When word emerged Sunday night that President Obama would be making remarks from the White House at 10:30 pm, viewers knew it must be important. When it began to leak that America had finally found and killed Osama bin Laden, there was joy from sea to shining sea.
The nagging pain that this radical Islamic assassin had never received American justice was finally relieved. Crowds gathered in front of the White House and at Ground Zero to chant joyously “USA! USA!” But for most, it wasn’t jubilation. It was the silent fist pump, and a silent prayer of thanksgiving for the safety of our extraordinary military. And a thanks to this president for his leadership in bringing justice to that monster.
Unfortunately, while the president spoke for the whole country in remembering the pain of 9/11, his remarks left a gaping hole. He made no generous bow to all the efforts of his predecessor George W. Bush as well as his team. My one regret is that Bush 43 didn't get this scalp. He deserved it more than anyone.
America can display a strange sexist standard on child sexual abuse. When an adult woman assaults a teenaged boy, Hollywood laughs this off as a teen dream come true. The topic was great fodder for ‘90s teen shows like “Dawson’s Creek” with not a drop of judgment inserted, proving that when Hollywood pleads it’s only “reflecting reality,” it’s really only reflecting its own reality.
Mary Kay LeTourneau started assaulting her student Vili Fuulaau when he was 12 and she was 33. When they married ten years later – and after she served seven years in jail -- the nuptials were celebrated on air by "Entertainment Tonight." The couple remains shameless. They've repeatedly hosted a "Hot for Teacher Night" at a Seattle nightclub.
Today, MTV panders to its teen audience with this same "hot for teacher" fantasy. Recently, their scuzzy British teen soap "Skins" repeatedly hinted that the young female teachers were carrying around barely submerged desires for the teenaged boys. Now the second season of MTV's teen comedy "The Hard Times of R.J. Berger" has centered an entire episode on a female teacher and a boy having loud sexual intercourse in a janitor's closet.
Rumor has it that CBS News is going to name Scott Pelley as Couric's successor. But what's the rush? You've been in last place for well over a decade. Another few days won't matter. Do not make (another) rash, premature, impulsive decision. Vet all your options – especially when the MRC’s 500,000 members are coming to the rescue.
I'm pleased to announce that the Media Research Center has launched a national search committee and is soliciting recommendations for the next CBS Evening News anchor.
In the Bush years, poll results that showed the American people losing confidence in their president were featured routinely on the front page of major newspapers like The Washington Post. But when the Post discovers Obama’s ratings collapsing, you need a search party to find where inside the paper they’re buried.
On April 26, the Post offered three stories on polls, each with bad news for Obama. The only one mentioned on the front page (in the very bottom right-hand corner) was a Post/ABC poll showing “rising gas prices are leading Americans to drive less, and hurting the president’s popularity.” Then the reader would have to travel to page A-12.
“Hurting” is an understatement. Only 39 percent of those who called gas prices a “serious financial hardship” approve of Obama’s performance as president. Among independents who found hardship, 67 percent disapprove of Obama. Ouch.
For the Christian faithful, the week between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday is sacred. It’s a time of reflection and prayer and fasting. It is Holy Week. It deserves the strongest respect.
But our secular media culture does not bend a knee – or even shut a mouth. Instead, Holy Week means it is time to grab the spotlight with the most indulgent forms of spiritual irreverence and mockery. Start with the infantile Lady Gaga. She released a new single titled "Judas."
Her primary lyrical "thought," if you can call it that, is "I'm just a holy fool, oh baby he's so cruel / But I'm still in love with Judas, baby." She says "Jesus is my virtue," but "Judas is the demon that I cling to."
Many years ago, at a mutual friend’s wedding, I was chatting with John Von Kannon, fundraiser extraordinaire for the Heritage Foundation. We were discussing the importance of his work since I was performing a similar (but far less successful) task for another political group. “Robert E. Lee deserves all the credit he’s gotten,” Von Kannon explained, “but without his supply wagons he’d have accomplished nothing.” The point is salient: in the world of politics it is the generals who make the headlines, but it is the organizers, naturally overshadowed, who make it all possible.
It is commonly accepted that without the National Review magazine and Bill Buckley there would have been no Ronald Reagan. Let the history books be amended to state that without the functional organization of its publisher, National Review would never had survived.
I knew William A. Rusher – “Bill” to his friends, “WAR” in his National Review memoranda – pretty much my entire life. I have memories of him visiting at my parents’ home in Chevy Chase, Maryland during the Goldwater years. When I entered the public policy arena in 1979 he was a mainstay: publisher of the movement’s flagship magazine; television debater; columnist; author; mentor.
Conservatives who really wanted to see at least a spending “haircut” for NPR or public broadcasting in the underwhelming budget deal for 2011 might have suggested at least some symbolic victory for conservatives. Here it is: Fire David Brooks as the alleged conservative or Republican “counterpoint” on PBS and NPR on Friday nights. We could hire Donald Trump to announce it from the boardroom.
Or keep him, but banish forever, for once and for all, the notion that he is a man of the Right.
After President Obama’s budget speech at George Washington University, Brooks wrote a column for The New York Times declaring: “It doesn't take a genius to see that Obama is very likely to be re-elected.” Republicans may try to reform entitlements, but “voters, even Republican voters, reject this.” Obama “hit the political sweet spot with his speech this week. He made a sincere call to reduce debt, which will please independents, but he did not specify any tough choices.”
Delay and indecision are beginning to define the Obama administration. One matter the Obama Justice Department cannot decide is whether to file an appeal to the Supreme Court in the "fleeting profanity" case called Fox vs. FCC. They've filed two extensions to kick the can down the road. Their latest deadline is April 21. Without an appeal, the Second Circuit's evisceration of any limitation on broadcast cursing will stand.
That’s right. All bets will be off. If you think the Idiot Box is foul now, wait until Hollywood is allowed to be as gross as it wants.
Some commentators will obviously apply the expected gravity argument. We're in three wars, have a $1.5 trillion deficit, and really, it's crucial to prevent Paris Hilton from swearing at a televised awards show? But Obama's Justice Department is making small decisions all the time.
The ominous threat of a government shutdown dominated the news last week. The media weren’t wrong to cover it as a dramatic debate, but all of the hype and horror looked a little bizarre by the weekend – like wide-eyed, screaming hurricane warnings on the Weather Channel followed by a sunny calm.
When the deal was struck, the TV pundits quickly moved on to how there were sharper, harsher battles ahead over much larger chunks of federal spending. That’s true. But in hindsight, the entire shutdown fight looks by comparison like a war over who was splitting the pizza delivery bill....tip. The $38 billion in spending cuts is a bit of an achievement when Obama didn’t want to cut anything – but it’s still the drop in the proverbial $3.7 trillion bucket.
Instead of fighting over who’s the “winner” in this small skirmish, let’s just focus on a few obnoxious shutdown spins.
As the network TV barons peruse through a menu of pilots for new fall shows, some just jump out of the pile. Some Tinseltown pundits have already pegged it as “likely” that NBC will pick up a show for fall called “The Playboy Club.” Just like it sounds, the show is based in Hugh Hefner’s original Playboy Club in Chicago in swinging 1963. If that doesn’t sound porn-friendly enough, the pilot’s producers at 20th Century Fox TV required all actors on the show to sign a nudity clause – virtually unheard of in broadcast television.
"Nudity” in this contract is defined as well, nudity. But that’s not what grabs attention. This is: “Nudity as defined above and/or simulated sex acts may be required in connection with player's services in the pilot and/or series," the clause reads, according to Variety. Actors may now be required to be naked on NBC.
Despite this new low, Variety was told there was no nudity in the pilot, and producers didn’t plan any such thing for NBC. But apparently, the broadcast version would provide temptation for the titillated to buy the DVD for the “extras.” (And if there will be no nudity, why a nudity clause?)
The news leaked out Monday that Katie Couric is stepping down from her failed experiment as the anchor of the “CBS Evening News.” People inside the news business greeted the news as shocking. But what’s shocking is that Couric didn’t get the boot years ago. CBS’s ratings cratered while she earned $15 million annually.
Couric was once projected as the Great White Female Hope after Dan Rather’s involuntary retirement in 2005. His numbers in his last week had dropped to a last place 8.1 million nightly audience. But what did Couric deliver?
