The war on Christmas rages on, and nowhere more intensely than on the "kill-joy front." You know it: the predictable but still brutal attacks from those who say your eggnog and candy canes, the tree near your fireplace and even your favorite myths, stories and carols hide secret dangers to emotional and physical wellbeing.
But at least one public health expert is striking a blow for traditionalists by roundly mocking kill-joy tactics by aiming right at the personification of the season.
On Dec 16, an Associated Press article reported a "light-hearted" study conducted by Australian Nathan Grills of Monash University, which was published in the online Christmas edition of the British Medical Journal. Grills' conclusion: Santa Claus is a public health menace.
Grills' characterized the jolly old elf as a "reckless role model" for children, citing his "frequent cookie snacks, occasional cigars and refusal to don a helmet during ‘extreme sports such as roof surfing and chimney jumping,'" according to the AP.
"Unemployed, Underemployed Look to Jobs Summit for Help" is posted on ABC News's Web site today. Authored by senior Washington correspondent John Cochran, the piece is notable in that nothing in it supports the headline. Cochran writes:
Boosting confidence is at the top of President Obama's list at the Jobs Summit he is scheduled to host on Thursday. The invitation list includes business leaders, mayors, academics, and experts from the green jobs sector.
They will consider many proposals to boost the economy including:
What's $100 million of taxpayer money between a few U.S. Senators?
After reports surfaced of $100 million for Louisiana was added to the Senate's health care reform legislation, originally from ABC News, and subsequently commented upon by prominent lefties, like U.S. News and World Report's Bonnie Erbe as my colleague Noel Sheppard pointed out, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., took the Senate floor on Nov. 21 to announce she would vote in favor to proceed forward with the Senate Democratic leadership's bill.
She also responded to allegations that $100 million earmarked for the Louisiana was added to that legislation to sway her vote. She referred to the likes of ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl and Erbe as "very partisan Republican bloggers."
"I know that might time is up, but I would like to ask personal privilege for just one more minute to address an issue that has come up unfortunately in the last 24 hours by some very partisan Republican bloggers so I need to respond I think and will do so now," Landrieu said. "One of the provisions in the framework of this bill that I've just decided to move on to debate has to do with fixing a very difficult situation that Louisiana is facing and any other state that might have a catastrophic disaster - let's hope they don't - like we did in 2005."
That's right. In a four page report from ABC News titled, "Tens of Thousands Celebrate 20th Anniversary of Berlin Wall's Collapse," Ronald Reagan is not even mentioned. Not once. And from what I have read, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton didn't mention President Reagan, and neither did President Obama in his taped message. I hope I end up being wrong about that, but I kind of doubt that I am.
Here's news you can virtually guarantee won't get noticed by what remains of the establishment media.
Whole Foods (WFMI) announced its financial results for the quarter ended September 30 yesterday. The quarter closed about 50 days after outraged leftists called for a boycott of the grocery chain to retaliate for a Wall Street Journal op-ed written by CEO John Mackey. In that column, Mackey identified "Eight things we can do to improve health care without adding to the deficit," asserting that:
The last thing our country needs is a massive new health care entitlement that will create hundreds of billions of dollars of new unfunded deficits and move us much closer to a government takeover of our health care system. Instead, we should be trying to achieve reforms by moving in the opposite direction — toward less government control and more individual empowerment.
Well, if there's so much support out there for statist health care, you would think that the Whole Foods boycott dedicated to punishing an opponent would have had a significant impact on the company's most recent quarterly results.
Dede Scozzafava's exit from a major campaign gave readers a perfect glimpse into the double standard applied by the media when it comes to women in politics.
The World Newser, official blog of ABC's World News Tonight, ran an article November 2 lamenting Scozzafava suspending her campaign curtly titled "Message to the GOP - 'Moderates Need Not Apply.'"
The piece quoted three people sympathetic to moderates and a long quote from Scozzafava herself, but only one voice to speak for conservatives. Among the complaints was that conservatives targeted Scozzafava for being a woman instead of focusing on political issues.
Perhaps a report on Scozzafava's lipstick preferences would have been more substantive since that was counted as newsworthy on the World Newser blog just one year ago.
In covering Scozzafava, ABC got right to the point in the second sentence:
With problems for the president in Afghanistan, health care and unemployment, some critics on both the left and right are asking: Is the president essentially "too nice" to make the important decisions?
The National Journal magazine asks in a just-out edition, "Is He Tough Enough?"
"Be decisive," says Tom Tradewell, the commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Even liberal New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd says the president will have to "break some eggs" to cook up a more perfect union.
None of the people quoted assert the problem is Obama's affability. Rather, the difficulty is the extreme caution he exercises, many times so as to not offend interest groups.
Thanks to Drudge, the Internet will likely be abuzz with the news and video about Irish filmmaker Phelim McAleer's challenge to former Vice President Al Gore over correcting the nine errors found by a British judge in Gore's Oscar-winning "An Inconvenient Truth" documentary.
McAleer is co-producer of Not Evil, Just Wrong, a film challenging the content of Gore's film, that according to Wiki will be premiering on October 18.
When organizers of the Society of Environmental Journalists annual conference tired of McAleer's refusal to back down and acquiesce to Gore's conveniently incomplete answers, they cut off his microphone. The video also shows a meeting official scolding McAleer afterwards for attempting to "monopolize" the floor, telling him that "you got as much as you're going to get."
Gore's answers to McAleer's challenges are so disingenuous that they deserve their own Oscar for dissembling.
Here is a transcript of the exchange, which begins at about the 0:40 mark of the video:
It's standard journalistic practice to put the most important information at the very beginning of an article. For ABC News, it appeared the most pertinent facts about Irene Vilar, a woman who had 15 abortions in 16 years, were her fears about how pro-life activists would receive her new book, "Impossible Motherhood."
ABC reporter Susan Donaldson James perpetuated the myth of raging pro-life activists in her September 21 article about Vilar. Her lede read, "Irene Vilar worries that her self-described ‘abortion addiction' will be misunderstood, twisted by the pro-life movement to deny women the right to choose." Vilar, now a mother of two, told ABC, "no book like this has ever been written. I just imagine the ‘baby killer' and I could be a poster child for that kind of fundamentalism. And there are my little kids in all of that."
Vilar told Donaldson James, "she has already sensed ‘an inkling of hatred," a point noted in the third paragraph. By the fourth, Donaldson James had described the precautions taken by Vilar and her husband.
ABCNews.com republished a bigoted attack against a famously large Christian family on Tuesday. Amelia McDonell-Parry of gossip website TheFrisky.com snarked about Michelle Duggar's latest pregnancy in the post, stating that it "can't be good news...if you're at all concerned about overpopulation." She also hinted that Mrs. Duggar's daughter-in-law was forced to have a baby of her own.
Whole Foods CEO John Mackey's recent Wall Street Journal op-ed may well have been "in bad taste", ABCNews.com would have its readers believe (see screen cap at right).
Emily Friedman devoted an August 14 story mainly to liberal Whole Foods patrons huffing and puffing in disgust about Mackey's op-ed:
Joshua has been taking the bus to his local Whole Foods in New York City every five days for the past two years. This week, he said he'll go elsewhere to fulfill his fresh vegetable and organic produce needs.
"I will never shop there again," vowed Joshua, a 45-year-old blogger, who asked that his last name not be published.
As the Democrat leadership and their media minions dishonestly depict town hall meeting protesters as an angry mob ginned up by conservative organizations, the group that helped get Barack Obama elected president is urging its members to show up at such events to counter dissenting views.
Will this get much press attention in the next 48 hours?
We can only hope the Obama-loving media will take a long look at what ABC's Jake Tapper just reported at his Political Punch blog:
Darlene Haynes was only 23 years old when another woman brutally slashed her open and removed her eight-month-old baby girl from her womb. Her decomposing body was found on July 27, wrapped in a blanket and dumped in a closet inside her apartment in Worcester, Massachusetts. The body was so mutilated that when they found it, the police said they couldn't immediately determine its gender.
The suspected murderer, 35-year-old Julie Corey, lived in the same apartment building and was found soon after the crime in Plymouth, New Hampshire, claiming the baby was her own.
This heart-rending story is also notorious for how the "pro-choice" media sputter and struggle to deny the humanity of a baby, even as the child is slashed away and stolen by a psychopath. I would highly doubt Corey said to bewildered onlookers, "Look at my new fetus."
And yet journalists insult this motherless baby as merely a "fetus," this their dismissive blob-of-tissue word suggesting an unborn baby is subhuman until birth, no matter how many months along in the pregnancy, and no matter how physically able it is to survive outside the womb.
On ABCnews.com’s blog Political Punch, Yunji de Nies reported on the first celebration of gay pride month held in the White House by President Obama.
“President Obama told the group he is committed to equality for their community,” she reported, continuing on to quote Obama himself: “‘This struggle continues today, for even as we face extraordinary challenges as a nation, we cannot and will not put aside issues of basic equality,’ he said, ‘We seek an America in which no one feels the pain of discrimination based on who you are or who you love.’”
De Nies noted the gay community’s disappointment in a president they had hoped would actively promote their agenda: “Many gay and lesbians believe the President has been slow to act on major issues like the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, and the Defense of Marriage Act,” she wrote, neglecting to report on Obama’s personal belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman, or his administration’s recent defense of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
An article on advocate.com also neglected to admit Obama’s personal belief, but did quote Richard Socarides, a former LGBT advisor to President Bill Clinton, as saying, “No one ever questioned whether President Obama's heart was in the right place, but now we have the beginning of some action …”
ABC's online "The Note" describes itself as "Washington's Original and Most Influential Tipsheet." ABC News's Senior Political Reporter Richard Klein is its current content creator.
We'll see how influential "The Note" really is if what Klein writes about the machinations behind the attempt to make us forget that the Obama stimulus plan was supposedly going to be making some kind of difference at this point gets out anywhere else. Color me skeptical.
No doubt, Klein gets in some pretty strong, accurate, and long-overdue rips (links are in original):
Clearly, the most important takeaway from ABC's low-rated White House forum on health care was President Barack Obama's admission that he would go outside the constraints of a nationalized system to get the "very best care" if necessary for his own family.
With the very first question of its prime time special, Questions for the President: Prescription for America, ABC set the tone that essentially confirmed for viewers that the president was right in his desire to radically remake America's healthcare system. As the infomercial began, "moderator" Charles Gibson asked a seminal question of the doctors and other participants that were about to hear the president speak: "How many of you agree with the president that we need to change our healthcare system?" Naturally they all raised their hands.
Imagine that? This handpicked crowd all agreed with ABC and Obama that "change" was paramount. Surprised? Hardly.
So, as the viewer is introduced to the infomercial, they start off with the unanimous affirmation that the president is right, radical changes have to be made. The premise is set and even the sharp questions to the president later in the show are blunted by the assumption that some major change is needed. And since the president is the only person allowed to offer any plan during this ABC special, the further assumption promulgated is that he is the one that must affect that change.
For viewers of this healthcare infomercial, Obama wins thanks to an assist by ABC. The viewer is deftly led to the desired conclusion.
On May 20, ABC's Jake Tapper asked a few salient questions about coverage of an April 27 incident at the White House basketball court, a sort of event after the event that the White House press corps was barred from covering. Tapper wondered then why the president barred the press but it later became clear that Team Obama was creating its own little media report "complete with cuts, interviews, and chyrons identifying who's speaking."
Tapper subtly warned that the president's penchant for controlling the message smacks of an Obama Ministry of Propaganda styled effort that excludes "actual reporters" from covering the White House and leaves the country with faux news that is free of any "uncomfortable questions" asked by probing journalists.
Nortin Hadler, M.D. is a "professor of medicine and microbiology/immunology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an attending rheumatologist at University of North Carolina Hospitals."
He also thinks that a number of procedures commonly thought of as beneficial have no or very minimal benefit.
The fact that ABC is carrying Hadler's exhortations may be a clue that the network is in the tank for anything that would appear to promote government intervention in the medical system. That appears to be where Hader is ultimately going.
Judge for yourself when you see the list of procedures Hadler believes are either not beneficial, or are very minimally so:
After promoting the controversial, religion-baiting film "Angels & Demons" for a combined 19 minutes last week on "Good Morning America," ABC finally featured a Catholic priest to object to the movie. Unfortunately, the interview was relegated only to the network's website, not the ABC morning show. (Considering the four days of fawning coverage to the film's stars last week, this hardly seems fair.) Father Edward Beck appeared on the internet-based "Focus on Faith" to talk to Chris Cuomo and point out the inaccuracies.
Beck critiqued the filmmakers behind "Angels & Demons," which falsely features the Catholic Church participating in a brutal massacre of a secret society, asserting that they should be more responsible for "doing their homework, even with a work of fiction." Cuomo bizarrely responded by claiming Beck needed to consider "the atheistic [position], which is, 'It's all fiction.' So, the church doesn't have any right to hold its own truth when it is a fiction in and of itself." He reiterated the disbelievers take, stating, "Anything you say you believe in is based on a fiction, because God is a fiction. So, what's wrong with having a fiction about fiction?"
Beck quickly retorted, "No. Whether or not the church kills people is not fiction. Either they do or they don't." Beck went on to note other offensive elements of the movie, such as the fact that the deceased Pope in the movie turns out to have fathered a child through artificial insemination. The New York-based priest complained, "Now, I mean, how unrealistic do we really want to make this?" Appearing to miss the point, Cuomo replied, "You taking yourself too seriously in the organized church?" (It should be pointed out that some of the tone was light-hearted as Cuomo and Beck are apparently friends.)
The gushing and fawning over our new president will reach new heights -- or new lows depending on your point of view!!! -- when the May issue of Washingtonian magazine is released with a picture of a shirtless Obama on the cover.
Let's get this straight [pardon the pun]: A beauty contest contestant with a conservative view on same-sex marriage upsets an openly gay blogger with her answer to his question about her thoughts on the issue. Yet in reporting the story, ABCNews.com paints her as the bad guy for offending the celebrity judge, while failing to mention that a majority of said beauty queen's fellow Californians agree with her views.
Welcome to the saga of Carrie Prejean, Miss California, whom ABCNews.com describes as having "floored" gossip blogger Perez Hilton, who went on to "skewer" the Miss USA runner-up for her honest answer in an angry video blog entry.
What caused celebrity judge Hilton to seethe so? Only Prejean's honest, politely-delivered answer. Quotes ABCNews.com's Luchina Fisher:
It must be hard to keep a straight face when you report that the President of United States going to cut $100 million from a $3.5 trillion budget and then say he is serious about cutting government spending.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs couldn't pull it off. In the White House's April 20 press briefing, Gibbs was asked by Associated Press reporter Jennifer Loven why the $100-million target was so small and she even accused him of making a joke about it.
"I'm being completely sincere that only in Washington, D.C. is $100 million not a lot of money," Gibbs said. "It is where I'm from. It is where I grew up. And I think it is for hundreds of millions of Americans."
But somehow, CNN correspondent Elaine Quijano pulled it off. Originally on CNN's April 20 "American Morning," and again on CNN throughout April 20, Quijano reported the Obama administration was making an effort to cut spending.
Is pessimism about the economy really the new porn?
ABC's Dan Harris inquired about that possibility in an April 9 "Quick Fix" video for ABCNews.com. But he didn't examine ABC's role in promoting pessimistic or apocalyptic news which has been happening for years.
"Here's something I'm fixated on this week," Harris teased. "A little something called pessimism porn. That is a term coined by the good folks over at New York Magazine and it refers to the fact that there are a lot of people who've become addicted to reading apocalyptic news about the economy online."
According to Harris, "People are logging on to read all sorts of dire predictions about a new Great Depression, bread lines, riots. You name it."
"Iowa Gives Gay Marriage a Thumbs Up," trumpets the front page teaser headline on ABCNews.com. But, the subhead explains, it was "Iowa's Supreme Court" not the people via their legislature or direct referendum that opened the door to same-sex marriage by finding the state's ban on the ceremony "violates [the state] Constitution."
The accompanying photo illustration (shown at right) depicts two (presumably) masculine, wedding-band-sporting left hands embracing. In the background is a long, unfurled rainbow flag, held aloft by marchers in a parade.
The story itself was filed by Amy Lorentzen of the Associated Press. Lorentzen jumped quickly into the jubilant reaction of gay marriage activists, but found no space for comment from traditional values advocates in her 18-paragraph story.
The ABCNews.com Law and Justice front page currently features an article, dramatically titled "Will Steal For Food: Crisis Creates Criminals." On that same page, alleged bank robber Bruce Windsor is featured in an orange jumpsuit above a caption that reads: "In poor economy, police have arrested a rash of atypical alleged bank robbers."
The latest Stephanopoulos entry on ABC News needs a reality check, in a big way, and Erick Erickson of RedState hit it perfectly.
The Democrat-turned-born-again-journalist posted the following story on his ABC News blog today, claiming that Eric Cantor had repudiated Rush Limbaugh's CPAC rhetoric:
“Defending his attacks against President Barack Obama's economic plans, Limbaugh said Saturday to the conservative conference, "What is so strange about being honest and saying I want Barack Obama to fail if his mission is to restructure and reform this country so that capitalism and individual liberty are not its foundations?"
Cantor today rejected Limbaugh's rhetoric.
"So the Rush Limbaugh approach of hoping the president fails is not the Eric Cantor, House Republican approach?" I asked.