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White House misleads media about Obama’s uncle

In 2011, when the press asked the White House whether President Obama ever met his Uncle Omar, an illegal immigrant living in Boston, a spokesman said there was “no record” of the two ever meeting.  Fast forward to yesterday when the Boston Globe’s Maria Sacchetti reports that the two had met – and then some.

White House spokesman Eric Schultz tells her that back in his Harvard days, “The president did stay with him for a brief period of time until his apartment was ready. After that, they saw each other once every few months, but after law school they fell out of touch. The president has not seen him in 20 years, has not spoken with him in 10.”

The Twitterverse erupted, crying foul.

@TheFix called it an "unforced error" when the White House gives false information. 

Even former White House spokesman, Tommy Vietor, acknowledges the fumble.

But the White House isn’t the only one at fault. Red State’s Erick Erickson blames the fourth estate for not digging deeper.

And Comedy Central tweets what we’ve all been thinking.

***

Nelson Mandela’s death yesterday prompted wall-to-wall cable coverage of the South African president  who was imprisoned for 27 years and won a long battle to end apartheid. His foundation tweeted this quote:

Many contrasted his accomplishments to those of our political leaders: 

And called for a cease fire. 

Mandela would have been proud.

***

The hype started early yesterday, with MSNBC pumping up the president’s appearance on “Hardball.”

Even the Washington Post inadvertently got in on the action, saying the network kicked out a bunch of 7 and 8 year-old ballet students – who would be practicing for a big performance -- from a theater where the interview would take place.

But hours before the interview, Nelson Mandela died, prompting many to question the network’s decision to break away from live coverage, including Mark Leibovich, New York Times writer and author of “This Town,” chronicling the backscratching in DC politics.

Besides that, how’d he do? Mixed on partisan lines, as usual.

Hardball’s Chris Matthews did pull off an amazing feat. He never interrupted his guest. That must have been hard for him.

***

If you’re Republican Tom Cotton from Arkansas and you are running for reelection in a tight race, would you challenge the National Republican Senatorial Committee? Yet that’s what he did over an email sent from NRSC criticizing the religious faith of Arkansas Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor. 

Matt Canter, deputy executive director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, tweeted a National Journal story adding the hashtag, “arsen.” Arson, maybe?

In case you didn’t click on the link, here’s the exact quote from NRSC Communications Director Brad Dayspring: "So is the Bible Mark Pryor's compass, providing the 'comfort and guidance to do what's best for Arkansas?' Or is it really not a good rule book for political issues and decisions made in the Senate? Guess it depends on which Mark Pryor that you ask," Dayspring said in the email.

Meanwhile, Marco Rubio is putting his political PAC power behind Cotton.

Even though he’s got some big cash behind him, Cotton might want to watch his step around the press.

***

GQ’s “Men of the Year” edition is out and Big Boy, as George W. nicknamed him many moons ago, makes the cut. Christie, given the title “Boss of the Year” by the fashion mag, gives himself props in this tweet for perfecting Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year: selfie.

Christie joins Matthew McConaughey, James Gandolfini, and “Psycho of the Year” Jesse Plemons, star of Breaking Bad, among others.

Lauren Ashburn joined the network in 2013 and currently serves as a Washington-based contributor for FOX News Channel (FNC). On MediaBuzz with Howard Kurtz, Ashburn contributes commentary on the state of the news media shaping current events, their role in politics, cultures, business, and tech. Click here for more information on Lauren Ashburn

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