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.
Time magazine didn’t mind ruffling feathers in religious America with a cover this summer that asked “Is Hell Dead?” Never mind that overwhelmingly America is Christian. Then Time found only one letter worth plucking out to feature in large, bold type, from a man in Dallas: “Hell is easy to define. It would be spending eternity with evangelicals.”
That sums up the secular liberal media attitude toward America’sChristian majority, and it explains why they find Republicans so objectionable when they make their religious faith part of their campaign for the presidency. Matthew Philbin and Erin Brown of the Media Research Center’s Culture and Media Institute have written a new report called “Baptism By Fire” that analyzed coverage of the presidential candidates and their religious faith. Does it surprise anyone that they found a huge difference in coverage of Republicans and Democrats?
The Hollywood elite's concern for the children stops at the water's edge of physical fitness. They simply do not touch the subject of moral fitness. On The Huffington Post, former entertainment executive Laurie David offered this pre-holiday piece of encouragement: “Thanksgiving Conversation Starter: Is It Time to Ban Soda Ads on Prime Time Television?”
At the same time that the broadcast networks are allowing – even advocating -- the removal of all limitations on nudity or profanity on TV, at any hour of the day, Ms. David is most upset about those old polar-bear ads for Coca-Cola: “Knowing what I know now about the effects of sugary drinks on children the image of kids chugging down a Coke [or in this case polar bear cubs] evokes the same feelings I'd get if they were taking a deep drag on cigarettes.”
One might think from the breaking news that a woman has claimed she had a 13-year affair with presidential candidate Herman Cain that someone is being seriously exposed as a hypocrite. That would be the press. The media can’t deny they continue to display a lousy double standard. For Republican candidates, scandal news is instant. For Democrats, it’s eventual, if at all!
Ginger White’s charges sound a lot like Gennifer Flowers in 1992 saying she has a 12-year affair with Bill Clinton. So many in the press pounce on Flowers as unequivocal evidence of the media’s sense of balance. After all, they will remind us, just look how we covered that scandal!
The culture of Hollywood has just been beautifully defined by two awards-show decisions. The first one was Brett Ratner being dumped as the director of ABC’s Oscars telecast after he said “rehearsals are for fags.” It wasn’t long before Ratner turned himself in for “negotiations” with the gay Anti-Defamation cops about doing P.C. penance.
The second one, just days later, was the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and NBC begging British comedian Ricky Gervais to host the Golden Globe Awards again – after he mercilessly insulted nearly everyone in Hollywood and ended last year’s program with a long list of thank yous, ending with “And thank you to God – for making me an atheist.”
After the national media spent the month of October chronicling the “historic” Occupy Wall Street protesters in what Diane Sawyer bizarrely blurted out was “more than 1,000 countries,” the myth began to melt. Democratic mayors (and even liberal New York mayor Michael Bloomberg) tired of the nonsense and decided to clear the dirty encampments. After having spilled barrels of supportive ink, The Washington Post wondered on the front page if it was an “occupation or an infestation.”
The Occupying Rabble needed a boost, and got it with the story of campus police pepper-spraying protesters at the University of California-Davis. It was a remarkable jump-start for every left-wing journalist looking to regain his mojo for championing the protesters against “The Man” – in this case, a spineless liberal female administrator and Democrat donor named Linda Katehi.
In advance of Tinseltown's parade of Christmas insensitivities - they've already unloaded the marijuana movie "A Very Harold and Kumar 3-D Christmas" - let us stipulate that it's not just seasonal. The manufacturers of pop culture thrive on offending every traditional value.
Start with Pamela Anderson, the ridiculously surgically enhanced former Playboy Playmate, home-movie porn specialist and "Baywatch" star. She's been cast to play - are you ready? - the Virgin Mary in a TV "Christmas" special in Canada.
National Public Radio proved a long time ago it disdains black conservatives. Remember when NPR’s Nina Totenberg launched the unproven sex-harassment charges against Clarence Thomas? NPR doesn’t even like black liberals who appear on Fox News: they canned Juan Williams. The sex-harassment charges against Herman Cain aren’t ruining him quickly as the media hoped, so on November 11, NPR viciously attacked Cain for being an enemy of blacks, and a “minstrel” to white conservatives.
Reporter Karen Grigsby Bates began with Harvard professor Randall Kennedy. “Black people know that if Herman Cain had his way, their lives would be diminished,” he announced. “And they intuit that Herman Cain's policies are against their interests.”
In Hollywood, the only truly serious sexual disease is virginity. It’s a dire and embarrassing condition, desperately in need of elimination. Teenagers that still have “it” are woefully immature. They might as well consider themselves to be walking the school hallways in diapers.
Along comes Fox Entertainment to enlighten us. Get ready. It’s sick.
With a swoosh the Gulfstream 550 is effortlessly launched into the heavens for the hour-long slingshot from Dallas to Stillwater, the sleek jet headed for Oklahoma State University and the football field bearing the name of our host -- Boone Pickens Stadium. The game against Kansas State University is spectacular, a record 58,750 fans roaring their (now) #2-rated Cowboys to an explosive 52-45 victory.
It’s hard to believe this stadium was the scene of the crime five years ago.
No one who followed politics twenty years ago will forget the night when Clarence Thomas sent an electric charge through a Senate hearing room. As liberal Democrats pushed the unproven sexual harassment charges of Anita Hill in an attempt to destroy Thomas’s chance to serve on the Supreme Court, Thomas called them out for conducting a national disgrace. “This is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves.”
This line packed a wallop because Hill’s charges were about as proven as the old charges of perverted indecency against white women that were concocted by racists. Whether her claims were true was utterly irrelevant to liberals. All that mattered is that Thomas be ruined, and that black conservatives be denied a role model so prominent and so accomplished.
NBC anchor Brian Williams, in the argot of the moment, certainly belongs to The One Percent. He lives in the glass-encased Bloomberg Tower in mid-town Manhattan, 34 stories above the tony restaurant Le Cirque at 58th Street and Lexington Avenue. For years he has lived up in the luxury apartment heavens with Beyonce and GE chieftains past and present (both Jack Welch and Jeffrey Immelt). He’s earned it.
Yet night after night on the news, Williams and the other one percent multi-millionaire anchors dutifully chronicle every new publicity line from the people who "occupy" parks (often public parks) to claim to represent the "99 percent." It’s liberal guilt in motion. The anchors lovingly cite old Sixties leftist slogans like "The whole world is watching," which is nonsense if you look at their ratings but they sure do wish the whole world would watch. To the liberal media, these protests are a story of populist heroes bravely standing against what Teddy Roosevelt called "the malefactors of great wealth."
Editor's Note: In direct contrast to how ABC, CBS and NBC newsrooms all but ignored the sexual assault allegations against Bill Clinton from multiple women including Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and Juanita Broaddrick, the same networks are now salivating over an alleged act of harassment by Herman Cain from anonymous sources. NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell made the following statement about this media double standard earlier today:
ABC, CBS and NBC pounced on the opportunity to slam GOP hopeful Herman Cain - even with unnamed accusers and sources. It is indefensible how the networks were quick to defend Bill Clinton by not reporting public accusations of rape, inappropriate physical contact, and explicit behavior – and are quick to attack Herman Cain on the basis of unspecified allegations by anonymous sources.
Sadly, Herman Cain’s predictions have come true. In May he stated that he was "ready for the same high-tech lynching that [Clarence Thomas] went through -- for the good of this country." That's what Politico is doing with its unsubstantiated and thoroughly hypocritical hit piece against him. Anyone in the press that gives this story oxygen is equally hypocritical.
In the eyes of the liberal media, Herman Cain is just another uppity black American who has had the audacity to leave the liberal plantation. So they must destroy him, just as they tried destroying Clarence Thomas.
Those prestigious publishers at Simon & Schuster selected All Saints Day to unleash the book world's latest attempt at mocking Christianity. It’s called "The Last Testament, by God."
The author is David Javerbaum, a top writer for 11 years for "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central, perhaps America's leading religion-hating TV network. Is it any surprise that the critics are loving it?