"It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more."
-John Adams, July 3rd, 1776
Seems like a lot of fuss over a document written to form a political agreement between some loosely unified colonies more than 200 years ago.
When Adams wrote that, a nation had been created, yes, but it had yet to win any significant victories in its war against the most powerful military in the world. Many states were nearly bankrupt and it wasn't certain they'd hang together. And for all its noble ideas about equality, the Declaration did nothing to end slavery, which Adams called "as offensive in the sight of God as it is derogatory from our own honor or interest of happiness."
It must be what's known in the military as "mission creep." Why else would an organization of professional librarians come out in support of the soldier alleged to be responsible for the largest security breach in U.S. military history?
When it meets for its annual conference in New Orleans June 23, the American Library Association will vote on a resolution calling on the Secretary of the Army and the Army Chief of Staff to "release Pfc. Bradley Manning from pre-trial confinement and drop the charges against him." (Documents are available here.)
These are tough times to be an American dad, and indeed, an American man. The recession, or "mancession," as it's been called, hit men harder than women; male unemployment was 8.9 percent compared to 8 percent for women in May. Adding insult to injury, leftwing journalists have sniggered about the plight of the "beached white male." In 2010, women became the majority in the work force for the first time in history. More women receive college degrees than men do.
Culturally, in article after magazine article, on TV and in films, fathers and men in general are portrayed as hapless bumblers at best, abusive deadbeats at worst.
It’s a “news”` outlet dedicated to coverage of the Middle East, but it ignores ongoing atrocities against Israeli civilians. Its Arab language sibling threw a lavish birthday party for a terrorist who infamously murdered a Jewish family, and its reporting during the Iraq War was called “vicious, inaccurate, and inexcusable” by the U.S. Secretary of Defense. The list of op-ed contributors to its website reads like a Who’s Who of left-wing and Muslim anti-Americanism.
It’s Al Jezeera English, and liberals and the U.S. media want to give it prestigious awards and greater access to the U.S. cable news market.
When you’re right, you’re right. Last month, the Culture and Media Institute reported that internet marketing material from preppy clothing maker J. Crew featured a photo of the company’s president painting the toenails of her young son hot pink.
"Lucky for me I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink," said the caption. "Toenail painting is way more fun in neon."
CMI pointed out that the gender-bending ad was a nod to the gay agenda. Fox News picked up the story and a media storm ensued. Liberals scoffed at social conservatives’ concerns that J. Crew was exploiting and normalizing the feminization of the boy with “blatant propaganda.”
But according to ABC News, CMI was onto something. A May 2, 2011 on-line story places “J Crew at Center of Gay Economics With Openly Gay Model.” The company’s May 2011 catalog “features employees as models, including a gay designer with his boyfriend, who are described as ‘Happy Together.’”
On April 8, MRC’s Culture and Media Institute started a debate when it called attention to an e-mail ad from J Crew that featured a mother painting her young son’s toenails pink. The story gained national attention on radio, TV and the web. And now it’s made “The Daily Show.”
On Tuesday, April 13, the Media Research Center’s vice president for business and culture appeared on the NBC ‘Today’ Show to discuss a recent controversy involving a J.CREW ad featuring a little boy wearing pink toe nail polish.
The two minute five second video segment provided a not-so balanced look at the nationwide debate surrounding the ad and the question of whether or not J.CREW executive creative director Jenna Lyons is exploiting her son’s favorite color to sell nail polish and clothing through her employer.
MSNBC’s new slogan may be “Lean Forward,” but the brazenly left-wing cable network does a lot of looking back – to the 1860s.
April 12, 2011, will mark the 150th anniversary of the bombardment of Ft. Sumter in South Carolina – the beginning of the American Civil War. As Americans observe this milestone, they’ll hear a lot of words they only vaguely remember from U.S. History class – terms like “secession,” “states rights,” “nullification,” “contraband,” or “Dred Scott.”
Not MSNBC viewers. To them the language of the Civil War is remarkably familiar, since the network’s liberal hosts and guests never miss an opportunity to associate today’s conservative movement with the Confederacy, secession, slavery and racism.
Never let it be said that Showtime ignores Christianity. In fact, the network that aired "The Tudors" is getting into the spirit of Lent and gleefully calling to mind some of the Catholic Church's centuries-old sins.
"The Borgias" is Showtime's new 10-part miniseries about the infamous 15thCentury Italian family of that name, and about a dark period in the history of the Church. Rodrigo Borgia, who as a cardinal fathered children with several mistresses, bought the papacy, becoming Pope Alexander VI in 1492, and misused his office in a variety of distinctly unholy ways. Rodrigo, his son Cesare and daughter Lucrezia made many powerful enemies and were accused of many crimes, including incest, adultery, rape, theft, bribery and murder. Much of it was slander and hearsay, but Showtime and director Neil Jordan didn't scruple to sort out fact from legend.
If they ever take a break from publicizing Charlie Sheen’s cocaine dos and dont's, or detailing the power politics within his Beverly Hills harem, the networks should grab a copy of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics. And they may want to pay special attention to this entry: “Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.”
From Feb. 1 through March 6, the three networks distinguished themselves by devoting 20 times more broadcast time to Charlie Sheen’s porn stars and drug issues than to the Planned Parenthood video scandal and the subsequent vote in the House of Representatives to defund the organization.
You just knew Hollywood couldn't get through an Oscars broadcast without subjecting viewers to self-important statements of left-wing politics. War, AIDS, gay marriage, global warming - pick a liberal hobby horse and chances are an entertainer used the Academy Awards to give America his or her opinion on it.
This year, the cause du jour was class warfare, as reflected in shills for organized labor and a jab at bankers. With public sector unions protesting in Wisconsin and other states where governors are trying to address huge budget shortfalls, a couple of recipients couldn't resist adding their two cents.
You can lead a network to a story, but you can't make it report. Certainly not if the story reveals the disturbing truth about one of liberalism's sacrosanct institutions - the largest abortion-provider in the United States. The broadcast networks' coverage of the scandal and potential defunding of Planned Parenthood by the House of Representatives has been disgraceful.
On Feb. 1, pro-life activist group Live Action released a video covertly filmed at a New Jersey Planned Parenthood office. The footage documented a Planned Parenthood employee giving advice to a man posing as a pimp about obtaining abortions and birth control for the underage foreign prostitutes he traffics.
In the decade since 9/11, the liberal media's patently false insistence that American Muslims were or would soon be the victims of a massive wave of hate crimes at least had the benefit of plausibility. The same can't be said of an effort to suggest that Islam can't get a fair shake in left-wing Hollywood.
Yet a recent Associated Press article uncritically detailed an initiative of the Muslim Public Affairs Counsel to bring 'a more representative picture of Muslim-Americans on the screen.'
It was no less depressing for being predictable. News of the horrendous Jan. 8 shooting of Democratic Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 17 others had just broken when some on the left were exploiting it to malign conservatives.
Yet the left has blamed the “vitriolic” rhetoric of conservatives and the Tea Parties as inciting violence. The mainstream media has enabled and even joined liberals in tarring the right with inciting political violence, right down to the gossip, entertainment and “lifestyle” outlets.
Whether it’s “TMZ” polling readers with a leading questionnaire, “The Hollywood Reporter” publishing the thoughts of reliably left-wing celebrities, or “ET” trying to coax coherent sentences from vapid “young Hollywood stars,” sites noted for covering “pop tarts” are exploiting and scoring political points from the Tucson shooting.
On Dec. 14, 2010, the Culture and Media Institute reported that the Society for Professional Journalists (SPJ)’s Diversity Committee announced a year-long campaign to “educate journalists about the hurtfulness of phrases like ‘illegal immigrant,’ which is the term currently preferred by the influential AP Stylebook.”
After the Daily Caller picked up the story, the Fox News Channel followed suit. On Jan. 3, “Fox & Friends’” host Steve Doocy interviewed Leo Laurence, a member of SPJ’s Diversity Committee, who couched the society’s advocacy as a constitutional issue.
Is America a special nation, chosen by God as “the shining city on the hill?” Do our founding documents, with their explicit invocation of natural rights, set us apart from the rest of the world?
Majorities of Americans believe so. Even the liberal Brookings Institution recently published a survey that found 58 percent of citizens believe: “God has granted America a special role in human history.”
American exceptionalism, as it is called, has been in the news quite a lot lately. In his victory speech Nov. 2, Florida Senator-elect Marco Rubio eloquently extolled American exceptionalism, provoking howls of outrage from liberals. “America is the single greatest nation in all of human history. A place without equal in the history of all mankind,” he said. The son of Cuban exiles declared that only in America could he and others have risen so far, with so few barriers to advancement.
Those Tea Partiers – is there anything in this nation they can’t spoil? They’ve already gummed up the president’s agenda with their rallies and signs and voting. Now, they’re trying to ruin “Dancing with the Stars!”
So says the left and many in the media agree. Now that newly resurgent conservatives have handed them a crushing mid-term defeat, liberals are seeing nefarious Tea Party plots everywhere – including in silly entertainment shows. And they’re taking plenty of shots at Bristol and, predictably, her mother.
Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol, 20, has done remarkably well in this season’s “Dancing with the Stars” competition on ABC. As she’s advanced from week to week, buoyed by viewer voting, entertainment reporters and liberals have become increasingly frustrated.
Liberals are never so alive as when they’re speaking out against anachronistic straw men. That’s why, in their estimation, the Tea Parties are racist lynch mobs and conservatives who wonder about President Obama’s ties to anti-American radicals are sinister McCarthyites.
So it’s not surprising that The Huffington Post is making a big deal of “Banned Books Week.” The house organ for the self-important Hollywood left – you know, all those “artists” constantly threatened by censorship – featured a string of articles on various aspects of the banned book topic. The week, according to contributor Jonathon Kim, “celebrates the wonderful freedom of being able to read whatever one likes, and reminding us that it's a freedom that must be fought for constantly.”Kim’s article had to do with a new movie about the 1950s obscenity trial of beat poet Allen Ginsburg’s work, “Howl.” (To their sorrow, an awful lot of English majors know first-hand that Ginsburg won.) Elsewhere, HuffPo linked to a New York Times article that suggested “Ten Ways to Celebrate Banned Books Week.” These are for readers to do “with your students, your children and anyone who believes in having ‘the freedom to read.’”Readers can adopt a “challenged” book (one that parents or civic groups have demanded be removed from school or public libraries). They can “create a map of challenges to demonstrate that book bans and challenges are not isolated phenomena, even in the United States.” (In other words, even parents who don’t live in jerkwater conservative areas care what their kids read.)
In the current federal tax debate, the media are "really helping out the liberals" just by choosing certain words over others, according to the Business & Media Institute.
In an appearance on Fox Business Network Sept. 21, BMI's Julia Seymour told host Charles Payne that the mainstream media - "particularly the cable primetime shows that we looked at," had been framing "the debate as tax cuts, rather than tax increases."
Seymour was referring to BMI research showing that the media was using the language of the left and the Obama administration when reporting on the tax issue. MSNBC's Keith Olbermann said on Sept. 13 that "Democrats want to cut everybody's taxes," despite the president's stated intent to raise taxes on the rich. "It was 27 tax cut-framed stories, versus two tax increase stories," Seymour told Payne. The media were thus 13 times more likely to put a positive spin on the Democrats' intentions than to characterize the move as a tax increase.
Here's a delightful little story from the Sept./Oct. issue of Mother Jones, the far-left political magazine. It's called "Rick Santorum's Anal Sex Problem," and, with its helpful creative artwork, it's not something you want to read over lunch.
Thanks to the efforts of a vindictive liberal writer, anyone Googling conservative former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is fairly likely to get an unpleasant surprise. Among the top three results will probably be a nauseatingly offensive website based on making "Santorum" a "sexual neologism," according to Mother Jones' Stephanie Mencimer.
Back in 2003, Santorum expressed a traditional Catholic view on the issue of homosexuality and same-sex marriage. Then talking in general about "orientations" always excluded from understandings of marriage, he included pedophilia and bestiality along with homosexuality.
"The ensuing controversy," wrote Mencimer, "prompted syndicated sex columnist Dan Savage, who's gay, to start a contest, soliciting reader suggestions for slang terms to "memorialize the scandal." Having selected the nastiest entry, "Savage launched a website, and a meme was born."
She's the heir to the House of Maverick - the Republican the liberal media establishment can love, who's just as embarrassed by those icky conservatives as any network anchor or newspaper columnist.
Like her senator and erstwhile presidential candidate dad John, Meghan McCain is a willing weapon for the media to use against her fellow Republicans. But unlike "the Maverick," there's little chance she'd ever be a threat to the real good guys - liberal Democrats.
To Washington Post Nonfiction Books Editor Steven Levingston, Meghan McCain is a "free-thinking college grad" (she's educated, you see; she's one of us) joyfully bucking what she calls conservative "groupthink."
In the Sept. 1 Post, Levingston reviewed "Dirty Sexy Politics," McCain's memoir of her father's 2008 presidential campaign. The book, he wrote, "is as much a scathing critique of the Republican Party as it is a passionate tale of life on the campaign trail." And Levingston proceeded to relate that critique with undisguised relish.
"McCain takes repeated jabs at the intolerant ethos of today's Republicans," Levingston wrote. "She rails at feeling left out: The party, she says, has been hijacked by the right wing and has rejected - to its detriment - the moderate politics that she and millions of other young conservatives espouse."
Because she dresses trashy, swears like a sailor and "has gay friends," McCain has run afoul of the "intolerant ethos of today's Republicans."
With any luck, we're going to be seeing a lot more commentary like Jim Garrison's Aug. 31 Huffington Post piece. What's positive about it isn't the apocalyptic hysteria of his descriptions of "climate shock," entertaining as they are. Rather, it's his lamentation that President Obama, Al Gore and the global warming industry missed the perfect opportunity to dismantle the U.S. economy and severely curtail human freedom.
Garrison asserted that "the admixture of Copenhagen, the U.S. Senate Climate Bill, the BP oil spill disaster, and the climate itself" had created a "perfect storm," derailing the warming alarmists' agenda.
It seems “banks are doing nearly twice as many modifications under their own foreclosure prevention initiatives than under the Obama administration's signature Home Affordable Modification Program, known as HAMP,” Luhbi wrote in her Aug. 30 article. Banks made 644,000 “proprietary permanent modifications” in the first half of 2010, almost twice the 332,000 under HAMP.
Loan modifications are an alternative to foreclosures, in which the debtors usually receive “interest rate and principal reductions.” The HAMP program, according to Luhby, “lowers monthly payments to 31% of pre-tax income.”
Want a tutorial in the hypocrisy, vitriol and deep unhappiness of the American left? You don't need to subject yourself to MSNBC, or wade through the muck of Daily Kos. Actor John Cusack's Twitter feed is a clearing house for liberal memes and nasty rhetoric.
Here's his peaceful entry from Aug. 29 [All spelling from original Tweets, but Cusack admits: "I type with I phone fast and loose with no spellcheck."]:
Johncusack: I AM FOR A SATANIC DEATH CULT CENTER AT FOX NEWS HQ AND OUTSIDE THE OFFICES ORDICK ARMEYAND NEWT GINGRICH-and all the GOP WELFARE FREAKS
Presumably, this is a reference to the controversy over the Ground Zero Mosque. And "all the GOP WELFARE FREAKS" seems to follow on this theme:
Johncusack: taht's the gop philospy.. gourge the stae while claiming to be rugged individuaist who live by the free market - biggest joke there is..
Johncusack: think of our the us treasury as the last frontier to be stripped mined if only pesky gov itelf wasn't in the way.
But elsewhere, Cusack said Glenn Beck (at his "Restoring Honor" rally) was "unifying whites -class war of blame and fear" and said Beck was starting a "class war to capitallize on economy they destroyed" - a strange accusation from a man that claims the GOP wants to gut the treasury. And what liberal rant would be complete without the leftist's two favorite pejorative? Beck's tactics, he wrote were "strraigjt fr tfriendly racist playbiook." A minute later, Cusack added, "Sorry frendly fascist playbook."
With the eager help of the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and others, the liberal media have warned of and bemoaned an anti-Muslim backlash since 9-11. Unfortunately for them, the evidence never bore that out.
Now they think the wait is finally over, and they're hitting the anti-Islam hate meme with gusto. Case in point: the front page of the Washington Post's Metro section on Aug. 27. "Hostility across U.S. jars young Muslims," read the headline.
Author Tara Bahrampour focused on Muslim students at local D.C.-area colleges and their reaction to the "swelling hostility that many of these students had scarcely known was there ..."
Condescending because in repeating some (by now) well known corrections to famous stories Juddery seems to think he’s bringing the iconoclastic truth to the blinkered public. Intellectually dishonest because in running down President Ronald Reagan with a list of failings that might have been culled from any 1988 edition of The New York Times, he reminds us where many liberals really stood during the latter part of the Cold War, and how they stoutly refused to accept (Soviet) defeat.
Juddery’s list of overrated people comes from his book, “The 50 Most Overrated Things in History.” It must be a real page-turner if it these shocking revelations are typical: there was no real King Arthur; in landing on Hispaniola, Columbus thought he’d reached India; there’s no record that Lady Godiva ever rode naked through Coventry.
Anyone with a decent education and a minimal amount of common sense can only shrug and wonder who paid Juddery to write this. And anyone who has a nodding relationship with the History Channel probably knows that Thomas Edison was a sharp businessman (“classic Dickensian employer,” in Juddery’s words) who employed hundreds of researchers and scientists working in his name.
Hollywood westerns don't sell very well anymore. Remakes of westerns don't sell and they tend to remind those who do see them of the superiority of the originals. So remaking the iconic 1969 western, "True Grit," for which John Wayne received his only Best Actor Oscar, seems an odd choice for the Coen brothers.
But the extremely successful directors of "Fargo," "Oh Brother Where Art Thou?" and "No Country for Old Men," are indeed remaking "True Grit." They stress that their effort is based more on the 1968 novel by Charles Portis than the original movie. Still, The Duke's portrayal of hard-drinking, one-eyed Marshall Rooster Cogburn has been a TV staple for decades. Portis' novel - not so much.
The Coens' quirky, often dark and sometimes absurd portraits of America couldn't be much more different from any flick in John Wayne's legendary career. And maybe that's the point. After all, any movie with America-bashing lefty Matt Damon in an important supporting role is bound to be at odds with traditional takes on the American frontier. All the more-so because Damon admitted, "I've never even seen the original John Wayne movie."
The Coens cast 2010 Best Actor Oscar-winner Jeff Bridges as Cogburn. Bridges will have to be a heck of an actor to do the character justice, because in real life, he couldn't be more different than Wayne, a traditional conservative.
“Bible Schmible!” That’s essentially what an article on the Washington Post’s “On Faith” blog by Susan Jacoby (aka. The Spirited Atheist) said about the moral and legal issues surrounding same-sex marriage. Jacoby approvingly quoted Judge Vaughn Walker’s recent opinion overturning California’s Proposition 8’s restriction of marriage to a union of a man and woman.
“Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians,” Walker had written. Jascoby called it a “historic sentence,” but admitted she didn’t have much hope the Supreme Court would uphold Walker’s decision.
“The profound religious conservatism of Robscalitomas (my acronym for Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas) probably means four automatic votes against gay marriage as a right guaranteed by the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment,” she wrote.
The "recent unpleasantness" at the Washington Post was, to conservatives at least, entirely predictable. What decent left-leaning journalist could live among the remote, primitive tribes known as conservatives and not be driven just a little bit mad? (If the Post's editors were embarrassed, they could at least take comfort that their man hadn't "gone native.")
Predictable, but no less unfortunate. The Washington Post dearly needs someone to explain conservatism to its editors and staff. Why?
A look through the June 30 edition of the Washington Post gives a pretty good indication. No, not the puff piece on Obama Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. (Apparently a photo of the grown man in charge of a vast federal agency wearing a bike helmet is supposed convey competence. The caption reads - really - "Ray LaHood has worked to expand transportation safety, including emphasizing the rights of cyclists in federal transportation policy.)