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By Noel Sheppard | | January 5, 2013 | 8:22 AM EST

Jay Leno on Friday took a delicious swipe at Al Gore’s decision to sell Current TV to Al Jazeera.

Chatting with Current’s Joy Behar, the NBC Tonight Show host asked, “Osama bin Laden is your new boss?” (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):

By Tom Blumer | | January 5, 2013 | 8:11 AM EST

Many of those who expressed outrage at the publication of a two-county interactive map of pistol permit owners by Gannett's White Plains, New York-based Journal News just before Christmas have raised serious concerns that the paper's action would directly harm law-abiding citizens. Evidence is pouring in that those fears are legitimate.

Fox News, doing something the wire services should have been begun within days of the map's publication, has unsurprisingly found that "Reformed crooks say the New York newspaper ... did a great service – to their old cronies in the burglary trade." Additionally, a Newsday report identifies four concrete examples of negative impact: "Inmates are taunting corrections officers" at an area jail; one of the counties' sheriffs says that it's "hurting law enforcement as a whole"; a Rockland County Democratic legislator who currently doesn't own a gun says "he now fears for his safety" and will get one; and a divorced woman who says her ex-husband tried to strangle her is worried that "now he can find me." Excerpts from the two news reports follow the jump.

By Randy Hall | | January 5, 2013 | 5:50 AM EST

The start of the new year always ushers in new taxes that people are expected to pay rather than find ways to keep as much of their money as possible. At least, that's what liberals claim others should do.

But on Thursday, Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly charged that former vice president Al Gore is a hypocrite for attempting to sell his low-rated Current TV cable channel for an estimated $500 million before 2013 brought higher taxes that would diminish the amount of money he'd get from the sale to Al Jazeera.

By Tom Johnson | | January 4, 2013 | 11:35 PM EST

The Sandy Hook shootings inevitably became a salient issue in the debate over gun laws, but this past week one Kossack politicized the slaughter exponentially by alleging that "murder-suicide massacres...are the purest expression of the conservative mentality as it now exists in this country."

As usual, each headline is preceded by the blogger's name or pseudonym.

By Matt Hadro | | January 4, 2013 | 7:20 PM EST

CNN reporter Ali Velshi thrashed Republicans and conservatives during last weekend's fiscal cliff negotiations. As Tim Graham of NewsBusters already reported, Velshi "clearly doesn't care about looking objective" and showed it when he opened fire on Grover Norquist last week and declared that taxes must go up on the wealthy.

In what became a tired liberal rant, Velshi pushed that argument over and over again last weekend, paddling House Republicans for not "compromising" with Democrats on tax hikes while barely wagging a finger at President Obama and the Democratic Senate. Below is the worst of Velshi from last weekend. [Video below the break. Audio here.]

By Kyle Drennen | | January 4, 2013 | 6:09 PM EST

Following Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's hospitalization this week for a blood clot, chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell took to Friday's NBC Today to praise Clinton and her daughter Chelsea (who happens to be a special correspondent for NBC): "They may be the most recognizable mother/daughter duo in America....The indefatigable Hillary Clinton in a picture shown round the world, leaving the hospital Wednesday, hand in hand with Chelsea."

Mitchell, who has already provided fawning coverage of a potential Hillary presidential run in 2016, gushed over mother and daughter: "The special bond between Hillary Clinton and her only child has always been obvious. As a White House teenager, Chelsea often accompanied her mom on official trips....Chelsea became a valuable surrogate for her mother in the 2008 campaign."

By Jack Coleman | | January 4, 2013 | 5:37 PM EST

Never thought I'd see the left-wing bedwetters at MSNBC as relatively sane. That they are compared to the denizens of the fever swamp known as the Daily Kos.

Based on my previous meanderings on the site, I know that reading through its diarists' posts is among the least fruitful wastes of time imaginable. All seem to follow the same outline: conservatives as sick and/or evil and solely responsible for leftists not creating their inevitable utopia on earth.

By Clay Waters | | January 4, 2013 | 4:43 PM EST

Timothy Egan, former liberally biased New York Times reporter who now pens left-wing column rants for the Times in print and online, posted his "wish list of better tomorrows" for 2013 on Thursday. They sounded a lot like the same old left-wing ranting Egan has been doing since he stopped reporting for the paper around 2006.

The view from one Washington, with its self-inflicted and phony political crises, offers no hope. Let’s start 2013 by stating the obvious and repeat until fixed: the Republican House of Representatives is beyond broken, stuffed with politicians who lack the ability to divide up juice boxes in a kindergarten. Three-fourths of Americans think they are harming the rest of us. “Dereliction of duty” was Gov. Chris Christie’s apt phrase, referring to the failure to vote on promised aid for hurricane relief.

By Kyle Drennen | | January 4, 2013 | 4:25 PM EST

At the top of Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer gushed over Vice President Biden doing a series of photo-ops while swearing in newly elected senators on Thursday: "Joe Biden welcomes lawmakers and their families to Washington like only he can." In a later report, correspondent Kelly O'Donnell glossed over several awkward moments caused by Biden: "There was certainly a lot of charm being poured on by the Vice President." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

A few minutes later, fill-in news reader Willie Geist played a brief montage of some of the especially odd comments by Biden, including the Vice President telling the husband of one senator, "Spread your legs; you're going to be frisked," and declaring after looking a woman up and down, "holy mackerel."

By Ken Shepherd | | January 4, 2013 | 4:10 PM EST

Needing 214 votes (of the 427 lawmakers who voted)  to win reelection to the speakership on January 3, Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) handily beat his closest opponent, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for the office, 220-192. Boehner did see a smattering of dissenting votes in his conference, but no serious challenger within his conference came close to depriving the Speaker of a majority on the first ballot.

Despite these facts, however, today's Washington Post blared on page A4 that "Boehner narrowly wins 2nd term as House speaker." "12 of most conservative Republicans staged rebellion against him," the subheadline for Paul Kane's story insisted melodramatically. The Ohio Republican "was narrowly reelected speaker... giving him a another [sic] chance to lead the chamber -- a task that has been difficult for him over the past two years," staffer Paul Kane began his 14-paragraph story.

By Matt Hadro | | January 4, 2013 | 3:55 PM EST

Out of all the guests to talk Hugo Chavez's illness, CNN brought on Chavez-fan Oliver Stone on Friday. Stone lauded him as "magnanimous, warm, warm man, big man."

Anchor Suzanne Malveaux actually played clips of Stone's documentary involving Chavez, which Time magazine called a "love story" for the dictator. Yes, this is the same network whose founder said he trusted the North Koreans and defended Kim Jong Il. [Video below the break. Audio here.]

By Scott Whitlock | | January 4, 2013 | 3:50 PM EST

 PBS journalist Jim Lehrer chastised CNN's Candy Crowley for the assistance she provided Barack Obama during his presidential debate with Mitt Romney. Lehrer appeared at the Clinton School of Public Service on November 13 and critiqued, "As a general premise, I believe debate moderators are not there as fact-checkers...They are there to facilitate the exchange between the candidates."

Washington Examiner columnist Paul Bedard highlighted the "rebuke" of Crowley. Describing the role of a presidential moderator, Lehrer insisted, "You have to put a different cloak on, over your mind and your mouth and everything else. When you moderate something, you are a moderator, you are not functioning in a journalistic capacity." During her October 16 debate, Crowley famously– and incorrectly– backed up Obama's claim that he had referred to the attack in Libya as a terrorist act.

By Clay Waters | | January 4, 2013 | 3:35 PM EST

95% of the House Republican caucus reelected John Boehner as Speaker of the House on Thursday, but the 12 dissenting Republicans attracted intense coverage in the New York Times, including a front-page story saying the vote foretold "turmoil and division" in the new Congress.

By contrast, there was only scattered coverage when 19 members of the Democratic caucus refused to support Nancy Pelosi for House Speaker in January 2011, after the Democrats lost control of the House of Representatives in the 2010 elections. (The cases aren't quite parallel, as Pelosi was certain to lose her role as Speaker of the House in the newly elected Republican-majority House of 2011, while Boehner was expected to retain his position as head of the Republican-majority House in 2013.)

By Tom Blumer | | January 4, 2013 | 2:11 PM EST

Currently in Connecticut, unlike New York, handgun permit records can't be made public. Nutmeg State legislator Stephen D. Dargan, a Democrat from West Haven and co-chairman of the legislature's public safety committee, wants to change that. Borrowing from some of the specious reasoning used by Gannett's White Plains, New York-based Journal News to justify publishing an interactive map of two counties' pistol permit holders, he wants to make handgun permit information to be publicly accessible.

At the Hartford Courant (HT NewsMax), Jon Lender failed to deal with the issue of endangering non-permit holders because of the increased likelihood that they will be identifiable as "soft targets" (unless they happen to own rifles, for which permits are not required), and also didn't directly look into the possibility that Dargan has an additional motive -- intimidation of current and potential permit holders (bolds are mine throughout this post):

By Tom Blumer | | January 4, 2013 | 1:14 PM EST

I'm almost surprised that the Politico's web site background isn't all black because of news delivered by its "On Media" reporter Dylan Byers on Tuesday.

The "bad" news is that "gun control" as a media obsession appears to have largely disappeared, especially when you consider that some of the primary remaining stories on the topic are about David Gregory's illegal but unprosecuted (as of yet) brandishing of a magazine on Meet the Press, a New York newspaper's publication of an interactive map of two counties' pistol permit dwellers, and said newspaper either feeling threatened or pushing for more publicity (my bet is on the latter) by hiring armed guards to protect its headquarters and staff from outraged readers. Here's part of Byers's narrative (charts are at the link; bolds are mine):