Shoplifting. Nudity. Explicit Lyrics. Nazi Symbolism. None are tolerated by Wal-Mart, and after Kanye West’s new explicitly sexual album cover for “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”was considered indecent by the store, Tina Brown’s website, “The Daily Beast,” threw a hissy fit on his behalf.
“In all honesty ... I really don't be thinking about Wal-Mart when I make my music or album covers #Kanyeshrug!” This tweet, from Grammy-winning recording artist Kanye West was met with open arms from the editors at The Daily Beast who lined up with West and reassured him that he wasn’t the only “victim” of Wal-Mart.
In a surprisingly balanced piece, Huffington Post columnist John Lundberg demonstrated sensitivity to Christians outraged by the sacrilege committed in a controversial poem written to promote stem cell awareness. Tyson Anderson wrote winning verse for the October 13 Stem Cell Awareness Day contest sponsored by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
“This is my body, which is given for you.” These words, found in the New Testament, spoken by Jesus during the first communion among his disciples, were used in Anderson’s poem as the voice of a fetus willingly giving up his or her life for the use of its stem cells. According to the Huffington Post article, CIRM removed the poem from its website.
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation isn't backing down when it comes to bullying its way into protected-class status. The gay advocacy group has rejected actor Vince Vaughn’s defense of using the term “gay” to describe electric cars in his yet-to-be released movie, “The Dilemma.” According to the Hollywood Reporter, a post on the official GLAAD website rebutted, “Vince is right. Comedy does bring us together, unless one of us is the punchline. Then it pushes us apart.”
Last week the Culture and Media Institute reported that Vaughn defended his character’s use of the term “gay” by saying, “Comedy and joking about our differences breaks tension and brings us together.”
The world watched as 33 Chilean miners were pulled from a deep Chilean mine after 70 grueling days, and their harrowing rescue was nothing short of miraculous. Several miners credited God with their comfort and rescue, and the media played along nicely.
“I met God, I met the Devil – God won.” This now famous quote, from Mario Sepulveda, the second Chilean miner to be pulled to safety, appeared in the October 13 broadcasts of “CBS Evening News with Katie Couric,” NBC’s “World News Tonight” and also the October 14 broadcast of NBC’s “Today” show.
It's no surprise that elitism and a pretentious point of view have a place on The Washington Post editorial page, but even this is a little much.
Pseudo-conservative columnist Kathleen Parker asserted that Trig Palin, the Down syndrome son of the 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin might one day find his mother's abortion comments "hurtful." A Feb 14 column published in the Post focused on the delicate art of criticizing Palin's recent political and personal defense of the special-needs community, stemming from White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's controversial comments involving the word "retarded."
Parker recounted Palin's brief mention that she understands how women entertain the thought of abortion when learning about the special needs of an unborn child. Instead of praise for Palin's honesty and candor, Parker seized the opportunity to criticize Palin's outspokenness and attempted to speak on behalf of her son.
Bad content? Bad business model? No, those reasons aren't why Air America is no longer with us. Air America, a radio network advertised as the next talk radio juggernaut in 2004, was supposed to revolutionize the format and provide a "counterweight" for those left-of-center politically.
But there's another reason according to HLN host and "The View" panelist Joy Behar. In the usual fashion of citing no statistics and making sweeping generalizations, Behar blamed the collapse of liberal talk radio outlet Air America on a gender gap in listeners on her Jan. 25 HLN broadcast.
"Ok, but can I say that men listen to talk radio more than women and men are more conservative, generally speaking," Behar said, proposing a reason for Air America's bankruptcy.
If you're totally reliant upon print media, some of the major newspapers that is, you might not have noticed the news about former Democratic Senator and 2008 presidential candidate John Edwards' admission that he was indeed the father of his campaign mistress's daughter.
That story couldn't so much as garner a single front-page story from any of the nation's top five major newspapers - USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times or The Washington Post. And only The Wall Street Journal, found the story worthy to print on its second page, not to mention the fact that it is a business journal.
Edwards admitted in a statement on Jan 21 that he was indeed the father of Frances Quinn Hunter, saying, "It was wrong for me to ever deny she was my daughter." The story of his affair with campaign staffer and videographer Rielle Hunter broke last summer when the National Enquirer busted Edwards in a Los Angeles hotel for cheating on his cancer-stricken wife.
Has it come to this that now even pop culture platforms like "American Idol" are in the tank for President Barack Obama? It appears so.
Season nine of the popular Fox show "American Idol" found itself in Chicago where nearly 12,000 people auditioned to become the next winner of the singing talent show. But the "Idol" producers took the opportunity to link the Chicago auditions with the most visible and most recent "winner" to emerge from the windy city; President Barack Obama.
It is standard practice during the audition phase of "Idol" to introduce viewers to each new city with a brief video package highlighting the city's most famous landmarks and unique features. However, no less than two minutes into the Jan 19 broadcast of the Chicago auditions, the show took a more serious and political tone.
The week-old story of Brit Hume's Christianity vs. Buddhism remarks is apparently still fodder for a good laugh, and comedienne Wanda Sykes attempted to squeeze out one more. The late-night talk show host arguably stepped over the line with a skit this week when she jokingly entertained the notion that Jesus was willing to give Tiger Woods crabs.
The Jan. 9 broadcast of Fox's "The Wanda Sykes Show" featured a sketch in which two actors playing Jesus and Buddha appeared as "guests" on the Fox News Channel show "The O'Reilly Factor" during which the former Fox News anchor expounded on his comments.
"This week, Brit Hume went on ‘The O'Reilly Factor' to talk about the statement he made that Tiger Woods should become a Christian," Sykes said. "And I'll say this about the interview - it was really fair and balanced."
If you're going to call out someone for hypocrisy, make sure you're not guilty of the same thing. Guest columnist Welton Gaddy, a pastor for preaching and worship at Northminster (Baptist) Church in Monroe, La. and MSNBC regular, apparently had no qualms with calling out former Fox News "Special Report" anchor Brit Hume in a Jan. 4 column, but is committing the same transgression.
Gaddy took issue with the Fox News senior political analyst's 39-second spiritual commentary on redemption for the recently disgraced Tiger Woods. And although Gaddy failed to mention that Hume publicly stepped out of his role as anchor/reporter in 2008, Gaddy revealed his disgust with the apparent preachy hypocrisy emanating from the "reporter" (emphasis added).
"The picture on the television screen and the audio of reporter Brit Hume's words struck me as contradictory," Gaddy wrote. "Just below the image of the reporter's face, the insignia 'Fox News' appeared in three different places. Yet, the content of Mr. Hume's comments was not that of a news reporter so much as that of a televangelist."
New twist on the old media double standard: Strong pro-life women shouldn’t accept far-flung speaking engagements. They should stay home (presumably barefoot and pregnant, too.) Strong pro-choice women, however, are welcome to “champion women’s rights,” wherever and whenever they please.
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin recently gave a speech at a pro-life dinner in Indiana on April 16 and the media condemned her for not staying home and governing her state. But when U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently spoke to a Planned Parenthood group she was lauded as “championing women’s rights.”
ABC’s “Good Morning America” covered Palin’s speech and the “controversy” that ensued, stating that Alaska lawmakers, failing to mention they were mostly Democrats, are “criticizing Palin for her out of state travel.” Instead of focusing on Palin’s main pro-life points, GMA spent 50 seconds of the 64 second segment keyed in on her admission that she understands women who entertain the thought of abortion.
The 41-year-old Oscar winner Jamie Foxx dished out some disgusting advice for Disney teen sensation Miley Cyrus, telling her to, among other things, “make a sex tape and grow up.” This tasteless “advice” coming from the father of a teen to a sixteen year-old girl didn’t seem to outrage anyone at ABC, CBS, or NBC.
“The Foxxhole,” Jamie Foxx’s weekend radio show was the forum for a discussion of what makes an artist respectable. Foxx and his co hosts suggested that famous pop idol Miley Cyrus could gain respect as an artist if she would “make a sex tape and grow up... get like Britney Spears and do some heroin... do like Lindsay Lohan and get some crack in your pipe... catch Chlamydia on a bicycle seat.”
As if the “advice” wasn’t enough, Foxx also made fun of Cyrus’ appearance. To assure himself that he had identified the correct Cyrus, Foxx asked his co host, “The one with all the gums? She gotta get a gum transplant… s**t. Uh, uh, let me get an order of mouth, light on teeth, uh heavy on the gum.”
“Unconventional and Unforgettable Dads” was the title of Oprah’s April 13 broadcast in which she shamelessly promoted gay adoption, featuring a touching story about a famous author and his “unconventional family.”
Gregory Maguire and Andy Newman fell in love in the 90s, and soon after expanded their “family” by adopting two young boys from Cambodia and a girl from Guatemala. They got married in Massachusetts in 2004 soon after same-sex marriage was legalized. The two men shared the spotlight of Oprah’s stage with single fathers who have overcome difficult circumstances to raise their children.
Matt Logelin, was one of them. On March 25, 2008, Logelin was left alone to raise his day-old daughter when his wife Liz died of a blood clot shortly after childbirth.
With a rich history of giving unprecedented coverage to alternative sexualities and gender identities, it’s no surprise that ABCnews.com features 1,100 + word article about a small town transgendered mayor.
Stu Rasmussen is the mayor of Silverton, Oregon. He made national headlines as the first transgendered mayor in the nation after he won his November 2008 election. Rasmussen, who is sixty, has spent “50 years to get comfortable in [his] body” and in 2000 “adopted the twins,” as he called it, and got breast implants.
But Rasmussen may be making more headlines as RDF USA, the production company that shot hit ABC shows such as “Wife Swap” and “Don’t Forget the Lyrics” confirmed that they were shooting Rasmussen in Silverton the week of April 6, according to the abcnews.com article by Sarah Netter.
“I’ll take an order of fries, a kid’s meal, and some sexy women with square butts, please.”
CBS “Early Show” hosts Maggie Rodriguez and Harry Smith giggled at the new commercial for the Burger King kid’s meal featuring sexual images inappropriate for children, including sexy women in tight outfits dancing to a parody of the notoriously raunchy tune, “Baby Got Back.”
Aimed to promote the new 99 cent children’s meal, Burger King has teamed up with Nickelodeon in a new commercial appearing on adult programs that features the popular cartoon character, SpongeBob SquarePants.
“The Early Show” noted April 10 segment that several parents groups are outraged because the commercial reflects an adult club scene in which the fast food chain’s “King” character plays a DJ remixing Sir Mixalot’s “Baby Got Back” with the lyrics changed to “I like square butts and I cannot lie.” The “King” character is seen touching and “measuring” a woman’s square behind with a tape measure.
In a surprising turn for the network, ABC’s “Nightline” included a strong pro-abstinence message on April 6 when it featured comedian and radio host Steve Harvey.
Harvey is the author of the New York Times bestseller “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man” which is all about love and relationships and includes advice on waiting to “give up the cookie.”
Sharyn Alfonsi’s insightful interview with Harvey who has found success with his down-to-earth advice found in his book. “A guy that’s really serious about you, he’s gotta be talking to you,” Harvey told Alfonsi. “He’s gotta wanna have one-on-one, in your face interaction. That’s how we are! The guy that’s just texting you, that’s no effort. He doesn’t have to get in the car, he doesn’t have to remember your number, he can just text you. And you sit there and you see all these wonderful things he's texting you. Well, guess what, he could be ccing that same text to six other women. And you think you're special? … Please.”
The University of Maryland recently decided that prayer is not allowed during commencement addresses, but pornographic films are allowed on campus. University officials cited “academic free speech” as the reason to allow the film. Occurring nearly simultaneously, both incidents have garnered extensive media coverage. The question is, will the media question the University’s inconsistency in applying First Amendment principles?
In an arbitrary sweep of political power, the University of Maryland Senate voted to eradicate the practice of prayer at graduation ceremonies. According to the university paper The Diamondback, “The senate approved a proposal that eliminates a prayer invocation at the university's annual commencement ceremony in a 32-14 vote after a lengthy debate that touched on the controversial issue of the separation of church and state.”
The university has a tradition of allowing an “all-inclusive” invocation to be given at the beginning of each commencement address by any one of the fourteen university chaplains.
Recent earthquake activity in Alaska provided “CBS Early Show” co-hosts with a ready-made metaphor for a segment on the personal lives of some of the those surrounding Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. But their quake turned out to be barely a ripple.
Hosts Harry Smith and Maggie Rodriguez couldn’t contain their smirks as they introduced the piece. “There's been an earthquake rumbling outside Anchorage, but there is some other rumblings, as well, near Wasilla,” Smith snickered. “Oh, indeed,” Rodriguez chimed in with her eyebrows raised. “Sarah Palin says that she is focused on one thing, governing Alaska. But it has been hard to dodge the negative headlines swirling around her friends and family. Some real doozies.”
Levi Johnston, Bristol Palin’s ex fiancée and father of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s grandson, was interviewed on the Tyra Banks show. Questioned by Banks, Johnston said “I’m pretty sure she [Gov. Palin] probably knew” he and Bristol were sexually active.” Then (perhaps momentarily forgetting that there was living proof to the contrary) he tried to maintain that the two had “always” practiced safe sex. After several prompts from Banks, he reluctantly admitted it was only “most of the time.”
Attention middle-aged women: keep your young sons at home because your best friend might just want to date them.
That’s right. TV Land is set to premiere a new reality show on April 15 based on a 40-year old single mother of four who wants to find a younger man, “Bachelor” style.
“The Cougar” will feature 20 single men vying to be the soul mate of a woman twice their age. The field will be narrowed down through various weekly challenges. The men attempt to avoid the “kiss of death” from cougar “Stacey,” which signals their elimination from the show.
“People are looking for something to criticize.” Yes, Barbara they are. And you were once among them.
Barbara Walters took exception to complaints from some that the Obamas made a royal mess of British protocol when meeting the queen of England. However, just over a year ago, Walters herself sniffed at the Bush White House for sending her a Christmas card containing [gasp!] “Scripture.”
On the April 2 episode of “The View,” the co-hosts discussed the murmurings that the president and first lady broke protocol when meeting the queen of England. Walters got visibly upset, waving her hands and speaking in a high, mocking tone saying, “And then people criticize because you know people are looking for something to criticize,” she said. “It makes me unhappy we are always looking for something to criticize, ‘Why did she put her arm around the queen?’.”
“Viewer Discretion is advised.” That’s right. Tuesday night’s debut of Fox’s new reality show “Osbournes: Reloaded” was not suitable for anyone who believes marriage is sacred.
The Osbourne family’s new variety show made light of the covenant of marriage as Ozzy Osbourne walked the real-life bride down the aisle. Ironically, the preacher warned that marriage is “not something to be entered into lightly.”
Any show involving the Osbournes is sure to have its fair share of f-bombs and inappropriate humor and the March 31st unveiling of Fox’s ”Osbourne’s: Reloaded” was no exception. But it was the strange marriage ceremony held on-stage before an audience of thousands that was the true head-scratcher.
A major pharmaceutical company lobbies to require that children be given a vaccine. Parents should be made aware of any problems resulting from the vaccine, right? Not according to a recent Washington Post article.
Rob Stein’s March 26 article about the Gardasil vaccine debate failed to include any references to the several documented cases of health problems and even death that resulted from the vaccinations. His two-page article highlighted the tone of the Gardasil debate, reflecting the impact on young girls’ sex lives and the potential use for a male vaccine. But Stein barely touched on the concerns of critics that the vaccine actually caused health issues for young women.
The Gardasil vaccine is a series of three shots offered to young women to significantly lower their risk of contracting the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which can cause cervical cancer. Stein noted that “Critics worried that vaccinating children would send a subtle signal that their parents assumed they would become sexually active and that it would give youngsters a false sense of security.” True enough, but critics are also worried that this miracle vaccine may come with its own set of problems.
The Business and Media Institute's Matt Philbin discussed Obama's constant media appearances resembeling a telethon in his latest column:
It’s official. With Monday’s press conference, the Obama Administration has become the longest running telethon in American history.
Just when you think the president couldn’t possibly go back on stage, there he is again, explaining all the wonderful things he can do with your money. In the best tradition of celebrity philanthropists, he’s giving his time, his face and his teleprompter skills to a cause that means a lot to him.
Oh, the cynics might say it’s what he does instead of governing, but the cynics don’t understand his sincerity. They don’t realize that he knows how blessed he is, and that he’s compelled to compel you to give back.
The April 2009 issue of Self magazine features a four page article about the difficult decision to “selectively reduce multiple embryos.” The problem is, the author left out the voice of those who would never choose that option.
Roxanne Patel Shepelavy wrote the health article titled, “When fertility treatments become frightening” about the risks of multiple births from implantation via In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). She included the stories of two women who chose to “selectively reduce” (abort) a few of their embryos in order to protect their own health and the health of the babies they did want to keep. But Shepelavy didn’t include any interviews with women who chose to keep all of the implanted embryos.
To its credit, Self addressed the issue from a moral perspective in telling the story of Kristina. “But it wasn't that simple to Kristina,” Shepelavy wrote. “The daughter of devout Catholics, she had always been pro-life, determined, if she ever got pregnant, to see it through. ‘Abortion was never an option,’ she says. ‘If I accidentally got pregnant, that was it. I'd be the one who put myself in that position and I'd have to go through with it.’ Yet here she was, pregnant by choice and contemplating what, in her mind, amounted to the same thing: getting rid of her babies because they were a health risk and a life unimagined.”
In an emotional six page narrative, Oprah’s magazine “comes out” in favor of lesbianism.
Barack Obama. Eckhart Tolle. Dr. Phil. With the Midas touch, Oprah Winfrey turned these men to gold. Her recommendations have rocketed a variety of books – from centuries-old literary classics to New Age drivel – onto the bestseller lists. Now, in the latest issue of “O” magazine, she’s trying her hand at mainstreaming lesbianism.
The issue of homosexuality and the homosexual lifestyle is still a subject fraught with controversy and strong opinions on both sides. But with help from a lengthy, one-sided narrative about the wonderful world of lesbian love, the unparalleled power of Oprah Winfrey will surely bring the debate to a satisfactory conclusion.
“Why Women are Leaving Men for Other Women,” by Mary A Fischer in the April issue of “O” unambiguously promotes an attractive lesbian lifestyle. Fischer glowingly profiled three gay couples, along with glamorous television stars, and cited research to back up her claim that many women are leaving men for lesbian lovers. She posited that the lesbian lifestyle is good for women’s sexual and emotional health, children, and families. Without a single dissenting voice, the article is nothing short of lesbian propaganda.
Afraid that the AIG executive bonus bailout just may be the demise of the Democratic Party, MSNBC’s Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd trivialized the death of Terry Schiavo by suggesting the fight over Schiavo’s life was the demise of the Republican party.
Host Andrea Mitchell, Gene Robinson, and Chuck Todd were discussing Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s survival of the AIG scandal on Mitchell’s March 20 show MSNBC Live when Todd inserted this bit of political wisdom:
“An… Andrea? Really fast? You never know, you never know, when you know, this could turn into a Schiavo moment. And remember how the Terry Schiavo thing ended up being the beginning of the end for the Republican Party and their control. You just never know when one of these stories just catches wildfire in the popul…, in sort of the populist front. Sometimes you can’t stop it no matter which party you are.”
He may not have healed the planet and made the oceans recede yet, but Barack Obama has definitely brought sexy back for some fawning lefty writers. Just check out these headlines: “Have the Obamas Spawned a Sex Frenzy?” and “How long has it been since a first couple seemed to want each other?”
The American left – particularly women writers on the American left – have conjured up the idea that the relationship between President Barack Obama and his wife is somehow novel. Stacy Schiff of New York Magazine writes “…only now are we discovering what a functioning marriage between equals actually looks like.”
Seriously? The marriage between Barack and Michelle is the best and most recent example she can come up with? Schiff is obviously smitten, but before she reached for her smelling salts, she did manage a swipe at the Bush administration.
As if Sarah Palin hasn’t been torn apart enough by the media, try this one on for size: Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is the equivalent of Britney Spears.
That’s right. Pop culture writer Jed Gottlieb compared the former GOP Vice Presidential candidate to pop icon Britney Spears saying both women are manufactured stars with “baby drama” and a “podunk back story.”
Gottlieb’s article “Boston sees just a piece of Britney Spears” appeared in the Boston Herald on March 17, just one day after Spears’ sold out concert at the TD Banknorth Garden Entertainment Arena in Boston. While the article largely described Spears’ lackluster performance on stage in her comeback tour, Gottlieb just couldn’t resist a swipe at Palin to get the article rolling.
CBS merely brushed off the controversy that upset many members of the Mormon Church when interviewing HBO’s “Big Love” star Bill Paxton on March 16, 2009.
The TV series about a Mormon polygamist has not surprisingly gotten plenty of attention in its three years on air. This time, however, “Big Love” is causing trouble because the March 15 episode showed a highly sacred Mormon temple ceremony. CBS’s The Early Show host Chris Wragge mentioned the controversy during an interview with gave to Paxton:
WRAGGE: Yeah, I want to talk a little bit about last night's episode. There was some controversy there. The show depicted, uh, I guess one of the secret elements of the Mormon Church, an endowment ceremony which is not something that's been widely publicized. A lot of people don't know about it … Bill, I know you weren't in the scene. HBO had issued a preemptive apology. Obviously the episode still aired, but it caused a little controversy. As an actor, with something like this when you're on such sensitive territory, how, I mean, you really have to stay right on script here. There's not a lot of variation you can take or any creative liberties, but how tough was a scene like that?
In a respectful and compassionate manner, Nightline’s March 12 broadcast of the “Faith Matters” series brought to light a group of reformed prostitutes who have turned to religion and who are helping other women leave the destructive life of a Vegas prostitute.
Hookers for Jesus is a group started by former prostitute Annie Lobert who hit rock bottom with a cocaine overdose, and decided to leave the prostitute lifestyle when, as she put it, God changed her life. ABC reporter Neal Karlinsky graciously told her story and the story of other women who have found hope through Lobert’s ministry and the church of Pastor Benny Perez.
“Along with a pair of volunteers from a nearby church, [the women are] on the streets looking for prostitutes with one goal in mind: to save them,” Karlinsky said. “We keep our cameras at a distance as they hand out gift bags filled with bibles.” Karlinsky interviewed Lobert about her former life as a hooker. “But Annie Lobert isn't exactly your average missionary,” he said. “Before she was a so called ‘hooker for Jesus,’ Lobert was to put delicately, a hooker. Starting as a teenager, she sold her body through escort services, websites and on the streets of Las Vegas for 11 years.”