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Islamic terrorists were suspected in the terrorist bombings that just killed dozens in Russia.  But reporters at ABC, NBC and CBS went out of their way to avoid the obvious connection or even to call the suspects “terrorists,” preferring instead the squishy word “militant.”

Friday, Sunday and Monday, three separate suicide bombings left at least 37 people dead in the Volgograd and Pyatigorsk, Russia. In October, a female suicide bomber killed 5 people on a bus in Volgograd. U.S. officials and terrorism experts believe these attacks are related instances tied to an Islamic Chechen rebel leader, Doku Umarov, who threatened of attacks in the area last summer. Volgograd, formerly Stalingrad, is close to Sochi, the site for the upcoming Winter Olympics and a particular target for the attacks.


In an earlier post today (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted that reporters at Politico and CNNMoney.com seemed mystified at a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll showing that 68 percent of Americans believe the economy is in poor shape, and that over half believe it will still be that way a year from now.

One reason for their incredulity is that, perhaps deliberately, they haven't been paying attention to household income data compiled monthly by ex-Census Bureau workers at Sentier Research. Sentier's latest report covering November came out today. It shows that annualized inflation-adjusted median household income is still more than 7 percent below where it was when Barack Obama took office in Janaury 2009, and that it's gone nowhere in the 23 months since December 2011. At an index value of 92.7, November's figure is virtually the same as it was in December 2011 (92.8).


Appearing as a panel member on the Monday, December 30, PoliticsNation on MSNBC to help assign the annual "Revvy" awards for the year 2013, MSNBC contributor Jimmy Williams ranted that Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz is "the biggest fraud to have ever walked in the United States Senate," and went on to bizarrely claim that Cruz "wasn't supposed to be elected," even though the Texas Republican not only won the Republican runoff with over 56 percent of the vote, but even the general election by about the same percentage, beating the Democrat by 16 points.

After Sharpton asked for his choice of "biggest loser of the year," Williams began:


CBS must have decided that their 2014 New Year’s resolution was to be a little nicer to President Obama. Acting more as a White House stenographer than an actual journalist, CBS News’s Jan Crawford went to bat for the Obama Administration on December 30th, doing her best to spin a positive light on the disastrous ObamaCare rollout.   

In a piece that was better suited for MSNBC, fill-in anchor Maurice DuBois hyped the White House line that, “enrollment for healthcare insurance under ObamaCare are picking up.” In total, the CBS report was no more than a White House press release that could have come directly from White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s mouth.


Antarctic ice trapped a ship full of scientists on a climate change expedition. Yet, 96 percent of network news reports about the stranded researchers ignored climate change entirely. The ship has been stuck since Christmas morning.

The broadcast networks mostly ignored the reason the Russian ship, Akademic Shokalskiy, was on its way to Antarctica. Twenty-five out of 26 stories (96 percent) on the network morning and evening news shows since Dec. 25 failed to mention climate change had anything to do with the expedition.


On special edition of MSNBC's PoliticsNation on Monday in which a panel of MSNBC regulars selected awards for the year 2013, MSNBC contributor Joy Reid asserted that the "Knockout Game" was the "most overrated story of the year," as she complained that conservatives "went absolutely ballistic" and "wanted[ed] to stoke issues of race."

MSNBC contributor Jimmy Williams then brought up the IRS scandal in which conservative organizations were given closer scrutiny before the 2012 elections, with Williams charging, "Ain't nothing there. Never was, never will be," and with fellow panel member Krystal Ball chiming in that "It's not even a scandal."


The helicopter rescue crew is coming to take me away, ha-haaa!
They're coming to take me away, ho-ho, hee-hee, ha-haaa!
To the funny farm. Where I can find banana peanut butter milkshakes sprinkled with delicious carbon credits.
We thought it was a joke and so we laughed, we laughed when I had said that proving global warming had trapped us in ice and that I'm going MAD!!!

And U.K. Guardian reporter Laurence Topham has proclaimed himself going mad (along with his craving for banana peanut butter milkshakes) in this rather morose video diary in which he discovers that that the adventure to the Antarctic to report on "climate change" has brutally backfired to the extent of causing him to go stir crazy. Watch the video below and note the strange similarity with the mood of the Jack Nicholson character in "The Shining."


For general discussion and comment...


One thing the establishment press will not be celebrating this evening as we head into 2014 is the fact that they have been unable to convince the American people that the economy has been and will continue to be on the rebound.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released on Friday, which "oddly enough" (no, not really) is not being touted at ORC's related press release web page, shows that 68 percent of Americans believe the economy is in poor shape. Over half expect the economy to be in that condition a year from now. This came as somewhat of a surprise to Lucy McCalmont at the Politico and Gregory Wallace at CNNMoney.com.


Wrapping up the Media Research Center’s “Best Notable Quotables of 2013,” it's time to present the “Quote of the Year” for 2013, and the top two runners-up, as selected by our panel of judges.

Past “winners” include Discover magazine's Melissa Lafsky, who took the prize in 2009 for this reflection on Mary Jo Kopechne, who drowned in the back seat of Senator Ted Kennedy's car four decades earlier: “[One wonders what] Mary Jo Kopechne would have had to say about Ted’s death, and what she’d have thought of the life and career that are being (rightfully) heralded. Who knows — maybe she’d feel it was worth it.”

In 1998, then-Time contributor Nina Burleigh was recognized for declaring how she “would be happy to give him [Bill Clinton] a blow job just to thank him for keeping abortion legal. I think American women should be lining up with their presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude for keeping the theocracy off our backs.” (This year’s winners and corresponding videos after the jump.)


MSNBC weekend host Melissa Harris-Perry lined up a panel of alleged comedians to mock the Christmas picture Mitt Romney posted on Twitter. In a segment with the on-screen question "What's So Funny About 2013?" Harris-Perry announced: “This is the Romney family. And, of course, there on Governor Romney’s knee is his adopted grandson, who is an African-American, an adopted African-American child, Kieran Romney.”

To which comedian and actress Pia Glenn sang the old Sesame Street ditty “One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just isn’t the same … “And that little baby, front and center, would be the one.” Laughter ensued. The black website NewsOne reports Glenn issued sincere apologies on Twitter for her insensitivity to transracial adoptions. (Video below)


In a December 27 blog post, New York Times columnist and incurable Keynesian economist Paul Krugman capitalized on the problems United Parcel Service and to a lesser extent Fedex had in delivering Christmas packages on time: "Can’t the private sector do anything right?"

While I recognize that there's sarcasm in his question, Krugman then went on to try to make HealthCare.gov's problems appear analogous: "[M]any pundits were quick to declare healthcare.gov’s problems evidence of the fundamental, irretrievable incompetence of government, and as an omen of Obamacare’s inevitable collapse. ... (But) none of these people are making similar claims about UPS or Amazon." Since the Nobel Economics laureate appears to be too dense to understand the differences between the two situations, Robert P. Murphy, "the author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism," explained many of them in a Sunday post at the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada's web site (bolds are mine throughout this post):


The culture website Vulture.com is revisiting “2013's most acclaimed movies” and the screenwriters who wrote them. For some reason, they singled out “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” and how scripter Danny Strong had to make up scenes that showed Reagan to be cruelly indifferent to the plight of South African blacks under apartheid.

Strong and Daniels ignored the actual historical record as liberal historian Douglas Brinkley included that in his book The Reagan Diaries, page 142. Reagan wrote: “Pres. Kaunda of Zambia arrived. A good meeting & lunch. I think he feels good about the trip. We made clear we detest Apartheid but believe we can do better with S. Africa by persuasion.”


Michael Palin of the Monty Python comedy troupe was interviewed by London's Daily Mail as the Python gang plans a lucrative reunion, and he announced that there's no way Islam could be mocked today in the way Python ripped into Catholicism and Christianity in their heyday in films like "The Life of Brian" and "The Meaning of Life" (with its "Every Sperm Is Sacred" satire).

He said: ‘Religion is more difficult to talk about. I don’t think we could do 'Life of Brian' any more. A parody of Islam would be even harder."


Bloomberg Businessweek and others are trying to capitalize on the difficulties United Parcel Service and to a lesser extent Fedex had in delivering packages in time for Christmas to claim that the U.S. Postal Service is coming out of it smelling like a rose ("An Unlikely Star of the Holiday-Shipping Season: The U.S. Postal Service").

Not so fast, people. Let's be extremely generous and take it as a given that the Post Office didn't have any late arrivals, and that it deserves props for delivering 75,000 packages on Christmas Day. It's hard to make an apples-to-apples comparison, but based on the quoted number of packages UPS planned to deliver on Christmas Eve, the private company's package volume, particularly its air package volume, dwarfs that of the Post Office, and would overwhelm it if it tried to pull off what UPS routinely does: