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Talk about calling a spade a spade.

On MSNBC's NOW Wednesday, PBS's Jeff Greenfield called host Alex Wagner as well as the MSNBC contributors on the panel - David Corn, Joy Reid, and Katrina vanden Heuvel - "advocates" (video follows with transcript and commentary):


 According to Chris Matthews, conservatives have gone from wanting to kidnap babies to "killing" them. On October 1, the Hardball anchor insisted that Barack Obama "will not give up his baby" to pro-shutdown conservatives such as Ted Cruz. On Tuesday, still angry over the partial-government closure, the anchor fumed, "Today and in the future, Cruz will be remembered as the one who ignited the fire of government shutdown and general political mayhem."

Matthews added, "He'll go down in history as the Mrs. O'Leary's cow of the 2013 disaster." According to the liberal journalist, the "thug" Republican senator from Texas thinks "we're going to bring down the government if you don't do things our way" and "we're going to kill your baby ObamaCare, unless you give us the government." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Perhaps members of the rabidly pro-abortion party shouldn't be throwing around such terms?


On the air, MSNBC is doing its best to level some criticism of the disastrous rollout of ObamaCare but to principally deflect blame to, who else, Republicans. But the Lean Forward network's website today actually published an item headlined, "Left burned in Obamacare rollout."

"President Obama might have said on Monday that 'no one is more frustrated' than he is about the messy launch of his health care website, but he’s got serious competition for the title," noted writer Benjy Sarlin, adding, ""The flubbed rollout was a punch in the gut for the president’s allies in Democratic and progressive circles who fought for the law for years in the face of unrelenting conservatives attacks." What's more (emphasis mine):


Marisa Guthrie of The Hollywood Reporter landed an interview with Patricia Fili-Krushel, chairman of NBCUniversal News Group, who is in charge not only of NBC News, but CNBC, MSNBC, and their websites.

Fili-Krushel admitted that MSNBC loses to CNN in breaking news situations because “Viewers are coming for MSNBC’s personalities,” and also touted that newly hired 25-year-old host Ronan Farrow “can go from Syria to Kim Kardashian and be credible, and he’s got a huge social following.” This came up in a discussion of MSNBC rating dips:


You might not be able to take your money to the grave, but the late Michael Jackson proved this year you sure can make a lot of dough there.

According to The Wrap, Jackson has made $160 million this year topping Madonna's $125 million.


After consistently blaming Republicans for the government shutdown, on Sunday's NBC Nightly News, fill-in anchor Carl Quintanilla warned that while the budget stalemate ended days earlier, "Many people who were furloughed or otherwise affected are still paying the price, and will do so for some time." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

In the report that followed, CNBC correspondent Bertha Coombs touted: "A new survey says about forty percent of consumers cut their spending because of the government shutdown. And store traffic was down seven percent compared to last year." She then proclaimed: "Retailers are hoping the shutdown doesn't become the Grinch that stole Christmas, but they're worried it will."


Appearing as a guest on Tuesday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, MSNBC.com Executive Editor Richard Wolffe asserted that Republicans "have not tried to find any compassion" since last year's election as he reacted to comments from Maine Republican Governor Paul LePage on the number of his state's residents who are not working. Wolffe:


Last night on Fox News's Special Report, Juan Williams singlehandedly raised the bar for what qualifies as world-class failure in blame-shifting. Williams excused the mind-boggling incompetence of the Obama administration's HealthCare.gov implementation by claiming that "massive opposition (to Obamacare) from the Republicans" caused fearful system architects to "roll it out and see how it works for now." Gosh, the only thing that remains is for President Obama to say that these poor programmers were "held hostage" by GOP press releases and speeches.

Video and a transcript of the relevant segment follow the jump (HT Twitchy via Hot Air; bolds are mine). Especially note the priceless look on the face of Fox panel member Stephen Hayes at the 1:12 mark of the two-minute vid:


 All three networks on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning avoided discussing Congressman Alan Grayson's smear of the Tea Party as just like the Ku Klux Klan. In a new fund-raising e-mail, the controversial Democrat linked the grass roots organization to violent racists, complete with a burning cross.

CBS and NBC made no mention of the attack. The reporters on Good Morning America ignored the story. But if viewers looked very closely at the bottom of the screen they would see a one sentence crawl: "Florida Congressman compares Tea Party to KKK." Yet, Grayson's slam was surprisingly questioned on the very liberal MSNBC. Anchor Thomas Roberts on Wednesday pressed Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth: "Would you agree that the President should condemn that type of solicitation?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]


President Obama likened HealthCare.gov to Kayak.com on the day the ObamaCare website went live, but the travel company wouldn't stay in business very long if it gave "incredibly misleading" price quotes, as Wednesday's CBS This Morning revealed about the federal health care website. Jan Crawford underlined how "in some cases, people could end up paying nearly double what they see on the website".

Crawford zeroed in on how the "shop and browse" feature on HealthCare.gov drastically underestimated prices for older citizens, in particular, and cited unnamed health care industry executives' appalled reaction to this latest problem: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]


NPR is looking quite desperate in its promotion of Obamacare. This was an actual headline at the NPR website: "Despite Glitches, HealthCare.gov Could've Been Worse." Jonah Goldberg told me "I thought you made up that headline!" He cracked on Twitter: "For instance, logging on could have permanently blinded you!"

On Tuesday night's All Things Considered, anchor Melissa Block borrowed this oddly optimistic concept inside the liberal bubble from Rusty Foster of The New Yorker magazine. He said "I'm sort of amazed at how well it does work, actually, which is, you know, where it kind of -- it could've been worse."  They needed more time, he protested:


Wrapping up the Tuesday, October 22 edition of The Ed Show, fill-in host Michael Eric Dyson chose to "Punch Out" of the program by giving a platform for his guest, Ohio Democrat Nina Turner, to argue that the photo ID voting law in Texas is some devious, sexist plot to thwart the 2014 gubernatorial candidacy of State Senator Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth).

At no point did Dyson seriously question Ohio Democrat Nina Turner's absurd accusations. Indeed, the Georgetown professor wholeheartedly endorsed them, proposing that conservative Republicans like Gov. Rick Perry only want "white men of means" to cast a ballot [WATCH the video embedded below the page break; LISTEN to MP3 audio excerpt here].:


As NewsBusters has been reporting, late night comics are having a field day with the disastrous rollout of the President’s health insurance exchanges.

NBC Tonight Show host Jay Leno began the program Tuesday saying it’s “easier to join al Qaeda using their website than it [is] to sign up for ObamaCare” (video follows with transcript and commentary):


During the 2011-2012 controversy over Wisconsin's Act 10, the establishment press, led by the Associated Press, clearly took sides against Badger State Republican Governor Scott Walker and the GOP-led legislature. No one was more blatantly biased than the AP's Scott Bauer, who repeatedly insisted in 2011 and 2012 that the law "strip(s) most public employees of their union right to collectively bargain." It does not. While Act 10 sharply limits the scope of what can be negotiated, it does not eliminate unions' right to exist, or to negotiate.

Walker will be releasing a new book, "Unintimidated: A Governor's Story and a Nation's Challenge," in November. Given the sustained national attention Act 10 received, the utlimately failed recall movement it inspired, and Walker's possible interest in seeking the nation's presidency in 2016, it's reasonable to believe that the AP would have wanted to carry Bauer's Monday morning review of the book as a national story. But thus far, it has not. I believe it's because Bauer comes across as a fundamentally dishonest and embarrassingly partisan sore loser.


Don't take it from conservatives.  The co-founder of a "very, very major social-media site" has said the criticism of the Obamacare website is fair because the "technology sucks."

So reported Willie Geist on today's Morning Joe, telling panelists that the person he interviewed was co-founder of a site so major that they would all know it and might have it open on their computers as he spoke. View the video after the jump.