNBC's Chris Matthews went on quite a Republican-hating rant Monday linking murder and violence in Afghanistan to GOP "zealots at home."

Such conservative bashing continued till the end of "Hardball" when the host finished with a two minute segment excoriating the Republican Party as one where "you can't say you believe in science, you can't say you believe in evolution or in climate change or in gay rights, or even in separation of church and state" concluding "Maybe this is God's will, that Obama not have a reasonable opponent out there" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By NB Staff | April 5, 2011 | 9:16 AM EDT

Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, is slated to release the Republican budget for FY2012 today. He took to the Wall Street Journal to offer some details and tout the need for budget reform. Ryan also created the very slick video you'll see below the break to outline the nation's fiscal situation. Check it out and let us know what you think.

By Tim Graham | April 5, 2011 | 8:45 AM EDT

Some wonder if NPR is altering its left-wing tilt while it’s in the middle of a budget fight in Congress. For evidence that nothing’s changed, see Thursday’s Diane Rehm show, starring socialist Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont. Rehm touted his latest book, The Speech (published by the radical Nation magazine’s Nation Books), taken from a "historic" Sanders eight-hour filibuster/jeremiad on the Senate floor against last December’s deal extending the Bush tax cuts.

Rehm began: "Thank you. Before we begin to talk about the speech, tell me your thoughts on what is happening in Libya. We now have CIA people on the ground. It strikes me that that is precisely how Vietnam began." From there, she actually insisted to Sanders that public broadcasting has socialist impulses in questioning America’s unequal distribution of wealth:

By Clay Waters | April 5, 2011 | 7:04 AM EDT

For “Secrecy in Shreds,” his latest column for the New York Times’s Sunday magazine, Executive Editor Bill Keller conducted a surprisingly affable conversation with conservative journalist Gabriel Schoenfeld of Commentary magazine, who last year published “Necessary Secrets,” a book highly critical of Keller and the Times revealing details of and thus wrecking two successful terrorist-fighting programs -- the National Security Agency’s secret eavesdropping,, and SWIFT, a Treasury Department program that screened international banking records for suspicious activity.

Last year, Gabriel Schoenfeld, a veteran of the conservative magazine Commentary, published a book that explained how The New York Times could be prosecuted under the Espionage Act. The book said a lot of other things too, but you’ll understand why that particular proposition stuck in my mind. At one point Schoenfeld conjured an image of authorities “frog-marching a shackled Bill Keller into court.”

By Rusty Weiss | April 5, 2011 | 12:43 AM EDT

A news article written by a reporter at AFP and reproduced at such news sites as Google, Yahoo, NPR, the Dallas Morning News, and others, might qualify as an example of what happens when one allows opinion to seep into reporting.  Despite a mission statement involving claims that AFP coverage is balanced, accurate, and includes the other side of the story, this piece makes no secret of where the reporter’s bias lies.

The article features such gems as:

  • A strong yet hyperbolic opening statement – “President Barack Obama, once a fresh faced prophet of hope…”
  • A picture of the presidential seal with the caption ‘The presidential seal of Barack Obama’
  • Comedy – “Obama will … brandish a record as a genuine reformer…”
  • Labeling of the President’s opposition – “…a Republican Party dragged right of the crucial political center ground by the ultra-conservative Tea Party movement” – with no labeling of his own liberal policies or base.

Most interesting was the inclusion of this possible 2012 campaign slogan:  “Though many of America's problems predated his presidency…”

Blame.  Bush.

Here is a short list of American problems since Obama took office:

By Mark Finkelstein | April 4, 2011 | 9:32 PM EDT

Bernie, put down the bong!

On Cenk Uygur's MSNBC show this evening, Bernie Sanders, the socialist senator from Vermont who caucuses with the Dems, claimed that rich Americans "have not contributed one nickel to deficit reduction."

Cenk of course failed to challenge Sander's certifiably silly assertion.

View video after the jump.

By P.J. Gladnick | April 4, 2011 | 9:26 PM EDT

"Word is that curios George Gillett the Phoenix ASAC stepped on it again. Allegedly he has approved more than 500 AR-15 type rifles from Tucson and Phoenix cases to be �walked� to Mexico. Appears that ATF may be one of the largest suppliers of assault rifles to the Mexican cartels! One of these rifles is rumored to have been linked to the recent killing of a Border Patrol Officer in Nogales, AZ. Can anyone confirm this information?"

Thus began the first post last December on an historic thread at the CleanUp ATF forum website on the subject of the Project Gunrunner scandal. This website, which features postings by former and current whistleblowing members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is currently leading the way in reportage of this scandal, leaving most of the MSM in the dust. Anybody interested in getting up to speed on this scandal should check out CleanUp ATF for the very latest developments as seen from whistleblowers from inside the ATF.

Only a  few other sources are reporting on this, particularly the blog of Gun Rights Examiner, David Codrea, who ironically named this scandal "Operation Gunwalker" plus some reporting from FOX news as well as CBS investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson whose fascinating report can be seen in this video. Unfortunately, except for the sources cited, there has been very little reporting in the mainstream media on this rapidly developing scandal. For those of you interested in following this, including MSM reporters whose organizations have so far ignored this scandal, the best place to get  the latest breaking information continues to be from the whistleblowing AFT personnel (former and current) at CleanUp ATF.