A funny thing happened during the search for gun control.
Entering the keywords “gun control” at the search engine Dogpile returned the warning: “You've entered a Web search term that is likely to contain adult content.” From there, you have two choices: click on the link which allows you to “View Unfiltered Dogpile Web results with Adult Content” or select the link with “No Adult Content”.1
An examination of “adult content” results does bring up a message at the top of the page: “View adult results provided by DestinationXXX.com.”2 The search also returned 76 links on May 28, 2007, none of which, besides this reference to Destination XXX, were adult content. An inquiry to Dogpile resulted in this response:
It never ceases to amaze me to see how ignorant The Washington Postis about Catholic teaching---the latest example being staff writer Peter Slevin's liberally biased slam against Abp. Raymond Burke on p. A2 of the May 29 edition. The ignorance (or anti-Catholicism?) is clear in the very first sentence, which is false, in the first paragraph. "When it comes to expressing his views of church values, Roman Catholic Archbishop Raymond Burke has a habit of making headlines, not always to the satisfaction of his flock," writes Slevin. These are not, of course, "his views." They are the views and stipulations of the Catholic Catechism, the Code of Canon Law, and numerous papal encyclicals that often teach definitively on certain matters. Slevin apparently never cracked the Catechism, and he apparently never Googled it because it is online, as is the Vatican, with all the relevant documents.
Abp. Burke has spoken out against abortion; against politicians who support abortion; against entertainers who support anti-Catholic teachings but also want to perform at Catholic functions; against using embryonic stem cells for research; and so on. And this is what apparently ticks Slevin and his editors off: A Catholic Bishop who actually tells his flock the Truth about Catholic teaching and how Catholics must strive to seek holiness and save their souls.
Bill Maher, host of HBO's "Real Time", tore into Jerry Falwell on the May 18 edition of his show, saying, with a photo of Falwell in the background, such things as, “... death isn’t always sad." The worst comments from Maher came from his argument for turning homosexuality into a religion, with references to the Mass as gay oral sex and reception of Holy Communion as gay oral sex. Here is the clip. WARNING: the material is very offensive.
Bob Knight, Director of the Culture and Media Institute offers these thoughts on the media's treatment of the death of Rev. Jerry Falwell.
In many of his talks to Liberty University students, the Rev. Jerry Falwell emphasized the importance of “finishing well.”
On Tuesday, May 15, he was at the top of his game when he unexpectedly died in the college office where he was planning more expansions of the fast-growing university that he founded in 1971.
The Rev. Falwell did a lot of things well, ticking off liberals right up to the end. How else would he have garnered the kind of tribute from a major newspaper’s religion writer that was headlined, “Sigh of relief over Falwell death.”
To make sure no one mistook her, Chicago Sun-Times Religion Writer Cathleen Falsani’s May 18 column explains her reaction to the news about Dr. Falwell on May 15.
Just like ads for 1-800 Flowers, you can expect stories about moms to crop up on the news just before Mother’s Day. The "CBS Evening News" -- anchored by arguably the highest-profile working mom in TV news -- weighed in with a story about the decline in the number of women in the workforce who have young children. Of course it wasn't reported as good news. (Emphasis mine throughout.)
Taking a page from the National Organization for Women (NOW), reporter Kelly Wallace included "experts" who said women had been "forced" to stay home because of the "conditions" of their jobs and stay-at-home moms “do not use (their) full talents and abilities.”
It's so easy, the cave men did it? LiveScience.com staff writer, Dave Mosher, wrote an article on Yahoo.com titled "Climate Change, Not Humans, Trounced Neanderthals" about Francisco Jimenez-Espejo, a University of Granada paleoclimatologist who “says a lack of evidence has left climate change weakly supported—until now. 'We put data behind the theory,' he said, filling in a large gap in European climate records when Neanderthals faded out of existence.”
He concluded from a detailed examination of evidence that Neanderthals disappeared from Earth more than 20,000 years ago at least partially because of climate change. As in global cooling.
Mankind is “acting like a virus,” according to Paul Watson, the founder and president of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which fights to save the whales. Apparently, Watson doesn't think that policy should extend to humans.
“We are killing our host the planet Earth,” said Watson who called for reducing the world’s population to less than 1 billion people. That’s gonna be tough considering the census estimates the current world population to be more than 6.5 billion.
The May 1 Variety reported that Warner Independent Pictures has snapped up the domestic distribution rights to Leonardo DiCaprio’s "documentary" "11th Hour," with Warner Brothers Pictures International scooping the overseas rights. The supposed documentary is produced and narrated by the former teen idol turned environmental activist, and based on what he said at a Natural Resources Defense Gala that I blogged about here at Newsbusters, the “message won’t be diluted by our having to yell over oil-company-funded ‘scientists’ .” It will be another so-called “documentary” disguised as propaganda (docuganda) like “An Inconvenient Truth” that is portrayed as legitimate evidence of anthropogenic global warming. Who needs to waste time endlessly debating AGW, when a slickly packaged promotional movie can change more minds? Variety describes the film:
Docu (sic) explores what it will take for humans to make a difference ecologically before it is too late. A variety of leading scientists, thinkers and leaders are interviewed in the film, including Stephen Hawking, former CIA topper James Woolsey and former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev.
In an online chat at washingtonpost.com today, media reporter Howard Kurtz condemned the media's rush to judgment in 2006 in the Duke lacross rape allegations.
"If you go back and lok at the coverage of 13 months ago, knowing what we know now, teh tone of much of it was irresponsible," wrote Kurtz in response to a question from Floris, Va. Later in response to a question from Portland, Ore., Kurtz cited the 1996 Olympic park bombing and the early media buzz over suspect Richard Jewell, "who turned out to be innocent." Kurtz worried that the media's rush to judgment in sensational crime stories "is a lesson the profession never seems to learn."
Kurtz's remarks about media coverage differ wildly from the cavalier tone taken by ABC's Terry Moran in a blog post from April 12.
Writing on his "Pushback" blog then, Moran insisted that the Duke lacrosse players received "special treatment in the justice system -- both negative and positive." He failed to offer a similar indictment of the media frenzy surrounding the case and even suggested that the Duke players would get over their ordeal with little trouble (portions in bold are my emphasis):
Instead of profiling the great Arnold Palmer or sizing up the competition on the first day of the Masters tournament, the Washington Post took the time to complain about a liberal standbye: gender discrimination.
"Augusta Chairman Averts Issue of Women" screamed the Post headline on April 5.
Writing about new Augusta National chairman Billy Payne, reporter Leonard Shapiro said, "he refused to be drawn into a discussion that marked the tenure of his predecessor."
Shapiro chose to bring up old news -- the 2003 controversy when women's groups opposed the private golf club because of its entirely male membership. One result was that the Masters was aired commercial-free that year.
This USA Today piece from Wednesday is a pretty important one. That's because it showcases so much of what is wrong with the FORMERLY Mainstream Media, and why the uppercase letters in FORMERLY will almost undoubtedly become larger in the coming years.
You see, many, if not more, reporters in the FORMERLY Mainstream Media don't seem to want to do their basic jobs any more. Their main tasks should be to:
First, objectively decide what is worthy of coverage.
Second, go and observe what happens, and where needed, ask questions about what's happening (the old who, what, where, when why).
Third, take thorough notes of what you have found, observed, and discussed.
Finally, tell your audience what happened in a complete, accurate, thorough, and yet engaging manner.
Anyone who thinks that the above four tasks are "easy" probably isn't doing the job well.
Even though doing the job a reporter should be doing is anything but easy, it would appears that it's too boring. Today's reporters want the excitement of being "advocates":
First, take a look at the appalling illustration that accompanies the article in Time magazine this week (February 26, 2007, page 46). In the darkest of colors and tones, a sinister-looking, pasty-faced priest is pictured. As his empty, white eyes furtively peer back towards the viewer, his pale, wiry fingers grip what looks to be a Bible. Paper money is leafing out of the book pages. (I've posted the illustration here.) The artist is Sam Weber. I don't know if he's familiar with the 19th-century anti-Catholic drawings by Thomas Nast or the modern-day, anti-Vatican caricatures by Jack Chick; but I bet both guys would be proud. (By the way, do you think Time would allow the same caricature using a rabbi? I wouldn't think so.)
The article is, "Pilfering Priests," by Tim Padgett. (Online, the title is "When Priests Pilfer.") The heading below the main title warns, "the Catholic Church is facing another crisis: clergy who steal money from their parishes." Interesting. But what are the facts?
Realizing we don't yet know all the details, apparently the AP has decided to not put the story of a Muslim cab driver running down two students after a religious dispute over the wire. Why might that be? They can't all be writing about Anna Nicole Smith?
Have you ever watched a book-based TV segment in which the hosts never mentioned the book's title? Fox & Friends Weekend pulled off the feat this morning -- presumably because the title of the cookbook in question was a bit too spicy for Fox's taste.
With Valentine's Day looming, Martha Hopkins was in to suggest some sensual dishes to share with one's sweetie. Her claim to expertise? She is co-author of a book entitled . . . "Inter Courses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook." Hopkins treated the Fox hosts to two of her recipes: artichoke hearts and strawberries and whipped cream.
But while the camera flashed on her book sitting on the buffet, items were artfully arranged to obscure its full title. I'm providing a larger-than-normal screencap so readers can see the careful camouflaging. The book title once appeared briefly at the bottom of the screen, and a full image of the book was flashed at the end of the segment. But the two Fox hosts, Kelly Wright and Brigitte Quinn, managed to avoid ever mentioning its title.
The answer, in part, photoshopped models. And no, I'm not referring to Katie.
...thanks to technology, often not even the models themselves can compare to their portfolios. Increasingly, photos for print are enhanced and perfected to an astonishing degree. Not only are moles, acne and subtle facial hair erased from already pretty faces, but retouchers are routinely asked by editors and advertisers to enlarge eyes, trim normal-size ears, fill in hairlines, straighten teeth and lengthen the already-narrow necks, waists and legs of 18-year-old beauties. "We're always stretching the models' legs and slimming their thighs," says a photo retoucher who works for a high-end Manhattan agency. In some cases, hands, feet or even legs are replaced in photos when the subject’s parts don’t add up to a perfect whole.
But the bigger danger, the Newsweek reporters insist, is that twiggy models are actually leading American women to bulk up:
Many on the Right have always been suspect of the MSM media when it came to reporting on the Iraq War. While the first official shot may have been CNN showing video of enemy snipers at work, it seems that open hostilities have been declared now that President Bush has begun the infamous surge.
Is there any industry that elite liberals in the media don't want to regulate? Perhaps it's a little tongue-in-cheek, but The Washington Post's Robin Givhan opened her fashion column in the January 19 Style section thusly:
"If anyone ever needed evidence of why industries should not be allowed to police themselves, the Council of Fashion Designers of American just provided it."
You know we've progressed as a society when our modern-day Upton Sinclair is a clothing critic concerned about models strutting down the catwalk rather than the slaughterhouses that produce the hamburgers they won't touch with a 10-foot pole.
As NewsBuster Warner Todd Huston has noted, Sen. Barbara Boxer took an unseemly jab at Condi Rice yesterday.
Of all the members of the Senate, the one you might expect to be least likely to call attention to a woman's single, childless status for purposes of scoring political points would be Boxer. And yet it was the oh-so-broadminded senator from the Bay Area who did just that when Condi Rice appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday to defend President Bush's newly-announced Iraq plans.
In a segment narrated by ABC senior national correspondent Jake Tapper, today's Good Morning America highlighted Boxer's questionable comment, running a good-sized clip of the exchange.
"Thank God for blogs," said White House Press Secretary Tony Snow this afternoon, commenting on the Bush administration's communications efforts. The comment came in the course of a conference call for bloggers conducted this afternoon by Snow and Brett McGurk [pictured here], the National Security Council's Director for Iraq, giving a preview of President Bush's speech of tonight on Iraq. I had the opportunity to participate on behalf on NewsBusters.
Snow described the problem with the traditional media - generously I would say - not in terms of bias but as a function of the "if it bleeds it leads" tendency.
Snow indicated that he reads the blogs represented in the conference call. It's clear that the White House views blogs, NewsBusters among them, as playing an important role in cutting through the MSM clutter. Snow also described the frustration of military people in Iraq with media coverage that does not comport with the reality they experience in the field. Snow predicted that service people would begin using their own video cameras and sites such as YouTube and LiveLeak to get the word out. Along those lines, I can say that one of the most empowering aspects of my recent trip to Iraq was the ability to put video up on NewsBusters, at times within an hour of events in the field, as with this report on a training exercise of Iraqi soldiers on the Euphrates river in Anbar province.
Among the encouraging details emerging from the conference call:
In its rush to anger viewers about private company “ownership” of public roads, the January 9 “Lou Dobbs Tonight” presented only one proponent of privatized toll roads, and then misrepresented his position on the issue, cutting out his defense of private investment.
Anchor Lou Dobbs sounded the alarm about federal highways “now being sold to the highest bidder” as he introduced a story by Lisa Sylvester. Sylvester began by suggesting that “Wall Street is paving the road to highway privatization” and that far from being sound policy, “states are eyeing privatization as a quick fix.”
Sylvester, who earned her master’s degree from the distinguished Medill School of Journalism, then aired a clip of the Reason Foundation’s Robert Poole. The sound bite featured the transportation policy expert observing that while “people are frustrated” with congested roads and that “nobody really wants to raise gas taxes.”
Those sound bite selections left viewers with the impression that Poole favors more taxes and government spending on highways, which is far from true. Yet when asked by the Business & Media Institute (BMI) about his reaction to Sylvester’s presentation, Poole assured BMI that he “addressed all their concerns in the material we taped.”
“I was afraid they would selectively use what I said,” Poole lamented in an e-mail, adding he’d “debated whether even to be interviewed” given the show’s previous biased presentation on transportation.
Blogger Mary Katharine Ham of Townhall.com was none too pleased with The Washington Post's biased, inaccurate treatment of her church, The Falls Church Episcopal, in a front page article of the January 4 paper.
Dan Gainor, director of MRC's Business & Media Institute (BMI), and Cato Institute's Dr. Patrick Michaels appeared this afternoon on Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto" to talk about liberal media hype about climate change.
sic: thus; so. Used to indicate that a quoted passage, especially one containing an error or unconventional spelling, has been retained in its original form or written intentionally. - Answers.com definition
Adding religious insult to mortal injury in its coverage of the 3000th US service-person to die in Iraq, ABC seemed to suggest that there was something odd or erroneous in the expression of a traditional belief in the afterlife.
Today's "Good Morning America" focused on the death of Army Specialist Dustin Donica of Texas, believed to be that 3000th serviceman lost in Iraq. Narrating the segment, ABC's Jonathan Karl stated: "The MySpace page he left behind bears the tributes of those whose lives he touched." The screen then displayed the message [shown larger-than-normal here for clarity's sake] from one of those friends:
"You were one of my best friends and I'll never forget you. All my prayers go to your family and I'll see you again." (sic)
Was it just good-natured joshing, or did some MSM elitism creep into Matt Lauer's interview-ending question to Tim Russert on this morning's "Today"?
"What's up for the New Year for you? Same thing as usual: keg of Old Milwaukee and a noise-maker?"
What's this? Condescension to Russert's blue-collar image leavened with a dab of drunken-Irishman humor? The camera crew burst into guffaws, but check the video - was Russert's laugh a bit more strained?
...because you won't find it in Gigi Stone's December 18 "World News" story on teacher merit pay. (Or her write-up at ABCNews.com)
Stone, to her credit, did explain that teachers unions oppose merit pay for teachers because, well, they want more money for all teachers, regardless of how crappy a job they do. Okay, she didn't put it in those words exactly, but, let's face it, that's the reason teachers unions are against merit pay.
So why did Stone insist on presenting the vice-president of the Houston Federation of Teachers as merely a teacher who was concerned that the art of public school classroom instruction under incentive pay would devolve in a race to the bottom, an effort at merely "teaching to the test" or "drill and kill?
One of the most persistent tics of the passive-aggressive press is its denials of its power, that it doesn't run the country, or at least try to run the country. All that journalism-school boilerplate about how the media is merely a watchdog, or like it's the BASF of democracy, you know, it doesn't make everything, it just makes the secret ingredient that makes everything better? Baloney. Some of us signed up for the media-criticism business because the media want to pretend they're not major players in the political process that make every other actor in the political system try to figure out how to capture the warm glow of media adulation, or at least avoid it like an obstacle course. So when Dow Jones Chairman Peter Kann wrote an editorial on the press (see it over on his company's Opinion Journal), I liked the end the best:
...but my colleague Julia Seymour has got the Airing of Grievances part down for those of us at the MRC's Business & Media Institute.
The camera pans across a sparkling Christmas tree, then zooms in on singer Clay Aiken, who begins to sing “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”: “... and ransom captive Israel … that mourns in lonely exile here, until the Son of God appear …”
So which holiday is that about?
ABC’s Kate Snow tiptoed around that question on the November 26 “Good Morning America.”
“We have a special treat for you this morning to get you warmed up for the holiday season,” she said, touting Aiken’s new “holiday” record (title: “All is Well: Songs for Christmas”).
In a new Business & Media Institute analysis, “Good Morning America” was the least likely of the network morning shows to refer to Christmas, mentioning it only about 31 percent of the time.