The left is famous for its general intolerance and suspicion of religion, especially in the public sector. Yet, increasingly, an exception seems to be made for Islam.
Scott at Power Line caught another instance of this in today's Minneapolis Star Tribune where the normally anti-religious editorial page is oddly favorable to a local college's installation of a foot-washing basin for Islamic students:
It's worth remembering that
this question first arose at MCTC as a matter of safety, not religion.
A student slipped and fell after another student used a campus sink to
wash his or her feet. [...]
Banning Christmas carols on the official campus coffee cart -- which
incensed the school's critics -- seems plainly in keeping with a long
string of court rulings that forbid the use of public resources to
endorse a particular religion. But accommodating the prayer practices
of some devout Muslims seems akin to putting kosher items on the
cafeteria menu and letting employees display religious objects in their
private workspaces -- accommodations that MCTC has in fact made in the
In a typical move, Europeans want to ban something they don’t like. In an English-language article, the Danish Heise Online reported several members of the European Parliament, which is the elected body of the European Union, will submit a draft of a declaration next week that “calls on providers in somewhat vague language to make provisions against "hate pages" part of their standard terms and conditions” with the ultimate goal to “banish racism and hate propaganda from the Internet altogether. This is the same environment in which publishing the satirical Jyllands-Posten Mohammad cartoons (images here)was considered an act of Islamophobia, and therefore hate speech. The draft specifically mentions Islamophobia in the preamble, which would likely mean that anti-terrorism sites like Little Green Footballs,the Brussels Journal and Melanie Phillips, publisher of the book, Londonistan could be labeled "hate speech" (emphasis mine throughout):
The ultimate object of the push by five EU Members of Parliament, Glyn Ford and Claude Moraes of the UK's Labour Party, the Hungarian Liberal Party member Viktoria Mohacsi and the two German European Members of Parliament Bern Posselt (Christian Social Union; CSU) and Feleknas Uca (The Left Party), is to banish racism and hate propaganda from the Internet altogether. The preamble to the declaration mentions anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and anti-Romany campaigns. Should the providers refuse to act more forcefully the five initiators of the declaration have vowed to pressure the European Commission into drafting appropriate legislation (the article includes links to the politicians' websites).
Q. How can embrace of a given policy "stall" a candidate's campaign if it helps him with the voters?
A. If the policy in question is the Bush administration's Iraq war plan, and the MSM finds it difficult to admit that support for it can be an electoral plus.
As NewsBuster Geoffrey Dickens and I have noted here and here, NBC reporters, notably including Andrea Mitchell and David Gregory, have repeatedly explained McCain's weak standing in the GOP primary polls by his support of the Iraq war.
The truth, of course, is just the opposite. Republicans are less than enthusiastic about McCain because of his embrace of non-conservative positions on everything from campaign finance to taxes to immigration. It is only McCain's support of the Iraq war that is keeping him afloat in the GOP primaries. Ditch that, and McCain would soon find himself in Chuck Hagel territory -- out of the race altogether.
On this morning's "Today," NBC's Norah O'Donnell impossibly played things both ways, claiming:
McCain's candidacy has stalled with his embrace of President Bush's Iraq war strategy. But one plus for McCain's support of the increased troop surge is that it does play well among Republican voters.
Barbara Walters used to have a reputation as a serious journalist. That was before the bull-in-the-china-shop that is Rosie O'Donnell came bellowing into her life. Could Walters finnaly have reached her last straw with O'Donnell, though? If rumors of Rosie leaving the daytime TV talker "The View" after a blue and vulgar performance at an award ceremony for teen girls in New York is any indication, we might soon be seeing the end of the wild-eyed, late morning rants of this uninformed wind-bag, O'Donnell.
The New York Post reported on the 24th that Barbara "lowered her head on the dais and covered her face with her hand" as Rosie spoke. During her now boring schtick, Rosie unleashed the "F" word and a slew of vulgar sexual references as she spoke before the collected elite of the female movers and shakers of the news biz as well as a bevy of teen-aged girls who were on hand to receive awards for their own efforts to enter the field of communications.
PBS omnipresence Bill Moyers returns his series "Bill Moyers Journal" to taxpayer-funded PBS stations on Wednesday night. On Monday, National Public Radio’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross offered Moyers a very favorable interview to promote the show. Near the end, Gross asked Moyers about charges of liberal bias bandied about when Kenneth Tomlinson headed the board at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Moyers said "He singled out Now with Bill Moyers for a bias that didn’t exist."
Moyers didn’t try in this comfortable liberal forum to pretend completely that he was non-ideological or a "Thomas Paine radical." He proclaimed "There's no hiding the fact that I believe that collectively we can do things that we can't do individually. I don't think markets solve all of our problems. If that makes me a liberal, I'm a liberal." But he claimed his journalism was about seeking the "verifiable truth."
Is it just me or does it seem that liberal political figures seem to have a propensity to say "it was just a joke" whenever a particularly idiotic idea of theirs meets with appropriate ridicule?
That at least, is what Sheryl Crow is now saying after her remarks about how everyone should only use one square of toilet paper were derided worldwide. I'm inclined to agree with Ace. He quotes from Crow's original blog post and then asks:
If someone can point out the tropes typically used to indicate ironical intent here, I'd appreciate it. Seems to me like a list of earnestly-proposed "solutions."
All daffy. But daffiness is the left's stock in trade. Whereas irony, self-awareness, and humor generally are not.
On Tuesday's edition of ABC's The View, the targets included Bush guru Karl Rove and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Gonzales was portrayed as brainless....but singer Sheryl Crow was "amazing," a heartfelt activist. Rosie O'Donnell insisted Crow's toilet-tissue comments were just a joke, not a serious request. First, the conversation shifted mysteriously from being addicted to watching women fight on The Bachelor on ABC to the cluelessness of Gonzales. Token non-liberal Elisabeth Hasselbeck agreed he needed to resign. Snippets included:
JOY BEHAR: I don’t recall, 75 times. If that were me, I’d be in assisted living right now. The guy can’t remember anything 75 times. At the very least, he might have dementia....
ELISABETH HASSELBECK: Why didn’t he know what was going on? And why didn’t he know a thing about the people he fired?
Brent Bozell, President of
the Media Research Center, which publishes
NewsBusters, appeared Tuesday night on FNC's "Hannity & Colmes"
to criticize PBS for returning left-winger Bill Moyers to the
taxpayer-funded network just weeks after PBS spiked Frank Gaffney's
documentary, "Islam vs. Islamists: Voices from the Muslim Center,"
which was intended to be part of last week's 11-part America at a
Crossroads series. Wednesday night, most PBS stations will run Moyers's
left-wing screed, "Buying
the War," about how the news media was supposedly complicit
in the Bush administration's false contentions that got the U.S. into
the Iraq war. (More below on the segment and topic)
Video clip (5:58): Real
(10.2 MB at higher-quality 225 kbps) or Windows Media
(3.8 MB at lower-quality 81 kbps), plus MP3
audio (2.1 MB)
Oldie but goodie: Yet another example of Al Gore "killing" the planet in order to "save" it, this time in Saskatchewan, Canada:
Inside the Brandt Centre, he may have been preaching his "Inconvenient Truth".
the truth of the matter is, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore travels
in style, when he goes from place-to-place to explain how people need
to take care of the environment.
Take for instead, his mode of
both, air and ground transportation. Since Gore only travels in hybrid
vehicles, the Lexus that got him from the airport to the Brandt Centre
was just that -- an $80,000 hybrid.
While Tuesday's NBC Nightly News commendably devoted a story to mourning in the Fort Bragg community after the loss of nine 82nd Airborne soldiers in Iraq, a loss to the division anchor Brian Williams described as “the largest since June of 1969,” reporter Bob Faw pivoted from sadness over the deaths to how “even here, where support for the war has been unswerving, the latest round of casualties raised new doubts about the American military presence in Iraq.” Faw included the views of those in the Fayetteville, North Carolina community who praised the soldiers and still support the war, but stressed, based on a few anecdotal quotes from people on the street, how “on this day, publicly, the voices of dissent grew louder and angrier -- even here.” Viewers then heard a woman declare: “It's senseless. All they're doing is going over there and dying for nothing, absolutely nothing.”
Vanity is spread awfully thick across the pages of Vanity Fair, and nowhere more so than when James Wolcott is writing a jeremiad. The most recent target of the sage of Frostburg State is Rush Limbaugh, and his idiot listeners, for fiddling while the planet burned due to global warming and the overuse of toilet tissue:
Global warming's most popular denialist, talk radio's most imitated showman, conservatism's minister of disinformation, he has injected millions of semi-vacant American skulls with a cream filling of complacency that has helped thrust this country into the forefront of backward leadership....May the grasses of his favorite golf courses go forever yellow and dust storms whip from the sand traps.
Former CBS reporter Bernard Goldberg appeared on this morning's Today show to promote his new book and in the process took several jabs at wimpy Republicans who don't stand by conservative principles and the "Rosie O'Donnells of the world," that suffer from "Bush Derangement Syndrome." While Goldberg wasn't a 100 percent conservative -- he criticized the Iraq war and supports embryonic stem cell research -- it was still refreshing to hear a former member of the liberal media criticize libs on their own airwaves.
First up, NBC's Matt Lauer opened the segment by deriding Goldberg's new gig at Fox News as out of the mainstream:
Matt Lauer: "In the world of the media Bernard Goldberg used to bat lefty now he bats righty. He sold millions of books taking swings at liberals in the press. Now a regular on the Fox News Channel, Goldberg used to be a card-carrying member of the mainstream media establishment."
The solution to government problems is more government according to CBS "Evening News" on April 23.
Two stories from that broadcast criticized the Food and Drug Administration, though neither report included a response from the agency. Still, Katie Couric said politicians are "not sure the FDA is up to the job."
Reporter Wyatt Andrews made it sound like everyone supports increased FDA regulation and funding.
"Every proposal to fix the FDA says the real job belongs to Congress. That Congress has to deliver new funding and new authority to bring the FDA into the 21st Century," concluded Andrews.
Reporter Nancy Cordes echoed the cry for more funding, although she stated that an additional $11 million is already slated for food safety efforts in 2008. But that's not enough.
On the Sunday edition of "Good Morning America," co-host Ron Claiborne narrated a celebratory piece on the origins of Earth Day. He noted how the opinions of Americans on environmental issues have changed and asserted, "at least some of the credit goes to former Vice President Al Gore."
Additionally, Claiborne interviewed the founder of Earth Day, Denis Hayes. Labeled as simply the first event’s "coordinator" by an onscreen ABC graphic, the GMA host never mentioned Hayes’ radical agenda or any of this incendiary comments. After claiming that "green has gone mainstream," Claiborne discussed the origins of Earth Day:
Update at bottom of post: A blogger picks apart the AP story.
Just as the ladies of "The View" discussed the previous day, "The Early Show" on April 24 harped on a study that allegedly demonstrates a pay gap between men and women. Hannah Storm kicked off the report noting "women’s rights groups have declared today equal pay day." Reporter Kelly Wallace uncritically reported a study conducting by the left leaning American Association of University Women, which supports abortion rights and affirmative action. Wallace fed this information to several unsuspecting New York University female students. Although Wallace briefly mentioned that women are more likely to enter professions with lower pay, she quickly refuted it with the liberal organization’s own study.
The MRC's TimesWatch division has an excellent analysis of the NYT's grossly shoddy and biased coverage of the Duke lacrosse "rape" case. In this latest item, the student newspaper at Duke, The Chronicle, actually went out and interviewed former NYT reporters and critics and asked their opinion about the paper's coverage of the Duke case. The Chronicle -- a student paper! -- did what the so-called professional media should have done long ago. Concerning the NYT's coverage of the Duke case, "it showed everything that's wrong with American journalism," said Daniel Okrent, a former public editor of the NYT. For more, click here
The left-wing press is notorious for its hypocrisy and double-standards, especially when it comes to itself. No news organization is a bigger case in point than the New York Times, the so-called paper of record which touts itself as holding the Bush administration accountable, all the while engaging in unprofessional and unethical behavior and never being held accountable for it.
Well today, some accountability came.
Investors in the New York Times have been outraged as the paper continues to lose market share and bleed money faster than Rosie O'Donnell at a hamburger stand. This has been going on for years and nothing's been done to stop it, in part because the people who own most of the Times stock actually have no control as to who runs the company since their shares can't vote on a majority of the board of directors. That position is reserved for the uber-leftist Sulzberger family (headed by Arthur "Pinch" Sulzberger Jr.) who has been running the paper into the ground financially and off a cliff when it comes to bias, all the while stuffing its own pockets.
