Noel Sheppard

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Associate Editor

Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014. More here about Noel's contributions to NewsBusters and tributes to him upon his passing.

Latest from Noel Sheppard

When the media outlet disaffectionately called the "Clinton News Network" starts ridiculing you to such an extent that you are depicted as a worse communicator than George W. Bush, you know your popularity as a Democrat President is in trouble.

Yet that's what happened Tuesday when CNN published a piece prominently displayed on the front page of its website with the surprising headline:

Critics Say Obama's Message Becoming 'Incoherent' 

For the remaining fans of our 44th President, the article that followed wasn't any better:

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow is actually about to win an award for her "civility" and "tolerance."

"The Walter Cronkite Faith & Freedom Award, established by Interfaith Alliance in 1998, recognizes individuals who courageously promote democratic values, defend religious freedom and reinvigorate informed civic participation," reads a statement released by the organization Monday.

"The award recognizes individuals whose actions have embodied the values of civility, tolerance, diversity and cooperation in the advancement of public dialogue and public policy on traditionally controversial and divisive issues."

And here's why Maddow qualified according to Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, the organization's President (h/t New York Post):

Conservative talk radio host Glenn Beck was told by officials at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts that he can't lead his audience in prayer at his August 27 Divine Destiny event.

Beck has rented out the facility the night before his "Restoring Honor" celebration at the Lincoln Memorial for "an eye-opening evening...that will help heal your soul."

As Beck relayed to his radio audience Monday, his religious plans during the festivities were a serious point of contention before the powers that be came to their senses (video follows with transcript and commentary):

Joe Scarborough on Monday bashed former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for saying the building of the Ground Zero mosque would be like putting a Nazi sign next to the Holocaust Museum.

Scarborough was responding to the following from Sunday's New York Times:

Mr. Gingrich said the proposed mosque would be a symbol of Muslim "triumphalism" and that building the mosque near the site of the Sept. 11 attacks "would be like putting a Nazi sign next to the Holocaust Museum."

The next day on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Scarborough let Gingrich have it:

As President Obama headed to the Florida Panhandle for a vacation with the family, he felt the need to drag his teleprompter along (h/t Freedom's Lighthouse):


Swimsuit? Check. Sunscreen? Got it. Insect repellent? Yep. Teleprompter? Teleprompter?  

Here's a headline destined to ruin many a parent's Sunday:

Teen Sex Not Always Bad For School Performance

As if that wasn't enough, the Associated Press actually framed this as good news: 

There's good news for parents who worry that their teenagers' sex lives are affecting their school performance: A provocative new study has found that teens in committed relationships do no better or worse in school than those who don't have sex. 

After that cheery opening paragraph, things got a bit dicey, for the results of this University of California, Davis, study had little in common with the headline and lede:

Is it possible for CNN to do a 7 1/2 minute segment about Hurricane Katrina without mentioning George W. Bush's name?

Given the media's approaching five year obsession with blaming one of America's largest natural disasters on a Republican president, it seems highly unlikely, doesn't it?

Yet that's what happened on "Reliable Sources" Sunday when Howard Kurtz invited Harry Shearer on the program to talk about his new documentary "The Big Uneasy."

In it, Shearer claims the media badly missed the boat in their reporting of what caused the flooding in New Orleans (video follows with transcript and commentary):

Chris Matthews this weekend winced in pain when a guest on his syndicated program said it's actually more likely the Democrats will lose the Senate than the House in the upcoming midterm elections.

As the "Chris Matthews Show" entered its final segment when panelists offer their predictions, New York magazine's John Heilemann said, "There are a lot of really smart Democratic politicos that I talk to who are actually a little bit more worried right now that it's possible Democrats could lose the Senate more easily than they could lose the House."

Matthews interrupted with a pained expression on his face, "That's like losing a dozen seats."

As Heilemann continued, the host once again interrupted, "Could [Sen. Barbara] Boxer lose in California?" 

When Heilemann said yes, Matthews grimaced, "You're talking tsunami" (video follows with transcript and commentary): 

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd said Sunday MSNBC is tearing down President Obama.

More amazing than that, she was actually serious.

In her "No Love From The Lefties," Dowd bashed "progressives" for not staying on the President's bandwagon.

This includes MSNBC who she hysterically claimed "is trying to make its reputation by tearing down [Obama]":

Juan Williams on Saturday said when it comes to news stories about race, America's media always make black people the victims and white people the perpetrators. 

As the discussion on "Fox News Watch" turned to last week's murders at a Hartford, Connecticut, beer distributor, host Jon Scott read clippings from the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Associated Press all claiming the killer had been responding to years of racist treatment.

When done, he said incredulously, "Juan, the guy was caught on camera stealing beer and the media turned it into a racial story."

Williams responded in a fashion that likely shocked many viewers (video follows with transcript and commentary): 

Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer on Friday smacked down PBS's Mark Shields in a discussion about late Rep. Dan Rostenkowski's legacy.

As the conversation on this week's "Inside Washington" turned to the passing of the former powerful Democrat, Shields swooned liked so many of his colleagues: 

Danny Rostenkowski was a throwback...he worked across the aisle. I mean, he was just phenomenal that way. There was no ideology to him. And, you want to know how politics has changed? Danny Rostenkowski used to go back to Chicago by car. You know who rode with him? Bob Michel, the Republican leader rode with him and back, and Henry Hyde, the conservative leader, and they were friends.

With the ball nicely set up on the tee, Krauthammer ripped a monster drive down the middle of the fairway (video follows with transcript and commentary):

New York Times columnist Charles Blow on Saturday actually defended former governor Sarah Palin from death wish attacks by two Democrat officials in New Hampshire.

In case you missed it, on Tuesday Keith Halloran, a Democrat candidate for the New Hampshire House, posted in a Facebook thread about the plane crash that killed former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, "Just wish Sarah and Levy [sic] were on board." 

New Hampshire State Representative Timothy Horrigan replied Wednesday, "Well a dead Palin wd [sic] be even more dangerous than a live one ... she is all about her myth & if she was dead she cldn' t [sic] commit any more gaffes."

Rather surprisingly, Blow took issue with this Saturday:

Are even the most liberal media members starting to realize the administration's "Recovery Summer" campaign was a complete joke?

Such appears to be the case for New York Times columnist Bob Herbert who on Saturday published a piece absolutely excoriating President Obama for not exclusively focusing on jobs after his inauguration last year:

The Obama administration seems to be feeling sorry for itself. Robert Gibbs, the president's press secretary, is perturbed that Mr. Obama is not getting more hosannas from liberals. Spare me. The country is a mess. The economy is horrendous, and millions of American families are running out of ammunition in their fight against destitution. Steadily increasing numbers of middle-class families, who never thought they'd be seeking charity, have been showing up at food pantries.  

That was just the beginning:

John King on Friday went after Arizona Congressional candidate Ben Quayle, son of former Vice President Dan Quayle, for claiming in a campaign commercial that Barack Obama is the worst president in history.

In case you missed it, Quayle released an ad (embedded right) on Wednesday saying that as a result of Obama's policies, "my generation will inherit a weakened country."

As this has struck a nerve with Obama-loving media across the fruited plain, King asked his guest:

You're a Republican in a crowded 10-candidate Republican primary. So going after President Obama is not a surprise. But the worst president ever? He's been in office less than two years. Not Nixon, not Harding, not anybody else? Why Barack Obama?

After Quayle answered, King followed up by asking him about his postings to a "racy website," (video follows with transcript and commentary):

Keith Olbermann on Thursday cherry-picked an article by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich to make a pathetic case that Republicans are targeting and blaming unemployed Americans for the country's economic woes.

In his opening "Countdown" segment on MSNBC, the host began, "When it came time to invade, Republicans used cherry-picked intelligence to make the case for war in Iraq. Now, they`re using cherry-picked intelligence to wage war on the middle class."

Particularly in Olbermann's crosshairs was Gingrich who the "Countdown" host claimed "targeted one individual American who`s struggling to make ends meet and held him up as part of the problem."

Ironically, it was Olbermann that was guilty of cherry-picking as he quoted a very tiny portion of a Human Events article the former Speaker wrote Wednesday (video follows with commentary and full transcript at conclusion):

A liberal Huffington Post contributor and board member of the website's Investigative Fund rained on Ed Schultz's GM success story victory parade on Thursday.

After the MSNBC host crowed about the positive earnings report from the government-owned car company, he clearly expected that left-leaning guest Leo Hindery was going to join him in the celebration.

Quite to the contrary, the admittedly "progressive" Hindery, who has contributed almost $1.5 million to Democrats in the past ten years, quickly threw a heapin' helpin' of cold water on this party before it got started.

"I love being on this show. But I`m going to push back a little bit on your accolade for GM," he marvelously began. 

"There will be more jobs created in Mexico by the Big Three automobile manufacturers than will be created here in the United States" (video follows with transcript and commentary, pay particular attention to the smile being washed off Schultz's face):

Ed Schultz on Thursday blamed Republicans for all the unemployed people living in America today.

As he began the most recent installment of the "Ed Show" on MSNBC, the host said, "The Republican Party has been on a crusade against the middle class and the poor for the last 30 years. We're now seeing the wreckage of that race to the bottom line culture."

He disgracefully continued, "Today a government report showed weekly jobless claims at a five-month high. 484,000 new unemployment claims were filed in the week ending August 7th. And you know what folks, you can lay this right at the feet, right at the altar of the Republican Party."

Sadly, he wasn't close to done, claiming, "The people you see flooding the streets begging for help, begging for an opportunity are victims of the Republican agenda just to make sure that President Obama fails" (video follows with transcript and commentary): 

Comedian Jon Stewart on Wednesday joined the growing liberal chorus attacking Republicans for their concerns about rising taxes and exploding budget deficits.

The only thing different about the "Daily Show" host's approach was that he needed vulgarity to make his point.

Potentially even worse, Stewart in his opening segment Wednesday actually used CNN's Fareed Zakaria to support his view that letting the Bush tax cuts expire would be a good thing for the nation.

Ironically, that was the only thing remotely funny about this sketch (video follows with partial transcript and commentary, extreme vulgarity warning, see BMI's coverage as well):

For approaching ten years, America's media have depicted the tax cuts implemented by former President George W. Bush as almost exclusively favoring the rich.

This dishonest characterization has picked up steam recently as these tax cuts are about to expire, and the tax-loving press have campaigned for their departure as if a plague on the society.

For his part, President Obama is advocating the expiration of tax cuts only to couples making over $250,000 a year and individuals making more than $200,000.

With this in mind, the Tax Policy Center, a division of the liberal Brookings Institution, published a report on July 29 that included Treasury Department estimates of tax revenue losses that would accompany an extension of Bush's cuts.

Inside the accompanying PDF was evidence the Left and their media minions have been misrepresenting the beneficiaries of these cuts for a very long time:

In today's "It Took You Long Enough To Figure It Out" segment, the New York Times is seriously worried that if the only Bush tax cuts that expire in January are those for the wealthiest Americans, the rich still win.

Not surprisingly, Jackie Calmes' piece on Wednesday also referred to extending existing law as "tax cuts," a neat little trick the Left employ to give the appearance new cuts are being discussed when in fact the only thing on the table is whether what's on the books will continue to be so.

But facts aren't important in this debate. Scaring folks into believing rich people are taking money away from them is: