In a typical move, Europeans want to ban something they don’t like. In an English-language article, the Danish Heise Online reported several members of the European Parliament, which is the elected body of the European Union, will submit a draft of a declaration next week that “calls on providers in somewhat vague language to make provisions against "hate pages" part of their standard terms and conditions” with the ultimate goal to “banish racism and hate propaganda from the Internet altogether. This is the same environment in which publishing the satirical Jyllands-Posten Mohammad cartoons (images here)was considered an act of Islamophobia, and therefore hate speech. The draft specifically mentions Islamophobia in the preamble, which would likely mean that anti-terrorism sites like Little Green Footballs,the Brussels Journal and Melanie Phillips, publisher of the book, Londonistan could be labeled "hate speech" (emphasis mine throughout):
The ultimate object of the push by five EU Members of Parliament, Glyn Ford and Claude Moraes of the UK's Labour Party, the Hungarian Liberal Party member Viktoria Mohacsi and the two German European Members of Parliament Bern Posselt (Christian Social Union; CSU) and Feleknas Uca (The Left Party), is to banish racism and hate propaganda from the Internet altogether. The preamble to the declaration mentions anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and anti-Romany campaigns. Should the providers refuse to act more forcefully the five initiators of the declaration have vowed to pressure the European Commission into drafting appropriate legislation (the article includes links to the politicians' websites).
Two figures, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Al Sharpton, were recently targeted with a death threat, but the media treated them very differently. An article by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that when the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown booked Hirsi Ali to speak, along with other Islamic leaders, a Johnstown Imam “tried to block" her from speaking and thinks she should be put to death. Other than the Pittsburgh article, the only news coverage of this was local. Here's a group of men who tried to prevent a woman from speaking and advocated her death, and even in a world hyper-aware of violence against women, the rest of the media ignored the situation and statements like this (emphasis mine throughout):
Imam Fouad ElBayly, president of the Johnstown Islamic Center, was among those who objected to Hirsi Ali's appearance.
"She has been identified as one who has defamed the faith. If you come into the faith, you must abide by the laws, and when you decide to defame it deliberately, the sentence is death," said ElBayly, who came to the U.S. from Egypt in 1976.
A few sources, not the least of which is Michael Barone, are reporting that the Democrats are ignoring important Iraq briefings conducted by General David Petraeus in an apparent effort to stymie efforts in Iraq. It is well known that they are not supportive of the troops in Iraq and the president's "surge" plan they are currently conducting, but whether they like the plan or not, to skip these briefings is an act of blatant negligence that borders on the criminal. So where is the MSM's outrage? Why are we not being told of this Democrat negligence?
Although it goes without saying that Internet denizens of all colors, shapes, and sizes typify the concepts inherent in the First Amendment, conceivably nothing incites more ire from bloggers than out of control comments sections.
As this issue came to a head last month in the midst of the Kathy Sierra debacle – a computer programming instructor that ended up canceling speaking engagements due to death threats – a debate has ensued throughout the blogosphere concerning what should be done to increase civility without jeopardizing free speech. This has even gone so far to evoke discussions of creating a “bloggers code of conduct.”
In reality, comments sections can be so hostile that many bloggers debate the pluses and minuses of having them at all. Law professor Ann Althouse posted a deliciously comic view on this issue Saturday that is much like John Kerry’s position on funding the Iraq war (emphasis added):
The American press is so encumbered by political correctness and ignorant of Islamic doctrine that it is allowing extremist Muslims in this country to mask a hard-core ideology in minority politics. So says M. Zuhdi Jasser, a moderate American Muslim leader (h/t: LGF).
This pandering on the part of the American press (I would add international as well), is preventing the emergence of a pan-Islamic consensus to marginalize extremists like Osama bin Laden, Jasser argues. Instead, the reverse happens--criticism of Islamists gets suppressed by naive liberals who misguidedly think it's racist:
Dennis Wagner of the Arizona Republic broke the story on April 10, 2007 about PBS's censorship of the documentary, Islam vs. Islamists from its America at a Crossroads series which debuted this week. The film's producers, Frank Gaffney, Alex Alexiev and the veteran filmmaker, Martyn Burke of ABG Films, Inc. have since presented in shocking detail their painful protracted experiences trying to navigate the censors at PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting which funded the film with $675,000 of the taxpayers' monies but now has chosen to shelve it. In just the last week of public debate, there has been a firestorm of outcry from the public who are demanding that oppressive methods of editorial content control by power brokers at PBS be investigated and the real story behind the shelving of Islam vs. Islamists be exposed. PBS's exploitation of the public dime and the public airwaves for the narrow point of view of the Islamist sympathizers with the exclusion of the anti-Islamist Muslims is just now beginning to be understood.
With co-host Whoopi Goldberg on the set, the ladies of "The View" continued to discuss the Imus controversy on the April 20 show. Goldberg felt strongly that Imus deserved at least a strong suspension and noted that, while all Americans have free speech, our words can still have consequences. The guest co-host then went through a long list of celebrities whose careers were damaged from inflammatory statements. Rosie responded with another one of her scary predictions and Joy Behar reacted with the "Nazi Germany" card.
ROSIE O’DONNELL: I think racist is one thing. But when people start to say this person has a dissenting political opinion, therefore we want them off the air. That's when we're in dangerous territory. That’s what I think.
that disgraced radio talk-show host Don Imus has been booted, can we
finally get down to some “real talk” about the multiple issues embedded
in this racial theater? There is a lot to sort through here, but after
a week of debate centered around “nappy-headed hos,” half-assed
apologies, cries of censorship, and a curmudgeonly shock jock’s lame
attempt at being funny, many pundits have moved beyond the core issue
and now are talking about the perceived double standard they feel
exists between what Imus said and what often comes from the mouths of
Yet Imus and hip-hop really don’t have much in common. Imus was host
of a radio show that focused on the real news of the day, while hip-hop
is a fictionalized form of cultural expression. Imus is real, featuring
real guests and humor based on real topics. However loudly hip-hop
might claim to be real, it is not real; it is a form of representation.
This is why so few rappers use the names on their birth
certificates when performing.
In all the media furor over fired radio host Don Imus, one fact was very rarely reported: that Imus is not a conservative. In truth, he is a moderate liberal. Aside from his stand against the Iraq war, support of John Kerry, abortion-rights, and the Democratic takeover of Congress, perhaps the biggest indicator of his liberal credentials was that liberal media elites like Tim Russert, Jonathan Alter, and Nina Totenberg appeared on his show on a daily basis.
Being in like Flynn with the left-wing media snobs didn't do anything for Imus when it came down to it, however. Many GOPers and conservative intellectuals would do well to learn this lesson. Trying to get in with the liberal media crowd (bashing fellow conservatives works best) will never earn you any protection.
Even if you're naturally a moderate conservative, it still won't earn you any respect from the far left's rage, as centrist conservative radio host Michael Smerconish is finding out. Writing at Classical Values, Eric Scheie reports:
In the wake of the Imus affair, MSNBC is airing an all-day discussion on the theme "What's OK to say?" Poet Maya Angelou appeared at 11:05 AM EDT, and in the course of her interview with MSNBC's Peter Alexander, had this exchange:
ALEXANDER: Dr. Angelou, you're an author and an artist. I guess the question is, is there a need for more censorship of our media and of our arts, are you comfortable with that? And if that happens, when does it end? What is OK to say?
ANGELOU: Exactly. I agree with that. I think the society decides upon the censorship. Each person censors himself or herself. Do you think, if any of these hip-hoppers, if they said about Mrs. Bush what they say about black women, do you think they would be given a microphone? Do you really think so? So we have to censor ourselves. And then, the society makes that decision.
Touchy, touchy! Diane Sawyer is in the business of dishing out tough questions and challenging people's answers. But when a guest on today's "Good Morning America" politely corrected her on a First Amendment matter, the GMA host was quick to accuse him of "attacking" her.
Los Angeles-based radio talk show host Larry Elder was Diane's guest, in to discuss the Imus matter. Sawyer introduced him as a "conservative radio host" though on his own site Elder describes himself as a "libertarian" and "a blend of fiscal conservative and social liberal." Of course we all know how many times the MSM has described Al Sharpton as a "liberal" in the course of his innumerable appearances over the last week or so: that would be precisely zero, at last count.
Elder opined that Imus' punishment did not fit the crime. Imus' comment was offensive, sexist and racist, said Elder, "but he apologized, apologized again, did the obligatory beatdown tour à la Michael Richards by appearing on the Al Sharpton show, and as far as I'm concerned, that should have been enough. In the grand department store of life, Don Imus operates in the toy section and I think that those remarks should have been taken with some perspective, but they weren't."
With Representative Kucinich already talking about reconstituting the Fairness Doctrineas
far back as January, a far from Conservative radio talker may have provided
said Congress with just the opening it seeks. The ultimate prize the liberals in
Congress are after has nothing to do with race, as always, it's about politics
more than anything else.
An American tax-funded documentary, titled Islam vs. Islamists, a film on how moderate Muslims feel about the corruption of their religion by Wahhabi extremists and their experiences in facing those extremists, was axed by PBS for the very reason that it puts some Muslims in a bad light, says the film's producer in Tuesday's edition of the Arizona Republic. Rampant PCism is the charge, and it is hard to deny the claim once the whole story is put out there.
The producer of a tax-financed documentary on Islamic extremism claims his film has been dropped for political reasons from a television series that airs next week on more than 300 PBS stations nationwide.
Producer Martyn Burke claims that PBS, in order to be allowed to continue with the project, tried to make him fire some of his associates on the film because they belong to a Conservative Think Tank and that they still axed his film anyway when all was said and done.
So it seems the position of left-wing Democrats is to deal with the terrorist states of Syria and Iran -- but don't deal with Fox News because it just gives them "a platform." As noted in an earlier posting, Democratic candidate John Edwards had a fine time and voiced no complaints after participating in a pair of Fox News-sponsored debates in 2003, but now he's boycotting the highest-rated cable news network: (Updates added at the end.)
Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards on Friday pulled out of a second debate co-hosted by Fox News Channel, saying the cable network has a conservative slant.
The infighting and hostility in the blogosphere best exemplified by the recent Kathy Sierra brouhaha has led some prominent Internet denizens to push for rules that could reduce or eliminate the popular comments sections at blogs.
For those that have forgotten, Kathy Sierra is a programming instructor and blogger who last month had to cancel a speaking engagement at a technology conference in San Diego, California, due to death threats she had received at her website as well some that she had no affiliation with.
With that in mind, some folks want to do something to prevent this type of behavior in the future. As reported by the New York Times Monday (emphasis added throughout):
Barbara Walters and the folks at ABC should be very pleased with themselves, for all the recent nutty remarks by Rosie O’Donnell precipitated a discussion on Saturday’s “Forbes on Fox” about whether or not the controversial co-host of “The View” should be fired.
Though the group seemed to agree that the current “View” formula of making exceedingly shocking statements might be helping ratings, the consensus was that ABC and Disney were risking their long-term reputations by being associated with such non-stop anti-American sentiments.
As the flow of the discussion was really quite good, and host David Asman did a great job of moderating, what follows is a transcript of this segment without any interruptions or pontifications which might unnecessarily reduce your entertainment pleasure:
Language does matter when it comes to using terms. Take the word "gay" versus the word "homosexual". Not too long ago no one had an issue with referring to a homosexual person as a "homosexual". The reason why is because the term homosexual means someone who is attracted to another of the same gender sexually.
Well, now the politically correct word police are saying that we should not use the word "homosexual' because it connotates negative images of homosexuals.
Imagine for a moment in the midst of the media’s current fixation with man-made global warming that Alaska experienced near-record high temperatures for the month of March. Do you think this would have been headline news, with folks like Meredith Vieira, Diane Sawyer, Charles Gibson, Brian Williams, and Katie Couric reporting the dire data with pictures of polar bears floating on broken ice flows?
Well, if the answer is a resounding “Yes,” why didn’t any of these news agencies bother sharing weather data from America’s 49th state concerning the previous month being one of the coldest on record?
As reported by the Alaska Climate Research Center (emphasis added):
A rather inconvenient truth occurred in late March that went totally unreported by the global warming alarmists in the media.
On the very day that soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore was informing Congress of the planet’s imminent doom, the Anchorage Daily News reported that this winter has been so cold there that fire hydrants are exploding.
I bet your favorite drive-by media outlet didn’t share any of this as they were falling all over themselves with sycophantic praise for the global warming alarmist-in-chief (h/t NB member dscott, emphasis added throughout):
The DC Examiner has a great editorial this morning reminding everyone of the dramatic failure that McCain-Feingold has been. Not only has it failed to remove the "corrupting" influence of money in elections, it's needlessly promoted censorship:
Well, so much for “getting rid of the corrupting influence of
money on politics” — the basic aim of the Bipartisan Campaign Finance
Reform Act of 2002, aka as McCain-Feingold. That’s Sen. Russ Feingold,
D-Wis., and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the presumptive front-runner for
the 2008 GOP presidential nomination who raised “only” $12.5 million
during the first three months of 2007. The Arizona senator trailed far
behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who raised $21 million
and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani who raised $15 million, $10
million of which came in March alone. Among Democrats, Sen. Hillary
Clinton, D-N.Y., raised $26 million, former North Carolina Sen. John
Edwards raised $14 million and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson raised
$6 million. Sen.Barack Obama, D-Ill., has not released his figures but
is estimated to have raised about $22 million. Collectively, more than
$125 million has been raised by the 2008 presidential candidates in
just three months, with more than nine months to go before the first
Think back to the days before McCain-Feingold
became law. The biggest target of the law’s backers was the estimated
$500 million in soft money contributed to political parties by
corporations, individuals, labor unions and others. Just last year,
Fred Wertheimer and Trevor Potter, two of the most ardent
McCain-Feingold supporters, charged that soft money “ultimately turned
into a $500 million national scandal and disgrace.” Now it looks like
the presidential primary contenders will equal or even surpass that
once-scandalous threshold long before the start of the general election
campaign. We know little or nothing about what was promised by the
candidates in return for this unprecedented flood of cash.
While conservatives in the nation’s capital gathered on March 29 to recognize some of the most disgraceful media performances of 2006 at the MRC’s 20th Anniversary Gala, one of the evening’s “winners” was being unceremoniously torn to shreds by Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly (two-part videos available here and here).
In fact, the host went so far as to ask his guests, Bernie Goldberg and Jane Hall, if the time had come for ABC to cut its ties with the outspoken and controversial comedienne.
Bloggers receiving death threats? Can’t happen, right? After all, blogosphere denizens are all intelligent, thoughtful people with intellectual capacities and moralities far beyond most mortals, correct?
Well, think again, because a programming instructor/blogger from Colorado by the name of Kathy Sierra cancelled her appearance at the O’Reilly ETech conference in San Diego after receiving astoundingly horrid death threats via e-mail and postings at a number of rather debased websites.
What follows is a disturbing tale as the creator of the “Head First’ series of books about computer programming posted Monday at her “Creating Passionate Users” blog (h/t Instapundit). However, the reader is cautioned to proceed with care, for her account is raw, vulgar, and extremely shocking:
Can you believe it? ABC displayed a painting depicting Mohammed as a dog, and then had the temerity/stupidity to ask if Muslims would find it offensive. Actually, you can't believe it. ABC did no such thing -- nor is it conceivable it would do so.
But displaying a painting depicting Christ as a dog, and wondering whether anyone would find it offensive? Sure. Happened today on Good Morning America. The show ran a segment on a painting by someone named Ron Burns who has recreated da Vinci's Last Supper with dogs substituted for Jesus and his disciples. Even more than the image itself, some will surely find the title that the "artist" gave to his work offensive: "Dinner and Drinks with Son of Dog."
Introducing Burns, weekend co-host Bill Weir said "it's a riff on the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. A whimsicial riff, perhaps? Others, blasphemy."
GMA CO-HOST KATE SNOW: People are calling it blasphemous, anti-Christian, anti-God. One person we talked to said it crossed the line. Did you expect any of that? Did you think when you were doing this piece that maybe you'd ruffle some feathers?"
Burns actually denied that the thought had occurred to him.
Is it the media’s job to keep American citizens aware of statements made by foreign officials that could shed light on what we’re up against in winning the wars in Iraq and on terrorism? Or, should the press keep the caustic comments of such political officials from the public in order to maximize the impression that all the problems in the world are caused by the Bush administration?
While you formulate an answer, consider the following statements made by the Syrian Minister of Culture during a speech aired on Iranian television (video available here courtesy of Memri TV):
The so-called Al-Qaeda is in my opinion, an illusion. It is a bunch of organizations which used to be supervised by the CIA, and used to commit crimes in some Arab and Islamic countries.
Nice, huh? Alas, he was just getting warmed up blaming terrorism on America:
It has been argued for years that the media typically focus on images from Iraq and the war on terror which paint American and Israeli military in a bad light while always presenting the enemy as victims.
In fact, this effort often includes the doctoring of photographs as well as the staging of events in front of rolling cameras which will be broadcast or published by an antiwar press without the slightest investigation into authenticity.
With that in mind, the picture at the right represents a rather startling image of terrorism that media would never dare share with the American people. As the MEMRI Blog shockingly reported (h/t Charles at LGF, emphasis added):
A truly astounding thing happened on HBO’s “Real Time” Friday evening: a panel comprised of four liberal media members actually voiced unanimous displeasure with Democrats.
I bet you’re looking out your window to see some airborne swine right about now.
As shocking and unlikely as such a public display might seem, when host Bill Maher moved the discussion to the recent cancellation of a presidential debate to be hosted by Fox News, he and his guests all felt the Democrats made a mistake.
Defying the currently in vogue theory of anthropogenic global warming, hell hath begun freezing over.
Present and accounted for were former CBS anchor Dan Rather, ABC’s Martha Raddatz, and comedian Jason Alexander. What follows is a partial transcript of this shocking event (video available here courtesy of our friend Ms Underestimated):
Unbelievably, disgraced newsreader, Dan Rather, claimed at a recent festival that American journalism "has in some ways lost its guts" and that the MSM has "adopted the go-along-to-get-along (attitude)."
As reported by CNETNews.com, Rather was a keynote speaker at the South by Southwest Interactive festival this past weekend where he gave a 2 hour talk on the shape of journalism and the Internet.
One has to wonder to which "gutless" American media he is referring? Is it the same media that was so weak-kneed as to leak damaging national security information, the same media that just "goes along" to undermine the war effort at every opportunity? Is it the same one that goes out of its way to malign the US and Israeli governments? It is that MSM Rather imagines has somehow gone soft?
As the Managing Editor of Fox News Channel's Washington, DC bureau, you might have thought Brit Hume would have taken great umbrage at John Edwards' high-profile decision to spurn a debate of Dem presidential contenders that Fox had organized for August in Nevada. The Edwards pull-out ultimately led to a cancellation of the debate by the Nevada state Democratic party. Edwards had come under pressure from liberal netroots and organizations such as Move.on, which had organized a petition drive calling for cancellation of the debate.
But in a fair-and-balanced comment reflecting an appreciation of real politik, Hume has praised Edwards' move as "shrewd" -- at least in the short run. During the panel discussion on this morning's Fox News Sunday, Hume observed:
On Friday's TheView, Joy Behar explained why we have free speech and criticized Bush yet again. Law & Order's S. Epatha Merkerson was a guest host and during the "Hot Topics" segment, they discussed the recent revelation that the New York Daily News broke; the relatives of the late Senator and former segregationist, Strom Thurmond (R-SC), owned the ancestors of professional agitator and occasional Presidential candidate, Al Sharpton. They all displayed a strange amount of surprise and fresh outrage and acted ike they were unaware that slavery and segregation had ever existed in America.