Shortly before the new year, a number of religious organizations were given protection from the HHS abortion and contraception mandate. While social conservatives and defenders of the First Amendment cheered, numerous prominent media organizations manipulated basic scientific facts to deny that the mandate - required by federal law - forces people to fund abortion-inducing drugs.
The New York Times has done this as has NBC News. While Pew Research did not deny that the mandate requires abortion funding, its weaselly assessment of the debate surrounding the mandate was almost as bad. To wit, Pew stated that many with religious beliefs "oppose abortion and believe that using emergency contraception like the morning-after pill is akin to abortion" (emphasis added).
MSNBC’s Irin Carmon -- the New York Abortion Access Fund's 2013 Champion for Choice award winner-- never hesitates in showing her support for “reproductive rights.” Whether it be in the newly established MSNBC.com website or on the airwaves of MSNBC, Carmon bemoans any attempts made by state legislatures to make abortion clinics safer through health department regulation.
It should come as no surprise then that a January 6 piece by Ms. Carmon -- and her subsequent appearance alongside MSNBC host Thomas Roberts during his 11 a.m. Eastern program -- would strike a similar tone to her previous work on the subject of abortion. Carmon began her story by huffing that:
The constitutionality of two of Texas’s abortion restrictions is being debated in a federal appeals court here. But for Texans seeking abortions, the full weight of the law, most of which is already in force, is anything but theoretical.
Sarah Silverman celebrated Christmas in her usual mode: mocking Christians, and religion in general. On Twitter, she wrote “Happy Birthday, Jesus! I'm sorry [you] were murdered by people afraid of new ideas!”
Her last HBO special in 2002 was even mockingly titled “Jesus Is Magic.” Her new special was called “We Are Miracles.” Once again in the new show, she made fun of the death of Jesus, as a Jew: “You’re welcome. If we hadn’t killed him, he wouldn’t even be famous.”
As we've documented the past few years, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell is notorious for her softball interviews with abortion rights absolutists like Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood. Sadly it seems Ms. Mitchell hasn't made a new year's resolution to treat those occasions as opportunities for fair and balanced interviews rather than platforms for advancing their agenda.
On her January 2 Andrea Mitchell Reports program, Mitchell kicked off the new year with a friendly strategy session with Richards, with Justice Sonia Sotomayor's temporary stay on a contraception mandate serving as the news hook.
Nicholas D. Kristof (I've tended to call him "Nick" through the years) has made and implemented a momentous, course of civilization-altering decision effective 1/1/2014 (HT Twitchy): "If you look closely at my Times byline ... I’ve knocked out my middle initial for the new year."
Why oh why would Nick want to do that? "I think in the Internet age, the middle initial conveys a formality that is a bit of a barrier to our audience. It feels a bit ostentatious." I've got a clue for you, Nick, old buddy old pal: Your columns are much more than "a bit" ostentatious and pretentious. Unfortunately, the disappearance of your middle initial is not likely to change that. If ever anyone exemplified navel-gazing, knee-jerk, double-standard liberalism, it would be you. Accordingly, I suggest that you begin to use a more appropriate middle initial than the one you just dropped. My suggestion follows the jump.
CBS stood out as the only Big Three network to devote full coverage to Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor's Tuesday night stay of the federal government's birth control/abortifacient mandate under ObamaCare. As of Thursday morning, CBS This Morning and CBS Evening News devoted three full reports and a news brief to the ruling against the controversial regulation.
By contrast, NBC's morning and evening newscasts have only aired one news brief on Sotomayor's decision, and mentioned it in passing in two other reports on the Affordable Care Act. ABC has yet to report on the development on either Good Morning America or World News.
Leave it to the Daily Beast's Dean Obeidallah to lay out a false dilemma supposedly facing the National Collegiate Athletic Association while simultaneously resurrecting at the end of 2013 a left-wing bogeyman that is so 2012.
"The NCAA is facing a momentous decision in 2014: Will it stop partnering with Chick-fil-A—or revise its bylaws so it can support discrimination against gay Americans?" Obeidallah asked in the open of his December 27 post "The NCAA’s Big Gay Choice: Chick-fil-A or Equality?"
My nomination for the best comment of the week regarding the controversy surrounding Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson goes to syndicated columnist George Will.
Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Will marvelously said, "[T]he new biggest American entitlement is the entitlement to go through life without being offended" (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
On his Thursday show, CNN's Piers Morgan confessed that Christians who believe homosexuality is sinful are "bigoted," and argued that parts of the Bible are "utterly ridiculous" and "offensive." The topic at hand was Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson's words about homosexuality.
"I can still understand people say, well, you know, it's my religious belief that homosexuality is a sin. I think it's a load of absolute fooey in the modern age, to be so bigoted, but if that's what people want to do, that's fine," the CNN host admitted. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Sex is the new reason for the season – at least according to women’s magazine Cosmo.
As a part of a “Holiday Sextacular,” Cosmopolitan’s Alyssa Shelasky and a team of “sexperts” transformed the traditional “Twelve Days for Christmas” tune into the “Twelve Days of Sex Moves.” Cosmo’s December issue advertised, “‘The 12 Days of Christmas’ is a classic – full of good cheer, holiday spirit, and … light BDSM right? [for those not up on the sex lingo: Bondage, Domination, Sadism and Masochism].” The piece touted, “Read up on what you and your true love should really give to each other this year.”
The Daily Beast has a new year's resolution for Pope Francis: be open to women in the priesthood.
Correspondent Barbie Latza Nadeau opened her December 20 story "Does Pope Francis Have a Woman Problem," with the obligatory statement that "Pope Francis is undoubtedly a good guy" who "has managed to impress almost everyone." But, alas, "for all the papal cheerleading there is still at least one demographic that won’t be lauding the great pontiff quite yet: women." Nadeau explained, with decidedly loaded language:
'Tis the season for the liberal media to ramp up it's attacks on the Catholic Church.
"One in nine hospital beds is now in a Catholic institution. That may be bad news for pregnant women," reads the caption on the front-page tease for a December 19 Irin Carmon story, "What Catholic hospital expansion means for women," wherein the abortion-rights absolutist turns the network's "war on women" artillery on Church-run hospitals. Here's how Carmon opened her story (emphasis mine):
Editor's Note: Dan Gainor, MRC's Vice President for Business and Culture addressed the recent suspension of "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson in the following statement to Variety today:
TV networks might claim they support free speech, but the suspension of “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson shows that to be an utter lie. They only support free speech they agree with. Foul comments by MSNBC’s Martin Bashir take weeks to resolve, but utter your Christian beliefs in an inartful way and you are instantly suspended by A&E. This is just the latest example of media outlets bowing to the militant LGBT agenda that would remove all voices for traditional marriage from TV. [statement continues after page break]
Updated (15:25 EST): Fugelsang testily tweeted, "Hey, I deleted a NAFTA joke earlier cos someone politely asked me. Cue the jackal child-men of Newsbusters. NAFTA hurt them, too." To that, @bfinstock quipped in reply, "Probably best to keep 'child-men' out of a tweet in which you are describing the deletion of a 'NAMBLA' joke." | "NAFTA screwed a lot more people than NAMBLA," left-wing comedian and frequent cable news pundit John Fugelsang tweeted this morning.
Fugelsang has since deleted that tweet, but not before it was screen-captured, probably because NAMBLA, of course, refers to the North American Man-Boy Love Association, a group that wants to destigmatize or at least decriminalize pederasty [h/t Twitter user @bfinstock]:
Tuesday's Good Morning America simply didn't have its facts straight in their rush to portray Pope Francis as a crypto-liberal. Amy Robach hyped that the pontiff "removed an outspoken critic of abortion and same-sex marriage from a powerful post within the Church. Conservative Cardinal Raymond Burke...was head of the Vatican's highest court." Robach then asserted that "this move is seen as reinforcing the Pope's vision for a more inclusive church."
However, Cardinal Burke is still the prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura – the equivalent of the Supreme Court for the Catholic Church. The Pope actually declined to renew the Wisconsin native's membership on a different consultative body at the Vatican – the Congregation for Bishops. [MP3 audio of Robach's news brief available here; video below the jump]
"Was Santorum Right About Polygamy?" asked a teaser headline on the Daily Beast's website this morning. "The Republican was once savaged for suggesting polygamy could become legal if the Supreme Court killed anti-sodomy laws. Now a judge has ruled against Utah's anti-polygamy statute," noted the teaser caption.
In the story itself, Daily Beast staffer Justin Miller answered the question in the negative, but did note that the court ruling in question did draw from the Supreme Court sodomy law case Lawrence v. Texas and that there's a strong political validation to the slippery slope argument from developments like these (emphases mine):
The man whose last controversial movie was "Bully" certainly knows how to behave like one. Just ask New York Post film critic Kyle Smith, who dared to give a thumbs-down to Hollywood bigwig Harvey Weinstein's latest anti-Catholic attack film, "Philomena," carefully timed for release during the Christmas season.
Weinstein took out an full-page color attack ad in The New York Times singling out Smith for abuse. It got his attention. "I've never been flogged in the public square, but now I have a rough idea what it's like."
It takes a lot of h8 to be a NOH8er. As The Huffington Post has begun touting the fifth anniversary of the NoH8 Campaign, a movement created in response to by Jeff Parshley and his partner Adam Bouska California’s Proposition 8 referendum on gay marriage, it’s worth examining all the non-hate that supposedly flows from the group’s members.
The NOH8 Campaign, a self-described “photographic silent protest,” consists of “subjects with duct tape over their mouths, symbolizing their voices being silenced by Prop 8 and similar legislation around the world, with ‘NOH8’ painted on one cheek in protest.” The project now boasts “nearly 33,000 faces,” many of whom are celebrities and politicians.
A gay teacher's firing from his job as a teacher at a Catholic college prepatory school was occasion for MSNBC.com to provide one-sided coverage to the controversy.
In her 14-paragraph December 9 story, "Gay teacher fired after applying for marriage license," the Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell digital producer failed to find anyone to defend the school in question, apart from quoting a press statement from the school's president, Fr. James McCloskey. What's more, Kim suggested to readers that Holy Ghost Prepatory School of Bensalem, Pa., was able to fire foreign language teacher Michael Griffin because the Keystone State did not have sexual orientation as a protected class in the commonwealth's nondiscrimination statutes:
Here's something you don't see every day: a popular actress slamming popular culture.
On Friday, Parks and Recreaction star Rashida Jones took to Glamour magazine to call out pop divas such as Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, and Rihanna for their crude public displays that in her view made 2013 "The Year of the Very Visible Vagina":
On Friday's CBS This Morning, former Time magazine managing editor Richard Stengel unexpectedly zeroed in on a part of Nelson Mandela's legacy that apparently wasn't sufficiently left wing. Moments after he lionized Mandela as "the George Washington of South Africa", Stengel asserted that "he [Mandela] had not been very progressive about HIV and AIDS when he was president".
Veteran 60 Minutes correspondent Bob Simon also sang Mandela's praises, to the point that he made an eyebrow-raising comment about the supposed extent that the former South African president stands apart in recent history: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Does the Daily Beast's Sally Kohn not have an editor? Or does she just have one who simply doesn't care that she utterly embarrasses herself when she insists the Founding Fathers would approve of ObamaCare's contraception mandate?
"To put it mildly, our forbearers [sic] would be appalled by how right-wing conservatives are trying to use government to force their religious views on all of us. Make no mistake, this is what Hobby Lobby wants to do—use government to push a conservative religious agenda, " Kohn groused this morning in "When Religion and Liberty Collide":
Moving past gay marriage, ABC News on Monday pushed the "gospel" of polyamory, having multiple romantic and sexual partners in an open relationship. Co-anchor Dan Harris hyped, "More couples opting to become triples or fourples. Live-in lovers spicing up the marital bed, even helping raise the children." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Harris opened the segment by lecturing, "Just for a minute, let's do a thought experiment. Let's set aside all of the emotion and consider whether the evangelists for open marriage might have a point." Reporter Nick Watt profiled Michael, Kamela and Rachel, a threesome "couple" that has sex with numerous people, all while raising a child. Watt described, "They're spreading the gospel of polyamory, hoping to speed up societal acceptance of this kind of set-up."
On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Jan Crawford zeroed in how President Obama "has got another fight on his hands" over the Supreme Court case challenging the federal government's controversial ObamaCare abortifacients and contraceptive mandate, just as "his administration is trying to get that website up and running".
Crawford pointed out that this "legal battle in the Supreme Court could scale back some of what he was trying to accomplish with the law in the first place". She also underlined that "all this comes as many Americans are feeling forced into this law". [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
Following two split rulings on abortion this week, one at the ballot box and one by the Supreme Court, the folks at MSNBC have engaged in an all-out assault pushing their pro-abortion agenda across their network. On Wednesday November 20 things weren’t much different as NewsNation host Tamron Hall brought on MSNBC darling and “women’s health advocate” Sandra Fluke for a one-sided discussion on abortion in America.
The segment began with host Hall framing the issue as “the Supreme Court ruled it would not intervene to stop Texas’ restrictive abortion law while voters in Albuquerque rejected an abortion ban.”
Never one to let facts get in the way of the proabort narrative, Mark Sherman at the Associated Press characterized today's 5-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to allow Texas's abortion law to stand while on appeal as one rendered by "the court's conservative majority."
Really? Anthony Kennedy is one of the justices in the critical "Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), which reaffirmed in principle (though without many details) the Roe v. Wade decision recognizing the right to abortion under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment." That's hardly "conservative," though Sherman at least applied the "liberal" label to the four dissenters. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Mollie Hemingway of The Federalist has an excellent post today deconstructing how the liberal Texas Tribune website served as an uncritical PR agent for a Texas couple -- Marni Evan and John Lockhart -- who lamented how a new Texas law pushed them to seek an abortion out-of-state
The Lean Forward network took a half-hearted stab at being fair and balanced on Tuesday. During the 11 a.m. hour, Thomas Roberts invited on two women to discuss the vote to ban abortions after 20 weeks in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Representing the obvious pro-abortion side was frequent MSNBC contributor Irin Carmon.
Representing what Roberts called “the church side” was Sara Hutchinson of, wait for it... Catholics for Choice, a pro-choice lobby group. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
The "About" page at the Florida Family Policy Council (FPPC) tells us that it "is one of 38 other state based policy council around the country which are associated with Focus on the Family," and that its mission is "to strengthen Florida’s families through public policy education, issue research, and grassroots advocacy." It claims that is basis for public argument is "using good research, sound arguments and articulate presentations to make the case for pro-life, pro-family values in the public square."
FPPC opposes same-sex marriage. According to the Associated Press and AP reporter Brendan Farrington, in a Sunday story (HT Twitchy) carried at the Miami Herald which seems not to have appeared at the wire service's national site, that means the FPPC is "anti-gay":
ObamaCare boosters in Colorado are treating young women "cheap sluts who don’t care about their health or well being other than getting cheap birth control pills to have sex with strange men," complains Washington Times opinion writer Emily Miller in a November 12 post at the newspaper's website.
"The latest marketing campaign implies that young women would only be interested in Colorado's government-run health care exchange if they get coverage for birth control pills to have sex with strange men," Miller noted, going on to describe what she considers the "most offensive ad" [see below page break for illustration] which...: