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By Ken Shepherd | March 8, 2013 | 11:25 AM EST

The liberal media should have reported President Obama's Chicken Little sky-is-falling claims about the sequester, but "with clear skepticism" instead of mindlessly parroting them, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told Fox News's Sean Hannity on the March 7 edition of his eponymous program.  "They should have gone to the American people and in effect said, this man is lying," but instead, "they did the exact opposite. They waved the pom-poms for him," the Media Research Center (MRC) founder argued.

Even worse, Hannity added, after the sequester ended up being a nothing-burger, the media whined about it, wringing their hands that the public are not concerned. "Let's understand what they mean when they say it's sad.... they're sad that the America people aren't believing the media," Bozell argued, adding the the "big losers" in the whole sequester ordeal are the liberal media, because "people are seeing right through it." [watch the full "Media Mash" segment here]

By Noel Sheppard | March 7, 2013 | 7:06 PM EST

President Obama actually had the nerve this week to close down the White House to tours as part of budget sequestration.

Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer on Fox News's Special Report Thursday observed, "The President’s travel expenses alone for the golfing outing with Tiger Woods would pay for a year of White House visits."

By Scott Whitlock | March 7, 2013 | 6:12 PM EST

MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Thursday worried that a future "right-wing" politician "like Dick Cheney" might one day use drone strikes against his political enemies. The Hardball host was discussing Senator Rand Paul's filibuster on Wednesday and the subject that prompted it: Whether the U.S. has the right to use drones on Americans in a non-war situation.

Matthews wondered if "there is a possibility somewhere out there on the edge that a tough-- not going to say he did it-- but somebody pretty far on the far right like Dick Cheney...will push this thing too far?" The host fumed, "Do you think it's possible that a Jane Fonda could be targeted even by the most right-wing American politician we can imagine?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Paul Bremmer | March 7, 2013 | 5:41 PM EST

Rejoice, people, it’s pledge drive week on PBS! All of your favorite PBS shows are being interrupted so that a couple of smiling faces can beg you to donate some of your hard-earned income to your local public station. Of course, those of us who pay federal taxes are already subsidizing PBS, albeit involuntarily and indirectly through the federally-chartered Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

It’s not always easy to get folks to part with their money, so PBS is doing more than simply offering a mug to anyone who gives $75 or an umbrella to those who donate $100. They are also aggressively touting their own programming, trying to remind viewers of how much they gain by watching. On Wednesday evening, the pledge drive during the NewsHour attempted to use liberal Mark Shields and quasi-conservative David Brooks as selling points for the network.

By Matt Hadro | March 7, 2013 | 5:33 PM EST

CNN harped on the controversy over Fox News head Roger Ailes calling President Obama "lazy" and Vice President Biden "dumb as an ashtray." The network covered it on five shows on Wednesday and Thursday, but three of the shows ignored that Ailes used Obama's own words.

In making the "lazy" remark, Ailes cited a 2011 interview with Barbara Walters where Obama said that "deep down, underneath all the work that I do, I think there's a laziness in me." Erin Burnett was the only CNN anchor to promptly give that context in her report; on Thursday's Starting Point, conservative panel member Will Cain first brought it up, and co-host John Berman affirmed it.

By Kyle Drennen | March 7, 2013 | 5:16 PM EST

On her Thursday 1 p.m. ET hour show on MSNBC, host Andrea Mitchell denounced a newly passed law in Arkansas preventing abortions after 12 weeks: "We're talking about the most restrictive abortion legislation in decades. Most people do not think it will pass court test muster..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

She lamented to Time magazine's Nancy Gibbs: "We're still debating whether or not in the first trimester there should be the right to abortion, all these years after Roe v. Wade." Gibbs joined in the hand-wringing: "There are a growing number of states where there are simply no abortion providers available or there's only one in the entire state, or the restrictions have become so great that effectively there is no availability of abortion....This is just the latest of what has been a pretty steady stream of state level efforts to roll back that access."

By Scott Whitlock | March 7, 2013 | 4:59 PM EST

World News's Jonathan Karl on Wednesday turned a uniquely skeptical eye on Barack Obama's decision to end White House tours in the wake of sequester. Highlighting the President's claim that the decision was a financial necessity, he chided, "The President is having dinner tonight with Republicans at a restaurant just six blocks from here. He took a 20-car motorcade and, of course, lots of Secret Service agents." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

Talking to anchor Diane Sawyer, Karl joked, "Maybe next time, Diane, [Obama] can save a little money by just ordering in." Karl questioned the White House's claim that $84 million in cuts, out of a $1.6 billion budget for the Secret Service, caused the end of the tours. The journalist did the math: "Tours are open 20 hours a week and use 30 uniformed Secret Service officers at about $30 an hour. Total saved? Approximately $18,000 a week."

By Noel Sheppard | March 7, 2013 | 4:42 PM EST

Not surprisingly, most of the folks on MSNBC have being having a field day Thursday ridiculing Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) for his historic filibuster the day before.

Doing his part on the Martin Bashir show was MSNBC political analyst David Corn who said that Attorney General Eric Holder’s letter to Paul “had a very silent FU in it” (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):

By Ken Shepherd | March 7, 2013 | 12:42 PM EST

In the fortnight leading up to the sequester, the broadcast networks ABC, CBS, and NBC wrung their hands about "all the catastrophes that would happen if these cuts went through," NewsBusters senior editor Rich Noyes noted on the March 7 edition of Fox Business Network's Varney & Co. Since, then, however, "they've spent no time asking how is the White House going to decide where these cuts are, how is the administration going to parcel out these cuts?"

In short, "[t]hey're not doing their watchdog function at all," the Media Research Center's research director told FBN's Stuart Varney. What's more, for the most part, the same networks lack any skepticism about how the administration might be targeting their cuts in such as way as to deliberately inflict pain, when it's completely in the power of the Obama White House to structure cutbacks in a way that minimizes its impact on the taxpaying American (watch the full segment below the page break):

By Scott Whitlock | March 7, 2013 | 12:38 PM EST

ABC's World News on Wednesday and Good Morning America on Thursday offered confusing, incomplete and brief explanations for why Rand Paul filibustered John Brennan, Barack Obama's Central Intelligence Agency nominee. According to GMA news reader Josh Elliott, "Paul was protesting the Obama administration's use of drone strikes against Americans."

World News anchor Diane Sawyer insisted the "Tea party firebrand" was opposing "the use of drones against U.S. citizens." This is hardly a full explanation for ABC's viewers. On the Today show, Chuck Todd produced a more accurate description: "[Paul] decided to filibuster the confirmation of CIA director John Brennan in an attempt to get the White House to once and for all promise to never target Americans with drones on U.S. soil." The "on U.S. soil" part is key. ABC allowed only news briefs on the filibuster. CBS and NBC offered full reports.

By Noel Sheppard | March 7, 2013 | 11:45 AM EST

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) commented Thursday on Sen. Rand Paul's (R-Ky.) historic filibuster the previous day.

'I hope the Democrats will use the filibuster some time as well in that way."

By Noel Sheppard | March 7, 2013 | 10:43 AM EST

Actress and singer Jessica Simpson made a comment Wednesday that is so preposterous in the year 2013 – especially from a woman that is estimated to be worth $100 million! – that it completely defies reason.

Appearing on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, the once again pregnant Simpson said, “I keep planning on getting married but I keep getting knocked up.”