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In his latest "Regarding Media" column in the Los Angeles Times (Sat. June 10, 2006), the perpetually clueless Tim Rutten claims that author Ann Coulter is a "pornographer" and her latest tome is "pornography" and "hate." ("Like most pornographers ...

MRC's Mike Rule noticed on Friday that CBS "Early Show" co-host Hannah Storm held fast to deeply pessimistic questions in an interview with Sen. John McCain. She began by wondering if Zarqawi's death would have any effect at all:

The world has taken another turn for the bizarre. CNSNews reported on Friday (hat tip to NB reader RJ) that a new family movie about football, “Facing the Giants,” has been given a “PG” rating by the Motion Picture Association of America apparently for having too much religious content.

Too much religious content? Are you kidding me?

This story appears to have first been reported by Terry Mattingly at the Scripps Howard News Service on Wednesday: “‘What the MPAA said is that the movie contained strong 'thematic elements' that might disturb some parents,’ said Kris Fuhr, vice president for marketing at Provident Films, which is owned by Sony Pictures. Provident plans to open the film next fall in 380 theaters nationwide with the help of Samuel Goldwyn Films, which has worked with indie movies like ‘The Squid and the Whale.’"

Just what kind of “thematic elements” are present? The article elaborated:

On Friday, talk show host Laura Ingraham laughed at how MSNBC's Chris Matthews started demoting Zarqawi on Thursday night's "Hardball" as a minor-league threat, a "Triple-A" terrorist instead of a real "World Series" win. MRC's Geoff Dickens passed on the transcript:

On the day of the running of the final leg of the Triple Crown, we've got a new leader in the Wackiest Zarqawi-Take Stakes. The new favorite in the kooky conspiracy derby is far from a colt. Galloping ghosts! It's De-Frosted Anti-Vietnam War Man and battle-hardened Jane Fonda veteran Tom Hayden. His winning notion? That Zarqawi might really have been our guy in Iraq.

Shown the Thursday Washington Post headline, “Victory in California Calms G.O.P.” followed by the New York Times headline, “Narrow Victory by G.O.P. Signals Fall Problems,” NPR's Nina Totenberg exclaimed on Friday night's Inside Washington: "The Times is wrong!" Syndicated columnist Mark Shields suggested his disagreement with the spin of the New York Times: "I don't think there's any question that if the Democrats had won they'd be yelling at the tree tops.” Shields added his analysis that the Times missed: “The culture of corruption, I think, is not a viable campaign message for 2006 for the fall. That ought to be a warning to the Democrats.”

On Thursday, in postings for the MRC's TimesWatch and on NewsBusters, “Double Huh: NYT Headline Says GOP's Cali Win Means 'Fall Problems' for Party,” Clay Waters provided a look at the tilted June 8 front page New York Times article about the congressional race in which Republican Brian Bilbray beat Democrat Francine Busby to replace imprisoned Republican Randy 'Duke' Cunningham.

NBC’s David Gregory on Friday night resurrected two of the favorite quotes of Bush-bashers as he contrasted past boasts with how the current “cautious view about the way forward in Iraq underscores the degree to which events on the ground have humbled the Bush team.” After a clip of Bush on Friday conceding the killing of terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is “not going to end the war. It's certainly not going to end the violence.

As I noted yesterday, while most Americans were celebrating the military success that killed the most wanted terrorist in Iraq, Abu Musab al Zarqawi, there were still some in the media trying to spin the development in a negative light. That trend continued on the CBS "Evening News" with Bob Schieffer last evening.

Meredith Vieira departed ABC's The View (registration required) today and she certainly went out with, uh, a bang. At 11:36AM EDT, co-host Joy Behar toasted Vieira, who will join the Today show in September. She remarked, "I’m so upset....And I just don’t know how to express it, you know? I thought to myself, what would Rosie O’Donnell do?"

Then Behar took Vieira in her arms and the two engaged in a long kiss. In case you missed it, ABC replayed it in slow-motion a few seconds later as they went to commercial.

A silly moment on an unserious show? Perhaps. But opponents of gay rights probably shouldn’t expect the new host of the Today show to give their arguments much credence.

The media’s defeatist analysis of the death of Abu Musab al Zarqawi has now continued into a second day. Matt Lauer opened the June 9 Today show with this cheery greeting:

"Good morning. What now? The day after the world learned of the death of Abu Musab Zarqawi. The question remains, who will take his place and will it spark revenge attacks?"

Almost ten minutes later, at 7:09AM EDT, Lauer prefaced an interview with Karen Hughes, the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, by asking the following question:

"So how will the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi impact the battered image of the United States around the world?"

In addition to this now familiar negativity, the Today show also came up with a new angle: How does the death of a brutal thug make his supporters feel?

Reuters reports that the country music trio Dixie Chicks is having trouble filling seats at concerts as it continues to take heat for criticism of President Bush.

NBC Marks Death Tax Bills Demise with Democratic Zinger
Anchor Brian Williams left out conservative talking points and studies showing negative impact of estate tax.

By Ken Shepherd
Business & Media Institute
June 9, 2006

Reporter Lothian leaves out how taxpayers are picking up a large part of the bill.

BusinessWeek cited oil analysts who estimated much higher costs from terrorism.