Matthew Sheffield

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Former NewsBusters editor

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Yesterday was a historic day. Sure we had presidential inauguration but it was also perhaps the first and only day when loudmouth MSNBC host Chris Matthews actually shut his yap for a few seconds.

The cat that got Matthews’s tongue was being reminded by fellow MSNBC host Martin Bashir of his inane 2008 remark that he gets a “thrill going up my leg” when hearing Barack Obama speak. Watch below for the video.

Rapper Lupe Fiasco was told to leave the stage at a Washington, DC concert after playing a single anti-war song for 30 minutes and informing the audience that he did not vote for President Obama.

Organizers insisted he was not forced out due to his political speech but rather because of his “bizarrely repetitive, jarring performance.”

Most people would cut a 13-year-old girl some slack if she became obsessed enough with Justin Bieber to write the teen singer emails and letters all the time, but what if an ostensibly professional journalist were to do the same to a politician?

This odd scenario actually is not a hypothetical, however. A CNN correspondent named Tom Foreman has been doing just that, writing a letter every single day to President Obama for the past four years.

The suburban New York paper that caused a nationwide uproar over its online interactive map of gun permit owners in two counties has finally removed the chart from its website.

The map prompted thousands of complaints to the paper which also prompted the anti-gun paper to hire its own armed guards supposedly to protect its employees. The removal of the map was preceded by a new state law which protects gun permit holders’ privacy:

In an interview with media reporter Dylan Byers, Piers Morgan has admitted what has become painfully obvious to observers of his program: the CNN host is desperate to save his job by ginning up any sort of controversy he can to attract attention to himself.

Even though he freely admits he’s seeking ratings, it appears that pointing out Morgan’s pathetic ploy is very irritating to him. In the interview, he lashed out at his predecessor Larry King who said that Morgan has made his show more about himself more than his guests: “I think he just slightly needs to button it, because he’s talking nonsense. The reason we’re different is, I’m a journalist and he’s not. Larry isn’t a journalist, never has been.”

Before too much time passes away, I wanted to catch up on an interesting discussion that happened last Thursday on Fox News Channel’s The O'Reilly Factor between the eponymous host and media impresario Glenn Beck. During the discussion, the former FNC host confirmed reports that he had attempted to purchase the failed cable television channel Current, which was started by former vice president Al Gore.

Beck and his company, Mercury Arts, got in touch with Current staff but were almost immediately rebuffed by Gore on account of the fact that he was one of those evil, nasty conservatives. “We never got to the table. We weren’t allowed to the table,” Beck said.

It's now official: David Gregory is above the law. Just two days after the DC attorney general's office received the case of NBC star's deliberate exibition of a high-capacity bullet magazine, the agency decided it would not prosecute.

The decision is interesting and disturbing for two reasons: 1) the prosecutors believe that Gregory (and his producers) were guilty of the crime, and 2) they seem to think that it is ok to use the rights granted by the First Amendment to attack the rights granted by the Second.

The police department of the District of Columbia has completed an investigation into NBC television host David Gregory’s possession and exhibition of a high-capacity gun magazine on the Dec. 23 edition of the show “Meet the Press.”

Under DC law, it is illegal for anyone to possess a magazine able to hold 10 or more bullets, even if it is empty. Now that the investigation is complete, the matter has been referred to the district’s attorney general, Irvin Nathan.

ESPN has parted ways with Rob Parker, a commentator for the sports network who caused a national controversy by saying that Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is “not one of us” and only “kind of black” because he is engaged to a white woman and is rumored to be a Republican.

Parker made those comments on December 13 and was suspended by ESPN for 30 days. Parker apologized for his remarks but has since defended them by saying he was taken “out of context.”

Former vice president Al Gore, newly flush with cash from his sale of his Current TV to Al Qaeda's favorite TV channel, Al Jazeera, did not even bother to show up for the first meeting between the Current staff and the new ownership.

New York Post TV critic Linda Stasi has the story:

If you are reading this blog post, you are in a minority of your fellow citizens in several ways. Firstly, you actually care about politics. Most Americans do not. Secondly, you care enough about being informed about political issues that you actually are interested in going out of your way to read up on conservative positions. Thirdly, if you are a conservative reading NewsBusters, you are further in the minority because you actually understand that media and culture actually control the political environment.

Unfortunately, most conservatives have failed to understand this. And it is the reason that conservatism or classical liberalism has not gained traction in this country or around the world despite being correct on the merits. In public relations and politics, however, perception is more real than reality.

Al Gore, the man who first introduced the idea of blaming “the wealthiest one percent” for all of America’s ills, is continuing to embarrass himself in the sale of his low-rated Current TV channel to the Al Jazeera.

First, we learned that Current’s management believed that the favorite news channel of Islamic fundamentalist terrorists is closer to its own viewpoints than conservative media mogul Glenn Beck; now comes news that the former Democratic presidential candidate was insistent that the sale to the Qatari channel be completed before December 31. That date was important to Gore because he was trying to avoid the higher tax rates that President Obama has been clamoring for so desperately for years.

Less than two weeks after a New York regional newspaper created a national controversy by publishing an online map of registered gun owners in its circulation area, the Journal News has once again brought attention to itself by hiring armed guards to protect its employees, an obvious case of hypocrisy given the publication’s virulently anti-gun editorial stance.

As you would expect, the Journal News, which had previously touted its love of transparency and an informed public when it published its database of pistol permit holders, did not reveal this information to the public. The news was broken instead by the Rockland Times, a rival newspaper.

Thanks for reading NewsBusters. We're glad you've been with us for as long (or as short) as you have. Merry Christmas from all of us here at NB!

ABC analyst Sam Donaldson was arrested and will face trial for a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol. The liberal former White House correspondent was arrested in Lewes, Delaware, near Rehoboth Beach on December 1st.

According to a local radio station, Donaldson decided to waive the formal public reading of the charges against him. The 78-year-old does not currently have a trial scheduled.

In an interview with a Canadian talk show, director Quentin Tarantino blasted America’s drug policies, saying that they are creating a system of “slavery through and through” at the behest of a prison “industry” which seeks to keep them in place solely to make money.

Tarantino’s comments came in response to a question from CBC host George Stroumboulopoulos who had asked him to put his latest film project, Django Unchained, a movie about a freed slave in the 19th century, into a contemporary American context. Tarantino warmed to the subject, apparently thinking that having directed the film gave him some sort of insight into race and America.

Since the Connecticut school shooting happened, leftists in and out of the media are calling for more restrictions on guns. But guns are not the only cause for mass shootings. Untreated mental illnesses can be one. The American news environment could, potentially be another.

In a column for The Week, Matt Lewis takes on the question of “media control” in light of the fact that the press gives massive amounts of coverage and fame to people who clearly are seeking it. “I’m not suggesting we completely abolish the media,” he asks satirically, “But perhaps we should curtail it. Isn’t it time for some common sense media control?”

Andrew Rosenthal, the driving force behind the perpetually hyperventilating and self-contradicting editorials that fill up space in the New York Times’s opinion pages has now proven that he can hyperventilate and contradict himself in real-time.

The editorial page editor demonstrated this rare talent today on Twitter as he responded to the shooting at a school in Newtown, Connecticut, first by denouncing a gun rights supporter who bemoaned that the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting was yet another massacre that had happened in an allegedly “gun-free zone,” a reaction Rosenthal dubbed “sickeningly quick.”  Just three hours later, however, he tweeted out a link to one of the opinion staff’s usual hackneyed anti-gun pieces.

Cable sports network ESPN has suspended its commentator Rob Parker following his offensive racial tirade against Washington Redskins player Robert Griffin III. In a segment on yesterday’s First Take program, Parker said that the rookie quarterback was “not one of us” and that he was only “kind of black” because he is engaged to a white woman, is rumored to be a Republican, and has spoken in favor of racial neutrality, sentiments that the sports analyst derided as “cornball.”

“Following yesterday’s comments, Rob Parker has been suspended until further notice,” network spokesman Josh Krulewitz said in a statement. “We are conducting a full review.”

In an interview with CNN, left-wing singer Barbra Streisand revealed that she has “never” been in love with a Republican and that she did not think it would be possible for her to do so unless there was some sort of “enormous sexual chemistry.”

Streisand’s comments were made in response to a question from her host, former tabloid editor and current CNN host Piers Morgan. Video and transcript below the break.