The Upshot
  • Campaign ad season reaches fever pitch

    Screenshot of John McCain commercial of Rodney Glassman.OperaFrom "Aqua Buddha" to opera singers, personal attacks and altered photos, we've seen some of the best, worst and strangest campaign ads released in the last two weeks.

    While political observers have handed kudos to some strategists for their savvy attacks, others say several ads go too far.

    Below, we recap some of the most memorable, shocking and silly campaign commercials aired in the last 14 days:

    Read More »from Campaign ad season reaches fever pitch
  • Ex-girlfriend dishes dirt on Clarence Thomas

    Clarence and Virginia ThomasThomasVirginia Thomas' now-famous phone call to Anita Hill has had at least one consequence that she can't have intended.  It's prompted a former paramour of her husband's to dish salacious and troubling details about the Supreme Court justice's past to the Washington Post.  And many of those details are in sync with accusations that emerged around Clarence Thomas' contentious 1991 confirmation hearings.

    "He was obsessed with porn," Lillian McEwen, tells the paper.  "He would talk about what he had seen in magazines and films, if there was something worth noting."

    McEwen also said that the conservative Thomas was constantly on the make at work.  "He was always actively watching the women he worked with to see if they could be potential partners," said McEwen. "It was a hobby of his."

    She added that he once told her he had asked a woman at work what her bra size was.

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  • Fox News host Bill O'Reilly continued to publicize the conservative crusade to defund NPR over the partly publicly funded radio network's controversial decision to fire Juan Williams for remarks made earlier in the week on "The O'Reilly Factor." NPR dismissed Williams, a longtime commentator who has written widely on civil rights issues, for confessing his personal skittishness over seeing fellow air travelers dressed in Muslim garb, on O'Reilly's show.

    "No taxpayer dollars should be going to an outfit that abuses freedom of speech," O'Reilly said. The top-rated cable news host echoed the rising refrain among many conservative critics of the Williams firing: "No more money to NPR." You can watch O'Reilly interview Williams below:

    On Friday morning, Williams himself joined the call to defund NPR during an appearance on "Fox & Friends," in which he called the network "elitist" and described it as being on the "federal dole."

    [Rewind: 'View' hosts walk out during O'Reilly interview]

    O'Reilly and Williams -- who are of course the people at the center of the flap -- aren't the only ones making that argument. Over the past 24 hours, conservative commentators and politicians/Fox contributors Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee took to the airwaves and social media arguing a similar point.

    "If NPR is unable to tolerate an honest debate about an issue as important as Islamic terrorism, then it's time for 'National Public Radio' to become 'National Private Radio,' Palin wrote on Facebook "It's time for Congress to defund this organization."

    [Photos: More images of news analyst Juan Williams]

    Huckabee said he'll "no longer accept interview requests from NPR as long as they are going to practice a form of censorship, and since NPR is funded with public funds, it IS a form of censorship."

    With all the heated rhetoric against NPR -- a longtime conservative target -- there's probably some confusion about how much money NPR, along with members stations across the country, actually receives from state and federal sources.

    Read More »from Conservatives call to defund NPR after Williams’ firing

Pagination

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  • Muhammad Ali hospitalized with pneumonia
    Muhammad Ali hospitalized with pneumonia

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Boxing great Muhammad Ali was hospitalized with a mild case of pneumonia that was caught early and should result in a short hospital stay, an Ali spokesman said Saturday night.

  • Steelers beat Chiefs, return to playoffs

    (Reuters) - The Pittsburgh Steelers clinched their first playoff berth in three seasons when they defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 20-12 on Sunday. The six-time Super Bowl champions had not qualified for the postseason since losing a wild-card game to the Denver Broncos following the 2011 regular season. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger directed the Steelers (10-5) to their third consecutive win, passing for 220 yards and a touchdown. ...

  • Packers, Steelers into playoffs, Patriots earn bye

    By Simon Evans (Reuters) - The Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers booked their places in the playoffs after victories on Sunday while the New England Patriots earned a bye in the first round of the postseason. The Packers gained their berth with a 20-3 win at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but they will have to wait until next week to see if they can clinch the NFC North title. Green Bay will face divisional rivals the Detroit Lions in the final week of the regular season with both teams on 11-4 records ahead of the showdown. ...

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