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Ear to the Ground

Worst Popes Edition

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Posted on May 13, 2010

Glenn Beck’s Mormon masterpiece theater, why humans sigh, the 10 worst popes (and no, Benedict isn’t among them) and Aaron Sorkin’s response to the Newsweek gay actor saga.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

The links below open in a new window. Newer ones are on top.

Now That You Mention It, Rock Hudson Did Seem Gay
First things first. An actor, no matter which sex they’re attracted to, can’t “play” gay or “play” straight. Gay and straight aren’t actable things. You can act effeminate and you can act macho (though macho usually ends up reading as gay), but an actor can’t play gay or straight anymore than they can play Catholic.

Earth to Washington Post: It’s 2010
Sunday’s ombudsman column sparked a healthy discussion about whether The Post should loosen its policies governing when to disclose a person’s sexual orientation. ...

Wall Street Journal’s Choice of a Front-Page Photo of Elena Kagan—No Plausible Deniability
A spokeswoman for the Wall Street Journal said today its cover art was not intended as innuendo about Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s sexual orientation after the paper’s front-page use of an image of Kagan playing softball provoked a mixture of irritation and amusement from gay and lesbian advocates.

Flashmob Infiltrates the Boycotted Westin Hotel in S.F.

Can We Count on PBS’s New Program ‘Need to Know’ to Report the Truth?
Billed as part of an effort to “revitalize public media,” a new planned public affairs series on PBS hosted by Newsweek editor Jon Meacham has many doubters.

Mormon Masterpiece Theater: How Glenn Beck Re-Invented Himself as a Crying Conservative
If people know one thing about Glenn Beck, it is that he cries. He is the Crying Conservative. Alone among cable news and talk-radio personalities, he frequently chokes up, his lips quiver, he wipes his eye, and he holds tortured misty pauses until he can hold them no more. For more than a decade, Beck has been crying on the radio, on television, on stage, in interviews, and even in scripted commercials. Sometimes the tears are implied; at other times, such as during a 2009 stage performance, he gets into a fetal position on the floor and bawls. ...

How the Federal Reserve Makes Money Out of Thin Air
Author Bill Greider argues that a more democratic money creation system could have saved the country from the brink of financial collapse.

The Top 10 Worst Popes (Benedict Doesn’t Make the Cut)
The scandals may be coming thick and strong from the Vatican at the moment, but the Church has always waged a losing battle with its own vice-ridden staff.

When Grading Papers, Red Ink May Mean Lower Scores
New research suggests the use of red ink by teachers to correct students’ work may result in harsher evaluations.

Why We Sigh (It’s a Human Reset Button)
Taking the occasional deep breath keeps the respiratory system nimble, research shows.

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By berniem, May 13, 2010 at 3:07 pm Link to this comment

Only ten in the worst pope fraternity? Sorry, but they’ve all been nothing but parasites feeding their egos and lust for power and control of the masses thru fear, superstition, and, up until not too long ago, actual physical violence against the heresy of the innocent. These pompous self-indulgent leeches who glory in adorning themselves in costumes which disguise them as pieces of Victorian parlor furniture have the nerve to dictate to the rest of mankind morality and “redemtive” behavior? Unfortunately, there is no hell to which these dispicable charlatans can be dispatched and the “faithful” are so gullible that they fail to realize that these tricksters and their ilk from the world’s other “fine” religious traditions have been pulling a universal scam for so long that even Bernie Madoff is held in thrall!

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