A forthcoming PBS documentary reviewing the Jayson Blair plagiarism scandal at The New York Times will feature the Latina reporter who exposed Blair to complain that the scandal that followed “gave people permission” to stop focusing on newsroom diversity.
Tim Molloy of The Wrap reports Macarena Hernandez “said that as newspapers have suffered financially, there has been far less emphasis on hiring people of color — because of the prejudicial belief that Blair’s case discredits all efforts at making newsrooms look like the communities they serve.” But will PBS ignore the role of race in Blair’s rapid ascent at the Times?
Surprise! The Washington Post on Wednesday profiled two young female pro-life activists on the front of the Style section. Not a surprise? The headline: “Antiabortion forces’ rising young stars.” Reporter Krissah Thompson wrote “Kristan Hawkins, 28, and Lila Rose, 25, are central players in the antiabortion movement’s resurgence.”
In the same corner of the front page yesterday, the Post oozed all over Gloria Steinem without a single opposing word. (Or consider past 100-percent goo for Planned Parenthood boss Cecile Richards.) The profile on Hawkins and Rose was heavily dosed with abortion advocates denouncing them as unethical or extreme.
Gloria Steinem's almost 80, and The Washington Post never tires of boosting her as one of the greatest Americans walking the planet. On the front of the Style section on Tuesday, former Post reporter Annie Groer freelanced from the Jaipur Literary Festival in India to promote how "Steinem goes back to her activist roots."
The Post thinks Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann are fringy weirdos, but think nothing of Steinem telling a bunch of Indians that we're all oppressed by gender pronouns like "he" and "she." To the Post, Steinem is "eloquent" when she speaks, a "vocal commander" for the underprivileged (if you leave the "fetuses" out):
Rachel Martin, anchor of NPR’s “Weekend Edition Sunday” rocked her Sunday morning six weeks ago by hailing the religion-bashing punks of Bad Religion deconstructing religious Christmas carols like a "Monty Python skit." On this Sunday, Martin hailed “Laura Jane Grace, transgendered punk,” the lead singer of the band Against Me!
NPR wasn’t really as “progressive” as they could have been on this story, since their in-house transcript calls half the lyrics they played as “(unintelligible)” and then cut out the God part of the song “True Trans Soul Rebel,” and did not mention the song’s title. They also neglected to discuss the new album tracks "F--kmylife666" and "Osama Bin Laden As The Crucified Christ." (Congratulations, taxpayers.) This was the "Trans Soul Rebel" presentation:
The Washington Post celebrated Martin Luther King Day on Monday by publishing an op-ed on the front page of the Style section by Joshua DuBois -- President Obama's first-term adviser on faith-based initiatives -- that explicitly compared Obama to MLK.
"Lessons from King for Obama's travails," read the headline inside the paper next to pictures of MLK and Obama. Somehow, the fight against Bull Connor and the fight against the Tea Party get merged and blurred together:
“Wetlands” is no longer a boring word used primarily by environmentalists. It’s the title of a smutty movie premiering at the Sundance film festival.
“Perhaps the most sexually explicit and audacious film to hit Sundance this year, Wetlands is a German-language coming-of-age drama about a young woman with an unhealthy and fetishistic obsession with certain body parts (and bodily fluids),” according to The Hollywood Reporter, “mostly as a result of her reaction to her parents’ divorce.” The film stars Swiss newcomer Carla Juri. Warning: graphic plot details follow.
Film executive Harvey Weinstein said Wednesday he plans to make an anti-gun movie starring Meryl Streep that will take a direct shot at the National Rifle Association. “We’re going to take this issue head on, and they’re going to wish they weren’t alive after I’m done with them,” Weinstein said on Howard Stern’s satellite radio show.
A cynic about Weinstein starts with this question: Is Harvey picking another fight with conservatives as a strategy to woo Oscar voters for his nominated film “Philomena”? He struck out at the Golden Globes.
Signs it’s going to be a very tired week in the “humor” column of the Sunday Washington Post Magazine? When it starts with “Memo From: God. Re: Gay people.”
Post humorist Gene Weingarten is a godless man, so the idea that he can speak for God is for him like putting on a Bullwinkle the Moose costume. But there he goes, off to mock “Duck Dynasty” and Sarah Palin:
On the cover of the latest Esquire magazine is this quote from ESPN host Keith Olbermann: "I’ve never fought the word genius when people have said that about me." In a "What I've Learned" interview, Olbermann added, "But what it is is instinct and a set of skills that are working so fast you don’t know they’re working."
Keith also declared "I have a leafy brain, according to the theory of the leafy brain. I associate things that many people never put together." This sounds like someone's brain on leaves...and a lighter.
Why do national reporters do such a transparently inaccurate (and insensitive) job of assessing terrorist attacks on President Obama's watch? On the front page of Saturday's Washington Post, reporter Scott Wilson spun furiously to avoid the obvious fact that candidate Obama's promises and President Obama's record on the War on Terror are remarkably at odds.
Worse yet, Wilson insisted that only the Boston Marathon bombings (death toll: three) counts as a "successful mass terrorist attack on Obama's watch," which completely avoids the mass shooting at Ford Hood by an Islamic radical (death toll: 13), which is often ridiculously categorized as workplace violence:
A Nexis search suggests the entirety of the Laura Bush 60th birthday coverage in The Washington Post for November 4, 2006 and the surrounding week was one paragraph in the Style section on how Bush "left the campaign trail yesterday in time to celebrate his wife's 60th birthday at the family ranch in Texas. Our colleague Peter Baker reports that the president gave Laura Bush a triple-strand, amber-colored citrine necklace. The low-key dinner included family friends Lois and Roland Betts, Regan and Billy Gammon, Debbie and Jim Francis, and Nancy and Mike Weiss."
In Saturday's Washington Post, the front page of the Style is dominated by "A Tale of Two 50s," an article by Karen Tumulty on Michelle Obama's 50th birthday -- and Hillary Clinton's 50th in 1997. So you're not supposed to believe that charge that The Washington Post is a Democratic rag. Tumulty suggested Michelle "rocked it" better than Mrs. Clinton:
You’ll have to forgive the delay on this item, but perhaps it was best to get a polite distance from the Christmas season before we review how “War on Christmas” books make some liberals lose their marbles.
On December 18 at his usual Internet haunt, TheStranger.com, Dan Savage posted his failed attempt to review Sarah Palin’s book “Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas.” He didn’t actually read it. His anger management issues were too strong, and he reported he kept flinging the book across the room. (Warning: graphic language and hate speech ahead).
On Monday’s All Things Considered, NPR media reporter David Folkenflik drew this unintentionally hilarious sentence out of NBC executive Alexandra Wallace: “Our job is to report on what's going on in the world. We're not activists. We're observers and analysts.”
Folkenflik’s story pressed on NBC News from the left, that they must campaign against Russian repression before, during, and after the Olympics. NBC protested they'd been interviewing gay athletes like Billie Jean King and Brian Boitano and letting them express their joy at being picked by Obama to represent the U.S. delegation. Russian gay lobbyist Konstantin Yablotskiy represented the Russian leftists:
On November 4, 2006, The New York Times noticed Laura Bush’s 60th birthday at the very end of a 1,000-word story on GOP campaigns on page A-6: “Mr. Bush's campaigning has been unusually light for a sitting president, and he heads to his Texas ranch on Saturday night to celebrate the 60th birthday of his wife, Laura Bush.” That's 31 words.
On January 17, The New York Times noticed Michelle Obama’s 50th birthday with a a huge color photograph on the top of the front page with the headline “A First Lady at 50, Finding Her Own Path.” Jennifer Steinhauer’s copy was so oozy about Michelle it felt like a slug was crawling across the newsprint:
The nightly Fox-bashers at Comedy Central unsurprisingly booked liberal author Gabriel Sherman for a five-minute interview to discuss his Roger Ailes book “The Loudest Voice in the Room” at the very end of “The Colbert Report” on Wednesday night.
Displaying the usual hypocrisy of media liberals, completely satirical conservative Colbert lectured Sherman that he really shouldn’t have spent so much time on his research, since he should have learned from Fox News that you decide what your story is and "only talk to the people who support it." How many thousands of liberal media reports have we witnessed where the only people cited are liberals, and they don't even have the honesty to call themselves liberals? (Video below)
Ryan Faughnder of The Los Angeles Times cracked: “Want to have lunch with Arianna Huffington and learn why success should mean more than money and power? It'll only cost a thousand dollars.”
Huffington and MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski are headlining a motivational speaking tour called “Third Metric Live.” Tickets start at $300 for the events that will take place in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles this spring. VIP tickets will go for $400, while a private reception and lunch with the two hosts will cost $1,000. Occupy tents are not included.
The New York Times spent months debating before deciding not to ban the term “illegal immigrant” entirely (it’s simply discouraged), but the word “fetus” is used without any alarm. At the top of page A-14 on Wednesday is the headline “Suing to End Life Support for Woman and Fetus.”
It’s an update on the sad story of Marlise Munoz, who is on life support and whose family wants her and her baby removed from life support. The F-bomb (to pro-life people) was dropped three times in the Manny Fernandez story, in addition to the headline:
Tuesday’s Washington Post Express tabloid went gooey three days early for Michelle Obama’s birthday. “FLOTUS at 50,” they touted on the cover page. Inside, the headline on the article was “A First Lady for the Ages.” All it was lacking was a smiley-faced emoticon.
The article was recycled from the Sunday Outlook section, where former Post fashion reporter Robin Givhan tried to “correct” five “myths” about Mrs. Obama – except they only ran three, leaving out the least persuasive one, number four -- "She hates Princeton" -- based on Michelle’s Princeton term-paper lamentations of being treated "like a visitor" by the white students and professors.
Just how big a jerk is former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller? Enough of a jerk that he’d write a column scolding a cancer patient that his father-in-law had more class when he died with dignity in Britain, as opposed to her fighting away, in real life and on Twitter, with “the frantic medical trench warfare that often makes an expensive misery of death in America.”
He pulled himself into this unseemly fight after his wife Emma Gilbey Keller attacked cancer patient Lisa Bonchek Adams in a column in the left-wing British newspaper The Guardian.
Jill Lepore at The New Yorker magazine took on the new book on Roger Ailes by comparing Ailes to William Randolph Hearst. This is odd, since Hearst’s actual tycoon character at Fox would be Rupert Murdoch, not Ailes.
In one classic paragraph, Lepore explained that urbane liberals shouldn’t be so lazy as to despise Ailes (as they did Hearst) when they should really loathe “the vulgarity and the prejudices” of the lower-class Fox News audience that Ailes attracts:
In 2009, Jacob Weisberg argued “The Australian-British-continental model of politicized media that Murdoch has applied at Fox is un-American.” This makes him a natural choice for The New York Times in picking a reviewer for Gabriel Sherman’s new anti-Roger Ailes biography “Loudest Voice in the Room.”
In Weisberg’s opinion, instead of helping the GOP defeat Obama, “Ailes effectively sabotaged them by giving unlimited airtime to fringe figures like Rick Santorum, Sarah Palin and Herman Cain during primary season. Having weathered this freak show through the primaries, Mitt Romney couldn’t shake the Fox News taint.” Times media columnist David Carr wrote almost exactly the same thing about the “fringy” conservatives:
Former Gov. Sarah Palin granted an interview to Mario Lopez of the TV show “Extra” to promote her new TV series on The Sportsman Channel. Lopez asked about Katie Couric’s failed afternoon talk show. The subject turned to Katie Couric, who earned a passel of journalism awards for hammering Palin in an interview during the 2008 campaign, while she threw softballs at Joe Biden.
Lopez asked: “Do you believe in karma?” Palin replied: “I certainly believe that what goes around comes around... I remember getting a couple of texts that said things like, 'Oh sorry that it didn’t work out there at CBS or ABC.”
The website Box Office Mojo reports the Afghanistan war movie “Lone Survivor” opened to an estimated $38.5 million this weekend, which is second all-time in January behind 2008's sci-fi monster film “Cloverfield.”
On Friday afternoon, CNN anchor Jake Tapper interviewed the “lone survivor” of the title, Marcus Luttrell, and actor Mark Wahlberg, who plays him in the movie. Luttrell reacted strongly to Tapper’s suggestion that after watching the movie, he felt the mission that cost him his friends seemed hopeless: [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The Los Angeles Times reports that the Comcast-owned Weather Channel is starting to play hardball over demanding higher fees to air on the DirecTV satellite TV system.
Everyone needs their weather news to stay safe, they argue, so DirecTV is threatening public safety by not knuckling under. They're even pressing DirecTV viewers to write Congress and insure Comcast gets more profits for this "critical public safety resource," like your local TV station doesn't cover the weather:
Billionaires who back conservative Republicans are trashed on NPR when they die as “scathing TV ad” backers. But what about a black radical who wrote a poem blaming 9-11 on Israel and implying America was evil and terrorist? On Thursday night's "All Things Considered," NPR began by calling him “one of America's most important — and controversial — literary figures,” under the headline “Amiri Baraka's Legacy Both Controversial And Achingly Beautiful.”
The man’s invented Muslim name was Amiri Baraka (formerly LeRoi Jones). He was the poet laureate of New Jersey in 2002, but they abolished that honorary office after his poem. NPR cultural correspondent Neda Ulaby found his most controversial work wasn’t too negative, it was “complicated.”
One reason commercial liberal talk radio’s never quite succeeded is that NPR is a network with liberal hosts, liberal guests, and liberal callers. This perfect storm of unanimity displayed itself on Thursday’s Diane Rehm Show, when they discussed the push for more gun control. There were no guests from the NRA, just moderate Richard Feldman, who wrote a book about his “confessions of a gun lobbyist.”
On the other hand, Rehm brought on Mark Kelly, the astronaut husband of disabled ex-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords to talk up his new gun-control group, as well as an anti-gun New York Times reporter and Ladd Everitt, communications director for the liberal Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. A caller named Bill joined the show to trash NRA president Wayne LaPierre as a draft dodger, and Everitt joined in to make the same accusation of NRA board member Ted Nugent:
Time assisant managing editor Rana Foroohar is clearly a mouth-breathing fangirl of Janet Yellen, the new chair of the Fed. Liberal women have obviously bonded.
In the January 13 edition of Time, Foroohar began her Yellen profile with goo: "When the right person is holding the right job at the right moment, that person’s influence is greatly expanded. That is the position in which Janet Yellen, who is expected to be confirmed as the next chair of the Federal Reserve bank in January, now finds herself."
Surely nothing grates on a Republican watching TV news than Chuck Todd's "Bridgegate" chiding of Gov. Chris Christie: "This is, you know, welcome to the NFL...welcome to the vetting process. Now that he's essentially shown interest in being a presidential candidate, this is what life is like. This is what happens when the bright lights start burning."
In this NFL analogy, does that mean Christie is a player and the media are referees? Or does it mean Christie is a player and the journalists are the opposing team, working to tackle him and take him out of the game? On Monday night, during the BCS college football championship, Todd chided the referees for "inserting themselves into the game." I couldn't resist comparing that to "referees" in our election process:
Kudos to the Washington Post's Express tabloid, which on Friday published a gripping story from Associated Press by Didi Tang headlined "The Perils of Pregnancy In China." It described how China's communist government still carries out a one-child policy with late-term abortions that are supposed to be banned.
The text box in the Post tabloid came from once-expectant mother Gong Qifeng, who said "It was the pain of my lifetime, worse than the pain of a delivering a child. You cannot describe it." AP's Tang wrote a gripping account.