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The headline reads 'US probe of Ishaqi killings no surprise for Iraqis.' You might have thought the headline and accompanying article were from Al-Jazeera. But no, it's Reuters that wrote the headline that, dripping with skepticism, suggests that the US military inquiry that cleared American soldiers from wrongdoing in connection with the killing of civilians at Ishaqi was a whitewash. That same cynicism persists throughout the article. Consider these excerpts:

  • "Isa Khalaf doesn't want cash from the U.S. troops he says massacred his relatives in a March raid. He wants an explanation he may never get now that a U.S. probe has cleared them of any wrongdoing."
  • "The U.S. investigation that cleared soldiers of any misconduct in Ishaqi may have allowed the soldiers to move on with their lives. But the farming town will be haunted by memories of the bloodshed."


On the 4pm hour of Friday's The Situation Room, CNN anchor Jack Cafferty lambasted the Bush administration's push for a national gay marriage ban. However, what Cafferty did not inform the audience of is his own bigoted past.

JACK CAFFERTY: Hi, Wolf. Guess what Monday is? Monday is the day President Bush will speak about an issue near and dear to his heart and the hearts of many conservatives. It's also the day before the Senate votes on the very same thing. Is it the war? Deficits? Health insurance? Immigration? Iran? North Korea? Not even close. No, the president is going to talk about amending the Constitution in order to ban gay marriage.

This is something that absolutely, positively has no chance of happening, nada, zippo, none. But that doesn't matter. Mr. Bush will take time to make a speech. The Senate will take time to talk and vote on it, because it's something that matters to the Republican base. This is pure politics. If has nothing to do with whether or not you believe in gay marriage. It's blatant posturing by Republicans, who are increasingly desperate as the midterm elections approach. There's not a lot else to get people interested in voting on them, based on their record of the last five years. But if you can appeal to the hatred, bigotry, or discrimination in some people, you might move them to the polls to vote against that big, bad gay married couple that one day might move in down the street. Here's the question: Is now the time for President Bush to be backing a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage? E-mail your thoughts to caffertyfile@CNN.com or go to CNN.com/caffertyfile -- Wolf.

Video link - .WMV More follows.


In his cover story on Oprah Winfrey in the June 12 New Republic, Lee Siegel asserts that Oprah, whose TV show is syndicated by CBS-owned King World, is somewhat of a kingmaker in the political world:



As previously reported by NewsBusters here, here, and here, Google has been canceling its News relationship with conservative websites for what it has deemed as “hate speech.”

Well, let’s see what Google News doesn’t view as “hate speech,” shall we? 

With a hat tip to a NewsBusters reader, Google News Saturday morning posted the following article from Capital Hill Blue: “Republicans Return to Their Homophobic, Right-Wing Base.”

Nice headline, huh? And, according to the reader that gave me this tip, this headline was at the Google News main page when he opened his browser this morning. Must have gone down real nicely with his Wheaties, dontcha think?

For those that don't believe Google News would really include such an article in its news crawl, please click here.

But, the best was yet to come, for the piece began:



In the summer of Gore, most Americans already know the media and environmental wackos are trying to send the nation down the tubes. Now there is new proof.



Not even their liberal media colleagues are buying ABC’s May 24 hit piece on House Speaker Denny Hastert in which Brian Ross insisted that “federal officials tell us the congressional bribery investigation now includes the Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert,” and "Justice Department officials describe the 64-year-old Illinois Republican as very much in the mix of the corruption investigation.” On Inside Washington aired Friday night on W


A week after ignoring the announcement of a roaring 5.3 percent GDP growth rate in the first quarter, and on the day unemployment fell a tenth of a point to 4.6 percent -- the lowest level since July of 2001 -- the CBS Evening News decided to lead Friday with how, as anchor Russ Mitchell put it: “There are new signs this evening that the economy is slowing down.” Reporter Anthony Mason asserted that “rising interest rates and rising gas prices are beginning to put the brakes on the U.S. economy." Mason laid out the bad news: "The newest numbers, just 75,000 jobs were added to the economy last month, well below forecasts. Manufacturing lost 14,000 jobs. But retail took the biggest hit, losing more than 27,000" and “the other hammer to the economy came from the once-booming construction sector. It came to a standstill in May.” Mason concluded with his own domino theory: "One major builder reported a nearly 30 percent drop in new orders for the past two months. Now that ripples right through the economy. Buying slows, then building slows, then hiring slows. And that, Russ, is why the economy is slowing."

On NBC, in contrast, Anne Thompson noted how “cuts on factory floors and at the country's retailers held back job gains for the second straight month,” but she characterized those as “signs analysts say of an economy that is slowing but not in trouble." Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com, then emphasized how the economy “is throttling back from very rapid growth earlier in the year, but it is still a very strong economy, an economy that will perform well going forward." (Transcripts follow)



It was bound to happen again, but it has been quite a long time. Amazingly, I agree with some journalists on something!
"LONDON (Reuters) - The union representing journalists in the UK and Ireland called on its 40,000 members to boycott all Yahoo Inc. products and services to protest the Internet company's reported actions in China."
I have been angered about this issue for some time.


Original caption to this AP photo: "President Bush answers a reporter's question during his meeting with Rwanda's President Paul Kagame in the Oval Office of the White House Wednesday, May 31, 2006 in Washington."



The host might be different, but the partisan bias is the same.

Norah O'Donnell sat in for Chris Matthews on this evening's Hardball. The first half hour was devoted to a discussion of Haditha, with Norah making frequent allusions to a "failure of leadership" and wondering why President Bush didn't know the facts and disclose them to the press sooner.



On this Morning’s Early Show, co-host Harry Smith turned himself into a one man anti-war protest by delivering a two minute commentary on the loss of life in Iraq and the lack of progress being made.



This just in from Reuters, dateline Las Vegas: "Addressing the annual convention of CBS affiliates, [Katie] Couric predicted that the 'pretentious era' of the evening-news anchor is going to be a thing of the past." The headline, at least on the New York Times website, is "Couric Hopes to End 'Pretentious Era' in News."



Gibson continues media focus on declining Big Three automakers, despite other companies new factories.


The good news: The unemployment rate of 4.6% is the lowest since June 2001.

The not-as-good news: The jobs increase of 75,000 is even smaller than indicated by May's figure alone, as March and April were revised downward by 25,000 and 12,000, respectively. So the net increase in the number of people working is at the end of May is 38,000 than what was originally reported at the end of April.

I don't even have to tell you whether the business press is focusing more energy on the reduction in the unemployment rate or the mediocre jobs number, do I? Typical is MSNBC headlining an FT.com report: "US Employment Growth Stalls in May." (New Media's Drudge, by contrast, has focused on the positive with a simple headline "4.6%" since the BLS release until the time of this post.)

So how about some perspective? Let's take a look at those who aren't working for a moment. This is from the full Bureau of Labor Statistics announcement today:



Friday’s New York Times profile of NPR star Garrison Keillor (well, American Public Media, to be exact, but heard on many NPR stations) underlines how public broadcasting can be a very lucrative business. On the cusp of Keillor’s "Prairie Home Companion" movie coming out in a week, Times writer Joyce Wadler traveled to St.