Gary Trudeau, creator of the 'Doonesbury' comic strip, says cartoonists should draw the line when it comes to offending people. In an interview published in the Santa Barbara Independent:
Q. What did you make of the Danish cartoon mess? I understand that you said you would never play with the image of Allah. But did you feel you should have done so out of a sense of professional solidarity, or to make a statement about freedom of speech?
A. What exactly would that statement be? That we can say whatever we want in the West? Everyone already knows that. So then the question becomes, should we say whatever we want? That, to me, is the crux. Do you hurt people just because you can? Because you feel they shouldn’t be deeply hurt, does that mean they aren’t? Should the New York Times run vicious caricatures of blacks and Jews just to show the First Amendment in action? At some point, common sense and sensitivity have to be brought to bear.
Mike Luckovich, the liberal cartoonist for "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution," earned a chuckle from CNN anchor Miles O’Brien by claiming that "80 percent of the priesthood" is gay. Luckovich, who appeared on the October 6 edition of "American Morning," was promoting his new collection of comic strips, "Four More Wars." O’Brien began by asking the cartoonist about the Foley scandal and then attempted to link it with a plan by the pope to ban homosexuals from serving as priests:
O’Brien: "And why don't you explain this one?"
[Cartoon appears onscreen. One priest is looking at the other and says, "Does this make me look gay?"]
Luckovich: "Well, OK. The new pope wanted to -- wants to ban homosexual priests, so you are going to have to lose 80 percent of the priesthood if that happens. But -- so I've got a bishop here saying -- he's looking down at his vestments, and he's saying, ‘Does this make me look gay?"
O’Brien: [Laughs]: "It's -- well, you know, it is a fashion statement, isn't it? All right. And, of course-"
Luckovich: "Yes. You know, I was thinking -- Miles, I was thinking about maybe making Denny Hastert maybe like an archbishop and somehow, you know, making the comparison that way. I'll let you know if that -- if that works out."
O’Brien: "Oh, okay. That sounds like dangerous turf, but I would like to see that one for sure."
In The New York Post, terrorism expert and journalist Steven Emerson protested that CNN and Newsday warped the views of Republican Congressman Peter King on an Islamic group, and how they want to blame 9/11 on a Zionist conspiracy instead of al-Qaeda:
THE media is engaged in a jihad against Rep. Peter King - a jihad in defense of Islamist extremists.
King, a Long Island Republican, has warned his constituents that some leaders of the Islamic Center of Long Island have "publicly stated that the CIA or the 'Zionists' may have been behind the attacks" of 9/11.
The record backs him up. Indeed, the center's leadership has a long history of extremism. But both Newsday and CNN chose to ignore the facts and smear King.
I asked YouTube to inform me of the exact nature of the "inappropriateness" of the video. But no response. The banning of my innocuous video is not an isolated incident. Anti-jihad YouTube users have reported having their videos yanked and accounts suspended, including Crusader18.
Update 13:05 by Matthew Sheffield. By contrast, Islamic terrorist sympathizers and possibly the terrorists themselves have been using the free hosting service to post videos.
Another point: The
email YouTube sent to Malkin states that her video was pulled because
Did Aaron Sorkin finally realize that singling out Christians for mockery on his new show wasn't fair (or particularly brave)? We did criticize him pretty severely for his two-dimensional stereotyping of Christians in the opening show, and again, when he expanded on the slurs in "Studio 60"'s second week.
This time, "Studio 60" featured a skit on this show about a show that mocked not only Christians, but also "Meir Kahane" Jews, the Taliban, Tom Cruise the Scientologist, and a witch. They were all contestants in a skit about a show that denies science. This is certainly an improvement compared to singling out one religion. But does it mean that Sorkin and his writers are responding to critics?
The October 1 edition of ABC’s “World News Sunday” preached that the 51 houses of worship in Stafford, Texas are a holy terror to the city’s finances, citing the mayor’s complaints about lack of tax revenue. But reporter Geoff Morrell left out that the city has already enacted more regulation to discourage churches and that at that beginning of the year, the mayor gave a very positive assessment of the city’s finances.
Far from the negative tone Scarcella took in his appearance in Morrell’s story, neither the mayor’s 2006 State of the City Address nor his Fiscal Year 2005-2006 Budget Message warned of dangers to city revenue from too many houses of worship.
Newly minted Newsweek editor Jon Meacham is promoting liberal former Sen. John Danforth again in a Sunday book review in The Washington Post. He's also praising a new book called The Politics of Jesus by Obery Hendricks Jr. (The subtitle's all about Jesus as a political revolutionary.) Like many other liberal journalists, Meacham is desperately seeking someone to convince traditionally religious Americans that they shouldn't be giving their votes to conservatives. So they cheer a whole series of "intellectually stimulating" books that lamely attempt to recruit traditionalist Christians and Jews to vote for the loosey-goosey libertine party:
Hendricks's Christian manifesto for a politically liberal vision of America and of the world arrives at an especially rich moment in the long-running debate over the role of religion in the nation's public life. After roughly three decades of largely ceding the language of faith to political conservatives, liberals are mounting an aggressive and often intellectually stimulating counterattack.
Rioting and threats of violence from Muslim extremists have apparently triumphed once again over the First Amendment. According to psychoanalyst Dr. Nancy Kobrin and noted feminist Phyllis Chesler, who wrote the introduction, Kobrin's new book, "The Sheikh's New Cloth: The Naked Truth about Islamic Suicide Terrorism", was to be published in November by Looseleaf Law Publications, Inc., but Dr. Kobrin's contract was suddenly cancelled over concerns for their staff's safety.
Just two weeks after Rosie O’Donnell made waves on ABC’s all-female chat show The View for proclaiming that "radical Christianity is just as dangerous as radical Islam," the Catholic League is protesting a conversation on Thursday’s show between O’Donnell and co-host Joy Behar about drunken priests and silly Eucharistic rules. (Don’t forget the obligatory Mel Gibson slam.) Sitting with glasses of red wine, the women were discussing a study showing drinking red wine helps preserve memory:
Behar: "Don’t you start losing your memory when you’re a drunk? I mean, that’s the first thing that goes."
O’Donnell: "Or you just start spouting anti-Semitic statements. [Crowd laughs, then oohs in shock] Mel Gibson! Mel Gibson! C’mon! Cause they say when you get drunk, the real person comes out. I don’t know about one glass of wine, though."
Have you heard that conservatives and Christians involved as part of the radical extreme Christian Right who met over the weekend in Washington DC for the Family Research Council’s Action meeting aptly called The Washington Briefing are in a dire state of distress, depression, despair and despondency? I was shocked as I read through tons of articles from some of the 100 media who attended the briefing.
MSNBC states that the speakers of the briefing, “… expressed scepticism [sic] about what their engagement in 2004 had delivered.” Since Tony Perkins stated that, “I don't think enthusiasm is as strong as 2004," that means, according to the liberals, that the world has crashed and burned for conservatives who voted for President Bush.
If there's one person whose essence, whose very being, whose every fiber stands for the proposition that the Roman Catholic church is the one true religion, it is the Pope. The Church does define him as the Vicar of Christ, after all.
So you might forgive the Pope for advocating the notion that his religion is superior. But somehow that notion deeply offends Boston Globe columnist - and former Roman Catholic priest - James Carroll. In his column of today, Pope Benedict's hierarchy of truth, faith, Carroll takes the Pope to task for asserting the superiority of his faith. Referencing the Pope's recent address that has caused a stir, Carroll writes:
On the McLaughlin Group this weekend, host John McLaughlin, a former Catholic priest, set up a segment on how the Pope's supposedly “incendiary words” had “flamed across the Muslim firmament.” He then cued up his panelists with this inflammatory proposition: “Should the Pope abdicate?” Washington Times editorial page editor Tony Blankley retorted: “No, that's the most ridiculous thing I've heard...” When Mort Zuckerman, owner of U.S. News and the New York Daily News, didn't answer the question, McLaughlin demanded: “Would you address my point: Should he resign?” Zuckerman replied “absolutely not” as Pat Buchanan mocked the premise: “Oh, don't be absurd!”
In between Blankley and Zuckerman, Newsweek's Eleanor Clift denounced the Pope's perspective in which he had quoted a 14th century Byzantine emperor on how Mohammad brought “things only evil and inhuman.” Clift argued: “If he's going to go back and quote somebody from 500 years ago, let's get the rest of the context. He's talking about violent religions -- Christendom has some violence in its past as well.” She soon charged: “This was needlessly provocative when the former Pope did so much for peace and justice in the world.”
The San Francisco Chronicle has finally found a "hate crime" it can write about.
No, it isn't the hate crime of self-proclaimed terrorist, Omeed Aziz Popal, who drove his SUV into pedestrians throughout San Francisco, killing one, paralyzing another, and injuring many... no not that story. Why Omeed was just a poor, sick-in-the-head fellow, not an Islamist terrorist despite that he claimed to be to all who would listen to him.
I have looked at quite a few San Francisco Chronicle articles, and none of them have used the words "hate crime" in connection with the Aziz Popal story. (Here is a typical oneFamily cites history of mental problems, where the Chronicle never seems to get around to accusing hate crimes, but does feel sorry for the perpetrator)
Reaction against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’ remarks to the United Nations, in which he referred to President George W. Bush as "the devil," has been strong. Liberal Democrat Charlie Rangel forcefully argued that the attack on the President was an attack on all Americans, while House minority leader Nancy Pelosi denounced Chavez as "an everyday thug." It’s interesting, though not surprising, that Rosie O’Donnell and Joy Behar of ABC’s "The View," were not able to do the same.
Rather than criticize Chavez for his outrageous comments, Behar and O’Donnell did what they do best: blame President Bush:
Behar: "Well, don't you think Bush threw in the gauntlet when he called people the 'axis of evil'?...What else did they -- they called -- there was another name, I can’t think of it, that they–"
O’Donnell: "Well, he, he would, he, President Bush is very fond of calling people who have different opinions than he 'evildoers.'"
The New York Times and Washington Post are now attacking provisions of a defense appropriations bill that would ensure that military chaplains can pray in accordance with their own personal beliefs (i.e., pray in the name of Jesus). A Times editorial calls the bill “an attempt to license zealot chaplains to violate policies of religious tolerance.”
A Washington Post article goes a step farther – calling for calling for a “no prayer” policy at public events, according to an article in CNSNews.com, saying the “best resolution” (to its perceived problem) is to “discourage prayer…as inherently and unnecessarily divisive.”
A striking bit of journalistic malpractice seems to have affected
the mainstream media web sites this morning, as news site after news
site failed to provide their readers with the transcript of Iranian
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speech last night to the United Nations.
As of noon at ABC News, it is as if Ahmadinejad never spoke, as
their was no reference to his address in front of the United Nations on
their Web site’s front page, and is notably absent from the headlines
of their political section as well. I had to search Google News to find
this report on their site, which did not link to the transcript, nor provide Ahmadinejad's closing remarks.
Likewise, Ahmadinejad’s speech was not easily found on the CBS News
site, and when an article was found buried below the fold of their
International news section, their story, as well, did not provide a transcript nor a summation of his closing remarks.
The New York Times editorial board goes back to lecturing Pope Benedict today in an editorial titled "The Pope's Act of Contrition." They suggest that both Catholics and Muslims should move "forward in a conciliatory spirit" beyond the Pope's "ill-considered comments." It concluded huffily:
As his unfortunate comments show, the pope needs high-level experts on Islam to help guide him. In offering his regrets, the pope said that in its totality, his speech was intended as “an invitation to frank and sincere dialogue, with great mutual respect.” In living up to that, he and other top Vatican officials will have to accept that genuine communication cannot occur on their terms only.
Hilary White tracks how the Pope's scholarly lecture on Muslim-Christian relations was spun into a hate-filled tirade by manipulative media outlets. What is fact and what is media coverage are never the same, and White tracks the "meme," how the coverage of the Pope's remarks was slightly altered over time.
Media outlets expect the masses to be beholden to these manipulative techniques, and expect politicians to hyperventilate over the latest version of events.
The BBC started the flames by being the first to promote a bogus version of the event. Then later it reported that "Muslim anger grows at Pope speech."
The day after the speech, Wednesday the 13th, the Pope’s lecture elicited little response from apparently bored secular journalists who had little interest in what was considered his “obscure” and “academic” points on the relationship between religious belief and the secular world.
Catholic news sources who reported the day after the lecture were also quiet. “Pope spends quiet afternoon at home with brother,” was the leading headline at Catholic World Report.
When Newsweek likes a book, it can give it good play. Take former Republican Sen. John Danforth's brand-new book attacking the religious right, titled "Faith and Politics: How the 'Moral Values' Debate Divides America and How to Move Forward Together." Newsweek plugged it in the magazine's print edition (with the headline "'St. Jack' Examines His Conscience -- And His Party"); published an excerpt on its website; and even conducted a Live Talk with readers to give him more exposure. But newly minted Newsweek editor Jon Meacham went beyond that. He's the top celebrity plugging the book on the back cover.
MRC president and NB publisher Brent Bozell will be a guest on the MSNBC show "Scarborough Country" Tuesday night at 9:00pm Eastern (re-airing at 4am Eastern Wednesday morning). We're told he'll be on during the first segment of the show to discuss the media's coverage of Pope Benedict's remarks about Islam and the Muslim world's reaction to them.
Post your reactions to the show on this page.
The MRC's Comcast cable service went out just as the segment began and didn't come back until five minutes into the session, but in time to catch a heated exchange amongst Joe Scarborough, Brent Bozell and Joan Walsh, the editor of Salon.com. Video is of that.
There are moments where it becomes painfully apparent that the media elites think that the only thing redeeming about Western culture is its ability to regret its existence. Their dream president is a lip-biting man from Arkansas, traveling the globe apologizing for every historic fault, real or imagined, America has ever committed.
This was exactly their mentality with Pope Benedict XVI over his remarks at the University of Regensburg. One wonders if any of his critics had bothered to read his address, the theme of which was the inseparability of faith and reason. He quoted a Byzantine emperor – who argued that God could never countenance the coercive violence of radical Islam, and therefore a radical Islam invoking God is irrational. Lost on the outraged was the other argument posed by Benedict: A religion that embraces reason but not faith is also bankrupt. That message was directed at radical Catholics. His call was for a serious and urgent "genuine dialogue of cultures and religions" based on faith and reason.
New "The View" co-host Rosie O'Donnell recently sparked controversy by saying that "radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam." Her behavior has been so offensive, reports the National Ledger, that she frequently brings conservative co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck to tears on the set.
The transition from Star Jones to Rosie O'Donnell hasn't been easy at "The View," especially not for Elisabeth Hasselbeck.
"She is crying every day," an insider tells us. "No one can control Rosie, and Elisabeth can't contain her feelings. She gets so upset all the time."
Breaking in a parallel universe somewhere: NBC is set to air live footage of actor Jean Reno portraying the Islamic prophet Mohammed engaging in sex acts with another man.
In our real world, according to Matt Drudge, the network is going to be airing a "special" concert featuring over-the-hill singer Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone (aka Madonna) singing her song "Live to Tell" while standing on a disco-style crucifix and sporting a glittery pretend crown of thorns. It's a repeat of shows she's done in Europe.
Frankly, I have to yawn at this point. There's nothing new here. If these Hollywood types had any real guts or edge, they'd do PR stunts in the style of Trey Parker and Matt Stone's "Team America." But since they and Ciccone are pseudo artists, that's not likely to happen.
Note to the professionally offended: I am not advocating ridiculing any particular religion here. Just saying what Ciccone et al. would do if they ever thought about living up their supposed ideals.
"Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" premiered on NBC tonight, and it looks like more of the same old, same old. Judd Hirsch's character, in charge of the Saturday Night Live-like show flew into a snit when the network standards and practices exec forced him to pull a skit called "Crazy Christians".
Several network stories have framed the violent reaction of some Muslims to Pope Benedict's quotation last week of how 14th century Byzantine Emperor Manuel Paleologos II said, “Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached,” not around demands that Muslim leaders denounce the uncivilized reaction, but around how the Pope had “provoked” the violence, “damaged” relations with Muslims and should have realized what his words would cause.
Brian Williams teased Monday's NBC Nightly News: "The Pope says he's sorry, but is his apology enough? Tonight, there's fresh outrage and new threats over his words about Islam." Reporter Richard Engel soon held the Pope accountable: “This Pope is seen as something of a hardliner who wants Europe to understand its Christian roots, to embrace them first...” Over on the CBS Evening News, Mark Phillips insisted that “an angry reaction among Muslim extremists might have been anticipated, but even moderates...say the Pope's words make their job much harder.” ABC anchor Charles Gibson contended: “Perhaps the surprise was that the Vatican was surprised that Muslims took offense.” David Wright's conclusion suggested both religions are equally responsible, when only one is committing violence: “Two of the world's great religions, a crucial test: Can they speak frankly without causing an uproar?” On Sunday night, anchor Dan Harris led with how “some Muslims say the Pope's apology doesn't go far enough.” ABC featured Professor Fawaz Gerges, who declared: “I think even though the Pope apologized today, I think it's gonna take years for the damage done to Christian-Muslim relations to be repaired.” (Transcripts follow)
Blame it on talk radio. That is what Washington Post reporter Michelle Boorstein accepts as the reason for an increase in the harassment of Muslims in the U.S. It has nothing to do with terrorist attacks or threats of violence against those like the Pope who dare question any aspect of Islam.
In a media ranking of all those who are capable of committing a sin, talk radio hosts are near the top, while Muslims are close to the bottom, between baby lambs and blind orphans.
Complaints of anti-Muslim harassment, violence and discriminatory treatment registered with a national Muslim civil rights group jumped 30 percent in 2005 from the previous year, the group said today in releasing its annual report .
The 1,972 complaints made to the Council on American-Islamic Relations are the most the group has received since it began the annual reports following anti-Muslim incidents after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. The group said it actually received 2,300 reports but deemed some of them illegitimate.
On Monday’s "Good Morning America," anchor Diane Sawyer spoke with "Newsweek" managing editor Jon Meacham about the controversy over a centuries-old quote employed by Pope Benedict XVI in a speech on faith and reason.
Protests, violence and threats against the Vatican and representatives of the Catholic Church have erupted since the Pope’s speech, where he used a quote from a Byzantine emperor, Manuel II. The Pope has since clarified his remarks, saying that it is not his own view that the prophet Muhammad’s contribution to the world has been “things only evil and inhuman.”
Sawyer found the use the quote “baffling,” and wondered if the Pope’s decision to insert it into his speech was “an attempt at provocation” with Muslims. Meacham, for his part, found the Pope’s speech to be a “heavy-handed” and “clumsy” attempt at starting a dialogue with the Islamic community. Meacham then brought up Pope Benedict’s reputation among some as “God’s Rottweiler” as head of the Vatican office charged with enforcing of Catholic doctrine during the papacy of John Paul. (ABCNews.com carried a story with the headline "'God's Rottweiler's' First Crisis.")
You wouldn't think that someone who wrote a book condemning all religions as dangerous hokum and who favors higher taxes, drug decriminalization and gay marriage would be in danger of becoming the right's favorite liberal. But in the wake of his LA Times column of today, Head-in-the-Sand Liberals, Sam Harris might be on the way to being celebrated by conservatives and castigated on the left.
The column's subtitle really tells the story: "Western civilization really is at risk from Muslim extremists," and Harris' essential point in that liberals refuse to recognize that fact.