Clay Waters at NewsBusters and the Media Research Center did a great job Monday of exposing the ugly, vindictive, know-it-all and snotty write-up on Tim Tebow generated by Harvey Araton at the New York Times after Tebow's Denver Broncos were unceremoniously eliminated from the NFL playoffs on Saturday by the New England Patriots.
Perhaps the most offensive element of Araton's work was its headline: "Curtain Closes on Tebow’s Season, but His Sideshow Goes On." It is more than clear from Araton's text and tone that he considers Tebow's pre- and post-game charitable activities part of that "sideshow." Apparently, a New York Times sportswriter believes he is in a better position than team executives, Coach John Fox, and Tebow himself to decide what is and isn't a distraction from team unity and focus. To show that Araton's twisted outlook isn't universally shared among sportswriters, I give you excerpts from Rick Reilly's outstanding Friday column at ESPN, which I selected as a Positivity Post at my home blog on Sunday:
Check out the following alarming headline for a story from National Public Radio (NPR):
“Catholic Church Still Hiding Sexual Predators?”
Wow. That is a provocative and disturbing headline, indeed. The thought that the Catholic Church is “still hiding sexual predators” in 2012 is very troubling. It surely seems to be an article worth investigating.
We can forgive Pittsburgh Steelers for avoiding the mention of the name of a certain quarterback who plays for the Denver Broncos in the coming days.
Related forgiveness does not extend to Jesse J. Holland at the Associated Press concerning his coverage of the Supreme Court's u-u-u-unanimous ruling today that religious workers cannot sue for job discrimination. As seen here at a Weekly Standard excerpt, the unanimity of the ruling was in the first sentence of the wire service's initial report. Now look how deep it's buried in the 4:10 p.m. version of Holland's report, and how the AP writer attempted to water down the ruling's significance in the interim (bolds are mine):
During Saturday's GOP presidential debate in New Hampshire hosted by ABC, after two of the moderators - World News anchor Diane Sawyer and local ABC affiliate anchor Josh McElveen - had devoted six minutes to a discussion of what the candidates would say to a gay couple "sitting in your living rooms" about same-sex marriage and adoption, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich highlighted the double standard in the media's left-leaning sympathy toward gay rights issues but lack of concern about anti-Christian "bigotry" from the left. Gingrich complained: (Video below)
At the same time that the nation's leading networks can't call Obama a "liberal" more than about once a year, NPR's religion reporter Barbara Bradley Hagerty on Monday announced Rick Santorum was "very, very conservative" on the social issues, in addition to being "very pro-life." He even -- horrors! -- home-schools his seven children.
"He's Catholic. He's billed himself very much as the family values candidate," the reporter announced on NPR's afternoon show Talk of The Nation. "His wife Karen has homeschooled all seven of their children. He's surging in the polls because he's been very, very conservative on these issues." They also discussed if white conservative Christians dislike Obama because they're racists.
Aside from the constant anger and paranoia about the nefarious "one percent," perhaps the toughest thing about being a raging liberal is keeping track of who to hate. Each December, the politically correct crowd get riled up against people who think that no one should take offense to being wished a Merry Christmas. Instead of doing that, the left instructs all and sundry to use the generic "happy holidays" and assiduously avoid mentioning the holidays to which one is referring.
So what happens when someone tries to do the reverse of this, i.e. inject religion into something that liberal secularists like which is normally areligious? It hasn't happened often but thanks to hip-hop singer Cee Lo Green, we now know that such an activity is considered a mortal sin.
I think it's very difficult for any of us to be objective about any subject, especially something we care deeply about, but my objective observation is that liberals tend to be less aware of and less willing to admit their biases.
We see this often, which I'll get to, but first, let me relate how this phenomenon most recently came to my attention.
On Wednesday's Good Morning America, ABC staff could be heard laughing in the background when substitute news reader Dan Harris recited the less vulgar part of HBO comedian Bill Maher's infamous tweet mocking Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow's religious beliefs. (Video below)
After informing viewers that there were calls for a boycott against Maher's HBO show over the "controversial tweet," Harris continued:
Lady Gaga is at it again, trying to offend to get attention. Her latest song, which she leaked on Christmas Day to listeners, “Stuck on F***in You," is another effort to glorify casual sex and profanity.
Huffington Post reported positively on Gaga’s latest effort. “Think of her as a raw, hyper-sexualized Santa Claus, slinking down the chimney to mingle with the flames of your yule log. Lady Gaga's new song, "Stuck on F*ckin' You," eschews her usual synthesizers and high production for a simple blues guitar crawl and loud claps that pair with a growly drawl for maximum aural seduction,” the site wrote (video follows with commentary, serious vulgarity warning):
This is the seventh year I have looked into how the media treats two Christmas-related topics: The use of “Christmas shopping season” vs. “holiday shopping season” and the relative frequency of "Christmas" and "holiday" layoff references.
Unfortunately, the hints of improvement late last year, when 20% of stories in the late December pre-Christmas search referenced the "Christmas shopping season," largely disappeared this year. Well, at least the combined results of this year's three sets of searches (at Google News, done shortly before Thanksgiving, about two weeks later, and a few days before Christmas) show that last year's overall gains compared to the two previous years held steady. But, as will be seen after the jump, news reports still use the term "holiday shopping season" seven times as often as "Christmas shopping season."
Adam Nicolson couldn't resist inserting a blast at traditional sexual ethics into an article about the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible in the December 2011 issue of National Geographic magazine. Nicolson labeled the Book of Leviticus's condemnation of homosexual acts a "troubling part of the King James inheritance: a ferocious and singular moral vision that has become unacceptable in most of the liberal, modern world."
The author devoted seven paragraphs in his article, "The Bible of King James," on the influence of the King James Bible on the non-Christian Rastafarian religion in Jamaica. He noted that "pious Rastafarians read the King James Bible every day," and contrasted the "gentle and welcoming" ambience found in the "Bobo Camp" community outside the capital of Kingston with "other Rastafarians whose style is the polar opposite of that, taking their cue from some of the more intolerant attitudes to be found in the Bible."
Recently, nearly 8,000 fans have petitioned the Denver Broncos to participate in an online campaign against the bullying of gay teens. But the team has declined to join "It Gets Better," saying it is already, "committed to tolerance, acceptance and respect for all in the community."
But that wasn't enough for liberal media like the Huffington Post - they are intent on blaming their favorite punching bag, Christian quarterback Tim Tebow for the team's decision.
You'd think a former Catholic seminarian would be happy about Christian athletes who are unashamed to publicly praise Jesus Christ. But then again, this is Bill Press we're talking about.
Our friend Brian Maloney at Radio Equalizer notes how the left-wing talker and CNN Crossfire alumnus declared on his December 15 radio program that the Denver Broncos quarterback should shut the [expletive] up:
Every year, millions of Christians that celebrate the birth of their Savior are faced with the attacks on Christmas - "holiday trees," atheist ad campaigns and even outright blasphemy in mocking nativity scenes. To Christians and conservatives, the evidence is overwhelming. But in recent years, the left and the mainstream media have actively denied that the war even exists.
From the hard left gang of current and former MSNBC personalities to CNN hosts to Huffington Post writers, the watch words have been "fake" and "phony" and "ridiculous." With varying degrees ire, they've blamed Fox News and the "Christian right" for the "manufactured outrage" at attacks on Christmas.
The war on Christmas music has taken a strange turn, with the mainstream media finally up in arms at the overly PC handling of the holiday’s song lyrics. But it isn’t the constant barrage from uber-sensitive atheists trying to eliminate every reference to Christmas from our schools and public places that has them fired up.
No, it’s an elementary teacher in Michigan that has raised their ire.
The flurry of controversy arose when the teacher, weary of hearing her students giggling every time they had to sing the words ‘gay apparel’ during their rendition of Deck The Halls, decided to replace the word ‘gay’ with ‘bright’.
The reception from the media, as you may have heard, was rather chilly.
Many journalists recognize that Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow has become a lightning rod for religious conflict in America. What some columnists seem less willing to recognize is the intense hatred that he has engendered among those offended by his Christianity.
A Dec. 6 USA Today article by Reid Cherner, "Why Tebow Stirs Debate," acknowledged that Tebow's very public expressions of faith have caused intense religious controversy, and made some people uncomfortable. Cherner also quoted former Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer criticizing Tebow for excessively preaching his outspoken religious faith.
With the 2012 elections less than a year away, the liberal media are attacking President Obama's potential opponents on a number of fronts, but especially on religion. ABC, CBS and NBC have used religion in two ways, either painting the field of GOP primary challengers as a God Squad of religious zealots or playing up differences in their faith. Whether they're letting viewers know that "Rick Perry's gonna have to answer some questions about the people" he prays with, fretting that God "told Michele Bachmann," to enter politics, or devoting no less than 40 segments to the question of whether Mormonism is "a cult" or if "Mitt Romney is a Christian," the networks have repeatedly used faith against the GOP field.
Media preoccupation with the GOP candidates' faith is the exact opposite of how they covered (or didn't) candidate Obama's 20-year attendance at the church of a racist, anti-American pastor who subscribed to "black liberation theology," or Obama's half-Muslim heritage. The MRC's Culture and Media Institute studied network news reporting on the GOP candidates and religion from Jan. 1-Oct. 31, 2011, and compared it to coverage of the Democratic presidential primary candidates over the same period in 2007. The discrepancy, in both the amount and tone of the coverage, was striking. Network reporters, so disinterested in the beliefs of Obama and his rivals for the 2008 nomination, took every opportunity to inject religion into their coverage of the GOP field. (CMI's key findings after the jump)
On yesterday's Rainbow PUSH Saturday Morning Forum, broadcast nationally on the Word Network, Jesse Jackson spoke of Christmas. The activist, 1984 and 1988 Democratic presidential candidate, and former Clinton spiritual adviser told (video here) of "non-Christian" merchants who "use Jesus to lure you in to Santa Claus's birthday party." Here's what he said:
Suggest that infrequent churchgoer Barack Obama may not really be a sincere from-the-heart Christian and MSNBC's anchors will be chief among the media pack to denounce you for questioning the president's religious faith.
But when it comes to Herman Cain, MSNBC's Martin Bashir is comfortable not merely charging the presidential contender as a hypocrite but suggesting he's headed to Hell (MP3 audio here; video follows page break).
In an item at the Associated Press datelined early Monday morning not labeled as "analysis" or otherwise characterized as the reporter's point of view, the wire service's Amy Teibel went on the attack against current developments in Israeli politics and society in extraordinarily harsh terms, to the point where her report could easily have been mistaken for a leftist's political stump speech.
Teibel's screed began with the headline ("A battle is raging for the soul of Israeli society"), and went downhill from there (what are in my view deliberately loaded words are in bold):
On the first Sunday of Advent, The Washington Post devoted two stories on the front of its Arts section to revisiting last year's controversy over a gay-left exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery that starred a video with ants crawling on the crucifix of Jesus. The "Hide/Seek" propaganda assembly is now on display at the Brooklyn Museum, and Post critic Philip Kennicott thinks the "right-wing Catholic ire" is already so yesterday: "the pace of cultural change on gay and lesbian issues is so rapid that even a year may have transformed the dynamics."
Whereas last year, museum bureaucrat Wayne Clough removing the ants-on-Jesus video was "a dark day for the Smithsonian, a successful, coordinated attack on free speech," Kennicott is still championing the gay-left curators and their vision of what they now call "the inherent queerness of America." They can't stand the idea that conservatives get to have any say at all.
On November 15 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I compared how two of the leading wire services, Reuters and the Associated Press, covered the announcement by Geron Corp. of its decision to halt the first government-approved clinical trial involving embryonic stem cells. Reuters fairly noted that "teams working with adult stem cells -- a less ambitious area -- are making good progress." While one could quarrel with the characterization of adult stem cell research as "less ambitious" (unless you throw in cloning, which is what sometimes seems to be embryonic researchers' primary area of intrigue), its "good progress" descriptor was fair. Meanwhile, the Associated Press's coverage of the same story failed to even recognize the existence of adult stem cell research.
Wesley Smith, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute's Center on Human Exceptionalism and an influential prolife author, has observed that the establishment press has largely come down where AP did. A Friday Catholic News Agency item elaborates (bolds are mine):
Imagine if a newspaper disproportionately and endlessly harped upon decades-old crimes committed by black people. Even if the stories were all true, people would be rightfully outraged at the paper’s overt racism in consistently and repeatedly targeting the past misdeeds of people of one particular race. The public would never allow such blatant bigotry.
Such a comparison can be applied to the Boston Globe and the Catholic Church, except this bigotry is real, and there is no public outrage.
Time's Tim Padgett regurgitated just about every liberal talking point on abortion in an online column on Thursday which tried to claim that the Catholic Church's pro-life efforts in the U.S. were pointless and out of step with the laity: "Aren't they just wasting our time as well as their own?" Padgett cherry-picked from Church documents and quoted from the infamous pro-abortion front group Catholics for Choice.
The Miami and Latin America bureau chief for the struggling magazine began his article, "Why Radical Pro-Lifers Are Wasting Their Time: Most American Catholics support abortion rights," by all but gloating over the rejection in Mississippi of a proposed personhood amendment: "Now that voters in Mississippi have rejected the so-called personhood agenda — the radical anti-abortion effort to make the moment of conception the legal beginning of human life — the movement says it plans to take its referendum to a number of other states in 2012."
The bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn told officials at the Brooklyn Museum that a video depicting Jesus Christ on a cross with ants crawling over him is “disrespectful” to Christians and requested that it be removed, but Bishop Nicholas DeMarzio is not making public the correspondence between him and the museum.
The video, “A Fire in My Belly” by the late gay activist David Wojnarowicz, was pulled from a “gay erotic” exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. last year after CNSNews.com reported on it and Catholic groups and some members of Congress complained that the exhibit should be closed and that the video was offensive to Christians.
The TLC show "19 Kids and Counting" chronicles the daily activities of a loving, responsible Arkansas family of two parents and 19 children navigating their way through life with large clan. But last week, when Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar announced they are expecting their 20th child in April, the media reaction was far from joyous.
To Washington Post religion reporter Lisa Miller, evangelical ministers like Rick Warren and Tim Keller should be applauded for their "clinical frankness" about God's design for sexual pleasure within the covenant of marriage in their sermons, books, and even tweets.
Initiative 26 -- which would have amended the Mississippi state constitution to include unborn children as persons protected under the law -- was rejected by Magnolia State voters last night.
In response, Georgetown professor and Washington Post "On Faith" blog contributor Jacques Berlinerblau quickly hacked out a post celebrating the temporary victory over the "devastating sleeper cell of a law" but warned that in losing, those dastardly villains on the religious right may have actually won (emphasis mine):