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The three morning shows on Wednesday announced that a "crushing victory" for Chris Christie in New Jersey will force the Republican Party to "move to the middle" against Tea Party "firebrands." According to CBS This Morning's Chip Reid, Christie hoped for a big win to "show that Republicans who favor consensus over ideological purity can win – even in blue states like New Jersey." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

Co-host Charlie Rose opened the show by lecturing, "A move to the middle – the results from two high-profile elections have national implications." For the election in Virginia, Reid somehow said of the liberal Terry Mcauliffe's victory: "That theme of bipartisanship was echoed in Virginia."


The Associated Press has published a great but disturbing story. Given the frequent and deserved grief yours truly administers when the wire service lets its readers, listeners, viewers, and subscribing news organizations down, it seems only fair to acknowledge fine work when it does occur. The real question is, in the politically charged U.S. health care environment, whether the AP's subscribers and other media outlets aware of Frank Bajak's Wednesday morning report will acknowledge its existence, and adequately relay the horrors contained therein.

The story is about what's left of Venezuela's "free" healthcare system. It's in shambles. The headline reads like it might be "only" doctors who say so, but Bajak's content says otherwise. Readers here need to go to the full report, because the excerpts which follow of necessity convey only a small portion of how awful things are, including indications that the country is moving ever closer to becoming another Cuba:


On Wednesday, the Media Research Center released a new analysis demonstrating that Utah’s largest newspapers leveled a deliberate, relentlessly hostile attack on Sen. Mike Lee for his anti-ObamaCare stance before, during, and after the government shutdown that began in October.

MRC’s Rich Noyes wrote that by a staggering margin of 33-to-1, editorial opinion at Utah’s two largest newspapers – the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News – was harshly against the strategy of linking ObamaCare’s fate to the shutdown. Coverage in the news pages was scarcely more balanced, with 32 news stories tilting against the conservative strategy versus just three in favor. MRC president Brent Bozell insisted that these two newspapers owe Sen. Lee a sincere apology after the Obamacare rollout fiasco:


Just as Hillary Clinton's poll numbers took a drop, she's decided to ban the press from two events she's appearing at in San Francisco Saturday.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported Monday:


Even though gay marriage advocates often say those marriages won’t hurt others, business owners have been finding out that isn’t true. Companies, especially wedding-related ones, from several states have been sued and harassed for holding onto religious convictions.

The concept of "gay rights" has trampled religious liberty, but the network news media haven’t noticed. In fact, when Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins was on CBS in June, Bob Schieffer said he was “unaware” of such cases. In a year of coverage about discrimination cases involving gays, there was only casual mention of an attack on businesses out of 31 stories on the network news broadcasts (Nov. 1, 2012 through Oct. 31, 2013). And that was a casual comment about Chick-Fil-A. Even after additional searches for coverage of specific lawsuits, the broadcast networks have said almost nothing in recent years about the impact of gay rights and gay marriage on businesses.


Since the end of the partial government shutdown last month, national newspapers have zeroed in on conservative Utah Senator Mike Lee as a potential political casualty due to his leadership in developing the strategy of using the federal government’s October 1 funding deadline as a way to stop ObamaCare. “After a 16-day government shutdown, it’s Lee who faces a revolt within his own party,” the Washington Post’s Philip Rucker declared in an October 23 front-page story.

But for a statewide politician like Mike Lee (who doesn’t face the voters again until 2016), the reviews that truly matter are those of his home state’s media. Thus, Media Research Center analysts reviewed coverage from Utah’s two largest newspapers, the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News, analyzing all 116 news stories, editorials and opinion columns that talked about Lee’s role in the shutdown. Our study included all stories from September 17 through October 31 — a period beginning two weeks before the start of the shutdown and ending two weeks after the shutdown concluded. [Full results after the jump.]


After NBC warned viewers that the partial government shutdown that ended weeks ago may be "the Grinch that stole Christmas," on Tuesday's Today, correspondent Stephanie Gosk fretted that Thanksgiving would be ruined as well: "Macy's, the company that sponsors the Thanksgiving Day Parade, will open its doors on the holiday for the first time in 155 years....But there is a risk, the identity of one of the country's most cherished holidays may be in jeopardy." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Despite co-host Matt Lauer noting moments earlier that the trend of Black Friday creeping into Thanksgiving had been happening "for years," Gosk laid blame on October's temporary shutdown: "Retailers are facing a tough reality. The government shutdown slowed down the economy and took a serious toll on consumer confidence. A recent poll showed that just over half of shoppers say they will spend less than last year this Christmas season."


The Associated Press's initial coverage of President Obama's attempt to "reinvent history," the term used yesterday by the National Journal's Ron Fournier, is instructive. Monday evening, Obama claimed that his core "you can keep your (health care) plan" guarantee — made dozens of times from 2008 through 2012 — was only relevant "if it (your current plan) hasn’t changed since the law was passed."

Let's look how the AP's Nedra Pickler — or perhaps the White House correspondents' pool reporter, if Team Obama limited press access — wrote things up (HT to NB commenter Alfred Lemire) immediately after Obama's speech (6:34 p.m. report after a speech which began at 5:58 p.m.):


As NewsBusters reported Monday, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had been asked to do David Letterman's Top Ten List on the CBS Late Show election night.

Most of her offerings Tuesday were somewhat apolitical, but the top thing "You Never Knew About the House of Representatives" was "The Tea Party isn't nearly as much fun as it sounds" (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):


In the halftime of Super Bowl 51 in 2012, the rapper M.I.A. "flipped the bird" at 114 million viewers. NBC failed to prevent it. But now that she has a new album out, M.I.A. claimed to NPR's David Greene on Tuesday's Morning Edition that this wasn't san attempt at televised profanity.

Instead, it was what she called a "Matangi mudra," a yoga hand gesture. Not even NPR was buying it:


NPR practiced its typical Inevitable Gay Progress bias on Tuesday’s Morning Edition. By a vote of 61-30, the Senate voted to proceed on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would allow LGBT activists to file lawsuits if they felt they were fired or weren’t hired or promoted on the grounds of “sexual orientation” or “gender identity.”

Congressional correspondent David Welna piled up five soundbites in favor of the “common sense” gay agenda (including two liberal Republicans), and “balanced” that by relaying one perfunctory sentence from Speaker John Boehner. Not one social conservative could be found in all of Washington, and there was no mention of religious freedom being crushed: 


I wonder about scars, trauma, and old wounds


The latest and greatest Obama scandal is the disastrous Obamacare rollout, but it has something in common with all the others (besides Obama knew nothing). Some journalists are still brazenly trying to deny against all evidence that this scandal has any substance at all.

The same people who freaked out over President Bush's one sentence in one State of the Union speech that Saddam Hussein sought uranium in Africa are now making excuses for Obama saying everywhere, endlessly, "If you like your insurance plan, you will keep it. No one will be able to take that away from you." To them, that's not lying -- blatantly, repeatedly, shamelessly. He simply "misspoke," claimed the New York Times editorial page.


To a liberal, what's worse than smoking crack?  Opposing higher taxes!  Admission: I'm libertarian when it comes to drug laws. I believe the War on Drugs has been a big bust, excuse the pun, just like Prohibition was.  

That said, I still found hilarious Chris Hayes' statement on his MSNBC show tonight, commenting on the admission by Toronto Mayor Rob Ford that he had smoked crack cocaine, that Ford had done worse things.  Among the litany of Ford's failures that were worse than getting on the pipe? Opposing higher taxes and privatizing garbage collection! View the video after the jump.


MSNBC’s Chris Matthews moments ago said “Democrat Terry McAuliffe is leading” in Virginia’s governor’s race.

Rather deliciously, he said this with a graphic on screen showing Republican Ken Cuccinelli up 53-37 (video follows with transcript and commentary):