On Sunday's Face the Nation on CBS, host Bob Schieffer asked columnist Kathleen Parker about her views on the tea party: "the rhetoric that's coming out from the right side, especially from the tea party....you think it may be dangerous." Parker replied: "this heated rhetoric and some of these words...that are pretty loaded, 'reload,' 'targeting'...there's a danger there."
Parker, syndicated with the Washington Post Writers Group, claimed she was not casting negative aspersions on the whole political movement: "I'm not saying the tea party people are violent or racist or any of that....I'm not saying that the tea partiers are bad people or dangerous," but warned: "I just think we have to be very vigilant....and be extremely careful, because I do think there is a lot of anger and it could become something else."
Schieffer brought up internet journalism as a possible source of some of the "dangerous" anger: "some of this really nasty rhetoric that shows up on the Internet....the only vehicle to deliver news that has no editor....And that is the added factor to the volatility of this stuff and where it goes." Parker agreed, and moments after warning of tea party extremism, made this comparison: "It's, sort of, like terrorism. You know, we don't know where to aim our bombs, so we can't go after a country because there are – you know, there's no one place to focus on it. And it's the same thing with – with the Internet.You can't really – you don't know who to go after."
A recent article from CBS Healthwatch contributor Kelli Stacy revealed new findings from a study done by University of Kentucky researchers indicating that less than 20 percent of young adults believe "Oral contract with partner's genitals" constitutes "sex."
In 1991 a similar survey found that approximately 40 percent of young adults considered oral sex as "sex," Stacy noted. Researchers attribute the shift in sex-conceptualization to the Monica Lewinsky affair.
"Researchers point to former President Clinton's infamous statement, ‘I did not have sexual relations with that woman,' as the pivotal turning point in society's changing views about oral sex," Stacy said. "The attitude shift has been dubbed the ‘Clinton-Lewinsky' effect."
On Friday, CBSNews.com's blog Political Hotsheet ran a gushing article that amounted to free advertising for the left's new gimmick of coffee parties.
Aside from the friendly tone and complete lack of criticism, the most astounding part was when writer Stephanie Condon remarked that many issues discussed at a Coffee Party could just as well have come from a TEA party.
Condon's article began with the oh-so-innocent headline "Is The "Coffee Party" The Next Big Thing?" The opening paragraph ran like something right from a brochure:
Let's see... The author of the bizarre solution to avoid a direct vote in the House of Representatives on the Senate ObamaCare bill is Congresswoman Louise Slaughter. Yet, to call it a "Slaughter Solution" is somehow an unfair Republican tactic. Such is the assertion of Brian Montopoli at the CBS Political Hotsheet:
The Republican Party already has plenty of evocative phrases with which to hammer the health care reform effort: "Government takeover," "ram down our throats," "job-killing monstrosity."
Now House Republican Leader John Boehner's office has come up with perhaps the most striking entry yet: "Slaughter Solution."
"Maybe it's time for the House ethics committee to find a new name."
So actually began an article at CBSNews.com's Political Hotsheet blog Tuesday entitled "Ethics Committee Clears Seven, But Questions Persist":
Last week, the bipartisan committee, known formally as the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, cleared seven lawmakers who had been accused of trading millions in federal dollars for campaign contributions.
The exoneration came despite a report from a separate group, the Office of Congressional Ethics, that found defense contractors that received the federal money (which came in the form of earmarks) believed their contributions were directly tied to federal money coming their way.
After discussing some of the contradictory actions taken by both groups last week, the piece took an even more surprising turn (h/t Ed Morrissey):
"I pray God when the Democrats take back control we don’t make the kind of naked power grab you are doing." - Joe Biden, 2005
Few Americans would be shocked to hear that members of Congress are not always consistent, and occasionally outright hypocritical. Very often, however, the liberal media attempts to downplay Democratic double standards and highlight Republican ones.
Each recent change in the congressional majority, it seems has brought calls from the newly dominant party for an end to the filibuster. This Democratic majority is no different.
When noting rhetorical inconsistencies, however, the mainstream media has jumped at the chance to note that Republicans, now using the filibuster as a potential means to block Democratic health care legislation, were ardent advocates of majoritarianism in the Senate only a few years ago (as demonstrated in the video below the fold).
The CBS News website Friday not only published a video of a tree carved into the shape of a penis, but someone deemed it important enough to put it at the site's recommended videos list.
The story was originally broadcast by Phoenix, Arizona, ABC affiliate KNXV, and was about a man in Tempe whose friends played a joke on him.
Days later, CBS's Phoenix affiliate KPHO apparently aired an edited version of the segment now available at CBSNews.com.
According to the blurb at YouTube, "[Adam Starr] says he asked some friends to help him out, but a mix of alcohol and chainsaws created what some consider an explicit carving" (video embedded below the fold with commentary, h/t Story Balloon):
The popular chain coffee shop, Starbucks, is known for a lot of things, but up until recently guns were not one of them. Some patrons of the Seattle-based coffee shop have recently started exercising their rights to carrying guns while they enjoy a cup of coffee. While the Starbucks customers have been expressing their right to bear arms, as allowed by the Second Amendment, there has been some resistant to Starbucks.
Liliana Segura, of AlterNet, painted a bleak picture and wrote, “So you're at your neighborhood Starbucks, maybe with your kids, and you notice a man sitting at the next table with a revolver strapped to his waist. The man next to him has a pistol. In fact, you realize as you look around, there's a table full of gun-toting customers just a few feet away, sipping coffee and doing nothing to conceal their deadly weapons. Aside from steering clear -- or else getting the hell out of there – what can an unarmed citizen do?”
Well, not much. (Except maybe relax and consider that the establishment you’re in is at the moment quite safe from armed robbery and other violent crime. Go ahead, buy Junior another triple mocha latte.) Thing is, Starbucks does “not have a corporate policy regarding customers and weapons,” according to a spokesman. Segura explained that some states, such as California, have an “open gun” policy and many people in California are gathering at Starbucks to openly exercise their rights.
On Tuesday’s CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric and White House reporter Chip Reid cast President Obama’s push for “bipartisanship” in a favorable light, with Obama “working hard,” “following through on a promise” and “open to ideas from Republicans.” But in an item posted on CBSNews.com, Reid’s fellow CBS White House correspondent, Mark Knoller – who has covered every President since Gerald Ford in the mid-1970s – was far more skeptical: “When a sitting President calls for bipartisanship by the opposition – he really means surrender.”
Knoller painted the President as motivated by frustration: “His top legislative priorities are going nowhere and he’s searching for a way to get them out of lockup.” After recounting past Presidents’ tactical demands for bipartisanship, Knoller outlined the political motive:
During a web-only interview with CBS's Katie Couric to promote her new role on "American Idol," comedienne Ellen DeGeneres went on a rant about our sexist culture that demands women look more attractive than men.
There's just one problem: DeGeneres is the face of Proctor and Gamble's famous makeup line CoverGirl. In fact, she even appeared in a well known commercial saying, "Inner beauty is important -- but not nearly as important as outer beauty."
Too bad a serious journalist like Couric didn't think to ask if DeGeneres's fans might get confused. Then again, The Perky One would have had to confront her own complicity in flouting short skirts on network news programs and giving condescending interviews to women like Sarah Palin.
Without regard to the obvious hypocrisy, Couric teed up the subject by asking if DeGeneres was concerned for women who "are so obsessed and worried and spend so much time thinking about their bodies." DeGeneres used the question to accuse American culture of a sexist double standard (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript):
Some in the liberal media continue to insist that James O'Keefe and his three cohorts were trying to "bug" or "tap" Sen. Mary Landrieu's phone lines when law enforcement officials have clearly said that they were not. Since the left doesn't like O'Keefe, the liberal media seems to think standard practices of journalistic integrity don't apply here.
According to MSNBC, one law enforcement official, who was not named, said "the four men arrested for attempting to tamper with the phones in the New Orleans office of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) were not trying to intercept or wiretap the calls." This statement comports with the affidavit filed in court after O'Keefe and company were arrested, which did not mention wiretapping or bugging, and only referred to the "tampering" of phone lines (h/t Patterico).
But the Boston Globe parroted this false accusation this morning in a gossip blog post about one of the alleged perpetrators, Joe Basel. The Globe--the same Globe that complained about ACORN's "trial-by-video"--called him a "political dirty trickster who was busted in a Watergate-style bugging operation earlier this week," and said again a couple paragraphs later that Basel was "bagged by the feds allegedly trying to bug the phones" in Landrieu's office. At least the Globe writers said "allegedly" the second time.
Today, Roger Alford and Bruce Schreiner of the Associated Press, reporting from Frankfort, KY, are giving leftist bloggers, columnists, journalists who assumed or gave the impression of assuming that the death of Census worker Bill Sparkman was some kind of right-wing hit job another chance to come clean with an unconditional "I was wrong, I amy sorry." The list of those needing to post corrections and apologies includes the Associated Press itself.
You see, not only is it crystal clear that Sparkman (may he rest in peace) indeed killed himself, Alford and Schreiner tell us that he told a friend of his plans:
Jan 15, 6:09 PM EST
Police: Ky. census worker had told of suicide plan
An eastern Kentucky census worker found naked, bound and hanging from a tree had told a friend he intended to kill himself and that he had chosen the time, place and method to do it, police records show.
Americans love to talk sports. Polite Americans don't talk religion. So when those two things meet, the news media has no idea what to make of it.
Unfortunately for journalists, sports and religion - Christianity in particular - seem to be publicly mingling more often these days. Some star athletes are more outspoken in their faith, while many others regularly find themselves in need of spiritual, if not legal, redemption.
Liberals in the media don't understand religion and religious people, so when they surface on the playing field, the resulting coverage veers wildly from awkwardly respectful to clueless to downright contemptuous.
Fox's Brit Hume caused a firestorm by suggesting on air that Tiger Woods could find "forgiveness and redemption" in Christianity, rather than the casual Buddhism the golfer has said he practices. Woods, whose marriage and career are in melt-down because of his serial infidelities, should "turn to the Christian faith, and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world," Hume said. And in doing so, the former anchorman committed several mortal sins in modern secular America.
Angry, frustrated, troubled, disappointed, disgust, disrespect - words not normally associated with holiday season. However, they were words Katie Couric used to describe where she sees the mood of country right now.
Couric, the anchor of the "CBS Evening News," in a live Facebook video chat on Dec. 22, took on illustrating her view of the populace - a not very sunny picture (emphasis added).
"I think more distant - I hate to say that, but I think, I think the economic situation in this country, I think, when people are struggling, that sometimes they need a place to vent their rage and to channel their rage and I think, I feel like right now in many ways, we're a very angry nation," Couric said. "Very frustrated, troubled and disappointed in many ways in terms of people feeling that the American dream just isn't within their reach. I mean I still think it's a place of incredible opportunity and entrepreneurship. But I just think that, I don't know - maybe it's because what I do for a living, I feel that the country is pretty polarized right now."
Got an idealized notion of Christmas? A cherished memory, or a favorite carol or story? The simple smell of pine needles in your living room? Do you insist on celebrating the birth of the savior?
If so, you’re at war, like it or not.
The main war on Christmas – we’ll call it the conventional war – has been well-documented, and it goes on, with victories and defeats for both sides. In Loudoun County, Va. on Dec. 1, the Board of Supervisors reversed a ban on religious holiday displays on the courthouse lawn. (The one supervisor who voted “no” said, “I am concerned that this motion would turn the courthouse grounds into a public circus.”) Meanwhile, in Arizona, public school children remain unable to use Christmas themes when decorating ornaments for the Capitol Christmas tree.
There is plenty to report from the conventional front. But there are other fronts. There is the sexualization of the holiday, either in service to commercialism or out of the lefty arts community’s desire to be “transgressive” (read, vile and offensive). And there are the attempts squash the mysteries and magic that accompany even a traditional secular Christmas.
So from “living” lingerie mannequins to Frosty’s “porn collection,” and from the lies you tell about Santa to our president’s “non-religious” observance, here are some dispatches from the war on Christmas, 2009.
If you go to Google today and search on the phrase "warmest decade" you will get a result set with thousands of breathless articles claiming that 2000 to 2009 is the warmest decade on record. This is on the cusp of an announcement from the UN climate talks in Copenhagen where world leaders are desperate to speed past Climategate and refocus the world's attention on their apocalyptic global warming agenda.
CBS on Saturday finally covered the growing ClimateGate scandal, but did so when its "Evening News" program was going to be preempted by college football in most of the country.
With the SEC Championship game between the universities of Florida and Alabama starting at 4PM EST, few would see CBS's report on this controversy unless they read an article at the network's website.
There, the video of the segment was available with the surprising caption "Climate Change a Hoax?"
According to LexisNexis, anchor Jeff Glor teased the story before a commercial break, "Just ahead on tonight`s CBS EVENING NEWS -- did some scientists fudge the numbers to make climate change look worse than it is."
After the break, Glor introduced correspondent Kimberly Dozier who offered a surprisingly detailed report on the scandal (video embedded below the fold with transcript):
...is now ending his CourtWatch blog, all the while insisting that his writings over the years were mostly dry legalese and that those which were not, well, that's the fault of the people he was writing about, namely, the Bush adminstration.
The day before Thanksgiving brought encouraging news on unemployment. CBS News.com reported "New Jobless Claims Plunge to 466K." Investors.com headlined "Jobless Claims Dive To 466,000." CNN Money.com issued a special report titled "Jobless claims plummet to 14-month low." And the Financial Times included a link to the Calculated Risk blog article "Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims Decline Sharply."
Such good news, reported widely throughout the media, doubtless gave hope to many Americans. If some of them wished to attribute this dramatic turnaround to Barack Obama's stimulus program, so much the better. The truth, however, is that improvement in the number of jobless claims was less than electrifying. The numbers touted in the media are, according to the Department of Labor, "seasonally adjusted" with a statistical technique designed to accommodate fluctuations in the job market. Set that aside, and the numbers are not nearly as rosy. As DOL's Employment and Training Administration reported:
The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 543,926 in the week ending Nov. 21, an increase of 68,080 from the previous week.
Yesterday, CBS News.com's Political Hotsheet blog reported on "Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu, Blanche Lincoln and the Politics of the Health Care Vote." It notes:
The focus is also on some Democrats with doubts, notably Louisiana's Mary Landrieu and Nebraska's Ben Nelson, who aren't up but do represent very red states, and Arkansas' Blanche Lincoln, who is, and could face a tough test in 2010.
The piece later states that Nelson:
has cast many a conservative vote in representing a state that, while historically willing to send Democrats to the Senate, is nonetheless firmly Republican overall.
Many a conservative vote? According to interest group ratings compiled by Project Vote Smart, for 2008 the American Conservative Union assigned Nelson a rating of 16. The National Taxpayers Union gave him a rating of F. Nelson received a 100 from the liberal AFL-CIO for 2008 and an A for 2007-2008 from the liberal National Education Association. For 2007, Nelson racked up a 5 with Americans for Tax Reform.
CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen is a long-time critic of the Bush administration, enhanced interrogation techniques, military tribunals, Gitmo, and many aspects of the government's prosecution of the war on terror. For general background, see Cohen's CBS News blog "Court Watch." It is, therefore, no surprise at all to see Cohen defending the propriety of the upcoming New York City terror trials.
Is it newsworthy when an animal urinates on a member of the press?
The good folks at CBS News must think so.
On Thursday, CBSNews.com not only created a video clip of Debbye Turner Bell getting splashed in the eye by a beaver on that morning's "Early Show," but someone actually posted it at the website's "Recommended" videos section (embedded below the fold):
"Should Anti-Gay Rights Petition Signers Be Exposed?" asked a teaser headline [screencap shown at right] on CBSNews.com's front page.
"Hot Topic: Battle Rages in Washington State over Privacy of Petition Signers" the subheader read.
While the November 3 article itself by staffer Brian Montopoli was balanced -- giving room for a social conservative activist to defend keeping the names and addresses of signatories of the Referendum 71 petition from being made public -- the headline sets the tone for readers to see pro-traditional marriage backers in Washington State as folks motivated to deprive fellow citizens of their "rights."
So what does Referendum 71 actually do? According to Montopoli:
Monday's CBS Evening News carried a brief excerpt, sans the excessively laudatory introduction: “Today I spoke with someone who knows a bit about Washington politics and the environment, former Vice President Al Gore. He's out with a new book and is on the cover of this week's edition of Newsweek.”
Three weeks after their gushing praise of President Obama's meeting with Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the media have taken a cue from the lack of action that followed.
It was a good run while it lasted.
Word from the conflict became more dire almost by the day as Obama's cabinet squabbled. The American media, having sensed Afghanistan could be lost without action, chose to cover for their favorite president and begin the process of mentally preparing the public for defeat.
The Washington Post published a perfect example of the new meme in Howard Kurtz's column on October 23. Kurtz attacked Republicans as "armchair quarterbacks" for their criticism of Obama's stalling and said it was "rich" of Dick Cheney to demand a new plan. As for what that plan might be, Kurtz's Vietnam defeat song sounded all too familiar: