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By Matthew Balan | June 16, 2014 | 2:14 PM EDT

On Thursday's The Lead on CNN, James Allen Fox used actual crime data to splash cold water on a liberal talking point claiming that mass shootings on the rise: "It's a horrific event when four, five, twelve people are gunned down...But let's not think that this is an epidemic." Fox, a criminology professor at Northeastern University, also pointed out that the now-expired "assault weapons" ban had little impact on the number of mass shootings.

Anchor Jake Tapper wondered "what does society need to do" to prevent such events from happening. His guest actually contended that it would be overkill to implement draconian measures in response to such massacres: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

By Brent Baker | June 16, 2014 | 8:10 AM EDT

Jane Pauley, who campaigned for Barack Obama in 2008 as she declared “I want to see the cool, steady hand of Barack Obama on that Bible on Inauguration Day,” on CBS’s Sunday Morning pleaded for Hillary Clinton to try to succeed him: “If not you, who? Who is the viable woman of either party who could win a primary nomination in 2016 if not you?”

By Matthew Balan | June 13, 2014 | 10:22 PM EDT

On Friday's NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams strongly hinted that the recent Islamist blitzkrieg in Iraq was completely former President Bush's fault: "Make no mistake: what's happening in Iraq right now is a direct outgrowth of the U.S. decision to invade the country over a decade ago." However, he glossed over the Obama administration's failure to negotiate a continued U.S. presence and pulling out all American forces in late 2011 as a factor in the crisis.

Williams repeated his point to David Gregory: "How does the President sell any action at all to the component of the American people who feel...it's not our dance...even though...we broke it?" Gregory seconded his contention: "Right, that Pottery Barn rule: you broke it; you own it; you got to somehow fix it." Later, Stephanie Gosk did reference the troop pullout, but didn't mention President Obama by name: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

By Ken Shepherd | June 12, 2014 | 8:52 PM EDT

One week after being offended for the president about those leaked photos of Mr. Obama's dumbbell workout routine, NBC anchor Brian Williams assured viewers of June 12 Nightly News that the commander-in-chief is in top fighting condition. 

The story came right on the heels of Williams relaying how former President George H.W. Bush today made a parachute jump to celebrate his 90th birthday [MP3 audio clip here; video embed follows page break]:

By Matthew Balan | June 11, 2014 | 10:40 PM EDT

Miguel Almaguer hyped on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News that "since the mass shooting in Newtown a year and a half ago, there's been at least 74 school shootings across the country – roughly one every week." However, the correspondent failed to mention that this figure came from the pro-gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety, which was founded earlier in 2014 by liberal billionaire Michael Bloomberg. [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

On Tuesday, Kyle Becker of the Independent Journal Review spotlighted a series of Twitter posts from author and journalist Charles C. Johnson, which called out Bloomberg's organization for giving an "exaggerated impression of how many school shootings have taken place," as many they represent "all sorts" of different incidents involving guns in or near schools. Becker added:

By Ken Shepherd | June 11, 2014 | 10:10 PM EDT

Comparing Hillary Clinton's book tour to an "out of town play getting ready in New Haven," MSNBC's Chris Matthews tonight dismissed the former secretary of state's tone-deaf "dead broke" line from her interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer as a "small kind of gaffe, or even a half gaffe." [MP3 audio here; video embed follows page break]

"Once she said we were $12 million in the hole, I think people should have understood what she meant," Matthews asserted to his guest, NBC's Cynthia McFadden, whose fawning interview was aired on Tuesday's Nightly News. Indeed, the former first lady is quite capably "tuning up" her performance as her book tour rolls along. For her part, McFadden seemed to agree, replying:

By Matthew Balan | June 11, 2014 | 8:58 PM EDT

CBS Evening News was the only Big Three evening newscast on Wednesday to report that the FBI has opened a criminal investigation into the V.A. scandal. Neither ABC's World News nor NBC Nightly News covered this latest development in the ongoing controversy. Instead, both programs devoted air time to the 20th anniversary of O.J. Simpson's slow-speed run from the police, after the murder of his wife and her friend.

Anchor Scott Pelley gave an 18-second news brief on the federal agency's new probe into the cover-up of long patient wait times at the Department of Veterans Affairs: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

By Ken Shepherd | June 11, 2014 | 6:52 PM EDT

Editors at MSNBC.com trimmed down Republican congressional nominee Dave Brat's June 11 phone interview with MSNBC's Chuck Todd in order to paint him as dodging questions from the Daily Rundown host. 

But a review of the full interview [listen to the mp3 audio here] shows that Brat had already and seemingly quite gladly answered a few policy questions on such hot issues as the minimum wage, immigration reform, and his stance on Wall Street's influence on the business wing of the GOP.

By Ken Shepherd | June 10, 2014 | 8:02 PM EDT

Troubled by a recent poll number showing 52 percent of independent voters approve of a select congressional committee investigating the Benghazi fiasco, MSNBC's Chris Matthews offered former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton his messaging advice on the matter during a segment of the June 10 Hardball.

It boiled down to: "sometimes you get killed, and that's part of the business." The relevant transcript follows the page break (emphasis mine; MP3 audio here; video follows page break):

By Ken Shepherd | June 10, 2014 | 4:05 PM EDT

ABC's Diane Sawyer missed a prime opportunity to try to pin down former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on a major economic issue -- whether or not to approve the Keystone XL pipeline -- CNBC senior contributor Larry Kudlow noted in an interview with Brian Wilson and Larry O'Connor on WMAL radio's June 10 edition of Mornings on the Mall. [listen to the full interview by clicking play on the embed below the page break]

"I want to know what her positions are on a variety of issues... For example, I want to know what her position is on Keystone," Kudlow insisted, noting that "her department has signed off three times on Keystone" while she personally "has not said a word about it." What's more, Kudlow noted, a new study published by the Obama-Kerry State Department found that:

By Matthew Balan | June 10, 2014 | 3:29 PM EDT

Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell questioned Republican Senator Marco Rubio on Tuesday's CBS This Morning over the increase in the number of children illegally entering the U.S., and whether immigration reform is going to be revived in Congress. Rose spotlighted that Rubio received "some political pushback" on the immigration issue, and wondered, "When will we see thorough immigration reform?"

The PBS veteran also noted that the Florida politician is a "leading critic of the V.A. health system," but oddly didn't ask a question about the ongoing scandal. Instead, he ran to Hillary Clinton's defense on the extent of her responsibility for the security lapses leading up the September 11, 2012 Islamist attack on the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

By Ken Shepherd | June 9, 2014 | 10:50 PM EDT

Reporting a new poll out on the Iowa Senate race on this evening's program, Hardball host Chris Matthews seemed a bit befuddled that a Tea Party conservative who grew up on a farm, Joni Ernst, is actually leading a Democratic lawyer Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) who waded into a muck a few months ago with an elitist-sounding crack about Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) being a "farmer from Iowa who never went to law school."

Twice Matthews mentioned Ernst's memorable ads in which she mentioned how she castrated pigs when she was growing up on a farm and tied that in to her pledge to cut pork in Washington, D.C. Of course, Matthews failed to make that connection for his viewers and twice mentioned the hog castration as though it were some odd disqualifier in a state the chief industres of which are agriculture and food processing (particularly pork)[Watch the video and read the transcript below the page break]