What does Salon think American TV needs more of? Abortion, and lots of it.
In a July 20 "Broadsheet" article, Salon writer Mary Elizabeth Williams addressed Fox's decision to release the highly controversial "Family Guy" abortion episode as a stand-alone DVD feature this September. Williams crassly compared the comedy show's efforts to make money off a "Banned From TV" episode to "having an abortion and getting your baby too."
The episode's controversy revolved around character Lois Griffin questioning whether to go through with a pregnancy as a surrogate mother for a couple who died in a car crash. Williams used the network's move as a springboard for her real complaint: the lack of abortion on American airwaves.
Williams called TV a "timid" medium for "barely" discussing abortion, saying it was "insane" that TV could introduce viewers to the Dharma Initiative in "Lost" but couldn't confront the "legally acceptable procedure" of abortion.
Did you know that calling attention to an area where a Supreme Court justice nominee is from, which happens to be a well-known bastion of liberalism, is bigoted?
If you didn't, you want to take a look at the wisdom of Salon.com's Joan Walsh. In her June 28 post "It's not even coded bigotry anymore," Walsh argued that references to SCOTUS nominee Elena Kagan's Upper West Side of Manhattan roots are bigoted -since the neighborhood has Jewish features, references to it are anti-Semitic and as she puts it, "not even coded."
"That said, Republicans on the Senate Judicial Committee are trying to make the case she's outside the mainstream of American jurisprudence, by attacking her clerking for (and admiring) legal giant Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Supreme Court justice, while singling her out as a denizen of ‘Manhattan's Upper West Side' - you know, the neighborhood known for Zabar's and bagels and, well, Jews," Walsh wrote.
President Obama's weekly radio address on Saturday devoted the entire hour to a hyper-partisan, long-winded, meandering speech about his Republican critics being too -- wait for it! -- partisan.
Fortunately for him, a compliant national media would simply forward the attack on their own pages and never pause long enough to smell the irony.
In the middle of alleged job offers, controversial nominations, and unpopular bills shoved through Congress along party lines, President Obama complained about "dreary and familiar politics" from the opposition, and the media immediately took his side.
Up first was the Washington Post's Scott Wilson who used the 44 blog on Saturday to cover the speech:
Perez Hilton - he of Carrie Prejean bashing fame - may be staring in the face of child porn charges in the near future. You may recall that Hilton served as judge in the 2009 Miss USA competition, and asked Prejean her view of same-sex marriage. When Prejean offered an honest answer voicing her belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman, Hilton expressed his displeasure by taking to the internet and bashing Prejean as a ‘dumb b****'.
Seems Perez has graduated from name-calling tantrums, and an accomplished career as a verminous outer of gay celebrities, and turned his attention to a developing career in child porn.
"He (Hilton) linked via his Twitter account to a picture of rising Madonna wannabe Miley Cyrus climbing out of a car in a short skirt and no underwear. In the picture, which has been removed, Cyrus' genitals are allegedly clearly visible."
Of course, now that the heat is on, Perez has taken to back-pedaling, claiming the photo was a fake. In a statement on his blog, Hilton said, ""Do you think I'm stupid enough to post a photo of Miley if she's not wearing any underwear down there?"
That's what we in the business call a rhetorical question.
It's hard to imagine a scenario where one would be sympathetic toward former "dean of the White House press corps" Helen Thomas following her videotaped remarks that Israeli Jews "should get the hell out of Palestine" and go back to Germany or Poland.
"I don't like how Thomas voiced her opinions in this video; it was sloppy and hurtful," Clark wrote. "But her views aren't exactly news; the gist of them are evident from her past columns. Meanwhile, Thomas joins a long line of opinion-makers who have uttered controversial, even despicable comments. Rush Limbaugh, anyone? Glenn Beck? Howard Stern? Sean Hannity?"
The movie "Prince of Persia" hit theaters this week. And although it's based on a decades-old video game and set in the sixth century, reviewers across the nation have identified a very contemporary link: The Tea Party.
McClatchy Newspapers's Connie Ogle writes that Alfred Molina, in the role of Amar, "plays a sort of cross between Han Solo with dental-hygiene issues and a Tea Party supporter." According to the Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips, the character "spews anti-government and tax rhetoric straight out of a tea party rally." The Catholic News Services's John P. McCarthy notes: "Only the anti-government chatter of a mercenary sheik named Amar (Alfred Molina) elicits a few chuckles, since it echoes the contemporary Tea Party movement."
“cinematic Viagra for Western cultural imperialists”-Salon.com
Of all the criticisms that could likely be launched against Warner Bros.’ new “Sex and the City 2” movie, the media have latched onto the film’s reported depictions of misogynist policies in Muslim nations.
It was USA Today thatcalled the movie“an affront to Muslims.” Reviewer Claudia Puig wrote that director Michael Patrick King “is out of his league attempting to comment on the inequitable treatment of Muslim women. He ends up mocking religious beliefs and making Carrie and her friends appear insensitive.”
A truly extraordinary thing happened on CNN Sunday: a mainstream media representative actually took Rush Limbaugh's side in a dispute with Bill Clinton.
As readers are likely aware, the conservative talk radio host and the former President exchanged words last week over who was to blame for the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.
"Reliable Sources" host Howard Kurtz broached this subject in Sunday's second segment eliciting a rather surprising response from Reuters' global editor-at-large Chrystia Freeland:
I have to say, on this one I'm on Rush Limbaugh's side...I'm not accusing Rush Limbaugh of being guilty of too much balance, but I do think blaming the media is a very weak thing for politicians and businesspeople to do. And I think we in the media should really be pretty, pretty careful before we agree with the criticism.
Not surprisingly, Salon's Joan Walsh didn't agree, and once again found herself alone in her perilously liberal views as the cameras were rolling (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Now she says that she wasn’t just talking about media figures, of which Keith Olbermann and Ed Schultz are just the most obvious examples, but that she was talking also about violent nut jobs who threaten politicians.
The problem on the right includes extremists who've made death threats against Democrats like Patty Murray, Bart Stupak, Nancy Pelosi and, of course, President Obama. There's no one on the left posing the same threat to leaders on the right -- or if there is, I'd like to know about it.
President Obama has extensive ties to Goldman Sachs. Yet even given record-breaking financial contributions and sketchy relationships between Goldman executives and Obama officials at the highest level, the mainstream media will not afford Obama the same scrutiny it gave to George W. Bush during the collapse of Enron.
Obama's inflation-adjusted $1,007,370.85 in contributions from Goldman employees is almost seven times as much as the $151,722.42 (also inflation-adjusted) that Bush received from Enron. Goldman was one of the chief beneficiaries of the TARP bailout package -- supported by then-Senator Obama -- and has been a force for -- not against -- Democratic financial "reform" proposals currently under Senate consideration.
Despite the extensive connections between President Obama and Goldman Sachs, the same media that vaguely alleged unseemly connections between the Bush administration and Enron after its 2001 collapse have barely noticed the Obama administration's prominent ties to Goldman (h/t J.P. Freire).
Near the end of Wednesday's Dylan Ratigan Show on MSNBC, host Dylan Ratigan led his 'Busted' segment by claiming that The Drudge Report did "not let facts get in the way of a good headline" on Tuesday, by featuring one which read: "CIA: Iran Moving Closer to Nuclear Weapon." Ratigan remarked: "That'll get the ratings up."
Despite the fact that most of the world has long operated under the assumption that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons, including the Obama administration, Ratigan singled out Matt Drudge's website for scorn, arguing: "Sounds pretty scary, right? Until you find out what the CIA report actually said. The agency's intelligence actually shows that Iran is quote, 'keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons,' but that they quote 'do not know' whether Tehran will ultimately head down that road." The headline on screen read: "Misinformed; Wordplay On Iran's Nuke Plans."
Ratigan eventually revealed where he received his liberal taking points: "the truth, why would you let that get in the way of ratings? As our friend Glenn Greenwald from Salon.com points out on his blog, false reporting on Iran could be ultimately be far more dangerous than the perceived threat itself. Let's try to stick to the facts."
Salon columnist Max Blumenthal continues to get flak for his slanderous, factually-challenged hit piece on conservative filmmaker James O'Keefe last week. The column, premised on a host of omissions and baseless assumptions, contended that O'Keefe's is a racist.
Blumenthal's latest critic is Columbia Journalism Review, Old Media's paragon of journalistic elitism. CJR has requested that he correct but one of the many errors that comprise his column.
But CJR really has a problem, it seems, that Blumenthal has given ammunition to critics who claim Old Media is rife with liberal bias. CJR contributor Greg Marx lamented that Blumenthal and other quasi-journalists, in ignoring facts to support their agendas,give "ready-made ammunition for that broader campaign."
When the far-left finds a character to assassinate, it doesn't let facts get in the way. That, at least, is the lesson we can draw from the latest bout of liberal character assassination, this one aimed at James O'Keefe.
The slandering of his reputation has occurred mostly at Salon.com, the Village Voice, and an obscure hard-left organization called the One People's Project. Together, they have waged an all-out war on James O'Keefe's character by associating him with supposedly racist people and organizations. Just one problem: their claims are predicated on falsehoods, exaggerations, and assumptions (but mostly just falsehoods).
Max Blumenthal, who penned the Salon piece, and the stalwart non-journalists at OPP (the Village Voice, for its part, issued a mild retraction) alleged that O'Keefe had helped to organize a gathering of "anti-Semites, professional racists and proponents of Aryanism." They also claimed (and produced a cropped picture that could not possibly validate this claim) that O'Keefe had manned the literature table at the event.
Pro-life activists most likely cheered upon seeing this week's In Touch Weekly. The magazine, usually devoted to the latest celebrity shenanigans, featured Sarah and Bristol Palin on the cover holding their baby boys under the headline, "We're Glad We Chose Life."
But for the media, who find everything about Sarah Palin controversial, including, now, holding her own baby, it's one more attack opportunity that includes calling her daughter a "privileged" teen mother.
Sarah and Bristol were "schlepping those babies around like crazy," said Joy Behar. No friend of the Palins on any day, on the Jan. 13 edition of her show Behar predictably found fault with the magazine cover and complained of Palin's youngest son, Trig, "That baby, they passed that baby around more than a joint at a Grateful Dead concert." To her guests, liberal talk show host Stephanie Miller and Huffington Post editor Roy Sekoff, she asked, "Is she going to bring that baby on the set of Fox?"
Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon.com called the cover a "jaw dropper" and questioned the appropriateness of showing the Palins on it. "Hey, we're all for mothers loving their babies, but if it's not 1984 and you're not in a Wham! video, [in which George Michael wore a shirt that said "Choose Life"] you might want to reconsider whether that sentiment is appropriate in a pop culture context," she wrote in a Jan. 14 post.
Salon editor Joan Walsh, a frequent contributor on MSNBC, finds the network's "Countdown" host to be lacking in the diversity department when it comes to his guests. Of course, her complaint isn't with Olbermann's refusal to feature guests with whom he could have ideological clashes -- something his nemesis Bill O'Reilly has never been afraid to do -- but the fact that his guests are infrequently of the fairer sex.
Salon columnist Camille Paglia Wednesday called the recently passed healthcare bill a grotesquely expensive nightmare.
Better still, in her most recent piece, Paglia said the "passive acquiescence of liberal commentators" to ignore how Medicare is being vandalized in order to provide healthcare for the currently uninsured "simply demonstrates how partisan ideology ultimately desensitizes the mind."
Unlike most of the Obama-loving media, Paglia correctly asked, "[W]hy can't my fellow Democrats see that the creation of another huge, inefficient federal bureaucracy would slow and disrupt the delivery of basic healthcare and subject us all to a labyrinthine mass of incompetent, unaccountable petty dictators?"
Readers are strongly advised to prepare themselves for the kind of straight talk on this subject that has been desperately lacking from press members that have clearly allowed partisan ideology to desensitize their minds:
Michael Calderone at Politico reports that the White House press corps is evolving to the left in the Obama era. Even as Team Obama denigrates Fox News as not a "legitimate news organization," even demeans it as a mere receptacle for GOP "talking points," the White House Correspondents Association is broadening its reporter pool to partisan, anti-Bush, left-wing opinion websites like Salon and Talking Points Memo, and also to the Obama-favoring black magazine Ebony. The Huffington Post is also planning to apply.
The WHCA’s most high-profile decision this year was selecting comedian Wanda Sykes to suggest Rush Limbaugh was comparable to al-Qaeda and wished to have his kidneys fail. Widening the press pool – a group which circulates one or a few reporters to cover the president everywhere he goes for the group – offers a higher profile of professionalism to whoever joins it.
Calderone contacted MRC for our reaction, and I gave it:
And, on Fox News Channel's Oct. 5 "Glenn Beck" program, Beck addressed that and some of the gripes he had about the media for not doing their job.
"I tell you all the time, I'm not a journalist," Beck said "I'm not. I joked that I'm a rodeo clown, but you know what - I take that back. I no longer am a rodeo clown. I am a dad, and quite frankly, I'm a little pissed off right now. You can call me names. You can make fun of me, whatever. I'm doing what I believe is right. I am doing a job as a private citizen right now."
In a column today, Salon’s Joe Conason drastically downplays the history of illegality that characterizes the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. In his revisionist history of the organization, Conason tries to show that ACORN may commit voter registration fraud, intimidate its employees to prevent them from unionizing, and willingly assist in the trafficking of underage sex slaves, but by and large it is a force for good.
For many years the combined forces of the far right and the Republican Party have sought to ruin ACORN, the largest organization of poor and working families in America.
Ah yes, ACORN is supposedly battling for the rights of the working class. But in 1995, the organization sued the State of California for an exemption to the high minimum wage laws in that state on the grounds that higher wages would mean they would have to employ fewer people. Incidentally, this is the exact same argument that every opponent of minimum wage laws employs, and ACORN has always battled for a higher minimum wage.
"Why has the Democratic Party become so arrogantly detached from ordinary Americans? Though they claim to speak for the poor and dispossessed, Democrats have increasingly become the party of an upper-middle-class professional elite, top-heavy with journalists, academics and lawyers."
So wrote Camille Paglia in her most recent Salon piece.
After four weeks off, Paglia wasn't only swinging at Democrats, but also at "the fogginess or insipidity of articles and Op-Eds about the [healthcare] controversy emanating from liberal mainstream media and Web sources" (h/t John Bambenek):
The contrast between the virtual silence of major news outlets on Green Jobs Czar Van Jones’s belief in the Bush Administration’s complicity in the 9/11 attacks and the hubbub made about those who believe the President is not an American citizen casts light on the politicized attitudes of the mainstream media.
NewsBusters has noted how the story has been ignored by the television media. Byron York in the Washington Examiner Friday noted that a Nexis news search for the Van Jones ‘truther’ controversy turns up exactly zero results from the New York Times, the Washington Post, and transcripts from ABC World News, NBC Nightly News, and CBS Evening News (though that newscast aired a full story Friday night).
So, as York noted, anyone who gets his or her news from one of these sources, or all five, is unaware that the President’s Green Jobs Czar is not only a self-avowed communist but also a supporter of the truther movement, which means he believes that the Bush Administration was complicit in—even orchestrated—the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Terry Jeffrey walked away the winner on Hardball this afternoon. Despite being double-teamed by Chris Matthews and Salon's Joan Walsh, the editor-in-chief of our sister publication CNSNews.com had the others admitting that the Obama admin has gone too far with the cult-of-personality way it's pitched the president's speech to schoolchildren.
But that didn't prevent Matthews and Walsh from unsubtly accusing PBO's opponents of racism, archly claiming that the motive for the opposition to the president is his "background."
Salon.com has forged a reputation as a willing mudslinger for Democratic White House publicists. In the Clinton era, it famously ripped Clinton adversaries Dan Burton and Henry Hyde as adulterers. They also ran sex columnist Dan Savage's 2000 article about how he got sick and licked all of then-presidential candidate Gary Bauer's door knobs to infect him. Another attack is about to unfold against the group Conservatives for Patients’ Rights (CPR).
CPR’s public relations firm Creative Response Concepts had been dealing with a freelancer named Tristram Korten, who’s working for Salon to expose CPR chief Rick Scott and his latest health venture Solantic, which runs a chain of walk-in urgent care health centers in Florida, most recently in Super Wal-Mart locations. (CRC is also MRC’s publicist.)
Talk about telegraphing where your story will go: here are some of the questions Korten sent about a lawsuit recycling charges in a lawsuit settled out of court that suggest a personal line of attack:
QUESTIONS FOR SALON.COM ARTICLE ON RICK SCOTT/SOLANTIC:
From 2002 lawsuit against Solantic by Dr. David Yarian alleging unlawful termination:
Did Scott approve all hires during Solantic's start-up in May/June 2001?
Liberal bloggers this week have once again given credence to those who complain that bloggers lack credibility, attacking Michelle Bachmann over routine congressional floor actions.
Bachmann, who was holding the floor for the Republicans Monday afternoon, delayed a vote on a bill recognizing Hawaii’s 50th anniversary of statehood due to lack of quorum.
Apparently Bachmann’s delay for an evening vote proves she is an “Obama birther,” someone who believes that Obama was born in Kenya. After all, as Chris Steller of the Soros-funded Minnesota Independent said, “It’s hard to interpret Bachmann’s maneuver as anything other than her first foray into birtherism.”
Salon's Camille Paglia has regularly chided the press for their obvious Palin Derangement Syndrome, and on Wednesday tried to once again explain the malady:
As a Democrat, I detest the partisan machinations that have become standard in Northeastern news management and that are detectable in editorial decisions at major metropolitan newspapers nationwide. It's why I, like a host of others, have shifted my news gathering to the Web.
Responding to a reader's question about the Alaska governor, Paglia referred to the "Northeastern media" as "vultures and harpies" as well as "preening bullies, cackling witches, twisted cynics and pompous windbags" as she took on Vanity Fair's Todd Purdum for the "faux objectivity" throughout his recent Palin hit piece.
Paglia also attacked the "vicious double standard" concerning how Palin's family have been regular media targets compared to the respect accorded Chelsea Clinton: