If it’s an important Christian occasion, you can predict National Public Radio will seek out an atheist expert. In 2008, NPR marked Good Friday by interviewing John Dominic Crossan, who believed the body of Jesus was not resurrected, but was perhaps eaten by wild dogs.
On Palm Sunday, NPR found it was the perfect day for atheist scholar Bart Ehrman, who has a new book out titled "Did Jesus Exist?" NPR weekend All Things Considered anchor Guy Raz was a big fan: “There are probably few people in the world who know more about the life of Jesus than Bart Ehrman. He's a New Testament scholar at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where his lectures are among the most popular on campus.” Raz was such a fan he even told Ehrman later that he had bought his lectures on tape:
Sunday's Fareed Zakaria GPS saw a ridiculing of the Catholic bishops and Republicans for their stances against contraception and the HHS mandate. The liberal panel was quite hostile to conservative Christians when the discussion came to religion and contraception.
The Daily Beast's Andrew Sullivan ludicrously accused the Catholic bishops and other Christian leaders of using their opposition to contraception for political gain. "My concern is that the Church and the churches have become politicized," he quipped. He insisted that the bishops want to make Obama a "one-term president" in the wake of the HHS birth control mandate. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
“Thousands of atheists, agnostics and other non-believers turned out in the US capital on Saturday to celebrate their rejection of the idea of God and to claim a bigger place in public life,” wrote Agence France-Press of the “Reason Rally” on the National Mall March 24, 2012.
The Reason Rallyers carried crucifixes with profane statements on them, and signs like “So many Christians, so few lions.” They cheered the headline speaker, militant British atheist and scientist Richard Dawkins. Dawkins stressed that, “I don't despise religious people. I despise what they stand for ...” But he went on to exhort the crowd to “ridicule and show contempt” for believers and their faith.
As the broadcast network evening newscasts recounted Pope Benedict XVI's trip to Cuba, ABC's Christiane Amanpour on World News and NBC's Andrea Mitchell on the NBC Nightly News both noted reports that dissidents had been detained and prevented from meeting the Catholic leader, while the CBS Evening News failed to mention their plight.
New York Times reporter turned columnist Frank Bruni is on a nasty streak. He devoted his long Sunday Review column, "Rethinking His Religion," to a former classmate with a pat liberal morality lesson that seemed a lot like an invasion of patient privacy, then attacked Newt Gingrich and insulted Gingrich's wife. James Taranto at Best of the Web explained:
New York Times columnist Frank Bruni has some insufferable friends. Yesterday he spent nearly 1,500 words profiling one of them, a classmate at the University of North Carolina whom he knew at the time as a conservative frat boy who "attended Catholic services every Sunday in a jacket and tie." Bruni, who is gay, "kept a certain distance from him" under the assumption that the young man, whom he does not name in the column, would be hostile to the future Timesman because of his sexual orientation.
Early frontrunner for the most preposterous political analogy of the year . . .
On today's Morning Joe, Tina Brown said Rick Santorum was "like Judas Iscariot." And just what was Santorum's sin that merited comparing him to the man who betrayed Jesus Christ for thirty pieces of silver? That Santorum, 15 years after the fact, now regrets having supported Arlen Specter when his then-fellow Republican senator from Pennsylvania ran for president. View the video after the jump.
Update/correction (30 March 2012, 16:12 p.m. EDT): Brewer is no longer employed with MSNBC. I was going off of outdated information on her Facebook fan page. The post below is corrected accordingly.
"A compelling, alarming case against the GOP and its 'War on Women.' Lest you think it can't happen here, just ask Iranian women how conservative, religious fanatics ripped their rights away." [see screen capture below page break; h/t @mattjmobile]
Responding on Tuesday to NBC Today co-host Matt Lauer wondering if Tim Tebow would be the "right fit" for the New York Jets, advertising executive Donny Deutsch predicted the faithful quarterback was doomed: "Wrong. Couldn't have made a worse move. This will be his Waterloo. New York will take him down. We are a very tough, jaded city. They're not going to buy this unconditional love."
Lauer set up the question to the show's Today's Professionals panel by describing the New York culture as antithetical to Tebow's Christian values: "Is this a fit? This is New York City. The city that never sleeps. This is Joe Namath town, that he owned as a swinging bachelor. It's the city of A-Rod and Donald Trump."
The New York Times coverage of the Pope's trip to the dictatorship of Cuba has a strange, cheap-shot emphasis on how the Cuban people are coerced to attend such rallies, an authoritarian power play, but one the paper rarely if ever bothers to address during Cuban May Day rallies held in celebration of communism. A nytimes.com search suggests the Times has never previously used the words "orchestrated" or "intimidation" to describe the Cuban government coercing people to attend May Day parades.
So why use that explanation for the crowds surrounding the Pope, but leave that obvious explanation off when talking about crowds listening to dictator Fidel Castro's latest multi-hour-drone-a-thon of a speech?
Wherever devout Christian quarterback Tim Tebow goes, he is dogged by the hatred of those who cannot stand him or his faith. Tebow was traded from the Denver Broncos to the New York Jets amid much media fanfare, and some sportswriters naturally used the occasion to engage in personal attacks on Tebow, his religion, and his fans.
MSNBC invited Nation sports editor Dave Zirin to give his opinion on Tebow’s move to New York. Zirin bizarrely argued that “there are a lot of LGBT people that live in New York City who are also football fans”and that “the new, possibly, starting quarterback for the New York Jets wants them to move backwards 30 or 40 years.”(The Denver Broncos refused to participate in anti-heterosexual Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better Project” when Tebow was still on the Broncos, drawing the ire of the gay community and the left-wing media.)
“GCB” managed to dial down its cheap dialogue in March 25’s episode, but only barely. A “good” day for the “Good Christian” show still fired up to 20 shots on Christians along with attacks on Texans, and all of them were laden with malice and contempt.
The entire show lives up to its newest episode’s name, “A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing,” and per usual there is a lot of sex and Bible-bashing in the fold.
Possibly in response to NewsBusters readers who passed on our item on the string of Pope Benedict-mocking jokes on NPR's game show "Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me!" NPR ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos tells NewsBusters and other critics: lighten up, or be compared to radical Muslims. Isn't the ombudsman supposed to advocate for the listeners, not denounce them?
"If we keep jokes about the pope off-limits, we create a silencing effect that is far more damaging than the jokes themselves. We threaten to become like the intolerant extremists now most notoriously bedeviling the Muslim world, though other religions suffer from strains of fanaticism as well." Say what?
CNN's Piers Morgan and conservative actor Kirk Cameron are still clashing over their March 2 interview where Morgan pressed Cameron on his views of gay marriage and Cameron replied that homosexuality was "ultimately destructive" to civilization. That comment provoked a sharp outcry from liberal celebrities.
Later on in an interview with the Daily Beast, Cameron called Morgan's interview tactics "heartless" and claimed that the actual interview was 10 minutes longer than what actually aired. "They didn't hear everything I said," he insisted, referring to the CNN audience. "[W]hat I said isn’t a full representation of how I feel about the topic as a whole." [Video below the break.]
As NewsBusters reported last Friday, the producers of the hit show American Idol warned contestant Colton Dixon to tone down his overtly Christian references if he wanted to win the competition.
Dixon clearly didn't heed their advice, for after his incredible performance of Billy Joel's "Piano Man" Wednesday, he told host Ryan Seacrest, "I’ve been praying before this whole thing because tonight was a big moment for me, and I was just collecting myself and saying, 'God, use me.' I want Him to shine through first and foremost." (Video follows with commentary.)
Leading off an interview with conservative Christian actor Kirk Cameron on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry immediately attacked him for recent comments he made to CNN's Piers Morgan: "I'm going to ask you about this firestorm that you set off...on the topic of gay marriage....Many people are suggesting that this is hate speech. Are you encouraging people to feel hate towards gay people?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Curry plucked out a single sentence from Cameron's CNN interview: "...you said, quote, 'I think that it's unnatural. I think that it's detrimental and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization.'" Cameron called out her selective framing of the topic: "I love all people. I hate no one. And, you know, when you take a subject and you reduce it to something like a four-second sound bite, and a check mark on a ballot, I think that that's inappropriate and insensitive."
Uniquely among the broadcast network evening newscasts on Monday, NBC Nightly News correspondent Andrea Mitchell focused attention on Rick Santorum's appearance with a Christian pastor who recently introduced the GOP presidential candidate at an event in a controversial manner. Mitchell introduced her piece:
If “Love is Patient” then why does “GCB” feel the need to devote an entire episode solely to sexual self-gratification in marriage?
On March 18, the “Good Christian” show spent 40 minutes focusing on the sexual frustrations of married couples and touting remedies such as “googling the Holy Spirit and horny” and heading to the Bible bookstore to buy “guides to spicy Scripture,” and no that last one is not referring to a cookbook.
A rather testy exchange on today's Morning Joe, with co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski going at it with Rick Santorum. A full five minutes of Santorum's segment were devoted to questioning him on his views on contraception and religious freedom.
Toward the end, seemingly to Scarborough's surprise, Santorum said that "yeah, sure" he thought Scarborough, like the MSM at large, was attempting to pigeonhole him on the matter. Video after the jump.
Maybe it's due to budget cutbacks at major establishment news sources, but I doubt it. Maybe it's because they believe nobody cares about news out of the Middle East. No, that can't be it. Or maybe it's because they think that people already know and understand the Muslim mindset. Well, after several decades of press attempts to keep it from us, that doesn't make any sense either.
Whatever the reason(s), which I'll get to, a certain piece of what one would think is pretty significant news out of the Middle East has gone unreported for the past five days going on six. What follows are three translations of related articles through Google's translation tool (which eliminates the budget excuse of "We need interpreters to translate these things from scratch, and don't have the money"):
On Monday, liberal radio talker Randi Rhodes ripped into the South, including a wish that it would secede again. She played clips of HBO interviews of Southerners done for Bill Maher and complained "Bobby Jindal even converted from Hinduism -- Nikki Haley, too -- in order to be acceptable to the conservative South in Louisiana and uh -- [about a five second pause] Georgia! I mean, that is crazy that in order to be acceptable to the party you have to, you know, pretend that you've given up your religion!"
Haley is governor of South Carolina, not Georgia, and her family are Sikh, not Hindu. Jindal converted to Catholicism in high school, so it's a little tough to argue it was all political calculation. Haley and her husband attend a Methodist church but she also was married in the Sikh faith out of respect for her parents. Liberal outlets like NPR have raised questions about the sincerity of her conversion.
Andrea Mitchell is no newbie to journalism. In fact, in 2010, she was given the Taishoff Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism by the National Press Foundation. She's in good company with Brit Hume and the late Tim Russert among previous recipients of the award. But alas, the MSNBC anchor displayed no "excellence in journalism" with her brief, softball interview today with Robin Morgan of the liberal Women's Media Center.
Mitchell brought Morgan on to discuss her group's petition drive to request the FCC to ban Rush Limbaugh from the airwaves. The WMC's argument is that Limbaugh engages in "hate speech" which is not in the "public interest" and hence cause to push him off the air. Below the page break I've listed in bullet points the questions Mitchell posed to Morgan, which, as you can see, are all softballs meant to advance Morgan's talking points:
NBC and its hard left cable network don't seem to be on the same page. The morning after MSNBC bomb-thrower Ed Schultz condemned Republican voters for thinking President Obama is Muslim, on Tuesday's Today, NBC's political director Chuck Todd discounted the Public Policy Polling survey: "I think this question was designed to get a higher percentage in the answer than maybe what's actually true."
Todd explained the problem with the automated poll: "...the way the question was asked, I think it just was designed to get a higher number. Because there are some Republicans who...may not believe he's a Muslim, but like saying it because it's a way to attack him. It's sort of a way to needle him....it's certainly created a buzz among liberals who are trying to create a stereotype among base conservative voters."
As NewsBusters reported, HBO's Bill Maher on Friday disgracefully claimed Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum homeschools his children to keep them locked up in his "Christian madrassa" where they won't be exposed to knowledge and reason.
On Fox New's Hannity Monday, the former Pennsylvania Senator struck back at the vulgar comedian saying, "My 12-year-old will out-reason Bill Maher" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
[Update, 4:10 pm Tuesday: Father Grandon wrote NewsBusters to clarify his statement during the segment: "I was very clear during the interview that we convert priests have no interest in agitating for married clergy generally and that, in fact, the Catholic Church has always had married priests in her Eastern Churches, but alas, those comments were edited out. My comment...in no way proposed that change....Yes, much was left unsaid and unexplained, but do please note that I am not on the side of the liberals! In the end, we were happy that the editing was not as malicious as it could have been."]
On Monday's CBS This Morning, correspondent Michelle Miller highlighted one of the 77 married Catholic priests in the U.S. who converted from the Episcopal Church in recent years and boosted a favorite pet cause of left-leaning dissenting Catholics: ordaining married men. Miller trumpeted that Father Doug Grandon's example "begs the question: should all Catholic priests have the option to marry?"
Father Grandon stated that "the most we could say is that having a married priest...allows them to look and see how it would work if they wanted to change it." The morning show's religious and faith contributor, Father Edward Beck, also acknowledged that the several dozen former Episcopalian clerics are "bringing a whole liberal notion with them," but also noted one of the main reasons for Catholic clerical celibacy - that parish priests can devote all 24 hours of each day to their ministry.
All last week the knights in shining armor at MSNBC did their level best to rescue the fair damsels of the realm from the vile "War on Women" waged by the vicious ogres of the Right, you know, like Rush Limbaugh and Rick Santorum. But in the midst of hyping Women's History Month and International Women's Day (March 8), the liberal network failed to highlight a real story of women's oppression: a Pakistani-Austrian woman's tale of death threats and beatings at the hands of her reactionary Muslim mother.
What's more, this story, entitled "Why My Mother Wants Me Dead," was published at none other than The Daily Beast, a site whose writers and editors frequently appear on MSNBC programming.
The Washington Post’s “On Faith” blog network bills itself as “a conversation on religion and politics.” But the conversation of “On Faith” more accurately resembles a diatribe justifying liberal politics with religious imagery.
During this past week, Becky Garrison claimed that Christian actor Kirk Cameron was not a Christian because he opposes homosexual marriage, and Lisa Miller declared that “In churches across the land, women are still treated as second class citizens.”