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.
CBS medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton didn't appear quite so eager this morning to promote contraceptive for teens to parents in the second part of a two-part segment about teens and sex. In fact, to parents, she claimed, "We say medically the longer you wait [to have sex] the better, but again the job of a women's health specialist and adolescent gynecologist is to make sure that we protect the teenager's health and maintain it in the safest way possible for as long as possible."
Yet yesterday, CBS' "The Early Show" aired clips of Ashton promoting contraceptive over abstinence to teens, even though abstinence is one sure-fire way to protect and maintain a teen's health.
"Usually, if not always, I tell my patients that they should use two forms of contraception for birth control," Ashton told a group of teen girls, at least one of whom was only 13. "Something like the Pill, which is highly effective, and condoms all the time. And what about the birth control pill? What do you guys know about that?...Did you know the Pill could be one of the medications used to treat acne?"
Teenagers don't need to ask their friends anymore about sex. Now they can just turn to CBS' medical correspondent, Dr. Jennifer Ashton.
On Jan. 6, Dr. Ashton met with a group of teenage girls on CBS' "Early Show" to advertise her new book "The Body Scoop for Girls" - a book that anchor Maggie Rodriguez said "parents of daughters really appreciate." But most parents that watched this segment were probably more shocked than appreciative.
When Dr. Ashton met with the group of girls, she asked them, "Did any of your parents ever come to you guys and say, ‘We expect that you don't have sex until fill-in-the-blank age' .... 18, 19, 20, whatever?"
Not a single girl said yes, but 14-year-old Mercy Baez spoke up and said, "In this generation, ya know, almost every teenager already has sex by seventh to eighth grade ... and so, it's like, if you haven't had sex already, then you're the weird one and you stand out because you haven't."
If Ashton had any reaction to that statement, it was edited from the tape. Instead, she answered this question from 13-year-old Pam Segall: "What type of contraception do you think is the most effective?"
"About half of the pregnancies in this country are unplanned," reported Richard Besser, ABC's senior Health and Medical Director, on "Good Morning America" Dec. 15.
Talking specifically about teens, Besser said that "even though there's so much information on prevention available - literally at your fingertips - it seems like it's not always getting through." So, to help parents initiate the "big talk" with their children, Besser sat down with a group of six young adults to ask them how their parents discussed "your values" and the "information on prevention available."
Out of the six panelists, not a single one mentioned abstinence playing a part in their "big talk."
In fact, their responses conveyed the idea that parents these days expect their teenagers to be sexually active and so their sex talks sounded more like how-to pamphlets on contraceptive devices than a parent to child heart-to-heart about the emotional and physical implications of having sex.
CNN’s Jack Cafferty all but endorsed a global version of China’s oppressive one-child policy on Friday’s Situation Room. He repeated the argument of Canadian journalist Diane Francis, that population control is the only way to fight global warming, and mentioned the opposition of “fundamentalist leaders” and others only in passing. All but one of the viewer e-mails that Cafferty read endorsed the idea.
The CNN commentator raised the population control issue eight minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour during one of his “Cafferty File” segments. Though he didn’t give much of a hint as to his stance on the proposal at first, Cafferty made it much more clear after he read his “Question of the Hour:”
A columnist for the UK Guardian wants to save the Earth by thinning the ranks of humans that are a cruel blight upon it. By his account, population control is the only viable solution to the destruction of the planet.
"The worst thing you or I can so for the planet is to have children" writes the Guardian's Alex Renton, who advocated in a Sunday column an ambiguous system of system of carrots and sticks to get the developed world to stop reproducing.
Renton cannot contain his loathing of the developed world. "One less British child would permit some 30 women in sub-Saharan Africa to have a baby and still leave the planet a cleaner place," he writes. Renton adds that "a cull of Australians or Americans would be at least 60 times as productive as one of Bangladeshis."
We'll have to wait and see if the so-called outside-the-box thinking once praised by some of liberal media elites will get the same reception with this latest edition.
In 2005, University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt and New York Times journalist Stephen J. Dubner released the book "Freakonomics" that provided cover for the pro-abortion movement in America by suggesting legalized abortion lowered crime and had a positive impact on society.
The liberals at Time magazine would never want to impose their sexual morality on you – unless it involves environmentalism. The October 26 issue features an article headlined "Sex and the Eco-City: Look out, petroleum jelly. Getting it on is getting greener." Writer Kathleen Kingsbury began:
In many ways, choosing a sex toy is not unlike buying a car. Walk into most adult shops, and the new-car smell is undeniable. Salespeople tout motor speed and durability. And then there are emissions to consider.
That's carbon emissions, of course. As the green movement makes its way into the bedroom, low lighting is a must--to conserve electricity--but so are vegan condoms, organic lubricants and hand-cranked vibrators.
The captions beneath a collection of "eco-friendly" offerings to go "Green Between the Sheets" included the promo "Nonleather whips are cruelty-free (to cows, that is)."
It's an odd natural occurrence when you put MSNBC "Hardball" host Chris Matthews and CNBC "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer together, but when it happens they seem to draw some obvious conclusions - albeit nearly 10 months too late.
In the news today, the President and Oprah attempt to snag the Olympics from Rio, a Congressman yells something dumb on the floor of the House (not a Republican!), and double standards abound.
Meanwhile, back on the Hill, there's a humble bill involving the entire health care system of the United States making its way through the Senate. Lawrence O'Donnell is not usually so honest and brazen about the liberal agenda as he was during this morning's appearance on MSNBC's “Morning Joe”, but one can certainly be thankful that he was.
According to O'Donnell, there are now three new tax brackets in this legislation, a new 35% tax rate on certain private health insurance plans, and half of the health care legislation now being debated is a massive new tax bill. O'Donnell made the following comparison:
It's standard journalistic practice to put the most important information at the very beginning of an article. For ABC News, it appeared the most pertinent facts about Irene Vilar, a woman who had 15 abortions in 16 years, were her fears about how pro-life activists would receive her new book, "Impossible Motherhood."
ABC reporter Susan Donaldson James perpetuated the myth of raging pro-life activists in her September 21 article about Vilar. Her lede read, "Irene Vilar worries that her self-described ‘abortion addiction' will be misunderstood, twisted by the pro-life movement to deny women the right to choose." Vilar, now a mother of two, told ABC, "no book like this has ever been written. I just imagine the ‘baby killer' and I could be a poster child for that kind of fundamentalism. And there are my little kids in all of that."
Vilar told Donaldson James, "she has already sensed ‘an inkling of hatred," a point noted in the third paragraph. By the fourth, Donaldson James had described the precautions taken by Vilar and her husband.
This could be dismissed as anti-human - but the theory the environment can be saved by encouraging the use of birth control is one that has been popular with media some environmentalists.
CNN's Lou Dobbs certainly hasn't shied away from the idea. On his Sept. 21 broadcast, Dobbs revisited an early report that the true path to environmental salvation wasn't by curbing greenhouse gas, but instead by subscribing to a Malthusian theory that slowing the growth of human population was the best path.
"We have more tonight on a story that we first brought to you last month, Dobbs said. "There is new evidence of the negative impact of overpopulation on our environment. The biggest threat to the environment isn't, it turns out, gas-guzzling cars or power plants but rather having too many children all around the world."
Bonnie Erbe, contributing editor to U.S. News and World report and host of PBS' "To the Contrary" recently compared conservative Christians to terrorists.
A soon-to-be published study in the journal Reproductive Health that found states with a high level of residents who subscribe to conservative religious beliefs also have high teen birth rates sparked Erbe's September 18 observation that Christianity and radical Islamic terrorism share distinct similarities.
Erbe did not find this conclusion "surprising," and noted that "most of these ‘religious' states are also so-called red states." From there she bashed red states as uneducated and poor, and argued that those factors combined with "increased religiosity tend to intertwine and build on each other." Erbe offered as proof the following example:
CNN’s Carol Costello report on Thursday’s American Morning about the end of abstinence-only sex education in North Carolina leaned to the left in the featured sound bites. Three clips came from those who endorsed “comprehensive” sex education, including one who worked for an organization that promotes abortion overseas, as opposed to only one clip from a conservative who favored the old program.
Costello’s report, which came just before the bottom of the 7 am Eastern hour, was part of a week-long series about “Educating America.” The CNN correspondent began with a car analogy to describe the transition to the more liberal sex ed program: “You know, it’s sort of like going from zero to 100 miles per hour. School districts, like some in North Carolina, have not taught kids about how to use birth control or how to control sexually-transmitted diseases- or prevent them, I should say- and now they’re trying to come up with a more comprehensive sex education class. It’s challenging.”
ABCNews.com republished a bigoted attack against a famously large Christian family on Tuesday. Amelia McDonell-Parry of gossip website TheFrisky.com snarked about Michelle Duggar's latest pregnancy in the post, stating that it "can't be good news...if you're at all concerned about overpopulation." She also hinted that Mrs. Duggar's daughter-in-law was forced to have a baby of her own.
In a surprising move, the network that brought you “objectum sexuals,” “the pregnant man,” sugar daddies, transvestites and a whole array of sexual deviants has hired an unambiguously pro-abstinence voice for its morning show.
Reuters reported on August 17 that “Comedian Steve Harvey has joined ABC's ‘Good Morning America’ as a contributor for the next several months.” Harvey, an actor, comic and syndicated radio host, is the author of “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man,” an advice book for women.
The Washington Post editorial page threw itself today into quite an odd political position.
The Post seems to think that Bob McDonnell, the GOP candidate for Virginia governor, should be more vocal about his opposition to abortion. His opponent, Creigh Deeds, recently attempted to make a campaign issue out of his (somewhat newfound) support for abortion rights – a strategy that the Post called “risky.” Today’s editorial, however, backed Deeds’ strategy:
Mr. Deeds's strategy of stressing abortion may work or backfire; time will tell. But to suggest, as the McDonnell campaign has, that a campaign discussion about abortion "is engaging in the politics of division" is disingenuous and wrong. Thousands of Virginians have abortions every year, a decision that touches on families and futures. It's a fair and pressing topic of debate.
That is a somewhat perplexing position. On its face, that appears to be gently pushing McDonnell to engage on an issue critical to winning over Virginia voters. The problem is, the Post’s position would throw the current debate among Virginia voters wildly off-topic, according to no less a source than a recent Washington Post poll.
MTV specializes in the kind of "reality show" that would have you believe all young Americans are spoiled, profane, and crazed about alcohol and sex. From its raunchy spring-break coverage to its "Real World" and "Tila Tequila" reality shows, MTV is constantly sending a message to young people that absolutely everyone is enjoying or seeking casual sex, and never are there negative consequences beyond the occasional break-up.
So it was shocking this summer for MTV to air a reality show called "16 and Pregnant." MTV, airing a show on the very real-world consequences of the hook-up culture? Jaws dropped across the spectrum of MTV critics, from the moralists who decry the promotion of premarital sex to the health experts and "safe sex" promoters who want every sex scene to come with a contraceptive message.
The six-part "16 and Pregnant" series examined the hardships undergone by six impregnated teenage girls. It illustrated how childbirth and motherhood radically changes a young girl’s life, and explained what Barack Obama meant when he clumsily said he wouldn’t want his daughters to be "punished with a baby."
Newsweek took their criticism of Pope Benedict XVI to the next level on Thursday- not only did guest columnist Kathleen Kennedy-Townsend affirm that the pontiff could learn from President Obama (something Newsweek and their partners at the Washington Post agreed upon back in April), but also blasted the Bishop of Rome and the Catholic hierarchy for their supposed “disdain” towards women and homosexuals.
The former lieutenant governor of Maryland began her column, titled "Without a Doubt: Why Barack Obama represents American Catholics better than the pope does," with the context of the pope’s upcoming meeting with the American president, and how it was “much anticipated and in some circles frowned upon by American Catholics in the wake of Obama’s controversial Notre Dame commencement speech in May.” She then laid out her central thesis about these two leaders: “In truth, though, Obama’s pragmatic approach to divisive policy...and his social-justice agenda reflect the views of American Catholic laity much more closely than those vocal bishops and pro-life activists...[T]hey’ll politely disagree about reproductive freedoms and homosexuality, but Catholics back home won’t care, because they know Obama’s on their side. In fact, Obama’s agenda is closer to their views than even the pope’s.”