Michael Lester

Originally from Scotland, Michael was a freelance video editor before joining TPM in the summer of 2011. He lives in New York with his wife and two cats and is a lifelong fan of The World Famous Dundee United.

Articles by Michael

The UK economy contracted by 0.2% in the first quarter of 2012, its second consecutive quarter of negative growth, officially plunging the country back into recession for the first time since 2009.

The Office for National Statistics issued the estimate, subject to further revisions, blaming the impact on a downturn in construction.

According to ONS, output of production industries decreased by 0.4%, construction 3%.  Output of the service sector increased by 0.1%.

Prime Minister David Cameron called the numbers "very, very disappointing".


Source: BBC

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Today was a busy day on Fox News, with government scandals, dog eating, media bias, voter fraud and women in bikinis all needing to be covered.

For those of you that aren't normally glued to the network for ten hours a day, here is today's coverage in under two minutes.


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Mitt Romney responded to President Obama's statement that he was not "born with a silver spoon in [his] mouth," by saying that Obama likes to attack fellow Americans.

Taking the statement as a personal affront to him and his father, Romney vowed to "stop the attack on people."

Cable news, as you might expect, ate it all up.


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The Romney campaign fought back against lingering criticism that the Romney family once strapped its dog to the roof of their car, by saddling Obama with his own pooch story: The president, as a young boy, ate dog meat.

Romney campaign manager Eric Fernstrohm last night called attention to a passage in President Obama's book "Dreams From My Father" in which he recalls eating some dog meat as a child in Indonesia.

What followed was pun heaven for cable news anchors, as well as a chance to discuss whether dogs were actually a campaign issue anyone should be discussing.


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Mitt Romney raised eyebrows last night when he suggested President Obama should "get packing" and cable talking heads reacted today.

Tuesday also marked the end of the space shuttle program, as the shuttle Discovery made its way to Washington D.C., mounted atop a Boeing 747, destined for the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

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Liberal Fox News commentator Bob Beckel slammed one of his fellow guests on Sean Hannity's show Monday night.

Apparently unaware that they had come back from a break, Beckel, who had been expressing his frustration at being the only voice on the network defending the president, was rebuffing a statement from Jennifer Stefano on the Head Start program.

"You don't know what the fuck you're talking about!" Beckel was heard yelling as the show came back from break.

Hannity apologized for the outburst, but Beckel refused to back down. He rebuffed Hannity's attempts to get him to apologize, but eventually concended -- though not without adding, "The intent about it is still there".


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The confusion over who is waging a war on women -- or whether one even exists -- continued Friday.

Mitt Romney gave a speech in front of the NRA, praising the gun-rights group and, many times over, their support for a particular issue.


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Now years removed from crying sexism over "lipstick on a pig," former politician and current political pundit Sarah Palin appeared on Sean Hannity's show Thursday night to weigh in on the latest twists in the "war on women" debacle.

Palin read texts and emails she had received from her sister and "apolitical girlfriends" in support of her cause.

"We don't look to the president to speak for us," Palin said, adding that she and her fellow "mama grizzlies" are turned off by the "divisiveness represented by Barack Obama and the people he surrounds himself with."

Palin also claimed, as Republicans had throughout the day, that Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen -- whose comments on Ann Romney were widely condemned -- is affiliated with the DNC, insisting she "has the ear of the president."

On Rosen's comments on Ann Romney, and the ensuing chaos regarding women who choose to raise families over having a career, Hannity joked, "I thought liberals were pro-choice."

Check out highlights of the exchange below:

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The Romney campaign pounced on a statement from Hilary Rosen, and fanned the flames until it became an all-out firestorm on Twitter.

Eager to keep pushing their counterargument that it's Democrats who have waged a "war on women," Republicans were keen to tie Rosen to the Obama campaign.

Over at Fox News, they got the memo to remind everyone as often as possible, that Rosen is affiliated with the DNC. Except she's not.


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Rick Santorum bowed out of the presidential race Tuesday, paving the way for Mitt Romney to cement his place as the Republican nominee who will face President Obama in November.

It was a long and fraught nominating contest, with Santorum being the last "non-Romney" in with a chance of amassing enough delegates to win.

To mark the occasion, TPM looked back over the last ten months and picked out our favorite moments from the campaign.

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