Washington Post media blogger Erik Wemple spends a lot of time picking apart Fox broadcasts, but he was stunned by a Thomas Roberts interview on MSNBC with the new leader of NARAL Pro-Choice America, Ilyse Hogue. She claimed “we were the first out of the gate to call attention to this case.” Like a news butler, Roberts set her up to make that bizarre claim and then moved on to the next publicist's softball.

Wemple shot back: “Having done precisely 3,454 Nexis and Internet search on the Gosnell case, we missed the part where NARAL had led a charge to highlight the alleged atrocities in West Philadelphia.” He kept searching, and NARAL’s new boss kept looking sillier and sillier:



Politico’s Dylan Byers reported “The Daily Beast is dropping Howard Kurtz, the veteran media critic who made headlines this week for his erroneous report about NBA star Jason Collins.” Kurtz erred in suggesting Collins hadn’t been forthcoming about his fiancee, even though he discussed her on both ABC and in the Sports Illustrated cover story that made “history.” Kurtz’s story was retracted on Thursday.

On top of Kurtz losing his $300,000-a-year Beast gig (which started in October of 2010), TV Newser reported “A source at CNN tells TVNewser that Kurtz’s current deal with the cable channel will likely be his last.” The New York Times had a source claiming it wasn't just a Collins thing:



Under pressure from pro-life websites and writers, several national news outlets have reluctantly began covering the trial of ghastly abortionist Kermit Gosnell. Beyond that, a handful of liberal media figures are finally beginning to ask the important question of why such a sensational trial--if it bleeds, it supposedly leads--received almost no attention whatsoever in the national press.

In a scathing piece, Washington Post blogger Melinda Henneberger, a rare pro-life liberal journalist, rounds up some excuses from her colleagues about why they think the media ignored the Gosnell case. One of her co-workers responded that the story of the abortionist’s alleged crimes seemed more of a local news story than a national one. Of course, local crime stories such as the disappearance of Natalee Holloway or the case against Andrea Yates, are routinely covered by nationwide news outlets.



Over the past two days, MSNBC has been busy bashing pro-gun rights advocates as craven ghouls in light of a video they insist shows the father of a child slain in the Newtown massacre as being "heckled" during official testimony. But a review of the full videotape testimony shows that, in fact, Neil Heslin was not heckled, but that a few spectators in the hearing room answered a question Heslin posed. Both conservative sites like Twitchy and liberal outlets like Slate have come to the conclusion that there was in fact no heckling.

So what is MSNBC doing now in response? Well, the liberal network is "reviewing" the video, Washington Post media reporter Erik Wemple noted in a January 30 item posted this morning:



Washington Post media blogger Erik Wemple jumped to the defense of Bob Costas in a Monday morning blog post entitled, "Bob Costas, please keep spouting off." While Wemple avoided stating whether he agreed with Costas and Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock on gun control per se, he made it perfectly clear he had a low view of the average Joe at home wanting to escape the world for three hours watching a football game.

This is "the mentality of the sports consumer," Wemple groused, "Give me the game, the X's and the O's, the instant replays, the halftime highlights and leave the rest of the world out of it." But, "NFL players live in our society and are bound by our laws. The things that they do affect the public beyond whether their teams cover the point spread," Wemple argued, concluding (emphasis mine):



It looks like Candy Crowley, her establishment press excuse-makers (for her and President Obama), and supporters of the President are going to have to resort to finding penumbras emanating from Obama's September 12 Rose Garden appearance -- y'know, the one during which the press and Democrats insist that the President really, really did call the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya a terrorist attack.

The reason they're going to have to do this is because the person who asked Obama the Libya question is saying that the President himself told him that he delayed calling Benghazi a terrorist attack. Erik Wemple at the Washington Post apparently doesn't grasp the damning significance of what the questioner, Kerry Ladka, relayed to him.



On Thursday, NB's Mark Finkelstein reported that MSNBC was airing an ad for The Ed Show and its obsession with recalling Gov. Scott Walker that said “Get Out The Vote!” Washington Post media blogger Erik Wemple picked up the story and lamented that MSNBC would be so baldly partisan, except – MSNBC told him it was being scrubbed.

"No need to lecture too much here, because MSNBC told me yesterday evening that it has taken a critical look at the spot.” he reported. MSNBC spokeswoman Lauren Skowronski said “The spot is being revised. The original version is no longer airing.”        



On Saturday, blogger Erik Wemple at The Washington Post reported NBC would investigate its shoddy editing of a George Zimmerman 9-1-1 call "As exposed by Fox News and media watchdog site NewsBusters." On Tuesday night, NBC apologized with a brief statement.

"During our investigation it became evident that there was an error made in the production process that we deeply regret. We will be taking the necessary steps to prevent this from happening in the future and apologize to our viewers," the network said.



Spike Lee erroneously tweeting the address of an unrelated elderly couple, rather than George Zimmerman, was a "mean, boneheaded, thoughtless and harmful thing to do." But alas, he's shown, and tweeted contrition, Washington Post's Erik Wemple blogged approvingly yesterday. Heck, Lee even "repeated the apology in a phone call, a conversation that left the couple feeling better about the ordeal," Wemple gushed in his 8-paragraph March 30 blog post, "Spike Lee apologizes, atones for screwup."

Yet in the midst of effusively praising Lee for his apology and financial settlement with the McClains, he failed to consider what, if any, apology Lee was willing to extend to Zimmerman and his family for wishing to set him in harm's way. Isn't Lee's apology simply self-serving as it was extended to a party he never intended to harm in the first place?



In June, when yours truly last blogged on a Glenn Kessler piece (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), the Washington Post's "Fact Checker" was calling Barack Obama's claims about the accomplishments of the auto-company bailouts "one of the most misleading collections of assertions we have seen in a short presidential speech." He gave Obama's claims three Pinocchios ("Significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions").

Today, Kessler went to four Pinocchios ("whoppers") on Vice President Joe Biden's claims about the prospects for a rise in rapes and murders if the $35 billion section of Obama's "American Jobs Act" devoted to "saving" public-sector jobs doesn't pass. NB's Noel Sheppard did a great job on the "macro" aspect of Biden's bogus claim this morning. Kessler's clean-up has to do with Biden's supposed exemplar, the city of Flint Michigan, where the Vice President claims that murders have doubled and rapes have tripled in the past year (bolds are mine):



On Sunday's Reliable Sources on CNN, host Howard Kurtz and guest Erik Wemple of the Washington Post both took exception with FNC's Bill O'Reilly for recently calling some of the "Occupy Wall Street" protesters "far-left loons" and "anarchists." Kurtz noted the contrast in how MSNBC and FNC have responded to the protests: