The network morning shows on Thursday took a mostly light-hearted look at clothing company Benetton's ad campaign featuring the Pope kissing a Muslim cleric. The ads, which have now been pulled under legal pressure, were summarized by Good Morning America's Josh Elliott. He parroted, "It was part of Benetton 's Unhate campaign, challenging people to have the courage not to hate."
Elliott described the company's removal of the ad as "bowing to pressure from the Vatican." None of the networks, however, mentioned any possible negativity from Muslims. Only NBC's Today referred to them as "very, very controversial," with fourth hour co-host Hoda Kotb blanching, "Put your breakfast down. Because you're going to want to."
While journalists such as Brian Williams railed about "extortion" when CBS pulled a historically inaccurate 2003 miniseries about Ronald Reagan, there has been very little outcry over the news that the History Channel has withdrawn a (reportedly) hard-hitting drama about the Kennedys.
The Hollywood Reporter on Sunday explained the behind the scenes role Caroline Kennedy and Maria Shriver played in pressuring the cable network to not air the series created by Hollywood conservative Joel Surnow. According to journalist Matthew Belloni, Kennedy used her leverage regarding a book deal with Disney, the History Channel's parent company, to get the completed miniseries shelved.
The evening newscasts have ignored this development, as has ABC and CBS's morning shows. It was mentioned on Monday's Today show. 10am hour co-host Kathie Lee Gifford suggested, "And I heard there was also one of the producers of this was one of the few hardline conservatives in Hollywood. And so it was quite, it was quite negative in many ways."
If anyone at NBC News has a sense of irony, they hide it well. Ironic is about the best you can say about a supposedly reputable, unbiased news organization taking up with a magazine called The Advocate. But there was NBC last month, announcing with a straight face (pardon the pun) a new partnership with The Advocate, a gay-oriented magazine.
According to Media Bistro, "The magazine's online home, Advocate.com, will use NBC resources to produce daily news segments that will run online and on air via "The Advocate On-Air. NBC News, in turn, may use content and writers from The Advocate to report on issues relating to the LGBT community."
We know how the media relished the fall of the GOP, and lovingly analyzed divisions within the party. But their beloved Democrats are falling apart before their eyes, and the strain is beginning to tell. The Blue Dog Democrats are for being the only thing between this nation and socialized medicine, a fact that has some liberals coming out swinging – literally, in at least one case.
“Social commentator” Nancy Giles appeared on the “Today Show” July 28 along with Dan Abrams and Willie Geist during Kathy Lee Gifford and Hota Kotb’s segment “News Flash.” The usually all small-talk segment got heated when it turned to health care.
Kotb posed the simple question “Do you guys think health care will pass…?” Abrams and Willie gave simple answers. Giles, however, got passionate.
“It better and I could punch every Blue Dog Democrat in the nose. And I’m a Democrat. I could punch them, I’m so annoyed. And I’m annoyed with Harry Reid. I better not find him in an elevator.”