Editor's Note: What follows is a statement Mr. Bozell released earlier today regarding the FCC's decision yesterday to remove the so-called Fairness Doctrine from the regulation books.
The FCC deserves a one-handed round of applause for this move. Years ago, striking the Censorship Doctrine – and that's exactly what the Fairness Doctrine was – would have actually meant something.
But since the FCC started playing with policies of ‘localism,’ ‘media diversity’ and a nebulous requirement to ‘serve the public interest,’ with yet another unelected and unconfirmed "Diversity Czar" to implement these proposed regulations, the spirit of the Censorship Doctrine has remained very much alive. The path to censor radio airwaves is being paved through the back door.
A man sits on a roof, wearing a Santa hat. He’s talking to his ex-girlfriend on a cell phone, trying with fake cheer to wish her a Merry Christmas. He asks if she’s with her new boyfriend. Yes, she replies, and she’s with her whole family, opening presents. He says "That’s great, because I have a present for you" – and saws off his own head so it falls down the chimney into the fireplace.
This isn’t a horror movie. It’s a cartoon, filmed in stop-motion animation like "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." It runs on the Cartoon Network, which is owned by Time Warner. And it’s aimed at children.
In the last election cycle, we heard a lot of complaining about the sexist treatment accorded to Hillary Clinton as she campaigned for president. One magazine wrote, “It’s her resilience and capacity to survive and thrive against all comers that partly fuels the haters’ fury.” They even wrote “The anti-Hillary industry has never managed to bring down Hillary herself — in fact, the more they have attacked, the higher she has risen.”
That would be Newsweek magazine, in the June 18, 2007 issue. Four years later, Newsweek was mocking Republican candidate Michele Bachmann on its cover, making her look pale and confused and, well, nutty – with the headline “The Queen of Rage.” Physician, heal thyself. Now the term “hater’s fury” aptly describes the very same “news” magazine that so pompously lectures us about civility every time one of their favorites is in the political crosshairs.
This fall, the Showtime movie channel will air its sixth season of "Dexter," their show glorifying a just serial killer. They recently finished a fourth season of a show called "Californication," which debuted in 2007 with a dream sequence in which the lead character receives oral sex from a nun in a church. So it might seem surprising (or....perhaps not) that Showtime's new promotional package for the fall wraps Showtime characters around...Christianity. The new slogan is "Showtime Saves."
The low point in this perverse campaign is the visuals of the murderous Dexter character with golden-sunshine rays of holiness. Their St. Dexter the Just Serial Killer routine matches the trailer for Season Six, in which Dexter beats in the head of a man with a Jesus tattoo on his chest. This Christian (smirk, sniff) killed his wife rather than undergo a messy divorce, which makes Dexter the righteous judge and jury. Before he's whacked with a hammer, the wife-killer screams "God is a mighty fortress! And I have been washed in the blood of the Lamb! And He will protect me!"
Editor's Note: What follows is NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell's thoughts on who won, who lost, and who should just pack it all in following last night's Republican presidential debate in Ames, Iowa.
Gingrich: The winner. Wasn't even close. Showed why Obama would pee in his pants having to debate this man.
Santorum: Also a winner. Showed most passion, and took on and beat up other candidates. But was it enough to keep him alive?
Just as with the last Republican takeover of the House in 1995, it was easy to predict the media elite were going to dig deep into the mud and throw every smear they had at the new conservative powers in town. Congress finally passed, and the president signed, a deeply deficient kick-the-can compromise into law in order to raise the debt ceiling. Tea Party conservatives correctly denounced the deal as woefully inadequate.
When Standard & Poor’s downgraded the creditworthiness of the United States government, Sen. John Kerry shamelessly labeled it a “Tea Party downgrade,” and no one in the press questioned him. This is beyond ludicrous. It’s a deliberate lie on Kerry’s part. How can you blame 87 new Republican House members who weren’t in Washington when Barack Obama was tripling the deficit with trillions in new spending, which Kerry happily endorsed?
John Kerry is on a crusade to destroy the Tea Party. To blame the Tea Party for the S&P downgrade is like blaming the Betty Ford Clinic for alcoholism. The entire existence of the Tea Party movement has been based on an attempt to stop the runaway spending of Washington – by the likes of John Kerry. Any media outlet that features his outrageous blame game remarks without challenging his serial dishonesty is giving aid and comfort to the crusade to vilify and extinguish conservative thought.
If this is the ‘Tea Party downgrade’ then I’m the fairy godmother. No, this is a well-coordinated effort by the left-wing to deflect bad news – very bad news – away from their very left-wing President Obama.
NBC has placed a new drama called "The Playboy Club" on its fall schedule to capitalize on the scandalous sound of America's most famous pornography empire. If this network had any shame at all, it wouldn't be so desperate to associate itself with female exploitation.
So far, one brave NBC affiliate, KSL in Salt Lake City, has refused to join in this porn-promoting parade. "The Playboy brand is known internationally," KSL President Mark Willes declared. "Everyone is clear what it stands for. We want to be sure everyone is clear whatthe KSL brand stands for, which is completely inconsistent with the Playboy brand. We would be helping to build a brand that stands for pornography. For us, that's just untenable."
You can tell the liberals are really sweating the politics of the debt-limit talks when NBC puts on a special “Dateline NBC” devoted to politics. This is normally a time slot devoted to “news” topics like Casey Anthony or Lindsey Lohan. But last week, viewers were “treated” to anchorman Brian Williams actually covering a real news topic. It’s just too bad he forgot he was supposed to be a reporter, not an editorialist, spinning furiously against conservatives trying to rein in Obama’s incredibly reckless flood of new spending.
The last time Brian Williams showed up in prime time for a splashy special on public policy was an enormous tribute to the new president, Barack Obama -- making a run for hamburgers with him, hailing how he displayed apples everywhere, and bowing to him and wishing him a pleasant evening after NBC chronicled his glorious day of saving America from recession. You know, just like Williams treated Bush.
They say the movie theatres make more money on popcorn, candy, and soft drinks than they do on the movie tickets. If that’s true, theatre owners really ought to reconsider the previews they’re airing. They can make you sick to your stomach.
I don’t know why Hollywood moviemakers are so fascinated by with flatulence and excrement. It’s become almost an obsession, a formality of sorts in the “humor” oeuvre.
The latest polls show the people are not happy with President Obama's handling of budget matters, but Republicans look even worse. And yet, while the GOP delivers one idea after another, Obama has offered nothing, instead just attacking, attacking, attacking, blaming everyone but himself in utter denial of the reality that no man on the face of this Earth is more responsible for our debt catastrophe than he.
Why then is the public blaming Republicans more? It is because of the ceaseless, shameless and oftentimes utterly dishonest attacks on them coming from Obama's media hit men. A day doesn't go by without a leftist "news" media outrage. They come in all shapes, too.
The media’s unwillingness to release all the facts concerning the debt ceiling debate is nothing short of censorship. In their enthusiasm as cheerleaders for this President, the media are deliberately hiding and distorting the truth to further their own ideologically driven, leftist agenda.
These so-called 'news' outlets are ignoring the voice of the American people.
Laura Ingraham calls her newest book "Of Thee I Zing" a “comedic intervention” on the sorry state of our popular culture. It begins with a declaration of independence from the moral soup in which we swim: “When in a coarse state of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the bonds between themselves and the cultural blight degrading the Republic...they should declare the causes that impel their separation.”
Ingraham's willingness to mix it up on the culture is refreshing and was apparent during her book interview on NBC's “Today,” where she underlined to Matt Lauer that Today's "own" Summer Concert Series included vile artists like woman-battering singer Chris Brown and F-bomb-dropping “artists” Enrique Iglesias and Cee-Lo. How big are these cultural icons? Ingraham and her collaborator on the book, Catholic TV journalist Raymond Arroyo, were amazed at what they thought must be the new homelessness on the streets of New York, but then realized people were camping out two nights early to acquire a choice spot to witness Chris Brown perform on NBC.
MSNBC is looking more and more like Pinocchio every day; its nose grows longer with every lie and the DNC obviously is pulling its strings. Ronald Reagan has absolutely nothing in common with Obama, especially not on taxes and the debt ceiling. It’s outrageous for this disgraced network to exploit the late President’s good name and his conservative economic brilliance.
MSNBC is nothing more than DNC-TV. But are we really surprised? This is the same network whose dozens of viewers will soon start to salivate over the loony liberal Rev. Al Sharpton in the anchor chair.
Editor's Note: For the full Bozell press release, click here.
On July 3, 1999, The New York Times exposed Al Gore for lying about his family in a national convention speech as vice president of the United States. In 1996, Gore had moved the Democrats to tears by claiming that when his sister Nancy died of cancer in 1984, he vowed then and there to oppose the tobacco industry. How courageous – and completely untrue. The Times found Gore campaigned in 1988 boasting of his tobacco-farming prowess. So he lied through his teeth. Network coverage from ABC, CBS, or NBC on this whopper, even as Gore prepared a presidential run? Zero.
On July 13, 2011, this cycle repeated itself, when The New York Times reported on another national Democrat lying about a death in the family in his convention address, presidential debates, just about everywhere. That was Barack Obama in 2008 claiming his mother Ann Dunham died of cancer battling with insurance companies all the way through. Dramatic? Yes. But an utter lie. Network coverage of this new jaw-dropper on ABC, CBS, and NBC? Also zip, zilch, zero.
Some “reality shows” are designed to advertise wanton misbehavior and stupidity for its own sake. There’s no “life lesson,” just an exercise in how you can grade your own moral worth on a “Jersey Shore” curve.
That is not the case with TLC’s “Sister Wives.” For TLC (The Learning Channel, a misnomer demanding initials-only), it was the usual slam-dunk oddball premise: Won’t people be curious to see how four wives – married to the same man – get along in the same house? The show’s stars, Kody Brown and his wives, want much more than fame and fortune. They want to make polygamy respectable, even legalized.
The political prognosticator Charlie Cook appeared on National Public Radio on July 11 and summarized perfectly the media narrative on the debt-limit battle. Boehner, Cook said, “is not a burn-the-barn-down, break-the-china kind of guy [and] he does not necessarily reflect the views of a majority...of the House Republican Conference, who are of the burn-the-barn-down, break-the-china mold.”
Hold on here. Why is it destructive to insist on a limited government? Why is fiscal sanity equated with pyromania? Cook was brought on as a “nonpartisan” analyst, but there’s nothing either civil or accurate in casting conservatives as barn-burners.
The broadcast networks are guilty of giving undeserved credibility and attention to a story that is stupid and silly. There are numerous times when these same networks chose to ignore serious issues that actually put people’s lives at risk.
This Bachmann hit piece was reported by ABC World News and ABC’s Nightline last night and perpetuated by ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today Show this morning. It’s nothing more than a swipe at a leading conservative presidential candidate by an anti-Christian gay activist, but the media’s overreaction has made the clinic out to be guilty of a crime.
Where were these networks when Planned Parenthood was caught on tape – multiple times and in multiple states – willing to aid and abet in sex trafficking of young girls? Or when they covered up sex abuse of minors? Or when ACORN was caught on tape willing to help a pimp cover up his sex ring?
Actor David Schwimmer, best known as the sad-sack Ross Geller on the hit ‘90s sitcom “Friends,” is now bemoaning the sex-saturated Hollywood business atmosphere and its corrosive effects on society, and women in particular. The first question many Hollywood critics should ask: Isn’t it curious that Schwimmer would care about this issue – after he earned a million dollars per episode on one of the most sex-obsessed sitcoms of all time?
Schwimmer granted an interview to the British newspaper the Telegraph promoting his new film”Trust,” which opened July 8. “Sex sells and unfortunately there’s this inbuilt hypocrisy in our society: we’re always talking about how inappropriate it is to see an older man with a very young girl but at the same time all our advertising is based on that,” he said.
The media pandering on behalf of the Obama Re-election camp already is astonishing. During the George W. Bush years, everything bad that happened in America somehow was connected to the malignant reign of “The Decider.” Last year, CBS even sought out journalist Sally Quinn to claim that Bush’s victory in 2000 could be blamed for unraveling Al Gore’s marriage ten years later.
God knows, and so too do most Americans, that the state of the union is a mess. But in the Obama era, nothing that goes wrong can be traced back to the Democrats in power.
The video-game industry has won again in court, insisting on their right to make the most debased gaming experience imaginable and market it to children with little commercial restraint. On June 27, the Supreme Court ruled 7 to 2 against California’s law mandating that children are not allowed to purchase “Mature” video games without a parent.
The political elites are celebrating the Court ruling as a victory for a vibrant First Amendment, rejectinthe very notion of social responsibility on the part of the video-game makers and their often-twisted conceptualization of what constitutes “fun” for children.
The Republican presidential contest is picking up steam. Obama is consistently polling under 50 percent. This one's a toss-up, and in the thick of it is the Fox News Channel. It's not just their role in hosting and vetting the candidates. It's their role as the chief villain in the eyes of liberal Democrats struggling to push their version of the "truth" about Obama.
Jon Stewart rhetorically asked Chris Wallace about Fox on "Fox News Sunday, because he thought he knew the answer: "Who are the most consistently misinformed media viewers? The most consistently misinformed? Fox, Fox viewers, consistently, every poll."
The mass-marketing of profanity just won’t stop. Now’s it topping the best-selling book list – in children’s picture books. You might have heard by now that there’s a “subversive” little bedtime book for adults. It should not be read to children. It’s called “Go the F— to Sleep.”
Anyone who’s ever been up at 2 in the morning with a baby or toddler knows exactly the feeling that is being exploited here. “Total genius,” says the blurb on the front cover. Genius it is not. Anybody could have written this book in 90 minutes, tops. It’s just having the “bright idea” of a naughty nighty-night book that might make the get-quick-rich schemers jealous.
More than any other Republican presidential prospect, Sarah Palin draws white-hot journalistic loathing. She’s too red-state, too gun-toting, too religious, and too unwilling to abort a disabled “fetus.” Even so, filmmaker Steve Bannon remains deeply optimistic his forthcoming Palin documentary “The Undefeated” will sway the media to see Palin in a different light.
Bannon, a former Goldman Sachs banker turned filmmaker, told National Review’s Kathryn Lopez that once he and his producing partner delved into Palin’s life story, “we decided that not just the American people but even the mainstream media were both fair and decent -- that when presented with something that represented a completely different point of view they would be at least open to considering it.”
Traditional organizations like the Boy Scouts of America have long been under siege by atheists and pro-gay lobbyists who insist they shouldn’t have the freedom of association to maintain their God-fearing identity. But you think that’s maddening? How about the ultimate cultural flip-flop of a gay softball league going to federal court to insist that bisexual or heterosexual players can’t play ball with them?
In Seattle, Reagan-appointed U.S. District Judge John Coughenour ruled that a group called the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance has a First Amendment right to limit the number of bisexual or heterosexual players.
When the folks at CBS shooed Katie Couric out the door, one could almost hear the harrumph with which Scott Pelley was reinstalling the Old Regime of Ed Murrow. Unlike Couric, Pelley wasn’t debuting with celebrity interviews and updates on Tom Cruise’s baby. CBS is going back to biased Dan Rather basics, treating Couric’s tenure as little more than a palate cleanser.
With Couric off the news grid in pursuit of cloning Oprah Winfrey’s success in feel-your-pain afternoon chat, who will be the public face of soft and marshmallowy News Lite? Coincidentally, NBC’s Meredith Vieira retired from NBC’s “Today” and NBC was contractually obligated to promote long-time morning news reader Ann Curry. How light is Ann? Last October, while narrating a story on how Russia implausibly unveiled a new set of inflatable weapons designed to fool spy satelittes, Curry added her own touch: “Wish all weapons were like that.”
It's so ironic that in the very midst of the Anthony Weiner Twitter scandal, television's most shameless channel, MTV, is working overtime to make any notion of sexual restraint obsolete. This year's MTV Movie Awards aerobically established a new low.
Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis are starring in the upcoming summer comedy "Friends with Benefits," yet another movie exploring the "dream life" of casual and very cold sex. As they introduced the award for Best Male Performance, Timberlake and Kunis grabbed each other's private parts on national TV.
Last July, ABC and NBC highlighted a temper tantrum from Rep. Anthony Weiner, alleging on the House floor that the Republicans were denying health care to the heroes of 9/11. To Diane Sawyer, Weiner spoke for all of America: “Every now and then, someone seems to express the nation's frustration with the endless wrangling and delay in Congress.”
Remember Weiner when liberal journalists roll their eyes at the stupidity of conservatives. Weiner’s social-media sex scandal was underplayed by the national media precisely because they thought their ultraliberal star was far too smart to commit these stupid sex pranks with women he barely knew on the Internet.
Born blocks from the NBC soundstage in 1984 to parents in the entertainment industry, Ben Shapiro is a natural choice to write a book about Hollywood. For his new book "Primetime Propaganda," Shapiro has studied decades of television content and interviewed a bevy of powerful Hollywood producers to document the degree to which they have created a political and cultural revolution of permissive leftism.
The project gets off to a harsh start. In his introduction, Shapiro attacks "traditional" TV critics on the cultural right for being "worse than useless," suggesting some unnamed conservatives are insisting TV should not be watched. “When conservatives treat television as the Golden Calf, they leave no choice but to lay low the unbelievers -- and most of us continue to continue occasionally glancing at the offending cow."