Maybe it’s just happy coincidence. Maybe Hollywood really is taking White House suggestions for its scripts. Or maybe liberal group think has evolved to the point where they don’t just think the same things, they think them at the same time.
Whatever the case, just a day after President Obama’s “surprise announcement” in his State of the Union speech that he intends to overturn the military’s “Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell” policy, the issue surfaced again in prime time. And the inclusion of propaganda in a TV drama was even more incongruous and gratuitous than Obama’s sop to his left wing.
The Jan. 28 episode of Fox’s forensics-based crime drama, “Bones,” centered on the murder of a gay man, and the writers took the opportunity to inject some standard talking points about the inequity of gays being unable to marry and the threat of physical violence from straight men.
But according to "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace, efforts to spin this in a positive way are futile. Wallace appeared on the Fox Business Network's Jan. 21 "Imus in the Morning" program to explain their efforts to alter the news coverage to a favorable tone in the wake of this news is not the proper course of action.
"I think it means a big deal and I have to laugh, you know, somebody was saying yesterday, there's some events that are just un-spinable," Wallace said. "They're just too big, too dramatic, too obvious - you can't spin them and yet the White House clearly is trying to spin this."
Has it come to this that now even pop culture platforms like "American Idol" are in the tank for President Barack Obama? It appears so.
Season nine of the popular Fox show "American Idol" found itself in Chicago where nearly 12,000 people auditioned to become the next winner of the singing talent show. But the "Idol" producers took the opportunity to link the Chicago auditions with the most visible and most recent "winner" to emerge from the windy city; President Barack Obama.
It is standard practice during the audition phase of "Idol" to introduce viewers to each new city with a brief video package highlighting the city's most famous landmarks and unique features. However, no less than two minutes into the Jan 19 broadcast of the Chicago auditions, the show took a more serious and political tone.
While speculating that Tonight Show host Conan O’Brien may move to Fox in the wake of NBC shaking up its late night schedule, on Wednesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez referred to Sarah Palin becoming a contributor for Fox News: “Sarah Palin his sidekick? Because she’s on Fox now, too.”
Co-host Harry Smith couldn’t resist getting in a shot of his own as he replied that Palin could “lead the band” for O’Brien’s Fox late night show. Of course if O’Brien made the move, he would be on the Fox broadcast channel, not Fox News.
Earlier, co-host Russ Mitchell reported Palin’s Fox News debut on Tuesday’s O’Reilly Factor: “Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin made her debut on Fox News last night. She appeared as a news analyst with Bill O’Reilly, who asked her about the controversy she attracts.”
The week-old story of Brit Hume's Christianity vs. Buddhism remarks is apparently still fodder for a good laugh, and comedienne Wanda Sykes attempted to squeeze out one more. The late-night talk show host arguably stepped over the line with a skit this week when she jokingly entertained the notion that Jesus was willing to give Tiger Woods crabs.
The Jan. 9 broadcast of Fox's "The Wanda Sykes Show" featured a sketch in which two actors playing Jesus and Buddha appeared as "guests" on the Fox News Channel show "The O'Reilly Factor" during which the former Fox News anchor expounded on his comments.
"This week, Brit Hume went on ‘The O'Reilly Factor' to talk about the statement he made that Tiger Woods should become a Christian," Sykes said. "And I'll say this about the interview - it was really fair and balanced."
On Tuesday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann twice claimed that FNC contributor and former anchor Brit Hume’s public recommendation that Tiger Woods convert to Christianity to help solve his personal problems amounted to trying to "threaten" Woods into conversion. Previewing a segment focusing on Hume’s Monday appearance on The O’Reilly Factor to clarify his words from Fox News Sunday, Olbermann teased the show: "Brit Hume and the attempt to threaten Tiger Woods into converting to Christianity. He does it again."
Olbermann also plugged the segment before a commercial break: "Brit Hume has tried to force Tiger Woods into becoming a Christian again. That in a moment."
The Countdown host introduced the segment, contending again that Hume had tried to "threaten" Woods into becoming a Christian: "Brit Hume of Fox News has not only not apologized for his bizarre on-air attempt to threaten Tiger Woods into converting to Christianity, he`s actually gone further."
Notably, in December 2005, Olbermann distorted the words of former FNC host John Gibson from Gibson's radio interview on the Janet Parshal Show and compared the program to "an Al-Qaeda show on Al-Jazeera talking about infidels."
Tolerance is a virtue the Left loves to trumpet, except when the intolerable is set forward. In this instance, the intolerable is a gentle Christian evangelistic overture to a celebrity caught in sexual scandal.
Yesterday, Fox News analyst and professing Christian Brit Hume expressed his spiritual concern for Tiger Woods and urged the golf superstar to turn to Christianity for grace and forgiveness during a segment of the January 3 edition of "Fox News Sunday."
Bill Kristol has set forth a stinging indictment of the Obama admin's handling of the war on terror. His two-minute monologue on today's Fox News Sunday delineated a devastating bill of particulars:
It was a mistake to treat Abdul Mutallab as a criminal defendant rather than as an enemy combatant: "Mr. Brennan [Obama's top counter-terrorism adviser who appeared earlier] said to you that we're very worried that there're other Abdul Mutallabs out there. This Abdul Mutallab was there for four months. He might know who the others are. He might know their names. Will you let him lawyer up?"
As to Brennan's claim that there was no "smoking gun" regarding Abdul Mutallab: "He is the smoking gun," going on to detail all the red flags surrounding him. "Frankly, for Mr. Brennan to say, well, no smoking gun, that itself shows a kind of not-serious-about-the-war mentality."
It might seem a little strange to see Fox News bashed on its Fox broadcast parent network, but that's what you would have witnessed if you tuned into "The Wanda Sykes Show," Saturday night's late-night alternative to NBC's "Saturday Night Live."
"So I've been digging around here and I found some old footage of black reporters on Fox News - you know, back when they were allowed to be on that network," Sykes said. "Fascinating stuff - take a look at this one."
Fox cartoon hit "Family Guy" on Sunday took a nice swipe at Chris Matthews marvelously mocking the MSNBCer's overly inflated ego.
As the opening credits rolled, Stewie Griffin noticed that pet dog Brian has been Googling himself.
After Brian explained why, Stewie remarked, "Take it easy. You're getting a bigger head than Chris Matthews."
This set up a brief vignette of a large-foreheaded Matthews, voiced by himself, interviewing a very frustrated Harry Reid who couldn't get a word in edgewise (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t Story Balloon):
Here is more proof there is a vast chasm between Fox News and Fox Entertainment in Hollywood. In Wednesday night’s episode of Glee, a heartless Christian dad character is – of course – a big Glenn Beck watcher. The biggest liberal joke on the series is the pregnant cheerleader Quinn who leads the "Celibacy Club," who is preparing for the chastity ball, but the secret of her pregnancy gets out at the dinner table.
I don’t have the precise Beck quote, but it was an "ooh, Glenn Beck’s on" moment. TV Squad summarizes: "But the whole thing brought to light a lot about Quinn's home life: her dad watches Glenn Beck, is a heartless loser, and her mom won't stand up for her. That's all the important stuff."
In fact, she is thrown out of the house, because that’s apparently what Beck-watching Christians do when their teens get pregnant. They’re uninvolved, clueless alcoholics who don’t really know their children.
Wanda Sykes debuted her new comedy show Saturday on Fox. That critics met the show with reviews of varying degrees of mediocrity is hardly surprising, as Sykes simply recycled years of Bush-bashing and Obamamania into her monologue, which set the mood for the show.
Sykes is well known in political circles for proclaiming "I hope his kidneys fail" in reference to Rush Limbaugh at this year's White House Correspondents' Dinner. She went on to make fun of Limbaugh's former drug addiction, liken him to terrorists, and call for him to be waterboarded.
So it came as little surprise that Sykes kicked off her new show with attacks on Ann Coulter, discussions of environmentally-friendly sex toys, accusations of racism leveled against Rush Limbuagh, and an anti-Bush, Obama-crazed diatribe (video and partial transcript below the fold).
Very often criticism of journalists is actually criticism of journalism. Effective investigative reporting entails asking the tough questions and demanding answers. Powerful Democrats, including White House officials, have derided Fox News for this reason. But even conservative bloggers are not immune to the "extension of the opposition" charge for simply asking the tough questions.
Late last month Congressman Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., held a conference call on the administration's reform efforts. Pomeroy reiterated his support for the House health care bill. Rob Port, of the center-right blog SayAnythingBlog.com, asked a question during the Q and A period, in which he displayed open skepticism that the "public option" would increase consumer choice in the health care market (audio and transcript below the fold).
Violence – especially grotesque, gory or bloody violence – has become a staple of network television during sweeps periods. But there’s a new kind of violence surging -- violence against women. A new study by the Parents Television Council called "Women in Peril" reveals that between 2004 and 2009, CBS, NBC, and Fox (but not ABC) all green-lighted a significant increase in the incidents – and degree – of violence against women.
On average, during the five-year span there was a two percent increase in overall violence during the prime time viewing hours. But during the same time period there was a 120 percent increase in the number of times the audience would be exposed to a violent scene with a female victim.
CBS, the "CSI" network, led with 118 violent storylines on women, but NBC had the largest increase, at 192 percent. The forms of violence depicted included rape, stabbing, dismemberment, electrocution, poisoning, shooting, beating, and torture. Death was regularly a result of the violence.
Violence against women has increased on TV programs, according to a new study by the Parents Television Council.
"Women in Peril: A Look at TV's Disturbing New Storyline Trend" found that incidents of violence against women and teenage girls increased 120 percent on television in the in the past five years, while overall violence on primetime broadcast entertainment programs increased only 2 percent in the same time period. Violent incidents against teen girls on television programs increased 400 percent since 2004.
On Oct. 20, Media Research Center Vice President of Business & Culture, appeared on the Fox Business Network to discuss recent calls from journalists and liberals for government intervention in America's ailing newspaper industry.
"I can hardly believe that the Washington Post would publish an editorial asking for a taxpayer bailout of newspapers," said host Stuart Varney. "Tell me I should not be shocked."
Varney, said Gainor, shouldn't be surprised, since the editorial was "pegged to a report that came out by former editor Len Downey calling for exactly that same thing." Gainor explained that industry insiders and liberals, along with some on Capitol Hill are either desperate to save journalism jobs or salivating at the prospect of exercising greater control over the media. "You've got both houses of Congress, the Federal Trade Commission and the FCC all looking at the future of journalism and all trying to get their hooks into it."
On the August 30 Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace seemed to pick up on Clay Waters' NewsBusters item, earlier posted at TimesWatch, pointing out the blatant double standard between the New York Times obituary for conservative Republican Senator Jesse Helms and that of liberal Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy.
Near the end of Sunday's show, Wallace read from the first paragraph from each obituary, with the Kennedy version tagging the liberal Senator as "a son of one of the most storied families in American politics, a man who knew acclaim and tragedy in near equal measure, and who will be remembered as one of the most effective lawmakers in the history of the Senate."
By contrast, the Helms version omitted such positive causes as his legislative fight against the tyranny of communism, and instead portrayed his Senate career in a negative light, referring to him as the "Senator with the courtly manner and mossy drawl, who turned his hard-edged conservatism against civil rights, gay rights, foreign aid and modern art."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the August 30, Fox News Sunday:
An iconic child (now teen) star performs a pole dance at an awards show aimed at teens. Most of the media shrug. Welcome to Hollywood 2009.
At the Teen Choice Awards, which took place Aug. 9 and aired Aug. 10 on Fox, Miley Cyrus, the 16-year-old Disney-created star of the wildly popular "Hannah Montana," franchise performed "Party in the U.S.A." Clad in short-shorts, high-heeled boots and a tank top that revealed a black bra, Cyrus danced around a pole affixed to the top of an ice cream cart.
Admittedly, the pole moves were a small portion of her performance, but it raised the question of whether a pole belongs in any dance choreographed for a 16-year-old performing for others her age.
In a passionate Wall Street Journal op-ed this morning ("Silence Has Consequences for Iran"), former Spanish Prime Minister José Aznar who, in case anyone cares, serves on the board of WSJ parent News Corp., says that "It would be a shame .... if our passivity gave carte blanche to a tyrannical regime to finish off the dissidents and persist with its revolutionary plans."
Shaking off passivity requires visibility. America's media establishment almost across the board is providing very little. The Associated Press and the New York Times reports exist, but their distribution is dwarfed by the death of a pop star and a governor's infidelity.
Here are useful comparisons (all searches were done at Google News at about 8:45 a.m. for June 23-27, limited to USA sources):
How many uninsured Americans are there really? It’s a number that the mainstream media have repeatedly misrepresented to make the health care “crisis” seem worse than it is. Business & Media Institute’s Julia A. Seymour hammered this point in an apprearance on Fox Business. Seymour exposed the common error by breaking down the actual number to more than 30 million less than the media claim it is. Journalists have used the statistic of 46 million-47 million uninsured Americans, but as Seymour told Fox Business, this number was wildy inflated. “The Census Bureau comes up with this number and they said that the number of uninsured is really 45.6 million people. But that's total people, and that includes almost 10 million who are non-citizens,” Seymour clarified.
On April 21, the Business and Media Institute's Dan Gainor testified before the House Judiciary Committee's Courts and Competition Policy in a hearing on "A New Age for Newspapers."
As MRC's Tim Graham wrote on April 22, the hearing was spurred by the steady drumbeat of newspaper closings around the country, and calls from some Democrat lawmakers to bail out and subsidize the newspaper business.
While others testified on newsprint business models and the impact of the Internet, Gainor's statement to the subcommittee highlighted liberal bias as a major factor in the industry's decline. "The concept of a journalist as a neutral party has become a punch line for a joke, not a guideline for an industry," he said.
The economy is already in rough shape, but some think we should let it go to pot - literally. Pro-legalization advocacy groups are promoting the possibility that legalizing marijuana could provide some economic relief, and the media has eagerly explored the idea.
On April 20, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) aired TV ads calling for marijuana legalization. They ran on CNN, Fox News Channel and were covered by CBS News.
"In the spot, Americans say of the drug, ‘you can tax it, you can regulate it, apply age restrictions...create millions of new jobs ... save our economy,'" Brian Montopoli wrote for CBSNews.com on April 20.
With chatter that this could be a campaign issue in 2010, the new Obama Administration's relaxed policies toward the drug and some people's desperate, try-anything approach to solving the government spending deficits and economic woes, the idea of marijuana legalization is gaining traction with the media.
Here’s a quick informal poll:Who has heard news of Russia’s recent troop buildup in the South Ossetia region of Georgia?
Most of our readers would immediately think of the Russian invasion of that region last summer, during the presidential contest, but the Russians are arguably saber rattling again with a fresh buildup of boots on-the-ground ahead of planned NATO exercises.
Last August, the media coverage immediately took the angle of breathless anticipation on how each presidential candidate would react to such a situation.John McCain’s position was easily established from his record over many years in the Senate.Then-Senator Obama’s position was much more difficult to ascertain – but the media gave him ample time to figure it out, helping the candidate defer those questions to the September 26 debate.In fact, a good example of such activism was shown in the Washington Post’s Jim Hoagland, who in his August 31 op-ed insisted:
Our cosmopolitan elites have embraced the smutty Fox cartoon "Family Guy." A month ago, oh-so-sophisticated National Public Radio used their parody song "Everybody Poops" to report on Julius Genachowski, the incoming chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Perhaps it was NPR’s way of welcoming in an Obama appointee who everyone expects will "lighten up" at the FCC and let Hollywood go wild with its "poetic license."
Now it’s ABC’s "Nightline" paying homage to "Family Guy," and in the process, telling us a lot more about "Nightline" than about this stupid show. They presented the show’s lame-brained "mastermind" Seth MacFarlane as a man of incredible talent, even a genius. At the top of their April 6 show, anchor Martin Bashir cooed: "Funny Guy. No topic is too taboo, no subject off limits for this critically acclaimed cartoonist."
When MTV creates hazardous waste on television, there is no Superfund cleanup program. Worse still, sometimes their toxic programs end up getting recycled by desperate executives eager for a sleazy splash. Fox is the latest network to ooze desperation by trying to take Its hottest program, "American Idol," a huge hit with families, and follow it with "Osbournes Reloaded," a show so vile and lacking in redeeming social value that even Fox affiliates (reaching up to 11 percent of the nation’s viewers) have delayed or refused to air it.
After seeing the promos for the program and looking at the six-minute "sizzle reel" the network sent their way, at least 16 Fox TV stations refused to air the rocker-shockers’ truncated 35-minute "variety" special. An additional 10 Fox stations moved it into late night, as late as 1:35 in the morning. Fox was so concerned it screened the whole special for the Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcast Group, which sadly decided to stick with sewage in prime time on its 19 affiliates.
“Viewer Discretion is advised.” That’s right. Tuesday night’s debut of Fox’s new reality show “Osbournes: Reloaded” was not suitable for anyone who believes marriage is sacred.
The Osbourne family’s new variety show made light of the covenant of marriage as Ozzy Osbourne walked the real-life bride down the aisle. Ironically, the preacher warned that marriage is “not something to be entered into lightly.”
Any show involving the Osbournes is sure to have its fair share of f-bombs and inappropriate humor and the March 31st unveiling of Fox’s ”Osbourne’s: Reloaded” was no exception. But it was the strange marriage ceremony held on-stage before an audience of thousands that was the true head-scratcher.
In an appearance on the March 27 Fox & Friends, BMI's Dan Gainor discussed White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's brief, lucrative tenure on the board of Freddie Mac.
New reporting by the Chicago Tribune has updated the story BMI chronicled during the Obama transition of how Emanuel made more than $300,000 advising the Government Sponsored Enterprise at the very time it was engaged in unethical and illegal behavior. The mainstream print and broadcast media have mostly ignored Emanuel’s Freddie Mac history, as well has Barney Frank’s Fannie Mae connections because “very obviously they have an agenda,” Gainor said.
On March 6, in response to New York Times reporters' questions, President Barack Obama told the paper that he is not a socialist. He or his advisers were apparently so bothered by the questions that Obama later called the Times reporters involved in an attempt to .... well, I'm not sure, because he had already supposedly denied the charge.
The best guess is that Obama and his peeps felt he needed to get in some gratuitous digs at former president George W. Bush.
Part of Obama's phone call back to the Times including the following relative to the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) under then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson:
I did think it might be useful to point out that it wasn’t under me that we started buying a bunch of shares of banks.
..... I just think it’s clear by the time we got here, there already had been an enormous infusion of taxpayer money into the financial system.
Family Guy – talk about a misnomer. The animated Fox television series crossed sexual, moral and religious boundaries on Sunday evening when it aired content inappropriate for its young target audience.
The controversial material was not limited to one subject, or isolated in a single scene. Images of gay men kissing, a baby eating semen, physical abuse, sexual touching and a half naked male were just a few of the disturbing images viewers were treated to in the March 8 episode.
The Parents Television Council has issued a press release regarding the indecent content. Tim Winter, President of the PTC has alerted the Federal Communications Commission to the controversial content aired at 8:00pm CT, during the so-called family hour.