Monday: 02/10/02

Malkin Points
In an informal study recently conducted by the Citizens For Michelle Malkin Control, grave concerns were raised about the accelerated rate at which the syndicated columnist continues to exhaust her credibility.

"The first column we studied was called "It's Hip to Be Square," states G. Beato, president of Citizens for Michelle Malkin Control. "In it, Malkin praises Mandy Moore, a 17-year-old singer-actress-soap-peddler whom Malkin presents as a wholesome alternative to 20-year-old singer-actress-soda-peddler Britney Spears."

Malkin extols Moore because Moore is now starring in a movie called "A Walk To Remember."

"Unlike most of the sex-crazed, booze-drenched, drug-infested trash that Hollywood produces for teens, Miss Moore's film -- based on a coming-of-age novel by Nicholas Sparks -- affirms Christian values," Malkin writes. "The movie promotes kindness, abstinence and honesty. It treats young women with respect and encourages the audience to cherish life. It is unapologetically wholesome."

In praising "A Walk to Remember," Malkin takes the opportunity to criticize several other teen movies and the "media elite" who reviewed those movies favorably.

"Naturally, the media elite has mocked 'A Walk to Remember' as 'sappy' and 'cornball,'" she writes. "Instead, these haughty sophisticates prefer more 'realistic' and 'edgy' cinema for young Americans -- you know, the popular genre of 'Animal House' junior knockoffs that feature teen-agers masturbating with pastry ('American Pie'), lesbian experimentation ('Cruel Intentions'), and college miscreants torturing mice and secretly taping sex acts in their dorm rooms ('Road Trip')," Malkin writes.

"Who would have thought a busy syndicated-columnist/full-time mom would have so much time to watch so many crummy movies? Or read so many reviews of so many crummy movies?" Beato asked. "Of course, it's possible that while Malkin puts quotes around the words 'realistic' and 'edgy,' as if they actually appeared in reviews written by the 'haughty sophisticates' who have a lock on our country's movie-reviewing duties, such reviews may not actually exist. Our newspaper archive search using Dow Jones' Factiva database yielded no reviews of 'American Pie,' 'Cruel Intentions,' or 'Road Trip' that actually used those words. We have asked Malkin to point out the reviews where such words were used, so if she supplies them to us, we'll be sure to note that here," Beato continued.

In fairness to Malkin, Beato acknowledged that the debauched hedonists at The Christian Science Monitor did describe "A Walk to Remember" as "trite or weepy in spots."

In addition, he also acknowledged that Malkin's characterization of Moore as a positive alternative to the more widely known Britney Spears is correct. "Britney Spears is always talking about her virginity, and her faith in God, and how important her family is to her," Beato said. "What kind of role model for teens is that? But Mandy Moore is a different story. At age 14, she scored her first hit single, 'Candy,' which featured the following lyrics: 'I'm so addicted To the lovin' that you're feeding to me/Can't do without it/This feeling's got me weak in the knees/Body's in withdrawal/Everytime you take it away...'

"It's a really catchy song," Beato continued. "But more importantly, it gets kids thinking of love in terms of drug addiction, and how can you argue with that?"

Still, Beato and the rest of the Citizens For Michelle Malkin Control had one further objection to Malkin's column: "A few weeks earlier, Malkin wrote a column in which she characterized MTV as a 'left-leaning entertainment channel' that 'specializes in moral equivalence and cultural rot.'"

While Malkin's column mentioned the "Britney Spears' videos, Trojan condom ads, booze-drenched Mardi Gras parties, soft-porn soap operas, and reruns of vulgar stunt shows" that comprise the bulk of the channel's programming, there was one pervasive MTV presence that Malkin somehow managed to overlook: Mandy Moore. Indeed, it's safe to say that MTV has promoted Mandy Moore more than any other artist in the last two years. It plays her videos. It created a daily show for her to host. It features her as frequent guest on TRL and many other MTV series. It created a half-hour special for her to hype "A Walk to Remember" before it opened.

In short, Mandy Moore would not be Mandy Moore without MTV, and "A Walk to Remember" would not be #3 at the box office without Mandy Moore's heavy pre-release promotion of it on the rotting, left-leaning entertainment channel.

"Either Malkin is being very disingenuous when she ignores the Moore/MTV connection," Beato charged, "or she's simply writing about MTV without actually ever watching the channel. But while neither possibility is especially reassuring, the faults of those columns are nothing compared to an even more recent column of hers entitled 'Behind the Environmental Working Group.'"

"The Environmental Working Group is not just a humble 'non-profit research outfit,' as it is being described by the mainstream press," Malkin writes in that column. "It is a savvy political animal funded by deep-pocketed foundations with a big-government agenda of their own. And it is engaged in aggressive eco-lobbying that belies its image as an innocuous public charity dedicated to 'educating' citizens."

Malkin goes on to explain that the Environmental Working Group, "a non-profit, 501(c)(3) charity" that "thrives on funding from an array of extremely liberal foundations," had attracted the attention of another non-profit group, the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise. "Under federal tax laws, public charities can engage in limited political activities - but the Environmental Working Group's zealous legislative lobbying raises questions about its status as a public charity," Malkin writes. "In a complaint to be filed this Friday with IRS Commissioner Charles Rossotti, the Bellevue, Wash.-based Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise charges that the Environmental Working Group's 'excessive lobbying and politicking' activities are 'clearly illegal and should (at a minimum) result in revocation of the organization's tax-exempt status.'"

"If the Environmental Working Group has engaged in activities that its status as a 510(c)(3) non-profit does not permit, then it should be penalized," Beato stated. "But what caught the attention of Citizens to Control Michelle Malkin is the fact that while Malkin spends several paragraphs providing background about Environmental Working Group and its big-government agenda, she provides no information about the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise, other than its Bellevue, Washington location and the name of its executive vice president."

As it turns out, the Center for the Defense of Free Enteprise is, according to this newspaper article, the "most powerful anti-environmental force in the country."

And its founder? One Alan Gottlieb, a convicted felon (for tax evasion) who has also founded a right-wing political action committee (the American Political Action Committee) two anti-gun-control groups (the Second Amendment Foundation and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, a for-profit fund-raising operation (Merril Mail Marketing), a non-profit fund-raising operation (The Service Bureau), and a book publishing company which publishes titles like "Prince Albert: The Life and Lies of Al Gore," and "Goodbye Green : How Extremists Stole the Environmental Movement from Moderate America and Killed It."

None of which absolves Environmental Working Group of any violations it may have committed, of course. But all of this suggests that the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise certainly has an agenda of its own -- and the fact that Michelle Malkin made no effort to provide any information about that agenda once again casts her credibility in doubt. "This is especially true given Malkin's apparent close association with the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise," Beato stated. "After all, she published her article on the very same day the Center released its press release about its complaint, so she was obviously given an early look at it. In addition, Malkin's association with Alan Gottlieb dates back at least to 1998, when his Second Amendment Foundation honored her with a 'James Madison Award' for an essay she wrote about the feminization of the gun-control debate. We've asked Malkin if the award included a cash prize of any kind," Beato continued. "We've also asked her why she didn't feel it necessary to provide any information about the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise or the people behind it in her column. So far, she hasn't responded. But if she does, we will update this report with that information."

Other recent Soundbitten articles:
The Glenn Reynolds Story
The Secret History of the Drudge Report
All the News That's Fit to Excerpt

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