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By P.J. Gladnick | April 4, 2011 | 9:26 PM EDT

"Word is that curios George Gillett the Phoenix ASAC stepped on it again. Allegedly he has approved more than 500 AR-15 type rifles from Tucson and Phoenix cases to be �walked� to Mexico. Appears that ATF may be one of the largest suppliers of assault rifles to the Mexican cartels! One of these rifles is rumored to have been linked to the recent killing of a Border Patrol Officer in Nogales, AZ. Can anyone confirm this information?"

Thus began the first post last December on an historic thread at the CleanUp ATF forum website on the subject of the Project Gunrunner scandal. This website, which features postings by former and current whistleblowing members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is currently leading the way in reportage of this scandal, leaving most of the MSM in the dust. Anybody interested in getting up to speed on this scandal should check out CleanUp ATF for the very latest developments as seen from whistleblowers from inside the ATF.

Only a  few other sources are reporting on this, particularly the blog of Gun Rights Examiner, David Codrea, who ironically named this scandal "Operation Gunwalker" plus some reporting from FOX news as well as CBS investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson whose fascinating report can be seen in this video. Unfortunately, except for the sources cited, there has been very little reporting in the mainstream media on this rapidly developing scandal. For those of you interested in following this, including MSM reporters whose organizations have so far ignored this scandal, the best place to get  the latest breaking information continues to be from the whistleblowing AFT personnel (former and current) at CleanUp ATF.

By Matthew Balan | April 4, 2011 | 6:54 PM EDT

On Monday's Morning Edition, NPR's David Schaper slanted towards a professor and his allies in academia who object to a recent open records request into his e-mails from the Wisconsin GOP, playing five sound bites from them versus only two from a non-Republican source who thought their concerns were overblown. One of the professor's allies labeled the request a "contemporary version of McCarthyism."

Host Renee Montagne introduced Schaper's report by putting the issue in the context of the continuing debate over state employees' collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin:

By Scott Whitlock | April 4, 2011 | 6:21 PM EDT

Chris Matthews on Monday linked the "zealots" in Afghanistan who encouraged and participated in the murders of United Nations workers to Republican "fanatics" and "zealots at home" who "attack the President's basic beliefs, accusing him of thinking like a Muslim from Kenya."

Making his connection clear, the Hardball host opined, "Is this what's come to the wars in the Islamic world? We've begun to talk like the zealots from the Middle East." MSNBC graphics also made the point. First, a picture of a militaristic Muslims appeared with the words "zealots abroad."

Then, a shot of Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann and Donald Trump was shown above the message: "zealots at home."  After his opening commentary, Matthews interviewed New York University professor Irshad Manji and Abderrahim Foukara of Al Jazeera.

By Ken Shepherd | April 4, 2011 | 6:09 PM EDT

Burning a copy of the Koran is morally equivalent to flying a plane into the World Trade Center and equally eternally damnable.

That's essentially the fatwa of Time magazine's Joe Klein in an April 1 blog post at the magazine's Swampland blog.

Klein was condemning Florida pastor Terry Jones's "trial" and subsequent burning of a Koran which allegedly have sparked a murderous rampage against UN workers in Afghanistan last week:

[T]here should be no confusion about this: Jones's act was murderous as any suicide bomber's. If there is a hell, he's just guaranteed himself an afterlifetime membership.

One has to wonder if Klein would say the same thing about a taxpayer-funded artist who photographed a crucifix soaked in a jar of urine or portrayed the Virgin Mary in elephant dung.

By Clay Waters | April 4, 2011 | 4:26 PM EDT

If the New York Times isn’t a liberal newspaper, then why do so many humorless liberals complain when it makes a lighthearted detour off the P.C. reservation?

The retooled letters-to-the-editor page contains an amusing revelation of the delicate liberal sensitivities of the paper’s readership.

The Times flagged a variety of complaints about a feature in the previous issue, showing nine handguns for women, “purse pistols” that writer Chee Pearlman described as “flashier, more feminine and easier to pop into a handbag.” The outcry, according to the Times:

By Scott Whitlock | April 4, 2011 | 4:20 PM EDT

For the second time in less than six months, Good Morning America offered 9/11 truther Jesse Ventura a platform to hype his conspiracy theories and smear the U.S. government as "Nazi." This occurred on the same day that GMA reporter Bianna Golodryga hit Republicans for having connections to birthers and wondered when the President will "fight back" against such charges.

In contrast, although co-host George Stephanopoulos did press Ventura on his conspiratorial beliefs, he also joked around with the former Minnesota governor. At one point, he fawned, "You've had such a varied career. You were even once on a soap opera. Young and the Restless." Stephanopoulos then played a clip of the former politician on that show.

Ventura appeared on GMA to promote his book 63 Documents the Government Doesn't Want You to Read. He slammed the U.S. government by attacking, "There are dedicated, patriotic people in government, but when you read this book, the scary part of this book for me, you could substitute the word Nazi and it would work." Stephanopoulos just moved on to his next question.

By Ken Shepherd | April 4, 2011 | 3:58 PM EDT

The great thing about being a enviro-evangelist blogger in the United States is the moral high ground it gives you from which to condemn people who fall short of your ecological credentials.

Take Bryan Walsh, the blogger behind Time magazine's Ecocentric blog. Walsh took GoDaddy.com CEO Bob Parsons for hunting down an elephant in Zimbabwe that was a threat to a village's crops.

In an April 4 post, Walsh set out to convince readers that hunting elephants, even when done as a defensive measure to save a village's crops, is illegitimate.

Of course, that's easy to say from the climate-controlled comfort of a New York magazine office, so Walsh reserved the bulk of his ire not for the villagers or the Zimbabwean government but for Parsons, who apparently made a politically incorrect choice with his own money:

By Rich Noyes | April 4, 2011 | 3:50 PM EDT

AP’s Dave Bauder reported this morning that CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric would be leaving that post. An exact departure date was not announced, but Couric’s contract with CBS News is set to expire on June 4, 2011, although Bauder suggested that if Couric strikes a deal with CBS for a syndicated daytime talk show, she might stay on temporarily if there was “an extended search for her successor.”

The Media Research Center has just updated our “Profile in Bias” recounting the liberal slant that Couric promoted as CBS Evening News anchor. (An earlier report covered the bias she conveyed as a longtime co-host of NBC’s Today). Here are some of the choicer examples from her disastrous tenure at CBS:

Tea Party = “Moderate Republicans” an “Endangered Species”

“The party crashers. Big primary victories by fringe candidates open a rift in the GOP....After big victories this week by candidates of the Tea Party, the Grand Old Party is in turmoil....Does this mean moderate Republicans are becoming an endangered species?”
— Katie Couric on the September 16, 2010 CBS Evening News.

By Erin R. Brown | April 4, 2011 | 2:38 PM EDT

On April 2nd, The New York Times published a piece by Ethan Bronner titled, "In Israel, Time for Peace Offer May Run Out." In the piece, Bronner discussed various aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including statehood, violence, peace talks, religion, the West Bank, Gaza, and the Muslim Brotherhood.

But while Bronner spent many paragraphs detailing the difficulties in establishing peace between Israel and Palestine, it wasn't until the 2nd page that he Donner admitted a "central obstacle to the establishment of a State of Palestine" is the political and physical divide between the Palestinian Authority-controlled West Bank and the Hamas-controlled Gaza. The more moderate PA has suggested elections for a unified government in both territories.

By Tom Blumer | April 4, 2011 | 2:30 PM EDT

Once again, despite almost two months of national coverage Wisconsin's collective bargaining law and the protests and bad behavior which have accompanied it, the Associated Press is deciding that the nation's news consumers outside of the Badger State don't need to read, hear, or see news relating to unions and leftists acting illegally.

In a post on Saturday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted that the wire service treated the arrest of Katherine Windels for issuing death threats to all but one of the GOP's state senators as a local story. Later on Saturday, NB's Noel Sheppard noted the virtual absence of media coverage of Windels' arrest on any broadcast network newscast or cable new show (except Fox's O'Reilly Factor).

The AP apparently believes that unions attempting to intimidate businesses into supporting their agenda -- or else -- isn't something that anyone outside of Wisconsin should care about. Even then, there is a palpable reluctance by the wire service to provide much in the way of accurate detail.

Here are some those details, as reported at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's online blog (bold is mine):

By Clay Waters | April 4, 2011 | 2:19 PM EDT

Michael Powell’s New York Times story on the latest job figures made the lead slot in Saturday’s Times, with a headline portraying a revitalized Obama and a defensive G.O.P. “U.S. Posts A Gain Of 216,000 Jobs, A Lift For Obama -- Private Sector On Rise -- As Jobless Rate Falls to 8.8%, White House Warns G.O.P.

One might not think an 8.8% unemployment rate would be cause for swagger and celebration, but you couldn't tell that from the Times's headline and lead.

The United States economy showed signs of kicking into gear in March, adding 216,000 jobs and prompting President Obama to proclaim a corner finally turned.

The president and his fellow Democrats pointed to the latest jobs report on Friday, and to an unemployment rate that fell a touch to 8.8 percent, as evidence that their policies, like stimulus spending and the payroll tax cut, were working. All of this, they made clear, could become ammunition in their showdown with House Republicans, who have spoken of cutting deeply into the federal budget and have threatened a government shutdown.

An emboldened Mr. Obama spoke of the political implications before several hundred workers at a United Parcel Service shipping center in Landover, Md.

By Scott Whitlock | April 4, 2011 | 12:47 PM EDT

Good Morning America’s Bianna Golodryga conducted a fawning interview with Bill Clinton on Monday and fretted that Barack Obama is “giving in too much to Republican demands” on the 2011 budget.

The ABC journalist offered the former President, the ex-boss of GMA co-host George Stephanopoulos, no tough questions. Instead, she chose broad, softball queries about the Clinton Global Initiative. At one point, Golodryga, who is married to Barack Obama’s former budget director, fawned, “We also saw your daughter moderate a panel yesterday. What was she talking about?”

The reporter also pushed Clinton as to whether Obama should “take on those who question where he was born.” She challenged, “I mean, do you think at this point, do you think the President should just say, ‘You know what? I'm sick of taking the high road’ and just either fight back or handle this once and for all?

By Kyle Drennen | April 4, 2011 | 12:18 PM EDT

At the top of Monday's Today on NBC, co-host Matt Lauer touted "breaking news" of President Obama announcing his re-election bid: "...the expected announcement comes with a prediction, he could become the first candidate ever to raise a billion dollars." Lauer then added: "Will Republican hopefuls sitting on the sidelines be compelled to dive in as well?"

While fill-in co-host Ann Curry noted the announcement was "not a surprise" the broadcast still lead with a full report on the topic. Like Lauer, White House correspondent Savannah Guthrie highlighted Obama's fundraising efforts while noting the lack of formal announcements from Republican candidates: "The President is already planning fundraising trips this month to Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York, while the Republican race is still off to a slower start."

By Mark Finkelstein | April 4, 2011 | 10:43 AM EDT

Via William Jacobson, at his influential  LegalInsurrection blog.

Let's call it a case of unintentional honesty, or as Bill Jacobson described it, a classic "Freudian slip."

In its article reporting President Obama's announcement of his 2012 re-election campaign, the Los Angeles Times gave the URL address for the official Obama campaign website as: http://latimes.com.   Too true!

View Bill's screen capture, grabbed before the LA Times could change it, after the jump.

By Mark Finkelstein | April 4, 2011 | 9:36 AM EDT

Are you old enough to remember the polio-era line: "funny as an iron lung"?  After all, what kind of person would find funny the notion of someone fighting to breathe?

Answer: Mika Brzezinski.

Today's Morning Joe played a Letterman clip of a faux-promo for an imaginary TV show called "The Dick Cheney Story."  As the title song from the Mary Tyler Moore Show plays merrily in the background, we're treated to images of Cheney wielding a gun, in a wheelchair and undergoing open-heart surgery.  The clip closes with video of Cheney fighting to get a breath of air.

Cut to Mika, doubled-over, laughing hysterically, literally to the point of tears.

View video after the jump.