E! Online "The Awful Truth" columnist Ted Casablanca on Aug. 21 called the graphic depictions of sex and violence on HBO's vampire drama "True Blood" "highly ironic" and promoted the show as "great fun."

Casablanca defended the show on Fox News Channel's "Geraldo at Large" in a discussion with host Geraldo Rivera and Culture and Media Institute Assistant Editor Nathan Burchfiel. The debate was sparked by the controversy surrounding a recent Rolling Stone magazine cover that depicted "True Blood" stars naked and covered in (fake) blood.

Burchfiel pointed out that while the shows originate on premium cable channels like HBO and Showtime, many "worst-of" clips are available online within hours of broadcast, and many popular shows like "The Sopranos" and "Sex and the City" have found their way onto basic cable via syndication, a likely future for "True Blood."

"It's highly ironic, Geraldo," Casablanca said of the show, adding, "It's a highly intelligent, very clever indictment of the very conversation that we're having right now and it's an allegory to our times."



Culture and Media Institute Assistant Editor Nathan Burchfiel joined "Fox & Friends" co-host Steve Doocy on Aug. 13 to discuss media coverage of Harry Reid and the media double standard on controversial statements made by liberals versus conservatives.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told supporters on Aug. 10 that he couldn't understand why "anyone with Hispanic heritage could be a Republican."

"If you watch the national media, there's no outrage," Burchfiel said when asked where the uproar over Reid's comments had come from. "There's certainly a lot of confusion, I think, among Hispanic conservatives as to the reasoning behind Harry Reid's comments. It's clear that he is not reading the same polls that other people are reading about the way that Hispanics feel about the current administration, the way that the feel about the economy and jobs, and even the way they feel about immigration."

Burchfiel suggested that Reid "maybe ask Brian Sandoval why a Hispanic might affiliate himself with the GOP or with conservative ideology." Sandoval, who is Hispanic, is the GOP's nominee for Nevada governor. He is leading his Democratic opponent, Reid's son, Rory, by 19 points in the latest Las Vegas Review-Journal poll.



The media were quick to jump on the story of an emergency airplane landing in Manila, Philippines due to a hole in the fuselage of a Qantas flight. And they were quick to sensationalize the story without mentioning Qantas' impressive safety record.

"Well, nobody's saying that we should be covering up a huge hole in the side of an airplane. But it's important for the media to not sensationalize cases like this, which they are already doing," Business & Media Institute Assistant Editor Nathan Burchfiel told Fox Business Network host Stuart Varney on the July 25 "Fox Business."

Burchfiel noted that British tabloids have already speculated that a bomb in the cargo hold may have blown a hole in the fuselage, even though there was no indication that's the case.

"This morning in the American media on ABC, David Muir said that the plane ‘instantly plummeted' 20,000 feet, which is not true," Burchfiel said. "The pilot descended 20,000 feet, rather sharply, but that was his decision, he did it under full control to normalize cabin pressure."