Dixie Chicks pull PR stunt; claim NBC refused to air ad “because it disparaged the President”

I guess they really are desperate for an audience here in the US. Via AP:

NEW YORK – The Dixie Chicks are again at the center of a controversy over the limits of opinionated talk. A film company said Friday that NBC wouldn’t accept an advertisement for “Shut Up & Sing,” a movie about the fuss created by Dixie Chick Natalie Maines’ comment that she was ashamed President Bush was a fellow Texan. The network suggested the complaint may be a publicity stunt.

That’s probably because that’s what it is. Gaius has the details on how the Chicks’ PR folks are not telling the truth, and documents how perpetually outraged lefty bloggers who are foaming at the mouth about this were played like a fiddle. LOL! I love it.

Prior:

Proposed Missouri Amendment 2: Pro human cloning?

Watch the below video, and read the text (all the way through, even the fine print) of Amendment 2 and see for yourself. This is the amendment that Senator Talent opposes on grounds that it makes human cloning legal in Missouri. It’s the same amendment that demagogue Claire McCaskill uses to accuse Senator Talent of essentially being against cures for diseases.

If what the lady in the video is saying is true, pro-embryonic stem cell advocates are involved in committing a major fraud against Missourians. I’m not familiar with some of the terms used in the text of the amendment, so I’m hoping people more familiar with them can help out.

BTW, Robert Novak believes Amendment 2 is a fraud – here’s what he wrote about it.

Hat tip: The Chatterbox Chronicles

Update: WOW. This site provides a wealth of information on this issue. Like this, for example:

The lawyers who wrote Amendment 2 work for giant biotechnology labs that plan to make billions of dollars by cloning humans for research. They wanted to guarantee that Missouri lawmakers could never outlaw it. But they knew that most Missourians oppose the idea of creating and destroying human life in a laboratory.

How did Amendment 2’s slick promoters get around this? Simple. Instead of being honest about their objective, they came up with a phony definition of “cloning” and pretended to ban it.

The operation used to clone human beings for research is called “Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer.” This involves combining a woman’s egg with the nucleus of another living cell. The result is a human embryo. Two weeks later, stem cells are “harvested” from that embryo, and it’s destroyed.

Backers of Amendment 2 claim that this isn’t “cloning.” But practically every scientific authority disagrees with them, including the National Academies of Science and the American Medical Association. And a Missouri Appeals Court Judge wrote in March 2006 that “Nuclear transfer is cloning.”

Amendment 2 doesn’t actually “ban human cloning.” It protects it.

NRO:

The initiative doesn’t ban cloning. It bans only the implantation of a cloned embryo into a woman’s womb to initiate a pregnancy. In other words, it outlaws the development of a cloned embryo into a cloned baby: You can create a cloned human embryo as long as you kill it during research. (If artificial wombs can be made to work, however, the law would allow even for cloned babies.)

Saturday update: See my follow-up post on this issue here.

Election day excuse watch: If Democrats don’t win, it’s because the black vote was suppressed

Election 2006While some Democrats are already pre-celebrating “victory” on election day, the MSM continues to churn its excuse-making machine in case Democrats happen to lose (aka not regain control of Congress) the election. I documented in this post and this one news articles where the MSM has gone through great lengths in order to point out the ‘rampant’ issues with voting machines, ballots, etc that may cause ‘potential’ problems on election day.

The NYT provides us with today’s example. First, note the headline, which is misleading:

Democrats Fear Disillusionment in Black Voters

When I first read that headline, I thought “wow – the NYT is actually printing an in depth story on how black voters have become disenfranchised with the Democratic party so much so in the last several years that more and more of them are registering as Independents rather than Democrats.” I should have known, though, that it was too good to be true. The topic of the article (emphasis added):

But despite a generally buoyant Democratic Party nationally, there are worries among Democratic strategists in some states that blacks may not turn up at the polls in big enough numbers because of disillusionment over past shenanigans.

[…]

Voting experts say the disillusionment is the cumulative effect of election problems in 2000 and 2004, and a reaction to new identification and voter registration laws.

Long lines and shortages of poll workers in lower-income neighborhoods in the 2004 election and widespread reports of fliers with misinformation appearing in minority areas have also had a corrosive effect on confidence, experts say.

How could this affect black turnout?

The harder question is whether this jaded outlook will diminish turnout.

Recent polls have found record levels of outrage from Democrats about the current political leadership, which may offset the effect of black disillusion.

Translation: If the Democrats win, it’ll be in spite of black Democratic voter disillusionment over “past shenanigans” and worries that their vote will be suppressed. If they lose, it will be because black Democratic voters are jaded over “past shenanigans” and think their vote will be suppressed.

Thomas Lifson at the American Thinker is on the same page:

Blame low black turnout on “shenanigans” (implying GOP culpability) in past voting “problems”. Long lines at polling places with large numbers of black voters are the responsibility of local election officials, mostly Democrats in heavily black areas.

And what of the phenomenal turnout in black areas of Cleveland and Philadelphia, approaching 100%, in past elections?

The fact is that the left has been braying a mantra of “fixed” elections every time it loses. Those chickens may be coming home to roost, but of course it is always the fault of Republicans.

I’m assuming the role of broken record here, repeating something I wrote in a prior post about this:

[…] we need to know this, of course, in case Republicans retain control of Congress. If they don’t, then we’ll hear stories about how ‘smoothly’ elections ran across the country.

Keep that in mind not only as election results are rolling in, but in the days after the election when the news media will be saturated with articles about why Democrats won or lost. They’re covering their bases right now – just in case.

Biased BBC prints puff piece on “uncovered meat” Aussie cleric

The admittedly biased BBC is at it again. Can you believe this?

A few weeks ago, I happened to interview Sheikh Taj el-Din al-Hilali outside the Lakemba Mosque in Sydney where he delivered his controversial sermon.

A softly-spoken man, who clearly commands both enormous respect and affection within his community, the Egyptian-born cleric discussed the government’s recent proposals for an Australian citizenship test – an examination which many Muslim immigrants believe is targeted at them.

His English is poor, and it was difficult at times to make out precisely what he was saying.

But he told me he was keen to encourage the greater use of English in mosques and for Imams to gain a much greater understanding of Australian history and culture.

‘Aussie imam’

Though he did not agree with Prime Minister John Howard’s contentious view that sections of the 300,000-strong Muslim community are not doing enough to integrate themselves into the mainstream of Australian society, he seemed prepared at least to address the criticism in a constructive way.

Sheikh Hilali referred more than once to the idea of “the Aussie imam”, as he called it – model clerics with a broad knowledge of Australian culture and history. Neat, snappy and eminently quotable. Just the kind of epithet which sticks in a journalist’s mind.

Now some of the cleric’s fellow Muslims, including the Islamic Council of New South Wales, are calling his comments comparing immodestly dressed women to “uncovered meat” as “unIslamic, unAustralian and unacceptable.”

Far from building bridges with the wider community, he seems to have dug himself an almighty hole.

For the record,here’s the back story on this:

A Muslim cleric’s claim that women who do not wear the veil are like ‘uncovered meat’ who attract sexual predators sparked outrage around Australia yesterday.

Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali, the nation’s most senior Muslim cleric, compared immodestly-dressed women who do not wear the Islamic headdress with meat that is left uncovered in the street and is then eaten by cats.

Politicians including Prime Minister John Howard, community leaders and a large number of Muslims condemned the mufti’s comments amid calls that he should be deported to Egypt, his country of origin.

He has since been forced to apologise for his remarks.

In a Ramadam sermon in a Sydney mosque, Sheik al-Hilali suggested that a group of Muslim men recently jailed for many years for gang rapes were not entirely to blame.

There were women, he said, who ‘sway suggestively’ and wore make-up and immodest dress “and then you get a judge without mercy and gives you 65 years. But the problem, but the problem all began with who?” he said, referring to the women victims.

Addressing 500 worshippers on the topic of adultery, Sheik al-Hilali added: “If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it..whose fault is it – the cats or the uncovered meat?

“The uncovered meat is the problem.”

He went on: “If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab (veil), no problem would have occurred.”

Women, he said, were ‘weapons’ used by Satan to control men.

The writer of the BBC piece is Nick Bryant, and he’s actually trying to make up this rape-excuser scumbag, who is the top cleric in Australia, look sympathetic!

Here’s the BBC’s feedback page- once you read it, if you’re as outraged as I am that the BBC tried to portray al-Hilali in a flattering, sympathetic light, let ‘em know it.

I blogged last year about the rape case al-Hilali mentioned. The rapists in the case tried and failed to successfully utilize the multicultural “my culture made me do it” defense. Here are those posts:

Related/Update I – 12:31 PM: IRAN: MEN CAN HIT THEIR WIVES, CLERIC SAYS:

Tehran, 26 Oct. (AKI) – Iranian Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi has issued a fatwa – a Muslim religious edict – saying it is legitimate for men to hit their disobedient wives. Shirazi, one of the leading clerics of the Shiite holy city of Qom, wrote on his website that “the Koran first of all advises a man to try and convince his wife to obey to him in a polite way and through advice, then by refusing to have sexual relations with her and, finally, if all this will have failed to make her reason, with physical punishment.”

The punishment, the leading cleric said, “must be light and considered an exceptional event, like surgery in case of a serious illness.”

Makarem Shirazi advised his readers against “physical punishment which leaves signs and wounds.” Women, he axplained, “are masochistic and sometimes they have a crisis and need light physical punishment to get back to normal.”

(Hat tip: Dunk)

Are you listening, Yvonne Ridley? Joan Z. Shore?

The REAL issue in the Webb/Allen Senate race: the Washington Post’s pro-Webb bias

There’s a lot of talk in the blogosphere today about dirty, nasty passages from books Jim Webb has written that were released by the Allen campaign last night.

My response: So what? I’m in Malkin’s camp on this one . There are plenty of issues on which to take Jim Webb to task without having to pull bizarre sexual passages from fictional books.

What’s really bothered me about the Webb/Allen race is how the Washington Post has been a cheerleader for Webb throughout it. Kevin at Wizbang discusses that at length here and has links to others who have caught the WaPo in the act.

The latest cheerleading story is this morning’s WaPo puff piece on Webb, which has the headline: Defiant Iraq War Foe Defined by Vietnam. It’s five pages long, and includes words like “warrior” and “Emmy-winning journalist” and it looks like it could have come straight from the Webb campaign itself. There is no way that article can be read without seeing the overt pro-Webb bias.

I’ve documented some of the pro-Webb bias here as well. For example, the WaPo devoted three pages to S.R. Sidarth, the Webb aide who was the “victim” in the overblown, phony “macaca” incident. It was a glowing write-up on Sidarth, making him out to be everyone’s example of the perfect all-American male who had been “thrust” into the spotlight.

It’s one thing for the WaPo editorial page to come out in favor of a candidate; we expect that. But when it devotes a significant amount of news space pumping up ‘their guy’s’ credentials, while deliberately portraying his opponent in a negative light that’s an example of opinion media masquerading as unbiased media, and the Washington Post should know better.

Email them and let them know what you think: ombudsman@washpost.com

Update I -3 PM: Here’s a flashback to what Keith Olbermman said on November 8th, 2005 about whether or not Scooter Libby’s “sex shocker” book was fair game for critics:

Artists and actors and satirists and newscasters are all quick to remind us, hey, just because I played this part and created this character, read the story, that doesn‘t mean I am them. But how much insight does a novel really give us into the psyche of the author?

[…]

Now we have beaten the hell out of Libby for this, and deservedly so. If a Democratic White House official had written this book, his head would be on a pike somewhere.

Will Keith provide the same attention to the excerpts from Webb’s books? Stay tuned to Olbmermann Watch (that is, if you can’t bring yourself to actually watch KO) to find out.

Also, here’s Webb’s response to the controversy.

Others blogging about this: Patterico, Don Surber, John Hawkins, Flopping Aces, Allah, Rick Moran, MKH, Blog For All, James Joyner, Dan Riehl, Stop The ACLU, ST reader Karl at Leaning Straight Up, Cold Fury

Prior: