Payton Hoegh at CNSNews.com captured an odd Easter weekend occurrence outside Walter Reed. Here's a story you won't see in the Washington Post: the hula-hooping Easter death bunny.
With temperatures dropping into the low 30s, Easter weekend felt more like Christmas in the nation's capital, and with anti-war protestors dressing in creepy costumes, it looked more like Halloween to some critics, too. CodePink, Veterans for Peace and other anti-war groups have been holding demonstrations outside Walter Reed Hospital for almost two years.
Outside the hospital over Easter, one protestor wore a black outfit with a skull and cross-bones emblazoned on his chest and a pair of pink bunny ears on his head. Adding to the creepiness, the bunny was hula-hooping next to his peace sign.
One positive result of the Don Imus imbroglio is a renewed focus on degrading, obscene, sexist, violence-endorsing rap music. Brent Bozell's entertainment columns offer a road map for anyone seeking a refresher course on nasty rap-music controversies over the last four years. Don't miss how media people (like, oops, NBC's Matt Lauer) make excuses for rappers:
In raising her two daughters, [Washington Post writer Lonnae O'Neal] Parker had one very definitive image in mind capturing what’s wrong with today’s dominant trend in hip hop. At the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards, rappers Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent added pomp to the song "P.I.M.P." by featuring black women on leashes being walked onstage. This past August, she added, MTV-2 aired an episode of the cartoon "Where My Dogs At," which had Snoop Dogg again leading two black bikini-clad women around on leashes. She explained: "They squatted on their hands and knees, scratched themselves and defecated. The president of the network, a black woman, defended this as satire."
This is unfortunate timing, no? Deirdre Imus, the wife of ex-MSNBC personality Don Imus, is featured in a symposium on page 92 in this week's Newsweek lecturing to evangelicals that they shouldn't be behind the curve on global warming the way they were on civil rights for blacks in the 1960s:
Environmentalism is the civil-rights issue of the 21st century, and one doesn't have to look too far back to see that evangelicals sat on their hands when it came to civil rights for blacks. I refuse to sit on my hands and allow the evangelical heritage to be sullied again, because the very reputation of the evangelical witness is at stake. It's crucial that we not make the mistake of our fathers.
Who is happier today at Don Imus removed from MSNBC than Hillary Clinton? Who else at MSNBC would be as harshly critical of Hillary as Imus? Without Imus, Hillary's path to the White House will be smoother. This might explain why some of the Hillary-founded left-wing media-watchdogging clones were so fierce in taking Imus down. Over the last two days, The Washington Post has pulled out the harsh anti-Hillary quotes to demonstrate why she's smiling today.
On Thursday's Federal Page, columnist Lois Romano reported Hillary sent an e-letter to supporters denouncing Imus for "nothing more than small-minded bigotry and coarse sexism" on his show:
Clinton said on Tuesday that she has never appeared on Imus's morning show and never wanted to. Who is surprised? Imus once referred to her as "that buck-toothed witch, Satan" and said she was "worse than" Osama bin Laden. He did pull that last one back, adding, "Well, that's a little strong."
Sometimes, TV news stars have very short historical memories. Take Harry Smith, host of The Early Show on CBS. In Wednesday's "Capital Bob" segment with Bob Schieffer, Smith suggested the squabbling between the White House and Congress is at an all-time low in togetherness. He wondered if at any time in "recent history" there's been such a desperate impasse. Earth to Harry: remember the Bill Clinton impeachment of 1998?
You had to at least smile that Smith would suggest that Bob Schieffer's experienced much more than merely "recent history" in his long career at CBS:
SMITH: Well, let's talk about this a little bit, because the White House, you know, pulled no punches last week when Nancy Pelosi went to the Middle East. I mean, they were absolutely incensed by this. In your time in Washington, in recent history anyway, have you ever seen a situation where the legislative branch and the executive branch seemed to be so at odds?
On the Imus vs. Rappers front, MTV News reports that rap star Snoop Dogg has issued a new "warning" to the public: Don't dare to compare his lyrics — or any other MC's — to Don Imus and his recent racially inflammatory comments. MTV says "the Dogg" found there is no parallel. The Rutgers women Imus ridiculed were a success story, while the women he knocks in his music are "ho's that's in the hood that ain't doing sh--."
MTV transmitted a long, profane self-defense Snoop offered in a phone interview:
"It's a completely different scenario," said Snoop, barking over the phone from a hotel room in L.A. "[Rappers] are not talking about no collegiate basketball girls who have made it to the next level in education and sports. We're talking about ho's that's in the 'hood that ain't doing sh--, that's trying to get a n---a for his money. These are two separate things. First of all, we ain't no old-ass white men that sit up on MSNBC [the cable network home to Imus] going hard on black girls. We are rappers that have these songs coming from our minds and our souls that are relevant to what we feel. I will not let them mutha-----as say we in the same league as him."
On the heels of last year's "documentary" by Gabriel Range concocting an assassination of President Bush in "Death of A President," Bill Hutchinson of the New York Daily News reported a new play in the Big Apple that also treads along the Bush-assassination theme. The playwright's thinly disguised Bush-resembling fictional president gets "whacked like Julius Caesar by a confidant."
A FAMED CITY theater group is inviting controversy by staging a play in which a character thinly veiled as President Bush gets assassinated. "President and Man" begins a five-day run at The Duke on 42nd St. tonight as one of eight one-act plays staged by the Naked Angels Theater Company, whose members include Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick. Conservatives are already panning it as another sick liberal jab at the President.
Tuesday’s New York Times played up the big Monday rally against America in Najaf. The online headline hyped: “Huge Protest In Iraq Demands America Withdraw.” The front page of Tuesday’s Times was milder: “Protest In Iraq, Called By Cleric, Demands U.S. Go,” and that “Thousands Support Sadr.”
Reporter Edward Wong began: “Tens of thousands of protesters loyal to Moktada al-Sadr, the Shiite cleric, took to the streets of the holy city of Najaf on Monday in an extraordinarily disciplined rally to demand an end to the American military presence in Iraq, burning American flags and chanting ‘Death to America!’”
Redstate.com reported the U.S. military estimated a crowd of 5,000 to 7,000, but media accounts routinely stated “tens of thousands” rallied, which would imply at least two tens, or 20,000 protesters. Wong mentioned the various estimates in paragraph 20, but disagreed with the military estimate:
On a Monday morning discussion on Nancy Pelosi’s Syrian misadventure, NPR talk show host Diane Rehm sneered at the idea of a "so-called liberal press" when some national newspapers were harshly critical of Pelosi’s bungled remarks abroad. (It's about nine minutes into the show if you want to hear the audio.) She asked her guest John Podesta, the former chief of staff to Bill Clinton:
REHM: John, as you well know, there’s been a great deal of criticism about the so-called "liberal press." How do you account for the fact that so many newspapers as cited here this morning came out very critically against Nancy Pelosi?
PODESTA: Well, I don’t know that you know, the Washington Post editorial page, let alone the Wall Street Journal editorial page, I would characterize, particularly on the Middle East, as being liberal.
Are people who applaud black ministers of hate really in the best position to demand that others be fired for racial insensitivity? The National Association of Black Journalists is one of the primary groups demanding the ouster of Don Imus for his ridiculous "nappy-headed hos" remark about the Rutgers women's basketball team. NABJ leader Bryan Monroe was present for Al Sharpton's radio show, and the group is promoting the fireworks on their site.
But the NABJ can't proclaim they're a force for racial harmony and understanding when they gave Al Sharpton a platform at last year's NABJ convention. Not only that, but at the NABJ convention on August 21, 1996, the group drew headlines for welcoming Rev. Louis Farrakhan (of Judaism is a "gutter religion" fame) to denounce them as scared-to-death slaves of Whitey:
Johnny Hart, the wildly successful comic-strip artist of "B.C." and "The Wizard of Id" has died at his drawing board at 76. (We should add the tiny footnote that Hart was a three-time judge of the MRC’s "Best of Notable Quotables" in the mid-1990s.) In his Monday obituary in the Washington Post, Adam Bernstein noted Hart’s success, but focused like a laser beam on how Hart’s religion-themed strips were sometimes censored by the Post and other newspapers with "insensitive and at times offensive themes."
The Post story did not note that often liberal editors perceived the mere expression of Hart's Christianity as offensive, that somehow religion didn't belong in cartoons, even as liberal newspapers used Christian themes against Christians. In 1996, we noted how Hart's strips were pulled for "religious overtones," and how that compared to other images of Christianity in those papers:
The Associated Press reported rallies celebrating the fourth anniversary of the liberation of Iraq from Saddam Hussein -- without ever mentioning Saddam Hussein. Lauren Frayer's article makes it sound like the American forces deposed a city, not a dictator: "Tens of thousands marched through the streets of two Shiite holy cities Monday to mark the fourth anniversary of Baghdad's fall." Nowhere in the article is Saddam even mentioned. The headline was also "Rally marks anniversary of Baghdad's fall."
The reader quickly learns the rallies were organized by Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army as an anti-American event, which would explain why it broke through the media's resistance to hopeful-sounding news:
Brian Fitzpatrick of the MRC's Culture and Media Institute has compiled a handy road map showing Americans all the sights where the media have unloaded truckloads of doubt about Christianity during the weeks leading up to Easter. It's called "The Easter 'Hit' Parade." For example:
A History Channel program scheduled for Easter Sunday will question whether the Bible is God’s complete revelation to mankind.
The current – Holy Week – issue of Newsweek teases readers with the headline “Is God Real?,” and features a debate between a prominent evangelical pastor and an outspoken atheist.
An April 3 New York Times article dismisses the story of Moses parting the Red Sea as a “myth.”
Time magazine's Rita Healy has a profile this week on Tim Gill, who made a fortune with Quark desktop software and now heads the Gill Foundation, a major moneybag on the gay left. Time doesn't use the word "left" or "liberal" in the entire article. Instead, Gill is favorably cast as fighting for justice and equality: "Impatient with the lack of gay rights progress this past decade, Gill is pushing hard to end injustice and inequality by the end of the next decade."
Healy reports that this gay mogul has been a powerful backer of Democrats. His foundation "has invested $110 million nationwide in gay causes over the past decade. The Gill Action Fund threw $15 million into a dozen states during the 2006 midterm elections, targeting 70 politicians regarded as unhelpful to gay causes: 50 went down." Gill helped elect Democratic Sen. Ken Salazar in Colorado. Healy explained "The money is not always filtered through political parties, although much goes to Democrats. Almost all goes to tax-exempt 527 political organizations." None of them are apparently to be described as "liberal" groups.
So much for Easter joy. The Washington Post today publicized how liberals and leftists will use Monday’s traditional White House Easter Egg Roll as another excuse for politicized protest. Sprawled across the top of Friday’s Metro section was a story headlined "The Family-Friendly Easter Bomb Hunt."
Reporter Sue Anne Pressley Montes explained that across the street from the president’s home, children will look for fake cluster-bombs and learn of the evil America does by manufacturing cluster bombs. The story carried all the typical marks of a lightly reworked press release. There were no liberal labels in the story for the "peace groups" assembling, and no conservatives were quoted for balance. There was a reference to "right-wing" Internet threats. The story began:
Over at the liberal website Slate.com, Jack Shafer mocks former ABC personage Ted Koppel his latest commentary for National Public Radio on Iran's British hostages, claiming "If history is any guide, Iran may wait until Tony Blair's tenure as prime minister comes to an end in a few months." Oops. Shafer also finds the subject of Iran is too close for Koppel to ignore himself:
Is there a more pompous egomaniac purring on the airwaves today than Ted Koppel?
Two days ago, the bouffanted one filed a commentary piece on NPR pegged to the seizure of 15 British sailors and marines by the Iranians. For self-obsessives like Koppel, all journalism is autobiography, so the story doesn't seem new to him. Instead, it echoes the hostage-taking of American diplomats 28 years ago in Tehran because, as Koppel doesn't have to remind listeners, it was the news event that started the show America Held Hostage that became Nightline and made his career!
Usually, media coverage comparisons of Newt Gingrich and Nancy Pelosi take place across about twelve years, from Gingrich's rise in 1995 to Pelosi's new job in 2007. But Friday's Washington Post makes it all contemporary on the front page of the Style section. At the top, Jose Antonio Vargas whacked Gingrich as he apologized in a YouTube video for his recent remarks "equating bilingual education with 'the language of living in a ghetto.'"
At the bottom of the page came the latest in a series of print high-fives for Pelosi from Post fashion critic Robin Givhan, who insisted the scarves Pelosi used to cover her hair in Syria were fabulous. Over a large photo of Pelosi with head scarf, the headline read "Nancy Pelosi, Respectfully Maintaining Her Own Image."
One frustrating thing about the Washington Post is you can't really throw out any section of the paper before scanning it for liberal bias. Take Thursday's Home section, newly redesigned. The big feature is by Sally Quinn, the wife of longtime Post executive editor Ben Bradlee. Her liberalism seeps in as she recalls her favorite household objects. In a photo on the section's front page, she points to her desk, bought in Newport, Rhode Island: "I was on assignment there the day that Jerry Ford pardoned Nixon. I was so distraught I couldn't work, so I went shopping."
Inside Home, she shows another picture of a household favorite in a frame: "The most fun thing, though, is in the adjacent powder room. It is a copy of notes taken by H.R. Haldeman as dictated by Richard Nixon. It reads: 'Never invite Sally Quinn. Violated the rules and attacked a guest at church.'"
ABC News, the outfit stuffed with people who proclaimed their need to "puke" when George W. Bush was allowed to speak ill of John Kerry in presidential debates in 2004, is still betraying their bitterness. In an article on Bush using a recess appointment to make Samuel Fox the Ambassador to Belgium, reporter Tahman Bradley explained on the ABC News website:
Kerry and Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., led Senate Democrats' opposition to Fox, who in 2004 contributed $50,000 to the slanderous Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which used a series of television ads to undermine Kerry's combat record.
The headline was "Bush Swift Boats Belgium, Congress." That is a nonsense headline, unless we bow to ABC's affinity for liberal lingo, which has now tried to make "swift-boating" a verb, much like the conservative term "Borking." That would seem to be an improvement. As Greg Pollowitz noted at NRO's Media Blog, the original home page link was "Major Donor to 'Swift Boat' Smear Ads Is Made An Ambassador" (Emphasis Greg's). It now echoes the "Bush Swift Boats" line.
National Review's Jonah Goldberg knocked Rosie O'Donnell Wednesday in an article titled "Queen of Nice? Try Nuts."
The former “queen of nice” seems to think that the show [The View] is the perfect venue to audition as grand marshal for the next tinfoil hat parade. And if you visit O’Donnell’s website, you’ll find her application’s supporting materials: all sorts of unadulterated moonbattery presented in the Esperanto of global derangement — a form of instant-message-style free verse.
Multichannel News reports that Robert Redford's putting his politics where his money is, producing an environmental propaganda offensive on his Sundance Channel on cable. It's called "The Green." Viewers can download an "eco-tips" guide that offers suggestions on "pro-environment" lifestyle changes consumers can make.
Redford also filmed customized public-service announcements for affiliates that have agreed to host The Green material on their broadband portals. Participants include Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Bright House Networks and DirecTV.
The effort is supported on air with a weekly programming block that will debut April 17. The lead-off program is Big Ideas for a Small Planet, a 13-episode series on lifestyle areas in which individuals can make a difference. For instance, an episode titled "Drive" will discuss hybrid and electric cars.
In TV personnel moves, Howard Kurtz reports CNN has dumped its American Morning anchors Miles O'Brien and Soledad O'Brien (not related or married) for former Dan Rather heir apparent John Roberts and former Fox & Friends regular Kiran Chetry. (The Post also reported CNN anchor Paula Zahn is calling it quits on her 20-year marriage.)
Jim Benson in Broadcasting & Cable magazine reports that Rosie O'Donnell is saying she will decide in May whether to stay with ABC's crew on "The View" or cash in: "word comes that she is in negotiations about a potentially rich overall studio deal," and her asking price is "believed to be $40 million annually." He adds: "With O'Donnell's View contract ending in June, and recent boycott threats against Disney and ABC over her Sept. 11 conspiracy theories, rumors about her future plans are flying."
The redesigned Time magazine is lending itself to selling the letters and quotes that are pleasing to liberals. In the Inbox section, letters praising Al Gore and Caroline Kennedy are in bold letters, as is a letter demanding Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should have been canned along with Donald Rumsfeld when CBS broke open Abu Ghraib in 2004. In the Verbatim section, only two quotes were in bold type: from Elizabeth Edwards and Bush-bashing Sean Penn.
Next to a picture of Al Gore came the bolded letter: "Whatever Al Gore's electric bill is, he has alerted the public to global warming. Gore doesn't have to live in a cardboard box to be right on this issue." -- Bruce Rider, Grapevine, Texas.
A caption underneath the picture and letter pitches Gore as a "leading light of environmentalism."
One sign that a news outlet is liberal is how they can find nothing controversial in peace protests by long-time avant-garde hippies like Yoko Ono, the widow of John Lennon. The Washington Post greeted her latest publicity stunt in DC with an honorific article on the front page of the Style section headlined "Yoko Ono's Peaceful Message Takes Root." Jessica Dawson didn't mention how this alleged peacemaker caused the War Among the Beatles that broke up the band. Dawson could only produce awe for her celebrity and for her care for all humanity: "Yes, that was Yoko Ono whispering into the bark of a cherry tree at the Tidal Basin yesterday morning. The artist, performer and widow of John Lennon visited Washington on Sunday and Monday to bring her 'Imagine Peace' project to the city."
Ono encouraged public participation in art by having people write their wishes on a piece of paper and tie it to one of her peace trees. How scribbling a wish on paper is "art" is anyone's guess. Is it art if you bring your calligraphy pen? The Post account continued this press release for peace:
Over at Opinion Journal, Mark Lasswell has an article about how ABC seems to be competing with The Daily Show for political comedy, at least when George Stephanopoulos talks about U.S. Attorney firings:
How else to explain those hilarious skits when Chief Washington Correspondent George Stephanopoulos reports on the brouhaha over the Justice Department's firing of eight U.S. attorneys while the proverbial elephant in the room is lurking just off-camera?
Mr. Stephanopoulos doesn't mention his own valuable expertise on the subject of fired federal prosecutors, the kind of expertise that might help place the current mess in context. Mr. Stephanopoulos was the Clinton White House communications director in 1993 when the Justice Department cleaned its slate of all 93 U.S. attorneys, and he was central to the administration's finessing of the episode--just the sort of insider experience, presumably, that prompted ABC News to hire Mr. Stephanopoulos fresh out of the White House in 1996.
