One obvious advantage Barack Obama will wield over John McCain in the general election is the Celebrity Media, from Oprah and Ellen and Tyra on television to the supermarket weeklies like People and UsWeekly, a celebrity magazine published by Wenner Media (as in ultraliberal Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone fame.) The March 10 issue has an exclusive (softball) interview with Obama, and a photo spread with the headline "HE REALLY IS JUST LIKE US!" The picture captions profess amazement that Obama is a human:
I Pick Up Groceries!
I Play With Babies!
I Love Hot Sauce!
I Pose by the [Christmas] Tree!
I Ride With My Kids! [on amusement park rides]
As the national media profess outrage at the injustice of "Internet whispers" against Obama, consider the balancing force of the celebrity media treating Obama as amazing because he buys fruit at the supermarket.
Before ... Those of us on the Right side of things have a profound disdain for what has become known as Che Chic -- the rampant popularity amongst the ignorant and idiotic portions of society (ours and elsewhere on the globe) of the recently retired Fidel Castro's designated Revolutionary hit man, Che Guevara.
Shirts, hats, and flags bearing the likeness of the Central and South American Communist assassin have adorned the bodies, heads and campaign offices of some of the world's finest mindless.
So it was with joyous exhuberence that I came upon the current issue of Mad Magazine whilst strolling through the grocer's this afternoon.
For the cover art alone (below), it was indeed an absolute must purchase.
Not that Time's in the tank for Obama or nuthin'. Not that its new cover merely depicts Barack with an other-worldly aura, asks the question whether experience matters and answers it largely in the negative.
No, it gets much better. The magazine's editor goes on Morning Joe and cites a study comparing a new nurse with a nurse who has 35 years of experience. And he lets us know that not only did the experienced nurse not perform any better than the rookie, she actually wound up . . . killing the patient faster!
Time editor Rick Stengel [a former Bill Bradley speechwriter] today made his regular Thursday-morning Morning Joe appearance to tout the mag's new cover story. This week's, as you'll see from the screencap, is "How Much Does Experience Matter?", with that ethereal glow surrounding Obama's noggin.
In the course of offering a tribute to William F. Buckley, Jr. on this afternoon's Hardball, Chris Matthews made a surprising revelation: that he came to political consciousness as a WFB conservative.
You'll find the transcript of the Hardball host's remarks below, but I'd encourage you to view the video, here. See if, like me, you're struck by the heartfelt nature of his comments.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: If you want to influence someone, get to him or her in high school. It's my experience that people at that age are the most impressionable, the most searching for guidance, for example, for purposes. It was in high school that I came under the charm and the influence of William F. Buckley, Jr., the dashing, charismatic young conservative who wrote God and Man at Yale, McCarthy and His Enemies, and founded the wistful, precocious, companionable monthly, National Review. As a high schooler, I could tell you which drugstore got National Review first. I went to hear Bill Buckley at a meeting of the Montgomery County Young Republicans. It was from National Review that I gained my early affection and appetite for political philosophy and argument.
The Times, in a report (link requires free registration) by Robert F. Worth and Nada Bakri, actually called the recently slain Hezbollah commander Imad Mugniyah a terrorist:
A top Hezbollah commander long sought by the United States for his role in terrorist attacks that killed hundreds of Americans in the 1980s, died Tuesday night in Damascus, Syria, when a bomb detonated under the vehicle he was in, Syrian officials said.
No one claimed responsibility for killing the commander, Imad Mugniyah, who had been in hiding for many years and was one of the most wanted and elusive terrorists in the world.
But, as James Taranto at Best of the Web noted, the Times's headline ("Bomb in Syria Kills Militant Sought as Terrorist") is nowhere near as clear as the first two paragraphs of the article's text, and a related Times online video by reporter John Kifner is much more blunt in its judgment of Mugniyah (Kifner received a reporting credit but not a byline in the print article).
Jon Meacham is frustrated. After taking over Newsweek in 2006 as editor, he hasn't managed to get it out of its long-term rut as the second-best in the newsmagazine business. He also seems to have developed a severe case of Economist envy:
After about an hour, there seemed to be no more questions for him, so Newsweek editor Jon Meacham turned to his audience—about 100 graduate students at Columbia journalism school—and said he had a question for them: Did anyone in the room read Newsweek or Time? There was a small, awkward rumbling before finally, a man shouted, "No!"
Kudos to the guy for standing up and telling the obvious truth: Newsweek isn't read by anyone short of Grandma and dental office patrons.
Editors at CosmoGirlwould do well to remember that when they point at somebody else, three fingers are pointing back at them.
The popular teen magazinetackled the question "What is Sexy?" in the March 2008 issue, bemoaning the increased amount of sexual imagery being thrown at young girls but failing to acknowledge its own contribution to the problem.
Writer Marina Khidekel pointed out that girls are exposed to sexual imagery at younger ages than ever before, citing the popular Bratz dolls and the fact that "stores such as Limited Too sell lingerie like push-up bras and skimpy low-rise underwear for pre-teens."
Khidekel also rightly lamented that TV shows "with smart female lead characters (like "Gilmore Girls" and "Veronica Mars")are being cancelled, while shows that survive (like "America's Top Model" and "The Hills") focus mainly on girls' appearance and hookups." When girls are bombarded with the message that appearance is the only thing that matters, Khidekel notes, they start to feel that it's their "sexual power - not [their] talent, brains or ambition - that counts most."
Really, it's not sexual power that counts the most? Because that's the opposite message portrayed by the rest of the issue.
Time online editor Ana Marie Cox apparently believes a dated quip by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney should be considered a "macaca moment." During a Florida event on Monday, Romney, joking with a group of young people, quoted a rather lame song by the Baha Men. After asking who had a camera, he blurted, "Who let the dogs out? Who? Who?"
Now, most people would simply smile or appreciate Romney's friendly, if somewhat dorky, sense of humor. Cox, however, at Time's "Swampland" blog, wondered, "Shouldn't it be a 'macaca moment'? I suspect he's not being pilloried for it because the moment [sic] less offensive than it is cringe-inducing..." She also described the candidate's comments, which occurred at a Martin Luther King day event, as "jive talking." (Hat tip to Hot Air, who also remembered that Cox previously went after Romney for not taking proper care of the family dog.) Is Time's online editor simply looking for a scandal, any scandal, to hit Mitt Romney with?
Mark Moring has an interesting read at Christianity Today's Web site. He recalls all the popular movies in 2007 that feature life-affirming responses to unexpected pregnancy in films such as "Knocked Up," "Waitress," "Juno," "Bella," and "August Rush.":
To some, it was a year of war movies and "statement" flicks—including In the Valley of Elah, Lions for Lambs, and Rendition. Meanwhile, David Poland of Movie City News declared 2007 "Oscar's Year of the Man," noting that of the top sixteen contenders for best picture, only three were headlined by women.
But others noticed a different trend: In some ways, 2007 was the Year of Pro-Life Cinema.
After the article "Shock Troops" in The New Republic had been challenged by critics , a documentary filmmaker/blogger by the name of JD Johannes narrowed down the search of the author to Alpha Company, 1-18 Infantry, Second Brigade Combat Team, First Infantry Division on July21.
Three days after that on July 24, the military began a formal investigation, which included taking statements from soldiers in Alpha/1-18IN.
Scott Beauchamp gave his initial statement on July 26, published here for the first time.
A funny thing happened on the way to the wife of America's first black president being coronated: more than twice as many African-Americans voted for "Mr. Uncommitted" as Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) in Tuesday's Michigan primary.
Clearly, the recent racial sparring between the Clintons and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has not helped Hillary in the black community.
Newsweek's "Conventional Wisdom" column is a weekly window into the leftist soul of the editors at the weekly magazine. This week's CW is no different, as it insults the GOP conservative base as "nativist" while boosting Sen. John McCain, disses conservative Fred Thompson, lauds Hillary Clinton's "blood, sweat and tears" win in New Hampshire:
Blood, sweat and tears humanize her enough for N.H. win. But S.C. on 1/26 looks daunting.
In it, an MSNBC executive admitted “Keith runs MSNBC.” Good to know that the basement-dwelling cable net is banking on a conspiracy-addled, orange-tinted Edward R Murrow wannabe for corporate guidance.
Olbermann went from almost fired to pulling the corporate strings in two years, which is impressive for a man with a habit of "trashingpeople publicly, even his employers" (bold mine):
But he seems to be doing well for himself in the office now. [Interviewer Paul] Tullis cites a senior executive at MSNBC, who says, "Keith runs MSNBC. It's been an amazing turnaround, because two years ago they were going to cancel him. Because of his success, he's in charge. Chris Matthews is infuriated by it."
According to CosmoGirl magazine, it means perpetuating the myths that women cannot think for themselves, that they are simply victims, and that women who stay home to raise their children are "playing Russian roulette with their future."
Leslie Bennetts, author of The Feminine Mistake, believes "feminism is suffering from a major image crisis." Her column in the current issue of CosmoGirl tries to rally young women back to the feminist movement.
CosmoGirl, the little sister of the raunchy Cosmopolitan magazine, reportedly reaches 1.35 million readers. Its target audience is 16- to 20-year-old young women.
Bennetts is appalled that many of today's young women prefer the mommy track to the corporate ladder: "Instead of continuing to fight for equality and their own careers, many want to stay home and raise kids. In fact, a 2005 survey of female students at Yale University found that the majority planned to give up their careers and stay home after they had kids."
Nobody would expect a balanced piece from someone who refers to a woman's choice to stay home and focus on her family as a "mistake," but the article should have been better argued. It's full of tired, easily debunked claims.
For example, Bennetts cites Jacquelyn White, a gender psychology professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, who says, "Many girls today don't know there are still barriers for women; for instance, we only make 75 cents to the man's dollar."
Of course, as fellow NewsBuster and Business & Media Institute staff writer Jeff Poor notes, it's highly unprofessional and misleading for media outlets to gin up fears of recession this early (emphasis mine).:
Time magazine has named liberal icon Al Gore runner-up for 2007's Person of the Year, second only to the winner, Russian President Vladimir Putin. Richard Stengel, the publication's managing editor, appeared on Wednesday's edition of the "Today" show to announce the decision. Stengel, the man responsible for the final decision, also showed up on Monday's program and toyed with the possibility of choosing Gore, saying he'd be a "superb choice."
[Updated with transcript: December 19, 2007- 10:53 -0500]
Today co-host Meredith Vieira seemed shocked at the decision. Upon hearing the news that Gore had not won Time's prize, she stumbled, "Oh! He wasn't -- oh, interesting." In 2007, Stengel's news magazine repeatedly gushed over Gore. In May, Time writer Eric Pooley lamented the 2000 candidate's decision not to enter the current presidential race and lovingly labeled him a "improbably charismatic, Academy Award–winning, Nobel Prize–nominated environmental prophet."
Last week, I noted here that two of Time's Top 10 Editorial Cartoons of 2007, including it's # 1 pick, took shots at the Vice-President. This morning, two Time editors turned up on the Today show to discuss more picks from Time's collection of 50 Top 10 lists. And speaking of taking shots . . . .
Today weekend anchor Amy Robach's guest was Time's Arts & Entertainment Editor Belinda Luscombe [pictured below]. After discussing the Top Song of the year ["Rehab" by defiant druggy Amy Winehouse] and Top Gadget [iPhone], talk turned to the Top Magazine Cover.
Far too often, the media folds under pressure from Hillary and Bill
Editor's Note: Originally published December 12th, 2007 byHuman Events.
The latest edition of Gentleman's Quarterly -- GQ for short -- has just hit the stands. On its cover is an in your face photograph of former President Bill Clinton, as he "Leads (Their) Men of the Year Issue".
"Bill Clinton - Public Citizen" is the fawning Clinton tosh we have all come to expect. It is thirteen magazine pages with small type and large pictures, and authors George Saunders (in word) and Brigitte Lacombe (on camera) could not be any more in thrall to the man from Hot Springs (not Hope).
In the fall edition of Ms. magazine, author L.S. Kim interviewed former ABC news anchor Carole Simpson to discover that it used to be that the news was presented "not in the public’s interest, but in white men’s interest." If that sounded plausible forty years ago, it certainly does not today. But feminist bloggers thought that Kim's article was "one of the standout articles." Here's how Kim quoted Simpson:
As Carole Simpson, a trailblazing African American woman who was ABC’s former weekend anchor for World News Tonight, explains, the news of old wasn’t delivered by men but solely decided by them. " And they were usually white, middle-aged, and upper-middle-class," says Simpson, currently a faculty member at Emerson College School of Communications. "The news they presented was not in the public interest, but in white men’s interest. News about, for, and by women was relegated to ‘women’s pages’ or ‘women’s shows.’"
Wash, spin, rinse, spin. Phone, spin, report, spin, poll, spin. The similarities between the work of the mainstream media and a laundry machine are striking. Yet there is nothing about the cycle -- the spin-report-poll-spin cycle -- that does for political events what detergent does for your boxers or briefs.
The media, as One, spend days or weeks bashing someone or something they do not like. They then conduct a poll to prove to you that they were right all along. In a campaign season, their one-sided coverage is calculated, then executed to produce a result. It’s not about reporting the events, it’s about changing the prevailing view.
And the polls -- such as the ones by the media, which are not independent surveys like those undertaken by the likes of Rasmussen or Gallup -- aren’t intended as much to gauge the public view of a candidate or events as they are to reinforce that which they have “reported”, or provide the media guidance on how effective their spinning of the news has been.
Nearing the end of 2007 can only mean one thing: it’s time for lists. The Most Inspirational, The Sexiest, and The Most Fascinating. Lists of Fill-In-The-Blank People of the Year are starting to hit airwaves and newsstands.
Glamour magazine is out of the gate with its “Women of the Year” profiles featured in the December issue. It’s not a surprise that not one strong conservative woman is featured. Thankfully however, neither are Senator Hillary Clinton or Rosie O’Donnell. And though both were left off the list the liberal tilt is clearly evident.
Elizabeth Edwards, wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, is lauded as “The Role Model” for her boldness in continuing to live her life in the face of cancer and for her devotion to her family.
But Edwards is not the only wife of a presidential candidate who is facing health issues. Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998 and is also extremely devoted to her family in addition to helping better the lives of at-risk youth. Yet Romney wasn’t chosen as a “Role Model.” Is it because her husband is a Republican candidate?
When thinking of Hillary Clinton, do the adjectives "moderate" and "spontaneous" spring to mind? They do for Joe Klein, assigned by Time magazine to write its cover-story profile of her last week.
Joe Scarborough let Klein's characterization slide this morning. But when Klein played the "spontaneous" card on last night's "Hardball," Chris Matthews devastated him with a clip of Hillary at her wooden worst [second video link, at foot].
Klein offered his assessment during the 8:30 AM ET half-hour of today's "Morning Joe.
Being against the war after she was for it, could it be soon be time for Hillary to be for it again?
The question arises in light of the findings by Charles Franklin [pictured here] at Pollster.com. According to his November 6th Pollster.com analysis, there has been a "remarkable" shift, in a positive direction, in public opinion on the war in Iraq.
Hillary Clinton is a "moral conservative." Don't believe it? Ask Amy Sullivan. The Time editor said so on this evening's "Tucker." Let's permit the dialogue between Tucker Carlson and Sullivan to speak for itself. But come back after the transcript to learn some interesting factoids about Ms. Sullivan's background.
It appears that Editor & Publisher felt the need to get in front of some really bad news in the newspaper business. In fact, the sampling of numbers reported previews a report that will apparently be worse than others I have tracked (previous posts here, here, and here):
According to industry sources speaking to E&P, daily circulation for reporting papers in the six-month FAS-FAX period ending September is down about 2.5% while Sunday is expected to fall 3.5%. Those types of declines -- in the 2% and 3% range -- have been occurring as far back as the March 2005 period.
Sometimes chronicling media bias and hypocrisy is just too easy. You couldn't have asked for better material than what was provided Wednesday by the New York Times which ran a thousand-word-plus article discussing the alleged nepotism of Commentary’s hiring of John Podhoretz to run the magazine. (Hat tip: Ace.)
I’ll grant that this type of character assassination article is typical when it comes to the liberal press’s normal gorillas-in-the-mist view of conservatism. Still, you’d think that the Times might be a little more inclined to avoid such journalism when its prestige and profits have been on a downward spiral ever since publisher Arthur “Pinch” Sulzberger Jr. was handed the reins to the New York Times in 1992 by his father.
The spectacle that is the Clinton marriage continues to raise eyebrows. The London Daily Mail seemed surprised at excerpts of Hillary Rodham Clinton's interview with Essence magazine, now up on their website. She called her marriage an "investment," but didn't use the word "love" to describe it:
On her marriage: “I know the truth of my life and of my marriage, my relationship and partnership, my deep abiding friendship with my husband. It's been enormously supportive to me through most of my life. Now obviously we've had challenges as everybody in the world knows. “But I never doubted that it was a marriage worth investing in even in the midst of those challenges,” she says, “and I'm really happy that I made that decision. Again, not a decision for everybody. And I think it's so important for women to stand up for the right of women to make a decision that is best for them.”
Drudge scooped me (arrgghhh!) with two documents related to the Beauchamp/TNR story. I had asked for in a FOIA request submitted more than a month ago to the U.S. Army. Those documents including a transcript of the call between Scott Beauchamp, TNR editor Franklin Foer, and TNR executive editor Peter Scoblic on September 7. I first wrote about the conversation itself previously.
The other document was the Army's official report, which I first discussed with the investigating officer, Major John Cross, on September 10.
Knowing the documents exist is one thing; having them is quite another. Now that they have been posted on the public record, these disclosures should end careers at The New Republic.