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Tom DeLay’s ouster from the House leadership is the “one good thing that's come out” of the Abramoff scandal, CBS’s Andy Rooney declared Friday night during a live appearance on CNN’s Larry King Live. Asked by King about “the tapping of phones in the interest of national security,” Rooney called it “a disgrace, an absolute disgrace.


Co-hosts Cafferty and Serwer decry average interest rates as usury.


Saturday’s front-page teaser for its Page One business section story by Edmund Andrews and Richard Stevenson (“Bush Cites 2 Million New Jobs in 2005 and Healthy Economy”) is headlined “Jobless Rate Declines But Wages Lag Inflation.”

This continues the Times’ stubborn insistence on putting a negative spin on good economic news, a motif reflected in the paper’s broader coverage.



Today's Washington Post chat with political reporter Shailagh Murray featured some prognosticating bravado from Murray, who insisted Tom DeLay's political career was over: "I would put my chips on DeLay not being on the ballot in November." From there, a weird questioner from New Mexico jumped in:



AP TV reporter David Bauder says that "if Bill O'Reilly truly loves a good fight, then he's had quite a week."



A piece in today's NYT by Adam Liptak has numerous holes and discrepencies (just some documented here) that can be expected from a newspaper who officially endorsed the Democrats in the last two elections.



In Sunday's "Book World" section of The Washington Post, Newsweek managing editor Jon Meacham reviewed the new book by Richard Reeves titled "President Reagan: The Triumph of Imagination." He noted:



What do you think the odds are that in the very first minute of its segment on Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the morning her confirmation hearings were set to begin, the Today show twice described Ginsburg - former chief counsel of the ACLU - as a "liberal" and spoke of her confirmation "moving the court to the left"?



Over at the Tapped blog, Matthew Yglesias is delighted that "Shrill Bush bashing has crossed over to the section of the media where it really counts: the sports pages. Here's [ESPN football reporter and online columnist] Sal Paolantonio on the Philadelphia Eagles management structure":



Jennifer Loven of the Associated Press is one of AP's regular reporters covering Mr. Bush and The White House.

She also has an obvious conflict of interest, as her husband, Roger Ballentine, was a senior adviser to John Kerry on energy and environmental issues during the 2004 presidential campaign. Ballentine is currently president of Green Strategies, Inc., an environmental consulting and government relations (read: lobbying) firm. He also continues to be actively involved in the politics of energy and the environment, as this appearance at a renewable energy conference in December 2004 and the promotion for his October appearance on "E&E TV" show.

It has apparently never occurred to AP that her husband's point of view could affect the objectivity of Ms. Loven's reporting, though, as this post at Powerline supplied by me back in September 2004 shows, she went so far as to ridicule a 2002-2003 Bush Administration environmental initiative in one of her "objective" reports using language that parroted her husband's environmental advocacy statements.

Whether it's Iraq, the Joe Wilson charade (a report that led Powerline to call her a "Democrat Operative"), or the economy, Ms. Loven's reports on day-to-day happenings in the administration have been consistently negative and sometimes even hostile. In early December (go to end of post), Ms. Loven just had to respond to the report of 215,000 new jobs created in October by reminding us (as if it was relevant to the report) that Mr. Bush was " faced with the lowest approval ratings of his presidency." All in all, she may be as close to "Exhibit A" as exists as to why we can no longer trust The Associated Press to do the job it was designed to do: give us the news, straight up -- so spin, no shading.

Ms. Loven continued on her merry antagonistic way Saturday as she reported on the President's Friday speech at The Economic Club of Chicago:



NBC’s Tim Russert invited the New York Times reporter who broke the NSA eavesdropping story three weeks ago onto “Meet the Press” this morning. Despite the obvious controversial nature of the guest and the subject matter, Russert asked no truly compelling or interrogative questions of James Risen, and, as a result, produced an interview that not only didn’t challenge Risen about the fortuitous timing of the article’s release, but also offered the viewer no new information concerning this matter.

For instance, Russert chose to ask Risen:

MR. RUSSERT: Amid much speculation as to why the The New York Times held this story, you had written it, you had finished it, you knew it was—what reflected what your reporting had shown. It may have played a role in the election of 2004 if it had been published in October. Why was it held?

However, here’s a list of potentially more provocative and important questions that Russert chose not to ask his controversial guest:



This morning, CNN ran a report (watch) on the plight of Iraqi parents who can't find emergency care for their very sick children, and how

Sanctions, war, and the insurgency have cripple Iraq's once-exemplary medical care....Now there is only one way to make sure her young patients survive: "They need to go outside of Iraq."



In the Newsweek Live Chat this week, reporter Richard Wolffe faces the usual Daily Kosmonauts and MoveOn hard cases, but his attempts to land in the sensible center were at times just a little too weak:



Terry Mattingly explores how the media should "excommunicate" Pat Robertson from the Iron Rolodex as the gaffe list lengthens. The deepest dig: calling him the "Bishop Jack Spong of the far right." (Mattingly notices some of the same CBS interviews on Public Eye I noted Friday.)



Today (Saturday) there are stories in numerous papers based on an AP-Ipsos poll just released. Typical of the lot is an article in the New York Post, whose lede and third paragraphs are here:

Dissatisfied with the nation's direction, Americans are leaning toward wanting a change in which political party leads Congress - preferring that Democrats take control, an AP-Ipsos poll found. Democrats are favored over Republicans 49 percent to 36 percent.