The shocking death of pop star Whitney Houston built a massive audience for the Grammy Awards telecast Sunday night on CBS. It attracted 39.9 million viewers, making it the most watched non-sports program of the season.
The show began with a heartfelt prayer for Houston to “our Heavenly Father” from the master of ceremonies, CBS actor L. L. Cool J. But sadly (and predictably), near the show’s end, religion was mocked in an elaborate Catholic-bashing mess starring the rapper Nicki Minaj. Someone on Twitter said it best: “Stevie Wonder was the luckiest man in the crowd” during the performance.
Valentine’s Day is probably not the day most people would pick to remember the marriage of John and Jacqueline Kennedy. But on February 14, CBS spent more than eight minutes recalling how it was the fiftieth anniversary of CBS’s “historic” TV tour of the White House with Jackie, and brought on liberal historian Doug Brinkley to proclaim “fifty years ago on Valentine's Day, she became America's sweetheart, and fifty years later she still is.”
The problem is that any honest historian couldn’t claim that Jackie was JFK’s sweetheart. He had lots of 'em. And now CBS has utterly ignored what NBC just exploited -- er, reported -- in prime time: former White House intern Mimi Alford has written a memoir revealing how President Kennedy pressured her into Jackie’s bed in 1962 to take her virginity and begin an affair when she was 19 and four days into her internship, and which would last until the eve of his assassination.
Super Bowl XLVI was a good football game, marred once again by the bohemian elite at NBC. NBC could have prevented, but failed to stop, the broadcast of a female rapper "flipping the bird" at 114 million viewers during Madonna's halftime show. It was another "fleeting expletive" of the hand-gesture variety, and somehow, despite elaborate rehearsals, no one at NBC could seem to stop it.
The same network skillfully edited God out of a clip of children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance during last year's U.S. Open golf tournament.
Editor's Note: Earlier today, CNN suspended contributor Roland Martin for some tweets he made regarding the David Beckham underwear ad that ran during the Super Bowl. Martin was the target of a pressure campaign from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). What follows after the page break is NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell's statement.
The Obama administration is waging war on Christianity. Somehow, the networks haven’t seen this as newsworthy.
On January 20, Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services announced its perverse attempt to force Catholic schools, hospitals, and other charitable agencies to finance sterilization, abortifacients and contraceptives in their insurance plans starting in 2013. Speaking for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Timothy Dolan roared like a lion in a press statement: “In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences.” He asserted "To force American citizens to choose between violating their consciences and forgoing their healthcare is literally unconscionable.”
Editor's Note: What follows is a letter that NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center president Brent Bozell sent to the presidents of the news divisions of ABC, CBS, and NBC as well as to CNN president Jim Walton. It has also been carbon copied to 10 leaders representing various Catholic and Protestant faith organizations.
The broadcast and cable television networks need to report the current, unprecedented assault against freedom of religion in this country, as well as the millions of Americans who would be left out in the cold by the Obama administration if it does not rescind HHS’s recently issued insurance mandate requiring contraceptive coverage. As our statistics and analysis below outline, they are not, and it’s a glaring double standard.
While Democrats mock Mitt Romney for his alleged lack of interest in the “very poor” and focus their political pitch on income inequality, one can’t help noticing the Obamas running around to $35,000-a-head fundraisers with the very rich and very famous in New York City and Hollywood.
Michelle Obama kicked off February with an exclusive fundraiser in Beverly Hills at the home of Netflix executive Ted Sarandos and his wife Nicole Avant, who raised Hollywood millions for the Obamas in 2008, and then became their ambassador to the Bahamas. Now Nicole Avant’s back managing Obama’s Hollywood money march. Many of Tinseltown’s titans ponied up: Jeffrey Katzenberg, Harvey Weinstein, Haim Saban, and Steve Bing, among others. (Katzenberg’s also given $2 million to the Obama-affiliated super PAC called Priorities USA Action.)
Komen hasn't bent to political pressure from Planned Parenthood and its left-wing political allies - they've snapped like a toothpick. And according to our statistical analysis, pro-abortion ABC, CBS and NBC News have undoubtedly played a strategic role in this pressure.
The photograph of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer pointing a finger at President Obama on the tarmac at the Phoenix airport brought out the worst in amateur psychoanalysis from our media elite. No one had an audio tape or videotape of what was said, but just the finger-pointing image somehow was definitive evidence of profound disrespect.
These same journalists were not only unfazed, but actually downright amused back in 2008, when an Iraqi journalist in Baghdad threw two shoes at President Bush’s head. That man, they said, was an “instant hero.” Over and over, they replayed the footage, each time laughing just a bit harder.
Editor's Note: What follows is a statement released this morning by NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center (MRC) president Brent Bozell.
Come on, Tell The Truth, Tom! What really irks you is not that you're part of a presidential ad; it's that you're part of a Republican candidate's ad. You used NBC and your anchor chair as a platform to promote Democratic agendas and delight in Republican setbacks for more than 20 years. And you stood behind that reporting as a fair exercise in journalistic ethics, even when it was far from the truth.
If Tom Brokaw really cared about this kind of bias, he would do something about his own network and especially its sister network MSNBC given their outrageous pro-Obama nightly commentary disguised as news.
Remember when Don Imus saw his cushy CBS Radio and MSNBC career go up in smoke in 2007 when he tried very early one morning to make one of his fake-misanthropic jokes about the Rutgers women’s basketball team being “nappy-headed hoes”? Black activists demanded his firing. Advertisers fled. The corporate suits, appalled and fearful of the terrible publicity, canned him.
But if you’re a black rapper, terms like this advance your career. The female rapper Nicki Minaj has a very hot new video called “Stupid Hoe.” She uses that same term to snap at other women – “We ship platinum, them b---es are shipping wood / Them nappy headed hoes, but my kitchen good.” (Don’t hurt your brain trying to make sense of it.) Minaj even threw the N-word in the lyrics: “How you gon’ be the stunt double to the nigga monkey?”
Today I’m announcing that the Media Research Center, the largest media watchdog group in America, with over 500,000 members, is undertaking the largest effort in our 25 year history. Today we formally unveil our national "Tell the Truth! 2012" campaign.
The liberals dominating the national media have been doing their best to influence elections for years. It’s 2012 and already we have documented endless examples of the so-called news media covering up the failures of the Obama presidency and attacking every conservative presidential candidate one by one by one.
The Brian Williams MSNBC debate in Florida was not only dreadfully boring – I never thought I could ever long for commercials – it was pathetic. Freed of the fear of triggering an avalanche of applause against loaded questions, Williams and his co-moderators couldn’t bring themselves to utter one single question asking the Republican candidates to respond to Obama mistakes. For almost two hours, not one Obama failure was cited. Apparently, his record is spotless.
Instead, the candidates (especially Rick Santorum) were thrown four questions surrounding the 2005 legal battle in Florida over pulling the feeding tube of Terri Schiavo, which pushed all the liberal media hot buttons about “far right” religious conservatives throwing their religion around where it didn’t belong. This isn’t breaking news. But like the ABC debate fixated on contraception, it’s evidence that liberal networks are focused on their agenda, not on the voters’ concerns.
Newt Gingrich won South Carolina because he refused to succumb to assaults by the liberal media, and because conservatives are just as fed up as he is.
Speaker Gingrich hit a nerve dead-on by pushing back on ABC's blatant character assassination and standing up to John King's first debate question. He tapped into the anger and frustration of not only South Carolina voters, but of the rest of the country. The left-wing media have tried to manipulate this campaign cycle through the systematic character assassination of every conservative in the race. The public has had it.
Late-night comedians historically have relished the opportunity to poke fun at politicians. Sometimes they savage them. In the Obama era, they haven’t been so enthusiastic about any of it. A recent study of political jokes on three late-night shows (Letterman, Leno, and Jimmy Fallon) by the Center for Media and Public Affairs found that Barack Obama’s joke count is “substantially lower than any other president.”
Some of the Obama jokes are actually bipartisan slams. Jimmy Fallon joked that “Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton are more mature than President Obama and John Boehner.” This is the classic comedian’s pose, and the safe one, that all the politicians are ridiculous, squabbling poseurs. Still, it’s every bit as much pandering to the public as the politicians are.
It is not necessarily inappropriate for a news outlet to interview a candidate’s former wife. However, three conditions must be met: 1) Is it newsworthy? 2) Is it fair and respectful to the families involved? 3) Is the timing appropriate?
On the timing issue alone it is clearly inappropriate for ABC to run this interview on the eve of the South Carolina primary. This smacks of an October Surprise of the worst sort, for which so many in the left-wing press have become so infamous. There is no reason it couldn’t run next week.
It’s a crying shame that in today’s network “news” media, only books written by gabby leftwing celebrities generate interest. When those leftwing screeds are written by leftwing celebrity clowns like Michael Moore or Bill Maher or Ed Schultz, then somehow it’s A-list booking. That’s when the Today show and “The Tonight Show” roll out the red carpet.
It’s a sad indictment of the industry that serious books about ideas are rarely discussed, and if the serious book is written by a serious conservative then “rarely” becomes “never.” Not even when there is a screaming market demand for such a book will the TV bookers relent.
It was symbolically perfect that on the same day Hollywood went to the Supreme Court to make the case for broadcast profanity, Entertainment Weekly reported that the next showing of the ABC smutcom “Modern Family” would feature a two-year-old girl dropping the F-bomb. The episode’s title will be “Little Bo Bleep.”
Shameless. There’s no other way to describe the people running these networks. We’re told “It might be the first time in a scripted family broadcast TV series where a child has said the F-word.” But it won’t be the last – especially if the high court grants Hollywood’s demands and shreds any regulation of nudity or profanity on TV.
Sitting through the Republican debate on Saturday night with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos was just painful, from beginning to end. Some of it was just political Ambien. But when it was finally over, there was just one question. Who in the GOP in his/her right mind invites a historically shameless Democratic spin controller like Stephanopoulos to “moderate” a primary debate like this – ever?
The only thing that can be said in defense of that horrible decision was turning to NBC the next morning and seeing “moderator” David Gregory be even more slanted in his questioning. ABC slanted the ideological questions in their debate by a ratio of six questions from the left to each one from the right. The NBC ratio was eight to one.
Talk about irony. The front page of today's Washington Post featured a large photo of a Rick Santorum rally in New Hampshire, with two of MRC's "Don't Believe the Liberal Media!" signs front and center. That's nice, but perhaps the Washington Post should read its own front page more often.
For many months, the liberal media elite has made no secret that in its mind, the field of Republican presidental candidates includes Mitt Romney and a collection of clowns. Clearly, Romney is the opponent that Barack Obama and the liberal establishment want nominated.
Journalists have mercilessly savaged every single conservative alternative to Romney who’s ascended to the top of the polls. Palin. Bachmann. Cain. Perry. Gingrich. It’s too bad for them that the results from the Iowa caucuses threw off their bold predictions that the Romney Juggernaut would achieve liftoff in Des Moines. Yet Romney won by only eight votes over surprising Rick Santorum. This means one thing only: Senator, step up to the guillotine.
The “Occupy Wall Street” movement has hit several huge road blocks. First it was the cold temperatures that sent many home. Next was the long-overdue decision to evacuate them out of public parks by liberal Democrat mayors. But another huge road block that’s emerging: their enormous hypocrisy on wealth.
The “occupiers” have pushed the ludicrous slogan that “we are the 99 percent,” somehow standing for the same public that installed 63 new conservative Republicans in the House in 2011. To demonstrate their 99 percentism in October, these protesters staged a “Millionaires March” in New York City, parading to the homes of wealthy citizens such as Rupert Murdoch and David Koch. But OWS organizers have conveniently ignored the massive wealth of celebrities within their own ranks.
Profanity and pop music go hand in hand these days. The pop star Rihanna recently appeared on the British version of Simon Cowell’s singing competition “The X Factor” dressed in a demure plaid jumper with a prim white collar. It seemed like a bow to younger viewers (and their parents). But a glance at her black sneakers and the mood was shattered: she’d inscribed the words “F— Off.”
On her blog The Record, NPR music critic Ann Powers declared this little stunt exemplified an undeniable reality: “21st century pop music is very dirty.” In fact, “2011 saw so much boundary-breaking in pop that the lines seem forever pulled down.”
For those Republican presidential candidates who eventually conclude there is no path to the nomination, there is consolation in the notion that they won’t be the ones to face the brutal onslaught being prepared for the GOP king of the mountain by Team Obama and their army of “objective” media allies.
This time around, the Obama machine cannot run on the fairy dust of Hope and Change. They cannot suggest after four years of dreadful executive-branch performance, the Promised One is on the horizon. Their only path to victory is the one that finds their opponents even more disliked. So it can be guaranteed that whoever wins the Republican contest will face one of the most scorching personal assaults the country has ever witnessed.
The depravity of our popular culture and our eagerness to shred traditional values manifests itself every day. Lady Gaga, the top-earning woman in the music business and deemed by ABC’s Barbara Walters to be one of the “most fascinating people,” has a new vocation in mind. She’s announced she wants to become an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church so she can marry two gay male friends.
Lady Gaga is as unattractive, in every sense of the word, as her name is stupid. She welcomed Easter with a single called “Judas” (“I’m still in love with Judas, baby”) and arrives at Christmas as Reverend Gaga. This is the same “instant online ordination” that TBS late-night host Conan O’Brien used in November in a disgusting scene to “marry” two gay males live on his television show. Gaga and Conan are two of the real cultural losers of 2011. Here are some other winners and losers:
In 2008, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics. At that time it wasn’t hard to imagine the Swedes were rewarding Krugman for eight years of blasting George W. Bush. In other words, the Nobel Prize truly matched its namesake: Alfred Nobel invented dynamite. Krugman regularly throws rhetorical dynamite at anything that stands in the way of his radical worldview.
Krugman outdid himself for outrage in 2011. Every year the Media Research Center collects a panel of willing conservative journalists and talk show hosts and puts them on a sickening roller coaster ride through the worst media bilge of the last twelve months to arrive at the Best Notable Quotables of the Year. Paul Krugman sat in the sulfurous center with three “bests.”
In this special season of giving, Hollywood is willing to give people what entertainment executives think the country needs: a vicious, bloody takedown of Christmas. The December 11 episode of “American Dad” on Fox exemplified those with a complete absence of Christmas spirit in an episode titled “Season’s Beatings.”
Father Donovan announced he was running a Christmas play at the mall, so Stan Smith, the conservative Christian CIA agent/idiot dad expected to play Jesus Christ on the cross, since “I’m the most devout member of the church,” and “When it comes to Christianity, that’s the money shot.” Stan is told he’s too fat and is cast as Santa Claus. When he discovered the part of Jesus went instead to the show’s bisexual space alien character Roger, who boasted he’s working on his “savior bulge,” Stan beat Roger senseless.
The media elite and the Republican Ruling Class are remarkably similar in their political projection for the coming year. Journalists spent the entire year savaging every fast-rising challenger to Mitt Romney. The GOP’s power pundits became equally agitated at the sniff of a conservative anywhere near the top of the GOP pack. It’s the odor of extremism that both the elites in the media and the GOP have detested – always.
So here we are, on the cusp of the election year, and both these groups have one primary target: Newt Gingrich. Both are using the same ammo: Newt is too unstable, immature, flawed, and arrogant. Or as power pundit Peggy Noonan put it, Newt is “a human hand grenade who walks around with his hand on the pin, saying, ‘Watch this!’” The Washington Post’s political cartoonist drew him as a suicide bomber.
Once upon a time, women were considered the “fairer sex,” the “better half.” Stewardesses were talented and beautiful. Wives were softer, more gentle. Men fought for their honor. Feminism crushed all of that. It is a testimony to their movement that in today’s post-feminist entertainment media, part of what makes television so corrosive and sour is just how piggish the women have become.
The latest study from the Parents Television Council drives this concept home by going to the ugly center of pop culture: MTV “reality” programming. After studying entire seasons of four MTV shows, the PTC concludes: “Females talked about sex acts more than men, talked about sex more graphically than men, mentioned sexual body parts more than men, and talked about intercourse and preliminaries to intercourse more than men.”
Following the recent threats from Nancy Pelosi and the heavy brush with which the media are painting Newt Gingrich as unethical, the Media Research Center is now calling on the networks to seize the moment and report the truth from nearly 13 years ago.
It has been 4,689 days since the IRS formally cleared Newt Gingrich of any violation of tax law. It’s been 4,689 days since ABC, CBS, and NBC have had the opportunity to report it. What the heck. Why not today? Now is the time for these networks to report the truth for once. The networks owe it to the American people to report the fact that in 1999 the IRS completely vindicated Gingrich.