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By Mark Finkelstein | | October 10, 2013 | 8:24 AM EDT

Can you tell that "Bulgarian," "Sunbeam," and "Vladivostok" are different words?  Congratulations: you're smarter than the Obamacare website!  Just for fun, I tried to create an Obamacare account at Healthcare.gov this morning.  At 6:48 AM CDT, I had no trouble getting in. Things were going swimmingly . . . until it came time to choose security questions and provide answers.  

As you'll see from the screengrab, I was informed that my account could not be created because "two or more answers to the security questions cannot be the same. You must provide distinct answers to the chosen security questions."  President Obama, Secretary Sebelius, or anybody else out there, please tell me, which of the following words are the same: "Bulgarian," "Sunbeam" and "Vladivostok"? Because those are, as you'll see from the screencap after the jump, the three answers I gave.  Note: the first time I tried and failed, I supplied real answers, but for purposes of this blog, when I tried again I used fanciful ones.  Didn't want the whole world to know that my favorite cuisine is actually Indian. Oops!] More after the jump.

By Tim Graham | | October 10, 2013 | 7:02 AM EDT

Two items by Andrew Beaujon at Poynter are interesting when put side by side. At a conference in Cannes, the Guardian reports, BuzzFeed President Jon Steinberg said that “We feel strongly that traditional media have given up on young people” and that news organizations should focus on sharing throughout their processes. They need to stop the old model of "very boring news" geared for Google searches and focus on shares in social media.

So what is the new news that the youngsters under 40 want? Beaujon has the details right below. Joe Veix of Death and Taxes says BuzzFeed "posted essentially the same article" he did without crediting him prominently enough.   His October 2 story was about people tweeting photos of themselves falling down stairs.  

By Tim Graham | | October 10, 2013 | 5:51 AM EDT

Alec Baldwin granted an interview to Politico’s Patrick Gavin about his new MSNBC show. Television is turning out to be much tougher than his public-radio show. He seems to revolting against the rules, like wearing an earpiece because that’s “so artificial.” He even sounds like he’s revolting against what MSNBC is, underlining he was reluctant to sign on for a show.

"I wasn’t that wild about that idea because MSNBC — which I’m a fan of — it had a certain stamp that I wasn’t sure I wanted to wear," Baldwin said. "It is this harshly political thing and, regardless of my own politics, I wasn’t sure I wanted to dine out on that." Baldwin’s imagining that he’s not some raving Olbermann. He’s going to do a PBS show like Charlie Rose:

By Tom Blumer | | October 9, 2013 | 11:33 PM EDT

On Tuesday's Crossfire (HT commenter Gary Hall), liberal Democratic guest Bill Burton tried to impress the show's hostesses and guest David Limbaugh when he said of President Obama: "More people have jobs than they did when he took office."

Wow. That's about the most unimpressive statement I've heard in years, and it would be beyond pathetic but for the performance of one state. Let's look at the facts:

By Mike Bates | | October 9, 2013 | 8:44 PM EDT

Many mainstream media pundits are undoubtedly displeased that a good portion of the public doesn’t approve of President Barack Obama’s job performance.  But today’s nomination of Janet Yellen for Federal Reserve chairman gave some of them a chance to wax nostalgic for another Democratic president and the time Yellen worked in the Clinton White House.  On today’s 3:30 pm segment of CNN Newsroom, anchor Wolf Blitzer reminisced with chief political analyst Gloria Borger and international business correspondent Richard Quest:

BORGER: Jack Lew, who is now treasury secretary, was there as a budget director. Those were the good old days. 

By Brad Wilmouth | | October 9, 2013 | 6:39 PM EDT

Appearing on the Tuesday, October 8, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC political analyst Joy Reid asserted that Republicans are "taking hostages" and have "shot a hostage" as they "went ahead and shut the government down." She began her over the top metaphor:

By Scott Whitlock | | October 9, 2013 | 6:24 PM EDT

 Viewers who watched Ed Schultz on Wednesday witnessed something rare on the liberal host's show: a guest who voted for Republican Mitt Romney in 2012. Dirty Jobs star Mike Rowe appeared and even got in a dig at Schultz's expense. After the MSNBC anchor touted his working class background and love for trucks, Rowe quipped, "I can make a call. I can have [a truck] in your driveway before you say, 'holy crap, I'm cancelled!' [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

A surprised Schultz blurted, "I'm just trying every time slot here at MSNBC." Rowe joked, "Something's bound to stick." Earlier in the segment, the Dirty Jobs host laughed as Schultz called for him to join the Democratic Party: "You know, he is the perfect independent that we have to convince that it's their [Republicans] fault!"

By Matt Hadro | | October 9, 2013 | 5:54 PM EDT

[UPDATED BELOW] CNN aired an exclusive interview with a Fast and Furious whistleblower on Monday morning, but NBC, CBS, and ABC all ignored the story and failed to interview the whistleblower, ATF agent John Dodson. The government is blocking publication of Dodson's new book, his insider account of the failed gun sting Operation Fast and Furious.

In addition, CNN dropped its own interview after it aired during the 8 a.m. ET hour of New Day. The network aired no clips of the interview for the rest of Monday into Tuesday morning after it brought Dodson on to "set the record straight" on Fast and Furious.

By Paul Bremmer | | October 9, 2013 | 5:50 PM EDT

The Daily Beast is ramping up the attacks on conservatives who don’t believe a catastrophe would result if the United States reaches its debt limit. On Monday, the Beast churned out a story ripping debt-ceiling “denialists,” and on Tuesday, another article slammed debt-ceiling “truthers.”

Patricia Murphy’s Monday article, titled “The GOP’s Top 10 Debt Ceiling Denialists,” was a sort of opinion/straight news hybrid infused with more than a hint of derision. Murphy essentially mocked the “denialists” in her opening paragraph:

By Ken Shepherd | | October 9, 2013 | 5:35 PM EDT

Shortly before the conclusion of the October 9 edition of his MSNBC Live program, anchor Thomas Roberts treated Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) to a softball interview regarding the pro-amnesty Camino Americano rally held Tuesday on the National Mall, which she attended. Roberts failed to pose any tough policy-oriented questions to Schakowsky on the matter of immigration reform, nor did he bring on another guest who disagreed with the Democrat-favored approach to the policy.

But what takes the cake is how, at the end of his brief chat with the liberal congresswoman, Roberts cheered Schakowsky for getting arrested Tuesday subsequent to the rally, gushing that "it's good that your rap sheet is getting longer for a great cause." Schakowsky was arrested for blocking a public street near the Capitol, not for expressing her views on immigration reform legislation [MP3 audio available here; watch the video below the page break].

By Noel Sheppard | | October 9, 2013 | 5:34 PM EDT

With egg all over the faces of global warming alarmists given the halt in temperature increases the past fifteen years, you would think media outlets would be a little gun-shy concerning "studies" predicting environmental doom with the help of climate models.

Not the Associated Press's Seth Borenstein who actually published a piece Wednesday about a study having the gall to predict the exact year when "temperatures go off the charts" for cities around the world:

By Jack Coleman | | October 9, 2013 | 5:10 PM EDT

The Vietnam War is beloved by liberals, Ann Coulter once observed, because it's the only war America lost.

Looks like the Civil War could become the left's new fave, if it hasn't already. Not only have left wingers deluded themselves that Barack Obama is the second coming of the Great Emancipator (Steven Spielberg's unstated motive for filming "Lincoln"), they now view the partial government shutdown as comparable to the secessionist storm that preceded the Civil War. (Audio after the jump)

By Noel Sheppard | | October 9, 2013 | 4:56 PM EDT

Although he's been appearing on Fox News sporadically since he broke unto the scene at February's National Prayer Breakfast, the network made it official Wednesday.

According to TVNewser, Dr. Ben Carson has been hired by Fox as a regular contributor:

By Matt Hadro | | October 9, 2013 | 4:41 PM EDT

[UPDATED BELOW] Highlighting "major problems" with the website of ObamaCare's federal exchange, CNN's Wolf Blitzer said the administration should have accepted the Republican proposal and delayed implementation of the health care law for a year.

"Yeah. If they had three years to get this ready, if they weren't fully ready, they should accept the advice that a lot of Republicans are giving them, delay it another year, get it ready, and make sure it works," Blitzer said on Tuesday.

By Noel Sheppard | | October 9, 2013 | 4:36 PM EDT

One of the things many conservatives admire about CNN's Jake Tapper is his willingness to speak truths typically too inconvenient for most in his industry.

During an "Ask Me Anything" discussion on Reddit Wednesday, Tapper not only acknowledged the existence of media bias, he also said "White House press briefings are quite often useless":