The Nation magazine is trying to soft sell the election in California's 50th District of Republican Brian Bilbray who is now replacing disgraced Republican, Randy "Duke" Cunningham. And they aren’t the only one’s trying to blow off the importance to the Democratic Party’s immediate future at the polls that this election might portend.

A Republican won a special congressional election in Southern California/> yesterday – so why does the Times make it sound as if the Republicans got beat?

While considerable attention focuses on Ann Coulter's more superficial charms, from a conservative perspective Ann's real beauty is her absolute refusal to buy into liberal logic, no matter how pervasive. That independence of mind was on display this morning during her 'Today' interview with Matt Lauer.

As Mark already noted, NBC’s “Today” hit the Federal Marriage Amendment talk this week as a blatant pandering move to conservatives. MRC's Geoff Dickens reported that this was how Matt Lauer began Monday's show: “Good morning. Wedded blitz: President Bush and Senate conservatives kick off an effort today to ban gay marriage,but is it a marriage of political convenience?"

Not even their liberal media colleagues are buying ABC’s May 24 hit piece on House Speaker Denny Hastert in which Brian Ross insisted that “federal officials tell us the congressional bribery investigation now includes the Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert,” and "Justice Department officials describe the 64-year-old Illinois Republican as very much in the mix of the corruption investigation.” On Inside Washington aired Friday night on W

Quick, name the two Congressmen who were convicted of corruption this year and sent to the slammer.  Bet you came up with Duke Cunningham (R-Calif.) like a shot.  But who was the other one?

My friend John Fogle, a fine writer, ran an eye-opening comparison in the Hendersonville Times-News today.  It names the other crooked Congressman.  The other one, who now resides in the same federal penitentiary as Cunningham, is Rep. Frank Ballance (D-NC).  Here's the comparison of the national press coverage of these two convicts:

For the second day running, Chris Matthews has run a Hardball segment entitled "Does Hill Fit the Bill?" It's his way of asking whether Hillary Clinton would make a good presidential candidate, and, presumably, by play-on-words, whether she's up to the political standard set by Bill.

While Matthews hasn't squarely answered his own question, he clearly seems skeptical about Hillary's personal and political qualities.

A bit of political gender-bending on this morning's Today, as ostensibly conservative radio talk show host Michael Smerconish called for a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq while the normally hyper-partisan James Carville did anything but ride to the defense of his fellow Democrat, Congressman William Jefferson, apparently caught with his hand in a $100G cookie jar.

Still wondering if there really is a liberal media bias? Not convinced yet? Well, a recently released story by Ron Fournier of the Associated Press may change your mind.

In an article entitled “Democrats Eye November Landslide,” Fournier comes across more as a professional Democratic pollster than a supposedly impartial journalist. As amazing as it might seem, the article began: “Republicans are three steps from a November shellacking each a grim possibility if habitually divided Democrats get their acts together.”

Unfortunately, the cheerleading was just beginning:

“First step: Voters must focus on the national landscape on Nov. 7 rather than local issues and personalities that usually dominate midterm elections.

“That would sting Republicans, who trail badly in national polls.”

Convinced yet? Well, here are paragraphs four and five:

On Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume, a veteran of ABC News, chided his former employer: “ABC News came out with this story, worded the way it was. 'Included in the investigation,' ‘in the mix of the investigation,' has an unmistakable implication, and that is the guy's under investigation. We have now had an absolutely unequivocal denial of that, not only from the Justice Department at one level, but when this business about what well, what about being 'in the mix' came along, Paul McNulty, the U.S. Attorney, came out and denied that as well. This looks like a bad story. They led their newscast with it. The implication was unmistakable. They ought to back off this story, and the sooner the better."

CNN's Howard Kurtz, on Sunday morning's Reliable Sources, raised the accuracy of the story with Linda Douglass who covered Capitol Hill for ABC News until the end of 2005: "Did ABC overplay that story?" Douglass was reluctant to lambast her ex-colleagues, but her disagreement with their news judgment was clear: "Well, I think leading with it was a controversial decision, is what I would say. And I think that saying he was part of the investigation, if in fact his name just came up, was, was a phrase you might want to revisit." (Transcripts, and a link to video of the Ross story, follow)

Washington Post reporter Howard Kurtz demonstrated on Friday how isolated ABC is on their embarrassing assertion that Speaker Dennis Hastert is "in the mix" of a federal corruption probe, called "potentially seismic" by former Clinton toady George Stephanopoulos:

As we wait for ABC to retract its strange Wednesday night leadoff story asserting Speaker Dennis Hastert was "included" in a federal bribery probe (and ex-Clinton flack George Stephanopoulos called it "potentially seismic"), it is quite obvious there is some serious liberal bias by placement here. The Hastert claims led "World News Tonight" on Wednesday.