Media Research Center Director of Communications Seton Motley appeared Sunday morning on Fox News Channel's "America's News Headquarters" to discuss comedian David Letterman's inappropriate joke about Gov. Sarah Palin's 14-year-old daughter Willow.
Motley noted a marked difference with the now infamous Don Imus joke about the Rutgers women's basketball team.
While both Letterman and Imus made crude and inappropriate jokes, conservatives like Gov. Palin do not have the benefit of the mainstream media's outrage as did the Rutgers basketball players [audio available here, see embedded video at right]:
On June 9 a rally that saw thousands of participants in support of traditional marriage assembled at Albany, New York, the state capitol. One month earlier, a similar rally was held in Midtown Manhattan that also saw thousands in attendance. And in neither case was there much by the way of media coverage.
The Washington Post displayed bad headline-writing technique on Saturday in religion coverage. The paper picked up a Religion News dispatch by Daniel Burke on retired Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland and his admission of homosexuality. The headline was "A Church Leader’s Unusual Confession." Weakland admitted he had violated his vow of celibacy and had homosexual relationships, but he did not "confess," since he wasn’t suggesting it was a grave sin and that he wanted to reject it.
Instead, Burke quotes from Weakland’s new book, about when his improper relationship with Paul Marcoux became public:
"It may seem strange, but I felt a new freedom, a sense of being liberated for the first time," Weakland writes. "It had become public knowledge that my orientation was homosexual. There was nothing more to hide; no one could do anything more to me. I was free."
That’s hardly in line with Catholic teaching on homosexuality, which is defined as a mortal sin that a man or woman should confess and repent and pledge to do no more. The orientation, if not acted upon, is not the problem. Engaging in intercourse, as the Archbishop did, is the grave sin.
NBC host Matt Lauer interviewed Sarah Palin on June 12, and defended comedian David Letterman and his joke about the statutory rape of Palin’s daughter by baseball player Alex Rodriguez.
When Palin began to condemn the joke as wildly inappropriate and offensive, Lauer defended Letterman: “Since David Letterman’s not here, let me just say that he did not mention Willow by name, and he then went on to say he was not referring to your 14-year-old daughter,” as though to Lauer the excuse diminished the vile nature of Letterman’s joke.
At the end of the segment, Lauer did admit that, “a lot of people feel the joke was in extremely bad taste, no matter which daughter of yours he was referring to,” but not before Palin pointed out that, “regardless, it was a degrading comment about a young woman,” and no joke of that nature should be tolerated, no matter how old the victim of the joke is.
Dr. LeRoy Carhart had ample television time to further his cause against "domestic terrorism" on the news program Anderson Cooper 360 on Monday night. Anderson Cooper, the anchor, asked Carhart some direct questions, but failed to press Carhart on the answers, and didn't interview anyone from the mainstream anti-abortion movement.
After a brief news segment concerning Scott Roeder, Cooper asked Carhart, "You probably heard from Ted Rowland's piece some of the things this man Scott Roeder [the man charged with the murder of abortionist George Tiller] has said. He said he called the closing of this [Tiller's] clinic quote ‘a victory for unborn children.' How do you respond?"
It is not often that most of the women on “The View” agree on a controversial subject, but when Sherri Shepherd declared. “A man does not have a vagina,” nobody contradicted her.
That fact shouldn’t be in dispute, but in the case of Thomas Beatie, it is. Beatie, a woman who had a sex change to become a “man,” kept her female reproductive parts and has been labeled, incorrectly, by most of the media as the first “pregnant man.”
But Shepherd correctly pointed out the obvious: “The baby came out of a vagina. A woman has a vagina,” and called Beatie “legally a man, but is a woman who had a baby.” And while Barbara Walters was hesitant to completely agree that Beatie is a woman, she did not contradict the statement either.
ABC gave pro-abortion advocates free advertising last night with its "World News Sunday." During the report, an abortionist unequivocally stated that late-term abortion is "really a miscarriage of a stillborn fetus."
Anchor Dan Harris framed Steve Osunsami's segment as a look at why doctors risk their lives to perform abortions given the "constant threat" of violence they face, as evidenced by last week's murder of abortionist George Tiller and recent comments from Tiller's accused killer that "similar attacks are planned all over the country."
Harris teased the segment "Tonight, we talk to late-term abortion providers who fear they are targets. Why do they do it?" He stated in his introduction, "Why would a doctor take that risk? And why would a woman make that choice?"
Update: A spokeswoman at the Mississippi Department of Health informed NewsBusters she'd "never ever" heard the term "TRAP" used inside the department to describe the state's laws and regulations governing the practice of abortion in the state.
Reporting on how pro-life advocates have been fighting state-by-state legislative and regulatory battles to curb abortion, the Washington Post's Peter Slevin today did the abortion-on-demand lobby a favor by passing along a loaded term it likes to use to discredit laws aimed at reducing abortion by placing regulatory speed bumps on the road to the procedure (emphasis mine):
"We tried every which way, and we were successful in the state way," said Terri Herring, head of Mississippi's Pro-Life America Network. She calls ever-stricter regulations a matter of common sense and creative strategy.
"All-or-nothing means nothing," Herring said. "Incremental means something."
What it means in Mississippi, one of the most restrictive states in the country and a model for antiabortion forces elsewhere, is that a woman seeking an abortion must go twice to the clinic, at least 24 hours apart. A girl younger than 18 requires the consent of both parents or a judge's signature. Public money is available for very few abortions.
Such rules are known as TRAP laws, for Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers.
The June issue of Glamour magazine has an article on women’s "racy fantasies" and it wouldn’t be complete without Barack Obama sex dreams. (The same trend was highlighted in the media about Bill Clinton in the early years.) One woman offered her Obama dream, complete with punchline:
I have this fantasy where I’m with Barack Obama at my parents’ house. We’re both naked, and he’s giving me a full-body massage. Suddenly my father appears and says "How could you do that?" And no kidding: In my dream, Obama replies, "I’m serving my constituents." -- Nicki, 34
Glamour’s Serena Kim then counsels Nicki on why she could be having this fantasy:
"A lot women have told me they dream about our President," says [psychologist Michelle] Callahan. "He’s a star, and people fantasize about celebs whether they’re married or not."
It seems like abstaining from sex is now the only thing that shocks in our sexualized culture.
Cosmopolitan magazine, best known for its "75 Ways to Drive Your Man Wild"-type articles, turned its spotlight on virgins in its July issue.
Editors splashed "Virgins in Cosmo! (We Thought This Day Would Never Come)" across the cover to advertise Molly Triffin's article about why some women in their early 20s choose to remain virgins.
Not surprisingly, none of the seven women featured in Triffin's article, "Why They're Still Virgins" cited religious reasons for abstaining from sex. Nor did they express interest in staying virgins until marriage. All of the women cited not meeting the right guy as at least one reason for waiting. Yet the majority of the woman also appeared to feel it necessary to prove they're not totally puritanical when it comes to sex.
It was wrong of Playboy to publish a top ten list of conservative women its writer Guy Cimbalo would like to "hate-f***" but, c'mon, we all know Michelle Malkin had it coming. That's the gist of PBS "To the Contrary" host and U.S. News contributing editor Bonnie Erbe's June 3 blog post, "Playboy Mix of Sex, Hate, and Politics Demeans Conservative Women" (emphasis mine):
Yesterday, I was contacted by the executive director of SmartGirlPolitics.org, a conservative women's website, to stand up for conservative women treated despicably by the media. Here I am, doing just that.... A couple of caveats are in order. First, I probably disagree politically with much of SmartGirlPolitics.org's agenda--I know I disagree completely with the group's position on abortion rights. But as a nonpartisan, I'm also a firm believer in supporting all members of my gender when attacked due to their gender. I am supporting these women herewith.
George Tiller, the Kansas doctor notorious for his commitment to performing late-term abortions, was killed May 31 while attending a Sunday morning church service.
By his count, Tiller performed 60,000 abortions. His clinic, Women's Health Care Services in Wichita, was one of only three clinics in the United States that offered abortions after the 21st week of pregnancy.
Loss of human life is a tragedy and should be reported as such, and premeditated murder is always wrong - something all the mainstream pro-life groups were quick to affirm in the wake of the killing. But in reporting this tragic story, the news media have much to say about a man who helped provide women with the "right" to end their pregnancies, but have little to say about lives he helped to end. In failing to highlight what Tiller's work actually entailed, reporters do nothing to help their audience understand why this man was targeted.
Last night at about 8 p.m., the Associated Press's Roxana Hegeman became an early purveyor of the myth that abortion clinic-related violence and violence against abortionists has been a frequent and consistent occurrence during the past two decades when she wrote the following about the murder of Kansas abortionist George Tiller (saved here at host for future reference; bold is mine):
There was no immediate word of the motive (of) Tiller's assailant. But the doctor's violent death was the latest in a string of shootings and bombings over two decades directed against abortion clinics, doctors and staff.
But a look at the actual history of such violence accumulated by a pro-abortion group demonstrates that Tiller's murder is correctly seen as a horrible, isolated incident following a long, sustained decline in violence.
Here is the "History of Violence" accumulated by the National Abortion Federation (NAF), broken down into four categories:
While reporting on disgraced priest Alberto Cutie leaving the Catholic Church in the wake of a sex scandal, on Friday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez asked CBS News analyst Father Thomas Williams about the Church’s celibacy rule: "It seems to me that the Catholic Church, at least in south Florida, is not necessarily being introspective and considering whether Father Cutie and others have left the Catholic Church, and others are failing to join, because of its stringent rules. Would you like to see your church be more introspective, more progressive?"
When the story about Father Cutie first broke in early May, Rodriguez then asked Father Williams if it was time for the Catholic Church to overturn the "outdated" and "rigid" vow of celibacy that it requires of its priests. She went on to describe the vow as a "nearly impossible standard." On May 11, Rodriguez interviewed Cutie, and asked: "You don't believe that the celibacy promise should be lifted?...If they don't change this policy, do you think that they will continue to lose people, or fail to recruit people who feel the Church is too rigid?"
CNN’s Roland Martin on Wednesday’s “No Bias, No Bull” program featured another panel which leaned overwhelmingly to the left, during a discussion about the California Supreme Court upholding Proposition 8. Four of the five participants -- CNN correspondent Erica Hill, Lisa Bloom of TruTv, New York Observer columnist Steve Kornacki, and the Reverend Byron Williams of Resurrection Community Church in Oakland, California all sided with advocates of same-sex “marriage.”
Rev. Williams, who is affiliated with the liberal People for the American Way, argued that the decision “seems to go against our democratic values.” Hill asked the pastor, “Should that decision on marriage be left up to different religions, different faiths to make, and leave this to be more of a civil matter? And if that’s the case, why should God enter it at all?” Kornacki argued that there was an “inevitability” to the legalization of same-sex “marriage,” explaining that “you’ve got four states legalizing it. You’ve got people under 35 supporting it overwhelmingly. I mean, isn’t this just really a question of time, and we shouldn’t be that exercised about it?” Bloom thought that it was a “huge civil rights issue, and this is the first court ruling that I’m aware of that says that a majority vote -- a bare majority vote, can take away the constitutional rights of a protected minority group.”
During the 2:00PM hour of live Wednesday coverage on MSNBC, anchor Carlos Watson called on President Obama to stand up for gay marriage, comparing the issue to the civil rights movement: "You know what I predict, just like we saw LBJ in the late 60's, very unexpectedly and very famously, looked into the camera, addressed the nation, and say ‘we shall overcome,’ adopting the language of the civil rights movement, I wouldn't be surprised if before 2012 we see President Obama get out in front on this."
Watson made the comment while discussing the California Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Proposition 8 with Roy Seacoff, editor of the left-wing Huffington Post. Earlier in the segment, Seacoff commented on a recent article Watson wrote for the liberal website: "Now Carlos, I know, because I read it on the Huffington Post... That you think that this is the moral equivalent of Plessy vs. Ferguson." Watson explained: "The old – the old 1890s case that said ‘separate but equal.’" Seacoff added: "Right, separate but equal. Right. And I tend to agree with you, which makes me sad that Obama is behind the curve on this issue."
Nobody can accuse the broadcast networks of objectivity when it comes to gay "rights."
ABC, CBS and NBC combined devoted nearly 11 minutes of air time during their evening and morning news shows to the May 26 California Supreme Court ruling that upheld Proposition 8, the 2008 state constitutional amendment that banned same-sex marriage. The networks gave gay rights activists more than seven minutes of air time, through interviews and footage of their protests, while they gave Prop 8 supporters less than one minute to talk about their victory.
After the winner of "American Idol" is crowned, the appropriate action is to congratulate the newly crowned Idol on his success. Yet on May 21 media focus was clearly elsewhere. That day, reports on all three networks' morning broadcasts, marveled at how Kris Allen beat Adam Lambert and gave unusual attention to contestants who did not win, but are still successful, leaving little doubt that these hosts and reporters believe something wasn't right about Allen's victory.
Allen and Lambert are very different. Allen, a married twenty-three year old, is a college student from Arkansas. He grew throughout the season as a performer and was often labeled as humble. Lambert, on the hand, was an edgy performer who has become known for his "guyliner," or extensive use of black eyeliner. Although he was a frontrunner and often praised by the judges, his sexuality was often questioned, especially after photos hit the Web in which he appeared to be kissing another man.
PBS's Bonnie Erbe is annoyed with Barack Obama's rhetoric at Sunday's Notre Dame commencement ceremony. The "To the Contrary" host and U.S. News contributor slammed the president's appeal to find "common ground" between pro-life and pro-choice activists.
What planet is Erbe living on? Parental consent laws and partial-birth abortion bans have been vigorously contested by abortion rights advocates in courts, albeit with a mixed record of success in having the courts overturn the will of the people in enacting abortion regulations. Can Erbe honestly point to any abortion regulation -- parental consent, parental notification, required ultrasounds, waiting periods, partial-birth abortion bans -- that a major Democratic presidential aspirant has actively pushed for in the past 25 years?
Meghan McCain was again provided with a national outlet for her "moderate" Republican views with her appearance on "The Colbert Report" on May 18. Host Stephen Colbert said to her, "You're more liberal than President Obama. Is that how you see the future of Republican Party going?"
"I'm liberal on social issues," McCain responded
Later in the interview McCain explained her views: "All I'm trying to say is it can be a party for a 24-year-old pro-sex woman. It can be. I just think that we have people that are in this party that are hijacking it and - trying to make it more extreme."
A self described "pro-sex, pro-life and pro-gay marriage" Republican, McCain would prefer the Republican Party stray away from abstinence only education and drop its support for the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.
Since its announcement in March, the University of Notre Dame's decision to invite President Barack Obama to give this year's commencement address and receive an honorary doctorate in law has been a big story for American Catholics. Pro-life Catholics were outraged and more than 366,000 people signed a petition urging Notre Dame to rescind the invitation. Somehow, though, the controversy didn't merit notice by the broadcast networks. They refused to cover it.
Yet after the fact, Obama's commencement address led ABC and NBC's evening news programs on May 17. (CBS' "Evening News" was preempted by golf, but anchor Russ Mitchell did offer a newsbreak that included a brief mention of Obama's address.) The broadcast networks' morning news programs, including CBS, also discussed Obama's speech. In each case they praised his words and ignored what had stirred so much controversy: the president's history of supporting even the most extreme abortion rights measures. And they turned to mostly liberal Catholics to provide context and perspective on the debate.
Not only does Pope Benedict XVI have crappy PR, he has absolutely no excuse for it, Newsweek religion editor Lisa Miller informs readers in a May 14 piece written for the May 25 dead-tree edition. Yet while insisting that her advice is submitted "with respect," Miller failed to remove the log from her own eye by considering the role that she and other reporters play in trumping up alleged papal PR blunders by virtual of their biased, shoddy reporting (emphasis mine):
Benedict makes international news only when he does something thoughtless (like "reconciling" with a Holocaust-denying bish-op) or when he fumbles in public, as he did on the plane to Cameroon in March when he awkwardly noted that AIDS "cannot be overcome by the distribution of prophylactics; on the contrary, they increase it." This remark, though in keeping with his theology, reverberated in the media echo chamber for a week—overshadowing other stops that might have served him better, such as meeting with representatives of Cameroon's Muslim community and a mass for as many as a million people in Angola. Benedict will never be John Paul, but why don't he and his people do a better job—to be perfectly crass about it—marketing their message?
While Miller tries to insist that the Pope would be more loved and respected if only he had a better PR shop, she betrays the fact that she really finds fault with his steadfast adherence to traditional Catholic teachings, particularly on sexual morality. Far from constituting a "fumble," back in March a top AIDS researcher -- no conservative Catholic he -- defended as accurate the Pope's remarks on condoms and AIDS infection rates in Africa. It seems that Miller is either ignorant of or willingly disregards this fact two months later. As I noted in NewsBusters back then:
So wrote Iovine in a Huffington Post article Friday.
In a piece cutely titled "Switching Sides Later in Life," the former Playmate of the Month and mother of four explained why so "many of [her] formerly married-with-children Girlfriends have bolted from their traditional family geometry and found true love with other women":
The same-sex marriage controversy that hijacked the recent Miss USA pageant-and our televisions and radios every day since-has now claimed another victim: Miss California co-director Shanna Moakler. With Donald Trump having decided to let Carrie Prejean keep her crown, there is apparently not room enough for both beauty queens, and Moakler has chosen to resign out of principle, “to be a role model for [her] children.”
What, exactly, is the principle that Moakler must resign to protect? It likely has nothing to do with the scandal over Prejean’s topless photos, since Moakler has shown far more of herself in Playboy. No, Moakler’s concern is Prejean’s insistence on pressing a political agenda: “In the entire history of Miss USA, no reigning titleholder has so readily committed her face and voice to a more divisive or polarizing issue.”
On May 15. Julie Chen, co-anchor of CBS' "The Early Show" glossed over a declaration from former Miss California co-executive director that the National Organization for Marriage is a hate group
After her resignation from her Miss California position, Moakler went on the show in an exclusive interview to discuss her departure. Donald Trump's announcement in a press conference on May 13 that Carrie Prejean would keep her title as Miss California led to her departure, and Moakler criticized Prejean in the interview.
"I think it's wrong to start screaming that you're being persecuted, then you go and align yourself with organizations like NOM, to me that are particularly, I consider them hate groups," said Moakler.
After briefly clarifying what "NOM" refers to (Moakler said, "The National Organization for Marriage."), Chen immediately moved on to a completely different question about Trump's response to her resignation.
There's a legitimate debate to be had about the media's coverage of the alleged epidemic of "sexting" -- teenagers sending pornographic or suggestive photos of themselves nude or semi-nude via cell phone.*
After all, the media are well-known to glom onto a few anecdotes and drum up a "growing trend" without the benefit of empirical data to back up the alarming claim. That being said, San Francisco Chronicle columnist Mark Morford is not the petulant adolescent man to make that point.
Indeed, Morford actually aims at excusing sexting altogether, all while distorting and mocking average Americans' sexual mores in his May 15 column, "You Dirty Kids!":
What a difference a radical, in your face, abortion-promoting president makes.
Pro-lifers can savor this graphic for a few minutes before returning to the trenches to work on persuading what Gallup says is, for the first since it began surveying the question, a clear minority of Americans who are still euphemistically "pro-choice" on the question of abortion. I have posted it here because the chances of seeing it or something similar in establishment media reports is somewhere between slim and none:
The 15-point swing from "pro-choice" to pro-life (from -6 to +9) in the past year is nothing short of dramatic; only the 1996-1997 narrowing looks to be about the same.
Here's a celebrity fundraiser that didn't make headlines. Actress Cynthia Nixon, best known for her role as the red-headed Miranda on the smutty HBO series Sex and the City, made an odd fundraising pitch timed for Mother's Day. It was an e-mail for Abortion Incorporated: the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She boldly claimed that motherhood and Planned Parenthood were an obvious match:
I am Cynthia Nixon. I am an actor, an activist, a mom, a daughter. But today, I am writing to you about motherhood, on behalf of Planned Parenthood and the many people they serve.
The truth is, in my book, there is no organization that supports motherhood more than Planned Parenthood..That's why I'm honoring the moms I know with a gift to Planned Parenthood today.
It's not easy to be a mother these days. Believe me, I know I'm lucky — I've had help and support — including the amazing, strong woman who blazed her own path to raise me as an independent, bold woman.
Same-sex marriage remains illegal in most U.S. states, including the state of California where comedian and actress Wanda Sykes was "married" last October prior to the successful passage of Proposition 8. What's more, the issue is highly contentious in the District of Columbia where many religious African-American Democratic voters are upset with the city council for approving a bill to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions.
Yet the Washington Post seems confident that its readers will take no offense to the paper's granting the label of "wife" to the Limbaugh death-wishing comic's lover.
Anchor Andrew Mitchell presented radical homosexual activist Dan Savage, most famous for licking doorknobs in the campaign office of Republican Gary Bauer in an attempt to infect him with the flu, as an expert on the Catholic Church and Catholic issues during her MSNBC program on Wednesday afternoon. She introduced Savage, who writes a graphic sex-advice column called “Savage Love,” as the “editorial director for Seattle’s weekly newspaper, The Stranger...political commentator and social critic.” Mitchell lead into her question about President Obama’s commencement address at the University of Notre Dame by stating that the editor was also “sensitive and very well aware of the cultural fault lines within the Catholic community.” She did not mention the Bauer incident during the segment, nor the fact that Savage is an atheist who thinks the Catholic Church is a “criminal organization.”
Mitchell had Savage on as a guest just before the bottom half of the 1 pm Eastern hour of her Andrea Mitchell Live program. She brought up President Obama’s upcoming commencement addresses at Arizona State University and Notre Dame as a topic, and how in the case of his speech at the Catholic school, “critics are taking issue with the president’s positions on gay rights, abortion rights, and stem cell research.” After giving her introduction of the “editorial director...political commentator and social critic,” Mitchell asked, “Why is Notre Dame, which has long, you know, had this tradition from Theodore Hesburgh on -- especially, you know, during the civil rights movement, the anti-war movement, of being a broad tent -- why is the Notre Dame commencement so controversial this time?”