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By Tom Blumer | | September 30, 2012 | 10:38 PM EDT

For those who want the short answer to the question in this post's title, the answer is almost definitely "no." But in a New York Times op-ed piece in mid-September, former Obama "car czar" Steven Rattner effectively said that the so-called "fact-check" site known as PolitiFact should make amends to former Alaska Governor and vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

In December 2009, PolitiFact's Angie Drobnic Holan outrageously characterized the following statement made by Palin in an August 2009 Facebook post as its "Lie of the Year" (bold is mine):

By Noel Sheppard | | September 30, 2012 | 9:58 PM EDT

"The press’s job is to stand in the ramparts and protect the liberty and freedom of all of us from a government and from organized governmental power.  When they desert those ramparts and decide that they will now become active participants, that their job is not simply to tell you who you may vote for, and who you may not, but, worse—and this is the danger of the last two weeks—what truth that you may know, as an American, and what truth you are not allowed to know, they have, then, made themselves a fundamental threat to the democracy, and, in my opinion, made themselves the enemy of the American people."

So said Democratic strategist and pollster Pat Caddell at an Accuracy in Media conference earlier this month (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):

By Noel Sheppard | | September 30, 2012 | 9:07 PM EDT

With the first debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in just three days, the media have been doing their darnedest to lower expectations for the President's performance.

Doing his part Sunday was New York magazine's John Heilemann who said on the syndicated Chris Matthews Show, "Barack Obama's not a very good debater. He lost almost every debate that he debated with Hillary Clinton" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Tom Blumer | | September 30, 2012 | 8:45 PM EDT

The Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, has been running a series of "Why It Matters" items in the run-up to the presidential election purporting to educate readers about important issues.

Reporter Stephen Ohlemacher's contribution to the series concerning Social Security opens with a bald-faced fib, omits the fact that the system's benefit payments and costs have exceed payroll tax collections for several years, and doubles down on the fib at the end. His opening sentence and other excerpts follow the jump:

By Tom Blumer | | September 30, 2012 | 6:46 PM EDT

At the Associated Press on Saturday, Gosia Wosniacka did something one rarely sees any more in wire service coverage, actually blaming a government policy for an industry's financial problems -- in this case, state-imposed price controls on the California dairy industry.

But price controls in the highly tarnished Golden State, while very relevant, have been around for decades. Ms. Wosniacka ignored the most recent cause of farmers' difficulties, namely the government-mandated diversion of much of the corn crop towards ethanol production. Several paragraphs from her report (also carried at CNS News) follow the jump:

By Brent Baker | | September 30, 2012 | 5:22 PM EDT

For the second week in a row, on Sunday morning CBS’s Bob Schiefer identified Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s problem as not that’s he’s been too timid in laying out an alternative to President Obama but, in the tired media mantra of many election cycles, that he’s too conservative. He pressed guest Newt Gingrich: “Do you think that Mitt Romney’s got to move a little bit more toward the center here as we come toward the election?”

Last Sunday, in discussing Romney’s challenge in connecting with voters, Schieffer wondered: “Does any of this go back to the fact that what if, in the beginning” he “had said, ‘Look, I’m a moderate. You know, I know we have conservatives in this party and I know we have the Tea Party, but the fact is I’m a moderate...’”

By Tim Graham | | September 30, 2012 | 1:00 PM EDT

From his spot on the Time Ideas blog, the MSNBC anchor Toure admitted "If President Obama had to run against Senator Obama of 2008, he’d probably be crushed. Back then, Obama seemed superhuman; today he is merely mortal. His victory in 2008 was historic, breaking the race barrier in the nation’s highest office."

Guess what came next. Re-electing Obama is a greater test of whether America is racist than it was in 2008: "But an Obama victory in 2012 would say something even more profound about how far our country has come. Granted, Obama’s election (or not) is merely one of many factors that will tell us where we are on race in America. But it is a big one." Toure put Obama into the metaphor of The Matrix:

 

By Tom Blumer | | September 30, 2012 | 10:06 AM EDT

Note:  This post has been revised to reflect the Times's 2012 coverage. The original version erroneously linked to a 2010 article. I sincerely regret the error.

The New York Times's coverage of year's annual Muslim Day parade in Manhattan appears to have consisted of a photo at This Week in Pictures and another at the City Room blog.

At the end of the parade, in news not relayed by the Times, at least one speaker called for suppression and criminalization of free speech and another seemed to revel in violence-based rhetoric. One can hardly argue that these presentations weren't related to the parade, since invited political dignitaries were on hand, including one gentleman, Democrat New York State Senator Tony Avello, who walked out after hearing calls for punishment speech seen to commit "blasphemy" against Muslim prophet Muhammed.

By Tom Blumer | | September 30, 2012 | 8:55 AM EDT

Does anyone remember anybody in the establishment press speculating over who might hold Cabinet positions during a second Bush 43 term in the fall of 2004 without qualifying it with "if Bush is reelected"? Neither do I.

But at the Politico on Thursday, the closest Josh Ragin got in an item found at the web site's "The Cable" section speculating on whether John Kerry or Susan Rice is better positioned to be Obama's nominee to be "America's next top diplomat" (i.e., Secretary of State) was quoting a Republican Senate aide who merely referred to the possible fireworks "if it's the beginning of a second Obama term." That doesn't even qualify as a qualifier either, because a victorious Obama might attempt to confirm a new nominee to replace Hillary Clinton during a lame-duck session. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):

By Tim Graham | | September 30, 2012 | 7:50 AM EDT

Bill Maher isn’t scowling at conservatives on his HBO show right now, but on his blog, he has a new character on the political scene to attack: pollster Scott Rasmussen.

In Maher’s brain, conservatives are reality-deniers who live in the “Fox-Rush-Drudge” bubble who won’t listen to opposing views. "Because wingnuts can go for months and not talk to anyone who doesn’t think Obama is a bigger threat to America than Al Qaeda with airborne AIDS, but that’s because they live in rural Tennessee, and inside the information bubble.” Polls are the only political reality to snap them out of it – until Rasmussen came along and “deluded” them with poll results that disagree with the “mainstream” mob:

By Tom Blumer | | September 29, 2012 | 9:53 PM EDT

If anything as embarrassing as what follows occurred at a Republican presidential contender's website, including the follow-up ridicule by the opposition, the press would never be able to resist covering it.

A mythical (I hope) ecard created at the Obama-Biden campaign site call purports to be from a daughter to her mother, and asks about the most ridiculous question you can imagine.

By Brad Wilmouth | | September 29, 2012 | 7:13 PM EDT

On Saturday's Fox News Watch, as the panel discussed the media's lack of attention to revelations that the Obama administration knew that the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya was a pre-planned terrorist attack in spite of dismissing the event as a protest that got out of hand, left-leaning FNC analyst Kirsten Powers declared that the media have had a "really disturbing lack of curiosity" about the episode, adding that they "should be holding" the Obama administration's "feet to the fire in a a serious way."

By NB Staff | | September 29, 2012 | 5:33 PM EDT

Since MRC president Brent Bozell was busy celebrating at the MRC's 25th Anniversary Gala on Thursday night, Fox News asked him to appear for a "Media Mash" segment on Friday night's Hannity. Bozell and Sean Hannity focused mostly on the emerging scandal of  Team Obama's lies about the attacks at the Benghazi consulate that killed four Americans. As we've reported, the networks have been very slow off the mark on this one. ABC's Jake Tapper showed spokesman Jay Carney pooh-poohing it was a “pre-planned attack," which now looks like a lie. Networks didn't want to underline the government knew within 24 hours it was a terrorist attack.

Bozell asked, "Who shows up to a demonstration with rocket-propelled grenades?...Where are the press? They should have been doing this two weeks ago!" Hannity lamented, "They’re covering up the death by terrorists of Americans by terrorists!" And "CBS has yet to cover this,” Bozell said. (Video below)

By Tim Graham | | September 29, 2012 | 3:14 PM EDT

Washington Post ombudsman Patrick Pexton explored conservative dissatisfaction with the national news in polls and then wondered if the Post’s own columnist corps didn’t lean dramatically to the left: “The Post should first be about news without slant. If The Post wants to wrap its news in commentary, fine, but shouldn’t some of those voices then be conservative?”

He listed all the “progressives” the Post was planting throughout the paper:

By Tim Graham | | September 29, 2012 | 1:53 PM EDT

Conservative message boards are buzzing about a CBS Radio newscast on Friday in which CBS reporter Dan Raviv expresses relief that the Obama administration can look to the Muslim nations and suggest it can crack down on free speech. After the anchor noted the maker of the controversial "Innocence of Muslims" trailer Nakoula Basseley Nakoula is still in jail for a probation violation, Raviv said, "Now at least federal authorities might be able to punish the filmmaker."

Is this the way CBS News reveres freedom of speech? Is Raviv unaware that he sounds like he supports punishing those who speak ill of Muhammad? (The MP3 is here. Transcript below)