Matt Philbin

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Managing Editor for MRC Culture


Latest from Matt Philbin

Most people never heard the term “social distancing” until a few weeks ago. Perhaps some were initially confused by it. It kinda sounds like something Don Lemon and his guests do when they run into Trump voters. A more exact term would be “physical distancing.”



You knew it was coming. The only question was how frivolous and besides-the-point it would be. Vice has answered with an article on how the Wuhan virus is inconveniencing “transgender and gender non-conforming people.”



We all have our ways of tuning out the constant drum beat of partisan bad blood and bad news. Some people even resort to watching soccer, apparently. Women’s soccer, even. So it must have been disappointing for those folks when rancor and division intruded on their otherwise tranquil diversion.



There isn’t much at this point we can say definitively about coronavirus, except that The World Health Organization says it’s a pandemic and we’re not allowed say where it originated (rhymes with “Shina”). That’s about it. But one thing about the virus is abundantly clear: if you’re in the anemic news media industry, it’ll cure what ails you. Call it panic-cillen. 



This is sheer conjecture on my part, but I’m betting that some evenings Ariane de Vogue dresses up as Ruth Bader-Ginsburg and cross-examines her cats. What else can a CNN Supreme Court Reporter and RGB fangirl do until somebody starts a lefty political version of Comi Con? (Insert your own Bernie Sanders rally joke here.)



As believers gear up for Lent, Democratic primary candidates see Ash Wednesday as an opportunity to connect with Christian, and specifically Catholic, voters, according to reports.



Who becomes a modern advice columnist? According to the Washington Post’s Maura Judkis, it’s someone with “a deep well of empathy, a strong moral compass, a gift for being succinct without coming off as glib.” Empathy, check. Not glib, got it. Strong ... moral compass? Huh?



On Halloween night of 2010 Giants first baseman Aubrey Huff cracked a two-run homer off righty Tommy Hunter to nail down Game Four of the World Series against the Texas Rangers. Overall, Huff batted .294 with five hits, a home run, and four RBIs in the Giants’ first World Championship since Willie Mays was a young man.



It’s a story made to warm hearts in the Washington Post newsroom: Former NBA player Dwayne Wade went on Ellen and boasted of his world-class parenting of a seriously confused kid. 



You knew this was coming. The Chiefs are in the Super Bowl, offering a prime opportunity for activists to try to eradicate the national disgrace of people enjoying themselves at sporting events. According to Boston’s NPR station, “Native American communities and allies [read liberal journalists like the ones at Boston’s NPR station] are speaking out against the NFL’s decision to allow Kansas City Chiefs fans to attend the Super Bowl wearing mock headdresses."



If The Washington Post made a New Year’s resolution to cut down on the political hackery, get back to a sensible regimen of responsible sourcing, and maybe lose a few pounds of pomposity, it’s already been broken in spectacular fashion. A January 7 piece from Sarah Pulliam Bailey involves Donald Trump Jr., social media, religion, and firearms -- what could go wrong?



The Chicago Bears beat Dallas 31-24 last week. While there are plenty of Americans who’ll swear that the Cowboys are Satan’s team, outside of the “Super Fans” (Da Berss!) few would have characterized Chicago as God’s team. And yet … 



Lesson for social conservatives: put not your trust in princes, nor in rap stars turned Christian. And especially not in chicken sandwiches. Unless you’re hungry.



I recommend Washington Post articles about as often as I check my horoscope. But every once in a while the stars align … so I’ll say Maura Judkis’s Post piece on the astrology trend among young people is worth a look. Not for what it tells us about astrology, but what it says about millennials -- or a certain cohort of them. 



Walt Disney must be spinning in his cryogenic tank. In life he was a smart guy who got rich making saccharine kids cartoons. In death, he’s a hated culture war criminal whose legacy is white/male/hetero/cis privilege. And, though Walt’s not to blame for Miley Cyrus, his brand will forever be tainted by the many pop tarts Disney has inflicted on an unsuspecting public.



Tuesday brought confirmation of two important truths: no good deed (or 129 years of them) goes unpunished; and the “woke” left hates people. That’s why a British singer may not be performing at the Dallas Cowboys’ Thanksgiving halftime show. The show is the official kickoff of the Salvation Army’s annual Red Kettle campaign, which runs through Christmas Eve -- you know, the cheerful people who stand in the cold outside supermarkets and ring bells and collect donations. 



Are you comfortable with mentally disturbed men hanging around the kids section of the local library? How do you stand on dudes with 5 o’clock shadow dressed in lingerie reading to five-year-olds? If you’re a Spokane, Washington resident, you better be okay with it, or you’re a “religious extremist,” and just may find yourself sold in effigy at a slave auction to benefit America’s largest abortion mill.



We’re almost 50 years on from her very public aid and comfort to the enemy of the United States (and a horrible blow to the morale of U.S. POWs in North Vietnam) and Fonda is back doing what she can to docomfit the American people and their way of life. Admittedly, that’s not much these days — phony arrests at climate change sit-ins are no substitute for delivering commie-penned radio addresses falsely accusing America of war crimes — but it’s good enough for Cara Buckley at The Times.



A few days ago, when Lebron James whined about his team and his league’s “difficult week,” he wasn’t just flipping off Muslim Uighurs and Hong Kong freedom protesters suffering in China. He was throwing Chinese Christians under the bus too.



“Scratch a progressive, find an authoritarian.” And his name is Robert Francis O’Rourke. The feckless furry with the foundering campaign and phony hispanic nickname is making a desperate play for the illiberal left wing of the Democratic party. First it was his “mandatory buy-back” of Ar-15s. Now, he’s threatening religious institutions that still believe in traditional marriage.