Conservative college journalism students might want to consider a summer internship with Katie Couric and the CBS "Evening News." Aspiring journalists are invited to submit print or video entries bringing a local perspective to a global issue. CBS lists three categories: climate change, "social entrepreneurs," and Iraq War veterans. Will the most compelling presentation of liberal bias win the internship, or could a conservative effort start someone's career? You'll be able to see the results online. The online ad (with a big pic of Katie) says:
Launch your journalism career -- while earning course credit -- with this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work directly with Katie Couric and the staff of CBS News. It's all part of SPRINGBOARD, an exciting new journalism program sponsored by CBS News and U-Wire.
SPRINGBOARD invites aspiring print and broadcast journalists to provide a unique local perspective to a global topic, and submit the print or video result for consideration by the journalists of CBSNews.com and CBS News. We'll post the best submissions online, and award one entrant with a summer internship at CBS News in New York City.
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) began its spring season of announcing its annual GLAAD Media Awards for pro-gay journalism last week at the Marriott Marquis in New York (thanks in part to 100 donors, including "Platinum Underwriter" Time Warner). Other ceremonies will follow in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Miami, but the bulk of their awards were celebrated in New York. Among the big winners: Rosie O'Donnell for her "All Aboard!" HBO documentary touting her gay and lesbian family cruise. She was there to accept the award with filmmaker Shari Cookson, and gave a nod to tennis legend Billie Jean King, subject of another nominated documentary, saying "if it hadn't been for Billie Jean King, there wouldn't have been a gay movement."
Also honored in the awards, offered to journalists and entertainers GLAAD thought were "fair, accurate, inclusive, and impossibly glam," were the Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, ABC's "Nightline," and especially The New York Times, which won three.
Via Greg Pollowitz at NRO's Media Blog, let us reflect on the National Organization for Women issuing a report finding deeply ingrained sexism in the coverage of Hillary Rodham Clinton. The NOW gang resents candidate profiles "that trivialize female politicians by focusing on their clothing, hair, or taste in home décor, and those that position gender as her most important characteristic, playing on gender stereotypes in order to call into question her ability to provide strong, effective leadership."
Let's take the second complaint first. Since when has NOW -- which even endorsed the hapless Carol Moseley Braun for president in the 2004 cycle when she had as much chance of being elected president as write-ins like Ryan Seacrest did -- ever failed to position gender as a woman's "most important characteristic" when deciding between liberal candidates? (We understand they would never vote for Phyllis Schlafly.)
With the Democrats back in
power, network anchors are dwelling lovingly on congressional hearings
now with liberal stars like Al Gore and Valerie Plame. They've shown no
loss of appetite for hearings on the U.S. Attorney-firings scandal,
deemed a “constitutional crisis” by NBC Wednesday night. But ten years
ago, when a Republican Congress prepared subpoenas for the Clinton
White House on receiving political contributions from China, viewers
heard the networks sing a very different tune.
wondered whether subpoenas and hearings weren't democracy in action,
but a waste of America's resources. On the April 10, 1997 World News
Tonight, anchor Peter Jennings promoted a story: “When we come back,
two investigations of fundraising abuse, two of them on Capitol Hill.
Is it a waste of time and money?” Reporter John Cochran underlined the
problem of GOP partisanship: “Dan Burton is a hard-charging partisan
and has resisted investigating anyone but Democrats.”
On Friday morning's "Early Show," CBS co-host Harry Smith was hot on the tornado beat. "As we've reported, a huge storm in the middle of the country is blamed for four deaths in three states. The storm caused 65 tornadoes in just one day. It's just the beginning of tornado season, but we have already seen more than 300 of them and it is likely to get even worse as we get into April and May, the prime tornado months."
He brought on Warren Faidley, who he said "calls himself an extreme weather journalist. He's been chasing tornadoes for some 20 years now and he joins us this morning." Smith asked vaguely why the increased tornadoes, but when the answer he wanted wasn't obvious enough, he pounced: "You talked about El Nino. It's hard to talk about climate and not talk about global warming. Do you think that has anything to do with it?