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By Kyle Drennen | | February 7, 2013 | 11:29 AM EST

In an interview with Pattie Mallette, mother of pop star Justin Bieber, on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie worried about Mallette's producing role in an upcoming film: "...you wanted to talk about your involvement in a movie called Crescendo....[which] tells the story of Beethoven's mother, who, while she was pregnant, attempted to have an abortion and even attempted suicide....it's a movie with a decidedly pro-life/anti-abortion purpose." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Guthrie invited Mallette to distance herself from that purpose: "But you feel like people, as I understand it, are getting the wrong message about what you are trying to say by your participation?" Mallette replied: "Yeah, I don't feel that it is a pro-life message. I mean, people are going to get from it what they want to. It's just – it's a true story, it's a historical piece." Guthrie pressed further: "Do you feel misled at all by the producers of the film? I mean, if the film has this message and its goal is to – is an anti-abortion message, I mean, are you okay with that? I guess I'm confused about what your position is."

By Julia A. Seymour | | February 7, 2013 | 11:20 AM EST

Gas prices are at record highs for the time of year, and took a bigger bite out of household income last year than in decades, yet the topic has taken just a fraction of the broadcast network news programs’ time.

“The Energy Department’s statistical arm reported Monday that the average household spent $2,912 for gasoline in 2012, which makes up almost 4 percent of pre-tax income, tying 2008 for the highest percentage in roughly 30 years,” The Hill’s Ben Geman wrote on Feb. 4.

By Katie Yoder | | February 7, 2013 | 11:00 AM EST

Forget your biological clock, ladies. Here’s another internal timer set to ring: the abortion alarm. Just for you, Jezebel’s Erin Gloria Ryan confirms that 25-years-old is the perfect age for an abortion.

“There's a point where [a woman is] financially and emotionally mature enough to support a child and her body is still capable of making babies — but what about the alternative?” Ryan asked in breezy piece for Jezebel, the site of “gossip, culture, fashion, and sex for the contemporary woman.” 

By Tom Blumer | | February 7, 2013 | 10:44 AM EST

A Wednesday report by Keith Laing at the Hill failed to point out a quite obvious contradiction during departing Transportation Secretary LaHood's appearance on NPR's Diane Rehm show.

From all appearances, based on the video available at her site, Rehm, once LaHood launched into a predictable rant about how our transportation infrastructure is in serious disrepair, didn't ask -- and should have asked -- why the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on the stimulus plan accompanied by those ubiquitous Recovery Act promotional signs seen at road construction projects didn't stabilize things two or three years ago. Excerpts from Laing's lackluster effort follow the jump (bolds are mine):

By Noel Sheppard | | February 7, 2013 | 10:06 AM EST

One of the most talked about Super Bowl commercials this past Sunday was the Go Daddy ad where supermodel Bar Refaeli passionately kisses a nerd.

On NBC's Tonight Show Wednesday, host Jay Leno asked Refaeli to recreate the ad with him. It didn't turn out how he expected.

By Mark Finkelstein | | February 7, 2013 | 9:33 AM EST

Conservatives might take heart from a recent poll showing a decline in Americans' trust in government.  But Chris Cillizza sees it as a "depressing reality." So wrote Cillizza in his "Fix" column in today's Washington Post.  Indeed, Cillizza's headline, "Are we in the end times of trust in government?", suggests that he finds the development nothing short of potentially apocalyptic.

Let's consider what Thomas Jefferson's had to say about the need for a healthy distrust of government—and speculate as to why the polling news has Chris bummed out. More after the jump.

By Randy Hall | | February 7, 2013 | 9:28 AM EST

Giving advice is easy; accepting it, not so much. One day after Chris Christie downed a doughnut and joked that he's “the healthiest fat guy you've ever seen in your life” on Monday night's edition of “The Late Show With David Letterman,” a medical expert on presidential health said the New Jersey governor's weight is no laughing matter.

"I'm worried he may have a heart attack. I'm worried he may have a stroke," former White House physician Connie Mariano said in an interview with Jim Acosta, CNN's national political correspondent regarding the GOP "heavyweight."

By Noel Sheppard | | February 7, 2013 | 9:03 AM EST

The media complicity in President Obama's drone strategy gets more and more astonishing with each passing day.

On Wednesday, Britain's Guardian published a piece with the incredible sub-headline "New York Times and Washington Post knew about secret drone base in Saudi Arabia but agreed not to disclose it to the public."

By Mark Finkelstein | | February 7, 2013 | 8:32 AM EST

"And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?"  Time for Joe Scarborough to brush up on the Sermon on the Mount?

On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough gloated at length over survey results indicating that the public's trust in Fox News has declined and that PBS is the only network that more people trust than distrust. But he conveniently failed to mention that Fox News remains the network that more people trust than any other . . . and that his own MSNBC trails way—way!—behind Fox News in public trust.  View the video after the jump.

By Clay Waters | | February 7, 2013 | 8:06 AM EST

President Obama's media acolytes must really be disappointed – they're comparing his administration's unilateral behavior in the war on terror to that of George W. Bush. The new interest was kicked off by a Justice Department document leaked on Monday that offered a legal analysis of when the president can order the targeted killing of an American citizen suspected of terrorism, without due process. Wednesday's lead New York Times article from Yemen was a rundown of the fatal drone strikes authorized by President Obama and his "kill list" coordinator John Brennan, now Obama's nominee to head the C.I.A.

The Times relegated the actual news about the leaked document to page 11, in the International section, in a "news analysis" by reporters Scott Shane and Charlie Savage that dug into the politics of the controversy under an odd, vague headline: "Report on Targeted Killing Whets Appetite for Less Secrecy."

By Noel Sheppard | | February 6, 2013 | 10:57 PM EST

A Teen Jeopardy! contestant had some harsh words for unnamed recent presidents Wednesday.

Responding to host Alex Trebek’s question about what he’d “bring to the presidency that we haven’t had say in the last few decades,” Lexington, Kentucky, high school senior Barrett Block said, “A sense of competence and accountability.”

By Mark Finkelstein | | February 6, 2013 | 7:41 PM EST

Have a look at the image of President Obama that Al Sharpton repeatedly displayed during a segment of his MSNBC show this evening on the theme that the Obama agenda on immigration and gun control is gaining traction.

It shows a stern-faced President Obama superimposed against the backdrop of a massive crowd.  At one point, Sharpton displayed a graphic reading "Taking Control." More after the jump.

By Matt Vespa | | February 6, 2013 | 6:33 PM EST

In the wake of the leaked Department of Justice memo detailing the legality of targeted killings by drones on American citizens, the PBS NewsHour found it fitting to have the ACLU defend its position in why these strikes are troubling, and why American-born al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki should’ve been kept alive to plan acts of terror against the United States.

Of course, this is maddening to the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.  Liberal publications, like The Nation, detail the dark future of drone warfare, and some anti-drone journalists, like Conor Fierdorsdorff of The Atlantic, have compared Obama to Bush.  However, even with the media either criticizing, or ignoring, this development, last night’s broadcast of the PBS NewsHour didn’t take into account the hypocrisy of liberals who were on the warpath a few years prior after release of Bush memos related to enhanced interrogation techniques.

By Jeffrey Meyer | | February 6, 2013 | 6:10 PM EST

Leave it to liberal host Martin Bashir to bring on the president of Planned Parenthood to trash individuals with religious objections to the ObamaCare contraception mandate.  Speaking with Cecile Richards on February 6, Bashir conducted a Planned Parenthood advocacy session rather than an actual interview.And, naturally, Bashir failed to bring on an opposing viewpoint either in the same segment or a subsequent one.

Indeed, during the chat with Richards -- who was a fixture at the Lean Forward network during last year's "war on women" meme -- Bashir acted as cheerleader for the nation's largest abortion provider. "In yet another sign of his willingness to respect religious convictions, the president has amended the Affordable Care Act in relation to the availability of birth control," Bashir insisted, puffing the president as a magnanimous compromiser when it has been the president's own administration that has put religious organizations into a needless dilemma regarding their First Amendment freedoms in the first place.

By Kyle Drennen | | February 6, 2013 | 5:57 PM EST

Wrapping up a panel discussion on Tuesday's NBC Today about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie poking fun at his weight during a David Letterman appearance, co-host Willie Geist argued the issue was a major political obstacle to Christie: "I think if he didn't weigh what he weighed right now, he'd be talked about as the shoo-in to be the nominee next time. But that's a real problem that people have to think about if they want to cast a vote for him, is his health." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]