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On Friday's CBS This Morning, former Time magazine managing editor Richard Stengel unexpectedly zeroed in on a part of Nelson Mandela's legacy that apparently wasn't sufficiently left wing. Moments after he lionized Mandela as "the George Washington of South Africa", Stengel asserted that "he [Mandela] had not been very progressive about HIV and AIDS when he was president".

Veteran 60 Minutes correspondent Bob Simon also sang Mandela's praises, to the point that he made an eyebrow-raising comment about the supposed extent that the former South African president stands apart in recent history: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]


Filling in for host Chuck Todd on Thursday's MSNBC Daily Rundown, Luke Russert suggested liberal calls for a hike in the minimum wage had created a "tough issue for Republicans" and that by opposing the idea, the GOP would "risk looking like Grinches over the holiday season." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Republican pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson pushed back: "In a way, but remember, who was president last time a minimum wage increase was signed into law? It was President Bush. And the way they got their was by saying, 'You need to have some tax cuts for small businesses embedded in this law in order to get it through because there are going to be some businesses that if these cuts aren't included are gonna switch to not hiring these folks.'"


No one has appreciated, encouraged, perhaps even plotted Miley Cyrus making a clown out of herself more than MTV. So they posted this little Thank You card on their Buzzworthy blog when it was reported that she was beat at the last minute in Time’s “Person of the Year” polling by two Middle Eastern politicians. (This poll has zero integrity.)

MTV's Rachel Brodsky oozed that the former Disney Channel child star's third-place finish was “something to be VERY, very proud of, but... but... SHE DESERVED IT SO MUCH....Needless to say, we were really, really pulling for Miley. But such is life! She'll always be OUR Person Of The Year!” So they made a list of all the reasons she deserved it, mostly for acting out:


With the recent high profile dismissal of hosts Alec Baldwin and Martin Bashir, you would think MSNBC executives would have warned their on air employees to tone down the inflammatory rhetoric.

Apparently not, for on Now with Alex Wagner Friday, Chris Matthews actually said that South Africa's last apartheid era leader F.W. de Klerk was more of a patriot than Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) (video follows with transcript and commentary):


On Friday morning CNN hosted Richard Stengel, an Obama administration nominee, to discuss the President's connections to the late Nelson Mandela without disclosing Stengel's pending State Department position.

Stengel is the former managing editor of Time magazine and hailed Obama's "eloquent" words: "I thought the President was very eloquent yesterday, talking about what President Mandela meant to him. I think, in many ways, Mandela was partially responsible for Barack Obama's own political awakening."


On Thursday's PoliticsNation, MSNBC political analyst Jonathan Alter played the liberal caricature by actually suggesting that, in light of former South African President Nelson Mandela's passing, Americans should practice "forgiveness" toward "hundreds of thousands of people" who are serving life prison sentences. Speaking to host Al Sharpton, Alter suggested:


 An irritated Barbara Walters on Thursday touted the importance of the separation of church and state. The View hosts discussed a new ad by Democratic Senator Mark Pryor, under fire for supporting ObamaCare, in which he labeled himself a Bible-believing Christian. Walters declared, "The basic tenet in America is the separation. And it's very important. And it's very important, the separation of church and state." Of course, "separation of church and state" is nowhere in the Constitution. Walters didn't mention this.

She added, "We talk about the separation between church and state and almost every president ends up saying so help me God." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Walters recounted, "Now, most presidents swear on a Bible before taking office, even though we have the separation between church and state."


On Thursday night's Media Mash on Fox News Channel, Sean Hannity and MRC president Brent Bozell were quick off the mark, denouncing Chris Matthews for failing to press Barack Obama about the broken promises and lies of Obamacare.

Both men lined up questions they would have asked. "Let's say little old Sean Hannity gets to interview the president. What, at this moment, you have an audience of kids, what are the main questions that you think, that you would ask the president?" (Video, transcript below)


Amid the tributes looking back at the life of former South African President Nelson Mandela following his death on Thursday, Friday's NBC Today and ABC's Good Morning America both managed to take shots at Ronald Reagan for not being supportive of Mandela during Apartheid. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

On Today, chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell proclaimed: "The U.S. wasn't always on Mandela's side. In the 1980s, President Reagan supported the Apartheid regime, a cold war ally, even as protests broke out on college campuses across America demanding that the U.S. punish the regime....Finally, Congress, including key Republicans, overrode Reagan's veto, imposing the economic sanctions that helped break the Apartheid regime."


Fox News media analyst Howard Kurtz came down strongly on MSNBC's Chris Matthews Friday for the Hardball host's sycophantic interview with President Obama the previous day.

In an article published at FoxNews.com, Kurtz wrote, "It was as though Matthews was channeling Jay Carney...Maybe he was getting a reprise of the famous thrill up the leg.":


The unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped to 7 percent last month as employers added 203,000 people to their payrolls.

This should be good news, right?

Not to the folks at the perilously liberal Huffington Post who actually published an article Friday with the hysterical front page headline, "Strong Jobs Report Could Doom Unemployment Benefits."


With anti-tax Republicans in control of the House, it’s a little odd that The Washington Post would devote a story on Thursday to liberal Democrat Earl Blumenauer’s proposal to raise the federal gas tax by 15 cents a gallon.

It was stranger that reporter Ashley Halsey III seemed ordered to produce a Blumenauer press release, quoting absolutely no opposition to such a tax hike, instead quoting tax-hike backers like AAA and unions. No one seemed to ask whether the nation's infrastructure was supposed to get a boost from Obama's "stimulus."


An essay posted in October by Linda Tirado entitled “Why I Make Terrible Decisions, or, Poverty Thoughts” describing her struggles as a woman with virtually no income was picked up by the liberal Huffington Post and then went viral, drawing more than four million people to read her claim that she is “a poor person,” and “that is all I am or ever will be.”

However, an investigation by Angelica Leicht for the Houston Press discovered that the blog post’s author is a private-school-educated Democratic activist who wildly exaggerated her circumstances. She owns a home as the result of her parents’ generosity, has worked in politics since 2004 and has called herself a private political consultant since 2010.


For general discussion and comment...


The New York Times could only devote 53 words in the Business section on Thursday to Martin Bashir resigning from MSNBC, but swooned over Barack Obama’s latest list of book purchases in a story headlined “In Obama’s Book List, Glimpses of His Journey.”

Reporter Peter Baker explained “A reading list offers a rare window into the presidential mind, a peek at what a commander in chief may be thinking about beyond the prosaic and repetitive briefings that dominate his days.” But Obama stands out for his literary taste and his spending part of his childhood abroad: