Just in time for the start of the NFL's preseason, the leftist online publication Slate is fed up with the hateful nickname of that NFL team in Washington. On Thursday, editor David Plotz self-righteously penned an article announcing that Slate will no longer refer to that team as the “Redskins.”

Plotz explained in the second paragraph: “For decades, American Indian activists and others have been asking, urging, and haranguing the Washington Redskins to ditch their nickname, calling it a racist slur and an insult to Indians.” You would think that if Plotz were really so concerned about offensive language, he would use the term “Native Americans” rather than “Indians.” We have long since learned that they are not from India or the Indies, and yet the incorrect term “Indians” has stuck.



Celebrity chef Paula Deen has been aggressively attacked over the past week for a racial slur that she uttered 30 years ago. Countless media outlets have condemned her, and corporate sponsors have dropped her like a crate of anvils – to the tune of $12.5 million. As her empire has crumbled around her, Deen has apologized multiple times, but that’s still not enough for everyone in the media.

On Sunday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, fill-in host Betty Nguyen brought on entertainment editor Chris Witherspoon of TheGrio.com to discuss the Deen controversy. Nguyen read a statement from Jimmy Carter in which the former president asserted that Deen has already been punished, perhaps overly severely. But Carter’s call for forgiveness did not fully resonate with Witherspoon. When asked for reaction to Carter’s words, he replied:

 



In an appearance on Monday's America's Newsroom program on Fox News, veteran sportscaster Jim Gray at first expressed what seemed like absolute agreement with NBC's Bob Costas regarding the need for more gun control in light of the horrific Jovan Belcher murder-suicide on Saturday.

In what turned into a sanctimonious lecture during halftime programming on Sunday Night Football, NBC's Costas endorsed an anti-gun screed by Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock. Asked for his thoughts by Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum, Gray wholeheartedly agreed with Costas and Whitlock, but then oddly backtracked just as the interview was concluding [ video (via MRCTV's Ian Hanchett) and transcript below ]



This Thanksgiving, a record high of 42.2 million Americans will use food stamps to curtail the cost of a big meal. At a whopping expense of $72 billion to the taxpayer per year, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has grown by 70 percent since 2007, an increase of over 15 million more people.

Despite acknowledging all of this, Elizabeth Flock of US News & World Report declared "More Americans will use food stamps to buy their Thanksgiving dinner this year than ever before," and implied these government handouts aren't as sufficient as they could be.



The satirical newspaper The Onion is generally non-political and at times it has had some good conservatively-slanted humor pieces, like this gem from April 2009. But when it comes to the ongoing violence in Israel, The Onion has just proved it doesn't have many layers of complexity.



Not content to restrict the ongoing firestorm surrounding Senate candidate Richard Mourdock to the media, CNN's Newsroom turned to liberal comedienne Tina Fey to bash the Indiana Republican some more this morning.

"Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock better watch out," CNN Newsroom anchor Carol Costello warned, teasing the story at the top of the program. "Tina Fey is coming after them. Why the comedian says their rape comments will make her lose her mind." [ video below, MP3 audio here ]



The New York Times's Sunday Styles section offered some hard-hitting journalism about the toned-up and good-looking First Couple, complete with fabulous photos. Joyce Purnick mock-criticized Michelle Obama for looking so "toned and elegant" in "(Psst: We Feel Bad About Our Arms.)" Text box: "It's time to face the truth: we don't all look like the first lady."

I had expected to keep mum about my problem with Michelle Obama until after the election, but my frustration has gotten the better of me. I can contain it no longer.

I refer not to her politics, but to her arms-- her bare, toned, elegant arms. Enough!



Following up on P.J. Gladnick's NewsBusters story about reports of non-existent neo-Nazi "patrols" in Sanford, Fla. in response to potential racial violence there, ABC News.com's Candace Smith apparently hasn't gotten the memo that there are no such patrols going on. As Gladnick reported two days ago, Professor William Jacobson of the Legal Insurrection blog did the legwork that reporters like Smith are supposed to do. Get this -- he e-mailed  the Sanford Police Department and simply asked them if there were indeed neo-Nazis patrolling the streets of Sanford. "No confirmed reports" was the reply. Jacobson then -- get this -- followed up by asking the police if they just weren't yet aware of any patrols: There was "no indication" of any such patrols, the Sanford police responded.

Yet ABC News.com reports today (my emphasis):



The front of the New York Times Sunday Styles section was dominated by a towering photo of First Lady Michelle Obama regally presiding adjacent a hagiography by Bee-Shyuan Chang, “Wooing the First Dresser – American fashion’s most influential customer may the one far from any show this week.”

The supposedly hard-news Times has long fawned over Michelle Obama the fashion plate, who “has become a powerful trendsetter in fashion,” and her high-end, high-cost dresses, while forgoing the usual liberal sniffing about such conspicuous consumption during a recession. Fashion writer Eric Wilson on April 15, 2010 called her “the First Lady of Fashion,” and Guy Trebay called her “U.S. Fashion's One-Woman Bailout" in a January 8, 2009 story.



On Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, one week after NBC TV star Alec Baldwin got booted off an American Airlines flight for refusing to turn off his iPad, anchor Brian Williams declared: "Now we turn to the latest skirmish in the battle over electronic devices on airplanes and what some passengers are seeing as a kind of a double standard here, now that we've learned pilots will be allowed to use iPads in the cockpit."



On Tuesday's CBS Early Show, contributor Taryn Winter Brill touted a new University of Pennsylvania study on the influence of breakfast cereal cartoon characters on children: "Previous research has shown how these images influence children's selections, but now a new study reveals they also influence how the kids think the cereal actually tastes."

In the report that followed, Brill described how marketing campaigns "target" kids to sell unhealthy sugary cereals: "Breakfast cereal is a $10 billion a year business and competition is fierce...especially among children's cereal....They target kids with cartoon characters, in commercials and on boxes, that practically reach from store shelves to grab your kid's attention." The headline on screen during the segment read: "Cereal Offenders; Cartoon Images Affect Kids' Taste Perception."



New York Times science writer Natalie Angier talked to some women annoyed at being called “ma'am” for the Sunday Week in Review (“Just Don't Call Me...Ma'am”) and worked in a typical jab at the male of the species.
Classes are now underway at Pennsylvania State University, and Judith Kroll, a professor of psychology, linguistics and women’s studies, will soon be greeting her undergraduate students with the usual brief spiel. “I get up and say, you can call me Dr. Kroll, or professor, or Judith if you like, but do not call me Mrs.,” she said. “I am not Mrs. Kroll. I kept my name when I got married and my husband kept his name.”

There is one other honorific that Dr. Kroll dislikes and that she dearly wishes she could bar from the classroom: ma’am. Whenever a student says, “Yes ma’am” or “Is that going to be on the test, ma’am?” Dr. Kroll says she cringes and feels weird. Yet because ma’am, unlike Mrs., isn’t factually incorrect, Dr. Kroll resists the urge to scold. “My first take has got to be, this person is just trying to be polite,” she sighed.

Another day, another ma’am-ogram: you may not want it; it may make you feel flattened, desexualized, overripe and nearly through; but trust me, ma’am, we’re doing it all for you.

There are weightier problems in the world. Still, if you’re a woman born any time before the Clinton administration, chances are you’ve been called ma’am on more than one occasion -- by solicitous waiters asking whether you were “Done working on that, ma’am?” and hovering store clerks wondering if they can “help you find anything, ma’am,” and traffic cops telling you to “Move your car, ma’am, this isn’t a parking lot,” and the perky, hardworking fellows at the farmers’ market who see you week after week but will always cram so many ma’ams into every transaction that you realize there’s no turning back, you’ve been ma’amed for life.
Angier defended liberal Sen. Barbara Boxer's notoriously graceless tantrum over being called ma'am by a military man trying to show respect: