Alex Fitzsimmons


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On the August 19 "Fox & Friends" panel segment, co-host Gretchen Carlson highlighted the Media Research Center's (MRC) "revealing" labeling study comparing broadcast network coverage of the 2007 Democratic primary to the 2011 Republican primary.

Published by MRC Research Director Rich Noyes on Tuesday, the study reviewed the ABC, CBS, and NBC morning and evening news programs from January 1 through July 31, 2011 and found 62 "conservative" tags for Republican candidates, compared to only three "liberal" labels for Democratic candidates running during the same time period in 2007.

"That's a 20-to-1 margin, if you're doing the math with us this morning," remarked Carlson.



For MSNBC, Gov. Rick Perry's (R-Texas) record of enforcing existing law, protecting the border, and implementing "only a limited version" of the DREAM Act constitutes an "aggressive stance" on immigration that "may cost him some votes" in the Hispanic community, even though Perry's position on the DREAM Act is considered moderate within the Republican Party.

MSNBC fill-in anchor Craig Melvin on Tuesday quoted a Democratic mayor in Texas who called Perry's record "easily the most anti-Latino agenda in more than a generation" and brought on an adviser for the National Council for La Raza (NCLR) to criticize the presidential contender.



On the August 15 "Dylan Ratigan Show," MSNBC anchor Dylan Ratigan and the Washington Examiner's Tim Carney sparred over the extent to which Big Labor impacts the political process relative to other industries.

Ratigan, who has made a career out of bemoaning the influence that the energy, banking, health care, defense, telecom, and agriculture sectors exert on politics, omitted organized labor from his exhaustive (exhausting?) list. After Carney pointed out that labor unions collectively direct more campaign contributions to political candidates than any other industry in the country, Ratigan sternly corrected him: "That's not right. You can't invent facts...that's a great distortion of facts to make it look like labor controls the government."

So who's right?



Chris Hayes told New York magazine recently he doesn't intend to have any "hacky partisans" on his weekend MSNBC show that debuts September 17.

But the NewsBusters archive reveals a trove of evidence demonstrating that the Washington editor of the left-wing Nation magazine could only live up to that standard if he banned himself from his own show:



Jay Carney, meet Jay Carney.

In 2001, the then-Time magazine reporter wrote a snarky piece criticizing President George W. Bush's month-long vacation that was billed as a "Home to the Heartland" tour. But almost exactly 10 years later Carney, now the Obama White House's press secretary, is defending President Barack Obama's Midwest job-creation tour and vacation at Martha's Vineyard.

"I don't think Americans out there would begrudge that notion that the President would spend some time with his family," claimed Carney at a recent press briefing.



As rioters in England set buildings aflame, hurl stones into local shops, and rip flat screen TVs off of store walls, Reuters editor-at-large Chrystia Freeland viewed Prime Minister David Cameron's fiscal policies as the "really radical" culprit.

"I think that this is the result of – directly the result of – the really radical austerity program that the Cameron government is imposing," accused Freeland on the August 10 edition of MSNBC's "Dylan Ratigan Show."



Newsweek editor Tina Brown defended her magazine's controversial cover portraying Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) as the "Queen of Rage" on the August 10 edition of MSNBC's "Morning Joe," offering no apology since the three-term congresswoman could become America's first "crazy" president.

"Some people look at this picture and think, you know, Michele Bachmann looks crazy," remarked Brown. "Some people look at it and think it's the next President of the United States. The fact that these two things are no longer mutually exclusive is what, I think, makes it pretty compelling."



MSNBC's Thomas Roberts implied Tuesday that members of Congress who oppose efforts to inject more government spending into the economy, as President Barack Obama proposed recently, are committing an "act of treason."

"Why don't people look at that as an act of treason?" the daytime anchor asked the Washington Post's Ezra Klein, who shrugged off the accusation.

"I don't think what happens is Mitch McConnell and John Boehner retire to their volcano lair and plot how to doom the American economy," replied the liberal blogger.

[See video below. MP3 audio here.]



Dylan Ratigan joined Andrea Mitchell Monday on the list of MSNBC anchors who appear to be losing faith in President Barack Obama's leadership.

Discussing the type of president required to lead the country in times of crisis, Ratigan remarked, "Wouldn't anybody who wrote a memoir before the age of 50 be rather screwed up anyway?"



If all you knew about the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization controversy was what MSNBC's Martin Bashir told you on August 3, you'd only know that it exists and that House Republicans are at fault.

Bashir claimed the thousands of furloughed FAA workers should blame Republican intransigence, but the truth is that the Democratic-controlled Senate let funding for the agency expire over proposed changes to airline unionization rules and cuts in subsidies to rural airports, including one in Sen. Harry Reid's home state of Nevada.



MSNBC's Joe Scarborough on Tuesday mourned the "absolutely dreadful" behavior of journalists and politicians who have compared Tea Party Republicans to "terrorists," among other things. But as NewsBusters previously reported, the "Morning Joe" co-host repeatedly ignored such transgressions when they occurred on his own show.



On Monday's "Martin Bashir," MSNBC analyst Jonathan Alter proclaimed that America would "be in a depression now if there had been a balanced budget amendment in 2009." Bashir, concurring with the former Newsweek editor, added, "Indeed."

Reacting to Rep. John Boehner's (R-Ohio) press conference about the debt-ceiling deal, Alter and Bashir mocked the speaker's suggestion that a balanced budget amendment is needed to "handcuff" Congress.

[WMV video here. MP3 audio here.]



A trend is emerging on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," whereby guests make inflammatory statements likening conservatives to terrorists, and none of the co-hosts insist on a more elevated level of dialogue.

Following in the footsteps of Newsweek's Tina Brown and Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), two MSNBC analysts called conservatives in Congress "economic terrorists" and "crazy" on Friday, yet none of the program's co-hosts questioned the offensive choice of words or called for a more civilized tone.

Disgraced former Obama car czar Steve Rattner went first, framing Tea Partiers as suicide bombers:



After only his third day on the job, Fox News senior White House correspondent Ed Henry was accused by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney of intentionally "creating" a dispute to please his new employer.

"I know you're creating a thing here for Fox," charged Carney toward the end of a testy exchange with the former CNN correspondent during Wednesday's press briefing.

As members of the White House press corps giggled off camera, Henry retorted: "That's not what I'm doing, you know better than that."



MSNBC's Martin Bashir not-so-subtly suggested Wednesday that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is a "baby" who should "go the f*** to sleep" and let Democrats deal with the debt ceiling issue.

Anchoring the afternoon program that bears his name, Bashir excoriated Boehner's latest deficit-reduction proposal, which he dubbed a "ludicrous lullaby," blaming the Ohio Republican for "this ridiculously prolonged, tortuous, and confused attempt to raise the debt ceiling."



Ed Henry's heated exchange Tuesday with White House Press Secretary Jay Carney as Fox News' newly-minted senior White House correspondent reminded NewsBusters of times when Henry, as a CNN reporter, supported his old competitor against attacks by left-wing activists and a liberal colleague.



Broadcast and cable networks have failed to cover a liberal interest group's exploitative TV spot claiming any cuts to the EPA would be equivalent to spoon-feeding toxic particles to infants, even though the proposed cuts would only pare back funding to pre-recession levels.

The video, released in March amid debates in Congress to curtail the EPA's regulatory authority, has since re-emerged as a commercial on MSNBC. While depicting an adult feeding a small child helpings of baby food from jars labeled dioxin, mercury, and arsenic, a narrator frets: "If the EPA wasn't cleaning millions of toxic particles out of the air, they'd be going, well, somewhere else...Protect the EPA. Protect our kids."

Despite the impression left by American Family Voices, the group responsible for the advertisement, that cuts to the EPA would kill children, the numbers tell a different story.



Quoting a British politician who claimed "right-wing nutters" pose the most serious threat to the international financial system, MSNBC's Martin Bashir asked his conservative guest on Monday: "He's right, isn't he?"

The MSNBC anchor posed this question at the end of a contentious interview with Tea Party Nation Founder Judson Phillips, after asking Phillips four times whether he wanted the U.S. to default on its debts.



ABC, CBS, and NBC ignored the existence of the Cut, Cap and Balance (CCB) bill until last week, a Nexis search revealed, despite multiple polls demonstrating overwhelming public support.

In addition to the blackout, none of the broadcast networks ever mentioned the positive polls in their coverage of the bill, even though 65 percent of the public backed a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget in a Mason-Dixon poll from May and 72 percent approved of such a measure in a Fox News poll from June.



At least five MSNBC anchors since Tuesday have promoted a cherry-picked House Democratic Caucus video that distorts President Ronald Reagan's position on the debt ceiling, inaccurately asserting that President Barack Obama is more in line with Reagan than the Republicans.

If any of the anchors had played the entirety of Reagan's 1987 radio address, instead of giving free air time to the Democratic Party's deceptively edited spot, they would have heard Reagan articulate a position on the debt ceiling almost identical to House Republicans' and nearly opposite Obama's: "You don't need more taxes to balance the budget. Congress needs the discipline to stop spending more, and that can be done with the passage of a constitutional amendment to balance the budget." Lo and behold, the House passed a plan last night, "cut, cap, and balance," that contained both spending cuts and a balanced budget amendment.

A compilation video of MSNBC anchors misrepresenting Reagan is below the page break: