On his show yesterday, MSNBC's Tucker Carlson congratulated Diane Sawyer of ABC for leaving the comforts of home to report from North Korea. Judging by her report this morning, you'd have to say the rigors have been worth it. Sawyer has been on a week-long stay in Dear-Leader Land, and this morning she scored an important story. A top N. Korean general flatly told her that his country has the means to deliver a nuclear weapon.

Perpetually last placed news channel MSNBC is rumored to face massive layoffs and see its headquarters moved from New Jersey to New York, where the rest of NBC operates. Says Gawker:

There's nothing the MSM loves more than a renegade Republican. The GOP maverick-of-the-MSM-week is David Kuo. He is the former #2 man in the Bush administration's Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, and has written a book, Tempting Faith, claiming that the operation was a cynical attempt to woo faith-based voters whom top aides including Karl Rove looked at contemptuously.

Chris Matthews predictably had Kuo on this afternoon's Hardball. At one point, Matthews asked whether President Bush has "used faith to get votes" and then "how about the issues like stem cell - do you think he's using them politically?"

Replied Kuo:

"I think you're conflagrating a couple of different things here."

On October 15, NewsBusters reported the huge double standard at the Associated Press concerning former Florida Congressman Mark Foley and now deceased former Congressman Gerry Studds.

Doth Chris Matthews protest too much?

On this afternoon's 'Hardball,' interviewing James Baker about his new book on a life in politics, Matthews alluded to the risk of a political party fracturing in the course of a presidential primary campaign:

"How do you hold your party together when you have people, secular candidates like John McCain who's often in that [guest] chair, and Rudy Giuliani running against Brownback, and people like that, Frist and George Allen perhaps, who are real cultural conservatives?"

Riposted Baker: "We hold it together the same way that you hold your party together."

Interjected Matthews: "Well, it's not my party anymore."

Monday's morning shows displayed the Democratic diplomacy that may take over the House and Senate next year.

What does the "N-word" racial epithet and the pollster term "values voter" have in common? According to Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter, by some elastic calisthenics of the brain, the word "values" needs to be drained of its poison, deprived of its "sting" against liberals, deflated of any political advantage, so that liberals can be seen as just as morality-oriented as conservatives.

From MSNBC (Studds' party affiliation is mentioned only in reference to Mark Foley in this story):

First openly gay person elected to Congress dies

BOSTON - Former U.S. Rep. Gerry Studds, the first openly gay person elected to Congress, died early Saturday at Boston Medical Center, several days after he collapsed while walking his dog, his husband said.

Down below, MSNBC acknowledges the sex scandal that caused Congress to censure Studds:

After his May 8 prediction that White House aide Karle Rove "will, in fact, be indicted" blew up in his face as investigators into the Valerie Plame non-scandal told Rove he would not be charged, you'd think MSNBC correspondent David Shuster would have stayed away from making prognostications based on his own reporting.

If you predicted that, however, you would've been wrong.

Last Wednesday, Shuster confidently asserted that his sources told him that GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert would be ousted from power by a week. Well, it's Thursday now and Hastert is still very much in the Speaker's Chair. Will Shuster trouble himself to issue a retraction? Perhaps the perpetually inaccurate Keith Olbermann might bestir himself to force one since he now seems slightly more interested in accuracy, especially since Shuster's remark was made on his show.

In any case, Shuster should definitely consider developing some better sources since they've steered him wrong rather profoundly on two instances in less than six months' time.

Full text of Shuster's comment is below the fold. Tip of the hat to Olbermann Watch for reminding me of when Shuster made his false prediction.

While many Americans were watching football games on Sunday, the best battle was actually on MSNBC where conservative radio talk show host Steve Malzberg took on liberal radio talk show host Mike Malloy.

There was clearly bad blood between these two from a previous fight earlier in the day, and referee Contessa Brewer warned the combatants to behave themselves this time. Thankfully, the contestants ignored her requests, and by the end, the encounter turned into full scale war, with Brewer concluding, "At this point, I feel like I could use a nap." Malzberg wasn't going to let the ref get the last word, parrying, "You wonder why you're in last place" referring to MSNBC's pathetic ratings. Brewer responded, "Oh that's kind of a low blow for a Sunday afternoon. Low!"

For those that like a good fight as much as a Gershwin tune, this is must-see TV right here.

The show bills itself as 'Hardball.'  But in surrounding himself with regulars who are either certified liberals or renegade Republicans, doesn't Chris Matthews prove himself to be a softy, unwilling or unable to take the high heat from true-blue Republican flamethrowers?

On FNC's two-hour Sunday special (8-10pm EDT) to mark the channel's tenth anniversary, former CBS News and MSNBC executive Erik Sorenson articulated what the AP's David Bauder last week paraphrased him as acknowledging: How New York-based news media executives were so out of touch that they did not recognize the depth of belief in liberal media bias into which FNC tapped. “There was a full-on commitment” to the “fair and balanced” premise, Sorenson proposed during FNC's special, Fox News at 10: Thank You America, in explaining FNC's success: “There were far more people in America who seemed to hold that opinion of the liberal media bias than anyone in New York City -- the media capital of the world -- had estimated."

As detailed in an October 2 NewsBusters posting, Bauder had reported: “Before Fox, many in the media scoffed at the notion of a liberal bias and figured only a handful of people really believed that, said Erik Sorenson, former MSNBC President. 'Fox proved it's a much larger group than anybody realized,' he said.”