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By Tim Graham | September 8, 2011 | 3:03 PM EDT

If there is a standard liberal line on Ronald Reagan today, it is this bizarre notion that Reagan is so far left of the current Republican contenders that they'd rip him to pieces if he were alive.

Today's case in point: Washington Post columnist/blogger Ezra Klein insists Reagan "would have been destroyed" on the stage last night, since he had such a deep pragmatic streak as president. Yes, that's the same president the media often portrayed during his two terms as an ultra-conservative nut. (Not so much Ezra Klein, who was born in 1984.)

By Matthew Sheffield | September 8, 2011 | 2:43 PM EDT

In next year's presidential election, the toughest opponent the eventual Republican nominee will face will be the liberal press. As a political neophyte who had not even completed a single term in the U.S. Senate prior to his election, Barack Obama was and is a creature of the media. Without the iron-clad grip that liberals hold on public discourse at the national level, there's simply no way that he ever would have been elected in 2008. His numerous subsequent failures have made it all the more necessary that liberal journalists come forward to obfuscate his failures and shift attention to attacks on Republicans. Fear and loathing is the new hope-a-dope.

There's a growing sense of this reality on the right which is why the focus in the primary season has increasingly turned to the self-proclaimed objective press, particularly during last night's debate hosted by NBC News and the Politico.

I blogged earlier about Newt Gingrich's attack on co-moderator John F. Harris but another moment of note last night was when Harris's colleague, NBC anchor Brian Williams, haughtily attacked the audience after it sarcastically cheered against his question to Texas governor Rick Perry about capital punishment.

By Kyle Drennen | September 8, 2011 | 12:56 PM EDT

Talking to MSNBC host Joe Scarborough on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry fretted over a handful of congressional Republicans declining to attend President Obama's upcoming jobs speech to a joint session of Congress: "At least three Republicans are not going to be in the audience....is this disrespectful to the office of the president, Joe?"

Scarborough responded: "I don't know if it's disrespectful. I don't think it's very smart....Americans want to see these two sides working together. Now, that may not excite the base, but that's exactly where middle America is."

By Scott Whitlock | September 8, 2011 | 12:51 PM EDT

The morning after eight Republican presidential candidates debated each other in California, all three morning shows brought on a Democrat, White House chief of staff William Daley.

Good Morning America, the Early Show and Today all offered varying degrees of tough questions for Mr. Daley. But, couldn't the networks have at least found one Republican candidate willing to appear on-air?

[See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By NB Staff | September 8, 2011 | 11:15 AM EDT

"If Rush Limbaugh or you on your radio show said we have to take out Obama, you know darn well that tomorrow morning every editorial in America would be accusing you of inciting violence," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell said to Fox News host Sean Hannity last night. Yet when  James Hoffa said the same thing about Tea Party conservatives, liberal journalists at MSNBC actually defended the Teamsters president.

"MSNBC is aiding and abetting on this character assassination campaign against some very good people," the Media Research Center founder argued on the September 7 "Media Mash" segment.

For the full segment's video, watch the embed below or listen to the MP3 audio here.

By Noel Sheppard | September 8, 2011 | 10:34 AM EDT

Days before the tenth anniversary of 9/11, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough released an antiwar song featuring powerful images of that horrible attack on our nation along with a message to bring our soldiers home from our current incursions.

The music video "Reason To Believe" was aired on Thursday's "Morning Joe," and I caught up with the host by phone shortly after the show's conclusion (video follows with highlights along with commentary from Scarborough and me):

By NB Staff | September 8, 2011 | 10:16 AM EDT

While the Left has long held the upper hand in appearing to implement morally superior policies, according to Jim Lacey at National Review, their policies have had particularly negative impacts on poor parts of America and abroad. From often debilitating and expensive policies, including being forced to use alternative energy or banned from using genetically modified food, Lacey explains, "leftist policies continue to destroy the lives of tens of millions in this country and billions worldwide." He adds,

Soon after I published an article questioning the global-warming orthodoxy, the world’s foremost hypocrite, Al Gore, informed anyone who still listens to him that my position is akin to racism. The wise course of action would be to ignore the rants of a man who desperately needs the world to remain fearful of carbon, the element on which all life on earth is based. …

Who do you think holds the moral high ground? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

By Clay Waters | September 8, 2011 | 10:13 AM EDT

G.O.P. Stands On Health Mask Records As Governors,” Kevin Sack’s story Sunday on how three current or former G.O.P. governors implemented health care in their states, led the Sunday national section of the New York Times. As usual, Gov. Perry got his share of brickbats, this time for supposedly depriving his citizens of health insurance and prenatal care through state stinginess. (The subject also came up at the Republican presidential debate Wednesday night.)

The three most prominent current or former governors running for president -- Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Jon M. Huntsman Jr. -- are firmly united in their commitment to repealing President Obama’s health care law. But that unanimity masks a broad divergence in their approaches to the issue while in office, spanning the spectrum of Republican positioning.

By Julia A. Seymour | September 8, 2011 | 9:26 AM EDT

Just like in Groundhog Day when Bill Murray wakes up to the same day each and every morning, it appears Americans will feel a frustrating sense of déjà vu listening to President Obama's jobs speech on Sept. 8.

According to Bloomberg, Obama's not-so-new plan "follows the contours of his $830 billion 2009 economic stimulus package." This time around, Obama will call for $300 billion for tax breaks and infrastructure spending. Never mind that the first one didn't work as promised. Meanwhile, the network news media are treating the ideas from his speech like new solutions, instead of more of the same.

By Mark Finkelstein | September 8, 2011 | 8:19 AM EDT

Lincoln's Gettysburg Address?  FDR's  day of infamy and nothing to fear but fear itself? JFK's ask not? Reagan's Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall?  Meh.  Not bad I suppose, but nothing compared with Barack Obama's immortal rhetoric, such as when he proclaimed, uh, like, when he intoned, that is . . .

On today's Morning Joe, the unctuous Harold Ford, Jr. went into sycophantic overdrive, telling White House press secretary Jay Carney that President Obama is "the greatest orator that the office has ever known." Video after the jump.

By Brent Baker | September 8, 2011 | 7:58 AM EDT

NBC’s Brian Williams and Politico’s John Harris peppered the NBC News/Politico debate inside the Air Force One pavilion at the Reagan Library with questions from the left, repeatedly pressing the Republican presidential candidates with liberal talking points and Democratic agenda items.

That’s time which could have been better spent advancing issues and concerns of Republican primary voters interested in differences amongst the candidates, not in forcing the candidates to defend conservative positions despised by MSNBC viewers and hosts. (Compilation video after jump)

By Clay Waters | September 8, 2011 | 7:42 AM EDT

New York Times editorial board member Brent Staples, who reviewed Randall Kennedy’s “Persistence of the Color Line” for the Sunday Book Review, discussed race, Obama, and “rabid conservatives” at the front of the section.

Staples said his view of President Obama is partly shaped by what they have in common:

By Tom Blumer | September 7, 2011 | 11:57 PM EDT

It's hard to figure out why Tom Krisher at the Associated Press bothered filing a report on the status of contract talks between Detroit's Big 3 automakers and the United Auto Workers. The only reason I can discern is that he wanted to brag about how he and his wire service pals have access to anonymously-sourced info about how the talks are going. Surprise: As has been the case almost always for about the past 30-plus years, It's coming down to the wire with the two sides supposedly far apart at two of the three companies. Knock me over with a feather.

Krisher failed to inform readers of three quite important sets of facts. First (seriously), he never told readers that General Motors and Chrysler workers have no-strike contract clauses prohibiting them from job actions until 2015, i.e., only Ford is financially vulnerable. Second, he failed to note that the government still holds a significant (and probably board-controlling) share of GM, or that a UAW healthcare trust owns 46.5% of Chrysler (down from an original 55%). Finally, because he didn't disclose the ownership stakes, he failed to note the obvious conflict of interest the UAW has in negotiating with Ford, or the possible government-influenced pressure on the union to drive a hard bargain with Ford on GM's behalf.

By Matthew Sheffield | September 7, 2011 | 10:25 PM EDT

For reasons that are still inexplicable, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library agreed to partner up with NBC News, parent organization of the uber-left-wing network MSNBC to televise tonight's Republican presidential debate. While NBC representative Brian Williams had more than his share of sneering biased questions, it was Williams's co-moderator, Politico editor John Harris, who laid on the snark in his attempts to bait and attack the candidates.

Such unbalanced questioning is par-for-the-course for Republicans competing at the national level. More often than not, they take it in stride. Tonight, though, Newt Gingrich was having none of it as he went full-on after Harris's attempts to insert Gingrich into a non-existent debate about an individual mandate to purchase insurance at the national level that Republicans simply are not having. Video and transcript follow.

By Matthew Sheffield | September 7, 2011 | 7:41 PM EDT

Are you watching the GOP presidential debate tonight? If so, consider joining us live here at NB as we watch the event. It airs at 8pm tonight on MSNBC and on the web.

As with all NB live events, you are expected to abide by the NewsBusters terms of service. Vulgarity and general obnoxiousness will get you kicked from the chat room.