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On this past weekend's Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO, comedian Bill Maher pointed to the liberal scriptwriters of NBC's West Wing for political guidance. Maher touted how “Alan Alda plays a Republican Senator who tells the Christian Right to go screw.” Maher yearned: “Why can't we have that in real life?” Last Tuesday (October 11) on MSNBC's Hardball, the Chicago Tribune's Jim Warren had also held up how the Alda character "confronts a top Christian Right official who insists on a public pledge that Alan Alda, if elected President, will only pick anti-abortion judges to the federal court. And Alan Alda, seeing the world as much more complicated, declines to do that." Maher proceeded to wonder: “Why can't we have a real Alan Alda character who says to the Christian Right what the Democrats basically say to the black people, which is, 'you know what? Where else are you going to go?'"

Full transcripts of Maher's comments, the Alan Alda character's lines on the October 9 episode of The West Wing and links to previous NewsBusters items on The West Wing, follow.



Associated Press writer Darlene Superville wrote a serious expose on Karl Rove's garage. The headline: "Karl Rove's Garage Proves to Be Typical"

Superville wondered if Rove can "organize his own garage? Can the master of Bush's political planning figure out where to put the ladders, paint cans and cardboard boxes?"

Below are the earth shattering revelations uncovered by Superville:



NewsBusters contributor John Armor reported that on the ABC News website there is a story with the misleading headline: "White Supremacists Riot in Toledo Ohio."

The neo-Nazis in Toledo were unable to carry out their protest, and the actual rioters were mostly gang members looking for an excuse to make trouble.

John Armor reported that "both the Associated Press and ABC News have now changed the title to the accurate statement that "Anti-White Supremacists" were the ones who rioted."



Broadcasters worry about the future of the American economy, but the NY Times points out that automakers are behind other industries when it comes to the reality of employee benefits.


USA Today gives apocalyptic view of declining oil supply before admitting it might not come to pass.


No bias here, but kind of amusing: The front of Saturday's Sports page featured a picture of the 16-year old golf phenom Michelle Wie taking a free drop of her ball after it was ruled unplayable in the first round of the Samsung World Championship. The headline over the accompanying story read "Wie Knows How to Play, And She Knows the Rules."


The Washington Post has an article about the deteriorating relationship between White House press secretary Scott McClellan and the reporters who cover the White House.

CBS correspondent John Roberts says McClellan "has adopted this siege mentality in which the best way to deflect the question is to attack the questioner. I'm not quite sure who he's playing to -- maybe the segment of the Republican Party that believes we're a bunch of liberals who have our own agenda."



Does the Associated Press take sides against the U.S. military when reporting in Iraq? You decide. In a story today describing retaliation for a roadside bomb that killed five American soldiers on Saturday, the ABC/AP story titled, “U.S.: 70 Insurgents Killed in Airstrikes,” opens:



Less newsworthy than a baseball game, and in any case, just another "potentially divisive event." That's the back-of-the-hand treatment the Today show gave the apparent approval of the Iraqi constitution in this weekend's referendum.

Katie Couric opened Today by touting a tropical storm in the Caribbean, the travails of Rove and Libby and the White Sox's victory. Not a word about the Iraqi referendum.



This is the oldest media bias kvetch in the book.



It took ABC Radio's Martha Raddatz only two sentences to report the vote on the Iraqi constitution.  In the first, Raddatz allowed as how the referendum probably passed.  In the second, Raddatz said (my memory),

"It cannot be denied, however, that thousands and thousands of Sunnis will be living under an Iraqi government they did not want."

Yes, Martha, in elections, that's the way it works.  One side wins and one side loses. 



The Associated Press led the way nationally in dishonest reporting on the riot in Toledo, Ohio, Saturday, Oct. 15.. Below is a screen capture of the false headline and subhead from the AP story, copied by ABC News:

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With The recent Iraq election turning out to be better than anyone had expected, the Associated Press has decided to do its best to drag everyone back down to reality. The only problem here for the AP is the reality they seek to push is their own.



ABC’s Andrea Canning on Sunday's “Good Morning America” did a report on Divorce Parties. That’s right, married women having a party to celebrate their divorces. In fact, Canning in her report referred to the party as “Part celebration, part exorcism.”

At this party, they play games like throwing the wedding ring into the toilet, as well as with voodoo doll figurines of the former husband.

Of particular note, the report made no mention of ex-husbands having such parties. Quite the contrary, the only person in this piece who wasn't celebrating was a divorced man: "I don't find anything about divorce to be funny at all. I find the whole experience rather tragic."

What follows is a full transcript of this report.



In the midst of the recent controversy surrounding Harriet Miers' political leanings, the media seems to have come to its own comfortable determination that Miers is a suitable candidate for the Supreme Court.