When the story broke involving five high school students sent home by school administrators for daring to wear the American flag on Cinco de Mayo, the once universally-beloved film critic Roger Ebert had a choice. He could either side with the students and school administrators repressing free speech or he could side with those having their speech repressed. Not surprisingly (he is a leftist, after all), Ebert sided with the repressors. Worse, with this Tweet, Ebert equated wearing the American flag as just as offensive as wearing the Soviet hammer & sickle.
Today, Ebert responds with the usual leftist refuge of last resort: How dare you question my patriotism!
Which is more newsworthy: hearsay accounts of racial slurs unsupported by video evidence of the alleged incident, or video of a protester calling for violent revolution against the federal government, the imposition of socialism, and the annexation of the Southwestern states for Mexico?
If you chose the latter, you're probably not a journalist of the self-proclaimed "mainstream" variety. The legacy media has been largely silent on video of Los Angles schoolteacher at a La Raza protest of the recently-passed Arizona immigration law literally calling for the violent overthrow of the United States government.
"There's 40 million potential revolutionaries north of the border, inside the belly of the beast," Los Angeles high school history teacher Ron Gochez told a frenzied crowd, referring to the 40 million Latin Americans in the United States. He went on to claim that teaching or writing a book "is not part of the movement," and that his followers needed to go a step further -- to literal revolution (video embedded below the fold - h/t Jawa Report).
One of the worst ways that the lack of ideological diversity in America's newsrooms shows forth is in the media's treatment of sensational accusations against the current president.
Oftentimes, explosive allegations against presidents are either untrue or drastically overstated: George W. Bush deliberately lying to get the U.S. to war so he can cash in or deliberately ignoring Hurricaine Katrina due to his hatred of black people (a la Kanye West), Bill Clinton's supposed involvment in the drug trade, truthers, birthers, so on and so forth.
Journalists do the public a service by rebutting absurd conspiracy theories and wacko charges. In recent memory, though, they have taken a much greater zeal toward stamping out allegations against Democrats, particularly President Obama, a stark contrast to the kidglove or even promotional attitude they took toward books by liberal authors alleging all sorts of anti-Bush absurdities.
World Net Daily-affiliated author Aaron Klein recently discovered this when he sent his new book, "The Manchurian President," to members of the media he hoped would review it. He got some very angry responses. Here are some of the more colorful ones:
The anti-capitalist left seems to despise all privately owned media outlets as hopelessly servile lackeys of the robber barons. But even through this dark lens, Fox News is still the worst. Raccoondog on the Daily Kos says in the wake of the Gulf oil spill that it is "by design a criminal enterprise" and Sarah Palin is guilty of "criminal imbecility." [Image at top right also from Daily Kos.]
Mostly unreported or downplayed by the corporate media, which every day that passes lengthens its record of complicity in its masters' crimes (and I'm not even thinking here of Fox News, which is by design a criminal enterprise), the oil industry has seen thousands of accidents injurious to the environment just in the last quarter century.
Daily Kos may be an almost official stop of the Democratic Party -- today's top ad demands you help the Arizona Democrats fight the new immigration law -- but it's certainly not a religious website. In fact, last Friday, the blogger "HumeSkeptic" declared that all religions pale in comparison to earth worship:
In so far as all morality is fundamentally based on preservation, betterment and continuation of life, there is no higher morality than environmentalism.
The Washington Post is making the transition from a powerhouse liberal newspaper to a network of powerhouse liberal blogs. While the paper's Old Guard is worried that the move will tarnish the Post's supposed reputation for political neutrality, it should be seen more as a embrace of the agenda the Post has evinced for years.
"Traditionalists," wrote Politico today, "worry that the Post is sacrificing a hard-won brand and hallowed news values." One such "traditionalist," Rem Rieder of the American Journalism Review, said a more openly-liberal approach to reporting, mostly done online in the form of various blogs, would be "a danger to the brand."
To the extent that the Post still pretends to be objective -- and to the extent that its readers believe that claim -- then yes, an opinion blog-centric approach is tarnishing the brand. But for those who acknowledge the Post' consistently liberal approach to the news, the only change is the way that that news is delivered.
About 45 minutes ago, Red State's Caleb Howe reported that a package filled with a white powder was sent to the office of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. Brewer, picture right in a file photo, has become a controversial figure since she signed into law a bill giving state authorities more power to determine an individual's immigration status.
Andrew Staubitz, the chief of Phoenix's Capital Police Department, told Howe that a state employee opened an envelope addressed to the Governor and found a "powdery white substance." The first floor of the Arizona Capitol was closed for about half an hour. Paramedics were called, but the employee required no further medical assistance. The powder was sent to a lab where it is undergoing tests.
Will the media report this event as vehemently as they have other instances of purported political violence? Will they extrapolate a larger threat posed by opponents of the new immigration law as they repeatedly have with the Tea Party movement (even though it has been completely devoid of violence)? Or will they apply the journalistic scrutiny to this incident that they failed to apply to the claims of members of Congressional Black Caucus who said protesters had shouted racial slurs at them? We will see.
This is how the Post covers the conservative movement: Find someone who doesn't even understand the traditional values that made our nation great and then assign him to report on the right. Throw in the fact that Weigel loves to bash conservatives and he's the ideal Postie. At the same time, the paper hired a hard-core lefty in Ezra Klein to advocate for the left. It's a ridiculous double standard. The Post should be both embarrassed and ashamed.
For his part, Lewis, a conservative writer, lamented that Weigel, whom he considers generally "accurate and fair," has taken to his Twitter feed to bash average Americans as "bigots" for working to protect traditional marriage in state law:
For many far-left MSNBC fans, one conservative on the cable network is one too many. Combine a tired tirade against Joe Scarborough of "Morning Joe" with the inanity of a Hollywood leftist's lame attempt at media commentary, and you have one entertaining Huffington Post column.
"Are the programmers at MSNBC nuts?" asked legendary actor Donald Sutherland (pictured right) on Sunday. "They give us refreshing afternoons with Chris and Ed, put us to bed with the clarifying sensibilities of Rachel and Keith and then, idiotically, wake us up with Mr. Small Mouth."
Yes, Sutherland did just use the terms "refreshing" and "clarifying sensibilities" in reference to Ed Schultz and Keith Olbermann, respectively. And no, apparently he was not being sarcastic. Then comes the Scarborough-bashing:
Former leftist agitator Brandon Darby took the mainstream media to task today for toeing the administration line on supposed right-wing violence while ignoring the leftists who actually pose a threat to the nation's security.
Few know the measures political violence better than Darby (pictured right). He spent years as a radical leftist/anarchist, espousing hatred for the United States and advocating violent revolution. Eventually he realized the error of his ways, became an FBI informant, and helped foil a plot to bomb the 2008 Republican National Convention. So he knows a thing or two about radical, violent leftists.
What are his thoughts on the media's coverage of recent political violence (and the lack thereof)? He wrote at Big Government today that "the Mainstream media is currently peddling the Obama Administration myth that patriotic Americans, many of whom have served in our military or who otherwise have an American flag hanging proudly in their front yards, pose a grave threat to our nation’s security."
April 28 was apparently Abortion Uber Alles day at the liberal Web site Daily Kos. Aimee Thorne-Thomsen of the Pro-Choice Public Education Project stated that the number of women who receive abortions is “too low” in “Keep Abortions Safe and Legal? Yes. Make it Rare? Not the Point.” A separate article blasted the new law in Oklahoma that makes it mandatory for woman to receive ultrasounds by making crude comparisons and calling it “blackmail.”
Even though 1.21 million abortions were performed in 2005, this was not enough for Thorne-Thomsen. She wrote, “On the other hand, if those 1.21 million abortions represent only the women who could access abortion financially, geographically or otherwise, then that number is too low. Yes, too low.”
Some conservatives don't bother reading or quoting from the Daily Kos because it's just too bizarre to take seriously. This would certainly be a good exhibit: Fox News is the network of "exterminationist rhetoric."
There's no doubt in my mind that Glenn Beck is the closest thing we've had to a Neonazi leader in America in a long long time, and he's by far the most dangerous conservative to have emerged in my lifetime in terms of the violence he's inspiring in American citizens.
His eliminationist rhetoric has already inspired an American Neonazi to murder police officers.
Will Fox News ever pull him off the air for his eliminationist talk? No. The network itself is a rabid supporter of exterminationist rhetoric and the consequences of it.
National Public Radio correspondent Nina Totenberg severely misquoted a conservative legal scholar to make it seems as if he considered Clarence Thomas a radical Supreme Court justice. An examination of his full statement clearly demonstrates that this was not what he actually said.
In an April 16 NPR segment, Totenberg, picture right in a file photo, sought to paint radical Berkeley law professor, and Obama nominee to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, as the left's equivalent to Justice Thomas. She quoted Curt Levey, executive director of the conservative Committee for Justice as saying "Goodwin Liu is not your typical liberal. He’s very far out on the left wing, even in academia. So I think you could think of Liu as the Democratic Clarence Thomas." (Audio embedded below the fold.)
But the spliced audio in Totenberg's segment actually mis-represented what Levey said. He was not comparing Liu's and Thomas's stances on constitutional law. Here is his full statement, according to Big Journalism's Matthew Vadum (italicized portions quoted by Totenberg):
Last month I noted Newsweek's Liz White's complaint about the term "ObamaCare" being used as shorthand for the Democratic health care legislation. White griped that the term was "ominous-sounding" and favored by the legislation's conservative opponents as reasons why mainstream media outlets should eschew the term.
Now a full 27 days later, White is back at it with her complaint about the term "ObamaCare." This time, she's citing none other than liberal Comedy Central "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart to back her up:
Stewart immediately jumps on O’Hara’s slip, calling him out on using the “derogatory” phrase and firing back by referring to O’Hara’s book as a “tea-bagger book.” O’Hara stammers for a few seconds and tries to defend his word choice, but concedes to calling it the health-reform bill instead. (It’s a law, by the way.)
Last month, I took on this same issue. Should the bill be called Obamacare, or is that phrase, as Stewart puts it, derogatory by nature?
In her April 26 piece, the Newsweek staff writer cranks up the melodrama volume knob to 11, lamenting that Democrats are not the reliable vehicle for the pro-abortion lobby that they were 30 years ago (emphasis mine):
Update - 12:48 PM | Lachlan Markay:David Brooks weighs in. See his thoughts below.
One of the gripes about online journalism often aired by the Helen Thomases and the Chuck Todds of the world is that online news consumers will only consume news that reinforces their worldview or political beliefs. A new scholarly study challenges that assumption.
The study, conducted by Matthew Gentzkow and Jesse Shapiro, both of the National Bureau of Economic Research, found that there is "no evidence that the Internet is becoming more segregated over time." In other words, contrary to Old Media's accusations, the Internet is not an overwhelmingly polarizing force.
The study found that the Internet exposes people to ideas that they do not normally encounter in face-to-face interactions during their daily lives. Though this should come as little surprise -- with the wealth of information the web provides, how could it not regularly challenge worldviews and preconceptions? -- it is perhaps worth reminding the skeptics.
Here's the thing about the vast right-wing conspiracy: it doesn't really exist. The left's latest attempt to invoke the notion has ended in rebuttals from commentators on both sides of the political spectrum.
Conservative blogger Ben Domenech noted the White House's apparent desire to appoint a homosexual to the Supreme Court. He noted in a post at the New Ledger that at least three nominees -- Pam Karlan, Kathleen Sullivan, and Elana Kagan -- are gay. The White House vehemently denied the latter. The left was not happy.
Huffington Post contributor Sam Stein quoted a spokesman for Human Rights Campaign, who alleged a "shameless … whisper campaign" started by the "far right," echoing other groups' statments to the same effect.
But there is no evidence of any such campaign. Indeed, the extent of the evidence offered by Human Rights Campaign and other left-wing groups seems to be that propagating rumors regarding sexual orientation is "straight out of the right-wing playbook."
Over at the Daily Kos, the gay activist that writes under the byline "Bill in Portland, Maine" (I'd prefer Boogers of Change) slammed both the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts in his regular "Cheers and Jeers" column on Thursday:
CHEERS to justice served. Let us not forget that the Catholic Church isn't the only institution owned and operated by ultra-conservatives that's getting battered with pervert accusations. There's also the Boy Scouts of America, which a jury just tied up in knots:
What is the religious right doing by campaigning against abortion? First and foremost, its efforts seem aimed at trying to keep church pews filled by bringing more and more poor people into the world. Second, it will just end up boosting the teen unwed pregnancy rate every time it guilt trips an unwed, pregnant teen into bringing to term a child she does not want and cannot afford to raise. Third, it will effectively subjugate women and girls in the same way women and girls in developing nations are consigned to a life of child-bearing and little else.
Another day another anti-religion piece from Huffington Post Religion. On April 14 columnist Derek Beres wrote “Why Arresting the Pope is a Great Idea.” Not only that, but Beres actually compared Pope Benedict to director Roman Polanski, who raped a young girl. He also, of course, couldn’t resist ranting against the Church’s teachings on priests remaining celibate.
Atheists Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens have called for Pope Benedict’s arrest when he travels to Britain. Beres labeled this idea as “common sense.”
“If Roman Polanski can be arrested on sexual abuse charges after 32 years of hiding,” Beres wrote, “so can the Pope, holy or not.”
Combining bleeding heart bluster with soak-the-rich envy, Newsweek's Ben Adler savaged liberal billionaire New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in an April 14 The Gaggle blog post for his green-lighting city homeless shelters to levy a monthly rent on residents who hold down jobs:
Don't complain about your taxes today, they are surely less than the 44 percent of one's income that homeless New Yorkers are about to start paying.
New York City, whose mayor, Michael Bloomberg, is worth an estimated $17.5 billion, has announced that it is going to charge homeless people for staying in city housing shelters.
Adler went on to briefly cite the New York Daily News before snarking that "[a]nyone who has spent a minute in a homeless shelter knows better than to buy the preposterous idea that people who could afford an apartment would rather stay there."
Of course that's an unfair assessment of the argument for charging rent of homeless shelter residents who have jobs. From the Daily News article Adler himself cited (emphasis mine):
Actor Ben Stiller is known for playing the funny man in many of his movies, but his recent movie leaves little to laugh about. Stiller stars in the movie “Greenberg” with Greta Gerwig, whose character gets an abortion after discovering she has an unwanted pregnancy. The problem with the film, however, is that the abortion is portrayed as no big deal.
On April 12, Daily Beast’s Stephen Farber approvingly wrote, “When she learns that she is pregnant as a result of a relationship that ended more than a month earlier, she decides to go to the hospital for an abortion, and she returns home without experiencing much pain or guilt.”
The skewed portrayal of Gerwig’s character is far from the truth. According to the National Right to Life, women who get abortions suffer from depression, hemorrhages, sterility, infections, and even death. Suicides can also occur afterwards.
In her April 13 Swampland blog post, "Bashing the Airlines -- Always a Safe Political Bet," Time's Kate Pickert pointed out the illogical and populist silliness of a new bill before Congress aimed at punishing airliners that would charge passengers for carry-on bags (emphasis mine):
With family on the West Coast, I fly a lot and can attest that there is something to carry on about regarding carry ons. To ensure you'll find a place to put your bag once on board, you now have to stalk the gate – standing closer and closer to the ticket taker waiting for your “zone” to be called. Board the plane even slightly late and there's a good chance the overhead compartments will already be stuffed by the time you arrive on board with your bulging “small” suitcase.
Spirit Airlines is the first carrier to react, recently announcing they will charge passengers for carry on bags. Blasphemy! Cue the politics.
No one has ever accused Alec Baldwin of being a rocket scientist, but apparently the actor fancies himself a nuclear physicist. At least that’s the logical conclusion to draw based on his post over at HuffPo entitled “The Human Cost of Nuclear Power.” The actor assumes his new role with gusto, metaphorically donning a lab coat to explain what he believes are the inherent dangers of nuclear power, but his bizarre conclusions and the outdated, discredited research he cites suggests that a straightjacket would be his better fashion choice.
Let’s start with a question that illustrates just how far the limb that Baldwin is precariously balancing upon extends: what kind of power plant emits the most radiation? The correct answer isn’t the obvious answer. According to the Department of Energy, coal fired power plants emit about one hundred times more radiation, per unit of energy produced, than nuclear plants, chiefly because coal naturally contains trace amounts of radioactive compounds and, unlike nukes, they’re not designed with radioactive shields. Before anyone living near a coal fired power plant runs screaming for the door, I should hasten to add this is still an incredibly tiny amount of radiation, about 1/10,000th of all the radiation that an average person is exposed to each year. Natural sources, by far, make the biggest radioactive contributions to our lives. Nothing else is even close.
The media simply cannot stop smearing the Catholic Church, especially Pope Benedict, over the alleged cases of sexual abuse. Huffington Post columnist Andy Ostroy was no exception in his April 7 article, “Can We Fire the Pope?” Ostroy blasted the Pope and called the church “diseased.”
Ostroy seemed to base most of his column on New York Times articles. One article reported that as Archbishop, Pope Benedict transferred a priest accused of sexual abuse. Another New York Times article also blamed the Pope for allowing a Wisconsin priest accused of sexual abuse to stay. Although this report is now in question, that didn’t seem to matter to Ostroy.
Even though the Pope hasn’t been proven guilty, Ostroy didn’t seem to understand that. “Perhaps most infuriating is how Church officials have vociferously defended the Pope, who they claim has been a harsh and outspoken critic of the ‘filth’ that infests the Church, citing him as an architect and promoter of reform.”
Wondering how much faith the left has in your ability to run your own life? Chris Matthews was brutally honest today when he criticized that "idealistic notion" of self-reliance that ignorant conservatives insist on pushing.
Matthews apparently believes that without massive social welfare programs like Medicare and Social Security, there would be "poor people all over the place, old people lying in the streets," and the nation would look like "Calcutta."
He made these absurd claims -- and they are absurd -- on yesterday's Hardball, and went on to call for a more robust "social state," complaining that lefty bloggers had not done enough to make it seem more desirable to the American people (h/t GatewayPundit).
The former Chairman of the California Democratic Party was for some reason treated as a journalist during yesterday's White House press briefing, and used the opportunity to smear a prominent conservative blogger.
Bill Press, who chaired the California Democratic Party for a few years in the 1990s, and who now hosts a radio talk show, demonstrated his total lack of serious journalistic credibility at yesterday's briefing.
He misquoted RedState's Erick Erickson to make it seem as if he was encouraging the listeners of his radio show to not fill out the Census, and tried to turn Erickson's statement into an attack on CNN, who recently hired Erickson as a political correspondent.
President Obama is staking out "middle ground" on the new Nuclear Posture Review, Newsweek's Liz White insists in a 3-paragraph-long April 6 The Gaggle blog post.
White concludes so because Obama is getting flak from allies on his left and critics on his right.
While it's true that in that sense, Obama is in the middle of criticism from both sides, in a broader historical sense, Obama is forsaking a post-Cold War bipartisan consensus on nuclear policy, hardly a "middle of the road" policy that tinkers around the edges.
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Keith Payne explains the "Disarmament Danger" in the April 22 print edition of National Review (emphases mine):
Pop quiz: which of the following political candidates would you be less likely to vote for: one who had written things offensive to many women in a master's thesis, or one who was convicted of trying to solicit sex from a minor?
If you think the felony conviction is a more condemnable offense for a political candidate, you may want to give up your dream job as a Huffington Post columnist. In the bizarre world of Arianna Huffington, the master's thesis is apparently the more reprehensible offense.
HuffPo columnists relentlessly attacked now-Va. Governor Bob McDonnell for his "frightening" views on marriage and the family as expressed in his 1989 thesis. But lefty blogger Tim Russo, who is running for office in Cleveland, is just the victim of local media that "want him to pay for [his felony conviction] for the rest of his life," presumably by suggesting that soliciting sex from a minor demonstrates a lack of judgment unbecoming a public servant.