Michelle Cottle, the lead New York Times editorial writer for national politics, issued a surprising signed lead editorial in Thursday’s edition, “Hillary Clinton’s Master Class in Distraction” (perhaps a quasi-lead editorial, as it carries the paper’s “Editorial Observer” tag, but it is in the regular editorial slot). Cottle actually mentioned respectfully the case of Juanita Broaddick, who credibly accused  then-Arkansas attorney general Bill Clinton of raping her in a hotel room in 1978.

The reception given to Sally Quinn's new book, Finding Magic, has been strangely quiet. Perhaps that's because the book shamelessly reveals that since 1973, if not earlier, Quinn, who was the nation's capital's de facto social gatekeeper for several decades, deceived the world about the true nature of her "religious" outlook, and did so with the help of the rest of the Washington press corps — that is, if one considers belief in the occult, practicing voodoo, and supposedly communicating with ghosts (sound familiar?) the foundations of a "religion."

One of the big steps in winning a social or political battle these days is defining the terms to be used in the debate. Remember how an “unborn child” became an antiseptic “fetus” during the start of the abortion debate? And how left-wingers now call themselves “progressives” since George H. W. Bush turned “liberal” into a slur during his 1988 presidential campaign?

According to a Thursday post by Daily Beast Washington reporter Michelle Cottle, the latest example of this principle is the Family Research Council's use of the phrase “natural marriage” instead of “traditional marriage,” a move to change the terms of the debate because the conservative organization had been “getting its butt kicked.”

Appearing as a guest on Tuesday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, the Daily Beast's Michelle Cottle -- formerly of the New Republic -- accused Texas Senator Ted Cruz of "playing to the passions and paranoia" of the Republican base during a discussion of Cruz's criticism of the Obama administration's record of adhering to the law.

After host Al Sharpton played a clip of Senator Cruz's comments on President Obama, and singled out the Texas Senator's use of the terms "imperial presidency," and "unchecked power," Cottle began her response:

The Daily Beast’s Michelle Cottle seems to feel the need to do Hillary Clinton’s bidding as the former Secretary of State prepares for her eventual 2016 presidential run. In a January 15 piece, The Daily Beast contributor whines that “the Hillary-Haters’ Book Club Will Never Run Out of Things to Read.”

Cottle’s entire piece was nothing more than a dismissal of Clinton-era “scandals” as a political tactic by her adversaries. She pretended there weren't any that seriously attached to Hillary. Cottle opened by dismissing Benghazi as a “maybe-scandal” that is “being used as a springboard for launching back into a decades-long litany of Hillary controversies.”

Michelle Cottle is no fan of Republicans and certainly not of Tea Party conservatives. But in a sign that some liberal journalists are worried that Democrats may overreach with their alarmist rhetoric, the Daily Beast staffer called on Democrats to cool it a bit with the hyper-partisan invective during the government shutdown. To Cottle, it's okay to call conservatives hijackers and terrorists and kamikaze pilots, so long as you keep the slurs "generic" and not, for example, compare Republicans to actual real-life villains like Bashar al-Assad and the Ayatollah.

From Cottle's October 1 piece, "Please Don’t Compare House Republicans to Iran or Syria, OK?" (emphasis mine):

She's not had the chance to read the book of course, but The Daily Beast's Michelle Cottle took to her keyboard on Tuesday to slam Rush Limbaugh for daring to publish his forthcoming children's book Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims. Cottle denounced the conservative radio host as a "degenerate rodeo clown" and compared buying one's child a copy of the book to letting "Howard Stern come in to lead your preschooler’s circle time." [Wait, she realizes Howard Stern is one of the four judges on a popular family-friendly talent program on NBC, right?]

"I am hoping to be surprised. Often, political types court kids as a way to soften their image," Cottle insisted, before continuing her venom-laced screed headlined, "Rush Limbaugh Has No Business Teaching History to Our Kids."  "That said, I’m not holding my breath," Cottle huffed. "And, no matter how diluted the story’s ideological rhetoric, it’s already clear that it will be, at its core, a crass and pompous mixture of self-marketing and self-mythologization. (“Rush Revere”? The man should be reading children’s books, not writing them.)" Cottle groused, concluding:

NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday actually interviewed disgraced New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner.

This led Daily Beast columnist Michelle Cottle to smartly observe on Fox News’s Media Buzz, “While as a Congressman he wasn't that great, and as a mayoral candidate he’s down in the polls, his penis is still a national celebrity” (video follows with transcript and commentary):

In what has become a recurring theme on MSNBC, liberal panelists will find some way of attacking Republicans for a completely unrelated issue.  The latest example is the tragic murder-suicide involving NFL player Javon Belcher last week, which MSNBC’s Karen Finney used to smear Republicans in Congress, not over gun control -- that would be too predictable -- but, you guessed it, the "war on women."

Appearing on Friday’s Martin Bashir, Finney -- a NARAL Pro-Choice America board member who's fine with violence against unborn girls --  and the entire liberal panel slammed Republicans in the House for failure to pass the Violence Against Women Act, arguing that passage of that bill could have prevented Jovan Belcher from murdering his girlfriend.   [See video below page break.]