Archive for April 14th, 2010

“Advocate.com, will use NBC resources to produce daily news segments that will run online and on air via “The Advocate On-Air. NBC News, in turn, may use content and writers from The Advocate to report on issues relating to the LGBT community.”—Media Bistro

“Your [homosexual “journalists”] victories are our victories.”—NBC Universal


NBC Becomes New Gay Advocate

By Colleen Raezler

If anyone at NBC News has a sense of irony, they hide it well. Ironic is about the best you can say about a supposedly reputable, unbiased news organization taking up with a magazine called The Advocate. But there was NBC last month, announcing with a straight face (pardon the pun) a new partnership with The Advocate, a gay-oriented magazine.

According to Media Bistro, “The magazine’s online home, Advocate.com, will use NBC resources to produce daily news segments that will run online and on air via “The Advocate On-Air. NBC News, in turn, may use content and writers from The Advocate to report on issues relating to the LGBT community.”

In a statement, NBC News Channel president Bob Horner expressed optimism about the partnership:

The NBC News Channel prides itself on supporting the client’s mission. We respect the commitment Here Media [parent company of The Advocate] has to its community and we look forward to assisting The Advocate in its coverage of the issues important to the LGBT community.

NBC News Channel is the network’s version of a wire service.

Accuracy in Media raised concern about the partnership and content NBC could receive from the magazine, asking if someone will “vet the segments for accuracy” and warned, “otherwise, it will turn into a soapbox for The Advocate’s editors to tout what they see are the benefits of the LGBT lifestyle and omit the risks thereof.”

AIM is right to be concerned. NBC already has a history of promoting gay rights on its news programs.

“Today,” the network’s morning show, couldn’t find space in its four-hour length to report the day after the 2009 election about Maine citizens voting to uphold the definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman. NBC correspondent Lee Cowan implied that proponents of same-sex marriage are the only ones “still willing to fight for the institution” of marriage in a June 2009 that questioned the relevance of marriage.

NBC has also been decidedly biased in its coverage “don’t ask, don’t tell.” An October 2009 “Today” report featured five sound bites from opponents of the policy and none from those in favor of it. NBC “Nightly News” followed the same script in July 2008, giving four sound bites to opponents of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” and only one to proponents.

CMI reported in August 2008, NBC Universal expressed its support of the gay community at the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association convention in a full page ad that read, “Your victories are our victories.” NBC Universal was also a “diamond sponsor” of the association’s annual “Headlines and Headliners” fundraiser in March 2010.

Colleen Raezler is a research assistant at the Culture and Media Institute

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It was a mere “misunderstanding” for an elementary school teacher to require boys to dress as women in a fashion show to honor Women’s History Month and a sheer coincidence that the school scheduled the show on same day when students are asked to participate in the national “Day of Silence” to draw attention to the name-calling, bullying, and harassment of homosexual, bisexual, and transvestite students in their schools

I.M Kane 


N.J. Elementary School Cancels ‘Cross-Dressing’ Fashion Show After Complaints

By Joshua Rhett Miller

A school superintendent in New Jersey says a “misunderstanding” led an elementary school teacher to mandate that all students — including young boys — dress as women in a now-canceled fashion show to honor Women’s History Month.

Some suggested styles for elementary school boys at a now canceled fashion show at New Jersey's Maude Wilkins Elementary.

Maple Shade Township School Superintendent Michael Livengood said the show, which had been scheduled for Friday at Maude Wilkins Elementary School, has been canceled.

“I wish the letter had been clearer and had been worded differently,” Livengood told FoxNews.com, referring to a letter sent home to the children’s parents last week informing them of the assignment. “But it was a misunderstanding. It was meant to demonstrate students’ awareness in women’s roles, and along with that, their changes in fashion over time.”

In a 16-page packet sent home with students, teacher Tonya Uibel alerted parents that all students in her third grade class would have to participate in the activity, since it would be graded as an “end of unit” assignment. The packet also included suggestions of how students may dress, including fashions from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s like bellbottoms, poodle skirts and cheerleader outfits. Photographs of fashion icons like Twiggy and Madonna are also included.

“If your child is a young man, he does not have to wear a dress or skirt, as there are many time periods where women wore jeans, pants and trousers. However, each child must be able to express what time period their outfit is from. Most of all, your child should have fun creating their outfit and learning about how women’s clothing has changed!”

Livengood said students will now be asked to a draw a picture of a person dressed in clothing from a specific time period as the lesson plan’s culminating project.

He said the school’s principal, Beth Narcia, had not received “one single” complaint pertaining to the event from parents. But one parent told FoxNews.com she contacted Uibel directly after her 9-year-old son came home “in tears” after getting the assignment.

“My son was very upset,” said Janine Giandomenico. “He said, ‘Mommy, please don’t make me do this.'”

Giandomenico said her son has Asperger’s syndrome, a social interaction disorder, and she feared he would expose himself to ridicule from other students if he participated in the show.

“My husband and I are very open-minded, but this is a decision for my son to make when he’s old enough to understand it,” Giandomenico said. “I thought it was wrong. I felt like I had to say something.”

She said she also found it “very odd” that the event was scheduled to coincide with an anti-bullying “Day of Silence” organized by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, which is encouraging students nationwide to remain mute during classes on Friday to call attention to verbal and physical abuse of gay students.

Instead of dressing in historical garments, Giandomenico said she suggested to Uibel that students create skits to memorialize significant moments in history pertaining to women. She also questioned why the fashion show idea was approved at all.

“They chose this route,” she said. “And I’m positive that my little boy was not the only one who felt uncomfortable doing this. I’m just being honest. So I felt I had to open my mouth.”

In a letter dated Monday, Narcia informed parents that the show, which was to be videotaped, had been canceled. She apologized for “any confusion or frustration” the assignment may have caused.

“I wanted to clear up any misconceptions about the clothing show,” the principal wrote. “It was never our intention to have boys dress up as women. There are many different time periods that had women and men dressing in pants, suits, and even sweat suits. Students were just asked to dress as a time period, not as a woman. The children were then being asked to identify their time period of dress.”

Calls to the school seeking comment were referred to Livengood.

Stacy Bowen, a mother of two young children in Bucks County, Pa., said she contacted the school’s principal after seeing Giandomenico’s Facebook posts on the matter.

“I was just so outraged,” Bowen said. “I find it completely alarming that a school would do this.”

Bowen said she also found it “ironic” that the event was scheduled on the “Day of Silence.”

“It’s a step out of line,” she said. “You’re forcing boys to participate in this, yet you stand for anti-bullying. They may feel pressured to do it when they don’t want to.”

Bowen, whose children are ages 2 and 5, said she would take matters into her own hands if a similar event were held in her school district’s classrooms.

“I would’ve kept my child home,” she said. “It’s a step too far to portray boys in this manner.”

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Brother O and the Bread and Circuses Administration are more dangerous to America than all of her enemies combined.


Pence:  Obama Sees His Job as ‘Managing American Decline,’ But the ‘Job of the Prez Is to Reverse It’

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Experts warn there won’t be enough doctors to treat the millions of people newly insured under the law. At current graduation and training rates, the nation could face a shortage of as many as 150,000 doctors in the next 15 years, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

“It will probably take 10 years to even make a dent into the number of doctors that we need out there”—Atul Grover, the Association of American Medical Colleges’ chief advocacy officer.

What ObamaCare will mean for most Americans is fewer doctors and increased caseloads, longer lines and wait-times, and reductions in quality care and the surplus population.

ObamaCare is not meant to reform America’s health care industry; it’s meant to destroy it. And if it’s not struck down or repealed, it will.

I.M. Kane


Medical Schools Can’t Keep Up

By Suzanne Sataline and Shirley S. Wang

As Ranks of Insured Expand, Nation Faces Shortage of 150,000 Doctors in 15 Years

The new federal health-care law has raised the stakes for hospitals and schools already scrambling to train more doctors.

Experts warn there won’t be enough doctors to treat the millions of people newly insured under the law. At current graduation and training rates, the nation could face a shortage of as many as 150,000 doctors in the next 15 years, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

That shortfall is predicted despite a push by teaching hospitals and medical schools to boost the number of U.S. doctors, which now totals about 954,000.

The greatest demand will be for primary-care physicians. These general practitioners, internists, family physicians and pediatricians will have a larger role under the new law, coordinating care for each patient.

The U.S. has 352,908 primary-care doctors now, and the college association estimates that 45,000 more will be needed by 2020. But the number of medical-school students entering family medicine fell more than a quarter between 2002 and 2007.

Proponents of the new health-care law say it does attempt to address the physician shortage. The law offers sweeteners to encourage more people to enter medical professions, and a 10% Medicare pay boost for primary-care doctors.

Meanwhile, a number of new medical schools have opened around the country recently. As of last October, four new medical schools enrolled a total of about 190 students, and 12 medical schools raised the enrollment of first-year students by a total of 150 slots, according to the AAMC. Some 18,000 students entered U.S. medical schools in the fall of 2009, the AAMC says.

But medical colleges and hospitals warn that these efforts will hit a big bottleneck: There is a shortage of medical resident positions. The residency is the minimum three-year period when medical-school graduates train in hospitals and clinics.

There are about 110,000 resident positions in the U.S., according to the AAMC. Teaching hospitals rely heavily on Medicare funding to pay for these slots. In 1997, Congress imposed a cap on funding for medical residencies, which hospitals say has increasingly hurt their ability to expand the number of positions.

Medicare pays $9.1 billion a year to teaching hospitals, which goes toward resident salaries and direct teaching costs, as well as the higher operating costs associated with teaching hospitals, which tend to see the sickest and most costly patients.

Doctors’ groups and medical schools had hoped that the new health-care law, passed in March, would increase the number of funded residency slots, but such a provision didn’t make it into the final bill.

“It will probably take 10 years to even make a dent into the number of doctors that we need out there,” said Atul Grover, the AAMC’s chief advocacy officer.

While doctors trained in other countries could theoretically help the primary-care shortage, they hit the same bottleneck with resident slots, because they must still complete a U.S. residency in order to get a license to practice medicine independently in the U.S. In the 2010 class of residents, some 13% of slots are filled by non-U.S. citizens who completed medical school outside the U.S.

One provision in the law attempts to address residencies. Since some residency slots go unfilled each year, the law will pool the funding for unused slots and redistribute it to other institutions, with the majority of these slots going to primary-care or general-surgery residencies. The slot redistribution, in effect, will create additional residencies, because previously unfilled positions will now be used, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Some efforts by educators are focused on boosting the number of primary-care doctors. The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences anticipates the state will need 350 more primary-care doctors in the next five years. So it raised its class size by 24 students last year, beyond the 150 previous annual admissions.

In addition, the university opened a satellite medical campus in Fayetteville to give six third-year students additional clinical-training opportunities, said Richard Wheeler, executive associate dean for academic affairs. The school asks students to commit to entering rural medicine, and the school has 73 people in the program.

“We’ve tried to make sure the attitude of students going into primary care has changed,” said Dr. Wheeler. “To make sure primary care is a respected specialty to go into.”

Montefiore Medical Center, the university hospital for Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, has 1,220 residency slots. Since the 1970s, Montefiore has encouraged residents to work a few days a week in community clinics in New York’s Bronx borough, where about 64 Montefiore residents a year care for pregnant women, deliver children and provide vaccines. There has been a slight increase in the number of residents who ask to join the program, said Peter Selwyn, chairman of Montefiore’s department of family and social medicine.

One is Justin Sanders, a 2007 graduate of the University of Vermont College of Medicine who is a second-year resident at Montefiore. In recent weeks, he has been caring for children he helped deliver. He said more doctors are needed in his area, but acknowledged that “primary-care residencies are not in the sexier end. A lot of these [specialty] fields are a lot sexier to students with high debt burdens.”

Write to Suzanne Sataline at suzanne.sataline@wsj.com and Shirley S. Wang at shirley.wang@wsj.com.

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