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

Police are apparently investigating whether or not there is a link between threats to the creators of the hit cartoon series "South Park" and Saturday's failed car bomb attempt in New York's Times Square.

As NewsBusters reported a few weeks ago, Muslim extremists threatened the lives of Trey Parker and Matt Stone due to an episode featuring the prophet Mohammed dressed in a bear's suit.

Comedy Central caved to the pressure and eliminated all such references.

New York's Daily News reported Sunday there might be a link between those threats and what happened in Times Square the previous evening:

As NewsBusters reported Sunday, a May Day rally turned ugly in Santa Cruz, California, Saturday when some attendees started a riot breaking windows and defacing property.

City officials estimate that at least $100,000 worth of damage was done. 

A little north in San Francisco, three people supporting Arizona's new anti-illegal immigration law were attacked at that city's May Day event.

Despite the violence, the reporter for ABC-TV affiliate KGO used an offshoot of "mostly peaceful" to describe the festivities (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):

Last Thursday, NewsBusters asked if media will remember that Barack Obama helped kill immigration reform in 2007.

Clearly, NBC's David Gregory doesn't, for on Sunday's "Meet the Press," he blamed Republicans for blocking such legislation.

As the panel discussion switched to Arizona's new anti-illegal immigration law, Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) mentioned how funding for border security has declined since the Democrats took over Congress in 2007.

Gregory was having none of this, and interrupted the Congressman to offer his view of who's to blame for the current problem (video follows with transcript and commentary): 

Bill Maher was clearly out of his league Sunday when he made an absurd claim about Brazil being off oil for decades only to be corrected by a significantly more knowledgeable George Will.

As the Roundtable discussion of ABC's "This Week" turned to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, host Jake Tapper mentioned -- without the vulgarity -- what Maher said on HBO's "Real Time" about President Obama not "getting more shall we say guff" for this crisis.

Maher concluded his answer by erroneously saying, "I mean, Brazil got off oil in the last 30 years, we certainly could have."

When Will got his chance to respond, Maher was left looking rather foolish (video embedded below the fold with transcript, commentary, and oil data to further embarrass the "Real Time" host, relevant section at 2:48):

UPDATE AT END OF POST: Might the President have said "freaking?" 

Barack Obama said the F-word at the White House Correspondents' Dinner Saturday evening, and the video of his obscenity was posted at YouTube and

As he began his comic remarks, the President said:

I wasn't sure that I should actually come tonight. [Vice President Joe] Biden talked me into it. He leaned over and he said, "Mr. President, this is no ordinary dinner. This is a big (whispering) f--king meal."

At 9:09 AM Sunday, a video of the President's routine was published at the White House website after being posted at YouTube some time Saturday evening.

As you can hear in the video, a bleep has been added, but the whispered F-word is still audible (video follows with commentary, joke in first 60 seconds):

Despite Saturday's White House Correspondents' dinner being a staggering bore from a comedy perspective, Mediaite's senior editor felt President Obama killed.

"Well if his day job doesn't end up working out President Barack Obama may have a comedy career to fall back on," wrote Glynnis MacNicol Saturday evening.

"Poor Jay Leno, after the the whole Team Coco debacle he now has to follow a President who can bring the funny," She continued. "Serious funny."

Serious funny?

Well, here's a video of Obama supposedly being "Serious funny." Decide for yourself (video follows with commentary):

Conservative author Ann Coulter Friday said she's never seen the press lie about any issue as much as they have about the new anti-illegal immigration law in Arizona.

"Everyone is blatantly lying about what this law does," she told Juan Williams who was filling in for the regular host of Fox News's "O'Reilly Factor."

"I've never seen anything, a law lied about, any public issue lied about so much," she continued.

"And I don't mean commentators on other stations. I mean, they are delivering the news, claiming that this is going to be racial profiling. The cops can stop anyone. It's like Nazi Germany. Just blatant, blatant lying" (video follows with transcript and commentary, h/t The Right Scoop): 

The New York Times Saturday made it clear that it is willing to fault the Obama administration for its response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

On top of the editorial previously reviewed by NewsBusters, the Gray Lady published a front page piece largely critical of the White House.

Makes you wonder what Times columnist Paul Krugman -- who a day earlier scoffed at people for even considering the President to be at all to blame -- is feeling as he watches his paper take a position quite contrary to his own.

But before we get there, here's what Campbell Robertson and Eric Lipton surprisingly presented to readers (h/t Gateway Pundit via NBer Brinton Marsden):

"If you’re a fan of Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh, try reading a few columns on the Huffington Post website."

So said President Barack Obama in his commencement address to the University of Michigan 2010 graduates Saturday. 

"If we choose only to expose ourselves to opinions and viewpoints that are in line with our own, studies suggest that we will become more polarized, more set in our ways," ironically said the President.

"But if we choose to actively seek out information that challenges our assumptions and our beliefs, perhaps we can begin to understand where the people who disagree with us are coming from."

Obama then gave some examples to the audience (video follows - courtesy The Right Scoop - with transcript and commentary, h/t our old friend Ian Schwartz, photo courtesy AP): 

Talk about your Katrina moments: as the Gulf Coast deals with one of the biggest oil disasters in history, President Barack Obama used his weekly address to push for campaign finance reform.

In what should shock average Americans and media members across the fruited plain, the oil spill wasn't even mentioned.

Not a single word.

As you watch and/or read what the President felt was a national priority this Saturday morning, consider how media members would have responded if he was a Republican (video follows with full transcript and commentary):

On Friday, NewsBusters asked when media would start pointing fingers at the Obama administration for its slow response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

On Saturday, we got our answer as the New York Times published an editorial pointing a finger straight at Barack Obama.

This came comically less than 24 hours after Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote about how absurd such an accusation would be.

But before we get there, this is what the Gray Lady wrote Saturday (h/t @allahpundit):

HBO's Bill Maher on Friday asked an extraordinary question of his guest panel: "Why isn't Barack Obama getting more s--t' for the oil spill in the Gulf?

Almost as surprising, the studio audience applauded after the "Real Time" host said this. 

"Okay, so I mentioned in the monologue I'm a little mad this week," Maher began after introducing his guests.  

"I'm mad at the oil company who didn't obviously build their rig well enough," he continued. "I'm mad at America in general because we should have gotten off the oil tit starting in the '70s."

Hold on to you seats: "But I'll tell you who I'm really mad at which is Barack Obama...So, why isn't Barack Obama getting more s--t for this" (video follows with transcript and commentary): 

Former United Nations ambassador John Bolton had one of the best lines on Friday's "Real Time" when after he got some scattered applause from the typically liberal audience in attendance, he said to Bill Maher, "You let Republicans in."

As the subject turned to America's military operations abroad, the HBO host told his guest, "You can't really believe that radical Muslim terrorists...need Afghanistan to launch an attack on us."

"I think there are plenty of alternative places," replied Bolton. "And I would say the bigger strategic interest going forward is keeping those nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists."

This produced some scattered applause from the crowd leading Bolton to marvelously say, "You let Republicans in" (video follows with transcript and commentary): 

Bill Maher Friday went on quite a little rant about conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh.

During the opening monologue of HBO's "Real Time," Maher mocked something Limbaugh mentioned on his show about the leaking oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico possibly having been attacked by environmentalists.

"That's right, a secret team of hippie frogmen snuck on board an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico and blew it up to frame the oil companies," Maher quipped. 

Next came the cheap shots: "You know what Rush, how many pills is your maid giving you?...Congratulations, Rush Limbaugh, you are now officially the Louis Farrakhan of white people" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

"Today" show co-host Meredith Vieira said "Oh s--t" Friday while in a simulator demonstrating the dangers of texting while driving.

In an interesting segment about Distractology 101, a mobile classroom and driving simulator developed by Arabella Insurance Group Charitable Foundation to teach teenagers the risks associated with being behind the wheel of a car while using a cell phone, sending a text message, or even eating a hamburger, Vieira acted as a guinea pig.

Unfortunately, she ended up getting into an accident, and said what likely many around the country weren't expecting to hear at that hour of the morning (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):

The Seattle cartoonist that created "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" has changed her request to "Everybody Draw Al Gore Day."

As readers are likely aware, Molly Norris last week published a cartoon calling for a nationwide protest over Comedy Central's decision to censor its two-part episode involving the prophet Mohammed:

Do your part to both water down the pool of targets and, oh yeah, defend a little something our country is famous for (but maybe not for long? Comedy Central cooperated with terrorists and pulled the episode) the first amendment. 

On Thursday, Norris posted a video at her website explaining why she created the first cartoon, and directed her followers to instead take up a splinter campaign started by a group called "I Hate The Media!", namely "Everybody Draw Al Gore Day" (video follows with copies of both cartoons, h/t WaPo's Comic Riffs): 

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman Friday posted a sarcastic piece at his "Conscience of a Liberal" blog with the headline, "The Oil Spill Is Obama's Fault."

"No, I haven’t lost my mind — that’s not what I believe," he wrote.

"But you know that’s what the talk-show hosts will be saying soon, if they haven’t already started."

He continued:

For the second time in three days CNN's Jack Cafferty went after the White House for its response to Arizona's new anti-illegal immigration law.

"The Obama administration says it might challenge Arizona's new law in court," Cafferty said during Wednesday's "Situation Room."

"They're apparently concerned the law would take away resources needed to target criminals," he continued.

"How utterly absurd. There are 460,000 illegal aliens currently inside Arizona's borders, and the reason they're there is that the federal government refuses to enforce our immigration laws" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

Keith Olbermann on Thursday mocked the Southern drawl of Alabama's Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim James.

Last week, James released a new ad claiming that if he's elected governor, drivers license exams will only be written in English rather than the twelve languages currently available for Alabama residents.

The commercial ended, "Maybe it's the businessman in me, but we'll save money, and it makes sense. Does it to you?"

After playing the ad on Thursday's "Countdown," the MSNBC host mocked, "Thank goodness we don't have an official language or anything. I mean, they, they probably won't allow that guy into Arizona" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

With immigration reform back on the front page thanks to Arizona's new controversial law, it's going to be very interesting to see how the Obama-loving press report what he did concerning this issue when he was a junior senator from Illinois in 2007.

For instance, David Broder's "How Congress Botched Immigration Reform" published in Thursday's Washington Post didn't even mention Barack Obama's name.

This seems particularly odd given this paragraph (h/t Jennifer Rubin):

But once the bill hit the floor, it was attacked from both flanks. The most conservative Republicans -- Jim DeMint of South Carolina, David Vitter of Louisiana and Jeff Sessions of Alabama -- led the assault. They were joined by some civil libertarians and allies of organized labor who were dissatisfied with the bill's protections for guest workers. Democrat Byron Dorgan of North Dakota repeatedly tried to gut the guest-worker program before finally succeeding by one vote on his third effort. 

Broder curiously chose to ignore the fact that Barack Obama was, for all intents and purposes, the fateful deciding vote as reported by the late Robert Novak in June 2007: