Is there something in the tea over there, or do British movie critics imagine commentary on American politics is actually part of their job description?
Two years ago I noted how at least two British reviewers, James Christopher and Leo Lewis, panned "Spider-Man 3." Christopher lamented the "Sunday School morality" and "the inevitable flash of the American flag" while Lewis labeled as "disappointing... the inability of the director, Sam Raimi, to end the romp without a fleeting shot of the American flag."
Today, Times Online reviewer Debra Craine decided to timidly go where other hacks have gone before. From the penultimate paragraph from Craine's April 21 review of the upcoming "Star Trek" prequel (h/t separate e-mail tips from NB readers Jake Mathon and Charles Lovell):
"...i know i'm a journalist, and i should be objective...but she is an ignorant discrace and she makes me sick to my stomach," E! News anchor and managing editor Giuliana Rancic wrote on her Twitter page at 10:01 a.m. EDT today. Rancic of course was referring to Carrie Prejean, who in the interview portion of the Miss USA contest on Sunday evening gave a defense of traditional marriage that riled openly gay contest judge and gossip blogger Perez Hilton.
Rancic later clarified her earlier remarks in a Tweet a few minutes later:
sorry i wasn't clear...i was referring to miss california as a disgrace. life is short. everyone deserves to love & be loved.
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:
Michael Lindenberger of Time.com, in a April 20 article titled “Ten Years After Columbine, It’s Easier to Bear Arms,” found it “odd” that “whatever momentum the Columbine killings gave to gun control has long since petered out,” despite the “massacres perpetrated by deranged gunmen” in the following decade. He also quoted extensively from a young gun control advocate in the online article, without including any arguments from the opposing viewpoint.
Lindenberger first gave his reflection on the anniversary: “Monday April 20 marks 10 years since Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold permanently etched the words Columbine High School into this nation’s collective memory. What happened that day in 1999 also seemed to wake America up to the reality that it had become a nation of gun owners — and too often a nation of shooters. The carnage in Littleton, Colorado...seemed to usher in a new era of, well if not gun control, then at least gun awareness.”
The Time.com writer continued with a seeming lamentation: “In the decade since, massacres perpetrated by deranged gunmen have continued — including the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre in which Cho Seung-Hui killed 32 people and wounded many others. But something odd has occurred. Whatever momentum the Columbine killings gave to gun control has long since petered out.”
One hundred forty-four years after his assassination, Chicago Tribune religion blogger Manya Brachear hacked out an 11-paragraph post on how "Lincoln's death had sacred significance," according to some historians and Lincoln biographers.
"Harold Holzer, co-chair of the U.S. Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, said the Good Friday assassination earned Lincoln a permanent place in American mythology," Brachear noted in her April 14 post, before quoting Holzer's argument at length.
But no Lincoln story in the mainstream media is complete without an Obama tie-in, and Brachear made sure to deliver, again quoting Holzer:
MacsMind's post is in response to an all-too-predictable gusher delivered by Democratic operative disguised as Associated Press reporter Jennifer Loven on April 7 (bold is mine):
Cheered wildly by U.S. troops, President Barack Obama flew unannounced into Iraq on Tuesday and promptly declared it was time for Iraqis to "take responsibility for their country" after America's commitment of six years and thousands of lives.
"You have given Iraq the opportunity to stand on its own as a democratic country," the president said as he made a brief inspection of a war he opposed as candidate and now vows to end as commander in chief. "That is an extraordinary achievement."
MacsMind contends that the troop contingent was contrived, based on an e-mail he says he received "from a sergeant that was there." The corresponding sergeant also dropped a telltale clue (in bold):
Former CBSer and current media critic Bernie Goldberg issued a strong warning to conservatives on Monday: don't behave like the left did when Bush was president -- avoid Obama Derangement Syndrome.
Following in David Horowitz's footsteps, Goldberg told Fox News's Sean Hannity:
You remember when liberals wouldn't give George Bush credit for anything? If he came up with a cure for cancer, they wouldn't have given him credit for that, and I'm sorry, Sean, I see that on the right now.
Such was the beginning of a fascinating discussion between Goldberg and Hannity Monday evening concerning whether or not it was wrong for the Obama administration to take credit for Captain Richard Phillips's rescue from Somali pirates Sunday (video embedded below the fold with full transcript, h/t Hot Air):
Sticking up against those ol' playground bullies on the Right, CBS's Katie Couric tells conservatives in a recent blog post to " give the new kids on the block" in the Obama administration "a chance to get their learner's permits first."
Not exactly the wisest choice of words from an Obama-friendly journalist, particularly when a heavy drumbeat of criticism against him in the presidential campaign was that it unwise to trust the presidency to a man who would need "on-the-job training."
President Barack Obama was "crisp and decisive" but also lucky in his handling of the Maersk Alabama hostage crisis, exults Time magazine's Joe Klein [depicted in NewsBusters screen cap/file photo at right] in an April 13 Swampland blog post.
Klein added that had the Navy SEAL snipers failed in hitting their targets, Republicans and second-guessing journalists would probably push the Obama administration to escalate matters to tackle a non-existent pirate "threat":
But it could easily have gone wrong, through no fault of the President and the SEALs--a gust of wind, whatever...and then the Administration would have had to waste all sorts of energy on damage control, fending off the second-guessers--Republicans and, all too often, people like me--and perhaps overreacting to the pirate "threat" as a result. Presidencies are, sadly, built or crippled on such quirks of fate.
In the wake of last Saturday's tragic cop killings in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, left-wing new and old media representatives claimed the assailant was incited by supposedly false assertions from conservative talkers that President Obama was going to tighten gun laws.
One such outlet, the George Soros-funded Clinton front group Think Progress, offered the following hysterical headline hours after the shootings:
The PBS "To the Contrary" host and contributing editor to U.S. News & World Report launched into a four-paragraph attack on the author and conservative radio host, and as usual, she not only breathed left-wing fire at a conservative target, she was factually inaccurate (paragraph breaks removed, emphasis mine):
That Joe Biden and the truth have been distant acquaintances from time to time was recently seen in March (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) when the Vice President claimed that Louisiana was losing 400 jobs a day. Louisiana at the time was actually gaining jobs.
The math-challenged Biden, who infamously said during the presidential campaign that the word “jobs” has three letters, is now making claims that he had face-to-face meetings with President Bush which aides and others don't recall or have a record of. Not surprisingly, Biden's narrative concerning these alleged meetings is meant to demonstrate what an influential truth-to-power guy he is.
Bill Sammon of Fox News has the story, which is a virtual lock not to make it into the established alphabet TV networks or into what's left of the establishment's newspapers:
George W. Bush has said nothing negative about his media-worshiped successor in the Oval Office. Yet that doesn't stop the liberal mainstream media for mocking the former president out of the blue -- while ignoring Obama gaffes -- for events that happened on his watch years ago.
The latest example, Time's Amy Sullivan, on the magazine's Swampland blog today entitled, "Quote of the Day":
Same-sex marriage proponents have finally won a victory yesterday the old-fashioned and constitutionally legitimate way: through legislative action. On April 7, state legislators overrided a veto by Gov. Jim Douglas (R), making Vermont the fourth state with legalized same-sex marriage and the first through the consent of the governed as expressed through their legislature.
UPDATE AT END OF POST: Moulitsas was less concerned about the four Oakland police officers killed just miles from his hometwo weeks ago.
Shortly before Markos Moulitsas blamed Glenn Beck for instigating the senseless shooting of three Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, police officers on Saturday, the proprietor of the far-left website Daily Kos said that conservatives would rather shoot cops than organize to win the next election.
He also wrote during the same Twitter discussion, "With no Veep to shoot people, folks are taking things into their own hands."
Such was revealed Sunday by a self-proclaimed Daily Kos diarist named Tommy Christopher who was so disgusted by these comments he has actually resigned his membership (h/t Hot Air via ConservaThink):
"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 mainstream media has found little of alarm in the story, but conservative bloggers including musician Charlie Daniels have taken heed of the Obama administration's changes to the terminology the U.S. government uses to describe the war on terrorism. For example, "terrorism" will now be referred to as "man-caused disasters" and the Global War on Terror will now be referred to as "Overseas Contingency Operation."
Daniels, who performed at the 2003 Media Research Center Gala, pulls no punches in his March 27 post, where demonstrates the absurdity of the politically correct language deployed by the Obama administration:
And to think we were "only" worried about having a known Tax Cheat overseeing everyone's taxes.
With Barney Frank's help, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is trying to expand his power (and by inference that of his Dear Leader boss) well beyond that. The "Pay for Performance Act," which has already gotten out of committee, would give him veto power over salaries at every company into which the government has inserted its intrusive claws.
Besides the utter outrageousness of the news itself, the story leads to the question of how the establishment media will handle it. Whitewash it? Minimize its significance? Ignore it? Given the fact that the news is over a week old, I vote for a continuation of Door Number Three.
There is plenty of evidence that many environmental activists are, at bottom, dangerous extremists who have deluded themselves into believing that the earth's population must be radically reduced if humanity is to survive. There is also growing evidence that this far-out viewpoint is more widely accepted among so-called mainstream environmentalists than the establishment media would have us believe.
Occasionally, these views surface. Ted Turner, father of five, infamously asserted the need to reduce the earth's population to 2 billion about a decade ago. He also expressed a stronger personal preference: "Personally, I think the population should be closer to when we had indigenous populations, back before the advent of farming. Fifteen thousand years ago, there was somewhere between 40 and 100 million people." In the early 1990s, the late Jacques Cousteau suggested that "World population must be stabilized and to do that we must eliminate 350,000 people per day." More recently, though less famously, at a Psychology Today blog, writer Stephen Kotter asserted "we need to lose 4.4 billion people and we need to lose them fast."
But I don't recall seeing an adviser to a government as prominent as the UK's Jonathon Porritt publicly utter such sentiments. But utter them he has. The UK Times Online took note on March 22:
Kevin Chappell of Ebony Magazine was among the reporters preselected to ask Dear Leader Barack Obama a question at his Tuesday press conference. Here was Chappell's question:
Thank you, Mr. President. A recent report found that as a result of the economic downturn, one in 50 children are now homeless in America. With shelters at full capacity, tent cities are sprouting up across the country. In passing your stimulus package, you said that help was on the way, but what would you say to these families, especially children, who are sleeping under bridges and in tents across the country?
Chappell's question was based on a report issued by the National Center on Family Homelessness. NCFH asserts that about 1.5 million children under 18 are homeless, just over 2% of the roughly 74 million children in the US (total population by each year of age is downloadable at a link at this Census Bureau page).
Last summer, as I noted in a Pajamas Media column, an advisory group known as a civil jury in San Francisco inadvertently proved how detached from reality NCFH's most recent scare figure is, and how generally bogus homelessness stats are, when it pegged the homeless population in the City by the Bay at (get ready) ....:
Gallup has issued two polls in the past couple of weeks showing that the reality is breaking through the non-stop, years-long propaganda blitz known properly known as the Great Global Warming Hoax (characterized by me since January 2007 as globaloney):
On March 11, the pollster told us that "Although a majority of Americans believe the seriousness of global warming is either correctly portrayed in the news or underestimated, a record-high 41% now say it is exaggerated." That's up from 30% three years ago.
On March 19, we were informed that "For the first time in Gallup's 25-year history of asking Americans about the trade-off between environmental protection and economic growth, a majority of Americans say economic growth should be given the priority, even if the environment suffers to some extent." And it's a 51-42 rout, a 27-point swing from 55-37 the other way just two years ago. Since globaloney is the main environmental justification for slowing (really stopping) economy growth, this result is a good proxy for increased rejection of the enviro kool-aid.
Now there's a third. Yesterday, Gallup told us that not only is globaloney increasing not believed and not more important than economic growth, it's the least important environmental issue we face. You have to look past its "clever" title and subhead to get to what should be the lede, but the glum news for Saturday's Earth Hour participants is there (bolds after title are mine):
Mainstream media journalists delighted in joining left-wing bloggers in mocking President George W. Bush over his penchant for verbal miscues, often when speaking off-the-cuff. Of course, President Bush wasn't too prickly on this point and on occasion made self-deprecating jokes about his penchant for mangling the English language.
Yet when it comes to right-of-center bloggers playfully mocking President Barack Obama's dependence on the teleprompter, don't expect most journalists to yuk it up with conservatives.
A leading HIV researcher -- and self-described liberal -- defends what the pope has said recently about condoms and AIDS.
I won't hold my breath for the secular mainstream media to notice, but that's what Christianity Today magazine reported on March 20 with its publication of an e-mail interview between deputy managing editor Tim Morgan and the director of Harvard's AIDS Prevention Research Project, Edward C. Green:
[Morgan]: Is Pope Benedict being criticized unfairly for his comments about HIV and condoms?
[Dr. Green]: This is hard for a liberal like me to admit, but yes, it's unfair because in fact, the best evidence we have supports his comments — at least his major comments, the ones I have seen.
Green went on to say that, at least as far as African countries are concerned, Pope Benedict is correct that condom promotion doesn't lessen the AIDS problem (emphases mine):
The "Faith & Reason" blogger lamented that "[s]ummer meeting season looms for many of the nation's leading Protestant denominations and that means the culture warriors are manning the battle stations on sexuality issues." Of course there are two sides to the culture war on sexual ethics in American Protestant Christianity, but Grossman's conclusion made clear her complaint was mostly, if not entirely, with conservatives, who stand on the defensive end of assaults by liberal Christians:
How would it affect your life, your spirituality, if the gay couple next door were married by a pastor, priest or rabbi? If your church were served by gay and straight people? Can you share a pew with someone who sees these issues differently?
And that's where Grossman is off the mark. These fights over gay, lesbian, and transgendered clergy are not by and large about the laity praying in the pews but about the higher moral standards on sex expected for the clergy.
On Saturday, March 28, "World Wildlife Fund is asking individuals, businesses, governments and organizations around the world to turn off their lights for one hour – Earth Hour – to make a global statement of concern about climate change and to demonstrate commitment to finding solutions."
Of course, the UN has endorsed it. Scroll through the list of supporters and you'll find among them many of the usual suspects: The American Federation of Teachers; the National Education Association; the National Science Teachers Association; the Weather Channel, whose Heidi Cullen called in early 2007 for removing the meteorological society's "seal of approval" from meteorologists who dared to question global warming in early 2007. You'll also note a sad chronology of those who have been taken in and opportunistic businesses, many of whom probably know better than to buy what Earth Hour is selling.
The Earth Hour folks had better hope that the following news out of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee either stays under the media radar or gets ignored until Saturday (bolds are mine):
If you needed some good news to brighten your Saturday evening, this could be it: ABC's George Stephanopoulos believes Democrats have abandoned their goal of enacting a carbon cap and trade program this year.
For those unfamiliar, this is a scheme backed by global warming alarmists such as Nobel Laureate Al Gore designed to place prohibitive taxes on emitters of that dastardly carbon dioxide.
Most rational economists not under Gore's influence believe such a plan would have a devastating effect on our economy, and would likely force companies to continue exporting manufacturing jobs to countries like China and India which don't have such business unfriendly practices.
Fortunately, according to Stephanopoulos, this idea has been scrapped for the time being (h/t Hot Air):
As if out to prove our point about media bias, the Washington Post's Mary Ann Akers seized on a one-liner by Joe "the Plumber" Wurzelbacher made last night at the MRC Gala and DisHonors Awards. Wurzelbacher, accepting the "Obamagasm Award" on behalf of ABC's Bill Weir, made a crack playing off the orgasmic delight that Chris Matthews and others in the media expressed after watching then-candidate Obama deliver rousing campaign speeches.
"God, all this love and everything in the room - I'm horny," Akers quoted Wurzelbacher, before going on to insist that no one in the whole room, especially at her table, understood why he said that.