On Sunday’s NBC Nightly News, during a roundup of several reporters covering a number of high-profile Senate races, correspondent Ron Allen was upfront in labeling Pennsylvania Republican Senate nominee Pat Toomey as a "conservative," but an ideological label for liberal Democratic nominee Joe Sestak was absent: "Conservative Pat Toomey, a former Congressman and businessman, has been consistently leading in the polls ahead of Joe Sestak, a Democratic Congressman."

And correspondent Natalie Morales played up the possibility that "a lot of people are going to be blaming the Tea Party" if Republicans land one vote short of a Senate majority and Delaware Republican nominee Christine O’Donnell also loses: "If they're somehow able to get to nine and then Christine O'Donnell loses, a lot of people are going to be blaming the Tea Party."



Per MerriamWebster.com -- Gaffe: 1) a social or diplomatic blunder; 2) a noticeable mistake.

The Associated Press's Calvin Woodward has had a few shining analytical moments during the first two years of the Obama administration (examples here and here).

The AP reporter's dispatch on "gaffes and gotchas" Friday morning, which attempted to communicate a sense of bemusement tinged with condescension, both aimed mostly at first-time candidates, is not one of them, and contained its own gaffes:



Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell appeared on Thursday's Good Morning America and attacked the media's reaction to her comments about the First Amendment, pointing out that journalists ignored a gaffe by her opponent, Chris Coons. Her complaints apparently got results: The network played the Democrat's blunder.

Asked by reporter Jon Karl about her (correct) assertion that the words "separation of church and state" aren't anywhere in the Constitution, O'Donnell complained that "First, let me point out about that, it's really funny the way that the media reports things." She recounted the debate exchange: "I followed up with, 'Can you name the five freedoms that are guaranteed to us, that are protected by the First Amendment?' And [Coons] could not." [MP3 audio here. For video, click on article.]

ABC then, for the first time, played the clip of Coons being unable to list freedom of religion, speech, the press, the right to assembly and the right to petition the government. On Wednesday, GMA played the clip of O'Donnell's questioning of separation of church and state, but not of Coons' embarrassing moment. CBS's Early Show and NBC's Today have still yet to highlight the moment.



Dana Loesch, St. Louis Tea Party Organizer; & Jeffrey Toobin, CNN Senior Legal Analyst | NewsBusters.orgCNN devoted several segments on Tuesday and Wednesday to Delaware Republican Christine O'Donnell's apparent gaffe on the First Amendment, but barely acknowledged her opponent Chris Coons's own gaffe on the amendment. Analyst Jeff Toobin spun O'Donnell's remark as demonstrating that "she didn't seem to know" the amendment. It took conservative Dana Loesch on AC360 to bring up Coons's own gaffe.



It is interesting and disappointing that so many politicians treat "faith" — at least the Christian faith — as a poison pill they cannot touch, much less swallow. Republicans often run from it because of PC intimidation, and Democrats because it's in their DNA to do so.



CNN's Wolf Blitzer and former public television anchor Nancy Karibjanian pressed Republican candidate Christine O'Donnell during Wednesday's Delaware Senate debate. While the two pressed O'Donnell on her personal finances, her past comments on evolution, and SNL poking fun of her, Karibjanian went out of her way to note Democratic candidate Chris Coons's past as a "student pastor at Yale."

The first hour of the debate, which was held at the University of Delaware, aired on CNN starting at 7:30 pm Eastern. In her very first question to O'Donnell, the former WHYY personality raised the Republican's past financial difficulties:

KARIBJANIAN: Let's open the discussion on correcting some of the financial issues here by talk about some of your own personal financial problems, and most people know about it by now, including an IRS lien that was for about $12,000 in taxes and penalties from '05. There was the '08 mortgage default judgment on your home. You just received your bachelors degree, as you said, because it took a decade to pay off the tuition. The question, then, is, how can voters rely upon your thoughts on how to manage the deficit if you're having such personal financial issues of your own?



  NBC's Meredith Vieira previewed Thursday's Today show coverage of the Delaware Senate debate by teasing viewers about "the one question that left [Christine] O'Donnell struggling for an answer" but Vieira, nor Kelly O'Donnell in her full report, bothered to note her Democratic opponent, Chris Coons, completely fumbling a basic question about property taxes. NBC's Kelly O'Donnell excerpted a moment from the debate unfavorable to Christine O'Donnell as she relayed: "On the Supreme Court O'Donnell stumbled much like Sarah Palin, when asked to name a recent decision she opposes." However Kelly O'Donnell failed to excerpt an embarrassing moment for Coons when he stumbled on a question about raising property taxes three times in one year, as he awkwardly responded: "Research into what would reveal that, it's difficult, it's complicated."

