The culture website Vulture.com is revisiting “2013's most acclaimed movies” and the screenwriters who wrote them. For some reason, they singled out “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” and how scripter Danny Strong had to make up scenes that showed Reagan to be cruelly indifferent to the plight of South African blacks under apartheid.
Strong and Daniels ignored the actual historical record as liberal historian Douglas Brinkley included that in his book The Reagan Diaries, page 142. Reagan wrote: “Pres. Kaunda of Zambia arrived. A good meeting & lunch. I think he feels good about the trip. We made clear we detest Apartheid but believe we can do better with S. Africa by persuasion.”
Michael Palin of the Monty Python comedy troupe was interviewed by London's Daily Mail as the Python gang plans a lucrative reunion, and he announced that there's no way Islam could be mocked today in the way Python ripped into Catholicism and Christianity in their heyday in films like "The Life of Brian" and "The Meaning of Life" (with its "Every Sperm Is Sacred" satire).
He said: ‘Religion is more difficult to talk about. I don’t think we could do 'Life of Brian' any more. A parody of Islam would be even harder."
On NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered on Sunday night, host Arun Rath said good riddance to 2013: “What a rotten year for American politics and politicians. I would both bore and depress you if I listed all the problems President Obama and Congress have faced or created in 2013.”
For more gloomy talk, he turned to Matt Miller, a liberal Washington Post columnist, a man that James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal quipped his “sole purpose in life seems to be to make the New York Times's Charles Blow look thoughtful.” (Miller asserted that naturally, the Philippines typhoon should cause more support for Obamacare.) On NPR Sunday night, Miller suggested that the problem in American politics is that the almost-trillion dollars spent on the Obama stimulus was far too “timid” and inadequate a spending program:
Former Today co-hosts Bryant Gumbel and Jane Pauley shared in the NBC anchoring duties on Monday’s Today, and Gumbel naturally returned to Republican-bashing form.
In a 7:30 am segment on the top news stories of 2013 as rated by users at Culturalist.com, when the government shutdown came up, Gumbel argued it’s a “false equivalency” to blame both parties for the shutdown when all the blame should be on Republicans: [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
It’s only natural that both liberal state Sen. Wendy Davis and conservative U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz would be nominees for “Texan of the Year” at the Dallas Morning News. (In the end, they chose the rescuers at the West, Texas fertilizer-plant explosion, which killed 12 first responders.) But the two editorials on Davis (on December 26) and Cruz (on December 27) show how liberal editorialists can struggle with being honest with the facts.
Both went to Harvard Law School – Davis graduating in 1993, Cruz in 1995. Both gained prominence this year with failed legislative maneuvers. Both draw great excitement from their party’s base voters. Let’s see how the Dallas pundits played with the facts:
On the day after Christmas, NPR’s All Things Considered offered a little gift to openly gay reporter Ari Shapiro: seven minutes of air time for a story with the online title “How 2013 Became The ‘Gayest Year Ever’.”
As anchor Robert Siegel said NPR was looking at the “winners and losers of 2013...for gay rights groups, the last 12 months saw a huge string of victories, from state legislatures to Congress to the Supreme Court. The surprise ruling in Utah legalizing same-sex marriage is just the latest win. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports on why some LGBT advocates are calling 2013 the gayest year ever.”
In the Arts section of Sunday’s Washington Post, they celebrated the appointment of curator David Ward as the senior historian of the National Portrait Gallery. Why does it matter? Ward was a central figure in the controversial 2010 exhibit “Hide/Seek,” which contained a defamatory video of Jesus crucified being crawled on by ants.
As a libertine leftist, Ward hated it when complaints from top Republicans caused the gallery bosses at the time to "cave" and remove the Jesus-trashing piece, as did liberal journalists. So the headline on Sunday honored Ward as “A historian with an eye on the future.” The caption under his picture promised Ward “is not afraid to present history in new ways.”
On Saturday’s Today, NBC reporter Kristen Welker was assigned the task of rewinding through President Obama’s year in 2013. The screen graphic was clear: “A YEAR TO FORGET?” The liberals couldn't gin up any happy talk. Obama failed to achieve his liberal goals and his health-care rollout was “botched.”
Welker then turned around and said the Republicans fared no better, and their polls “plummeted” after the government shutdown. The only Republican soundbite in the entire piece was Ted Cruz reading a line from Dr. Seuss.
It's not often that liberals and conservatives can agree on something, but on Thursday night's "The Last Word" on MSNBC, host Lawrence O'Donnell agreed with us that Edward Snowden showed a very flimsy grip on reality in his "alternative Christmas message" that aired on Britain's Channel 4.
"So, here we have another Edward Snowden statement. And once again, Joy Reid, he says things, every time he speaks, every time, he will say things that are absurdly, wildly overblown." Let's stipulate that MSNBC is "leaning forward" for the Obama administration, and yet reality is reality:
Joan Rivers wasn't pleased that the red-hot actress Jennifer Lawrence attacked her implicitly in the Barbara Walters "Most Fascinating People" special. The New York Post reports she said Lawrence should "grow up" and then uncorked this insult (a rich one, considering Joan's plasticity):
“I love that she’s telling everyone how wrong it is to worry about retouching and body image, and meanwhile, she has been touched up more than a choir boy at the Vatican.” Is that any way to talk when America is 25 percent Catholic? Rivers said to look at her pictures, Lawrence is no role model for being honest about women's body images. Here's what Lawrence said to Walters, that calling people fat on TV should be illegal:
Saturday’s Washington Post once again promoted the Muslim author Reza Aslan’s history-mangling Jesus book “Zealot,” this time by reproducing a top-ten “most intriguing religion books” list from Religion News Service. Not every selection was a liberal journalist's pick to click, but these books were laid out with large, color images of the covers.
John Murawski of RNS praised Aslan's work for providing a “much-needed antidote” to how Christians have ethnically and historically sanitized Jesus buried in “aspic”:
NPR sports-and-culture correspondent Mike Pesca appeared on MSNBC's "Up With Steve Kornacki" on Sunday to discuss the Winter Olympics in Russia and how Obama is sending gay Olympians and gay tennis legend Billie Jean King instead of going himself. Kornacki asked Pesca "What is your sense of what the atmosphere is going to be like for gay athletes? And just in general, the atmosphere is going to be like at these games?"
Pesca began by mocking America: "Yeah, well, they`re going to have protest zones which seems un-American -- except, you know, America has used them for political conventions and stuff." Then he turned to quoting how Obama's decision is a "brilliant snub" of "soft power" that leaves Vladimir Putin sputtering at Obama's cleverness.
“TSA recognizes the concerns members of the transgender community may have with undergoing the security screening process at our Nation’s airports and is committed to conducting screening in a dignified and respectful manner,” they promise.
MSN.com had this very neutral headline on the tragic story of the girl whose tonsillectomy went wrong: “Brain-dead teen facing move.” The family of Jahi McMath is trying to arrange a new facility for her because the Oakland hospital is clearly stating she’s “deceased” and wants to take her off life support. This is when the media decide to be neutral and boring.
“A judge this week ruled Children's Hospital Oakland could remove McMath from the ventilator keeping her body functioning,” reported NBCNews.com. She can have the ventilator removed Monday at 5 pm. The hospital is lecturing the family to accept she’s just a dead body breathing.
Barbara Walters didn't get everyone she wanted for her final "10 Most Fascinating People" special. According to an anonymous source who spoke to Radar Online, the three stars too elusive for Walters were rapper Jay Z and actors Kristen Stewart and Robert Downey Jr. These were part of a wish list that Walters started with before narrowing it down to her final list of ten.
"Typically, Barbara very carefully starts approaching people in September for the special, but she always accounts for getting turned down by some of her interview targets. They start with 30 names and narrow it down to get all the interviews done for Thanksgiving," the insider said. Meanwhile, has-been comedienne Sandra Bernhard hated Walters latching on to the "Duck Dynasty" crew:
On Tuesday, Washington Post media blogger Erik Wemple wrote a long analysis of daytime programs on MSNBC, where he underlined the Pew Research Center’s finding that the Lean Forward network offers much more opinion than hard news. To be precise, a study of three days in late 2012 (after the election), MSNBC offered 85 percent commentary, 15 percent news.
Then he identified traits such as “MSNBCitis, defined as the propensity to ask a liberal why those horrible conservatives do the odious things that they do.” Wemple cited an Alex Wagner interview with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi:
Did you ever notice how the liberal media can obsess for days over a Koran-burning stunt, but ignore feminist groups that have a serious hatred problem with the Catholic Church? Via Chicks on the Right, we learned that the bratty anti-Catholic leftists of FEMEN have pulled their latest stunt. A woman with the message “I AM GOD” painted on her body jumped up on the altar and screamed in the middle of a Mass on Christmas at Cologne Cathedral, the home of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Cologne and one of the tallest cathedrals in the world.
In their own statement, FEMEN boasted “Josephine foiled Christmas mass in the main cathedral.” As if a woman throwing a momentary screaming fit and getting dragged out somehow expels Christmas from a church. (Video below)
Britain’s Channel 4 turned itself into the Edward Snowden Propaganda Channel on Christmas. Washington Post deputy managing editor Griff Witte wrote a story for Thursday’s paper headlined “Spying worse than in ‘1984,’ Snowden tells Britons.”
But “1984" was a novel about a totalitarian state that attempted constant of surveillance and mind control of all citizens to rid the nation of Oceania from all “thought crimes.” How is Snowden comparing America to that dictatorship? He claimed children today have “no conception of privacy at all.”
The first Christmas mass of Pope Francis drew positive attention from all three networks on Christmas Eve morning, but CBS took the cake in celebrating what it perceives as the liberal tilt of the new pontiff.
Allen Pizzey openly declared Time magazine gives out honors for liberalism: the pope’s exhortation against the “absolute autonomy of the marketplace” and “comments like who am I to judge in relationship to homosexuality contributed to making the Pope Time magazine's Man of the Year.” (Technically, it’s “Person of the Year” now.) Somehow, previous popes never cared about the poor like the new pope:
Splashed across the top of The Washington Post on Christmas Eve was this: “Edward Snowden: ‘I already won.’” Post reporter Barton Gellman wrote about his recent 14 hours of interviews with Snowden in Moscow, a man he likes much better than Dick Cheney, who he slammed at length in his book “Angler.”
