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By Brent Baker | July 31, 2011 | 3:25 PM EDT

Three noteworthy spins, charges and/or claims made on the Sunday morning interview shows.

> ABC’s This Week, with “ALL CUTS, NO TAXES?” on screen: George Stephanopoulos hit White House senior adviser David Plouffe from the left on how “this enforcement mechanism would not include revenue increases, would be just across the board spending cuts.” He fretted the deal “all but guarantee that the final product is all spending cuts and not the balanced approach the President wants.” Christiane Amanpour despaired President Obama “has moved all of the way to the language and the ideals that the Republicans espouse.”

> CBS’s Face the Nation: Bob Schieffer insisted “some people say that the Republican Party has been held hostage by the Tea Party” and he discerned “some truth” in an allegation he saw on Facebook that allowing House freshmen “‘to control this debate’” is “‘like letting the teenager in the family run the family budget.’”

By Noel Sheppard | July 31, 2011 | 12:06 PM EDT

Speaking on the floor of the Senate Saturday, Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) said, "If we had a billion dollars for every time I heard the words 'Tea Party extremist,' we could solve this debt problem."

Proving his point about the vitriolic name-calling of conservatives so prevalent now, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman began his most recent piece, "Watching today's Republicans being led around by an extremist Tea Party":

By Brent Baker | July 31, 2011 | 9:32 AM EDT

The broadcast network evening newscasts on Friday night noted the very anemic second quarter GDP growth rate at 1.3 percent, but instead of stressing how it showed the weak economic state well before the debt ceiling showdown, they submerged it into warnings of how the delay in getting a deal is hurting the economy.

On ABC’s World News, Bianna Golodryga, aka Mrs. Peter Orszag, the wife of Obama’s former OMB Director, helped her husband’s ex-employer by failing to even mention the worst news of the day: the revision of the first quarter GDP down to a flat line 0.4 percent from the original 1.9 percent estimate. At least CBS and NBC considered that newsworthy.

By Tim Graham | July 31, 2011 | 7:32 AM EDT

In his daily "Best of the Web Today" feature, James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal mocked the Democrats (and their helpful friends at the Associated Press) for obsessing over South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and whether she is white or Indian-American:

Remember when Southern Democrats were obsessed with racial distinctions? No, we don't mean in the 1850s or even the 1950s, but yesterday--literally. Here's an Associated Press dispatch dated July 28, 2011:

By Brad Wilmouth | July 31, 2011 | 5:29 AM EDT

 On Saturday’s World News, ABC anchor Dan Harris seemed to fret that the current debate over the budget is taking attention away from an "unprecedented assault" that is being "quietly" waged by conservatives "on environmental regulations." As the report from Blair, West Virginia, focused on a coal mining technique that destroys the tops of mountains, correspondent Jim Sciutto featured two soundbites supporting restrictions on such mining with only one opposed.

And, while Harris in his introduction shined a light on conservatives as the group who want fewer mining regulations, the one soundbite that Sciutto included in the report that was on the more anti-regulation side was centrist Democratic Congressman Nick Rahall of West Virginia. And no liberal label was used for those who were shown supporting the regulations, including environmental activist  Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Harris set up the piece:

By Brad Wilmouth | July 30, 2011 | 11:24 PM EDT

 On Saturday’s Fox News Watch, regular panel member Jim Pinkerton of American Conservative magazine brought up a recent study from the Media Research Center - parent organization to NewsBusters - which found that broadcast network newscasts overwhelmingly placed more blame on Republicans than Democrats for the drawn-out budget fight. After asserting that the press are "carrying" President Obama, Pinkerton continued:

By Tom Blumer | July 30, 2011 | 9:31 PM EDT

The AP's coverage of the U.S. economy late Friday focused on high gas prices as the dominant, uh, driver of this year's anemic growth both visually and in its text.

As will be seen after the jump, the graphic at the AP's national site is of a gas price sign. The final sentence in the caption of the full-size version reads "High gas prices and scant income gains forced Americans to sharply pull back on spending."

The underlying report by Christopher Rugaber and Paul Wiseman predictably mentioned gas prices first and foremost, tagged debt-ceiling negotiations as a suddenly important contributor to economic uncertainty (where have they been while President Obama, his cabinet, his czars, and his hyperactive regulators have been injecting uncertainty in megadoses during the past two years?), and relayed Ben Bernanke's months-old warning that cutting back too much on government spending would hinder economic growth:

By Ken Shepherd | July 30, 2011 | 4:58 PM EDT

Well, the Washington Post reported it, but it was in the 21st paragraph of a 24-paragraph story on page A11, in an article entitled "White House is divided on how to portray Obama," no less:

New polling numbers suggest that voters have been unimpressed with Obama’s performance — with his once-sizable reelection advantage evaporating in a matter of weeks.

