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By Clay Waters | | December 3, 2012 | 1:37 PM EST

Friday's enormous A1 New York Times story by economics reporters Binyamin Appelbaum and Robert Gebeloff tried to soften Americans up for tax hikes under a misleading headline: "Complaints Aside, Most Face Lower Tax Burden Than in the Reagan ’80s." They write:

But in fact, most Americans in 2010 paid far less in total taxes -- federal, state and local -- than they would have paid 30 years ago. According to an analysis by The New York Times, the combination of all income taxes, sales taxes and property taxes took a smaller share of their income than it took from households with the same inflation-adjusted income in 1980.

By Ken Shepherd | | December 3, 2012 | 1:02 PM EST

Ever since we learned that the dopey YouTube trailer for "The Innocence of Muslims" was definitely not to blame for the dead consulate attack in Benghazi, Libya, we've heard virtually nothing about the movie from the mainstream media. But last Wednesday there was a development that merited some new attention: a court in Cairo placed a death sentence on seven Coptic Christians involved with the film.

The Christians sentenced in the case were tried in absentia and so are unlikely to face execution, unless of course they return to Egypt. Still, given the political situation and how it has yielded an Islamist president in Mohammed Morsi and a heavily Islamist draft constitution, one might think the media would pay some attention to this development. A search of Nexis yielded no hits on this story on either the broadcast networks -- ABC, CBS, and NBC -- nor the New York Times or Washington Post.

By Lauren Thompson | | December 3, 2012 | 12:49 PM EST

One was a self-educated rail-splitter and circuit lawyer in humble frontier towns. The other is an Ivy League-educated radical who only ventured out from his comfortable Hyde Park digs for some day work stirring up trouble as a “community organizer.” But to watch MSNBC is to learn that Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama have so much in common.

In the run-up to Obama’s re-election and in the weeks since, as the movie “Lincoln,” opened, the media have hyped similarities between the two presidents. It’s helpful to them that the film is a product of high-profile liberal Steven Spielberg and associated with Participant Media, the same lefty company that produced Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.”

By Scott Whitlock | | December 3, 2012 | 12:41 PM EST

ABC News continued to hype the Democratic position on the fiscal cliff, Sunday. World News Reporter David Kerley touted the White House as "confident with the stronger hand in talks with House Republicans, demanding and believing tax rates for the wealthy are going up."

The reporter did play a clip of Boehner rejecting tax increases, but Kerley made sure to point out the Speaker "hasn't outlined possible cuts." In one of multiple clips of  Tim Geithner, the Treasury Secretary lectured, "They have to come to us and tell us what they think they need. What we can't do is to keep guessing. "

By Kyle Drennen | | December 3, 2012 | 12:36 PM EST

Appearing on Monday's MSNBC Morning Joe, NBC chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd shared some inside information: "So I threw the Lincoln analogy at a close aide to the President last week, and he said, 'You know, with this Republican – with the way politics of Washington are today, there'd still be slavery.' That Lincoln wouldn't have been able to navigate the polarization..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Rather than dismiss such a nasty partisan attack, Todd observed: "It was an interesting and depressing observation from this very smart White House aide."

By Tim Graham | | December 3, 2012 | 12:09 PM EST

Kansas City sportswriter Jason Whitlock loves to stoke controversy. So after he blamed Jovan Belcher's murder-suicide on the "gun culture" -- inspiring NBC Sports lecturer Bob Costas --  in an interview with Roland Martin, he added fuel to the fire by claiming "the NRA is the new KKK."

Apparently, black youths are "armed" by the NRA, and they're also responsible for loading up black neighborhoods with drugs:

By Kyle Drennen | | December 3, 2012 | 11:12 AM EST

Appearing on Monday's NBC Today, lawyer Robert Sheehan, one of the defense attorneys for former murder suspect Lois Goodman, managed to attack GOP strategist Karl Rove while asserting that the charges recently dropped against Goodman would not be re-filed: "Anybody who thinks that this case is gonna be reopened can go count votes with Karl Rove in Ohio."

Co-host Matt Lauer didn't seem fazed at all by the gratuitous slam of Rove that had no connection to the topic at hand.

By Noel Sheppard | | December 3, 2012 | 9:18 AM EST

Another black teenager was killed in Florida last week by an older, non-black assailant, and the media - just as they did in the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman case - are predictably taking sides before all the facts are in.

MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry did her part Saturday saying in a piece about the incident, "This is no country for young black men" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Dan Gainor | | December 3, 2012 | 9:00 AM EST


All three broadcast networks focus more on tax increases as solution to budget battle.


By Mark Finkelstein | | December 3, 2012 | 8:44 AM EST

On today's Morning Joe, asked by substitute host Willie Geist how much of the tough talk by Republicans and Dems over the fiscal cliff was posturing, former RNC Chairman Michael Steele said that 80% was posturing, then added "a lot of it is, let's see how big yours is versus mine."

Steele was careful to suggest he was simply talking about the size of the two parties' respective . . . plans.  But between the smirks, raised eyebrows—and an immediate intervention from Geist—it seemed obvious that Steele was making a macho allusion to something else. View the video after the jump.

By Tim Graham | | December 3, 2012 | 8:24 AM EST

Reuters reports the Pope is entering the world of Twitter at "Pontifex." On Monday morning's Bill Press show, the former seminarian mocked the 85-year-old pontiff: "What do you think the chances are that the Pope has any idea how to access Twitter?" By the way, hip Bill Press is 72.

Press producer Peter Ogburn mocked the plan for the Pope to answer tweeted questions at #askpontifex. He read some favorites, which ranged from Jesus-and-microwaved-burrito questions to the assertion that the Catholic Church is causing "millions to die in the Third World" by opposing condoms: [ relevant video follows the article ]

By Tom Blumer | | December 2, 2012 | 11:50 PM EST

Tonight's fun facts relate to the strike by the group a Reuters report describes as "500 clerical workers at the ports, members of the relatively small Office of Clerical Union Workers" at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The strikers' picket lines have been honored by "some 10,000 members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union."

These fun facts are rarely mentioned, but readers will want to learn them, and the rest of the country also should be quite interested. Though they could conceivably be elsewhere, I only found them mentioned in one Associated Press item from two days ago currently carried at Google News. It's a good thing it's there, because it appears to be gone from the AP's national web site. In fact, a search there at 11 p.m. ET on "Los Angeles ports" (not in quotes) came up empty. The fun fact is not in the aforementioned Reuters story, a very long AP story from November 28 found at the San Jose Mercury News, or a related November 30 New York Times story. The fun facts, and a link to the AP story, are after the jump:

By Noel Sheppard | | December 2, 2012 | 10:57 PM EST

NewsBusters reported Saturday the tragic murder-suicide involving a Kansas City Chiefs' football player and his girlfriend.

During halftime of NBC's Sunday Night Football, Bob Costas chose to lecture America about how guns were to blame for the incident concluding, "If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Noel Sheppard | | December 2, 2012 | 9:46 PM EST

An eight-year-old Georgia girl was bitten by a dolphin on a pre-Thanksgiving visit to Orlando's SeaWorld.

The incident, caught on video by her father, took place as Jillian Thomas was feeding dolphins with her brother and other children.

By NB Staff | | December 2, 2012 | 9:18 PM EST

On his November 26 program, left-wing radio host Mike Malloy, whose sick rants we here at NewsBusters have noted from time to time, fantasized about how he wished there were an angel of death that would sweep down across the fruited plain and destroy "tea baggers," but which he meant Tea Party conservatives. 

This was just one example in the latest batch of venom being spewed from left-wing radio hosts that our friend Brian Maloney of the Radio Equalizer blog discussed on the Nov. 28 edition of Hannity. You can watch the full segment below: