There's nothing like tuning into an episode of "The View" for a little exploration of social sensitivities in the modern American culture.
In keeping with that tradition, on Black Friday, a term used to describe the Friday following Thanksgiving, which is the beginning of the traditional Christmas shopping season, the use of the word "black" to mark this occasion was a topic of discussion on "The View" for its potential "racist" implications.
Co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar, who has her own primetime HLN cable show, debated the use of "black" on the Nov. 27 pre-recorded broadcast. Goldberg, a black woman, took the meaning to be a positive and that there was nothing wrong with it used that way. Behar, however, was trouble with the word "black" used in conjunction with Friday, taking the meaning as a negative (emphasis added):
Bill Cathcart, Clearing Away the PC Clutter Bill Cathcart, Vice President and General Manager for CBS affiliate WTOC in Savannah, Georgia, took to the airwaves on November 9th with a blistering video editorial excoriating the hold political correctness (PC) has on our society (video and transcript below the fold).
It is certainly refreshing to hear and see a news executive say these sorts of things, given the prostraters to PC that so thoroughly inhabit his profession.
Cathcart began by speaking of the horrific Fort Hood, Texas murders by Islamist extremist Nidal Malik Hasan, and pointing out how it was political correctness (PC) that cowed everyone from talking to anyone about this obviously dangerous man.
Cathcart rightly points out that this oppressive PC regime dominates not just the Army, but the nation. "We've become so ridiculous with our political correctness. So afraid of offending, despite the truth. So overly tolerant and self-effacing, pandering and apologizing to be liked. Putting up with absurd challenges to our Constitution, laws, traditions and freedoms, that we've become a nation of enablers for those with evil intent."
Leading the charge on this are, of course, Cathcart's media cohorts. There are no greater PC enablers and enforcers than the men and women who allegedly deliver us the news.
On Nov. 18, Foreign Policy's Steven Simon and Jonathan Stevenson wrote an article titled "The Real Shock of Fort Hood." If you thought that the shock of Fort Hood was that an Army Major fired over 100 rounds into a crowded processing center on a military base - killing 13 and wounding 29 - you're wrong. "It's not that the massacre occurred," said the article. "It's that it hadn't occurred before."
According to Simon and Stevenson, Major Nidal Malik Hasan was simply another American Muslim that was the victim of "innumerable stresses, including discrimination and the strain of divided loyalties in their country's eight-year-long war against Muslims in the Middle East and Central Asia."
The authors argued that such circumstances would be "enough to inspire conflict in the minds of even the most patriotic of American Muslims in the U.S." So much so that it should be "no surprise" that "one unstable member of this community finally erupted in violence."
It's our fault. Americans aren't making Muslims "comfortable." And the article specifically cited "Christian right-wing rhetoric" as a catalyst in the "Muslim alienation" which led to Hasan's shooting spree.
If Hillary Clinton had been any less supportive of the Obama admin's decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Manhattan, she might have had to quit her Secretary of State job . . .
Clinton damned the decision with faint praise during her Meet The Press appearance today.
Asked by moderator David Gregory where she stood on the matter, her response was the ultra-tepid: "I'm not going to second-guess any decision the Attorney General made." Translation: I'd love to second-guess it. I pretty much just did. But I'm not about to end my Obama admin career by saying so outright.
Media Research Center President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell appeared on "Hannity" last night and talked about the Fort Hood shooting as well as the conservative rally at the Capitol yesterday which drew thousands on short notice. [see video embedded at right]
Regarding the latter Bozell quipped, "Spontaneous combustion! This wasn't an instant tea party. This was a coffee urn exploding."
"There's something huge going on out there. And if people on Capitol Hill don't want to pay attention to them, fine, they'll become private citizens just like I am," Bozell added.
As to the Fort Hood shooting, Bozell noted that the attack reminds us "that we're up against some pretty awful stuff in this world today, some pretty evil stuff."
This morning, Bozell returned to Fox News's New York headquarters to chat with the hosts of "Fox & Friends."
You can watch the entire interview in the embedded video below the page break:
Concerned about how President Obama's "critics will dog him all the way to Oslo," former NBC "Nightly News" anchor Tom Brokaw took to the op-ed page of the October 15 Washington Post to offer his recipe for "lift[ing] this discussion out of the partisan soup that is now the main course on our national agenda, whatever the issue."