A survey published this week by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press finds that 41 percent of voters want to see Obama reelected next year, compared with 40 percent who favor a Republican. In May, Obama led by 11 points, 48 to 37. The explanation: The number of independents wanting an Obama victory fell from 42 percent in May to 31 percent now.

By NB Staff | July 30, 2011 | 3:09 PM EDT

Earlier this week, NewsBusters managing editor Ken Shepherd had the opportunity to sit down with Tim Groseclose, a conservative political science professor from UCLA who's out with a new book about liberal media bias entitled "Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind."

In the interview, recorded on July 27, Groseclose explained how his research proves the media's liberal bias has a tendency to skew the electorate's perception of the political world, making all of us more liberal than we would be were it not for the media's liberal distortions.

[You can watch the full interview in the embed that follows the page break]

By Rusty Weiss | July 30, 2011 | 2:29 PM EDT

Throughout his tenure, there have been several facets in which President Obama has been demonstrably weak on leadership, with the debt debate coming to the forefront in recent months.  Now however, lost in that news cycle has been another failure of leadership for the President – his own request to tone down violent rhetoric in this country.  For it was mere months ago that Obama stood in front of a crowd in Tucson that had anxiously sought leadership amidst the chaos of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting; a teachable moment that had The Guardian gushing about how the President had delivered “calm amid the toxic rhetoric.”

That moment of calm has long since dissipated.  Where once the President had denounced discourse that places “the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do”, we hear Republicans blamed for holding the American people hostage to their economic policies.  Where once we were urged to talk “with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds”, we now hear Tea Party members being denounced as terrorists.

Make no mistake, this ratcheting up of terrorism and hostage-taking discourse directly coincides with recent events in Norway.  The instant that Oslo terrorist, Anders Behring Breivik, was labeled as a ‘right-wing Christian’, liberals finally had their moment to seize upon - not just a chance to label conservatives as extreme ideologues but a chance to label them as violent ideologues.  This message has been a coordinated and vicious attack amongst the media, the Democrats, and most assuredly, the President.

By NB Staff | July 30, 2011 | 10:40 AM EDT

For general discussion and debate about politics, the debt ceiling, the economy, sports, or whatever else tickles your fancy.

By Noel Sheppard | July 30, 2011 | 10:02 AM EDT

The folks at CNN should be really proud of themselves.

In less than 24 hours, one of their current anchors - Fareed Zakaria - flat out lied about deficits, the debt ceiling, and the U.S. credit rating before a former host - Eliot Spitzer - falsely told viewers of HBO's "Real Time" that George W. Bush "gave us the deregulatory craziness that led us over the cliff" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Brad Wilmouth | July 30, 2011 | 3:42 AM EDT

 In Wednesday’s New York Times article, "Where Politics Are Complex, Simple Joys at the Beach: Israelis and Palestinians Dare to Swim Together," reporter Ethan Bronner sympathetically devotes nearly all of the article to a group of left-wing Israeli women - an organization called We Will Not Obey - who illegally smuggle Palestinian women through checkpoints from the West Bank into Israel so they can visit the beach.

The article includes a quote from one member of the group who ridiculously compares herself to a resident of Germany living during the Nazi era, while a second activist invokes legendary civil rights activist Rosa Parks. Bronner is apparently so impressed with the quote about Rosa Parks that he uses larger text to preview the reference for readers near the end of the article.

And, according to the pro-Israel group CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle Eastern Reporting in America), the article relays the inaccurate claim that Israelis, unlike Palestinians, enjoy the privilege of unrestricted travel at all points between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, when in reality Israelis do face restrictions on travel into the West Bank.

By Tom Blumer | July 29, 2011 | 11:07 PM EDT

This afternoon's report at's misnamed Curious Capitalist blog by Roya Wolverson ("GDP Report: What It Tells Us About the Debt") is an embarrassing hash of omissions, errors, and gratuitous political points.

Ms. Wolverson's most obvious omission is her failure to mention the government's breathtaking downward revision to first quarter gross domestic product growth from the annualized 1.9% announced in late June to today's revised 0.4%. That's a nearly 80% hit compared to where we thought we were just a month ago, indicating how anemic the so-called recovery has been. It also gives one reason to doubt that today's 1.3% figure for the second quarter will hold up in subsequent revisions.

What follows are excerpted paragraphs containing just some of Ms. Wolverson's errors and political postures:

By Matt Hadro | July 29, 2011 | 8:15 PM EDT

CNN's American Morning co-hosts tried to lecture those opposed to voting to raise the debt ceiling on the error of their ways on Friday morning. When a guest GOP congressman tried to explain why he was voting no, and complained of being "vilified" for his stance, Romans showed him no mercy.

The American Morning co-host accused the dissenting Republicans who voted "no" to Boehner's plan Thursday night of holding the debt ceiling "hostage" to enacting bigger spending cuts. She made sure to emphasize that Tea Partiers and Republicans could be blamed if the economy dives.