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By Tom Blumer | May 17, 2011 | 9:22 PM EDT

UPDATE, May 18: NewsBusters commenter "dreamsincolor" has pointed out that CNN "somehow" forgot Democratic New York Congressman Eric Massa, who resigned in 2009 to avoid "an ethics investigation into alleged misconduct toward a male staff member."

(Begin original post)

Chris Ariens filed a report today at MediaBistro's TVNewser that opened with a reader's Tweet, which plaintively asked: "Did CNN really exclude Spitzer from Malveaux package on Sex Scandals & Politics? Hmm.."

Ariens responds:

The answer: yes it did.

By Tom Blumer | May 17, 2011 | 6:52 PM EDT

Shortly after 8:30 this morning, I began thinking that my e-mail alerts had stopped arriving. So I went to the Census Bureau's web site and learned that its monthly report on housing starts, building permits, and other construction-related news had indeed been released. The news for the already moribund industry was awful: Building permits in April fell by a seasonally adjusted 4% from March and by 12.0% from April 2010, while the comparable tumbles in housing starts were 10.6% and 23.9%, respectively.

Well, my opening and closing bell e-mails arrived as expected. So unless there was a technical glitch, this means that CNNMoney decided not to issue a post-8:30 alert for the bad housing news.

Let's take a look at the two e-mails which did arrive. First, just after the opening bell:

By Noel Sheppard | May 17, 2011 | 6:41 PM EDT

When MSNBC's Chris Matthews isn't calling a potential Republican presidential candidate racist, he's calling them idiots.

On Tuesday's "Hardball," after one of his guests said, "We shouldn’t forget Sarah Palin" as a possible candidate, the host arrogantly shot back, "I think she’s proven herself to be profoundly stupid" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Scott Whitlock | May 17, 2011 | 6:14 PM EDT

Leftist comedian Bill Maher found a receptive audience with MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Tuesday. The HBO comic trashed the United States as "not sophisticated" when it came to sex scandals and derided, "We are a childish country and if somebody has their peepee in the news, then it's going to be a top story for a lot of people."

The Hardball host prompted the attack by wondering if the revelation that Arnold Schwarzenegger fathered a child with another woman while married was really a big deal. He mused, "Is this a political story? Does it say anything about American politics?...Can you compartmentalize?"

The snide comedian mocked, "Well you can you do that but not in America. You can do that in sophisticated countries. We are not one of those."

[See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Matt Hadro | May 17, 2011 | 6:00 PM EDT

Hosting openly-gay CNN anchor Don Lemon on her Monday night show, HLN's Joy Behar lamented that Lemon will have to interview GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum "who seems like a big homophobe."

The liberal host advised Lemon that "you're going to have people sit there with you like Rick Santorum who seems like a big homophobe, and others because they're running for president or whatever, and will talk about gay marriage, et cetera. How do you feel that you'll be able to handle that easily?"

(Video below the break.)

By Lachlan Markay | May 17, 2011 | 5:56 PM EDT

Pro-government union protests in Wisconsin and elsewhere have provided some stunning insight into the double standards that pervade coverage of major protest movements. One such double standard lies in media treatment of threats against public officials. News of the release of more than 100 pages of documented threats against officials of both parties in Wisconsin has brought that double standard to light.

Very often such threats are most intensely focused on a single individual perceived as the leader of the ideological or political opposition. President Obama was the target of perhaps less overt, if certainly as menacing threats during the early stages of his administration when a handful of demonstrators brought firearms to a presidential town hall meeting. That of course dominated the airwaves for the following week, as many in the media bemoaned what they presented almost uniformly as hints at assassination.

In Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker, like President Obama, became the target of much of the rage from pro-union demonstrators. And like Obama, Walker received some very vocal - and in many cases more overt - threats against his life. Unlike threats against the president, however, those directed at Walker have received scant press attention outside of Wisconsin media.

By Kyle Drennen | May 17, 2011 | 5:51 PM EDT

During coverage of Arnold Schwarzengger's admitted affair on Tuesday, members of NBC's Today promoted his wife and their former colleague, Maria Shriver. Correspondent Natalie Morales declared that despite "much public scrutiny" of their marriage, "Many say it was Maria's enduring support through it all that allowed them to become one of America's most powerful couples."

Morales described Shriver as, "a member of the Kennedy political dynasty who became a network news correspondent....[then] left her long-time job at NBC News to support her husband's political career." Morales touted how Shriver's "support then, led to his landslide victory," and remarked: "Since then, the Republican foreign-born action movie star and the liberal polished member of one of America's most prestigious families, became a formidable team."

By Jack Coleman | May 17, 2011 | 5:33 PM EDT

So she insulted half her viewers, the straight ones anyway.

Deploying trademark saccharine smarm, Rachel Maddow last night rushed to defend Planned Parenthood from the predations of Indiana governor Mitch Daniels and like-minded Republicans in the legislature who have blocked federal funding to the abortion provider's clinics in their state.

In the process, Maddow used a surreal approach -- briefly converting her MSNBC studio to a "man cave" that looked like the sports den of a middle-class dad -- then talking down to the men in her audience as knuckle-draggers unable to comprehend beyond football and cars (video below page break) --

By Tim Graham | May 17, 2011 | 4:59 PM EDT

Newsweek religion editor Lisa Miller wrote a story on "The Fight Over Billy Graham's Legacy," but the most notable thing that comes out of it is Miller's loathing of Rev. Franklin Graham (no relation). Miller clearly believes he's mangling his father's moderation, especially when it comes to Islam:

Franklin — who’s been accused of being a rhetorical and theological bully, saying, for example, that Islam is “wicked and evil”— agrees with the assessment that he is less gentle than his dad. “We preach the same Gospel,” Franklin says, but “Daddy hates to say no. I can say no.” Franklin adds that he is much more engaged in the day-to-day management of the BGEA than his father ever was, and through the efforts of his humanitarian organization Samaritan’s Purse has much more experience on the front lines of global conflicts, such as those in Rwanda and the Middle East. This perspective, he argues, justifies his harder edge. “I’ve been doing a different kind of ministry,” he says. “That has shaped my views on a lot of things.”

By Scott Whitlock | May 17, 2011 | 4:24 PM EDT

An irony-deprived George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday expressed amazement that Arnold Schwarzenegger involved himself in politics despite such a messy personal life. Yet, back in 2003, the former Clinton operative touted Maria Shriver's "stand by your man" defense of her "A+" husband.

Appearing on the October 6, 2003 Good Morning America, he marveled how it was "very similar to what Hillary Clinton did back in Bill Clinton's campaign. It's probably his best defense right now."

By Ken Shepherd | May 17, 2011 | 4:12 PM EDT

"Today on the program, we'll ask whether Americans are losing the skills of true debate and with it a central pillar of this democracy," BBC's Jonny Dymond informed listeners of the May 15 "Americana" podcast.

Yet when it came to Dymond's guests, there was no dissent from the liberal line. 

Take guest  Charles Pierce, a Boston Globe columnist and author of "Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free."

During his segment, Pierce decried the state of debate in America over global warming lamenting that "it is impossible to accept the reality of global climate change and get nominated in the Republican Party."


By Matt Hadro | May 17, 2011 | 3:00 PM EDT

CNN anchor Don Lemon grabbed headlines over the weekend with his Twitter announcement that he is gay. On Monday his co-workers provided plenty of time for him on two separate shows to share his story and his own views on the gay-rights issue, and showered him with support. As if that wasn't enough, he asked them in turn to do the same for others "who choose to come out."

"I really appreciate all the support, and I hope you continue to support not only me, but other people who choose to come out," Lemon told afternoon Newsroom host Brooke Baldwin. In the past, Lemon has himself provided a podium for gay rights activists to makes themselves heard, though he claims objectivity on the issue.

(Video after the break.)

By Clay Waters | May 17, 2011 | 2:10 PM EDT

After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the downfall of the Soviet Union, the New York Times and other liberal media outlets often produced stories suggesting a bright side to the fallen dictatorships. The trend was notoriously encapsulated in a February 12, 1992 Times headline marking the release of the last political prisons of the Soviet era: "A Gulag Breeds Rage, Yes, but Also Serenity."

Similarly, the Times often latched on to the chaos of the Iraq war to suggest things had in at least some ways been better under the rulership of bloody dictator Saddam Hussein, responsible for the torture and killing of hundreds of thousands of people, Kurds, Iranians, and Iraqis.

A late and particularly insensitive entry in the field came on Sunday, Michael Schmidt and Yasir Ghazi, "As Baghdad Erupts in Riot of Color, Calls to Tone It Down," suggesting that "Baghdad has weathered invasion, occupation, sectarian warfare and suicide bombers. But now it faces a new scourge: tastelessness."

By Penny Starr | May 17, 2011 | 1:22 PM EDT

Next year on Earth Day, the Obama administration plans to announce which U.S. schools have been selected as “Green Ribbon Schools,” a designation that will “honor” schools for “creating healthy and sustainable learning environments” and for “teaching environmental literacy.”

The Green Ribbon Schools program was announced in late April, but details on how schools will be picked or what the honor entails have not been released.

By Clay Waters | May 17, 2011 | 1:14 PM EDT

Tuesday’s New York Times featured a rare excursion into print by Timothy Egan, liberal Times reporter turned leftist blogger, excoriating Republicans like Rep. Paul Ryan and the "Tea Party political illiterates" as greed-heads for wanting to reform the bankrupt Medicare system: "The Need for Greed."

The bet was audacious from the beginning, and given the miserable, low-down tenor of contemporary politics, not unfathomable: Could you divide the country between greedy geezers and everyone else as a way to radically alter the social contract?

But in order for the Republican plan to turn Medicare, one of most popular government programs in history, into a much-diminished voucher system, the greed card had to work.