December 24, 2013 |
The raging controversy over comments made by "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson in GQ magazine and A&E's decision to suspend him from the remaining episodes of the upcoming fifth season arrive at the end of a year that has no shortage of culture war dust-ups. Every week, it seemed, brought another polarizing media moment, from Baldwin to black Santa and from Piers to Paula. Here's a chronological look back at a year in television that offered Americans no shortage of things to fight about. 1. Alex Jones vs. Piers Morgan In January, CNN's Piers Morgan welcomed radio host and prominent conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on his show for what was supposed to be a conversation about gun control but quickly went off the rails. Asked about the gun murder rate in England, Jones responded with a tirade about everything from the danger of “mass murder pills” like Prozac to the New World Order. Morgan, not usually one for keeping quiet, sat back and let Jones do the shouting.
December 14, 2013 |
After Slate's Aisha Harris argued that it was time to give Santa a makeover from a white man to an icon all kids can embrace, Fox News host Megyn Kelly took to the airwaves to rebut Harris, insisting that Santa Claus and Jesus are white. Harris wrote : “Whether you celebrate the holiday or not, Santa is one of the first iconic figures foisted upon you: He exists as an incredibly powerful image in the imaginations of children across the country (and beyond, of course). That this genial, jolly man can only be seen as white - and consequently, that a Santa of any other hue is merely a ' joke ' or a chance to trudge out racist stereotypes - helps perpetuate the whole ' white-as-default ' notion endemic to American culture (and, of course, not just American culture)
October 23, 2013 |
Everyone knows Texas -- pronounced Teh-has in Spanish -- is becoming an increasingly Latino state. (It's 38% Hispanic, according to the Census Bureau). Texas' Hispanic future is a kind of running joke among demographers and political pundits. The other day, New York Times columnist Gail Collins pointed out that the Democratic strategy to take back the reins of government there is “waiting around for all the Hispanic children to grow up and start voting.” Unfortunately, it seems no one pointed that out this year to the organizers of the Texas Book Festival.
August 4, 2013 |
Jesus not only saves; it turns out he also sells. UC Riverside professor Reza Aslan's new book, "Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth," currently occupies the No. 1 spot on Amazon's bestseller list. The Iranian-born Aslan, who converted from Islam to evangelical Christianity as a teenager, then converted back to Islam, has also received the kind of publicity that every liberal author craves: getting dissed on Fox News. In a July 26 interview, Fox religion correspondent Lauren Green peppered him with questions about why he, a Muslim, had written "a book about the founder of Christianity.
August 1, 2013 |
Amazon announced Thursday that users of its new fan-fiction platform, Kindle Worlds, will be free to run wild with the characters from Kurt Vonnegut's books, including "Cat's Cradle" and "Slaughterhouse-Five," starting this month. Kindle Worlds launched this spring as a fan-fiction hub for writers to self-publish stories online based on existing works and characters. The idea is that authors of the fan fiction will get up to 35% of net revenue for the books, available in the Kindle Store, while the other 65% will go to Amazon and the original copyright owner.
July 31, 2013 |
After listening to “a series of attacks from liberal media outlets” against their religion correspondent Lauren Green for her interview with author Reza Aslan, Fox News invited Brent Bozell , president of the Media Research Center, to discuss the controversy Wednesday. He vigorously defended the Fox News correspondent. Last week, Green seemed to inadvertently paint herself into a rhetorical corner while trying to pin down Aslan on the question of his Muslim faith and his motives in writing his new book, “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth.” The subsequent 10-minute video went viral , and helped propel “Zealot” up the bestseller lists.