Mitt Romney's statement yesterday evening slamming the Obama administration for the U.S. embassy in Cairo's attempt to appease the Islamist protesters was "naive," MSNBC's Alex Wagner and Time magazine's Rana Foroohar agreed in a segment on the September 12 edition of Now with Alex Wagner.
While Wagner said the initial statement condemning the anti-Muhammad movie was intended to calm tempers and save lives, Foroohar went into an odd analogy that compared Islamist hatemongers with conservative radio host Glenn Beck (MP3 audio here; video embedded below page break):
Mike Barnicle has suggested that the Department of Justice consider prosecuting Florida pastor Terry Jones in the death of the American ambassador to Libya and deaths occurring during riots last year in Afghanistan. Hat tip readers Melody, Jonathan R., Ray R.
Barnicle made his suggestion on today's Morning Joe, during a discussion of the attacks on the American embassy in Cairo, Egypt and the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, where the American ambassador died after an attack by a Libyan mob. Fellow panelist Donny Deutsch responded by saying he was "thinking the same thing" as Barnicle. View the video after the jump.
Earlier today, an angry Cairo mob stormed the U.S. embassy, ripped down the American flag, and flew in its place a black al Qaeda banner. The mob is reportedly angered about a documentary film that supposedly offends Muslim religious sensibilities with critiques of the Prophet Muhammad.
While CNN and Fox News have both mentioned the developing story, MSNBC has not as of the time of this publication, a review of our DVR systems shows.
CNN's Anderson Cooper smacked the Romney campaign Monday night for alleged dishonesty. He claimed they were talking too much about social issues while saying the economy is their real focus.
"The question tonight, and not just from the opposition, have the Romney forces been moving away from dollars and cents and jobs, and shifting toward more red meat, hot-button culture war mode?" Cooper asked. "I mean what's up with the culture stuff suddenly?" he posed later. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Finding racism in ridiculous places: It isn’t just for MSNBC anymore. The Huffington Post has performed a neat trick, exercising its own religious bigotry by accusing someone else of racism. The result is a breathtakingly inane article. (The crusade to re-elect Obama has spurred his media acolytes to heroic exertions, hasn’t it?)
Writing in HuffPo on Sept. 9, Paul Harvey and Edward J. Blum broke incredible news: Mormon iconography commonly includes a statue of a white Jesus! And that white statue first appeared in Salt Lake City in 1966, “the middle of the Civil Rights movement.”
During the first centuries of Christianity, Christians were thrown to lions in arenas to be jeered by mocking crowds. Today, Christian athletes face the taunts of a media strongly opposed to their faith.
No Christian athlete draws more media catcalls than New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow. CBSChicago.com writer Dan Bernstein dismissed Tebow as “little more than an affable simpleton” and slammed his fans as “lunatic-fringe cultists.” Columnist Rabbi Joshua Hammerman of The Jewish Week expressed his desire that Tebow’s Broncos would lose a playoff game because a Broncos victory would “buoy his faithful, and emboldened faithful can do insane things, like burning mosques, bashing gays and indiscriminately banishing immigrants.” Radio host Craig Carton was the latest to jump on the anti-Tebow bandwagon, calling him a “fraud” and complaining that he “clearly thinks he is Jesus” on his August 14 radio show.
In a rare moment of reluctant semi-journalism which didn't name names, the Politico's Reid Epstein, in reporting about the God-Jerusalem debacle at the Democratic Convention Wednesday night, buried the lede, waiting until his third paragraph to tell readers (belated HT to Weasel Zippers) that "While the campaign at first said Obama had seen the language prior to the convention, it later said he did not learn of the issue until Wednesday morning, when he became aware of seeing news coverage of the issue." (Sidebar: Does that mean Dear Leader watches the despised Fox News?)
Then Epstein just let the disclosure sit there with no additional follow-up. His story has what is in my view a deliberately "this is boring" headline ("Division over platform at DNC" ... zzz). However, it would appear that the folks over at the Associated Press got to Epstein's third paragraph, and went into full-keister-covering mode.
Methinks the MSMer doth protest too much. If Mark Halperin weren't keenly aware that he was about to try to whitewash a huge vulnerability for the Democrats, why would he have prefaced his remark with the disclaimer that he and others weren't showing liberal bias by claiming it was no big deal?
But that's exactly what Halperin did this on today's Morning Joe. The show rolled video of the DNC delegates clearly voting against putting God and Jerusalem-as-the-capital-of-Israel back in the platform from which they had been removed. We then saw the convention chairman fraudently declare that two-thirds had in fact voted to reinsert the language. But there was Halperin, claiming "I don't think it's liberal bias to say that the story is pretty much done." View the video after the jump.
Well, it looks like we have a bit of evidence that, contrary to an assertion by a pair of Politico reporters, it's not the media elites who can "powerfully shape" the narrative coming out of party conventions (the issue in question there was how Mitt Romney's nomination acceptance speech would be spun).
After all, as Scott Whitlock at NewsBusters noted earlier today, the three major networks have totally ignored the omission of "God" in the Democratic Party's platform, and have only lightly covered the platform's failure to name Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Despite that, and therefore obviously because of center-right media pressure (and semi-sensible Dems sensing disastrous election fallout), those issues now are both like Prego spaghetti sauce -- i.e., they're in there. Associated Press reporters Julie Pace and Steve Peoples seemed a bit unhappy with this turn of events in the version of their dispatch which appeared shortly after 6 PM ET, and tried to pin the entire blame on Republicans:
ABC reporter Arlette Saenz reported for The Note on Joe Biden’s speech Sunday in the Green Bay area, including this statement: "In Afghanistan, we have lost 1,980 fallen angels as of yesterday, and I’m precise because every single one of those lives deserves to be recognized. Wrong: The U.S. death toll in Afghanistan at the end of August was 2,101.
Biden somehow subtracted from the Defense Department count, ignoring three civilian casualties and 118 soldiers who died in other countries after medical evacuation. Did they not deserve to be recognized?
Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan is a Catholic – but not a good enough Catholic in the eyes of the media. Writers, bloggers, and talking heads have hammered Ryan for his supposed “dissent” from Catholic teaching.
Journalists have falsely claimed that the bishops “rebuked” Ryan and called his budget “un-Christian.” Writers who usually scorn the Church and its hierarchy fretted that the bishops found Ryan’s budget “uncompassionate.”
How little we know about holy Islam! When those poor wretches who were imprisoned at Abu Ghraib were pictured for all the world to see naked with underpants on their heads, we were told that the naked male Islamic body must never be seen in public. Yet we have been seeing naked male Islamic bodies for years — often with their hands tied behind their backs and their heads chopped off. Their assailants were devotees of Islam, often very zealous. Few Westerners committed these atrocities, and if they were caught, they were punished. Then too we were told that mosques were revered places of worship by Islam, and they must not be subject to attack or used in acts of violence. Alas, for years, mosques have been blown up. Their inhabitants have been gunned down, even impaled on sharp blades. These were not the acts of unbelievers or of warriors from the Godless West. Rather, they were the acts of the faithful, often members of the same sect or tribe.
Just this weekend in Libya — now freshly liberated from Moammar Gadhafi, his body perforce treated roughly — ancient and venerated shrines of the majority Sufi persuasion were destroyed. In Tripoli at the crack of dawn on Saturday, the centuries-old Sidi Al-Sha'ab shrine was flattened by bulldozers. Two separate government security forces idly stood by. The day before in the city of Zlitan, Libya's most revered Sufi mosque was vandalized, and an adjoining library had its priceless collection of theological treatises torched. The attackers were fellow Libyans. No Westerner was in sight.
Near the end of his Wednesday night speech at the Republican National Convention, vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan told his audience and the nation that "sometimes, even presidents need reminding, that our rights come from nature and God, not from government."
Opening an hour-long special on the Mormon Church for Thursday's NBC Rock Center, anchor Brian Williams proclaimed to viewers: "Most Americans say they know next to nothing about the Mormon Church. Tonight, a rare look inside the lives of modern Mormon families....A church still dealing with the issue of polygamy....And other issues of inequality."
Teasing a report on the history of the Church, Williams promised to answer the question of "why so many Americans still today are suspicious of the religion." Introducing that portion of the broadcast, Williams touted pop culture mocking the faith, starting with a clip of Fox's Family Guy in which lead character Peter Griffin declares: "I'm going to be a Mormon....Come on, nailing a different wife every night. That's a no-brainer."
CNN foolishly asked if the head of the U.S. Catholic Bishops was playing politics by giving the benediction at the Republican National Convention, leaving out that the same Cardinal Timothy Dolan recently invited President Obama, along with Mitt Romney, to a high-profile Catholic event, the Al Smith dinner.
"Is this a big play to help shore up Paul Ryan's Catholic base?" anchor Don Lemon asked of the RNC benediction. "How does Dolan help Mitt Romney win Catholics?" inquired OutFront host Erin Burnett.
"These are two of the most moronic statements I have ever heard," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell, himself a practicing Catholic, complained after watching video of MSNBC host Martin Bashir and MSNBC contributor Jimmy Williams attacking Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as championing an "unbiblical" budget that doesn't comport to Catholic social teaching.
"Consider that one of these morons is saying that Paul Ryan's budget is unbiblical?! I mean, what book of the Bible dealt with Paul Ryan's budget?" the Media Research Center founder asked on the August 23 "Media Mash" segment, going on to note that seeing as that the Catholic Church is suing the Obama administration over the religious liberty-infringing contraception mandate, it's laughable to suggest that Joe Biden is a better Catholic. [watch the full segment below the page break]
In a Tuesday interview with comedian Jeff Foxworthy, CNN's Piers Morgan presented the half-baked idea of treating the Bible as "evolutionary" and asked if being Christian "has become almost a bad word" in America. Of course, he pointed the finger specifically at Christians who are Republicans.
"Do you feel that being Christian has become almost a bad word in a country that's still predominantly Christian?" Morgan asked after noting "issues where the Christian element of the Republican party get a good kicking, because either they said something silly or inflammatory or whatever it may be." [Video below the break.]
The Washington Post's "On Faith" blog network has joined the chorus of media outlets extolling the virtues of Islam. Kathleen Duff of the Religion News Service, in an August 17 post, expressed her newfound admiration for the holy book of Islam. In a glowing piece titled “What Catholics Can Learn from the Quran,” Duff wrote: “This year during Ramadan – the ninth month of the Islamic calendar when Muslims believe the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad – I was in solidarity with my Muslim sisters and brothers throughout the world by reading the Quran. But here’s the thing: I am a Roman Catholic.”
Duff waxed eloquently in her praise of the Quran, writing: “The Quran encouraged me to continuously be aware of a gracious and merciful God who cherishes humanity and cherishes all of creation. I came to believe more firmly during my humble Ramadan experience that being cherished by God is an example of divine love beyond the limitations of any one language, symbol and imagination.”
On the day after gunman Floyd Corkins attacked the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., ABC's World News on Thursday was the only broadcast network evening newscast to run a followup report which elaborated on Corkins's political opposition to the group's conservative views.
Political reporter Stephanie Condon painted Republican vice presidential pick Paul Ryan as an "anti-abortion" extremist in a Wednesday report for CBSNews.com. Condon forwarded the talking points of the pro-abortion left as she zeroed in on Ryan's support of personhood legislation: "Supporters of reproductive rights have loudly pointed out that this type of legislation would not only outlaw abortion but potentially some forms of contraception or even in vitro fertilization."
The online correspondent hyped that "personhood initiatives are so extreme that even card-carrying conservatives like former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour have expressed concerns that they go too far." Condon repeatedly used variations of the "conservative" label in her article, but didn't once identify the left-wing politics of pro-abortion groups.
The broadcast networks complain loudly about real or perceived offenses committed by conservatives. But when they are faced with violence committed by those they agree with, they downplay or even bury such behavior. The silence of the networks regarding the vandalism of multiple Chick-fil-A restaurants is only the latest example of destruction committed by the left and ignored by the media.
Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy ran afoul of gay marriage advocates when he dared to praise “the biblical definition of the family unit” in an interview with the Baptist Press and declare in a radio interview: “I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.’” The controversy his remarks sparked was intense; the media slammed him for his remarks.
On Thursday, several media reports used Obama campaign talking points to downplay a new Romney campaign ad that accused the President of a "war on religion" following the ObamaCare contraception mandate that would force religious institutions to cover birth control in employee health insurance plans.
Articles for The Washington Post, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal all touted the Obama White House reaching a supposed "compromise" with religious groups on the issue. The Post's Rachel Weiner explained: "In a compromise designed to quell criticism, church-affiliated employers (such as universities) do not have to directly provide contraception coverage....But that compromise did not satisfy Catholic critics."
It's laughable when CNN's Erin Burnett claims to police "sandbox" politics when she covers for Obama like she did Thursday. Like her colleague Brooke Baldwin did earlier, she stood by the Obama spin that he "compromised" with Catholics on the birth control mandate and attacked a Mitt Romney ad accusing him of waging "war on religion."
"[T]o say this President is waging a war on religion, I mean, the man goes to church. That's ridiculous," Burnett complained. "That ad does not add up," she stated, adding it "seems to be at best simplistic and at worst just wrong." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
For a network claiming to be non-partisan, CNN was quite partisan on Thursday when it used a Democratic talking point to fact-check a claim made by many conservatives. Anchor Brooke Baldwin focused on a Romney campaign ad claiming, as many conservatives are, that the Obama administration is infringing on religious liberty with its contraception mandate.
"One, this article is an opinion piece," Baldwin said of a headline in the ad accusing Obama of waging "war on religion," adding that "it came out actually before the President made this compromise back in February when he compromised putting birth control mandates on insurance companies and not on religious employers, right?" That was enough for her to ask if the ad was "misleading."
Let's see if this story gets any meaningful attention in the U.S., or if the Associated Press expands the brief unbylined item currently seen at its national site. I wouldn't bet on it -- and even if that occurs, I don't expect the U.S. establishment press to give what is contained therein much notice.
The AP's four-paragraph blurb tells us that independent columnists in Egypt are alarmed at what they see as the newly empowered Muslim Brotherhood's "attempt to control the state-owned press":
Appearing on Wednesday's NBC Today, U.S. Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones responded to a New York Times story that trashed her as a "vixen, virgin, victim," telling co-host Savannah Guthrie: "...it was two days before I competed. And then the fact that it was from a U.S. media....they should be supporting our U.S. Olympic athletes, and instead they just ripped me to shreds....they just tore me apart, it was heartbreaking." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Despite admitting no direct evidence of Islamophobia behind the recent Wisconsin Sikh shooting, CNN's Carol Costello still tried to connect Islamophobia to the shooting and hype it as a national problem that needs to be discussed.
"No one knows why Wade Page allegedly chose the Oak Creek Sikh Temple," she began before adding "maybe" the shooter mistook the Sikhs for Muslims. Then she took this hypothesis and tied it to America's national scandal of Islamophobia. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Liberal historian Douglas Brinkley sang the praises of the Kennedy family on Monday's CBS This Morning, spotlighting the apparently "very important public service work" of Robert F. Kennedy's children: "It's just remarkable to me how Bobby Kennedy's kids keep making public policy influences." Brinkley also claimed that "the Kennedy name is still very popular, and....we're endlessly fascinated by the family."
The author also played up the Democratic family's Catholic background, without mentioning how several prominent members have dissented from the Church's teachings on abortion and sexuality.
New York Times sports reporter Jere Longman doesn't approve of a certain Olympic female track and field athlete. His piece on the front of Sunday's sports section, "For Lolo Jones, Everything Is Image," rubbed in the fact that Jones hasn't won an Olympic medal, casts doubt on whether she will do so on Wednesday, and sneeringly claimed that Jones "will be whatever anyone wants her to be -- vixen, virgin, victim -- to draw attention to herself and the many products she endorses." Even worse: She's a Christian and fan of Tim Tebow.
A photo caption read: "Lolo Jones has received more attention than any other American track and field athlete based on what some have called a cynical marketing strategy that is long on hyperbole and short on achievement."