Secular leftists in the media don't often have use for religion, particularly Christianity, except, it seems, when biblical passages can be isolated out of context to bash religious conservatives over the head as wicked for opposing big government or for standing up for traditional moral values.
Enter Joe Klein, Christian theologian extraordinaire, who suggested in Time.com Swampland blog post yesterday that Jesus would make Fox News host Glenn Beck sweat it out a bit at the pearly gates:
If Jesus were around today, he might say that it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a telecharlatan to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
In a follow-up blog post from today, Klein thanked a commenter for passing along a passage from the gospel according to St. Matthew wherein Jesus taught that "when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men."
"The noisy proclamation of religiosity is usually a sign of the exact opposite," Klein preached regarding the August 28 Beck rally.
Chris Matthews this weekend actually invited a real conservative on to the syndicated program bearing his name, and what transpired was a thing of beauty.
National Review's Reihan Salam did such a fabulous job of educating Matthews and his guests - especially Time's Joe Klein - that I imagine him quickly becoming a NewsBusters favorite.
The initial topic of discussion was Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally scheduled to occur after this was taped.
Between Matthews' disrespectful introduction, and Klein calling the conservative talk show host "a paranoid lunatic," one had the feeling this would have devolved into a full on hate-fest if not for Salam's presence.
Fortunately, the National Reviewer was there to set the record straight (videos follow with transcripts and commentary):
The folks at The Onion took on Time magazine Tuesday and did so in a fashion that will put a smile on many conservative faces.
"Readers who grew up loving the magazine's bright, glossy photos, news by the numbers, and simple to understand stories will now be able to graduate to 'Time Advanced,'" reported mock newscaster Damon Werner.
"While kids love Time for its fun articles about litter and new kinds of dinosaurs, managing editor Kerry Larson explains that 'Time Advanced' will look to distinguish itself with carefully researched, long-form journalism in a smaller, adult-sized font," he continued.
NewsBusters readers will especially like the marvelous Joe Klein bashing at the end (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It was inevitable that someone with enough time on their hands would compile a list of the best viral campaign video ads of 2010. There sure have been some doozies this year, so I can't fault Time magazine for including hits like "Demon Sheep" and the Dale Peterson ad in their top 20 list.
That said, of the 15 Republican ads in the list, most were panned by Time staffers. By contrast, two Democrats' ads -- Rep. Tom Perreillo (Va.) and Sen. Pat Leahy (Vt.) primary opponent Dan Freilich -- were panned, yet neither candidate's Democratic affiliation was mentioned in the blurbs about the ads.
Time magazine's Joe Klein yesterday did what he does best: take one paragraph from a neoconservative's column and blow it out of proportion and out of context in order to go on an extended screed bashing conservatives in general and neocons in particular.
Writing for his magazine's Swampland blog yesterday, Klein addressed Bill Kristol's editorial for the August 30 Weekly Standard print edition entitled, "He's No Muslim, He's a Progressive."
Klein started off with a backhanded compliment:
Well, it's good to learn that there are limits to Bill Kristol's tactical skeevery. He clearly states here that Barack Obama is not a Muslim. No winks, no nods, no gratuitous McConnellesque "If he says he's not, that's okay with me."
With that out of the way, Klein dove into his screed:
CNN's T. J. Holmes brought back Time's Bobby Ghosh on Friday's Newsroom for more promotion of his "Islamophobia" cover story, and added two Muslim guests who largely agreed with his thesis that anti-Islamic sentiment was "coming into the mainstream," and how this was apparently a "reason for alarm." Holmes asked softball questions, and no one with an opposing viewpoint appeared during the segment.
The anchor had the three on for a panel discussion at the bottom of the 10 am Eastern hour about Ghosh's "Is America Islamophobic?" article, as well the controversy over the planned mosque near Ground Zero in New York City. Before introducing his guests, Holmes held up two examples of apparent "Islamophobia" in the country and seemed to sympathize with the apparent plight of Muslims in the U.S.:
HOLMES: Two-and-a-half million Muslims live, work and pray in America- not always easy. Case in point: protests in California- check that out- marching against a proposed mosque in their area, holding signs with slogans such as, 'Muslims danced for joy on 9/11'- or how about the planned Islamic center and mosque near New York's Ground Zero? More than 60 percent of Americans are opposed to that center being built. But the scope is bigger than that, according to a Time magazine poll. More than 3 in 10 Americans would say no to a mosque in their neighborhood. Then there are statements like this one from evangelical leader Franklin Graham.
CNN's American Morning and Newsroom programs on Thursday brought on Time magazine's Bobby Ghosh to highlight his "Is America Islamophobic?" article and help promote his accusation that "hate speech" and "bigotry" have "come out into the mainstream" during the course of the debate over the proposed New York City mosque near Ground Zero.
During his American Morning appearance, anchor Kiran Chetry hailed Ghosh's article, which is the cover story of the upcoming August 30th issue of Time, as "a very thoughtful piece." Anchor Ali Velshi, who conducted the second interview of the Time deputy international editor, went further than his colleague: "Okay, you're American- Time magazine is required reading....Bobby Ghosh...wrote the Islamophobia piece that I think everybody is going to have to read because if you are in this country, it's part of the dialogue that we are involved in at this point."
But only days earlier, in an August 3 Time.com article about the imam behind the mosque, Ghosh stated that the "last legal hurdle to the proposed Islamic center near the site of the World Trade Center has been removed, but ignorance, bigotry and politics are more formidable obstacles....Criticism [of the mosque] spans the gamut, from the ill-informed anguish of those who mistakenly view Islam as the malevolent force that brought down the towers to the ill-considered opportunism of right-wing politicians who see Islam as an easy target." So the "thoughtful" Time editor whose latest is "required reading" even had the gall to criticize the families and the friends of those who died on 9/11, or who are generally emotionally-touched by the carnage of the attack.
In a Swampland blog post this morning entitled, "Something I Didn't Know," Time magazine's Joe Klein pointed to a New York Times article that noted the existence of two mosques "already within several blocks of the proposed [Islamic] center."
But while other folks might draw the conclusion that building an additional mosque just blocks from Ground Zero is a needless exercise in dividing New Yorkers over a highly sensitive matter, Klein ran in the exact opposite direction, suggesting that logical consistency would compel mosque opponent Newt Gingrich to want to "close those suckers down"?
"[T]his is further evidence of the true nature of this squabble: a particularly sleazy form of Nativist electoral politics," Klein insisted. [click here for a related post by Brent Baker]
Opposition to building a mosque near Ground Zero really sent Time's Joe Klein into a tirade. In a Monday night post on the magazine's “Swampland” blog, Klein began: “Shame on all those Republicans salivating over President Obama's support for the Cordoba Islamic Center...”
Then he got personal, condemning “slimeball politics” has he slimed Newt Gingrich: “This is slimeball politics, pure and simple, except for when it descends into outright religious bigotry – which seems to be what happens every time Newt Gingrich opens his mouth.” Klein disparaged Gingrich as a “demented, anger-infused doofus” – all before proving, as if that weren't already established, he didn't care about offering any reason as he simply trashed Gingrich as “a jerk.”
And liberals say talk radio and the Fox News Channel are lowering the level of political discourse.
Michael Scherer of Time tried to explain the concept of "Why Barack Obama Doesn't Like to Chit-Chat with the Press Corps" -- despite their obvious affection for him. The president's first Ground Zero Mosque comments were "perfectly scripted," he wrote, and perfectly timed, on a Friday night at a Muslim dinner celebrating Ramadan. Scherer doesn't get that the venue could be controversial, considering Obama's allergies to traditional Christian prayer breakfasts. But this "perfect" scenario was ruined by the White House press pool (specifically, CNN's Ed Henry):
A reporter asked a stray question, and Obama blew all the careful planning of his staff. He varied from his initial remarks, creating a new narrative for a story the White House does not want to linger. Was he adding an asterisk to his remarks, as the Washington Post put it? Was it a recalibration, as the New York Times put it? In short, this is a communications disaster. The White House had to release a statement clarifying the new statement, or restatement, or whatever.
The president's opponents, who had been pushing the mosque issue for weeks as a way to get Democrats on the wrong side of the polls in an election year, came out celebrating. Liz Cheney, who can diminish just about any nuanced thought into a barbed cable news talking point, emailed Politico's Mike Allen from her iPhone. "I guess President Obama was for the mosque before he was against it. You can quote me," went the message.
The August 16 Weekly Standard highlighted a striking change in views from Time’s Joe Klein, whose take seems to have changed to fit what’s fashionable. On August 2, in a “Swampland” blog post looking at President Obama’s speech touting the end of combat operations in Iraq, Klein fretted it “will not be remembered as vividly as George Bush's juvenile march across the deck of an aircraft carrier, costumed as a combat aviator in a golden sunset, to announce—six years and tens of thousands of lives prematurely—the ‘end of combat operations.’”
But back when Bush’s USS Lincoln landing occurred, Klein was more enthralled with it, asserting on the May 4, 2003 Face the Nation: “Well, that was probably the coolest presidential image since Bill Pullman played the jet fighter pilot in the movie Independence Day.” (Video, from the MRC’s archive, is of the matching exchange between Bob Schieffer and Klein. Audio: MP3 clip.) The Weekly Standard’s “Scrapbook” page observed:
As Peter Wehner noted at the Commentary magazine blog Contentions, “Such bipolar shifts of opinion in a high-ranking public official would be alarming and dangerous; in a columnist and blogger, they are comical and discrediting.”
Even in that 2003 CBS appearance, however, Klein wasn’t happy about Bush’s successful PR maneuver, regretting how it illustrated the “major struggle the Democrats are going to have to try and beat a popular incumbent President.”
That excuse may not have gotten you out of hot water with your parents, but it seems to hold some sway with Time magazine, at least when it comes to ethically-challenged former House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.).
Staffer Michael Scherer apparently drew the short straw for the August 13 assignment, in which he focused on just one of the numerous allegations of impropriety against Rangel: that he misused his congressional office to solicit contributions to the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service.
Khadr was captured on a battlefield in Afghanistan in 2002, when he was just 15 years old. He's charged with the murder of a U.S. soldier, a crime he's already confessed to, although he now claims his confession was coerced.
Although 15-year-olds in the United States are frequently tried as adults for murder and although Khadr is in 23 years old now, McGirk presented the case as the potential first conviction of a "child" for war crimes since World War II. What's more, McGirk presented the case as a potential travesty of justice in an ill-conceived war on terror, a term he dismissively used in quote marks:
Univision anchor Jorge Ramos has been treated as a major pundit on TV roundtable shows (and even mocked as an “Obama stalker” and CNN debate questioner on Saturday Night Live during the primaries in 2008). Ramos sees zero distinction between journalist and liberal advocate, which comes across in Time’s 10 Questions interview in the August 9 issue. He scribbled in “immigration reform now!!!” under his picture for the magazine and tried to argue the Declaration of Independence also includes inalienable rights for illegal aliens:
As a Mexican-born, naturalized U.S. citizen, what is your take on the immigration debate? -- Ndukwe Kalu, Los Angeles
The Declaration of Independence says that all men are created equal, but right now millions of men and women in Arizona and in other parts of the U.S. are not being treated as equals, and I can't believe that. Countries are judged by the way they treat the most vulnerable, and the most vulnerable population in the U.S. right now is undocumented immigrants.
Time's questioner wasn't thinking about Ramos telling reporters that on some rare occasions he's been "torn between being a journalist and being a Mexican." Time didn’t find anyone to ask how the “most vulnerable” are treated by countries like Mexico, whose immigration policies are much harsher. Time found no one to ask if he thinks fairness and balance should completely bow to Latino-left advocacy.
Time magazine's Joe Klein has a penchant for self-righteous bluster in his writing, particularly, it seems, when he's smacking around adherents of his Jewish faith who happen to disagree with him politically. Klein can't seem to let his wrath take a respite, as witnessed by a sabbath-day posting on Time's Swampland blog.
Klein lit into Abraham Foxman of the ADL in a Saturday morning blog post for his opposition to a planned Islamic center just blocks from Ground Zero in lower Manhattan (emphases mine):
Time magazine reported Thursday that Rush Limbaugh might have been right about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico not being the environmental disaster that everyone warned.
In an article surprisingly titled, "The BP Spill: Has the Damage Been Exaggerated?", author Michael Grunwald first insulted the conservative talk radio host:
The obnoxious anti-environmentalist Rush Limbaugh has been a rare voice arguing that the spill - he calls it "the leak" - is anything less than an ecological calamity, scoffing at the avalanche of end-is-nigh eco-hype.
Yet, in the very next paragraph, Grunwald shockingly changed his tune:
Time magazine's Michael Scherer, who has been revealed by the Daily Caller as expressing a deep dislike of Fox News, has the power to really annoy them.
"Ailes understands," Scherer said in an email on the much-maligned JournoList, "that his job is to build a tribal identity, not a news organization. You can't hurt Fox by saying it gets it wrong . . ." Though Scherer clearly has a bone to pick with the channel, he and Time have vehemently denied claims that he would silence Fox News.
Ironically, according to Politics Daily's Matt Lewis, Scherer "may actually be in a position to hurt Fox" by denying the cable network the front-row seat in the White House briefing room left vacant by Helen Thomas. Scherer sits on the Board of Directors of the White House Correspondents' Association, which controls access to White House press conferences.
In the "secret" underworld of Republican fundraising, Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie use "cloaked" donor lists to "dig up dirt" on Democrats and funnel campaign contributions to Republican candidates. At least that's the impression left by Politico's Jim VandeHei.
On the July 21 "Morning Joe," Time magazine's Mark Halperin challenged VandeHei's characterization of American Crossroads GPS, a Republican political organization that finances issue ads designed to promote conservative positions on policy issues.
"With all due respect to Jim and the folks at Politico, you know, they make this these shadowy donors, this shadowy group, I mean, these are citizens who, under the law, are able to give anonymously to a group like this and to fund political activity to help them win races," complained Halperin.
Time magazine's Tim Padgett, who claims to be a Catholic, used the rose-colored glasses of his leftism to mercilessly bash his own church in an article on Monday where he compared Catholic bishops to "white Southern preachers [who] weren't ashamed to degrade African-Americans," labeled the Church "misogynous," and accused the institution of an "increasingly spiteful bigotry" against homosexuals.
Padgett, who wrote back in January 2009 that the communist Cuban revolution "deserves its due," launched a full-bore attack on the Church in the Time.com article, "The Vatican and Women: Casting the First Stone." Padgett wasted little time in unleashing his rage against the Church, labeling a recent Vatican document, which listed "grave crimes" according to canon law, "Rome's misogynous declaration," since, in his view, was an "avowal, as obtuse as it was malicious, that ordaining women into the priesthood was a sin on par with pedophilia."
The document in question, which revised the Catholic Church's concerning "exceptionally serious" crimes against faith and morals, does no such thing. Philip Pullella of Reuters reported on July 16 that "Monsignor Charles Scicluna, an official in the Vatican's doctrinal department, said there was no attempt to make women's ordination and pedophilia comparable crimes under canon...law....While sexual abuse was a 'crime against morality,' the attempt to ordain a woman was a 'crime against a sacrament,' he said, referring to Holy Orders (the priesthood)."
The Time writer used his mistaken premise to further attack the Church's hierarchy:
Still, the egg story included a survey of egg prices in a random city - Athens, Georgia - and predictably, the survey discovered factory eggs were only $1.69 a dozen whereas organic eggs ranged from $3.99 to $5.38 a dozen.
There's something very tortuous about watching some of the talking heads assembled on NBC's "The Chris Matthews Show," especially when they try to dissect former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin like she is some alien life form.
On the July 11 broadcast of his weekend show, Matthews and his panel analyzed Palin's "Mama Grizzlies" ad spot and attempted to determine what Palin's end goal was with the ad. And Time magazine's Joe Klein attributed credit to Palin's charismatic ability.
"The most important thing about Sarah Palin is that she's a great stand-up politician," Klein said. "I mean, when you hear her talk - this is not a woman who has sat in a room with a political consultant telling her how to pronounce words. It's just her voice."
"There's something in the inflection which is provocative," Matthews replied.
"'The modern collective is more about pragmatism than altruism,'" Tuttle wrote. "It's about networking and experiencing new things, it's about saving time, money, and space and it's about consuming less."
While the media have apparently given up -- if they ever seriously attempted -- on holding the Obama administration to account for its handling of the Gulf oil spill cleanup, Republican governors in the Gulf are a different story, particularly Louisiana's Bobby Jindal, a potential 2012 presidential hopeful.
In a short post at Time.com entitled "Battlefield General: Is Bobby Jindal Making Sense?", writer Alex Altman cast doubt on Jindal's handling of the oil spill cleanup while suggesting the conservative governor is hypocritical for his complaints about Obama's handling of the disaster at the federal level:
Covering the development, Time magazine's Adam Sorensen cast the appointment of Dr. Donald Berwick (pictured at right) as a blow to "hyperbolic" Republicans who hoped to make political hay out of the Harvard professor's confirmation hearings, yet Sorensen failed to carry any criticism of the Obama administration for the "unusual" maneuver or to examine how the move might bode poorly for Democrats given the public's concerns over the impact of ObamaCare on the health-care system.
Meanwhile, in Chicago, the source of the lawsuit decided today by the Supreme Court, ten people were killed by guns after 54 people were shot over the weekend. The victims included a baby girl, who suffered a neck graze wound at a midnight barbecue, early Monday morning.
Something tells me Scherer's observation isn't that the Chicago gun ban has been a horrendous failure, especially given his attribution of violence in the brief blog post on the guns themselves -- "ten people were killed by guns" -- not the criminals who used them.
That Donny Deutsch and Harold Ford, Jr. would jump to defend a Democrat who made a hideously impolitic remark, whereas they would have skewered a Republican saying the same thing, is altogether predictable. What's remarkable is that Mark Halperin called them out on it.
It happened on Morning Joe today in the context of Dem PA Rep. Paul Kanjorski's comment yesterday that a housing bill he was advocating helped "good, average Americans" and not "minorities" or "defective people." Time editor Halperin was first to comment, and actually launched a pre-emptive strike against the double-standard, observing "this is one of those instances where you'll hear a lot of Republicans say if this were a Republican congressman, the outcry would be a lot greater."
That didn't prevent Ford and Deutsch from whitewashing Kanjorski's comments. Ford dismissed them as "a complete slip of words." Despite admitting he doesn't know Kanjorski, Deutsch somehow divined that "there wasn't the malice behind those words."
No general should criticize his or her commander, and Gen. Stanley McChrystal is no exception. But the mainstream media is primarily concerned with the political fallout of McChrystal's apparent insubordination as revealed by a piece in Rolling Stone. They are not concerned with whether his critiques are accurate, in stark contrast to other military officers' critiques of war policy under the Bush administration.
During Bush's tenure, active duty generals that spoke out against administration policy were portrayed as courageous whistleblowers. Retired generals were treated as ever-wise sages of military policy. None were scrutinized as McChrystal, pictured right, has been in the hours since Rolling Stone released its article.
The most prominent active duty general to earn the media's affection was Gen. Eric Shinseki, current Secretary of Veterans Affairs (to the media's delight). He insisted in 2003 that, contrary to Defense Department policy as iterated by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the United States would need to send "hundreds of thousands" of troops to Iraq during the initial invasion. The media ate it up.
Appearing on Charlie Rose's PBS program, Time magazine's Mark Halperin dismissed the GOP responses to President Obama's Oval Office speech as "childish" and "churlish" adding that the GOP "mocked" the President on Tuesday night, instead of seeking common ground with him on new energy legislation.
The Time reporter thinks the present Gulf disaster constitutes a "national crisis," but also posited that another crisis exists -- "not having a national energy policy," as he framed it.
"I think everything they do must go towards trying to solve the generation's-long crisis of a lack of energy policy," Halperin said of the Obama administration. And of course in Halperin's view, "the biggest barrier to that now is there are no Republicans on board."