A best-selling book recounting a four-year-old child's claims to have briefly visited Heaven while under anesthesia for an appendectomy has "On Faith" contributor Susan Jacoby on a tear.
"There really is such a thing as American exceptionalism: we are more gullible than the public in the rest of the developed world," Jacoby groused in a March 30 "The Spirited Atheist" post, part of the "On Faith" website jointly operated by the Washington Post and Newsweek:
After getting laughed at by Monica Crowley for making a foolish comment about the disparate ways Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan handled Libya during their respective presidencies, Newsweek's Eleanor Clift doubled down on this weekend's "McLaughlin Group" by saying a Tea Party candidate can't win a national election.
Crowley was once again up to the challenge and correctly pointed out, "If the government keeps spending like this, that Tea Party movement is only going to accelerate" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Eleanor Clift on this weekend's "McLaughlin Group" made a truly absurd comment about the disparate ways Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan handled Libya during their respective presidencies that left Monica Crowley in stitches.
After Clift mocked Reagan by saying, "You don’t need leadership that goes into a Muslim country all alone," Monica laughed loudly before replying, "American presidential leadership, Eleanor, never goes out of style" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the perpetually immature creators of the filthy cartoon “South Park,” have spent years delivering product sure to please high school sophomores and L.A. Times film critics. But the problem with toilet humor is that eventually the commode is filled. They have crossed so many lines of decency on television and in cinema that they need a new frontier to muck.
To great secular media fanfare, Parker and Stone are debuting a new musical on Broadway called “The Book of Mormon.” A mocking musical titled “The Koran” wasn’t going to find buyers, only fatwas. So they chose the Mormons because they seem so…harmless, and “cheesy.”
Appearing on Tuesday's CBS Early Show, Newsweek senior writer Andrew Romano touted a survey in the magazine's latest issue showing that 38% of Americans failed the U.S. citizenship test and claimed to know the cause: "One of the big ones is income inequality in the United States. We're one of the most in-equal societies in the developed world."
Romano argued to co-host Erica Hill: "When people don't have a lot of money, there's a difficulty getting a good education, there's a lack of opportunity and a lack of knowledge. That's one of the reasons why we don't do as well as northern European countries, sometimes on these surveys." Hill observed: "So it's really a question of access." Romano replied: "It is. It's a big problem."
As we've noted time and again, "On Faith" -- a Washington Post/Newsweek-run religion news and discussion website -- is biased against, if not outright hostile to traditional religious belief, particularly traditional Christian theology.
According to James Carville, his timing was simply a "little off" with a 2009 prediction that Democrats would rule for 40 years. The political operative and frequent guest on ABC appeared in the revamped Newsweek magazine to offer an apology for the inaccurate assertion.
The first-person piece in the March 21 issue included an admission that the title of his book, 40 More Years: How the Democrats Will Rule the Next Generation, was designed for the sake of publicity.
He admitted, "I know a bit about selling books, and you need a good title—a catchy concoction with a little Cajun spice, something that will make folks stop in the aisles, turn away from the Grisham novels and the latest crazy diet fad, and pick up your masterpiece."
One popular feature of "On Faith," the online religion news feature of the Washington Post and Newsweek, is the "Guest Voices" column. They are typically short blog posts written by non-staff writers about an item in the news with a religious angle.
All you need to know about why people on the right were dissatisfied with Kathleen Parker as the supposedly conservative counterweight to Eliot Spitzer on the pair's recently-canned CNN show was crystallized on Morning Joe today. The panel unleashed an absolute gush-a-thon over Parker, Mika Brzezinski declaring her "one of my favorite people" and Willie Geist describing her as "a great writer."
For good measure, the MSNBC folks delighted in dumping on rival CNN. Mike Barnicle took top trash-talking honors, claiming Parker had been "brutalized" at the network.
Does a sycophantic devotion to the President make liberal media members lose all connection to reality?
Before you answer, consider that on Friday, Newsweek's Eleanor Clift and liberal radio host Bill Press actually said on PBS's "McLaughlin Group" the U.S. auto industry is stronger than it ever was (video follows with transcript and commentary):
For the fourth time in the last five weeks Evan Thomas has taken a political position quite contrary to the other liberal panelists on PBS's "Inside Washington."
In Friday's installment, Newsweek's assistant managing editor not only took on regulars Mark Shields and Nina Totenberg but also ridiculed the New York Times (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Cizik, you may recall, is a bit of a media favorite because he hails from a generally theologically conservative tradition but has been moving leftward politically over the past few years.
Haffner is liberal theologically and politically, a Unitarian-Universalist minister and the former president of the Sex Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), a group that lobbies to end federal funding of abstinence-until-marriage sex ed programs.
As we've noted, the On Faith feature often skews liberal in theology and politics, and the Cizik/Haffner tag-team fits hand-in-glove with the leftward tack of the site.
Here's the duo's argument against defunding Planned Parenthood (emphases mine):
Here's more evidence that Newsweek keeps sinking as a credible "news" outlet. In their "Conventional Wisdom Watch" box in the March 7 issue, their top entry is an Up arrow for "Dirty Tricks." Media ethics, schmethics. The honored trickster is so-called "journalist" Ian Murphy of the "Buffalo Beast" for calling Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and pretending to be a capitalist, which he is certainly not. They explained: "Journo prank-calls Wisconsin governor. But is his refrigerator running?"
Typically, when Barack Obama declared he would not defend the Defense of Marriage Act, Newsweek gave an Up arrow for "Love," with a rainbow flag flying in the arrow. "Obama won't defend gay-marriage law. White House quits its stone-walling." Newsweek defines a Justice Department defending federal law as it presently exists "stone-walling."
Joe Scarborough's "intuitive gut reaction" to the mess in Wisconsin is that Gov. Walker's holdout against union pleas for collective bargaining "seems kind of un-American" to him. It supposedly pained the self-described small-government conservative to say it, but he held to his opinion on Monday's "Morning Joe."
"I'm going to get killed for saying this," Scarborough hesitantly prefaced his confession. "I'm going to get so killed for saying this – I hate to say this, but the concept of telling people that they cannot come together to negotiate with a government – it just kind of seems un-American to me."
The "Morning Joe" panel was covering the latest updates on the standoff in Wisconsin between Gov. Walker and the public sector unions, who are willing to compromise on some demands but want to keep their ability to collectively bargain. Walker still refuses to meet their demands, saying that unions' historic abuse of collective bargaining power contributed to the budget mess his state is now in.
Something has definitely gotten into Evan Thomas's water, as for the third time this month, he advanced a viewpoint on PBS's "Inside Washington" quite contrary to the other liberal panelists.
On Friday's installment, with lone conservative regular Charles Krauthammer taking the day off, the Newsweek columnist practically assumed his position as the voice of reason taking on the other guests regarding the budget situation in Wisconsin (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Leave it to "On Faith" to offer a Marxist/left-wing liberation theology twist on the public sector unions protesting Gov. Scott Walker's (R-Wis.) budget plans.
On Saturday the Washington Post/Newsweek online feature published a "Guest Voices" by Wendy Cooper in which the divinity student lamented that middle-class government workers in the Badger State have much in common with the masses in Tahrir Square in Cairo, as well as the ostracized imperial Roman tax collectors of Jesus' day (emphasis mine):
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.
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.
"[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.
For fans of PBS's "McLaughlin Group" that have for years put up with Eleanor Clift screeching and rudely interrupting other guests, a marvelous moment happened Friday that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
While the group discussed gun laws in the wake of the Arizona tragedy, the Newsweek columnist started talking over Pat Buchanan who finally quipped to the delight of all in attendance, "The President told you to cool the rhetoric now Eleanor" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
"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.
Jared Loughner, the suspect arrested in Saturday's shooting death of a federal judge and critical wounding of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Arizona), is no right-winger and certainly not a military veteran.
All the same, Newsweek published an article today suggesting that Loughner's deadly rampage on Saturday was the consequence of conservative politicians dismissing the warnings of a Homeland Security report from 2009 warning about "lone wolf" attacks by right-wingers, particularly those who are armed forces veterans.
In "The Missed Warning Signs," Aaron Mehta, a reporter for the Center for Public Integrity, sought to lay the blame for the shooting at the feet of Rep. John Boehner and other conservatives.
In light of all existing evidence, any attempt to blame "heated political rhetoric" for Saturday's shooting in Tucson is simply a lie. While most reporters are done peddling the lie that Sarah Palin caused the Tucson massacre, they've now moved on to this more nuanced lie.
At present it seems that Jared Lee Loughner's hatred for Gabrielle Giffords, apparently the intended target, stemmed from the congersswoman's inability to answer some incoherent question Loughner asked her in 2007. There is no evidence to suggest he was driven to violence by political rhetoric of any kind.
Liberal media types have been peddling the lie that conservatives and their "heated political rhetoric" are responsible for the recent Tucson shooting. But why such insistence on an obviously false story line? The answer seems to be, at least in the case of some, that Tucson could be to Barack Obama as Oklahoma City was to Bill Clinton.
Within hours of the mass shooting in Arizona, former Newsweek editor Howard Fineman on Saturday was offering Barack Obama tips on how to manipulate the outburst of violence for his political advantage.
Making comparisons to Bill Clinton's response to the Oklahoma City bombing, he lobbied, "...Obama may be able to remind voters of what they like best about him: his sensible demeanor. Amid the din and ferocity of our political culture, he respectfully keeps his voice down, his emotions in check and his mind open."
The piece, which appeared on the left-wing Huffington Post, featured this coldly calculating follow-up: "That is the pitch, at least. The trick is to make it without seeming to be trying to make it. He will, after all, be speaking at a funeral."
Appearing as a guest on Friday’s Countdown show on MSNBC, Washington Post staff writer and Newsweek columnist Ezra Klein defended Obamacare and warned Republicans against attempting to repeal the law as he contended that some provisions are popular with the public. After host Keith Olbermann asked if Democrats should "relish rejoining the fight over health care reform" because it could hurt Republicans, Klein urged Democrats to fight. Klein:
They should be going to war over it. It's an incredibly important achievement for them, and if Democrats cannot defend a deficit-reducing bill that brings health care insurance to 32 million people and allows folks with pre-existing conditions to get any insurance they want, if they can't defend that, frankly, they, on some level, don't really deserve to be a party. If you can't defend the best thing you've done in a generation, then you've got some political problems that are bigger than anything the Republicans are doing to you.
The Washington Post writer eventually predicted that Republicans would be embracing and defending Obamacare by the year 2050. Klein: "In 2050 Republicans will be saying, ‘How dare you cut Obamacare?’"
Newsweek's Jonathan Alter, who last year wrote a lengthy book on the first year of Barack Obama's presidency, looked very displeased on Dylan Ratigan's MSNBC program earlier this week when other guests concurred with accusations of corruption against the White House.
The Ratigan segment centered on a statement by Rep. Darrel Issa, R-Calif., incoming chairman of the House Oversight and Goernment Reform Committee, that Obama's is "one of the most corrupt administrations ever."
"There is zero evidence" of corruption, he insisted. When fellow guest Tim Carney, a Washington Examiner columnist, disagreed, Alter demanded Carney produce evidence. So he did (video below the fold).