Gavia Baker-Whitelaw lamented how the movie depictions of Spider-Man and other superheroes are all "straight, white men" in a Tuesday item on Salon.com titled "America deserves better superheroes: Why a straight, white Spider-Man is no longer a real underdog." Baker-Whitelaw, a "fandom and Internet culture" reporter for the website The Daily Dot, zeroed in on the supposed "ramifications of having eternal underdog Peter Parker remain a straight, white man."
The writer also complimented Andrew Garfield, the actor who plays the title character in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, for wondering why the superhero "can't...be into boys," and contended that Sony, the studio releasing the upcoming movie, "might benefit from listening to...Garfield's comments on the potential hypocrisy of portraying Peter Parker as being marginalized by society." She later hoped that superhero movies would catch up with the "reasonably progressive and diverse representation of real-life America" in present-day comic books:
Rheana Murray's Saturday article on ABCNews.com omitted key details about how the Catholic Church determines which saints' feast days are observed by Catholic parishes all over the world. Murray noted that the Church "removed 93 saints from the universal calendar and revoked their feast days in 1969," but two out of the four examples she gave still have "optional" feast days on the calendar.
The journalist's write-up, which was also posted on Good Morning America's page on Yahoo!, cited Kean University's Christopher Bellito, who pointed out that these saints "weren't actually de-sainted, just downgraded." Professor Bellito explained that the Church "decided to remove particular feast days of those saints whose origins were shrouded in more mystery than manuscripts."
ABC, CBS, and NBC spotlighted the issue of child sex abuse by priests on their Saturday morning and evening newscasts – twenty-four hours or less before the Catholic Church canonized Popes John XXIII and John Paul II. CBS and NBC both uncritically turned to the president of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), but didn't mention her controversial affiliations with prominent anti-Catholics.
CBS and ABC also hyped how "some of the faithful have complained the canonization process was fast-tracked." ABC's Terry Moran even inserted some slanted labeling of the Catholic practice of venerating the relics of saints on Saturday's World News, and wondered if modern people could relate to the Church's examples of holiness: [MP3 audio from the networks' reporting available here; video below the jump]
Michael Tomasky chided conservatives in a Monday item on Daily Beast for connecting L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling and his reportedly racist comments to the Democratic Party, playing up that Sterling's political affiliation is not "established fact at this point," as it is "based on two political contributions he made many moons ago" (Michael Hiltzik of the L.A. Times discovered Sterling's Republican registration several hours after Tomasky published his item).
Tomasky used the controversy as a jumping off point to downplay examples of racism/racial insensitivity from Democrats, such as past remarks by Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Harry Reid, as their political party has supposedly improved the lot of racial minorities:
Friday's CBS Evening News was the lone Big Three evening newscast to spotlight how the State of Oregon decision to scrap its multimillion dollar health exchange website, and join the federal government's HealthCare.gov. ABC's World News was too busy covering violence over spots at mall parking lots to notice, while NBC Nightly News zeroed in on baby Prince George's first trip to Australia.
Scott Pelley underlined how "the State of Oregon said that after months of trying, it cannot get its state health insurance website to work. It hasn't signed a single customer, and it is pulling the plug. It is the first state to do that." Nancy Cordes pointed out the "$248 million failure," but didn't mention President Obama by name or ObamaCare as a term during her report. She merely made a vague references to the "federal" role in providing relief to the debacle: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Norah O'Donnell pursued Texas Governor Rick Perry on Thursday's CBS This Morning over the controversial land dispute between Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and the federal government. O'Donnell asked Perry, "What do you make of this standoff? What do you think of Clive Bundy? Do you think what he's done was a good thing?"
When the Republican politician replied that Bundy is a "side story," and that "rather than sending armed troops....I hope our government officials...use common sense when it comes to these issues of conflict...dealing with something...in a substantially-less confrontational way," the CBS anchor followed up by spotlighting the rancher's racially-charged remarks: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Tuesday's World News on ABC stood out as the only Big Three network evening newscast to cover a new "watchdog report" that found that the IRS "handed out more than $1 million in bonuses to employees who were delinquent on their federal taxes." Jeff Zeleny also pointed out how "more than 1,000 IRS workers, who didn't pay their taxes, received not only cash bonuses, but extra time off." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
By contrast, NBC Nightly News and CBS Evening News on Tuesday both devoted air time to the 50th anniversary of the 1964 World's Fair in New York City. NBC's Brian Williams also gave a 28-second news brief on Prince William and Princess Kate's visit to Ayers Rock in Australia, where they posed at the same spot as the prince's parents during the 1980s:
Jill Abramson of the New York Times denied that her newspaper has a liberal bias during a Monday interview with Marlo Thomas of Huffington Post. Abramson asserted that the Times "reflects a very cosmopolitan, inclusive outlook, which can strike some readers as liberal," and later claimed that "the news pages are not ideological."
The executive editor zeroed in on the issue of gun control as her example of how the New York Times is supposedly balanced: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Sunday's This Week on ABC, CNN's S.E. Cupp called on social conservative Christians to drop their opposition to same-sex "marriage" and adoption: "I will say conservatives have got to move on gay marriage....[and] on gay adoption. If abortion is the abhorrent option – and I believe it is – then adoption by any two loving people has got to be the better option."
Democratic strategist Donna Brazile agreed with the atheist Crossfire host, and took the opportunity to attack conservatives by implying that they are somehow against human rights and in favor of human trafficking: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Conan O'Brien apparently couldn't resist making a pedophile priest joke on his TBS program on Wednesday, after Pope Francis took two school boys on a ride around St. Peter's Square during his weekly audience: "The Pope let two 11-year-old boys ride in the Popemobile with him...Afterwards, the Vatican told the Pope, that's not the kind of publicity we're looking for today. What the hell is that all about? Kids, get in – come on!" [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
An unsigned Wednesday article in the Military Times spotlighted how veteran groups have rebuked the New York Times for an opinion piece that played up the recent shootings at two Jewish community centers as apparent proof that white veterans are susceptible to joining hate groups. Paul Rieckhoff of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America hammered the liberal newspaper for its "sensational, slanderous and incredibly offensive" attack on his peers.
In the Wednesday op-ed, author Kathleen Belew cited a controversial 2009 Department of Homeland Security report that hyped the potential for "right-wing extremists...to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to boost their violent capabilities," and targeted conservatives for their criticism of its findings. Belew even threw the race card into the mix:
CNN's Chris Cuomo tried to get former Assistant Secretary of State Jamie Rubin to defend President Obama's response to Russia's aggression in Ukraine during a segment on Wednesday's New Day. Cuomo cited how Russian President Vladimir Putin "did this in Georgia.....under President Bush" in 2008, and wondered, "Is it fair to look at this situation and say, the weakness or perception of weakness of President Obama has given a window of opportunity to Putin?"
The anchor didn't identify Rubin as either a former Clinton administration official or as the husband of CNN personality Christiane Amanpour. Interestingly, the State Department veteran didn't give Cuomo the response he was looking for: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Tuesday's New Day, CNN's John King hyped the Congressional Budget Office's projection about ObamaCare – that "yes, ObamaCare is expensive, but less expensive than they thought – by about $104 billion over 10 years. That's a decent junk of change." King asserted that the health care issue is "the big domestic challenge for the President and for Democrats this election year: that is...trying to defend it – you could say now, maybe, bragging – about ObamaCare."
The journalist then expressed his bewilderment that Democrats weren't playing up this CBO projection: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
ABC, CBS, and NBC's morning newscasts on Monday all omitted the arrest of a Utah woman, after the bodies of seven newborn babies were discovered in her house on Saturday. The Big Three morning shows did understandably devote a significant amount of air time to a white supremacist's shooting rampage at two Jewish community centers near Kansas City.
However, the networks also set aside over two minutes each to a bear mauling in central Florida, and CBS This Morning and NBC's Today also covered the so-called "blood moon" lunar eclipse. CBS's lack of coverage of the murders in Utah is even more puzzling, given how CBS Morning News aired a news brief to the story: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Friday's CBS This Morning set aside almost six and a half minutes of air time to promote Showtime's upcoming series about climate change, which features liberal New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman and CBS's Lesley Stahl. Charlie Rose heralded the "groundbreaking new documentary series," and let Friedman spotlight Arab environmentalists, who supposedly "understand that there's no Shiite air or Sunni air. If we don't protect the commons, nobody's going to breathe."
Rose, along with co-anchor Norah O'Donnell and Gayle King also turned to Stahl, who ballyhooed how "all these floods we've heard about – much more disastrous than they have been in our lifetime. That's because the ice is melting. It's affecting the seawater all along the eastern shore of the United States." King fawned over the new TV series, and set up Friedman to speculate about "climate change skeptics" might react to it: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
On Friday's World News, ABC's David Kerley pressed I.R.S. Commissioner John Koskinen about taxpayers who are unable to "get an answer as to how much they're supposed to pay," due to long wait times on the agency' help line. However, Kerley didn't bother to ask Koskinen about the House Ways and Means Committee's Wednesday vote to refer former IRS official Lois Lerner to the Justice Department for prosecution, over alleged targeting of Tea Party groups for auditing.
In fact, as of Friday, none of the Big Three evening newscasts have covered the House committee's criminal referral, nor the House Oversight Committee voting on Thursday to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress. Instead, the ABC correspondent zeroed in on taxpayers' complaints about the IRS help line, as well as the commissioner's YouTube video warning about how to deal with the poor service there: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
NPR's Terry Gross anticipated the Christian holy day of Easter on Monday's Fresh Air by boosting "popular" author Bart Ehrman's latest book, where the agnostic scholar asserted that "Jesus himself didn't call himself God and didn't consider himself God, and that none of his disciples had any inkling at all that he was God." During the segment, Gross wondered if "Christians made the claim that Jesus is God in order...to grow from being a small cult."
Ehrman also claimed, "I don't think Jesus was given a decent burial – that he was probably thrown into a common grave of some kind," and that the early disciples of Jesus probably hallucinated his resurrection:
NPR's resident ObamaCare shill Julie Rovner did her best to promote the next ObamaCare enrollment period during a segment on Wednesday's Morning Edition. Rovner featured two talking heads from liberal organization Families USA, which she identified as merely a "consumer group," and boosted their list of suggested changes for the sign-up process.
The correspondent failed to bring on any critics of the controversial law, and played up the apparent success of the first enrollment period:
On Tuesday's New Day, CNN's John King targeted President Obama and his administration for their "textbook case...of do as I say, not as I do" on the issue of equal pay for women. After playing a clip of Press Secretary Jay Carney playing up how the 88 cents on the dollar women in the White House apparently make compared to men is "better than the national average," King quipped, "I guess the coach would say, is that the best you got?"
The journalist also spotlighted two past studies involving the White House and congressional payroll at the time Mr. Obama was serving as a senator from Illinois, and pointed out the bad optics of the situation: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Carrie Johnson's Monday report on NPR's Morning Edition could have been mistaken as an informercial for the left-of-center ACLU and the NAACP's efforts to help "protect minority voting rights," after the Supreme Court's Shelby County v. Holder decision from June 2013. Johnson played up how "a divided Supreme Court gutted part of that law – throwing into chaos a system that had required...states to ask for federal permission before making election changes."
All but one of the correspondent's talking heads during the segment were liberal activists who lamented the Court's decision, but she failed to point out their political ideology or that of the groups they represent. Johnson also singled out one attendee of the organizations' "training session," who attacked the Obama administration from the left:
Jim Edwards, the deputy editor of the Business Insider website, and Slate.com's tech reporter Will Oremus slammed former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich on the Friday edition of BBC World Service's World Have Your Say program. Edwards likened Eich's $1,000 donation in support of California's Proposition 8 to someone who "donated some money to the KKK." The editor also repeatedly accused the tech executive of "donating money that strip people of their civil rights."
The Business Insider editor later compared the former CEO's support of traditional marriage to supporting the "the civil right to own slaves," and defended this comparison, since "slavery is all about stripping other people of their rights, which is what being against gay marriage is all about." Oremus agreed with Edwards in labeling Eich's political donation as "beyond the pale," and defended the internal and external campaign by social leftists to force his departure: [MP3 audio available here]
On the Thursday edition of WMAL's Mornings on the Mall radio show, Sharyl Attkisson spotlighted the Obama administration's many inconsistencies in their claims about the September 11, 2012 Islamist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya. Attkisson outlined, in detail, "all of the different stories told about the talking points" about the terrorist attack.
Former Fox News anchor Brian Wilson and Breitbart.com's Larry O'Connor turned to the former CBS News journalist for her take on former deputy CIA director Mike Morell's congressional testimony on the Benghazi issue on Wednesday. She zeroed in on how Morell and others were trying to minimize any perception that the talking points were altered for political considerations: [MP3 audio of the full Attkisson segmentavailable here]
On Wednesday's CNN Newsroom, Carol Costello decried the Supreme Court's latest decision underlining that political donations are a form of free speech: "You know, these rulings continue to surprise me – only because so many Americans are concerned about the money factor...They think it's a real problem, and these kinds of rulings seem to only exacerbate those problems."
Costello brought on liberal CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin for his take on the ruling, and asked, "Doesn't that give wealthy donors a big advantage?" Toobin twice emphasize the left-of-center opposition to this decision and the previous Citizen United decision in 2010: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Jim Acosta emulated a P.R. flack for the Obama administration on Tuesday's CNN Newsroom, as he hyped how the White House is "on track to hit seven million signing up" for ObamaCare. Acosta gushed that "if ObamaCare were a patient, this would be a pretty miraculous recovery, when you consider...that disastrous rollout in October and November."
The correspondent later touted the development as "pretty big news over here at the White House. They're reacting with a lot of glee and happiness, I can tell you." Acosta and anchor Carol Costello also credited the President's Internet video with comedian Zach Galifianakis for part of ObamaCare's apparent success: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Antony Shugaar targeted Maryland's "sexist" state motto in a Sunday opinion piece for The Washington Post, which was took up the bulk of a full page of the Outlook section of the liberal paper's print edition that day (and teased above the fold of the section by trumpeting how "the state has glossed over its motto's sexism"). Shugaar led by favorably spotlighting Rep. Nancy Pelosi's Maryland roots, as he went after the state's "embarrassing" slogan.
The translator also took the state government to task for its apparently "willfully misleading" translation of the motto "Fatti maschii, parole femine," which is the only one that appears in Italian:
Friday's CBS Evening News featured a previously unaired portion of Scott Pelley's softball interview of President Obama on his recent meeting with Pope Francis. The Vatican noted on Thursday that "there was a discussion on questions of particular relevance for the Church...such as the exercise of the rights to religious freedom, life and conscientious objection" – a reference to the Catholic Church's objection to ObamaCare's abortifacient/contraception mandate.
But instead of asking about this discussion, Pelley gave the President the kid glove treatment, and wondered how the encounter affected the liberal politician: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Piers Morgan got in one last word in favor of gun control during the final episode of his CNN program on Friday, and called for the complete disarmament of the American citizenry: "As my brother, a British army colonel, says, 'You always want an American next to you in a trench when the going gets tough.' But that's where, I think, guns belong...in the hands of highly-trained men and women fighting for democracy and freedom, not in the hands of civilians."
Morgan blasted the NRA by name and politicians for standing in the way of his pet cause: "The gun lobby in America, lead by the NRA, has bullied this nation's politicians into cowardly, supine silence." He cited Winston Churchill for inspiring his stand, and even claimed that his campaign was pro-American: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Friday's CBS Evening News picked up where the Big Three morning shows left off earlier in the day and trumpeted how "visitors have been surging to [HealthCare.gov] – about one-and-half million a day." Scott Pelley did give a bit of slightly bad news during his 16-second news brief, noting that "today, the ObamaCare website was taken down for about 20 minutes, to fix a problem that affected log-ins." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
However, the CBS evening newscast, along with Friday's NBC Nightly News and ABC's World News, glossed over the latest Associated Press poll, which found record-high disapproval of the controversial law: "[S]upport for President Barack Obama's health care law is languishing at its lowest level since passage of the landmark legislation four years ago...26 percent of Americans support the Affordable Care Act." This omission continues a nearly three-month-long trend by the Big Three networks to paper over bad news about ObamaCare.
[Update, April 7, 10:55 am: the original blog entry inaccurately corrected Phillips for claiming that her husbands, correspondent John Roberts, has the last name "Robertson." In reality, Roberts' legal last name is indeed Robertson. The text below has been corrected to reflect that fact.]
CNN'S Kyra Phillips zeroed on the controversy surrounding Phil Robertson's remarks about homosexuality on Wednesday's New Day, as she interviewed Robertson's son Willie Robertson and his wife, Korie. Phillips played up the "firestorm" after the Duck Dynasty star's interview with GQ, and asked his son, "Is that what you believe?"
However, the correspondent went on to compliment Willie Robertson and his family for how well they apparently have raised their children: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Stephen Colbert boosted Jimmy Carter's new book on Tuesday's Colbert Report – a mere day after the former president blamed Catholicism, as well as the Southern Baptist Convention, for the abuse of women across the globe. Carter offered a toned-down version of this eyebrow-raising argument: "If you're a male religious leader, and you want to stay in unchallenged power and not have women challengers, then you can pick some of those things that...St. Paul said."
The Democrat also claimed that he would consider joining the Catholic Church if they would ordain women: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]