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By Jeffrey Meyer | | December 13, 2012 | 1:10 PM EST

Add Barbara Walters to the list of journalists pushing for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to run for President in 2016.  For the third time now, Ms. Clinton has been featured on Barbara Walters’s annual 10 Most Fascinating People special.

Given that Ms. Walters  had a one-on-one sit-down interview with Clinton, it would seem logical that the topic of the Benghazi fiasco would come up.  It didn't, despite the fact that, as Secretary of State, Mrs. Clinton oversees all U.S. Embassies, and is directly responsible for protecting our diplomats around the world, especially in troubled regions where security threats are more acute.  [See video below break.  MP3 audio here.] 

By Tom Blumer | | December 13, 2012 | 12:47 PM EST

The word games in the press, especially at the Associated Press, concerning North Korea's nuclear capabilities are head-spinning.

In a June 16, 2009 dispatch, Ben Feller's story at the AP carried the following headline at the Huffington Post: "Obama, Lee: We Won't Allow North Korea To Have Nuclear Weapons" ("Lee" is Lee Myung-bak, then and still President of South Korea). Yet Feller's first paragraph referred to the North as a "nuclear-armed nation." If you're "armed," doesn't that mean you have a "weapon"? Additionally, a CNN report on the same day mentioned that President Obama would not be "allowing North Korea to develop nuclear weapons," though the country has claimed possession of them since early 2005. An exercise in excuse-making at the AP Wednesday evening by Bradley Klapper only adds to the confusion (bolds are mine throughout this post):

By Matt Hadro | | December 13, 2012 | 12:45 PM EST

Teamsters Union president James Hoffa warned on CNN Tuesday that there would be "civil war" in Michigan over thepassage of right-to-work legislation, but after anchor Brooke Baldwin made two brief mentions of it the CNN blackout began. In contrast, on the next day Fox News hammered the "civil war" threat as an example of radical rhetoric.

How bad was CNN's blind spot to the controversy? After Hoffa warned of "civil war," Baldwin simply repeated his words back to him. "[I]n the meantime, as you wage this civil war, what does this mean for unionized workers moving forward in Michigan?" she asked, without demanding how violent the union pushback would be.

By Kyle Drennen | | December 13, 2012 | 12:41 PM EST

Following a report on Thursday's NBC Today in which political director Chuck Todd touted a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, co-host Matt Lauer tried to spin one finding: "...only 53% say they're optimistic about a second term for Obama and 47% say they are pessimistic. Is this really more pessimism about Washington in general?"

Todd accepted the characterization: "It is. You know, you see it in the poll....this is a much less naive public, maybe let's put it that way, after they've watched all of this in Washington. And a full 70% now think that the next year is going to be acrimonious." Todd then portrayed Republicans as embracing such acrimony: "...this is really dangerous in the talks, actually...I talked to one Republican who said, 'How low can we go? We don't have a lot to lose.' And I pointed out, 'But you would have a lot to gain, because the par's pretty low from the public's point of view.'"

By Scott Whitlock | | December 13, 2012 | 12:23 PM EST

 

Chris Matthews has found the problem with how the media covered the 2012 election: Unbiased journalists were simply too focused on being "even-handed" and treating Republicans fairly. Yes, really. The Hardball anchor on Wednesday began his program by declaring, "Did you get the impression during the presidential campaign that the press was trying too hard to be even-handed?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

Matthews continued, "Did you think the people delivering the news were pushing what we call balance at the expense of the obvious facts, that the day-to-day stories never got across the obvious big fact, that the Democrats in this election were like Democrats going back to Jack Kennedy?" Matthews, who previously compared the GOP to Hitler and the Ku Klux Klan, declared himself the arbiter of media fairness: "So tonight we're going to nail it. We go to the truth, and why was the truth that dared not be reported in the mainstream media?"

By Matthew Sheffield | | December 13, 2012 | 11:33 AM EST

During an appearance on the program of MSNBC’s race-baiter-in-chief Al Sharpton, entertainer Harry Belafonte lashed out at Republicans, saying that their continued presence in Washington, DC constituted an “infection” of sorts. He also told his host that the only thing left for Obama to do with opposition figures who continue to disagree with him was to “Work like a Third World dictator and just put all these guys in jail.”

Belafonte’s totalitarian prescription elicited a laugh rather than horror from Sharpton. View video below the jump.

By NB Staff | | December 13, 2012 | 11:25 AM EST

The shocking developments in the Jimmy Savile child sex abuse scandal at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) raise disturbing questions about Mark Thompson, the former BBC director general who was named the new president and CEO of The New York Times Company in August.  Given what has come to light thus far, Thompson is at the very least "guilty of gross professional incompetence" and at worst involved in "an indefensible cover-up," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell charged in letters sent yesterday to New York Times publisher Jill Abramson executive editor Jill Abramson and publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr.

"If you did conduct a background investigation during the hiring process, what were your findings? If you knew about Mr. Savile’s alleged crimes while Mr. Thompson was director general, why did you decide to go ahead and hire him anyway?" Bozell inquired in the letters, which he is making public today, "because the public deserves to know the truth." "I want to give you the benefit of the doubt in this matter, and therefore the opportunity to respond," the Media Research Center founder added, concluding, "Your response will be reproduced in full." [You can find the Sulzberger letter pasted below and the nearly-identical Abramson letter is linked here ]

By Matthew Sheffield | | December 13, 2012 | 10:36 AM EST

Today's starter topic: In an interview with National Review, RNC chairman Reince Priebus discloses that he has set up a committee designed to examine and fix what he believes to be problems within the Republican Party. One of the topics under review is the so-called presidential debates. Priebus believes there were too many of them:

By Clay Waters | | December 13, 2012 | 8:28 AM EST

New York Times Atlanta bureau chief Kim Severson sounded worried about the "controversial" conservatives taking over the North Carolina governorship in "G.O.P.'s Full Control in Long-Moderate North Carolina May Leave Lasting Stamp," seeing "an increasingly conservative agenda" since Barack Obama won the state in 2008.

With a Republican newly elected as governor and a Republican-controlled legislature, North Carolina, long a politically moderate player in the South, will soon have its most conservative government in a century.

By Tim Graham | | December 13, 2012 | 8:05 AM EST

Patrick Moran – the same embarrassing son of liberal Democrat Congressman Jim Moran who drew some national attention in October for being caught on camera by Project Veritas encouraging voter registration fraud – has now brutalized his girlfriend in an alcoholic rage.

A police officer saw “Moran grab a woman by the back of her head and slam it into a trash can about 1:23 a.m. in front of the Getaway nightclub in Columbia Heights.” Moran was initially charged with felony assault. Girlfriend Kelly Hofmann was found bleeding “heavily” from her nose, according to court records, and her nose and right eye were “extremely” swollen. Guess where the Washington Post placed this “war on women” story?

By Tom Blumer | | December 12, 2012 | 11:41 PM EST

Back in the days when journalists practiced journalism, they would be on the alert for record-breaking news, whether positive or negative. These days, at least when it comes to the economy, it seems that they struggle to find positive records and ignore obvious negative ones right in front of their faces.

A case in point is today's Associated Press report on November's Monthly Treasury Statement. The government's report came in with a deficit of $172.1 billion, the highest November shortfall ever (the runner-up: last year's $137.3 billion). The AP's Christopher Rugaber either failed to recognize the reported amount as a record -- doubtful in my view given its size -- or didn't think its recordbreaking status was newsworthy. To be fair, unlike colleague Martin Crutsinger's typical monthly attempts, Rugaber got to almost all of the requisite monthly and year-to-date facts on receipts, spending, and the deficit itself, including comparisons to last year. Excerpts, including the all too familiar historical revisionism on how we got to where we are, follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

By Jack Coleman | | December 12, 2012 | 8:55 PM EST

Rachel Maddow is often absent from the MSNBC show which bears her name, thereby allowing one of her alternating guest hosts to serve up unintended comic relief.

Providing the hilarity last night was Washington Post blogger and Bloomberg columnist Ezra Klein, who predictably spun the story about Michigan legislators passing a right to work law (video after page break)

By Ken Shepherd | | December 12, 2012 | 6:42 PM EST

Democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey seemed absolutely shocked and appalled Tuesday afternoon, when MSNBC anchor Tamron Hall kicked off their interview on comprehensive immigration reform by asking him about breaking news from the Associated Press regarding the arrest and deportation order against an intern in the senator's office who is a registered sex offender. According to the report, the arrest was deliberately timed to fall AFTER the November 6 presidential election.

"Do you know anything about this report, senator," Hall asked a visibly annoyed Menendez.  "We certainly wouldn't have known through any background checks since he is a minor about any sex offender status," Menendez insisted, "and once it came to our attention, our New Jersey staff director let the young man go from the program." [MP3 audio here; video follows page break]

By P.J. Gladnick | | December 12, 2012 | 5:04 PM EST

Shame on Steven Crowder for brutally smashing his face down upon the tender closed fist of union member Tony Camargo.

Although the network news shows are carefully avoiding committing themselves to real journalism by not reporting on union violence in Michigan, those of us who have access to the censored news via the Web are well aware of what is actually happening. And in order to keep up the pretense that  the the unions are mere innocents in the drama unfolding in Michigan as you can see in this video of union thug Camargo throwing punches at Crowder, the DUers at the Democratic Underground have come up with excuses that are both bizarre and hilarious.

By Kyle Drennen | | December 12, 2012 | 5:03 PM EST

During a panel discussion on Tuesday's NBC Today about hiring people to do Christmas chores like decorating the tree or buying gifts, the network's chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman suddenly broke into an anti-religious rant: "I don't like the religion part. I think religion is what mucks the whole thing up....I think that's what makes the holidays so stressful." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Snyderman's take-the-Christ-out-of-Christmas commentary was prompted by fellow panelist Star Jones explaining: "I focus on, honestly, the religion part of it. I really and truly do. So I can't out-source that part of it. I can send you to get my tree, but I can't help – you can't help me pray." When Snyderman launched into her attack on faith, Jones countered: "That's the only reason for me to have the holiday....We wouldn't have the holiday if it wasn't for the religion part."