How can someone who garnered nearly 60 million votes in a recent presidential election not be considered the least bit influential? As inexplicable as it sounds, that's what GQ Magazine declared when it selected Mitt Romney to headline its annual list of the 25 most uninspiring and insignificant people of the year. According to the author however, they were ranked in no particular order, "because all zeros are created equal."
Seeing a perfect opportunity to have a little fun at the expense of others, the hosts of MSNBC's The Cycle compiled their own list on Thursday. Token conservative S.E. Cupp appeared to have taken the assignment literally with a clip that introduced the world to a mild-mannered man from Indiana. Krystal Ball and Touré Neblett followed, and having some inkling of where their heads were at -- Cupp pleaded with them not to pick her. Instead they chose Karl Rove and Rush Limbaugh respectively, gloating about how wrong they both were about Romney's legitimate chance to emerge victorious. [video below the page break]
During the first centuries of Christianity, Christians were thrown to lions in arenas to be jeered by mocking crowds. Today, Christian athletes face the taunts of a media strongly opposed to their faith.
No Christian athlete draws more media catcalls than New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow. CBSChicago.com writer Dan Bernstein dismissed Tebow as “little more than an affable simpleton” and slammed his fans as “lunatic-fringe cultists.” Columnist Rabbi Joshua Hammerman of The Jewish Week expressed his desire that Tebow’s Broncos would lose a playoff game because a Broncos victory would “buoy his faithful, and emboldened faithful can do insane things, like burning mosques, bashing gays and indiscriminately banishing immigrants.” Radio host Craig Carton was the latest to jump on the anti-Tebow bandwagon, calling him a “fraud” and complaining that he “clearly thinks he is Jesus” on his August 14 radio show.
If there has ever been any suspicion about which way GQ magazine leans, a new article by Wells Tower puts that to rest. By publishing "Desperately Seeking Mitt," a tear-down piece about the presumptive Republican nominee, the magazine proves that it is solidly Team Obama. Tower, who was assigned to cover Romney on the campaign trail for five months, made his intentions clear: to "follow Governor Mitt "Tin Man" Romney to search for signs of genuine life" and "to spy out those remnants of the candidate's humanity not yet blown to smithereens in the psyops war between the campaign and the press."
Apparently, he was unimpressed with his welcome, and soon concluded that "trying to penetrate the veneer of the Romney brand is like trying to split a billiard ball with a butter knife." In fact, Tower's cynical view of Romney permeates the entire eight-page article. While there are literally dozens of jabs throughout the piece, there are a few glaring instances of bias that cannot be ignored. One particular example is a scathing criticism of Mormonism, saying that its founder Joseph Smith, "despite having some forty wives, still endeavored to f*** everything in sight."
The gang at Politico is under fire from liberal friends for a piece by Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei alleging major newspapers have a pro-Obama, anti-Romney bias. For example, Devin Gordon, a former Newsweek writer who's now a "senior editor" at GQ, lamented "The house position of Politico, as evidenced by this piece, is that they are fair and their chief competition is not. It's a thinly disguised, fundamentally craven argument for Politico's superiority in the world of political coverage."
Unsurprisingly, the newspapers claimed they were fair and balanced in the Dylan Byers followup:
While Obama has disdain for the news media, GQ’s Robert Draper discovered the few journalists for whom “Obama does reserve a certain respect,” are liberal columnists Tom Friedman, E.J. Dionne and Joe Klein, as well as David Brooks, the pseudo “conservative” columnist for the New York Times; and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos was amongst those who stepped up to advise Gibbs against taking the roles of both senior adviser and press secretary.
The former Newsweek editor snarked on GQ.com's The Wire blog earlier this afternoon about Missouri Republican Roy Blunt's "follow Friday" (#ff) tweet urging his Twitter followers to check out and follow Best Buddies International and the Special Olympics.
In a post entitled, "Really? You're Using #FollowFriday To Score Cheap Political Points?", Devin Gordon snarked:
It's a simple law of economics, right? If there's a demand for a certain service or good, that business has a strong shot at thriving. Since the now-defunct Air America shut down for the last time earlier this year, the casual observer must conclude that no one wanted to hear left-wing diatribes over the broadcast airwaves.
But why is this newsworthy, according to Rhodes? Limbaugh has huge audience where people are allegedly forced to listen to him because he is on "every station."
"So now they're saying oh, you know, we're going to accuse them of doing everything we did. And that's how people become these victims," Rhodes said. "You know, it's like - an idea that, you know, people listen to him. They listened to him because, Joy, they have no choice. He's on every radio station. He's on - they have no choice."
On its Web site, GQ Magazine asks the burning question, "Has the Capital Gotten Cooler Under Obama?" The magazine says yes and no. But when it comes to Barack Obama and Co., you'll be relieved to know that the answer is a resounding YES!! In a slide show, we learn that Obama is "our best-dressed prez since JFK. When he goes tieless, Ahmadinejad should take notice." On Obama in jeans, "the loose fit seems presidential."
Also lookin' good to GQ is Joe Biden: "The veep has terrific style. He deftly mixes colors and patterns with his shirts and ties, and his superb Hickey Freeman suits fit impeccably." Senator John Kerry (D-MA) "looks best when dressing like the patrician he is. Super 180s suits and Hermès ties—senators ought to look senatorial." Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) is "groovier than his usual banker attire would suggest. . . He goes for cool detail, like green ties on Saint Paddy's. And he has a thing for Panama hats." Senator Roland Burris (D-IL) has "a sharp eye for detail and a suave color sense."
Representative John Conyers (D-MI) is a "clotheshorse" who is "a lifetime sartorial achiever." Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY) "can match sartorial splendor with Sean Combs and purples with Prince. . . " We're told of Representative Anthony Weiner (D-NY): "The dapper former roommate of Jon Stewart could almost pass for European." And who wouldn't want to pass for European? When it comes to speechwriter Jon Favreau, "Obama's golden boy of letters epitomizes style's new wave in D.C."
On Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith touted the latest issue of ‘GQ’ magazine, in which Barack Obama was named one of the publication’s ‘Men of the Year’: "As If being elected president isn't a high enough honor, Barack Obama is now the quintessential 'GQ' guy." Later, Smith talked to ‘GQ’ deputy editor Michael Hainey and asked: " Is there -- is -- do you have this little bit of a sense, can there be -- can a guy who's cool be President of the United States?" Hainey replied: "No. I think, I mean JFK was cool. I mean, you know...And I think, yeah, Reagan was cool. I mean it's that sense of how you define 'cool,' I think. And it's -- it's a real chemistry, that's what people are reacting to."
Smith began the segment by asking Hainey about the choice: "Why -- [Laughs] I suppose why not? Now when did you make the choice though?... And for Barack Obama, why would -- why was he a good choice?" Hainey explained: "Well, you know, it's interesting, we had Ted Kennedy write the piece for us in the magazine about the Senator. And as he said it, you know, the torch has been passed to a new generation... It really is, I mean, he's young, he's vibrant, he's vital, like all those qualities of a 'GQ' guy."
On Sunday’s "60 Minutes" on CBS, anchor Scott Pelley provided an update for a story done in February about former Democratic Governor of Alabama, Don Siegelman, who was convicted of bribery in 2006: "A federal court has released former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman from prison six weeks after our story...Siegelman says his prosecution was political, orchestrated in the White House."
The original "60 Minutes" story, which Pelley credits for Seigelman’s release, was aired on February 24 and claimed that not only was Sigelman’s prosecution politically motivated, but that it was done at the direct order of White House advisor Karl Rove. During that story, Pelley talked to Republican Alabama attorney, Jill Simpson, and asked: "Karl Rove asked you to take pictures of Siegelman...in a compromising sexual position with one of his aides?"
During Sunday’s update on the story, Pelley interviewed Siegelman:
PELLEY: Siegelman was once the most successful Democrat in Alabama. He claims that his prosecution by the US Department of Justice was influenced by the president's former political adviser, Karl Rove.
Far too often, the media folds under pressure from Hillary and Bill
Editor's Note: Originally published December 12th, 2007 byHuman Events.
The latest edition of Gentleman's Quarterly -- GQ for short -- has just hit the stands. On its cover is an in your face photograph of former President Bill Clinton, as he "Leads (Their) Men of the Year Issue".
"Bill Clinton - Public Citizen" is the fawning Clinton tosh we have all come to expect. It is thirteen magazine pages with small type and large pictures, and authors George Saunders (in word) and Brigitte Lacombe (on camera) could not be any more in thrall to the man from Hot Springs (not Hope).
Let’s now return to the goo at GQ, part 2. In his glory-to-Bill prayer of a story, George Saunders lamented how the media isn’t half-kind enough to the man they hope is President Clinton the First: "To observe Clinton up close is to get a mini seminar in the deficiencies of the media in conveying the real scale of our public figures." Clinton is enormous. Saunders pushes comparisons to Gandhi, Mandela, and Martin Luther King, as well as Frank Sinatra, Willie Mays, and Michael Jordan. Clinton's heart is immense, his talents prodigious. He is so brilliant he makes the writer feel like an idiot: "Because when Bill Clinton’s at your table, you don’t really want anyone else talking, and that includes you. When you do talk, you feel stupid. I mean, you are stupid."
Saunders does more mooning over Bill as the man stands in the bright sun listening to boring speeches by local African dignitaries:
Try to remember a time in September when it was reported that the Hillary Clinton campaign showed its "hard-nosed media strategy" by getting GQ magazine to spike a piece on Clinton team in-fighting by threatening to pull access to Bill Clinton for GQ’s planned December "Man of the Year" cover package. Well, that "Man of the Year" issue is out, and there was no bucking, only fawning. The article is titled "Bill Clinton, Public Citizen: On the road with one man who believe that there is no problem on Earth, no matter how complex or horrific, that cannot be solved." GQ spiked the negative article and gave the former president a puff piece so puffy that it will lead to Monica Lewinsky jokes. The editor found Clinton to be Reaganesque.
In his letter from the editor in the December issue, Editor/Spiker-in-Chief Jim Nelson makes no reference to the deal he made with the Clintons. In a note headlined "The Year of the Wide Stance," he summarized the year like this: "It was a year when politicians couldn’t decide what they stood for – or in the case of Larry Craig, what they sat for." Nelson mocked Rudy Giuliani for citing Reagan as a role model and joked candidates should pick a more obscure president to model after, like alcoholic Franklin Pierce. Then he compared Clinton favorably to Reagan:
Is the media hypocritical on censorship when conducted by Democrats versus Republicans? It would seem that this may indeed be the case. The media likes to claim that President George Bush's Administration is clamping down on civil rights, although they have a difficult time citing any actual examples of such. However, when the Clinton campaign really does exercise press censorship, the media is largely silent. According to the Politico online magazine, GQ magazine was poised to run a story that would have been critical of the Hillary Clinton campaign. This in itself is a relative rarity in the current media. However, by threatening to withold access to former President Bill Clinton, the campaign managed to force GQ to pull the planned story. Editor Jim Nelson then tried to claim that this was normal procedure,
“I don’t really get into the inner workings of the magazine, but I can tell you that yes, we did kill a Hillary piece. We kill pieces all the time for a variety of reasons,” Nelson said in an e-mail to Politico. He did not respond to follow-up questions. A Clinton campaign spokesman declined to comment.
Economist and columnist for The New York Times Paul Krugman is interviewed in the September issue of GQ magazine where he says that he "has a very strong, economist's sense about the advantages of open markets," but claims a total shutdown in free trade would barely affect U.S. GDP. He also called for a shift to a high-tax Franklin Delano Roosevelt economy and universal health care.
On the income gap between rich and poor:
PAUL KRUGMAN: I have spent a lot of time looking back at what happened under FDR, when we narrowed the income gaps between rich and poor through stronger unions, wartime wage controls, and a change in tax policy. We can do some of that.
GQ: "Well, what happens if we let the income gap remain?"