On his HBO show that aired over the last week, Bill Maher joked that last Friday, "President Bush spoke at a Catholic prayer breakfast, and you could tell this was a Catholic prayer breakfast because [Maher laughs] it was in the morning and he said 'I'm dying for a little joe' and they brought him an altar boy." The crowd laughed and applauded, and Maher said, "See, I'm not afraid!"
Aside from the fact there are craven bishops who still deserve this joke, isn't this show supposed to be "topical"? Isn't this a little like cracking jokes about that wacky Senate Majority Leader, Tom Daschle?
A week after we heard endless lectures about how hard-working ethical heroes like the Rutgers women in no way deserve the humor Don Imus dished out, can't we also suggest that hard-working ethical heroes like the nation's Catholic priests in no way deserve Maher's line of "ho" humor?
On her "Couric & Co." blog today, the CBS "Evening News" anchor posted a 10-question interview with gun control activist Paul Helmke. Couric's questions largely lobbed softballs for the Brady Campaign's Helmke to hit out of the park. But beyond that, she let slip a suggestion a keener ear might have caught and followed up on.
Helmke suggested he'd prefer a law making law-abiding citizens have to show references for purchasing a gun.
That's right, references, as in asking friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc. if they think you should have the right to own a gun. References for the government to pry into your life (well beyond any criminal record) before you, a law-abiding citizen, to purchase a gun, something you have the right to do under the Constitution.
Meredith Vieira and Matt Lauer, right, and correspondent Pete Williams report, in New York Thursday morning April 19, 2007, on a video manifesto and photos sent to their network by Virginia Tech gunman Cho Seung-Hui.
Soon it’s going to cost you more to mow your lawn, and the Christian Science Monitor doesn’t mind because it’s all in the name of a cleaner planet.
“[H]elp is on the way. Thanks to a new rule unveiled by the Environmental Protection Agency this week, homeowners will finally be able to buy mowers that give their lawn a truly clean cut,” wrote Mark Clayton of the Monitor.
But it was not homeowners who pressured mower manufacturers to lower emissions, but a mandate from the EPA. According to the new rule, beginning in 2011 small engines like those used in lawn tractors must filter out “an additional 35 pollutants … in addition to the 60 percent reduction mandated last year.”
In Friday’s Weekend section, Washington Post music writer Richard Harrington composed the requisite schmooze article on Sheryl Crow’s and Laurie David’s propagandistic Earth Day weekend in DC, noting how it’s “aimed at inspiring students to become part of the movement.” Which movement, a liberal movement? How many times have readers found the term “liberal movement” in the Washington Post? (Answer: a Nexis search shows not since last July 17, when then-Postie Jim VandeHei wrote "A year after its founding, Democracy Alliance has followed up on its pledge to become a major power in the liberal movement.")
The headline of the soft-scoop piece is “College Tour Means The World to Sheryl Crow.” Crow typically um, crowed that the debate was over and it’s irresponsible to oppose her. That would include opposing her strange notion that the global-apocalypse specialists cooking up global-government schemes at the United Nations can be categorized as “conservative” scientists:
Rush Limbaugh has long compared aspects of the environmentalist movement to a religion. CNN’s Ali Velshi has given some evidence of that hypothesis. Friday’s "American Morning" featured a segment on carbon offset credits, which Velshi and cohost Kiran Chetry all but endorsed. At the beginning of the segment, Velshi stated that the credits were a way for companies to "basically buy their way out of their sins." At the segment’s close, he uses the exact same terminology - "It's the idea that you're paying or you're making up for your pollution and your sins." Video: Real (793 KB) or Windows (893 KB), plus MP3 (125 KB).
Al Gore has complained that the media are biased against the inconvenient truth of global warming. "I believe that is one of the principal reasons why political leaders around the world have not yet taken action," Gore told a "Media Ethics Summit" at Middle Tennessee State University back in February. Gore lectured journalists that any coverage of views opposed to his own was irresponsible, calling it "balance as bias."
It's impossible to imagine the big TV networks actually accepting an edict from a conservative politician to report only their side of a major public policy issue, but a new Media Research Center study of ABC, CBS and NBC's global warming coverage finds the networks are giving Gore practically everything he demanded. Not only does nearly every global warming story exclude any contrary voices, but the coverage of Al Gore personally has been exceptionally positive as well.
Here's one ally that most people opposed to the airing of Cho's material would surely just as soon do without.
In an MSNBC column, Siva Vaidhyanathan claims that NBC News' decision to air the material was unfair to, that's right, Cho the mass murderer.
In Material from Killer Should Not Have Aired, Vaidhyanathan does note en passant that the airing "ultimately was disrespectful to the victims and their families." But the lion's share of his column is devoted to complaining that NBC was "exploitative of Cho's condition and that of all severely mentally ill people."
We will see sick attempts at humor, bigoted jokes about Korean immigrants and chilling calls to violence. And we will see a proliferation of hateful material that will be an assault on the mentally ill and their families.
In addition to asking ABC's chief climate alarmist Sam Champion about the snow-laden wind farm he
surveyed today and what it says about "global warming," NewsBusters would love to
hear the "Good Morning America" personality chalk 100 trapped sealing boats in Canada up to Americans who use too much fossil fuel and thereby warm the planet.
Here's just a few news sources covering the story:
The American press is so encumbered by political correctness and ignorant of Islamic doctrine that it is allowing extremist Muslims in this country to mask a hard-core ideology in minority politics. So says M. Zuhdi Jasser, a moderate American Muslim leader (h/t: LGF).
This pandering on the part of the American press (I would add international as well), is preventing the emergence of a pan-Islamic consensus to marginalize extremists like Osama bin Laden, Jasser argues. Instead, the reverse happens--criticism of Islamists gets suppressed by naive liberals who misguidedly think it's racist:
Dennis Wagner of the Arizona Republic broke the story on April 10, 2007 about PBS's censorship of the documentary, Islam vs. Islamists from its America at a Crossroads series which debuted this week. The film's producers, Frank Gaffney, Alex Alexiev and the veteran filmmaker, Martyn Burke of ABG Films, Inc. have since presented in shocking detail their painful protracted experiences trying to navigate the censors at PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting which funded the film with $675,000 of the taxpayers' monies but now has chosen to shelve it. In just the last week of public debate, there has been a firestorm of outcry from the public who are demanding that oppressive methods of editorial content control by power brokers at PBS be investigated and the real story behind the shelving of Islam vs. Islamists be exposed. PBS's exploitation of the public dime and the public airwaves for the narrow point of view of the Islamist sympathizers with the exclusion of the anti-Islamist Muslims is just now beginning to be understood.
With co-host Whoopi Goldberg on the set, the ladies of "The View" continued to discuss the Imus controversy on the April 20 show. Goldberg felt strongly that Imus deserved at least a strong suspension and noted that, while all Americans have free speech, our words can still have consequences. The guest co-host then went through a long list of celebrities whose careers were damaged from inflammatory statements. Rosie responded with another one of her scary predictions and Joy Behar reacted with the "Nazi Germany" card.
ROSIE O’DONNELL: I think racist is one thing. But when people start to say this person has a dissenting political opinion, therefore we want them off the air. That's when we're in dangerous territory. That’s what I think.
As part of ABC’s Earth Day "celebration," the Friday edition of "Good Morning America" featured another segment on just how wasteful Americans are. GMA anchor Diane Sawyer hosted a piece on the destruction Americans create simply by existing. The piece repeatedly hit the United States for producing so much trash. What follows is a sampling of some of Sawyer’s comments about her wasteful compatriots:
Diane Sawyer: "Well, think of Americans with all our waste."
Sawyer: "Toss in some other emblems of consumption, American style. Like all those cell phones in your life, TVs and computers and cars. "
Sawyer: "And let's be honest with each other about the way Americans squander water."
Paul Schneider, a contributor to the Times' Friday Travel section, visits the quaint Southern town of Flippin, Ark., the center of the first of many Clinton administration scandals, in "Remember Whitewater? The Place Is Still There."
Though his story is mostly concerned with hiking, fishing and caving (and occasional cracks about the South), Schneider opened with liberal conventional wisdom:
"It's hard now to remember those shiny days before 9/11 when Congress seemed to believe that the greatest threat to the republic lay in an obscure land deal in northwestern Arkansas called Whitewater. Given all that has passed under the bridge, there’s something quaint and nostalgic about so much froth and fury over something that in the end went nowhere, like a slightly gonzo Norman Rockwell cover showing democracy in action.
Friday’s "Good Morning America" kicked off Earth Day with a push for liberal solutions to environmental issues such as climate change. And while weatherman Sam Champion reported on global warming in snow covered New York, GMA co-host Chris Cuomo appeared live from France to tout how far ahead that country is compared to America's envrionmental progress. In Paris, he noted approvingly, "the price of gas here is $6 a gallon to discourage guzzling."
Later in the piece, Cuomo agan touted the superior Europeans:
Chris Cuomo: "Europe does have a lot of significant issues it has to deal with, like the United States. But they're much more innovative here in terms of figuring out what to do."
When Republican strategist Michelle Laxalt began to describe the clinical reality of partial-birth abortion on MSNBC this morning at about 10:55 AM EDT, MSNBC host Chris Jansing cut her off, saying she didn't want to get into an "emotional debate." Of course not. Better to focus on the antiseptic "right to choose" without letting the gruesome reality of the matter intrude.
In partial birth abortion, the doctor collapses the near-term baby's skull and its brains are then sucked out. Immediately after stopping Laxalt just as she was about to state that, Jansing herself said that the GOP might welcome the debate on the partial birth abortion issue "after Iraq and some of the other things that have gone on at the White House that have sort of sucked the life out of the Republican party."
Alleged actor Alec Baldwin can be pretty vicious, at least verbally. He's called Vice President Dick Cheney "a lying, thieving Oil Whore." During the Clinton impeachment, he said: “If we were living in another country, what we, all of us together, would go down to Washington and stone (Republican Congressman) Henry Hyde to death, stone him to death, stone him to death! Then we would go to their house and we’d kill the family, kill the children.” (see update below for MRC coverage of same)
Kill the children? A typically measured, thoughtful comment from a member of the Hollywood Left. So perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that Baldwin's contempt for children extends even to his own.
Today at SFGate.com, Associated Press entertainment writer Sandy Cohen reports on a recent voice mail message left by Baldwin for his 11-year-old daughter. He tells her "You are a rude, thoughtless little pig" and "You don't have the brains or the decency as a human being."
As a Canadian environmental consultant, Dr. Timothy F. Ball isn’t a household name in America...yet.
However, his writings, speeches, and television appearances concerning the science and lack thereof surrounding anthropogenic global warming make him a distinguished member of the growing list of skeptics around the world desperately and passionately fighting to inject some facts into this contentious debate.
On Thursday, I received an e-mail message from Dr. Ball addressing the dangers inherent in the current global warming alarmism being exhibited by the media and folks like soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore, and how “incompetent” and possibly “malevolent” scientists are unfortunately aiding in the misinformation campaign.
What follows is a partial text of his e-mail message presented with his permission (emphasis added):
Media theories certainly do change. In light of ABC’s aggressive promotion of the danger of global warming and the liberal solutions the network has embraced, I thought it might be a good idea to consider the ‘70s-era threat of global cooling.
My parents recently unearthed a time capsule that they created in 1977 for the birth of my sister Kimberly. Included in the assorted memorabilia of the time was a March '77 edition of Readers Digest. An article by Samuel W. Matthews, entitled "What’s Happening To Our Climate," wondered whether "we are entering another ice age?" Additionally, a graph showing the Earth’s cooling and warming throughout history is accompanied by this ominous caption [All emphasis added]:
"This chart illustrates the dominant fact about Earth's past climate: It was colder....Over the last century, air temperatures have ranged from somewhat above today’s mean, resulting in an abnormally warm and beneficent climate. Is this unusual cycle coming to an end? Does an icy future loom ahead? Nobody knows for sure."
Mother Nature must have a wicked sense of humor. She forced ABC's Sam Champion to report on anti-global warming initiative . . . . while standing in a field of snow in late April.
Champion was there as part of Good Morning America's "Planet Earth 2007" segment, in which reporters chimed in from around the globe on various environmental initiatives. Diane Sawyer [badly alarmed by a warm spell in January] introduced the segment with a little bit of enviro-alarmist cheerleading, declaring it was "good news" that as per a recent Stanford poll 94% are ready to make a change to help the planet and that 73% are already taking steps to reduce energy consumption.
A senior Pentagon official has refuted "Time" magazine's depiction of a "broken" Army. Accusing "Time" of using incendiary language and of hyping the facts, Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Military Personnel Policy Bill Carr made his remarks in the course of his appearance yesterday on the TV show this NewsBuster hosts, and in subsequent written comments.
Sec. Carr was responding to claims made by "Time" in a story by Mark Thompson dated April 5, 2007 entitled America's Broken-Down Army, a headline Carr called "incendiary."
Sec. Carr offered the following refutation of a number of assertions contained in the "Time" article:
TIME: Recruits from the least-skilled category have climbed eightfold, to nearly 4%, over the past two years.
CARR: This refers to the percentage of recruits drawn from the bottom-third of math/verbal aptitude (we refer to them as "Category IV"). For the past 15 years, the Pentagon quality benchmarks have stipulated a ceiling of 4% for CAT IV and Army is within it. As recently as 1980, the Army was bringing in more than half (56%) from the bottom third and ten years later took that Army to war. A decrease from one-in-two, to one-in-twenty today, is hardly consistent with an explosive word like "broken" -- TIME is hyping the facts by hiding the historical context.
Washington Post fashion writer Robin Givhan, who's often slashed at the fractured fashions of Team Bush, and who in 2004 hailed the hair of John Edwards (it "cries out to be tousled"), surprised readers on Friday by finding Edwards guilty of "primping" with his $400 haircuts. She doesn't go the whole way and mock his rich vs. poor "Two Americas" talk, but it's bubbling under the surface. Early on, she notes a "Bush loyalist" called Edwards a "Breck Girl," (um, isn't "Rush Limbaugh" a better tag for who started that?) and then Judge Robin ruled:
Edwards considers triple-digit grooming expenses a part of campaigning. He listed his salon and spa bills under "consulting/events," after all...But there is a line between grooming and primping. Brushing your teeth is grooming. Giving yourself a big Chiclet smile with veneers is primping. Having an adept barber come around to the hotel to give a busy candidate a trim is grooming. Getting the owner of an expensive Beverly Hills salon to come over, knowing full well that the cost is going to be 10 times what the average Joe is likely to pay for a haircut . . . that's a Breck girl move.
When is something clearly newsworthy clearly not newsworthy?
Interesting question, wouldn’t you agree?
Like millions of Americans, I watched the Virginia Tech killer’s videotape yesterday with shock and horror. (Please be advised: I refuse to use his real name, or publish pictures of him, for reasons that should be obvious, and wish all members of the media would adopt the same anonymity strategy when referring to this animal.)
I was at my athletic club when clips of it were making the rounds on the various networks after originally being broadcast on the NBC “Nightly News.” Groups of half-dressed men, some with only towels around their waists, stood staring at the television sets throughout the locker room gazing mesmerized at the screens like moribund ghosts.
I imagine like many Americans, when the shock wore off, it was quickly replaced by anger.
ABC anchor Charles Gibson concluded Thursday's World News by showing, as viewers heard Amazing Grace, photos of all 32 of those murdered Monday at Virginia Tech. When the photo array ended, Gibson simply and powerfully observed: “Those are the faces to remember.”
Gibson had teased his April 19 broadcast by asking, “Tonight, the words of the Virginia Tech killer trigger fierce new debate: Did the media go too far in airing the killer's hate?” He then opened: “There is new outrage tonight over the tragedy at Virginia Tech and it is directed at the media. The words of the Virginia Tech killer were plastered across newspapers and Web sites today after they started airing on television last night. Raising questions: Do we learn anything seeing the hate of Seung-Hui Cho? Or do we simply play into his sick fantasies? There has been intense reaction on the Virginia Tech campus, among victims' families, indeed reaction all across the country.”
Matching the spin delivered Wednesday night, CBS and NBC on Thursday night again framed the Supreme Court's decision upholding the Partial-Birth Abortion Act through the prism of those on the losing side -- painting it as a loss of “abortion rights,” the imposition of “restrictions,” instead of as an expansion of protections for the unborn, all while distancing themselves from the “partial-birth” term.
Wyatt Andrews framed his CBS Evening News story around the upset of those in favor of partial-birth abortions, starting his piece: “To abortion rights supporters, the Supreme Court ruling was a legal and medical disaster for women.” Andrews also warned: “Both sides in the abortion debate agree that yesterday's ruling will unleash new state restrictions on abortion.” NBC's Dawn Fratangelo cited state bills to regulate abortion, calling it action which “pro-abortion rights groups worry chips away at the right to choose.” Fratangelo zeroed in on how “abortion rights advocates are worried about” the language in the decision that “seems to put the debate back years. In the majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy describes the surgical procedure in detail and suggests some women may not be aware of what happens to the fetus, writing: 'The knowledge it conveys will be to encourage some women to carry the infant to full term.' This led Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to write for the minority: 'This way of thinking reflects ancient notions about women's place in the family and under the Constitution.' Lesley Rotenberg, a clinic director, finds it paternalistic...”
John Markell, the owner of the gun shop that sold one of the guns that was used in the Virginia Tech massacre, appeared on CNN's "Larry King Live" on Wednesday evening, not only to recount the situation behind the sale, but also told host Larry King that he was receiving threatening messages through his business's website. In response, King first said, "That's kind of ironic that people opposed to guns are threatening you with bodily harm." When Markell said he had been called a murderer as well, King replied, "Now, that's totally unfair, John. We're with you, and I thank you for sharing these moments with us."
On March 13, just over a month before his shooting rampage, killer Cho Seung Hui bought a .9 millimeter Glock handgun, and a box of 50 bullets at Roanoke Firearms, the gun shop Markell owns. In an ABC News report on April 17, Markell described Cho as a "clean-cut college kid," but wasn't actually present during the purchase. During his interview with King, Markell repeated his description of Cho as a "clean-cut college kid," and stated that the clerk who sold Cho the Glock handgun "barely remembered him because the sale went so smoothly." He also stated that Cho had lied one on the required forms for the purchase, which asked whether he had been "adjucated mentally defective" (a General District Court in Virginia found that Cho was "mentally ill and presents an imminent danger to self or others" in December 2005).
A NewsBusters reader alerted me a few minutes ago to London Times film critic Leo Lewis and how he threw in a complaint about the American flag's brief cameo in "Spider-Man 3." The superhero sequel is set for wide release in the United States on May 4, Lewis filed his review from Tokyo.
Lewis liked the film overall (3 out of 5 stars) but was disappointed that the evil alter-ego that inhabits Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) in the film is "still hopelessly mild-mannered." Of course, unlike say "Grindhouse," "Spider-Man" is intended for a wide audience from fathers and sons to teenagers on a Saturday night date.
At any rate, Lewis then puts in his anti-American potshot with his complaint about a scene featuring an American flag. The scene is similar to one in the first movie with Spidey atop a skyscraper crowned with Old Glory:
"There's many simple, even money-saving ways that we can actually give our little bit of help in our own lives and in our own homes and make a little bit of a difference," said weatherman Sam Champion on April 19 "Good Morning America."
But when it came to cost, the April 19 USA Today contradicted Champion:
“Products that help people use less energy – or leave a smaller ‘environmental footprint,’ as green advocates say – often are more costly than their alternatives, causing some to argue that going green is only for those who can afford it,” said USA Today.
Champion's segment focused on a special energy-efficient home built by BASF The Chemical Company that is 80 percent more energy efficient than other houses.
Michael Welner, an ABC News consultant and a forensic psychiatrist, appeared on Thursday’s "Good Morning America" to slam the media for gratuitously airing videos sent by deceased mass killer Seung-Hui Cho. Welner even referenced the network frenzy over fired radio host Don Imus by saying, "Just listen, if you can take Imus off the air, you can certainly keep [Cho] from having his own morning show."
Earlier in the segment, Welner gave an impassioned plea for the networks to stop airing the killer’s footage:
Michael Welner: "If anybody cares about the victims in Blacksburg and if anybody cares about their children, stop showing this video now. Take it off the internet. Let it be relegated to YouTube. This is a social catastrophe. Showing the video is a social catastrophe. I promise you the disaffected will watch him the way they watched 'Natural Born Killers.' I know. I examine these people. I've examined mass shooters who have told me they've watched 'Natural Born Killers' 20 times. You cannot saturate the American public with this kind of message."