After a Census Bureau worker was found dead in rural Kentucky in September, liberals jumped at the chance to attribute his death to right-wing extremists whipped into a frenzy by the hate-filled sermons of Michelle Bachmann and Glenn Beck. It turns out the Census employee committed suicide and tried to make it seem like a murder to recoup life insurance payments for his son.
USA Today reports that Bill Sparkman "committed suicide and staged his death to look like a homicide." He was not murdered by a government-hating extremist with Fox News prime time cued up on his Tivo. Given this revelation, let us review what some in the liberal media and the lefty blogosphere had to say upon the discovery of Sparkman's body.
The scandal surrounding the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now has provided a number of case studies in liberal media bias. The initial silence of the vast majority of media outlets on the story, the attempts by leftist commentators to excuse ACORN and discredit the group's critics, and Andrew Breitbart's strategy of rolling out video exposes periodically to counter those commentators, all speak to the liberal media paradigm, and activists' efforts to combat it.
Breitbart and his filmmaking proteges James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles have released another video showing an ACORN employee volunteering her help in establishing an underage prostitution business. This employee, Lavelle Stewart, had been trumpeted by liberal pundits as a shining example of ACORN's refusal to aid in criminal deeds. Stewart, they claimed, had refused to help Giles and O'Keefe as many other employees had.
But the new videos (Part 1 video embedded below the fold) tell a different story. "There are ways, people do it all the time," Stewart told O'Keefe when asked if he could launder prostitution money into his congressional campaign. "Yeah there are ways, especially out here in California," she added. Stewart, who works in an ACORN office in Los Angeles, was the latest staffer of the organization to volunteer her services in smuggling underage girls into the country, setting up a prostitution ring with those girls, and laundering the proceeds into a political campaign.
"This week's abortion conversation is about politics. Let's not pretend it's about anything else," Newsweek's Lisa Miller huffed in a November 18 Newsweek.com post, complaining about how the moral issues surrounding abortion are taking on a life of their own in the health care debate.
We suffer, this week, from a moral myopia. Thanks to the passage in Congress of a health-reform bill, abortion is in the news again, but with the same old warriors brandishing their same old spears.
But while Miller went on to list both pro-life and pro-choice "old warriors," it's hard to believe her beef is with both sides of that fight equally. Miller laments that:
Our entire health-care system (and the proposed reform) is rife with "complex moral issues." To activate our consciences only in the realm of abortion relieves those consciences of too much responsibility.
I haven’t seen “The Blind Side” yet, so I won’t say anything about the quality of the film. But based on the trailer and the true story, my wife and I are as excited about this as any film in a long time. It tells the true story of the adoption of Michael Oher by the Tuohy family in Tennessee and how they helped him go from homeless teenager to professional football star. The book was incredible, the story miraculous. We’re especially excited because we’re big adoption advocates, currently in the middle of our first of many planned adoptions. Also, the Tuohys happen to be conservative Christians like we are, and we don’t normally get to see families like that on screen, at least in movies that are watchable.
Apparently, this makes me a racist.
You see, Michael Oher happens to be black, and the Tuohys happen to be white. I actually think that’s pretty cool, especially because they live in Tennessee, and what gets us farther from the evil days of segregation than an increased number of mixed-race families? One would assume that liberals especially would be excited about that, right?
Openly gay actor Ian McKellen recently told Details magazine that he proudly defaces Bibles left in hotel nightstands, ripping out pages containing verses which condemn homosexual behavior. USA Today's Leslie Miller picked up on this yesterday for the paper's "Faith & Reason" blog, after spying a blog post by colleague Barbara De Lollis in a November 16 post for her Hotel Check-In blog for USA Today.
For her part, De Lollis relayed the news item and wondered, "Could word of McKellen's habit spark a movement?" De Lollis went on to ask:
Shirley noted the remarkable parallels between the Republican Party that Reagan and the conservative movement revitalized in the late 1970s and early 1980s with the situation facing conservatives today.
Then as now liberal Democrats claimed the presidency and liberal ideology seemed ascendant following the tenure of Republican presidents who expanded the size and scope of government (Nixon) and/or were inept (Ford). Now as in the late 1970s, it is conservatives standing outside the establishment who can be the revitalizing and reforming force for the GOP and more importantly the country.
During a roughly 30-minute Q&A session, Shirley answered a series of questions from bloggers in attendance, and shared among other things the following observations:
Saturday's vote to pass ObamaCare out of the House of Representatives was a nail-biter, passing with two votes to spare over the bare-minimum majority of 218. The final vote, 220-215, had 39 Democrats join all but one Republican in voting no.
Yet while a solid 15 percent of the Democratic caucus bucked the party leadership with their no votes, the media have latched on to the sole Republican defector: pro-life, social conservative Catholic Rep. Joseph Cao (R-La.), who has a tenuous hold in a solidly liberal Democratic district once held by the corrupt William Jefferson.
Time's Jay Newton-Small made much of the solitary Republican defection in Swampland blog post on Saturday, painting it as an abject failure of House GOP Whip Eric Cantor's "promise" to keep the opposition unified. Newton-Small had to add an update later clarifying Cantor made no such explicit promise:
"Should Anti-Gay Rights Petition Signers Be Exposed?" asked a teaser headline [screencap shown at right] on CBSNews.com's front page.
"Hot Topic: Battle Rages in Washington State over Privacy of Petition Signers" the subheader read.
While the November 3 article itself by staffer Brian Montopoli was balanced -- giving room for a social conservative activist to defend keeping the names and addresses of signatories of the Referendum 71 petition from being made public -- the headline sets the tone for readers to see pro-traditional marriage backers in Washington State as folks motivated to deprive fellow citizens of their "rights."
So what does Referendum 71 actually do? According to Montopoli:
If Democrats get a spanking at the polls today, it's not because American voters are trending conservative or are frustrated with the direction liberal Democrats are leading the country, but because the electorate's disdain for the former Bush administration has abated.
That according to liberal PBS "To the Contrary" host and U.S. News contributing editor Bonnie Erbe.
Perhaps hopped up on the nutritious goodness of Mueslix, CBS "Evening News" anchor Katie Couric took to her Notebook vlog on Friday to nag parents about the need to keep their kids away from the siren song of sugary cereals (transcript hers):
Froot Loops, Cookie Crisp, Reese's Puffs - I almost got a cavity just reading that. Yet, they're the kinds of sugary cereals children beg for at the grocery store.
The boxes and T-V ads usually have a colorful cartoon character on them. But, one group of researchers is not amused.
Bloggers and their readers have "joked" about the New York Times being the official house organ of the Obama White House. Maybe it's not a joke.
Earlier this month (as seen at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), several bloggers caught the Times making significant changes to its initial coverage of Chicago's humiliating loss of its bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics, and of President Obama's involvement in that loss. The first Times report by Peter Baker was fairly harsh, questioning the President's judgment in getting involved, while citing his slipping poll ratings.
After Times organ grinder -- er, reporter -- Jeff Zeleny got a hold of the story, most of the harshness went away, as did Baker's original story. All of a sudden, at the same URL, there was no reference to tarnished presidential prestige. A dismissive assertion that the embarrassment "would fade in a news cycle or two" appeared. There was also a mention of Obama's 25-minute meeting with Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal that was not in the original. The reference to falling poll numbers also disappeared.
Well, the Times has just pulled a similar stunt in its coverage of President Obama's Wednesday night/Thursday morning visit to Dover Air Force Base. Once again, Jeff Zeleny is involved.
Barack Obama is just as much a woman-hater as the late conservative North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms in the wild eyes of radical abortion-mongering feminist and PBS "To the Contrary" host Bonnie Erbe.
And just why is Ms. Erbe so steamed at President Obama? Because, and I kid you not, the commander-in-chief doesn't shoot hoops with women.
Some blog posts about Fox News on the Daily Kos blog are so bizarre you wonder if they are real. The diarist "Brentbent" fussed on Wednesday that the socialist bloc should never put Fox in capitals:
CNN and MSNBC are supposed to be all caps because they are acronyms...each letter represents a word. Fox is not an acronym. If marginalization is the goal then people should stop capping it like CNN or MSNBC. It is Fox News or Fox but it is not FOX...Let's stop equating Fox as an equal to MSNBC or CNN by stopping the capping of Fox.
Yes, I am being a bit pedantic here but, in the long run, these things matter. If you grow up seeing MSNBC, CNN, and FOX on your screen over and over it seems to legitimize Fox as a real news agency. So I am hoping to curtail this phenomenon at least amongst the progressive community, where I see it happen all too often. And we all know spelling it FOX will cause a massive butterfly effect that will end up with the soul of Hitler inside Jenna Bush running the nation and starting World War 4. (The media elites kept WW3 hidden from us.) So whatever you do don't spell it FOX!
Cenk Uygur of the leftist "Young Turks" radio show wrote up a funny list of "three categories of media" for the Daily Kos, putting Fox News in the category "partisan press" with Mother Jones and National Review magazines, but putting ABC, CNN, the New York Times, and the MSNBC "News Programs" on a list called "Straight News."
He also suggested they're about as much a news organization as...Air America radio.
In a Monday blog post insisting the White House is "100% Right" to suggest Fox isn't a real news network, Uygur insisted "The Obama White House has taken on Fox News channel in an effort to point out they are not a legitimate news network. This is very important because out of all the outlets mentioned above, they are the only ones being dishonest about what category they are in." Here's the list:
MSNBC's David Shuster declared yesterday's fake Chamber of Commerce presser at the National Press Club the "Best prank of [the] week" on his Twitter page shortly before 5:30 p.m. EDT today. He added a link taking readers to the left-leaning blog Talking Points Memo.
A group of liberal environmentalist activists punked some journalists by throwing a press conference claiming to represent the Chamber of Commerce. In the fake presser, the pranksters claimed that the Chamber was reversing its opposition to so-called cap-and-trade legislation.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Friday, Andrew Breitbart, founder of such center-right online powerhouses as Big Government and Big Hollywood, blasted what he dubs the "Democrat-media complex." He spoke of his most recent exposes on the administration's political malfeasance and the mainstream media's refusal to cover those scandals.
Breitbart rocketed into the national spotlight with his work with James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles, the young conservatives responsible for the ground-breaking ACORN sting operations that led to congressional votes to de-fund the community organizing group.
"I had a 20-year-old and a 25-year-old and my integrity on the line if we were going to launch this," Mr. Breitbart says. "It was so obvious that the mainstream media, given this information, would not cover it and would, in effect, attempt to cover it up." So he devised an intricate strategy of rolling out the videos one at a time, anticipating Acorn's defenses and rebutting each in turn with the next video...
"How can the NFL overlook the a sleazy pop diva's questionable background while holding Limbaugh accountable for comments he's never made," wondered Brian Maloney in a Radio Equalizer blog post yesterday.
While the NFL is presenting itself as merely gun-shy of the controversy Rush Limbaugh would bring to the ownership table, it hardly seems worried about the controversy that a saucy pop star's ownership bid would bring.
Maloney explains, pointing out a double standard between the NFL commissioner scrabbling to denounce Limbaugh while practically encouraging a bid from pop artist Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas, an avid Obama supporter:
Let's see. A Big 4 independent public accounting firm vs. the Democratic Party's go-to health care economics guy. Who has more presumptive credibility?
It's more than a little offensive to see the people whose party gave us entitlement programs with multitrillion-dollar unfunded liabilities (Social Security and Medicare), pension plans that are completely unsustainable (the federal government and many states), and year-over-year budget increases that almost always dwarf inflation -- in other words, people with absolutely no record of financial credibility on matters big and small -- go after Big 4 accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers and its "industry-funded" study on what would happen to insurance premiums under the BaucusCare iteration of ObamaCare with the eager assistance of their media apparatchiks.
Understand this: When PwC prepares a report for the health insurance industry projecting, in the Wall Street Journal's words, that "the Senate Finance Committee’s big health-care bill would raise health insurance premiums by thousands of dollars a year," one can be confident that it is based on exhaustively researched and thoroughly reviewed work.
If there was any question which side of the ideological blogosphere a lot of the inside-the-beltway media establishment go to regularly, Politico may have just cleared that up.
In an Oct. 11 Politico story headlined "Think Progress makes its mark," which was the top story on its Web site that evening, Daniel Libit paid reverence to the left-wing Center for American Progress' Think Progress blog.
"Can a liberal blog launched in the midst of the Bush era - a blog that once obsessed over Alberto Gonzales, Donald Rumsfeld, Karl Rove and the outing of Valerie Plame - still make its mark in the age of Obama?" Libit wrote. "In the case of Think Progress, the answer so far is yes."
Newsweek has a blog called “The Gaggle.” I’ll skip the tired jokes about how I didn’t know either, and just get to the main point: Ben Adler and Daniel Stone, writers for this blog, are defending the Nobel Prize Committee’s choice of President Barack Obama as the 2009 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
As you can see, not much is needed in the way of extra humor.
Here are the reasons they give for President Obama’s worthiness:
In case you missed it, conservative talker Rush Limbaugh will be expanding his resume - long-time political commentator, potential NFL owner and now Miss America pageant judge.
On the Oct. 8 broadcast of Fox News "On the Record," host Greta Van Sustren revealed that Limbaugh would be one of the national judges for the 2010 Miss America Pageant, scheduled to be held in Las Vegas on Jan. 30, 2010.
"Rush Limbaugh, he's the King of talk radio," Van Sustren said. "He's trying to buy the St. Louis Rams. Well chalk up one more thing - Miss America judge. You heard that right - Rush Limbaugh has been named one of the national judges for the 2010 Miss America pageant. Limbaugh will be one of seven judges for the competition. Now that pageant is in Las Vegas now. It's coming this January at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino."
Today in the paper's "Post Partisan" blog, staffer Lee Hockstader displayed once again the paper's determination to help down-in-the-polls liberal Democrat Creigh Deeds limp across the finish line.
Never mind that the offender in question has already apologized for mocking the Democratic state senator -- who, by the way, does NOT have a medically diagnosed speech impediment or disability -- and the alleged "macaca" moment was made not by candidate McDonnell about a Deeds staffer -- which would be truly analogous to the original 2006 George Allen episode -- but by an African-American Democratic businesswoman who supported Obama and current Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D), but crossed the aisle this to back the Republican McDonnell due to his economic policies.
What's more, it's hardly earth-shattering news that people at political fundraisers often crack harsh jokes about the politician(s) they are hoping to defeat on Election Day, yet to Hockstader, Johnson's mocking of Creigh Deeds's less-than-artful oratory deserved a 6-paragraph-long entry about how Johnson is like those mean b****es you knew in high school:
This Saturday, October 10, President Obama will be the keynote speaker at a Human Rights Campaign awards ceremony and fundraiser. He'll be the first president in history to participate in a gay activist campaign event outside of the White House. (In June 1999, President Clinton had invited HRC along with other gay activist groups to the White House to celebrate "Gay and Lesbian Pride Month.")
But all is not right between the president and some of his most reliable supporters.
On the campaign trail, Obama offered plenty to the gay lobby, promising to end "Don't Ask - Don't Tell" and repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. Back in March he went so far as to name HRC's Harry Knox to the Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Knox is an anti-Catholic bigot who has repeatedly attacked the Pope and the Church, and even called the Knights of Columbus "foot soldiers of a discredited army of oppression."
As NewsBusters' Ken Shepherd noted in an October 5 post, some conservatives have undertaken an online Conservative Bible Project to rid the Good Book of "translational bias" and correct the "lack of precision" in both original and translational language. As Shepherd also noted, Time Magazine's Amy Sullivan wasted no time heaping derision on the effort.
Unsurprisingly, others on the left have joined the fun. Harpers Magazine titled a blog post on the project, "From the Department of Self-Parody." "Lo and behold, the Bible has gotten too liberal," wrote Rachel Weiner at the Huffington Post. "And it needs a little editing."
And the hooting could be heard in many of the lesser precincts of the left-wing blogosphere - most of it a variation on Weiner's sneer: "Yes, even scripture is not orthodox enough for the modern conservative."
Last week the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops sent a letter to U.S. Senators about current health reform legislation. The USCCB has supported the goal of universal health coverage for decades, but the letter made clear that they do not yet support the Senate Finance Committee's bill because of concerns about affordability, coverage for immigrants, and financing for abortion. I'd like to focus on that last point, because I think it's here that the bishops may be moving the goalposts on what they can and cannot accept.
Sullivan lamented that the bishops are not accepting the word of the Obama administration as the gospel truth when it comes to abortion: