Latest from Matthew Philbin
February 8, 2011, 3:36 PM EST

In the decade since 9/11, the liberal media's patently false insistence that American Muslims were or would soon be the victims of a massive wave of hate crimes at least had the benefit of plausibility. The same can't be said of an effort to suggest that Islam can't get a fair shake in left-wing Hollywood.

Yet a recent Associated Press article uncritically detailed an initiative of the Muslim Public Affairs Counsel to bring 'a more representative picture of Muslim-Americans on the screen.'

January 12, 2011, 10:51 AM EST

It was no less depressing for being predictable. News of the horrendous Jan. 8 shooting of Democratic Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 17 others had just broken when some on the left were exploiting it to malign conservatives.

Yet the left has blamed the “vitriolic” rhetoric of conservatives and the Tea Parties as inciting violence. The mainstream media has enabled and even joined liberals in tarring the right with inciting political violence, right down to the gossip, entertainment and “lifestyle” outlets.

Whether it’s “TMZ” polling readers with a leading questionnaire, “The Hollywood Reporter” publishing the thoughts of reliably left-wing celebrities, or “ET” trying to coax coherent sentences from vapid “young Hollywood stars,” sites noted for covering “pop tarts” are exploiting and scoring political points from the Tucson shooting.

January 3, 2011, 4:28 PM EST

On Dec. 14, 2010, the Culture and Media Institute reported that the Society for Professional Journalists (SPJ)’s Diversity Committee announced a year-long campaign to “educate journalists about the hurtfulness of phrases like ‘illegal immigrant,’ which is the term currently preferred by the influential AP Stylebook.”

After the Daily Caller picked up the story, the Fox News Channel followed suit. On Jan. 3, “Fox & Friends’” host Steve Doocy interviewed Leo Laurence, a member of SPJ’s Diversity Committee, who couched the society’s advocacy as a constitutional issue.

“The problem,” Laurence said, “is that under our Constitution, everyone, including non-citizens, are presumed to be innocent of any crime until proven guilty in the court of law. Therefore, only a judge can say when someone is illegal. So we're urging journalists to use the phrase, undocumented immigrant, not illegal immigrant.”

(Video below the fold)

December 1, 2010, 10:19 AM EST

Is America a special nation, chosen by God as “the shining city on the hill?” Do our founding documents, with their explicit invocation of natural rights, set us apart from the rest of the world?

Majorities of Americans believe so. Even the liberal Brookings Institution recently published a survey that found 58 percent of citizens believe: “God has granted America a special role in human history.”

American exceptionalism, as it is called, has been in the news quite a lot lately. In his victory speech Nov. 2, Florida Senator-elect Marco Rubio eloquently extolled American exceptionalism, provoking howls of outrage from liberals. “America is the single greatest nation in all of human history. A place without equal in the history of all mankind,” he said. The son of Cuban exiles declared that only in America could he and others have risen so far, with so few barriers to advancement.

November 23, 2010, 12:19 PM EST

Those Tea Partiers – is there anything in this nation they can’t spoil? They’ve already gummed up the president’s agenda with their rallies and signs and voting. Now, they’re trying to ruin “Dancing with the Stars!”

So says the left and many in the media agree. Now that newly resurgent conservatives have handed them a crushing mid-term defeat, liberals are seeing nefarious Tea Party plots everywhere – including in silly entertainment shows. And they’re taking plenty of shots at Bristol and, predictably, her mother.

Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol, 20, has done remarkably well in this season’s “Dancing with the Stars” competition on ABC. As she’s advanced from week to week, buoyed by viewer voting, entertainment reporters and liberals have become increasingly frustrated.

Video below the fold.

October 5, 2010, 10:02 AM EDT
Fresh from mocking Americans concerned about illegal immigration (and from making a mockery of a congressional hearing), comic Stephen Colbert showed his disdain for another group of Americans: Tea Partiers.

In the introduction to the Oct. 4 "Colbert Report" on Comedy Central, the host said, "Then, the Tea Party reaches out to kids - I assume for help with spelling."

That's a harmless enough little joke, except that it comes from the man who once called Sara Palin "a f***ing retard."

In keeping with hi theme of contempt for conservative America, without pause, Colbert said, "And my guest Eugene Robinson has a new book about the four groups that make up black America."

September 28, 2010, 8:12 AM EDT

Liberals are never so alive as when they’re speaking out against anachronistic straw men. That’s why, in their estimation, the Tea Parties are racist lynch mobs and conservatives who wonder about President Obama’s ties to anti-American radicals are sinister McCarthyites.

