When Chicago instituted a city wide smoking ban in 2005 it was met with mixed reaction; some hated the idea and others loved it with little middle ground. When R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. took advantage of a loophole in the Chicago ordinance and opened up a legal smoking lounge the Washington Post treated the company as if they skirted the law and published a critical story in its nation section under the headline "Tobacco Lounge Blows Smoke in The Face of Chicago's New Ban".
Now that an unintended consequence of Chicago's smoking ban is affecting the expression of art it is being treated as an infringement of an artist's 1st Amendment right. An indirect casualty of Chicago's smoking ban is the Chicago production of Jersey Boys. As a result historically accurate depictions of Frankie Valli and The Four Season smoking cigarettes have been replaced with toothpicks and shticks with finicky lighters. This latest rewrite on history is courtesy of the same city council that gave Chicago its much reviled and short lived foie gras ban.
Funny how it takes an absurd twist of events to get people riled up about nanny state politics after the fact.
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama says “mental distress” should not qualify as a health exception for late term-abortions, a key distinction not embraced by many supporters of abortion rights.
In an interview this week with “Relevant,” a Christian magazine, Obama said prohibitions on late-term abortions must contain “a strict, well defined exception for the health of the mother.”
Happy Birthday to the greatest nation on this earth. After seeing the Capitol's 4th Celebration on PBS, NASCAR on ESPN2, and watching fireworks off of my patio, I was so truly proud to be an American on this day. It also reminded me of a stunning exchange I recently had with a former co-worker of mine, which left me wondering "aren't all other people proud of their own countries?"
For the rest of the article, please check it out here.
Thomas Beatie, the transsexual "man" who was really born a woman, has garnered a lot of news coverage over the past few months because he is the first "man" to become pregnant. ABC promoted the "pregnant man" four times in two and half months on its morning show, "Good Morning America" while ABCNews.com also heavily promoted the story.
Well, Beatie recently gave birth and ABCNews.com jumped on the story and is treating Beatie like a celebrity. The front page features the headline "Exclusive: Pregnant Man Has Baby Girl" alongside a picture of the "man's" pregnant body.
Thursday’s "Today Show" gave yet another demonstration that the mainstream media can’t get over the success of Rush Limbaugh. NBC correspondent Michael Okwu, reporting on Limbaugh’s new contract, which the New York Times has indicated is worth $400 million, "reminded" viewers of three past "controversies" involving the talk radio host: his 2003 resignation from ESPN after remarking on the sport media’s coverage of NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb; how Limbaugh mocked Michael J. Fox, "accusing the actor of exaggerating symptoms of Parkinson's Disease;" and the legal trouble he faced in Florida related to his addiction to prescription painkillers.
On this "doctor shopping" issue, Okwu remarked, "In 2003, Florida authorities charged Limbaugh with illegally-deceiving multiple doctors, in order to get overlapping painkiller prescriptions. He pled not guilty and the charges were later dismissed, though Limbaugh admitted he was an addict."
Wha-h-h-h? This has to go down as one of the stranger non sequiturs from a pundit of national standing. Responding to a study that concludes that burgeoning multiculturalism threatens national unity, David Broder takes solace in the fact that 34 years ago, the American body politic booted Richard Nixon from office.
On Wednesday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Julie Chen teased an interview with actress Elizabeth Perkins from Showtime’s ‘Weeds’: "We're going to see what she thinks about weed. Not the show, the plant." Later, Chen offered yet another tease: "You know her from 'Weeds' on Showtime. Elizabeth Perkins. We're going to find out if she thinks marijuana should be legal."
Later during the segment Chen eagerly asked the question: "Since it is 'Weeds' it seems like a natural question. As a person...as Elizabeth Perkins, do you believe marijuana should be legalized?" Predictably, Perkins replied: "Oh, yeah, absolutely...Alcohol is legal. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me why marijuana's not. It just doesn't make a lot of sense to me." Chen’s only response was to laugh and declare: "In the name of the show."
Chen followed up by referring to Perkins’ moralist anti-drug character on the show, Celia Hodes: "And Celia Hodes would say?," Perkins replied: "Oh, put them all in jail." Chen interjected: " I know...she's so self-righteous." Earlier in the segment, Chen explained that Perkins’ character on the show was an alcoholic "hypocrite." Perkins went on to explain that: "Well Celia's probably the only character on the show who's never smoked marijuana." Chen wondered: "Is she going to cave?" After Perkins said no, Chen pressed: "Oh, you never know, we still have a few episodes left-" At that point Perkins explained: "Never cave with marijuana because that's the 'evil drug,' according to her." Chen laughed.
You know, I was wondering when this was going to happen, when someone in the MSM would say Bush has ruined July Fourth? The Philadelphia Inquirer didn't disappoint by wallowing in the worst example of blame-America-above-all as well as the most extreme case of BDS that I've seen outside the kind of nutroot sites like Daily Kos and the Democratic Underground. A mainstream paper has now gone that extra mile to let us all know that America does not deserve a July Fourth celebration this year because of Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, CIA secret prisons, and, lest you imagine otherwise, the fact that we have made George W. Bush our president. "Cancel the parade" because America is evil. It's all there in all it's anti-American splendor in A not-so-glorious Fourth, U.S. atrocities are unworthy of our heritage.
Inquirer columnist Chris Satullo thinks that America is fraught with sin and that we don't deserve a Fourth celebration. "This year, America doesn't deserve to celebrate its birthday," he whines. "This Fourth of July should be a day of quiet and atonement."
In a report on Monday’s "The Situation Room" purporting to clarify how Barack Obama "really voted on abortion" (as the graphic on-screen at right stated), CNN correspondent Carol Costello misconstrued the Democrat’s stance on legislation during his time in the Illinois state senate that would have protected infants that survived abortions. Besides the two votes specifically mentioned by Costello in the report, Obama also voted against it at the committee level, and when he was committee chair, denied a simple up or down vote on the legislation. The CNN correspondent also misrepresented the apparent pro-life stance of pro-abortion senators like "liberal Ted Kennedy" when the U.S. Senate voted on similar legislation. The bill passed by unanimous consent, so none of the senators actually voted yes or no on it.
Substitute host John Roberts introduced the segment, and asked Costello, "what are the allegations and what's the truth about Obama's abortion record?" Though the CNN correspondent did present both sides of the debate on the issue, she left out key details about Obama’s voting record.
CNN correspondent Jim Acosta, during a report on the importance of Colorado in the upcoming presidential election on Monday’s "American Morning," labeled Colorado Governor Bill Ritter a "self-styled cowboy centrist," despite his liberal record on issues such as abortion and special rights for "trans-gendered" people.
Acosta’s label is puzzling, since Governor Ritter hasn’t specifically refer to himself as a "cowboy centrist," neither during the interview or elsewhere. The exact term doesn’t even come up in a Google search. During the report, the CNN correspondent did run video of Ritter wearing cowboy boots, and the Governor claimed how his state had started to "trend to leaders who are pragmatic, who are centrist," a reference to himself. But the governor’s own proposals and some of bills he has signed since beginning his term in January 2007 point to a politician who is anything but centrist.
Showing the kind of intrepid journalism that morning news is known for, on Monday’s CBS "Early Show" co-host Harry Smith led a panel discussion about some recent celebrity divorces, when publicist Marvet Britto observed: "...men are, you know, patting each other on the back when philandering happens. Sad as it may be...You know, look at Bill Clinton. It's not like he's -- you know, we're walking down the street thinking, ‘oh, look what he did.’"
The topic came up when Smith and the other panelists, divorce attorney Raoul Felder and clinical psychologist Robi Ludwig, were discussing Christie Brinkley’s divorce from her husband, who had an affair. In response, Smith awkwardly laughed and quickly moved on.
“Let me tell you why it’s so wrong, It’s so wrong because in these situations . . . that 6-year-old is going to sit in front of me, or somebody far worse than me and I’m going to rip them apart. I’m going to make sure that the rest of their life is ruined. That when they’re 8 years old they throw up; when they’re 12 years old, they won’t sleep. When they’re 19 years old they’ll have nightmares and they’ll never have a relationship with anybody. And that’s not because I’m a nice guy. That’s because when you’re in court, and you’re defending somebody’s liberty, and you’re facing a mandatory sentence of those draconian proportions, you have to do every single thing you can do on behalf of your client. That is your obligation as a trial lawyer.”
With more fallout from the Supreme Court's latest 2nd Amendment ruling, the Chicago Sun-Times has published an op ed wagging a finger at the Supremes saying that the Heller decision will be a "tax on Chicago citizens," and that it is a tax to be "paid in blood and money." The Times scolds the Court with all sorts of dire warnings and worries that blood will flow in the city but, as with D.C., the violence in Chicago with its extreme gun ban often causes the city to top the lists of the most violent cities in America. So, why the Sun-Times imagines the current 25-year-old gun ban is worth keeping is anyone's guess.
The Sun-Times, though, is filled with woe at the Heller decision and offers the downright stupid solution of more gun banning despite the singular fact that their "solution" has miserably failed in every city it has been tried -- including the very one they claim to care about. Not to mention that the Times seems to have no clue about the Constitution nor any respect for the citizenry of that same city.
The New York Times editorial board reacted badly to Thursday's 5-4 Supreme Court ruling endorsing a personal right to own a gun, in today's lead editorial, "Lock and Load."
Thirty-thousand Americans are killed by guns every year -- on the job, walking to school, at the shopping mall. The Supreme Court on Thursday all but ensured that even more Americans will die senselessly with its wrongheaded and dangerous ruling striking down key parts of the District of Columbia's gun-control law.
The Times didn't bother noting that slightly more than half of those 30,000 deaths are suicides -- most of which would presumably have happened eventually whether or not there was a gun around. Nor did the paper break down how many of those homicides were in self-defense.
It didn't take long for the Washington Post to weigh in on the wrong side of the Second Amendment issue, did it? The Post's Colbert I. King could not contain the disgust he feels for at least one part of the Constitution more in his response to the Supreme Court's Second Amendment ruling today. He flipped his top and went so far off the deep end that he seemed to imagine that Justice Scalia just gave the nod for citizens to get "machine guns" to indulge their newly affirmed ability to indiscriminately fire their loaded guns "at will" in D.C. In fact in this op ed, King was so unhinged that he seemed to utterly dispense with logic as he penned his newest ode to the wild-eyed phobia that is his inordinate fear of guns (yet, curiously, not of criminals).
King's very first few paragraphs seem to be written without the slightest bit of reflection of how illogical his position on the concept of gun laws is because it looks as though he imagines that criminals might obey a draconian anti-gun law, or any gun law for that matter if only it is enforced. One wonders why Mr. King thinks criminals are called criminals if laws would prevent them from doing anything? Worse, King can't seem to tell the difference between a law abiding citizen using a gun in self-defense and a criminal using it for evil. It seems as if to King criminals and citizens are indistinguishable.
Riddle me this: when is a cartoonist as shallow and one dimensional as his own creations? When his name is Ted Rall. The San Antonio Express-News ran a short story covering a convention being held in Texas that is serving as a gathering place for some of the nation's increasingly fewer political cartoonists. Rall has been chosen as the president of this seemingly ever more irrelevant organization and apparently the Express-News found his glee at this nation's ills to be interesting copy.
Naturally, the Express-News gave us the Rallian set up for today's "ills":
An unpopular war, a shaky economy, the prospect of a border fence, a delicate climate seemingly seeking revenge this summer, soaring food and fuel prices, and a potentially polarizing presidential election -- it all adds up to a gloomy forecast for most Americans.
All these claims are, of course, liberal shibboleths and lack any context. Merely the mouthing of these topics is enough for the media to say "see, it's all going to hell."
Over the course of two programs on Tuesday evening, CNN political analyst Roland Martin unhesitatingly ran to the defense of Barack Obama against the recent criticism of Dr. James Dobson, who characterized the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate of "distorting the traditional understanding of the Bible to fit his own worldview, his own confused theology" in a 2006 speech. On the "Election Center" program, Martin tried to deny Dobson’s influence in the American evangelical community: " I think we're doing the nation a disservice by calling James Dobson an evangelical leader." Then on "Anderson Cooper 360," he accused Dobson and other evangelicals of wanting to "tear down Obama, the person who is talking about faith..."
On Monday’s CBS "Evening News" anchor Katie Couric teased an upcoming segment remembering controversial comedian George Carlin: "...he was a comedy legend who made us laugh and think." During the segment, correspondent Jim Axelrod followed the same theme: "George Carlin made lots of us laugh...But his genius was making us think." Immediately following that observation a clip was played of Carlin declaring: "This country was founded by a group of slave owners who told us that all men are created equal. That is what's known as being stunningly, stunningly full of [expletive]."
Later in the segment, Axelrod again praised Carlin: " But what Carlin loved best was using irreverence to force us to re-exam what we'd long stopped thinking about." That statement was followed by Carlin ranting: "Here's another question I have: How come when it's us it's an abortion and when it's a chicken it's an omelet? Are we so much better than chickens all of a sudden?" One wonders, when Couric and Axelrod say Carlin "made us think," who exactly is "us"?
Remember last month when the "amazing" photos of the "lost Indian tribe" in the Brazilian jungle were making the rounds? Remember how every single news agency in the world jumped on this "astounding" report? They were a "lost tribe," they were an "uncontacted" people, they were shooting arrows at the "big bird" and dressed in war paint. All manner of claims were made about these people, but many reports seemed to claim that these photos were intended to "prove" they exist and that the photographs were the result of a chance encounter.
Turns out that there was no "chance" to it and no one seriously doubted these people existed at all. Further, the man who took the photos knew almost exactly where to go to get those pictures, so "lost tribe" is hardly the correct terminology bywhich to describe these people.
What we have with this story is a perfect example of the media jumping on a story without bothering to clarify all the facts. In fact, the newest news of the incident is going to the other extreme and calling the whole incident a "hoax." But the revelations made by the photographer do not really reveal an outright hoax as much as evidence that the original story was only a little misleading.
She thinks she has lit upon a "responsible idea" to regulate guns. The idea Megan Kristen Lewis of the Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat thinks is "responsible" is to put global positioning tracking devices (GPS) in every gun. That way the government could track down your firearm if it is "stolen" or used in a crime.
Miss Lewis attempts to assure the reader that she really is a fan of guns before she unleashes this great idea, of course. She knows people with guns, she claims, and she doesn't "fear" them. Why, she grew up around them, she says. Of course, they were always locked up in a safe so no one could get to them. Still, she says her Father taught her about "weapon safety from a very young age."
Sadly, her Father neglected to teach her about the Constitution or about world and American history because if he did her Big Brother gun tracking program idea would have never occurred to her in the first place.
Brent Bozell's culture column this week deals with how Showtime keeps pushing envelopes, from the pot-pushing mom in "Weeds" to the sympathetic serial killer "Dexter" to the newest frontier:
This year, the new fascination is prostitution, and Showtime has proudly unveiled a British import called "Secret Diary of a Call Girl." Sadly, and predictably, Showtime’s program glamorizing prostitution is not unique. HBO is also developing a similar series called "Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl" from a "tantalizing" bad-girl novel.
"Secret Diary" follows the tawdry life of "Belle de Jour," who feels no shame and displays no regrets for her career, as long as her parents don’t find out. "Escort, hooker, prostitute, whore, I don't care what you call me," she declares. "They're just semantics."
Sen. Barack Obama behind his presidential-like seal during a meeting of Democratic governors, Friday, June 20, 2008, at the Chicago History Museum. The Latin inscription reads "Vero Possumus." (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Cam Edwards at NRANews.com shared this story with me about how one Bennington, Vermont teacher demonstrated the state's clash between gun culture and "peace" culture in a fourth-grade classroom. From Dennis Jensen in the Rutland Herald:
[Mother Wendy] Bordwell said that, during snack time, [her son] Jared was discussing the recent spring turkey hunting season with a classmate when [teacher Kathleen] Backus interrupted the conversation, insisting that there be no talk of "killing" in her classroom.
Reached through a relative, Backus declined to comment.
At Monday's board meeting, Bordwell read from a prepared statement.
Readers of the Los Angeles Times could not miss the huge headline on the top of the front page on Wednesday (6/18/08): "Hundreds married on historic day" (print edition). In addition to the enormous headline, a whopping nine photos accompanied the Times's coverage of the first full day of legalized gay marriage in California.
One reader saw a clear case of bias by the Times. Here's his letter to the editor in yesterday's paper (6/20/08):
Re "Hundreds married on historic day," June 18
The only thing missing from this headline is the exclamation point. But the real tipoff was the picture of two women kissing on the front page. It was inappropriate for many reasons, but mostly because it demonstrates a case study in advocacy journalism.
Give Hanna Rosin at The Atlantic Online credit for investigating something most journalists wouldn't even think of touching. Her article is a long read, but an important one.
Rosin's report out of Memphis (HT Instapundit) chronicles how a criminologist husband and his housing-expert wife made a correlation that makes so much sense, you just know it will encounter fierce resistance from media and political elites (bolds are mine):
(Richard) Janikowski might not have managed to pinpoint the cause of this pattern (of spreading crime) if he hadn’t been married to Phyllis Betts, a housing expert at the University of Memphis. ..... Betts had been evaluating the impact of one of the city government’s most ambitious initiatives: the demolition of the city’s public-housing projects, as part of a nationwide experiment to free the poor from the destructive effects of concentrated poverty. Memphis demolished its first project in 1997. The city gave former residents federal “Section 8” rent-subsidy vouchers and encouraged them to move out to new neighborhoods. Two more waves of demolition followed over the next nine years, dispersing tens of thousands of poor people into the wider metro community.
New York Times reporter Alessandra Stanley watched Michelle Obama's performance as co-host of the morning chat panel "The View" for her Thursday "TV Watch" report, "Michelle Obama Highlights Her Warmer Side," and came away raving about Obama's "all but flawless performance."
But before that, Stanley worked in some snipes against Republicans. After stating unconvincingly that Michelle Obama had "endured far more virulent attacks by her critics" than had Cindy McCain, Stanley succumbed to smug liberal stereotyping and, in a stretch bizarre even for her, reached back to the Equal Rights Amendment to explain why Republican presidential spouses are supposedly passive housewives:
On Thursday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Maggie Rodriguez described the Catholic Church’s refusal to allow filming on Church property of a movie prequel to "The DaVinci Code," starring Tom Hanks, this way: "...the battle between Tom Hanks and the Vatican. You know he's in Rome filming the prequel to 'The Da Vinci Code,' 'Angels and Demons,' and the Church there is up in arms, they're barring them from filming in churches. They believe the film, like the book, is sacrilegious."
On Wednesday, ABC’s "Good Morning America" featured a story on the controversy in which correspondent Nick Watt declared: "When the might of Rome clashes with a literary behemoth, expect some colorful language. 'An offense against God,' is what a diocese of Rome spokesman just called this book." Watt then later proclaimed: "The Dan Brown express will not be stopped," to which GMA co-host Diane Sawyer replied: "Yes, Nick, I mean that's the irony, isn't it? The more the Church complains, probably the better it is for the business."
Meanwhile, on Thursday’s "Early Show," correspondent Allen Pizzey explained: "Fans of the book, 'Angels and Demons,' keep streaming into the churches in Rome where the plot unfolds. But the film crew turning it into a movie has been banned from them and any other Church property. The plot is not overly anti-Church, but some of the most graphic scenes are not something with which the Church wants to be associated."
CNN, following in the footsteps of ABCNews.com’s overblown take on the subject, couldn’t help but to insert snotty language into its report on the Catholic Diocese of Rome’s denial to the filming of the movie adaptation of Dan Brown’s "Angels and Demons." CNN international correspondent Jennifer Eccleston, closing her report on Thursday’s "American Morning," labeled the Church’s refusal, based on "The Da Vinci Code" book and movie’s bashing of the Catholic faith, "a big problem in Rome, where some sins are just too grave to be forgiven -- even if they're for art's sake."
"Sins" that are "just too grave to be forgiven" calls to mind Matthew 12:32, where Jesus Christ refers to blasphemy against the Holy Ghost as a sin that won’t be forgiven "neither in this world, nor in the world to come." It isn’t certain that Eccleston had this scriptural quotation in mind, but she certainly gave the impression that the Church is being "un-Christian" for not letting Ron Howard and Tom Hanks film there.
On Thursday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Julie Chen teased an upcoming segment on Michelle Obama appearing on ABC’s "The View": "Also this morning, like Cindy McCain did this past spring, Michelle Obama co-hosted 'The View' yesterday. We're going to see how comfortable she was with the women of 'The View' and what she had to say on everything from sexism in politics to who does the housework in the Obama home."
Later, correspondent Tracy Smith reported: "Perhaps hoping she'd give her husband a bump in the polls, Michelle Obama played co-host on 'The View' yesterday. Tackling topics from panty hose...to political attacks." A clip was then played of "View" co-host Joy Behar asking Obama: "Do you feel there was any sexism in the media?," with Obama replying: "I -- there is -- yes, there's always a level of -- people aren't used to strong women."
Smith later explained appearances by both Cindy McCain and Michelle Obama on "The View" by touting a CBS News poll from April: "58% of voters were undecided on how they felt about Michelle Obama. 75% were undecided about Cindy McCain." Smith then credited Bill Clinton with beginning the trend of presidential candidates, and their wives, making guest appearances on popular shows: "In 1992, then candidate Bill Clinton got attention by playing the sax on Arsenio...Since then, guest spots on entertainment shows have become a political rite of passage." Smith remarked how: "McCain traded barbs with Letterman. And Obama got his groove on with Elllen."