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By Matt Hadro | February 17, 2011 | 4:40 PM EST

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough thinks the GOP's house is already on fire in his latest Politico column, where he thrashes the party's leadership for a poor showing at CPAC. He ridiculed the gathering as "a conference cursed with dull speechmaking and intraparty battles."

"Like most Egyptians, the conservative movement still has no idea who will lead it through the next election," Scarborough writes. What is the biggest reason candidates have not entered the field, he thinks? They are scared to run against Obama.

By Jack Coleman | February 17, 2011 | 4:28 PM EST

Yes, Virginia, there is someone in media more unhinged than Ed Schultz -- left-wing radio host Mike Malloy.

If you've heard of Malloy, most likely it's because of his bizarre, on-air fantasies of violence toward Dana Perino, Matt Drudge, Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh, as described here with audio clips from Brian Maloney at The Radio Equalizer.

Malloy has decided to remind us again of his pathologies, this time issuing a veiled threat against new media impresario Andrew Breitbart (embedded audio clip, courtesy of Maloney, after page break) --

By Ken Shepherd | February 17, 2011 | 4:03 PM EST

"The Civil War still divides Americans, especially at a time when some in the Tea Party movement talk of states' rights and secession; when many states are rebelling against federal initiatives such as the health care overhaul; and when America's changing demographics make some nostalgic for a society in which white Christians were more dominant."

That's how USA Today's Rick Hampson went out of his way to smear conservatives in his  February 17 story -- "Across the South, the Civil War is an enduring conflict" --  devoted to examining how commemoration and/or celebration of the Confederacy during the 150th anniversary of the Civil War in the South is a divisive political issue.

By Tom Blumer | February 17, 2011 | 3:59 PM EST

On Wednesday, with a bit of an assist from the Census Bureau's seasonalizers, the Associated Press's Derek Kravitz, with the help of Martin Crutsinger, covered the Bureau's just-published January data on housing starts and building permits. Though no one could accuse the AP pair of excessive cheerleading, they missed the most important comparison: How did January 2011 compare to January 2010? The answer: It was worse.

Here are key passages from their writeup:

By Matthew Balan | February 17, 2011 | 3:42 PM EST

Disgraced journalist Nir Rosen claimed on Wednesday's Anderson Cooper 360 that he didn't know Lara Logan was sexually assaulted when she was attacked by protesters in Egypt. However, Rosen's own Tweets, which he subsequently deleted, revealed that he indeed know about the nature of the attack and tried to downplay it: "Look, she was probably groped like thousands of other women."

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper aired his taped interview with the anti-war journalist during the 10 pm Eastern hour of his program. Cooper raised how Rosen brought the CNN personality into his attacks on Logan:

By Kyle Drennen | February 17, 2011 | 2:59 PM EST

On Thursday's CBS Early Show, senior White House correspondent Bill Plante seized on a rare instance in which the Obama administration and conservative members of Congress happened to agree on a single budget cut: "It's not very often that the Obama administration finds itself on the same side as Tea Party Republicans when it comes to spending."

The spending in question was funding for the production of jet engines for F-35 fighter aircraft. As Plante described it: "Defense Secretary Gates and the President say it's not necessary. And so do fiscal conservatives." He also noted that cancelling the project was "a defeat for House Speaker John Boehner....Part of it would have been made in his district." The on-screen headline read: "Budget Battle; GOP Fiscal Hawks Torpedo Boehner Pet Project."

By Tom Blumer | February 17, 2011 | 1:55 PM EST

A brief unbylined Associated Press item today with a 9:15 a.m. time stamp, which appears to be based solely on an e-mail to an AP reporter (no other source for the quotes are cited), tells us that Nir Rosen seems to be backtracking from his Twitter claim of being "ashamed of how I have hurt others" in his comments about CBS reporter Lara Logan, who was sexually assaulted by a Cairo mob on February 11.

The report also has an odd final sentence (not in the screen grab which follows) that could reasonably be interpreted as an admission that wire service personnel either saw or knew of what happened to Logan, and failed to report it:

By Alex Fitzsimmons | February 17, 2011 | 12:57 PM EST

Interviewing Donald Trump this morning, MSNBC's Chris Jansing put on her Democratic strategist hat to press the Republican real estate mogul with liberal talking points.

After Trump, responding to Jansing's question about what he would do to fix the economy, suggested cutting taxes to spur economic growth, the host of Jansing & Co. groused: "A lot of people sitting out there, with all due respect, saying spoken like a true businessman but not about the little guy. Tax breaks for the rich, not for the middle class."

Not missing a beat, Trump retorted: "But Chris we're the highest-taxed nation in the world, as it stands right now. And that's a pretty bad statement when you think of it."

By Scott Whitlock | February 17, 2011 | 12:42 PM EST

George Stephanopoulos on Thursday followed in the footsteps of other journalists who are lecturing Republicans on the need denounce birthers and declare Barack Obama a Christian. The co-anchor quizzed Michele Bachmann four times on the President's faith and citizenship.

He pestered, "You know, a sizable number of GOP primary voters are questioning President Obama's faith and citizenship. Can you just state very clearly that President Obama is a Christian and he is a citizen of the United States?"

Stephanopoulos, like NBC's David Gregory, found no answer sufficient. The ABC host snapped, "Do you believe it?...I'm just asking if you believe it?" The Republican representative insisted she takes "the President at his word" that he's a Christian. This still wasn't enough for Stephanopoulos.

By Lachlan Markay | February 17, 2011 | 12:38 PM EST

Despite the left's continued inability to get the facts straight on last year's "Citizens United v. FEC" Supreme Court decision, some continue discussing it as if it were an atrocity of truly historic proportions.

Actor Richard Dreyfuss, for one, berated Citizens United president David Bossie at last week's Conservative Political Action Conference. He compared Bossie to genocidal Cambodian dictator Pol Pot, and wondered whether Bossie was "stacking skulls" in his office (a reference to the remains of hundreds of thousands of Cambodians found in mass graves after Pol Pot's rule).

By Noel Sheppard | February 17, 2011 | 11:43 AM EST

In the weeks following the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) there was a constant media barrage dishonestly contending liberals never use violent rhetoric or imagery.

As Wisconsin's Republican Governor Scott Walker tries to balance his state's budget with a bold move limiting the collective bargaining rights of public employees, the Left have come out in force dispelling the myth that only the Right uses harsh tones to make its point (video follows with commentary):

By Ken Shepherd | February 17, 2011 | 11:29 AM EST

Earlier this week Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett  fired state workers whom he believes should have taken decisive action to shutter abortionist Kermit Gosnell's Philadelphia abortion clinic. You may recall that Gosnell was arrested in mid-January for murdering newborn babies. Authorities in Philadelphia also detailed for reporters instances of malpractice as well as the unsanitary working conditions at Gosnell's abortion mill.

At the time, the mainstream media mostly ignored the development, although the January 19 CBS "Evening News" devoted a full story to the shocking development.

Now it seems the national media are largely failing to do any followup on the story.

By Geoffrey Dickens | February 17, 2011 | 10:42 AM EST

Chris Matthews, in the wake of the Tucson shootings, went on a tear against the likes of Sarah Palin who used what he called "gun play" language, yet on Wednesday's Hardball, Matthews uttered phrases against public figures that he, himself, would've considered incendiary had a conservative said them.

In his "Let Me Finish" segment Matthews issued a "call to arms" against George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and others who were responsible for the "unpatriotic way this country was marched to war." Matthews then proceeded to give out the Capitol Switchboard phone number, urged his viewers to call their senator and instructed them on what to say, before concluding his rant with a demand for "nationally televised hearings" to find out why the Bush administration started "a war for a reason they knew wasn't true."

(video, audio and transcript after the jump)

By Dan Gainor | February 17, 2011 | 10:11 AM EST

Just a few years ago, double-digit unemployment seemed like a crazy idea. But when the economy began to stumble, it was fear of high unemployment and a promise to prevent it that the Obama administration used to usher in the $787 billion stimulus package. As The New York Times reported on Oct. 22, 2009, "The Obama administration's forecast at the start of the year, which predicted that unemployment would not climb much above 8 percent."

A big promise to be sure and a claim that proved false as unemployment climbed higher and higher reaching 10.2 percent at its peak. Yet, ABC, CBS, and NBC referenced this promise just nine times in two years in stimulus stories mentioning unemployment.

Unemployment still exceeds the Obama-guaranteed 8 percent unemployment rate two years after the bill's passage. In the same time period, network news barely reported that the stimulus failed to halt the sharp rise in unemployment. ABC 'World News,' CBS 'Evening News' and NBC 'Nightly News' all paid plenty of attention to the stimulus and its accomplishments, but more than 98 percent of those evening broadcast stories skipped over the administration's failed prediction.

By John Nolte | February 17, 2011 | 10:09 AM EST

This might be the most revealing anecdote about the intolerant culture of present-day Hollywood in, well, ever. Get this: some genius producer at Sony digitally removed the words Holy Bible from a Holy Bible in a scene because he thought the sight of a Bible might hurt the film’s appeal beyond the Christian community — probably because he’s projecting and assuming everyone’s as bigoted as Hollywood. 

After some pressure from the family on which the film is based, he did put it back, but who thinks this way (he asked himself rhetorically). Good grief, there are all kinds mainstream films today where you see glimpses of various social and political symbols. Remember all that obnoxious PETA junk in Lethal Weapon 2, a movie I’ve only watched about a million times. But how many films these days show teenagers with the chicken track peace symbol on their book bag or a Greenpeace poster on the wall?