While the Innocence of Muslims is still being blamed for the riots and murders in the Middle East, the national news media has no problem running a speculative story that disrespects the teachings of the Christian faith. New "evidence" now suggests that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene after all, but the artifact in question dates back to the 4th century A.D.
This all began when Harvard historian Dr. Karen King received a tiny strip of papyrus from an anonymous collector. After translating the Coptic script thereon, she found two phrases, one which reads, "Jesus said to them my wife. Elsewhere on the paper it continues, "She will be able to be my disciple."
ABC and CBS News brought it up on Thursday evening, but could only afford to allot a few seconds of coverage. NBC Nightly News did not mention it at all. All three network morning news broadcasts devoted significant attention to the story, and predictably worked in references to Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code novel.
Forget the Letters of Paul. It’s time for the Gospel of RuPaul, at least for the Huffington Post, which celebrated a drag queen take on faith. HuffPo's surrealist theology was fully displayed in a Sept. 16, 2012, article, titled “What I Learned About Drag Queens From the Gospel.”
Rev. Wil Gafney, an associate professor of Hebrew and Old Testament at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadephia, preached a truly crazy sermon to her congregation, which HuffPo found too good to pass up. Her sermon referred to transgender TV personalities such as RuPaul as theologians. “Drag queens like RuPaul, Sharon Needles and Latrice Royale are some of my favorite critical gender theorists and theologians,” she said.
Discussing the violent anti-American demonstrations erupting across the Middle East outside U.S. embassies in Arab capitals, MSNBC contributor Michael Eric Dyson put a share of the blame on, well, "horrible" Americans.
It was the "demonization of a predictable minority," in this case Muslims, that was the spark that light the conflagration, Dyson argued on the September 14 edition of the noon Eastern program Now with Alex Wagner. "It's not as if, oh in America, we've resolved this with equanimity and grace," he added, seeking to conflate isolated incidents of hate speech against Muslims inside the United States with the violent response of the Arab street to an obscure low-budget YouTube video. [MP3 audio here; video follows page break]
Mike Barnicle has suggested that the Department of Justice consider prosecuting Florida pastor Terry Jones in the death of the American ambassador to Libya and deaths occurring during riots last year in Afghanistan. Hat tip readers Melody, Jonathan R., Ray R.
Barnicle made his suggestion on today's Morning Joe, during a discussion of the attacks on the American embassy in Cairo, Egypt and the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, where the American ambassador died after an attack by a Libyan mob. Fellow panelist Donny Deutsch responded by saying he was "thinking the same thing" as Barnicle. View the video after the jump.
CNN's Anderson Cooper smacked the Romney campaign Monday night for alleged dishonesty. He claimed they were talking too much about social issues while saying the economy is their real focus.
"The question tonight, and not just from the opposition, have the Romney forces been moving away from dollars and cents and jobs, and shifting toward more red meat, hot-button culture war mode?" Cooper asked. "I mean what's up with the culture stuff suddenly?" he posed later. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
After offending religious Americans by appearing to boo God, the Democratic National Convention had the top ranking Catholic official in the country perform the closing Benediction Thursday night. Cardinal Timothy Dolan did the same for the Republicans last week in Tampa Bay, but those delegates didn’t seem to have a problem with a party platform that included God and Jerusalem.
The only networks respectful enough to show the prayer in its entirety without interruption was Fox News, Fox Business and C-SPAN. ABC, CNN, and PBS kept it in background while talking over it. MSNBC completely ignored it, cutting the audio feed to let their pundits share their opinions without distraction. CBS and NBC returned to local news affiliates as soon as he began.
During the first centuries of Christianity, Christians were thrown to lions in arenas to be jeered by mocking crowds. Today, Christian athletes face the taunts of a media strongly opposed to their faith.
No Christian athlete draws more media catcalls than New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow. CBSChicago.com writer Dan Bernstein dismissed Tebow as “little more than an affable simpleton” and slammed his fans as “lunatic-fringe cultists.” Columnist Rabbi Joshua Hammerman of The Jewish Week expressed his desire that Tebow’s Broncos would lose a playoff game because a Broncos victory would “buoy his faithful, and emboldened faithful can do insane things, like burning mosques, bashing gays and indiscriminately banishing immigrants.” Radio host Craig Carton was the latest to jump on the anti-Tebow bandwagon, calling him a “fraud” and complaining that he “clearly thinks he is Jesus” on his August 14 radio show.
In a rare moment of reluctant semi-journalism which didn't name names, the Politico's Reid Epstein, in reporting about the God-Jerusalem debacle at the Democratic Convention Wednesday night, buried the lede, waiting until his third paragraph to tell readers (belated HT to Weasel Zippers) that "While the campaign at first said Obama had seen the language prior to the convention, it later said he did not learn of the issue until Wednesday morning, when he became aware of seeing news coverage of the issue." (Sidebar: Does that mean Dear Leader watches the despised Fox News?)
Then Epstein just let the disclosure sit there with no additional follow-up. His story has what is in my view a deliberately "this is boring" headline ("Division over platform at DNC" ... zzz). However, it would appear that the folks over at the Associated Press got to Epstein's third paragraph, and went into full-keister-covering mode.
Well, it looks like we have a bit of evidence that, contrary to an assertion by a pair of Politico reporters, it's not the media elites who can "powerfully shape" the narrative coming out of party conventions (the issue in question there was how Mitt Romney's nomination acceptance speech would be spun).
After all, as Scott Whitlock at NewsBusters noted earlier today, the three major networks have totally ignored the omission of "God" in the Democratic Party's platform, and have only lightly covered the platform's failure to name Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Despite that, and therefore obviously because of center-right media pressure (and semi-sensible Dems sensing disastrous election fallout), those issues now are both like Prego spaghetti sauce -- i.e., they're in there. Associated Press reporters Julie Pace and Steve Peoples seemed a bit unhappy with this turn of events in the version of their dispatch which appeared shortly after 6 PM ET, and tried to pin the entire blame on Republicans:
Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan is a Catholic – but not a good enough Catholic in the eyes of the media. Writers, bloggers, and talking heads have hammered Ryan for his supposed “dissent” from Catholic teaching.
Journalists have falsely claimed that the bishops “rebuked” Ryan and called his budget “un-Christian.” Writers who usually scorn the Church and its hierarchy fretted that the bishops found Ryan’s budget “uncompassionate.”
We have yet another addition to the pro-gay, anti-Christian genre so popular on TV these days. Apparently NBC is looking to cash in on the falsehood that “abnormal is the new normal” with a series focused on a gay couple’s quest to have a child via a surrogate mother.
In “The New Normal,” Bryan and David, a gay couple in a committed partnership, turn to surrogacy because they “can’t have a child the traditional way.” (When did biology become tradition? Ironic, how liberals ostentatiously worship at the altar of science, until science gets in the way of their gratification. Then it’s just a “tradition.”)
Don't believe in global warming? Are you pro-life? Then you're an idiot, says Timothy Egan, a former liberal New York Times reporter turned left-wing Times columnist. In his Friday online column "The Crackpot Caucus" he said of the Republican Party: "...if intelligence were contagious, [the GOP] would be giving out vaccines for it."
Egan strings together quotes of some congressional Republicans making missteps on matters of science and religion, before lumping creationist Republicans with pro-lifers and climate skeptics into one big bag of GOP anti-science stupidity.
CNN foolishly asked if the head of the U.S. Catholic Bishops was playing politics by giving the benediction at the Republican National Convention, leaving out that the same Cardinal Timothy Dolan recently invited President Obama, along with Mitt Romney, to a high-profile Catholic event, the Al Smith dinner.
"Is this a big play to help shore up Paul Ryan's Catholic base?" anchor Don Lemon asked of the RNC benediction. "How does Dolan help Mitt Romney win Catholics?" inquired OutFront host Erin Burnett.
"These are two of the most moronic statements I have ever heard," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell, himself a practicing Catholic, complained after watching video of MSNBC host Martin Bashir and MSNBC contributor Jimmy Williams attacking Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as championing an "unbiblical" budget that doesn't comport to Catholic social teaching.
"Consider that one of these morons is saying that Paul Ryan's budget is unbiblical?! I mean, what book of the Bible dealt with Paul Ryan's budget?" the Media Research Center founder asked on the August 23 "Media Mash" segment, going on to note that seeing as that the Catholic Church is suing the Obama administration over the religious liberty-infringing contraception mandate, it's laughable to suggest that Joe Biden is a better Catholic. [watch the full segment below the page break]
“Can’t wait for the stoning-of-adulteresses question,” Washington Post TV critic Lisa de Moraes snarked in a column back in March about The American Bible Challenge, an original game show in development for GSN (formerly the Game Show Network), to be hosted by comedian Jeff Foxworthy.
Fast forward to this morning’s Washington Post, and readers would find Hank Stuever’s scathing review on the front page of the Style section. Since GSN isn't listed in the Post’s daily TV listings grid – nor is it necessarily a highly-trafficked cable network – it seems obvious that the only reason for a review would be to malign it. And trash it he did.
In a Tuesday interview with comedian Jeff Foxworthy, CNN's Piers Morgan presented the half-baked idea of treating the Bible as "evolutionary" and asked if being Christian "has become almost a bad word" in America. Of course, he pointed the finger specifically at Christians who are Republicans.
"Do you feel that being Christian has become almost a bad word in a country that's still predominantly Christian?" Morgan asked after noting "issues where the Christian element of the Republican party get a good kicking, because either they said something silly or inflammatory or whatever it may be." [Video below the break.]
The Washington Post's "On Faith" blog network has joined the chorus of media outlets extolling the virtues of Islam. Kathleen Duff of the Religion News Service, in an August 17 post, expressed her newfound admiration for the holy book of Islam. In a glowing piece titled “What Catholics Can Learn from the Quran,” Duff wrote: “This year during Ramadan – the ninth month of the Islamic calendar when Muslims believe the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad – I was in solidarity with my Muslim sisters and brothers throughout the world by reading the Quran. But here’s the thing: I am a Roman Catholic.”
Duff waxed eloquently in her praise of the Quran, writing: “The Quran encouraged me to continuously be aware of a gracious and merciful God who cherishes humanity and cherishes all of creation. I came to believe more firmly during my humble Ramadan experience that being cherished by God is an example of divine love beyond the limitations of any one language, symbol and imagination.”
On the day after gunman Floyd Corkins attacked the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., ABC's World News on Thursday was the only broadcast network evening newscast to run a followup report which elaborated on Corkins's political opposition to the group's conservative views.
Political reporter Stephanie Condon painted Republican vice presidential pick Paul Ryan as an "anti-abortion" extremist in a Wednesday report for CBSNews.com. Condon forwarded the talking points of the pro-abortion left as she zeroed in on Ryan's support of personhood legislation: "Supporters of reproductive rights have loudly pointed out that this type of legislation would not only outlaw abortion but potentially some forms of contraception or even in vitro fertilization."
The online correspondent hyped that "personhood initiatives are so extreme that even card-carrying conservatives like former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour have expressed concerns that they go too far." Condon repeatedly used variations of the "conservative" label in her article, but didn't once identify the left-wing politics of pro-abortion groups.
The shooting of a security guard at the D.C. headquarters of the Family Research Council, a social conservative group, by a volunteer for a local gay community center, failed to raise the New York Times's usual politically motivated concerns about harmful and hateful rhetoric it's shown in the past.
Most notoriously, the Times repeatedly, falsely, and maliciously suggested that Tucson gunman Jared Loughner, who killed six people and seriously wounded Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, had been motivated to kill by conservatism in general and Sarah Palin in particular, even before any information about Loughner was available.
The broadcast networks complain loudly about real or perceived offenses committed by conservatives. But when they are faced with violence committed by those they agree with, they downplay or even bury such behavior. The silence of the networks regarding the vandalism of multiple Chick-fil-A restaurants is only the latest example of destruction committed by the left and ignored by the media.
Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy ran afoul of gay marriage advocates when he dared to praise “the biblical definition of the family unit” in an interview with the Baptist Press and declare in a radio interview: “I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.’” The controversy his remarks sparked was intense; the media slammed him for his remarks.
On Thursday, several media reports used Obama campaign talking points to downplay a new Romney campaign ad that accused the President of a "war on religion" following the ObamaCare contraception mandate that would force religious institutions to cover birth control in employee health insurance plans.
Articles for The Washington Post, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal all touted the Obama White House reaching a supposed "compromise" with religious groups on the issue. The Post's Rachel Weiner explained: "In a compromise designed to quell criticism, church-affiliated employers (such as universities) do not have to directly provide contraception coverage....But that compromise did not satisfy Catholic critics."
It's laughable when CNN's Erin Burnett claims to police "sandbox" politics when she covers for Obama like she did Thursday. Like her colleague Brooke Baldwin did earlier, she stood by the Obama spin that he "compromised" with Catholics on the birth control mandate and attacked a Mitt Romney ad accusing him of waging "war on religion."
"[T]o say this President is waging a war on religion, I mean, the man goes to church. That's ridiculous," Burnett complained. "That ad does not add up," she stated, adding it "seems to be at best simplistic and at worst just wrong." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
For a network claiming to be non-partisan, CNN was quite partisan on Thursday when it used a Democratic talking point to fact-check a claim made by many conservatives. Anchor Brooke Baldwin focused on a Romney campaign ad claiming, as many conservatives are, that the Obama administration is infringing on religious liberty with its contraception mandate.
"One, this article is an opinion piece," Baldwin said of a headline in the ad accusing Obama of waging "war on religion," adding that "it came out actually before the President made this compromise back in February when he compromised putting birth control mandates on insurance companies and not on religious employers, right?" That was enough for her to ask if the ad was "misleading."
Appearing on Wednesday's NBC Today, U.S. Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones responded to a New York Times story that trashed her as a "vixen, virgin, victim," telling co-host Savannah Guthrie: "...it was two days before I competed. And then the fact that it was from a U.S. media....they should be supporting our U.S. Olympic athletes, and instead they just ripped me to shreds....they just tore me apart, it was heartbreaking." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Liberal historian Douglas Brinkley sang the praises of the Kennedy family on Monday's CBS This Morning, spotlighting the apparently "very important public service work" of Robert F. Kennedy's children: "It's just remarkable to me how Bobby Kennedy's kids keep making public policy influences." Brinkley also claimed that "the Kennedy name is still very popular, and....we're endlessly fascinated by the family."
The author also played up the Democratic family's Catholic background, without mentioning how several prominent members have dissented from the Church's teachings on abortion and sexuality.
Eight days after playing the song "Stupid Girls" before a story about former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, the scoring geniuses at CNN were at it again.
After coming out of a break following a long segment about the Sikh temple shootings in Wisconsin, viewers of Monday's Starting Point were treated to Billy Joel's "Only the Good Die Young" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Well, it looks like Democrats in a Southern state have embarrassed party officials once again. Back in 2010, it was Alvin Greene in South Carolina, whose victory in that state's U.S. Senate primary so infuriated Palmetto State Congressman James Clyburn that he accused Greene of being a plant and called for a federal probe. Greene refused to step aside; incumbent Republican Jim DeMint defeated Greene in a landslide.
A similar script is playing out in Tennessee, where relative unknown Mark Clayton defeated seven other challengers in the Volunteer State's Democratic U.S. Senate primary. It turns out that Clayton is vice president of an alleged "hate group." If that characterization really fits Clayton's Public Advocate of the United States (there's ample reason to doubt that), then Associated Press reporter Lucas L. Johnson II "somehow" forgot to notice that a couple of national Democrats apparently agree with the group's supposedly "hateful" positions -- as well as, it would appear, President Barack Obama himself. Excerpts follow the jump:
On the Saturday Washington Post “On Faith” page, columnist and Newsweek religion editor Lisa Miller insisted it was not a news story that black ministers came to the National Press Club and insisted Obama’s support for gay marriage “might cost him the election.”
It’s not a story, Miller insisted, because Rev William Owens is “enough to make a cynic blush...He’s a figurehead in what political operatives call an ‘Astroturf’ campaign...and his threat is not a threat.” Miller complained about the news sites that somehow found this “nearly empty” press conference newsworthy:
Why does Salon.com hate the Olympics so? After Wednesday’s David Sirota piece decrying (a la Chris Hayes) how “infantile displays of hyper-patriotism” like chanting “USA” for the home team give him jingoistic hives about aiding the military-industrial complex, a Friday article asked “Did God help Gabrielle Douglas win? The gold medalist is a teenager of deep faith and gratitude -- and that can be a little unnerving.”
Writer Mary Elizabeth Williams found it creepy that any athlete would credit Jesus after a victory, and wrote of how she agreed with a colleague that “I would like her more if she were not so, so, so into Jesus.”