PBS omnipresence Bill Moyers is winding up for another series of left-wing propaganda broadcasts on our taxpayer-supported PBS stations. On April 25, we're subjected to the film "Buying the War," which quite typically argues that the liberal media weren't liberal enough, that they were weak-kneed pawns for the Bush war machine. Moyers gave an interview to Eric Bates of Rolling Stone magazine, which posted some audio on its "Rock and Roll Daily" blog explaining how Moyers "gets ill talking about how the Big Red Hype Machine, i.e. Fox News and its conservative bedfellows, makes headlines by criticizing unbiased news reporters."
Moyers declares that one special presence in the new film is disgraced CBS anchor Dan Rather. He says the program begins with footage of Rather crying on the David Letterman show a week after 9/11 proclaiming he would go "wherever the president tells me to line up." But in this film, Rather and Moyers are denouncing a right-wing "slime machine." That's a rich characterization coming from someone who tried to use bogus National Guard documents to ruin President Bush's reputation. Here's how Moyers promised he would denounce conservatives from coast to coast:
Over at the Huffington Post's Eat the Press blog, Jason Linkins objected Tuesday night to MSNBC's description of President Bush as "mourner-in-chief," demanding they stop because "It's emo and it's weird." Linkins admitted MSNBC was not the first to use this terminology. But perhaps liberals forget that the network news people employed it with Bill Clinton, too. In fact, on the July 25, 1996 World News Tonight, after a TWA plane crash, ABC's Jim Wooten tenderly hailed the Sensitive President, Bill Clinton, the nation's "chaplain in chief," an even stranger choice of words, given Clinton's historic reputation for indulgence:
Mr. Clinton is clearly more and more comfortable now in the role these times have forced on our Presidents --- first mourner and chaplain-in-chief. But his moments with the families must have struck him as especially poignant today, for when he left them in the hotel and entered his car, he buried his head on Mrs. Clinton's shoulder.
For the second day, The Washington Post rounded up hostile global opinion toward America’s gun culture in a Molly Moore story headlined "Va. Killings Widely Seen as Reflecting a Violent Society: World Reaction Mixes Condolences With Criticism of Policies." But Moore’s article turned unintentionally comic when she quoted an Iraqi praising the gun-control policies of....Saddam Hussein. "But America has terrorism and they are exporting it to us. We did not have this violence in the Saddam era because the law was so tough on guns."
Perhaps it’s not surprising for a liberal newspaper to use a terrible mass shooting as an opportunity for pro-Saddam Iraqis to condemn how the United States has ruined their paradise. But it’s hardly a poster for the Brady Campaign’s gun-control aims – and Saddam’s dictatorship is hardly a model of nonviolence. (It can, however, illustrate the gun-rights crowd’s belief in guns as a bulwark against dictatorship.) Moore’s Iraqi section came about halfway through the article:
The latest Pulitzer Prize awarded to the New York Times wasn't so honored when it originally came out -- by conservatives or even by some liberals. Andrea Elliott's three-part series exploring Islam in America through the imam Reda Shata of the Bay Ridge mosque in Brooklyn was powerfully critiqued by Washington Times columnist Diana West:
Both the New York Post and the New York Sun have already pounced on the most egregious flaw of omission: not a mention, in 11,000-plus words, of the day in March 1994 when a man walked out of that same Bay Ridge mosque and, inspired by the anti-Jewish sermon of the day (delivered by a different, unidentified imam), armed himself and opened fire on a van carrying Hasidic Jewish children. Ari Halberstam, 16, was killed. The Times series, as it happened, concluded on the 12th anniversary of his death.
The easiest place to find liberal disgust at American gun laws in Tuesday's Washington Post was in Kevin Sullivan's roundup of international reaction from London. The headline was "Shock, Sympathy, And Denunciation Of U.S. Gun Laws: British Newspaper Asks, 'What Price the Right to Bear Arms?'"
One British expert even claimed you could easily buy automatic weapons along with your yogurt and bologna at the supermarket:
"I think the reason it happens in America is there's access to weapons -- you can go into a supermarket and get powerful automatic weapons," Keith Ashcroft, a psychologist, told the Press Association. Ashcroft said he believed such access, along with a culture that makes gun ownership seem normal, increases the likelihood of such attacks in the United States.
The Washington Post produced two very different takes on Monday in stories about motivating school children to pay attention to threats looming in their future. First, there was an urgent front-page story about the need to educate children about the cataclysmic vision of a world destroyed by global warming – "the atomic bomb of today" – with absolutely no one skeptical of the almost religious claims of hellish destruction in the very near future. One campus activist asked: "What's the use of a college degree when Wall Street is under water?"
Second, in stark contrast, came a story on the front-page of Metro about selling the religious message of Jesus along with free pizza. But this article was stuffed with skeptical students who were offended by the evangelizing – even as they snagged the lunch. "The free food they like...The praying they don’t."
Darragh Johnson’s front-page story was headlined "Climate Change Scenarios Scare, and Motivate Kids." Its beginning underlined just how dramatically young children are being frightened about their world ending around the corner:
Newsweek’s cover story also carried a half-page feature on page 29 about the "Leaders of the ‘Shock Jock’ Pack." (I could not find the article online.) Writer Jessica Ramirez wrote, "Don Imus’s world imploded last week after he made racist and sexist remarks." Ramirez used data from Talkers Magazine, including a list of "Up-And-Comers." Note the labeling contrast:
Mark Levin was "An ultraconservative in the Sean Hannity style. This best-selling author’s show is syndicated through ABC Radio Networks."
Stephanie Miller was "One of the most popular and funny liberal radio hosts in the country. Miller is syndicated by Jones Radio Networks."
Ed Schultz was "A dominant liberal voice with a political bent similar to Al Franken’s. Schultz is syndicated by Jones Radio Networks."
Newsweek’s cover story on Don Imus this week carried a confessional tone, offering penance from Newsweek bigwigs for enabling the I-Man due to their hunger to be a part of the "in crowd." Weston Kosova’s story lectured about how the Imus incident compares to Hurricane Katrina and the O.J. Simpson verdict in showing "media power is still concentrated largely in white hands and, as a result, racism is sometimes tolerated and enabled in ways that many white Americans are unable, or unwilling, to acknowledge."
Newsweek is also contrite this week its coverage of the wildly mishandled Duke lacrosse rape allegations, but they offered no broad Big Picture moral about how that shows a media too willing to believe in racism in every legal case. In fact, the story has a strange subheadline, with the notion of "innocence" in quotes, as in you shouldn't quite believe it, and it prides itself that all the injustice done to the three accused white boys wasn't just a nightmare: "It was also maturing."
Time’s cover story on Don Imus this week is authored by TV writer James Poniewozik, and he appeared on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal on Friday morning to plug it. I haven’t seen the whole hour, but just caught the end, when a caller from Manteca, California said that while the Time writer had suggested Imus was for the white elites, he said it seemed to him like a show for liberal elites, so "I kind of feel it’s the left eating their own."
Poniewozik had an interesting response to the caller: "I don’t know if I would go so far as to call every journalist who regularly appeared on Imus liberal off hand, but I think he makes an excellent point. I mean, frankly, in a lot of the major media, there’s this knee-jerk immediately dismissive attitude toward Fox, that among a lot of the same people in the same circles that would go on Imus and shrug all the stuff that he did off. That general point, I think the caller has absolutely right."
Tucked in the back of Sunday's Washington Post Magazine was the usual humor column by Gene Weingarten, devoted this week to allegedly feeling sorry for George W. Bush's low standing in public opinion, then relishing the idea of anti-Bush feeling in every single area of the newspaper, such as the horoscope:
Cancer (June 22-July 22)
Hold your head high. It is not your fault that you share an astrological sign with the president of the United States, who is, appropriately enough, a malignancy.
It's a satire, but there are days when it almost matches the bias of The Washington Post in weird sections like Food or Travel. Weingarten also borrowed from CBS's Charles Osgood in using Dr. Seuss as a model for conservative-bashing, as he imagined a Bush-bashing children's book:
Liberal arrogance is parading around in the Sunday funnies again – in Garry Trudeau’s Doonesbury strip – misplaced arrogance about how the major Democratic presidential contenders have no "infidelities." How, pray tell, do we know that? How IS the Hillary math done on that – no "infidelities" in the Clinton marriage?
The Sunday comic strip features gay radio host Mark Slackmeyer interviewing religious-right leader Dr. James Dobson: "On the GOP side, the three front-runners, Giuliani, McCain, and Gingrich have five divorces among them, four of them really messy, and all of them involving adultery. On the Democratic side, the three front-runners, Clinton, Obama, and Edwards, have no divorces or infidelities."
You know you must be watching PBS when Good Friday is a time to interview promoters of gnostic gospels and leftist preachers who equate the persecutors of Christ with "rugged individualism." On this Good Friday, April 6, Charlie Rose interviewed Princeton professor Elaine Pagels and Harvard professor Karen King, who explored with Rose how the "Gospel of Judas" shows parallels between early Christian martyrs and modern-day Islamic suicide bombers. Leftist Rev. James Forbes of New York’s Riverside Church carried the anti-individualist message.
Rose began with the professors by promising "some fascinating new information about Judas and Jesus. The New Testament presents Judas’ actions towards Jesus as the most infamous of betrayals. The long-lost Gospel of Judas tells a very different story. It shows Judas as Jesus` favorite disciple and willing collaborator."
Washington Post columnist Colbert King used his usual top-of-the-op-ed-page column on Saturday to bashing Don Imus and anyone who would shift the subject to vicious rap lyrics, "as if that absolves the 66-year-old broadcaster of marking the young collegians with a despicable label." He didn't want anyone changing the subject to Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson either:
To shift the argument, as some have done, from Imus to the legitimacy of the Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson criticizing Imus, given their own past insensitive remarks, is a smoke screen. The National Association of Black Journalists led the outcry against Imus. We didn't need Sharpton or Jackson to tell us how we should feel about Imus's insults or how to recognize what is morally wrong.
So the natural question is: has Colbert King ever criticized a rapper? Or Al Sharpton?
In 1992, Republican chairman Rich Bond oafishly suggested in public that he was arguing the media had a liberal bias because he was "working the refs," cynically complaining about harsh coverage to get better coverage. But many candidates try to work reporters this way, and on the slightly dated April 4 edition of the PBS talk show Charlie Rose, Newsweek's Jonathan Alter said Bill Clinton's trying that tactic against Barack Obama, who he feels hasn't been challenged or critiqued by reporters:
JONATHAN ALTER: He`s working the refs, as we say.
CHARLIE ROSE: He`s doing what?
ALTER: He`s working the refs....Basketball players understand that.
Long-time New York Times and Washington Post "objective" political reporter-turned-liberal columnist E.J. Dionne on Friday wrote he suspects Fox News chairman Roger Ailes "secretly admires the bloggers and other activists working to keep Democratic presidential candidates from debating on his cable network."
Baloney. If he's secretly admiring Democrats for anything, it's for showing they're thin-skinned spoiled brats who are used to having an army of Stephanopolice reinforcing their every talking point. He's admiring how the Democrats are only building the appeal of the network to an audience of people who are looking for someone who doesn't follow along with the suffocating liberal consensus that lamely claims the mantle of "objectivity" as it throws rose petals in front of the Obamas and Rodhams.
The Washington Post Style section on Friday featured a front-page story on the gay-left group Soulforce and their so-called "Equality Ride" to conservative Christian colleges trying to stir up fights and publicity. Hanna Rosin's story was headlined "Young, Gay Christians On A Bumpy Bus Ride."
The AP is still spinning the anti-Imus wheel with spinoff articles. AP's Sean O'Driscoll wrote a scolding article (this could be old, but this one was posted Tuesday) that whites like Karl Rove should not attempt to rap, as he did at the Radio & TV correspondents dinner, concluding with Jimmy Kimmel saying it is "never, ever funny." Then there's this one from Deepti Hajela: "'Nappy' Has Long, Hurtful History." We are told that whites should never attempt the loaded "in-group" terms:
"When Imus says 'these nappy-headed hos,' his first flaw is he's using an in-group term that's loaded," said Lanita Jacobs-Huey, associate professor of anthropology and American studies and ethnicity at the University of Southern California."When I hear it from someone who doesn't understand the depth of pain, they just don't have the right to say it," Jacobs-Huey said.
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.”