Washington Post reporter and author of "God's Harvard," Hanna Rosin, admitted in an October 15 blog post that she disagrees politically with most evangelical Christians and that she thinks that the religious views informing their political ideology and activism is downright unhealthy for democracy.
Posting an entry in a "blogalogue" at Beliefnet.com, Rosin offered these reflections on conservative evangelical Christians and their participation in politics (emphasis mine):
Hardly surprising, I suppose, but "CBS Evening News" anchor Katie "Who made us the boss of them?" Couric has passed judgment on the SCHIP fight between Congress and President Bush, invoking a playground analogy to hit President Bush and the Democratic Congress for "playing politics" instead of working to "put children first."
Said Couric in an October 16 vlog at her online Notebook:
Both sides are using this issue to score points when they need to get out of the sandbox, act like adults, and agree on a compromise.
That's vintage Couric, alright. As NewsBusters editor Brent Baker wrote on Sept. 24, 2006:
McClatchy Newspapers is taking a somewhat ghoulish, pessimistically-toned look at the poor souls who suffer from our success in Iraq: undertakers. That's right, with less people dying, business is slow for Iraqi undertakers, report Jay Price and Qasim Zein in their October 16 article (accessed via Yahoo News), "As violence falls in Iraq, cemetery workers feel the pinch.":
NAJAF, Iraq — At what's believed to be the world's largest cemetery, where Shiite Muslims aspire to be buried and millions already have been, business isn't good.
A drop in violence around Iraq has cut burials in the huge Wadi al Salam cemetery here by at least one-third in the past six months, and that's cut the pay of thousands of workers who make their living digging graves, washing corpses or selling burial shrouds.
The burials aren't expensive, usually $200 or less, but many people draw their income from them.
Wired magazine's Sarah Lai Stirland is reporting that liberal advocacy group MoveOn.org is reversing course after it was lambasted for censorship for pushing Google to censor anti-MoveOn.org ads by Maine Senator Susan Collins' (R) campaign.:
The left-leaning political advocacy group, MoveOn.org, is backing down in a flap over the use of its name in online advertisements, permitting an influential Republican senator to criticize the organization in a reelection ad on Google's search engine.
"We don't want to support a policy that denies people freedom of expression," says Jennifer Lindenauer, MoveOn.org's communications director.
There's something to be said for a slightly irreverent, punchy writing style when it comes to reporting political developments in an online news venture. But is conjuring up the image of Ohio as flyover country a way to endear outside-the-Beltway readers to The Politico?
A nine-term member of Congress, Hobson, 70, announced his plans to retire Sunday. “I wanted to go out on top,” said Hobson, who said his health is good. In a telephone interview with Politico, he said he had been thinking about retiring for quite a while and “almost did not run last year.”
Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) will now face questions over the fact that three of the 12 Republicans (Hobson, Ralph Regula and Deborah Pryce) who have announced their retirement this year come from the Buckeye State, Boehner’s home.
As my colleague Tim Graham has noted before, Newsweek's "Conventional Wisdom Watch" is a reliable weekly rehash of liberal conventional wisdom. Indeed, as Tim noted in a March 25 blog entry:
It really would be more honest for Newsweek to call it "Newsweek Consensus Watch." Or "What We Say To Each Other Over Lunch."
It looks like not much has changed in the past six month, as the crew at CW tapped into left-wing blogger outrage over conservative bloggers who smelled something fishy with the Democratic poster family for SCHIP, the Frosts of Baltimore, Md.:
Teasing yet another (manufactured) Ann Coulter controversy, ABCNews.com practically suggested that Coulter is an anti-Semite, and when you follow the bread crumbs, you'll find Media Matters the culprit behind the half-baked cake. "The columnist suggested that the U.S. would be a better place without Jews," teased a headline in the rotating news summary on ABC's Web site (see screencap at right).
Yet in context, it's quite logical to conclude Coulter means that, as a Christian, she would like everyone to embrace Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, hence securing them eternal life in Heaven. Grounded in historical Christian teaching, her desire for all to believe in Jesus (and hence be Christians) is not a racist or genocidal point-of-view, but a loving, religious one, however awkwardly stated it may have been in her recent interview.
Here we go again. Another instance of a reporter mocking conservative Christian teaching. And giving an atta-boy to Jimmy Carter to boot.
In an October 11 post to The Skinny blog at CBSNews.com, Keach Hagey took a reductionist and highly stereotypical slant to biblical teaching on Christian households, mocking the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary for offering women "an academic degree in their special, God-given role," which Hagey described as making dinner:
Those pesky conservative suburbanites and their market forces! They'll be the ruin of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, bellows Anonymous.
Hugh Hewitt and Ed Morrissey have taken on the unattributed complaints of a self-described Star-Tribune ("Strib") veteran, who laments that his beloved paper is becoming a right-wing shill for, gasp, hiring a token conservative opinion columnist.:
The Rake, a local alternative newspaper here in the Twin Cities, published an interesting cri de coeur from "one Strib veteran" about the direction of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The anonymous attribution wears thin in the first line of the quote:
The New York Sun's Eli Lake is reporting this morning that "Al Qaeda's Internet communications system has suddenly gone dark to American intelligence" following "the leak of Osama bin Laden's September 11 speech inadvertently disclosed the fact that" American intelligence agencies "had penetrated the enemy's system."
You can thank ABC News for that. According to Lake:
...the disclosure from ABC and later other news organizations tipped off Qaeda's internal security division that the organization's Internet communications system, known among American intelligence analysts as Obelisk, was compromised. This network of Web sites serves not only as the distribution system for the videos produced by Al Qaeda's production company, As-Sahab, but also as the equivalent of a corporate intranet, dealing with such mundane matters as expense reporting and clerical memos to mid- and lower-level Qaeda operatives throughout the world.
Writing at her "Couric & Co." blog this morning, CBS's Katie Couric gave journalist/feminist polemicist Susan Faludi a platform to flesh out her theory that the mainstream media have harnessed fears of terrorism post-9/11 to socially repress women and resurrect myths of the Old West. Here, for example, is Faludi's response to Couric's question about why Faludi penned her latest book:
MSNBC Interactive News, a Microsoft and NBC Universal joint venture with 27.3 million Web visitors in August, announced Sunday night that it has purchased Newsvine in a deal of undisclosed size. It is the first acquisition in MSNBC.com's 11-year history, one that President Charlie Tillinghast hopes will lead to additional news-sharing features on MSNBC and tap an audience of highly engaged news readers.
Newsvine will continue to operate as a separate business unit and brand under the direction of Davidson, with the team remaining in its Seattle offices.
So Sen. Barack Obama has pulled a Bill Moyers -- shunning U.S. flag lapel pins over political disagreements with the Bush administration -- and Time's Joe Klein applauds the move. After all, the Bush White House, according to Klein is an "administration that endorsed the troglyditic religious views of Christian fundamentalist mullahs," among other nasty un-liberal things.
I adore this country and abhor those, especially those lucky enough to live here, who don't. But to the extent that wearing an American flag lapel pin could be misconstrued as support for the most disgraceful administration in my lifetime, perhaps in American history, I can certainly understand why Barack Obama had reservations about it.
While MSNBC's Keith Olbermann can hardly contain his glee at smacking around Rush Limbaugh over the taken-out-of-context "phony soldier" remark, it's notable that Olbermann himself essentially smeared Gen. David Petreaus as a phony at best and a traitor at the worst well before the Iraq war commander ever gave his assessment before Congress.
Indeed, before MoveOn.org issued the infamously juvenile "Betray Us" ad, Olbermann's minions plastered "Will Petreaus Betray Us?" in on-screen graphics during his August 16 program. [See also YouTube video appended at bottom of post]
Chatting with guest and liberal journalist Jonathan Alter on that program, Olbermann trashed the Petreaus report as a "ghost-written" concoction of the Bush White House, bound to be replete with partisan spin. Alter agreed, saying Petreaus has always been a "political" general, although he backtracked a bit to also say Petreaus was a "straight-shooter."
Cat fight on the left? On today's "Tucker," a "Media Matters" representative denied Hillary's claim that she "helped start" the organization.
Welcome back, Tucker. Really.
While Carlson was away, guest host David Shuster sullied Tucker's name-sake show with the tasteless "gotcha" game he sprang on Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), then compounded matters by leading a liberal love-in.
Tucker's been back in the saddle for a couple days, and this evening took on Wesley Clark and later a representative of Media Matters.
Speaking with Paul Waldman, Senior Fellow and Director of Special Projects of "Media Matters," Carlson displayed the graphic shown here, in which Hillary Clinton stated that she had "helped start" Media Matters. Under close questioning by Carlson, Waldman wound up contradicting Hillary's claim.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) took to a popular conservative blog today to issue a defense of radio host Rush Limbaugh against left-wing smear attacks. As NewsBusters has reported, Blackburn herself was the target of a "gotcha" game by MSNBC's David Shuster.
In "Why let the truth get in the way of a good story," Blackburn expressed to Red State readers her support for Limbaugh and noted her resolution before the House of Representatives to commend Rush for this dedication to America's men and women in uniform:
Earlier today President Bush vetoed a bill to expand the federal State Children's Health Insurance Plans (SCHIP) by $35 billion over five years. Reporting the story, CNN.com pulled out all the stops, showing a cutesy photo of kid protesters on Lafayette Square (pictured at right) and rounding up a negative quote from an otherwise conservative Republican:
Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah was among those Republicans who split from the president. "It's very difficult for me to be against a man I care so much for," he told his colleagues on the Senate floor before the vote. "It's unfortunate that the president has chosen to be on what, to me, is clearly the wrong side of this issue."
A Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted September 27-30 found 72 percent of those surveyed support an increase in spending on the program, with 25 percent opposed. The poll's margin of error was 3 percentage points.
Oh sure, sometimes they love to hate us, but one thing is clear: NewsBusters is must reading for MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.
As I noted here, Scarborough and panelist Willie Geist blasted Media Matters on today's "Morning Joe" for using a "phony story" to go after Rush for his "phony soldiers" comment. Joe and Willie recognized the truth of the matter: that Rush had been speaking of one phony soldier indeed, Jesse Macbeth, and not of anti-war soldiers in general.
Later, at 8:03 A.M. EDT, in the context of the Media Matters-inspired attack on Rush, Joe and Mika made clear that they have NewsBusters on the noggin.
It doesn't take you a comprehensive Media Research Center study to know that the Huffington Post is a leftist site. Of course, MRC/NewsBusters' Tim Graham did such a study, but it's common knowledge in the media that HuffPo skews leftward. Yet New York Times staffer Bill Carter downplayed the liberal nature of the site in his October 2 story "CBSNews.com Chief to Lead a News and Blogs Site."
Carter kicked off his article by taking pains to avoid the ideological bent of HuffPo, instead painting HuffPo's new hire of a CBSNews.com staffer for chief executive as a sign that "new-media" outlets no longer have to sit at the MSM's version of the kids table:
The Huffington Post, a news Web site, plans to announce today the appointment of a new chief executive, Betsy Morgan, who will leave her job as the general manager of CBSNews.com.
As Brent Baker of MRC/NB has documented, MSNBC has been among the worst MSM offenders in propagating the falsehood that Rush Limbaugh had accused all anti-war military members of being "phony soldiers."
A point of light at that same network this morning, however, as Joe Scarborough and Willie Geist combined to debunk the Media Matters allegation, accusing the organization of using a "phony story about a phony soldier" to go after Rush.
It began at 6:04 A.M. EDT today, during the "Morning Joe" opening coffee klatsch.
Our friend Brian Maloney at Radio Equalizer has an excellent run-down of Media Matters (MMA) latest attack on another of its favorite bogeymen: Rush Limbaugh. Earlier this week it was sharpening its knives over Bill O'Reilly:
Not content to wait until Bill O'Reilly's hoped- for demise, the George Soros- funded Media Matters / mainstream media smear machine has added a second target: Rush Limbaugh.
And this time, the distortion of words may actually be more severe than in O'Reilly's case.
Now, Media Matters has twisted and edited Rush's words in a way that makes it appear he's insulting the troops. They've taken the false idea that he called anti- war soldiers "phony troops" and spread it across the Internet. But Limbaugh said nothing of the sort.
Maloney explains that MMA took out of context a remark Limbaugh made about "phony soldiers:"
On August 26 and September 2, the Washington Post refused to run the weekly "Opus" comic strip by cartoonist Berkeley Breathed out of concerns of insensitivity to Muslims. NewsBusters associate editor wrote about the controversy here and here, and MRC president and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell discussed the Post's double standard on religious sensibilities on Glenn Beck's CNN Headline News program.
Weeks after the controversy has subsided, NewsBusters reader Rusty Weiss shot me a message informing me that a classic "Bloom County" strip from Breathed in the September 28 edition of Yahoo Comics is quite appropriate coming on the heels of the controversy (see below fold for the comic strip). Writes Weiss:
Viacom-owned MTV has recently rolled out "Think MTV," a new community interaction site oriented toward student activism. Imagine "Facebook" with a social-activist theme. Exploring the site quickly reveals that MTV's notion of social activism has a decided liberal tint.
The home page lists a dozen major areas for potential activism. Click on "Politics" and -- what do you know! -- the first photo that pops up is one of John Edwards looking pensively toward the future. Three videos on political themes are displayed. The only one from a named author is by . . . Kanye West [the rapper who during the 2004 election famously claimed that "Bush doesn't care about black people."] Other celebrities involved with Think MTV: Bono, Jay-Z, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Chris Rock. Do you detect a trend?
There's a fabulous column by Ed Driscoll (HT to NixGuy in an e-mail) about the evolution of media and reporting from the invention of radio to our current circumstances.
It's the title of Driscoll's work, "Atlas Mugged: How a Gang of Scrappy, Individual Bloggers Broke the Stranglehold of the Mainstream Media," that misses the mark a bit.
Ed has the "stranglehold" part nailed:
By the early 1970s, mass media had reached its zenith (if you’ll pardon the pun). Most Americans were getting their news from one of three TV networks’ half-hour nightly broadcasts. With the exception of New York, most big cities had only one or two primary newspapers. And no matter what a modern newspaper’s lineage, by and large its articles, except for local issues, came from global wire services like the Associated Press or Reuters; it took its editorial lead from the New York Times; and it claimed to be impartial (while usually failing miserably).
I have to figure, after looking at the results of this Google News search on "real earnings" (in quotes), that Old Media business reporters found what came out in the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Real Earnings Report too difficult to understand. The search shows that only the Providence Journal among Old Media outlets mentioned the report, which was released Wednesday.
So in the interest of education, I'll break down the BLS report into simpler terms:
Andrew at Biased BBC has an excellent take on the British news agency's flawed reporting on the recent release of some South Korean aid workers. For starters, the original headline glossed over the brutal murder of two hostages. Andrew also noted that contrary to BBC's own style guide, the news agency characterized the murdered missionaries as having been "executed," which implies a legal penalty governed by due process of law.
In light of the Larry Craig scandal, Time magazine's Joe Klein stepped up to the pulpit at the magazine's "Swampland" blog to insist that conservative Christians are being, well, un-Christlike with their moral opposition to homosexuality. Klein points to conservative objection to homosexuality for creating a culture of shame that forces gay men to seek sex in public restrooms.
To Klein, it's the religious right's fault, and boy are they misunderstanding what Jesus --or "Dr. J" as Klein calls him-- was all about (emphasis mine).:
Some people get angry at Craig's--and a long list of theofoolish sexual demagogues'--hypocrisy because they don't consider consensual adult homosexuality a matter of morality at all. Some people are infuriated at people like Craig etc. because they promote the social stigma that forces closeted gay men to find sexual solace in secret, shame-ridden places like public restrooms. Some people are angry enough to actually celebrate Craig's outing because of the untold pain and suffering that people like Craig have caused.