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Surprise: Barney Calame wakes up and smells the scandal at the left-wing radio network.

On Wednesday night, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann labeled Rush Limbaugh as the day's "Worst Person in the World!" in a segment that airs regularly on his 8pm EDT Countdown show. He normally introduces three nominees for the dishonor -- tagged as "worse," "worser," and "worst." Olbermann took Limbaugh out of context in highlighting the Limbaugh quote promoted by a far-left group: “Cindy Sheehan is just Bill Burkett. Her story is nothing more than forged documents. There's nothing about it that's real." Olbermann snidely quipped: "I guess she made up that dead-son-in-Iraq business." He also gratuitously speculated that "painkillers wipe out your memory along with your ethics." (Video available Windows Media or Real Media)

But on his radio show on Wednesday, Limbaugh had already discussed the fact that his comments had been taken out of context by others, explaining that the media see both Sheehan and Burkett as "an opportunity" to exploit and that "it doesn't matter what the specifics of Cindy Sheehan's case are."

Full CyberAlert item follows. For all the articles in today's MRC CyberAlert.

The Boston Globe this morning leads with a large picture, first column, above the fold, of a group of candle-holding protestors in a "vigil" to show solidarity with Cindy Sheehan. It's a lovely shot, taken on a beach at sundown, and the people look like nice people. It is also framed in such a way that the crowd looks like it might have been much bigger than it actually was.

In a stunning example of how the mainstream press manipulates public opinion, as well as a clear explanation as to why the majority of the American people believes that the economy is doing poorly despite mountains of statistical evidence to the contrary, the press today decided to largely ignore one of the biggest one-day declines in energy prices in many months.

As I reported here yesterday, oil prices at the NYMEX dropped by almost three dollars per barrel, with gas prices declining by almost ten cents. Yet, after scaring the American public with regular predictions of economic gloom and doom concerning inflationary fears tied to escalating energy prices the past few weeks, America's two most prominent newspapers -- the New York Times and the Washington Post -- must have decided that good news on the energy front wasn’t deserving of the public’s attention.  (cont'd...)

ABC does note the cause of the problem is that businesses cant build new refineries.

Networks half-baked report criticized those who have fun in the sun.

CBS News has not reported this week on Janet Napolitano and Bill Richardson---Democratic governors facing reelection in 2006 in Arizona and New Mexico, respectively-- declaring states of emergency stemming from US-Mexico border security issues. Neither The Early Show nor the CBS Evening News have touched the story. Yet on Sunday, the day after Richardson issued his state of emergency declaration, Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer pitched a softball which DNC chairman hit out of the park to slam Republicans as "scapegoating" immigrants for the upcoming 2006 midterm elections:

The economy is doing well -- the federal deficit is shrinking, unemployment has fallen to 5.0%, and America has enjoyed more than two straight years of job growth and 3.5 million new jobs. That hasn't stopped the media from describing the economy as “dicey,” “volatile” and “slow.” The Media Research Center's Free Market Project analyzed all of the broadcast network's economic stories since the start of President Bush's second term, and we found that a big majority (62%) cast the economy in negative terms.

In the eyes of the MSM, Pope Benedict XVI has a problem. He's too darn . . . Catholic.

As the Pope begins World Youth Day in his native Germany, Today took the occasion to invite in Newsweek's Christopher Dickey for an oh-so-effete critique of Benedict XVI.

Interviewed by Katie Couric, Dickey first claimed that Europeans view Benedict "with some skepticism right now. People are looking at this Pope and saying what does he want to do by re-Christianizing Europe?"

Gee, and here I thought that was a Pope's job.

Filmmaker Michael Tucker spent two months with the 2/3 Field Artillery unit, otherwise known as “The Gunners.” The film he made, Gunner Palace: Some Stories Will Never Make the Nightly News, detailed a troop unit stationed in a former palace of Uday Hussein (nicknamed Gunner Palace).

The New York Times is reporting on a series of Pew Research Studies that indicate that a majority of Americans think that news organizations are biased in their reporting:
The share of Americans who believe that news organizations are "politically biased in their reporting" increased to 60 percent in 2005, up from 45 percent in 1985, according to polls by the Pew Research Center.

Just how desperate is CBS brass to extricate their “Evening News” program from its perpetual place in the cellar of TV ratings? Apparently not desperate enough, though they are getting closer. In Wednesday’s New York Observer, we learn that Andrew Heyward, the CBS News president responsible for nearly ten years of failure, has turned to his interns for ideas on how to “revamp” the “Evening News.”
The panel was the culmination of a summer-long project that divided CBS News’ nearly 100 college-age interns into small groups to come up with strategies to attract younger viewers to the network’s third-ranking evening newscast.

“Basically the assignment was to come up with a presentation and concept for how you would revamp the evening news, to captivate a younger demographic,” said one intern who participated in the program. “They are not getting the audience that they want.” [...]

Interns said they were encouraged to brainstorm freely, suggesting changes to the show’s anchor lineup, its news content, set design, marketing techniques and any other aspect of the newscast. One ground rule: The 6:30 time slot had to stay the same.

It's certainly true that CBS isn't getting the audience it needs. But turning to inexperienced interns with no corporate standing to say what they think isn't going to be the best source of advice, especially since for most people under 30, early evening news will always be irrelevant.

Instead, CBS should be turning to the people who do watch news and ask their opinion. The phenomenal growth of cable's Fox News Channel proves irrefutably that there is a tremendous television audience out there that wasn't being served by the existing media structure.

The newspaper industry, which relies heavily on advertising, may be taking a big hit from a usually reliable source of advertising dollars - Hollywood (h/t Drudge):

Michael Barone of U.S. News told FNC's Chris Wallace tonight that “if a World War II era Cindy Sheehan had gone to Hyde Park and Warm Springs and camped out and demanded a meeting with President Roosevelt,” she “would just been thought to have been a person who was the victim of a personal tragedy and who had gone over the bend as a result of it, and they would have mercifully given her no publicity.” Barone, co-editor of the bi-annual Almanac of American Politics, credited the change in media attitude to how in “World War II, the press almost unanimously wanted us to win the war,” but “today we have many in the press -- not most I think, but some at least -- who do not want us to win this war and think that we don't deserve to win this war.”

Transcript of Barone's comments on Special Report with Brit Hume follows.

Described alternately as “insular,” “Mayberry-like,” and “nearly all-white,” AP writers Tom Coyne and Ashley M. Heher have raised serious questions about the racial integrity of John Roberts’ boyhood town.