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By Matt Hadro | October 1, 2013 | 10:42 AM EDT

On CNN Tuesday, Politico's Roger Simon slammed the "extreme right-wing" for using "food as a political weapon," for taking the GOP "hostage," and for denying "health care to 11 million people" in favor of a shutdown.

"The extreme right-wing of the Republican Party has taken that party hostage, at least in the House of Representatives," Simon ranted. He summarized their current position on the shutdown: "[W]e would rather shut down the government than extend health care to 11 million people."

By Noel Sheppard | October 1, 2013 | 10:21 AM EDT

Chris Matthews just can’t make up his mind about Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.).

After telling MSNBC’s Morning Joe crew last week that the Texas Tea Partier is “a problem for our republic,” Matthews on Tuesday said, “I think Ted Cruz is brilliant. I think the President’s met his match in this guy” (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Mark Finkelstein | October 1, 2013 | 8:12 AM EDT

Seems the shutdown is already frazzling folks.  Though some of it might have been for show, tempers seemed to truly flare on today's Morning Joe. An on-air spat broke out, with Joe Scarborough in one corner, and Mika Brzezinski and the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson in the other.  

Fed up with what he described as a "paid advertisement for Obamacare" by Brzezinski and Robinson, Scarborough insisted on giving his side of the story.  He predicted that Obamacare will fail, as major employers opt to pay fines instead of providing health insurance to their employeees. That in turn will cause millions of people to be dumped into federal programs. The end result, said Scarborough, will be the disappearance of private health insurance within ten years and a complete government takeover of the program.  View the video after the jump.

By Noel Sheppard | September 30, 2013 | 6:55 PM EDT

"One reason people think Republicans are to blame for government shutdowns is that so much of the media keep telling them that that's the case."

So marvelously stated Brit Hume on Fox News's Special Report Monday (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):

By Kyle Drennen | September 30, 2013 | 6:08 PM EDT

On Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie acknowledged the liberal spin that congressional  Republicans were punished electorally after the 1995 government shutdown was more a matter of faith than fact: "I mean, for 17 years it's been an article of faith that Republicans paid at the polls after the shutdown in the 90s. But these new House Republicans aren't so sure that's true." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

That observation was in response to chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd declaring: "...while there are that small band of loud conservatives who are wanting to, you know, not cave, not give in to anything, do whatever it takes to stop the health care law, there is a growing chorus of moderate Republicans who are telling Boehner, 'Don't do this. You remember how bad this was for the Republican Party 20 years ago. What are you doing? You're putting the majority at risk.'"

By Scott Whitlock | September 30, 2013 | 4:00 PM EDT

 George Stephanopoulos scored an interview on Sunday with his old boss, Bill Clinton. In return for this exclusive, the former Democratic operative turned journalist avoided any mention of a scandal at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), of Benghazi and how the bungled response to the terrorist attack might impact Hillary Clinton's 2016 run for president.

Instead, Stephanopoulos used the ten and a half minute interview to gently query his former supervisor: "I know you can't answer anything about 2016. But when you look back to the last campaign, if you could boil it down to one, what is the one big lesson you learned from it?" As was common in the two part segment, the This Week anchor allowed Clinton to speak for long stretches. He only broke up the ex-President's answer on the 2008 primaries to murmur, "A pretty titanic battle." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Kyle Drennen | September 30, 2013 | 11:55 AM EDT

In an interview with Fox News host Bill O'Reilly on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer urged Republicans to abandon their opposition to ObamaCare in order to avoid a government shutdown: "By the latest count, there have been something like 40 efforts in the House to either get rid of ObamaCare or defund it. And yet, as John McCain said last week...'We lost that fight.' The Supreme Court has upheld ObamaCare as constitutional. Do you think the Republicans should move on?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

O'Reilly flatly rejected the idea: "No. It's a bad deal for the folks. That's absurd, why would they move on?" Lauer interjected: "It's law of the land, though." O'Reilly continued: "They can tweak it and make it better. Right now it's hurting the economy. Doctors say they're going to quit. Nobody knows what they're gonna pay."

By Brent Baker | September 29, 2013 | 4:25 PM EDT

In defiance of reality illustrated in numerous polls, on Sunday’s Face the Nation, host Bob Schieffer scolded Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn when she correctly asserted “there is only partisan support” for ObamaCare. Schieffer cut her off: “Well now Congresswoman, that’s not entirely true. The polls don’t suggest that. Polls say that most people favor it.”

By Noel Sheppard | September 29, 2013 | 2:02 PM EDT

Chris Matthews has a new book out about his former boss the late Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill.

Despite this, the MSNBC host was made a fool of on Sunday's Meet the Press by Tea Party Congressman Raul Labrador (R-Id.) concerning how many times the government was shut down when O'Neill ruled the House (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Noel Sheppard | September 29, 2013 | 11:59 AM EDT

ABC is reporting that it is now almost certain Congress and the White House will not reach an agreement to avoid a government shutdown.

On Sunday’s This Week, ABC’s chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl said, “I would now put the chances of a government shutdown at 99.9 percent” (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Noel Sheppard | September 29, 2013 | 10:12 AM EDT

With ObamaCare about to start signing up its first patients and Congress in the middle of a debate concerning its funding, the folks at NBC’s Saturday Night Live decided to begin their new season this weekend mocking the president and his signature piece of legislation.

The cold open started on C-SPAN with Barack Obama played by Jay Pharoah speaking about the Affordable Care Act at Prince George’s Community College (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):

By Mark Finkelstein | September 29, 2013 | 9:16 AM EDT

It's a classic example of the MSM's use of sympathetic individual anecdotes to manipulate public opinion in favor of more and bigger government. Today's Good Morning America segment on the looming government shutdown, narrated by former New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny, offered the stories of just two people, both African-Americans, both of whom might be hurt by a government shutdown. And check out the screen graphic: not to dramatize things or nuthin', but ABC plaintively wonders how federal workers would "survive."

ABC could have balanced its report with stories of younger people who will see their health insurance premiums double or more if ObamaCare is implemented. But why would Good Morning America want to go there?  View the video after the jump.