On Tuesday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann seized on a portion of Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol’s Monday interview from FNC’s On the Record with Greta van Susteren to portray the 18-year-old as having expressed a pro-choice view on abortion, even though Bristol Palin did not clearly state her general view on the legality of abortion. During one of the show’s before-commercial plugs, Olbermann trumpeted: "While head-in-the-sand social conservatives are pushing fairy tales [abstinence] over sound policy, life happens. As for a woman`s right to choose, it is implicitly accepted in Bristol Palin`s comments, despite her mother`s anti-choice position."

Before interviewing Laura Flanders of GritTV.org, Olbermann introduced the segment: "There is a whistle blower in the house of hypocrisy that is Governor Sarah Palin: her daughter, Bristol. In our third story on the Countdown, she is now speaking out about being a teenaged mother, and she says that abstinence is not "realistic" (PRONOUNCED WITH EMPHASIS), and that having her baby was her own "choice" (PRONOUNCED WITH EMPHASIS), and that her mother`s view on that, quote, "doesn`t matter" (PRONOUNCED WITH EMPHASIS). At one point, as he posed a question to Flanders, Olbermann referred to "Bristol Palin using that one word, 'choice,' such a, in that word such a profound repudiation of the social engineers on the right."

But in playing clips from the interview, the Countdown host edited out some of Bristol Palin's words which may suggest an alternative meaning to Olbermann’s interpretation.



In a bizarre leap of logic, CNN's John Roberts proposed same-sex marriage as "perhaps another path [that] needs to be taken" in response to high divorce rates.

Roberts' comment during the Feb. 16 "American Morning." followed a segment in which entertainment correspondent Lola Ogunnaike promoted daytime television's first lesbian wedding, which is scheduled to air this week on ABC's "All My Children." 

Roberts framed the segment as taking "a look at the groundbreaking nuptials and the controversy surrounding them." But Ogunnaike only included one critical comment in the nearly three-minute story about "All My Children's" latest wedding. Glenn Stanton of the conservative Focus on the Family told CNN, "I think it's really important to understand that there are a lot of things that people really don't want to see and don't want coming into their home, and lesbian weddings are certainly one of them."



MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann and his frequent guest, Newsweek reporter Howard Fineman, spoke Saturday at a fundraising gala for the New York chapter of the Human Rights Campaign, America’s largest gay-left lobby and a major constituency group of the Democratic Party. All the other major speakers were New York or New Jersey Democrats.



ABC has apparently never heard that phrase, "There are two sides to every story." On Feb. 1, "World News Sunday" helped shamed former-pastor Ted Haggard take shots at the Christian conservatives who he says "shunned him."

Reporter Dan Harris introduced the piece by qualifying Haggard as a former "insider, a powerful pastor at the highest levels of the Christian conservative movement."

Haggard, who made headlines two years ago for getting caught in a gay sex scandal, is now offering advice to the Christian conservative movement; and ABC gave him the megaphone. Here is a portion of Harris' interview with Haggard:



USA Today's religion reporter Cathy Lynn Grossman apparently has little use for Christian ministers who believe the Bible's teachings on sexual ethics.

Apparently already annoyed with evangelical pastor Rick Warren's stance on California's Proposition 8, Grossman took the California preacher to task for a letter offering use of  his Saddleback Church to conservative Anglicans who have left the liberal Episcopal Church USA but were deprived of their church parish property due to a recent California court ruling (emphasis mine): 

After sticking a fork in the eye of gay rights advocates by actively supporting Proposition 8 -- which overturned the legalization of gay marriage in California -- Warren compounded their outrage by equating gay marriage with incest in an interview with Beliefnet.



A group that "celebrate[s] the inherent goodness of adolescent sexuality" and calls for clergy to "speak out against... coercive parental notification and consent for reproductive health services" has just released a study that concludes by calling on American theological seminaries to go over the birds and bees with their students.

Yet in reporting on the study by the Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice and Healing, Chicago Tribune's Manya Brachear failed to label the group as liberal or to find conservative theologians to dispute its arguments. [Click here for our archive on Brachear]

What's more, Brachear practically said "Amen" to the Institute's viewpoint in the opening lines of her January 8 "The Seeker" blog post:



When during its first half-hour this Christmas morning "Today" moved to a conversation between Matt Lauer and Pastor Rick Warren, I braced myself.  Don't tell me, I thought, they're going to get into the invitation Pres.-elect Obama extended him to give the invocation at the Inauguration, and the reaction of some gay-rights groups. Well, surprise!  They didn't: not in word or implication.  Warren appeared strictly in his role as pastor, and the conversation focused exclusively on the meaning of the day.  

The video clip is of the portion of the conversation in which Warren describes the origin and practice of a Warren family tradition of holding a birthday party for Jesus on Christmas Day.  



Conservatives still licking their wounds over the results of the November elections finally have something to cheer about: you don't have to read Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne's articles anymore because you know he's supporting Barack Obama.

So deliciously said MSNBC's Joe Scarborough to Post editorial writer Jonathan Capehart on Tuesday's "Morning Joe" with the latter actually not disagreeing. 

The context of the discussion was another Post writer's Tuesday column in which Richard Cohen came down strongly on Obama's decision to have Rick Warren give the invocation during the upcoming Inauguration.

This led to the following fabulous exchange between Scarborough and Capehart (video embedded below the fold, h/t Ms Underestimated, file photo):



Given some of the reactions to an item I wrote yesterday about Barney Frank's objections to Rick Warren giving the invocation at the inauguration, let me state for the record that I lean libertarian on marriage.  On the one hand, I don't like courts substituting their judgment for legislatures or the will of the people.  But in the long run, I think it might be better for government to recognize that marriage is a religious or spiritual institution, and confine its role to enforcing agreements between partners.

That said, I can't help but chuckle at the way the MSM is twisting itself into knots over the Rick Warren issue.  The latest, most entertaining episode occured on this evening's 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, on MSNBC. David Shuster discovered that, contrary to his presumption, civil rights pioneer Rev. Joseph Lowery, also on the inaugural program, does not support gay marriage!



Does Barney Frank think incest is worse than pedophilia?  The question arises because, chatting with Andrea Mitchell this afternoon, here's how Frank reiterated his opposition to Barack Obama having granted Rick Warren the honor of pronouncing the invocation at the inauguration. 

BARNEY FRANK: I think Rick Warren's comments comparing same-sex relationships to incest is deeply offensive, wildly inaccurate and very socially disruptive.

View video here.

But Warren didn't limit his comparison of gay marriage to incest.  In the same statement  in which Warren alluded to incest he also invoked polygamy and pedophilia.



In its year-ending double issue Newsweek couldn't resist injecting liberal media bias into its mini obituaries entitled "Remember Them Well."

Yet the newsmagazine seemed to forget, perhaps intentionally, the left-of-center politics of prominent liberals profiled while using terms like "far-right" to describe the politics of deceased conservatives such as Paul Weyrich.

But wait, there's more, Newsweek used the occasion to link the civil rights struggles of the 1960s with the fight for same-sex marriage and to approve the first President Bush's breaking of the "no new taxes" pledge.

Take Studs Terkel, the hard-left Communist journalist who passed away at age 96. Newsweek ignored his political leanings, euphemizing them by referencing his "working-class empathy and patient, guileless style [that] helped a confused nation speak its mind."

By contrast, here's how the World Socialist Web Site eulogized him:



Surely no one would view Rev. Jeremiah Wright as closer to the centerpoint of American politics than Pastor Rick Warren, right? Wrong.  Here's Chris Matthews on this evening's Hardball.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: It seems like Barack Obama, as much as seems to inspire people, including me, has a problem with pastors.  I don't know what it is. You get him hooked up with a pastor, whether it's Jeremiah Wright, or it's this guy Rick Warren.  One's on the left, one's on the far right.  Both are causing him trouble.
So Wright's merely "left," while Warren's "far-right."  Do we really need to prove the obvious: that Warren is vastly more mainstream than Wright? It hardly seems worth the effort, but let's consider a few factoids: