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By Scott Whitlock | March 8, 2011 | 5:38 PM EST

ABC's undercover news show, What Would You Do, on Friday continued to search for examples of bigotry across America. Anchor John Quinones narrated a segment featuring two men pretending to be gay military veterans displaying affection in a New Jersey restaurant.

As cameras rolled, Quinones explained the set-up: "They're holding hands, stroking each other's hair and caressing each other's legs...So what will happen if we throw in our actor Vince, posing as an irritated diner, who's had enough of this PDA?"

An actor, "Vince," interrupted the faux soldiers and complained, "Excuse me. We appreciate your service to the country and everything, but you should respect the uniform a little bit more than that."

By Alex Fitzsimmons | March 8, 2011 | 5:29 PM EST

Less than two weeks into his new gig anchoring the 3 p.m. Eastern hour at MSNBC, Martin Bashir has already called the Tea Party "disingenuous," hailed Obama's response to the crisis in Libya, and supported raising taxes on the rich.

This afternoon Bashir added another item to that liberal laundry list.

While President Barack Obama was delivering a speech on education reform in Boston, the former ABC "Nightline" anchor seized on the opportunity to advance the fallacious narrative that Republican governors across the country are trying to vilify public school teachers.

By Jack Coleman | March 8, 2011 | 5:28 PM EST

Never let it be said that Ed Schultz isn't fair. Why, just yesterday he was putting in a good word for German national socialism.

Schultz, who has yet to encounter an infrastructure project that didn't make him swoon (an infatuation he shares with fellow MSNBCer Rachel Maddow), had this to say on his radio show with sidekick James Holm while complaining about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker rejecting a passenger rail line between Milwaukee and Madison (audio here) --

By Ken Shepherd | March 8, 2011 | 4:17 PM EST

In its daytime programming today, MSNBC has been hyping today's 100th anniversary of  International Women's Day.

On her 1 p.m. Eastern program, anchor Andrea Mitchell noted how Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled the International Women of Courage Awards to "ten women rights leaders from around the world."

While Mitchell then noted the lack of progress that Afghanistan's government was making in terms of women's rights, she failed to report how the Obama administration has backtracked on efforts aimed at promoting advances towards equal rights and greater access to education for Afghan women.

As Rajiv Chandrasekaran noted in his Sunday  Washington Post article -- "In Afghanistan, U.S. shifts strategy on women's rights as it eyes wider priorities" -- the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has backed down from earlier ambitious, concrete goals for female property ownership and education in Afghanistan, quite possibly in accord with the desire of top-level Obama administration officials to wind down a U.S. presence there (emphasis mine):

By Kyle Drennen | March 8, 2011 | 3:51 PM EST

Tuesday's CBS Early Show featured a fawning story on President Obama's Race to the Top Commencement Challenge that sounded like it was written by the White House communications department. What the segment failed to mention was the severe lack of high schools that had actually entered the contest to have Obama speak at their graduation ceremonies.

Co-host Erica Hill teased the story at the top of the 8:30AM ET half hour and portrayed the program as a great success: "More than a thousand high schools tried to get President Obama to deliver their commencement address at last year's graduation. No easy feat to get the President to your high high schools around the country can compete for that honor and a visit from the President again this year." She left out the fact that this year the White House was having tremendous difficulty attracting a similar level of interest.

By Matt Hadro | March 8, 2011 | 3:50 PM EST

The Wisconsin public sector unions, in agreeing to compromise on their pensions and benefits in exchange for collective bargaining, have apparently done all they could to negotiate with the state's governor – according to "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski Tuesday. The self-confessed Democrat for whom appeal to sentiment is second-nature, Brzezinski painted the governor as "cold" and "mean" in the eyes of Wisconsin voters, to whom the union has "given blood."

"The union has given blood to this guy. They've given everything he's wanted," Brzezinski lamented. "I don't know what more they can do for him."

Brzezinski highlighted polls of Wisconsin voters, which show a majority now have an unfavorable view of the governor. "You know what the voters are saying?" she rhetorically asked. "He's cold. And he's mean. And he doesn't care about the little guy." Wow, it sounds like someone's getting coal in his stocking next Christmas.

By Tim Graham | March 8, 2011 | 3:21 PM EST

The Washington Times took up the issue today of how PBS and NPR stations exploit their own airwaves to lobby against Republican budget-cut proposals. Reporter Seth McLaughlin and Stephen Dinan reported that spokesmen for PBS superstations WGBH in Boston and WETA in Washington “said their appeals never told their audiences which way to lobby Congress, but only to call and let their feelings be known.”

A look at WETA’s ad (which we recorded after the February 22 Frontline) shows this is simply and obviously untrue. The announcer clearly insists the House Republicans are putting kiddie programs at risk and cuts “will have a devastating effect on WETA and the television programs you and your family rely on.” Do they really expect people to agree this isn’t an advocacy ad? Do they think someone would say "I'm so glad they've inspired me to call and say "I hate WordGirl and Sid the Science Kid. Please defund those little jerks.'" Here’s the whole script:

(video, audio and transcript after the jump)

By Clay Waters | March 8, 2011 | 3:15 PM EST

New York Times religion reporter Laurie Goodstein made Tuesday’s front page with an attack on Brigitte Gabriel, an activist who warns against the dangers of radical Islam in the United States: “Drawing U.S. Crowds With Anti-Islam Message.”

Interestingly, the piece is datelined Fort Worth, Texas, suggesting much of the relevant reporting was done last fall – Gabriel spoke to a Tea Party event in Fort Worth in September 2010, and Goodstein’s story includes a photo of Gabriel speaking at “a Tea Party event in September.”

Did some of this story come out of the freezer? It was surely released today to intersect with Rep. Peter King’s hearings on Islamic radicalism which begin on Thursday, but which the Times already bashed in its lead editorial today. The editors pointed an accusing finger at King: “Not much spreads fear and bigotry faster than a public official intent on playing the politics of division.”

By Alex Fitzsimmons | March 8, 2011 | 2:44 PM EST

On MSNBC's "Daily Rundown" today, Steve Liesman robustly defended raising gasoline taxes as a way to address rising oil prices.

The CNBC senior economics reporter minced no words to show his support for hiking the unpopular consumption tax in the midst of a sluggish economic recovery: "I want to offer that one of the real solutions here is a gas tax."

After positing that the problem with oil prices "is not that they're high, it's how they oscillate," Liesman claimed higher gas taxes "would accomplish two things: one, it would create incentives to use less of it and two, create a little more certainty around the price, which by the way is one of the things making gasoline a bad fuel for the economy."

By Lachlan Markay | March 8, 2011 | 2:31 PM EST

An admission by a top executive at National Public Radio that the organization would be "better off in the long-run" without federal funding may bolster ongoing efforts to rescind that funding. Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., said Tuesday that he was "amazed at the condescension and arrogance" displayed by then-senior NPR executive Ron Schiller in a hidden camera video released by conservative filmmaker James O'Keefe.

The video showed Schiller telling two men posing members of an Islamic advocacy group that Tea Party activists are "racist" and "xenophobic." Schiller also claimed that NPR "would be better off in the long run without federal funding."

Republicans are prepared to oblige NPR on that score. Lamborn told Washington Examiner columnist Byron York on Tuesday that congressional Democrats and other NPR backers should "reconsider their support in light of these appalling attitudes that are displayed in the video."

By NB Staff | March 8, 2011 | 1:41 PM EST

It's time for Tuesday's episode of NewsBusted! We've got some great material this week (I know, I know, it's great every week).

Topics in today's show:

-- Tea Party cleans up after unions

-- Border patrol officer shooting beanbags

-- Gas prices soar

-- Huck blasts Natalie Portman for out-of-wedlock child

By Ken Shepherd | March 8, 2011 | 1:36 PM EST

"With such a strong bloc of these young people voting Democratic [in presidential elections], Republican leaders in some key swing states are looking to even the playing field coming up in 2012," MSNBC's Thomas Roberts insisted as he introduced Heather Smith of Rock the Vote (RTV) in a segment devoted to that group's fears about "voter suppression" -- see RTV screen capture below the page break -- in states such as New Hampshire, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Missouri.

Those are four states where Republicans control both houses of the state legislature and are pushing reform laws aimed at voter ID requirements, tightening up residency requirements that largely impact college kids, and/or repealing last-minute voter registration at the polls.

By Scott Whitlock | March 8, 2011 | 12:47 PM EST

The three evening newscasts on Monday and the morning shows on Tuesday mostly ignored Barack Obama's abandonment of a campaign pledge to close Guantanamo Bay and end trials of detainees there. NBC's Today, CBS's Early Show and ABC's Good Morning America all covered the story only in news briefs. Yet, when President Bush was in the White House, the networks obsessed over the issue.

Today's Ann Curry called the move to resume military trials there a "stunning reversal," but the network allowed just two brief anchor reads during the four hour program. ABC almost completely ignored the development. Monday's World News skipped the topic entirely.

On Tuesday's Good Morning America, Juju Chang offered a single mention, explaining, "And an about-face from President Obama on Guantanamo Bay. He is resuming military trials for terrorism suspects held in Cuba, two years after he pledged to close the prison."

By NB Staff | March 8, 2011 | 12:16 PM EST

In light of new revelations about NPR's top brass bashing conservatives in a hidden-camera investigation, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell and NewsBusters senior editor Tim Graham issued the following statements calling on Congress to wake up and stop using tax dollars to fund National Public Radio.

Brent Bozell, founder and president of the Media Research Center (MRC):

By Geoffrey Dickens | March 8, 2011 | 11:41 AM EST

NBC's Matt Lauer didn't exactly throw out the welcome mat for possible presidential GOP contender Rick Santorum as, on Tuesday's Today show, he questioned the former Republican Pennsylvania senator if his "ultra-conservative" stance on social issues is "the message people want to hear right now?"

Throwing the results of the latest NBC News poll at him Lauer pressed: "65 percent of people said they are most likely to vote for a candidate in 2012 who is strong on the economy, on the deficit, on jobs, not social issues. That's really not what they are concerned about. So are you, are you barking up the right tree?"

(video, audio and transcript after the jump)