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Keep Your Stinking Stimulus?

"Ken Spain, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said that the quotes aren't hypocritical, but rather demonstrate that Republicans did support a stimulus in general, just not the one Democrats presented to them."

Joe Klein has been taking the pulse in the country:

"When you take a step away from the media maelstrom, the overwhelming impression is the sheer volume and severity of the problems that the country and the world--and our new president--are facing right now. This is a global crisis. A great many people are being hurt badly. There is a real chance that it will get much, much worse, especially if the banking system does not hold. All of us, including Republicans who oppose the administration's policies, should hope that the Obamajobs flowing from the stimulus package and the Obamaloans--to 9 million homeowning families (and applied judiciously, one hopes)--have the desired effect . . .

"But we should also take careful note of those who have opposed these programs--especially those who have done so for cynical, political reasons . . . Their braying, and playing of Aerosmith songs, seems inappropriate, tone-deaf and puerile, at a moment of real pain and fear. Those in the media who egg them on, or give them inordinate attention, are no better."

One cable network has a different verdict, reports Alex Koppelman in Salon:

"To watch Fox News on Tuesday, you'd think a new Berlin Wall was about to be erected along the banks of the Mississippi. With President Obama signing the stimulus, the word 'socialism' was almost never far away from the lips of someone on the network.

"A search of transcripts available on Lexis-Nexis -- a limited sample, unfortunately -- for Fox's programming from Tuesday shows that in the span of just six hours, the network managed to squeeze in five segments devoted to a discussion of impending socialism; the words 'socialism,' 'socialist' and 'social democracy' were used a total of 37 times. 'Your World with Neil Cavuto,' 'The O'Reilly Factor' and 'On the Record with Greta' all managed to stay socialism free, but 'Special Report' and 'Hannity' each had two segments about it, and 'Glenn Beck' had one. No transcript for 'Fox Report' was available, but I happened to see the show repeat one of the segments from 'Special Report,' for a total of six time slots on the subject between 4 p.m. ET and 11 p.m. . . .

"We did the same search of CNN and MSNBC, over the same time period, and came up with only two occurrences of those key words -- both in the same night, from the mouth of Lou Dobbs, natch."

Beck, by the way, said that "this country is heading towards socialism or fascism." Take your pick.

The New York Times has settled a libel suit by the Washington lobbyist who the paper suggested had an untoward relationship with John McCain in exchange for a note to readers. Each side has a very different view of the settlement; the Times offered no expression of regret.

The New York Post, meanwhile, sort of says it's sorry for that chimp cartoon that caused such a firestorm:

"Wednesday's Page Six cartoon - caricaturing Monday's police shooting of a chimpanzee in Connecticut - has created considerable controversy. It shows two police officers standing over the chimp's body: 'They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill,' one officer says.

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