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By Noel Sheppard | July 21, 2012 | 3:30 PM EDT

As NewsBusters previously reported, ABC's Brian Ross on Friday falsely accused a Tea Party member of being the "James" Holmes that orchestrated the movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado.

"Jim" Holmes during an interview with the Daily Caller had some harsh words for his accuser saying, "What kind of idiot makes that kind of statement?”

By Tim Graham | July 21, 2012 | 1:57 PM EDT

On Friday night’s All Things Considered, NPR media reporter David Folkenflik -- best known for ripping into Rupert Murdoch and his corporate empire -- devoted five minutes to promoting weekend MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry. The segment carried the online headline “MSNBC Gets Academic: Meet Host Prof. Harris-Perry.”

You can tell it’s a puff piece when they ignore how MSNBC is crushed by Fox News in the ratings: “While she says she refuses to check on her weekly ratings, her audiences are markedly bigger than can cram into any lecture hall,” Folkenflik said. Talk about setting the bar low. NPR began by playing up her brains:

By Noel Sheppard | July 21, 2012 | 1:08 PM EDT

CNN's Piers Morgan spent much of his show Friday advocating for stricter gun laws in the wake of the massacre in Aurora, Colorado.

Bucking this activism was Denver University law professor David Kopel who scolded his host, "I think this is the wrong night to be doing this. And I really wish you'd waited to have this segment until after the funerals" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Matthew Sheffield | July 21, 2012 | 12:33 PM EDT

Several NewsBusters readers have been reporting problems with the new social media sharing bar that appears at the side of the screen.

We have removed the feature in our site code. It will take a little while for the bar to go away, however. Apparently the issue was with people running lower-resolution displays on their computers.

By P.J. Gladnick | July 21, 2012 | 11:51 AM EDT

It has been announced that Alexander Cockburn, a columnist for The Nation and co-editor of CounterPunch, died yesterday. Although Cockburn reflected a leftist viewpoint (mandatory if you write for The Nation) he displayed a refreshing iconoclasm on one topic sacred to the left: global warming. Cockburn didn't merely lightly criticize the global warming dogma worshipped by the left, he absolutely savaged it.

Cockburn's "heresy" has been noted in the past here at NewsBusters by both Matthew Sheffield and Noel Sheppard. As a tribute to Cockburn's willingness to smash certain idols of the left, here are some of his selected quotes on the topic of global warming. First up, Cockburn's charge of fraud and dogmatism by the global warming alarmists:

By NB Staff | July 21, 2012 | 10:40 AM EDT

Let us first so a prayer for the loved and lost in Aurora, Colorado. Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and their friends.

Anything else you'd like to discuss this weekend?

By Noel Sheppard | July 21, 2012 | 10:24 AM EDT

Leave it to HBO's Bill Maher to use the massacre in Aurora, Colorado, to attack the belief in American exceptionalism.

On Friday, the vulgar comedian took to his Twitter account to claim that James Holmes' actions should be a "reminder that so many of the things that make us exceptional these days are bad":

By Tom Blumer | July 21, 2012 | 10:22 AM EDT

Poor David Espo and Nancy Benac. A six-paragraph squib this morning headlined "Calls for gun control stir little support" at the wire service's national site and "Despite a string of high-profile shootings, calls for gun control stir little support" at really should have been titled "Why Aren't You Guys Politicizing This, D**nit?"

The two AP "reporters" bitterly wail and gnash their teeth over how little outcry there has been for stricter gun laws after the Aurora, Colorado theater massacre (shown in full because of its brevity and subsequent later expansion, to be discussed later in this post, and for fair use and discussion purposes).

By NB Staff | July 21, 2012 | 9:00 AM EDT

Of course President Obama is the "perfect American" to tingle-prone Chris Matthews, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell told Fox News's Sean Hannity, because liberal media personalities like Matthews refuse to report on Obama adminstration failures and scandals.

"He makes the point that you and I have been making for months about this campaign," the Media Research Center founder noted on the July 19 Hannity. "Whether it's Tony Rezko or Jeremiah Wright or anything in Barack Obama's past, they refuse to cover it, therefore, he's clean as a whistle.... [I]f you're not going to cover anything negative, of course he's clean as a whistle." [MP3 audio here; watch the full "Media Mash" segment below the page break]

By Tom Blumer | July 21, 2012 | 8:46 AM EDT

Brian Ross is not the only blameworthy party in the irresponsible smear of a 52 year-old Tea Party activist as the possible perpetrator of the Aurora, Colorado theater massacre early Friday. Everyone on the set of ABC's Good Morning America could have said "wait, this is premature and irresponsible" -- and didn't.

GMA co-host and former Bill Clinton advisor George Stephanopoulos's response to Ross's identification of 52 year-old "Jim Holmes" as perhaps the same "James Holmes" who had been arrested earlier that morning arguably added legitimacy to Ross's speculation: "OK, we'll keep looking at that. Brian Ross, thanks very much." As if they would actually find more of a tie-in, which of course they didnt. In his column yesterday, the underappreciated John Kass at the Chicago Tribune succinctly described Stephanopoulos's likely mindset, as well as how ABC was originally hoping to blame "social media" for Ross's GMA team-assisted smear (bolds are mine):

By Tim Graham | July 21, 2012 | 8:03 AM EDT

On Thursday's Morning Edition, NPR reporter Scott Horsley sought out "tax professionals" to underline the notion that Romney's not releasing more tax returns because it would reveal he's manipulating his retirement account in sketchy ways to evade taxes.

"Tax professionals" would imply these designated expert guessers were nonpartisan -- but that isn't how NPR constructs its Romney narrative.

By Brent Bozell | July 21, 2012 | 7:20 AM EDT

Network television is a pretty dreary place in the summer time. It’s somehow the perfect time for Hollywood executives to throw millions of dollars at ever-dumber sexualized content. It’s hard to tell what offends more, the raunch or the sheer stupidity of it all.

The network calling itself “The CW” is barely noticed at any time of the year, if quality were a determinant. So instead they seem to be competing for some kind of Nobel Sleaze Prize this summer with a Miami-based “reality” show called “The Catalina.”

By Matthew Sheffield | July 21, 2012 | 5:15 AM EDT

President Obama's “you didn't build that” remark about business entrepreneurs touched a nerve on the Right, and sent liberal journalists and bloggers scrambling to explain away his gaffe by asserting that, “in context,” his statements weren't bad at all.

While it is true that Obama's remarks are frequently referred to in a short-hand manner, in their full form, his comments are just as insulting, if not more so. And no amount of media spin can make them otherwise.

By Brad Wilmouth | July 21, 2012 | 12:07 AM EDT

On Friday's Inside Washington on PBS, regular panel member Nina Totenberg - a correspondent for NPR - generalized that "bankers and business" are not only the "super-rich" but also the "super-crooked" as the panel discussed the issue of Mitt Romney's taxes and President Barack Obama's "you didn't build that" gaffe in which he dismissed the importance of individual effort in entrepreneurship while crediting government. Totenberg:

By Tom Johnson | July 20, 2012 | 11:19 PM EDT

Memo to Republicans: you have no business celebrating the Fourth of July. That was the word this week from one Kossack, who charged that today's "degenerate, treasonous" GOP spits on the Enlightenment values that the Declaration of Independence embodies. 
As usual, each headline is preceded by the blogger's name or pseudonym.