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Randy Hall | April 17, 2014, 23:09 ET

Thursday was a busy time for White House press secretary Jay Carney. First, he claimed that the toughest interview president Barack Obama had in 2012 was moderated by Comedy Central's Jon Stewart. As if that wasn't bizarre enough, he later stated that “there has never been a more transparent administration,” a situation that “creates headaches for us and ridiculous stories on Fox News.”

It didn't take long for Greta van Susteren, host of that channel's weeknight On the Record program, to come out swinging and post a message asking: ”White House delusional? Obsessed with Fox News Channel? Thinks we are the only ones that spotted this BS?”

Brent Baker | April 17, 2014, 20:27 ET

On Wednesday morning, December 12, 2012, Jenna Bush Hager, the daughter of former President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush, announced on NBC’s Today show that she was expecting. That evening, the NBC Nightly News allocated 33 seconds to the revelation while neither ABC’s World News nor the CBS Evening News bothered to mention it.

Today (Thursday, April 17), Chelsea Clinton, daughter of a President and First Lady belonging to the media’s preferred party, announced at a Clinton Global Initiative event in New York City that she is pregnant – and the networks broke out the baby showers in joy.

Jack Coleman | April 17, 2014, 19:34 ET

Does it get more laughable in media when Ed Schultz accuses others of being incendiary?

Schultz's years-long obsession and resentment of conservative commentator Sean Hannity, and of Fox News, surfaced once again yesterday when he criticized Hannity and fellow Fox News personality Mike Huckabee for their remarks about Cliven Bundy, the Nevadan rancher locked in a dispute with the federal Bureau of Land Management over cattle grazing fees. (Audio clips after the jump)

Geoffrey Dickens | April 17, 2014, 18:35 ET

At Thursday’s press conference there were no questions about the latest IRS scandal developments or Benghazi but today’s presser did give Politico’s Edward-Isaac Devore a chance to tee one up for the President. 

Given the opportunity to ask a tough question about all of ObamaCare’s problems Devore instead prompted the President to go on a tirade against Republicans. Politico’s senior White House reporter wondered if it was “time for Democrats to start campaigning loudly and positively on the benefits of ObamaCare?” and then pushed the President: “Will you lead that charge?” [video after the jump]

Paul Bremmer | April 17, 2014, 17:59 ET

In a Wednesday post for his The Fix blog, the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza smacked down former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg over his anti-gun crusade.

Cillizza pointed out that, while the mayor holds a lofty opinion of himself, he doesn’t realize how much he is disliked outside of his city, adding:

Scott Whitlock | April 17, 2014, 17:43 ET

After devoting 15 minutes to a Barack Obama interview in the last 24 hours, CBS piled on with another seven minutes devoted to a "scary powerful" top aide. Charlie Rose offered a puff piece on Alyssa Mastromonaco, Obama's deputy chief of staff. The CBS This Morning co-anchor on Thursday offered no tough questions and instead repeatedly underlined just how important she is. Rose marveled, "You know what somebody called you? Scary powerful." 

The co-host narrated, "We recently spoke to her about her low profile, high power role. Every time I read a piece about you, it talks about power." Rose highlighted Obama's alleged feeling about her departure, quoting the President: "I'm not going to let you go...unless you promise me you will be there for me not only during the presidency but in the post-presidency." He followed up with Mastromonaco, saying of her post-White House days: "Is the most exciting time of your life behind you?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.] 

Kyle Drennen | April 17, 2014, 17:27 ET

At the top of the 9 a.m. ET hour on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Natalie Morales seized on Chelsea Clinton answering a question she "gets asked all the time, just about every other day": "In a new interview she is saying she is now perhaps is opening that window that she may possibly think about running for public office." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

After Morales touted Clinton's comments to Fast Company magazine on the subject, fellow co-host Willie Geist proclaimed: "She is a very, very impressive woman." Morales agreed: "She is." Geist continued: "And she'll do whatever she wants to do in life."

Matt Hadro | April 17, 2014, 16:05 ET

On Thursday morning's New Day, CNN reported the newest development in the IRS scandal that the broadcast networks ignored: the former IRS chief contacting the Justice Department about criminal investigations of tax-exempt groups.

"The activist group Judicial Watch has released e-mails that show the agency in talks with the Justice Department to investigate some tax exempt organizations for possible fraud," reported CNN's John Berman. He added that according to the e-mails, "criminal investigations" were a possibility before the IRS targeting scandal broke last year.

Jeffrey Meyer | April 17, 2014, 15:34 ET

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney sat down with CBS News’ Major Garrett on April 17 at George Washington University and made some comments about the 2012 election that should cause some eyes to roll.

Appearing alongside Garrett in an event entitled “A conversation with Jay Carney,” the press secretary claimed that during the 2012 presidential election “If you look back at 2012 and the series of interviews the sitting president of the United States gave, probably the toughest interview he had was with Jon Stewart.” [See video below.]

Matt Hadro | April 17, 2014, 15:17 ET

On Wednesday, MSNBC's Al Sharpton scoffed at the latest allegations that the White House is trying to cook the books on ObamaCare numbers by changing the census questions.

"I mean, who else is in this latest conspiracy, the Easter Bunny?" he quipped, in an interview with former Democratic Ohio governor Ted Strickland. He said those disputing the current ObamaCare enrollment figures were like "birthers" and "truthers." [Video below the break. Audio here.]

Ken Shepherd | April 17, 2014, 15:06 ET

Promising a look at the "seedy side of sainthood," Daily Beast Vatican correspondent Barbie Latza Nadeau hyped the concerns of "critics [who] say the two popes were pushed through to sainthood without a thorough vetting."

Latza Nadeau's story comes 10 days before the canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II and, perhaps more importantly, on Holy Thursday, arguably a stick in the eye for devout Catholics during Holy Week.

Kyle Drennen | April 17, 2014, 15:00 ET

The network morning shows on Thursday were thrilled by Vice President Joe Biden joining Instagram on Wednesday and posting a selfie of himself with President Obama. On NBC's Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie couldn't contain her excitement: "Presidents and vice presidents, they're just like us! The latest selfie racing around the web today." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

On ABC's Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos hailed: "...the selfie craze has hit the White House again....Joe Biden set up an Instagram account overnight, sending out his first picture, it went viral immediately." CBS This Morning co-host Norah O'Donnell gushed: "It's being called the selfie to end all selfies....The White House Twitter account also posted the photo with the caption, 'Pals.'"

Tim Graham | April 17, 2014, 14:16 ET

MRC president Brent Bozell sent along this USA Today report to the staff, and wondered whether the rest of the American media would follow up, as the news from Ukraine carried an echo of the early days of the Nazi Holocaust.

Oren Dorell reported "Jews in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk where pro-Russian militants have taken over government buildings were told they have to "register" with the Ukrainians who are trying to make the city become part of Russia, according to Israeli media."

Rich Noyes | April 17, 2014, 13:37 ET

The showdown between federal authorities and rancher Cliven Bundy, his family and supporters in Nevada is one of those rare topics from the libertarian-conservative news agenda that actually made its way into the establishment media. Between last Thursday and Monday, ABC, CBS and NBC gave the story a total of nearly 16 minutes of coverage on their morning and evening newscasts.

Network journalists have consistently framed the case as one of a rancher failing to pay the requested fees for his use of government land. But they have failed to use the case to tell the larger story of how environmental rules — in this case, regulations to protect the desert tortoise, have been implemented in ways that help favored interests (land developers, or solar companies) while hurting others (cattle ranchers, for example).

Sean Long | April 17, 2014, 13:05 ET

As stoners prepare for their annual 420 smoking “holiday” on April 20, the broadcast networks have done little to educate users on the risks of their leafy drug of choice in spite of extensive reporting on state legalization of pot.

Network evening news reported the growth and legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington state and Colorado. ABC, CBS and NBC evening news programs spent more than 30 minutes discussing the newly legal drug between Oct. 1, 2013, and March 31, 2014. However, the networks rarely addressed marijuana-related health or safety risks, despite blunt support for such education among pot advocates.

Scott Whitlock | April 17, 2014, 12:54 ET

CBS News devoted 15 and a half minutes on Wednesday night and Thursday morning to an interview with Barack Obama. Despite April 15th having just passed, correspondent Major Garrett offered no questions on taxes or the IRS scandal. He also avoided any queries on ObamaCare or the Benghazi terrorist attack. 

Instead, more than four minutes on This Morning were given over to a horse race discussion on 2016. (Joe Biden joined the interview for that section.) Garrett did press the President on Russia and Ukraine, quizzing, "In your mind, is there a line, never mind the color, is there a line in eastern Europe or Ukraine, that Vladimir Putin must not cross?" After Obama paused as he formulated an answer, the journalist prodded, "Can you articulate that for the world and for the Russian government?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.

Matthew Balan | April 17, 2014, 12:39 ET

Conan O'Brien apparently couldn't resist making a pedophile priest joke on his TBS program on Wednesday, after Pope Francis took two school boys on a ride around St. Peter's Square during his weekly audience: "The Pope let two 11-year-old boys ride in the Popemobile with him...Afterwards, the Vatican told the Pope, that's not the kind of publicity we're looking for today. What the hell is that all about? Kids, get in – come on!" [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

The Catholic League's Bill Donohue (Media Research Center president Brent Bozell serves on the organization's board of advisors) took the comedian to task for his "below the belt" jab at the pontiff:

Paul Bremmer | April 17, 2014, 10:35 ET

MSNBC contributor Jared Bernstein pulled off a deft sleight-of-hand on Tuesday’s PoliticsNation. It started after host Al Sharpton played a clip of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) calling for fiscal responsibility: “If Washington is serious about helping working families or serious about getting families out of work back to work, then it needs to get serious about our national debt. How do we do it? First we stop spending money we don't have.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.]

Bernstein, formerly Vice President Joe Biden’s chief economist, blasted Ryan for being “wrong on the numbers” (even though Ryan didn’t cite any numbers in the clip). He claimed:

NB Staff | April 17, 2014, 10:15 ET

A liberal college president has publicly dissed the student body of his institution, saying it was an ongoing "failure" that the skin tone of the vast majority of the students was too pale.

Campus Reform's Kaitlyn Schallhorn broke the story on Tuesday and followed up yesterday with a story about a Twitter backlash against Western Washington University President Bruce Shepard. Let us know what you think in the comments below, or share whatever's one your mind in this today's open-thread post.

Clay Waters | April 16, 2014, 23:55 ET

The New York Times resolutely refused to see a pattern of jihad on the part of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in its sympathetic front-page Tuesday profile of his prison conditions. Yet on Wednesday the Times ran an op-ed that used an anti-Semitic killer in Kansas to represent the hidden domestic terror threat of military veterans.

First, try not to shed a tear for Tsarnaev as you read the opening strains of Michael Wines and Serge Kovaleski's Tuesday story, "Marathon Bombing Suspect Waits in Isolation."

Tom Johnson | April 16, 2014, 23:29 ET

Liberals often complain about the mainstream media's unwillingness to state that many right-wing talking points are (supposedly) bogus and even bizarre. One such liberal, media critic Eric Alterman, wrote last year that "[o]ver and over, no matter what the issue—no matter how outlandish, illogical, or simply untrue the conservative argument has been—journalists create a sense of false equivalence between positions that rest on data and logic and those that don’t."
 
This past Sunday, Daily Kos featured writer Egberto Willies blasted the MSM for failing to expose alleged GOP lies about Obamacare and other health-care topics. Willies declared that the media's overall poor performance has brought about "an uninformed populace and a corrupted politics," but added that the good news is that truth-telling left-wing bloggers are riding to the rescue.

Matt Hadro | April 16, 2014, 22:08 ET

Wednesday's NBC Nightly News featured an overwhelmingly positive profile of Michael Bloomberg's new gun control advocacy group. That built upon the network's cheerleading of Bloomberg on Wednesday morning.

Almost the entire story featured quotes from Bloomberg and supporters, with just one soundbite from the NRA. Anchor Brian Williams reported Bloomberg's $50 million pledge without a hint of irony after lamenting big money politics two weeks before.

Brad Wilmouth | April 16, 2014, 21:15 ET

On the Wednesday, April 16, PoliticsNation on MSNBC, far-left host Al Sharpton berated what he viewed as "extremism" and "intolerant radical views" of Republican candidates for U.S. Senate in Mississippi and North Carolina as he highlighted comments that he considered "offensive," "ugly," and "vile."

Guest Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post went so far as to hyperbolically suggest that the GOP is "going to cease to exist" unless Republican Party leaders who are "aghast at the far-right extremists" do not react against these candidates. 

Sharpton began the show:

Matthew Balan | April 16, 2014, 17:41 ET

An unsigned Wednesday article in the Military Times spotlighted how veteran groups have rebuked the New York Times for an opinion piece that played up the recent shootings at two Jewish community centers as apparent proof that white veterans are susceptible to joining hate groups. Paul Rieckhoff of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America hammered the liberal newspaper for its "sensational, slanderous and incredibly offensive" attack on his peers.

In the Wednesday op-ed, author Kathleen Belew cited a controversial 2009 Department of Homeland Security report that hyped the potential for "right-wing extremists...to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to boost their violent capabilities," and targeted conservatives for their criticism of its findings. Belew even threw the race card into the mix:

Ryan Ellis | April 16, 2014, 17:26 ET

There has been the usual tax day-related glut of articles from liberal publications urging a federal takeover of the tax preparation business.  As always, the ultra-left wing blog Pro Publica took the lead, followed predictably by outlets such as SlateVox, and Tax Analysts, as well as respectable news outlets like Bloomberg View and Yahoo!.

The basic argument is always the same: the IRS has all this information on you anyway, so wouldn't it just be easier and better if they simply prepared your taxes for you?  Wouldn't that be better than having to pay some rent-seeking middleman?  This flawed line of thinking fools many a reporter this time of year, but it's refuted pretty easily once you scratch beneath the surface. Below are the top seven reasons the IRS should not prepare your taxes for you:

Mike Ciandella | April 16, 2014, 16:53 ET

When its parent company’s planned merger made national news, NBC News turned into little more than the PR branch of Comcast.

Comcast-owned NBC has been almost eerily silent about opposition to the deal, since news broke that Comcast had plans to merge with Time Warner Cable. NBC’s four segments on the merger were mainly positive. Two of NBC’s four stories failed to mention any controversy about the mega-merger, and NBC disclosed that Comcast owned NBCUniversal in just two stories.

Scott Whitlock | April 16, 2014, 16:29 ET

Two Democratic politicians in Texas apparently warranted a front page, 1200 word story in Wednesday's New York Times. Writer Jason Horowitz profiled San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and his brother, Congressman Joaquin Castro. 

According to Horowitz, "The two brothers share not only looks, ambition and personal mannerisms — they both lower their heads, with almost monklike modesty, when greeting people — but also a childhood steeped in Latino activism, bunk beds and English." Horowitz also repeatedly hinted that one of the brothers could end up on a presidential ticket in 2016. 

Matthew Balan | April 16, 2014, 15:53 ET

CNN's Chris Cuomo tried to get former Assistant Secretary of State Jamie Rubin to defend President Obama's response to Russia's aggression in Ukraine during a segment on Wednesday's New Day. Cuomo cited how Russian President Vladimir Putin "did this in Georgia.....under President Bush" in 2008, and wondered, "Is it fair to look at this situation and say, the weakness or perception of weakness of President Obama has given a window of opportunity to Putin?"

The anchor didn't identify Rubin as either a former Clinton administration official or as the husband of CNN personality Christiane Amanpour. Interestingly, the State Department veteran didn't give Cuomo the response he was looking for: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

Kyle Drennen | April 16, 2014, 15:12 ET

During a hard-hitting question and answer session with Jill Biden on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Tamron Hall wondered what made drew the Second Lady to the Vice President: "What made you fall for Joe Biden? Was it his humor? What was it?" Certainly not a question Lynne Cheney was ever asked about Dick Cheney on the morning show. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Jeffrey Meyer | April 16, 2014, 14:49 ET

MSNBC is not known as a champion of religion, unless it’s someone who is liberal coming on to criticize religious individuals, especially if they are a member of the Catholic Church. Take Sister Simone Campbell, president of the liberal Catholic organization NETWORK, who has been featured on the “Lean Forward” network multiple times for her criticism of Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and his budget priorities.

Appearing as a guest on Andrea Mitchell Reports on Wednesday April 16, the fawning over Ms. Campbell was evident, with Mitchell proclaiming how “the honor is all mine” to finally meet Campbell in person. [See video below.]