The late media critic Edwin Diamond once notably quipped that to the American news media, “10,000 deaths in Nepal equals 100 deaths in Wales equals 10 deaths in West Virginia equals one death next door.”
When it comes to race relations, a similar rule applies. Four hundred thousand civilians have been murdered in Darfur, but one death of a black man in Missouri allegedly due to white police brutality is infinitely more newsworthy. The national media are currently obsessed with Michael Brown’s killing by a policeman in Ferguson, Missouri, just as they obsessed over Trayvon Martin’s killing in Sanford, Florida.
There was something thoroughly distasteful about that Robin Williams press conference the other day. It sounded wrong. It looked bad. It smelled.
Was it newsworthy, so much so that news networks would break into their regular afternoon programming to broadcast live the first official law enforcement press conference surrounding Williams' death? We think so. Williams was not just an iconic American comedian since he burst onto the scene with “Mork and Mindy” in the 1970s, he was perhaps the single funniest man in America. That he would die so suddenly understandably generated interest. When the word "suicide" appeared we became a nation of rubber neckers. We had to know what happened.
This year’s Senate races are the Democrats’ to lose in the sense that the GOP is doing nothing to earn them, hoping Obama’s political collapse will have reverse coattail effects.
The “news” networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC have largely avoided paying attention to the bad political outlook for Democrats in the 2014. It is amazing. What bigger political story is there this year? They even skip their own polls revealing Obama’s approval ratings have sunk to the point they almost mirror George W. Bush’s marks in 2006, when Democrats took over both houses of Congress.
At night, the children’s channel called the Cartoon Network transforms into the badly named Adult Swim channel, a parade of juvenile “satirical” sludge like old repeats of Seth MacFarlane’s “Family Guy” and “American Dad” cartoons. How many parents know this? Or know these shows rarely miss an opportunity to sock it to “organized religion” – especially if that religion is Christianity?
Sadly, in the second quarter of 2014, the juvenilia on Adult Swim made it the number-one television network on basic cable for adults 18-24, 18-34 & 18-49 and also for males in those age brackets. Its mockery has made fans.
Earlier this year, former New York Times columnist Frank Rich wrote a trash-talking article in New York magazine begging conservatives to dig back into the Clinton scandals of the 1990s. Hillary is preparing to run for president again, and he thinks it will help. Rich delighted in “how inexorably the Clintons will seduce the GOP into another orgy of self-destruction” by focusing on Whitewater or Bill Clinton’s sexual harassments, making Hillary look again like “a victim of drive-by character assassination.”
While every Clinton scandal is automatically “old news,” even when it's fresh news, somehow Watergate never fades as a liberal-media fascination center. It’s erupting again with the fortieth anniversary of Richard Nixon’s resignation over Watergate.
Back in the 1950s, C.S. Lewis saw chastity as under attack with “all the contemporary propaganda for lust” that makes people “feel that the desires we are resisting are so ‘natural’, so ‘healthy’, and so reasonable, that it is almost perverse and abnormal to resist them.”
You can now safely delete the word "almost." Today virginity isn’t a virtue, but a burden. Chastity is a freak show and anyone who chooses to keep it is a carnival barker. In today’s entertainment world, weirdos – especially sexual weirdos – drive a juicy plot, so virgins are in vogue, as a target or merely as an anthropological curiosity.
During the Bush years, network news air time was loaded with criticism of George W. Bush for every foreign-policy development. His policies either caused the crisis, or worsened an existing crisis, or, in the case of Iraq, both. Everything Team Bush did was either bumbling, dishonest, blatantly unconstitutional, or horrendously costly in lives and treasure.
"Bush lied, thousands died." That was the vile mantra of the ultra-left, but never denounced as vile by the news media, perhaps because so many agreed with that sentiment. Bush had ruined America’s image in the eyes of the world.
Anyone who thinks the cultural Left is going to stop its political correctness with the Washington Redskins isn’t reading USA Today. On the top of their Sports front page on July 22, the paper reported on activists taking a stand against “redface,” championing a group called Eradicating Offensive Indian Mascotry.
Hillary Clinton’s $35 doorstop of a memoir is a flop. It was a best-seller to hard-core Democrats, but her advance is estimated at $14 million, which means Simon & Schuster is taking a bath in the hopes of publishing a future president.
Worse yet, The Washington Post reported that according to an Amazon.com measurement of which electronic books are most-read, Hillary’s book came in dead-last among recent political books. Every time people highlight something in a book on their Kindles, Amazon records that data. By that measure, most readers barely started it. “The deepest into Hard Choices the popular highlights get is page 33, a quote about smart power. Three of the five most-popular highlights occur within the first 10 pages.”
For those who predict the coming collapse of Western civilization, there’s always MTV for proof. At this year's Television Critics Association summer tour in Hollywood, MTV put on a panel discussion for the press with the cast and creators of a forthcoming series called "Happyland." The female star of the show, actress Bianca Santos, announced the new MTV motto: “Incest is hot, and we’re going to have fun!”
