This may come as a surprise to many religious Americans in the country: PBS this month is broadcasting a documentary presenting both sides of the controversial issue of the “separation of church and state.”
As many of you know, this has been an ongoing debate for decades as to when this term first appeared, and what the Founding Fathers’ intent truly was concerning government involvement in organized religion.
The documentary’s goals are described thusly at the PBS website (emphasis added throughout):
With congressional Democrats' approval ratings in the basement (lower than President Bush's), some in the media are attributing this to the fact that the Dems have not succeeded in cutting off the war in Iraq. Trouble is, while that strategy may be beneficial in the short run, it makes Democrats play to their stereotype of being soft when it comes to foreign policy.
To help his fellow liberals out, Newsweek editor Jonathan Alter offers Democrats a way to surrender, "without looking like surrender monkeys:"
Iraq is President Bush's war, [something Alter would never have said about Kosovo] but the Democrats are quickly getting
tagged with some blame for it. One of the reasons Congress is in such
bad odor—less popular even than Bush in recent polls—is that Democrats
look feckless on how to proceed in Iraq, and not just because they lack
the votes to cut off funding. Are they neo-isolationists, determined to
exit the region as soon as possible? Democrats like Pennsylvania
freshman Rep. Patrick Murphy, who saw ground action as an Army captain,
insist not. They want to get out of Iraq and get tough on Al Qaeda at
the same time. But the idea isn't getting through. [...]
Back on May 20th, the NBC News Investigative Unit excitedly reported that US Armed forces and the Pentagon may be forcing our soldiers to use body armor that is not as effective as newer models being produced. In an alarming TV report called "Are U.S. soldiers wearing the best body armor?", NBC intimated that the Pentagon was sending our troops substandard bullet proof vests when they knew there was a better product out there suggesting that our government is putting our soldier's safety at risk. But, further Congressional investigations and military testing results are beginning to prove that NBC's breathless report about substandard armor is misleading. Will NBC do a follow up report admitting that their facts were wrong now that their original report has been revealed as hasty and ill informed?
MRC intern Michael Lanza reports that late-night PBS talk show host Charlie Rose is nothing if not complimentary toward the glitterati of the left. On the June 12 show, he had to insist that leftist hedge-fund philanthropist George Soros was a "promoter of democracy" when a guest who worked for him started noting he was a socialist. On June 4, during his interview with Carl Bernstein on his Hillary biography, Rose oozed that the impeached former president was "the most curious human being on the planet." Rose also asked Bernstein if there was a "vast right-wing conspiracy" against the Clintons:
ROSE: Is this something like a Vast Right Wing Conspiracy?
BERNSTEIN: The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy I think existed.
On may 29th, the AP reported that Vice President Dick Cheney told the Secret Service to eliminate the records of visitors to the Vice President's mansion on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington D.C. fitting with the MSM's claims that the VP is "too secretive." Cheney’s office countered with the fact that he had written orders to save those records. Naturally the New York Times jumped on the bandwagon with a June 3rd piece that went wild-eyed and frothing, veering straight for the "Haliburton" canard that the left has tried to hang on Cheney since his first days in office instead of staying on the topic of the visitor records.
From 2001 to 2005, Mr. Cheney received "deferred salary payments" from Halliburton that far exceeded what taxpayers gave him. Mr. Cheney still holds hundreds of thousands of stock options that have ballooned by millions of dollars as Halliburton profited handsomely from the war in Iraq.
As they are wont to do, the Times again tried to link Cheney with Haliburton payouts despite the fact that the VP has not benefited from any such income since being elected to office.
News people often hedge on the accuracy of the existence of God, but National Public Radio showed an ease in declaring they were in the presence of a "goddess" (no quote marks for her) on Thursday's All Things Considered newscast. The "feminine divine" in question was 9-year-old Sajani Shakya. Anchor Michele Norris proclaimed "she is a goddess, or Kumari, venerated as a deity in the Kathmandu valley of Nepal," who was visiting Washington as part of the Silverdocs film festival. NPR reporter Neda Ulaby began:
ULABY: The goddess is, frankly, a little jet-lagged. But adorned with golden saffron robes and a ceremonial third eye painted on her forehead, she's the most majestic 9-year-old this classroom of American kids has ever met.
It appears that soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore isn’t only brainwashing America’s kids with global warming alarmism, for his daughter has co-written a documentary on the subject about to be released in Australia.
Paramount Vantage is hoping auds will be as bullish on bears and walruses as they were on "March of the Penguins," although it remains to be seen if they will warm to "Arctic Tale," an expertly assembled docu with an underlying message about multiple species threatened by man's pigheaded behavior. National Geographic imprint ensures the pic will, in any case, have long, healthy life in tube and video preserves.
Certainly nice to have National Geographic in on the scam, dontcha think? The article continued:
Honestly, folks, when this first arrived in my inbox moments ago, I had to check multiple links to believe that this next example of Global Warming Derangement Syndrome was actually true. Alas, it was.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is blaming mass-murder in Darfur on – wait for it! – "global climate change."
I kid you not.
As reported Sunday by Agence France-Presse (h/t Willis Eschenbach, emphasis added):
The BBC likely has done two things no major American media organization would dare: go through an internal investigation of its reporting biases, and; share conceivably unpopular results with the public.
On Thursday's The O'Reilly Factor, FNC's Geraldo Rivera and conservative columnist Michelle Malkin sparred over controversial comments Rivera had made on the June 8 show attacking Malkin's support for enforcing immigration laws, which Rivera had called "un-American" and had compared to "pulling down the pants of Jews to see if they were circumcised." Rivera, from June 8: "If, in her America, in Michelle's America, when you look, is that Hispanic guy an illegal or is he legal? It reminds me so much of when they used to pull down the pants of Jews to see if they were circumcised or not. It is, it is so, so pathetic. It's so un-American." On the Thursday June 14 show, Rivera contended that the issue is being pushed because "wedge issues like gay marriage and abortion lost steam with the extreme right, they've now seized on this as a way to appeal to energize the base." Video of the June 8 segments can be viewed here and the June 14 segment here. (Transcripts are below)
At this point, the answer to the latter is a resounding “No.” The answer to the former is “Not much.”
To be more specific, extensive searches of Google News and LexisNexis have identified that no major American media outlet with the exception of the New York Daily News bothered to report the theft of Yasser Arafat’s Noble Peace Prize:
In an ideal world, a news consumer would get his or her essential facts from hard-news coverage, and would read op-ed columns solely to learn writers' opinions on particular topics of interest -- while perhaps being entertained in the process.
We clearly do not live in an ideal world. If fact, the "news" is all often turned upside-down, as journalists supposedly covering the hard news end up focusing on trivialities and personalities, while subtly (or not so subtly) injecting their own opinions into their work. This leaves the necessary work of substantively informing the audience to op-ed writers.
No one does the job Old Media hard-news reporters won't do better than Mark Steyn.
In his Chicago Sun-Times column today, Steyn, in his typical engaging style, does more in under 1,200 words to inform readers about the real-world implementation difficulties and disparate-treatment outrages in the immigration bill under consideration in Washington than all of Old Media's hard-news reporters have in several weeks.
Here are just a few of the nuggets in Steyn's piece that I was not aware of, and that you probably haven't seen or heard anywhere else:
On this Father's Day, while men across the land generate enthusiasm for a tie, or a clock in the form of a golf ball, illegal immigrants get a much juicier present from the New York Times in the form of a tear-jerker of an op-ed column. For the Times, there is, palpably, no subject that cannot be turned into an ode to illegality.
In Impounded Fathers, Edwidge Danticat tells the stories of various fathers arrested and deported in ways that separated them from their families.
There is the father from Honduras who was imprisoned, then deported, after a routine traffic stop in Miami. He was forced to leave behind his wife, who was also detained by immigration officials, and his 5- and 7-year-old sons, who were placed in foster care.
The father from Panama, a cleaning contractor in his 50s, who had lived and worked in the United States for more than 19 years. One morning, he woke to the sound of loud banging on his door. He went to answer it and was greeted by armed immigration agents. His 10-year asylum case had been denied without notice. He was handcuffed and brought to jail.
Barbara Walters (L) listens as Robert Iger, chief executive of The Walt Disney Co. (C), speaks at ceremonies before the unveiling of her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California June 14, 2007. Kathy Hilton (2nd R), mother of Paris Hilton, and Hilton's sister Nicky Hilton (R) are also shown attending the ceremony.
Bob Harris is a former writer for National Lampoon, a comedian, and a five-time Jeopardy winner. He just posted at his blog his extraordinary analysis of the final episode of "The Sopranos" which aired last Sunday.
Though some of his insights were discussed in a previous Open Thread, there are many tremendously compelling observations for your entertainment pleasure. Enjoy.
On Friday's Good Morning America, ABC reporter Dan Harris relayed the news that Bill Clinton and Al Gore are now very rich men. But he couldn't do it without mangling a fact or two. Harris began:
"Think about it, when Bill Clinton and Al Gore both left the White House, they both had some serious financial problems. Now they both have some serious cash. President Clinton left power in 2001 dogged by legal bills. But last year, he made more than $10 million in paid speeches, according to new federal filings released by his wife’s presidential campaign."
When Bill Clinton left the White House, his wife had already agreed to an $8 million book advance. If the Clinton marriage means their assets are held in common, it couldn't accurately be said Clinton "had some serious financial problems" with the legal bills. Harris also ignored the Clintons had a multi-million-dollar legal defense fund to defray costs. Listen to NBC's Andrea Mitchell touting Bill's big $12 million book deal in August 2001:
Something interesting is happening between the new and old media: the more Democrats move to the left to please liberal bloggers, the more mainstream press members express disdain.
On Wednesday, following in the footsteps of the Washington Post’s David Broder and Time’s Joe Klein, and just days before Democrat strategist Bob Beckel, NBC’s Tim Russert jumped on the “Netroots Are A Danger to Democrats” bandwagon.
Appearing on Fox News’ “Hannity & Colmes,” Russert seemed incredibly at ease with both co-hosts as he made statements that had to shock conservative and liberal viewers alike.
Well, CNN’s Jack Cafferty one-upped the Globe Friday by actually blaming Hamas' takeover of Gaza on – wait for it! – President George W. Bush.
Color me unsurprised.
In his normal spot on CNN’s “The Situation Room,” Cafferty exhibited some of the most extraordinary Bush Derangement Syndrome yet as he blamed every problem in the Middle East on the current White House (video available here):
In yet another example of either Castro-philia or ill-informed gullibility by a member of the press, this time from CNN's Larry King, who fell for the propaganda of Hollywood, leftists and Fidel Castro who portray the oppressive Communist dictator in the media as a Communist--uh, strike that--socialist Sheriff Andy Taylor, who is so beloved by his “constituents,” that he is never challenged and doesn't need to take basic security precautions.
On a June 14 encore of a Glenn Beck show which originally aired May 17, the “Larry King Live” host responded to Beck's question which asked who King wished he could have interviewed. King answered Pope Jon Paul II and Fidel Castro. King didn't seem to want to interview Castro to discuss the brutal hold that he maintained on the island, now supposedly passed on to his brother Raul, or his relationship with Hugo Chavez, another civil rights-crushing dictator, but because he's so popular and, apparently, doesn't need bodyguards (from CNN transcript, bold mine):
KING: And the guy I`d like to do is Castro, because he fascinates me. BECK: Better hurry on that one.
KING: I know. When you -- we`re getting close. When you can run a country for more years than anybody ever ran a country in this century, the 20th century until now, you`ve got to -- there`s got to -- somebody likes him.
It's become fashionable of late among a certain contingent of lefties to try to "seize back" masculinity from the right. You know, what with huge problem Democrats have getting men to vote for them.
There are a few Democratic men who can lay claim to being masculine but it's funny when those who certainly are not attempt to play the role of manly man. If you feel like a laugh this weekend, head over to Ace of Spades HQ where our friend Ace catches a gay liberal blogger denouncing the insufficient masculinity of right-leaning pundits.
On Thursday's The O'Reilly Factor, during his show's regular "Talking Points Memo," FNC's Bill O'Reilly attacked NBC News/MSNBC for its Iraq war coverage, listing several examples he found worthy of criticism, and defended himself against accusations that some of his recent comments about his show's level of war coverage were insensitive to U.S. troops. O'Reilly: "The latest NBC News indignity is trying to convince their few viewers that Fox News is negligent because we don't cover every terrorist incident in Iraq. Somehow we're insulting military families if we don't run in the explosion du jour."
The FNC host was likely responding to comments MSNBC general manager Dan Abrams made while guest hosting on Tuesday's Scarborough Country in which Abrams took exception with the way O'Reilly worded his rationale for not covering the violence in Iraq more throughly. Abrams: "But today's big loser, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, who insulted our troops and our intelligence today when he said that it does not, quote, 'mean anything,' when a bomb goes off in Iraq. It was part of a horrible effort to undermine a new study that shows Fox covers the Iraq war far less than MSNBC." (Transcripts follow)
Here’s something you don’t see every day: a Democrat strategist chiding a senior Democrat official, and claiming that liberal bloggers have “much too much influence over” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada).
Yet, that’s what happened Saturday when Fox News' Catherine Herridge invited Democrat strategist Bob Beckel and Republican strategist Rich Galen on to discuss recent events on Capitol Hill.
Imagine if your stomach will let you the following: As the final contestants are about to give their bids during the Showcase Showdown, the host says, “So, did you know that President Bush was involved in bringing down the World Trade Center on 9/11?”
That’ll surely help ratings, won’t it?
Well, if game-show host Bob Barker gets his way, that’s what fans of “The Price is Right” could be seeing on a television near you weekday afternoons.
As reported by the Associated Press Saturday (emphasis added throughout):