Maybe we need to add the word "Palinography" to the dictionary. Its definition would be: "The process of preparing news photographs and accompanying captions about Sarah Palin in a deliberately negative light."
One example many will likely remember involved the amateurish wire service shoes-and-calves-only photos frequently seen during Palin's vice-presidential run.
Appearing on Monday's CBS Early Show, actor Sean Penn described ongoing relief efforts in Haiti following January's earthquake and condemned the media for its lack of coverage of the disaster beyond the initial weeks: "I think that the media has played an enormous part in the failures that are still going on today and the recovery here and the relief operations."
Those comments from Penn were prompted by co-host Harry Smith wondering: "People would be curious why you went in the first place. And then, why you stayed. What's the best answer for that?" Penn replied: "...if they're wondering that, then that would be an indictment of the American and the international press that came here in the immediate aftermath of this devastating earthquake." Penn explained: "The United States sent its military, that did an extraordinary job in immediate relief....And then when they went on with other deployments, when the amputations en masse stopped, the media left."
Smith gave absolutely no reaction to Penn's scathing criticism, but simply went on to tout praise for the left-wing actor's work on the island nation: "I was reading the comments of a lieutenant general from the U.S. Southern Command who you came in contact with. And he said, 'you know, maybe I don't agree with Sean Penn's politics but I can tell you this, he's a doer, not a talker....I applaud the leadership he has shown. He doesn't have to do this.'"
The Pentagon rescinded the invitation of evangelist Franklin Graham to speak at its May 6 National Day of Prayer event because of complaints about his previous comments about Islam.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation expressed its concern over Graham's involvement with the event in an April 19 letter sent to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. MRFF's complaint about Graham, the son of Rev. Billy Graham, focused on remarks he made after 9/11 in which he called Islam "wicked" and "evil" and his lack of apology for those words.
Col. Tom Collins, an Army spokesman, told ABC News on April 22, "This Army honors all faiths and tries to inculcate our soldiers and work force with an appreciation of all faiths and his past comments just were not appropriate for this venue."
Is Sean Penn getting a bit too close with Venezuelan dictator (yes Sean, he is a dictator) Hugo Chavez? He seems to be taking a page from Chavez's book in dealing with the press.
A reporter for the Washington Examiner was kicked out of a question-and-answer session with Penn after asking him about recent controversial remarks Penn made about his critics. It seems that the actor and wannabe lefty commentator doesn't like being asked tough questions.
"I think that you are investing in a culture that I am not interested in. And you should go your way," Penn told Tara Palmeri, a reporter for the Examiner's "Yeas and Nays" column. (Video embedded below the fold).
It's hardly news that black conservatives are reviled among much of the left. There seems to be a sense among much of the liberal media that they have betrayed their own interests through their conservative principles.
Few, however, would have the (dare I say it) audacity to lump prominent and accomplished African American political figures in with oppressive genocidal dictators and serial killers.
But TheRoot.com, a blog owned by the Washington Post, seems to have no qualms about doing so, as evidenced in its list of 21 "Black Folks We'd Like To Remove From Black History". Among the names are Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele.
Also included on the list: murderous Ugandan military dictator Idi Amin, the notorious "DC Sniper" John Allen Muhammad, Zimbabwean kleptocrat Robert Mugabe and the ruthless father-and-son Haitian dictators "Papa Doc" and "Baby Doc" Duvalier.
A website owned by the Washington Post on Monday accused Fox News host Bill O'Reilly of racism. O'Reilly's slight? Informing his viewers of the widespread corruption in Haiti. The accuser, meanwhile, omitted key facts undermining his charge.
O'Reilly had the audacity in a January 13 "Talking Points" segment to make the "not particularly constructive" suggestion (in The Root's words) that his viewers be wary of the intermediaries they use to send aid to Haiti given the island's notorious problem with corruption.
First of all, O'Reilly is a very "constructive" donor to the Haitian relief organization Haitian Health Foundation. The organization's founder, Dr. Jeremiah Lowney, heaped praise on O'Reilly for his generous donations to the cause in a letter read on air on January 22: "Mr. O, thank you for your latest donation. Your generosity over the years to the Haitian Health Foundation has brought improved health and hope to our poorest neighbors. God bless you!"
Not content to merely omit facts in his dubious attacks on O'Reilly, The Root author Thomas Reed attributed O'Reilly's statement that Haiti is an immensely corrupt nation to "a far too familiar trope: Black as savage, other, incomprehensible. Inhuman. Is this hyperbole? Perhaps."
Americans are generous people, and they prove it every time a disaster strikes like last week's earthquake in Haiti. They have donated more than $275 million to relief efforts in the Caribbean nation in the week since the quake.
Nearly one-third of that money came from U.S. companies, a point rarely mentioned on the broadcast news. According to the Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC), 203 companies donated a total of $83 million to Haitian relief so far.
Such positive actions should warrant media coverage, but the networks are inclined to practically ignore corporate charity in favor of attacking the current business target, whether it is banks, Big Oil or bottled water companies.
Despite constant coverage of the Haitian disaster, the three networks spent only 2 minutes 46 seconds talking about businesses donating cash, goods or services to aid the poor nation.
ABC's "Nightline" mentioned corporate generosity on Jan. 14, but her 3-second statement of $20 million in donations (the total raised at that time) was buried in the final minute of the hour-long broadcast.
On MSNBC's "New York Times edition" Friday afternoon, host John Harwood, who also writes about politics for the Times, called talk show host Rush Limbaugh's comments about Obama using the Haiti earthquake to appeal to black voters "pretty disgusting," about twenty minutes into the show.
Harwood then put Times columnist Ross Douthat on the spot as its "man of the right" to explain Limbaugh if he wished (Douthat didn't). Liberal Times columnist Charles Blow followed up by calling Rush "a particularly vile human being."
The source of the Times's ire? Limbaugh's comments on his radio show that "This'll play right into Obama's hands, humanitarian, compassionate. They'll use this to burnish their, shall we say, credibility with the black community in, both light-skinned and dark-skinned black community in this country."
On Saturday’s Today show on NBC, anchor Amy Robach brought aboard MSNBC’s Joe Scarbarough to talk about President Obama’s handling of the relief effort in Haiti, and the President’s efforts to prevent Republican takeover of the Massachusetts Senate seat formerly held by Ted Kennedy. Robach introduced the segment referring to the possibility of a Democratic loss of the seat from Obama’s point-of-view of being a "potential political crisis here at home."
After Scarborough answered her first question about relief aid in Haiti -- at one point complaining about "carping from the far right" -- Robach segued from the Haiti earthquake by referring to the Senate race as a "potential crisis looming here at home" which could result from a "historic upset" in Massachusetts. Robach:
On Friday’s The O’Reilly Factor, FNC’s Bill O’Reilly responded to left-wing actor Danny Glover’s recent comments blaming Haiti’s problems on the U.S., invoking America’s failure to reach an agreement at the Copenhagen summit on climate change. In his show’s "Talking Points Memo," O’Reilly recounted the relatively small amount of aid pledged so far by a number of nations, in comparison to the $100 million America has already pledged to Haiti.
Later, during a segment with Columbia University Professor Marc Lamont Hill, after Hill had made his best guess at interpreting what Glover meant in his remarks, O’Reilly took particular exception with the liberal actor praising Venezuela in the same statement in which he condemned America, reminding viewers that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had only pledged one plane full of aid to Haiti. O’Reilly: "I got a kick out of Glover, who's a big friend of Hugo Chavez, saying that Venezuela is one of the countries on the point of attack. As you may have heard in the ‘Talking Points Memo,’ Venezuela has sent exactly one plane full of stuff – one – one plane to Haiti."
During the show’s "Talking Points Memo," after relaying that President Obama had so far pledged $100 million in aid, O’Reilly informed viewers of aid pledges at that point made by several other nations:
Movie critic Roger Ebert thinks conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh should be horse-whipped for insulting Barack Obama.
"Having followed President Obama's suggestion and donated money to the Red Cross for relief in Haiti, I was offended to hear you suggest the President might be a thief capable of stealing money intended for the earthquake victims," wrote Ebert in an open letter to Limbaugh published at his Chicago Sun Times blog Thursday.
Drawing Ebert's ire was the following exchange between Limbaugh and a caller into Thursday's show (h/t Story Balloon):
Here's Stewart from Thursday's "The Daily Show" lambasting what he perceived as ideological responses to the cataclysm in Haiti (click here for link to video at Air America site) --
STEWART: Clearly the story people care about right now is the earthquake that devastated Haiti. It is unspeakable as a tragedy. It's still unfolding. Aid groups are coordinating their efforts, donations are pouring in. At times like these I guess the only good thing that you can say is that whenever something this horrific happens, everyone comes together - everyone. (pause) Almost everyone.
(Cuts to video of Rush Limbaugh)
LIMBAUGH: This will play right into Obama's hands - humanitarian, compassionate. They'll use this to burnish their, shall we say, credibility with the black community, in both light-skinned and dark-skinned black community in this country. It's made to order for him.
Far-left actor Danny Glover, during an online interview this week, proposed global warming caused the devastating earthquake in Haiti. FNC caught up with the silliness Friday night, as Jim Angle led the “Grapevine” segment:
Actor Danny Glover says the earthquake in Haiti is a result of global warming. Glover told GRITtv that it could have happened to any of the Caribbean island nations, quote: “They are all in peril because of global warming.” Then, he lamented the failure of the climate summit in Copenhagen. As a result of that failure, he says, “this is what happens.”
The ludicrous Glover quote in full, from the interview with the leftist GRITtv (conducted by phone from Seattle with Laura Flanders), which was posted on YouTube on Wednesday, the 13th:
Andy Barr at Politico shamelessly slanted the fuss over Haiti hot talk on Friday, insisting it was only about Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh, and slamming NewsBusters as one of the "very few" sites defending Rush’s Haiti commentary.
The story was featured on the Yahoo! home page on Friday with a picture of Limbaugh and the headline "Limbaugh criticized." Barr insisted:
John Amato from the left-leaning website Crooks and Liars added that "with thousands of people dead already and as the suffering continues in Haiti, Limbaugh and his ilk only care about one thing: destroying Obama."
The conservative media watchdog site Newsbusters stepped up to defend Limbaugh, saying his comments were not put in proper context, but very few others are backing the conservative firebrand’s latest controversial remarks.
The devastating earthquake in Haiti, which may have killed tens of thousands or more, “reminded” MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann of why ObamaCare is needed in the United States as he saw “what health care reform really means” in Haiti’s “awful message of nightmarish reality.” Later, he seriously contended the Haiti disaster makes “a good frame of reference in terms of the health care issue,” as he speculated about a quake destroying Los Angeles:
How would survivors of something like this here fare in terms of getting on their own feet economically afterwards, with the health care system we have in place right now?
After smearing Rush Limbaugh as a “deranged racist,” Olbermann teased Wednesday night’s Countdown: “We are reminded of what health care reform really means by an awful message of nightmarish reality from a place, a place this time not so very far away.” MSNBC’s on-screen heading, as he spoke, sealed the link between Haiti and the domestic policy: “REAL REFORM NECESSARY; LATEST FROM HAITI.”