Latest from Matthew Philbin
October 8, 2013, 11:22 AM EDT

Well Redskins fans, it’s over. The ruling has been handed down from on high – The Washington Post and USA Today. They’ve got a foam finger for you, but it’s not the index and you’re certainly not #1 to them, and they’re the ones who matter. They’ve decided your team name will change.

They got some help last week from President Obama, who took a break from refusing to negotiate with Republicans to tell the AP, “If I were the owner of the team and I knew that there was a name of my team – even if it had a storied history – that was offending a sizeable group of people, I'd think about changing it.” In other words, if he had a team mascot, it wouldn’t look like the ’Skins’ logo, and Dan Snyder is acting stupidly.

October 7, 2013, 11:08 AM EDT

Pity ABC correspondent Matt Gutman, trapped in the wrong career. Clearly, he’s a frustrated publicist, or maybe a producer for a sob-sister daytime talk show. That’s the only charitable way to explain his Oct. 4 “20/20” report on Kaitlyn Hunt.

Hunt, of Indian River, Fla., was an 18-year-old woman when she had multiple sexual encounters in a high school restroom with a 14-year-old girl. She was 19 when she violated a court order forbidding contact with that girl, sending her 20,000 texts, including nude and sexually explicit photos and videos and arranging to meet for sex. Video after the jump.

August 26, 2013, 11:02 AM EDT

Editor’s note: the video after the jump may offend some people.

Dear Miley Cyrus: We get it already. You’re not a kid anymore. That Teddy Bear-to-porn maven motif at the 2013 MTV VMAs was so unsubtle even the kind of people who like the VMAs couldn’t miss it. Ditto the latex bikini and relentless “twerking.” Besides, you’re belaboring the point. It’s been abundantly clear for some time you killed Hannah Montana and you’re pole-dancing on her grave.

But maybe you could dial back the porn factor just a touch? Sure, masturbating yourself and Robin Thicke with a foam #1 finger shocked Will Smith & co. in the immediacy of the moment.

August 21, 2013, 3:24 PM EDT

In the media’s wall-to-wall Egypt coverage, one important facet of the ongoing crisis has gotten short shrift: the deadly plight of that nation’s Christians. The three broadcast networks in particular have buried the anti-Christian violence, devoting just 5 percent of Egypt reporting to it since last week. Six days ago, supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and deposed President Mohammed Morsi launched what some are calling a “pogrom” and “jihad” against Egypt’s Christian population.

Violence against Egypt’s Christian minority is nothing new. Nor is the media’s disinterest in it. But in the last week, that violence suddenly escalated to epidemic levels.

July 31, 2013, 4:26 PM EDT

Bradley Manning must be terribly lonely. After all, how many gay men have made news the last few years without being celebrated in the media for their gayness? And a gay man who also “struggles with issues of gender identity” can pretty much write his own contract with MSNBC.

But the media, and the broadcast networks especially, are oddly reticent about the sexual orientation and confusion of Manning, the army private convicted of the most extensive military intelligence security breach in U.S. history.

July 25, 2013, 9:21 AM EDT

Everyone’s happy about the arrival of the future king of Britain – that is, everyone at leisure to take note. Presumably, Middle Eastern Christians have been too busy trying to survive to worry over whether the Duchess of Cambridge was in false labor.

And while the hard-nosed journalists at ABC, CBS and NBC have been knitting booties and speculating on names, Middle Eastern Christians have been attacked by Islamists, prevented from worshipping, driven from homes and villages, beaten and executed.

July 9, 2013, 3:05 PM EDT

Well, The Washington Post sure knows how to bury a lead. It’s hardly news that someone is accusing Al Jazeera of having an anti-Western slant – it does and plenty of people have taken public exception to it. But when 22 of the network’s own employees quit because they can’t stomach the pervasive pro-Islamist bias, it’s something to write home about.

On July 9, the Post ran a straightforward “Style” section article about the latest charges of bias against Al Jazeera, this time about its pro-Muslim Brotherhood, pro-Morsi coverage of the Egyptian unrest. It seems the Egyptian military, with the hearty approval of gathered Egyptian journalists, banished some Al Jazeera reporters from a news conference.

