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By Matt Hadro | January 31, 2011 | 4:49 PM EST

On Monday's "Morning Joe," MSNBC co-host Joe Scarborough hinted that President Obama may have been a major catalyst of the current protests against the authoritarian Mubarak regime in Egypt. Scarborough referred to the president's 2009 Cairo speech and wondered if it inspired the present protests.

"Barack Obama, he goes to Cairo, he gives a speech, and he inspires – perhaps he's the one who inspires a lot of these Egyptians to get out into the streets eventually," Scarborough proposed.

The "Morning Joe" panel was discussing the transition of power in Egypt and how it might affect American politics. Scarborough characterized President Obama as on the one hand a possible galvanizing figure in the current push for freedom in Egypt, and yet on the other hand a world leader accused of inaction during oppression of Iranians by their government in 2009.
 

By Noel Sheppard | January 31, 2011 | 4:29 PM EST

Within minutes of the tragic shootings in Tucson, the Left and their media minions were sure that violent rhetoric and gun imagery were responsible for inciting Jared Lee Loughner to that heinous act.

Now, just 23 days since that horrible event and after all kinds of calls for a toning down of such rhetoric, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has issued a press release entitled "DCCC Launches 'Drive to 25' Ad & Grassroots Campaign in Targeted Districts" (image courtesy World Net Daily:

By Ken Shepherd | January 31, 2011 | 3:27 PM EST

The Daily Beast contributor who once insisted that there's "no such thing as sharia law" is at it again, dismissing the threat of radical Islam presented by the political instability in Egypt.

In a January 30 post at Washington Post/Newsweek's "On Faith" feature yesterday, Reza Aslan dismissed fears that the Muslim Brotherhood is a radical group that could take Egypt in a theocratic direction should strongman Hosni Mubarak be forcibly ousted from power, even though members of the Brotherhood have expressed admiration for Osama bin Laden.

Aslan, a creative writing professor at the University of California Riverside, particularly singled out two socially conservative Republicans who are rumored 2012 presidential contenders, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.):

By Tim Graham | January 31, 2011 | 2:45 PM EST

As the nation prepares to pay tribute to former President Ronald Reagan on the 100th anniversary of his birth on February 6, it is amazing to consider that his success at turning the U.S. away from 1960s-style liberalism was accomplished in the face of a daily wave of news media hostility. The media’s first draft of history was more myth than reality: that Reagan only brought the nation poverty, ignorance, bankruptcy, and a dangerously imbalanced foreign and defense policy.

The Media Research Center has assembled a report documenting the “objective” national media’s most biased takes on President Reagan, his record and his times. It's now posted at MRC.org (complete with PDF), including 22 video clips and matching MP3 audio:

I. Reagan the Man: Reporters often agonized over why the American public liked Reagan, that they couldn’t see through the White House spell and see Reagan in the contemptuous light that the media did.

By Tim Graham | January 31, 2011 | 1:53 PM EST

Phil Rosenthal of the Chicago Tribune interviewed former NBC anchorman Tom Brokaw, and asked the question: Are NBC and MSNBC better off  now that Keith Olbermann is gone? "You're not going to get me to go there," Brokaw said. With a little prodding, he said he believes MSNBC will do just fine.

"All of our component parts — NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC — are much bigger than one player, and I include myself in that," Brokaw said. "If I went away tomorrow, NBC News would still be the dominant news division in America. There ain't none of us who is irreplaceable."

But knowing Brokaw's public feelings that Olbermann had "gone too far" in celebrating Obama, it's not hard to read the Tom-won/Keith-lost vibe in his comments:

 

By Kyle Drennen | January 31, 2011 | 1:35 PM EST

At the top of the 7:30AM ET half hour on Monday's CBS Early Show, co-host Chris Wragge happily proclaimed: "After 130 years, [Thomas] Edison's invention is basically being phased out....The government is replacing the incandescent bulb with a much more energy efficient light."

Wragge portrayed the government ban as a new "choice" for consumers: "Consumers will now have a choice of two different kinds of bulbs, the CFL and LED and we're going to tell you the difference and which one is better for you, which one's going to be a little more cost effective." Co-host Erica Hill lamented: "It's a tough transition....It's hard to let go." Wragge reassured her: "Well, we're going to hopefully make that process a little easier for you." Hill concluded: "It's been a good run, Thomas Edison."

By Scott Whitlock | January 31, 2011 | 11:18 AM EST

ABCNews.com on Monday republished, then removed an article from Mother Jones magazine on Republicans "redefining rape." The piece briefly appeared on the network's website with no explanation that it was by the associate editor of the liberal magazine.

The article, by Nick Baumann, featured both the incendiary headline from Mother Jones, "The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape" and the nasty sub-headline: "Drugged, raped, and pregnant? Too bad. Republicans are pushing to limit rape and incest cases eligible for government abortion funding."

Unlike CBSNews.com, which has an opinion and analysis section, this article received no label. One could easily assume Baumann was simply an ABC News journalist.

By Tom Blumer | January 31, 2011 | 10:53 AM EST

It would appear that if it weren't for the center-right blogosphere, Fox News, a few business dailies, a few conservative pundits, and talk radio, very few people would know about the hundreds of waivers granted by the Obama administration to companies, unions, not-for-profits, states, and other entities wishing to be spared the burdens of complying with Obamacare for at least another year.

The latest count as of last Wednesday's Health and Human Services Department press release was 732, including four states: Massachusetts, Ohio, New Jersey, and Tennessee.

That the waiver situation is not more widely known is largely due to the fact that the establishment press has shown almost no interest in it.

The Associated Press has had five days to cover HHS's latest release. It is news, as HHS's release was, as far as I can tell, the first indication that "Over 500 waivers were granted in December." Here is the result of a search on "health waivers" (not in quotes) at the AP's main web site at about 10:00 this morning:

By Ken Shepherd | January 31, 2011 | 10:18 AM EST

Last fall, Richard Dreyfuss launched a civics education program called the Dreyfuss Initiative that promised among other things to look at "a purposeful diverse variety of websites representing disparate political opinions... to foster a discussion related to the future of America." But the Academy Award-winning actor apparently thinks civil political discourse includes left-wing radio hosts wishing for Dick Cheney's death.

At a January 25 press conference at the National Press Club, CNSNews.com's* Nicholas Ballasy asked Dreyfuss about comments that liberal MSNBC host Ed Schultz had made on his March 11, 2009 radio program wherein he wished that "enemy of the country" former Vice President Dick Cheney would be taken by God to "the Promised Land."

"No, that’s not uncivil. That’s actually kind of a beautifully phrased way of saying something that could be uncivil," Dreyfuss told Ballasy.

[For the full video, click play on the embed that follows after the page break]

By Noel Sheppard | January 31, 2011 | 10:17 AM EST

As NewsBusters has been reporting, the folks at MSNBC last week - in particular Chris Matthews - spent a great deal of time attacking former Alaska governor Sarah Palin and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) for comments they erroneously felt disqualified the conservative women from public office.

Will this network and its commentators pay as much attention to Sen. Chuck Schumer's (D-N.Y.) remarks on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday wherein he claimed the three branches of government are the House, the Senate, and the president (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By NB Staff | January 31, 2011 | 9:18 AM EST

Over the weekend, libertarian billionaires Charles and David Koch convened a conference of like-minded businessmen and policymakers at the Rancho Las Palmas resort to discuss election strategy and the future of classical liberalism. Outside, a hodgepodge of lefty protest groups gathered to whine about the influence of money in politics. In a completely unsurprising show of hypocrisy, Soros-funded groups such as Common Cause and the Center for American Progress joined the ruckus.

The irony was not lost on conference participant Tim Carney, who wrote in Monday's Washington Examiner:

By Noel Sheppard | January 31, 2011 | 8:44 AM EST

On Friday, MSNBC's Chris Matthews blamed the crisis in Egypt on George W. Bush and the Iraq war.

Two days later, climate alarmist extraodinaire Joe Romm blamed it on - wait for it! - global warming:

By Tim Graham | January 31, 2011 | 8:07 AM EST

Alexandra Steigrad of Women's Wear Daily is a fan of Lawrence O'Donnell: "O’Donnell’s circuitous, introspective ramblings off the air, while profound, contrast with the often cutting and incisive style of his on-air questioning. And it’s that elegant, well-groomed O’Donnell who masterfully navigated himself to near the top of MSNBC’s ratings by invoking the wrath of the right-wing media sensation Beck."

O'Donnell apparently dresses well for a self-admitted socialist (see Morning Joe), "clad in a black suit, light blue shirt and charcoal textured silk tie by Dolce & Gabbana, Tod’s loafers and Seize sur Vingt socks." Sound expensive? Yep. The blog The Cable Game did the research:

By Tim Graham | January 31, 2011 | 8:00 AM EST

Following up on CBS worrying about Republicans satisfying the "conservative right wing" on abortion: At the Daily Kos, Saturday's Open Thread by Dante Atkins kissed up to Kos founder Markos Moulitsas, hyping his "American Taliban" attack line again, this time about H.R. 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. Atkins can't imagine why anyone wouldn't want their tax dollars going to the exercise of the heroic right to abortion, especially after statutory rape:

It's the type of thing that really makes you wonder what's wrong with people. Is it any wonder that women tend to vote for Democrats? The GOP thinks that unless you were hogtied or had a knife brandished at you, you deserve whatever you get. Why not just put women in a burqa, assign them a male relative as an escort, and be done with it? Then the transition to American Taliban can be complete. 

By Brad Wilmouth | January 31, 2011 | 12:34 AM EST

 Catching up on an item from last Thursday’s CBS Evening News, after recounting for the second time the case of Philadelphia abortion Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s horrific practice, anchor Katie Couric introduced a piece devoted to upcoming political fights over abortion. During the report, opponents of abortion were twice labeled as "conservatives," while the word "liberals" was never used to refer to advocates of abortion rights. The report also finally mentioned - briefly - the March for Life pro-life rally from earlier in the week in the nation’s capital.

As the report reiterated the case of Dr. Gosnell, the argument on both sides of the debate was presented as to which side is bolstered by his callous activities. Couric: "Criminal abuse like this is extremely rare, but it's not stopping both sides in the abortion debate from using the case to re-energize supporters."

After correspondent Elaine Quijano made the case on both sides, ideological labels soon came. Correspondent Nancy Cordes: "Republicans are now back in power in the House at least, after a walk in the desert, and they have certain constituencies that they need to satisfy. One of those constituencies is the conservative right wing of the party for whom abortion is a very important issue all the time."