Fed-up investors finally had enough. Earlier today, they gave the Times a loud vote of no confidence by refusing to vote at all for the small number of director seats that they can vote on:
Roger Friedman, gossip blogger for FNC has an interesting item about the anti-Katie Couric piece that I blogged about yesterday. According to Friedman, the piece was done partly at the behest of Couric's predecessor, the seemingly avuncular Bob Schieffer.
That wouldn't surprise me, but before I get into why, here's Friedman:
[O]ne of Couric's frequently
mentioned enemies is Bob Schieffer, the lovable, durable veteran
journalist who filled in as anchor of the "CBS Evening News"
between Dan Rather's departure and Couric's arrival.
But sources say that Schieffer has been
unhappy lately, mainly because his airtime, which was prominent when
Couric first started, has dwindled in recent weeks.
It's been suggested that a hit piece on
Couric written by Gail Shister in yesterday's Philadelphia Inquirer
was inspired by Schieffer as its main source.
"He has a direct line to her,"
one insider said.
This type of thing is hardly unprecedented within the television news business. CBS isn't quite the San Diego of "Anchorman," but it's had no shortage of anchor feuds.
NBC's environmental correspondent Anne Thompson cited global warming as a primary reason to implement a new commuter tax or as she euphemistically called it, "congestion pricing," on drivers. As incoming traffic passed by her on the Holland Tunnel the Today show's Thompson began her report this way: "Good morning, Meredith. Look behind me and you'll see this is what congestion pricing seeks to reduce. The 50,000 cars a day that rumble into Manhattan through the Holland Tunnel contributing to global warming. Now global warming has long been on the environmentalist radar but today its taking center stage in our political debate."
After that eye-grabbing video Thompson went on to highlight proposals from RINO Republicans Senator John McCain and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to cut down on greenhouse gasses and even ran a portion of an ad from Robert Redford as he challenged Americans: "Our moment is now and our challenge is to solve global warming."
Update below jump with related items from NewsBusters.
This morning, NewsBusters contributing editor Dan Gainor brought this Washington Post article to my attention:
"Britain's Gun Laws Seen as Curbing Attacks"
But the problem is that while anti-gun activists recited those talking points in Post foreign service correspondent Mary Jordan's April 24 story, the empirical evidence shows otherwise.
The number of crimes in which a handgun was used in England and Wales
has risen from 299 in 1995 to 1,024 last year. Offenses committed with
all types of firearms, including air guns, have also increased.
That's an increase of 725 gun crimes in 11 years, a 242 percent increase. Britain already had strict gun control before the 1996 Dunblane, Scotland, school shooting, and in 1997 both Conservative and Labour governments pushed through fresh gun control legislation banning small caliber handguns.
Considering that "Good Morning America" has repeatedly adopted left-wing solutions to environmental issues, it’s not surprising that the program acted as a press agent for singer Sheryl Crow on Tuesday’s program. (After all, ABC allowed Crow to kick off her global warming tour on GMA.) Anchor Chris Cuomo claimed that Crow’s assertion (she called for a limit to the amount of toilet paper Americans can use), was meant as a "comment about the environment."
Reporter Bianna Golodryga alternated between calling the statement, which has been widely mocked in much of the country, a joke and also a "quirky solution."
For the second week in a row, Lou Dobbs avoided his normal Ralph Nader like anti-corporate pitch and provided some very telling statistics on gun control. On the April 24 edition of "The Early Show," the CNN anchor noted that crime rate has fallen in recent years "irrespective of gun control laws." When Washington, DC banned hand guns in 1976, its murder rate tripled by 1991. When California imposed stricter gun laws in 1975, it’s violent crime rate rose significantly. Dobbs noted the Constitution and the Second Amendment’s guarantee of the right to bear arms.
Host Hannah Storm appeared surprised that Dobbs would call gun control legislation "irrational." She did get assurances from Lou that he does support a national "database" system. The entire transcript is below.
Sunday’s Philadelphia Inquirer story on the troubles at the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric — a story bulging with anti-Couric quotes from anonymous CBSers — included a revealing window into the news network’s intolerant liberal mindset, with the newsroom in “an uproar” after the father of a slain high school student was given roughly 60 seconds to condemn the lack of morality in public schools and said the culture of abortion devalues human life.
“‘There's a difference between free speech and responsible speech,’ an embarrassed correspondent says,” according to Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Gail Shister.
Does it give the Dem leaders of Congress pause to realize that the enemies of the United States in Iraq, the people killing our troops, are banking on their political success? Reid and Pelosi might be tempted to dismiss this as the raving of a right-wing blogger. They shouldn't. It is in fact the considered view of someone they surely see as a respected, nay, an authoritative source: no less than the Baghdad bureau chief of the New York Times, John Burns.
Burns was a guest on this morning's "Today." In the set-up piece, NBC White House correspondent Kelly O'Donnell rolled a clip of precisely the kind of politics to which Burns later alluded, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [D-NV] fumed: "No more will the Congress turn a blind eye to the Bush administration's incompetence and dishonesty." When's the last time Reid spoke with such vitriol about al-Qaeda? Just wondering.
Moments later, Matt Lauer asked Burns: "By its very nature a surge is a temporary dynamic. What is the biggest factor in your opinion as to whether they can have success in the near term and the longer term?"
NYT BAGHDAD BUREAU CHIEF JOHN BURNS: Well, the number of troops, that's finite. The amount of time they can stay, we think that's probably finite, too. And the calculations of the insurgents, who, as one military officer said to me, will always trade territory for time. That's to say, they will move out, they will wait. Because they know the political dynamic in the United States is moving in a direction that is probably going to be favorable to them.
As Rich Noyes mentioned yesterday, American "mainstream" media accounts often seemed to give Mikhail Gorbachev more praise and more glory in the decline of the Soviet Union than they ever gave Boris Yeltsin. On the front page of today's Washington Post, under a positive headline ("Rough Hewn Father of Russian Democracy"), Post editorial writer Lee Hockstader authored a fairly severe obituary, which even within the first few paragraphs was strangely claiming Yeltsin was more comparable to Stalin than was Khrushchev, Brezhnev, and Gorbachev:
Like Peter the Great, the 18th-century czar he once mentioned as his model, Yeltsin was no towering democrat. In launching a war against the breakaway southern region of Chechnya in 1994, he was responsible for the violent deaths of more Russian citizens than any Kremlin leader since Joseph Stalin. As president, he tolerated -- even authorized -- the excesses of a system in some ways as corrupt and morally adrift as the one it replaced.
In his report last Thursday (HT Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em) on Congress's passage of a bill that would grant congressional representation for the District of Columbia, Associated Press writer Jim Abrams opened with nearly celebratory language. He also noted the existence of a constitutional objection to the law but failed to explain how ironclad that objection most likely is:
The people of the District of Columbia moved a step closer Thursday to gaining voting rights denied to them for more than 200 years.
But the legislation passed by the House on a 241-177 vote faced a veto threat from the White House, which said the bill was unconstitutional.
In recounting a previous such effort and its results at the end of his report, Abrams missed an easy opportunity to explain why what the House did should be irrelevant:
If you run a policy group in Washington, your chances of getting on network television are slim if you happen to advocate for a cause not favored by liberals. Your chances are even worse that anything you say won't be slapped with a "conservative" label to warn viewers of your perspective.
That's a good thing. Most groups can be placed somewhere on the political spectrum and that placement should be disclosed to the news consumer. The unfortunate thing, however, is that if you're a liberal group, your affinities often are not disclosed.
Such was the case with this MSNBC.com article on the subject of guns which features a quote from one Joseph Vince who happens to be a gun control advocate. This information is not disclosed to the audience. Instead, we get this:
ABC News polling chief Gary Langer, in a posting buried on ABCNews.com, revealed that a poll taken Sunday discovered that when “asked the primary cause of gun violence, far more Americans blamed the effects of popular culture (40 percent) or the way parents raise their children (35 percent) than the availability of guns (18 percent).” ABC's World News on Monday devoted nearly two minutes to results of ABC's survey, but didn't get to that finding which shows the public does not share the media assumption that gun availability is to blame for the murders at Virginia Tech.