June 27, 2013, 1:54 PM EDT

It’s hard to know where yesterday’s Supreme Court decisions on gay marriage met with the most jubilation: West Hollywood, the Castro District, Greenwich Village? Or the newsrooms of ABC, CBS and NBC?

Combined, the three broadcast networks devoted an astounding 25 minutes, 54 seconds of their evening news shows to the Supreme Court’s decisions striking down the Defense of Marriage Act and essentially overturning California’s Proposition 8 referendum on gay marriage. Afraid to spoil the party, they predictably allowed just 3 minutes, 33 seconds to same sex marriage opponents and their viewpoints.

June 20, 2013, 2:57 PM EDT

How’s this for chutzpah: On the June 10 Today, did a segment on the difficult process of jury selection for the George Zimmerman trial, given the highly publicized racial issues surrounding the case. NBC’s Carl Quintanilla asked “Today” Legal Expert Lisa Bloom, “Has media coverage already influenced this jury?”

Yes it has, and NBC has more to answer for than most. For a full week in March, 2012 NBC “Nightly News” and “Today,” along with its local Miami affiliate ran audio tape of George Zimmerman’s 911 call the night he fatally shot Trayvon Martin. NBC viewers learned that Zimmerman had said to the 911 dispatcher, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.”

June 12, 2013, 11:18 AM EDT

America’s daughters will now be able to buy the “morning after” abortion pill with their Justin Bieber fan-zines and “Twilight” novels. To many people, that’s important news. But ABC didn’t think it was worth noting on “World News with Diane Sawyer.”

Perhaps ABC felt it was already covering an important health story and couldn’t fit another in the broadcast. And really, a segment on women wearing high-heels even though their feet hurt is hard-hitting journalism.

June 11, 2013, 2:18 PM EDT

And Rabbi Joshua Hammerman thought he had a “Tebow Problem” before. Back in 2011, the columnist at The Jewish Week fretted that the Tim Tebow-led Denver Broncos might beat his “beloved” New England Patriots in the upcoming AFC championship game. But his wasn’t a fan’s normal pre-game nervousness. It was the hand-wringing of a liberal bigot.

Hammerman imagined that the rubes in fly-over country regarded the “blue-clad Patriots, from the bluest of blue states” as the “Sons of Darkness, with their perfectly coiffed Hollywood quarter back” their “diabolical hoodie-clad coach” and “the most identifiably Jewish owner in sports.” Against Tebow, the “poster boy of the Christian right,” they’d be “playing the role of Pilate.” (In the event, the Broncos lost, forestalling Tebow’s Christian fans from “burning mosques, bashing gays and indiscriminately banishing immigrants” in celebration, as Hammerman had warned.)

May 31, 2013, 8:17 AM EDT

The New York Times’ Brian Stelter is super-excited about the debut of Al Jazeera America sometime later this summer. He’s especially enthused that AJA “wants to be American through and through,” and is “aiming to have virtually all of its programming originate from the United States.”

And that makes sense. Even Stelter, a fan-boy of all things Al Jazeera, must realize that pre-martyrdom farewell videos and discussions of exactly how satanic the United States really is won’t play in Peoria.

May 24, 2013, 10:30 AM EDT

So the Boy Scouts of America have caved, voting on May 23 to allow openly gay Scouts. It was probably inevitable – just as the organization will inevitably be forced to drop its ban on openly gay adult Scout leaders. Cue the sound of popping champagne corks in newsrooms and TV studios up and down the coasts.

When news first broke back in February that the Boy Scouts of America might allow local charters to decide their own policies on including gays as Scouts and leaders, the broadcast networks were exultant. Well they should be, because they and the rest of the media have waged a long campaign against the Scouts on behalf of the gay lobby. 

