Latest from Matthew Philbin
August 5, 2014, 12:17 PM EDT

It’s a horrible time to be a civilian in Gaza, as ABC, NBC and CBS never tire of telling audiences. But it’s not a good time to be Jewish in Europe, either – maybe not even in America. In the month since the fighting in Gaza began, anti-Semitism has been surging across Europe, as protests against the IDF offensive drop any pretense of being about Israel and turn into orgies of anti-Semitic hate. The response from the U.S. broadcast networks: silence.

In Athens, Greece, a Holocaust memorial was vandalized, as was one in Sevastopol, Crimea. There have been at least nine attacks on French synagogues since the fighting began, and a Jewish-owned shop was burned in Paris. The cars of Jewish families have been vandalized in Amsterdam. Scores of anti-Semitic incidents have occurred in Italy, Britain and Germany. A synagogue was vandalized in Miami, and #HitlerWasRight trended worldwide on Twitter. Oh, and just the other day a Hamas official trotted out the old blood libel that Jews used to kill Christians and use their blood to bake matzos.

July 21, 2014, 2:44 PM EDT

Dear Guardian, thanks for making this easy! Rarely are a media outlet’s prejudices and blinkered sense of moral equivalence more in evidence than in two stories on the left-wing British newspaper’s site.

Exhibit A: A 461-word July 19 story picked up from the AP. Boko Haram killed more than 100 people when the Islamist group entered a town in North Eastern Nigeria on July 20. They “attacked the town of Damboa before dawn on Friday, firing rocket-propelled grenades, throwing homemade bombs into homes and gunning down people as they tried to escape the ensuing fires.” The accompanying photo captioned as “A screengrab taken on 13 July from a video released by Boko Haram shows the group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau.”

July 16, 2014, 10:35 AM EDT

As many as 90,000 of France’s 350,000 Jews – more than one fourth – were murdered in the Holocaust, within living memory. So when Jewish synagogues and businesses are attacked in Paris by mobs chanting “Death to the Jews,” (on Bastille Day, no less) it ought to be news.

Not to the U.S. broadcast networks – at least not when the mob is Muslim. In Paris on Sunday, three Jews were hospitalized after a violent attack on a synagogue by pro-Palestinian demonstrators. According to the Jerusalem Post, “‘The attackers splintered off an anti-Israel demonstration and advanced toward the synagogue when it was full,’ said Alain Azria, a French Jewish journalist who covered the event.”

July 7, 2014, 12:48 PM EDT

Since the Hobby Lobby decision, liberals have been sputtering about the War on WomenTM and trotting out arguments that are both beside the point and dubious in themselves.

Take for example liberal radio personality Stephanie Miller. On CNN’s “State of the Union” with Candy Crowley on July 6, Miller declared, “Every woman I know is furious about the hobby lobby decision.” Yes, she needs to get out more. But then she pulled out this liberal chestnut: “Ninety-eight percent of Catholic women use birth control.”

June 25, 2014, 1:22 PM EDT

The scene: a network newsroom in Manhattan, editorial meeting for the June 24 evening broadcast.

“Hey, what about this story of Meriam Ibrahim? Looks like Sudan released her and then rearrested her.”
“Meh, another African Christian condemned by Muslim fanatics to death for her faith, yada, yada, yada. We need something really important, that cuts right to the fundamental conflicts and contradictions of our time.”
“Well, some foreign soccer player bit another foreign soccer player at the World Cup.”
“Bingo! Any chance the victim is transgendered?”
“Uh, I don’t know, chief, but I’ll sure find out!”

An exaggeration? At this point, who knows? All we know is that ABC, NBC and CBS aren’t among the swath of the media that’s been covering the harrowing tale of a young Sudanese mother condemned to death because she wouldn’t renounce her Christian faith. Here story has come to a head with her release and apparent re-arrest before she could flee Sudan. The U.S. ambassador to Sudan has been summoned and tensions are running high.

June 24, 2014, 9:33 AM EDT

Who was Anwar Al Awlaki and why did the U.S. government kill him in a 2011 drone strike, despite his U.S. citizenship?

The latter question has been answered with the court-ordered release of a Justice Department memo justifying the action. Awlaki, held “operational and leadership roles” in Al Qaeda in Yemen and “continue[d] to plot attacks intended to kill Americans.”

The first question – who he was – is one many in the media won’t be too eager to revisit, because they got it spectacularly wrong for a long time.

June 19, 2014, 9:43 AM EDT

An American teenager, along with two Israeli teens, has been kidnapped in Israel. “[T]wo jihadist groups had posted claims of responsibility for kidnapping the teens,” according to The Washington Post. Israel is in an uproar as the government tries to find them.

But in America, the broadcast networks are breathlessly covering the new movie “22 Jump Street.” In fact, ABC, CBS and NBC have devoted more than 10 and a half minutes to the sophomoric slapstick movie comedy. That’s more than twice what they’ve given to the kidnapping.

June 16, 2014, 10:32 AM EDT

Well, ABC and NBC are acting to type, ever reluctant to call evil by its name when doing so is politically incorrect (and possibly dangerous).

Consider both networks’ reporting on the story of the school girls kidnapped last month in Nigeria, and a second, smaller group kidnapped last week. To date, NBC identified the kidnappers of hundreds of Christian girls as Islamist less than 33 percent of the time (12 mentions in 37 reports). ABC’s record is particularly shameful – just 22 percent (eight of 36 total reports) of stories mentioned that Boko Haram, the terrorist gang that abducted the girls, are radical Muslims.

June 11, 2014, 11:06 AM EDT

What do you suppose it costs to run a 60-second ad in major markets during the NBA playoffs on ABC? And can you think of something better to do with the “significant investment” a California Indian tribe has made than to register disapproval of a sports mascot?

The Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation isn’t saying how much it paid for the spots, airing in New York, D.C., Chicago, Dallas, L.A. San Francisco, Sacramento and Miami. It is saying that it ponied up for the anti-Redskins ad because, “It’s just a time to get people thinking about putting an end to outward hatred and using sports as a tool to focus on racism,” according to tribe spokesman Marshall McKay. Video after the jump.

May 9, 2014, 11:53 AM EDT

Here’s a story for the nightly news: a plucky upstart overcomes establishment hostility to reach a seemingly impossible goal. The problem is that the nightly news is the establishment, and the Gosnell Movie project, which just reached its initial crowd-funding goal, deals with something they don’t want to talk about.

Headed by producer Phelim McAleer and wife Ann McElhinney, the Gosnell Movie campaign has reached its initial goal of raising $2.1 million from more than 23,000 individual donors through the crowd-funding site Indiegogo. The money raised will fund a scripted TV drama based on abortionist Kermit Gosnell’s trial and grand jury report. But McAleer and McElhenny aren’t done.

May 7, 2014, 12:21 PM EDT

If an NFL team ends up taking Michael Sam in a late draft round – or not at all – don’t blame the media. The Missouri defensive end came out of the closet to near universal media adulation (coincidentally timed with the NFL Combine in February). Now, with the draft looming on May 8, ESPN and ABC are doing their parts to make sure Sam is picked.

ESPN announced May 7 that it’s bestowing Sam with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. The ceremony doesn’t take place until July, but it’s never too early to remind NFL coaching staffs that Sam had the courage to join society’s most trendy and celebrated grievance group.

April 25, 2014, 10:40 AM EDT

Note to institutions embroiled in scandal: when The New York Times calls, don’t bother taking the call.

That, apparently, is the lesson Florida State University learned the hard way on April 16, when a front page Times hit-piece by Walt Bogdanich left out nearly all the information the school said it provided the Times.

April 3, 2014, 10:32 AM EDT

It’s Opening Day week and all things are new again. Except the fact that liberals won’t let us just be happy watching our sports. That’s not new. In fact, as anyone who’s read Roger Kahn’s “The Boys of Summer” knows, determined liberals have been trying to suck the joy out of the sporting endeavor for decades.

But it does seem that the space carved out for the care-free enjoyment of our favorite sports is shrinking a little bit every year. Sycophantic ESPN is being used to sell Obamacare in exchange for the president’s bracket picks. Obama’s now annual interview has been ruining the guacamole at Super Bowl parties since 2009. 

March 17, 2014, 12:14 PM EDT

In the never-ending search to find things to be offended by, part of the feminist left has determined that “bossy,” when applied to girls and women, is inappropriate. Really. There’s a whole campaign with big-name celebrities and liberal partners like Upworthy, Teach for America, La Raza, The Girl Scouts and the AARP. Beyoncé, Condoleezza Rice, Jennifer Garner and Jane Lynch have all signed on.

Apparently, when some girls are called “bossy,” they tend to behave less, well, bossy. That outcome is clearly detrimental to girls’ self esteem and willingness to take leadership roles. To which sensitive, informed Americans can only respond, “Huh?”

March 12, 2014, 8:32 AM EDT

So who ya gonna believe: Paramount or Director Darren Aronofsky?  Either “Noah” is sure to be a hit with the 86 percent of religious people who are aware of the film (Paramount), or it’s the “least Biblical Biblical film ever made” (Aronofsky).

It's all a bit confusing right now for the film whose ending has been reshot and recut, gone one way and another, signalled a Hollywood re-embrace of the Biblical epic or Hollywood imposing its values on the Good Book. Try to make sense of this March 11 paragraph from Huffpo:

March 10, 2014, 3:43 PM EDT

You’d think a show whose mission is to explore the unimaginable vastness of time and space wouldn’t waste a big chunk of its first episode on an obscure 400-year-old incident of negligible scientific significance. But hey, there’s always time to beat up on the church!

“Cosmos,” the new 13-part reboot of the old Carl Sagan show airing on Fox and the National Geographic Channel, is supposed to be “a celebration of wonder and awe.” But so far, it’s been predictable – especially in its politics. Viewers learn that “ancient forests grew and died and sank beneath the surface, their remains transformed into coal. 300 million years later, we humans are burning most of that coal to power and imperil our civilization.” And on Venus, “runaway greenhouse effect has turned it into a kind of hell.” (Damn you humans!) (video clips below the jump)

February 26, 2014, 12:36 PM EST

Is NBC crazy? In this day and age, it takes real chutzpa to develop a “provocative drama set against the backdrop of a prominent Michigan mosque where faith, family and corruption are explored in equal measure.” Wait, back that up. Replace “Michigan mosque” with “Texas church.” Now that makes sense.

Perhaps operating on the theory that pop culture just doesn’t do enough to stick it to Christians, NBC has green lighted “Salvation.” According to the Hollywood Reporter, “the pilot centers on Jennifer Strickland (Judd), who has to defend her children, church and religious beliefs after her husband dies under mysterious circumstances.” But since it stars erstwhile Democratic senate hopeful and moonbat liberal Ashley Judd, and its executive producer, David Janollari, was formerly the head of programming for MTV, its hard to imagine the show going to the barricades for “religious beliefs.”

February 11, 2014, 3:02 PM EST

Feel that? Something “historic” and “important” just happened. It might even be a “teachable moment,” and it’s certainly therapeutic. Why, liberals will be able to like their country just little bit more. Come on people, feel the love! 

A potential fourth round NFL draft pick has declared his “own truth,” and come out as gay. Having taken the “courageous” step of joining society’s most trendy and celebrated grievance group, Missouri defensive end Michael Sam is now basking in the media adulation.

February 6, 2014, 8:47 AM EST

Journalists love to preen as human rights watchdogs, congratulating themselves publicly for their roles – real or imagined – in securing the life and liberty of the downtrodden. That is, as long as it’s the right sort of downtrodden. 

Take, for example, NBC’s coverage in the run up to the Sochi Winter Olympics. Because of Russian restrictions on gays’ free speechfor homosexuals, the official Olympic network repeatedly fretted about gay “human rights.” NBC speculated about the rights and safety of gay athletes and visitors to Sochi, reported extensively on Russia’s gay community, talked to every gay athlete in the NBC phone book and hyped President Obama’s appointing of prominent gays to the U.S. Olympic Delegation. Network hosts also tried to encourage athletes to make pro-gay statements while at the Games, at the risk of disqualifying themselves from competition. Video after the break.

January 24, 2014, 10:08 AM EST

Know what’s really funny? Saying “vagina” a lot. And mocking the religious faith of others in service to your shallow ideology and your marginal comedy career.

So it’s really funny to be Sarah Silverman (except when it isn’t, because sometimes people can be so mean to an actress of a certain age.) For instance, she got to do a new anti-Christian, pro-abortion PSA in which she met Jesus – or as he called himself, “Jesus Fucking Christ.”