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By Noel Sheppard | March 13, 2012 | 9:28 PM EDT

NewsBusters readers know John Ziegler as the documentarian that created the fabulous "Media Malpractice: How Obama Got Elected and Palin Was Targeted."

With the release of HBO's Palin-bashing film "Game Change," I had an e-chat with Ziegler to discuss his impressions of the movie and how it relates to today's politics:

By Matthew Sheffield | March 13, 2012 | 8:38 PM EDT

"Repeal Obamacare" is a frequent and popular promise from Republicans running for President and Congress this year but far fewer are talking about what they might put in its place. That's a problem.

ObamaCare was the Left's answer to problems with the American health care system. It's lousy policy to be sure -- from its liberty-strangling mandates to its effect on driving health insurance premiums up and beyond.

But the pre-ObamaCare reality wasn't perfect. Far from it. While many have decried ObamaCare as an attack on the free market, the fact is the American healthcare system even pre-Obamacare was not a free market, as Avik S.A. Roy explains in The Atlantic.

Roy, a Senior Fellow in health care policy at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, writes that, while "both liberals and conservatives believe that the American system is a 'free-market' or 'capitalistic' one, and that European systems providing universal coverage are 'socialized'," that conception is wrong.

By Matthew Balan | March 13, 2012 | 6:20 PM EDT

Almost a month after touting on-air their poll finding that 61% of Catholics supposedly backed President Obama's controversial birth control mandate, CBS failed to mention their most recent poll that found that 57% are now against the regulation. The network devoted an article to the new poll statistic on their website, but failed to cover it on their morning and evening newscasts Monday into Tuesday.

Instead, CBS Evening News and CBS This Morning did some damage control on behalf of the President, downplaying his "all-time low" approval number and claiming that "there's little that he [Obama] can the short term to affect gas prices, and gas prices hurts his political chances," as anchor Charlie Rose put it. Their poll partners at the New York Times also buried the finding in their front-page article on the poll, and spun it by suggesting that women were "split" on the controversy.

By Ken Shepherd | March 13, 2012 | 4:58 PM EDT

Andrea Mitchell is no newbie to journalism. In fact, in 2010, she was given the Taishoff Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism by the National Press Foundation. She's in good company with Brit Hume and the late Tim Russert among previous recipients of the award. But alas, the MSNBC anchor displayed no "excellence in journalism" with her brief, softball interview today with Robin Morgan of the liberal Women's Media Center.

Mitchell brought Morgan on to discuss her group's petition drive to request the FCC to ban Rush Limbaugh from the airwaves. The WMC's argument is that Limbaugh engages in "hate speech" which is not in the "public interest" and hence cause to push him off the air. Below the page break I've listed in bullet points the questions Mitchell posed to Morgan, which, as you can see, are all softballs meant to advance Morgan's talking points:

By Clay Waters | March 13, 2012 | 4:54 PM EDT

It was Mitt Romney's turn in the barrel for the New York Times's recurring front-page political profile feature, "The Long Run." Walmart-hostile reporter Michael Barbaro did the honors Saturday, scouring the former Massachusetts' governor's former associates and rivals in the Boston statehouse and devoting nearly 2,000 words to the same "sometimes awkward style and aloof manner" criticism that the Times has been uncovering for the last several months: "Legislators Recall Governor Who Didn't Mingle."

By Kyle Drennen | March 13, 2012 | 4:45 PM EDT

On Tuesday, following Rick Santorum's call for politicians, like President Obama, to stop relying on Teleprompters for their public remarks, NBC Today co-host Matt Lauer allowed a liberal panel to rip into the Republican candidate for daring to criticize Obama.

Attorney Star Jones contemptuously proclaimed: "Doesn't he have anything else to talk about?...You're running for the presidency of the United States and you're going to whine because he's a better Teleprompter reader than you are? Oh, please." Correspondent Savannah Guthrie chimed in: "It's silly....It's a cheap shot, it's an easy laugh."

By Scott Whitlock | March 13, 2012 | 4:31 PM EDT

According to Joe Williams, the senior White House reporter for Politico, Rush Limbaugh is like the "serial murderer" who was caught with "three bodies in the trunk." The veteran journalist made the outrageous comparison on Tuesday's Martin Bashir show, a program that included other liberal smears against the conservative radio host.

Before making his offensive connection, Williams highlighted his background covering the police. Regarding Limbaugh's comments about Sandra Fluke, the journalist linked: "... [Law enforcement] always would catch the serial murderer because he was driving around with a busted taillight, not because he had, like, three bodies in the trunk." He added, "I mean they would always have some incident to really capture him on and this was Rush Limbaugh's." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Jack Coleman | March 13, 2012 | 3:47 PM EDT

Ed Schultz responded angrily to a March 9 NewsBusters post detailing how unions paid him nearly $200,000 in 2011, telling viewers of "The Ed Show" that night of receiving the money for speaking engagements and advertisements on his radio show website. All union speaking fees were donated to charity, Schultz claimed, as required by MSNBC policy.

That Schultz has received $337,490 from unions since 2005, according to Labor Department records, hardly comes as a shock since he is one of the most vociferous shills for organized labor in the media.  More problematic has been Schultz's lack of transparency about this. (video after page break)

By Matthew Balan | March 13, 2012 | 3:14 PM EDT

Charlie Rose and Bob Schieffer were President Obama's Amen corner on the issue of gas prices on Tuesday's CBS This Morning. Rose shamelessly claimed, "The President has a point...There's little that he can the short term to affect gas prices, and gas prices hurts his political chances." Schieffer replied, "That's right on all counts...the problem is...people think there are things he can do about it."

The morning newscast, as well as Monday's CBS Evening News, mentioned how "President Obama's approval rating is now at an all-time low," and as anchor Erica Hill explained, "one of the big reasons? Rising gas prices." Both programs, however, omitted mentioning the Democrat's rejection of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, their slowing of drilling permits, his energy secretary's endorsement of higher gas prices (which he walked back later on Tuesday), or his party's backing of cap and trade.

By Tim Graham | March 13, 2012 | 2:39 PM EDT

On Monday, Clay Waters noted the New York Times slanted its story on the official Mitt Romney playlist. Even his list of selected campaign-trail songs is somehow sexist: "On Romney Song List, Guys Win, 18 to 1." The Times produced no affirmative-action breakdown of the Obama list.

But last month, David Graham at the Atlantic underlined just how shameless this Times treatment was when he broke down the official Obama playlist, which also skewed very male, 19 to six: "Only six of these songs center around a female singer, while 19 have male lead singers. Four are mixed, and one is an instrumental."

By Clay Waters | March 13, 2012 | 2:36 PM EDT

The New York Times focused on the "treacherous political ground" occupied by President Obama as the election draws closer, while proving wrong pro-Obama assumptions made in recent stories by Times reporters Susan Saulny and Jackie Calmes, in Tuesday's front-page poll analysis "Obama's Rating Falls as Poll Reflects Volatility," by Jim Rutenberg and Marjorie Connelly. But it also buried some interesting findings that defied the liberal conventional wisdom about social conservatism and women voters.

By Tim Graham | March 13, 2012 | 2:14 PM EDT

No one in the media is pressuring Obama or his super PAC boss Bill Burton to send back Bill Maher's million dollar check. But Time humorist/columnist Joel Stein wrote in the March 19 issue about trying to talk Maher out of his donation.

Maher disagreed “This is the biggest cause there is. Every cause is subsumed by what happens in Washington,” he said. “If you think we can solve the enviroment with everyone recycling, you’re crazy,” he added. “It’s like saying World War II could have been won by everyone saving tin. The government also had to make tanks.” Fighting for Obama is just like fighting the Nazis?

By Tom Blumer | March 13, 2012 | 12:58 PM EDT

Last night (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted how Christopher Rugaber at the Associated Press, also known to yours truly as the Administration's Press, failed to tell his readers that the federal government's $232 billion reported deficit in February was an all-time single-month record. I also went back and showed that another AP reporter in March 2008 did note that February 2008's deficit was at the time an all-time record. If there's a reason for the patently obvious inconsistency other than who happens to be occupying the White House at the moment, I'd sure like to know what it is.

Rugaber's report had other risible aspects which I have excerpted below in three separate segments:

By Scott Whitlock | March 13, 2012 | 12:45 PM EDT

Liberal MSNBC on Tuesday adopted Democratic talking points for the contraceptive fight. As anchor Chris Jansing offered softball questions to left-wing Senator Patty Murray, a MSNBC graphic flatly declared: "War on Women: 12 Dem Women Senators Send Letter to Speaker Boehner."

Usually, MSNBC can at least provide a question mark ("War on women?") as the network spins for Democrats. Jansing framed the issue as hostile to females, offering this loaded question: "You were one of 12 Democratic women in the Senate that sent a letter to House Speaker Boehner asking him to abandon plans to continue the fight against contraception coverage in the House."

By Matt Hadro | March 13, 2012 | 12:22 PM EDT

CNN's Soledad O'Brien told her critics on Monday to "stop tweeting" her and that the particular debate over Obama's past was over. Then on Tuesday she hosted birth control activist Sandra Fluke and simply rolled out the red carpet for her guest to knock her own conservative critics.

Fluke slammed her critics for spewing "misinformation" and silencing women "regarding their own health care." CNN host Soledad O'Brien pointed viewers to Fluke's op-ed and teed her guest up with easy questions like "How have the last couple of weeks been?"