Writing at Editor and Publisher, the bible of the newspaper industry, senior editor Joe Strupp blasts newspapers for not doing enough to promote gay marriage:
The gay marriage debate has wasted time, energy and
effort long enough. It barely shows up in a list of issues that concern
Americans in a Gallup Poll released in the past week. And the current proposal for a constitutional ban on gay marriage may be the height of abuse.
It is bad enough that newspapers have not taken a
harder stance in favor of gay rights in the past. But to allow this
short-sighted misuse of the Constitution to move ahead without
condemnation would be the ultimate irresponsibility.
MRC's Geoff Dickens told me that Geraldo Rivera's syndicated program "Rivera At Large" -- which I'm told airs alongside the network evening news shows on some Fox affiliates -- carried a big segment on the 25th anniversary of the discovery of AIDS on June 1. Rivera found one actress who was an angry activist.
Rivera: "But many are unsatisfied with the pace of progress. Even as world leaders gathered at the United Nations Wednesday to find new ways to tackle the epidemic the actress Rosie Perez led AIDS activists at a rally outside."
Rosie Perez: "I’m disappointed in our leadership here in the United States. Yes the United States is giving a lot of money for the, for the fight against AIDS but to push a program of abstinence is just insane. It, it doesn’t work. We have to be realistic and we have to do even more than what’s being done."
While considerable attention focuses on Ann Coulter's more superficial charms, from a conservative perspective Ann's real beauty is her absolute refusal to buy into liberal logic, no matter how pervasive. That independence of mind was on display this morning during her 'Today' interview with Matt Lauer. Ann was on to tout her new book, Godless: The Church of Liberalism, released today on . . . 6/6/6 - sign of the devil and all that. [See today's open thread.]
The first example came in the context of President Bush's current push for a constitutional amendment that would prohibit gay marriage. The liberal mantra on his initiative, as exemplified by Ann Curry's performance on yesterday's Today, is that this is a cynical political ploy and a waste of time when there are myriad 'real' issues out there to be addressed.
A new ABC News poll found that by a 22-point margin -- 58 to 36 percent -- a solid majority of Americans believe “same-sex marriage should be illegal,” yet, on Monday’s World News Tonight, ABC anchor Charles Gibson declared that “the polls show Americans are fairly evenly split on this issue.” ABCNews.com headlined its story, “Most Oppose Gay Marriage; Fewer Back an Amendment,” and reporter Jake Tapper pointed out how “forty-five of fifty states have passed either constitutional amendments or laws banning same-sex marriage, including in Democratic-leaning states Oregon and California.” Nonetheless, a seemingly befuddled Gibson asked George Stephanopoulos: “Why does the White House think this is a political winner for the President if indeed we're split?" Stephanopoulos explained that “the number of Americans who are strongly opposed to gay marriage is more than twice the size of the number who are strongly for it, and that group of voters who want to block gay marriage is three times as likely to vote on the issue.”
Gibson next relayed what Stephanopoulos characterized as the Democratic spin. Gibson inquired, “why, if the votes are not there for this constitutional amendment, does the Senate spend three days on this issue when there are a lot of issues that perhaps they could do something about it?" Stephanopoulos answered, “The Democrats think their best issue is misplaced priorities, and they say exactly what you say: The Senate shouldn't be spending their time on this when you have high gas prices and a war raging in Iraq." (Transcript follows)
The Washington Post's Alan Cooperman reported on protesters who staged a silent demonstration during Mass at a Catholic service in St. Paul, Minnesota. The group of gay activists wore rainbow-colored sashes as they went to receive Communion in protest of Church teachings on homosexuality.
Cooperman's description of a subsequent mishandling of the Eucharist refused to condemn the act as objectively disrespectful of the sacrament:
In an act that some witnesses called a "sacrilege" and others called a sign of "solidarity," a man who was not wearing a sash received a Communion wafer from a priest, broke it into pieces and handed it to some of the sash wearers, who consumed it on the spot.
As noted by Tim Graham and Mark Finkelstein, the Today show has already portrayed the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment as nothing more then pandering to conservatives. Liberals will be comforted to know that incoming Today host Meredith Vieira concurs. The View, which Ms. Vieira leaves at the end of the week, featured a same-sex marriage discussion during the June 5 edition of the ABC program. Vieira introduced the segment by snidely stating, "President Bush is getting involved in someone’s marriage other then his own." She then referenced a Newsweek piece that quoted an anonymous Bush ‘friend’ as saying, "...He really doesn't care about this. He's just pushing it because he want to pander to conservatives." At one point she derided President Bush’s motives, saying, "So then it is just pandering." Later on she added, "It’s a response to a base falling out, I think." As Mr. Graham pointed out, liberals like Nancy Pelosi support repealing the "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" ban on gays serving in the military. This is also an attempt at mollifying a political base, but don’t expect Katie Couric’s replacement to mention it.
While NBC interviewed Joe Scarborough on the "gay marriage" front (and CBS stayed out of the fray), ABC followed up their Claire Shipman report on "Good Morning America" with an interview with very liberal San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. Typically, co-host Charles Gibson asked about whether this issue is pandering and good politics for Republicans, but not whether it's been pandering or good politics for Democrats.
Gibson began: "We're going to turn next to Gavin Newsom. He's the Democratic mayor of San Francisco, and as you'll recall, a couple of years ago, he ordered city officials to marry gay couples, and he touched off this debate to some extent. And Mayor Newsom is joining us from our San Francisco bureau. It's good to have you back with us, Mr. Mayor...Your opinion on this? Do you think there's any chance, snowball's chance in you know where, that this will become part of the Constitution, or is this just politics?"
While NBC's David Gregory described the marriage-amendment battle as a move to placate conservatives on Monday morning, ABC's Claire Shipman's story on "Good Morning America" highlighted opposition to the amendment within the White House. MRC's Brian Boyd found the labeling imbalance was here, too:
Shipman: "He's wading into one of the nation's most divisive social issues again today...Restating his position in the hopes of driving his conservative base to the polls in November." Liberals were unlabeled: "Both pro- and anti-gay marriage forces have been pushing their agendas in state legislatures and courts. Thirteen states have passed bans on gay marriage. Only Massachusetts has made gay marriage legal. The public is divided. Half of Americans, 51 percent, oppose legalizing gay marriage.
As Mark already noted, NBC’s “Today” hit the Federal Marriage Amendment talk this week as a blatant pandering move to conservatives. MRC's Geoff Dickens reported that this was how Matt Lauer began Monday's show: “Good morning. Wedded blitz: President Bush and Senate conservatives kick off an effort today to ban gay marriage,but is it a marriage of political convenience?"
Then, as Ann Curry noted the approaching Senate battle over the “ban” on “gay marriage” (no “so-called” gay marriage or “what proponents call” gay marriage), Lauer repeated himself on the pandering-to-righties talking point: “The President is speaking out in support of it even though he has virtually no chance of having it passed. Democrats say this is all about winning conservative votes in the midterm elections. We're gonna have more on that."
The Today show doesn’t like to judge. In the past, they have used the HBO series Big Love as a pretext to describe polygamy as the "next civil rights battle." They also had a serious piece on an "artist" who was promoting female public nudity. And now we have the lighter side of child rape. The May 26 edition of NBC’s Today featured an interview with Mary Kay LeTourneau. You may remember her as the women who was convicted in 1997 for having sex with her then 12-year-old student. She has since served a seven year prison sentence and is now married to the former victim, Vili Fualaau, 21. Here’s how Matt Lauer introduced the piece at 7:32AM EDT:
Lauer: "Most skeptics thought it could never last. Theirs was truly a love against all odds. He was a sixth grader in suburban Seattle. She was a star teacher and a married mother of four. What began as a mentorship quickly developed into a sexual affair."
Today's ABC News: The Note suggests viewers of this evening's televised joint news conference of President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, "watch closely the nuance, the body language, the bonhomie, and the sheer homo-eroticism."
The next sentence is: "(We are sort of kidding about that last one, Mr. President.)"
Thank heaven they're only "sort of kidding about that last one." It would have been a terrific shock to their wives.
Still, it would have been more politically correct to have added that, if there were any homo-eroticism between the two leaders, there'd be nothing wrong with it.
Over at GetReligion, Mollie Ziegler is giggling (a giggling Ziegler?) over how difficult liberals find it to include the voices of people who believe homosexuality is sinful and wrong into the news. Or at least giggling at the way that it can be explained. Billie Stanton wrote in the Tucson Citizen that the University of Arizona no longer taught the vital importance of balance and objectivity in reporting, which she applied:
When some talented Denver Post reporters covered an anti-gay referendum later overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, their bias showed. Repeatedly I demanded rewrites to give the homophobes’ side equal credence.
Stanton made the point in a column in the Tucson Citizen about why she is glad to be on the editorial page. But it just cracked me up. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, certainly, but the question is at least worth asking: how fair of a shake can you give people when you believe their legislative opinion is based on an irrational fear of homosexuality? Of course, I was in college and living in Denver at the time of the vote and remember that things were weird. Our own governor — himself part of an interesting polyamorous family situation — marched in the streets condemning the people of his own state for how they voted.
On Friday's Countdown show on MSNBC, substitute host Brian Unger lived up to Keith Olbermann's habitually liberal standards as he portrayed recent efforts by Senate Republicans to declare English America's official language and to ban gay marriage as a "hard turn to the right." He hearkened back to the "exclusionary rhetoric" of the 1992 Republican convention that spelled a "political disaster" for Republicans, and wondered if it could be "1992 all over again." Regarding the proposed gay marriage ban, Unger referred to it as part of the "far right's greatest hit list," and characterized the Senate Judiciary Committee vote for a constitutional amendment as "tossing social conservatives a straight-as-an-arrow bone."
In spite of a recent Zogby poll showing 84 percent of Americans, including 77 percent of Hispanics, support making English the nation's official language, Unger teased the show wondering if Republicans would "alienate the American middle": "Could these two right turns alienate the American middle? What playing to the Republican base could mean for the President and voters come midterm election." He introduced the show by recounting the 1992 Republican convention which renominated former President George H.W. Bush: "The 1992 Republican convention was widely regarded as a political disaster in which the party's social conservatives managed to alienate swing voters with their exclusionary rhetoric. A new cultural war was launched, and not coincidentally, it was the Democratic ticket that managed to win the '92 election. Our fifth story on the Countdown, could it be '92 all over again?" (Transcript follows)
On Thursday night, NBC aired the final episode of "Will & Grace" after eight seasons, but on Thursday’s "Today," MRC’s Geoff Dickens noticed Katie Couric interviewed the cast and just lathered on the praise that her 14-year-old daughter learned so much about tolerance for homosexuality from the show, and "I think that’s a great contribution to society," because "I think you have to teach tolerance at a very early age and the more comfortable people feel with people who are different, starting when they're young, the more tolerant and accepting they're gonna be as they go into adulthood." So much for CBS hiring an even-handed new anchor on the hot social issues of the day.
You would expect an NBC show to praise an NBC show, but Couric went way beyond that to a serious political lecture. She began the segment by touting the victory over what critics call homophobia:
On The Situation Room on Thursday, CNN's Jack Cafferty used his Cafferty Report segment to rant against a proposal by Republican Senators for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage as "shameless" and "an effort to appeal to right-wing nuts" in the Republican Party. He further accused Republicans of "groveling at the feet of the lunatic fringe," and sarcastically concluded, "That's leadership."
Cafferty began his segment by labeling it a "lesson in hypocrisy" as he went on to recount a private meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee that was held by Republican Chairman Arlen Specter, and Democratic Senator Russ Feingold's decision to storm out after an argument with Specter. Cafferty commented, "These guys are shameless," and then continued: "Senator Specter, in a real show of courage, says that he's, quote, 'totally opposed to the amendment,' but he voted for it anyway, saying it deserves a debate in the Senate." (Transcript follows)
It's not enough for "DaVinci Code" star Ian McKellen to make cracks about Bible disclaimers. MRC's Michael Chapman passed along that in an interview with Reuters, he took his wisecracks directly to the Catholic Church:
“When I put the book down I thought, ’what a load of potential codswallop .That’s still going on in my mind. But I’m very happy to believe that Jesus was married.”
Sir Ian, who came out as gay in 1988 during a Radio 4 discussion programme, continued: “I know that the Catholic church has problems with gay people and I thought that this was absolute truth that Jesus was not gay.”
For those who think that sports broadcasts might offer a respite from liberal media spin . . . think again. At least when it comes to ESPN [an arm of ABC] the same ESPN that forced Rush Limbaugh out from his position as an NFL commentator for expressing his views on QB Donovan McNabb.
Prosecutors believe they have DNA evidence to tie a third Duke lacrosse player to the alleged attack on a 27-year-old exotic dancer, news outlets in Durham reported Thursday.
The local ABC affiliate, citing sources, reported that the third player is the same person who was identified with "90 percent" certainty by the alleged victim in a photo lineup. That lineup was conducted by police weeks after the March 13 off-campus lacrosse team party where the alleged incident took place.
World Net Daily points out that the Associated Press drove by a Swedish study that finds lesbians react differently to sex hormones than heterosexual women. Evidently, the desire of the AP was to claim that homosexuality is genetic, that it can't be helped. This, presumably, would make homosexuals a protected class affording special legal protections. Specifically, the AP made claims like "the findings add weight to the idea that homosexuality has a physical basis and is not learned behavior."
The problem is that the study says no such thing. In fact, Dr. Ivanka Savic of the Stockholm Brain Institute and the author of the study said: "This is incorrect and not stated in the paper."
As WorldNet points out, "the Swedish study merely found that lesbians respond differently, not that their brains were hardwired that way before any sexual activity."
It is unknown whether the lesbian nose is trained or bred, at least to everybody except the AP.
The liberal media are nothing if not militantly in favor of sex, and everything that enables it to be more frequent and fearless. Sunday’s cover story in the New York Times Magazine was a panicked take on "The War on Contraception." The title inside was "Contra-Contraception." The cover showed an enlarged picture of a mocked-up condom wrapper, which said:
If used properly, this latex condom (or for that matter, any other form of birth control, especially the morning-after pill) will anger a great many people – people who believe that having sex without the intent to procreate is a very, very bad thing. Any contraceptive highly effective against pregnancy – that is, unwanted pregnancy, otherwise, why use it? – is precisely the problem, even though there might be fewer abortions if those having sex with no intention to procreate used a contraceptive.
Feminist anthems still draw rave reviews. On Thursday morning's "Today," singer Helen Reddy was scheduled for an interview on her new memoir. As "I Am Woman" played in the background, Katie Couric explained how she knew every word of the song and it "shaped me in a lot of ways." News anchor Ann Curry interviewed Reddy and echoed the swooning: "Oh, that song still gives me the chills."
Coming into the 8:30 half hour, MRC's Geoff Dickens noticed Katie Couric announced over the Reddy song and the outside crowd noise:
Katie Couric: "Matt I'm sure you have this one on your iPod don't you? This of course is Helen Reddy's I Am Woman. When it first came out in 1972 it became an anthem for the women's movement and for feminists everywhere and I have a confession to make."
Today’s edition of The View may have given us a window into not only that show’s future, but also the interviewing style we might expect from Meredith Vieira on Today. Ms. Vieira, who joins the NBC program in September, and her co-hosts interviewed Dhillon Khosla, a transsexual who underwent several surgeries in an attempt to become a man. Vieira complimented Khosla for his ability to "find yourself finally." Here is a brief sample of her comments:
Vieira: "I can understand why people would love you. You’re a very nice guy. Very, very nice guy. Very smart and what a struggle to find yourself finally...You’re a very smart guy and a very brave guy to go through this and to write about it too. And help- obviously a lot of people struggling with the same situation."
Let’s look at USA Today's story which ran just five days after the media began reporting on the rape allegation and its fallout. I think even those of you with a low opinion of MSM will be shocked by the story’s blatant bias.
The flier being distributed outside Duke's student union Wednesday night looked like a wanted poster: 40 faces of young men, smiling smugly for the camera.
What was most disturbing to those gathered was the possibility several of the Duke men's lacrosse players whose photos were arranged in those neat rows may have committed criminal charges, including forcible rape and sodomy.
Roger Friedman, who writes the "Fox 411" for FoxNews.com, reported Saturday that Barbara Walters decided to pick Rosie O'Donnell to replace Meredith Vieira after being touched to tears at a screening of Rosie's documentary about her gay-family cruises. (Update: The New York Times confirms today. See below.)
Friedman began with the note that O'Donnell's contract apparently states she cannot chop off her hair to look "butch" as she did at the bitter, back-biting end of her last daytime talk show. It should be noted that Friedman doesn't nail every detail in his report, since he calls Elisabeth Hasselbeck "Debbie." Is he still remembering the long-departed first "View" co-host to get the boot, Debbie Matenopoulos? Here's a sample of his take:
You may wonder when and how this arrangement with "The View" came about. I was not surprised to be told that it all occurred on the night that HBO screened Rosie and her partner Kelli’s documentary about their gay family cruise line about a month ago. I distinctly recall Barbara Walters coming out of the screening room, wiping tears from her eyes. It was quite obvious as the mother of an adopted daughter, she was incredibly moved.
It's not clear what writer Tim Padgett is hoping to accomplish by the article, although it's possibly meant to put pressure on Jamaica and drive down tourism. Recently the BBC did a report claiming Iraqi homosexuals were better under Saddam. Now Time has an article sounding the alarm about Jamaica with the title: "The Most Homophobic Place on Earth?"
Perhaps Padgett hopes he can start a movement to boycott Jamaica as a tourist location. Starting a new drumbeat or a new consensus is the dream of all journalists. "How many drumbeats have you started in your career?" is the ultimate benchmark of journalistic accomplishment.
Here's a new one. To add to the media's laundry list of supposed failures in Iraq is a unique allegation by the BBC. Apparently Saddam Hussein had a soft spot for the gay rights movement, and now that Bush has invaded, homosexuals are being persecuted.
To many Hollywood left types, this must truly be the reason we shouldn't of entered Iraq.
"I don't want to be gay anymore. When I go out to buy bread, I'm afraid. When the doorbell rings, I think that they have come for me."
That is the fear that haunts Hussein, and other gay men in Iraq.
They say that since the US-led invasion, gays are being killed because of their sexual orientation.
Here's a few more recent examples of impending "Today" co-host Meredith Vieira sounding liberal on ABC's "The View," courtesy of the MRC Cyber Alert archive:
June 9, 2005: Vieira insisted to Sean Hannity that Hillary’s no puppet of her husband, and whacks away at abstinence-only sex education: "Why does the federal government deny funding then in terms of [sex education] classes for kids if they don't preach anything other than abstinence?"
January 22, 2003: As "The View" crew ganged up on pro-life actress Jennifer O'Neill, Vieira argued: "But prior to abortion becoming legal that’s when things were really secret much more so than after it became legal, and very dangerous. So there is going to be abortion one way or the other."
As the Meredith Vieira incident shows us, network anchors and talk show hosts can display their biases off the air by where they go and speak...or march. At the tail end of "Hardball" Thursday night, MRC's Geoff Dickens found MSNBC host Chris Matthews promoted Rosie O'Donnell and her new HBO documentary on her gay-family cruises. But the real eye-opening part for media watchdogs was Matthews admitting he spoke at an event for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay-left lobbying group, in Philadelphia. (Sure enough, here's a picture, with the Matthews mane in a frostier phase. And wow! See another media speaker, NPR "Fresh Air" hostess Terry Gross, whose show originates from Philly.) Matthews explained:
On the front of Monday’s Arts page stands Felicia Lee’s “Gay Moms And Dads Can Bring The Family,” based on Rosie O’Donnell’s new HBO special on “the first-ever cruise for gay families.”
The piece reads more as pro-gay mainstreaming than a news item, leading off with unusual criticism by a reporter of a question from another reporter.
“Rosie O'Donnell, the former talk show host, actress, lesbian mom and a candid blogger, can certainly duck, weave and bob her way through a conversation. But she was caught off-guard by a reporter at a press event for ‘All Aboard! Rosie's Family Cruise,’ a new documentary about the first-ever cruise for gay families. Did she intend to raise her children to be gay?, the reporter asked.