On Tuesday evening, ABC and CBS furthered the mainstream media's largely inaccurate reporting on Pope Benedict XVI's recent remarks on the morality of condom use. While the pontiff stated that condoms are "not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection," World News anchor Diane Sawyer stated that "the Pope shifts his rules on condom use." Evening News anchor Katie Couric labeled Benedict XVI's comment a "historic statement," and trumpeted how supposedly, "Pope Benedict says, for the first time, that condoms are okay to protect against HIV and other diseases."
Sawyer included her misleading "Pope shifts his rules on condom use" phrase as she teased the lead stories at the beginning of World News. Sixteen minutes into the half hour program, the ABC anchor introduced correspondent Dan Harris's report, who began by giving a false impression of Benedict's remarks during an interview published in book form given by German journalist Peter Seewald. An on-screen graphic proclaimed, "A Change in Policy:"
On Monday's Newsroom, CNN's Kyra Phillips gave a false impression of Pope Benedict XVI's recent comments about condoms. While the Pope stated that condom use "can be a first step...on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed," Phillips stated that the pontiff "says condoms are okay sometimes." Refreshingly, Monday's Today show on NBC accurately covered Benedict's remarks.
The anchor previewed CNN correspondent Atika Schubert's report on the pontiff's comments 10 minutes into the 9 am Eastern hour with her inaccurate description: "Well, the Catholic Church and condoms: two things that have never really gone together until now. The Pope, quoted in a new book, says condoms are okay sometimes. Now, that's a talker!" After a commercial break, Phillips continued with another misleading statement:
PHILLIPS: Pope Benedict is bending a bit when it comes to condoms. A new book actually quotes him as saying that they are okay to use in certain circumstances, like to prevent disease, not birth control. It's the first time the Church has ever talked about exceptions to the condom rule....Here's a part of what the Pope says in the book. See if your eyebrows raise a little bit. It says- quote, 'There could be single cases that can be justified. For instance, when a prostitute uses a condom.' Say what? (laughs) Doesn't it kind of sound like the Pope is justifying prostitution, too? Surely not, but what a bizarre analogy.
On Wednesday's Joy Behar Show on HLN, the host asked about parents who are "overpopulating" the world, and guest Helen Fisher, a Rutgers University professor, compared having a large family to littering, "as if we've got too many people on this planet to begin with." Fisher also bizarrely stated that "for billions of years, we [humans] ended up having one or two children per woman."
Host Joy Behar devoted the last two segments of her 9 pm Eastern hour program to how women are trending away from having children. Besides Fisher, she brought on author Rachel Shukert and Laura Scott, who manages the "Childless By Choice Project" blog. Near the middle of the second segment, the host blurred the line between typical large families, most of whom have children by natural means, and celebrities such as the "Octo-Mom" and Kate Gosselin and her family. This is where Fisher made her extreme leftist remark:
BEHAR: What about these people who are overpopulating- the Gosselins, the octo-moms- these people who have been vitro with hundreds of things in there- you know what I mean? What's up with that?
In typical lefty fashion, the Huffington Post is hiding behind a “qualified” author to make a feminist, pro-abortion argument. Reverend Dawn Duval, a minister of social justice (whatever that means) and mother of two, wrote a passionate piece to slam Colorado Amendment 62 and its supporters, while making the misaligned point that in defining a fertilized egg as a person, it removes a woman’s right to choose what to do with her body.
Amendment 62 would apply “the term 'person' … to every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being.” How dare they!
"All this week on 'The World Today,' we're taking a close look at why it is that women are feeling the credit crunch more than men around the world," BBC presenter Komla Dumor told listeners of the October 21 Global News podcast, adding that "one obvious reason is that they're starting from a disadvantaged position in society and in many cultures around the world, that position of disadvantage is sanctioned by religion."
That's hard to dispute, given the role that radical Islam has in treating women in countries like Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan as, at best, second-class citizens.
But of course radical Islam was not put on the defensive by the BBC today, Catholicism was.
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday’s Joy Behar Show on HLN, liberal commentator Nancy Giles of CBS Sunday Morning declared that she was "tired" of Bristol Palin and asserted that "she makes me ill."
After host Behar brought up Palin during a discussion of the television show Dancing with the Stars, Giles sighed and responded: "Can I just, can my comment be rolling my eyes and heavy exhaling? I just am so tired of her. I’m tired of her getting these breaks. I’m tired of her making money and leaving her baby at home. I’m tired of her maybe getting 30 grand to speak about abstinence. Excuse me? I’m tired of her."
After Behar challenged Giles’s suggestion that Palin was neglecting her baby, the liberal commentator continued: "I know, Joy, I do believe that, but I’m so, she makes me ill, so all bets are off."
Giles eventually admitted to sounding sexist after actress Eve Plumb complained that men are never asked about whether they are neglecting their children, with the liberal commentator conceding: "I know it’s not fair. I sound like I’m sexist."
Why does it seem at times that our government and “public health” advocates think parents are a social problem? Parents at Hardy Middle School in the affluent Glover Park neighborhood in Washington, DC were shocked to discover that a sex-and-drug-use survey had been distributed to 12-year-olds in their physical education classes without any warnings or consent forms sent to parents.
The first words the children read were these: “This questionnaire asks you about sex and drugs (like cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, ecstasy, and marijuana).” Of course, they promised, “Your answers will not be told to anyone in your school or family.”
The mindset of these popsicle psychiatrists was evident right off the bat. The very first question was “What is your gender?” Two possibilities, you think? Try four boxes: Male and female, plus – “transgender (M to F)” and “transgender (F to M).” This was handed out to 12-year-olds.
Calling media portrayals of sex "unhealthy," the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued new guidelines calling on all media outlets to present human sexuality in a healthy, scientifically accurate manner.
At the same time, the group pomoted the use of contraceptives among teenagers and denigrated abstinence-only education.
"There is a major disconnect between what mainstream media portray - casual sex and sexuality with no consequences - and what children and teenagers need - straightforward information about human sexuality and the need for contraception when having sex," the AAP said.
"Television, film, music, and the Internet are all becoming increasingly sexually explicit, yet information on abstinence, sexual responsibility, and birth control remains rare," said the AAP.
Dylan Ratigan's "Daily Rant" segment was a treasure trove of controversial statements today. You be the judge of which statement rates higher on the controversy-meter:
Ratigan's claim that the "default position" in the USA is to incarcerate black men rather than educate them; or
Blogger Keli Goff's suggestion that to end the cycle of poverty among African-Americans, and to avoid burdening taxpayers, kids should be taught in school that not everyone should have children.
Ratigan's rather-imprison-than-educate African-Americans accusation is refuted by the facts, starting with the fact that the school district that spends more per pupil than any other in the USA is . . . that of the federally-funded District of Columbia, whose students are predominantly African-American.
As for the suggestion from Keli Goff [a youthful veteran of various Dem political campaigns], can you imagine the outrage and the accusations of eugenics if a conservative blogger, particularly one of pallor, proposed that kids be taught not to have children as a solution, among other things, for reducing the burden of African-Americans on taxpayers?
During live news coverage this afternoon, MSNBC's Chris Jansing demonstrated her apparent ignorance of the statistical maxim "correlation does not imply causation." Interviewing the authors of Red Families v. Blue Families, the daytime anchor gleefully reported the finding that states that voted Republican in the 2008 presidential election have higher rates of divorce, teen pregnancy, and unwed parenthood than states that voted for Barack Obama.
"You've heard the term a lot – 'family values' – but are they actually breaking up families?" the daytime anchor inquired enthusiastically. "According to one book, the so-called liberal blue states actually have more stable family units than culturally conservative red states."
Presenting the findings as a nonpartisan analysis of statistical data, Jansing omitted the fact that the authors, June Carbone and Naomi Cahn, are contributors to New Deal 2.0, a blog of the left-wing Roosevelt Institute designed to "discuss how the Great Recession has exposed the fault lines of traditional family values."
Writing for New Deal 2.0 on March 1, Carbone and Cahn lectured:
AOL News contributor Paul Wachter launched an inflammatory attack on Pope Benedict XVI in a Thursday post where he also defended recently-fired CNN editor Octavia Nasr for her eulogy of Hezbollah's spiritual leader. After hinting that the network "overreacted," Wachter suggested that CNN should also fire "anyone who speaks highly of the pope, who...has contributed to the deaths of millions from AIDS."
Wachter began his commentary, "Octavia Nasr Firing: Should CNN Also Ax Anyone Who Praises the Pope?," by recounting the former Middle Eastern affairs editor's Tweet where she expressed how she was "sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah.. One of Hezbollah's giants I respect a lot." He then echoed Nasr's own synopsis of the Hezbollah spiritual leader: "Fadlallah left a complex legacy. He was staunchly anti-Zionist, a defender of suicide bombings and approved of the suicide attacks on American barracks in Beirut during the United States' ill-fated intervention in Lebanon during the country's civil war. But he also championed women's rights under Islam and spoke out against honor killings."
The writer, who also contributes to left-leaning publication such as New York Time Magazine, The Atlantic, and The Nation, then launched his attack on the Pope, and lumped in Jerry Fallwell, for good measure, at the end:
Should it be easier for your teenage daughter to get birth control pills without your knowledge? One Newsweek contributor thinks so.
In a July 7 op-ed, Meredith Melnick praised the “movement” to make the Pill more accessible by making it available over the counter, in part because it would remove parents from the equation.
“Teenagers are particularly vulnerable to access problems because it is harder for them to get to a doctor without a parent’s help,” Melnick said.
“Almost 20 percent of sexually active teens who do not want to become pregnant are not using contraceptives, according to the Guttmacher Institute,” Melnick wrote. “And teenage girls who do not use contraception during their first sexual experience are twice as likely to become teen mothers as their counterparts who use protection.”
Thursday's Washington Post Express tabloid carried the headline "Health Activists Eye World Cup." When the world "health" breaks in before "activist," sadly, you can often define that as a sly euphemism you could replace more accurately with "sex." Post reporter Liz Clarke offered an interesting definition of the tournament's most essential accessory, which isn't cleats or Gatorade or even sunscreen:
Slathered in face paint, toting samba drums and waving national flags, the world's most ardent soccer fans are streaming into South Africa for the 2010 World Cup. And they're being met by a host of reminders not to forget the tournament's most essential accessory: a condom.
She forwarded how AIDS activists pressured FIFA, the World Cup organizers, of being "half-hearted" in condom promotion, and noted Cape Town hoteliers are offering condoms with the slogan "Play It Safe in Cape Town." Then Clarke offered an update. FIFA bowed to the sexual entitlement mentality: free condoms have now been offered in eight-packs for women (do they each have a day of the week inscribed?)
The 2010 World Cup opens in South Africa in a few weeks. As a sports event it is unrivaled in its popularity. It promises to bring a half-million soccer fans to that country.
But it will also draw out the worst of the worst. The Christian Science Monitor reports that the economic promise of an expected half a million largely male incoming consumers is attracting a massive influx of prostitutes from across the border in Zimbabwe. Hotel managers are guessing that as many as 40,000 ladies of the evening are assembling from as far away as Hong Kong, Pakistan, and Venezuela.
This is not the first time this unholy amalgam of sports and the sex trade has materialized. Evidence shows this to be the norm.
The last World Cup competition four years ago in Germany, where prostitution and brothels are legal and tax revenue-generating, attracted thousands of “sex workers” to exploit the crowds. It made a dirty joke out of the tournament motto “A time to make friends.”
While the headline of this post is shocking, it will come as no surprise to those of us who know how strongly Obama supports abortion - to the point of infanticide.
Apparently China's reprehensible one-child policy - with its forced abortion, forced sterilization, female feticide, and female infanticide - comes nowhere close to AZ's human rights violations of attempting to enforce federal illegal immigration laws.
The United States and China reported no major breakthroughs Friday after only their 2nd round of talks about human rights since 2002.
The Obama administration wants to push Beijing to treat its citizens better, but it also needs Chinese support on Iranian and North Korean nuclear standoffs, climate change and other difficult issues...
Michael Posner, the assistant secretary of state... said... officials also discussed Chinese complaints about problems with U.S. human rights, which have included crime, poverty, homelessness and racial discrimination.
He said U.S. officials did not whitewash the American record and in fact raised on its own a new immigration law in AZ that requires police to ask about a person's immigration status if there is suspicion the person is in the country illegally....
The recent parade of praise for The Pill wasn't unanimous. Surprisingly, Raquel Welch, one of the hottest sex symbols of the 1970s, confessed in a commentary on CNN.com that she's been married four times, but she believes that too many women are too willing to "hook up" casually, since contraceptives make it "safe" to play the field:
One significant, and enduring, effect of The Pill on female sexual attitudes during the 60's, was: "Now we can have sex anytime we want, without the consequences. Hallelujah, let's party!"
It remains this way. These days, nobody seems able to "keep it in their pants" or honor a commitment! Raising the question: Is marriage still a viable option? I'm ashamed to admit that I myself have been married four times, and yet I still feel that it is the cornerstone of civilization, an essential institution that stabilizes society, provides a sanctuary for children and saves us from anarchy.
The birth control pill was invented 50 years ago this month. CBS Nightly News anchor Katie Couric was all set to "break out the cake and streamers." But first, she wanted to inform her viewers of a pressing national need: federal subsidies for the pill. Seriously.
Couric was distraught during her "Notebook" segment last night that, in her mind, not enough women have access to birth control. Her solution? Classify it as "preventive medicine" so that federal funds can be allocated to distributing it under the new health care law. Calling birth control "preventive medicine" seems to assume that pregnancy is a medical disorder of some sort, but I digress.
The segment runs like an infomercial for the liberal position on birth control. It lauds Planned Parenthood, the "need" for publicly funded birth control, and even throws in a dash of anti-insurance company populism. Couric caps the segment off by saying, "We've come a long way, baby, but not far enough." (Video and transcript below the fold - h/t Story Balloon)
New York Times editor-turned-columnist Gail Collins's Saturday column celebrated the 50th anniversary of the birth control pill and waxed on birth-control activist Margaret Sanger for several paragraphs, without touching on Sanger's racism and support for eugenics. The online headline: "What Every Girl Should Know About Birth Control."
Discussing purity crusader Anthony Comstock, Collins wrote:
One of his targets was Margaret Sanger, a nurse who wrote a sex education column, "What Every Girl Should Know," for a left-wing New York newspaper, The Call. When Comstock banned her column on venereal disease, the paper ran an empty space with the title: "What Every Girl Should Know: Nothing, by Order of the U.S. Post Office."
Sanger was the first person to publish an evaluation of all the available forms of birth control. As a reward, she got a criminal obscenity charge. She fled to Europe to avoid going to jail, and her husband was imprisoned for passing out one of her pamphlets. In the end, he got 30 days, and Anthony Comstock got a chill during the trial that led to a fatal case of pneumonia.
On Thursday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith commemorated the 50th anniversary of the invention of the birth control pill: "This week is the golden anniversary of the birth of birth control, a medical breakthrough that has changed society and the sexual landscape forever....'The Pill' promised to free women from biological bonds and it did just that."
In a taped report, Smith described the breaking of those "bonds": "In the 1950s, women made up about a third of the workforce. Today, women hold nearly half of all U.S. jobs. In the 1950s, American women, on average, had 3.8 children. Today that number has dropped to 2.1." The report featured a clip of Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, who proclaimed: "The invention of the birth control pill revolutionized life for women in America. It's completely changed women's options."
Smith noted how the contraceptive "was condemned by the Catholic Church and by many conservatives." A clip of historian Ellen Chesler followed: "It was really considered immoral to suggest that women's primary role should not be that of wife and mother. But, rather, that women should have rights to experience their sexuality free of consequence, just like men have always done."
On World News Sunday, ABC anchor Dan Harris gave attention to the latest example of disrespect that one has come to expect to see aimed at the Catholic Church as he recounted that a British foreign ministry official had made a crack about Pope Benedict opening an abortion clinic or marketing condoms, prompting an apology from the British government. On the April 25 show, Harris relayed the incident:
Time's Nancy Gibbs celebrated the birth control pill's 50th anniversary in her May 3 cover story by hailing the greater employment opportunities for women that resulted from its wide-spread use. But she failed to explore the downsides of it.
The Pill became widely available in 1960, first to married women who wanted to control their fertility and later, to single women. And though the 1960s led to the sexual revolution, Gibbs claimed that it wasn't the Pill itself that caused the "liberalization of attitudes" regarding sexuality. However, the anecdotes she included in the article discredited that argument.
"Margaret" told Gibbs her thoughts about sex with her boyfriend (who refused to wear a condom) before and after going on the Pill.
"I was too scared of getting pregnant to risk using nothing though he tried to convince me," explained Margaret. According to Gibbs taking the Pill "was a revelation" for Margaret. "The second I went on the Pill," she continued, "all the mess and worry and holding my breath every month to see if I got my period was completely lifted off my shoulders. I wish I had used it from the get-go. You forget how that anxiety can rule your life."
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."
"The Divine Mercy Care Pharmacy in Chantilly proudly and purposefully limited what it would stock on its shelves. But it turns out that no birth control pills, no condoms, no porn, no tobacco and even no makeup added up to one thing: No customers," Dvorak wrote.
"John T. Bruchalski, president of Divine Mercy Care and the doctor who opened the pharmacy, then had to close it, said he wanted a place where pharmacists ‘could bring their conscience into the store, rather than hang it up at the door when they entered,'" she continued.
"Shoppers in Northern Virginia apparently weren't clamoring for a place to pick up cough medicine that also didn't sell porn, cigs and mascara. Selections of these wicked products (especially mascara - have you seen the array recently? Glittery! Lengthening! Stiletto lashes! Such naughtiness!) are available in just about every supermarket and big-box store across the country."
Steve Lopez of the Los Angeles Times addressed a "welcome letter" to the incoming Catholic archbishop of Los Angeles, Jose Gomez [at right], in a April 7 column which focused almost entirely in forwarding the mainstream media's talking points on the Church sex abuse scandal, and stereotyped the religious community that the bishop is a member of.
Lopez wasted little time in delving into the scandal. After his greeting and expressing how he was going to miss outgoing archbishop Cardinal Roger Mahony, despite how his archdiocese "agreed in 2007 to pay $660 million to 500 victims going back decades" and how "there's still a federal grand jury investigation into the handling of the sex abuse scandal," he immediately expressed his concern over who sent Archbishop Gomez to Los Angeles: "I worry a little that it was Pope Benedict XVI who sent you here, since his handling of molesters has recently been called into question." Who else would have sent him there, Mr. Lopez?
[Update, 10:48 pm Eastern: Audio & video clips added.]
On Monday's Newsroom, CNN's Kyra Phillips sympathetically interviewed a woman who unapologetically Tweeted her chemically-induced abortion as it happened. Instead of offering the pro-life viewpoint, Phillips lamented how her guest received "e-mails and the responses [which] were so brutal." The anchor later admitted that she "didn't want to get into a debate about abortion" [audio clip available here].
During the interview, Phillips tossed softball questions at blogger Angie Jackson, who is known on Twitter as "antitheistangie," or "Angie the Anti-Theist" on her blog (Phillips didn't mention her guest's political or philosophical outlook during the entire segment). After playing a clip of Jackson from YouTube.com, Phillips first asked, "So, Angie- you know, did it take a while to come to a comfort zone, that you wanted to do this? Tell me how you eventually decided, this is how I'm going to do it and I'm going to let everybody see it happen."
CPAC, the annual Conservative Political Action Conference begins Feb. 18. Conservative leaders will rally the troops before the mid-term elections in November and discuss the future role of conservatives in politics.
One person who will not be in attendance is Meghan McCain, despite the year-long media attempt to make citizens believe she is somehow representative of conservatives. She tweeted on Feb. 11, "I have no idea where this weird rumor I am speaking at CPAC came from, it isn't true and I will not be attending or speaking."
McCain, the 25-year-old daughter of former Republican presidential nominee John McCain and a writer for The Daily Beast, has taken it upon herself to tell the GOP what needs to be fixed within the party. Because she calls herself a Republican, media outlets have perpetuated the notion that she is also conservative. By doing that, they've pushed a liberal social agenda that directly conflicts with conservative values.
Writer Kathleen Parker, herself no stranger to conservative bashing, praised McCain last spring as "one smart cookie" who "in a matter weeks ... has created a brand, presenting herself as a fresh face of her daddy's party and voice of young conservatives."
Jonathan Capehart of The Washington Post and a contributor to MSNBC, suggested last summer that "maybe what the Republican Party is going to have to do is skip a generation and wait for the Meghan McCains to come of age so they can run for office and take over the mantle of the party."
A "landmark study" released one day earlier found that abstinence-only programs not only work but have considerably better results than their "safe-sex" counterparts, Stein reported.
"Sex education classes that focus on encouraging children to remain abstinent can persuade a significant proportion to delay sexual activity," Stein said, summarizing the study which found that over 60 percent of sixth- and seventh-graders who completed an abstinence-focused program delayed having sex during the study's two-year span.
"The key to realizing a dream," Oprah said in the Sept. 2002 issue of her O magazine, "is to focus not on success but significance - and then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take on greater meaning."
Maybe Oprah should revisit that statement and add, "Unless we're talking about sexual abstinence. In that case, just throw in the towel."
In a Jan. 22 interview, Oprah criticized Bristol Palin, the teen daughter of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, for recently telling In Touch Weekly that she was pledging abstinence until marriage.
When the cable network VH1 planned a news special called "The New Virginity," an abstinence backer might have felt optimistic that teenagers and young adults were going to get a refreshing jolt of publicity about the option of premarital celibacy. That is, unless you looked at the network’s promotional fine print.
Words have meanings. So when VH1 promised to explore the "roots of our current obsession with chastity" as it’s advocated by popular teenaged celebrities, you knew the fix was in. They suggest these stars just cannot be sincere. Instead, playing to "virgin mania" is just a marketing scheme: "Virginity doesn’t stop celebs from looking and acting provocatively – playing both sides with impressive marketing results."
Now, I suppose it’s possible that some parents and agents of teen stars are in fact conducting crass marketing exercises on the side. But those really aren’t the ones who bother today’s sexual libertines. It’s the sincere virginity campaigners that truly drive them crazy, so nutty that channels like VH1 are out there warning the public that every purity-pledger is a fraud, or weeks away from becoming a fraud.