The New York Times provided big play to Tuesday’s special congressional election to fill New York's 26th congressional district near Buffalo, a race in which Democrat Kathy Hochul upset Republican Jane Corwin. Reporter Raymond Hernandez was quick to assume this one special race spells bad news for Republican plans to reform Medicare, and their prospects in the national elections 18 months away. But how does the Times typically react when Republicans win special and off-year elections?

The stack of headlines to Wednesday’s off-lead story by the conservative-hostile Hernandez set the tone: "Gaining Upset, Democrat Wins New York Seat -- Blow to National G.O.P. -- Victor in House Contest Fought a Republican Plan on Medicare."

Democrats scored an upset in one of New York’s most conservative Congressional districts on Tuesday, dealing a blow to the national Republican Party in a race that largely turned on the party’s plan to overhaul Medicare.

The results set off elation among Democrats and soul-searching among Republicans, who questioned whether they should rethink their party’s commitment to the Medicare plan, which appears to have become a liability heading into the 2012 elections.


All three network morning shows on Wednesday cheered Democrat Kathy Hochul winning the special election in New York's 26th congressional district and framed the outcome as a rejection of Republican plans to reform Medicare. On NBC's Today, news reporter Ann Curry proclaimed: "The race hinged on Hochul's opposition to a Republican-led plan to make deep cuts in Medicare." [Audio available here]

On ABC's Good Morning America, news reporter Josh Elliot declared Hochul's win to be "a seismic event in the political world" and a "shocking upset." Like Curry, he declared: "The GOP candidate lost after backing that Republican plan to cut billions from Medicare." In reality, the Republican budget plan increases Medicare spending from $563 billion to $953 billion ten years from now. That’s an increase of nearly 70%.

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Charles Krauthammer said Tuesday that the press are so in bed with President Obama that they are actually supporting Democrat lies about Medicare and Congressman Paul Ryan's (R-Wisc.) plan to save it.

Appearing on the "O'Reilly Factor," the syndicated columnist also told the host that Fox News is "extremely powerful" because it "broke the monopoly that liberals had on all the media for about 30 years" (video follows with transcript and commentary):



In an effort to counteract tactics that some Republicans fear could cost the GOP electoral victories in 2012, Rep. Paul Ryan lays out the facts behind his proposed budget, which he calls the "Path to Prosperity," in a follow-up to his first video on the plan. Check out the new one after the break, and let us know what you think.



Joe Scarborough made a puzzling comment today that, to put it generously, could use some clarification.

On MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Scarborough argued that Rep. Paul Ryan's 2012 budget plan will fail because "fundamentally changing" Medicare is too extreme.

But in a previous show, the morning host sang a remarkably different tune.



This morning, Associated Press reporters Ricardo Alonso Zaldivar and Stephen Ohlemacher went back to an AP-GfK poll yours truly thoroughly discredited on May 11 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog). That's when the AP's Liz Sidoti and Jennifer Agiesta laughably claimed that President Obama's approval had jumped to 60%.

This time, Alonso-Zaldivar and Ohlemacher didn't "merely" revisit a poll with an absurd 46%-29%-4% Democrat-Republican-Independent makeup (after classifying leaners). They went further, proving that my characterization of the AP's polling partnership with GfK North America in a subsequent May 16 column as "Absolutely Pathetic Garbage for Koolaiders," which makes an utter mockery of the AP's “Statement of News Values and Principles," was in no way over the top.  The AP pair went even further  this morning by misrepresenting the relevant questions on Medicare and Social Security in their headline and opening paragraph:



NBC's David Gregory must have thought he had performed another gotcha on a prominent Republican Sunday when he cited a poll to his "Meet the Press" guest Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) finding people aren't interested in reducing Medicare spending in order to balance the budget.

Without skipping a beat, Ryan marvelously educated his host saying, "I don't consult polls to tell me what my principles are or what our policies should be. Leaders change the polls" (video follows with transcript and commentary):



If you had any questions as to why Dylan Ratigan belongs on MSNBC rather than CNBC they were all answered Friday night.

Appearing on HBO's "Real Time," Ratigan presented himself as a far-left commentator telling the audience of devout liberals, "This entire rhetoric machine from the Republican Party is predicated on an abandonment of arithmetic and fact" (video follows with transcript and commentary):



Wow, talk about digging deep.

Then again, Rachel Maddow's critique of Congressman Paul Ryan's proposed reform of Medicare did extend beyond the word "kill." It also included the words "killed" and "killing."

Just how the GOP plan does this Maddow didn't say on her MSNBC show last night, what with inconvenient facts lying in wait to undermine her allegation of homicide.

She decided instead to repeat the same thing over and over, nine times in the first 11 minutes of the program,  as if repetition will make her wishes come true (video after page break) --



Ed Schultz on Thursday mocked Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) as a young, inexperienced kid who's never run a business, never had to meet payroll, and who offered up a radical plan that he doesn’t know the ramifications of.

As the host of the "Ed Show" whined, he clearly missed the irony that these very same things were said about the former junior senator from Illinois prior to Election Day 2008 (video follows with transcript and commentary):



Tuesday’s New York Times featured a rare excursion into print by Timothy Egan, liberal Times reporter turned leftist nytimes.com blogger, excoriating Republicans like Rep. Paul Ryan and the "Tea Party political illiterates" as greed-heads for wanting to reform the bankrupt Medicare system: "The Need for Greed."

The bet was audacious from the beginning, and given the miserable, low-down tenor of contemporary politics, not unfathomable: Could you divide the country between greedy geezers and everyone else as a way to radically alter the social contract?
But in order for the Republican plan to turn Medicare, one of most popular government programs in history, into a much-diminished voucher system, the greed card had to work.


When an admittedly liberal Nobel laureate in economics thinks trying to balance the budget is holding America hostage, one has to wonder if there are any adults remaining on the left side of the aisle.

Consider what New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote Monday: