Just how little is the sanctity of marriage and fidelity revered by the mainstream media?
Consider the following astounding statement made today by "CNN Saturday Morning News" host T. J. Holmes:
Unfortunately, you know, people have to stop cheating in this recession. But given the recession, people are being forced to improvise a little bit more as they're looking for a little variety out there in their lives.
Unfortunately? Mightn't a decline in adultery be a hidden benefit during this economic downtown?
Apparently not (video embedded below the fold with full transcript):
Everyone who enjoys NFL football games knows they’re going to be sitting through an avalanche of those awkward ads for erectile-dysfunction drugs, and ads soaked in sex and violence selling new movies or prime-time TV shows. Despite this barrage, the NFL has managed to show some standards, believe it or not.
They refused a Super Bowl commercial from the website AshleyMadison.com because of its unusual product, a dating service for married people who want to commit adultery – or as they strangely describe it, they enable "married dating." Their slogan is "Life’s short. Have an affair."
But this Home Wreckers Incorporated found a way around the NFL, such as airing local ads during the Super Bowl on NBC-affiliated KPRC in Houston. CEO Noel Biderman boasted in a press release that he ran his new female-targeted commercial because "In Texas, men love their football and women love to cheat!" He also claimed Texas is his company’s fastest growing market with over 200,000 members signed up in the last two years.
"Disparate Gay Bloggers Create a Virtual Village of Many Voices," the headline on the jump page noted:
On the Internet, no group -- however controversial or on the fringe -- is invisible. Everyone is but a Google search away. And the sheer diversity of blogs written by gays, lesbians and transgenders proves that, like all minority groups, the gay community is not monolithic. Though they may blog about the same topic -- say, Prop. 8 -- it doesn't mean they'll arrive at the same conclusion.
Yet nowhere in his 20-paragraph profile does Vargas look into the generally conservative bloggers who maintain GayPatriot.net, a site that describes itself as "the Internet home for the American gay conservative." Indeed, Vargas spent the lion's share of his article focused on Pam Spaulding, a liberal black lesbian blogger from North Carolina. Vargas sums up Spaulding's insights on Prop 8: "religious anti-gay whites" are equally responsible for the passage of the ballot referendum as socially conservative African-American voters.
Wow. Truly insightful.
By contrast, GayPatriot bloggers also opposed Proposition 8 yet take liberal gay activists to task for their shrill invective against proponents of the ballot initiative. Here's one such excerpt from a February 8 post by Daniel Blatt, who blogs as "GayPatriotWest" entitled, "Will Gay Groups Criticize Mean-Spirited Tactics of Angry Prop 8 Opponents?":
On Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith played a clip of himself talking to left-wing actor Sean Penn following the Oscars Sunday night: "In a night full of first-time winners, Sean Penn took home his second Oscar as best actor for his emotional performance as slain gay civil rights activist Harvey Milk in Milk. I caught up with him and other big winners at the Governor's Ball." During the interview, Smith admitted to Penn: "As I sat watching the film, seems to happen to me more rare these days, but I wept openly during several scenes in the film because it really is a film about a civil rights movement." On December 10, Smith interviewed Penn’s Milk co-star, James Franco, and called the film "a must-see."
Earlier in the broadcast, a clip was played of Penn describing his feeling’s about the Oscar win during a press conference after the award show: "That means a lot to myself and to everybody involved, not only in the movie, but to anybody who believes in equal rights for other human beings." However, no clip was played of Penn’s actual acceptance speech, in which he declared: "I think it is a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect, and anticipate their great shame and the shame in their grandchildren’s eyes if they continue that way of support. We’ve got to have equal rights for everyone."
When Dustin Lance Black won the Original Screenplay Oscar for Milk on Sunday night, he honored what he called the "life-saving" story of Harvey Milk and pledged like a politician that gay marriage was just around the corner:
When I was 13 years old, my beautiful mother and father move me from a conservative Mormon home in San Antonio, Texas to California, and I heard the story of Harvey Milk, and it gave me hope. It gave me hope to live my life. It gave he hope that one day I could live openly as who I am, and maybe even that I would fall in love and one day get married. (Applause)
I wanna thank my mom, who has always loved me for who I am, even when there was pressure not to. But most of all, if Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he’s want me to say to all the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have have told they are "less than" by their churches, by the government, or by their families, that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value, and that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you, and that I promise you, very soon you will have equal rights federally across this great nation of ours. (Applause)
The top of Friday’s Metro section of The Washington Post touted the drag queen who became Homecoming Queen at George Mason University. The enthusiastic headline was "Work That Tiara, Boy!" Inside the Metro section, the headline was "Not Everyone Is Celebrating Glittering Moment of Inclusiveness."
The front page subhead noted the election sparked a "campus divide," but Annie Gowen’s story wasn’t really interested in the critics of Ryan Allen (drag queen name: Reann Ballslee). She began: "Spend time with George Mason University senior Ryan Allen and it's clear why he's a Big Man on Campus. He wears size 12 pumps."
Gowen and her Post editors see this issue as a happy tale of more respect for diversity and minorities:
Many see it as an expression of inclusiveness at a place where about one-third of the 30,000 students are minority. But others say it is an embarrassment at an inopportune time when Mason is trying to revamp its image from commuter school to distinguished institution of higher learning.
On Tuesday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann seized on a portion of Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol’s Monday interview from FNC’s On the Record with Greta van Susteren to portray the 18-year-old as having expressed a pro-choice view on abortion, even though Bristol Palin did not clearly state her general view on the legality of abortion. During one of the show’s before-commercial plugs, Olbermann trumpeted: "While head-in-the-sand social conservatives are pushing fairy tales [abstinence] over sound policy, life happens. As for a woman`s right to choose, it is implicitly accepted in Bristol Palin`s comments, despite her mother`s anti-choice position."
Before interviewing Laura Flanders of GritTV.org, Olbermann introduced the segment: "There is a whistle blower in the house of hypocrisy that is Governor Sarah Palin: her daughter, Bristol. In our third story on the Countdown, she is now speaking out about being a teenaged mother, and she says that abstinence is not "realistic" (PRONOUNCED WITH EMPHASIS), and that having her baby was her own "choice" (PRONOUNCED WITH EMPHASIS), and that her mother`s view on that, quote, "doesn`t matter" (PRONOUNCED WITH EMPHASIS). At one point, as he posed a question to Flanders, Olbermann referred to "Bristol Palin using that one word, 'choice,' such a, in that word such a profound repudiation of the social engineers on the right."
But in playing clips from the interview, the Countdown host edited out some of Bristol Palin's words which may suggest an alternative meaning to Olbermann’s interpretation.
Bristol Palin's comments about abstinence sparked a lively discussion about sex education on the Feb. 17 broadcast of ABC's "The View" in which Whoopi Goldberg insisted she would be okay if Bozo the Clown gave teens the information they needed about sex.
Palin, a new teenaged mom and daughter of Alaska governor Sarah Palin, stated during her Feb. 16 interview with Fox's Greta van Susteren that sexual abstinence "is not realistic at all."
Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Sherri Shepherd defended abstinence as a very good thing to teach teenagers. Hasselbeck stated she didn't "think there's anything wrong with teaching an ideal to your child. It is ideal to be really nice to somebody, it is ideal to not drive drunk, it is ideal to wear your seat belt, it is ideal to not have sex until you're in a committed relationship. Why not?"
Pope Rebukes Pelosi, Tells Her Catholic Legislators Obligated to Protect Life
The Vatican Press Office released a note this morning detailing part of the conversation which Pope Benedict XVI had with Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Vatican insiders inform LifeSiteNews.com that such releases are always phrased in diplomatic language and thus the correction of the Speaker who fancies herself a faithful Catholic despite her abortion advocacy can be taken as a rebuke.
The text of the note reads: "His Holiness took the opportunity to speak of the requirements of the natural moral law and the Church's consistent teaching on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death which enjoin all Catholics, and especially legislators, jurists and those responsible for the common good of society, to work in cooperation with all men and women of good will in creating a just system of laws capable of protecting human life at all stages of its development."
Those interested in learning how the press will minimize the Pope's rebuke have an early example to peruse at Agence France-Presse (AFP). It contains the expected watering-down of the rebuke, and more (AFP link is dynamic; its report as it appeared when this post was drafted is here):
Nearing the ten year anniversary of the controversial “child-porn” underwear advertisements, Calvin Klein has launched another raunchy ad campaign for the spring 2009 collection, featuring an orgy of young men and women.
For the latest ad campaign, Calvin Klein hired Steven Meisel, famous for the photography in Madonna’s pornographic “Sex” book in the early 90s. The ads, which can be seen in women’s fashion magazines such as Lucky and Cosmopolitan and soon to be on billboards, are composed of photographs of three to five twenty-somethings sprawled out half naked on each other in various sexual positions. Viewers can see the multimedia version of the ads in an online video considered too explicit to air in the United States.
Calvin Klein has propagated controversial ads in recent history, the most unforgettable being a 1999 advertisement that conjured up images of child pornography. Due to public outcry, the offending ads, which displayed young models showing their underwear and included creepily suggestive dialogue, were removed from the campaign within 24 hours.
In a bizarre leap of logic, CNN's John Roberts proposed same-sex marriage as "perhaps another path [that] needs to be taken" in response to high divorce rates.
Roberts' comment during the Feb. 16 "American Morning." followed a segment in which entertainment correspondent Lola Ogunnaike promoted daytime television's first lesbian wedding, which is scheduled to air this week on ABC's "All My Children."
Roberts framed the segment as taking "a look at the groundbreaking nuptials and the controversy surrounding them." But Ogunnaike only included one critical comment in the nearly three-minute story about "All My Children's" latest wedding. Glenn Stanton of the conservative Focus on the Family told CNN, "I think it's really important to understand that there are a lot of things that people really don't want to see and don't want coming into their home, and lesbian weddings are certainly one of them."
Daniel Bergner isn’t the devil’s advocate, but he is a pervert’s apologist. This author and contributor to the New York Times Magazine has a new book titled "The Other Side of Desire" which argues it is unfair to judge bizarre, harmful, and disgusting sexual attractions as bizarre, harmful, and disgusting.
Bergner’s book focuses on four real-life fetishists: a husband with a secret foot fetish, a man with an attraction to amputees, a vicious female sadist, and a man who longs for sex with his 12-year-old stepdaughter. Book reviews and interviews suggest he hasn’t written a book to judge the fetishists, but rather to judge the society that would rush to condemn their drives and behaviors.
Bergner tries to define deviancy down by quoting one of his experts, a New York psychiatrist who quips, "perversion can be defined as the sex that you like and I don't."
It's no secret that women's magazines promote liberal agendas but "Glamour" magazine's March issue features a blatant abortion propaganda piece.
Billed as "The Serious Health Discussion Women Aren't Talking About," the article attempted to go beyond the political aspect of the abortion debate and delve into the personal side of the issue. The sub-head stated, "Whether you're pro-life or pro-choice, now is the time for more openness and understanding."
Author Liz Welch wrote, "Every woman who faces that abortion decision deserves a friend's arms around her - as well as factual, unbiased information about what lies ahead. Let the plainspoken stories and advice on these pages open the dialogue."
The stories and advice are clear: abortion is an a-ok option.
In celebration of the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez did a segment highlighting five, "...things you may not know about Honest Abe," including his sexual orientation. The segment featured New York University history professor Jeffrey Sammons, who argued: "One of the very interesting stories about Abraham Lincoln is that he might have been gay. Lincoln actually did sleep in the same bed with a gentleman for a four-year period." Rodriguez concluded: "So the question of Abraham Lincoln's sexuality still remains a mystery."
In addition to spreading revisionist rumors about Lincoln’s sexuality, the segment also focused on his racist attitudes as Rodriguez declared: "Myth number two, he was the great champion of equality." Sammons explained: "Lincoln is known as the great emancipator or the great father of black people, but Lincoln was a man of his times when it came to race. He indicated that he did not believe that blacks were equal to whites, said to have used the n-word in speeches and in letters. So there's no indication that Abraham Lincoln believes in black equality."
Hat-tipping gay blogger Andrew Sullivan, Time's Amy Sullivan (no relation) expressed impatience at the Obama administration for not moving yet on ending the ban on openly gay personnel serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Sullivan is chagrined that a Kansas National Guardsman was reportedly discharged after Army brass discovered her MySpace page in which she declared she is a lesbian.
MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann and his frequent guest, Newsweek reporter Howard Fineman, spoke Saturday at a fundraising gala for the New York chapter of the Human Rights Campaign, America’s largest gay-left lobby and a major constituency group of the Democratic Party. All the other major speakers were New York or New Jersey Democrats. Olbermann was given HRC’s "Ally for Equality" Award for his MSNBC commentaries against California’s Proposition 8, which drew a standing ovation at the dinner.
Fineman introduced Olbermann in glowing terms: "He's not a liberal. What Keith is is an anti-establishment character who doesn't want people in power to get away with things." He added, "He rediscovered the role of journalism and that role is deeply informed judgment about people in power and about the morality of our country."
For years NewsBusters has addressed the declining quality of movies currently available at theaters, and has normally pointed fingers at the amount of sex, violence, and vulgarity that has become sadly commonplace.
Another view was indirectly offered by the U.K. Guardian Sunday: Hollywood heroines have become dumber and dumber "increasingly portrayed as neurotic, idiotic and obsessed by men, weight and weddings."
As a big fan of the classics that featured Katharine Hepburn sparring with the likes of Cary Grant, James Stewart, and eventually Spencer Tracy, as well as other marvelous matchups like Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, I admit to not considering how much I miss this format.
ABC has apparently never heard that phrase, "There are two sides to every story." On Feb. 1, "World News Sunday" helped shamed former-pastor Ted Haggard take shots at the Christian conservatives who he says "shunned him."
Reporter Dan Harris introduced the piece by qualifying Haggard as a former "insider, a powerful pastor at the highest levels of the Christian conservative movement."
Haggard, who made headlines two years ago for getting caught in a gay sex scandal, is now offering advice to the Christian conservative movement; and ABC gave him the megaphone. Here is a portion of Harris' interview with Haggard:
On Thursday night’s Anderson Cooper 360, CNN used most of a half-hour replaying large chunks of Larry King’s interview with Ted Haggard, the evangelical preacher who lost his ministry after he used a male prostitute. He’s the subject of a new HBO documentary by Alexandra Pelosi, daughter of liberal House speaker Nancy Pelosi. This is no mystery, just synergy: CNN and HBO are both Time Warner properties. But Cooper brought on TV psychologist Paul Dobransky and felt Haggard’s pain: "It also seems sad because his belief system, I mean there are plenty of gay Christians who are happily gay and happily Christian and have fulfilling lives. They're not mutually exclusive."
Cooper also mocked reparative therapy (to convert people from gay to straight) as a failure in every case: "every one of them basically admits that they still are attracted to a member of the same sex, they're just forcing themselves to repress those feelings....That can't be a healthy thing." Dobransky claimed homosexuality cannot be chosen, and then used pet metaphors: "Imagine a metaphor of what you were a cat born in a dog kennel. It might feel dangerous, it might feel threatening, and you might pretend you're not a cat, but you're still a cat."
NBC's Meredith Vieira, appearing with weatherman Al Roker in a "Today" show live-shot from a rain-soaked set in Tampa, cracked herself and her camera crew up by saying "we're moist."
The unintended double entendre was uttered by the morning show host during the 7 a.m. weather segment. Vieira and Roker were in the Super Bowl XLIII host city to promote NBC's televised coverage of the February 1 game to "Today" viewers.
Click on the play button in the video embed at right to watch.
On Friday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith played the role of amateur theologian as he interviewed disgraced evangelical pastor Ted Haggard, who had an affair with a gay prostitute, asking: "You believe that gays are sinners?...You think God hates homosexuals?" Haggard ultimately replied: "Jesus proved his faithfulness to me more than ever. You know, he said he came for the unrighteous, not for the righteous...so I don't fit into the religious righteous crowd anymore. He really came for me. I'm the chiefest of sinners." Haggard’s wife, Gayle, also added: "And I think the teachings of Jesus are forgiveness and love. And what he tells us not to do is judge." Smith liked that non-judgmental response, saying to Ted: " She says is better than you do, I'm sorry."
Throughout the segment, Smith preached moral relativism over "fundamentalist" Christian beliefs. At one point, Haggard explained why he waited so long to seek counseling: "I wish I'd done it 20 years ago, but I think the culture that I was in kept me from being able to do that." Smith replied:"Having grown up in a fundamentalist church and an evangelical background, there's -- everything is very black and white." Haggard agreed: "Very black and white." Smith then attacked Haggard’s former church: "You've spent your life building this church. This church is really, literally, your community. And your church says you have to leave this day...you have to go away. And in the best New Testament sense, isn't that the point at which the church should be embracing you?"
The Super Bowl is - or should be - typically a family-friendly event: an annual occasion in which dad, mom, and the kids gather around their television set to see the top two NFL teams battle it out, enjoy an entertaining half-time show, and laugh at the ridiculous commercials. But as of late, the Super Bowl entertainment has been controversial, and this year is no exception.
Two naked women in a shower or a woman exposing her "enhanced" chest in front of the Congress? You choose!
That's right. This year, godaddy.com has asked people to vote on their website for which revealing ad of Indy racer Danica Patrick they would like aired on Super Bowl Sunday.
After the 2004 Super Bowl "wardrobe malfunction" controversy affectionately now known as "Nipplegate," many wonder why NBC would air such a commercial. But NBC apparently has some standards, as it has recently rejected the animal rights group PETA's sexy vegetable ad. An NBC spokesperson told the Washington Post that "the ad was rejected because it did not conform with our standards."
The good folks at NBC, clearly wanting to avoid a "Nipplegate" replay, will not air animal rights group PETA's hyper-sexual television ad during Sunday's Super Bowl.
When you see it, you'll know why.
For those that have forgotten, on February 1, 2004, during the halftime festivities of Super Bowl XXXVIII, singer Janet Jackson had a "wardrobe malfunction" revealing her naked breast to a startled nation.
Five years later, according to PETA, NBC found its commercial, "which features a comely crop of models demonstrating their fondness for fresh produce," a tad too provocative (sexually explicit language warning):
Patti Stanger, star of BRAVO’s “Millionaire Matchmaker,” shared her tips for finding Mr. Right on Wednesday’s CBS “Early Show.” The author and relationship expert surprisingly supports abstinence, telling women, “no sexy…no spreading.” Stanger’s advice is a welcome change from CBS’ usual take on sexual abstinence.
Author of Become Your Own Matchmaker, Stanger gives women “eight simple steps for attracting your mate” and among those she includes abstaining from sexual activity. She told host Maggie Rodriguez that women should abstain until Mr. Right gives them an “exclusive, monogamous, committed relationship that is said in the sober light of day…” She says this is important because women “bond through sex,” and men “can sleep with women and not bond.”
"If U Seek Amy." If you repeat that phrase a few times, it will sound like an all-too familiar reference to sex. This clever little phrase is the title of Britney Spears' new hit, and it's stirring up some controversy.
In case you're still a little lost, it clearly sounds like she is saying, "F**K me," and in the event you still think the song is about a girl named Amy, observe how the phrase makes no sense in the context:
Love me hate me Say what you want about me But all of the boys and all of the girls are beggin’ to, If U Seek Amy
Love me hate me But can’t you see what I see All of the boys and all of the girls are beggin’ to, If U Seek Amy
USA Today's religion reporter Cathy Lynn Grossman apparently has little use for Christian ministers who believe the Bible's teachings on sexual ethics.
Apparently already annoyed with evangelical pastor Rick Warren's stance on California's Proposition 8, Grossman took the California preacher to task for a letter offering use of his Saddleback Church to conservative Anglicans who have left the liberal Episcopal Church USA but were deprived of their church parish property due to a recent California court ruling (emphasis mine):
After sticking a fork in the eye of gay rights advocates by actively supporting Proposition 8 -- which overturned the legalization of gay marriage in California -- Warren compounded their outrage by equating gay marriage with incest in an interview with Beliefnet.
A group that "celebrate[s] the inherent goodness of adolescent sexuality" and calls for clergy to "speak out against... coercive parental notification and consent for reproductive health services" has just released a study that concludes by calling on American theological seminaries to go over the birds and bees with their students.
Yet in reporting on the study by the Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice and Healing, Chicago Tribune's Manya Brachear failed to label the group as liberal or to find conservative theologians to dispute its arguments. [Click here for our archive on Brachear]
In the final half hour of Thursday’s CBS Early Show, correspondent Bianca Solorzano reported on an increase in the teen pregnancy rate, using Bristol Palin as an example: "Teen pregnancy was on the RNC platform this year, literally, as Sarah Palin's 18-year-old daughter, Bristol, was about to give birth. Jamie Lynne Spears made headlines at 16, not for her acting, but the grown-up, real-life role of becoming a teen mom. These famous faces front a growing problem." A graphic appeared on screen declaring: "Teen Pregnancy: The Growing Crisis."
Later, Solorzano explained: "After more than a decade of progress, experts fear we've been lulled into a false sense of security. And have stopped pouring resources into prevention." A clip of the movie ‘Juno’ was then played, after which Solorzano exclaimed: "And unlike the comedy 'Juno,' there's nothing funny about the nation's growing number of teenage mothers."
Ann Coulter made a second appearance during the 10 am Eastern hour of Wednesday’s Today show, and hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb continued the discussion about the apparent “venom” in her books. Kotb asked if Coulter’s style was “kind of like shock jock, shake the cage, freak everyone out, wake everybody up,” and later stated that she felt the tone of the conservative’s writing was “dripping with venom.” The two hosts focused Coulter’s take on single motherhood in her new book, as Matt Lauer had done in her earlier appearance on the NBC program.
Kotb began the interview with her “shock jock, shake the cage” question. Coulter answered that she tries to “write in an entertaining, intriguing way, so that people will read what I have to say.” After the three briefly discussed the writing process for the author, Kotb then brought up the title of Coulter’s chapter on the problem of single motherhood: “Victim of a Crime? Thank a Single Mother.” Coulter explained her central point in the chapter, that single mothers are “victimizing their children by raising their children without fathers,” and how these children are “70% of the prison population, 60% to 70% of future unwed mothers -- of murderers, of rapists, of juvenile delinquents, of teenage runaways.”