When's the last time you saw an MSMer dispute a politician on the tenets of his own faith? It happened today on Good Morning America when George Stephanopoulos challenged Mitt Romney's depiction of a tenet of Mormonism.

Weekend GMA host Kate Snow noted to the "This Week" host that at a Mitt Romney event Friday someone called out to the candidate that he didn't "know the Lord." Snow asked George to what extent Romney's Mormonism might be a "big hurdle" for him.

Stephanopoulos: "Polls certainly show that it is. He faces a lot of skepticism from evangelical Christians. When I spoke with him, I asked him how Muslims might perceive the Mormon belief that Jesus will return to the United States and reign personally here for a thousand years."

GMA then rolled a clip of Romney saying the following: "Our belief is just like it says in the Bible, that the Messiah will come to Jerusalem, stand on the Mount of Olives, and the Mount of Olives will be a place where there's a great gathering, and so forth. It's the same as the other Christian tradition."

Stephanopoulos: "Actually, we checked in with a Mormon spokesman who said that's not exactly true. They believe the New Jerusalem is here in the United States, in Missouri, and that's where Jesus is going to come."

View video here.


It's one thing for Chip Reid or David Gregory to give Mitt Romney a hard time over his abortion position change, as I documented here and here. But on this evening's Hardball, Chris Matthews took it to a fiery new level, and Pat Buchanan got into the act.

Matthews: "This is like the kind of conversions you had in Spain in the old bad days where if you were Jewish, you were Christian the next day or you were burned alive!"

The screencap shows Chris Matthews giving Pat an approving finger as the paleo-con posed and answered his own question:

"Do I believe these are sincere, honest conversions of Rudy or Romney? In my judgment, probably not. I think they're changing their positions for political reasons. And you either accept that or you take the alternative which may be Hillary Rodham Clinton."


As we noted here, within minutes of Mitt Romney having announced his candidacy this morning, MSNBC, in the person of Chip Reid, branded him "far right."

David Gregory has now made it a one-two punch. A bit later on MSNBC, Gregory played clips from 1994 of Romney expressing pro-choice and pro-gay rights views. Noting Romney's subsequent change to a pro-life position, Gregory expressed this opinion, in the guise of a question, to his two MSM guests:

"With all respect to Governor Romney, is anybody really going to buy that, buy the timing of that, that that was some genuine change of heart?"

Words don't do justice to the contemptuousness of Gregory's tone. View the video here.



Everyone remembers how on the day Barack Obama announced his presidential candidacy, the MSM was awash with stories of how he is on the "far left" of social issues. Or not.

Not only does Obama support partial birth abortion, as an Illinois state senator he twice voted against the Born Alive Infants Protection Act. Read the disturbing details here. Though Obama's record clearly puts him to the extreme port side of the political spectrum on social issues, I challenge readers to cite any MSM description of Obama as "far left."

But it's a whole different MSM ball-game when it comes to labelling Republicans. Literally within minutes of his official announcement this morning, MNSBC applied the "far right" tag to Mitt Romney. MSNBC host Chip Reid's had as his guest to kibitz on the announcement former Wonkette Ana Marie Cox, who according to her Wikipedia entry was once an editor of an online Marxist magazine.

View video here.

Said Reid: "He's a flip-flopper. He was pro-choice, and he was to the left of Ted Kennedy on gay rights in Massachusetts, and now he's to the far right."


Ted Kennedy is a moderate.

Don't believe me? Ask the Boston Globe. Better put, have a gander at the paper's editorial cartoon of today. What does the Globe mean by saying that Mitt Romney "once worshipped at the church of moderation"? No doubt the Globe has in mind Mitt's glory days of 1994, campaigning against Ted Kennedy for his Senate seat.


In her Sunday Ombudsman column in the Washington Post, Deborah Howell sounds more like a journalist's advocate than a reader's advocate, lamenting that reporters draw complaints about covering a protest no matter what:  "Organizers often inflate the number of participants, and there will be complaints no matter how a demonstration is covered or displayed." Howell was also quick to defend the divergence in Post coverage of the March for Life vs.



How far will reporters go to get a juicy story: How low will they go? How many rules will they break? How many sacred cows will they make into hamburger? Reporter Riccardo Bocca of L'Espresso is attracting worldwide attention from Catholic media outlets and bloggers. Bocca stealthily visited confessionals at 24 Catholic churches in Rome, Turin, Naples, Milan and Palermo, and lied to each priest he visited, manufacturing false confessions for various sins. He said he wanted to show the disparity between what the church teaches and what priests do.



My NewsBusters item last week previewed how Sunday's then-upcoming episode of the L word, Showtime's drama series about lesbians in Los Angeles, would feature the “Unauthorized Abortion of W,” a sculpture of a woman's body with an exposed womb displaying George W. Bush's adult face with each of his hands holding onto a rocket labeled “U.S.


Push Poll: Definition: "A push poll is a political campaign technique in which an individual or organization attempts to influence or alter the view of respondents under the guise of conducting a poll. Push polls are generally viewed as a form of negative campaigning. The term is also sometimes used incorrectly to refer to legitimate polls which test political messages, some of which may be negative.


Sunday's episode of Showtime's drama centered around the lives of lesbians in Los Angeles, the L word, will feature the “Unauthorized Abortion of W,” a sculpture of a woman's body with an exposed womb displaying George W. Bush's adult face with each of his hands holding onto a rocket labeled “U.S. Air Force.” The rockets are angled to suggest they represent forceps. (Showtime is part of CBS.)

In a promo for the January 28 episode, character “Bette Porter,” the dean of a university's art school played by Jennifer Beals, tells a new character played by Marlee Matlin: “I'm bringing one of our biggest donors to tour the studio. There's a radical sculpture.” Through a male interpreter, the deaf Matlin character, whom the L word's Web site describes as “an artist whose work is politically incendiary,” observes: “He's not going to like that piece.” Porter/Beals confirms “no.” Then as a man comes into view, presumably the big donor, the camera quickly pans the figure of Bush in the womb as Matlin explains: “This is called the 'Unauthorized Abortion of W.'”

Video
clip of Showtime's promo for the January 28 episode (45 seconds): Real (1.3 MB) or Windows Media (1.6 MB), plus MP3 audio (275 KB)



It's estimated that well over 100,000 people marched on Washington yesterday for the annual March for Life (Mon. January 22, 2007). The next day, Los Angeles Times stuffed their version of an AP report of the event on the bottom of p.A10 with a modest 410 words.



The Washington Post placed its March for Life story on page A-10 today (making it more of a national than local story), below a story on the Supreme Court striking down a California sentencing law. The account by reporters Michael Alison Chandler and Michelle Boorstein is a respectful recounting of the march and both sides of the abortion debate.