According to London's Guardian and a press release issued by the National Iranian American Council, the NIAC forced significant changes in the upcoming movie “Crossing Over.” The movie's plot featured an Iranian family, and all scenes relating to an honor killing and the phrase “family honor” were removed after “ongoing conversations” with the director.

If “significant changes” were not made, the NIAC threatened that the film would “generate serious backlash against the Iranian American community.”

After the complaint, the producer “immediately contacted” the NIAC and “agreed to take its concerns into consideration.” Even more surprising was how much access and influence the NIAC had over the Weinstein film starring Sean Penn and Harrison Ford (my emphasis throughout):

NIAC later submitted its analysis and suggestions to the production team, which changed elements of the script and even re-shot certain scenes. The final product, the director says, does not include any reference to "family honor" and does not depict an honor killing.



Young conservatives looking to get into mainstream journalism face a very difficult path according to veteran journalist Bob Novak.

The syndicated columnist made those remarks on a conference call with bloggers about his new book "The Prince of Darkness: 50 Years Reporting in Washington."

Novak blamed liberal discrimination which he said forces young conservatives to remain "in the closet" if they hope to have a career in media.

"One of the big differences in 50 years is that the liberals have now filtered into the executive ranks of journalism. And so if you go into journalism now not in the closet but out in the open as a conservative, you're going to have a hard time getting a job, believe me."



Ah to be a liberal, to proclaim my tolerance and open-mindedness with a few tacky bumperstickers and then turn around and try to silence any type of political divergence:

Liberal activists are stepping up their campaign against Fox News Channel by pressuring advertisers not to patronize the network.

MoveOn.org, the Campaign for America's Future and liberal blogs like DailyKos.com are asking thousands of supporters to monitor who is advertising on the network. Once a database is gathered, an organized phone-calling campaign will begin, said Jim Gilliam, vice president of media strategy for Brave New Films, a company that has made anti-Fox videos.



CNN's Wolf Blitzer conducted a hardball interview of White House press secretary Tony Snow on Thursday's edition of The Situation Room about the Democrats' subpoena of Karl Rove and the possible perjury investigation against Alberto Gonzales. Blitzer asked Snow a series of tough questions that you might find on any Democrat pundit's list. Contrast this with Blitzer's colleague at CNN, John Roberts, who earlier the same day, did a softball interview of Sen. Charles Schumer, which helped the New York Democrat echo his talking points. Actually, both Roberts and Blitzer helped forward the Democrat talking points, but the major difference was the approach towards the person being interviewed.



Environmentalists are targeting kids and using deception to get their message out. Anthropogenic global warming evangelists and wildlife filmmakers, Sarah Robertson and Adam Ravetch, made the upcoming live action “Arctic Tale” because as Robertson told the LA Times, "Global warming to a lot of people is statistics...What we wanted to do was put a face on climate change."

OK, so there's the goal, now how to accomplish it? Adults ask all of those pesky questions, but children's minds are easier to mold and manipulate. During the credits, the filmmakers came right out and showed their cards, using kids to shill for AGW and convince their parents to change their evil habits.

The expected tugging of emotions was turned into a shell game by the way the movie was created. “Arctic Tale” is sold to the public as a heartwarming movie that follows a polar bear and a walrus through their first eight years of life. The problem is, they're not real, and the alarming story about their environment was crafted by scriptwriters (emphasis mine throughout):



There are millions of Web sites floating around the Internet on any given day, so finding five ones to label as the "worst" in the world is risible on its face. And if you did, wouldn't you think that NAMBLA, the Westboro Baptist Church, the KKK, pedophile sites and the like would constitute the absolute worst? I mean, MySpace is annoying, but it's not as bad as jihadist Web sites by any stretch.



Apparently, the grandstanding by Edward R. Murrow-wannabe Keith Olbermann during his performance as co-moderator of the May Republican debate won the support of the AFL-CIO. On its blog, the union announced the big news that Olbermann will also moderate the August 7 Democratic debate, which the powerful union is sponsoring.

It looks like the man who once stated that “the leading terrorist group in this country right now is the Republican Party,” will have the responsibility of questioning the Democratic candidates' positions and challenging their statements.

July 17, the AFL-CIO Now blog promoted Olbermann's new moderator gig, and since the site didn't mention Matthews' name or anyone else's, it looks as if Olbermann will fly solo (via Inside Cable News, emphasis mine throughout):



New Editorial Page Editor Cheryl L. Reed has been given marching orders from publisher John Cruickshank and head editor Michael Cooke to re-brand the editorial and opinion section of the Chicago Sun Times with an eye toward the future. Specifically she has been told not to be too conservative. (h/t Republic of Biloxi)
"Don't be conservative," Cruickshank urged me.


In a striking contrast to his fellow reporters, the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz took NBC to task for the extensive Live Earth coverage on NBC and its sister cable channels (earlier NewsBusters item on this very same column, with transcript of Kurtz's discussion on CNN's Reliable Sources.) Shockingly, Kurtz even used quotation marks when mentioning the global warming “crisis.” In his “Media Notes” column, Kurtz rightfully questioned the ethics of a network taking sides on a political issue (a General Electric senior VP said he doesn't “think climate change is a political issue”) and helping a “prominent Democrat” who potentially has presidential ambitions to raise money.

These are important points that most reporters have failed to raise, but Kurtz was not intimidated by the peer pressure and got down to the nuts and bolts (emphasis mine):

NBC and its cable networks devoted a total of 35 hours of air time Saturday to the Live Earth concerts, organized by Al Gore to call attention to what he calls a global warming "crisis."



It seems not even Al Gore and his stable of celebrity talent could keep Live Earth at the top of the ratings this past weekend. Greg Pollowitz from The Corner has the breakdown from Nielsen Media Research:



Regardless of your views on global warming and climate change, Live Earth’s use of school-aged children as political spokesmen was, by anyone’s standards, in poor taste. Bravo’s coverage of the Al Gore-produced musical festival began with several innocent, gapped-tooth children sharing their all-too-adult frustrations and concerns over the environment.