Carolyn Plocher

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Planned Parenthood has just released a video in response to the upcoming Super Bowl ad featuring the pro-life birth story of college football star Tim Tebow.

The pro-abortion group's ad includes Olympic gold medalist Al Joyner and former NFL football player Sean James promoting what they call "respect for women's choices."

James said in the ad that he "respects and honors Mrs. Tebow's decision" but every woman's decision must be "valued ... trusted and respected." 

"My mom showed me that women are strong and wise," James continued. "She taught me that only women can make the best decisions about their health and their future."

It's Groundhog's day again and for the 99th time Punxsutawney Phil has seen his shadow - six more weeks of winter. Phil and his shadow have been around since 1887 - a 123-year-old American tradition - but if PETA has it's way, this year will be the end of Phil's career. According to its official blog, it's time for Phil to retire and replace him with "an electronic groundhog."

"Phil is forced to be on display year round at the local library and is denied the ability to prepare for and enter yearly hibernation," the blog said. "Add to that the displeasure of large, screaming crowds, flashing lights of cameras, and human handling."

PETA's statement, however, hasn't been met with much enthusiasm. Most of the comments on their blog page were either critical or humorous.

Rob Stein of The Washington Post rehashed a two-year-old study about teen pregnancy rates on Jan. 26 in order to criticize funding for abstinence programs. Little did he know that he'd have to eat his words just a few days later.

On Feb. 2, Stein wrote another abstinence-centered article, but this time with a very different theme. The headline read: "Abstinence only programs might work, study says."

A "landmark study" released one day earlier found that abstinence-only programs not only work but have considerably better results than their "safe-sex" counterparts, Stein reported.

"Sex education classes that focus on encouraging children to remain abstinent can persuade a significant proportion to delay sexual activity," Stein said, summarizing the study which found that over 60 percent of sixth- and seventh-graders who completed an abstinence-focused program delayed having sex during the study's two-year span.

Slate's William Saletan must hate happy endings. At least that's what you'd think after reading "The Invisible Dead." No, that's not the title of some new horror best-seller - it's the headline of his article about football star Tim Tebow's pro-life ad.

In it, Saletan argued that the Tebows were "lucky" and went on to expose the "grisly truth about the Super Bowl abortion ad." That "truth" was the idea that dangerous pregnancies carried to term often kill the baby and the mother.

"On Sunday, we won't see all the women who chose life and found death. We'll just see the Tebows, because they're alive and happy to talk about it," Saletan wrote.

If it isn't obvious already, Joy Behar doesn't know when to keep her mouth shut. On Jan. 26's "The View," a clueless Behar accidentally tipped the agenda of much of the gay and same-sex marriage movement.

"They," she said, referring to gays, "don't take monogamy and infidelity the same way that the straight community does."

Such things as fidelity, she added, don't have the "same weight" with gays as with straights, and - you might want to sit down for this - Behar was actually right for once.

With the latest battle over same-sex marriage brewing in a California federal court, gays are claiming that they simply want the right to participate in traditional marriage. But that couldn't be further from the truth. As a previous CMI article noted, many gays don't want to just participate in traditional marriage. They want to radically change it.

UPDATE: The New York Times joined the fray as well with a similar article. 

Must be a slow news week. Both Time and the Washington Post reported yesterday on a rehashed two-year-old study about rising teen pregnancy rates.

"Pregnancy rates among U.S. teenagers," wrote Time's Belinda Luscombe, "which had been dropping since 1990, took an upturn in 2006, according to newly released data."

This "newly released data," however, is far from breaking news. The original study was actually published over two years ago by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and it got plenty of attention back then, including from the Washington Post. The study has since been given a little facelift by the liberal, anti-abstinence organization the Guttmacher Institute and has been re-released as shocking new data. So why did the Post and the Time even consider this newsworthy? The Post's Rob Stein unknowingly sandwiched the answer to that question in the middle of his article.

Every week Oprah Winfrey encourages over 44 million Americans to "Live Your Best Life" - the mantra of her billion-dollar brand.

"The key to realizing a dream," Oprah said in the Sept. 2002 issue of her O magazine, "is to focus not on success but significance - and then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take on greater meaning."

Maybe Oprah should revisit that statement and add, "Unless we're talking about sexual abstinence. In that case, just throw in the towel."

In a Jan. 22 interview, Oprah criticized Bristol Palin, the teen daughter of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, for recently telling In Touch Weekly that she was pledging abstinence until marriage.

If you thought that last year's TV shows were scandalous, the ones lined up for this year are going to make your eyes burn. It's going to get so bad, in fact, that even the mainstream media is calling it out. On Jan. 20, USA Today ran this article on their front page: "Sex on TV: It's Increasingly Uncut - and Unavoidable" written by Gary Strauss.

"Viewers are about to see," Strauss warned, "full-frontal male nudity, heterosexual, homosexual and group sex, and graphic scenes rarely - if ever - seen on mainstream TV."

The most "fornication-heavy" show this year, Strauss said, will be pay-cable's "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" starring Lucy Lawless. He described it as "a 300-meets-Caligula epic about the Roman Empire's notorious slave/gladiator."

"Lawless," Strauss continued, "portrays a conniving social climber who is nude in some scenes, commits adultery in others and uses sex to manipulate frenemies and family. One episode shows Lawless' character and her gladiator-camp-owner husband (John Hannah) manually stimulated by slaves before having sex. Upcoming episodes feature orgies and a gladiator whose large endowment ultimately leads to his downfall."

If you haven't heard much about Heidi Montag before, that's probably going to change. MTV's pseudo reality star has become a cautionary tale, and is facing a firestorm of critics after going under the knife for a staggering 10 different cosmetic procedures in a single sitting. The list ranged from a mini brow lift to a chin reduction to pinning her ears back to the predictable breast augmentation (her second).

"For the past three years, I've thought about what to have done," Montag told People magazine last week. "I'm beyond obsessed."

And she finally revealed her new look yesterday, appearing on ABC's "Good Morning America." But she wasn't exactly met by a cheering crowd. Kudos to GMA for being properly revolted by Montag's butchery.

Reporter Deborah Roberts, for example, called Montag's surgeries "frightening" and co-anchor George Stephanopoulos felt sorry for her.

ABC hosts show proper revulsion at celebrity's self-butchery.

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.

Heidi Montag, the actress from MTV's pseudo reality show "The Hills," is a run-of-the-mill Hollywood personality. She has unnaturally large breasts (along with at least nine other surgical "touch-ups"), overprocessed bleach blond hair, skimpy clothes and even skimpier bikinis. She's married to an equally immature prima donna, Spencer Pratt, who throws random fits and says things like, "We're the most famous people in the world."

But Heidi doesn't just claim to be a "super-celebrity"; she also says she's a devout Christian and a "modern Mother Teresa." And that's entirely plausible, if Mother Teresa had a thing for singing lyrics like "eat my panties off of me."

Good grief. We're still talking about Palin's clothes? You'd think that with the latest Democratic scandals - like Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid's racist comments and new revelations about Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards' affair - they'd be too busy beating out their own fires to revisit old fodder against Republicans. But apparently U.S. News & World Report's Bonnie Erbe has nothing better to do.

On Jan. 11, Erbe crowed on her blog, "So today Sarah Palin delivers some great news: She's becoming the TV star she's apparently always wanted to be and sparing us (for the moment, at least) the worry that she might run for national office."

Ted Olson pushes for gay unions without taking into account many drawbacks.

If you're educated, you'll vote for gay politicians. That was the underlying message of the Time's article "Europe's Gay Leaders: Out at the Top" by William Lee Adams. Adams based his premise on the worn out stereotype that conservatives lack forward-thinking skills - or perhaps any thinking skills whatsoever - and need to be educated by progressive liberals such as himself. (And since we're dwelling on stereotypes, note that the first sentence above used only eight words to summarize what Adams, like a typical pontificating liberal, took 1,867 words to say.)

Adams argued in his article that Iceland, which elected Johanna Sigurdardottir last year - the world's first gay leader, was an "extremely homophobic" country until its citizens were given an "education."

Back in 2006, Brad Pitt announced during an interview with Esquire magazine that he will only tie the knot with his (perhaps, still) girlfriend Angelina Jolie when "everyone else in the country who wants to be married is legally able." (It's assumed he was talking about gays and not, say, first cousins or fathers and daughters - although he did leave it rather open-ended.)

Well, best-selling author Elizabeth Gilbert isn't that dedicated, because she just got married to her boyfriend of many years (after swearing "never, ever, under any circumstances" to marry again after her first, bitter divorce), but she did throw out her two-cents during an interview with Time magazine on Nov. 4.

"A lot of heterosexual couples are reluctant to get married," asserted the woman who penned "Eat, Pray, Love" and the new "Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage."  "There's a sense of, Why should I have access to this when my friends who have been together just as long as me don't?"

Teenagers don't need to ask their friends anymore about sex. Now they can just turn to CBS' medical correspondent, Dr. Jennifer Ashton.

On Jan. 6, Dr. Ashton met with a group of teenage girls on CBS' "Early Show" to advertise her new book "The Body Scoop for Girls" - a book that anchor Maggie Rodriguez said "parents of daughters really appreciate." But most parents that watched this segment were probably more shocked than appreciative.

When Dr. Ashton met with the group of girls, she asked them, "Did any of your parents ever come to you guys and say, ‘We expect that you don't have sex until fill-in-the-blank age' .... 18, 19, 20, whatever?"

Not a single girl said yes, but 14-year-old Mercy Baez spoke up and said, "In this generation, ya know, almost every teenager already has sex by seventh to eighth grade ... and so, it's like, if you haven't had sex already, then you're the weird one and you stand out because you haven't."

If Ashton had any reaction to that statement, it was edited from the tape. Instead, she answered this question from 13-year-old Pam Segall: "What type of contraception do you think is the most effective?"

With absurd statements on matrimony, best-selling author Elizabeth Gilbert joins ranks with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

Dr. Ashton advises sexually active 7th- 8th graders on contraception, then tells host we must try to 'change it.'

King & KingTo parents working to raise their children and teens in a world inundated with so much media - from video games to movies to music to the thousands of youth-oriented books published each year - a little help from experts is welcome.

So news that the American Library Association will announce its 2010 Youth Media Awards in just a couple of weeks should be good news for those who want to enrich their kids' cultural and intellectual lives, right? Just read what the ALA Web site has to say about the awards:

Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, the ALA Youth Media Awards guide parents, educators, librarians and others in selecting the best materials for youth. Selected by committees composed of librarians and other literature and media experts, the awards encourage original and creative work in the field of children's and young adult literature and media.

But in the case of the Youth Media Awards, the ALA's "librarians and other literature and media experts" have a very different conception of the "best materials for youth" than most parents. The ALA has a public social and political agenda that endorses same-sex marriage, and who's agenda is glaringly reflected in the books it chooses to award and those it chooses to ignore, or even - yes - ban.