So it’s not surprising that The Huffington Post is making a big deal of “Banned Books Week.” The house organ for the self-important Hollywood left – you know, all those “artists” constantly threatened by censorship – featured a string of articles on various aspects of the banned book topic. The week, according to contributor Jonathon Kim, “celebrates the wonderful freedom of being able to read whatever one likes, and reminding us that it's a freedom that must be fought for constantly.” Kim’s article had to do with a new movie about the 1950s obscenity trial of beat poet Allen Ginsburg’s work, “Howl.” (To their sorrow, an awful lot of English majors know first-hand that Ginsburg won.) Elsewhere, HuffPo linked to a New York Times article that suggested “Ten Ways to Celebrate Banned Books Week.” These are for readers to do “with your students, your children and anyone who believes in having ‘the freedom to read.’”Readers can adopt a “challenged” book (one that parents or civic groups have demanded be removed from school or public libraries). They can “create a map of challenges to demonstrate that book bans and challenges are not isolated phenomena, even in the United States.” (In other words, even parents who don’t live in jerkwater conservative areas care what their kids read.)
September 21, 2010, 2:45 PM EDT
In the current federal tax debate, the media are "really helping out the liberals" just by choosing certain words over others, according to the Business & Media Institute.

In an appearance on Fox Business Network Sept. 21, BMI's Julia Seymour told host Charles Payne that the mainstream media - "particularly the cable primetime shows that we looked at," had been framing "the debate as tax cuts, rather than tax increases."

Seymour was referring to BMI research showing that the media was using the language of the left and the Obama administration when reporting on the tax issue. MSNBC's Keith Olbermann said on Sept. 13 that "Democrats want to cut everybody's taxes," despite the president's stated intent to raise taxes on the rich. "It was 27 tax cut-framed stories, versus two tax increase stories," Seymour told Payne. The media were thus 13 times more likely to put a positive spin on the Democrats' intentions than to characterize the move as a tax increase.

September 8, 2010, 12:45 PM EDT

Here's a delightful little story from the Sept./Oct. issue of Mother Jones, the far-left political magazine. It's called "Rick Santorum's Anal Sex Problem," and, with its helpful creative artwork, it's not something you want to read over lunch. Thanks to the efforts of a vindictive liberal writer, anyone Googling conservative former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is fairly likely to get an unpleasant surprise. Among the top three results will probably be a nauseatingly offensive website based on making "Santorum" a "sexual neologism," according to Mother Jones' Stephanie Mencimer. Back in 2003, Santorum expressed a traditional Catholic view on the issue of homosexuality and same-sex marriage. Then talking in general about "orientations" always excluded from understandings of marriage, he included pedophilia and bestiality along with homosexuality. "The ensuing controversy," wrote Mencimer, "prompted syndicated sex columnist Dan Savage, who's gay, to start a contest, soliciting reader suggestions for slang terms to "memorialize the scandal." Having selected the nastiest entry, "Savage launched a website, and a meme was born."

September 7, 2010, 12:29 PM EDT
She's the heir to the House of Maverick - the Republican the liberal media establishment can love, who's just as embarrassed by those icky conservatives as any network anchor or newspaper columnist.

Like her senator and erstwhile presidential candidate dad John, Meghan McCain is a willing weapon for the media to use against her fellow Republicans. But unlike "the Maverick," there's little chance she'd ever be a threat to the real good guys - liberal Democrats. 

To Washington Post Nonfiction Books Editor Steven Levingston, Meghan McCain is a "free-thinking college grad" (she's educated, you see; she's one of us) joyfully bucking what she calls conservative "groupthink."

In the Sept. 1 Post, Levingston reviewed "Dirty Sexy Politics," McCain's memoir of her father's 2008 presidential campaign. The book, he wrote, "is as much a scathing critique of the Republican Party as it is a passionate tale of life on the campaign trail." And Levingston proceeded to relate that critique with undisguised relish.

"McCain takes repeated jabs at the intolerant ethos of today's Republicans," Levingston wrote. "She rails at feeling left out: The party, she says, has been hijacked by the right wing and has rejected - to its detriment - the moderate politics that she and millions of other young conservatives espouse."

Because she dresses trashy, swears like a sailor and "has gay friends," McCain has run afoul of the "intolerant ethos of today's Republicans."

September 1, 2010, 12:40 PM EDT

With any luck, we're going to be seeing a lot more commentary like Jim Garrison's Aug. 31 Huffington Post piece. What's positive about it isn't the apocalyptic hysteria of his descriptions of "climate shock," entertaining as they are. Rather, it's his lamentation that President Obama, Al Gore and the global warming industry missed the perfect opportunity to dismantle the U.S. economy and severely curtail human freedom.

Garrison asserted that "the admixture of Copenhagen, the U.S. Senate Climate Bill, the BP oil spill disaster, and the climate itself" had created a "perfect storm," derailing the warming alarmists' agenda.

August 30, 2010, 3:38 PM EDT

To the surprise of CNNMoney.com’s Tami Luhby, the market is doing something more efficiently than a government program. While this isn’t news to many, at CNN, it’s a revelation.

It seems “banks are doing nearly twice as many modifications under their own foreclosure prevention initiatives than under the Obama administration's signature Home Affordable Modification Program, known as HAMP,” Luhbi wrote in her Aug. 30 article. Banks made 644,000 “proprietary permanent modifications” in the first half of 2010, almost twice the 332,000 under HAMP.

Loan modifications are an alternative to foreclosures, in which the debtors usually receive “interest rate and principal reductions.” The HAMP program, according to Luhby, “lowers monthly payments to 31% of pre-tax income.”

Luhby’s surprise stems from her assertion that:

August 30, 2010, 10:11 AM EDT
Want a tutorial in the hypocrisy, vitriol and deep unhappiness of the American left? You don't need to subject yourself to MSNBC, or wade through the muck of Daily Kos. Actor John Cusack's Twitter feed is a clearing house for liberal memes and nasty rhetoric.

Here's his peaceful entry from Aug. 29 [All spelling from original Tweets, but Cusack admits: "I type with I phone fast and loose with no spellcheck."]:

Johncusack: I AM FOR A SATANIC DEATH CULT CENTER AT FOX NEWS HQ AND OUTSIDE THE OFFICES ORDICK ARMEYAND NEWT GINGRICH-and all the GOP WELFARE FREAKS

Presumably, this is a reference to the controversy over the Ground Zero Mosque. And "all the GOP WELFARE FREAKS" seems to follow on this theme:

Johncusack: taht's the gop philospy.. gourge the stae while claiming to be rugged individuaist who live by the free market - biggest joke there is..

Johncusack: think of our the us treasury as the last frontier to be stripped mined if only pesky gov itelf wasn't in the way.

Johncusack: privatized gains- socialized loses-- complete hippcorites

But elsewhere, Cusack said Glenn Beck (at his "Restoring Honor" rally) was "unifying whites -class war of blame and fear" and said Beck was starting a "class war to capitallize on economy they destroyed" - a strange accusation from a man that claims the GOP wants to gut the treasury. And what liberal rant would be complete without the leftist's two favorite pejorative? Beck's tactics, he wrote were "strraigjt fr tfriendly racist playbiook." A minute later, Cusack added, "Sorry frendly fascist playbook."

August 27, 2010, 12:05 PM EDT

With the eager help of the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and others, the liberal media have warned of and bemoaned an anti-Muslim backlash since 9-11. Unfortunately for them, the evidence never bore that out.

Now they think the wait is finally over, and they're hitting the anti-Islam hate meme with gusto. Case in point: the front page of the Washington Post's Metro section on Aug. 27. "Hostility across U.S. jars young Muslims," read the headline.

Author Tara Bahrampour focused on Muslim students at local D.C.-area colleges and their reaction to the "swelling hostility that many of these students had scarcely known was there ..."

August 24, 2010, 10:35 AM EDT

Believe it or not, the Huffington Post has actually performed a public service. In publishing author Mark Juddery’s “The 8 Most Overrated People In History: You'll Never Believe Who Made The List,” the official blog of liberal Hollywood reminds us in one brief web slideshow how the left is both condescending and intellectually dishonest. Condescending because in repeating some (by now) well known corrections to famous stories Juddery seems to think he’s bringing the iconoclastic truth to the blinkered public. Intellectually dishonest because in running down President Ronald Reagan with a list of failings that might have been culled from any 1988 edition of The New York Times, he reminds us where many liberals really stood during the latter part of the Cold War, and how they stoutly refused to accept (Soviet) defeat.Juddery’s list of overrated people comes from his book, “The 50 Most Overrated Things in History.” It must be a real page-turner if it these shocking revelations are typical: there was no real King Arthur; in landing on Hispaniola, Columbus thought he’d reached India; there’s no record that Lady Godiva ever rode naked through Coventry. Anyone with a decent education and a minimal amount of common sense can only shrug and wonder who paid Juddery to write this. And anyone who has a nodding relationship with the History Channel probably knows that Thomas Edison was a sharp businessman (“classic Dickensian employer,” in Juddery’s words) who employed hundreds of researchers and scientists working in his name.

August 19, 2010, 1:07 PM EDT
Hollywood westerns don't sell very well anymore. Remakes of westerns don't sell and they tend to remind those who do see them of the superiority of the originals. So remaking the iconic 1969 western, "True Grit," for which John Wayne received his only Best Actor Oscar, seems an odd choice for the Coen brothers.

But the extremely successful directors of "Fargo," "Oh Brother Where Art Thou?" and "No Country for Old Men," are indeed remaking "True Grit." They stress that their effort is based more on the 1968 novel by Charles Portis than the original movie. Still, The Duke's portrayal of hard-drinking, one-eyed Marshall Rooster Cogburn has been a TV staple for decades. Portis' novel - not so much.

The Coens' quirky, often dark and sometimes absurd portraits of America couldn't be much more different from any flick in John Wayne's legendary career. And maybe that's the point. After all, any movie with America-bashing lefty Matt Damon in an important supporting role is bound to be at odds with traditional takes on the American frontier. All the more-so because Damon admitted, "I've never even seen the original John Wayne movie."

The Coens cast 2010 Best Actor Oscar-winner Jeff Bridges as Cogburn. Bridges will have to be a heck of an actor to do the character justice, because in real life, he couldn't be more different than Wayne, a traditional conservative.

August 12, 2010, 3:21 PM EDT

“Bible Schmible!” That’s essentially what an article  on the Washington Post’s “On Faith” blog by Susan Jacoby (aka. The Spirited Atheist) said about the moral and legal issues surrounding same-sex marriage. Jacoby approvingly quoted Judge Vaughn Walker’s recent opinion overturning California’s Proposition 8’s restriction of marriage to a union of a man and woman.

“Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians,” Walker had written. Jascoby called it a “historic sentence,” but admitted she didn’t have much hope the Supreme Court would uphold Walker’s decision.

“The profound religious conservatism of Robscalitomas (my acronym for Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas) probably means four automatic votes against gay marriage as a right guaranteed by the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment,” she wrote.

July 1, 2010, 10:50 AM EDT

The "recent unpleasantness" at the Washington Post was, to conservatives at least, entirely predictable. What decent left-leaning journalist could live among the remote, primitive tribes known as conservatives and not be driven just a little bit mad? (If the Post's editors were embarrassed, they could at least take comfort that their man hadn't "gone native.")Predictable, but no less unfortunate. The Washington Post dearly needs someone to explain conservatism to its editors and staff. Why? A look through the June 30 edition of the Washington Post gives a pretty good indication. No, not the puff piece on Obama Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. (Apparently a photo of the grown man in charge of a vast federal agency wearing a bike helmet is supposed convey competence. The caption reads - really - "Ray LaHood has worked to expand transportation safety, including emphasizing the rights of cyclists in federal transportation policy.) No, a few columns should suffice. Courtland Milloy began a piece on Justice Clarence Thomas' recent opinion defending the Second Amendment on a promising note. Thomas, Milloy wrote approvingly, "roared to life" in the opinion, citing the legal disarming of blacks in the post-reconstruction south, which left them vulnerable to the KKK and other white supremacists. So far, so good.

June 21, 2010, 1:38 PM EDT
Normally, it would be a "dog-bites-man" story - overtly liberal media figures promoting a liberal, big government policy initiative.  But when the left-leaning Project for Excellence in Journalism notices a trend, and the New York Times deems it worth reporting, something funny is going on.

On June 21, the Times' "Media Decoder" blog suggested that historians studying how ObamaCare passed "might assign a bit of the credit to liberal talk show hosts." The article cited a study by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism (no right-wing outfit, that) showing that, during the lead-up to health care reform passage, "liberal hosts like Keith Olbermann and Ed Schultz" spent nearly twice as much airtime on health care reform as did their conservative counterparts.

Left-wing hosts "spent 44 percent of their airtime talking about health care from June 2009 to March 2010, while conservative hosts spent 26 percent of their airtime on the subject," according to the article. Further, MSNBC gave it 32 percent of its airtime, while Fox gave it 20 percent.

June 9, 2010, 3:53 PM EDT
Something about the soccer World Cup brings out the missionary in the mainstream media, and every four years they strive to bring the good news of "the beautiful game" to the ignorant American masses.

This year is no different. The 2010 World Cup is set to begin in South Africa on June 11. More than just covering the month-long event, the media are already doing their best to hype it, overstating its popularity in the United States and its potential appeal to U.S. sports fans. From Time magazine dedicating an entire issue to "The Global Game," to CBS's helpful "The World Cup Guide for Americans," the public is being brow-beaten to catch "World Cup Fever."

And while soccer partisans may try (mostly unsuccessfully) to score on point-by-point comparisons to baseball or football, the most compelling argument many media outlets can muster is, "The rest of the world loves it. We should too."

The liberal media have always been uncomfortable with "American exceptionalism" - the belief that the United States is unique among nations, a leader and a force for good. And they are no happier with America's rejection of soccer than with its rejection of socialism.

Hence Americans are "xenophobic," "isolated" and lacking in understanding for other nations and their passion for "the planetary pastime," as Time magazine put it. But, they are confident, as America becomes more Hispanic, the nation will have to give in and adopt the immigrants' game. On the other hand, the media assure the public that soccer is already "America's Game," and Americans are enthusiastically anticipating the World Cup, even though the numbers don't bear that contention out.

So, every four years they return with renewed determination to force soccer's square peg in the round hole of American culture.