One of the first rules of genuine comedy is that to be funny, a joke or skit needs to have some basis in truth.

On that primary measurement, the cold open on "Saturday Night Live" last night failed miserably on so many fronts, it's hard to know where to begin. Its most offensive aspect is its portrayal of a Democrat inflicting violence on three Republicans to the audience's pleausre. It is impossible to imagine the program putting on a skit showing Ronald Reagan doing to the same thing to Ted Kennedy — who, in an objectively treasonous act, sought the Soviet Union's help in the 1984 presidential election for the purpose of defeating Reagan.



On Monday, March 9 and Tuesday, March 10, the “big three” (ABC, CBS, and NBC) networks pounced on a letter signed by 47 Republican senators to the leaders of Iran regarding its negotiations with the Obama administration over its nuclear program.



Ted Kennedy, the late liberal "Lion of the Senate" (as he's invariably called) had his hugely exaggerated bipartisan reputation polished to a gleam in a story in the New York Times Arts section by Robin Pogrebin, "In the Mold of a Senator Who Bartered -- Edward M. Kennedy Institute Aims to Teach Collaboration." Yet the George W. Bush Presidential Library was considered by the Times "disturbing" and a possible threat to academic freedom.



On Monday evening's NBC Nightly News, host Brian Williams used a perhaps revealing verb to describe a belief held by former Soviet foreign minister and Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze, who died on Monday at 86.

It would be good to look back and learn how Shevardnadze came to say what he said a decade ago before getting to how Williams framed it. As reported in Doug Martin's obituary at the New York Times (bolds are mine throughout this post):



CNN's New Day on Tuesday devoted a 23-second news brief to the death of author Joe McGinniss on Monday, noting that "McGinniss made headlines again in 2010, when he moved next door to Sarah Palin's Alaska home in order to research his book, 'The Rogue.' Palin threatened to sue him, but never did."

However, Tuesday's Today on NBC, which touted their interview of McGinnis in September 2011 by hyping his supposed "stunning allegations made about Sarah Palin in a bombshell book," omitted his passing on Tuesday. Anchor Savannah Guthrie gave the writer a platform during the segment to forward his unsubstantiated claims about the former Alaska governor:



NPR's resident ObamaCare booster, Julie Rovner, lionized outgoing liberal Congressman Henry Waxman on Friday's Morning Edition. Rovner trumpeted how "during his 40 years in the House, he focused on passing legislation – lots of legislation – the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Orphan Drug Act, nutrition labels, food safety, and the Affordable Care Act. Waxman played a major role in all of them."

The correspondent left out any conservative/Republican criticism of the California representative, and let a fellow Democratic member of Congress and two liberal talking heads laud the retiring politician, with one heralding him as the Ted Kennedy of the House. She did include two clips from Orrin Hatch, but the Utah Republican senator heaped praise on Rep. Waxman. Rovner also gave the congressman a chance to take a parting shot at the Tea Party-friendly caucus in Congress:



Longtime Democrat strategist Bob Shrum's churlish advice for Senate candidate Liz Cheney -- how dare you act like a Kennedy.

Yet more mush from Shrum, this time about Cheney announcing that she's challenging incumbent Republican Mike Enzi in Wyoming. Cheney has taken her share of flak over this in the last week and here it crosses the line to laughable. (Audio after the jump)



Pope Benedict XVI shocked the world on Monday morning by announcing he would resign at the end of February. For Catholics, there was sorrow and there was gratitude for a Holy Father who taught with such distinction and worked with such care to safeguard the church’s theological traditions.

But there are those people who hate the Catholic Church, and they are ecstatic. Take documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney, a man who clearly thinks he is holier than the Pope. He told The Daily Beast that Benedict is a “criminal.” This helps explain why he’s made a documentary for HBO, the home of toxic God-haters like Bill Maher.



Ed Schultz's grasp of American history in the BB era -- Before Barack -- is tenuous at best. And when Schultz is wrong about something from that ancient realm of our past, he makes a fool out of himself.

On his radio show Friday, Schultz got on the wrong side of an argument with a better informed caller. Naturally, Schultz couldn't resist hanging up on the man and labeling him an idiot. That's when you know Schultz is 180 degrees off the mark -- he becomes dogmatic about being right. (audio after page break)



For the past two weeks, NewsBusters has been showcasing the most egregious bias the Media Research Center has uncovered over the years — four quotes for each of the 25 years of the MRC, 100 quotes total — all leading up to our big 25th Anniversary Gala September 27.

If you’ve missed a previous blog, recounting the worst of 1988 through 2002, they are here. Today, the worst bias of 2003: The New York Times compares the U.S. bombing of Baghdad to the horror of September 11; Peter Arnett goes on Iraqi state TV to propagandize against the U.S.; and we find out what a “comfort” Ted Kennedy’s liberal policies would have been to Mary Jo Kopechne, “if she had lived.” [Quotes and video below the jump.]



Loyalty is one thing, delusion another.

Former Kennedy speechwriter and campaign operative Bob Shrum outdid himself on Ed Schultz's radio show Wednesday, gushing about Ted Kennedy and the maudlin video tribute to him at the Democratic convention. (audio) --



Liberal historian Douglas Brinkley sang the praises of the Kennedy family on Monday's CBS This Morning, spotlighting the apparently "very important public service work" of Robert F. Kennedy's children: "It's just remarkable to me how Bobby Kennedy's kids keep making public policy influences." Brinkley also claimed that "the Kennedy name is still very popular, and....we're endlessly fascinated by the family."

The author also played up the Democratic family's Catholic background, without mentioning how several prominent members have dissented from the Church's teachings on abortion and sexuality.