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Thursday, December 16, 2010
NewsBusters' Petty Apologizing for Fox News
Topic: NewsBusters

Apparently, the Media Research Center has forbidden all direct references to Media Matters (disclosure: our employer). Indeed, we know of at least NewsBusters criticism of Media Matters that was deleted shortly after posting, presumably because it directly referenced the MRC's most prominent media-watchdog competition.

The MRC also has a mission of defending Fox News wherever and whenever. When these two directives collide, wackiness (or at least awkward writing) ensues.

When Media Matters released a leaked memo last week highlighting how Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon directed Fox News personnel, during the debate over health care reform, to use the Republican-preferred terminology of "government option" to describe what was more commonly referred to as the public option, NewsBusters' Lachlan Markay was eager to serve as a Fox News apologist -- albeit without acknowledging where the story originated.

Markay's Dec. 9 post on the issue makes no mention of Media Matters and doesn't even link to the original Media Matters item. Instead, he huffs that the story is merely "the latest meme among the legions of lefty Fox-haters" and links to the first page of Memeorandum's politics section. Ooh, that'll totally show Media Matters!

After digressing into other ideological debates over terminology, Markay finally gets around to taking Fox News' side, asserting that "while Fox's replacement of the 'public option' label with 'government option' made the proposal sound less appealing, it also presented the issue more accurately and in far less vague (arguably propagandistic) terminology." Of course, Markay doesn't concede that "government option"is "arguably propagandistic" too -- indeed, Republican pollster Frank Luntz appeared on Fox News to advise Republicans to use "government option" because "if you call it a 'public option,' the American people are split," but that "if you call it the 'government option,' the public is overwhelmingly against it." Conservative host Sean Hannity enthusiastically agreed, saying, "it's a great point, and from now on, I'm going to call it the government option."

That's in the original Media Matters article. If Markay had bothered to link to it instead of playing hide-and-seek through Memeorandum, he would know that.

When Media Matters released another memo from Sammon telling Fox Newsers to "refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question," Markay pulled the same stunt -- blindly defended Fox News and studiously avoiding any mention of the source of the memo.

In his Dec. 15 NewsBusters post, Markay rants again about "far-left Fox News haters" and links again to Memeorandum -- the exact same page he linked to before. Markay appears not to understand that the content on Memeorandum pages changes constantly. Markay went on to note that Politico "reported on the leak" but didn't mention who leaked it.

Markay asserted: "So Sammon instructed staff to incorporate the most basic tenets of science and journalism - skepticism and political neutrality, respectively - into their reporting on contentious scientific issues with tremendous political implications. And this is a problem?"

Well, yes -- and, again, if Markay had put in the effort to link to the original Media Matters story, he would know that. The point is that Sammon issued his directive less than 15 minutes after Fox correspondent Wendell Goler accurately reported on-air that the United Nations' World Meteorological Organization announced that 2000-2009 was "on track to be the warmest [decade] on record." That was a demonstrable fact, and the arguments of skeptics served simply to provide an opinion in response to a fact.

So, Markay's defenses of Fox News are both disingenuous and petty. Apparently, that's how you get to be an MRC blogger.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:18 AM EST
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
New Article: Rejecting Journalism -- And Science
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily sides with a "Christian nutrition ministry" that thinks it doesn't have to prove the questionable claims it makes about its products. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 3:32 PM EST
Farah Presents An Unreal Doug McKelway
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah uses his Dec. 14 WorldNetDaily column to defend Doug McKelway, the former local news reporter fired after a biased news report and recently hired by Fox News. Farah's headline for his column is "Meet the real Doug McKelway," but Farah's version of him diverges from reality:

I've been in the news business for more than 30 years. I have quite literally done just about everything one can do in this business – from reporting to running daily newspapers to launching the very first independent online news organization in the world. I have to tell you, this is a straight news report. The only thing unusual about it is that the reporter accurately labels some far-left environmental groups for what they are and then points out the fact that Barack Obama accepted more oil money for his campaign than any other politician in America.

In fact, McKelway made a specific claim -- that "the one man who has more campaign contributions from BP than anybody else in history is now sitting in the Oval Office -- President Barack Obama -- who accepted $77,051 in campaign contributions from BP" -- that was factually inaccurate. As we've previously noted, Obama received only $1,000 from BP's PAC in 2004, less than what 21 other Senate candidates received from the BP PAC that year. The figure McKelway used in his report was the amount of money Obama received from employees of the company, not the company itself.

Because McKelway's factual error makes Obama look bad -- just like WND's factual errors do -- Farah has found a kinship:

Fox isn't just hiring controversial newsmen to boost ratings. After all, how many people ever heard of McKelway before Fox hired him?

What Fox is doing is more akin to what I have been doing at WND for the past 14 years – picking up the courageous, fallen news warriors off the media battlefield and restoring them to a place of honor, a place where they can practice their craft, a place where they can do their job.

And lie about the president. Farah surely meant to say that, but he didn't.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:45 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 1:53 PM EST
MRC's Double Standard on Entertainers' Political Opinions
Topic: Media Research Center

Matt Philbin, managing editor at the Media Research Center's Culture & Media Institute, tweets: "Doesn't matter that Kelsey Grammer is on our side, he's an actor and his political opinion means nothing."

Well, Philbin might want to impart that message regarding the political views of entertainers to his MRC colleagues at NewsBusters, which just published the latest column by Charlie Daniels.

Then again, Daniels is a close personal friend of MRC chief Brent Bozell.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:53 AM EST
WND's Kinsolving Whines About Missing WH Party Invite
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Les Kinsolving has quite the sense of entitlement, it seems. Why else would he devote his Dec. 14 WorldNetDaily column to complaining that he wasn't invited to the White House Christmas party?

I also learned when I went to the White House press room before this surprise press conference that on that night the president and Mrs. Obama were hosting annual Christmas receptions for the media – from which I have been barred for the second year by the Obamaites.

My primary regret about this exclusion is the fact that my wife, Sylvia, known as "the Berkley Democrat," has very much enjoyed attending these events. I am sad, indeed, that the exclusion of me also applies to her – when so many other presidents of both parties never did this – except Jimmy Carter around Christmastime after he lost to Ronald Reagan.

I am sorry that the spirit of "Peace on Earth, good will toward men" has – by either the president or one of his minions – been denied to the two of us.

Kinsolving, naturally, has a theory about this:

I continue proud and grateful to be White House correspondent and columnist for WorldNetDaily, which continues to raise the still-unanswered questions engendered by the (alleged) Obama birth certificate.

This document has neither the name of the purported hospital in Hawaii, nor the attending physician. Could WND's justified curiosity and unrelenting determination to uncover the details of the president's birth have anything to do with the snubbing of the news site's White House correspondent?

Or is it because nobody takes Kinsolving seriously as a reporter since he's all about irrelevant gotcha questions like the birther stuff?

Posted by Terry K. at 2:10 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 10:54 AM EST
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
NewsBusters Thinks Bare Majority = 'Massively Unpopular'
Topic: NewsBusters

The headlineon a Dec. 14 NewsBusters post by Scott Whitlock reads, "ABC Poll Finds Health Care Law Is Massively Unpopular, Network Offers Scant Coverage."

And what does this ABC poll say? That 52 percent oppose the health care reform law.

Thats right -- Whitlock is portraying a bare majority of opposition as the same thing as being "massively unpopular."

Posted by Terry K. at 3:16 PM EST
AIM Columnist Smears Obama Officials As Terrorists
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Alan Caruba went on an anti-Muslim tear in his Dec. 13 column, published at Accuracy in Media -- so anti-Muslim that he suggests two Obama administration officials are terrorists because they are "devout Muslims."

After ranting about how "Islam’s holy warriors continue to kill Muslims and Christians," Caruba writes:

Incredibly, Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security recently announced that Ari Alikhan, who DHS identified as “a devout Muslim”, as the Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and swore in Kareem Shora, another “devout Muslim” born in Damascus, Syria, as a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council.

How crazed is this? Or are we meant to wait until President Obama is voted out of office until we can begin to feel safe anywhere in America?

Caruba gets Alikhan's name wrong -- it's Arif, not Ari. He's a lawyer who has worked for the Department of Justice as a prosecutor. Shora, meanwhile, is the national executive director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee who has been published by prominent law journals.

Caruba offers no evidence whatsoever that they are terrorists or in any other way anti-American -- because there is no evidence. Caruba is apparently just copy-and-pasting his hate from email chains; notes that Alikhan and Shora were cited in a email, complete with reference to being a "devout Muslim."

If Caruba cannot prove his sleazy smear -- and he can't -- he must retract his sleaze and apologize to Alikhan and Shora.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:19 PM EST
NOrris Baselessly Attacks PolitiFact As 'Pro-Obama'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In attacking President Obama for "arrogance, defiance, charismatic charade and inability to lead in conflict," Chuck Norris, in his Dec. 13 WorldNetDaily column, refers to fact-checking site PolitiFact as "pro-Obama." He offers no evidence to back up the claim.

Perhaps because there isn't any. Even Norris himself seems to concede this by relying on PolitiFact's "Obameter" of the status of Obama's promises to back up his attack on Obama.

If PolitiFact is trustworthy enough for Norris to base his column on, it can hardly be "pro-Obama," can it?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:54 PM EST
Farah Embraces Beck's Soros Falsehoods
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah starts off his Dec. 11 WorldNetDaily column by displaying his infamous thin skin about criticism of him and WND.

He attacks Jonathan Kay, opinion page editor at Canada's National Post, as someone "pretending to be a 'conservative' who loves trashing conservatives and defending socialists." Responding to a column by Kay pointing out that WND "defines the exact inflection point on the spectrum of right-wing punditry where legitimate journalism ends and out-and-out conspiracism begins," Farah writes that he "didn't even respond" when it came out, going on to belittle Kay: "Who would care enough to read what would have to be a lengthy column pointing out numerous falsehoods, ad hominem attacks, mischaracterizations and religious bigotry he displayed in the piece? After all, who was Jonathan Kay?" Farah later denounces Kay as "a second-rate columnist pretending to be something he's not."

Of course, Farah doesn't contradict anything Kay wrote in that column. Instead, he takes offense at another Kay column, this time criticizing Glenn Beck's false claims about George Soros:

Kay doesn't actually counter a single accusation Beck made in his thorough and well-researched profile of Soros. Instead, he attacks the messenger by all but accusing him of anti-Semitism.

"According to Beck's conspiracist (Kay's favorite word) narrative, there seems to be no sin that cannot be laid at Soros' feet – even "the crimes of the Nazis," writes Kay. "Soros is Jewish. When the Nazis occupied his native Hungary, Soros, like some other Jewish children, was recruited to help deliver deportation notices to Jewish families. Out of this fact has grown a mythology that paints Soros (who was 14 at the time) as a full-blown Nazi collaborator. Beck wallowed in this material during his Fox broadcast."

Beck did no such thing. He didn't wallow in this material. In fact, he simply recounted Soros' own description of this period in his young life – pointing out that he "enjoyed" working for the Nazis and victimizing his fellow Jews.

First, spending the better part of three days attacking Soros, which Beck did onhis Fox News show, is arguably "wallowing." Second, Soros has never claimed he "'enjoyed' working for the Nazis and victimizing his fellow Jews." Heck, even Beck didn't say that, at least not in so many words. Beck said that "I am certainly not saying that George Soros enjoyed that," but attacking Soros for allegedly not showing remorse for "helping send the Jews to the death -- death camps."

Of course, that's not what Soros did. He sent nobody to death camps; Soros biographer Michael T. Kaufman points out that the school-age Soros had been selected by the local Nazi-operated Jewish Council as a courier to deliver letters to Jewish residents that, as his father correctly suspected, would eventually result in the deportation of those residents. Soros said that his father "told me to deliver the notices, but to tell the people if they reported they would be deported," and after that instance, he stopped being a courier. 

Farah has a vested interest in keeping Beck's Soros falsehoods alive -- there are likely more than a few of them in WND Whistleblower magazine's issue dedicated to Soros. It'spromoted with a quote from WND managing editor David Kupelian screeching that Soros "opposes free-market capitalism" -- laughable when you consider that Soros has made his billions through free-market capitalism andhelped to overthrow communist and totalitarian regimes.

But, as Kay utterly correctly demonstrated, the truth is less important to WND than pushing its far-right agenda. No wonder Farah is mad at Kay -- he told the truth about Farah and WND.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:21 AM EST
Monday, December 13, 2010
MRC's Graham Misleads to Keep Up Art Censorship Effort
Topic: Media Research Center

Tim Graham is sticking to the company line in his Dec. 10 NewsBusters post that the 11-second "ants-on-Jesus" video the MRC succeeded in getting censored from a Smithsonian exhibition is "mocking Jesus Christ," and he misleads about other things too.

In attacking a Washington Post article on the manufactured controversy, Graham mocks the universally accepted idea advanced by article author Philip Kennicott that art should be viewed in the context of the time of its creation and the artist's intent, complaining that it "somehow excuses Jesus-bashing art." Which, of course, it doesn't. As Kennicott explained:

Even the image that has recently sparked controversy -- a crucifix covered in ants -- is a complicated amalgam of the artist's personal and religious themes.

Ants, for Wojnarowicz, were a mysterious stand-in for humanity and part of a lifelong fascination with the natural world that his friend, artist Kiki Smith, recalls was part of a charmingly boyish rapture with creepy, crawling things. When asked what he thought of God, he responded by wondering rhetorically "why ants aren't the things that destroy the world instead of people." There is a host of theological possibility in that thought: Is God as indifferent to humans as humans are to ants? Should we love the small things of the planet as we hope to be loved by God?

Graham goes on to portray Kennicott as having "railed against the cruelty of Reagan conservatives and the Catholic Church." In fact, Kennicott highlighted the dual nature of the church at the onset of the AIDS epidemic: "When AIDS was ravaging the gay population of New York, the church was officially the enemy; but some Catholic service organizations were on the front lines of relief. The church was a complicated organization, monolithic only in the minds of its leaders. Wojnarowicz's imagery was richly Catholic because Catholicism was richly multivalent."

Graham then attacks Kennicott's statement that William F. Buckley's suggestion that AIDS victims be tattooed was "entirely within the mainstream for public commentary on the disease the year before Wojnarowicz found out he was HIV-positive":

The Post utterly failed to put any copy editors on what happened with Buckley's comment. He very much resented the idea that he was implying the Nazis (obviously, the columnist proposed these humiliating tattoos as a life-saving mark, not as a death-camp image.) Buckley ended up not only recanting the tattoo idea, and having a meeting with the Gay Men's Health Crisis and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

Buckley made his tattooing suggestion in a New York Times op-ed -- the epitome of "the mainstream for public commentary." Further, Buckley didn't completely abandon the idea. in a 2005 National Review commentary, he wrote: "Someone, 20 years ago, suggested a discreet tattoo the site of which would alert the prospective partner to the danger of proceeding as had been planned. But the author of the idea was treated as though he had been schooled in Buchenwald, and the idea was not widely considered, but maybe it is up now for reconsideration." That, plus Buckley's invoking of a promiscuous gay with AIDS named "Tony Venenum" -- "venenum" is Latin for poison -- tells us he was not as apologetic about his idea as Graham would like you to believe.

For more evidence ostracising AIDS victims in society, through tattooing or quarantine, was very much in "the mainstream for public commentary" at the time, note that none other than current Republican presidential wannabe Mike Huckabee once advocated quaranting AIDS victims. And as recently as 2005, WorldNetDaily's Les Kinsolving -- who appears in the White House briefing room every day -- called for "mass hospital prison-camp quarantines" of AIDS victims.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:43 PM EST
Obama (And Tolkien) Derangement Syndrome
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The forces of evil never take a break. Even in modern times it was the 20th century that gave humanity more genocidal megalomaniacs than the previous 19 centuries put together – Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini, Hirohito, Hitler, Franco, Mao, Amin, Pol Pot, Hussein, Ayatollah Khomeini and legions of anonymous abortion doctors.

Recalling the perpetual death spiral between good and evil since antiquity, Gandalf warned his protégé, Frodo the ring-bearer: "Always after a defeat and a respite, the Shadow takes another shape and grows again."

In "Lord of the Rings," good and evil was clearly defined, but presently not only is good and evil obscured, it is Kafkaesque – a surreal distortion of God, truth, the Bible, the Constitution and the rule of law.

Politically speaking, since Dr. Wiker writes, "Hobbits are true conservatives, the Anti-Federalists of Middle Earth," then to defeat Obama's fascist, one-world government agenda against America, let all Americans of good will put on Samwise's mantle of undying loyalty and stubborn fight to defend the Constitution and embrace Sam's rallying cry to Frodo as our daily bread.

Let every American work in unison to cast down every unconstitutional policy the fascist Age of Obama has resurrected and schemed and, like Frodo, cast down the omnipotent, evil Ring of Sauron (Darwinism, progressivism, socialism, liberalism) into its rightful place … the ash heap of history.

-- Ellis Washington, Dec. 11 WorldNetDaily column

(Washington has attempted "Lord of the Rings" analogies before.)

Posted by Terry K. at 11:41 AM EST
MRC Expands Art Censorship Effort By Targeting Wash. Post
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is not content with merely censoring art; now it wants to shout down anyone who voices support for the censored art.

Keeping up its war on the Smithsonian over the exhibit on gay portraiture at the National Portrait Gallery, MRC Action has launched an "Action Letter" to "Tell The Washington Post: 'Stop Supporting Smithsonian Smut!'"

MRC has identified the key liberal media offenders who have supported the Smithsonian Smut either by their silence or glowing praise. The leading offender is the Washington Post which published a favorable review, attacked critics of the exhibit's obscenity as "censors," and then encouraged readers to see the exhibit.

MRC has launched their Hand-delivery Letter Campaign to rally and gather thousands of letters from our team members telling Washington Post to Stop Supporting Smithsonian Smut. Simply complete the form below to have your letters hand-delivered to key Washington Post officials starting Thursday (December 9).

Funny how the MRC thinks trying to shut down an art exhibition isn't censorship.

MRC Action even helpfully provides "talking points" for people to copy-and-paste into their haranguing letters:

--The Washington Post has crossed a line in its coverage of the Smithsonian's new art exhibit, "Hide/Seek." The Post's reporting on the exhibit has featured glowing praise while failing to highlight the controversial, obscene materials. Even worse, this exhibit was promoted to children through a "Family Day" and yet the Post can only offer support while labeling critics as "censors." I am calling on the Post to STOP its biased reporting on this obscene Smithsonian exhibit.

--I am emailing you because I am outraged that the Washington Post has supported the Smithsonian's new "Hide/Seek" homoerotic art exhibit. The Post has promoted the exhibit through a glowing review and other promotional efforts while failing to mention the blatant obscenity and other offensive items in Hide/Seek. To make matters worse, the Post intentionally labeled those offering reasonable criticisms of the exhibit as "censors." Stop the bias!

--The Washington Post should issue a formal apology to its readers for your reporting on the Smithsonian's new "Hide/Seek" homoerotic art exhibit. Your reporting has offering nothing but glowing praise while failing to point out the blatant obscenity -- or the fact that this exhibit was openly marketed to children! You owe it to your readers to provide a truthful report -- not a biased puff piece that supports your political or cultural agenda.

What the MRC really wants the Post to "formally" apologize for is reporting anything that contradicts its right-wing orthodoxy -- like the idea that art that offends has merit. In short, the MRC wants the Post to apologize for telling the truth. Telling the truth, after all, is something the MRC can't abide when it conflicts with the MRC's agenda.

Because the MRC is trying to stop the truth from being told, it's acting as a censor.

As we've detailed, the Smithsonian controversy is entirely manufactured by the MRC and its agents, including the Catholic League's Bill Donohue (the MRC's Brent Bozell is on the Catholic League board of advisors).

Posted by Terry K. at 11:02 AM EST
WND's Klein Falsely Portrays WikiLeaks Memo
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In a Dec. 7 WorldNetDaily article, Aaron Klein writes that "Pieces of U.S. State Department diplomatic correspondence have been referring to the Hezbollah terrorist organization as a 'resistance' group, according to cables released by WikiLeaks and reviewed by WND."

Except that's not true. The evidence Klein provides is a statement from a memo that "U.S.-Syrian discussions on Hezbollah have tended to 'agree to disagree' after hitting the wall of conflicting views on the legitimacy of armed resistance and Israeli occupation."

Much as Klein would like to think otherwise, that isolated statement is not evidence that the U.S. thinks Hezbollah is a "resistance" group. In fact, that statement in context of the entire memo is a portrayal of Hezbollah thinks of themselves, not the opinion of the U.S. government:

U.S.-Syrian discussions on Hizballah have tended to "agree to disagree" after hitting the wall of conflicting views on the legitimacy of armed resistance and Israeli occupation.  Syrian officials, including President Asad, emphasize their political link to Hizballah and flatly deny that Syria is arming Hizballah.  They then defend the right to armed resistance in response to prolonged Israeli occupation of Syrian and Lebanese territory.  When convenient, Syrian officials claim they no longer have responsibility for Hizballah, noting "we are out of Lebanon." President Asad and FM Muallim have also suggested that the challenge of disarming Hizballah would be solved after Syria and Israel signed a peace treaty.  This agreement would lead naturally to a deal between Lebanon and Israel, thereby removing the rationale for Hizballah's resistance movement and setting the stage for the transition of Hizballah to a purely political party.

There's nothing in the memo to support Klein's false suggestion that the U.S. considers Hezbollah to be legitimate "resistance" -- something Klein essentially admits by noting that "The cable and others from around the same time period went on to detail a series of complaints the State Department filed with the Syrian government over its continued arming of Hezbollah to the point the Iranian-backed group is thought to have more than 40,000 rockets and missiles pointed at Israel."

So there's no real reason for this article to exist except to falsely smear the Obama administration. Klein fails to note, however, that the memo was issued in 2007, when Obama was not the president.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:08 AM EST
Updated: Monday, December 13, 2010 12:09 PM EST
Sunday, December 12, 2010
WND Afraid 'Tangled' Teaches Children to Think For Themselves
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In his review of the Disney film "Tangled," WorldNetDaily news editor Drew Zahn states that "there is much to praise" in the film. But... there is much not to like "if you but stop and analyze the resounding message this movie plants in children's minds." Indeed, it peddles a "very worldly and yet completely wicked and untrue philosophy on adolescence."

And what is that "wicked and untrue philosophy"? The idea of adolescent rebellion:

And, of course, Ryder and Rapunzel are proved justified in the girl's rebellion, the mother is shown wicked and the youngsters' little "road trip" proves to be just what the doctor ordered. And it's all OK for the young minds in the audience to be seeped in this spirit of defiance and parent-degradation, because the mother is really the bad guy.

Happily ever after. Walk out of the theater smiling. And then, somehow, be surprised when your children think you're an overprotective know-nothing, assume they're justified in rebellion and do a little bar-hopping, frat-party "road trip" of their own.

Wait. What happened to the happy ending?

Is "Tangled" just describing adolescent life as it is? Or is it part of a wider culture that is prescribing life as it wants to be to loose teens from their parents in order to teach its own values?

I'm the father of four teenagers, and like many parents, I've found that adolescents do begin at about that age to think critically about authority. They question the old rules, they long for and test their independence. Stretching the wings is a necessary part of growing up.

But nowhere does God prescribe rebellion and defiance as a proper path to adulthood. It is not "good" and it is not "healthy." No, contrary to popular belief and Disney brainwashing, children do not have to suddenly become the spawn of Satan (the first rebel, after all) when they turn 13.

One of the greatest rewards I've found in watching the homeschooling community is that its children are often raised by parents who question the entire worldly paradigm of what kids are like and supposed to be, including what they can be like as teenagers. And while every community has its share of rebellious and difficult teens, I have marveled at watching how some young men and women from families that reject the message of "Tangled" grow up in partnership with their parents to be models of respect and independence tempered by Godly submission. They are the best example I have seen to prove rebellion is simply not a mandate.

Got that? Teenagers should never rebel against their parents -- shouldn't even think different, apparently. Submission, not independence, is the order of the day.

That was such silly opinion that even Zahn conceded he might be wrong.

In a follow-up column, Zahn begins by condescendingly writing that "Occasionally, one of my critics makes a point so well, so thoughtfully, I must concede the merit of their argument." He then reprints a letter from a mother whose daughter disagreed with the idea that the movie left "the impression that it was OK to rebel against her parents." The parent then provided a slightly less controlling theory -- after all, she does think that "we should expect obedience [from children] by instilling truth with loving discipline so they will not look for something else" -- that Zahn could apparently live with:

In short, we are all children of the King, and until we see the Light, we remain imprisoned under the control of a lying, deceptive, manipulative "mother"; and no matter how much we question Who the Light is, we will not know Him until we set out to seek and discover Him for ourselves. We will never be satisfied until we are safely in the arms of the One to Whom we really belong. We should not listen to anyone who keeps us from Jesus, even if it is our own parents, but we need to do it in a way that is honorable. Even if we have our children dedicated and raise our kids to know Jesus, they will not be reconciled to the King until they have their own moment of revelation and embrace the Truth themselves.

At least this mother, unlike Zahn, seems to acknowledge the existence of free will.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:18 PM EST
CNS Body Count Watch

A Dec. 1 article by Edwin Mora keeps up CNS' obsession with tracking U.S. troop casualties in Afghanistan: "At least 45 U.S. troops were killed in Afghanistan last month--more than two-and-a-half times the 17 U.S. casualties in Afghanistan in November 2009--making November 2010 the deadliest November since the war began more than nine years ago, according to’s database of U.S. casualties in Afghanistan."

Missing from Mora's article: the word "Iraq." Therefore, Mora's readers aren't aware that November's casualty rate in Afghanistan is one-third that of peak casualty rates at the height of the Iraq war.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:16 PM EST

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