May 23, 2013, 10:08 AM EDT

What does a murderous jihadist terrorist have to do to get some recognition for his cause? You hack a British soldier to death in broad daylight on a London street while shouting “Allahu akbar” and then “swear by the almighty Allah” that you’ll never stop fighting, and the U.S. broadcast networks still can’t bring themselves to utter a word about Islam.

True, the ABC CBS and NBC evening broadcasts called the attack “terrorism,” but for all the information they gave viewers, the attackers might have been Basque separatists or animal rights zealots.

May 22, 2013, 11:19 AM EDT

When your 18-year-old daughter is expelled and charged with sexual battery of a child, one option is to go public and declare she’s a martyr under fire from anti-gay bias. That’s the approach taken by the parents of Kaitlyn Hunt, a Florida teen who faces two felony charges of “lewd or lascivious battery” on a child. And sure enough, the tactic has earned Hunt some high-profile left-wing media defenders.

According to the charges, Hunt, a senior at Sebastian River High School who was set to graduate this spring, pressured a 14-year-old girl four years her junior to be her “girlfriend” and engage in sexual activity with her. But when Kaitlyn faced prosecution from her underage partner’s parents, her own parents and gay activists immediately granted her victim status, claiming she was unjustly persecuted for being homosexual.

May 10, 2013, 11:16 AM EDT

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. And sometimes a business decision is just a business decision. Like the Vikings cutting punter Chris Kluwe. Kluwe is an aging, expensive, mediocre performer, and the Vikings just drafted a new punter.

But to John Becker at the Huffington Post, there must be something darker at work. Kluwe is an outspoken gay marriage supporter. Becker is an “LGBT activist, writer and blogger.” And according to Becker, “word on the street is that the decision to drop Kluwe is at least partially due to his outspoken support for and advocacy on behalf of marriage equality.”

May 1, 2013, 1:21 PM EDT

Woe unto you who haven’t joined the rhapsodic hymns to Jason Collins’ heroism and genuflected before the altar of diversity. You have incurred the wrath of Mike Wise.

The Washington Post sports columnist, who is rumored to sometimes write about sports, doesn’t like Christians or conservatives (“Bible-thumpers” to him and Charles Barkley), and he’s not shy about it. His May 1 column was a tour de force, dripping contempt for anyone not enthused that NBA player Jason Collins announced he’s gay.

April 30, 2013, 11:42 AM EDT

ABC is nothing if not clear about its priorities. For a month and a half, the network has steadfastly refused to cover the multiple murder trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell, devoting 109 minutes to other trials, along with important revelations about the original names of fictional characters. But when a little-known journeyman basketball player announces he’s gay, ABC’s elite news squad swings into action, lavishing resources and broadcast time on the story.

On Monday Anchor Diane Sawyer led “World News” breathlessly talking of “an act of personal courage.” “Jason Collins,” Sawyer said, “a powerhouse player in the NBA, a veteran of the court, today told the world he is gay.Video after the break.

April 23, 2013, 8:58 AM EDT

Well that didn’t last long. In fact, it barely happened at all. After a month of ignoring the trial of Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia abortionist accused of murdering one woman and seven infants, it looked like the media had been shamed into covering the story. 

Barely. Even after the most gruesome detail in a trial full of them came out – a baby who survived an abortion “swimming” in a toilet and “trying to get out” – the silence resumed. In fact, the only major news outlet that bothered to report on that testimony was The Chicago Tribune. CNN.com mentioned it, it got no air time.  Video after the break

April 9, 2013, 11:18 AM EDT

The Rutgers basketball story continues to transfix the media, and why shouldn’t it? Mike Rice, the disgraced former Rutgers basketball coach allegedly killed a woman and at least seven viable, born-alive babies “by plunging scissors into their spinal cords” in his filthy, macabre “house of horrors” abortion clinic.

Oh wait, my mistake. Rice was fired last week from Rutgers over video of him shoving, kicking and yelling at his players, throwing basketballs at them and – most damning – using “homophobic slurs.” That’s made Rice the most notorious villain in America. And in one week it earned him 36 network news stories clocking in at 41 minutes, 26 seconds of air time on ABC, CBS and NBC.