The Root reported, via Free Republic:
On Friday, television and radio host Tavis Smiley celebrated the 10th anniversary of his Tavis Smiley show on PBS and defended his right to critique President Obama, reports the Huffington Post. But Smiley says freedom of speech hasn’t come without its price.
Smiley contends that members of the Obama administration, whom he didn’t identify, have pressured sponsors to drop their support of his projects, including his anti-poverty initiatives. The White House had no comment, said a spokesman, Kevin Lewis.
Smiley declined to identify the companies, saying he wasn’t authorized to disclose their names.
While he said he understands the desire of blacks to stand protectively by the first African-American president, he’s adamant about his right to take Obama to task on rising black unemployment, the use of military drones and other issues.
“This administration does not like to be criticized. And the irony of it is, there’s nothing I have tried to hold the president accountable on that my white progressive colleagues have not,” Smiley said. “They’re labeled courageous critics, but if I say it, I’m an ‘Obama critic.’ There’s race at play in the very question.”
The director of Jihad Watch, a program of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, said that should the ring on Barack Obama’s finger prove to include an inscription of an Islamic prayer, it could explain his foreign policy attitudes and actions regarding freedom in the Middle East.
The comment comes from Robert Spencer, who has authored 12 books, including “The Truth About Muhammad,” “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)” and “Did Muhammad Exist? An Inquiry Into Islam’s Obscure Origins.”
He’s a recognized expert on Islam and has written hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism. He’s investigated stealth jihad, how jihadist groups are advancing their agenda in the U.S. with and without terror attacks and his works have been translated into Spanish, Italian, Finnish, Korean and Bahas Indonesia, among other languages.
He was reacting to today’s report that the ring Obama has been wearing for more than 30 years is adorned with the first part of the Islamic declaration of faith, the Shahada: “There is no god except Allah.”
It’s the first of the Five Pillars of Islam, expressing the two fundamental beliefs that make a person a Muslim: There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is Allah’s prophet.
A sincere recitation of the Shahada is the only requirement for becoming a Muslim, as experts say it expresses a person’s rejection of all other gods.
Read more here.
As Jim Lehrer, the moderator of last week’s presidential debate in Denver comes under continued fire from his professional colleagues, radio giant Rush Limbaugh is predicting a different tack by the media in charge of the next debate between President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
“Here’s the thing to look out for. The thing to look out for is the moderator in the next debate,” Limbaugh said this afternoon.
“Whoever the moderator is will be under orders to stifle Romney and to cut short answers to questions or reactions to Obama. That’s why they’re mad at Jim Lehrer of PBS, that Lehrer didn’t shut Romney down at the point in time, many points in time that he was shellacking Obama. He didn’t enforce the rules on time limits and so forth.”
The next presidential debate is slated for Tuesday night, Oct. 16, at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.
It will be moderated by CNN’s Candy Crowley, and will take the form of a town meeting, in which citizens will ask questions of the candidates on foreign and domestic issues.
Candidates each will have two minutes to respond, and an additional minute for the moderator to facilitate a discussion. The town meeting participants will be undecided voters selected by the Gallup Organization.
There’s also a vice-presidential debate set for this Thursday night at Centre College in Danville, Ky., with Martha Raddatz of ABC News the moderator.
Read more here.
As we get more into the nitty-gritty of the 21st century, the 1990s die of neglect.
The goodbye process takes about 15 years, but once you notice that a decade is gone, you really, really notice it: Whitney Houston departs the earthly realm from a Beverly Hills hotel room bathtub. Your new hire lets it casually slip that he was born in 1991. The IT guys finally haul off the last of the humpbacked Dell monitors from the Cubicles of the Doomed. Whoomp, there it is. (Or, whoomp, there it was.)
“Clinton,” a four-hour PBS “American Experience” documentary airing Monday and Tuesday, is an honest but sometimes tediously predictable exercise in the further Wikipedia-ing and storage-packing of those years.
Whether intentional or subliminal, the film conveys the obvious and completely mortal recognition of time’s inevitable passage, but not much else. There is no anniversary to note (besides this November’s being 20 years since his election) nor any round-number birthday ahead (65 came and went in August), so it’s puzzling why so much effort has been put into a film about this particular president, now.
Part of the problem is that the Clintons are still very much with us; legacies are still jelling. As Secretary of State, Hillary is engaged in the most important work of her career, while Bill prefers a superhero’s schedule, in constant transit to a crisis or a speaking engagement. We needn’t wonder where his thoughts are at — on any subject — because he keeps telling us. To the right’s everlasting horror, Clinton could show up anywhere, anytime.
And they are still baffled by his resilience, especially the fast rehab of his reputation after the House impeached him in 1998. They’ve watched in vain as he has ascended to elder statesman. They’ve watched people love him in spite of his sins. “That’s one of the things I’ve never figured out,” remarks former senator Trent Lott, the Mississippi Republican and majority whip whose career was derailed by a single, ill-chosen toast at Strom Thurmond’s 100th birthday party.
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With observations and reflections of that sort, it would be tempting to report that “Clinton” lacks fresh news, except that I consider the death of the ’90s to be fresh — even fascinating — news. For the first time, the ’90s appear to be as old as the hills, stripped of any remaining “I Love the ’90s” fizz.
“Clinton” makes the decade look bleak and practically sepia-toned. It asks us to imagine a world that was only on the verge of having a 24-hour news cycle, a more quaint society. Newsweek got nervous about publishing reporter Michael Isikoff’s explosive discovery of the Lewinsky affair, so Lucianne Goldberg sent the news to a fairly obscure Internet gossip named Matthew Drudge. You can almost hear the crackle and hiss of an AOL dial-up — and if I’d been directing this film, you would. The people who feasted on Clinton scandal, Clinton dirt, Clinton pitfalls, Clinton defeats — they were miners panning for a new gold. The hyperwired frenzy we now live with is surely as much a legacy of the Clinton era as welfare reform and “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
Read more here.