Tags: Lear | Group | Targets | Beck

Norman Lear Group Targets Glenn Beck

By    |   Sunday, 20 September 2009 08:56 PM

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Norman Lear Group Targets Glenn Beck
2. Catholic League Condemns Dan Brown's New Book
3. Bill Clinton's Doctor: Kim Jong-il Significantly Improved
4. Professors Won't Like Dick Morris' Tuition-Cutting Plan
5. Mark Levin Book Hits 1 Million in Sales
6. We Heard: Ted Kennedy, Boston Globe, Condi Rice, Microsoft


1. Norman Lear Group Targets Glenn Beck

A liberal advocacy group founded by TV producer Norman Lear has launched an attack on conservative talker Glenn Beck, saying his influence on the GOP is "shameful."

In an e-mail sent to supporters, People for the American Way's President Michael B. Keegan referred to last weekend's protests in Washington against President Barack Obama and the Democrats and rebutted the claim that as many as 2 million people took part.

"Officials estimated the crowd to be about 60,000," Keating wrote. "Significant, yes, but not indicative that these people are anything more than a vocal minority representing the views of only a small portion of Americans.

"A PFAW staffer who showed up to check out the scene talked to many participants, and when she asked why they showed up, an overwhelming number gave the same answer: 'Glenn Beck sent me.'"

Keating continued: "It is shameful that the GOP would give someone like Glenn Beck that sort of power. The Rush Limbaughs and Glenn Becks of the world have been pulling the strings of the Republican Party for too long."

The e-mail cited an upcoming conference called How to Take Back America, claiming it will be hosted by "some of the most fringe players on the Radical Right," and asked for donations to help the group "fight back."

Meanwhile Fox News is disputing a claim by an African-American advocacy group that its call for a boycott of advertisers on Beck's Fox TV show has had a significant impact on its ad revenue.

Color of Change sought the boycott more than a month ago after Beck accused Obama of being a "racist" with a "deep-seated hatred for white people."

In a press release, Color of Change cited data from unnamed "industry sources" and asserted that the ad boycott "costs Glenn Beck over 50 percent of ad dollars."

The group claimed that 62 advertisers have "distanced themselves" from Beck, and the boycott is costing Fox nearly $600,000 per week.

A Fox News spokesman told TVNewser: "The Color of Change figures are wildly inaccurate on all fronts — revenue has not been affected in any way."

Editor's Note:

2. Catholic League Condemns Dan Brown's New Book

Catholic League President Bill Donohue has issued a statement sharply critical of "The Da Vinci Code" author Dan Brown's new book, "The Lost Symbol."

The new book centers around Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon — protagonist of "The Da Vinci Code" and Brown's "Angels & Demons" — and the kidnapping of his mentor, a prominent Freemason.

Langdon is "plunged into a clandestine world of Masonic secrets, hidden history, and never-before-seen locations," according to Amazon.com, and the book's climax takes place in a Masonic odge.

"Dan Brown may loathe Catholics, but he just adores the Masons," Donohue writes.

"Brown 'goes out of his way in "The Lost Symbol" to present the lodge as essentially benign and misunderstood,' says an AP story. The Catholic Church, of course, is seen by Brown as essentially wicked and misunderstood only by its followers.

"'Masons are praised for their religious tolerance,' the article says. Somehow Catholics failed to notice: So abhorrent were Masons in their thrashing of Catholicism that the 1917 Code of Canon Law provided for automatic excommunication to any Catholic who joined a lodge.

"The current stricture in the Church, following the 1983 revisions to the Code, doesn’t mention Masons by name, but does retain excommunication for those who join anti-Catholic organizations."

The Freemasons fraternal organization dates back to the late 16th century and has an estimated 2 million members in the United States. Its teachings have long been seen as in conflict with church doctrine.

"In his new book, Brown defends the Masons against 'unfair' portrayals," Donohue writes.

"So kind of him. In real life Brown says he has 'enormous respect for the Masons.' Must be their historic anti-Catholicism that won him over.

"Showing nothing but sweetness and light, the man who has made millions dumping on the Catholic Church says of his new work, 'It’s a reverent look at their philosophy. I’m more interested in what they believe than all their rituals and conspiracy theories about them.'

"Now if only Brown had cut Catholics the same break."

Editor's Note:

3. Bill Clinton's Doctor: Kim Jong-il Significantly Improved

Bill Clinton's doctor accompanied the former president on his recent trip to North Korea and said leader Kim Jong-il appears to be in stable condition following a stroke last year.

Roger Band, a professor of emergency medicine at the University of Pennsylvania who regularly checks on Clinton's health, was briefed by U.S. government officials before he accompanied Clinton on his successful mission to gain the release of two imprisoned American journalists.

He was asked to look for signs — in Kim's speech, movements, facial color, etc. — indicating his health, according to the South Korean Web site Chosun.com.

Band was at Clinton's side in a meeting with Kim that lasted more than three hours, and based on his observations, U.S. officials concluded that Kim's condition has significantly improved.

"The U.S. administration now believes that by allowing Band to accompany Clinton, Kim sought to publicize his good health to the world and may have taken advantage of the opportunity to dispel rumors that he is at death's door," Chosun.com reported.

Adm. Timothy Keating, commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, said in a speech on Tuesday that Clinton's trip to North Korea was "great intelligence."

Editor's Note:

4. Professors Won't Like Dick Morris' Tuition-Cutting Plan

University professors are likely to be angry over political analyst Dick Morris' prescription for dealing with the spiraling costs of a college education: Make teachers work more.

In a recent article posted on his Web site, which was cited and quoted by The New York Times' The Choice column, Morris said the soaring expense of college is a "quiet catastrophe" that prices millions of students out of a good education and saddles other with debts that are all but impossible to pay.

"But the high cost of college is entirely avoidable," states Morris, a former strategist for Bill Clinton and a Newsmax blogger.

"College costs are as high as they are because the institutions coddle their faculty, letting them off with work weeks that we would find laughable while they increase their administrative costs and debt out of all proportion to reality."

"The plain fact," Morris continues, is that students and parents are being forced to scrimp, borrow and compromise "in order to let faculty members teach five classes a year, spending only 18-20 hours in the classroom per week."

Morris cites one college that is holding down costs by increasing professors' work load: York College in Pennsylvania, where Morris lectured last year on the presidential election.

York requires its faculty to teach eight classes a year and spend 24 hours per week in class, and charges $13,000 a year in tuition and $21,000 a year including room and board — about half of what comparable private four-year colleges charge, Morris observes.

York shows that "if colleges required their faculty to work harder (approximately the work week the rest of us find normal), held down administrative spending, and reined in borrowing for capital improvements, these institutions could charge half of what they now do in tuition and fees," he writes. "That's right — half!"

The Times article notes: "When others have made similar arguments in earlier posts on The Choice, many professors have responded angrily that they are not overpaid or underworked. Rather, they have argued that for every hour they spend in the classroom, they spend several more in preparation."

Indeed, one professor responding to The Choice's requests for comments posted this: "In addition to research, writing, and teaching, professors also prepare lectures, grade papers, mentor students, plan curricula, present findings, and carry out other duties necessary to being a good teacher. All of my colleagues work well over 40 hours a week."

But another said this: "As a tenured faculty member who had a wonderful sabbatical year in London, I agree with Mr. Morris."

Editor's Note:

5. Mark Levin Book Hits 1 Million in Sales

Syndicated radio host Mark Levin's book "Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto" has now sold 1 million copies even though it was never reviewed by the New York Times or the Washington Post.

Levin's book debuted at No. 1 on the Times' list of best-sellers after it was released in March, and has remained in the top 10 on the list for 24 straight weeks.

Levin, president of the Landmark Legal Foundation, served as chief of staff to Attorney General Ed Meese during the Reagan administration.

His book "lays out a vision for America that is rooted in the Constitution and in the Founding Fathers' vision of strictly limited government and individual self-reliance," CNSNews observed.

"As such, its message stands in stark contrast to the agenda being advanced by President Barack Obama, which includes a government takeover of General Motors and a government makeover of the entire U.S. healthcare system."

Editor's Note:

6. We Heard: Ted Kennedy, Boston Globe, Condi Rice, Microsoft

THAT a pending deal for The Boston Globe demonstrates how far the fortunes of newspapers have fallen.

Back in 1993, The New York Times Co. bought the Globe for $1.1 billion. Now two buyers have offered to purchase the Globe and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette from the Times Co. for just $35 million.

One buyer is a group headed by Stephen Taylor, great-great grandson of the newspaper's founder, who worked for The Globe for nearly 20 years. The Globe reports that the other is Platinum Equity of Beverly Hills, Calif., which earlier this year bought the San Diego Union-Tribune.

THAT writers using Microsoft Word on their computers need to be careful when employing the program's spell-check feature.

The program flags "Obama" as a possible misspelled word, and suggests as an alternative: "Osama."

THAT former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has joined two private country clubs in Alabama — including one that was once mired in a controversy over race.

Rice, a Birmingham native, joined Greystone Golf & Country Club and Shoal Creek Golf Club.

In 1990, when Shoal Creek was slated to host the PGA Championship golf tournament, the club had no African-American members, and club founder Hall Thompson declared that he would not be pressured to accept black members, stating: "This is our home, and we pick and choose who we want."

Facing protests from African-American groups, the PGA considered moving the tournament from Shoal Creek, but eventually reached a compromise with the club when an African-American insurance executive was invited to become an honorary member.

THAT the newly released autobiography written by the late Ted Kennedy runs more than 500 pages, yet it contains not a single mention of one of Kennedy's closest friends in the Senate: Utah Republican Orrin Hatch.

"True Compass" reads like a who's-who of prominent names in late 20th-century politics, but the name of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada also fails to turn up in the book.

In his autobiography, "Kennedy traces his life's story from his childhood days in England before World War II, when his father was the American ambassador, to his diagnosis with brain cancer" in May 2008, The Hill newspaper reports.

About remaining on the job after the diagnosis, Kennedy, who died on Aug. 25, wrote: "As much as I respect the medical profession, my demise did not fit into my plans."

Editor's Note:

Editor's Notes:

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Norman Lear Group Targets Glenn Beck2. Catholic League Condemns Dan Brown's New Book3. Bill Clinton's Doctor: Kim Jong-il Significantly Improved4. Professors Won't Like Dick Morris' Tuition-Cutting Plan5. Mark Levin Book Hits...
Sunday, 20 September 2009 08:56 PM
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