Matthew Sheffield

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Former NewsBusters editor

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Update 14:23. Rob Parker has been suspended for his offensive remarks.

During the Thursday edition of the ESPN show First Take, analyst Rob Parker  injected racial issues into the game as he took a bitter swipe at Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, criticizing him for being engaged to a white woman and possibly being one of those evil, nasty Republicans.

“Is he a brother or a cornball brother?” Parker said. “He’s not really one of us. He’s kind of black, but he’s not really, like, the guy you want to hang out with.”

During an appearance on the program of MSNBC’s race-baiter-in-chief Al Sharpton, entertainer Harry Belafonte lashed out at Republicans, saying that their continued presence in Washington, DC constituted an “infection” of sorts. He also told his host that the only thing left for Obama to do with opposition figures who continue to disagree with him was to “Work like a Third World dictator and just put all these guys in jail.”

Belafonte’s totalitarian prescription elicited a laugh rather than horror from Sharpton. View video below the jump.

Today's starter topic: In an interview with National Review, RNC chairman Reince Priebus discloses that he has set up a committee designed to examine and fix what he believes to be problems within the Republican Party. One of the topics under review is the so-called presidential debates. Priebus believes there were too many of them:

Union thugs across the nation are outraged that Michigan has become the latest state to pass a “right to work” law allowing people in unionized companies to choose whether or not they wish to join. Unions oppose such laws because they want people to be forced to join their ranks.

Earlier today the union supporters turned violent as they attacked supporters of the Michigan law, tearing down a tent while people were in it and punching conservative activist and comedian Steven Crowder in the face. Both acts were caught on video. Click past the jump to view them here since you won't see them in the so-called mainstream media. First the one of Crowder being punched in the face:

Whatever its origins, there seems to be an innate desire among many lefties to classify those who disagree with their belief system as mentally, morally, or psychologically inferior—or preferably all three. This being the case, it should come as no surprise that in addition to cooking up real academic studies using biased questionnaires designed to make conservatives look stupid, statists also have a habit of getting taken in by fake “studies” which validate their alleged superiority.

Perhaps the most famous such hoax involved the fictitious Lovenstein Institute and a ranking of presidential IQ which supposedly showed former president George W. Bush as having the lowest intelligence of all presidents in the 50 years preceding him. Gleeful statists repeated this meme on numerous blogs and even in some newspapers, never bothering to check whether or not a Lovenstein Institute actually existed. Fast forward to 2012 and once again, the left has been taken in by another hoax “study,” a press release from a fictitious Intelligence Institute which claimed that the average IQ of Fox News Channel viewers is 80, 20 points below the standard IQ of 100.

For quite a while now, there has been a media focus (ironic considering the TV reporters and anchors are mostly 1 percenters) on an allegedly growing gap between the wealthiest Americans and those of more modest means. Unfortunately, this is only a partial picture since income is much more predicated on stock market growth and not related to many other facets of the economy.

Writing at the American Enterprise Institute, blogger James Pethokoukis highlights a very interesting report about tax laws and income distribution which shows that when looked at the broader context, it is incorrect to suppose that U.S. tax policy has somehow created a vast disparity of wealth in this country. Two charts from his post are worth reposting here at NB:

Part of the reason that liberal bias in the elite media exists is that not enough conservatives and libertarians decide to get involved in journalism, especially straight news reporting.

One of the best organizations on the right trying to combat this is the Phillips Foundation which has a program that pays generous amounts of money to encourage people to get involved in producing high-quality journalism that can really make a difference.

Today's starter topic: Writing at the Ace of Spades site, pseudonymous blogger Gabriel Malor makes the case that policy issues in the campaign were not what won the day for President Obama. Instead, it was trivial, manufactured controversies designed to inflame low-information voters:

Have you voted yet? Have you gotten others to vote? Do you live in a state where the polls are closed? What are your thoughts on the news so far? Join us for a live discussion of the election results right here on NewsBusters with fellow readers.

Note: You will need a browser that has Flash to participate in the chat. Standard rules of civility and non-spamming apply.

In the days following Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, America's media elite blasted the former Bush administration for not providing relief supplies to residents who were affected by the storm. With a Democrat in the White House now, however, reporters are saying almost nothing as New Yorkers are being ignored by various levels of government.

With hundreds of thousands of his own residents are stuck with no power, water, gasoline or food on Staten Island, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has allowed the annual marathon that runs through the city's boroughs to continue as scheduled. That decision ought to have set off New York's media elite but instead, they are actually gearing up to cover the non-essential race and not condemning the city for diverting resources from helping storm victims to prep for the race.

The other day, a study came out suggesting that the advertising being released by President Obama's re-election team is actually having the opposite of its intended effect. Instead of firing up his former 2008 voters to cast their ballots again for him, the ads that Obama's people are putting out are actually firing up former John McCain voters to turn out against Obama.

It's tough to argue with that conclusion after having viewed the campaign's latest spot, a dopey attempt at humor  featuring little-known hipster actress Lena Dunham comparing voting for Obama to having sex.

Back in 2003, conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh ignited a firestorm of criticism from the left-dominated sports media for daring to point out the obvious fact that many people in the NFL and the media hype up black quarterbacks in the hopes of seeing them succeed.

Limbaugh revisited the topic yesterday on his program by highlighting a column by black sports writer Jason Whitlock, a man known for a number of years for his commendable ability to cut through political correctness in sports:

After embarrassing herself with her incompetently biased attempt to “fact check” GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney during the second presidential debate, CNN correspondent Candy Crowley has already began trying to save her shattered credibility. In a panel discussion afterward, a fast-talking Crowley tried to spin away her offensive conduct by admitting that Romney was indeed correct in casting blame on the Obama Administration for falsely blaming an anti-Islamic video for attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

“It was one of those moments, and I could even feel that here, you know, when you say something you’re not expecting,” Crowley insisted, admitting she simply couldn’t help herself from unprofessionally inserting herself into a heated dispute between presidential candidates.

CNN correspondent and second presidential debate moderator Candy Crowley disgraced herself tonight, repeatedly intervening to save a floundering President Obama and showing why many Americans were rightfully suspicious of her ability to moderate a presidential debate fairly.

Her most outrageous act tonight was her incorrect seconding of Obama's statement that he declared the Libya terrorist attacks to be "terror." While Obama did indeed use the word, this is not what he meant by it. Instead, he was simply referring to "acts of terror." There was no mention of Al Qaeda or any of its affiliates with respect to the actual attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi.

The questions hand-picked during tonight's presidential debate by moderator Candy Crowley have been overwhelmingly stacked in favor of President Obama compared to Governor Romney.

Perhaps the most galling was ananti-Republican question asking the candidates how they were different than the George W. Bush administration, a theme that Obama has hammered since he first ran for president in 2007:

As a political journalist, one of the most common literary devices at your disposal is to search out a university professor who teaches politics to get them to say things about your article's subject matter. Not only does this help make your article longer, to the reader, the academic quotes give some authority to the narrative.

It probably doesn't come as a shock to anyone but in some cases, the professors being quoted are not exactly impartial observers as a new study from The Hill newspaper shows.

For a political perspective that claims to love peace and tolerance, left-wing Democrats sure seem to be a rather angry lot. We saw it last week during the explosion over a black actress endorsing Mitt Romney for president. History repeated itself just a few days later when outraged Democrats lashed out at journalist and author Buzz Bissinger for doing the same thing.

Things were a bit different this time because in addition to people savaging him on Twitter, Bissinger also found himself being called a “traitor” by his supposedly objective media industry colleagues. The experience appears to have taught Bissinger the reality of left-wing media bias and he repeatedly admitted as much during an interview with CNN’s Howard Kurtz.

Veteran liberal journalist David Chalian was fired by Yahoo after he was caught on an open mic at this year's Republican convention in Tampa saying that GOP officials were "happy to have a party with black people drowning," a story first exposed by NewsBusters. Politico’s Dylan Byers reports that didn’t stop him from being picked up off liberal waivers by....Politico.

Politico editor-in-chief John Harris said management took Chalian's remark into consideration prior to hiring him to manage their video content.  "He’s made clear that remark did not reflect his personal views or professional standards. This is a journalist who carries with him more than a decade of accomplishment and a well-earned reputation for fairness.” That's not tainted at all by a crack about Mitt Romney glorying in the deaths of black Americans?

Those who watched Thursday night's vice presidential debate couldn't help but notice that current veep Joe Biden was hard-pressed to contain his contempt and disrespect for his erstwhile opponent, GOPer Paul Ryan.

Biden's continual interruptions and smirking were "unprecedented" according to Fox News anchor and former ABC correspondent Chris Wallace. "I don't believe I’ve ever seen a debate in which one participant was as openly disrespectful of the other as Biden was to Paul Ryan tonight," Wallace said after the debate. Video after the jump.

You would think that as poorly as President Obama did in his first debate with Mitt Romney last week that his supporters would want to stop talking about the embarrassment. Instead, the very opposite is true. Denizens of the fevered swamps of the online left not only want to talk about it, they also want to embarrass themselves by concocting all sorts of crazy theories about how Romney somehow "cheated" to win.

The Obama campaign is having none of that, however, telling Fox News that it's had absolutely nothing to do with spreading the nonsense idea that Romney had managed to smuggle in a "cheat sheet" into the debate and read answers from it. When asked about whether it was trying to spread the theory, the campaign responded emphatically, "No — We’ve never casted our lot with the tinfoil hat crowd."