National Geographic is delving into hot-button social issues for a second time this year with its announcement of a new drama The Birth of the Pill. According to an exclusive statement released to The Hollywood Reporter, the documentary will follow a group of four activists who “took on the scientific establishment, the church and cultural norms in their fight to make safe and effective contraception available to millions of women.”
Sunday night, National Geographic Channel played a two hour special on President Obama called “The Price of Hope.” What was the “price” of “hope” exactly? Apparently Obama not getting his way 100% of the time because of those evil Tea Party Republicans in Congress,(or at least that’s how the documentary spins it.) The entire documentary sets up the President as some kind of untainted Savior who struggled to achieve his dreams for a better America because “extremist” Republicans were too partisan to be reasonable.
ABC’s World News Tonight closed out the show Monday evening with a spotlight on President Barack Obama snorkeling off the coast of Hawaii for the National Geographic Channel. Anchor David Muir could barely contain his joy as he led into his report. “Finally tonight here, President Obama taking a dive in a place he helped protect,” he stated, while sounding elated. “They’re images unlike anything we have seen before,” hyped Muir, “A sitting president snorkeling in open waters.”
Sunday night's airing of Killing Jesus -- the three-hour event based on the book of the same name by Fox News Channel anchor Bill O'Reilly and co-writer Martin Dugard -- was watched by more than 3.7 million people, a new record for the National Geographic Channel.
Of course, this isn't the first cable television adaptation of one of O'Reilly's books. Two others -- Killing Kennedy and Killing Lincoln – were also produced for the cable channel and drew high ratings as well.
Survivalists: Paranoid right-wingers or a shrewd, far-thinking, and diverse urbanites? The New York Times can't decide. Editorial board member Lawrence Downes' Thursday morning post, "Jesus, Freedom and Guns," used a YouTube video from a left-winger to mock gun-rights supporters as Christian paranoids fearing government tyranny:
Here is a video shot at a gun-rights rally on Jan. 19 at the Arizona state Capitol in Phoenix. It’s a good window into the life of Arizona, a state where the Tea Party, birtherism and anti-immigrant radicalism regularly combine to raise the political temperature from overheated to boiling.
Electric vehicle battery maker A123 filed for bankruptcy on Tuesday. Part of the caption at an Associated Press photo found at a National Geographic report about the "hurdles for clean tech" on Wednesday stated that the company "received a $6 million grant from the Bush administration in 2007 and a $249 million grant from the Obama administration in 2008."
That's pretty funny (actually pathetic), given that Obama didn't take office until January 2009. What's not funny is which of the two presidents cited in the AP photo's caption is actually in the photo:
Adam Nicolson couldn't resist inserting a blast at traditional sexual ethics into an article about the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible in the December 2011 issue of National Geographic magazine. Nicolson labeled the Book of Leviticus's condemnation of homosexual acts a "troubling part of the King James inheritance: a ferocious and singular moral vision that has become unacceptable in most of the liberal, modern world."
The author devoted seven paragraphs in his article, "The Bible of King James," on the influence of the King James Bible on the non-Christian Rastafarian religion in Jamaica. He noted that "pious Rastafarians read the King James Bible every day," and contrasted the "gentle and welcoming" ambience found in the "Bobo Camp" community outside the capital of Kingston with "other Rastafarians whose style is the polar opposite of that, taking their cue from some of the more intolerant attitudes to be found in the Bible."
On March 24, Ker Than argued in National Geographic that "Global warming could make the world a more violent place, because higher temperatures increase human aggression and create volatile situations."
Reporting on the findings of a new study released last week, Than repeated the study authors' estimate of increase in violence as temperatures climb: "[I]f the average temperature in the U.S. increases by 8 degrees Fahrenheit, the country's murder and assault rate will jump by about a hundred thousand cases a year."
"A 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projected that global surface temperatures could rise by 2 to 11.5 degrees Fahrenheit" by 2100, he wrote without mentioning any of the criticisms of the IPCC or their own admission of problematic data.
We've covered it here before. It's akin to that old child's game where one person whispers something into another's ear, passes it on to several others, until the final statement is no longer vaguely recognizable as being related to the first.
So, here we go again with Anatomy of a Biased Headline...
Let's start with a recent study funded by the National Science Foundation, in which researchers lay claim to this finding:
Some Political Views May be Related to Physiology
Science Magazine's actual headline was similarly non-insulting:
Political Attitudes Vary with Physiological Traits
Seems pretty neutral right? Let's see how the media took that headline and ran with it...
On Friday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Maggie Rodriguez teased an upcoming interview with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair about global warming: "Also ahead this morning, we'll talk about a disturbing new report from some scientists in Colorado who say that there is the very real possibility that for the first time we will see the ice in the North Pole melt away completely during the summer."
Rodriguez elaborated as she later introduced the segment:
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):