There are millions of Web sites floating around the Internet on any given day, so finding five ones to label as the "worst" in the world is risible on its face. And if you did, wouldn't you think that NAMBLA, the Westboro Baptist Church, the KKK, pedophile sites and the like would constitute the absolute worst? I mean, MySpace is annoying, but it's not as bad as jihadist Web sites by any stretch.
But aside from the inanity of the undertaking, what caught my eye with Time magazine's "Five Worst Websites" list was eHarmony.com's inclusion.
"Our main beef with this online dating site is its power to cause utter despair," lament the writers at Time.
Monday’s Early Show on CBS picked up on Time magazine’s promotional cover story "How The Democrats Got Religion." Reporter Jeff Glor used two guides to explore how the Democrats would "level the praying field," but didn’t exactly tell viewers that these guides were involved in the drive to help the Democrats. The first expert was Time magazine’s Amy Sullivan, who wrote a "God Gap" essay for the magazine. CBS didn’t explain she was an aide to then-Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and during her stint with the liberal magazine The Washington Monthly, she advised the Democrats on how to "get religion" in the last presidential election cycle, to no avail.
The other expert was so-called "conservative evangelical" Rev. Joel Hunter, a man eager enough to help the Democrats that he was selected by the people at the left-wing magazine Sojourners to ask Hillary Clinton a question at the CNN/Sojourners Democrat debate (clips of that event were sprinkled throughout the CBS story.) He asked Hillary Clinton a seemingly pro-life question that enabled her to proclaim that she's always been for abortion being very rare. Rev. Hunter’s also written a book titled Right Wing, Wrong Bird: Why The Tactics of the Religious Right Won't Work with Most Conservative Christians.
Newsweek writer Jerry Adler penned an environmental-extremist quote for the ages in the last issue of 1990, writing "It's a morbid observation, but if everyone on earth just stopped breathing for an hour, the greenhouse effect would no longer be a problem." More than 16 years later, Adler’s on the morbid anti-human bandwagon again in this week’s Newsweek with an entire page-long article reporting "If humans were evacuated, the Earth would flourish." The hatred for man’s apparent ruination of the Earth comes right through in his coldly casual discussion of the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement:
Environmentalists have their own eschatology—a vision of a world not consumed by holy fire but returned to ecological balance by the removal of the most disruptive species in history. That, of course, would be us, the 6 billion furiously metabolizing and reproducing human beings polluting its surface.
Imagine the firestorm of reaction from the MSM political pundit class if Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani had been caught on video secretly scheming to rid the Republican debates of the lower tier candidates. This would only be a prelude to the outrage that would have been expressed by the MSM if it turned out that one attempted to shift the blame on the other and the other candidate made up the lame excuse that he was really talking about breaking down the debates into smaller groups but still favored keeping all the participants. This is exactly what is happening now with Hillary Clinton attempting to shift the blame to Edwards and Edwards not very convincingly pretending he really meant to break the debates down into smaller units.
Although there has as yet been little reaction from the MSM over this incident caught on video, even the leftwing blogosphere is now reacting to the debate limit scheme in a big way. An example of this reaction can be seen in the Daily Kos where even many hardcore leftists are having a hard time swallowing the tortured but laughable explanations by Hillary and Edwards:
The MSM has been mostly silent on the scheming caught on video between Hillary Clinton and John Edwards as they plotted to purge the "lower tier" candidates from the Democrat debates. However, we now have Time Magazine's Washington Bureau Chief, Jay Carney, weighing in on the issue and he has come down firmly on the side of ridding the "lesser" candidates from the debates. In his July 13 Time blog post, Carney asks, "Are Crowded Debates Useless?" As you can see, Carney answers his own question in the affirmative:
You have to wonder what the heck is the deal with this photo Time Magazine published accompanying a Joe Klein screed?
They have cut off the heads of President Bush and the troops he was posing with, quite a disrespectful "artistic" choice, wouldn't you say? Even if they don't respect the president, to treat our troops in such a way is obscene.
But, who imagines that they respect the troops in the first place?
Time magazine has a lengthy piece on Democrats and religion called, "How the Democrats Got Religion." (HT: Drudge) (Btw, the original title on the web yesterday was "Leveling the Praying Field.") It focuses on efforts by Democrats (most notably, Sens. Obama, Clinton, and Edwards) to attract voters who are religious. There is certainly an attempt at balance in the article, but the folks at the DNC must be pretty happy. The article, penned by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy, claims, "The Democrats are so fired up, you could call them the new Moral Majority."
"The new Moral Majority"? Yikes. The article devotes substantial space to showing how Democrats are trying to muster up a majority to win elections, but what about the "moral" part? Gibbs and Duffy neglect a number of important issues and episodes regarding Democrats and religion. Witness:
1.John Edwards and anti-Catholicism:
How on earth do you compose a piece thousands of words long on Democrats and religion without mentioning John Edwards' gross episode with anti-Catholic bigotry earlier this year? (See this and this.)
As a follow-up to my previous post, I thought I'd take a look at the inane headlines for coverage of the 5-4 ruling today that restricts school districts from using race to manage school populations. Time and the Los Angeles Times are real howlers:
There is yet another example of the mythology of Michael Moore growing with the complicity of the media. Time's article by S. James Snyder, “Michael Moore: 'I'm Mainstream Now' ” read like another example of an incurious journalist who bought into Moore's PR and joined in with some covert activism. For the past month or so, finding bias in an article about Michael Moore has been about as easy as it is to find "creative editing" in Moore's films, and this article was no exception.
The most significant untruth in this article was Moore's carefully vague and misleading claim that he didn't intend to go to Cuba “in the first place,” and only after being turned away from his real destination, the Guantanamo Bay detention center, by that heartless US military, did he go to communist Cuba (bold mine throughout):
Earlier today, NewsBusters contributor Pam Meister picked up on the MSNBC investigation into journalists' political contributions. Nearly 87 percent of the journalists gave exclusively to Democratic candidates.
Now some journos are reacting, and it seems the ones at Time magazine don't see the big deal.
I haven't myself made any political donations since I've been with
Time, as far as I remember, owing mostly to being a cheap bastard.
(Time's policy allows political donations, although according to
MSNBC's list, only one staffer has taken advantage of that, so I'm
guessing most of my co-workers are as tightfisted as I am.) Scratch
that: I did attend a fundraiser for John Kerry in 2004, which I believe
Mrs. Tuned In paid for, that consisted of a $20-a-ticket concert in a
friend's backyard by children's folk-rock musician Dan Zanes. There is
probably no more yuppie-Brooklyn phenomenon than a Toddlers Against
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announcing he’s leaving the Republican Party is a little like Madonna announcing she’s leaving the Catholic Church. Was he ever really a paragon of the GOP? Speculation abounds that he’s running for president on the Ross Perot egotistical-billionaire plan, with press reports citing his intention to spend a cool $1 billion of his personal fortune. That will surely create a headwind, but a big part of the wind beneath his wings will be the support he hopes to generate from the national media.
And it’s happening already. Bloomberg’s third-party spoiler ambitions were heavily promoted by two news magazines – a big promotional cover story in Time with fellow RINO Arnold Schwarzenegger titled "The New Action Heroes," and a two-page editorial by U.S. News & World Report owner Mort Zuckerman titled "What to Like About Mike."
This is not to say these magazines believe what America really needs is a successful media magnate in the White House. If they did, they would have done the same publicity favors for Steve Forbes.
The funny thing about "news" magazine blogs is that there's not much difference in editorializing quotient between the magazine and the blog posts. "Anonymous" Joe Klein is a Time columnist, officially, but he has all the partisan tics that the other MSM political gurus have. In looking at the latest Hillary polls showing her solid support among downscale women, Klein argued on Time's Swampland blog:
I suspect that Hillary's showing among women has the most significance. Something has happened here. You see it on the campaign trail. A lot of previously skeptical women have decided that Clinton's Methodist rectitude is needed to clean up the mess the frat boy made in Washington.
It's always entertaining to hear Klein -- who lied his face off for many best-selling weeks about authoring his millionaire-minting Clinton roman a clef Primary Colors, even to his Newsweek bosses -- pronounce on rectitude.
Time TV critic James Poniewozik took great delight in two federal judges in Manhattan suggesting that the FCC can’t fine Fox for airing the F-word because some clever media person captured President Bush muttering the S-word to Tony Blair. As Brent Bozell argued, there’s a difference between profanities uttered by airhead celebrities on national TV and profanities overheard and put on the air by media people who want to embarrass Bush with his base. But Time magazine's F-bomb advocate thinks it’s time the man they call "President Pottymouth" surrendered on the decency issue:
Of course, the President and his party may try to exploit the inevitable outrage from this defeat. But actually there's another way for them to make chicken salad out of something you are now allowed to say in prime time. They could call off the decency crusade. They could say it's a good thing to protest idiotic crudity -- on the radio, on TV or on the Senate floor -- but to legislate against it is another matter. They could embrace the civil libertarians to whom they inadvertently handed a big win. What do you have to lose, Mr. President? In recent years, you have disappointed your anti-illegal-immigration base, your fiscal-conservative base and now your family-values base. But to free-speechers, after this court ruling, you are the f___ing man.
Time magazine's "Swampland" blog last week gave former Rep. Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Tex.) a platform as guest blogger and left-wing readers quickly pounced with all the juvenile invective they could muster. One commenter to Armey's valedictory post wished that Armey would eat sh*t and die, albeit saying so with more flowery language: "May you engage in coprophagy, then shuffle off this mortal coil."
Perhaps seeking to establish balance in the guest roster, this week "Swampland" invited John Edwards staffer David "Mudcat" Saunders into the electronic quagmire. Saunders is most notable for his role in guiding Mark Warner (D-Va.) to victory in the Old Dominion governor's race in 2001.
But the reception for Saunders is hardly any warmer than that of Armey, even though Saunders is far to the left of the former congressman's laissez faire economic preferences that were much-maligned by Joe Klein and company last week.
Although Saunders is an advocate of class warfare, the radically left-wing readers of "Swampland" aren't buying Saunders as a true liberal. In fact, crude and unfair stereotypes of Saunders and other white Southerners are frequently cropping up in the comments fields for today's posts:
When covering religion, the news media has a tendency to grant the Roman Catholic Church the lion’s share of religion coverage – in part due to its size, and in part due to its centralized authority in Rome. Protestant denominations, even the evangelical Protestant mega-pastors, are covered less each year. Unfortunately, that centralized authority also leads to media caricatures of tyranny (remember New York Times editor nastily Bill Keller comparing the Vatican to the Kremlin, the Polish Pope to the Soviet autocrats?)
Time’s David Van Biema and Katherine Mayer crack a little too wise in this week’s story on Anglicanism (their cover story in the Europe and the South Pacific editions), noting not only "Roman-style lockstep," but a "useful Catholic authoritarianism." This has a very obvious whiff of politics, comparing Pope Benedict to a tinhorn dictator like a Francisco Franco or a Juan Peron. The pontiff is not a dictator, and no one is forced to join a Catholic church or forced to obey its moral dogmas.
Much to his chagrin, Time’s Joe Klein has become a Democrat that liberal bloggers love to hate, thereby making him the Joe Lieberman of journalism.
Of course, rightwing bloggers don’t care for him much either, conceivably making Klein more like Rodney Dangerfield.
Fortunately for our entertainment pleasure, since Klein isn’t a politician – actually, his frequent disabuses of fact lead one to believe he’s more of a comedian! – he doesn’t feel the need to take the attacks lying down.
Maybe more fortunate for us on the right is how Klein seems to be more offended by what those in his own Party are saying about him, making this whole thing that much more delicious.
With that in mind, Klein published a piece Wednesday that is guaranteed to put smiles on the faces of right-thinking Americans across the fruited plain (emphasis added throughout):
In an interesting slam against the Left-Wing Blogosphere, one time Clinton man, now Time Magazine writer, Joe Klein, hits 'em hard. Left-Wing Bloggers are vile. Left-Wing Bloggers are mean. Left-Wing Bloggers are disloyal. Left-Wing Bloggers jump to wild, unsupported conclusions... So says Klein in a June 6th piece titled "Beware the Bloggers' Bile." But, don't get your hopes up because, while everything he says about the nut-roots is dead on, it all ends up being Bush's and Radio icon Rush Limbaugh's fault, instead of the left's fault -- it's not as if the left could ever imagine anything is ever their fault, I suppose.
Still, for most of the piece, Klein slams his nut-roots followers in just about every which way you can imagine but calling them ugly and having bad B.O. and it's fun to read.
The article, published June 5, 2007, suggests that American efforts at supporting dissidents within Iran make the U.S. morally culpable for their harsh treatment:
...sources tell TIME that several key Iranian reformers had repeatedly warned U.S. officials through back channels that the pro-democracy program was bound to expose them as vulnerable targets for a government crackdown whether they took Washington's funds or not.
Iranian civil rights activists contacted by TIME say that the cases against the Iranian
It's been eight weeks since Time magazine redesigned itself, and part of that refurbishment is handing over the "Ten Questions" interview inquiries to the readers instead of Time's reporters. In the June 11 edition, Time's interviewee was Rep. Tom Tancredo, a presidential contender and one of the nation's leading opponents of illegal immigration. Among the questions Time selected for Tancredo was a whopper from Ubaldo Padilla of Oroville, California: "Why do you hate Mexicans?" It wasn't the only snotty question Time picked. There was also James Smith of Phoenix, who asked: "I recently found out my family came from Holland without permission in the 1600s. Should we be sent back?"
Since Time Managing Editor Richard Stengel introduced the new format in the March 26 edition, there haven't been any Democrats interviewed. But in the March 12 edition, Time's Massimo Calabresi had ten (mostly softball) questions for Ted Kennedy, one of the nation's leading advocates of an amnesty for illegal immigrants. No one at Time asked him about immigration and why he supposedly hated Americans. Instead, Calabresi's list of questions included these soft touches:
Update (15:40 EDT): Ana Marie Cox helpfully corrects/excuses Klein's error re: Kucinich.
Well, that didn't take long. Just a few hours after former Rep. Dick Armey's (R-Tex.) first guest blog post to Time's "Swampland," liberal journalist and author Joe Klein slammed Armey for "red-baiting" the audience on the Democrats' stances on issues like health care.
Socialized medicine is a right-wing scare trope. None of the Democrats
is proposing that. None of them is even proposing a "single-payer"
plan, like Canada, where the government collects the premiums and
people get to choose private providers. And now that we're at a point
where much of corporate America is hoping for some relief from the
burden of providing health insurance, ain't this kind of red-baiting
getting a little old?
But Klein is dead wrong. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) is precisely pushing a single-payer universal coverage plan that the liberal Center for American Progress labels as "Medicare for All."
From Kucinich.us, the Ohio Democrat's campaign Web site (PDF file):
I've documented on NewsBusters numerous occasions where Time magazine's political news-oriented "Swampland" blog has skewed to the left, including when the blog allowed veteran liberal columnist/pundit Michael Kinsley to guest blog at the site in March.
In his first post, Armey tells readers that his primary concern is battling the growth of government under the watch of both Democrats and Republicans:
For those who read this column, you probably most know me as a an
architect of the Contract with America, House Majority Leader from
1994-2003, and more recently as Chairman grassroots powerhouse
In all of these endeavors I have been guided by my
highest political value: freedom. This is a good place for me to start.
While tyrannies work only for those at the top, the American tradition
demonstrates that all people are better off when their political and
economic freedoms are protected. Government can only expand its scope
of power and authority at the expense of the citizen. Barry Goldwater
and Ronald Reagan knew this.
Is Time’s presidential coverage biased? Check out these headlines from the new edition today: "Barack Obama’s Inconvenient Truths" and "Mitt Romney’s Disappointing Campaign." When you read the actual articles, the contrast is even starker. Reporter Karen Tumulty touted Obama: "Whereas other candidates like to throw red meat before their audiences, Obama is developing a penchant for hurling cold water at them." Columnist Joe Klein blistered Romney: "the brazen cynicism of his candidacy became almost embarrassing...there isn't the slightest hint of courage or conviction in his stump act."
Valerie Plame Wilson claims her life was ruined, her career ended, and national security possibly compromised because her CIA employ was made public, but of course she now wants to cash in with a memoir.
The CIA, for good reason, wants to make sure nothing that compromises national security gets published, and now Plame is literally making a federal case out of that, suing over CIA objections that her dates of employ are and should remain classified.
Al Gore’s new book "The Assault on Reason" has definitively established one fact: Al Gore is still the sorest loser in American politics. Even liberal book reviewers are wincing at the tone of his jeremiad against the Bush administration. The book should have been titled "They Should Have Elected Me Instead: How Much Better America Would Fare With President Gore."
Like many liberals with the itch to micromanage our lives, Gore clearly believes the American people are ignorant to the point of endangerment. So he’s become a media scholar, and unloaded his communications theories in a book excerpt hyped by his friends at Time magazine.
In Monday's Washington Post, media reporter Howard Kurtz relayed that Time columnist Joe Klein may have succumbed big time to the stickiest temptation of a national political writer – advising the liberal standard-bearer on how he should win the presidency. (When he doesn't, deny you were ever an adviser, even unofficially.) Klein, renowned back in 1992 as a Clinton toady, reportedly had Kerry eating out of his hand, playing the guru to Kerry at his own abode:
Were some pundits advising John Kerry's presidential campaign while critiquing it for the public? In his new memoir "No Excuses," veteran Democratic consultant Robert Shrum says Time columnist Joe Klein doubled as a "sometime adviser," and that the Massachusetts senator "craved his approval."
In a surprise in their Sunday Week in Review section, The New York Times assigned a correspondent to question leftist filmmaker Michael Moore’s math about Cuba having a better health care system than the United States: "How could a poor developing country — where annual health care spending averages just $230 a person compared with $6,096 in the United States — come anywhere near matching the richest country in the world?" Correspondent Anthony DePalma found experts who granted points to Cuba’s "universal" health care, but also pointed to the communist dictatorship’s high rates of abortion and emigration, and ironically, its shortages – poor transportation and a restricted food supply – as reasons why Cuban life expectancy may be high.
The DePalma piece was highlighted on the Times home page Sunday, complete with a picture of people sitting in a clinic under a painting of Che Guevara. DePalma noted that Moore’s new film "Sicko" gets poetic about the wonders of Cuban health care: It "savages the American health care system — and along the way extols Cuba’s system as the neatest thing since the white linen guayabera [shirt]." He began his analysis by quoting Moore promoting Cuba in Time:
Just how leftist is Michael Moore on health care as he promoted his new "Sicko" documentary? Time found out:
TIME: Of the declared presidential candidates, down to the Dennis Kucinich level, say, who do you think has the best health-care plan? Including Kucinich? We could include him.
Michael Moore: Then Kucinich, but he doesn’t go far enough. He supports what he’s calling a single- payer nonprofit plan, but from my read, it would still allow [private] entities to control things, as opposed to the government. What’s wrong with the government? The right wing and the G.O.P. have done a wonderful job brainwashing people that government doesn’t work, and then, as Al Franken says, they get elected and proceed to prove the point. [Laughs.]
In an article honoring Dallas as "The Lavender Heart of Texas," Time writer John Cloud began with an unusually personal story of his political transformation, "trading movement conservatism for gay libertarianism." When you consider how he stereotypes conservatism as all about J.R. Ewing and an "air of profligacy," you could understand why it was easy to leave:
When I was a kid in Arkansas in the 1980s, we viewed Dallas with something approaching reverence. Mine was a fairly conservative family, aspirational. We passionately golfed and occasionally visited Neiman Marcus, the Dallas clothier that taught the South how to wear Versace and an air of profligacy. I wanted to drive a Mercedes and order bourbon and branch the way J.R. Ewing did. I wanted to go out with a Cowboys cheerleader with marcelled blond hair. The summer I was 13, Ronald Reagan was renominated in Dallas, and I signed up to be a young volunteer.
All three news magazines devoted a page to remembering Jerry Falwell this week, but Time and Newsweek were each obnoxious in their own way. Time ended their article with a dismissive quote from leftist Jim Wallis: "the Evangelicals have left the Right. They now reside with Jesus." Newsweek displayed false generosity in saying sometimes he was a demagogue, and sometimes he was the ringmaster of a circus: "He could be a demagogue, but he was as much a P.T. Barnum as anything else."
Time magazine, in a back-page article titled "Jerry's Kids" -- which could be an insulting reference to Falwell followers, but is probably intended to bless his more palatable, "more moderate" successors -- Michael Duffy and Nancy Gibbs suggested that Falwell thought party labels were more important than the social issues: