Latest from Matthew Philbin
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.”

January 13, 2015, 9:21 AM EST

If, like his character in the “Taken” franchise, Liam Neeson has a “very particular set of skills,” it doesn’t include recognizing his own hypocrisy. While the hyper-violent “Taken 3” was pulling down $39.2 million at the box office its opening weekend, Neeson was in Dubai railing against guns.

January 6, 2015, 11:54 AM EST

Nearly two years ago, someone planted and detonated a bomb in the crowd at near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Three people were killed and more than 260 injured. Police killed one of the suspects in a shoot-out and, after more shooting, captured his brother in a boat in someone’s backyard.

Jury selection began yesterday in the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and ABC, CBS and NBC on Monday evening and Tuesday morning were careful to explain that, because Tsarnaev is eligible for the death penalty, selection is likely to be long and painstaking.

December 22, 2014, 12:06 PM EST

ThinkProgress details the many ways The Knights of Columbus act their faith. They oppose same-sex marriage, pornography, abortion, and the contraceptive mandate. Is this shocking?
 

December 15, 2014, 3:47 PM EST

Thank Gaia for the ever-vigilant ACLU! Who else would have discerned the dire threat to civil liberty lurking in a California school’s effort to raise money for starving children in Africa? 

A middle school in San Marcos, Cal., partnered with a local charity, Friends and Family Community Connection (FFCC), to raise money to send meals to children in Tanzania – innocent enough, right? Wrong. It turns out FFCC also worked with Kids Around the World (KATW) to accomplish the same goal. KATW is [cue sinister music] a Christian charity. 

December 3, 2014, 10:03 AM EST

They're fixated on Ferguson, but massive violence in the Windy City doesn’t fit Nets' liberal narrative.

November 21, 2014, 1:44 PM EST

What’s worse than spending a half-hour revisiting the 60s with some old beatniks and their guitars? Spending that half-hour tip-toeing around the fact that one of them is a convicted sex offender.

On Nov. 18, PBS’ Tavis Smiley hosted Peter Yarrow and Noel “Paul” Stookey on his self-named show, the surviving members of the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary. Smiley's entire interview ignored Yarrow's record as a child sex offender.

November 19, 2014, 12:29 PM EST

Cut from two NFL teams? Want to be Man of the Year?

November 19, 2014, 8:14 AM EST

Christian QB leads prayer on set of SEC Nation. Christian recording artist Tanner Clark was on set and snapped a photo, which he shared on social media.

November 12, 2014, 8:49 AM EST

Disagreeing with liberals is not traitorous.

November 6, 2014, 2:33 PM EST

Politics is a sinister playground and conservatives want to take away liberal candy.

October 23, 2014, 11:59 AM EDT

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. In June 2013, when then Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis staged an 11-hour filibuster against a bill restricting late-term abortions, the national media claimed they’d found a rising liberal superstar, and they’ve been campaigning for her ever since. Davis has few more enthusiastic backers than ABC, CBS and NBC.

From the beginning, Davis’ network fans were enchanted. Here was an attractive blond woman in pink tennis shoes (as the networks reminded viewers 23 times) who “took a stand” over a cherished liberal issue amidst the circus-like atmosphere of a Texas State House overrun with vocal abortion supporters. It was great TV, and the networks made the most of it, giving Davis three times more coverage in 19 days than they did the entire 58-day murder trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell.

September 29, 2014, 1:35 PM EDT

In the Middle East, beheading is pretty much de rigueur, a favorite home video subject and a hallmark of the Islamic State. Thankfully in America, beheadings are rare – the horrifying work of serial killers or Mexican drug lords. 

So when a beheading occurred Thursday at a food plant in Moore, Oklahoma, reasonable people wondered if there was a connection to Islam. There was. 

September 18, 2014, 11:32 AM EDT

On his blog, Huffington Post Gay Voices, Op-Ed writer Michelangelo Signorile made the outrageous claim that: “Professional football, perhaps more than any other male team sport, is based on misogyny and homophobia, built on it from the ground up.” 

Hmmm. It’s a sport women are physically unequipped to play at high levels – that must be the misogyny. And it so far hasn’t allowed itself to be bullied into pretending that two percent of the population that tends to self-select away from the game really matters to it: Homophobia.