Website of noted cable news network normally concerned about well-being of children ignores story about trial of child murderer
A RETURN TO BASIC VALUES
Any television show that simultaneously confounds the pagans and the heretics can’t be all bad. But there’s a basic flaw in the History Channel’s The Bible that makes it hard for the cultural Christian or the spiritual seeker to absorb the message.
This is not to say the program isn’t popular. In fact, it’s wildly popular, but I fear we are preaching to the choir. The opening episode of The Bible attracted 13.1 million viewers, the largest cable audience of the year, and topped both editions of “American Idol” the same week.
Episode two had 10.8 million viewers, more than any other program in the same time period and it finished 11th overall for the week. The third episode gained viewers, inching up to 10.9 million, and was number nine for the week.
This is even more startling when you recall, as Daniel Wattenberg of the Washington Times pointed out, that The Bible “lacked the ready–made, large scale promotional platform and popular lead–in that can drive strong ratings for a new show on a major broadcast network…” It also lacked the nudity, bad language, obscene cartoon characters and titillation that excites the prurient interest of many cable TV viewers — although it does contain some off–screen fornication, adultery and murder.
On the other hand The Bible had thousands of mentions in church bulletins and word of mouth to help build the audience. (The program is proving to be a Godsend for youth ministries across America.)
So what’s not to like?
As the program is structured it appeals to Christians who know the Bible or think they know it, yet it answers no questions and puts nothing in perspective for the curious viewer who wants to learn more about the Good Book. In fact, the program runs a very real risk of alienating those viewers.
It is very easy for them to ask: Why does a supposedly loving God command King Saul to kill everyone? Why are the Israelites attacking Canaanites who have done them no wrong and were there first? Why did it take 40 years to get from Egypt to the Promised Land? Why didn’t Moses get to enter the Promised Land? What did the Sodomites do that was so bad? (No pun intended.) If David is such a sinner, why does God love him and not other sinners He had killed? What did a child like Ishmael do to deserve banishment? Why did God toy with Abraham and Isaac?
And those are just the questions from the first two episodes! After about the third killing spree Buddhism starts to look pretty good, to say nothing of Unitarianism.
The Bible is ten hours long but even that length means much is truncated and condensed. (Why couldn’t The Hobbit have dispensed with some of the padding and been only Hobbit I and Hobbit II, giving the excess to The Bible?) The series cries out for a narration to bridge the gap and provide continuity and explanation.
Even better, each episode should be followed by a 15–minute scholarly discussion among experts to put the events into an overall context. I don’t mean the secular culture’s favorite Bible experts: Bart Ehrman, the agnostic professor of religion, and Karen Armstrong, the failed nun who is liable to believe most anything.
While the lawsuit over the sale of Al Gore’s Current TV to Al Jazeera is making headlines, a close reading of the legal complaint provides additional evidence that a congressional investigation into the curious transaction is urgently needed and necessary.
The media executive who claims to have arranged the sale says the idea was to make the Terror TV channel “palatable to U.S. lawmakers,” a formulation that suggests foreign lobbying on Capitol Hill in order to protect the $500 million payoff to Gore and other owners and investors in Current TV.
The suit says that media executive John Terenzio also proposed smoothing things over with “pro-Israel factions, cable operators and, most importantly, the American public.”
The other controversial aspect of the deal, as noted by Fox News contributor Lisa Daftari, is that “Al Jazeera America” has announced plans for bureaus in eight cities, including Detroit, Michigan, and that “Detroit, Michigan is a large ex-pat community of Muslim-Americans where [Jihadist] sleeper cells have been detected.”
Detroit has been called the Arab capital of North America.
Because of the danger of inciting Arabs and Muslims into anti-American violence, Accuracy in Media has called on the House Homeland Security Committee, under the chairmanship of Texas Republican Michael McCaul, to investigate the sale and look at the evidence that the channel is a foreign terrorist entity that can be outlawed on U.S. soil. He has refused to do so.
The Al Gore lawsuit constitutes another reason why Congress has to investigate. If Al Gore had paid Terenzio for his services, as the suit alleges, it is likely that the nature of the deal and the private discussions that went into it would never have been made public. Now, however, all of this is on the public record and more damaging details, if Gore doesn’t settle the lawsuit, will almost certainly come out.
The revelations demonstrate how sensitive the deal was in the first place. Terenzio says one of his objectives was to develop “strategies to overcome Al Jazeera’s negative image and make Al Jazeera acceptable to American viewers.” Many members of the public associate Al Jazeera with the videos of Osama bin Laden, the architect of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America. Al Jazeera aired those videos, as well as interviews with bin Laden and other al-Qaeda leaders, and is today still regarded as the voice of the pro-terrorist Muslim Brotherhood.
In short, the plan was for a massive propaganda campaign to play down the channel’s ties to al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, and its financing by the pro-Jihadist Arab government of Qatar.
Terenzio says he came up with “Al Jazeera America,” a name obviously designed to mask the foreign and Arab nature of the propaganda channel.
The revelations in the suit follow reports that the new channel has been feverishly hiring expensive K Street lobbying firms to stop Congress from investigating the deal, and is hiring dozens of American journalists.
Terenzio says in his lawsuit that he “created a sophisticated PowerPoint presentation” describing the deal and that the structure was “based in large measure on the strategies developed by Terenzio in adapting CCTV [China Central television] for American distribution.”
CCTV is the Communist-government funded Chinese state TV channel that has also penetrated the U.S.
Al Gore was given an entire category on Jeopardy! earlier this week to help him hawk his latest book:
Former Vice President Gore dropped in on TV sets across the country Tuesday to offer his wisdom on The Future.
Gore read off clues on “Jeopardy!” in a category titled after his new book, The Future, which he is promoting nationwide.
Aside from climate, Gore’s “Jeopardy!” appearance also touched on China’s emergence as the world’s top manufacturer, outsourcing, erosion of topsoil and thermodynamics.
Nothing screams credibility on environmental issues like a self-proclaimed clean energy crusader who just made upwards of $100 million by selling his cable network to a media outlet controlled by an oil emirate.
Video in HypocriteVision™ technology courtesy of Newsbusters:
The last election has brought on essays bemoaning the conservative disconnect from popular culture and the need to somehow reconnect with it. The means of this reconnection are hardly ever stated, though there is the implication that conservatives would need to “evolve” on certain social issues in the hopes that its economic viewpoint will be taken seriously by a population whose social way of life doom it to be dependent on government support.
The culture is polarized. That means there is no place for conservatives in it except by playing the villain’s part, and the villain’s part, whether played with good humor or reluctantly, is not the winning part. But it’s also a mistake to call it the culture, when what we really mean is the culture created and perpetuated by a small number of corporations, their affiliated creatives and their affiliated press.
Take Girls, an HBO series that is one part nepotism and nine parts artificially generated corporate trend, that was recently the subject of several essays insisting that we take it seriously because it is “the culture”. How big of a slice of the culture is Girls? It’s on HBO, which means it has limited viewership and unlimited publicity. HBO exists to promote the illusion, not so much of quality, but of relevance. And Girls is a triumph of fake relevance. It is the show that you must consider relevant, because well… it’s relevant. Isn’t it?
The Girls Season 2 premiere scored 866,000 viewers. After multiple airings it made it up to 1.6 million. It wasn’t exactly a case of the entire country tuning in. Nor its entire female population or even its entire population of women in their twenties. And since HBO only exists as a desperate effort by the dying cable industry to hang on to its subscribers, its episodes are not available on iTunes, Hulu Plus or any of the other concessions to the age of internet broadcast entertainment.
Girls is doubtlessly relevant to the daughters of wealthy urban liberal families who find themselves with too much money and too little common sense. And it’s probably not even relevant to them since its larger audience share is with men over 50 and its median viewer age is 43. Is it relevant to the culture as a whole? Not really. And its perceived importance highlights the disconnect between the Low Culture of the free TV sitcom and the High Culture of the cable indie drama. Both may have a leftie agenda, but one exists to be consumed by overeducated professionals, many of whom also work in media, in the major cities, while the other is mass culture entertainment.
Hypocrites and Douchebags – What a combination …
The hypocrisy …
Time Warner Cable Bans Some Gun Ads
Just weeks after the mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Time Warner Cable has initiated a companywide ban on certain gun ads.
“We no longer accept ads showing semiautomatic weapons and guns pointed at people,” Time Warner Cable said in a statement. “We stand by this policy. If it’s essential to a business owner to show this kind of imagery in their commercials, there are other advertising options in the marketplace.”
The TWC ban comes also comes shortly after sports network the Sportsman Channel came under fire for running a National Rifle Association ad that called the president an “elitist hypocrite” for coming out against an NRA proposal to put armed guards in elementary schools while his teenage daughters are protected by armed Secret Service guards.
The douchebaggery …
The 18 Most Hated Companies In America
You are not the only person who hates Bank of America, American Airlines and Time Warner.
We’ve updated our list of the worst companies on the American Customer Satisfaction Index, which gives remarkably accurate ratings based on thousands of surveys. The most-hated list hasn’t changed much since June, because the companies rated since then are in the well-liked durable goods industries.
#3 Time Warner Cable
Satisfaction rating: 59/100
Time Warner has been a public relations disaster for at least a decade. Blunders include usage caps, fees increasing each year faster than inflation and fraudulent business acts and bad services. In June 2011, a lawsuit was filed against Time Warner for refusing to make closed captioning available on CNN’s online videos after being notified by disgruntled consumers. Recently it also aired pornography on children’s channels.
For a long time, cable companies in general lacked incentives to improve their customer satisfaction, as they enjoyed sole franchise agreements in many cities. With competition from satellite companies, they are being forced to address service issues — but they have a ways to go.
Time Warner has decreased two points since the previous year.
Bottom line …
How do you separate a 60-second advertisement from a hour-long celebration of gun violence and mega-death – and then have the balls to ban the advertisement and say nothing about the infinitely more destructive and repetitive content you are showing?
A secret State Department cable has concluded that the Syrian military likely used chemical weapons against its own people in a deadly attack last month, The Cable has learned.
United States diplomats in Turkey conducted a previously undisclosed, intensive investigation into claims that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons, and made what an Obama administration official who reviewed the cable called a “compelling case” that Assad’s military forces had used a deadly form of poison gas.
The cable, signed by the U.S. consul general in Istanbul, Scott Frederic Kilner, and sent to State Department headquarters in Washington last week, outlined the results of the consulate’s investigation into reports from inside Syria that chemical weapons had been used in the city of Homs on Dec. 23.
The consul general’s report followed a series of interviews with activists, doctors, and defectors, in what the administration official said was one of the most comprehensive efforts the U.S. government has made to investigate claims by internal Syrian sources. The investigation included a meeting between the consulate staff and Mustafa al-Sheikh, a high-level defector who once was a major general in Assad’s army and key official in the Syrian military’s WMD program.
An Obama administration official who reviewed the document, which was classified at the “secret” level, detailed its contents to The Cable. “We can’t definitely say 100 percent, but Syrian contacts made a compelling case that Agent 15 was used in Homs on Dec. 23,” the official said.
The use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime would cross the “red line” President Barack Obama first established in an Aug. 20 statement. “We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation,” Obama said.
To date, the administration has not initiated any major policy changes in response to the classified cable, but a Deputies Committee meeting of top administration officials is scheduled for this week.
The report confirms the worst fears of officials who are frustrated by the current policy, which is to avoid any direct military assistance to the Syrian rebels and limit U.S. aid to sporadic deliveries of humanitarian and communications equipment.
Many believe that Assad is testing U.S. red lines.
“This reflects the concerns of many in the U.S. government that the regime is pursuing a policy of escalation to see what they can get away with as the regime is getting more desperate,” the administration official said.
The consulate’s investigation was facilitated by BASMA, an NGO the State Department has hired as one of its implementing partners inside Syria. BASMA connected consular officials with witnesses to the incident and other first-hand information.
The official warned that if the U.S. government does not react strongly to the use of chemical weapons in Homs, Assad may be emboldened to escalate his use of such weapons of mass destruction.
“It’s incidents like this that lead to a mass-casualty event,” the official said.
Activist and doctors on the ground in Homs have been circulating evidence of the Dec.
If Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) lets the Al Jazeera-Al Gore deal go through without scrutiny, then every broadcast entity or communications facility in America is ripe for the plucking by any of our nation’s enemies and adversaries.
For those who haven’t been paying attention lately, the government of Qatar has announced a deal through Al Jazeera with former Democratic Vice President Al Gore for his Current TV cable channel, in order to transform it into an arm of its Jihadist or “Terror TV” network, once known as a mouthpiece for mass murderer Osama bin Laden. They are planning to call it “Al Jazeera America,” when the oil money for the transaction is coming from abroad. This is part and parcel of the deception, which is designed to make it appear as though Al Jazeera is as American as apple pie and simply has a foreign-sounding name.
To be sure, the deal was not technically announced by Qatar, a Middle Eastern dictatorship where freedom of the press is not permitted. Instead, Al Jazeera made the announcement. But that is part of the deception. Al Jazeera is an arm of the Qatar regime and is not in any sense of the term an “independent” news organization. It is government-funded with “advertising” from such entities as Qatar Airways, the national airline partly owned by the regime. Qatar and Al Jazeera are one and the same.
The purpose of this transaction is to soften the American people up for more Middle East revolution, including within the borders of the U.S. Dr. Judea Pearl, the father of slain journalist Daniel Pearl, supports an investigation of the deal and says, “Al Jazeera weaves the ideological structure and combustible angers from which Jihadi recruits eventually emerge.”
Qatar postures as a friend of the United States and hosts a U.S military base. But Qatar also served as the base for anti-American and anti-Semitic “cleric” Yusef al-Qaradawi before he returned to Egypt to help consolidate the Muslim Brotherhood revolution there. Al-Qaradawi is a leading television personality on Al Jazeera.
You may have missed the news that Qatar just extended another $2.5 billion in economic aid for Egypt, following a gift of $400 million that the emir of Qatar made to the terrorist group Hamas.
Al Gore and his partners, including Joel Hyatt, got more than that—$500 million, according to reports. Whether or not that is an accurate figure, any amount is a drop in the bucket to the emir, who is worth billions of dollars and lives in opulence.
By the way, Muslim Brotherhood leader and president of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi, just told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he wants the release of the Blind Sheikh, sentenced to life in prison for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing in New York City. This first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center killed six people and injured over 1,000 others.
Dr. Pearl calls Al Jazeera “the main propaganda machine” of the pro-terrorist Muslim Brotherhood. It is no surprise, therefore, that Qatar would underwrite the Egyptian regime and Hamas, and that the Obama Administration would voice no public objection to the sale of Current TV to Al Jazeera.
However, there is no reason to believe this sale is legal.
Al-Jazeera, once considered the voice of Osama bin-Laden and known for anti-American and anti-Semitic rhetoric, has announced the purchase of Al Gore’s low-rated cable channel, Current TV, in a transparent attempt to buy access to the U.S. media market for operatives of the pro-terrorist Muslim Brotherhood. Gore has reportedly made $100 million from the $500 million deal.
The Arab government-funded TV channel, labeled “Jihad TV” by Judea Pearl, father of slain journalist Daniel Pearl, says the purpose of the unprecedented acquisition of Current TV is to create a channel called “Al-Jazeera America” and reach a potential audience of 40 million U.S. homes. It claims this will bring Al-Jazeera “into closer competition with American news channels like CNN, MSNBC and Fox.”
Current TV features liberal programs hosted by such figures as former Democratic governors Jennifer Granholm and Eliot Spitzer. These programs will presumably go off the air as the channel takes on the Jihadist leanings that characterize Al-Jazeera’s Arabic and English channels.
But it is not at all clear that the new “Al-Jazeera America” will be able to hang on to Current TV’s existing contracts with cable television providers.
As noted by writer Henry Blodgett, “…Al Jazeera wanted access to America’s TV viewers—specifically, the cable distribution contracts that enable Current to be watched in tens of millions of American households.”
But Current TV co-owner Joel Hyatt, in a Wednesday memo to employees, revealed that one of Current’s distributors, Time Warner Cable, did not consent to the sale to Al-Jazeera and as a result “Current will no longer be carried on TWC.”
Even after Time Warner dumped Current because of the sale, Current TV is available in about 30 million American households, notes Blodgett. But the cable distributors into those remaining households will have the same right as Time Warner to drop the channel as its programming changes. Whether they do this or not will depend on public opinion and reaction to the blatant power grab by the regime in Qatar and its attempt to manipulate the U.S. media market.
Many observers are watching the cable giant Comcast, which owns about 10 percent of Current TV, for its next move.
AIM originally raised awareness on the issue in 2006 with the documentary, Terror Television: The Rise of Al-Jazeera and the Hate-America Media, and was instrumental in defeating the channel’s efforts to seek carriage in U.S. markets.
Jeff Timmons, a communications lawyer, told AIM that there are federal restrictions on foreigners owning the means of communication but not the programming itself. As a result, he foresees no successful legal challenges to Qatar’s acquisition of Current TV.
But Florida broadcaster Jerry Kenney, a strong critic of Al-Jazeera’s attempts to enter the U.S. media market, says, “If this doesn’t fall under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, nothing does.”
Kenney had previously filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice alleging that Al-Jazeera and other foreign propaganda channels are violating the law by not disclosing in their broadcasts that they are agents of foreign powers. Other foreign channels operating in the U.S. include Moscow-funded Russia Today (RT), Iranian Press TV and the Chinese regime’s CCTV.
According to Kenney, “Al-Jazeera America” should be required to register under the law and identify its broadcasts on the air as foreign propaganda.
But will conservatives in Congress challenge Qatar’s media power play?
A homeowner fed up with burglaries used his shotgun to hold crooks at bay Friday morning.This occurred just before 5 a.m. at 5438 Blue Parkway on Kansas City’s east side.
Jim “Jim Bob” Lundberg described noticing something was off near his shop area.
“I thought, ‘Nobody’s suppose to be there.’ I thought they might be out there trying to steal the air conditioners,” he said.
And he’d had enough of the crime in his neighborhood.
“So I went back to the house and grabbed my gun and went back up the hill where I’ve got vehicles parked and halfway up the hill I saw two people coming around,” he recalled.
He believes they were attempting to vandalize one of the vehicles on his property. But it wasn’t any vehicle. It was his beloved older model Chevy Camaro. When he saw them pull out cable cutters as if to remove the battery, he made his move.
“I jumped up and fired a shot. And I said, ‘Hunker down!’ I told them there wouldn’t be a second shot, and they hit the ground,” he said. “They hit the ground pretty quickly. But the thing was they wasn’t going to be a second (warning) shot.” . . .