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.)
Normally, it would be a "dog-bites-man" story - overtly liberal media figures promoting a liberal, big government policy initiative. But when the left-leaning Project for Excellence in Journalism notices a trend, and the New York Times deems it worth reporting, something funny is going on.
On June 21, the Times' "Media Decoder" blog suggested that historians studying how ObamaCare passed "might assign a bit of the credit to liberal talk show hosts." The article cited a study by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism (no right-wing outfit, that) showing that, during the lead-up to health care reform passage, "liberal hosts like Keith Olbermann and Ed Schultz" spent nearly twice as much airtime on health care reform as did their conservative counterparts.
Left-wing hosts "spent 44 percent of their airtime talking about health care from June 2009 to March 2010, while conservative hosts spent 26 percent of their airtime on the subject," according to the article. Further, MSNBC gave it 32 percent of its airtime, while Fox gave it 20 percent.
Something about the soccer World Cup brings out the missionary in the mainstream media, and every four years they strive to bring the good news of "the beautiful game" to the ignorant American masses.
This year is no different. The 2010 World Cup is set to begin in South Africa on June 11. More than just covering the month-long event, the media are already doing their best to hype it, overstating its popularity in the United States and its potential appeal to U.S. sports fans. From Time magazine dedicating an entire issue to "The Global Game," to CBS's helpful "The World Cup Guide for Americans," the public is being brow-beaten to catch "World Cup Fever."
And while soccer partisans may try (mostly unsuccessfully) to score on point-by-point comparisons to baseball or football, the most compelling argument many media outlets can muster is, "The rest of the world loves it. We should too."
The liberal media have always been uncomfortable with "American exceptionalism" - the belief that the United States is unique among nations, a leader and a force for good. And they are no happier with America's rejection of soccer than with its rejection of socialism.
Hence Americans are "xenophobic," "isolated" and lacking in understanding for other nations and their passion for "the planetary pastime," as Time magazine put it. But, they are confident, as America becomes more Hispanic, the nation will have to give in and adopt the immigrants' game. On the other hand, the media assure the public that soccer is already "America's Game," and Americans are enthusiastically anticipating the World Cup, even though the numbers don't bear that contention out.
So, every four years they return with renewed determination to force soccer's square peg in the round hole of American culture.
It seems when John Lennon sang "Imagine" (aka. The Worst Song of All Time) he was talking about ... Denmark. That must be the point of a curious piece on The Washington Post's ever-more ironically named "On Faith" blog.
In an article titled "One nation Under God and a lot of stress," Alyce M. McKenzie, professor of homiletics at the Perkins School of Theology, was quite taken with her son's description of life in Copenhagen, where he'd studied for a semester. She furnished a laundry list of admirable aspects of Danish society - mostly the usual stuff American liberals cite to illustrate Europe's superiority:
...riding a bike or walking just about everywhere, having lights that go on and off automatically, recycling all glass bottles, drinking tap water, being able to let your baby in its stroller bask in the sun a bit while you go in and pick up a few groceries for tonight's meal, beautiful public spaces, green parks where people enjoy leisure time, high-speed and clean trains [what is with the liberal obsession with trains?], not being obsessed with work to the point that family and leisure are devalued, and, by all accounts, a happiness factor that exceeds ours.
And -- big bonus for a liberal trapped by "the convenience oriented, car-driven culture in suburban Texas" -- Denmark even has an exotic word that captures a concept we dull Americans couldn't have originated (think "feng shui"). "[H]ygge, which translates [as] ‘coziness,' or, more accurately, ‘tranquility,' is a complete absence of anything annoying, irritating, or emotionally overwhelming, and the presence of and pleasure from comforting, gentle and soothing things."
That's cat nip to liberals who dream of being swathed in bubble wrap and bike helmets by the nanny state. And for McKenzie, "This started me wondering why, in the Bible belt, my own life doesn't have as much hygge as the Danes." Her answer: the Danes aren't burdened with all that God baggage.
There is a scene in Hamlet when the prince tells Polonius (the Joe Biden of medieval Denmark) to look after the newly arrived theater troop, making sure they are "well used."
Polonius sniffs, "My lord, I will use them according to their desert."
"God's bodykins, man," snaps Hamlet, "much better: use every man after his desert, and who should 'scape whipping?"
Obviously, Polonius and Hamlet weren't talking about the players' arid, sandy region. "Deserts," despite the old-style spelling meant their "just desserts" or what they were due. Old Polonius, a palace insider, was just reflecting polite society's disdain for actors during Shakespeare's time, telling Hamlet he'd put them up in a style befitting lowly itinerant entertainers. But Hamlet understood that, given the fallen nature of humanity, we need to treat everyone better than they deserve.
Every member of Shakespeare's audience, from a laborer to the queen herself, might have nodded in understanding at that line, accustomed as they were to the concept of original sin.
Here's a story the liberal Hollywood and media establishment should love:
A remote rural community; a beautiful, innocent woman betrayed by her husband, falsely accused of immorality and condemned to horrible death by a cruel male power structure that hides behind religion; her only ally a courageous, dignified older woman who, when she cannot stop the tragedy, bravely determines to tell the world.
If you're an entertainment maven in Los Angeles or New York, what's not to love? Except that it's not set in Puritan New England or contemporary Texas. And the dignified aunt isn't played by Susan Sarandon. The dialogue is mostly in Farsi, so it lacks the southern drawl that helps liberals identify the bad guys.
"The Stoning of Soraya M." is set in an Iranian village in 1986. The woman is the victim of Sharia law. It addresses misogyny, injustice, human rights abuses and narrow religiosity. It is anti-violence and deeply pro-life, in the broadest sense of the term. In short, as The Weekly Standards Stephen F. Hayes wrote, "it is an important film," and it should have received attention from the people who like to think of films as important. But the people who control Hollywood's most prestigious awards ignored it.
Last week, the Culture & Media Institute published a study of The Washington Post's coverage of the legalization of same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia. CMI found overwhelming bias in the Post's reporting during the seven days after gay couples could begin applying for marriage licenses. The celebratory tone of many of the articles was enough to merit charges of bias, but CMI had numbers to back them up.
During an online Q & A on March 15, CMI got the opportunity to ask Post Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli about the biased reporting. Here, in full, are the question and the answer:
Alexandria, VA: In the week after gay marriage was legal, the Post devoted 543 column inches to gay issues. Those stories quoted gay marriage advocates 67 times compared to opponents just 6 times. How can you defend how the Post has handled this story, especially since for all your push for home rule, this decision never even went to the voters who likely would have rejected it.
Marcus Brauchli: The polls don't necessarily support your view that gay marriage would have been rejected by voters (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/06/AR2010020602300.html). But, in any case, the issue of gay marriage crosses a lot of important terrain--civil liberties, religion, local economics, national politics and, yes, home rule. I don't know how you're counting quotes. We quoted many people who were able to marry because of the legal change; it's hard to see how you'd cover a change of this magnitude without talking to the people most affected by the change. I can assure you, though, that we were just as intent on reflecting the views of those who opposed the ideas as we were those who favored it."
Hmmm ... Here's a quick summary of CMI's analysis:
Special C-SPIN Coverage of the Toyota Recall Hearings [Satire]
House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
REP. WALDEN (R-OR.): Secretary LaHood, are Toyotas safe to drive?
SEC. LAHOOD: We believe that the Toyotas listed on our Web site are not safe to drive - unlike the sporty, affordable Chevy Cobalt.
REP. SUTTON (D-OH.): So, you're saying that a woman - a minority woman - driving a Toyota is putting her life at risk?
SEC. LAHOOD: Yes ma'am there is a significant risk of her Toyota accelerating, uh, unwantedly. Now had that woman checked out the surprisingly affordable Buick Enclave ...
REP. DINGELL, (D-Mich.): Mr. Secretary, I want to thank you for your forthright testimony here today, and I'd like to ask you if you think these problems in vehicles built at Southern plants might be the result of negligence of workers who are unhappy? I mean workers whose job security and retirement are in constant jeopardy, and who've been denied the opportunity to collectively bargain? Who lack representation?
SEC. LAHOOD: If you mean to imply, Congressman, that these safety issues wouldn't have occurred in cars built in UAW plants, uh, you're absolutely right. Now, for the union professionals who build the luxurious Cadillac Escalade, there's union quality behind every turn of the wrench.
REP. WALDEN: Now let me ...
SEC. LAHOOD: I'd also like to say that the quality doesn't end at the factory door...
REP. WALDEN: Thank you...
SEC. LAHOOD: ...and it extends to those famous Mr. GoodWrench Mechanics...
Media Research Center President Brent Bozell appeared on FNC's Fox & Friends Feb. 17, to discuss how the networks have covered President Obama's $787 billion stimulus package in the year since its passage.
Using research from MRC's Business & Media Institute, Bozell told cohost Gretchen Carlson that, of 172 stories ABC, CBS and NBC have run on the stimulus, just 90 of them (52 percent) included any criticism of the massive spending program.
Asserting that the media have failed in their responsibility to cover the stimulus, Bozell said, "Remember, the president said very simply - he said we needed $787 billion because we needed to create jobs, jobs, jobs. That's what he said this was all about. He said if we didn't do this, we were going to have - we were going to go from 8 percent unemployment, to 10 percent unemployment."
Holding up for the camera a paper reading "7.7%," Bozell said, "This is where we stood at unemployment when this bill was signed. We spent $787 billion. This is where we stand today." He produced a second paper that read "9.7%."
"So two things are true here," Bozell said. "No. 1: This bill bombed. No. 2: What happened to the $787 billion, and where are the national news media?"
The Business & Media Institute's Dan Gainor appeared on Stuart Varney's Fox Business program on Feb. 12 to discuss a new BMI report about network news coverage of last year's $787 Billion stimulus package. The report found that ABC, CBS and NBC did their best to put a positive spin on the stimulus.
"All three networks were close to 3 to 1 in picking supporters to comment on stories, as opposed to anybody who might be critical," Gainor told Varney.
Asked about the new $15 billion "jobs bill" under consideration in the senate, Gainor told Varney, "Now the problem we've got is that the government solutions the New York Times and, frankly, the network news shows have always been backing, trying to make look good, are all these big government solutions that hire people for government programs. America has one of the highest business taxes on the globe. You fix that problem, and businesses will be able to hire again."
It's always nice to see Hollywood pitch in and do its bit for the nation. In WWII, Tinsel Town mobilized to help defeat the Axis powers. Today, the heirs of that proud tradition are going all out against today's forces of evil - medical insurance companies.
At least, that's the impression fans of Fox's "House M.D." got from the show's Feb.8 episode. Detailing a hectic day in the life of Princeton Plainsboro Hospital Administrator Dr. Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein), three of the episode's four story lines involved insurance.
In one story line, a former patient was suing the hospital for reattaching his severed thumb. The surgeon who had done it explained that, "his insurance only covered 60 percent of his in-patient expenses," so the patient wanted only the least expensive option. The surgeon reattached it anyway. "I wasn't going to let him throw his thumb away over a few dollars." Owing the money for the procedure to the insurance company, the man protested to Cuddy that he was in danger of losing his house.
In another scene, Cuddy was consulting a patient with cancer was convinced that human breast milk was his only cure. When she refused to write him a prescription for it, he accused her of being "some type of shill for the insurance company." He had paid premiums all this life, he said, and never been sick a day, but was now being denied the only thing that would save him. Cuddy assured him her refusal had nothing to do with insurance, and the scene ended.
Only a liberal could imagine that addressing the federal deficit and creating jobs might be mutually exclusive. On MSNBC's Feb. 3 "Morning Joe," Chrystia Freeland of The Financial Times asked Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., whether she agreed with President Obama's stated intention of addressing the deficit next year.
"Senator, we've also heard from the president that next year - in his budget for next year - he is going to be focusing on deficit reduction, and he thinks its gonna be time be worried about that," Freeland said. "Is that too soon? Are you worried that the president should really be focusing right now still on stimulating the economy?"
Stabenow took the cue to launch into anti-Bush boilerplate. "Well we have to be focused on both and it's tough," she said. "I mean this president not only inherited the biggest deficit we've ever had, but the biggest deficit in jobs that we've ever had. We've got over 15 million people without jobs right now - bread winners no longer able to bring in a pay check."
Maybe it’s just happy coincidence. Maybe Hollywood really is taking White House suggestions for its scripts. Or maybe liberal group think has evolved to the point where they don’t just think the same things, they think them at the same time.
Whatever the case, just a day after President Obama’s “surprise announcement” in his State of the Union speech that he intends to overturn the military’s “Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell” policy, the issue surfaced again in prime time. And the inclusion of propaganda in a TV drama was even more incongruous and gratuitous than Obama’s sop to his left wing.
The Jan. 28 episode of Fox’s forensics-based crime drama, “Bones,” centered on the murder of a gay man, and the writers took the opportunity to inject some standard talking points about the inequity of gays being unable to marry and the threat of physical violence from straight men.
Told ya so. When reports first surfaced a few weeks ago that Focus on the Family was planning to run a pro-life ad during the Super Bowl broadcast featuring University of Florida quarter back Tim Tebow, the Culture & Media Institute predicted liberals would be upset.
Like clockwork, an article in the Huffington Post on Jan. 25 reported that "a national coalition of women's groups" that includes the National Organization for Women and the Feminist Majority is demanding that CBS reconsider its plans to run the ad.
Tebow, a Heisman Trophy winner who led the Gators to an NCAA championship, is a famously outspoken Christian noted for wearing Bible verses on his game day eye-black. He is also a walking pro-life story: the Super Bowl ad will relate how Tim's mother, against the advice of doctors, carried him to term in a dangerous pregnancy while on a church mission to the Philippines.
We don’t yet know the outcome of the Jan. 19 Massachusetts Senate special election. But the very fact that the Democrats could lose the seat formerly held by Sen. Ted Kennedy to a conservative who’s made blocking healthcare reform a centerpiece of his campaign, has liberals sputtering implausible explanations.
On Jan. 19, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean and liberal radio host Nancy Skinner appeared on CNBC with Larry Kudlow to discuss the ramifications of the election for healthcare. Both suggested that Democrat Martha Coakley was in danger of losing to Scott Brown is because Democrats hadn’t been liberal enough on health care.
Although he predicted Coakley would hold Brown off, Dean said, “Let me agree with something Larry said (far be it from me to ever do such a thing). But I do think this is clarity – about clarity of message and I think the Democrats haven’t had a clear message.”
The problem, from Dean’s perspective, was that compromise had watered down and complicated the health care bill. “Look at what we’ve done. We’ve passed this health care bill, which has, you know, just been a very messy, ugly process – or we’re about to pass a health care bill,” he said, predicting it would pass with or without a Coakley victory. “The best way to [have a bill that works and can refute GOP arguments] was to pass an extension of Medicare to people below 65. Everybody knows what Medicare is, it’s easy to understand, you don’t have to make deals with the health insurance industry. So this is about clarity of message, and Scott Brown has a clear message and the Democrats don’t.”
Americans love to talk sports. Polite Americans don't talk religion. So when those two things meet, the news media has no idea what to make of it.
Unfortunately for journalists, sports and religion - Christianity in particular - seem to be publicly mingling more often these days. Some star athletes are more outspoken in their faith, while many others regularly find themselves in need of spiritual, if not legal, redemption.
Liberals in the media don't understand religion and religious people, so when they surface on the playing field, the resulting coverage veers wildly from awkwardly respectful to clueless to downright contemptuous.
Fox's Brit Hume caused a firestorm by suggesting on air that Tiger Woods could find "forgiveness and redemption" in Christianity, rather than the casual Buddhism the golfer has said he practices. Woods, whose marriage and career are in melt-down because of his serial infidelities, should "turn to the Christian faith, and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world," Hume said. And in doing so, the former anchorman committed several mortal sins in modern secular America.
Nobody is happier to oblige than ABC News. On Jan. 8, “World News” anchor Diane Sawyer and weatherman Sam Champion worried that the cold weather engulfing much of the world just may be the result of climate change.
With his unconventional pass delivery and a physical style that seems just as comfortable running the ball anyway, some wonder if University of Florida star quarterback Tim Tebow will achieve NFL glory. But football fans just may get to see the story of the Heisman Trophy winner and unapologetic Christian impact the pro sport's biggest game of the year.
Colorado-based conservative group Focus on the Family reportedly may buy a Super Bowl spot for an ad about how Tebow’s mother carried him to term despite a difficult and dangerous pregnancy.
If true, it would be just another example of Tebow annoying the secular left. The quarterback is as famous for wearing Bible passage citations on his game-day eye black as for winning an NCAA championship. As NewsBusters has detailed, that practice – and the faith it symbolizes – is irksome to some commentators.
Thank goodness for the Washington Post. If not for the paper’s Dec. 22 Health & Science section, readers might not know about the myriad “Christmas Perils” they face this time of year. But with its big, color-illustrated article, they’ll be sure to only kiss under the mistletoe, not eat it.
The Post’s Rachel Saslow set up the piece, writing, “Most people picture an idyllic Christmas morning scene: sipping eggnog around the decorated tree while opening gifts from Ma and Pa.” But potential tragedies – severed digits, unpleasant gastro-intestinal episodes, even love handles – lurk on the periphery of this domestic portrait. In Saslow’s words, “Not to be too bah humbug about it, but what if you get sick from that eggnog?”
Indeed. The Post listed several holiday hazards, gave stats about the risks, and ways to prevent them. In the case of that suspect eggnog, the Post admitted, “There are no specific eggnog-related data, but the CDC estimates that one in 50 consumers could be exposed to a contaminated egg each year.” But if you cook the egg, no harm no fowl. So gently heat your eggnog to 160F. And “If you're baking cookies, don't lick the spoon if there are eggs in your batter.”
Got an idealized notion of Christmas? A cherished memory, or a favorite carol or story? The simple smell of pine needles in your living room? Do you insist on celebrating the birth of the savior?
If so, you’re at war, like it or not.
The main war on Christmas – we’ll call it the conventional war – has been well-documented, and it goes on, with victories and defeats for both sides. In Loudoun County, Va. on Dec. 1, the Board of Supervisors reversed a ban on religious holiday displays on the courthouse lawn. (The one supervisor who voted “no” said, “I am concerned that this motion would turn the courthouse grounds into a public circus.”) Meanwhile, in Arizona, public school children remain unable to use Christmas themes when decorating ornaments for the Capitol Christmas tree.
There is plenty to report from the conventional front. But there are other fronts. There is the sexualization of the holiday, either in service to commercialism or out of the lefty arts community’s desire to be “transgressive” (read, vile and offensive). And there are the attempts squash the mysteries and magic that accompany even a traditional secular Christmas.
So from “living” lingerie mannequins to Frosty’s “porn collection,” and from the lies you tell about Santa to our president’s “non-religious” observance, here are some dispatches from the war on Christmas, 2009.