As NewsBuster Dan Gainor has noted, Playboy Mexico thought it could make some pesos by peddling an issue with a scantily-clad Virgin Mary on the cover—just in time for Christmas. Today's Los Angeles Times contains an editorial denouncing the tasteless stunt. All well and good. But it set me to wondering. Did the LAT protest similar outrages against religous symbols when they appeared in the US?
The infamous "Piss Christ" comes to mind. Even more on point is the portrait of the Virgin Mary, surrounded by lacquered elephant dung and cutouts from pornographic magazines, that the Brooklyn Museum found worthy of display.
Rupert Murdoch has his critics - from those who think his papers are too tabloid-ish - The Sun, The New York Post - to those who find his cable television networks too right-leaning for their tastes. And back in 2007, there was a fear that his purchase of The Wall Street Journal would result in a hybrid of his newspapers and his cable news channels.
However, a year after Murdoch's acquisition, Newsweek senior editor and financial columnist Daniel Gross said he thought Murdoch has actually improved the Journal.
"I think it's worked out quite well for him," Gross said on CNBC's "Power Lunch" Dec. 16. "He owns one of the best newspapers around. They remade the Journal. The front section is a great kind of political, global coverage."
"I think the journalists - I never thought I would say this - the journalists are quite lucky to be working for Murdoch in this type of environment. You could be working for a company that was owned by Sam Zell or one of his publicly held newspapers."
Vice President for the Business & Media Institute, Dan Gainor, spoke with Gretchen Carlson, host of "America's News HQ," about the decline of media and particularly newspapers.
"The model for media in general is not working. We had a great model for a long time for networks, great model for print, nobody's been able to come up with a way to deal with the internet and make a ton of cash just yet," Gainor said on the Fox News broadcast Dec. 9.
Gainor noted the advertising troubles of print media in particular -- advertising is down 9 percent.
"So you've got newspapers around the country shedding jobs. They predicted 43,000 newspaper jobs lost in the last couple years. That's devastating an industry," Gainor said.
It could be Christmas approaching, or it could be the Catholic Church's success last month in its support of Proposition 8, the initiative to restore marriage in California. But it's curious to see what's been on the minds of the folks at the Los Angeles Times in the past few weeks:
1. "Pope's new edict on the priesthood" (Mon. Nov. 17, 2008, editorial): The Times finds it "troubling" that the Church employs psychologists to screen candidates for the priesthood. It also goes without saying that the Times does not like the Church's policy of disallowing men with "deep-seated" homosexual tendencies to be priests. In the end, the Times finds the Church's policies "cruel" and "unprofessional."
2. "What would Mary do?" (Sun. Nov. 30, 2008, editorial): Surprise! The Times likes the idea of women priests in the Catholic Church.
Only a professor, preferably a sociology professor, one with way too much time on his hands, could have come up with this one. His solution to the Detroit crisis that has the Big Three automakers on the brink of bye-bye? Unionize their foreign competitors manufacturing in the USA!
Now why didn't we think of that? Because we're not Jonathan Cutler, associate professor of sociology at Wesleyan University. His notion in a nutshell, contained in his Los Angeles Times column of today [emphasis added]:
[N]ot to tear down the historic and heroic gains won by prior generations of UAW workers. If there is hope long term -- for the unionized Big Three companies and for the UAW -- it rests in dealing with the unfinished business of the 1980s: unionizing the unorganized transplants.
The party-ID treatment of Fabian Nuñez, whose term as California Assemly Speaker ended on May 13, but whose term in the Assembly ended just this past Sunday, was barely better than what Kerry observed in the articles she reviewed yesterday.
Here's the rundown, which I will follow with past examples of obviously disparate treatment of Republican politicians whose sons got into much less trouble with the law:
The Los Angeles Times recently created a stir among the Pentagon press corps, running a page one story implying that the Defense Department was cheating wounded warriors out of their disability pay.
The LAT shared the story of a Marine “wounded twice in Iraq -- by a roadside bomb and a land mine” and a soldier who “crushed her back and knees diving for cover during a mortar attack in Iraq.” The LAT indignantly reported: “…in each case, the Pentagon ruled that their disabilities were not combat related.”
A Department of Defense official tells me that a number of prominent MSM Pentagon correspondents were ready to take the Pentagon to task, but all ultimately dropped the story. Why? It turns out that, upon investigation, the LAT’s page-one piece was mostly fiction.
Interestingly, Dan Morain of the L.A. Times had discovered back in April that Barack Obama has a pretty thin resume prior to being elevated to the presidency. Between 1993 and '96, Obama, the much-ballyhooed "Constitutional scholar," had only an unusually low 3,723 billable hours of legal work accrued over a four-year stint with his law firm employer Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Gallard. Further, he seems to have worked on but few cases and made little impact commensurate with his reputation. Yet, just this month the Orlando Sentinel decides to re-print the Morain piece. The question I have, of course, is why is the Orlando Sentinel only NOW interested that Obama was "involved in relatively few cases before entering politics"? Where was this investigating before the election?
The Morain piece begins by recounting how Obama has so often made a big deal out of his days as a "civil-rights attorney" claiming it a key ingredient of his early, formative community development years. Yet, Morain finds that there isn't much record proving that Obama did a whole heck-of-a-lot back in those days. (bold mine)
And the supporters of Proposition 8? Well, their measure - which sought to restore the definition of marriage between only a man and a woman - won in a statewide referendum by a 52 to 48 margin. They simply want judges to respect the vote and uphold its result.
So what does the Los Angeles Times' Tim Rutten have to say about all of this? He says in his November 15 column that "both sides" "are going too far" and "need to cool down."
The litmus test results are in: If you're against the legalization of same-sex marriage and are discovered, you can't be involved in the performing arts in California, even though the majority of potential patrons in your state agree with you.
Under the pressure of a threatened boycott, the artistic director of a Sacramento theater has stepped down after it was learned that he contributed to Yes side ("yes, same-sex marriage should be prohibited") of the supposedly Golden State's Proposition 8 campaign.
A boycott of the theater was called Tuesday by some in the national arts community when news broke that Eckern contributed $1,000 to the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign, which supported the ban on gay marriage.
John Edwards. Remember him? He was the guy whom the Los Angeles Times for an excruciatingly painful period of time found it impossible to write about in the midst of his breaking scandal last summer. In fact, Times bloggers were forbidden to write about the scandal by Times editor Tony Pierce who came up with this excuse for the moratorium:
Because the only source has been the National Enquirer we have decided not to cover the rumors or salacious speculations. So I am asking you all not to blog about this topic until further notified.
Another excuse not to cover the Edwards scandal was given by Top of the Ticket blog author, Don Frederick:
For the most part, mainstream media outlets have not pursued the matter, in part because Edwards no longer is a presidential candidate nor does he hold a public office. The Times National Editor Scott Kraft explained the newspaper's stance in a note today, published on the Reader's Representative blog.
In what can only be described as delusional, Los Angeles Times writer James Rainey attempted to castigate the right wing media as a bitter and resentful group of shameless journalists - attributes that can only describe the liberal media's behavior for at least eight years now.
The title itself, ‘Right-wing media feeds its post-election anger,' demonstrates that Rainey will not be pulling any punches with his article. But why is he focusing on the reaction of conservative talk show hosts less than one week after Obama's election? Did he forget the liberal media's - nay, the mainstream media's - chronic case of misplaced anger since election night of 2000?
The answer, of course, is no. Rainey's employer, the LA Times, has been one of the biggest offenders of liberal media ignorance in quite some time. After all, The Times has produced rants that read like a rap sheet of bias.
In response to Chris Matthews' claim that his job is to make the Barack Obama presidency a success, the Los Angeles Times Washington bureau chief Doyle McManus suggested the MSNBC host needs to see a neurologist.
Although I agree that Matthews clearly has a fixation that needs attention, I'm not sure it's physiological rather than purely psychological.
Regardless of the cause, the symptom was the source of discussion on Sunday's "Reliable Sources":
The foes of Proposition 8 in California which would restore the definition of marriage in that state as being between one man and one woman have produced an incredibly bizarre and bigoted commercial. The video depicts a pair of Mormon missionaries invading the home of a lesbian couple and ransacking it until they find their wedding license and then tearing it up. This video displays obvious hatred towards Mormons who mostly support Prop. 8 but to Los Angeles Times blogger Karin Klein such bigotry is no big deal (emphasis mine):
The Los Angeles Times is feeling the pressure over its decision to refuse to release the controversial Rashid Khalidi video in which Barack Obama is shown toasting the former PLO operative at an Israel-bashing dinner. Even though the Times has acknowledged it has received thousands of phone calls and e-mails calling for the release of the video it is holding of that dinner, it has acted like a player hogging the football, waiting for the time to run out in the game as the final seconds count down. Although they have yet to report on a protest about their refusal to release the Khalidi tape held right outside their own building as you can see in this video, the Times included their reasons for refusing to make it public in a story about the demands by John McCain and Sarah Palin to release it (emphasis mine):
This is pretty funny. A $175,000 reward/bribe is now being offered for a Los Angeles Times reporter to actually report the news, namely to release the Khalidi video that the Times refuses to let the public see. It started out with a mere $25,000 offer made by Ace of Spades (emphasis mine):
Well, I don't know if one will step forward. I can guarantee, though, that if the goods are delivered the blogosphere can contribute $20,000. In a matter of hours.
Maybe more. More would depend on the tape.
This offer includes is particularly directed towards Los Angeles Times employees. Maybe ones that just got fired. Or will get fired in the next couple of weeks.
That's how we roll.
Pretty pathetic that we have to try to bribe "newsmen" to release newsworthy tapes.
If your conscience is troubled, They should have released it anyway.
Plus that $25,000. You know what helps an aching conscience? Rubbing it with crisp hundred dollar bills, that's what.
Yeah it just went up five g's. If I can get $5 grand in a donation drive, I'm pretty damn sure I can get $25,000 for the tape.
And no, not a stunt. One little blog gets $5 k in a donation drive. Something like this, with every blogger linking the donation button, would easily get in excess of $25,000.
Blogger Patrick "Patterico" Frey yesterday devoted a blog post to the difference between how the media are reporting a thwarted assassination attempt against President Bush versus the recent arrest of some skinheads plotting harm to Sen. Barack Obama.
Patterico noted that the Bush conspirators were farther along in their plans than the skinheads targeting Obama, and yet there was no discernible mainstream media attention to the plot, wherein the principal conspirator pleaded guilty and was slapped with a 5-year sentence:
Guest blogger DRJ earlier posted about the alleged assassination plot against Barack Obama. As I always say when charges are made, charges are just charges, and have to be proved by the prosecution. But if these charges can be proved, then these men should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
But it got me thinking: this story is being reported everywhere, including in my beloved Los Angeles Times. I suspect it will be on front pages everywhere tomorrow morning.
If the Los Angeles Times had a video of John McCain toasting a supporter of the old South African apartheid government, does anyone think they wouldn't release it without hesitation? However, because the Times has a video of Barack Obama toasting former PLO operative, Rashid Khalidi, at an Israel-bashing party that also included terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, they are now coming up with all sorts of absurd legalistic reasons as to why they can't release the video.
Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs has posted the messages between a reader and the a Los Angeles Times representative about the release of this video:
A man who was a special education aide for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) "already accused of videotaping himself molesting teenage girls in his private basketball program," was charged October 17 with "having sexual contact with four more, including one who says he took her to a local hotel room for a weekend of sex" (LA Daily News). "In all, seven girls, most about 15, [have] told police [the man] had talked dirty, fondled or performed sexual acts on them ... [T]he former Birmingham High assistant football coach faces 14 felony and three misdemeanor charges, and more than 30 years in prison if he's convicted, said Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Alisanne Scolnik."
Yet one place you won't read about this story is in the Los Angeles Times. Do you think if this man were a Catholic priest, the Times would fail to report these new awful allegations against this guy? Of course not.
The mainstream media are willfully ignoring many questionable ties and friendships of Barack Obama. The list does not end with the radical racist preacher Jeremiah Wright and unrepentant domestic terrorist William Ayers. They have totally ignored Obama campaigning for the socialist revolutionary Raila Odinga in Kenya. They have also ignored his ties with radical Islamic extremist Khalid Al Masour.
LA Times takes things to the next level. They are going beyond the level of ignoring to the level of willfully witholding informative evidence from the public. The associate of Barack Obama in question this time is Rashid Khalidi, a former PLO operative and best friend of William Ayers. The LA times has a video of Barack Obama toasting this friend of his while attending a Jew bashing dinner, and they are refusing to release the video to the public.
"Societies in which the few are allowed to fatten themselves without limit on the labor of many are not just."
A. Friedrich Engels B. William Ayers C. Michelle Obama D. Timothy Rutten
Any of the answers would make sense, but the headline kind of gave it away. It was Timothy Rutten of the LA Times who penned that immortal line in his column of today. In doing so, Rutten echoes other in the MSM, as here and here, who in the wake of the financial markets' travails indulge in a certain anti-capitalist chic.
Let's have some fun deconstructing the intrepid class warrior's musings . . .
One such liberal was Amy Isaacs of Americans for Democratic Action (ADA), a liberal advocacy group. Isaacs downplayed Obama's liberalism while affirming it, saying he was not a "flaming liberal" but would basically "do what every liberal does: keep the needs of ordinary working Americans foremost on his agenda."
But a review of ADA's own congressional ratings for Obama shows his voting record is overwhelmingly in line with the organization.:
If John McCain had gone back on his promise to accept public campaign money, and instead set fundraising records that put him as many as fourteen points ahead in the polls with less than two weeks to go before Election Day, do you think there'd be a lot of media carping and whining about rich Republicans buying the White House?
Probably 24 hours a day, seven days a week until the final vote had been counted, correct?
Yet, despite Barack Obama having gone back on his campaign promise to accept public funds, and reports that he's now over $600 million in contributions, the Obama-loving press don't seem very concerned with liberals buying the presidency.
This obvious hypocrisy struck the Los Angeles Times' Andrew Malcolm Thursday (emphasis added):
We've all heard of them -- the nameless "critics." Journalists often use "critics say" to make sure they're including whatever criticism they deem necessary for their stories, even if that criticism isn't attributed to anyone.
After listing some of the provisions of McCain's plan, Michael Hiltzik and Lisa Girion launched into what unnamed critics had to say about it. But when they listed tenets of Obama's plan, they didn't bother to question it.
They failed to tell readers what "critics say" about Obama's play-or-pay mandate for employers or his National Health Insurance Exchange that would regulate private insurance.
One statement left a door wide open for a critique: That in Obama's plan, "Private insurers would have to compete with a federally sponsored national health plan that would resemble coverage currently offered to federal employees."
In an October 22 article, Los Angeles Times staffer Jessica Garrison found "Black clergy both for and against gay marriage speak[ing] out" on the matter of California Proposition 8. The ballot initiative would enshrine in the Golden State's constitution the definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman.
By the close of her article, Garrison found space not only to suggest that black Christians voting for Prop 8 were intolerant of homosexuals, but to hint that their views on homosexuality do a disservice to African-Americans by engendering a stereotype that they are more "homophobic" than Americans at-large (emphasis mine):
African American voters could play a crucial role in the fight over same-sex marriage. Though they make up only about 6% of the electorate in California, they are expected to vote in record numbers this election because of Barack Obama's presence on the ballot.
Let's see. ACORN has been submitting thousands of fraudulent voter registrations and is being investigated by the FBI. However, if you are John McCain you should just keep your mouth shut and not complain about it. That is the absurd assertion of an editorial in today's Los Angeles Times (emphasis mine):
John McCain committed a malicious misrepresentation in the last presidential debate when he claimed that ACORN, the liberal activist group, "is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy."
As ACORN acknowledges, it has collected voter registration forms with bogus signatures. But even when they aren't winnowed out by election officials, transparently invalid registrations don't lead to fraudulent voting. Even the most lax poll worker wouldn't allow "Mickey Mouse" or "John Q. Public" to cast a ballot.
With Sen. Barack Obama's present lead in the polls, there's been hand-wringing in the media that he could possibly lose the race due to the so-called Bradley Effect, wherein racist white voters lie to pollsters on the telephone about their voting preferences in order to, well, not sound racist.
But as a former Bradley campaign staffer writes in an October 19 op-ed for the New York Times, it was Bradley's liberal policies and an aggressive get-out-the-vote effort by the GOP that put George Deukmejian into the Governor's Mansion. Writes Blair Levin (via Karen Tumulty of Time magazine):
On election night in 1982, with 3,000 supporters celebrating prematurely at a downtown hotel, I was upstairs reviewing early results that suggested Bradley would probably lose.
But he wasn’t losing because of race. He was losing because an unpopular gun control initiative and an aggressive Republican absentee ballot program generated hundreds of thousands of Republican votes no pollster anticipated, giving Mr. Deukmejian a narrow victory.
In an error-ridden op-ed in Friday's Los Angeles Times (10/17/08), Pepperdine law professor Douglas Kmiec makes the outrageous claim that Barack Obama "has held himself out as a bridge builder" on the issue of abortion. Kmiec then advances a fallacious case that a faithful Catholic can vote in clear conscience for Barack Obama.
A "bridge builder" on abortion? Is Kmiec kidding?? Consider:
Obama has forcefully vowed that his very first act as President would be to sign the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA). FOCA claims a "fundamental right" to abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy, and no government body at any level would be able to "deny or interfere with" this right. Even the pro-choice NOW readily acknowledges that FOCA would literally "sweep away hundreds of anti-abortion laws [and] policies."
What's bothering the Los Angeles Times's Rosa Brooks now? She doesn't like how the McCain-Palin ticket has noted that Barack Obama said on the campaign trail that our troops in Afghanistan are "just air-raiding villages and killing civilians."