With less than a week to go before the midterm elections arrive, David Firestone -- a member of the New York Times Editorial Board -- vented his anger in an attempt to diminish the influence the National Rifle Association has on the political process.

In an article entitled “The NRA's Instant Classic Attack Ads,” Firestone accused the national organization of producing false advertisements as part of its role as the “grand master” of fear, “which thrives on putting guns in nervous hands.”



On Monday's CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric announced that Democratic Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik had "been thrust into the national spotlight for some remarks he made," adding, "he's not backing down." In the interview that followed, Dupnik asserted: "If you're in law enforcement and you're not a right-winger you get all kinds of heat from the right-wing nuts."

Couric noted how Dupnik "blamed the rampage in part on overheated political rhetoric, saying Arizona has become, quote, 'a Mecca for prejudice and bigotry.'" She acknowledged that "some Republicans have called his remarks irresponsible" and challenged the Sheriff: "Some people would say you were overly politicizing the situation. That it appears at this juncture – although it's unclear – that this was a lone deranged individual that might not have been inspired to do this at all for political reasons." Dupnik laughingly professed: "I'm not a political person by nature. I've been a police officer my entire life. I have no agenda."



“There weren’t a lot of hard questions in this news conference,” FNC’s Bret Baier observed on Special Report in the understatement of the night. Indeed, in the first question posed at the late Wednesday afternoon session, Caren Bohan of Reuters reflected the collective glow of the White House press corp basking in Barack Obama’s glory:

You racked up a lot of wins in the last few weeks that a lot of people thought would be difficult to come by. Are you ready to call yourself the “comeback kid”?

(Katie Couric gushed on the CBS Evening News over how “the President isn’t calling himself the ‘comeback kid,’ but some other folks are.” A pleased George Stephanopoulos teased ABC’s World News by yearning for more Obama success in 2011: “The President takes a victory lap. How the Christmas season became what he called a ‘season of progress.’ Will it continue in the new year?”)
 
At the 4:15 PM EST press conference carried by the broadcast networks, ABC’s Jake Tapper Tapper offered his “congratulations” on the repeal of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell as he hit Obama from the left on whether it “is it intellectually consistent to say that gay and lesbians should be able to fight and die for this country, but they should not be able to marry the people they love?” Audio compilation: (MP3 clip)



On Tuesday's CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric warned of violence against abortion doctors, based flyers being circulated by a pro-life group: "Their pictures are showing up on posters. Now doctors who perform abortions fear for their lives." The posters in question did not call for any violence whatsoever.

Despite that fact, Couric later introduced the story by declaring: "Now some doctors in North Carolina...fear they're being marked for murder." Correspondent Michelle Miller reported: "They look like wanted posters from the wild west, but they're not photos of criminals, but of doctors in North Carolina who perform abortions." She noted how the doctors in question "asked us to block their faces." In dramatic fashion, a doctor with a blurred face and altered voice argued: "It doesn't say 'wanted dead or alive,' but the implication is very clearly there."



On Wednesday's CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric described British efforts to curb government spending: "Britain's new conservative government outlined the sharpest cuts in public spending in six decades....to see if that kind of severe belt-tightening can cure an ailing economy."

Correspondent Mark Phillips warned of the fiscally conservative approach: "It's a high-stakes roll of the economic dice involving massive spending cuts and huge job losses." He rolled a pair of dice onto a Monopoly board as he made that declaration. After detailing some of the planned cuts, Phillips explained: "The projected government job losses –  490,000, about one in ten government workers."



On Thursday's CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric talked to a group of supposedly independent voters in Pennsylvania, but touted how none of them were undecided about one thing: "...there was unanimous agreement in this group, the Tea Party isn't their cup of tea." [Audio available here]

Following that declaration by Couric, each voter took their turn denouncing the conservative political movement. Marketing director Scott Barclay dismissed the tea party "as another voice from the fringe." Janis Fonteccio proclaimed: "They make statements that are just absolutely terrorizing." Single mom Katie Gray Sadler warned: "Making a lot of noise doesn't necessarily mean you have the right answers." Maria Reice, a registered nurse, wrapped up the tea party bashing: "It shouldn't be the Tea Party. It should be the inflammatory party."



With Katie Couric drawing him out, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg agreed the Times Square car bombing was likely “homegrown” as he proceeded, in an interview excerpt run on Monday's CBS Evening News, to speculate it could have been placed by “somebody with a political agenda who doesn't like the health care bill or something. It could be anything.”

Could be “anything,” but the first thing Bloomberg thinks of are those who don't like ObamaCare, presumably conservatives or Tea Party activists.

Audio: MP3 clip


Who says the media are monolithic in their thinking?

Yesterday we informed you of the media's serial misuse of an Obama-as-Hitler poster from esoteric left-winger Lyndon LaRouche's website, as outlets like NBC (on their Nightly News and Meet the Press), CNN and MSNBC all ascribed the poster to sentiments roiled up by talk radio host Rush Limbaugh specifically and conservatives generally. 

We were entertained by the fact that all of these highly trained, keen-eyed journalists missed the words "LaRouchePAC.com" - in fairly large type - printed at the bottom of every one of the placards they used for their little reporting projects.

Well apparently CBS hasn't yet learned the lesson we had hoped to impart.  In fact, last night they did the other networks one worse. 

For the words "LaRouchPAC.com" are prominently visible three times (screen captures below the fold) on two different Obama-as-Hitler posters during reporter Ben Tracy's segment, yet that doesn't stop him from blaming it on right-wingers.

As the second Obama-as-Hitler poster is shown, with LaRouchePAC.com clearly visible front and center, Tracy offers up:



On Wednesday's CBS Evening News, correspondent Bob Orr highlighted a report released by the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center claiming a recent increase in the number of militias, and warning of the possibility of increased violence by anti-government, right-wing groups and individuals, angry at Democratic party control of the government and of a black President holding office. Orr warned: "Officials say a sour economy, a Democrat-controlled government, and a black President present the kind of perfect storm that could further fuel the growth of the militia movement."

Orr's report notably ran just eight minutes after a piece filed by fellow correspondent Ben Tracy in which Tracy had referred to the anti-government views of some anti-ObamaCare protesters who have showed anger at recent town hall events. Tracy: "Some experts believe a growing anti-government sentiment, fueled by extraordinary events such as the bailouts of the banking and auto industries, is spilling over into the health care debate."

Anchor Katie Couric introduced Orr's report:



Tuesday's CBS Evening News gave attention to a proposed new gun law that would strengthen the right of gun owners who hold a concealed weapon permit to carry a weapon across state lines into states with more restrictive gun laws than where the permit was obtained. As he presented arguments both for and against passage of the law, while Orr presented two soundbites opposing the law and only one from a supporter of the law, the report also devoted twice as much time – 35 seconds versus 17 seconds – to the anti-gun arguments opposing the law compared to pro-gun arguments supporting it.

Orr began his report by relaying that supporters of the new law "call it a crime fighting tool," and by showing a clip of Republican Senator John Thune arguing that potential hate crimes victims could protect themselves more effectively if the law were passed.

The CBS correspondent then touted the views of "450 U.S. mayors who signed this full-page ad in USA Today," and showed two soundbites opposing the law -- one from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the other from Democratic Senator Charles Schumer -- as both argued that the new law would increase crime: