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By Clay Waters | August 8, 2012 | 2:36 PM EDT

Has the Tea Party truly "siphoned energy and support from violent fringe groups"? On Wednesday James Dao and Serge Kovaleski of the New York Times reported on the murderous rampage at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin: "Music Style Is Called Supremacist Recruiting Tool."

After working in the threat of "ultra-right-wing militias" (though all indiciations are that the killer acted alone), Dao and Kovaleski threw in a reference to the Tea Party as a "more mainstream alternative" to such violent domestic terrorist outfits, though there has never been violence or arrests at Tea Party rallies.

By Clay Waters | August 8, 2012 | 2:02 PM EDT

New York Times reporter Amy Chozick gave respectful attention Wednesday to President Obama's moonlighting as media critic: "Obama Is an Avid Reader, and Critic, of the News." Chozick pushed the pro-Democratic idea of the media pursuing "false balance," while pumping up Obama as "a voracious consumer of news." Almost totally ignored: Media favoritism toward Barack Obama.

Chozick started with Obama, who has been a frequent critic of conservative outlets like Fox News and Rush Limbaugh's radio show, complaining about a three-year-old story from a rival newspaper.

By Ken Shepherd | August 8, 2012 | 12:28 PM EDT

You will probably be able to count on one hand the number of times the liberal media will wring their hands this campaign season about the national Democratic Party being beholden to the abortion lobby. To her credit, Melinda Henneberger of the Washington Post will be one of those reporters.

In her page August 8 "She the People" feature on page A2, "Democrats' Big Tent is a cold place for antiabortion advocates," the Post columnist lamented that while a Gallup poll shows a significant plurality of Democrats -- 44 percent -- "said abortion should only be legal 'in a few circumstances,'" that chances are incredibly slim that the party will alter its platform plank on abortion to soften its absolutist stand.

By Kyle Drennen | August 8, 2012 | 12:13 PM EDT

In just a matter of days, presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney will announce his choice for his 2012 running mate. No matter who Romney picks, however, the liberal media's line of attack is already clear. The Media Research Center reviewed news coverage of several potential picks, and found many have already been caricatured as too far right or outside the mainstream.

By Scott Whitlock | August 8, 2012 | 11:59 AM EDT

All three evening newscasts on Tuesday and the morning shows on Wednesday skipped a new Super PAC ad (run by former Obama spokesman Bill Burton) that blames Mitt Romney for a woman's death from cancer. While ignoring that, NBC, ABC and CBS made sure to highlight negative news for Romney or White House complaints about the Republican's new campaign spots.

By contrast, CNN on Tuesday demolished the Obama super PAC ad as "not accurate." Anchor Wolf Blitzer asserted it was "full of falsehoods." The spot misleadingly claims that Ranae Soptic passed away from cancer shortly after Bain Capital closed down the steel plant her husband worked at. In reality, she died five years later. Instead of investigating this, Good Morning America's Josh Elliott on Wednesday alerted, "Our new ABC News/Washington Post poll finds [Romney's] personal popularity sinking to a new low, the lowest of any presumptive nominee since 1984."

By Jeffrey Meyer | August 8, 2012 | 11:14 AM EDT

Everyone knows that politics can be an ugly business, but MSNBC’s Chris Matthews sunk to a new long on his Hardball program Tuesday night.  Matthews’ outrage came from an ad put out by the Romney campaign suggesting that President Obama, "announced a plan to gut welfare reform by dropping work requirements," which, his administration most certainly did.

Since there's nothing factually assailable about the ad, Matthews decided that the best approach for criticizing the spot was claiming it was "Willie Horton stuff." Of course, the 1988 Willie Horton ad was also 100 percent factually unassailable, which is why that ad resonated against then-Gov. Michael Dukakis (D-Mass.).  The issue at hand isn’t the accuracy of the ad but rather Matthews' insistence that racism is at play. 

By NB Staff | August 8, 2012 | 11:10 AM EDT

Discuss the news of the day or whatever else suits your fancy...

By Kyle Drennen | August 8, 2012 | 10:49 AM EDT

It took NBC News nearly a week to mention Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's sleazy and unfounded charge that Mitt Romney failed to pay taxes, with chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd declaring on Nightly News Tuesday: "Reid has just as doggedly refused to divulge his source or back up his claim with documentation. And the White House has stood aside, letting the poisoned atmosphere fester."

