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?”
On Wednesday’s CBS Early Show co-host Maggie Rodriguez interrogated Miss California Carrie Prejean, wondering if the beauty queen was a hypocrite for standing up for Christian values: "I know that you are a devout Christian, and some people have said that it's hypocritical, and a little bit of a double standard, for you to be preaching Christianity, yet posing topless...And you don't feel it interferes in any way with your faith or what you preach publicly?"
Prejean defended herself, explaining: "Absolutely not. And my message to my, you know, church and to the young girls that attend the church is, 'you know, I am a very strong woman today.' And the decisions I made when I was 16 and 17 years old, I was very naive, trying to get into the modeling, you know, industry. And I definitely would not make those decisions today."
Rodriguez also tried to portray Prejean as being forced to back down: "The pageant has said that you can continue wearing your crown, but that they will have to monitor the statements that you make. You're such an advocate of free speech, how do feel about their control over your statements?" Rodriguez then asked: "Will you officially come out in support of any particular organization or as a spokesperson for any organization?" Prejean replied: "I don't plan on doing that, no." Rodriguez wondered: "Is that because pageant officials say that you can't?"
According to Newsweek's Ramin Setoodeh, "American Idol's" Adam Lambert could "be heading home" due to those homophobic Christians that watch every week.
Lambert, Setoodeh wrote in a May 12 blog post, "has been called the best ‘Idol' singer in the history of the show, thanks to his Celine Dion-like pipes. But he's also one of the most controversial, thanks to his Marilyn Manson-like wardrobe and his (not-so) ambiguous sexuality."
Despite the fact that Randy, Simon and Paula all like Lambert, and he's garnered enough votes to compete in the semi-finals of "Idol," Setoodeh warned of a "possible roadblock" to a Lambert victory:
At the top of Tuesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith declared: "Oops, she did it again. More semi-nude photos of Miss California surface. So will Donald Trump be forced to say, 'you're fired'?" Later, co-host Julie Chen teased the upcoming segment by exclaiming: "Well, up next, more semi-nude photos of Miss California leak onto the internet. So will Donald Trump end her reign today?"
Correspondent Bianca Solorzano reported on Trump’s awaited decision: "Even more semi-nude photos of Carrie Prejean surfaced overnight, adding fuel to a fire that's been building for days. The controversy kicked off when Prejean opposed gay marriage at the Miss USA pageant. In a radio interview, Prejean said the question tested her faith...But there were other temptations. Breast implants paid for by the pageant. And racy photos. Still, Prejean remains the poster girl for conservative causes." A clip was played of an TV ad from the National Organization for Marriage that featured Prejean.
Solorzano went on to explain: "Monday, the directors of the state pageant were clearly angry with Prejean." A clip was played of Miss California USA Co-executive Director Keith Lewis taking a shot at Prejean and the "conservative causes" she has been a part of: "Up until now, we have just been riding along pretty much a passenger on this runaway train. But as of today, that ends...Shame, shame, shame. Shame for taking this young woman and exploiting her to further your own agenda."
Two Catholic priests who appeared as guests during back-to-back segments on Thursday’s No Bias, No Bull program were treated noticeably differently by CNN’s on-air personalities. Father Michael Pfleger of the Archdiocese of Chicago, who is best known for his racially-charged rhetoric against Hillary Clinton during the 2008 Democratic presidential race, as well as his defense of former Obama pastor Reverend Jeremiah Wright, faced only a couple of pointed questions, most notably about his recent decision to fly an American flag upside-down. In the following segment, Father Mitch Pacwa of the orthodox Catholic TV network EWTN faced a more skeptical and sustained line of questioning from the CNN panel about the practice of priestly celibacy.
Anchor Roland Martin brought on Father Pfleger 43 minutes into the 8 pm Eastern hour of the CNN program to talk about his continuing push against street violence in Chicago, especially when it involves minors, as 36 school-aged children so far this year have been violently killed . He only introduced the priest as the “pastor of the faith community of Saint Sabina from the South Side of Chicago.” Neither he nor any of the other journalists participating in the panel mentioned any of Father Pfleger’s past controversies during the segment.
For your TGIF viewing fun, NBC “Today” show co-host Meredith Vieira has lost control of her verbal filters again.
From Vieira’s Super Bowl week performance, in which she claimed that she and NBC weatherman Al Roker were “moist,” to the last unfortunate double-entendre involving speculation on the past tense of “Tweet,” the morning show hostess today wondered whether the Statue of Liberty was wearing undergarments beneath her robes.
Once again, colleague Matt Lauer played the long-suffering professional, keeping a straight face. Weatherman Al Roker, however, pounced. Video of the latest gaffe is embedded at right.
While reporting on a popular Miami priest, Father Alberto Cutie, getting caught on a beach with a woman, on Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez spoke with CBS religion analyst Father Thomas Williams and criticized the Catholic Church for requiring a vow of celibacy for priests: "The Catholic Church, as you know, has been criticized, and you and I have talked about this, for being outdated and losing both parishioners and people who may want to serve, because it is so rigid. Do you think it's time for the Catholic Church to reconsider the vow of celibacy that it requires of its priests?" Williams replied: "Well, I'm not really sure. I think you can't attribute an act of unfaithfulness to the institution itself. It would be kind of like saying that adultery is caused by marriage. It doesn't really make sense."
Just before talking to Williams, Rodriguez admitted: "I should, in the interest of full disclosure, say that Father Albert is a family friend whom I've known for many, many years." At the end of the segment, Rodriguez added: "Yeah, just a couple of weeks ago he [Father Cutie] officiated my niece's wedding. I haven't talked to her about how she feels about this. But yeah, we've known him for many, many years. And he wants to continue serving God." Instead of taking Rodriguez off the story because of this personal connection, its appears CBS kept her on it because they thought it added an interesting angle, even if it made objectivity impossible.
Once upon a time, there was Dylan Ratigan, host of CNBC's "Fast Money," and co-host of that network's "Closing Bell." He was never partisan and willing to criticize both political parties in Washington, D.C. Now he seems to think Bristol Palin has taken Karl Rove's job as the sinister mastermind of Republican politics.
"The thing that really stands out to me with this, because the hypocrisy is obvious - it's as obvious as a closeted gay senator voting against gay marriage," Ratigan said. "There's a prevalence in politics of this type of behavior, unfortunately. That's why the conversations like the one we're now having exist."
CBS "The Early Show" attacked sexual abstinence while Bristol Palin appeared on "Good Morning America" and "Today" to voice her support for it. Levi Johnston, the father of Bristol's child who has told numerous stories to hurt the family, went on CBS in what can only have been an attempt to counter or distract from Palin's message.
The daughter of former Republican vice presidential candidate and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, Bristol gave birth to son Tripp on Dec 27 2008. Since then, Bristol has become a Teen Ambassador for the Candies Foundation, which promotes teen abstinence.
On the eighth annual national day to prevent teen pregnancy, CBS continued its derision of abstinence with the help of Johnston. Anchor Maggie Rodriguez said before beginning the interview that Bristol was on TV talking about teen pregnancy and asked Johnston if he agreed with her encouraging abstinence. He responded that he did, but "you need to enforce, ya know, condoms and ya know birth control and things like that to have safe sex. I don't think just, uh telling young kids uh you can't have sex is just not gonna work - it's not realistic."
At the top of Wednesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez teased an upcoming segment on the possibility of Miss California, Carrie Prejean, losing her crown over some racy photos: "And will Carrie lose her crown? Suggestive photos of the already controversial Miss California hit the internet. Are they a deal-breaker?" Later co-host Harry Smith similarly declared: "More hot water for Miss California. Millions heard her pageant answer, controversy that ensued about that. And now she may be adding the word 'former' to her title. We'll tell you why."
Prejean became "controversial" when she expressed her opposition to gay marriage while responding to a question from Miss USA pageant judge and liberal gay blogger, Perez Hilton. On April 21, the Early Show gave Hilton the opportunity to continue to attack Prejean, while failing call him out on vulgar insults he used against the beauty contestant. On May 1, Rodriguez went after Prejean for reportedly getting breast implants paid for by pageant organizers: "...this time it isn't about her views on gay marriage, but rather, about her figure...She said those were her real feelings. But now it appears something about Carrie Prejean may not be so real."