Our liberal scribes and pundits savaged the Bush administration as being a privacy-shredding, terrorist-suspect-abusing tyranny on the march. Now that President Obama is in charge, they lamely suggest that “the government” has failed, but with no president’s name attached in the blame game.
For years, the media insisted that the terrorist holding pen at Guantanamo was a horrific stain on our global reputation. It was a “cancer” (CBS’s Bob Schieffer) and the networks uncritically aired Amnesty International quacks denouncing it as “the gulag of our times.” Any denunciation had the words “Bush” and “Cheney” inexorably attached.
But now the outrage has died, and the story is being downplayed, since the Evil Bush is no longer the target. Take the case of Gitmo prisoner Ahmed Ghailani, who participated in the U.S. embassy massacre in Tanzania in 1998. When the federal judge crippled his trial in mid-October by omitting a witness, ABC and NBC skipped over it. “CBS Evening News” offered an anchor brief, with Couric calling it a "big setback for federal prosecutors." Nothing was attributed to the Obama administration.
Mike Elgan of PC World magazine is predicting that the Christmas season will prove his contention that Apple’s iPad is the “Children’s Toy of the Year.”
“Have you ever seen a 4-year-old play with an iPhone? It's actually kind of shocking,” he reported. “Kids take to the iPhone's multi-touch user interface like they do trucks or dolls. They instinctively know that the iPhone is a toy, and they nag, cajole and harass their parents into letting them play with it.”
Because parents are always looking for gadgets to grab their children’s attention, Elgan suggested the iPad is “an ideal kid pacifier” and it also works as in-car entertainment, since the parent “doesn't have to put everyone's lives at risk trying to swap DVDs” from the driver’s seat to the car.
Skeptics would ask about the cost, starting at $499 – an extravagance in any income bracket. Elgan believes “Any parent who owns an iPad will be constantly harassed by the kids, even more so than iPhone-owning parents are today. The path of least resistance for parents will be to just get the kids an iPad of their own. I think parents will do this by the millions.”
Nobody expected that George W. Bush’s book “Decision Points” was going to compare to the memoirs of Ulysses Grant. As expected, book reviewers found it wanting as a literary work. But still, every book by an ex-president is seen as an opportunity for legacy-polishing and the press is most accommodating.
In the summer of 2004, the networks celebrated Bill Clinton’s memoir as a momentous news event. They even employed a ridiculous adjective for the man – “candid.” Certain soon-to-be-disgraced news anchors aggressively promoted the 957-page Clinton opus. On “Larry King Live,” Dan Rather obsequiously boasted he’d read Clinton from cover to cover, and “I think it compares very favorably with Ulysses S. Grant's gold standard of presidential autobiographies.”
When it comes to the increasing sex, violence, and profanity in entertainment media, the social libertines are indifferent. They insist that children will hardly be warped or ruined by the media they consume. They chortle at the paranoia of Hollywood critics. Their mantra: If you don't like it, just turn the channel.
But if the issue isn’t indecency, but instead, say, obesity – so many of those titans of “tolerance” suddenly become the censors. Behold San Francisco, the paradise of permissive sexual attitudes. The city council may welcome flowers in your hair, but they have just voted to ban “Happy Meal” toys unless the “happy” menu is low in fat and sodium and includes fruits and vegetables.
Apparently, that villain Ronald McDonald has been leading a Vast Child-Fattening Conspiracy.
Liberal Democrats show no signs of reading their washout at the polls as a reason to shift to the center. President Obama told “60 Minutes” his only mistake was he passed some major legislation, but he didn’t focus enough on the messy “how” – as in “how it’s risky to pass an ObamaCare bill that a majority says it doesn’t want.”
Nancy Pelosi is the other face of the eviscerated Left. A Gallup poll in mid-October found 56 percent of Americans have a negative opinion of her, almost double the percentage that feels negatively toward incoming House Speaker John Boehner. Rather than cede the field to a new general, without the baggage, she is lunging ahead to be re-elected as leader of the shrunken House Democrats.
Now Obama, Pelosi, and their troops in the media are going to turn to the proposition that the House Republicans must be defeated. Oh, the irony. Weren’t their knickers in the tightest of knots when Rush Limbaugh stated he wanted Obama to fail?
On Election Day, the Supreme Court heard arguments in the case Schwarzenegger vs. Entertainment Merchants Association. The irony of this case name was obvious: the celebrated violent-action-hero governor of California had signed a bill into law in 2005 forbidding the sale of ultraviolent video games to minors, a law that lower federal courts prevented from ever going into effect.
Why should the Supremes care about this? After all, a year before that, Gov. Schwarzenegger signed a law making it illegal for anyone under 14 years old to tan indoors under any circumstances. (Children from 14 to 18 can tan – with parental consent.) The fine for salon operators for each violation is as much as $2,500 per day. Somehow this did not become a cause celebre, and was not fought all the way to the Supreme Court. Indeed, 32 states are inhibiting the freedom of minors to tan, and no one cares.
But interfere with their right to fry their minds and there’s hell to pay. Video-game manufacturers don’t want politicians tampering with their sales to minors, so here comes the march of the First Amendment fundamentalists, who argue that the principle of freedom of speech covers the enthusiastic distribution and sale of every kind of child-corrupting media horror. For them there must be no helpful hurdle or brake for children to go around their parents and grab what Justice Samuel Alito called “the most violent, sadistic, graphic video game that can be developed.”
Editor's Note: MRC President Brent Bozell issued the following statement in reaction to news that MSNBC had suspended Countdown host Keith Olbermann "indefinitely" for donating to three Democratic candidates in violation of NBC's policy. In October, Olbermann had blasted political donations from Fox News owner News Corp, slamming Fox as "a media outlet that has now put its money where everybody has known its mouth has always been."
Keith Olbermann is officially the Worst Hypocrite in the World. He rails about a ‘national cable news outlet’ that ‘starts to donate to partisan groups of one party,’ then does exactly that.
But it begs a bigger questions: why did it take NBC so long? This man has been using his perch as a newsman at MSNBC to promote a radical left-wing and hate-filled agenda for years. And they fire him over three contributions? NBC needs to review its own policies.”
In one of his latest attempts to get his face on every television network in America before the election, President Obama appeared on “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart to plead his case to the hip, young, leftist voters who love that show. Obama claimed he had done so much, “We have done things that some folks don't even know about!”
In a more serious interview, Obama told the Los Angeles Times the economic mess he “inherited” required him to take so many rapid actions that he could not "communicate effectively to the public in any coherent way.”
This has to be the most ridiculous spin to emerge to explain the Why Republicans Massacred Us question: Barack Obama somehow failed to communicate his “accomplishments.” This man has been everywhere from MTV to CNBC to Univision to the entire NBC-Universal slate of channels selling his policies. And when he’s not there, the reporters do his bidding regardless. How can a man who was sold to us as an absolutely magic combination of Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt now suggest he was made “incoherent” by the economy?
No doubt about it, Fox’s “Glee” is a pop-culture juggernaut. In 2009, the “Glee” cast landed 25 singles on the Billboard Hot 100, the most by any artist since The Beatles. The show is syndicated all over the world. Its second season debut scored more than 12 million viewers. Clearly, Fox knows that this show about a high-school glee club is a hot ticket for high-schoolers, and its appeal trickles down through the lower grades. They’re the ones who are downloading all the “Glee” singles for their iPods.
So who is the marketing genius who decided that female “Glee” stars should pose in their bras and underwear in the badly named “Gentleman’s Quarterly” magazine? And with a fully clothed male star putting his hand on their rear ends on the cover? Surely, a lot more children watch the TV show than check out GQ magazine, but the photo shoot was news all over the entertainment world. Sleazy marketing is the best marketing.
This decision was almost uniformly condemned. One standout example was CBS anchor Katie Couric, who denounced it in an online commentary. “These very adult photos of young women who perform in a family show just seem so un-'Glee'-like. The program is already edgy in the right ways, these images don't really, in my humble opinion, fit the 'Glee' gestalt.”
National Public Radio’s firing of Juan Williams tells you all you need to know about the radical, and thoroughly intolerant, Left. Juan Williams is a liberal, but still, he isn’t liberal enough. The idea that he would acknowledge a mere thought of discomfort at the idea of people in “Muslim garb” on airplanes in a post-9/11 world became a firing offense. It didn’t matter that he prefaced it with all the perfunctory and politically correct disclaimers about not being a bigot and we shouldn’t blame all Muslims for terrorism.
Today’s Left is void of any principles whatsoever. They can be as astonishingly offensive and insulting as they want toward Christians, and no one gets punished. The indefatigable Catholic League provides the documentation.
Rocco Landesman is the chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, and boy, does he know how to spin the official line on offensive art. In a recent interview in Cincinnati, he was asked vaguely about controversy. “The best art taps into deep feelings, sometimes to comfort and sometimes to confront. Art can be very uncomfortable,” Landesman said. “What can lead to strong reactions -- for some of us, it draws us into the arts over our lifetimes and careers. For others, it creates strong negative feelings.”
Landesman wasn't being asked specifically about negative feelings over the Loveland Gallery in Loveland, Colorado, a taxpayer-funded art space which recently featured a controversial painting with Jesus Christ receiving oral sex from a man. He's certainly not used to critical questions about just how this blasphemy-by-numbers seems like a tiresome rerun: Jesus in urine, Jesus in chocolate, Jesus in (homo)sexual ecstasy.
Managing Editor's note: National Public Radio (NPR) has fired longtime analyst Juan Williams for admitting he gets nervous on a plane when he sees a person dressed in Muslim garb. What follows is a statement from NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center President Brent Bozell.
Juan Williams has done nothing wrong. What he said echoes what the vast majority of Americans believe. It’s their tax dollars that fund NPR. But NPR is ignoring them. Instead, they are kowtowing to the agenda of radical anti-Americans like CAIR, and doing the bidding of George Soros, who hates Fox News with a passion.
And since when did NPR have standards? Here are just three examples of left-wing statements 100 times more outrageous than what Juan Williams said, with no reaction from NPR:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid finally appeared in a debate on October 14 in Las Vegas with his Republican opponent, Sharron Angle. The appearance might come as a surprise to consumers of the national media. While Angle has been pounded relentlessly by national media outlets as being both dangerously radical and ridiculous, Reid has been left alone, and untouched.
But what about Harry? He’s the Majority Leader after all. Is he, like so many of his colleagues, simply afraid to talk about his legislative “accomplishments”? Nobody’s wondered why he hasn’t been making the rounds of interviews on national television. While reporters rush to report the latest “wacky” quote from Angle, the networks haven’t lifted a finger to cover Reid’s cascade of rhetorical stumbles and outrages, especially since Angle won the GOP primary.
We won’t count Reid’s remarks last year comparing opponents of health reform to supporters of slavery, or his describing those opponents as “evilmongers,” which he delighted in repeating and telling reporters he’d coined a new word.
There’s a list of fresh gaffes, and it just keeps growing.
Why does it seem at times that our government and “public health” advocates think parents are a social problem? Parents at Hardy Middle School in the affluent Glover Park neighborhood in Washington, DC were shocked to discover that a sex-and-drug-use survey had been distributed to 12-year-olds in their physical education classes without any warnings or consent forms sent to parents.
The first words the children read were these: “This questionnaire asks you about sex and drugs (like cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, ecstasy, and marijuana).” Of course, they promised, “Your answers will not be told to anyone in your school or family.”
The mindset of these popsicle psychiatrists was evident right off the bat. The very first question was “What is your gender?” Two possibilities, you think? Try four boxes: Male and female, plus – “transgender (M to F)” and “transgender (F to M).” This was handed out to 12-year-olds.
A major part of the Barack Obama narrative when he ran for president was his international roots, the global sweep of his life, and how much more cosmopolitan he would be as president than the pedestrian George W. Bush. So it's a little weird to watch Obama yelling from the campaign podium that foreigners are funding political commercials and stealing our elections.
Obama's now stooped to accusing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce of being a tool of foreign operatives. He doesn't produce any evidence to make the charge; but since when has this stopped him? Obama's Organizing for America clones are promoting this quote of his: "This is a threat to our democracy....And if we just stand by and let the special interests to silence anybody who's got the guts to stand up to them, our country's going to be a very different place."
So Obama's critics are now "threats to our democracy." That, folks, is desperation. Barack Obama clearly doesn't have the guts to stick to the global-village narrative his liberal base in the media and elsewhere adore. The Washington Post now laments that his critique smacks of xenophobia.
America was horrified by the story that erupted in the national news, that Rutgers college freshman Tyler Clementi threw himself off a bridge because his new roommate used a webcam to tape a homosexual encounter in which he’d engaged. Media outlets quickly dispatched their cavalry to find the experts to explain why America is a land of incessant bullying.
Theif is no longer debatable. We’re on to the why.
This could have been a moment of national unity. Almost everyone can tell a story of being the target of bullying or mean-spirited ridicule about being too tall, too short, too fat, too skinny, too dumb, too smart, you name it. But others found this tragedy offered too rich a rhetorical opportunity. It was not a suicide to them. It was a murder.
CNN's “Larry King Live” brought on the antonym of human dignity, Kathy Griffin, who quickly inflamed the Clementi moment by charging “the blood's on their hands” of our “so-called leaders.” She insisted, “I think that the way that we had trickle-down economics in the '80s, this is trickle-down homophobia. And I really want people to connect the dots. And that's why I believe there's a connection between Prop 8, Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and now the string of teen suicides.”
It’s a topsy-turvy, upside-down political world out there for people who thought Barack Obama would be cruising at a 70 percent approval rating while crushing the Republicans like bugs. In fact, the opposite has happened. The Senate Majority Leader is in grave danger of involuntary retirement. Everyone in Washington concedes Nancy Pelosi is unlikely to bang the gavel in January.
So why in the world does the tone of news coverage suggest all kinds of political problems...for conservatives, as if they were the collapsing majority in this campaign?
The media elites sound like they’re resigned to the idea that a lot of Democrats are going to be unemployed in November. Their coverage seems designed now to stanch the bleeding, to devote their coverage to close races where they can bash conservative challengers in the hope of turning the tide there.
Don’t read Newsweek magazine while drinking a beverage. A spit take is the obvious first reaction to a column by Julia Baird headlined “The Shame of Family Films.” On the Internet, this article is coded as “Why family films are so sexist.”
Baird's denunciation of Hollywood's fraction of decent entertainment began: “They have all been smash hits: ‘Finding Nemo,’ ‘Madagascar,’ ‘Ice Age,’ ‘Toy Story.’ Fish, penguins, rats, stuffed animals, talking toys. All good innocent family fun, right? Sure, except there are few female characters in those films. There are certainly few doing anything meaningful or heroic – and no, Bo Peep doesn't count.”
So what does feminist bean-counting have to do with whether a movie is “good innocent family fun”? Did any young girl come away from “Finding Nemo” feeling like the memory-challenged Ellen DeGeneres fish character didn’t represent female empowerment effectively? Were they offended by the oppressively archaic stereotype of Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl during “Toy Story 2"? Families can’t enjoy these films without expecting them to pass some politically correct quota exam?
The following is NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center (MRC) founder Brent Bozell's new editorial posted at CNN.com in association with their upcoming documentary Right On The Edge about what they call conservative "guerrilla journalists" this weekend:
It was the fall of 1995, and there was open warfare in Washington over the Republicans' Contract with America.
Liberals had declared that civilization as we knew it was imperiled by the evil machinations of Newt Gingrich and Co.
This is to be expected of liberals on Capitol Hill -- but those weren't the effective ones. It was their colleagues in the national so-called "objective" so-called "news" media whose "reporting" was poisoning the public discourse.
Former CBS anchor Dan Rather was a frequent target of conservatives' ire. On November 28, he was a guest of Mike Rosen, the top-rated conservative radio talk show host in Denver, Colorado. Rosen directly accused him of having a liberal bias, but Rather would have none of it.
The following is NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center (MRC) founder Brent Bozell's statement regarding news of James O’Keefe’s sting operation attempt to embarrass CNN.
The MRC unequivocally denounces James O’Keefe for his attempted assault on CNN. It isn’t just childish and immature; it’s ugly, dishonest and filthy. There is no place in the conservative movement for this type of behavior and that’s exactly what I warned about in a commentary piece I submitted to CNN.com just two days ago.
"Could the Citizen Journalist abuse the public trust?" I wrote in this piece that should run in the next few days. "Hypothetically, of course. Conservatives must all guard against this. Let there be scrutiny, by all means." And I repeat: there must be scrutiny.
Bottom line: We want nothing to do with O’Keefe or his dirty antics.
NBC-Universal is getting ridiculous with its shameless courting of President Obama. On the morning of September 27, NBC’s Matt Lauer interviewed Barack Obama for a half-hour with no commercials. But it wasn’t just on NBC. Their devotion to El Jefe is so transparent they aired it live on most of their other cable properties, including MSNBC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, Oxygen, Chiller, Sleuth, Uni HD, and Universal Sports.
The announced topic was education, but Lauer also turned to politics, and that’s where the NBC host just regurgitated the current liberal complaint: Obama is apparently too calm and not tough enough toward Republicans. Lauer noted Obama’s recent declaration that "The Republicans, they're treating me like a dog." He didn’t ask for proof for that bizarre and whiny claim. He underlined it like it was the gospel truth.
Then he begged for ratcheting up the “rigor” in Obama’s attacks on opponents: “Former President Clinton said he doesn't think the Democrats, and you included, have been rigorous enough in pushing back against some of the Republican attacks. Over these next five weeks, Mr. President, do you intend to change your tone or your emotion in terms of your pushing back?”
The sexual revolution always seems to have another frontier. Indeed, the very idea of a “revolution” would be negated were there no frontiers to conquer. So deeper, ever deeper, we plumb the depths. Look at television. Every new frontier is just another titillating, initially shocking plot for a fictional or “reality” show, until there's a “new normal” and the novelty and naughtiness wears off.
Wash, rinse, repeat.
The latest example is a brand-new show on the TLC cable network called “Sister Wives,” all about a likeable, long-haired Utah man named Kody Brown and his three wives and 13 children. But this isn't enough drama for a “reality” show, so the plot twist has Brown taking on a fourth wife with three of her own kids from a previous marriage.
We've gone down a very strange path from “The Brady Bunch.”
Jimmy Carter is out with his 26th book, so that means he is on his 26th round of slavish liberal-media interviews hailing him as a genius and a peacemaker. No wonder we’re so tired of him.
While the Bushes have remained dignified and largely silent as ex-presidents, Carter and Bill Clinton just cannot resist venomously attacking Republican presidents and conservative politicians, perhaps because whenever they do this, TV anchors bow and scrape before them and hail their “achievements” and compassion and generosity of spirit toward mankind.
In today’s world, video war games are all the rage. The military knows that video games make young men more interested in military service, and can even make them better soldiers. As is so often the case, some of the producers of these games have taken the simulation too far.
For the latest version of its wildly popular shooter game “Medal of Honor,” Electronic Arts chose to set the game in post-9/11 Afghanistan. But now it also allows players to fight as the Taliban and kill American troops. This was too much for the military. Army, Air Force, and Navy bases have announced they will refuse to sell the game out of respect to our troops who have been killed by the Taliban.
"You know how many of my friends have been killed by the Taliban?" Staff Sgt. William Schober, a fan of the earlier “Medal” games, asked the New York Times. "One of my friends was sniped in the head by them. That's something you want to have fun with?"
How long ago it seems now that Barack Obama was inaugurated, and the Great Uniter championed “hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord. On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics.…[T]he time has come to set aside childish things.”
It seems the president spoke prematurely.
