I have no obligation to the Democrats or progressives or unions. We’re not warriors in their cause[.] – Jon Stewart defending his anti-Beck rally
You work on the message, I’ll work on the logistics. — Arianna Huffington to Jon Stewart regarding her offer to provide buses to his rally.
Jon Stewart always tries to make it seem like he rises above it all, and that’s not the case. He certainly has a point of view that’s fairly strident.” — Tea Party Organizer Jamie Radtke.
…And therein lies Jon Stewart’s problem: We are on to him. And it appears as though his fans in the media are also finding it difficult to carry his I’m just a performer water this time, as well.
The mistake Stewart made, I think, was letting his hubris get ahead of him. The whole DC rally idea is too clever by half and and now the state-sanctioned comedian’s credibility is taking on a little water as he’s found himself in the unwinnable position of having to explain his motivations again and again and again.
When word hit that Zack Snyder would be directing a Christopher Nolan produced, David Goyer written version of “Superman,” many a geek heart rejoiced. Images of super slo-mo action, desaturated color palettes, and snappy and powerful one-liners filled our heads. All was good in the Geekosphere.
Then, alas, came word that the script for the film was “a mess.” The oddly named “Vulture” dropped the bomb that Snyder had been hired because the studio wanted a director capable of putting together a hacky “rush job” so Warner Brothers could keep the rights to the Man of Steel. Director Darren Aronofsky, fresh off the buzz of his upcoming film “The Black Swan” passed on the project because it was in such disarray and reeked of a studio cash grab…. Great Ceasar’s ghost, what’s going on here?
If you haven’t been reading Big Hollywood, or living on Planet Earth, you might not know that Hollywood has a leftist bent to it. You also may not know that the Hollywood press is just as corrupt, self-serving and leftist as their cousins in the mainstream media. The reports of “Superman’s” death are greatly exaggerated. This is nasty spin, aimed to take down two of Hollywood’s new school power players while boosting up a critical darling who has little appeal outside the coastal critics community. It also has a lot to do with politics and ideology.
Earlier this week an essay appeared on the Huffington Post which accused Heritage Action of plagiarism with regards to some Internet spots they are currently running starring Clint Howard. As the writer for the Heritage Action ads in question, let me address the charge of plagiarism directly. First of all, I can give you my word of honor as a gentleman* that until yesterday morning I had never seen or even heard of the SEIU ads I am accused of plagiarizing. I have heard of Lee Camp, as I peruse the Huffington Post regularly for joke premises, and I have even sampled a couple of Mr. Camp’s alleged comedy offerings. Not being a fan of his work, however, there would be no reason for me to seek out additional examples of it. I would be more than happy to undergo a polygraph examination to corroborate my claims of innocence on the condition that Mr. Camp undergo a polygraph test to corroborate his claims of being a comedy writer which I have been unable to document elsewhere.
The only way it gets worse than reading the latest pinko missive by Robert Redford on the Huffington Post would be if Michael Moore was checking your prostate at the same time and muttering, “No, no, no, that doesn’t feel right at all.”
Redford used to be a movie star and heartthrob until he began noticeably wizening in the 80’s (watch 1992’s Sneakers; Redford’s got more loose skin going on than Ed Gein’s basement). After that, he largely moved on to directing crappy movies about how America sucks that no one watches, like 2007’s Lions For Lambs, and lecturing the rest of us about how we have failed to live up to his expectations.
His current bugaboo is that evil companies are engaged in the political process. Redford warns:
We may have just found the outer edge of the Hollywood taste envelope, all thanks to Andy and Larry Wachowski, the creators of The Matrix. Formerly known as the Wachowski Brothers - that is, until Larry decided after making zillions of dollars and gaining millions of slobbering fans that the only thing standing between him and true happiness was his penis - this pair's latest project, Cobalt Neural 9, appears to be repelling even the jaded mandarins of Hollywood.
Oh, it's not because the content of CN9 will be vacuous, foul and outright evil, though it is. It's because no one in Tinseltown thinks the movie will make any money.
So what is CN9 about? Well, it appears to mix condemnation of the Iraq War, a healthy dose of gay sex, naturally, a plot to assassinate George W. Bush. Sounds less like a hit movie than the agenda for a Daily Kos staff meeting.
The internet is abuzz with praise for the new documentary that points out the many faults of public education, Waiting for Superman. With positive reviews from both the Huffington Post on the Left as well as the New York Poston the Right, it makes one wonder, how could this be? It appears that this film has single-handedly done what President Obama could not do to save his own life: bring the Left and Right together on a single issue.
It is refreshing that the film's director, Davis Guggenheim (who directed An Inconvenient Truth), is able to put politics aside to see the destructive nature of teachers unions. Guggenheim put his own kids through private school but realizes that not everyone can afford such a luxury. Here, he sets out to tackle the real problems that have long plagued public school systems: teachers unions. Though, he is careful to say that he isn't bashing unions in general.
Guggenheim sees that not everything has to be a political football, which is why we should applaud him for taking a bipartisan approach. However, some feel that the response to the film shows the true, negative colors of conservatives. Liberal Patrick Goldstein comments in the Los Angeles Times:
"It is time for stronger remedies to be applied," said abolitionist Wendell Phillips of the Union's effort during the Civil War,"in the form of hot lead and cold steel duly administered by 100,000 black doctors." His vision became a reality as over 180,000 African-Americans (free men and escaped slaves) joined the Union Army to fight against the slave-holding Confederacy.
The story of the first such "colored" regiment to be formed, the 54th Massachusetts, is beautifully retold in director Edward Zwick's 1989 film Glory. That this film didn't even garner an Oscar nomination for best picture - in a year where Driving Miss Daisy took the prize - is puzzling to me. Glory features a first-rate script, wonderful imagery, and a stellar cast led by Matthew Broderick who plays Col. Robert Gould Shaw, the real-life idealistic white officer chosen to lead the regiment. The film is also a feast for the ears as the majestic chorus of the Harlem Boys' Choir permeates the score.
Personally, I completely agree with Glenn Reynolds that having this idiot Colbert testify was nothing more than a Democrat stunt to take the media's eye off the very real and important testimony also taking place today regarding the Justice Department's racism scandals. So the more cringe-worthy and embarrassing Colbert's appearance is, the better. Naturally, the MSM will be all too willing to play along. They fully understand how damaging the DOJ Black Panther case is to the Obama Administration and have no desire to come anywhere near covering it.
And of course, there's Stephen Colbert, just as willing to play along - a narcissistic attention whore with no respect for the political process who thinks his schtick combined with a ten hour day he spent in the vegetable fields somehow makes him a compelling and important witness.
The one good thing that came out of this is Colbert's reaction to Conyers' request that he leave. It's not very often you see a smug, superior Hollywoodist caught off guard.
I was flipping through the tube last night, and found myself in an all-too familiar situation: watching reruns of Seinfeld. Sure, you could chalk it up to my lack of a basic cable package, or it could be due to the fact that I'm no longer able to stomach Letterman's increasingly senile, liberal spewage (and Leno is sort of hit-or-miss these days). I would argue, however, that one reason stands above the rest:Seinfeld is honest.
The truth is that Seinfeld reflects the worst among us. It is made up of a memorable cast, all of whom play the most self-serving people you could ever meet. Self-absorbed, vain and often underhanded, the show is a perfect embodiment of many involved with the entertainment industry. You've got to love its transparency. Unlike James Cameron (who is just as materialistic and self-serving as a George Costanza), you never have to worry about the show sermonizing the politically correct cause du jour.
Funnily enough, it is Seinfeld's lack of a soapbox that spurs me to take a good hard look at myself more than any other show on television. How often do you find yourself disgusted at the selfishness of George or Jerry, only to realize that you've most likely acted similarly (if not identically) at one point or another?
Is there no end to the many talents of Lady Gaga, already recognized as the greatest Madonna impersonator of this century? Of course we all know her as a singer, musician, fashionista and female impersonator, but recently she has revealed herself as maven in two new areas: military expert and political advisor.
It started at the MTV Video Music Awards. That is ironic in itself since I think that MTV stopped being a music channel sometime in the 1990's. Ms. Gaga, (I don't know if "Lady" is a title or simply the first part of her pseudonym) appeared in a costume made of meat. When asked the meaning of her get-up by Ellen DeGeneres, she explained it wasn't a slam on vegans.
"As you know, I am the most judgment-free human being on the earth," Gaga replied.
Wow! Did the irony of that statement knock anyone else down into their La-Z-Boy? That might be the truest thing she has ever said. It wasn't too long ago that having judgment skills was considered a plus. Not anymore!
Remember when American comedians went after the powerful in an effort to bring them down to earth with the sharp satire of accountability? Today, they appear to only protect the powerful. Well, unless the powerful aren't liberal enough. As things stand now you have the likes of David Letterman and Louis C.K. savaging Sarah Palin's family, SNL terrified to rip Obama with any real zeal, cartoonists proclaiming President Teleprompter too cool to mock, and Will Ferrell films flaking for corrupt public unions, all in an effort to protect the corrupted leftist elitists currently holding power.
It's like we now live in an alternate universe you might call ... North Korea.
In desperate Hail Mary moves to protect Obama and Democrats from what's looking like a November rout, three of the left's most beloved Palace Guards have just upped their game considerably. Bill Maher's now openly blackmailing Delaware Republican Senate Candidate Christine O'Donnell, threatening a weekly drip-drip-drip of videos he thinks will ruin her candidacy unless she agrees to appear on his show - which is where he'll really pull out the stops to finally win that Emmy by attempting to destroy her:
At a minimum, taxpayers have spent $9.1 million as of July 2010 on signs advertising the Obama administration's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the stimulus law, according to federal officials reporting estimates to the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board.
But the cost is probably much higher since the six government agencies that spent stimulus dollars relied largely on sampling to get an estimate of how much money was spent on posting signs near Recovery Act projects.
Most of the signs read, "Putting America to Work," and they include the ARRA emblem along with the Recovery.gov Web address. While the Obama administration contends the signs provide transparency, Republicans believe the signs amount to taxpayer-subsidized propaganda.
So at Palm Beach State College last week, an administrator kicked the conservative group, Young Americans for Freedom, out of some event. The ejector, Olivia Morris Ford, claims she didn't recall giving the scamps permission to be there.
But the group claims Olivia had responded, and there's evidence: an e-mail from student Christina Beattie to Olivia, and Beattie's phone log showing the call from Olivia.
So it looks like Ms. Morris Ford should lady up and tell the truth.
Something tells me, she won't. Check out the video of the scrape.
It's tough being the wife of the most powerful man in the world, just ask Michelle Obama. Carla Bruni, who seemed to reveal her distaste for the First Lady in previous pictures, reveals Michelle's whiny comments in her recent book [Aside: why is a sitting world leader's spouse writing a tell-all? What tawdriness.]
"Feminism is a Crock - and Other True Stories." That's the title for a book I'd like to write someday. The reason I say feminism is a crock is because it has morphed from "equal rights for all" to "women are better than men, and if you disagree you're a sexist pig who should be castrated." It's also morphed into a sexual free-for-all: what used to be sauce for the gander (and those ganders were usually considered cads) is now sauce for the goose. This image is being perpetuated by pop culture and entertainment, and women are more and more frequently being portrayed as strong through their sexuality, not through their actual accomplishments. Is this the standard to which we want our daughters to aspire?
Early feminists fought against the centuries-old image of a "woman on a pedestal." Gloria Steinem (she of the "a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle" who in later years ended up getting married anyway) once said, "A pedestal is as much a prison as any small, confined space." I suppose a bra is also a small, confined space, which might explain the bra burnings of the 1960s. But the early feminists had a point - to a point. If a woman wants to be put on a pedestal and admired and adored, fine. But if she doesn't, she should have the right to do with her life as she chooses. She should be free to pursue any vocation for which she is qualified, either as a single or married woman, children or no children.
Calling media portrayals of sex "unhealthy," the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued new guidelines calling on all media outlets to present human sexuality in a healthy, scientifically accurate manner.
At the same time, the group pomoted the use of contraceptives among teenagers and denigrated abstinence-only education.
"There is a major disconnect between what mainstream media portray - casual sex and sexuality with no consequences - and what children and teenagers need - straightforward information about human sexuality and the need for contraception when having sex," the AAP said.
"Television, film, music, and the Internet are all becoming increasingly sexually explicit, yet information on abstinence, sexual responsibility, and birth control remains rare," said the AAP.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is putting some of the blame on both the Tea Party and the Republican Party for what it sees as a growing tide of anti-Muslim anger. CAIR officials said the rise in "Islamophobia" stems from the controversy surrounding the Islamic center and mosque that Muslims plan to build a few blocks from Ground Zero.
"We've seen a really strong uptick in Islamophobia recently - primarily sparked by the controversy over the Manhattan Islamic center," Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR's chief spokesman, told reporters at a press conference Wednesday. "We've seen hate vandalism at mosques in California; in Tennessee, we had an arson attack; at a mosque in Arlington, Texas, we had an arson attack; and something that wasn't even reported nationwide, in May we had a bomb attack at a mosque in Jacksonville, Florida," he said.
Hooper said the attacks could be driven by many factors: "The question is, why? Is it tied to the November elections? Is it tied to the rise of the Tea Party movement? Is it tied to the economy?" he asked. "I think it's pretty clear that it's been sparked...by these hate groups and their opposition to the Islamic community center in Manhattan."
One failure of logic is to generalize from the anecdotal to the whole. Conservatives, who know rules of logic -- we have Thomas Sowell after all (see what I did there?) -- understand this. So, when it comes to rhetorical arguments or situations where some weirdo commits some random badness, they tend to blame...well, the perpetrator. It's also just fundamental fairness.
The left, in contrast, has spent the last year and half trying to pin every act of terrorism and evil on the vast, white, racist, homophobic, bigoted Tea Party. They do it without shame. They impugn, malign and besmirch repeatedly. Best Tea Party sign? "You'll say I'm racist anyway."
Lefties generalize from anecdotes unless the crazy person is one of their own (and yes, that was just a generalization). Then, of course, the crazy is an "outlier". He's a depraved individual. And often, there are compelling reasons for the outburst. Those compelling reasons demand more examination. And upon examination, well, it turns out the context is complex and nuanced.
Enter the Discovery Building bomber-hostage taker-gun nut. The blogger Atrios was quick to point out that the guy with a clear eco-terrorist bent was just a "crazy individual".
So AP writer Allen Breed begins his recent mosque piece by defining the word, "tolerance." It's a traditional rhetorical device, one learned back in sixth grade while plagiarizing the Encyclopedia Britannica.
His piece focuses on religion, of course, - but not Islam, Christianity or even my favorite, "the universal life force of the Grand Unicorn."
His all powerful religion? Tolerance.
Of course, for him, tolerance can only play one way. As Yanks we must kneel before the alter of acceptance, while everyone else uses us as a footrest.
I have no idea what is going to happen in the November congressional elections, but it seems the polls -- for what they're worth -- predict a huge Republican win.
It may or may not happen, I just don't know, but if it does and the aisles of Congress are littered with Democrats who will be kicked out in the New Year, will they feel they don't have anything to lose and try to pass the remainder of their socialistic agenda before they're forced to leave.
And if lame duck Democrats try to do this will the Republicans and remaining Democrats who will return have the guts and the honor to block them?
Will they let cap and trade, card check and all the other catastrophic crap they have proposed be passed?
On July 27th and 28th, the New York Times published the following headline: "The oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico appears to be dissolving far more rapidly than anyone expected." In the story that followed the headline, readers were informed: "The immense patches of surface oil that [once] covered thousands of square miles of the gulf after the...oil rig explosion are largely gone."
Ironically, the man who predicted this would be case was the much-maligned Tony Hayward, former Chief Executive of British Petroleum (BP). While being grilled on Capital Hill about the oil spill earlier this year, Hayward described it as a "relatively tiny" one in comparison to the "very big ocean" in which it had occurred. Although the backlash Hayward faced by Democrats was nasty, Rush Limbaugh concurred with the BP boss, and stories like the one I cited from the New York Times seem to demonstrate that Hayward and Limbaugh were both correct.
Yet, not only does BP continue to be the target of heavy criticism by Democrats and environmental groups, it has even found itself in the crosshairs of Brad Pitt, who recently "said he would consider the death penalty for those to blame for the Gulf oil spill crisis." According to the UK's Daily Mail, Pitt's exact words were: "I was never for the death penalty before - I am willing to look at it again."
There are three important things going on in "The Tillman Story" (in selected theatres today), two of which almost make the conspiracy-mongering documentary worth your time. The first and best is the opportunity to get to know better the extraordinary and extraordinarily complicated and interesting Pat Tillman. In the best sense of the word, this was a fierce and fiercely passionate man - fierce on the football field, fierce on the battlefield, and fierce in his personal beliefs. This was also a man who only ever dated one woman, the woman he would marry the same week he enlisted; and my guess is that Tillman was the kind of man and husband who found leaving the fame of professional football much easier than leaving his young bride.
You also meet Tillman's family; his parents, brother and wife - a decent, loving, inconsolable group dealing with the terrible loss of someone they obviously loved and miss very much. This is a family furious with a United States government who didn't know all the facts before they told the story of Tillman's death to them, and to the American people. And as far as that goes, they are right to be angry.
Twenty-two states are now in the process of drafting or seeking to pass legislation similar to Arizona's law against illegal immigration. This is occurring despite the fact that the Obama administration has filed a lawsuit against the Arizona law and a federal judge has ruled against portions of that law - a ruling that is now being appealed.
Next month, two Rhode Island state lawmakers, a Democrat and a Republican, will travel to Arizona to speak with Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, local sheriffs, and other officials about how to better craft their own bipartisan immigration bill for Rhode Island, which already has been enforcing some federal immigration laws.
Meanwhile, 11 Republican state lawmakers from Colorado traveled to Arizona this week to meet with officials there on how to craft legislation for the Mile High state.
So last night on the show, Andy Levy pointed out that the person representing the Ground Zero mosque on Twitter made a few jabs at the Amish.
This is what the Tweeter tweeted:
Amish saying stop Muslims?1. What are you doing on the computer? 2. That's not very Amish 3. Shouldn't you be making butter?
Later, that tweet was deleted.
Which is a shame, because it didn't have to go. See, the Mosque folks don't understand that here in America you can make fun of any religion - yes, even the Amish - and angry followers won't throw acid in your face or behead you in front of a tripod. And, as primitive as the Amish are, they won't even stone you to death for adultery. But the tweeting Park51 can be forgiven: maybe they thought the Amish might head out from Lancaster County and fly a buggy straight into their building. Don't worry, "Parky:" they wouldn't get the horses through the Lincoln Tunnel.
Last week, film writer extraordinaire Christian Toto fell under the delusion that yours truly was interesting enough to interview, and if you're under the same delusion you can read the two-parter here and here. Among other things, Toto asked me about the clout critics wield and the most common mistakes they make. Here's a combination of my answers:
Critics aren't dumb, they know the public doesn't much care which way their thumbs point. But critics do know that based on their opinions and reviews they can enjoy an influence over what kind of films get made. And that's not a small amount of power. Culture is upstream from politics, after all.
If you have 95 percent of critics savaging a faithful retelling of the Gospels as anti-Semitic, no matter how successful "The Passion" is, no one's going to go near that subject matter again. And that's the goal. Same with anything that comes close to patriotism or conservatism. Such cinematic rarities are frequently labeled "jingoistic, fascist or simple minded." This is all done consciously and for a desired effect.
The transformation of Reverend Al Sharpton from street provocateur to civil rights eminence ranks as one of the more remarkable image makeovers in American public life. And mainstream journalism has played a central role. Anyone doubting as much should read the recent (August 2) cover story of Newsweek magazine, "The Reinvention of the Reverend." Written by Allison Samuels and Jerry Adler, the article is a fawning and misleading portrait of the Harlem-based preacher/politician. The piece doesn't quite beatify Sharpton. But it does make a highly selective use of information, some of it factually wrong, in stating the case for "the Rev," as he is commonly known, as a moral conscience of the nation. It also stands as an example, as if any more were needed, that "diversity" in the newsroom isn't about a diversity of opinion.
Reverend Sharpton, as National Legal and Policy Center often has noted, has a long history of public demagoguery in the service of civil rights. In the spring of 2009 NLPC released a lengthy Special Report (which I had written) documenting how Sharpton has used his social standing among many fellow blacks to transform a crime, or an allegation of it, into collective moral grievance. His style follows a distinct pattern. First, he receives word of a black or blacks allegedly victimized by white civilians or cops. Should he be sufficiently outraged, he will insist on serving as that person (and his or her family's) "adviser." At that point, he will launch a nonstop media-focused campaign in the streets designed to mobilize public opinion in favor of the victim and against the opposition. In his mind, blacks continue to be second-class citizens, their cries for justice all but ignored by powerful elites. Thus, these elites must feel the heat of the street. In his 2002 autobiography, "Al on America," he writes (pp. 93, 95): "To many in America, racism is a thing of the past. It's something that happened ‘back then.' To millions of blacks in this country, it is something we live with every day...(T)he outcome of my marches is one of the reasons why I will always be considered ‘controversial' in some circles - because I rip the veil off Northern established liberal racism."
Reigniting a political controversy, former President Bill Clinton this week contradicted the Obama White House, telling a Pennsylvania TV station that he never encouraged U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak to drop out of Pennsylvania's U.S. Senate race - as the White House claimed in May.
On Tuesday, Aug. 10, as Clinton campaigned for Sestak in Scranton, Pa., a reporter with the NBC affiliate in Wilkes-Barre asked Clinton why he was in Pennsylvania campaigning for Sestak if he had once tried to get him to drop out of the Senate race.
"I never tried to get him out of the race," Clinton replied. "I've never even been accused of that," he added in response to a follow-up question.
Clinton's denial on Tuesday represents a third version of events, said Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which has been looking into the matter.
"You know the saying there's three sides to every story -- well, now we have it," Issa said.
Matt brings up two pieces of evidence: Matt Yglesias saying that lying is okay was one distressing example. Well, duh. Yglesias is a liberal and I have yet to read a liberal blogger who doesn't believe the ends justify the means. There is no true objective truth, after all. And, really, lying is fine, if a greater truth is served yada yada. This is not new. Nor is it shocking. Everything from science (Al Gore and global warming) to social science (single mothering is as good as dual-parent families) to religion (Christianists!) to media coverage is manipulated to serve the statist i.e. Democratic good. And to make the arguments, lying isn't just recommended, it's necessary.