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On last night's (Monday's) Hardball NBC's Andrea Mitchell portrayed Hillary Clinton as a centrist in defense of Ken Mehlman's charges of Hillary Clinton being too angry. Hardball host Chris Matthews postulated that Republicans were playing the gender card in portraying Hillary Clinton as emotional.

But government continues to grow and actual reductions amount to a tiny part of the budget.

After its puzzling failure to defend the Mohammad cartoons and free speech in a Sunday news report, the Times recovers, if only slightly, in its Tuesday editorial, “Those Danish Cartoons.”

In his web chat today, Washington Post humor columnist Gene Weingarten stated that there was "nothing wrong" with Tom Toles' now (in)famous amputee cartoon -- a cartoon which, in Weingarten's words, "is deeply critical of a callous administration that deserves deep criticism."

Here's the Q&A from the chat:

MSNBC isn’t the only network mentioning the I-word. Fox News Analyst and Cavuto on Business regular Gregg Hymowitz recently raised the specter of impeaching President Bush. On the February 4th edition of his show, Neil Cavuto opened a roundtable business discussion.

Citing liberal Republican Senator Arlen Specter as his authority on whether President Bush's actions were “illegal,” and with “Invoking the 'I' Word” on screen beneath a picture of Bush, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann opened his Monday night Countdown program: “So if the Republican Chairman of the Senate committee investigating the wiretaps says the wiretaps were illegal, and the President says he personally authorized the wiretaps, doesn't that mean the President should be impeached?"

Olbermann proceeded to fondly recall, without any notion that those hearings led to impairing intelligence agencies, how back in the 1970s, “Democratic Senator Frank Church of Idaho and other lawmakers became the first to lift the veil on the super-secret world of the National Security Agency. Our fifth story on the Countdown: Deja vu all over again. New President, new technology, same danger, perhaps. Today's re-make of the cautionary drama beginning with promise, Senate Judiciary Chair Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania, repeating, in milder form, his Sunday talk show conclusions that the present-day spying program is or could be illegal." Olbermann soon cued up his guest, John Dean: “Not to put too fine a point on this, but if the authorization of wiretaps without warrants is indeed illegal, as its critics say it is, has the President committed an impeachable offense?” Dean agreed: “Well he certainly has.” (Transcript follows.)


Video excerpt (18 seconds) Real (500 KB) or Windows Media (600 KB)


Attorney General Alberto Gonzales testified in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee for most of the day, yesterday, explaining in some detail why the NSA Terrorist Surveillance program is legal, why it's necessary, and why it is not "domestic spying." It was the lead news story on CBS' The Early Show this morning, and they demonstrated that, while they saw it, it didn't all meet their criteria for news. Obviously, you cannot capture the entirety of an 8-hour hearing in a 2-minute report, but, as always, it is instructive to see what makes the cut, and what doesn't. Here are some of the comments from the hearing, a couple from Attorney General Gonzales and a couple from different US Senators.

At a time when radical Muslims are rioting in the streets over images of Muhammad, the Washington Post somehow thinks it's a perfect time to pretend once again that images of communist guerrilla/butcher Che Guevara are cool. In an article headlined "The Che Cachet," Post reporter David Segal writes about how "An Exhibition Traces How the Marxist Revolutionary's Photo Inspired An Army of Capitalists."

According to a large story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune on January 26th, income inequality is widening. Wrote David Westphal, "income inequality is likely to deepen beyond its growth of the 1980s and 1990s, when incomes of affluent Americans grew more than three times faster than those of the low-income."

"Inequality is growing in all parts of the country," said Jared Bernstein, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute.

Federal spending has soared 33 percent since 2001 and will continue to surge under President Bush’s budget proposal released Monday afternoon, yet network reporters referred to imaginary “cuts” in programs and departments. On World News Tonight, ABC’s Martha Raddatz outlined Bush’s proposal to increase defense and homeland security spending before she asked: “How to pay for all this? There are no tax increases. Instead, there are a host of spending reductions. On top of the list: Slowing spending on Medicare by $36 billion through 2011." While she at least said “slowing spending,” the on-screen graphic falsely stated about Medicare: "Reduced by $36 billion by 2011.” She went on to recount how “the budget calls for doing away with or making substantial cuts in 141 programs for a saving of $15 billion,” a minuscule amount, zeroing in on how “one-third of the cuts would target education, reducing money for the arts, parent resource centers and drug-free school programs.”

In a web-exclusive story on the web site of U.S. News & World Report, Senior Writer Jay Tolson's article on Muhammad cartoons is headlined "Matters of Faith: Satanic Cartoonery." Satanic? And no quotes? Since when do they use "Satanic" without quotes and mockery?  Tolson comes flat-down in the middle of this controversy, believing that free speech needs some respect, but that freedom has been "abused," as Bill Clinton argued. Hmm...Tolson ends by touting the "high-minded sentiments" of one Tariq Ramadan, a Muslim activist the U.S.

Over at, we’ve just posted a new study of how ABC, CBS and NBC have covered the NSA surveillance story. It's just as awful as you expected — most network stories were framed around the idea that the program is probably illegal and a shocking violation of Americans’ civil liberties.

James Taranto at Opinion Journal reports today that Fayetteville (N.C.) State University officials have reviewed a tape of Julian Bond's wild remarks there last week, as reported by World Net Daily, and determined it was not completely accurate: "Based on the review, it was determined that nowhere during Bond's speech was reference made to the Nazi Party, nor was the word 'token' used." Taranto elaborates on a conversation with FSU public relations director Jeffery Womble:

CBS sees resurrection of telephone monopoly and bills going up, while other networks give free-market perspective that competition can lower bills.

ABC and CBS ignore 4 1/2-year unemployment low of 4.7 percent while CNN finds results mixed at best.