Whether you have children or not, you've probably heard of Hannah Montana (or perhaps Miley Cyrus); Selena Gomez from Disney's "Wizards of Waverly Place"; or the Jonas Brothers, the boy band that elicits ear-splitting screams from their female teeny-bopper fans.They're big names in the entertainment industry, even though the oldest of the bunch is only 23.
What you may not know, however, is that each of them has taken a pledge of purity. That's not something you normally hear from the morally bankrupt land of Hollywood where anything goes ... and usually does.
Of course that doesn't mean these purity-ring-wearing Disney stars haven't been hit with criticism about their own "morals," especially Miley Cyrus and her provocative picture in Vanity Fair. On the other hand, at least the notion of abstinence has crossed their minds and, to varying degrees, their lips. And that may, perhaps, positively influence their young fans (even if it's tossed to the wayside in their own lives). Not everyone thinks that's cheer-worthy, though.
As if Sarah Palin hasn’t been torn apart enough by the media, try this one on for size: Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is the equivalent of Britney Spears.
That’s right. Pop culture writer Jed Gottlieb compared the former GOP Vice Presidential candidate to pop icon Britney Spears saying both women are manufactured stars with “baby drama” and a “podunk back story.”
Gottlieb’s article “Boston sees just a piece of Britney Spears” appeared in the Boston Herald on March 17, just one day after Spears’ sold out concert at the TD Banknorth Garden Entertainment Arena in Boston. While the article largely described Spears’ lackluster performance on stage in her comeback tour, Gottlieb just couldn’t resist a swipe at Palin to get the article rolling.
A popular Detroit radio station has held a unique Valentine’s Day contest: a free divorce to the most deserving dysfunctional couple. On at least one previous occasion the local Detroit news media publicized an objectionable radio stunt that was subsequently stopped due to public outrage. In this case, however, the news media is AWOL.
Every year the media covers the Hallmark holiday we call Valentine’s Day with shallow, mushy stories about marriage proposals, make-your-own-valentine treats and the area’s most romantic restaurants. But this year, when 95.5 WKQI, a highly rated station in the market, had a very different, more cynical take on the consumerist love-in, the media failed to show up.
Brent Bozell's culture column this week tackled the new F-bomb single from Britney Spears and the kid who received death threats for starting a No Cussing club:
McKay Hatch is a 15-year-old boy from South Pasadena, California who people clearly hate. He’s received over 60,000 negative E-mails, most of them vicious, some including death threats that have spawned police and FBI investigations. What has this boy done that’s caused such anger? Was he caught dealing drugs? Did he rage? Did he kill? No. He started a No Cussing Club.
And for that he is vilified. Hatch says some people are going out of their way to curse him at school, on the Internet and on the phone. They send him pornographic magazine subscriptions. Not long ago, someone ordered $2,000 worth of pizza delivered to Hatch's house. Then came the death threats.
Brent Hatch, the teenager’s father, told reporters one death threat in particular crossed the line. "I was at the hospital with my wife, we were visiting family, and some guy had called on my cell phone said, 'I know you you're gone, you're not there, and I'm in front of your house and I'm going to kill your family.’"
"If U Seek Amy." If you repeat that phrase a few times, it will sound like an all-too familiar reference to sex. This clever little phrase is the title of Britney Spears' new hit, and it's stirring up some controversy.
In case you're still a little lost, it clearly sounds like she is saying, "F**K me," and in the event you still think the song is about a girl named Amy, observe how the phrase makes no sense in the context:
Love me hate me Say what you want about me But all of the boys and all of the girls are beggin’ to, If U Seek Amy
Love me hate me But can’t you see what I see All of the boys and all of the girls are beggin’ to, If U Seek Amy
Celebrity breakdowns and comebacks, love triangles and teen pregnancy were the most covered entertainment stories. What does it say about the state of American culture when unmarried mothers, troubled pop stars and celebrity divorces are dubbed the “hottest” stories of the year?
USA Todaydesignated Britney Spears this year’s top celebrity after she earned the number one spot on its weekly Celebrity Heat Index 11 times during 2008 - a year in which she suffered a public breakdown, sought psychiatric help on two separate occasions, and still managed to release her new album, Circus. Britney also got the top spot in 2007.
If Britney Spears wants to launch her grand return with a trite and tacky rough-sex pantomime, I suppose that's her business. She's not known as a pop tart for nothing. What I do find noteworthy is the way GMA celebrated that bit of rough stuff, featuring it in its opening minutes. Even there, it's not ABC's descent into schlock that jumps out so much as the double standard. Can you imagine the dutifully feminist ABC applauding such junk if the gender tables had been turned? Me neither.
Diane Sawyer, uh, teased things during the show opening.
Influenced by New York Times columnist Bob Herbert's recent claims on MSNBC's Morning Joe that the McCain campaign deliberately included "phallic symbols" along with images of attractive young white women in an ad attacking Barack Obama to exploit racial resentment, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann latched onto this theory on Monday's Countdown show and observed that the ad featured "two underdressed blondes mixed with the black guy," and contended that the ad included "three phallic symbols, two blondes and Barack Obama," opining that the ad is an example of "miscegenation," and that it suggests Obama is "going to wind up dating those women."
Newsweek's Jonathan Alter, also an MSNBC political analyst, charged: "That's the oldest and deepest racist, you know, canard in American history, really, is that, you know, the slave is going to come after the wife of the plantation owner." And, ignoring the GOP's history of portraying white Senator John Kerry as elitist during the 2004 campaign, Alter further charged that Republicans are "trying to portray [Obama] as being uppity," and hinted at the racially charged connotation of the word "uppity." (Transcript follows)
Warning: excessive adulation of Barack Obama is harmful to the vision and can in extreme cases cause hallucinations.
We're all familiar with how an Obamania overdose produced strange tingling sensations in Chris Matthews. A new, virulent strain of the affliction has now emerged, claiming its first victim in the person of Bob Herbert, who on live national TV saw visions of the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Washington Monument where none existed.
The NYT columnist, a guest on today's Morning Joe, expanded on the theory set forth in his column of this past Saturday, Running While Black, that the McCain campaign ad mocking Obama as a Paris Hilton/Britney Spears-type celebrity was actually "designed to exploit" racist anxiety about black men and white women. Herbert lumped the McCain ad with the "call me" ad the RNC ran against Harold Ford, Jr. in his Tennessee senate race.
It was in describing the McCain ad that Herbert's symptoms surfaced.
CNN commentator Jack Cafferty, on Thursday’s The Situation Room, found racist overtones to the recent McCain campaign ad comparing the hype surrounding vapid celebrities like Paris Hilton and Britney Spears to the hype surrounding Barack Obama: "I think it's very much playing the race card to put a highly educated, articulate, middle-aged black family man into a television commercial with two blonde bimbo airheads with a combined I.Q. of a box of cereal. And if you have any doubts about what I'm talking about, it's the same kind of thing that was done to Harold Ford down in Tennessee in 2006 and it stinks. It's more subtle, but it stinks just the same."
Cafferty was referring to the spot the RNC ran against Harold Ford in the 2006 Tennessee Senate race which made light of how Ford appeared at Super Bowl party thrown by Playboy magazine in 2005. In the ad, an attractive young blonde joked about how she met Ford at the Playboy bash, and asked him to call her. Liberals reacted harshly to the supposed racist insinuation made by the ad. The NAACP condemned it as a "a powerful innuendo that plays to pre-existing prejudices about African-American men and white women."
The July 31 edition of "The View" predictably picked up McCain’s now famous celebrity ad, and predictably, three of them were not pleased. Whoopi Goldberg specifically objected to the use of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton and called such an action "beneath him." Joy Behar simply felt McCain was "jealous" and said he is no longer a good person. Sherri Shepherd, who probably could not pass a high school geography test, called such an action "very high school."
Elisabeth Hasselbeck dared to offer an opposing opinion noting McCain simply is suggesting qualifications matter more than celebrity. When Joy Behar mocked McCain’s celebrity appeal and displayed a picture of McCain with Willford Brimley. Hasselbeck quickly reminded the panel of many of Barack Obama’s friends like Reverend Wright, Tony Rezko, and Ludacris.
Joy Behar, who has made anti-Catholic remarks in the past, appeared unforgiving about Mel Gibson’s past anti-Semitic slurs. Discussing the news that the actor and Oscar winning director was counseling Britney Spears, Behar expressed outrage that Britney’s mother would "allow" the pop star, who is 26, to seek help from Gibson.
Behar reminded the audience of Gibson’s now notorious anti-Semitic comments upon his DUI arrest. "The View" co-host exclaimed she would never send her daughter to an "anti-Semite." Elisabeth Hasselbeck reminded Behar that Spears is an adult whose mother no longer has that authority.
On this day in the year 2000, the guided missile destroyer USS Cole was attacked by Islamic terrorists associated with Osama bin Laden's al-Quaeda group. Today is the seventh anniversary of that attack. Seventeen American sailors were killed and thirty-eight injured in the attack which severely damaged the ship. Yet not a single major media organ has reported this so far.
Attacking a warship has been long viewed as an act of war. The most recent example occured in 1968 when North Korea attacked the USS Pueblo. To our national shame, the Pueblo is still in the hands of that country. A rather more forceful response occurred in 1941, when Japan attacked the US Pacific Fleet at anchor in Pearl Harbor.