Brent Bozell's culture column this week explored the outer reaches of the movie ratings system, and how the movie industry is looking hard at creating a more "respectable" adults-only rating of NC-17, which is often considered for movies featuring topless Nazis, toothy private parts, and grossly obese men chewing on babies.
Here's how Rev. Randall Balmer yesterday blogged his decidedly unorthodox read of Scriptural texts:
fundamentalist, I spent a lot of my childhood thinking and worrying
about the end of time as predicted in the New Testament book of
Revelation. I was taught that history would come screeching to a halt
and the world as we know it would dissolve in some kind of apocalyptic
What do you do when you're a liberal columnist and there's a pet issue of yours the media aren't being biased about (stem cells) because they haven't covered it, because, well, they're too busy being biased about other stories (Alberto Gonzales, Iraq)?
If you're Slate founding editor and former "Crossfire" host Michael Kinsley, you hack out a blog post about it.
Mucking around Time's "Swampland" political blog, Kinsley expressed frustration at a new development in the stem cell funding issue he thinks has gone underreported in the mainstream media:
Elias Zerhouni, the head of the National Institutes of Health,
testified to a Senate committee that he favors a lifting of Bush's
limit on stem cell research. It leaves us fighting disease (and foreign
competition) "with one hand tied behind our back," Zerhouni said.
Clearly prepared to say what he said, Zerhouni offered a vivid
metaphor: he called stem cells the "software of life."
story did not seem to make the paper editions of either the New York
Times or the Washington Post. (The Wall Street Journal had a very short
blurb on page one and no longer story.) All the papers had it on-line,
of course. But isn't this a pretty big deal?
In Fall 2005, Brady Campaign published a report called Forced Entry: The National Rifle Association’s Campaign To Force Business To Accept Guns At Work. It includes the term “CCW” 17 times by the end of page 1 and contains an appendix entitled “CCW License Holders: “Law-Abiding Citizens?”1 This makes it reasonable to infer that this report is just as much an attempt to condemn right-to-carry as it is an argument against permitting qualified employees to bear arms to or at work.
Citing Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, Brady implies that workplace violence is at epidemic levels. It notes:
Has Rosie O'Donnell gone from being just another vociferous media liberal to a full-blown 9-11 conspiracy theorist? It would appear so. Have a look at Rosie's recent blog entry, wherein she serves up an array of controlled-demolition eccentricity. Turns out, according to O'Donnell, 9-11 was all a big plot to do away with FBI and other investigative files on Smith Barney, WorldCom and . . . Enron. What, no Halliburton?
H/t reader M.R.
For the third time in history fire brought down a steel building reducing it to rubble. Hold on folks here we go.
After his comments this morning, if Don Imus ever gets invited to a party on the terrace of Katie Couric's midtown apartment overlooking Central Park, he would be well advised not to get too close to the ledge.
Chatting with Imus on MSNBC at 8:45 ET this morning about the travails of the CBS Evening News and the advent of Rick Kaplan as its executive producer, media maven Howard Kurtz observed: "I don't know if this is attributable to Rick, but it seems to me that in the last week the show has a little bit of a harder edge, a little bit of a faster pace."
That set Imus off on an anti-Couric tirade: "It's unwatchable. And it's unwatchable because she's unwatchable. I'm sure she's a nice lady, but I mean . . ."
Why is it that sitcoms always go for the cheapest gags? And why is it that those gags are always shibboleths of leftist ideas? Does Hollywood imagine that the left never does anything that can be made fun of? Apparently Conan O'Brien and Andy Richter of the new sitcom "Andy Barker, P.I." don't think so, anyway.
In the pilot episode for the new sitcom from NBC starring former Conan O'Brien sidekick Andy Richter, within the first few segments we get one joke that makes Christians out to be mean-spirited and another that presents Americans in general as being reactionary racists post 9/11. In fact, these two jokes are back to back.
In the pilot episode, the main character rents a storefront in a small strip mall styled complex to open his CPA business. He meets the video store Owner downstairs who takes him on a tour to give him the lay of the land of the other shops in the complex.
Gone are the days of Rambo fighting off Russian baddies in Vietnam, The Mighty Ducks kicking Swedish hockey team booty or even a geek destroying a red and white 1958 Plymouth Fury to a George Thorogood soundtrack. In the March 12 New York Times, Michael Cieply reports those days are on their way out in Hollywood. The new industry trend is for the movie villains to be enemies of the environment, not the United States. The NYT briefly touches on the old-style bad guys’ evolution to the new model and the possible resulting influence:
Dumping popular Hollywood villains of the past — drug lords, aliens, North Korean dictators, even the news media — for an environmental bête noire carries risks for studios that don’t mind frightening viewers, as long as it’s all in fun. But it also hints at the possibility of more sophisticated entertainment, and perhaps even the kind of impact that “The China Syndrome,” with Jane Fonda and Michael Douglas, exerted on the nuclear power industry when it came out in 1979.
Why is it every time I see a newspulper headline about Barack Obama I envision the editors in near orgasmic delight over the "multiculturalism" they perceive in Obama, or the "connection" he has with all the peoples of the world? Or the near hero worship of his "clean and articulate" abilities they wallow in, for that matter? And how come I get a corresponding feeling that all I am getting is delightful puffs of air but no substance when I'm done reading the piece that goes with the sweetness and honey that is the headline?
I wonder if the MSM ever gets tired of trying to make evil look good? And if they aren't trying to make evil look like good, they are trying to soft peddle evil with a they-are-really-just-like-us analysis of evil’s actions. Such is the case today in the Boston Globe wherein writer H.D.S. Greenway equates Iraqi insurgents to being just like America's founding revolutionary generation.
In 'Surge' doomed to final failure, a badly garbled reading of history is foisted upon an unsuspecting reading public that culminates with H.D.S. Greenway boiling down the entire American Revolution to the claim that British soldiers were a "conquering force" in the Colonies and the Colonists were mad at them for it.
Washington Post arts critic Philip Kennicott is enraptured in Tuesday's paper that an annual lecture sponsored by the federal-arts-subsidy lobby had evolved from "conservative curmudgeon" William Safire to a more traditional "bold and perhaps even controversial speech that included sustained criticism of religious fundamentalism." From who? Former PBS anchor Robert MacNeil, who used to be one-half of the MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour. Like your average liberal media anchor, MacNeil wouldn't know a fundamentalist from an evangelical from an orthodox Catholic as he lectured (sigh) that Christian fundamentalists are awfully similar to Islamic fundamentalists:
"It is inevitable that artists should become the targets of such fundamentalist anxieties," he said. "Because it is in the nature of artists to push the frontiers of taste and morality, to show society both its pieties and its hypocrisies."
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?
The AP is protesting a decision made by U.S. Military officials in Afghanistan claiming an oppression of a free press and saying there was "not a reasonable justification" for erasing an AP photographer's pictures taken of the aftermath of a suicide bombing in Barikaw, Afghanistan. The decision protested by the AP was made March 4th by officers on the scene of a bombing that killed 8 Afghans, wounding 34. But, is the AP correct that this was somehow an outrage against a free press?
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- The U.S. military asserted that an American soldier was justified in erasing journalists' footage of the aftermath of a suicide bombing and shooting in Afghanistan last week, saying publication could have compromised a military investigation and led to false public conclusions.
"Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar," Sigmund Freud is purported to have once said, cautioning that not everything has a deeper, hidden meaning to it. Well, sometimes a blockbuster blood-soaked action flick is just that, a blood-soaked, special effects-laden action flick.
Just try telling that to cynical, left-wing European journalists.
According to Entertainment Weekly, everyone from gay interest groups to foreign journalists have engaged in armchair psychoanalysis of director Zack Snyder's screen adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novel "300.":
Brent Bozell's culture column this week unfolds the new polling numbers for the MRC's Culture and Media Institute on the American people's impression of moral decline and the media's role in it:
A new cultural-values survey of 2,000 American adults performed by the polling firm of Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates for the Culture and Media Institute reveals a strong majority, 74 percent, believes moral values in America are weaker than they were 20 years ago. Almost half, 48 percent, agree that values are much weaker than they were 20 years ago.
With the recent announcement by CBS that they have made ex-Clinton friend Rick Kaplan the new Executive Producer of the CBS Evening News, it was eyebrow raising that another fawning pal has suddenly been ensconced in a "new" position at an American news service.
As I have in the past, to be a fair and honest reporter, I'll bring the good news about the MSM to the fore right along with the bad. Today I have some good in the form of a piece in Editor & Publisher's Shop talk section titled Who's a Journalist These Days? This is an interesting piece that takes journalists to task who share, as E&P puts it, the "big ego disease" that seems woefully prevalent throughout the MSM.
In fact, Mark A. Phillips doesn't at all mince words when taking to task his fellow journalists, not sparing their feelings a bit. He even identifies by name one of the journalistic comrades of whom he is scolding. That being one Debra J. Saunders of the San Francisco Chronicle.
On Friday, Judge Laurence Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the city of Washington D.C. could not ban its citizens from owning firearms because such a ban violates the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
In light of this ruling so damaging to gun grabbers everywhere, I was curious to see how the wires were handling the news. Turns out, they don't seem too happy.
In two reports on Friday the AP gave far more time in their "balanced" report to opponents to Second Amendment rights than they did to proponents. Worse, it never seemed to occur to them to report that gun violence in Washington D.C. has consistently ranked as among the highest in the country despite being one of the strictest anti-gun cities therein.
WASHINGTON - It turns out that Republicans were right: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did violate C-SPAN's copyright by using its televised footage on her blog promoting Democrats.
Officials for the cable TV network that provides daily gavel-to-gavel coverage of House and Senate proceedings at first said the blog was in violation, then announced it wasn't. On Wednesday, they said that it was but that they're changing their policy so that it won't be in the future.
Who says liberals lack a sense of humor? The new owner of Air America suggests that the original version of the radio network went bankrupt because . . . it was too even-handed.
Mark Green is a veteran New York pol, having served as NYC's Public Advocate and run unsuccessfuly for US senator, NYC mayor and state attorney general. His family business recently completed the acquisition of Air America out of bankruptcy. Details here.
In an email distributed today [yup, I subscribe to their list], Green described what "Air America 2.0" will be like:
"It'll be a business with a sharp point of view. The era of on-the-one-hand-on-the-other-hand liberalism is over -- or as Robert Frost once wrote, 'a liberal man is too broad-minded to take his own side in a quarrel.
In a warning to the sanctity of free speech in a democratic nation, France is about to show us what happens when the state is allowed to legally determine who is allowed to be a "journalist", or who is a "legitimate" source of news: You get the criminalization of speech.
The French Constitutional Council has approved a law that criminalizes the filming or broadcasting of acts of violence by people other than professional journalists. The law could lead to the imprisonment of eyewitnesses who film acts of police violence, or operators of Web sites publishing the images, one French civil liberties group warned on Tuesday.
This would, in fact, place the power to silence whistleblowers from being able to expose abuse by government officials into the hands of those very officials in the case of police abuse, for instance.
As has been well detailed here at Newsbusters, Mitt Romney has recently been the object of the MSMs attack dogs (see here, here, here... and many others.). But it seems that, with the recent polls showing it is Rudy Giuliani, rather than Mitt, who leads in the polls, the MSM attack dogs have turned their attention to the nation's Mayor.
Apparently it isn't enough to just go after Rudy, though. Now the Boston Herald is going after his bigoted and obviously stupid potential Conservative voters -- stupid at least as far as the Herald is concerned.
Over the years, the liberal media has often insisted that Hillary
Rodham Clinton is a centrist, even a conservative when it comes to
traditional values. That's why it's important to know that when
evidence unfolds quietly that instead, Senator Clinton is solidly and
passionately on the left-wing vanguard promoting the widest possible
berth in America for abortion and homosexuality, the media will stay
New video of Hillary speaking and being passionately
supported on Friday, March 2, at a board meeting of the Human Rights
Campaign, the nation's largest radical gay-left group, is now on YouTube.
In her speech, Hillary takes after social conservatives who fought for
a Federal Marriage Amendment to prevent "gay marriage" from being the
new and emerging law of the land: "This amendment was wedge politics at
its worst. It was mean-spirited. It was against the entire forward
movement of American history. It was the first time that anyone was
proposing that we amend the Constitution to deny citizens rights,
rather than widen the circle of rights and opportunities."
We'll see how the electorate decides, but there's no doubt who won the "Today" show primaries this morning. For the Dems, it was Barack, and among Republicans, Rudy.
Narrating the segment on the political duel between Obama and Hillary in Selma, Alabama this weekend, Andrea Mitchell portrayed Obama as having authentic appeal, while picturing Hillary resorting to heavy-handed political tactics.
Consider Mitchell's opening line: "On the 42nd anniversary of Bloody Sunday, the historic clash over voting rights in Selma, Alabama, Barack Obama was supposed to be the main attraction, until Hillary Clinton, slipping in the polls to Obama among African-Americans, decided to come." Translation: a sinking Hillary tries to steal Barack's limelight. Not very flattering.
As Mitchell mentioned that Hillary had brought Bill because of his "enormous popularity with black voters," a clip rolled of a woman literally squealing in excitement and delight as Bill walked by in the parade. But doesn't that highlight Hillary's relative weakness as much as Bill's strength?
After stating that "Obama answered critics who say his mixed ancestry makes him not black enough," Mitchell rolled a clip of Obama speaking in a preacher's cadence as he told a church gathering: "don't tell me I'm not coming home when I come to Selma, Alabama. I'm here because somebody walked."
Compare and contrast Obama's strong -- versus Hillary's screeching -- pulpitperformances here.
The double standard of Leftists who are ignoring the outrage of Bill Maher -- who alluded to his wish that Vice President Dick Cheney was assassinated – while at the same time are wildly fanning themselves in mock outrage as if they had the vapors over Ann Coulter -- for calling Democrat John Edwards a bad name -- was on full display in the MSM over the weekend.
If you are a conservative who stays up on the "happenings" in conservative news, you'd have by now heard that firebrand Columnist Ann Coulter called Democratic Candidate John Edwards a "faggot" at the CPAC convention the other day. You are also probably aware of all the lefty types wading into the waters of high dudgeon over her typically button-pushing remark and you'll have seen Democrats and their supporters coming out of the woodwork to claim astonishment at Coulter's comment, demanding that conservatives distance themselves from her.
What was the refrain so often hurled at the right by the "good hearted" and "more civilized" left when Chelsea Clinton was brought into the campaign discussion in the 1990s? Didn't they all solemnly shake their heads in disgust over those eeevil Conservatives who were attacking the president's kid? Didn't they scold the right saying that a candidate's children should never be an issue? Well, apparently the New York Times has abandoned that genteel notion.
I sure remember the left wagging their fingers in the nation's face over this point repeatedly, don't you?
Yes, here we have, in Saturday's edition of the New York Times, an article dragging Rudy Giuliani's recently strained relationship with his two children into the public debate on his candidacy. Here we have the bastion of leftism trying to get at a candidate through his children in stark contrast to the tsk, tsking that the left indulged in during the Clinton years.
I seem to be detecting a trend. There's a current in the MSM that fears Rudy Giuliani, perhaps sensing he might be best positioned to defeat the Dem candidate. Such folks console themselves by clinging to the belief that the GOP won't nominate Rudy, or at least won't avidly support him if he is the candidate, given his liberal positions on some issues.
This evening's Hardball offered a perfect example of the phenomenon in the person of Craig Crawford. Time and again, the MSNBC analyst returned to the theme:
"Getting onto the social conservative stuff: abortion, gay rights, etc., [Rudy at CPAC] did make the case that I'm 80% with you, better than most marriages, a pretty good line, but at the end of the day, they're important issues to these people, and I just really wonder, the more they learn about him, and just how liberal he really is on those issues, I think it's going to matter to them."
"Maybe I've just covered these social conservatives and these Republican races for too long to believe they're suddenly going to forget about that stuff, no matter how much they like Giuliani otherwise."
"I think if Giuliani wins this nomination, and he well could, social conservative voters are not going to play in the general election, and that's going to help Democrats."
"I really do believe a lot of these [socially conservative] voters and a lot of these groups are losing interest in politics."
"I don't think they've heard all the details of his personal life, and the judges [the liberal ones in NYC Rudy appointed] we're talking about."
Jim Vandehei, ex of WaPo, now with Politico.com, was dubious of Crawford's notion: "I think that the conventional wisdom must be wrong, this idea that once conservatives get to know Giuliani's record. I mean, how can they not know his record? Everybody's talking about it."
Obama's white ancestors owned slaves. So says the research of William Addams Reitwiesner, "who works at the Library of Congress and practices genealogy in his spare time", and who is featured in this morning's edition of the Baltimore Sun.
Many people know that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's father was from Kenya and his mother from Kansas.
But an intriguing sliver of his family history has received almost no attention until now: it appears that forebears of his white mother owned slaves, according to genealogical research and Census records.
While reading this, my very first thought had me wondering how well this will sit with the Obama-isn't-black-enough contingent?
It didn't take long in the story to get the issue addressed.
What is it about the New York Times where they can't stay above their talking points even when trying to interest the people in a higher level of political discussion and debate?
The Times was bemoaning the current sad state of political discourse amongst political candidates today (and rightfully so, I might add) in a story reporting the interesting extended debate between Newt Gingrich and ex-Senator Mario Cuomo sponsored by New York's Cooper Union Hall, the great room in which Abraham Lincoln first came to national prominence prior to his running for president of the United States.
February 28, 2007 -- To those who remember the infamous 1981 Brinks heist in Nyack, Judith Clark is a self-indulgent '60s radical serving a well-deserved 75-year prison term for her role in the violent deaths of three heroic law-enforcement officers.
But to the Associated Press, which supplies news to the world, Judith Clark is a "former freedom fighter."