NBC's Matt Lauer dismissed the idea that Barack Obama was weak on terrorism, as the Today co-anchor, on Wednesday's show, wanted to "get rid" of the notion that "the President doesn't take the threat of terrorism seriously enough because he's not out there talking about it every day." Lauer, in a political roundup segment in the 7am half hour, also spun the retirements of Democratic Senators Chris Dodd and Byron Dorgan as something "that might work out better in the long haul," for the Dems.

First up Lauer, in a question to former White House press secretary and current Fox News contributor Dana Perino, dismissed the idea Obama isn't taking the threat of terrorism seriously enough.

Fox News' Glenn Beck isn't catching a break anywhere - from "Saturday Night Live," The New Yorker, Al Gore's Current TV and Comedy Central's "South Park." They have all taken shots at the popular TV host.

On his Nov. 16 program, Beck responded to the "South Park" interpretation of him - that he wasn't making accusations, but phrasing them in the form of a question. The show's character Eric Cartman played a spoof of Beck in which he railed against his school's president, Wendy Testaburger. Beck maintained he wasn't making the "accusations" in the form of a question - but playing the words of the "accused" themselves.

"Have we gotten to a place you can't ask questions?" Beck asked. "What were my crazy accusations or questions? Well, the accusation was that Van Jones was a communist revolutionary," Beck said. "I didn't describe him that way. In his own words he described himself that way. He was a 9/11 Truther. He was forced to step down. Was it that the administration was using NEA as a propaganda arm for the administration? That was a question. We played tapes of the call with Yosi Sargent and Yosi Sargent had to step down."

UPDATE AT END OF POST: Video of this interview now available.

Outgoing White House communications director Anita Dunn on Friday praised the "fact-checking investigative journalism" skills of Comedy Central's Jon Stewart while she pushed back against any suggestion MSNBC was at all biased.

For those that have forgotten, this is the same Administration official who a month ago said Fox "is not a news network." 

The following is a partial transcript of an interview Dunn did Friday with Bloomberg's Al Hunt (h/t Washington Times):

White House Communications Director Anita Dunn is stepping down at the end of the month.

NewsBusters readers should remember Dunn as the outspoken Adminstration official who made quite a splash in October when she said the Fox News Channel "really is not a news network at this point."

Now, according to the Associated Press, she's passing the baton:

There's little doubt that at hand is an ongoing effort by the Obama White House to marginalize the Fox News Channel - especially after the administration attempted to leave Fox out of the White House pool last week. That is something conservative columnist Cal Thomas said is eerily comparable to Cold War tactics of the old Soviet Union.

On the Fox News Channel's Oct. 24 "Fox News Watch," Thomas alluded to an Oct. 21 column he wrote, which he compared what the Soviets did with radio signals that penetrated the Iron Curtain to deliver a message of freedom from Western Europe - they jammed them.

"I wrote a column on this, this week - if I can promote myself and my own column," Thomas said. "I likened it to what happened during the Cold War, when the Soviet Union especially tried to jam the signals of the Voice of America and Radio Europe, other entities that were trying to pump truth into the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc countries, the so-called captive nations."

Barack Obama likes to claim he believes in the free market, even as he lards his administration with what Hugh Hewitt has delightfully dubbed "Mickey Maoists" like Anita Dunn and Ron Bloom.

But Ed Schultz has given away the game.  On his MSNBC show this evening, Schultz said of ObamaCare: "this is the first step toward single-payer. I admit that."

Here's Schultz's full statement . . .

Is Barack Obama turning into Spiro Agnew? The White House's attacks on the Fox News smack of the distaste for media opposition espoused by Nixon's vice president almost 40 years ago but are being met with a decidedly different reaction today by the elite media.

Pundits have wondered aloud since last week why the White House would pursue a strategy that seems to be boosting the ratings of a purported 'opposition' news network. MSNBC's Joe Scarborough posited today that the White House's attacks on Fox News are designed to prevent the mainstream media from picking up on stories damaging to the administration (video embedded below the fold, h/t to NB reader Kirk W.).

Every time Fox breaks a story on the radical connections of a White House advisor or appointee, the news is potentially damaging to the administration. But damage is only really done if the rest of the media picks up on the story, reports it, and turns it into a national news sensation, a la Van Jones.

For months NewsBusters has been reporting how the media aided and abetted the creation of Barack Obama's Cult of Personality leading to his eventual election as the 44th President of the United States.

Eight days before his inauguration, Obama's Fox News-hating communications director Anita Dunn and his digital strategist Ben Self, while at a conference in the Dominican Republic hosted by the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development, confirmed the allegation in a tutorial they gave to President Leonel Fernandez and other government officials and guests on how to turn an unknown politician into a messiah.

On Sunday, World News Daily uncovered one of the nine videos recorded that day which gave clues as to how the Obama campaign successfully manipulated the media to force his cult like status upon an unknowing public (video of part 8 embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t NBer Free Stinker):

Veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas, who has covered every president since Jack Kennedy, advised the White House to abandon their attacks on Fox News today. She attributed the administration's visceral reaction to the cable outlet to a naive sense of invincibility generally held by new presidents (video embedded below the fold).

Asked by Joe Scarborough of MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' what "we want our president to know and do," in reference to the title of her new book, Thomas immediately replied "stay out of these fights... They can only take you down. You can't kill the messenger."

Thomas's coauthor, CQ reporter Craig Crawford, added that "presidents are better off, Joe, when they punch up and not down."

AnitaDunnThis won't surprise anyone who reads this blog regularly, but it needs to get on the record nonetheless: The airing of a June video showing interim White House Communications Director Anita Dunn praising Mao and Mother Teresa as "two of my favorite philosophers" to a group of high school students is barely news in the establishment press.

In an August 2008 report on the Obama campaign, Anne E. Kornblut of the Washington Post also described Dunn as "as senior adviser" who had joined the campaign "in the spring."

Roger Kimball at Pajamas Media has the video of Dunn's speech. NB's Jeff Poor (covering Glenn Beck's original broadcast that broke the story) and P.J. Gladnick (on Dunn's pathetic attempt to excuse herself) have previously dealt with Dunn's speech.

Here are the Mao-relevant portions of the speech excerpt:

White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel Sunday made one of the most absurd comments to date about the Administration's fight with the Fox News Channel.

In his "State of the Union" interview with CNN's John King, Emanuel said, "It's not a news organization so much as it has a perspective."

Maybe more importantly, Emanuel told King that the White House doesn't want other news outlets to emulate Fox because the cabler isn't offering "both sides' sense of a valued opinion" (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t NBer Melody):

"Taken out of context!"

"You just didn't understand the irony!"

"Just kidding!"

The incredibly lame excuses those on the left come up with to try to explain away statements they made that have come back to haunt them is growing more hilarious by the day. Robert Reich clearly stated at a 2007 Berkeley lecture what an honest candidate for president who didn't worry about getting elected would say to senior citizens who face costly treatment to keep them alive: "It's too expensive...so we're going to let you die."

Reich's excuse for this and other bizarre health care statements by a hypothetical honest candidate for president? He was being "taken out of context" despite the fact that Reich himself originally put it into perfectly clear context to the point that his Berkeley audience was applauding in approval of the brutal "truths."

It would be hard to exceed the absurdity of Reich's laughably lame excuse but White House Communications Director makes a good stab at it in trying to explain away why she favorably  quoted Mao Tse Tung as one of her favorite political philosophers. Her unbelievably laughable excuse? She was only following in the footsteps of deceased Republican campaign strategist Lee Atwater who also quoted Mao. Before we get to Dunn's Lee Atwater excuse bellylaugh, let us review what she said about Mao: