Huffington Post blogger, Frank Schaeffer, has been trying to eradicate elements of the right for quite some time. Katie Bell had a great post on Monday covering his recent call to ‘eradicate' fundamental Christianity.
It's no secret that Schaeffer is very critical of religious elements in society. But on a side note, were you aware that he is a former member of the religious right? Apparently making mention of such information gives him street cred with the non-religious left. He mentions it nearly every time he opens his mouth. Take a drink every time Schaeffer mentions his past participation in the religious right, and you're sure to be hammered in no time.
Not content with attacking the religious right, Schaeffer has also made a career of attacking the conservative voice in general. Last year, he penned a column so bereft of facts that even the Huffington Post should have been embarrassed by the content. More troublesome is that this particular post included the pronouncement of a new Web site campaign that is wrong on two fronts: It incorrectly predicts the rise of violence perpetrated by the ‘far right' (anyone who dares to oppose Barack Obama), and it specifically labels conservative talk show hosts Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and Glenn Beck as ‘domestic terrorists'.
Schaeffer states in his October 5, 2009 column that, "The extremism and paranoid delusions of the far, far loony right -- in other words The Republican Party today as led and deformed by Beck/Limbaugh/Fox and the fundamentalist "Christians" --- is now on full display."
Of the more than 300 corporate sponsors who have sponsored Comedy Central in the past, not a single one has indicated their intention to buy advertising time on the planned "JC" program should it ever be set to go to broadcast.
That's the victorious announcement today from Citizens Against Religious Bigotry (CARB), a group co-founded by NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell and a handful of other social conservative activists.
"The sponsors understand what the programming department at Comedy Central does not: Religious bigotry is bad business," Bozell noted in a statement. "With literally zero advertiser support for this program, the only reason Comedy Central would put it on their broadcast schedule is in an effort to offend Christianity and Christians. There is no valid business reason for airing 'JC,'" the Media Research Center founder argued.
Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, was The Washington Post’s “On Faith” guest columnist on June 21. Predictably, she used the opportunity to bash the Catholic Church’s abortion policy. In “Should Church control access to health care?” Northup charged that the Catholic Church wields too much influence over policy decisions dealing with abortion.
Northup complained, “This year at home, we saw the U.S. government give the Conference on Catholic Bishops veto power over the health-care reform bill, and in the end, millions of American women were left with a policy that restricts insurance coverage for abortion services even for those who pay for their insurance with their own hard-earned dollars.”
Journalists have long been puzzled over Sarah Palin’s popularity. In November, Newsweek took a stab at the trend with its provocative cover of Palin in running clothes: “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Sarah Palin: How Sarah Palin Hurts the GOP And the Country.”
Lisa Miller’s thesis is compelling if it is true, but journalists usually rely on hard facts, polls, maybe interviews with political scientists to prove their points. Unfortunately, Miller’s article contains none of these to support her theory that Palin is somehow the new leader of the Christian Right. Instead, she strings together a bunch of anecdotes and quotes to prove what she thinks is happening.
Not this again. There is obviously not enough going on in the world for Newsweek magazine this week because once again Sarah Palin is on the cover.
Palin, the former governor of Alaska and the 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee was also on the cover of Newsweek back in November 2009, in running shorts. This time she is featured as "Saint Sarah: What's Palin's appeal to conservative Christian women says about feminism and the future of the religious right" in Newsweek's June 21 issue. Palin is depicted with halo on the cover for the story written by Lisa Miller, which attempts to rationalize Palin's convictions about the issue of abortion and her Christian faith.
However, Palin didn't think too highly of Newsweek's gesture. She responded on Fox News' June 11 broadcast of "On the Record with Greta van Sustren."
"Haven't seen it, but if the title and what I hear about the content is any indication of where Newsweek is going, it is no wonder Newsweek is doing so poorly," Palin said. "People are not reading that stuff. It is not relevant. It's not interesting stuff that they are making up and writing and that's why they are going down."
MSNBC’s Savannah Guthrie thinks the Vatican has “minimized” the clergy abuse scandals for months, before Pope Benedict’s Friday apology. And MSNBC seemed to do their level best to “minimize” that, during the 9a.m. EDT news hour.
Guthrie reported that the Vatican publicly apologized for the sex abuse scandals within the Catholic clergy Friday, “after months of minimizing” the scandals.
“I have to ask,” Guthrie said to NBC correspondent Jim Maceda, “what prompted this apology?”
On last night's "O'Reilly Factor," host Bill O'Reilly and guest analyst Arthel Neville discussed the possibly impending Comedy Central show "JC" - as in Jesus Christ.
Given the network's past treatment of Christianity, the portend for this show is hardly positive.
Which is why the Media Research Center has put together a coalition to ask advertisers to publicly pledge to not underwrite/support the show.
Citizens Against Religious Bigotry (CARB) (which Ms. Neville graciously mentioned by name) is made up of many organizations - made up of Christians, Jews and Muslims - who would like to see religion not be the butt of raunchy/tasteless jokes, and who don't think America's advertisers should help fund said alleged humor.
A petition to advertisers (to be found on the CARB website) has garnered more than 115,000 signatures thus far.
And if you aren't familiar with how Comedy Central does Christianity, watch this video and you'll get an idea of what can be expected should JC ever make it to the airwaves.
It's not just members of the media standing up to support disgraced journalist Helen Thomas after her unscheduled retirement caused by anti-Semitic remarks she made on camera last week.
The rabbi that caught her disgusting comments on videotape and put them on the Internet has received 25,000 hate-email messages - and counting.
Hours after MSNBC's Keith Olbermann actually called Rabbi David Nesenoff one of his "Worst Persons in the World," CBS-TV in New York reported the vicious electronic attacks streaming into the rabbi's inbox like a "ticker tape" (video follows with partial transcript, h/t HotAirPundit):
MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Chuck Todd, and Savannah Guthrie on Tuesday’s “The Daily Rundown” were in “anguish” over the forced retirement of Helen Thomas, but showed little sympathy for the Israelis that the Hearst columnist so odiously disrespected.
“I think a lot of people feel some anguish about this because the comments were beyond the pale,” lamented Guthrie. “And yet it tarnishes a career that otherwise people would be celebrating because she was indeed a trailblazer.”
Glossing over the longtime reporter’s comments that Israelis should “get the hell out of Palestine” and go back to Germany or Poland, Mitchell lauded Thomas’s career as “storied” and proceeded to hearken back to a time when Washington was an “all-male town” and Thomas was blazing the trail for women.
“When I first arrived here, after dinner, at political dinners, women went to one room, men went to another to smoke cigars and have brandy,” recalled Mitchell. “This was a very traditional place–not like New York or other East Coast cities.”
In an attempt to make excuses for Thomas while appearing to condemn her remarks, contradictions ran rampant. First up, Mitchell:
Editor's Note: The following originally appeared at Andrew Breitbart's Big Hollywood.
Sometimes it’s just so easy. I mean if I really wanted to, I could find all the material needed to expose the folly of the far left just by watching Bill Maher every week and picking apart the claims he offers as “fact” while urged on with hosannas by his trained seals in the Real Time audience.
The comedian/pundit is a legend in his own studio—and it appears that his embarrassing stint at the big people’s table on This Week a while back, where he was dissected by George Will wielding the carving knife of the Socratic method, did little to humble Maher into questioning his own command of the issues. “Facts are stubborn things,” said John Adams. Of course, Mr. Adams never met a left-wing zealot with a worldview for whom reality is often an inconvenience to be waved away like curling pot smoke in a back grotto at the Heff mansion.
Well that didn't take long. The folks at the left-wing MoveOn.org are practically in mourning over Helen Thomas's "retirement."
Just a few hours after news broke that Hearst columnist Helen Thomas is calling it quits after a viral video of her anti-Semitic comments led to widespead condemnation of the White House press corps dean.
The abrupt retirement of Helen Thomas from her perch as the ranking member of the White House press corps was essentially accepted as a fait accompli by supporters and detractors alike after her controversial remarks urging Jews to leave Israel surfaced.
Indeed, if there was any defense made of Thomas's comments, it wasn't done persuasively or at an influential level. But that didn't stop the progressive community -- many hearing about her retirement while at the Campaign for America's Future conference in D.C. -- from collectively fretting on Monday about what the loss of her voice bodes for the day-to-day interaction between the White House and the Fourth Estate.
Her absence will be felt "significantly," said Ilyse Hogue, Communications Director of Moveon.org. "The burden will fall on the rest of the press corps to make sure the administration feels the need to be transparent about its plans to get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan."
Via Politico, Hearst Newspapers columnist Thomas issued a statement today: "I deeply regret my comments I made last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians. They do not reflect my heart-felt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon."
Michael Calderone at Yahoo! News reports that a second half of the Thomas interview is yet to come from Rabbi David Nesenoff and his site RabbiLive.com, and the first half was delayed while the rabbi's 17-year-old webmaster son finished his finals:
Although she's apologized, Nesenoff said Thomas should do more, and "the only way to fix it is to become a poster child for tolerance and non-hatred."
Next, Nesenoff said that in a day or so, he'll release part two of the interview, but was tight-lipped about what else Thomas said that day.
"Part two will be very interesting to watch," he said, adding that Thomas is in it "100 percent" of the time.
Comedians often pride themselves on being irreverent, and in today's popular culture a favorite thing to ridicule is religion. The network Comedy Central has made laughing at religion its bread and butter. Their irreverence has limits, however, and it has nothing to do with taste. When radical Muslims wrote ominously online that the creators of "South Park" could end up like Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh - shot eight times on the street - mockery of Muhammed was formally and publicly censored.
Within weeks of that very public retreat, Comedy Central announced plans to work up a series laughing at Jesus Christ called "JC," a half-hour animated show about Jesus trying to live a normal life in New York City to escape the "enormous shadow" of his "powerful but apathetic father." God the Father is preoccupied with playing video games while Christ is the "ultimate fish out of water."
Beyond the glaring double standard there is this question: Where is the market demand for an entire television series dedicated to attacks on Jesus Christ? What did Jesus Christ do to Comedy Central that they must relentlessly mock Him by portraying him defecating and talking about his "yummy, yummy crap" on "South Park" and roast him on specials titled "Merry F--ing Christmas"? Why the visuals of Jesus Christ being stabbed to death? Of the Blessed Virgin Mary menstruating? To call these attacks "juvenile" is an insult to juveniles.
Time's Joe Klein, no fan of the present Israeli government he, has weighed in on Helen Thomas's now infamous "get the hell out of Palestine" comments.
Writing for his magazine's Swampland blog yesterday, Klein denounced the Hearst columnist's comments as "odious," but stopped short of demanding her ouster from the White House press briefing room. Instead, Klein urged in his June 6 post that Thomas should forego her front row seat and get pushed towards the back of the room:
[I]t's not unprecedented for journalists with odious views to have access to the press room. What is unprecedented is for such a journalist to have a front-row center seat. Thomas should no longer have that privilege. The front row should be occupied by working reporters, not columnists. The WHCA should sanction Thomas by sending her back to the cheap seats. This would accurately reflect her current status as a journalist while preserving her First Amendment right to be as obnoxious as she wants.
Of course Thomas has a First Amendment right to be obnoxious, but that doesn't mean she has a constitutional right to a slot in the press briefing room. Perhaps Klein thinks his is a reasonable middle ground for the WHCA to stake out, but there were plenty of reasons to boot Thomas from the front row long before her anti-Semitic ranting made for viral video.
White House press corps dean Helen Thomas -- on the day that the White House hosted a Jewish Heritage Celebration, no less -- said that Jews who live in Israel should "get the hell out of Palestine" and go "home."
When asked where home was for Israeli Jews, Thomas offered "Poland, Germany... and America and everywhere else" from which the founding generation of the State of Israel originally hailed.
It's been centuries decades since anyone believed Helen Thomas was anywhere near an objective journalist, but this makes it clear that she's at best tactless and unreasonable and at worst an anti-Semite.
Question to mull over in the comments section: Should Thomas lose her coveted seat in the White House press briefing room over this?
NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell appeared on WMAL's "Grandy Group" shortly after 8 a.m. this morning.
The Media Research Center President discussed the media's anti-Israel bias flaring up afresh after the Gaza flotilla incident (click image at right for MP3 audio):
FRED GRANDY, host: You follow this more closely than do I. Um, over the last three or four days, has al-Jazeera acquired NBC, CBS, ABC, all the major outlets, because it seems there's such a clear media bias against what Israel did that it's hard for the truth to get out. Who ever thought that Benjamin Netanyahu and Joe Biden would be the two guys speaking truth to power on this?!
BRENT BOZELL: You know, it's very sad but this is a continuation of a narrative we've seen since the late 1980s with the intifadas that Palestine was launching against Israel where Palestine was always the innocent one and Israel was always the aggressor. You've got to put the story into context.
"Don't you think you're jumping the gun a little bit? I mean, the show's not even on the air."
That's how MSNBC's Contessa Brewer opened her June 3 interview with Rabbi Daniel Lapin, who appeared via satellite to discuss his work with the newly-formed Citizens Against Religious Bigotry (CARB) to get advertisers on Viacom's Comedy Central to publicly pledge to not support or underwrite a show currently in pre-production entitled "JC" for Jesus Christ. For full disclosure, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell is a founding member of CARB.
"Just playing devil's advocate here, because I am the daughter of a Baptist preacher, don't you think Jesus Christ is tough enough to withstand it?" Brewer prodded Lapin. After all, "he's a big guy," Brewer argued. [MP3 audio available for download here; WMV video for download here]
Given the irreverent and downright blasphemous treatment Jesus Christ and God have gotten at the hands of "South Park" and Sarah Silverman, Brewer later asked Lapin, in all seriousness, "What if this turns out to be more like a Sunday School lesson than the worst imaginings of you and Bill Donohue of the Catholic League and on and on?"
NewsBusters Publisher and Media Research Center President Brent Bozell and five other members of the Citizens Against Religious Bigotry (CARB) coalition will hold a tele-news conference tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. EDT to ask advertisers on Viacom's Comedy Central to publicly pledge to not support/underwrite a show currently in pre-production. The show is entitled "JC" - as in Jesus Christ.
[More information on how to join the call-in appears below the page break]
Joining Bozell on the call will be Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, syndicated radio host Michael Medved, Catholic League president Bill Donohue, Parents Television Council president Tim Winter, and Rabbi Daniel Lapin of the American Alliance of Jews and Christians.
For the conference call, Bozell will unveil an exclusive, four-minute video mash-up of some of the network's many offensive clips referencing Jesus Christ and God, as evidence of what we can most likely expect from "JC."
The CARB leaders will reconvene for another tele-press conference call on June 17th, to announce the names of the companies that have publicly pledged to not sponsor religious bigotry. And to discuss further action for those who fail to do so.
It shouldn't surprise anyone that Viacom's Comedy Central is developing an animated show practically designed to offend Christians. But the network's handling of recent controversy over depictions of the Muslim prophet Muhammad illustrates a stark double standard in how the entertainment media deal with issues of religion.
Comedy Central announced it is developing the script for an animated show tentatively titled "JC." According to the network's release, the show is about Jesus Christ "wanting to escape his father's enormous shadow to live life in [New York City] as a regular guy." The announcement described God as "all-powerful yet apathetic" and said the show would be a "playful take on religion and society with a sprinkle of dumb."
The show promises to stand in sharp contrast to the network's treatment of another religious figure: Muhammad. In 2006, Comedy Central censored a segment of "South Park" that depicted Muhammad. In April of this year, the network added audio bleeps to the second of a two-part episode to cover any mention of the prophet, as well as an end-of-show speech about freedom of expression and giving in to intimidation. The first episode of the story arc featured Mohammad hidden inside a moving truck and a bear costume.
This censorship came in response to a threat from a radical Islamic website, based in the United States, which warned that "South Park" creators would face violent retribution for "insulting" Muhammad by featuring (although not showing him) on the episode.
Newsweek's Lisa Miller again lashed out against the Catholic Church in her column on Thursday, defending an excommunicated Catholic nun in Arizona for her "compassionate and impossible decision" in supporting a hospital patient's abortion. Miller also condemned a Vatican cardinal's investigation into American nuns as a whole as "authoritarian meddling."
The religion editor for the dwindling magazine began her column, "Female Troubles," by sympathizing with Sister Margaret McBride, an administrator at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix, who ruled with her hospital's ethics committee that a first-trimester abortion which took place in late 2009 was medically necessary:
Earlier this month, in something of a surprise, a nun at a Catholic hospital in Phoenix was excommunicated for approving a first-trimester abortion last year at that hospital to save the life of a critically ill patient....The irony here is thick: it has taken years, sometimes decades, to bring sex-abusing priests to justice, but this observant sister, Margaret McBride, was excommunicated in a matter of months for making a compassionate and impossible decision for one of her parishioners.
“cinematic Viagra for Western cultural imperialists”-Salon.com
Of all the criticisms that could likely be launched against Warner Bros.’ new “Sex and the City 2” movie, the media have latched onto the film’s reported depictions of misogynist policies in Muslim nations.
It was USA Today thatcalled the movie“an affront to Muslims.” Reviewer Claudia Puig wrote that director Michael Patrick King “is out of his league attempting to comment on the inequitable treatment of Muslim women. He ends up mocking religious beliefs and making Carrie and her friends appear insensitive.”
On Tuesday’s Lopez Tonight on TBS, magicians Penn and Teller appeared as guests, and, while discussing their controversial program "Bullshit!" on Showtime, and the show’s history of criticizing religion, Penn Jillette conceded a compliment to American Christians that they are "the most tolerant people worldwide." He also admitted that it was a "shock" to discover the relative tolerance of American Christians after the airing of the show from last August attacking the Catholic Church, as he compared reaction from Christians to that from other groups the show has attacked, such as 9/11 conspiracy theorists. Jillette:
Well, you know, we've done heavy stuff. I mean, we've done the Vatican. We've done Mother Teresa. We've done the Dalai Lama. We've done really, really heavy subjects. And I've got to say it was actually a shock doing the show, the religious communities in the United States of America are the most tolerant people worldwide. I mean, we did really aggressive stuff we believe strongly, and mostly got letters from Christians and Catholics saying we really like how passionately and clearly you put out your ideas. Very few nut cases.
But it could also be argued that Jillette’s account makes American Christians sound almost too accepting of the show’s criticism of Christianity and downplays the fact that there was legitimate criticism of the show and its accuracy.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Tuesday, May 25, Lopez Tonight on TBS:
Around the same time they were caving in to pressure to delete all Mohammed references from an episode of "South Park," the geniuses at Comedy Central posted an online video game containing truly staggering anti-Semitic images.
This abomination was originally called "I.S.R.A.E.L. Attack!" due to the lead character being a murderous robot named "I.S.R.A.E.L." -- "Intelligent Smart Robot Animation Eraser."
As the game opens, the villain says, "You lied to me, Jew Producer" (video follows with lots of commentary, h/t Weasel Zippers):
It would not surprise me if the Associated Press's April Castro has spent the last 10 weeks gritting her teeth non-stop.
In March (covered at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), she was clearly peeved at the Texas State Board of Education. In a supposedly objective news story entitled "Texas ed board vote reflects far-right influences," she decried a "faction" (actually a nearly two-thirds majority) of Board members for "injecting conservative ideals into social studies, history and economics lessons."
I will take that as an admission that such ideals have previously been absent or barely present.
Friday, non-appreciative April was tasked with covering the Board's final adoption vote that ratified proposed curriculum changes. If we are to believe her (I know, that's dangerous), improvements (my word, certainly not hers) in the meantime appear to have been strengthened the reality basis, if you will, of the curriculum.
Here are the first five paragraphs of Ms. Castro's report (link is dynamic and subject to change). There are lots of errors in those paragraphs alone; readers are invited to see if they can catch the big cahuna:
This sounds like an obvious jazzy story for national news. Last September, the Empire State Building drew controversy (at least in anti-communist circles) for honoring the 60th anniversary of the communist revolution in China with red and yellow floodlights. But now, as Lou Young of WCBS-TV reports, the same brass at the Empire State Building refuse to honor saintly Mother Teresa with blue and white lights, the colors of her religious order. "It's kind of hard to be against Mother Teresa," said Archbishop Timothy Dolan.
The lighting would consist of a simple tribute in blue and white, the same colors used for a Yankees World Series win or an Israeli Independence Day. In this case it would be the colors worn by a crusader for the poor and a candidate for sainthood, the venerable Mother Teresa. Yet the people who own the Empire State Building said they won't pay this simple tribute in blue and white for the 100th anniversary of her birth this coming August, and they refuse to offer an explanation to people who made the application....
CBS 2 tried again Friday to see if we can get an answer for them, but every time we've asked it's been simply, "No comment." Then, they asked us to leave the building.
On HBO's Real Time Friday, Bill Maher fought with conservative atheist S.E. Cupp and claimed the news magazines weren't hostile to religion, but were overflowing with religion coverage. His exaggerations were wild, more than just for comic effect:
Are you kidding? Jesus or Mary is on the cover of Newsweek or Time like every other week. If Jesus had an office on Sunset Boulevard, and you walked down the corridor, he'd have his magazine covers on every wall. We did a mockup! There! This is the last few years.
If Maher or his underlings at HBO were really careful about facts about "the last few years," they'd know how far off this is: use the cover search on Time's website for "Jesus" and see how many Jesus covers since the 1900s ended: I count four. That's hardly "every other week."
There's "The Opus Dei Code" (April 24, 2006, not included on Maher's screen, since it might seem less than devout, slinging Da Vinci Code myths), "Secrets of the Nativity" (December 13, 2004), "Why Did Jesus Have to Die?" (April 12, 2004), and "What Jesus Saw" (April 16, 2001).
On Friday night's Real Time, HBO talk-host Bill Maher berated conservative (and fellow atheist) S.E. Cupp for her new book Losing Our Religion: The Liberal Media's Attack on Christianity. “Liberals are not atheists any more than conservatives are. Michael Moore is religious! Chris Matthews is religious! Al Sharpton is religious!” Maher went so far as to insist the liberal media has “never” attacked religion:
MAHER: But this is your premise, that the liberal media is attacking religion.
From Uppsala, Sweden comes the news that cartoonist Lars Vilks was attacked and head-butted by an angry Muslim at a university lecture. A group of Muslims surrounding him shouted “God is great!” in Arabic as the cartoonist laid on the floor, his glasses broken. Ever since Vilks impolitely drew the prophet Muhammad's head on a dog, he’s been a wanted man. Even the American terrorist wannabe nicknamed “Jihad Jane” plotted to kill him.
This explains why Comedy Central’s “South Park” has been censoring images that might offend Muslims. The executives at Comedy Central (and their parent company Viacom) regularly pledge allegiance to freedom of expression, but don't really believe it – not when they ponder someone cracking their skulls at a Beverly Hills restaurant.
It's not just “South Park.” Jo Piazza of Foxnews.com reports that after the failed Times Square bombing, Comedy Central's “The Daily Show” told their “senior Islamic correspondent” Aasif Mandvi not to comment further on it. One writer for a scripted drama told Piazza that in one of his show's final episodes there had been a minor plot involving a Muslim extremist. Last week, “it was removed and the script was rewritten.”
It’s clear that Mohammed is off limits – and it’s just as crystal clear that Jesus Christ remains the juiciest of targets.
Republicans are likely to go with Tampa, Florida, as the venue for their 2012 presidential nominating convention in part because evangelicals hate Mormons. That's the gospel truth, at least according to Chris Matthews, who yesterday went on a loopy rant that was pure bluster and completely unsubstantiated in its assertions.
[MP3 audio available here; click play on the embedded video at right for video]
Matthews informed viewers that an RNC selection committee had submitted its recommendation of Tampa -- the RNC still has to give its formal approval -- over other finalists Phoenix, Arizona, and Salt Lake City, Utah. The "Hardball" host than gave his theory behind why the latter two cities were rejected, failing, of course, to cite any sources nor to add the caveat that this was purely his own speculation.