Quote of the Day - Sally Kohn Edition
12 hours ago
It’s Tim Carney of the Examiner, unable to resist pointing out on air how our very serious media parlays a moronic one-day distraction into a moronic two-day distraction. Day one: Feign outrage over a non-story about something Romney did 50 years ago that’s being pushed for political advantage. Day two: Cite the fact that people are now talking about the non-story as proof that it’s a story worth talking about. Carney hits the first point at the beginning of the segment and then, at around 4:00, hits the second, and it’s all downhill from there. In fact, watch the second vid below to see how the segment ended. Hall didn’t simply dismiss him at the end of the first clip; they kept him around and put him back onscreen at the end of the interview with his audio cut as some sort of visual reprimand. This is what happens, I guess, when you note precisely how the media carries Obama’s water on the unofficial network of Hopenchange 2012.RELATED: MSNBC host thoughtfully demonstrates what "bullying" looks like
After you’re done with this, go over to Mediaite and see how another MSNBC show covered the Romney “bully” story today. Maybe that’s why Carney spoke up; maybe he’d been watching the network feed while waiting for his guest shot and could take no more.
Update: An important footnote from Carney per the charge that he was off-topic: “The question I was sent for the Romney bullying segment was ‘Does the story matter?’ So I was answering it, not dodging.”
The line for acceptable behavior when it comes to child pornography just got blurrier in New York. The state's highest court just ruled that viewing child porn online isn't a crime, the Associated Press reports.
The decision came down in a hearing for James D. Kent. In 2007 a virus scan of Kent's computer uncovered child porn. Kent, 65, a former professor of public administration at Marist College, was subsequently convicted of 134 counts of possessing child porn and two counts of procuring it. He was sentenced to one to three years imprisonment.
The New York Court of Appeals' ruling dismissed two of Kent's possession charges because he only looked at the material.
While it might sound like odd reasoning, the court based its decision on New York's definition of possession and procurement under the law.
In order to prove either possession or procurement of child porn, it must be shown that a defendant had dominion or control over the material.
In its opinion, the court reasoned that dominion or control required Kent take "some affirmative act" to obtain the child porn. This could be anything from printing to saving or downloading the offending material.
The reason the court overturned two of Kent's charges was that in those cases the child porn was found in his computer's Web cache. The judges viewed this as different from downloading the material because, in essence, it didn't show he actually had control of the images.
While the court agreed that child porn was an abomination, they argued holding Kent guilty for his Web cache would overextend New York law.
Kent claimed the images were part of a research project and that he "abhorred" child pornography.
While viewing child porn is not a crime in New York, it remains illegal under federal law.
Facing a flap over her past claims of Native American ancestry, Elizabeth Warren was identified as a minority faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania, where the Massachusetts Senate candidate worked from 1987 to 1995, according to the Associated Press.
A committee established to review the status of minorities on the faculty of the university produced a report which noted that only eight of the 112 awards given out during a 13-year span were given to minority teachers. Warren was listed among the eight minority teachers who had won a teacher award. The report was written in 2005, a decade after Warren had left the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania.
The new information gives more context to the claims of Warren’s opponent, Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), who slammed her earlier this week for “serious questions [that] have been raised about the legitimacy of Elizabeth Warren’s claims to Native American ancestry and whether it was appropriate for her to assume minority status as a college professor.”Harvard Law School had previously touted Warren as a minority hire, and she had been listed as a minority in a law school directory between 1986 and 1995, according to the Boston Herald.
Other documents were also obtained by the Associated Press showing that she identified as “white” on an employment record at the University of Texas and, while applying for admission to Rutgers Law School, she declined to do so under a program for minority students.
Warren’s campaign insisted that the candidate had never leaned on her Native American roots.
“At every law school where Elizabeth was recruited to teach, it has been made absolutely clear she was hired based on merit; on her accomplishments and ability,” Warren spokeswoman Alethea Harney told the AP Thursday. “Documents from the college and law school from which she graduated show that Elizabeth did not seek special treatment by acknowledging her Native American heritage.”
In light of The Washington Post‘s story about Mitt Romney‘s high school bullying, Sean Hannity‘s panel on Thursday took a look at President Barack Obama‘s past — namely, pointing out that Obama admitted to being a bully in school in his book.RELATED: Family of alleged Romney victim angry over exploitation of story
Obama as a “worse record” on things like drugs and bullying, Hannity said. Not to mention, he said, the story isn’t solid, with one source saying he didn’t personally witness the incident with Romney. On the flip side, we have someone who’s just flat-out admitted to bullying: Obama.
The bullying excerpt in question, from Obama’s Dreams from My Father:
There was one other child in my class, though, who reminded me of a different sort of pain.Her name was Coretta, and before my arrival she had been the only black person in our grade.She was plump and dark and didn’t seem to have many friends. From the first day, we avoided each other but watched from a distance, as if direct contact would only remind us more keenly of our isolation.Finally, during recess one hot, cloudless day, we found ourselves occupying the same corner of the playground. I don’t remember what we said to each other, but I remember that suddenly she was chasing me around the jungle gym and swings. She was laughing brightly, and I teased her and dodged this way and that, until she finally caught me and we fell to the ground breathless. When I looked up, I saw a group of children, faceless before the glare of the sun, pointing down at us.“Coretta has a boyfriend! Coretta has a boyfriend!”The chants grew louder as a few more kids circled us.“She’s not my g-girlfriend,” I stammered. I looked to Coretta for some assistance, but she just stood there looking down at the ground. “Coretta’s got a boyfriend! Why don’t you kiss her, mister boyfriend?”“I’m not her boyfriend!” I shouted. I ran up to Coretta and gave her a slight shove; she staggered back and looked up at me, but still said nothing. “Leave me alone!” I shouted again.And suddenly Coretta was running, faster and faster, until she disappeared from sight.Appreciative laughs rose around me. Then the bell rang, and the teachers appeared to round us back into class.Hannity added that the press had to go all the way back to the 1960s to find something to “smear” Romney with, and even then, the story isn’t air-tight.
By contrast, few questions have been asked about Obama’s past in regard to his drug use, etc., Hannity said. To that, Eric Bolling added that there are fair questions to be asked. But alas, the panel noted, there’s no lengthy story about Obama’s bullying past.
“They refuse to cover it,” Kimberly Guilfoyle said. “They’re campaign headquarters for Obama.” Bolling added that The Washington Post’s “hit piece” is “orchestrated.”
“This is completely in line with this whole, ‘This is how we’re gonna lay this gay marriage issue out,’” Bolling said.
The panel also agreed that there are holes in the Romney story, particularly in terms of the sources the information is coming from. Simply put, Bolling emphasized, it’s “a perfect hit piece.”
President Barack Obama‘s decision to support same-sex marriage will become a campaign issue, Bill O’Reilly said on Thursday. Taking a look at the politics of marriage, O’Reilly knocked the media for being unable to have an honest debate about the issue, singling out one particular New York Times reporter.RELATED: If national polls show support for gay marriage, why does it keep losing in state votes?
The economy will drive the vote, he said, but social issues do remain important to many voters. O’Reilly’s take? “It’s a matter of conscience.” There are “good people” on both sides of the issue, he said — and there are “bad people who exploit the issue with accusations of bigotry.”
In agreement with Obama, O’Reilly said the matter should be up to the states. He then pointed out that seven states have legalized gay marriage, but 38 states have passed some form of legislation opposing it. For the president, he said, “this is not a winning hand. He can pretty much say goodbye to North Carolina.” Prospects in Virginia, Nevada, Ohio and Florida might also be hurt.
Obama does seem to understand the “political danger,” O’Reilly said, noting that the media, on the other hand, is quite happy about the president’s change of heart. In fact, he said, it’s “nearly impossible” to have an honest debate about the issue because opposing same-sex marriage renders a person a bigot and a homophobe by default.
“Most of the media will not even consider the traditional point of view on marriage,” he argued. As Exhibit A, O’Reilly pointed to The New York Times‘ Brian Stelter writing that O’Reilly “complained last fall when Chaz Bono became the first openly transgender contestant on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.”
Not exactly, O’Reilly said, asserting that Stelter wrote a “falsehood” in order to “demonize” O’Reilly and Fox News. We have a constitutional right to pursue happiness, O’Reilly said, but this country isn’t “compelled to change societal norms, unless there is grave damage being done.”
O’Reilly concluded that the politics of marriage will most likely hurt Obama come November — but the media won’t report that.
Bristol Palin had some fightin’ words about President Obama on Thursday, regarding his invoking Malia and Sasha Obama in his announcement about supporting same-sex marriage. While it’s great to listen to your kids, she said, sometimes “dads simply need to be dads.” Thank goodness they’re not younger. Or, you know, we’d be looking at Dora the Explorer for attorney general.RELATED: Rush Limbaugh: ‘Gay Militants’ Run The New York Times
In Obama’s remarks, he said Malia and Sasha have friends whose parents are same-sex couples. He added, “There have been times where Michelle and I have been sitting around the dinner table and we’re talking about their friends and their parents and Malia and Sasha, it wouldn’t dawn on them that somehow their friends’ parents would be treated differently. It doesn’t make sense to them and frankly, that’s the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective.”
Palin, in a blog post entitled “Hail to the Chiefs — Malia and Sasha Obama,” wrote:
So let me get this straight – it’s a problem if my mom listened too much to my dad, but it’s a heroic act if the President made a massive change in a policy position that could affect the entire nation after consulting with his teenage daughters?While it’s great to listen to your kids’ ideas, there’s also a time when dads simply need to be dads. In this case, it would’ve been helpful for him to explain to Malia and Sasha that while her friends parents are no doubt lovely people, that’s not a reason to change thousands of years of thinking about marriage. Or that – as great as her friends may be – we know that in general kids do better growing up in a mother/father home. Ideally, fathers help shape their kids’ worldview.In this situation, it was the other way around. I guess we can be glad that Malia and Sasha aren’t younger, or perhaps today’s press conference might have been about appointing Dora the Explorer as Attorney General because of her success in stopping Swiper the Fox.Phew. Good thing we avoided that one. Her message to the president: be an “actual leader” instead of “merely reflecting what many teenagers think after one too many episodes of Glee.”
The Obama administration announced Thursday that it is suing Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, accusing him and his Maricopa County office of engaging in a pattern of discrimination against Latinos.
The announcement by Justice Department officials came after months of negotiations failed to yield an agreement to settle claims that his department racially profiled Latinos in his trademark immigration patrols. Arpaio defended himself in response, claiming the federal government is trying to tell him how to run his office.
Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, at a press conference Thursday, described this as an abuse of power case. He accused the sheriff of scuttling negotiations by refusing to allow independent monitors.
The Department of Justice lawsuit marked an escalation in the agency's civil rights investigation of Arpaio and puts the dispute on track to be decided by a federal judge.
The DOJ first leveled the allegations against Arpaio in December, saying that a culture of disregard for basic constitutional rights prevailed at the Maricopa County sheriff's office, which covers metro Phoenix. Federal officials held off on filing a lawsuit as they tried to reach a settlement, but talks broke off last month.
At the time, Arpaio refused to agree to a court-appointed monitor who would help enforce a settlement. Arpaio said it would mean every policy decision would have to be cleared through an observer and would nullify his authority.
At a news conference Wednesday, after DOJ officials notified him of their intent to sue, Arpaio defended himself.
"If they sue, we'll go to court," he said. "And then we'll find out the real story. They're telling me how to run my organization. I'd like to get this resolved, but I'm not going to give up my authority to the federal government. It's as simple as that."
President Obama on Wednesday endorsed same-sex marriages, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to take that position following days of speculation about his "evolving" stance on the issue.
The president used a hastily called TV interview to make his position clear.
"At a certain point, I've just concluded that for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married," Obama told ABC News.
The president, who was previously opposed to the unions, explained that he's gone through an "evolution." Obama said he initially thought civil unions would suffice as a vehicle to give same-sex couples the rights commensurate with those of heterosexual couples. "I'd hesitated on gay marriage in part because I thought civil unions would be sufficient," he said.
But he said his position evolved over the years, "as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors, when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don't Ask Don't Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage."
The statement follows days of speculation about his stance. Vice President Biden effectively touched off those questions when, in a Sunday show interview, he expressed support for same-sex marriages. Education Secretary Arne Duncan the next day said he is in favor of the unions. Drawing more attention to the issue, voters in North Carolina on Tuesday approved a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
Obama's decision was met with immediate praise by gay advocacy groups. "President Obama's 'evolution' is now complete. Congratulations, Mr. President, for making history today by becoming the first sitting president to explicitly support marriage for same-sex couples," said Rea Carey, director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
Yet the endorsement entails political risk, particularly among independents who were vital to Obama's 2008 victory and even socially conservative black Democrats. While the list of states that allow gay marriage is growing, a total of 30 states have constitutional amendments and/or laws barring those partnerships.
Those states, several of them battlegrounds in November, are worth a total of 309 electoral votes in the presidential general election -- it takes 270 to win.
Obama said Wednesday that he's tried to stay "sensitive" to the fact that for many people "the word marriage was something that evokes a very powerful tradition." He also reportedly said he still thinks states should be able to decide the issue.
North Carolina joined its southern neighbors Tuesday in enshrining opposition to same-sex marriage in the state constitution, a move that churned the national debate over gay marriage despite having little immediate effect inside North Carolina.
The state already banned gay marriage, so the amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman did nothing to change that. Still, the amendment went beyond current restrictions -- by banning same-sex civil unions as well. The amendment voters passed Tuesday with roughly 61 percent support will seal the door on both kinds of partnerships.
Nationally, the vote was closely watched at a time when gay marriage is returning to the political conversation. President Obama has faced pressure in recent days to make his gay marriage stance more clear, after top officials in his administration have either endorsed gay marriage or spoken in support of it.
Obama has said his view is "evolving." After the North Carolina vote, Obama campaign spokesman Cameron French said in a Tuesday statement that the ban on same-sex unions is "divisive and discriminatory." The campaign said Obama was "disappointed" in the vote.
But supporters of the amendment heralded the outcome. State GOP Chairman Robin Hayes called the vote a "defining day for traditional values in North Carolina, and I'm proud to have voted for protecting marriage."
John Dinan, a political science professor at Wake Forest University who writes an annual review of state constitutional amendments, said the amendment could affect several areas.
For example, a handful of local governments provide benefits to employees who are involved in same-sex relationships. In Michigan, the state's highest court ruled that an amendment did affect those benefits, Dinan said. But in North Carolina, officials in Durham and Orange counties have said they don't expect to have to eliminate those benefits because of the amendment, he said.
As you may recall, on last Thursday’s edition of America Live, Fox News contributor Jehmu Greene called the Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson a “bow-tying white boy” in response to Carlson’s criticism of Elizabeth Warren‘s qualifications.It doesn't surprise me one bit that conservatives are outraged and calling for black liberal and FOX News political contributor Jehmu Greene to be fired after she called Tucker Carlson a “bow-tying white boy," during a heated debate last week. While she hasn't addressed the matter publicly, word has it that Greene has apologized to Carlson in private...and that should be enough. But, of course, that's not enough to some conservatives who want Greene to not only lose her job, but are typically calling it a "double standard" because if a white guy said it....well, you know the rest. And maybe they're right. But this is where some conservatives don't get it and sadly, never will.
Many outraged conservatives have called upon Fox to fire Greene. For example:
On the conservative site World Net Daily, one columnist wrote that “If Fox News has any integrity, it should immediately and without apology fire Jehmu Greene.” Right-leaning media watchdog Accuracy in Media criticized Fox for it’s lack of punishment and bemoaned the network’s “standing by [Greene].”
A Fox News spokesperson told Mediaite that “Jehmu apologized to Tucker by phone after the segment and he accepted her apology.”
Fox’s decision not to fire or publicly reprimand Greene may be a bold move given her lightning-rod comments, but it makes for a few interesting thoughts:
Perhaps Fox isn’t as beholden to its decidedly right-leaning audience as many believe. They haven’t succumbed to pressure to fire Greene, and have made an effort to hire more progressive contributors like Greene and Sally Kohn in the last year.
And the lack of punishment may also show that Fox has no interest in being the “PC Police.”
During an appearance on Meet the Press earlier today, Vice President Joe Biden argued passionately in favor of full same-sex marriage rights, indicating a shift in position for the VP. Biden made sure to clarify that these were his personal views and not necessarily the views of the Obama administration, but he did talk at some length about how perceptions of gay people have changed over time thanks to TV shows like Will & Grace.
Dick Gregory started by noting that Biden has previously gone on record saying he is not in favor of gay marriage, but he asked the vice president if his views have evolved since then. Biden spoke from the heart about why he now believes that gay and lesbian Americans deserve all the same rights as everyone else.
“As more and more Americans come to understand what this is all about, it’s a simple proposition. Who do you love? Who do you love? And will you be loyal to the person you love? And that’s what people are finding out and it’s what all marriages at their root are about, whether they’re marriages of lesbians or gay men or heterosexuals.”Biden clarified that President Obama sets the White House’s policy agenda, but he said that he personally believes that gays and lesbians should be granted “the same exact rights” as everyone else. He defended Obama’s record on gay rights, including striking down Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
The vice president also brought up the changing cultural and social mores surrounding gay people in American society, especially from our sources of entertainment. Biden name-dropped Will & Grace as an example of a show that “did more to educate the American public” about gay people than what most others have been able to do.
On Thursday, America Live host Megyn Kelly brought Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson and Fox News contributor Jehmu Greene on to discuss Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren’s claims to having Cherokee heritage in her background. When Greene called Carlson a “bow-tying white boy,” the panel turned heated. At the end of her program, Kelly apologized for Greene’s comments.
Kelly asked if everyone could have a laugh about Warren’s claims, but Greene defended Warren saying that the current chief of the Cherokee nation is only 3 percent Cherokee. She continued, saying that Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) and the Massachusetts’s media’s response to the controversy has been mildly misogynistic.
“You see Scott Brown really questioning her qualifications because he has to appeal to white, working-class voters who feel marginalized because of affirmative action,” said Greene. “This smells real stank to women who do not like being called on their qualifications.”
Carlson and Kelly continued to laugh off the episode. “It’s so offensive and dumb,” said Carlson of Warren’s response to the controversy. “But leaving that aside, it does provide a window into a system that is fundamentally corrupt that awards people based on their DNA.”
Greene said that questioning Warren on her qualifications, as she insists Brown has done in the wake of this controversy, “is going to appeal to folks like you, voters like you: bow-tying white boys.”
Carlson took offense to Greene’s characterization of him as a “bow-tying white boy,” and said “you can use name calling all you like.” Greene protested that she did not call anyone a name.
Kelly said that Harvard University, Warren’s employer, touted her minority status when they were questioned on whether they had employed a diverse range of professors. “That is not how she got the job,” said Greene. “How do you know,” replied a laughing Carlson. “You don’t know how she got the job. You know nothing about this.”
Kelly returned at the end of her program to offer Carlson and her audience an apology for the incident:
Well, earlier in the program, Jehmu Greene was here and she called Tucker Carlson an inappropriate name. I want to apologize to Tucker and/or our viewers for that. I wasn’t sure I heard what I thought I heard and now we have confirmed it was that. It was not consistent with our standards and I do apologize on behalf of the program.