Shelby Knox, a Huffington Post blogger who bills herself as a "full time speaker and organizer working with progressive organizations to promote sex education, women's rights, and youth empowerment" admitted to Fox News's Megyn Kelly this afternoon that women's groups are upset about the Tim Tebow Super Bowl ad because it was produced by the conservative organization Focus on the Family.
"We definitely respect Pam Tebow's choice, and the ad in itself, as was expected seemed very benign," claimed Knox. "The point is, Focus on the Family's agenda is not benign at all, and you can't consider something a choice when the entire agenda of the organization is to make sure other women can't make reproductive health decisions that are different than the one Pam Tebow made."
Knox also called Focus on the Family "a very radical, anti-choice, anti-woman organization" and decried the notion of CBS "partnering" with them to produce the ad.
NFL FanHouse writer Dan Graziano tried to sound concerned in his Feb. 4 column about the collaboration of Tim Tebow and Focus on the Family for a pro-life Super Bowl ad. It quickly became apparent, however, that Graziano's main point was to vilify Focus on the Family.
"Tebow must be careful as he moves from the world of collegiate athletics, where he was an unassailable hero, to that of professional sports, where he'll be a target," wrote Graziano. "He's going to have to make good decisions about the people with whom he surrounds and aligns himself. And in this case, by lining up with the group behind the controversial ad, Tebow has made a poor decision."
Graziano claimed Focus on the Family "conned" Tebow and used his stance on abortion "as the hook and reeled him in for use in the proliferation of all aspects of their agenda" because he is "ready-made superstar who wears his religious faith unapologetically on his eye black." He concluded that "Tebow is being used by a special-interest group whose mission is to compel people to think and live according to its rules and beliefs."
Dana Milbank of The Washington Post couldn't contain his glee over Joint Chief of Staffs chairman Admiral Mike Mullen's Feb. 2 testimony in favor of overturning "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
"Mike Mullen's 42 years in the military earned him a chest full of ribbons, but never did he do something braver that what he did on Capitol Hill on Tuesday," began Milbank's Feb. 3 ode to the admiral. "In a packed committee room, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff looked hostile Republican senators in the eye and told them unwelcome news: He thinks gays should be allowed to serve openly in the armed forces he commands."
"If they awarded decorations for congressional testimony, Mullen would have himself a Medal of Honor," concluded the columnist.
Mullen explained his "personal belief" to the Senate Armed Services "that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly would be the right thing to do."
"No matter how I look at the issues, I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens," he elaborated. "For me personally, it comes down to integrity - theirs as individuals and ours as an institution."
Milbank's praise of Mullen's testimony is a complete 180 from how he characterized the testimony of Elaine Donnelly at a House Armed Services personnel subcommittee hearing about the same topic in 2008.
There are at least two sides to every argument, unless the issue is homosexuality. Then, according to CNN, there's only one side and it's the homosexual activists who get to tell it.
CNN advocated a repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy in 12 different reports between Jan. 28, the day after President Barack Obama reiterated his pledge to end the current military policy of banning openly gay citizens from the United States military in his State of the Union address and Feb. 2.
CNN allowed spokespeople from gay advocacy organizations such as Servicemembers United, the Log Cabin Republicans and the Palm Center, as well as several former and active gay military personnel, to plead their case without challenge
Of the 12 people CNN chose to appear on air (nine were military personnel) to discuss "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," only one expressed support of the current policy. Despite a Military Times poll that indicated 58 percent of military personnel are opposed to allowing openly gay people in the military, 78 percent (7 out of 9) of the military personnel featured in CNN's recent reports expressed their desire to allow homosexuals in the armed forces. One person remained neutral.
"Our deployed soldiers deserve to have their full rights," an anonymous female soldier told CNN's Ted Rowlands.
For some atheists, a person should not be honored for decades of humanitarian work if she also happens to be a professing Christian.
That's the only conclusion one can draw from the recent uproar of the Freedom From Religion Foundation over the U.S. Postal Service's commemorative stamp featuring 1979 Nobel Prize winner Mother Teresa.
"There's this knee jerk response that everything she did was humanitarian," griped FFRF spokeswoman Annie Laurie Gaylor, according to a Jan. 28 Fox News article. "And I think many people would differ that what she doing was to promote religion, and what she wanted to do was baptize people before they die, and that doesn't have a secular purpose for a stamp." She also asserted that this is part of the Roman Catholic "PR machine" to "make [Mother Teresa] a saint."
Just to clarify: the Church does not consider a commemorative stamp issued by the U.S. Postal Service a necessary step to sainthood.
Pro-life activists most likely cheered upon seeing this week's In Touch Weekly. The magazine, usually devoted to the latest celebrity shenanigans, featured Sarah and Bristol Palin on the cover holding their baby boys under the headline, "We're Glad We Chose Life."
But for the media, who find everything about Sarah Palin controversial, including, now, holding her own baby, it's one more attack opportunity that includes calling her daughter a "privileged" teen mother.
Sarah and Bristol were "schlepping those babies around like crazy," said Joy Behar. No friend of the Palins on any day, on the Jan. 13 edition of her show Behar predictably found fault with the magazine cover and complained of Palin's youngest son, Trig, "That baby, they passed that baby around more than a joint at a Grateful Dead concert." To her guests, liberal talk show host Stephanie Miller and Huffington Post editor Roy Sekoff, she asked, "Is she going to bring that baby on the set of Fox?"
Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon.com called the cover a "jaw dropper" and questioned the appropriateness of showing the Palins on it. "Hey, we're all for mothers loving their babies, but if it's not 1984 and you're not in a Wham! video, [in which George Michael wore a shirt that said "Choose Life"] you might want to reconsider whether that sentiment is appropriate in a pop culture context," she wrote in a Jan. 14 post.
Winning is part of sports and often God is praised by athletes when that happens. Rarer though, is the athlete who praises God even in the midst of crushing disappointment.
But Colt McCoy, quarterback for the University of Texas Longhorns, took the opportunity to speak about his faith last night when ABC's Lisa Salters asked him how it felt to watch the BCS Championship game against Alabama from the sidelines.
"I always give God the glory. I never question why things happen the way they do. God is in control of my life. And I know that if nothing else, I'm standing on the Rock," McCoy stated.
McCoy had every reason to express frustration and disappointment last night. The senior took a hit that damaged his shoulder during his team's opening drive, ended his college career and, if it didn't doom Texas to defeat, it certainly had a hand in the team's 37 - 21 loss to Alabama.
CBS medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton didn't appear quite so eager this morning to promote contraceptive for teens to parents in the second part of a two-part segment about teens and sex. In fact, to parents, she claimed, "We say medically the longer you wait [to have sex] the better, but again the job of a women's health specialist and adolescent gynecologist is to make sure that we protect the teenager's health and maintain it in the safest way possible for as long as possible."
Yet yesterday, CBS' "The Early Show" aired clips of Ashton promoting contraceptive over abstinence to teens, even though abstinence is one sure-fire way to protect and maintain a teen's health.
"Usually, if not always, I tell my patients that they should use two forms of contraception for birth control," Ashton told a group of teen girls, at least one of whom was only 13. "Something like the Pill, which is highly effective, and condoms all the time. And what about the birth control pill? What do you guys know about that?...Did you know the Pill could be one of the medications used to treat acne?"
Fawning over First Lady Michelle Obama has been over-the-top, but considering her a "deity" a "goddess," and "a woman not to be contended with so much as worshiped from afar," is a bit much.
Those are the labels Cathy Horyn, the NY Times fashion critic, bestowed upon the First Lady in her Dec. 27 look at the year in fashion.
Horyn compared the straight-forward, "businesslike" style of Sarah Palin to the fashion "insider" style of Obama and surprisingly praised Palin while chiding Obama for not sticking exclusively with American designers.
"Mrs. Obama's choices are all insider, apart from her shorts and those strategically worn plebe numbers from Target and Talbots. If she got any more insider, she'd be backing down a runway," wrote Horyn. "She wears Rodarte, Jason Wu, Sophie Theallet, Narciso Rodriguez, Thakoon, Isabel Toledo and Rick Owens, labels that in terms of creativity and price are at the highest level of fashion. Go much higher and you hit couture."
"In Mrs. Obama, the fashion industry has found a woman it can admire but cannot completely possess. That's because she doesn't favor only one designer or a clique, as her predecessors did," Horyn continued. "Also, she avoids the appearance of being cozy with designers. That's why she's often described in terms reserved for a 1930s screen goddess: ‘regal' and ‘dazzling," a woman not to be contended with so much as worshiped from afar."
Studio executives might want to make a New Year's resolution to show less skin in their movies.
A December 29 CNN article reported that a recent study found that "sex and nudity failed to positively affect a film's popularity among viewers or critics and did not guarantee big box office receipts."
"Sex Doesn't Sell -- nor Impress! Content, Box Office, Critics, and Awards in Mainstream Cinema" was published in the journal Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts last month. A Nexis search revealed that ABC, CBS and NBC have not covered this study since its publication.
Researchers analyzed the content of more than 900 films released between 2001 and 2005.
"The top-grossing films in the study included movies like ‘Shrek 2;' ‘Spider-Man;' ‘Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith' and ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,' all of which contained mostly minor to mild sex and/or nudity," reported CNN.
For Newsweek writer Jenny Block, it's not Tiger Woods who got himself into the trouble he's currently facing, it's his marital vows.
"What should not be tolerated is hypocrisy - and that's where Tiger's vow of marriage got him into trouble," she argued in a Dec. 10 article. "If you want to be monogamous, great - but don't think you can claim it while you sleep around. It's not fair and, quite frankly, it's exhausting."
Block argued that it's not "surprising" to learn of Woods' affairs because his "entire life is based on winning; on having, doing, and being more ... why on earth would anyone think ‘settling down' was even in his vocabulary?"
But Block has a solution to the problem of adultery.
In what could be an advertisement for open marriages, Block explained that she and her husband "jointly decided that monogamy just wasn't for us" after she had an affair with a woman.
Tiger Woods' "transgressions" sparked conversations about why men cheat but it took a comedian to pinpoint the basic reason - lack of character.
Comedian Chuck Nice appeared on the "All Guy Panel" during the fourth hour of Thursday morning's "Today" and blasted men who engage in extramarital affairs.
"I've said this before and I will say it again. And no one wants to accept this as an answer, but here is the reason why men cheat. It is a failure of character. That is it," Nice exclaimed.
"End of story. It's a failure of character," he continued. "A man who has the strong, spiritual conviction to say that although I want to do this, I will rely upon a higher power to make sure and strengthen me so that I am able to stand for my vows is the man who will not cheat. Now, that's the end of it."
"View" host Barbara Walters claimed "any publicity is good publicity" to "American Idol" runner-up Adam Lambert this morning, but the record sales of his first album tell a different story.
While "For Your Entertainment" sold 198,000 copies and took the number three spot on the Billboard charts during its debut week, sales dropped 74 percent in its second week, causing the album to tumble to number 22 on the charts. It was the biggest drop on the Top 200 chart.
"If you're an Adam Lambert partisan, you can try to spin it all you want, but that's just bad," reported USA Today's Brian Mansfield on Dec. 9. He also noted that only sales of Susan Boyle's album dropped more than Lambert, but even Boyle "still outsold Adam by a margin of more than 10-1."
Apparently the Catholic Church is welcome when it promotes causes near and dear to liberal hearts, but it's shown the door as soon as it takes a hard line against controversial issues like homosexuality and abortion.
Robert McCartney of the Washington Post admitted as much in his Dec. 10 column about the effect legalized same-sex "marriage" could have on the charitable activities of the Catholic Church in Washington, D.C.
"I view the church as a tremendous force for good in the world in many ways, especially in its advocacy for the poor and against violence. The U.S. church supports more ambitious healthcare reform than Barack Obama, does, for instance," he wrote.
"But I part with the church - as many of its members do - on many of positions on sexual issues. Regrettably, those are the ones that religious leaders often seem to care the most about."
McCartney, argued that the diocese is allowing a "dispute over employment benefits," which he claimed "would have little practical effect," to force it to "give up doing valuable, publicly funded work helping the homeless and sick" because the Church does not "want to miss the opportunity, however small, to oppose homosexuals' right to wed."
Meredith Baxter, known for her role as the liberal matriarch Elyse Keaton in "Family Ties," came out as a lesbian this morning on NBC's "Today."
Baxter told host Matt Lauer that she's a "very private person" and "not a very political person," but that she understands coming out "is a political act."
"My understanding is that so much research has been done that says that if anybody knows someone who is gay or lesbian, then when they are addressing gay or lesbian issues, political issues that affect their rights, they're less likely to vote against them, to take away their rights," Baxter explained.
"If you knew me before, and you cared about me before, I'm the same woman," Baxter continued. "I'm the same mother to all these children. And if I can be that lesbian you now know, okay, well if I vote this way, than, than that actually might affect this person I know, that Meredith."
"Don we now our gay apparel" took on a different meaning during Joy Behar's CNN Headline News program Nov. 24.
According to the panel Behar spoke with, the holidays are a great time for gay people to come out of the closet. They are also a good time to knock religion and push the gay agenda.
Actor Jeffrey Self, one of the three gay panelists, told Behar "I think also [coming out] is a nice distraction from all the other drama that's taking place in your house. Everybody's already mad at each other."
"I think it's the perfect time to do it," claimed comedienne and lesbian Judy Gold. "Because then you get it over with and everyone is already there. So they don't have to call each other and say, did you hear?"
Behar and her pals also managed to mock Christianity, insult the Catholic League's Bill Donohue, play the break-up of a marriage because of homosexuality for laughs, and proclaimed Adam Lambert a "genius" for his sexually explicit American Music Awards performance and denounced ABC as "cowardly" for pulling the plug on Lambert's live "Good Morning America" appearance. Behar further claimed her "philosophy" was "that a parent should say to the child, ‘are you gay' when they see them playing with dolls when they're boys."
Apparently MSNBC's Chris Matthews doesn't want Catholics involved in the political process at all - especially when it comes to abortion. Earlier this month the "Hardball" host declared "The clergy should stay off Capitol Hill." Last night, he accused Thomas Tobin, bishop of Providence, Rhode Island, of "telling public officials how to set public policy," "stepping beyond moral teaching," and "basically assuming an authority" because the bishop requested that Rhode Island Democrat Rep. Patrick Kennedy not take communion due to his support for abortion.
Matthews' based his accusations on a portion of a speech on religion delivered by then Sen. John F. Kennedy in which he stated:
I believe in an America that is official neither Catholic, Protestant, nor Jewish, where no public official either requests or accept instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches, or any other ecclesiastical source, where no religious body seeks to impose its will, directly or indirectly, upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials.
Bishop Tobin briefly responded that the Church does not want to "dictate what the public policy should be in the United States from a purely Catholic doctrinal point of view," but "what [it] is trying to do, most of all, is instill good human values but also have Catholics who are in political office be faithful to the dictates of the Church and the dictates of their conscience and the teachings of the Church."
"American Idol" runner-up Adam Lambert's vocals weren't top-notch at last night's American Music Awards, but nobody really noticed. How could they, given his over-the-top and in-your-face sexual choreography?
Lambert's act during the show, aired on ABC, featured male dancers on leashes, an open-mouth kiss between Lambert and his male keyboardist, and simulated oral sex, both male-on-male and female-on-male.
Naturally, boundary-pushing Hollywood writers hailed Lambert's performance.
"As a TV viewer, I thought Lambert's performance was a gas, a delight, a blast of brash vulgarity in the midst of ordinary vulgarity," wrote Entertainment Weekly's Ken Tucker.
After introducing Lopez on her CNN Headline News program last night, Behar played a clip of Lopez's HBO special in which he said, "There are a lot of politicians that would be Latinos and a lot now who are Latino. Sarah Palin, Latina. Believe me. She's got all the signs. She works and her husband don't."
Later in the segment, after commenting about Palin's lack of experience, Lopez stated, "I mean, the concept of Todd Palin being a stay-at-home dad-listen Joy, when I was a kid, those guys were called bums."
"Uh-huh. They're still called bums," agreed Behar.
U.S. News and World Report's Bonnie Erbe claimed in her latest blog post that the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, which bans federal funding of elective abortion in the recently passed House health care reform bill, is "a privacy invasion of massive proportions" because it "would allow government policy to intervene in the most private of medical decisions made by women and their private insurance companies."
Apparently Erbe is not concerned that federal funding of elective abortions would also prove to be a "privacy invasion of massive proportions" for people who do not want to pay for the taking of innocent human life.
CNN released a poll yesterday that found 61 percent of Americans do not want their tax dollars used to pay for the abortions of women who otherwise could not afford to pay for them. Over half, 51 percent, believe women who have abortions should pay for the procedure out of their own pockets, even if they have private health insurance.
Who says Larry King only throws softballs to guests? If you're a conservative, the CNN host has a wicked fastball.
Former Miss California Carrie Prejean appeared on the Nov. 11 "Larry King Live" to promote her new book, "Still Standing." Tension ran deep, with Prejean accusing the host of being "inappropriate" and at one point, taking off her microphone and threatening to walk-off the set.
King also blindsided Prejean, who famously spoke out against same-sex marriage in the Miss USA pageant last April, with a caller who asked her, "I'm a gay man and I love pageants. I'm sure that you, Carrie, have got great gay friends that helped you possibly win. What would you give them as advice if they wanted to get married?"
Women's magazines notoriously promote their ideal woman: thin, stylish, beautiful, sexually adventurous. And after seeing who Glamour named as its annual "Women of the Year," readers can now add "liberal" to the list of ideal qualities.
The women featured in Glamour's 2009 list represent a cross-section of accomplished women from different industries - business, politics, sports, entertainment, fashion and humanitarian efforts to name a few.
Cindi Leive, the magazine's editor-in-chief told NBC's Matt Lauer on Nov. 9, that the "common thread" between the women chosen was that "they're not just achieving for themselves, they're really expanding our understanding of what women can accomplish in this world, and that's a great message for young women."
CMI researchers however, found another "common thread" between a majority of the women - they are liberals in good standing, with a record of support for liberal politicians or causes.
According to actress Sandra Bernhard, no "kid is going to watch something about sex and then run out immediately and do it."
Bernhard commented during a Nov. 5 segment on CNN's "Joy Behar Show" that focused on the upcoming threesome episode of CW's "Gossip Girl."
Behar asked Bernhard and her fellow panelists, actresses Aisha Tyler and Fran Drescher, what they thought about the Parents Television Council call for CW affiliates to pull the episode which reportedly contains a threesome scene.
"I don't think any kid is going to watch something about sex and then run out immediately and do it. I mean they may be titillated by it, they may find it, oh this is ooh," claimed Bernhard.
On Nov. 3, 53 percent of Maine voters rejected a six-month-old law redefining the state's definition of marriage to include same-sex couples. The next day, an AP article about the vote read more like a direct mail appeal for the Human Rights Campaign than a news piece.
Headlined "Maine Voters Repeal Law Allowing Gay Marriage," the article called the repeal of the legislation that granted marriage for same-sex couples a "stinging defeat" for the gay rights movement and focused almost exclusively on the reactions of gays and lesbians. Framed around the thwarted wedding plans of a lesbian couple, the article contained three quotes from supporters of same sex-marriage and only one from an advocate for traditional marriage.
"Cecelia Burnett and Ann Swanson had already set their wedding date," began the article. "When they joined about 1,000 other gay marriage supporters for an election night party in a Holiday Inn ballroom, they hoped to celebrate the vote that would make it possible."
Profits, not the killing of unborn children, are the "real immorality" of abortion, according to "View" panelist Joy Behar.
Behar expressed her unique view of morality during the Nov. 3 "Hot Topics" discussion about Abby Johnson, a Texas Planned Parenthood director who resigned from her post last month after seeing an abortion on an ultrasound.
Johnson explained to the local Texas CBS affiliate that Planned Parenthood had been pressuring her to focus on abortion, not pregnancy prevention because abortions brought in more money than family planning services.
ABC's "View" host Barbara Walters brought up Johnson's story, calling it "controversial" and Behar quickly denounced Planned Parenthood for making money off abortions. She called it "gross" and "obnoxious" before she stated, "I don't see abortions as a profit-making industry. I think that that is the real immorality of it."
An Oct. 28 Newsweek article made another attempt to discredit sex ed that teaches teens to wait for sexual activity until marriage. The abstinence movement already faces dire straights since President Obama cut its federal funding from the 2010 budget. Newsweek must be hoping to bury it.
Despite a September vote by the Senate Finance Committee that could restore the funding, Newsweek reporter Sarah Kilff maintained that the federal government has wasted money on abstinence education because the programs are ineffective.
Kliff noted that $1.5 billion of the funding for abstinence education programs came from the federal government and reported, "As funding grew, so did a body of research showing that abstinence didn't change the sexual behaviors of students; pregnancy and STD rates did not go down, the age of initial activity did not go up."
But Kliff ignored the fact that the federal government spent $12 on comprehensive sex education programs for every $1 it spent on abstinence programs.
Violence against women has increased on TV programs, according to a new study by the Parents Television Council.
"Women in Peril: A Look at TV's Disturbing New Storyline Trend" found that incidents of violence against women and teenage girls increased 120 percent on television in the in the past five years, while overall violence on primetime broadcast entertainment programs increased only 2 percent in the same time period. Violent incidents against teen girls on television programs increased 400 percent since 2004.
Plenty of celebrities issued crazy statements in their efforts to defend director and rapist Roman Polanski but none went as far as author Gore Vidal did when he labeled Polanski's victim a "young hooker."
In an Oct. 28 interview with The Atlantic's John Meroney about a variety of topics, Vidal claimed he didn't "give a f---" about the Polanski case. "Look, am I going to sit and weep every time a young hooker feels as though she's been taken advantage of?"
As NewsBusters' Ken Shepherd noted in an October 5 post, some conservatives have undertaken an online Conservative Bible Project to rid the Good Book of "translational bias" and correct the "lack of precision" in both original and translational language. As Shepherd also noted, Time Magazine's Amy Sullivan wasted no time heaping derision on the effort.
Unsurprisingly, others on the left have joined the fun. Harpers Magazine titled a blog post on the project, "From the Department of Self-Parody." "Lo and behold, the Bible has gotten too liberal," wrote Rachel Weiner at the Huffington Post. "And it needs a little editing."
And the hooting could be heard in many of the lesser precincts of the left-wing blogosphere - most of it a variation on Weiner's sneer: "Yes, even scripture is not orthodox enough for the modern conservative."