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.
With the release of The Expendables, it seems that every self-respecting male has caught 80's fever. As a way to clear the palette from modern metro-sexual romps, my friends have resorted to re-visiting old B-movie beauties such as Cobra, Road House and Tango and Cash. Sure they're awful, but unlike the Kaiser-helmet wearing hipsters of the lower east side, those movies never tried to be anything that they weren't.
When looking back at the 80s however, the one thing that strikes me the most are the cartoons. I'll admit it, I'm a cartoon junkie. To this day I can still be found in my pajamas with a bowl of Cap'n Crunch, catching up on animated glory. Back in the 80s though, cartoons were still violent... and I liked it that way.
Of course, I'm discussing the cartoons aimed squarely at young boys. You see, back then, before gender roles became considered hateful and being androgynous had been transformed into a virtue, boys actually watched different cartoons from girls, and they were proud of it.
In every week of his presidency until now, Barack Obama has enjoyed a majority approval rating in the Gallup Poll from people earning less than $2,000 per month. But that changed in the Gallup survey conducted from Aug. 2-8, when only 49 percent of Americans in that income bracket said they approve of the job Obama is doing.
This marks the first time since Obama was inaugurated on January 20, 2009, when Americans in all four of the income brackets reported in Gallup's weekly survey of presidential approval gave Obama less than 50 percent approval.
For the week of Aug. 2-Aug. 8, only 42 percent of Americans earning $7,500 per month or more said they approve of the job Obama is doing. Forty-four percent of those earning between $5,000 and $7,499 said they approve of the job he is doing. And forty-six percent of those earning between $2,000 and $4,999 said they approve of the job he is doing.
The National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has awarded $126,000 over the past two years to a University of Washington study that established "web-based sex diaries" for gay males as young as 16.
By the time the grants end in 2011, taxpayers will have spent more than $250,000 for the study.
"The study's second aim is to assess the feasibility of using web-based sex diaries to collect sexual behavior data and to identify the appropriate diary schedule. MSM [men who have sex with men] will be randomly assigned diary schedules and we will compare the frequency of reported behaviors across diary schedules and against the retrospective questionnaire data," the grant abstract states.
The study, titled "The Importance of Early Sexual Experiences Among Men Who Have Sex with Men," seeks to find out if the circumstances under which young homosexuals first engage in homosexual acts impacts their future sexual behavior.
If you’re not interested in having Will Ferrell lecture you on the evils of capitalism this coming weekend and would instead prefer to cozy up at home before the warm glow of plasma with a cold one in one hand a Redbox receipt in the other, here are five fairly new-to-DVD flicks that won’t leave you feeling sucker punched.
1.The Road: Director John Hillcoat’s adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize winner was unforgivably snubbed for Oscar consideration last year, as was leading man Viggo Mortensen for his heart-wrenching work as a widowed father leading his adolescent son across a dangerous, barren post-apocalyptic America. Muted, heartbreaking, and yet hopeful, this is a story about a father teaching his son about what it takes to survive at any cost other than losing your humanity. Perfectly acted, beautifully directed and paced in such a way that casts an hypnotic spell, “The Road” is part Christian allegory, part zombie movie, and boasts an unforgettable cameo by Robert Duvall.
The press won't go there because, well, they love President Barack Obama and this story, accurately reported, is painful. I haven't gone there because I don't really care what's going on between President Obama and his wife. President Clinton defiling the Oval office concerned me because his actions were a big f-u to the American people and showed blatant disrespect to the office and the country. Michelle being pissed off at Barack Obama? Eh, who isn't? Also, Michelle being a petty, selfish woman? Also not news. If reports are to be believed, Michelle Obama is the reason America has the shining tower of intelligence Joe Biden instead of Hillary Clinton. Petty. They're two of a kind.
Still and all, this story has become more newsworthy as the scope and cost of Michelle's trip to Europe has dribbled out. Mickey Kaus says:
So Michelle Obama vacations in Spain with her daughter and a huge posse, leaving her husband alone on his birthday and undermining his party's political chances (bad recession ‘optics'). This is the sort of story on which I suspect there are three levels of perception:
The 1,200 National Guard troops that are being deployed incrementally to the southwest border "will not be doing direct law enforcement," said U.S. National Guard Bureau Director of Communications Jack Harrison when asked if the forces would be interdicting drugs and undocumented immigrants.
"The two mission sets are criminal analysts and enter-identification team," Harrison told CNSNews.com. "I can tell you that guardsmen will not be doing direct law enforcement on the southwest border."
In other words, the National Guardsmen will not be used to actually stop and detain illegal aliens trying to sneak across the border into the United States.
Harrison made his comments on Friday during a "bloggers roundtable" sponsored by the Department of Defense (DOD).
The last thing I was worrying about was that The Other Guys would be too preachy. Sure, Will Ferrell has a long history of deep, thought-provoking critiques of society and culture, so that should have been my big concern. Also subtitles. And having the last shot of the film be the word "Fin" superimposed over the freeze-framed image of a crying child alone on a beach symbolizing death or something.
You know, sometimes you just want to go, have a drink or two, or three, or ten, and then sit in a movie theater and tune out the seemingly endless parades of nimrods, pinkos and sanctimonious deadbeats who make up so much of our society today. You just want some guys to come on the screen and to do and say some funny stuff. Maybe you want an explosion or two, perhaps a gratuitous shower scene - strike that, as shower scenes are never gratuitous. Unless it's a dude. Or Kathy Bates.
The point is the last thing you want after a Dos XX prep and handing over $11.75 each for yourself and your life partner/designated driver is for a bunch of Hollywood half-wits to stop the fun to give you a PowerPoint briefing on their insights into modern politics - without even the PowerPoint. And it appears that this is exactly what The Other Guys intends to do.
Carl Cameron thinks Sharron Angle is naive. I think Sharron Angle thinks like a Democrat: Expect good media coverage, tell the media what you want to talk about, and by golly! expect friendly coverage!
Pinal County (Ariz.) Sheriff Paul Babeu is hopping mad at the federal government.
Babeu told CNSNews.com that rather than help law enforcement in Arizona stop the hundreds of thousands of people who come into the United States illegally, the federal government is targeting the state and its law enforcement personnel.
"What's very troubling is the fact that at a time when we in law enforcement and our state need help from the federal government, instead of sending help they put up billboard-size signs warning our citizens to stay out of the desert in my county because of dangerous drug and human smuggling and weapons and bandits and all these other things and then, behind that, they drag us into court with the ACLU," Babeu said.
There was a lot of cool news out of Comic Con last week. The "Avengers" has a great cast, with the addition of Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner, and a great director in Joss Whedon. The images from Zack Snyder's "Sucker Punch" look awesome. "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" was screened and people love it. Oh, and the upcoming "Captain America" film won't be "about America so much as it is about the spirit of doing the right thing."
That's right kids. Captain America will be out there fighting the real evil of the world: corporations, Tea Partiers, global warming, and those who oppose gay marriage.
Even the L.A. Times notes that the decision to not make Captain America "jingoistic and flag waving" is a personal choice by the filmmaker. After all, it's hard to demand that change in the name of commerce. Marvel's own decidedly libertarian franchise "Iron Man" has earned nearly two billion dollars world wide.
What a fine group of happy warriors! Right Online 2010 turned out over 1,000 like-minded activists from over 30 states. These passionate folks walked the over-100 degree streets of Las Vegas to educate voters that November Is Coming.
Should the Democrats be worried? No. They should be resigned. The real worry-warts should be Republicans consistently intent on selling out their principles. Be worried. People are mission-focused.
A couple highlights from the conference: Here's my favorite speaker from the group, Emery McClendon:
So last week, in the Rose Garden, President Obama paraded out three jobless folks, using their plight to implore Congress to extend unemployment benefits.
One of them was a delightful woman named Leslie Macko.
Here’s what he said about her.
“We need to pass it for Leslie Macko who lost her job at a fitness center last year and has been looking for work ever since because she eligible for only a few more weeks of unemployment, she’s doing what she thought she’d never have to do. She’s turning to her father for financial support.”
Well, our President was right – she did lose her job (giving facials!), but it might have been for good reason. It occurred one month after she pleaded guilty to felony prescription drug fraud, in March 2009.
So, I asked my liberal friend Matt Zemek why liberals are so miserable. To my way of thinking, they have everything politically: the President, the Congress, most courts, and the press. What more could they have outside complete ideological domination–that is a Matrix-like mind control over the masses? And yet, even with this power, sulkiness. The bad attitude was exemplified by the Netroots gathering in Las Vegas. While the conservative conferences I’ve been to over the last couple years have been unfailingly cheerful, the liberal groups sound morose. Why?
Now before getting to Matt’s response, a caveat. Matt is a religious man. He’s Catholic. He is not a secular humanist. This changes his philosophy profoundly. That is: Life does not begin and end with this terrestrial existence. His belief in an afterlife gives him a hope not shared by secular progressives. And so, he is, while generally frustrated, a kind-hearted (if delusional ) center-leftist. He’s generally more cheerful, if disappointed. [Yes, I'm gleaning all of this from my interactions with him on Twitter.]
Hollywood director Oliver Stone - who previously tried to rewrite history with his ultra-left conspiracy work of fiction "JFK" is at it again. But this time he's not accusing the American government of murdering its own president.
Instead, he's simply trying to stop the "Jewish domination of the media," so that the film industry can put Nazi leader Adolf Hitler "in context," as an "easy scapegoat," and "a product of a series of actions," in his upcoming 10-hour Showtime docudrama, "The Secret History of America."
This past weekend Stone told the Sunday Times in England: "We can't judge people as only bad or good . . . Hitler was a Frankenstein, but there was also a Dr. Frankenstein. German industrialists, the Americans and the British. He had a lot of support."
Free enterprise and the American marketplace– not the guiding hand of government – have revitalized the beleaguered automaker General Motors, which expects to announce another profitable quarter, according to GM officials.
President Barack Obama plans to visit a GM plant in Hamtramk, Michigan on July 30, and his administration is linking GM’s return to profitability with the bailout of the old GM the administration orchestrated last summer.
“Just over a year after President Obama made tough decisions to save Chrysler and GM, these companies are returning to profitability, hiring workers, and keeping plants open,” the White House said in a July 23 press release. “And because of the steps the Administration and Congress have taken with Cash for Clunkers and the Recovery Act, the industry overall is strengthening.”
Patrick Goldstein and much of the butt-boy entertainment media have either outright ignored director Oliver Stone’s anti-Semitic comments or have dug a deeper hole for their credibility in attempting to explain why they shouldn’t have to hold their favorite anti-American director to the same standard as the director of the “The Passion of the Christ” after his 2006 incident. Unfortunately for them, this ploy might not be working. According to some excellent reporting in The Wrap, media mogul and Clinton confidante Haim Saban is showing some moral consistency, and he’s claiming that WME Chairman Ari Emanuel is as well.
Like the Anti-Defamation League, Saban is far from satisfied with Stone’s “clumsy association with the Holocaust” apology, calling it “sooooo transparently fake.” And as a money-where-his-mouth-is supporter of Israel, my guess is that Saban’s taking issue with all this crazy talk coming from Stone about how his January miniseries will prove Hitler was a “scapegoat” who deserves to be put in “context.”
A furious Haim Saban has mounted a campaign to get Showtime to cancel its planned airing of Oliver Stone’s 10-part series, “A Secret History of America,” in the wake of anti-Jewish remarks by the outspoken director.
So as you know, Wikileaks has posted a crapload of secret military reports about the Afghan war, including covert operations against Taliban figures. They claim their goal is to reveal “unethical behavior,” by the government and corporations.
On their website they write “All governments can benefit from increased scrutiny by the world community, as well as their own people.”
This is pure bullpoop, to use the scientific term.
The fact is, their goal is to only “expose” people they don’t like – meaning the United States military – and get worldwide props for it.
President Barack Obama, the honorary chairman of the Boy Scouts of America, will not speak in-person before the group on Wednesday at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia, as part of the organization's 100th anniversary celebration. However, the president is sending a videotaped message to the scouts for Wednesday, the same day he will be in Manhattan to tape an appearance for ABC TV’s talk show “The View.”
Bob Dries, chairman of national news and media at the Boy Scouts of America Jamboree – a gathering that happens every four years and attracts thousands of scouts from around the world – told CNSNews.com that the organization was told on Monday that the president had scheduling conflicts and would not be speaking in-person at the week-long event.
The smarty pants set, breezily dismiss the contents of JournoList, the group made up of hundreds of mainstream journalists, bloggers, activists and Democrat policy wonks. The reasoning goes this way: how is it shocking that a bunch of like-minded people want to get together and chat? I mean, that’s just human. They’re young and liberal and brash, who cares?
Regardless, the record shows Scherer had very harsh words for Fox — a point that would be less relevant had Scherer not recently won a seat on the board of directors of the White House Correspondents Association.
Why does this matter? As you may recall, there is a battle taking place to determine which media outlet will get Helen Thomas’ front-row seat for White House briefings. Many believe that Fox News should get the seat.
The Obama administration’s policies in steering the auto bailout drove unemployment up, according to an audit by the Office of Special Inspector General for the Troubled Assets Relief Program (SIGTARP).
“At a time when the country was experiencing the worst economic downturn in generations and the government was asking its taxpayers to support a $787 billion stimulus package designed primarily to preserve jobs, Treasury made a series of decisions that may have substantially contributed to the accelerated shuttering of thousands of small businesses and thereby potentially adding tens of thousands of workers to the already lengthy unemployment rolls – all based on a theory and without sufficient consideration of the decisions’ broader economic impact,” the audit by SIGTARP Neil Barofsky stated. “It is not at all clear that the greatly accelerated pace of the dealership closings during one of the most severe economic downturns in our Nation’s history was either necessary for the sake of the companies’ economic survival or prudent for the sake of the Nation’s economic recovery,” the audit added.
The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) is conflict with itself. Like all unions, although it’s ostensibly in existence to help the little people, what’s really happening is that prominent members of SAG are making a killing without any real redistribution of their wealth to other members or to society.
The hypocrisy of this is evident when we consider that some of the more prominent members of SAG – actors like George Clooney and actresses like Julia Roberts – are die hard liberals who supported Obama’s campaign of “hope” and “change.” After all, like the CEOs at all those “awful” corporations, the amount of money A-listers like Clooney and Roberts make is many, many times that of the average actor or crew- member working on their films.
I can’t help but be bothered by the arrogance of such people who, although making tens of millions of dollars per movie, vote for a man who campaigned on tax increases. In other words, after going on TV talk shows and letting their little hearts bleed about the plight of the poor or the pain of the hungry, they vote for tax increases on average Americans instead of just reaching into their own pockets to correct fixable problems overnight.
Maryland will join Pennsylvania as the second state to use federal tax dollars to pay for abortions under the new health care law signed by President Barack Obama in March, according to information released by Maryland’s State Health Insurance Plan.
Maryland will receive $85 million in federal funds for its federally mandated high-risk insurance pool, which will cover abortions. As CNSNews.com reported on July 14, Pennsylvania will receive $160 million in federal funds for its high-risk insurance pool, which will also cover abortions.
During the debate over the health-care bill, President Obama delivered a speech to a joint session of Congress, saying: “Under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions.”