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By Noel Sheppard | | December 7, 2012 | 9:10 AM EST

It's a metaphysical certitude the media will be gushing and fawning over the Labor Department report Friday that the unemployment rate dropped to 7.7 percent in November.

What they'll likely ignore is that the number of working age Americans participating in the labor forced dropped to 63.6 percent.

By Noel Sheppard | | December 7, 2012 | 8:51 AM EST

The National Rifle Association and guns in general have taken a lot of media criticism in the wake of last weekend's murder-suicide involving Kansas City Chiefs football player Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend.

NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre pushed back Thursday telling USA Today Sports, "The one thing missing in that equation is that woman owning a gun so she could have saved her life from that murderer."

By Clay Waters | | December 7, 2012 | 5:58 AM EST

When he was director general of the BBC, controversial new New York Times Co. chief executive Mark Thompson "launched a scathing attack on Rupert Murdoch's media empire, warning that BSkyB [Murdoch's British Sky Broadcasting Group]" was too powerful and threatened to "dwarf" the BBC. He also accused Sarah Palin of misleading the American public by using the phrase "death panel" when discussing Obama-care.

(Thompson is facing questions concerning what he knew about the Jimmy Savile sex-abuse coverup at the BBC that occurred under his watch. A BBC report, including questioning of Thompson, is expected in mid-December. Times Watch is keeping watch on the ongoing controversy over what Thompson knew about the cancellation of a BBC investigative program into the multiple allegations against Savile, eccentric icon of the BBC.)

By Tim Graham | | December 6, 2012 | 11:31 PM EST

As if a puffy seven-minute-plus story on Morning Edition wasn't enough publicity for Irish novelist Colm Toibin's abrasive takedown of the Virgin Mary, NPR's Terry Gross offered another promotional 45 minutes on Monday's Fresh Air. There's nothing NPR likes better than taking this humble, devout disciple and transforming her into some sort of bitter Real Housewife of Nazareth.

Toibin was encouraged to read passages from this vicious little Bible-shredding screed, about how Mary couldn't stand the sound of her own son's preaching: "my son would insist on silence and begin to address them as though they were a crowd, his voice all false and his tone all stilted, and I could not bear to hear him." Gross asked the obvious softball. Ahem, you know this sounds like you want to push Christianity down and steal its lunch money?

By Matt Hadro | | December 6, 2012 | 6:17 PM EST

After a non-religious West Point cadet left the academy because of what he claimed was religious bigotry, CNN contributor Roland Martin compared it to racism suffered by one of West Point's first black cadet graduates.

Cadet Lt. Blake Page first aired his grievances to The Huffington Post and he told CNN's Starting Point that what he found "most offensive" at West Point was "condescension and disrespect from other people." [Video below the break. Audio here.]

By Ryan Robertson | | December 6, 2012 | 5:56 PM EST

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow has been nominated for a Grammy Award for her book Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power. The extremely liberal MSNBC host was recognized in the spoken-word category for the audiobook version of her New York Times bestseller.

Maddow's nomination is an apt opportunity to remind our readers that an assortment of reviewers have critically panned the progressive commentator's polemic about the military-industrial complex for its blatant misrepresentation of history and glaring omissions.

By Randy Hall | | December 6, 2012 | 5:15 PM EST

On Wednesday morning's edition of “Fox & Friends,” Sen. Orrin Hatch vented his frustration on the way the press has covered the impasse between President Obama and members of Congress as they try to resolve the “fiscal cliff” financial crisis.

By Noel Sheppard | | December 6, 2012 | 5:04 PM EST

C.L. Bryant, a former NAACP Texas president and current Baptist minister, told MSNBC's Thomas Roberts Thursday there's really no reason for black people to have voted for the re-election of Barack Obama other than the color of his skin.

Bryant said that due to the high Latino unemployment rate as well as the high poverty rate among young white women, the same was true for those demographic groups.

By Jack Coleman | | December 6, 2012 | 5:00 PM EST

Sometimes the obvious stops being elusive even to a liberal.

For most of the young millennium, use of the term "Bush tax cuts" by anyone left of center has more often than not been accompanied by the words "for the rich." The pair have been joined at the hip so often that a Google search for them yields more than 5 million hits. (audio clips after page break)

By Kyle Drennen | | December 6, 2012 | 4:45 PM EST

During a segment on Thursday's NBC Today on the upcoming film about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, Zero Dark Thirty, co-host Matt Lauer wondered if scenes depicting "brutal interrogations" of terror suspects would make movie-goers feel guilty: "It's inevitable people are going to sit in the movie theater...and when they see the scenes of torture, they're going to ask themselves if they think it was justified, if the ends justified the means." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Turning to director Kathryn Bigelow, Lauer pressed: "Do you want to make a political statement with this movie?" Bigelow replied: "Well, I think the film doesn't have an agenda. I think it just shows the story as – you know, the story of the greatest man hunt in history. And that's part of that history." Lauer urged: "But do you want people to discuss that topic more? Whether these kind of enhanced interrogation techniques are justified?"

By Scott Whitlock | | December 6, 2012 | 4:34 PM EST

ABC News, which previously mocked the loss of 18,000 jobs at Hostess, now has concern for the unemployed, worrying about those who will lose benefits if a deal on the fiscal cliff cannot be found. Reporter Jon Karl on Wednesday's World News fretted, "Without a deal, unemployment compensation will end for more than two million people who've been out of work more than 26 weeks."

Karl highlighted the case of Melinda Vega, worrying about "her $450 a week unemployment check, her lifeline." However, ABC journalists were less concerned about unemployment when it didn't involve possible tax increases. On November 16, 2012, Good Morning America's co-anchors mocked the bankruptcy of Hostess, passing out Twinkies.

By Ken Shepherd | | December 6, 2012 | 4:12 PM EST

Yesterday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell offered Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) a golden opportunity to prove just how popular President Obama's plan to avert the fiscal cliff is with his member of his own party. But, true to form, Sen. Reid refused to schedule the vote. "Not a single Senate Democrat has stepped forward to support it, and if you look at it you can see why.... It increases taxes," McConnell was quoted by Ramsey Cox in a story filed the afternoon of December 5 for For his part, Reid dismissed McConnell's push for a vote as a stunt, although just last week he praised the president's plan, suggesting Obama and Senate Democrats were "on the same page."

Unfortunately this development failed to receive any mention on the evening newscasts for ABC, CBS, or NBC, nor on the December 6 morning programs for the same networks. Likewise both the New York Times and Washington Post December 6 print editions failed to report Reid's refusal to schedule a vote.

By Clay Waters | | December 6, 2012 | 4:00 PM EST

You know there's something afoot when the New York Times portrays former President George W. Bush as a fount of wisdom. Julia Preston, the paper's most slanted-immigration reporter, reported from D.C. on Wednesday, "Praising Immigrants, Bush Leads Conservative Appeal for G.O.P. to Soften Tone."

Preston, who is unabashedly pro-amnesty, doesn't actually name these "conservatives" supporting amnesty, though the ever-reliable Richard Land makes his usual appearance in this standard-issue Times article, as a stand in for all "religious conservatives breaking away from the GOP on amnesty."

By Matthew Balan | | December 6, 2012 | 3:20 PM EST

"Militantly non-partisan" Major Garrett sounded more like an Obama administration flack on Thursday's CBS This Morning as he spotlighted the President's latest P.R. stunt. Garrett noted Obama's plan to visit a northern Virginia middle-class family and claimed that the Democrat was underlining the "self-evident point that if the there is a deal and their taxes aren't raised by about $2,000, they'll be happier and spend more money."

The correspondent also uncritically pointed out how Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner signaled that the White House was willing to go over the fiscal cliff if their demand for higher taxes isn't satisfied.

By P.J. Gladnick | | December 6, 2012 | 2:26 PM EST

Does Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi desire to become a dictator...or another Abraham Lincoln?

Did that question make you burst out laughing? If so, please be prepared for an even bigger laugh when you watch Atlantic editor Steve Clemons expend brain cells while struggling to figure out the answer to that question in his column. So laughable are the efforts of Clemons trying to come up with what to even slightly aware people is the obvious answer that you might need an oxygen mask due to an inability to catch a breath: