If you had to narrow it down to one person, the mainstream media's favorite evangelical Christian would probably be the politically liberal Richard Cizik.
The former National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) vice president resigned from the NAE in December 2008 after having made public statements to the effect that gay marriage and abortion were politically negotiable issues for Christians of good conscience. Before then he was actively involved in getting evangelical Christians to align with liberals on global warming-related legislative initiatives.
"It's one thing to look a gift horse in the mouth. It's quite another thing to slaughter a gift horse and send its disemboweled corpse back to Washington."
That's how Time magazine senior correspondent Michael Grunwald characterized Republican Florida Governor Rick Scott's decision to spurn a federal Department of Transportation high-speed rail grant for the Sunshine State.
"This was the nation's most shovel-ready high-speed project, and the state wasn't required to spend a dime to build it," Grunwald noted in his February 16 Swampland blog post.
Yesterday I rebuked Time's Jay Newton-Small for falsely characterizing a bill before South Dakota's state legislature that would make it legal to use lethal force against a person attempting to kill an unborn child in the commission of a crime.
"South Dakota is apparently considering legalizing the murder of doctors who perform abortions," Newton-Small complained.
Later yesterday afternoon, Time magazine staffer Amy Sullivan corrected her colleague about the purpose and scope of the legislation, but feared that extremist violence might be encouraged by the state's relatively restrictive abortion laws:
On Friday's "Fox & Friends," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell and Fox News host Steve Doocy discussed the recent sale of the liberal Huffington Post blog to AOL.
"I'm going to buy popcorn, I'm going to watch this meltdown," a gleeful Bozell told Doocy.
Huffington, who will be editor-in-chief for the new AOL venture, is "not going to get along with anybody," perpetually clashing with AOL executives, Bozell predicted. "It's going to be a complete meltdown, just you watch."
For the full segment, click on the video embed below. For MP3 audio, click here.
"AOL giving control to Arianna Huffington. How the mighty have fallen!" NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell quipped on the February 10 edition of FNC's "Hannity."
"Ten years ago, AOL had 30 million members, they were joining forces with the Time-Warner colossus," the Media Research Center founder noted. Now "they're down to 4 million members and they're at Motel 6 getting into bed with Arianna."
"It's a mess of an organization and they're going to make an even greater mess of it with Arianna. I promise you that," Bozell told Hannity during the program's "Media Mash" segment.
It's apparently all the rage this week among mainstream media religion features to hype the unorthodox views of Boston University's Jennifer Wright Knust.
On Monday, Newsweek's Lisa Miller uncritically presented her readers with a summary of arguments from the professor's new book. The next day "On Faith," -- a joint Newsweek/Washington Post online religion news/comment feature -- published the first of a multi-part series of guest columns by Knust.
Yesterday, CNN's Belief Blog joined in, granting Knust a "My Take" blog post focused on attacking Scripture's teachings on homosexuality.
What would be worse: if Norah actually believes it--or if she doesn't?
Norah O'Donnell has claimed that the Washington Post and the New York Times provide straight-up information, without bias, of the sort that would be appealing to members of the putatively non-partisan "No Labels" group.
Norah's mind-boggling assertion came on today's Morning Joe during a discussion of AOL's acquisition of HuffPo for $315 million. Reacting to indications that Arianna Huffington may be guiding her creation toward the center and away from its leftist roots, WaPo's Jonathan Capehart argued the move made sense on the theory that people such as those at No Labels are hungry for straight-up reporting. That's when Norah broke in to claim that such unbiased reporting is already being provided by, yup, WaPo and the Times.
If liberals thought the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan's birth was a little sickening, they could always find comfort in the loopy leftist loathing of the Daily Kos. On Sunday, "Slangist" took the fruitcake with lines like this: "First elected Governor on a muted inclination to shoot student demonstrators, Reagan spent his political life as an apostle of reaction, repression and recklessness."
Reagan's contempt for the U.S. government was the "direct ancestor of Timothy McVeigh's, though Reagan's damage hit all American urban areas, not just Oklahoma City." He was McVeigh, only more murderous. This Kosmonaut also boldly asserted that Reagan was a worse liar than Bill Clinton:
Editor's Note: Following news reports today that AOL News would pay $315 million to acquire The Huffington Post, NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center president Brent Bozell issued the following statement:
This proves AOL News has lost its mind. They must be in such dire straits that they’ve been blinded by the millions and think an acquisition of The Huffington Post is worth sacrificing credibility and objectivity. AOL News is fooling only itself in thinking there is no journalistic conflict in merging with a hate-filled, vicious, radically left-wing rag.
AOL News announced Monday that it has chugged the Kool Aid and put Arianna Huffington in charge of the new Huffington Post Media Group. AOL will pay $315 million for the site, making it the blogosphere's largest ever acquisition.
Decisions to name Huffington president and editor in chief and to brand the new company with the Huffington Post name suggest that AOL has fully embraced a leftist spin on the news.
The Daily Beast contributor who once insisted that there's "no such thing as sharia law" is at it again, dismissing the threat of radical Islam presented by the political instability in Egypt.
In a January 30 post at Washington Post/Newsweek's "On Faith" feature yesterday, Reza Aslan dismissed fears that the Muslim Brotherhood is a radical group that could take Egypt in a theocratic direction should strongman Hosni Mubarak be forcibly ousted from power, even though members of the Brotherhood have expressed admiration for Osama bin Laden.
Just because the site was founded by an alleged plagiarist doesn't mean it's totally devoid of ethical clout. Though you do have to wonder: from where does the Huffington Post recruit its bloggers?
The site reportedly informed one of its unpaid contributors last week that he was being let go. The offense: he had used his press credentials as a HuffPo blogger to get labor union demonstrators access to a Mortgage Bankers Association event, where they staged a rowdy protest.
A recently-released analysis by the Pew Research Center reveals some interesting facts about the online conversation regarding the Tucson massacre. Most notably, it lends statistical weight to the claim that the left accused its ideological opponents of fostering a "climate of hate" to a far greater degree than did the right.
Though that may not be altogether surprising, the Pew study also revealed that the three news networks - the self-styled objective and responsible journalistic gatekeepers - were far more likely to blame conservatives alone for the tone of the national debate than even liberals in the blogosphere and twitterverse.
"[W]hether you think a ban on police-style assault weapons such as the one Jared Lee Loughner used in Tuscon is good policy or not, it is curious to see that Republicans are not even bothering to make legitimate arguments against such proposals," Newsweek's Ben Adler scoffed in a January 18 The Gaggle blog post:
There is simply no precedent to support the claim that laws preventing civilians from obtaining weapons that can fire 30 bullets without reloading would violate the Second Amendment. This does not mean that one cannot have a valid concern that even constitutional laws place an undue burden on one's freedom, but that is a question of values and public policy tradeoffs, not constitutionality.
While it's true that courts have not examined the constitutionality on such a ban, it's completely ludicrous to say there is in no way a constitutional issue at play here. Courts invalidate legislation on the grounds of creating an"undue burden" on constitutional rights all the time, as well they should, seeing that the purpose of the Bill of Rights is, well, securing rights to citizens from the abridgement of the government.
Time magazine asked a panel of 16 experts to answer the question "Are We Becoming An Uncivil Society?" While Time's selected Republicans and conservatives (including Glenn Beck) stayed civil and didn't point explicit fingers at liberals for trying to smear the Tucson shooting on conservatives, leftist Daily Kos blogger Markos Moulitsas rudely predicted (again) that one side of the aisle, inspired by people like Beck, Sarah Palin, and Sharron Angle were going to get Americans killed:
We have always been an uncivil society. Just ask John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. But being harsh and passionate in one's political discourse isn't the same as walking around with guns intimidating the opposition, or using apocalyptic and Armageddon-style rhetoric to paint your opponents as terrorists and enemies of democracy and freedom. Problem is, we now have a side that is gun-obsessed, whipping people up into a frenzy with lies about Obama taking their guns away and interning conservatives in FEMA concentration camps (to name just two conspiracy theories).
When Sarah Palin tells her followers not to retreat, but to "reload," when Sharron Angle says people should resort to "Second Amendment remedies" if they don't get their way at the ballot box, and when Glenn Beck spreads the latest insane conspiracy theory, well then, it's only a matter of time before people start getting killed.
"The Second Amendment that guarantees the right to bear arms is part of America’s founding fabric. So is senseless violence brought about by guns also American?" asked Newsweek's Daniel Stone in a January 13 post at the magazine's website.
Stone noted that his question was inspired by a similar query posed recently by a Russian journalist Andrei Sitov to White House press secretary Robert Gibbs.:
Is occasional violent tragedy a distasteful byproduct of a free society? I walked out of the briefing room with Sitov, who appeared to realize the impact that his question had on the roomful of Americans. “It’s an obvious question and nobody asks that question,” he told me through his thick Russian accent. “This is a cost that your country pays for freedom.”
Of course the cost of freedom with any right is that evil and/or deranged people will abuse it to the harm of others, but Stone's piece seems to focus on civilian gun ownership as though it is mostly a societal liability without considering the real benefits private gun ownership have in protecting life, liberty, and property.
For example, since 1958, the National Rifle Association has been collecting news clippings from across America of everyday citizens using a firearm to defend their lives and property.
As should seem obvious, the bloggers of the Daily Kos have been at the forefront of talking up how the "American Taliban" are to blame in Tucson. The blogger "lutznancy" summed up Kosmonaut History in a Tuesday post-mortem: "This started decades ago. And slowly but surely it has, like a slow-growing cancer, metastasized to point of sure death, the death of America, or to be more clear, America as a beacon of a functioning democracy in the world."
Thanks for toning down the rhetoric, Daily Kos!
To this blogger, the GOP is the Party of Fear Itself: "[W]hat do Republicans have to lose by stopping the practice of hate speech, vitriol, paranoid conspiracy theories, whipping up the fear? Elections, supporters and money. Power. The power to be elected to positions where they can change policies that affect them and their rich corporate sponsors. If they can whip up fear to the exclusion of critical thinking, they can win elections. They have no other way to do that...NONE."
This same blogger was one of the quickest Internet hounds to demand on Saturday afternoon the media report as "FACT" that Republicans kill Democrats:
Now that openly gay men and women will be able to serve in the U.S. military, will liberal Ivy League institutions that shunned military Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) programs work to quickly welcome them back to campus?
Update (17:23): Monkey see, monkey do: MSNBC's Chris Matthews quoted extensively from this post on today's "Hardball" in a segment entitled "Whatever Happened to John McCain?" Matthews and his guests lamented McCain's swing to the right in 2010.
Hell hath no fury like Joe Klein disillusioned.
The Time magazine writer apparently had a bit of a liberal journalist man-crush on Sen. John McCain back when the Arizona Republican was reaching across the aisle to work with Democrats for illegal-immigrant amnesty.
Now post 2008, not so much, particularly since McCain has tacked to the right on immigration and border security and stayed there even after his successful reelection to the Senate in November.
Klein unloaded both barrels on McCain in a Saturday evening Time.com Swampland blog post entitled "Two Dreams, One Dead" (emphasis mine), calling McCain every label that popped into his head from "troglodyte" to "trigger-happy gambler":
Tuesday's Washington Post print edition ran a front-page obituary for Richard Holbrooke which closed by noting that the veteran diplomat told his surgeon "You've got to stop this war in Afghanistan."
Of course numerous news outlets latched onto that quote. Leftist magazine Mother Jones even made the line their quote of the day late Monday evening as blogger Kevin Drum approvingly added in a December 13 post, "That would be a fitting memorial."
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But politicizing a dying man's last words has its risks. It turns out Holbrooke's exchange with his doctors taken out of context:
In the warm, generous glow of the Christmas season, it's quite expected that scolds of the Left will accuse the conservatives of being the very archetype of Ebenezer Scrooge. On The Daily Kos, Mark Sumner touts a Scrooge musical over diversions like "knife fighting for this year's top toy," especially when you can describe "I Hate People" as a "secret Republican theme song":
When it comes to musical versions of Dicken's [sic] ghost story, I much prefer the 1970 version Scrooge with Albert Finney in the titular role. With a dozen (if not a hundred) other versions of the story competing for a spot on your 500 channel tuner, this very British turn is often overlooked. However, this is the one irresistible marker of season at my house. And at any time of year, my curmudgeonly heart is warmed by a verse of "I hate Christmas," [sic] which I think of as the secret Republican theme song (when I see the indolent classes, sitting on their indolent asses, drinking ale from indolent glasses, I hate people).
A hacker who styles him "th3 j35t3r" -- The Jester in plain English -- has made quite a name for himself disabling jihadist websites and, more recently, the U.S. national security-threatening site WikiLeaks.
While his methods are technically illegal, The Jester's motivations are patriotic, aimed at saving American lives on the battlefield.
The Christmas season is "a tough time for supporters of abortion rights who have just as much excitement and take just as much joy in expecting a baby in their family as does everyone else, but end up feeling defensive and grumpy about the baby Jesus being hijacked for political gain."
That's how former Catholics for Choice president Frances Kissling lamented the enthusiastic response of pro-life activists to a church ad campaign in the United Kingdom that shows a sonogram with the unborn baby sporting a halo. "He's on His Way," reads the accompanying tag line. "Christmas starts with Christ," continues the caption in smaller print at the bottom of the advertisement. [image of the ad included after page break]