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By Noel Sheppard | July 17, 2011 | 3:54 PM EDT

Time magazine's Joe Klein said this weekend that President Obama "is winning" the debt ceiling debate.

Klein told his fellow panelists on the syndicated "Chris Matthews Show," "He is coming across as the most reasonable guy in a crazy city...When he says things like 'Eat your peas,' that's language Americans can understand" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Tom Blumer | July 17, 2011 | 3:43 PM EDT

In an unbylined update of the latest developments in the budget-tax-spending-debt ceiling discussions in Washington this morning, the Associated Press committed several blunders in attempting to explain what's going on and how we got to where we are. First and foremost was its list identifying "contributors" to the $8.5 trillion growth in the national debt since 2001.

Here's the AP's you-can't make-this-up, Comedy Central-worthy list of debt contributors:

Q: How did the debt grow from $5.8 trillion in 2001 to its current $14.3 trillion?

A: The biggest contributors to the nearly $9 trillion increase over a decade were:

- 2001 and 2003 tax cuts under President George W. Bush: $1.6 trillion.

By Noel Sheppard | July 17, 2011 | 1:43 PM EDT

Cokie Roberts got quite a lesson Sunday on why compromise can be a dirty word in politics.

When she asked Congressman Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) why compromise isn't a "message that you hear," the Tea Partier responded, "Why is it that compromise always means increasing taxes today and doing cuts in ten years from now?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Tim Graham | July 17, 2011 | 11:31 AM EDT

NPR is clearly relishing the Murdoch newspapers scandal in Britain. Its Weekend Edition headline on Saturday was "News Corp. Dynasty Crumbles From the Top Down." Anchor Scott Simon interviewed Financial Times columnist Clive Crook and asked if the scandal will cause sell-offs: "How big a dent that they represent in his holdings and his influence?...Can you foresee them having to make incisions in their holdings?" Just say it: What will happen to Fox News?

Crook said it was quite a "catalog of disasters" with closing down News of the World and now accepting resignations from top News Corp./NOTW executives like Les Hinton and Rebekah Brooks. But he also said the really tight relationship in Britain between politicians and the newspapers came about because...Britain has "largely succeeded in getting money out of politics." It dramatically increased media power. No wonder the liberal media favors it:

By P.J. Gladnick | July 17, 2011 | 10:39 AM EDT

(Check the update at the bottom of this story. Bristol may have accidentally tipped us off as to the intentions of her mother.)

You know what a true insult from comedian Don Rickles would be? It would be if you appeared on a stage with Rickles and did NOT receive an "insult" from the "Merchant of Venom."

However, many media websites seem to be unaware of Rickles' stock in trade. They are crowing over the fact that they believe Don Rickles delivered serious insults to Bristol and Sarah Palin during a visit of the former to the Tonight Show last Thursday where the comedian was one of the guests. As you can see in this video (and below the fold), Rickles "insults" were relatively mild compared to the zingers he directed towards President Ronald Reagan on stage during his second inauguration in 1985. And the reaction from The Gipper was sheer delight at the "insults."

Yet here we have such sites as Raw Story and andPOP taking the Rickles insults as if they were some sort of serious political commentary.  Raw Story leads off with a headline that could also describe a Rickles encounter with anybody on a stage: "Don Rickles makes fun of Bristol Palin to her face."

By Tim Graham | July 17, 2011 | 8:12 AM EDT

Lou Chibbaro Jr., a reporter for the gay newspaper The Washington Blade, offered a front-page story this week on just how liberal the top leadership of Catholic Charities USA is:

Catholic Charities USA, the nation’s largest network of faith-based agencies providing services to the poor, has hired a Washington lobbying firm owned by a gay man to promote a recently launched anti-poverty initiative before Congress and the Obama administration.

By Tim Graham | July 17, 2011 | 7:45 AM EDT

The Washington Post can really pick them when selecting a guest lecturer to Rupert Murdoch on media ethics: pornographer Larry Flynt. In a Sunday Outlook section article is the headline “The people vs. Rupert Murdoch: Hustler magazine founder Larry Flynt says his fellow media mogul has gone too far.” Yes, somehow, Larry Flynt gets to pose as The People.

Flynt lectured at Murdoch: “One cannot live off the liberty and benefits of a free press while ignoring the privacy of the people. People such as Murdoch and I, as heads of publishing conglomerates, have a responsibility to maintain and respect this boundary.” The Post editors clearly enjoy the notion that Larry Flynt oozes on a higher plane than Murdoch in the media world.

By Noel Sheppard | July 16, 2011 | 7:02 PM EDT

People unfortunate enough to be watching MSNBC since Keith Olbermann was forced out in January have noticed a tremendously unqualified "Young Turk" in the 6PM slot that used to be occupied by Ed Schultz.

For the past two weeks, Al Sharpton has filled in for the supposedly vacationing Cenk Uygur, and according to TVNewser, this might be permanent:

By Mike Bates | July 16, 2011 | 3:34 PM EDT

Friday night on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees, the lead story was on a counseling clinic owned by presidential candidate Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and her husband.  Cooper spoke of "allegations that the clinic engages in so-called reparative therapy," described by Cooper as "based on the theory that gay people can be turned into heterosexuals through a combination of prayer and willpower."  The host's use of "so-called" set the stage for CNN political analyst Paul Begala to fulminate.

Using the word "crackpot" to characterize reparative therapy no fewer than nine times, Begala insisted Mrs. Bachmann should be interrogated:

By Brad Wilmouth | July 16, 2011 | 2:37 PM EDT

  On Saturday’s Good Morning America on ABC, after anchor Dan Harris recounted that News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch met and apologized to the family of the 13-year-old murder victim whose phone messages were hacked by a News of the World reporter, correspondent Jeffrey Kofman commented that Murdoch reminded him of Ebenezer Scrooge  approaching Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol, rather than a character from a Shakespearean tragedy. Kofman:

By Noel Sheppard | July 16, 2011 | 2:11 PM EDT

As NewsBusters has been reporting, Friday's installment of HBO's "Real Time" contained possibly the most vile political talk ever aired on national television.

In the final segment, host Bill Maher said, "Sarah Palin is a vainglorious braggart, a liar, a whiner, a professional victim, a scold, a know-it-all, a chiseler, a bully who sells patriotism like a pimp, and the leader of a strange family of inbred weirdos straight out of 'The Hills Have Eyes'” (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By NB Staff | July 16, 2011 | 12:29 PM EDT

For general discussion and debate about politics, the economy, sports, the British Open, or whatever else tickles your fancy.

By Noel Sheppard | July 16, 2011 | 12:16 PM EDT

As NewsBusters previously reported, Friday's "Real Time" on HBO contained some of the most vile political talk ever broadcast on national television.

In one panel segment, gay sex advice columnist Dan Savage said of Republicans, "I wish they were all f--king dead" (video follows with transcript and commentary, extreme vulgarity warning):

By Mike Bates | July 16, 2011 | 12:15 PM EDT

When an adoring mainstream media suspend their fawning long enough to point out that he's lying, Barack Obama must realize his presidency is in trouble.  That's what happened Friday night on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees.

Naturally, Cooper began by claiming Republicans who argue Americans don't want higher taxes use polling data "that's just not true."  No mention was made of this week's Rasmussen Reports survey showing 55 percent of respondents oppose a tax hike in any debt ceiling deal.  But then Cooper turned to Gallup Poll findings used by Obama:

By Tom Blumer | July 16, 2011 | 11:03 AM EDT

Per Reuters blogger James Pethokoukis, Goldman Sachs, demonstrating Democratic-friendly timing similar to that seen at the New York Times a month or so ago, published an extraordinarily gloomy economic forecast last night.

Here are some of the details he quotes:

"Following another week of weak economic data, we have cut our estimates for real GDP growth in the second and third quarter of 2011 to 1.5% and 2.5%, respectively, from 2% and 3.25%. Our forecasts for Q4 and 2012 are under review, but even excluding any further changes we now expect the unemployment rate to come down only modestly to 8¾% at the end of 2012."