On Weekend Edition Sunday, NPR's Rachel Martin helped Daily Beast editor Reza Aslan promote his new biography of Jesus, who posited that there is a "chasm between the historical Jesus and the Jesus...taught about in church." As proof of this supposed gap, Aslan claimed that "there is actually no statement of messianic identity from Jesus" in the Gospel of Mark.
Aslan has it wrong. Jesus actually affirmed that he was the Christ (the Greek word for Messiah) in Mark 14: 61-62: "Again the high priest asked him...Art thou the Christ the Son of the blessed God? And Jesus said to him: I am. And you shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of the power of God, and coming with the clouds of heaven." Even NPR pointed out Aslan's false statement in a correction on Monday, but Martin, a former religion correspondent for the public radio network, didn't catch his error during the segment.
On the Wednesday, July 3, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC contributor Joy Reid compared abortion restrictions to "Shariah law" as she blasted North Carolina state senate Republicans for the "sneak attack" of including the restrictions in a bill banning Islamic law in the state. Reid:
Nicole Gaouette and John Walcott at Bloomberg BusinessWeek have revealed that the Obama administration has specifically stated that it wants the Muslim Brotherhood to have a role in any new Egyptian government. Meanwhile, other news outlets, particularly the Associated Press, have avoided disclosing that specific detail.
There are two "little" problems with the administration's disclosed position. The first is that now-deposed Mohammed Morsi's final speech on Tuesday was seen as a promise that there would be civil war if he were ousted. The second is that Morsi supporters in the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups have promised to carry out a campaign of terror until Morsi is reinstalled, and are keeping that promise. Those two factors should objectively disqualify the Brotherhood's involvement. Excerpts from the Bloomberg pair's report follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Josh Gerstein at the Politico is on the opposite of a roll today. This afternoon (noted at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), Gerstein was barely done covering how "U.S. eases away from Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi" when the military announced that Morsi had been deposed by the military, ultimately in favor of, according to the Associated Press, a temporary "government of civilian technocrats."
This evening, he's trying to position Obama as a great thinker weighing his options instead of as the guy who has been on the wrong side of freedom and democracy ever since Morsi assumed dictatorial powers in late November of last year, which should be brought up every time someone falsely claims that Morse headed a legitimate, democratically elected government (bolds are mine):
Apparently, one pathetic last-minute speech by Eqypt's Mohammed Morsi was sufficient to convince President Barack Obama, who has spent several days and untold amounts of worldwide capital defending the Muslim Brotherhood leader's staying on the job in the face of what may have been the largest pro-democracy demonstrations in human history.
The Politico frantically tried to run interference for Obama opportunistic change of heart today, running an item which was apparently called "U.S. Eases Away from Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi." The item was up so briefly that it was quickly replaced, while the headline just mentioned still remains in the browser window's title bar:
The BBC is reporting from Egypt that "Millions of protesters across the country accuse the country's first Islamist president of failing to tackle economic and security problems since taking power a year ago." Reuters is also reporting "millions" of participants.
At the Associated Press as of 11:15 p.m., its "Big Story" home page (saved here for future reference) had three stories on Egypt. Two of them were moldy oldies from before Sunday's protests. The one from Sunday evening was buried at the bottom of the page's "Latest News" section, and didn't even have an accompanying thumbnail (Update, July 1, 1:15 a.m.: The story is no longer even present at all at the AP's "Big Story" home page). The coverage by Hamza Hendawi, Sarah El Deeb and Maggie Michael only recognized "hundreds of thousands" of protesters, but at least seemed to admit that the protesters had gained some leverage by their sheer numbers:
Readers are advised to prepare themselves for a rare dose of sanity and reality on television.
On CNN's Reliable Sources Sunday, journalism professor Steve Roberts actually said, "What's missing often in TV newsrooms: there are plenty of gays, there are very few people of faith and very few evangelical Christians who in their own beliefs would be against gay marriage. And this has always bothered me" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As I noted on Friday, the final sentence in an AP report earlier that day (saved here at host for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) on protests in Egypt read: "One banner depicted President Barack Obama and said, 'Obama supports terrorism.'"
I predicted with little risk of being wrong that the existence of this banner would not "survive future AP reports" -- and it hasn't, even though this and similar banners were still present in Tahrir Square on Saturday. A search at the AP's national site on "Obama supports terrorism" (not in quotes) returns nothing. Other establishment press coverage has also failed to reveal the continued presence of anti-American and anti-President Obama sentiments.
At first glance. Bill Barrow's write-up of Jimmy Carter's speech at his center's Mobilizing Faith for Women conference appears to have covered the facts about the conference and the specifics of the former U.S. president's outrageous attempts at moral equivalency in comparing how the world's religions treat women reasonably well.
But the AP writer left out two important contextual elements: 1) Christianity's historical and ongoing contribution to the improvement of women's status, leading to the indisuptable fact that women today are far better off in countries which have Judeo-Christian traditions than they are in those which don't; 2) government-encouraged or mandated abortion, which has disproportionately prevented women from being born -- the ultimate and final form of oppression -- and which many religions have done far too little to stop.
(UPDATE: "Obama Supports Terrorism" sign obtained at Twitchy.com)
This "Arab Spring" update comes from the Associated Press: "The Obama administration on Friday warned Americans against all but essential travel to Egypt and moved to reduce the official U.S. presence in the country amid fears of widespread unrest." No one could possibly have predicted this type of crisis would be a likely outcome of Hosni Mubarak's overthrow -- ahem, except former U.S. ambassador John Bolton and other people considered ignoramuses by the diplomatic elite.
Conditions on the ground reflect the growing tolerance of a diverse ethnic, religious, and democratically inclined leadership. Uh, actually not at all, as a separate AP report about today's events reveals (excerpts are not intended to describe the entire situation; reviewing the entire report and others from elsewhere will be needed for a fuller understanding):
Offending gays or speaking ill of Muslims is a cultural taboo, but mocking the Blessed Virgin Mary is just good clean fun.
That was the approach the Santa Fe Reporter took when it published its 2013 Summer Guide. The New Mexico weekly’s cover featured a full-page cartoon of Our Lady of Guadalupe in a strapless yellow bikini and sunglasses, sipping a margarita, accompanied by a beer-drinking hiker and a shirtless cowboy.
Over at Jihad Watch, Robert Spencer has posted what he says is the substance of his entire email exchange with James Brooks of the Associated Press in the wire service's coverage of the UK Home Office's decision to ban Spencer and fellow Stop the Islamization of America leader Pamela Geller, so we can compare what actually transpired to what was published.
Brooks apparently did not contact Geller (or if he did, he didn't report any of it), and gave no indication that he tried. He gave 14 words of his report to his exchange with Spencer in his seventh of 11 paragraphs, and the AP's headline writers chose to call the pair "US anti-Islam activists" (bold is what AP included):
Pamela Geller announced at her Atlas Shrugs blog Wednesday morning that "the British government has banned us (herself and fellow Stop Islamization of America activist Robert Spencer) from entering the country ... In not allowing us into the country solely because of our true and accurate statements about Islam, the British government is behaving like a de facto Islamic state. The nation that gave the world the Magna Carta is dead." She has posted the letter (Page 1; Page 2) from the British Home Office Secretary (UK's equivalent of our Homeland Security) telling her that her presence would not be "conducive to the public good."
A later post at Geller's blog has a collection of press reports which readers should review for the predictable signs of bias. One which isn't there is from the Associated Press, written by James Brooks (bolds are mine):
Brightening up my Monday morning (not) is an item carried at CNN.com last Friday whose headline basically tells loyal, faithful spouses that they're nature-defying freaks who in the vast majority of cases are ignorantly honoring an institution which doesn't make any sense.
Meghan Laslocky doesn't have the gumption to use those words. But what else are we supposed to conclude from a column entitled "Face it: Monogamy is unnatural"? Not that there isn't some inadvertent humor, which I'll get to after excerpting her column (HT Hot Air Headlines; bolds are mine):
Most pregnant moms pick out names for their kids. “Snooki” wants to pick out sexual orientation. Nicole Polizzi, known for her role as “Snooki” in the filthy reality-show “Jersey Shore,” casually mentioned the other day that she was “so grateful” for those who “support the LGBT youth so they have someone there for them because I'm praying I have a gay little boy one day.”
That’s right. Not only does Snooki “consider herself bisexual” - she also hopes that the child she’s having with her fiancé will be gay. She made this disturbing announcement at an event hosted by the “anti-bullying” (and very pro-LGBT) group, “Trevor Project.”
The June 14 episode of ABC’s What Would You Do again trolled for the archetypal intolerant conservative American that are supposedly around every bend in two outrageous segments concerning a gay Boy Scout and a racist deli shop customer. The show, which uses actors to play out outrageous scenarios to see how unsuspecting passers-by react, hosted the gay Boy Scout scenario at a roadside steakhouse in Texas. This is similar to a similar sting video last week which had a gay basketball player come out to his coach and teammates.
What better setting -- if you're a liberal news producer from Manhattan -- to stage this incident being that the state is known for the Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court decision on sodomy laws and that it's a reliably red state, producing both Presidents Bush as well as Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. Rick Perry, liberal media bogeymen all.
President Obama continued his War on Christianity Monday and the broadcast networks continued to ignore it. Obama was in Northern Ireland for the G-8 conference and used a town hall meeting for youth in Belfast to show his contempt for religious education. The president criticized separate religious schools for promoting “division.”
The story drew attention in conservative media outlets and was linked on the Drudge Report. But no major network news show covered the event in the two days that followed. ABC, CBS and NBC all skipped the story, even though it made the rounds in conservative media especially on Wednesday.
Some of the news Wednesday night wasn’t particularly compelling. ABC “World News with Diane Sawyer” took two minutes to devote to “flash mobs for hire.” NBC “Nightly News” found 36 seconds to devote to the decline of the Houston Astrodome, the “cathedral of sports once known as the eighth wonder of the world.”
In Tuesday's Washington Post, Tom Hundley of the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting gave Post readers a textbook example in biased reporting freighted with loaded language. The target was a predictable bogeyman of secular liberal reporters: the Catholic Church.
Hundley painted the constitutional court battle over a "reproductive health law" in the Philippines as a struggle "pit[ting] the entrenched power of the Roman Catholic establishment against a rising tide of modernization and economic aspiration." You read that right. It's progress and prosperity against repression and Romanism according to Hundley.
As we've shown here and here, the New York Times has trouble understanding the central Christian doctrine of the resurrection of Christ. As my colleague Clay Waters noted back in April, even in issuing a correction to a doozy of an error in a story this year, Times editors made another mistake in the correction that referred to the "resurrection into heaven" of Jesus.
Well, the Times has once again demonstrated it needs to go back to Sunday School. Take the June 14 David Brooks column -- " Religion and Inequality" -- wherein the quasi-conservative scribe misattributed a biblical passage by the Apostle Paul to Jesus. The Times dutifully issued a correction, but as you'll see below, it's still deficient (emphasis mine):
And Rabbi Joshua Hammerman thought he had a “Tebow Problem” before. Back in 2011, the columnist at The Jewish Week fretted that the Tim Tebow-led Denver Broncos might beat his “beloved” New England Patriots in the upcoming AFC championship game. But his wasn’t a fan’s normal pre-game nervousness. It was the hand-wringing of a liberal bigot.
Hammerman imagined that the rubes in fly-over country regarded the “blue-clad Patriots, from the bluest of blue states” as the “Sons of Darkness, with their perfectly coiffed Hollywood quarter back” their “diabolical hoodie-clad coach” and “the most identifiably Jewish owner in sports.” Against Tebow, the “poster boy of the Christian right,” they’d be “playing the role of Pilate.” (In the event, the Broncos lost, forestalling Tebow’s Christian fans from “burning mosques, bashing gays and indiscriminately banishing immigrants” in celebration, as Hammerman had warned.)
Jon Stewart is taking the summer off to film Rosewater, a story about the detention and torture of Iranian Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari, but “Senior British Correspondent” John Oliver has the helm until Labor Day. While the Daily Show is known for it’s political satire, its hosts have been known to cross the line concerning their antipathy towards conservatives, specifically Oliver’s desire to shoot and kill Tim Tebow. The reason: he’s open about his Christian faith.
The New York Times may have rebuffed Attorney General Eric Holder’s off-the-record meeting with journalists about leak investigations, but they displayed how they really weren’t angry by burying an actual account of that meeting inside Friday’s paper, while the front page carried stories like “A New Step in Wrestling With the Bra.”
Perhaps the most surprising judgment of what was front page-worthy was an obituary for Father Andrew Greeley, as if he were the Cardinal of Chicago. The Washington Post summed him up well: “an iconoclastic priest and sociologist who irked the Catholic hierarchy by writing best-selling novels that featured churchly misdeeds and graphic sex.” He was also a liberal newspaper columnist. Greeley's “New Deal liberalism” equals newsworthy?
Twisting Bible stories for the gay agenda? Yup, that’s right up HuffPo’s alley.
The Huffington Post’s “Gay Voices” blog was all praise yesterday for gay artist Paul Richmond’s schlocky painting called “Noah’s Gay Wedding Cruise,” which depicts gay couples aboard the Ark. HuffPo lauded Richmond’s work as a “whimsical, gay twist on the biblical narrative.”
The talking heads at HuffPo Live must think the Pope is pretty funny, since much of their short discussion of him on Wednesday at the tail end of a religious segment – was laughs and grins.
Perhaps it’s no surprise after HuffPo misrepresented the Pope’s words on atheists, but when the Vatican’s Rev. Rosica issued a clarification, HuffPo Live host Mike Sacks seemed to have trouble taking it seriously. He grinned as he claimed that the Vatican’s statement “seems to walk back” on what he called Francis’ “groundbreaking homily in which he stated that people who reject the teachings of Christ can be saved after all.”
On Tuesday's Fresh Air on NPR stations from coast to coast, host Terry Gross interviewed author Stephen King on his new book "Joyland," which features a young man in a wheelchair with muscular dystrophy and his grandfather, a radio evangelist named Buddy Ross, who insists the disease is divine punishment.
King might have surprised the secular-left devotees of public radio -- not with the usual talk of how organized religion seems like a "theological insurance scam," but by proclaiming he believes in God: "Everything is sort of built in a way that to me suggests intelligent design." He had to talk more about his inconsistency and doubts to get back in NPR's secular sweet spot.
Chalk this one up to the absurd. CNN's Ashleigh Banfield on Wednesday tried to draw a legal parallel between a Sharia Law execution and a Catholic school firing a teacher for violating her contract by disobeying church teaching on pregnancy. Banfield argued both violated the teacher's Constitutional rights.
"Well if it's an Islamic school and they decide to go with Sharia Law and they decide to stone me for this, they can't do that either," Banfield ridiculously argued. "Then don't sign up to be the teacher," responded prosecutor Christine Grillo, who multiple times reiterated that the teacher had violated her contract.
On her Monday show, CNN's Christiane Amanpour celebrated the same "Catholic" Salon.com writer who penned the revolting piece, "So What If Abortion Ends Life?" and who shuddered at an Olympic gold medalist being "so, so, so into Jesus."
Salon.com's Mary Elizabeth Williams is a "pro-choice, liberal Catholic," and Amanpour hyped her "fight" to change the Catholic Church – allowing women to be ordained to the priesthood and thus treated as "equal citizens." Apparently Catholic women are second-class citizens in Amanpour's book.
A Google News search on "Sweden riots" done tonight at 10 PM ET (not in quotes, sorted by date, with duplicates) returned 314 items. Adding the word "Muslim" to the search reduced the number of results to nine. Fewer than a handful are from establishment press outlets, and one of those only appeared in the search results because a commenter and not the story's writer used the M-word.
That pretty much tells you all you need to know about the determined denial of reality in which the worldwide press is engaged in reporting riots in the suburbs of Stockholm, which have entered their fifth day. The Associated Press, as would be expected, is a willing participant in that exercise, as the following headline which could have been (any maybe was) written by an Occupy movement member and the accompanying excerpt from a Thursday afternoon story filed by the wire service's Malin Rising demonstrates (bolds are mine throughout this post):