Despite being a high school dropout, Snowden is painted by Gellman as a brainiac with an engineer’s approach:
Beware angry Democrats when they're football fans. AP reporter Mike Baker wrote up Washington state Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, who grew angry over the Arizona Cardinals upset of the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. Referring to Arizona's fight over illegal immigration, he tweeted "Losing a football game sucks. Losing to a desert racist wasteland sucks a lot."
Washington state Republican Rep. J.T. Wilcox retweeted Fitzgibbon with the comment "Makes us all look bad". Fitzgibbon told AP "If folks are going to take that too seriously, then I'm sorry about that." He went on to attack SB 1070 in Arizona:
The Sunday Washington Post reprinted a sympathetic profile of PBS star Tavis Smiley from the Los Angeles Times with the headline "Tavis Smiley marks ten tenacious years on PBS". But reporter Scott Collins underplayed what may be the most interesting part: some public radio stations dumped his “Smiley & West” weekend radio show with radical professor Cornel West because he was too critical of Barack Obama.
Why didn’t Collins do a story on whether NPR station managers are canceling shows that dare to slam the president? Apparently, last year, Smiley complained to a reporter that Obama was "callous" in his relationship with blacks:
It might be easy to forget, but ultraliberal Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla) is one of those dreaded "greedheads" who deal in millions of dollars of stocks. A story on the front of The Washington Post business section on Sunday reports Grayson “got burned twice by ‘stock loan’ schemes that have cost him nearly $50 million.”
Dina El Boghdady reports Grayson is ranked 21st in the House for wealth, with a net worth of “at least $16.7 million, in part due to the value of his stock portfolio.” Grayson lost about $18 million in transactions with Virginia businessman William Dean Chapman, who was just sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to defrauding Grayson and 121 others. The Post didn't seem to rifle through any of Grayson's recent tax returns, like they wanted to do to Mitt Romney.
The New York Post reports that NBC News boss Deborah Turness is eyeing more job cuts, and is causing the most distress for the NBC Washington bureau, since News Lite doesn’t need a lot of D.C. talent. Even David Gregory could get his gig canceled.
“Turness has been trying to figure out the future for David Gregory's Meet the Press, with options including bringing in MSNBC's Morning Joe team of Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski for a Sunday show, or blowing up the entire franchise and trying something completely different, sources familiar with the situation said.”
As expected, ABC has cancelled Katie Couric's failed attempt to replace Oprah Winfrey as queen of the afternoon chat show, which comes after her failed attempt to replace Dan Rather in the CBS anchor chair. ABC delicately announced Couric “mutually agreed that there will not be a third season of the show.” Staffers learned just hours before their “holiday party,” and as “a consolation, staffers received cashmere gloves as a holiday gift from Couric.” The show finishes taping episodes in June.
Meanwhile, something that should be cancelled just keeps on running like an Energizer bunny of scandal. For the seventh year in a row, CNN is once again bringing on Kathy Griffin to do embarrassing things to Anderson Cooper on New Year's Eve and make him giggle like he's 15 years old again. Kissing Cooper's crotch live on the "worldwide leader in news" last year is apparently all positive.
People magazine scored one of those year-end interviews, and they didn’t seem interested in breaking any news. Their own “news” headline on their website: “President Obama: 'I've Got 3 Opinionated, Strong, Tall Women'” – his wife and daughters.
People managing editor Larry Hackett and reporter Sandra Sobieraj Westfall began by citing “NSA spying, healthcare.gov, and the shutdown,” only to pull up lame and ask “What have you learned about your management style?” Isn’t the better question what America learned about his lack of management? Obama lunged straight into blame-shifting, blaming – get this – the bigness of government:
Michael Tomasky at The Daily Beast is still carrying a blazing torch for the president, defending him against all pessimists, in “The Obama Political Obituaries Are Way Premature.” He claims Obama just has “a really, really bad first inning.” Are we ignoring the first term now?
Tomasky insisted everyone should ignore the current conventional wisdom, “that a presidency that is already all but finished, unless John Podesta can somehow save it. The Washington Post reported this week that among second-term presidents in the polling era, only Richard Nixon had a lower approval rating at this point than Obama does now.” Turn that frown upside down, liberal friends, urges Tomasky:
The latest edition of the gay newspaper The Washington Blade displayed what liberal newspapers don't find controversial: "Medicare to examine ban on gender reassignment." In other words, leftists are pushing the Obama administration to subsidize sex-change operations. We're posting enormous deficits, but the "progressives" are always searching for new entitlements.
As usual, liberal journalists refer to this lack of "access" to taxpayer money a "ban." Chris Johnson reported: "The document from the Department of Health & Human Services, dated Dec. 2, finds that the reasoning for the ban is 'not complete and adequate' to support denying Medicare coverage for transgender people seeking the procedure."