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By Brad Wilmouth | April 13, 2011 | 2:20 AM EDT

 According to the Haaretz article, "Netanyahu Cancels Bieber Date Over Refusal to Meet Kids Affected by Gaza Rockets," Barak Ravid recounts reports that Canadian singer Justin Bieber declined to meet children who narrowly escaped being hit by rocket fire as they exited an Israeli school bus shortly before it was hit several weeks ago. A 16-year-old boy was seriously injured in the attack.

The children had been invited to an already scheduled meeting between Bieber and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the prime minister sought to draw attention to the plight of children living in Israeli towns near the Gaza Strip which have in recent months come under increased fire from rockets launched by Palestinian terrorists.

According to Haaretz, Netanyahu canceled the meeting after his attempt to include the children was turned down.

Ravid reported:

By Brent Baker | April 13, 2011 | 2:12 AM EDT

“Critics say it’s about time” for President Barack Obama to offer his plan to reduce the deficit, CBS’s Chip Reid acknowledged Tuesday night before he proceeded to rationalize Obama’s disengagement, validated by CBS’s in-house political analyst. Reid asserted: “Political analysts say the President had good reason to wait. He wanted the Republicans to go first and they did last week when influential Congressman Paul Ryan released his controversial plan.” CBS News political analyst John Dickerson proposed:

The President needed Paul Ryan's House budget plan to use as a foil for his own argument about what government should do, what government priorities are. He will say that the Ryan plan does not match up with American values.

Indeed, Reid contended the White House saw “an irresistible opportunity to portray Republicans as callous and extreme.”

By Noel Sheppard | April 13, 2011 | 12:59 AM EDT

Bill Maher Tuesday made a statement on MSNBC that would be truly embarrassing for the so-called news network if any of its executives cared at all about being an impartial disseminator of information.

At the end of an almost thirteen minute interview with Rachel Maddow, the comedian said of Republicans, "I hate them as much as you do" (video follows with commentary):

By Tom Johnson | April 12, 2011 | 11:15 PM EDT

The late left-wing historian Howard Zinn was one of America's best-known public intellectuals. His 1980 opus A People's History of the United States is widely used as a high-school and college textbook, and he had plenty of fans in the entertainment world, among them Matt Damon and Ben Affleck (A People's History got a shout-out in Good Will Hunting) as well as Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder.

Not long before Zinn died in January 2010, he told The Nation, regarding President Obama's first year in office, "I've been searching hard for a highlight. The only thing that comes close is some of Obama's rhetoric; I don't see any kind of a highlight in his actions and policies."

By Noel Sheppard | April 12, 2011 | 10:59 PM EDT

Joy Behar on Monday's "The View" crowed about Barack Obama being "a very intelligent guy" because he went to Harvard Law School and Columbia University.

Without skipping a beat, Elisabeth Hasselbeck marvelously asked, "Then doesn't that make President Bush very smart as well then? Yeah?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Mark Finkelstein | April 12, 2011 | 10:24 PM EDT

There's an old saw that every time a senator looks in the mirror, he sees a president.  Could the same be true of MSNBC hosts?  

Twice tonight on his TV show, Cenk Uygur fantasized himself as president.  The muy macho MSNBCer naturally imagined he'd be much tougher with Republicans than President Obama.

View video after the jump.

By Matt Hadro | April 12, 2011 | 7:41 PM EDT

On Monday night's "Piers Morgan," the CNN host professed his admiration for President Obama – but like any good liberal, sounded his disappointment that the Guantanamo Bay detention camp is still open. He tried to get his guests to share similar sentiments.

"I am quite an Obama fan, but I was quite disappointed that he did the big U-turn on Guantanamo, actually," Morgan admitted.

Hosting cast members of the upcoming film "The Conspirator," Morgan asked if the ethical issues in the plot – the post-Civil War trial of an accused co-conspirator in Lincoln's assassination – mirrored the ethical and constitutional questions of military trials of terrorists at Guantanamo, shortly after another American crisis.
 

By Tom Blumer | April 12, 2011 | 7:33 PM EDT

In a business that is supposed to treat record achievements, dubious or otherwise, as news, it's more than a little curious to note that the Associated Press's Martin Crutsinger, along with Reuters and AFP, all "somehow" forgot to tell readers that March's reported federal outlays, as seen in the Monthly Treasury Statement released today, came in at an all-time record of $339.047 billion, and that this year's spending through six months of $1.849 trillion -- also an all-time record -- is 3.5% higher than last year's comparable figure of $1.786 trillion ($1.671 trillion plus a non-cash credit of $115 billion explained here last year).

This year's six-month spending total annualizes out to $3.7 trillion, an amount that is almost $1 trillion, or 36%, higher than fiscal 2007. Though spending is the self-evident real problem, frontline reporters and their bosses would apparently prefer that news consumers not see how ugly those numbers really are.

By Lachlan Markay | April 12, 2011 | 5:57 PM EDT

A freelance blogger on Tuesday filed a class action lawsuit against Arianna Huffington for $105 million. The suit alleges that the Huffington Post's legion of unpaid bloggers are entitled to one third of the revenue from the site's sale to AOL in February.

Jonathan Tasini, who filed the lawsuit, compared Huffington to a "robber baron" in a blog post on Tuesday, and called her site a "blogger plantation - where her slaves work to build her fortune."

Tasini's hard-left perspective came through in his complaint (students of Marx will no doubt recognize his labor theory of value):

By Alex Fitzsimmons | April 12, 2011 | 5:41 PM EDT

Robert Redford’s period piece on the assassination of Abraham Lincoln hits theaters Friday, but one author who was featured on MSNBC thinks America is embroiled in a modern day “civil war” over abortion.

On the April 12 edition of “Martin Bashir,” fill-in anchor Richard Lui failed to challenge Stephen Singular, author of “The Wichita Divide,” on the illogical connection he drew between the man who killed Dr. George Tiller, who was known for providing late-term abortions, and pro-life advocates who are pushing to de-fund Planned Parenthood.

By Kyle Drennen | April 12, 2011 | 5:30 PM EDT

In an interview with President Obama's half-sister Maya Soetoro-Ng on Tuesday's NBC Today, weatherman Al Roker wondered: "When you look back on the President's campaign of hope do you see that – is it still that same message or has it had to change, do you think?" Soetoro-Ng replied: "I think that the message is absolutely the same. The President is still hopeful."

Soetoro-Ng was on the show to promote her children's book, 'Ladder to the Moon,' a story about the influence her and Obama's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, had on their lives. When Roker asked about that influence, Soetoro-Ng declared: "She [Dunham] emphasized the themes that are present in the book – namely that we are interconnected, that we therefore need to take care of one another, empathize with one another, find ways to serve and help one another. And I think that those themes are very much evidenced in this presidency and in all of my brother's efforts as well."

By Scott Whitlock | April 12, 2011 | 4:48 PM EDT

Nightline co-anchor Bill Weir on Monday couldn't help but fawn over former Obama White House social Secretary Desiree Rogers, lauding her as a "fashionable, vivacious, interesting, telegenic person in a town with not a lot of that, frankly."

The journalist failed to offer much in the way of tough questions. Regarding the 2009 fiasco of having Michaele and Tareq Salahi crash a state dinner with the President, Weir gently wondered, "...What are your thoughts now that that night won't be remembered for [being a success]?"   

Instead, he hyped, "But in those heady days of Obama mania, how could anyone ignore the well heeled woman in charge of the guest list? The one who fit right in with Anna Wintour, Kanye West at fashion week, the one who beat the First Lady into the pages of Vogue?"

By Clay Waters | April 12, 2011 | 4:36 PM EDT

New York Times reporter Katharine Seelye is the latest Times reporter to defend government spending, this time on a tiny but "life-affirming" radio station threatened by the Republican budget ax - public radio station WMMT in Whitesburg, Kentucky: “A Regional Radio Voice Threatened From Afar.” The story was accompanied by a cutesy sidebar, “88.7 on Appalachia’s Dial,” describing such original programming as “Holler to the Hood,” “which plays hip-hop aimed at the growing prison population in the region.” Sounds vital. Only one problem: The funding is being challenged by "the rise of the Tea Party and with anti-earmark, budget-cutting fervor gripping the nation’s capital."

Seelye handed the mic to a lefty from the “private Community Action Council,” a “private” group that nonetheless gets 95% of its money from the federal government.

By Jason Mattera | April 12, 2011 | 4:24 PM EDT

The following is cross-posted from Human Events, where Mattera serves as editor.

Christian conservatives often decry the silencing of faith by major network television. 

But Sunday night on CBS’ hit reality TV series “Undercover Boss,” people of faith had their breath taken away by what they witnessed, sparking a Facebook and Twitter avalanche of support and praise. 

On Facebook, Kini Se remarked, “Loved the episode of 'Undercover Boss' last night.  It is the BEST one yet.  It is great to see you praising the Lord on National television.  The entire time, I had tears running down my face.  It was real, it was true and inspirational.  God bless you and your family.” 

By Kyle Drennen | April 12, 2011 | 3:31 PM EDT

In a discussion with Tom Brokaw on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Meredith Vieira turned to the ongoing budget fight, asking in part: "Republicans are calling for the privatization of Medicare. Could they overstepping here?" The headline on screen throughout the segment read: "Debt Diet; Do White House & GOP Spending Cuts Go Too Far?"

In response to Vieira, Brokaw actually acknowledged the importance of reform: "You know, it's hard to say. I think what we're going to do – and It's long overdue, by the way – but we're going to have a real debate about Medicare, about how it has to be reformed. You can't get to where we need to get to in all these areas just by cutting alone. There have to be profound changes in Social Security, and Medicare, and health care delivery systems."