By waiting five days to get around to the Democratic mud-slinging, NBC was able to diffuse the low-ball tactics as just another part of a contentious campaign season, with anchor Brian Williams announcing: "Also, getting personal in the race for president. Tonight what the candidates are now calling each other....the dialogue has become a bit less than presidential in the past few days."

By Mark Finkelstein | August 8, 2012 | 10:47 AM EDT

In one of the more loathsome displays of this election season, Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs, appearing on today's Morning Joe, refused to criticize an ad from an Obama-endorsed Super PAC that accuses Mitt Romney of being responsible for a woman's death from cancer.

The former Obama press secretary used every tired dodge in the book to evade criticizing the commercial.  Gibbs variously claimed that: he hadn't seen the ad; wasn't familiar with the specifics of the woman's case, and didn't want to announce a general policy on denouncing false Super PAC ads.  His evasions were too much not only for Joe Scarborough, who pointed out that the PAC was run by former Obama staffer Bill Burton. Mark Halperin and even for Sam HuffPo's Stein joined in the grilling of Gibbs.  To his credit, expressing with frustration that they "would never get you to condemn the ad," Stein pointed out that while the woman lost health coverage under her husband's policy when Bain put the company into bankruptcy, she continued to have health coverage via her own employment.  Stein added that the incident occurred in 2006, long after even the Obama campaign admits Romney had nothing to do with Bain.  View the video after the jump.

By Tim Graham | August 8, 2012 | 9:00 AM EDT

Today the Media Research Center is releasing a new Special Report entitled "The Media's Obama Miracle: How Journalists Pretend There Aren't Any White House Scandals." It reveals just how dramatically the networks have avoided Fast and Furious, Solyndra, and other Obama scandals.

On October 27, 2011, former Newsweek senior editor Jonathan Alter wrote a column for Bloomberg News headlined “Obama Miracle is White House Free of Scandal.” Alter began: “President Barack Obama goes into the 2012 [race] with a weak economy that may doom his reelection. But he has one asset that hasn’t received much attention: He’s honest.”

By Noel Sheppard | August 8, 2012 | 8:59 AM EDT

Can we talk?

Although it clearly was a publicity stunt, comedienne Joan Rivers on Tuesday was thrown out of a Costco in Burbank, California, in the midst of a protest against the store which she compared to Nazi Germany for refusing to sell her new book "I Hate Everything… Starting With Me" (videos follow with transcribed highlights and commentary):

By Clay Waters | August 8, 2012 | 8:53 AM EDT

The New York Times handed over more real estate to controversial left-wing comedian Bill Maher, this time in the Sunday Book Review section, where Maher praised a book in support of legalizing marijuana in a review and in the front section of the Book Review, where Maher lamented: "The drug war, just like the war on terror, created jobs and budgets, and the beneficiaries don’t want to give them up, even though they know they’re fighting an immoral and unwinnable war."

By Tim Graham | August 8, 2012 | 7:25 AM EDT

On CNN’s The Situation Room on Tuesday, White House reporter Brianna Keilar took apart what Wolf Blitzer called “the attack ad many see as over the top blaming Mitt Romney for a woman's death from cancer.” It’s an ad from Priorities USA, the super PAC operated by former White House spokesman Bill Burton.

Then, in the next hour, Blitzer repeatedly pressed current Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki to disavow the ad – saying “it’s full of falsehoods” -- and she refused, and bizarrely claimed Team Obama has as much do with Burton’s ad “as we do with Michael Phelps winning gold medals last week.” Here’s how Keilar found holes in the ad :

By Noel Sheppard | August 8, 2012 | 12:12 AM EDT

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attended a gala dinner in Pretoria Tuesday hosted by South Africa's Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

While there, she boogied down with her host as well as South African jazz singer Judith Sephuma (video follows with commentary).

By Tom Blumer | August 7, 2012 | 11:59 PM EDT

Since Mitt Romney is supposedly responsible for the death from cancer of a woman who died in 2006, seven years after the presumptive GOP nominee left Bain Capital, it seems more than fair to talk about what has resulted from the Obama administration's blatant favoritism towards UAW members while shafting former Delphi salaried workers.

Tonight, the Associated Press's Adwatch entry by Stephen Braun actually calls out the Obama super-PAC Priorities USA, specifically saying that the assertion by Joe Soptic, the woman's widower, "that Romney bears some blame in his wife's death is not backed up factually in the ad." Fair enough, but, especially because it was in the news today, let's look at the Delphi situation.