Last week, the Culture & Media Institute published a study of The Washington Post's coverage of the legalization of same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia. CMI found overwhelming bias in the Post's reporting during the seven days after gay couples could begin applying for marriage licenses. The celebratory tone of many of the articles was enough to merit charges of bias, but CMI had numbers to back them up.
During an online Q & A on March 15, CMI got the opportunity to ask Post Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli about the biased reporting. Here, in full, are the question and the answer:
Alexandria, VA: In the week after gay marriage was legal, the Post devoted 543 column inches to gay issues. Those stories quoted gay marriage advocates 67 times compared to opponents just 6 times. How can you defend how the Post has handled this story, especially since for all your push for home rule, this decision never even went to the voters who likely would have rejected it.
Marcus Brauchli: The polls don't necessarily support your view that gay marriage would have been rejected by voters (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/06/AR2010020602300.html). But, in any case, the issue of gay marriage crosses a lot of important terrain--civil liberties, religion, local economics, national politics and, yes, home rule. I don't know how you're counting quotes. We quoted many people who were able to marry because of the legal change; it's hard to see how you'd cover a change of this magnitude without talking to the people most affected by the change. I can assure you, though, that we were just as intent on reflecting the views of those who opposed the ideas as we were those who favored it."
Hmmm ... Here's a quick summary of CMI's analysis:
When Glenn Beck told listeners of his radio show on March 2 that they should "run as fast as you can" from any church that preached "social or economic justice" because those were code words for Communism and Nazism, he probably thought he was tweaking a few crunchy religious liberals who didn't listen to the show anyway. Instead he managed to outrage Christians in most mainline Protestant denominations, African-American congregations, Hispanic churches, and Catholics--who first heard the term "social justice" in papal encyclicals and have a little something in their tradition called "Catholic social teaching. (Not to mention the teaching of a certain fellow from Nazareth who was always blathering on about justice...)
So to whom did Sullivan turn for complaints about Beck's characterization? Some theologically conservative Catholic theologian? A conservative Protestant theologian like Baptist seminary president Al Mohler or Presbyterian theologian R.C. Sproul?
Nope. She highlighted two stalwarts of social gospel-oriented liberal Christianity:
With the help of the MRC's talented Bob Parks, the Culture and Media Institute produced a video based on its report, "Sex, Violence and Hate: the Top 10 Most Disgusting Attacks on Conservative Women."
From Playboy magazine's "hate f---" list to comparing Sarah Palin to a case of "herpes," the media took every opportunity to tear down conservative women, not based on what they had to say or the values they promoted, but by commenting on their looks and perceived sexual behavior in incredibly misogynic ways.
Be sure to visit the MRC's video sharing Web site, Eyeblast, for more examples of liberal bias.
On ABC last Wednesday, both World News and Nightline featured a report filed by correspondent Dan Harris in which he linked the activities of some American evangelical Christian pastors with anti-gay hatred and attempts by Uganda’s parliament at passing death penalty legislation to punish homosexuals in the African nation. Each of the reports focused on the extreme views of American pastor Scott Lively and Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa, without including the views of more mainstream American evangelical leaders.
On World News, anchor Diane Sawyer teased: "Gay terror: Have some American evangelical ministers helped threaten the lives of homosexuals in Africa?" She later plugged the report again: "And still ahead on World News, a death threat for gays. It happened after American evangelicals delivered a potent message."
In the version of the report that ran on Nightline, Harris made a point of mentioning Pastor Rick Warren as being a "one-time friend" of Pastor Ssempa. And, though Harris’s reference to Pastor Warren as a "one-time friend" perhaps implies a falling out between the two men, the ABC correspondent could have more directly informed viewers that Pastor Warren released a statement last October declaring that he had not associated with Pastor Ssempa since 2007.
Furthermore, last December, Pastor Warren released a video message for Christians in Uganda in which he attacked the proposed anti-gay law as legislation "I completely oppose and I vigorously condemn," as he went on to declare, "The potential law before your parliament is unjust, it’s extreme, and it’s un-Christian toward homosexuals, requiring death penalty even in some cases."
NBC’s "Law & Order" programs are long-established and all over the schedule. But the sex-obsessed vice cops of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" are a breed apart. They exist to be socially provocative, which is to say, to rattle, to disturb. Viewers at home probably weren’t ready for the plot that aired on NBC on March 3. These script writers are so revolting that they become almost comical.
As you read what follows, you decided how closely this mirrors anything resembling the world of reality.
Someone was strangling prostitutes to death and leaving prayer cards behind. The first suspect was a perverted man whose wife proclaimed he had converted to Christianity and overcome his sinful ways. The cops quickly discovered the man dismissed his wife as a "prude" and he was cheating on her with a variety of young girls, because "it’s not a crime to want a little variety" in his sex life, including "toys, role play, and threesomes." Despite his ardor for sexual gunplay as well, this so-called Christian was not the strangler.
Conservative authors rarely get interviewed on National Public Radio. (For example, there was no air time for Mark Levin's best-seller Liberty and Tyranny.) When they do, it can be like Bill O'Reilly's sour and hostile experience with Fresh Air interviewer Terry Gross. On Monday, Gross provided a much kinder 35-minute forum for someone apparently more respectable and noteworthy than conservative writers:
Melissa Febos' new memoir, Whip Smart, details the four years she spent working as a dominatrix. Febos enacted fantasy sequences, spanked grown men and verbally humiliated them for $75 an hour in a dungeon located somewhere in midtown Manhattan.
Febos, who writes that she got started in sex work to pay for a drug habit, tells Terry Gross that working in a dungeon felt like "being in a womb."
"Sponsors of those [sic] Stars on Ice figure skating tour apparently think that Olympian Johnny Weir is too flamboyant for their show. Weir reportedly prohibited from participating because he is not, quote, 'family friendly,'" MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan complained shortly before 5 p.m. on his MSNBC program today, citing a report by a blog published by GLAAD [the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation].
Ratigan griped that despite Weir's athletic credentials and well-known support of his family -- he's financing his brother's college education and supporting his father, who is unable to work due to a disability -- that the sponsors of the show, including Smucker's, "apparently... don't view supporting your family as family-friendly."
Ratigan then noted an online petition circulating to include Weir in the tour, but failed to include any reply from Stars on Ice, although just a few minutes before Ratigan went on the air, at least one news source had noted that Stars on Ice denied GLAAD's allegation.
Gay/lesbian publication MetroWeekly.com's Chris Geidner published the following to the Web at 4:38 p.m. EST, about 13 minutes before Ratigan went on air to further GLAAD's complaint on air (emphases mine):
CNN went into full tilt in promoting its upcoming pro-gender "reassignment" documentary "Her Name Was Steven" with Anderson Cooper's interview of Chastity "Chaz" Bono, the daughter of Sonny Bono and Cher, on his AC360 program on Thursday. Cooper very sympathetically interviewed Bono, and threw softball questions, even going so far as to ask, "How do you like shaving?"
The anchor heralded the "extraordinary transformation" of his guest at the top of the 10 pm Eastern hour, and noted that "in a rare interview, he [Bono] talks about life as a man and the journey he's still undergoing." Prior to the first segment of the interview at the bottom of the hour, Cooper aired a report from CNN's Gary Tuchman on "how Chastity became Chaz." The correspondent confused the English language to the point of referring to Bono with a male possessive pronoun at the beginning of a sentence, and then referring Bono as "she" within the same breath.
A Mississippi high school cancelled its prom due to the controversy surrounding Constance McMillen, a lesbian student, who wanted to bring her younger girlfriend to the prom. On March 12, CBS’s “The Early Show” featured McMillen and her lawyer. The sympathetic segment didn’t include anyone from the high school.
CBS’ Mark Strassmann stated, “Proms and high school go together like boyfriends and girlfriends, at least in Fulton, Mississippi. But now charges of discrimination and violation of a teenager's rights have scrapped the big night.”
Ran 11 articles related to D.C.'s new law allowing same-sex marriage.
Devoted 543 inches of column space to the ruling - equal to nearly four full pages.
Printed 14 photos of gay celebrations, including a prominent one of two men kissing.
Quoted supporters 11 times more often than opponents - 67 to 6.
Repeatedly compared gay marriage to the historic civil rights movement.
Nobody can accuse The Washington Post of being objective when it came to covering the District of Columbia's decision to legalize same-sex marriage. The Post has reported on the event with a celebratory zeal more appropriate to The Advocate or The Blade.
Appearing as a guest on Thursday’s Joy Behar Show on CNN Headline News, filmmaker Michael Moore continued his recent attacks on Democrats for not delivering more effectively on a left-wing agenda, called out gay Republicans for "hypocrisy," and seemed to suggest that President Bush fooled many Americans because "we have created a society of ignorant and illiterate people."
Host Behar started the interview by asking Moore his views on former Democratic Congressman Eric Massa, who recently resigned amid charges that he sexually harassed male aides. Moore used the opportunity to bash gay Republicans as he praised the film Outrage which seeks to expose Republicans rumored to be gay. Moore:
CNN is set to air a documentary titled "Her Name Was Steven" on March 13 and 14, which sympathetically follows the "gender reassignment" process of former Largo, Florida city manager Steven Stanton. The network has boldly advertised the documentary as being about "one person's struggle to live an authentic life."
“Hey, hey you. Wanna see my s---?” And that’s how the latest Calvin Klein commercial begins. Of course, it really should come as no surprise that the commercial features underwear-clad models asking “if you wanna see it” since the company is known for its raunchy, and even pornographic, ads.
The ad featured a series of young men wearing only cK X underwear offering to reveal more. Huffington Post described the ad saying, “The four gents tug at their tighty-whiteys' waistbands while spitting out expletive-ridden phrases in the typical oh-so-shocking cK fashion.”
Although the commercial was just 49 seconds long, the male models used 14 expletives that Calvin Klein “censored” out with a beep. Even though a model stated, “It’s all about the f------ Calvins” it’s difficult to think it’s really not all about the sexual references. (Warning: Mild Content in Video)
NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" has consistency working in its favor: the biggest "victims" are its depictions of conservatives and Christians.
Part of "SVU's" appeal is its ripped-from-the-headlines storylines, but the program's writers frequently use these storylines to promote liberal agendas and to bash Christians.
Three different episodes have aired since February 10 and all promoted a liberal agenda. In the past month, audiences saw Christians portrayed as kinky sex addicts and murderers, heard propaganda that supports the idea of special punishment for hate crimes based on sexual orientation, and heard the detectives on the show refer to the abortion debate as "pro-choice or no choice."
It seems like every year a new study on the consequences of living together before marriage negates everything that had been said about it the year before. Cohabitation increases divorce - no, wait! It makes your marriage last longer - no! It only lasts longer if you were engaged before you cohabited ... It's a never-ending argument that keeps the presses happily rolling along.
On March 9, CBS' the Early Show joined the fray by inviting Hannah Silegson, author of "A Little Bit Married," to cite yet another "new study" that claims "if you only live with one person before you get married, you'll have a no higher chance of getting divorced."
CBS' Harry Smith introduced Silegson's book as a "cautionary tale," saying that "playing house" could be a "losing game," but the criticism of cohabitating ends there. Silegson and three other pro-cohabiting panelists discussed living together as "the new romantic right of passage."
"You want to try before you buy," Silegson told Smith.
If anyone was looking for a self-righteous extreme feminist, they found one in Angie Jackson. This is a woman who was so proud she was aborting her baby that she announced she would "tweet" her chemical-cocktail abortion live, as it happened, on Twitter. The liberal media found this made-for-TV slaughter fascinating, and not at all a controversy worthy of discussing with two sides.
Newsweek’s Sarah Kliff proclaimed: "One hundred thousand people have watched Angie Jackson's abortion. Late last month, Jackson posted a video of herself to YouTube, recorded after she took RU-486, a medication used to end pregnancies." Kliff asked only "why shame remains" about the act of killing one’s baby. Jackson was honored for her courage in "demystifying" and "destigmatizing" the procedure: "We need 10,000 more of her," proclaimed Peg Johnston, chair of something called the Abortion Care Network. This desire for 10,000 more unashamed abortions is what "pro-choice" is all about.
Overall, this was just another classic tale from the "news" magazine that lamented 20 years ago that "Sadly, many home [abortion] remedies could damage a fetus instead of kill it." What about the pro-life side?
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) has caused students across the Old Dominion to "rise up for gay rights,"* reporters Daniel de Vise and Rosalind Helderman insisted on the March 9 Metro section front page of the Washington Post.
Helderman and de Vise failed to consider the liberal leanings of the protesters, tagging the demonstrators in the lead paragraph as mere "campus activists" who are steamed over the state AG's "letter advising public universities to retreat from their policies against discrimination on the basis of sexual orienation." A few paragraphs later, Helderman and de Vise suggested that an "erosion in gay rights at state universities" would have detrimental effects on attracting and retaining students and faculty.
The problem is, Cuccinelli's legal opinion does not mandate a "retreat" from discrimination, he just noted that under Virginia law, any change in non-discrimination policy wording must be authorized by legislation.
CNN's Kate Bolduan aired a slanted report on Catholic Charities of Washington's decision to no longer offer benefits to spouses of new employees on Saturday's Newsroom, playing four sound bites from proponents of same-sex "marriage" and none from opponents. Bolduan also omitted the liberal affiliation of one of the homosexual "marriage" advocates.
During the report, which first aired 11 minutes into the 10 pm Eastern hour (and reran during the 1 pm Eastern hour on Monday), the correspondent noted how homosexual couples could get their civil marriage licenses in DC starting on Tuesday, and that there was "controversial fallout" from the move: "Catholic Charities, the social services arm of the Archdiocese of Washington, just announced it will no longer offer health benefits to spouses of any new employees or current employees who aren't already covered under its plan. As a result, the nonprofit is effectively avoiding having to give benefits to same-sex partners, keeping with the Church's opposition to same-sex marriage."
March 7 marked Barbara Walter’s final Oscar Special, where Oscar nominees are typically interviewed about their particular roles. But last night’s special took an unusual turn when actress Mo’Nique endorsed and spoke about her open marriage, leaving many wishing for Less’Nique.
Nominated for best supporting actress for her role in “Precious,” Mo’Nique is currently married to Sidney Hicks, her third husband. The couple have twin boys and live in Atlanta, along with Mo’Nique’s child from a previous marriage. But although their marriage may appear normal, it is far from it.
Walters questioned a previous statement by Mo’Nique and asked if, “cheating is when you lie and are deceitful, not when you have sex outside of the marriage?” Monique responded with a “yes.”
Having closely examined this week's slanted coverage by the Washington Post of the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington's decision to end spousal health care benefits, GetReligion.org's Mollie Z. Hemingway zeroed in on the heart of the media bias present in today's piece, "Catholic Charities' health-plan change called 'devastating'"*, which begins with a former Catholic Charities officer lamenting the organization's decision to not grant health insurance to spouses of future employees in order to avoid having to cover same-sex couples married in the District of Columbia:
The narrative on this story could be framed as one where the Catholic Church is doing everything in its power to be able to continue serving the poor here in DC against an oppressive government crackdown on religious freedom — even changing its benefits structure so that it won’t be in violation of church teaching. Instead, it’s basically framed as a choice that the Archbishop decided to make so as to mess with gays. The power to frame a story is huge and largely unseen by readers.
Brian D. McLaren, a leading figure of the “emerging church” movement appears to have homosexuality all figured out in the religious sphere: traditional, conservatives – especially Evangelicals – are wrong. In a March 4 “On Faith” column, “The Church and the Sex Question,” the far-left former pastor explained how to become in favor of gay rights.
In order to support homosexuality, according to McLaren, “someone close to them – someone they already know, love, and respect – comes out to them. The issues then goes from being theoretical to personal, and it engages their emotional and social intelligence, which then gives their rational or analytic intelligence additional data to work with.”
The Post’s “On Faith” blog/column has been home to liberal views of religion for some time. In 2008, David Waters, then editor of the “On Faith” blog, proposed in his Dec. 3 entry that the phrase “under God” be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance.
March is Women's History Month, in which we acknowledge the accomplishments and contributions of women in history and in society today.
But for a select group of women - conservative women - their accomplishments and contributions are rarely celebrated but often demeaned and mocked in sexist - and crassly sexual - ways.
The Culture & Media Insitute looked back at what the media had to say over the past year about some of today's most prominent conservative women, including Michelle Malkin, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Sarah Palin and Liz Cheney, and compiled a list of the 10 worst attacks on these women who dare to speak out in favor of conservative values.
Much of the criticism was the worst sort of misogyny with a dose of violence and disgusting adolescent sex references thrown in for good measure. The media outlets in question ranged from Playboy magazine to MSNBC to Sirius XM radio and included comments from both men and women.
The message that rang through loud and clear was that perspectives from conservative women were not appreciated or welcomed, and if a woman stepped out of line, she deserved whatever treatment she received.
I've been leery of Luke Russert ever since the NBC reporter said, during the presidential campaign, that students at the U. of Virginia are "leaning a little bit towards Obama" because "the smartest kids in the state go there."
On this evening's Ed Show, the son of the late MTP moderator gave additional reason to think that he leans "a little bit towards Obama" himself. Speaking of the Dem congressman currently under ethics investigation in connection with an allegation that he sexually harassed a male staffer, Russert said that Eric Massa would change his vote and support ObamaCare "if he really was sincerely caring about health care."
For good measure, Schultz vouched for Massa's character, based largely on the liberal congressman's opposition to . . . Dick Cheney.
Liberals who simply cannot understand why Sarah Palin is so popular often attribute her success to her looks. The excuse conveniently allows them to sidestep any discussion of the issues she raises, and allows them to maintain a feeling of intellectual superiority to Palin and her supporters.
Fox News contributor Juan Williams, also a reporter for NPR and the Washington Post, was at a complete loss when Sean Hannity told him last night that he would rather Palin be president than Barack Obama. "Your libido is getting in the way of your thinking," Williams told Hannity.
Hannity and another guest, S.E. Cupp, noted the utter sexism in Williams' remarks. But don't expect to see a press release from the National Organization for Women or any other feminist group. Palin doesn't serve the liberal agenda, so she's fair game for claims that she'd be nowhere without her looks.
Williams thinks his comments are complimentary -- could he really believe it is a compliment to say a woman would not be successful if she weren't a "centerfold"? (Video and transcript below the fold.)
Throughout Rep. Michele Bachmann's, R-Minn., two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, she has been target of liberal scorn - from the great mind of MSNBC's Ed Schultz to the bomb-throwing commentator parading as a pseudo-investigative journalist known as Matt Taibbi. But this latest round of Michele Bachmann derangement syndrome actually required time and effort - a comic book dedicated to denigrating the representative from Minnesota's 6th Congressional district.
On Tuesday night, the PBS Newshour discussed the debate over gays in the military, but that didn’t mean there was a debate on the show. Instead, PBS booked three gay-promoting liberal academics and pollster Andrew Kohut to talk about "American attitudes evolving." The liberal hope and dream of suppressing religious speech against homosexuality was blatantly expressed by Georgetown history professor Michael Kazin:
KAZIN: You know, one of the things that -- when laws change, that helps to change consciousness. When the civil rights law was passed, when the Voting Rights Act was passed in the 1960s, then people's attitudes began to change.
Even if they didn't necessarily -- white people didn't like African-Americans any more, but they felt that, well, it wasn't OK anymore to voice their dislike of African-Americans. Racism began to be something that was marginal, that you had to talk about in private. And that I think could begin to happen also with views about gay rights...
Roman Polanski, the once-fugitive movie director that raped a 13-year-old American girl in 1977 and then fled to France, has won an award while still under house arrest in his luxury Swiss Chalet. Last week, Polanski received the Silver Bear award as best director at the Berlin International film for "The Ghost Writer." His producer Alain Sarde accepted, because, as Polanski said, "The last time I traveled to accept an award I landed in jail."
The award was met with a chorus of approval from Polanski's apologists, including Bernard-Henri Levy, a French writer and philosopher.Writing in a Feb. 21 Huffington Post article "Salut, Roman Polanski," Levy celebrated the smack at justice.
Levy argued that the award proves two things. First, that there are still "men and women of honor," such as the jury of the Berlin Festival, who refuse to "be intimidated by the mob." And second, that Roman Polanski deserves to be applauded for refusing to be "cornered and defeated" by the "pack that snaps at [his] heels." Polanski, Levy wrote, is "indestructible," "courageous" and has a "spirit of resistance" - and to those "bastards" that tried to bring him down, Polanski has now proven to them that "the artist, not the mob, always has the last word."
Pop singer Elton John is blaming Parade magazine for his remark in Sunday's edition that Jesus Christ was a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man.
"Parade magazine did a kind of a sneaky thing and put it on their website that I said this," John told Chicago's WGN-TV.
According to John, he made the comment "as part of the conversation during the interview," but he apparently didn't think this was going to be included in the article.
"I don't really want to cause a controversy, and I didn't know it was going to be a sidebar to an article that was a great article, and I think Parade have been a bit sneaky about that" (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t HotAirPundit):