MSNBC reported this afternoon that Max Baucus is "blasting right-wing websites like Drudge and NewsBusters" for suggesting he was drunk on the Senate floor during the health care debate.  See P.J. Gladnick's Bizarre Baucus Behavior on Senate Floor Ignored by MSM.

But MSNBC did the Montana senator no favors:

1. it used his name in the same sentence with a variation on the word "blasted," and
2. what's worse, it played a clip from Baucus', um, tired and emotional floor speech.
View the video and judge for yourself.  

On Sunday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Chris Jansing filed an unusual report which took a sympathetic look at California taxpayers who are having trouble affording a recent increase in the amount of taxes withheld from their paychecks, as she described the situation as taxpayers "footing the government an interest-free loan, and a lot of people aren't happy about it."

The NBC correspondent used several soundbites of average Californians -- one man even earning minimum wage -- who complained about the situation, with one man comparing the government to a "mafia," and another seeing the government as being like children who think their parents are an endless source of money.

After the winner of "American Idol" is crowned, the appropriate action is to congratulate the newly crowned Idol on his success. Yet on May 21 media focus was clearly elsewhere. That day, reports on all three networks' morning broadcasts, marveled at how Kris Allen beat Adam Lambert and gave unusual attention to contestants who did not win, but are still successful, leaving little doubt that these hosts and reporters believe something wasn't right about Allen's victory.

Allen and Lambert are very different. Allen, a married twenty-three year old, is a college student from Arkansas. He grew throughout the season as a performer and was often labeled as humble. Lambert, on the hand, was an edgy performer who has become known for his "guyliner," or extensive use of black eyeliner. Although he was a frontrunner and often praised by the judges, his sexuality was often questioned, especially after photos hit the Web in which he appeared to be kissing another man.

NBC News went out of its way this time to show how the American public relies on government Dec. 10 by focusing on the public library in it's "Hard Times" series.

The broadcast examined the hardships public libraries are facing in the economic downturn - at a time when people are flocking to libraries instead of the local bookstore.

"These tough economic times, as we have been saying, have forced a lot of people to find new ways of doing things to save money," "Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams said. "And listen to this next one - with money so tight, the costs of books has people turning to a place where you can actually get books free, then return them for the next user. The library business, it seems, is booming. But now they could use some help in this economy."

NBC correspondent Chris Jansing interviewed a librarian that detected an uptick in "wild" behavior at one library - which Jansing deemed a result of the economic downturn.

For the third weekday as Barack Obama vacations in Hawaii, John McCain on the campaign trail received more hostile coverage from the broadcast network evening newscasts -- to the extent they bothered to cover the presidential campaign. In a full story on CBS, Dean Reynolds recalled how McCain promised “to conduct a respectful campaign,” but citing McCain's celebrity ad, charged “now it frequently seems respect takes a backseat to ridicule.”

NBC, which also didn't touch the campaign on Monday or Tuesday, ignored it again Wednesday, though in a story on TV ads during the Olympics Chris Jansing asserted the Obama ads deliver “optimism and hope” while McCain's have a “more negative tone.” For the first time this week, ABC skipped the campaign, but anchor Charles Gibson raised Obama's “windfall profits” proposal with Exxon Mobil's chief: “When the public sees the kind of profits that the oil companies are making, isn't it fair that they wonder, 'why not?'”

For the rest of the campaign, the Media Research Center will each Tuesday announce its picks for the “Worst of the Week,” meaning the most egregious, horrendous and stupefying liberal bias of Campaign 2008. This week, the spotlight shines on those journalists who rushed to the side of Barack Obama after his minister’s radical comments, and NBC’s ridiculous effort to hype bad economic news [audio/video links below fold]:

Feeling Obama’s Pain. After Barack Obama’s former pastor’s radical remarks at the National Press Club, liberal journalists rallied around the Democratic candidate. Hours after Jeremiah Wright spoke on April 28, NBC’s Brian Williams emphasized those who deemed it a "circus" and a "sideshow," as his NBC Nightly News highlighted the Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart: "Unfortunately, the victim in all of this is going to be Senator Obama’s campaign."

On the day the government reported a tenth of a point drop in the unemployment rate and two days after news of a second straight quarter of 0.6 percent GDP growth proved the nation is not in a recession, Friday's NBC Nightly News delivered a ridiculously shallow story, based on two anecdotes and a couple of advocates, to prove rising prices are forcing the elderly out of their homes and into vans and soup kitchens. Anchor Brian Williams promised “an interesting the toll that rising prices, of things like gas and food, is taking on Americans living on fixed incomes.” [audio available here]

Chris Jansing [that's her by the van] traveled to Northridge, California, just north of Los Angeles, where she found 82-year-old Betty Weinstein, stunned by a water bill, turning to a second reverse mortgage to stay in her home. But she at least still has a home. Jansing then highlighted an even sadder case:

Rising rents forced Scott and Kate Bishop to move out of this blue house and into their van, sleeping on a mattress in the back.
But it got worse: “And now high food costs have meant, for first time in their lives, the Bishops have gone hungry.” Jansing cited no source for her claims as she asserted: “Soup kitchens and food banks are seeing record numbers of seniors asking for help for the first time in their lives,” but “now donations here are down as middle class donors struggle to feed their own families.

They're starting to get it. The media are figuring out government meddling in U.S. energy policy is taking a toll on the American economy.

On February 20, the Labor Department reported that the Consumer Price Index (CPI), a key inflation reading, rose 0.4 percent in January, matching December's rise. Why? Increased food costs because corn is being used for ethanol.

"Farmers are replacing wheat fields with corn to meet the demand for alternative fuel, but that means higher flour prices - and in one Pennsylvania pizza shop, more expensive pies," NBC News correspondent Chris Jansing said on the February 27 "NBC Nightly News."