On HBO's Real Time Friday, Bill Maher fought with conservative atheist S.E. Cupp and claimed the news magazines weren't hostile to religion, but were overflowing with religion coverage. His exaggerations were wild, more than just for comic effect:
Are you kidding? Jesus or Mary is on the cover of Newsweek or Time like every other week. If Jesus had an office on Sunset Boulevard, and you walked down the corridor, he'd have his magazine covers on every wall. We did a mockup! There! This is the last few years.
If Maher or his underlings at HBO were really careful about facts about "the last few years," they'd know how far off this is: use the cover search on Time's website for "Jesus" and see how many Jesus covers since the 1900s ended: I count four. That's hardly "every other week."
There's "The Opus Dei Code" (April 24, 2006, not included on Maher's screen, since it might seem less than devout, slinging Da Vinci Code myths), "Secrets of the Nativity" (December 13, 2004), "Why Did Jesus Have to Die?" (April 12, 2004), and "What Jesus Saw" (April 16, 2001).
One of the worst ways that the lack of ideological diversity in America's newsrooms shows forth is in the media's treatment of sensational accusations against the current president.
Oftentimes, explosive allegations against presidents are either untrue or drastically overstated: George W. Bush deliberately lying to get the U.S. to war so he can cash in or deliberately ignoring Hurricaine Katrina due to his hatred of black people (a la Kanye West), Bill Clinton's supposed involvment in the drug trade, truthers, birthers, so on and so forth.
Journalists do the public a service by rebutting absurd conspiracy theories and wacko charges. In recent memory, though, they have taken a much greater zeal toward stamping out allegations against Democrats, particularly President Obama, a stark contrast to the kidglove or even promotional attitude they took toward books by liberal authors alleging all sorts of anti-Bush absurdities.
World Net Daily-affiliated author Aaron Klein recently discovered this when he sent his new book, "The Manchurian President," to members of the media he hoped would review it. He got some very angry responses. Here are some of the more colorful ones:
NEW YORK—The Washington Post Co. is putting Newsweek up for sale in hopes that another owner can figure out how to stem losses at the 77-year-old weekly magazine.
While magazines in general have struggled with steep declines in advertising revenue because of the recession, news magazines such as Newsweek face the added pressures from up-to-the-second online news. Once handy digests of the week's events, they have been assailed by competitors on the Web that pump out a constant stream of news and commentary.
The president is repeating a blatant falsehood about the Arizona law that has gained instant currency in the establishment press and leftist circles. It has no basis in fact, or in the legislation Grand Canyon State Governor Jan Brewer recently signed.
On Wednesday, the Detroit Free Press published the Mike Thompson cartoon seen at the right. It shows a GM bigwig carrying a briefcase telling a recoiling Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and three other politicians that "We're going to pay off the loan." The cartoon's caption is, "The Seven Dirty Words You Can't Say in Washington."
At his blog, where a full-size version of the cartoon can be found, Thompson writes:
You have to wonder what those who opposed the GM bailout think about the loan repayment. ...
It’s way too early for those who favored government aid for GM to break out in loud chants of “I told you so,” but if the good news out of GM continues, they might want to start thinking about warming up their vocal cords.
In his April 23 "Uncommon Sense" column at Forbes.com (HT Instapundit), Shikha Dalmia tells Thompson what he thinks, and suggests not scheduling the opera any time soon (bold is mine):
Was Gayle King kvetching about polls when candidate, then President, Obama and the Dems were riding high? Doubt it. But now that tide has turned, King pooh-poohs polls, and even asked Mika Brzezinski not to read one on the air. But never fear, "every time he speaks I get inspired all over again" proclaimed the editor of Oprah Winfrey's O magazine.
King's hear-no-evil moment went down on today's Morning Joe, as Mika was about to read a poll showing a preference for Republicans in the generic congressional ballot.
Time.com unveiled 200 names for its Time 100 (most influential people in the world) issue Thursday. Obviously, liberals and leftists have great influence in today's political sphere, but the conservatives drew about one-fourth the names on the ballot.
This may be picky, but I count about ten conservatives on the list. I put a few "half" picks in brackets for people who aren't as political and/or conservative:
"Let's just get it out of the way right off that bat that Al Qaeda madmen don't actually want to blast through bridges, skyscrapers, and subways in righteous protest of the First Amendment," an exasperated Katie Paul began her March 23 tirade about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent address to the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
"It's mind-boggling that politicians still consider this nonsense an effective enough talking point as to employ it in their keynote speeches to national audiences--until, that is, you realize they usually only bring it up when they're after something else," the Newsweek reporter added in her The Gaggle blog post, going on to argue Netanyahu's AIPAC speech was just red meat tossed out to a pro-Israel audience to bolster his closed-door meeting with President Obama over the Middle East peace process.
To be fair, it is true that politicians can and do simplify complex matters into sound bites that don't do justice to the issues at hand, but in this case, Paul is far too dismissive of the argument that al Qaeda's real complaint is not just with particular foreign policies of the United States and/or Israel but with the whole Western concept of secular, pluralistic liberal democracy.
Indeed, Paul doesn't have to take any politician's word for it, she need only look at al Qaeda's own pronouncements. From a February 4, 2005 Congressional Research Service document entitlted "Al Qaeda: Statements and Evolving Ideology" (emphases mine):
Nancy Pelosi: you lie! Chris Hayes didn't take to the floor of the House to call the Speaker out. But the Washington editor of The Nation did "totally agree" when Joe Scarborough described as "a lie" Pelosi's claims that insurance companies hate ObamaCare. Added Hayes: "I think that's a completely disingenuous statement by Nancy Pelosi."
The pair were reacting to a clip of Pelosi's interview yesterday with Diane Sawyer in which the Speaker said of House Minority Leader John Boehner that "some people will do anything for the insurance companies." Pelosi cast the bill as tough regulation of the insurance industry.
Scarborough's point, in which Hayes concurred, was that far from punishing insurance companies, the bill that Pelosi piloted through Congress gave them the biggest prize of all: a law forcing all Americans to buy their product.
Time magazine’s Barbara Kiviat made a shocking discovery: long lasting jobs are created by the private sector and not the government. The cover story for next week, “The Workforce: Where Will Jobs Come From?” described how government funded stimulus only creates short term demand, but credits private sector innovation as the true long term solution to unemployment.
Kiviat got straight to the point and wrote, “The cold truth of the matter, though, is that there's not much Washington can do to gin up permanent jobs on such short notice.” She then described how, “The great American job-creation machine always has been and will continue to be private enterprise.”
When did Larry O'Donnell rip the "Question Authority" bumper sticker off his old Volkswagen van?
Liberals normally love to celebrate those who "speak truth to power." But Larry O'Donnell is bent out of shape that Fox News' Bret Baier had the chutzpah to challenge and, yes, interrupt, Pres. Obama when interviewing him today about ObamaCare. Larry displayed his sudden deference to high-office on this evening's Countdown, subbing for Keith Olbermann.
Amusingly, one of my liberal faves declined to subscribe to Larry's script . . .
Two reports linked by Instapundit earlier today demonstrate at a macro and micro level how weak the claim that Toyota has deliberately jeopardized consumer safety in connection with "sudden acceleration" complaints may ultimately turn out to be.
The macro piece comes from Megan McArdle (pictured at left; "How Real are the Defects in Toyota's Cars?") at her blog at the Atlantic. The magazine's business and economics editor dissected case-by-case detail originally compiled by the Los Angeles Times, which was also analyzed to an extent by Washington Examiner op-ed writer and Overlawyered blogger Ted Frank, to make important points about the likelihood of driver error in many of them.
The micro item comes from Michael Fumento, whose Forbes column takes apart the recent James Sikes "sudden acceleration" incident in California as it rips the establishment media for its total lack of skepticism about the driver's claims and his credibility.
First, to McArdle, who also has nicely done graphs at her post:
She'd never admit it, but if there's one person secretly hoping for a big Republican victory in 2010 and, yes, a President Palin in 2013, it could be . . . Katrina vanden Heuvel. That's right, the editor of The Nation might well be looking at GOP success as her best shot at salvaging the sinking fortunes of her far-left magazine.
A recent article in Vanity Fair—which no one would accuse shilling for the right—is entitled: Hate Sells: Why Liberal Magazines Are Suffering Under Obama. It details how circulation at The Nation has been dropping significantly since Pres. Obama took office. I was prompted to research the magazine's numbers when, watching Larry O'Donnell guest-hosting Countdown this evening, a Nation commercial appeared that consisted largely of a trip down liberal nostalgia lane: Bush bashing . . .
"Are we on seven-second delay?"--Mark Halperin on Morning Joe, prefacing his criticism of Pres. Obama's performance at the health-care summit.
Halperin was surely being facetious, but the point about MSNBC's pro-Obama predilection was made.
The Time editor went on to rather comprehensively pan PBO's petulant performance. His comments were preceded by a clip of Pres. Obama rudely reminding Sen. John McCain of just who had won the presidential election.
In a Page C1 column in Friday's Washington Post about the National Enquirer's plans to apply for a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the John Edwards-Rielle Hunter affair and love child, Howard Kurtz delivers a completely inexcusable pass to his fellow alleged journalists in the establishment media (bold is mine, internal link is in original):
When the Enquirer first reported in 2007 that Edwards had had an affair with Hunter, the former North Carolina senator dismissed the account as tabloid trash. The rest of the media, having no independent proof, steered clear of the story, even as Edwards, aided by his cancer-stricken wife Elizabeth, was mounting an aggressive campaign for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.
Howard's "no independent proof" statement is a howler on one of two possible levels. It's either false on its face (i.e., one or more establishment media reporters had the proof and suppressed it), or it reflects a complete and journalistically negligent lack of interest in a story about a man who, if things had broken differently, could conceivably have become his party's presidential nominee or even the country's chief executive. Either way, Kurtz is unforgivably easy on his fellow "professionals," especially because I have learned that one of his fellow "professionals" had plenty of clues that something was amiss even before the Enquirer's October 2007 story broke.
Lamenting how Nancy Pelosi's archbishop has "slap[ped] her down," in an online statement addressing the House Speaker's excuse-making for her pro-abortion record, Newsweek's Eleanor Clift used a January 15 Gaggle blog post to praise Pelosi, no stranger to pastoral rebuke, as both a good pro-choice Democrat and a good Catholic:
It's anybody's guess whether in the new world of Internet media the archbishop's online commentary rebuking Pelosi falls under his pastoral duties, or public advocacy. Either way, Pelosi remains unshaken in her views, and in her Catholic faith.
"Free will cannot be cited as justification for society to allow moral choices that strike at the most fundamental rights of others. Such a choice is abortion, which constitutes the taking of innocent human life, and cannot be justified by any Catholic notion of freedom."
Yet Clift left out another key excerpt from Neiderauer's "archbishop's journal" column (emphasis mine):
But given that the incident in question is a Weekly Standard writer alleging an assault by an aide for Democratic Senate candidate Martha Coakley (Mass.), it's understandable, but not excusable, if you don't hear much about this from the broadcast or cable news networks.
For its part, the Associated Press -- in a story run on Boston.com -- all but dismissed the incident for the Coakley camp with a five-paragraph article blandly titled "Reporter takes stumble chasing Mass. candidate," wherein John McCormack of the Weekly Standard was said to have been "involved in a scuffle with one of [Coakley's] aides," a man by the name of Michael Meehan.
Good grief. We're still talking about Palin's clothes? You'd think that with the latest Democratic scandals - like Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid's racist comments and new revelations about Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards' affair - they'd be too busy beating out their own fires to revisit old fodder against Republicans. But apparently U.S. News & World Report's Bonnie Erbe has nothing better to do.
On Jan. 11, Erbe crowed on her blog, "So today Sarah Palin delivers some great news: She's becoming the TV star she's apparently always wanted to be and sparing us (for the moment, at least) the worry that she might run for national office."
If you're educated, you'll vote for gay politicians. That was the underlying message of the Time's article "Europe's Gay Leaders: Out at the Top" by William Lee Adams. Adams based his premise on the worn out stereotype that conservatives lack forward-thinking skills - or perhaps any thinking skills whatsoever - and need to be educated by progressive liberals such as himself. (And since we're dwelling on stereotypes, note that the first sentence above used only eight words to summarize what Adams, like a typical pontificating liberal, took 1,867 words to say.)
Adams argued in his article that Iceland, which elected Johanna Sigurdardottir last year - the world's first gay leader, was an "extremely homophobic" country until its citizens were given an "education."
Back in 2006, Brad Pitt announced during an interview with Esquire magazine that he will only tie the knot with his (perhaps, still) girlfriend Angelina Jolie when "everyone else in the country who wants to be married is legally able." (It's assumed he was talking about gays and not, say, first cousins or fathers and daughters - although he did leave it rather open-ended.)
Well, best-selling author Elizabeth Gilbert isn't that dedicated, because she just got married to her boyfriend of many years (after swearing "never, ever, under any circumstances" to marry again after her first, bitter divorce), but she did throw out her two-cents during an interview with Time magazine on Nov. 4.
"A lot of heterosexual couples are reluctant to get married," asserted the woman who penned "Eat, Pray, Love" and the new "Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage." "There's a sense of, Why should I have access to this when my friends who have been together just as long as me don't?"
I'm not at all sure why the liberal left is always so shocked that evangelical Christians want other people to become Christians. The outrage that followed Fox News anchor Brit Hume's plea to Tiger Woods to find Jesus has been totally disproportionate to the statement itself. The usual suspects—MSNBC and The Huffington Post—and indeed the whole liberal left blogosphere leapt all over Hume for his arrogance and conservatism.
The word "evangelical" comes from the Greek word for gospel, or "good news." Evangelical Christians are those who want to spread the good news. They aren't pretending to believe in salvation through Jesus Christ. They actually do believe that it—and yours, and mine—comes through him.
It looks like the PC Police will have to put out an APB for Time Magazine's Bobby Ghosh, his layers of editors, and his managers.
First, Ghosh had the unmitigated gall to write an item called "Domestic Terror Incidents Hit a Peak in 2009." In it, he notes that the "2009 saw an unprecedented surge in terror 'events' on U.S. soil." Clearly Ghosh doesn't understand that we're in a new era where the rest of the world reflexively loves us, thanks to our ever-apologetic president.
Ghosh compounded his error by saying that the November killings at a U.S. military base were t-t-t- .... terror-related:
On its Web site, GQ Magazine asks the burning question, "Has the Capital Gotten Cooler Under Obama?" The magazine says yes and no. But when it comes to Barack Obama and Co., you'll be relieved to know that the answer is a resounding YES!! In a slide show, we learn that Obama is "our best-dressed prez since JFK. When he goes tieless, Ahmadinejad should take notice." On Obama in jeans, "the loose fit seems presidential."
Also lookin' good to GQ is Joe Biden: "The veep has terrific style. He deftly mixes colors and patterns with his shirts and ties, and his superb Hickey Freeman suits fit impeccably." Senator John Kerry (D-MA) "looks best when dressing like the patrician he is. Super 180s suits and Hermès ties—senators ought to look senatorial." Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) is "groovier than his usual banker attire would suggest. . . He goes for cool detail, like green ties on Saint Paddy's. And he has a thing for Panama hats." Senator Roland Burris (D-IL) has "a sharp eye for detail and a suave color sense."
Representative John Conyers (D-MI) is a "clotheshorse" who is "a lifetime sartorial achiever." Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY) "can match sartorial splendor with Sean Combs and purples with Prince. . . " We're told of Representative Anthony Weiner (D-NY): "The dapper former roommate of Jon Stewart could almost pass for European." And who wouldn't want to pass for European? When it comes to speechwriter Jon Favreau, "Obama's golden boy of letters epitomizes style's new wave in D.C."
There's certainly an argument to be made that college football's Bowl Championship Series (BCS) isn't an ideal system, but just to what degree should the federal government come in and regulate this multi-billion dollar industry?
According to Andy Staples, a writer for Sports Illustrated's Web site, SI.com who appeared on the Fox News Channel's Dec. 9 "Studio B," the industry should be revamped from a regulatory aspect because of an issue of "fairness." He was asked by host Shepard Smith why it is appropriate for Congress to be meddling in the college football.
"It is funny because everybody says, ‘Why is Congress wasting its time on this?'" Staples said. "It is a multi-billion dollar business involving more than 100 publicly funded universities. That is probably something Congress might want to dabble in if there is a question about it, and there are some questions about it."
Life was hell under Bush. But hang in there: things'll get better under Obama.
Class dismissed: that's really all you need to know about the latest Time cover story—The Decade From Hell And Why The Next One Will Be Better. But just to drive home the Manichean message, Time editor Rick Stengel and Andy Serwer [of Time stable-mate Fortune], who wrote the cover story, appeared on Morning Joe today.
Of course there's the inconvenient detail about Barack Obama having been elected in this decade. But not to worry. Serwer suggests we "see Barack Obama being elected as the beginning of the next decade."
On Nov. 18, Foreign Policy's Steven Simon and Jonathan Stevenson wrote an article titled "The Real Shock of Fort Hood." If you thought that the shock of Fort Hood was that an Army Major fired over 100 rounds into a crowded processing center on a military base - killing 13 and wounding 29 - you're wrong. "It's not that the massacre occurred," said the article. "It's that it hadn't occurred before."
According to Simon and Stevenson, Major Nidal Malik Hasan was simply another American Muslim that was the victim of "innumerable stresses, including discrimination and the strain of divided loyalties in their country's eight-year-long war against Muslims in the Middle East and Central Asia."
The authors argued that such circumstances would be "enough to inspire conflict in the minds of even the most patriotic of American Muslims in the U.S." So much so that it should be "no surprise" that "one unstable member of this community finally erupted in violence."
It's our fault. Americans aren't making Muslims "comfortable." And the article specifically cited "Christian right-wing rhetoric" as a catalyst in the "Muslim alienation" which led to Hasan's shooting spree.
On Nov. 9, CW's "Gossip Girl" featured a threesome, which included the not-so-Disney-anymore Hilary Duff. The show depicted threesomes as a normal, expected event in a college student's life. But that wasn't crass enough for Entertainment Weekly's Tim Stack, who said that the threesome was too "chaste."
"It was basically no more risqué than a game of spin the bottle," Stack lamented.
After this week's episode, though, which featured graphic flashbacks of the threesome, Stack has declared that "Gossip Girl" is "back up the quality ladder."
"The flashbacks to the threesome were waaaay more hot than anything in last week's much-hyped episode," he said. "I wonder if the Parents Television Council tuned in last night."
Stack went on to say that "Gossip Girl not only entertains, it teaches."
"We also learned a much repeated rule of threesomes," he said. "The third person is always supposed to be a stranger!"
On Nov. 9 CW's teen-targeted "Gossip Girl" featured a threesome, portraying it as a normal, expected event in a college student's life.
The episode depicted three friends completing a list that was supposedly printed in their college newspaper: "The 15 Things Every College Student Must Do Before Graduating." Number 11 was "Have a Threesome."
On Nov. 10, the day after the episode aired, Entertainment Weekly commented on the "Gossip Girl's" threesome, saying, "The whole thing was pretty chaste. Aside from a shot of them all in bed together in the end, it was basically no more risqué than a game of spin the bottle."
What Entertainment Weekly doesn't grasp (or perhaps doesn't want to) is that it's not about how graphic the scene was or wasn't. It's the fact that the show was promoting the idea as normal and even expected.
With condescension reminiscent of Peter Jennings - in 1994 the ABC anchor characterized the Republican takeover of Congress as the electorate having a "temper tantrum" - Lindenberger portrayed same-sex marriage opponents as stubborn children, saying, "Maine voters insisted on having their say on an issue that simply will not go away." Rather than just report and analyze the outcome, the article simultaneously sympathized with gay activists and emphasized, by way of many pro-gay quotes, the futility of fighting against an "incredible campaign" that simply wants justice.
Maine defenders of traditional marriage only had one quote in the nearly 1,200-word article: "What's the hurry [for gay marriage]?" That's six words, if you count the brackets.
The article also reassured same-sex marriage proponents that this rejection will leave no lasting scars: