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 "Midwest Teen Sex Show" -- a video blog that advises teens to use abstinence (the condom, not the practice) -- is being praised by a blogger at CBSNews.com as "good for a laugh" while being informative.
"[T]he creativity and humor of these three young people really shines through," Irregularly Scheduled Programming (ISP) blog contributor Tony Maciulis enthused in his December 11 blog post. Elaborating on that point, Maciulis mused that "Sex and the City" was nothing more than a younger, urban spin on "The Golden Girls":
The "First Bible in English may have sparked fundamentalism," suggested the teaser headline on Yahoo.com's front page, as of 2:45 this afternoon. Clicking the link took me to a special feature for LiveScience.com by writer Heather Whipps. Here's her lede:
The translation of the Bible into English marked the birth of religious fundamentalism in medieval times, as well as the persecution that often comes with radical adherence in any era, according to a new book.
Harvard professor James Simpson, the book's author, drew a parallel between early Reformation English Protestants and modern day Islamo-fascists:
Without the clergy guiding them, and with religion still a very important factor in the average person's life, their fate rested in their own hands, Simpson said.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor today reported revised productivity data--as measured by output per hour of all persons--for the third quarter of 2007. The seasonally adjusted annual rates of productivity growth in the third quarter were:
6.7 percent in the business sector and 6.3 percent in the nonfarm business sector.
In both sectors, changes in productivity are higher than the preliminary estimates published November 7, and represent the largest productivity gains since the third quarter of 2003.
Al Gore must've gotten to the Associated Press and introduced to them his invention, the Internet, because they have announced a refit for the new news age. The New York Times spins some coverage for the venerable news wire service's newest venture, even taking the chance to extend a compliment for AP's creation of the "24-hour news cycle" (I know, that one made my head turn, too). So, at last the AP has decided the world has changed... took 'em long enough.
First off, let's dispense with the Times' claims that the AP invented the "24-hour news cycle."
Dictator-groupies Sean Penn, Harry Belafonte and Danny Glover are at it again. They are among the “artists, scholars and performers” calling themselves “representatives of the cultural sphere in the US,” who sent a letter to President Bush asking him to “end the travel ban,” allowing a cultural exchange between nations.
Most troubling is the group did not address Cuba's lack of freedom and limited their travel demands to Cuba's “artists and scholars.” That wasn't a mistake. As faithful fans of the Cubano Dear Leader, they don't care about all Cubans' ability to travel, just those carefully-selected Party-approved “artists and scholars." Under heavy guard, of course, to avoid more embarrassing defections.
CNN is defending its job in vetting questions for last night's debate, reports Politico's Kenneth Vogel:
The retired general who quizzed Republican presidential candidates about gays and lesbians in the military was not the only person linked to a Democratic presidential candidate who got to ask a question at Wednesday’s CNN/YouTube debate.
Conservatives examining whom to support in the primary elections might do well to welcome an examination of both candidates and how they have departed from GOP orthodoxy on numerous social and fiscal issues. And while Rudy and Mitt aren't the only candidates being grilled by conservative activists for less-than-conservative positions, it's a good starting point, even if much of Romano's piece is snarky in tone (which it is).
Wash, spin, rinse, spin. Phone, spin, report, spin, poll, spin. The similarities between the work of the mainstream media and a laundry machine are striking. Yet there is nothing about the cycle -- the spin-report-poll-spin cycle -- that does for political events what detergent does for your boxers or briefs.
The media, as One, spend days or weeks bashing someone or something they do not like. They then conduct a poll to prove to you that they were right all along. In a campaign season, their one-sided coverage is calculated, then executed to produce a result. It’s not about reporting the events, it’s about changing the prevailing view.
And the polls -- such as the ones by the media, which are not independent surveys like those undertaken by the likes of Rasmussen or Gallup -- aren’t intended as much to gauge the public view of a candidate or events as they are to reinforce that which they have “reported”, or provide the media guidance on how effective their spinning of the news has been.
The website The Black Commentator defined the loony left by calling for the end of the Thanksgiving holiday, since it's apparently an event for white supremacists. This is more about the Internet than the mainstream media, but remember that liberal blacks the news producers treat as sensible pundits -- like Julian Bond of the hallowed NAACP and Julianne Malveaux, the woman who hoped on PBS that Clarence Thomas would die young -- are on this website's board. Here's just a snippet of their anti-Thanksgiving rant:
I receive the old-fashioned text version of MarketWatch's daily e-mail. That version of the e-mail always starts out with a short note from the editor about something that is being covered at the site that day.
Monday's e-mail from Steve Kerch, assistant managing editor/personal finance, was uncharacteristically enthusiastic about the economy. It was an enthusiasm that you'll see, after the jump, wasn't exactly reflected in his journalists' stories:
You have to wonder about all those doomsayers who predict the U.S. economy is on the brink of recession when you look at hotel rooms in New York that are filled at $600 a night, airplanes packed with passengers paying top dollar for flights to the Caribbean and Europe and highways jammed with cars guzzling $3-plus gallons of gas.
As far as travel goes this Thanksgiving holiday, the American consumer is in full rally mode. And it's not just the short jaunt to a family dinner on Thursday that's on the menu: More and more folks are making the Thanksgiving week a major vacation window, with international travel in particular seeing a big jump.
Teasing a story about the Supreme Court agreeing to hear an appeal concerning the Washington, D.C. handgun gun and whether it violates the 2nd Amendment's protection of an individual's right to keep and bear arms, CBSNews.com employed an ominous-looking graphic on its home page.
Pictured at right is the CBS/AP graphic showing in the foreground a right hand grasping a handgun, with an outline of the continental United States overlaid atop an American flag. Superimposed on the map and flag are the concentric circles of a shooting target. The corresponding story can be found here.
By contrast, ABCNews.com chose for its front page and story a graphic depicting a handgun beneath the seal of the United States Supreme Court (shown below the fold):
As we at NewsBusters have noticed, the media often pass off professional or semi-professional liberal activists as average Joes and Janes. The effect, of course, is to give a feel of authenticity to the problems, real or perceived, that these folks are struggling with, and often demand government intervention for.
So it's not surprising that the "undecided voters" in the recent Democratic debate in Vegas were often liberal activists. Bryan Preston of Hot Air looked into it. You can check out his blog entry here, or watch the embedded video posted above. (h/t Michelle Malkin)
The famous picture of a terrified Mohammed al-Dura hiding behind his father enraged millions of Muslims and became such an iconic image of Palestinian martyrdom and Israeli occupation that it caused violent rioting, inspired some UK Muslims to commit to radical Islam and was even used in suicide bomber propaganda.
It took a defamation case to get France2 to fork over the raw footage, but Media Backspin reported portions are missing (bold mine throughout):
TVNewser has an item today about MSNBC's David Shuster blasting Rudy Giuliani and Fox News brass while announcing a lawsuit involving the rival news channel (h/t Ian Schwartz):
This is how MSNBC's David Shuster, who once worked for FNC, reported the story in the 9amET hour:
"This is bad news, perhaps not just for Rudy Giuliani, but also for Fox News Channel. Roger Ailes who is in charge of Fox News, a close friend of Rupert Murdoch, he's been close friends with Rudy Giuliani for 20 years. Fox News commentator Sean Hannity led a Giuliani fund-raiser."
"Here you have a $100 million lawsuit in which Judith Regan is alleging that there was a smear campaign against her to protect the political agenda of Fox News of News Corp. and that that political agenda was to protect Rudy Giuliani"
In an Andy Rooneyesque rant about how his latest movie-going experience "left much to be desired," CBS White House correspondent Mark Knoller hinted he wouldn't mind seeing liberal consumers groups tackle hefty snack prices at the nation's movie theaters. He even suggested the short titles for two bills Congress could draft on that front.
From Knoller's November 12 Couric & Co. blog post (emphasis mine):
The fact is, most movie theaters are glorified snack bars. On average, they keep only 50% or less of the ticket price, far less for blockbusters in their opening weeks. Much of a theater’s profit comes from the concession stand.
Regal, one of the nation’s largest multiplex chains, reported the 3rd quarter profit margin at its snack bars exceeded 86%.
And the markup – especially on popcorn – is eye-popping. The Los Angeles Times last year calculated that just $30 of raw popcorn can translate into as much as $3,000 in sales at the snack bar.
That sounds like a markup that would make the oil industry blush.
On Thursday, Karl Rove gave a speech about politics and the Internet at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel, and, as reported by the Washington Times, commented about the frequent incidence of vulgarity at liberal blogs:
Mr. Rove cited the results of a study that found that writers and commenters on liberal blogs such as DailyKos.com cursed far more than writers and commenters on conservative Web sites such as FreeRepublic.com.
"My point is not that liberals swear publicly more often than conservatives. That may be true, but that's not my point," Mr. Rove said. "It is that the netroots often argue from anger rather than reason, and too often, their object is personal release, not political persuasion."
Our friend at Gateway Pundit observed this hysterical albeit predictable Netroots response (vulgarity present after the break, h/t Glenn Reynolds):
Someone needs to tell me why this news about discretionary income isn't as significant as I believe it is.
But first, three warnings: 1. I'm not about to spend the $250 needed to read the full report from the Conference Board that backs the story (their "about" page is here). 2. I don't feel totally comfortable with how the statistic is measured -- "Households with discretionary income, as defined by the study, are those whose spendable income exceeds that held by households with similar demographic features." 3. I don't feel totally comfortable that the statistic has been measured consistently.
Now with the disclaimers out of the way, here's the stunning news: More Americans have "money to burn," technically known as "discretionary income," than at any time in the past quarter-century, and perhaps in the country's history.
A lot more. A whole lot more.
So many more that I went as far back as I could for comparable stats.
As the mainstream media often accentuate the negative in the Iraq War -- see Newsweek's latest photo essay -- independent journalist Michael Yon's latest photograph (pictured at right) is highly unlikely to grace the cover of any major liberally-biased newsmagazine.
Yet the picture of Muslim and Christian Iraqis working together to affix a cross atop St. John's Church in Baghdad is creating buzz throughout the blogosphere on sites such as Captain's Quarters, Michelle Malkin, and the Anchoress as a sign of everyday progress -- not just militarily but in the battle for the "hearts and minds" of the Iraqi people.
Here are some of the Anchoress's thoughts on the matter:
It’s one of those photographs that takes the breath - there is a feeling of cognitive dissonance. Some of us on one side - who perhaps have never understood why we went to Iraq in the first place - may look at this picture and say, “but…but…Iraq is a hell-hole, an unmanageable, unwinnable, place of civil strife, death and occupied people who hate us!”
Some of us on the other side, who - overwhelmed with images of burned flags and screaming mobs - may have forgotten the humanity of the Iraqi people (people we let down once before, and who had reason to distrust us and our commitment) may see these Muslims and Christians raising a cross together, in a language of brotherhood and gratitude, and say, “but…but…all those people are bad people…”
I'm sure as a concerned social observer, CBS "Evening News" anchor Katie Couric may genuinely think we as a society are too addicted to TV. That said, I can't help but feel that her persistent third-place status in the broadcast evening news race is part and parcel of her Andy Rooney-Lite rant against the boob tube. Here's the November 7 page from Katie Couric's "Notebook" (see video here):
This week in Newsweek, writer Allison Wood complains about seeing television everywhere, and I think we're on the same wavelength.
It's in your living room, the kitchen, the bedroom. Leave home and hail a taxi, it's there too. A lot of cabs now have little TV screens bombarding you with news and weather as you head to wherever you're going.
It's arguably not as explosive as rigging trucks to explode in vintage "Dateline NBC" fashion but it seems ABC News may be using phony gay couples to gin up an incendiary story that plays on the media's preconceived storyline about intolerance and "homophobia" in conservative parts of America, particularly the South. Here's an excerpt from Michelle Malkin:
When you don’t feel like covering the news, you manfacture it. Remember the story I broke last spring about NBC News engineering a sting at NASCAR to try and expose fans as anti-Muslim bigots? Well, it looks like the dinosaur networks haven’t learned from the embarrassing backlash to that pathetic episode. Or Rathergate. Or Shattered Glass. Or Janet Cooke. Or Scott Thomas Beauchamp. Etc. etc. etc.
As Islamic scholar Robert Spencer can tell you, the mainstream media has barely noticed that Google, the Internet search engine giant, is now deciding for its users which ideas are acceptable and which are not. It’s never been a secret that Google leans left and won’t tolerate ideas it doesn’t agree with. The company hired global warming profiteer Al Gore as senior advisor and has a history of purging content based on ideology. More evidence of the company’s thinly-veiled, warm and fuzzy politically correct authoritarianism keeps popping up.
Now Google Video has suppressed a video of a speech that Spencer, author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), made at Dartmouth College. Spencer, whose family comes from the Muslim world, sees his work as “calling attention to the roots and goals of jihad violence.” He carefully explains his belief that “Islam is not a monolith,” and says that he has “never” characterized all Muslims “as terrorist or given to violence.”
Google de-listed several conservative e-zines and blogs from its news crawl last year, banned anti-MoveOn.org ads, and is complicit in state censorship in communist China.
Yesterday during the 7 p.m. hour of FBN’s “America’s Nightly Scoreboard” theBusiness and Media Institute’s Director Dan Gainor went head to head with John Coifman of the Natural Resources Defense Council. The topic of discussion was “business going green” and whether or not it can put businesses in the red. The first part of the video can be seen below.
David Asman asked Gainor, “What’s wrong with going green?”
What did America ever do to deserve a major evening news anchor who's afraid of [driving in] the dark?
"CBS Evening News" anchor Katie Couric has a fresh reason to be anxious this fall: more time spent driving in the dark thanks to daylight saving time ending. Here's the tease to her video in a November 2 "Couric & Co." blog post:
Due to Daylight Saving Time this weekend, many drivers will have an extra hour of dark to face on their commute home. And that can be dangerous.
Of course, it's hardly new for Couric to champion petty anxieties on her vlog. In April, Couric used her Notebook segment to clang alarm bells about kids not knowing how to use the library. Her ghostwriter at the time, CBSNews.com's Melissa McNamara, was fired for plagiarizing a Wall Street Journal columnist in the script Couric read from, according to the New York Sun.
Update (Nov. 7 | 10:49): The folks over at the satirical NewsGroper have a "response" from Katie Couric. Enjoy (mild content warning for language).
Helen Thomas is a "stalwart of the White House press corps who wields candor like a weapon of mass instruction," gushed Seattle Post-Intelligencer managing editor David McCumber in a November 2 post at his paper's Big Blog.
In a short video of her Friday appearance, Thomas regales the P-I newsroom audience with her tired left-wing ravings about how the Bush administration lied to get the United States into war with Iraq, and how President Bush must have been utterly amazed at how sheep-like the media were in the lead-up to war. McCumber was so enchanted by her presence that he included what he considered to be a pearl of wisdom from the reporter-turned-front-row-Bush-basher:
Ann Coulter's been a naughty girl! She has to go sit a time out in the corner, according to Chris Matthews, who's withdrawing the distinct and high honor of inviting the columnist on "Hardball" as punishment for the Donny Deutsch row, which was hyped by the liberal smear machine Media Matters for America.
And I thought that was only reserved for attractive business reporters who didn't lean into the camera.
CBS's Public Eye blogger Matthew Felling sees curious timing in a controversy CNN reported on an October 31 program, but which took place weeks earlier, involving a stand-up comic and a noose:
Last night on CNN’s “Out in the Open” hosted by Rick Sanchez, he had a lively discussion/debate with an African-American comic who had worn a noose like a necktie as “a fashion accessory.” The segment began: