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By Tom Blumer | March 22, 2011 | 1:09 AM EDT

Cindy at Fairly Conservative and Mary at FreedomEden broke this story yesterday. RedState, Gateway Pundit, and Doug Ross, among others, have helped promulgate it. I'd rate the odds of the establishment press doing anything with the information at nearly zero.

I have a potential tidbit to add.

FreedomEden's Mary writes: "Jake Sinderbrand, son of Judge Maryann Sumi, poses a bit of a problem for his mother." Sumi is the county judge who on Friday temporarily blocked implementation of the collective bargaining-related law passed by the Wisconsin legislature and signed by Governor Scott Walker.

Why that matters is after the jump.

By Tom Blumer | March 21, 2011 | 8:52 PM EDT

While looking into the News Media Guild's positions in the current standoff between it and the Associated Press, I came across the most recent contract (large PDF file) between the two. It expired this past November; unionized AP employees are continuing to work under the old contract's provisions.

Many people don't know that the AP is a "not-for-profit news cooperative" which is "owned by its contributing newspapers (over 1,000), radio and television stations (over 5,000) in the United States." It would appear to be exempt from paying federal, state, and local income taxes (and perhaps others), and as such would seem to have a competitive advantage over any person or entity which might consider competing with it.

I thought readers might be interested in certain of the expired 65-page Editorial Unit contract's provisions, and consider how often such arrangements are available in the private sector (56 other pages which follow relate to Technology Unit, whose contract provisions are very similar; bolds are mine):

By Noel Sheppard | March 21, 2011 | 8:26 PM EDT

This post has been modified from its original version.

After discussing with my colleagues the subject of this article, which claimed Mother Jones's David Corn and MSNBC's Chris Matthews engaged in an anti-Semitic conversation on Monday's "Hardball," I have decided that I do not stand by my allegation.

I apologize to Corn and Matthews for my misinterpretation.

The original article has been deleted with the exception of the transcript and video in question:

By Ken Shepherd | March 21, 2011 | 6:38 PM EDT

As we've noted time and again, "On Faith" -- a Washington Post/Newsweek-run religion news and discussion website -- is biased against, if not outright hostile to traditional religious belief, particularly traditional Christian theology.

This weekend's "Discussion" section topic provided more evidence of that.

Examining the controversy over Michigan pastor Rob Bell's book "Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived," editor Sally Quinn asked her panelists, "In this life (and, perhaps, the next) why does what we think about the afterlife matter?"

In their answers, all but one panelist attacked the traditional Christian doctrine of eternal punishment of the wicked, with at least two arguing that a belief in Hell engenders violence and abuse.

By Lachlan Markay | March 21, 2011 | 6:34 PM EDT

Twitter and other social networks have provided social scientists with unprecedented means of measuring human interaction. As it turns out, that fact has implications for the media bias debate.

In a study to be released next month, three Duke University researchers rank politicians and other public figures by political ideology as measured by a formula that incorporates whom they follow on Twitter, and who follows them. "The results dovetailed with ideological ranking systems based on the politicians’ voting records," the New York Times reported on Monday.

If the study is accurate, it demonstrates just how liberal some of America's most prominent journalists really are. Check below the break for some key findings concerning on the not-so-neutral news media.

By Matthew Balan | March 21, 2011 | 6:32 PM EDT

NPR's Liz Halloran touted the federal government's Title X subsidy of contraceptives as "largely noncontroversial" in a Monday article on, despite the House of Representatives' 240-185 vote in February to defund the program. Halloran also quoted exclusively from liberal Title X supporters or from conservatives who had second thoughts about targeting the program.

It only took her two paragraphs for the correspondent to use this slanted label of the federal program in her article, "Abortion Foes Target Family Planning Program." She also highlighted the longstanding funding of "family planning programs that provide contraceptive and related health and family services to millions of low-income women and men" and noted how Title X passed with "bipartisan support in Congress."

Halloran continued that "Title X, which serves more than 5 million men and women annually, is on House Republicans' chopping block. Supporters of defunding have characterized it as an effort to strip funds from Planned Parenthood and other organizations that use other funds to provide legal abortions, without singling out any particular group. The House in February voted 240-185 to defund Title X in the current budget year." But instead of tracking down one of the representatives who voted for this, or from one of their allies in the conservative movement, the journalist turned to a Republican skeptic:

By Noel Sheppard | March 21, 2011 | 5:49 PM EDT

Union protests against a Republican governor as well as mass demonstrations aimed at an Egyptian President have been the central focus of our news media the past two months.

But as Big Government's Susan Swift reported Sunday, Brazilians protesting the imminent arrival of Barack Obama hours after he launched missiles at a country that didn't attack America is not considered newsworthy to his many fans in the press here:

By Kyle Drennen | March 21, 2011 | 4:38 PM EDT

In a report for the Associated Press on Sunday, Jim Kuhnhenn fawned over President Obama's tour of Rio De Janeiro during a trip to Brazil: "Obama played grand tourist....The president's sightseeing Sunday was sure to endear him even more to a diverse and multicultural country where his personal story already makes him popular."

The article described how Obama, while visiting a community center in one of Rio's poorest slums, "shed his coat and tie, rolled up his sleeves and dribbled one-on-one soccer with one surprised boy." And noted: "The president walked out into the streets and waved to throngs of residents who cheered him from rooftops and balconies. Dozens of young children pressed up against a chainlink fence trying to get a look."

By Mark Finkelstein | March 21, 2011 | 4:23 PM EDT

Could Andrea Mitchell possibly be more snide and condescending toward Sarah Palin?  On her MSNBC show today, here's how Mitchell introduced her interview with Jeanne Cummings of Politico concerning Palin's current trip to India and Israel:

"Well.  Heh-heh.  Where do you start?"

Dismissive as was the language, only the video does justice to the derision in Mitchell's tone.

View clip after the jump.

By Tom Blumer | March 21, 2011 | 4:18 PM EDT

The Associated Press's report on existing home sales carries Derek Kravitz's byline today. Apparently the byline withholding temper tantrum thrown by the wire service's U.S. reporters which began last week has ended (further evidence here).

What Kravitz's story doesn't carry is the word "existing." How odd, since the National Association of Realtors (NAR) which produces the report, calls it "Existing-Home Sales" at the report's home web page, and labels the data "Existing Home Sales" in two different places in the detailed data.

It would be one thing if Kravitz were, as he may be, "merely" trying to keep his bad-news report from being found by search engine users looking for related sales news; a search on "existing" at the AP's home site does not return Kravitz's report. But his dispatch's headline is unclear as to which type of sales are even involved (new or existing?), and his repeated use of the term "previously occupied homes" instead of "existing" might lead some readers to believe that the data involved exclude homes which have been vacant for some time, which is not the case.

Here are excerpts from Kravitz's crummy job, which also contains something that is more predictable than the weather, i.e., a weather-related excuse:

By Ken Shepherd | March 21, 2011 | 3:27 PM EDT

"State abortion rights test limits of Roe v. Wade" reads a teaser headline on's front page this afternoon.

The link brings readers to an article by Stephanie Condon entitled "Abortion battles spring up nationwide as states test the limits of Roe v. Wade":

By Clay Waters | March 21, 2011 | 3:03 PM EDT

Monday's New York Times “news analysis,” “President Underscores Similarities With Brazilians, but Sidesteps One,” found reporters Alexei Barrionuevo and Jackie Calmes with Obama in Rio de Janeiro highlighting the president’s positive reception in Brazil, inspiring the citizenry "because of his African heritage."

From a visit to this city’s most infamous slum to a national address amid the gilded elegance of a celebrated theater, President Obama on Sunday sought to underscore the shared histories and futures of the United States and Brazil, reaching out to the people of one of the most racially diverse countries in the Americas.

But Mr. Obama, on the second day of a five-day tour of Latin America, once again seemed to sidestep mentioning his own racial background in appearances here, even as Brazilians who gathered at a plaza trying to catch a glimpse of him said that he had inspired millions in this country because of his African heritage.

By Clay Waters | March 21, 2011 | 2:03 PM EDT

Chief  New York Times “Caucus” blog contributor Michael Shear celebrated Bracket Obama in a Saturday morning post on the president's college basketball tournament pool picks --“Obama’s N.C.A.A. Bracket Is One of the Best.” The wins just keep piling up for the president, at least on the court, in Shear’s telling.

Being president is an ego trip. So you would have thought President Obama wouldn’t need to add to his bragging rights. But Mr. Obama’s N.C.A.A. men’s basketball bracket stands -- for the moment, anyway -- as one of the best out there.

Out of 32 games, Mr. Obama has accurately predicted all but three. As of Saturday morning, he ranks at No. 16 on The Times’s bracket site, tied with many others. Mr. Obama has a total of 166 out of 195 points possible.

By Kyle Drennen | March 21, 2011 | 12:21 PM EDT

On Sunday's 60 Minutes, CBS correspondent Morley Safer interviewed New York Catholic Archbishop Timothy Dolan and pressed him on the his commitment to traditional Church teachings: "No question that you're conciliatory, that you like to have dialog, but underneath that you're an old-fashioned conservative. I mean, in the sense of right-wing conservative."

Dolan turned Safer's characterization around: "I would bristle at being termed 'right-wing.' But if somebody means enthusiastically committed and grateful for the timeless heritage of the Church, and feeling that my best service is when I try to preserve that and pass that on in its fullness and beauty and radiance, I'm a conservative, no doubt."

By Mark Finkelstein | March 21, 2011 | 10:55 AM EDT

Of all the Obama sycophants in the press, could the president possibly have a more abject apologist than Jonathan Alter?

The MNSBC analyst gave a groveling demonstration of his devotion in an interview with Willie Geist, guest-hosting on The Daily Rundown this morning.  Beyond the predictable swipes at W, notable was the essential incoherence of Alter's defense of PBO's foreign policy.  At one point, as you'll see, Alter contradicts himself in the very same breath.

Meanwhile, Geist, best known as the amiable host of Way Too Early and sidekick on Morning Joe, showed that he has a serious side, putting Alter on the spot with a couple incisive observations.

View video after the jump.