ABC News has changed the headline of an online video to "Christine O'Donnell's Masturbation Argument" from the more inappropriately suggestive "Christine O'Donnell's Masturbation Stance," but that doesn't mean the network has grown up about the sex-related beliefs of conservative candidates.
ABC posted video on its news website Sept. 16 from a monologue by comedian Jimmy Kimmel, who hosts a late night show on its network. The network's social networking team also publicized the link via Twitter using the "masturbation stance" pun. The headline on the video has since been changed, but the Twitter message remains active.
"Nobody knows what this woman does for a living, if anything," Kimmel said. "All we do know is that she's gone on the record to oppose masturbation, for real." He referred to a 1996 documentary that aired on MTV in which O'Donnell made a Biblical argument against self-pleasure based on Jesus's exhortation that lust in the heart is the same as adultery.
In a slam on another prominent conservative's family, Kimmel joked that, "I have a feeling Christine O'Donnell opposes masturbation in the same way Bristol Palin opposes premarital sex." Bristol Palin, of course, had a baby out of wedlock and now publicly advocates abstinence before marriage.
"I'm not a political person," Kimmel added. "I keep to myself. I'm not one to get involved in things. But I'm not proud to say it, I'll stand by while our leaders drag us into wars based on false pretenses. I'll stand by while our oceans are polluted by greedy corporations who only care about money. I'll stand by while our military blatantly discriminates against our own armed forces based on what their sexual preference is. But I'll tell you something: when our right to masturbate is threatened, that's where I draw the line."
ABC apparently viewed the comedian's jokes as "news," and linked to several other stories suggesting the network is obsessed with O'Donnell's views on personal sexuality. The links included headlines such as "Masturbation, Money and 'Mental Anguish': Can Christine O'Donnell Restore Her Image?" and "Watch: Is Christine O'Donnell OK With Transvestites?"
Kimmel's complaint that "nobody knows what this woman does for a living" is telling, however. The liberal news media have focused on the fact that Christine O'Donnell holds traditional, Bible-based views on sexuality, at the expense of talking about why she won the Republican primary in Delaware: her views unrelated to social issues.
"This is mudslinging at its ugliest," Media Research Founder and President Brent Bozell said about the media's treatment of O'Donnell. "Pure character assassination. These networks have never treated viable Democratic candidates with this level of contempt. How dare they lecture anyone on manners or decency ever again."