Latest from Carolyn Plocher
Move over Susan B. Anthony! Feminists, you have a new leader. Meet Jenni "JWOWW" Farley from MTV's "Jersey Shore." A boob-enhanced Italian American that proudly declares she hunts men like a "praying mantis" and then sends them on "a roller-coaster ride to hell."
"After I have sex with a guy, I will rip their heads off," she said on the show.
"JWOWW" and her fellow female "Jersey Shore" cohorts are, according to The Daily Beast's Nicole Laporte, "progressive prima donnas." LaPorte argued in her article "Jersey Shore's Surprise Feminists" that these agressively predatorial, mean-spirited, and crass girls are the (no doubt, oblivious) leaders of a "progressive, and even revolutionary" change in the age-old stereotype of Italian American women.
The war on Christmas rages on, and nowhere more intensely than on the "kill-joy front." You know it: the predictable but still brutal attacks from those who say your eggnog and candy canes, the tree near your fireplace and even your favorite myths, stories and carols hide secret dangers to emotional and physical wellbeing.
But at least one public health expert is striking a blow for traditionalists by roundly mocking kill-joy tactics by aiming right at the personification of the season.
On Dec 16, an Associated Press article reported a "light-hearted" study conducted by Australian Nathan Grills of Monash University, which was published in the online Christmas edition of the British Medical Journal. Grills' conclusion: Santa Claus is a public health menace.
Grills' characterized the jolly old elf as a "reckless role model" for children, citing his "frequent cookie snacks, occasional cigars and refusal to don a helmet during ‘extreme sports such as roof surfing and chimney jumping,'" according to the AP.
Actor Sam Elliott, who played the Texan aeronaut Lee Scoresby in the 2007 movie "The Golden Compass," has blamed the Catholic Church for scaring Hollywood away from creating a sequel.
"The Catholic Church happened to ‘The Golden Compass,' as far as I'm concerned," said Elliott in a Dec. 14 interview with the London Evening Standard.
Elliott claimed that the Church "lambasted" the company that produced "The Golden Compass," New Line Cinema, and "scared New Line off." Elliott was referring to the boycott organized by Bill Donahue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. The London Evening Standard quoted Donahue's reason for opposing the movie.
"The reason I protested was the deceitful attempt to introduce Christian children to the wonders of atheism in a backdoor fashion at Christmas time," said Donahue. "Everyone agrees the film version was not anti-Catholic, but that hardly resolves the issue. The fact is that each volume in the trilogy becomes increasingly anti-Catholic."
As the British columnist Peter Hitchens put it, Pullman's trilogy "depicts priests as evil and murderous, drunk and probably perverted, and the Church as ‘a conspiracy against happiness and kindness.'"
But can the Church truly be blamed (or cheered, depending on your point of view) for the failure of "The Golden Compass" in the box office?
Talking specifically about teens, Besser said that "even though there's so much information on prevention available - literally at your fingertips - it seems like it's not always getting through." So, to help parents initiate the "big talk" with their children, Besser sat down with a group of six young adults to ask them how their parents discussed "your values" and the "information on prevention available."
Out of the six panelists, not a single one mentioned abstinence playing a part in their "big talk."
In fact, their responses conveyed the idea that parents these days expect their teenagers to be sexually active and so their sex talks sounded more like how-to pamphlets on contraceptive devices than a parent to child heart-to-heart about the emotional and physical implications of having sex.
"The ‘inconvenient truth' overhanging the UN's Copenhagen conference is not that the climate is warming or cooling, but that humans are overpopulating the world," declared Canadian journalist Diane Francis in her Dec. 8 article titled "The Real Inconvenient Truth: The Whole World Needs to Adopt China's One-Child Policy."
Francis, an editor-at-large, published her article in Canada's national business newspaper, The Financial Post, the day after the much-hyped climate change conference kicked off in Copenhagen. She argued that "China, despite its dirty coal plants, is the world's leader in terms of fashioning policy to combat environmental degradation, thanks to its one-child-only edict."
"China has proven that birth restriction is smart policy," said Francis. "Its middle class grows, all its citizens have housing, health care, education and food, and the one out of five human beings who live there are not overpopulating the planet."
Francis wrote direly that there would be irreversible consequences unless "all countries drastically reduce their populations."
During his interview with de Rossi, GMA correspondent Bill Weir called DeGeneres and de Rossi a "beautiful couple" and gushed, "Every time we see you two together the affection is still so obvious."
Weir then asked de Rossi a long-winded question about legalizing gay marriage, which included a prophecy of his own.
"And you're a testament for this sort of thing," Weir began, "and - I don't want to get too political on you but there probably will be a day when this is not a novelty - but when you see sort of the votes that happen - some setbacks politically - how do you think about that in your house?"
We're heading into the fourteenth day that the networks have deliberately ignored the Climategate scandal. And it's understandable. After all, air time is valuable and there are so many pressing issues to cover. Like ... um ...
Well, on Dec. 4, NBC's four-hour "Today" show couldn't squeeze in a single reference to Climategate, but it did find the time to discuss a British couple that's financing their wedding by producing their own porn movies.
"They have made some money already off their porn movies," NBC's Hoda Kotb said.
"Yes," said Kotb's co-host Kathie Lee Gifford. "They've made $2,155 making three of their own X-rated movies ... They plan to make four more, and they want to finance their romantic wedding beach ceremony in Cancun, Mexico next June."
Important stories ...
Please enjoy the video below the fold.
Marriage, you see, is an anachronism that doesn't fit with how we moderns live our lives - or at least, how the important people in Hollywood live theirs.
"I know a lot of famous people," Polone said on Dec. 3 during an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Meeting." "And actually the norm is that they cheat."
Polone, who produced the 2009 movie "Zombieland," argued that it isn't fair for stars like Tiger Woods who are "in the public eye" to be "called to task for their behavior" - behavior that Polone said is "probably pretty natural behavior given what they're going through."
The real problem lies with society's idea of marriage. As a people, he said, we need to "rethink the idea of locking into someone for what one would call a lifetime marriage."
For years, broadcast and cable networks and even newspapers have presented Hilton's offensive blog - dubbed a "tastemaker" by the LA Times - as harmless and entertaining. In 2007, ABC's Jake Tapper called it "snarky, amusing, cool and fishy," and, in 2009, CBS correspondent Erica Hill called Hilton's commentary "a little tongue-in-cheek, maybe some snide remarks here about some perhaps not so flattering moments."
Yesterday, though, during his appearance on "The View," Hilton might have finally realized that his love affair with the media won't last forever.
In the past week, from Nov. 18-24, five network stories have bashed traditional Thanksgiving food because it's not "healthy." With the nation in a recession and the unemployment rate above 10 percent, the media want Americans to worry about their waistlines too. Each of the networks offered tips on how to avoid the "most gut-busting holiday of the year," as Harry Smith of CBS's "Early Show" put it Nov. 19.
Their first advice to viewers was to paint their dining rooms blue. (Quick, you have less than 24 hours!) Allegedly, people eat 33 percent less than if they ate in a yellow or red room. Viewers also need to toss that beautiful flower centerpiece out the window and replace it with a bowl of apples, bananas or after-dinner mints. The Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation claimed that overweight individuals that inhaled those scents before a meal ate less.
On Nov. 18, Foreign Policy's Steven Simon and Jonathan Stevenson wrote an article titled "The Real Shock of Fort Hood." If you thought that the shock of Fort Hood was that an Army Major fired over 100 rounds into a crowded processing center on a military base - killing 13 and wounding 29 - you're wrong. "It's not that the massacre occurred," said the article. "It's that it hadn't occurred before."
According to Simon and Stevenson, Major Nidal Malik Hasan was simply another American Muslim that was the victim of "innumerable stresses, including discrimination and the strain of divided loyalties in their country's eight-year-long war against Muslims in the Middle East and Central Asia."
The authors argued that such circumstances would be "enough to inspire conflict in the minds of even the most patriotic of American Muslims in the U.S." So much so that it should be "no surprise" that "one unstable member of this community finally erupted in violence."
It's our fault. Americans aren't making Muslims "comfortable." And the article specifically cited "Christian right-wing rhetoric" as a catalyst in the "Muslim alienation" which led to Hasan's shooting spree.
On Nov. 19 ABC's "Good Morning America" aired a recycled study by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a liberal activist group that, if it were given the power, would ban everything from remote controls to Chinese food to donuts to casual dining. But even without that power, the anti-food activists still have the networks eating out of their hand.
For the third time in just two months, ABC's early morning show devoted an entire segment to a CSPI study. The past two studies reported that health labels were too "confusing" for consumers while "leafy greens" were life-threatening. Now CSPI's latest publication attacks movie theater popcorn.