The New York Times’s coverage of Easter Sunday was sparse, but the paper did mark the Christian holiday in its own inimitable way, by spotlighting anti-traditional gay rights activism.
Reporter Liz Robbins was at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan on Sunday morning to hear Archbishop Timothy Dolan delivers his Easter homily to nearly 3,000. St. Patrick’s also marked the “finish line” of the Easter Day parade. But her story Monday, “A Sermon Of Rebirth, And a Rally For Rights,” was pre-occupied by a tiny band of protesters in support of gay marriage, “A small group of about 25 people stood while temperatures soared near 80 degrees.” For Robbins, two dozen people standing outside in “near 80 degree” heat (was it really that onerous?) was worth both special mention and 364 of the story’s 634 words.
Towards the Good Friday edition of the 12 p.m. hour of programming she anchors, MSNBC's Contessa Brewer highlighted a Louisville Disciples of Christ minister who refuses to sign off on marriage licenses until same-sex marriage is legal in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Brewer, the daughter of a Baptist minister, is an advocate for same-sex marriage.
As you can see from the video embedded after the page break -- given the biased title "Church takes a stand on marriage equality" by MSNBC -- Brewer failed to bring on a minister with an opposing perspective nor to sharply question Dr. Derek Penwell on his position:
MSNBC on Wednesday promoted a study suggesting that gays are more likely to kill themselves in conservative parts of the country. News Live co-host Thomas Roberts explained, "There's a disturbing new study showing suicide attempts by teen, gay or straight, are more frequent in conservative areas where schools don't have programs supporting gay rights."
Roberts talked to the study's author, Columbia University researcher Mark Hatzenbuehler, and wondered, "Is it strictly something that needs to be looked through a lens of liberal and conservative? It seems kind of daft to think it's just all politics."
As part of its effort to "shore up" the backing of social conservatives, House Republicans today "issued a contract today to pay former Solicitor General Paul Clement $575 an hour, up to $500,000 to defend the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act," San Francisco Chronicle's Carolyn Lochhead insisted in the paper's Politics Blog.
"Republicans claim they will take the money out of the Justice Department's budget, as if that will hold taxpayers harmless. But a cost is a cost and taxpayers will pay it either way. Any funds removed from DOJ are funds removed from other work," Lochhead groused.
This from the same reporter who approved of Obama's fiscal year 2012 budget proposal as "centrist."
Back in 2007, The New York Times was delighted when the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the TV networks and against FCC fines for fleeting profanities on broadcast TV. "If Bush Can Blurt Curse, So Can Network TV," the Times wrote in its Page One headline.
But in 2011, when gays are outraged that NBA star Kobe Bryant was caught on television during a game mouthing the "gay F-bomb" at a referee, and the NBA assesses an amazing $100,000 fine for this one word, Times sports columnist William Rhoden argued the fine was puny and that Bryant should be forced to sit out the first game of the playoffs. The Times also approvingly published gay activist John Amaechi on its Off the Dribble blog begging Bryant not to challenge the fine. Apparently, some "curse words" have a much deadlier ring:
On Tuesday's Morning Edition, NPR's Tovia Smith promoted a homosexual activist's campaign protesting the inability of same-sex couples to file joint federal tax returns. Smith played sound bites from the founder of the campaign, as well as two other supporters of same-sex "marriage," but omitted any from opponents. NPR also highlighted the tax-related "complications" of a specific same-sex couple on Friday's Morning Edition.
Host Renee Montagne introduced Smith's report by noting how "some same-sex married couples are planning a protest this Tax Day. They object to the federal law requiring them to check the 'single' box on their federal tax returns....In defiance of that law, known as DOMA, some couples are checking the married box on their federal returns."
Every once in a while the folks at MSNBC can get a thrill for a Republican. It just has to be one who's denouncing the right people, you see.
Take Contessa Brewer, who today yelled "Preach It!" in enthusiastic agreement after showing her audience a clip of "truth teller" former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) excoriating the "homophobes" in his party:
Nightline's Yunji de Nies on Thursday offered a laudatory segment on the sex columnist Dan Savage. She has previouisly fawned on Twitter that the writer/activist was "hilarious." De Nies offered almost no mention of the outrageous statements Savage has made, including referring to Antonin Scalia as a "c–ksucker" and once asserting, "F–k John McCain."
The only hint about the radical nature of Savage came when de Nies explained, "Savage doesn't hide his politics. He famously went after Republican Rick Santorum after the former senator compared homosexuality to bestiality. Savage responded by calling on his fan base to redefine the word Santorum online."
Instead of pressing the syndicated gay columnist about his remarks, she blandly wondered, "Have you had a chance to talk to [Santorum] personally?...Do you have any interest in engaging with him on this?"
In this week's issue, Time magazine followed Newsweek in honoring gay sex columnist Dan Savage and offering him space to trash conservatives. The liberal media sets Savage up as an anti-bullying activist, then lets him push conservative faces in the dirt. In December Newsweek printed him saying "F--- John McCain" and asserting Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was clearly a "c---sucker." In their Ten Questions feature honoring his "It Gets Better" videos affirming homosexual children, Time asked him "Who hasn't made a video yet who you hope will?" This allowed Savage to insist conservatives don't care if homosexual children (or children who think they might be) commit suicide:
Rick Santorum. Tim Pawlenty. Sarah Palin. Glenn Beck. The Prime Minister of Britain, who leads the Conservative Party there, made a video, and we haven't seen one from anyone on the right in the U.S. to even say, You're 14 and gay. Don't kill yourself.
What Savage really wants is what David Cameron of Britain provided: a "Conservative" who's 100 percent in agreement with government celebrating homosexuality. Cameron says in his video:
On Sunday's 60 Minutes, CBS correspondent Morley Safer interviewed New York Catholic Archbishop Timothy Dolan and pressed him on the his commitment to traditional Church teachings: "No question that you're conciliatory, that you like to have dialog, but underneath that you're an old-fashioned conservative. I mean, in the sense of right-wing conservative."
Dolan turned Safer's characterization around: "I would bristle at being termed 'right-wing.' But if somebody means enthusiastically committed and grateful for the timeless heritage of the Church, and feeling that my best service is when I try to preserve that and pass that on in its fullness and beauty and radiance, I'm a conservative, no doubt."
Last Sunday, Frank Rich filed his last column for the Week in Review, “Confessions of a Recovering Op-Ed Columnist.” Rich is joining his friend and former Times Magazine editor Adam Ross at New York magazine.
Rich’s farewell is typically self-indulgent:
"My own idiosyncratic bent as a writer, no doubt a legacy of my years spent in the theater, is to look for a narrative in the many competing dramas unfolding on the national stage. I do have strong political views, but opinions are cheap. Anyone could be a critic of the Bush administration. The challenge as a writer was to try to figure out why it governed the way it did -- and how it got away with it for so long -- and, dare I say it, to have fun chronicling each new outrage."
He did admit the column-writing routine “can push you to have stronger opinions than you actually have, or contrived opinions about subjects you may not care deeply about, or to run roughshod over nuance to reach an unambiguous conclusion. Believe it or not, an opinion writer can sometimes get sick of his own voice.”
I must have missed the nuanced period of Rich’s column writing. Here’s just a smattering of Rich’s lowlights, both nonsensical and nasty, since the Times Watch project was launched in early 2003:
As NewsBusters reported in February, vulgarian comedienne Kathy Griffin was cast to do a guest stint on the hit series "Glee" portraying a Palinesque Tea Partier.
The advanced billing turned out better than the reality, for on Tuesday's show, Griffin mocked Palin and Christine O'Donnell while depicting Tea Party members as homophobic birthers (video follows with transcript and commentary):