With his approval ratings sinking, and Democratic prospects tanking, Obama began the fall campaign in Milwaukee with a petulant tone about his adversaries: "They talk about me like a dog. That's not in my prepared remarks, but it's true." Precisely which Republican was suggesting the president was a household pet? Who cares? He knew he wouldn’t be challenged. Perhaps he was tired and a little dyslexic, and was thinking about the media: “They talk about me like a god.”
We're making some great progress in our effort upgrade and improve the NewsBusters site. We've exceeded two thirds of our $30,000 goal. I'll tell you what: if we can reach $25,000 today, these annoying donation requests will end - at least for a while!
Make sure you take a look at all of the great features we will be putting in place. It's really going to improve the quality of the product NewsBusters delivers daily. We're even putting a whole new blog, NB Extra, in motion!
Remember, all donations are tax deductible, and the more you give to us, the less the liberal establishment can get its hands on. Please click here to contribute, or here to donate via PayPal (make sure you type "NewsBusters" in the Description field).
This new site will dramatically improve NewsBusters's ability to affect the national political discourse and to continue exposing media bias wherever it lurks. Thank you all for your help in this critical mission.
In recent years I've come to know Charlie Daniels personally, enough so that I can say with confidence that this man just isn't looking for tributes. But for all that Charlie has done for this country and its fighting men and women, he deserves every honor that comes his way.
It was some thirty years ago when I first caught a Charlie Daniels concert. He was the back-up to the Marshall Tucker Band at the old Capital Centre outside Washington DC, and that night, he stole the show. When he finished his blazing set the audience erupted and brought him back for an encore. When the Marshall Tucker Band finished their rather good performance, it made no difference: the capacity crowd roared for yet another performance from Charlie Daniels.
It's a metaphor for his life. At a time when he should, deservedly be disappearing into the shadows, he's back - with the crowd roaring once again. Despite recovering from a stroke and nearing his 74th birthday, Charlie still plays about 100 concerts a year, including Sean Hannity's "Freedom Concerts" to benefit the children of our fallen and disabled U.S. soldiers through Ollie North's Freedom Alliance. So much has Charlie become ingrained in the "Freedom Concerts" (he performed in all eight shows this year) and in the effort to support our military worldwide that he deserves his own tribute. He is America's unsung singing hero.
Great job, NBers! We're now well past the halfway point in our fundraising effort. As of my writing this, we've raised $18,247 of the $30,000 we need to upgrade and improve the NB site.
In the five years since we launched, NewsBusters has really taken off. Many of you have been with us for a long time now, and have helped us in our growth. This redesign is the next step on our upward trajectory. With your help, we will continue meeting unprecedented demand, and informing the nation of the specter of liberal media bias. Click here to check out some of the features we plan on implementing.
If you haven't given already, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution by clicking here. You can also click here to donate via PayPal (just make sure you enter "NewsBusters" in the description field).
On behalf of everyone here at NB, thank you for your generosity and for your continued support as we expand and improve.
The midterm elections this fall will feature young people born in 1992 – in other words, four years after Ronald Reagan left office. What do they know about this man?
It’s quite likely that many of them have been told of Reagan’s firm resolve to win the Cold War. But it’s also likely they haven’t learned about the Reagan budget policies that led to a historic economic recovery. Instead, liberal revisionists are working overtime to assign to the Gipper’s tax cut policies the blame for deficits on his watch. Given the disastrous performance of Barack Obama, it’s time to give this man a serious look once again.
Young Hollywood director and producer Ray Griggs has made a breezy and yet substantive documentary titled “I Want Your Money” that can educate young voters on the differences between Reaganomics and Obamanomics. Some might say that Griggs is trying to become the conservative Michael Moore, but that would be unfair, since Moore’s documentaries often depart from the classification of “nonfiction.” When Moore claims health care is better in Cuba than America, or that Iraq before the Iraq war was a placid kite-flying paradise under Saddam Hussein, serious filmmakers run from him.
ABC should seize the opportunity to replace Westin with a president who will deliver what the American people want and deserve – real journalism. It’s ABC’s only glimmer of hope for surviving in the news industry.