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By Ken Shepherd | December 18, 2013 | 6:48 PM EST

During a panel discussion on Amazon.com offering discounts to consumers who are parents -- a discount mechanism completely on the honor system since the company cannot verify claims of parenthood -- MSNBC The Cycle co-host Toure Neblett justified lying to take advantage of the discount, saying "nobody was getting hurt here."

"If a lie is being told to a corporation, it's not really a lie," Neblett quipped, shortly after calling a lie about qualifying for the discount "a noble lie." For his part, Business Insider writer Josh Barro also excused dishonestly benefiting from the discount because such discount gimmicks are "price discrimination" and because brick-and-mortar Amazon competitors are supposedly the victims of the cutthroat corporate suits at Amazon [watch the video excerpt below the page break]:

By Scott Whitlock | December 18, 2013 | 5:57 PM EST

 

According to Ed Schultz on Wednesday, "most" doctors hate government and vote Republican. What source did he cite for these claims? Well, none. The MSNBC anchor happily admitted he was just saying what came into his head. Railing against the compromise budget plan that passed the Senate, Schultz mentioned the "doc fix," an effort to correct a problem in how doctors are paid by Medicare. Schultz snarled, "This is about the vote. Most doctors in this country vote Republican. Most of them don't like government." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

For proof, the host touted, "Do I have anything to back that up? No, that's just a gut feeling." He added, "I'm willing to say that, because it's just instinctively, that's what I feel in this country." The liberal New York Times disagreed with Schultz's hunch.

By Noel Sheppard | December 18, 2013 | 5:41 PM EST

Barbara Walter’s admission Tuesday evening that she used to believe President Obama was the next messiah is predictably the target of derision and satire in conservative circles.

Making a guest appearance on Fox News’s The Five Wednesday, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer said, “Five years to realize the man isn't a messiah? I think it took some of us…an hour and a half” (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):

By Kyle Drennen | December 18, 2013 | 4:55 PM EST

Interviewing West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin during her 1 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Wednesday, host Andrea Mitchell praised his efforts to create a "bipartisan coalition for background checks" on guns, but fretted: "Nothing has taken place. It's a year since Newtown. Not even changes in the mental health law. None of the things that the NRA has supported in the past. What's the next step? What can you do?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

In part, Manchin explained: "[Gun owners] just don't trust government. They just don't think the government will stop there [with background checks]. And they say, 'Joe, I like your bill and I'm sure that's fine and that doesn't bother me, but I'm not sure I want to do anything because I'm afraid they'll try to take more.'" Mitchell sneered: "They should talk to the parents and friends and family of that high school student, the young woman who is in a coma in a hospital in Colorado after what happened last week there."

By Scott Whitlock | December 18, 2013 | 4:24 PM EST

 

Far-left MSNBC anchor Lawrence O'Donnell on Tuesday spewed invective at the father of the Constitution, James Madison. Angry over Judge Richard Leon's contention that Madison would be "aghast" at the National Security Agency's spying program, O'Donnell spewed, "We do know that James Madison would be aghast at interracial marriage. We do know that James Madison would be aghast at an integrated cabinet room in the White House, first with African-American members of the cabinet and now with an African-American president presiding over that cabinet." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

An angry O'Donnell misinterpreted the three-fifths compromise in the Constitution, sneering, "It was Madison himself who made sure that slaves were counted in the Constitution as three-fifths of a human being." In fact, abolitionist and civil rights champion Frederick Douglass framed the compromise as a check on the slave-holding south. 

By Ken Shepherd | December 18, 2013 | 1:30 PM EST

"Top journalists from The New York Times, NBC News and CNN acknowledged Wednesday that, generally speaking, the national media has a liberal bias," Politico's media reporter Dylan Byers noted in a December 18 post recapping a Politico Playbook breakfast discussion held earlier on Wednesday morning.

More than one panelist opined that it's not just that journalists tend to be liberal on policy questions but that they live and work in environments which are socially liberal. "I live in northwest Washington, none of my neighbors are evangelical Christians [and] I don't know a lot of people in my kid's preschool who are pro-life," New York Times writer Mark Leibovich noted. Fellow Washington, D.C.-based journalist Jake Tapper picked up on that thread:

By Kyle Drennen | December 18, 2013 | 1:00 PM EST

On Wednesday, only NBC's Today devoted a full segment to the upcoming sentencing of top Environmental Protection Agency official John Beale for "bilking the government out of nearly $1 million by claiming he that he worked undercover for the CIA." ABC's Good Morning America only offered a 25-second news brief on the story while CBS This Morning ignored it completely. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

While NBC and ABC finally got around to the story on Wednesday, Fox News reported the scandal on the October 1 edition of Special Report, with correspondent Shannon Bream noting congressional involvement: "Massachusetts Democrat Steven Lynch was just one of many House members demanding to know how the Environmental Protection Agency could be duped for years by a top-level employee....Angry lawmakers say former EPA chief Gina McCarthy, who openly praised Beale during his time at the agency, should have known better."

By Scott Whitlock | December 18, 2013 | 12:46 PM EST

 

Gushing journalists Josh Elliott and Robin Roberts met Pope Francis on Wednesday and thrilled over the fact that a gay magazine has made him "person of the year." The Good Morning America anchors traveled to the Vatican for "Christmas With the Pope." According to Elliott, "[Pope Francis has] ushered in a kind of truce in the culture wars."

He touted, "And both Time magazine and the leading gay magazine, The Advocate, have named him their person of the year." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Elliott offered tremendously positive coverage, narrating, "He walks the streets, poses for pictures, embraces the sick and is not afraid to have a bit of fun." ABC wasn't always so friendly. On March 14, correspondent Terry Moran warned, "Pope Francis is a staunch traditionalist. He compared abortion to a death sentence; called gay marriage 'destructive of God's plan.'"

By Noel Sheppard | December 18, 2013 | 12:36 PM EST

CNN's Anderson Cooper decided to wade into the debate Tuesday concerning what race Santa Claus is.

Apparently, this whole discussion - partially precipitated by Fox News's Megyn Kelly - has Cooper so confused that he told his audience near the close of his program, "Frankly, I don't even know if I'm white anymore" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Matt Hadro | December 18, 2013 | 11:12 AM EST

In a flourish of exaggeration, CNN's Piers Morgan compared Rush Limbaugh to the devil and conservatives to Genghis Khan on his Tuesday night show.

"Rush Limbaugh keeps whacking away at Pope Francis which is, you know, it's like watching the devil incarnate taking on Mother Teresa," Morgan said in his interview with Ann Coulter. He also took a shot at Limbaugh, Coulter, and other conservatives who are unhappy with Pope Francis's popularity with liberals.

By Noel Sheppard | December 17, 2013 | 9:33 PM EST

Yes, she really said it.

On CNN’s Piers Morgan Live Tuesday, in a brief discussion about President Obama, Barbara Walters actually said, “We thought that he was going to be - I shouldn't say this at Christmastime, but - the next messiah” (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Kyle Drennen | December 17, 2013 | 6:00 PM EST

Getting a glimpse of the kind of real reporting that can occur on NBC Nightly News when Brian Williams isn't in the anchor chair, on Sunday's edition of the program, weekend anchor Lester Holt informed viewers that "official photo releases" from the Obama administration were "at the center of an escalating battle between the White House and the news media over access and image control." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

In the report that followed, White House correspondent Kristen Welker cited National Journal's Ron Fournier calling "images like these pure propaganda, arguing the Obama White House consistently blocks journalists from events they routinely covered in previous administrations." A sound bite followed of Fournier warning: "The White House is getting most of the control. That's not healthy for democracy."