Way back in 2007, Media Research Center president L. Brent Bozell III wrote a column chastising the media for giving celebrities -- liberal celebrities like Alec Baldwin and Sean Penn, in particular -- platforms from which to opine on matters of national significance. Bozell's argument, in a nutshell, was that these celebrities, for all their passion and verbosity, are no more "mentally impressive than a plate of mashed potatoes."
Well, Bozell must have a very soft definition of "mentally impressive," as NewsBusters announced this morning that their newest blogger is "legendary country and rock musician" Charlie Daniels, best known for his 1979 hit, "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." Daniels' lesser-known works include crypto-Confederate anthems like "The South's Gonna Do It Again," and charmingly offensive anti-Muslim ditties like "This Ain't No Rag, It's a Flag." Just to dispel any doubt as to what kind of "rag" Daniels was singing about, the first line of the song helpfully explains that "we don't wear it on our heads."
And fittingly enough, Daniels' first post for NewsBusters deals with alleged Ft. Hood shooter Nadal Malik Hassan and the threat of radical Islam. You can read it if you want -- he seems to have culled most of his arguments from the comments sections of third-rate conservative blogs and offers nothing new, thought-provoking, or rational. In truth, all you need to know about Daniels' thoughts on America's relationship with the Muslim world can be gleaned from these two sentences: "I know that all Muslims are not terrorists. I have met some who seemed like fine people." That's very big of you, Charlie, to allow the possibility that some of the Muslims you've met could be fine people.
I would also recommend checking out the Soapbox blog on Daniels' website, in which he opines on various political matters. The "Open Letter to Immigrants" was a particularly fun and patronizingly offensive read ("We have our own laws in this country, some will make sense to you and some won't.")
If Bozell considers Baldwin and Penn to be on par with a plate of mashed potatoes, then Daniels is something like day-old grits.
Best graph from the Washington Times' press release announcing "changes to refocus its position as a provider of vital information and insight to readers in the nation's capital, across the country and around the world":
News focused on strengths. The Washington Times news operation will operate in a highly focused manner, investing in Washington Times' well-established core strengths that include exclusive reporting and in-depth national political coverage, enterprise and investigative reporting, geo-strategic and national security news, and cultural coverage based on traditional values.
Shorter WT: We will go back to putting "gay marriage" in scare quotes.
From Mike Huckabee's December 2 Q&A with Christianity Today:
Would you vote for the health-care bill if the Stupak amendment [that bans funding for abortion] was retained in the final version?
Absolutely not. First of all, I don't have any confidence that the Democrats in the House plan to honor that in the long term, and secondly, if abortion wasn't even a part, it's still going to create huge deficits. It's a job-killing bill. It intrudes into an area of people's responsibilities and rights as citizens. I think the bill on its face is unconstitutional, in that it requires the purchase of a product for a person to exercise his or her rights as a citizen. We already decided that's unconstitutional when we outlawed the poll tax that required people to pay money in order to vote, because the Supreme Court declared that you can't make people pay money in order to enjoy the rights and benefits of citizenship. That's exactly what this bill does, and I think it's an outrage and an insult to the Constitution and to the citizens of the United States.
After his foolish comment Tuesday night about how it seemed like President Obama had entered the "enemy camp" in West Point when he gave his speech about the U.S.'s future military campaign in Afghanistan, MSBNC's Matthews last night apologized to West Point, its officers, and its cadets. That's a good start, but Matthews still needs to apologize to Obama, because he insulted the president as well.
Matthews needs to apologize to Obama, and to Democrats, because Matthews' idiotic comment was born out of the pundit's ingrained CW that Democrats can't do national security and that the armed forces are naturally distrustful of Democratic presidents. And that when a Democratic leader visits West Point he's somehow entering foreign or hostile territory.
Note to Matthews: Obama's the commander-in-chief. No Democratic president ought to have to prove to talkers like Matthews that the military remains loyal to the President of the United States.
Defending Newsweek's global warming panel, which was sponsored by the American Petroleum Institute and featured API president Jack Gerard -- but no representative of environmental groups -- Newsweek director of external relations Mark Block insisted "These events are transparent. They're on the record. ... There's no concern of appearance of impropriety because it's an open and transparent process." Newsweek's Howard Fineman, who moderated the panel, agreed earlier this week: "I see nothing wrong with an open, on-the-record balanced discussion like this."
"Open"? "Transparent"? That's interesting, because when a Greenpeace staffer caught up with Gerard after the event and asked him how much API paid for his seat on the panel, Gerard refused to answer.
So: By "balanced discussion," Newsweek means "the panel doesn't include environmental groups, but does include oil lobbyists who pay us" and by "transparent," they mean "but we won't tell you how much they pay us."
Rev. Sun Myung Moon, who claims Jesus spoke to him and chose him as God's Messiah, has already lost $2 billion on his failed Washington Times. And it turns out that maybe $3 billion was the magic number, because the newspaper just gutted its newsroom, a clear indication that the right-wing welfare days at the Times may be over.
But oh, what a glorious conservative jobs program it was for nearly three decades, as Moon created thousands of jobs over the years for a product nobody really wanted--the WashTimes. Now with a new generation of Moon leaders looking at the blood-red books, the Times just fired nearly half the staff and is going to become a free give-away daily.
In other words, the WashTimes has pretty much closed up shop in terms of being an actual, functioning newspaper.
Can't say we're going to miss it. And here's why.
UPDATED: Times leaders insist the future is online and especially the site it recently launched, TheConservatives.com, which, of course, is an odd site to own if you're, y'know, a supposedly professional news organization that doesn't take sides politically, which is the odd claim execs there have always made. But remember how, those same Times leaders said not to fret because they were hard at work on launching a similar liberal site, so it's not like the paper was partisan.
At the time we laughed out loud. And we're pretty sure those guffaws were dead-on, because we can't imagine the Times was ever serious about hosting a liberal site, and now, given the fact that nearly half the company just got pink-slipped, it seems even less likely.
Like this one:
Heatwave puts Moscow's white Christmas on hold
Or this one:
Record warmth and strong winds
Or this one:
Hot summer tipped after record November
Or this one:
Record heat in November
Or this one:
Heat, rainfall records for November in SA
Or this one:
November among warmest on record
Or this one:
Lincoln has record November temperatures
Or this one:
November more like summer than winter
Or this one:
November enters record books as seventh warmest on record
And on a personal note, I sure wish Sean Hannity would explain why, in December, rose bushes are in full bloom in my North Jersey garden.
Eighty advertisers have reportedly dropped their ads from Glenn Beck's Fox News program since he called President Obama a "racist" who has a "deep-seated hatred of white people." Here are his December 2 sponsors, in the order they appeared:
WorldNetDaily video-maker Molotov Mitchell -- best known for smearing Sonia Sotomayor as an "anti-American racist" and the National Council of La Raza as "the tan Klan" -- peddles revisionist history on the Matthew Shepard case in his latest video.
First of all, like Harvey Milk, Matthew Shepard was not killed for being gay. After being robbed and beaten to death, his killer went on to try the exact same thing only on a straight guy 20 minutes later. The only reason he survived was because he had a bat and a friend with him. The liberals aren't interested in those facts. They didn't even care when Shepard's killers told ABC News that his murder had nothing to do with his lifestyle. And why would the killers lie? They had nothing to gain.
In fact, as blogger David Neiwert detailed at the time of the 2004 ABC interview, one of the killers, Aaron McKinney, mounted a "gay panic" defense at his trial -- which would seem to contradict the story Mitchell wants to hear -- and has changed his story multiple times. As the Matthew Shepard Foundation has stated, the ABC report omitted the contents of McKinney's in-custody interview a few days after Shepard's death. That transcript shows "an un-rehearsed and unemotional anti-gay account of the events before, during, and after leaving Matt tied to the fence," according to the foundation.
Further, as retired Laramie Police Chief Dave O'Malley told a Laramie newspaper: "Only three people know what really happened that night ... One of them is dead and the other two are known liars and convicted felons -- murderers."
Why would the killers lie, Mitchell asks? Because they're convicted murderers and known liars. And what do they have to gain? Sympathy from anti-gay activists like Mitchell.
Mitchell then goes into full anti-gay freak-out mode that the name of lynching victim James Byrd joined Shepard's in the name of the bill that added federal hate-crime protection to gays. The crimes that resulted in Byrd's death was "for real," Mitchell insists, "not some made-up Laramie Project stunt for political gain." Crank up that faux outrage, Molotov:
To exploit a modern-day lynching to score points with the gay lobby, to equate the true horror of Byrd's murder to their phony gay passion play, is unforgivable. Gay activists, how dare you cheapen his sacrifice? For that alone, you are unnatural. For that alone, you are deviant. For James Byrd alone, you are an abomination.
Oh, and he also sneeringly refers to President Obama as a "weak-kneed metrosexual."
Molotov has some issues. And this is merely the first of a two-part video.
Here's MSNBC's Chris Matthews, moments ago:
Willie Horton comes to mind. It was Al Gore that first dug up that little sugar plum, on, on, uh, Mike Dukakis and sort of worked that against him. And then of course the Republicans really lashed him with that issue back in '88 and helped George H Walker Bush get elected president. Is this guy going to be Willie Hortoned, Mike Huckabee?
This did not happen. During the 1988 presidential primaries, Al Gore criticized Dukakis for furloughs generally; he did not mention Horton's name, his crimes, or his race.
During the general election, Republicans attacked Dukakis over Horton's crimes, emphasizing his race in the process.
When people talk about someone being "Willie Hortoned," they aren't referring to what Al Gore did -- again, Gore didn't even mention Horton. They're referring to the GOP's use of Horton, which had deeply racist undertones.
But for years, conservatives and some media figures have been trying to blame all of this on Al Gore, despite the fact -- one more time -- that Al Gore never mentioned Horton's name, his crimes, or his race.