Brent Bozell's culture column this week begins with how the disgusting dog-fighting allegations surrounding football star Michael Vick have united everyone -- conservatives and liberals, theists and atheists, meat-eaters and vegetarians, you name it -- against Vick and his vile animal-killing buddies, if half of that federal indictment is true. They found 17 dog carcasses on his property near Williamsburg, Virginia. Like many, Brent believes new NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will keep Vick off the field this season until he can attempt to clear his name at trial. But, sadly that isn't the only scandalous news out of the sports world:
Jim Pinkerton found a graphic way to express his displeasure over Fox News Watch's decision to devote a segment to Lindsay Lohan's latest run-in with the law. With a nod to MSNBC newsreader Mika Brzezinski, who as I chronicled here had torn up a Paris Hilton story in protest, Pinkerton ripped a page or two on tonight's show.
FOX NEWS WATCH PANELIST JIM PINKERTON: This speaks to formula, right?. We all know that Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Ritchie are fighting to get the Anna Nicole Smith slot for this year.
FOX NEWS WATCH HOST ERIC BURNS: Nicole Ritchie, who has just been sentenced herself.
PINKERTON: Exactly. I'm going to honor another formula [as he ceremoniously tears the story in two]. That would be Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC and Jack Cafferty on CNN, who refused to read their copy. It might have been a show, it might have been an act for the cameras, but I'm going to do the same thing and see what happens. Because I don't think this is really worth covering on our segment.
No matter how obscure the corner of our culture it might be covering, the MSM often manages to inject its politics. And so it was on this morning's "Today," on what had been shaping up to be a harmless feature on ventriloquists.
NBC's Brian Balthazar narrated the segment, which focused on a ventriloquists' convention in Kentucky. At one point, this dialogue between a ventriloquist and his dummy, Dexter, was rolled.
DEXTER THE DUMMY: I'm thinking about running for president.
VENTRILOQUIST AL STEVENS: President? Who in their right mind would vote for a dummy for president?
Taylor to have plea agreement hearing on Monday Posted: Friday July 27, 2007 9:02PM; Updated: Friday July 27, 2007 9:45PM
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- One of Michael Vick's co-defendants doesn't want to wait for trial.
Instead, a plea agreement hearing has been scheduled for Tony Taylor at 9 a.m. Monday in the federal dogfighting conspiracy case.
Taylor's hearing was added to U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson's docket Friday, a day after he and the other three defendants pleaded not guilty before the same judge. Vick and the others still are scheduled for trial Nov. 26.
Prosecutors claim Taylor, 34, found the Surry County property purchased by Vick and used it as the site of "Bad Newz Kennels," a dogfighting enterprise. The Hampton man also allegedly helped purchase pit bulls and killed at least two dogs that fared poorly in test fights.
Perhaps Taylor's impending plea will squelch the annoying Old Media comparisons of the Vick case to that of the innocent Duke lacrosse players wrongly indicted by Prosecutor Mike Nifong last year.
A week ago, in probably the most egregious example of Duke-Vick projection, Sports Illustrated writer Peter King appointed himself to be NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's translator:
In his Sunday Business section story for the New York Times, "Did McDonald's Give In to Temptation?" reporter Andrew Martin took a surprisingly moralistic look at the corporation's new menu.
One wonders what the paper's beef is with McDonald's, which after all provides safe, inexpensive food to the lower-to-middle-class section of society the Times claims to care about (and convenient bathroom facilities for the homeless, at least in Times Watch's neck of the woods). But apparently some things can't be forgiven. The source of the Times' angst? McDonald's is re-introducing its giant-size soda under a new name, "The Hugo."
"It wasn't too long ago that the only thing McDonald's seemed good at was making people fat.
Our friends at the MRC's Business & Media Institute (BMI) have documented the media's obsession with the so-called obesity epidemic in this country. [Update: BMI's Jeff Poor wrote about this today here.]
Of course, unlike real epidemics which involve communicable diseases, obesity is not a condition you "catch" from casual, or even intimate, contact.
But as true as that is and ever shall be, it can't hurt advancing the storyline to suggest that, yes, in a manner of speaking, fatness is catchable.
Reuters seems to be jumping into the fray over the Supreme Court's latest decision on the issue of racial diversity in our schools. At least, it seems so because their latest story on the decision seems an advocacy piece against the Supreme Court and for forced "diversity" policies in our schools. In fact, Reuters seems only too happy to claim that the Supreme Court is causing "fear" in our innocent children in their piece titled, "Students, schools fear end of racial diversity."
Reuters is obviously giving voice to this forced "diversity" and giving the bussing crowd the thumbs up in a report that also seems to say that black kids only "get in fights" when they go to predominately black schools.
Newsbusters revealed the overwhelming left-wing bias of the YouTube video question clips at the CNN Democrat presidential debate on Monday night. One of the most outrageous questions of the night came from Anne Laird of Pennsylvania (pictured at right), who identified herself as an employee of Planned Parenthood. Laird asked, “My question is, we here at Planned Parenthood support comprehensive sex education, and I'd like to know if any of you as candidates have talked to your children about sex, and used medically accurate and age-appropriate information?” Laird uses the word “we” in the question -- due to the fact that her clip was one of 22 that was submitted by Planned Parenthood and its supporters on one YouTube.com account with the user name PPVotes.
Laird, an Altoona, Pennsylvania native who works for Planned Parenthood in the Pennsylvania state capitol of Harrisburg, asked her question at a recent Planned Parenthood conference in Washington, DC, as revealed by an article in the Altoona Mirror. Other attendees at the conference asked a range of questions which reflect Planned Parenthood’s comprehensive sexual agenda, from “Would you push for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment?,” “Will you repeal the global gag rule?” (referring to the Mexico City policy of the Reagan administration, which was reinstated by the Bush administration), to “Would you protect a woman’s right to control her body?” (an obvious reference to Planned Parenthood’s support for Roe v. Wade).
The Duke lacrosse "rape" hoax refuses to fade away, no doubt to the chagrin of New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller.
The Times features prominently in a comprehensive article by Rachel Smolkin in an upcoming edition of the American Journalism Review. Smolkin delivers a week-to-week dissection of the credulous media coverage given to false rape charges by a stripper against three Duke lacrosse players. Smolkin talked to former Times public editor Daniel Okrent, who was critical of his paper's coverage at the time and remains so.
As soon as "Good Morning America" began to tease an upcoming how-to segment today on protecting against home invasion, I immediately suspected the show wouldn't discuss one obvious measure: obtaining fireams and learning to use them.
And sure enough . . .
GMA ran the segment in the wake of the horrific home-invasion in Connecticut in which the the wife and two daughters of a prominent doctor were killed and the man badly beaten. An expert was brought in to discuss various measures, and Chris Cuomo added some suggestions of his own. They ranged from keeping shrubbery low, to installing lights, alarms and wind chimes, to putting peepholes in the door, to creating a "safe room" to which a family can flee.
But never did GMA breathe a word about firearms. My favorite moment was Cuomo's Cactus Defense. That's Chris's hand pointing at that lethal little mini-cactus in the window planter. View videohere.
"Charges Against a Star Linebacker Raises Questions About Justice" appears at first to be a run-of-the-mill example of politically correct crime coverage in the New York Times. Sports reporter Thayer Evans hinted at racism in a criminal investigation of a black college football player, Oklahoma State Cowboys linebacker Chris Collins, arrested on sexual assault for raping a 12 year-old. But then one remembers the Times' coverage of the Duke lacrosse case, and the politically correct becomes pathetic.
"In May 2004, Collins and another man were arrested and charged with sexually assaulting an intoxicated 12-year-old girl at a hotel in Texarkana, Tex., during an after-prom party. Two other men were charged in December 2005. Collins pleaded not guilty in March, after being indicted by a grand jury in December 2004.
As Tim Graham notes in his report on the passing of Tammy Faye Bakker-Messner, liberal MSMers of the past loved to portray the woman as the "very model of Reagan's Decade of Greed," but Graham made me wonder how the media is reporting her passing, at least during this early morning time as the country wakes to the news.
Of course, I have also observed Mr. Graham's reporting on how Tammy Faye was treated in the past. She has been reviled for many years, though recently seems to have gained a sort of kitschy popularity. So, I admit that I went in assuming that the MSM would unleash their worst comments on her passing and thinking that the MSM would use her death as just another excuse to attack her in their common, mean-spirited fashion. But, I was surprised upon finding that most of these early reports have shied away from the "decade of greed" tagline to her life and have refrained form gauche personal attacks.
Last Saturday, NewsBusters shared a truly disgraceful Ted Rall cartoon that depicted a United States soldier as a suicide bomber.
On Friday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, in its "Cartoons From Around The World" section, featured a rather revolting "comic" by German cartoonist Rainer Hachfeld. In it, a panel showed children in Afghanistan shooting toy guns playfully at an American military plane, with panel two dramatizing the same plane attacking the kids with gunfire clearly hitting one as the other ran screaming for cover.
As this is the property of cartoon syndicator Daryl Cagle, copyright laws prevent unauthorized distribution. However, as the above link indicates, Hachfeld's piece was also published at Cagle's MSNBC.com webpage.
NewsBusters' member Saw the Light, who forwarded this piece to me, made the following sage observations about the cartoon which he has given me permission to share:
See Update below: Michelle back on the flooding beat!
If you're Michelle Kosinki's agent, you surely have a verboten vocabulary list. Words you don't want your ward ever to say on air. Above all, of course, "canoe." But others too. Ones like "puddle," "slosh," and certainly . . . "row."
But there was Michelle on this morning's "Today," reporting from London on Potter-mania. And you guessed it . . .
A recent article by writer Manish Vij, The Apu travesty, in The Guardian has stirred up something of a hornets nest of controversy as was chronicled here in NewsBusters. Vij took a strictly PC approach and condemned the portrayal of Apu from "The Simpsons" as being racist. However, his opinion is far from universal among people of ethnic Indian background. Journalist Saptarshi Ray who is based in the Washington, D.C. bureau of The Guardian has a very different view of the Apu character in his response, The wonder of Apu:
There was an epic dust-up on this afternoon's show between feminist Naomi Wolf and conservative radio talk show host Melanie Morgan.
At the risk of burying the lead a bit, I can't resist observing that Naomi Wolf might just be the most passively aggressive woman in America. She has an amazing, infuriating, ability to keep a smile plastered on her face while saying the nastiest of things. It took her no more than a few seconds to get into it with guest host Mike Barnicle on this evening's Hardball. Barnicle invited Wolf to comment on the WaPo story about Hillary showing cleavage on the floor of the Senate, introducing her as a Democratic consultant and former advisor to Al Gore who had advised him to wear earth tones. But before responding, Naomi had some correctin' to do.
NAOMI WOLF: Mike, let me just stop you right there. You basically have not done your homework, no offense [right]. First of all, I'm not a Democratic consultant, I'm a writer. Second of all, I was advising Gore 2000 on women's issues that I've been talking about for 15 years . . . so you've just been, the Republican National Committee came up with a bunch of urban legends, and I'm afraid they pulled the wool over your eyes.
Pretty aggressive. Yet Wolf managed to maintain a brilliant, nay, beatific smile throughout. But when it came to aggression, Wolf was just clearing her throat.
CNN correspondent Tom Foreman's examination of the role of faith in the 2008 presidential race on Thursday night's "Anderson Cooper 360" featured the standard left-wing labeling of Christian conservatives. The segment, an examination of the so-called "separation of church and state," featured extensive soundbites from Pastor Rod Parsley of the World Harvest Church in Ohio, characterized Parsley as "no agent of tolerance," due to his stance against homosexuality and criticism of Islam.
Foreman opened his segment with a line that is eerily reminiscent of the creation account in the biblical Book of Genesis, and reflects the Left's view of the First Amendment.
TOM FOREMAN: In the beginning, there was a wall, a mighty barrier built by the Founding Fathers to separate church and state, block one from meddling in the affairs of the other. In school, we are taught that's what makes our country special. But what if that wall never existed? What if it's a myth conjured up in our lifetime to mask a greater truth, that America was conceived as a Christian nation?
On Friday’s Good Morning America, reporter David Wright (pictured at right) turned a story about Senator Barack Obama’s far-left views on sex education for kindergartners into an attack piece on Republican candidate Mitt Romney. Rather than focus on the Democrat’s controversial stance, ABC cast Romney as the villain, painting the Republican as an opportunist and a flip-flopper for daring to criticize Obama’s comments.
As Wright pointed out, "Massachusetts has one of the most progressive sex education curriculums in the country. It starts during pre-school and not only requires that elementary schools teach kids the basics about sex but encourages them to teach about sexual orientation too." In a glib tone of voice Wright explained, "Of course you’d never know that from hearing Romney on the campaign trail now."
CNN congressional correspondent Joe Johns apparently couldn't resist inserting some sarcastic remarks about Republican presidential candidates Fred Thompson and Rudy Giuliani in his "Raw Politics" segment on Thursday night's "Anderson Cooper 360." [Video (1:46):Real (1.29 MB) Windows (1.09 MB) MP3 (806 kB).]
JOE JOHNS: Ever heard the phrase all about the Benjamins? In this town, when you want to monetize power, you go to K Street, lobbying, where top lobbyists make 500 bucks an hour or more. The problem is, you can end up lobbying for some politically awkward clients, like Fred Thompson did for an abortion-rights group, which takes some explaining in front of an anti-abortion audience. "The New York Times" and "Raw Politics" dug up his billing records. Mr. Conservative "Law & Order" got paid $5,000 for 20 hours of work. Heavy political baggage, a hand full of Benjamins. Hope it was worth it, Senator.
There are millions of Web sites floating around the Internet on any given day, so finding five ones to label as the "worst" in the world is risible on its face. And if you did, wouldn't you think that NAMBLA, the Westboro Baptist Church, the KKK, pedophile sites and the like would constitute the absolute worst? I mean, MySpace is annoying, but it's not as bad as jihadist Web sites by any stretch.
But aside from the inanity of the undertaking, what caught my eye with Time magazine's "Five Worst Websites" list was eHarmony.com's inclusion.
"Our main beef with this online dating site is its power to cause utter despair," lament the writers at Time.
The New York Times has been taking a lot of well deserved guff over the last couple of years for obtaining and publishing classified national security secrets but it had not been prepared for the latest row over its pre-publication book review of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows".
The review, that gives away a few spoilers, has been met with anger by both the book's author JK Rowling and her publishers. Rowling came out swinging after learning that both the New York Times and the Baltimore Sun had obtained pre-publication copies of the book despite a costly embargo.
"I am staggered that some American newspapers have decided to publish purported spoilers in the form of reviews in complete disregard of the wishes of literally millions of readers, particularly children," she said.
In this day and age of Political Correctness it can almost be expected that someone will object to the portrayal of Apu in the upcoming "The Simpsons" movie as racist. Sure enough, writer Manish Vij, made just that accusation in the July 17 issue of the British newspaper The Guardian with an article titled, The Apu travesty:
...The Simpsons has long irritated some Indian-Americans because of the thickly stereotypical character of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, the effete cornershop owner with fractured English, excess fertility, bizarre religious practices, illegal immigration status and a penchant for cheating customers.
Apu is quite a unique character on The Simpsons. Unlike the show's parodies of policemen and Irish-Americans, he's the only character to mock a small American minority relatively unknown in the mainstream, and he's by far the most visible immigrant. For desis (South Asians) growing up in America, just one eighth as concentrated and visible as in the UK, Apu shadowed us at every turn.
And haunt it does in this piece designed to scare the bejeebers out of women who are considering leaving the workforce in order to stay at home with their children. MSNBC contributor Eve Tahmincioglu warns us that women who leave lucrative careers in order to change diapers and arrange playdates may receive a nasty surprise if and when they need to go back to work.
She includes anecdotes from women whose circumstances demanded that they go back to work, but were unable to simply pick up from where they left off, taking jobs they had to in order to make ends meet.
For professional backup, Tahmincioglu turns to Leslie Bennetts, author of the recent tome "The Feminine Mistake: Are We Giving Up Too Much?"
Mother Teresa might be allowed to oppose gay marriage. But those falling short of saintliness have forfeited their right to do so.
That, in a nutshell, is the logic that "Morning Joe" panelist John Ridley espoused on today's show. His comments came in the course of a dialogue with host Joe Scarborough in the wake of the public statement that Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) and his wife made yesterday.
A rather disturbing event occurred in a Minnesota library last Sunday: Freshman Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) compared President Bush to Adolf Hitler, while implying that the White House was involved in the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11.
Didn’t hear about this? Well, how could you? After all, no major, mainstream media outlet other than Fox News and CNN thought it was newsworthy.
On the same day that he attacked the GOP as being "scared of black folks," CNN contributor Roland Martin posted a column on CNN.com in which he proclaimed the "irrelevancy" of Pope Benedict XVI and the Catholic Church, specifically in the context of a recent document that clarified what the Catholic Church teaches about other Christian denominations. He advised non-Catholic Christians that they "shouldn't even bother getting upset" over the recent document issued by the Catholic Church. "Just chalk up to an old man trying to get a little attention," he said of Pope Benedict XVI. Martin also described the Pope as a "hardliner" who was trying to correct interpretations of the Second Vatican Council by liberals, who, in the Pope's view, had gone "too far in some of their declarations." At the same time, he also praised a Catholic priest in Chicago (Martin's current place of residence) who launched a death threat publically against a gun shop owner in a nearby suburb earlier this year.
Martin's column, as described by CNN, "are part of an occasional series of commentaries on CNN.com that offers a broad range of perspectives, thoughts, and points of view." CNN's own past indicates that they probably aren't going to make the "range of perspectives" very broad. When controversy erupted over the Danish Mohammed cartoons in 2006, they took the following stance: "CNN has chosen to not show the cartoons in respect for Islam."
The AP will use just bout any excuse to say that the USA isn't what it used to be, or what it should be. Yes, they will use any excuse to tear down this great country. Today's example is predicated on the dodgy research of another America bashing "economist" who is saying Americans are too short -- as in too short in actual, physical height -- because we are "gradually falling behind the rest of the world" in everything.
Lamenting that in the 1850's the people of the USA averaged 2 and 1/2 inches taller than folks in western Europe, the AP goes on to rip the USA because other nations have caught up to us and, in some cases, surpassed us in height. But it isn't just height that the AP says makes us losers.
Without explaining, the AP says that we have faded in "so many other arenas."
Brent Bozell's culture column this week praises CBS and Fox for deciding not to accept ads for Trojan condoms that demeaned men as pigs until they miraculously purchased Trojans in the bathroom and transformed themselves into hunks. But why, he asked, would they have some broadcast standards on controversial sexual matter on commercials, and then air programs that are much more salacious (or profane)?
Since CBS and Fox have accepted Trojan ads before, Brent wondered if there weren't non-moral reasons for rejecting the ads: "It’s possible that two networks rejected this ad not because it was too sexual, but it’s too sexist – against men. Can you imagine the makers of female contraception casting women as farm animals because they haven’t gone on The Pill?"
In the New York Times' version of the gossip pages (the Sunday Styles section), reporter Susan Saulny injects a novel Democratic talking point into the potential candidacy of Republican Fred Thompson -- one involving his wife, in "Will Her Face Determine His Fortune?"
"As the election of 2008 approaches with its cast of contenders who bring unprecedented diversity to the quest for the White House, the voting public has been called on to ponder several questions: Is America ready for a woman to be president? What about a black man? A Mormon?
"Now, with the possible candidacy of Fred D. Thompson, the grandfatherly actor and former Republican senator from Tennessee, whose second wife is almost a quarter-century his junior, comes a less palatable inquiry that is spurring debate in Internet chat rooms, on cable television and on talk radio: Is America ready for a president with a trophy wife?
There's surely some deeper lesson to be drawn from the tantrum liberal activist Michael Rectenwald threw on yesterday's "Tucker." But in the meantime, for sheer entertainment value it's hard to beat Rectenwald's display of purple-faced apoplexy.
Rectenwald is the man behind the left-wing "Citizens for Legitimate Government," whose mission, according to its website, is "Exposing the Coup" and "Ending the Occupation." Its current pastime is exposing the names of people, including Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), on the DC Madam's client list.
Tucker brought him onto his MSNBC show to discuss "whether the sex lives of elected officials should be dissected, judged and discussed in the first place."
Here's the video, from the MSNBC site. The fireworks begin about 2:30 in, after the libertarian-leaning Carlson tells Rectenwald he ought to be ashamed of himself. Excerpts from Rectenwald's rant:
You are despicable . . . you're an unapologetic Republican partisan . . . you only turned against Bush when everything went down the toilet . . . you're a preppy punk, parading your bow-tie [NB: Tucker wasn't wearing one] . . . once you got done destroying our candidates, you wanted [politicians' sex lives] to be off limits . . . you are nothing . . . you worked for the National Review!