In a report on Wednesday's American Morning, CNN entertainment correspondent Brooke Anderson reported on the deal between People magazine and Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt over the exclusive rights to the photos of the couple’s daughter, Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt. During her report, Anderson made this rather strange analogy between the birth of Jolie-Pitt and Jesus Christ:
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s newborn baby finally arrived on May 27th. Her name, Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt. Some biblical references define Shiloh as, quote, ‘generally understood as denoting the Messiah.’ And perhaps not since Jesus has a baby’s arrival been so eagerly anticipated, at least in some circles.
Perhaps Anderson was attempting to be witty with her remark, having explained the biblical connection to the name Shiloh. Still, one wonders how the arrival of Pitt and Jolie’s child is different from any number of other high-profile births: Britney Spears’ son Sean Preston, Julia Roberts’ twins Hazel and Phinneaus, and of course, who can forget the earthshaking arrival of Suri Cruise?
The Nation magazine is trying to soft sell the election in California's 50th District of Republican Brian Bilbray who is now replacing disgraced Republican, Randy "Duke" Cunningham. And they aren’t the only one’s trying to blow off the importance to the Democratic Party’s immediate future at the polls that this election might portend.
"Busby lost to Republican Brian Bilbray in a special election last night by 49 to 45 percent, in (a) heavily Republican district(s)."
But this claim of a "heavily Republican district" is not really the correct, up-to-date analysis of the district's voting trends.
50th District polling results over last week of the race show that the numbers did not move very much between Busby and Bilbray, but it does show one thing clearly. The district was competitive in that the candidates were never separated by more than 10 points most of the time.
Writing at Editor and Publisher, the bible of the newspaper industry, senior editor Joe Strupp blasts newspapers for not doing enough to promote gay marriage:
The gay marriage debate has wasted time, energy and
effort long enough. It barely shows up in a list of issues that concern
Americans in a Gallup Poll released in the past week. And the current proposal for a constitutional ban on gay marriage may be the height of abuse.
It is bad enough that newspapers have not taken a
harder stance in favor of gay rights in the past. But to allow this
short-sighted misuse of the Constitution to move ahead without
condemnation would be the ultimate irresponsibility.
James Taranto at Opinion Journal received an email from a U.S. military officer stationed in Iraq who asked that his name not be identified.
I am currently stationed here in Iraq and have been here for the past 11 months; I am an adviser to the Iraqis and meet them on a daily basis. I have been in many locations in the country and am involved on a daily basis together with the Iraqis fighting the insurgency.
The media manipulation by the insurgents is brilliant and extremely effective. The press has become a puppet for the insurgents; the insurgents know exactly what they are doing with these "massacres" (quoted here because the investigation has not been completed, nor have any charges been filed) and the political nightmare they will cause the current administration. Bodies are produced for film, and there is zero fact-checking by the media--the media eat up this "news" like there is no tomorrow. A couple of hundred bucks paid by the insurgents to a few guys/ladies in the town where this "massacre" occurred to make up some bad news and pine for the BBC's or CBS's or whoever's cameras is a nice month's salary for many and money well spent by the insurgency.
Human Events Online reports that "The Passion of the Christ" is in no danger of being passed up by "The Da Vinci Code" in ticket sales, even after 15 days.
As reported here earlier, The Passion of The Christ, which IMDb ranks No. 10 in U.S. box office sales for all time, continues to outpace The Da Vinci Code’s U.S. box office performance in head-to-head match-ups of day-by-day sales—a trend that continues to send Hollywood this unmistakable message: “Blasphemy doesn’t pay.”
Imagine it as a horserace between Passion and Code.
Passion, at the week three, Day 15 turn had sold $228,134,000 at the U.S. box office, while Code lagged behind at $172,656,000 in U.S. ticket sales....
John Updike has joined the ranks of novelists to take on the subject of terrorism and, in fact, that’s the title of his new book, “Terrorist”. It should be on the shelves even as we speak. I haven’t read it as yet, but I have checked out some pre-publication interviews and reviews and I assume that what we have here is a balancing act between good and evil.
I don’t know what good is, exactly, but I do know evil, precisely. That’s when a group of misfits hijack airplanes and crash them into our buildings.
One thing we should never do is judge a book by its reviews, which is exactly what I seem to be doing right now, so apologies to Updike in case I’ve got him all wrong. I should wait, yet I can’t help but be impatient since I’ve got my own novel on terrorism running as a monthly serial on Amazon.com (“The Bathsheba Deadline”) and am curious to know where we converge, where we depart.
There comes a point at which denial drifts into delusion, and Mary Mapes has crossed it. Incredibly, she is out with a Huffington Post piece calling the assertion of the irrefutable fact that the Rathergate documents were blatant forgeries a 'lie.'
It's one thing to say those who claim forgery haven't made their case. But to call their assertions a 'lie' is affirmatively to assert the authenticity of the Rathergate documents. Mapes thus lurches one giant step deeper into delusion. Her accusation also shifts the burden of proof. If indeed the documents are authentic, why then: prove it, Mary.
For weeks, the MSM has been billing as a bellwether the congressional by-election in California to replace convicted felon Randy 'Duke' Cunningham. As per the conventional wisdom, if the Democrats managed to take the seat in what is normally a GOP-stronghold, it would be seen as a harbinger of horrible things to come for the Republican congressional majority.
Well, the election was held yesterday, and - whoops! - the Republican, Brian Bilbray, won. So how did Today spin it? Why, silence was suddenly golden. At least as of the crucial first half-hour, there was time for coverage of dust in the Arizonan desert, but not a word of the Bilbray victory. Insert your imagine-if-the-Dem-had-won comment here.
MRC's Geoff Dickens told me that Geraldo Rivera's syndicated program "Rivera At Large" -- which I'm told airs alongside the network evening news shows on some Fox affiliates -- carried a big segment on the 25th anniversary of the discovery of AIDS on June 1. Rivera found one actress who was an angry activist.
Rivera: "But many are unsatisfied with the pace of progress. Even as world leaders gathered at the United Nations Wednesday to find new ways to tackle the epidemic the actress Rosie Perez led AIDS activists at a rally outside."
Rosie Perez: "I’m disappointed in our leadership here in the United States. Yes the United States is giving a lot of money for the, for the fight against AIDS but to push a program of abstinence is just insane. It, it doesn’t work. We have to be realistic and we have to do even more than what’s being done."
Do you ever have one of those moments when you're reading the newspaper, and you feel like a reporter is just pulling a number out of the air? The way that reporters staunchly suggested without a study that there were three million homeless Americans in the 1980s?The Washington Post gave me that impression with its Monday story on Latinos converting to Islam. How common is it, and who's done a study? The Post warns "precise numbers" aren't available, so it makes what sounds to me like an over-guess:
Across the nation, thousands of Latino immigrants are redefining themselves through Islam, including a few hundred in the Washington region, according to national Islamic groups and community leaders.
The Tuesday ABC and NBC evening newscasts ran tributes to Princeton University’s salutatorian, illegal immigrant Dan-el Padilla Peralta, and NBC also hailed the efforts of illegals in Queens to defy efforts to crack down on them. At the top of World News Tonight, Charles Gibson fretted, “American dream: A Princeton graduate who rose from homelessness to the top of his class, but could now be banned from the country because he is an illegal alien." Gibson soon touted how “we have an extraordinary story tonight of one illegal immigrant” who was amongst the few able to attend college, specifically “a young man who graduated from Princeton University today near the top of his class. He defied the odds spectacularly. Yet, because he is illegal, he faces an uncertain future.” David Muir explained his plight: "Dan-el is an illegal immigrant, which becomes very important because he's been invited to study at Oxford. And if he goes, U.S. immigration law says because he is an illegal, he can't come back for at least a decade."
Brian Williams ended the NBC Nightly News by trumpeting how Peralta “got over a major hurdle today. He graduated from the Ivy League despite living in the U.S. illegally. He moved here from the Dominican Republic when he was four. His mother was sick.” Just before the admiration from Williams, NBC ran a piece from David Gregory which looked at the immigration debate through the prism of illegals: “You see a neighborhood among the most diverse in the city on the leading edge of this fight. Some are afraid. Luis Amigo owns this bodaga. Here illegally, he says he won't visit his sister anymore, fearing he'll now get stuck in Mexico." Gregory set up “community activist” Ana Maria Archilla: “Leaving really isn't an option?" And before a minister, who didn’t differentiate between legal and illegal immigrants, argued that “we would fail our forefathers if we are not doing what we are supposed to do, to welcome immigrants,” Gregory delivered this chastisement of conservatives, "There is also this appeal: Don't let today's politics change the country." (Transcripts follow)
Earlier today, the Los Angeles Times reported that Pentagon officials were considering
dropping Article 3 of the Geneva Convention from FM 34-52, the Army's
field manual on interrogation. While the Pentagon has not reached a
final decision on the potential modifications to FM 34-52, the Times
and USA Today certainly have. Follow the escalation.
"The Pentagon has decided to omit from new detainee policies a key tenet
of the Geneva Convention that explicitly bans "humiliating and
degrading treatment," according to knowledgeable military officials, a
step that would mark a further, potentially permanent, shift away from
strict adherence to international human rights standards."
In a further dumbing down of definitions for mental disorders in our mental health system, now it is claimed that millions have something called "intermittent explosive disorder" which manifests itself in the so-called road rage outbursts across this great land of ours.
More proof that our "mental health" practitioners are all too often full of crap. From the AP: (Click here for story)
"CHICAGO - To you, that angry, horn-blasting tailgater is suffering from road rage. But doctors have another name for it -- intermittent explosive disorder -- and a new study suggests it is far more common than they realized, affecting up to 16 million Americans.
"People think it's bad behavior and that you just need an attitude adjustment, but what they don't know ... is that there's a biology and cognitive science to this," said Dr. Emil Coccaro, chairman of psychiatry at the University of Chicago's medical school.
Road rage, temper outbursts that involve throwing or breaking objects and even spousal abuse can sometimes be attributed to the disorder, though not everyone who does those things is afflicted.
Looks like another person on the CBS payroll missed a memo. First it was weatherman Dave Price giving positive reports on Iraq. Now, on this morning’s "Early Show" Colonel Randy Larsen, the director of the Homeland Security Institute and according to co-host Hannah Storm, a CBS News consultant, debunked a few myths that have been promoted by the media.
Larsen used the arrests in Canada to defend the National Security Agency’s (NSA) reported collection of phone records data and to illustrate its usefulness:
"But, it's a superb example, Hannah, of this controversy in the past few weeks about NSA and having the big database of telephone calls. When they arrested these people this weekend, they got cell phones and they got access to other phone numbers they didn't have before. And I'll tell you what, as a U.S. citizen, I'm really happy there's a database we can quickly look into now and see who they've been calling in the United States and start looking into that. So, there's a specific example of about how this data mining can really provide us more security here."
Web media is the dominant at-work media and No. 2 in the home, according to a new report from the Online Publishers Association.
The Web also ranked as the No. 1 daytime media.
A research project, conducted by Ball State University's Center for Media Design, tracked the media use of 350 people every 15 seconds. The subjects represented each gender, about equally, across three age groups: 18 to 34, 35 to 49 and 50-plus. The people were monitored by another person for approximately 13 hours, or 80 percent of their waking day.
One hopes this Time mag profile of leftist blogger Markos "Kos" Moulitsas from ex-pseudo blogger Ana Marie Cox (occasionally formerly of wonkette.com), is not allowed into the magazine lest more innocent people will be exposed to its fatuousness.
Compact and wiry, Moulitsas, 34, exudes quivering intensity. He speaks
in staccato paragraphs, punctuated by intense stares and a raised
eyebrow. His eyes bulge slightly outward, as if reacting to the
pressure of all the ideas inside his head. Many of those ideas find a home on Daily Kos. A
clearinghouse for liberal screeds and progressive perspective on the
news, the site claims to get more than 500,000 unique visitors daily
and more than 10,000 members maintain their own sub-blogs (called
"diaries") within its reaches.
In other words, he's nuts but it's in a good way. The nonsense hardly stops there, though:
Moulitsas’s rhetoric and passion have made him a posterboy
bomb-thrower. He's the left's own Kurt Cobain and Che Guevera rolled
into one, dripping sex appeal for progressives for whom debate has
become synonymous with losing, who need a muscular liberal answer to
the cowboy swagger adopted by the Bush Administration and its fans.
Andrew C. McCarthy writes in National Review that when the New York Times reported on the foiled terrorist plots in Canada, they took great pains not to mention the terrorists were Muslim.
Not only were all those arrested Muslims. The reported evidence against them fits to a tee the shopworn pattern of Islamic terrorism repeated for much of the last two decades. Young men were radicalized at the local mosque and its companion school by elders preaching from the Koran.....
Nonetheless, the rigorous media practice in Phase One is to suppress any reference to Islam, the single thread that runs through virtually all modern terrorism—from New York, to Virginia, to Bali, the Djerba, to Baghdad, to Mombassa, to Tel Aviv, to Nairobi, to Dar es Salaam, to Ankara, to Paris, to Riyadh, to Amman, to Sharm el-Sheikh, to Aden, to London, to Madrid, and, now, to Toronto.
Coming on long after Ann Coulter presumably left the Today show set Kathy Griffin couldn't resist taking a shot at the conservative author. Griffin cracked Al Roker up when she called Coulter a "nut-ball" and asked Al: "Doesn't she just make stuff up?"
Kathy Griffin: "I like to make fun of everybody. I think nobody is sacred, everybody can be ridiculous. And I love making fun of just all of celebrity culture."
Al Roker: "So you basically have gone after, you, you've made Steven Spielberg angry, now you're going after Oprah."
Griffin: "I go, although I'd like to go after Ann Coulter. I saw that nut-ball on the show earlier."
In Washington these days, all eyes are directed to the White House as literally the center of the political universe. President Bush’s job approval rating is the benchmark by which the left measures his clout – and by contrast, its own. When he is brought low, it means they are having a good year.
This is especially true for the national news media, which can barely refrain from a collective self-satisfied smirk these days. But here’s the funny thing. Nobody looks at <ital>their<ital> approval rating. A Harris poll in February found that only 25 percent said they have a “great deal of confidence” in the White House – but only 19 percent had great confidence in TV news, and only 14 percent for “the press” in general.
In the latest liberal media press release disguised as a news story, Bill Clinton has now provided his own audio tour of the Clinton library, reports Jill Zeman of the Associated Press from Little Rock, and it seems to have a lot of boasting against Republicans of the "you can't stop me, you can only hope to contain me" variety.
At the impeachment exhibit, Clinton says, "So when I won, it was a profound sort of psychological shock to a lot of them," he says of his opponents, with a chuckle. "Then they went into overdrive fighting me. They weren't accomplishing anything, just banging away."
As Letterman might say, isn't it "banging away" that started this whole trouble in the first place?
CNSNews.com has an exclusive interview with Ann Coulter today as her book "Godless" The Church of Liberalism" hits the book stores. She tells Randy Hall that abortion is the "virgin sacrifice" of the liberal "religion" she describes in the book. Coulter goes on to say that one of the main goals of the American public education system is to force small school children to become atheists. Coulter takes on the spectrum of what she considers liberal doctrine, ranging from global warming and stem-cell research to "dry" toilets. Here's a sampler of her lines:
Cybercast News Service: During his May 10 appearance on the "700 Club," Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said: "One of the misconceptions about the Democratic Party is that we're godless and that we don't have any values. The truth is we have an enormous amount in common with the Christian community, and particularly with the evangelical Christian community." How would you respond to his statement?
Ann Coulter: Who knew Howard Dean had a sense of humor?
Matt Lauer has two different sets of standards for politically provocative authors. If you are on the left he laughs with you, if you are on the right he slams you. On this morning’s Today show Ann Coulter’s statements drew outrage from Matt but last October when Al Franken suggested Karl Rove and Lewis Libby be executed for treason Matt and the Today show crew laughed. Lauer’s interview with Coulter got particularly testy when he read excerpts from Coulter’s new book and demanded she defend them. Below are the most explosive portion of this morning’s Coulter v. Lauer showdown
While considerable attention focuses on Ann Coulter's more superficial charms, from a conservative perspective Ann's real beauty is her absolute refusal to buy into liberal logic, no matter how pervasive. That independence of mind was on display this morning during her 'Today' interview with Matt Lauer. Ann was on to tout her new book, Godless: The Church of Liberalism, released today on . . . 6/6/6 - sign of the devil and all that. [See today's open thread.]
The first example came in the context of President Bush's current push for a constitutional amendment that would prohibit gay marriage. The liberal mantra on his initiative, as exemplified by Ann Curry's performance on yesterday's Today, is that this is a cynical political ploy and a waste of time when there are myriad 'real' issues out there to be addressed.
In the wake of the Ann Coulter interview on Tuesday's "Today" -- specifically the part where Matt Lauer simply couldn't believe Coulter's attacks on 9-11 widows channeling their grief into anti-Bush attacks on TV news shows -- here are a few reminders of how the Kristen Breitweisers of the world (who endorsed John Kerry in the fall) were given the lion's share of attention by network hosts like Matt Lauer.
An MRC study of relatives on the morning news shows found the disparity of anti-Bush victim relatives to pro-Bush relatives was 20 to 3. (The report concluded, "These relatives are entitled to their views, of course. But network viewers are entitled to a little balance, too.")
A week earlier, it was already obvious Breitweiser was doing election-year publicity against Bush:
A new ABC News poll found that by a 22-point margin -- 58 to 36 percent -- a solid majority of Americans believe “same-sex marriage should be illegal,” yet, on Monday’s World News Tonight, ABC anchor Charles Gibson declared that “the polls show Americans are fairly evenly split on this issue.” ABCNews.com headlined its story, “Most Oppose Gay Marriage; Fewer Back an Amendment,” and reporter Jake Tapper pointed out how “forty-five of fifty states have passed either constitutional amendments or laws banning same-sex marriage, including in Democratic-leaning states Oregon and California.” Nonetheless, a seemingly befuddled Gibson asked George Stephanopoulos: “Why does the White House think this is a political winner for the President if indeed we're split?" Stephanopoulos explained that “the number of Americans who are strongly opposed to gay marriage is more than twice the size of the number who are strongly for it, and that group of voters who want to block gay marriage is three times as likely to vote on the issue.”
Gibson next relayed what Stephanopoulos characterized as the Democratic spin. Gibson inquired, “why, if the votes are not there for this constitutional amendment, does the Senate spend three days on this issue when there are a lot of issues that perhaps they could do something about it?" Stephanopoulos answered, “The Democrats think their best issue is misplaced priorities, and they say exactly what you say: The Senate shouldn't be spending their time on this when you have high gas prices and a war raging in Iraq." (Transcript follows)