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By Tim Graham | | October 10, 2013 | 12:36 PM EDT

The big talk in conservative radio on Thursday is Barack Obama’s 37 percent approval rating in the latest AP poll. Hosts are also making fun of how AP announced this number: buried in paragraph eight of a story headlined “Poll: No Heroes In Shutdown, GOP Gets Most Blame.”

Guess what? Brent Baker reported when an AP poll found President Bush's approval rating hit a new low of 37 percent on March 10, 2006, NBC's Brian Williams led the newscast with it. When an NBC News poll found the same number on March 15, Williams led the program with it again, turning to Tim Russert to say, "let's start with that all-important benchmark for presidents, the approval rating." Now, the networks are trying to avoid this Obama number.

By Geoffrey Dickens | | October 10, 2013 | 12:35 PM EDT

On October 9 The Blaze reported the following: “Sarah Hall Ingram, the Internal Revenue Service official who used to head the office directly involved in the targeting of conservative groups, may have shared confidential taxpayer information with White House officials, according to 2012 emails uncovered by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Ingram, who now heads the IRS’s Obamacare enforcement division, counseled senior White House officials on how to deal with a lawsuit from religious groups opposed to the Obamacare contraception mandate.”

So far ABC, CBS and NBC have yet to report on the latest IRS scandal disclosure. In fact they’ve stopped reporting on the IRS scandal altogether. It’s been 106 days since ABC last mentioned the IRS targeting scandal, way back on June 26. NBC hasn’t touched the story in 105 days and CBS last did an IRS story 77 days ago on July 24.

By Scott Whitlock | | October 10, 2013 | 11:41 AM EDT


ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday rightly highlighted the "outrage" over the delay of death benefits to the families of fallen U.S. soldiers. A day later, the program's hosts barely had time for the story, allowing a mere 28 seconds (within a larger report). Reporter Jon Karl briefly referred to the "disaster on military benefits," but he didn't explain that a private charity had stepped in to solve the problem.

On Wednesday, a graphic for a Jim Avila full report insisted that "outrage grows for America's heroes." The journalist featured a clip of Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy trashing, "And now, because of a small group of Tea Party Republicans, we say we can't even take care of your family when you die in the service of the country." On Thursday, Karl lectured that "the only thing both parties seem to agree on" is that "it's inexcusable to deny help to family members of those who have given their lives serving the country." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] It's true that the House acted 425-0 to pay the death benefits, but Harry Reid's Democratic Senate has not acted. [UPDATE: 12:48pm ET The Senate has now moved on approving benefits. SECOND UPDATE: But the White House has rejected it.]

By Noel Sheppard | | October 10, 2013 | 11:33 AM EDT

NewsBusters readers are well-aware that one of our problems with New York Times columnist Paul Krugman - besides his perilously liberal bias, of course! - is how he plays fast and loose with facts to support his agenda.

On MSNBC's Morning Joe Thursday, co-host Joe Scarborough said, "One of the public editors of the New York Times told me off the record after my debate that their biggest nightmare was his column every week" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Tom Blumer | | October 10, 2013 | 11:17 AM EDT

Andrew Couts at Digital Trends is apparently the one who has broken the story (link is in original) that "The exact cost to build, according to U.S. government records, appears to have been $634,320,919, which we paid to a company you probably never heard of: CGI Federal." Without getting into minutiae, some of that amount may not be directly related to, but Kathleen Sebelius's HHS is obviously nowhere near done spending development money yet.

The bio for Couts says that he "covers a wide swath of consumer technology topics, with particular focus on the intersection of technology, law, politics, and policy." His represented background would seem to indicate that he should know that the pin-the-blame-on-Congress game he plays in his writeup is misleading and irresponsible. Excerpts follow the jump (links are in original; bolds and numbered tags are mine):

By Tim Graham | | October 10, 2013 | 11:03 AM EDT

There’s trouble in Katie Land. Alex Ben Block at The Hollywood Reporter warns her show is “teetering on the verge of cancellation,” that “soft ratings, a huge budget and ‘disdain’ for her female audience — Q Scores report only 10 percent of women view Couric favorably — have the host's Disney/ABC talk show in jeopardy as a renewal decision nears.”

The third season just began with a publicity blitz about Couric getting engaged, but “renewal seems a long shot.”
Anonymous “insiders” say the show is too hard-edged, not soft-focus enough for the 25-to-54 women viewers.

By Noel Sheppard | | October 10, 2013 | 10:48 AM EDT

With all eyes on how many people have actually signed up for ObamaCare, it will be interesting to see how honest the media will be concerning this matter if the numbers are disappointing.

For example, it was reported by Cedar Rapids, Iowa's ABC affiliate KCRG Wednesday that only five Iowans have actually been successful (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):

By NB Staff | | October 10, 2013 | 10:21 AM EDT

Discuss the news of the day and anything else you'd like...

By Mark Finkelstein | | October 10, 2013 | 8:24 AM EDT

Can you tell that "Bulgarian," "Sunbeam," and "Vladivostok" are different words?  Congratulations: you're smarter than the Obamacare website!  Just for fun, I tried to create an Obamacare account at this morning.  At 6:48 AM CDT, I had no trouble getting in. Things were going swimmingly . . . until it came time to choose security questions and provide answers.  

As you'll see from the screengrab, I was informed that my account could not be created because "two or more answers to the security questions cannot be the same. You must provide distinct answers to the chosen security questions."  President Obama, Secretary Sebelius, or anybody else out there, please tell me, which of the following words are the same: "Bulgarian," "Sunbeam" and "Vladivostok"? Because those are, as you'll see from the screencap after the jump, the three answers I gave.  Note: the first time I tried and failed, I supplied real answers, but for purposes of this blog, when I tried again I used fanciful ones.  Didn't want the whole world to know that my favorite cuisine is actually Indian. Oops!] More after the jump.

By Tim Graham | | October 10, 2013 | 7:02 AM EDT

Two items by Andrew Beaujon at Poynter are interesting when put side by side. At a conference in Cannes, the Guardian reports, BuzzFeed President Jon Steinberg said that “We feel strongly that traditional media have given up on young people” and that news organizations should focus on sharing throughout their processes. They need to stop the old model of "very boring news" geared for Google searches and focus on shares in social media.

So what is the new news that the youngsters under 40 want? Beaujon has the details right below. Joe Veix of Death and Taxes says BuzzFeed "posted essentially the same article" he did without crediting him prominently enough.   His October 2 story was about people tweeting photos of themselves falling down stairs.  

By Tim Graham | | October 10, 2013 | 5:51 AM EDT

Alec Baldwin granted an interview to Politico’s Patrick Gavin about his new MSNBC show. Television is turning out to be much tougher than his public-radio show. He seems to revolting against the rules, like wearing an earpiece because that’s “so artificial.” He even sounds like he’s revolting against what MSNBC is, underlining he was reluctant to sign on for a show.

"I wasn’t that wild about that idea because MSNBC — which I’m a fan of — it had a certain stamp that I wasn’t sure I wanted to wear," Baldwin said. "It is this harshly political thing and, regardless of my own politics, I wasn’t sure I wanted to dine out on that." Baldwin’s imagining that he’s not some raving Olbermann. He’s going to do a PBS show like Charlie Rose:

By Tom Blumer | | October 9, 2013 | 11:33 PM EDT

On Tuesday's Crossfire (HT commenter Gary Hall), liberal Democratic guest Bill Burton tried to impress the show's hostesses and guest David Limbaugh when he said of President Obama: "More people have jobs than they did when he took office."

Wow. That's about the most unimpressive statement I've heard in years, and it would be beyond pathetic but for the performance of one state. Let's look at the facts:

By Mike Bates | | October 9, 2013 | 8:44 PM EDT

Many mainstream media pundits are undoubtedly displeased that a good portion of the public doesn’t approve of President Barack Obama’s job performance.  But today’s nomination of Janet Yellen for Federal Reserve chairman gave some of them a chance to wax nostalgic for another Democratic president and the time Yellen worked in the Clinton White House.  On today’s 3:30 pm segment of CNN Newsroom, anchor Wolf Blitzer reminisced with chief political analyst Gloria Borger and international business correspondent Richard Quest:

BORGER: Jack Lew, who is now treasury secretary, was there as a budget director. Those were the good old days. 

By Brad Wilmouth | | October 9, 2013 | 6:39 PM EDT

Appearing on the Tuesday, October 8, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC political analyst Joy Reid asserted that Republicans are "taking hostages" and have "shot a hostage" as they "went ahead and shut the government down." She began her over the top metaphor:

By Scott Whitlock | | October 9, 2013 | 6:24 PM EDT

 Viewers who watched Ed Schultz on Wednesday witnessed something rare on the liberal host's show: a guest who voted for Republican Mitt Romney in 2012. Dirty Jobs star Mike Rowe appeared and even got in a dig at Schultz's expense. After the MSNBC anchor touted his working class background and love for trucks, Rowe quipped, "I can make a call. I can have [a truck] in your driveway before you say, 'holy crap, I'm cancelled!' [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

A surprised Schultz blurted, "I'm just trying every time slot here at MSNBC." Rowe joked, "Something's bound to stick." Earlier in the segment, the Dirty Jobs host laughed as Schultz called for him to join the Democratic Party: "You know, he is the perfect independent that we have to convince that it's their [Republicans] fault!"