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.
On DC's NPR affiliate WAMU on Wednesday, New York Times environmental blogger Andrew Revkin complained about those conservative "confusers" taking joy in the stranded Antarctic ice ship full of hyperbolic global-warming activists. Washington Post senior editor Marc Fisher was guest-hosting on the Kojo Nnamdi Show, and he asked him to explain how "this incident somehow has energized the climate change contrarians."
"So anyway, you get a ship trapped in growing sea ice, a ship full of climate scientists who have been blogging about the importance of global warming, getting caught in sea ice, it's like raw meat for those who want to confuse the public, or who just, again, as that listener and Matt have said, who already holds an ideological position that's firm, it just sort of reinforces that position, and on we go into the future."
At first, Washington Post TV critic Hank Stuever traveled with the critical mass on the trashy, ugly-sex-and-nudity show “Girls” on HBO, and its twentysomething creator, Lena Dunham (you know, the one who urged girls to pop their voting cherry with Obama). Just a month ago, Stuever found the show’s second season “left me feeling underserved.”
But wow, has he decided he hates the show now. A picture of Dunham took up the whole top half of the Style section in Friday’s Post with the headline “Despicable, she.” Stuever literally wrote he was rooting for Dunham’s character Hannah to choke on her chocolates:
Variety reported that at a recent Hollywood dinner, Meryl Streep offered a speech of praise to fellow actress Emma Thompson — with phrases like “she’s practically a saint” and “she’s a beautiful artist” – and she then trashed Walt Disney as a “gender bigot” and a supporter of an anti-Semitic group.
Over at Forbes, Scott Mendelson is reading the tea leaves, and implying that Streep was engaged in some unsubtle Oscar politicking against Thompson’s role in Saving Mr. Banks, the how-Disney-made-Mary-Poppins movie:
NBC Nightly News anchor has labored mightily to build a personality outside his newscast, “slow-jamming” the news with Jimmy Fallon in late night, guest-hosting “Saturday Night Live,” yukking it up with David Letterman and Jon Stewart. He had the prime-time gig on "Rock Center" -- which few people watched. Most people still don’t know who he is.
The Pew Research Center found last summer in an an online survey about Americans’ knowledge about the news, just 27 percent of those surveyed could correctly identify Williams. Respondents were shown a picture of Williams and asked to name the person in the photo. “While 3% were able to identify Williams’ profession (anchor or reporter), fully seven-in-ten either did not know (53%) or named someone other than Williams (18%).”
On the front page of Thursday’s New York Times, reporter John Schwartz clumsily compared a very prim Fifties sitcom with the reality-show polygamist Kody Brown, who just won a court ruling in Utah in favor of their four-wife life as displayed on the TLC reality show "Sister Wives."
“In their first interview since the decision in that case, they presented a family whose polygamy is more ‘Father Knows Best’ than fundamentalist patriarchy,” wrote Schwartz, just like a TLC publicist.
ABC’s “The View” joined the media mob in taking on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Host Whoopi Goldberg opened the show by stating that Christie was holding a press conference over “a top aide who allegedly conspired to shut down lanes and cause crippling traffic jams on the George Washington bridge as political retribution for not supporting the governor.”
What Goldberg did not expect as she complained that "people died" in the traffic jam was Chris Harrison, host of ABC’s “The Bachelor,” shooting back that “the liberals are just foaming at the mouth...this is like porn for them!” [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Could you imagine The Washington Post leaping all over a Jeremiah Wright scandal for Obama in 2005, before he even announced for president? Neither would anyone else imagine such a political crib-strangling. But the Post is aping the rest of the liberal national media on Thursday morning by leaping all over Gov. Chris Christie. “Bridge scandal engulfing Christie,” was the breathless headline. “INCIDENT THREATENS N.J. GOVERNOR’S IMAGE.”
The Post also trashed Christie on the op-ed page (by liberal Jonathan Capehart) and on the front page of the Style section, which began “Chris Christie. [Shakes head.] What a disappointment. He purports to play in big leagues.” The partisan Post is on fire today.
The top of Wednesday’s Business Day section of The New York Times carried the headline “Biography Casts Critical Light on Fox News Chief.” New York magazine’s Gabriel Sherman has finally finished his anti-Roger Ailes book, which was supposed to come out last May. It's titled "The Loudest Voice In The Room: How the Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News -- And Divided a Country." America was entirely unified under a liberal media spell until 1996, apparently.
Reporters Julie Bosman and Bill Carter insisted “the book says” that Ailes was “disdainful of even his most bankable on-air talent, privately calling Bill O’Reilly ‘a book salesman with a TV show’ and Brian Kilmeade, a peppy Fox host, ‘a soccer coach from Long Island.’” Notice there’s not a named source to back this up, just “the book says.”
Tom Blumer reported earlier for us that Ta-Nehisi Coates of The Atlantic anointed MSNBC host Melissa Harris- Perry as “America’s Foremost Public Intellectual.” If you think that’s funny, see what happened next.
Politico media reporter Dylan Byers claimed on Twitter that Coates had compromised his “intellectual cred” and listed other (whiter) leftist intellectuals like Noam Chomsky, Paul Krugman, and Jeffrey Sachs. This led Coates to a bitter reply locating Byers inside “a machinery of racism” that apparently doesn’t recognize any intellectuals that are black:
Katie Couric’s upsetting the leftists again. The “girl-on-girl culture site” Autostraddle was unhappy that she had to ask the inevitable “genitals” questions when she had on two men on her talk show Monday who dress like women (“trans women”), model Carmen Carrera and actor Laverne Cox. As might be expected, Couric promotionally titled the segment "Transgender Trailblazers."
“The real trouble started when Couric started to ask Ms. Carrera if transitioning was painful because of all the surgery that she had to go through. Carmen looked a little confused and responded by talking a little about her nose job and breast augmentation and that’s when Katie pounced,” the author “Mey” complained. “She immediately asked if Carmen’s “private parts” are “different now” and if she’s had that surgery yet.”
ABC “World News” anchor Diane Sawyer gave an interview to Ladies’ Home Journal magazine and drew this silly question, like she was completely objective on TV: “Do you let your own politics be known when you’re behind closed doors?” How naive do they think America's women are?
Sawyer replied: “My husband has said even he doesn't know my politics. In the nonromantic-compliment category, that's a good one.” In the same interview, Sawyer proclaimed she could never be as enthusiastic as that energetic Bill Clinton. She was asked about retirement rumors:
Last week, I wrote up how The New York Times wrote a demonizing obituary about Harold Simmons, a major MRC donor. NPR’s Peter Overby slimed him after he died as some sort of pioneer of negative advertising. His obituary highlighted how he “backed Swift Boat ads.” I discovered another obvious contrast in obituaries when I came across this piece on Peter Lewis in The Washington Post from November 26:
“Peter Lewis, the longtime head of Progressive Corp., died Saturday at age 80,” wrote Sean Sullivan. “In the business world, Lewis will be remembered for growing a modest automobile insurance company into one of the nation's biggest operations. In the political realm, he'll be remembered for being one of the biggest liberal mega-donors in history.”
In Monday's New York Times, reporter Ashley Parker covered how Hawaii is mounting a long-shot bid to host the Obama presidential library after the president leaves office in 2017.
"Many of his closest friends, political allies and top fund-raisers are from Chicago, which is already considered the top candidate for landing at least the president’s papers and artifacts," she wrote. Then she added that the Chicago Tribune was trash talking against a Hawaiian library, like no one reads books in Hawaii. The Times somehow failed to smell racism in it:
Former Time reporter Nina Burleigh – the infamous feminist journalist who once announced "I'd be happy to give [Bill Clinton oral sex] just to thank him for keeping abortion legal" -- has a new article at The New York Observer on “The Year In Sexism.”
Even the trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell in May was used audaciously as a feminist moment to correct those who “demonize abortion generally.” She insisted while late-term abortions were violent and gruesome, so is childbirth:
The Washington Post Magazine devoted another cover story to honoring a left-wing protester, this one titled “Life on the Passionate Fringe.” The cover touted he's "Willing to Be Hated." They mean that with love and respect: “D.C. protester Adam Eidinger is a relentless promoter of lefty protest.” This comes after the cover stories on Lafayette Park fruitcake Concepcion Picciotto and radical restaurateur Andy Shallal.
It's reminiscent of their love affair with Occupy Wall Street actions. Now try to imagine the WashPost spreading this kind of love for the “passionate fringe” is it was a profile on a Tea Party protester. Writer Ken Otterbourg insists we need lefties on the fringe, for they may be tomorrow’s mainstream:
MRC’s Dan Gainor might still be laughing at what he sent along: a New York Times story on how “New York State Is Set to Loosen Marijuana Laws” came with a map of which states allow “medical marijuana,” clustered in New England and the western states.
It came with a correction: “An earlier version of a map with this article reversed the locations of North and South Dakota.” How do you put South Dakota on top of North Dakota?
The gay lobby goes into a rage whenever homosexuality and pedophilia are put side by side.
Morrissey, a British pop star of the Eighties with the Smiths, may be gay (he says he's "humasexual," implying he's bisexual). But he'd rather accuse everyone of eating meat of being just like a pedophile. MusicFeeds.com reported it came during during a recent Q&A on Morrissey fan site called True To You:
Conservative Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby has offered some New Year’s resolutions for the news business. He began by noting legendary columnist H. L. Mencken in his day at the Baltimore Sun said he was hard-pressed to to name five papers that conducted themselves as fairly and honestly “as the average nail factory.”
“If Mencken were alive today, would his opinion of the news business be less pungent? My guess is it would be even more so,” Jacoby guessed. “The journalistic sins and scams he was blasting a century ago are still being committed, only now the perps are more likely to have Ivy League degrees and to regard their occupation as a lofty profession.” But he offered some suggestions for self-improvement:
Former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe wrote an inflammatory post for Deadspin.com headlined "I Was An NFL Player Until I Was Fired By Two Cowards And A Bigot." He claims he was released for his "gay rights activism," his wild rants and tweets against social conservatives. The “cowards” were Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier and GM Rick Spielman. The “bigot” was special-teams coach Mike Priefer, a man Kluwe wants banned from coaching for a "doctrine of intolerance."
Kluwe claimed Priefer once said "We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows.” USA Today’s Tom Pelissero reported that not only did Preiefer deny that, but Vikings kicker Blair Walsh also insisted the allegations were false.
In Friday’s USA Today, columnist James Healey celebrated how "Savvy Fiat scooped up Chrysler for a song.” There was no effort to explain why Team Obama would sink billions into a Chrysler bailout so it could help an Italian carmaker prosper.
“Fiat's agreement to buy the remaining 41.5% to own all of Chrysler reeks of financial savvy,” wrote Healey. “Fiat/Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has engineered ‘a bit of a coup,’ said Max Warburton, industry analyst at Bernstein Research.” A coup of the president and the TARP managers?
The Tournament of Roses Parade became the latest stage to spotlight “gay marriage” as two men were joined in secular matrimony on the float of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. (For those who think AIDS fundraisers aren’t leftist agitators – please consult reality.)
Penny Starr at our sister site CNSNews.com reports that ABC News covered the wedding/protest on their website, but ABC and NBC somehow excluded the float from their live parade coverage. No Kinky Boots moments for them?
The Los Angeles Times decided, as one of California’s leading arbiters of political correctness, that they would skip the ironic headline of “Illegal alien wins license to practice law.” That kind of direct language is a bit too honest. The use of the I-word will be banned in all civilized and "inclusive" forums in the future, and this may mark the beginning.
“California court grants law license to Mexican immigrant” was the headline, and reporter Maura Dolan took many paragraphs before listing just how many times this new lawyer evades all those annoying technicalities they teach you about in law school.
You can tell the New York Times is going to kiss Ronan Farrow’s ring when the headline on his Sunday magazine profile by Jesse Lichtenstein is “Ronan Farrow, Reluctant TV Star.” One rarely attaches the word “star” to someone rumored to be heading to mid-mornings on MSNBC.
Lichtenstein lays it on thick, both about the contours of Farrow’s new “edgy” TV show and about Farrow’s deeply impressive biography: By the time he was 10, Farrow had traveled with his mother to South Africa, where he had private conversations with Nelson Mandela about the power of nonviolent protest.” Oh, and he plays songs on the street in preparation to record an album: