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Imagine that Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank were profiling a Democrat who was as steadfastly liberal as Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama is conservative. The column virtually writes itself. We can imagine the liberal described as "putting principle above expediency", "courageous," perhaps even "speaking truth to power."

But when it comes to a conservative such as Sessions, that same adherence to principle is cast in the most negative light. Consider these excerpts from Milbank's column of today, Forget Politics. This Battle Is Personal. which focuses on Sessions' stand on immigration:

  • "Jeff Sessions sure knows how to nurse a grudge."
  • "Now he is turning his prodigious anger on legislation."
  • "A stream of epithets about the legislation flowed from his mouth."
  • "He argues his points not with the courtly Southern tones of the late senator Howell Heflin (D), his predecessor, but with the harsh twang of a country tough -- which, in a sense, he is."

On Tuesday, the New York Times published a delicate article attempting to calculate how much time Bill and Hillary Clinton spend together these days and whether their strange marriage will have negative impact on her ambitions to run for president, as some Democrats worry. (The Times headline called the subject a "delicate dance.") Only Democrats, aides, and friends were quoted.

A half hour after championing Al Gore's "comeback" on Tuesday's Good Morning America (see this earlier NewsBusters item), the show celebrated the Dixie Chicks and their new album, treating them as victims for the negative reaction to the lead singer's 2003 charge, from overseas, that she was "ashamed" to be from the same state as President Bush.

Once again Harry Smith reported from Baghdad for this morning’s Early Show. This morning, his focus was talking with ordinary Iraqis about their life during the war, and Harry Smith may have once again been surprised when he heard one Iraqi thank America and all Americans who supported the war for what they did for Iraq. Rene Syler opened this segment:

On the same morning that Katie Couric was twinkling and giggling over Al Gore in some flowery garden, her co-host Matt Lauer took another senator from Tennessee to task: Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. Near the end of the interview, Lauer pressed Frist on how "critics" say his choice of legislative issues coming up shows he's "pandering to the conservative base" for a potential presidential campaign:

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Media are a broken record themselves when reporting gas prices, from erroneous highs to non-existent price gouging.

Anchor bemoans results but weeks earlier called for higher gas prices with gas tax hikes.

Only CBS reported $400M Fannie Mae fine, while Clinton administration connections of top corporate officers were omitted.

At National Review Online today, Stephen Spruiell of NRO's Media Blog reviews a new book charging the liberal media are a pound full of poodles for the White House. It's like a modern-day reworking of Mark Hertsgaard's Reagan-era tract On Bended Knee -- the last time an author wrote a laugh-out-loud expose of the supposedly wimpy/conservative national media sucking up to a president:

As his environmental apocalypse "documentary" makes its debut in New York and Los Angeles today, there's nothing "inconvenient" standing in the way of Al Gore's crusade in the New York Times.

After successfully putting the kibosh on a "South Park" episode that made fun of scientology and himself, actor Tom Cruise has expanded his censorship efforts overseas where he's succeeded in getting the same episode pulled in the U.K.:

The South Park episode "Trapped In the Closet," which mocks actor Tom Cruise's rumored homosexuality as well as his belief in the controversial religion Scientology, has finally been seen by the English. The episode had been banned from UK broadcaster Channel 4 after Cruise had complained.

According to the World Entertainment News Network, London's National Film Theater screened the episode on Monday, May 15. After the showing, South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker spoke about the necessity of free speech. The event concluded with free copies of the episode being handed out to attendees.

In regards to possible action by the litigious Cruise, a spokesman for the Theater said, "If we were charging [for tickets] there may have been legal problems, but it was a free event, so it should be fine."

Patriotic American users of Microsoft's Hotmail service may be surprised when trying to obtain an email address. The company does not allow new users to sign up for a user name containing the word "american."

At first glance, it seemed that Hotmail is taking precaution to limit phishing attempts which often rely on official-sounding addresses to trick recipients into paying money to people posing as governmental entities. However, my quick check showed that names with "canadian," "francais," "german," "australian," "english," and "deutsch," are all allowed.

Let's imagine that instead of Al Gore, Katie Couric's guest this morning was a Republican presidential hopeful whose message on the environment was that we should not let alarmism push us into measures that would undermine our economy and way of life. Could you ever - ever! - imagine Katie flashing at him the 10,000 megawatt smile she has on display here for Al?

On Tuesday afternoon, we posted our latest Special Report on religion and the news media, titled The Trashing of the Christ: Contrasts In Media Treatment of The DaVinci Code and The Passion. Both films received an extraordinary amount of network TV news attention before they were released, but we found that much of the Code coverage was gooey and giddy, with lots of talk from network stars about how they "couldn't wait" to see it.