The media's adoration of the first family knows no bounds.
Take the Huffington Post for example, which on Monday felt it was newsworthy to inform readers that when the Obamas attended a college basketball game this weekend, they actually wore the same colors as one of the competing teams:
Those Tea Partiers – is there anything in this nation they can’t spoil? They’ve already gummed up the president’s agenda with their rallies and signs and voting. Now, they’re trying to ruin “Dancing with the Stars!”
So says the left and many in the media agree. Now that newly resurgent conservatives have handed them a crushing mid-term defeat, liberals are seeing nefarious Tea Party plots everywhere – including in silly entertainment shows. And they’re taking plenty of shots at Bristol and, predictably, her mother.
Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol, 20, has done remarkably well in this season’s “Dancing with the Stars” competition on ABC. As she’s advanced from week to week, buoyed by viewer voting, entertainment reporters and liberals have become increasingly frustrated.
The media is practically falling over themselves with a report, propagated in part by the flimsy Nicole Winfield of the Associated Press, that Pope Benedict XVI has "justified" the use of condoms. (See this enormous (and misleading) headline at HuffPo, for example.) But is it true? In a word, no. Nowhere in his remarks does the Pope talk about "justifying" anything.
Rev. Joseph Fessio is the editor-in-chief of Ignatius Press, which is publishing the interview book Light of the World, from which the Pope's notable remarks are gleaned. Fr. Fessio is quoted in the New York Times, "It would be wrong to say, 'Pope Approves Condoms.' He's saying it's immoral, but in an individual case the use of a condom could be an awakening to someone that he's got to be more conscious of his actions."
Dr. Janet E. Smith at Catholic World Report has an excellent explanation of the Pope's remarks. She also provides the actual interview exchange from the upcoming book.
On Thursday’s Countdown show on MSNBC, after guest Howard Fineman of the Huffington Post predicted that Republican Congressmen would be reluctant to extend unemployment benefits, host Keith Olbermann asserted that, referring to congressional Republicans, "They don't live in this world. They don't live in this country. And I think we'd be better off if they didn't live in this country."
Later, during the show’s "Worst Person" segment, Olbermann attacked FNC’s Roger Ailes for the second consecutive night - this time for his recent attack on NPR and Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart. Olbermann addressed Stewart directly, suggesting that the Daily Show host was wrong to lump MSNBC in with his criticism of FNC, and also suggesting that the side representing FNC and conservatives is "close to playing with its poop." Olbermann: "Thanks to Mr. Ailes for proving my point about false equivalence. And an aside to Mr. Stewart: Jon, I told you so. I mean, I might disagree with you, but I'd never think you were crazy or hateful. But Maher is right. One side sticks to the facts, and the other side is close to playing with its own poop."
Liberal internet publisher Arianna Huffington is being sued by two Democrat consultants for allegedly stealing their website idea.
Politico reported Monday evening the suit filed in New York State Supreme Court claims James Boyce and Peter Daou originally presented the idea for the Huffington Post to Huffington and her partner Ken Lerer, and the four made a handshake agreement to develop the website together (h/t NBer acaiguana):
It's a weighty charge, plagiarism. But your credibility in making it tends to dissipate when you do so on a site founded and run by an alleged serial plagiarist.
Arianna Huffington has been accused of lifting portions of a number of her books from other authors, and in one case had to dole out a 5-figure settlement to put plagiarism charges to rest. Her site has also taken heat from celebrities whose names appear on bylines on the site, but who didn't actually write those posts' contents.
Writing about Keith Olbermann's "indefinite suspension"/extended weekend away from MSNBC, Huffington Post blogger Chez Pazienza provided a rare moment of illumination at the left-wing site when he wrote this in a post titled "Playing for Keith" --
On Thursday’s Countdown show on MSNBC, as he plugged a segment on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s appeal to President Obama to cooperate with the GOP, host Keith Olbermann suggested that Obama should "kick" the "ass" of McConnell rather than surrender to the Republican Senator’s demands. Referring to McConnell during a plug, Olbermann complained: "Once again, he honestly explains what compromise means: agreeing with him. And instead of kicking him in the ass, the President agrees to sit down and chat."
After a few more plugs in which the Countdown host mocked McConnell for asking Obama to move in the Republican direction on issues, Olbermann got to the segment and played a clip of the Senate Republican Leader speaking to the conservative Heritage Foundation. After bringing aboard the Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman, the MSNBC host held his hands over his head and began the discussion: "Forgive me. I have to deal with this headache immediately, so I'm doing this right at the moment."
He soon asked Fineman if President Obama would ever realize that trying to compromise with Republicans "hasn’t gotten me a lick of spit" and give up:
There is a fine line between tasteful political comedy and crossing-the-line crudeness, and the Huffington Post’s new song “My Girl's A Republican” just leaped over that line. With lyrics such as “Dick Nixon sucking lips” and “she made her oil money last, and now I’m tapping it,” even the most liberal among us could agree that the attack on Republican women is downright revolting.
Hailed as an “ode to right-wing ladies,” the three and a half minute song and video by Rap duo “It’s The Real” (and proudly displayed on the Huffington Post Web site) does nothing but smear conservative women like Christine O’Donnell, Michele Bachmann, and of course, Sarah Palin. The HuffPo write up on the “tribute to conservative women” song claims “it does a pretty solid job of both mocking and admiring right-wing conservatives.”
On Sunday’s Reliable Sources, CNN host Howard Kurtz pressed guest Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post on her hypocrisy for calling for more civility in political discourse even while she is a regular guest on Keith Olbermann’s Countdown show on MSNBC. After Kurtz asked if MSNBC was as much of a problem as FNC, she charged that "misinformation" disseminated by FNC is "monumental" compared to MSNBC:
Definitely not as much of the problem. Have they exaggerated? Yes, they would admit it themselves. But the constant barrage of misinformation being put out by Glenn Beck, by O'Reilly, by Hannity is just monumental. I mean, this is a factual record that has been compiled of what they're saying.
She also rationalized her appearances with Olbermann by giving him credit for a lame apology the MSNBC host once addressed to Jon Stewart after Stewart called him out for viciously attacking Republican Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts. Huffington: "Well, Keith Olbermann actually apologized for that statement, for that particular statement. Have you ever seen anybody apologize except maybe Glenn Beck when he called the President a racist?"
Americans are voting with their "lizard brains" and leaning Republican simply out of fear, according to Arianna Huffington. Although challenged by MSNBC's Joe Scarborough Friday that the 2008 election of Obama was out of fear, Huffington responded that it was driven by "hope" and that Bush won in 2004 because of fear.
Now Americans are now driven by fear to vote the Republicans into the House and Senate. "This is not a rational election," Huffington complained to MSNBC's Joe Scarborough on Friday's "Morning Joe."
"People are operating out of fear and anxiety at the moment. And when they operate out of fear and anxiety, they operate out of what they call their 'lizard brains.' And 'lizard brains' are not susceptible to rationality," Huffington explained.
Apparently, our "lizard brains" are our primordial fearful reactions to a dangerous situation. Huffington described it in a 2006 Huffington Post column as when the amygdala – "deep in the brain...an almond-sized region that generates fear" – activates, the "lizard brain responds by clicking into survival mode."
It’s no secret that the nation is preparing for a GOP tidal wave with significant conservative victories in the Senate and House next Tuesday. The election has essentially focused on domestic economic policy. Conservative candidates have been gaining ground with a popular job growth/lower taxes/revive the economy mantra.
But desperate liberal Democrats have suddenly shifted the focus from the economy to divisive social issues like abortion and gay rights, and the mainstream media have been more than willing to give them a platform. Media personalities like Matt Lauer, Rachel Maddow and Eleanor Clift are loudly voicing concerns over the future of gay marriage and the legal status of abortion.
The Center for Public Integrity boasts of itself as a "nonpartisan" journalism outfit -- while at the very same time it is absorbing something called the "Huffington Post Investigative Fund," which isn't a brand-name for nonpartisanship. It's a brand name that says trendy-left combo of a little political reporting, some celebrity blogging, celebrity nude/almost-nude photos -- and currently, election-eve Jon Stewart bus-mongering. Keach Hagey of Politico reports that the CPI's board recently approved plans to make the Center's website a revenue-generating high-traffic website (no word if that means sleazy photos of Miley Cyrus or "Glee" stars):
So what was the reaction at the Huffington Post to the admission by West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin, who is now running for a U.S. Senate seat from that state, that he would now oppose ObamaCare despite his earlier support for that same legislation? Brutal scorn as can be seen in the very title of Huffington Post political writer Sam Stein's article, "Joe Manchin Does 180: I Would Have Voted Against Health Care Reform." Stein, as well as the comments from the Huffington Post readers, are now slamming Manchin for blatant political opportunism on this topic. It's not a pretty sight. First Sam Stein weighs in:
In typical lefty fashion, the Huffington Post is hiding behind a “qualified” author to make a feminist, pro-abortion argument. Reverend Dawn Duval, a minister of social justice (whatever that means) and mother of two, wrote a passionate piece to slam Colorado Amendment 62 and its supporters, while making the misaligned point that in defining a fertilized egg as a person, it removes a woman’s right to choose what to do with her body.
Amendment 62 would apply “the term 'person' … to every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being.” How dare they!
You're so angry and stupid that...you're GONNA EXPLODE!!!
That sums up the incredibly embarrassing childish critique of Rush Limbaugh by Norman Lear. Not one issue was mentioned. Ironically Lear slammed Limbaugh for being like an uncontrollable kid yet it was Lear himself who lowered himself to using slams that most folks haven't heard since sitting in a grade school cafeteria and hearing the children ragging on each other. Even for the Huffington Post, Lear's childishness is over the top. The only reason I can think of about why the editor gave his piece a pass is that Lear is a celebrity. And in case you think your humble correspondent has exaggerated about the content-free childishness of Lear's slams against Limbaugh, here is his entire brief schoolboyish mudsling:
Folks, I'm worried about Rush Limbaugh. Has anyone ever exploded, you know, burst apart, like if we humans had seams and they just burst open and guts and shit shot out in every direction?
Has that ever happened to anyone any of you have ever known even in the wildest of election seasons? 'Cause listening to Limbaugh in my car today, carrying on about Obama with less than 2 weeks to the midterms (and I'm someone who's heard him a lot and knows what a screamer he is) how he can carry on like the kid you knew up the block who could stand there and holler dumbness until his face got red as a radish --oh, My God, is that where "redneck" comes from?! -- and today, riding with my car windows down, I thought "This guy is gonna split a gut so bad I better put my car windows up even if I'm in LA and he's broadcasting from Florida.
In a surprisingly balanced piece, Huffington Post columnist John Lundberg demonstrated sensitivity to Christians outraged by the sacrilege committed in a controversial poem written to promote stem cell awareness. Tyson Anderson wrote winning verse for the October 13 Stem Cell Awareness Day contest sponsored by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
“This is my body, which is given for you.” These words, found in the New Testament, spoken by Jesus during the first communion among his disciples, were used in Anderson’s poem as the voice of a fetus willingly giving up his or her life for the use of its stem cells. According to the Huffington Post article, CIRM removed the poem from its website.
At times, the Internet can be an information wonderland. At others, it is more like a landfill where people go to dump their poorly crafted opinions labeled as fact. Take this quote for example:
"It's a fact that gay teenagers are about thirty percent more likely than straight teenagers to take their own lives. It's a fact that the vast majority of Christians believe that being gay is a profound moral failing, a foul aberration, a repelling, unnatural offense against God that fully warrants as punishment an eternity spent in hell. Asserting that those two facts have no relationship cannot possibly be anything but intellectually dishonest."
This quote comes from the personal blog of John Shore, contributor to the Huffington Post, which linked to the entry in question. He writes primarily on Christianity and operates under the mantra "Trying God's patience since 1958."
His statements are pretty compelling to the uncritical reader. Unfortunately for Shore, he is the one being "intellectually dishonest." His argument is built upon false premises. Just because two aspects have a common bond does not necessarily translate into a causal relation.
So more government isn’t the answer to all of our problems? For a brief moment, that seemed to be the message Huffington Post editor-in-chief and co-founder Arianna Huffington was conveying.
On CNBC’s Oct. 5 broadcast of “Squawk Box,” Huffington, author of “Third World America” explained what she thought the role of government should be in an American economic system. Now whether she was playing to the CNBC pro-capitalist audience or not remains to be seen, but she did depart with the so-called progressive/liberal view of government’s role in the economy, and criticized the Obama administration.
“[S]o when it comes to the Obama administration’s policies, the problem has been rewarding people for taking excessive risks, which is not at the heart of capitalism,” Huffington said. “You and I have talked about that before. At the heart of capitalism is the assumption that if you take excessive risks and you fail, you’re on your own. The taxpayer is not on the hook. And we still have left the systemic risk in the system despite the financial reform bill that was passed. ‘Too big to fail’ has not ended and that really is the potential problem in the future.”
What – was Janeane Garofalo busy this week? If not, she has some real competition in the "lefty comic making outrageous statements" category.
On HBO’s Oct. 1 “Real Time with Bill Maher,” during the “Overtime” segment available on HBO.com, left-wing comedian David Cross of “Arrested Development” fame appeared to offer his view on issues of the day. This segment of the program is produced generally to answer viewer emailed questions. One of those questions was if people in the media “should be held more legally accountable for presenting false or misleading information.”
The host, Bill Maher likened that scenario to the system in place in the United Kingdom. However in the United States, Americans are protected by the First Amendment and he explained the legal implications of speech in the U.K. compared to the U.S. But in Cross’ estimation, that protected right is somehow wrong. He named two Fox News Channel hosts, Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, and declared he would like to see them taken off of the airwaves although he wasn’t clear about what “false or misleading information” they may have presented that would warrant this action.
“I think so, absolutely, and I say that as somebody who would like to see Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity off the air, you know,” Cross declared with an approving response from the audience. “So, I think to -- it’s just part of the job. It should be part of the job, you know, if you knowingly do that, then absolutely you should lose your job. We don’t get to, you know, lie and make up things in our jobs, you know. And nobody really does.”
If Arianna Huffington, an admitted “progressive,” announces she’s offering transportation to individuals that desire to participate in Comedy Central hosts Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s “million moderate march,” can it really be described as “moderate?”
“We are getting a Huff Post bus. If there is anybody unsure how to get there, talk to me,” Huffington said. “[J]ust come to the Huffington Post, 560 Broadway in SoHo. The bus will be there. We’ll take you with us.”
Liberals are never so alive as when they’re speaking out against anachronistic straw men. That’s why, in their estimation, the Tea Parties are racist lynch mobs and conservatives who wonder about President Obama’s ties to anti-American radicals are sinister McCarthyites.
So it’s not surprising that The Huffington Post is making a big deal of “Banned Books Week.” The house organ for the self-important Hollywood left – you know, all those “artists” constantly threatened by censorship – featured a string of articles on various aspects of the banned book topic. The week, according to contributor Jonathon Kim, “celebrates the wonderful freedom of being able to read whatever one likes, and reminding us that it's a freedom that must be fought for constantly.”Kim’s article had to do with a new movie about the 1950s obscenity trial of beat poet Allen Ginsburg’s work, “Howl.” (To their sorrow, an awful lot of English majors know first-hand that Ginsburg won.) Elsewhere, HuffPo linked to a New York Times article that suggested “Ten Ways to Celebrate Banned Books Week.” These are for readers to do “with your students, your children and anyone who believes in having ‘the freedom to read.’”Readers can adopt a “challenged” book (one that parents or civic groups have demanded be removed from school or public libraries). They can “create a map of challenges to demonstrate that book bans and challenges are not isolated phenomena, even in the United States.” (In other words, even parents who don’t live in jerkwater conservative areas care what their kids read.)