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By Kyle Drennen | May 6, 2011 | 11:59 AM EDT

In report from Pakistan on Friday's NBC Today, news anchor and soon-to-be co-host Ann Curry offered this description of Osama bin Laden's widow, Amal al-Sada: "After more than 10 years of marriage, Amal was known to be devoted to him....and she was much like him: simple, pious, not interested in luxuries like his other four wives. And it appears she lived his life on the run." [Audio available here]

A sound bite was featured from terrorism expert Evan Kohlman, who like Curry, adopted a sympathetic tone toward the al-Qaeda leader's spouse: "She joined bin Laden and she traveled with him during one of the most difficult parts of his life, which when he was mostly on the run, traveling across Pakistan, Afghanistan with few luxuries. And yet, she stuck by him."

View video below

By Tim Graham | May 6, 2011 | 11:33 AM EDT

On the website, CBS 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl on Tuesday declared about the Osama bin Laden takedown "The initial reaction is triumphant: a feeling of justice done; of unfinished business dealt with; of a hurtful wound cauterized." But then she wondered about luck:

The next step for me was thinking about Barak [sic] Obama and luck. If there’s one thing we Americans want and expect from our presidents, it’s that they’re blessed with good fortune, and that they then spray their fairy dust on the rest of us.

When Jimmy Carter sat in the Oval Office, you got to think the gods had turned against him, with his double-digit inflation and gas lines. You knew he had lost his mantle of heaven when his helicopter mission to recue the American hostages in Iran failed tragically in a sandstorm.

By NB Staff | May 6, 2011 | 11:00 AM EDT

"If  you listen very carefully, you can hear the sound of thousands of people in Washington, D.C., peeling egg off their faces," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell quipped on the May 6 "Fox & Friends," referring to the naysayers who condemned enhanced interrogation techniques such as waterboarding during the Bush administration.

Indeed, President Bush "is not getting the credit he deserves" for the finding and killing of Osama bin Laden.


By Julia A. Seymour | May 6, 2011 | 10:45 AM EDT

The April jobs report showed 244,000 job gains, “surprisingly strong” numbers according to the Kansas City Star. Many national news outlets reported that jobs number as well as the rise in unemployment rate back to 9 percent in their headlines immediately reacting to the news.

CNBC initially suggested that the unemployment rate “ticked” up because of higher participation in the labor force, but a story a bit later said “nothing in the data suggests that. The labor participation rate for April, in  fact, stood unchanged at 64.2 percent.”

In another story they also said “the numbers suggested that a good portion of the boost came from McDonald’s, which moved to hire 50,000 workers last month.” While encouraging signs, don’t expect the news media to advertise that April was still the 27th month in which the unemployment rate was above 8 percent.

By NB Staff | May 6, 2011 | 9:28 AM EDT

The first Republican presidential debate But  took place last night on the Fox News Channel, but featured only one candidate, Tim Pawlenty, generally considered to be a front-runner. So now we must undertake the inevitable task of deciding who "won" the debate. The other participants were Herman Cain, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, and New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. Fox's Sean Hannity brought on a focus group from pollster Frank Luntz after the debate to discuss who they thought had won. Check out their response below the break (via Johnny Dollar) - you might be surprised.

By Noel Sheppard | May 6, 2011 | 8:12 AM EDT

MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Thursday had a highly-contentious interview with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

"The Last Word" host repeatedly interrupted his guest leading her to say after one such incident, "Lawrence, you have a bad habit with your guests. You never let them answer a question" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Tim Graham | May 6, 2011 | 8:10 AM EDT

A PBS viewer might be surprised that Tavis Smiley might recognize the killing of Osama bin Laden as a newsworthy event, since he believes Christians kill people in bombings every day in America. But on the day after the Osama mission succeeded, Smiley went straight to the radical left for the official PBS reaction. There's your tax dollars at work again, providing a megaphone for The Nation magazine and Pacifica Radio in the person of Jeremy Scahill, who brought the usual radical buzzkill. He described his mood as somber over the "idiotic" cheering that signals American "blood lust." 

SMILEY: Does that mean that you had your stomach turned by all the cheering and jubilation outside the White House?

SCAHILL:  Well, I think that quite frankly it’s idiotic to treat these kinds of international events like sporting events, like it’s the World Cup that we’re cheering for here. I think in a way it really is insulting to those who’ve lost loved ones in these wars and who lost loved ones on 9/11, to trivialize it by jumping up and down like that.

By Brent Baker | May 6, 2011 | 2:16 AM EDT

Scott Pelley, the incoming anchor for the CBS Evening News, dropped by Washington, DC’s CBS affiliate on Wednesday where he mimicked left-wing MSNBC’s “Lean Forward” slogan as he promised: “We’re going to be leaning forward.”

On I saw a link to online video of a WUSA-TV story about Pelley’s May 4 visit to the Gannett-owned station where he pledged: “We're going to cover hard news. We're going to be aggressive about that. We're going to be leaning forward.”

Very unlike MSNBC, however, he pledged fairness: “Were going to be all about original reporting, unique insight and being fair to everybody involved in a story. It is just that simple.” (Audio: MP3 clip)

By Mark Finkelstein | May 5, 2011 | 9:47 PM EDT

On his MSNBC show this evening, Chris Matthews criticized Hillary's lack of "humanity" for denying that, in the photo of her in the Situation Room during the attack on Bin Laden, she was having an emotional reaction.  Matthews played video of Hillary suggesting that rather than reacting in horror, she was merely stifling a cough.  Riiight.

