Stephen Colbert And Me





Photo credit: MikeBrowne (Creative Commons)

My New Year’s resolution is a repeat: never to trust the Big Media again. Except that the Big Media now include people like Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart.

I waited over a year for a Stephen Colbert story about me to appear. When it didn’t, they didn’t even send my kids the free T-shirts they promised. Can you get any lower than that?

“America’s ballsiest pundit,” as he is described, failed to deliver.

This isn’t sour grapes. It’s just a warning to conservatives. I didn’t let myself get set up.

When I traveled to New York City in October 2012 for an interview with one of Colbert’s producers, I had no illusions about his politics. I knew he was on the left. The former sidekick to Jon Stewart not only has his own Comedy Central show, but coordinated his “Keep Fear Alive” rally with Stewart’s “Restore Sanity” rally in 2010.

But humor is better than meanness, and both the Stewart and Colbert shows can be funny at times. So I thought I’d play along, hoping to score a few serious points.

The book, From Cronkite to Colbert, actually serves as a college journalism textbook, based on the premise that comedians like Colbert have become some of the most important sources of legitimate news. In effect, they have become the new media power brokers.

Perhaps his clout has been overestimated. Colbert’s sister, Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, lost her bid for a seat in Congress in a special May 2013 election, losing to disgraced former Republican South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford (54 to 45 percent). Stephen Colbert had even campaigned for her.

I was told Colbert’s producers wanted to discuss communism and Russian espionage. Knowing it was the Colbert show, I sent them a humorous video AIM had done about the Moscow-funded propaganda channel Russia Today (RT). I also sent a serious report on the KGB’s role in terrorism.

I sat down with a producer, on camera, for an hour before briefly meeting Colbert on the way out.

The subject was Russian boars. The producer wanted to know if I thought the proliferation of this species of wild pig, now being hunted in such places as Michigan and North Carolina, was a Russian plot by Vladimir Putin. Get it?

Rather than being a total sap and playing completely along with the gag, I tried to turn the tables, mentioning Paul Kengor’s book on Frank Marshall Davis, The Communistand leaving a copy. The book describes the influence that the Communist Party member had on President Obama.

Although they were looking for a funny angle—the invasion of Russian boars—I instead talked about Russian moles, some of them in government. In technical jargon, I went “off-script.”

I thought we should talk about Russian moles instead of Russian boars. Moles like Davis. Or, I suggested, the secret Russian agent Anna Chapman, who was arrested in New York City in 2010 and expelled for spying. (She recently proposed marriage to NSA leaker Edward Snowden).

Perhaps it was not what they intended. But I thought it was a serious point being made in a somewhat humorous way. It was something they could work with.

So I waited month after month, being led to believe the piece was being edited for airing.

Finally I got the news:

“Hi Chris [sic],

“The piece in which you were interviewed has been shelved indefinitely. Thanks so much though, for your participation. We’d be happy to send your kids a T shirt—what’s your address?

“All the best, Megan [Gearheart].”

All I got out of the affair was some coffee, donuts, and sandwiches, and a train ride to and from New York City. My kids never got their T-shirts.

I still love New York City, and travel to and from there regularly. My family and I just saw “Newsies,” about the revolt against the Big Media of the day staged by the poor kids selling the papers.

Joseph Pulitzer tried to crush the revolt, in part by eliminating any mention of the strike in his papers.

The lesson of my experience with Colbert: If they can’t make fun of you, your story will end up on the cutting room floor.

Such is the nature of modern-day journalism. Meet the new boss; same as the old boss.

 

Photo credit: MikeBrowne (Creative Commons)





Liberal Reporter Changes Tune on Benghazi





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CBS’ Lara Logan has been roundly criticized for using Dylan Davies as a source, and by all accounts he was a fraudulent one. This does not, however, mean that all other elements of her report were entirely false, a theory that was put forward by Nancy A. Youssef, a reporter at McClatchy News.  Youssef’s reporting seems to indicate that she’s changed her thinking over the past month. Either that, or she’s operating in a strange world of doublethink. And Logan, who was placed on leave for her retracted “60 Minutes” report, is now set to return early next year.

Youssef penned a piece on November 13 that took apart Logan’s reporting and her hyper-reliance on the idea that al Qaeda took part in the Benghazi attacks and guarded the hospital where the Ambassador’s body was taken. “Logan claimed that ‘it’s now well established that the Americans were attacked by al Qaida in a well-planned assault,’” in her 60 Minutes feature, wrote Youssef. “But al Qaida has never claimed responsibility for the attack, and the FBI, which is leading the U.S. investigation, has never named al Qaida as the sole perpetrator,” she continued.

Al Qaeda may have never been named the sole perpetrator of the attacks, but the 100 pages of emails released by the Obama administration show the CIA and FBI fingering core al-Qaeda operatives as early as September 14, 2012—just two days after the attack. In an email sent that day from the CIA, a staffer wrote “Thanks… Fyi FBI says AQ (not AQIM) was involved and they are pushing that theory.”

“So we are not ahead of law enforcement now.”

This clearly establishes that, internally, at least, the FBI and CIA were pointing to core al Qaeda for the attacks.

“While Logan had multiple sources and good reasons to have confidence in them, her assertions that Al Qaeda carried out the attack and controlled the hospital were not adequately attributed in her report,” concluded Al Ortiz in his internal investigation of Logan’s “60 Minutes” report.

Youssef’s account is hardly unbiased. She continues, “Rather, it is believed a number of groups were part of the assault, including members and supporters of al Qaida and Ansar al Shariah, as well as attackers angered by a video made by an American that insulted Prophet Muhammad” (emphasis added). “The video spurred angry protests outside the U.S. embassy in Cairo hours beforehand.”

So, according to Youssef, al Qaeda’s role in the attacks was overblown by Logan; and the YouTube video, “Innocence of Muslims,” truly did help spark the attack on the Special Mission Compound. Must the false YouTube video narrative be re-litigated time and again before the media?

According to Youssef, “The report repeatedly referred to al Qaida as solely responsible for the attack on the compound and made no mention of Ansar al Shariah, the Islamic extremist group that controls and provides much of the security in restive Benghazi and that has long been suspected in the attack.”

“While the two organizations have worked together in Libya, experts said they have different aims—al Qaida has global objectives while Ansar al Shariah is focused on turning Libya into an Islamic state,” she reports.

That’s not the impression the U.S. government gave in August 2012, shortly before the attacks. And that’s not the impression “experts” give in Youssef’s December 2013 analysis, either. The 2012 report, al Qaeda in Libya: a Profile, stated that “Al-Qaeda has established a core network in Libya, but it remains clandestine and refrains from using the al-Qaeda name.”

And, the authors wrote, “Ansar al-Sharia (Supporters of Sharia), a militia group led by Sufian Ben Qhumu, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, could be the new face of al-Qaeda in Libya despite its leader’s denial” (emphasis added). The report speaks of an al-Qaeda “clandestine network” that has infiltrated the Libya Salafist movement “with which it shares a radical ideology and a general intent to implement sharia in Libya and elsewhere.” In other words, al Qaeda in Libya isn’t going to operate officially under the umbrella of al Qaeda; it’s just going to act like it.

In fact, the report characterizes Ansar al Sharia as an extension of al Qaeda, a fact Youssef quickly forgets. “Two of these local Islamist-oriented militias—Ansar al-Sharia and al-A’hrar Libya—are the tip of the iceberg,” write the authors. “They broadcast typical al-Qaeda-type propaganda on the Internet, and they have adopted the black flag, which symbolizes commitment to violent jihad promoted by [Al Qaeda senior leadership].”

“In a different direction, Ansar al-Sharia may become the new brand name under which jihadist groups in the Arab world seek to organize,” the report states (emphasis added). These are strong words to describe a locally oriented group.

Ironically, Youssef is the author of a more recent December 12 piece on Islamist militants in Libya, where international jihadis are being trained before shipping off to other countries. Her own reporting proves that Ansar al Sharia is not just locally oriented. “It also raises questions about the role of Libya’s homegrown militia, Ansar al Shariah, in the global jihadi movement,” Youssef writes, in a dramatic reversal. “Ansar al Shariah has its roots in the anti-Gadhafi uprising and it’s thought to have participated in the attack last year on U.S. facilities in Benghazi that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.”

“Any effort to train al Qaida-linked fighters here is unlikely to have gone forward without the backing of Ansar al Shariah, experts in the organization say” (emphasis added). If only Youssef would have said that much in November. What a difference just one month makes in her reporting.

 

This commentary originally appeared at AIM.org and is reported here with permission. 





NY Times Honors Anti-God Pornographer On Front Page





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The influence of modern press has been increasingly relegated as technology advancements have increased everyone’s access to a virtually limitless wealth of information. Nevertheless, once-respected news sources seem to be in a race to erode what is left of their waning credibility.

America’s most recognizable newspaper, The New York Times, has long been accused of toeing the leftist line and, as a result, has lost significant market share to alternative publications. A disturbing illustration of this trend is found in an article that somehow made it to the front page of the paper recently.

When instantly identifiable figures die, it is common for newspapers to include a staff-written obituary even on the front page. The disreputable figure honored with such a tribute in the Times on Dec. 20, however, defies logic.

Al Goldstein, a native New Yorker who eked out a certain level of fame by publishing a vile pornographic periodical called Screw, was given a prime spot on page one following his death at age 77. For comparison, when fellow pornographer and arguably more famous Bob Guccione died a few years back, the Times placed his obituary on page 34.

While including someone of his chosen profession in such a prominent location is insulting enough, Goldstein’s personal views regarding God were completely beyond the pale. While Americans are certainly free to believe – or ridicule – any higher power they choose, Goldstein seemed to revel in the opportunity to offend Bible-believing Christians.

As his front-page obituary read, the lewd figure “lived to shock and offend.” Even in death, he was able to secure a forum through which his sacrilegious views can spread.

In a particularly offensive interview, Goldstein asserted that “Jews … think that Christ sucks. Catholicism sucks.”

Speaking on behalf of his own religion, though in direct contrast with the views of millions of fellow Jews, he said God’s Chosen People often gravitate toward pornography because they “don’t believe in authoritarianism.”

While hiding behind the shelter of a religion in one breath, a profanity-laced tirade later in the same interview revealed he has no room for faith in a higher power.

“I’m God,” he proclaimed. “F*** God.”

In a hateful obituary following the death of Cardinal Terence Cooke 30 years ago, Screw proclaimed that the Catholic leader was “hounded out of this life by a vengeful god … furious at the church for disallowing birth control….”

This is the type of role model the New York Times heralds as worthy of front-page placement. In light of such journalistic malfeasance, it is no wonder the Times and its carbon copies across the nation are shedding subscribers at a record pace.

–B. Christopher Agee

Have an idea for a story? Email us at tips@westernjournalism.com

Photo credit:  niallkennedy (Creative Commons)





Media Dynasty, Duck!





Photo credit: Rick Payette (Creative Commons)

The media elite in America presume to have the final word on morality, as evidenced by A&E’s dismissal of Phil Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” fame.  That dismissal also puts to rest any question there’s a coordinated and concerted war on Christianity in the land of the free (or not so free, or conditionally free.)

Barack Obama got a pass for saying he was against homosexual marriage before he got a pass for saying his viewpoint had evolved to accepting and promoting homosexual marriage.  This says a lot about the media and the Left, as well as the shifting sands of man-driven morality.  It all depends on who is saying what for what reason, and the way it is being said, according to the hypersensitive who insist that Political Correctness is the supreme law of the land instead of the Constitution.

So what did Phil actually say in the GQ interview that got everyone all pissy?

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EXCERPTS

“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”

“We’re Bible-thumpers who just happened to end up on television,” he tells me. “You put in your article that the Robertson family really believes strongly that if the human race loved each other and they loved God, we would just be better off. We ought to just be repentant, turn to God, and let’s get on with it, and everything will turn around.”

What does repentance entail? Well, in Robertson’s worldview, America was a country founded upon Christian values (Thou shalt not kill, etc.), and he believes that the gradual removal of Christian symbolism from public spaces has diluted those founding principles. (He and Si take turns going on about why the Ten Commandments ought to be displayed outside courthouses.) He sees the popularity of Duck Dynasty as a small corrective to all that we have lost.

“Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong,” he says. “Sin becomes fine.”

What, in your mind, is sinful?

“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he says. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

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Did Phil single out homosexuals in a hateful way?  A reasonable person would have to say ‘no.’

Does Phil have a right to freely exercise his religion? And does he have a right to express his opinions freely?  Those who embrace the Constitution would have to say ‘yes.’

Did Phil say anything that contradicts historic Christianity or traditional morality?  Of course not.

Elsewhere in the interview, did Phil confess his sin and share his story of repentance, taking responsibility for his sin and his former life, giving Christ the credit for saving him and changing him for the better?  Yes, he certainly did.

So in love, Phil spoke truth from the Scripture; and like so many Christians yesterday and today, he is being persecuted for it, ridiculed, marginalized, and (in a sense) crucified.  No big surprise here.  Jesus said we would be hated as he was hated.  He said we’d be abused, persecuted, arrested, jailed, and killed.

Phil ain’t complainin’.

But what does all this say about a media outlet like A&E and most of the mainstream media?  Does A&E have the right to dismiss Phil?  I suppose so.  As a private business, they can do what they like, no matter if it is right or wrong.  However, I’m sure the lawyers are looking at the Duck Dynasty contract very carefully today.

Let’s keep in mind, however, that A&E edited the Duck Dynasty program, refusing to let the family pray “in Jesus’ Name,” at the end of the show.  Let’s also keep in mind that A&E has declared it is actively pro-homosexual, on board with the entire homosexual activism agenda, one characterized by slander, attack, ridicule, lawsuits, and dictatorial moves to force people to comply. A theocracy of sorts, one might say.

You see, A&E is happy to have it both ways: promote the homosexual agenda, and exploit a Christian family for profits, so long as they don’t go all Jesus on everybody.   What A&E is learning today is you can’t straddle this Culture War, playing both sides against the middle.  It’s a wishbone fantasy believing you can.

After all, there is light, and there is darkness.  They don’t mix.  They cannot have fellowship, even though it’s obvious which side routinely exemplifies love, mercy, tolerance, and grace.

The truth is there are such things as right and wrong, heaven and hell, good and bad, morality and  immorality.  There is a North Star by which we can navigate.  There is also human wisdom, a poor compass indeed.

Rank filth and depravity are broadcast daily by A&E and any number of other networks and TV production companies, all of it lessening and lowering everyone, all of it encouraging youth to destruction. And that’s all fine; but let a Louisiana redneck quote Scripture, and the PC thought police go Stasi on Christians.

The bottom line is this: either we agree that the First Amendment applies to everyone, or it applies to no one.  Homosexuals are now actually saying that people like Phil should not be allowed to express their views on public airwaves.  They actually call for censorship; not according to community standards, transcendent morality, or basic common decency, but according to their narrow agenda, an agenda advanced by perhaps 3% of the population allied with powerful media and secular forces.

Those forces are arrayed to destroy Christians and Christian belief; that much should be obvious.  And for what?  So that people can arbitrarily demand we violate our beliefs and our conscience, accepting that homosexuality is just another way to be human, not a sin, as the God of Love insists.  Who gave homosexuals the right to demand anything of the rest of us?

God does not change His mind.  Man changes his mind every time he turns around; and it usually has everything to do with his sexual preferences and impulses, a very selfish orientation to begin with.

And by the way, by every measure, the homosexual lifestyle is especially unhealthy and destructive; so, like God and Phil Robertson, preaching against it is in the best interests of homosexuals and everyone else for that matter.

The highest form of love is telling the truth in love, preaching to those who are being led away to slaughter, in hopes they’ll be saved.   In preaching thus, Phil is a reflection of his Father, an agent of love no one can dismiss in good conscience.

 

Allan Erickson enjoyed an 11-year career in radio, television and print journalism as a reporter, talk show host, and operations manager. He then turned to sales and marketing for 20 years. He is the author of the book “The Cross & the Constitution in the Age of Incoherence,” Tate Publishing, 2012. He is available to speak in churches addressing the topics of faith and freedom.  To contact him, email:  allanlerickson@gmail.com

 

Photo credit: Rick Payette (Creative Commons)





Video: An Amazing Admission from a ‘True Believer’ Journalist





One of the icons of American TV “journalism” lets loose with a revealing confession about liberal lunacy and Obama worship. Norvell Rose reports..