There's nothing like tuning into an episode of "The View" for a little exploration of social sensitivities in the modern American culture.
In keeping with that tradition, on Black Friday, a term used to describe the Friday following Thanksgiving, which is the beginning of the traditional Christmas shopping season, the use of the word "black" to mark this occasion was a topic of discussion on "The View" for its potential "racist" implications.
Co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar, who has her own primetime HLN cable show, debated the use of "black" on the Nov. 27 pre-recorded broadcast. Goldberg, a black woman, took the meaning to be a positive and that there was nothing wrong with it used that way. Behar, however, was trouble with the word "black" used in conjunction with Friday, taking the meaning as a negative (emphasis added):
Here we go again. We've already seen how ineffective the previous $787-billion stimulus Congress and the President forced through earlier this year has been with curbing unemployment, as it has raced into double-digits over the previous months. But will there be an effort to force through another one?
"John, what would you say, I don't know, the chances of some sort of an additional jobs stimulus - however you'd like to characterize that, or whatever form it would take or price tag it might have ?" Burnett asked.
But after the dust settled some, the White House shifted its focused to so-called health care reform. And additionally, leaked emails surrounding the recent event known ClimateGate have put the entire premise of anthropogenic global warming in doubt. Thus, the likelihood of congressional Democrats getting a bill to the President's desk and signed into law has somewhat dimmed.
And that's a topic a special Thanksgiving Nov. 26 broadcast of Fox News "Special Report" took on. Host Bret Baier explained that there's pending legislation put forward by Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., with some rigid guidelines for carbon emissions.
When viewers tune into watch CNBC's "The Kudlow Report," they may not anticipate a host interrupting conservative Republican Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla.
But on CNBC's Nov. 24 "The Kudlow Report," fill-in host Simon Hobbs attempted to do just that. Hobbs, a regular on CNBC Europe, suggested there was nothing to emails unveiled after a hacker allegedly accessed the Climate Research Unit at University of East Anglia in Britain. These emails showed an effort by scientists, some on the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), to manipulate data to strengthen the claim of anthropogenic global warming.
"You're well-known as a campaigner or man that believes humans are not the cause of global warming," Hobbs said. "I mean, specifically if you look at the coverage we have, the allegation is that the emails indicated that they were declining to share data with fellow scientists or they were seeking to keep other researchers with dissenting views from perhaps joining them on some platform. It doesn't indicate that the science was wrong or that the science was manipulated."
Want to understand the liberal mind? Check out Daily Kos creator Markos Moulitsas on this evening's Schultz show . .
Why does Kos say he hates the Taliban? Because they aided and abetted Osama Bin Laden in the murder of thousands of Americans? Nope. That they are actively engaged in killing American troops in Afghanistan? Guess again. No, the Taliban's real crime—the only complaint Kos mentions— is that . . . they're not PC. Not feminist. Not gay-friendly. Hell, they might even be opposed to stem cell research.
Oh, and for good measure, Kos calls conservative Republicans like Michelle Bachmann "the American Taliban." What was that about dissent being patriotic?
Allegedly a hacker broke into the University's computer system and posted thousands of emails and documents showing an effort by scientists, some on the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), whose research has had a profound impact in shaping U.S. policy proposal on efforts to curb so-called anthropogenic climate change. Those emails and documents revealed an effort by some the scientists to manipulate data to exaggerate the threat of global warming and that has even prompted Sen. James Inhofe, Okla., the ranking Republican on the U.S. Senate's Environment and Public Works committee to call for an investigation.
Such a story would seem to be a no-brainer for the ABC, CBS and NBC to pick up on, but their Nov. 24 broadcasts failed to do so. What did they opt for instead? A sea lion glut in San Francisco, an orphaned moose in Vermont and the meal selection on the President's State Dinner.
"Don we now our gay apparel" took on a different meaning during Joy Behar's CNN Headline News program Nov. 24.
According to the panel Behar spoke with, the holidays are a great time for gay people to come out of the closet. They are also a good time to knock religion and push the gay agenda.
Actor Jeffrey Self, one of the three gay panelists, told Behar "I think also [coming out] is a nice distraction from all the other drama that's taking place in your house. Everybody's already mad at each other."
"I think it's the perfect time to do it," claimed comedienne and lesbian Judy Gold. "Because then you get it over with and everyone is already there. So they don't have to call each other and say, did you hear?"
Behar and her pals also managed to mock Christianity, insult the Catholic League's Bill Donohue, play the break-up of a marriage because of homosexuality for laughs, and proclaimed Adam Lambert a "genius" for his sexually explicit American Music Awards performance and denounced ABC as "cowardly" for pulling the plug on Lambert's live "Good Morning America" appearance. Behar further claimed her "philosophy" was "that a parent should say to the child, ‘are you gay' when they see them playing with dolls when they're boys."
With Thanksgiving kicking off the holiday season, it's time to gather with family and friends, give thanks, and just enjoy the company and the food ... right? Not according to the three broadcast networks. ABC, CBS, and NBC have been counting down to Thanksgiving by counting calories.
In the past week, from Nov. 18-24, five network stories have bashed traditional Thanksgiving food because it's not "healthy." With the nation in a recession and the unemployment rate above 10 percent, the media want Americans to worry about their waistlines too. Each of the networks offered tips on how to avoid the "most gut-busting holiday of the year," as Harry Smith of CBS's "Early Show" put it Nov. 19.
Their first advice to viewers was to paint their dining rooms blue. (Quick, you have less than 24 hours!) Allegedly, people eat 33 percent less than if they ate in a yellow or red room. Viewers also need to toss that beautiful flower centerpiece out the window and replace it with a bowl of apples, bananas or after-dinner mints. The Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation claimed that overweight individuals that inhaled those scents before a meal ate less.
"You had me convinced - yes, he was. But you had me convinced that Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers and some of these people are all going to be in the Cabinet. We'd be better off if they were," Imus said.
Life was hell under Bush. But hang in there: things'll get better under Obama.
Class dismissed: that's really all you need to know about the latest Time cover story—The Decade From Hell And Why The Next One Will Be Better. But just to drive home the Manichean message, Time editor Rick Stengel and Andy Serwer [of Time stable-mate Fortune], who wrote the cover story, appeared on Morning Joe today.
Of course there's the inconvenient detail about Barack Obama having been elected in this decade. But not to worry. Serwer suggests we "see Barack Obama being elected as the beginning of the next decade."
Apparently MSNBC's Chris Matthews doesn't want Catholics involved in the political process at all - especially when it comes to abortion. Earlier this month the "Hardball" host declared "The clergy should stay off Capitol Hill." Last night, he accused Thomas Tobin, bishop of Providence, Rhode Island, of "telling public officials how to set public policy," "stepping beyond moral teaching," and "basically assuming an authority" because the bishop requested that Rhode Island Democrat Rep. Patrick Kennedy not take communion due to his support for abortion.
Matthews' based his accusations on a portion of a speech on religion delivered by then Sen. John F. Kennedy in which he stated:
I believe in an America that is official neither Catholic, Protestant, nor Jewish, where no public official either requests or accept instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches, or any other ecclesiastical source, where no religious body seeks to impose its will, directly or indirectly, upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials.
Bishop Tobin briefly responded that the Church does not want to "dictate what the public policy should be in the United States from a purely Catholic doctrinal point of view," but "what [it] is trying to do, most of all, is instill good human values but also have Catholics who are in political office be faithful to the dictates of the Church and the dictates of their conscience and the teachings of the Church."
Bill Cathcart, Clearing Away the PC Clutter Bill Cathcart, Vice President and General Manager for CBS affiliate WTOC in Savannah, Georgia, took to the airwaves on November 9th with a blistering video editorial excoriating the hold political correctness (PC) has on our society (video and transcript below the fold).
It is certainly refreshing to hear and see a news executive say these sorts of things, given the prostraters to PC that so thoroughly inhabit his profession.
Cathcart began by speaking of the horrific Fort Hood, Texas murders by Islamist extremist Nidal Malik Hasan, and pointing out how it was political correctness (PC) that cowed everyone from talking to anyone about this obviously dangerous man.
Cathcart rightly points out that this oppressive PC regime dominates not just the Army, but the nation. "We've become so ridiculous with our political correctness. So afraid of offending, despite the truth. So overly tolerant and self-effacing, pandering and apologizing to be liked. Putting up with absurd challenges to our Constitution, laws, traditions and freedoms, that we've become a nation of enablers for those with evil intent."
Leading the charge on this are, of course, Cathcart's media cohorts. There are no greater PC enablers and enforcers than the men and women who allegedly deliver us the news.
Envy is a form of flattery, but don't tell MSNBC "Countdown" host Keith Olbermann.
Olbermann, on his Nov. 23 broadcast, didn't stray from his usual shtick of character assaults and name-calling for his "Worst Person in the World" segment. But he did hint his feelings were hurt after he named Fox News host Glenn Beck the third place recipient in this "Worst Person" contest.
"The bronze, to ‘Lonesome Rhodes' Beck who announced on Saturday he's starting either a political movement to sell a book or he's starting a book to sell a political movement. It'll take 100 years and it'll be based on Mao Tse-Tung's for China, or ... something. With incoherent mystical visions, it's hard to tell," Olbermann said.
Tina Brown is the very avatar of elite MSM opinion. So when the Daily Beast creator, late of the New Yorker and Vanity Fair, derides Sarah Palin as ignorant, it's safe to assume she's expressing a view harbored in many a liberal media breast.
On today's Morning Joe, while admitting a grudging regard for her appeal, Brown claimed Palin's confidence is based on "total ignorance."
Hosts Joe Scarborough [who last week took his own shot at Sarah's smarts] and Mika Brzezinski, if not precisely leaping to Palin's defense, did respond with some skepticism.
Considering how fond liberals are of "teachable moments," it was surprising that CBS's "60 Minutes" missed one on its Nov. 22 broadcast.
"60 Minutes" correspondent Steve Kroft took an in-depth look at one of the most expensive aspects of modern health care - the cost of end of life care. However, he didn't highlight the federal government's culpability in driving up those costs, or what it might mean for health care reform.
"Every medical study ever conducted has concluded 100 percent of all Americans will eventually die," Kroft said. "This comes as no great surprise. But, the amount of money being spent at the end of people lives probably will. Last year, Medicare paid $50 billion just for doctors' and hospital bills during the last two months of patients lives. That's more than the budget of the Department of Homeland Security or the Department of Education. And it's been estimated that 20 to 30 percent of these medical expenditures may have had no meaningful impact."
On today's Morning Joe, Larry O'Donnell called the Roman Catholic bishop who barred Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) from taking communion a "political hack."
Interestingly, Mika Brzezinski had a totally different take, arguing the controversy was not about the Church but about Kennedy publicizing the matter in a play to his base. Though Bishop Thomas Tobin sent his letter to Kennedy more than two years ago, its contents didn't come to light until Kennedy recently revealed them to a Rhode Island newspaper.
On Fox's Nov. 22 "Fox News Sunday," former "Special Report" anchor and Fox News senior political correspondent was dead spot on target in many regards when it came to criticizing the tack President Barack Obama has taken with his foreign policy gestures.
First, Hume reflected on how Obama reacted on his trip to Asia last week. He noted that Obama was in a tough position, having to rely on borrowed Chinese money. However, "embracing weakness" was not the proper way for Obama to represent the country in Hume's view (emphasis added).
"Look, the president is in a weaker position than he might have been, not least because his policies have contributed mightily to the immense amount of new borrowing that's being done, much of it from the Chinese," Hume said. "So now you have the Chinese even worried about the size of the health care plan. That is unfortunate. But this president seems quite willing to embrace weakness as a position for the United States. I mean, the bowing and scraping that we see -- Saudi Arabia we saw it. We saw it on this trip in Japan."
Throughout the history of this country playing the role of a global power, the United States has faced down threats of fascism and communism. The country is now in the throes of a war against terrorism.
However, on ABC's Nov. 22 "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," a panel consisting of Washington Post columnist George Will, Liz Cheney of Keep America Safe, University of California, Berkeley professor Robert Reich and Walter Isaacson is the President and CEO of The Aspen Institute, warned the next ideological battle facing the country is that which China practices - an authoritarian market society or authoritarian capitalism.
"For 37 years, every administration has bet, since Nixon went to China, on a theory, and the theory was that capitalism, market economy, which requires a judicial system to enforce promises, which are called contracts, needs a vast dissemination of information and decision-making that capitalism by its mores and working would subvert the regime, that you could not have an authoritarian market society," Will said. "It's the Starbucks fallacy. It turns out to be a fallacy, that if the Chinese have a choice of coffees, they'll want a -- they'll demand a choice of political candidates. We may be wrong. It could be you can have an authoritarian system."
What's $100 million of taxpayer money between a few U.S. Senators?
After reports surfaced of $100 million for Louisiana was added to the Senate's health care reform legislation, originally from ABC News, and subsequently commented upon by prominent lefties, like U.S. News and World Report's Bonnie Erbe as my colleague Noel Sheppard pointed out, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., took the Senate floor on Nov. 21 to announce she would vote in favor to proceed forward with the Senate Democratic leadership's bill.
She also responded to allegations that $100 million earmarked for the Louisiana was added to that legislation to sway her vote. She referred to the likes of ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl and Erbe as "very partisan Republican bloggers."
"I know that might time is up, but I would like to ask personal privilege for just one more minute to address an issue that has come up unfortunately in the last 24 hours by some very partisan Republican bloggers so I need to respond I think and will do so now," Landrieu said. "One of the provisions in the framework of this bill that I've just decided to move on to debate has to do with fixing a very difficult situation that Louisiana is facing and any other state that might have a catastrophic disaster - let's hope they don't - like we did in 2005."
Not so fast says Charles Krauthammer, columnist for The Washington Post and Fox News regular. Krauthammer on the Nov. 20 broadcast of Fox News "Special Report with Bret Baier" explained that a certain provision put into to the Senate version of health care legislation to favor undecided Democratic senators, specifically Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., represents a different brand of politics from what Obama advertised (emphasis added).
"You asked what [Sen.] Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas will ask for," Krauthammer said. "Well, after watching Louisiana get $100 million in what have some have called 'The Louisiana Purchase,' she ought to ask for $500 million at least. And that's because Obama said he would end business as usual in Washington. If you look at the sections, it is 2006 in which the Louisiana money, it looks as if it is provision for all states which have had a proclamation of a disaster area in the last seven years, and then the fine print inside eliminates all the others except Louisiana. So it's a new kind of business as usual. I think that Steve [Hayes] is right. There is almost no way imaginable that the vote will fail tomorrow. If it is, it is the ultimate humiliation. It's the rejection of the debate even before it starts."
But it is also something that some in the financial media are reluctant to support, especially judging from the tone of CNBC "The Call" co-host Trish Regan and comments CNBC senior economics reporter Steve Liesman. On the Nov. 20 broadcast of "The Call," CME Group reporter Rick Santelli made the case that Federal Reserve should be audited. He cited opposition to the Fed audit proposal from Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., which was based on Congress' inability to be fiscally responsible.
"He said, ‘You know, there independence is important to protect the soundness of the dollar,'" Santelli said. "Has he read any papers lately or looked at any charts? Come on. Amen, amen that this process is happening. They're not taking away their independence to make a decision on interest rates. We need to know where the money is going. I remember when Ben Bernanke faced committees of elected officials and said, ‘We can't audit the Fed because then you might look unfavorably on some of the counterparties we deal with. That's like finding paraphernalia under your kids bed and then not asking where he got it."
After introducing Lopez on her CNN Headline News program last night, Behar played a clip of Lopez's HBO special in which he said, "There are a lot of politicians that would be Latinos and a lot now who are Latino. Sarah Palin, Latina. Believe me. She's got all the signs. She works and her husband don't."
Later in the segment, after commenting about Palin's lack of experience, Lopez stated, "I mean, the concept of Todd Palin being a stay-at-home dad-listen Joy, when I was a kid, those guys were called bums."
"Uh-huh. They're still called bums," agreed Behar.
Want to know how the left really feels about free speech? Look no further than Huffington Post editor and co-founder Arianna Huffington.
Huffington appeared on MSNBC's Nov. 19 "Countdown" to discuss a report by the Anti-Defamation League that alleges Fox News host Glenn Beck is "the most important mainstream media figure who has repeatedly helped to stoke fires of anti-government anger" and therefore endangering society.
"It would be nice to think of Glenn Beck just as a joke, as fodder for this show and the "Daily Show" and others that point out how stupid some of this stuff is," "Countdown" host Keith Olbermann said. "But this report, you know, suggests something else, this is - fear-monger-in-chief term is frightening."
One of the issues debated among a panel consisting of Dobbs, host Larry Kudlow, former Clinton Secretary of Labor Robert Reich and CNBC CME Group reporter Rick Santelli on Nov. 19 was the issue of wage stagnation - which Dobbs blamed on outsourcing, immigration policy and technological advancement.
"I believe that the issue of unemployment in this country and job creation fundamentally will have to be taken on as a matter of government policy," Dobbs said. "It will also have to be taken on as a matter of business leadership. As to the idea that wages have been stagnant in this country for 35 year, point of fact, we have to understand what the causes are."
On Nov. 19 ABC's "Good Morning America" aired a recycled study by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a liberal activist group that, if it were given the power, would ban everything from remote controls to Chinese food to donuts to casual dining. But even without that power, the anti-food activists still have the networks eating out of their hand.
For the third time in just two months, ABC's early morning show devoted an entire segment to a CSPI study. The past two studies reported that health labels were too "confusing" for consumers while "leafy greens" were life-threatening. Now CSPI's latest publication attacks movie theater popcorn.
One year ago tonight, Thursday, November 20 -- like today, the Thursday one week before Thanksgiving -- MSNBC ridiculously plastered “BREAKING NEWS” on-screen for video of Sarah Palin at a turkey farm just after pardoning one, running more than three minutes of video of some turkeys being slaughtered by a man in the background behind her. Palin, then just weeks off the presidential campaign trail, was simply answering questions from reporters in her role as Governor of Alaska.
Filling in as host of Countdown, David Shuster scolded Palin: “She neglected to notice what was happening directly behind her -- in clear view of the television cameras. We've blurred out the goriest parts, but here's her interview, from start to finish.”
As the video ran, MSNBC displayed rotating chyrons with hyperbolic declarations, such as:
GOV. SARAH PALIN KEEPS TALKING WHILE TURKEYS GET SLAUGHTERED BEHIND HER
GOV. PALIN APPARENTLY OBLIVIOUS TO TURKEY CARNAGE OVER HER SHOULDER
The Wall Street Journal's intrepid and very good Amy Schatz has a piece today updating us on the progress of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)'s National Broadband Plan.
With all that we have thus far seen, things look quite grim from a free speech, free market perspective. The groundwork for government information totalitarianism - favored by people like Hugo Chavez-loving FCC "Diversity Czar" Mark Lloyd and Marxist "media reform"-outfit Free Press founder Robert McChesney - is being laid in the Plan being crafted by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.
As we first reported, the Center for American Progress (at which Lloyd was then a Senior Fellow) and McChesney's Free Press co-authored the deeply flawed, anti-conservative and Christian talk radio "report" entitled The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio.
But their shared disdain for free speech and the free market extend way beyond just this. These "media reformers" seek to eradicate most or all private ownership of all information delivery - be it by radio, television or the internet - thereby leaving the federal government as sole purveyor.
H/t MRC's Jeff Poor. I urge people to read the blog entry that Jackie Seals, the impressive young lady that O'Donnell confronted, has written about her experience. Not only does it provide fascinating background material about just what a set-up O'Donnell devised, it also catches Norah out in a fib.
As you'll note from an earlier update at the foot of this item, after O'Donnell began catching heat for her stunt, she went back on the air to defend herself. Among other things, responding to charges she had confronted a young girl, O'Donnell twice claimed that her interview subject "voted in the last election."
Just one problem: Jackie informs us that she is . . . 17. Maybe Norah got confused with ACORN voting standards, but 16-year old conservatives [the age she would presumably have been at last year's election] don't go to the polls.
Have a close look at the screencap [larger image after the jump]. Notice what MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell is holding in her left hand? Those are notes, with factoids from the 2008 presidential campaign. She's reading from them to challenge a Sarah Palin supporter who was waiting in line at the book signing yesterday in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
We all remember how back during the '08 campaign, MSM reporters would challenge people attending Obama rallies with uncomfortable truths about their candidate, along the lines "would you still support him if you knew he had the most liberal voting record in the Senate?" Or not. I certainly can't remember any MSMer confronting an Obama supporter in such a way.
But let people line up to express their admiration for Sarah Palin . . .
On Nov. 19, Dan Gainor, Vice President of Business & Culture for the Media Research Center, appeared on FNC's "America's Newsroom" to debate with Julia Piscitelli, a Democratic Media Consultant, about how the media has treated Sarah Palin's new book.
FNC's Alisyn Camerota focused specifically on the Associated Press's decision to assign 11 reporters to fact check Palin's book "Going Rogue." Camerota noted that "similar books, by President Obama, Vice President Biden, even Bill and Hillary Clinton, did not get that same kind of scrutiny."
Gainor agreed with Camerota and said that "this isn't a fact check; it's a hack check." As proof, he pointed to the AP's history of fact checking books.
Leave it to ABC and its obsession with alternate sexuality to characterize being a male or a female as a "difficult decision." Introducing an interview featuring Chastity (now Chaz) Bono on Nov. 19, "Good Morning America's" Diane Sawyer said, "There can be no decision that you make that is more complex and difficult than gender identification."
Bono explained the hardships of undergoing a sexual "transformation" and the "journey into manhood" to an extraordinarily sympathetic Chris Cuomo, saying, "Gender is between your ears, not between your legs."
This interview only adds to a long list that details ABC's fascination with the sexually bizarre. In July 2009, CMI released a study that found that ABC news programs had featured 76 segments about sexual activity in the past six months. Most of the reports related to political sex scandals or crime cases that contained a sexual element, but 11 promoted alternative sexual arrangements, such as gender changes and, even more disturbing, objectum sexualization - having romantic relationships with objects like F-15 fighter jets and the Eiffel Tower.