NBC's O'Donnell also, not surprisingly, highlighted Christine O'Donnell's "controversial witch comments" as she accompanied a sound bite from the debate on the topic with a clip from Bill Maher's old Politically Incorrect show, but when it came to mentioning Coon's past the NBC correspondent matter of factly noted: "Coons comes from a wealthy family and has two graduate degrees from Yale."

The following teaser and full segment were aired on the October 14 Today show:



On Thursday's Good Morning America, reporter Claire Shipman knocked Christine O'Donnell for a "cringe-inducing" answer during a debate, Wednesday, but downplayed and ignored awkward moments from the candidate's Democratic opponent. Shipman derided, "But, while she was quick to accuse her opponent of politics as usual, she stumbled on a question that many consider to be Politics 101."

Co-host George Stephanopoulos teased, "And in last night's debate, what seemed to stump Tea Party star Christine O'Donnell?" Asked by Nancy Karibjanian, one of the moderators, what Supreme Court decision she most disagreed with, the Delaware Republican didn't have an answer.

An ABC graphic dismissed it as a the "Tea Party star's Palin moment." After playing the clip Shipman chided, "Ouch. It was cringe-inducing, George." [MP3 here. Click on read more to see video.]



CNN's Wolf Blitzer downplayed the straight liberal record of Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday's Newsroom, as he compared the former senator to Delaware Democratic Senate candidate Chris Coons: "I think we'll find out that he's [Coons] very much in line with the policies of a Joe Biden...sort of a relatively moderate liberal Democrat who's traditionally got a little bit of an independent streak" [audio available here].

Blitzer appeared with anchor Tony Harris at the bottom of the 11 am Eastern hour for a preview of the debate between Coons and Republican Christine O'Donnell, in which he is serving as co-moderator. Harris asked The Situation Room host, "As you mentioned a couple of times, he [Coons] is leading this race, and- you know, it has been suggested that he would go to Washington as a rubber stamp to the policies of the Obama administration. What do we know- what do you think we'll find out about Chris Coons tonight?"


Take MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow live on location from Newark, Del., the site of a hotly contested U.S. Senate race. Mix that with the local beat reporter of the state’s largest newspaper that openly admitted her role model is Helen Thomas. The result: Unfavorable coverage for the conservative Republican in said race.

On the Oct. 5 broadcast of MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,’ host Rachel Maddow wanted to give her viewers a taste of the local Delaware media, since U.S. Senate Republican nominee Christine O’Donnell had announced she would go with a more local media strategy in her upcoming contest with the state’s Democratic nominee, Chris Coons. Appearing on her show were Ron Williams, a political columnist and reporter Ginger Gibson, both of the Wilmington News-Journal.

Williams has made his view clear on O’Donnell over the past few months with his columns. Even in his most recent column he cast aspersions on O’Donnell, but that’s what columnists do. But his colleague at the News-Journal, Gibson lamented her inability to have access to the O’Donnell campaign.



Howard Kurtz on Sunday bashed Fox News personalities Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity for calling Delaware's Democrat Senatorial candidate Chris Coons a Marxist.

Coons, while a student at Amherst College in 1985, wrote an autobiographical article for the school newspaper called "Chris Coons: The Making of a Bearded Marxist." 

Despite Politico's Alex Isenstadt bringing this piece to light on May 3, Kurtz on CNN's "Reliable Sources" expressed dismay with the conclusion folks like Beck and Hannity have come to concerning its contents.

"It was a joke, a clear and obvious joke." said Kurtz. "That's also a good description of those who are passing off this ancient article as evidence of some communist past" (video follows with transcript and commentary):



Chris Matthews on Wednesday departed from the liberal media conventional wisdom that Tea Party candidate Christine O'Donnell's defeat of Republican favorite Mike Castle was good news for Democrats and President Obama.

Quite the contrary, the "Hardball" host has become extremely pessimistic about Democrat chances to retain Congress in the upcoming midterm elections, so much so that he likened his Party to the Titanic.

"The boat is sinking," he told fellow liberal David Corn. "The establishment is sinking."

When Corn tried to push back on Matthews' view, the devout liberal said, "I take O`Donnell. How many points are you going to give me?" (videos follow with transcripts and commentary):