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Boston Globe:

A new conservative student newspaper, which bills itself as not for ''the faint of heart," hit a snag during its debut this week at Northeastern University.



Liberal movie critic Manohla Dargis continues to mix popcorn and politics in her Friday review of "American Dreamz."



The Los Angeles Times announced Thursday that it is suspending the blog of a columnist after another blogger exposed him for posting comments under various pseudonyms defending both himself and the newspaper.



Something wild happens on Hardball whenever Chris Matthews ventures outdoors. It was during an outdoor panel when Zell Miller challenged Chris to a duel and last night outside the MSNBC studios Matthews called the current White House communications team: "Vicious, almost canine," and so sweaty that, "They wouldn't pass lie detector tests, they've got such a sweat problem."



Fox News Radio host Tony Snow used his show to discuss assuming the position of White House press secretary. NewsMax reports:

(HT TV Newser)



Researchers from (where else) the University of California Berkeley claim to have conclusive proof that the Fox News Channel gives more votes to Republicans. The study is entitled "The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting."

The conclusion:



Something very good happened in Iraq yesterday, and, for a change, The New York Times noticed. In fact, the editors not only put this news on the front page, but also published an editorial about it – color me shocked.

As you all likely know, Iraq Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari has been under immense pressure from the Bush administration to resign due to his failures to form a unified government after the successful December elections. As the Times reported in its lead paragraph: “Under intense domestic and American pressure, Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari dropped his bid to retain his job on Thursday, removing a major obstacle to forming a new government during a time of rising sectarian violence.” Paragraph two was just as optimistic: “Leaders from each of Iraq's main factions — Sunni Arab, Shiite and Kurd — called the decision a breakthrough.” So was paragraph three: “‘I believe that we will succeed in forming the national unity government the people are waiting for,’ Adnan Pachachi, the acting speaker of Parliament, said at a news conference at the Convention Center inside the fortified Green Zone.”

Amazing. Three opening paragraphs of positive news about Iraq – on the front page no less. When’s the last time that happened at The Times?

Of course, it wasn’t all positive, as paragraph four demonstrated:



The New York Times says Fox News commentator Tony Snow is in negotiations to become the next press secretary. Snow is said to be valued for his connections in the Washington media. Anonymous sources told the Times that he had surgery for colon cancer last year and is waiting on a doctor's approval before taking such a high-pressure job.



Fair reporting at the Today show is like snow in April. Rare, but not entirely unheard of. And so it was that the Today show devoted its opening segment to debunking Dem attempts to blame Republicans for high gasoline prices.



Dana Milbank's "Washington Sketch" columns on page 2 of the Washington Post often provide not just Milbank's trademark snark, but some interesting first-person observations on the political scene. Friday's offering on the state visit of communist China dictator Hu Jintao seems to feel Hu's pain. Every perceived slight was magnified. The screaming Chinese woman protester screamed on and on, but Milbank even finds "indignity" in the vice president's choice of eyewear:



On Thursday's Countdown show, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann highlighted a Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll which shows President Bush's approval rating "plummeting even further" and, as the Countdown host observed, "for the first time in the Bush presidency," the President's approval rating among Republicans has fallen below 70 percent.



Though the Red Chinese regime was so embarrassed by a woman interrupting the White House welcoming ceremony for Chinese President Hu Jintao to denounce him, that it censored the incident from news coverage back in China, CBS on Thursday night framed coverage around worries about offending China over Taiwan and how some incident made the White House look bad while NBC focused on the “embarrassment” the protester caused to the Bush team. CBS's Bob Schieffer led with how “this was not the best day the White House ever had,” citing how “a government announcer introduced China's national anthem by calling it the national anthem of the Republic of China.” Schieffer adopted Red China's spin, er, I mean that of the People's Republic of China, as he explained how Republic of China is “the formal name of the island of Taiwan,” which “claims to be an independent nation, a claim that China fiercely disputes.” Plus, “a heckler got into the White House grounds and caused a commotion.” ABC anchor Elizabeth Vargas echoed Schieffer's concern about the announced name of the country: "There was another awkward moment during the White House ceremony. An announcer referred to China as the 'Republic of China,' which is the formal name for Taiwan, which China considers to be a rebellious province."

NBC's David Gregory declared that "this was considered to the President a major embarrassment" and fretted about how "the outburst was a major irritant to the Chinese leader since the White House gave her a day pass to attend the event." Anchor Brian Williams asked "about the lasting significance" of the incident? Gregory relayed how "one veteran diplomat that was on hand today said there's no way that the Chinese won't think that this was an intentional move by the administration." (Transcripts follow)



The following is an op-ed of a previous NewsBusters piece entitled "Media Amnesia: Gen. Zinni Briefed Clinton Administration on Secret Iraq War Plan."



There are a few other more personal notes in the Barbara Walters interview with Jane Fonda on PBS. Ted Turner's first words on his first date with Fonda are a little bizarre: "We got in the car. His first words to me was, ‘some of my best friends are communists. I’m thinking, ‘did he say that because he thinks I’m a communist, and it won’t get in the way’?" He named Gorbachev and Castro as his close friends.



Harry Smith was at it again on CBS’s "The Early Show" this morning. He had two segments of note today. In the first notable segment, during the 7:00 half hour, he interviewed former Bush Administration aide Mary Matalin about the staff shakeups at the White House. And in the 8:30 half hour, he interviewed Jane Fonda about her memoirs, My Life So Far, which are being released in paperback.