On the one hand, Hillary richly deserved Matthews' wrist-rap for her blatantly phony explanation.  Madame 3 AM obviously doesn't want to be seen to be looking weak. Still, it was surprising to witness the harsh terms with which Matthews went after Clinton.  Yo Chris, your guy pounded her in the primaries.  Chill!

View video after the jump.

By Matthew Balan | May 5, 2011 | 7:21 PM EDT

NPR's Ari Shapiro emphasized the possible political benefits for President Obama on Thursday's Morning Edition in the aftermath of the death of Osama bin Laden. Shapiro lined up sound bites from three pundits who touted the "big moment" for the "bold" President and how it amounted to a  "fundamental shift in the way Americans perceive Mr. Obama."

Midway through his report, the correspondent introduced a clip from former Bill Clinton speechwriter Jeff Shesol: "He [Shesol] believes this week could mark a fundamental shift in the way Americans perceive Mr. Obama." The Clinton alum claimed that it would be "very hard after this moment to suggest that President Obama doesn't have the guts to make tough calls, to make bold and risky calls...and then to go ahead because he knows it to be the right thing to do."

By Scott Whitlock | May 5, 2011 | 6:38 PM EDT

Chris Matthews apparently misses moderating Republican debates and hectoring the candidates with bizarre questions. On Thursday's Hardball, hours before the first GOP face-off, the cable anchor dreamed up hypothetical queries he would like to see: "Question to Mr. Candidate, do you believe in evolution? Are you a fundamentalist who believes in the Bible as written? Has man been around millions of years or, say, just about 6000?"

Apparently this question is crucial as it determines "whether you believe in science or not." On the week Osama bin Laden was killed, Matthews added this relevant inquiry: "A question for the fundamentalists who give that answer, why do we conduct health experiments for people on animals if there's no relation?" 

The liberal anchor also wondered, "Do you wish to outlaw abortion and if so what should be the punishment? If having an abortion doesn't deserve punishment, why are you pushing to outlaw it?"

[See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Clay Waters | May 5, 2011 | 4:37 PM EDT

Thursday's New York Times lead editorial defended the paper's left-wing ideological ground against conservative arguments that the killing of Osama bin Laden is a vindication of harsh interrogation methods used on terrorist detainees in Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere: "The Torture Apologists – Efforts to justify torture after the Bin Laden killing are cynical and destructive."
As the headline proves, the Times has made itself quite comfortable with using the loaded word "torture" to describe broad interrogation methods like water-boarding and sleep deprivation that inflict temporary physical panic but not permanent damage.

The killing of Osama bin Laden provoked a host of reactions from Americans: celebration, triumph, relief, closure and renewed grief. One reaction, however, was both cynical and disturbing: crowing by the apologists and practitioners of torture that Bin Laden’s death vindicated their immoral and illegal behavior after the Sept. 11 attacks.

By Ken Shepherd | May 5, 2011 | 3:21 PM EDT

Yesterday I critiqued Washington Post staffer Michael Laris's reporting on the Montgomery County [Md.] Council passing into law a 5-cent bag tax effective January 1, 2012. Laris omitted the fact that the county bag tax has a glaring exemption for newspaper bags, including the sleeves that protect home-delivered newspapers from the elements. This was despite the fact that his newspaper's editorial board has been in favor of similar bans which carve out similar exemptions for newspaper bags.

Well, today the Post editorial staff once again beat the drum for a statewide bag tax to mirror that of Montgomery County's. And yet again the Post conveniently omitted the fact that such a bill would likely exempt newspaper bags. And yet, here's how the Post preachily concluded its editorial entitled "Montgomery Cleans Up"*:

By Jack Coleman | May 5, 2011 | 2:57 PM EDT

Not bad, it took her a mere 18 months to grasp this.

On her MSNBC show Monday night, the first time it ran after the death of bin Laden, Rachel Maddow cited several post-9/11 examples of terrorism targeting Americans in the US -- including the attack at Fort Hood in November 2009.

"Since Sept. 11, the story of terrorism targeting the United States itself has mostly, thankfully, been the story of thwarted attacks," Maddow said, such as the so-called shoe bomber and underwear bomber, a plot to detonate explosives in the New York City subway system, the failed bombing of Times Square, and the so-called Dallas bomber who targeted former president George W. Bush.

"And then there was the mass-casualty shooting at Fort Hood in Texas in 2009, carried out by Major Nidal Hasan," Maddow said.

Quite a contrast with how Maddow described the incident on her show Nov. 12, 2009, fully a week after the carnage (video after page break) --

By Clay Waters | May 5, 2011 | 2:12 PM EDT

President Bush received a short-term boost in a New York Times poll when Saddam Hussein was captured in December 2003, his job approval rating rising to 58% from 50%, while the assassination of Osama bin Laden similarly benefitted President Obama in yesterday's NYT/CBS poll, 57% to 46%. Yet it was Obama who got the warmer initial greeting on the New York Times's front page.

The first three paragraphs from Thursday's Page One story by James Dao and Dalia Sussman, "Bin Laden Gives President Big Lift in Poll."      

Support for President Obama rose sharply after the killing of Osama bin Laden, with a majority now approving of his overall job performance, as well as his handling of foreign policy, the war in Afghanistan and the threat of terrorism, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

The glow of national pride seemed to rise above partisan politics, as support for the president rose significantly among both Republicans and independents. In all, 57 percent said they now approved of the president’s job performance, up from 46 percent last month.