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By Matt Hadro | | February 11, 2013 | 5:42 PM EST

Right as CNN's The Situation Room reported the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, correspondent Brian Todd launched into a litany of the "controversies" of his papacy and pushed the positive analysis to the bottom of his report.

"Pope Benedict's papacy has been marked by serious controversies," began anchor Wolf Blitzer. Todd followed up that as far as "controversies" were concerned, "there was certainly no shortage of those during his papacy." [Video below the break. Audio here.]

By Kyle Drennen | | February 11, 2013 | 5:35 PM EST

On Sunday's Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory seized on an item in Politico arguing that upcoming sequester budget cuts could prove to be a "time bomb" for Republicans: "And the political pressure that's being brought to bear....'If sequestration happens now, House Democrats say they'll have tangible proof that the GOP is a dysfunctional party that can't even tie its own shoelaces'....Is that where the pressure is?"

Gregory posed that question to investigative correspondent Michael Isikoff, who replied: "I think the President clearly has the upper hand on the budget. Look, he won the election....Revenues being a part of the equation for cutting the budget, the President won on that....on that particular issue, he's got the upper hand. And it makes sense for him politically to hammer it – hammer it strongly."

By Liz Thatcher | | February 11, 2013 | 5:04 PM EST

Just when we thought Occupy Wall Street was over, DC Comics decided to resurrect and give it new life. In a new comic book series set to release in May titled “The Movement,” readers will be able to “Meet the 99%… They were the super-powered disenfranchised — now they’re the voice of the people!”

In an interview with Wired Magazine’s Graeme McMillan, “The Movement” writer Gail Simone explained the vision behind the series. “It’s a book about power.” She went on to elaborate on how essential information and the internet were to her vision. “Because the sources of that information are so dispersed and nameless, it’s nearly impossible to shut down.”

By Noel Sheppard | | February 11, 2013 | 5:02 PM EST

In today's "Can Someone Help Me Get My Foot Out of My Mouth" segment, the astonishingly pompous and self-righteous MSNBC regular Julian Epstein made an absolutely delicious faux pas Monday while excoriating the character and accomplishments of former Vice President Dick Cheney.

In an appearance on the Martin Bashir Show, Epstein derisively described Cheney as "a guy who failed to get Osama bin Laden in Bora Bora" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Mike Ciandella | | February 11, 2013 | 4:22 PM EST

CBS “This Morning” cited an optimistic article about the economy in its “This Morning’s Headlines” roundup of newspaper headlines on February 11, but ignored a pessimistic one from the Wall Street Journal. 

The USA Today article cited was a front page story, concisely labeled “Economists Gain Optimism. The Wall Street Journal ran a contradictory front page story that same day entitled “Companies Fret Over Uncertain Outlook,” which was completely ignored. Instead, the Wall Street Journal article that CBS did cite was one entitled “Lonely Hearts Give Flirting 101 a Try” from page A15. 

(Video Below)

By Matt Vespa | | February 11, 2013 | 4:09 PM EST

Early this morning, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he’d abdicate the papal throne at the end of the month, which is the first time a pontiff will have stepped down in seven centuries.  Such breaking news was bound to set off rampant media speculation about next month's meeting of the College of Cardinals --which will decide Benedict's successor -- and talk in the media about the outgoing bishop of Rome's legacy.

All that is well and good, but on MSNBC, it was the perfect excuse for the liberal network to feature liberal Catholics Chris Matthews and E.J. Dionne scolding the Church as out of touch with modernity on issues of sexuality and women as priests. And that was on top of laughingly treating the election of a new pope as though it were some presidential primary where candidates work feverishly to line up enough delegates to win nomination. Read the relevant transcript below the page break:

By Matt Hadro | | February 11, 2013 | 3:14 PM EST

Only an hour after Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation from the papacy, and not ten minutes into Monday's Starting Point, CNN's Soledad O'Brien hosted the director of an anti-Catholic documentary who has called Pope Benedict a "criminal" and a "deeply flawed human being."

Director Alex Gibney was O'Brien's first guest on her show. His new film on the clerical sex abuse scandal has been criticized as distorted and misleading and "an anti-Catholic broadside masquerading as a documentary." O'Brien praised it as "riveting, absolutely riveting," however, and let him criticize Pope Benedict.  [Video below the break. Audio here.]

By Clay Waters | | February 11, 2013 | 3:10 PM EST

Larry Rohter, who was perhaps the New York Times' most biased reporter during the 2008 campaign (beating some stiff competition) now works the foreign arts beat. In a Sunday Arts & Leisure profile of Pablo Larrain, director of the movie "No," about the 1988 vote that ended the long dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, Rohter actually compared Pinochet indirectly to the Tea Party and the libertarian industrialists, the Koch brothers.

By Kyle Drennen | | February 11, 2013 | 3:00 PM EST

On Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, moderator David Gregory demanded Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor admit that the Republican Party's fundamental principles led to electoral defeat in 2012: "Isn't this more than tone that's an issue? Isn't it more than re-branding? Isn't it some of the central beliefs of the Republican Party that have hurt it with the electorate?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Cantor explained that the party needed to "connect our conservative principles with helping people and making their life work again." Gregory interjected: "But Leader, it's core beliefs....There are core beliefs of the Republican Party that the polls show were rejected by a national electorate that you want to try to recapture some of if you're going to get to become a national party."

By Matt Philbin | | February 11, 2013 | 2:02 PM EST

It will be interesting to see if the media soften their almost uniform hostility to Pope Benedict XVI in the few remaining weeks of his papacy. It’s doubtful, since resigning his office won’t make Joseph Ratzinger any less Catholic. And his real sin, in liberal eyes, is just being too Catholic.

When the long, vigorously orthodox pontificate of John Paul II came to an end in 2005, liberals in and out of the Church hoped the next Pope would roll over on their most cherished issues: women priests, married priests, homosexuality and abortion. To say that Ratzinger’s selection was a disappointment is an understatement.

By Clay Waters | | February 11, 2013 | 1:44 PM EST

The New York Times managed to find mitigating circumstances for ex-cop and accused killer Christopher Dorner, subject of a manhunt in California, in its weekend coverage. On Saturday, L.A.-based Adam Nagourney reported "For Some, Shooting Suspect's Charges of Police Racism Resonate – They Say Accusations Raise Memories Of Past Abuses, Despite Much Progress."

The Times, which had nothing to say in its previous reports about Dorner's praise for liberal media personalities contained in his chatty Facebook "manifesto," certainly showed respect to his (perhaps falsified) beefs about racism in the LAPD. Can one imagine the conspiratorial rants of elderly American Nazi James von Brunn, who killed a security guard at the Holocaust Museum in D.C., given similar respect in the Times?

By Kyle Drennen | | February 11, 2013 | 12:31 PM EST

On the day Pope Benedict XVI announced that he would be stepping down from the Papacy, NBC's Monday Today featured a report by correspondent Michelle Kosinski, who offered these highlights of the Pontiff's tenure: "As a Cardinal, some criticized him for being strict and conservative, calling him, 'God's Rottweiler.' Becoming Pope meant he had to take on the Church's sexual abuse scandal that reverberated throughout America and Europe, and for which he apologized." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

As Kosinski mentioned the Pope's response to the sex abuse scandal, footage appeared on screen of protesters holding signs with pictures of Benedict and the words: "Catholic Paedophile Cover Up."

By Tom Blumer | | February 11, 2013 | 12:20 PM EST

Buzzfeed's Ben Smith, who used to toil at Politico, must be blind in one eye and can't see out of the other.

In what appears to be a sudden revelation in his column ("Obama Prepares To Screw His Base") on ObamaCare's harsh treatment of young people, Smith notes how they "will pay disproportionately for ObamaCare." What this really represents is something which alarmed those who studied the bill both before and after its passage in March 2010. In other words, people who follow these things closely have known about this situation for years. But course, it has fallen on deaf, deliberately ignorant, or deliberately negligent establishment press ears. Thus, most low-information voters don't know what's coming. Beyond that, Smith acts as if the Obama administration hasn't been shafting young people ever since Barack Obama took his first oath of office in January 2009, when it has been doing so in a variety of ways on a daily basis. Excerpts from Smith's somnambulance, wherein he actually tries to blame Sarah Palin for what's coming, follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):

By Liz Thatcher | | February 11, 2013 | 12:13 PM EST

The release of Apple’s iPhone was a godsend, or so thought J.P. Morgan’s chief economist Michael Feroli. In September of 2012, the release month of the latest version of Apple’s iPhone, NBC, CBS, and ABC all reported Feroli’s prediction that the sales from the iPhone 5 could boost U.S. GDP by a quarter or half of a percent.

But the recent drop in GDP by .1 percent and Apple’s own stock drop have showed that predictions sometimes don’t come true. Unfortunately, not one of the networks has pointed that out.

By Ken Shepherd | | February 11, 2013 | 11:43 AM EST

A daily feature of MSNBC host Chris Jansing's 10 a.m. Eastern program Jansing & Co. is the "Tweet of the Day." Given the astonishing breaking news about Pope Benedict XVI's decision to abdicate the papacy at the end of the month, it was almost certain the tweet highlighted would have to do with this development.

But given that this is the "Lean Forward" network, Jansing highlighted the call of a liberal columnist for a pope who would accept contraception and women priests: