You may recall when CBS fired Charlie Sheen early last year from the popular Two and a Half Men series for a string of "felony offenses involving moral turpitude." In the weeks and months that preceded this decision, an increasingly erratic Sheen received an inordinate amount of media attention for his drug-induced rants. To this day however, Sheen's bad boy persona is received warmly by the media, and he's been rewarded for it with ad spots for Fiat and DirecTV and even another show on the FX network that jokingly plays off his history of reckless hedonism.
By contrast, Sheen's former co-star, Angus T. Jones, the titular "half man" on the sitcom, has been castigated by the media for his recent religious conversion and subsequent YouTube testimonial in which he urged folks to avoid his popular TV series. Perhaps pressured by producers, Jones has since apologized for coming across as indifferent and unappreciative for the lucrative opportunity, but that hasn't stopped the media for characterizing Jones's video as another celebrity meltdown. [ video below the page break ]
People magazine loves Obama. In the top right corner of the June 20 issue is a picture of the president tenderly sitting with younger daughter Sasha on the White House lawn and the words “President Obama On Being a Good Father: Plus Exclusive Family Photos.” Inside are five pages of pictures of adoring daughters getting moments with Daddy...by Obama’s White House photographer Pete Souza. The newest one’s from last August.
The White House pictorial also comes with an essay titled “Being the Father I Never Had, by Barack Obama.” People touted “In an exclusive Father’s Day essay, the elementary school basketball coach – and president – tells how growing up without a dad made him want to be the best parent he could.”
The mainstream media are demonstrating that their fawning coverage isn't limited to President Barack Hussein Obama. The establishment press loves Michelle LaVaughn every bit as much. Today's Washington Post Politics Web site carries the story "Michelle Obama wows Britain with high style, rubs shoulders with new royal Kate Middleton." The article substantiates its claim that Mrs. Obama dazzled the English with support from an impartial, disinterested observer. I know she's impartial because she authored a book titled "“Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style.”
On NPR's Web site, the headline is "Michelle Obama Wows Britain With Her Style." The accompanying Associated Press article begins:
There weren't any hugs, like last time, but U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama shared a warm handshake with the British queen and gained more fans during her state visit to the U.K.
How does the AP know that Mrs. Obama gained fans? Did they take a survey pre- and post-warm handshake?
Mr. Slater (picture at right is from his Facebook page) is the JetBlue flight attendant who reportedly "grabbed the plane's intercom and made an expletive-laced speech, grabbed a beer from the galley, opened the door and slid down the emergency evacuation chute." Slater was charged with "criminal mischief and reckless endangerment."
Three weeks ago (covered at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), Associated Press writer Samantha Gross rhapsodized over how Slater's actions had fulfilled "a working man's fantasy ... rekindled memories of workers' liberation ... (and) sparked wistful excitement among workers who have long fantasized of choosing pride over pay."
Before getting to the AP's latest sympathetic piece, let's take a look at something originally associated with a magazine report about Slater that is not currently present in that story.
On Friday’s CBS Early Show, People magazine editor Betsy Gleick discussed the latest issue, featuring an interview with Barack and Michelle Obama on their one-year anniversary in the White House, declaring: “I think the headline is that they are feeling optimistic that the country is back on track, and that they do feel that there are still some, obviously, huge challenges ahead.”
Co-host Harry Smith added his own insight into President Obama: “...sometimes when you’re not talking to him, in particular, about the news events of the day, he says a lot about himself and what his experience has been like and he talked a lot about being in the bubble.” Gleick agreed: “Absolutely. I mean, one of the most touching parts of the interview is that he just talked about the loneliness of the job and some of the loneliness he embraces, he realizes that he has big decisions that he alone needs to make. But he misses being out among regular people.”
Smith was also in awe of new photos of the first couple: “These pictures also that accompany the piece are just stunning... these may be among the best pictures, I think, we’ve seen of the two of them.” Gleick replied: “They’re beautiful, I agree.”
People Magazine practically slipped over their drool-laden piece yesterday involving First Lady Michelle Obama's decision to recycle ornaments for the White House Christmas tree. The opening statement of this piece is so very complimentary of this novel decision, you'd think it was a decision that qualifies Mrs. Obama as a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize next year. (Cause that's a little ridiculous, no?)
"It used to be that Christmas at the White House dazzled visitors with the glitter of thousands of fairy lights. But not this year. Not in this economy and not with this practical-minded first lady."
Apparently, first ladies of years past had celebrated Christmas in the White House with a total disregard for the economy and the environment.
Not so, however...
Shortly after the opening paragraph's praising of the current White House Christmas tree, the People article takes a swipe at the Clintons and Bushes for not being more like the Obamas:
As NewsBusters reported a few hours ago, Oprah Winfrey has finally decided to allow former Alaska governor Sarah Palin on her highly-rated daytime talk show.
Shortly after it was announced, People magazine's web article on the matter falsely informed readers that Palin refused Oprah's invitation during the campaign last year (h/t NB reader Christy Ellsworth):
Oh, what a difference a multimillion-dollar book deal makes.
About a year after Sarah Palin famously turned down a campaign season appearance with talk show host – and major Barack Obama supporter – Oprah Winfrey, the former GOP vice presidential candidate has agreed to take her turn on the couch.
Actually, as ABCNews.com reported last September, it was Oprah that refused to have Palin on her show:
In its latest edition (dated June 29), People magazine piled up the praise for Chastity Bono’s decision to be "Chaz," declaring herself to be a male. This leads to the kind of journalism that ignores all the hard-to-obscure physiological facts and goes with the feelings of the celebrity it’s celebrating:
(Transgendered people believe they were born as the wrong sex, so except in quotes, PEOPLE will refer to Chaz as ‘he,’ even when referring to past events, to reflect what Bono considers his true gender.)
Journalists don’t have to oppose transsexuality to be accurate (and there wasn’t even a hint of opposition to the decisions of "Chaz" in the People article). But accuracy should require that females be described as female.
The "he" and "his" pronouns weren’t in the headline or beginning of the article, no doubt out of concern of confusing the reader. The headline was "Becoming Chaz: With her family’s support, Sonny and Cher’s daughter reveals she is transgender and living as a man."
The article began: "The images are iconic TV moments: Precious little Chastity Bono, with her blonde hair and chubby cheeks, gracing her parents 1970s variety show The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour..."
Elizabeth Edwards authorized a friend to attack John Edwards over his infamous "she was in remission" interview on Nightline. That's the stunning assertion of Sandra Westfall, the "People" magazine writer who authored the article [excerpt here] containing the friend's crticism. Westfall was a guest on tonight's Verdict with Dan Abrams.
DAN ABRAMS: Sandra, let me start with you.Is it fair to say that the story that you guys have in this week's magazine is effectively Elizabeth Edwards' side of the story?
SANDRA WESTFALL: You know, she authorized her brother and her best friend to speak to me on her behalf.
Rush Limbaugh likes to joke that he has "half my brain tied behind my back, just to keep it fair." But there's no sign Michelle Obama [file photo] was anything but serious when she said something similar in a current People magazine interview, h/t Michelle Malkin. Mrs. Obama claimed she could be "very competent" on policy putting in only a 70% effort.
Throw in a few more statements from Mrs. Obama during the interview attesting to her own intellect, and a picture emerges of a woman either very sure--or insecure--about her smarts.
"Good Morning America" on Wednesday continued to aggressively promote the story of the pregnant "man," featuring the show's sixth story since March 26. Once again, GMA co-host Chris Cuomo confusingly described the story of Thomas Beatie, a woman who took testosterone and had her breasts removed in a gender reassignment surgery in order to become a man.
On Wednesday, Cuomo explained, "The pregnant man, Thomas Beatie. He made headlines across the globe. Well, now, Beatie, who is biologically still a woman, has delivered a healthy baby." So, in other words, a woman gave birth to a baby? Perhaps describing the situation that way wouldn't have allowed GMA to devote six stories (thus far) to the topic. The segment was full of such puzzling statements. An ABC graphic screamed, "Pregnant Man's Baby: First Pictures of Susan Juliette." At one point, reporter Andrea Canning stated that Beatie, born Tracy LaGondino, had her breasts surgically removed and then, "...Still hoping to one day have a child, Thomas kept his female reproductive organs." His female reproductive organs?
“OMFG” is text-speak for the unspeakable. It's also the tag line for a new ad campaign aimed at teens and featuring a jumble of sexual situations, including teens undressing each other and two girls kissing. The campaign blitz is appearing in print and television, all aimed at drumming up eyeballs for the CW network's teen-themed soap "Gossip Girl."
For the uninitiated, “OMG” translates to “Oh My God” in the language of email and text messaging. The addition of the “F” means … well, it’s the word that can cost broadcasters a hefty government fine if someone actually says it on TV.
Now, of course, executives at the CW could never admit that they were actively targeting teens with such a "provocative" ad. Nor would they ever admit they were intentionally dodging an FCC fine by using the letter "F" instead of the unspeakable word. Nor would they ever consider that "F" used next to "G," which stands for "God" would be blasphemous. In fact they've gone out of their way on these subjects. But reality has a way of well, keeping it real.
Jody L. Wilcox at The Contemporary Conservative blog mocks People magazine for a "really lame" puffball interview with Hillary Clinton in their 100 Most Beautiful People edition (Hillary was not on that list). There were the usual annoying pop-culture questions: "American Idol or Dancing With the Stars"? (Both.) "Tina Fey or Amy Poehler?" (Both.)
Most Clinton critics would hone in on the usual soften-up-the-marriage questions. "When was the last time you and Bill had some quality time?" "What was the last present he gave you?...Your last present to him?" "What does he do around the house that drives you crazy?" You want to pen in answers like, "He also answers 'both' to Tina Fey or Amy Poehler." But the biggest pandering line came when she cited women's magazines as the solution to tough gas economics:
I want my MTV! Somewhere a soldier or sailor in Iraq or Afghanistan is probably thinking that today. According to the AP, on May 14, the Department of Defense blocked “worldwide” the US troops who use its networks and computers from accessing 12 popular websites that include, YouTube, MTV, MySpace, Blackplanet and Photobucket. The Defense Deparmene which the DoD said“take up a large amount of bandwidth, and others that can open up department computers to hackers and viruses.” (emphasis mine throughout)
US Forces Korea Commander (USFK) Gen. B.B. Bell explained in a memo sent out Friday that the new policy will not impact the military's ability to send and receive email, but the “Department of Defense has a growing concern regarding our unclassified DoD Internet, known as the NIPRNET. The Commander of DoD's Joint Task Force, Global Network Operations has noted a significant increase in the use of DoD network resources tied up by individuals visiting certain recreational Internet sites.”
People magazine, another publicity engine of the Time Warner empire, gives a box to Al Gore (page 35, I believe) to explain "How I'm Saving The Planet." People asked: "His film 'An Inconvenient Truth' warns about global warming. So what is Gore doing about it?"
Here are Gore's answers for the publicity box:
"1. I turn off lights in my house [to conserve energy]. We're getting sensor switches that automatically turn them off when the room is empty.
2. We got a hybrid car recently.
3. We try to live a carbon neutral life. On climatecrisis.org, you'll find a calculator which can add up the carbon dioxide you produce and give you options for neutralizing that.
4. This movie saves carbon dioxide because I don't have to fly and drive places to get my message across."