Lisa de Moraes at the Deadline Hollywood website reported the pilot episode of this “soapy teen comedy" -- remember that: this is a show for teenagers -- this show "exploring the underbelly of a popular theme park” includes a clip of Santos making out with the amusement park’s “new hottie,” only to discover... he’s her brother.
Attorney General Eric Holder granted an exclusive interview to ABC’s “This Week” from London, where he was portrayed by ABC as deeply concerned about the global terrorist threat. What stands out from this very rare session – Holder hasn’t been on Sunday network television in four years – is that Holder pulled out the oldest, lamest card in the Obama political deck: Obama and he are opposed by people who should be suspected of racism.
Dinesh D’Souza shocked the movie world in 2012 with his anti-Obama documentary "2016," which became the second highest-grossing documentary in U.S. movie history. On July 2, he unveiled his new documentary called "America: Imagine the World Without Her." It has already grossed $5 million in its first week.. One fictional competitor, the abortion-promoting comedy “Obvious Child,” barely grossed $2 million in its first month.
But there’s a more dramatic contrast. Film critics are supposed to judge art, but their liberal politics are smeared all over their reviews. Metacritic.com collects and analyzes movie reviews. “Obvious Child” drew a high Metacritic.com score of 75 (out of 100). For D’Souza’s “America,” it was a ridiculously low score of 14.
MSNBC host Chuck Todd assembled a panel of liberal-media veterans on his morning show “The Daily Rundown” Monday and joked that the assembled heavyweights presented “a nightmare scenario for Brent Bozell.” But what these journalists proceeded to issue was a devastating indictment of the Obama presidency and a real nightmare for this president.
Carolyn Ryan, the Washington bureau chief of The New York Times, brought up “the national funk we’re in, the sort of national malaise.” The word “malaise” is never a good word to be around if you’re the president. But for Obama, who is now seen in polls as the worst president since World War II, worse than the Master of Malaise, Jimmy Carter, it’s Kryptonite.
In the Bush years, liberals were routinely shock-and-awed that the Bush administration would obliterate their sacred wall of separation between church and state. They frowned on federal faith-based initiatives and worried about the bureaucracy being invaded by frightening people with college degrees from Christian schools like Liberty University or Regent University or Catholic University.
Government was no place to be spreading a dangerous Christian majoritarianism with a swaggering certitude that wouldn’t tolerate opposing views and respect minority opinions. The media presented the Bushies as – to quote a slur from NBC anchor Brian Williams – “anti-gay, pro-Jesus, and anti-abortion, and no gray matter in between.”
Barack Obama treats the press like a spoiled child treats his parents. Despite the pampering, he just keeps complaining about them until he gets his way. As America tires of his inflated sense of self-importance while the economy limps and his foreign policy crumbles, Obama travels around the country complaining that the mean old media isn’t complimentary enough.
At an event with big donors in May in Chicago, Obama lamented that he – the very essence of reason and nonpartisanship -- is lumped in with a fanatical Congress in a tale of gridlocked Washington.
There’s a new card game making the rounds that’s designed to offend. What does it say about our culture that this marketing strategy actually works?
“Cards Against Humanity is a party game for horrible people,” reads the game’s website. “Unlike most of the party games you’ve played before, Cards Against Humanity is as despicable and awkward as you and your friends.”
In November of 2002, Washington Post reporter-editor Bob Woodward unveiled excerpts of his latest book, "Bush at War," and caused a big stir by revealing that Fox News boss Roger Ailes had sent a confidential memo to the Bush White House after September 11 insisting the president stay tough against the terrorists.
NBC “Meet The Press” host Tim Russert, who revolved into TV news from Mario Cuomo’s office, spoke for his industry when he asserted “I would not recommend that behavior for any practicing journalist.” One can only imagine the furor had Fox News hosts actually entered the White House gates to participate in a Bush administration publicity event designed to promote public policy.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) found its way to the front page by declaring the word “Redskins” was offensive and therefore unworthy of trademark protection under a 1946 law that proscribes trademarks for “immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter.”
MSNBC anchor Joy Reid reported this news with an obscenity warning before airing a clip of Harry Reid: "And I just warn people, he does use the name of the team. So, I'm just going to warn you guys about that in advance." She’s not alone. Liberal sports writers refuse to type the word in their columns.
Ronan Farrow, considered the “boy wonder” of cable hosts by MSNBC executives, interviewed his colleague Chris Matthews on June 11 over the stunning primary defeat of Eric Cantor.
Farrow was shocked that the winner David Brat had dared to campaign among the Tea Party rabble, being the professor he is: “Is it rare to see that kind of brazen intellectualism, particularly in populist candidates like this?” Translation: how did he win among knuckle-dragging Virginia racists with that spiel?
Now that our cultural elites feel they have sufficiently educated the public on the virtues of gays and lesbians, it’s time to drill down to the next level. Here comes transgenderism. Time magazine placed “Orange Is the New Black” star Laverne Cox (born as Charles Cox) on the cover as the face of “The Transgender Tipping Point: America’s Next Civil Rights Frontier.”
Cox wrote on Facebook that the Time cover was a wonderful present on his birthday and "I realize this is way bigger than me and about a tipping point in our nation's history where it is no longer acceptable for trans lives to be stigmatized, ridiculed, criminalized and disregarded.’
There are two ways to interview potential presidents. You can pepper them with tough questions, and why not? They’re going to apply for the job of Leader of the Free World. Hillary Clinton is used to the other way: Shameless pap. Softballs to be knocked out of the park.
She has been a media darling since forever. This is a typical soft pitch just offered to Hillary Clinton on national television. It came just the other day: “Mitch McConnell said at one point that 2016 will be the return of The Golden Girls.”
The feminist film critics can exhale now. Someone has finally concocted their dream movie: an “abortion comedy.” Because apparently nothing sounds funnier than an unplanned one-night stand and a courageous destruction of God's most beautiful and most innocent creation.
It's called "Obvious Child." Feminist lingo sells this monstrosity. Former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Jenny Slate plays Donna Stern, a standup comedian who “is forced to face the uncomfortable realities of independent womanhood for the first time.” A “drunken hookup – and epic lapse in prophylactic judgment – turns out to be the beginning of a hilarious and totally unplanned journey of self-discovery and empowerment.”
The liberal media consistently dismiss or condemn hearings into Obama scandals as unnecessary and rabidly partisan, and reach those conclusions before said hearings even begin. That might explain why the public doesn’t always line up with that opinion.
A new ABC-Washington Post poll shows 51 percent of those polled support the new House investigation into the scandalous lack of security for our personnel at the Benghazi consulate. ABC and the Post found 58 percent think Team Obama engaged in a coverup, and only 32 percent denied reality and claimed they “honestly disclosed” what they knew.
It’s been ten years since Ronald Reagan passed away, but one horrible myth about him will not die. When he passed, The Advocate magazine published an essay by radical gay playwright Larry Kramer titled "Adolf Reagan." The rant began: "Our murderer is dead. The man who murdered more gay people than anyone in the entire history of the world, is dead. More people than Hitler even."
In Kramer’s fever swamp of a brain, Reagan caused AIDS. He reveled in its fatalities. Now HBO is honoring Kramer’s unceasing hatred by making a TV movie out of his hate-filled 1985 play/jeremiad “The Normal Heart.” The movie ends with a “historic” note bashing Reagan some more:
When George W. Bush was president, a week didn't go by when the press wasn't dismissing his intelligence and proclaiming his administration's incompetence. Over the weekend, President Obama made a surprise visit to the troops in Afghanistan. Someone on his staff demonstrated truly jaw-dropping incompetence by accidentally releasing to 6,000 journalists the name of the CIA station chief in Afghanistan as part of Obama’s welcoming delegation. That is a death sentence, not just for the agent but for all those around him.
Try to imagine the media firestorm this would have created had the transgression occurred during the W years. Remember the endless coverage, day after day, week after week, over the disclosure of Valerie Plame's name, a veritable D.C. paper-pusher by comparison? She became the poster child in a relentless campaign to undermine President Bush's foreign policy -- and the man himself.
Just before the 2010 midterms, Comedy Central star Jon Stewart drew a large crowd to Washington to celebrate a “Rally to Restore Sanity.” He gave a closing speech, intended to be inspirational and not comical, on how “we can have animus and not be enemies.”
The same man who succeeded in convincing CNN to cancel “Crossfire” in 2004 because its squabbles were “hurting the country” felt the need to sermonize about overdoing caricatures of our political opponents on television. This raises the question: Does this man watch his own show?
You can always tell when a network legend is retiring. His/her network blocks out most of a Friday night so they can remember all of the legend’s glory days. At 84, ABC’s Barbara Walters is taking a bow, and she’s certainly as synonymous with television as Johnny Carson or Walter Cronkite.
Walters was a pioneer for female journalists on TV. She’s also an archetype for our liberal feminist media. In recent years, she’s competitively elbowed out other contenders in providing leading Democrats with the most comfortable of softball interviews.
Those who attack the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Mark Levin – as too conservative, too vitriolic, or simply unhinged – have that right, even if, as is so often the case, they rely on others rather than listen to the shows themselves. That’s what liberals do.
There are pretenders to the throne of conservative talk radio who claim to be so much less “poisonous” and stupid than Limbaugh, Hannity, Levin et al – and travel the same character-assassination route. Congressman Mike Rogers told The New York Times he’s retiring in January to join Cumulus Radio for a national show because “I think there is room for a more productive, you-might-actually-learn-something kind of talk radio in the marketplace.”
In August of 2011, the former child actor Corey Feldman made a stunning assertion to ABC News: "I can tell you that the No. 1 problem in Hollywood was and is and always will be pedophilia. That's the biggest problem for children in this industry ... It's the big secret." The rest of the media said nothing.
Almost three years later, it’s happening again. The Los Angeles Times reported on April 18 that "X-Men" director Bryan Singer “has been accused in a federal lawsuit of drugging and sexually assaulting an aspiring teenage actor in the 1990s.”