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Matt Hadro | April 22, 2014 | 21:27

Reporting on Tuesday's Supreme Court decision that enabled states' voters to ban affirmative action, the NBC and ABC evening newscasts featured a soundbite from the same teenage activist who called the ruling "disgusting" and charged it is "creating a new Jim Crow."

Both networks simply labeled Markeith Jones a high school student without disclosing he is an activist who recently marched protesting Michigan's ban on affirmative action. ABC quoted Jones and other supporters of affirmative action four times in its report while giving opponents just two soundbites.

Randy Hall | April 22, 2014 | 20:46

The host of MSNBC's weekday afternoon program The Ed Show has often hammered the donations to GOP candidates and projects made by wealthy conservative brothers David and Charles Koch, but does he feel the same when rich Democrats enter the political fray?

We got our answer on Monday, when Schultz happily interviewed Tom Steyer, a prolific Democratic donor who has pledged $50 million of his own money -- which will be matched by other members of “the party of the little guy” -- to support candidates who oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline and attack Democrats who support the project, which has interestingly been delayed by the Obama administration until after this November's midterm elections.

Ken Shepherd | April 22, 2014 | 18:22

One minute the liberal media will tell you that Hillary Clinton is a tough-as-nails politician and stateswoman who is eminently qualified for the White House and in the next the same folks are in high dudgeon about how the former secretary of state is the target of mean ol' "sexist" and "ageist" Republicans. 

Witness's Aliyah Frumin riding valiantly to the rescue of the poor sexagenarian damsel in distress/grandmother-to-be. "When it comes to conservative criticism of the Clintons, not even Chelsea’s unborn child is immune," Frumin laments, citing a New York Post columnist as her evidence of a vast right-wing conspiracy to rain on Grandma Hillary's 2016 parade:

Scott Whitlock | April 22, 2014 | 17:17

Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday authored an op-ed on April 12 declaring herself a Christian. However, the journalist made sure to stress that she would keep her religion out of Post reviews. She also reiterated her dislike for movies such as The Passion, Son of God and Noah

According to Hornaday, the reason for removing open expressions of faith from her work is "the journalistic habit of not allowing my personal biases to surface, thereby inappropriately using my work as a religious platform and alienating those readers who don’t share my faith or have no faith at all." She lectured, "Those individuals have every right to read a movie review or essay without feeling sermonized, excluded or disrespected." Yet Hornaday has repeatedly let her political biases slip through. 

Matthew Balan | April 22, 2014 | 16:52

Jill Abramson of the New York Times denied that her newspaper has a liberal bias during a Monday interview with Marlo Thomas of Huffington Post. Abramson asserted that the Times "reflects a very cosmopolitan, inclusive outlook, which can strike some readers as liberal," and later claimed that "the news pages are not ideological."

The executive editor zeroed in on the issue of gun control as her example of how the New York Times is supposedly balanced: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

Paul Bremmer | April 22, 2014 | 16:17

On Monday’s PBS NewsHour, anchor Judy Woodruff sat down for a conversation with former U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, and she tried to get the amiable, elderly jurist to criticize his more conservative former colleagues. Stevens, to his credit, didn’t take the bait. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]

The interview focused on Stevens’ new book about six amendments he would like to see added to the Constitution. Near the end of the discussion, Woodruff sought to make waves by getting Stevens to charge conservatives on the court with a partisan agenda:

Scott Whitlock | April 22, 2014 | 16:00

Forty four people were shot over the last three days in a bloody epidemic sweeping Rahm Emanuel's Chicago. Yet, CBS has, thus far, ignored the crime wave. In contrast, ABC's Good Morning America and CBS This Morning on Tuesday both briefly covered the violence in the city run by Barack Obama's former chief of staff. 

GMA news reader Dan Abrams explained, "Special authorities are creating a special crime-fighting unit in Chicago after a shocking spike in street violence." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] He noted that among the victims were "six children and two more teenagers overnight." On Today, Willie Geist explained that five children were shot in a park on Easter Sunday. Even though CBS allowed no time for tragic news out of Chicago, the network's morning show devoted four minutes to a possible maple syrup shortage. 

Jeffrey Meyer | April 22, 2014 | 15:33

Since Monday, April 14, ABC's Claire Shipman has been touring the network and cable news networks to promote her new book that she co-wrote with Katty Kay entitled "The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self Assurance-What Women Should Know." Despite the eight television appearances Shipman has made since last Monday, only two interviews openly acknowledged her marriage to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.

While five of the eight programs in which Shipman appeared on to promote her book ignored her marriage to Jay Carney, all eight of them ignored the recent profile of her and her family in the Washingtonian magazine. The five programs that ignored the Shipman-Carney marriage were ABC's own Good Morning America and World News with Diane Sawyer, as well as MSNBC's Morning Joe, NOW with Alex Wagner and The Cycle. [Read full story below.]

Jack Coleman | April 22, 2014 | 14:52

In a bravura display of rhetorical contortion, Rachel Maddow spent 10 minutes last night talking about net metering without actually uttering the words themselves -- all the better to prevent her gullible viewers from taking a closer look at this problematic policy.

As mandated in 43 states and the District of Columbia, net metering allows small-scale generators of electricity, such as those with solar panels on their roofs, to sell excess electricity back to power companies. Utilities don't like it because most states require power companies to buy this electricity at retail prices, rather than the far lower wholesale cost. (Video after the jump)

Tim Graham | April 22, 2014 | 14:36

At Politico Magazine, writer and physician James Hamblin tried to answer the question "Who is Dr. Ben Carson?" After describing how he became a "darling of the right-wing media" after calling out President Obama at a prayer breakfast, Hamblin tried to explain how he speaks in "over the top" language about America in decline.

But Hamblin really let loose when he insisted that despite Dr. Carson's surgical talent, his opposition to Obamacare is based on "sentiment," not a "rational pespective. His talent "does not imply an elevated or even rational perspective on health-care policy."

Paul Bremmer | April 22, 2014 | 12:50

MSNBC doesn’t typically side with Christian churches – unless, of course, a church stands up for one of the network’s pet causes. That is exactly what happened on Tuesday, when a headline on lamented how the “Boy Scouts Ban[ned] Church Over Gay Troop Leader.”'s Amanda Sakuma explained that the Boy Scouts of America recently shut down a Seattle troop, sponsored by a United Methodist church, because church leaders stood behind the troop’s openly gay leader. While the BSA now allows openly gay scouts, it retains its ban on openly gay scoutmasters. Predictably, MSNBC framed the story to make the church and the scoutmaster the victims in this drama, even though both know perfectly well the rules of the organization.

Tom Blumer | April 22, 2014 | 12:34

In his story (saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes — and in case it gets edited later today; Update: It did) on the Supreme Court's decision this morning upholding Michigan voters' 2006 approval of a ban on race-, ethnic- and gender-based preferences in university admissions, USA Today's Richard Wolf failed to identify the size of the court majority, which was 6-2. Justice Elena Kagan recused herself because she was previously the U.S. solicitor general before being named to the high court. The court's decision effectively upholds such bans in seven other states.

Additionally, by focusing on Justice Anthony Kennedy as "the man to watch," Wolf initially left many readers with the impression that only five justices, Kennedy and the four others usually describe as "conservative" (Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito) made the ruling. The fact is that they were also joined by Justice Stephen Breyer, one of the supposedly reliable "liberals." Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):

Scott Whitlock | April 22, 2014 | 12:17

ABC, NBC and CBS routinely offer fawning coverage over Michelle Obama and her role as First Lady. However, a growing protest related to a planned gradation speech in Kansas has been ignored by the networks. 

Fox and Friends covered the story on Sunday. Co-anchor Ainsley Earhardt explained, "The five high schools in the district would have a single ceremony, limiting the number of guests that each student can invite." She added, "Students and parents spoke out at a recent school board meeting saying that she might...upstage their big day." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]  A petition has almost 2500 signatures requesting a return to "regular graduation." 

Tim Graham | April 22, 2014 | 11:36

In the textbooks, journalists are supposed to be watchdogs of government – not just government of one party, but both parties. If Edward Snowden’s massive leaks on government surveillance programs (approved by presidents of both parties) win a Pulitzer Prize for  “Public Service,” why isn’t exposing President Obama’s scandals like Benghazi and IRS harassment hailed as a public service?

This isn’t just an issue for liberal judges of the Pulitzers and other journalism prizes, but for CNN Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter, who on Easter Sunday grilled Sharyl Attkisson about her alleged failures and "conservative bias," and then turned around and treated Pulitzer-winning Glenn Greenwald like he was God’s gift to journalism. David Gregory was "infamous" for challenging his propriety: 

Jeffrey Meyer | April 22, 2014 | 11:00

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is often talked about as the liberal alternative to Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016. As such, the hosts of CBS This Morning used their exclusive interview with the Massachusetts Democrat to press her on her presidential ambitions as well as promote her liberal agenda.

Appearing on CBS on Tuesday, April 22, co-host Gayle King lobbied Warren to consider running for president: "You sit today as a United States senator. And people are already thinking, buzz, buzz, buzz, president president, president. I have heard you say no. I've heard you say no. But you have said no to many things. Why would you not even consider this with the passion that you have?" [See video below.]

NB Staff | April 22, 2014 | 09:56

Today attorneys for the pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List will appear before the Supreme Court regarding a challenge to an Ohio law which they charge chills free speech. This legal saga began when an embittered former Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-Ohio) initiated a false advertising complaint against the organization for ads the List ran critical of Dreihaus, a pro-life Democrat, for his support of ObamaCare.

In Saturday's Wall Street Journal, Susan B. Anthony List attorneys Michael Carvin and Yaakov Roth explained the constitutional and practical case for why "Courts Should Stay Out of Political Fact-Checking." Read an excerpt (emphasis ours) below the page break and share your thoughts in the comments section and/or tell us what else is on your mind in this today's open thread.

Tim Graham | April 22, 2014 | 08:04

“Washington Gadfly” blogger Evan Gahr caught Washington Post reporter Barton Gellman in an ethical dance over accepting a “civil liberties” award from the ACLU at their “Bill of Rights Award Dinner.” Gellman recently shared the Pulitzer Prize with Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras for revealing Edward Snowden's leaks about U.S. anti-terrorist surveillance programs. Four  years ago, TIME sent Gellman on the road for six months to report a cover story on the "Secret World of Extreme Militias" a month before the midterm elections.

Should a journalist accept an award from an advocacy group he covers? Gellman was listed as attending the fundraiser for the ACLU of the National Capital Area....until Gahr started asking questions.

Mark Finkelstein | April 22, 2014 | 07:47

To use a word dear to NewsBusters' dear late Noel Sheppard, ah, the delicious ironies of history. Back in 1998 Hillary Clinton famously complained of a "vast right-wing conspiracy" out to get her husband. Sixteen years later, it's Hillary herself being accused at sitting at the center of a powerful "cabal" capable of crushing political opponents.

The irony is that this unflattering portrait of Hillary's machine emanates from the media left, in the person of Mika Brzezinski.  On today's Morning Joe, Brzezinski argued that, when recently interviewed by ABC's David Muir, Warren had to deny any presidential ambitions because had she not "the Hillary Clinton cabal would close in on her and get rid of her so quickly."  View the video after the jump.

Matt Hadro | April 22, 2014 | 00:43

The broadcast networks gleefully reported the White House Easter festivities on Monday evening while ignoring President Obama's new plan to step around Congress and consider clemency for thousands of drug offenders.
On their evening newscasts, both CBS and NBC smiled upon Obama reading "Where the Wild Things Are" to children, with CBS capturing the moments using a photo album graphic. NBC's Brian Williams chuckled that Obama, with his dramatic narrating of the story, "left it all on the South Lawn."

Tom Blumer | April 21, 2014 | 23:25

If there's a prize for most words spent in Obamacare avoidance, NBC News's Martha C. White is definitely in the running.

White managed to burn through almost 40 paragraphs and nearly 1,600 words in a report carried at CNBC on the all-time record number of workers employed by temporary help services. But she somehow managed to completely avoid mentioning Obamacare, which used to be known as the Affordable Care Act until President Obama and his Health and Human Services regulators made 40 changes to the law originally passed by Congress, some of which directly contradict the original law's language. The closest she came was noting that using temps "lets companies avoid the cost of providing benefits like health insurance" — which has always been the case, except that health insurance is and will continue to be a lot more expensive, giving companies even more incentive to avoid adding to their own payrolls. Excerpts follow the jump.