In case you missed it, new Iranian president Hassan Rouhani has proven his "moderate" credentials to Time magazine [see screen capture below page break]. How so, you might ask? Well, a tweet from (what purports to be) his account yesterday, which reads, "As the sun is about to set here in #Tehran I wish all Jews, especially Iranian Jews, a blessed Rosh Hashanah. pic.twitter.com/tmaf84x7UR"
One of the most inaccurate things that secular reporters do in reporting on homosexuality and religion is in putting the words “devout” and “gay” right next to each other – even when it’s clear that the sympathetic gay characters in their stories are shedding their religious traditions in favor of their gay identity.
The New York Daily News carried a story with the headline “Shahar Hadar, 34, is part of a growing cluster of devout gay Jews in Israel. He is one of a few religious drag queens that perform on Israel's downtown circuit.”
Bill Maher has said some disgusting things about religion before.
Possibly the most disgusting came on HBO’s Real Time Friday when the host actually said, “God in the Old Testament is a psychotic mass murderer” (video follows with transcript and commentary, file photo):
Monday's CBS This Morning brought on only liberals for a panel discussion about the recent success of The History Channel's new miniseries, The Bible. One panelist, Michael Hogan of the left-wing Huffington Post, erroneously asserted that "biblical films have been kind of out of favor since 1965, when 'The Greatest Story Ever Told' came out and was a huge flop. 'Last Temptation of Christ' was the last serious attempt."
Of course, the editor for the left-wing website completely overlooked Mel Gibson's 2004 blockbuster, The Passion of the Christ, which made over $600 million at the box office worldwide.
On Morning Joe today, the Reverend Al Sharpton agreed with Mike Barnicle that anti-Semitism explains the opposition to Mike Bloomberg in his gun control campaign. H/t NB reader cobokat.
If ever there were an expert on anti-Semitism in America, it could be Al Sharpton, he of Freddie's Fashion Mart and Crown Heights riot infamy. The spectacle of Sharpton lamenting the supposed anti-Semitism of others was ironic, if not repulsive. Note that Dan Senor, who might also know something about anti-Semitism, being Jewish and having attended university in Israel, rejected the notion. View the video after the jump.
In what NPR thought was a fitting tribute to the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, the February 28 edition of Morning Edition sought to diminish the legacy of the pontiff emeritus by sharply criticizing his time in the chair of St. Peter.
Correspondent Sylvia Poggioli claimed that “while the cardinals publicly praise Benedict for his courageous act, privately many are reassessing his legacy.”
Former This Week host Christiane Amanpour's reputation for biased reporting precedes her, despite her own denials. Despite this, ABC thought it fit to air a two-part special starting on Friday evening titled Back to the Beginning. The network's press release trumpeted, "Join...Christiane Amanpour on the ultimate road trip as she travels to the lands of the Bible....to investigate the roots of those stories that have created so much conflict, and at the same time so much of the healing she has seen across her career."
However, the last time the journalist put together a mini-series on religion, God's Warriors, for CNN in 2007, she gave Muslim "fundamentalists" in the U.S. sympathetic treatment, while showing "concern" for "right-wing" Jewish settlers in the West Bank, and discomfort towards the theology and practices of American evangelical Christians. Amanpour even equated one Christian youth group with the Taliban.
In a story the New York Times appears not to have touched, Hunter Walker at Observer.com's Politicker ("about" page is here) reported on Tuesday that Thomas Lopez-Pierre, a black Harlem activist, "circulated an email" Monday night "in an attempt to plan a 'private meeting' to 'discuss the potential damage to the political empowerment of the Black and Hispanic community if Mark Levine, a White/Jewish candidate was elected to the 7th Council District in 2013.'" So we see that black Chicagoland establishment officials trying to ensure that the successor to the recently resigned Jesse Jackson Jr. in Illinois' 2nd Congressional District are not alone in seeing a political office as somehow "belonging" to them.
The Wall Street Journal (subscription may be required) has also picked up the story ("Race, Religion Used as Basis For an Attack"). Verbiage from the Politicker report, along with separate comments from James Taranto at the WSJ's Best of the Web, follow the jump (internal links are in originals; bolds are mine throughout this post):
Out: hateful tweets to black actresses supporting Romney for president. In: hateful tweets to celebrities tweeting their support for Israel in its struggle against the Palestinian terrorist network Hamas.
The conservative website The Blaze, noted that comedian Jon Lovitz -- who famously lashed out earlier this year about President Obama's determination to hike taxes -- and reality show star Kim Kardashian were harassed this past weekend with profanity-laced tirades and death wishes.
Democrats picked up seven new House seats and expanded their caucus in the Senate by two seats, electing along the way the House's first Hindu member and the Senate's first Buddhist. But for liberal religion scholar Stephen Prothero, that's not good enough, because both chambers are still disproportionately too Protestant, with Republicans in particular looking too much like an "old-fashioned America" of yesteryear.
Clay Waters at NewsBusters has already exposed the passive-aggressive anti-Semitism in Maureen Dowd's Sunday rant ("Neocons Slither Back") at the New York Times. So did Politico's Dylan Byers, who nonetheless thought that the Obama campaign's tweet supporting Dowd's column via its "Truth Team" (and, by inference,their endorsement of her "neocon puppet master" premise) was so unimportant that he didn't mention it until his final paragraph. Excerpts from Byers weakly headlined item follow (HT Twitchy):
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:
Donald Trump on Monday had some harsh words for Bill Maher's incessant attacks on Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's Mormonism.
Appearing on Fox News's On the Record, the real estate mogul said, "If a conservative Republican made a like statement about somebody else's religion, there’d be hell to pay. It’ll be all over the place. It would be the end of that person's career as you know it" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Newsweek's Andrew Sullivan got a much-needed education about religion and politics from not one but two evangelical leaders Sunday.
The first came from Dr. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention who in the midst of a heated debate on CBS's Face the Nation told Sullivan, "Any fusion between evangelicalism and Republicanism pales in comparison to the point of anemia compared to the black church and the Democratic Party" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Even when told that paying for birth control would violate the consciences of certain religious organizations, CNN's Soledad O'Brien wondered why the groups still shouldn't have to cover contraceptives for interested employees.
O'Brien cited statistics from the abortion-supportive Guttmacher Institute showing that even the vast majority of Catholic women use birth control. She then asked why so many shouldn't have the option to pursue such practices, regardless of what the Catholic Church teaches. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
On Saturday's NBC Nightly News, during a report recounting the gathering of Christian pilgrims in Bethlehem for Christmas celebrations, correspondent Martin Fletcher relayed Palestinian complaints about Israel, and gave attention to the display of an anti-Israel publicity stunt set to coincide with the occasion taking advantage of a Christmas tree theme.
District Attorney Charles J. Hynes, of Kings County, New York, recently announced that in the last three years 85 accused child predators have been arrested in Brooklyn's Orthodox Jewish community. The cases involve at least 117 alleged victims.
One man, Andrew Goodman, has been charged on 144 stomach-turning counts of sexually abusing two Orthodox boys – one from 11 to 15 years old, the other 13 to 16.
In a season in which there is very little "peace on Earth" and even less "good will towards men," it is a particularly tough time for Jews, who may be finding it more and more difficult to tell who their real friends are.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta fired an unusually harsh salvo across the Israelis bow. In a speech at a Brookings Institution forum, he urged Israel to get to the "d--n table" for peace talks. It must have escaped Panetta's notice that the Palestinians are the ones refusing to come to the "d--n table" unless their unacceptable demands are met. These include, depending on the day, the cessation of construction projects, even on pre-1967 Israeli land, the so-called "right of return" of "Palestinian refugees," a concession by Israel to re-draw its borders to 1967 lines -- though such borders would be completely indefensible against an inevitable attack -- and the re-division of Jerusalem, which Israel rightly sees as its capital. Meanwhile, the Palestinian side concedes almost nothing and fulfills none of its promises. Neither is it held accountable for its behavior.
On yesterday's Rainbow PUSH Saturday Morning Forum, broadcast nationally on the Word Network, Jesse Jackson spoke of Christmas. The activist, 1984 and 1988 Democratic presidential candidate, and former Clinton spiritual adviser told (video here) of "non-Christian" merchants who "use Jesus to lure you in to Santa Claus's birthday party." Here's what he said:
In an item at the Associated Press datelined early Monday morning not labeled as "analysis" or otherwise characterized as the reporter's point of view, the wire service's Amy Teibel went on the attack against current developments in Israeli politics and society in extraordinarily harsh terms, to the point where her report could easily have been mistaken for a leftist's political stump speech.
Teibel's screed began with the headline ("A battle is raging for the soul of Israeli society"), and went downhill from there (what are in my view deliberately loaded words are in bold):
The above statements were made by various media outlets upon learning of Conan O'Brien's intention to preside over the wedding of a gay couple during the taping of his show "Conan" in New York this week.
O'Brien, who is celebrating his first year at TBS, is back in New York this week (for 16 years his previous show, "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" was filmed in New York City). He announced last week that he was going to officiate a gay wedding because same-sex marriages are now legal in New York. The funnyman obtained an online certificate from Universal Life Church Monastery and on Thursday, Nov. 3, married his long time costume designer Scott Cronick to his Cronick's partner in a traditional Jewish ceremony.
On Wednesday's Early Show, CBS's Erica Hill downplayed the instances of violence and bigotry found at Occupy Wall Street protests as simply "the actions of a few," after GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich denounced the "frightening level of anti-Semitism in some of these gatherings." Hill questioned Gingrich over his supposedly "pretty outspoken words" about the left-leaning movement [audio clip available here; video available below the jump].
The anchor raised the demonstrations towards the end of her interview of the former House speaker, after Gingrich claimed that "people are pretty sick of the lack of civility...they watch Washington, they watch gridlock, [and] they watch a president who's more comfortable on [Jay] Leno than he is in trying to govern the country." Hill replied that "people, too, are fed up, as we know- we see a lot of this with the Occupy Wall Street protests. The latest CBS News/New York Times poll finds that 46% of Americans say that their views reflect a sentiment that most Americans share."
CNN tried to tie Jesus to a liberal movement on Wednesday as correspondent Carol Costello labeled various religious authorities as supporters of the "Occupy Wall Street" protests – even as she reported that protests became violent at "Occupy Oakland."
"'Occupy Oakland' protesters hurled paint at riot police, and riot police hurled tear gas. Jesus, here?" Costello asked during the 11 a.m. hour. "Yes. And the Vatican seems to be backing them up," she added. [Video below the break.]
On Wednesday's Last Word on MSNBC, substitute host Chris Hayes of the left-wing Nation magazine used conservative talk radio host Glenn Beck's rally in Israel as an occasion to blame conservative Israelis like Prime Minister Netanyahu for the absence of a peace agreement with the Palestinians and asserted that it was "dangerous" for such Israelis to ally with America's Christian Zionist movement.