Anyone contrarian enough to tune into CNBC in prime time certainly doesn’t tune into The Big Idea with Donnie Deutsch thinking it’s going to be an hour on theology -- Dogma and Kerygma with Donnie Deutsch. The host can hardly claim he booked Ann Coulter with the idea that they were going to discuss the Christology in Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, or they were simply going to discuss how conservative women could franchise McCoulter’s formula. He booked her looking for snap,crackle, and pop, for ratings and headlines, a chance to get his multi-millionaire mug on the Today cameras.
(Or was there an underlying political gambit: Hmm, isn’t that John Edwards donations Donny Deutsch just made?)
Teasing yet another (manufactured) Ann Coulter controversy, ABCNews.com practically suggested that Coulter is an anti-Semite, and when you follow the bread crumbs, you'll find Media Matters the culprit behind the half-baked cake. "The columnist suggested that the U.S. would be a better place without Jews," teased a headline in the rotating news summary on ABC's Web site (see screencap at right).
Yet in context, it's quite logical to conclude Coulter means that, as a Christian, she would like everyone to embrace Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, hence securing them eternal life in Heaven. Grounded in historical Christian teaching, her desire for all to believe in Jesus (and hence be Christians) is not a racist or genocidal point-of-view, but a loving, religious one, however awkwardly stated it may have been in her recent interview.
Here we go again. Another instance of a reporter mocking conservative Christian teaching. And giving an atta-boy to Jimmy Carter to boot.
In an October 11 post to The Skinny blog at CBSNews.com, Keach Hagey took a reductionist and highly stereotypical slant to biblical teaching on Christian households, mocking the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary for offering women "an academic degree in their special, God-given role," which Hagey described as making dinner:
Tuesday’s Metro section of The Washington Post covered a controversy at D.C.’s George Washington University, where fliers appeared on campus blaring "HATE MUSLIMS? SO DO WE!!" Post reporter Susan Kinzie mentioned that the GWU chapter of the conservative Young America’s Foundation denied the posters were theirs, and Kinzie noted that it was probably a prank, since the fine print at the bottom had the words "'Brought to you by Students for Conservativo-Fascism Awareness' -- and a postscript recommending a BBC video on the politics of fear." But while Wednesday’s article in Metro confirmed that it was a prank "produced by students who were attempting to mock those they thought were trying to stir fear of Muslims," YAF wasn’t named anywhere in the article as the vindicated victim.
Jason Mattera of YAF is rightfully upset: "The Post mentions Young America’s Foundation three times, even though the fliers were obvious hoaxes. Yet the paper’s article today explaining that the fliers were fabricated doesn’t mention Young America’s Foundation even once! The Post will report possible incidents of hate speech, but when those incidents turn out to be contrived, the paper doesn’t vindicate those who were targeted!!!"
"This is Anne Jones, reporting live from the headquarters of the ACLU, where the organization has issued a 'DEFCON 1 Threat-to-the-Constitution Alert' in the wake of a Republican presidential candidate's call for the creation of God's 'kingdom on earth.' We're speaking with ACLU representative Amanda Rogers. Ms. Rogers, now that a Republican candidate has brought the wall that separates church and state crashing to the ground, can our constitutional system be saved?"
"Anne, I'm afraid the answer is a resounding 'no,' at least, not if someone who thinks like this, and who sadly reflects the thinking of his entire party, is elected president. Fortunately, there are candidates from another party who respect the constitutionally decreed separaration of church and state."
"Thank you, Amanda; very frightening stuff. Now back to our studio, where we'll be breaking into our regularly-scheduled programming throughout the day to bring you updates on this unfolding crisis. I'll be back a little later with an interview with the pro-Constitution group 'People for the American Way,' which has called the Republican candidate's statement 'the gravest threat to America since the presidency of Ronald Reagan.'"
OK, perhaps I exaggerate just a tad with this apocryphal dialogue, but you get the point. The MSM would surely be in full threat-to-the-Constitution cry if ever a Republican presidential candidate had said exactly what Barack Obama did yesterday:
Catholic-bashing was in vogue on ABC’s The View on Thursday. St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke’s announcement that he would not offer communion to GOP presidential contender Rudy Giuliani – an ardent supporter of abortion embarking on his third marriage – upset Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg."It seems that the Catholic God always says judge,lest ye be judged," complained Goldberg, who also complained the church should punish proponents of the death penalty and the Iraq war. Even Elisabeth Hasselbeck denounced Archbishop Burke as a publicity hound.
The View crew doesn’t seem to think anyone should be refused communion – even if by rejecting Catholic teachings, politicians like Giuliani and John Kerry are clearly not communing with the faith of their youth. MRC's Justin McCarthy provided the transcript.
WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back. I don't know if you guys are aware of this, but, you know, often times when our politicians are running, you know, the Church gets a little aggravated with that because there’s quite a few of them have different pasts and sometimes the Church wants them to be more perfect.
The MRC's Culture and Media Institue, a defender of traditional values, says it is an attempt to influence this fall’s congressional debate on abstinence education programs. The show also depicts abstinence-only education as "useless, if not actively harmful."
The controversy behind CNN’s "God’s Warriors" continues. On the October 4 edition of "Fox and Friends First" guest Alex Safian, Associate Director of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), spoke out against Christiane Amanpour’s special and its equating of Islamists with devout Jews and Christians.
Safian noted the absurdity of comparing those responsible for atrocities worldwide with devout Jews and Christians. When questioned if CNN has an agenda he responded, "I think [Christiane Amanpour] and her production team have an agenda" which he claims is "anti-Israel," "anti-Christian," and "white washes Islam."
On August 26 and September 2, the Washington Post refused to run the weekly "Opus" comic strip by cartoonist Berkeley Breathed out of concerns of insensitivity to Muslims. NewsBusters associate editor wrote about the controversy here and here, and MRC president and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell discussed the Post's double standard on religious sensibilities on Glenn Beck's CNN Headline News program.
Weeks after the controversy has subsided, NewsBusters reader Rusty Weiss shot me a message informing me that a classic "Bloom County" strip from Breathed in the September 28 edition of Yahoo Comics is quite appropriate coming on the heels of the controversy (see below fold for the comic strip). Writes Weiss:
According to Alan Colmes, since evil dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not a liberal, but instead a "conservative," then conservatives in America should not be offended because the Iranian leader received better treatment on a college campus than some of America's conservative political figures, some of whom have been met with attacks with pies or other violence.
Such was the absurd argument suggested by the liberal FNC host during a discussion on Monday's "Hannity and Colmes." Colmes commented to conservative guest/author David Horowitz: "Ahmadinejad's not a liberal. He's a conservative. He's very right wing. He was welcome at Columbia University. You shouldn't be complaining. Phil Donohue, Hillary Clinton, they've been all booed off stages. You don't talk about that." (Transcript follows)
In recent years, the liberal press has become increasingly upset with conservative religious people who maintain the rightfulness of having their political views stem from their religious ones on issues like abortion, gay rights, and welfare. Such views, according to the media, are illegitmate and even threaten the balance of church and state within our society.
Trouble is, though, liberal journalists don't apply this standard consistently. While the media are adamantly opposed to religious motivations on cultural issues, rarely do you hear the media grouse about Christians and Jews who oppose capital punishment on religious grounds. That's because religion is like anything else to the radical left--a means to an end. In the eyes of the media, the moral value of anything or anyone is directly proportional to its usefulness to liberalism.
It's for this reason that I highly doubt you'll hear any complaints from the press gallery about the latest initiative of Pope Benedict XVI, promoting the idea of human-caused global warming:
On Yom Kippur, which ended just last evening, Jews quite literally beat their breasts while asking forgiveness for all the sins committed during the previous year. The confessional prayer enumerates literally dozens of different transgressions. But while the syllabus of sin is seemingly comprehensive, there would appear to be one lacuna. Nowhere in the menu of misdeeds does "schadenfreude" appear.
We might just have to petition to have it added in time for next year. Because Jonah Goldberg's I’m Rather Grateful is such a delightful dose of schadenfreude-on-steroids as to be as irresistible. Go ahead: read it and enjoy. There should be plenty of time to repent.
Time magazine is looking for hypocrites in Vatican City, carrying a story headlined "Was John Paul II Euthanized?" Reporter Jeff Israely cited a "provocative article" in the Italian media that an intensive-care specialist concluded that John Paul’s death was "caused by what the Catholic Church itself would consider euthanasia. She bases this conclusion on her medical expertise and her own observations of the ailing pontiff on television." But wait, doesn’t that sound a lot like Sen. Bill Frist in 2005 suggesting a diagnosis for Terri Schiavo based on his expertise and TV watching? Back then, Time magazine thought that wasn’t merely provocative, but the act of a "truly unhinged" man, a "dodo." Time insulted Frist for that in six different articles. But Pope-bashers merely ask "provocative" questions.
Since he became pontiff, the biased secular media have relished using harsh, loaded language like "ruthless" and "medieval" to describe Pope Benedict XVI. Blogger Mark Shea noticed those words appearing 126- and 169,000 times, respectively in a Google search.
But even worse, Shea argues, is how the media betray their utter lack of understanding of religious subjects when reporters start prattling on about how Benedict is "growing" during his papacy (h/t The Anchoress), when in reality they're just now discovering the clarity of what he's preached and taught all along:
In keeping with the MSMs constant denigration of organized religion, Newseek has published a story proclaiming a female as an "approved" Catholic priest accepting the claims of rogue Catholic offshoot organizations over that of the official cannon of the real Catholic Church. Everything is relative to the MSM and their fellow nihilists, so the fact that the actual Catholic Church still doesn't allow the ordination of women as priests doesn't seem to matter a whole lot to them as they give this woman the benefit of being called a "Catholic priest." It would be as ridiculous as the MSM calling Bill Clinton a black president... oh, wait. It certainly seems as if "truth" is a meaningless concept to the MSM.
Looking like an aging cheerleader instead of a "priest," Newsweek featured the story of 25-year-old Jessica Rowley in Higher Calling, published on the 13th. In it they absurdly accept as fact her supposed ordination as a "Catholic priest."
As NB's Ken Shepherd wrote yesterday (Tue. 9/11/07, here), MSNBC reported on some harsh and offensive remarks spewed from comedienne Kathy Griffin during an acceptance speech set to air on an awards show. (Read the story here.) Yet when they reported the story, MSNBC left out the most inflammatory words that Griffin voiced. And if you picked up today's Los Angeles Times (Wed. 9/12/07), the paper did the exact same thing.
The Times quoted the exact same words that MSNBC did. And like MSNBC, they made no reference to Griffin's most offensive words of her speech: "Suck it, Jesus. This award is my God now."
Reporting comedian Kathy Griffin's offensive remarks at an award show set to air on Saturday, MSNBC anchor Norah O'Donnell left out the harshest line. The effect was to make it sound like the liberal former "View" guest host was being unfairly "censored" by TV producers for making a mild joke about award recipients who thank Jesus for their success, rather than blaspheming Jesus Christ directly.
At the risk of giving third-rate left-wing comedian Kathy Griffin more than her due of publicity, I thought I'd pass along something I saw over at Brutally Honest. The one-time 'The View' co-host prospect making light of award winners who thank Jesus or thank God for their accomplishment at the podium:
Jeff Israely's September 6 article on Time magazine’s website about Pope Benedict XVI’s upcoming trip to Austria is more proof that the mainstream media fear a muscular Christianity more than radical Islam. The article’s title itself asked, "Will the Pope Behave in Austria?," and recounted the Pope’s "provocative lecture about faith and reason" at the University of Regensberg, which took place nearly a year ago on September 12, 2006, and, as Israely put it, "set off riots in some corners of the Muslim world." Needless to say, the author is directing his question in the wrong direction, given the rage-filled Islamic masses that ran amok in reaction to the lecture.
Although it isn't a blue moon, it might as well be. In this September 3 article, the AP ditched the generally obvious anti-Israel bias and gave rare insight into what it is like to be on the receiving end of Gaza's rockets in Israel. Not only did the AP describe the difficulties and fears the Sderot townspeople endure, but the wire service even made available a photo of Israeli school children sitting under desks during a rocket-attack drill (photo to the right*). The AP usually saves that kind of sympathetic reporting and imagery for the Palestinians.
Surprisingly, the AP named those responsible and labeled them with the “I-word,” Islamic. Even more amazing, AP writer Yaniv Zohar did not blame Israel for the shelling and did not focus on Palestinian children in this unusual article (emphasis mine throughout):
A Palestinian rocket exploded Monday next to a day care center crowded with toddlers in southern Israel, sparking anger and panic in the frequently targeted town of Sderot and bringing warnings of retribution from Israeli leaders.
CNN, in their day-long reporting on Tuesday about the opening day for a controversial publicly-funded Arabic-language school in New York City, sympathized with the school and its supporters, and helped denigrate its opponents. On "American Morning" and throughout the day on Tuesday on their "Newsroom" program, CNN aired a report from correspondent Richard Roth on the Khalil Gibran International Academy, whose curriculum will focus on teaching "Arabic language and culture" (as detailed in a CNSNews.com report last week). The report focused on Carmen Colon, a mother and "community activist" in Brooklyn (a detail not mentioned in Roth’s report) who pulled her son from the school before its opening. The report closed with a clip from Colon, who said, "The people who are so against this school who, for me, seem more like the terrorists by terrorizing the community and making us feel that it's unsafe for our children to be there. They're the ones who are terrorizing us, not the school, not the principal, and not the administration."
Andrew at Biased BBC has an excellent take on the British news agency's flawed reporting on the recent release of some South Korean aid workers. For starters, the original headline glossed over the brutal murder of two hostages. Andrew also noted that contrary to BBC's own style guide, the news agency characterized the murdered missionaries as having been "executed," which implies a legal penalty governed by due process of law.
"It is time for the United States to stop treating every American Muslim as somehow suspect, leaders of the faith said at their largest annual convention, which ended here on Monday….The image problems were among the topics most discussed by many of the 30,000 attendees. A fresh example cited was an open letter from two Republican House members, Peter Hoekstra of Michigan and Sue Myrick of North Carolina, that attacked the Justice Department for sending envoys to the convention because, the lawmakers said, the Islamic Society of North America was a group of 'radical jihadists.'"
Mother Teresa died ten years ago this week, just days after Princess Diana perished in a car crash, displaying a very interesting comparison in media reactions. Princess Diana, molded by so much positive publicity over the years into a "secular saint" when she died, drew superior coverage, both in amount and in tone. Mother Teresa's publicity was also very positive over the years, of course, but the media seemed more willing to solicit harsh criticism of her life, even at the time of her death. Brent Bozell chronicled that story in his column ten years ago:
Two years after a Danish newspaper provoked manufactured outrage in the Islamic world by printing a series of cartoons lampooning Islam's founder, a Swedish newspaper may have done the same with a series of sketches:
Marking the beginning of yet another dispute over free speech and religious sensitivity, the government of Pakistan has joined Iran in protesting the publication in a Swedish newspaper of a sketch featuring the head of Mohammed on the body of a dog.
"Pakistan condemns, in the strongest terms, the publication of an offensive and blasphemous sketch of the Holy Prophet in the Swedish newspaper," the foreign ministry in Islamabad said in a statement Thursday.
MRC president and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell appeared on the August 29 "Glenn Beck Live" on CNN Headline News. He discussed the Washington Post's decision to censor the August 26 edition of Berkeley Breathed's "Opus" cartoon mocking radical Islamists.
Earlier that day, Bozell appeared on FNC's "Fox & Friends" to discuss the Post's double standards on religious sensitivity. You can find video of that at this NB post.
Where are the moderate Muslims who willingly speak out against the Islamist agenda, and why are their voices not heard in the mainstream media?
These questions are explored in a documentary that is receiving national exposure over the next several weeks via an Oregon affiliate of the Public Broadcasting System (PBS). Producers and advisors with WETA, the Washington D.C. affiliate of PBS, had previously denied airing the film as part of the "America at a Crossroads Series."
MRC president and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell appeared on the August 29 "Fox & Friends" to discuss the Washington Post's double standards on religious sensitivity.
As NewsBusters associate editor Noel Sheppard reported on Sunday, the Post refused to run Berkeley Breathed's August 26 "Opus" cartoon in which flighty recurring character Lola Granola has declared herself a "radical Islamist" and adopted its strict adherence to Muslim law, including covering herself head-to-toe, much to the chagrin of her long-suffering boyfriend.