I seem to be detecting a trend. There's a current in the MSM that fears Rudy Giuliani, perhaps sensing he might be best positioned to defeat the Dem candidate. Such folks console themselves by clinging to the belief that the GOP won't nominate Rudy, or at least won't avidly support him if he is the candidate, given his liberal positions on some issues.
This evening's Hardball offered a perfect example of the phenomenon in the person of Craig Crawford. Time and again, the MSNBC analyst returned to the theme:
"Getting onto the social conservative stuff: abortion, gay rights, etc., [Rudy at CPAC] did make the case that I'm 80% with you, better than most marriages, a pretty good line, but at the end of the day, they're important issues to these people, and I just really wonder, the more they learn about him, and just how liberal he really is on those issues, I think it's going to matter to them."
"Maybe I've just covered these social conservatives and these Republican races for too long to believe they're suddenly going to forget about that stuff, no matter how much they like Giuliani otherwise."
"I think if Giuliani wins this nomination, and he well could, social conservative voters are not going to play in the general election, and that's going to help Democrats."
"I really do believe a lot of these [socially conservative] voters and a lot of these groups are losing interest in politics."
"I don't think they've heard all the details of his personal life, and the judges [the liberal ones in NYC Rudy appointed] we're talking about."
Jim Vandehei, ex of WaPo, now with Politico.com, was dubious of Crawford's notion: "I think that the conventional wisdom must be wrong, this idea that once conservatives get to know Giuliani's record. I mean, how can they not know his record? Everybody's talking about it."
It's a tried and true tactic of interest groups seeking to influence public opinion -- and legislative policy -- on a controversial issue. Find the most sympathetic individual case you can, and get the media to focus on that, rather than on the broaders merits of the matter. A prime example of the phenomenon was on display today at Good Morning America. Congressman Marty Meehan [D-MA] has introduced legislation that would repeal the Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell policy, with the result that gays would be able to serve openly in the military. Hearings are scheduled to begin soon.
ABC senior national correspondent Jake Tapper narrated a segment on Marine Staff Sergeant Eric Alva [ret], described as the first member of the US military seriously injured in the Iraq invasion, losing a leg and part of a hand. In conjunction with the debate on the bill, Sergeant Alva publicly announced, apparently for the first time today, that he is gay.
Tapper interviewed Sergeant Alva at the offices of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group. Later in the segment, we heard from Dixon Osburn of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, another gay rights group that focuses specifically on gays in the military. It seems likely that one or both of these groups have identified Alva as a spokesman, then took his story to ABC, which ran with it.
There is a saying that is often bandied about by whites feigning what might be ridiculed as an American Black person's defeatist demeanor. It is used when whites want to make fun of the kind of attitude that assumes everyone in power is somehow out to get you. It goes like this: "I'm tired of the white man keeping me down." It's an eye-rolling proclamation, but it is one that many whites assume is inculcated in Black Americans all across the country. Of course it is an unwelcome stereotype.
It is a stereotype, however, that has been adopted as reality in all too real a sense by American Universities and is posited as a raison d'etre for wasting time and money on things like "Black studies" programs. The sentiment is replicated in "Hispanic studies", "Women's studies", and "Gay studies" in equal measures and with as much illegitimacy.
The (insert group here) is keeping you down so rebel against it. Be angry. "Speak truth to power".
This is a tale of two editorials. The New York Times this morning applauds a New Jersey court ruling holding public schools liable when they fail to take measures to stop the taunting or bullying of gay students. Coincidentally, a Boston Globe editorial today applauds a Massachusetts court ruling upholding the right of the Lexington school district to expose elementary school students to children's books -- such as 'Who's in a Family?' and 'Molly's Family' -- that feature same-sex parents. This was done pursuant to a state law law that "requires that all public school districts develop curricula advancing respect for diversity, including for gays and lesbians."
In the Bay State case, parents had claimed that their constitutional rights to free exercise of religion were violated, as were their rights as parents to raise their children as they see fit. The court disagreed, ruling that "options remain for the parents, such as private school or home schooling, so their rights were not abridged." Not only did the Globe declare the judge's ruling "reasonable," it opined that "the earlier most students learn [to 'respect difference'], the better."
Talk about a blatant attempt to mislead with a headline! We have no better example of such an effort than one by the AP today. It is a textbook case of a headline that does not fit the facts of the story.
Here is the headline:
R.I. to recognize gay unions performed in Mass.
Wow! It would be big news, indeed, if legislation had been passed wherein Gay Unions from Massachusetts were to be officially recognized by Rhode Island. And, if one were to read this AP headline and move on, one would be left with the impression that it had. Even the sub head doesn't really tell the whole truth.
State’s attorney general says there’s no reason to deny them recognition
A British hospital conducted a study recently that I doubt will get much coverage here in the States considering its erosion of a left-wing feminist myth that men are sexual predators. According to the study, none of 75 women who came in for treatment of "date rape" drugs had actually been given them. In fact, they'd just drank too much. Too bad the study didn't come out in time for V-Day, the radical left's attempt to ruin Valentine's Day.
Here's an excerpt from a London Evening Standard summary of the report:
Women who claim to be victims of 'date-rape' drugs such as Rohypnol
have in fact been rendered helpless by binge-drinking, says a study by
They found no evidence that any woman seeking help
from emergency doctors because their drinks were allegedly spiked had
actually been given these drugs.
Around one in five tested positive for recreational drugs while two-thirds had been drinking heavily.
Liberated by her firing-qua-resignation, ex-John Edwards blogger Amanda Marcotte has reverted to form: using vulgarity to insult her political opponents. On a whim I thought I'd check in at Marcotte's site, Pandagon, and wasn't surprised to find her slurring Michelle Malkin, with shots at Ann Coulter and the two leading conservative women's organizations thrown in for good measure.
Marcotte decided to respond to an inquiry from a poster she labelled a troll who had written: "does it bother you that one of the major architects of your demise was herself a strong woman, Michelle Malkin?"
That set Marcotte off on this tirade that included these gems of logic and literary flair [editing mine; unexpurgated vulgarity in the original]:
"I do want to address this false premise that someone like Malkin is a 'strong woman' Women who kow-tow to male dominance by aggressively attacking women who actually do rebel against oppression can expect to have sexist men blow this particular 'strong woman' smoke up their --- all the time. It means nothing. To the degree that these men mean it, they are mistaking a------ry for strength."
When's the last time you saw an MSMer dispute a politician on the tenets of his own faith? It happened today on Good Morning America when George Stephanopoulos challenged Mitt Romney's depiction of a tenet of Mormonism.
Weekend GMA host Kate Snow noted to the "This Week" host that at a Mitt Romney event Friday someone called out to the candidate that he didn't "know the Lord." Snow asked George to what extent Romney's Mormonism might be a "big hurdle" for him.
Stephanopoulos: "Polls certainly show that it is. He faces a lot of skepticism from evangelical Christians. When I spoke with him, I asked him how Muslims might perceive the Mormon belief that Jesus will return to the United States and reign personally here for a thousand years."
GMA then rolled a clip of Romney saying the following: "Our belief is just like it says in the Bible, that the Messiah will come to Jerusalem, stand on the Mount of Olives, and the Mount of Olives will be a place where there's a great gathering, and so forth. It's the same as the other Christian tradition."
Stephanopoulos: "Actually, we checked in with a Mormon spokesman who said that's not exactly true. They believe the New Jerusalem is here in the United States, in Missouri, and that's where Jesus is going to come."
As already reported on NewsBusters, Friday’s "Good Morning America" used the pretext of the 2008 presidential election to wonder just how bigoted America is. In a segment that aired in the 7:30 hour, Diane Sawyer talked to former NBA star John Amaechi about his new book, the revelation that he’s a homosexual, and an anti-gay diatribe delivered by ex-Miami Heat star Tim Hardaway.
This is the second time in five days that the ABC program has promoted Amaechi’s book. And just as with the piece on Senator Obama and his candidacy, Sawyer used isolated incidents to draw conclusions about all of America:
Diane Sawyer: "All right, as we said now, we're going to give you a story that wades right into this country's secret prejudice against gays in America. The former pro basketball player who revealed he is gay is with us. His name is John Amaechi. He has been the target of an anti- gay tirade by a former NBA all-star, Tim Hardaway."
The coming out of gay former NBA player John Amaechi was boosted on Monday by an interview on CNN's afternoon show Newsroom, where anchor Don Lemon framed the interview as a question of social progress and tolerance: "do you think that the NBA now is ready for a player who may be out, while they're playing? Do you think the league is mature enough to handle that?"
Amaechi responded that the NBA may soon be "clean" on this issue, regardless of how the "clean" word's been politically dangerous in the last few weeks: "I think that [NBA Commissioner] David Stern is mature enough to handle that. I think he wants an organization that is pristine, and part of that, if you want, cleanliness will be to have a league that accepts all types, as long as they do have the ability."
Here's a double standard on hate. While none of the Big Three networks have mentioned the hate speech of the bloggers (now retired) of the John Edwards presidential campaign, former pro basketball star Tim Hardaway's shocking and repulsive line on a Miami radio show that "I hate gay people" made all three network morning shows on Thursday in the wake of the first former NBA player announcing he's homosexual.
NBC anchor Ann Curry tried to stifle laughs and then said "I'm sorry, America, but it was just so far across the line." ABC reporter Taina Hernandez closed her story with the scolding line "No active NBA player has ever come out of the closet and Hardaway's comments offer a troubling reminder of attitudes that apparently still linger." CBS didn't even mention former Orlando Magic center John Amaechi, whose new book revealed his long-held secret.
Hardaway's comments, first seen by many at the top of the Drudge Report, are newsworthy, although the cultural opinions of basketball stars are rarely in the headlines. But when networks announce a line has been crossed and find "troubling" reminders of lingering attitudes, is that meant just for Hardaway's now-retracted statement of hate, or for anyone who opposes homosexuality as morally wrong?
The Christian attitude of "hate the sin, love the sinner" was absent from Hardaway's comments, and stories on coming out and "homophobia" often completely exclude anyone who would attempt to rebut the politically correct point of view.
It's one thing for Chip Reid or David Gregory to give Mitt Romney a hard time over his abortion position change, as I documented here and here. But on this evening's Hardball, Chris Matthews took it to a fiery new level, and Pat Buchanan got into the act.
Matthews: "This is like the kind of conversions you had in Spain in the old bad days where if you were Jewish, you were Christian the next day or you were burned alive!"
The screencap shows Chris Matthews giving Pat an approving finger as the paleo-con posed and answered his own question:
"Do I believe these are sincere, honest conversions of Rudy or Romney? In my judgment, probably not. I think they're changing their positions for political reasons. And you either accept that or you take the alternative which may be Hillary Rodham Clinton."
As we noted here, within minutes of Mitt Romney having announced his candidacy this morning, MSNBC, in the person of Chip Reid, branded him "far right."
David Gregory has now made it a one-two punch. A bit later on MSNBC, Gregory played clips from 1994 of Romney expressing pro-choice and pro-gay rights views. Noting Romney's subsequent change to a pro-life position, Gregory expressed this opinion, in the guise of a question, to his two MSM guests:
"With all respect to Governor Romney, is anybody really going to buy that, buy the timing of that, that that was some genuine change of heart?"
Words don't do justice to the contemptuousness of Gregory's tone. View the video here.
Don't believe me? Ask the Boston Globe. Better put, have a gander at the paper's editorial cartoon of today. What does the Globe mean by saying that Mitt Romney "once worshipped at the church of moderation"? No doubt the Globe has in mind Mitt's glory days of 1994, campaigning against Ted Kennedy for his Senate seat.
As the Globe documented here, in 1994, Romney aligned himself with Kennedy on abortion, arguing that it should be safe and legal. He also voiced support for the controversial abortion pill RU-486. And when it came to gay rights, Romney portrayed himself as being an even more ardent advocate for the cause, promising "more effective leadership" than Kennedy on winning "full equality" for gays and lesbians, opposed a federal constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, and advocated gays serving openly in the military.
The vicious anti-Catholic (and in general, anti-religious) bloggers hired by the John Edwards campaign came under surprising condemnation from liberal columnist (and PBS NewsHour pundit) Mark Shields and liberal NPR reporter Nina Totenberg on the Friday night TV talk show "Inside Washington." Shields said he hesitated to agree with Bill Donohue of the Catholic League, but he was "right." Shields dared go where media accounts have not, explicitly reading Amanda Marcotte’s sleazy joke about the sperm of the Holy Spirit and Mary aborting Jesus with the Plan B pill, saying "if she had written similarly about a Jewish person, an Islamic person, a gay or a lesbian, she would be banished to the outer darkness." Totenberg called it "disgusting."
Only Newsweek’s Evan Thomas seemed to try and make excuses for Edwards by slamming bloggers in general: "Read blogs. They're full of that kind of stuff."
Have you ever watched a book-based TV segment in which the hosts never mentioned the book's title? Fox & Friends Weekend pulled off the feat this morning -- presumably because the title of the cookbook in question was a bit too spicy for Fox's taste.
With Valentine's Day looming, Martha Hopkins was in to suggest some sensual dishes to share with one's sweetie. Her claim to expertise? She is co-author of a book entitled . . . "Inter Courses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook." Hopkins treated the Fox hosts to two of her recipes: artichoke hearts and strawberries and whipped cream.
But while the camera flashed on her book sitting on the buffet, items were artfully arranged to obscure its full title. I'm providing a larger-than-normal screencap so readers can see the careful camouflaging. The book title once appeared briefly at the bottom of the screen, and a full image of the book was flashed at the end of the segment. But the two Fox hosts, Kelly Wright and Brigitte Quinn, managed to avoid ever mentioning its title.
Political correctness is on the march again in the Washington Post sports section. In a column highlighted on the Post home page today with the headline "Sexuality Disclosed, Ignorance Exposed," sports writer Michael Wilbon uses former NBA player John Amaechi's coming out as gay as an opportunity to bludgeon the "ignorance" of anyone who would offer a discouraging word.
If we're lucky, the men and women who are both enlightened and emboldened will not only be supportive but will drown out the knuckleheads and Neanderthals and everybody who wants to slow the march of progress. Even one step away from tolerance, whether we're talking about race, gender, religious beliefs or sexuality, simply slows the march to the day when none of this stuff matters.
John Edwards is retaining his attack-dog leftist bloggers. His campaign has a statement on the Edwards blog, and the candidate claimed "they have both assured me that it was never their intention to malign anyone's faith, and I take them at their word. We're beginning a great debate about the future of our country, and we can't let it be hijacked."
As anyone who's read the Kathryn Lopez smackdown on their blazing blog guns at Catholics (and Pope Benedict, the alleged dictator) knows, it's quite clear they intended to malign a faith. The subject emerged on CNN's The Situation Room Wednesday night, but the most disturbing part of the story appeared on screen. The graphic emphasized unproven allegations:
What? Kathryn's beginning made the vicious anti-Catholic flavor of Amanda Marcotte's blogging very clear:
The Laura Ingraham Show this morning had a big discussion about the odd part of Prince's performance of "Purple Rain" during the Super Bowl halftime show last night. Prince is obviously self-impressed with the symbol he used for a name for a few years (the TAFKAP Era, for The Artist Formerly Known As Prince). Not only was there a huge symbol on the stage, it was also the shape of his guitar.
So many people thought putting Prince behind a flapping curtain with a spotlight so you could see him in silhouette playing his odd guitar sent an obvious er, male-genitalia message last night. Was this just a dramatic flourish gone awry? Some sort of Austin Powers hommage? And why would CBS let it slip through their censors after the Janet Jackson Wardrobe Malfunction of 2004? Anyone else think of old Prince lyrics about the "lion in his pocket"?
Sunday's Washington Post Magazine had another one of those true Post chestnuts, chronicling how cruel and backward the state of Virginia is to lesbians. April Witt's story focused on two women who entered into a civil union in Vermont now battling for custody of an artificially inseminated daughter. Vermont says Janet the lesbian partner is automatically a parent, Virginia says not so fast. The story contained several elements that the gay left does not appreciate -- Lisa the birth mother left behind homosexuality and embraced Christianity, and the story mentions ex-gay authors and ministries. But it also carried the classic tendency to divide the ideological combat between "conservatives" and not liberals, but "gay rights activists," activists whose work is in historic "landmark" cases.
The trend starts early in the story: "On one side are lawyers who are leading gay-rights activists; on the other are legal combatants for a conservative Christian foundation associated with Jerry Falwell."
How can Katie Couric claim to keep her politics our of her work when she offers up her own editorial positions on a variety of subjects? She does so in the course of her "Katie Couric's Notebook" segments. It's true that Katie normally avoids the controversial. On January 16th, for example, she took a bold stand against procrastination. And when she did address abortion on January 22nd, she played it largely down the middle -- though pro-lifers might argue that her mention of the way the issue has sparked violence ignores the daily violence of abortion itself.
But at times Couric takes positions on hot issues of the day, such as on January 12th when she expressed the hope that the Gitmo prison "is closed down soon." On January 26th, Couric came out for "breaking our addiction to oil." Or how about this one, in which, incredibly, Couric argued in favor of congressional earmarks!
Democratic presidential candidate (for now, anyway) Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware got headlines for all the wrong reasons yesterday when he referred to Sen. Barack Obama, who's also running for president, as “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy" in an interview with the New York Observer.
"Biden Unwraps His Bid for '08 With an Oops!" read the headline over Adam Nagourney's Thursday story in the New York Times. Credit the Times for putting it on the front page, and to Nagourney for bringing up Biden's equally strange comment last summer that aired on C-Span: “You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking.”
Push Poll: Definition: "A push poll is a political campaign technique in which an individual or organization attempts to influence or alter the view of respondents under the guise of conducting a poll. Push polls are generally viewed as a form of negative campaigning. The term is also sometimes used incorrectly to refer to legitimate polls which test political messages, some of which may be negative. Push polling has been condemned by the American Association of Political Consultants."
Melissa Russo, political reporter for NBC's NYC affiliate WNBC, recently followed Rudy Giuliani up to New Hampshire. In her report on this morning's "Today," Russo stressed that at a GOP campaign stop, Giuliani failed to inform the Granite State Republicans that "he's far from a social conservative."
While Vice President Dick Cheney stared daggers into CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer over his pushing questions about his lesbian daughter’s December announcement of her pregnancy, Blitzer insisted it was a “responsible and fair question.” Cheney disagreed. There's an argument that Blitzer's question citing Focus on the Family, when considered alone, is a fair (if not kind) question. There's no doubt that Blitzer's question was a trouble-making question, which could easily serve to sow division among Republicans and press Cheney into making a big gaffe or controversy.
Here’s where it’s clearly unfair. When has a Democratic national candidate’s sons or daughters ever been the subject of a national controversy? Try this as Exhibit A. In 2000, while the networks tried to make great hay in the election’s last weekend over an antique George W. Bush drunk-driving ticket, CNN and the other liberal networks hyper-sensitively avoided the story of Al Gore's teenage son Albert Gore III, caught driving 97 miles per hour on an interstate highway, an offense on the public record, just two days before the 2000 Democratic convention. As I wrote for National Review Online in 2000:
The View co-hosts are so anxious at an opportunity to blast the vice president, that the truth does not seem to matter. On Thursday’s View, co-hosts Rosie O’Donnell, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Joy Behar, and guest co-host Tina Fey weighed in on the recent interview Vice President Cheney gave to CNN regarding Cheney’s lesbian daughter’s pregnancy. Through the course of the conversation they falsely asserted that Cheney is a staunch gay-marriage opponent.
Although token non-liberal Elisabeth Hasselbeck thought inquiring into his family life was inappropriate, they all agreed the vice president is a hypocrite for not supporting gay marriage while retaining a strong relationship with an openly gay daughter. Joy Behar summed it up along with her ignorance of the vice president's role.
On Wednesday, during an interview with Dick Cheney, "Situation Room" anchor Wolf Blitzer continued to badger the Vice President and quizzed Cheney about the month-old story of the pregnancy of his lesbian daughter, Mary. (Hat tip to Drudge) Cheney bluntly responded to the CNN anchor, " I think you're out of line with that question." That comment came after Blitzer, who appeared to be attempting to drive a wedge between conservatives and the Vice President, quoted a Focus on the Family statement, from December 6, 2006:
A transcript of the segment, which aired at 5:35pm on January 24, follows:
Wolf Blitzer: "Your daughter Mary, she's pregnant. All of us are happy. She's going to have a baby. You're going to have another grandchild. Some of the -- some critics, though, are suggesting, for example, a statement from someone representing Focus on the Family: ‘Mary Cheney's pregnancy raises the question of what's best for children. Just because it's possible to conceive a child outside of the relationship of a married mother and father, doesn't mean it's best for the child.’ Do you want to respond to that?"
Dick Cheney: "No, I don't."
Blitzer: "She's obviously a good daughter."
Cheney: "I'm delighted -- I'm delighted I'm about to have a sixth grandchild, Wolf, and obviously think the world of both of my daughters and all of my grandchildren. And I think, frankly, you're out of line with that question."
Proving the pro-life movement is alive and well despite abortion advocates obtaining control of Congress last November, hundreds of thousands of pro-life advocates participated in the annual March for Life. The mood was optimistic and positive despite 34 years of legalized abortion since the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision.
Independent confirmation of the size of the crowd, plus additional chances for readers to get a perspective on the number of people present (no aerial shots, unfortunately), is at "Barbara's Public March for Life 2007 Gallery," where Barbara says:
As a former radical leftist, I attended many demonstrations in Washington, DC. Now having attended the March for Life two years in a row, I'm amazed at how under-reported the March for Life is - and all too aware of how that under-reporting contributes to the rampant stereotyping of pro-lifers as middle-aged white males. I actually saw very few of those today! What I saw were hundreds of thousands of people willing to brave the cold (DC had its first snow of the winter the night before) to affirm that a baby in the womb is not property to be destroyed, but a person that those committed to human rights must defend. It's a child, not a choice!
As has been the case for decades, those who are supposed to bring us the news couldn't and/or wouldn't accurately report what was occurring right in front of them:
ABC News is trying to assure us that young girls who have a "fascination with itsy-bitsy clothing, misogynistic hip hop music and porn star-esque celebrities " is just behavior that "isn't cause for alarm".
Wearing short-shorts and belly shirts, grinding to hip-hop hits, and posting provocative pictures of themselves on the Internet — the behavior of many teen and tween girls has parents wondering if their daughters are bound for a lifetime of promiscuity and loose morals.
Lifesite had the report that early Thursday morning’s edition of NBC's "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" displayed a character called "the homophobic country western singer." Conan O’Brien introduced him: "Our last new character's heart is in the right place, even if he's a complete idiot. Please welcome the homophobic country western singer." The singer began to play a guitar and sing a song warning Jesus Christ not to make a gay pass at him:
Oh I love you Jesus But only as a friend. You touched my heart but I hope That's where the touchin' ends.
You're always lookin' over me When I need a higher power. But you better look at somethin' else When I'm in the shower.
As NewsBuster Warner Todd Huston has noted, Sen. Barbara Boxer took an unseemly jab at Condi Rice yesterday.
Of all the members of the Senate, the one you might expect to be least likely to call attention to a woman's single, childless status for purposes of scoring political points would be Boxer. And yet it was the oh-so-broadminded senator from the Bay Area who did just that when Condi Rice appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday to defend President Bush's newly-announced Iraq plans.
In a segment narrated by ABC senior national correspondent Jake Tapper, today's Good Morning America highlighted Boxer's questionable comment, running a good-sized clip of the exchange.