Eager to get a jump-start on biased coverage of the next presidential race, on Monday's NBC Today, correspondent Andrea Mitchell salivated over a possible Hillary Clinton run: "Well, the conventions were barely over before politicians in both parties started talking about likely contenders for 2016, and overshadowing all others is the woman who wasn't even there."

Mitchell sympathetically observed: "Hillary has been waiting a long time for her chance to be president, after losing a bitter primary fight to then-Senator Barack Obama four years ago." Mitchell then proclaimed: "She says she has no plans to run, but if she did, some say she would clear the field."

Uh-oh. Has the New York Times hired a new Public Editor that will spend her term criticizing the paper from the left? Less than a week after starting, Margaret Sullivan has already hailed the political wisdom of late left-wing author Gore Vidal while praising a Times "fact-checking" piece that excoriated Republicans. She has also expressed concern on the paper's lack of coverage of liberal fair-pay icon Lilly Ledbetter, while praising a writer for the left-wing online mag Salon. Finally, she discussed a complaint about Times's over-coverage of the latest lousy jobs report, inspired by a former Obama administration economist.

Sullivan, formerly editor for the Buffalo News, last week became the paper's fifth public editor, following Daniel Okrent (who began in October 2003), Byron Calame (May 23, 2005) Clark Hoyt (May 14, 2007), and Arthur Brisbane (August 2010). The Times's public editor position – an in-house newspaper critic who evaluates reader complaints and internal ethical issues – has its roots in the catastrophe of Jayson Blair, who published fake and plagiarized stories in the Times between October 2002 and April 2003.

Joe Scarborough has suggested that Clint Eastwood was drunk when he gave his RNC speech.

Today's Morning Joe opened with a clip of Mitt Romney telling David Gregory that it was a thrill to have  Eastwood speak on his behalf at the RNC, and that he felt Eastwood spoke "from the heart."  Scarborough came on and said that rather than speaking from the heart, Eastwood spoke more "from the bottom of a bottle."  View the video after the jump.

The media are gushing and fawning over new poll numbers showing Barack Obama getting a bounce from the just ended Democratic National Convention putting him four points ahead of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Before they get too cocky, they might want to recall that after his convention ended in 1988, Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis led George H.W. Bush by seventeen points.

The New York Times reported July 26, 1988:

How would the media – which barely noticed the platform dispute at the Democratic convention in which the chair clearly didn’t get the required two-thirds majority from the floor to revise embarrassing platform gaps by adding a reference to God and identifying Jerusalem as the capital of Israel – react if such an incident occurred at the Republican convention?

On FNC’s Fox NewsWatch, Jim Pinkerton (his Twitter) on Saturday outlined his theory of how the news media, particularly the Today show and the New York Times, would have jumped on such an event if it had happened to Republicans. 

“Writers have been bowing to the ‘fact checkers’ as submissively as Barack Obama upon meeting some anti-American dictator,” the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto quipped in a devastating take-down of the rise of the news media’s so-called “fact checkers.”

In “The Pinocchio Press: The bizarre rise of ‘fact checking’ propagandists” posted on Tuesday, the author of the daily “Best of the Web Today” noted “the usual conservative complaint about all this ‘fact checking’ is the same as the conservative complaint about the MSM’s product in general: that it is overwhelmingly biased toward the left.” But, he concluded, “the form amplifies the bias. It gives journalists much freer rein to express their opinions by allowing them to pretend to be rendering authoritative judgments about the facts.”

Guess John Harwood was feeling lucky today.  CNBC's chief Washington correspondent went on the Today show and boldly proclaimed that not only did Clint Eastwood not accomplish his mission with his RNC speech, but that the speech is almost universally viewed by political professionals as "a big blunder, a big set-back for Mitt Romney."

Harwood did not adduce a scintilla of evidence in support of his contention that the speech hurt Romney.  And his universe of pundits apparently does not include people like Jonah Goldberg or Mark Steyn.  View the video after the jump.

After offending religious Americans by appearing to boo God, the Democratic National Convention had the top ranking Catholic official in the country perform the closing Benediction Thursday night. Cardinal Timothy Dolan did the same for the Republicans last week in Tampa Bay, but those delegates didn’t seem to have a problem with a party platform that included God and Jerusalem.

The only networks respectful enough to show the prayer in its entirety without interruption was Fox News, Fox Business and C-SPAN. ABC, CNN, and PBS kept it in background while talking over it. MSNBC completely ignored it, cutting the audio feed to let their pundits share their opinions without distraction. CBS and NBC returned to local news affiliates as soon as he began.  

[See video below.  MP3 audio here.]

Responding to a week of non-stop attacks on his speech to the Republican National Convention last Thursday, Hollywood superstar Clint Eastwood blasted his critics, saying they were “obviously on the left” and that they couldn’t bear to hear him tell the truth about their hero, President Barack Obama.

“President Obama is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people,” Eastwood told the Carmel Pine Cone, the local newspaper in his hometown of Carmel, California. “Romney and Ryan would do a much better job running the country, and that’s what everybody needs to know. I may have irritated a lot of the lefties, but I was aiming for people in the middle.”

Comparing the RNC and DNC conventions on Friday's NBC Today, MSNBC Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough declared a knockout for Democrats: "...if we're going pound for pound, round for round, this wasn't Ali versus Frasier, this was Muhammed Ali versus Chuck Wepner...It was ugly..." The liberal crowd assembled around Scarborough at a bar in Charlotte all cheered and applauded the statement. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Scarborough's boxing reference was to a 1975 fight when Wepner went 15 rounds with the heavyweight champion Ali before losing. On the conventions, he argued that Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton and Joe Biden "all hit home runs...all hit it out of the park," while in Tampa, "you had a Republican convention that was trying to figure out how to love Mitt Romney."

Mercifully, the political conventions have ended.

The political press will keep buzzing over whether Clint Eastwood's unconventional speech helped or hurt Mitt Romney and whether the snafu over Israel and God in the Democratic platform will do any lasting damage to President Obama. Republican reporters will think former President Clinton talked too long, and Democrats will note that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie talked more about himself than about Romney.

Last week in Tampa, CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley and NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, both hit Ann Romney with a pointed political contention from the left, but tonight (Thursday) in Charlotte, neither challenged Michelle Obama with any political argument forwarded by conservatives.

Williams posed a long-winded question about the Obama daughters and cued up the First Lady to assess a New York Times reporter’s take that President Obama is “‘a proud yet humbled President, a confident yet scarred President, a dreamer mugged by reality.’ Does that resemble the man you know?”