Islamic terrorists were suspected in the terrorist bombings that just killed dozens in Russia. But reporters at ABC, NBC and CBS went out of their way to avoid the obvious connection or even to call the suspects “terrorists,” preferring instead the squishy word “militant.”
Friday, Sunday and Monday, three separate suicide bombings left at least 37 people dead in the Volgograd and Pyatigorsk, Russia. In October, a female suicide bomber killed 5 people on a bus in Volgograd. U.S. officials and terrorism experts believe these attacks are related instances tied to an Islamic Chechen rebel leader, Doku Umarov, who threatened of attacks in the area last summer. Volgograd, formerly Stalingrad, is close to Sochi, the site for the upcoming Winter Olympics and a particular target for the attacks.
On the day after Christmas, NPR’s All Things Considered offered a little gift to openly gay reporter Ari Shapiro: seven minutes of air time for a story with the online title “How 2013 Became The ‘Gayest Year Ever’.”
As anchor Robert Siegel said NPR was looking at the “winners and losers of 2013...for gay rights groups, the last 12 months saw a huge string of victories, from state legislatures to Congress to the Supreme Court. The surprise ruling in Utah legalizing same-sex marriage is just the latest win. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports on why some LGBT advocates are calling 2013 the gayest year ever.”
The first Christmas mass of Pope Francis drew positive attention from all three networks on Christmas Eve morning, but CBS took the cake in celebrating what it perceives as the liberal tilt of the new pontiff.
Allen Pizzey openly declared Time magazine gives out honors for liberalism: the pope’s exhortation against the “absolute autonomy of the marketplace” and “comments like who am I to judge in relationship to homosexuality contributed to making the Pope Time magazine's Man of the Year.” (Technically, it’s “Person of the Year” now.) Somehow, previous popes never cared about the poor like the new pope:
For decades, there has been a lot of discussion about a “cultural war,” primarily between people of traditional faith and those who see religion as something of little value. Whether war is quite the right metaphor to describe the phenomenon, there certainly is a lot of pressure on people who adhere to traditionalist opinions, as Phil Robertson of A&E’s Duck Dynasty can certainly attest.
Yet while opponents of traditional beliefs and a politically unbalanced media have certainly proved harmful to faith in the public square, those two groups cannot be entirely blamed for the less prominent place that Christians now have in American culture. According to poet and art critic Dana Gioia, Christians also have themselves to blame as well for basically withdrawing from the cultural scene.
My nomination for the best comment of the week regarding the controversy surrounding Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson goes to syndicated columnist George Will.
Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Will marvelously said, "[T]he new biggest American entitlement is the entitlement to go through life without being offended" (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
Today's Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC, with Joy Reid guest-hosting, displayed a "Pope" poster of Pope Francis in the style of Shepard Fairey's "Hope" poster of Barack Obama made famous in 2008.
The show featured a long segment analyzing the Pope's critique of capitalism. What's the message of the poster and of MSNBC's decision to display it? That Pope Francis and Barack Obama share a critique of capitalism? That Barack Obama is himself a Pope-like figure? Something else? View the video after the jump.
On Thursday's PoliticsNation, MSNBC political analyst Goldie Taylor ludicrously saw "hypocrisy" in Republicans speaking out against A&E possibly firing Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson while opposing ObamaCare's contraception mandate as she failed to note that ObamaCare, as opposed to the Duck Dynasty controversy, is an issue of forcing employers by law to obey the government in spite of religious objections.
Without providing any quotes directly referencing the Constitution as evidence, she accused conservatives of making Phil Robertson's employment with A&E into a First Amendment issue, and then failed to note that ObamaCare actually does involve the First Amendment, and went on to make a lame joke quoting Gomer Pyle from the 1960s television show Gomer Pyle, USMC. Taylor:
The Daily Beast has a new year's resolution for Pope Francis: be open to women in the priesthood.
Correspondent Barbie Latza Nadeau opened her December 20 story "Does Pope Francis Have a Woman Problem," with the obligatory statement that "Pope Francis is undoubtedly a good guy" who "has managed to impress almost everyone." But, alas, "for all the papal cheerleading there is still at least one demographic that won’t be lauding the great pontiff quite yet: women." Nadeau explained, with decidedly loaded language:
If you thought the issue of Santa's skin color was going to die, you don't understand how the media works.
Consider the leftists at the Huffington Post who actually published a piece Friday with the misleading and inflammatory front page headline "Americans Don't Care What Race Santa Is - Except For Republicans."
'Tis the season for the liberal media to ramp up it's attacks on the Catholic Church.
"One in nine hospital beds is now in a Catholic institution. That may be bad news for pregnant women," reads the caption on the front-page tease for a December 19 Irin Carmon story, "What Catholic hospital expansion means for women," wherein the abortion-rights absolutist turns the network's "war on women" artillery on Church-run hospitals. Here's how Carmon opened her story (emphasis mine):
Can you imagine a priest taking a group of altar boys to see the movie “Deliverance?”
According to Tim Robbins, when he was an altar boy in New York City, at the age of ten or eleven, a priest at his church took him and some other altar boys into Times Square to see the R-rated film which contained a brutal homosexual rape scene.
Gushing journalists Josh Elliott and Robin Roberts met Pope Francis on Wednesday and thrilled over the fact that a gay magazine has made him "person of the year." The Good Morning America anchors traveled to the Vatican for "Christmas With the Pope." According to Elliott, "[Pope Francis has] ushered in a kind of truce in the culture wars."
He touted, "And both Time magazine and the leading gay magazine, The Advocate, have named him their person of the year." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Elliott offered tremendously positive coverage, narrating, "He walks the streets, poses for pictures, embraces the sick and is not afraid to have a bit of fun." ABC wasn't always so friendly. On March 14, correspondent Terry Moran warned, "Pope Francis is a staunch traditionalist. He compared abortion to a death sentence; called gay marriage 'destructive of God's plan.'"
In a flourish of exaggeration, CNN's Piers Morgan compared Rush Limbaugh to the devil and conservatives to Genghis Khan on his Tuesday night show.
"Rush Limbaugh keeps whacking away at Pope Francis which is, you know, it's like watching the devil incarnate taking on Mother Teresa," Morgan said in his interview with Ann Coulter. He also took a shot at Limbaugh, Coulter, and other conservatives who are unhappy with Pope Francis's popularity with liberals. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Pope Francis, in his apostolic exhortation, levied charges against free market capitalism, denying that "economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world" and concluding that "this opinion ... has never been confirmed by the facts." He went on to label unfettered capitalism as "a new tyranny." Let's look at the pope's tragic vision.
First, I acknowledge that capitalism fails miserably when compared with heaven or a utopia. Any earthly system is going to come up short in such a comparison. However, mankind must make choices among alternative economic systems that actually exist on earth. For the common man, capitalism is superior to any system yet devised to deal with his everyday needs and desires.
Tuesday's Good Morning America simply didn't have its facts straight in their rush to portray Pope Francis as a crypto-liberal. Amy Robach hyped that the pontiff "removed an outspoken critic of abortion and same-sex marriage from a powerful post within the Church. Conservative Cardinal Raymond Burke...was head of the Vatican's highest court." Robach then asserted that "this move is seen as reinforcing the Pope's vision for a more inclusive church."
However, Cardinal Burke is still the prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura – the equivalent of the Supreme Court for the Catholic Church. The Pope actually declined to renew the Wisconsin native's membership on a different consultative body at the Vatican – the Congregation for Bishops. [MP3 audio of Robach's news brief available here; video below the jump]
I'm interrupting my series on Common Core State Standards for public schools to join the appeal to Iran and North Korea for the release of American hostages like imprisoned American pastor Saeed Abedini and missionary Kenneth Bae. And I'm also calling upon President Obama and Congress to step up their action, stand for religious freedom and fight for the release of these godly men, whose crimes were nothing more than exercising their faith.
For those who haven't followed the news on these men of the cloth, pastor Abedini was sentenced to eight years by an Iranian court last January for starting house churches in the 2000s, an era in which they weren't even regarded as a threat to Iran's security.
The latest version of Newsweek sounds like it’s going to be even more liberal than the The Daily Beast version. The group hoping to re-launch the print edition has an article on their website called “Is Pope Francis a Socialist?”
Their answer is no, but they’re so impressed with the new pope that they’re channeling the idea that somehow pope photos will replace Che Guevara as a revolutionary icon:
Appearing as a guest on Wednesday's All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC, the Daily Beast's Michelle Goldberg praised Pope Francis as a "voice against the tyranny or the hegemony of global capitalism" during a discussion of whether the Pope should be chosen Time's "Person of the Year." Goldberg:
Time magazine's left-leaning reasons for choosing Pope Francis its 2013 Person of the Year were apparent in the cover story written by Howard Chua-Eoan and Elizabeth Dias. Chua-Eoan and Dias trumpeted how supposedly, "in a matter of months, Francis has elevated the healing mission of the church...above the doctrinal police work so important to his recent predecessors." The two later underlined that the Pope's "vision is of a pastoral—not a doctrinaire—church."
Despite their emulation of the Norwegian Nobel Committee's reasoning for giving President Obama the Peace Prize in 2009 – to nudge along liberal "progress" and hoping that "somehow" doctrines will change – the writers grudgingly acknowledged that the Bishop of Rome doesn't sound like he will bring the change that the left hopes for:
Time's editor Nancy Gibbs -- who, last we checked, was a woman -- announced today that Pope Francis would be honored as the magazine's 2013 Person of the Year. This, of course, is the perfect excuse for the sort of folks who get their knickers twisted over these sorts of things to complain that, yet again, a man was named for the honor. As insult to injury for left-wing feminists, the man in question holds an office which only men can exercise, not to mention that Francis affirms the male-only priesthood is a settled matter.
On Monday, Terry Mattingly of GetReligion blog revealed a glaring error made by Time magazine in its online poll of readers about who should be their Person of the Year. The magazine had to issue the following correction regarding its one-sentence description of Pope Francis: "An earlier version of this post suggested that Pope Francis rejected some church dogma. He does not."
Whoever made this correction didn't give a completely accurate portrayal of the original post, as it didn't use this "some" qualifier: [screen cap below the jump, via Mattingly's Google cache link]
An irritated Barbara Walters on Thursday touted the importance of the separation of church and state. The View hosts discussed a new ad by Democratic Senator Mark Pryor, under fire for supporting ObamaCare, in which he labeled himself a Bible-believing Christian. Walters declared, "The basic tenet in America is the separation. And it's very important. And it's very important, the separation of church and state." Of course, "separation of church and state" is nowhere in the Constitution. Walters didn't mention this.
She added, "We talk about the separation between church and state and almost every president ends up saying so help me God." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Walters recounted, "Now, most presidents swear on a Bible before taking office, even though we have the separation between church and state."
Does the Daily Beast's Sally Kohn not have an editor? Or does she just have one who simply doesn't care that she utterly embarrasses herself when she insists the Founding Fathers would approve of ObamaCare's contraception mandate?
"To put it mildly, our forbearers [sic] would be appalled by how right-wing conservatives are trying to use government to force their religious views on all of us. Make no mistake, this is what Hobby Lobby wants to do—use government to push a conservative religious agenda, " Kohn groused this morning in "When Religion and Liberty Collide":
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Jan Crawford zeroed in how President Obama "has got another fight on his hands" over the Supreme Court case challenging the federal government's controversial ObamaCare abortifacients and contraceptive mandate, just as "his administration is trying to get that website up and running".
Crawford pointed out that this "legal battle in the Supreme Court could scale back some of what he was trying to accomplish with the law in the first place". She also underlined that "all this comes as many Americans are feeling forced into this law". [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
One hundred fifty years after President Lincoln foresaw a "new birth of freedom" in his Gettysburg Address, the folks at MSNBC are busy celebrating abortion.
From Chris Jansing to Thomas Roberts, to liberal darling Alex Wagner, the all-liberal network has chosen November 19 as the newest abortion day at the “Lean Forward” network. Perhaps the most obnoxious abortion segment on MSNBC on November 19 was during Now w/ Alex Wagner, where the MSNBC host featured liberal comic Lizz Winstead, co-creator of The Daily Show, to promote Monday's online abortion fundraiser for the women of Texas and a new campaign she was calling “From V To Shining V,” the "v" presumably standing for "vagina." [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
The Lean Forward network took a half-hearted stab at being fair and balanced on Tuesday. During the 11 a.m. hour, Thomas Roberts invited on two women to discuss the vote to ban abortions after 20 weeks in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Representing the obvious pro-abortion side was frequent MSNBC contributor Irin Carmon.
Representing what Roberts called “the church side” was Sara Hutchinson of, wait for it... Catholics for Choice, a pro-choice lobby group. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Typically, Washington Post “On Faith” founder Sally Quinn touted tattooed progressive minister Nadia Bolz-Weber, the one who boasts about her new book “Pastrix” in an Amazon video: "the first word in the book is s–t.”
Her book claims also include “I wrote it for people who listen to This American Life" on NPR, and "I wrote it for people who know the difference between American cheese...and actual cheese." Quinn should have a tongue in her cheek as she finds it amazing, amazing that Reverend Nadia could draw 800 people to a service....after a major writeup as a alternative-Christian "superhero" in The Washington Post:
The press has been obsessed with the fate of Obamacare's contraception mandate ever since religious, corporate, and other litigants began challenging it in the courts.
So what explains the fact that a search on "Korte" at the Associated Press's national site and at the New York Times return nothing and nothing relevant, respectively? Or that there are only nine stories at Google Newsin a search on “Korte contraception court” (not in quotes), only two of them from establishment press outlets, on the Friday Appeals Court ruling in Chicago in Korte vs. Sebelius? That's easy. It didn't go the "right" way, and the ruling appears to have been significant. Excerpts from Joe Palazzolo's coverage at the Wall Street Journal, one of those two establishment press outlets, follow the jump (bolds are mine):