Ginni Thomas of The Daily Caller sat down last week with L. Brent Bozell, Founder and President of the Media Research Center, to discuss a wide variety of issues ranging from media bias to the future of the conservative movement. Bozell asserted that the most under-reported story this year will be the degree in which the media will not report news.
He explained, "There is a narrative that is evolving out there which is if the story helps Barack Obama re-election, it's news. If it doesn't, it's not news, you've seen story after story after story that has been completely spiked, on purpose, by the media."
Just as the campaign to ostracize Chick-fil-A seems to have blown up in leftists' faces, so too has the earlier left-wing censorship campaign to pressure advertisers of conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh.
Limbaugh's ratings are higher than before the recent brouhaha over Sandra Fluke and the effort to remove him from the air is collapsing on itself. Now more bad news has come out for the Rush haters: Former Limbaugh advertiser Carbonite has now publicly stated that its decision to pull its ads from his show has been bad for the company's bottom line.
Freedom of speech is one of the core values of the American constitutional system. It continues to be so despite the far left's recent campaign to silence those who dared to question. Such censorship efforts have taken many forms, including selective law enforcement against advocates of the free market or traditional values, intimidation of private individuals who've donated money to politically incorrect causes, and outright attempts to use government force to compel groups of people to be silent before elections.
In a speech given last week at the American Enterprise Institute, Kentucky senator Mitch McConnell provided a summary of the recent history of the struggle to keep political speech free despite the efforts of leftists in the media and in government. He also explored why the left has become so interested in censorship of late. Please read below for the full text of McConnell's remarks:
America really is fading away before our very eyes.
A public school principal in New York City has banned kindergartners from singing "God Bless the USA" at their graduation, but according to the New York Post, is allowing them to perform Justin Bieber's "Baby":
If an extraterrestrial had tuned into Good Morning America today and watched ABC News's report on national security leaks, he would have come away thinking the Obama administration was valiantly, aggressively pursuing the leakers. ET wouldn't have learned that there is good reason to suspect that the source of the leaks . . . is the Obama administration itself.
An attentive viewer might have noticed that the screen graphic referred to the White House and Congress being investigated. But the report by ABC's Pierre Thomas never hinted that the Obama administration was itself being accused of being the source of the leaks. To the contrary, Thomas framed the issue this way: "freedom of the press and the public's right to know is now on collision course with the government's desire to protect national security secrets." Translation: the Obama admin is, even at the risk of impinging on other values, leading the fight to protect national security. Gag us with a background briefing! View the video after the jump.
YouTube has reversed its decision to censor the views of a pro-traditional marriage organization after attention was drawn to its removal of a video last week produced by Christian preacher and hard rock drummer Bradlee Dean.
Last week, YouTube – owned by Google, whose corporate motto used to be “Don't Be Evil” -- removed the video, which spotlights how gay rights extremists are using laws in Canada to censor those who disagree with their perspective.
We've written before critically about Twitter, including posts about how the micro-blogging site's was slow in removing a "Kill Zimmerman" account that encouraged violence -- in violation of Twitter's terms of service agreement by the way -- against alleged 2nd-degree murderer George Zimmerman. But today, we have to offer a hearty kudos to the folks at Twitter for refusing to cooperate with a censorship effort in Pakistan to silence "Everybody Draw Muhammad" tweets.
By contrast, the Associated Press is reporting that Facebook -- which on Friday became a publicly-traded company -- gladly cooperated with efforts by the Pakistani government to prevent users in Pakistan from accessing pages devoted to Draw Muhammad Day content:
In a victory for gay rights extremists, YouTube has agreed to remove a video critical of Canadian laws concerning homosexuality from its website, even though the video discusses policy issues and does not use any derogatory language about gays and does not advocate violence against them.
The video created May 16 by preacher and hard rock drummer Bradlee Dean to accompany his weekly column published by WorldNet Daily and other news outlets, exposes facts about the hatred and oppression directed at conservative Christians and opponents of gay marriage in Canada by the radical Left toward people of faith, those who hold to traditional marriage. The video also details a solemn warning to American’s to get vocal on the issue or prepare for the cultural overhaul under way in Canada.
Hours after New York blogger Christian Browne wrote on his blog, “The New York Conservative,” that 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed should be quickly executed, Google shut down his blog, which was hosted on Google's free Blogger service.
While the blog – including the post that appears to have triggered its deletion – have since been restored, the circumstances of its deletion by Google remain murky – and raise a serious issue both for Google and for conservatives who use the web to spread conservative ideas and messages.
CNN commentator Dean Obeidallah has some advice for politicians who are offended by gross and vile insults from comedians: "change the channel."
Comedians like Bill Maher and Louis C.K. must have an "unfettered right" to spew their vitriol at politicians like Sarah Palin, insisted Obeidallah in a CNN.com op-ed. Such insults "come with the territory" of running for office, he told CNN host Brooke Baldwin on Thursday afternoon's Newsroom. [Video below the break.]
Last night, Bill O’Reilly had some very nice things to say about the Media Research Center and for that I’m grateful. But he made a major criticism of this organization, and rather than have me on to respond to it, he brought on two other guests to discuss it. So I’ll respond here.
Andrea Mitchell is no newbie to journalism. In fact, in 2010, she was given the Taishoff Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism by the National Press Foundation. She's in good company with Brit Hume and the late Tim Russert among previous recipients of the award. But alas, the MSNBC anchor displayed no "excellence in journalism" with her brief, softball interview today with Robin Morgan of the liberal Women's Media Center.
Mitchell brought Morgan on to discuss her group's petition drive to request the FCC to ban Rush Limbaugh from the airwaves. The WMC's argument is that Limbaugh engages in "hate speech" which is not in the "public interest" and hence cause to push him off the air. Below the page break I've listed in bullet points the questions Mitchell posed to Morgan, which, as you can see, are all softballs meant to advance Morgan's talking points:
Today NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center (MRC) president Brent Bozell launched a new website: IStandWithRush.org, where visitors can sign a petition denouncing "attempts by radical left-wing organizations and the media to censor Rush and his commonsense conservative message."
Rush apologized for his initial comments, "but the Left won't accept the apology" and "won't be satisfied until all of Limbaugh's advertisers pull the plug on his show," Bozell noted, before detailing a litany of instances where liberal talk show hosts like Mike Malloy and left-wing comedians like Bill Maher used misogynistic and venomous invective to trash conservative women in politics. You can watch that video embedded below or at IStandWithRush.org, where we encourage you to sign the petition.
Pat Buchanan might have seen the end of the line coming at MSNBC when last month network president Phil Griffin commented on his latest book, "Suicide of a Superpower," by saying, "I don't think the ideas that (Buchanan) put forth are appropriate for the national dialogue, much less on MSNBC."
When Buchanan was let go last week after 10 years as a commentator on the network, no one was surprised.
On Monday, the editorial board at the Los Angeles Times was so mad that they fell victim to a corollary of Godwin's Law (he who mentions Hitler or the Nazis has automatically lost the argument) by the third paragraph.
What has them so upset? The very idea that K-12 classroom instruction might not teach human-caused global warming and the need for massive and radical government intervention in the marketplace to deal with it as established, irrefutable facts. In their fever-swamp view, the battle is between "credentialed climatologists around the globe" and "fossil-fuel-industry-funded 'experts.'" The editorial's language is so over at the top it makes one legitimately wonder how anyone who doesn't toe the line on climate change can remain employed anywhere at the Times. Here are the last four of the editorial's five paragraphs; I tried to select particular items to bold, but the whole thing is such an offensive, fabricated assemblage that I would have had to bold the whole thing (HT to Gary Hall):
Super Bowl XLVI was a good football game, marred once again by the bohemian elite at NBC. NBC could have prevented, but failed to stop, the broadcast of a female rapper "flipping the bird" at 114 million viewers during Madonna's halftime show. It was another "fleeting expletive" of the hand-gesture variety, and somehow, despite elaborate rehearsals, no one at NBC could seem to stop it.
The same network skillfully edited God out of a clip of children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance during last year's U.S. Open golf tournament.
Editor's Note: Earlier today, CNN suspended contributor Roland Martin for some tweets he made regarding the David Beckham underwear ad that ran during the Super Bowl. Martin was the target of a pressure campaign from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). What follows after the page break is NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell's statement.
A group that calls itself "The nation's most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior" sounds important, and would probably be a stickler for accuracy among its members and in its own affairs, wouldn't it?
Not the Society of Professional Journalists. SPJ recently institutionalized political correctness, asserting that undocumented workers should not be tagged with the so-called offensive term "illegal."
How do you get a liberal talk radio host to do your bidding?
Easy. Just threaten his future invitations to White House events if you are a Democrat president. Such was apparently the case with Tavis Smiley of the Smiley & West radio show which he co-hosts with Cornell West. According to Politico, Smiley was recently ousted as the speaker of the upcoming Martin Luther King luncheon.
The war on Christmas music has taken a strange turn, with the mainstream media finally up in arms at the overly PC handling of the holiday’s song lyrics. But it isn’t the constant barrage from uber-sensitive atheists trying to eliminate every reference to Christmas from our schools and public places that has them fired up.
No, it’s an elementary teacher in Michigan that has raised their ire.
The flurry of controversy arose when the teacher, weary of hearing her students giggling every time they had to sing the words ‘gay apparel’ during their rendition of Deck The Halls, decided to replace the word ‘gay’ with ‘bright’.
The reception from the media, as you may have heard, was rather chilly.
Imagine if it were discovered that free-market think tanks were caught vetting scripts of Fox News programs, intervening to prevent free-market sceptics from receiving air time, and consulted with the network about how it should alter its programing in a free-market direction. The howls of outrage would be loud, long and unrelenting from other news networks, the wire services, and leading U.S. newspapers.
What I have just described, and more, characterizes a decade-long relationship between the British Broadcasting Corporation and UK-based climate scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA) -- except that the BBC is government-funded and disproportionately controls the flow of broadcast news in the UK. What the UK Daily Mail has revealed today as part of its ongoing review of the second set of Climategate emails released before Thanksgiving has caused Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Foundation to write that the BBC is "in cahoots with Climategate scientists." What follows are excerpts from the David Rose's Daily Mail story (bolds are mine):
On the first Sunday of Advent, The Washington Post devoted two stories on the front of its Arts section to revisiting last year's controversy over a gay-left exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery that starred a video with ants crawling on the crucifix of Jesus. The "Hide/Seek" propaganda assembly is now on display at the Brooklyn Museum, and Post critic Philip Kennicott thinks the "right-wing Catholic ire" is already so yesterday: "the pace of cultural change on gay and lesbian issues is so rapid that even a year may have transformed the dynamics."
Whereas last year, museum bureaucrat Wayne Clough removing the ants-on-Jesus video was "a dark day for the Smithsonian, a successful, coordinated attack on free speech," Kennicott is still championing the gay-left curators and their vision of what they now call "the inherent queerness of America." They can't stand the idea that conservatives get to have any say at all.
Drudge is currently linking to a "trash talk" story at Ynetnews.com about how, with a microphone still on, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "is a liar." U.S. President Barack Obama's response, also audible, was: "You're fed up with him, but I have to deal with him every day!" That's not necessarily the most disgraceful aspect of the story. What follows after the jump, which explains why the story is just coming out now, is at least as reprehensible:
On Saturday, Barbara Hollingsworth at the Washington Examiner (HT Peter Roff at US News) reported on the latest development in lawsuit filed by former congressman Steve "Sore Loser" Driehaus against Susan B. Anthony's List (SBA).
Democrat Driehaus, who served one term in Congress before losing to Republican Steve Chabot, is suing SBA under a Ohio’s False Statement Law for "loss of livelihood." Seriously. Driehaus says that his vote for ObamaCare, which has no prolife protections hard-wired into the law, was not a betrayal of his prolife beliefs. SBA says it was a betrayal, and is correct. Driehaus's excuse was that President Obama wrote up an Executive Order with supposed prolife protections, which of course can be revoked at any whimsical presidential moment -- like, say, January 21, 2013 if he's reelected (or January 19, 2013 if he's not).
Political dissent on campus – acceptable when it involves left-wing protesters shouting down conservative speakers, but hurtful and possibly dangerous when performed in a peaceful, parodic nature by conservatives. That’s the impression left by the New York Times.
Malia Wollan visited the campus of the University of California at Berkeley for Tuesday’s report, “A ‘Diversity Bake Sale’ Backfires on Campus.” The parody “bake sale,” mocking affirmative action in California college admissions, has not in fact taken place yet, but the threats and intimidation are already pouring in on the Republican activists -- things the Times isn't overly bothered about.
A bake sale sponsored by a Republican student group at the University of California, Berkeley, has incited anger and renewed the debate over affirmative action by asking students to pay different prices for pastry, depending on their race and sex.
NRB conducted a study of "the practices of Apple and its iTunes App Store, Google, Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter, as well as Internet service providers AT&T, Comcast and Verizon." Its conclusion: with the notable exception of Twitter, "social media websites are actively censoring Christian viewpoints.
Linda Greenhouse, former Supreme Court reporter for the New York Times, posted her twice-monthly column Wednesday evening, on the dangers of today’s conservative Supreme Court going “Over the Cliff” in defending...the right to free speech. You read that correctly: A liberal Times reporter is faulting a conservative Supreme Court for being on a "dangerous path" and showing "arid absolutism" by expanding the First Amendment's protections to corporations.
Greenhouse jump-started the discussion with a rarely-cited 1978 Court decision, First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti:
Editor's Note: What follows is a statement Mr. Bozell released earlier today regarding the FCC's decision yesterday to remove the so-called Fairness Doctrine from the regulation books.
The FCC deserves a one-handed round of applause for this move. Years ago, striking the Censorship Doctrine – and that's exactly what the Fairness Doctrine was – would have actually meant something.
But since the FCC started playing with policies of ‘localism,’ ‘media diversity’ and a nebulous requirement to ‘serve the public interest,’ with yet another unelected and unconfirmed "Diversity Czar" to implement these proposed regulations, the spirit of the Censorship Doctrine has remained very much alive. The path to censor radio airwaves is being paved through the back door.
Arizona governor Jan Brewer says she was "censored" by Facebook after a posting she made on the social network was removed by the site's staff. In her post, Brewer had criticized the Obama administration's recent decision to halt prosecutions of many illegal immigrants.
"Facebook censored the post and removed it because the photo apparently violated their 'Facebook Community Standards.' Before it was removed, it had received over 10,000 likes and comments," Brewer said in a subsequent post.