Latest from Matthew Philbin
September 1, 2015, 10:59 AM EDT

The Hollywood Reporter’s calling it “yet another unconventional media move for the president.” You might call it a frivolous distraction for a POTUS faced with an anemic economy, an angry electorate and a foreign policy more or less embodied by the feckless efforts to “degrade and ultimately defeat” ISIS.

While he’s in Alaska flipping the late-second term bird to John Boehner and the Ohio delegation by purging Mt. McKinley of its Dead White Male name of shame, President Obama is going to film an appearance on Running Wild with Bear Grylls.

August 27, 2015, 10:27 AM EDT

Viewers looking forward to the season finale of Mr. Robot on USA Network last night were disappointed to find a rerun of last week’s episode. The network postponed the final episode until next week because “The previously filmed season finale of Mr. Robot contains a graphic scene similar in nature to today’s tragic events in Virginia,” it said in a statement.

So the Mr. Robot season ender featured something somewhat like a gunman murdering two people during a routine local news live spot and then posting his own video of the killings to social media. “Out of respect to the victims, their families and colleagues, and our viewers,” the statement went on, “we are postponing tonight’s episode. Our thoughts go out to all those affected during this difficult time.”

August 5, 2015, 9:16 AM EDT

Ronda Rousey is as smart as she is tough, and she’s a hero for how she foiled a reporter’s attempt to turn her into a feminist icon on any terms other than her own.

In an interview this past weekend with Yahoo’s Bianna Golodryga, Rousey touched on why she believes MMA is the most pro-woman sport in the world. Yet, right after Rousey cited all the good things MMA has done for women, Golodryga strongly implied that Rousey is being discriminated against because she is making less money than male fighters, specifically Floyd Mayweather, due to the fact that she is a woman.

July 8, 2015, 12:08 PM EDT

ESPN is the latest on the dump Trump bandwagon. The network is pulling its July 14 ESPY Celebrity Golf Classic from Trump National Golf Club over Donald Trump’s comments about Mexican illegal immigrants last month.

The only surprise here is that it took ESPN so long to join NBCUniversal, Univision and Macy’s in punishing the billionaire GOP hopeful. ESPN, after all, is an exquisitely liberal outfit and has been for a long time – like MSNBC with cool video clips and catchphrases. True to form, its statement about moving the golf tournament included fluffy boilerplate about “diversity” and “inclusion of all sports fans. Except, of course, those who don’t want their favorite games served with a heaping side of lefty social commentary.

To watch ESPN is to be reminded that liberal groupthink isn’t just a problem in “hard news” organizations. Here are 10 reasons why.

July 6, 2015, 1:05 PM EDT

If nothing else, the media’s triumphalism over the SCOTUS gay “marriage” decision proves they’re sore winners. True, they deserve a victory lap – they and their pals in the entertainment industry made this constitutional and civilizational abomination possible. But you’d think that with victory secured, they’d ease up on traditional marriage supporters, maybe go back to pretending they’re journalists.

But no. On FNC’s MediaBuzz, host Howard Kurtz asked his panel about it, noting that “I can't remember another time in my career where I felt that coverage has been so one sided for a position that until three years ago Barack Obama held and until two years ago Hillary Clinton held, which is they were for traditional marriage.”

July 1, 2015, 4:03 PM EDT

Happy Independence Day, or, as the left might call it this year, “Original Sin Saturday.” July 4th is when we celebrate the birth of The United States. But, whereas you commemorate the inception of what Lincoln called “the last best hope of earth,” liberals lament that flawed people had the audacity to create a flawed nation. Then, that flawed nation had the bad taste to prosper!

It’s that left-wing understanding of America that’s behind the push to erase or blur our history. The purge of the Confederate flag is currently the noisiest, but by no means the only, prong of the attack from activists and academics and the media who love them.

June 22, 2015, 11:36 AM EDT

It’s quite an accomplishment, overturning millennia of understanding about marriage. In just a couple of self-obsessed and nihilistic generations, we’ve managed to render that sacred pillar of civil society more or less meaningless. We’ve degraded it into just another “right” in the never-ending list progressive activists demand, judges arbitrarily invent, and bureaucrats uphold at the expense of actual constitutional rights.

But boy did we have help! Marriage was in a lamentable state anyway, stripped of religious significance and “til death do us part” seriousness. But it’s the media elite’s relentless normalization of homosexuality that has really done it in for holy matrimony. Besides the free exercise of religion, marriage is the most important casualty of the media’s wholesale adoption of the gay agenda.

May 21, 2015, 9:06 AM EDT

Time was, burning an American flag was a reliable way of getting on network TV, there to shock the taxpayers over their TV dinners.

But these days, the network news programs don’t seem interested in American flag desecration, unless it happens in the Middle East. In the last five years, there have been only two mentions of domestic flag desecration on ABC, CBS and NBC. Both of those were on ABC.

May 13, 2015, 11:19 AM EDT

Well, anything remotely having to do with sex columnist and pro-gay bully Dan Savage would have to be bad, and the just-released trailer for The Real O’Neals confirms it.

“The O’Neals are your typical Irish Catholic family,” the voiceover begins. Which of course means the daughter pockets what she collects for church charities, Mom and Dad are divorcing, the family priest's vow of poverty doesn't apply to his Lexus, and the main character, a teenage son, is gay and struggling to come out of the closet.

May 5, 2015, 2:23 PM EDT

Remember “#BringBackOurGirls?” It was the relentlessly hyped and utterly silly Twitter campaign aimed at the African Islamist terror group Boko Haram. It’s hard to know if anyone actually thought tweets would get radical Islamists to release the nearly 300 Christian girls abducted from their school in Chibok, Nigeria. But it did allow Western liberals to advertise their sympathy. And ineffectualness.

First Lady Michelle Obama was one of the most prominent liberals involved. She was photographed holding a card bearing #BringBackOutGirls, underscored by her sad face – which became the face of “hashtag activism.”

April 30, 2015, 10:06 AM EDT

Liberals who habitually decry all the money in politics may want to turn their attention to Dallas today. That’s where a secretive meeting of millionaires and billionaires is convening and planning how to deploy $100 million over the next decade to influence American politics.

Closed to the press and public, the exclusive, invitation-only event includes the famous and not-so-famous, just so long as an attendee has at least $25,000 a year to give to causes “philanthropic” and political.

April 28, 2015, 10:16 AM EDT

Professional race explainer Michael Eric Dyson said a lot of stupid things on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes Monday. (Yes, it’s still on the air.) And really, that’s understandable, given that his job was to find excuses for the inexcusable violence and looting in Baltimore.

But mixed in with his litany of exculpatory urban dysfunction (“… the slow terror of expulsions from schools, rising rates of lead poisoning, the export of jobs to, uh, places across the waters …”) and awful metaphors (“it’s easy to point a gun of analysis and shoot [the rioters] with the bullets of our condemnation”) he managed to lash out at … professional sports.

April 23, 2015, 2:11 PM EDT

You’re an NBC Nightly News producer working on a story on a sensitive, controversial topic. Journalistic standards demand that, whatever your personal opinions, you seek expert opinions from serious professionals on all sides of the issue. So naturally, the only person you interview agrees with you and has been honored by an organization that boasts “the largest handmade vulva door frame in America.” 

Like I said, you work for NBC News.

March 22, 2015, 9:42 AM EDT

Should we be shocked that according to reviews Sean Penn’s new movie, The Gunman, is turning out to be the Venezuelan economy of action thrillers? Not at all. After all, Penn, the Hugo Chavez fan boy, co-wrote the screenplay.

And just as Chavez/Madurro socialist tropes inevitably led to a workers’ paradise chronically short of toilet paper, Sean Penn’s anti-corporate instincts led to a thriller chronically short of thrills.

March 16, 2015, 11:14 AM EDT

OK, it’s probably not cause and effect, but it’s definitely karma. Liam Neeson’s new flick, Run All Night, just posted the worst opening of any of the Irish actor’s action movies. And it’s the first Neeson movie to premier after his January public assertion that “There’s too many [expletive] guns out there, especially in America.”

March 4, 2015, 1:00 PM EST

It ain’t just you. Politics and ideology really are encroaching more on your favorite diversions, especially sports. And you can thank the usual suspects: journalists.

From Michael Sam to the Redskins to gun control and race relations, the very liberal sports media increasingly inject their preoccupations into their coverage. They just can’t leave you alone to enjoy the game – they have to “raise your consciousness.”

February 16, 2015, 12:05 PM EST

To “Today,” a comedy show retrospective is 11 times more important than Isis slaughtering Christians. In its first three hours Monday, “Today” spent 14 minutes 28 seconds on last night’s SNL40 anniversary of “Saturday Night Live” – another NBC production. On the other hand, it gave all of one minute, 20 seconds to a mass atrocity and the military response to it.

The other networks also spent more time on "SNL" than ISIS on Monday morning.

February 10, 2015, 11:24 AM EST

Funny ads are great, but BMW’s new one is playing for the wrong kind of yucks. In the new spot for the company’s X5 SUV viewers don’t learn much about the car, but they learn more than they want to about Granny’s sex life.

January 15, 2015, 11:42 AM EST

Friday is National Religious Freedom Day, and what better time to consider where threats to American religious freedom originate. (Hint – it’s not with Bible-thumping Baptist preachers or dogmatic Catholic cardinals.)

Progressives, who love to congratulate themselves on their tolerance and pluralism, are increasing intolerant when it comes to religion – or Christianity, anyway. Muslims seem to get a pass. On college campuses, Christian groups that refuse to allow non-believers to become officers have been forced to disband. In South Carolina, the atheist group Freedom from Religion Foundation pressured a privately-owned restaurant to cease offering discounts to customers who pray before their meals. The groups suggested Mary’s Gourmet Diner was in violation of the Civil Rights Act.

January 14, 2015, 2:59 PM EST

Lena Dunham is blissfully untroubled by self-awareness. It’s a quality that might be endearing in someone less repulsive. But in a recent interview with Grantland’s Bill Simmons it comes off as the obnoxiousness of a spoiled brat.

Take, for instance, when the 28-year-old, who’s currently flogging her memoir (even Obama had the decency to wait until his early 30s), and much of who’s work in “Girls” is at least somewhat autobiographical said, “I never want to become someone where like what’s happening to me becomes the entirety of the reality of the world.”