Latest from Carolyn Plocher
Bono explained the hardships of undergoing a sexual "transformation" and the "journey into manhood" to an extraordinarily sympathetic Chris Cuomo, saying, "Gender is between your ears, not between your legs."
This interview only adds to a long list that details ABC's fascination with the sexually bizarre. In July 2009, CMI released a study that found that ABC news programs had featured 76 segments about sexual activity in the past six months. Most of the reports related to political sex scandals or crime cases that contained a sexual element, but 11 promoted alternative sexual arrangements, such as gender changes and, even more disturbing, objectum sexualization - having romantic relationships with objects like F-15 fighter jets and the Eiffel Tower.
On Nov. 9, CW's "Gossip Girl" featured a threesome, which included the not-so-Disney-anymore Hilary Duff. The show depicted threesomes as a normal, expected event in a college student's life. But that wasn't crass enough for Entertainment Weekly's Tim Stack, who said that the threesome was too "chaste."
Set in fictional Chester's Mill, Maine, the 1,000+ page tome (King's longest since "It") details the demise of a small town that mysteriously becomes stuck under an invisible, impenetrable dome.
The town faces such King clichés as deception, rape, and drug addiction, but it also discovers that it's on the fast track to environmental doom. The book review by Kevin Kelly of Mercury News describes the town's desperate situation.
"You can't see the dome - until it becomes smudged on the outside by the accumulation of smog and things running into it and leaving stains," he said. "With no steady influx of new air, Chester's Mill begins to smell like a locker room and plants start dying, and as the dome becomes more and more smeared with grime from the outside world, the temperature inside climbs."
The rest of the week consisted of cringingly cheesy, greenwashed TV moments, like the cop on the crime drama Life buying a solar farm in his quest to find the person who framed him for murder.
Sadly, the line-up for this year's "Green Week," which launches Nov. 15, is just as cringe-worthy. Al Gore will appear again on "30 Rock," undoubtedly spewing dire warnings of the Earth's imminent doom. "The Biggest Loser" will coach its participants to buy organic food and bring their own mugs to coffee shops. Dwight Schrute from "The Office" will role play as a character named "Recyclops," and, in the comedy "Community," Greendale Community College will be renamed "Environ-Dale."
But that's not all.
On Nov. 9 CW's teen-targeted "Gossip Girl" featured a threesome, portraying it as a normal, expected event in a college student's life.
The episode depicted three friends completing a list that was supposedly printed in their college newspaper: "The 15 Things Every College Student Must Do Before Graduating." Number 11 was "Have a Threesome."
On Nov. 10, the day after the episode aired, Entertainment Weekly commented on the "Gossip Girl's" threesome, saying, "The whole thing was pretty chaste. Aside from a shot of them all in bed together in the end, it was basically no more risqué than a game of spin the bottle."
What Entertainment Weekly doesn't grasp (or perhaps doesn't want to) is that it's not about how graphic the scene was or wasn't. It's the fact that the show was promoting the idea as normal and even expected.
- Networks Decide Attack Wasn't Terror: 85 percent of the broadcast stories didn't mention the word "terror." ABC, CBS, and NBC evening news referenced terrorism connections to the Fort Hood attack just seven times in 48 reports.
- ABC, CBS, NBC Follow White House Line: Before Obama's Nov. 10 speech, 93 percent of the stories had ignored any terror connection. But after Obama hinted at what ABC called "Islamic extremist views," all three networks mentioned terrorism.
- Alleged Attacker's Muslim Faith Not Important Either: Slightly more than one-fourth (29 percent) of evening news reports mentioned that Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan was a Muslim. Of those, half (7 out of 14) defended the religion or included experts to do so.
Last week, Fort Hood, Texas was the site of the worst mass shooting in history on a U.S. military base. At 2:34 p.m. local time on Nov. 5, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan - one of the military's own - reportedly attacked fellow soldiers, yelling, "Allah Akbar." He then allegedly fired more than 100 rounds into Fort Hood's crowded processing center, killing 13 and wounding 29. This heinous act stunned the nation and captivated the news media.
Witness Bill O'Reilly's Nov. 6 interview with Scott Conroy and Shushannah Walshe, co-authors of the soon-to-be-released "Sarah from Alaska." During the interview, the authors insisted that it was "not a slam book at all." In fact, Conroy said that his "final conclusion" of Palin was that "she's always been underestimated" and to "write her off" would be a "big mistake." Walshe also implicitly blamed the media by saying that Palin's "three-dimensional character" was ignored during last year's presidential campaign and, instead, "she was perceived as either an idiot or she was loathed."
So why did Conroy and Walshe feel the need to defend the fairness of their book? Perhaps because the duo had appeared on CBS earlier that week, and "fair" isn't an adjective that comes to mind in describing that interview.
For years the environmentalists and their green-loving mainstream media allies have been slamming businesses for trashing the planet. Outlets ranging from television networks to magazines to newspapers have spearheaded an incessant "eco-friendly" campaign that has been so influential on consumers that some companies have gone into the red just to be green. But of course now that being green has actually become profitable, the media's criticizing the free market for "taking advantage of it."
On Nov. 5 "Good Morning America's" weatherman and eco-propagandist Sam Champion tsked, "In the past five years, there's been an explosion of products marketed as being green or good for the environment. But just how accurate are all of those claims? And are we really getting what we think we are? Well, the government now says, in some cases, we're not."
Less than 24 hours after Mainers rejected a state law allowing same-sex marriage, Time magazine rushed to comfort gay activists with Michael Lindenberger's sloppy, transparently biased article titled "Gay-Marriage Activists Look Ahead After Defeat in Maine."
With condescension reminiscent of Peter Jennings - in 1994 the ABC anchor characterized the Republican takeover of Congress as the electorate having a "temper tantrum" - Lindenberger portrayed same-sex marriage opponents as stubborn children, saying, "Maine voters insisted on having their say on an issue that simply will not go away." Rather than just report and analyze the outcome, the article simultaneously sympathized with gay activists and emphasized, by way of many pro-gay quotes, the futility of fighting against an "incredible campaign" that simply wants justice.
Maine defenders of traditional marriage only had one quote in the nearly 1,200-word article: "What's the hurry [for gay marriage]?" That's six words, if you count the brackets.
The article also reassured same-sex marriage proponents that this rejection will leave no lasting scars:
From accusing her of igniting a civil war within the Republican Party to calling her "nutty" antics a "treasure" to the Democrats, the mainstream media is once again shamelessly slamming Sarah Palin.
On Nov. 3 CBS' "Early Show" interviewed Scott Conroy and Shushannah Walshe, co-authors of "Sarah from Alaska," a "very revealing" book about Palin on the campaign trail.
"Later this month, Palin's highly anticipated memoir hits bookstores," said CBS' Harry Smith. "But another book beats her to it."
To start off the interview, Smith asked Conroy (who, by the way, also works for CBS) to explain what was going on "behind the scenes" when John McCain gave his concession speech on Election Day last year.
Conroy wasted no time painting Palin as a media hungry mongrel, saying:
Remember back in July when Norma McCorvey was arrested for disruptive behavior during the confirmation hearings of Judge Sonia Sotomayor? Wait. Maybe not. The networks only gave her a few cursory seconds, if any. McCorvey is "Jane Roe," the plaintiff in the landmark Roe v Wade lawsuit, and the one-time pro-choicer was shouting for the verdict of her 1973 case to be overturned.If that's all the notice given the most famous side-switcher in the abortion wars, there's little hope that we'll hear about Abby Johnson in the mainstream media. Johnson, a Planned Parenthood director in Texas, resigned October 6 after watching an ultrasound of an abortion procedure.
"I just thought I can't do this anymore," she said. "And it was just like a flash that hit me and I thought that's it."
Pollan said that "you're eating oil" when you're eating a burger: "You need oil to make the fertilizer to grow the corn. You need petroleum to make the pesticides to grow the corn. You need oil to move it all around the country."
Factoring in production, processing, and shipment, Pollan claimed that a quarter-pounder cheeseburger amounts to 26 ounces of oil. "What it tells you is that the carbon footprint of that burger is really big," said Pollan. "The result is a product that takes a huge environmental toll and obviously takes a health toll as well."
GMA in particular has a stake in making sure Americans believe they're destroying the planet, since the morning show has been a tireless purveyor of climate change propaganda. Stephanopoulos referenced the poll in introducing a segment on the new book "Superfreakonomics," which offers "radically different" solutions on how to "save our planet."
"Superfreakonomics" co-author Stephen Dubner agreed with Stephanopoulos that global warming "very well may be" a serious problem. But he then argued that "the proposed solution of carbon mitigation as the one and primary path [to combating climate change] will be too little and too late, and it's too optimistic."