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By Tom Blumer | January 30, 2011 | 9:52 AM EST

To add an exclamation point to Brad Wilmouth's great post last night ("ABC Pushes for Tax Hike on Capital Gains, Ignores Likelihood of Tax Revenue Loss") -- in ignoring the likelihood that raising the capital gains tax rate would reduce capital gains tax collections, the network also "somehow" forgot now-retired World News Tonight anchor Charles Gibson's aggressive questioning on the topic during an April 2008 Democratic Party presidential debate.

That night, ABC, represented by Gibson and George Stephanopoulos, who was then the host of ABC's Sunday morning news show, drove leftists crazy (noted at the time in NewsBusters posts here and here), because, as NB's Brent Bozell noted, "For once it veered from liberal orthodoxy."

One of Gibson's "veers" consisted of questions he asked presidential contenders Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton about capital gains taxation. The now-defunct New York Sun characterized it as "Gibson's Finest Hour" (I would suggest that it might really have been "Gibson's Only Fine Hour"), and wrote it up thusly (internal link added by me; bolds are mine):

By Brad Wilmouth | January 29, 2011 | 10:34 PM EST

  On Friday’s World News, and again on Saturday morning’s Good Morning America, ABC ran reports highlighting hedge fund manager John Paulson’s "jaw-dropping" 2010 income from capital gains, fretting that he will not pay as high a tax rate as many regular income earners, and referring to Paulson’s lower tax rate as a "loophole" or a "tax break." GMA co-anchor Dan Harris even relayed complaints of "extreme unfairness."

Both reports ignored the historical evidence - recounted below - that raising capital gains tax rates leads to revenue losses for the government, and instead concentrated on the complaints of those who want to see a tax increase. Both reports also misleadingly referred to "so many Americans" or "the typical American" paying income tax rates of "up to 35 percent," without noting that many lower-income Americans pay no income taxes while the 35 percent rate only applies to higher-income earners. And the idea of cutting the income tax rate on many Americans to move it closer to 15 percent certainly was not mentioned.

On Friday’s World News, anchor Diane Sawyer set up that show’s piece:

By Noel Sheppard | January 29, 2011 | 5:18 PM EST

As NewsBusters has been reporting almost ad nauseam, Chris Matthews spent much of last week mercilessly lambasting Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann with cherry-picked and distorted quotes far afield of their intended meaning.

On Friday, the “Hardball” host got a touch of instant karma when he said the Panama Canal is in Egypt (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Noel Sheppard | January 29, 2011 | 3:16 PM EST

It seems these days whenever Bill Maher opens his mouth, he's bound to stick his foot in it while saying something totally devoid of logic or factual basis.

Consider Friday's "Real Time" on HBO when with his final "New Rule," he claimed the economic business philosophy of NFL football is similar to that of the Democratic Party while Major League Baseball's is more in line with the Republicans (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Mark Finkelstein | January 29, 2011 | 1:57 PM EST

Come, let us reason together with our GOP compatriots.  But in the meantime, send us some cash to defeat those Republican liars. That was the decidedly mixed message that this fervent hope-and-changer received from Pres. Obama today in his fundraising email on behalf of Harry Reid and his merry band at the Dem senatorial campaign committee.

PBO was clearly trying to channel the new "civility" fad.  The email's subject was "Lift Our Country," and contained the prez's earnest admonition that "it is not enough to talk about common ground. We must -- together -- seek it."  Can you feel the love?

A bit later, the president informed us that "this is a moment that calls for respect and a seriousness of purpose from lawmakers of every party and persuasion." But just when you thought PBO was about to propose splitting the fund-raising take with his Republican soulmates, the prez couldn't stop himself from taking a typical partisan shot:

By Noel Sheppard | January 29, 2011 | 12:17 PM EST

It's a metaphysical certitude that whenever anything happens in the Middle East, the media will quickly blame former President George W. Bush and the war in Iraq.

Not missing the opportunity to do so, Chris Matthews began the 5PM installment of "Hardball" Friday connecting the riots in Egypt to a man that has been out of office for two years (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Noel Sheppard | January 29, 2011 | 11:27 AM EST

Reagan was always underestimated by his friends and by his opponents. He actually believed that was an advantage. Many political opponents thought he would be an easy mark. But his overwhelming victories in the four elections he won revealed the folly of such suppositions.

So wrote Ed Meese in the Washington Examiner Thursday.

By NB Staff | January 29, 2011 | 11:16 AM EST

For general discussion and debate about all things relating to politics, the economy, and sports.

Possible talking point: Egypt.

How serious is the situation in Egypt? Will this result in a full-scale revolution that topples Mubarak? If so, will this become religious leading to some kind of new Islamic government such as in Iran? Or will Mubarak get control of the situation?

By Noel Sheppard | January 29, 2011 | 10:56 AM EST

In the middle of a rather comical exchange on PBS's "Inside Washington" Friday evening, Washington Post columnist Colby King accused fellow panelist Charles Krauthammer of being "cranky" concerning President Obama's State of the Union address.

Not at all surprising to fans of the Fox News contributor, Krauthammer struck back and did so quite impressively (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Clay Waters | January 29, 2011 | 10:55 AM EST

Not content with casting doubt on charges made by New York City Councilman Daniel Halloran, Republican of Queens, of a union-authorized work slowdown during the infamous blizzard that hit Manhattan the day after Christmas, New York Times reporters Russ Buettner and William Rashbaum dove into his personal finances to discredit him in Wednesday’s “Evidence Is Elusive on Charge Of a Blizzard Work Slowdown.”

Given the importance the Times evidently places on the financial situation of the wives of its subjects, one wonders about the paper's casual attitude when one of its own economics reporters, Edmund Andrews, wrote “Busted,” a May 2009 book about his own personal mortgage crisis that denounced greedy banks, yet left out his wife's previous two bankruptcies.

The story rocketed around New York City when streets went uncleared after the Dec. 26 blizzard: Sanitation workers, angry about job reductions, had deliberately staged a work slowdown.

It resulted in wisecracks on “Saturday Night Live,” fiery denunciations of unions on cable news and four criminal investigations.

And it occurred because one man, Councilman Daniel J. Halloran, Republican of Queens, said five city workers had come to his office during the storm and told him they had been explicitly ordered to take part in a slowdown to embarrass Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

By Tom Blumer | January 29, 2011 | 10:17 AM EST

Ten days ago, on the eve of the House vote to repeal ObamaCare, Kathleen Sebelius's Department or Health and Human Services issued a fearmongering press release saying that "129 million Americans with a pre-existing condition could be denied coverage without new health reform law."

Ten days later, on a Friday afternoon (naturally), the Associated Press's Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar finally got around to skeptically evaluating HHS's claim. Way to be there at crunch time, Ricardo (/sarc).

Here are selected paragraphs from Ricardo's rendition:

By Tom Blumer | January 29, 2011 | 8:35 AM EST

It seems that Associated Press Business Writer David K. Randall made a bad call yesterday. But he only has himself to blame for engaging in what he should have known was wishful thinking.

Shortly after the government's report on economic growth during the fourth quarter of 2010 came in with an annualized 3.2% reading, Randall put out this this short report:

Stocks edge up after stronger GDP report

 

Stocks are rising in early trading after a report showed that the U.S. economy is growing.

 

... The Dow Jones is up 7 points, or 0.1 percent, to 11,997 in morning trading. The S&P 500 is up 1, or 0.1 percent, to 1,300. The Nasdaq composite is flat at 2,755.

What piffle.

By Noel Sheppard | January 29, 2011 | 1:56 AM EST

Bill Maher has for years bragged about his love for marijuana and his desire for drugs to be legalized.

On HBO's "Real Time" Friday, the sometimes comedian linked our nation's education problems to drugs claiming, "The kids are dumbasses and their parents are dumbasses and they’re taking drugs and f--king and not learning" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Jack Coleman | January 28, 2011 | 9:00 PM EST

Rachel Maddow's self-proclaimed "obsessive" devotion to the truth again proves fickle.

As an example of what she sees as the resurgence of wedge issues, Maddow said this on her MSNBC show last night --

The culture war era conspiracy theories about black helicopters and a one-world government secretly pursued by America's elites, that stuff is back from the culture war eras too. The new Republican head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee convened the first hearing of that committee this week. What's the topic? Get the US out of the UN!

To back up Maddow's hypercaffeinated claim (she tends to talk in italics), an article titled "House Republicans' next target: the United Nations" from Foreign Policy magazine was shown on the screen. Awkwardly absent from the actual article was any mention of what Maddow claimed.

By NB Staff | January 28, 2011 | 5:46 PM EST

When Republican presidents in years past delivered their State of the Union addresses, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell noted this morning, "no sooner had the words, 'God bless America,' left their lips than the analysts were there... just pouncing on them, pointing out any discrepancy, pointing out any controversy, ridiculing any mistake."

Now "along comes Barack Obama, and the same outlets, now they have this national, maybe international fainting spell," Bozell complained to Fox News Channel's Steve Doocy on Friday's "Fox & Friends."

For the video of the full segment, watch the embed below the page break. To listen to the MP3 audio, click here.