On Friday, the government reported that the economy grew by an annualized 2.5 percent during the first quarter. As I noted in Part 1 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), three establishment press outlets (CNN, Bloomberg, and Reuters) pronounced the result "disappointing" -- but not Martin Crutsinger and Christopher Rugaber at the Associated Press, whose headline read "AFTER NEAR-STALL IN LATE 2012, US ECONOMY PICKS UP," and whose content described the economy as having "quickened its pace" as "the strongest consumer spending in two years fueled a 2.5 percent annual growth rate in the January-March quarter."

It turns out that the AP pair's enthusiasm was not only not shared at other news organizations. It wasn't even shared within AP, as will be seen after the jump.



On Friday morning, Milwaukee County District Attorney, a Democrat, announced that an investigation into illegal campaigning and other illegal acts while current Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was the county's executive had concluded nine days earlier. Three former Walker aides, a political appointee, and two private citizens were sentenced. Two county officials pled guilty to crimes relating to campaigning on government time; two others stole money, one from a not-for-profit group and another from a county commission. One private citizen was sentenced for exceeding campaign contribution limits and laundering contributions; the other pled no contest to importuning a 17 year-old boy.

Walker himself was not charged. A top state Democratic Party official was so angry that he tweeted Jeffrey Dahmer analogies. It is pretty obvious, based on word choices he made in his related writeup, that the Associated Press's Scott Bauer, whose biased coverage of Walker has been clear for at least the past two years (previous NewsBusters posts with his tag are here), was also extremely displeased (bolds and numbered tags are mine):



In what has become a recurring theme on MSNBC, Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough railed against the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) for failing to invite Governor Chris Christie (R-N.J) to the event.  On the February 26 edition of the program the self-described “true conservative” Scarborough slammed CPAC as not being about winning elections, but instead being an echo-chamber that focuses on “hate” and “anger.”

The segment began with liberal co-host Brzezinski expressing shock over the line-up of speakers at CPAC, including Sen.Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, prompting Scarborough to throw out that, “It shows just how sick some elements of the conservative movement are.”  [See video after jump.  MP3 audio here.]



Friday's lead New York Times story celebrated "G.O.P. Governors Providing a Lift For Health Law." The most notable convert: Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who reversed his position this week and announced his support for expanding Medicaid.

The Times' Abby Goodnough and Robert Pear credited Scott for the embrace of Obama-care (via "proponents" who "say that doing so will not only save lives, but also create jobs and stimulate the economy") and also found a convenient "moral dimension" in the call by Catholic bishops to expand the Medicaid program, a dimension the paper never found when the Church was opposing the Obama-care requirement that religion institutions provide contraception coverage.



Kansas conservatism, red in tooth and claw.? New York Times reporter John Eligon reported from Topeka on the latest disturbing sign of heartland conservatism: "Kansas' Governor and G.O.P. Seek to Eliminate Income Tax." Text box: "Skeptics see a path to economic devastation in a conservative bid."

Eligon actually led off with an accurate description of President Obama's "expansive liberal agenda," but then went overwrought, taking the "starkest view of the crimson ideology" of Republicans.



New York Times Atlanta bureau chief Kim Severson sounded worried about the "controversial" conservatives taking over the North Carolina governorship in "G.O.P.'s Full Control in Long-Moderate North Carolina May Leave Lasting Stamp," seeing "an increasingly conservative agenda" since Barack Obama won the state in 2008.

With a Republican newly elected as governor and a Republican-controlled legislature, North Carolina, long a politically moderate player in the South, will soon have its most conservative government in a century.



Following Senator Jim DeMint’s abrupt resignation to run The Heritage Foundation, much has been made over who South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley might name to replace him.  One name mentioned is that of African American Congressman Tim Scott,  a prospect which prompted MSNBC anchor Richard Lui to sneer: "... Is the South ready for a black Senator?"

On Friday’s MSNBC Live, Lui baited fellow MSNBCer Melissa Harris-Perry into trashing the South as intolerant. Surprisingly, she did not fall into this trap.  [See video below page break.  MP3 audio here.]



Entering the 2012 election cycle, Republican governors were in charge of 29 of the nation's 50 states. After the election, their number rose to 30. Though there were disappointments, my trusty spin-free calculator tells me that's a net pickup of one.

The sycophantic leftists at the Politico apparently see things differently, judging by the following email I received about Gov. Peter Shumlin early this evening:



Following Dan Rather’s disgraceful exit as anchor of the CBS Evening News, it seems as though he has found a new home away from home, MSNBC. 

Appearing on Thursday’s The Rachel Maddow Show, Rather was brought on to offer his, in the words of Rachel Maddow, “much-welcomed perspective” on the prospects of post-election bipartisanship in Congress.  [See video below break.  MP3 audio here.]



Over the past several months, MSNBC has been on a tirade criticizing attempts by mostly Republican state legislatures to ensure voting integrity by requiring a photo ID in order to vote. 

As NewsBusters has documented, one of the leaders of the anti-ID movement is none other than the host of the 6 p.m. Eastern program Politics Nation, the Rev. Al Sharpton, who on numerous occasions has suggested that such laws are thinly-veiled, racially animated attempts to depress minorities of their right to vote.  [See video below break.]



The liberal media's mission to smear the Koch brothers and Americans For Prosperity, one of the advocacy groups they support, continues.

On Wednesday, the Huffington Post published an article with the inflammatory headline "Americans For Prosperity Distributes Ads Promoting Pro-Slavery Arkansas Legislators":



Continuing with its obsession over voter ID laws, MSNBC once again treated viewers to a one-sided segment to trash Republican efforts to maintain voter integrity.  Speaking with MSNBC’s Richard Lui on Wednesday, Congressman and civil rights activist John Lewis (D-GA) slammed GOP voting efforts as racist, suggesting the success in numerous states in passing these laws showed Americans have forgotten the lessons of the civil rights movement.

Lewis, who was brutally beaten in Selma, Alabama, as a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, is essentially put forward as an infallible expert on voting issues in the eyes of MSNBC.  Lui offered up a softball interview, pulling at the heartstrings of his audience by saying: