Update: An NB reader contacted Mike Allen, author of the article, to complain about the photo choice. Allen indicated he was unaware of, and not involved in, the photo selection. The accompaning photo was subsequently changed to one of the condemned solider.

Of all the millions of photos of George W. Bush, that displayed here is the one Politico.com chose to accompany its story, Bush Approves Soldier's Execution, of the president's authorization of the execution of a soldier convicted of four murders and eight rapes in North Carolina.

Was this a photo taken of Pres. Bush as he announced his decision? Apparently not. The story indicates that the president did not announce his decision in person, but did so via a statement from White House Press Secretary Dana Perino.

Does Politico have evidence that the president made his decision in anger? If so, it didn't report that. To the contrary, Dana Perino's statement says the decision was "difficult" for the president.



Andrea Mitchell might be a doyenne of the liberal media, but she has her reporter's pride and principles, which have been trampled by the way the Obama campaign has managed the media during the candidate's current trip to Afghanistan and Iraq.  Mitchell let loose on this evening's Hardball, speaking of "fake interviews," and decrying that she was unable to report on pertinent aspects of the trip because the media has been excluded and that the video released is unreliable because it's impossible to know what has been edited out.

Before Mitchell made her displeasure known, Roger Simon of Politico, Chris Matthews's other guest during the segment, depicted the images coming out of the war zone as all Obama could have dreamed of.

ROGER SIMON: The optics are all very good on this trip. I mean, the beginning of this trip is so good, Senator Obama might just want to call off the end and just keep running the videotape.



Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is walking a "minefield" on the abortion issue with recent hints that he's taking baby steps to the right on the issue. By doing so, he's risking the alienation of the absolutist activists in the abortion rights movement, Carrie Budoff Brown of Politico reported today.

But given Obama's much-reported efforts at courting evangelicals and other historic constituents of the GOP coalition, it certainly makes sense that the Illinois senator would seek to soften his image with pro-lifers to win over a few of them, or at the very least dampen the outrage among the pro-life community that might swell their ranks at the polls voting for Sen. John McCain.

Yet instead of considering how a potential problem at the polls for Obama and other Democrats in swing states might be abortion rights extremist activists, Budoff Brown painted Obama as facing danger by straying too far from the strict NOW/NARAL/Planned Parenthood line (emphasis mine):



For the second week in a row, CNN's Howard Kurtz, while hosting Sunday's "Reliable Sources," seemed absolutely befuddled by the media's lack of interest in reporting presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama's campaign flip-flops.

Last week, it was the junior senator's change of heart concerning public campaign finances. This Sunday, it was Obama's curious reversal on handguns.

After two weeks, Kurtz finally got his answer: the press think flip-flopping makes Obama a great politician. I kid you not:



Imagine, if you will, that former Arkansas Gov. Mike "majored in miracles" Huckabee had won the Republican nominating contest and in the rapture of exhuberance at the historic moment, a Republican congressman who is also the son of a famous religious right clergyman exulted that "the event itself is so extraordinary that another chapter could be added to the Bible to chronicle its significance."

That would certainly get widespread attention in the MSM, being so over-the-top and messianic pronouncement about a Republican presidential figure. Not so much when the hallelujah chorus is coming from the son of famous left-wing preacher Jesse Jackson. (h/t Michele at Reformed Chicks Blabbing)

Aside from some blogs picking up on the item as originally reported by Politico's Josephine Hearn on June 5, I'm aware of no media scrutiny about Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s hosannas song of praise over fellow Illinois Democrat Sen. Barack Obama (emphasis mine):



Chris Matthews looked at Barack and Michelle last night, and saw Jack and Jacqueline. Opening this evening's Hardball, the host was almost overcome by emotion in describing the scene of Obama's victory speech last night in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Here was Chris, discussing the matter with NBC's Andrea Mitchell, Roger Simon of Politico, and Ed Gordon of BET.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let's dwell for one moment at least on the man who won last night. I swear. I had no idea this would ever happen in America. I don't know if it will ever happen again. This is a trend, I don't know, this is an odd occurrence. But it was . . . spectacular.

. . .

Last night's magic moment for a lot of Americans. In fact, me included. I, that picture is right out of Camelot, as far as I'm concerned.

View video here.



Honestly, do Hollywoodans have no shame?

If rumors swirling around Tinseltown about a movie being made about Scott McClellan's new Bush-bashing book "What Happened" are true, the answer to that question is a resounding "No."

Yet, according to Jeffrey Ressner at Politico, this disgraceful idea is already being floated (emphasis added):



Have the media fallen down on the job in pressing Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) about her war on terrorism bona fides? If silence over the 1999 pardon of 16 FALN terrorists is any indication, yes.

A Google News search for "Clinton FALN clemency" yielded but one result, this May 24 item from Politico's Ben Adler (emphasis mine):

[Y]ou have to look back roughly a decade to find the last time Puerto Rico played a starring role in mainland politics - the summer of 1999, when President Bill Clinton drew sharp criticism by offering clemency to 16 imprisoned Puerto Rican nationalists who belonged to an organization responsible for more than 100 bombings in the U.S. and Puerto Rico between 1974 and 1983.

At the time, Clinton was accused of attempting to curry favor with the large Puerto Rican community in New York, where Hillary Rodham Clinton was preparing to run for an open Senate seat. In response, the Republican-controlled House overwhelmingly passed a resolution stating, "President Clinton should not have offered or granted clemency to the FALN terrorists." The political backlash proved severe enough that Mrs. Clinton, then the first lady, ended up publicly opposing her husband's offer, saying she had nothing to do with it.



When is a news story really a news story?

Is it when something really important happens, and media share it with the public? Or, is it when press members jump on what appears to be a juicy tidbit and broadcast it over the airwaves and in print for a solid 24 hours until every American has heard about it?

Consider the media firestorm set off Friday when Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, while discussing the history of nominations not being decided until June, mentioned the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy in 1968.

According to Politico editor John F. Harris, this was "set aflame by a news media more concerned with being interesting and provocative than with being relevant or serious" (emphasis added throughout, h/t Hot Air Headlines):



Conservative activist, author, and political consultant Craig Shirley, contrary to Politico.com's reporting, was not "ousted" from his job advising the McCain campaign. In fact, he's not been on retainer since March. That according to Townhall.com's Matt Lewis today:

Politico's Ben Smith reports,



Update (14:11): Video is no longer up on YouTube, so we pulled the embed. For more coverage, see Ed Morrissey's post at Hot Air.

Just in time to prove a major migraine for the Clinton campaign for the May 6 Hoosier State primary, a YouTube video alleges Clinton backer Mickey Kantor once derided Indianans as "sh*t" and "white n****rs." Fellow NewsBuster Seton Motley and I reviewed the video. There's no doubt Kantor actually said "It doesn't matter if we win. Those people are sh*t," but there is a dispute over who "those people" are and if the second slur is doctored. [see video embed below fold]

Ben Smith at Politico.com reports that D.A. Pennebaker, director of "The War Room" from which the clip is taken, insists the "white n****rs" comments were doctored. Au contraire, says the editor of the video, who insists he merely "enhanced" the audio to bring out the barely whispered epithet.

What's more, Smith reports, Pennebaker says Kantor was referring to then-President George H.W. Bush's political advisors as "sh*t", not the people of Indiana themselves:



The Politico, in an April 18 headline, stated the obvious "Obama’s secret weapon: The media," though it’s not much of a "secret" weapon. John F. Harris and Jim Vandehei noted the backlash against ABC for daring to ask the tough questions, and many mainstream journalists rallying behind Obama after the debate.