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The Washington Post has released a new poll purporting to show Michael Steele trailing Ben Cardin by eleven points in the Maryland Senate race.

                   Cardin   Steele      
10/26/06 LV     54         43

The poll of likely voters over sampled Democrats by 8 points based upon election results from 2004.

Party affiliation for the new WaPo poll:

An October 17, 2006, op-ed by Los Angeles Times columnist Joel "I Don't Support Our Troops" Stein condescendingly slams Christianity as a "death cult."

Writing a lippy account of a Presbyterian service he had recently attended, Stein belches,

"The first thing I noticed about church was how much like PBS it was. The lighting was dim, the speakers talked slowly, the songs were dated, there were a lot of references to reading material and every so often my eye line was interrupted by envelopes asking me to donate money. Also, I kept falling asleep."

And (bold added),

"I'd never realized how much of a death cult Christianity is. When we weren't fixating on how awesome Christ's murder was, we were singing about how terrific it was going to be when we bite it. Chipper up, Christians! There's a lot to live for. They're making more of those 'Narnia' movies."

On Sunday October 15, 2006, the Los Angeles Times published a 1488-word, front-page article entitled, "Displease a Lobbyist, Get Fired," by Times staffer Peter Wallsten. The gist of the piece (if you can't glean it from the title): Lobbyist Jack Abramoff "manipulated the system" and used his influence at the White House to get Allen Stayman, a State Department official who was working against the interests of Abramoff's clients, fired.

A month or so ago I would have said that Neal Gabler and I inhabit different planets, but his apparent home has recently been demoted from planetary status. While I'm off searching for another metaphor, let me pass along the latest comment from the decidedly liberal denizen of Fox News Watch that made me reflect on just how distinct a world view we have.

Appearing on Washington Post Radio on Friday, Senate hopeful James Webb (D-Va.) insisted an act which is arguably incest that he included in a novel of his is not in fact a "sexual act."

Yet the Saturday Washington Post had no mention of either the act itself or Webb's defense thereof.

As reported on October 27:

The following analysis by author and former Bush 43 White House speechwriter David Frum, which he posted Thursday in his blog on National Review Online under the title "The Cry Baby Party," may express what plenty of NewsBusters readers have sensed during this election campaign (bold-type emphasis has been added):

Let me see if I understand the rules of American politics in 2006:

The other governor’s race in America with a Mark Foley echo is in Massachusetts, where Democratic hopeful Deval Patrick, a former Clinton Justice Department official, whom the Washington Post profiled on Wednesday in a feature by staff writer Wil Haygood that was so positive, a liberal blogger characterized it as a "sweet send off for him...I hope he can feel the tail wind."

As Tim Graham reported here earlier this week, NBC reporter Richard Engel, who spends much of his time in Iraq, has declared: "I think war should be illegal...I'm basically a pacifist."

One of the maddening things about the Mark Foley scandal is how the media can take one congressman’s creepy Internet messages about masturbating, declare it an issue in 468 congressional races, demand the head of the Speaker of the House, and then decry other people for ruining democracy with desperate negative ads that besmirch honest public servants. It’s exactly how Michael Grunwald’s Washington Post story on Friday began, with the Republican opponent to Rep.

The New York Times is moaning the supposed loss of the "Republican Moderate" in Congress with their latest piece, Moderate Republicans Feeling Like Endangered Species.

Amusingly, some of the names they use to define a "Republican Moderate" are Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine and Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island. They also mention Mike DeWine of Ohio, but the three they focus on are Snowe, Collins and Chafee... these are the people they call "moderate".

Let's take a look at how the ACU rates the conservative voting record of these three in 2005 (0 being least conservative and 100 the most conservative).

Susan Collins - 32
Olympia Snowe - 32
Lincoln Chafee - 12

These three are FAR from being "moderate". They are more like Democrats -- and far left ones at that -- than Republicans and rarely vote with their national Party on any issue. But, to the NYT "moderate" means voting with Democrats, apparently.

FNC's Bill O'Reilly returned to the Late Show Friday night for round two with David Letterman over Iraq. In the show taped on Monday but not aired until Friday, Letterman expressed disgust with the war: "So we've made a mistake in war, so we stay there and kill as many Americans as we possibly can? That's the way you get out of a mistake?" At another point, Letterman fretted: “It's all about oil. That's why we're there. Big deal." When O'Reilly asserted that “it isn't 'We're a bad country, Bush is an evil liar.' That's not true," Letterman retorted that "I didn't say we were a bad country. I didn't say he was an evil liar" and charged: "You're putting words in my mouth just the way you put artificial facts in your head."

Unlike the January 3 confrontation, however, each time it seemed to get too personal, O'Reilly would always -- and Letterman sometimes too -- interject a humorous rejoinder to try to keep the interview from becoming too hard-edged. “We're really friends. This is all an act. We're buddies. We bowl," O'Reilly proposed in an effort to cut the tension. For a look at the January session, check my NewsBusters post of the time (with video), “Letterman Denounces Iraq War, Sheehan Critics.” My Friday night posting, “O'Reilly Returns to Late Show Friday Night, Letterman Calls Him a 'Liar,'” recounted comments Letterman made on his Thursday night show. (Partial transcript from Friday's show follows)

Video clip of the most animated portion of the O'Reilly appearance (7:10): Real (5.3 MB at 100 kbps) or Windows Media (4.5 MB at 81 kbps), plus MP3 audio (2.5 MB)

Friday's morning shows offered more of the same election coverage. On ABC, Kate Snow highlighted how everyone Republican is running from Bush (with Rick Santorum touting his work with Hillary, God forbid) and gave Michael J. Fox another huge soundbite. On NBC, David Gregory explored how Democrats would rule. The first rule: hike the minimum wage.

Taking their cue from big mainstream media, other outlets are joining in the fun by unabashedly bashing talk-show host Rush Limbaugh.

The editor of Madison, Wisconsin's Capital Times checked in today with his offering: "Plain talk: Limbaugh should be ashamed, but isn't." Dave Zweifel's column starts objectively enough:

All that was missing was the theme music from Deliverance. Not content to condemn George Allen for raising the issue of Jim Webb's racy writing, Chris Matthews decided on this evening's Hardball to slur the entire Commonwealth of Virginia south of the DC suburbs.

Interviewing senior Webb campaign advisor Steve Jarding [Chris did indicate that he had unsuccessfully tried to get an Allen representative on the show], Matthews had this to say:

"Not to take sides but they've had this material since the day Jim Webb announced, and they've chosen to use it now with the risk that it implies, because everybody in Northern Virginia, in this area of the country, reads books, they think."

During an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Lynne Cheney turned the tables on the cable network and bluntly asked if Blitzer wanted the U.S. to win in Iraq:

Lynne Cheney: "Right, But what is CNN doing running terrorist tape of terrorist shooting Americans? I mean, I thought Duncan Hunter asked you a very good question and you didn’t answer it. Do you want us to win?"

Wolf Blitzer: "The answer, of course, is we want the United States to win. We are Americans. There’s no doubt about it. You think we want terrorists to win?"

The Vice President’s wife was referring to an October 23 segment with Congressman Duncan Hunter, in which he criticized the network for airing footage of insurgents killing Americans. Mrs. Cheney, who appeared on the October 27 edition of "The Situation Room," continued her harsh analysis of CNN. "Why," she wondered, "are you running terrorist propaganda?"

Video clip (1:16): Real (2.2 MB) or Windows Media (2.6 MB), plus MP3 audio (450 KB)