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."
On Thursday’s “Good Morning America,” reporter Kate Snow hosted a segment on whether the Duke lacrosse players will be able to get their reputations back. In so doing, she discussed Reverend Al Sharpton’s role in falsely accusing New York prosecutor Steven Pagones of raping then 15-year-old Tawana Brawley in 1987.
Though this segment was not specifically related to the unfolding Don Imus story, GMA has thus far been the only network morning show to interview Pagones and, by implication, seriously question Sharpton’s role as moral arbiter in the Imus case. (In fairness, “Today” has mentioned the Tawana Brawley case in general as has MSNBC.) After discussing the Duke case, Snow segued into other high profile, false accusations:
Kate Snow: "Steven Pagones knows exactly how that is. 20 years ago, he was very publicly accused of raping 15-year-old Tawana Brawley."
Al Sharpton [file footage of Sharpton]: "Six white men, one named Steve Pagones. I repeat it again! The assistant district attorney of Dutchess County, were among those that attacked her."
Honestly, folks, no matter how hard you tried, and regardless of the effort or good intentions, you just can’t make this stuff up.
Following her disgraceful performance during an interview with CNBC’s Joe Kernen on Tuesday, one of the producers of the schlockumentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” Laurie David, opted to further humiliate herself by publishing a “scathing rebuttal” at the Huffington Post (h/t NB member Sick-n-Tired).
David ironically began her piece (emphasis added throughout):
On April 12, for the third straight day "The View" co-hosts discussed the Imus controversy. Most noteworthy, though, they also discussed the lack of moral authority from Imus’ most visible critic, Reverend Al Sharpton. Guest co-host Rose McGowan read verbatim Sharpton’s most inflammatory, anti-semitic remarks including the Tawana Brawley hoax and labelling Jews "diamond merchants." Co-host Joy Behar editorialized on the key remarks. Co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck called Sharpton’s comments "hatred" and McGowan called them "complete bigotry." Rosie O’Donnell was unusually quiet. The entire transcript is below.
BEHAR: Because this Imus thing is not, you should pardon the pun, black and white issue. It’s not. It's a gray issue.
If you’re thinking an expletive was deleted in the headline, you would be correct, for the real title of Bill Maher’s most recent nonsensical rant at the Huffington Post actually used a word with a similar meaning as “screwed,” but beginning with an “F”.
Nice headline, dontcha think?
Yet, that was only the beginning of the vulgarity from a literary sense, for Maher went on a predictably vitriol-filled screed stating that the only reason Sen. John McCain – or any Republican presidential candidate for that matter – supports the Iraq war is to appeal to Kool-Aid-drinking conservatives.
Thursday's New York Times was the only major newspaper to lead with the big news out of North Carolina -- the state's attorney general is dropping all charges against the three former Duke University lacrosse players falsely accused of the sexual assault of a stripper at an off-campus house.
The story by Duff Wilson and David Barstow, "Duke Prosecutor Throws Out Case Against Players," noted:
"North Carolina’s attorney general declared three former Duke University lacrosse players accused of sexually assaulting a stripper innocent of all charges on Wednesday, ending a prosecution that provoked bitter debate over race, class and the tactics of the Durham County district attorney."
Update (April 13 | 10:46 EDT): The April 13 edition of Fox News Channel's "Red Eye" briefly addressed Moran's blog entry. I've added a screen capture from the program.
Leave it to a liberal journalist to bring racial tension and class warfare into a story about three men exonerated of rape allegations after a year of prosecutorial misconduct.
ABC's Terry Moran found the outpouring of sympathy for the exonerated Duke lacrosse players is a bit much because, in a nutshell, they're white guys from wealthy families who attended a private university. In fact, in an April 12 "Pushback" blog post at ABCNews.com, he suggested that in a way, they were victimized less than the Rutgers women's basketball team by Imus. Portions in bold are my emphasis. Video Clip: Real (2.7 MB) or Windows (3 MB), Plus MP3 (477 KB)
I write these words in the wake of the news that MSNBC has dropped Don Imus from its lineup. I fully expect that by the time you read these words, CBS Radio will have fired him as well.
The raging media controversy over the stupid racial insult Imus threw at the Rutgers women’s basketball team – “nappy-headed hos” – has led the usual cast of professional victims, like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and the NAACP, to deplore the racist underbelly of the broader American culture.
But where were these people when the subject was gangsta rap? With these arrogant and profane multi-millionaires routinely insulting and deriding people, especially black women, with language one hundred-fold more offensive than anything that ever came out of the I-Man’s mouth?
The co-hosts of "The View" offered their input on news of the dismissal of all charges against the three indicted Duke lacrosse players. After discussing Imus again, co-host Joy Behar labeled the innocent players as "a little white boy’s club" that is "in effect" at Duke.
"It's interesting that it comes at the time of the Duke rape case. The boys are off because the girl lied and she didn’t- wasn’t raped. However, it’s interesting to me that a little white boy's club was in effect in the Duke University situation too. You have a bunch of white boys sitting around with black girls, coming in and stripping. Alright, they didn't rape them, but-"
Guest co-host Rose McGowan likewise stated that they are the rich white boys she grew up resenting and "really hoped" they were guilty because they should "stand for all of them."After pleading with them not to sue her, Rose smeared the players claiming they "possibly" had "a long history of really inappropriate things"
Starbucks. Many Americans may think the Seattle-based coffee chain is generally well-liked by its employees and generally well-liked by liberals, but to some left-wing organizers, it's the new Wal-Mart. Sooner or later the Washington Post was going to notice.
And so today's paper splashed its Style section cover page with a David Segal story about Daniel Gross, a "scruffy college grad" that became the "Norma Rea of the Caramel Macchiato."
But the thing is that organizer Gross doesn't work for a liberal-but-mainstream labor union like any number of unions that report to the AFL-CIO. No, Gross is a member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), a self-described radical organization that thinks the AFL-CIO is too soft on corporate America.
That didn't take long at all. A few days after Don Imus' racially-charged remarks about the Rutgers women's basketball team, CNN set its sights on Rush Limbaugh and other conservative talk radio hosts. On Tuesday's "Paula Zahn Now," host Paula Zahn teased an upcoming segment by noting, "If you think some of the things Don Imus says are insulting, you haven't heard anything yet." She then played Rush Limbaugh's criticism of embryonic stem cell advocate Michael J. Fox from last fall.
Later, in the segment itself, Zahn juxtaposed Don Imus's words with controversial remarks by Limbaugh, Neal Boortz, Michael Savage, and Randi Rhodes -- three conservative/libertarian hosts to one ultra left-wing host. Then on his Wednesday evening program, CNN host Larry King gave former Air America radio host and Senate candidate Al Franken (D-Minn.) a platform to attack conservative talkers.
This first-person article by Kathleen Hughes needs nothing to make its idiocy apparent. Read the whole thing and you'll really see an almost religious fervor to the words. Except, of course, instead of the thing being promoted being an actual religion, it's a political philosophy being promoted by someone who is supposedly an objective observer of politics:
As a child, I helped my mother hang
laundry in our backyard in Tamaqua, Pa., a small coal mining town. My
job was handing up the clothespins. When everything was dry, I helped
her fold the sheets in a series of moves that resembled ballroom
The clothes and linens always smelled
so fresh. Everything about the laundry was fun. My brother and I played
hide-and-seek in the rows of billowing white sheets.
I remember this as I’m studying energy-saving tips from Al Gore, who says that when you have time, you should use a clothesline to dry your clothes instead of the dryer. [...]
On the Thursday edition of what would be MSNBC’s "Imus in the Morning" simulcast, NBC reporter David Gregory spent almost 15 minutes of air time discussing the radio host's firing with the Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.
Gregory, who quarreled with Sharpton on the April 10 "Hardball" over his role in the Tawana Brawley false rape charges, did not broach the subject again. He did, however, challenge Jackson over his use of the slur "Hymie Town":
David Gregory: "You referred to New York as ‘Hymie Town’ in the past. You, you apologized for that and you expected and indeed retained your platform in America as a civil rights leader and as an important voice in this country. Why, again, if I may, should Imus be denied that same opportunity for redemption and to retain a platform that potentially could be used for good?"
Most people are probably not familiar with Joe Kernen, a morning anchor for the financial network CNBC. On Tuesday, he invited singer Sheryl Crow and “An Inconvenient Truth” schlockumentary producer Laurie David on to discuss their “Stop Global Warming College Tour.”
As Kernen tried to present the skeptics’ side of this debate, the ladies clearly got uncomfortable and, to say the least, a bit defensive with their interviewer.
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.
The New York Sun is reporting today that CBS "Blogophile" Melissa McNamara is the producer that was fired for plagiarizing from a Wall Street Journal column. The fired producer recycled language from a Jeffrey Zaslow column in the script she wrote for a Katie Couric "Notebook" entry published to the CBS Web site on April 4. CBS has refused to name the fired producer, but I'll update this post should CBS News address the matter on the network's "PublicEye" blog.
Regardless of the identity of the fired producer, Couric's "Notebook" lives on. Yesterday the "Evening News" anchor vlogged about the religious background of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).
I critiqued McNamara once on NewsBusters on an unrelated matter:
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."
Give Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira credit. On this morning's "Today," Lauer suggested to his boss's face that in firing Don Imus he had caved to pressure from advertisers and people like Al Sharpton. And Vieira held Al Sharpton's feet to the fire, now that he had Imus' scalp, about going after rappers and others who use similar language every day.
Here's part of the exchange, which came at 7:05 AM EDT, between Lauer and NBC News President Steve Capus:
CAPUS: This one went so far over the line, Matt, that it was time.
LAUER: But the timing, the timing. You really don't have to try too hard to think that NBC News caved to the pressure from advertisers like Proctor & Gamble and GM and others and perhaps caved to pressure from people like Reverend Sharpton, who we'll talk to in just a second.
It's a universally acknowledged phenomenon that conservatives and libertarians dominate talk radio while liberals love television and print. The reasons why each side does so well at each particular medium are many.
I do find myself agreeing with Neal Boortz's recent thought experiment (h/t Small Dead Animals) of why liberals aren't good at talk radio: they just can't argue very well. He does the experiment by trying to extrapolate two left-wing editorials from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution into a talk radio context. It doesn't work out so well because the subjects, "income inequality" and firearm-phobia just aren't very rational ideas, Boortz argues.
Those of you who are liberal and reading this surely will disagree. If so, how do you account for the fact that not a single liberal talk radio show has ever been popular?
With Representative Kucinich already talking about reconstituting the Fairness Doctrineas
far back as January, a far from Conservative radio talker may have provided
said Congress with just the opening it seeks. The ultimate prize the liberals in
Congress are after has nothing to do with race, as always, it's about politics
more than anything else.
On his show tonight, Bill O’Reilly asked Al Sharpton if he was going to go after the rap music “stars” who consistently denigrate women and glamorize violence. The Rev told Bill that after “getting rid of Mr. Imus”, his National Action Network will “start looking” at some of the corporations that backed Imus. Sharpton claimed that some of those corporations also own some of the record companies. Sharpton told O’Reilly that this was “just the beginning of a long war” to deal with this type of language and behavior.
But in March 2005 Sharpton defended the content of rap music while condemning the violence surrounding the industry. He made it quite clear that it was “not about the lyrics” but the violence committed by the rap artists. Sharpton even went so far as to invoke the rap artists’ First Amendment rights to rap and sing about violent acts. Here is what Sharpton had to say in his March 9, 2005 interview on CNN...
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?
The UK’s Telegraph reported that the BBC cancelled a 90-minute drama about the youngest surviving winner of the UK’s highest award for valor because “it feared it would alienate members of the audience opposed to the war in Iraq.” The BBC blocked the project that would have honored the incredible bravery and resilience of Private Johnson Beharry, a man who didn’t hesitate to risk his own life two separate times for his fellow soldiers. His Victoria Cross citation reads like a blockbuster Hollywood action script, but instead, it’s the real deal. Sounds uplifting and encouraging, and it could even be a real morale booster, right? Well, for the Beeb, that’s the problem (emphasis mine throughout):
For the BBC, however, his story is "too positive" about the conflict.
The corporation has cancelled the commission for a 90-minute drama about Britain's youngest surviving Victoria Cross hero because it feared it would alienate members of the audience opposed to the war in Iraq.
Mainstream media anchors occasionally do some explicit cheerleading for a liberal politician. That's exactly what CNN host Miles O'Brien did on Wednesday's "American Morning." He reported that dark horse Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich "flexes his muscle with big oil over the skyrocketing price of gas, and we say go to it."
Kucinich flexing his muscle? Now, that's a mental image that doesn't immediately come to mind.
O'Brien's remark was made during a lead-in to a segment by CNN senior business correspondent Ali Velshi. Velshi's report gave some details of the ultra-liberal congressman's efforts.
ALI VELSHI: Dennis Kucinich, he's the chairman of the domestic policy subcommittee, has written letters to seven major oil companies, asking them a question we would like an answer to - explaining the high price of gas....
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."
Ben Franklin once said, "In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes."
That truth is even more painful for the increasing number of people who fall into a separate tax structure called the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). Those qualified for the AMT face a flat tax rate of as much as 28 percent.
Lately, a number of politicians have been crying out for AMT reform to save the middle-class, but the media has a faulty memory when it comes to who is responsible for the AMT monster.
“House Democratic leaders, in an effort to upstage Republicans on the issue of tax cuts, are preparing legislation that would permanently shield all but the very richest taxpayers from the alternative minimum tax,” reported The New York Times on April 9. “Democrats Seek to Lead the Way in Tax Overhaul,” was the headline.
On last night's Hardball NBC's Jonathan Alter managed to shoe-horn an anti-Bush jab during a discussion about Don Imus. When substitute host David Gregory asked Alter to comment on what the Imus flare-up meant for the overall discussion about race, NBC's contributing correspondent made a tortured argument that the uproar over Imus was a sign of "a thirst" from the public for the kind of accountability that they're not getting from the Bush administration.
The following conversation occurred on the April 10th Hardball:
David Gregory: "Jonathan, let me start with you. We talked a little bit earlier on the phone about whether this incident has created a race moment for America. Do you think that is the case? And how would you define that?"
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.