As I argued yesterday, the Advent season is exploited every year by the liberal media to tweak faithful Christians, using the holidays as a hook for liberal political and religious themes or to advance ancient heresies. Ditto with the Lenten season.
Well, the latest example comes from David Gibson of the Religion News Service, who has picked up on a new complaint from a feminist scholar, Margaret Miles, which boils down to essentially this: How come we never see depictions of the Virgin Mary breastfeeding the baby Jesus. I kid you not.
As we at NewsBusters have noticed, Advent and Lent seem to be the times of year that the liberal secular media loves to tweak devout Christians with attacks on historic, orthodox Christian teaching. The latest example is the media being abuzz over Irish playwright and novelist Colm Toibin's "The Testament of Mary."
The "silent, obedient, observant" Mary of Scripture that has "echoed down" through church history is ripped apart by "the masterful Irish writer Colm Toibin" who "puts a jackhammer to the cozy, safe, Christmas-card version" of the Mother of God, gushed Karen Long of the Cleveland Plain Dealer in a December 7 Religion News Service piece accessible at the Washington Post's "On Faith" section.
Reuters correspondent Andrea King Collier offered readers a heavily-slanted 27-paragraph story last evening about Michigan Republican lawmakers pushing a right-to-work bill in the state legislature. King Collier quoted only one proponent of the legislation -- Gov. Rick Snyder -- who was described as a "reluctant supporter of the measure," unlike "other Republican governors who have championed curbs on unions." Snyder sounded apologetic for the legislature's action, quoted by King Collier as saying "that issue was on the table whether I wanted it to be there or not."
By contrast, King Collier quoted three critics of the legislation: a union boss, an Obama White House spokesman, and a teacher's union member who was on hand outside the state capitol in Lansing to protest the bills under consideration.
Yesterday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell offered Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) a golden opportunity to prove just how popular President Obama's plan to avert the fiscal cliff is with his member of his own party. But, true to form, Sen. Reid refused to schedule the vote. "Not a single Senate Democrat has stepped forward to support it, and if you look at it you can see why.... It increases taxes," McConnell was quoted by Ramsey Cox in a story filed the afternoon of December 5 for TheHill.com. For his part, Reid dismissed McConnell's push for a vote as a stunt, although just last week he praised the president's plan, suggesting Obama and Senate Democrats were "on the same page."
Unfortunately this development failed to receive any mention on the evening newscasts for ABC, CBS, or NBC, nor on the December 6 morning programs for the same networks. Likewise both the New York Times and Washington Post December 6 print editions failed to report Reid's refusal to schedule a vote.
As the 2013 Virginia governor's race is already underway, the Washington Post is determined to set the narrative early on for its readers, and it goes a little something like this: Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is a hard-right conservative who's too extreme for the Old Dominion, especially in contrast to job-creating businessman Terry McAuliffe. McAuliffe, you may recall, served as Democratic National Committee chairman from 2001 to 2005. [Read related posts here and here]
In the December 6 paper, Post staff writer Ben Pershing continued the narrative with his treatment of liberal former congressman Tom Perriello's announcement the day prior that he would not run for governor and that he backs McAuliffe, giving the former DNC chief a virtual lock on the nomination next June. The race is now between "Cuccinelli, a conservative who is loved by his party base, and McAuliffe," a "businessman" who "previously ran the Democratic National Committee," Pershing noted. The term "liberal" was used twice in Pershing's 17-paragraph story, in relation to Perriello. There was no exploration of the question of McAuliffe's ideological leanings:
Chris Matthews is not one to let a pesky thing like facts get in the way of a favored liberal narrative. That's why, for example, on the Oct. 22 edition of Hardball he insisted the 9/11 assault on the Benghazi compound was "all about" the YouTube video "Innocence of Muslims," when by that time it was most clearly established that it was a premeditated terrorist strike.
Well, yesterday, Matthews's obsession with painting a significant minority of Republicans as loony secessionists colored his cherry-picking of a Public Policy Polling survey. The Hardball host glommed onto a statistic in a December 4-released PPP poll that found some 25 percent of Republican respondents said they favored their state seceding in light of President Obama's reelection. "What do you want to bet these are the same people who say that President Obama is a Muslim?" huffed Matthews in a tease for a segment entitled "If at First You Don't Secede." But a look at the cross tabs in the poll shows that 27 percent of Hispanics, 29 percent of voters aged 18-29, and even 12 percent of African-Americans favor secession. Those demographics, of course, are all ones which the president handily won. At no point in his segment on the poll, however, did any of these facts come up. [MP3 audio excerpts here; video follows page break]
The 2013 gubernatorial races may be in many ways a prelude of the 2014 congressional midterms. That certainly was the case in 1993 and 2009. So it's no surprise that the liberal media are doing their best to start writing the narrative about presumptive Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli, who presently serves as the commonwealth's attorney general.
In a December 4 Swampland blog post, Time's Alex Altman exemplified the boilerplate comparison we're already seeing in other outlets like the Washington Post: Republican Ken Cuccinelli is a "controversial by design," staunch Tea Party conservative who could be a risky bet for the governor's mansion while his likely Democratic sparring partner, Terry McAuliffe is an ideologically nondescript inside-the-Beltway mover and shaker (emphasis mine):
Washington Post media blogger Erik Wemple jumped to the defense of Bob Costas in a Monday morning blog post entitled, "Bob Costas, please keep spouting off." While Wemple avoided stating whether he agreed with Costas and Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock on gun control per se, he made it perfectly clear he had a low view of the average Joe at home wanting to escape the world for three hours watching a football game.
This is "the mentality of the sports consumer," Wemple groused, "Give me the game, the X's and the O's, the instant replays, the halftime highlights and leave the rest of the world out of it." But, "NFL players live in our society and are bound by our laws. The things that they do affect the public beyond whether their teams cover the point spread," Wemple argued, concluding (emphasis mine):
Ever since we learned that the dopey YouTube trailer for "The Innocence of Muslims" was definitely not to blame for the dead consulate attack in Benghazi, Libya, we've heard virtually nothing about the movie from the mainstream media. But last Wednesday there was a development that merited some new attention: a court in Cairo placed a death sentence on seven Coptic Christians involved with the film.
The Christians sentenced in the case were tried in absentia and so are unlikely to face execution, unless of course they return to Egypt. Still, given the political situation and how it has yielded an Islamist president in Mohammed Morsi and a heavily Islamist draft constitution, one might think the media would pay some attention to this development. A search of Nexis yielded no hits on this story on either the broadcast networks -- ABC, CBS, and NBC -- nor the New York Times or Washington Post.
As I argued yesterday, the Washington Post is already at work with its spin operation to tar Virginia Republican gubernatorial contender Ken Cuccinelli as a right-wing radical in advance of the 2013 race. The spin operation continued apace, today on the front page of the paper's Metro section, where Richmond correspondent Laura Vozzella described for readers how Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling concluded that "the path to GOP nomination looked too steep" to venture.
In her 19-paragraph story November 30 story, Vozzella hailed Bolling as the "state's multi-tasker in chief" who "has been juggling the part-time job of Virginia lieutenant governor with running for governor and working as a private insurance man." But alas, Bolling, "who shares many of [Attorney General Ken] Cuccinelli's conservative views but has a more conciliatory style" was no match for the attorney general's forces, who "pulled off something of a coup" when they "[took] control of the Republican State Central Committee."
The same newspaper that succeeded in felling Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) with its constant drumbeat of the "macaca" kerfuffle and which tried but failed to scuttle Bob McDonnell's 2009 run for Virginia governor with Thesisgate is ginning up its spin operation in service of the Democrats once again, looking forward 11 months into the future with the 2013 gubernatorial election in the Old Dominion.
Witness the November 29 front-pager by Errin Haines and Laura Vozzella entitled "Choice for governor of Va. may be stark." Right off the bat, we have bias by labeling which casts the Republican as an ideologue and the Democrat as a pragmatist.
As we at NewsBusters have noted, the media's coverage of Mohammed Morsi's self-appointment as virtual dictator in Egypt has been dreadful. Surely TIME magazine would be a little more hard-hitting, right?
Wrong. Despite having the benefit of three reporters on the byline -- Richard Stengel, Bobby Ghosh and Karl Vick -- none of those men posed a really hard-hitting question and all of them let Morsi drone on with filibuster-length answers that dominated the interview. Below the page break you'll find the agenda of questions asked (emphases mine) -- the first one is an incredibly dopey non-question -- and you can read the TIME transcript here:
If former Baptist minister turned former presidential candidate turned Fox News Channel host Mike Huckabee ran a non-profit organization that was a) deeply in debt b) owed Uncle Sam years in back taxes and c) was in dispute with a conservative trade organization in D.C. over unpaid rent, it's hard to imagine Huck's competitors at MSNBC wouldn't gleefully note those financial woes from time to time.
Fox News, however, will most certainly restrain their schadenfreude at the latest news regarding MSNBC's resident Baptist minister turned presidential candidate turned bloviating host. Today's Washington Post reports that the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) is upset with Sharpton's National Action Network (NAN) for failing to pay months of back rent as well as failing to tender payment for rented office furniture:
Ah, the holiday season. It's that time of year when the liberal media loves to use Jesus and the Virgin Mary to push liberal talking points if not outright push the envelope. So while NPR is busy promoting a new novel that presents the Virgin Mary as a skeptic who believes her son Jesus was a fraud, MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry went a safer but equally trite route, using the story of Jesus's nativity to erroneously lecture viewers that Jesus was the son of a single mother and that, as such, we should celebrate all kinds of families, not just the "1950s Leave It to Beaver"- style nuclear ones.
Last Tuesday night, Cindy Michaels and Tony Consiglio of ABC 7 out of Bangor, Maine, resigned on air. The Bangor Daily News's Andrew Neff reported that the duo told him that they resigned in part because senior management at their TV station wanted them to deviate from objectively covering the news to bearing a decidedly more editorial slant (see MRCTV video of the on air resignation below; emphasis mine):
In a dismissive post published yesterday afternoon, Gawker's Mallory Ortberg scoffed that, at least so far, no one was clamoring to move into a planned dorm at the University of Colorado which will be open only to students who are at least 21 years old and who have concealed-carry permits:
In last week's Food section, the Washington Post's Manuel Roig-Franzia cooked up a look at various First Families and their respective Thanksgiving traditions. While overall not that bad a feature, the current residents at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue received a fair bit of mushy treatment, especially for incorporating the produce of their organic White House garden into the Thanksgiving feast. [h/t my lovely wife Laura, who is hard at work on our Thanksgiving feast today]
What's more there will be "No creamy, gloppy, fattening dressing, either," Roig-Franzia gushed approvingly. "Their fresh produce will be dappled with a dressing that would make a dietitian beam, blended from shallots, lemon juice, red wine vinegar and olive oil." The Post staffer likewise included some vignettes about the last Democratic first family, the Clintons, and how Mrs. Clinton kept a sense of down-home Southern sensibility even in the fancy finery of the executive mansion's dining room:
It's rare that we take on liberal newspaper columnists. They're entitled to their opinions and no one expects them to adhere to a standard of objectivity. But on those occasions when a columnist transgresses the bounds of decency, we have to take note.
The Miami Herald's Leonard Pitts Jr. is one such opinion writer. In his November 17 column he argued some of the blame for a suicide in Key West, Florida, should be laid at the doorstep of conservative talk show hosts:
Our good friend Brian Maloney of the Radio Equalizer blog appeared on Wednesday's edition of Hannity to discuss left-wing radio hosts and their hateful rhetoric about conservatives.
Even though their ratings are paltry compared to conservative talk radio, it's vitally important to shine a light on their hate and criticize it, Maloney argued. "Pay attention to what they're saying, because often times what you hear on these shows ends up on the smear left websites, etc." and motivates the left-wing base to show up on election day. [watch the full segment below]:
Democrats picked up seven new House seats and expanded their caucus in the Senate by two seats, electing along the way the House's first Hindu member and the Senate's first Buddhist. But for liberal religion scholar Stephen Prothero, that's not good enough, because both chambers are still disproportionately too Protestant, with Republicans in particular looking too much like an "old-fashioned America" of yesteryear.
Rolling with the martial theme of the current edition of Newsweek -- "The Obama Conquest Lucky General or Master of the Game" -- writer Michelle Goldberg exulted in the GOP's defeat with her story, "The War on Women Backfires." "Republicans thought they could get away with the endless attacks on the fairer sex. They couldn't have been more wrong," thundered the subheadline (emphasis Newsweek's).
Of course, as we've noted here at NewsBusters, Goldberg conducted her own war on conservative women earlier this year with an attack on the "insufferable" Ann Romney. But conservative women, apparently don't seem to matter to Goldberg, who sees as misogynistic the notion of cutting off federal taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood, which of course happens to be the nation's largest abortion provider and hence largest murderer of unborn baby girls:
As my colleague Tom Blumer noted, early this morning, Politico's Carrie Budoff Brown and Josh Gerstein posited seven "hard questions" they anticipated being raised at today's presidential press conference. "[W]hen he holds his first full-scale news conference in eight months Wednesday, Obama will have to explain how he plans to re-create his national security team, what he knows about the burgeoning [Petraeus] scandal and why he didn’t get wind of it sooner, " Budoff Brown and Gerstein noted, adding, "It’ll probably leave him longing to talk more about the fiscal cliff, the less titillating storyline of the week." The Politico writers then listed seven questions that they anticipated would be asked. Some of the predicted questions ended up being asked in some form or another, but I've excerpted below the ones which didn't get pressed in any fashion at all (emphasis mine):
The shocking revelation of CIA Director David Petraeus's adultery has rocked Washington and has thrilled the media, perhaps a little too much.
Forget the pain that adultery causes and which Holly Petraeus must be feeling right now. For the Daily Beast/Newsweek's Lizzie Crocker, the whole situation is the perfect news peg to offer aspiring philanderers lessons they can learn from the ex-CIA chief's "rookie mistakes."
On the November 9 edition of the leftist program Democracy Now, socialist professor Cornel West denounced President Obama from the Left, saying he's not liberal enough for his tastes.
The Harvard professor said that his struggle for left-wing economic policies "intensifies" with Obama's reelection since the president is little more than a "Rockefeller Republican in blackface." In fact, West added, from his perspective, the late President Nixon was better on health care, as he was "to the left" of Obama on the issue. Our friend Bob Parks of our sister site MRCTV.org has the video, which I've embedded below the page break:
It's hard to imagine a major newspaper according Style section coverage to a 10-part documentary that was the brainchild of a conservative filmmaker with a penchant for conspiracy theories. But a left-winger, that's a different story. The Washington Post's Ann Hornaday today gave readers of the paper a 12-paragraph puff piece about "Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States" which premieres tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern on Showtime and focuses considerable attention on FDR's vice president Henry Wallace, a socialist who, had he been re-nominated in 1944 instead of Harry Truman, would have succeeded to the presidency in 1945 upon Roosevelt's death.
"Untold History" is a 10-hour-long documentary grounded "in indisputable fact," Hornaday assures readers, noting that Stone's collaborator in the project is an American University professor, Peter Kuznick.
"We can all be thankful" that "after 30 years of taking Christianity hostage and claiming that the church was really the Republican Party at prayer, this election actually revealed that the church is owned by neither Democrats nor Republicans," MSNBC's Martin Bashir pontificated at the open of is "Clear the Air" commentary which closed his eponymous November 9 program.
Fortunately for Mr. Bashir, making straw-man arguments and spouting overheated political rhetoric is not a sin. What is, however, is hypocrisy. You see, Bashir has been fond of using the Bible as a cudgel to attack conservative Republicans for having allegedly unbiblical, even anti-Christian politics. Take his hostile interview with Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) back in May, in which Bashir slandered Barton by saying he was for slashing funding to Meals on Wheels and that cutting back funding to the program was unbiblical:
As we've noted time and again, the Style section of the Washington Post has been reliably gaga over President Obama and liberal-friendly causes and campaigns. Today's Style page was no exception, with its front page dominated by an Obama for America photo that has been widely retweeted on Twitter and "liked" on Facebook.
"Snapshot of an equal, modern marriage," gushes the headline. "Loving image of Obamas is embraced by social media," added a subheader for Philip Kennicott's "Critic's Notebook" feature. "Who is embracing whom in that photograph of the Obamas that went viral on election night?" Kennicott asked in his lead sentence, laying the groundwork for a gushy item on how the Obamas exemplify a perfectly equal marital union, unlike, apparently, stodgy traditionalist, Republican first couples of yore (emphasis mine):
In his page A51 November 7 column, "Voting on same-sex marriage, with the Book of Leviticus ringing in my ears," the Washington Post's Courtland Milloy explained how, as a child raised in the "Bible Belt during the 1950s with that Old-Time Religion," he's still haunted by "Leviticus, that strong-arm book of the Bible that for years has tried to dictate my thoughts and actions through fear and guilt and on Tuesday dogged my every step to the polls."
What followed was Milloy recounting his consultations with two liberal theological influences in the local African-American community who helped convince him that voting for same-sex marriage was biblically kosher. He also tossed in a conservative black pastor who was quickly derided as a biblical literalist who is "not literate" in the estimation of a Howard Divinity professor. But at the very close of his column, Milloy rather gratuitously dropped in something that suggests he was struggling with lusting in his heart after President Obama's wife:
In his "Winners and losers from Election 2012" feature filed at his paper's website on Wednesday afternoon, the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza concluded that foreign policy in general was a "loser" in the campaign, failing to move votes (emphasis mine), "Despite all of the media attention that Libya drew in the final month of the campaign, foreign policy was an afterthought — at best — for most voters," he noted, adding that "Just 5 percent of people in the national exit poll said foreign policy was their most important issue. Interestingly, Obama won that group by 20+ points."
But as we've noted in numerous places on this blog, the administration's ever-shifting storyline on Benghazi failed to get scrutiny in the media, and new, damning revelations were downplayed or ignored, especially as the election drew closer and closer: