Latest from Matthew Philbin
July 12, 2012, 2:58 PM EDT

The title of a post at Business Insider crows, “Here's The Ballsy Businessweek Cover That's Going To Piss Off The Mormon Church.” In truth, it should anger anyone who finds it low and, frankly, un-American, to attack a candidate – directly or indirectly – through his religion.

But with Mitt Romney running neck and neck with Barack Obama, Bloomberg Businessweek saw the opportunity to further the Obama campaign’s jihad against Romney the super-wealthy tax-avoiding capitalist, while reminding readers that Romney belongs to this sort of strange, secretive cult that’s also a business empire of questionable legitimacy.

April 12, 2012, 8:57 AM EDT

News flash: Mitt Romney is a Mormon!

Actually, it’s not news. Romney was a Mormon as governor of Massachusetts and high-profile turn-around manager of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. Romney ran for the GOP nomination in 2008 and he was a Mormon then. He’s pretty much been running ever since. As a Mormon. But somehow, the networks can’t help reminding viewers at every turn that Romney is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints.

Just since Oct. 31, ABC, NBC and CBS have made 57 specific references to Romney’s faith. That’s on top of the more than 100 times they talked about it from Jan. 1-Oct. 31, 2011.

March 29, 2012, 2:43 PM EDT

“Thousands of atheists, agnostics and other non-believers turned out in the US capital on Saturday to celebrate their rejection of the idea of God and to claim a bigger place in public life,” wrote Agence France-Press of the “Reason Rally” on the National Mall March 24, 2012.

The Reason Rallyers carried crucifixes with profane statements on them, and signs like “So many Christians, so few lions.” They cheered the headline speaker, militant British atheist and scientist Richard Dawkins. Dawkins stressed that, “I don't despise religious people. I despise what they stand for ...” But he went on to exhort the crowd to “ridicule and show contempt” for believers and their faith.

December 5, 2011, 10:19 AM EST

With the 2012 elections less than a year away, the liberal media are attacking President Obama's potential opponents on a number of fronts, but especially on religion. ABC, CBS and NBC have used religion in two ways, either painting the field of GOP primary challengers as a God Squad of religious zealots or playing up differences in their faith. Whether they're letting viewers know that "Rick Perry's gonna have to answer some questions about the people" he prays with, fretting that God "told Michele Bachmann," to enter politics, or devoting no less than 40 segments to the question of whether Mormonism is "a cult" or if "Mitt Romney is a Christian," the networks have repeatedly used faith against the GOP field.

Media preoccupation with the GOP candidates' faith is the exact opposite of how they covered (or didn't) candidate Obama's 20-year attendance at the church of a racist, anti-American pastor who subscribed to "black liberation theology," or Obama's half-Muslim heritage. The MRC's Culture and Media Institute studied network news reporting on the GOP candidates and religion from Jan. 1-Oct. 31, 2011, and compared it to coverage of the Democratic presidential primary candidates over the same period in 2007. The discrepancy, in both the amount and tone of the coverage, was striking. Network reporters, so disinterested in the beliefs of Obama and his rivals for the 2008 nomination, took every opportunity to inject religion into their coverage of the GOP field. (CMI's key findings after the jump)

September 30, 2011, 9:24 AM EDT

With the news that an American air strike has killed the U.S.-born head of Al Quaeda in Yemen, Anwar Al Awlaki, the media will explain his significance in the terrorist organization, and his role in inspiring the Ft. Hood shooter and the “underwear bomber.” What they probably won’t tell you is that they once celebrated Al Awlaki as a “moderate” and a bridge-builder “between Islam and the West.”

Awlaki once served as imam of the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Northern Virginia, the very same place that attracted many of the 9/11 hijackers and, later, Major Nadal Hasan, the Ft. Hood shooter.

September 20, 2011, 11:33 AM EDT

If we post this story on Facebook, will the company remove it? According to a new study from the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) and the American Center for Law and Justice, there's a good chance it will.

NRB conducted a study of "the practices of Apple and its iTunes App Store, Google, Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter, as well as Internet service providers AT&T, Comcast and Verizon." Its conclusion: with the notable exception of Twitter, "social media websites are actively censoring Christian viewpoints.

September 1, 2011, 10:55 AM EDT

Fact: The man who wrote so eloquently about basic human liberty in the Declaration of Independence was himself a slave owner. Unproven theory: That man had a sexual relationship with one of those slaves and fathered at least one of her children.

If you’re a liberal journalist, the fact makes you inclined to believe the theory, and ideology and political necessity take you the rest of the way. At least, that has been the case in reporting on the Jefferson-Hemings historical controversy over the last decade and more.

It will be interesting to see if a new book that goes a long way toward exonerating Thomas Jefferson receives the same kind of breathless coverage as evidence the media cited to condemn him. Or if CBS produces a miniseries to correct the one it made exploiting that evidence.

August 17, 2011, 8:55 AM EDT

It’s hard to keep up with what the media and the left deem acceptable. Seems like just last year Anderson Cooper publicly took offense at a line from a movie. Come to think of it, it was just last year that the CNN anchor found “That’s so gay,” upsetting to his perfectly honed PC sensibilities.

Fast forward a year. Many people are accusing two currently prominent figures of being gay. But don’t hold your breath waiting for indignant coverage from Cooper and the rest of the media, because it’s liberals leveling the charge against conservatives.   

Take, for example, Marcus Bachmann, husband of GOP presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.). The Bachmanns have been married more than 30 years, and have five children. Mr. Bachmann runs a clinic that offers Christian counseling to people struggling with “unwanted” homosexual feelings – derisively termed “praying away the gay” by liberals.

August 1, 2011, 11:15 AM EDT

Look out MSNBC. The market for “vicious, inaccurate, and inexcusable” cable news just got more crowded in New York.

The New York Times reported August 1 that Al Jazeera English will begin appearing in New York for the first time, “subletting air space from a channel owner.” This marks a victory in AJE’s campaign to gain widespread access to the U.S. cable market. It’s also a victory for the network’s liberal media supporters, including several at the New York Times.

“Al Jazeera English was lauded by the United States government and even by a few competitors for its broadcasts from Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries earlier this year,” the Times noted. Yes, and it was called “balanced and thorough.” But as the Culture and Media Institute has reported, the praise was overblown and stemmed more from a decidedly non-journalistic admiration for the network’s activism than the quality of AJE’s reporting.

July 21, 2011, 1:46 PM EDT

Usually, it's easy to dismiss the moonbat ravings of the far left. But when liberals, always ready to indignantly accuse conservatives of "questioning my patriotism," start suggesting their political opponents are "committing treason," the hypocrisy merits notice. Doubly so when the allegation of treason is made on a website that takes money from George Soros.

In a July 20 column on Alternet, Cliff Schecter, "president of Libertas, LLC, a progressive public relations firm," joined the echo chamber of liberals lamenting that the Republican Party had become radicalized by "the forces of the anti-American, gun-toting, religious and corporate Right that have taken over the GOP."

June 29, 2011, 10:02 AM EDT

"It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more."

-John Adams, July 3rd, 1776

Seems like a lot of fuss over a document written to form a political agreement between some loosely unified colonies more than 200 years ago.

When Adams wrote that, a nation had been created, yes, but it had yet to win any significant victories in its war against the most powerful military in the world. Many states were nearly bankrupt and it wasn't certain they'd hang together. And for all its noble ideas about equality, the Declaration did nothing to end slavery, which Adams called "as offensive in the sight of God as it is derogatory from our own honor or interest of happiness."

June 22, 2011, 11:18 AM EDT

It must be what's known in the military as "mission creep." Why else would an organization of professional librarians come out in support of the soldier alleged to be responsible for the largest security breach in U.S. military history?

When it meets for its annual conference in New Orleans June 23, the American Library Association will vote on a resolution calling on the Secretary of the Army and the Army Chief of Staff to "release Pfc. Bradley Manning from pre-trial confinement and drop the charges against him." (Documents are available here.)

June 16, 2011, 10:47 AM EDT

These are tough times to be an American dad, and indeed, an American man. The recession, or "mancession," as it's been called, hit men harder than women; male unemployment was 8.9 percent compared to 8 percent for women in May. Adding insult to injury, leftwing journalists have sniggered about the plight of the "beached white male." In 2010, women became the majority in the work force for the first time in history. More women receive college degrees than men do.

Culturally, in article after magazine article, on TV and in films, fathers and men in general are portrayed as hapless bumblers at best, abusive deadbeats at worst.

May 24, 2011, 11:05 AM EDT

Talk show pioneer. Best selling author. Incredibly successful business woman. Actress. Philanthropist. Billionaire. "Most influential woman in the world." Oprah Winfrey, the King Midas of her day, is ending her 25-year, multi-award-winning talk show this May, signaling the end of a staple in 21st century television.

But amid all the fawning retrospectives and misty tributes, it's important to remember just who Oprah is, the biased viewpoint she represents and the damage she's done to popular culture.

Before Rosanne Barr called Oprah "the African Mother Goddess of us all," a prominent cultural researcher called her the "Queen of Trash" for the sleazy, exploitative nature of her early show. Since then, the more "uplifting" "Oprah Winfrey Show" has been a more insipid influence, steadily eroding the culture with a combination of weepy emotionalism, New Age spirituality and an embrace of alternative sexualities and gender roles.

May 10, 2011, 2:47 PM EDT

It’s a “news”` outlet dedicated to coverage of the Middle East, but it ignores ongoing atrocities against Israeli civilians. Its Arab language sibling threw a lavish birthday party for a terrorist who infamously murdered a Jewish family, and its reporting during the Iraq War was called “vicious, inaccurate, and inexcusable” by the U.S. Secretary of Defense. The list of op-ed contributors to its website reads like a Who’s Who of left-wing and Muslim anti-Americanism.

It’s Al Jezeera English, and liberals and the U.S. media want to give it prestigious awards and greater access to the U.S. cable news market.

May 3, 2011, 4:00 PM EDT

When you’re right, you’re right. Last month, the Culture and Media Institute reported that internet marketing material from preppy clothing maker J. Crew featured a photo of the company’s president painting the toenails of her young son hot pink.

"Lucky for me I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink," said the caption. "Toenail painting is way more fun in neon."

CMI pointed out that the gender-bending ad was a nod to the gay agenda. Fox News picked up the story and a media storm ensued. Liberals scoffed at social conservatives’ concerns that J. Crew was exploiting and normalizing the feminization of the boy with “blatant propaganda.”

But according to ABC News, CMI was onto something. A May 2, 2011 on-line story places “J Crew at Center of Gay Economics With Openly Gay Model.” The company’s May 2011 catalog “features employees as models, including a gay designer with his boyfriend, who are described as ‘Happy Together.’”

April 27, 2011, 12:10 PM EDT

The April 29 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton has the media world abuzz as the couple prepares to walk down the aisle this week. Although the affair is more than 3,000 miles away and focuses on the royalty of a foreign nation, the U.S. media is giving the wedding overwhelming coverage.

In fact, according to Nielson, and highlighted by the Daily Caller's Laura Donovan, the U.S. media coverage of the wedding is “considerably higher” as a percent of all news reporting “than in the U.K. and Australia.”That is despite the fact that a New York Times/CBS poll found that just 28 percent of Americans say they have followed the wedding “somewhat closely.”

Worse, the media wedding blitz comes at the expense of more important stories impacting the United States, like the bloody drug war just across the border with Mexico.

April 14, 2011, 12:16 PM EDT

On April 8, MRC’s Culture and Media Institute started a debate  when it called attention to an e-mail ad from J Crew that featured a mother painting her young son’s toenails pink. The story gained national attention on radio, TV and the web. And now it’s made “The Daily Show.”

Video Below the fold.

April 13, 2011, 11:47 AM EDT

On Tuesday, April 13, the Media Research Center’s vice president for business and culture appeared on the NBC ‘Today’ Show to discuss a recent controversy involving a J.CREW ad featuring a little boy wearing pink toe nail polish.

The two minute five second video segment provided a not-so balanced look at the nationwide debate surrounding the ad and the question of whether or not J.CREW executive creative director Jenna Lyons is exploiting her son’s favorite color to sell nail polish and clothing through her employer.

Video below the fold.

April 11, 2011, 10:55 AM EDT

MSNBC’s new slogan may be “Lean Forward,” but the brazenly left-wing cable network does a lot of looking back – to the 1860s.

April 12, 2011, will mark the 150th anniversary of the bombardment of Ft. Sumter in South Carolina – the beginning of the American Civil War. As Americans observe this milestone, they’ll hear a lot of words they only vaguely remember from U.S. History class – terms like “secession,” “states rights,” “nullification,” “contraband,” or “Dred Scott.”

Not MSNBC viewers. To them the language of the Civil War is remarkably familiar, since the network’s liberal hosts and guests never miss an opportunity to associate today’s conservative movement with the Confederacy, secession, slavery and racism.