For decades, there has been a lot of discussion about a “cultural war,” primarily between people of traditional faith and those who see religion as something of little value. Whether war is quite the right metaphor to describe the phenomenon, there certainly is a lot of pressure on people who adhere to traditionalist opinions, as Phil Robertson of A&E’s Duck Dynasty can certainly attest.
Yet while opponents of traditional beliefs and a politically unbalanced media have certainly proved harmful to faith in the public square, those two groups cannot be entirely blamed for the less prominent place that Christians now have in American culture. According to poet and art critic Dana Gioia, Christians also have themselves to blame as well for basically withdrawing from the cultural scene.
To lift themselves out of poverty, developing nations would do well to pursue a free market economic model. What's more, free markets are actually biblically justifiable and ultimately of greatest moral and material benefit to human beings compared with centrally-planned or socialistic models. In other words, there is a Christian case for free markets and free enterprise. That's the argument put forward by theologian Wayne Grudem and economist Barry Asmus in their brand new book, The Poverty of Nations: A Sustainable Solution, available on Amazon here.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Grudem about his book last Thursday over the phone. You can listen to the full interview below the page break:
Political moderation rightly understood, Berkowitz explained, is not "compromise for the sake of compromise," but rather a "recognizing and reconciling [of] competing and worthy... political principles," such as individual liberty with traditional social customs and moral virtue. The Hoover senior fellow noted the concept has its origins in the great conservative British statesman Edmund Burke as can be seen in the political thinking of National Review founder William F. Buckley Jr. and conservative "fusionism" proponent Frank Meyer. [watch the full interview below the page break]
Jim Pinkerton of Fox News Watch says the MSM has a problem: groups like NewsBusters are paying attention and "nailing them" when they let their liberal bias show.
Pinkerton made his comment in an interview with NewsBusters at the RNC today. The subject was a story NewsBusters broke this morning regarding Yahoo's Washington bureau chief David Chalian, who was caught on a hot mike saying that Mitt and Ann Romney were "happy to have a party with black people drowning." Chalian was fired not long after the NewsBusters story broke. View the Pinkerton video after the break.
TAMPA, Florida | FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe said Tuesday that the success of the Tea Party has the media in a bit of a panic.
Speaking with NewsBusters at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Kibbe also said press attacks on the Tea Party will probably end “the day after the election” (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
TAMPA, Florida | American Values president Gary Bauer said Tuesday, "I have never seen a media so deeply in the tank for the left and for the Democratic Party and for Barack Obama. Never."
Speaking with NewsBusters at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Bauer added, "They don’t even try to look like they’re unbiased anymore...They look like they’re a division of the Democratic National Committee" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Jonathan Karl would clearly rather ask others about their politics than answer questions about his own. In an impromptu interview at the RNC this morning, asked by NewsBuster Noel Sheppard what his politics are, an apparently uncomfortable Karl answered: "I would say fair and balanced: how about that?" When asked in a follow up whether he thinks he is indeed fair and balanced, Karl sarcastically replied: "No. What do you think?"
Karl and his producer also seemed none too thrilled to be caught on camera by NewsBusters. View the video after the clip.
When this NewsBuster entered a Spanish-language press conference at the Republican National Convention this morning, he was surprised to find former New Hampshire Governor and Romney surrogate John Sununu at the podium . . . holding forth in fluent Spanish.
Interviewed after his remarks, Sununu told NewsBusters that he was born in Havana and that his mother was originally from El Salvador. "As a boy, when I was bad, my mother would chew me out in Spanish. And since I was bad a lot, I learned a lot of Spanish!" Before saying goodbye, Sununu added "I love Brent Bozell!", President of NewsBusters's parent organization, Media Research Center. View a brief clip of Sununu speaking Spanish after the jump.
Despite the incessant focus on electoral politics that any presidential election year brings, it's important to step back occasionally and realize that campaigns and elections are actually only the tip of the iceberg of the political environment.
This insight is important because electoral wins and losses are less about the personal qualities of the candidates and more about how well they are able to express themselves. Sadly for the preservation of freedom's sake, too often statists better understand this compared to conservatives/libertarians. That is why when I learned about the new book Waking the Sleeping Giant: How Mainstream Americans Can Beat Liberals at Their Own Game, I was eager to interview one of its co-authors, Tim Daughtry.
Perhaps the most common justification for government intrusion into people's lives and into the economy at large is the notion that "doing something" is better than preserving limited government.
The usual rejoinder from the right is that capitalism has done more to alleviate poverty and is therefore a more efficient way of helping raise living standards than socialism or its related ideologies. While that answer has the advantage of being true, it is often unpersuasive for those looking for an answer to a moral question. That is the task at hand for Robert Sirico, a Catholic priest and center-right thinker in his excellent new book, Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy.
Last month, NewsBusters reported60 Minutes cherry-picking Peter Schweizer's book about Congressional insider trading to make it appear the problem was largely a Republican one.
Schweizer did a phone interview with NewsBusters last week to discuss this matter in greater detail including how with the exception of Fox News, despite this being a bipartisan issue, the media have largely ignored it to protect liberal politicians they revere (video follows with transcript):
NewsBusters readers should be quite familiar with Ron Christie, the Republican strategist who loves to tangle with the liberal commentators on MSNBC.
Following his terrific encounter with Chris Matthews last week, NewsBusters spoke by phone with Christie about his experiences on the nation's most left-leaning cable news outlet as well as what it's like to be a black conservative in the year 2011 (video follows with transcript):
For conservatives, one of the bright spots of the Occupy Wall Street protests was when millionaire investor Peter Schiff went down to Zuccotti Park with video camera and a sign reading "I Am The 1% - Let's Talk."
On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of speaking with Schiff by telephone in a sweeping interview about his experience at OWS, how the financial media are doing, and ending with his rather frightening view of the economy and the future of our nation (video follows with transcript):
As the lone conservative host on the nation's most liberal news network, Joe Scarborough is used to taking heat from folks on both sides of the political aisle.
Despite NewsBusters at times being one of his program's critics, the host of MSNBC's Morning Joe spent over an hour with us on the phone Thursday discussing his show, how the media have been covering recent events like the Republican presidential race, and finishing by offering an optimistic vision of America's future that is sorely needed at this dark time in our history (video follows with transcript):
Treasured friend of the Media Research Center's and NewsBusters favorite Ann Coulter did an absolutely scintillating telephone interview with us on Thursday.
The primary topics of discussion were the media's coverage of the Herman Cain sexual harassment allegations as well as how they've been reporting Occupy Wall Street protests around the country (video follows with transcript):
In the interview, recorded on July 27, Groseclose explained how his research proves the media's liberal bias has a tendency to skew the electorate's perception of the political world, making all of us more liberal than we would be were it not for the media's liberal distortions.
[You can watch the full interview in the embed that follows the page break]
In an email interview with NewsBusters, Coulter talked about her book, liberals, and other subjects including how the "MSM is both part of the mob and inciters of the mob. That’s with the exception of Ed Schultz, whom I’m pretty sure is an extraterrestrial":
During the 2008 campaign, much of the press succeeded in painting a portrait of Barack Obama that bore almost no resemblance to either the Chicago politician he was before, or the president he's been since. We were sold Hope and Change, but ended up with what Washington Examiner columnist David Freddoso decries as "Gangster Government" in a new book bearing that title.
Gangster government is "about governing without recognizing the legitimate limits of one's power," as Freddoso describes it. "It's about officials who use public office to make winners into losers and losers into winners; who bend, break and make the law to help their friends and punish their enemies."
Freddoso contends that the term describes Obama's administration better than any before it. The man cut his teeth in Chicago, the mecca of gangster government, by Freddoso's telling, and exported that brand of public policy - with the aid of a pair of complacent watchdogs in the news media and Congress - into the Oval Office.
Ask a journalist to name an example of the power of his profession. Odds are he will bring up Woodward and Bernstein's takedown of President Nixon, or Walter Cronkite's role in turning public opinion against the Vietnam War, or maybe Edward R. Murrow's exposes about Joseph McCarthy and the Red Scare.
Just one problem: all of these iconic moments in journalistic history are myths.
So writes W. Joseph Campbell, professor of communication at American University, and a long-time reporter for news outlets including the Associated Press and the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.
On Wednesday, the far-left blog ThinkProgress unveiled an "investigation" that alleged, without any conclusive evidence, that the Chamber of Commerce was spending funds acquired from foreign-owned companies on political activities in the United States, a crime under U.S. law.
ThinkProgress demonstrated that such funds entered the Chamber's general fund, and that money from the general fund was used to pay for political activities. But it readily admitted that it could not show the same funds attained abroad were used for those activities. Instead, it demanded the Chamber prove the licit nature of its political funds. Some in the media ran with the story, despite that lack of evidence.
So was the Chamber consulted or asked for comment by media outlets that reported on the ThinkProgress post? In an interview with NewsBusters, Chamber COO David Chavern says they were not. And while the New York Times's initial coverage was an editorial, MSNBC discussed the issue on two separate programs. Neither, Chavern claims, made an attempt at balanced coverage.
I asked Chavern during a phone conversation on Thursday how he explained this apparent breach of the most basic standards of journalism.
Greg Gutfeld is a rare breed. A conservative former magazine editor turned host of Fox News late night talk show "Red Eye," Gutfeld masterfully mixes keen political insight and scathing critiques of contemporary Amerian culture with a healthy dose of humor.
His new book, "The Bible of Unspeakable Truths" fits that M.O. perfectly. Gutfeld dissects thousands of "unspeakable truths" ranging from "for twenty million dollars, you'd sleep with MIchael Jackson (even now)" to "speaking truth to power means 'shouting at people who remind me of daddy'" to "squirrels are just sexier rats."
For avid "Red Eye" fans, the style of comedy will be familiar. Those who have yet to enjoy an episode will be fans by the time they put the book down. Occasionally vulgar, often provocative, and always funny, Gutfeld's absurd style has the potential to disarm even the skeptical, and then bombard them with political and cultural insights profound in their simplicity and logic.
Greg was kind enough to grant NewsBusters an interview. In it, he discusses writing for the Huffington Post, his view of "Red Eye," and his own political transformation (full audio and transcript below the fold).
On Thursday, I had the honor and the pleasure to participate in a blogger conference call with Sen. Tom Coburn (R) of Oklahoma.
The topic was the looming federal budget crisis caused by the runaway spending of the current President and his fiscally irresponsible Party.
As many of you are aware, I've been studying and analyzing the historical budgets of the United States for over a decade making this subject right up my alley.
Even more enjoyable for me, the other attendees didn't have a lot of questions which ended up making this at times mostly a conversation between the Senator and myself (30-minute audio available here).
Are young people completely in the tank for Barack Obama and the left? They voted for Obama over John McCain by a greater than 2-1 margin. Obama was young, cool, good looking, and well-spoken -- all the characteristics for a winning candidate in the eyes of the nation's youth.
But it was more than just Obama's charisma that handed him the youth vote in 2008. He was abetted by lapdogs in the press, reliably liberal pop-culture icons, and ultra-leftists in academia. Combined, they created a bloc of "Obama Zombies," writes Jason Mattera, author of a new book by that name.
Mattera was kind enough to give NewsBusters an interview. He described some of the themes of his book, including the incessantly liberal mainstream press -- "pre-pubescent little girls at a Jonas Brothers concert" is how he described the Obamaniacs in the press corps. NB's Steve Gutowski noted the book's tremendous assessment of media bias in his review yesterday.
"Obama Zombies" is the perfect primer for all conservatives worried about the movement's past troubles and hopefully brighter future with newly minted voters. Read the transcript of the interview below, or listen to the audio file here.
On Feb. 6, former President Ronald Reagan would have celebrated his 99th birthday. Since he's thought of as a conservative icon, some have wondered what he would have thought of the modern conservative movement, specifically the tea parties and the rise of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
If you listen to Reagan's son Ron, who has recently appeared on MSNBC's "Hardball" and HLN's "The Joy Behar Show," and tends to have a left-of-center perspective, one might think Reagan would have looked down upon the tea party protests and Palin. That's not the case according to his other son Michael.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Americans were treated to a number of populist sermons on the "special interests" who would oppose "reform" at any cost to maintain the "status quo" from which they "profit financially or politically." The drug companies, the energy companies, the Wall Street bankers, and the health insurers were the corporate enemies of a just and harmonious America, or so one might have gathered.
Obama was at the vanguard of this populist charge. But since his election, he has proposed health care legislation that would subsidize Pfizer and PhRMA, a cap and trade plan that would drive profits to General Electric, and Wall Street bailouts that lined the pockets of the same Goldman Sachs bankers he so reviled during the campaign. What happened?
Washington Examiner columnist Tim Carney exposes and investigates this monumental disconnect in his new book "Obamanomics: How Barack Obama is Bankrupting You and Enriching His Wall Street Friends, Corporate Lobbyists, and Union Bosses." Carney explores the "political strategy of partnering with the biggest businesses in order to create new regulations, taxes, and subsidies." Those measures, he argues, actually benefit the biggest businesses by crowding out competition, consolidating market share, or giving billions in subsidies directly to those companies.
Mika justified her nanny-state proposal of a tax on fatty foods by saying eating habits are not a matter of personal choice because others must bear the health care cost. Finkelstein's response: kill two birds with one stone by getting government out of the health care business.
Regarding the White House war on Fox News, Finkelstein observed that the White House should know its strategy has backfired when the likes of Helen Thomas and Dan Rather have defended Fox.
Mark complimented Mika on exposing the 99 44/100ths liberal environment she experienced at CBS, but chided her for denying that the network has an agenda. A discussion of the MSM media bubble ensues.