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By Matthew Balan | May 2, 2011 | 7:04 PM EDT

Several media outlets on Sunday did their best to cast doubt on the legacy of Pope John Paul II as the Catholic Church beatified the late pontiff. NPR highlighted how the pope apparently "alienated many Catholics who began leaving the church in droves." CNN brought on a liberal theologian who claimed that John Paul II "led us backwards rather than forward." NBC played up the "avalanche of claims of sexual abuse by priests" during his papacy.

On Sunday's All Things Considered, Sylvia Poggioli, NPR's Rome-based senior European correspondent, turned to "investigative journalist" Jason Berry midway through her report, who blasted John Paul on his handling of the priestly sex abuse issue: "Someone who was so fearless in his confrontation with the communist empire, I for one do not understand how he could not have engaged in the same fearless introspection about the church internal." More than 3 years earlier, Berry, with the assistance of the Los Angeles Times, falsely claimed in a November 2007 opinion piece that the American bishops "had identified about 4,400 abusive U.S. priests," when that figure is actually the number of priests who faced allegations.

By Scott Whitlock | May 2, 2011 | 6:13 PM EDT

Chris Matthews' obsession with birthers didn't take a break on the day after the killing of Osama bin Laden. Only 43 seconds into Monday's show on the terrorist, the Hardball anchor connected, "Barack Obama. The cool hand directs the operation step by step. All this time, the crazies were talking birth certificates, he was working."

Politicizing the death of the man who murdered 3000 people, Matthews berated, "Will this make the Republicans look for someone who can do what Obama can do? Or will they keep on celebrating the clown show?"

The liberal cable host jeered, "Will they stop enjoying their passion and go from cheering their buffoon parade to finding a real pick to put up against a proven master and commander?"

[See video below. MP3 audio here.]


By Ken Shepherd | May 2, 2011 | 4:50 PM EDT

In his May 2 Swampland blog post "Osama Gone, and Now...", Time's Joe Klein makes some arguably contradictory assertions in his thoughts on the role former President Bush played in ultimately finding and killing Osama bin Laden:

By Tom Blumer | May 2, 2011 | 4:43 PM EDT

Update (17:38 EDT on May 4): Rush Limbaugh mentioned this post on his May 3 program. You can listen to that by clicking here.

Well, this should be interesting.

The AP is reporting (preserved here in case the report devolves, as such things very often do) that "secret prisons" and "harsh interrogation techniques" were involved in getting the "first strands of information" that ultimately led to Sunday operation which killed 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden.

It's only a three-paragrapher, so it follows in full (for fair use and discussion purposes). Get a load of the final paragraph:

By Rich Noyes | May 2, 2011 | 4:35 PM EDT

CNN is finally vindicated, sort of. Nearly nine years ago, the network emphatically declared of Osama bin Laden: "Experts Agree: Al Qaeda Leader Is Dead or Alive."

Which would pretty much cover all of the available possibilities. Now we know -- he was alive back then, and he's dead today.

Here's the item from the September 4, 2002 CyberAlert (as written at the time by MRC's Brent Baker) referring to the story from the previous day's "Live From..." newscast:

By Clay Waters | May 2, 2011 | 4:33 PM EDT

New York Times environmental reporter John Broder, who writes like a firm believer in human-induced global warming, provided a little political cover for Obama in his front-page story Saturday on rising gas prices, "Gas Cost Spurs Fight Over End Of a Tax Break."

The problem is more than perception. As Julia Seymour of the Business and Media Institute reported, on April 25 the average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline hit $3.86, less than 25 cents away from the record high price of gasoline set in July 2008.

Broder wrote:

Congress returns next week to a flaring brawl over oil industry profits and tax breaks, with both parties hoping to capitalize on growing public ire at high gasoline prices.

"When oil companies are making huge profits and you’re struggling at the pump, and we’re scouring the federal budget for spending we can afford to do without, these tax giveaways aren’t right," President Obama said in his weekly address on Saturday. But in the Republican response, Rep. James Lankford of Oklahoma countered: "For more than two years, his administration has knowingly increased energy prices by choking off new sources of traditional American energy and smothering our economy in new energy regulations.

The first argument related by Broder shrugged off the problem, saying the rise in gas prices was simply a matter of supply and demand.

By Scott Whitlock | May 2, 2011 | 3:40 PM EDT

The day after terrorist Osama bin Laden was killed in a U.S. military action, Good Morning America brought on consultant Richard Clarke to downplay the death as a "propaganda victory" that will "make us feel good," but won't "mean much" for U.S. security."

GMA co-anchor George Stephanopoulos on Monday interviewed Clarke, who worked for both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. After Stephanopoulos prompted him to talk about how "personally gratifying" the terrorist's death must be, Clarke cautioned, "But, I think we have to put the emotion aside and think about what it actually means for American security. And it doesn't mean that much for American security. "

He continued, "And it doesn't mean that much for American security. It makes us feel good...There's a propaganda victory. But the organization, the network of organizations that he spawned is out there. And many of them are still quite healthy."

By Tim Graham | May 2, 2011 | 2:40 PM EDT

Taxpayer-funded Pacifica Radio receives around $1.5 million a year in funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. It has a nasty habit of being especially radical on conventionally patriotic occasions. On Memorial Day 2010, Pacifica brought on radical Noam Chomsky to denounce "the great killer and torturer" and "grand criminal" Ronald Reagan. The morning after Independence Day in 2010, Pacifica brought on Michael Moore to declare that Americans will be turned away from Heaven for U.S. war crimes. So it's not surprising Pacifica added another outrage after Osama bin Laden was killed. Democracy Now hostess Amy Goodman brought on her old friend and radical journalist Allan Nairn to suggest Osama bin Laden was a smaller killer than the U.S. government, the global center of bin-Ladenism:

But if we recognize that someone who is willing to kill civilians en masse, someone who is willing to send young people out with weapons and bombs to, as President Obama put it, see to it that a family doesn’t have a loved one sitting at the dinner table anymore, see to it that a child and a parent never meet again, if we say that someone like that deserves to die, then we have to follow through on that idea, and we have to recognize, OK, if these things really are so enormous, we have to stop them. Killing bin Laden does not stop them. Bin Laden is dead, but the world is still governed by bin Ladens.

People cheer because they thought they saw justice, but this was not justice delivered by—a kind of rough justice delivered by victims. This was one killer killing another, a big killer, the United States government, killing another, someone who’s actually a smaller one, bin Laden.

By Clay Waters | May 2, 2011 | 2:15 PM EDT

New York Times movie critics Manohla Dargis and A. O. Scott spray the new crop of summer flicks with a dose of liberal guilt in Sunday’s “Gosh, Sweetie, That’s a Big Gun.” Dargis in particular just can’t be pleased with how women are portrayed by Hollywood. Three years ago she greeted the summer season with "Is There a Real Woman in This Multiplex?”  On Sunday she lamented that the women on screen today are the wrong kind of women, criticizing a scene from "Meek's Cutoff" in embarrassing feminist/Freudian academic language, circa 1968: "I just don’t believe that scene where her character pulls out a rifle to protect the wagon train’s Indian prisoner -- or should I say when she takes possession of the symbolic phallus."

The introductory paragraph set the tone:

The summer season brings the usual cavalcade of testosterone-fueled action heroes, including Thor, the Green Lantern, Captain America and Conan the Barbarian. But action-movie derring-do is not always an exclusively male preserve, and in the last year some women and girls -- Evelyn Salt, Lisbeth Salander and the lingerie-clad avengers of “Sucker Punch,” among others -- have been shooting and not just clawing their way into macho territory. Is this empowerment or exploitation? Feminism or fetishism?

By Kyle Drennen | May 2, 2011 | 2:12 PM EDT

In an interview with Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday, host David Gregory worried: "There's a purist streak to the Tea Party, right? Don't compromise....As you think about yourself, are you here to legislate? Are you here to compromise?"

Rubio countered: "...we are dealing with major issues in our country, big issues that deserve big solutions....if we don't stand up and say that, who is going to stand up and say that?" Gregory continued to grill the Senator: "But you still have to send a statement or you actually compromise and get things done. Which is what Senator Rubio believes in?" Rubio shot back: "To say we just compromised, be, 'Oh, we compromised for the sake of a compromise,' you know, that alone may get you some short-term lauds in the media, but in the long term it didn't accomplish anything."

By Clay Waters | May 2, 2011 | 12:47 PM EDT

New York Times Tea Party reporter Kate Zernike made the front of the Sunday Week in Review with “Conspiracies Are Us – The endless debate over Obama’s birth certificate and the paranoid style in American politics.” While mentioning in passing the left-wing conspiracy theory that 9-11 was plotted by the Bush administration, Zernike used her selected sources to point toward historical conservatism as the grand villain.

So much for Mr. Obama’s hopes of stopping the “silliness.”

To many, those who doubt Mr. Obama’s citizenship are driven simply by racial prejudice; they are unwilling to allow that America’s first black president could hold the office legitimately.

By Scott Whitlock | May 2, 2011 | 12:34 PM EDT

View co-hosts Joy Behar and Barbara Walters on Monday immediately politicized the killing of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden. After giving credit to Barack Obama for the successful strike, supposedly straight journalist Walters giddily announced, "I would hate now to be a Republican candidate thinking of running."

Liberal comedienne Joy Behar played off a months-old comment by token conservative Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Behar crowed, "As Elisabeth always says, they should just skip the next election."
As the crew sat next to guest Brian Ross, Hasselbeck refused to join in: "Wait a minute. I think it is insane to politicize this event right now and I refuse to partake in that."

[See video below. MP3 audio here. ]

By Rich Noyes | May 2, 2011 | 11:57 AM EDT

Today, the news is all about the U.S. military’s successful elimination of Osama bin Laden (go USA!), but for much of the last two weeks the media have preoccupied themselves with demanding higher taxes and scorning proposed Republican budget cuts as mean-spirited attacks on the poor.

The worst of these quotes have been documented in this week’s Notable Quotables newsletter, now posted at with seven video clips. (PDF) Here’s a sample of the most outrageous quotes:

By Geoffrey Dickens | May 2, 2011 | 11:03 AM EDT

For the Washington Post's Petula Dvorak the sight of American college kids celebrating the death of Osama Bin Laden outside of the White House gates, on Sunday night, was "almost vulgar." In a May 2 story Dvorak described the scenes of joy as "one part Mardi Gras and two parts Bon Jovi concert" but then went on to say "It felt a little crazy, a bit much. Almost vulgar" and admitted: "my first reaction was a cringe."

Dvorak, then doubled-down on her hand-wringing, saying the U.S. students reminded her of "those al Qaeda-guys dancing on Sept. 11th," before pondering: "Are we simply creating star-spangled recruitment tapes for a new generation of terrorists killing in the name of their new martyr?"

By Mark Finkelstein | May 2, 2011 | 10:15 AM EDT

Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.  FDR's "we have nothing to fear but fear itself."  Reagan's "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall."  Meh.  Not bad, but nothing compared with Barack Obama's announcement last night of the killing of Osama Bin Laden . . . at least, apparently, in the eyes of Donny Deutsch.

Appearing on Morning Joe today, Deutsch said of President Obama's remarks "I have never seen a more commanding Commander-in-Chief."  

View video after the jump.