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By Matthew Sheffield | October 16, 2012 | 9:53 PM EDT

The questions hand-picked during tonight's presidential debate by moderator Candy Crowley have been overwhelmingly stacked in favor of President Obama compared to Governor Romney.

Perhaps the most galling was ananti-Republican question asking the candidates how they were different than the George W. Bush administration, a theme that Obama has hammered since he first ran for president in 2007:

By Noel Sheppard | October 16, 2012 | 7:17 PM EDT

Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer had some harsh words for his fellow journalists Tuesday concerning their coverage of the murders of four Americans last month at our consulate in Libya.

During a Fox News Special Report segment about this matter and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's assertion that the buck stops with her on Benghazi,  Krauthammer said, "The media had to be shamed by Fox News into looking into this in the first place" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By NB Staff | October 16, 2012 | 7:16 PM EDT

Will you be tuning in to the second presidential debate tonight? If so, please join fellow NewsBusters readers for a running commentary and discussion of the contest between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. The debate starts at 9:00 PM Eastern time. We will also be featuring a livestream video of the debate inside this posting

Note: You will need a browser that has Flash to participate in the chat or to watch the video.

By Matt Hadro | October 16, 2012 | 6:23 PM EDT

Former debate moderator (and liberal journalist) Carole Simpson has been making the media rounds before Tuesday's presidential debate, giving President Obama the edge and implying that the standards for debate moderators are sexist. She continued that on Tuesday's Starting Point.

She gave Obama the town hall-style debate advantage as a  "people person" and "touchy-feely." In contrast, she cited criticism of Romney "that he doesn't relate to ordinary people."

By Noel Sheppard | October 16, 2012 | 5:53 PM EDT

MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Tuesday made a rather startling prediction about viewers of the upcoming presidential debate.

"If it looks like [Obama's] getting beaten again, they’re going back to the fourth inning" of the Yankees-Tigers American League Championship game (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Matt Hadro | October 16, 2012 | 5:32 PM EDT

CNN's Anderson Cooper cited the liberal Tax Policy Center debunking Mitt Romney's tax plan on Monday, without noting that one of the authors admitted the plan could still work with different assumptions. He waited until the end of his report to admit that the studies in question were "making assumptions."

"[A] bipartisan panel of three authors for the Tax Policy Center examined the plan and concluded that there's really no way of making the numbers work, that is, unless the middle class pays more," Cooper reported on the night before Tuesday's presidential debate. That is misleading, since the study admitted reliance on "certain assumptions" and one of its authors said the plan could work. The TPC report was released in August.

By Noel Sheppard | October 16, 2012 | 5:16 PM EDT

Just how desperately is MSNBC trying to shelter viewers from the ever-changing story coming out of the White House concerning the four Americans killed at our consulate in Libya?

The network on Tuesday edited a reporter asking the President, "Is Hillary to blame for Benghazi?" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):

By Kyle Drennen | October 16, 2012 | 5:13 PM EDT

In a fawning softball interview with First Lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday's NBC Today, special correspondent Ryan Seacrest was eager to know how she helps the President during debates: "What did you say to him when the two of you walked backstage after the first debate?...Have you spoken to him about the prep?...does he make eye contact with you? Does he look at you for encouragement?"

The First Lady explained: "I'm perched. I'm looking at him. I'm smiling. I'm giving a thumbs up if he can see it....I assume that he can, so I make sure that I'm always giving him that positive love."

By Jack Coleman | October 16, 2012 | 5:05 PM EDT

Hope springs eternal among MSNBC liberals.

Providing that Obama wins a second term. (video after page break)

By Liz Thatcher | October 16, 2012 | 4:59 PM EDT

CPSI continued to wage war on soda and sugary beverages. In a new ad campaign they launched called TheRealBears.org, CPSI hired ad guru Alex Bogusky to construct an animation that parodied the Coca-Cola polar bears. It’s just the latest attack as part of the group’s longstanding crusade against soda. The difference this time is the attention USA Today paid to it.

By Tom Blumer | October 16, 2012 | 4:56 PM EDT

Jake Sherman at the Politico is suffering from the same detachment from reality I found his colleague Anna Palmer in this morning (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog).

Palmer's piece asserted that an election win by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney would herald the return of l-l-l-lobbyists, who have supposedly (not actually) been a rare presence in the pristine and pure Obama administration. Sherman's affliction is just as serious, if not moreso, as in an item posted Monday evening, he characterizes 2012 as a "non-Tea Party year," and seems to believe that everyone who disapproves of the job Congress has been doing must be to the left of House Speaker John Boehner. Hilarity follows the jump:

By Tim Graham | October 16, 2012 | 4:50 PM EDT

Sesame Workshop tried to defuse controversy after the ridiculous Big Bird ad from Team Obama after the first presidential debate, proclaiming “Sesame Workshop is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization and we do not endorse candidates or participate in political campaigns.” But a quick look at the campaign contributions of Joan Ganz Cooney, the group’s co-founder, offer a strong factual rebuttal.

In 2012, according to an Open Secrets search, Cooney has donated $30,800 [the maximum] to the DNC, $50,000 to Priorities USA Action (Obama’s super PAC), another $10,000 to the Nebraska Democratic Party, and $5,000 to Bob Kerrey’s attempt to reclaim his Senate seat in Nebraska. She also gave $2,000 to liberal Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) and $2,500 to John Douglass, who’s running against first-term Rep. Robert Hurt (R-Virginia).

By Noel Sheppard | October 16, 2012 | 4:49 PM EDT

Martin Bashir is clearly trying to become MSNBC's new Keith Olbermann.

During a discussion with Tamron Hall on News Nation Tuesday, Bashir actually said that if Paul Ryan's budget ever passed, "many Americans would end up in soup kitchens" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Scott Whitlock | October 16, 2012 | 4:28 PM EDT

Tom Brokaw had his Jimmy Carter moment on Tuesday. The veteran journalist appeared on MSNBC's The Cycle to call for Americans to accept a permanent lowering of their standard of living. Speaking of the next generation, Brokaw blithely insisted that "they probably won't have as much disposable income." He added, "They won't live in homes that are McMansions. We gotta get real." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

The former Nightly News anchor, estimated to be worth about $70 million, didn't seem to find this a bad thing: "It doesn't mean we can't have everything that we need." Brokaw lobbied for Americans to "get proportion." He lectured, "One of my friends says we have to get up every morning and say, 'What do I need today and not just what do I want today?' That's a good guide."

By Matthew Sheffield | October 16, 2012 | 3:44 PM EDT

As a political journalist, one of the most common literary devices at your disposal is to search out a university professor who teaches politics to get them to say things about your article's subject matter. Not only does this help make your article longer, to the reader, the academic quotes give some authority to the narrative.

It probably doesn't come as a shock to anyone but in some cases, the professors being quoted are not exactly impartial observers as a new study from The Hill newspaper shows.