Consider the National Rifle Association's latest product, the Practice Range iPhone app that lets users shoot at virtual targets.
The immediate response was not universally admiring. TechCrunch accused the NRA of "profiteering" for the way players can pay a buck to unlock weapons such as the AK-47 and MK-11 sniper rifle. Gizmodo said it's "straight up stupid" that iTunes labels the game appropriate for children ages 4 and older.
The New York Post declared that the game's release "spits on the graves of Newtown massacre victims."
But the game has only inanimate targets. It's loaded with safety tips. And there's no bloodshed. In that way, said ArsTechnica, the game "is actually a counterpoint to much of the video game industry."
Kids as props
President Barack Obama took heat for surrounding himself with schoolchildren in a gun-control announcement. They had been invited to join the president after writing about their concerns about guns.
Then the NRA launched a commercial suggesting the president was hypocritical for not rallying to the group's call for putting armed guards at schools while his own daughters attend a school with that kind of security. CNN's Roland Martin saw the spot as evidence that the gun group's leaders are "punks." CNN anchor Erin Burnett countered that presidents often "use their children for political purposes when they want to, too."
Yet Comedy Central's Jon Stewart suggested the president tell the NRA: "If you bring up my kids again, I will drone strike you to kingdom come."
Whole Foods boss John Mackey triggered a boycott of his high-price, whole-grain groceries in 2009 when he labeled Obamacare "socialism." Last week, in a series of National Public Radio interviews about his concept of "conscious capitalism," he described the health plan as "more like fascism. ... The government doesn't own the means of production, but they do control it."
He quickly apologized, sort of.
"I regret using that word now because it's got so much baggage attached to it," Mackey told HuffPost Live. "Of course, I was just using the standard dictionary definition."
Radio talker Rush Limbaugh has, once or twice, detected a liberal bias to the news media. Last week he suggested that disgraced biker Lance Armstrong work that to his advantage.
"All you've gotta do is come out: 'Yep, pro-choice all the way. And get rid of guns.' They'd have to embrace him."
"President Obama will be sworn in with his hand resting on two Bibles. Is that how screwed up Washington is now? One Bible can't get the job done anymore?" -- Jay Leno
"Two Bibles. Relax, Mr. President. We get it. You're not a Muslim. You're overcompensating." -- Conan O'Brien
Faith is tested
"The theme for President Obama's second inauguration will be 'Faith in America's Future.' The idea is to get our minds off of America's present." -- Jay Leno
" 'Faith in America's Future' ... proof that no one in the White House has ever seen 'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.' " -- Jimmy Fallon
Not on TicketHub
"President Obama's team is promising special perks for donors who give at least a million dollars to the inauguration. Which is cool, but you know what else can get you a lot of perks? Keeping that million dollars." -- Jimmy Fallon
"Tickets to President Obama's inauguration have sold out. At least that's what the president is telling Joe Biden." -- Conan O'Brien