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By Ken Shepherd | April 15, 2011 | 5:16 PM EDT

Yesterday afternoon, the Bloomberg financial news service picked up on a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers showing that U.S. companies pay the sixth highest effective corporate tax rates in the world.

"The tax rate for the largest U.S. companies between 2006 and 2009 was 27.7 percent, compared with a non-U.S. average of 19.5 percent, according to the study," reporter Richard Rubin noted. "Excluding the U.S., companies based in industrialized countries had an average rate of 22.6 percent."

But when the Washington Post picked up the story, it condensed the 15-paragraph Bloomberg story to a two-sentence squib on the Economy & Business page on A17 (see screencap of print edition PDF below):

By Alex Fitzsimmons | April 15, 2011 | 5:10 PM EDT

Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) demanded an answer to a question today that the MRC has been asking for years: why do so many journalists refuse to ask President Barack Obama tough questions?

On the April 15 edition of MSNBC's "Martin Bashir," Walsh pressed the anchor after which the program is named on why he and his colleagues are such Obama sycophants, pointing to the media's unwillingness to criticize the Democratic president for ignoring entitlement reform in his initial budget blueprint.

By Scott Whitlock | April 15, 2011 | 4:27 PM EDT

The April 18 edition of Newsweek trashed Republican Paul Ryan as a "scrooge" who is declaring "war" on poor Americans. The piece by Jonathan Chait ripped the Representative's budget proposal and included this cover headline: "Why GOP Scrooge Paul Ryan Is a Fraud."

The failing publication, which was sold for $1 in 2010, featured an equally vicious headline inside the magazine: "War on the Weak: How the GOP Came to View the Poor as Parasites and the Rich as Our Rightful Rulers."

By Ken Shepherd | April 15, 2011 | 2:54 PM EDT

Robert Redford's "The Conspirator" is a thinly-veiled political allegory warning against the danger of trying terrorists in military tribunals. And that's why his movie about the military trial of Lincoln assassination conspirator Mary Surratt is problematic.

That's not me talking, that's Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday in her April 15 movie review:

By Tim Graham | April 15, 2011 | 1:43 PM EDT

Brian Maloney at Radio Equalizer was stunned to hear trial lawyer and radio host Mike Papantonio (formerly of Air America) say on the Ed Schultz radio show that Barack Obama is "carrying our spear" for the progressives.

Maloney wrote: "JUST IMAGINE the reaction to a conservative host using ‘Obama’ and ‘spear’ in the same sentence! It would dominate the news cycle for days.But don't expect Sharpton & Friends to protest this one." Maloney’s blog has this audio from April 13:

By Alex Fitzsimmons | April 15, 2011 | 1:00 PM EDT

Asked to comment on the partisan budget speeches Barack Obama delivered this week, NBC's David Gregory asserted the Democratic president is finding his "groove" by criticizing "crazy" House Republicans.

"I think he's finding a groove where he can both speak to the Left but really court the independent voters we talk so much about," posited Gregory on the April 15 edition of MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

By Noel Sheppard | April 15, 2011 | 1:00 PM EDT

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) has an absolutely must-read op-ed in Friday's Washington Post.

What follows is just a tease, as readers are strongly encouraged to review the entire marvelous piece:

By Scott Whitlock | April 15, 2011 | 12:09 PM EDT

According to Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos, Barack Obama "loves" talking about the birther issue, thinking it will help his reelection bid. Journalists on the ABC program seem to share this fondness, having repeatedly highlighted the issue.

Stephanopoulos introduced an interview on Friday by marveling to co-host Robin Roberts: "I thought he'd take a pass, but [Obama] seemed to love talking about [birthers]."

During the segment, the host offered Obama an easy opportunity to complain about those who don't believe he was born in America: "I mean all of us have been struck by Donald Trump rising to the top of the Republican field by feeding fantasies about your background.  What do you make of that?"


By NB Staff | April 15, 2011 | 11:46 AM EDT

Aside from ABC's Jake Tapper, where were the denunciations from the media of President Obama's uncivil, hyper-partisan speech on the budget the other day at George Washington University (GWU)?

That's a question that NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell asked on last night's "Media Mash" segment on Fox News Channel's "Hannity."

It was a speech that the president invited Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to sit in on, and "then savaged him."

By Kyle Drennen | April 15, 2011 | 11:16 AM EDT

In an interview with Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Meredith Vieira exploited recent instances of air traffic controllers falling asleep on the job to bash Republican efforts to curb government spending: "...the House signed a bill – passed a bill, I'm sorry – that would cut $4 billion from your budget. Are you worried about that?"

In response Lahood proclaimed: "Of course we're worried about it. And I think these incidents prove up the case that we can't let money stand in the way of safety....Money will never compromise safety. That will always be our priority for the flying public." Vieira followed up: "But just so I understand, are you saying that that $4 billion cut would negatively impact aviation safety?"

By Tim Graham | April 15, 2011 | 9:48 AM EDT

On Thursday’s Morning Edition, NPR reporter Andrea Seabrook said most Republicans don’t like the Paul Ryan Budget (except the "far right") and "most Republicans like Medicare, and they don’t even want to tinker with it around the edges." Then anchor Steve Inskeep played up Charlie Cook suggesting Republicans have a "death wish" if they want to try and reform Medicare spending.

STEVE INSKEEP: What exactly is it that some Republicans don't like?

ANDREA SEABROOK: Well, one of the main ways the Ryan budget saves money over the coming decades is by shifting the Medicare into a private program with commercial insurance companies - in essence, ending the Medicare program as we know it today, as Mara was just talking about. That's OK with a lot of the far-right social conservatives and Tea Party-backed Republicans.

By Noel Sheppard | April 15, 2011 | 9:47 AM EDT

It certainly isn't a surprise that Nobel laureate Paul Krugman was far more pleased with the deficit reduction plan proposed by Barack Obama this week than the one unveiled by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) last week.

In Friday's New York Times column "Who's Serious Now?" the unabashed liberal declared the President's proposal "really serious" and the Congressman's "a sick joke":

By Dave Pierre | April 15, 2011 | 1:00 AM EDT

As Christians observe Holy Week and the anticipation of Easter, PBS' Frontline program will air another investigation into abuse by clergy of the Catholic Church. In an episode entitled, "The Silence," the program (Tue. 4/19/11) is scheduled to profile the awful abuse from decades ago of under-aged Native Americans and Eskimos in Alaska.

The network claims that it is covering "a little-known chapter of the Catholic Church sex abuse story." Yet the narrative is hardly "little known." The New York Times, for example, has run a number of articles in the past few years about this topic, while the Los Angeles Times ran a humungous front-page piece about these cases a while back. (We even commented on it at the time.)

By Tom Blumer | April 14, 2011 | 11:27 PM EDT

The undisguised bias of a dispatch tonight by Associated Press reporter Laurie Kellman, with help from Scott Bauer, about Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's appearance before a Congressional committee may have as its source two items found at the Newspaper Guild's web site (seen after the jump).

One is an announcement relating to a possible deterioration in the Guild's negotiations with AP, where union members have been working without a contract since November. Immediately below the announcement is an extraordinarily mean and spiteful cartoon produced by "alternative" comic Tom Tomorrow directed at Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan which has no place at the site of a group wishing to at least maintain a fig-leaf pretense of objectivity.

First let's look at several of the sentences seen in the 10:26 p.m. version of the pair's report (saved here at my host for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) -- after the headline ("Wisconsin governor defends hobbling unions'), with which the AP pair may have had help:

By Noel Sheppard | April 14, 2011 | 9:41 PM EDT

Now that President Obama has put tax increases on the table in order to balance the budget, his media are going to put even more pressure on Republicans to comply.

A fine example of this happened on CNN's "John King USA" Thursday when the host actually asked Sen. Rob Portman (R-Oh.), "Should Republicans now have the open mind and the courage to maybe lose their jobs like President Bush did for the good of the country and at least say entering the conversation, 'We won't flatly, ideologically, reflexively rule out any tax increases?'" (video follows with transcript and commentary):