The July 11 edition of ABC’s The View began with a discussion on a Kentucky bank teller fired from her job for violating the “high ethical standards” of US Bank. Her transgressions apparently were wishing patrons to “have a blessed day” after her interactions with them and, on at least one occasion, chastising a customer for taking the Lord’s name in vain.
While co-host Sherri Shepherd, a professing Christian, spoke to the discretion needed when Christians “are commanded to go out and tell the good news,” to others, guest panelist Sunny Hostin of CNN strangely brought up the “history, in our society” of people hiding “behind religion to do some really terrible things to other people.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
On his July 9 Hardball program, MSNBC's Chris Matthews actually pressed abortion-rights absolutist Stephanie Schriock about the implications of her support for Democratic legislation to overturn the Supreme Court's ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. But Matthews put the EMILY's List president on the spot by asking if her position amounted to telling religious employers that they simply have to swallow their religious scruples in order to not run afoul of the law. Bullying religious Americans over their sincere beliefs is hardly a picture one wants painted of one's self, so Schriock sought to avoid the questions and double down on talking points. Here's the relevant transcript (MP3 audio here; video embedded below page break; emphases mine):
On Tuesday, Harry Reid told the press that "the one thing we're going to do, during this work period, sooner rather than later, is to ensure that women's lives are not determined by virtue of five white men. This Hobby Lobby decision is outrageous, and we're going to do something about it."
Obviously, Reid's statement assailing the Supreme Court majority in the Hobby Lobby decision is incorrect, as black African-American Clarence Thomas was among the five justices who defended the religious freedom of the Green family which owns and runs Hobby Lobby. Ordinarily, in an obvious gaffe involving a Democratic Party politican, coverage would be sparse. But in this case, there are at least two instances where an establishment press outlet actually reported Reid's statement without pointing out that it was wrong. One occurred at the New York Times.
Adam Ragusea provided little balance on Wednesday's Morning Edition on NPR, as he covered a homosexual man's lawsuit against his former employer – a Catholic school – who let him go after he announced his planned same-sex "marriage" on Facebook. Ragusea played just one soundbite from a conservative legal scholar, and failed to include any from the local Catholic diocese or the school.
The Georgia Public Broadcasting correspondent touted how the supposedly "beloved" music teacher "has hope that he may be among the last generation of people who risk losing their job because they're gay." He also zeroed in on an ongoing lawsuit in Washington, DC that may give the educator ammo in his own litigation:
Wednesday morning’s episode of The View got a bit heated when the panel decided to weigh in on the Supreme Court’s controversial Hobby Lobby ruling. Liberal guest host and former CNN legal analyst, Sunny Hostin sought to inform the audience of the “scary” and “dangerous” decision made by the Supreme Court.
Curiously enough, Sherri Shepherd offered “another opinion” and stood by Hobby Lobby by attempting to explain the strongly-held religious beliefs of the company's owners. That's when Hostin, a former ABC World News Now anchor, erupted, “No. Sherri, you are so wrong on this!”
MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, who is known for softball interviews with pro-abortion activists, appeared distraught during her Andrea Mitchell Reports program on Wednesday, July 9 at the chances of a Democratic bill meant to reverse the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby passing Congress.
Speaking with Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), one of the co-sponsors of the legislation, Mitchell fretted that the bill “can get through the Senate, but it’s not going to get through Congress.” [See video below.]
Michael Eric Dyson successfully filled in for Ed Schultz on the June 8 edition of The Ed Show by continuing the tradition of blaming America’s problems on Republicans and ranting about their heartlessness. For this show, Dyson chose to focus his opening monologue on blasting “the party that claims to believe in family values and Christian charity” that also calls for Obama to tighten border security and deport illegal immigrants crossing the border.
Dyson stated that “maybe it's time for people of faith to come forward to show conservatives what true compassion means.” He completed his attack on conservative devotion to religion by asking his liberal viewers to text their answer to his poll question “is compassionate conservatism dead?” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Andrea Mitchell devoted three minutes of the July 7 edition of Andrea Mitchell Reports to assist Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards in promoting the abortion-clinic chain’s latest publicity gimmick.
What’s more, instead of inviting a conservative pundit on to rebut the guest or perhaps attempting an unbiased, tough-but-fair interview in the first place, Mitchell tag-teamed with Richards in denouncing the conservative wing of the Court – and logic would dictate, liberal Justice Stephen Breyer as well. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Jay Michaelson unleashed at Cru, the evangelical Christian group formerly called Campus Crusade for Christ, in a Monday item on Daily Beast for supposedly being "involved in some of the meanest homophobia-for-export in Africa." Michaelson, who did little to hide his contempt for orthodox/traditional Christians, contended that Cru was part of a "vast right-wing conspiracy to export homophobia to Africa and fight the culture wars on potentially winning...turf."
The author, who is a visiting scholar at Brown University, sounded a clarion call for his fellow leftists to recognize the Cru as an apparent force for "preaching hate" around the world:
Since the Hobby Lobby decision, liberals have been sputtering about the War on WomenTM and trotting out arguments that are both beside the point and dubious in themselves.
Take for example liberal radio personality Stephanie Miller. On CNN’s “State of the Union” with Candy Crowley on July 6, Miller declared, “Every woman I know is furious about the hobby lobby decision.” Yes, she needs to get out more. But then she pulled out this liberal chestnut: “Ninety-eight percent of Catholic women use birth control.”
Liptak, the paper's Supreme Court reporter, covered the emergency injunction issued by the Supreme Court on behalf of a Christian college in Illinois related to religious freedom and Obama-care. Briefly, the majority gave Wheaton College a reprieve from being forced to fill out forms to submit to insurers as an alternative way to deliver "free" contraception to employees/students under Obama-care. But Liptak managed to find a blunt violation of "women's rights" in that complicated tangle.
The Federalist's David Harsanyi pointed out the New York Times's clear double standard when it comes to advertising in a Thursday post on Twitter. The writer recounted that the liberal paper "rejected an ad aimed at one religion" in 2012, but printed a full-page ad in Thursday's edition from the far-left Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF), which blasted the "all-male, all-Roman Catholic majority" on the Supreme Court for its decision in the Hobby Lobby case.
Harsanyi linked to a March 15, 2012 item on the ultra-liberal Think Progress blog that spotlighted how the Times "rejected a full-page anti-Islam advertisement submitted by anti-Muslim activists Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer." What Think Progress left out was the fact that Geller and Spencer's ad was a response to a previous anti-Catholic ad from FFRF, as libertarian blogger David Volokh documented at the time:
NBC and ABC omitted covering the Supreme Court's final two rulings from their Tuesday morning newscasts, despite the fact that the decisions came down after their Monday episodes aired. Only CBS This Morning set aside air time for the ruling in the Hobby Lobby case, which upheld the religious liberty rights of closely held corporations.
Viewers of ABC's Good Morning America might have guessed that the Supreme Court handed down some decisions, as the morning show devoted a full segment to the "running of the interns," where the summer interns of media outlets run copies of Court's "big rulings" to the journalists outside. GMA even held their own intern race, where the competitors run cups of iced coffee to the anchors inside the studio: [video below the jump]
On June 18, Catholic broadcaster Eternal Word Television Network suffered a serious religious freedom setback when "A federal judge in Alabama ... dismissed a Catholic broadcaster's legal claim that requiring employers to include contraception in their health care coverage is unconstitutional." The Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, felt that story was important enough to merit coverage at its national site — and in fact, two weeks later, the story is still present there (also saved here for future reference and fair use and discussion purposes).
After that June ruling, EWTN promised that it would appeal. A July 1 compliance deadline and daily fines which would have almost certainly put the network out of business loomed. Yesterday, in the wake of the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision, EWTN scored what Life News's Steven Ertelt called "a resounding victory," when it "was granted last minute relief from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals," thus enabling it to "freely practice what it preaches while it pursues its claims in court." A search on "EWTN" at the AP's national site indicates that it has no story there on this development. The wire service does have a Monday afternoon local/regional story on the news:
On Monday's This Hour, CNN's John Berman underlined that the Supreme Court's ruling against the Obama administration's contraceptive mandate was "another setback to the administration, in what has been a difficult year for this White House." Berman later asserted that "this has to be very frustrating for them. They feel blocked politically, legally, foreign policy-wise. Pretty much, everywhere they look now, they're getting blocked."
Co-anchor Michaela Pereira also played up how all three female justices dissented in the Hobby Lobby case and forwarded the left's spin about the Court's ruling: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Hobby Lobby's objection on religious grounds to paying for abortion-causing contraceptives for its employees reminds Eugene Robinson of segregationists who cited the Bible in support of their views. In his great magnimity, Robinson allowed that the Hobby Lobby case "is perhaps a bit different." But if the WaPo columnist didn't think the segregation analogy were relevant, he presumably wouldn't have cited it in the first place on today's Morning Joe.
There was also a point of light on the show. Donny Deutsch, after announcing that he was "far from a conservative," nevertheless went on to make the explicitly free-market argument that "nobody is forcing anybody to work at Hobby Lobby." View the video after the jump.
A staple of establishment press reporting is to attribute a contention to a limited group of people to either place the truth of a statement into doubt, or to make it appear that only the group involved holds that opinion. Examples taking this to the absolute extreme could include: "Conervatives say the sun rises in the east and sets in the west," and "Republicans believe that abortion takes a human life."
Note that I didn't write that such extreme examples never occur in establishment press reporting. That's because they sometimes do, even to the point where the reporter(s) involved don't recognize how utterly ignorant and contradictory their content is. Take the following two bolded paragraphs from the Associated Press's terse, "Let's make this story look boring, and tell them as little as we possibly can" story about the National Organization for Marriage's court victory over the IRS in the release of its donor list (report produced in full because of its brevity, and for fair use and discussion purposes):
The scene: a network newsroom in Manhattan, editorial meeting for the June 24 evening broadcast.
“Hey, what about this story of Meriam Ibrahim? Looks like Sudan released her and then rearrested her.”
“Meh, another African Christian condemned by Muslim fanatics to death for her faith, yada, yada, yada. We need something really important, that cuts right to the fundamental conflicts and contradictions of our time.”
“Well, some foreign soccer player bit another foreign soccer player at the World Cup.”
“Bingo! Any chance the victim is transgendered?”
“Uh, I don’t know, chief, but I’ll sure find out!”
An exaggeration? At this point, who knows? All we know is that ABC, NBC and CBS aren’t among the swath of the media that’s been covering the harrowing tale of a young Sudanese mother condemned to death because she wouldn’t renounce her Christian faith. Here story has come to a head with her release and apparent re-arrest before she could flee Sudan. The U.S. ambassador to Sudan has been summoned and tensions are running high.
Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart took a break from spouting his left-wing version of the news to interview Bill Maher, HBO’s favorite atheist talk show host. When the host of The Daily Show With Jon Stewart asked Maher if he ever felt he had affected real change in the political world, he replied that the “needle has moved” away from religion and towards legalization of drugs, two of Maher’s pet political prerogatives.
Maher continued his anti-religious spiel claiming that America is often behind in “the case in social issues” due to its “God-fearing” people. The Real Time host bashed Hillary Clinton for saying her favorite book was The Bible, even insulting President Obama for “spouting spiritual bulls***.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio.]
Once again, ABC News is promoting an outspoken activist within the Mormon Church, Kate Kelly who was excommunicated from the church for actively lobbying for the inclusion of female priests within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
On Monday June 23, ABC’s Mara Schiavocampo played up how "After being tried in absentia by an all-male panel, this afternoon, Kate Kelly got the news she was dreading. The life long Mormon excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Punished for forming the groups “Ordain Women”, which seeks to allow women into the priesthood." [See video below.]
Following the insulting trend of tagging every objection or concern raised about Obama administration policy and conduct as exclusively the province of Republicans and conservatives to an outrageous extreme, Rebecca Kaplan at CBS News opened her Monday story about whether the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) might plan terrorist acts in the U.S. as follows: "Republicans are sounding the warning that the next 9/11-like terror plot could emerge from the regions of Iraq and Syria that are currently dominated by an extremist group bearing down on Baghdad." Really, Rebecca? No one else is worried about that? Wanna bet?
Kaplan also seemed to believe that it would calm readers' nerves if they learned that it will be "at least a year before ISIS might pose more of a serious threat to the U.S." If that was meant to make me feel better, it didn't work. Excerpts follow the jump (links are in original; bolds are mine):
The people at NBC who are agonizing over David Gregory's ongoing audience freefall at his Meet the Press perch need only look at the first half of his interview with 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to see why it's happening.
Gregory basically refused to acknowledge the existence of Romney's core argument, which is essentially that he wouldn't have done what President Obama did in withdrawing from Iraq so hastily and leaving things to run on auto-pilot. Instead, he insisted on sticking with a "Well, what would do now?" line of questioning, even though, as Romney indicated, he doesn't have access to intelligence briefings necessary to assert an informed opinion. When that didn't work, he tried to hold Romney to a stale 2007 quote from when conditions were obviously very different. The fact is that wouldn't be facing the present quandary if Obama hadn't acted directly against the (often privately expressed) desires of Iraqi leaders and U.S. intelligence officials to maintain at least a significant advisory presence there. Video and a transcript of the Iraq-related portion of the interview follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Well, ABC and NBC are acting to type, ever reluctant to call evil by its name when doing so is politically incorrect (and possibly dangerous).
Consider both networks’ reporting on the story of the school girls kidnapped last month in Nigeria, and a second, smaller group kidnapped last week. To date, NBC identified the kidnappers of hundreds of Christian girls as Islamist less than 33 percent of the time (12 mentions in 37 reports). ABC’s record is particularly shameful – just 22 percent (eight of 36 total reports) of stories mentioned that Boko Haram, the terrorist gang that abducted the girls, are radical Muslims.
Paul Whitefield "is a 30-year veteran of the Los Angeles Times who is copy chief of the editorial pages and a writer/scold for the Opinion L.A. blog." He also has a serious but far from unique case of Bush (and Cheney) Derangement Syndrome and an extraordinary ignorance of the history of last decade's war in Iraq, which included a victory in 2008 the U.S. press, with rare exceptions, refused to recognize.
Clueless Paul, in a Thursday post, claimed that what has happened recently in Iraq proves (italics are his) that "the invasion ... in 2003 wasn’t a very good idea" Admitting that "I don’t know how these things keep sneaking up on us" (I can help you with that, Paul), he petulantly wrote: "Send Mr. (George W.) Bush and Mr. (Dick) Cheney over there and let them try to negotiate a solution," because "they’re the ones who created this mess in the first place." Well no, Paul. Excerpts from Whitefield's work, followed by a pointed riposte from a National Review op-ed, follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Jimmy Carter is not a saint. If you doubt that, read Steven Hayward’s The Real Jimmy Carter. But The New York Times never noticed that book. Last Sunday, they boosted Randall Balmer’s Carter book Redeemer, which pitches Carter metaphorically as...Christ-like.
It’s bad enough that Balmer uses his book to claim nastily that the Religious Right was organized by the late Paul Weyrich around segregationism. Reviewer Molly Worthen began by claiming “Jimmy Carter may be the most pious man ever to have occupied the White House. He was ‘born again’ at age 11 and has taught Sunday school for decades.”
Officials inside the Mormon Church have chosen to expel two activists from its ranks “One who is pushing for women priests. The other targeted for questioning church doctrine” and ABC’s Good Morning America did it's best to hype the supposed “controversy inside the Mormon Church.”
On Friday, June 13, ABC’s Mara Schiavocampo promoted how “It's a shocking move by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which in recent years has worked to make itself appear more open and inclusive including an advertising campaign highlighting its diverse membership.” [See video below.]
Both of Comedy Central’s favorite comedians took the time on their shows on June 11 to make fun of upstart conservative congressional nominee David Brat for his Christian faith while subtly hinting at a strain of anti-Semitism in either the Virginia Republican himself or the GOP voters of the 7th District which chose him over Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
In fact, both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert mocked the exact same clip of Dave Brat claiming that his unexpected victory was “a miracle from God” and then made jokes about him beating Eric Cantor, the “only Jewish Republican in Congress.” For good measure, Colbert found a clever way to tag another Republican with a phallic epithet without actually using the term. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Early reporting on Tuesday’s Republican primary upset in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District indicated that Dave Brat’s stand on immigration reform was the main reason Brat defeated Eric Cantor, but Esquire political blogger Charles Pierce isn’t buying it. In a Wednesday post, Pierce argued that the immigration issue was less important than Brat’s opposition to the idea that “the national government should work at all.”
Pierce also claimed that Brat’s victory shows yet again that President Obama will never find common ground with today’s hard-right GOP, and quipped that Brat’s efforts to synthesize Christianity and Randian economics are “more appropriate to the Cirque du Soleil than to a political philosophy.”
For a guy who claims "I don't want to demonize my opponents," Michael Eric Dyson does a dynamite job of it!
And thus, guest-hosting on MSNBC today for Ed Schultz, Dyson ripped Republicans who express "all this Christian rhetoric that we're sanctified and saved and believe in the righteousness of God," yet have the audacity to disagree with him on granting amnesty to illegal immigrants. View the video after the jump.