Chef Brokaw then served up what is a proverbial bipartisan casserole comprised of some apolitical figures as well as a smattering of Democratic and Republican statesmen from the past quarter century:
No wonder why Chris Matthews is always positively tingly over Obama. It's just a neverending Gorbasm with a different leftist object of lust.
Today on "Hardball," Matthews favorably compared the president to former Soviet dictator and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Mikhail Gorbachev (MP3 audio available here):
CHRIS MATTHEWS, host: When Gorbachev became chairman of the [Communist] Party and ran, took over Russia [sic], a lot of us in this country said, this guy, by his very fact of coming to office has so changed Soviet history, Communist history. I love the guy. Because he came in there and knocked off that whole history of Andropov and Stalin and all those bums. He comes in there as an open door.
MATTHEWS: Isn't the statement's he's [Obama has] made about torture, his opposition to the Iraq War, his statements of approval of the rest of the world, after Bush's chauvinism and cheap shots about French fries. After eight years of that nonsense, doesn't the world have a right to say, "Thank God, America is back to being America again"?
Moments after President Obama’s remarks in the Rose Garden this morning, NBC anchor Brian Williams took a weird shot at the blogosphere as the “comic element of our society,” suggesting perhaps that Obama or the Nobel committee would face three days of mockery over what Williams in the same broadcast himself termed the “bizarre” selection of Obama as this year’s Peace Prize Winner.
In his typically overblown and convoluted fashion, Williams argued to White House reporter Chuck Todd that “the way our society and civilization is set up now,” the “comic element of our society -- the blogosphere, pundits, the opinion-based economy in the United States” would “just get a free shot and have at it for the next three days at least.” [MP3 audio available here]
Is Twitter a place where journalists betray their biases? Yes, in the case of ABC Nightline anchor Terry Moran. If you like the "feeling of hope," then you favor Obama's prize.
Today: "Obama's Nobel is an award to a feeling more than any deed:the feeling of hope.Justified?Depends on what you think of the Nobel--and of hope."
Last week, after the Chicago Olympic fiasco: "Today this Chicago-born die-hard is crestfallen. I know--lots of people are happy: Obama-haters, fiscal cons, etc. But not me. I need a pop."
Moran doesn’t "tweet" multiple times a day – unlike ABC’s Jake Tapper (who joked on Twitter today about Arizona State refusing an honorary degree: "apparently the standards are more exacting for an ASU honorary degree these days.") But Moran did get repeatedly exercised over Rep. Joe Wilson’s yelling at Obama:
The Associated Press took to the streets of Washington, D.C. and Chicago this morning for reaction from everyday citizens about President Obama's Nobel Prize win. All but one of the featured interviewees expressed at least some skepticism about the president's worthiness to receive the award. And no, it seems none of these men (and woman) on the street are rabid right-wingers.
While two reporters -- Washington Post White House reporter Michael Fletcher and Wall Street Journal Executive Washington Editor Gerald Seib -- criticized RNC Chairman Michael Steele this morning on NPR's Diane Rehm show for issuing a statement against Obama after the Nobel Peace Prize win [transcript now below], will reporters forward and criticize this, from the CNN Political Ticker?
A Democratic National Committee spokesman said Friday the GOP has "thrown in its lot with the terrorists" in criticizing the president's Nobel Peace Prize award.
“The Republican Party has thrown in its lot with the terrorists – the Taliban and Hamas this morning – in criticizing the President for receiving the Nobel Peace prize," DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse said in a statement.
Even Barack Obama’s fan club on NBC’s Today were stunned at the President’s winning of the Nobel Peace Prize. Co-host Matt Lauer found it baffling: “We’re less than a year into the first term of this president and there are no -- I'm not trying to be, you know, rude here -- no major foreign policy achievements, to date.”
Meet the Press moderator David Gregory felt the need to point out the “left-leaning” impulse of the Europeans who christened Obama as the world’s leading peacemaker for 2009: “This is a lot more about tone than it is substantive accomplishment. In many ways, this is a European body who is more left-leaning, certainly, and opposed to the administration of George W. Bush.”
Lauer followed up: “So, what you're saying in some ways and, again, not to be rude here or sarcastic, that in some ways he wins this award for not being George W. Bush?”
And, on Fox News Channel's Oct. 5 "Glenn Beck" program, Beck addressed that and some of the gripes he had about the media for not doing their job.
"I tell you all the time, I'm not a journalist," Beck said "I'm not. I joked that I'm a rodeo clown, but you know what - I take that back. I no longer am a rodeo clown. I am a dad, and quite frankly, I'm a little pissed off right now. You can call me names. You can make fun of me, whatever. I'm doing what I believe is right. I am doing a job as a private citizen right now."
After a summer swoon, you would think that the evening newscasts of the Big 3 networks would start to recover a bit now that many Americans are back from vacations, kids are back in school, and fall routines are getting established or re-established.
So far, you would be wrong.
It's early, and there's still plenty of time this fall to recover, but during the time period after Labor Day, the broadcasts primarily anchored by Brian Williams at NBC, Charles Gibson at ABC, and Katie Couric at CBS:
Are down a combined 28.5% from their peak in late January during the first full week of Barack Obama's presidency.
Have lost a combined 37.7% of their audience in the 25-54 demographic during the same time period.
Are down year-over-year compared to September 1, 2008, the week after Labor a year ago, by 8.9% overall and 18.1% in the 25-54 demographic.
At 19.55 million, are basically drawing audiences no larger than they were during this past (for them) miserable summer.
There's no doubt the so-called mainstream media turned their collective noses up at the Sept. 12 march on Washington, D.C. to protest the policies of Democratic-controlled federal government - whether in the form of denigration, downplay or outright ignoring the event.
However, conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh has suggested a different tactic. On his Sept. 14 show, Limbaugh proposed a future round of these grassroots protests not take place at the seats of power in government, but instead the headquarters and outposts of the local and national media.
"There have been hundreds and thousands of protests by conservative groups that haven't been covered, and tiny turnouts by the left that are covered," Limbaugh said. "You know all this as well as I do. What about this? We're looking for a force multiplier. Yeah, the protest in Washington on Saturday was great, two million people, but imagine what a force multiplier would be if the next one were held outside of local and national television networks and their headquarters where they can't miss it?"
Usually it is easy ignore the commentary from that great bastion of cultural insight, known as the gossip Web site Gawker. But every now and then, even Gawker steps over the line.
In a Sept. 11 post by Alex Pareene that was allegedly meant to reflect on the passing of eighth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Pareene launched into a hate-and-expletive-filled anti-President George W. Bush, anti-conservative and anti-Glenn Beck attack in his post. His first assault was on the prior administration.
"Shortly after (or maybe during) that day, our president at the time, a little [expletive] no one liked, handed over the reins to the most psychotic elements of his administration," Pareene said. "In the vast national wave of jingoism, paranoia, dread, and fear that followed, he and his friends led us into an unrelated war they'd been planning beforehand, allowed the CIA to wiretap and torture anyone they liked (and encouraged the CIA to wiretap and torture even more than they were comfortable with!), and regularly insisted that our memory of that day should not be sullied with critical thinking or expressions of anything other than still-palpable fear."
So Charlie Sheen recently penned a fictitious conversation between himself and President Obama – one in which he questions our Commander-in-chief on the big 9/11 cover up. Yes, the star of Scary Movie 3 – and Scary Movie 4 – believes that the Bush/Cheney regime were behind the attack, and feels that our current President should investigate immediately, in an effort to answer a “bottomless warren of unanswered questions surrounding that day…”
Now, never mind how insulting this is to anyone personally affected by the tragedy – or who saw it firsthand. Sheen is just awesome for illustrating the three key components to being a conspiracy theorist/loser:
The egomania. In this “open letter,” Sheen actually uses Obama’s made up words to compliment himself. Yes, the President admits to enjoying “Two and a Half Men,” writes Charlie. And here I thought Martin was the delusional one in the family.
By Friday, after White House Secretary Robert Gibbs would only say that he still was a part of the administration, it was obvious that Jones's resignation was only a matter of time. The 9/11 truther and other evidence accumulated by Glenn Beck, Gateway Pundit, WorldNetDaily, and others was simply overwhelming.
But it seems to me that it would have been more convenient had the White House waited until early Sunday afternoon to announce Jones's resignation. Given the establishment media's near blackout of his past statements and actions, it's likely that the Sunday morning network talk shows would have avoided Jones completely, or would have given the topic very short shrift. A Sunday afternoon resignation would have been much more invisible -- except for something that came out on Saturday evening.
I believe that Jones's resignation may have been moved up by 12 hours or so. That's because on Saturday evening, Scott Johnson at Powerline presented proof that roughly 40 hours after the 9/11 terrorist attacks occurred, avowed Communist Jones publicly declared that the U.S. deserved what happened. I'm not kidding.
A country boy can survive the Obama administration. Just ask Hank Williams, Jr.
The country music artist -- best known to millions of Americans regardless of their musical taste for his "Are You Ready For Some Football?" theme to Monday Night Football -- was profiled yesterday by Bill Lynch of the Charleston [W.V.] Gazette (h/t my NB colleague Tim Graham).
Lynch spent a considerable portion of his profile focused on Williams's politics, including his upcoming gig at a Labor Day TEA Party:
Who says the media are monolithic in their thinking?
Yesterday we informed you of the media's serial misuse of an Obama-as-Hitler poster from esoteric left-winger Lyndon LaRouche's website, as outlets like NBC (on their Nightly News and Meet the Press), CNN and MSNBC all ascribed the poster to sentiments roiled up by talk radio host Rush Limbaugh specifically and conservatives generally.
We were entertained by the fact that all of these highly trained, keen-eyed journalists missed the words "LaRouchePAC.com" - in fairly large type - printed at the bottom of every one of the placards they used for their little reporting projects.
Well apparently CBS hasn't yet learned the lesson we had hoped to impart. In fact, last night they did the other networks one worse.
For the words "LaRouchPAC.com" are prominently visible three times (screen captures below the fold) on two different Obama-as-Hitler posters during reporter Ben Tracy's segment, yet that doesn't stop him from blaming it on right-wingers.
As the second Obama-as-Hitler poster is shown, with LaRouchePAC.com clearly visible front and center, Tracy offers up:
As has been documented repeatedly, celebrities just don't find much material for humor with Barack Obama. He's just so thoughtful, so articulate, so bright, so. . . Fill in the blank, as long as it's sufficiently worshipful.
With former President George W. Bush, it's just the opposite. Show biz types can't get enough of poking fun at him. This is true even at the National Geographic Bee. Yes, the National Geographic Bee. The Associated Press's story "Trebek Makes Bush Joke as Texas Teen Wins Geography Bee" details the latest:
The nation's top geography whiz breezed through questions about mountain ranges, rivers and world capitals Wednesday, but he was stumped when National Geographic Bee host Alex Trebek asked him to name one of his weaknesses.
"Um ..." said Eric Yang, 13, pausing. The Texas teen had just revealed to the "Jeopardy!" host how he crafts his own chess strategies and plays the piano.
"That's OK," Trebek replied. "You remind me of a former president, but we won't get into that."
Is this the Democratic Party’s preferred Day of Prayer homage?
Barack Obama may not have attended a ceremony for the National Day of Prayer on Thursday. But the Democratic National Committee’s official blog "Kicking Ass" did celebrate reverence and worship on that day: it reposted a photo of Obama reverently looking up at a portrait of John F. Kennedy.
Surprise, surprise: the networks ignored the National Day of Prayer, too.
It just wouldn't be Earth Day without a catastrophic global warming segment from the network news, so ABC correspondent Bill Blakemore delivered just that April 22.
Blakemore warned viewers of "World News with Charles Gibson" that carbon emissions were causing disastrous changes in the air and the sea and blamed the United States in his one-sided report, even though the U.S. recently dropped to second place in global carbon output.
"To understand the state of the planet today, you need to look at the air and under the water," Blakemore said. "The air is getting warmer, faster. Carbon emissions are now rising faster than worst-case scenarios projected just a few years ago. China just surpassed the U.S. as the biggest culprit, though China's got four times as many people."
Ladies and Gentlemen, The Lamestream Media The media coverage of the more than 800 Taxed Enough Already (TEA) Party protests that took place in all fifty states on April 15 ranged from disdainful dismissal of their nature, significance and import, to outright hostility towards the events and individual participants, to sexual innuendo-based full-on ridicule.
In this summary, we focused on the three major networks - NBC, ABC and CBS, the two left-of-center cable news networks - CNN and MSNBC and the three major "national" newspapers - the USA Today, the New York Times and the Washington Post.
While not an exhaustively comprehensive oeuvre of TEA Party bias, it contains many, many examples which serve to illustrate the broader antipathetic themes.
CNN reporter Susan Roesgen became a pseudo-"journalistic" anti-hero yesterday for her obnoxiously belligerent interview of one Taxed Enough Already (TEA) Party participant and her overall assessment of the more than 750 events around the country as amongst other derogatory things "anti-government."
But in another segment, she delved into rank hypocrisy the likes of which we rarely find even in the woefully biased liberal media pantheon.
In it she sought out another TEA Party participant who had a mocked-up sign in which President Barack Obama is melded with Adolf Hitler. She immediately began arguing with this gentleman as well; amongst the things she angrily said were "Why be so hard on the President of the United States with such an offensive message?" and "Do you realize how offensive that is?"
We will admit that portraying President Obama as Der Fuhrer is a bit over the top. But Miss Roesgen's sensitivity to being "so hard on the President of the United States with such an offensive message" seems only to arise when the Hitler-izing involves Democratic Commanders-in-Chief.
MSNBC prides itself as being the place for politics, the seemingly clever marketing slogan could be used to describe the network as the place where hosts try to use dirty humor about important political events.
David Shuster, filling in for MSNBC loose-cannon Keith Olbermann on his April 13 broadcast, and his writers probably thought they were pretty clever when they pieced an item denigrating the tax protests by using the sexual term "teabagging." Urbandictionary.com, cited multiple times by one MSNBC guest, describes it as when a man places his testicles "onto someone's face, or into their mouth."
"For most Americans, Wednesday, April 15th will be Tax Day," Shuster said as he began a soliloquy with about a dozen separate oral sex puns. "But in our fourth story tonight: It's going to be teabagging day for the right-wing and they're going nuts for it. Thousands of them whipped out the festivities early this past weekend, and while the parties are officially toothless, the teabaggers are full-throated about their goals.
With the Tax Day tea party rallies just three days away, outside of the Fox News Channel, the coverage has been lacking. And, it was something that even Washington Post media columnist and host of CNN's "Reliable Sources" Howard Kurtz acknowledged on his April 12 program.
"The folks at Fox News have found something to be for in this age of Obama," Kurtz said. "They are firmly in favor of tea parties. On Wednesday, that would be April 15th - there will be tax protests around the country on the theme of the original Boston Tea Party. TaxDayTeaParty.com says it was inspired by that rant against President Obama's mortgage aid plan by CNBC's Rick Santelli."
However, Kurtz didn't condemn his network and other networks for lack of coverage - but instead explored the notion that Fox News was giving it too much coverage.
Even before a single bag of tea has been dumped as a form of protest over government economic policies, the gang at MSNBC is in full-attack mode over the notion these protests merit any recognition.
On MSNBC's April 10 "Countdown," fill-in host David Shuster imitated his MSNBC colleague Rachel Maddow's juvenile and overdone description of the tea party protest to disparage the upcoming nationwide event.
"Now to the so-called ‘teabagging parties' you may have heard about," Shuster said. "They have been fluffed repeatedly by Fox News. Citizen protests over the government's collection of taxpayer money, specifically that the wealthiest taxpayers in our nation will see their rates go up 3 percent two years from now."
Some groups on the left may have it out for anti-tax tea party movement, but according to one of the movement's biggest proponents - it is because they don't understand it from a hierarchical perspective.
Although there are reports that ACORN, The Huffington Post and the Daily Kos wanting to infiltrate the rallies, or crying foul for other reason - Beck, who appeared on Fox News Channel's April 9 "Your World with Neil Cavuto," explained that the left has difficulty understanding it's not a top-down movement, but a bottom-up one.
"It is a fundamental misunderstanding of the left," Beck said. "They don't get it. They think that these tax rallies - because they are so into their ‘.org's and their ACORN movements, where you have to have these coordinators. These are regular people and they are regular people that were hacked off at George W. Bush. They were angry at the spending of the Republicans."