There has been a substantial push lately by some of Hollywood's big names to reeducate Americans on world history. The leftist-dominated television and film industries have taken it upon themselves to promote histories of the United States and its role in the world that portrays it as an evil, occasionally colonial, always destructive force in global relations.
The latest such effort is being undertaken by director Oliver Stone, well known for his loving portrayal of Venezuela's Marxist dictator Hugo Chavez and derisive portrayal of our previous president in "W". Now Stone has set his sights on Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. He plans to "liberalize" America's thinking regarding two of the 20th century's most murderous dictators by putting them "in context", whatever that means (h/t Hot Air headlines).
"We can't judge people as only bad or good," Stone said at the Television Critics Association's press tour, referring to two dictators who--unless this writer's understanding of history is not sufficiently "liberalized"--are responsible, in Hitler's case, for the extermination of 6 million Jews and 3 million others in killing camps during World War II, and in Stalin's, for the murders of 20 million individuals in Russia and Soviet-occupied Europe.
It seems, Stone's claims notwithstanding, that one is historically justified in classifying these two particular dictators as "bad".
Lefty author Margaret Atwood has created, in the form of a novel, the environmentalist's bible. "The Year of the Flood", as it is titled, is not merely a figurative bible for a dispersed and sporadic collection of greenies, but rather a sacred testament (the author says as much) for a movement that, every day, looks more like a church--complete with sin, salvation, and saints (one of whom is--you guessed it--Al Gore).
In an interview with Atwood, National Public Radio's Steve Inskeep described "The Year of the Flood" as gloriously melding science and religion into a harmonious enviro-theology. Atwood "thinks that in the future we could see a religion that combines religion and science," Inskeep states.
But the more the listener learns about Atwood's novel, the more he or she realizes that the book does not meld science and religion. Rather, it does away with religion and replaces it with radical environmentalism. Here is an excerpt from the NPR interview (h/t CATO's David Boaz):
New York Times readers were treated to a rare dose of sympathy for Sarah Palin and her new book yesterday. Columnist Stanley Fish reviewed "Going Rogue", and cast it in a generally appealing light, while dispelling some of the most trumpeted criticisms of the former Alaska Governor's autobiography.
Fish introduces his review with a humorous anecdote poking fun at some of the more deranged Palin-haters: Upon asking a customer service representative in a Manhattan bookstore where he could find "Going Rogue," the employee "looked at me as if I had requested a copy of 'Mein Kampf' signed in blood by the author, and directed me to the nearest Barnes and Noble, where, presumably, readers of dubious taste and sensibility could find what they wanted."
Far from conducting an AP-style fact-check of "Going Rogue," Fish notes that autobiographies, unlike biographies, are intended to promote the author. "[A]utobiographers cannot lie because anything they say will truthfully serve their project, which, again, is not to portray the facts, but to portray themselves."
Sarah Palin, in an interview that is a part of the lead up to the Nov. 17 release of her new book "Going Rogue," appeared on Oprah Winfrey's TV show on Nov. 16. Aside from the questions about the campaign, she expressed her irritation with "CBS Evening News" anchor Katie Couric, or as she referred to her - "the perky one."
"Now, obviously, you've why didn't you just name some books or magazines?" Winfrey asked.
Are the upcoming Copenhagen climate talks really about nothing more than hammering out a world-wide agreement about carbon emissions to curb warming? Not according to martial arts professional and actor Chuck Norris.
According to The Huffington Post, Michelle Malkin, Mark Levin, Glenn Beck and other right-of-center stars that regularly dominate the New York Times Hardcover Non-Fiction Bestsellers List are - or should be - in a league of their own.
No, that isn't Arianna Huffington's blog heaping praise on conservative authors. It's a literal suggestion. With right-leaning books and authors holding so many spots on the list, and more to come - former Sarah Palin, former Dick Cheney and President George W. Bush all have books due out -Huffington Post suggests conservatives should have their own category to differentiate from other works of non-fiction.
In a Nov. 9 entry on The Huffington Post that laments Fox News host Glenn Beck pulling a feat not done before - holding the number one spot on The New York Times' four lists: hardcover fiction, hardcover non-fiction, paperback non-fiction and children's - they suggest a separate category altogether, not for political non-fiction, but conservative non-fiction.
We'll have to wait and see if the so-called outside-the-box thinking once praised by some of liberal media elites will get the same reception with this latest edition.
In 2005, University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt and New York Times journalist Stephen J. Dubner released the book "Freakonomics" that provided cover for the pro-abortion movement in America by suggesting legalized abortion lowered crime and had a positive impact on society.
New York Times Book editor Barry Gewen selected Simon Schama's big-think book, "The American Future -- A History" for review in his "Books of the Times" piece on Tuesday, and took condescending aim at Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin in the process.
Columnist David Brooks had some fun with the British-born Schama in his May 24 review, consigning Schama's book to a long line of self-consciously "Brilliant Books" whose authors as a group Brooks satirized:
Along the way, his writing will outstrip his reportage. And as his inability to come up with anything new to say about this country builds, his prose will grow more complex, emotive, gothic, desperate, overheated and nebulous until finally, about two-thirds of the way through, there will be a prose-poem of pure meaninglessness as his brilliance finally breaks loose from the tethers of observation and oozes across the page in a great, gopping goo of pure pretension.
Gewen saw Schama as celebrating a new kind of patriotism "in the age of Barack Obama," far superior to the "belligerent...chauvinism" of Dick Cheney or the "ostentatious flag lapel pin" of Sarah Palin.
Amid all the false media hubub about Sarah Palin being an alleged "book banner" comes much more serious news about the British publisher of "Jewel of Medina," a book about the child-bride of Islamic prophet Mohammed has been set afire:
Three men arrested in north London on suspicion of terrorism continue to be questioned by police. They are suspected of attempting to set fire to a publisher's office in Lonsdale Square, Islington.
The publisher, Gibson House, is due to release a controversial novel about the Prophet Muhammad and his child bride, entitled "The Jewel of the Medina."
On CNN's American Morning today, White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux reported on Barack Obama's campaigning in Virginia. Afterwards, anchor Kiran Chetry had a question:
CHETRY: All right. And Suzanne, what's on tap for the campaign today? And please tell me it's not lipstick again.
MALVEAUX: Let's hope not. He's going to be in Norfolk, Virginia. That is in southeast Virginia, and it's home to the world's largest Naval base. It's one of the most competitive areas that the Democrats and Republicans are fighting over. It's a critical piece of property, piece of land there with folks in Virginia, and they want those voters.
Self-censorship toward radical Muslims continues to be a problem in corporate America. The latest casualty: a book by author Sherry Jones about Aisha, the favored wife of Islam's founder Mohammed, whom he is said to have betrothed when she was less than ten years old.
Writing in today's Wall Street Journal, Asra Q. Nomani tells how the book, "The Jewel of Medina," got canceled by would-be publisher Random House thanks to a politically correct professor of Islamic studies named Denise Spellberg:
In an interview about Ms. Jones's novel, Thomas Perry, deputy publisher at Random House Publishing Group, said that it "disturbs us that we feel we cannot publish it right now." He said that after sending out advance copies of the novel, the company received "from credible and unrelated sources, cautionary advice not only that the publication of this book might be offensive to some in the Muslim community, but also that it could incite acts of violence by a small, radical segment."
After consulting security experts and Islam scholars, Mr. Perry said the company decided "to postpone publication for the safety of the author, employees of Random House, booksellers and anyone else who would be involved in distribution and sale of the novel."
NewsBusters reader Shane S. shared this experience:
I was searching for a book I read in college, "God: A Biography." I searched Barnes & Noble's website using the book's title as my search term. The book I was looking for was the first result given. The second result? "The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream" by the Messiah Himself, Barack Obama.
I tried the experiment myself, and sure enough, it produced the same results. Update: 6:05 PM. Searching for "God: a Biography" no longer leads to the Obama book. You don't suppose Barnes& Noble reads NewsBusters? But we have the screen capture after the jump, taken this morning, which shows that a search for "God: a Biography" led to The Audacity of Hope.
Although today his book is being touted by left-wing reporters and pundits, his initial plans for the project show former White House press secretary Scott McClellan intended to take a much different approach, one that was more sympathetic to President Bush but also quite hard on the "liberal elites" of the Washington press corps and their "hostility" toward the administration.
Reading through McClellan's original book proposal, obtained by Politico.com, it is clear that before his editor Peter Osnos took the book on a sharp leftward turn, McClellan wanted to turn the tables on foes in the press gallery including far-left columnist Helen Thomas and NBC correspondent David Gregory.
"I came to know and respect those who were assigned to the White House beat. They are solid professionals, but rarely scrutinized or put under the microscope. I will take a look at notable personalities in the White House Briefing Room, including David Gregory and Helen Thomas. I anticipate an entire chapter about the former," McClellan writes in his proposal.
According to McClellan, America's elite journalists have a dramatic problem with political diversity which in turn leads them to skew the political debate in a leftward direction. The media are in a "constant state of denial" when it comes to admitting this.
Of all the people to call for a "truce" on excessive partisanship . . .
Interviewing Scott McClellan tonight, Keith Olbermann sanctimoniously suggested that a "truce" on rough political tactics "would be nice." But speaking with John Dean just minutes later, the Countdown host—he who has repeatedly called President Bush a liar and a fascist—reverted to form and regretted that it might be too late to impeach him.
SCOTT MCCLELLAN: [The 1988] election was very much a turning-point election. I think that George Bush, George Bush 41, George Herbert Walker Bush, is a decent individual, and a man who really believes in civility, but he, his advisors around him, knew the only way they could win was to bring down his opponent and go fully negative, and paint Michael Dukakis completely to the left. A guy who had painted himself—who had a record of trying to work to the center in a lot of ways [Ed: ?].
And, um, that legacy continues to this day, and Senator McCain says that he's going to speak out against that and not let that happen. I think that would be good for the country if that is the case. But there are certainly plenty of groups on the Republican side that are going to go forward with that kind of strategy. [Unlike groups on the Dem side. You know, like the kind-and-gentle one that ran the dragging-murder ad against W in 2000.]
Contrary to what was written and said in the liberal media Jerry Falwell held political beliefs that were actually quite "middle of the road" with regard to key cultural questions such as abortion, birth control, school prayer and homosexuality, according to a new biography written by his widow.
"While he opposed abortion, Jerry would have accepted legislation that allowed it in the case of rape, incest or if the mother's life was in danger," Macel Falwell tells readers in her new book "Jerry Falwell: His Life and Legacy." Moreover, Falwell believed the civil rights of homosexuals should be safeguarded, despite harboring moral objections to the homosexual lifestyle, she explains.
The prominent televangelist and evangelical Christian pastor, who co-founded the "Moral Majority" in the late 1970s, was a congenial, likable man many steps removed from the "bizarre public persona" incorporated into media portraits, Falwell observes in one of her earlier chapters.
Imagine that a "documentary" film-maker—whose most notable former credit was a work advancing the notion that extra-terrestrials did indeed visit Area 51—brought forth a new work suggesting that key elements of the Prophet Mohammed's story had been fabricated. What are the odds ABC would devote a segment of Good Morning America to a respectful interview of the filmmaker and discussion of his work?
But that's exactly what ABC did regarding someone who has produced a documentary ["Bloodline"] calling into question key aspects of the story of Jesus Christ. Here's how GMA weekend co-anchor Bill Weir introduced the segment this morning:
Well, here's a question, was Jesus married with children? Was the Resurrection a trick pulled off by his widow? The possibility, the world's greatest cover-up, was the basis of the smash novel and movie The Da Vinci Code. And though those ideas have been largely dismissed by academics as fiction, documentary film-maker Bruce Burgess believes he has now found evidence to advance that theory. Here's a clip from his new film.
How perfect. The director of some of Hollywood's most revoltingly violent, sexually explicit, culturally corrosive movies has an even more destructive hobby on the side: iconoclasm.
Paul Verhoeven, director of "Basic Instinct," "Robocop" and "Showgirls," turns out to be a member of the academically suspect Jesus Seminar, and in September he will publish a book attacking the foundational Christian doctrine that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit.
For the past twenty years, the Dutch filmmaker has reportedly been attending meetings of the Jesus Seminar and researching his biography, "Jesus of Nazareth: A Realistic Portrait." Fox News quotes a spokesman for Amsterdam publishing house J.M. Meulenhoff saying Verhoeven "hopes it will be a springboard" for making a movie about Jesus' life.
With Pope Benedict coming to visit the United States next week relations between Roman Catholics and Protestants will likely be the subject of media scrutiny. The pope's itinerary includes a visit to the White House with President Bush, a Protestant, who was re-elected with 51 percent of the Catholic vote in 2004, despite running against a Catholic.
Although certain doctrinal differences remain in place, conservative Catholics and Evangelical Christians have been drawing closer together in recent years, according to a new book that explores the growing influence of Christian voters.
Deal Hudson, the executive director of the Morley Institute for Church and Culture in Washington D.C., describes some of the key factors responsible for the convergence between conservative minded American Catholics and Protestants in his just released book.
Age old grievances have gradually receded to the point where Christians from various denominations have joined together to resist secular assaults on shared values, Hudson argues in "Onward Christian Soldiers: The Growing Political Power of Catholics and Evangelicals in the United States."
Hollywood doesn't learn. Even though the latest round of America-hating movies flopped, Project Greenlight producer Chris Moore will turn "A People's History of the United States" by pop historian and Karl Marx fanboy Howard Zinn into a TV miniseries and a feature-length documentary.
Zinn's 1980 book influenced a generation of students with its negatively-framed distortions of American history which minimized successes like WWII. It exchanged traditional history for marginal topics such as Great Railroad Strike of 1877, Joan Baez and Angela Davis while omitting Washington's Farewell Address, the Wright Brothers and the Normandy Invasion.
The December 10 Variety stated production begins in Boston this January. Ironically, it will use wealthy celebrities like Matt Damon, Danny Glover and Josh Brolin to convey the book's Marxist theory (bold mine):
Miniseries will center on the actors and musicians as they read from the books or perform music related to their themes: the struggles of women, war, class and race. (...)
"The Golden Compass" did not produce box-office gold during its first weekend.
While ranked #1 for the weekend, the movie which opened in 3,528 theaters, was lavishly produced and promoted, only took in in $26.1 million, according to Boxofficemojo.com. Studio New Line Cinema was hoping for returns in the $30 to $40 million range.
"Compass" drew the ire of many Christians because the movie is based on the first book in a trilogy called "His Dark Materials" by avowed atheist Philip Pullman, who has said publicly that his books are about killing God. In "USA Today," Rolf Mittweg of New Line Cinema conceded that the "religion controversy might have had an effect."
Is NBC "Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams really a conservative? "Washington Post" media analyst and CNN "Reliable Sources" host Howard Kurtz implied that he is. Kurtz appeared on the October 10 edition of "The O’Reilly Factor" to promote his new book "Reality Show: Inside the Last Great Televsion News War." When Bill O’Reilly inquired on the lack of conservative representation on the network news, this exchange followed.
BILL O’REILLY: What news man at CBS or NBC is conservative?
HOWARD KURTZ: I wanted to make- first of all, Brian Williams, we can talk about him in a moment, probably President Bush’s favorite anchor.
O’REILLY: He just likes his ties.
KURTZ: Has quoted Rush Li- has quoted Rush Limbaugh, reads conservative blogs as well as liberal blogs.
O’REILLY: I know Brian Williams. He’s about as conservative as Les Moonves.
Liberals around the country are smiling today at an Associated Press poll and story circulating on the web claiming that conservatives read less than liberals, none more so than former Colorado Democratic congresswoman Pat Schroeder who despite being president of the American Association of Publishers decided she felt like insulting half of her potential reading audience by dusting off an old liberal refrain:
"The Karl Roves of the world have built a generation that just wants a couple slogans: 'No, don't raise my taxes, no new taxes,' [...] It's pretty hard to write a book saying, 'No new taxes, no new taxes, no new taxes' on every page. [...] She said liberals tend to be policy wonks who "can't say anything in less than paragraphs. We really want the whole picture, want to peel the onion."
It's all too familiar and really kind of sad since this poll is hardly conclusive (more on that in a minute). For all their talk about being "regular people," the left sure loves calling their fellow citizens stupid and moronic. You'd think that after employing this method for so long—think Reagan-as-idiot-savant, rationalizing the radio failure of Mario Cuomo, Air America, etc.—that the left would realize their elitist and snobbish attitude and either drop it or drop the whole "party of the people" nonsense. After all, how can you be for the common man if you regard him as an ignorant dolt?
Here's something you don't see that often: The major movie studios are engaged in a bidding war over a book written by someone who served in the military and is...an outspokenly conservative Republican.
[T]here's a frenzied Hollywood bidding war going on today over the No. 1 book on The New York Times non-fiction bestseller list: Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes Of SEAL Team 10 by Marcus Luttrell. Studio toppers are interrupting their vacations to try to get this book which was sold to Little Brown by superagent Ed Victor for a seven figure advance.
The New York Times has been taking a lot of well deserved guff over the last couple of years for obtaining and publishing classified national security secrets but it had not been prepared for the latest row over its pre-publication book review of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows".
The review, that gives away a few spoilers, has been met with anger by both the book's author JK Rowling and her publishers. Rowling came out swinging after learning that both the New York Times and the Baltimore Sun had obtained pre-publication copies of the book despite a costly embargo.
"I am staggered that some American newspapers have decided to publish purported spoilers in the form of reviews in complete disregard of the wishes of literally millions of readers, particularly children," she said.
The University of Iowa Press will give voice to the poetic ramblings of 17 terrorist detainees in Guantanamo, entitled "Poems from Guantanamo: The Detainees Speak." The Wall Street Journal reports:
The collection, translated from Arabic, was compiled by Marc Falkoff, a defense lawyer with a literary bent. Mr. Falkoff, who got a Ph.D. in English before he went to law school, represents 17 Yemeni prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, and he dedicated the book to his clients, describing them in the inscription as "my friends inside the wire."
As Drudge noted last night, a book review in today's New York Times by author-professor Robert Dallek trashed "Her Way," the new autobiography of Hillary Clinton by two of the paper's long-time reporters, investigative reporter Don Van Natta Jr., and Jeff Gerth, who worked at the Times for over 25 years.
Dallek's is a common name in the Rolodex of Times political reporters looking for a critic of Republican presidents past and present, and as shown by his negative review of "Her Way," he can also be relied on to defend Democrats. That's something Times' book editors surely suspected when they approached Dallek with the assignment in the first place, suggesting that in this case ideological loyalty to the liberal Hillary trumped the paper's corporate loyalty to its long-time reporters.
Someone at the AP must really like Stephen Colbert. A bait-and-switch June 3 article was supposedly about a new book by Afghanistan-born author Khaled Hosseini, but gave readers stealth fanboy journalism that wrote a play by play of Colbert’s shtick without discussing the book. From the reporting, the BookExpo America breakfast was more like a segment of the “Colbert Report” than a national book fair discussion. Instead of any information about the book, it was line after line of Colbert coverage, "That Stephen Colbert sure is funny, and he sure has some funny ideas about books. Just ask "The Kite Runner" author Khaled Hosseini."
Oy, did Google's algorithims ever misfire. There at the top of my Gmail inbox this morning was an ad, which the Google wizards presumably determined to be geared to my predilections, for a book called . . . "Why Mommy Is a Democrat."
I suppose Google was right, in the sense that the ad piqued my interest, though the odds of my buying a copy of the book are as remote as Outer Mongolia. But let's have a look. According to the About page:
Why Mommy is a Democrat brings to life the core values of the Democratic party in ways that young children will easily understand and thoroughly enjoy. . . this colorful 28-page paperback illustrates the Democratic principles of fairness, tolerance and peace, and concern for the well-being of others. It's a great way for parents to gently communicate their committment to these principles and explain their support for the party.
Why Mommy is a Democrat may look like a traditional children's book, but it definitely isn't just for children. With numerous subtle (and not-so-subtle) swipes at the Bush administration and the Republican party, Why Mommy is a Democrat will appeal to Democrats of all ages.
Let's play one of our favorite games: WIACHSI, which of course stands for "What If a Conservative Had Said It?"
Ready? OK, let's play. What if a conservative attacked a female liberal icon by calling her promiscuous? How many Dem pols, NOW leaders, assorted Naomi Wolfs of the world . . . and Air America hosts would be popping up all over the MSM to proclaim their outrage?
And yet, on today's edition of Tucker Carlson, Air America host and class-action trial lawyer [nice two-fer!] Mike Papantonio leveled the loose-woman charge at none other than Ann Coulter.
The subject was a new book, "I Hate Ann Coulter", written by four authors who have chosen to remain anonymous out of their supposed fear of "gun-toting abortion-clinic bombing, self-proclaimed wing nuts who follow Coulter."