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By Paul Bremmer | | March 6, 2013 | 5:25 PM EST

Liberal PBS host Tavis Smiley recently became the latest media member to refer to the $85 billion sequester as “austerity.” On his self-titled show Tuesday night, the taxpayer-subsidized Smiley got all frowny while discussing the American economy with former FDIC chairwoman Sheila Bair:

"Since you raised the issue, let me ask how it is, in your mind at least, the notion of austerity, and whatever people in Washington don’t want to call it, that’s exactly what this is. Sequestration’s a big, fancy word. This is austerity masking as a conversation about deficit reduction as far as I’m concerned." [Video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Kristine Marsh | | March 6, 2013 | 4:17 PM EST

Facebook revealed it's bias again this week by allowing graphic images of nudity on a pro-abortion page to stay up amid complaints of it violating the social network’s “community standards.”

By Tom Blumer | | March 6, 2013 | 4:07 PM EST

President Obama's sequester-related press briefing on March 1 contained the usual fibs. Examples include but are certainly not limited to the following: "We've already cut $2.5 trillion in our deficit," when the entire amount involved is something which might happen in the future; his claim that his State of the Union laundry list "is the agenda that the American people voted for," when many of the items involved were never mentioned during the 2012 campaign; and that the sequester is "happening because of a choice that Republicans in Congress have made," despite the fact that his advisers with his personal approval originated the idea in 2011 and the reality that he was under no compulsion when he signed the bill setting it in place last week.

Since then, while the establishment press has largely ignored it, the Washington Post's Glenn Kessler has twice honed in on a relatively small but clearly refutable statement Obama uttered that day: "Starting tomorrow, everybody here, all the folks who are cleaning the floors at the Capitol ... they're going to have less pay. The janitors, the security guards, they just got a pay cut, and they've got to figure out how to manage that. That’s real." No it's not.

By Ken Shepherd | | March 6, 2013 | 3:48 PM EST

"As we talk about history, today marks the 6-year anniversary that Scooter Libby was convicted of lying and obstructing in the leak investigation which led to your cover as a covert CIA operative being blown," MSNBC's Thomas Roberts noted at the close of his March 6 MSNBC Live interview with Valerie Plame. "We're getting word now that he has had his voting rights restored," the MSNBC anchor added. "How do you feel, as you look back, hindsight being 20/20, about what that moment in time did to your life, where you are today?"

Plame answered that she and her husband Joe Wilson "worked really hard to rebuild our lives" and that they "wish that there had been further repercussions," because, "The whole episode is just a small example of a larger pattern of behavior that we saw under the Bush administration." But alas, speaking of history, this short exchange was a bit misleading for viewers as it was Colin Powell confidante Richard Armitage who had leaked Plame's name to columnist Robert Novak, albeit inadvertently. From CNN.com on September 8, 2006:

By Randy Hall | | March 6, 2013 | 3:29 PM EST

As the viewers of America continue to tune out his program in droves, CNN host Piers Morgan can at least take solace from the knowing that fellow anti-gun zealot Dianne Feinstein thinks he's a swell guy for being so shamelessly biased.

Honestly, though, that's not much of a consolation considering that the very edition of Morgan's show on which Feinstein gave him the compliment turned out being one of Morgan's lowest-rated episodes ever, drawing only 87,000 viewers in the key 25- to 54-year-old demographic that advertisers crave.

By Clay Waters | | March 6, 2013 | 3:08 PM EST

Venezuelan despot Hugo Chavez is dead of cancer at age 58, the end of a bizarre odyssey that took him to Communist Cuba in a failed attempt at a cure. William Neuman's off-lead story in Wednesday's New York Times credited the left-wing dictator for having "changed Venezuela in fundamental ways, empowering and energizing millions of poor people who had felt marginalized and excluded."

The headline called the leftist despot a populist: "Chavez Dies At 58 With Venezuela In Deep Turmoil – Debilitated By Cancer – Crowds Mass in Capital Mourning Populist Who Defied U.S." Thus the paper maintains its double standard on labeling dead dictators, with the paper rarely using the term "dictator" to refer to communists, only fascists.

By Kyle Drennen | | March 6, 2013 | 2:28 PM EST

In an interview on Monday's Today with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and his co-author Clint Bolick about their new book, Immigration Wars, co-host Matt Lauer seized Bush's critical words for fellow Republicans: "...this is an alarm to your party. You called Republicans 'tone deaf and hostile to immigrants and Hispanics,' you fault the party for being unwilling to expand the base, and you warn that Republicans face, your word, 'extinction' if they continue to alienate Hispanics. Is this damage that was caused and has been inflicted, whether self or not, something that can be repaired in time for 2016?"

Lauer began the segment by wondering: "Your brother [George W. Bush] won 44% of the Hispanic vote. By contrast, Governor Romney won 27%. 71% went to President Obama. Was it Governor Romney's fault or the party's fault?" Bush replied: "I think both. Governor Romney put himself in a box, I think, in the primary, by trying to out-conservative some very good conservative candidates, and never really recovered from it."

By Matt Hadro | | March 6, 2013 | 2:07 PM EST

Actress Olivia Munn stars in HBO's drama The Newsroom, but she knocked the real-life CNN newsroom on Sunday. At a panel moderated by CNN host Piers Morgan, Munn made clear her distaste for newspeople "trying to make themselves a celebrity."

"I like seeing my news anchors just be my news anchors. And now you turn on CNN and now people are putting themselves into a story," she said, calling out Morgan and CNN anchor Don Lemon by name.

By Scott Whitlock | | March 6, 2013 | 12:38 PM EST

[Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Good Morning America as airing the Brandi Hitt story. Her piece was posted on GMA's website, but did not air on the program.]  ABCNews.com on Wednesday greeted the death of Hugo Chavez by avoiding the word “socialist.” Instead, journalist Brandi Hitt touted the repressive leader as someone who “appeared to never back down from a challenge.” The reporter never mentioned Chavez’s crackdown on free speech or democracy. Instead, she featured a woman in the streets of Venezuela gushing, “He’s a man that cared about us…He did not give anything to me, but he gave it to my people.”

Over on Today, NBC’s Mark Potter offered this friendly description of the individual who made friends with Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: “Many here were still surprised when he died, in part because of his larger-than-life personality.”  Potter announced that crowds in Caracas were chanting “Chavez lives” and “the struggle continues.” Both Today and Good Morning America made sure to play footage of Chavez’s 2006 appearance at the United Nations. There, the authoritarian leaded mocked George W. Bush as “the devil.”

By Matt Philbin | | March 6, 2013 | 12:28 PM EST

It’s probably not too much of a stretch to say the just-retired Pope Benedict XVI isn’t a terribly popular figure around the offices of The New Yorker, one of the flagship publications of East Coast liberalism. One subtle clue might be the Feb. 12 article, “The Disastrous Influence of Pope Benedict XVI,” in which John Cassidy accused “Benedict’s Vatican” of “setting its face against the modern world in general … needlessly alienating countless people around the world who were brought up in its teachings.”

So when a question arises as to whether a cartoon depiction of the pope on the magazine’s cover is slyly malicious, it’s difficult to give the magazine the benefit of the doubt.

By Kyle Drennen | | March 6, 2013 | 12:02 PM EST

During a panel discussion on Tuesday's NBC Today about an elderly woman being denied CPR at an assisted living facility and later dying, pundit Donny Deutsch immediately worried about the health care expense that may have been incurred if the woman had lived: "It's obviously a very sad story, but it really brings up, I think, a larger issue that we've got to get our arms around, that 25% of the health care costs are against people in their last year of their life, the 4 or 5% of people, keeping people alive." [Watch the video after the jump]

Deutsch suggested it was time to shift priorities: "..we maybe need to give hard looks that some of the procedures being done to extend lives six weeks, eight weeks, ten weeks, that maybe that money could go to saving little babies." NBC chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman agreed: "I hope this a national conversation about death and dying." Moments later, she demanded that there be no investigation into the death of the 87-year-old denied CPR: "I'm sorry, I hope this is one time where the lawyers and the police stay the hell out of it."

By Noel Sheppard | | March 6, 2013 | 11:53 AM EST

As the liberal media predictably gushed and fawned over Hugo Chavez on the occasion of his death Tuesday, someone that was raised in Venezuela was actually quite pleased by the announcement.

Appearing on NewsMaxTV’s Steve Malzberg Show Tuesday, Maria Conchita Alonso said, “I’m very happy” (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):

By Jeffrey Meyer | | March 6, 2013 | 11:25 AM EST

If you're an outspoken religious or political conservative in the entertainment industry, it's open season by the liberal media not just on your beliefs but on your right to work. The latest example of this new outright McCarthyism comes from Wired magazine, which gives a strongly worded condemnation of DC Comics for having hired author Orson Scott Card to write Superman. 

Wired’s outrage stems from Card’s vocal opposition to gay marriage, which the magazine's Graeme McMillan says would offend the Man of Steel. “[D]oesn’t Superman stand against such bigotry?" he asked.  While Card may have very outlandish opinions on homosexuality, McMillan seems to have no problem with efforts by gay activists to virtually blacklist the Superman author from the comic industry. 

By Tom Blumer | | March 6, 2013 | 11:25 AM EST

CNN, which if I recall correctly severed formal ties with the Associated Press some time ago, quoted former congressman Joseph Kennedy II's reaction to the death of Venezuela's authoritarian leader Hugo Chavez as follows: "President Chavez cared deeply about the poor of Venezuela and other nations around the world and their abject lack of even basic necessities, while some of the wealthiest people on our planet have more money than they can ever reasonably expect to spend" ... There are close to 2 million people in the United States who received free heating assistance, thanks to President Chavez's leadership. Our prayers go out to President Chavez's family, the people of Venezuela, and all who were warmed by his generosity."

Here is how Christine Armario at the AP, with the help of Steve LeBlanc in Boston, sanitized Kennedy's remarks:

By Scott Whitlock | | March 6, 2013 | 11:22 AM EST

Surprise! It turns out there is some wasteful spending going on in government.  In the weeks leading up to the showdown in Washington, ABC offered story after story lamenting the “massive” government cuts resulting from sequester and warning of criminals running free and a “meat shortage.” Yet on the March 5 World News, David Kerley found that the government has spent $400,000 in the last two years alone on expensive portraits for top officials.

A shocked Kerley explained, “The 29th agriculture secretary? Well, you paid for his painting. The latest for Lisa Jackson, the outgoing EPA administrator, a $38,000 portrait. ..How about $41,000 for the Air Force secretary?”  Pointing the figure at Barack Obama, the journalist continued, “We wanted to show you some of those portraits that you paid for. But the White House wouldn't allow our camera to go into any federal buildings to see those paintings.” [See video below.]