It’s a discussion for another day as to why those entrusted with the delivery of news so stubbornly refuse to cover the very deadly war being waged at this very moment against Christianity in the Middle East. The aggressors are radical Islamists, the victims Christians, especially those wearing the cloth. Every week another report detailing another attack seeps through the wall of non-information, of men condemned to death in Saudi Arabia for the crime of conversion, of Catholic churches bombed in Baghdad on Christmas Day, of Coptic congregations slaughtered in Egypt, and the like.
Sad and troubling to be sure, but it’s over there…over there. Do you have any recollection of the story fifteen years ago of the small community of Trappist monks in Algeria kidnapped in a prisoner-exchange plot, and then murdered? To the extent I was aware of the brutal story it was something I quickly filed away in the memory banks under, “Oh, dear.” Nothing more.
French filmmaker Xavier Beauvais challenges us to remember. He has delivered the hauntingly beautiful “Of Gods and Men,” winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. “Schindler’s List” was aimed at your heart; “Of Gods and Men” captures your soul.
Editor's Note: The following is a statement issued earlier today by NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell concerning an exposé of Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards’ statements on CNN Headline News.
Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards appeared on CNN's Headline News channel claiming that de-funding Planned Parenthood would prevent if from providing women with mammogram services. This has been proven absolutely false. A group called Live Action has released an audio investigation with proof from numerous Planned Parenthood clinics whose staff clearly state they do not provide mammograms, yet the President of the organization went on national television and stated the exact opposite.
The evidence has been presented, and CNN’s Headline News (HLN) has the opportunity here to display true journalistic integrity. How will Headline News respond to the evidence of Cecile Richards’ lie on its network? We call on CNN’s HLN to correct the record, and it should be done by Joy Behar to her viewers. There should be consequences to lying on national television, and if CNN wants to maintain the respect and trust of their viewers, they should ban Cecile Richards and her lies from appearing again.
Think of all the militant anti-war types who were thrilled at the removal of the Bush “war machine” in 2008, only to see President Obama’s strained endorsement of military action in Libya. Oh, how the political wave of the hard left has crashed ashore. It seems like only yesterday when they were celebrating Cindy Sheehan as she flagrantly called President Bush “the biggest terrorist in the world.”
Then they elected Obama and it all went to Hell.
Over the last two years, these chagrined radicals have watched in stunned disbelief while their hero Obama continued the Iraq war wrap-up on the generals’ timeline and then added more troops in Afghanistan. They listened in shock as Team Obama announced it was reversing itself on indefinite detentions at Guantanamo.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the perpetually immature creators of the filthy cartoon “South Park,” have spent years delivering product sure to please high school sophomores and L.A. Times film critics. But the problem with toilet humor is that eventually the commode is filled. They have crossed so many lines of decency on television and in cinema that they need a new frontier to muck.
To great secular media fanfare, Parker and Stone are debuting a new musical on Broadway called “The Book of Mormon.” A mocking musical titled “The Koran” wasn’t going to find buyers, only fatwas. So they chose the Mormons because they seem so…harmless, and “cheesy.”
Anyone who’s ever seen Jay Leno do one of his “Jaywalking” segments on NBC, locating average Americans and asking them factual questions on street corners, knows there are far too many Americans who know next to nothing about just about everything. They can’t name our first president, or don’t even know what the phrase “founding fathers” means. Ask them to name our current vice president and watch the brain waves flatline.
Newsweek magazine recently announced its disgust after it offered the government’s official citizenship test (the one we require immigrants to pass before being naturalized) to 1,000 Americans. Thirty-eight percent of the sample failed. Newsweek worried in its headline: “The country's future is imperiled by our ignorance.”
The magazine was careful enough to report that civic ignorance isn’t new. One study found the yearly shifts in civic knowledge since World War II have averaged out to "slightly under 1 percent." But it worried that today’s interconnected world is “becoming more and more inhospitable to incurious know-nothings – like us.”
Watching video clips of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the aftermath are well, shocking, even to a media-overstimulated world. It almost needs a disclaimer. “These are not disaster-movie special effects. This is real.”
For everyone in public life, the reaction should be one of horror and sorrow. But in recent years, the definition of “public life” has expanded dramatically with the rise of social and electronic media. It now includes a class of people that has no class.
What follows is a statement NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center president Brent Bozell released moments ago:
Republicans said today that the arrogant liberal sneers at taxpayers in Flyover Country deserve to be met by NPR raising its own money in its own fancy cafes. And an organization that admits catering to a "core audience that is predominately white, liberal, highly educated, elite" is among the last that should survive budget cuts if legislators are serious about cutting unnecessary spending.
We applaud the 228 Representatives who stepped up to say so with their votes in the House today. If the Senate and President Obama really care about reckless spending, they’ll pony up and do the same. The time is now to stop wasting taxpayer dollars on funding NPR.
In the public policy conversation today, there is nothing funnier than hearing the leadership of National Public Radio deny there’s a liberal bias at play over there.
Even when the Daily Caller posted sting video of their top fundraiser Ron Schiller describing America as remarkably under-educated and the Republicans as ruined by racist, gun-toting, phony Christians, NPR’s reaction was repeating Sentence One: Who, us, biased?
Schiller resigned, and then the NPR Board ousted CEO Vivian Schiller (no relation), who hired him. She was only a sacrificial lamb. Nothing has changed, policy-wise. The new interim CEO, Joyce Slocum, picked up exactly where the last boss left off. “I think if anyone believes that NPR's coverage is biased in one direction or another,” she suggests, “all they need to do to correct that misperception is turn on their radio or log onto their computer and listen or read for an hour or two.”
Today's installment of the Decline and Fall of Western Civilization comes from Hollywood – as if that’s a surprise. Tinseltown is demeaning Christianity again – as if that’s a surprise, too. But this time, it’s not some gutter-mouthed punk. This time it’s a network doing it, formally. ABC has approved a pilot with the title “Good Christian Bitches.”
Is this what Christian women – especially the good ones -- deserve? The first credit for this decision to offer offensive titles actually goes to CBS, which began this stupid trend with its awful sitcom “$#8! My Dad Says.” Now one of Discovery's cable channels has a show titled “Who the [Bleep] Did I Marry?” It chronicles women who have married vicious criminals.
But Disney-owned ABC (oh, the irony) has not one, but two B-word pilots in its outhouse of a production department. They're also considering a show titled “Don't Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23.”
Managing Editor's Note: NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center president Brent Bozell sent a letter to the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate committees with oversight of NPR stating that PBS does not deserve a dime of taxpayer funding and that a government that is broke should not be in the business of funding a left-wing playground.
A portion of the letter sent by Mr. Bozell to Congress follows:
On March 2, two U.S airmen, Nicholas Alden and Zachary Cuddeback, were gunned down at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany. Two other Americans were wounded. The assailant was a radical Muslim. This was a huge story to most Americans – but, naturally, but not to our news media. If the amount of air time is any measure, the assassination of our troops drew a yawn.
That night, ABC’s “World News” offered a full report, but CBS and NBC each gave it less than 30 seconds. "Troops under attack in Germany, targeted by a gunman shouting in Arabic about jihad," reported ABC anchor Diane Sawyer. Neither CBS or NBC found room for “jihad” talk, and never found time to ask about the young American lives extinguished.
CBS saved room that night for Mickey Rooney’s testimony about “elder abuse.” NBC needed to save four minutes and 15 seconds for semi-retired Tom Brokaw’s report on the decline in Reading, Pennsylvania, and then devoted another two and half minutes to promoting the Smithsonian’s attempt to find a “Candid Camera in the Wilderness” with animal spycams.
Most parents think of video games as a child's pursuit, especially the innocent ones. Many people who bought a Nintendo Wii video game system would consider this the most innocent of them all. They watch their children play Super Mario Brothers on it, or join the family in playing tennis or golf or baseball with their little childlike”Mii” characters on Wii Sports.
I never imagined this game system would also be an orgy enabler.
A new ad by the French game manufacturer Ubisoft advertises a new game for the Nintendo Wii suggestively titled “We Dare,” describing it as “a sexy, quirky party game that offers hilarious, innovative and physical, sometimes kinky, challenges. The more friends you invite to party, the spicier the play!"
When President Obama’s budget came out in February, with the greatest expansion of federal spending in American history, some sycophantic media outlets like The Washington Post ridiculously tried to sell the concept that Obama was pushing “deep cuts.” It was a publicity line that collapsed on itself within 24 hours.
The Democrats are doing nothing to rein in the spending that is leading America into bankruptcy. What the Republican leadership is proposing, with its minuscule cuts, is a small fraction of a huge deficit.
Freshman Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is about the only one proposing significant cuts, and for that he will be massacred, if the media have their way. On the February 23 broadcast of ABC’s “Nightline,” they actually cartooned him as a crazed maniac with a chain saw. It was presented as “news,” but it had all the markings of a negative ad cooked up in the video lab at the DNC.
It's so easy to look at teenagers in general today and sigh. They’re more than a bit lazy, a bit spoiled, and more than a bit morally compromised. Two teenagers made national news. One showed common decency and sportsmanship, two virtues seemingly uncommon in that generation. Hope is restored.
Fifteen-year-old wrestler Joel Northrup faced a dilemma when he was scheduled to wrestle Cassy Herkelman, one of only two girls to make it to the state tournament. Even though he entered with a 35-4 record, Joel forfeited rather than violate his religious principles.
Cassy’s father, Bill Herkelman, praised the Northrup family: "That's their belief, and I praise them for sticking to it. This is the biggest stage in wrestling in the state, I would say, and they stuck to their beliefs when it probably tested it the most," he said. "It was probably a tough pill for him to swallow."
The battle in Madison, Wisconsin between new Gov. Scott Walker and the public-sector union hacks offers an amazing study in journalistic double standards. The same national media that have spent the last two years drawing devil’s horns and Klan hoods on the Tea Party protesters have switched sides with lightning speed. In the Wisconsin protesters, they find sweetness and light, “hope and change.”
From her Sunday soapbox, ABC host Christiane Amanpour snobbishly deplored the Tea Party as not conservative, but “extreme” last fall. In a special “town hall” episode of her show on the Ground Zero mosque debate, she accused an incredulous Gary Bauer of encouraging vandalism at a Tennessee mosque because somehow, Christian rhetoric is offensive. The accusation itself was offensive because it was entirely baseless.
Yet in Wisconsin, the exact opposite happened. Amanpour took the extreme, vicious, and wholly offensive signs comparing Gov. Walker to Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak – and embraced them as geopolitically accurate: “People power, making history: A revolt in the Midwest, and a revolution sweeping across the Middle East.” She touted how “populist frustration is boiling over this week.”
The 911 call went out on January 27. Charlie Sheen was unconscious after another wild 36-hour bout with alcohol and drugs. People magazine reported paramedics found him unresponsive, drooling blood. He looked like death. He was rushed to the hospital, and there the family gathered, expecting the worst. Again, he survived.
Nobody seems able to stop this train. No one can force him to change. And CBS will stop at nothing in its willingness to dote on its superstar, offering no “judgmental” analysis of his behavior. In this business, profitability comes before respectability. Sheen, star of the filthy sitcom "Two and a Half Men," is the highest-paid actor in television (at $1.2 million an episode), and he can apparently do and say anything and be welcomed back to work. It’s why Entertainment Weekly calls Sheen “TV’s Most Valuable Disaster.”
Jaws dropped across the nation’s capital at the audacious annihilation of the truth on the front page of the February 15 Washington Post. The top headline read “Obama budget makes deep cuts, cautious trades.” It’s another day at the Post, where every day is an April Fool’s joke.
Reporter Lori Montgomery didn’t exactly say “deep cuts” in her first sentence. She explained that Obama’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2012 made “surgical cuts and cautious trade-offs.” But two paragraphs later, the reporter admitted “the president’s offer to freeze funding for domestic programs would produce minimal savings in the short term.” That doesn’t match the “deep cuts” headline in large, bold type – because there are none.
The top of the pop charts has become a low, low, place indeed. Just last summer, the singer Cee-Lo took popular culture one rung lower into the sewer with the release of his song titled “F--- You.” After a few weeks, it was mainstreamed into “Forget You,” but why bother? While both versions sold well, the vulgar one clearly had its intended effect.
The pop star Pink now has her own version with her new single titled “F---in' Perfect.” How creative. That’s reaching for the stars.
Once again, there are two versions, with the words “less than” replacing the profanity. Again, why bother pretending to be concerned about standards? The original song contains seven F-bombs. She asks “don't you ever ever feel / Like you're less than f---in' perfect,” and then insists “you're f---in' perfect to me!”