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By Kyle Drennen | March 15, 2013 | 11:40 AM EDT

On Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer touted "breaking news" that Ohio Senator Rob Portman, "a leading figure in the Republican Party," was now in favor of gay marriage after learning that his son was gay. Leading off the report that followed, White House correspondent Peter Alexander proclaimed that Portman "...is now joining a growing list of Republicans to come out in support of gay marriage..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Turning to coverage of the Conservative Political Action Conference, Alexander asserted: "The Republican Party now faces an identity crisis, with no clear leader and no clear path to widening its appeal." Wrapping up the report, Alexander continued to push the meme of a GOP in disarray: "But if you need any more evidence of the divide that now exists in the Republican Party, consider this. One of the most popular figures in the party, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the guy who praised President Obama's response to Hurricane Sandy last fall, was not invited."

By Matt Hadro | March 15, 2013 | 11:30 AM EDT

CNN's Carol Costello spent her entire interview with the CPAC chairman badgering him about the inclusion of gay Republicans in the conference. A few minutes before, Costello had led off the 9 a.m. hour of Newsroom touting GOP Senator Rob Portman (Ohio) and his newfound support for gay marriage.

"Will CPAC ever change its position and allow gay Republicans to sit at the table?" she pressed the chair of the American Conservative Union, Al Cardenas. "Were there gay people included in those panel discussions?" she followed up.

By NB Staff | March 15, 2013 | 10:28 AM EDT

Media Research Center President Brent Bozell and Sean Hannity mocked journalists for cynically embracing the idea that Barack Obama is leading a "charm offensive" to win over congressional Republicans. Appearing on the March 14 Hannity, Bozell incredulously pointed out, "So he invites Republicans over for lunch a couple of times or dinner, and somebody uses the magic word, charm offensive, and suddenly everybody is doing stories about charm offensive." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

Hannity played a clip of CNN's Jim Acosta lauding the so-called outreach over the budget as a "flashback to a bygone era." George Stephanopoulos raved, "Will Obama's charm offensive revive the grand bargain?" This led Hannity to complain, "They're so brain dead. They are such suckers...They take it hook, line and sinker."

By Paul Bremmer | March 15, 2013 | 10:23 AM EDT

Now that the new pope has been chosen, the life of the Catholic Church continues– and so does the liberal media’s effort to persuade the Church to change its traditions. On Thursday’s Morning Joe, co-host Mika Brzezinski complained, “Secrecy that surrounds the traditions of the Catholic Church -- it’s a recipe for disaster.... There is a lot of work ahead and some serious changes that need to happen blocked by tradition that may make it impossible.” 

For analysis of the Church’s need to overcome tradition, Brzezinski turned to Frank Bruni, former Rome bureau chief for the New York Times but now an openly gay op-ed columnist for the paper. Bruni, of course, agreed with Brzezinski’s premise. To him, the conclave perfectly symbolizes what’s wrong with the Catholic Church: “[The cardinals] lock themselves away. They go – we have no idea what happens until sometimes years later, if ever.”

 
By Kyle Drennen | March 14, 2013 | 4:58 PM EDT

In an interview with New York's Cardinal Timothy Dolan on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer worried about the age of the newly elected Pope Francis: "...there was some stunned silence for a second. I think some had expected a younger man, he's 76....When you looked at that image of the new pope standing with some members of the Church hierarchy, visually, Cardinal Dolan, it didn't exactly scream a modern Church." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

At the same time Lauer was worried about the Church not projecting a more "modern" image, NBCNews.com offered a "to-do list" for the new Pontiff that included typical liberal demands:

By Matt Hadro | March 14, 2013 | 1:19 PM EDT

Amidst the liberal media's fixation on Pope Francis upholding Catholic teaching on sexuality, Newt Gingrich knocked their wishes of liberal "reform" on Wednesday's Piers Morgan Live.

"I am amazed at how much western elites translate reform into sex. If it doesn't relate – if it doesn't relate to sex, it doesn't count," he told host Piers Morgan, who then ludicrously claimed that "if you are gay, and you want to be Catholic, at the moment, you are basically demonized." [Video below the break. Audio here.]

By Kyle Drennen | March 14, 2013 | 12:37 PM EDT

On Thursday's NBC Today, White House correspondent Peter Alexander promoted the first public comments from Scott Prouty, the bartender who secretly recorded Mitt Romney's 47% comments during the 2012 presidential race: "Even today some political observers insist without that 47% tape, we might actually be talking about President Mitt Romney these days. Instead, the infamous comments marked what was really a campaign game-changer. And now months later, the man behind that tape has finally come forward." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

In the report that followed, Alexander highlighted portions of a Prouty's interview with MSNBC host Ed Schultz on Wednesday's The Ed Show and whitewashed the bartender's obvious left-wing ideology made apparent in the exchange: "Speaking publicly for the first time Wednesday, Prouty, who says he's a registered independent...[said] he arrived at the dinner that night with an open mind."

By Paul Bremmer | March 14, 2013 | 10:28 AM EDT

Tavis Smiley invited ultra-liberal Princeton economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman on his show Monday night for a friendly chat about the American economy. Predictably, Krugman used the appearance as an opportunity to bash Republicans, and on a taxpayer-subsidized television program no less.

Krugman and Smiley both complained that the American people have not yet become “sufficiently outraged” over the budget cuts brought by sequestration. Smiley demanded to know why the outrage has not appeared and when it will come. Don’t worry, Krugman reassured him, pain from the sequester will take time to kick in. The outrage will come once people start losing essential government services.

By Noel Sheppard | March 13, 2013 | 9:36 PM EDT

As NewsBusters reported Sunday, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank believes scholars in the future will be shocked by the number of F-bombs dropped by the Obama administration.

Considering the number of identical vulgarities proudly spoken without any hesitation by actress Olivia Wilde on NBC’s Tonight Show Tuesday, maybe present day scholars should be talking about how much all this public profanity - by women nonetheless! - is impacting the society (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):

By Matthew Balan | March 13, 2013 | 7:26 PM EDT

During CBS's special coverage of the papal election on Wednesday, correspondent Mark Phillips singled out two dissenters from Catholic tradition in the middle of a crowd of hundreds of thousands in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City, mere minutes after the white smoke went out of the Sistine Chapel's chimney, and before Pope Francis emerged onto the balcony over the piazza.

The two activists, who wore pink "ordain women" pins, not only sought to change the Catholic Church's teachings on the all-male priesthood, but spotlighted "LGBT issues [and] reproductive health care" – a thinly-veiled reference to abortion and contraception – as issues that need to be drastically changed inside the Church. [audio available here; video below the jump]

By Kyle Drennen | March 13, 2013 | 5:59 PM EDT

On Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, on the eve of the Wednesday election of Pope Francis, anchor Brian Williams proclaimed to viewers: "...this is a decidedly bad time for the Catholic Church. There are hopes among many that the new pope will signify a new direction." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

In the report that followed, correspondent Lester Holt hyped the divide between the Vatican and some liberal American Catholics: "It's roughly 4,000 miles between Vatican City and the nearest shores of the U.S., but for American Catholics who often find themselves out of step with the Church here, it can seem a lot farther....Abortion, the role of women, and attitudes about homosexuality have been at the heart of much of the disconnect between American Catholics and the Church."

By Scott Whitlock | March 13, 2013 | 4:55 PM EDT

During live coverage, Wednesday, of the announcement that Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio had been chosen the new pope, two of ABC's journalists insisted that the Argentinian would help "revive" the Catholic Church's interest in helping the poor. Nightline co-anchor Terry Moran didn't explain when such a desire went away.

Moran lectured, "...If he's a pope who makes a commitment to be close to the poor of Latin America and the poor of Africa, that can turn a corner for the church in someways, revive that mission, the original mission of Christ and the early Christians." (Could it be that Moran simply isn't aware of the work Catholics already do for the poor?) Later, Josh Elliott offered the same assessment of Pope Francis: "I know Terry and I have discussed the importance of whomever it is elected, reconnecting and taking the church back, to not just the grassroots, but connecting with the poor." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]